la’-a-da (la‘dah): A descendant of Judah (1Ch 4:21).





la’-ban: The person named Laban, labhan; (Laban, possibly connected with the root meaning "to be white," from which in Hebrew the adjective meaning "white" has just this form) is first introduced to the reader of Genesis in the story of the wooing of Rebekah (Genesis 24). He belonged to that branch of the family of Terah that was derived from Abraham’s brother Nahor and his niece Milcah. The genealogy of this branch is traced in Ge 22:20-24; but, true to its purpose and the place it occupies in the book, this genealogy brings the family down to Rebekah, and there stops without mentioning Laban. Accordingly, when Rebekah is introduced in the narrative of Genesis 24, she is referred to (24:15,24) in a way that recalls to the reader the genealogy already given; but when her brother Laban is introduced (24:29), he is related to his sister by the express announcement, "And Rebekah had brother, and his name was Laban." In this chapter he takes prominent part in the reception of Abraham’s servant, and in the determination of his sister’s future. That brothers had an effective voice in the marriage of their sisters is evident, not only from extra-Biblical sources, but from the Bible itself; see e.g. So 8:8. In Ge 24, however, Laban is perhaps more prominent than even such custom can explain (compare 24:31,50,55), and we are led to see in him already the same forcefulness and egotism that are abundantly shown in the stories from his later life. The man’s eager hospitality (verse 31), coming immediately after his mental inventory of the gifts bestowed by the visitor upon his sister (24:30), has usually, and justly, been regarded as a proof of the same greed that is his most conspicuous characteristic in the subsequent chapters.

The story of that later period in Laban’s life is so interwoven with the career of Jacob that little need here be added to what is said of Laban in JACOB, III, 2 (which see). By the time of Jacob’s arrival he is already a very old man, for over 90 years had elapsed since Rebekah’s departure. Yet even at the end of Jacob’s 20 years’ residence with him he is represented as still energetic and active (Ge 31:19,23), not only ready for an emergency like the pursuit after Jacob, but personally superintending the management of his huge flocks.

His home is in Haran, "the city of Nahor," that is, the locality where Nahor and his family remained at the time when the rest of Terah’s descendants emigrated to Canaan (Ge 11:31; 12:5). Since Haran, and the region about it where his flocks fed, belonged to the district called Aram (see PADDAN-ARAM; MESOPOTAMIA), Laban is often called "the Aramean" (English Versions of the Bible, "the Syrian," from Septuagint 5 ho Suros); see Ge 25:20; 28:5; 31:20,24. It is uncertain how far racial affinity may be read into this term, because the origin and mutual relationships of the various groups or strata of the Sere family are not yet clear. For Laban himself it suffices that he was a Semite, living within the region early occupied by those who spoke the Sere dialect that we call Aramaic. This dialect is represented in the narrative of Genesis as already differentiated from the dialect of Canaan that was Jacob’s mother-tongue; for "the heap of witness," erected by uncle and nephew before they part (Ge 31:47), is called by the one Jegar-saha-dutha and by the other Galeed—phrases which are equivalent in meaning, the former Aramaic, the latter Hebrew. (Ungnad, Hebrdische Grammatik, 1912, section 6 puts the date of the differentiation of Aramaic from "Amurritish" at "about 1500 BC"; Skinner, "Genesis," ICC, argues that Ge 31:47 is a gloss, following Wellhausen, Dillmann, et al.)

The character of Laban is interesting to observe. On the one hand it shows a family likeness to the portraits of all his relations in the patriarchal group, preeminently, however, to his sister Rebekah, his daughter Rachel, and his nephew Jacob. The nearer related to Laban such figures are, the more conspicuously, as is fitting, do they exhibit Laban’s mingled cunning, resourcefulness, greed and self-complacency. And, on the other hand, Laban’s character is sui generis; the picture we get of him is too personal and complex to be denominated merely a "type." It is impossible to resolve this man Laban into a mythological personage—he is altogether human—or into a tribal representative (e.g. of "Syria" over against "Israel" equal Jacob) with any degree of satisfaction to the world of scholarship. Whether a character of reliable family tradition, or of popular story-telling, Laban is "a character"; and his intimate connection with the chief personage in Israel’s national recollections makes it highly probable that he is no more and no less historical than Jacob himself (compare JACOB, VI).

J. Oscar Boyd


lab’-a-na (Labana, 1 Esdras 5:29): Called Lebanah in Ezr 2:45.


la’-ber (yeghia‘, ‘amal; kopos): The word (noun and verb) denoting hard work or "toil" (thus in the Revised Version (British and American) of De 26:7; Jos 7:3; Re 2:2) represents several Hebrew and Greek words, chiefly those above. Occasionally, as in Hab 3:17 (ma‘aseh), it stands for "fruit of labor." Sometimes, in conjunction with "travail," it refers to childbirth (Ge 35:16,17, yaladh; compare 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8). Examples of the word in the ordinary sense are: of yeghia‘, Ge 31:42; Job 39:11,16; Ps 128:2; of ‘amal, common in Ec 1:3,8; 2:10,11,18, etc.; of kopos, 1Co 15:58 ("your labor is not vain," etc.); 1Th 1:3 ("work of faith and labor of love"; compare Heb 6:10); 1Ti 5:17 ("labor in the word and in teaching").


James Orr


lak’-u-nus (Lakkounos; the King James Version Lacunus): One of the sons of Addi who returned with Ezra and had married a foreign wife (1 Esdras 9:31). The name does not, as might have been expected, occur in Ezr 10:30. See note on the passage (in Lange’s Commentary) as to the reconciliation of the lists in 1 Esdras and Ezra.


las (pathil, variously rendered in Ge 38:18,25; Ex 39:3; Nu 15:38; 19:15; Jud 16:9; Eze 40:3): In modern English the noun "lace" usually denotes a delicate ornamental fabric, but in the word in the sense of "that which binds" is still in perfectly good use, especially in such combinations as "shoelace" etc. It is this latter significance that is found in Ex 28:28 ("They shall bind .... with a lace of blue"); 28:37; 39:21,31, and in Sirach 6:30 the King James Version, klosma (the Revised Version (British and American) "riband").


las-e-de-mo’-ni-anz (Spartidtai; once only Lakedaimonioi, 2 Macc 5:9): The inhabitants of Sparta or Lacedaemon with whom the Jews claimed some kinship and formed alliances (1 Macc 12:2,5,6,20,21; 14:20,23; 15:23; 2 Macc 5:9). The alliance mentioned in 1 Macc 12:5-23 is based, among other grounds, on that of a common descent of Jews and Lacedaemonians from Abraham, for which the only probable presumption—suggested by Ewald—is the similarity of names, "Pelasgi" and Peleg son of Eber (Ge 10:25; 11:16). This has been reasonably objected to, and perhaps the most that can be said on this point is that the belief in some relationship between the Jews and the Lacedaemonians seems to have prevailed when 1 Macc was written. The alliance itself is said to have been formed (1 Macc 12:20) between Areus, king of the Lacedaemonians and Onias the high priest; but it is not easy to make out a consistent chronology for the transaction. For the renewal of the alliance (circa 144 BC) by Jonathan (1 Macc 12:5-18) and again by Simon (1 Macc 14:16-23), something can be said, as the Greeks had finally been deprived of independence in 146 BC, and Sparta was only obliged to lend assistance to Rome and may be supposed to have been doing so in helping the Jews against Syria. It is possible, too, that as against Syrian Hellenism the Jews were anxious to show that they had the assistance of distinguished Greeks, though the actual power of Sparta was much reduced from that of former times. The facts, at least of the alliance and the correspondence, seem to be sufficiently attested, though it is not easy to reconcile all the particulars. Josephus (Ant., XII, iv, 10; XIII, v, 8; XIV, xii, 2,3) gives the correspondence at greater length than the writer of the Maccabees.

J. Hutchison


la’-kish (lakhish; Septuagint Lachis (Jos 15:39), Maches):

1. Location:

A town in the foothills of the Shephelah on the border of the Philistine plain, belonging to Judah, and, from the mention of Eglon in connection with it, evidently in the southwestern portion of Judah’s territory. Eusebius, Onomasticon locates it 7 miles from Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin) toward Daroma, but as the latter place is uncertain, the indication does not help in fixing the site of Lachish. The city seems to have been abandoned about 400 BC, and this circumstance has rendered the identification of the site difficult. It was formerly fixed at Umm Lakis, from the similarity of the name and because it was in the region that the Biblical references to Lachish seem to indicate, but the mound called Tell el-Hesy is now generally accepted as the site. This was first suggested by Conder in 1877 (PEFS, 1878, 20), and the excavations carried on at the Tell by the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1890-93 confirmed his identification. Tell el-Hesy is situated on a wady, or valley, of the same name (Wady el Hesy), which runs from a point about 6 miles West of Hebron to the sea between Gaza and Askelon. It is a mound on the very edge of the wady, rising some 120 ft. above it and composed of debris to the depth of about 60 ft., in which the excavations revealed the remains of distinct cities which had been built, one upon the ruins of another. The earliest of these was evidently Amorite, and could not have been later than 1700 BC, and was perhaps two or three centuries earlier (Bliss, Mound of Many Cities). The identification rests upon the fact that the site corresponds with the Biblical and other historical notices of Lachish, and especially upon the discovery of a cuneiform tablet in the ruins of the same character as the Tell el-Amarna Letters, and containing the name of Zimridi, who is known from these tablets to have been at one time Egyptian governor of Lachish. The tablets, which date from the latter part of the 15th or early part of the 14th century BC, give us the earliest information in regard to Lachish, and it was then an Egyptian dependency, but it seems to have revolted and joined with other towns in an attack upon Jerusalem, which was also an Egyptian dependency. It was perhaps compelled to do so by the Khabiri who were then raiding this region. The place was, like Gaza, an important one for Egypt, being on the frontier and on the route to Jerusalem, and the importance is seen in the fact that it was taken and destroyed and rebuilt so many times.

2. History:

We first hear of it in the history of Israel when Joshua invaded the land. It was then an Amorite city, and its king, Japhia, joined the confederacy formed by Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, to resist Joshua. They were defeated in the remarkable battle at Gibeon, and the five confederate kings were captured and put to death at Makkedah (Jos 10$ passim; Jos 12:11). Lachish was included in the lot of Judah (15:39), and it was rebuilt, or fortified, by Rehoboam (2Ch 11:5,9). It was besieged by Sennacherib in the reign of Hezekiah and probably taken (2Ki 18:13) when he invaded Judah and besieged Jerusalem, but the other references to the siege leave it doubtful (2Ki 18:14,17; 19:8; 2Ch 32:9; Isa 36:2; 37:8). The Assyrian monuments, however, render it certain that the place was captured. The sculptures on the walls of Sennacherib’s palace picture the storming of Lachish and the king on his throne receiving the submission of the captives (Ball, Light from the East, 190-91). This was in 701 BC, and to this period we may assign the enigmatical reference to Lachish in Mic 1:13, "Bind the chariot to the swift steed, O inhabitant of Lachish: she was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion." The cause of the invasion of Sennacherib was a general revolt in Phoenicia, Palestine, and Philistia, Hezekiah joining in it and all asking Egypt for aid (Rawlinson, Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World, chapter ix). Isaiah had warned Judah not to trust in Egypt (Isa 20:5,6; 30:1-5; 31:1), and as Lachish was the place where communication was held with Egypt, being a frontier fortress, perhaps even having an Egyptian garrison, it would be associated with the "sin" of the Egyptian alliance (HGHL, 234).

The city was evidently rebuilt after its destruction by Sennacherib, for we find Nebuchadnezzar fighting against it during his siege of Jerusalem (Jer 34:7). It was doubtless destroyed by him, but we are informed by Nehemiah (11:30) that some of the returned Jews settled there after the captivity. It is very likely that they did not reoccupy the site of the ruined city, but settled as peasants in the territory, and this may account for the transference of the name to Umm Lakis, 3 or 4 miles from Tell el-Hesy, where some ruins exist, but not of a kind to suggest Lachish (Bliss, op. cit). No remains of any importance were found on the Tell indicating its occupation as a fortress or city later than that destroyed by the king of Babylon, but it was occupied in some form during the crusades, Umm Lakis being held for a time by the Hospitallers, and King Richard is said to have made it a base of operations in his war with Saladin (HGHL). The Tell itself, if occupied, was probably only the site of his camp, and it has apparently remained since that time without inhabitants, being used for agricultural purposes only.


H. Porter


(forms of chacer, "to lack," ayin, "nought"): This word in its various forms has the usual meaning of "want," "need," "deficiency." There is but little change in the use of the word in the different versions. Sometimes one of the common synonyms is exchanged for the word itself, e.g. in the Old Testament, 1Sa 21:15 the Revised Version (British and American) has "lack" ("Do I lack madmen?") where the King James Version has "need of"; Pr 5:23, "for lack," instead of "without"; 6:32, "void of" for "lacketh"; 10:21, "lack" for "want"; 31:11, "lack" for "need"; Isa 59:15, "lacking" for "faileth." In the New Testament "lack" is the translation of hustereo, literally, "to be behind," and endees, "in want." In Lu 8:6, the Revised Version (British and American) reads "had no" instead of "lacked" in the King James Version. In 2Co 11:9, the Revised Version gives "my want" for "which was lacking to me" in the King James Version; in Col 1:24 "that which is lacking" for "that which is behind"; Jas 2:15 "lack" for "destitute." It will readily be seen that sometimes the slight variation helps to explain the meaning.

G. H. Gerberding





In the Old Testament this word occurs as the translation of na‘ar, "young person," "child," "servant," the Revised Version (British and American) properly substituting "servant" in 2Ki 4:19; Jud 16:26 is another passage where either sense of the original word may be intended. The word occurs in the New Testament in Joh 6:9 as the translation of paidarion; in Ac 20:12, pais (the King James Version "young man").


la’-dan (la‘dan, the King James Version, Laadan):

(1) A descendant of Ephraim, and an ancestor of Joshua (1Ch 7:26).

(2) A Levite of the family of Gershon (1Ch 23:7,8,9; 26:21), also called LIBNI (which see).


lad’-a-num (loT): Ge 37:25 the Revised Version margin; elsewhere MYRRH (which see).



See SIEGE, 4, (e).


(He klimax (apo tes klimakos) Turou): Not mentioned in the Old Testament or the New Testament, but in Apocrypha (1 Macc 11:59), where it is said that Antiochus VI, after having confirmed Jonathan in the high-priesthood, appointed his brother Simon captain over the territory included between the Ladder of Tyre and the borders of Egypt. The Ladder has been located at different points on the coast between Tyre and Acre, such as the Ras el-‘Abyadh ("Promontorium Album" of the ancient geographers), about 7 miles South of Tyre, and Ras en-Naqurah, about 6 miles farther South, and Ras el-Musheirifeh, a little farther on. These are capes jutting westward into the sea from the ridge which runs parallel to the general line of the coast. These capes project more than a mile into the sea, and present a very bold and precipitous front from 200 to 300 ft. in height. The ascent on either side of the promontory is very steep, and at Ras el-‘Abyadh steps were cut in the white rock, which led to the identification of this point with the Ladder, but a reference to Josephus (B J, II, x, 2) leads to a different conclusion. He locates it 100 stadia North of Acre, which corresponds fairly well with the southern limit of the whole promontory, which is about 12 miles North of Acre, but not at all with Ras el-‘Abyadh. The altitude of el Musheirifeh is greater than that of el-‘Abyadh and may have had steps cut in it similar to the latter. It is more probable that the Ladder of Tyre was here, or at en-Naqurah, but the term applied to the whole promontory, which offered a serious obstacle to the passage of armies, or even caravans, since the approach is precipitous on either side, and at Ras el-‘Abyadh the road skirts the edge of a sheer precipice, where a misstep would hurl one into the sea some 200 ft. below. The application of the term to the whole promontory seems to be indicated by Josephus, since he speaks of it as one of the mountains which encompass the plain of Ptolemais (Acre) and the highest of all. This would not be true of any one of the three capes mentioned, but would be if the hills behind, which form their base, were included. That it was designated as the Ladder of Tyre rather than of Acre was probably due to the fact that the promontory is nearer the former city (see Thomson, LB, II, edition 1882; SWP, name-lists, under the word).

H. Porter


lad, lad’-ing: "To lade" in the sense of "to load" is retained by the Revised Version (British and American) in nearly all passages where the word occurs in the King James Version (but compare the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) reading of Ps 68:19; Isa 46:1), "They laded us with such things" (Ac 28:10 the King James Version). The epithithemi, "to put on," is rendered by the Revised Version (British and American), "They put on board such things." Lu 11:46 the Revised Version (British and American) reads "ye load" instead of the King James Version "ye lade."

Lading (phortion) is found in Ac 27:10 in its usual meaning, "the lading of a ship."


la’-di: This word should be taken in the sense of "mistress" in Isa 47:5,7 (Hebrew gebhereth) (so the American Standard Revised Version). In Jud 5:29; Eat 1:18 it is the translation of another Hebrew word (sarah), best rendered "princess" (so the Revised Version (British and American) in Esther, but not in Judges). In 2 Joh 1:1,5 it is the translation of kuria, which some interpreters regard as a proper name.



la’-el (la’el, "belonging to God"): Father of Eliasaph, the prince of the father’s house of the Gershonites (Nu 3:24).


la’-had (lahaah): A descendant of Judah (1Ch 4:2).


la-hi’-roi, la-hi-ro’-i, la’hi-roi (lachay ro’i).



la’-mam (lachmam): A town in the Judean Shephelah (Jos 15:40, the Revised Version margin "Lahmas") possibly the modern el-Lachm, 2 1/2 miles South of Beit Jibrin.





la’-mi (lachmi): According to 1Ch 20:5, the brother of Goliath of Gath.



la’-ish (layish):

(1) A city in the upper Jordan valley, apparently colonized by the Sidonians, which was captured by the Danires and called DAN (which see) (Jud 18:7, etc.; Isa 10:30 the King James Version). In Jos 19:47 the name appears as "Leshem."

(2) A Benjamite, father of Palti or Paltiel, to whom Michal, David’s wife, was given by Saul (1Sa 25:44; 2Sa 3:15).


la-i’-sha, la’-ish-a (layshah, the King James Version, Laish): A place named in Isa 10:30 with Gallim and Anathoth. It should apparently be sought on the North of Jerusalem. Some would identify Gallim with Beit Jala, near Bethlehem. Conder suggests ‘Isawiyeh on the eastern slope, to the North-Northeast of the Mount of Olives.


lak (limne): The word is used (Lu 5:1,2; 8:22,23,33) of the Lake of Gennesaret or Sea of Galilee, and (Re 19:20; 20:10,14,15; 21:8) of the "lake of fire and brimstone." Lakes are not abundant in Syria and Palestine. The Dead Sea, which might be called a lake, is in most places in English Versions of the Bible called the Salt Sea. It is called by the Arabs Bachr Lut, Sea of Lot. It is a question whether the Waters of Merom (Jos 11:5,7) can be identified with the Chuleh, a marshy lake in the course of the Upper Jordan, North of the Sea of Galilee. East of Damascus on the edge of the desert there are saltish lakes in which the water of the rivers of Damascus (see 2Ki 5:12) is gathered and evaporates. In the Lebanon West of Ba‘albek is the small Lake Yammuneh, which is fed by copious springs, but whose water disappears in the latter part of the summer, being drained off by subterranean channels. The Lake of Kums on the Orontes is artificial, though ancient. On the lower Orontes is the Lake of Antioch.

Alfred Ely Day


(limne tou puros): Found in Re 19:20; 20:10,14(bis), 15. Re 21:8 has "the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone." The brimstone in connection with "the lake of fire" occurs also in Re 19:20 and 10, the latter being a backward reference to the former passage. In Re 20:14 the words, "This is the second death, even the lake of fire" are either a gloss originally intended to elucidate 20:15 through a reference to 20:6, or, if part of the text, formed originally the close of 20:15, whence they became displaced on account of the identity of the words once immediately preceding them in 20:15 with the words now preceding them in 20:14. The "lake of fire" can be called "the second death" only with reference to the lost among men (20:15), not with reference to death and Hades (20:14). In all the above references "the lake of fire" appears as a place of punishment, of perpetual torment, not of annihilation (20:10). The beast (19:20); the pseudo-prophet (19:20; 20:10); the devil (20:10); the wicked of varying description (20:15; 21:8), are cast into it. When the same is affirmed of death and Hades (20:14), it is doubtful whether this is meant as a mere figure for the cessation of these two evils personified, or has a more realistic background in the existence of two demon-powers so named (compare Isa 25:8; 1Co 15:26,54 ff; 2 Esdras 7:31). The Scriptural source for the conception of "the lake of fire" lies in Ge 19:24, where already the fire and the brimstone occur together, while the locality of the catastrophe described is the neighborhood of the Dead Sea. The association of the Dead Sea with this fearful judgment of God, together with the desolate appearance of the place, rendered it a striking figure for the scene of eschatological retribution. The two other Old Testament passages which have "fire and brimstone" (Ps 11:6; Eze 38:22) are dependent on the Ge passage, with which they have the figure of "raining" in common. In Re 21:8, "their part" seems to allude to Ps 11:6, "the portion of their cup." In Enoch 67:4 ff the Dead Sea appears as the place of punishment for evil spirits. Of late it has been proposed to derive "the lake of fire" from "the stream of fire" which destroys the enemies of Ahura in the Zoroastrian eschatology; so Bousset, Die Offenbarung Johannis, 1906, 433, 434. But the figures of a stream and a lake are different; compare 2 Esdras 13:9-11, where a stream of fire proceeds from the mouth of the Messiah for the destruction of His enemies. Besides, the Persian fire is, in part, a fire of purification, and not of destruction only (Bousset, 442), and even in the apocalyptic Book of Enoch, the fires of purification and of punishment are not confounded (compare Enoch 67:4 with 90:20). The Old Testament fully explains the entire conception.

Geerhardus Vos





lak’-um (laqqum; the King James Version, Lakum): An unidentified town on the border of Naphtali, named with Adami, Nekeb and Jabneel, apparently nearer the Jordan (Jos 19:33).





(1) The most used word is kebhes, "a young ram"; compare Arabic kebsh, "ram"; often of sacrifices; (feminine) kabhsah, or kibchsah, "ewe lamb" (2Sa 12:3); by transposition kesebh, and feminine kisbah (Ge 30:40; Le 3:7; 5:6).

(2) kar, "lamb" (De 32:14; 1Sa 15:9; 2Ki 3:4).

(3) seh, "one" of the flock (Ge 22:7; Le 5:7).

(4) tso’n, "sheep," "goats," "flock"; compare Arabic da’n, "sheep" (Ex 12:21); and ben tso’n (Ps 114:4).

(5) Taleh, "young lamb"; compare Arabic Tali, "young lamb"; and Tela’im (1Sa 7:9; Isa 40:11; 65:25).

(6) ‘immerin (Ezr 6:9,17; 7:17).

(7) arnas, accusative plural (Lu 10:3); diminutive arnion (Joh 21:15; Re 5:6, etc.).

(8) amnos (Joh 1:29,36; Ac 8:32; 1Pe 1:19).


Alfred Ely Day


(ho amnos tou theou): This is a title specially bestowed upon our Lord by John the Baptist (Joh 1:29-36), "Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!" In Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs an apocryphal book, probably of the 2nd century—we have the term used for the Messiah, "Honor Judah and Levi, for from them shall arise for you the Lamb of God, saving all nations by grace." But the term does not seem to have been of any general use until it received its distinctly Christian significance. It has been generally understood as referring to the prophetic language of Jer 11:19, and Isa 53:7.

1. Sacrificial Sense of the Term:

It is far more probable, however, that the true source of the expression is to be found in the important place which the "lamb" occupies in the sacrifices, especially of the Priestly Code. In these there was the lamb of the daily morning and evening sacrifice. How familiar this would be to the Baptist, being a member of a priestly family! On the Sabbath the number of the offerings was doubled, and at some of the great festivals a still larger number were laid upon the altar (see Ex 29:38; Nu 28:3,9,13). The lamb of the Passover would also occupy a large place in the mind of a devout Israelite, and, as the Passover was not far off, it is quite possible that John may have referred to this as well as to other suggested ideas connected with the lamb. The sacrificial significance of the term seems to be far more probable than the mere comparison of the character of our Lord with meekness and gentleness, as suggested by the words of the prophets, although these contain much more than the mere reference to character (see below). That this became the clearly defined conception of apostolic teaching is clear from passages in Paul and Peter (1Co 5:7; 1Pe 1:18 f). In the Book of Revelation the reference to the Lamb occurs 27 times. The word here used differs from that in John. The amnos of the Gospel has become the arnion of the Apocalypse, a diminutive form suggestive of affection. This is the word used by our Lord in His rebuke and forgiveness of Peter (Joh 21:15), and is peculiarly touched therefore with an added meaning of pathetic tenderness. Westcott, in his Commentary on Joh 1:29, refers to the conjecture that there may have been flocks of lambs passing by on their way to Jerusalem to be used at the feast. This is possible, but fanciful. As applied to Christ, the term certainly suggests the meekness and gentleness of our Lord’s nature and work, but could not have been used by John without containing some reference to the place which the lamb bore in the Judaic ritualism.

2. As Variously Understood:

The significance of the Baptist’s words has been variously understood. Origen, Cyril, Chrysostom, among the ancients, Lucke, DeWette, Meyer, Ewald, Alford, among the moderns, refer it to Isa 53:7; Grotius, Bengel, Hengstenberg, to the paschal lamb; Baumgarten-Crusius, etc., to the sin offering; Lange strongly urges the influence of the passage in Isa 53, and refers to John’s description of his own mission under the influence of the second part of Isaiah, in which he is supported by Schaff. The importance of the Isaiah-thought is found in Mt 8:17; Ac 8:32; 1Pe 2:22-25.

3. As Set Forth by Isaiah:

It is to be observed that the Septuagint in Isa 53:7 translates the Hebrew word for sheep (seh), by the Greek word for lamb. In 53:10, the prophet’s "suffering one" is said to have made "his soul an offering for Isaiah sin," and in 53:4 "he hath borne our griefs," where bearing involves the conception of sin offering, and as possessing justifying power, the idea of "‘taking away." John indeed uses not the Septuagint word (pherein), but (airein), and some have maintained that this simply means "put away" or "support," or "endure." But this surely loses the suggestion of the associated term "lamb," which John could not have employed without some reference to its sacrificial and therefore expiatory force. What Lange calls a "germ perception" of atonement must certainly have been in the Baptist’s mind, especially when we recall the Isaiah-passages, even though there may not have been any complete dogmatic conception of the full relation of the death of Christ to the salvation of a world. Even the idea of the bearing of the curse of sin may not be excluded, for it was impossible for an Israelite like John, and especially with his surroundings, to have forgotten the significance of the paschal lamb, both in its memorial of the judgment of Egypt, as well as of the deliverance of Israel. Notwithstanding every effort to take out of this striking phrase its deeper meanings, which involve most probably the combination of all the sources above described, it must ever remain one of the richest mines of evangelical thought. It occupies, in the doctrine of atonement, a position analogous to that brief word of the Lord, "God is a Spirit" (Joh 4:24), in relation to the doctrine of God.

The Lamb is defined as "of God," that is, of Divine providing. See Isa 53; Re 5:6; 13:8. Its emphatic and appointed office is indicated by the definite article, and whether we refer the conception to a specific sacrifice or to the general place of a lamb in the sacrificial institution, they all, as being appointed by and specially set apart for God, suggest the close relation of our Lord to the Divine Being, and particularly to His expiatory sacrifice.

L. D. Bevan


lam (piceach, nakheh; cholos):

(1) The condition of being unable or imperfectly able to walk, which unfitted any descendant of Aaron so afflicted for service in the priesthood (Le 21:18), and rendered an animal unsuitable for sacrifice (De 15:21). The offering of animals so blemished was one of the sins with which Malachi charges the negligent Jews of his time (Mal 1:8-13).

(2) Those who suffered from lameness, such as Mephibosheth, whose limbs were injured by a fall in childhood (2Sa 4:4; 9:3). In the prophetic description of the completeness of the victory of the returning Israelites, it is predicted that the lame shall be made whole and shall leap like a hart (Jer 3:18; Isa 35:6). The unfitness of the lame for warfare gives point to the promise that the lame shall take the prey (Isa 33:23). Job in his graphic description of his helpfulness to the weak before his calamity says, "And feet was I to the lame" (Job 29:15). The inequality of the legs of the lame is used in Pr 26:7 as a similitude of the ineptness with which a fool uses a parable.

In the enigmatical and probably corrupt passage describing David’s capture of Jerusalem, the lame and blind are mentioned twice. In 2Sa 5:6 it was a taunt on the part of the Jebusites that even a garrison of cripples would suffice to keep out the Israelites. The allusion in 5:8 may be read, "Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites let him .... slay both the lame and blind, which hate David’s soul" as it is in Septuagint. The Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) says, "David had offered a reward on that day to the man who should smite the Jebusite and reach the water pipes of the houses, and remove the blind and lame who hated David’s soul." It is possible, however, that Budde’s emendation is more correct and that it is a threat against the indiscriminate slaughter of the Jebusites: "Whoso slayeth a Jebusite shall bring his neck into peril; the lame and blind are not hated of David’s soul." The proverbial saying quoted in 5:8 cannot be correct as rendered in the King James Version, for we read in Mt 21:14 that the lame came to our Lord in the temple and were healed.

The healing of the lame by our Lord is recorded in Mt 11:5; 15:30,31; 21:14; Lu 7:22; 14:13. For the apostolic miracles of healing the lame, see CRIPPLE. In Heb 12:13 the Christians are counseled to courage under chastisement, lest their despair should cause that which is lame to be "turned out of the way."

Alexander Macalister


la’-mek (lemekh; Lamech, "a strong youth"?):

(1) The name is first mentioned in Ge 4:18-24. Here Lamech, the son of Methushael, is named as the last of the descendants of Cain. He was the father of Jabel, Jubal, Tubal-cain, and Naamah. As the husband of two wives, namely, Adah and Zillah, he furnishes the first recorded instance of polygamy. It is very instructive to note that this "father of polygamy" at once becomes the first blustering tyrant and a braggadocio; we are fully permitted to draw this conclusion from his so-called "swordlay" (Ge 4:23 f). He does not put his trust in God, but in the weapons and implements invented by his sons, or rather these instruments, enhancing the physical and material powers of man, are his God. He glories in them and misconstrues the Divine kindness which insured to Cain freedom from the revenge of his fellow-men.

(2) Another Lamech. is mentioned in Ge 5:25,28 (compare 1Ch 1:3; Lu 3:36), the son of Methuselah and the father of Noah. His words (Ge 5:29) show the great difference between this descendant of Seth and the descendant of Cain. While the one is stimulated to a song of defiance by the worldly inventions of his sons, the other, in prophetical mood, expresses his sure belief in the coming of better times, and calmly and prayerfully awaits the period of comfort and rest which he expected to be ushered in by his son Noah.

William Baur


la’-meth: The 12th letter of Hebrew alphabet; transliterated in this Encyclopedia as "1". It came also to be used for the number 30. For name, etc., see ALPHABET.






See BURIAL, III, 2; IV, 4, 5, 6.


lam-en-ta’-shunz, —The Lamentations of Jeremiah:

1. Name:

This is a collective name which tradition has given to 5 elegies found in the Hebrew Canon that lament the fate of destroyed Jerusalem. The rabbis call this little book ‘Ekhah ("how"), according to the word of lament with which it begins, or qinoth. On the basis of the latter term the Septuagint calls it threnoi, or Latin Threni, or "Lamentations."

2. Form:

The little book consists of 5 lamentations, each one forming the contents of a chapter. The first 4 are marked by the acrostic use of the alphabet. In addition, the qinah ("elegy") meter is found in these hymns, in which a longer line (3 or 4 accents) is followed by a shorter (2 or 3 accents). In La 1 and 2 the acrostic letters begin three such double lines; in La 4, however, two double lines. In La 3 a letter controls three pairs, but is repeated at the beginning of each line. In La 5 the alphabet is wanting; but in this case too the number of pairs of lines agrees with the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, i.e. 22. In La 2; 3 and 4, the letter ‘ayin (‘) follows pe (p), as is the case in Ps 34. Lamentations 1, however, follows the usual order.

3. Contents:

These 5 hymns all refer to the great national catastrophe that overtook the Jews and in particular the capital city, Jerusalem, through the Chaldeans, 587-586 BC. The sufferings and the anxieties of the city, the destruction of the sanctuary, the cruelty and taunts of the enemies of Israel, especially the Edomites, the disgrace that befell the king and his nobles, priests and prophets, and that, too, not without their own guilt, the devastation and ruin of the country—all this is described, and appeal is made to the mercy of God. A careful sequence of thought cannot be expected in the lyrical feeling and in the alphabetical form. Repetitions are found in large numbers, but each one of these hymns emphasizes some special feature of the calamity. Lamentations 3 is unique, as in it one person describes his own peculiar sufferings in connection with the general calamity, and then too in the name of the others begins a psalm of repentance. This person did not suffer so severely because he was an exceptional sinner, but because of the unrighteousness of his people. These hymns were not written during the siege, but later, at a time when the people still vividly remembered the sufferings and the anxieties of that time and when the impression made on them by the fall of Jerusalem was still as powerful as ever.

4. Author:

Who is the author of these hymns? Jewish tradition is unanimous in saying that it was Jeremiah. The hymns themselves are found anonymously in the Hebrew text, while the Septuagint has in one an additional statement, the Hebrew style of which would lead us to conclude that it was found in the original from which the version was made. This statement reads: "And it came to pass, after Israel had been taken away captive and Jerusalem had been laid waste, that Jeremiah sat weeping, and uttered this lamentation over Jerusalem and said." The Targum also states that Jeremiah was the author. The rabbis and the church Fathers have no doubts on the subject. Jerome (compare on Zec 12:11) thinks that 2Ch 35:25 refers to these hymns. The same is said by Josephus (Ant., X, v, 1). If this were the case, then the writer of Chronicles would have regarded La as having been written because of the death of Josiah. But this misunderstanding is not to be ascribed to him. It was easily possible that he was acquainted with lamentations of such a nature, but which afterward were lost. At all events, Jeremiah was by nature adapted to the composition of such elegies, as is proved by his book of prophecies.

Only in modern times has the authorship of these hymns by Jeremiah been seriously called into question; and it is now denied by most critics. For this they give formal and material reasons: The language of these lamentations shows many similarities to the discourses of Jeremiah, but at the same time also many differences. The claim that the alphabetical scheme is not worthy of Jeremiah is a prejudice caused by the taste of our times. Hebrew poets had evidently been making use of such methods for a long time, as it helps materially in memorizing. At the time of the first acute suffering on account of the destruction of Jerusalem, in fact, he would probably not have made use of it. But. we have in this book a collection of lamentations’ written some time after this great catastrophe. The claim has also been made that the views of Jeremiah and those of the composer or the composers of these poems differ materially. It is said that Jeremiah emphasizes much more strongly the guilt of the people as the cause of the calamity than is done in these hymns, which lament the fate of the people and find the cause of it in the sins of the fathers (La 5:7), something that Jeremiah is said not to accept (Jer 31:29 f). However, the guilt of the people and the resultant wrath of God are often brought out in these hymns; and Jeremiah does not deny (31:29 f) that there is anything like inherited guilt. He declares rather that in the blessed future things would be different in this respect. Then, too, we are not to forget that if Jeremiah is the author of these patriotic hymns, he does not speak in them as the prophet and the appointed accuser of his people, but that he is at last permitted to speak as he humanly feels, although there is no lack of prophetical reminiscences (of La 4:21 f). In these hymns he speaks out of the heart that loves his Jerusalem and his people, and he utters the priestly prayer of intercession, which he was not allowed to do when announcing the judgment over Israel. The fact that he also evinces great reverence for the unfortunate king and his Divinely given hereditary dignity (La 4:20), although as a prophet he had been compelled to pronounce judgment over him, would not be unthinkable in Jeremiah, who had shown warm sympathies also for Jehoiachim (22:24,28). A radical difference of sentiment between the two authors is not to be found. On the other hand, a serious difficulty arises if we claim that Jeremiah was not the author of Lamentations in the denunciations of Lamentations over the prophets of Jerusalem (2:14; 4:13). How could the great prophet of the Destruction be so ignored if he himself were not the author of these sentiments? If he was himself the author we can easily understand this omission. In his book of prophecies he has spoken exactly the same way about the prophets. To this must be added, that La 3 forces us to regard Jeremiah as the author, because of the personal sufferings that are here described. Compare especially La 3:14,37 f, 53 ff, 61,63. What other person was during the period of this catastrophe the cynosure of all eyes as was the prophet, especially, too, because he was guiltless? The claim that here, not an individual, but the personified nation is introduced as speaking, is altogether improbable, and in some passages absolutely impossible (La 3:14,48).

This little book must accordingly be closely connected with the person of Jeremiah. If he himself is the author, he must have composed it in his old age, when he had time and opportunity to live over again all the sufferings of his people and of himself. It is, however, more probable, especially because of the language of the poems, that his disciples put this book in the present shape of uniform sentential utterances, basing this on the manner of lamentations common to Jeremiah. In this way the origin of Lamentaions 3 can be understood, which cannot artificially be shaped as his sayings, as in this case the personal feature would be more distinctly expressed. It was probably compiled. from a number of his utterances.

In the Hebrew Canon this book is found in the third division, called kethabhim, or Sacred Writings, together with the Psalms. However, the Septuagint adds this book to Jeremiah, or rather, to the Book of Baruch, found next after Jerusalem. The Hebrews count it among the 5 meghilloth, or Rolls, which were read on prominent anniversary days. The day for the Lamentation was the 9th of Abib, the day of the burning of the temple. In the Roman Catholic church it is read on the last three days of Holy Week.


Comms. of Thenius, Ewald, Nagelsbach, Gerlach, Keil, Cheyne, Oettli, Lohr, Budde; article by Robertson Smith on "Lamentations" in EB.

C. von Orelli


lamp’-stand (nir, ner, lappidh, Phoenician lampadh, whence lampas; luchnos is also used): Ner or nir is properly "light" or "a light-giving thing," hence, "lamp," and is so rendered in the Revised Version (British and American), but often "candle" in the King James Version. Its use in connection with the tabernacle and the temple (Ex 25:37 ff; 2Ch 4:20 f), where oil was employed for light (Ex 35:14; Le 24:2), shows that this is its proper meaning. Lappidh is properly "a torch" and is thus rendered generally in the Revised Version (British and American), but "lamp" in Isa 62:1, where it is used as a simile. the King James Version renders it "lamp" usually, but "torch" in Na 2:3 f; Zec 12:6. In Job 12:5 the Revised Version (British and American) renders it "for misfortune," regarding it as composed of the noun pidh, and the preposition l-. Lampas in Greek corresponds to it, but luchnos is also rendered in the Revised Version (British and American) "lamp," while the King James Version gives "candle," as in Mt 5:15 and corresponding passages in the other Gospels.

1. Forms and History:

Lamps were in use in very remote times, though we have few allusions to them in the early history of Egypt. There are indications that they were used there. Niches for lamps are found in the tombs of Tell el-Amarna (Archaeological Survey of Egypt, Tell el-Amarna Letters, Part IV, 14). Lampstands are also represented (ibid., Part III, 7). Torches were of course used before lamps, and are mentioned in Ge (15:17 the Revised Version (British and American)), but clay lamps were used in Canaan by the Amorites before the Israelites took possession. The excavations in Palestine have furnished thousands of specimens, and have enabled us to trace the development from about 2000 BC onward. The exploration carried out at Lachish (Tell Hesy) and Gezer (Tell Jezer) by the Palestine Exploration Fund has given ample material for the purpose, and the numerous examples from tombs all over Palestine and Syria have supplied a great variety of forms.

2. Figurative Use:

"Lamp" is used in the sense of a guide in Ps 119:105; Pr 6:23, and for the spirit, which is called the lamp of Yahweh in man (Pr 20:27), and it of course often signifies the light itself. It is used also for the son who is to succeed and represent his father (1Ki 15:4), and it perhaps is employed in this sense in the phrase, "The lamp of the wicked shall be put out" (Job 21:17; Pr 13:9; and perhaps Job 18:6).

The early Canaanite or Amorite lamp was a shallow, saucer-like bowl with rounded bottom and vertical rim, slightly pointed or pinched on one side where the lighted end of the wick was placed. This form continued into Jewish times, but was gradually changed until the spout was formed by drawing the rim of the sides together, forming a narrow open channel, the remainder of the rim being rolled outward and flattened, the bottom being also flattened. This was the early Hebrew pattern and persisted for centuries. The open bowl was gradually closed in, first at the spout, where the rim of one side was lapped over the other, and finally the whole surface was closed with only an orifice in the center for receiving the oil, and at the same time the spout was lengthened. This transformation is seen in lamps of the Seleucid period, or from around 300 BC. These lamps have usually a circular foot and sometimes a string-hole on one side. The next development was a circular bowl with a somewhat shorter spout, sometimes being only a bulge in the rim, so that the orifice for the wick falls in the rim, the orifice for filling being quite small at the bottom of a saucer-like depression in the center of the bowl. There is sometimes a loop handle affixed on the side opposite to the spout. Sometimes the handle is horizontal, but commonly vertical. This form is called Roman, and the bowl is often ornamented with mythological human or animal figures (Fig. 5). Other forms are elongated, having numerous wick holes (Fig. 6). The mythological and animal forms were rejected by the Jews as contrary to their traditions, and they made lamps with various other designs on the bowl, such as vine leaves, cups, scrolls, etc. (Figs. 7-11). One very marked Jewish design is the seven-branched candlestick (Ex 25:32) of the temple (Fig. 12). The lamps of the parable of the Ten Virgins were probably similar to these (Mt 25:1 ). The latest form of the clay lamp was what is called Byzantine, the bowl of which has a large orifice in the center and tapers gradually to the spout (Fig. 13); they are ornamented commonly with a palm branch between the central orifice and the wickhole, or with a cross. Sometimes there is an inscription on the margin (Fig. 13). The words on this read Phos ku(riou) pheni pasin Kale,"the light of the Lord shines to all (beautifully?)." Others read, "The Lord is my light"; "beautiful light," etc. These inscriptions determine the period as being Christian. In Roman times, and earlier also, bronze was much used for the finer lamps, often with covers for the orifice and sometimes with chain and ring for hanging. Very elaborate designs in this material occur.

These terra-cotta lamps are found in the tombs and burial places throughout Palestine and Syria, and they were evidently deposited there in connection with the funeral rites. Very few are found in Canaanite tombs, but they become numerous in later times and especially in the early Christian centuries. The symbolism in their use for funeral purposes is indicated by the inscriptions above mentioned (see PEFS, 1904, 326 ff; Explorations in Palestine, by Bliss. Maclister and Wunsch, 4to, published by the Palestine Exploration Fund). These lamps were used by the peasants of the country down to recent times, when petroleum has superseded olive oil for lighting. The writer has seen lamps of the Jewish and Roman period with surface blackened with recent usage. Olive oil was commonly used, but terebinth oil also (Thomson, LB, III, 472).

H. Poster





lans, lan’-ser, lan’-set. See ARMOR, III, 4, (3); 1Ki 18:28 the Revised Version (British and American) "lances."


((1) ‘erets;

(2) ‘adhamah;

(3) sadheh,

"a piece of land";

(4) ge, "earth";

(5) agros, "field";

(6) chora, "region";

(7) chorion, diminutive of chora;

(8) xeros, "dry land";

(9) ‘ezrach, "native" the King James Version "born in the land," "born among you," the Revised Version (British and American) "home-born" (Le 19:34; 14:16; Nu 15:30); "like a green tree in its native soil" (Ps 37:35)):

‘Erets occurs hundreds of times and is used in much the same way as ‘adhamah, which also occurs often: e.g. "land of Egypt," ‘erets mitsrayim (Ge 13:10), and ‘adhmath mitsrayim (Ge 47:20). The other words occur less often, and are used in the senses indicated above.


Alfred Ely Day

LAND-CROCODILE (Revised Version (British and American))]

land-crok’-o-dil (koach; Septuagint chamaileon, Le 11:30; the King James Version Chameleon): Koach is found only here, meaning an animal, the fifth in the list of unclean "creeping things." Elsewhere is it translated "strength" or "power," and it has been thought that here is meant the desert monitor, Varanus griseus, a gigantic lizard, which is common in Egypt and Palestine, and which attains the length of 4 ft. "Chameleon," which the King James Version has here, is used by the Revised Version (British and American) for tinshemeth (the King James Version "mole"), the eighth in the list of unclean "creeping things" (compare nasham, "to breathe"; translated "swan" in Le 11:18 margin). While it is by no means certain what animal is meant, there could be no objection to "monitor" or "desert monitor." "Land-crocodile" is objectionable because it is not a recognized name of any animal.


Alfred Ely Day




land’-mark (gebhul, literally, "boundary"): The boundary may have been marked, as at present, simply by a furrow or stone. The iniquity of removing a landmark is frequently insisted on (De 19:14; 27:17; Pr 22:28; 23:10; Job 24:2 gebhulah), its removal being equivalent to theft.


lan (rhume): An alley or bypath of a city. Occurs once in Lu 14:21, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city"; elsewhere translated "street," e.g. Mt 6:2; Ac 9:11; Ecclesiasticus 9:7; Tobit 13:18.


lan’-gwaj (Greek).



1. The Old Point of View

2. The Revolution

3. The Proof of the New Position

(1) The Papyri

(2) The Ostraka

(3) The Inscriptions

(4) Modern Greek

(5) Historical and Comparative Grammar

4. Characteristics of the Vernacular "Koine"






I. The Vernacular "Koine" the Language of the New Testament.

1. The Old Point of View:

The ghost of the old Purist controversy is now laid to rest for good and all. The story of that episode has interest chiefly for the historian of language and of the vagaries of the human intellect. See Winer-Thayer, Grammar of the Idiom of the New Testament, 1869, 12-19, and Schmiedel’s Winer, sectopm 2, for a sketch of this once furious strife. In the 17th century various scholars tried to prove that the Greek of the New Testament was on a paragraph with the literary Attic of the classic period. But the Hebraists won the victory over them and sought to show that it was Hebraic Greek, a special variety, if not dialect, a Biblical Greek The 4th edition of Cremer’s Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek (translated by W. Urwick, 1892) quotes, with approval, Rothe’s remark (Dogmatik, 1863, 238):

"We may appropriately speak of a language of the Holy Ghost. For in the Bible it is evident that the Holy Spirit has been at work, moulding for itself a distinctively religious mode of expression out of the language of the country which it has chosen as its sphere, and transforming the linguistic elements which it found ready to hand, and even conceptions already existing, into a shape and form appropriate to itself and all its own." Cremer adds: "We have a very clear and striking proof of this in New Testament Greek."

This was only twenty years ago and fairly represented the opinion of that day. Hatch in 1889 (Essays in Biblical Greek, 34) held that with most of the New Testament words the key lay in the Septuagint. But Winer (Winer-Thayer, 20) had long ago seen that the vernacular koine was "the special foundation of the diction of the New Testament," though he still admitted "a Jewish-Greek, which native Greeks did not entirely understand" (p. 27). He did not see the practical identity of New Testament Greek with the vernacular koine—("common" Greek), nor did Schmiedel in the 8. Auflage of Winer (I. Theil; II. Theil, erstes Heft, 1894-97). In the second edition of his Grammar of New Testament Greek (English translation by Thackeray, 1905, 2), Blass sees the dawn of the new day, though his book was first written before it came. Viteau (Etude sur le grec du Nouveau Testament, I, Le verbe, 1893, II, Le sujet, 1896) occupies wholly the old position of a Judaic Greek. An extreme instance of that view is seen in Guillemard’s Hebraisms in the Greek Testament (1879).

2. The Revolution:

A turn toward the truth comes with H. A. A. Kennedy’s Sources of the New Testament Greek (1895). He finds the explanation of the vocabulary of both the Septuagint and the New Testament to be the vernacular which he traces back to Aristophanes. It is a good exercise to read Westcott’s discussion of the "Language of the NT" in DB, III (1888), and then turn to Moulton, "Language of the New Testament," in the 1-vol HDB. Westcott says: "The chief peculiarities of the syntax of the New Testament lie in the reproduction of Hebrew forms." Moulton remarks: "There is no reason to believe that any New Testament writer who ever lived in Palestine learned Greek only as a foreign language when he went abroad." Still better is it to read Moulton, "New Testament Greek in the Light of Modern Discovery" in Cambridge Biblical Essays (1909, 461-505); Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (1911); or Angus, "The koine, the Language of the New Testament," Princeton Review, January, 1910, 42-92. The revolution has come to stay. It is now clear that the Greek of the New Testament is not a jargon nor a patois. In all essential respects it is just the vernacular koine of the 1st century AD, the lingua franca of the Greek-Roman empire, the legacy of Alexander the Great’s conquest of the East. This world-speech was at bottom the late Attic vernacular with dialectical and provincial influences. It was not a decaying tongue, but a virile speech admirably adapted to the service of the many peoples of the time. The able article in volume III of HDB on the "Language of the New Testament" by Dr. J. H. Thayer appeared in 1900, and illustrates how quickly an encyclopedia article may become out of date. There is a wealth of knowledge here displayed, as one would expect, but Thayer still speaks of "this species of Greek," "this peculiar idiom, .... Jewish Greek," though he sees that its basis is "the common or spoken Greek." The last topic discussed by him is "Problems." He little thought that the biggest "problem" so near solution was the character of the language itself. It was Adolph Deissmann, then of Heidelberg, now of Berlin, who opened the new era in the knowledge of the language of the New Testament. His Bibelstudien (zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften zur Geschichte der Sprache, des Schrifttums und der Religion des hellenistischen Judentums und des Urchristentums) appeared in 1895. In this epoch-making volume he proved conclusively from the papyri and the inscriptions that many of the seeming Hebraisms in the Septuagint and the New Testament were common idioms in the vernacular koine. He boldly claimed that the bulk of the Hebraisms were falsely so termed, except in the case of translating Greek from the Hebrew or Aramaic or in "perfect" Hebraisms, genuine Greek usage made more common by reason of similarity to the Semitic idiom. In 1897 he produced Neue Bibelstudien, sprachgeschichtliche Beitrage zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften zur Erklarung des Neuen Testaments.

In 1901 (2nd edition in 1903) these two volumes were translated as one by A. Grieve under the title Bible Studies. Deissmann’s other volumes have confirmed his thesis. The most important are New Light on the New Testament (1907), The Philology of the Greek Bible (1908), Licht vom Osten (1908), Light from the Ancient East (translation by Strachan, 1910), Paul in the Light of Social and Religious History (1912). In Light from the Ancient East, Deissmann illustrates the New Testament language with much detail from the papyri, ostraka and inscriptions. He is now at work on a new lexicon of the New Testament which will make use of the fresh knowledge from these sources.

The otherwise helpful work of E. Preuschen, Vollstandiges griechisch-deutsches Handworterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der ubrigen urchristlichen Literatur (1908-10), fails to utilize the papyri and inscriptions while drawing on the Septuagint and the New Testament Apocrypha and other early Christian literature. But this has been done by Ebeling in his Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zum New Testament, 1913. The next step was made by A. Thumb, the great philologian, in his Griechische Sprache im Zeitalter des Hellenismus; Beitrage zur Geschichte und Beurteilung der "koine," 1901, in which the real character of the koine was for the first time properly set forth.

Winer and Blass had both lamented the need of a grammar of the koine, and that demand still exists, but Thumb went a long way toward supplying it in this volume. It is to be hoped that he will yet prepare a grammar of the koine. Thumb’s interests cover the whole range of comparative philology, but he has added in this field "Die Forschungen fiber die hellenistische Sprache in den Jahren 1896-1901," Archiv fur Papyrusforschung, II, 396 f; "Prinzipienfragen der Koina-Forschung," Neue Jahrb. fur das kl. Alt., 1906; "Die sprachgeschichtliche Stellung des biblischen Griechisch," Theologische Rundschau, V, 85-99.

The other most important name to add is that of J. Hope Moulton, who has the credit of being the first to apply the new knowledge directly to the New Testament Greek His Grammar of New Testament Greek, I, Prolegomena (1906, 2nd edition, 1906, 3rd edition, 1908, German translation in 1911, Einleitung in die Sprache des New Testament) is a brilliant piece of work and relates the Greek of the New Testament in careful detail to the vernacular koine, and shows that in all important points it is the common Greek of the time and not a Hebraic Greek. Moulton probably pressed his point too far in certain respects in his zeal against Hebraisms, but the essential position of Deissmann and Moulton is undoubtedly sound.

Moulton had previously published the bulk of this material as "Grammatical Notes from the Papyri," The Expositor, 1901, 271-82; 1903, 104-21, 423-39; The Classical Review, 1901, 31-37, 434-41; 1904, 106-12, 151-55; "Characteristics of New Testament Greek, " The Expositor, 1904.

In 1909 appeared his essay, Greek in the Light of Modern Discovery (see above). Since 1908, The Expositor has had a series of papers by J.H. Moulton and George Milligan called "Lexical Notes from the Papyri," which are very useful on the lexical side of the language. Thus the study is fairly launched on its new career. In 1900, A.T. Robertson produced a Syllabus on the New Testament Greek Syntax from the standpoint of comparative philology, which was rewritten in 1908, with the added viewpoint of the papyri researches, as A Short Grammar of the Greek New Testament (2nd edition, 1909, 3rd edition, 1912; translations in Italian in 1910, German and French in 1911, Dutch in 1912). In October, 1909, S. Angus published a good article in the Harvard Theological Review on "Modern Methods in New Testament Philology," followed in January, 1910, by another in the Princeton Review on "The koine, the Language of the New Testament." The new knowledge appears also in Jakob Wackernagel, "Die griechische Sprache" (pp. 291-318, 2nd edition, of Die griechische und lateinische Literatur und Sprache, 1907). L. Radermachcr has set forth very ably "die sprachlichen Vorgange in ihrem Zusammenhang," in his Neutestamentliche Grammatik: Das Griechisch des Neuen Testaments im Zusammenhang mit der Volkssprache. It is in reality the background of the New Testament Greek and is a splendid preparation for the study of the Greek New Testament. A full discussion of the new knowledge in grammatical detail has been prepared by A.T. Robertson under the title A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research. Moulton and Schmiedel are planning also to complete their works.

3. The Proof of the New Position:

The proof of the new position is drawn from several sources:

(1) The Papyri.

These rolls have lain in the museums of the world many years and attracted little attention. For lists of the chief collections of the papyri see Moulton, Prolegomena, 259-62; Milligan, Selections from the Greek Papyri, xi, xii; Mayser, Grammatik der griechischen Papyri aus der Ptolemaerzeit; Lautund Wortlehre, vii-x; Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 20-41; Robertson, Grammar of the Greek New Testament, Bibliography. New volumes of papyri as a result of recent explorations in Egypt are published each year. See PAPYRUS, and in the other encyclopedias under the word. Most of the papyri discovered belong to the period of the koine (the first three centuries BC and AD in round numbers), and with great wealth of illustration they show the life of the common people of the time, whether in Egypt or Herculaneum (the two chief regions represented). There are various degrees of culture shown, as can be seen in any of the large volumes of Grenfell and Hunt, or in the handbooks of Lietzmann, Griechische Papyri (1905), and of Milligan, Greek Papyri (1910). They come from the scrap-heaps of the long ago, and are mainly receipts, contracts, letters of business or love, military documents, etc. They show all grades of culture, from the illiterate with phonetic spelling to the man of the schools. But we have here the language of life, not of the books. In a most startling way one notes the similarities of vocabulary, forms, and syntax between the language of the papyri of the 1st century AD and that of the New Testament books. As early as 1778, F.W. Sturz, made use of the Charta Borgiana, "the first papyrus ever brought to Europe" (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 39), and in 1841 Thiersch likewise saw the value of the papyri for the philology of the Septuagint. But the matter was not pressed. Lightfoot threw out a hint about the value of letters of the people, which was not followed till Deissmann saw the point; compare Moulton, Prol., 242. It is not necessary here to illustrate the matter at length. Deissmann takes up in detail the "Biblical" words in Thayer’s Lexicon, and has no difficulty in finding most of them in the papyri (or inscriptions). Thus plerophoreo, is shown to be common in the papyri. See Deissmann, Bible Studies and Light from the Ancient East, for extensive lists. The papyri show also the same meanings for many words once thought peculiar to the Bible or the New Testament. An instance is seen in the official sense of presbuteros, in the papyri, 5 ho presbuteros les komes (Pap. Lugd. A 35 f), "without doubt an official designation" (Deissmann, Bible Studies, 155). So adelphos, for members of the community, anastrophe, for manner of life, antilempsis, "help," leitourgia, "public service," paroikos, "sojourner," etc. (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 107). R. Helbing (Grammatik der Septuaginta, 1908) and H. John Thackeray (A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint, 1909) have applied the new knowledge to the language of the Septuagint, and it has been discussed with much ability in the first volumes. The use of the papyri for grammatical purposes is made easier by the excellent volume of E. Mayser, Grammatik der griechischen Papyri aus der Ptolemaerzeit; Laut- und Wortlehre (1906), though his "Syntax," is still a desideratum. Useful also is G. Cronert, Memoria Graeca Herculanensis (1903).

(2) The Ostraka.

The literature on this subject is still small in bulk. In 1899 Ulrich Wilcken published Griechische Ostraka aus Aegypten und Nubien, and in 1902 W.E. Crum produced his book of Christian ostraka called Coptic Ostraca from the Collections of the Egypt Exploration Fund, the Cairo Museum, and Others. This was followed in 1905 by H.R. Hall’s Coptic and Greek Texts of the Christian Period from Ostraka, Stelae, etc. These broken pieces of pottery were used by the lowest classes as writing material. It was very widely used because it was so very cheap. Wilcken has done more than anyone else to collect and decipher the ostraka. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 46) notes that Cleanthes the Stoic "wrote on ostraka or on leather" because too poor to buy papyrus. So he quotes the apology of a Christian for using potsherd for a letter: "Excuse me that I cannot find papyrus as I am in the country" (Crum, Coptic Ostraca, 55). The use of apecho, on an ostrakon for a receipt in full, illustrates well the frequent use of this word in the New Testament (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 111).

(3) The Inscriptions.

Here caution must be used since many of the inscriptions give, not the vernacular, but the literary language. The official (legal and military) decrees often appear in very formal style. But a number do preserve the vernacular idiom and often have the advantage of being dated. These inscriptions are chiefly on stone, but some are on metal and there are a few wax tablets. The material is vast and is constantly growing. See list of the chief collections in Deissmann’s Light from the Ancient East, 10-20. Boeckh is the great name here. As early as 1779 Walch (Observationes in Matt. ex graecis inscriptionibus) made use of Greek inscriptions for New Testament exegesis, and R.A. Lipsius says that his father (K.H.A. Lipsius, author of Grammatische Untersuchungen uber die biblische Gracitat) "contemplated a large grammar of the Greek Bible in which he would have availed himself of the discoveries in modern epigraphy" (Deissmann, Light, etc., 15). Schmiedel has made good use of the inscriptions so far in his revision of Winer; H.A.A. Kennedy (Sources of New Testament Greek, 1895), H. Anz (Subsidia ad Cogn., etc., 1894), R. Helbing (Grammatik der Septuaginta, 1908), J. Psichari (Essai sur le Grec de la Septante, 1908), H. John Thackeray (A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint, 1909), and R. Meister (Prol. zu einer Grammatik der Septuaginta, 1907) turned to good account the inscriptions for the linguistic problems of the Septuagint, as indeed Hatch (Essays in Biblical Greek, 1889) had already done. W. Dittenberger added some valuable "Grammatica et orthographica" to his Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae (2 volumes, 1903, 1905). See also E. L. Hicks and G. F. Hill, Greek Historical Inscriptions (1901), and Hicks’s paper "On Some Political Terms Employed in the New Testament," Classical Review, 1887, 4 ff, 42 ff. W. M. Ramsay’s Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia (2 volumes, 1895, 1897) and his other works show keen insight in the use of the inscriptions. Deissmann’s Bible Studies (1895, 1901) applied the knowledge of the inscriptions to the Septuagint and to the New Testament. In his Light from the Ancient East (1910) copious use is made of the inscriptions for New Testament study. Moulton (Prol., 1906, 258 f, for lists) is alive to the value of the inscriptions for New Testament grammar, as indeed was Blass (Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch, 1896) before him.

Compare further, G. Thieme, Die Inschriften von Magnesia am Maander und das Neue Testament (1906); T. Nageli, Der Wortschatz des Apostels Paulus (1905), and J. Rouffiac, Recherches sur les caracteres du Grec dans le New Testament d’apres les Inscr. de Priene (1911). Special treatises or phases of the grammar of the inscriptions appear in Meisterhans-Schwyzer, Grammatik der attischen Inschriften (1900); Nachmanson, Laute und Formen der magnetischen Inschriften (1896); Schweizer, Grammatik der pergamenischen Inschriften (1898).

Moulton and Milligan have drawn freely also on the inscriptions for their "Lexical Studies" running in The Expositor (1908 and the years following). The value of the inscriptions for the Greek of the New Testament is shown at every turn. For instance, prototokos, is no longer a "Biblical" word. It appears in a metrical inscription (undated) of Trachonitis on a tomb of a pagan "high priest" and "friend of the gods" (Deissmann, Light, etc., 88); compare Kaibel, Epigrammata Graeca, etc., number 460. Even agape, occurs on a pagan inscription of Pisidia (Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2, 57). See, further, W.H.P. Hatch’s "Some Illustrations of New Testament Usage from Greek Inscriptions of Asia Minor," Journal of Biblical Literature, 1908, 134-146.

(4) Modern Greek.

As early as 1834 Heilmeier saw that the modern Greek vernacular went back to the koine (Moulton, Prologoumena, 29), but it is only in recent years that it was clearly seen that the modern Greek of the schools and usually in the newspapers is artificial, and not the real vernacular of today. Mullach’s work (Grammatik der griechischen Vulgarsprache, 1856) was deficient in this respect. But Jannaris’ Historical Greek Grammar (1897) carries the history of the vernacular Greek along with the literary style. Hatzidakis, Einleitung in die neugriechische Grammatik, 1892, clears the air very much and connects the modern Greek with the New Testament. But it is to Thumb that we are indebted for the best knowledge of the vernacular (he demotike) as opposed to the literary language (he kathareuousa) of today. Mitsotakis (Praktische Grammatik, 1891) had treated both together, though Wied (Die Kunst, die neugriechische Volksprache) gave only the vernacular. But Wied is only elementary. Thumb alone has given an adequate treatment of the modern Greek vernacular, showing its unity and historical contact with the vernacular koine (Handbuch der neugriechischen Volkssprache, 1895; Thumb-Angus, Handbook of Modern Greek Vernacular, 1912). Thus one can see the living stream of the New Testament speech as it has come on down through the ages. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of modern Greek vernacular in the knowledge of New Testament Greek. The disappearance of the optative, the vanishing of the infinitive before hina, and itacism are but instances of many others which are luminous in the light of the modern Greek vernacular. See Psichari, Essais de grammaire historique neo-grecque (1886-89).

(5) Historical and Comparative Grammar.

From this source the koine gets a new dignity. It will take one too far afield to sketch here the linguistic revolution wrought since the publication of, and partly caused by, Bopp’s Vergleichende Grammatik (1857), following Sir William Jones’ discovery of Sanskrit. The great work of Brugmann and Delbruck (Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen, I-V, 1892-1909) marks the climax of the present development, though many workers have won distinction in this field. The point to accent here is that by means of comparative philology the Greek language is seen in its proper relations with other languages of the Indo-Germanic family, and the right interpretation of case, preposition, mode, tense, voice, etc., is made possible. The old traditional empiricism is relegated to the scrap-heap, and a new grammatical science consonant with the facts has taken its place. See Delbruck, Introduction to the Study of Language (1882), Giles, Short Manual of Comparative Philology (1901), for a resume of the facts. Wright, Comparative Grammar of the Greek Language (1912), applies the new learning to the Greek tongue. The progress in classical scholarship is well shown by Sandys in his History of Classical Scholarship (I-III, 1906-8) and by Gudeman, Geschichte der klass. Philologie, 2. Aufl, 1909. Innumerable monographs have enriched the literature of this subject. It is now feasible to see the Greek language as a whole, and grasp its historical unity. Seen in this light the koine is not a dying tongue or a corrupt dialect. It is a normal and natural evolution of the Greek dialects into a world-speech when Alexander’s conquests made it possible. The vernacular koine which has developed into the modern Greek vernacular was itself the direct descendant of the Attic vernacular which had its roots in the vernacular of the earlier dialects. The dialectical developments are closely sketched by Thumb, Handbuch der griechischen Dialekte (1909), and by Buck, Introduction to the Study of Greek Dialects (1910), not to mention the older works of Hoffmann, Meister, etc. Jannaris has undertaken in his Historical Greek Grammar (1897) to sketch and interpret the facts of the Greek tongue throughout its long career, both in its literary and vernacular aspects. He has succeeded remarkably well on the whole, though not quite seeing the truth about the modern Greek vernacular. Schanz is seeking to lay the foundation for still better work by his Beitrage zur historischen Syntax der griechischen Sprache (1882 and the years following). But the New Testament student must be open to all the new light from this region, and it is very great. See, further, Dieterich, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der griech. Sprache von der hellen. Zeit (1898).

4. Characteristics of the Vernacular "Koine":

As already indicated, the Greek of the New Testament is in the main just the vernacular koine of the 1st century AD, though Greek as used by men of ability and varying degrees of culture. The most striking difference between the vernacular koine and the literary Attic is seen in the vocabulary. The writers in the literary koine show more likeness to the classic Attic, but even they reveal the changes due to the intervening centuries. There was, of course, no violent break. The changes came gradually and naturally. It is mainly at this point that Deissmann has done such brilliant work in his Bible Studies and other books. He has taken the lists of "Biblical" and "ecclesiastical" words, as given by Cremer and Thayer, and has shown from the papyri, ostraka, inscriptions, or koine writers that they are not peculiar to the Bible, but belong to the current speech of the time. The proof is so overwhelming and extensive that it cannot be given here. Some words have not yet been found in the non-Biblical koine, but they may be any day. Some few words, of course, belong to the very nature of Christianity christianos, for instance), but apostolos, baptismos, paroikos, sunagoge, and hundreds of others can no longer be listed as "Biblical." New meanings come to old words also. Compare daimonion. It is interesting to note that the New Testament shows many of the words found in Aristophanes, who caught up the vernacular of his day. The koine uses more words from the lower strata of society. Aristotle likewise has many words common in the koine, since he stands at the parting of the ways between the old dialects and the new koine of Alexander’s conquests. The koine develops a fondness for compound and even double compound (sesquipedalian) words; compare, for instance, anekdiegetos; aneklaletos; anexereunetos; antapokrinomai; oikodespotes; oligopsuchos; prosanapleroo; sunantilambanomai; huperentugchano; chrusodaktulios, etc. The use of diminutives is also noteworthy in the koine as in the modern Greek: compare thugatrion; klinarion; korasion; kunarion; onarion; opsarion; ploiarion; otion, etc. The formation of words by juxtaposition is very common as in plerophoreo, cheiro-graphon. In phonetics it is to be noticed that "ei", "oi", "ee", "eei", "u", "i" all had the value of "ee" in "feet." This itacism was apparent in the early koine. So ai = e and o and oo were not sharply distinguished. The Attic tt became ss, except in a few instances, like elatto, kreitton. The tendency toward de-aspiration (compare Ionic) was manifest; compare eph’ helpidi, for the reverse process. Elision is less frequent than in Attic, but assimilation is carried farther. The variable final consonants "n" (nu) and "s" (sigma) are used generally before consonants. We find "-ei-" for "-iei-" as in pein. outheis, and metheis, are common till 100 BC, when they gradually disappear before oudeis, and medeis. In general there is less sense of rhythm and more simplicity and clearness. Some of the subtle refinements of form and syntax of the classic did not survive in the koine vernacular. In accidence only a few points may be noted. In substantives the Ionic "-res" is frequent. The Attic second declension vanishes. In the third declension forms like nuktan, show assimilation to the first. Both charin, and charita, occur. Contraction is sometimes absent (compare Ionic) as in oreon. Adjectives show forms like asphalen, and indeclinable pleres, appears, and pan, for panta (compare megan), dusi, for duoin. The dual is gone. Even the dual pronouns hekateros, and poteros, are rare. tis, is occasionally used like hostis. hos ean, is more frequent than hos an, in the 1st century AD. The two conjugations blend more and more into one, as the -mi forms vanish. There is some confusion in the use of -ao and -eo verbs, and new presents occur like apoktenno, optano, steko. The forms ginomai, ginosko, are the rule now. There is much increase in aorists like escha, and imperfects like eicha. The form -osan (eichosan, eschosan) occasionally appears. Quite frequent is a perfect like dedokan, and the augment is often absent in the plu-perfect as in dedokei. Per contra, a double augment occurs in apekateste, and a treble augment in eneochthesan. The temporal augment is often absent with diphthong as in oikodomethe. The koine Greek has -tosan, not -nton. In syntax the tendency is toward simplicity, to short sentences, the paratactic construction, and the sparing use of particles. The vernacular koine avoids both the bombast of Asianism and the artificiality of Atticism. There is, indeed, more freedom in violating the rules of concord as to gender, number, and case. The nominativus pendens is common. The comparative does duty often for the superlative adjective, and the superlative generally has the elative sense. The accusative is increasingly common with verbs. The line between transitive and intransitive verbs is not a hard-and-fast one. The growth in the use of prepositions both with nouns and in composition is quite noticeable, but some of the older prepositions, like amphi, are vanishing. The cases used with various prepositions are changing. The instrumental use of en, is very common. Many new adverbial and prepositional phrases have developed. The optative is nearly dead and the infinitive (apart from the use of tou, en to, eis ~to, with the infinitive) is decaying before hina. The future participle is rare. me, begins to encroach on ou, with infinitives and participles. The periphrastic conjugation is specially common. The direct discourse is more frequent than the indirect. The non-final use of hina, is quite noticeable. There are, besides, dialectical and provincial peculiarities, but these do not destroy the real unity of the vernacular koine any more than do individual traits of separate writers.

II. Literary Elements in the New Testament.

Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 245) is disposed to deny any literary quality to the New Testament books save the Epistle to the Hebrews. "The Epistle to the Hebrews shows us Christianity preparing for a flight from its native levels into the higher region of culture, and we are conscious of the beginnings of a Christian world-literature." He speaks of it also as "a work which seems to hang in the background like an intruder among the New Testament company of popular books." One feels that this is an extreme position and cannot be justified by the facts. It is true that Peter and John were agrammatoi kai idiotai (Ac 4:13), and not men of the schools, but this was certainly not the case with Luke and Paul who were men of literary culture in the truest sense. Luke and Paul were not Atticists, but that artificial idiom did not represent the best type of culture. Deissmann admits that the New Testament has become literature, but, outside of He, he denies any literary quality in its composition. Paul, for instance, wrote only "letters," not "epistles." But Romans and Ephesians confront us. See Milligan, Greek Papyri, xxxi, for a protest against the sweeping statement of Deissmann on this point. One need not go to the extreme of Blass, "Die rhythmische Komposition des Hebr. Brides," Theol. Studien und Kritik, 1902, 420-61; Die Rythmen der asiatischen und romischen Kunstprosa, 1905, to find in Hebrews and Paul’s writings illustrations of the artificial rules of the Asianists. There is undoubtedly rhythm in Paul’s eloquent passages (compare 1Co 13; 15), but it is the natural poetic quality of a soul aflame with high passions, not conformity to rules of rhetoric. To deny literary quality to Luke and Paul is to give a narrow meaning to the word "literary" and to be the victim of a theory. Christianity did make use of the vernacular koine, the wonderful world-speech so providentially at hand. But the personal equation figured here as always. Men of culture differ in their conversation from illiterate men and more nearly approximate literary style. It is just in Luke, Paul, and the author of He that we discover the literary flavor of men of ability and of culture, though free from artificiality and pedantry. The eloquence of He is that of passion, not of the art of Asianism. Indeed, the Gospels all show literary skill in the use of material and in beauty of language. The Gospel of John has the rare elevation and dignity of the highest type of mind. There is no Atticistic tendency in the New Testament as in Josephus, Ant. There is no posing for the present or for posterity. It is the language of life, the vernacular in the main, but rising at times from the very force of passion to high plateaus of emotion and imagination and poetic grace from the pens of men of real ability, and in some instances of high culture.

III. The Semitic Influence.

It is no longer possible to explain every variation in the New Testament from the classic Attic by the term Hebraism. That easy solution has disappeared. Sooth to say, when the true character of the vernacular koine is understood, there is not very much left to explain. The New Testament Greek as a rule is just normal koine. Milligan (Greek Papyri, xxx) admits on the part of Moulton "an overtendency to minimize" the "presence of undoubted Hebraisms, both in language and grammar." That is true, and is due to his strong reaction against the old theory of so many Hebraisms. The Semiticisms (Hebraisms and Aramaisms) are very natural results of the fact that the vernacular koine was used by Jews who read the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint translation, and who also spoke Aramaic as their native tongue. The Septuagint, as translation of Greek, directly from the Hebrew (or Aramaic), has a much greater number of these Semiticisms. See Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek (1900), for the salient facts. Thackeray in his Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek (1909) shows "the koine—the basis of Septuagint Greek" in section 3, and in section 4 discusses "the Semitic element in Septuagint Greek." The matter varies in different parts of the Septuagint, but in all parts the Semitic influence goes far beyond what it is in the New Testament. In the New Testament we have free composition in Greek, except in certain portions of the Gospels and Ac where Aramaic originals (oral or written) lie beyond the Greek text. So in particular Lu 1, the words of Jesus in Lu 2, and the opening chapters of Acts. See Dalman, Words of Jesus (1902), and J.T. Marshall, "The Aramaic Gospel," The Expositor, Ser. IV volumes II-VIII; see also ARAMAIC supra. There is, to some extent, translation-Gr, as in the Septuagint. The quotations from the Old Testament are either from the Hebrew original, or, as most frequently, from the Septuagint. In either case we have translation-Greek again. These two classes cover the more obvious Semiticisms if we add Hebrew names (persons and places) and other transliterations like abbadon, allelouia. The Greek of the Septuagint does not, of course, give a true picture of the Greek spoken by the Jews in Alexandria or in Palestine. But the constant reading of the Septuagint was bound to leave its impress on the style of the people (compare the King James Version and the English language). The surprise, in fact, is not the number of Semiticisms, but, all things considered, the fewness of them. Luke, just because he was a Gentile and so noted the Hebraisms in the Septuagint, shows rather more of them than the other New Testament writers: compare prosetheto triton pempsai (Lu 20:12). Some of the points of style so common in the Septuagint find occasional parallel in the papyri or inscriptions, like blepon blepo, chara chairo, ov .... hon .... auton. Others are more obviously imitations of the Hebrew style, as in areskein enopion tinos, rather than areskein tini. But there is a certain dignity and elevation of style so characteristic of the Hebrew Old Testament that reappears in the New Testament. The frequent use of kai, in parts of the New Testament reminds one of the Septuagint and the Hebrew waw ("w"). There is, besides, an indefinable tone in the New Testament that is found in the Old Testament. Swete (Apocalypse of John, cxx) laments the tendency to depreciate unduly the presence of Hebraisms in the New Testament. The pendulum may have swung too far away from the truth. It will strike the level, but we shall never again be able to fill our grammars and commentaries with explanations of so many peculiar Hebraisms in the New Testament. On the whole the Greek New Testament is standard vernacular koine.

IV. Individual Peculiarities of the New Testament Writers.

There is not space for an extended discussion of this topic. The fact itself calls for emphasis, for there is a wide range in style between Mark’s Gospel and Hebrews, 1 Peter and Romans, Luke’s Gospel and the Apocalypse. There are no Atticists found in the New Testament (compare 4 Macc in the Septuagint and Jos), but there are the less literary writings (Matthew, Mark, the Johannine books, the other catholic epistles) and the more literary writings (Luke’s writings, Paul’s Epistles, and Hebrews). But even so, no hard-and-fast line can be drawn. Moulton, Cambridge Biblical Essays, 484, thinks 2 Peter more like the Atticistic writings, "though certainly the Atticists would have scorned to own a book so full of ‘solecisms.’" Moulton assumes that 2 Peter is pseudepigraphic, and does not credit the notion that the crude "Babu" Greek, to use Abbott’s term, may be Peter’s own uncorrected style (compare Ac 4:13), while 1 Peter may have the smoothing effect of Silvanus’ hand (compare 1Pe 5:12). A similar explanation is open concerning the grammatical lapses of the Apocalypse, since John is also called agrammatos, in Ac 4:13, whereas the Gospel of John may have had the revision of the elders of Ephesus (compare Joh 21:24). But whatever the explanation, there is no doubt of the wide divergences style between different books and groups of books in the New Testament list. The Lukan, Johannine, Petrine, Pauline groups stand apart, but with cleavages within each group. Harnack (Luke the Physician, 1907; The Sayings of Jesus, 1908; The Ac of the Apostles, 1909; The Date of the Ac of the Apostles, 1911) has accepted and strengthened the contention of Hawkins (Horae Synopticae, 2nd edition, 1909) and of Hobart (Medical Language of Luke, 1882) that the medical terms in the Gospel of Luke and of Ac show that the books were written by the same writer and that a physician, and so Luke. The diversities in style here and there are chiefly due to the sources of information used. Even in the Pauline books, which form so well-marked a collection, striking diversities of language and style appear. But these letters cover a period of some 15 years of intense activity and mental and spiritual development, and treat a great variety of topics. They properly reflect the changing phases of Paul’s preaching of the cross of Christ in different places and under varying circumstances and confronting ever fresh problems. The plays of Shakespeare offer a useful parallel. Even in Paul’s old age, in the Pastoral Epistles the stamp of Paul’s spirit is admitted by those who admit only Pauline fragments; compare J. Weiss, Beitrage zur Paulinschen Rhetorik (1897). The style is indeed the man, but style is also the function of the subject, and style varies with different periods of a man’s life. E.A. Abbott has made an excellent discussion of the Johannine Vocabulary (1905) and of Johannine Grammar (1906), but special grammars of each writer are hardly to be expected or desired. But Nageli has begun a study of Paul’s vocabulary in his Wortschatz des Apostels Paulus (1905). The Gospel of Matthew shows very little of that Hebraism that one would expect from the general purpose and tone of the book. It is possible, of course, that the supposed original was in Aramaic, or, if in Greek, of a more Hebraistic type. Whether the present Greek of Matthew made use of Mark’s Gospel and a collection of Logia (Q), we do not know. Certainly Mark’s Gospel is written in colloquial koine with little evidence of the culture of the schools. Mark is a faithful reporter and does his work with rare simplicity and vividness. He reveals clearly the Aramaic background of Christ’s teaching. The writings of James and Jude do not show that only Greek was spoken in the home at Nazareth, nor that they used only Aramaic. These two epistles are evidently free compositions in Greek with much of the freshness of imagery so manifest in the parables of Jesus Himself. This brief sketch does not do justice to the richness and variety of language in the books of the New Testament.

V. The "Koine" Spoken by Jesus.

See ARAMAIC LANGUAGE for proof that Jesus spoke that language as the vernacular of the people of Palestine. But Christ spoke the koine also, so that the New Testament is not an idiom that was unknown to the Master. Gwilliam (1-vol HDB, "Language of Christ") does still deny that Jesus spoke Greek, while Roberts takes the other extreme in his book, Greek the Language of Christ and His Apostles (1888). Per contra again, Julicher considers it impossible to suppose that Jesus used Greek (art. "Hellenism" in EB). J. E. H. Thomson, "The Language of Palestine during the Time of our Lord" (Temple, Bible Dictionary) argues convincingly that Palestine was bi-lingual and that Jesus knew and spoke Greek as well as Aramaic Peter evidently spoke in Greek on the Day of Pentecost and was understood by all. Paul was understood in Jerusalem when he spoke in Greek (Ac 21:37). Jesus taught in Decapolis, a Greek region, in the region of Tyre and Sidon (Greek again). Galilee itself was largely inhabited by Gentiles who spoke Greek. At the time of the Sermon on the Mount, we read that people were present from Decapolis and Perea, besides the mixed multitude from Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem (Mt 4:25; Lu 6:17). Thomson proves also that in Matthew’s Gospel the quotation from the Old Testament in the words of Jesus is from the Septuagint, while Matthew’s own quotations are from the Hebrew. The case seems clear. It is not possible to say always when Jesus spoke Greek and when Aramaic. That would depend on the audience. But it is practically certain that Christ Himself knew and spoke at will the vernacular koine, and thus had this linguistic bond with the great world of that era and with lovers of the Greek Testament today.


The literature on this subject is very extensive. The most important volumes have been mentioned in the discussion above.

A.T. Robertson




1. Members of Semitic Family

2. The Name Hebrew

3. Old Hebrew Literature


1. Oldest Form of Language

2. The Hebrew of the Old Testament

3. Its Uniformity

4. The Cause Thereof

5. Differences Due to Age

6. Differences of Style

7. Foreign Influences

8. Poetry and Prose

9. Home of the Hebrew Language

10. Its Antiquity

11. When Hebrew Became a Dead Language


1. Characteristic Sounds

2. Letters Representing Two Sounds

3. Consonants Representing Vowels

4. The Syllable

5. Three-Letter Roots

6. Conjugations or Derived Stems

7. Absence of Tenses

8. The Pronouns

9. Formation of Nouns

10. Internal Inflexion

11. Syntax of the Verb

12. Syntax of the Noun

13. Poverty of Adjectives


1. Aramaic Portions of the Old Testament

2. Phonology

3. Grammar

4. Syntax

5. Aramaic More Decadent than Hebrew


1. Concrete and Abstract

2. View of Nature

3. Pictorial Imagination

4. Prose and Poetry

5. Hebrew Easy of Translation


There were only two languages employed in the archetypes of the Old Testament books (apart from an Egyptian or Persian or Greek word here and there), namely, Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic, both of which belong to the great family of languages known as Semitic.

I. The Semitic Languages.

The languages spoken in Southwestern Asia during the historical period dealt with in the Bible have been named Shemitic, after the son of Noah from whom the majority of peoples speaking these languages—Arabs, Hebrews, Arameans and Assyrians (Ge 10:21 )—were descended. To show, however, that the description does not fit exactly the thing described—the Elamites and Lydians having probably not spoken a Shemitic language, and the Canaanites, including Phoenicians, with the colonists descended from those at Carthage and elsewhere in the Mediterranean coast lands, as well as the Abyssinians (Ethiopians), who did, being reckoned descendants of Ham (Ge 9:18; 10:6 )—the word is now generally written "Semitic," a term introduced by Eichhorn (1787). These languages were spoken from the Caspian Sea to the South of Arabia, and from the Mediterranean to the valley of the Tigris.

1. Members of Semitic Family:

The following list shows the chief members of this family:

(1) South Semitic or Arabic:

Including the language of the Sabean (Himyaritic) inscriptions, as well as Ge’ez or Ethiopic. Arabic is now spoken from the Caucasus to Zanzibar, and from the East Indies to the Atlantic.

(2) Middle Semitic or Canaanitish:

Including Hebrew, old and new, Phoenician, with Punic, and Moabite (language of MS).

(3) North Semitic or Aramaic:


(a) East Aramaic or Syrian (language of Syrian Christians), language of Babylonian Talmud, Mandean;

(b) West or Palestinian Aramaic of the Targums, Palestinian Talmud (Gemara), Biblical Aramaic ("Chaldee"), Samaritan, language of Nabatean inscriptions.

(4) East Semitic:

Language of Assyria-Babylonian inscriptions.

2. The Name Hebrew:

With the exception of a few chapters and fragments mentioned below, the Old Testament is written entirely in Hebrew. In the Old Testament itself this language is called "the Jews’ "( 2Ki 18:26,28). In Isa 19:18 it is called poetically, what in fact it was, "the language (Hebrew "lip") of Canaan." In the appendix to the Septuagint of Job it is called Syriac; and in the introduction to Ecclesiasticus it is for the first time—that is, in 130 BC—named Hebrew. The term Hebrew in the New Testament denotes the language of the Old Testament in Re 9:11, but in Joh 5:2; 19:13,17 this term means the vernacular Aramaic. In other passages it is doubtful which is meant. Josephus uses the same name for both. From the time of the Targums, Hebrew is called "the sacred tongue" in contrast to the Aramaic of everyday use. The language of the Old Testament is called Old Hebrew in contrast to the New Hebrew of the Mishna, the rabbinic, the Spanish poetry, etc.

3. Old Hebrew Literature: Of Old Hebrew the remains are contained almost entirely in the Old Testament. A few inscriptions have been recovered, i.e., the Siloam Inscriptions, a Hebrew calendar, a large number of ostraka from Samaria, a score of pre-exilic seals, and coins of the Maccabees and of the time of Vespasian and Hadrian.


E. Renan, Histoire generale et systeme compare des langues semitiques; F. Hommel, Die semit. Volker u. Sprachen; the comparative grammars of Wright and Brockelmann; CIS; article "Semitic Languages" in Encyclopedia Brit, and Murray’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

II. History of the Hebrew Language.

Hebrew as it appears to us in the Old Testament is in a state of decadence corresponding to the present position of spoken Arabic. In the earliest period it no doubt resembled the classical Arabic of the 7th and following centuries. The variations found between the various strata of the language occurring in the Old Testament are slight compared with the difference between modern and ancient Arabic.

1. Oldest Form of Language:

Hebrew was no doubt originally a highly inflected language, like classical Arabic. The noun had three cases, nominative, genitive, and accusative, ending in -um’, [~-im, -am, respectively, as in the Sabean inscriptions. Both verbs and nouns had three numbers (singular, dual and plural) and two genders, masculine and feminine In the noun the dual and plural had two cases. The dual and 2nd and 3rd person plural and 2nd person singular feminine of the imperfect of the verb ended in nun. In certain positions the "m" of the endings -um, -im, -am in the noun was dropped. The verb had three moods, indicative, subjunctive, and jussive, ending in -u, -a, and-,respectively; as well as many forms or stems, each of which had an active and passive voice.

2. The Hebrew of the Old Testament:

In the Hebrew of the Old Testament most of these inflexions have disappeared. Of the three cases of the noun only the accusative -am has survived in a few adverbial forms, such as ‘omnam, "truly." The dual has entirely disappeared from the verb, and also from the noun, with the exception of things that occur in pairs, such as hand, eye, which have no plural. The nom. case of the dual and plural of the noun has disappeared, and the oblique case is used for both. Except in cases of poetic archaism the final nun of the verb has been lost, and, as the final vowels have fallen away in verbs, as well as in nouns, the result is that the jussive forms serve for indicative and subjunctive also. Many of the forms or stems have fallen into desuetude, and the passive forms of two alone are used.

3. Its Uniformity:

One of the most remarkable facts connected with the Hebrew of the Old Testament is that although that literature extends through a period of over 1,000 years, there is almost no difference between the language of the oldest parts and that of the latest. This phenomenon is susceptible of several explanations. In the first place, nearly the whole of the Old Testament literature is religious in character, and as such the earliest writings would become the model for the later, just as the Koran—the first prose work composed in Arabic which has survived—has become the pattern for all future compositions. The same was true for many centuries of the influence of Aristophanes and Euripides upon the language of educated Greeks, and, it is said, of the influence of Confucius upon that of the learned Chinese.

4. The Cause Thereof:

But a chief cause is probably the fact that the Semitic languages do not vary with time, but with place. The Arabic vocabulary used in Morocco differs from that of Egypt, but the Arabic words used in each of these countries have remained the same for centuries—in fact, since Arabic began to be spoken in them. Similarly, the slight differences which are found in the various parts of the Old Testament are to be ascribed, not to a difference of date, but to the fact that some writers belonged to the Southern Kingdom, some to the Northern, some wrote in Palestine, some in Babylonia (compare Ne 13:23,24; Jud 12:6; 18:3).

5. Differences Due to Age:

The Old Testament literature falls into two main periods: that composed before and during the Babylonian exile, and that which falls after the exile. But even between these two periods the differences of language are comparatively slight, so that it is often difficult or impossible to say on linguistic grounds alone whether a particular chapter is pre-exilic or post-exilic, and scholars of the first rank often hold the most contrary opinions on these points. For instance, Dillmann places the so-called Document P (Priestly Code) before Document D (Deuteronomic Code) in the regal period, whereas most critics date D about 621 and P about 444 BC.

6. Differences of Style:

It is needless to add that the various writers differ from one another in point of style, but these variations are infinitesimal compared with those of Greek and Latin authors, and are due, as has been said above, largely to locality and environment. Thus the style of Hosea is quite different from that of his contemporary Amos, and that of Deutero-Isaiah shows very distinctly the mark of its place of composition.

7. Foreign Influences:

A much more potent factor in modifying the language was the influence of foreign languages upon Hebrew, especially in respect to vocabulary. The earliest of these was probably Egyptian but of much greater importance was Assyrian, from which Hebrew gained a large number of loan words. It is well known that the Babylonian script was used for commercial purposes throughout Southwestern Asia, even before the Hebrews entered Canaan (see TEXT AND MANUSCRIPTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT), but the influence of Babylon upon Palestine seems to have been greatly exaggerated. The main point of contact is in the mythology, which may have been common to both peoples. In the later, especially post-exilic stages of the language, many Aramaisms are found in respect to syntax as well as vocabulary; and in later phases still, Persian and even Greek words are found.

8. Poetry and Prose:

As in other languages, so in Hebrew, the vocabulary of the poetical literature differs from that of the prose writers. In Hebrew, however, there is not the hard-and-fast distinction between these two which obtains in the classics. Whenever prose becomes elevated by the importation of feeling, it falls into a natural rhythm which in Hebrew constitutes poetry. Thus most of the so-called prophetical books are poetical in form. Another mark of poetry is a return to archaic grammatical forms, especially the restoration of the final nun in the verb.

9. Home of the Hebrew Language:

The form of Semitic which was indigenous in the land of Canaan is sometimes called Middle Semitic. Before the Israelites entered the country, it was the language of the Canaanites from whom the Hebrews took it over. That Hebrew was not the language of Abraham before his migration appears from the fact that he is called an Aramean (De 26:5), and that Laban’s native language was Aramaic (Ge 31:47). A further point is that the word "Sea" is used for the West and "Negeb" for the South, indicating Palestine as the home of the language (so Isa 19:18).

10. Its Antiquity:

As the aboriginal inhabitants of the land of Canaan were not Semites, we cannot infer the existence of the Hebrew language any earlier than the first immigrations of Semites into Palestine, that is, during the third millennium BC. It would thus be a much younger member of the Semitic family than Assyrian-Babylonian, which exhibits all the marks of great antiquity long before the Hebrew language is met with.

11. When Hebrew Became a Dead Language:

The Babylonian exile sounded the death-knell of the Hebrew language. The educated classes were deported to Babylon or fled to Egypt, and those who remained were not slow to adopt the language used by their conquerors. The old Hebrew became a literary and sacred tongue, the language of everyday life being probably Aramaic. Whatever may be the exact meaning of Ne 8:8, it proves that the people of that time had extreme difficulty in understanding classical Hebrew when it was read to them. Yet for the purpose of religion, the old language continued to be employed for several centuries. For patriotic reasons it was used by the Maccabees, and by Bar Cochba (135 AD).


Gesenius, Geschichte der hebr. Sprache und Schrift; Bertheau, "Hebr. Sprache" in RE, 2nd edition; see also "Literature" in the following section.

III. Chief Characteristics of Hebrew.

The special marks which particularly distinguish a language may be found in its alphabet, in its mode of inflection, or in its syntax.

1. Characteristic Sounds:

The Hebrew alphabet is characterized by the large number of guttural sounds which it contains, and these are not mere palatals like the Scotch or German chapter, but true throat sounds, such as are not found in the Aryan languages. Hence, when the Phoenician alphabet passed over into Greece, these unpronounceable sounds, " ‘ "(‘ ayin), "ch" (cheth), "h" (he), "‘ " (’aleph) were changed into vowels, A, E, H, O. In Hebrew the guttural letters predominate. "In the Hebrew dictionaries the four gutturals occupy considerably more than a fourth part of the volume; the remaining eighteen letters occupying considerably less than three-fourths." Besides the guttural, there are three strong consonants "m" (mem), "q" (qoph), and "ts" (tsade), which are sounded with compression of the larynx, and are quite different from our "t," "k" and "s." In Greek, the first was softened into a "th" (theta), the other two were dropped as letters but retained as numerals.

2. Letters Representing Two Sounds:

Though the Hebrew alphabet comprises no more than 22 letters, these represent some 30 different sounds, for the 6 letters b, g, d, k, p and t, when they fall immediately after a vowel, are pronounced bh(v), gh, dh, kh, ph (f) and th. Moreover, the gutturals "ch" (cheth) and " ‘ "(‘ ayin) each represent two distinct sounds, which are still in use in Arabic. The letter "h" is sometimes sounded at the end of a word as at the beginning.

3. Consonants Representing Vowels:

A peculiarity of the Hebrew alphabet is that the letters are all consonants. Four of these, however, were very early used to represent vowel and diphthong sounds, namely, "‘ "," h", "w" and "y". So long as Hebrew was a spoken language no other symbols than these 22 letters were used. It was not until the 7th century AD at the earliest that the well-known elaborate system of signs to represent the vowels and other sounds was invented (see TEXT AND MANUSCRIPTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT).

4. The Syllable:

A feature of the Hebrew language is that no word or syllable may begin with a vowel: every syllable begins with a consonant. This is also true of the other Semitic languages, except Assyrian-Babylonian. When in the course of word-formation a syllable would begin with a vowel, the slight consonant’ (’aleph) is prefixed. Moreover, more than two consonants may not stand without vowels intervening, as in the English word "strength." At most, two consonants may begin a syllable, and even so a slight vowel is sounded between them, as qero’. A word may end in two consonants without vowels, as ‘amart, but no word or syllable ends in more than two.

5. Three-Letter Roots:

The outstanding feature of the Semitic family of languages is the root, consisting of three consonants. Practically, the triliteral root is universal. There are a few roots with more than three letters, but many of the quadriliteral roots are formed by reduplication, as kabkab in Arabic. Many attempts have been made to reduce three-letter stems to two-letter by taking the factors common to several roots of identical meaning. Thus duwm, damah, damam, "to be still," seem all to come from a root d-m. It is more probable, however, that the root is always triliteral, but may appear in various forms.

6. Conjugations or Derived Stems:

From these triliteral roots all parts of the verbs are formed. The root, which, it ought to be stated, is not the infinitive, but the 3rd singular masculine perfect active, expresses the simple idea without qualification, as shabhar, "he broke." The idea of intensity is obtained by doubling the middle stem letter, as shibber, "he broke in fragments"; the passive is expressed by the u-vowel in the first place and the a-vowel in the last, as shubbar, "it was broken in fragments." The reflexive sense prefixes an "n" to the simple root, or a "t" (taw) to the intensive, but the former of these is often used as a passive, as nishbar, "it was broken," hithqaddesh, "he sanctified himself." The causative meaning is given by prefixing the letter "h", as malakh, "he was king," himlikh, "he caused (one) to be king." A somewhat similar method of verb building is found outside the Semitic language, for example, in Turkish. In some of these Semitic languages the number of formations is very numerous. In Hebrew also there are traces of stems other than those generally in use.

7. Absence of Tenses:

There are no tenses in Hebrew, in our sense of the word. There are two states, usually called tenses, the perfect and the imperfect. In the first the action is regarded as accomplished, whether in the past or future, as shabhar, "he broke," "he has broken," "he will have broken," or (in prophetic narrative) "he will break"; in the second, the action is regarded as uncompleted, "he will break," "he was breaking," "he is breaking," etc. The present is often expressed by the participle.

8. The Pronouns:

The different persons, singular and plural, are expressed by affixing to the perfect, and by prefixing to the imperfect, fragments of the personal pronouns, as shabharti, "I broke," shabharnu, "we broke," nishbor, "we will break," and so on. The fragments which are added to the perfect to express the nominative of the pronouns are, with some modification, especially the change of "t" into "k", added to the verb to express the accusative, and to the noun to express the genitive; for example, shabharta, "you broke," shebharekha, "he broke you," bethekha, "your house"; capharnu, "we counted," cepharanu, "he counted us," ciphrenu, "our book."

9. Formation of Nouns:

The same principles are followed in regard to the noun as to the verb. Many nouns consist solely of the three stem-letters articulated with one or with two vowels, except that monosyllables generally become dissyllabic, owing to the difficulty of pronouncing two vowelless consonants together: thus, melekh, "king," cepher, "book," goren, "threshingfloor" (instead of malk, ciphr, gorn), dabhar, "a word or thing," qarobh, "near." Nouns denoting place, instrument, etc., are often formed by prefixing the letter "m" to the root, as mishpat, "justice" from shaphat, "he judged," mazlegh, "a fork." Intensity is, given to the root idea, as in the verb, by doubling the middle consonant: thus, choresh "working," charash (for charrash), "workman"; gonebh, "stealing," gannabh, "a thief." Similarly, words denoting incurable physical defects, ‘illem, "dumb," ‘iwwer, "blind," cheresh (for chirresh), "deaf and dumb." The feminine of nouns, as of the 3rd person of verbs, is formed by adding the letter "t", which when final is softened to "h", gebhirah, "queen-mother," "mistress," but gebhirtekh, "your mistress."

10. Internal Inflexion:

The inflexion of both verbs and nouns is accompanied by a constant lengthening or shortening of the vowels of the word, and this according to two opposite lines. In verbs with vowel-affixes the penultimate vowel disappears, as halakh, "he went," halekhu, "they went"; in the noun the ante-penultimate vowel disappears, as dabhar, "a word," plural debharim. As the vowel system, as stated above, is very late, the vocalization cannot be accepted as that of the living tongue. It represents rather the cantillation of the synagogue; and for this purpose, accents, which had a musical as well as an interpunctional value, have been added.

11. Syntax of the Verb:

Hebrew syntax is remarkable for its simplicity. Simple sentences predominate and are usually connected by the conjunction "and." Subordinate sentences are comparatively rare, but descriptive and temporal clauses are not uncommon. In the main narrative, the predicates are placed at the beginning of the sentence, first simply in the root form (3rd singular masculine), and then only when the subject has been mentioned does the predicate agree with it. Descriptive and temporal clauses may be recognized by their having the subject at the beginning (e.g. Ge 1:2). A curious turn is given to the narrative by the fact that in the main sentences, if the first verb is perfect, those which follow are imperfect, and vice versa, the conjunction which coordinates them receiving a peculiar vocalization—that of the definite article. In the English Bible, descriptive and temporal clauses are often rendered as if they were parts of the main sentence, for example, in the first verses of Genesis of which the literal translation is somewhat as follows: "At the beginning of God’s creating heaven and earth, when the earth was without form and void, and God’s spirit (or, a great wind) moved upon the face of the water, God said, Let there be light." It will thus be seen that the structure of Hebrew narrative is not so simple as it appears.

12. Syntax of the Noun:

In the Semitic languages, compound words do not occur, but this deficiency is made up by what is called the construct state. The old rule, that the second of two nouns which depend on one another is put in the genitive, becomes, in Hebrew, the first of two such nouns is put in the construct state. The noun in the construct state loses the definite article, and all its vowels are made as short as possible, just as if it were the beginning of a long word: for example, ha-bayith, "the house," but beth ha-melekh, "the house of the king," "the palace"; dabhar, "a word," but dibhere ruach, "words of wind," "windy words."

13. Poverty of Adjectives:

The Hebrew language is very poor in adjectives, but this is made up for by a special use of the construct state just mentioned. Thus to express magnitude the word "God" is added in the gen. case, as in the example above (Ge 1:2), "a mighty wind" = a wind of God; Ps 36:6, "the lofty mountains" = the mountains of God (so 68:15); 80:10, "goodly cedars" = cedars of God; so "a holy man" = a man of God; "the sacred box" = the ark of God, and so on; compare in the New Testament, Mt 27:54, "the son of God" = Lu 23:47, "a righteous (man)." Matthew was thinking in Aramaic, Luke in Greek. A similar use is made of other words, e.g. "stubborn" = hard of neck; "impudent" = hard of face; "extensive" = broad of hands; "miserable" = bitter of soul.


The articles on the Hebrew Language in Schenkel’s Bibel-Lexikon, 1875, by Noldeke; in Encyclopedia Brit, 9th edition, by Robertson Smith; 11th edition by Noldeke; in the Imperial Bible Dict., 1866, by T. H. Weir; also those in HDB, EB.


A. B. Davidson’s Elementary Heb Grammar and Syntax; Gesenius, Heb Grammar, English translation by Cowley, 2nd edition.


Brown, Briggs and Driver, Hebrew and English Lexicon; Gesenius, Handworterbuch, 15th edition; Feyerabend, Hebrew-English Pocket Dictionary; Breslau, English and Hebrew Dictionary.

IV. Biblical Aramaic.

1. Aramaic Portions of the Old Testament:

The Aramaic portions of the Old Testament are the following: Ezr 4:8-6:18; 7:11-26; Da 2:4-7:28; Ge 31:47 (two words); Jer 10:11. The language in which they are written used to be called Chaldee, but is now generally known simply as Biblical Aramaic. It represents a further declension from classical Semitic as compared with the Hebrew. The following are the principal points in which Biblical Aramaic differs from Hebrew.

2. Phonology:

The accent is placed on the last syllable, the first vowel disappearing, e.g. ‘abhadh for Hebrew ‘abhadh. It is curious that the same feature is found in Algerene and Moroccan Arabic: thus qacr becomes qcar. Dentals take the place of sibilants: dehabh for zahabh; telath for shalosh. The strong Hebrew "ts" (tsade) frequently becomes " ‘ "(‘ ayin), and Hebrew " ‘ "(‘ ayin) becomes "‘ " (’aleph): thus, ‘ar‘a’ for ‘erets; ‘uq for tsuq.

3. Grammar:

In Hebrew the definite article is the prefix hal (ha-); in Aramaic the affix a’; the latter, however, has almost lost its force. The dual is even more sparingly used than in Hebrew. The passive forms of verbs and those beginning with nun ("n") are practically wanting; the passive or reflexive forms are made by prefixing the letter "t" to the corresponding active forms, and that much more regularly than in Hebrew, there being three active and three passive forms.

4. Syntax:

In regard to syntax there is to be noted the frequent use of the participle instead of a finite verb, as in Hebrew; the disuse of the conjunction "and" with the vocalization of the article; and the disuse of the construct state in nouns, instead of which a circumlocution with the relative di is employed, e.g. tselem di dhehabh, "an image of gold." The same periphrasis is found also in West African Arabic.

5. Aramaic More Decadent than Hebrew:

It will thus be seen that if Hebrew represents a decadent form of an original classical language which was very similar to classical Arabic, Biblical Arabic stands on a still lower level. It is not to be supposed that Hebrew passed into Aramaic, though on the analogy of Arabic that view is not untenable. Rather, the different Semitic languages became fixed at different epochs. Arabic as a literary language crystallized almost at the source; Hebrew and the spoken Arabic of the East far down the stream; and Aramaic and Moroccan Arabic farthest down of all.


Kautzsch, Grammatik; Strack, Abriss des bibl. Aramaisch; Marti, Bibl. aram. Sprache; the articles on "Aramaic" or "Chaldee" in the Biblical Dicts. cited under III, and article ARAMAIC LANGUAGE in this Encyclopedia; the Hebrew text of Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, edition by Baer. Hebrew Dictionaries. generally include Biblical Aramaic.

V. Literary Characteristics of the Semites.

1. Concrete and Abstract:

The thinking of the Hebrews, like that of other Semites, was done, not in the abstract, but in the concrete. Thus, we find the material put for the immaterial, the expression for the thought, the instrument for the action, the action for the feeling. This mode of expression frequently gives rise to striking anthropomorphisms. Thus we have the eye for watchfulness or care (Ps 33:18); the long hand for far-reaching powers (Isa 59:1); broken teeth for defeated malice (Ps 3:7); the sword for slaughter (Ps 78:62); haughty eyes for superciliousness (Pr 6:17); to say in the heart for to think (Ps 10:6). It would be an interesting study to examine to what extent these expressions have been taken over from Hebrew into English.

2. View of Nature:

The Hebrew does not know the distinction between animate and inanimate Nature. All Nature is animate (Ps 104:29). The little hills rejoice (Ps 65:12); the mountains skip (Ps 114:4); the trees clap their hands (Isa 55:12); even the stones may cry out (Lu 19:40). Such expressions are not to be taken as mere poetical figures of speech; they are meant quite literally. All Nature is one: man is merely a part of Nature (Ps 104:23), even if he be the highest part (Ps 8:5). Hence, perhaps, it arises that there is no neuter gender in the Semitic languages.

3. Pictorial Imagination:

The highly imaginative nature of the Hebrew comes into play when he is recounting past events or writing history. To his mind’s eye all past events are present. He sees history taking place before his eyes as in a picture. Thus the perfect may generally be translated by the English past tense with "have," the imperfect by the English present tense with "is" or "is going to." In livelier style the participle is used: "They are entering the city, and behold Samuel is coming out to meet them" (1Sa 9:14). Hence, the oratio recta is always used in preference to the oratio obliqua. Moreover, the historian writes exactly as the professional story-teller narrates. Hence, he is always repeating himself and returning upon his own words (1Sa 5:1,2).

4. Prose and Poetry:

A result of the above facts is that there is no hard-and-fast distinction in Hebrew between prose and poetry. Neither is there in Hebrew, or in the Semitic language generally, epic or dramatic poetry, because their prose possesses these qualities in a greater degree than does the poetry of other races. All Hebrew poetry is lyric or didactic. In it there is no rhyme nor meter. The nearest approach to meter is what is called the qinah strophe, in which each verse consists of two parallel members, each member having five words divided into three and then two. The best example of this is to be found in Ps 19:7-9, and also in the Book of LAMENTATIONS (which see), from which the verse has received its name.

5. Hebrew Easy of Translation:

From the above description it may be inferred that the language of the Old Testament is one extremely easy of translation into foreign tongues without loss of meaning or rhythm, though it would be extremely difficult to render any modern language into classical Hebrew. Hence, the Psalms, for example, are as fine in their German or English versions as they are in the original. Where the Old Testament has been translated into the language of the country, it has become a classic. The English Bible is as important for the study of the English language as are the plays of Shakespeare.


In addition to the articles cited under III, Herder. The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, translation by J. Marsh, 1833; Ed. Konig, Stilistik, Rhetorik, Poetik in Bezug auf die bibl. Litt. komparativisch dargestellt, 1900; the same author’s brochure on the "Style of Scripture" in HDB, volume V; J. F. McCurdy on the "Semites" in the same volume; J. Kennedy, Hebrew Synonyms.

Thomas Hunter Weir


lan’-tern (phanos, phaino, "to give light"): Lanterns were carried by the mob which arrested Jesus in Gethsemane (Joh 18:3, probably better "torches"). The word "lantern" in the time of early versions had a much wider significance than now. The Romans, however, had lanterns in the times of Christ, made by use of translucent skins, bladders, or thin plates of horn.


la-od-i-se’-a (Laodikia): A city of Asia Minor situated in the Lycos valley in the province of Phrygia, and the home of one of the Seven Churches of Re (1:11). Distinguished from several other cities of that name by the appellation Ad Lycum, it was founded by Antiochus II (261-246 BC) of Syria, who named it for his wife Laodike, and who populated it with Syrians and with Jews who were transplanted from Babylonia to the cities of Phrygia and Lydia. Though Laodicea stood on the great highway at the junction of several important routes, it was a place of little consequence until the Roman province of Asia was formed in 190 BC. It then suddenly became a great and wealthy center of industry, famous specially for the fine black wool of its sheep and for the Phrygian powder for the eyes, which was manufactured there (compare Re 3:18). In the vicinity was the temple of Men Karou and a renowned school of medicine. In the year 60 AD, the city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake, but so wealthy were its citizens that they rejected the proffered aid of Rome, and quickly rebuilt it at their own expense (compare Re 3:17). It was a city of great wealth, with extensive banking operations (compare Re 3:18). Little is known of the early history of Christianity there; Timothy, Mark and Epaphras (Col 1:7) seem to have been the first to introduce it. However, Laodicea was early the chief bishopric of Phrygia, and about 166 AD Sagaris, its bishop, was martyred. In 1071 the city was taken by the Seljuks; in 1119 it was recovered to the Christians by John Comnenus, and in the 13th century it fell finally into the hands of the Turks.

The ruins, now called Eski Hissar, or old castle, lie near the modern Gonjelli on the railroad, and they have long served as a quarry to the builders of the neighboring town of Denizli. Among them nothing from before the Roman period has appeared. One of the two Roman theaters is remarkably well preserved, and there may still be seen the stadium, a colonnade, the aqueduct which brought the water across the valley to the city by an inverted siphon of stone pipes, a large necropolis, and the ruins of three early Christian churches.

E. J. Banks


la-od-i-se’-anz, (en te Laodikeon ekklesia .... ten ek Laodikias, "in the church of the Laodiceans .... the epistle from Laodicea," Col 4:16):


1. Written by the Laodiceans?

2. Written by Paul from Laodicea?

3. An Epistle Addressed to the Laodiceans


1. Marcion’s Opinion

2. References in Ephesians and Other Epistles

3. Ephesian Church Jewish in Origin

4. Ephesians and Colossians, Sister Epistles

5. Recapitulation


1. A Circular Epistle

2. Proof from Biblical Prologues


Paul here writes to the Colossians, "And when this epistle hath been read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye also read the epistle from Laodicea." What was or what is this epistle?

I. Explanations of Paul’s Statement.

The words used by the apostle may mean:

(1) a letter written by the Laodiceans;

(2) an epistle written by Paul from Laodicea;

(3) an epistle written to the Laodiceans, and to be procured from them by the Colossians.

1. Written by the Laodiceans?:

The words may mean a letter written by the Laodiceans. But here it is sufficient to refer to the fact that Paul enjoins the Colossians to procure and to read "the epistle from Laodicea." How could a command of this kind be given in reference to an epistle written by third parties? How could Paul know that a copy of it had been made by the Laodiceans before sending it off? How could he tell that the Laodiceans would be willing to give away a copy of it? The suppositions involved by this hypothesis are incredible. Besides, the context regards the Epistle to the Colossians, and "that from Laodicea," as companion epistles, of which the two churches are to make an interchange, so that each church is directed to read both.

2. Written by Paul from Laodicea?:

Or, the words may refer to an epistle written by Paul from Laodicea. And it has been suggested that the epistle of which we are in search may be 1 Timothy, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, or Galatians. But in the case of these epistles, the probability is that every one of them was written elsewhere than from Laodicea. At the time when Paul wrote to Colosse, he was a prisoner in Rome, and for this reason alone, it was impossible that he could, at any recent date, have written any epistle from Laodicea. But his own statement (Col 2:1) is that those in Laodicea had not seen his face in the flesh. As he had never been in Laodicea, he could, not have written any epistle from that city.

3. An Epistle Addressed to the Laodiceans:

A third possibility is a letter written:

(1) not by Paul, but by some other person. But the whole tone of the passage does not favor this suggestion in the least;

(2) by Paul, but that the epistle is lost; this is the ordinary interpretation;

(3) the apocryphal Latin epistle. "To the Laodiceans."

This spurious epistle is a mere compilation clumsily put together; it has no marks of authenticity. Lightfoot (Col, 282) gives its general character thus: it "is a cento of Pauline phrases strung together without any definite connection or any clear object. They are taken chiefly from the Epistle to the Philippians, but here and there one is borrowed elsewhere, e.g. from the Epistle to the Galatians. Of course, it closes with an injunction to the Laodiceans to exchange epistles with the Colossians. The apostle’s injunction in Col 4:16 suggested the forgery, and such currency as it ever attained was due to the support which that passage was supposed to give to it. Unlike most forgeries, it had no ulterior aim. It has no doctrinal peculiarities. It is quite harmless, so far as falsity and stupidity combined can ever be regarded as harmless" (Lightfoot, in the work quoted 282).


(4) The only other alternative is that "the epistle from Laodicea" is an epistle to the Laodiceans from Paul himself, which he directs the Colossians to procure from Laodicea. There seems to be not only a high degree of probability, but proof, that the epistle from Laodicea is the epistle known as the Epistle to the Ephesians. Paul therefore had written an epistle to Laodicea, a city which he had twice already mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians, "For I would have you know how greatly I strive for you, and for them at Laodicea" (Col 2:1): "Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house" (Col 4:15). Accepting Col 4:16 to mean that he wrote to Laodicea at the same time as he wrote to Colosse, what has become of the former ep.? Do we know nothing more of it now than is contained in this reference to it in Colossians? The fact that it was, by Paul’s express command, to be communicated to at least the two churches in Colosse and Laodicea, would make its disappearance and loss very strange.

II. Evidence Favoring Epistle to Ephesians.

But is there any warrant for concluding that it is lost at all? A statement of the facts of the case seems to show that the epistle which Paul wrote to the Laodiceans is extant, but only under another title. The lines of evidence which seem to show that the so-called Epistle to the Ephesians is in reality the epistle written by Paul to the Laodiceans are these:

It is well known that the words "at Ephesus" (Eph 1:1) in the inscription of the epistle are very doubtful. The Revised Version (British and American) reads in the margin, "Some very ancient authorites omit ‘at Ephesus.’" Among the authorities which omit "at Ephesus" are the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts, the best and most ancient authorities existing.

1. Marcion’s Opinion:

Tertullian asserts that the heretics, i.e. Marcion, had altered the title, "the Epistle to the Ephesians," to "the Epistle to the Laodiceans." But this accusation does not carry with it any doctrinal or heretical charge against Marcion in this respect. "It is not likely," says Moule (Eph, 25), "that Marcion was guilty here, where the change would have served no dogmatic purpose." And the fact that at that very early period, the first half of the 2nd century, it was openly suggested that the destination of the epistle was Laodicea, is certainly entitled to weight, especially in view of the other fact already mentioned, which is of no less importance, that "at Ephesus" is omitted in the two great manuscripts, the Vatican and the Sinaitic.

2. References in Ephesians and Other Epistles:

The "Epistle to the Ephesians" could not be, primarily at least, addressed to Ephesus, because Paul speaks of his readers as persons in regard to whose conversion from heathenism to the faith of Christ he had just recently heard: "For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which ye show toward all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers" (Eph 1:15 f). These words could not well be used in regard to the church at Ephesus, which Paul himself had founded, and in reference to persons among whom he had lived for three years, and where he even knew personally "every one" of the Christians (Ac 20:31).

And in Eph 3:1 f the King James Version, he writes: "For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward." But how could he ever doubt that the elders of the church in Ephesus (Ac 20:17), as well as the members of that important church, were ignorant of the fact that a dispensation of the grace of God had been given to him? The inquiry, whether his readers had heard of the one great fact on which his ministry was based, could not apply in any degree to the Christians in Ephesus. The apostle and the Ephesians had a clear and intimate mutual knowledge. They knew him and valued him and loved him well. When he bade the elders of the church farewell, they all fell on his neck and kissed him (Ac 20:37).

Clearly therefore the statement that he had just recently heard of their conversion, and his inquiry whether they had heard that a dispensation of the grace of God had been entrusted to him, do not and cannot describe the members of the church in Ephesus. "It is plain," writes Moule (Eph, 26), "that the epistle does not bear an Ephesian destination on the face of it."

In the Epistle to the Corinthians there are many local references, as well as allusions to the apostle’s work in Corinth. In the Epistle to the Galatians there are also many references to his work among the people of the churches in Galatia. The same is the case in the Epistle to the Philippians, several names being mentioned of persons known to the apostle. In the two Epistles to the Thessalonians, references also occur to his work among them.

Turning to the Epistle to the Colossians, and to that to the Romans—Colossae and Rome being cities which he had not visited previous to his writing to the churches there—he knows several persons in Colosse; and in the case of the Epistle to the Romans, he mentions by name no fewer than twenty-six persons in that city.

How is it then that in "the Epistle to the Ephesians" there are no references at all to the three years which he spent in Ephesus? And how also is there no mention of any one of the members of the church or of the elders whom he knew so intimately and so affectionately? "Ephesians" is inexplicable on the ordinary assumption that Ephesus was the city to which the epistle was addressed. The other theory, that the epistle was a circular one, sent in the first instance to Laodicea, involves no such difficulty.

3. Ephesian Church Jewish in Origin:

Another indication in regard to the primary destination of the epistle is in the words, "ye, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Eph 2:11,12). Do these words describe the church in Ephesus? Was the church there Gentilein its origin? Very far from this, for as a matter of fact it began by Paul preaching the gospel to the Jews, as is narrated at length by Luke in Ac 18. Then in Ac 19, Paul comes again to Ephesus, where he went into the synagogue and spake boldly for the space of three months, but when divers were hardened and believed not, but spake evil of the Way before the multitude, he separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

Here, therefore, is definite proof that the church in Ephesus was not Gentilein its origin. It was distinctly Jewish, but a Gentileelement had also been received into it. Now the church to which Paul writes "the Epistle to the Ephesians" was not Jewish at all. He does not speak to his readers in any other way than "you Gentiles."

4. Ephesians and Colossians Sister Epistles:

But an important consideration is that the "Epistle to the Ephesians" was written by Paul at the same sitting almost as that to the Colossians. These two are sister epistles, and these along with the Epistle to Philemon were written and sent off at the same time, Onesimus and Tychicus carrying the Epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:7,8,9), Onesimus being the bearer of that to Philem, while Tychicus in addition to carrying the Colossian epistle was also the messenger who carried "the Epistle to the Ephesians" (Eph 6:21).

A close scrutiny of Colossians and "Ephesians" shows, to an extent without a parallel elsewhere in the epistles of the New Testament, a remarkable similarity of phraseology. There are only two verses in the whole of Colossians to which there is no parallel in "Ephesians." The same words are used, while the thought is so varied and so rich, that the one epistle is in no sense a copy or repetition of the other (see list of parallelisms, etc., in Paul’s Epistles to Colosse and Laodicea, T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh). Both epistles come warm and instinct with life from the full heart of the great apostle who had not, up to that time, visited either city, but on whom, none the less, there came daily the care of all the churches.

5. Recapitulation:

To recapitulate:

(1) The words "at Ephesus" in the inscription of the epistle are wanting in the two oldest and best manuscripts.

(2) Paul speaks of his readers as persons of whose conversion to Christ he knew only by report. Similarly he speaks of them as knowing only by hearsay of his commission as an apostle of Christ. Also, though he had lived in Ephesus for three years, this epistle does not contain a single salutation.

(3) He speaks of his readers as forming a church exclusively of the Gentiles. But the church in Ephesus, so far from being exclusively gentile, was actually Jewish in origin.

(4) "Ephesians" was written at the same sitting as Colossians, and the same messenger, Tychicus, carried them both.

Therefore as the epistle was not, and could not be, addressed to Ephesus, the conclusion is that it was addressed to some church, and that it was not a treatise sent to the Christian church generally. The words of the first verse of the ep., "to the saints that are," proves that the name of the place to which it was addressed is all that is lost from the manuscripts, but that the name of the city was there originally, as the epistle came from Paul’s hand.

Now Paul wrote an epistle to Laodicea at the same time as he wrote to Colosse. He dispatched both epistles by Tychicus. The thought and feeling and even the diction of the two epistles are such that no other explanation is possible but that they came warm from the heart of the same writer at the same time. On all these grounds the conclusion seems inevitable that the Epistle to Laodicea is not lost at all, but that it is identical with the so-called "Epistle to the Ephesians."

III. Laodicea Displaced by Ephesus.

1. A Circular Epistle:

How then did Ephesus displace Laodicea? It is explained at once if theory is adopted that the epistle was a "circular" one addressed not to Laodicea only, but to other cities. We know e.g. that the apostle orders it to be taken to the church in Colosse and read there. So also it might have been sent to other cities, such as Hierapolis (Col 4:13) and Ephesus. Hence, if the church in Laodicea were not careful to see that the epistle was returned to them, by those churches to whom they had sent it, it can easily be understood how a copyist in any of those cities might leave out the words "in Laodicea," as not agreeing with the name of the city where the manuscript actually was at the time. As copies were multiplied, the words "in Ephesus" would be suggested, as the name of the chief city of Asia, from which province the epistle had come to the knowledge of the whole Christian church, and to which, in point of fact, Paul had sent it. The feeling would be natural, that it was in keeping with the fitness of things, that Paul, who had rounded the church in Ephesus, should have written an epistle to the church there.

2. Proof from Biblical Prologues:

In an article upon "Marcion and the Canon" by Professor J. Rendel Harris, LL.D., in the The Expository Times, June, 1907, there is reference to the Revue Benedictine for January of that year, which contained a remarkable article by de Bruyne, entitled "Biblical Prologues of Marcionite Origin," in which the writer succeeded in showing that a very widely spread series of prefaces to the Pauline Epistles, which occur in certain Latin Bibles, must have been taken from a Marcionite Bible. Professor Rendel Harris adds that the prefaces in question may go back to Marcion himself, for in any case the Marcionite hand, from which they come, antedates the Latin tradition in which the prologues are imbedded. "It is clear from Tertullian’s polemic against Marcion, that the Pauline Epistles stood in the following order in the Marcionite Canon: Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, then Ephesians (which Marcion calls by the name of the Epistle to the Laodiceans), Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon. .... Let us turn to the prologues that are current in Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) and other manuscripts for Ephesians and Colossains: the Ephesian prologue runs as follows: ‘Ephesii sunt Asiani. Hi accepto verbo veritatis perstiterunt in fide. Ho conlaudat apostolus, scribens eis a Roma de carcere!’ When, however, we turn to the Colossian prologue, we find that it opens as follows: ‘Colossenses et hi sicut Laodicenses sunt Asiani. Et ipsi praeventi erant a pseudapostolis, nec ad hos accessit apostolus sed et hos per epistolam recorrigit,’ etc.

"From this it is clear that originally the prologue to the Laodiceans preceded the prologue to Colossians, and that the

Ephesian prologue is a substitute for the Laodicean prologue, which can be partly reconstructed from the references to it in the Colossian prologue. We can see that it had a statement that the Laodiceans belonged to Asia Minor, that they had been under the influence of false apostles, and had never been visited by Paul, who corrects their error by an epistle ....

"We have now shown that the original Canon had ‘Laodiceans, Colossians.’ It is interesting to observe how some Latin manuscripts naively admit this: ‘You must know that the epistle which we have as that written to the Ephesians, the heretics, and especially the Marcionites, entitle the Epistle to the Laodiceans.’"

IV. Reason for Such an Epistle.

Assuming therefore that the "Epistle to the Ephesians" is the epistle which Paul wrote to the Laodiceans, various questions arise, such as, Why did he write to the church there? What was there in the state of the church in Laodicea to call for an epistle from him? Was there any heresy there, like the false teaching which existed in the neighboring church in Colosse?

The answer to such questions is that though we do not possess much information, yet these churches in the province of Asia had many things in common. They had originated at the same time, during the two whole years of Paul’s residence in Ephesus. They were composed of men of the same races, and speaking the same languages. They were subject to the same influences of doctrinal error. The errors into which any one church fell could not fail to affect the others also. These churches were permeated to a large extent by the same ideas, derived both from the current philosophy and from their ancestral heathen religions. They would, therefore, one and all, require the same apostolic instruction and exhortation. This epistle, accordingly, bears a close resemblance to the Epistle to the Colossians, just for the reason that the circumstances of the church in Laodicea were similar to those of the church in Colosse; and also, that the thoughts which filled Paul’s heart as he wrote to Colosse were adapted, in the first place, to counteract the false teaching in Colosse, but they are also the foundation of all Christian experience, and the very life of all Christian truth and doctrine. These are the great thoughts of Christ the Creator of all things, Christ the Upholder of all things, Christ the Reconciler of all things. Such thoughts filling Paul’s heart would naturally find expression in language bearing a close resemblance to that in which he had just written to Colosse.

It is no more astonishing that Paul should have written to Laodicea, than that he also wrote to Colosse, which was probably the least important of all the cities and churches mentioned in the apostle’s work and career. Neither is it any more to be wondered at that he should have written so profound an epistle as that to "the Ephesians," than that he should also have given directions that it be sent on to Colosse and read there; for this reason, that the exposition of Christ’s great love to the church and of His giving Himself for it—the doctrine of the grace of God—is the very corrective required by the errors of the false teachers at Colosse, and is also the groundwork of Christian truth and experience for all agesú

NOTE: A very remarkable circumstance in regard to the apocryphal Epistle to the Laodiceans is mentioned by Nestle in the preface to his edition of the Latin New Testament, published in Stuttgart in 1906. He writes that "the Epistle to the Laodiceans was for a thousand years part of very many Latin Bibles, and obtained a place in pre-Lutheran German Bibles, together with Jerome’s Epistle to Damasus."

John Rutherfurd


The word is the translation of three different Hebrew expressions: cheq (Pr 16:33), beghedh (2Ki 4:39), and chotsen (Ne 5:13, besides chatsen, Ps 129:7). In all these passages the meaning is that of a part of oriental clothing, probably the folds of the garment covering the bosom or lap of a person. The flowing garments of Orientals invite the use of the same, on the part of speakers, in driving home certain truths enunciated by impressive gesticulation. Every reader of Roman history recalls the impressive incident of Quintus Fabius Maximus (Cunctator), who, in 219 BC, was ambassador of Rome to Carthage, and who, before the city council, holding the folds of his toga in the shape of a closed pouch, declared that he held enclosed in the same both peace and war, whichever the Carthaginians should desire to choose. When the Carthaginians clamored for war, he opened the folds of his garment and said: "Then you shall have war!" Very much like it, Nehemiah, when pleading for united efforts for the improvement of social order, addressed the priests of Jerusalem to get a pledge of their cooperation: "Also I shook out my lap (chotsen), and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that performeth not this promise; even thus be he shaken out, and emptied" (Ne 5:13).

In English Versions of the Bible the verb "to lap" is found, which has no etymological connection with the above-mentioned nouns. It is in Hebrew laqaq and refers to the loud licking up of water by dogs (1Ki 21:19; 22:38 the King James Version), and in the story of Gideon’s battle against the Midianites, of his 300 warriors (Jud 7:5 ).

H. L. E. Luering


lap’-i-doth, -doth (lappidhoth, "flames," "torches"; the King James Version, Lapidoth): Deborah’s husband (Jud 4:4). The Hebrew name is a feminine plural like Jeremoth (1Ch 7:8), Naboth (1Ki 21:1). The plural is probably intensive. Jewish interpreters have identified Lappidoth ("flames") with Barak ("lightning"). Some have taken the words rendered "wife of Lappidoth" (’esheth lappidhoth) as a description of Deborah, and have translated them, "woman of lights," i.e. maker of wicks for the sanctuary; or "woman of flames," referring to her prophetic zeal. These explanations are more interesting than probable.

John A. Lees


lap’-wing (dukhiphath; epops): A translation used in early VSS, now universally admitted to be incorrect. The lapwing had a crest, and resembled in size and color the hoopoe (Upupa epops). It appears in the lists of abominations only (Le 11:19 the King James Version and De 14:18 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) HOOPOE, which see). The lapwing is a plover, and its flesh and eggs are delicious food.


la-siv’-i-us-nes (aselgeia, "licentiousness," "wantonness," "unbridled lust," "shamelessness," "outrageousness"):

1. Sources:

Etymologists assign three probable sources of aselgeia, namely:

(1) from a compound of the alpha privitive (negation) and Selge, a Pisidian city whose inhabitants according to Thayer (New Testament Lexicon) "excelled in strictness of morals," but, according to Trench, a place whose people "were infamous for their vices";

(2) from a compound of "a" intense, and salagein, "to raise a disturbance or noise";

(3) from a compound of the alpha privitive a- and selgo, or thelgo, "exciting disgust or displeasure." It evidently means conduct and character that is unbecoming, indecent, unrestrainedly shameless.

2. As Used in the New Testament:

Mark uses it in 7:22 with uncertainty as to the vice meant. Paul (2Co 12:21) classes it with uncleanness and fornication as sins to be repented of; also (Ga 5:19; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 14:26, "wantonness") puts it in the same catalogue with other works of the flesh; and (Eph 4:19) he refers to some aged ones so covetous, that they made trade of themselves by giving "themselves up to lasciviousness." The same word is translated "wantonness" in Ro 13:13, meaning wanton manner, filthy words, unchaste movements of the body. Peter (1Pe 4:3) mentions those who "walked in lasciviousness, lusts, winebibbings, revellings, carousings, and abominable idolatries." He speaks (2Pe 2:2) of "lascivious doings" (the King James Version "pernicious ways"); (2Pe 2:7) "lascivious life" (the King James Version "filthy conversation"); and (2Pe 2:18) of "lasciviousness" (the King James Version "wantonness"), as a means "to entice in the lusts of the flesh." Jude 1:4 probably does not refer to any form of sensuality in using the word descriptive of "ungodly men" who perverted the faith of some and denied our only Master.

William Edward Raffety


la-se’-a (Lasaia): A town on the South coast of Crete, 5 miles East of Fair Havens (Ac 27:8). The ruins were examined in 1856 by G. Brown (see Code of Hammurabi (St. P), chapter xxiii, 640). If Paul’s ship was detained long at this anchorage, it would be necessary to purchase stores from Lasea; and this in addition to the inconvenience of the roadstead (see FAIR HAVENS) would probably explain the captain’s reluctance to winter there.


la’-sha (lasha‘): A place named on the southern boundary of the Canaanites along with Gomorrah, Adnah and Zeboiim (Ge 10:19). Eusebius, Onomasticon identifies it with the hot springs at Callirrhoe in Wady Zerqa Ma‘in, on the East of the Dead Sea; in this agreeing with Targum Jerusalem. This position, however, seems too far to the North, and possibly the site should be sought on the West of the Arabah. The absence of the article (compare Jos 15:2) prevents identification with the promontory el-Lisan, which runs into the sea from the eastern shore. Wellhausen (Comp. des Hexateuch., 15) thinks we should read lesham, since the Hebrew letters, "m" (mem) and " ‘ "(‘ ayin), are like each other in their Palmyrene form. We should then have indicated the boundary from Gaza to the Dead Sea, and then from the Dead Sea to Leshem, i.e. Dan. This is very precarious. No identification is possible.

W. Ewing


la-sha’-ron, la-shar’-on (lashsharon or la-sharon, the King James Version Sharon): A royal city of the Canaanites taken by Joshua, named with Aphek (Jos 12:18). Possibly we should here follow the reading of Septuagint (Codex Vaticanus), "the king of Aphek in Sharon." Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. "Saron") mentions a region between Mt. Tabor and the Lake of Tiberias called Sarona. This is probably represented by the ancient site Sarona, on the plateau 6 1/2 miles Southwest 2 of Tiberias. If Massoretic Text is correct, this may be the place intended.






(kairos eschatos, chronos eschatos (also plural), eschaton tou chronou, hora eschate): In the King James Version this phrase occurs in 1Pe 1:5; 1:20 (plural); 1 Joh 2:18; Jude 1:18. The Revised Version (British and American) has, in 1Pe 1:20, "at the end of the times," and in 1 Joh 2:18, "the last hour," in closer adherence to the Greek. The conception is closely allied to that of "the last day," and, like this, has its root in the Old Testament conception of "the end of days." In the Old Testament this designates the entire eschatological period as that which the present course of the world is to issue into, and not, as might be assumed, the closing section of history. It is equivalent to what was later called "the coming aeon" (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT). In the New Testament, on the other hand, the phrase "the last time" does mark the concluding section of the present world-period, of the present aeon. In three of the New Testament passages the consciousness expresses itself that these "last times" have arrived, and that the period extending from the appearance or the resurrection of Christ until His Second Coming is the closing part of the present age, that the writer and readers are living in "the last times." In one passage (1Pe 1:5) "the last time" is projected farther forward into the future, so that it comes to mean the time immediately preceding the reappearance of Christ. Both usages can be readily explained. The days of the Messiah were to the Old Testament writers part of the future world, although to the later Jewish chiliasm they appeared as lying this side of it, because differing from the world to come in their earthly and temporal character. To the early Christians the days of the Messiah appeared more closely assimilated in character to the future world, so that no reason existed on this score for not including them in the latter. Still it was also realized that the Messiah in His first appearance had not brought the full realization of the coming world, and that only His return from heaven would consummate the kingdom of God. Accordingly, the days in which they lived assumed to them the character of an intermediate period, marked off on the one hand from the previous development by the appearance of the Messiah, but equally marked off from the coming eon by His reappearance in glory. From a formal point of view the representation resembles the Jewish chiliastic scheme, but with a twofold substantial difference:

(a) the chiliastic scheme restricts the Messiah and His work to the last days, and does not carry Him over into the coming world, whereas to the Christian the coming world, no less than the last days, is thoroughly Messianic;

(b) to the Jewish point of view both the days of the Messiah and the coming world lie in the future, whereas to the Christian the former have already arrived.

It remained possible, however, from the Christian point of view to distinguish within the last times themselves between the immediate present and the future conclusion of this period, and this is done in 1Pe 1:5. Also in 1 Joh 2:18 the inference that "the last hour" has come is not drawn from the presence of the Messiah, but from the appearance of the anti-Christian power, so that here also a more contracted conception of the last stage of history reveals itself, only not as future (1Pe 1:5), but as present (hence, "hour" not "time").


Geerhardus Vos


las’-the-nez (Lasthenes): A highly placed official under King Demetrius II, Nicator. He is called the king’s "kinsman" (the King James Version "cousin") and "father" (1 Macc 11:31,32; Josephus, Ant, XIII, iv, 9), but these are to be taken as court titles rather than as denoting blood-relationship. According to Josephus (Ant., XIII, iv, 3) he was a native of Crete, and raised an army for the king when he made his first descent upon the coast, and rendered him ultimately successful in wresting the throne of Syria from Alexander Balas (1 Macc 10:67; Ant, XIII, iv, 3). The letter addressed to Lasthenes indicates that he was probably prime minister or grand vizier of the kingdom.

J. Hutchinson


lach’-et (serokh; himas): Leather thong used for tying on sandals (see Ge 14:23; Mr 1:7 parallel). The stooping to untie the dusty shoe-latchet was esteemed by Orientals a service that was at once petty and defiling, and was usually assigned to menials.


lat’-in: Was the official language of the Roman Empire as Greek was that of commerce. In Palestine Aramaic was the vernacular in the rural districts and remoter towns, while in the leading towns both Greek and Aramaic were spoken. These facts furnish the explanation of the use of all three tongues in the inscription on the cross of Christ (Mt 27:37; Mr 15:26; Lu 23:38; Joh 19:19). Thus the charge was written in the legal language, and was technically regular as well as recognizable by all classes of the people. The term "Latin" occurs in the New Testament only in Joh 19:20, Rhomaisti, and in Lu 23:38, Rhomaikois (grammasin), according to Codices Sinaiticus, A, D, and N. It is probable that Tertullus made his plea against Paul before Felix (Ac 24) in Latin, though Greek was allowed in such provincial courts by grace of the judge. It is probable also that Paul knew and spoke Latin; compare W.M. Ramsay, Pauline and Other Studies, 1906, 65, and A. Souter, "Did Paul Speak Latin?" The Expositor, April, 1911. The vernacular Latin had its own history and development with great influence on the ecclesiastical terminology of the West. See W. Bury, "The Holy Latin Tongue," Dublin Review, April, 1906, and Ronsch, Itala und Vulgata, 1874, 480 f. There is no doubt of the mutual influence of Greek and Latin on each other in the later centuries. See W. Schulze, Graeca Latina, 1891; Viereck, Sermo Graecus, 1888.

It is doubtful if the Latin syntax is clearly perceptible in the koine (see LANGUAGE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT).

Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 117 f) finds ergasian didomi (operam dare) in an xyrhynchus papyrus letter of the vulgar type from 2nd century BC (compare Lu 12:58). A lead tablet in Amorgus has krino to dikaion (compare Lu 12:57). The papyri (2nd century AD) give sunairo logon (compare Mt 18:23 f). Moulton (Expositor, February, 1903, 115) shows that to hikanon poiein (satisfacere), is as old as Polybius. Even sumbouilion lambanien (concilium capere), may go with the rest like su opes (Mt 27:4), for videris (Thayer). Moulton (Prol., 21) and Thumb (Griechische Sprache, 121) consider the whole matter of syntactical Latinisms in the New Testament inconclusive. But see also C. Wessely, "Die lateinischen Elemente in der Gracitat d. agypt. Papyrusurkunden," Wien. Stud., 24; Laforcade. Influence du Latin sur le Grec. 83-158.

There are Latin words in the New Testament: In particular Latin proper names like Aquila, Cornelius, Claudia, Clemens, Crescens, Crispus, Fortunatus, Julia, Junia, etc., even among the Christians in the New Testament besides Agrippa, Augustus, Caesar, Claudius, Felix, Festus, Gallio, Julius, etc.

Besides we find in the New Testament current Latin commercial, financial, and official terms like assarion (as), denarion (denarius), kenturion (centurio), kenos (census), kodrantes (quadrans), kolonia (colonia), koustodia (custodia), legeon (legio), lention (linteum), libertinos (libertinus), litra (litra), makellon (macellum), membrana (membrana), milion (mille), modios (modius), xestes (sextarius), praitorion (praetorium), sikarios (sicarius), simikinthion (semicinctium), soudarion (sudarium), spekoulator (speculator), taberna (taberna), titlos (titulus), phelones (paenula), phoron (forum), phragellion (flagellum), phragelloo (flagello), chartes (charta?), choros (chorus).

Then we meet such adjectives as Herodianoi, Philippesioi, Christianoi, which are made after the Latin model. Mark’s Gospel shows more of these Latin words outside of proper names (compare Ro 16), as is natural if his Gospel were indeed written in Rome.



Besides the literature already mentioned see Schurer, Jewish People in the Time of Christ, Div II, volume I, 43 ff; Krauss, Griechische und lateinische Lehnworter im Talmud (1898, 1899); Hoole, Classical Element in the New Testament (1888); Jannaris, Historical Greek Grammar (1897); W. Schmid, Atticismus, etc. (1887-97); Kapp, Latinismis merito ac falso susceptis (1726); Georgi, De Latinismis N T (1733); Draeger, Historische Syntax der lat. Sprache (1878-81); Pfister, Vulgarlatein und Vulgargriechisch (Rh. Mus., 1912, 195-208).

A. T. Robertson


1. The Motive of Translation

2. Multiplicity of Latin Translations in the 4th Century

3. The Latin Bible before Jerome

4. First Used in North Africa

5. Cyprian’s Bible

6. Tertullian’s Bible

7. Possible Eastern Origin of Old Latin

8. Classification of Old Latin Manuscripts

9. Individual Characteristics

10. Value of Old Latin for Textual Criticism


1. The Motive of Translation:

The claim of Christianity to be the one true religion has carried with it from the beginning the obligation to make its Holy Scriptures, containing the Divine message of salvation and life eternal, known to all mankind. Accordingly, wherever the first Christian evangelists carried the gospel beyond the limits of the Greek-speaking world, one of the first requirements of their work was to give the newly evangelized peoples the record of God’s revelation of Himself in their mother tongue. It was through the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament that the great truths of revelation first became known to the Greek and Roman world. It is generally agreed that, as Christianity spread, the Syriac and the Latin versions were the first to be produced; and translations of the Gospels, and of other books of the Old and New Testament in Greek, were in all probability to be found in these languages before the close of the 2nd century.

2. Multiplicity of Latin Translations in the 4th Century:

Of the earliest translators of the Bible into Latin no record has survived. Notwithstanding the careful investigations of scholars in recent years, there are still many questions relating to the origin of the Latin Bible to which only tentative and provisional answers can be given. It is therefore more convenient to begin a study of its history with Jerome toward the close of the 4th century and the commission entrusted to him by Pope Damasus to produce a standard Latin version, the execution of which gave to Christendom the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) (see VULGATE). The need for such a version was clamant. There existed by this time a multiplicity of translations differing from one another, and there was none possessed of commanding authority to which appeal might be made in case of necessity. It was the consideration of the chaotic condition of the existing translations, with their divergences and variations, which moved Damasus to commission Jerome to his task and Jerome to undertake it. We learn particulars from the letter of Jerome in 383 transmitting to his patron the first installment of his revision, the Gospels. "Thou compellest me," he writes, "to make a new work out of an old so that after so many copies of the Scriptures have been dispersed throughout the whole world I am as it were to occupy the post of arbiter, and seeing they differ from one another am to determine which of them are in agreement with the original Greek." Anticipating attacks from critics, he says, further: "If they maintain that confidence is to be reposed in the Latin exemplars, let them answer which, for there are almost as many copies of translations as manuscripts. But if the truth is to be sought from the majority, why not rather go back to the Greek original, and correct the blunders which have been made by incompetent translators, made worse rather than better by the presumption of unskillful correctors, and added to or altered by careless scribes?" Accordingly, he hands to the Pontiff the four Gospels to begin with after a careful comparison of old Greek manuscripts.

From Jerome’s contemporary, Augustine, we obtain a similar picture. "Translators from Hebrew into Greek," he says (De Doctrina Christiana, ii.11), "can be numbered, but Latin translators by no means. For whenever, in the first ages of the faith, a Greek manuscript came into the hands of anyone who had also a little skill in both languages, he made bold to translate it forthwith." In the same context he mentions "an innumerable variety of Latin translators," "a crowd of translators." His advice to readers is to give a preference to the Itala, "which is more faithful in its renderings and more intelligible in its sense." What the Itala is, has been greatly discussed. Formerly it was taken to be a summary designation of all the versions before Jerome’s time. But Professor Burkitt (Texts and Studies, IV) strongly urges the view that by this term Augustine designates Jerome’s Vulgate, which he might quite well have known and preferred to any of the earlier translations. However this may be, whereas before Jerome there were those numerous translations, of which he and Augustine complain, after Jerome there is the one preeminent and commanding work, produced by him, which in course of time drove all others out of the field, the great Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) edition, as it came to be called, of the complete Latin Bible.

3. The Latin Bible before Jerome:

We are here concerned with the subject of the Latin Bible before the time of Jerome. The manuscripts which have survived from the earlier period are known by the general designation of Old Latin. When we ask where these first translations came into existence, we discover a somewhat surprising fact. It was not at Rome, as we might have expected, that they were first required. The language of Christian Rome was mainly Greek, down to the 3rd century. Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans in Greek. When Clement of Rome in the last decade of the 1st century wrote an epistle in the name of the Roman church to the Corinthians, he wrote in Greek Justin Martyr, and the heretic Marcion, alike wrote from Rome in Greek. Out of 15 bishops who presided over the Roman. See down to the close of the 2nd century, only four have Latin names. Even the pagan emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote his Meditations in Greek If there were Christians in Rome at that period whose only language was Latin, they were not sufficiently numerous to be provided with Christian literature; at least none has survived.

4. First Used in North Africa:

It is from North Africa that the earliest Latin literature of the church has come down to us. The church of North Africa early received a baptism of blood, and could point to an illustrious roll of martyrs. It had also a distinguished list of Latin authors, whose Latin might sometimes be rude and mixed with foreign idioms, but had a power and a fire derived from the truths which it set forth. One of the most eminent of these Africans was Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who won the martyr’s crown in 257. His genuine works consist of a number of short treatises, or tracts, and numerous letters, all teeming with Scripture quotations. It is certain that he employed a version then and there in use, and it is agreed that "his quotations are carefully made and thus afford trustworthy standards of African Old Latin in a very early though still not the earliest stage" (Hort, Introduction to the New Testament in Greek, 78).

5. Cyprian’s Bible:

Critical investigation has made it clear that the version used by Cyprian survives in a fragmentary copy of Mark and Matthew, now at Turin in North Italy, called Codex Bobbiensis (k), and in the fragments of the Apocalypse and Ac contained in a palimpsest at Paris called Codex Floriacensis (h). It has been found that another MS, Codex Palatinus (e) at Vienna, has a text closely akin to that exhibited in Cyprian, although there are traces of mixture in it. The text of these manuscripts, together with the quotations of the so-called Speculum Augustini (m), is known among scholars as African Old Latin. Another manuscript with an interesting history, Codex Colbertinus (c) contains also a valuable African element, but in many parts of the Gospels it sides also with what is called the European Old Latin more than with k or e. Codex Bobbiensis (k) has been edited with a learned introduction in the late Bishop John Wordsworth’s Old Latin Biblical Texts, the relation of k to Cyprian as well as to other Old Latin texts being the subject of an elaborate investigation by Professor Sanday. That Cyprian, who was not acquainted with Greek, had a written version before him which is here identified is certain, and thus the illustrious bishop and martyr gives us a fixed point in the history of the Latin Bible a century and a half earlier than Jerome.

6. Tertullian’s Bible:

We proceed half a century nearer to the fountainhead of the African Bible when we take up the testimony of Tertullian who flourished toward the close of the 2nd century. He differed from Cyprian in being a competent Greek scholar. He was thus able to translate for himself as he made his quotations from the Septuagint or the Greek New Testament, and is thus for us by no means so safe a witness to the character or existence of a standard version. Professor Zahn (GK, I, 60) maintains with considerable plausibility that before 210-240 AD there was no Latin Bible, and that Tertullian with his knowledge of Greek just translated as he went along. In this contention, Zahn is not supported by many scholars, and the view generally is that while Tertullian’s knowledge of Greek is a disturbing element, his writings, with the copious quotations from both Old Testament and New Testament, do testify to the existence of a version which had already been for some time in circulation and use. Who the African Wycliffe or Tyndale was who produced that version has not been recorded, and it may in fact have been the work of several hands, the result, as Bishop Westcott puts it, of the spontaneous efforts of African Christians (Canon of the NT7, 263).

7. Possible Eastern Origin of Old Latin:

Although the evidence has, up to the present time, been regarded as favoring the African origin of the first Latin translation of the Bible, recent investigation into what is called the Western text of the New Testament has yielded results pointing elsewhere. It is clear from a comparison that the Western type of text has close affinity with the Syriac witnesses originating in the eastern provinces of the empire. The close textual relation disclosed between the Latin and the Syriac versions has led some authorities to believe that, after all, the earliest Latin version may have been made in the East, and possibly at Antioch. But this is one of the problems awaiting the discovery of fresh material and fuller investigation for its solution.

8. Classification of Old Latin Manuscripts:

We have already noticed the African group, so designated from its connection with the great African Fathers, Tertullian and especially Cyprian, and comprising k, e, and to some extent h and m. The antiquity of the text here represented is attested by these African Fathers.

When we come down to the 4th century we find in Western Europe, and especially in North Italy, a second type of text, which is designated European, the precise relation of which to the African has not been clearly ascertained. Is this an independent text which has arisen on the soil of Italy, or is it a text derived by alteration and revision of the African as it traveled northward and westward? This group consists of the Codex Vercellensis (a) and Codex Vcronensis (b) of the 4th or 5th century at Vercelli and Verona respectively, and there may be included also the Codex Vindobonensis (i) of the 7th century at Vienna. These give the Gospels, and a gives for John the text as it was read by the 4th-century Father, Lucifer of Cagliari in Sardinia. The Latin of the Greek-Latin manuscript D (Codex Bezae) is known as d, and much of Irenaeus are classed with this group.

Still later, Professor Hort says from the middle of the 4th century, a third type, called Italic from its more restricted range, is found. It is represented by Codex Brixianus (f) of the 6th century, now at Brescia, and Codex Monacensis (q) of the 7th century, at Munich. This text is probably a modified form of the European, produced by revision which has brought it more into accord with the Greek, and has given it a smoother Lot aspect. The group has received this name because the text found in many of Augustine’s writings is the same, and as he expressed a preference for the Itala, the group was designated accordingly. Recent investigation tends to show that we must be careful how we use Augustine as an Old Latin authority, and that the Itala may be, not a pre-Vulgate text, but rather Jerome’s Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) This, however, is still uncertain; the fact remains that as far as the Gospels are concerned, f and q represent the type of text most used by Jerome.

9. Individual Characteristics:

That all these groups, comprising in all 38 codices, go back to one original is not impossible. Still there may have been at first local VSS, and then an official version formed out of them. When Jerome’s revision took hold of the church, the Old Latin representatives for the most part dropped out of notice. Some of them, however, held their ground and continued to be copied down to the 12th and even the 13th century Codex C (Ephraemi) is an example of this; it is a manuscript of the 12th century, but as Professor Burkitt has pointed out (Texts and Studies, IV, "Old Latin," 11) "it came from Languedoc, the country of the Albigenses. Only among heretics isolated from the rest of Western Christianity could an Old Latin text have been written at so late a period." An instance of an Old Latin text copied in the 13th century is the Gigas Holmiensis, quoted as Gig, now at Stockholm, and so called from its great size. It contains the Ac and the Apocalypse of the Old Latin and the rest of the New Testament according to the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) It has to be borne in mind that in the early centuries complete Bibles were unknown. Each group of books, Gospels, Ac and Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles, and Revelation for the New Testament, and Pentateuch, Historical Books, Psalms and Prophets for the Old Testament, has to be regarded separately. It is interesting, also, to note that when Jerome revised, or even retranslated from the Septuagint, Tobit and Judith of the Apocrypha, the greater number of these books, the Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and Baruch were left unrevised, and were simply added to the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) from the Old Latin version.

10. Value of Old Latin for Textual Criticism:

These Old Latin translations going back in their earliest forms to nearly the middle of the 2nd century are very early witnesses to the Greek text from which they were made. They are the more valuable inasmuch as they are manifestly very literal translations. Our great uncial manuscripts reach no farther back than the 4th century, whereas in the Old Latin we have evidence—indirect indeed and requiring to be cautiously used—reaching back to the 2nd century. The text of these manuscripts is neither dated nor localized, whereas the evidence of these VSS, coming from a particular province of the church, and being used by Fathers whose period is definitely known, enables us to judge of the type of Greek text then and there in use. In this connection, too, it is noteworthy that while the variations of which Jerome and Augustine complained were largely due to the blunders, or natural mistakes, of copyists, they did sometimes represent various readings in the Greek originals.


Wordsworth and White, Old Latin Biblical Texts, 4 volumes; F.C. Burkitt, "The Old Latin and the Itala," Texts and Studies, IV; "Old Latin VSS" by H.A.A. Kennedy in Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes); "Bibelubersetzungen, Lateinische" by Fritzsche-Nestle in PRE3; Intros to Textual Criticism of the New Testament by Scrivener, Gregory, Nestle, and Lake.

T. Nicol





See HOUSE, II, 1, (9).


lod: A verb meaning "to praise," used in Ro 15:11 the King James Version, and Ps 117:1; 145:4. The Revised Version (British and American) either should have avoided the word altogether or else should have used it much more extensively—preferably the latter, as the word is not obsolete in liturgical English.


laf’-ing-stok: Something set up to be laughed at; thrice in the Revised Version (British and American) the translation of sechoq, "laughter," etc. (Job 12:4 twice; Jer 20:7; compare Jer 48:26,27,39; La 3:14).



laf’-ter (chaq, tsachaq, "to laugh," sechoq, "laughter"; gelao, katagelao):

(1) Laughter as the expression of gladness, pleasurable surprise, is the translation of tsachaq (Ge 17:17; 18:12,13,15; 21:6), which, however, should perhaps be "laugh at me," not "with me," as the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) (so Delitzsch and others; see also Hastings in HDB), not in the sense of derision, but of surprise and pleasure. In the same verse for "God hath made me to laugh," the Revised Version (British and American) gives in margin, "hath prepared laughter for me," and this gave his name to the son, the promise of whose birth evoked the laughter (Yitschaq, Isaac); gelao (Lu 6:21,25) has the same meaning of gladness and rejoicing; sechoq, "laughter," has also this sense (Job 8:21; Ps 126:2). It is, however, "laughed to scorn" in Job 12:4; the Revised Version (British and American) "laughing-stock"; so Jer 20:7; compare 48:26,27,39; La 3:14, "derision."

(2) Sachaq is used (except Job 29:24; Ec 3:4) in the sense of the laughter of defiance, or derision (Job 5:22; 41:29); in Piel it is often translated "play," "playing," "merry"

(3) La‘agh is "to scorn" "to laugh to scorn" (2Ki 19:21; Ne 2:19); sachaq has also this sense (2Ch 30:10); tsechoq (Eze 23:32); sechoq (Job 12:4); katagelao (Mt 9:24; Mr 5:40; Lu 8:53); the simple gelao occurs only in Lu 6:21,25; see above. Katagelao is found in Judith 12:12, "laugh to scorn" (Ecclesiasticus 7:11; 20:17; 1 Macc 10:70, the Revised Version (British and American) "derision").

For "laugh" (Job 9:23) the Revised Version (British and American) has "mock"; for "mocked of his neighbor" and "laughed to scorn" (Job 12:4) "laughing-stock"; for "shall rejoice in time to come" (Pr 31:25), "laugheth at the time to come"; "laughter" for "laughing" (Job 8:21).

W. L. Walker


lanch, lonch.



la’-ver (kiyor):

1. In the Tabernacle:

Every priest in attendance on the altar of Yahweh was required to wash his hands and his feet before entering upon his official duties (Ex 30:19 ). To this end a laver was ordered to be made as part of the tabernacle equipment (Ex 30:17-21; 38:8). Its composition was of brass (bronze), and it consisted of two parts, the bowl and its pedestal or foot (Ex 30:18, etc.). This first laver was a small one, and was made of the hand mirrors of the women in attendance upon the altar (Ex 38:8). Its place was between the altar and the tabernacle (Ex 40:30).


2. In the Temple:

The difficulty as to the washing of parts of the sacrificial carcasses was overcome, in the temple of Solomon, by the construction of "10 lavers" and a "molten sea" (1Ki 7:23-37; 2Ch 4:2-6; see TEMPLE; SEA, THE MOLTEN). We learn from 2Ch 4:6 that the "sea" was for the priests to wash in—therefore took the place of the laver in the tabernacle—and the lavers were used as baths for portions of the burnt offerings. The lavers themselves were artistic works of unusual merit for that age. Like that in the tabernacle, each had its own stand or base, which was cast in a separate piece from the laver. These bases rested on wheels which allowed of the laver being moved from one part of the court to another without being turned about. Five stood on the north and five on the south side of the temple. They were ornamented with "lions, oxen, and cherubim," and on a lower level, with a series of wreaths or festoons of flowers (1Ki 7:27-37). In modern speech, the lavers may be described as so many circular open tanks for the storage of water. Each laver contained 40 baths (about 320 gals.) of water. Its height was 5 cubits, the locomotive machinery being 3 cubits in height, and the depth of the bowl or tank, judging from its capacity, about 2 cubits. The last we hear of the lavers, apart from their bases, is that the idolatrous king Ahaz cut off the border of the bases, and removed the bases from them (2Ki 16:17). During the reign of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah foretold that the molten sea and the bases (there being then no lavers) should be carried to Babylon (Jer 27:19). A few years later it is recorded that the bases were broken up, and the brass of which they were made was carried away (Jer 52:17).

3. The Laver in the New Testament:

The Greek word (loutron) occurs twice in the New Testament. In Eph 5:26, Paul says that Christ gave Himself for the church "that he might sanctify it having cleansed it by the washing (Greek "laver") of water with the word"; and in Tit 3:5 he says that we are saved "through the washing (Greek "laver") of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." In these passages the reference is to the constant physical purity demanded of the Jewish priests when in attendance upon the temple. Christians are "a holy priesthood," and are cleansed not by water only, but, in the former passage, "with the word" (compare Joh 15:3); in the latter, by the "renewing of the Holy Spirit" (compare Eze 36:25; Joh 3:5). The feet-washing mentioned by Jesus is emblematic of the same thing (Joh 13:10).

W. Shaw Caldecott



The Term "Law"

Austin’s Definition of Law


1. The Law in the Teaching of Christ

(1) Authority of the Law Upheld in the Sermon on the Mount

(a) Christ and Tradition

(b) Sin of Murder

(c) Adultery and Divorce

(d) Oaths

(e) Retaliation

(f) Love to Neighbors—Love of Enemies

(2) Other References to the Law in the Teaching of Christ

(a) Traditions of the Elders and the 5th Commandment

(b) Christ’s Answer to the Young Ruler

(c) Christ’s Answer to the Lawyer

(d) References in the Fourth Gospel

2. The Law in Relation to the Life of Christ

(1) In His Infancy

(2) In His Ministry

3. The Law in Relation to the Death of Christ

(1) Christ Charged with Blasphemy under the Jewish Law

(2) Christ Charged with Treason under the Roman Law

4. How Christ Fulfilled the Law in All Its Parts


1. Stephen’s Witness

2. Practice of Peter and Paul

3. Allusions to the Roman Law


1. In Romans

2. In Galatians

3. In the Other Pauline Epistles

4. In the Epistle to the Hebrews

5. In the Epistle of James

6. In the Epistles of Peter and John


The Term "Law":

The Greek word for "law" is nomos, derived from nemo, "to divide," "distribute," "apportion," and generally meant anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, usage, law; in the New Testament a command, law.

Austin’s Definition of Law:

It may not be amiss to note the definition of law given by a celebrated authority in jurisprudence, the late Mr. John Austin: "A law, in the most general and comprehensive acceptation in which the term, in its literal meaning, is employed, may be said to be a rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being, by an intelligent being having power over him." Under this comprehensive statement, he classifies "laws set by God to His human creatures, and laws set by men to men." After analyzing the three ideas, command as the expression of a particular desire; duty or obligation, signifying that one is bound or obliged by the command to pursue a certain course of conduct, and sanction, indicating the evil likely to be incurred by disobedience, he thus summarizes: "The ideas or notions comprehended by the term command are the following:

(1) a wish or desire conceived by a rational being that another rational being shall do or forbear;

(2) an evil to proceed from the former and to be incurred by the latter in case the latter comply not with the wish;

(3) an expression or intimation of the wish by words or other signs."

This definition makes it clear that the term "laws of nature" can be used only in a metaphorical sense, the metaphorical application being suggested as Austin shows by the fact that uniformity or stability of conduct is one of the ordinary consequences of a law proper, consequently, "Wherever we observe a uniform order of events, or a uniform order of coexisting phenomena, we are prone to impute that order to a law set by its author, though the case presents us with nothing that can be likened to a sanction or a duty." As used in the New Testament it will be found generally that the term "law" bears the sense indicated by Austin, and includes "command," "duty" and "sanction."

I. Law in the Gospels.

Naturally we first turn to the Gospels, where the word "law" always refers to the Mosaic law, although it has different applications. That law was really threefold: the Moral Law, as summed up in the Decalogue, the Ceremonial Law, prescribing the ritual and all the typical enactments, and what might be called the Civil or Political Law, that relating to the people in their national, political life. The distinction is not closely observed, though sometimes the reference emphasizes one aspect, sometimes another, but generally the whole Law without any discrimination is contemplated. Sometimes the Law means the whole Old Testament Scriptures, as in Joh 10:34; 12:34; 15:25. At other times the Law means the Pentateuch, as in Lu 24:44.

1. The Law in the Teaching of Christ:

The Law frequently appears in the teaching of Christ. In the Sermon on the Mount He refers most specifically and fully to it. It is frequently asserted that He there exposes the imperfection of the Law and sets His own authority against its authority. But this seems to be a superficial and an untenable view. Christ indeed affirms very definitely the authority of the Law: "Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets" (Mt 5:17). Here the term would seem to mean the whole of the Pentateuch "I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished" (Mt 5:17,18). A similar utterance is recorded in Lu 16:17: "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tittle of the law to fall."

(1) Authority of the Law Upheld in the Sermon on the Mount.

The perfection and permanence of the Law as well as its authority are thus indicated, and the following verse in Mt still further emphasizes the authority, while showing that now the Lord is speaking specifically of the moral law of the Decalogue: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (5:19). These impressive sentences should be borne in mind in considering, the utterances that follow, in which there seems a contrast between the Law and His own teaching, and from which has been drawn the inference that He condemns and practically abrogates the Law. What Jesus really does is to bring out the fullness of meaning that is in the Law, and to show its spirituality and the wideness of its reach. He declares that the righteousness of His disciples must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 5:20). Their righteousness consisted largely in a punctilious observance of the external requirements of the Law; the disciples must yield heart obedience to the inner spirit of the Law, its external and internal requirements.

(a) Christ and Tradition:

Jesus then proceeds to point out the contrast, not so much between His own teaching and that of the Law, as between His interpretation of the Law and the interpretation of other teachers: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time" (the King James Version), "to them of old time" the Revised Version (British and American) (Mt 5:21). Either rendering is grammatically allowable, but in either case it is evidently not the original utterance of Moses, but the traditional interpretation, which He had in view "Ye have heard that it was said"; Christ’s usual way of quoting the Old Testament is, "It is written" or some other formula pointing to the written Word; and as He has just referred to the written Law as a whole, it would be strange if He should now use the formula "It was said" in reference to the particular precepts. Evidently He means what was said by the Jewish teachers.

(b) Sin of Murder:

This is further confirmed by the citations: "Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment." The second clause is not found in the Pentateuch as a distinct statement, but it is clearly the generalization of the teachers. Christ does not set Himself in opposition to Moses; rather does He enjoin obedience to the precepts of the scribes when, sitting in Moses’ seat, they truly expound the Law (Mt 23:1-8). But these teachers had so expounded the command as if it only referred to the act of murder; so Christ shows the full and true spiritual meaning of it: "But I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment" (Mt 5:22).


(c) Adultery and Divorce:

Again, "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Mt 5:27). The traditional teaching confined this mainly to the outward act, ‘But I say unto you,’ says Christ, ‘that adultery pertains even to the lustful thought’ (Mt 5:28). In dealing with this matter He passes to the law of divorce which was one of the civil enactments, and did not stand on the same level with the moral precept against committing adultery, nay, the very carrying out of the civil provision might lead to a real breach of the moral precept, and in the interests of the precept itself, in the very desire to uphold the authority of the moral law, Christ pronounces against divorce on any ground, save that of fornication. Later on, as recorded in Mt 19:3-9, He was questioned about this same law of divorce, and again He condemns the light way in which divorce was treated by the Jews, and affirms strongly the sanctity of the marriage institution, showing that it was antecedent to the Mosaic code—was from the beginning, and derived its binding force from the Divine pronouncement in Ge 2:24, rounded upon the nature of things; while as to the Mosaic law of divorce, lie declares that it was permitted on account of the hardness of their hearts, but that no other cause than fornication was sufficient to dissolve the marriage tie. This civil enactment, justified originally on account of the inability of the people to rise to the true moral ideal of the Decalogue, Christ claims authority to transcend, but in doing so He vindicates and upholds the law which said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."


(d) Oaths:

The next precept Jesus cites is one partly civil and partly ritual, concerning the taking of oaths. The words are not found in the Pentateuch as a definite enactment; they are rather a gathering up of several utterances (Le 19:12; Nu 30:2; De 23:21), and again the form of the citation suggests that it is the rabbinical interpretation that is in question. But the kind of swearing allowed by the law was the very opposite of ordinary profane swearing. It was intended, indeed, to guard the 3rd commandment against taking the name of Yahweh in vain. Christ in condemning the flippant oaths allowed by the rabbis was really asserting the authority of that 3rd command; lie was enforcing its spirituality and claiming the reverence due to the Divine name. Into the question how far the words of Christ bear upon oath-taking in a court of law we need not enter. His own response to the adjuration of the high priest when practically put upon His oath (Mt 26:63,64) and other instances (Ro 1:9; 2Co 1:23; Ga 1:20; Php 1:8; 1Th 2:5; Heb 6:16,17; Re 10:5,6) would tend to show that such solemn appeals to God are not embraced in Christ’s prohibition: "Swear not at all"; but undoubtedly the ideal speech is that of the simple asseveration, the "Yes" or "No" of the man, who, conscious that he speaks in the presence of God, reckons his word inviolable, needing no strengthening epithet, though as between man and man an oath may be necessary for confirmation and an end of strife.


(e) Retaliation:

He next touches upon the "law of retaliation": "an eye for an eye" (Mt 5:38), and consistently with our understanding of the other sayings, we think that here Christ is dealing with the traditional interpretation which admitted of personal revenge, of men taking the law into their own hands and revenging themselves. Such a practice Christ utterly condemns, and inculcates instead gentleness and forbearance, the outcome of love even toward enemies. This law, indeed, finds place among the Mosaic provisions, but it appears there, not as allowing personal spite to gratify itself in its own way, but as a political enactment to be carried out by the magistrates and so to discountenance private revenge. Christ shows that the spirit of His gospel received by His people would supersede the necessity for these. requirements of the civil code; although His words are not to be interpreted quite literally, for He himself when smitten on the one cheek did not turn the other to the smiter (Joh 18:22,23), and the principle of the law of retaliation still holds good in the legislative procedure of all civilized nations, and according to the New Testament teaching, will find place even in the Divine procedure in the day of judgment.


(f) Love to Neighbors—Love of Enemies:

The last saying mentioned in the Sermon clearly reveals its rabbinical character: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy" (Mt 5:43). The first part is indeed the injunction of the Law, the second part is an unwarrantable addition to it. It is only this part that Christ virtually condemns when He says, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies" (Mt 5:44). That the interpretation of these teachers was unwarrantable may be seen from many passages in the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Psalms, which set forth the more spiritual aspect of the Law’s requirement; and as to this particular precept, we need only refer to Pr 25:21,22, "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat." Christ while condemning the addition unfolds the spiritual import of the command itself, for the love of neighbor rightly interpreted involves love of enemies; and so on another occasion (Lu 10:25-37) He answers the lawyer’s question, "Who is my neighbor?" by the parable of the Good Samaritan, showing that everyone in need is our neighbor.


The last reference in the Sermon on the Mount to the Law fully bears out the idea that Christ really upheld the authority while elucidating the spirituality of the Law, for He declares that the principle embodied in the "Golden Rule" is a deduction from, is, indeed, the essence of, "the law and the prophets" (Mt 7:12).

(2) Other References to the Law in the Teaching of Christ.

We can only glance at the other references to the Law in the teaching of Christ. In Mt 11:13, "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John," the Law in its teaching capacity is in view, and perhaps the whole of the Pentateuch is meant. In Mt 12:1-8, in rebutting the charge brought against His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, He cites the case of David and his men eating the showbread, which it was not lawful for any but the priests to partake of; and of the priests doing work on the Sabbath day which in other men would be a breach of the Law; from which He deduces the conclusion that the ritual laws may be set aside under stress of necessity and for a higher good. In that same chapter (12:10-13) He indicates the lawfulness of healing—doing good—on the Sabbath day.

(a) Traditions of the Elders and the 5th Commandment:

In Mt 15:1-6 we have the account of the Pharisees complaining that the disciples transgressed the traditions of the elders by eating with unwashed hands. Jesus retorts upon them with the question: "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?" citing the specific case of the 5th commandment which was evaded and virtually broken by their ingenious distinction of qorban. This is a very instructive incident in its bearing upon the point which we have sought to enforce—that it was the traditional interpretation and not the Law itself which Jesus condemned or corrected.

(b) Christ’s Answer to the Young Ruler:

To the young ruler (Mt 19:16-42) He presents the commandments as the rule of life, obedience to which is the door to eternal life, especially emphasizing the manward aspect of the Law’s claims. The young man, professing to have kept them all, shows that he has not grasped the spirituality of their requirements, and it is further to test him that Christ calls upon him to make the "great renunciation" which, after all, is not in itself an additional command so much as the unfolding of the spiritual and far-reaching character of the command, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

(c) Christ’s Answer to the Lawyer:

To the lawyer who asks Him which is the great commandment in the Law, He answers by giving him the sum of the whole moral law. "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 22:35-39). In Mark’s report (Mr 12:31), He adds, "There is none other commandment greater than these," and in that of Matthew He says, "On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets" (Mt 22:40); both utterances showing the high estimation in which He held the Law.

(d) References in the Fourth Gospel:

In His discussion with the Jews, recorded in Joh 7, He charges them with failure to keep the Law: "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you doeth the law?" (7:19). And referring to the healing of the impotent man on the Sabbath day, a deed which had roused their ire, He shows how one law may conflict with another. Moses had enjoined circumcision, and sometimes the time for circumcising would fall on the Sabbath day. Yet with all their reverence for the Sabbath day, they would, in order to keep the law of circumcision, perform the rite on the Sabbath day, and so, He argues, it is unreasonable to complain of Him because on the Sabbath day He had fulfilled the higher law of doing good, healing a poor sufferer. In none of all Christ’s utterances is there any slight thrown upon the Law itself; it is always held up as the standard of right and its authority vindicated.

2. The Law in Relation to the Life of Christ:

The passages we have considered show the place of the Law in the teaching of Christ, but we also find that He had to sustain a practical relation to that Law. Born under the Law, becoming part of a nation which honored and venerated the Law, every part of whose life was externally regulated by it, the life of Jesus Christ could not fail to be affected by that Law. We note its operation:

(1) In His Infancy.

On the eighth day He was circumcised (Lu 2:21), thus being recognized as a member of the covenant nation, partaking of its privileges, assuming its responsibilities. Then, according to the ritual law of purification, He is presented in the temple to the Lord (Lu 2:22-24), while His mother offers the sacrifice enjoined in the "law of the Lord," the sacrifice she brings pathetically witnessing to her poverty, "a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons" being the alternative allowed to those who were not able to provide a lamb (Le 12). The Divine approval is set upon this consecrating act, for it is while it is being done concerning Him after "the custom of the law" (Le 12:27), that the Spirit of God comes upon Simeon and prompts the great prophecy which links all the Messianic hopes with the Baby of Bethlehem.

Again, according to the Law His parents go up to the Passover feast when the wondrous child has reached His 12th year, the age when a youthful Jew assumed legal responsibility, becoming "a son of the Law," and so Jesus participates in the festal observances, and His deep interest in all that concerns the temple-worship and the teaching of the Law is shown by His absorption in the conversation of the doctors, whose questions He answers so intelligently, while questioning them in turn, and filling them with astonishment at His understanding (Lu 2:42-47).

(2) In His Ministry.

In His ministry He ever honors the Law. He reads it in the synagogue. He heals the leper by His sovereign touch and word, but He bids him go and show himself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded (Mt 8:4). And again, when the lepers appeal to Him, His response which implies the healing is, "Go and show yourselves unto the priests" (Lu 17:14). He drives out of the temple those that defile it (Mt 21:12,13; Joh 2:15-17), because of His zeal for the honor of His Father’s house, and so, while showing His authority, emphasizes the sanctity of the temple and its services. So, while claiming to be the Son in the Father’s house, and therefore above the injunctions laid upon the servants and strangers, He nevertheless pays the temple-tax exacted from every son of Israel (Mt 17:24-27). He attends the various feasts during His ministry, and when the shadows of death are gathering round Him, He takes special pains to observe the Passover with His disciples. Thus to the ceremonial law He renders continuous obedience, the motto of His life practically being His great utterance to the Baptist: "Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness" (Mt 3:15). If He obeyed the ceremonial law, unquestionably He obeyed the moral law. His keenest-eyed enemies could find no fault in Him in regard to His moral conduct. His absolute sinlesshess attests the translation of the moral law into actual life.

3. The Law in Relation to the Death of Christ:

We enter not upon theological question as to the relation of the death of Christ to the penal inflictions of the Law Divinely enforced on behalf of sinners—that touches the doctrine of the Atonement—we only note the fact that His death was brought about in professed accordance with the Law. The chief priests, in hatred, sent officers to take Him, but overawed by His matchless eloquence, these officers returned empty-handed. In their chagrin, the chief priests can only say that the people who follow Him now not the Law and are cursed (Joh 7:49). Nicodemus, on this occasion, ventures to remonstrate: "Doth our law judge a man, except it first hear from himself?" (Joh 7:51). This sound legal principle these men are bent on disregarding; their one desire is to put an end to the life of this man, who has aroused their jealousy and hatred, and at last when they get Him into their hands, they strain the forms of the Law to accomplish their purpose. There is no real charge that can be brought against Him. They dare not bring up the plea that He broke the Sabbath, for again and again He has answered their cavils on that score. He has broken no law; all they can do is to bribe false witnesses to testify something to His discredit. The trumpery charge, founded upon a distorted reminiscence of His utterance about destroying the temple, threatens to break down.

(1) Christ Charged with Blasphemy under the Jewish Law.

Then the high priest adjures Him to say upon oath whether or not He claims to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Such a claim would assuredly, if unfounded, be blasphemy, and according to the Law, be punishable by death. On a previous occasion the Jews threatened to stone Him for this—to them—blasphemous claim. Now when Jesus calmly avows that He is the Son of God, the high priest, rending his clothes, declares that no further proof is needed. He has confessed to the blasphemy, and unanimously the council votes Him worthy of death (Mt 26; Mr 14; Lu 22). If Jesus Christ were not what He claimed to be, then the priests were right in holding Him guilty of blasphemy; it never occurred to them to consider whether the claim after all might not be true.

(2) Christ Charged with Treason under the Roman Law.

Not only is the Jewish law invoked to accomplish His death, but also the Roman law. On one other occasion Christ had come into touch with the law of Rome, namely, when asked the ensnaring question by the Herodians as to the lawfulness of giving tribute to Caesar (Mt 22:17; Mr 12:14; Lu 20:22). Now the Jews need the Roman governor’s authorization for the death penalty, and Jesus must be tried before him. The charge cannot now be blasphemy—the Roman law will have nothing to say to that—and so they trump up a charge of treason against Caesar.

In preferring it, they practically renounce their Messianic hopes. The charge, however, breaks down before the Roman tribunal, and only by playing on the weakness of Pilate do they gain their end, and the Roman law decrees His death, while leaving the Jews to see to the carrying out of the sentence. In this the evangelist sees the fulfillment of Christ’s words concerning the manner of His death, for stoning would have been the Jewish form of the death penalty, not crucifixion.

See JESUS CHRIST, III, E), ii, 3, 4.

4. How Christ Fulfilled the Law in All Its Parts:

Looking at the whole testimony of the Gospels, we can see how it was that Christ fulfilled the Law. He fulfilled the moral law by obeying, by bringing out its fullness of meaning, by showing its intense spirituality, and He established it on a surer basis than ever as the eternal law of righteousness. He fulfilled the ceremonial and typical law, not only by conforming to its requirements, but by realizing its spiritual significance. He filled up the shadowy outlines of the types, and, thus fulfilled, they pass away, and it is no longer necessary for us to observe the Passover or slay the daily lamb: we have the substance in Christ. He also cleared the Law from the traditional excrescences which had gathered round it under the hands of the rabbis. He showed that the ceremonial distinction between meats clean and unclean was no longer necessary, but showed the importance of true spiritual purity (Mt 15:11; Mr 7:18-23). He taught His disciples those great principles when, after His resurrection, "beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Lu 24:27). And as He opened their mind that they might understand the Scriptures, He declared, "These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me" (Lu 24:44). John sums this up in his pregnant phrase, "The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (Joh 1:17). The grace was in contrast to the condemnation of the moral law, the truth was the antithesis to the shadowy outline of the types and ceremonies.

II. Law in the Ac of the Apostles.

Without considering questions of authenticity and historicity in relation to this book which professes to be the earliest church history, we briefly note the place of the Law therein indicated. In the book we have an account of the transition from Judaism to fully developed Christianity, and the Law comes into view in various ways. The disciples, like other Jews, observe the feast of Pentecost, and even after the descent of the Spirit, they frequent the temple and observe the hours of prayer.

1. Stephen’s Witness:

The full-orbed gospel proclaimed by Stephen arouses the suspicion and enmity of the stricter sects of the Jews, who accuse him before the council of speaking blasphemous words against the holy place and the Law. But this was the testimony of suborned witnesses, having doubtless its foundation in the fact that Stephen’s teaching emphasized the grace of the gospel. Stephen’s own defense honors the Law as given by Moses, "who received living oracles" (Ac 7:38), shows how disloyal the people had been, and closes by charging them not only with rejecting and slaying the Righteous One, but of failing to keep the Law "as it was ordained by angels" (Ac 7:53).

2. Practice of Peter and Paul:

Peter’s strict observance of the ceremonial law is shown in connection with his vision which teaches him that the grace of God may pass beyond the Jewish pale (Ac 10). Paul’s preaching emphasizes the fulfilling the Scriptures, Law and Prophecy, by Jesus Christ. The gist of his message, as given in his first reported sermon, is, "By him everyone that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Ac 13:38 f). The conversion of the Gentiles brings up the question of their relation to the ceremonial law, specifically to circumcision. The decision of the council at Jerusalem treats circumcision as unnecessary for the Gentiles, and only enjoins, in relation to the Mosaic ritual, abstinence from things strangled and from blood (Ac 15). The after-course of events would show that this provision was for the time of transition. Paul, though strongly opposed to the idea of imposing circumcision on the Gentiles, nevertheless without inconsistency and as a concession to Jewish feeling, circumcises Timothy (Ac 16:3), and himself fulfills the ceremonial enactments in connection with the taking of a vow (Ac 18:18). He also, following the advice of James, who wished him to conciliate the myriads of believing Jews who were zealous for the Law, and to show them the falseness of the charge that he taught the Jews among the Gentiles "to forsake Moses" (apostasy from Moses), took upon him the ceremonial duty of purifying the "four men that have a vow on them" (Ac 21:20-26). This involved the offering of sacrifices, and the fact that Paul could do so shows that for the Jews the sacrificial system still remained in force. The sequel to the transaction might raise the question whether, after all, the procedure was a wise one; it certainly did not fulfill the expectations of James. Later on, in his defense before Felix, Paul claims to be loyal to the Jewish faith, worshipping in the temple, and "believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets" (Ac 24:11-14); and in his address to the Jewish leaders in Rome, he declares that he has "done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers" (Ac 28:17), and he seeks to persuade them concerning Jesus, "both from the law of Moses and from the prophets" (Ac 28:23).

3. Allusions to the Roman Law:

In the Ac we find several allusions to law other than Jewish. In Ac 16 Paul comes into collision with the Roman law. Beaten and imprisoned by the magistrates of Philippi, he is afterward offered the opportunity of quietly slipping away, but standing on his dignity as a Roman citizen, he demands that the magistrates themselves, who had violated the law by publicly beating uncondemned Romans, should come and set them free. This same right as a Roman citizen Paul again asserts when about to be scourged by the command of the centurion (Ac 22:25), and his protest is successful in averting the indignity. His trial before Felix and Festus well illustrates the procedure under the Roman law, and his appeal, as a Roman citizen, to Caesar had important results in his life.

III. Law in the Epistles.

The word is used both with and without the article, but though in some cases the substantive without the article refers to law in general, yet in many other places it undoubtedly refers to the Law of Moses. Perhaps, as has been suggested, it is that, where it does refer to the Mosaic Law, the word without the article points to that law, not so much as Mosaic, but in its quality as law. But speaking generally, the word with and without the article is used in reference to the Law of Moses.

1. In Romans:

(1) Law as a Standard.

In Romans Paul has much to say about law, and in the main it is the moral law that he has in view. In this great epistle, written to people at the center of the famous legal system of Rome, many of them Jews versed in the law of Moses and others Gentiles familiar with the idea of law, its nature, its scope and its sway, he first speaks of the Law as a standard, want of conformity to which brings condemnation. He shows that the Gentiles who had not the standard of the revealed Law nevertheless had a law, the law of Nature, a law written upon their heart and conscience. Roman jurisprudence was familiar with the conception of a law of Nature, which became a law of nations (jus gentium), so that certain principles could be assumed as obtaining among those who had not the knowledge of the Roman code; and in accordance with these principles, the dealings between Romans and barbarians could be regulated. Paul’s conception is somewhat similar, but is applied to the spiritual relations of man and God.

(2) Gentiles Condemned by the Law of Nature.

But the Gentiles, not having lived up to the light of that law, are condemned. They have violated the dictates of their own conscience. And the Jews, with the fuller light of their revealed law, have equally failed. In this connection Paul incidentally lays down the great principle that "Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified" (Ro 2:13). His great aim, in the epistle, is to show that justification is by faith, but he here asserts that if anyone would have justification through law, then he must keep that law in all its details. The Law will pronounce the doer of it justified, but the mere hearing of the Law without doing it will only increase the condemnation. "As many as have sinned without the law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law" (Ro 2:12). Paul does not pronounce upon the question whether a Gentile may be saved by following the light of Nature; he rather emphasizes the negative side that those who have failed shall perish; they have light enough to condemn, is his point.

(3) All Men under Condemnation.

Having proved that both Jews and Gentiles are under sin, he closes his great indictment with the statement: "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it speaketh to them that are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God" (Ro 3:19). Thus the Law shuts up into condemnation. It is impossible for any sinner to be justified "by the works of the law"; the Law not only condemns but "through the law cometh the knowledge of sin" (Ro 3:20). It shows how far short men have come of God’s requirements. It is a mirror in which the sinner sees his defilement, but the mirror cannot cleanse, though it shows the need of cleansing.

(4) The Redeeming Work of Christ Providing Righteousness Apart from the Law.

Then setting forth the great redemption of Jesus Christ, the apostle shows that it provides what the Law had failed to provide, a righteousness which can satisfy the requirements of the Law; a righteousness that is indeed "apart from the law," apart from all men’s attempts to keep the Law, but is nevertheless in deepest harmony with the principles of the Law, and has been witnessed "by the law and the prophets" (Ro 3:21). (In this passage the "law" seems to mean the Pentateuch, and in Ro 3:19, in view of the preceding citations from the Psalms, it appears to mean the whole Old Testament Scriptures.) Since the righteousness secured by Christ comes upon the sinner through faith, manifestly the works of the Law can have nothing to do with our obtaining of it. But so far is faith-righteousness from undermining the Law, that Paul claims that through faith the Law is established (Ro 3:31).

(5) Abraham’s Blessings Came Not through the Law.

Proceeding to show that his idea of justification by faith was no new thing, that the Old Testament saint had enjoyed it, he particularly shows that Abraham, even in his uncircumcised state, received the blessing through faith; and the great promise to him and his seed did not come through the Law, but on the principle of faith.

(6) Law Worketh Wrath and Intensifieth the Evil of Sin.

Indeed, so far from blessing coming to sinners by way of the Law, the "law worketh wrath" (Ro 4:15); not wrath in men against the Law’s restrictions as some have argued, but the holy wrath of God so frequently mentioned by the apostle in this epistle. The Law worketh wrath, inasmuch as when disobeyed it brings on the sinner the Divine disapproval, condemnation; it enhances the guilt of sin, and so intensifies the Divine wrath against it; and it, in a sense, provokes to sin: the sinful nature rebels against the restrictions imposed by the Law, and the very fact of a thing being forbidden arouses the desire for it. This seems what he means in a subsequent passage (Ro 5:20), "And the law came in besides, that the trespass might abound"; as if the very multiplying of restrictions intensified the tendency to sin, brought out the evil in human nature, showed the utter vileness of the sinful heart and the terrible nature of sin, and thus made the need for salvation appear the greater, the very desperateness of the disease showing the need for the remedy and creating the desire for it; the abounding of sin preparing the way for the super-abounding of grace. That the presence of Law enhances the evil of sin is further shown by the statement, "But where there is no law, neither is there transgression" (Ro 4:15); transgression—parabasis—the crossing of the boundary, is, in the strict sense, only possible under law. But there may be sin apart from a revealed law, as he has already proved in the 2nd chapter.

(7) Law in the Light of the Parallel between Adam and Christ.

In Romans 5, dealing with the parallel between Adam and Christ he says: "For until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law" (5:13). He cannot mean that men were not held responsible for their sin, or that sin was not in any sense reckoned to their account, for he has in that 2nd chapter proved the opposite; but sin was not so imputed to them as to bring upon them the punishment of death, which they nevertheless did suffer, and that is traced by him to the sin of Adam. These, he says, had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression (5:14); they had not transgressed a positive command as he did, although they had undoubtedly violated the law of conscience, and knew that they were sinners. In drawing out the parallel between Adam and Christ, he plainly indicates that as Adam’s transgression of law brought condemnation on the race, so Christ’s obedience to the Law brings justification.

(8) Law and Righteousness.

So far he may be said to have spoken of the Law in regard to the sinner; and it is mainly the Law in its judicial aspect, the Law in relation to righteousness. The Law reveals righteousness, the Law demands righteousness, the Law condemns for unrighteousness. Redemption is a working out of righteousness. The Law witnesses to the perfect righteousness of Christ. The righteousness secured by Christ meets all the requirements of the Law, while gloriously transcending it. The righteous penalty of the Law has been borne by Christ; the righteous requirements of the Law have been fulfilled by Christ. That perfect righteousness secured apart from the Law, but satisfying to the Law, comes to men not through their relation to the Law, but through faith. Now he proceeds to consider the Law in relation to the saint.

(9) The Saint and the Law.

The believer justified through Christ has died with Christ. The "old man"—the sinful nature—has been crucified with Christ; the condemning power of the Law has terminated in the death of Christ, and through the death of the believer with Christ he has freedom from the condemnation of the Law. "He that hath died is justified from sin" (Ro 6:7). But though in one aspect the believer is dead, in another he is alive. He dies with Christ, but he rises spiritually with Him, and thus spiritually alive he is "to yield," "to present" his "members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Ro 6:13), and for his comfort he is assured that in this new sphere of life sin shall not have power to bring him under the condemnation of the Law—"Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace" (Ro 6:14). His relationship to the Law has been altered through his union with Christ, and this fact the apostle proceeds to illustrate. He enounces the principle that "the law hath dominion over a man for so long a time as he liveth" (Ro 7:1). Death dissolves all legal objections. The believer, spiritually dead, is not under the dominion of the Law.

(10) Illustrated by the Law of the Husband.

The specific case is then given of a married woman bound by law to her husband, but freed from that law through his death, and in the application, he says, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ" (Ro 7:4). If the Law in this metaphorical description is the husband while the soul is the wife, as has been most generally understood by commentators, then the application is based on the general thought of death dissolving the legal obligation, the death of the husband involves the death of the woman as a wife, and so he can speak of the death of the believer rather than of the death of the Law. Another explanation of the metaphor is that the old sinful state is the husband to which the ego, the personality, was bound by the Law, but that the sinful state being brought to death through Christ, the personality is free to enter into union with Christ. Whatever view is adopted, the leading thought of the apostle is clear, that through the death of Christ the believer is free from the Law: "But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held" (Ro 7:6).

(11) The Purity and Perfection of the Law in Its Own Sphere.

The question is then raised, "Is the law sin?" (Ro 7:7). The thought is repudiated as unthinkable, but he goes on to show how the law was related to sin, giving from his own experience the exemplification of what he had stated in the 3rd chapter, that by the Law is the knowledge of sin. The Law revealed his sin; the Law aroused the opposition of his nature, and through the working of sin under the prohibition of the Law, he found the tendency to be death. Nevertheless, there is no doubt in his mind that the Law is not responsible for the sin, the Law is not in any manner to be blamed, "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good" (Ro 7:12). Sin in the light of the holy Law is shown to be exceeding sinful, and the Law itself is known to be spiritual.

We need not deal with the difficult passage that follows concerning the inner conflict. There has always been much discussion as to whether this is a conflict in the soul of the unregenerate man or of the regenerate—we believe it is in the regenerate, setting forth the experience of the believer—but whatever view is taken, it is clear that the law cannot bring deliverance; the higher part of man’s nature, or the regenerate nature according to the interpretation one adopts, may "consent unto the law that it is good" (Ro 7:16), may even "delight in the law of God" (Ro 7:22); but there is another law at work, the law of sin in the members, and the working of this law means captivity and wretchedness from which deliverance can only come through Jesus Christ (Ro 7:23-25). The word "law" in these verses is used in the sense of principle, "the law of my mind," "the law of sin," "the law in my members"; but over against all is the law of God.

(12) Freedom from the Penal Claims of the Law.

The description of the Law as holy, righteous and good, as spiritual, as the object of delight to a true heart, is enough to show that the deliverance which the Christian enjoys is freedom from the penal claims and condemning power of the Law. This is borne out by the exulting conclusion: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus" (Ro 8:1). The Law’s claims, satisfied by Christ, no longer press upon those who are in Him. When the apostle adds, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death" (Ro 8:2), he is using "law" in the general sense as a principle or power of producing ordered action, and "the law of the Spirit of life" may be taken to mean the method of the Spirit’s working, and indeed may well be a way of describing the gospel itself—the new law, through which the Spirit operates. The other phrase, "law of sin and death," is not to be taken as meaning the Law of Moses, but the law, the principle of sin producing death mentioned in the previous chapter, unless we think of it as the holy Law which gives the knowledge of sin and brings the condemnation of death. The failure of the Law to produce a satisfactory result is definitely attributed to the weakness of the flesh, which is in effect reflecting the statement of the previous chapter, but all that the Law could not accomplish is accomplished through the work of Christ. In Christ sin is condemned, and in those who are brought into union with Him the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled.

(13) The Law Remains as a Rule of Life for the Believer.

Thus, the Law is not abrogated. It remains as the standard of righteousness, the "rule of life" for believers. The utmost holiness to which they can attain under the influence of the Holy Spirit, is still the "righteousness" which the Law requires. That the apostle’s teaching is far removed from Antinomianism is shown, not only by all that he says in these chapters about the believer’s new life of absolute spiritual service, but by the specific statement in Ro 13:8-10, which at once prescribes the commandments as rules of life (in Eph 6:2 he cites and enforces the 5th commandment) and shows how true obedience is possible. "Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law." Then, after specifying several of the commands, he declares that these and all other commands are "summed up in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The man in Christ has found the true principle of obedience. He has entered into the true spirit of the holy law. That is all summed up in love, and he having received the love of Christ, living in His love, sees the Law not as a stern taskmaster condemning, but as a bright vision alluring. He indeed sees the Law embodied in Christ, and the imitation of Christ involves obedience to the Law, but he fulfills the Law not simply as a standard outside, but as a living principle within. Acting according to the dictates of the love begotten at the cross, his life is conformed to the image of Christ, and in so far is conformed to the Law—"Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law." In Ro 13:1-7, though the word "law" does not occur, Paul indicates the relation of the Christian to the Roman law, to the sovereignty of Rome in general, showing that "the powers that be are ordained of God" and that in the ideal they are reflections of Divine authority, and as such are to be obeyed.

2. In Galatians:

In the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul has also a great deal to say about the Law, but as we have dealt so fully with the conception given in Romans, we can only briefly note the teaching of the Galatian Epistle.

(1) Law in Relation to Grace and Spiritual Liberty.

In general, we may say that as the Law in relation to righteousness was the prominent feature in Romans, in Galatians it is the Law in relation to grace and spiritual liberty, and while it was almost exclusively the moral law that Paul had in view in Romans, in Galatians it is rather the Law of Moses in its entirety, with special emphasis upon the ceremonial. He introduces the subject by referring to the episode at Antioch, when he had to rebuke Peter for his "dissimulation" (2:13). He shows the inconsistency of those who knew that they had been "justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law" (2:16), compelling the GentileChristians to live according to the Law, and sums up with the striking statement, "For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God" (2:19). The Law in revealing his sin and pronouncing condemnation, drove him to Christ for justification. Crucified with Christ he has entered into such vital union with Christ that his whole self-life is dominated by the Christ-life: "It is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me" (2:20). Here we have the same line of thought as in Romans; then Paul goes on to show that all the blessings of grace which these Christians enjoy have come to them not by way of the Law, but "by the hearing of faith" (3:2-5). Again, citing the case of Abraham as an instance of justification by faith, he shows how utterly opposed the Law is to the grace that brings salvation, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse" (3:10), but in gracious contrast, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law" (3:13), having Himself borne the curse, and so the blessing of Abraham can come upon the Gentiles through faith (3:18).

(2) The Function of the Law Not to Give Life, but to Guide Life

As in Romans, he shows that the promise of the inheritance was apart from the Law, was given 430 years before the Law was promulgated, and answers the question as to the purpose of the Law, by saying, "It was added because of transgressions" (Ga 3:19), the thought already noted in Romans. Yet the Law was not in its nature opposed to the promise. If any law could have given life, "could make alive," then so perfect was the Law of Moses that it would have served the purpose; "Verily, righteousness would have been of the law" (Ga 3:21). The Law was never meant to give life to those who had it not. "He that doeth them shall live in them" (Ga 3:12), but the doing implies the possession of life, and the Law only guarantees the continuance of life while it is perfectly obeyed. Law controls life, but cannot confer life. It regulates life, but cannot restore life. It may impel to righteousness, but it cannot impart righteousness.

(3) The Law Our Schoolmaster.

The Law, he shows, was our schoolmaster, our pedagogue, "to bring us unto Christ" (Ga 3:24). The Grecian youth was under the charge of a pedagogue during his minority, one part of the pedagogue’s duty being to take the boy, unwilling enough sometimes, to school. In the sense already shown in Romanans, the moral law by showing us our sinfulness leads us to Christ; but here we may take the Law as a whole, including all the ceremonial and typical observances which were designed to lead the people to Christ.

(4) The Bondage of the Law.

But while there was undoubtedly much of privilege for the people under the Mosaic dispensation, there was also something of bondage. And so Paul says, "We were kept in ward under the law" (Ga 3:23), and in the next chapter, he speaks of the child, though heir to a great estate, being "under guardians and stewards until the day appointed of the father" (Ga 4:2), which seems to be the same thought as under the pedagogue, and this he calls a state of "bondage" (Ga 4:3). The Law guarded and tutored and restrained; the great typical observances, though foreshadowing the grace of the gospel, were yet, in their details, irksome and burdensome, and the mass of rules as to every part of the Jew’s conduct proved to be, speaking after the present-day manner, a system of red tape. Little was left to the free, spontaneous action of the spirit; the whole course of the Jew from the cradle to the grave was carefully marked out.

(5) Sonship and Its Freedom from the Law’s Restrictions.

But in the fullness of time "God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Ga 4:4 f). The gospel of the grace of God embodied in Christ shows its gracious character in that it not only answers the requirements of the moral law and removes its condemnation; fulfills, and by fulfilling abrogates the typical observer of the ceremonial law, but also abolishes all the directions and restrictions given to the Jews as a separate people, and brings its subjects into a condition of liberty where the renewed spirit under the mighty love of Christ can act spontaneously, the great principles of the moral law remaining as its guide, while the minute rules needed for the infancy of the race are no longer appropriate for the "sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus" (Ga 3:26). And so Paul warns these Christians against turning back to the "weak and beggarly rudiments" and observing "months, and seasons, and years" (Ga 4:9,10).

3. In the Other Pauline Epistles:

In the remaining Epistles of Paul, little is said of the Law, and we need only indicate the connections in which the word occurs. In 1Co 7:39 there is a reference to the wife being "bound by the law as long as her husband liveth" (the King James Version). The word "law," however, is omitted from the critical texts and from the Revised Version (British and American). In the same epistle (1Co 9:8,9; 14:21,34) the word is used of the Pentateuch or the Scriptures as a whole. In 1Co 9:20 Paul refers to his practice of seeking to win men to Christ by accommodating himself to their standpoint, "to them that are under the law, as under the law"; and in 15:56 occurs the pregnant statement, an echo of Romans, "The power of sin is the law." In 2 Corinthians the word does not occur, though the legal system is referred to as the ministration of death, in contrast to the gospel ministration of the Spirit (2 Corintians 3). The word "law" is once used in Eph 2:15, in reference to the work of Christ not only producing harmony between God and man, but between Jew and Gentile: "abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances," also spoken of as "the middle wall of partition," and referring especially to the ceremonial enactments.

In Php 3:5,6,9 we have the fine autobiographical passage wherein we see the self-righteous Pharisee reckoning himself "blameless" in the eye of the Law, until convinced of his sin, and led to find in Christ the righteousness "which is through faith," instead of his own righteousness "which is of the law" (3:9). The word does not occur in Col, but the thought is found of the spiritual circumcision in contrast to the physical, the blotting out through the work of the cross, of the bond written in ordinances and the consequent deliverance of the believer from the bondage of ceremonial observances (2:11-17), those being affirmed to be "a shadow of the things to come," Christ being the glorious substance. In 1Ti 1:8,9, we have the two pregnant statements that "the law is good, if a man use it lawfully," and that "law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless."

4. In the Epistle to the Hebrews:

The word "law" occurs 14 times in this epistle, and a great deal of attention is given to the subject, but it is generally the law in its ceremonial and typical aspect that is in question. It is not necessary to look at the matter in detail, but simply to indicate the line of teaching.

(1) Harmony with the Pauline Teaching.

The ancient doubt as to the authorship of the epistle seems today to have crystallized into certainty, albeit the grounds for a conclusion are no stronger than formerly, but in the desire to prove the non-Pauline authorship, too much emphasis is perhaps laid upon the supposed un-Pauline character of the teaching. There is, after all, profound harmony between the teaching of the Pauline Epistles and the teaching of He, and the harmony applies to this matter of the Law. While Paul, as we have seen, gives prominence in Romans to the moral law, in Galatians and elsewhere he deals with the ceremonial law, in much the same way, though not so fully, as the writer to the Hebrews. Such utterances as, "Our Passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ" (1Co 5:7); "The rock was Christ"; "Now these things were our examples" (types of us) (1Co 10:4-6); "Which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s" (Col 2:17) are exactly in line with the teaching of Hebrews.

(2) The Law Transcended by the Gospel.

The author shows how the Law, which was a word spoken through angels, is transcended by the gospel, which has been spoken by the Lord of the angels, and so demands greater reverence (Heb 2:2-4), and all through the epistle it is the transcendent glory of the gospel dispensation introduced by Christ and ascribed to Him, which is made to shine before us.

(3) Law of Priesthood.

The author deals specifically in Hebrews 7 and 8 with the law of priesthood, showing that Christ’s Priesthood, "after the order of Melchisedek," surpasses in glory that of the Aaronic priesthood under the law; not only surpasses but supersedes it; the imperfect gives place to the perfect; the shadowy to the real; the earthly to the heavenly; the temporal to the eternal. And as Paul justifies his doctrine of justification apart from the deeds of the Law by reference to the Old Testament teaching, so here the writer finds in the Old Testament prediction of the New Covenant, the basis for all his reasoning, and in his reference to the description of the New Covenant, he is at one with Paul in regard to the moral law, seeing it as now written on the heart, and becoming an internal power, rather than an external precept.


(4) The Law of the Sanctuary and the Sacrifices.

He next deals with the law of the sanctuary, and in connection therewith considers the law of the sacrifices (Hebrews 9-10), and in the same way shows that Christ makes good all that the tabernacle and its services typified, that His one, all-perfect eternal sacrifice takes the place of the many imperfect temporary sacrifices offered under the Law. At the best the Law had "a shadow of the good things to come" (Heb 10:1). The shadow was useful for the time being, the people were greatly privileged in having it, it directed them to the great Figure who cast the shadow. The whole ceremonial system was really a system of grace at the heart of it; in spite of its external rubrics which might well be abused, it made provision for satisfying for the time the breaches of the law; the sacrifices themselves could not take away sin, but periodical forgiveness was conveyed through them, by virtue of their relation to the Coming One. Now the great sacrifice having been offered, eternal redemption is secured, perfect forgiveness obtained, free access into the heavenly Holy Place assured, and the eternal inheritance provided. The Substance of all the shadows has appeared, the shadows pass away, and the great truth indicated by Christ Himself is now fully made known through His Spirit-taught servants. Christ, who "is the end of the law (the moral law) unto righteousness to every one that believeth" (Ro 10:4), is also the end of the ceremonial law, the full realization of all its types and shadows.

5. In the Epistle of James:

James mentions the "law" 10 times in his epistle, and in each case it is the moral law. The influence of the Sermon on the Mount is seen throughout the epistle, and some distinct echoes of it are heard, as e.g. the injunction, "Swear not (at all)" (5:12). James has nothing but good to say of the Law, and that fact in the light of the influence of the Sermon on the Mount is enough to show that Christ, in that wonderful discourse, did not disparage the Law, far less abrogate it, but rather exalted and reinforced it. James taught by Christ exalts the Law, glorifies it, in fact seems almost to identify it with the gospel, for in James 1, when speaking of the Word and the importance of hearing and doing it, he in the same breath speaks of looking into "the perfect law, the law of liberty" (1:25). And indeed, it is just possible, as some think, that he means the gospel by the epithet, although it seems better to take it as the Law translated in the gospel, the Law looked at in its spirituality, as the guide of the Christian man who has entered into the spirit of it.

Even in the Old Testament, as Psalms 19 and 119 specifically show, it was possible for spiritually-minded men to see the beauty of the Law and find delight in its precepts. In James 2:8 he speaks of the "royal law," and that here he does mean the Mosaic Law is beyond doubt, since he cites the particular requirement, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," in this agreeing with his Master and with Paul, finding in love of neighbor the sum of the Law and its true fulfillment. Respect of persons, he affirms, is a breach of this "royal law," and leads to those indulging in it being "convicted" by the law of transgression (2:9). He then affirms the solidarity of the Law, so that a breach of it in one particular is a breach of the whole, and makes a man "guilty of all" (2:10), a far-reaching principle which Paul had also indicated when quoting in Ga the words, "Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them" (Ga 3:10), and when in Ro 7 he showed that the conviction that he had broken the 10th commandment made him realize that he had broken the whole Law. James then exhorts his readers to speak and act as those who are to be judged by "a law of liberty" (2:12), so that he sets no limit to the range of that law. Finally, in 4:11, he warns them by implication against speaking against the Law or judging the Law, that is, to assume the place of judge instead of "doer of the law." James could not have used such language unless he had a profound conviction of the perfection of the Law. And it is the perfection of the Law as a rule of life for spiritual men redeemed from its condemnation that James considers it, and so we can call it the perfect law, the law of liberty, the Royal Law.

6. In the Epistles of Peter and John:

In the Epistles of Peter and John, the word "law" does not occur, but Peter shows that the holiness of God remains as in the Pentateuch the standard of life, and the example of Christ shows the way (1Pe 2:21), while in the church is found the spiritual realization of the sanctuary, priesthood and sacrifices of the old economy (1Pe 2:5-9). Peter has one reference to the Roman law, enjoining upon his readers obedience to it in the political sphere. John enjoins the keeping of the commandments, these being apparently the commandments of Christ (1 Joh 2:3,4; 5:2), and the test of keeping the commandments is love of the brethren, while hatred of a brother is, as in the Sermon on the Mount, murder. All sin is "lawlessness" (1 Joh 3:4), and the sum of all law-keeping is love of God and love of the brethren, and so the summary of the old Law is echoed and endorsed.


Chiefly the works on New Testament theology (Weiss, Beyschlag, Schmid, etc.), and on Christian ethics (Martensen, Dorner, Harless, etc.), with commentaries on Pauline Epistles (Romans, etc.); Ritschl, Entstehung der altk. Kirche (2nd edition); Zahn, Das Gesetz Gottes nach der Lehre und der Erfahrung des Apostels Paulus; J. Denney, in HDB.

Archibald M’Caig



1. Torah ("Law")

2. Synonyms of Torah

(1) Mitswah ("Command")

(2) ‘Edhah ("Witness," "Testimony")

(3) MishpaTim ("Judgments")

(4) Chuqqim ("Statutes")

(5) Piqqudhim ("Precepts")


1. The Critical Dating of the Laws

2. Groups of Laws in P (the Priestly Code)

3. The Book of the Covenant

(1) Judgments. Compared with Code of Hammurabi

(2) Basis of Law of Covenant. Earlier Customs

4. The Book of the Law of Deuteronomy 31

5. The Law of Holiness

6. The Final Compilation


1. The Civil Law

(1) Servants and the Poor

(2) Punishments

(3) Marriage

(4) Sabbaths and Feasts

2. The Ceremonial Law

(1) Origin of Sacrifice

(2) The Levitical Ritual

(3) The Law Truly a Torah



Law, at least as custom, certainly existed among the Hebrews in the times before Moses, as appears from numerous allusions to it, both in matters civil and ceremonial, in the earlier Scriptures. But we have no distinct account of such law, either as to its full contents or its enactment. Law in the Old Testament practically means the Law promulgated by Moses (having its roots no doubt in this earlier law or custom), with sundry later modifications or additions, rules as to which have been inserted in the record of the Mosaic law.

The following are matters of pre-Mosaic law or custom to which allusion is made in Genesis and Exodus: the offering of sacrifice and the use of altars (Genesis, passim); the religious use of pillars (Ge 28:18); purification for sacrifice (Ge 35:2); tithes (Ge 14:20; 28:22); circumcision (Ge 17:10; Ex 4:25 f); inquiry at a sanctuary (Ge 25:22); sacred feasts (Ex 5:1, etc.); priests (Ex 19:22); sacred oaths (Ge 14:22); marriage customs (Ge 16; 24; 25:6; 29:16-30); birthright (Ge 25:31-34); elders (Ge 24:2; 50:7; Ex 3:16); homicide (Ge 9:6), etc. We proceed at once to the Law of Moses.

I. Terms Used.

The Hebrew word rendered "law" in our Bibles is torah. Other synonymous words either denote (as indeed does torah itself) aspects under which the Law may be regarded, or different classes of law.

1. Torah ("Law"):

Torah is from horah, the Hiphil of yarah. The root meaning is "to throw"; hence, in Hiphil the word means "to point out" (as by throwing out the hand), and so "to direct"; and torah is "direction." Torah may be simply "human direction," as the "law of thy mother" in Pr 1:8; but most often in the Old Testament it is the Divine law. In the singular it often means a law, the plural being used in the same sense; but more frequently torah in the singular is the general body of Divinely given law. The word tells nothing as to the way in which the Law, or any part of it, was first given; it simply points out the general purpose of the Law, namely, that it was for the guidance of God’s people in the various matters to which it relates. This shows that the end of the Law lay beyond the mere obedience to such and such rules, that end being instruction in the knowledge of God and of men’s relation to Him, and guidance in living as the children of such a God as He revealed Himself to be. This is dwelt upon in the later Scriptures, notably in Ps 19 and Ps 119.

In the completed Canon of the Old Testament, torah technically denotes the Pentateuch (Lu 24:44) as being that division of the Old Testament Scriptures which contains the text of the Law, and its history down to the death of Moses, the great lawgiver.

2. Synonyms of Torah:

(1) Mitswah ("Command")

Mitswah, "command" (or, in the plural, "commands"), is a term applied to the Law as indicating that it is a charge laid upon men as the expression of God’s will, and therefore that it must be obeyed.

(2) ‘Edhah ("Witness," "Testimony")

‘Edhah, "witness" or "testimony" (in plural "testimonies"), is a designation of God’s law as testifying the principles of His dealings with His people. So the ark of the covenant is called the "ark of the testimony" (Ex 25:22), as containing "the testimony" (Ex 25:16), i.e. the tables of the Law upon which the covenant was based. The above terms are general, applying to the torah at large; the two next following are of more restricted application.

(3) MishpaTim ("Judgments")

MishpaTim, "judgments": MishpaT in the singular sometimes means judgment in an abstract sense, as in Ge 18:19; De 32:4; sometimes the act of judging, as in De 16:18,19; 17:9; 24:17. But "judgments" (in the plural) is a term constantly used in connection with, and distinction from, statutes, to indicate laws of a particular kind, namely, laws which, though forming part of the torah by virtue of Divine sanction, originated in decisions of judges upon cases brought before them for judgment. See further below.

(4) Chuqqim ("Statutes")

Chuqqim, "statutes" (literally, "laws engraven"), are laws immediately enacted by a lawgiver. "Judgments and statutes" together comprise the whole law (Le 18:4; De 4:1,8 the King James Version). So also we now distinguish between consuetudinary and statute law.

(5) Piqqudhim ("Precepts")

Piqqudhim, "precepts": This term is found only in the Psalms. It seems to mean rules or counsels provided to suit the various circumstances in which men may be placed. The term may perhaps be meant to apply both to the rules of the actual torah, and to others found, e.g. in the writings of prophets and "wise men."

II. The Written Record of the Law.

The enactment of the Law and its committal to writing must be distinguished. With regard to the former, it is distinctly stated (Joh 1:17) that "the law was given through Moses"; and though this does not necessarily imply that every regulation found in the Pentateuch is his, a large number of the laws are expressly ascribed to him. As regards the latter, we are distinctly told that Moses wrote certain laws or collections of laws (Ex 17:14; 24:4,7; De 31:9). These, however, form only a portion of the whole legislation; and therefore, whether the remaining portions were written by Moses, or—if not by him—when and by whom, is a legitimate matter of inquiry.

It is not necessary here to discuss the large question of the literary history of the Pentateuch, but it must briefly be touched upon. The Pentateuch certainly appears to have reached its present form by the gradual piecing together of diverse materials. Deuteronomy (D) being a separate composition, a distinction would seem to have been clearly established by critical examination between a number of paragraphs in the remaining books which apparently must once have formed a narrative by themselves, and other paragraphs, partly narrative but chiefly legislative and statistical, which appear to have been subsequently added. Without endorsing any of the critical theories as to the relation of these, one to the other, or as to the dates of their composition, we may, in a general way, accept the analysis, and adopt the well-known symbol JE (Jahwist-Elohim) to distinguish the former, and P (Priestly Code) the latter. Confining ourselves to their legislative contents, we find in JE a short but very important body of law, the Law of the Covenant, stated in full in Ex 20-23, and repeated as to a portion of it in Ex 34:10-28. All the rest of the legislation is contained in P and Deuteronomy.

1. The Critical Dating of the Laws:

We are distinctly told in Ex that the law contained in Ex 20-23 was given through Moses. Rejecting this statement, critics of the school of Wellhausen affirm that its true date must be placed considerably later than the time of Joshua. They maintain that previous to their conquest of Canaan the Israelites were mere nomads, ignorant of agriculture, the practice of which, as well as their culture in general, they first learned from the conquered Canaanites. Therefore (so they argue), as the law of Ex 20-23 presupposes the practice of agriculture, it cannot have been promulgated until some time in the period of the Judges at the earliest; they place it indeed in the early period of the monarchy. All this, however, is mere assumption, support for which is claimed in some passages in which a shepherd life is spoken of, but with utter disregard of others which show that both in the patriarchal period and in Egypt the Israelites also cultivated land. See B.D. Eerdmans, "Have the Hebrews Been Nomads?" The Expositor, August and October, 1908. It can indeed be shown that this law was throughout in harmony with what must have been the customs and conceptions of the Israelites at the age of the exodus (Rule, Old Testament Institutions). Professor Eerdmans in his Alttestamentliche Studien, Part III (1910), vigorously defends the Mosaic origin of the Book of the Covenant.

The same critics bring down the date of the legislation of De to the time of Josiah, or at most a few years earlier. They affirm (wrongly) that the chief object of Josiah’s reformation narrated in 2Ki 23 was the centralization of worship at the temple in Jerusalem. They rightly attribute the zeal which carried the reform through to the discovery of the "Book of the Law" (22:8). Then arguing that the frequent previous practice of worship at high places implied the non-existence of any law to the contrary, they conclude that the rule of De 12 was a rule recently laid down by the temple priesthood, and written in a book in Moses’ name, this new book being what was "found in the house of Yahweh." But this argument is altogether unsound: its grave difficulties are well set out in Moller’s Are the Critics Right? And here again careful study vindicates the Mosaic character of the law of Deuteronomy as a whole and of De 12 in particular. M. Edouard Naville in La decouverte de la loi sous le roi Josias propounds a theory which he supports by a most interesting argument: that the book found was a foundation deposit, which must therefore have been built over by masonry at the erection of the temple by Solomon.

Equally unsound, however plausible, are the arguments which would make the framing of the Levitical ritual the work of the age of Ezra. The difficulties created by this theory are far greater than those which it is intended to remove. On this also see Moller, Are the Critics Right?

Rejecting these theories, it will be assumed in the present article that the various laws are of the dates ascribed to them in the Pentateuch; that whatever may be said as to the date of some "of the laws," all which are therein ascribed to Moses are truly so ascribed.

2. Groups of Laws in P (the Priestly Code):

The laws in P are arranged for the most part in groups, with which narrative is sometimes intermingled. These e.g. are some of the groups: Ex 25-31; Le 1-7; 11-15; Nu 1-4, etc. The structure and probable history of these groups are very interesting. That many of them must have undergone interpolation appears certain from the following considerations. Each of the groups, and often one or more paragraphs within a group, is headed by a recurring formula, "Yahweh spake unto Moses (or unto Aaron, or unto Moses and Aaron), saying." We might at first expect that the contents of each group or paragraph so headed would consist solely of what Yahweh had said unto Moses or Aaron, but this is not always so. Not infrequently some direction is found within such a paragraph which cannot have been spoken to Moses, but must have come into force at some later date. Unless then we reject the statement of the formula, unless we are prepared to say that Yahweh did not speak unto Moses, we can only conclude that these later directions were at some time inserted by an editor into paragraphs which originally contained Mosaic laws only. That this should have been done would be perfectly natural, when we consider that the purpose of such an editor would be not only to preserve (as has been done) the record of the original Law, but to present a manual of law complete for the use of his age, a manual (to use a modern phrase) made complete to date.

That the passages in question were indeed interpolations appears not only from the fact that their removal rids the text of what otherwise would be grave discrepancies, but because the passages in question sometimes disturb the sequence of the context. Moreover, by thus distinguishing between laws promulgated (as stated) by Moses, and laws to which the formula of statement was not intended to apply, we arrive at the following important result. It is that the former laws can all be shown to be in harmony one with another and with the historical data of the Mosaic age; while the introduction of the later rules is also seen to be what would naturally follow by way of adaptation to the circumstances of later times, and the gradual unfolding of Divine purpose.

It would be much too long a task here to work this out in detail: it has been attempted by the writer of this article in Old Testament Institutions, Their Origin and Development. Two instances, however, may be mentioned.

Instances of interpolation—In Ex 12:43 ff (English Revised Version) we read, "This is the ordinance of the passover: there shall no alien eat thereof; but every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat thereof." This was the original Mosaic rule introduced by the formula in 12:43. But in 12:48,49 it is said that sojourners (when circumcised) may eat of the passover. This was plainly a relaxation of later date, made in accordance with the principle which is enlarged upon in Isa 56:3-8.

According to Le 23:34,39 a, 40-42, the Feast of Tabernacles was a feast of seven days only. This was the Mosaic rule as appears from the formula in 23:33, and in certain other passages. But as a development in the feast’s observance, an eighth day was subsequently added, and therefore insertions to that effect were made here at 23:36 and 39b. The introduction of this additional day would be in keeping with that elaboration in the observance of the "set feasts" which we find in Nu 28 and 29, as compared with the simpler observance of the same days ordered in Le 23. Here again the formula in Nu 28:1 plainly covered a few verses immediately following, but not the whole content of the two chapters.

Premising then the existence in writing from an early age of numerous groups of Mosaic laws and their subsequent interpolation, the ultimate compilation of these groups together with other matter and their arrangement in the order in which we now find them must have been the work, perhaps indeed of the interpolator, but in any case of some late editor. These numerous groups do not, however, make up the whole legislative contents of the Pentateuch; for a very large portion of these contents consists of three distinct books of law, which we must now examine. These were the "Book of the Covenant," the "Book of the Law" of De 31:26, and the so-called "Law of Holiness."

3. The Book of the Covenant:

This book, expressly so named (Ex 24:7), is stated to have been written by Moses (24:3,1). It must have comprised the contents of Ex 20-23. The making of the covenant at Sinai, led up to by the revealing words of Ex 3:12-17; 6:2-8; 19:3-6, was a transaction of the very first importance in the religious history of Israel. God’s revelation of Himself to Israel being very largely, indeed chiefly, a revelation of His moral attributes (Ex 34:6,7), could only be effectively apprehended by a people who were morally fitted to receive it. Hence, it was that Israel as a nation was now placed by God in a stated relation to Himself by means of a covenant, the condition upon which the covenant was based being, on His people’s part, their obedience to a given law. This was the law contained in the "Book of the Covenant."

It consisted of "words of Yahweh" and "Judgments" (Ex 24:3 the King James Version). The latter are contained in Ex 21:1-22:17; the former in Exodus 20, in the remaining portion of Exodus 22, and Exodus 23. The "judgments" (the American Standard Revised Version "ordinances") relate entirely to matters of right between man and man; the "words of Yahweh" relate partly to these and partly to duties distinctively religious.

(1) Judgments. Compared with Code of Hammurabi.

The "judgments" appear to be taken from older consuetudinary law; not necessarily comprising the whole of that law, but so much of it as it pleased God now to stamp with His express sanction and to embody in this Covenant Law. They may well be compared with those contained in the so-called Code of Hammurabi, king of Babylon, who is thought to have been the Amraphel of Ge 14. These are called "the judgments of righteousness which Hammurabi the mighty king confirmed." The resemblances in form and in subject between the two sets of "judgments" are very striking. All alike have the same structure, beginning with a hypothetical clause, "if so and so," and then giving the rule applicable in the third person. All alike relate entirely to civil, as distinguished from religious, matters, to rights and duties between man and man. All seem to have had a similar origin in judgments passed in the first place on causes brought before judges for decision: both sets therefore represent consuetudinary law.

(2) Basis of Law of Covenant. Earlier Customs.

It is remarkable that, alike in matters of right between man and man, and in matters relating directly to the service of God, the Law of the Covenant did little (if anything) more than give a new and Divinely attested sanction to requirements which, being already familiar, appealed to the general conscience of the community. If, indeed, in the "words of Yahweh" there was any tightening of accustomed moral or (more particularly) religious requirements, e.g. in the first and second commandments of the Decalogue, it would seem to have been by way of enforcing convictions which must have been already gaining hold upon the minds of at least the more thoughtful of the people, and that in large measure through the lessons impressed upon them by the events of their recent history. In no other Way could the Law of the Covenant have appealed to their conscience, and so formed a foundation on which the covenant could be securely based.

As in the "judgments" we have a ratification of old consuetudinary law; as again in the second table of the Decalogue we have moral rules in accordance with a standard of moral right—no doubt already acknowledged—very similar indeed to that of the "negative confession" in the Egyptian Book of the Dead; so in the more especially religious rules of the Law of the Covenant we find, not new rules or an establishment of new institutions, but a new sanction of what was already old. These "words of Yahweh" assume the rendering of service to Yahweh: they do not enjoin it as if it were a new thing, but they enjoin that the Israelites shall not add to His service also the service of other gods (Ex 20:3; 23:24). They assume the observance of the three "feasts," they enjoin that these shall be kept to Yahweh—"unto me," i.e. "unto me only" (Ex 23:14,17). They assume the making of certain offerings to Yahweh, they enjoin that these shall be made liberally—"of the first," i.e. of the best—and without delay (Ex 22:29 f). They assume the rendering of worship by sacrifice, and the existence of an accustomed ritual, and therefore they do not lay down any scheme of ritual, but they give a few directions designed to guard against idolatry, or any practices tending either to irreverence or to low and false conceptions of God (Ex 20:4-6,23-26; 22:31; 23:18 f). While insisting upon the observance of the three "feasts," spoken of as already accustomed, it is remarkable that they contain no command to keep the Passover, which as an annual observance was not yet an accustomed thing.

This absence of ritual directions is indeed very noticeable. It was in the counsel of God that He would in the near future establish a reconstituted ritual, based upon what was already traditional, but containing certain new elements, and so framed as more and more to foster spiritual conceptions of God and a higher ideal of holiness. This however was as yet a thing of the future. No mention therefore was made of it in the Law of the Covenant; that law was so restricted as that it should at once appeal to the general conscience of the people, and so be a true test of their desire to do what was right. This would be the firm basis on which to build yet higher things. It is impossible to estimate the true character of the subsequent legislation, i.e. of what in bulk is by far the larger part of the torah—except by first grasping the true character and motive of the Covenant, and the Covenant Law.


4. The Book of the Law of Deuteronomy 31:

Immediately after the making of the Covenant, Moses was called up into the mount, and there received instructions for the erection of the tabernacle, these being followed in due course by the rules of the reconstituted ceremonial of which the tabernacle was to be the home. All these for the present we must pass over.

Having arrived on the East of the Jordan, Moses, now at the close of his career, addressed discourses to the people, in which he earnestly exhorted them to live up to the high calling with which God had called them, in the land of which they were about to take possession. To this end he embodied in his discourse a statement of the Law by which they were to live. And then, as almost his last public act, he wrote "the words of this law in a book," and directed that the book should be placed "by the side of the ark of the covenant" (De 31:24-26). What now was this book? Was it Deuteronomy, in whole or in part? The most reasonable answer to this question is that the book actually written by Moses comprised at least the contents of De 5-26 and 28. Whether the whole or any parts of the remaining contents of De also formed part of this book, or were subsequently added to it, the whole being brought by a process of editing to our present Deuteronomy, is again a legitimate matter of inquiry.

Characteristics of Deuteronomy.

Regarding De 5-26 and 28 (with or without parts of other chapters) as the "book" of De 31:24-26, we find that it is a manual of instruction for the people at large—it is not a priest’s manual. It deals with matters of morals, and of religion in its general principles, but only subordinately with matters of ritual: it warns against perils of idolatry and superstitious corruptions, common in the service of other gods, but which might by no means be mixed up with Yahweh’s seryice: it insists upon righteous conduct between man and man, and very strongly inculcates humanity toward the poor and the dependent: it enjoins upon those in authority the impartial maintenance of right, as also fairness, moderation and mercy, in the administration of law and the infliction of punishment: it sets forth the fear of God as the guide of His people’s actions, and the love of God in response to His mercy toward them. It does not lay down any scheme of ritual, though it gives rules (De 4:3-21) as to things which might not be eaten as unclean; it also gives directions as to the disposal of tithes (De 14:22-29; 26:12); it enlarges upon the direction in the Law of the Covenant for the observance of the three "feasts," adding to this the observance of the Passover (De 16); it lays down a law (expressed conditionally) restricting to one sanctuary the offering of at least the more solemn sacrifices (De 12); and it frequently inculcates liberality toward the Levites, both on account of the sacred services rendered by them, their dispersal among the tribes, and the precarious character of their livelihood. Like the Law of the Covenant it assumes the existence of an accustomed ceremonial, and it is remarkable that when there is occasion to do so it makes use of phraseology (De 12) similar to that of the ritual laws of Moses in Leviticus and Numbers.

It is quite possible that some interpolations may have been made in the text of Deuteronomy 5-26, but not on any sufficient scale to affect the general character of the original book. This "Book of the Law" then was an expansion of the Law of the Covenant, enforcing its principles, giving directions in greater detail for carrying them out, and setting them in a framework of exhortation, warning and encouragement. Thus, its relation to the covenant is indicated by De 26:16-19; 29:1. This is that "book of the Law of Moses" of which frequent mention is made in the books of Kings, Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah.

5. The Law of Holiness:

In marked contrast to the numerous rules, sometimes intermingled with narrative, which we find in Ex 25-40; Le 1-16, and throughout Numbers, we have in Le 17-26 a collection of laws which evidently was once a book by itself. This, from its constant insistence upon holiness as a motive of conduct, has been called "the Law of Holiness." Though it contains many laws stated to have been spoken by Yahweh to Moses, we are not told by whom it was written, and therefore its authorship and date are a fair subject of inquiry. In its general design it bears much resemblance to the Law of the Covenant, and the Book of the Law contained in Deuteronomy. As in them, and especially in the latter, the laws are set up in a parenetic framework, the whole closing with promise of reward for obedience and a threat of punishment for disobedience (compare Ex 23:20-33; Le 26; De 28). Like them it deals much with moral duties: Le 19 and 20 are practically an expansion of the Decalogue; but it deals also more than they do with ceremonial. With regard to both it sets forth as the motive of obedience the rule, "Be ye holy, for I am holy."

A Clue as to Date

A clue to its date is to be found in its conception of cleanness. The idea found in the Prophets and the New Testament that moral wrongdoing renders unclean must be based upon some earlier conception, namely, upon the Old Testament conception of ritual uncleanness. Now ritual uncleanness was originally physical uncleanness only; the idea of moral right or wrong did not enter into it at all: this is perfectly clear from the whole contents of Le 11-15. On the other hand we find the idea of moral cleanness and uncleanness fully formed in the Psalms, Proverbs, and in the Prophets, including the earlier prophets, Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah. In H (the Law of Holiness, Le 17-26) we find an intermediate conception. We find that whereas in Le 11-15 sexual acts which were lawful rendered unclean equally with those which were unlawful, in H, adultery and incest are denounced as rendering specially unclean, the idea being that their technical uncleanness became more intensely unclean through their immorality (Le 18:24-30). Similarly, converse with familiar spirits and wizards, which probably involved physical defilement (perhaps through the ingredients used in charms), is mentioned as specially causing defilement, probably as such technical defilement would be intensified by the unlawfulness of dealing with familiar spirits and wizards at all (Le 19:31). Sins, however, which did not in themselves entail physical uncleanness, such e.g. as injustice, are not mentioned in H as rendering unclean, though they are so regarded in the Prophets. First, then, we have ritual uncleanness, which is physical only in the rules of Le 11-15 (Mosaic rules undoubtedly embodying a pre-Mosaic conception); lastly, we have moral wrong in itself rendering unclean, in the Psalms and the Prophets; intermediately we have the transitional conception in H. The date therefore of the Law of Holiness may be Mosaic, but must be considerably earlier than the earliest of the writing prophets.

6. The Final Compilation:

The remaining groups of Mosaic laws would appear to have been extant in their original form (i.e. without interpolation), no doubt in the custody of the priesthood for probably a very considerable time, it may have been for centuries, before their final compilation in their present form. The arrangement of these groups as they now stand, before and after H and with narrative intermingled, is by no means haphazard, as it might at first appear.

(1) Exodus.

As the directions for the erection of the tabernacle with the purpose of its several parts were given to Moses immediately after the making of the covenant, they follow the account of it immediately. Thus Exodus contains the history of the covenant-making, of what led up to it, and of what immediately followed it, namely, the provision of the home for the covenant-worship.

(2) Leviticus.

This book follows with the rules of that worship; not indeed with all its details, but with an account of all that was essential to it. First (in Le 1-7) we have the law of sacrifice, including what was so especially peculiar to the covenant-worship, the law of the sin offering. Then in Le 8-10 we have the consecration of the tabernacle and its contents, the consecration of its priests and the inauguration of the newly prescribed system of worship. Then in Le 11-15 we have the rules for purification from ritual uncleanness, without which it would have been impossible for this system of covenant-worship to be carried on. Then there follows in Le 16 the account of the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement, the crown and completion of the whole. Thus in these 16 chapters we have an account of the essentials of the newly instituted covenant-worship. And then immediately we have in the Law of Holiness the great motive that underlay both this ceremonial law and the preceding moral and religious law of the Book of the Covenant, namely, the principle that God’s people must be holy, because He is holy. The emphasizing of this principle in H thus closes this whole statement of law, as its first enunciation had introduced it in Ex 19:6.

(3) Numbers.

The purpose of Numbers is supplementary. Nu 1-6, containing the numbering and ordering of the tribes and rules as to the representative Levitical ministry, sets forth the corporate character of Israel’s service of God. The Israelites were not to be a mere aggregation of tribes, but a single nation, the bond of their union being the covenant with God. The camp itself, ordered and carefully guarded against pollution, was to be a symbol of this holy unity. Num 7-10 narrate the remaining occurrences at Sinai, including (9:1-14) the important account of the first commemorative Passover. The remaining chapters contain, alternately, a narrative of events following the departure from Sinai and groups of laws usually in some way connected with the events narrated, but all of them supplementary to the more essential laws already recorded.

(4) Deuteronomy.

As a separate work and based upon sayings and doings at the very close of the 40 years, Deuteronomy naturally follows last.

III. The General Character and Design of the Law. Both in civil matters and in ceremonial the Law had to deal with men who lived in a comparatively early age of human history. Its rules were necessarily adapted in both departments to the standards of the age. At the same time they inculcated principles, the working out of which would by degrees bring about a great advance in men’s conceptions both of what is true and of what is right.

1. The Civil Law:

As J.B. Mozley says (Lectures on the Old Testament), "The morality of a progressive revelation is not the morality with which it starts but that with which it concludes"; yet the excellence of the Old Testament Law is evident, not only in its great underlying principles, but in the suitability of its individual rules to promote moral advance.

(1) Servants and the Poor.

We have already noted the similarity between the "judgments" of Ex 20 and 21 and the "judgments" of Hammurabi, in respect to form and subject. Notwithstanding the practical wisdom found in many of the latter, there is in one matter a marked contrast in spirit between them and the former, for while both the Law of the Covenant and its enlargement in De guarded the interest of and secured justice, and mercy too, to slaves and the poor, the laws of Hammurabi were framed rather in the interests of the well-to-do. Compare (e.g.) with the rule as to a runaway slave in De 23:15 f, the following (Code of Hammurabi, section symbol 16): "If a man has harbored in his house a manservant or a maidservant fugitive from the palace, or a poor man, and has not produced them at the demand of the commandant, the owner of that house shall be put to death." The Law indeed permitted slavery, an institution universal in the ancient world, but it made provisions which must very greatly have mitigated its hardship. It was enjoined, both in Exodus and in Deuteronomy, that after six years’ service a Hebrew manservant should "go out free for nothing," unless he himself preferred to remain in servitude (Ex 21:2-6; De 15:12-18). The rule in Ex 21:7-11 as to women servants was not exactly the same, but it nevertheless guarded their interests, while Hebrew women servants were afterward included in the rule of De 15:12. A still greater amelioration was brought in by a later rule connected with the law of the Jubilee as set out in Le 25:39-55. Again, though servitude was permitted on account of debt, or as a rescue from poverty (Ex 21:2,7; De 15:12), manstealing was a capital offense (Ex 21:16).

(2) Punishments.

The rule of Ex 21:22-25 ("eye for eye," etc.; compare Le 24:19,20; De 19:16-19) sounds harsh to us, but while the justice it sanctioned was rough and ready according to the age, it put a restraint on vindictiveness. The punishment might be so much, but no more: and the same spirit of restraint in punishment is seen in the rule as to flogging (De 25:2 f). Similarly the rule that murder was to be avenged by "the avenger of blood," a rule under the circumstances of the age both necessary and salutary, was protected from abuse by the appointment of places of refuge, the rule with respect to which was designed to prepare the way for a better system (see Ex 21:12-14; Nu 35:9-24; De 19:1-13).

(3) Marriage.

The marriage customs of the Mosaic age permitted polygamy and concubinage, marriage by purchase or by capture in war, slave-marriage, and divorce. The Law allowed the continuance of these customs, but did not originate them; on the contrary, its provisions were designed to restrict the old license, giving protection to the weaker party, the woman, limiting as far as possible the evils of the traditional system, a system which could not suddenly be changed, and preparing the way for a better. Consider the effect of the following rules: as to slave-wives (Ex 21:7-11); captives of war (De 21:10-14); plurality of wives (De 21:15-17); adultery (Ex 20:14,17; De 22:22); fornication (De 22:23-29; 23:17,18; Le 21:19); divorce (De 24:1-4); Levirate marriage (De 25:5-10); incest (Le 18:6-18); marriage of priests (Le 21:7,10-15); royal polygamy (De 17:17).

(4) Sabbaths and Feasts.

The law as to these, though partly ceremonial, yet served social ends. The Sabbath day gave to all, and particularly to servants and the poor, and domestic cattle too, a needful respite from daily toil; it also served men’s spiritual welfare, and did honor to God (Ex 23:12; De 5:14,15; Ex 31:12-17). The seventh year’s rest to the land—it also "a sabbath of solemn rest, a sabbath unto Yahweh"—was for the land’s recuperation, but it served also to safeguard common rights at perhaps a time of transition as to customs of land tenure: connected with it also there were rules as to release of slaves and relief of debtors (Ex 23:9-11; Le 25:2-7; De 15:1-18). The observance of the Sabbath year as a rest to the land seems to have fallen into disuse, perhaps as early as some 500 years before the Babylonian captivity (2Ch 36:21), and it is probable that the Jubilee (the design of which seems to have been to adjust conflicting rights under new customs of land tenure and in the relation of employer to employed) was instituted to take its place (Le 25). The law as to the annual feasts insured both the social advantages of festive gatherings of the people, and their sanctification by the worship of God, and the public recognition of His hand in matters agricultural and political, which were either the occasion of, or connected with, these gatherings. Considerate liberality to the poor and dependent was, on these occasions, especially enjoined (Ex 23:14-17; De 16:1-17; 12:12,18,19).

2. The Ceremonial Law:

We have already noted that the conception of sin as uncleanness, rendering the sinner therefore unfit for the presence of God, must have been an outgrowth from the earlier conception of purely ritual (physical) uncleanness. This development, and an accompanying sense of the heinousness of sin and of its need of atonement by sacrifice, were undoubtedly brought about by the gradual working of the law of the sin offering (Le 4:1-5:13; 12-15; 16). Similarly the rules as to guilt offerings (Le 5:14-6:7) must by degrees have led to a true conception of repentance, as including both the seeking of atonement through sacrifice and restitution for wrong committed. The sin offering was, however, a peculiarly Mosaic institution, marking a development in the sacrificial system. The only sacrifices of which we have any trace in pre-Mosaic times were meal and drink offerings, whole burnt offerings and sacrifices (or, to use the Levitical term, peace offerings).

(1) Origin of Sacrifice.

We read of the offering of sacrifice all through the patriarchal history, and farther back even than Noah in the story of Cain and Abel; and there can be no doubt that the Levitical scheme of sacrifice was based upon, and a development (under Divine ordering) of, the sacrificial system already traditional among the Hebrews. Sacrifice was undoubtedly of Divine origin; yet we have no account, or even hint, of any formal institution of sacrifice. The sacrifices of Cain and Abel are spoken of in a way that leaves the impression that they were offered spontaneously, and the most probable assumption would seem to be that the very first offering of sacrifice was the outcome of a spontaneous desire (Divinely implanted, we may be sure) in early men to render service to the higher Being of whose relation to themselves they were, if ever so dimly, conscious.

Prehistoric research has not yet been able to present to us a distinct picture of primitive men; and even if the results of anthropology were more certain than they can yet claim to be, what in this connection we are concerned in is the conceptions, not of early men everywhere, but of the early ancestors of the Hob race. However infantile their ideas may have been and probably were, there may well have been far more of elementary truth in them—in simple ideas Divinely implanted—than students of anthropology have any knowledge of. Sooner or later early men did make offerings to God; and as the Mosaic sacrificial system was certainly based upon the patriarchal, so we may fairly assume that the ideas underlying the latter were an outgrowth from those which underlay the sacrifice of the patriarch’s own still earlier ancestors.

It is well observed by Dr. A.B. Davidson (Old Testament Theology, p. 315) that the sacrifices of Cain and Abel are called a minchah or present; and this idea of sacrifice as a gift to God most easily accounts for the facts with which we have to deal in the history of Old Testament sacrifice. When early men first made offerings to God, they probably did so in the spirit of young children who give gifts to older persons without knowing whether, or in what way, the gifts will be of any use to them. They simply give in affection what is of value in their own eyes. The one only thing of prime value to the earliest men must have been food; hence, offerings to God were everywhere in the first place offerings of food. But here a difficulty must soon have arisen, for men must have become convinced very soon that the Divine Being did not feed upon the food offered, at least in men’s way of feeding. Ultimately, among the Israelites, the idea of His actual feeding became eliminated altogether (Ps 50:13,14), but in the meantime the difficulty seems to have been met by the assumption that the Divine Being consumed an inner essence of food; and this being supposed to be set free by fire, food offered in sacrifice came to be burnt in order to fit it to become the food of God. This certainly appears from Le 3:11,16 (compare Le 21:6,8,17,21).

Coming, however, to animal as distinguished from vegetable sacrifice, we do not find that its origin can be accounted for as at the first being an offering of food. We learn from Le 17:10-14 that the essential part of animal sacrifice was the offering of the blood, and that blood was offered because blood was life. The idea that life can be given by giving blood lay at the root of a custom which must have been well-nigh universal in primitive times, that of blood covenanting (see H. Clay Trumbull, Blood Covenant). In this, two persons would give each to the other of his own blood, drawn from the living vein. Persons united in blood covenant were supposed, by the commingling of their blood, to become actual sharers of one life. To give to another of one’s own blood was to give one’s own life, i.e. one’s own self, with all the dedication of love and service which that would imply. Now a similar idea would seem to have lain at the root of the primitive offering of blood to God: it was the offering of the life of the offerer.

In the very first blood offerings it is probable that the blood offered was the blood of the offerer, and that there was no infliction of death—only in this way the dedication of life. The dedicatory rite of circumcision may have been a survival of sacrifice in this its earliest form; so also what is narrated in 1Ki 18:28. When, however, the blood offered had come to be the blood of a substitute, and that a substitute animal, the sacrifice would come (no doubt soon) to include the slaughter of the animal and further the consumption, in whole or in part, of its carcass by fire as an offering of food.

(2) The Levitical Ritual.

Whether the above theory be accepted or not, in so far as animal sacrifice became an offering of food, it would stand in line with vegetable sacrifice; but in both the excellence of the Levitical ritual stood in this, that while it was framed for a people whose conceptions were in a stage of transition, it was yet adaptable to higher conceptions, and fitted to become at length symbolical of purely spiritual truth. It was through the teaching, not only of prophets but of the Lcvitical ritual itself, and while it was still in full force, that the words of Ps 50:13,14 were uttered: "Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High." The Levitical ritual, as respects animal sacrifice in particular, was so framed as, on the one hand, to keep alive the idea of sacrifice as the offering of life, not of death, of life’s dedication, not its destruction, and therefore to make it a true type of Christ’s living sacrifice. On the other hand, the rules of sacrifice guarded against abuses which, as a matter of fact, sprang up widely among the heathen. The rule, e.g. in Le 1:2 and elsewhere, that "ye shall offer your oblation of the cattle, even of the herd and of the flock," excluded human sacrifice. The rule that the first act in every sacrifice must be to slay the creature offered excluded the infliction of unnecessary suffering. The detailed rules as to the offering and disposal of the blood, and the varying modes of disposal of the carcass, kept alive the essential idea of all such sacrifice, and saved it from degenerating into a mere heaping up, as in Egypt, of altars with mere loads of food. The rules of the peace offering, clothing it always with a spiritual motive (see Le 7:12,16), raised it to a level far above the sacrifice of that class among the surrounding heathen, guarding it against their licentious festivity (compare Ho 2:11-13; 4:13,14; Am 2:8; 5:21-23) and gross ideas as to the part of God in the feasting.

(3) The Law Truly a Torah.

In every one of its departments the Law proved itself to be indeed a torah directing God’s people in the upward way; leading them on from the state of advancement, such as it was, to which they had already attained by Moses’ time, to higher and higher standards, both of faith and of duty, till they were prepared for the gospel of Christ, who Himself said of the old Law, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled" (Mt 5:18 the King James Version). Meanwhile we have, in the teaching of the prophets, not a counter influence, not a system rivaling the Law, but its unfolding, both inspired of God, both instruments in His progressive revelation. "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" were the words of Samuel, a faithful servant of the Law, and himself a frequent offerer of sacrifice. What the Law was to the heart of devout Israelites in the prophetic age is seen in the fervent words of Ps 119.

IV. The Passing Away of the Law.

The great general principles of the Law were not transitory but abiding, and reappear under the gospel dispensation. Otherwise, however, i.e. in those particulars, whether ceremonial or civil, in which it was adapted to merely passing needs, the Law passed away when Christ came. It is not always realized that already before Christ came it had begun to pass away. The following are illustrations:

(1) The whole rationale of the Levitical worship consisted in its being based upon the covenant made at Sinai, and the symbol of the Covenant was the ark containing the tables of the Law and surmounted by the mercy-seat. Therefore one of its most significant acts was the sprinkling of the blood of sin offering within the veil upon the mercy-seat, or without the veil, but yet before the mercy-seat. But this most significant act could no longer be performed when, after the Babylonian captivity, there was no longer either ark or mercy-seat.

(2) The law that tithe should be paid to the Levites, a tithe only of it being paid by them to "Aaron the priest" (Nu 18), was practicable so long as the priests were a small portion only of the whole Levitical body, as they appear in the history down to the middle period of the monarchy. But by the time of the exile they disappeared from history except as actual temple ministrants, and, after the return from the exile, even these were in number a mere handful compared with the priests (Ezr 2:36-42; 8:15-20,24-30; Ne 11:10-19). The attempt to revive the old law (Ne 10:38,39) was well-intentioned but impracticable: it was evidently soon abandoned (Ne 13:10-13; Mal 3:8-10). We learn from Josephus that tithes were regarded later as due to the priests, not to the Levites (Josephus, Ant, XX, viii, 8; ix, 2).

(3) That the Mosaic law as to divorce was to give place to one more stringent appears not only from our Lord’s words in Mt 19:7-9, but from Mal 2:16.

(4) It is probable that some of the supplementary rules in Nu may have been designed for temporary use only, and may have passed away before the close of the Old Testament. It may have been so, e.g., with the law of Nu 5:11-31, a law probably most useful in the circumstances of the Mosaic age, and perhaps itself an endorsement of a pre-Mosaic custom.


Driver, Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, with which should be read Moller, Are the Critics Right? and Orr, Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament; A.B. Davidson, Theology of the Old Testament; J.B. Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages; Rule, Old Testament Institutions, Their Origin and Development; Kurtz, Sacrificial Worship of the Old Testament; Hoonacker, Le sacerdoce levitique; Edouard Naville,

La decouverte de la loi sous le roi Josias; H. Clay Trumbull, The Blood Covenant; Milligan, Resurrection of our Lord (274 ff, on "blood-offering").

Ulric Z. Rule


joo-dish’-al: This was the form of Divine law which, under the dominion of God, as the Supreme Magistrate, directed the policy of the Jewish nation, and hence, was binding only on them, not on other peoples. The position of Yahweh, as the Supreme Ruler, was made legally binding by a formal election on the part of the national assembly (Ex 19:3-8); and that there might be no question about the matter, after the death of Moses, Joshua, in accordance with instructions received by his great predecessor in the office of federal judge, in the public assembly caused the contract to be renewed in connection with most solemn exercises (Jos 8:30-35). No legal contract was ever entered into with more formality and with a clearer understanding of the terms by the several parties than was the contract which made it binding on the Hebrews permanently to recognize Yahweh as the Supreme Ruler (Ex 24:3-8). He was to be acknowledged as the Founder of the nation (Ex 20:2); Sovereign, Ruler, and Judge (Ex 20:2-6); and in these capacities was to be the object of love, reverential fear and worship, service, and absolute obedience. Flagrant disregard of their obligations to Him manifested in idolatry or blasphemy was regarded as high treason, and like high treason in all nations and history was punishable by death (Ex 20:3-5,7; 22:20; Le 24:16; De 17:2-5). The will of Yahweh in critical cases was to be ascertained through special means (Nu 9:8; Jud 1:1,2; 20:18,23,28; 1Sa 10:22).

The ruling official recognized by the Hebrews as a nation was the chief magistrate, but he stood as Yahweh’s vicegerent, and therefore combined various authorities in his person. We must distinguish the functions of the chief magistrate (1) under the republic, (2) under the constitutional monarchy, and (3) under the senatorial oligarchy after the Babylonian captivity. Moses was the first chief magistrate under the republic; after him, Joshua, and the other judges. Under the constitutional monarchy, it was the king whose government was limited, for he was to be elected by the people; must be a native Hebrew; must not keep a large cavalry; must not support a harem; must not multiply riches; must be a defender of the national religion; must be guided by law, not whim; must be gracious and condescending to the people (De 17:15-20). After the Babylonian captivity, the senatorial oligarchy combined ecclesiastical and state authority, later sharing it with the Roman government.


Frank E. Hirsch




lo’-fool (usually mishpaT, "relating to judgment," or "a pronounced judgment" tsaddiq, "relating to that which is righteous" or "just"; exesti, eunomos, "that which is authorized according to law," or "a privilege according to legitimate custom" (compare Eze 18:5,19, 21,27; Isa 49:24; Mt 12:10; Ac 16:21; 19:39)): Used of persons: of God, as being righteous both in the punishment of the wicked and the rewarding of the righteous (Ps 145:17 Hebrew); of man, as being just and equitable in all his dealings with his fellow-man (Eze 33:19). It is used of things when the same are in accord with a pronounced judgment or a declared will of God, and thus pleasing in His sight (Mr 3:4). When the course of individual conduct is according to God’s law of righteousness, it is declared to be "lawful" (Eze 33:19). The word is used in a forensic sense as declaring the legal status of a person conforming to law. The idea of straighthess, rigid adherence to God’s law, whether religious, civil or ceremonial, cannot be excluded from the definition of the word "lawful."

Neither the King James Version nor the American Standard Revised Version is consistent in its translation of the Hebrew and Greek words translated "lawful." Ofttimes the words "just" and "righteous" are used. To arrive at the full and proper meaning of "lawful," therefore, it is necessary that we study the passages containing these synonymous terms. The written Law of God is the recognized standard by which things, actions and persons are to be judged as being lawful or unlawful.

William Evans


lo’-giv-er (mechoqeq; nomothetes): There are two words, one Hebrew and one Greek, which are translated "lawgiver." The former occurs 7 times in the Old Testament, and in the King James Version in every case except Jud 5:14 is thus translated. In the Revised Version (British and American) it bears the translation "lawgiver" but twice (De 33:21; Isa 33:22), though in the other passages (Ge 49:10; Nu 21:18; Jud 5:14; Ps 60:7; 108:8) this meaning is retained in the margin. The Greek word occurs in the New Testament but once (Jas 4:12), where it has a meaning that is almost the exact equivalent of the Hebrew word in Isa 33:22. In both passages God is declared to be the "lawgiver," and in the New Testament passage is so called because He has the power to rule and judge, to save and destroy. Man is denied the authority to judge because he is not the lawgiver. God is the lawgiver, and therefore possesses the right to pronounce judgment (compare Isa, supra). The word, however, implies more than mere legislative function; it also connotes the idea of ruling. Isaiah makes this very plain, since he adds to the statement that God is our judge and lawgiver the further declaration that He is also king. This meaning adheres in the very history of the word. It is based upon the monarchical conception in which the legislative, judicial and administrative functions are all vested in one person. In James the two terms "lawgiver and judge" express the idea of God’s absolute sovereignty. The verb nomothetein occurs in Heb 7:11; 8:6, but it does not extend beyond the meaning "to enact laws."

The Hebrew word is restricted to poetic passages, and except in Isa 33:22 is applied to a tribal or kingly ruler. Moses is pre-eminently the lawgiver in Jewish and Christian circles, but it should be noted that in the Scriptures of neither is he given this title. The primary meaning of the verb from which mechoqeq is derived is "to cut," "to carve," and a derived meaning is "to ordain." The meaning of the participle mechoqeq is based upon this last. It means

(1) the symbol which expresses the lawmaker’s authority, that is, the commander’s staff; and

(2) the person who possesses the authority (De 33:21).

It has the first of these meanings in Nu 21:18; Ps 60:7; 108:8, and probably in Ge 49:10, though here it may have the second meaning. The parallelism, however, seems to require an impersonal object to correspond to scepter, and so the reading of the text (The Revised Version) is to be preferred to that of the margin (Skinner, at the place). In De 33:21; Jud 5:14; Isa 33:22, it means the person who wielded the symbol of authority, that is the prescriber of laws. In a primitive community this would be a military commander. In Ge 49:10 the "ruler’s staff" is the symbol of kingly authority (Driver), and this verse consequently implies the supremacy of Judah which came in with the Davidic kingdom. This word contains no reference to the Messiah. In Nu 21:18 there is an allusion to the custom of formally and symbolically opening fountains under the superintendence and at the instruction of the leader of the tribe. Such a custom seems to have been in vogue till comparatively modern times. Gray cites Budde in the New World for March, 1895, and Muir’s Mohamet and Islam, 343 f. In Jud 5:14 the word means "military commander," as the context shows. This is the meaning also in De 33:21, where it is affirmed that Gad obtained a position worthy of its warlike character. Targum, Vulgate, Peshitta, and some moderns have seen here a reference to the grave of Moses, but Nebo was in Reuben and not in Gad.

W. C. Morro


lo’-les (anomos): While occurring but once in the King James Version (1Ti 1:9), is translated in various ways, e.g. "without law" (1Co 9:21); "unlawful" (2Pe 2:8 the King James Version); "lawless" (1Ti 1:9); "transgressor" (Mr 15:28; Lu 22:37); "wicked" (Ac 2:23 the King James Version; 2Th 2:8 the King James Version). When Paul claims to be "without law," he has reference to those things in the ceremonial law which might well be passed over, and not to the moral law. Paul was by no means an antinomian. Those are "lawless" who break the law of the Decalogue; hence, those who disobey the commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother," are lawless (1Ti 1:9). The civil law is also the law of God. Those breaking it are lawless, hence, called "transgressors." Those who are unjust in their dealings are also "lawless"; for this reason the hands of Pilate and those who with him unjustly condemned Jesus are called "wicked (unlawful) hands" (Ac 2:23 the King James Version). The most notable example of lawlessness is the Antichrist, that "wicked (lawless) one" (2Th 2:8).

William Evans


lo’-yer (nomikos, "according or pertaining to law," i.e. legal; as noun, "an expert in law," "about the law," "lawyer" (Mt 22:35; Lu 7:30; 10:25; 11:45,46,52; 14:3; Tit 3:13)): The work of the "lawyers," frequently spoken of as "scribes," also known as "doctors" of the law (Lu 2:46 margin), was first of all that of jurists. Their business was threefold:

(1) to study and interpret the law;

(2) to instruct the Hebrew youth in the law;

(3) to decide questions of the law. The first two they did as scholars and teachers, the last as advisers in some court.

By virtue of the first-named function, they gradually developed a large amount of common law, for no code can go into such detail as to eliminate the necessity of subsequent legislation, and this usually, to a great extent, takes the form of judicial decisions founded on the code rather than of separate enactment. And so it was among the Hebrews. The provisions of their code were for the most part quite general, thus affording much scope for casuistic interpretation. As a result of the industry with which this line of legal development had been pursued during the centuries immediately preceding our era, the Hebrew law had become a very complicated science; and since it was forbidden to record these judicial decisions, a protracted study was necessary in order to commit them to memory.

But since the law must have universal application, the views of the individual scribe could not be taken as a standard; hence, the several disciples of the law must frequently meet for discussion, and the opinion of the majority then prevailed. To these meetings the youth interested in the study would be invited, that they might memorize the formulas agreed upon and might clear up the points upon which they were uncertain by asking questions of the recognized doctors (Lu 2:46).

Such centers of legal lore, of course, would seldom be found in rural communities; the authorities would naturally gather in large centers of population, especially—until 70 AD—in Jerusalem. While the deliverances of these law schools were purely theoretical, yet they stood in close relation to the practical. Whenever doubt arose regarding the application of the law to a particular case, the question was referred to the nearest lawyer; by him to the nearest company of lawyers, perhaps to the Sanhedrin; and the resultant decision was henceforth authority. Thus the lawyers became law makers, and after the destruction of Jerusalem, which brought an end to the existence of the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical doctors were recognized as the absolute authority in such matters. Frequently a single lawyer of great rank, as for instance Hillel or Gamaliel I, might pronounce dicta of unquestioned recognition with as much authority as a supreme court in our day, though sometimes his opinions were received and corrected by the legal tribunal, especially the Sanhedrin. Of course, frequently, these tribunals were under the sway of such a man’s influence, so that what he said upon his own authority would be ratified in the assembly of the doctors.

The second function of the lawyers was that of teachers. The renowned rabbis always sought to gather a company of pupils about them whose business it was to repeat the teachers’ law formulas until they had "passed into their flesh and blood." For the purposes of such instruction as well as for the discussion of the teachers and the students, there were special schoolhouses, which are often mentioned in connection with the synagogues as places of special merit and privilege. In Jerusalem, these law schools were conducted in the temple—probably in the hall dedicated to this special purpose (Mt 21:23; 26:55; Mr 14:49; Lu 2:46; 20:1; 21:37; Joh 18:20). The students during the lectures sat on the floor, the teacher on a raised platform, hence, the expression "sitting at the feet of" (Ac 22:3; Lu 2:46). Finally, the lawyers were called upon to decide cases in court or to act as advisers of the court. Before the destruction of Jerusalem, technical knowledge of the law was not a condition of eligibility to the office of judge. Anyone who could command the confidence of his fellow-citizens might be elected to the position, and many of the rural courts undoubtedly were conducted, as among us, by men of sterling quality but of limited knowledge. Naturally such men would avail themselves of the legal advice of any "doctor" who might be within reach, especially inasmuch as the latter was obliged to give his services gratuitously. And in the more dignified courts of large municipalities; it was a standing custom to have a company of scholars present to discuss and decide any new law points that might arise. Of course, frequently, these men were elected to the office of judge, so that practically the entire system of jurisprudence was in their hands.

Frank E. Hirsch


la, la’-ing:

(1) sim, "to put," and the Greek equivalent, tithemi, are very frequently translated by "to lay." the Revised Version (British and American) very often changes the King James Version rendering of sim, but never that of tithemi: 1Sa 15:2, "how he set himself against him in the way" (the King James Version "he laid wait for him"); 2Ki 11:16, "So they made way for her" (the King James Version "And they laid hands on her"); compare 2Ch 23:15; Job 24:12, "God regardeth not the folly" (the King James Version "God layeth not folly"); Job 34:23, "For he needeth not further to consider a man" (the King James Version "For he will not lay upon man more"); Isa 28:17, "And I will make justice the line" (the King James Version "Judgment also will I lay to the line"); Job 17:3, "Give now a pledge" (the King James Version "Lay down now").

(2) nathan, literally, "to give," is very commonly translated by "to lay." the Revised Version (British and American) changes the translation of the King James Version in Eze 4:5, "I have appointed"; Eze 33:28 f, "I will make the land a desolation" (the King James Version "I will lay the land most desolate").

(3) "To lay" of the King James Version is frequently rendered differently in the Revised Version (British and American); Isa 54:11, "I will set thy stones" (the King James Version "lay thy stones"); De 29:22, "the sicknesses wherewith Yahweh hath made it sick" (the King James Version "sicknesses which the Lord hath laid upon"). For other differences of the Revised Version (British and American) and the King James Version compare De 21:8; 2Ki 9:25 m; 2Ki 12:11; Ezr 8:31; Ps 104:5 m; Isa 53:6; Jer 5:26; Mr 7:8; Lu 19:44; Jas 1:21; 1Pe 2:1. In most of these passages the change of the Revised Version (British and American) is due to the peculiar use of the word "to lay" in the King James Version. The following expressions are found very frequently: "to lay hands on," "to lay wait," "to lay up," "to lay aside," "to lay upon," "to lay down," etc.

"Laying of wait," the King James Version, is rendered "lying in wait" in Nu 35:20 ff; Ac 9:24 reads: "But their plot became known" (the King James Version "But their laying await was known"). The "laying on of hands" is a very general expression.


A. L. Breslich


laz’-a-rus (Lazaros, an abridged form of the Hebrew name Eleazar, with a Greek termination): Means "God has helped." In Septuagint and Josephus are found the forms Eleazar, and Eleazaros. The name was common among the Jews, and is given to two men in the New Testament who have nothing to do with each other.

1. Lazarus of Bethany:

The home of the Lazarus mentioned in Joh 11:1 was Bethany. He was the brother of Martha and Mary (Joh 11:1,2; see also Lu 10:38-41). All three were especially beloved by Jesus (Joh 11:5), and at their home He more than once, and probably often, was entertained (Lu 10:38-41; Joh 11). As intimated by the number of condoling friends from the city, and perhaps from the costly ointment used by Mary, the family was probably well-to-do. In the absence of Jesus, Lazarus was taken sick, died, and was buried, but, after having lain in the grave four days, was brought back to life by the Saviour (Joh 11:3,14,17,43,44). As a result many Jews believed on Jesus, but others went and told the Pharisees, and a council was therefore called to hasten the decree of the Master’s death (Joh 11:45-53). Later, six days before the Passover, at a feast in some home in Bethany where Martha served, Lazarus sat at table as one of the guests, when his sister Mary anointed the feet of Jesus (Joh 12:1-3). Many of the common people came thither, not only to see Jesus, but also the risen Lazarus, believed in Jesus, and were enthusiastic in witnessing for Him during the triumphal entry, and attracted others from the city to meet Him (Joh 12:9,11,17,18). For that reason the priests plotted to murder Lazarus (Joh 12:10). This is all that we really know about the man, for whether the Jews accomplished his death we are not informed, but it seems probable that, satiated with the death of Jesus, they left Lazarus unmolested. Nothing is told of his experiences between death and resurrection (compare Tennyson, "In Memoriam," xxxi), of his emotions upon coming out of the tomb, of his subsequent life (compare Browning, "A Letter to Karshish"), and not a word of revelation does he give as to the other world. His resurrection has been a favorite subject for various forms of Christian art, and according to an old tradition of Epiphanius he was 30 years old when he was raised from the dead, and lived 30 years thereafter.

As might be expected this miracle has been vigorously assailed by all schools of hostile critics. Ingenuity has been exhausted in inventing objections to it. But all told, they really amount only to three.

(1) The Silence of the Other Gospels.

There is here, no doubt, some difficulty. But the desire of the early Christians, as many scholars think, to screen the family from danger may have kept the story from becoming current in the oral tradition whence the Synoptics drew their materials, though Matthew was probably an eyewitness. But, in any case, the Synoptics do not pretend to give all the deeds of Jesus, and in the report by them we have few save those which were wrought in Galilee. Each of them has omitted elements of highest interest which others have preserved. Thus, Luke alone gives us the raising of the widow’s son at Nain. John, knowing that the others had omitted this, tells us what he had himself witnessed, since all danger to the family had long ago passed away, as it was of especial interest to his story, and he had recorded no other case of resurrection. At any rate, the Gospel writers do not seem to regard a resurrection from the dead by the power of Jesus as so much more stupendous than other miracles, as they seem to modern scholars and to the Jews, and, moreover, the Synoptics do unconsciously attest this miracle by describing a sudden outburst of popular excitement in favor of Jesus which can be accounted for only by some extraordinary event.

(2) The Stupendous Character of the Miracle.

But to a philosophical believer in miracles this is no obstacle at all, for to omnipotence there are no such things as big miracles or little ones. Of course, Martha’s statement as to the decomposition of the body was only her opinion of the probability in the case, and He, who sees the end from the beginning and who had intended to raise Lazarus, might well in His providence have watched over the body that it should not see corruption. When all is said, "He who has created the organic cell within inorganic matter is not incapable of reestablishing life within the inanimate substance."

(3) Its Non-use as an Accusation against Jesus.

The objection that Joh 11:47-53 is inconsistent with the fact that in accusing Jesus before Pilate no mention is made of this miracle by the enemies of Jesus has little weight. Who would expect them to make such a self-convicting acknowledgment? The dismay of the priests at the miracle and their silence about it are perfectly compatible and natural.

No one of the attempted explanations which deny the reality of the miracle can offer even a show of probability. That Lazarus was just recovering from a trance when Jesus arrived; that it was an imposture arranged by the family and sanctioned by Jesus in order to overwhelm His enemies; that it was a fiction or parable translated into a fact and made up largely of synoptic materials, an allegorical illustration of the words, "I am the resurrection, and the life," a myth—such explanations require more faith than to believe the fables of the Talmud They well illustrate the credulity of unbelief. The narrative holds together with perfect consistency, is distinguished by vivacity and dramatic movement, the people who take part in it are intensely real and natural, and the picture of the sisters perfectly agrees with the sketch of them in Luke. No morbid curiosity of the reader is satisfied. Invented stories are not like this. Even a Renan declares that it is a necessary link in the story of the final catastrophe.

The purpose of the miracle seems to have been:

(1) to show Himself as Lord of life and death just before He should be Himself condemned to die;

(2) to strengthen the faith of His disciples;

(3) to convert many Jews;

(4) to cause the priests to hasten their movements so as to be ready when His hour had come (Plummer, HDB, III, 87).

2. The Beggar:

In the parable in Lu 16:19-31, Lazarus is pictured as in abject poverty in this world, but highly rewarded and honored in the next. It is the only instance of a proper name used in a parable by Jesus. Some think that he was a well-known mendicant in Jerusalem, and have even attempted to define his disease. But this is no doubt simple invention, and, since "in Christ’s kingdom of truth names indicate realities," this was probably given because of its significance, suggesting the beggar’s faith in God and patient dependence upon Him. It was this faith and not his poverty which at last brought him into Abraham’s bosom. Not one word does Lazarus speak in the parable, and this may also be suggestive of patient submission. He does not murmur at his hard lot, nor rail at the rich man, nor after death triumph over him. The parable is related to that of the Rich Fool (Lu 12:16-21). This latter draws the veil over the worldling at death; the other lifts it. It is also a counterpart of that of the Unjust Steward (Lu 16:1-13), which shows how wealth may wisely be used to our advantage, while this parable shows what calamities result from failing to make such wise use of riches. The great lesson is that our condition in Hades depends upon our conduct here, and that this may produce a complete reversal of fortune and of popular judgments. Thus, Lazarus represents the pious indigent who stood at the opposite extreme from the proud, covetous, and luxury-loving Pharisee. The parable made a deep impression on the mind of the church, so that the term "lazar," no longer a proper name, has passed into many languages, as in lazar house, lazaretto, also lazzarone, applied to the mendicants of Italian towns. There was even an order, half-military, half-monastic, called the Knights of Lazarus, whose special duty it was to minister to lepers.

The rich man is often styled Dives, which is not strictly a proper name, but a Latin adjective meaning "rich," which occurs in this passage in the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) But in English literature, as early as Chaucer, as seen in the "Sompnoure’s Tale" and in "Piers Plowman," it appears in popular use as the name of the Rich Man in this parable. In later theological literature it has become almost universally current. The name Nineuis given him by Euthymius never came into general use, though the Sahidic version has the addition, "whose name was Ninue." His sin was not in being rich, for Abraham was among the wealthiest of his day, but in his worldly unbelief in the spiritual and eternal, revealing itself in ostentatious luxury and hard-hearted contempt of the poor. Says Augustine, "Seems he (Jesus) not to have been reading from that book where he found the name of the poor man written, but found not the name of the rich, for that book is the book of life?"

G. H. Trever





led (‘ophereth): Lead was one of the first metals to be used in the free state, probably because it was so easily obtained from its ores. Lead was found in ancient times in Egypt and the Sinaitic peninsula. There is no lead found in Palestine proper, but in Northern Syria and Asia Minor it occurs in considerable quantities, usually associated with silver. These sources no doubt furnished an important supply in Bible times. It was also brought by the Phoenicians from Spain (Tarshish) (Eze 27:12) and the British Isles.

Lead was used, as it still is, all along the Mediterranean shores for sinkers. Pieces of Egyptian fishnets probably dating from 1200 BC are now preserved in the British Museum, with their lead sinkers still attached. Since lead was the heaviest metal known to the ancients, gold excepted, it was generally used for fish-lines and sounding lines (compare Ac 27:28), especially in the dense waters of the Mediterranean. Moses mentioned the sinking qualities of lead in the sea in his simile of the sinking of Pharaoh’s hosts "as lead in the mighty waters" (Ex 15:10).

Lead was used by the ancients for binding stones together. In most of the ancient ruins of Syria the Arabs have dug holes at the seams between stones in walls and columns in order to remove the iron, bronze, or lead thus used. In the museum of the Syrian Protestant College, Beirut, there are several specimens of cast-lead sarcophagi dating from the time of Christ.

In Job 19:23,14, lead is mentioned as used in the engraving of permanent records. Two inferences might he drawn from this passage: either that the letters were cut with a chisel (pen) and then the cutting was filled with lead, or that sheets of lead were used as tablets on which to grave the record with an iron tool. Lead is frequently referred to along with iron, brass, silver and tin (Nu 31:22; Eze 22:18,20; 27:12). The use of lead for plumblines is implied in Am 7:7,8; Zec 4:10; as a weight in Zec 5:7,8. That Old Testament writers understood the use of lead for purifying gold is shown by Jer 6:29 and Eze 22:18-22 (compare Mal 3:2,3).


James A. Patch


lef, levz: Used in three different senses, with reference:

(1) To trees (‘aleh, "a coming up"), Ge 3:7; 8:11; Le 26:36 (Tereph); Eze 17:9; phullon. Figuratively

(a) of spiritual blessings (Eze 47:12; compare Re 22:2) and prosperity (Ps 1:3);

(b) of moral decay (Isa 64:6), and

(c) of a formal, empty profession (Mt 21:19).

(2) To a book (deleth), Jer 36:23 (margin "columns"; see 36:2); as the parchment was gradually unfolded the successive columns could be read.

(3) To doors (tsela‘, "side," qela‘,"a screen," "hanging"), 1Ki 6:34. The door of the Holy Place consisted of two halves, but each half had two leaves (compare Eze 41:24).

M. O. Evans





le’-a (le’ah; Leia, "weary," "dull"(?), "wild cow"): Rachel’s sister, and the elder daughter of Laban (Ge 29:16). We are told that her eyes were "tender" rakkoth). Gesenius renders it "weak," Septuagint astheneis; accordingly, she was weak-eyed, but by no means "blear-eyed" (compare Vulgate). Her eyes were lacking that luster which always and everywhere is looked upon as a conspicuous part of female beauty. Josephus (Ant., I, xix, 7) says of her, ten opsin ouk euprepe, which may safely be rendered, "she was of no comely countenance."

Leah became the wife of Jacob by a ruse on the part of her father, taking advantage of the oriental custom of heavily veiling the prospective bride. When taken to task by his irate son-in-law, Laban excused himself by stating it was against the rule of the place "to give the younger before the first-born" (Ge 29:21-26). Although Rachel was plainly preferred by Jacob to Leah, still the latter bore him six sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah (Ge 29:31 ), Issachar, Zebulun, and a daughter, Dinah (Ge 30:17-21). Up to this time Rachel had not been blessed with children of her own. Thus the lesson is brought home to us that Yahweh has a special and kindly regard for the lowly and despised, provided they learn, through their troubles and afflictions, to look to Him for help and success. It seems that homely Leah was a person of deep-rooted piety and therefore better suited to become instrumental in carrying out the plans of Yahweh than her handsome, but worldly-minded, sister Rachel.

When Jacob decided to return to the "land of his fathers," both of his wives were ready to accompany him (Ge 31:4,14). Before they reached the end of their journey their courage was sorely tried at the time of the meeting between Jacob and his brother Esau. Although Leah was placed between the handmaids in the front, and Rachel with her son Joseph in the rear, she still cannot have derived much comfort from her position. We may well imagine her feeling of relief when she saw Esau and his 400 men returning to Seir (Ge 33:2,16).

According to Ge 49:31, Leah was buried at Machpelah. We cannot know for a certainty that she died before Jacob’s going down to Egypt, though it is very likely. If she went down with her husband and died in Egypt, he had her body sent to the family burying-place. Ru 4:11 discloses the fact that her memory was not forgotten by future generations. When Boaz took Ru for a wife the witnesses exclaimed, "Yahweh make the woman that is come into thy house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel."

William Baur


le-an’-oth (Ps 88$, title).






lez’-ing (kazabh "to devise," "to fabricate," hence, "to lie"; occurs but twice in the King James Version (Ps 4:2, the Revised Version (British and American) "falsehood"; 5:6, the Revised Version (British and American) "lies"); the Hebrew word is translated "liars" (Ps 116:11); "lie" or deceive (Job 6:28)): The idea of treachery, lying, and deceit, lies at the root of this word. Joab’s conduct is a good illustration of the meaning (2Sa 3:27; 20:8-10). In Ps 5:6 David is referring to the cunning, treachery, and falsehood of his adversaries; compare 2Sa 13:28; 15:7-9. Doubtless David had a special person in mind as being guilty of "leasing," probably Ahithophel.

William Evans





lev’-n (se’or, chamets; zume; Latin fermentum): The nomadic ancestors of the Hebrews, like the Bedouin of today, probably made their bread without leaven; but leaven came to play a great part in their bread-making, their law and ritual, and their religious teaching (see Ex 12:15,19; 13:7; Le 2:11; De 16:4; Mt 13:33; 16:6-12; Mr 8:15 f; Lu 12:1; 13:21).

(1) In Bread-Making.

The form of leaven used in bread-making and the method of using it were simple and definite. The "leaven" consisted always, so far as the evidence goes, of a piece of fermented dough kept over from a former baking. There is no trace of the use of other sorts of leaven, such as the lees of wine or those mentioned by Pliny (NH, xviii.26). The lump of dough thus preserved was either dissolved in water in the kneading-trough before the flour was added, or was "hid" in the flour (the King James Version "meal") and kneaded along with it, as was the case mentioned in the parable (Mt 13:33). The bread thus made was known as "leavened," as distinguished from "unleavened" bread (Ex 12:15, etc.).


(2) In Law and Ritual.

The ritual prohibition of leaven during "the feast of unleavened bread" including the Passover (Ex 23:15, etc.) is a matter inviting restudy. For the historical explanation given in the Scriptures, see especially Ex 12:34-39; 13:3 ff; De 16:3. The antiquity of the prohibition is witnessed by its occurrence in the earliest legislation (Ex 23:18; 34:25). A natural reason for the prohibition, like that of the similar exclusion of honey, is sought on the ground that fermentation implied a process of corruption. Plutarch voices this ancient view of the matter when he speaks of it as "itself the offspring of corruption, and corrupting the mass of dough with which it is mixed." Fermentatum is used in Persius (Sat., i.24) for "corruption." For this reason doubtless it was excluded also from the offerings placed upon the altar of Yahweh, cakes made from flour without leaven, and these only, being allowed. The regulation name for these "unleavened cakes" was matstsoth (Le 10:12). Two exceptions to this rule should be noted (Le 7:13; compare Am 4:5): "leavened bread" was an accompaniment of the thank offering as leavened loaves were used also in the wave offering of Le 23:17. Rabbinical writers regularly use leaven as a symbol of evil (Lightfoot).

(3) In Teaching.

The figurative uses of leaven in the New Testament, no less than with the rabbins, reflect the ancient view of it as "corrupt and corrupting," in parts at least, e.g. Mt 16:6 parallel, and especially the proverbial saying twice quoted by Paul, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (1Co 5:6 f; Ga 5:9). But as Jesus used it in Mt 13:33, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven," it is clearly the hidden, silent, mysterious but all-pervading and transforming action of the leaven in the measures of flour that is the point of the comparison.


Nowack, Hebrew Arch., II, 145 f; Talmud, Berakhoth, 17a; Lightfoot, Hor. Hebrew. on Mt 16:6.

George B. Eager


le-ba’-na, leb’-a-na (lebhana’), or family of returning exiles (Ezr 2:45; Ne 7:48; compare RAPC 1Es 5:29).


leb’-a-non (lebanon; Septuagint Libanos; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Libanus):

1. Name:

Derived from the root labhen, "to be white," probably from the snow which covers its summits the greater part of the year. "White mountains" are found in almost every country. The light color of the upper limestone may, however, form a sufficient reason for the name. In prose the article is usually connected with the name. In poetry it is more often without the article. In the Septuagint, however, the article is generally present both in prose and poetry.

2. General Description:

The Lebanon range proper borders the east coast of the Mediterranean, for a distance of 100 miles, running North-Northeast and South-Southwest from the mouth of the Litany river, the classic Leontes (which enters the sea a little North of Tyre), to the mouth of the Eleuthurus (Nahr el-Kebir), a few miles North of Tripolis. This river comes through a depression between Lebanon and the Nuseiriyeh mountains, known as "the entrance to Hamath," and connects with a caravan route to the Euphrates through Palmyra. For a considerable distance North of the Litany, the mountain summits average from 4,000 to 6,000 ft. in height, and the range is more or less dissected by short streams which enter the Mediterranean. Most prominent of these is the Nahr ez-Zaherany, which, after running 25 or 30 miles in a southerly direction through the center of the range, like the Litany, turns abruptly West opposite Mt. Hermon, reaching the sea between Tyre and Sidon. In roughly parallel courses Nahr el-‘Awleh and Nahr Damur descend to the sea between Sidon and Beyrout, and Nahr Beyrout just North of the city. Throughout this district the mountain recesses are more or less wooded. Opposite Beyrout the range rises in Jebel Sannin to an elevation of 8,560 ft. Thirty miles farther Northeast the summit is reached in Jebel Mukhmal, at an elevation of 10,225 ft., with several others of nearly the same height. An amphitheater here opens to the West, in which is sheltered the most frequented cedar grove, and from which emerges the Nahr Qadisha ("sacred stream") which enters the Mediterranean at Tripolis. Snow is found upon these summits throughout the year (Jer 18:14), while formerly the level area between them furnished the snow fields from which a glacier descended several miles into the headwaters of the Qadisha, reaching a level of about 5,000 ft. The glacier deposited in this amphitheater a terminal moraine covering several square miles, which at its front, near Bsherreh, is 1,000 ft. in thickness. It is on this that the grove of cedars referred to is growing.

The view from this summit reveals the geographical features of the region in a most satisfactory manner. Toward the East lies Coele-Syria (the modern Buka), 7,000 ft. below the summit, bordered on the eastern side by the mountain wall of Anti-Lebanon, corresponding to the cliffs of Moab East of the Jordan valley, opposite Judea. This depression in fact is but a continuation of the great geological fault so conspicuous in the Jordan valley (see ARABAH). As one looks down into this valley, Ba‘albek appears at the base of Anti-Lebanon, only 20 miles away. The valley is here about 10 miles wide, and forms the watershed between the Orontes and the Litany. To the Northeast the valley of the Orontes is soon obscured by intervening peaks, but to the Southwest the valley of the Litany closes up only where the glistering peak of Mt. Hermon pierces the sky, as the river turns abruptly toward the sea 40 miles distant. Toward the West, the blue waters of the Mediterranean, only 25 miles distant as the crow flies, show themselves at intervals through the gorges cut by the rapid streams which have furrowed the western flanks of the mountain (So 4:15); 3,500 ft. beneath is the amphitheater many square miles in area, filled with the terminal moraine from which the Qadisha river emerges, and on which the grove of cedars (compare 1Ki 4:33; Ps 92:12; Ho 14:5) appears as a green spot in the center. Onward to the West the river gorge winds its way amid numerous picturesque village sites and terraced fields, every foot of which is cultivated by a frugal and industrious people. To the traveler who has made the diagonal journey from Beirut to the cedars, memory fills in innumerable details which are concealed from vision at any one time. He has crossed Nahr el-Kelb ("Dog River"), near its mouth, where he has seen Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions dating from the time of Sennacherib’s invasion. Ascending this river, after passing numerous villages surrounded by mulberry and olive groves, vineyards, and fields of wheat, and pausing to study the ruins of a temple dating from Roman times, and having crossed a natural bridge at Jisr el-Hagar with a span of 120 ft., rising 75 ft. above the stream, he arrives, at the end of the second day, at the ruins of the famous temple of Venus destroyed by the order of Constantine on account of the impurity of the rites celebrated in it. Here, too, is a famous spring, typical of many others which gush forth on either side of the Lebanon range from beneath the thick deposits of limestone which everywhere crown its summit. The flow of water is enormous, and at certain seasons of the year is colored red with a mineral matter which the ancients regarded with mysterious reverence (see LB, III, 244). The lower part of the amphitheater is covered with verdure and a scanty growth of pine and walnut trees, but the upper part merges in the barren cliffs which lie above the snow line. Onward, alternately through upturned limestone strata, left by erosion in fantastic forms, and through barren areas of red sandstone, where the cedars of Lebanon would flourish if protected from the depredations of man and his domestic animals, he crosses by turns at higher and higher levels the headwaters of the Ibrahim, Fedar, Jozeh, Byblus and the Botrys rivers, and at length reaches, on the fourth day, the Qadisha, 5 miles below the cedars of Lebanon. Viewed from the Mediterranean the Lebanon range presents a continuous undulating outline of light-colored limestone peaks, the whole rising so abruptly from the sea that through most of the distance there is barely room for a road along the shore, while in places even that is prevented by rocky promontories projecting boldly into the sea. The only harbors of importance are at Beyrout and Tripolis, and these are only partially protected, being open to the Northwest. The eastern face of the range falling down into Coele-Syria is very abrupt, with no foothills and but one or two important valleys.

3. Geology:

Geologically considered, the Lebanon consists of three conformable strata of rock thrown up in an anticline with its steepest face to the East. The lowest of these are several thousand ft. thick, consisting of hard limestone containing few fossils, the most characteristic of which is Cidaris glandaria, from which the formation has been named Glandarian limestone. In its foldings this has been elevated in places to a height of 5,000 ft. Through erosion it is exposed in numerous places, where it presents picturesque castellated columns, whose bluish-gray sides are beautifully fluted by atmospheric agencies. The second formation consists of several hundred feet of red-colored sandstone alternating with soft limestone and clay deposits, occasionally containing a poor quality of bituminous coal, with pyrites and efflorescent salts. It is this that occasionally colors the water of the spring at Adonis. The characteristic fossil is Trigonia syriaca. Altogether this formation attains a thickness of 1,000 ft., and it is on its exposed surfaces that the most of the Lebanon pines are found. It contains also many signs of volcanic action. The third formation consists of hippurite limestone, a cretaceous formation, in some places almost wholly composed of fragments of the fossils from which it derives its name. This formation appears on all the highest summits, where in most cases it is nearly horizontal, and in places attains a thickness of 5,000 ft. Between the summits of the range and the foothills this formation has been almost wholly carried away by erosion, thus exposing the underlying formations. Cretaceous strata of still later age are found at low levels near the sea, which in places are covered by small deposits of Tertiary limestone, and by a porous sandstone of the Pleistocene age.

4. Scenery:

The scenery of the western slopes of Lebanon is most varied, magnificent, and beautiful, and well calculated, as indeed it did to impress the imagination of the Hebrew poets. Originally it was heavily covered with forests of pine, oak and cedar; but these have for the most part long since disappeared, except in the valley of Nahr Ibrahim, which is still thickly wooded with pine, oak and plane trees. Of the cedars there remain, besides the grove at the head of the Qadisha, only two or three, and they are of less importance. Every available spot on the western flanks of the Lebanon is cultivated, being sown with wheat or planted with the vine, the olive, the mulberry and the walnut. Irrigation is extensively practiced. When we let the eye range from the snowy summits of the mountain over all that lies between them and the orange groves of Sidon on the seashore, we understand why the Arabs say that "Lebanon bears winter on its head, spring on its shoulders, autumn in its lap, while summer lies at its feet."

In the more desolate places jackals, hyenas, wolves, and panthers are still found (compare 2Ki 14:9).

5. History:

The original inhabitants of Lebanon were Hivites and Gebalites (Jud 3:3; Jos 13:5,6). The whole mountain range was assigned to the Israelites, but was never conquered by them. It seemed generally to have been subject to the Phoenicians. At present it is occupied by various sects of Christians and Mohammedans, of whom the Maronites, Druzes and Orthodox Greeks are most active and prominent. Since 1860 the region has been under the protection of European powers with a Christian governor. No exact figures are available, but the population at present numbers probably about 275,000.

Ruins of ancient temples are numerous throughout Lebanon. Bacon estimates that within a radius of 20 miles of Ba‘albek there are 15 ruined sun-temples, the grandeur and beauty of which would have made them famous but for the surpassing splendor of Ba‘albek.

6. Anti-Lebanon:

Anti-Libanus (Judith 1:7; Jos 13:5; So 7:4) is an extension northward of the great mountain system facing on the East the great geological fault most conspicuous in the valley of the Jordan (see JORDAN, VALLEY OF), extending from the Gulf of Akabah to Antioch on the Orontes River. The system begins at the Barada River just North of Mt. Hermon, and, running parallel to Mt. Lebanon for 65 miles, terminates at Chums, the "entering in of Hamath." The highest points of the range reach an elevation of over 8,000 ft. Eastward the range merges into the plateau of the great Syrian desert. South of Ba‘albek the Yahfufah, a stream of considerable importance, empties into the Litany, while the Barada (the "Abana" of Scripture), rising in the same plateau, flows eastward to Damascus, its volume being greatly increased by fountains coming in from the base of the dissected plateau.


The geographical and geological descriptions are largely obtained by the writer from an extended excursion through the region in the company of Professor Day of the Protestant College at Beirut, whose knowledge of the region is most intimate and comprehensive. For more detailed information see Robinson, BRP2, II, 435 ff, 493; G. A. Smith, HGHL, 45 ff; Burton and Drake, Unexplored Syria; Benjamin W. Bacon, and G.F. Wright in Records of the Past, 1906, V, 67-83, 195-204; Baedeker-Socin, Palestine.

George Frederick Wright


le-ba’-oth, -oth (lebha’oth): An unidentified city in the South of the territory of Judah (Jos 15:32). It is the same as Bethlebaoth of Jos 19:6, which, by a clerical error appears in 1Ch 4:31 as "Beth-biri."

LEBBAEUS le-be’-us (Lebbaios): Mentioned in Mt 10:3 the King James Version as "Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus" (the Revised Version (British and American) omits); one of the twelve apostles.



le-bo’-na (lebhonah): A place on the great north road between Shiloh and Shechem (Jud 21:19). It is represented by the modern Khan el-Lubban, about 3 miles West-Northwest of Seilun ("Shiloh"), on the way to Nablus. It is a wretched village lying on the slope of a hill, with many rock tombs in the vicinity.


le’-ka (lekhah): A descendant of Judah (1Ch 4:21).


lej (shalabh): The word in the sense of side-projection is used in 1Ki 7:28,29 in connection with the bases of Solomon’s Molten Sea (see SEA, THE MOLTEN); in 7:35,36, where the King James Version uses the same word, the Revised Version (British and American) has "stay" (yadh, literally, "hand"). The Revised Version (British and American) likewise has "ledge" (round) for the King James Version "compass" (karkobh) in the description of the altar in Ex 27:5; 38:4 (see ALTAR), and the American Standard Revised Version substitutes "ledge" for "settle" (‘azarah) in Eze 43:14,17,20; 45:19.



leks (chatsir; ta prasa): This word, elsewhere translated "grass," is in Nu 11:5 rendered "leeks" in all the ancient VSS, on account of its association with garlic and onions; such a use of the word occurs in the Talmud The leek (Allium porrum) is much grown today in Palestine, while in ancient Egypt this vegetable was renowned.





left (sama’l, "to go to the left," "to turn to the left," semo’l, "the left hand," sema’li, "belonging to the left," "situated on the left"; aristeros, and euphemistically euonumos, literally, "having a good name," "of good omen"): The words are chiefly used in orientation with or without the addition of the word "hand." So Abraham says to Lot: "If thou wilt take the left hand (semo’l), then I will go to the right; or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left (sama’l)" (Ge 13:9). Frequently in Hebrew idiom the right hand and the left are mentioned together in order to express the idea "everywhere," "anywhere," "altogether" (Ge 24:49; Ex 14:22,29; Nu 22:26; De 2:27; 5:32; 2Co 6:7). In the geographical sense the left is synonymous with north (Ge 14:15; Jos 19:27; Eze 16:46; Ac 21:3). While the left hand is considered as weaker than the right (see LEFTHANDED), it is the hand which holds the bow (Eze 39:3). The left hand is the side from which bad omens come, and therefore less lucky and less honored than the right hand (see HAND, note).

H. L. E. Luering


left’-hand-ed (’iTTer yadh-yamin; Septuagint amphoterodexios, i.e. "ambidextrous"): The Hebrew presents a combination of words signifying literally, a man whose right hand is impeded or lame, who therefore uses the left hand instead, or one who by habit prefers the use of the left hand, where others use the right. It is interesting to note that in both instances, where the expression occurs in the Scripture, it refers to individuals belonging to the tribe of Benjamin (which name itself signifies "a son of the right hand"!). The first is Ehud, son of Gera, who killed Eglon, king of Moab, and thereby delivered Israel from paying tribute to the Moabites (Jud 3:15). The other instance is that of the 700 selected Benjamites, who, though lefthanded, "could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss" (Jud 20:16; of 1Ch 12:2).

H. L. E. Luering


(1) shoq, Aramaic shoq;

(2) kara‘, dual kera‘ayim;

(3) reghel; skelos; the King James Version translates also shobhel, and tse‘adhah, with "leg," but mistakenly):

(1) The first Hebrew word (shoq) denotes the upper leg, and is therefore synonymous with THIGH (which see). It expresses metaphorically the muscular strength, and the pride of the runner. "He taketh no pleasure in the legs of a man" (Ps 147:10). "His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold" (So 5:15). If the legs have lost their strength as in the lame or the Beri-beri patient, they become a metaphor for anything useless, inefficient or disappointing: "The legs of the lame hang loose; so is a parable in the mouth of fools" (Pr 26:7). The Aramaic form is found in the description of the image of Nebuchadnezzar, "its legs of iron" (Da 2:33).

(2) Kara‘, dual kera‘ayim, the "leg," "respecting the legs," mentioned as a portion of the paschal lamb (Ex 12:9), or, usually, in connection with the head and the inwards, as a sacrificial portion (Ex 29:17; Le 1:9,13; Am 3:12). The word designates also the legs of leaping insects of the orthopterous family, locusts, etc., which were permitted as food to the Israelites (Le 11:21). (3) Reghel, literally, "foot" (which see), found in this sense only once: "He (Goliath) had greaves of brass upon his legs" (1Sa 17:6).

Two passages of wrong translation in the King James Version have been corrected by the Revised Version (British and American). The virgin daughter of Babylon is addressed: "Make bare the leg, uncover the thigh" (Isa 47:2), the Revised Version (British and American) renders: "Strip off the train (shobhel), uncover the leg," the idea being that the gentle maid, who has been brought up in affluence and luxury, will have to don the attire of a slave girl and do menial work, for which her former garments are unsuited. The other passage is in Isa 3:20, where the King James Version reads: "the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs," the Revised Version (British and American) corrects: "the headtires (ts‘adhah), and the ankle chains."

In the New Testament the word "leg" is found only in connection with the breaking of the legs of the persons crucified with the Saviour (Joh 19:31,32,33). We know from Roman and Greek authors that this was done as a coup de grace to shorten the miseries of criminals condemned to die on the cross. The practice bore the technical name of skelokopia, Latin crurifragium. The verb skelokopein ("to break the legs"), is found in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter (1Pe 4:14), where it is distinctly stated that the legs of Jesus were not broken, that His sufferings on the cross might be extended, while the two malefactors crucified with Him were mercifully dispatched in this way. The crurifragium consisted of some strokes with a heavy club or mallet, which always materially hastened the death of the sufferer, and often caused it almost immediately.

Edersheim, in LTJM, II, 613, suggests that the breaking of legs was an additional punishment, and that it was always followed by a coup de grace, the perforatio or percussio sub alas, a stroke with sword or lance into the side. This, however, is not borne out by any classical information which is known to me, and is contradicted by the statement of the evangelist that Jesus received the percussio, while the malefactors endured the crurifragium. Compare on this subject, especially for parallels from classical authors, Sepp, Das Leben Jesu, VII, 441, and Keim, Jesus von Nazara (English translation), VI, 253, note 3.

H. L. E. Luering






See ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 5.


le-ha’-bim (lehdbhim): Named in Ge 10:13; 1Ch 1:11 as descendants of Mizraim. They are probably to be identified with the LUBIM (which see), and the one word may be a corruption of the other.





lem’-u-el (lemu’el, or lemo’-el): A king whose words, an "oracle (taught him by his mother)," are given in Pr 31:1-9; and possibly the succeeding acrostic poem (31:10-31) is from the same source. Instead of translating the word after this name as "oracle" some propose to leave it as a proper name, translating "king of Massa," and referring for his kingdom to Massa (Ge 25:14), one of the sons of Ishmael, supposedly head of a tribe or sheikh of a country. It is to be noted, however, that the words of Agur in the previous chapter are similarly called massa’," oracle" with not so clear a reason for referring it to a country. See for a suggested reason for retaining the meaning "oracle" in both places, PROVERBS, THE BOOK OF, II, 6.

John Franklin Genung


lon: The translation of 7 Hebrew and 2 Greek vbs.:

1. Lexical Usages:

In the Old Testament: lawah, "to join," "cause to join," "lend" (Ex 22:25; De 28:12,44; Ps 37:26; Pr 19:17); nashah, "to bite," "lend" (De 24:11; Jer 15:10); nashah (same root as last, though different verb stem, Hiphil), "to cause to bite," "lend on usury" (De 15:2; 24:10); nashakh, "to bite," "lend" "(cause to lend) on usury" (De 23:19,20); nathan, "to give" (Le 25:37, the Revised Version (British and American) "to give"); ‘abhat (Hiphil), "to cause to borrow," "to lend" (De 15:6,8); sha’al (Hiphil), "to cause to ask," "to lend" (Ex 12:36, the Revised Version (British and American) "ask"; 1Sa 1:27). In Septuagint daneizo, danizo, "to lend," translates lawah, and ‘abaT in above passages and in Ne 5:4; Pr 22:7, and Isa 24:2; kichrao, also translations lawah and sha’al (Ps 112:5; Pr 13:11); daneion(-ion), "loan," occurs in De 15:8,10; 24:11; 4 Macc 2:8. In the New Testament "lend" translations two Greek verbs, daneizo, "to lend money" (Lu 6:34,35, usually in commercial sense); kichremi, "to lend (as a friendly act)" (Lu 11:5).The substantive "loan," she’elah, occurs only once in the Old Testament (1Sa 2:20 the King James Version and the English Revised Version), not at all in the New Testament.

2. History of Lending in the Bible and Apocrypha:

(1) Lending on interest to the poor is prohibited in the code in Ex 22:25. (2) In the code in De 15:1-6; 23:19,20; 24:10,11; 28:12,44, borrowing and lending are taken for granted as existing in Israel, but the creditor is required to release his Hebrew brother as debtor in the 7th year (either the cancellation of the loan (so in Jewish literature and early Christian scholars) or suspension of payment that year (so most modern scholars)), though he may exact payment from a foreigner. Israel may lend, and will be able to lend, because of Yahweh’s blessing, to other nations, but must not borrow from them. A pledge, or security, must not be taken in person by the creditor from the house of the debtor, nor kept overnight, if the debtor be poor. (3) The code in Le 25:35-38 requires that the Israelite receive no interest from his poor brother, because of the goodness of Yahweh to Israel. (4) Notwithstanding the prohibition of the early laws against lending on interest or usury, the same seems to have become common in Israel before the exile (Isa 24:2; Jer 15:10), was practiced on the return, and was an evil to be corrected by Nehemiah (Ne 5:7,10). (5) According to Ps 37:26; 112:5; Pr 19:17, lending to the needy was regarded as a mark of the pious Hebrew, but no interest is to be charged. (6) According to Apocrypha (The Wisdom of Solomon 15:16; Sirach 8:12; 18:33; 20:15,29; 4 Macc 2:8), borrowing is discouraged, and lending is exalted as a mark of the merciful man. (7) Jesus teaches that His followers should lend, even to enemies, to men from whom they have no reasonable hope of expecting anything in return, because thus to do is to be like the Most High (Lu 6:34,35). He did not discuss lending for commercial purposes, and so does not necessarily forbid it.


See Driver on De 15:1-6; Benzinger, Hebrew Archaeology, (1894), 350 f; Oehler, Old Testament Theology, 150, 10; Plummer on Lu 6:34,35.

Charles B. Williams


len’-tilz (’adhashim; phakos; Ge 25:34; 2Sa 17:28; 23:11; Eze 4:9; the King James Version Lentiles): These are undoubtedly identical with the Arabic ‘adas, a small, reddish bean, the product of Ervum lens, a dwarf leguminous plant, half a foot high, which is extensively cultivated in Palestine as a summer crop. The flour is highly nutritious, and the well-known food, Revalenta arabica, is simply one form, specially prepared; ‘adas are highly esteemed in Palestine, and are used in soup and as a "pottage" known as mujedderah. This last is of a reddish-brown color and is without doubt the "pottage" of Ge 25:34. Lentils were part of the provisions brought to David when fleeing from Absalom (2Sa 17:28) and were used in the making of the bread for the prophet Ezekiel (4:9). In a "plot of ground full of lentils," Shammah, one of David’s "mighty men," stood and defended it and slew the marauding Philistines (2Sa 23:11,12).

E. W. G. Masterman


lep’-erd ((1) namer (So 4:8; Isa 11:6; Jer 5:6; 13:23; Ho 13:7; Hab 1:8); compare Arabic nimr, "leopard." (2) Chaldaic nemar (Da 7:6). (3) pardalis (Re 13:2; Ecclesiasticus 28:23); compare nimrim Nimrim (Isa 15:6; Jer 48:34), nimrah, Nimrah (Nu 32:3), and beth-nimrah, Beth-nimrah (Nu 32:36; Jos 13:27)): The leopard is found throughout Africa and ranges through Southern Asia from Asia Minor to Japan, being absent from Siberia and Central Asia. Its range is much the same as that of the lion, which latter, however, does not extend so far to the East. Like other animals of wide range, it has local varieties, but these shade into each other imperceptibly, and the one specific name, Felis pardus, includes all. Leopards live in some of the valleys East and South of the Dead Sea, and in the mountains of Sinai and Northwestern Arabia. They have but rarely been seen of recent years in Lebanon or the more settled portions of Palestine. So far as can be judged from skins which are available for comparison, the leopard of Palestine is rather light in color, and is not as large as. some found in Africa or India. It is not certain that the place-names, NIMRIM, NIMRAH, and BETH-NIMRAH (which see), have to do with namer, "leopard," but their location is in Moab, where leopards are well known, even at the present day. One of the valleys entering the Dead Sea from the East, South of the Arnon, is called Wadi-en-Numeir ("valley of the little leopard"; numeir, diminutive of nimr).

In the Bible "leopard" occurs mainly in figurative expressions, as a large and fierce beast. The leopard is mentioned with the lion and bear in Da 7:6; Ho 13:7; Re 13:2; with the lion, wolf and bear in Isa 11:6; with the lion and wolf in Jer 5:6; with the lion alone in Ecclesiasticus 28:23; with the wolf alone in Hab 1:8. The leopard is smaller than the lion and the tiger, but is more active than either. Its swiftness is referred to in Hab 1:8: "Their horses also (of the Chaldeans) are swifter than leopards." The spots of the leopard are referred to in Jer 13:23: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?"

The Greek pardalis, and panther, were both applied to the leopard. "Panther" is sometimes used of large leopards, while in America, with its corrupt form "painter," it is one of the names applied to the cougar or puma, Felis concolor, which, as the specific name implies, is not spotted like the leopard, or striped like the tiger.

Alfred Ely Day


lep’-er, lep’-ro-si (tsara‘ath; lepra): A slowly progressing and intractable disease characterized by subcutaneous nodules (Hebrew se’eth; Septuagint oule; the King James Version "rising"), scabs or cuticular crusts (Hebrew cappachath; Septuagint semasia) and white shining spots appearing to be deeper than the skin (Hebrew bahereth; Septuagint telaugema). Other signs are

(1) that the hairs of the affected part turn white and

(2) that later there is a growth of "quick raw flesh."

This disease in an especial manner rendered its victims unclean; even contact with a leper defiled whoever touched him, so while the cure of other diseases is called healing, that of leprosy is called cleansing (except in the case of Miriam (Nu 12:13) and that of the Samaritan (Lu 17:15) where the word "heal" is used in reference to leprosy). The disease is described in the Papyrus Ebers as ukhedu (the Coptic name for leprosy is tseht). It is also mentioned in ancient Indian and Japanese history. Hippocrates calls it "the Phoenician disease," and Galen names it "elephantiasis." In Europe it was little known until imported by the returning soldiers of Pompey’s army after his Syrian campaign in 61 BC; but after that date it is described by Soranus, Aretaeus and other classic authors.

1. Old Testament Instances:

The first Old Testament mention of this disease is as a sign given by God to Moses (Ex 4:6 (Jahwist)), which may be the basis of the story in Josephus’ Apion, I, 31, that Moses was expelled from Heliopolis on account of his being a leper (see also I, 26 and Ant, III, xi, 4). The second case is that of Miriam (Nu 12:10), where the disease is graphically described (EP2). In De 24:8 there is a reference to the oral tradition concerning the treatment of lepers, without any details, but in Le 13; 14 (Priestly Code) the rules for the recognition of the disease, the preliminary quarantine periods and the ceremonial methods of cleansing are given at length. It is worthy of note that neither here nor elsewhere is there any mention of treatment or remedy; and Jehoram’s ejaculation implies the belief that its cure could be accomplished only by miracle (2Ki 5:7).

The case of Naaman (2Ki 5:1) shows that lepers were not isolated and excluded from society among the Syrians. The leprosy of Gehazi (2Ki 5:27) is said to have been the transference of that of Naaman, but, as the incubation period is long, it must have been miraculously inflicted on him. The four lepers of Samaria of 2Ki 7:3 had been excluded from the city and were outside the gate.

The leprous stroke inflicted on Uzziah (2Ki 15:5; 2Ch 26:23) for his unwarrantable assumption of the priestly office began in his forehead, a form of the disease peculiarly unclean (Le 13:43-46) and requiring the banishment and isolation of the leper. It is remarkable that there is no reference to this disease in the prophetical writings, or in the Hagiographa.

2. Leprosy in the New Testament:

In the New Testament, cleansing of the lepers is mentioned as a specific portion of our Lord’s work of healing, and was included in the commission given to the apostles. There are few individual cases specially described, only the ten of Lu 17:12, and the leper whom our Lord touched (Mt 8:2; Mr 1:40; Lu 5:12), but it is probable that these are only a few out of many such incidents. Simon the leper (Mt 26:6; Mr 14:3) may have been one of those cured by the Lord.

3. Nature and Locality of the Disease:

The disease is a zymotic affection produced by a microbe discovered by Hansen in 1871. It is contagious, although not very readily communicated by casual contact; in one form it is attended with anesthesia of the parts affected, and this, which is the commonest variety now met with in the East, is slower in its course than those forms in which nodular growths are the most prominent features, in which parts of the limbs often drop off. At present there are many lepers to be seen at the gates of the cities in Palestine. It is likewise prevalent in other eastern lands, India, China, and Japan. Cases are also to be seen in most of the Mediterranean lands and in Norway, as well as in parts of Africa and the West Indies and in South America. In former times it was occasionally met with in Britain, and in most of the older English cities there were leper houses, often called "lazarets" from the mistaken notion that the eczematous or varicose ulcers of Lazarus were leprous (Lu 16:20). Between 1096 and 1472, 112 such leper houses were founded in England. Of this disease King Robert Bruce of Scotland died. There was special medieval legislation excluding lepers from churches and forbidding them to wander from district to district. Leprosy has been sometimes confounded with other diseases; indeed the Greek physicians used the name lepra for the scaly skin disease now called psoriasis. In the priestly legislation there was one form of disease (Le 13:13) in which the whiteness covers all the body, and in this condition the patient was pronounced to be clean. This was probably psoriasis, for leprosy does not, until a very late stage, cover all the body, and when it does so, it is not white. It has been surmised that Naaman’s disease was of this kind. Freckled spots (Hebrew bohaq), which were to be distinguished from true leprosy (Le 13:39), were either spots of herpes or of some other non-contagious skin disease. The modern Arabic word of the same sound is the name of a form of eczema. the Revised Version (British and American) reads for freckled spot "tetter," an old English word from a root implying itchiness (see Hamlet, I, v, 71).

The homiletic use of leprosy as a type of sin is not Biblical. The only Scriptural reference which might approach this is Ps 51:7, but this refers to Nu 19:18 rather than to the cleansing of the leper. The Fathers regarded leprosy as typical of heresy rather than of moral offenses. (See Rabanus Maurus, Allegoria, under the word "Lepra.")

(1) Leprosy in Garments.

The occurrence of certain greenish or reddish stains in the substance of woolen or linen fabrics or in articles made of leather is described in Le 13:47 ff, and when these stains spread, or, after washing, do not change their color, they are pronounced to be due to a fretting leprosy (tsara‘ath mam’ereth), and such garments are to be burnt. As among the fellahin articles of clothing are worn for years and are often hereditary, it is little wonder that they become affected by vegetable as well as animal parasites, and that which is here referred to is probably some form of mildew, such as Penicillium or mold-fungus. The destruction of such garments is a useful sanitary precaution. Possibly this sort of decaying garment was in Job’s mind when he compares himself to a "rotten thing that consumeth, like a garment that is moth-eaten" (Job 13:28); see also Jude 1:23, "the garment spotted (espilomenon) by the flesh."

(2) Leprosy in the House (Le 14:34 ).

The occurrence of "hollow streaks, greenish or reddish," in the plaster of a house is regarded as evidence that the wall is affected with leprosy, and when such is observed the occupant first clears his house of furniture, for if the discoloration be pronounced leprous, all in the home would become unclean and must be destroyed. Then he asks the priest to inspect it. The test is first, that the stain is in the substance of the wall, and, second, that it is spreading. In case these conditions are fulfilled, it is pronounced to be leprosy and the affected part of the wall is taken down, its stones cast outside the city, its plaster scraped off and also cast outside the city; new stones are then built in and the house is newly plastered. Should the stain recur in the new wall, then the whole house is condemned and must be destroyed and its materials cast outside the city. The description is that of infection by some fungus attacking whatever organic material is in the mud plaster by which the wall is covered. If in woodwork, it might be the dry rot (Merulius lacrimans), but this is not likely to spread except where there is wood or other organic matter. It might be the efflorescence of mural salt (calcium nitrate), which forms fiocculent masses when decomposing nitrogenous material is in contact with lime; but that is generally white, not green or reddish. Considering the uncleanly condition of the houses of the ordinary fellah, it is little wonder that such fungus growths may develop in their walls, and in such cases destruction of the house and its materials is a sanitary necessity.

4. The Legal Attitude:

It should be observed here that the attitude of the Law toward the person, garment or house suspected of leprosy is that if the disease be really present they are to be declared unclean and there is no means provided for cure, and in the case of the garment or house, they are to be destroyed. If, on the other hand, the disease be proved to be absent, this freedom from the disease has to be declared by a ceremonial purification. This is in reality not the ritual for cleansing the leper, for the Torah provides none such, but the ritual for declaring him ceremonially free from the suspicion of having the disease. This gives a peculiar and added force to the words, "The lepers are cleansed," as a testimony to our Lord’s Divine mission.

Alexander Macalister





les’-o (Lessaou; the King James Version Dessau): A place mentioned only in 2 Macc 14:16 as the scene of a battle between Nicanor and the Jews. "Dessau" of the King James Version arises from confusion of the captical Greek letters, Lambda ("L") with Delta ("D"). The place may be identical with ADASA (which see).


(katecho): Usually in the sense of "permit" (Anglo-Saxon, leetan), but also in Old English with meaning of "hinder" (Anglo-Saxon, lettan). This latter sense is found in 2Th 2:7 the King James Version, "Only he who now letteth will let," where the Revised Version (British and American) has, "Only there is one that restraineth now."


le’-thek (lethekh): A liquid measure equivalent to half a homer (Ho 3:2 margin) and containing about 5 1/2 bushels.









le-too’-shim, le-tu’-shim (leTushim): A Dedanite tribe in North Arabia (Ge 25:3). With it are connected the ASSHURIM and LEUMMIM (which see).


le-um’-im (le’ummim): A Dedanite tribe of North Arabia, connected with the LETUSHIM (which see).

LEVI (1)

le’-vi (Lewi; Leui; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek Leuei):

(1) The 3rd son of Jacob by Leah. See separate article.

(2) (3) Two ancestors of Jesus in Luke’s genealogy (Lu 3:24,29).

(4) The apostle Matthew.


LEVI (2)

(Lewi; Leuei): The third of Leah’s sons born to Jacob in Paddan-aram (Ge 29:34). In this passage the name is connected with the verb lawah, "to adhere," or "be joined to," Leah expressing assurance that with the birth of this third son, her husband might be drawn closer to her in the bonds of conjugal affection. There is a play upon the name in Nu 18:2,4, where direction is given that the tribe of Levi be "joined unto" Aaron in the ministries of the sanctuary. The etymology here suggested is simple and reasonable. The grounds on which some modern scholars reject it are purely conjectural. It is asserted, e.g., that the name is adjectival, not nominal, describing one who attaches himself; and this is used to support theory that the Levites were those who joined the Semitic people when they left Egypt to return to Palestine, who therefore were probably Egyptians. Others think it may be a gentilic form le’ah, "wild cow" (Wellhausen, Prolegomena, 146; Stade, Stade, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 152); and this is held to be the more probable, as pointing to early totem worship!

Levi shared with Simeon the infamy incurred at Shechem by the treacherous slaughter of the Shechemites (Ge 34). Jacob’s displeasure was expressed at the time (Ge 34:3), and the memory was still bitter to him in his last days (Ge 49:5 f). The fate predicted for the descendants of Simeon and Levi (Ge 49:7), in the case of the latter on account of the tribe’s stedfast loyalty in a period of stern testing, was changed to a blessing (Ex 32:26). In later literature the action condemned by Jacob is mentioned with approval (Judith 9:2 ff). Levi was involved in his brothers’ guilt with regard to Joseph (Ge 37), and shared their experiences in Egypt before Joseph made himself known (Ge 42$; 43$; 44$; 45$). Three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, were born to him in Canaan, and went down with the caravan to Egypt (Ge 46:11). Nothing further is known of the personal history of this patriarch. He died and found sepulture in Egypt. For the tribal history and possessions, see PRIESTS AND LEVITES.

W. Ewing


le-vi’-a-than (liwyathan (Job 41:1-34), from [~lawah, "to fold"; compare Arabic name of the wry neck, Iynx torquilla, abu-luwa, from kindred lawa, "to bend"):

(1) The word "leviathan" also occurs in Isa 27:1, where it is characterized as "the swift serpent .... the crooked serpent"; in Ps 104:26, where a marine monster is indicated; also in Ps 74:14 and Job 3:8. The description in Job 41 has been thought by some to refer to the whale, but while the whale suits better the expressions denoting great strength, the words apply best on the whole to the crocodile. Moreover, the whale is very seldom found in the Mediterranean, while the crocodile is abundant in the Nile, and has been known to occur in at least one river of Palestine, the Zarqa, North of Jaffa. For a discussion of the behemoth and leviathan as mythical creatures, see EB, under the word "Behemoth" and "Leviathan." The points in the description which may well apply to the crocodile are the great invulnerability, the strong and close scales, the limbs and the teeth. It must be admitted that there are many expressions which a modern scientist would not use with reference to the crocodile, but the Book of Job is neither modern nor scientific, but poetical and ancient.

(2) See ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 2, 5.

Alfred Ely Day





le’-vis (Leuis): 1 Esdras 9:14, properly the Levite of Ezr 10:15; "Shabbethai the Levite" for "Levis and Sabbateus."







1. Numbers

2. Deuteronomy



1. Traces of the Cities

2. Wellhausen’s Arguments Answered

3. Van Hoonacker’s Reply

4. Ezekiel’s Vision

5. Priestly Cities and Cities in Which Priests Dwell


I. Legal Provisions.

1. Numbers: Nu 35:1-8 provides that 48 cities should be given to the Levites, each surrounded by a pasturage. The exact details are not quite clear, for in the Hebrew, Nu 35:4 would naturally be read as meaning that the pasturage was a radius of 1,000 cubits from the city walls, while 35:5 makes each city the center of a square, each side of which was 2,000 cubits long. Extant variants in the versions suggest, however, that the text has suffered slightly in transmission. Originally there seems to have been no discrepancy between the two verses, and it may be doubted whether the intent was that the city was always to be in the mathematical center of the patch. The Levites were to have the right of redeeming the houses at any time, and in default of redemption they were to go out in the Jubilee. The field was not to be sold (Le 25:32 f).

2. Deuteronomy:

De 18:8 undoubtedly recognizes patrimonial possessions of the Levites outside the religious capital, and sees no inconsistency with its earlier statement that Levi had no portion or inheritance with Israel (18:1). The explanation lies in the fact that these cities were not a tribal portion like the territories of the secular tribes. The area occupied by the whole 48 jointly would only have amounted to less than 16 miles.

II. Wellhausen’s View.

Jos 21 relates that this command was fulfilled by the allocation of 48 cities, but it is clear that some of those cities were not in fact reduced into possession; see e.g. Jos 16:10; Jud 1:29 as to Gezer, and Jud 1:27 as to Taanach. Wellhausen treats the whole arrangement as fictitious. His main reasons are: (1) that the arrangement is physically impracticable in a mountainous country, and (2) that "there is not a historical trace of the existence of the Levitical cities." Many remained in the hands of the Canaanites till a late period, while others were "important but by no means ecclesiastical towns" (Prolegomena, 160). Two pages later he says that "four of them were demonstrably famous old seats of worship," and conjectures that most, if not all, were ancient sanctuaries. He also regards Ezekiel’s scheme of a heave offering of land (Eze 45) as the origin of the idea. Yet "Jerus and the temple, which, properly speaking, occasioned the whole arrangement, are buried in silence with a diligence which is in the highest degree surprising" (p. 164).

III. Alternative View and Evidence.

1. Traces of the Cities:

In point of fact, there are traces of some of the Levitical cities in the later history. Such are Anathoth (1Ki 2:26; Jer 1:1; 32$), Jattir (2Sa 20:26, where, as shown in the article PRIESTS AND LEVITES (which see), Jattirite should be read for the Massoretic Jairite), Beth-shemesh (1Sa 6:13-15; see PRIESTS AND LEVITES as to the text). (From Am 7:17 it appears that Amaziah of Bethel had land, but we do not know that he was of Levitical descent or where the land was.)

2. Wellhausen’s Arguments Answered:

Further, the fact that many other Levitical cities appear to have been centers of worship points to the presence of priests. Was the great high place of Gibeon (1Ki 3:4) unserved by priests? It is surely natural to suppose that during the period between the capture of the Ark and its transport to Jerusalem there was a tendency for high places to spring up in cities where there were priests rather than elsewhere; indeed there would probably be a disposition on the part of unemployed priests to go astray in a direction that would prove lucrative.

3. Van Hoonacker’s Reply:

With regard to the other objection, Van Hoonacker’s answer is convincing: "As to the way in which the measurements were to be carried out in the mountainous country of Palestine, the legislator doubtless knew what method was usually employed. Besides, we are free to believe that he only gives these figures as approximate indications" (Sacerdoce levitique, 433).

4. Ezekiel’s Vision:

The same writer’s reply to theory that the idea originated with Ezekiel is wholly admirable. "Strictly we could ask .... whether Ezekiel did not found himself on the description of the camp of the Israelites in the desert. It is only too manifest that the division and appointment of the territory as presented in Eze 48 of the prophet are scarcely inspired by practical necessities, that they have a very pronounced character of ideal vision; and ‘as no fancy is pure fancy,’ we ought also to find the elements which are at the basis of Ezekiel’s vision. The tents of the tribe of Levi ranged around the tabernacle explain themselves in the Priestly Code; we may doubt whether the Levites, deprived of territory (Eze 44:28) and nevertheless grouped on a common territory, in the conditions described in Eze 48, explain themselves with equal facility. A camp is readily conceived on the pattern of a chessboard, but not the country of Canaan. We need not stop there. It is in fact certain that Ezekiel here has in view the protection of the holiness of the temple from all profanation; and in the realm of the ideal, the means are appropriate to the end" (op. cit., 425 f).

5. Priestly Cities and Cities in Which Priests Dwell:

Lastly there runs through Wellhausen’s discussion the confusion between a city where priests may be dwelling and a priestly city. There were priests in Jerusalem, as there are today in London or Chicago; but none of these three places can be regarded as a priestly city in the same sense as the Levitical cities. Not one of them has ever been a patrimonial city of priests, or could be the origin of such an arrangement.

While therefore the whole of the cities mentioned in Jos 21 were certainly not reduced into possession at the time of the conquest, the Wellhausen theory on this matter cannot be sustained.


J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena, 159-63; A. Van Hoonacker, Sacerdoce levitique, 423-35 (very brilliant and important).

Harold M. Wiener




1. Name

2. Character of Book

3. Unity of Book: Law of Holiness Examination of Critical Theory


1. Modern Analyses

(1) Theories of Disintegration

(2) Reasons for Dismemberment

(3) Insufficiency of These Reasons

2. Structure of the Biblical Text

(1) Structure in General

(2) Structure of the Individual Pericopes


1. Against the Wellhausen Hypothesis

(1) The Argument from Silence

(2) Attitude of Prophets toward Sacrificial System

(3) The People’s Disobedience

(4) Indiscriminate Sacrificing

(5) Deuteronomy and Priestly Code

2. Connection with Mosaic Period

(1) Priestly Code and Desert Conditions

(2) Unity and Construction Point to Mosaic Origin


1. Positive

(1) The Law Contains God’s Will

(2) The Law Prepares for the Understanding of Christianity

(3) The Law as a Tutor unto Christ

2. Negative


I. General Data.

1. Name:

The third book of the Pentateuch is generally named by the Jews according to the first word, wayyiqra’ (Origen Ouikra, by the Septuagint called according to its contents Leuitikon, or Leueitikon, by the Vulgate, accordingly, "Leviticus" (i.e. Liber), sometimes "Leviticum"). The Jews have also another name taken from its contents, namely, torath kohanim, "Law of the Priests."

2. Character of Book:

As a matter of fact ordinances pertaining to the priesthood, to the Levitical system, and to the cults constitute a most important part of this book; but specifically religious and ethical commands, as we find them, e.g. in Le 18; 19; 20, are not wanting; and there are also some historical sections, which, however, are again connected with the matter referring to the cults, namely the consecration of the priests in Le 8 and 9, the sin and the punishment of two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (10:1 ff), and the account of the stoning of a blasphemer (24:10 ff). Of the Levites, on the other hand, the book does not treat at all. They are mentioned only once and that incidentally in 25:32 ff. The laws are stated to have been given behar Cinay (7:38; 25:1; 26:46; 27:34), which expression, on account of Le 11, in which Yahweh is described as speaking to Moses out of the tent of meeting, is not to be translated "upon" but "at" Mt. Sinai. The connection of this book with the preceding and following books, i.e. Exodus and Numbers, which is commonly acknowledged as being the case, at least in some sense, leaves for the contents of Leviticus exactly the period of a single month, since the last chronological statement of Ex 40:17 as the time of the erection of the tabernacle mentions the 1st day of the 1st month of the 2nd year of the Exodus, and Nu 1:1 takes us to the 1st day of the 2nd month of the same year. Within this time of one month the consecration of the priests fills out 8 days (Le 8:33; 9:1). A sequence in time is indicated only by Le 16:1, which directly connects with what is reported in Le 10 concerning Nadab and Abihu. In the same way the ordinances given in 10:6 ff are connected with the events described in 8:1-10:5. The laws are described as being revelations of Yahweh, generally given to Moses (compare 1:1; 4:1; 5:14; 6:19,24 (Hebrew 12,17); 7:22,28, etc.); sometimes to Moses and Aaron (compare 11:1; 13:1; 14:33; 15:1, etc.), and, rarely, to Aaron alone (10:8). In 10:12 ff, Moses gives some directions to the priests, which are based on a former revelation (compare 6:16 (Hebrew 9) ff; 7:37 ff). In 10:16 ff, we have a difference of opinion between Moses and Aaron, or rather his sons, which was decided on the basis of an independent application of principles given in Leviticus. Most of these commands are to be announced to Israel (1:2; 4:2; 7:23,19; 9:3 ff; 11:2; 12:2; 15:2; 18:2, etc.); others to the priests (6:9,25 (Hebrew 2,18); 21:2; 22:2, etc.); or to the priests and the Israelites (17:2; 22:18), while the directions in reference to the Day of Atonement, with which Aaron was primarily concerned (16:2), beginning with 16:29, without a special superscription, are undeniably changed into injunctions addressed to all Israel; compare also 21:24 and 21:2. As the Book of Exodus treats of the communion which God offers on His part to Israel and which culminates at last in His dwelling in the tent of meeting (40:34 ff; compare under EXODUS, I, 2), the Book of Leviticus contains the ordinances which were to be carried out by the Israelites in religious, ethical and cultural matters, in order to restore and maintain this communion with God, notwithstanding the imperfections and the guilt of the Israelites. And as this book thus with good reason occupies its well established place in the story of the founding and in the earliest history of theocracy, so too even a casual survey and intelligent glance at the contents of the book will show that we have here a well-arranged and organic unity, a conviction which is only confirmed and strengthened by the presentation of the structure of the book in detail (see under II, below).

3. Unity of Book: Law of Holiness:

As a rule, critics are accustomed first of all to regard Le 17:1-25:55 or 26 as an independent section, and find in these chapters a legal code that is considered to have existed at one time as a group by itself, before it was united with the other parts.

It is indeed true that a series of peculiarities have been found in these chapters of Leviticus. To these peculiarities belongs the frequent repetition of the formula: "I am Yahweh your God" (18:2,4; 19:2,4, etc.); or "I am Yahweh" (18:5,6,21; 19:14,16, etc.), or "I am Yahweh .... who hath separated you" (20:24), or "who sanctifieth you" (20:8; 21:8,15,23, etc.). To these peculiarities belong the references in words, or, in fact, to the land of Canaan, into which Israel is to be led (18:3,14 ff; 19:23 ff, 29; 20:22 ff; 23; 25), and also to Egypt, out of which He has led the people (18:3; 19:34; 22:33; 26:13,15, etc.); as, further, the demand for sanctification (19:2), or the warning against desecration (19:12; 21:23, etc.), both based on the holiness of Yahweh. In addition, a number of peculiar expressions are repeatedly found in these chapters. Because of their contents these chapters have, since Klostermann, generally been designated by the letter H (i.e. Law of Holiness); or, according to the suggestion of Dillmann, by the letter S (i.e. Sinaitic Law), because, according to 25:1; 26:46, they are said to have been given at Mt. Sinai, and because in certain critical circles it was at one time claimed that these chapters contain old laws from the Mosaic period, although these had been changed in form. These earlier views have apparently now been discarded by the critics entirely.

Examination of Critical Theory.

We, however, do not believe that it is at all justifiable to separate these laws as a special legal code from the other chapters. In the first place, these peculiarities, even if such are found here more frequently than elsewhere, are not restricted to these chapters exclusively. The Decalogue (Ex 20:2) begins with the words, "I am Yahweh thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Ex 22:31 contains the demand, "Ye shall be holy men unto me." Ex 29:44,45 contains a promise that God will dwell in the midst of the Israelites, so that they shall learn that He is Yahweh, their God, who has brought them out of Egypt in order to dwell in their midst as Yahweh, their God (compare, further, Ex 6:6-8; 31:13 f; Le 10:10,11; 11:44; Nu 15:37-41; 33:52 f, 55 f; De 14:2,21). It is a more than risky undertaking to find in these and in other sections scattered remnants of H, especially if these are seen to be indispensable in the connection in which they are found, and when no reason can be given why they should be separated from this collection of laws. Then, too, the differences of opinion on the part of the critics in assigning these different parts to H, do not make us favorably inclined to the whole hypothesis. Hoffmann, especially (Die wichtigsten Instanzen gegen die Graf-Wellhausensche Hypothese, 16 ff), has shown how impossible it is to separate H from the other ordinances of the Priestly Code in so radical a manner. In saying this we do not at all wish to deny the peculiar character of these chapters, only we do not believe that Le 17 can be added or Le 26 can be taken away from this section; for in Le 17 all the characteristic peculiarities of the Holiness Law are lacking; and, on the other hand, in Le 26 the expression "I am Yahweh your God," or a similar one in 26:12,13,14 f, is found. The subscription in 26:46 connects Le 26 with the preceding; and, further, the reference to the Sabbatical year as described in Le 25, found in 26:34 f, 43, is not to be overlooked. Finally, also, other legal codes, such as that in the first Book of the Covenant (Ex 23:20-33) and that of De (27:11-28:68) close with the offer of a blessing or a curse.

The chapters under consideration (Le 18:1-26:46) are most closely connected with each other solely through their contents, which have found expression in a particular form, without these facts being sufficient to justify the claim of their being a separate legal code. For since in Le 1-17 all those things which separate the Israelites from their God have been considered and bridged over (compare Le 1-7, the laws concerning sacrifices; Le 8-10, the mediatorship of the priests; Le 11-15, the unclean things; Le 16, the Day of Atonement; Le 17, the use made of blood), we find in Le 18:1-26:46 an account of the God-pleasing conduct, which admits of nothing that desecrates; namely, Le 18; 19; 20 contain laws dealing with marriage and chastity and other matters of a religious, ethical or cultural kind, together with the punishments that follow their transgression; Le 21 f determine the true character of the priests and of the sacred oblations; Le 23 f, the consecration of the seasons, of life and death, etc.; Le 25, the Sabbath and the Jubilee year; Le 26 contains the offer of a blessing or a curse. Le 1-17 have, as it were, a negative character; Le 18:1-26:46 a positive character. In Le 1-17 the consciousness of what is unclean, imperfect and guilty is awakened and the possibility of their removal demonstrated; while in Le 18:1-26:46 the norm of a holy life is set forth. Even if these two parts at certain places show so great a likeness that the occurrence of an interchange of ordinances could be regarded as possible, nevertheless the peculiar character of each part is plainly recognized; and this is also a very essential argument for the view that both parts have one and the same author, who intentionally brought the two parts into closer connection and yet separated the one from the other. On this supposition the peculiarities of Le 18:1-26:46 are sufficiently explained, and also the positive contents of these chapters and the fact that just these chapters are referred to in pre-exilic literature oftener than is the case with Le 1-17, and particularly the close connection between Ezekiel and H is to be regarded as a consequence of the common tendency of both authors and not as the result of their having used a common source (see EZEKIEL, II, 2). In Le 26:46 we have what is clearly a conclusion, which corresponds to 25:1; 7:37 f; 1:1, and accordingly regards Le 1:1-26:46 as a unity; while Le 27, which treats of vows and of tithes, with its separate subscription in 27:34, shows that it is an appendix or a supplement, which is, however, in many ways connected with the rest of the book, so that this addition cannot, without further grounds, be regarded as pointing to another author.

II. Structure.

1. Modern Analyses:

Modern criticism ascribes the entire Book of Leviticus, being a special legal code, to the Priestly Code (P). The questions which arise in connection with this claim will be discussed under III, below. At this point we must first try to awaken a consciousness of the fact, that in this special particular, too, the documentary theory has entered upon the stage of total disintegration; that the reasons assigned for the separation of the sources are constantly becoming more arbitrary and subjective; and that the absurd consequences to which they consistently lead from the very outset arouse distrust as to the correctness of the process. Just as in the historical parts the critics have for long been no longer content with J (Jahwist) and E (Elohist), but have added a J1 and Later additions to J, an E1 and Later additions to E, and as Sievers and Gunkel have gone farther, and in detail have completely shattered both J and E into entirely separate fragments (see GENESIS), So the Priestly Code (P), too, is beginning to experience the same fate. It is high time that, for both the historical and the legal sections, the opposite course be taken, and that we turn from the dismemberment to the combination of these documents; that we seek out and emphasize those features which, in form and content, unite the text into a clear unity. For this reason we lay the greatest stress on these in this section, which deals with the structure of the book, and which treats of the matter (1) negatively and (2) positively (see also EXODUS, II).

(1) Theories of Disintegration.

We have already seen in the article DAY OF ATONEMENT (I, 2, (2)) in connection with Le 16 an example of these attempts at dissection, and here still add several examples in order to strengthen the impression on this subject.

(a) General Considerations:

If we for the present disregard the details, then, according to Bertholet (Kurzer Hand-Kommentar zum Alten Testament), not only Le 17:1-26:46 (see, above, under I) at one time existed as a separate legal corpus, but also the sacrificial legislation in Le 1-7, and also the laws concerning the clean and the unclean in Le 11-15. Concerning Le 16 see above. Then, too, Le 27 is regarded as a supplement and is ascribed to a different author. Finally, the so-called "fundamental document" of P (marked Pg) contained only parts from Le 9 f (also a few matters from Le 8), as also one of the three threads of Le 16, for Le 8-10, it is said, described the consecration of the priests demanded in Ex 25 ff, which also are regarded as a part of Pg, and Le 16:1 is claimed to connect again with Le 10 (compare on this point DAY OF ATONEMENT, I, 2). All these separate parts of Leviticus (i.e. Le 1:1-27:34) are further divided into a number of more or less independent subparts; thus, e.g., Le 1-7, containing the sacrificial laws, are made to consist of two parts, namely, Le 1-5 and Le 6-7; or the laws concerning the clean and the unclean in Le 11-15 are divided into the separate pieces, Le 11; 12; 13:1-46; and these are regarded as having existed at one time and in a certain manner independently and separated from each other. But how complicated in detail the composition is considered to be, we can see from Le 17:1-26:46.

(b) Leviticus 17-26 Considered in Detail:

While Baentsch (Hand-Kommentar zum Alten Testament) accepts, to begin with, three fundamental strata (H1 = Le 18; 19; 20 and certain portions from Le 23; 24; 25; H2 = Le 21 f; H3 = Le 17), Bertholet, too (op. cit., x), regards the development of these chapters as follows: "In detail we feel justified in separating the following pieces: (i) Le 17:3,4 (5,7a), 8,9,10-14; (ii) 18:7-10,12-20,22 f; and this united with (iii) 19:3 f, 11 f, 27 f, 30,31,35,36, which was probably done by the author of (iii). The following were inserted by the person who united these parts, namely, 18:6,27,25,26,28,30; (iv) 19:9,10,13-18,19,29,32; (v) 19:5-8,23-26; (vi) 20:2(3), 6(27); (vii) 20:9,10-21; 19:20; (viii) 21:1b-5,7,9-15,17b-24; 22:3,8,10-14,18b-25,27-30; (ix) 23:10-20,39-43; (x) 24:15-22, except verses 16a(?)b; (xi) 25:2-7 (4), 18-22,35-38,39,40a, 42 f, 47,53,15; (xii) 25:8a, 9b, 10a, 13,14-16,17,24 f. In uniting these pieces Rh (the Redactor of the Law of Holiness) seems to have added de suo the following: 17:5 (beginning); 18:2b-5,21,24,26a(?), 29; 19:33 f, 37; 20:4 f, 7 f, 22-26; 21:6,8; 22:2,9,15 f, 31-33; 23:22; 25:11 f; 26:1 f. At the same time he united with these an older parenetic section, 26:3-45, which, by inserting 26:10,34 f, 39-43, he changed into a concluding address of this small legal code. All the rest that is found in Le 17:1-26:46 seems to be the result of a revision in the spirit of the Priestly Code (P), not, however, as though originally it all came from the hand of Rp (Redactor P). That he rather added and worked together older pieces from P (which did not belong to Pg) is seen from an analysis of Le 23. .... As far as the time when these parts were worked together is concerned, we have a reliable terminus ad quem in a comparison of Ne 8:14-18 with Le 23:36 (P), 39 ff (H). Only we must from the outset remember, that still, after the uniting of these different parts, the marks of the editorial pen are to be noticed in the following Le 17:1-26:46, i.e. that after this union a number of additions were yet made to the text. This is sure as far as 23:26-32 is concerned, and is probable as to 24:1-9,10-14,23; 25:32-34; and that this editorial work even went so far as to put sections from P in the place of parts of H can possibly be concluded from 24:1-9."

(c) Extravagance of Critical Treatment:

This is also true of all the other sections, as can be seen by a reference to the books of Bertholet and Baentsch. What should surprise us most, the complicated and external manner in which our Biblical text, which has such a wonderful history back of it, is declared by the critics to have originated, or the keenness of the critics, who, with the ease of child’s play, are able to detect and trace out this growth and development of the text, and can do more than hear the grass grow? But this amazement is thrust into the ackground when we contemplate what becomes of the Bible text under the manipulations of the critics. The compass of this article makes it impossible to give even as much as a general survey of the often totally divergent and contradictory schemes of Baentsch and Bertholet and others on the distribution of this book among different sources; and still less possible is it to give a criticism of these in detail. But this critical method really condemns itself more thoroughly than any examination of its claims would. All who are not yet entirely hypnotized by the spell of the documentary hypothesis will feel that by this method all genuine scientific research is brought to an end. If the way in which this book originated had been so complicated, it certainly could never have been again reconstructed.

(2) Reasons for Dismemberment.

We must at this place confine ourselves to mentioning and discussing several typical reasons which are urged in favor of a distribution among different authors.

(a) Alleged Repetitions:

We find in the parts belonging to P a number of so-called repetitions. In Le 1-7 we find a twofold discussion of the five kinds of sacrifices (1-5; 6:1 ff); in Le 20 punitive measures are enacted for deeds which had been described already in Le 18; in 19:3,10; 23:3; 26:2 the Sabbath command is intensified; in 19:5 ff; 22:29 f, we find commands which had been touched upon already in 7:15 ff; 19:9 f we find almost verbally repeated in 23:22; 24:2 ff repeats ordinances concerning the golden candlestick from Ex 27:20 ff, etc. The existence of these repetitions cannot be denied; but is the conclusion drawn from this fact correct? It certainly is possible that one and the same author could have handled the same materials at different places and from different viewpoints, as is the case in Le 1-7 in regard to the sacrifices. Le 18 and 20 (misdeeds and punishments) are even necessarily and mutually supplementary. Specially important laws can have been repeated, in order to emphasize and impress them all the more; or they are placed in peculiar relations or in a unique light (compare, e.g., 24:1 ff, the command in reference to the golden candlestick in the pericope Le 23; 24; see below). Accordingly, as soon as we can furnish a reason for the repetition, it becomes unobjectionable; and often, when this is not the case, the objections are unremoved if we ascribe the repetitions to a new author, who made the repetition by way of an explanation (see EXODUS, II, 2, (5)).

(b) Separation of Materials:

Other reasons will probably be found in uniting or separating materials that are related. That Le 16 is connected with Le 8-10, and these connect with Ex 25 ff, is said to prove that this had been the original order in these sections. But why should materials that are clearly connected be without any reason torn asunder by the insertion of foreign data? Or has the interpolator perhaps had reasons of his own for doing this? Why are not these breaks ascribed to the original author? The sacrificial laws in Le 1-7 are properly placed before Le 8-10, because in these latter chapters the sacrifices are described as already being made (9:7,15, the sin offering; 9:7,12,16, the burnt offering; 9:17; 10:12, the meal offering; 9:18, the peace offering; 9:3 f, all kinds). In the same way Le 11-15, through 15:31, are inwardly connected with Le 16, since these chapters speak of the defiling of the dwelling-place of Yahweh, from which the Day of Atonement delivers (16:16 f, 33). As a matter of course, the original writer as well as a later redactor could have at times also connected parts in a looser or more external manner. In this way, in 7:22 ff, the command not to eat of the fats or of the blood has been joined to the ordinances with reference to the use of the peace offerings in 7:19 ff. This again is the case when, in Le 2, verses 11-13 have been inserted in the list of the different kinds of meal offering; when after the general scheme of sin offerings, according to the hierarchical order and rank in Le 4, a number of special cases are mentioned in 5:1 ff; and when in 5:7 ff commands are given to prevent too great poverty; or when in 6:19 ff the priestly meal offerings are found connected with other ordinances with references to the meat offerings in general (6:14 ff); or when the share that belongs to the priest (7:8 ff) is found connected with his claim to the guilt offering (7:1 ff); or the touching of the meat offering by something unclean (7:19 ff) is found connected with the ordinances concerning the peace offerings; or when in Le 11 the ordinances dealing with the unclean animals gradually pass over into ordinances concerning the touching of these animals, as is already indicated by the subscription 11:4,6 f (compare with 11:2). Still more would it be natural to unite different parts in other ways also. In this way the ordinances dealing with the character of the sacrifices in 22:17-30 could, regarded by themselves, be placed also in Le 1-7. But in Le 22 they are also well placed. On the other hand, the character of Le 1-7 would have become too complicated if they were inserted here. In such matters the author must have freedom of action.

(c) Change of Singular and Plural:

Further, the frequent change between the singular and the plural in the addresses found in the laws which are given to a body of persons is without further thought used by the critics as a proof of a diversity of authors in the section under consideration (compare Le 10:12 ff; 19:9,11 ff, 15 ff, etc.). But how easily this change in numbers can be explained! In case the plural is used, the body of the people are regarded as having been distributed into individuals; and in the case of a more stringent application the plural can at once be converted into the singular, since the author is thinking now only of separate individuals. Naturally, too, the singular is used as soon as the author thinks again rather of the people as a whole. Sometimes the change is made suddenly within one and the same verse or run of thought; and this in itself ought to have banished the thought of a difference of authors in such cases. In the case of an interpolator or redactor, it is from the outset all the more probable that he would have paid more attention to the person used in the addresses than that this would have been done by the original writer, who was completely absorbed by the subject-matter. Besides, such a change in number is frequently found in other connections also; compare in the Book of the Covenant (Ex 22:20-25,29 f; 23:9 ; compare De 12:2 ff, 13 ). In regard to these passages, also, the modern critics are accustomed to draw the same conclusion; and in these cases, too, this is hasty. In the same way the change in the laws from the 3rd to the 2nd person can best be explained as the work of the lawgiver himself, before whose mind the persons addressed are more vividly present and who, when speaking in the 2nd person, becomes personal (compare Le 2:4 ff with 2:1-3, and also 1:2; 3:17; 6:18,21,25 ff).

(d) Proofs of Religious Development:

A greater importance seemingly must be attributed to the reasons based on a difference in the terminology or on contradictions in the laws, as these appear to lead to a religio-historical development. But the following examples are intended to show how all important it is to be slow in the acceptance of the materials which the critics offer in this connection.

(3) Insufficiency of These Reasons.

(a) In Le 5:1-7, in the section treating of the sin offering (4:1-5:13), we find the word ‘asham, which also signifies "guilt offering" (compare 5:14 ff; 7:1 ff). Accordingly, it is claimed, the author of 5:1-7 was not yet acquainted with the difference between the two kinds of offerings, and that this part is older than that in 4:1 ff; 5:14 ff. However, in 5:1 ff the word ‘asham is evidently used in the sense of "repentance," and does not signify "sin offering" at all; at any rate, already in 5:6 f we find the characteristic term chaTTath to designate the latter, and thus this section appears as entirely in harmony with the connection.

(b) Critics find a contradiction in Le 6:26; 7:33,7, and in 6:29; 7:31,6, since in the first case the officiating priest and in the other case the entire college of priests is described as participating in the sacrifice. In reply it is to be said that the first set of passages treat of the individual concrete cases, while the second set speak of the general principle. In 7:8 f, however, where the individual officiating priest is actually put in express contrast with all the sons of Aaron, the matter under consideration is a difference in the meal offerings, which, beginning with Le 2, could be regarded as known. Why this difference is made in the use of this sacrifice is no longer intelligible to us, as we no longer retain these sacrifices, nor are we in possession of the oral instruction which possibly accompanied the written formulation of these laws; but this is a matter entirely independent of the question as to the author.

(c) According to Ex 29:7; Le 4:3,5,16; 6:20,22; 8:12; 16:32; 21:10,12, the high priest is the only one who is anointed; while, on the other hand, in Ex 28:41; 29:21; 30:30; 40:15; Le 7:36; 10:7, all the priests are anointed. But the text as it reads does not make it impossible that there was a double anointing. According to the first set of passages, Aaron is anointed in such a manner that the anointing oil is poured out upon his head (compare especially Ex 29:7 and Le 8:12). Then, too, he and all his sons are anointed in such a way that a mixture of the oil and of the blood is sprinkled upon them and on their garments (compare especially Ex 29:21 and Le 8:30). Were we here dealing with a difference in reference to theory and the ranks of the priesthood, as these discussions were current at the time of the exile (see III, below), then surely the victorious party would have seen to it that their views alone would have been reproduced in these laws, and the opposing views would have been suppressed. But now both anointings are found side by side, and even in one and the same chapter!

(d) The different punishments prescribed for carnal intercourse with a woman during her periods in Le 15:24 and 20:18 are easily explained by the fact that, in the first passage, the periods are spoken of which only set in during the act, and in the second passage, those which had already set in before.

(e) As far as the difference in terminology is concerned, it must be remembered that in their claims the critics either overlook that intentional differences may decide the preference for certain words or expressions; or else they ignore the fact that it is possible in almost every section of a writer’s work to find some expressions which are always, or at least often, peculiar to him; or finally, they in an inexcusable way ignore the freedom of selection which a writer has between different synonyms or his choice in using these.

All in all, it must be said that however much we acknowledge the keenness and the industry of the modern critics in clearing up many difficulties, and the fact that they bring up many questions that demand answers, it nevertheless is the fact that they take the matter of solving these problems entirely too easily, by arbitrarily claiming different authors, without taking note of the fact that by doing this the real difficulty is not removed, but is only transferred to another place. What could possibly be accepted as satisfactory in one single instance, namely that through the thoughtlessness of an editor discrepancies in form or matter had found their way into the text, is at once claimed to be the regular mode of solving these difficulties—a procedure that is itself thoughtlessness. On the other hand, the critics overlook the fact that it makes little difference for the religious and the ethical value of these commands, whether logical, systematic, linguistic or aesthetic correctness in all their parts has been attained or not; to which must yet be added, that a failure in the one particular may at the same time be an advantage in the other. In this respect we need recall only the anacoluths of the apostle Paul.

2. Structure of the Biblical Text:

(1) Structure in General.

The most effective antidote against the craze to split up the text in the manner described above will be found in the exposition of all those features which unite this text into one inseparable whole. What we have tried to demonstrate in the arts GENESIS; EXODUS, II; DAY OF ATONEMENT, I, 2 (compare also EZEKIEL, I, 2, (2)) can be repeated at this point. The Book of Leviticus shows all the marks of being a well-constructed and organic literary product, which in its fundamental characteristics has already been outlined under I above. And as this was done in the several articles just cited, we can here add further, as a corroborative factor in favor of the acceptance of an inner literary unity of the book, that the division of the book into its logical parts, even down to minute details, is here, as is so often the case elsewhere, not only virtually self-evident in many particulars, but that the use made of typical numbers in many passages in this adjustment of the parts almost forces itself upon our recognition. In other places the same is at least suggested, and can be traced throughout the book without the least violence to the text. The system need not be forced upon the materials. We often find sections but loosely connected with the preceding parts (compare under 1 above) and not united in a strictly logical manner, but which are nevertheless related in thought and association of ideas. In harmony with the division of the Book of Ge we find at once that the general contents, as mentioned under I above, easily fall into 10 pericopes, and it is seen that these consist of 2 sets each of 5 pericopes together with an appendix.

(a) Ten Pericopes in Two Parts:

Part I, the separation from God and the removal of this separation: (i) Le 1:1-7:38; (ii) Le 8:1-10:20; (iii) Le 11:1-15:33; (iv) Le 16; (v) Le 17.

Part II, the normal conduct of the people of God: (i) Le 18; 19; 20; (ii) Le 21; 22; (iii) Le 23; 24; (iv) Le 25; (v) Le 26.

Appendix, Le 27; compare for the number 10 the division of Ex 1:8-7:7; 7:8-13:16; 13:17-18:27; also the Decalogue, 20:1 ff; 21:1-23:19; 32:1-35:1; and see EXODUS, II, 2; and in Le probably 18:6-18; 19:9-18, and with considerable certainty 19:1-37 (see below).

(b) Correspondence and Connections:

I leave out of consideration in this case the question whether an intentional correspondence among the different parts be traced or not, even in their details. Thus, e.g.; when the 2nd pericope (Le 8$; 9$; 10$; 21$ f) treats particularly of the order of the priests, or when the 4th pericope of the 2nd set (Le 25) states that the beginning of the Year of Jubilee fell on the 10th day of the 7th month, i.e. on the Day of Atonement as described in Le 16, in the 4th pericope of the 1st set (compare 25:9 with 16:29); or when both sets close with two shorter pericopes, which evidently express high stages of development (Le 16; 17, respectively, Le 25; 26 treating of the Day of Atonement, of the use made of blood and the purposes of blood for the altar or the Jubilee Year, of the blessing and the curse).

And, as far as the order in other respects is concerned, it is throughout to be regarded as founded in the subject-matter itself that Le 1-17 must precede Le 18:1-26:46. First that which separates the people from God must be removed, and then only is a God-pleasing conduct possible. Just as easily, and in agreement with the context, it is possible that the consecration of the priests in Le 8-10 presupposes the sacrificial torah (Le 1-7; compare under 1 above) and follows the latter, and is immediately introduced by the mention made of the installation sacrifices for which otherwise there are no reasons assigned in the concluding formula in 7:37 (compare 8:22-32). The Day of Atonement (Le 16), which in 16:16 f and 33 is spoken of in connection with the purification of the sanctuary, is in turn introduced by Le 11-15, or more particularly by the remark in 15:31, where mention is made of the pollution of the dwelling-place of Yahweh. And on the other hand, the ordinances dealing with the priests (Le 8$; 9$; 10$) in 10:10, where the command is given to discriminate between what is holy and what is unholy and to teach Israel accordingly, already point to the contents of Le 11-15. The sacrifices, with which the first part in Le 1-7 begins, are taken up again by the conclusion in Le 17, in the commandment concerning the blood for the altar. The second part, too, already at the beginning (Le 18; 19; 20) in its religiously cultural and ethical ordinances, shows in the clearest possible manner what matters it proposes to discuss. In this way the systematic structure of the book is apparent in all particulars.

Close connections: comparison with Exodus: And, further, the different pericopes are also so closely Connected among themselves and with the corresponding pericopes in the books of Ex and Nu, that many have thought it necessary to regard them as a special body of laws. But the connection is so close and involves all the details so thoroughly, that all efforts to divide and distribute them after the examples described under 1 above must fail absolutely. We shall now give the proofs for the different pericopes in Lev, but in such a manner as to take into consideration also Ex 25:1-31:18; 35 ff, treating of the tabernacle and its utensils and the Aaronitic priesthood, which are most intimately connected with Lev. All details in this matter will be left out of consideration.

(i) Tabernacle and priesthood: That Le 8-10 (the consecration of the priests, etc.), together with Ex 25 ff, constitutes a single whole is accepted on all hands. But the tent of meeting and its utensils, and also the priesthood, both with and without any emphasis on the Aaronitic origin, are presupposed also in almost each one of the other pericopes of Leviticus; compare for Le 1-7, e.g., 1:3,1; 3:2,8,13; 4:4,5,7,14,16,18; 6:26 (tent of meeting); 1:5,12; 3:5; 4:7,25,30; 6:12 (altar of burnt sacrifices); 4:7,18 (altar of incense sacrifices); 4:6,17 (veil); 6:9,19 (court); 1:5,7,8,11; 2:2; 3:2,5,8,13; 6:9,14,16,20,25, etc. (Aaron and his sons as priests); for Le 11-15 see 12:4,6; 14:11,23; 15:14,29,31 (sanctuary, tent of meeting, dwelling-place); 11:1; 12:6 f; 13:1 ff; 14:2 ff, 33 ff; 15:1 (priesthood); for Le 16 see verses 2,7,16 f, 20,23,13 (sanctuary and Holy of Holies tent of meeting); 16:2,12 (veil); 16:2,13 ff (lid of the Ark of the Covenant); 16:12,18,20,33 (altar); 16:1 ff (Aaronitic priesthood); for Le 17 see verses 4-6,9 (tent of meeting); 17:6,11 (altar); 17:5 (priesthood); for Le 18; 19; 20 see 19:30,21 (sanctuary of Yahweh, tent of meeting); 19:22 (priesthood); for Le 21 f see 21:12 (sanctuary); 21:23 (sanctuaries of Yahweh); 21:23 (veil, altar); 21:1 ff, 21 (Aaronitic priesthood); for Le 23; 24 see 23:2,4,21,24,27,36 f (sanctuary); 24:1 ff (candlestick, tent of meeting); 24:5 ff (table of showbread); 23:10,20 (priesthood); 24:3,1 (Aaronitic priesthood); for Le 26 see verses 2,11,31 (sanctuary, dwelling-place of Yahweh, sanctuaries); for Le 27 see verses 10,33 (sanctuary); 27:8 ff (priesthood).

(ii) In the same way the sacrificial laws of Le 1-7 are mentioned in the following pericopes as matters that are well known. For Le 8-10 see 9:7,15 (sin offering); 9:7,12,16 (burnt offering); 9:17; 10:12 (meal offering); 9:18 (peace offering); 9:3 f (all together); compare also Ex 29:14,18,28. In Le 9:21; 10:14 f (wave-breasts and heave-thigh) direct reference is made to 7:30-36. In the same manner 10:16 ff presupposes the ordinances dealing with the different ways of offering the sin offerings in 4:3 ff, 13 ff; 6:24-30; for Le 11-15 see 12:6 ff; 14:12 ff (compare especially 14:13 with 4:24); 14:21 ff; 15:14 f, 29 f; for Le 16 see verses 3,5 f, 9,11,15,24 f, 27; for Le 17 see verses 5 ff, 8,11; for Le 18; 19; 20 see 19:6 ff, 21 f (here is therefore the ‘asham found in H, which is claimed to be of a later date); for Le 21 f see 21:6,21 f; 22:17 ff, 29 f; for Le 23; 24 see 23:12 f; 18:19,27,37; 24:9; for Le 26 see verses 30 f; for Le 27 compare verses 15,19,27,31 with 5:16; 6:5.

(iii) Laws on clean and unclean: The laws in reference to the clean and the unclean in Le 11-15 are also interwoven with the whole book. For Le 1-7 see 5:2 f; 6:27; 7:19 ff; for Le 8-10 see 10:10 f; for Le 16 see verses 16,19; for Le 17 see verses 13,15 f; for Le 18; 19; 20 compare 20:25 with 11:44, and in general with Le 11; for Le 21 f see 21:10; 13:45; 22:3 ff with Le 13-15; for Le 27 see verses 11 and 27, as also Le 11.

(iv) The laws in reference to the Day of Atonement found in Le 16 are prepared for by those found in Le 11-15, namely, in 14:4 ff, 49 ff (the ceremony with the two birds in connection with the purification from leprosy), and in 15:31 (compare 16:16,19; see above). For Le 23; 24 compare 23:26 ff with 16:29 if, and for 25:9 with 16:29 see above; compare also Ex 30:10.

(v) Leviticus 17 is re-echoed in Le 1-7 (7:26 f) and in Le 18; 19; 20 (19:26).

(vi) Finally Le 25 (Year of Rest and Year of Jubilee) is presupposed in Le 26:34 f, 43 and in Le 27:17 ff, 23 f.

The above, however, by no means exhausts this list of references and similar thoughts, and we have here given only some leading illustrations. What literary tricks must be resorted to when, over against this overwhelming mass of evidence, critics yet insist that the different parts of the book were originally independent writings, especially, too, when the entire tabernacle and utensils of the Aaronitic priesthood, the Day of Atonement, the Year of Jubilee, the whole sacrificial scheme and the laws dealing with the great festivals, the restriction of the slaying of the sacrificial animals to the central sanctuary, are regarded as the products of imagination alone, according to the Wellhausen hypothesis (compare III, below, and see also EXODUS, III, 5; DAY OF ATONEMENT, III, 1; EZEKIEL, II, 2). And how little is gained in addition when, as is sometimes done, in a most arbitrary manner, the statements found in Le 1-3 concerning the tabernacle of revelation ("tent of meeting") and concerning Aaron’s sons, or concerning Aaron and his sons together, are regarded as later additions. In Le and Ex 25 ff; 35 ff, everything is so entirely of one and the same character and has so clearly emanated from one and the same spirit, that it is impossible to separate from this product any constituent parts and to unite these into groups that were originally independent, then to split up these still further and to trace the parts to their sources, and even to construct a scheme of religious and historical development on this reconstruction of the sources.

(2) Structure of the Individual Pericopes.

As the windows and the column capitals of a medieval cathedral are arranged according to different schemes and this divergence is regarded as an enrichment of the structure, thus, too, we find it to be in the structure of the various pericopes of the Book of Leviticus. These latter, too, possess a certain symphony of different tones, but all are rhythmically arranged, and only when united do they produce the entire symphony.

(a) The Laws Concerning the Sacrifices (Leviticus 1-7):

In the first place, the five different kinds of sacrifices in Israel are mentioned in succession twice, in Le 1:1-7:21: Part I, Le 1-5, namely (i) Le 1, burnt offerings; (ii) Le 2, meal offering; (iii) Le 3, peace offerings; (iv) 4:1-5:13, sin offering; (v) 5:14-26, guilt offering; Part II, 6:1-7:21, namely

(i) 6:8-13, burnt offerings;

(ii) 6:14-23, meal offering;

(iii) 6:24-30, sin offering;

(iv) 7:1-7 with appendix, 7:8-10, dealing with that part of the sacrifices which belongs to the priest (see under 1, above), guilt offering;

(v) 7:11-21, peace offerings.

With this is found connected in 7:22-27 the prohibition of the use of the fat or the blood, and in 7:28-36, the laws concerning the wave-breast and the heave-thigh. We have accordingly at once twelve of these laws (compare on Ex 25:1-30:10 in article on EXODUS, II, 2, (5) and on EZEKIEL, I, 2, 5)). But even apart from this we have no right to ascribe Le 1-5 and 6:1-7:21, on the ground that they are duplicates, to different authors.

That there is a difference between these two accounts is proved, not only by the fact that the first set of laws from Le 1-5 is addressed to all the Israelites (compare 1:2; 4:2), and the second set 6:8; 7:21 to Aaron and his sons (compare 6:9,25); but the second set has also in content a number of altogether different viewpoints as compared with the first set, so that the same author found himself induced or compelled to write both sets. On the other hand, the fact that both have the same author is evident from the very close connection between the two sections. In addition to the fact that both make mention of all five kinds of sacrifices, we can yet compare 3:5 with 6:22 (fat pieces of the peace offering over the burnt sacrifices upon the pieces of wood); and, further, the express reference of 6:17 to Le 4, while 6:30 presupposes the distinct separation of the sin offering, the blood of which is brought into the tent of meeting, from the other sacrifices, as these are given in 4:3 ff, 13 ff over against 4:22 ff, 27 ff. Leviticus 4, with its reference to the peace offerings (4:10,26,31,35), is again most closely connected with Le 3. We must accordingly insist that the whole account is most intimately interwoven. Over against this, the omission within the first set, Le 1-5, in 5:14-16, of the ritual for the peace offering, is sufficiently explained only by the fact that this ritual was to be used in the second set (6:8-7:21), and here for the first time only in 7:1-15, which fact again speaks for the same author for both sets and against the supposition that they were merely mechanically united by a redactor. The fact that the second set 6:8-7:21 has a different order from that of Le 1-5, by uniting the sin offering immediately with the meal offering (6:24 ff with 6:14-23), is probably on account of the similar ordinances in 7:9 and 7:19 (manner of eating the meal offering and the sin offering). On the other hand, the position of the peace offering at the close of the second set (7:11 ff) furnished the possibility of giving to the piece of the entire pericope embraced in 7:22-27,28-36 a suitable conclusion; since 7:22 ff (prohibition of the eating of the fat and the blood), connected with 7:19 ff, contained in 7:28 ff an ordinance that pertained to the peace offering (heave-breast and wave-thigh). At any rate, these last two pieces are to be regarded separately from the rest, since they are no longer addressed to the priests, as is 6:8-7:21, but to all Israel; compare 7:23,29. On some other data less intimately connected with the matter, compare above under 1.

(b) Consecration of priests and related matters (Le 8-10): In this pericope, as in the following, down to Le 17 inclusive, but especially from Le 11 on, the principle of division on the basis of the number four predominates, in many cases in the details, too; so that this could scarcely be regarded as an accidental feature (compare also the history of Abraham in Ge 12-26; further, in Ex 35:4-40:38; and in EXODUS, II, 2, (7); Le 16, under DAY OF ATONEMENT, I, 2, (1)); De 12-26, too, is probably to be divided on this principle, even to the minutest details (compare finally Le 21-22:16; 22:17-30; Le 23 f and 26).

(i) Leviticus 8, treating of the first seven days of the consecration of the priests: The outline is found in 8:2, namely Aaron, the sacred garments, the anointing oil, the bullock of the sin offering, two rams, unleavened bread (compare 8:6,7 ff, 10 ff, 14 ff, 18 ff, 22 ff, 26 ff).

(ii) Leviticus 9 the first sacrifices of Aaron and his sons on the 8th day (9:2-4 contain the outline, after the manner of 8:2; compare 9:7 ff, 11 ff, the sin offering and the burnt offering of Aaron, with 9:2; also 9:15-18, treating of what the people brought for the sacrifices, with 9:3 f; but it is to be noticed that the meal offering and the peace offering (9:17,18) are given in inverted order from that found in 9:3 f). Here too we find the number seven, if we add the burnt offering for the morning (9:17).

(iii) 10:1-7, the sin of Nadab and Abihu and their punishment by death; (iv) 10:8-20, ordinances concerning the priests, occasioned by 8:1-10:7 and provided with a new superscription in 10:8, namely 10:8, dealing with the prohibition of the use of wine and intoxicants; 10:9 f, distinction between the holy and the unholy; 10:12-15, the eating of the sacred oblations; 10:16-20, the treatment of the goat for the sin offering.

(c) Laws Concerning the Clean and Unclean (Le 11-15):

(i) Le 11, treating of clean and unclean animals. The outline of the chief contents is found in 11:46 with a free transposition of one number. There are accordingly four pieces, namely, 11:2-8, quadrupeds; 11:9-12, water animals; 11:13-23, birds (with an appendix, treating of contact with the unclean, 11:24-28, which give a summary of the animals mentioned (see under 1); 11:29-45, the small animals upon the earth (again in four subdivisions, namely, (i) 11:29-38; (ii) 11:39 ff; (iii) 11:41 f; (iv) 11:44 f).

(ii) Leviticus 12 treats of women in confinement, also in four pieces (12:2-4, birth of a male child; 12:5, birth of a female child; 12:6 f, purification ceremony; 12:8, ordinances in case of extreme poverty). These parts are not joined logically, but in a rather external manner.

(iii) The passage 13:1-14:53, containing the laws of leprosy, with the subscription in 14:54 ff. (Because seven points are to be enumerated, 14:55 (garments and houses), this is not as in its further exposition separated from the other laws and is placed in their midst.) The exposition contains four pieces, namely, 13:1-44, leprosy on human beings (with concluding 13:45 f), with seven subdivisions, of which the first five longer ones are constructed along fairly parallel lines, and again can be divided into four sub-subdivisions, namely, 13:1-8; 1:9-17; 1:18-23; 1:24-28; 1:29-37; 1:38 f; 1:40-44. The significance of the number seven for the structure (see (2), (b), i, above) is akin to that found, e.g., in Ex 24:18 b through 31:18 (see EXODUS, II, 2, (5)); Le 8; 9 (see above); Le 23; 25; and 27; and possibly 26:3-13,14-39 (see below); finally, the whole Book of Ex is divided into seven parts (see EXODUS, II, 1). 13:47-59, leprosy in connection with garments, with four subdivisions, namely 13:47-50; 13:51 f; 13:53 f; 13:55 ff. The last subdivision can again be readily separated into four sub-subdivisions, namely, 13:55; 13:56; 13:57; 13:58; 14:1-32, purifications (14:2 being a special superscription), with 4 subdivisions, namely,

(i) 14:2b-3a, the leper before the priest;

(ii) 14:3b-9, the purification ceremonies on the first seven days, again divided into 4 sub-subdivisions: 14:3b f; 14:5-7; 14:8; 14:9;

(iii) 14:10-20, the ceremony of the eighth day (4 sacrifices, namely 14:12-18, guilt offering; 14:19a, sin offering; 14:19b, burnt offering; 14:20, meal offering; in the 4 sacrifices (5:12-6:7) there are again 4 different actions: 14:14; 14:15 f; 14:17; 14:18;

(iv) 14:21-32 (in cases of poverty) 14:33-53, leprosy in houses, with four subdivisions: 14:33-35; 14:36-38; 14:39-42; 14:43-53.

(iv) Leviticus 15, sickness or natural issues, with 4 subdivisions, namely, 15:1-15, checked or running issues together with their purification (15:3-12 contain 12 laws: 15:3; 15:4a; 15:4b; 15:5; 15:6; 15:7; 15:8; 15:9; 15:10a; 15:10b; 15:11; 15:12); 15:16-18, issue of seed; 15:19-24, periods; 15:25-30, other flows of blood and their purification. Le 15:1-15 and 15:16-18 refer to men, and 15:19-24 and 15:25-30 to women; and in addition to these implied suggestions, as 15:1-15 and 15:25-30 to dealing with abnormal issues and their purification ceremonies, 15:16-18 and 15:19-24 deal with normal issues.

(d) The Day of Atonement (Le 16):

See IV, 1, (2), 2, and under ATONEMENT, DAY OF.

(e) Uses and significance of the blood of sacrifices (Le 17): (i) 17:3-7, only one place for killing the Sacrifices and the rejection of all foreign cultures; (ii) 17:8,9, only one place for sacrificing; (iii) 17:10-14, prohibitive of eating the blood; (iv) 17:15, pertaining to carcasses of animals found dead or which have been torn by wild beasts.

Here the form and the contents of the section have been brought into perfect harmony by the author. Le 17:3 ff, 8 ff, 10 ff, 13 ff begin with same words, and each contains a similar formula in reference to the punishment, while logically 17:10 ff and 13 ff are evidently only subdivisions of the third part in 17:10-14, which treats of the prohibition of eating blood. In the fourth division, again, while in substance connected with the rest, there is lacking the formal agreement with the first three divisions.

(f) (g) (Le 18; 19; 20; 21): These naturally fall each into 2 parts. Leviticus 18-20 contain

(i) Le 18 f, religious and ethical laws;

(ii) Le 20, laws dealing with punishments. (f) (i) Religious and ethical laws (Le 18 f):

(a) Le 18: Ordinances with reference to marriage and chastity. Le 18:1-5, introductory; 18:6-18, prohibition of marriage between kindred of blood; 18:19-23, prohibition of other sexual sins; 18:24-30, warnings.

The subdivision can perhaps be divided into 10 subordinate parts, if it is permitted to combine the different degrees of relationship mentioned in Le 18:12-14 (namely, 18:7,8,9,10,11,12-14,15,16,17,18). Since it, of itself, manifestly consists of 5 ordinances (18:19,20,21,22,23), this whole section, if we are permitted to divide it into 5 commandments (18:2,3a, 3b, 4,5) and also into 5 (18:24 f, 26-28,29,30a, 30b), would contain 5 X 5 words; but this is uncertain.

(b) Leviticus 19: various commands of the deepest significance. In order to discover the divisions of this chapter we must note the characteristic formula, "I am Yahweh, your Gods" or a similar expression, which often appears at the beginning and at the end of certain divisions, e.g. in series (1) (9) and (10), but which in the middle series appears in each case only once, and which in all the series is found also at the conclusion.

In this way we can compute 10 tetralogues. Thus after the superscription in 19:2 containing a summary, we have

(i) 19:3,1 (19:3a, 3b, 4a, 4b);

(ii) 19:5-10 (19:5 f, 7 f, 9,10);

(iii) 19:11 f (19:11a, 11b(?), 11b(?), 12);

(iv) 19:13 f (19:13a, 13b, 14a, 14b);

(v) 19:15 f (15a, 15b, 16a, 16b);

(vi) 19:17 f (19:17a, 17b, 18a, 18b);

(vii) 19:19-25 (19:19a, 19b, 20-22,23-25);

(viii) 19:26-28 (19:26a, 26b, 27,28),

(ix) 19:29-32 (19:29,30,31,32);

(x) 19:33-36 (19:33,14,35,36); 19:37 constitutes the conclusion of the whole.

(Note that the number ten here is certain in the conviction of the present writer; but he is not quite so sure of the number of subdivisions within the main divisions; we may have to do here with pentalogues and not with tetralogues. If this is the case, then the agreements with Le 18 would under certain circumstances be even greater.)

Possibly groupings of two can yet form a closer union (compare on Ex 1:1-18:27; 21:1-23:33, EXODUS, II, 2, (1-4)). At any rate (iii) and (iv) can be summarized under the general heading of defrauding one’s neighbors; (v) and (vi) under that of observation of the laws; (vii) and (viii) under that of heathen abuses; while (ix) and (x) perhaps intentionally mingle together the religious and cultural and ethical elements, in order thereby already to express that all these things are most intimately connected (but compare also Le 19:12,14,17, in the middle sections). In 19:5 ff, 20 ff, 23 ff, the author develops his subject somewhat more fully.

(f ii) Laws dealing with punishments (Le 20): The regulations in reference to punishments stand in such close relation to the contents of Le 18 and to parts of Le 19, that it is absolutely incomprehensible how the Critics can assign these three chapters to different authors. Even if certain regulations of Le 18 are not found here in Le 20:7,10,17 b, 18, and even if another order has been followed, this variation, which doubtless also hangs together with a new grouping of the materials, is rather an advantage than a disadvantage for the whole. It is impossible to conceive that a redactor would have altered anything in two entirely parallel and similar texts, or would himself have written a parallel text differing from the other. Leviticus 20 can probably be divided into 4 parts, namely,

(i) 20:1-8, punishments for idolatry and witchcraft with a concluding formula, 20:7 f;

(ii) 20:9-18, punishment of death for ten crimes, all of which, with the exception of the first, are of a sexual nature (20:9-18). It is a question whether the first in the second group (20:14), i.e. the sixth in the whole series, was intended to be made prominent by the peculiar character of the punishment (burning to death);

(iii) 20:19-21, other sexual sins, with lighter punishments;

(iv) 20:22-27, with 4 subdivisions (warning, 20:22 f; promise, 20:24; emphatic repetitions of two commands already given, 20:25 ff; (compare with 11:44 ff, and in general with Le 11); and 20:27 with 19:26,31; 20:6). Perfectly certain in this chapter is the fact that the different kinds of punishments are likewise decisive for their order. It is doubtless not to be regarded as accidental that both at the beginning and at the end death by stoning is mentioned.

(g) (Le 21:1-22:33):

(i) Laws concerning the quality of the priests (21:1-22,16); and (ii) concerning sacred oblations (22:17-30) with the subscription 22:31-33.

(g i) Qualities of priests: Le 21:1-22:16 in four sections (21:1 ff, 10 ff, 16 ff; 22:1 ff; note also in 21:18-20 the 12 blemishes; in 22:4-8 the 7 cases of uncleanness). (g ii) Sacred oblations: Le 22:17-30 in four sections (22:18-20,21-25,26-28,29 f).

(h) Consecration of seasons, etc. (Le 23; 24):

(i) Le 23, laws for the feasts (7 sections, namely, 23:3,4 f, 6-14,15-22,23-25,26-32,33-36, with the appendix that in every particular suits the connection, in 23:39 ff, added to the feast of the tabernacles);

(ii) 24:1-4, treating of the sacred candlestick, which represents the moral conduct of the Israelites, and for this reason suits admirably in the connection; as this is true also of

(iii) 24:5-9, treating of the showbread, which represents the results of the labor of Israel;

(iv) 24:10-23, containing the report of the punishment of a blasphemer of God and of one who cursed.

Probably the example was made of a person who took the name of God in vain at the time which this chapter describes. But possibly there is a still closer connection to be found with that which precedes. The showbread and the candlestick were found in the holy place, which with its utensils pictured the relation of Israel’s character to their God; while the utensils in the Holy of Holies indicated God’s relation to His people (compare Hengstenberg, Beitrage, III, 644 ff). But since the holy place, in addition to the showbread and the candlestick, contained only the incense altar, which symbolized the prayers of Israel, and as the blasphemer represents the exact opposite of prayer, it is probable that in 24:10 ff prayer is indicated by its counterpart. This section consists of 4 parts, namely, 24:10-12; 24:13-14; 24:15-22 (giving a series of punishments for certain wrongdoings which are more or less closely connected with that found in the text); 24:23.

(i) Sabbatic and Jubilee years (Le 25): Sabbatic and Jubilee years in 7 sections, namely, 25:1-7; 25:8-12; 25:13-28; 25:29-34; 25:35-38; 25:39-46; 25:47-55.

(j) Conclusion: Curse and blessing (Le 26): The grand concluding chapter, offering a curse and a blessing and containing all the prophetic utterances of later times in a nutshell, namely,

(i) 26:1-2, repetition of four important demands (26:1a, 1b, 2a, 2b);

(ii) 26:3-13, the blessing, possibly to be divided into 7 stages, one more spiritual than the other;

(iii) 26:4-39, the curse, possibly to be divided into seven stages, one more intense than the other (compare also the play on words 7 times repeated, in reference to shabbath, possibly found in 26:34 f, and certainly found in 26:18,21,24,27 f);

(iv) 26:40-45, the mercy finally shown by Yahweh for His covenant’s sake.

(k) Appendix: Finally, the appendix in Le 27, dealing with vows and tithes, in 7 parts, namely, 27:1-8; 27:9-13; 27:14-15; 27:16-21; 27:26 f; 27:28-29; 27:30-33.


III. Origin.

1. Against the Wellhausen Hypothesis:

As in the article ATONEMENT, DAY OF, sec. I, 2, (2), we took a stand against the modern attempts at splitting up the text, and in III, 1 against theory of the late origin of the whole pericope, we must, after trying under II to prove the unity of the Book of Leviticus, yet examine the modern claim that the book as a whole is the product of later times. Since the entire book is ascribed to the Priestly Code (see II, 1 above), the answer to the question as to the time when it was written will depend on the attitude which we take toward the Wellhausen hypothesis, which insists that the Priestly Code was not published until the time of the exile in 444 BC (Ne 8$; 9$; 10$).

(1) The Argument from Silence.

One of the most important proofs for this claim is the "argument from silence" (argumentum e silentio). How careful one must be in making use of this argument can be seen from the fact that, e.g., the high priest with his full title is mentioned but a single time in the entire Book of Leviticus, namely in 21:10; and that the Levites are not mentioned save once (25:32 ff), and then incidentally. As is well known, it is the adherents of the Wellhausen hypothesis themselves who now claim that the bulk of the entire literature of the Old Testament originated in the post-exilic period and long after the year 444 BC. Leaving out of consideration for the present the Books of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, all of which describe the history of Israel from the standpoint of the Priestly Code (P), we note that this later literature is not any richer in its references to P than is the older literature; and that in those cases where such references are found in this literature assigned to a late period, it is just as difficult to decide whether these passages refer merely to a custom or to a codified set of laws.

(2) Attitude of Prophets toward Sacrificial System.

A further proof against the pre-exilic origin of the priestly legislation is found in what is claimed to be the hostile attitude of the prophets to the sacrificial system (compare Am 5:21 ff; 4:4 f; Ho 6:6; Mic 6:6 ff; Isa 1:11 ff; Jer 6:20; 7:21 ff; Ps 40:6; 50:8,9; 51:16 f). But this cannot possibly be an absolute antithesis; for in this case, it would be directed also against the Books of the Covenant and, in part, too, against Deuteronomy, which books in Ex 20:24; 22:19; 23:18; 34:25; De 12:5 f, 11,13,17,26; 15:19-23; 16:2,5 f; 17:1; 18:1,3 also give directions for sacrifices, and which, at least in part, are yet regarded as older writings. Further, these passages under discussion are also, in part, assigned to a later and even a very late period (compare even such cases as Ps 40:6; 50:8 f; 51:16 f; Mic 6:6 ff, and in addition also Mal 1:10), i.e. they are assigned to a time in which, according to the views of the critics, the priestly laws are said to have had their origin or were already regarded as authoritative. As a rule, the prophets make sacrifices, Sabbaths, sacred places and persons a part of their pictures of the future; cf, as far as sacrifices are concerned, e.g. Jer 17:26; 31:14; 33:14 ff. Finally, Le 26:31 shows how, under certain circumstances, even P can declare sacrifices to be useless.

(3) The People’s Disobedience. Further, the transgressions of the Levitical laws in the course of Israel’s history cannot be regarded as a proof of the non-existence of the priestly legislation in pre-exilic times. This is clear from an analogous case. Idolatry was forbidden by the Books of the Covenant (Ex 20$; 21$; 22$; 23$; 24$; 34$), which are recognized as ancient documents; but according to 2Ki 22 the pious king Josiah down to the year 622 BC takes no offense at idolatry. Even after the reformation, which had been inaugurated in consequence of the finding of the Book of the Law in the temple during the reign of Josiah (2Ki 22 f), idolatry was again practiced in Israel, as is proved by Eze 8 and Jer 44, notwithstanding that the Books of the Covenant and Deuteronomy already were extant at that time, even according to the views of the critics.

But let us pass on to P itself, and not forget that the directions given for the Jubilee Year (Le 25), according to Jewish tradition, were never actually observed. According to the reasoning of the critics, this law could not be in existence even in the present day. According to all reports the transgressions of the Divine ordinances began even as early as the Mosaic period; compare Ex 32 (J, E, golden calf); Am 5:25; Eze 20; De 12:8 and also Le 17:7 (sacrifice to the Satyrs in Priestly Code). This condition of affairs can readily be understood because the religion of Yahweh does not claim to be an emanation from the spirit of the people, but the result of a revelation from on high. In the light of these facts can we be surprised, that in the times of the Judges, when a great prophetic leader was so often not to be found in Israel, the apostasy was so great and so widespread? But all of these cases of disobedience, that have been demonstrated as actual facts in Israel’s history, are not able to eliminate the fact that there are many data to prove the existence of a central sanctuary already in the earliest history of the people, which fact presupposes as a matter of course that there were also laws for the cults in existence (see EXODUS, III, 5). We must further not forget how the sacrifices of the sons of Samuel (1Sa 2:11 ), notwithstanding all their arbitrary conduct, presupposes such passages as Le 7:30-32; 10:15; Ex 29:31 f; Le 8:31; Nu 6:19 f; Le 7:23-32; or that the high priest, as described in Priestly Code, is already before the year 444 BC as well-known a character as he is after the exile (compare EZEKIEL, II, 2); or that the question of Hag 2:11 ff takes into consideration a code of cult- laws, and that the answer is given on the basis of Le 6:27; Nu 19:22.

(4) Indiscriminate Sacrificing.

To this must be added that the transgressions, to which the critics appeal in proof of their claims, and which they abuse for their own purposes, must in part be interpreted differently from what they are. In the case of sacrificing indiscriminately at any place whatever, and by any person whatever, we have in many cases to deal with extraordinary instances of theophanies (compare Jud 2:1 ff; 6:11 ff; 13:1 ), as these had been foreseen in Ex 20:24. Even the Book of Deuteronomy does not insist throughout (compare 16:21) that the sacrifices, must be made at one and the same place (compare also PC: Le 24:31; Jos 22). After the rejection of Shiloh, at which the central sanctuary had been deposited, as recorded in 1Sa 4, the cultural ordinances of Priestly Code, as we learn from Jer 7:11 ff; 26:6; Ps 78:59 ff, became more or less a dead letter. Even the Books of Chronicles, which throughout record history from the standpoint of the Priestly Code, at this period and down to the dedication of the temple take no offense at the cultural acts of a Solomon in contrast with their attitude toward the conduct of Uzziah (see 2Ch 1:6; 6:1-4; 7:1-7, as compared with 26:16 ff). In the same way the pious people in the Northern Kingdom, after it had, by Divine consent, been separated from the Southern, could not do otherwise than erect altars for themselves, since they could not participate in the worship of the calves in Bethel and Dan. Further, modern criticism overlooks the fact that what is regular and normal is much less liable to be reported in historical narrative than that which is irregular and abnormal.

(5) Deuteronomy and Priestly Code.

It is not possible at this place to enter into further details; we accordingly refer only to EXODUS, III and IV; DAY OF ATONEMENT, III, and especially EZEKIEL, II, 2, where the proof has been furnished that this prophet belongs to a later period than Priestly Code as far as Eze 40:1-48:35 (containing his picture of the future) in general is concerned, and as far as Eze 44:4 ff (where it is claimed that the prophet first introduces the distinction between priests and Levites) in particular is concerned. All the important problems that are connected with this matter, especially the difficulties which result from the Wellhausen hypothesis, when the questions as to the purpose, the form, the success and the origin of the priestly legislation come under consideration, are discussed in my book, Are the Critics Right? The result of this investigation is all the more noteworthy, as I was myself formerly an adherent of the Wellhausen school, but was forced to the conclusion that this hypothesis is untenable.

We have here yet to refer to the one fact that the relation of Deuteronomy (D) and the Priestly Code (P), as far as Leviticus in particular is concerned, justifies the scheme of P followed by D as the historical order, while Wellhausen makes D older than P. De 10:8 f; 33:8 ff presuppose more detailed ordinances in reference to the priests such as those which have been given in P. The book of Deuteronomy further takes into account different kinds of sacrifices (compare 12:5 f, 11,13,17,26; 15:19-23; 17:1; 18:1,3, such as are described in Le 1 ff). The law in De 14 (ordinances with reference to what is clean) agrees almost word for word with Le 11, and is in such perfect harmony with the linguistic peculiarities of Priestly Code, that Le 11 must be regarded as the original, and not vice versa. De 24:8 f refers directly to the injunctions concerning leprosy, as we find these in Le 13 f, and the Deuteronomic passage is doubtless modeled after that of Lev. De 12:15,22; 15:22 cannot be understood at all, except in the light of Le 17:13. De 26:14 ff again expressly takes into account ideas that have been taken from Le 22:3 ff. As far as the laws dealing with the great feasts in De 16 are concerned, it is impossible to understand 16:9 without Le 23:15 ff, 10 f; and the designation "feast of tabernacles" in De 16:13 ff cannot even be understood without a reference to such a law as we find in Le 23:39 ff. The other passages to be discussed on this subject lead us to the following results.

2. Connection with Mosaic Period:

Even if the Book of Deuteronomy were the product of the 7th century BC, the facts that have been stated above would nevertheless disprove the claim of the Wellhausen hypothesis as to an exilic or post-exilic date for the Priestly Code. But if Deuteronomy, even in its essential and fundamental parts, merely, is Mosaic (compare Are the Critics Right? 1-55), then the Priestly Code which is still older than De must also belong to the Mosaic period.

(1) Priestly Code and Desert Conditions.

This conclusion is in this point confirmed still further by a series of facts. As Deuteronomy permits the firstborn to be ransomed (De 14:22 ), but the Priestly Code demands their consecration in natura (Le 27:26 f; compare Nu 18:15 ), the latter ordinances could be preferred and enforced only during the wandering in the desert, where the whole nation was in the neighborhood of the sanctuary. The fact that the ordinances dealing with the domestic celebration of the Passover in the private houses on the 14th of Nisan and the holy convocation on the 15th of Nisan at the sanctuary could be carried out only during the wanderings in the desert (compare Ex 12:3 ff, 6; Le 23:5; Nu 28:16; Le 27:6 ff; Nu 28:17 ff), and that this was changed in De 16:5 f to correspond to changed conditions, can be seen by reference to EXODUS, III, 3. Still more important is a third command in Le 17 in comparison with De 12. The commandment that every animal that is to be slain is to be brought to the central sanctuary can have a purpose only for the Mosaic period, and could not even have been invented at a later period. Because of the entrance of Israel into Canaan, the Book of Deuteronomy changes this ordinance in such a way that from this time on the killing of the animals is permitted at any place (12:13 ff, 20 ff). The different commands in reference to the carcasses of animals that have died and of those torn to pieces are all dependent on Le 17. In De 14:21, it was possible to forbid the use of such animals absolutely for Israel, because from now on, and in contrast to Le 17, the killing of sacrificial animals was permitted at any place (17:13 ff). In Ex 22:30 all use of such meat could be forbidden, because Le 17, with its command to bring all blood to the sanctuary, had not yet been given. Leviticus, now, on the other hand, forbids this use only to the priests (22:8), and sees in this use in the case of the other Israelites only a transitory defilement (compare Le 17:15; 11:40); and in 7:24 forbids only the use of the fat, but not of the meat of these animals; for now, according to Le 17:1 ff, all the killing is a sacrifice which only those who are clean were permitted to eat and which could not be secured at all times (compare Hoffmann, op. cit., 23 f).

Our exposition of Le 17:1 ff is, however, in another respect also of the greatest significance, for in 17:4-6,8 f the tent of meeting is presupposed as existing; in 17:5,8 also different kinds of sacrifices, and in verse 6 the priesthood; so that at once further ordinances concerning the tent of meeting, the sacrificial code, the priesthood, such as we find in Ex 25$ ff; 35 ; Le 1:-7:38; Ex 29; Le 8; 9; 10:21 ff, were possible and necessary, and these very laws must probably originate in and date from the Mosaic period. This same conclusion is sustained by the following considerations. For what other source or time could be in harmony with such statements found very often in other parts of Leviticus also, as "into the camp" in 4:11 ff; 6:11; 13:46; 14:3,8 (unconscious contrast to later times); 14:33 ff, 40,41,45,53; 16:26-28; 24:10-23; or "into the desert," in 16:10,21 f. In 6:15,18; 6:6 (compare also 27:2 ff), the words "according to thy estimation" are addressed personally to Moses. In 6:20 a calculation is based on the day on which Aaron was consecrated to the priesthood, while 6:22 is the first that has general coloring. Such hints, which, as it were, have only been accidentally scattered in the body of the laws, and which point to the situation of the lawgiver and of his times, are of especial value for the argument in favor of the Mosaic origin of these laws. Further, we everywhere find that Aaron and his sons are as yet the only incumbents of the priestly office (compare 1:5,7,8,11; 2:3; 3:13; 6:9,14,16, etc.). All the laws claim to have been given through Moses or Aaron or through both at Mt. Sinai (see I above). And who, in later times, if it was the purpose to magnify the priesthood of Aaron, would have thought of inventing the fact that on the Day of Atonement and on other occasions it was necessary for Aaron to bring a burnt offering and a sin offering for himself (Le 16; 8-10; 6:19 ), or that Moses in his view of a certain cultural act had been mistaken (compare Le 10:16 ff)? The law concerning the Jubilee Year (Le 25) presupposes that each tribe is confined in its own district and is not intermingled with the other tribes, a presupposition which was no longer possible after the occupation of Canaan, and is accordingly thinkable only in the Mosaic times. And now let us remember that this fact, when we recall (see II, above) that the unity of the book was proved, is a ground for claiming that the entire book dates from the Mosaic period. As far as Leviticus at least is concerned, there is nothing found in the book that calls for a later date. Le 18:24 ff can be regarded as post-Mosaic only if we translate these verses thoughtlessly, as though the inhabitants of the country were here described as being expelled earlier. On the other hand, in 18:24, just as is the case with the parallel passage, 20:22 ff, the idea is, without any doubt, that Israel is not yet in the Holy Land. Accordingly the waw consecutives at this place are to be regarded not as indicating temporal but logical sequences. In the passage 18:27, we further find the archaic form ha’-el for ha’-elleh; compare in the Pentateuch Ge 19:8,25; 26:3,4; De 4:42; 7:22; 19:11. Just as little does Le 26 take us into the exilic period. Only dogmatical prejudices can take offense at prediction of the exile. Le 26 cannot be regarded as a "prophecy after the event," for the reason, too, that the restoration of the people by God’s pardon is here promised (compare 26:40 ff). And, too, the exile is not the only punishment with which Israel is threatened; and finally as far as Israel is concerned, by the side of the statements concerning their dwelling in one single country (26:34,38,41,44), it is also said that they are to be scattered among many nations and countries (compare 26:23,16,39).

(2) Unity and Construction Point to Mosaic Origin.

If to this we yet add the unity of the thought and of the external construction, looking at the whole matter, we do not see anything that would lead us to accept a post-Mosaic period for this book. Then, too, it is from the outset in itself only probable that Moses gave his people a body of cult-laws and did not leave this matter to chance. We need only think of the great role which among the oriental peoples was assigned to their religious cults. It is indeed nowhere said, in so many words, that Moses wrote even the laws of the Priestly Code. But the references made by Deuteronomy to the Priestly Code; the fact that Nu 33, which also is credited to Moses, is characterized by the style of Priestly Code; further, that the author of Deuteronomy could write in the style of P (compare De 14 with Le 11); and, per contra, that the author of Le 26 had the mastery of the style peculiar to Deuteronomy (compare De 28)—all this makes it probable that Moses even wrote these things himself; at any rate, no reasons can be cited against this view. Very interesting in connection with the question of the unity of the Pentateuch are the close connecting links between Le 18:24 ff; 20:22 , and JE. The question whether Moses in the composition of the book made use of his own notes or of those of others, cannot be decided; but this is an irrelevant matter. What the facts may be in reference to the development of other ordinances, which have taken different forms in the Books of the Covenant and in Priestly Code, or in Deuteronomy and in Priestly Code, and whether the existence of these differences in the cases of particular laws compels us to accept later additions, cannot be discussed at this place. Yet from the outset it is to be emphasized that already in the Mosaic period there could possibly have been reasons for changing some of these laws; especially was this so in the Book of Deuteronomy, just before the people entered the promised land (compare e.g. the laws concerning tithes, De 12:6 f, 17 ff; 14:22 ff; 26:12 ; Le 27:30 ff; Nu 18:20 ff, or the laws concerning contributions for sacrifices, De 18:3; Le 7:29 ff).

Then, too, the decision whether this development took place as early as the time of Moses or not is not to be made dependent on the possibility of our being able to explain the reasons for such changes. We lack both the daily practice in these cultural ordinances, as also the oral instruction which makes these ordinances intelligible. The manner in which in Le 1 ff the different kinds of sacrifices are introduced sounds as though these were already known to the people and were practiced by them, except in the case of sin and guilt offerings. This is further in harmony with earlier narratives, which already report concerning sacrifices. It is possible that in this way we can also explain a certain relationship between the Jewish sacrificial ritual and that of Babylon (compare Zimmern, Beitrage zur Kenntnis der babylonischen Religion). The ordinances in reference to the clean and the unclean may also have emanated from religious and ethical ideas which are older than Moses’ times. In this matter the thought was decisive, that everything that was impure, everything that suggested death or decay or sin or displeasure to God, should be kept separated and apart from the religion of Yahweh. In all such cases it is not the newness of the laws but their adaptability to the character and spirit of the Yahweh-religion that is to be regarded as the decisive factor.

IV. The Significance.

1. Positive:

(1) The Law Contains God’s Will.

The law contains God’s will, although in transitory form. In the article EZEKIEL under II, 2, (3) we have referred to the fact that Leviticism is an important and necessary stage in the development of true religion, and that the entire Old Testament did not advance beyond this stage and was not intended to go beyond it. The leading prophets (Isa 40 , Jeremiah, Ezekiel), even in their visions of the future, cling to the temple, sacrifices, holy oblations, sacred seasons and persons. Christianity was the first to discard this external shell, after it had ripened the kernel that was concealed in this shell (compare worship in the spirit and in the truth, Joh 4:20-24). Down to this time, kernel and shell were inseparably united. This must not be forgotten, if we would appreciate the Book of Leviticus properly. It is true that this book to a large extent deals with laws and ordinances, to which we Christians should not and need not return (compare the voice from heaven to Peter, Ac 10:15, "What God hath cleansed, make not thou common," and Paul’s opposition to all work-righteousness that was based on compliance with these external institutions, e.g. in Romans, Galatians, Colossians, as also his independent attitude over against the Jewish law in those cases where it could not be taken into consideration as the way to salvation; compare Ac 21:17 ff; Ro 14:1 ff; 1Co 9:19 ff). But these laws and ordinances were something more than merely external matters, since they contained the highest religious thoughts. We surely should not forget from the outset that Le 19 contains also the word, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (19:18), a command which in 19:33 f is even made to cover the strangers too, and which by Jesus, next to the absolute love demanded for God, is designated as the chief commandment of the law (Mt 22:39); and when in 19:17 f the hatred of the brother and desire for revenge on him are forbidden, we already seem to breathe atmosphere of Christianity. The entire Le 19 is, in addition, as it were, a sermon on almost all of the commandments of the Decalogue, the abiding authority of which the Christian, after the example and interpretation of Jesus, will at once recognize. But as the Decalogue itself is found enclosed in the specifically Jewish national shell (compare Ex 20:2, exodus out of Egypt; 20:8, Sabbath commandment; 20:12, promise of the holy land; 20:17, slaves), so, too, this is the case in Le 19 (compare 19:3,6 ff, 20-22,23-25,29,30,33 f). But how little the specifically Levitical ordinances, in the narrower sense of the term, exclude the spiritual factor, and how closely they are interwoven with the deepest of thoughts, can be seen from Le 26, according to which all merely external sacrifices, into which formalism naturally the Levitical legal code could degenerate, do not protect from punishment, if the heart remains uncircumcised (26:30 f, 41).

Above all, there are four leading thoughts which are emphasized forcibly, particularly by the legal system of Priestly Code. In reality all times, all places, all property, all persons are sacred to God. But as it is impossible that this ideal should be realized in view of the imperfections and guilt of man, it was decided that certain particular seasons and places, gifts and persons should be separated from others, and that in these this sacredness should be realized as far as possible, and that these representatives should by their mere existence continually remind the people of God’s more comprehensive claims, and at the same time arouse and maintain the consciousness that their entire life was to be saturated by the thoughts of a holy God and His demands. From this point of view, none of the particular laws are worthless; and when they are once appreciated in this their central significance, we can understand that each law has its share in the eternal authority of the law (compare Mt 5:17 f). Paul, too, who absolutely rejects the law as a way to salvation expresses no doubt that the law really contains the will of God (Ro 8:3 f); and he declares that it was the purpose of the sending of Jesus, that the demands made upon us by the law should be fulfilled; and in Ro 13:10 he tells us that love is the fulfillment of the law (compare 13:8); and according to Ro 7:12, it is certain that the law is holy and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

(2) The Law Prepares for the Understanding of Christianity.

But the ceremonial law, too, contains not only the demands of God’s will. It prepares also for the understanding of the work, the person and the mission of Jesus. In Ex 25:8; 29:45 f; 40:34 ff the indwelling of God in the tent of meeting is declared, which prophesied the incarnation of God in Christ Jesus (Joh 1:14); and then the indwelling of God through the Holy Spirit in the Christian congregation (1Pe 2:5; Eph 4:12) and in the individual (1Co 3:16; 6:19; 2Co 6:16; Joh 14:23). Through the sacrificial system in Le 1-7, and the ordinances of the Day of Atonement (Le 16), we are enabled to understand the character of sin, of grace and of the forgiveness of sin (compare ATONEMENT, DAY OF, sec. II). Let us remember to what extent Jesus and Paul, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the other New Testament writings operate with Old Testament thoughts, particularly with those of Le (priest-hood, sacrifices, atonement, Passover, signification of blood, etc.), and Paul correctly says that the righteousness of God was prophesied, not only by the prophets, but also by the law (Ro 3:21).

(3) The Law as a Tutor unto Christ.

Finally, the ceremonial law too has the purpose to protect Israel from the errors of the heathen, a thought that is especially emphasized in the Law of Holiness (compare Le 18:3,14 ff; 19:26 ff; 20:2 ff, 22 ff; 26:1) and which is in harmony with the elementary stage of Israel’s education in the Old Testament, when the people still stood in need of the "tutor .... unto Christ" (Ga 3:23 f; 4:1). This already leads us over to the negative side, which Paul particularly emphasizes.

2. Negative:

The law is in itself holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good (Ro 7:12), but it has lost its power because the flesh of man is sinful (compare Ro 8:3); and thus it happens that the law is the occasion for sin and leads to a knowledge of sin and to an increase of sin (compare Ro 3:20; 4:15; 5:20; 7:13); and this shall be brought about according to the purposes of God in order that in upright hearts the desire for forgiveness should arise. It is true that nothing was so well adapted as were the details of the law, to bring to consciousness in the untutored mind that in which man yet came short of the Divine commands. And as far as the removal of the guilt was concerned, nothing was needed except the reference to this in order to make men feel their imperfections (compare Heb 7-10). God merely out of grace was for the time being contented with the blood of goats and of calves as a means for atonement; He was already counting on the forgiveness in Christ (Ro 3:25). All the sacrifices in Le 1-7, e.g., did not make the ritual of the Day of Atonement superfluous (Le 16); and in this case the very man who brought the sacrifice was also a sinful creature who must first secure the forgiveness of God for himself. Only Jesus, at once the perfect priest and the perfect sacrifice, has achieved the perfect redemption. It accordingly remains a fact that the righteousness which avails before God can be secured only through faith in Jesus Christ, and not through the deeds of the law (Romans and Galatians).

The law with its incomplete atonement and with its arousing of the consciousness of sin drives man to Jesus; and this is its negative significance. Jesus, however, who Himself has fulfilled the demands of the law, gives us through His spirit the power, that the law with its demands (1, (1) above) may no longer stand threateningly over against us, but is now written in our hearts. In this way the Old Testament law is fulfilled in its transitory form, and at the same time becomes superfluous, after its eternal contents have been recognized, maintained and surpassed.


Commentaries by Ryssel, Lange, Keil, Strack, Baentsch, Bertholet; especially for the Law of Holiness see Horst, Le 17:1-26:46 and Ezk; Wurster, Zeitschrift fur alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 1884, 112 ff; Baentsch, Das Heiligkeitsgesetz; Klostermann, Der Pentateuch, 368 ff; Delitzsch, Zeitschrift fur kirch. Wissenschaft und Leben, 1880, 617 ff; Intros to the Old Testament by Baudissin, Strack, Kuenen, Konig, Cornill, Driver, Sellin; Archaeology, by Benzinger, Nowack; History of Israel, by Kohler, Konig, Kittel, Oettli, Klostermann, Stade, Wellhausen; for kindred laws in Babylonia, compare Zimmern, Beitrage zur Kenntnis der babyl. Religion; against the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis, Moller, Are the Critics Right? (ibid., "Literature"), and article EZEKIEL in this Encyclopedia; Orr, Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament; Wiener, Wiener, Essays in Pentateuchal Criticism, Wiener, Origin of the Pentateuch; Hoffmann, Die wichtigsten Instanzen gegen die Graf-Wellhausensche Hypothese; Kegel, Wilh. Vatke und die Graf-Wellhausensche Hypothese.

Wilhelm Moller



See WAR.


lud, lud’-nes (zimmah, mezimmah, nabhluth; poneros, rhadiourgema):

1. In the Old Testament:

There are three Hebrew words translated "lewd," "lewdness":

(1) Zimmah, meaning a "plan," a "purpose," so translated several times and then shading off into "evil plan"; translated also "heinous crime," "wicked purpose or device." It is the most frequent word for "lewdness": Eze 16:27, "lewd way"; found in Jud 20:6; Eze 16:27,43,58; 22:9,11; 23:21,27,29,35,44-48,49; 24:13; Ho 6:9.

(2) Mezimmah means a "plan," generally "(evil) machination"; used only in Jer 11:15, "lewdness."

(3) Nabhluth, meaning "disgrace" in reference to females. Found only in Ho 2:10; the American Revised Version margin "shame."

2. In the New Testament:

The word translated "lewd," "lewdness" in the King James Version occurs only twice in the New Testament, and in each instance is more correctly translated in the Revised Version (British and American) by another word:

(1) Poneros, found in Ac 17:5, translated in the American Standard Revised Version "vile." The Greek word elsewhere is translated "bad," "evil," "grievous," "harmful," "malicious," "wicked." the King James Version "lewd" gives the wrong impression. The idea of unchastity is not present in the text or context.

(2) Rhadiourgema likewise occurs only once, namely, Ac 18:14, and is correctly translated in the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version "wicked villany." The thought of impurity or lewdness is foreign to the meaning in this connection.

William Edward Raffety








lib’-er-al, lib-er-al’-i-ti, lib’-er-al-i: The different forms of the word all refer to one who is generous, bountiful, willing and ready to give and to help. Both the Hebrew words of the Old Testament and the Greek words of the New Testament translated into the English word "liberal" have a deeper and nobler meaning than is generally conveyed by the English word. In Pr 11:25, the liberal soul (nephesh berakhah) means a soul that carries a blessing. In Isa 32:5, the American Standard Revised Version has "bountiful" where the King James Version has "liberal," and in Isa 32:8 "noble" takes the place of "liberal" (nadhibh). The principal Greek words are haplotes literally, "simplicity," "sincerity," and charis, "grace," "favor." In 1Co 16:3, "bounty" substitutes "liberality." It is well to bear in mind that a Biblical liberality can spring only out of a noble soul, and is Godlike in its genesis and spirit.

G. H. Gerberding


lib’-er-tinz, li-bur’-tinz (Libertinoi): These were among Stephen’s opponents: "There arose certain of them that were of the synagogue called (the synagogue) of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen" (Ac 6:9).have a deeper and nobler meaning than is generally conveyed by the English word. In Pr 11:25, the liberal soul (nephesh berakhah) means a soul that carries a blessing. In Isa 32:5, the American Standard Revised Version has "bountiful" where the King James Version has "liberal," and in Isa 32:8 "noble" takes the place of "liberal" (nadhibh). The principal Greek words are haplotes literally, "simplicity," "sincerity," and charis, "grace," "favor." In 1Co 16:3, "bounty" substitutes "liberality." It is well to bear in mind that a Biblical liberality can spring only out of a noble soul, and is Godlike in its genesis and spirit.

1. "Synagogue of the Libertines":

How many synagogues are denoted? The answer may aid in the interpretation of "Libertines":

(1) The words may be read as denoting one synagogue (Calvin). However

(a) the number of worshippers would be extremely large,

(b) the bond of union is not obvious,

(c) rabbinic tradition speaks of 480 synagogues in Jerusalem.

(2) The double ton ("of them") seems to denote two parties, the one consisting "of them that were of the synagogue called (the synagogue) of Libertines and Cyrenians and Alexandrians," the other "of them of Cilicia and Asia", (Winer, Wendt, Holtzmann). But the second ton is dependent on synagogue. "As Cyrenians and Alexandrians both belong to towns .... a change of designation would be necessary when the Jews of whole provinces came to be mentioned: this being the case, the article could not but be repeated, without any reference to the ton before" (Alford).

(3) There were three synagogues:

(a) that of the Libertines,

(b) that of the Cyrenians and Alexandrians and

(c) that "of them of Cilicia and Asia" (Alford). There is no grammatical reason for this division, but it is based on an interpretation of "Libertines." There were "Libertines," Africans and Asiatics.

(4) Each party had a separate synagogue (Schurer, Hausrath). The number of worshippers, their different origin and connections, and the number of synagogues in Jerusalem give weight to this view.

2. Interpretation of "Libertines":

(1) They are "freedmen," liberated slaves or their descendants. Against this it is held that the Greek equivalent (apeleutheroi) would have been used in this case. However, the Roman designation would be common all over the empire. In what sense were they "freedmen"? Various answers are given:

(a) they were freedmen from Jewish servitude (Lightfoot);

(b) they were Italian freedmen who had become proselytes;

(c) they were "the freedmen of the Romans" (Chrysostom), the descendants of Jewish freedmen at Rome who had been expelled by Tiberius. In 63 BC Pompey had taken prisoners of war to Rome. These, being liberated by those who had acquired them as slaves, formed a colony on the banks of the Tiber (Philo, Legat. ad Caium). Tacitus relates that the senate decreed (19 AD) that a number of Jewish Libertines should be transported to Sardinia, and that the rest should leave Italy, unless they renounced, before a certain day, their profane customs (Ann. ii, 85; see also Josephus, Ant, XVIII, iii, 5). Many would naturally seek refuge in Jerusalem and build there a synagogue.

(2) They are an African community. There were two synagogues, one of which was Asiatic. In the other were men from two African towns (Cyrene and Alexandria), therefore the Libertines must have been African also, all forming an African synagogue. Various explanations are given:

(a) They were inhabitants of Libertum, a town in Africa proper: an "Episcopus Ecclesiae Catholicae Libertinensis" sat in the Synod of Carthage (411 AD).

(b) Some emend the text; Wetstein and Blass, following the Armenian VS, conjecture Libustinon, "of the Libystines." Schulthess reads for "Libertines and Cyrenians" (Libertinon kai Kurenaion) "Libyans, those about Cyrene" (Libuon ton kata Kurenen) (compare Ac 2:10).

These emendations are conjectural; the manuscripts read "Libertines." It seems, therefore, that 2, (1) (c) above is the correct interpretation.

S. F. Hunter


lib’-er-ti (deror, rachabh; eleutheria): The opposite of servitude or bondage, hence, applicable to captives or slaves set free from oppression (thus deror, Le 25:10; Isa 61:1, etc.). Morally, the power which enslaves is sin (Joh 8:34), and liberty consists, not simply in external freedom, or in possession of the formal power of choice, but in deliverance from the darkening of the mind, the tyranny of sinful lusts and the enthrallment of the will, induced by a morally corrupt state. In a positive respect, it consists in the possession of holiness, with the will and ability to do what is right and good. Such liberty is possible only in a renewed condition of soul, and cannot exist apart from godliness. Even under the Old Testament godly men could boast of a measure of such liberty (Ps 119:45, rachabh, "room," "breadth"), but it is the gospel of Christ which bestows it in its fullness, in giving a full and clear knowledge of God, discovering the way of forgiveness, supplying the highest motives to holiness and giving the Holy Spirit to destroy the power of sin and to quicken to righteousness. In implanting a new life in the soul, the gospel lifts the believer out of the sphere of external law, and gives him a sense of freedom in his new filial relation to God. Hence, the New Testament expressions about "the glorious liberty" of God’s children (Ro 8:21 the King James Version; compare Ga 2:4; 5:13, etc.), about liberty as resulting from the possession of the Spirit (2Co 3:17), about "the perfect law of liberty" (Jas 1:25). The instrument through which this liberty is imparted is "the truth" (Joh 8:32). Christians are earnestly warned not to presume upon, or abuse their liberty in Christ (Ga 5:13; 1Pe 2:16).

James Orr


lib’-na (libhnah "whiteness," "transparency," "pavement" (compare Ex 24:10 where libhnath, is translated "paved work" or a "compact foundation"); Lebna):

(1) A desert camp of the Israelites between Rimmon-perez and Rissah (Nu 33:20,21). Probably the same as Laban (De 1:1).


(2) A town in the Shephelah of Judah (Jos 15:42). "Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah: and Yahweh delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel. .... And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it" (Jos 10:29-31; 12:15). It was one of the cities given to the "children of Aaron" (Jos 21:13; 1Ch 6:57). In the reign of Joram, Libnah joined the Edomites in a revolt against the king of Judah (2Ki 8:22; 2Ch 21:10). In the reign of Hezekiah, Libnah was besieged by Sennacherib (2Ki 19:8; Isa 37:8). The wife of King Josiah was "Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah," she was the mother of Jehoahaz and Zedekiah (2Ki 23:31; 24:18; Jer 52:1).

The site of this important stronghold remains unknown. In the Eusebius, Onomasticon it is described, under the name Lobana or Lobna, as near Eleutheropolis (Beit Jebrin). All the indications point to a site in the Southwest of the Shephelah, not very far from Lachish. The Palestine Exploration Fund surveyors suggested (PEF, III, 259) the commanding site ‘Arak el Menshiyeh, or rather the white chalky mound 250 ft. high to the North of this village, and Stanley proposed Tell es Cafi. (Both these identifications are due to the interpretation of Libnah as meaning "whiteness.") In the PEFS (1897, Sh XX) Conder suggests a ruin called el Benawy, 10 miles Southeast of Lachish.

E. W. G. Masterman


lib’-ni (libhni):

(1) Son of Gershon (Ex 6:17; Nu 3:18; 1Ch 6:17,20). Families who traced their descent from Libni are called Libnites (Nu 3:21; 26:58).

(2) A son of Merari (1Ch 6:29).



lib’-nits (ha-libhni).



li’-bra-riz, li’-brer-iz:

1. The Bible a Library

2. Mythological and Apocryphal Libraries

3. Libraries for the Dead

4. Memory Libraries

5. Prehistoric and Primitive Libraries

6. Mesopotamian Period

7. Patriarchal Period

8. Egyptian Period

9. The Exodus

10. Palestine at the Conquest

11. Period of the Judges

12. Saul to the Maccabees

13. New Testament Times

14. Bookcases and Buildings


A library is a book or books kept for use, not for sale. A one-book library is just as much a library as a one-cell animal is animal. The earliest libraries, like the earliest plants and animals, were very simple, consisting of a few books or perhaps only a single tablet or manuscript. An archive is a library of official documents not in active use; a registry, a library of going documents.

1. The Bible a Library:

The Bible is itself a library. During the Middle Ages it was commonly called, first, "The Divine Library," and then, "The Library" (Bibliotheca), in the same exclusive sense as it is now known as "The Book" (Biblia as Latin singular). Even the word "Bible" itself is historically "Library" rather than "Book" (for it was originally the neuter plural Biblia, "The Books"; compare Da 9:2). The Bible is also a library in that it is an organized collection of books rather than a single work.

This fact that the Bible is itself a library is increasingly mentioned of late, especially in Old Testament studies (Kent, Narratives of the Beginnings of Hebrew History, 1, "The Old Testament as a Library"; Delitzsch, Babel and Bible, 4, "the Old Testament, that small library of books of the most multifarious kind"). Its profound bearing on the theory of the composition and inspiration of the Bible (compare BOOK) has given the fact new significance and makes an understanding of the nature of a library one of the best tools for the interpretation of the Bible in the face of modern problems. While it is not possible to elaborate this within these limits, it may be said briefly that the logical end of the application of the doctrine of evolution to books and libraries is that the Bible is, like man, the result of natural selection, and is as unique among books as man among the animals. And, whatever may be true of men, in the case of books the formation of a book-library by natural selection tends toward the elimination of error. The more numerous the individuals and the longer the period, the greater the reduction of error, so that the logical inference as to the Bible is that on purely natural grounds it may be, or is, the nearest approximation to inerrancy among books, because of its history as a library. This does not quite lead to the position that the Bible is as unique among books as Jesus Christ among men, but under the doctrine of a creative Providence, it does imply what may be called real superhuman authorship and authority.

2. Mythological and Apocryphal Libraries:

Somewhat apart from historical libraries, but closely connected with Bible study, are the alleged superhuman libraries, libraries of, or written by, the gods, libraries for the dead and apocryphal libraries. The Vedas are said to have existed as a collection even before the Creator created Himself (Manu 1 21). All religions have their book-gods—Thoth and Seshait, Apollo, Hermes, Minerva, Ida, Bridget, Soma, Brahma, Odin, Kvasir, Ygdrasil and many others. To the ancient Babylonians the whole firmament was a library of "celestial tablets." The mythological ideas often have important bearing on Biblical doctrines, e.g. the Creation, the Word, the Tree of Life, the Book of Life, the Holy Spirit. Apocryphal libraries include the library which Yahweh is alleged to have formed on the 7th day of creation on a mount East of the Garden of Eden, and other libraries ascribed to Enoch, Noah and Seth. See for this the Old Testament pseudepigrapha.

3. Libraries for the Dead:

Another class of collections of real books, written or gathered for mythological purposes, is what may be called libraries for the dead. It is well known that in most countries of antiquity, at one time or another, and among primitive people like the American Indians, in modern times, it has been the custom to bury with the dead the things which friends thought would be useful in the Elysian fields or happy hunting grounds, or on the way thither—the bow and horse of the warrior, the ushabti servants, children’s playthings, the models of food objects, and so on. This same motive led also to the burying of books with the dead. For long periods in the history of Egypt every Egyptian of any position was buried with one or more books. These books were not his chance possessions, buried with him as, in some burials, all a man’s personal belongings are, but books selected for their usefulness to him after death. For the most part these were of the nature of guidebooks to the way to the heavenly world, magic formulas for the opening of doors, instruction as to the right method of progress toward, or introduction into, paradise, etc. These books were afterward gathered together and form what is now known as "the Book of the Dead" and other such books.

4. Memory Libraries:

In modern times the actor or professional story-teller often has in memory a collection of remembered books which is in effect a library. Among primitive peoples the medicine-man was literally a library of tribal traditions. The priests of India and the minstrels of Greece or of the Middle Ages often had a large repertory. By the prevailing theory of the origin of the books of the Old Testament such memory traditions, transmitted orally, were the chief source of the Hexateuch, but in view of what is now known of the library situation of the time, this must be doubted.

5. Prehistoric and Primitive Libraries:

In general terms it may be said that when man began not only to make but to keep records, libraries began. Even a memorial stone contains the germ of a mnemonic library. The primitive medicine-man’s collection of notched message sticks, tallies, quipus or wampum belts is a great advance in complexity on these, and the simplest collection of picture narratives of Hottentot or American Indian, an advance on this. A combination of pictures with signs is still another forward step, and this step is already to be found in the Pyrenean caves of the Stone Age (see WRITING). Most of these earliest libraries were kept at the sanctuary. The gathering together of books in libraries had its origin in the ideas of

(1) preservation,

(2) gathering together like books in order to join together their contents, and

(3) circulation—the great modern expansion of the idea.

The owner of flocks and herds gathers together his lists of cattle or other possessions, his receipts for purchases and record of sales, whether these are recorded on the walls of his cave or on wooden tallies or on knotted cords or on clay tablets gathered in little jars and buried under the floor of his house. Large owners and sovereigns and the temples of Egypt and Assyria gathered large stores of these archival records and with them records of tribute, oracles, etc. As early as 2700 BC we have the account of King Dedkere Isesi, his archival library and his librarian Senezemib. The annals of Thutmose III were preserved in the palace library as well as cut in selections on the walls of the temple. A few years later, and we know that the archival records were kept in a special room in the palace at Amarna—and many of the records themselves were found there. All this was before the year 1300.

6. Mesopotamian Period:

Bible history through Genesis 10 covers the whole civilized world, but its main line up to about 2000 BC is almost wholly Mesopotamian. Up to the time of Abram’s migration from Haran, the history of Biblical libraries and the history of Babylonian and Sumerian libraries are one. Most of the cities mentioned in this period are now known to have had collections of books in those days. At the time when Abram left Haran there were hundreds of collections of written documents in scores of different geographical localities and containing millions of tablets.

7. Patriarchal Period:

From Abram’s emigration out of Haran to Jacob’s emigration to Egypt was, on the face of Biblical data, mainly a time of wandering in Palestine, but this was not wholly nomad nor wholly Palestinian. Whether there were libraries in Palestine at this time or not, the Patriarchs were all in close personal contact with the library lands of Babylonia and Egypt. Abram himself was familiar with both Mesopotamia and Egypt. His son Ishmael married an Egyptian, his son Isaac a Mesopotamian. His grandson Jacob married two wives from between the rivers, and had himself 20 years’ residence in the region. While it does not appear that Isaac lived at any time either in Syria or in Egypt, during most of his life all the members of his nearest family, father, mother, wife, sons’ wives, had had from one to three score years’ life in the mother-country. Whether there were public records in this region at this time is another matter, but it would seem that the whole region during the whole period was under the influence of the Babylonian civilization. It was freely traversed by trading caravans, and the Hittite and Mesopotamian records extend at least a little back into this period.

8. Egyptian Period:

The Egyptian period of Bible history begins with the immigration of Jacob and his sons, but fringes back to the visit of Abram (Ge 12:10-20), if not to Mizraim of Ge 10:6. On the other hand, it ends properly with the exodus, but fringes forward through frequent points of contact to the flight of the Virgin and Pentecost. Whether the sojourn was 430 or 215 years, or less, it was a long residence at a time when libraries were very flourishing in Egypt. Already at the time of Abram’s visit, collections of books, not only of official accounts, but of religious texts, medical texts, annals, and the like, had been common in Egypt for nearly 1,000 years, and had perhaps existed for 1,000 years or more before that.

Under the older of the modern datings of the exodus, the period of the sojourn included the times of Thothmes III (Thutmose), and in this reign there are peculiarly interesting records, not only of the existence of temple and palace libraries, but of the nature of their contents. The official recorder of Thothmes III, accompanying him on his campaign in Syria and Palestine, set down each day the events of the day, while he or others also made lists of tribute, spoils, commissary matters, etc. These daily records were deposited in the palace library, as it appears, but a narrative compiled from these and written on a leather roll was deposited in the temple library, and from this roll in turn an abstract was engraved on the walls of the temple, where it remains to this day. This probably gives the library situation of the time in a nutshell:

(1) the simple saving of utilitarian documents, often on papyrus or wood tablets,

(2) the gathering of books written for information on more durable material,

(3) preserving choice books for posterity by a local series of inscriptions.

The rolls must have been kept in chests or small boxes, like the box containing the medical papyri of King Neferikere some 1,300 years before, or the "many boxes" at Edfu long after. Many pictures of these book-chests or bookcases are found in the monuments (Birt, Buchrolle, 12, 15 ff).

Again, the palace library of King Akhnaton (circa 1360 BC) at Amarna, which contained collections of the royal foreign correspondence on clay tablets, has been excavated. Its bricks bear the inscription, "Place of the records of the palace of the king," and some hundreds of tablets from this spot have been recovered.

At the time of the exodus there were thus probably libraries in all palaces, temples and record offices, although the temple libraries were by no means confined to sacred writings or the palace to secular. There were also at least archives, or registers, in the royal treasury and in all public departments. Schools for scribes were, it would seem, held in the palace, temple and treasury libraries. There were, therefore, apparently, at this time millions of documents or books, in hundreds of organized collections, which could be called archives or libraries.

9. The Exodus:

Supposing any exodus at all, Moses and Aaron and all the Hebrew "officers" ("scribes" or writers) under the Egyptian taskmasters (Ex 5:6,10,14,15,19), brought up as they were in the scribal schools, were of course quite familiar with the Egyptian ways of keeping their books. It is not surprising, therefore, to find the first and chief provision which Moses made for the Tabernacle was a book-chest for the preservation of the sacred directions given by Yahweh. It makes little difference whether the account is taken in its final form, divided horizontally into Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua, or divided perpendicularly into J, E, D, the Priestly Code (P), the fact of the ark and enough of its details are given even in the very oldest sources to show that the authors understood the ark to be a glorified book-chest in or near which were kept written documents: the tables of stone, the inscribed rod, all the testimony given from the mercy-seat which formed its lid, and perhaps the Book of Deuteronomy. The ark is in fact much the size and shape of a portable bookcase, and the Septuagint translation renders the word by the ordinary technical Greek word for the book-chest (kibotos; compare Birt, op. cit., 248-49). It appears also to have been the later Hebrew word for book-chest (compare Jewish Encyclopedia, II, 107 ff). At the exodus, whenever that may have been, Moses is alleged to have made the ark the official library, and in it apparently he is thought to have kept the oracles as uttered from time to time and the record of his travels from day to day (as well as the tables of stone), precisely as the scribe of Thutmose recorded his Syrian campaigns from day to day. This record (if it was a record) was in all likelihood on a leather roll, since this became the traditional form of books among the Hebrews, and this too was like the annals of Thutmose. When the tribes separated to North and South, the books may have been either separated or copied, and doubtless they suffered much wear and tear from the harsh times until we find De turning up again in a temple library (2Ki 22:8 ff; 2Ch 34:14 ).

The evidence from Egyptian Babylonian, Mitannian, Amorite and Hittite documents shows the existence of official chanceries and by implication of archives throughout the whole region of Syria and Palestine at the time when the "Hebrew" invasion began (Winckler, Tell el-Amarna Tablets).

10. Palestine at the Conquest:

The Tell el-Amarna Letters and the tablets from the Hittite archives at Boghaz-keui (Winckler, Deutsche Orientalische Gesellschaft Mitt., 1907, number 35) include actual letters from the princes, elders and governors of dozens of places, scattered all over this region from Egypt to the land of the Hittites and the Mitannians. These places include among others Jerusalem, Damascus, Tyre, Sidon, Acco, Ashkelon, Gaza, Lachish, Keilah and Aijalon.

Remains of two of such archival libraries have been dug up—one at Lachish and one at Taanach near Megiddo, both dating back to the 14th century BC.

Whether there were temple libraries as well does not appear so clearly from external evidence but may probably be inferred from the names, Debir and (perhaps) Nebo, as well as from the well-known fact that each of the many city-lands must have had its center of worship. When it was thought that writing did not exist to any extent in Palestine before the time of David, it was the fashion to account for the name of the city of "Kirjath Sepher," the "City of Books," by curious tours de force of conjectural emendation (Sephur for Sepher, Tabor for Debir), but with the recent progress of excavation the possibility of the name has been fully established and the insight of Sayce probably justified.

11. Period of the Judges:

That the situation at the Conquest continued also during the period of the Judges appears from sundry considerations:

(1) The fact that all the surrounding nations, Moabites, Edomites, Amorites, Hittites, Mitannians, etc., were literate nations with public archives.

(2) The high state of organization under David requires an evolutionary background.

(3) Even the extreme (and quite untenable) theory that the Hebrews were illiterate wild Arab nomads and remained so for a long time would actually demonstrate the matter, for, as has been pertinently observed (Sellin, Einl, 7), many at least of the Canaanite cities were not destroyed or even occupied for a long time, but were surrounded by the Hebrews, and finally occupied and assimilated. It follows, therefore, that the archival system continued, and, under this theory, for a long time, until the Hebrews absorbed the culture of their neighbors—and, by inference, libraries with the rest.

(4) Taking the evidence of the documents as they stand, the matter is simple enough; various works were kept in or near the ark. Joshua added to these at least the report of a boundary commission (Jos 18:9,10) which was brought to the sanctuary, and Samuel "laid up" the book that he wrote "before Yahweh," i.e. at the ark. Moreover, the Books of Jasher, the Wars of Yahweh, etc., imply a literature which in turn implies libraries. Whenever or however composed, there is no good reason to distrust their historical existence.

(5) Even on the extreme critical hypothesis, "Most of the stories found in the first 8 books of the Old Testament originated before or during the age of song and story (circa 1250-1050)" (Kent, Beginnings, 17).

(6) To this may also be added, with all reservations, the mysterious metal ephod which appears only in this period. The ephod seems to have been either

(a) a case (BDB, 66) or

(b) an instrument for consulting an oracle (BDB, 65). The linen ephod had a pouch for the Urim and Thummim. The metal ephod seems to be distinguished from the image and may have contained the written oracular instructions (torah?) as well as the oracular instruments.

(7) The Kenite scribes of Jabez (1Ch 2:55); the simple fact that a chance captive from Succoth could write out a list of names and some one at least of the rudest 300 survivals of Gideon’s 32,000 primitive warriors in those bloody frontier times could read it, the reference to the staff of the muster-master, marshal or scribe, and the "governors" (inscribers), in Deborah’s Song, point in the same direction.

While, therefore, the times were doubtless wild, the political unity very slight, and the unity of worship even less, there is evidence that there were both political and religious libraries throughout the period.

12. Saul to the Maccabees:

Beginning with the monarchy, the library situation among the Israelites appears more and more clearly to correspond with that of the surrounding nations. The first act the recorded after the choice and proclamation of Saul as king was the writing of a constitution by Samuel and the depositing of this in the sacred archives (1Sa 10:25). This document Septuagint biblion) was perhaps one of the documents ("words") of Samuel whose words (1Ch 29:29, history, chronicles, acts, book, etc.) seem to have been possibly a register kept by him, perhaps from the time that he succeeded Eli, as later the high-priestly register (day-book) of Johannes Maccabeus was certainly kept from the beginning of his high-priesthood (1 Macc 16:24).

Whether these "words" of Samuel were equivalent to the technical register or "book of the words of days" or not, such registers were undoubtedly kept from the time of David on, and there is nothing so illuminating as to the actual library conditions of the times as the so-called chronicles, histories or acts—the registers, journals or archives of the time. The roll-register seems to be called in full "the book of the words of days," or with explanatory fullness "book of the records of the words of days," but this appears to be an evolution from "words of days" or even "words," and these forms as well as the abbreviations "book of days" and "book" are used of the same technical work, which is the engrossing in chronological book-form of any series of individual documents—all the documents of a record-office, general or local. The name is used also of histories written up on the basis of these register-books (the Books of Chronicles are in Hebrew, "words of days") but not themselves records. These charter-books, of course, so far as they go, mirror the contents of the archives which they transcribe, and the key to the public-library history of the period, both sacred and royal, as regards contents, at least, is to be found in them, while in turn the key to the understanding of this technical book-form itself lies in the understanding of the "word" as a technical book-form.

The "word" in Hebrew is used of books, speeches, sayings, oracles, edicts, reports, formal opinions, agreements, indictments, judicial decisions, stories, records, regulations, sections of a discourse, lines of poetry, whole poems, etc., as well as acts, deeds, "matters," "affairs," events and words in the narrowest sense. It is thus very exactly, as well as literally, translated in the Septuagint by logos, which as a technical book-term (Birt, Antikes Buchwesen, 28, 29) means any distinct composition, long or short, whether a law, an epigram, or a whole complex work. The best English equivalent for this "work-complete-in-itself," in the case of public records, is "document," and in the case of literary matters, it is "work or writing." The "words" of Samuel or David thus are his "acts" or "deeds" in the sense, not of doings, but of the individual documentary records of those doings quite in the modern sense of the "acts and proceedings" of a convention, or the "deeds" to property.

In the plural, dibhre and logoi or logia alike mean a collection of documents, works or writings, i.e. "a library." Sometimes this is used in the sense of archives or library, at other times as a book containing these collected works.

These collected documents in register-form constituted apparently a continuous series until the time when the Book of Chronicles was written and were extant at that time: the "words" of Samuel, "chronicles" and "last words" of David (1Ch 23:27; 27:24), the "book of the words (acts) of Solomon" (1Ki 11:41), the book of the words of days of the kings of Judah, and the book of the words of days of the kings of Israel—the kingdoms after division each having naturally its own records.

The general situation during the period as to archival matters is pretty well summarized by Moore in the EB. From the time of Solomon, and more doubtfully from the time of David, he recognizes that "records were doubtless kept in the palace," and that "the temples also doubtless had their records," while there may have been also local records of cities and towns. These records contained probably chief events, treaties, edicts, etc.—probably brief annals "never wrought into narrative memoirs." The temple records contained annals of succession, repairs, changes, etc. (EB, II, 2021-28). The records were, however, probably not brief, but contained treaties, etc., verbatim in full. To this should moreover be added the significant fact that these archives contained not only business records but also various works of a more or less literary character. Those mentioned include letters, prophecies, prayers, and even poems and Wisdom literature. The "words" of the kings of Israel contained prayers, visions and other matter not usually counted archival. The "acts" (words) of Solomon also contained literary or quasi-literary material. According to Josephus the archives of Tyre contained similar material and this was also true of the Amarna archives (circa 1380 BC) and those at Boghazkeui, as well as of the palace archives of Nineveh and the great temple archives of Nippur and Abu Habeh (Sippara). So, too, in Egypt the palace archives of King Neferikere contained medical works and those of Rameses III, at least, magical works, while the temple archives in the time of Thutmose III (Breasted, Ancient Records) contained military annals, and those of Denderah certainly many works of a non-registerial character. The temples of early Greece also contained literary works and secular laws as well as temple archives proper.

In short, the palace collections of Israel were no exception to the general rule of antiquity in containing, besides palace archives proper, more or less of religious archives and literary works, while the temple collections contained more or less political records and literary works.

This record system in Israel and Judah, as appears from the Old Testament itself, was the system of Persia in Old Testament times. It was the system of the Jews in Maccabean times, of Egypt during this whole period and for centuries before and after, and of Northern Syria likewise at about this time (Zakar-Baal, of Gebal, circa 1113 BC). The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, whenever written, reveal the same system, Exodus to Numbers being in the form of a register, and De represented as an abstract prepared for engraving on stone, a use which Joshua is said to have made of it. We have, therefore, the same system existing before and after and on all sides geographically.

All this neighboring practice points to a system of

(1) archival collections,

(2) contemporary book registers,

(3) contemporary publication by inscription, and, in the light of these, the Old Testament method, from the time of David at least, becomes clear, certainly as to archival collections and registers and hardly less so as to the setting-up of inscriptions in permanent material. Even if D is not earlier than 621 BC, it assumes public inscription long before that time, quite comparable in extent to the inscriptions of Thutmose III or King Mesha of Moab, and, although few long inscriptions have been recovered thus far, there is at least the Siloam inscription (compare also Isa 30:8; Job 19:23,24; Isa 8:1; Jer 17:1; also the Decalogue). Each one of these three elements (even the collection of inscriptions in the temple) was, it must be remembered, called in antiquity a "library."

The reference to "the books" in Da (9:2) may possibly point to or foreshadow the synagogue library.

Little weight is generally and properly given to the statement of 2 Macc 2:13, that Nehemiah founded a library and gathered into it the writings "about the kings, the prophets and David, and the letters of the kings concerning votive offerings," but it is, as a matter of fact, evident that he, as well as Judas Maccabeus, who is linked with him in the statement, must have done just this.

From the time of the Septuagint translated, the idea of the library (bibliotheke) and even the public library ("books of the people," i.e. public records) was familiar enough, the Septuagint itself also, according to Josephus, linking the temple library of Jerusalem with the Alexandrian library through the furnishing of books by the former to the latter for copying.

13. New Testament Times:

With the Roman conquest and the rise of the Idumeans, naturally the methods developed in accordance with Roman practice. It appears from the frequent references of Josephus that the public records were extensive and contained genealogical records as well as official letters, decrees, etc. The triple method of record continues. It appears, further (Blau, 96; Krauss, III, 179), that there were libraries and even lending libraries in the schools and synagogues, not of Palestine only, but wherever Jews were settled. Josephus and Chrysostom with the Mishna confirm the already very clear inference from Luke’s account of our Lord’s teaching in the synagogue that at this time, and probably from the beginning of the synagogue, the books, the manner of their keeping and the ritual of their using were already essentially as in the modern synagogue. The first preaching-places of the Christians were the synagogues, and when churches succeeded these, the church library naturally followed, but whether in Bible times or not is a matter of conjecture; they appear at least in very early churches.

Whether the rich secular literature to which Josephus had access was in public or private libraries does not appear directly. It is well known that it was as much a part of Roman public policy in Herod’s time to found public libraries in the provinces as it was to restore temples. Twenty-four such provincial libraries, chiefly temple libraries, are known.

The Roman practice of the time still mixed literary with the archival material, and it is likely therefore that the public records of the Jewish temple had in them both Greek and Latin secular books in considerable quantity, as well as the Greek Apocrypha and a large amount of Aramaic or late Hebrew literature of Talmudic character.

14. Bookcases and Buildings:

As to the receptacles and places in which the books were kept, we have reference even in the Hebrew period to most of the main forms used among the nations: the wooden box, the clay box or pot, the pouch, and on the other hand, once, the "house of books" so familiar in Egyptian use and apparently referring to an individual chamber or semi-detached building of temple or palace. Most significant, however, is the statement that the books were kept in the palace and temple treasuries or storehouses.

The sacred ark (’aron), whatever it may have originally contained, was looked on when D was written as a sacred wooden book-chest, and the ark in which the teaching priests carried the law about for public reading was in fact likewise a chest.

Such chests were common among the Jews later, some with lids and some with side-opening (Jewish Encyclopedia, II, 107-108; Blau, 178). It is tempting to find in D, where the book is to be put "by (the King James Version "in") the side of the ark" (De 31:26), a chest having both lid and openings in the side, but more likely perhaps D means a separate chest, like the coffer or pouch with the golden mice, which was also put "by the side" (matstsadh) of the ark (1Sa 6:8).

In the New Testament the "cloak" which Paul left behind at Troas (2Ti 4:13) was probably (Wattenb., 614; see also Birt and Gardthausen), if not a wooden "capsa," at least some sort of bookcase or cover.

The earthen vessel in which Jeremiah (32:14) puts the two "books" (translated "deeds"), one sealed and one unsealed, was one of the commonest bookcases of the ancient world. This information has lately been widely reinforced and associated with Biblical history by the discovery of the Elephantine papyri, which were, for the most part, kept in such clay jars (Meyer, Papyrusfund, 15). The word Pentateuch perhaps harks back to a five-roll jar, but more likely to a basket or wooden box with five compartments (Blau, 65; Birt, Buchrolle, 21, 22). It was the collective label of a five-roll case, whether of earthenware, wood or basket work.

The pouch or bag bookcase has perhaps its representative in the phylactery (Mt 23:5), which was a sort of miniature armarium in that each of the four little rolls of its four compartments was technically a "book" (cepher). This name is commonly explained as an amulet guarding against evil spirits, but the term actually occurs in the papyri (Bibliophylax) of the preservation of books.

The "house of books" (Ezr 6:1 margin) or "place of books" is a very close parallel to bibliotheke, by which (in the plural) it is translated in the Septuagint. The phrase was a common term in Egypt for library, perhaps also sometimes for scriptorium or even registry, and it points to a chamber or semi-detached room or building where the book-chests, jars, etc., were kept. That at Edfu is a semi-detached room and contained many such cases.

While there is little record of libraries in Biblical times, the very formation of the Canon itself, whether by the higher critical process, or by natural processes of gathering whole literary works, implies the gathering together of books, and the temple libraries common to both Egypt and Assyria-Babylonia are almost inevitably implied wherever there was a temple or sanctuary, whatever may be the facts as to the temple libraries. According to Hilprecht there were certainly such libraries and from very ancient times. The palace library of Assurbani-pal, though itself a discovery of the last times, brings the story down to the times of the written history. For the rest of the story see literature below, especially Dziatzko, Bibliotheken, and the article on "Libraries" in the Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition).


In the earlier period at least and including for the Jews the New Testament times, the particular locality in palace or temple seems to have been the treasury. In the Book of Ezra, search for the decree of Cyrus was to be made in the king’s treasure-house (Ezr 5:17), and was made in the "house of books where the treasures were laid up" (Ezr 6:1 m). The document was finally found in the palace at Ecbatana—so too in 1 Macc 14:49 the archives are placed in the treasury.

In New Testament times there had already been a good deal of development in the matter of library buildings. A general type had been evolved which consisted of

(1) a colonnade,

(2) a lecture-room, a reading-room or assembly room,

(3) small rooms for book storage.

Such accounts as we have of the Alexandrian libraries, with the excavations at Pergamus, Athens and Rome, reveal the same type—the book-rooms, the colonnade where masters walked or sat and talked with their pupils, the rooms for assembly where the senate or other bodies sometimes sat. In short, as long before in Egypt, whether in palace or temple, the place of teaching was the place of books.

It is significant thus that our Lord taught in the Treasury, which in Herod’s Temple was in the court of the temple proper—probably the porticos under the women’s gallery, some of the adjoining rooms being used for books. As this was within the barrier which no Gentile could pass, Herod must have had also a library of public records in the outer colonnade.



Ludwig Blau, Studien zum althebraischen Buchwesen, Strassburg i, E, 1902, 178-80: Sam. Krauss, Talmudische Archaologie, Leipzig, 1912, III, 193-98; J.W. Clark, Care of Books, Cambridge, 1901; E. C. Richardson, Biblical Libraries: A Sketch of Library History from 3400 BC to 150 AD. London. Oxford University Press, 1914.

See the literature under WRITING.

E. C. Richardson




lib’-i-a, lib’-i-anz: In the Old Testament the word occurs in the King James Version in 2Ch 12:3; 16:8; Na 3:9 for "Lubim" (thus the Revised Version (British and American)). the Revised Version (British and American), however, retains "Libyans" in Da 11:43. In Jer 46:9; Eze 30:5; 38:5, the words are replaced in the Revised Version (British and American) by PUT (which see). In the New Testament the word "Libya" (Libue) occurs, in close connection with CYRENE (which see) (Ac 2:10). Greek and Roman writers apply the term to the African continent, generally excluding Egypt.



lis (kinnim (Ex 8:17,18; Ps 105:31), kinnim (Ex 8:16), kinnam (Ex 8:17,18); Septuagint skniphes (Ex 8:16,18), ton sknipha, once in Ex 8:18; sknipes (Ps 105:31); Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) scniphes; according to Liddell and Scott, under the word sknips, Slav. sknipa equals culex): The references, both in Exodus and in Psalms, are all to the plague of "lice." the Revised Version margin suggests "fleas" or "sandflies." The Septuagint rendering would favor "sandflies" or "mosquitoes," between which two insects the Old Testament writers would hardly be expected to discriminate. Mosquitoes belong to the order of Diptera, family Culicidae; the sandfly (Plebotomus papataci) to the family of Simuliidae of the same order. The sandflies are much smaller than mosquitoes, and are nearly noiseless, but give a sharp sting which may leave an unpleasant irritation. They are abundant in the Levant. In Southern Europe they cause the "three-day fever" or "papataci." As stated under GNAT (which see), there is little ground other than the authority of the Septuagint for deciding between "lice," "fleas," "sand-flies," or "mosquitoes" as translations of kinnim. See also under GNAT the note on ken, the Revised Version margin "gnat" (Isa 51:6).

Alfred Ely Day


li’-sens: This word is not found at all in the Revised Version (British and American) (except in Judith 11:14; Ecclesiasticus 15:20; 1 Macc 1:13), and twice only in the King James Version (except in 2 Macc 4:9), both times in Acts. In Ac 21:40 (as translation of epitrepo) the American Standard Revised Version has "leave" where the King James Version has "licence." In Ac 25:16, "opportunity to make his defense" (as translation of topon apologias) takes the place of "have licence to answer for himself."


lid’-e-ber (lidhebhir): For "of Debir" in EV; the Revised Version margin suggests the name "Lidebir" (Jos 13:26), a city in the territory of Gad. It is probably identical with LO-DEBAR (which see).


li, (sheqer (usually, e.g. Isa 9:15; Zec 13:3), or kazabh verb (Job 34:6; Mic 2:11); pseudos (Joh 8:44; Re 21:27), "to speak falsely," "to fabricate," "to make a false statement"; pseudomai, in Ac 5:3,1):

1. Lying Defined:

In its very essence, a lie is something said with intent to deceive. It is not always a spoken word that is a lie, for a life lived under false pretenses, a hypocritical life, may be a lie equally with a false word (Jer 23:14). A vain thing, like an idol, may be a lie (Isa 59:4), as also a false system (Ro 3:7). Error, as opposed to truth, is a lie (1 Joh 2:21). The denial of the deity of Jesus Christ is regarded as "the" lie (1 Joh 2:22).

The origin of lies and lying is traced to Satan who is called "a liar, and the father thereof" (Joh 8:44; Ac 5:3). Satan’s dealing with Eve (Ge 3) furnishes us with a splendid illustration of the first lie, so far as we have any record of it.

2. A Racial Sin:

The whole race is guilty of this sin: "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies" (Ps 58:3). It is a part of the old Adamic nature, "the old man" (Col 3:9), which the believer in Jesus Christ is called upon to put off. So prominent a factor is it in the experience of the race that among the condensed catalogue of sins, for the commission of which men are finally condemned, the sin of lying finds its place: "All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Re 21:8 the King James Version).

3. God’s Attitude to It:

God’s attitude toward this sin is strongly marked throughout both the Old Testament and New Testament. The righteous are called upon to hate lying (Pr 13:5), to avoid it (Ze 3:13), to respect not those who lie, and utterly reject their company (Ps 40:4; 101:7), to pray to be delivered from it (Ps 119:29). The wicked are said to love lying (Ps 52:3), to delight in it (Ps 62:4), to seek after it (Ps 4:2), and to give heed to it (Pr 17:4). Lying leads to worse crimes (Ho 4:1,2).

4. The Penalty:

The punishment to be meted out to liars is of the severest kind. They are positively and absolutely excluded from heaven (Re 21:27; 22:15), and those who are guilty of this sin are cast into the lake of fire (Re 21:8). We are reminded of the awful fate meted out to Ananias and Sapphira when they lied to God and man (Ac 5:1-11). God will "destroy them that speak lies" (Ps 5:6), and "he that uttereth lies shall not escape" (Pr 19:5), yea "a sword is upon the liars" (Jer 50:36 the King James Version). The liar is thereby debarred from rendering any true and acceptable worship unto the Lord (Ps 24:4).

The Scriptures abound with illustrations of lying and the results and penalties therefor. A careful study of these illustrations will reveal the subtlety of falsehood. Sometimes a lie is a half-truth, as set forth in the story of Satan’s temptation of Eve (Ge 3). Cain’s lie (Ge 4:9) was of the nature of an evasive answer to a direct question. Jacob’s deception of his father, in order that he might inherit the blessing of the firstborn, was a barefaced and deliberate lie (Ge 27:19). The answer which Joseph’s brethren gave to their father when he asked them concerning the welfare of their brother Joseph is an illustration, as well as a revelation, of the depth of the wickedness of hearts that deliberately set themselves to falsify and deceive (Ge 37:31,32). Even good men are sometimes overtaken in a lie, which, of course, is no more excusable in them than in the wicked; indeed, it is more shameful because the righteous are professed followers of the truth (David in 1Sa 21:2). What more striking example of the heinousness of lying in the sight of God can we have than the fate which befell Gehazi who, in order to satisfy a covetous desire for possessions, misrepresented his master Elisha to Naaman the Syrian whom the prophet had healed of his leprosy: "The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow" (2Ki 5:22-27)? The story of Peter’s denial of his Lord, and his persistent asseverations that he did not know Him and was not one of His followers, makes us shudder to think that it is possible for a follower of Christ so far to forget himself as not only to lie, but buttress lying with swearing (Mt 26:72).

5. Pseudos United with Other Words:

Throughout the Scriptures we find pseudos joined to other words, e.g. "false apostles" (pseudapostolos, 2Co 11:13), so called probably because a true apostle delivers the message of another, namely, God, while these "false apostles" cared only for self. Such are from Satan, and, like him, they transform themselves into angels of light, and sail under false colors. We read also of "false prophets" (pseudoprophetes, Mt 7:15; compare Jer 23:16 f), thereby meaning those who falsely claim to bring messages from God and to speak in behalf of God. Mention is made also of "false brethren" (pseudadelphos, 2Co 11:26), meaning Judaizing teachers, as in Ga 2:4; "false teachers" (pseudodidaskalos, 2Pe 2:1), men whose teaching was false and who falsely claimed the teacher’s office. We read further of "false witnesses" (pseudomartus, Mt 26:60); by such are meant those who swear falsely, and testify to what they know is not true. So, too, we find mention of the "false Christs" (pseudochristoi, Mt 24:24; Mr 13:22). This personage does not so much deny the existence of a Christ, but rather, on the contrary, builds upon the world’s expectations of such a person, and falsely, arrogantly, blasphemously asserts they he is the Christ promised and foretold. It is the Antichrist who denies that there is a Christ; the false Christ affirms himself to be the Christ. Of course there is a sense in which the man of sin will be both Antichrist and a false Christ.


William Evans


li-erz-in-wat’ (Jud 9:25; 16:12; 20:36 ).



lu-ten’-ant, lef-ten’-ant.



lif (chayyim, nephesh, ruach, chayah; zoe, psuche, bios, pneuma):



1. Popular Use of the Term

2. Complexity of the Idea



1. In the Synoptic Gospels

2. In the Fourth Gospel

3. In the Ac of the Apostles

4. In the Writings of Paul

5. In the Writings of John

6. In the Other Books of the New Testament


I. The Terms.

Of the Hebrew terms, chayah is the verb which means "to live," "to have life," or the vital principle, "to continue to live," or "to live prosperously." In the Piel it signifies "to give life, or preserve, or quicken and restore life." The Hiphil is much like the Piel. The noun hayyim generally used in the plural is an abstract noun meaning "life," i.e. the possession of the vital principle with its energies and activities. Nephesh often means "living being" or "creature." Sometimes it has the force of the reflexive "self." At other times it refers to the seat of the soul, the personality, the emotions, the appetites—passions and even mental acts. Frequently it means "life," the "seat of life," and in this way it is used about 171 times in the Old Testament, referring to the principle of vitality in both men and animals. Ruach signifies "wind," "breath," principle or source of vitality, but is never used to signify life proper.

II. The Old Testament Teaching.

1. Popular Use of the Term:

The term "life" is used in the Old Testament in the popular sense. It meant life in the body, the existence and activity of the man in all his parts and energies. It is the person complete, conscious and active. There is no idea of the body being a fetter or prison to the soul; the body was essential to life and the writers had no desire to be separated from it. To them the physical sphere was a necessity, and a man was living when all his activities were performed in the light of God’s face and favor. The secret and source of life to them was relationship with God. There was nothing good or desirable apart from this relation of fellowship. To overcome or be rid of sin was necessary to life. The real center of gravity in life was in the moral and religious part of man’s nature. This must be in fellowship with God, the source of all life and activity.

2. Complexity of the Idea:

The conception of life is very complex. Several meanings are clearly indicated:

(1) Very frequently it refers to the vital principle itself, apart from its manifestations (Ge 2:7). Here it is the breath of life, or the breath from God which contained and communicated the vital principle to man and made him a nephesh or living being (see also Ge 1:30; 6:17; 7:22; 45:5, etc.).

(2) It is used to denote the period of one’s actual existence, i.e. "lifetime" (Ge 23:1; 25:7; 47:9; Ex 6:16,18,20, etc.).

(3) The life is represented as a direct gift from God, and dependent absolutely upon Him for its continuance (Ge 1:11-27; 2:7; Nu 16:22).

(4) In a few cases it refers to the conception of children, denoting the time when conception was possible (Ge 18:10,14 margin; 2Ki 4:16,17 margin).

(5) In many cases it refers to the totality of man’s relationships and activities, all of which make up life (De 32:47; 1Sa 25:29; Job 10:1, etc.).

(6) In a few instances it is used synonymously with the means of sustaining life (De 24:6; Pr 27:27).

(7) Many times it is used synonymously with happiness or well-being (De 30:15,19; Ezr 6:10; Ps 16:11; 30:5; Pr 2:19, and frequently).

(8) It is always represented as a very precious gift, and offenses against life were to be severely punished (Ge 9:4,5; Le 17:14; 24:17).

Capital punishment is here specifically enjoined because of the value of the life that has been taken. The lexicon talionis required life for life (Ex 21:23; De 19:21); and this even applies to the beast (Le 24:18). The life was represented as abiding in the blood and therefore the blood must not be eaten, or lightly shed upon the ground (Le 17:15; De 12:23). The Decalogue forbids murder or the taking of human life wrongfully (Ex 20:13; De 5:17). Garments taken in pledge must not be kept over night, for thereby the owner’s life might be endangered (De 24:6). That life was considered precious appears in 2Ki 10:24; Es 7:7; Job 2:4; Pr 4:23; 6:26. The essence of sacrifice consisted in the fact that the life (the nephesh) resided in the blood; thus when blood was shed, life was lost (De 12:23; Le 17:11). Oppression on the part of judges and rulers was severely condemned because oppression was detrimental to life.

(9) Long life was much desired and sought by the Israelites, and under certain conditions this was possible (Ps 91:16). The longevity of the ante-diluvian patriarchs is a problem by itself (see ANTEDILUVIANS). It was one of the greatest of calamities to be cut off in the midst of life (Isa 38:10-12; 53:8); that a good old age was longed for is shown by Ex 20:12; Ps 21:4; 34:12; 61:6, etc. This long life was possible to the obedient to parents (Ex 20:12; De 5:16), and to those obedient to God (De 4:4; Pr 3:1,2; 10:27); to the wise (Pr 3:16; 9:11); to the pure in heart (Ps 34:12-14; 91:1-10; Ec 3:12,13); to those who feared God (Pr 10:27; Isa 65:18-21; 38:2-5, etc.).

(10) The possibility of an immortal life is dimly hinted at in the earliest writing, and much more clearly taught in the later. The Tree of Life in the midst of the garden indicated a possible immortality for man upon earth (Ge 2:9; 3:22,24) (see TREE OF LIFE).

Failing to partake of this and falling into sin by partaking of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil," they were driven forth from the garden lest they should eat of the tree of life and become immortal beings in their sinful condition. To deprive man of the possibility of making himself immortal while sinful was a blessing to the race; immortality without holiness is a curse rather than a blessing. The way to the tree of life was henceforth guarded by the cherubim and the flame of a sword, so that men could not partake of it in their condition of sin. This, however, did not exclude the possibility of a spiritual immortality in another sphere. Enoch’s fellowship with God led to a bodily translation; so also Elijah, and several hundred years after their deaths, God called Himself the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, implying that they were really alive then. In Isa 26:19 there is a clear prophecy of a resurrection, and an end of death. Da 12:2 asserts a resurrection of many of the dead, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Some of the psalmists firmly believed in the continuity of the life in fellowship with God (Ps 16:10,11; 17:15; 23:6; 49:15; 73:24,25). The exact meaning of some of these statements is difficult to understand, yet this much is clear: there was a revolt against death in many pious minds, and a belief that the life of fellowship with God could not end or be broken even by death itself.


(11) The fundamental fact in the possession of life was vital relationship with God. Men first lived because God breathed into them the breath of life (Ge 2:7). Man’s vital energies are the outflowing of the spirit or vital energies of God, and all activities are dependent upon the vitalizing power from God. When God sends forth His spirit, things are created, and live; when He withdraws that spirit they die (Ps 104:30). "In his favor is life" (Ps 30:5 the King James Version). He is the fountain of life (Ps 36:9; 63:3). "All my fountains are in thee" (Ps 87:7). The secret of Job’s success and happiness was that the Almighty was with him (Job 29:2). This fellowship brought him health, friends, prosperity and all other blessings. The consciousness of the fellowship with God led men to revolt against the idea of going to Sheol where this fellowship must cease. They felt that such a relationship could not cease, and God would take them out of Sheol.

III. In the Apocrypha.

A similar conception of life appears here as in the Old Testament. Zoe and peuche are used and occur most frequently in the books of The Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclus. In 1 and 2 Esdras the word is little used; 2 Esdras 3:5; 16:61 are but a quotation from Ge 2:7, and refer to the vital principle; 2 Esdras 14:30, Tobit, Judith, Ad Esther use it in the same sense also. Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus use it in several senses closely resembling the use in Proverbs (compare Ecclesiasticus 4:12; Pr 3:18; 10:16). In general there is no additional meaning attached to the word. The Psalms of Solomon refer to everlasting life in 3:16; 13:10; 14:2,6.

IV. In the New Testament.

Of the Greek terms bios is used at times as the equivalent of the Hebrew chayyim. It refers to life extensively, i.e. the period of one’s existence, a lifetime; also to the means of sustaining life, such as wealth, etc. Psuche is also equivalent to chayyim at times, but very frequently to nephesh and sometimes to ruach. Thus, it means the vital principle, a living being, the immaterial part of man, the seat of the affections, desires and appetites, etc. The term zoe corresponds very closely to chayyim, and means the vital principle, the state of one who is animate, the fullness of activities and relationship both in the physical and spiritual realms.

The content of the word zoe is the chief theme of the New Testament. The life is mediated by Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament this life was through fellowship with God, in the New Testament it is through Jesus Christ the Mediator. The Old Testament idea is carried to its completion, its highest development of meaning, being enriched by the supreme teaching and revelation of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament as well as in the Old Testament, the center of gravity in human life is in the moral and religious nature of man.

1. In the Synoptic Gospels:

The teaching here regarding life naturally links itself with Old Testament ideas and the prevailing conceptions of Judaism. The word is used in the sense of

(1) the vital principle, that which gives actual physical existence (Mt 2:20; Mr 10:45; Lu 12:22 f; 14:26).

(2) It is also the period of one’s existence, i.e. lifetime (Lu 1:75; 16:25).

(3) Once it may mean the totality of man’s relationships and activities (Lu 12:15) which do not consist in abundance of material possessions.

(4) Generally it means the real life, the vital connection with the world and God, the sum total of man’s highest interests. It is called "eternal life" (Mt 19:29; 25:46). It is called "life" (Mt 18:8,9; 19:17; Mr 9:43,45,46). In these passages Jesus seems to imply that it is almost equivalent to "laying up treasures in heaven," or to "entering the kingdom of God." The entering into life and entering the kingdom are practically the same, for the kingdom is that spiritual realm where God controls, where the principles, activities and relationships of heaven prevail, and hence, to enter into these is to enter into "life."

(5) The lower life of earthly relationship and activities must be subordinated to the higher and spiritual (Mt 10:39; 16:25; Lu 9:24). These merely earthly interests may be very desirable and enjoyable, but whoever would cling to these and make them supreme is in danger of losing the higher. The spiritual being infinitely more valuable should be sought even if the other relationship should be lost entirely.

(6) Jesus also speaks of this life as something future, and to be realized at the consummation of the age (Mt 19:29; Lu 18:30), or the world to come.

This in no wise contradicts the statement that eternal life can be entered upon in this life. As Jesus Himself was in vital relationship with the spiritual world and lived the eternal life, He sought to bring others into the same blessed state. This life was far from being perfect. The perfection could come only at the consummation when all was perfection and then they would enter into the perfect fellowship with God and connection with the spirit-world and its blessed experiences. There is no conflict in His teaching here, no real difficulty, only an illustration of Browning’s statement, "Man never is but wholly hopes to be." Thus in the synoptists Jesus teaches the reality of the eternal life as a present possession as well as future fruition. The future is but the flowering out and perfection of the present. Without the present bud, there can be no future flower.

(7) The conditions which Jesus lays down for entering into this life are faith in Himself as the one Mediator of the life, and the following of Him in a life of obedience. He alone knows the Father and can reveal Him to others (Mt 11:27). He alone can give true rest and can teach men how to live (Mt 11:28 f). The sure way to this life is: "Follow me." His whole ministry was virtually a prolonged effort to win confidence in Himself as Son and Mediator, to win obedience, and hence, bring men unto these spiritual relationships and activities which constitute the true life.

2. In the Fourth Gospel:

The fullest and richest teachings regarding life are found here. The greatest word of this Gospel is "life." The author says he wrote the Gospel in order that "ye may have life" (Joh 20:31). Most of the teachings recorded, circle around this great word "life." This teaching is in no way distinctive and different from that of the synoptists, but is supplementary, and completes the teaching of Jesus on the subject. The use of the word is not as varied, being concentrated on the one supreme subject.

(1) In a few cases it refers only to the vital principle which gives life or produces a lifetime (Joh 10:11,15-18; 13:37; 15:13).

(2) It represents Jesus the Loges as the origin and means of all life to the world. As the preincarnate Loges He was the source of life to the universe (Joh 1:4). As the incarnate Loges He said His life had been derived originally from the Father (Joh 5:26; 6:57; 10:18). He then was the means of life to men (Joh 3:15,16; 4:14; 5:21,39,40); and this was the purpose for which He came into the world (Joh 6:33,34,51; 10:10).

(3) The prevailing reference, however, is to those activities which are the expression of fellowship with God and Jesus Christ. These relationships are called "eternal life" (Joh 3:15,16,36; 4:14, etc.). The nearest approach to a definition of eternal life is found in Joh 17:3. Though not a scientific or metaphysical definition, it is nevertheless Jesus’ own description of eternal life, and reveals His conception of it. It is thus more valuable than a formal definition. It is "to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent."

This knowledge is vastly more than mere intellectual perception or understanding. It is moral knowledge, it is personal acquaintance, it is fellowship, a contact, if we may so speak, of personality with personality, an inner affinity and sympathy, an experience of similar thoughts, emotions, purposes, motives, desires, an interchange of the heart’s deepest feelings and experiences. It is a bringing of the whole personality of man into right relationship with the personality of God. This relation is ethical, personal, binding the two together with ties which nothing can separate. It is into this experience that Jesus came to bring men. Such a life Jesus says is satisfying to all who hunger and thirst for it (Joh 4:14; 6:35); it is the source of light to all (Joh 1:4; 8:12); it is indestructible (Joh 6:58; 11:26); it is like a well of water in the soul (Joh 4:14); it is procured by personally partaking of those qualities which belong to Jesus (Joh 6:53).

(4) This life is a present possession and has also a glorious future fruition.

(a) To those who exercise faith in Jesus it is a present experience and possession (Joh 4:10; 5:24,40). Faith in Him as the Son of God is the psychological means by which persons are brought into this vital relationship with God. Those who exercised the faith immediately experienced this new power and fellowship and exercised the new activities.

(b) It has a glorious fruition in the future also (Joh 4:36; 5:29; 6:39,44,54). John does not give so much prominence to the eschatological phase of Jesus’ teachings as to the present reality and actual possession of this blessed life.

(5) It has been objected that in speaking of the Loges as the source of life John is pursuing a metaphysical line, whereas the life which he so much emphasizes has an ethical basis, and he makes no attempt to reconcile the two. The objection may have force to one who has imbibed the Ritschlian idea of performing the impossible task of eliminating all metaphysics from theology. It will not appeal very strongly to the average Christian. It is a purely academic objection. The ordinary mind will think that if Jesus Christ is the source of ethical and eternal life it is because He possesses something of the essence and being of God, which makes His work for men possible. The metaphysical and the ethical may exist together, may run concurrently, the one being the source and seat of the other. There is no contradiction. Both metaphysics and ethics are a legitimate and necessary exercise of the human mind.

3. In the Ac of the Apostles:

In His intercessory prayer, John 17, Jesus said His mission was to give eternal life to as many as the Father had given Him (17:2). The record in Ac is the carrying out of that purpose. The word "life" is used in several senses:

(1) the vital principle or physical life (17:25; 20:10,24; 27:10,22);

(2) also the sum total of man’s relationships and activities upon earth (5:20; 26:4);

(3) Jesus Christ is regarded as the source and principle of life, being called by Peter, "the Prince of life" (3:15). Also the life eternal or everlasting is spoken of with the same significance as in the Gospels (11:18; 13:46,48).

4. In the Writings of Paul:

Here also the words for "life" are used in various senses:

(1) the vital principle which gives physical vitality and existence (Ro 8:11,38; 11:15; 1Co 3:22; Php 1:20; 2:30);

(2) the sum total of man’s relationships and activities (1Co 6:3,4; 1Ti 2:2; 4:8; 2Ti 1:1; 3:10 the King James Version);

(3) those relationships with God and with Christ in the spiritual realm, and the activities arising therefrom which constitute the real and eternal life.

This is mediated by Christ (Ro 5:10). It is in Christ (Ro 6:11). It is the free gift of God (Ro 6:23). It is also mediated or imparted to us through the Spirit (Ro 8:2,6,9,10; 2Co 2:16; 3:6; Ga 6:8). It comes through obedience to the word (Ro 7:10; Php 2:16); and through faith (1Ti 1:16). It may be apprehended in this life (1Ti 6:12,19). It is brought to light through the gospel (2Ti 1:10). It is a reward to those who by patience in well-doing seek it (Ro 2:7). It gives conquering power over sin and death (Ro 5:17,18,21). It is the end or reward of a sanctified life (Ro 6:22). It is a present possession and a hope (Tit 1:2; 3:7). It will be received in all its fullness hereafter (Ro 2:7; 2Co 5:4). Thus Paul’s use of the word substantially agrees with the teaching in the Gospels, and no doubt was largely based upon it.

5. In the Writings of John:

In the Johannine Epistles and Revelation, the contents of the term "life" are the same as those in the Fourth Gospel. Life in certain passages (1 Joh 3:16; Re 8:9; 11:11; 12:11) is mere physical vitality and existence upon earth. The source of life is Christ Himself (1 Joh 1:1 f; 5:11 f, 16). The blessed eternal life in Christ is a present possession to all those who are in fellowship with the Father and the Son (1 Joh 5:11,12). Here is an echo of the words of Jesus (Joh 17:3) where John describes the life, the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us. It is virtually fellowship with the Father and with the Son (1 Joh 1:2,4). Life is promised to those who are faithful (Re 2:7); and the crown of life is promised to those who are faithful unto death (Re 2:10). The crown of life doubtless refers to the realization of all the glorious possibilities that come through fellowship with God and the Son. The thirsty are invited to come and drink of the water of life freely (Re 21:6; 22:17). The river of life flows through the streets of the New Jerusalem (Re 22:1), and the tree of life blooms on its banks, bearing twelve manner of fruit (22:2,14).


6. In the Other Books of the New Testament:

The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of our lifetime or periods of existence upon earth (2:15; 7:3), likewise of the power of an indissoluble life (7:16); James promises the crown of life to the faithful (1:12). This reward is the fullness of life’s possibilities hereafter. Our lifetime is mentioned in 4:14 and represented as brief as a vapor. Peter in 1Pe 3:7 speaks of man and wife as joint-heirs of the grace of life, and of loving life (1Pe 3:10), referring to the totality of relationships and activities. The "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2Pe 1:3) constitute the whole Christian life involving the life eternal.


Articles on "Life" in HDB, DCG, Jewish Encyclopedia; on "Soul," "Spirit," etc., ibid, and in Encyclopedia Brit, EB, Kitto, Smith, Standard, etc.; Laidlaw, Bible Doctrine of Man; Delitzsch, A System of Biblical Psychology; cornms. on the various passages; Davidson, Old Testament Theology; Oehler and Schultz, Old Testament Theology; Stevens, Johannine Theology and Pauline Theology; Holtzmann, New Testament Theology, I, 293 ff; G. Dalman, Words of Jesus; Phillips Brooks, More Abundant Life; B.F. Westcott, Historic Faith; F.J.A. Hort, The Way, the Truth, the Life; J.G. Hoare, Life in John’s Gospels; E. White, Life and Christ; Salmond, The Christian Doctrine of Immortality; R.J. Knowling, Witness of the Epistles and The Testimony of Paul to Christ; commentaries on the various passages; McPherson, "The New Testament View of Life," The Expositor, I, set. v, 72 ff; Massie, "Two New Testament Words Denoting Life," The Expositor, II, series iv, 380 ff; Schrenk, Die Johannistische Anschauung yom Leben.

J. J. Reeve




To make lofty, to raise up. A very common word in English Versions of the Bible representing a great variety of Hebrew and Greek words, although in the Old Testament used chiefly as the translation of nasa’. Of none of these words, however, is "lift" used as a technical translation, and "lift" is interchanged freely with its synonyms, especially "exalt" (compare Ps 75:5; 89:24) and "raise" (compare Ec 4:10; 2Sa 12:17). "Lift" is still perfectly good English, but not in all the senses in which it is used in English Versions of the Bible; e.g. such phrases as "men that lifted up axes upon a thicket" (Ps 74:5), "lift up thy feet unto the perpetual ruins" (Ps 74:3, etc.), and even the common "lift up the eyes" or "hands" are distinctly archaic. However, almost all the uses are perfectly clear, and only the following need be noted. "To lift up the head" (Ge 40:13,19,20; 2Ki 25:27; Ps 3:3; Sirach 11:13; Lu 21:28) means to raise from a low condition (but on Ps 24:7,9 see GATE). To "lift up the horn" (Ps 75:5) is to assume a confident position, the figure being taken from fighting oxen (see HORN). "Lift up the face" may be meant literally (2Ki 9:32), or it may denote the bestowal of favor (Ps 4:6); it may mean the attitude of a righteous man toward God (Job 22:26), or simply the attitude of a suppliant (Ezr 9:6).

Burton Scott Easton


lit (’or, ma’or; phos; many other words):

1. Origin of Light

2. A Comprehensive Term

(1) Natural Light

(2) Artificial Light

(3) Miraculous Light

(4) Mental, Moral, Spiritual Light

3. An Attribute of Holiness

(1) God

(2) Christ

(3) Christians

(4) The Church

4. Symbolism

5. Expressive Terms

1. Origin of Light:

The creation of light was the initial step in the creation of life. "Let there be light" (Ge 1:3) was the first word of God spoken after His creative Spirit "moved" upon the primary material out of which He created the heavens and the earth, and which lay, until the utterance of that word, in the chaos of darkness and desolation. Something akin, possibly, to the all-pervasive electro-magnetic activity of the aurora borealis penetrated the chaotic night of the world. The ultimate focusing of light (on the 4th day of creation, Ge 1:14) in suns, stars, and solar systems brought the initial creative process to completion, as the essential condition of all organic life. The origin of light thus finds its explanation in the purpose and very nature of God whom John defines as not only the Author of light but, in an all-inclusive sense, as light itself: "God is light" (1 Joh 1:5).

2. A Comprehensive Term:

The word "light" is Divinely rich in its comprehensiveness and meaning. Its material splendor is used throughout the Scriptures as the symbol and synonym of all that is luminous and radiant in the mental, moral and spiritual life of men and angels; while the eternal God, because of His holiness and moral perfection, is pictured as "dwelling in light unapproachable" (1Ti 6:16). Every phase of the word, from the original light in the natural world to the spiritual glory of the celestial, is found in Holy Writ.

(1) Natural Light.

The light of day (Ge 1:5); of sun, moon and stars; "lights in the firmament" (Ge 1:14-18; Ps 74:16; 136:7; 148:3; Ec 12:2; Re 22:5). Its characteristics are beauty, radiance, utility. It "rejoiceth the heart" (Pr 15:30); "Truly the light is sweet" (Ec 11:7); without it men stumble and are helpless (Joh 11:9,10); it is something for which they wait with inexpressible longing (Job 30:26; compare Ps 130:6). Life, joy, activity and all blessings are dependent upon light.

Light and life are almost synonymous to the inhabitants of Palestine, and in the same way darkness and death. Theirs is the land of sunshine. When they go to other lands of clouded skies their only thought is to return to the brightness and sunshine of their native land. In Palestine there is hardly a day in the whole year when the sun does not shine for some part of it, while for five months of the year there is scarcely an interruption of the sunshine. Time is reckoned from sunset to sunset. The day’s labor closes with the coming of darkness. "Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening" (Ps 104:23).

The suddenness of the change from darkness to light with the rising sun and the disappearance of the sun in the evening is more striking than in more northern countries, and it is not strange that in the ancient days there should have arisen a worship of the sun as the giver of light and happiness, and that Job should mention the enticement of sun-worship when he "beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness" (Job 31:26). The severest plague in Egypt next to the slaying of the firstborn was the plague of darkness which fell upon the Egyptians (Ex 10:23). This love of light finds expression in both Old Testament and New Testament in a very extensive use of the word to express those things which are most to be desired and most helpful to man, and in this connection we find some of the most beautiful figures in the Bible.

(2) Artificial Light.

When natural light fails, man by discovery or invention provides himself with some temporary substitute, however dim and inadequate. The ancient Hebrews had "oil for the light" (Ex 25:6; 35:8; Le 24:2) and lamps (Ex 35:14; Mt 5:15). "There were many lights. (lampas) in the upper chamber" at Troas, where Paul preached until midnight (Ac 20:8); so Jer 25:10 the Revised Version (British and American), "light of the lamp;" the King James Version, "candle."

(3) Miraculous Light.

When the appalling plague of "thick darkness," for three days, enveloped the Egyptians, terrified and rendered them helpless, "all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings" (Ex 10:23). Whether the darkness was due to a Divinely-ordered natural cause or the light was the natural light of day, the process that preserved the interspersed Israelites from the encompassing darkness was supernatural. Miraculous, also, even though through natural agency, was the "pillar of fire" that gave light to the Israelites escaping from Pharaoh (Ex 13:21; 14:20; Ps 78:14), "He led them .... all the night with a light of fire." Supernatural was the effulgence at Christ’s transfiguration that made "his garments .... white as the light" (Mt 17:2). Under the same category Paul classifies ‘the great light’ that ‘suddenly shone round about him from heaven’ on the way to Damascus (Ac 22:6; compare Ac 9:3). In these rare instances the supernatural light was not only symbolic of an inner spiritual light, but instrumental, in part at least, in revealing or preparing the way for it.

(4) Mental, Moral, Spiritual Light.

The phenomena of natural light have their counterpart in the inner life of man. Few words lend themselves with such beauty and appropriateness to the experiences, conditions, and radiance of the spiritual life. For this reason the Scriptures use "light" largely in the figurative sense. Borrowed from the natural world, it is, nevertheless, inherently suited to portray spiritual realities. In secular life a distinct line of demarcation is drawn between intellectual and spiritual knowledge and illumination. Education that enlightens the mind may leave the moral man untouched. This distinction rarely obtains in the Bible, which deals with man as a spiritual being and looks upon his faculties as interdependent in their action.

(a) A few passages, however, refer to the light that comes chiefly to the intellect or mind through Divine instruction, e.g. Ps 119:130, "The opening of thy words giveth light"; so Pr 6:23, "The law is light." Even here the instruction includes moral as well as mental enlightenment.

(b) Moral: Job 24:13,16 has to do exclusively with man’s moral attitude to truth: "rebel against the light"; "know not the light." Isa 5:20 describes a moral confusion and blindness, which cannot distinguish light from darkness.

(c) For the most part, however, light and life go together. It is the product of salvation: "Yahweh is my light and my salvation" (Ps 27:1). "Light," figuratively used, has to do preeminently with spiritual life, including also the illumination that floods all the faculties of the soul: intellect, conscience, reason, will. In the moral realm the enlightenment of these faculties is dependent wholly on the renewal of the spirit. "In thy light .... we see light" (Ps 36:9); "The life was the light of men" (Joh 1:4).

Light is an attribute of holiness, and thus a personal quality. It is the outshining of Deity.

3. An Attribute of Holiness:

(1) God.

"God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 Joh 1:5). Darkness is the universal symbol and condition of sin and death; light the symbol and expression of holiness. "The light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame" (Isa 10:17). God, by His presence and grace, is to us a "marvellous light" (1Pe 2:9). The glory of His holiness and presence is the "everlasting light" of the redeemed in heaven (Isa 60:19,20; Re 21:23,14; 22:5).

(2) Christ.

Christ, the eternal Word (logos, Joh 1:1), who said "Let there be light" (Ge 1:3), is Himself the "effulgence of (God’s) glory" (Heb 1:3), "the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world" (Joh 1:9) (compare the statements concerning Wisdom in The Wisdom of Solomon 7:25 f and concerning Christ in Heb 1:3; and see CREEDS; LOGOS; JOHANNINE THEOLOGY; WISDOM). As the predicted Messiah, He was to be "for alight of the Gentiles" (Isa 42:6; 49:6). His birth was the fulfillment of this prophecy (Lu 2:32). Jesus called Himself "the light of the world" (Joh 8:12; 9:5; 12:46); As light He was "God .... manifest in the flesh (1Ti 3:16 the King James Version). "The Word was God" (Joh 1:1). Jesus as logos is the eternal expression of God as a word is the expression of a thought. In the threefold essence of His being God is Life (zoe) (Joh 5:26; 6:57); God is Love (agape) (1 Joh 4:8); God is Light (phos) (1 Joh 1:5). Thus Christ, the logos, manifesting the three aspects of the Divine Nature, is Life, Love and Light, and these three are inseparable and constitute the glory. which the disciples beheld in Him, "glory as of the only begotten from the Father" (Joh 1:14). In revealing and giving life, Christ becomes "the light of men" (Joh 1:4). God gives "the light of the knowledge of (his) glory in the face of Jesus Christ" (2Co 4:6), and this salvation is called "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2Co 4:4). Christ is thus the Teacher, Enlightener ("Christ shall give thee light," Eph 5:14 the King James Version), Guide, Saviour of men.

(3) Christians.

All who catch and reflect the light of God and of Christ are called "light," "lights."

(a) John the Baptist: "a burning and a shining light" (Joh 5:35 the King James Version). It is significant that this pre-Christian prophet was termed luchnos, while the disciples of the new dispensation are called phos (Mt 5:14): "Ye are the light of the world."

(b) Henceforth Christians and saints were called "children of light" (Lu 16:8; Joh 12:36; Eph 5:8), and were expected to be "seen as lights in the world" (Php 2:15).

(c) The Jew who possessed the law mistakenly supposed he was "a light of them that are in darkness" (Ro 2:19).

(4) The Church.

Zion was to "shine" because her ‘light had come’ (Isa 60:1). The Gentiles were to come to her light (Isa 60:3). Her mission as the enlightener of the world was symbolized in the ornamentations of her priesthood. The Urim of the high priest’s breastplate signified light, and the name itself is but the plural form of the Hebrew ‘or. It stood for revelation, and thummim for truth. The church of the Christian dispensation was to be even more radiant with the light of God and of Christ. The seven churches of Asia were revealed to John, by the Spirit, as seven golden candlesticks, and her ministers as seven stars, both luminous with the light of the Gospel revelation. In Ephesians, Christ, who is the Light of the world, is the Head of the church, the latter being His body through which His glory is to be manifested to the world, "to make all men see," etc. (Eph 3:9,10). "Unto him be the glory in the church" (Eph 3:21), the church bringing glory to God, by revealing His glory to men through its reproduction of the life and light of Christ.

4. Symbolism:

Light symbolizes:

(1) the eye, "The light of the body is the eye" (Mt 6:22, the King James Version; Lu 11:34);

(2) watchfulhess, "Let your lights (the Revised Version (British and American) "lamps") be burning," the figure being taken from the parable of the Virgins;

(3) protection, "armor (Ro 13:12), the garment of a holy and Christ-like life;

(4) the sphere of the Christian’s daily walk, "inheritance of the saints in light" (Col 1:12);

(5) heaven, for the inheritance just referred to includes the world above in which "the Lamb is the light thereof"

(6) prosperity, relief (Es 8:16; Job 30:26), in contrast with the calamities of the wicked whose "light .... shall be put out" (Job 18:5);

(7) joy and gladness (Job 3:20; Ps 97:11; 112:4);

(8) God’s favor, the light of thy countenance" (Ps 4:6; 44:3; 89:15), and a king’s favor (Pr 16:15);

(9) life (Ps 13:3; 49:19; Joh 1:4).

5. Expressive Terms:

Expressive terms are:

(1) "fruit of the light" (Eph 5:9), i.e. goodness, righteousness, truth;

(2) "light in the Lord" (Eph 5:8), indicating the source of light (compare Isa 2:5);

(3) "inheritance of the saints in light" (Col 1:12), a present experience issuing in heaven;

(4) "Father of lights" (Jas 1:17), signifying the Creator of the heavenly bodies;

(5) "marvellous light" (1Pe 2:9), the light of God’s presence and fellowship;

(6) "Walk in the light" (1 Joh 1:7), in the light of God’s teaching and companionship;

(7) "abideth in the light" (1 Joh 2:10), in love, Divine and fraternal;

(8) "Light of the glorious gospel of Christ ";" light of the knowledge of the glory of God" (2Co 4:4,6 the King James Version).

Dwight M. Pratt

LIGHT; LIGHTNESS lit’-nes: "Light" is used in Scripture, as in ordinary speech, in the sense of what is small, slight, trivial, easy; "lightness" with the connotation of vacillation or lasciviousness. Thus in the Old Testament, "a light thing," a small, easy, slight thing (qalal, 2Ki 3:18; Isa 49:6; Eze 8:17; 22:7, in the last case "to treat slightingly"). "Lightness" (qol) occurs in Jer 3:9 ("the lightness of her whoredom"); in 23:32, the Revised Version (British and American) changes "lightness" (a different word) to "vain boasting." In the New Testament the phrase occurs in Mt 22:5, "made light of it" (ameleo), i.e. "treated it with neglect"; and Paul asks (2Co 1:17), "Did I show lightness?" (the Revised Version (British and American) "fickleness"). These examples sufficiently illustrate the meaning.

James Orr


lit’-ning (baraq, chaziz; astrape): Lightning is caused by the discharge of electricity between clouds or between clouds and the earth. In a thunder-storm there is a rapid gathering of particles of moisture into clouds and forming of large drops of rain. This gathers with it electric potential until the surface of the cloud (or the enlarged water particles) is insufficient to carry the charge, and a discharge takes place, producing a brilliant flash of light and the resulting thunder-clap. Thunder-storms are common in Syria and Palestine during the periods of heavy rain in the spring and fall and are often severe. Lightning is usually accompanied by heavy rainfall or by hail, as at the time of the plague of hail (Ex 9:24).


In the Scriptures it is used:

(a) indicating the power of God: The power of God is shown in His command of the forces of Nature, and He is the only one who knows the secrets of Nature: "He made .... a way for the lightning" (Job 28:26); "He directeth .... his lightning" (Job 37:3 the King James Version); "Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go?" (Job 38:35); "Ask ye of Yahweh .... that maketh lightnings" (Zec 10:1). See also Ps 18:14; 97:4; 135:7; Job 36:32; Jer 10:13;

(b) figuratively and poetically: David sings of Yahweh, "He sent .... lightnings manifold, and discomfited them" (Ps 18:14); used for speed: "The chariots .... run like the lightnings" (Na 2:4): "His arrow shall go forth as the lightning" (Zec 9:14); "The living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning" (Eze 1:14). The coming of the kingdom is described by Jesus as the shining of the lightning from one part of heaven to another, even "from the east unto the west" (Mt 24:27; Lu 17:24);

(c) meaning bright or shining: Daniel in his vision saw a man and "his face (was) as the appearance of lightning" (Da 10:6). See also Re 4:5; 8:5; 16:18.

Alfred H. Joy


lin-al’-oz, lig-nal’-oz.



lig’-ur (Ex 28:19; 39:12 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "jacinth").



lik, lik’-n, lik’-nes, lik’-ing:

(1) As a noun, "like" in modern English is virtually obsolete, except in the phrase "and the like," which is not found in English Versions of the Bible. "The like," however, occurs in 1Ki 10:20 parallel 2Ch 9:19; 2Ch 1:12; Eze 5:9; 18:10 (the Revised Version (British and American) "any one of these things"—the text is uncertain); 45:25; Joe 2:2; The Wisdom of Solomon 16:1 (the Revised Version (British and American) "creatures like those"); Sirach 7:12. "His like" is found in Job 41:33; Sirach 13:15; "their like" in Sirach 27:9. "And such like" (Ga 5:21) is only slightly archaic, but "doeth not such like" (Eze 18:14) is quite obsolete.

(2) As an adjective "like" is common in the King James Version in such combinations as "like manner" (frequently), "like weight" (Ex 30:34), "like occupation" (Ac 19:25), etc. Modern English would in most cases replace "like" by "the same," as has been done in 1Th 2:14 the Revised Version (British and American) (compare Ro 15:5; Php 2:2). So the Revised Version (British and American) has modernized the archaic "like precious faith" of 2Pe 1:1 by inserting "a" before "like." The King James Version’s rendering of 1Pe 3:21, "the like figure whereunto," could not have been very clear at any time, and the Revised Version (British and American) has revised completely into "after a true likeness" (margin, "in the antitype").

(3) As an adverb "like" is used in Jer 38:9, "He is like to die"; Jon 1:4, "like to be broken." the Revised Version (British and American) could have used "likely" in these verses. Most common of all the uses of "like" is the quasi-prepositional construction in "He is like a man," etc. This is of course good modern English, but not so when "like" is enlarged (as it usually is in the English Versions of the Bible) into the forms "like to" (Da 7:5), "like unto" (very common), "like as" (Isa 26:17, etc.). These forms and the simple "like" are interchanged without much distinction, and the Revised Version (British and American) has attempted little systematizing beyond reducing the occurrences of "like as" (compare Mt 12:13, and the American Standard Revised Version Isa 13:4; Jer 23:29).

(4) The verb "like" has two distinct meanings, "be pleased with" and "give pleasure to." The latter sense occurs in De 23:16 (The King James Version, the English Revised Version), "in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best," and in Es 8:8; Am 4:5 the King James Version; Sirach 33:13 (the American Standard Revised Version has "pleaseth" in the three Old Testament passages). The other use of "like" belongs also to modern English, although in a much weakened sense. On account of this weakening, 1Ch 28:4 the King James Version, "liked me to make me king" and Ro 1:28 the King James Version "did not like to retain God," have become in the Revised Version (British and American) "took pleasure in" and "refused to" (margin "did not approve"). It would have been better if De 25:7,8, "like not to take," had been modified also into "hath no wish to take." From this use of "like" is derived liking in the modern sense in The Wisdom of Solomon 16:21, tempered itself to every man’s liking" (the Revised Version (British and American) "choice"). In 1 Esdras 4:39, "All men do well like of her works" is a further obsolete use.

(5) Liken and "make like" are common. To be noted only is that, in Heb 7:3, "made like unto the Son of God," the sense really is "likened to," "presented by the writer with the qualities of." Likeness normally means "a copy of," but in Ps 17:15 it means the actual form itself ("form" in the American Standard Revised Version, the English Revised Version margin); compare Ro 6:5; 8:3; Php 2:7, and perhaps Ac 14:11. Closely allied with likeness" is an obsolete use of "liking" (quite distinct from that above) in Job 39:4 the King James Version the English Revised Version, "Their young ones are in good liking" Da 1:10, "see your faces worse liking." The meaning is "appearance," "appearing," and the American Standard Revised Version renders "their young ones become strong," "see your faces worse looking." Likewise varies in meaning from the simple conjunction "and" to a strong adverb, "in exactly the same way." the Revised Version (British and American) has made some attempt to distinguish the various forces (e.g. compare the King James Version with the Revised Version (British and American) in Lu 22:36; 15:7; 22:20). But complete consistency was not attainable, and in certain instances was neglected deliberately, in order to preserve the familiar wording, as in Lu 10:37, "Go, and do thou likewise."

Burton Scott Easton


lik’-hi (liqchi): A descendant of Manasseh (1Ch 7:19).


lil’-ith, li’-lith.



lil’-i (shushan (1Ki 7:19), shoshannah (2Ch 4:5; So 2:1 f; Ho 14:5); plural (So 2:16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:2 f; 7:2; Ecclesiasticus 39:14; 50:8); krinon (Mt 6:28; Lu 12:27)): The Hebrew is probably a loan word from the Egyptian the original s-sh-n denoting the lotus-flower, Nymphaea lotus. This was probably the model of the architectural ornament, translated "lily-work," which appeared upon the capitals of the columns in the temple porch (1Ki 7:19), upon the top of the pillars (1Ki 7:22) and upon the turned-back rim of the "molten sea" (1Ki 7:26).

Botanically the word shoshannah, like the similar modern Arabic Susan, included in all probability a great many flowers, and was used in a way at least as wide as the popular use of the English word "lily." The expression "lily of the valleys" (So 2:1) has nothing to do with the plant of that name; the flowers referred to appear to have been associated with the rank herbage of the valley bottoms (So 4:5); the expression "His lips are as lilies" (So 5:13) might imply a scarlet flower, but more probably in oriental imagery signifies a sweet-scented flower; the sweet scent of the lily is referred to in Ecclesiasticus 39:14, and in 50:8 we read of "lilies by the rivers of water." The beauty of the blossom is implied in Ho 14:5, where Yahweh promises that repentant Israel shall "blossom as the lily." A "heap of wheat set about with lilies" (So 7:2) probably refers to the smoothed-out piles of newly threshed wheat on the threshing-floors decorated by a circlet of flowers.

The reference of our Lord to the "lilies of the field" is probably, like the Old Testament references, quite a general one.

The Hebrew and the Greek very likely include not only any members of the great order Liliaceae, growing in Palestine, e.g. asphodel, squill, hyacinth, ornithogalum ("Star of Bethlehem"), fritillaria, tulip and colocynth, but also the more showy irises ("Tabor lilies" "purple irises," etc.) and the beautiful gladioli of the Natural Order. Irideae and the familiar narcissi of the Natural Order Amaryllideae.

In later Jewish literature the lily is very frequently referred to symbolically, and a lotus or lily was commonly pictured on several Jewish coins.

E. W. G. Masterman


The ornament of the capitals on the bronze pillars, Jachin and Boaz, in front of Solomon’s temple (1Ki 7:19,22).




(1) sidh; compare Arabic shad, "to plaster";

(2) gir; compare Arabic jir, "gypsum" or "quick-lime";

(3) ‘abene-ghir):

Sidh is translated "lime" in Isa 33:12, "And the peoples shall be as the burnings of lime, as thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire," and in Am 2:1, "He burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime." It is translated "plaster" in De 27:2, "Thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaster them with plaster," also in De 27:4. Gir is translated "plaster" in Da 5:5, "wrote .... upon the plaster of the wall." In Isa 27:9 we have, "He maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones" (’abhene-ghir).

Everywhere in Palestine limestone is at hand which can be converted into lime. The lime-kiln is a thick-walled, cylindrical or conical, roofless structure built of rough stones without mortar, the spaces between the stones being plastered with clay. It is usually built on the side of a hill which is slightly excavated for it, so that the sloping, external wall of the kiln rises much higher from the ground on the lower side than on the upper. The builders leave a passage or tunnel through the base of the thick wall on the lower side. The whole interior is filled with carefully packed fragments of limestone, and large piles of thorny-burner and other shrubs to serve as fuel are gathered about the kiln. The fuel is introduced through the tunnel to the base of the limestone in the kiln, and as the fire rises through the mass of broken limestone a strong draft is created. Relays of men are kept busy supplying fuel day and night. By day a column of black smoke rises from the kiln, and at night the flames may be seen bursting from the top. Several days are required to reduce the stone to lime, the amount of time depending upon the size of the kiln and upon the nature of the fuel. At the present day, mineral coal imported from Europe is sometimes employed, and requires much less time than the shrubs which are ordinarily used.


Alfred Ely Day


lim’-it (gebhul, "bound"): Occurs once in Eze 43:12 ("limit" of holy mountain). "Limited" (Ps 78:41) and "limiteth" (horizo, Heb 4:7) are changed in the Revised Version (British and American) to "provoked" (the margin retains "limited") and "defineth" respectively.


lin (qaw, chebhel): Usually of a measuring line, as Jer 31:39; Eze 47:3; Zec 1:16 (qaw); Ps 78:55; Am 7:17; Zec 2:1 (chebhel). Other Hebrew words mean simply a cord or thread (Jos 2:18,21; 1Ki 7:15; Eze 40:3). In Ps 19:4 (qaw, "Their line is gone out through all the earth"), the reference is probably still to measurement (the heaven as spanning and bounding the earth), though the Septuagint, followed by Ro 10:18, takes it as meaning a musical cord phthoggos). The "line," as measure, suggests rule of conduct (Isa 28:10). For "line" in Isa 44:13, the Revised Version (British and American) reads "pencil," margin "red ochre" (seredh), and in 2Co 10:16, "province," margin "limit" (kanon).


James Orr


lin’-e-aj (patria): Found only once in Lu 2:4 (the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "family"), and signifying the line of paternal family descent. A word pregnant in meaning among the Jews, who kept all family records with religious care, as may be seen from the long genealogical records found everywhere in the Old Testament.


lin’-en (badh, "white linen," used chiefly for priestly robes, buts, "byssus," a fine white Egyptian linen, called in the earlier writings shesh; pesheth, "flax," cadhin; bussos, othonion, linon, sindon): Thread or cloth made of flax.

1. History:

Ancient Egypt was noted for its fine linen (Ge 41:42; Isa 19:9). From it a large export trade was carried on with surrounding nations, including the Hebrews, who early learned the art of spinning from the Egyptians (Ex 35:25) and continued to rely on them for the finest linen (Pr 7:16; Eze 27:7). The culture of flax in Palestine probably antedated the conquest, for in Jos 2:6 we read of the stalks of flax which Rahab had laid in order upon the roof. Among the Hebrews, as apparently among the Canaanites, the spinning and weaving of linen were carried on by the women (Pr 31:13,19), among whom skill in this work was considered highly praiseworthy (Ex 35:25). One family, the house of Ashbea, attained eminence as workers in linen (1Ch 4:21; 2Ch 2:14).

2. General Uses:

Linen was used, not only in the making of garments of the finer kinds and for priests, but also for shrouds, hangings, and possibly for other purposes in which the most highly prized cloth of antiquity would naturally be desired.

3. Priestly Garments:

The robes of the Hebrew priests consisted of 4 linen garments, in addition to which the high priest wore garments of other stuffs (Ex 28; 39; Le 6:10; 16:4; 1Sa 22:18; Eze 44:17,18). Egyptian priests are said to have worn linen robes (Herod. ii.37). In religious services by others than priests, white linen was also preferred, as in the case of the infant Samuel (1Sa 2:18), the Levite singers in the temple (2Ch 5:12), and even royal personages (2Sa 6:14; 1Ch 15:27). Accordingly, it was ascribed to angels (Eze 9:2,3,11; 10:2,6,7; Da 10:5; 12:6,7). Fine linen, white and pure, is the raiment assigned to the armies which are in heaven following Him who is called Faithful and True (Re 19:14). It is deemed a fitting symbol of the righteousness and purity of the saints (Re 19:8).

4. Other Garments:

Garments of distinction were generally made of the same material: e.g. those which Pharaoh gave Joseph (Ge 41:42), and those which Mordecai wore (Es 8:15; compare also Lu 16:19). Even a girdle of fine linen could be used by a prophet as a means of attracting attention to his message (Jer 13:1). It is probable that linen wrappers of a coarser quality were used by men (Jud 14:12,13) and women (Pr 31:22). The use of linen, however, for ordinary purposes probably suggested unbecoming luxury (Isa 3:23; Eze 16:10,13; compare also Re 18:12,16). The poorer classes probably wore wrappers made either of unbleached flax or hemp (Ecclesiasticus 40:4; Mr 14:51). The use of a mixture called sha’aTnez, which is defined (De 22:11) as linen and wool together, was forbidden in garments.

5. Shrouds:

The Egyptians used linen exclusively in wrapping their mummies (Herod. ii.86). As many as one hundred yards were used in one bandage. Likewise, the Hebrews seem to have preferred this material for winding-sheets for the dead, at least in the days of the New Testament (Mt 27:59; Mr 15:46; Lu 23:53; Joh 19:40; 20:5 ) and the Talmud (Jerusalem Killayim 9:32b).

6. Hangings:

The use of twisted linen (shesh moshzar) for fine hangings dates back to an early period. It was used in the tabernacle (Ex 26:1; 27:9; 35$; 36$; 38$; Josephus, Ant, III, vi, 2), in the temple (2Ch 3:14), and no doubt in other places (Mishna, Yoma’, iii.4). Linen cords for hangings are mentioned in the description of the palace of Ahasuerus at Shushan (Es 1:6).

7. Other Uses:

Other uses are suggested, such as for sails, in the imaginary ship to which Tyre is compared (Eze 27:7), but judging from the extravagance of the other materials in the ship, it is doubtful whether we may infer that such valuable material as linen was ever actually used for this purpose. It is more likely, however, that it was used for coverings or tapestry (Pr 7:16), and possibly in other instances where an even, durable material was needed, as in making measuring lines (Eze 40:3).

Ella Davis Isaacs



See HOUSE, II, 1, (4).


li’-nus (Linos (2Ti 4:21)): One of Paul’s friends in Rome during his second and last imprisonment in that city. He was one of the few who remained faithful to the apostle, even when most of the Christians had forsaken him. And writing to Timothy when he realized that his execution could not be very far distant—for he was now ready to be offered, and the time of his departure was at hand (2Ti 4:6)—he sends greeting to Timothy from four friends whom he names, and Linus is one of them. There is a tradition that Linus was bishop of the church at Rome. "It is perhaps fair to assume, though of course there is no certainty of this, that the consecration of Linus to the government of the Roman church as its first bishop was one of the dying acts of the apostle Paul" (H.D.M. Spence, in Ellicott’s New Testament Commentary on 2 Tim).

Irenaeus—bishop of Lyons about 178 AD—in his defense of orthodox doctrine against the Gnostics "appeals especially to the bishops of Rome, as depositories of the apostolic tradition." The list of Irenaeus commences with Linus, whom he identifies with the person of this name mentioned by Paul, and whom he states to have been "entrusted with the office of the bishopric by the apostles ..... With the many possibilities of error, no more can safely be assumed of Linus .... than that he held some prominent position in the Roman church" (Lightfoot’s "Dissertation on the Christian Ministry," in Commentary on Phil, 220 f).

"Considering the great rarity of this Greek mythological name as a proper name for persons, we can hardly doubt that here, as Irenaeus has directly asserted, the same Roman Christian is meant who, according to ancient tradition, became after Peter and Paul the first bishop of Rome. Among the mythical characters in Apostolical Constitutions, vii, 46 occurs Linos ho Klaudias, who is declared to have been ordained by Paul as the first bishop of Rome. He is thus represented as the son or husband of the Claudia whose name comes after his in 2Ti 4:21.

"These meager statements have been enlarged upon by English investigators. The Claudia mentioned here is, they hold, identical with the one who, according to Martial, married a certain Pudens (85-90 AD), and she, in turn, with the Claudia Rufina from Britain, who is then made out to be a daughter of the British king, Cogidumnus, or Titus Claudius Cogidubnus. For a refutation of these assumptions, which, even chronologically considered, are impossible, see Lightfoot, Clement, I, 76-79" (Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, 20).

John Rutherfurd



(1) Occurring most often in the Old Testament is ‘aryeh, plural ‘ardyoth. Another form, ‘ari, plural ‘arayim, is found less often.

1. Names:

Compare ‘ari’el, "Ariel" (Ezr 8:16; Isa 29:1,2,7); char’el, "upper altar," and ‘ari’el, "altar hearth" (Eze 43:15); ‘aryeh, "Arieh" (2Ki 15:25); ‘ar’eli, "Areli" and "Arelites" (Ge 46:16; Nu 26:17).

(2) kephir, "young lion," often translated "lion" (Ps 35:17; Pr 19:12; 23:1, etc.).

(3) shachal, translated "fierce lion" or "lion" (Job 4:10; 10:16; 28:8; Ho 5:14).

(4) layish, translated "old lion" or "lion" (Job 4:11; Pr 30:30; Isa 30:6).

Compare Arabic laith, "lion": layish, "Laish," or "Leshem" (Jos 19:47; Jud 18:7,14,27,29); layish, "Laish" (1Sa 25:44; 2Sa 3:15).

(5) lebhi, plural lebha’im, "lioness", also labhi’, and ‘lebhiya’ (Ge 49:9; Nu 23:24; 24:9); compare town in South of Judah, Lebaoth (Jos 15:32) or Beth-lebaoth (Jos 19:6); also Arabic labwat, "lioness "; Lebweh, a town in Coele-Syria.

(6) aur, gor, "whelp," with ‘aryeh or a pronoun, e.g. "Judah is a lion’s whelp," gur ‘aryeh (Ge 49:9); "young ones" of the jackal (La 4:3). Also bene labhi’," whelps (sons) of the lioness" (Job 4:11); and kephir ‘arayoth, "young lion," literally, "the young of lions" (Jud 14:5). In Job 28:8, the King James Version has "lion’s whelps" for bene shachats, the Revised Version (British and American) "proud beasts." the Revised Version margin "sons of pride"; compare Job 41:34 (Hebrew 26).

(7) leon, "lion" (2Ti 4:17; Heb 11:33; 1Pe 5:8; Re 4:7; 5:5; The Wisdom of Solomon 11:17; Ecclesiasticus 4:30; 13:19; Bel and the Dragon 31,32,34).

(8) skumnos, "whelp" (1 Macc 3:4).

2. Natural History:

The lion is not found in Palestine at the present day, though in ancient times it is known to have inhabited not only Syria and Palestine but also Asia Minor and the Balkan peninsula, and its fossil remains show that it was contemporary with prehistoric man in Northwestern Europe and Great Britain. Its present range extends throughout Africa, and it is also found in Mesopotamia, Southern Persia, and the border of India. There is some reason to think that it may be found in Arabia, but its occurrence there remains to be proved. The Asiatic male lion does not usually have as large a mane as the African, but both belong to one species, Fells leo.

3. Figurative:

Lions are mentioned in the Bible for their strength (Jud 14:18), boldness (2Sa 17:10), ferocity (Ps 7:2), and stealth (Ps 10:9; La 3:10). Therefore in prophetical references to the millennium, the lion, with the bear, wolf, and leopard, is mentioned as living in peace with the ox, calf, kid, lamb and the child (Ps 91:13; Isa 11:6-8; 65:25). The roaring of the lion is often mentioned (Job 4:10; Ps 104:21; Isa 31:4 (the Revised Version (British and American) "growling"); Jer 51:38; Eze 22:25; Ho 11:10). Judah is a "lion’s whelp" (Ge 49:9), likewise Da (De 33:22). It is said of certain of David’s warriors (1Ch 12:8) that their "faces were like the faces of lions." David’s enemy (Ps 17:12) "is like a lion that is greedy of his prey." "The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion" (Pr 19:12). God in His wrath is "unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah" (Ho 5:14). "The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1Pe 5:8). "Lion" occurs in the figurative language of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation. The figures of lions were used in the decorations of Solomon’s temple and throne (1Ki 7:29,36; 10:19 f).

4. Narrative:

Nearly all references to the lion are figurative. The only notices of the lion in narrative are of the lion slain by Samson (Jud 14:5); by David (1Sa 17:34 f); by Benaiah (2Sa 23:20; 1Ch 11:22); the prophet slain by a lion (1Ki 13:24; also 1Ki 20:36); the lions sent by the Lord among the settlers in Samaria (2Ki 17:25); Daniel in the lions’ den (Da 6:16). In all these cases the word used is ‘aryeh or ‘ari.

5. Vocabulary:

The Arabic language boasts hundreds of names for the lion. Many of these are, however, merely adjectives used substantively. The commonest Arabic names are sab‘, ‘asad, laith, and labwat, the last two of which are identified above with the Hebrew layish and labhi’. As in Arabic, so in Hebrew, the richness of the language in this particular gives opportunity for variety of expression, as in Job 4:10,11:

"The roaring of the lion (’aryeh), and the voice of the fierce lion (shachal),

And the teeth of the young lions (kephirim), are broken.

The old lion (layish) perisheth for lack of prey,

And the whelps of the lioness (bene labhi’) are scattered abroad."

In Jud 14:5-18, no less than three different terms, kephir ‘arayoth, aryeh, and ‘ari, are used of Samson’s lion.

Alfred Ely Day


(saphah, sepheth, "lip," "language," "speech," "talk" (also "rim," "border," "shore," "bank," etc.), sapham, "(upper) lip," "moustache," "beard"; cheilos, "lip" (also once, "shore" in the quotation Heb 11:12 equals Ge 22:17)):

(1) Lips stand in oriental idiom for speech or language, like "mouth," "tongue"; therefore they stand in parallelism. "The lip of truth shall be established for ever; but a lying tongue is but for a moment" (Pr 12:19). "To shoot out the lip" (Ps 22:7) means to make a mocking, contemptuous, scornful face. As the lips are the chief instrument of speech, we find numerous idiomatic phrases for "speaking," such as: "the utterance of the lips" (Nu 30:6,8), "to proceed out of the lips" (Nu 30:12), "to open the lips" (Job 32:20), "to go out of the lips" (Ps 17:1). These expressions do not convey, as a rule, the idea that the utterance proceeds merely out of the lips, and that it lacks sincerity and the consent of the heart, but occasionally this is intended, e.g. "This people draw nigh unto me, and with their mouth and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me" (Isa 29:13; compare Mt 15:8). The "fruit of the lips" (Isa 57:19 equals Heb 13:15) and "calves of the lips" (Ho 14:2 the King James Version) designate the praise and thanksgiving due to God. "Fervent (the King James Version "burning") lips" (Pr 26:23) are synonymous with eloquence. "To refrain the lips" (Ps 40:9; Pr 10:19) means to keep silence, where the godless or unwise would wish to assert his rights.

Numerous other expressions need no further explanation, such as "perverse lips" (Pr 4:24), "uncircumcised lips" (Ex 6:12,30), "feigned lips" (Ps 17:1), "lying lips" (Ps 31:18; Pr 10:18; 12:22), "wicked (or false) lips" (Pr 17:4), "unclean lips" (Isa 6:5), "strange (the King James Version "stammering") lips" (Isa 28:11), "flattering lips" (Ps 12:2,3; Pr 7:21), "righteous lips" (Pr 16:13).

(2) The Hebrew word sapham is found only in the phrase "to cover the lip or lips," which is an expression of mourning, submission and shame. The Oriental covers his lips with his hand or a portion of his garment, when he has been sunk into deep grief and sorrow. He expresses, thereby, that he cannot open his mouth at the visitation of God. Differently, however, from common mourners, Ezekiel was forbidden of God "to cover his lips" (Eze 24:17; see also Eze 24:22), i.e. to mourn in the usual way over Israel’s downfall, as Israel had brought these judgments upon himself. The leper, victim of an incurable disease, walks about with rent clothes and hair disheveled, covering his lips, crying: "Unclean, unclean!" (Le 13:45). The thought here is that even the breath of such a one may defile. The prophet calls upon all seers and diviners, to whom God has refused the knowledge of the future, to cover their lips in shame and confusion (Mic 3:7).

H. L. E. Luering


lik’-er: Every sort of intoxicating liquor except the beverage prepared from the juice of the grape (yayin), according to the usage of the Old Testament, is comprehended under the generic term shekhar (compare shakhar, to "be drunk"), rendered "strong drink" (compare Greek sikera in Lu 1:15). The two terms, yayin and shekhar, "wine" and "strong drink," are often found together and are used by Old Testament writers as an exhaustive classification of the beverages in use among the ancient Hebrews (Le 10:9; 1Sa 1:15; Pr 20:1, etc.).



A variant of "lust" (see LUST), meaning "to wish," found in the King James Version of Mt 17:12 parallel Mr 9:13; Joh 3:8, as translation of thelo, and in Jas 3:4 as translation of boulomai. The last case the English Revised Version has rendered "will," and the American Standard Revised Version has made the same change throughout. The word is obsolete in modern English, but Joh 3:8 is still used proverbially, "The wind bloweth where it listeth."


lit’-er-a-tur, sub-ap-os-tol’-ik (Christian):


1. Authorship and Date

2. Occasion and Contents

3. Apologetic Testimony

4. Doctrinal Testimony

5. Office-Bearers and Organization

6. Ritual


1. Disappearance and Recovery

2. Date

3. Standpoint, Authorship and Object

4. Testimony to New Testament Writings

5. Contents and Notabilia


1. Author and Date

2. Genuineness

3. Leading Ideas

4. Other Notabilia


1. Date and Genuineness

2. Occasion and Contents

3. Notabilia


1. Author and Date

2. Testimony to Matthew and Mark

3. Other Notabilia


1. Authorship

2. Date

3. Object and Contents

4. Notabilia


1. Authorship and Date

2. Object and Contents

3. Notabilia


1. Nature and Document

2. Date and Authorship

3. Contents

4. Notabilia


1. Recovery and Date

2. Contents

3. Notabilia


1. Incidents of Life

2. First Apology

3. Second Apology

4. Dialogue with Trypho the Jew

5. Notabilia


1. Date and Authorship

2. Contents


The Sub-apostolic Age is usually held to extend from the death of John, the last surviving apostle, about 100 AD, to the death of Polycarp, John’s aged disciple (155-56 AD). The Christian literature of this period, although as a whole of only moderate intrinsic value, is of historical interest and importance. This is owing to the light which it throws back on apostolic times, and the testimony borne to Christian life, thought, worship, work and organization during an age when the church was under the guidance, mainly, of men who had been associated with the apostles and who might be supposed, therefore, to know their mind. Some writings are omitted from this review, having been dealt with in previous articles. For the Protevangelium of James and the Gospel and Apocalypse of Peter see APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS; APOCRYPHAL ACTS. For an account of extant fragments of Basilides and Valentinus, see GNOSTICISM. For pseudo-Clementine writings see PETER, EPISTLES OF; SIMON MAGUS.

I. Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians.

1. Authorship and Date:

Only the larger part had previously been extant, when the complete epistle was recovered in 1875 by Bryennios, bishop of Nicomedia. The high honor in which it was held by early Christendom is attested

(1) by its position in Codex Alexandrinus, at the end of the New Testament, and in an ancient Syriac MS, between the Catholic and Pauline Epistles;

(2) by its being publicly read in many churches down to the 4th century.

(Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 16). The work is anonymous, but sent in the name of the Roman church. Dionysius of Corinth (170 AD) refers to it as written by the agency of (dia) Clement (Historia Ecclesiastica, IV, 23); Clement of Alexandria states distinctly the Clementine authorship (Strom., iv.17). The writer is evidently leading office-bearer of his church, and is identified with the Clement whom Eusebius designates as third "bishop" (or chief presbyter) of Rome after Peter, and as holding office between 92 and 101 AD (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 34). Clement is further identified by Origen (Commentary on John) and in HE, III, 15 with the Clement of Php 4:3; but the name is too common and the interval too long to render this identity more than possible. Some conjecture the writer to be the consul, Flavius Clemens, whom Domitian (his cousin) put to death in 95 AD for alleged "atheism," i.e. probably, profession of Christianity (see Harnack, Gesch. Lit., I, 253, note 1). But Clement the "bishop" is never otherwise referred to as a martyr, and a member of the imperial family would hardly have been head of the Roman church without so signal a fact being noted by some contemporary or later writer. Lightfoot, with some probability, supposes (Apostolic Fathers, I, 61) that Clement was a "freedman or the son of freedman, belonging to the household of Flavius Clemens." From Paul’s time (Php 4:22) the imperial household included Christians; and many slaves were men of culture. To such a Christian freedman’s influence the consul’s conversion may have been due. Internal evidence points to Clement having been a Hellenist Jew or proselyte of Judaism; for he writes with some classical culture and with knowledge of Old Testament history and of the Septuagint; his style, moreover, has a "strong Hebraistic tinge" (Lightfoot, p. 59). The date of the epistle is fixed approximately by a reference to a persecution at Rome in progress or very recent; this persecution (during Clement’s "episcopate") was doubtless that by Domitian in 95 AD. Clement’s Epistle is thus not strictly within the Sub-apostolic Age, but it is uniformly included in sub-apostolic literature.

2. Occasion and Contents:

The occasion was a church feud at Corinth, and the expulsion of some faithful presbyters. The writer seeks to procure their restoration and to heal the dissension. He quotes Old Testament examples of the evil issue of envy and strife, and of the blessedness of humility, submission and concord. He adduces as a pattern the peace and harmony of Nature. In this connection occurs an anticipation of geographical discovery, when the author writes (chapter xx) of "the impassable ocean and the worlds beyond it" (compare Seneca, Medea ii.375; Strabo i.4; Plut. Mor. ix.41). Paul’s warnings in 1 Corinthians about party spirit are recalled; a not unworthy echo of 1Co 13 is embodied; and the erring community is solemnly monished.

In the course of the letter, with obvious reference to 1Co 15, Clement introduces the resurrection, for which he argues from the Old Testament and from natural analogies. He refers to the phoenix which lives 500 years, and, when dissolution approaches, builds a nest of spices into which it enters to die. As the flesh decays, however, a "worm is generated, which is nurtured from the dead bird’s moisture and putteth forth wings." The fable is mentioned by Herodotus and Pliny.

A lengthy prayer of intercession for "all sorts and conditions of men" is abruptly introduced near the end, in order, presumably, to imbue Corinthian Christians with that charity which they needed and which is the chief incentive to intercession. The epistle closes with a hopeful anticipation of restored concord and peace.

3. Apologetic Testimony:

Apologetic testimony is found to (1) books of the New Testament, namely, to the Pauline authorship of I Corinthians; to Mark’s Gospel, through which (chapter xv) he quotes Isa 29:13, reproducing Mark’s variations from the Septuagint; to Acts, through which he similarly quotes (chapter xviii) 1Sa 13:14; to Romans, Ephesians, 1 Timothy, Titus, James, 1 Peter (chapters xxxv, xlvi, xxi, ii, xlvi, xlix, respectively). The parallels between Clement and He are so numerous that the latter work has from early times been ascribed to him by some (Historia Ecclesiastica, VI, 25). But the general type both of thought and of diction is dissimilar; (2) against the Tubingen theory of essential divergence between the doctrine of Peter and of Paul. The chief presbyter of Rome could not have been ignorant of such divergence; yet he refers the partisanship of which the two apostles were victims entirely to the Corinthians, not at all to the apostles (chapter xlix).

4. Doctrinal Testimony:

Doctrinal testimony is found:

(1) to the Trinity, "As God liveth and the Lord Jesus Christ liveth, and the Holy Spirit" (chapter lviii);

(2) to the personality of Christ, "The Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the majesty forever." In union and communion with Christ we have life, are sanctified, possess love, manifest godliness (chapter i, xxxvi);

(3) to the atonement: Clement ascribes to Christ’s death not merely subjective moral influence, but objective vicarious efficacy in securing our salvation, without any attempt, however, to explain the mystery. Christ hath "given his flesh for our flesh, his life for our lives" (chapter xlix);

(4) to justification which is distinctly enunciated as before God through faith (chapter xxxii). But this faith (as in Paul’s writings) is a "faith which worketh" (chapter xxxv), and such justification is consistent with our being justified by works before men;

(5) to the inspiration of Scripture, which is real ("the Holy Spirit saith"), but not verbal; for quotations are often inexact. Apocryphal books are quoted, but not with a formula indicating Divine authority.

5. Office-Bearers and Organization:

(1) The basis of authority is not sacerdotal, but a combination of official succession and popular call; office-bearers are appointed "by the apostles or afterward by men of repute with consent of the whole ecclesia."

(2) Clement indicates no distinction between presbyter and bishop. Office-bearers designated as presbyters (chapters xlvii, liv) are referred to (chapters xlii, xliv) as filling the office of bishop. Addressing a church on congregational strife and insubordination, he refers to no single bishop in authority over the church. Had the episcopate, in the post-New Testament sense of mono-episcopate, been apostolically enjoined, surely the injunction would have been obeyed or enforced in Corinth.

(3) None the less we discern in Clement’s own position and action the anticipation of the later episcopate. Clement is an example of how, through the personal qualities and ecclesiastical services of the man, the status of presiding presbyter developed out of seniority into superiority, out of representativeness into official authority.

(4) The early germ of the papacy is disclosed in the passage: "If certain persons should be disobedient unto the words spoken by God through us, let them understand that they will entangle themselves in no slight transgression and peril" (chapter lix). Such assumption by a revered man like Clement might give no offense, and the Corinthians plainly needed correction. Still we have here the first stage in the process which ultimately issued in the Roman claim to universal spiritual supremacy. The assumption, however, is not grounded on Clement’s own official position (he speaks always in the 1st person plural), but on the superior dignity of the Roman church. The later theory of supremacy builds Roman authority on the primacy of Peter and his successors; but here the authority of the leading presbyter, in dealing with a provincial church, rests on the suggested primacy of the ecclesia in which he presides.

6. Ritual:

(1) The long prayer (chapters lix-lxi) bears internal evidence of liturgical character, through its balanced and rhythmical style, its somewhat remote relevance to the special object of the ep., and greater suitability for congregational worship, than as part of a counsel to a sister church. This internal testimony is confirmed by the correspondence of the prayer in certain verbal details with the earliest extant liturgies, particularly those of Mark and James, pointing to the early use in the Roman church of forms of prayer afterward incorporated into these liturgies. While there is evidence that down at least to the time (148 AD) of Justin’s 1st Apology (chapter lxvii) a minister offered up prayers of his own composition, this prayer of Clement’s Epistle indicates that before the close of the Apostolic Age, forms of supplication had begun to be introduced, not to the exclusion of "free prayer," but simply as a mode of congregational devotion countenanced by a venerated leader of the church at Rome.

(2) In chapter lvi Clement writes about "compassionate remembrance of them (i.e. the erring brethren) before God and the saints." By the saints, however, are most probably meant, not the beatified dead, but the living Christian brotherhood, as in 1Co 1:2; 2Co 8:4.

This epistle leaves on readers’ minds two different yet mutually compatible impressions—impressions both apparently made on the early church, by which the letter was widely read at public worship and yet excluded from the Canon of Scriptures. We realize, on the one hand, the inferiority of this writing to epistles of apostles. Clement’s mind is receptive, not creative; and the freshness of thought characteristic of New Testament writers is absent. What New Testament book, moreover, contains such a foolish legend as that of the phoenix? On the other hand, this epistle breathes much of the spirit, as it adopts in considerable measure the phraseology and style of apostolic writings. It is as if, although the sun of special inspiration had sunk below the horizon, there remained to the church for a while a spiritual afterglow.

II. The "Didache"

1. Disappearance and Recovery:

The "Didache" or Teaching (longer title, "The Teaching of the Lord, by (dia) the Twelve Apostles, to the Gentiles").—This work is quoted as "Scripture," without being named, by Clement of Alexandria (circa 170 AD, in Strom., i.20). It is mentioned in HE, III, 25 as the "Teachings so-called of the Apostles," "recognized by most ecclesiastical writers," although "not a genuine" composition of apostles. Athanasius (Fest. Epistle, 39) denies its canonicity, but acknowledges its utility. The latest ancient reference to the work from personal knowledge is by Nicephoros (9th century) who includes it among apocryphal writings. Thenceforth it disappears until its recent recovery in 1875 by Bryennios.

2. Date:

There is no reliable external testimony to date. Resemblances too considerable to be accidental exist between the Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas; but opinion is divided as to priority of composition. Lightfoot and others favor a common lost source. As to internal evidence the simplicity of the Eucharist and of baptism as here described, with no formal admission to the catechumenate (chapter vii); the use of "bishop" to denote the same office-bearer as presbyter; and the expectation of an impending Second Advent—point to an early date. On the other hand it is unlikely that a writing which professes to give the Teaching of the Twelve would be issued until all or most apostles had passed away; and the writer seems to be acquainted with writings of John (Didache, ix.2; x.2; x.5; see Schaff, Oldest Church Manual, 90). Probably the document went through a series of recensions (Harnack in Sch-Herz; Bertlet in DB, V), and the date or dates of composition may be put between 80 and 120 AD.

3. Standpoint, Authorship and Object:

The work does not profess to be written by apostles; but the author seems to be a Jewish Christian, for he calls Friday "Preparation Day," and the style and diction are Hebraic. The work is neither Judaistic nor Ebionite: circumcision, the Sabbath, and special Mosaic observances, are ignored. From the book in whole or in part being addressed specially, although not exclusively, to Gentiles, we infer that the community among whom it was composed, while mainly Jewish Christian, made special provision for conversion and instruction of Gentiles. The doctrinal standpoint is neither Pauline nor anti-Pauline, but resembles that of Jas. Canon Spence (Teaching) conjectures plausibly that the author may be Simeon, cousin of James the Lord’s brother, who became chief presbyter of the Jewish Christian community, first at Jerusalem, afterward at Pella, until his martyrdom in 107 AD.

4. Testimony to New Testament Writings:

Mt was certainly in the writer’s hands; for the Didache contains 22 quotations from, or reminiscences of, that Gospel, extending over ten chapters of it. Particularly notable is Didache, viii.2, "Neither pray ye as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel; after this manner pray ye, Our Father," etc. (see also vii.1; ix.5; xvi.6). There are also references to the Gospel of Luke (Didache, iii.5, 16); John’s writings (see above); Ac (Didache, iv.8), Romans (Didache, iv.5), 2Th (Didache, xiv.1), 1Pe (Didache, i.4). No extra-canonical saying of our Lord is recorded.

5. Contents and Notabilia:

The contents and notabilia may be examined as follows:

(1) Didactic (Chapters i through vi):

Intended for catechumens in preparation for baptism. This catechetical manual (the earliest of its kind) opens with the words: "There are two ways: one of life and one of death" (suggested probably by Jer 21:8). From this text the writer gives a summary of Christian duty especially toward our neighbor, based on the Decalogue, the Golden Rule, and the Sermon on the Mount, which is frequently quoted.

Among notable precepts is a command to fast as well as pray for enemies; a warning against infanticide which, in the case of sickly infants, heathenism approved, and against augury and astrology as generating idolatry; an admonition not to" stretch out one’s hands for receiving and to draw them in for giving"; an injunction to " share all things with thy brethren, and not to say that they are thine own"; a command to "love some above thine own life"; and a quaint corrective against indiscriminate and ill-informed beneficence: "Let thine alms sweat into thy hands until thou know to whom thou shouldest give." A precept to "give with thy hands a ransom for sin" may not mean more than that sinful habits are subdued by good works, but it suggests and paves the way for the error of the atoning efficacy of almsgiving. The summary of duty relates chiefly to the second Table of the Law; duty toward God is afterward (so far) dealt with under "worship." This may account for obedience to parents being strangely omitted; for among the Jews the Fifth Commandment was included in the First Table.

(2) Devotional: Worship and Rites (Chapters vii through x, xiv).

The Lord’s Prayer is to be used thrice a day. "Heaven" and "debt" are found instead of "heavens" and "debts." The Doxology is added (with "kingdom" omitted)—its earliest recorded use in this connection. Christians are to fast on Wednesday and Friday, the days of the betrayal and crucifixion. Fasting is enjoined for a day or two before baptism, both on baptizer and on baptized; it is recommended to "others who can." There is no mention of oil, salt, or exorcism. The baptismal formula, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," is commanded, confirming the historical trustworthiness of Mt 28:19. Triple immersion in "living water" is assumed to be normal; but where this is impracticable, other water and affusion are permitted (see TRINE IMMERSION). The Lord’s Supper is dealt with only on its eucharistic side, the writer’s object being not to expound the nature of the rite, but to give models of thanksgiving.

The phrase, "after being filled give thanks," suggests that the Agape was still associated with the sacrament: the dissociation had begun when Pliny wrote to Trajan in 112 AD. A liturgical element in sacramental worship is indicated by the prescription of forms of thanksgiving for the cup, the broken bread, and spiritual mercies. "Give thanks thus." The thanksgiving for the cup is as follows: "We give thanks to thee our Father, for the holy vine of David, thy servant, which thou hast made known to us through Jesus Christ." But nothing suggests that the entire service is liturgical, and the forms supplied are not rigidly imposed; for prophets are to offer thanks in such terms as they choose. On the Lord’s Day congregational worship and eucharistic bread-breaking, after confession to God and reconciliation with men, are distinctly enjoined.

(3) Ecclesiastical (Chapters xi through xiii, xv).

Of church office-bearers, two classes are mentioned, ordinary and extraordinary. Of the former (essential to congregational organization) only bishops and deacons are mentioned, i.e. those entrusted with rule and oversight, with their assistants. Presbyter and bishop appear to be still identical, as the former is not specified (compare Php 1:1). Popular election of these functionaries is indicated: "Elect for yourselves"; without denial, however, of those already in office having a share in the settlement. In the second class, apostles, prophets and teachers are included. "Apostle" is used, not in the narrower sense of men called to the office personally by Christ, but in the wider sense which embraces all whose call to be His ambassadors has been signalized by Divine gifts-specially accredited evangelists unconnected with any particular community. (Among Jewish Christians the designation survived to the 4th century, for the Theodosian Code of that period refers to Jewish presbyters and to those "quos ipsi apostolos vocant.") These apostles were to be received as the Lord," and hospitably entertained; but, unlike apostles in the special sense, they were not to remain anywhere longer than "one or two days." Their function was to scatter the seed widely, and any expression of desire to remain longer was to be discouraged, while a demand for salary from a particular community would be evidence of false apostleship. The special function of prophets and teachers, on the other hand, was the instruction and comfort of church members. They accordingly might be encouraged to settle in a community and receive "first-fruits" for their support. These prophets and teachers, however, were not to supersede the "bishops" or presbyters in ruling, but were to undertake only those functions for which they were specially qualified. On the other hand, bishops and deacons were not to be excluded from preaching and teaching by the settlement of prophets and official teachers in particular communities; and in the Didache may be traced the transition, then being gradually accomplished, of the preaching and teaching functions from extraordinary to ordinary office-bearers. "They also (the bishops and deacons) minister to you the ministry of prophets and teachers: therefore despise them not." Even before the close of Paul’s ministry, the episkopos, whose essential function was rule and oversight, was expected, if not required, also to be didatikos, "qualified to teach," i.e. along with teachers specially set apart for the purpose (1Ti 3:2; 5:17). By the middle of the 2nd century, the prophets had disappeared, and their preaching function had been vested in the office of bishop or presbyter, assisted by the diaconate.

(4) Eschatological (Chapter xvi).

This concluding section consists chiefly of exhortations to watchfulness in view of the Second Advent. The premonitory signs of that Coming are given, with reminiscences from Christ’s eschatological discourses, namely, rise of false prophets, decline of love, persecution, lawlessness, and the appearance of Antichrist, who is designated the World-deceiver. Without definitely stating chiliastic doctrine, the writer suggests it; for in referring to the immediate signals of Christ’s advent (opening in heaven, voice of trumpet, resurrection of dead) he is careful to add "Not of all the dead; but the Lord shall come, and all the saints with Him"—implying that the general resurrection would take place at an after-stage, presumably, as Millennialists held, after the 1,000 years had expired. Without dogmatic authority, and with only moderate spiritual value, the Didache is important historically as a witness to the church’s beliefs, usages and condition during the transition between the Apostolic and the Post-apostolic Age. During that transition period, we see much of the freedom of primitive Christianity mingled with rudiments of ecclesiastical regulations and formularies; and while we cannot assume that every belief and usage recorded in the Didache were sanctioned by apostles, we may reasonably ascribe them to apostolic times, and regard them as not opposed by those apostles within whose view they must have come.

III. Epistles of Ignatius.

1. Author and Date:

Ignatius was bishop of Antioch early in the 2nd century Origen (Hom. vi on Luke) refers to him as "second after Peter"; Euodius came between (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 22). As he calls himself ektroma, "untimely born" (compare 1Co 15:8), he was probably converted in mature life: the legend of his being the "child" of Mt 18:3 rests on misinterpretation of his designation "Theophotos." Traditions current in the 4th century represent him as a disciple of John (Eusebius, Chron.) and ordained by Paul (Apostolical Constitutions, vii.46).

The Martyrium of Ignatius (6th century) dates his trial at Antioch in the 9th year of Trajan’s reign (107-8 AD) and represents it as conducted before the emperor. Only one visit, however, of Trajan to Antioch is known, in 114-15; neither any Ignatian letter nor Eusebius, nor any other early writer refers to so memorable a circumstance as the presidency of an emperor over a Christian’s trial, and Ignatius speaks of a proposed attempt by Roman friends to secure a reversal of the sentence, which would have been impossible had Trajan personally pronounced it. His alleged presence, therefore, must be rejected as a later embellishment.

The epistles, so far as genuine, were written after Ignatius’ condemnation, on his way to martyrdom at Rome.

2. Genuineness:

The epistles are extant in 3 editions:

(1) the longer Greek, of 15 letters now admitted to be largely spurious;

(2) a Syriac recension of three letters, now generally held to be a mere epitome;

(3) the shorter Greek edition, containing 7 letters of intermediate length, to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Philadelphians, Smyrneans, Romans, and Polycarp. Lightfoot, Zahn, and most recent critics accept the substantial genuineness of these seven.

The chief external evidence is that of Polycarp (Phil., xiii), who, soon after Ignatius’ death, writes of a letter addressed to himself, of another to the Smyrneans, and of "all the rest which we have by us." Now 2 Ignatian epistles are addressed to Polycarp and the Christians of Smyrna, while 4 profess to be written by Ignatius at Smyrna, harmonizing well with copies of these being in Polycarp’s possession.

Further external evidence is supplied by Irenaeus (v.29) who quotes a saying from Ignat., Romans, iv, as that of a martyr, and who uses 8 notable phrases borrowed apparently from Ignatius. This external testimony (only got rid of by an arbitrary assumption of Polycarp’s Epistle being wholly or partly spurious) is supported by strong internal and cumulative evidence:

(1) Frequent Grammatical Dislocation:

Natural in letters written on a journey but unaccountable on the supposition of a later forgery (Rom., i; Mag., ii; Eph., i).

(2) Geographical Particulars:

E.g. Ignatius goes by land from Antioch to Smyrna—an unusual route which a forger would hardly invent.

(3) Historical Illustrations:

E.g. conveyance of prisoners from distant provinces to Rome harmonizes with the account by Dion Cassius (lxviii.15) of the magnitude of amphitheatrical exhibitions under Trajan causing extensive orders for human victims from all parts.

(4) Theological Evidence:

E.g. these epistles refer to Judaistic error combined with a type of doctrine denying any real incarnation—a combination which ceased after Ignatius’ time.

(5) Ecclesiastical Usage:

Thus, the Agape still includes the Eucharist (Smyr., viii), whereas soon after Ignatius’ death these were separated (Pliny, Epistle 96; Just., 1 Ap., 65,67).

(6) Personal References.

The writer shows an excess and affectation of self-depreciation—"last of Antiochene Christians" (Trall., xiii) "not worthy to be counted one of the brotherhood" (Rom., ix)—such as a later forger would hardly have introduced.

3. Leading Ideas:

(1) Joy and Glory of Martyrdom.

Heroic courage and loyalty to Christ are united with fanatical craving after a martyr’s death: "I would rather die for Christ than reign over the whole earth" (Rom., vi); "He who is near the sword is near to God" (Smyr., iv). This is noble; but when he writes, "Entice wild beasts to become my sepulchre" (Rom., iv); "May I have joy of the wild beasts and find them prompt"; "Though they be unwilling I will force them" (Rom., iv.5), we realize how Aurelius (recalling perhaps some such case) was moved to write that "death was to be encountered, not as by the Christians like a military display, but solemnly, and not as if one acted in a tragedy" (Med. xi.3).

(2) Evil and Peril of Heresy and Schism.

"Abstain from heresy"; "These heretics mix up Jesus Christ with their own poison" (Trall., vi); "Flee those evil outshoots, which produce death-bearing fruit" (Trall., xi); "Avoid all divisions as the beginning of evils"; "Nothing is better than unity" (To Polyc., i; Phil., iii).

(3) Submission to Office-Bearers, Especially to the Bishop.

"Do nothing without your bishop, and be subject to the presbyters" (Mag., vii); "Be on your guard against heresy: and this will be, if ye continue in intimate union with Christ and with the bishop"; "He who does anything without the bishop’s knowledge serveth the devil" (Smyr., ix). The bishop here is higher than "primus inter pares"; he is a new and separate office-bearer. Yet, without going beyond these epistles, we discern that such an episcopate was not an express apostolic institution. For had Ignatius been able to magnify the office as apostolically enjoined, so zealous a champion of episcopal authority would have adduced such injunction as the most cogent reason for submission. His zeal for the episcopate apparently sprang only from its high ecclesiastical expediency as the most effective agency for maintaining the church’s unity against heresy and schism.

4. Other Notabilia:

(1) References to the Gospel of John.

The Gospel of John is never quoted, but numerous phrases suggest that it was in the writer’s hands. He speaks of Christ "proceeding from the Father," "doing nothing without the Father," "in all things pleasing Him who sent Him." Christ is the "Door of the Father" and "Living water." Satan is the" Prince of this world." "The Holy Spirit knoweth whence He cometh and whither He goeth."

(2) Doctrine.

Ignatius asserts emphatically Christ’s true Divinity: "Our God" (Eph., xviii; Trall, vii). The Trinity is frequently suggested, although not expressly affirmed. Christians are "established in the Son, the Father, and the Spirit"; "subject to Christ and the Father, and the Spirit." With strong support of episcopal authority no sacerdotalism is united. "Priest" occurs only once, "The priests are good: but Christ, the High Priest, is better." Here, as the context shows, the imperfect Levitical priesthood is contrasted with perfect high-priesthood of Christ.

(3) Ecclesiastical Usage.

Ignatius contains one of the latest references to the Agape as still conjoined with the Eucharist. The letter to Polycarp (chapter iv) contains the earliest allusion to the practice of redeeming Christian slaves at the cost of the congregation. Slaves are not to "long to be set free," thus implying that such emancipation, while not required as a duty, was often conferred as a privilege.

(4) General Characteristics.

Ignatius presents striking contrast, as a writer, to Clement. Clement is calm, cultured, chaste in diction, but somewhat commonplace and deficient in originality; his best passages are echoes of Scripture. The diction and style of Ignatius are impassioned, rugged, turgid, but pithy, fresh and individualistic.

IV. Epistles of Polycarp.

1. Date and Genuineness:

Polycarp was born not later, perhaps considerably earlier, than 70 AD; for at his martyrdom, of which the now accepted date is 155 or 156 (Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, II, i, 629), he declared, when invited to abjure his faith, that he had "served Christ for 86 years" (Mart. Pol., ix). He was disciple of John, who ordained him as bishop or leading presbyter of Smyrna before 100 AD (Iren., iii.3, 4). Of several letters by Polycarp, only this epistle remains: it professes (chapter xiii) to have been written soon after the martyrdom of Ignatius. The genuineness of the letter is attested by Irenaeus, Polycarp’s own disciple (in the place cited), whose evidence cannot be set aside on the ground of its testimony to the Ignatian letters without an obvious begging of the question. The supposition that the Ignatian letters and Polycarp’s Epistle are parts of one great forgery is otherwise negatived by the very marked difference of style and standpoint between those writings (Lightfoot, l.c., 577).

2. Occasion and Contents:

The epistle replies to a letter from the Philippian church inviting his counsel, and asking for epistles of the recently martyred Ignatius. He acknowledges their kind ministry to that martyr and to others, "entwined with saintly fetters," who had "set a pattern of all patience." He sends what he has of the letters of Ignatius and asks in return for any information which they might possess. He commends to their careful study Paul’s epistle to themselves, acknowledging his inability to attain to the apostle’s wisdom. With much Scripture language, interwoven with his own matter, and giving to his letter the semblance of an apostolic echo, he exhorts his readers to righteousness and godliness, charity and mercy, and warns them against covetousness, evil-speaking and revenge. He dwells on the mutual relations and obligations of presbyters and deacons, on the one hand, and of the congregation on the other. He repeats John’s admonition against teachers who denied the reality of the incarnation: "Every spirit that confesseth not," etc. (1 Joh 4:3). He grieves over the lapse of a Philippian presbyter, Valens, who, along with his wife had flagrantly sinned; but he bids his readers not count such as enemies, but seek to recall them from their wanderings.

3. Notabilia:

(1) Polycarp mentions only one book of the New Testament, namely, Philippians, but within the brief compass of 200 lines he quotes verses or reproduces phrases from 12 New Testament writings, Matthew, 1 Peter, 1 John, and 9 Pauline Epistles, including three whose early date has been disputed in modern times (1 and 2 Timothy and Ephesians). The absence of any quotation from the Gospel of John is notable, considering his relation to the apostle; but the shortness of the letter prevents any conclusion being drawn against the authenticity of that Gospel; and he quotes (as we have seen) from 1 John, which is a kind of appendix to the Gospel (Lightfoot).

(2) At a time when Ignatius had been emphasizing the paramount duty of submission to the bishop, Polycarp, even when enjoining subjection to presbyters, does not mention a bishop. These two inferences are irresistible:

(a) there was then no episkopos, in the post-New Testament, sense, at Philippi;

(b) Polycarp did not consider the defect (?) sufficiently important to ask the Philippians to supply it.

Had John instituted the mono-episcopate as the one proper form of church government, surely his disciple Polycarp would have embraced the opportunity, when the Philippians invited his counsel, to inform them of the apostolic ordinance, and to enjoin its adoption.


V. Papias Fragments.

1. Author and Date:

Papias is called by his younger contemporary Irenaeus (v.33) a "disciple of John and friend of Polycarp." Eusebius writes (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 36) that he was episkopos of Hierapolis in Phrygia. The Chronicon Paschale (7th century, but embodying materials from older documents) states that he was martyred about the same time as Polycarp (155-56). His work, Exposition of our Lord’s Sayings, was extant in the 13th century, but only fragments quoted by Irenaeus, Eusebius, etc., remain. These bear out the twofold description of Papias by Eusebius, as a "man of little judgment" yet "most learned and well acquainted with the Scriptures" (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 39, 36). (But the words of praise in verse 36 may be a gloss.) Papias states that he subjoins to his expositions "whatsoever I learned carefully from the elders and treasured up in my memory .... I was wont to put questions regarding the words of the elders (i.e. presumably men of an earlier generation), what Andrew or Peter said, or what Philip or Thomas, or James, or what John or Matthew, or any other of the Lord’s disciples said, as well as regarding what Aristion, and the presbyter John, the disciple of the Lord, have to say."

It is disputed whether Papias here refers to two Johns, the apostle and another disciple of the same name; or to John the apostle in two different relations, i.e. first as one about whose testimony Papias heard from others, and second, as one with whom, also, he held personal communication. In favor of the first view is,

(1) Eusebius’ own opinion (in the place cited);

(2) the alleged unlikelihood of the same John being twice mentioned in one sentence;

(3) a statement by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 39) that in his day two monuments (mnemata) of "John" existed at Ephesus.

For the latter view is,

(1) no other writer until Eusebius hints the existence of a presbyter John distinct from the apostle;

(2) the change in the quotation from "said" to "say" seems to give a reason for John being twice mentioned; some things stated by John having been heard by Papias through "elders," others having been told him by the apostle himself.

The fact that John is called presbyter, instead of apostle, is no insuperable objection, since John so designates himself in 2 John and 3 John; and Jerome denies that the two mnemata were both tombs. See Lightfoot, Essay on Papias, and Nicol, Four Gospels, 187 if, who come to divergent conclusions.

2. Testimony to Matthew and Mark:

On the testimony to Matthew and Mark see MATTHEW, THE GOSPEL OF; MARK, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO.

3. Other Notabilia:

(1) According to Eusebius, Papias relates the story of "a woman accused before our Lord"—the story, presumably, which eventually crept into Joh 8; so that to him, in part, is due the preservation of a narrative, which, whether historical or not, finely illustrates the union in our Lord of holy purity and merciful charity.

(2) Papias is quoted by the Chronicler Georgius Hamartolos (in a manuscript of the 9th century) as declaring in his Expositon that John "was put to death by the Jews," and a similar quotation is made by Philip of Side (Epitome manuscript of the 7th-8th centuries). On the bearing of this upon the question of the apostle’s residence at Ephesus see JOHN, THE APOSTLE.

(3) Irenaeus (v.32) quotes Papias as writing about a Post-resurrection millennium, and as reporting, on John’s authority, how the Lord said, "The days will come when vines shall grow having each 10,000 branches, and on each branch 10,000 twigs, and on each twig 10,000 shoots," etc. This may be an exaggerated record (misunderstood by Papias) of some parabolic utterance of Christ, indicating prophetically the wonderful extension of the church.

VI. Epistle of Barnabas.

1. Authorship:

This book is first expressly quoted by Clement of Alexandria (circa 190 AD) as the composition of Barnabas, companion of Paul (Strom., ii.6). Origen concurs, and calls it a "Catholic ep." (Con. Celsum, i.63), thus suggesting canonical position; Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 25) testifies to the widespread ascription of it to this Barnabas, although he himself regards it as "spurious." Codex Sinaiticus places it immediately after the New Testament, as being read in churches, and thus suggests its composition by a companion at least of apostles. Against this external testimony, however, to authorship by the Barnabas of Acts, is strong internal evidence:

(1) apostolic sinfulness prior to discipleship is spoken of in exaggerated terms hardly credible in a writer who knew the Twelve—"exceedingly lawless beyond all (ordinary) sin" (chapter v)—an echo apparently of Paul’s "sinners of whom I am chief";

(2) ignorance of Jewish rites incomprehensible in a Levite who had lived in Jerusalem, e.g. the priests are said to eat goat’s flesh on the great Day of Atonement;

(3) extreme anti-Judaism (see below), inconsistent with the representation of Barnabas in Ac and Galatians.

The writer may have been some other Barnabas, a converted Alexandrian Jew, or, more probably, a converted Gentileproselyte, trained in Philo’s school, but ignorant of Jewish rites as practiced at Jerusalem, and possessing little real sympathy with Judaism.

2. Date:

The epistle must be dated after 70 AD, as the destruction of Jerusalem is referred to (chapter xvi); also after the publication of the Gospel of Jn, of which there are several reminiscences. But the absence of any reference to the rebuilding of Jerusalem under Hadrian, in 120 AD, in a passage (chapter xvi) where such allusion might have been expected, suggests a date prior to that year. We may place the writing between 90 and 120 AD.

3. Object and Contents:

The object is to deter both Jewish and Gentile Christians from Judaistic lapse by a bold application of the allegorizing method to the Old Testament, far beyond what Philo would have sanctioned. Jewish sacrifices, festivals, Sabbath enactments, temple-worship, distinction of clean and unclean food, are not only not of perpetual obligation, but never were binding at all, even on Jews. Belief in their obligatoriness rests on a slavishly liberal exegesis of the Old Testament, which, properly interpreted, is not a preparation for Christ but Christianity itself in allegorical disguise.

Ceremonies are simply allegorical enforcements of spiritual worship; distinctions of clean and unclean are merely pictorial representations of the necessity of separation from vice and vicious men; interdict of swine’s flesh means no more than "associate not with swinish men." The only circumcision really commanded by God is circumcision of the heart. Barnabas ignores what Paul realized, that Jewish laws and rites, even literally interpreted, are a Divine discipline of wholesome self-restraint, neighborly consideration and obedience to God. Barnabas not only explains away Old Testament enactments, but finds in trivial Old Testament statements Christian fact and truth. Thus, in Abraham’s circumcision of the 318 men of his house, the 10 and 8 are significantly denoted by the Greek letters "I" and "H", the initial letters of Iesous (Jesus); while the 300 represented by the Greek "T", points to the cross. The writer self-complacently intimates that "no one has been admitted by me to a more genuine piece of knowledge than this!" (chapter ix).

When Barnabas, however, leaves obscure allegory for plain exhortation, he writes effectively of the "two ways" of light and darkness. Among edifying admonitions the following are outstanding: "Thou shalt not go to prayer with an evil conscience"; "Thou shalt not let the word of God issue from lips stained with impurity"; "Be not ready to stretch forth thine hands to take, while thou contractest them to give"; "Thou shalt not issue orders with bitterness to thy servant, lest thou fail in reverence to God who is above you both"; "Thou shalt not make a schism, but shalt bring together them who contend"; "The way of darkness is crooked"; "In this way are (among others mentioned) those who labor not to aid him who is overdone with toil" (chapters xix, xx).

4. Notabilia:

(1) The Divinity of Christ is emphasized: "Lord of all the world"; "Joint Creator, with the Father, of mankind" (chapter v). (2) The writer, while following the Alexandrian method of allegorical interpretation, is free from the Alexandrian doctrine of the essential evil of matter; the necessity of a real incarnation is affirmed (chapter v). (3) In chapter xi, he writes, "We go down into the water full of sins and filth, and come up bearing fruit in our heart, having the fear of God and trust in Jesus in our spirit." This has been interpreted as involving the doctrine of baptismal regeneration; but the reference may be rather to the regeneration which baptism symbolizes. (4) In chapter xv, the words, "We keep the 8th day with joy, the day on which Jesus rose again," are the earliest express testimony that the observance of the Lord’s Day was a memorial of our Lord’s resurrection. This observance is distinguished from Jewish Sabbath-keeping which is called an error; the Sabbath really intended to be kept being a period of 1,000 years after the 6,000 years in which all things will be finished (chapter xv). (5) Testimony to New Testament Books,

(a) the existence and canonical authority of the Gospel of Mt are attested (chapter iv) by the quotation of Mt 22:14, "Many are called, but few chosen," introduced by the formula, "It is written";

(b) various passages taken together testify to the writer having the Gospel of John in his hands: "Whoso eateth of these shall live for ever" (chapter xi and Joh 6:58); "Abraham looking before in Spirit to Jesus" (chapter ix and Joh 8:58); "the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ" (chapter ii and Joh 13:34); a reference to the brazen serpent as a type of Christ’s suffering, glory and healing power (chapter xii and Joh 3:14);

(c) "Thou shalt not say that anything is thine own" (chapter xix) appears to be a reminiscence of Ac 4:32; (d) the passage in xv, "The day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years," seems to be an echo of 2Pe 3:8, and, if so, is the earliest testimony to the existence of that writing, and thus proves its great antiquity, although not its canonicity.

VII. Pastor (Shepherd) of Hermas.

1. Authorship and Date:

This work is the earliest example, on a large scale, of Christian allegory, and was hardly less popular in the early church than the Pilgrim’s Progress in later times. It was reckoned by many almost, by some altogether, as "Scripture." Irenaeus quotes it as "Scripture" (iv.20); Clement of Alexandria refers to it as "containing revelations Divinely imparted" (Strom., i.29); Origen regards it as "Divinely inspired" (Commentary on Romans 16:14). It is placed with the Epistle of Barnabas in the Codex Sinaiticus at the close of the New Testament, and was read in many churches down to Jerome’s time (Works, II, 846). The writer represents himself as a slave sold to a Roman Christian lady. He afterward obtained freedom, lived with his family in Rome, became earnestly religious, and saw visions which he imparted the community in this book with a view to repentance and spiritual well-being.

Origen (followed by Eusebius, Jerome, etc.) ascribes the work to the Hermes of Ro 16:14; but his opinion is pure conjecture (puto). The Canon Muratori (170 AD) of Italian authorship describes the work as "recently composed at Rome by the brother of Plus during the latter’s episcopate" (137-54). This distinct local testimony has been widely accepted (Hefele, Lightfoot, Charteris, Cruttwell, etc.). Yet the writer represents himself (Vision, ii.4) as enjoined to send his book to Clement as man in authority in the church, whom it is natural to identify with the chief presbyter of Rome between 92 and 101. This reference, along with the absence of any allusion to Gnosticism or to the mono-episcopate, has led Schaff, Zahn, and others to fix the date of the work at about 100 AD. The external and internal evidence, thus apparently divergent, may be reconciled by supposing (with Kruger and Harnack) that the book was not "written in a single draft"; that portions were issued successively during Clement’s episcopate; and that under Plus (circa 140) the separate issues were gathered into a volume under the title of The Pastor. In Rome, where the author was known, the Canon Muratori attested at once its religious usefulness as a "book to be read" and the absence of any claim to canonical authority.

2. Object and Contents:

The purpose of the book is not doctrinal but ethical; it is an allegorical manual of Christian duty with earnest calls to individual repentance and church revival in view of the near Advent.

The book consists of

(1) Five Visions,

(2) Twelve Mandates,

(3) Ten Similitudes or Parables.

In (1) the church appears’ to the writer as a venerable matron, then as a tower near completion, thereafter as a Holy Virgin. In the last vision, the Angel of Repentance, in pastoral garb, delivers to him the Mandates and Similitudes. The Mandates deal with chastity, truth, patience, meekness, reverence, prayer, penitence, and warn against grieving the Spirit. In the similitudes the church is again a tower whose stones are examined for approbation or reprobation. Similitudes are also drawn from trees. The vine clinging to the elm signifies union of rich and poor in the church; a large willow from which a multitude receive branches or twigs, some of these blossoming or fruit-bearing, others dry or rotten, symbolizes the diverse effect of law and gospel on different souls. The author, although a Gentile, writes from the standpoint of James rather than of Paul. The closing words summarize his combined ethical and eschatological purpose: "Ye who have received good from the Lord, do good works, lest while ye delay, the tower be completed, and you be rejected."

3. Notabilia:

(1) Montanistic Affinity.

Hermas, indeed, differs from Montanists in permitting, though not encouraging, second marriage, and recognizing one possible repentance after post-baptismal flagrant sin; but he is also their fore-runner, through his disallowance of readmission after second lapse, through emphatic expectation of an impending Advent, and through his rigorous view of fasting: "On the fast day taste nothing but bread and water."

(2) Fasting, However, Is Regarded Not as an End but as a Means

A discipline toward humility, purity, charity. Fasting for charity is illustrated by the injunction (Sim., v.3) to "reckon up the price of what you meant to eat, and give that to one in want."

(3) Absence of Names "Jesus" and "Christ."

The names" Jesus and "Christ" never occur. He is "Son of God" and "Lord of His people," whom "God made to dwell in flesh," by whom "the whole world is sustained," who "endured great sufferings that He might do away with the sins of His people" (Sim., .v.6; ix. 14).

(4) Church Organization.

Hermas is charged (Via., ii.4) to "read his writings to (or along with) the presbyters who preside over the church" in Rome. It is reasonable to conclude that no one in that community could then be called "bishop" in the later sense of the holder of an office distinct from and superior to the presbyterate. Episkopoi ("bishops") are mentioned (Sim., ix.27) as "given to hospitality," the description of the episkopos in 1Ti 3:2, where admittedly bishop = presbyter.

VIII. Second Epistle of Clement.

1. Nature of Document:

This writing is doubly miscalled: it is neither an epistle nor a composition of Clement. Style, thought, and standpoint differ from those of the accepted Ep., and HE, III, 38, suggests that the Clementine authorship was not generally recognized. The recent recovery by Bryennios of the previously lost conclusion proves that the writing is a sermon (chapter xix).

Antiquity is indicated by (1) the use, as an authority, of the lost heretical Gospel of the Egyptians, which by the time of the Canon Muratori (175 AD) had ceased to be regarded as Scripture by Catholics; (2) the adoption, without Gnostic intention, of phrases which became notably associated, after 150 AD with Gnosticism: "God made male and female: the male is Christ, the female, the church" (chapter xiv).

2. Date and Authorship:

The date usually assigned is 120-150 AD (Lightfoot, Part I, volume II, 201). The author is a Gentilepresbyter; he had "worshipped stocks and stones." The sermon was probably preached at Corinth, for the preacher describes many arriving by sea for the race-course, without mentioning a port, which would be appropriate in a sermon preached to Corinthians.

3. Contents:

No text is given, but the sermon starts from Isa 54:1, without express quotation; this chapter had probably been read at the service. The discourse, without great literary merit, is earnest and practical. There are exhortations to repentance and good works, to purity, charity, prayer and fasting, with special reference to coming judgment. The standpoint is that of James. "Be not troubled (so the sermon concludes) because we see the unrighteous with abundance, and God’s servants in straits. Let us have faith, brethren and sisters. Had God recompensed the righteous speedily, we should have had training not in piety but in bargaining; and our uprightness would be a mere semblance, since our pursuit would be not of godliness but of gain."

4. Notabilia:

(1) The sermon is the oldest extant in post-New Testament times, and appears to have been read (chapter xix) to a congregation.

(2) Sayings of Christ not in our Gospels are quoted:

(a) "The Lord, being asked when His kingdom would come, answered: When the two shall be one (i.e. when harmony shall prevail?), and when the outside shall be as the inside (i.e. when men shall be as they seem?); and the male with the female, neither male nor female" (interpreted by this preacher ascetically as discountenancing marriage, presumably because "the time is short," but explained mystically by Clement of Alexandria in Strom., iii.13, as indicating the abolition of all distinctions in God’s kingdom). Clement assigns the passage to the lost Gospel of the Egyptians.

(b) "The Lord saith, ye shall be as lambs among wolves. Peter answered: What if the wolves tear the lambs? Jesus said: Let not the lambs fear the wolves: and ye, also, fear not them which kill you, and can do nothing more to you."

(3) No episcopate, apparently, in the post-New Testament sense, existed in the church where this sermon was delivered. Unfaithful men are represented as confessing, "We obeyed not the presbyters when they told us of salvation." Had a bishop in the later sense been head of the community, obedience to his admonitions would surely have been inculcated.

(4) The Christology is high; "We ought to think of Christ as of God"; "When we think mean things of Christ, we expect to receive mean things" (chapter i).

IX. Apology of Aristides.

1. Recovery and Date:

Aristides was an Athenian philosopher, who (according to HE, IV, 3) presented an Apology to Hadrian, presumably when the emperor was at Athens (125 AD). After disappearance in the 17th century, a fragment in an Armenian version was discovered in 1878, and the entire Apology in Syriac was found in 1889. It was then found that almost the whole treatise was imbedded anonymously in a Greek medieval romance, Barlaam and Josaphat. The Apology in the Syriac is inscribed to Antoninus; it may have been addressed to both emperors successively, or the real date may be 137, when they were colleagues in the empire.

2. Contents:

The treatise refers to oppression, imprisonment, and other maltreatment endured by Christians, and pleads for their protection against persecution, because of their true and noble creed, and their pure and benevolent lives. The writer compares the Christian doctrine of Godhead with that of barbarians, Greeks, Egyptians, Jews, and dwells on the elevating influence of Christian belief in Jesus Christ and in a future life. He refers to the abstention of Christians from unchastity, dishonesty and other vices; to their abounding charity and brotherliness which are shown particularly to the widow, the orphan, the poor, the stranger, the oppressed, and even their oppressors. All who become Christians, of however low a station, are brethren. This bright picture has, however, its shadows: "If Christians see that one of their number has died in his sins, over him they weep bitterly as over one about to go into punishment." This frank acknowledgment of some black sheep gives point to his general testimony, "Blessed is the race of Christians above all men."

3 Notabilia:

(1) A distinct reference to a collection of Christian writings, and especially of Gospels, designated the Gospel, and indicating the existence of a kind of rudimentary New Testament Canon.

(2) Similar indication of a rudimentary Apostles’ Creed. Christians are said to believe in God, "the Maker of Heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ who was born of a Hebrew virgin, who was transfixed by the Jews; he died and was buried; and Christians state that after three days he rose again and ascended into heaven." In this early time the virgin birth was apparently a settled matter—part of the Creed.

(3) Aristides describes a familiar custom among poor Christians of fasting two or three days, so as to supply with needful food Christians poorer still (Compare Hermas).

(4) The Apology is interesting as the earliest known literary tribute of a philosopher to Christianity, and probably the earliest extant defense of the faith, if the Epistle to Diognetus be not ancient. It is notable also as a treatise on Christian evidence drawn not from miraculous credentials, but from the self-evidencing excellence and effect of Christianity.

Finally, it is interesting as the earliest detailed record of harvest reaped at Athens from seed sown by Paul 80 or 90 years before. Athens appeared at first a barren soil; but by and by this church in a university city took the lead, as this treatise and another lost apology by Quadratus show, in the literary defense of the Christian faith. Quadratus is stated in HE IV, 3, to have presented his Apology to Hadrian, and is described by Jerome as "a disciple of the apostles." In a fragment preserved in HE, he attests the survival ("to our own day") of some whom Christ had healed.

X. Justin Martyr.

1. Incidents of Life:

Born of pagan parents at Flavia Neapolis (Nablous), in Samaria about 100 AD—a seeker for truth, who, after trying Stoic, Peripatetic, Pythagorean and Platonic philosophies, found in Christ and Christianity the satisfaction of philosophic cravings and spiritual needs. He became a Christian apostle and apologist, wearing still the philosopher’s mantle in token of continued quest after wisdom, but making it now his life-work, not as presbyter, but as itinerating Christian teacher, to impart to pagan, to Jew and also to heretic the truth which he himself had found and prized. After long Christian service, he suffered martyrdom under Aurelius in 166 AD.

2. First Apology:

It is addressed to Antoninus and dated 138-48. He approaches the emperor without flattery, and asks judgment after searching inquiry. He answers three charges against Christians:

(1) atheism: Justin replies that Christians were atheists only as Socrates was; they disbelieved in so-called gods who were wicked demons or humanly fashioned images; but they worshipped the Father of Righteousness;

(2) immorality: Justin admits the existence of pretended Christians who are evil-doers; but Christianity makes the evil good, the licentious chaste, the covetous generous, the revengeful forgiving;

(3) disloyalty: this is calumny based on the preaching of Christ’s kingdom which is spiritual, not temporal.

Christians are taught and are wont to pay tribute promptly and to pray for rulers regularly. Justin then sets forth the credibility and excellence of Christianity, adducing,

(1) its pure morality as contrasted with vices condoned by heathens,

(2) its noble doctrines—immortality, resurrection, future judgment, incarnation,

(3) Old Testament prophecy regarding the Divinity and sufferings of the Christ. His reference to the prediction of a virgin bringing forth Emmanuel (chapter xxxiii) shows that in his day the virgin birth was accepted, although Jews understood by virgin (in Isaiah) merely a young woman,

(4) foreshadowings of Christian truth by philosophy, referring especially to Plato’s teaching about the Divine Logos and judgment to come.

To refute prevalent calumny Justin describes Sunday service and administration of sacraments in his time. On the Lord’s Day Christians assembled for worship; prophetic Scriptures and "memoirs" by apostles and their followers were read; prayers and thanksgivings were offered and an address delivered by the "president"; bread and wine were distributed and sent by deacons to those absent; and an offering for charitable purposes was made. "As many as believe what is taught, and undertake to live accordingly, are, after prayer and fast, baptized" (chapters lxv, lxvii).

3. Second Apology:

This is probably a postscript to the first; Eusebius quotes from both as from one work. After a protest against a recent summary execution of three Christians without proper trial, Justin deals with two popular taunts:

(1) "If at death they went to heaven, why did they not commit suicide?": "We do not shrink from death but from opposing God’s will."

(2) "If God is really on the Christians’ side, why does He allow them to be persecuted?": "The world by Divine decree is meanwhile under the dominion of angels who have become demons." Justin here contrasts Christ with Socrates, whom yet he describes as a preacher of the "true but then unknown God" (chapter x): "No one put such faith in Socrates as to die for his convictions." Christ hath won the faith, "not only of philosophers, but of simple folk who through faith can despise death." Justin, however, testifies clearly and warmly to the Christian element by anticipation, in the higher teachings and aspirations of heathen philosophy through an implanted seed of the Divine Logos; and he recognizes thus a pre-advent ministry of the Son of God, not only in the sheltered fold of Judaism, but in the broad open of heathendom.

4. Dialogue with Trypho the Jew:

This Dialogue indicates the attitude of some cultured Jews of that day to Christianity, and the mode in which their objections to it were met. Trypho argued that Jesus did not fulfill Old Testament prophecy which represented the Messiah as establishing a glorious and everlasting kingdom; whereas Jesus was a humble peasant who died an ignominious death; Justin pleads Isa 53. Trypho charges Christianity with treason to theocracy through exalting Jesus to Godhead, thus trenching on the Divine unity, and also through repudiating the perpetual obligation of the Law. Justin, in reply, quotes Genesis, "Let us make man," and also Psalms 45, 72, 110, with Isa 7 about Emmanuel. The Mosaic Law was intended to be temporary, and was now superseded by the Law of Christ; moreover, the destruction of Jerusalem rendered complete fulfillment of the Jewish Law impracticable. The disputants part on friendly terms, "I have been particularly pleased with this conference," says Trypho. "If we could confer oftener we should be much helped in reading the Scriptures." "For my part," replies Justin, "I would have wished to repeat our conference daily; but since I am about to set sail, I bid you give all diligence in this struggle after salvation." Of other works ascribed to Justin, two (On the Resurrection and Appeal to the Greeks) may or may not be genuine; the others are spurious.

5. Notabilia:

(1) Justin’s Quotations:

Bearing of Justin’s quotations from "memoirs" on the Age of Our Gospels (see GOSPELS).

(2) Testimony to Harmony of Apostolic Doctrine.

Justin is a disciple of Paul, and a strong anti-Judaist; yet he recognizes thoroughly the Twelve as the true source of Christian teaching, "sent by Christ to teach to all the Word of God" (1 Ap., 39,49; Dial., 42, 109).

(3) Diffusion of Christianity:

From personal knowledge as a traveler, Justin testifies to the wide diffusion of Christianity: "No race of men exists among whom prayers are not offered up to the Father through the name of the crucified Jesus (Dial., 117).

(4) Authorship of Revelation:

"John, one of the apostles, prophesied, by a revelation made to him, that believers would dwell 1,000 years in Jerus" (Dial., 81)—the earliest direct witness to Johannine authorship, by one who had resided at Ephesus.

(5) Belief of the Primitive Church in Our Lord’s True Divinity:

Writing in the name of Christians as a body, he declares, "Both Him (the Father) and the Son who came forth from Him we adore" (1 Ap., 5). He speaks also of some "who held that Jesus was a mere man" as a small and heretical minority (Dial., 48). He writes elsewhere (1 Ap., 13) of the Son as the object of worship "in the second place"; but this statement, made long before the Arian Controversy necessitated precision of language, does not invalidate his other testimonies.

(6) The Holy Spirit:

As to the Holy Spirit, Justin refers to baptism as administered in "the name of Father, Son, and Spirit" (1 Ap., 61), implying the Divinity of the Third Person; although elsewhere he appears to subordinate Him to the Son, as the Son to the Father. He is to be "worshipped in the third order" (1 Ap., 13).

(7) Millenarianism:

"I and others are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead and 1,000 years in Jerusalem which will be built, adorned and enlarged" (Dial., 80). He admits, however, that many pure and pious Christians think otherwise.

(8) Future punishment: On this subject Justin speaks with two voices. In 1 Ap., 8, he writes of "condemned souls suffering eternal punishment, not for a millennial period only." But in Dial., 5, he introduces an old man who was the immediate means of his conversion as saying that "the wicked shall be punished as long as God shall will them to exist."

(9) Angel-worship:

In 1 Ap., 6, Justin, when refuting the charge of atheism, writes: "We reverence and worship the Father, and the Son, and the host of other good messengers (or angels), and the Prophetic Spirit." The context, however, shows that this cult does not necessarily amount to what is usually meant by worship, but simply to veneration and homage. The Greek words here, sebomai and proskuneo, are often used in this lower sense; and the train of thought seems to be this: "You call us atheists; the charge is not true, for we not only believe in one God and Father of all, but in one who is preeminently the Son of God, who was sent by God. We believe further in other heavenly messengers from God, a host of angelic spirits; yea we believe in one who is preeminently God’s Spirit, by whom prophets were inspired. All these are the object in different degrees of our veneration and homage." Undoubtedly, however, the statement is at best unguarded and misleading.

(10) Doctrine of the Sacraments:

Justin uses "regenerate" as the synonym of "baptized" (1 Ap., 61), but he identifies the two, not as essentially inseparable, but as uniformly associated. As regards the Lord’s Supper, while emphasizing the ideas of commemoration, communion, and thanksgiving, he in one place speaks of the bread and wine being the flesh and blood of the Incarnate Jesus, "from which, by a transmutation, our flesh and blood are nourished" (1 Ap., 66). These words tend to transubstantiation; but, in the absence of any controversy at the time, may be no more than a strongly figurative representation of a spiritual participation.

XI. Epistle to Diognetus.

1. Date and Authorship:

This short apologetic work is mentioned by no ancient writer, and was unknown until its discovery in 1592 by Henry Stephens in a manuscript which perished in the Strassburg fire of 1870. The manuscript appears to ascribe it to the author of another work (To the Greeks); and this, again, is attributed with some probability on the authority of a Syriac document (600-700 AD) to one Ambrosius, "chief among the Greeks" otherwise unknown (see Birks in DCB, "Ep. to D."). If genuinely ancient, the epistle probably belongs to the Sub-apostolic Age, for it refers to Christianity as "having only now entered the world, not long ago"; and in chapter xi (written, however, by a different hand or at a different time) the author calls himself a "disciple of the apostles." Diognetus was a very common Greek name, so that his identification with the tutor of Marcus Aurelius (130-40 AD) is a mere conjecture. Donaldson (Chr. Lit., II, 142) inclines to the belief that the work was composed by one of the many Greeks who came westward in the 14th century and that the author intended merely to write a "good declamation in the old style." The smart but superficial way in which heathenism and Judaism are dealt with is more befitting a medieval rhetorical exercise than the serious treatment, by a cultured writer, of prevalent religions.

2. Contents:

The author, after welcoming the inquiry of Diognetus about Christianity, pours contempt on the pagan worship of gods of wood, stone and metal, without any apparent realization that for cultured heathens of that time such images were not objects, but only symbolic media of worship; and he ridicules Mosaic observances without any recognition of their significance as a Divine educative discipline. But when he proceeds (chapters vii through xii) to describe Christianity, the work merits Hefele’s designation, praestantissima Epistola. Into a world, yea, into human hearts, which had become degenerate and wicked, "God sent no mere servant or angel, but His own Son," and Him, not as a condemning Judge, or fear-inspiring Tyrant, but as a gracious Saviour. To the inquiry, "If Christianity is so precious, why was Christ sent so late?" the author replies: "In order first to bring home to mankind their unworthiness to attain eternal life through their own works" and their incapacity for salvation apart from Him "who is able to save even what it was impossible (formerly) to save." But faith in the Son of God now revealed, would lead to "knowledge of the Father"; knowledge of God to "love of Him who hath first so loved us"; and love of God to "imitation of Him and of His lovingkindness." And wherein consists such imitation? Not in "seeking lordship over those weaker," or in "showing violence toward those below us"; but in "taking on oneself the burden of one’s neighbor," even as "God took on Himself the burden of our iniquities, and gave His own Son as a ransom for us." "He who in whatsoever he may be superior is ready to benefit another who is deficient; he who, by distributing to the needy what he has received from God, becomes a god to those who receive his benefits: he is an imitator of God."


Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, larger and smaller editions; in Clark’s "Ante-Nicene Libary," Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, and Recently Discovered Additions to Early Christian Literature (American edition, The Ants-Nicene Fathers); Eusebius, HE, particularly McGiffert’s translation with excellent notes; James Donaldson, Critical History of Christian Literature; Cruttwell, Literary History of Early Christianity; Kruger, History of Early Christian Literature, translation by Gillett; Harnack, Geschichte der altchr. Litt.; Zahn, Geschichte des New Testament Kanons; Forschungen zur Gesch. des New Testament Kanons und der altchr. Lift.; Robinson, Texts and Studies, Aristides; Schaff, Oldest Christian Manual: H.D.M. Spence, Teaching of the Twelve Apostles; Bartlet, article on "Didache" in HDB; Cunningham, Epistle of Barnabas; articles in DCB (Smith and Wace).

Henry Cowan


lit’-er (tsabh): (1) Used upon backs of camels for easy riding, made of a wooden frame with light mattress and pillows, also a covering above, supported by upright pieces, sometimes having also side awnings for protection from the sun’s rays. Mule litters were made with pairs of shafts projecting before and behind, between which the animals were yoked (Isa 66:20). Litter-wagons (’eghloth tsabh) are mentioned in Nu 7:3; the horse litter (phorion) is mentioned in 2 Macc 9:8; compare 3:27. (2) miTTah, "palanquin" or "litter of Solomon" (So 3:7; compare So 3:9).





liv’-li, liv’-ing (chay; zao): "Living," sometimes "lively," is the translation of chay (often also translated "life"); it denotes all beings possessed of life (Ge 1:21,24; 2:7,19; Ex 21:35, "live"); we have frequently the phrase, "the land of the living" (as contrasted with she’ol, the abode of the dead), e.g. Job 28:13; Ps 27:13; 52:5; Isa 38:11; the characteristically Biblical expression, "the living God," also frequently occurs (Jos 3:10; 1Sa 17:26,36; 2Ki 19:4; Ps 84:2); also frequently in the New Testament as the translation of zao (Mt 16:16; 26:63; Joh 6:57, "the living Father"; Ac 14:15); "lively" in Ex 1:19 (chayeh) and Ps 38:19 denotes fullness of life, vigor; chayyah, "a living being," is mostly confined to Ezekiel, translated "living creatures" (1:5,13,14, etc.), also Ge 1:28; 8:17, "living thing"; "living" is sometimes applied figuratively to that which is not actually alive; thus we have the phrase "living waters" (Jer 2:13; 17:13; Zec 14:8, "Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem") in contrast with stagnant waters—waters that can give life; so Joh 4:10,11 (bubbling up from the spring at bottom of the well); 7:38; Re 7:17 the King James Version; "living bread" (Joh 6:51); a new and living way (Heb 10:20), perhaps equivalent to "ever-living" in Christ; "living stones" (1Pe 2:4,5) are those made alive in Christ; a "living hope" (a hope full of life), 1Pe 1:3; "living" (zao)is sometimes also "manner of life" (Lu 15:13; Col 2:20); diago, "to lead or go through," is also so translated (Tit 3:3); bios is "means of life," translated "living" (Mr 12:44; Lu 8:43); "living," in this sense, occurs in Apocrypha as the translation of zoe, "Defraud not the poor of his living" (Ecclesiasticus 4:1).

The Revised Version (British and American) has "living" for "alive" (Le 14:4), for "the lively" (Ac 7:38), for "quick" (Heb 4:12), for "lively" (1Pe 1:3; 2:5), for "conversation" (1Pe 1:15; 2Pe 3:11); "living creatures" for "beasts" (Re 4:6; 5:6, etc.); "every living thing" for "all the substance" (De 11:6); "living things" for "beasts" (Le 11:2,47 twice); for "living" (Ps 58:9), "the green" (thorns under the pots), margin "Wrath shall take them away while living as with a whirlwind"; for "the book of the living" (Ps 69:28), "the book of life"; for "(I am) he that liveth" (Re 1:18), "the Living one"; for "living fountains of waters" (Re 7:17), "fountains of waters of life"; for "trade" (Re 18:17), "gain their living," margin "work the sea"; for "Son of the living God" (Joh 6:69), "the Holy One of God" (emended text).

W. L. Walker


liv’-er (qabhedh, derived from a root meaning "to be heavy," being the heaviest of the viscera; Septuagint hepar): The word is usually joined with the Hebrew yothereth (see CAUL) (Ex 29:13,22; Le 9:10,19) as a special portion set aside for the burnt offering.

This represents the large lobe or flap of the liver, Lobos tou hepatos (thus, Septuagint and Josephus, Ant, III, ix, 2, (228)). Others, however, interpret it as the membrane which covers the upper part of the liver, sometimes called the "lesser omenturn." Thus, the Vulgate: reticulurn iecoris. It extends from the fissures of the liver to the curve of the stomach. Still others consider it to be the "fatty mass at the opening of the liver, which reaches to the kidneys and becomes visible upon the removal of the lesser omentum or membrane" (Driver and White, Leviticus, 65).

As in the scholastic psychology of the Middle Ages, the liver played an important part in the science of Semitic peoples. It was the seat of feeling, and thus became synonymous with temper, disposition, character (compare Assyrian kabittu, "liver", "temper," "character," and Arabic kabid, vulgar kibdi). Thus, Jeremiah expresses his profound grief with the words: "My liver is poured upon the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people" (La 2:11). The liver is also considered one of the most important and vital parts of the body (compare Virgil, cerebrum, iecur domicilia vitae). A hurt in it is equivalent to death. So we find the fate of a man enticed by the flattering of a loose woman compared to that of the ox that "goeth to the slaughter .... till an arrow strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life" (Pr 7:22,23; the rest of the verse is obscure as to its meaning).

In a few passages of the Old Testament, kabhedh ("liver") and kabhodh ("glory") have been confounded, and we are in uncertainty as to the right translation Several authors, to give but one example, would read kabhedh in Ps 16:9, for reasons of Hebrew poetical parallelism: "Therefore my heart is glad and my liver (English Versions of the Bible, "glory") rejoiceth." While this is quite possible, it is not easy to decide, as according to Jewish interpretation "my glory" is synonymous with "my soul," which would present as proper a parallelism.

The liver has always played an important role in heathen divination, of which we have many examples in old and modern times among the Greeks, Etrurians, Romans and now among African tribes. The prophet Ezekiel gives us a Biblical instance. The king of Babylon, who had been seeking to find out whether he should attack Jerusalem, inquired by shaking "arrows to and fro, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver" (Eze 21:21 (Hebrew 21:26); compare Tobit 6:4 ff; 8:2).


H. L. E. Luering


liv’-ing kre’-tur:

(1) (nephesh chayyah, or nephesh hachayyah (nephesh, "breath" or "living things"; chayyah, "living"; compare Arabic nefs, "breath," chaiy, "living")): In the account of the creation this term is used of aquatic animals (Ge 1:21), of mammals (Ge 1:24) and of any animals whatsoever (Ge 2:19).

(2) ([chayyoth], plural of chayyah): The name of the "living creatures" of Eze 1:5-25, which had wings and the faces of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle; compare Eze 10:1-22.

(3) (zoon, "living thing," "animal"): The four "living creatures" (the King James Version "beasts") of Re 4:6, etc., the first like a lion, the second like a calf, the third having a face as of a man, and the fourth like an eagle, having each six wings.


Alfred Ely Day


liz’-ard: The list of unclean "creeping things" in Le 11:29,30 contains eight names, as follows:

1. Names:

(1) choledh, English Versions of the Bible "weasel" (which see);

(2) ‘akhbar, English Versions of the Bible "mouse" (which see);

(3) tsabh, the King James Version "tortoise," the Revised Version (British and American) "great lizard" (which see);

(4) ‘anaqah, the King James Version "ferret," the Revised Version (British and American) "gecko" (which see);

(5) koach, the King James Version "chameleon," the Revised Version (British and American) "land-crocodile" (which see);

(6) leTa’ah, English Versions of the Bible "lizard"; compare Arabic laTa’," to cling to the ground";

(7) chormeT, the King James Version "snail," the Revised Version (British and American) "sand-lizard" (which see);

(8) tinshemeth, the King James Version "mole," the Revised Version (British and American) "chameleon" (which see). In Pr 30:28, we find

(9) semamith, the King James Version "spider," the Revised Version (British and American) "lizard."

Since (1), (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7) occur as names of animals only in this passage, and as the philological evidence available is in most cases not very convincing, their determination is difficult and uncertain. the Revised Version margin to "gecko" (Le 11:30) has "Words of uncertain meaning, but probably denoting four kinds of lizards."

2. Lizards of Palestine:

Among the many lizards of Palestine, the monitor and thorny-tailed lizard are remarkable for their size, and the chameleon for its striking appearance and habits. On etymological grounds, koach, the King James Version "chameleon," the Revised Version (British and American) "land-crocodile," Septuagint chamaileon, has been taken to be the monitor; tsabh, the King James Version "tortoise," the Revised Version (British and American) "great lizard," Septuagint krokodeilos chersaios, to be the thorny-tailed lizard; and tinshemeth, the King James Version "mole," the Revised Version (British and American) "chameleon," Septuagint aspalax, to be the chameleon. On the same grounds, choledh, English Versions of the Bible "weasel," Septuagint gale, might be the mole-rat.


The commonest lizard of Palestine is the rough-tailed agama, Agama stellio, Arabic chirdaun or chirdaun, which is everywhere in evidence, running about on the ground, rocks or walls, frequently lying still basking in the sun, or bobbing its head up and down in the peculiar manner that it has. The gecko, Ptyodactylus lobatus, is common in houses. By means of adhesive disks on the under sides of its toes, it clings with ease to smooth walls which other lizards cannot scale. Although perfectly harmless, it is believed to be poisonous, and is much feared. It is called abu-brais, "father of leprosy," either on account of its supposed poisonous qualities or because it has a semi-transparent and sickly appearance, being of a whitish-yellow color with darker spots. It utters a little cry, which may be the reason why the Revised Version (British and American) has "gecko" for ‘anaqah; the King James Version has "ferret."

Various species of the genus Lacerta and its allies, the true lizards, may always be found searching for insects on trees and walls. They are scaly, like all lizards, but are relatively smooth and are prettily colored, and are the most attractive members of the group which are found in the country. They are called by the Arabs saqqaiyeh or shammuseh.

The skinks include Scincus officinalis, and allied species. Arabic sa qanqur = Greek skigkos (skinkos). They are smooth, light-colored lizards, and are found in sandy places. They cannot climb, but they run and burrow in the sand with remarkable rapidity. The dried body of Scincus officinalis is an important feature of the primitive oriental materia medica, and may be found in the shops (officinae) of the old-style apothecaries.

3. Identifications:

Semamith (Pr 30:28, the King James Version "spider," the Revised Version (British and American) "lizard") is one of the "four things which are little .... but .... exceeding wise." the Revised Version (British and American) reads:

"The lizard taketh hold with her hands,

Yet is she in kings’ palaces."

The Septuagint (Septuagint) has kalabotes, which according to Liddell and Scott = askalabotes, "a spotted lizard." There is no other lizard which fits this passage as does the gecko. If Gesenius is correct in deriving semamith from the root samam (compare Arabic samma, "to poison"), we have another reason for making this identification, in which case we must rule out the rendering of the Revised Version margin, "Thou canst seize with thy hands."

For none of the names in Le 11:29,30 have we as many data for identification as for semamith. For leTa’ah, English Versions of the Bible "lizard," the Septuagint has chalabotes, which is another variant of askalabotes. If we follow the Septuagint, therefore, we should render leTa’ah "gecko." Tristram quotes Bochart as drawing an argument that leTa’ah is "gecko" from the Arabic laTa’," to cling to the ground." This view is at least in accordance with Septuagint. It is of course untenable if ‘anaqah is "gecko," but (see FERRET) the writer thinks it quite possible that ‘anaqah may mean the shrew or field-mouse, which is also in agreement with Septuagint. It will not do to follow Septuagint in all cases, but it is certainly safe to do so in the absence of a clear indication to the contrary.

There seems to be little evidence available for deciding the identity of chomeT, the King James Version "snail," the Revised Version (British and American) "sand-lizard." Septuagint has saura, and Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) lacerta, both words for lizard. Gesenius refers the word to an obsolete chamaT, "to bow down," "to lie upon the ground." Tristram, NHB, cites Bochart as referring to a word meaning "sand." Hence, perhaps the Revised Version (British and American) "sand-lizard." If by this is meant the skink, there is no inherent improbability in the identification.

We have thus more or less tentatively assigned various words of the list to the monitor, the thorny-tailed lizard, the chameleon, the gecko and the skink, but we have done nothing with the rough-tailed agama and the Lacertae, or true lizards, which are the commonest lizards of Palestine, and this fact must be reckoned against the correctness of the assignment. The translation of the Revised Version (British and American) has this to commend it, that it gives two small mammals followed by six lizards, and is therefore to that extent systematic. It is, however, neither guided in all cases by etymological considerations, nor does it follow Septuagint.

As none of the etymological arguments is very cogent, the writer can see no harm in consistently following Septuagint, understanding for

(1) gale, weasel or pole-cat; for

(2) mus, mouse; for

(3) krokodeilos chersaios, some large lizard, either the monitor or the thorny-tailed lizard; for

(4) mugale, shrew or field-mouse; for

(5) chamaileon, chameleon; for

(6) chalabotes, gecko; for

(7) saura, a Lacerta or true lizard; for

(8) aspalax, mole-rat.

On the other hand, if etymological considerations are to be taken into account and Septuagint abandoned when it conflicts with them we might have

(1) holedh, mole-rat;

(2) ‘akhbar, mouse;

(3) tsabh, thorny-tailed lizard;

(4) ‘anaqah, field-mouse;

(5) koach, monitor;

(6) leTa’ah, gecko;

(7) chomeT, skink;

(8) tinshemeth, chameleon.

Neither of these lists has the systematic arrangement of that of the Revised Version (British and American), but we must remember that the Biblical writers were not zoologists, as is seen in the inclusion of the bat among birds (Le 11:19; De 14:18), and of the hare and coney among ruminants (Le 11:5,6; De 14:7).

Alfred Ely Day


lo-am’-i (lo’-‘ammi, "not my people"): The 2nd son and 3rd child of Gomer bath-Diblaim, wife of the prophet Hosea (Ho 1:9). An earlier child, a daughter, had been named Lo-ruhamah (lo’-ruchamah, "uncompassionated"). The names, like those given by Isaiah to his children, are symbolic, and set forth Hosea’s conviction that Israel has, through sin, forfeited Yahweh’s compassion, and can no longer claim His protection. Of the bearers of these names nothing further is known; but their symbolism is alluded to in Ho 2:1,23. This latter passage is quoted by Paul (Ro 9:25 f).


John A. Lees


lo’-de-bar, lo-de’-bar (lo dhebhar): A place in Gilead where dwelt Machir, son of Ammiel, who sheltered Mephibosheth, son of Saul, after that monarch’s death (2Sa 9:4), until he was sent for by David. This same Machir met David with supplies when he fled to Gilead from Absalom (2Sa 17:27 f). Possibly it is the same place as Lidebir in Jos 13:26 (Revised Version margin). No certain identification is possible; but Schumacher (Northern ‘Ajlun, 101) found a site with the name Ibdar about 6 1/2 miles East of Umm Qeis, North of the great aqueduct, which may possibly represent the ancient city. Lidebir, at least, seems to be placed on the northern boundary of Gilead. The modern village stands on the southern shoulder of Wady Samar. There is a good spring to the East, a little lower down, while ancient remains are found in the neighborhood.

W. Ewing


lo-roo-ha’-ma, lo-roo-ha’-ma.







((1) tsitsith,

(2) pera’;

(3) machlaphah,

(4) qewutstsah):

See in general the article on HAIR.

(1) The first word, tsitsith, means really a tassel, such as is worn by the Jews on the four corners of the prayer-shawl or Tallith and on the ‘arba‘ kanephoth (De 22:12), translated in the New Testament by kraspedon (Mt 9:20; 14:36; 23:5; Mr 6:56; Lu 8:44). Once it is applied to a forelock of hair. The prophet Ezekiel, describing his sensations which accompanied his vision of Jerusalem, says: "He put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerus" (Eze 8:3).

(2) The word pera‘ signifies the uncut and disheveled locks of the Nazirite (Nu 6:5) or of the priests, the sons of Zadok (Eze 44:20).

(3) The Book of Judges employs the word machlaphah when speaking of the "seven locks" of Samson (Jud 16:13,19), which really represent the plaited (etymologically, "interwoven") strands of hair still worn in our days by youthful Bedouin warriors.

(4) Qewutstsah (So 5:2,11) means the luxuriant hair of the Hebrew youth, who was careful of his exterior. It is called bushy (the Revised Version margin "curling") and black as a raven. the King James Version translations also the word tsammah with "locks" (So 4:1; 6:7; Isa 47:2), but the Revised Version (British and American) has corrected this into "veil," leaving the word "locks" in So 4:1 margin.

H. L. E. Luering


lo’-kust: The translation of a large number of Hebrew and Greek words:

1. Names:

(1) ‘arbeh from the root rabhah, "to increase" (compare Arabic raba’," to increase").

(2) sal‘am, from obsolete [?] cal‘am, "to swallow down," "to consume."

(3) chargol (compare Arabic charjal, "to run to the right or left," charjalat, "a company of horses" or "a swarm of locusts," charjawan, a kind of locust).

(4) chaghabh (compare Arabic chajab, "to hide," "to cover").

(5) gazam (compare Arabic jazum, " to cut off")

(6) yeleq, from the root laqaq "to lick" (compare Arabic laqlaq, "to dart out the tongue" (used of a serpent)).

(7) chacil, from the root chacal, "to devour" (compare Arabic chaucal, "crop" (of a bird)).

(8) gobh, from the obsolete root gabhah (compare Arabic jabi, "locust," from the root jaba’," to come out of a hole").

(9) gebh, from same root.

(10) tselatsal from [?] tsalal (onomatopoetic), "to tinkle," "to ring" (compare Arabic call, "to give a ringing sound" (used of a horse’s bit); compare also Arabic Tann, used of the sound of a drum or piece of metal, also of the humming of flies).

(11) akris (genitive akridos; diminutive akridion, whence Acridium, a genus of locusts).

2. Identifications:

(1), (2), (3) and (4) constitute the list of clean insects in Le 11:21 f, characterized as "winged creeping things that go upon all fours, which have legs above their feet, wherewith to leap upon the earth." This manifestly refers to jumping insects of the order Orthoptera, such as locusts, grasshoppers and crickets, and is in contrast to the unclean "winged creeping things that go upon all fours," which may be taken to denote running Orthoptera, such as cockroaches, mole-crickets and ear-wigs, as well as insects of other orders.

‘Arbeh (1) is uniformly translated "locust" in the Revised Version (British and American). the King James Version has usually "locust," but "grasshopper" in Jud 6:5; 7:12; Job 39:20; Jer 46:23. Septuagint has usually akris, "locust"; but has brouchos, "wingless locust," in Le 11:22; 1Ki 8:37 (akris in the parallel passage, 2Ch 6:28); Na 3:15; and attelebos, "wingless locust," in Na 3:17. ‘Arbeh occurs (Ex 10:4-19) in the account of the plague of locusts; in the phrase "as locusts for multitude" (Jud 6:5; 7:12); "more than the locusts .... innumerable" (Jer 46:23);

"The locusts have no king,

Yet go they forth all of them by bands" (Pr 30:27).

‘Arbeh is referred to as a plague in De 28:38; 1Ki 8:37; 2Ch 6:28; Ps 78:46; in Joe and in Nahum. These references, together with the fact that it is the most used word, occurring 24 times, warrant us in assuming it to be one of the swarming species, i.e. Pachtylus migratorius or Schistocerca peregrina, which from time to time devastate large regions in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean.

Cal‘am (2), English Versions of the Bible "bald locust," occurs only in Le 11:22. According to Tristram, NBH, the name "bald locust" was given because it is said in the Talmud to have a smooth head. It has been thought to be one of the genus Tryxalis (T. unguiculata or T. nasuta), in which the head is greatly elongated.

Chargol (3), the King James Version "beetle," the Revised Version (British and American) "cricket," being one of the leaping insects, cannot be a beetle. It might be a cricket, but comparison with the Arabic (see supra) favors a locust of some sort. The word occurs only in Le 11:22.


Haghabh (4) is one of the clean leaping insects of Le 11:22 (English Versions of the Bible "grasshopper"). The word occurs in four other places, nowhere coupled with the name of another insect. In the report of the spies (Nu 13:33), we have the expression, "We were in our own sight as grasshoppers"; in Ec 12:5, "The grasshopper shall be a burden"; in Isa 40:22, "It is he that sitteth above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers." These three passages distinctly favor the rendering "grasshopper" of the English Versions of the Bible. In the remaining passage (2Ch 7:13), ".... if I command the locust (English Versions) to devour the land," the migratory locust seems to be referred to. Doubtless this as well as other words was loosely used. In English there is no sharp distinction between the words "grasshopper" and "locust."

The migratory locusts belong to the family Acridiidae, distinguished by short, thick antennae, and by having the organs of hearing at the base of the abdomen. The insects of the family Locustidae are commonly called "grasshoppers," but the same name is applied to those Acridiidae which are not found in swarms. The Locustidae have long, thin antennae, organs of hearing on the tibiae of the front legs, and the females have long ovipositors. It may be noted that the insect known in America as the seventeen-year locust, which occasionally does extensive damage to trees by laying its eggs in the twigs, is a totally different insect, being a Cicada of the order Rhynchota. Species of Cicada are found in Palestine, but are not considered harmful.

The Book of Joe is largely occupied with the description of a plague of locusts. Commentators differ as to whether it should be interpreted literally or allegorically (see JOEL). Four names ‘arbeh (1), gazam (5), yeleq (6) and chacil (7), are found in Joe 1:4 and again in 2:25.

For the etymology of these names, see 1 above. Gazam (Am 4:9; Joe 1:4; 2:25) is in the Revised Version (British and American) uniformly translated "palmer-worm" Septuagint kampe, "caterpillar"). Chacil in the Revised Version (British and American) (1Ki 8:37; 2Ch 6:28; Ps 78:46; Isa 23:4; Joe 1:4; 2:25) is uniformly translated "caterpillar." The Septuagint has indifferently brouchos, "wingless locust," and erusibe, "rust" (of wheat). Yeleq (Ps 105:34; Jer 51:14,27; Joe 1:4; 2:25; Na 3:15,16) is everywhere "canker-worm" in the Revised Version (British and American), except in Ps 105:34, where the American Standard Revised Version has "grasshopper." the King James Version has "caterpillar" in Psalms and Jeremiah and "canker-worm" in Joe and Nahum. Septuagint has indifferently akris and brouchos. "Palmerworm" and "canker-worm" are both Old English terms for caterpillars, which are strictly the larvae of lepidopterous insects, i.e. butterflies and moths.

While these four words occur in Joe 1:4 and 2:25, a consideration of the book as a whole does not show that the ravages of four different insect pests are referred to, but rather a single one, and that the locust. These words may therefore be regarded as different names of the locust, referring to different stages of development of the insect. It is true that the words do not occur in quite the same order in 14 and in 2:25, but while the former verse indicates a definite succession, the latter does not. If, therefore, all four words refer to the locust, "palmer-worm," "canker-worm," "caterpillar" and the Septuagint erusibe, "rust," are obviously inappropriate.

Gobh (8) is found in the difficult passage (Am 7:1), ".... He formed locusts (the King James Version "grasshoppers," the King James Version margin "green worms," Septuagint akris) in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth"; and (Na 3:17) in ".... thy marshals (are) as the swarms of grasshoppers (Hebrew gobh gobhay; the King James Version "great grasshoppers"), which encamp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are." The related gebh (9) occurs but once, in Isa 33:4, also a disputed passage, "And your spoil shall be gathered as the caterpillar (chacil) gathereth: as locusts (gebhim) leap shall men leap upon it." It is impossible to determine what species is meant, but some kind of locust or grasshopper fits any of these passages.

In De 28:42, "All thy trees and the fruit of thy ground shall the locust (English Versions of the Bible) possess," we have (10) tselatsal, Septuagint erusibe). The same word is translated in 2Sa 6:5 and Ps 150:5 bis "cymbals," in Job 41:7 "fish-spears," and in Isa 18:1 "rustling." As stated in 1, above, it is an onomatopoetic word, and in De 28:42 may well refer to the noise of the wings of a flight of locusts.

In the New Testament we have (11) akris, "locust," the food of John the Baptist (Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6); the same word is used figuratively in Re 9:3,1; and also in the Apocrypha (Judith 2:20; The Wisdom of Solomon 16:9; and see 2 Esdras 4:24).

3. Habits:

The swarms of locusts are composed of countless individuals. The statements sometimes made that they darken the sky must not be taken too literally. They do not produce darkness, but their effect may be like that of a thick cloud. Their movements are largely determined by the wind, and while fields that are in their path may be laid waste, others at one side may not be affected. It is possible by vigorous waving to keep a given tract clear of them, but usually enough men cannot be found to protect the fields from their ravages.

Large birds have been known to pass through a flight of locusts with open mouths, filling their crops with the insects. Tristram, NHB, relates how he saw the fishes in the Jordan enjoying a similar feast, as the locusts fell into the stream. The female locust, by means of the ovipositor at the end of her abdomen, digs a hole in the ground, and deposits in it a mass of eggs, which are cemented together with a glandular secretion. An effective way of dealing with the locusts is to gather and destroy these egg-masses, and it is customary for the local governments to offer a substantial reward for a measure of eggs. The young before they can fly are frequently swept into pits or ditches dug for the purpose and are burned.

The young are of the same general shape as the adult insects, differing in being small, black and wingless. The three distinct stages in the metamorphosis of butterflies and others of the higher insects are not to be distinguished in locusts. They molt about six times, emerging from each molt larger than before. At first there are no wings. After several molts, small and useless wings are found, but it is only after the last molt that the insects are able to fly. In the early molts the tiny black nymphs are found in patches on the ground, hopping out of the way when disturbed. Later they run, until they are able to fly.

In all stages they are destructive to vegetation. Some remarkable pictures of their ravages are found in Joe 1:6,7, "For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number; his teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the jaw-teeth of a lioness. He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my figtree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white" (see also 2:2-9,20).

4. Figurative:

Locusts are instruments of the wrath of God (Ex 10:4-19; De 28:38,42; 2Ch 7:13; Ps 78:46; 105:34; Na 3:15-17; The Wisdom of Solomon 16:9; Re 9:3); they typify an invading army (Jer 51:14,27); they are compared with horses (Joe 2:4; Re 9:7); in Job 39:20, Yahweh says of the horse: "Hast thou made him to leap as a locust?" the King James Version "Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper?" Locusts are among the "four things which are little upon the earth, but .... are exceeding wise" (Pr 30:27). Like the stars and sands of the sea, locusts are a type of that which cannot be numbered (Jud 6:5; 7:12; Jer 46:23; Judith 2:20). Grasshoppers are a symbol of insignificance (Nu 13:33; Ec 12:5; Isa 40:22; 2 Esdras 4:24).

5. Locusts as Food:

The Arabs prepare for food the thorax of the locust, which contains the great wing muscles. They pull off the head, which as it comes away brings with it a mass of the viscera, and they remove the abdomen (or "tail"), the legs and the wings. The thoraxes, if not at once eaten, are dried and put away as a store of food for a lean season. The idea of feeding upon locusts when prepared in this way should not be so repellent as the thought of eating the whole insect. In the light of this it is not incredible that the food of John the Baptist should have been "locusts and wild honey" (Mt 3:4).


Alfred Ely Day


(lodh; Ludda):

1. Scriptural Notices:

Ono and Lod and the towns thereof are said to have been built by Shemed, a Benjamite (1Ch 8:12). The children of Lod, Hadid and One, to the number of 725, returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:33; Ne 7:37 (721)). The town lay in the Shephelah, perhaps in ge ha-charashim, "the valley of craftsmen" (Ne 11:35). In the New Testament it appears as Lydda. Here the apostle Peter visited the saints and healed the palsied Arenas (Ac 9:32). Hence he was summoned by messengers from Joppa on the death of Dorcas.

2. History from Maccabean Times:

The three governments of Aphaerema, Lydda and Ramathaim were added to Judea from the country of Samaria by King Demetrius II (1 Macc 11:34). Lydda presided over one of the toparchies under Jerusalem, into which Judea was divided (BJ, III, iii, 5). After the death of Julius Caesar the inhabitants of Lydda and certain other towns, having failed to pay the contributions Cassius demanded, were by him sold into slavery. They were freed by Antony (Ant., XIV, xi, 2; xii, 2). Lydda suffered severely under Cestius Gallus (BJ, II, xix, 1). Along with Jamnia it surrendered to Vespasian (BJ, IV, viii, 1). After the fall of Jerusalem it was noted as a seat of rabbinical learning. The classical name of the city was Diospolis. In the 4th century it was connected with the trade in purple. It became the seat of a bishopric, and the bishop of Lydda was present at the Council of Nicea. At Lydda, in 415 AD, took place the trial of Pelagius for heresy.

Under the Moslems it became capital of the province of Filastin but later it was superseded by er-Ramleh, founded by Khalif Suleiman, whither its inhabitants were removed ( Ya’kubi, circa 891 AD). Mukaddasi (circa 985) says that in Lydda "there is a great mosque in which are wont to assemble large numbers of people from the capital (er-Ramleh) and from the villages around. In Lydda, too, is that wonderful church (of George) at the gate of which Christ will slay the antichrist" (quoted by Guy le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, 493). It was rebuilt by the Crusaders; but was destroyed by Saladin after the battle of ChaTTin, 1191 AD. It was again restored; but in 1271 it was sacked by the Mengels, and from this blow it has never recovered.

3. Identification and Description:

The ancient Lod or Lydda is represented by the modern village of Ludd, on the road to Jerusalem, about 11 miles Southeast of Yafa. It is a station on the Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway. It occupies a picturesque hollow in the plain of Sharon, and is surrounded by gardens and orchards, the beauty of which intensifies by contrast the squalor of the village. It was the reputed birthplace of George, and here he is said to have been buried. The one ruin of importance in the place is that of the church which perpetuates his name.

The town stood on the great caravan road between Babylon and Egypt, near its intersection with that from Joppa to Jerusalem and the East. Its position on these great arteries of commerce meant trade for the inhabitants. "The manufacture and repair of such requisites for the journey as sacks, saddles and strappings would create the skilled labor in cloth, leather, wood and metal that made the neighborhood once the valley of craftsmen" (Mackie, HDB, under the word). Like many other once prosperous cities on these and similar caravan routes, Lydda suffered from diversion of traffic to the sea; and it may be that for none of them is any great revival now possible.

W. Ewing


lod-e’-us (Loddeus; Swete reads Laadaios with Doldaiosas variant in Codex Alexandrinus; the King James Version Daddeus, Saddeus): The captain, who was in the place of the treasury. Ezra sent to him for men who "might execute the priests’ office" (1 Esdras 8:46); called "Iddo" in Ezr 8:17.


loj (lin; kataskenoo, etc.): To stay or dwell, temporarily, as for the night (Ge 32:13,21; Nu 22:8; Jos 2:1 the King James Version; Jos 4:3; Lu 13:19; Mt 21:17, aulizomai), or permanently (Ru 1:16). In Isa 1:8, "a lodge (melunah) in a garden of cucumbers," the meaning is "hut," "cottage." "Evil thoughts" are said to "lodge" in the wicked (Jer 4:14).


In 1Ki 17:23, changed in the Revised Version (British and American) to "chamber."


lof’-ti-li, lof’-ti-nes: The first form is only in Ps 73:8, where it means "haughtily," as if from on high. The second is found only in Jer 48:29, where the loftiness of Moab also means his haughtiness, his groundless self-conceit.

Lofty likewise means ‘"haughty," "lifted up" (compare Ps 131:1; Isa 2:11; Pr 30:13). In Isa 26:5 it refers to a self-secure and boastful city. In 57:15 it is used in a good sense of God who really is high and supreme. Isaiah uses the word more than all the other sacred writers put together.


log, logh, "deepened," "hollowed out" (Le 14:10-24)): The smallest liquid or dry measure of the Hebrews, equal to about 1 pint.


LOGIA, THE log’-i-a, (Logia):

1. The Word "Logia" and Its History:

The word logion, which is a diminutive of logos, was regularly used of Divine utterances. There are examples in the classics, the Septuagint, the writings of Josephus and Philo and in four passages in the New Testament (Ac 7:38; Ro 3:2; Heb 5:12; 1Pe 4:11) where it is uniformly rendered both in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "oracles." It is not, therefore, surprising that early Christian writers, who thought of Christ as Divine, applied this term to His sayings also. We find this use, according to the usual interpretation, in the title of the lost work of Papias as preserved by Eusebius, Logion kuriakon exegesis, "Exposition of the Lord’s Logia" (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 39), in that writer’s obscure reference to a Hebrew or Aramaic writing by the apostle Matthew (same place) , and in Polycarp’s Epistle (section symbol 7), "the logia of the Lord." The modern use of the word is twofold:

(a) as the name of the document referred to by Papins which may or may not be the Q of recent inquirers;

(b) as the name of recently discovered sayings ascribed to Jesus. For the former compare GOSPELS.

The latter is theme of this article.

2. The Discovery of the Logia:

About 9 1/2 miles from the railway station of Beni Mazar, 121 miles from Cairo, a place now called Behnesa marks the site of an ancient city named by the Greeks Oxyrhynchus, from the name of a sacred fish, the modern binni, which had long been known as a great Christian center in early times and was therefore selected by Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt for exploration in behalf of the Egyptian Exploration Fund. They began work on the ruins of the town, January 11, 1897, and on the following day discovered a papyrus leaf inscribed with a number of sayings introduced by the formula legei Iesous, "saith Jesus," some of which were at once seen to be quite new. When excavation was resumed in February, 1903, a second fragment was discovered, which must have belonged to the same or a similar collection, as the formula "saith Jesus" is employed in exactly the same way, and the sayings exhibit the same mixed character. The first of these two fragments was named by the discoverers logia, but the short preface to the second fragment suggests that the word used in the original title may have been logoi, which is found in Ac 20:35 as the title perhaps of a collection of sayings of Jesus used by the apostle Paul. It is convenient, however, to retain logia, at any rate for the present. Other remains of early Christian texts have been found on the same site (compare AGRAPHA) but none of precisely the same character.

3. Description of the Texts:

The first fragment, found and published in 1897, afterward referred to as A, is a leaf from a papyrus book measuring in its present state 5 3/4 X 3 3/4 inches and having 42 lines on the two pages. As it is broken at the bottom it is impossible, in the absence of another leaf, to ascertain or even conjecture how much has been lost. At the top right-hand corner of one page are the letters iota, alpha, used as numerals, that is 11, and it has been suggested that this, with other characteristics, marks the page as the first of the two. The uncial writing is assigned to the 3rd century, perhaps to the early part of it. The text is fairly complete except at the end of the third logion, for the five following lines, and at the bottom. The second fragment, henceforth referred to as B, found in 1903 and published in 1904, has also 42 lines, or rather parts of lines, but on only one page or column, the Christian text being written on the back of a roll the recto of which contained a survey list. The characters of this, too, are uncial, and the date, like that of A, seems to be also the 3rd century, but perhaps a little later. B is unfortunately very defective, the bit of papyrus being broken vertically throughout, so that several letters are lost at the end of each line, and also horizontally for parts of several lines at the bottom.

4. Logia with Canonical Parallels:

Seven of these sayings, or logia, inclusive of the preface of B, have or contain canonical parallels, namely:

(1) A1, which coincides with the usual text of Lu 6:42;

(2) A5a (according to the editio princeps, 6a), which comes very close to Lu 4:24;

(3) A6 (or 7), a variant of Mt 5:14;

(4) the saying contained in the preface of B which resembles Joh 8:52;

(5) B2, ll. 7 f, "The kingdom of heaven is within you," which reminds us of Lu 17:21;

(6) B3, ll. 4 f, "Many that are first shall be last; and the last first," which corresponds to Mr 10:31; compare Mt 19:30; Lu 13:30;

(7) B4, ll. 2-5, "That which is hidden from thee shall be revealed to thee: for there is nothing hidden that shall not be made manifest," which is like Mr 4:22 (compare Mt 10:26; Lu 12:2).

These parallels or partial parallels—for some of them exhibit interesting variations—are, with one exception, of synoptic character.

5. New Sayings:

The other seven or eight logia, although not without possible echoes of the canonical Gospels in thought and diction, are all non-canonical and with one exception new.

Three of them, namely B2 and 3 (apart from the canonical sayings given above) and 5, may be set aside as too uncertain to be of any value. What is preserved of the first ("Who are they that draw you (MS, us) to the kingdom?" etc.) is indeed very tempting, but the restoration of the lost matter is too precarious for any suggestion to be more than an ingenious conjecture. This is seen by comparing the restoration of this logion by the discoverers, Dr. Swete and Dr. C. Taylor, with that proposed by Delssmann (Licht vom Osten1, 329). While the English scholars take helko in the sense of "draw," the German takes it in the sense which it has in the New Testament, "drag," with the result of utter divergence as to the meaning and even the subject of the logion. The logia which remain are undeniably of great interest, although the significance of at least one is exceedingly obscure. The number of the sayings is not certain. Dr. Taylor has shown that in A2 f "and" may couple two distinct utterances brought together by the compiler. If this suggestion is adopted, and if the words after A3 in the editio princeps are regarded as belonging to it and not as the remains of a separate logion, we get the following eight sayings:

(1) "Except ye fast to the world (or "from the world"), ye shall in no wise find the kingdom of God" (A2a);

(2) "Except ye keep the sabbath (Taylor "sabbatize the sabbath"), ye shall not see the Father" (A2b);

(3) "I stood in the midst of the world, and in flesh was I seen of them, and I found all men drunken, and none found I athirst among them" (A3a);

(4) "My soul grieveth over the sons of men, because they are blind in their heart and see not their wretchedness and their poverty" (the last clause restored by conjecture) (A3b);

(5) "Wherever there are two they are not without God, and where there is one alone I say I am with him (after Blass). Raise the stone and (there) thou shalt find me: cleave the wood (Taylor, "the tree") and there am I" (A4);

(6) "A physician does not work cures on them that know him" (A5b);

(7) "Thou hearest with one ear but the other thou hast closed" (largely conjectural but almost certain) (A6);

(8) "(There is nothing) buried which shall not be raised" (or "known") (B4, 1,5).

6. Origin and Character of the Logia:

Attempts have been made to trace the collection represented by these fragments (assuming that they belong to the same work) to some lost gospel—the Gospel according to the Egyptians (Harnack, Van Manen), the Gospel of the Ebionites or the Gospel of the Twelve Apostles (Zahn), or the Gospel according to the Hebrews (Batiffol), but without decisive result. That there is a connection of some kind with the last-mentioned apocryphal work is evident from the fact that B1 ("Jesus saith, Let not him who seeks .... cease until he find Him; and having found Him, let him be amazed; and being amazed he shall reign, and reigning shall rest") is ascribed by Clement of Alexandria to this writing, but that cannot have been the only source. It was probably one of a number drawn on by the compiler. The latter, so far as B is concerned, represents the sayings as spoken by Jesus to ".... and Thomas." In whatever way the gap is supplied—whether by "Philip," or "Judas" or "the other disciples"—one of the Twelve known as Thomas is clearly referred to as the medium or one of the media of transmission. It is possible that the short preface in which this statement is made belongs not to the whole collection but to a part of it. The whole work may, as Swete suggests (Expository Times, XV, 494), have been entitled "Words of Jesus to the Twelve," and this may have been the portion addressed to Thomas. The other fragment, A, might belong to a section associated with the name of another apostle. In any case the Logia must have formed part of a collection of considerable extent, as we know of material for 24 pages or columns of about 21 or 22 lines each. So far as can be judged the writing was not a gospel in the ordinary sense of that term, but a collection of sayings perhaps bearing considerable resemblance as to the form to the Logia of Matthew mentioned by Papias.

The remains of B5, however, show that a saying might be prefaced with introductory matter. Perhaps a short narrative was sometimes appended. The relation to the canonical Gospels cannot be determined with present evidence. The sayings preserved generally exhibit the synoptic type, perhaps more specifically the Lukan type, but Johannine echoes, that is, possible traces of the thought and diction represented in the Fourth Gospel, are not absent (compare A, logia 2 f, and preface to B). It seems not improbable that the compiler had our four Gospels before him, but nothing can be proved. There is no distinct sign of heretical influence. The much-debated saying about the wood and the stone (A4b) undoubtedly lends itself to pantheistic teaching, but can be otherwise understood.

Under these circumstances the date of the compilation cannot at present be fixed except in a very general way. If our papyri which represent two copies were written, as the discoverers think, in the 3rd century, that fact and the indubitably archaic character of the sayings make it all but certain that the text as arranged is not later than the 2nd century. To what part of the century it is to be assigned is at present undiscoverable. Sanday inclines to about 120 AD, the finders suggest about 140 AD as the terminus ad quem, Zahn dates 160-70 AD, and Dr. Taylor 150-200 AD. Further research may solve these problems, but, with the resources now available, all that can be said is that we have in the Logia of Oxyrhynchus a few glimpses of an early collection of sayings ascribed to Jesus which circulated in Egypt in the 3rd century of great interest and possibly of considerable value, but of completely unknown origin.


Of the extensive literature which has gathered round the Logia—as many as fifty publications relating to A only in the first few months—only a few can be mentioned here. A was first published in 1897 as a pamphlet and afterward as Number 1 of Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Valuable articles by Cross and Harnack peared in The Expositor, series V, volume VI, 257 ff, 321 ff, 401 ff, an important lecture by Swete in The Expository Times, VIII, 544 ff, 568, and a very useful pamphlet by Sanday and Lock in the same year. B appeared in 1904 in pamphlet form and as Number 654 of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, with a fuller commentary. Dr. C. Taylor’s pamphlets on A and B issued respectively in 1899 and 1905, and Swete’s lecture on B, The Expositor T, XV, 488 ff, are of exceptional significance for the study of the subject. Compare also Griffinhoofe, The Unwritten Sayings of Christ (A only), 55-67; Klostermann, Kleine Texte, Numbers 8, pp. 11 f and 11, pp. 17 ff; Resch, Agrapha2, 68-73, 353 f; HDB, article "Agrapha," extra vol; also articles on "Unwritten Sayings" in HDB, 1909, and DCG.

William Taylor Smith


log’-os (logos):


1. Heraclitus

2. Anaxagoras

3. Plato

4. Aristotle

5. Stoics


1. Word as Revelation of God

2. Suggestions of Personal Distinctions in Deity

3. Theophanies

4. Wisdom

5. Targums




1. Pauline Doctrine

2. Doctrine in Hebrews

3. Doctrine in Fourth Gospel

(1) Content of Doctrine

(a) Relation of Logos to God

(b) Relation of Logos to World

(2) Origin of Terminology

(a) Hebrew Source

(b) Hellenic Source

(c) Contrast between Philo and John



The doctrine of the Logos has exerted a decisive and far-reaching influence upon speculative and Christian thought. The word has a long history, and the evolution of the idea it embodies is really the unfolding of man’s conception of God. To comprehend the relation of the Deity to the world has been the aim of all religious philosophy. While widely divergent views as to the Divine manifestation have been conceived, from the dawn of Western speculation, the Greek word logos has been employed with a certain degree of uniformity by a series of thinkers to express and define the nature and mode of God’s revelation.

Logos signifies in classical Greek both "reason" and "word." Though in Biblical Greek the term is mostly employed in the sense of "word," we cannot properly dissociate the two significations. Every word implies a thought. It is impossible to imagine a time when God was without thought. Hence, thought must be eternal as the Deity. The translation "thought" is probably the best equivalent for the Greek term, since it denotes, on the one hand, the faculty of reason, or the thought inwardly conceived in the mind; and, on the other hand, the thought outwardly expressed through the vehicle of language. The two ideas, thought and speech, are indubitably blended in the term logos; and in every employment of the word, in philosophy and Scripture, both notions of thought and its outward expression are intimately connected.

In this article it will be our aim to trace the evolution of the doctrine from its earliest appearance in Greek philosophy through its Hebrew and Alexandrian phases till it attained its richest expression in the writings of the New Testament, and especially in the Fourth Gospel.

The doctrine may be said to have two stages: a Hellenistic and a Hebrew; or, more correctly, a pre-Christian and a Christian. The theory of Philo and of the Alexandrian thinkers generally may be regarded as the connecting link between the Greek and the Christian forms of the doctrine. The Greek or pre-Christian speculation on the subject is marked by the names of Heraclitus, Plato and the Stoics. Philo paves the way for the Christian doctrine of Paul, Hebrews and the Johannine Gospel.

I. Greek Speculation.

The earliest speculations of the Greeks were occupied with the world of Nature, and the first attempts at philosophy take the shape of a search for some unitary principle to explain the diversity of the universe.

1. Heraclitus:

Heraclitus was practically the first who sought to account for the order which existed in a world of change by a law or ruling principle. This profoundest of Greek philosophers saw everything in a condition of flux. Everything is forever passing into something else and has an existence only in relation to this process. We cannot say things are: they come into being and pass away. To account for this state of perpetual becoming, Heraclitus was led to seek out a new and primary element from which all things take their rise. This substance he conceived to be, not water or air as previous thinkers had conjectured, but something more subtle, mysterious and potent—fire. This restless, all-consuming and yet all-transforming activity—now darting upward as a flame, now sinking to an ember and now vanishing as smoke—is for him at once the symbol and essence of life. But it is no arbitrary or lawless element. If there is flux everywhere, all change must take place according to "measure." Reality is an "attunement" of opposites, a tension or harmony of conflicting elements. Heraclitus saw all the mutations of being governed by a rational and unalterable law. This law he calls sometimes "Justice," sometimes "Harmony"; more frequently "Logos" or "Reason," and in two passages at least, "God." Fire, Logos, God are fundamentally the same. It is the eternal energy of the universe pervading all its substance and preserving in unity and harmony the perpetual drift and evolution of phenomenal existence. Though Heraclitus sometimes calls this rational principle God, it is not probable that he attached to it any definite idea of consciousness. The Logos is not above the world or even prior to it. It is in it, its inner pervasive energy sustaining, relating and harmonizing its endless variety.

2. Anaxagoras:

Little was done by the immediate successors of Heraclitus to develop the doctrine of the Logos, and as the distinction between mind and matter became more defined, the term nous superseded that of Logos as the rational force of the world. Anaxagoras was the first thinker who introduced the idea of a supreme intellectual principle which, while independent of the world, governed it. His conception of the nous or "mind" is, however, vague and confused, hardly distinguishable from corporeal matter. By the artificial introduction of a power acting externally upon the world, a dualism, which continued throughout Greek philosophy, was created. At the same time it is to the merit of Anaxagoras that he was the first to perceive some kind of distinction between mind and matter and to suggest a teleological explanation of the universe.

3. Plato:

In Plato the idea of a regulative principle reappears. But though the word is frequently used, it is nous and not Logos which determines his conception of the relation of God and the world. The special doctrine of the Logos does not find definite expression, except perhaps in the Timaeus, where the word is employed as descriptive of the Divine force from which the world has arisen. But if the word does not frequently occur in the dialogues, there is not wanting a basis upon which a Logos-doctrine might be framed; and the conception of archetypal ideas affords a philosophical expression of the relation of God and the world. The idea of a dominating principle of reason was lifted to a higher plane by the distinction which Plato made between the world of sense and the world of thought, to the latter of which God belonged. According to Plato, true reality or absolute being consisted of the "Ideas" which he conceived as thoughts residing in the Divine mind before the creation of the world. To these abstract concepts was ascribed the character of supersensible realities of which in some way the concrete visible things of the world were copies or images. Compared with the "Ideas," the world of things was a world of shadows. This was the aspect of the Platonic doctrine of ideas which, as we shall see, Philo afterward seized upon, because it best fitted in with his general conception of the transcendence of God and His relation to the visible world. Three features of Plato’s view ought to be remembered as having a special significance for our subject:

(1) While God is regarded by Plato as the intelligent power by which the world is formed, matter itself is conceived by him as in some sense eternal and partly intractable.

(2) While in the Philebus Plato employs the expression, "the regal principle of intelligence in the nature of God" nous basilikos en te tou Dios phusei), it is doubtful if reason was endowed with personality or was anything more than an attribute of the Divine mind.

(3) The ideas are merely models or archetypes after which creation is fashioned.

4. Aristotle:

The doctrine of the Logos cannot be said to occupy a distinctive place in the teaching of Aristotle, though the word does occur in a variety of senses (e.g. orthos logos, "right insight," the faculty by which the will is trained to proper action). Aristotle sought to solve the fundamental problem of Greek philosophy as to how behind the changing multiplicity of appearances an abiding Being is to be thought by means of the concept of development. Plato had regarded the "ideas" as the causes of phenomena—causes different from the objects themselves. Aristotle endeavored to overcome the duality of Plato by representing reality as the essence which contains within itself potentially the phenomena, and unfolds into the particular manifestations of the sensible world. This conception has exerted a powerful influence upon subsequent thought, and particularly upon the monotheistic view of the world. At the same time in working it out, the ultimate "prime-mover" of Aristotle was not materially different from the idea of "the Good" of Plato. And inasmuch as God was conceived as pure thought existing apart from the world in eternal blessedness, Aristotle did not succeed in resolving the duality of God and the universe which exercised the Greek mind.

5. Stoics:

It is to the Stoics we must look for the first systematic exposition of the doctrine of the Logos. It is the key to their interpretation of life, both in the realms of Nature and of duty. Interested more in ethical than physical problems, they were compelled to seek general metaphysical basis for a rational moral life. Some unitary idea must be found which will overcome the duality between God and the world and remove the opposition between the sensuous and supersensuous which Plato and Aristotle had failed to reconcile. For this end the Logos-doctrine of Heraclitus seemed to present itself as the most satisfactory solution of the problem. The fundamental thought of the Stoics consequently is that the entire universe forms a single living connected whole and that all particulars are the determinate forms assumed by the primitive power which they conceived as never-resting, all-pervading fire. This eternal activity or Divine world-power which contains within itself the conditions and processes of all things, they call Logos or God. More particularly as the productive power, the Deity is named the logos spermatikos, the Seminal Logos or generative principle of the world. This vital energy not only pervades the universe, but unfolds itself into innumerable logoi spermatikoi or formative forces which energize the manifold phenomena of Nature and life. This subordination of all particulars to the Logos not only constitutes the rational order of the universe but supplies a norm of duty for the regulation of the activities of life. Hence, in the moral sphere "to live according to Nature" is the all-determining law of conduct.

II. Hebrew Anticipation of Doctrine.

So far we have traced the development of the Logos-doctrine in Greek philosophy. We have now to note a parallel movement in Hebrew thought. Though strictly speaking it is incorrect to separate the inner Reason from the outer expression in the term Logos, still in the Hellenistic usage the doctrine was substantially a doctrine of Reason, while in Jewish literature it was more especially the outward expression or word that was emphasized.

1. Word as Revelation of God:

The sources of this conception are to be found in the Old Testament and in the post-canonical literature. The God who is made known in Scripture is regarded as one who actively reveals Himself. He is exhibited therefore as making His will known in and by His spoken utterances. The "Word of God" is presented as the creative principle (Ge 1:3; Ps 33:6); as instrument of judgment (Ho 6:5); as agent of healing (Ps 107:20); and generally as possessor of personal qualities (Isa 55:2; Ps 147:15). Revelation is frequently called the "Word of the Lord," signifying the spoken as distinct from the written word.

2. Suggestions of Personal Distinctions in Deity:

In particular, we may note certain adumbrations of distinction of persons within the Being of God. It is contended that the phrase "Let us make" in Genesis points to a plurality of persons in the God-head. This indefinite language of Genesis is more fully explained by the priestly ritual in Nu (6:23-26) and in the Psalter. In Jer, Ezr and the vision of Isa (6:2-8) the same idea of Divine plurality is implied, showing that the Old Testament presents a doctrine of God far removed from the sterile monotheism of the Koran (compare Liddon, Divinity of our Lord, and Konig).

3. Theophanies:

Passing from these indefinite intimations of personal distinction in the inner life of God, we may mention first that series of remarkable apparitions commonly known as the theophanies of the Old Testament. These representations are described as the "Angel of Yahweh" or of "the Covenant"; or as the "Angel of his presence." This angelic appearance is sometimes identified with Yahweh (Ge 16:11,13; 32:29-31; Ex 3:2; 13:21), sometimes distinguished from Him (Ge 22:15; 24:7); sometimes presented in both aspects (Ex 3:6; Zec 1:11). We find God revealing Himself in this way to Abraham, Sarah, Lot, Hagar, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Manoah. Who was this angel? The earliest Fathers reply with general unanimity that He was the "Word" or "Son of God." But while the earlier church teachers distinguished between the "Angel of the Lord" and the Father, the Arians sought to widen the distinction into a difference of natures, since an invisible Being must be higher than one cognizable by the senses. Augustine insists upon the Scriptural truth of the invisibility of God as God, the Son not less than the Father. He will not presume, however, to say which of the Divine persons manifested Himself in this or that instance; and his general doctrine, in which he has been followed by most of the later teachers of the church, is that theophanies were not direct appearances of a Person of the Godhead, but self-manifestations of God through a created being.

4. Wisdom:

A further development of the conception of a personal medium of revelation is discernible in the description of Wisdom as given in some of the later books of the Old Testament. The wisdom of Jewish Scripture is more than a human endowment or even an attribute of God, and may be said to attain almost to a personal reflex of the Deity, reminding us of the archetypal ideas of Plato. In Job, wisdom is represented as existent in God and as communicated in its highest form to man. It is the eternal thought in which the Divine Architect ever beholds His future creation (Job 28:23-27). If in Job wisdom is revealed only as underlying the laws of the universe and not as wholly personal, in the Book of Proverbs it is coeternal with Yahweh and assists Him in creation (Pr 8:22-31). It may be doubtful whether this is the language of a real person or only of a poetic personification. But something more than a personified idea may be inferred from the contents of the sapiential books outside the Canon. Sirach represents Wisdom as existing from all eternity with God. In Baruch, and still more in Wisdom, the Sophia is distinctly personal—"the very image of the goodness of God." In this pseudo-Solomonic book, supposed to be the work of an Alexandrian writer before Philo, the influence of Greek thought is traceable. The writer speaks of God’s Word (me’mera’) as His agent in creation and judgment.

5. Targums:

Finally in the Targums, which were popular interpretations or paraphrases of the Old Testament Scripture, there was a tendency to avoid anthropomorphic terms or such expressions as involved a too internal conception of God’s nature and manifestation. Here the three doctrines of the Word, the Angel, and Wisdom are introduced as mediating factors between God and the world. In particular the chasm between the Divine and human is bridged over by the use of such terms as me’mera’ ("word") and shekhinah ("glory"). The me’mera proceeds from God, and is His messenger in Nature and history. But it is significant that though the use of this expression implied the felt need of a Mediator, the Word does not seem to have been actually identified with the Messiah.

III. Alexandrian Synthesis.

We have seen that according to Greek thought the Logos was conceived as a rational principle or impersonal energy by means of which the world was fashioned and ordered, while according to Hebrew thought the Logos was regarded rather as a mediating agent or personal organ of the Divine Being. The Hellenistic doctrine, in other words, was chiefly a doctrine of the Logos as Reason; the Jewish, a doctrine of the Logos as Word.


In the philosophy of Alexandria, of which Philo was an illustrious exponent, the two phases were combined, and Hellenistic speculation was united with Hebrew tradition for the purpose of showing that the Old Testament taught the true philosophy and embodied all that was highest in Greek reflection. In Philo the two streams meet and flow henceforth in a common bed. The all-pervading Energy of Heraclitus, the archetypal Ideas of Plato, the purposive Reason of Aristotle, the immanent Order of the Stoics are taken up and fused with the Jewish conception of Yahweh who, while transcending all finite existences, is revealed through His intermediatory Word. As the result of this Philonic synthesis, an entirely new idea of God is formulated. While Philo admits the eternity of matter, he rejects the Greek view that the world is eternal, since it denies the creative activity and providence of God. At the same time he separates Divine energy from its manifestations in the world, and is therefore compelled to connect the one with the other by the interposition of subordinate Powers. These Divine forces are the embodiment of the ideai, of Plato and the aggeloi, of the Old Testament. The double meaning of Logos—thought and speech—is made use of by Philo to explain the relation subsisting between the ideal world existing only in the mind of God and the sensible universe which is its visible embodiment. He distinguishes, therefore, between the Logos inherent in God (logos endiathetos), corresponding to reason in man, and the Logos which emanates from God (logos prophorikos), corresponding to the spoken Word as the revelation of thought. Though in His inner essence God is incomprehensible by any but Himself, He has created the intelligible cosmos by His self-activity. The Word is therefore in Philo the rational order manifested in the visible world.

Some special features of the Philonic Logos may be noted:

(1) It is distinguished from God as the instrument from the Cause.

(2) As instrument by which God makes the world, it is in its nature intermediate between God and man.

(3) As the expressed thought of God and the rational principle of the visible world, the Logos is "the Eldest or Firstborn Son of God." It is the "bond" (desmos) holding together all things (De Mundi, i.592), the law which determines the order of the universe and guides the destinies of men and nations (same place) . Sometimes Philo calls it the "Man of God": or the "Heavenly man," the immortal father of all noble men; sometimes he calls it "the Second God," "the Image of God."

(4) From this it follows that the Logos must be the Mediator between God and man, the "Intercessor" (hiketes) or "High Priest," who is the ambassador from heaven and interprets God to man. Philo almost exhausts the vocabulary of Hebrew metaphor in describing the Logos. It is "manna," "bread from heaven," "the living stream," the "sword" of Paradise, the guiding "cloud," the "rock" in the wilderness.

These various expressions, closely resembling the New Testament descriptions of Christ, lead us to ask: Is Philo’s Logos a personal being or a pure abstraction? Philo himself seems to waver in his answer, and the Greek and the Jew in him are hopelessly at issue. That he personifies the Logos is implied in the figures he uses; but to maintain its personality would have been inconsistent with Philo’s whole view of God and the world. His Jewish faith inclines him to speak of the Logos as personal, while his Greek culture disposes him to an impersonal interpretation. Confronted with this alternative, the Alexandrian wavers in indecision. After all has been said, his Logos really resolves itself into a group of Divine ideas, and is conceived, not as a distinct person, but as the thought of God which is expressed in the rational order of the visible universe.

In the speculations of Philo, whose thought is so frequently couched in Biblical language, we have the gropings of a sincere mind after a truth which was disclosed in its fullness only by the revelation of Pentecost. In Philo, Greek philosophy, as has been said, "stood almost at the door of the Christian church." But if the Alexandrian thinker could not create the Christian doctrine, he unconsciously prepared the soil for its acceptance. In this sense his Logos-doctrine has a real value in the evolution of Christian thought. Philo was not, indeed, the master of the apostles, but even if he did nothing more than call forth their antagonism, he helped indirectly to determine the doctrine of Christendom.

IV. Christian Realization.

We pass now to consider the import of the term in the New Testament. Here it signifies usually "utterance," "speech" or "narrative." In reference to God it is used sometimes for a special utterance, or for revelation in general, and even for the medium of revelation—Holy Scripture. In the prologue of the Fourth Gospel it is identified with the personal Christ; and it is this employment of the term in the light of its past history which creates the interest of the problem of the New Testament doctrine.

1. Pauline Doctrine:

The author of the Fourth Gospel is not, however, the first New Testament writer who represents Jesus as the Logos. Though Paul does not actually use the word in this connection, he has anticipated the Johannine conception. Christ is represented by Paul as before His advent living a life with God in heaven (Ga 4:4; Ro 10:6). He is conceived as one in whose image earthly beings, and especially men, were made (1Co 11:7; 15:45-49); and even as participating in the creation (1Co 8:6). In virtue of His distinct being He is called God’s "own Son" (Ro 8:32).

Whether Paul was actually conversant with the writings of Philo is disputed (compare Pfleider, Urchristentum), but already when he wrote to the Colossians and Ephesians the influence of Alexandrian speculation was being felt in the church. Incipient Gnosticism, which was an attempt to correlate Christianity with the order of the universe as a whole, was current. Most noticeable are the pointed allusions to Gnostic watchwords in Eph 3:19 ("fullness of God") and in Col 2:3 ("Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden"), where Paul shows that everything sought for in the doctrine of the Pleroma is really given in Christ. The chief object of these epistles is to assert the unique dignity and absolute power of the Person of Christ. He is not merely one of the Eons which make up the Pleroma, as Gnostic teachers affirm, but a real and personal Being in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells. He is not merely an inferior workman creating glory for a higher Master. He creates for Himself. He is the end as well as the source of all created. things (Col 1:15-20). Though throughout this epistle the word "Logos" is never introduced, it is plain that the eikon, of Paul is equivalent in rank and function to the Logos of John. Each exists prior to creation, each is equal to God, shares His life and cooperates in His work.

2. Doctrine in Hebrews:

In the Epistle to the Hebrews we have an equally explicit, if not fuller, declaration of the eternal Deity of Christ. Whatever may be said of Paul there can be little doubt that the author of He was familiar with the Philonic writings. Who this writer was we do not know; but his Philonism suggests that he may have been an Alexandrian Jew, possibly even a disciple of Philo. In language seemingly adapted from that source ("Son of God," "Firstborn," "above angels," "Image of God," "Agent in Creation," "Mediator," "Great High Priest" "Melchizedek") the author of He sneaks of Christ as a reflection of the majesty and imprint of the nature of God, just as in a seal the impression resembles the stamp. The dignity of His title indicates His essential rank. He is expressly dressed as God; and the expression "the effulgence of his glory" (the Revised Version (British and American) apaugasma) implies that He is one with God (Heb 1:3). By Him the worlds have been made, and all things are upheld by the fiat of His word (Heb 1:3). In the name He bears, in the honors ascribed to Him, in His superiority to angels, in His relationship as Creator both to heaven and earth (Heb 1:10), we recognize (in language which in the letter of it strongly reminds us of Philo, yet in its spirit is so different) the description of one who though clothed with human nature is no mere subordinate being, but the possessor of all Divine prerogatives and the sharer of the very nature of God Himself.

3. Doctrine in the Fourth Gospel:

In the Fourth Gospel the teaching of Paul and the author of He finds its completest expression. "The letter to the He stands in a sense half-way between Pauline and Johannine teaching" (Weizsacker, Apostolic Age, V, 11). It is, however, too much to say that these three writers represent the successive stages of single line of development. While all agree in emphasizing the fact of Christ’s Divine personality and eternal being, Paul represents rather the religious interest, the Epistle to the Hebrews the philosophical. In the Johannine Christology the two elements are united.

In discussing the Johannine doctrine of the Logos we shall Speak first of its content and secondly of its terminology.

(1) Content of Doctrine.

The evangelist uses "Logos" 6 times as a designation of the Divine preexistent person of Christ (Joh 1:1,14; 1 Joh 1:1; Re 19:13), but he never puts it into the mouth of Christ. The idea which John sought to convey by this term was not essentially different from the conception of Christ as presented by Paul. But the use of the word gave a precision and emphasis to the being of Christ which the writer must have felt was especially needed by the class of readers for whom his Gospel was intended. The Logos with whom the Fourth Gospel starts is a Person. Readers of the Synoptics had long been familiar with the term "Word of God" as equivalent to the Gospel; but the essential purport of John’s Word is Jesus Himself, His Person. We have here an essential change of meaning. The two applications are indeed connected; but the conception of the perfect revelation of God in the Gospel passes into that of the perfect revelation of the Divine nature in general (compare Weizsacker, Apostolic Age, V, ii, 320).

In the prologue (which, however, must not be regarded as independent of, or having no integral connection with, the rest of the book) there is stated: (a) the relation of the Logos to God; and (b) the relation of the Logos to the world.

(a) Relation of Logos to God:

Here the author makes three distinct affirmations:

(i) "In the beginning was the Word."

The evangelist carries back his history of our Lord to a point prior to all temporal things. Nothing is said of the origin of the world. As in Ge 1:1, so here there is only implied that the Logos was existent when the world began to be. When as yet nothing was, the Logos was. Though the eternal preexistence of the Word is not actually stated, it is implied.

(ii) "The Word was with God."

Here His personal existence is more specifically defined. He stands distinct from, yet in eternal fellowship with, God. The preposition pros (bei, Luther) expresses beyond the fact of coexistence that of perpetual intercommunion. John would guard against the idea of mere self-contemplation on the one hand, and entire independence on the other. It is union, not fusion.

(iii) "The Word was God."

He is not merely related eternally, but actually identical in essence with God. The notion of inferiority is emphatically excluded and the true Deity of the Word affirmed. In these three propositions we ascend from His eternal existence to His distinct personality and thence to His substantial Godhead. All that God is the Logos is. Identity, difference, communion are the three phases of the Divine relationship.

(b) Relation of Logos to the World:

The Logos is word as well as thought, and therefore there is suggested the further idea of communicativeness. Of this self-communication the evangelist mentions two phases—creation and revelation. The Word unveils Himself through the mediation of objects of sense and also manifests Himself directly. Hence, in this section of the prologue (Joh 1:3-5) a threefold division also occurs.

(i) He is the Creator of the visible universe. "All things were made through him"—a phrase which describes the Logos as the organ of the entire creative activity of God and excludes the idea favored by Plato and Philo that God was only the architect who molded into cosmos previously existing matter. The term egeneto ("becomes," werden), implies the successive evolution of the world, a statement not inconsistent with the modern theory of development.

(ii) The Logos is also the source of the intellectual, moral and spiritual life of man. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." He is the light as well as the life—the fountain of all the manifold forms of being and thought in and by whom all created things subsist, and from whom all derive illumination (compare 1 Joh 1:1-3; also Col 1:17). But inasmuch as the higher phases of intelligent life involve freedom, the Divine Light, though perfect and undiminished in itself, was not comprehended by a world which chose darkness rather than light (Joh 1:5,11).

(iii) The climax of Divine revelation is expressed in the statement, The Word became flesh," which implies on the one hand the reality of Christ’s humanity, and, on the other, the voluntariness of His incarnation, but excludes the notion that in becoming man the Logos ceased to be God. Though clothed in flesh, the Logos continues to be the self-manifesting God, and retains, even in human form, the character of the Eternal One. In this third phase is embodied the highest manifestation of the Godhead. In physical creation the power of God is revealed. In the bestowal of light to mankind His wisdom is chiefly manifested. But in the third especially is His love unveiled. All the perfections of the Deity are focused and made visible in Christ—the "glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (Joh 1:14).

Thus the Word reveals the Divine essence. The incarnation makes the life, the light and the love which are eternally present in God manifest to men. As they meet in God, so they meet in Christ. This is the glory which the disciples beheld; the truth to which the Baptist bore witness (Joh 1:7); the fullness whereof His apostles received (Joh 1:16); the entire body of grace and truth by which the Word gives to men the power to become the sons of God.

There is implied throughout that the Word is the Son. Each of these expressions taken separately have led and may lead to error. But combined they correct possible misuse. On the one hand, their union protects us from considering the Logos as a mere abstract impersonal quality; and, on the other, saves us from imparting to the Son a lower state or more recent origin than the Father. Each term supplements and protects the other. Taken together they present Christ before His incarnation as at once personally distinct from, yet equal with, the Father—as the eternal life which was with God and was manifested to us.

(2) Origin of Terminology.

We have now to ask whence the author of the Fourth Gospel derived the phraseology employed to set forth his Christology. It will be well, however, to distinguish between the source of the doctrine itself and the source of the language. For it is possible that Alexandrian philosophy might have suggested the linguistic medium, while the doctrine itself had another origin. Writers like Reuss, Keim, Holtzmann, Weizsacker, Schmiedel, etc., who contend for the Alexandrian derivation of the prologue, are apt to overlook two considerations regarding the Johannine doctrine:

(1) There is no essential difference between the teaching of John and that of the other apostolic writers; and even when the word "Logos" is not used, as in Paul’s case, the view of Christ’s person is virtually that which we find in the Fourth Gospel.

(2) The writer himself affirms that his knowledge of Christ was not borrowed from others, but was derived from personal fellowship with Jesus Himself. "We beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten." This is John’s summary and witness upon which he proceeds to base the vivid memories of Jesus which follow. The Johannine doctrine is not to be regarded merely as a philosophical account of the nature of God and His creation of the world, but rather as the statement of a belief which already existed in the Christian church and which received fresh testimony and assurance from the evangelist’s own personal experience.

But the question may still be asked: Even if it was no novel doctrine which John declared, what led him to adopt the language of the Logos, a word which had not been employed in this connection by previous Christian writers, but which was prevalent in the philosophical vocabulary of the age? It would be inconceivable that the apostle lighted upon this word by chance or that he selected it without any previous knowledge of its history and value. It may be assumed that when he speaks of the "Word" in relation to God and the world, he employs a mode of speech which was already familiar to those for whom he wrote and of whose general import he himself was well aware.

The truth that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ was borne in upon John. The problem which confronted him was how he could make that truth real to his contemporaries. This he sought to do by using the language of the highest religious thought of his day.

We have seen that the term "Logos" had undergone a twofold and to some extent parallel evolution. On the one hand, it had a Hebrew and, on the other, a Hellenic history. In which direction are we to look for the immediate source of the Johannine terminology?

(a) Hebrew Source:

As a Palestinian Jew familiar with current Jewish ideas and forms of devout expression, it would be natural for him to adopt a word, or its Greek equivalent, which played so important a part in shaping and expressing the religious beliefs of the Old Testament people. Many scholars consider that we have here the probable source of Johannine language. In the Old Testament, and particularly, in the Targums or Jewish paraphrases, the "Word" is constantly spoken of as the efficient instrument of Divine action; and the "Word of God" had come to be used in a personal way as almost identical with God Himself. In Re 19:13, we have obviously an adoption of this Hebrew use of the phrase. Throughout the Gospel there is evinced a decided familiarity and sympathy with the Old Testament teaching, and some expressions would seem to indicate the evangelist’s desire to show that Jesus is the fulfillment of Jewish expectation (e.g. Joh 1:14,29,31; 2:19; 3:14; 6:32,48-50), and the living embodiment of Israelite truth (Joh 1:16; 8:12; 11:25; 14:6). But as against this it has been pointed out by Weizsacker (Apostolisches Zeitalter) that the Word of God is not conceived in the Old Testament as an independent Being, still less as equivalent for the Messiah, and that the rabbinical doctrine which identifies the memra with God is of much later date.

At the same time the Hebrew cast of thought of the Johannine Gospel and its affinities with Jewish rather than Hellenic modes of expression can hardly be gainsaid. Though John’s knowledge of and sympathy with Palestinian religion may not actually account for his use of the term "Logos," it may have largely colored and directed his special application of it. For, as Neander observes, that name may have been put forward at Ephesus in order to lead those Jews, who were busying themselves with speculations on the Logos as the center of all theophanies, to recognize in Christ the Supreme Revelation of God and the fulfillment of their Messianic hopes.

(b) Hellenic Source:

Other writers trace the Johannine ideas and terms to Hellenic philosophy and particularly to Alexandrian influence as represented in Philo. No one can compare the Fourth Gospel with the writings of Philo without noting a remarkable similarity in diction, especially in the use of the word "Logos". It would be hazardous, however, on this ground alone to impute conscious borrowing to the evangelist. It is more probable that both the Alexandrian thinker and the New Testament writer were subject to common influences of thought and expression. Hellenism largely colors the views and diction of the early church. Paul takes over many words from Greek philosophy. "There is not a single New Testament writing," says Harnack (Dogmen-Geschichte, I, 47, note), "which does not betray the influence of the mode of thought and general culture which resulted from the Hellenizing of the East." But, while that is true, it must not be forgotten, as Harnack himself points out, "that while the writers of the New Testament breathe an atmosphere created by Greek culture, the religious ideas in which they live and move come to them from the Old Testament."

It is hardly probable that John was directly acquainted with the writings of Philo. But it is more than likely that he was cognizant of the general tenor of his teaching and may have discovered in the language which had floated over from Alexandria to Ephesus a suitable vehicle for the utterance of his own beliefs, especially welcome and intelligible to those who were familiar with Alexandrian modes of thought.

But whatever superficial resemblances there may be between Philo and John (and they are not few or vague), it must be at once evident that the whole spirit and view of life is fundamentally different. So far from the apostle being a disciple of the Alexandrian or a borrower of his ideas, it would be more correct to say that there is clearly a conscious rejection of the Philonic conception, and that the Logos of John is a deliberate protest against what he must have regarded as the inadequate and misleading philosophy of Greece.

(c) Contrast between Philo and John:

The contrast between the two writers is much more striking than the resemblance. The distinction is not due merely to the acceptance by the Christian writer of Jesus as the Word, but extends to the whole conception of God and His relation to the world which has made Christianity a new power among men. The Logos of Philo is metaphysical, that of John, religious. Philo moves entirely in the region of abstract thought, his idea of God is pure being; John’s thought is concrete and active, moving in a region of life and history. Philo’s Logos is intermediate, the instrument which God employs in fashioning the world; John’s Logos is not subsidiary but is Himself God, and as such is not a mere instrument, but the prime Agent in creation. According to Philo the Deity is conceived as an architect who forms the world out of already existent matter. According to John the Logos is absolute Creator of all that is, the Source of all being, life and intelligence. In Philo the Logos hovers between personality and impersonality, and if it is sometimes personified it can hardly be said to have the value of an actual person; in John the personality of the Logos is affirmed from the first and it is of the very essence of his doctrine, the ground of His entire creative energy. The idea of an incarnation is alien to the thought of Philo and impossible in his scheme of the universe; the "Word that has become flesh" is the pivot and crown of Johannine teaching. Philo affirms the absolute incomprehensibility of God; but it is the prime object of the evangelist to declare that God is revealed in Christ and that the Logos is the unveiling through the flesh of man of the self-manifesting Deity. Notwithstanding the personal epithets employed by Philo, his Logos remains a pure abstraction or attribute of God, and it is never brought into relation with human history. John’s Logos, on the other hand, is instinct with life and energy from the beginning, and it is the very heart of his Gospel to declare as the very center of life and history the great historical event of the incarnation which is to recreate the world and reunite God and man.

From whatever point of view we compare them, we find that Philo and John, while using the same language, give an entirely different value to it. The essential purport of the Johannine Logos is Jesus Christ. The adoption of the term involves its complete transformation. It is baptized with a new spirit and henceforth stands for a new conception. From whatsoever source it was originally derived—from Hebrew tradition or Hellenic speculation—on Christian soil it is a new product. It is neither Greek nor Jewish, it is Christian. The philosophical abstraction has become a religious conception. Hellenism and Hebrewism have been taken up and fused into a higher unity, and Christ as the embodiment of the Logos has become the creative power and the world-wide possession of mankind.

The most probable view is that Philo and John found the same term current in Jewish and Gentilecircles and used it to set forth their respective ideas; Philo, following his predilections for Greek philosophy, to give a Hellenic complexion to his theory of the relation of Divine Reason to the universe; John, true to , his Hebrew instincts, seeing in the Logos the climax of that revelation of God to man of which the earlier Jewish theophanies were but partial expressions.

There is nothing improbable in the surmise that the teaching of Philo gave a fresh impulse to the study of the Logos as Divine Reason which was already shadowed forth in the Biblical doctrine of Wisdom (Westcott). Nor need we take offense that such an important idea should have come to the Biblical author from an extra-Biblical writer (compare Schmiedel, Johannine Writings), remembering only that the author of the Johannine Gospel was no mechanical borrower, but an entirely independent and original thinker who gave to the Logos and the ideas associated with it a wholly-new worth and interpretation. Thus, as has been said, the treasures of Greece were made contributory to the full unfolding of the Gospel.

V. Patristic Development.

The Johannine Logos became the fruitful source of much speculation in Gnostic circles and among the early Fathers regarding the nature of Christ. The positive truth presented by the Fourth Gospel was once more broken up, and the various elements of which it was the synthesis became the seeds of a number of partial and one-sided theories respecting the relation of the Father and the Son. The influence of Greek ideas, which had already begun in the Apostolic Age, became more pronounced and largely shaped the current of ante-Nicene theology (see Hatch, Hibbert Lectures).

Gnosticism in particular was an attempt to reconcile Christianity with philosophy; but in Gnostic systems the term "Logos" is only sparingly employed. According to Basilides the "Logos" was an emanation from the nous as personified Wisdom, which again was directly derived from the Father. Valentinus, in whose teaching Gnosticism culminated, taught that Wisdom was the last of a series of Eons which emanated from the Primal Being, and the Logos was an emanation of the first two principles which issued from God—Reason, Faith. Justin Martyr, the first of the sub-apostolic Fathers, sought to unite the Scriptural idea of the Logos as Word with the Hellenic idea of Reason. According to him God produced in His own nature a rational power which was His agent in creation and took the form in history of the Divine Man. Christ is the organ of all revelations, and as the logos spermatikos, He sows the seeds of virtue and truth among the heathen. All that is true and beautiful in the pagan world is to be traced to the activity of the Logos before His incarnation. Tatian and Theophilus taught essentially the same doctrine; though in Tatian there is a marked leaning toward Gnosticism, and consequently a tendency to separate the ideal from the historical Christ. Athenagoras, who ascribes to the Logos the creation of all things, regarding it in the double sense of the Reason of God and the creative energy of the world, has a firm grasp of the Biblical doctrine, which was still more clearly expressed by Irenaeus, who held that the Son was the essential Word, eternally begotten of the Father and at once the interpreter of God and the Creator of the world.

The Alexandrian school was shaped by the threefold influence of Plato, Philo and the Johannine Gospel. Clement of Alexandria views the Son as the Logos of the Father, the Fountain of all intelligence, the Revealer of the Divine Being and the Creator and Illuminator of mankind. He repudiates the idea of the inferiority of the Son, and regards the Logos not as the spoken but as the creative word. Origen seeks to reconcile the two ideas of the eternity and the subordination of the Logos, and is in this sense a mediator between the Arian and more orthodox parties and was appealed to by both. According to him the Son is equal in substance with the Father, but there is a difference in essence. While the Father is "the God" (ho theos) and "God Himself" (autotheos), the Logos is "a second God" (deuteros theos). In the Nicene Age, under the shaping influence of the powerful mind of Athanasius, and, to a lesser degree, of Basil and the two Gregories, the Logos-doctrine attained its final form in the triumphant statement of the Nicene Creed which declared the essential unity, but, at the same time, the personal distinction of the Father and Son. The Council of Nicea practically gathered up the divergent views of the past and established the teaching of the Fourth Gospel as the doctrine of the church.


(1) On Greek Logos:

Schleiermacher, Herakleitos der Dunkle; Histories of Philosophy, Zeller, Ueberweg, Hitter; Heinze, Die Lehre yore Logos in der Greek Phil. (1872); Aall, Gesch. d. Logosidee in d. Greek Phil. (1896).

(2) On Jewish Doctrine:

Oehler, O T Theol. (1873); Schurer, Lehrbuch d. New Testament Zeitgesch; Schultz, Old Testament Theol.

(3) On Alexandrian Doctrine:

Gfrorer, Philo u. die alex. Theosophie (1831); Dahne, Gesch. Darstell. der jud-alex. Religions-Philosophic (1843); Keferstein, Philos Lehre yon den gottlichen Mittelwesen (1846); Dorner, Entwicklungsgesch. der Lehre v. d. Person Christi; Siegfried, Philo v. Alex. (1875); Drummond, Philo Judaeus (1888); Reville, La doctrine du Logos; Huber, Die Philosophic der Kirchenvater; Grossmann, Questiones Philoneae (1841); Watson, Philos. Basis of Religion (1907).

(4) On Johannine Gospel:

Relative comma. of Meyer, Godet, Westcote, Luthardt, E. Scott (1907); Liddon, Divinity of our Lord ("Bampton Lectures," 1866); Watkins, Modern Criticism on the Fourth Gospel ("Bampton Lectures," 1890); Gloag, Introduction to Johannine Writing, (1891); Stevens, Johannine Theol. (1894); Drummond, Gospel of John; Bertling, Der Johan. Logos (1907); Schmiedel, The Johannine Writings (1908); Weizsacker, Apostolic Age, V, ii; Beyschlag and Weiss, Biblical Theol. of New Testament; Drummond, Via, Veritas, Vita (1894); Hatch, Greek Ideas and Usages, Their Influence upon the Christian Church (Hibbert Lectures, 1888).

(5) Patristic Period:

Harnack, Dogmen-Gesch.; Baur, Kirchen-Gesch.; Dorner, System d. chr. Glaubenslehre; Loofs, Leitfaden fur seine Vorlesungen uber Dogmengeschichte; Atzbergen, Die Logoslehre d. heiligen Athanasius (1880).

B.D. Alexander


loinz (chalats, Aramaic charats, mothen, kecel, yarekh; osphus): This variety of Hebrew synonyms seems to be used rather promiscuously for the loins, though there is no little difference in the secondary meanings of these words. They represent various modes of expressing the loins as the seat of strength and vigor (Job 40:16, Hebrew mothen, here used of Behemoth), the center of procreative power, the portion of the body which is girded about, and is considered as specially needful of covering, even under primitive conditions of life (Job 31:20), and where painful disease most effectually unfits a man for work and warfare.

Jacob receives the Divine promise that "kings shall come out of (his) loins" (chalats, Ge 35:11), and we read of 66 souls "that came out of his loins" (yarekh) which went into Egypt (Ge 46:26). The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of the Levites as having come out of the loins of Abraham (Heb 7:5).

As the seat of strength (compare LEG; THIGH), the loins are girded with belts of leather (2Ki 1:8; Mt 3:4), or cloth, often beautifully embroidered (Ex 28:39), or of costly material (Ex 39:29; Jer 13:1 f). Girded loins are a sign of readiness for service or endeavor (Ex 12:11; 1Ki 18:46; 2Ki 4:29; Job 38:3; Pr 31:17; Lu 12:35; 1Pe 1:13). Of God it is said that "he looseth the bond of kings, and bindeth their loins with a girdle," i.e. strengthens them (Job 12:18). On the loins the sword is worn (2Sa 20:8). It is a sign of mourning to gird the loins with sackcloth (1Ki 20:32; Isa 32:11; Jer 48:37; Am 8:10; see also the First Papyrus of Elephantine, l. 20). A man whose strength is in his attachment to truth, in other words is faithful, is spoken of as having his loins girt about with truth (Eph 6:14). Thus, the Messiah is described: "Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins" (Isa 11:5). One of the most primitive modes of clothing consisted of a fleece tied around the loins (Job 31:20).

The condition of unfitness for service is described in that the loins (kecel) are filled with a burning (Ps 38:7, the King James Version "loathsome disease"), or that "a sore burden" is laid upon the "loins" (mothen, Ps 66:11). Thus the loins are made "continually to shake" (Ps 69:23), "the joints of (the) loins" (charats) are loosed (Da 5:6), the "loins are filled with anguish" (Isa 21:3). It is very likely that originally a disabling lumbago or the painful affections of the gall or the bladder (calculus, etc.) are meant, but very soon the expression becomes merely metaphorical to express personal helplessness, especially that which can but rely upon assistance and help from God.

H. L. E. Luering


lo’-is (Lois (2Ti 1:5)): The grandmother of Timothy, and evidently the mother of Eunice, Timothy’s mother. The family lived at Lystra (Ac 16:1). It was on the occasion of Paul’s first missionary journey (Ac 14) that Eunice and Timothy were converted to Christ, and it was, in all likelihood, on the same occasion that Lois also became a Christian. Paul speaks of the unfeigned faith that there was in Timothy, and he adds that this faith dwelt at the first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice. This is the only passage where Lois is mentioned; but by comparing 2Ti 1:5 with 2Ti 3:15 (the King James Version), where Paul refers to Timothy’s having "from a child known the holy scriptures," it would appear that Lois was associated with Eunice, both in a reverent faith in God and in the careful instruction in the Old Testament which was given to Timothy.


John Rutherfurd


lon-jev’-i-ti: In the part of Genesis ascribed to the Priestly Code (P), the names and genealogies of the patriarchs are given (Ge 5; 11). In the three versions which are our chief sources, Massoretic Text, Septuagint and Sam, the age-numbers given for these patriarchs are hopelessly at variance. It is in accord with what we find in the earliest legend of most races that in these chapters a great length of life is ascribed to these; thus Berosus attributes to the first 10 kings of Babylonia a span of 430,000 years, and Hesiod (Works and Days, 129) says that in the Silver Age childhood lasted 100 years, during which a boy was reared and grew up beside his mother. On the other hand the evidence of prehistoric archaeology shows that the rate of development of the individual in the early Stone Age differed very little from that of humanity at the present day. It is possible that, in the case of the Hebrew record, the names of certain pre-Abrahamic patriarchs were derived from an ancient tradition, and that in the desire to fill up the chronology of the period before the call of Abraham, these names were inserted and the time which was supposed to have elapsed was divided among them; on the basis of some such hypothesis as that which is said to have existed among the Jews, that the Messiah should come 4,000 years after Adam.

We know from the archaeological evidence that the antiquity of primitive man extends to a date very much farther back than 4,000 years. Indeed, we can prove that before 4000 BC there were settled nationalities both in the valley of the Nile and that of the Euphrates, and that among these the duration of individual life was much the same as at the present day. The first three dynasties in Egypt, starting at or about 4400 BC, consisted of 25 consecutive kings, the average length of whose several reigns was about 30 years. The biographic sketches of Biblical persons other than those in Genesis showed that their longevity did not exceed that of our contemporaries. Eli was blind and feeble at 98. At 70 David was bedridden and frail. Manasseh, the king of Judah whose reign was longest, died at 67; Uzziah died at 68. The statement in Ps 90:10 attributed to Moses is a correct estimate of what has been the expectation of life at all time.

At the present day among Palestinian fellahin very old men are uncommon. I have never seen anyone among them who could prove that he was 80 years of age; the rate of infant mortality is appallingly high. Maturity is earlier, and signs of senility appear among them sooner than among the same class in Great Britain.

Alexander Macalister


long-suf’-er-ing (’erekh ‘appayim; makrothumia): The words ‘erekh ‘appayim, translated longsuffering, mean literally, "long of nose" (or "breathing"), and, as anger was indicated by rapid, violent breathing through the nostrils, "long of anger," or "slow to wrath." The adjective is applied to God (Ex 34:6 the King James Version, in the name of Yahweh as proclaimed to Moses; Nu 14:18 the King James Version; Ps 86:15 the King James Version; the Revised Version (British and American) "slow to anger," which is also the translation in other places; the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) Ne 9:17; Ps 103:8; 145:8; Pr 15:18; 16:32; Joe 2:13; Jon 4:2; Na 1:3); it is associated with "great kindness" and "plenteous in mercy." The substantive occurs in Jer 15:15: "Take me not away in thy longsuffering." In Ec 7:8, we have ‘erekh ruach, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "patient in spirit."

The word in the New Testament rendered "longsuffering," makrothumia (once makrothumeo, "to be longsuffering"), which is the rendering of ‘erekh ‘appayim in the Septuagint, is literally, "long of mind or soul" (regarded as the seat of the emotions), opposed to shortness of mind or soul, irascibility, impatience, intolerance. It is attributed to God (Ro 2:4; 9:22; 2Pe 3:9), of His bearing long with sinners and slowness to execute judgment on them. It is, therefore, one of "the fruits of the Spirit" in man (Ga 5:22) which Christians are frequently exhorted to cherish and show one toward the other (Eph 4:2; Col 1:11; 3:12, etc.); it belongs, Paul says, to the love, without which all else is nothing: "Love suffereth long (makrothumei), and is kind" (1Co 13:4); The verb makrothumeo is sometimes translated by "patience" (Mt 18:26,29, "Have patience with me"). Lu 18:7 has been variously rendered; the King James Version has "And shall not God avenge his own elect .... though he bear long with them"; the Revised Version (British and American) "and yet he is longsuffering over them," the American Revised Version margin "and is he slow to punish on their behalf?" Weymouth (New Testament in Modern Speech) has "although he seems slow in taking action on their behalf," which most probably gives the sense of the passage; in Jas 5:7,8 the verb occurs thrice, the King James Version "be patient," "hath long patience"; the Revised Version (British and American) also translates by "patient"; this, however, as in Mt 18:26,29, seems to lose the full force of the Greek word. According to Trench (Synonyms of the New Testament, 189), the difference between hupomone ("patience") and makrothumia is that the latter word expresses patience in respect to persons, and the former in respect to things; hence, hupomone is never ascribed to God; where He is called "the God of patience," it is as He gives it to His servants and saints. But in Jas 5:7 it is used with reference to things, and in Col 1:11 it is associated with patience (compare Heb 6:12,15), suggesting patient endurance of trials and sufferings. In Col 1:11 it is also associated with "joy," indicating that it is not a mere submissiveness, but a joyful acceptance of the will of God, whatever it may be. In The Wisdom of Solomon 15:1; Ecclesiasticus 5:4, we have "longsuffering" (makrothumos) ascribed to God; also in Ecclesiasticus 2:11, the Revised Version (British and American) "mercy."

W. L. Walker



(1) The uses of the simple verb in English Versions of the Bible are nearly all good modern English. In Isa 5:2, however, "He looked that it should bring forth grapes"—"look" is used in the sense of "expect." Compare the King James Version of Sirach 20:14; Ac 28:6, "They looked when he should have swollen" (the Revised Version (British and American) "They expected that he would have swollen"). In 1 Macc 4:54, the King James Version has inserted "look" (omitted in the Revised Version (British and American)) as a simple interjection, without a corresponding word in the Greek

(2) "Look upon" means "fix one’s attention on," and is often so used in English Versions of the Bible without further significance (Ec 2:11; Lu 22:56, etc.); but in 2Ch 24:22 the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "Yahweh look upon it" means "remember." However, continual attention given to an object usually denotes that pleasure is found in it, and from this fact such uses as those of Pr 23:31, "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red," are derived. In particular, God’s "looking upon" a person becomes a synonym for "showing favor unto," as in De 26:7 the King James Version; Ps 84:9 the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American); Ps 119:132 the King James Version; Lu 1:48 the Revised Version (British and American) only, etc. (the Revised Version (British and American) usually, re-words, in such passages). On the other hand, "look on" may be weakened, as in such phrases as "fair to look unon" (Ge 12:11 etc.), where it means only "fair to the sight." Or as in modern English, "look on" may describe the attitude of the passive spectator, even when applied to God. So Ps 35:17, "Lord, how long wilt thou look on?"

(3) "Look to" usually means "pay attention to," as in Pr 14:15; Jer 39:12; 2 Joh 1:8, etc., and the Revised Version (British and American) occasionally uses this phrase in place of AV’s "look upon" (Php 2:4). The reverse change is made in the King James Version’s 1Sa 16:12, "goodly to look to"; Eze 23:15, "all of them princes to look to," but in the latter verse a more drastic revision was needed, for the meaning is "all of them in appearance as princes." "Look out" may mean "search for" (Ge 41:33; Ac 6:3), but may also be used literally, (Ge 26:8, etc.). The King James Version’s "looking after those things" in Lu 21:26 has been changed by the Revised Version (British and American) into "expectation of the things." "Look one another in the face" in 2Ki 14:8,11 means "meet in battle."

Burton Scott Easton


look’-ing-glas (Ex 38:8 the King James Version margin "brasen glasses").






loop (in plural lula’oth (Ex 26:4 f, 10 f; 36:11 f, 17)): A ring or fold made of blue thread to fasten into the corresponding golden clasps, or taches upon the curtains of the tabernacle, joining them in sets, or pairs.



A name or title of God frequently used in the Old Testament, always translated "Yahweh of Hosts" (Yahweh tsebha’oth) in the American Standard Revised Version, since Yahweh, never ‘Adhonay, is used in this phrase. Evidently the meaning of the title is that all created agencies and forces are under the leadership or dominion of Yahweh, who made and maintains them (Ge 2:1; Isa 45:12). It is used to express Yahweh’s great power.



(he kuriake hemera):

1. Linguistic:

Formerly it was supposed that the adjective kuriakos (translated "the Lord’s") was a purely Christian word, but recent discoveries have proved that it was in fairly common use in the Roman Empire before Christian influence had been felt. In secular use it signified "imperial," "belonging to the lord"—the emperor—and so its adoption by Christianity in the sense "belonging to the Lord"—to Christ—was perfectly easy. Indeed, there is reason to suppose that in the days of Domitian, when the issue had been sharply defined as "Who is Lord? Caesar or Christ?" the use of the adjective by the church was a part of the protest against Caesar-worship (see LORD). And it is even possible that the full phrase, "the Lord’s day," was coined as a contrast to the phrase, "the Augustean day" he sebaste hemera), a term that seems to have been used in some parts of the Empire to denote days especially dedicated in honor of Caesar-worship.

2. Post-Apostolic:

"Lord’s day" in the New Testament occurs only in Re 1:10, but in the post-apostolic literature we have the following references: Ignatius, Ad Mag., ix.1, "No longer keeping the Sabbath but living according to the Lord’s day, on which also our Light arose"; Ev. Pet., verse 35, "The Lord’s day began to dawn" (compare Mt 28:1); verse 50, "early on the Lord’s day" (compare Lu 24:1); Barn 15 9, "We keep the eighth day with gladness," on which Jesus arose from the dead." I.e. Sunday, as the day of Christ’s resurrection, was kept as a Christian feast and called "the Lord’s day," a title fixed so definitely as to be introduced by the author of Ev. Pet. into phrases from the canonical Gospels. Its appropriateness in Re 1:10 is obvious, as John received his vision of the exalted Lord when all Christians had their minds directed toward His entrance into glory through the resurrection.

3. In the New Testament:

This "first day of the week" appears again in Ac 20:7 as the day on which the worship of the "breaking of bread" took place, and the impression given by the context is that Paul and his companions prolonged their visit to Troas so as to join in the service. Again, 1Co 16:2 contains the command, "Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store," where the force of the form of the imperative used (the present for repeated action) would be better represented in English by "lay by on the successive Sundays." Worship is here not explicitly mentioned (the Greek of "by him" is the usual phrase for "at home"), but that the appropriateness of the day for Christian acts involves an appropriateness for Christian worship is not to be doubted. Indeed, since the seven-day week was unknown to Greek thought, some regular observance of a hebdomadal cycle must have been settled at Corinth before Paul could write his command. Finally, the phrase, "first day in the week" is found elsewhere in the New Testament only in Mt 28:1; Mr 16:2; Lu 24:1; Joh 20:1,19. The word in all passages for "first" is poor Greek (mia, "one," for prote, a Hebraism), and the coincidence of the form of the phrase in Ac 20:7 and 1Co 16:2 with the form used by all four evangelists for the Resurrection Day ‘is certainly not accidental; it was the fixed Christian base, just as "Lord’s day" was to the writer of Ev. Pet.

4. Origin:

The hebdomadal observance of Sunday points back of Corinth to Jewish-Christian soil, but it is impossible to say when the custom first began. Not, apparently, in the earliest days, for Ac 2:46 represents the special worship as daily. But this could not have continued very long, for waning of the first enthusiasm, necessity of pursuing ordinary avocations, and increasing numbers of converts must soon have made general daily gatherings impracticable. A choice of a special day must have become necessary, and this day would, of course, have been Sunday. Doubtless, however, certain individuals and communities continued the daily gatherings to a much later date, and the appearance of Sunday as the one distinctive day for worship was almost certainly gradual.

5. Sunday and the Sabbath:

Sunday, however, was sharply distinguished from the Sabbath. One was the day on which worship was offered in a specifically Christian form, the other was a day of ritual rest to be observed by all who were subject? the Law of Moses through circumcision (Ga 5:3; compare Ac 21:20). Uncircumcised Gentiles, however, were free from any obligation of Sabbath observance, and it is quite certain that in apostolic times no renewal of any Sabbath rules or transfer of them to Sunday was made for Gentileconverts. No observance of a particular "day of rest" is contained among the "necessary things" of Ac 15:28,29, nor is any such precept found among all the varied moral directions given in the whole epistolary literature. Quite on the contrary, the observance of a given day as a matter of Divine obligation is denounced by Paul as a forsaking of Christ (Ga 4:10), and Sabbath-keeping is condemned explicitly in Col 2:16. As a matter of individual devotion, to be sure, a man might do as he pleased (Ro 14:5,6), but no general rule as necessary for salvation could be compatible with the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. Evidently, then, the fact that the Christian worship was held on Sunday did not sanctify Sunday any more than (say) a regular Wednesday service among us sanctifies Wednesday, noting especially that the apostolic service was held in the evening. For it was felt that Christian enthusiasm would raise every day to the highest religious plane, the decay of that enthusiasm through the long delay of the Parousia not being contemplated.

6. Later History:

The delay occurred, however, and for human beings in the ordinary routine of life there are necessary, not only set periods of worship, but set periods of relaxation from routine to make worship profitable. And the Christian fundamental doctrine of mercy demands that Christianity, where she has the power, shall give to men relief from the drain of continuous toil.

The formulation of general rules to carry these principles into effect, however, belongs to a period outside New Testament times, and so does not come within the scope of this Encyclopedia. It is enough to say that the ecclesiastical rules for Sunday were felt to be quite distinct from the laws for Sabbath observance, and that Alcuin (733?-804) is the first to hold that the church had transferred the Sabbath rules as a whole to Sunday. This principle is still maintained in Roman Catholic theology, but at the Reformation was rejected uncompromisingly by both Lutherans (Augsb. Conf., II, 7) and Calvinists (Helvet. Conf., XXIV, 1-2) in favor of a literally apostolic freedom (Calvin even proposed to adopt Thursday in place of Sunday). The appearance of the opposite extreme of a genuinely "legalistic" Sabbatarianism in the thoroughly Evangelical Scotch and English Puritanism is an anomaly that is explained by reaction from the extreme laxity of the surroundings.

7. Practical:

Sunday was fixed as the day for Christian worship by general apostolic practice, and the academic possibility of an alteration hardly seems worth discussing. If a literal apostolicity is to be insisted upon, however, the "breaking of bread" must be made part of the Sunday service. Rest from labor for the sake of worship, public and private, is intensely desirable, since the regaining of the general apostolic enthusiasm seems unattainable, but the New Testament leaves us quite free as to details. Rest from labor to secure physical and mental renewal rests on a still different basis, and the working out of details involves a knowledge of sociological and industrial conditions, as well as a knowledge of religious principles. It is the task of the pastor to combine the various principles and to apply them to the particular conditions of his people in their locality, in accordance with the rules that his own church has indubitably the right to lay down—very special attention being given, however, to the highly important matter of the peculiar problem offered by children. In all cases the general principles underlying the rules should be made clear, so that they will not appear as arbitrary legalism, and it is probably best not to use the term "Sabbath" for Sunday. Under certain conditions great freedom may be desirable, and such is certainly not inconsistent with our liberty in Christ. But experience, and not least of all the experience of the first churches of the Reformation, has abundantly shown that much general laxness in Sunday rules invariably results disastrously.

See further, ETHICS OF JESUS, I, 3, (1).

LITERATURE. For the linguistic matters, Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 1910, 361-66. Hessey’s Sunday (ed 1880) ("Bampton Lectures," 1860) contains a good summary of the history of the problems. Zockler’s "Sonntagsfeier," PRE, edition 3, XVIII, 1906, 521-29 is the best general survey. In Sch-Herz this article ("Sunday") is harmed by abbreviation, but an exhaustive bibliography is added.

Burton Scott Easton


(Mt 6:9-13; Lu 11:2-4): Prayer occupied an important place in the life and the teachings of Jesus. He was emphatically a man of prayer, praying frequently in private and in public, and occasionally spending whole nights in communion with His heavenly Father. He often spoke to His disciples on the subject of prayer, cautioning them against ostentation, or urging perseverance, faith and large expectation, and He gave them a model of devotion in the Lord’s prayer.

1. Twofold Form:

This prayer is given by the evangelists in two different forms and in two entirely different con nections. In Matthew’s account the prayer is given as a part of the Sermon on the Mount and in connection with a criticism of the ostentation usual in the prayers of the hypocrites and the heathen. Lu introduces the prayer after the Galilean ministry and represents it as given in response to a request from one of His disciples, "Lord teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." It gives us, however, no note of time or place, and it is quite possible that the incident which it records took place much earlier. The later form is much shorter than that of Mt and the common parts differ materially in language.

In view of the differences, the reader instinctively inquires whether the prayer was given on two different occasions in these different connections, or the evangelists have presented the same incident in forms derived from different sources, or modified the common source to suit their immediate purposes.

If the prayer was given only on one occasion, there is little doubt that Luke preserves the true historical circumstances, though not necessarily the accurate point of time or place, or the exact form of language. Such a request made at the close of the prayer of Jesus would be natural, and the incident bears every mark of reality. On the other hand, it would be reasonable to assume that the author of Matthew’s source, remembering the incident, incorporated the prayer in the Sermon on the Mount as an illustration of the injunctions concerning prayer.

There are many reasons for regarding the Sermon as a collection of sayings spoken on different occasions and summarized for convenience in teaching and memorizing. There is, however, no proof that the prayer was given but once by Jesus. We need not suppose that His disciples were always the same, and we know that He gave instruction in prayer on various occasions. He may have given the model prayer on one occasion spontaneously and at another time on the request of a disciple. It is probable that the two evangelists, using the same or different sources, presented the prayer in such connection as best suited the plan of their narratives. In any case, it is rather remarkable that the prayer is not quoted or directly mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament.

2. Arrangement:

In addition to the opening salutation, "Our Father who art in heaven," the Lord’s Prayer consists of six petitions. These are arranged in three equal parts. In the first part, the thought is directed toward God and His great purposes. In the second part, the attention is directed to our condition and wants. The two sets of petitions are closely related, and a line of progress runs through the whole prayer. The petitions of the first part are inseparable, as each includes the one which follows. As the hallowing of God’s name requires the coming of His kingdom, so the kingdom comes through the doing of His will. Again, the first part calls for the second, for if His will is to be done by us, we must have sustenance, forgiveness and deliverance from evil. If we seek first the glory of God, the end requires our good. While we hallow His name we are sanctified in Him. The doxology of Mt and our rituals is not found in the leading manuscripts and is generally regarded as an ancient liturgical addition. For this reason it is omitted by the Revised Version (British and American).

3. Sources:

The sources of the two accounts cannot be known with certainty. It is hardly correct to say that one account is more original than the other. The original was spoken in Aramaic, while both of the reports are certainly based on Greek sources. The general agreement in language, especially in the use of the unique term epiousios shows that they are not independent translations of the Aramaic original.

4. Special Expressions:

Three expressions of the prayer deserve special notice. The words, "Our Father," are new in the Bible and in the world. When God is called Father in the Old Testament, He is regarded as Father of the nation, not of the individual. Even in the moving prayer of Isa 63:16 (the King James Version), "Doubtless thou art our father," the connection makes clear that the reference is to God in the capacity of Creator. The thought of God as the Father of the individual is first reached in the Apocrypha: "O Lord, Father and Master of my life" (Sirach 23:1; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 2:16; 14:3). Here also the notion is veiled in the thought of God as Creator. It was left for Jesus the Son to give us the privilege of calling God "Our Father."

Of the adjective epiousion, "daily" or "needful," neither the origin nor the exact meaning is or is likely to be known. Whether it is qualitative or temporal depends on its derivation from epeinai, or epienai. Our translators usually follow the latter, translating "daily." the American Standard Revised Version gives "needful" as a marginal rendering.

The phrase apo tou ponerou, is equally ambiguous. Since the adjective may be either masculine or neut., it is impossible to decide whether "from the evil one" or "from the evil" was intended. The probability is in favor of the masculine. The Oriental naturally thought of evil in the concrete, just as we think of it in the abstract. For this reason the Authorized rendering "from evil" is more real to us. The evil deprecated is moral, not physical.

5. Purpose: The Lord’s Prayer was given as a lesson in prayer. As such this simple model surpasses all precepts about prayer. It suggests to the child of God the proper objects of prayer. It supplies suitable forms of language and illustrates the simple and direct manner in which we may trustingly address our heavenly Father. It embraces the elements of all spiritual desire summed up in a few choice sentences. For those who are not able to bring their struggling desires to birth in articulate language it provides an instructive form. To the mature disciple it ever unfolds with richer depths of meaning. Though we learn these words at our mother’s knee, we need a lifetime to fill them with meaning and all eternity to realize their answer.


The literature of this subject is very extensive. For brief treatment the student will consult the relative sections in the commentaries on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and in the Lives of Christ and the articles on the Lord’s Prayer in the several Bible diets. A collection of patristic comment is given by G. Tillmann in his Das Gebet nach der Lehre der Heiligen dargestellt, 2 volumes, Freiburg, 1876. The original comments may be found in any of the standard collections of the Church Fathers.

Among historical studies may be mentioned, F.H. Chase, The Lord’s Prayer in the Early Church, Cambridge, 1891, and G. Dalman, Die Worte Jesu, I, Leipzig, 1898, English translation, Edinburgh, 1902.

Among the numerous interpretative treatments, the following are some of the more important: N. Hall, The Lord’s Prayer, Edinburgh, 1889; H.J. Van Dyke, The Lord’s Prayer, New York, 1891; J. Ruskin, Letters to the Clergy on the Lord’s Prayer and the Church, late edition, New York, 1896; E. Wordsworth, Thoughts on the Lord’s Prayer, New York, 1898; C.W. Stubbs, Social Teachings of the Lord’s Prayer, London, 1900; A.B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, chapter vi, 4th edition, New York, 1905; L.T. Chamberlain, The True Doctrine of Prayer, New York, 1906; F.M. Williams, Spiritual Instructions on the Lord’s Prayer, New York, 1907.

Russell Benjamin Miller






1. Textual Considerations

2. Narratives Compared

(1) Mark

(2) Matthew

(3) Pauline

(4) Luke

3. Other Pauline Data


1. Miracles of Loaves and Fishes

2. Discourse at Capernaum


1. Other Ac and Words of Christ on Eve of the Passion

2. Sacrificial Language of the Institution

3. Sacrificial System of Jewish Dispensation

4. Paschal Background of the Institution of the Eucharist


Points to Be Noted


1. Heavenly Background

(1) Christians a Priestly Race

(2) Christ, the Eternal High Priest

2. Celebrated Each Lord’s Day

3. Names of the Eucharist

(1) Eucharist

(2) Lord’s Supper

(3) Breaking of Bread

(4) Communion

(5) Oblation


1. Guidance by the Holy Spirit

2. The Early Fathers

(1) Ignatian Epistles

(2) Justin Martyr

(3) Irenaeus

(4) Cyprian


1. Outline of Eucharistic Prayer

2. Significance of This for Unity


I. Definition.

Eucharist.—The distinctive rite of Christian worship, instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ upon the eve of His atoning death, being a religious partaking of bread and wine, which, having been presented before God the Father in thankful memorial of Christ’s inexhaustible sacrifice, have become (through the sacramental blessing) the communion of the body and blood of Christ (compare Joh 6:54; Ac 2:42; 20:7,11; Ro 15:16; 1Co 10:16; 11:23-26).

II. New Testament Sources.

The New Testament sources of our knowledge of the institution of the Eucharist are fourfold, a brief account thereof being found in each of the Synoptic Gospels and in Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians (Mt 26:26-29; Mr 14:22-25; Lu 22:14-20; 1Co 11:23-26; compare 10:16,17).

1. Textual Considerations:

The text of these narratives has been found to need little amendment, save the dropping of a word or two, from each account, that had crept in through the tendency of copyists, consciously or unconsciously, to assimilate the details of parallel passages. The genuineness of Lu 22:19,20 is absolutely beyond question. Their omission in whole or part, and the alterations in the order of two or three verses in the whole section (22:14-20), characteristic of a very small number of manuscripts, are due to confusion in the minds of a few scribes and translators, between the paschal cup (22:17) and the eucharistic cup (22:20), and to their well-meant, but mistaken, attempt to improve upon the text before them.

2. Narratives Compared:

(1) Mark:

The briefest account of the institution of the Eucharist is found in Mr 14:22-24. In it the Eucharist is not sharply distinguished from its setting, the paschal meal: "And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take ye: this is my body. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many." This represents a tradition settled within 20 years of the event described.

(2) Matthew:

Mt 26:26-28 gives a few touches by way of revision, apparently from one then present. He adds the exhortation "eat" at the giving of the bread, and puts the personal command, "Drink ye all of it," in place of the mere statement, "and they all drank of it." He adds also of the blood that, as "poured out for many," it is "unto remission of sins."

(3) Pauline:

The Pauline-account, 1Co 11:23-26 (the earliest written down, circa 55 AD), was called forth in rebuke of the scandalous profanation of the Eucharist at Corinth. It gives us another tradition independent of; and supplementary to, that of Mark-Matthew. It claims the authority of the Savior as its source, and had been already made known to the Corinthians in the apostle’s oral teaching. The time of the institution is mentioned as the night of the betrayal. We note of the bread, "This is my body, which is for you," of the cup, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood," and the redoubled command, "This do in remembrance of me."

(4) Luke:

The narrative given in Lu 22:14-20 is the latest (circa 80 AD) of our New Testament records. Luke had taken pains to follow up everything to its source, and had reedited the oral tradition in the light of his historical researches (1:2,3), and thus his account is of the highest value. Writing for a wider circle of readers, he carefully separates and distinguishes the Eucharist from the paschal meal which preceded it, and puts the statement of Christ about not drinking "from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come," in its proper place as referring to the paschal cup (compare Mt 26:29; Mr 14:25; and Lu 22:15-18). In describing the actual institution of the Eucharist, he gives us an almost verbal identity with the account given by Paul (1Co 11:23-25).

3. Other Pauline Data: We should note the statement appended by Paul to his account of the Institution, wherein he emphasizes the memorial aspect and evidential value of the witness the eucharistic observance would give throughout the ages of the Christian dispensation (1Co 11:26). We should also note the fact upon which the apostle bases his rebuke to the profane (Corinthians, namely, the real, though undefined, identity of the bread and wine of the Eucharist with the body and blood of Christ (1Co 11:27-29); an identity established through the blessing pronounced upon them, so that the bread and cup have come to be the "communion of the body of Christ" and the "communion of the blood of Christ," respectively (1Co 10:15-17). To receive the Eucharist, and also to partake of sacrifices offered to idols, is utterly incompatible with Christian loyalty. To receive the Eucharist after a gluttonous, winebibbing agape, not recognizing the consecrated elements to be what the Lord Christ called them, is, likewise, a defiance of God. Both acts alike provoke the judgment of God’s righteous anger (1Co 10:21,22; 11:21,22,27-29).

III. Preparation for the Eucharist.

The institution of the Eucharist had been prepared for by Christ through the object-lesson of the feeding of the five thousand (Mt 14:13-21; Mr 6:35-44; Lu 9:12-17; Joh 6:4-13), which was followed up by the discourse about Himself as the Bread of Life, and about eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood as the nourishment of eternal life.

1. Miracles of Loaves and Fishes:

This again was clinched by the second object-lesson of the feeding of the four thousand afterward (Mt 15:32-39; Mr 8:1-9). The Lord Christ’s thanksgiving, and His blessing of the loaves and fishes—acts not elsewhere recorded of Him, except at the institution of the Eucharist, and at the self-revealing meal at Emmaus (Lu 24:30)—deeply impressed those present, as indicating the source whence came His power to satisfy the hunger of the multitude (compare Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mr 6:41; 8:6,7; Lu 9:16; Joh 6:11,23).

2. Discourse at Capernaum:

In the discourse at Capernaum (Joh 6:26-58) Christ led the thought of His hearers from earthly to heavenly food, from food that perished to the true bread from heaven. He declared Himself to be the living bread, and, further, that it is through eating His flesh and drinking His blood that they shall possess true life in themselves, and be raised by Him at the last day. The difficulties raised by this discourse Christ did not solve at the time. His ascension would but add to them. He asked of His disciples acceptance of His words in faith. Under the administration of the Spirit would these things be realized (Joh 6:60-69). The institution of the Eucharist, later, gave the clue to these otherwise "hard" words. Today the Eucharist remains as the explanation of this discourse. A hardy mountaineer, e.g. who had read Joh 6 many times, could form no notion of its purport. When first privileged to be present at the eucharistic service of the Book of Common Prayer, the meaning of feeding upon Christ’s flesh and blood forthwith became apparent to him (see The Spirit of Missions, July, 1911, 572-73).

IV. Historical Setting of the Eucharist.

1. Other Ac and Words of Christ on Eve of the Passion:

We should note the setting in which the institution of the Eucharist was placed. Though the Fourth Gospel does not record this, it gives us many otherwise unknown data of the words of Christ spoken upon the eve of His death, in which historically the institution of the Eucharist was set. The symbolic washing of the feet of the disciples (Joh 13:3-10), the "new" commandment (Joh 13:34), Christ as the means of access to the Father (Joh 14:6), love for Christ to be shown by keeping His commandments (Joh 14:15,21,23,24), the sending of the Paraclete Spirit (Joh 14:16,17,26; 15:26; 16:13,14), the intimate fellowship of Christ and His disciples, shown in the metaphor of the vine and its branches (Joh 15:1-9,13-16)—all these throw their illumination upon the commandment, "This do in remembrance of me" (Lu 22:19; 1Co 11:24,25). The efficacy of prayer ‘in Christ’s name’ (Joh 16:23,24,26-28) after His final withdrawal from the midst of His disciples, and His great prayer of self-oblation and intercession for His church throughout time (Joh 17, especially 17:9-26) must not be forgotten in considering, "This is my body which is given for you" (Lu 22:19), and, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins" (Mt 26:28).

2. Sacrificial Language of the Institution:

The sacrificial connotation of many of the words used in the narratives of institution should be noted: e.g. "body," "blood," "covenant," "given," "poured out," "for you," "for many" "unto remission of sins," "memorial" (compare Ex 24:6-8; Le 2:2,9,16; 4:5-7,16-18,34; 17:11,14; 24:7; Nu 10:10; Heb 9:11-28; 10:4-10,19,20). The very elements of bread and wine also suggested the idea of sacrifice to those accustomed to their use in the older system of worship (compare Ex 29:38-42; Nu 15:4-10; 28 and 29 passim).

3. Sacrificial System of Jewish Dispensation:

The general background, moreover, out of which the institution of the Eucharist stands forth, is the sacrificial system of the older dispensation. The chosen people of God, as a priestly race, a holy nation (Ex 19:5,6; De 7:6), worshipped God with a sequence of offerings, Divinely molded and inspired, which set forth the sovereign majesty and overloading of God, His holiness, and the awe and penitence due from those who would draw nigh unto Him, and their desire for communion with Him.

The more immediate background of the Eucharist is the Passover, and that without prejudice as to whether the Lord Christ ate the paschal meal with His disciples before He instituted the Eucharist, as seems most probable (compare Lu 22:7-18), or whether He died upon the day of its observance (see article "Preparation," DCG, II, 409).

4. Paschal Background of the Institution of the Eucharist:

The Passover was at once a covenant-recalling and a covenant-renewing sacrifice, and the Eucharist, as corresponding to it, was instituted at the time of its yearly observance, and of the immolation of the true paschal lamb, of whose death it interpreted the value and significance (Ex 12:3-28; compare 13:3-10; De 16:1-8; 1Co 5:7; Joh 6:51; 10:10,11,15,17,18; 15:13; 17:19).

V. Sequence of the Institation.

Let us put before ourselves clearly the sequence of the Lord Christ’s acts and words at the institution of the Eucharist ere we proceed to examine the church’s mode of celebrating this ordinance.

Points to Be Noted

At the close of the paschal Supper,

(1) the Lord Christ "took" the bread and cup, respectively, for use in His new rite;

(2) He "gave thanks" over them, constituting them a thank offering to God;

(3) He "blessed" them to their new and higher potency;

(4) He "gave" them to the apostles (the breaking being a requisite preliminary to distribution of the bread);

(5) He bade them "Take, eat," and "Drink ye all of it," respectively;

(6) He declared, of the bread, "This is my body given for you," of the cup, "This is my blood of the covenant," or, "This is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you," "unto remission of sins";

(7) He adds the reiterated command, "This do for my memorial."

It is obvious that we are bidden to follow out the same series of acts, and statements, as those of Christ Himself. We should take bread and wine, set them apart by rendering thanks to God over them, presenting them to Him as symbols of Christ’s body and blood, once for all "given" and "poured out" for us; bless them by asking God’s blessing upon them (compare Ge 14:19; Nu 6:23-27; Mr 8:7; Lu 2:34; 9:16; 24:50); and receive and give them as the body and blood of Christ; for, "the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ?" (1Co 10:16). It is obvious that we shall not forget, in this connection, the distinction between the natural body of Christ which He took of the Blessed Virgin, and the bread which He held in His hand, and blessed and made to function as His body for our participation and inherence in Him thereby—His sacramental body. The church with her many members united to the Head, and thus to each other, is also called His body mystical (1Co 10:17; 12:27; Eph 1:22,23; Col 1:24).

VI. The Church’s Observance of the Eucharist.

1. Heavenly Background:

(1) Christians a Priestly Race:

We should remember the priestly character of the church of Christ, whose sacrifices are made under the dispensation of the Holy Spirit (1Pe 2:5,9; Re 1:6; compare Ac 1:2,8); and also the eternal priesthood in the heavens of our risen, ascended and ever-living Lord Christ.

(2) Christ the Eternal High Priest:

He laid down His life in order to take it again (Joh 10:17), and now in the perfection of His glorified human nature, by His very presence in heaven, He is forever the propitiation inexhaustible for our sins (Heb 2:17-3:3; 4:14-5:10; 7:1-8:7; 9:11-28; 10:1-25; compare 1Joh 2:1,2). As the Lamb slain once for all but alive for evermore, the Lord Christ is the focus of the worship of angels and the redeemed (Re 1:17,18; 5:6-14; 7:9,10), and the Christian disciple has the privilege of feeding upon that eternal Priest and Victim (Heb 13:10; 1Co 10:16).

2. Celebrated Each Lord’s Day:

The celebration of the Eucharist was characteristic of the pentecostal church (Ac 2:42), especially upon the Lord’s Day (Ac 20:7). Its observance was preceded by the agape (1Co 11:20,34) on the eve (for the circumstances of the institution were closely imitated, and the day was reckoned as beginning at sunset after the Jewish fashion), and thus the Eucharist proper came late into the night, or toward morning (Ac 20:11).

3. Names of the Eucharist:

(1) Eucharist:

The name" Eucharist" is derived from the eucharistesas (" gave thanks") of the institution and was the most widely used term in primitive times, as applied to the whole service, to the consecration of the bread and wine or to the consecrated elements themselves (compare 1Co 14:16).

(2) Lord’s Supper:

It should be noted that the name, "Lord’s Supper," belongs to the agape rather than to the Eucharist; its popular use is a misnomer of medieval and Reformation times.

(3) Breaking of Bread:

The term "breaking of bread" (Ac 2:42; 20:7,11) had little vogue after New Testament times.

(4) Communion:

"Communion" obviously is derived from 1Co 10:16.

(5) Oblation:

In connection with the early and frequent use of the word "oblation" (prosphora) and its cognates, we should note Paul’s description of his ministry in terms that suggest the rationale of the prayer of consecration, or eucharistic prayer, as we know it in the earliest liturgical tradition: "that I should be a minister of Christ Jesus unto the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be made acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit" (Ro 15:16).

VII. Post-Apostolic Church.

1. Guidance by the Holy Spirit:

The same Spirit who guided the church in the determination of the Canon of the New Testament Scriptures, the same Spirit who guided the church in the working out of her explicit formulation of the Christian doctrine of the Godhead, and of the Christ—that self-same Spirit guided the church in the formation and fashioning of her great eucharistic prayer into its norm in the same 4th century. The historic churches of the East, by their faithful adherence to this norm, have been almost undisturbed by the dissensions and disputes of Western Christendom touching the Eucharist.

2. The Early Fathers:

The glimpses given us in the earlier Fathers of the Eucharist are in entire accord with the more articulate expression of the church’s corporate eucharistic worship, which we find in the liturgical documents and writings of the Nicene era.

(1) Ignatian Epistles:

The Ignatian Epistles show us the Eucharist as the focus of the church’s life and order, the source of unity and fellowship. The Eucharist consecrated by the prayer of the bishop and church is the Bread of God, the Flesh and Blood of Christ, the communication of love incorruptible and life eternal (compare Ephesians, 5,13,10; Trallians, 7,8; Romans, 7; Philadelphians, 4; Smyrnaeans, 7,8; Magnesians, 7).

(2) Justin Martyr:

Justin Martyr tells us that the Eucharist was celebrated on the Lord’s Day, the day associated with creation and with Christ’s resurrection. To the celebrant were brought bread and wine mixed with water, who then put up to God, over them, solemn thanksgiving for His lovingkindness in the gifts of food and health and for the redemption wrought by Christ. The oblations of bread and wine are presented to God in memorial of Christ’s passion, and become Christ’s body and blood through prayer. The Eucharist is a spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving commemorative of Christ’s death; and the consecrated elements the communion of Christ’s body and blood, by reason of the sacramental character bestowed upon them by the invocation of the Divine blessing (compare 1 Apol., 13,15, 66, 67; Dial. with Trypho, 41,70, 117).

(3) Irenaeus:

Irenaeus, also, emphasizes the fact that Christ taught His disciples to offer the new oblation of the New Covenant, to present in thank offering the first-fruits of God’s creatures—bread and wine—the pure sacrifice prophesied before by Malachi. The Eucharist consecrated by the church, through the invocation of God’s blessing, is the communion of the body and blood of Christ, just as He pronounced the elements to be at the institution (compare Against Heresies, i.13,1; iv.17,5; 18,1-6; 33,1; v.22,3).

(4) Cyprian:

Cyprian, too, gives evidence of the same eucharistic belief, and alludes very plainly to the "Lift up your hearts," to the great thanksgiving, and to the prayer of consecration. This last included the rehearsal of what Christ did and said at the institution, the commemoration of His passion, and the invocation of the Holy Spirit (compare Epistle to Caecilius, sections 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 14, 17; Epistle to Epictetus, sections 2, 4; On the Unity of the Church, I, 17; On the Lord’s Prayer, section 31; Firmilian to Cyprian, sections 10, 17).

VIII. Liturgical Tradition.

1. Outline of Eucharistic Prayer:

When we proceed to examine the early liturgical remains we find the articulate expression of the church’s sacrifice following along these lines. After an introductory summons to the worshippers to "lift up their hearts," the great eucharistic prayer goes on to pour forth sublime praises to God for all the blessings of creation, and for the fruits of the earth; aligning the praises of the church with the worship of the heavenly host around the throne of God. The love of God in bringing about the redemption of fallen man through the incarnation, and through the self-oblation of His only Son upon the cross is then recalled in deep thankfulness. The institution of the Eucharist in the night of the betrayal is next related, and then, taking up, and fulfilling the command of Christ (‘Do this for my memorial’) therein recited, most solemn memorial is made before God, with the antitypical elements, of the death and of the victorious resurrection and ascension of the Lord Christ. Then, as still further carrying out this act of obedience, most humble prayer is made to the Eternal Father for the hallowing of the oblations, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, to be the body and blood of Christ, and to be to those who partake of them, for the imparting of remission of sins, and the bestowal of life eternal. To this great act of praise and prayer the solemn "Amen" of the assembled congregation assents, and thereafter the sacramental gifts are received by the faithful present, with another "Amen" from each recipient to whom they are administered.

The great eucharistic prayer, as outlined, was the first part of the liturgy to crystallize into written form, and of its component parts the invocation of the Divine blessing upon the elements was probably the first to be written down.

2. Significance of This for Unity:

Around the simplicity and the depth of such a truly apostolic norm of eucharistic worship, alone, can be gathered into one the now dispersed and divided followers of the Christ, for therein subsist in perfect harmony the Godward and the manward aspects of the memorial He commanded us to make as complementary, not contradictory; and the identity of the consecrated bread and wine with the body and blood of Christ is manifested to be in the realm of their spiritual function and potency.


E.F. Willis, The Worship of the Old Covenant .... in Relation to That of the New; Frederic Rendall, Sacrificial Language of the New Testament; Maurice Goguel, L’eucharistie des origines a Justin Martyr, 105 ff; W.B. Frankland, The Early Eucharist (excellent); H.B. Swete, "Eucharistic Belief in the 2nd and 3rd Cents.," Journal of Theological Studies, June, 1902, 161 ff; R.M. Woolley, The Liturgy of the Primitive Church; M. Lepin, L’idee du sacrifice dans la religion chretienne; W. Milligan, The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of our Lord; Thomas Brett, A True Scripture Account of the Nature and benefits of the Holy Eucharist, 1736; id, A Discourse Concerning the Necessity of Discerning the Lord’s Body in the Holy Communion, 1720; J.R. Milne, Considerations on Eucharistic Worship; id, The Doctrine and Practice of the Eucharist; H.R. Gummey, The Consecration of the Eucharist; A.J. Maclean, Recent Discoveries Illustrating Early Christian Life and Worship; id, The Ancient Church Orders; L. Duchesne, Origines du culte chretien; J.T. Levens, Aspects of the Holy Communion; John Wordsworth, The Holy Communion; F.E. Brightman, Liturgies, Eastern and Western.

Henry Riley Gummey


1. Original Institution

2. The Elements

3. The Eucharist in the Apostolic Church

4. The Eucharist in the Post-apostolic Church

5. Rome and the Eucharist

6. Luther and the Eucharist

7. Zwingli and the Eucharist

8. Calvin and the Eucharist

This name of the Lord’s Supper is derived from eucharistia, the prayer of consecration, and this in turn points back to Mt 26:27, "And he took a cup, and gave thanks" (eucharistesas). The most common name is "Lord’s Supper" (deipnon kuriou (1Co 11:20)). It is also called "Lord’s table" (trapeza kuriou (1Co 10:21 the King James Version)); while the cup is called "the cup of blessing" (poterion tes eulogias (1Co 10:16)) and "the cup of the Lord" (poterion kuriou (1Co 10:21)). The word koinonia points both to the bread and the cup, whence our common term "communion." In post-apostolic days it became known as leitourgia, a sacred ministration, whence our word "liturgy." It was also named thusia, a sacrifice, and musterion, from its mystic character and perhaps from the fact that it was celebrated only in the closed circle of believers. The Roman Catholic church calls it missa or "mass," from the words congregatio missa est, whereby in post-apostolic times the first part of worship, called the missa cathechumenorum, was closed, and whereby the second part of worship was ushered in, known as the missa fidelium, the sacramental part of worship, only destined for believers.

1. Original Institution:

The origin of the Eucharist is described in Mt 26; Mr 14, and Lu 22. Paul introduces his simple and comprehensive recital of the origin of the institution—the earliest written record of it—with the words: "For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you" (1Co 11:23). A comparison between the Gospels and Ex 12 indicates a considerable modification of the original Passover ritual in the days of Jesus (see Smith’s DB, article "Lord’s Supper"). The composite Gospel-picture of the institution of the Eucharist shows us the Saviour in the deep consciousness of the catastrophe about to overwhelm Him, surrounded by treason on the part of Judas and a strange and total lack of appreciation of the true situation on the part of the other disciples. He had greatly ‘desired to eat this passover with them before he suffered’ (Lu 22:15), and yet they are wholly unresponsive, the chief question apparently in their minds being the old contention of rank and preeminence. Whether or not Judas was present at the eating of the Supper is a moot point, which we will not discuss here. Neither will we touch the question whether or not this Passover-meal was the true Jewish festive meal or an anticipation of it, called pascha only, in allusion to the great feast, which had brought the hundreds of thousands of Jews to Jerusalem (compare Mt 26; Mr 14 with Joh 12:1; 13:1,2,29; 18:28; 19:14,31).

Both Matthew and Mark leave the exact place of the institution of the Supper in the festive meal indefinite, "as they were eating" (Mt 26:26; Mr 14:22); the words of Lk, "after supper" (22:20), may be a hint in regard to this matter (see Joh 13:1; 1Co 11:25). But the custom of the early church of celebrating the Eucharist after the agape or "love feast" appears to be strong evidence that the original institution was separate from the paschal festival and followed it. The entire subject of the Eucharist has been called in question by the radical German critics, who point to the absence of the whole matter in Joh and to the omission of the words, "Do this in remembrance of me," in Matthew and Mark. Its occurrence in Luke is ascribed to Paul’s influence over him and to his familiarity with the story of the institution as described by the apostle. But this position is utterly untenable in the light of the unquestioned fact that the Lord’s Supper as a fixed part of worship was firmly established from the earliest days of the Christian church. The doctrine of Christ’s vicarious suffering is nowhere so clearly enunciated as in the words of the institution of the Supper, "This is my body which is given for you" (Lu 22:19); "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins" (Mt 26:28). Small wonder that those who have utterly done away with the doctrine of the vicarious atonement or of substitution should attack the historicity of the Eucharist and should seek by all means to wipe it from the record.

Jesus bids His followers to observe the new institution "in remembrance of" Him. As Dr. Bavinck says, "The Lord’s Supper is instituted by Christ as a permanent benefit to His church; it is a blessing added to all other blessings to signify and to seal them" (Geref. Dogm., IV, 310).

2. The Elements:

As to the elements used in the original institution of the Supper, they were bread and wine. The bread of course was the unleavened bread of the Passover, during which feast every trace of leaven was removed (Ex 12:19). The Eastern church, perhaps influenced by the bitter Ebionite spirit of the Judaizers, later adopted the use of common bread (koinos artos); the Western church used unleavened bread. Protestantism left the matter among the adiaphora.

As regards the wine, the matter has been in dispute from the beginning (see Kitto’s Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature). The early church always used mixed wine, wine and water, following the Jewish custom. Whether the wine used at the institution of the Lord’s Supper was fermented or unfermented wine, must of course be determined by the Jewish Passover-customs prevailing at that time. The matter is in dispute and is not easily settled.

Modern Jews quite generally use raisin-wine, made by steeping raisins over night in water and expressing the juice the next day for use at the Passover-meal. The ancient Jews, we are told, used for this purpose a thick boiled wine, mixed with water (Mishna, Terumoth, xi). Whether oinos, the word used in the New Testament, stands literally, as the name indicates, for fermented wine, or figuratively for the mixed drinks, well known to ancient and modern Jews, is a debatable matter. As late as the 16th century the Nestorian Christians celebrated communion with raisin-wine, and the same is said of the Indian Christians ("St. Thomas Christians"). The word "new," used by Christ in Mt 26:29, is believed by some to indicate the character of the wine used by Christ at the institution of the Eucharist, namely, the juice of grapes fresh pressed out (see Clem. Alex., Paed., xi). On the other hand the third Council of Braga explicitly forbade this practice as heretical. It is evident that the whole subject is shrouded in much mystery. Some ancient sects substituted an entirely different element, water and milk, for instance, being used (Epiph., Haer., xlix; Aug., Haer., xxviii). Such customs were utterly condemned by the Council of Braga (675 AD). In general, however, the Christian church, almost from the beginning, seems to have used fermented red wine, either mixed or pure, in the administration of the Eucharist, in order to maintain the correspondence between the symbol and the thing symbolized.

3. The Eucharist in the Apostolic Church:

Originally the apostolic church celebrated communion at every meeting for worship. They continued steadfastly in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers (Ac 2:42,46). Very soon, however, if we may judge from the Ac and the Church Pauline Epistles, its administration was confined to the meeting on the first day of the week. The agape always preceded communion, and at some part of the service the believers, the sexes after the plan of the synagogue being separated, would salute each other with the "holy kiss" (philema hagion) (1Co 16:20; 2Co 13:12). But the introduction of the sacrament, with all its accessories, had evidently occasioned grave abuses at Corinth (1Co 11:34). Paul corrects these in unmistakable language. Thus we received our first written record of the institution of the Supper. In Corinth it seems to have been restricted from the beginning to the first day of the week (Ac 20:7; 1Co 16:2). By a slow transition the deipnon was transferred from the midnight hour to the morning. At least we find that Paul kept it after midnight at Troas (Ac 20:11). It would appear as if the apostle had also partaken of the Lord’s Supper, together with his Christian companions, on board the ship, toward the close of his fateful trip on the Adriatic (Ac 27:35).

4. The Eucharist in the Post-apostolic Church:

In the post-apostolic church the Eucharist continued to be celebrated every Lord’s day. But it separated itself from the preaching of the Word and from prayers, as in the previous period. It was invested with a mystic meaning, something too holy for the common eye, and thus the missa catechumenorum, the open church-meeting, was separated from the missa fidelium, the gathering of believers only, in which the Eucharist was celebrated. Bread, wine, oil, milk, honey, all the ingredients for the agape, from which the elements for the Supper were selected, were furnished by the free-will offerings of the believers. These were solemnly set apart by the officiating bishop with a consecrating prayer, eucharistia, and thus the sacrament obtained the name "Eucharist." The gifts themselves were called prosphorai, "oblations," or thusiai, "sacrifices." The sacrificial conception of the Supper was thus gradually created (Ign., Phil., iv; Smyrna, vii, viii; Justin, Apol., i. 66; Dial., xii. 70; Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., iv. 18,5). The Eucharist once being conceived as a sacrifice, the conception of the officiating bishop as a priest became logically inevitable. The Apostolical Constitutions, xliii (4) gives us a fair idea of the worship of the church, toward the close of the 3rd century. Even at that early day a well-developed ritual had replaced the simplicity of the worship of the apostolic days. In the African and Eastern churches, baptized children were allowed to partake of communion, through the fear engendered by Joh 6:53. The regenerative conception of baptism largely influenced this custom. The remnants of the consecrated elements were brought by the deacons to the sick and to imprisoned believers. We have not the space in a brief article like this to enter fully into the development of the doctrinal conception of the Supper as found in the Fathers. Suffice it to say that the symbolical and spiritual concept of the Eucharist, usually defined as the "dynamic" view of the Supper, was advocated by such men as Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzen and others. On the other hand Cyril, Gregory of Nyssa, Chrysostom and John Damascenus developed the "realistic" theory of the Eucharist, and this view again divided itself into the "diophysitic" theory, later called "consubstantiation," and the "monophysitic" theory, later known as "transubstantiation." Augustinns, the great Latin Father, knew nothing of theory of tran-substantiation. He taught that communion carries a blessing only for believers, while to the unbelieving it is a curse, and that the true eating of the body of Christ consists in believing (Serm. Ad Infantes, De Civ., x.6; xxii. 10; Tract. 25 in Joann.). Paschasins Radbert (died 865 AD) was the first fully to formulate the realistic view as the doctrine of the Romish church, and although the dynamic view triumphed for a while, the condemnation of Berengarius of Tours (died 1088 AD) proved that by the middle of the 11th century the realistic view of the Supper had become the generally accepted doctrine of the Eucharist.

5. Rome and the Eucharist:

The Romish church couches its doctrine of the Eucharist in the word "transubstantiation," which means the conversion of the substance of the elements used in the Eucharist. The word was first used by Hildebert of Tours (died 1134 AD) in a sermon. The doctrine of the Supper was finally fixed, together with the new term, by Pope Innocent III, at the Lateran Council 1215 AD. It was decided that the body and blood of Christ are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar, under the species of bread and wine, the bread being transubstantiated into the body and the wine into the blood of Christ, by the Divine power. This has been the Romish doctrine of the Supper ever since. The bread and wine are changed into the veritable body and blood of Christ, by the words of the institution. By the institution of the Supper, Christ made His disciples priests, wherefore the Eucharist may be administered only by an ordained priest. In the miracle of the sacrament, the "accidents" of the elements—bread and wine—remain, but they are no longer inherent in a subject, the substance in which they inhered being replaced by another. This new substance is the body and blood of Christ, which is hidden from observation under the appearance of the elements. The whole Christ is present in each of these elements, hence, it is not necessary to commune under both forms (sub utraque). In the Romish conception of the Supper communion with Christ is a secondary idea. The main idea is that of the transubstantiation itself, for the Supper is more a sacrifice than a sacrament; thus the mass becomes a sin offering. While it feeds faith, keeps us from mortal sin, wards off temporal punishment, unites believers, it also has a potency for those who are not present, and even for the dead in purgatory. Thus the mass became the very heart and center of the entire Romish cult (Conf. Trid., XIII, 21, 22; Cat. Rom., CXII, c. 4; Bellarm, De Sacr. Euch., I, iv; Moehler, Symb., section 34).

6. Luther and the Eucharist:

The Reformers rejected the doctrine of transubstantiation, the sacrificial conception of the Eucharist, the adoration of the "host," the withholding of the cup, the efficiency of the Eucharist in behalf of the dead, the entire Romish conception of the sacrament of the Supper. The original position of Luther, that the elements in the Supper were signs and seals of the remission of sins, was soon replaced by the doctrine of "consubstantiation." The bitter controversy with Carlstadt, and especially the failure of the Marburg Conference, drove Luther forever into the camp of the realists. As early as 1524 he had outlined his doctrine against Carlstadt. He placed himself squarely on the realistic conception of the words of the institution, and held that "the body of Christ in accordance with the will and omnipotence of God and its own ubiquity is really and substantially present in, with and under the Supper, even as His Divine nature is in the human as warmth is in the iron. Wherefore the Supper is physically partaken of by those who are unworthy, albeit to their own destruction" (Bavinck, Geref. Dogm., IV, 318). This doctrine has been fully developed by the Lutheran divines, and is till this day the view of the Lutheran church.

7. Zwingli and the Eucharist:

Zwingli essentially sided with Carlstadt in his controversy with Luther, whom he thereby greatly embittered. He interpreted the words of the institution—"this is"—as signifying "this stands for," "this signifies." This view was fully set forth in a letter to Matthew Alber at Reutlingen in 1524 and was given its final form in his dogmatic tract, Com. de vera et falsa rel. (1525), where he characterizes Luther’s doctrine as "an opinion not only rustic but even impious and frivolous." The breach was widened by the Marburg Conference of 1529. Reduced to its last analysis, the eucharistic concept of Zwingli is that of a symbolical memorial of the suffering and death of Christ, although Zwingli does not deny that Christ is present to the eye of faith. On the contrary, He is enjoyed through the word and through faith, i.e. in a spiritual way. In the Supper we confess our faith, we express what that faith means to us, and we do it in memory of Christ’s death (Oper., ii.1, 426; iii.239, 326, 459; iv.51, 68). The Zwinglian view has been consciously or unconsciously adopted by a very large portion of the Protestant church.

8. Calvin and the Eucharist:

Calvin’s position on the doctrine of the Eucharist tends rather to the Lutheran than to the Zwinglian view. With Zwingli the sacrament is little more than a sign, with Calvin it is both a sign and a seal. The reality of communion with Christ and the benefits of His death, received by a living faith—all this is common to the Lutheran and the Calvinistic views. The Lord’s Supper is far more than a mere memorial service, it is a marvelous means of grace as well. Calvin sides with Zwingli in denying all physical, local or substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist. But he differs from him in making the eucharistic act far more than a confession of faith, and he lays far greater stress than Zwingli on the meaning of its true participation. With Luther he holds that Christ is truly present in the Supper, and he lays stress especially on the mystic union of the believer with Christ. In the Supper both the benefits of Christ’s death and His glorious person are touched. But Christ does not descend in the Supper to the believer, but the latter ascends to Him in heaven. The central thought of the Calvinistic conception of the Supper is this, that the communicant, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, comes in spiritual contact with the entire person of Christ and that he is thus fed unto life eternal. Every close student of Calvin’s works will have to admit that his ideas on the subject are somewhat involved and confusing. This is due no doubt to the mediating position he occupied between Luther and Zwingli. But his position as a whole is quite plain. All his followers agree in holding that (1) Christ is only spiritually present in the Supper; (2) that the participation in the benefits of the Supper must therefore be spiritual, although it is real, and (3) that only true communicants, by a living faith, can communicate therein, and that this participation in the atoning death of the Saviour is sealed to us by the use of the ordained signs of the sacrament.

Henry E. Dosker



1. The Derivation and Meaning

2. Synonyms


1. Source and Norm of the Doctrine of the Eucharist

2. Interpretation of the Eucharistic Texts

3. Doctrinal Contents of the Eucharistic Passages


1. Question of Possibility

2. The Place of Faith in the Sacrament

3. The Words of the Institution

I. The Term.

1. The Derivation and Meaning:

"Eucharist" is the anglicized form of the Greek noun eucharistia, which signifies "gratitude," "thanks," or "praise offering." The noun is derived from the verb eucharisteo, which, with the verb eulogeo of kindred meaning in Mt 26:26,27; Mr 14:22,23, is used to describe the action of the Lord in blessing the bread and wine at the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Lu 22:19; 1Co 11:23). When used absolutely, as in these places, it signifies "the offering up of praise that is prompted by nothing else than God Himself and His revealed glory" (Cremer). The blessing of the physical elements was part of the sacramental action at subsequent celebrations of the ordinance (1Co 10:16), and thus eucharistia soon (2nd century) came to mean the blessed elements and the entire ordinance in which these were administered.

2. Synonyms:

Other Scriptural terms for the same ordinance are "Communion" (from koinonia, in the twofold sense indicated in 1Co 10:16,17), "Lord’s Supper" (kuriakon deipnon (1Co 11:20)), "Lord’s Table" (trapeza kuriou (1Co 10:21)), "Breaking of Bread" (klasis tou artou (Ac 2:42)). The literature of the church developed a great many terms which emphasize one or the other feature of the ordinance. Luther, in his Small Catechism, adopts the name "Sacrament of the Altar," because it is administered at the altar. The Lutheran Confessions occasionally employ the term "mass," however, in the original meaning which the early church, not in that which the Roman church, connects with the term ("mass" derived either from missa, "things sent," because the materials for communion were sent to the place of celebration, or from missio, "a sending (away)," because worshippers who were not members, or minors, were dismissed from the service before the celebration of the Eucharist began; but see McClintock and Strong, Cyclop. of Biblical, Theol., and Eccles. Lit., V, 863).

II. The Ordinance.

1. Source and Norm of the Doctrine of the Eucharist:

The "seats of doctrine," i.e. the Scripture texts which must be employed for determining every essential part of the teaching of Scripture regarding the second sacrament of the Christian church, are the words of institution recorded in Mt 26:26-28; Mr 14:22-24; Lu 22:19,20; 1Co 11:23-25. Valuable statements, chiefly concerning the proper use of the sacrament, are found in 1Co 10:15 ff; 11:20 ff. That these texts are disputed is no reason why a doctrine should not be established from them. No doctrine of the Christian religion could be established, if every text of Scripture had to be withdrawn from the argument, so soon as it had become disputed. Joh 6:32-59 does not treat of this ordinance, because

(1) the ordinance must be dated from the night of the betrayal, which was considerably after the Lord’s discourse at Capernaum;

(2) because this passage speaks of "eating the flesh," not the body, of the Son of man, and of drinking "his blood," in such a manner that a person’s eternal salvation is made to depend upon this eating and drinking. If this passage were eucharistic, infants, children, persons in durance among pagans, or temporarily deprived of the ministration of the Christian church, hence, unable to commune, could not be saved.

2. Interpretation of the Eucharistic Texts:

The exposition of the genuine eucharistic texts of Scripture is governed by the common law of Bible exegesis, namely, that every word and statement of Scripture must be understood in its proper and native sense, unless a plain and urgent reason compels the adoption of a figurative interpretation. The writers who have recorded the institution of the sacrament have given no hint that they wish to be understood figuratively. The solemn occasion—the Eucharist being the expression of the last will or testament of the Lord—forbids the use of figurative language (Ga 3:15). The fact that a statement of Scripture transcends our natural powers of comprehension does not justify us in giving it a figurative meaning. If this rationalistic principle were to be applied in explaining Scripture, we could not retain a single revealed doctrine. Besides, those who have adopted a figurative interpretation are not agreed where to locate the figure in the words of institution. Some claim that the word touto, others that esti, others that to soma mou contain a figure, while still others would take the institutional words in their proper sense, but understand the entire ordinance figuratively.

3. Doctrinal Contents of the Eucharistic Passages:

The eucharistic passages contain: (1) a statement fixing the time and occasion of the institution. It was "in the night in which he was betrayed," immediately before the beginning of the passio magna of Christ, and in connection with the celebration of the Jewish Passover (Mt 26:17 ). The ordinance which Christ instituted was to take the place of the ancient Passover (1Co 5:7, which text Luther aptly renders: "We, too, have a passover, which is Christ crucified for us"). Jewish custom at the time of Christ seems to have allowed some latitude as regards the time for eating the paschal lamb. Thus the difference between John (18:28; 19:42) and the synoptists is overcome. our Lord was deeply stirred with thoughts of love and affection for His disciples at the time of the institution (13:1).

(2) An authoritative declaration of Christ, the God-man, fixing the constituent parts of the sacrament, and the essential features of the sacramental act (speciem actus). This declaration names:

(a) The elements of the sacrament, which are of two kinds: bread and wine (materia terrena), and the body and blood of the Lord (materia coelestis) (see Ireneus Adv. Haer., iv.34,363, quoted in Form. Conc. Sol. Decl., Art. VII, number 14, 649). There is no law laid down as regards the quality, form, or quantity of the bread (leavened or unleavened, round or oblong, in large loaves, cakes, or in wafer form ready for immediate distribution). Likewise the color and quality of the wine is left undefined. The expression gennema tes ampelou, "fruit of the vine" (Mt 26:29), sanctions the use of any substance that has grown on the vine, has been pressed from grapes, and has the characteristics of the substance known as wine. That the wine used by the Lord at that season of the year and in accordance with Jewish custom was fermented wine, there can be no doubt (Hodge, Systematic Theol., III, 616). The use of unfermented wine is apt to introduce an element of uncertainty into the sacrament. The heavenly elements are defined thus: "My body, which is given for you," "my blood, which is shed for many." These terms signify the real, substantial, natural body of Christ, and His real, natural blood (Luther: "the true body and blood of our Lord "). Both the earthly and the heavenly elements are really present at the same time in every eucharistic act. To deny either the presence of real bread and wine at any stage during the eucharistic act, as the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation does (against 1Co 11:26,28), or the real presence of the true body and blood of Christ, as reformed teaching does, is not doing justice to Scripture.

(b) The relation of the elements to one another: In offering the physical elements to the disciples the Lord employs the locutio exhibitiva, common to every language of men: He names that which is not seen while giving that which is seen. (" Here are your spices," says the grocer delivering the package containing them.) The locutio exhibitiva, except when used by a jester or dishonest person, always states a fact. The bread in the Eucharist is the body of Christ, the wine, likewise, is the blood of Christ. The relation is expressed in 1Co 10:16,17 by koinonia, "communion." This term is not the same as metocht, "participation," which would refer to the communicants (Plummer, HDB, III, 149). Koinonia declares a communion of the bread with the body, of the wine with the blood, of Christ. It is impossible to define the mode and manner of this communion of the earthly with the heavenly elements. Such terms as "consubstantiation," "impanation," "invination," are faulty attempts to define the undefinable. All we can assert is, that in a manner incomprehensible to us the body and blood of the Lord are in a sacramental union with the eucharistic bread and wine.

(c) The action required, namely, "take, eat"; "take, drink." These words refer to the distribution and reception of the sacramental elements. These are essential, the mode is not, unless one wishes to emphasize, e.g. by the breaking of the bread, the merely symbolical meaning of the entire ordinance. Accordingly, it is also immaterial whether the administrant place the elements into the hands of the communicant, who then conveys them to his mouth, or whether the administrant conveys the elements directly to the mouth of the communicant. The acts of distributing and receiving, however, extend to the entire sacramental substance, i.e. not the bread, or the wine, alone are distributed and received, but "in, with, and under the bread" the body, "in, with, and under the wine" the blood, of Christ. The eating and drinking in the Eucharist is of a peculiar kind. It differs from mere natural eating and drinking of common food, and from spiritual eating and drinking, which is a figurative expression signifying the believing appropriation of the Saviour’s atoning work, and which can never be "for judgment." In natural eating and drinking there would be only bread and wine, not the body and blood of the Lord; in spiritual eating and drinking there would be only the merits of the Redeemer, not bread and wine. In sacramental eating and drinking both the bread and the body, the wine and the blood, of Christ, are sacramentally received, the earthly elements in a natural, the heavenly in a supernatural, undefinable manner, both, however, orally, and both by every communicant. For, according to 1Co 11:29, also the unworthy communicant receives the Lord’s body, and that for his judgment, "not discerning" it (the King James Version).

(d) The end and aim of the ordinance: The Lord says: "This do in remembrance of me." Paul says: "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come." These words make the Eucharist an efficient means for strengthening the spiritual union of the disciples with the Lord until His second coming. They are a call for faith on the part of the communicants, and restrict admission to communion to the believing followers of the Lord. Worthy communicants are those who understand the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice and hope for His return in glory. (Luther: "The sacrament is instituted for us Christians.") The duty of self-exploration enjoined upon communicants further emphasizes the purpose of this ordinance. Self-exploration embraces knowledge and acknowledgment of our sinful state, confidence in the ever-present forgiveness of God for Christ’s sake, and a sincere purpose to forsake sin and grow in holiness. Accordingly, non-believers, morally irresponsible persons, and persons who lead offensive lives which they will not amend, cannot be admitted to communion (Mt 7:6). In 1Co 10:17 Paul names another purpose: the strengthening of the bonds of brotherly love and fellowship by means of communion. Hence, unity of faith and active Christian charity are required in those who are to commune together (Mt 5:23,14), and "close communion," not "open, or promiscuous communion" is in accord with the teaching of Scripture. In the absence of any fixed rule as to the frequency of a Christian’s communing, the above reasons suffice to induce him to commune frequently ("as often as").

(3) An authoritative statement of Christ concerning the continued use of the sacrament (exercitium actus): "This do." This means

(a) that the action of Christ is to be repeated, i.e., bread and wine should be blessed, distributed and received. The blessing is called the consecration and consists in the reciting of a prayer and the words of the institution. Consecration has no magical effects, it does not produce the sacramental union. On the other hand, it is not a mere meaningless ceremony, but a solemn declaration that in accordance with the will of the Lord, bread and wine are now being separated from their common use, to be devoted to the use which the Lord commanded. It is also a prayer to the Lord to be present in the sacrament;

(b) that whenever disciples do as their Lord did, He will connect His body and blood with the earthly substances as He did at the first communion;

(c) that besides the blessing of the elements, only the giving, or distribution, and the taking, or reception, of the sacramental elements are proper and essential parts of a sacramental action. A true sacramental action is complete only where these three acts concur: consecration, distribution, reception, and outside of these acts nothing that may be done with the elements possesses the nature of a sacrament or a sacramental action. Offering the consecrated wafer for adoration is no part of the sacrament, but is a form of idolatry (artolatry), because there is no sacramental union except in the act of distributing and receiving the consecrated elements. The withdrawal of the cup from the lay communicants is an unwarranted mutilation of the sacrament (Mt 26:27; Mr 14:23). But the grossest perversion of the sacrament, and a standing reproach to the completeness of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord is the offering up of the consecrated elements as an unbloody sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead, which is being done in the Roman mass (Heb 10:14,18).

III. Difficulties.

1. Question of Possibility:

"How can these things be?" This question might be raised against every doctrine of Scripture. The union of the natures in the God-man, the imputation of His merit to the believer, the quickening power of the word of Divine grace, the resurrection of the dead, etc., can all be subjected to the same questioning.

2. The Place of Faith in the Sacrament:

"Has faith no place in this sacrament?" Faith does not create, nor help to create the sacrament, neither the administrant’s nor the communicant’s faith. The sacrament is fully constituted in all its parts by the institutional act of the Lord and by His command to continue the observance of it. Man’s faith cannot make, man’s unbelief cannot unmake, an ordinance of God. But faith is necessary in order that a communicant may receive the blessings offered in the Eucharist, and testify to his believing relation to the Lord and to his Christian fellowship with the brethren. The sacrament bestows no blessing ex opere operato, i.e. by the mere mechanical performance of the physical act.

3. The Words of the Institution:

"Are the words of the institution part of the sacred text?" Up to the age of Paulus, they were universally regarded so, and the critical labors of Briggs, P. Gardner, Grafe, Immer, Julicher, etc., which can readily be explained by theological position of these men, lack unity of result and are offset by the labors of Scrivener, Schultzen, R.A. Hoffman, Blass, Beyschlag, etc. Christianity as yet sees no reason for discarding the words of the institution and for discontinuing the Eucharist as a Divine ordinance.

W. H. T. Dau



1. Date

2. Doctrinal

3. Tradition





The interest of this denomination in the Lord’s Supper as related to the Passover consists in two points:

(1) that the "Lord’s Supper" was not the Jewish Passover, but was eaten the evening before the Jewish feast; and

(2) that this "Last Supper" was intended to be perpetuated. This is perpetuated by the Church of the Brethren under the name of "Love Feast" (see AGAPE).

I. The Last Supper Was Not the Jewish Passover.

1. Date:

John gives five distinct intimations of the date:

(1)) "Now before the feast of the passover" (Pro de tes heortes tou pascha; Joh 13:1). This shows that the washing of the disciples’ feet, and the discourses at the Last Supper were before the Passover.

(2) "Buy what things we have need of for the feast" agorason hon chreian echomen eis ten heorten; Joh 13:29). This shows that the Supper (daiphon) was not the Passover feast [@heorten).

(3) "They lead Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Pretorium; and it was early; and they themselves entered not into the Pretorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover" (hina phagosin to pascha; Joh 18:28). This was after the Supper, early on the day of crucifixion, before the Passover.

(4) "Now it was the Preparation of the passover: it was about the sixth hour" (en de paraskeue tou pascha; Joh 19:14). This again shows conclusively that the Passover was not yet eaten. Jesus is before Pilate; it is the day of the crucifixion, and after the Last Supper.

(5) "The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day)," Joh 19:31, etc. Here we have again a reference to the Preparation (paraskeue tou pascha), and also to the Sabbath which, in this case was a "high day" (en gar megale he hemera ekeinou tou sabbatou). This shows that the Passover was eaten on Friday evening after sunset on the 15th of Nisan at the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath. Whenever the Passover fell upon the Sabbath, that Sabbath was a "high day."

2. Doctrinal:

Christ is our Passover: died at the time the Passover lamb was slain, hence, after the Last Supper.

(1) Christ died at the time the Passover lamb was slain on Friday afternoon, the 14th of Nisan, and thus became Our Passover (1Co 5:7), "For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ."

(2) Jesus, the "Lamb of God" (Joh 1:29) corresponds to the Passover lamb (Ex 12:3). "Without blemish" (Ex 12:5) = Jesus, "who did no sin" (1Pe 2:22-24). The blood of a lamb sprinkled upon houses (Ex 12:7,13) corresponds to salvation by the blood of Jesus (1 Joh 1:7-9).

(3) Jesus arose the third day and became "the first-fruits of them that are asleep" (1Co 15:4,20,23). The resurrection was on the first day of the week. The sheaf, or first-fruits, was gathered on the 16th of Nisan. Therefore Jesus must have died on Friday the 14th of Nisan, when the Passover lamb was slain; hence, after the Last Supper.

3. Tradition:

All the early traditions, both Jewish and Christian, agree that Jesus was crucified on the day of Preparation of the Passover, and they distinguish between the Passover and the Last Supper which was eaten the evening before the Jewish feast.

II. The Perpetuation of the Last Supper.

(1) Since the Last Supper was a new institution, there is no more reason for perpetuating one part than another. It is a unit, and each event of that night has its meaning and place.

(2) Jesus commanded the disciples to perpetuate feet-washing (see WASHING OF FEET) (Joh 13:14,15,17), and likewise He commanded the Eucharist to be perpetuated as a memorial of Him (1Co 11:24,25). Why not the Agape?

(3) The Agape was perpetuated by the apostles and disciples. They certainly understood Jesus to mean that the entire services of the Last Supper should be perpetuated, else they would not have done so.

III. Practice of the Church of the Brethren.

The "Love Feast" commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples. These Love Feasts are held once or twice each year, always in the evening, by each local church or congregation. Preparatory services on "self-examination" (1Co 11:28) precede the ordinances. The church pews are converted into tables. The Supper (deipnon) is made ready beforehand by the deacons and deaconesses. The devotional exercises aim to accomplish special consecration, confession, and reconciliation. Before the eating of the Supper, Joh 13:1-17 is read and explained, whereupon the brethren proceed to wash one another’s feet, and the sisters likewise by themselves. All tarry one for another (1Co 11:33) until they are ready for the Supper. The officiating elder then calls upon someone to offer prayer for the meal, which is then eaten together. Another prayer of thanksgiving is offered at the close of the meal. After the meal, the officiating elder calls upon one to read the story of Christ’s sufferings (Isa 53, or Joh 19). After a short explanation of the meaning of the symbol, the communicants rise while the officiating elder gives thanks for the bread. He then turns to his brother at his right and breaks a piece of the unleavened bread for him with the words, "My beloved brother, the bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ" (see 1Co 10:16). The brethren then break the bread one to the other, with these words. Likewise the sisters in the same manner. Again the congregation rises while the officiating elder gives thanks for the cup, which is then passed by one to the other with the words "Beloved brother (or sister), the cup of the New Testament is the communion of the blood of Christ" (1Co 10:16). This is followed by prayers of praise and thanksgiving, then a hymn (Mt 26:30) and a benediction.

IV. The Meaning and Significance of the Love Feast.

All these ordinances or symbols signify some fundamental virtue in the Christian life. We are commanded to follow our Master who is the Way and the Truth. But these symbols have a real significance, apart from merely "following" or "obeying" the Lord’s command.

(1) Feet-washing symbolized humility and service, and also the partial cleansing which all Christians need.

(2) The Agape signifies the bread-and-water covenant of brotherhood and peace. It is not only the symbol of true Christian fellowship, but is productive of such fellowship. It is also symbolic of the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb," which is supremely a symbol of joy.

(3) the Eucharist:

(a) The broken bread represents the "body of Christ" (1Co 10:16) "which is broken for you" (1Co 11:24 the King James Version); hence, the symbol of sacrifice. It is a memorial of Christ’s sufferings, and a consecration to suffer with Him. It means also feeding on Christ, whose flesh we must eat (Joh 6:35,51,53,54).

(b) The cup represents the blood of Christ (1Co 10:16; Joh 6:53,54). It is the blood covenant that symbolizes the unity of man with God (Joh 17:21). Jesus is the vine, we are the branches (Joh 15). The same mind, spirit, life and love which are in God and Christ are to be in us.


C. F. Yoder, God’s Means of Grace; R.H. Miller, Doctrine of Brethren Defended; D. W. Kurtz, Outline of the Fundamental Doctrines (all of Elgin, Illinois, U.S.A.).

Daniel Webster Kurtz

LORD; THE LORD lord, This English word in our Bible represents one Aramaic, 3 Greek and 9 Hebrew words, two of them in two forms. It thus expresses all grades of dignity, honor, and majesty. It is not always possible to be sure of the sense in which the term is to be taken. In Ge 18:3; 19:18, the translators waver between interpreting of the Divine Person and a finite angel (compare marginal readings). It represents the most sacred Hebrew name for God, as their covenant God, Yah, Yahweh, and the more usual designation of Deity, ‘Adhonay, ‘Adhon, a term which they adopted to avoid pronouncing the most holy designation. They had placed on Le 24:16 an interpretation that aroused such a dread that they seldom dared use the name at all. When two of the words usually translated "Lord," both referring to God, occur together, the King James Version renders "Lord God," and the American Standard Revised Version "Lord Yahweh." the American Standard Revised Version has adopted the rule of using the covenant name transliterated, instead of the term "Lord," in which the King James Version adopts the rule of the Hebrews to avoid the holy name.

The Aramaic designation, Mare’, occurs only in Da (e.g. 2:47; 5:23), and the same word refers to a man (4:24).

Of the Greek words, Kurios is freely used of both the Deity and men. Despotes, of men in classic usage, occurs only of God, including the ascended Jesus, and is employed only 5 times. Megistanes (plural) is found once, of men (Mr 6:21). Rabboni (Hebrew in Greek letters) is applied only to the Christ, and is simply transliterated in the Revised Version (British and American), but rendered "Lord" in the King James Version (compare Mr 10:51).

Our English versions distinguish the 3 main uses of the term thus:

(1) "LORD" represents the Hebrew Yahweh, Septuagint Kurios, except where ‘Adhonay or ‘Adhon is combined with Yahweh (=" Lord God"); the American Standard Revised Version has in these examples employed the name as it is found in the Hebrew, simply transliterated.

(2) "Lord" corresponds to ‘Adhonay, ‘Adhon, Mare’, also Greek Kurios (see (1)), and Despotes, for which the American Standard Revised Version has always "Master" in either the text or the margin.

(3) "Lord" ("lord") translates all the remaining 8 Hebrew words and the Greek words except Despotes. It is thus seen that Kurios corresponds to all three forms of writing the English term.


William Owen Carver


(ceren, same as Hebrew word for "axle," probably a native designation): These "lords" (Jos 13:3; Jud 3:3; 16:5, etc.; 1Sa 5:8,11, etc.), elsewhere called "princes" (sar, 1Sa 18:30; 29:3,4,9), were the petty rulers or kings of the 5 Philistine cities, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, Gath.



chaTa "to suffer as one erring, or as a sinner" (Ge 31:39, where Jacob assures Laban that he (Jacob) suffered the loss of all animals of the flock torn by beasts); shekhol, "bereavement" (Isa 47:8 f, where the prophet foretells the humiliation of proud Babylon who shall suffer the loss of her children, and widowhood); shikkulim, "bereavement" (Isa 49:20, translated "bereavement" in the Revised Version (British and American), where the prophet promises to the desolate Zion enlargement). In the New Testament the translations of three Greek words: apobole, "casting away" (Ac 27:22, where Paul assures the crew and passengers that there shall be no "loss" of life from the storm); zemia, "loss" (Ac 27:21, referring to the harm sustained in the storm; Php 3:7 f, where Paul counts all his natural privileges and attainments as forfeited for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ); zemioo. "to suffer loss" (1Co 3:15, where Paul says the man whose works are burned shall suffer "loss"; Php 3:8, same context as above).

Charles B. Williams

LOT (1)


I. Personality.

The man who bore the name Lot (lot; Lot) is mentioned for the first time in Ge 11:27, at the beginning of that section of Genesis which is entitled "the generations of Terah." After Terah’s 3 sons are named, it is added that the third of these, Haran, begat Lot.

The reason for thus singling out but one of the grandsons of Terah appears in the next verse, where we are told that "Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees." For that period in the life of this family, therefore, which begins with the migration from Ur, Lot represents his father’s branch of the family (Ge 11:31). It is hardly probable that the relation between Abraham and Lot would have been what it was, had not Haran died; but be this as it may, we read this introduction of Lot into the genealogy of Terah as an anticipation of the story to which it furnishes an introduction, and in which Lot is destined to play an important part.

The sections of that story in which Lot appears are: in Ge 11, the migration from Ur to Haran; in Ge 12, Abraham’s wanderings; in Ge 13, the separation of Abraham and Lot; in Ge 14, the campaign of the eastern kings against Sodom and Abraham’s recovery of the captives; and in Ge 19, the destruction of Sodom.

In Ge 14:14,16 Lot is termed the "brother" of Abraham; but that this does not represent a variant tradition is proved by reference to 14:12 of the same chapter (ascribed to "an independent source") and to 13:8 (ascribed to J; compare 11:28 J).

II. Career.

1. First Period:

Lot’s life, as the scanty references to him permit us to reconstruct it, falls into four periods. Of the first period—that previous to the migration from Haran—we know nothing save Lot’s birth in Ur, the death of his father there, the marriage of his sister Milcah to his uncle Nahor (of another sister, Iscah, we learn only the name), and the journey to Haran in company with Terah, Abraham and Sarah. The fact that Sarah’s childlessness and Haran’s death are the only two circumstances related of the family history, may serve to explain why Lot went with Abraham instead of staying with Nahor. A childless uncle and a fatherless nephew may well have remained together with the idea that, even if there was no formal adoption, the nephew might become his uncle’s heir. Certainly, the promise of a numberless seed, so often repeated to the patriarchs, comes first to Abraham immediately after Lot has separated from him (see Ge 13:6-18).

2. Second Period:

In the second period of Lot’s life, we find him the companion of Abraham on his journeys from Mesopotamia to Canaan, through Canaan to Egypt, and back again to the neighborhood of Beth-el. His position is subordinate, for his uncle is head of the family, and oriental custom is uniform and rigorous in the matter of family rule. Hence, the use of the singular number throughout the narrative. What Abraham did, his whole "clan" did. Yet Lot’s position was as nearly independent as these patriarchal conditions admit. When the story reaches the point where it is necessary to mention this fact, the narrator explains, first, the generosity with which Abraham treated his nephew, in permitting him to have "flocks, and herds, and tents" of his own, a quasi-independent economy, and second, that disproportion between their collective possessions and the land’s resources which made separation inevitable. Up to this point the only mention of Lot during this period of wandering is contained in Ge 13:1, in the words "and Lot with him." And even here the words are useless (because stating a fact perfectly presumable here as elsewhere), except as they prepare the reader for the story of the separation that is immediately to follow.

3. Third Period:

That story introduces the third period of Lot’s career, that of his residence in the Kikkar (the Revised Version (British and American) "Plain," the Revised Version margin "Circle") and in Sodom. To the fundamental cause of separation, as above stated, the author adds the two circumstances which contributed to produce the result, namely, first, the strife that arose between Abraham’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen, and, second, the presence in the same country of others—the Canaanites and Perizzites—thus reminding his readers that it was no vacant land, through which they might spread themselves absolutely at will and so counteract the operation of the principal cause and the contributory cause already set forth.

With a magnanimity that must have seemed even greater to minds accustomed to patriarchal authority than it seems to us, and that was in fact much more remarkable than it would be here and now, Abraham offers to his nephew the choice of the land—from the nomad’s point of view. In the "we are brethren" (Ge 13:8), the whole force of the scene is crystallized. Lot, who believes himself to have chosen the better part, is thereupon traced in his nomadic progress as far as Sodom, and the reader leaves him for a time face to face with a city whose men "were wicked and sinners against Yahweh exceedingly," while the narrative moves on with Abraham through that fresh scene of revelation which presented to this man of magnanimity a Divine deed to all the land, and to this man, now left without an heir from among his own kindred (compare Ge 15:2,3), a Divine pledge of innumerable offspring.

Lot returns for a moment to our view as the mainspring of Abraham’s motions in the campaign of Ge 14. We are expressly told that it was "when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive," that he "led forth his trained men .... and pursued." On the one hand we hear that Lot now "dwelt in Sodom," having abandoned the life in tents that he had led since Mesopotamian days, and on the other hand we find in him a foil to the energetic, decisive and successful figure of his uncle—for Lot plays a sorry role, bracketed always with "the women and the goods."

This period of his life ends with the annihilation of his chosen home, his wealth, his companions, and all that was his save two daughters, who, it would seem, might better have perished with the rest. Genesis 19, coming immediately after the intercession of Abraham for Sodom that poignantly impresses on the reader’s mind the wickedness of Lot’s environment, exhibits to us the man himself in his surroundings, as they have affected him through well-nigh a score of years (compare 12:4; 17:1). What we see is a man who means well (courtesy, 19:1; hospitality, 19:2,3,6-8; natural shame, 19:7; loyalty, 19:14; and gratitude, 19:19), but who is hopelessly bound up with the moral life of the city through his family connections—alliances that have pulled him down rather than elevated others (19:9,14,26,31-35). The language of 2Pe 2:7,8 reminds us that Lot was, even at this time of his life, a "righteous" man. Viewed as a part of his environment (the writer has been speaking of Sodom, 19:6), Lot was certainly entitled to be called a "righteous" man, and the term fits the implications of Ge 18:23-32. Moreover, Ge 19 itself shows Lot "vexed .... with their lawless deeds" and "sore distressed by the lascivious life of the wicked" (compare 19:3,7,8,14). Yet the contrast with Abraham is always present in the reader’s mind, so that the most lasting impressions are made by Lot’s selfishness worldliness vacillation and cowardice, not to mention the moral effect made by the closing scene of his life (19:30-38).

4. Fourth Period:

The fourth period of Lot’s career is of uncertain duration. Upon the destruction of Sodom he dwelt at first in Zoar, the "little" city, spared as a convenient refuge for him and his; but at some time unspecified, he "went up out of Zoar," for "he feared to dwell in Zoar"—why, we cannot say. This fear was greater than even the evidently great fear he entertained of dwelling in "the mountain" (Ge 19:19). In this mountain-country of rocks and caves (Driver in HDB, article "Lot," cites Buckingham, Travels in Syria, 61-63, 87, as authority for the statement that people still live in caves in this region), Lot and his two remaining daughters dwell; and the biography of this companion of "the friend of God" ends in a scene of incest, which supplies the logical epilogue to a drama of progressive moral deterioration. This bestial cave-man of Ge 19 is the "brother" of Abraham, but he has reached this goal because his path had led down from Beth-el to Sodom. The origin of the two neighboring and kindred nations, Moab and Ammon, is by the Hebrew tradition traced thus to Lot and his daughters.

III. Place in Later Literature.

In the Bible, Lot finds mention only as the father of Moab and Ammon (De 2:9,19; Ps 83:8), and in the passage in 2Pe already noticed; and, besides these places, in Lu 17:28-32. Here Lot represents the central figure in the destruction of Sodom, as Noah in the flood in the preceding context (compare the association of these two characters in 2Pe and the Koran). His deliverance is mentioned, the haste and narrowness of that escape is implied, and his wife’s fate is recalled. In Jewish and Mohammedan lore (including many passages in the Koran itself), Lot is a personage of importance, about whom details are told which fancy has added to the sober traditions of old Israel. But particularly for Mohammed there was point of attachment in Lot’s career, offered in Ge 19:7,14. Like Mohammed to the men of wicked Mecca, Lot becomes a preacher of righteousness and a messenger of judgment to the men of wicked Sodom. He is one of the line of apostles, sent to reveal God’s will and purpose to his contemporaries.

IV. Critical Theories about the Figure of Lot.

The common view of those who deny the historical reality of Lot is that this name simply stands for the ethnic group, Moab and Ammon. Wellhausen, e.g., expressly calls "Lot" a national name (Volksname). As to what is told of him in Ge he remarks: "Were it not for the remarkable depression in which the Dead Sea lies, Sodom and Gomorrah would not have perished; were it not for the little flat tongue of land that reaches out into the swamp from the Southeast, Lot would have fled at once to the mountains of his sons, Moab and Ammon, and not have made the detour by Zoar, which merely serves the purpose of explaining why this corner is excepted from ‘the overthrow,’ to the territory of which it really belongs" (Prolegomena 6, 323). Meyer confesses that nothing can be made of Lot, because "any characteristic feature that might furnish a point of attachment is entirely lacking." The first of the families of the Horites of Seir was named Lotan (Ge 36:20,22), and this writer believes it "probable that this name is derived from Lot; but that Lot was ever a tribal name (Stammname) follows neither from this fact (rather the contrary) nor from the designation of Moab and the bene ‘Ammon as ‘Sons of Lot’ "( Die Israeliten und ihre Nachbarstamme, 311; Compare 261, 339). If "Horite" was understood as "cave-dweller," the story in Ge 19:30 might be adduced in support of this combination. But the most recent line of reasoning concerning these patriarchal figures makes their names "neither Divine names nor tribal names, whether in actual use or regarded as such, but rather simple personal names like Tom, Dick and Harry. .... Typical names they became .... so that .... Israel’s story-tellers would connect the name of Lot with the overthrow of the cities" (Gressmann, article in ZATW, 1910). These names were chosen just because "they were very common at the time when the narratives were stamped into types"; later they became unfashionable, but the story-tellers held fast to the old names. "One sees from this at once into how ancient a time the proper names Abraham and Lot must reach, and understands therefore the more easily how they could be changed into tribal ancestors." It does not require the cautions, uttered by writers of this way of thinking, against regarding their views as a return to the old historical view of the patriarchs, to remind us that, in spite of all that may be said to the contrary, the present trend of thought among the most radical critics of the Genesis-traditions is much mote favorable to that conservative historical view than were the opinions which they have overthrown. So that it may justly be asserted, as Gressmann writes: "Confidence in tradition is in any case on the rise."

Lot’s Wife: This woman, unknown by name, figures in the narrative of Lot that relates his escape from Sodom. She is mentioned in Ge 19 only in verses 15-17, where she is commanded to flee from the doomed city with her husband and daughters, and is laid hold upon by the angelic visitors in their effort to hasten the slow departure; and in 19:26, where she alone of the four fugitives disobeys the warning, looks back, and becomes a "pillar of salt" This disobedience, with the moral state it implied and the judgment it entailed, is held up as an example by Christ in Lu 17:32. In the Scriptures this is all that is said of a person and event that furnished the basis for a great deal of speculation. Josephus (Ant., I, xi, 4) adds to the statement derived from Gen, "She was changed into a pillar of salt," the words, "for I visited it, and it still remains even now" (see also The Wisdom of Solomon 10:7).

Among Christian writers contemporary with and subsequent to Josephus, as well as among the Jews themselves and other Orientals, the same assertion is found, and down to recent times travelers have reported the persistence of such a "pillar of salt," either on the testimony of natives or as eyewitnesses. The question of the origin and nature of these "pillars" is a part of the larger question of Sodom and its neighborhood (see SALT; SIDDIM; SLIME); for that no one particular "pillar" has persisted through the centuries may be regarded as certain; nor if it had, would the identification of Lot’s wife with it and with it alone be ascertainable. This is just an early, persistent and notable case of that "identification" of Biblical sites which prevails all over the Holy Land. It is to be classed with the myth-and legend-building turn of mind in simple peoples, which has e.g. embroidered upon this Old Testament account of the destruction of Sodom such marvelous details and embellishments.

The principal thing to observe is the vagueness and the simplicity of the story in Gen. For it does not necessarily imply the "metamorphosis" popularly attributed to it, in the strict sense of that word. And it lacks, even in a narrative like this, where the temptation would be greatest, all indications of that "popular archaeology" or curiosity, which according to some critics, is alleged to have furnished the original motive for the invention of the patriarchal narratives. "She became a pillar of salt," and "Remember Lot’s wife": this is the extent of the Biblical allusions. All the rest is comment, or legend, or guess, or "science."

J. Oscar Boyd

LOT (2)



lo’-tan (loTan): Son of Seir, a chief (the King James Version "duke") of Edom (Ge 36:20,22,29; 1Ch 1:38 f).


loth-a-su’-bus (Lothasoubos): One of those who stood by Ezra at the reading of the law (1 Esdras 9:44); called "Hashum" in Ne 8:4.






lo’-tus (tse’elim; the King James Version shady trees): The trees under which behemoth (the "hippopotams") rests; "He lieth under the lotus-trees," "The lotus-trees cover him with their shade" (Job 40:21,22). The Arabic equivalent is the dom tree, Zizyphus lotus, a species of jujube tree (Natural Order Rhamneae); it has many spines and small globular fruit a little bigger than a pea. It is common in the Jordan valley. This plant has nothing to do with the Egyptian lotus.



luv (’ahebh, ‘ahabhah, noun; phileo, agapao, verb; agape, noun): Love to both God and man is fundamental to true religion, whether as expressed in the Old Testament or the New Testament. Jesus Himself declared that all the law and the prophets hang upon love (Mt 22:40; Mr 12:28-34). Paul, in his matchless ode on love (1Co 13), makes it the greatest of the graces of the Christian life—greater than speaking with tongues, or the gift of prophecy, or the possession of a faith of superior excellence; for without love all these gifts and graces, desirable and useful as they are in themselves, are as nothing, certainly of no permanent value in the sight of God. Not that either Jesus or Paul underestimates the faith from which all the graces proceed, for this grace is recognized as fundamental in all God’s dealings with man and man’s dealings with God (Joh 6:28 f; Heb 11:6); but both alike count that faith as but idle and worthless belief that does not manifest itself in love to both God and man. As love is the highest expression of God and His relation to mankind, so it must be the highest expression of man’s relation to his Maker and to his fellow-man.

I. Definition.

While the Hebrew and Greek words for "love" have various shades and intensities of meaning, they may be summed up in some such definition as this: Love, whether used of God or man, is an earnest and anxious desire for and an active and beneficent interest ins the well-being of the one loved. Different degrees and manifestations of this affection are recognized in the Scriptures according to the circumstances and relations of life, e.g. the expression of love as between husband and wife, parent and child, brethren according to the flesh, and according to grace; between friend and enemy, and, finally, between God and man. It must not be overlooked, however, that the fundamental idea of love as expressed in the definition of it is never absent in any one of these relations of life, even though the manifestation thereof may differ according to the circumstances and relations. Christ’s interview with the apostle Peter on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias (Joh 21:15-18) sets before us in a most beautiful way the different shades of meaning as found in the New Testament words phileo, and agapao. In the question of Christ, "Lovest thou me more than these?" the Greek verb agapas, denotes the highest, most perfect kind of love (Latin, diligere), implying a clear determination of will and judgment, and belonging particularly to the sphere of Divine revelation. In his answer Peter substitutes the word philo, which means the natural human affection, with its strong feeling, or sentiment, and is never used in Scripture language to designate man’s love to God. While the answer of Peter, then, claims only an inferior kind of love, as compared to the one contained in Christ’s question, he nevertheless is confident of possessing at least such love for his Lord.

II. The Love of God.

First in the consideration of the subject of "love" comes the love of God—He who is love, and from whom all love is derived. The love of God is that part of His nature—indeed His whole nature, for "God is love"—which leads Him to express Himself in terms of endearment toward His creatures, and actively to manifest that interest and affection in acts of loving care and self-sacrifice in behalf of the objects of His love. God is "love" (1 Joh 4:8,16) just as truly as He is "light" (1 Joh 1:5), "truth" (1 Joh 1:6), and "spirit" (Joh 4:24). Spirit and light are expressions of His essential nature; love is the expression of His personality corresponding to His nature. God not merely loves, but is love; it is His very nature, and He imparts this nature to be the sphere in which His children dwell, for "he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him" (1 Joh 4:16). Christianity is the only religion that sets forth the Supreme Being as Love. In heathen religions He is set forth as an angry being and in constant need of appeasing.

1. Objects of God’s Love:

The object of God’s love is first and foremost His own Son, Jesus Christ (Mt 3:17; 17:5; Lu 20:13; Joh 17:24). The Son shares the love of the Father in a unique sense; He is "my chosen, in whom my soul delighteth" (Isa 42:1). There exists an eternal affection between the Son and the Father—the Son is the original and eternal object of the Father’s love (Joh 17:24). If God’s love is eternal it must have an eternal object, hence, Christ is an eternal being.

God loves the believer in His Son with a special love. Those who are united by faith and love to Jesus Christ are, in a different sense from those who are not thus united, the special objects of God’s love. Said Jesus, thou "lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me" (Joh 17:23). Christ is referring to the fact that, just as the disciples had received the same treatment from the world that He had received, so they had received of the Father the same love that He Himself had received. They were not on the outskirts of God’s love, but in the very center of it. "For the father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me" (Joh 16:27). Here phileo is used for love, indicating the fatherly affection of God for the believer in Christ, His Son. This is love in a more intense form than that spoken of for the world (Joh 3:16).

God loves the world (Joh 3:16; compare 1Ti 2:4; 2Pe 3:9). This is a wonderful truth when we realize what a world this is—a world of sin and corruption. This was a startling truth for Nicodemus to learn, who conceived of God as loving only the Jewish nation. To him, in his narrow exclusiveism, the announcement of the fact that God loved the whole world of men was startling. God loves the world of sinners lost and ruined by the fall. Yet it is this world, "weak," "ungodly," "without strength," "sinners" (Ro 5:6-8), "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph 2:1 the King James Version), and unrighteous, that God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son in order to redeem it. The genesis of man’s salvation lies in the love and mercy of God (Eph 2:4 f). But love is more than mercy or compassion; it is active and identifies itself with its object. The love of the heavenly Father over the return of His wandering children is beautifully set forth in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Lu 15). Nor should the fact be overlooked that God loves not only the whole world, but each individual in it; it is a special as well as a general love (Joh 3:16, "whosoever"; Ga 2:20, "loved me, and gave himself up for me").

2. Manifestations of God’s Love:

God’s love is manifested by providing for the physical, mental, moral and spiritual needs of His people (Isa 48:14,20,21; 62:9-12; 63:3,12). In these Scriptures God is seen manifesting His power in behalf His people in the time of their wilderness journeying and their captivity. He led them, fed and clothed them, guided them and protected them from all their enemies. His love was again shown in feeling with His people, their sorrows and afflictions (Isa 63:9); He suffered in their affliction, their interests were His; He was not their adversary but their friend, even though it might have seemed to them as if He either had brought on them their suffering or did not care about it. Nor did He ever forget them for a moment during all their trials. They thought He did; they said, "God hath forgotten us," "He hath forgotten to be gracious"; but no; a mother might forget her child that she should not have compassion on it, but God would never forget His people. How could He? Had He not graven them upon the palms of His hands (Isa 49:15 f)? Rather than His love being absent in the chastisement of His people, the chastisement itself was often a proof of the presence of the Divine love, "for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (Heb 12:6-11). Loving reproof and chastisement are necessary oftentimes for growth in holiness and righteousness. Our redemption from sin is to be attributed to God’s wondrous love; "Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back" (Isa 38:17; compare Ps 50:21; 90:8). Eph 2:4 f sets forth in a wonderful way how our entire salvation springs forth from the mercy and love of God; "But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ," etc. It is because of the love of the Father that we are granted a place in the heavenly kingdom (Eph 2:6-8). But the supreme manifestation of the love of God, as set forth in the Scripture, is that expressed in the gift of His only-begotten Son to die for the sins of the world (Joh 3:16; Ro 5:6-8; 1 Joh 4:9 f), and through whom the sinful and sinning but repentant sons of men are taken into the family of God, and receive the adoption of sons (1 Joh 3:1 f; Ga 4:4-6). From this wonderful love of God in Christ Jesus nothing in heaven or earth or hell, created or uncreated or to be created, shall be able to separate us (Ro 8:37 f).

III. The Love of Man.

1. Source of Man’s Love:

Whatever love there is in man, whether it be toward God or toward his fellowman, has its source in God—"Love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 Joh 4:7 f); "We love, because he first loved us" (1 Joh 4:19). Trench, in speaking of agape, says it is a word born within the bosom of revealed religion. Heathen writers do not use it at all, their nearest approach to it being philanthropia or philadelphia—the love betweeen those of the same blood. Love in the heart of man is the offspring of the love of God. Only the regenerated heart can truly love as God loves; to this higher form of love the unregenerate can lay no claim (1 Joh 4:7,19,21; 2:7-11; 3:10; 4:11 f). The regenerate man is able to see his fellow-man as God sees him, value him as God values him, not so much because of what he is by reason of his sin and unloveliness, but because of what, through Christ, he may become; he sees man’s intrinsic worth and possibility in Christ (2Co 5:14-17). This love is also created in the heart of man by the Holy Ghost (Ro 5:5), and is a fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:22). It is also stimulated by the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, more than anyone else, manifested to the world the spirit and nature of true love (Joh 13:34; 15:12; Ga 2:20; Eph 5:25-27; 1 Joh 4:9 f).

2. Objects of Man’s Love:

God must be the first and supreme object of man’s love; He must be loved with all the heart, mind, soul and strength (Mt 22:37 f; Mr 12:29-34). In this last passage the exhortation to supreme love to God is connected with the doctrine of the unity of God (De 6:4 f)—inasmuch as the Divine Being is one and indivisible, so must our love to Him be undivided. Our love to God is shown in the keeping of His commandments (Ex 20:6; 1 Joh 5:3; 2 Joh 1:6). Love is here set forth as more than a mere affection or sentiment; it is something that manifests itself, not only in obedience to known Divine commands, but also in a protecting and defense of them, and a seeking to know more and more of the will of God in order to express love for God in further obedience (compare De 10:12). Those who love God will hate evil and all forms of worldliness, as expressed in the avoidance of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (Ps 97:10; 1 Joh 2:15-17). Whatever there may be in his surroundings that would draw the soul away from God and righteousness, that the child of God will avoid. Christ, being God, also claims the first place in our affections. He is to be chosen before father or mother, parent, or child, brother or sister, or friend (Mt 10:35-38; Lu 14:26). The word "hate" in these passages does not mean to hate in the sense in which we use the word today. It is used in the sense in which Jacob is said to have "hated" Leah (Ge 29:31), that is, he loved her less than Rachel; "He loved also Rachel more than Leah" (Ge 29:30). To love Christ supremely is the test of true discipleship (Lu 14:26), and is an unfailing mark of the elect (1Pe 1:8). We prove that we are really God’s children by thus loving His Son (Joh 8:42). Absence of such love means, finally, eternal separation (1Co 16:22).

Man must love his fellow-man also. Love for the brotherhood is a natural consequence of the love of the fatherhood; for "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother" (1 Joh 3:10). For a man to say "I love God" and yet hate his fellowman is to brand himself as "a liar" (1 Joh 4:20); "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen" (1 Joh 4:20); he that loveth God will love his brother also (1 Joh 4:21). The degree in which we are to love our fellow-man is "as thyself" (Mt 22:39), according to the strict observance of law. Christ set before His followers a much higher example than that, however. According to the teaching of Jesus we are to supersede this standard: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (Joh 13:34). The exhibition of love of this character toward our fellow-man is the badge of true discipleship. It may be called the sum total of our duty toward our fellow-man, for "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfillment of the law"; "for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law" (Ro 13:8,10). The qualities which should characterize the love which we are to manifest toward our fellow-men are beautifully set forth in 1Co 13. It is patient and without envy; it is not proud or self-elated, neither does it behave discourteously; it does not cherish evil, but keeps good account of the good; it rejoices not at the downfall of an enemy or competitor, but gladly hails his success; it is hopeful, trustful and forbearing—for such there is no law, for they need none; they have fulfilled the law.

Nor should it be overlooked that our Lord commanded His children to love their enemies, those who spoke evil of them, and despitefully used them (Mt 5:43-48). They were not to render evil for evil, but contrariwise, blessing. The love of the disciple of Christ must manifest itself in supplying the necessities, not of our friends only (1 Joh 3:16-18), but also of our enemies (Ro 12:20 f).

Our love should be "without hypocrisy" (Ro 12:9); there should be no pretense about it; it should not be a thing of mere word or tongue, but a real experience manifesting itself in deed and truth (1 Joh 3:18). True love will find its expression in service to man: "Through love be servants one to another" (Ga 5:13). What more wonderful illustration can be found of ministering love than that set forth by our Lord in the ministry of foot-washing as found in Joh 13? Love bears the infirmities of the weak, does not please itself, but seeks the welfare of others (Ro 15:1-3; Php 2:21; Ga 6:2; 1Co 10:24); it surrenders things which may be innocent in themselves but which nevertheless may become a stumbling-block to others (Ro 14:15,21); it gladly forgives injuries (Eph 4:32), and gives the place of honor to another (Ro 12:10). What, then, is more vital than to possess such love? It is the fulfillment of the royal law (Jas 2:8), and is to be put above everything else (Col 3:14); it is the binder that holds all the other graces of the Christian life in place (Col 3:14); by the possession of such love we know that we have passed from death unto life (1 Joh 3:14), and it is the supreme test of our abiding in God and God in us (1 Joh 4:12,16).

William Evans







luv’-li (’ahabh, ‘ahebh; prosphiles): "Lovely" occurs only 4 times. In 2Sa 1:23 it is the translation of ‘ahebh, "to be loved" ("Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant (the King James Version margin "sweet") in their lives"), where it seems to mean "loving" or "lovable." Two other words are so translated in the Old Testament: machmadch, "desire" a "desirable thing" (So 5:16, "He is altogether lovely," that is, "lovable," "to be desired," literally, "all of him lovableness," or "desirableness"); ‘aghabhim "loves," or "charms" (Eze 33:32, "Thou art unto them as a very lovely song," the King James Version margin "a song of loves," the Revised Version margin "a love-song"; in 33:31 the same word is translated "much love," the King James Version margin "They make loves or jests"); in Php 4:8 we have prosphiles, "very lovely," or "lovable," "whatsoever things are lovely."

W. L. Walker


luv’-er (’ohebh, ‘ahebh): In the Old Testament ‘ohebh, from ‘ahebh, "to love," is sometimes "lover" in the sense of "friend," in the older English sense of the word (1Ki 5:1, "Hiram was ever a lover of David"; Ps 38:11; 88:18; La 1:2); more frequently it has the meaning of "lover" in the special sense, sometimes in the evil sense of the word (Jer 22:20,22; 30:14; Eze 16:33,36 f, etc.; Ho 2:5,7,10, etc.); ‘aghabh, "to love" (Jer 4:30), rea‘, "companion" (Jer 3:1), and ahabhim, "loves" (Ho 8:9), are also translated "lovers" in this sense.

In the New Testament the simple word "lover" does not occur, but we have various compound words, philotheos "lover of God" (2Ti 3:4); philagathos, "lover of good," and philoxenos, "lover of hospitality" (Tit 1:8); philautos, "lover of self" (2Ti 3:2); philedonos, "lover of pleasure" (2Ti 3:4).

In the Revised Version (British and American) we have, for "a lover of hospitality" (Tit 1:8), "given to"; for "covetous" (Lu 16:14; 2Ti 3:2), "lovers of money"; for "not covetous" (1Ti 3:3), "no lover of money"; for "despisers of them that are good" (2Ti 3:3), "no lovers of good."

W. L. Walker


luvz (Ps 45:1, title).



luv-ing-kind’-nes (hecedh): "Lovingkindness" in the King James Version always represents this word (30 times), but of hecedh there are many other renderings, e.g. "mercy" (frequently), "kindness" (38), "goodness" (12). The word is derived from chacadh, meaning, perhaps, "to bend or bow oneself," "to incline oneself"; hence, "to be gracious or merciful." the English Revised Version has not many changes, but in the American Standard Revised Version "lovingkindness" is invariably employed when checedh is used of God, and, as a rule, "kindness" when it is used of man, as in Ge 21:23; Jud 1:24 (the King James Version "mercy," the Revised Version (British and American) "deal kindly"); Ru 3:10; 2Ch 32:32; 35:26 (the King James Version "goodness,"‘); margin "Hebrew: kindness" the Revised Version (British and American) "good deeds"); Job 6:14, etc. Of the uses of the word as on man’s part toward God, the only occurrences are: Jer 2:2, "I remember for thee the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals," etc.; Ho 6:4,6, "Your goodness (the Revised Version margin "or kindness") is as a morning cloud," "I desire goodness (the King James Version "mercy," the Revised Version margin "Kindness"), and not sacrifice," which last passage may denote kindness as toward man.

When used of God checedh denotes, in general, "the Divine Love condescending to His creatures, more especially to sinners, in unmerited kindness" (Delitzsch). It is frequency associated with forgiveness, and is practically equivalent to "mercy" or "mercifulness" (Ex 20:6), "showing lovingkindness (the English Revised Version "mercy") unto thousands of them that love me"; Ex 34:6 f, "slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness (the English Revised Version "plenteous in mercy")"; (34:7) "keeping lovingkindness (the English Revised Version "mercy") for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (compare Nu 14:18); Mic 7:18, "He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in lovingkindness" (the English Revised Version "mercy"). This quality in Yahweh was one by which He sought to bind His people to Himself. It is greatly magnified in the Old Testament, highly extolled and gloried in, in many of the psalms (Ps 136 has the constant refrain, "For his lovingkindness endureth forever"). In De 7:12 it is associated with the covenant, and in 2Sa 7:15 with the covenant with David (compare Isa 55:3, etc.). It was something that could always be relied on.

Being such an essential and distinctive quality of God, the prophets taught that it should also characterize His people. It is part of the Divine requirement in Mic 6:8, "to love kindness" (compare Zec 7:9, "Show kindness and compassion every man to his brother"). The want of it in the nation was a cause of Yahweh’s controversy with them, e.g. Ho 4:1, "There is no truth, nor goodness (checedh) (the King James Version and the English Revised Version "mercy"), nor knowledge of God in the land"; Ho 12:6, "Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep kindness (the King James Version and the English Revised Version "mercy") and justice, and wait for thy God continually." Cheyne (Encyclopedia Biblica) regards [~checedh as denoting paternal affection on God’s part, answered by filial and loyal affection and brotherly love on man’s part (philadelphia in the New Testament).

The word "lovingkindness" does not occur in the New Testament, but as its equivalents we have such terms as "mercy" "goodness," "kindness," "brotherly love" (see special articles).

W. L. Walker




lo’-land (shephelah; compare Arabic sufalat, "the lowest part"): The western part of Palestine, including the maritime plain and the foothills. There has been an attempt to restrict the term to the foothills, at least as far as the more ancient documents are concerned, but there can be little doubt that the maritime plain should be included. the Revised Version (British and American) has "lowland" throughout for shephelah, while the King James Version has "low country" (2Ch 26:10; 28:18), "low plains" (1Ch 27:28; 2Ch 9:27), "plain" (Jer 17:26; Ob 1:19; Zec 7:7), "vale" or "valley" (De 1:7; Jos 9:1; 10:40).


Alfred Ely Day


lo’-zon (Lozon): Head of a family of Solomon’s servants (1 Esdras 5:33); called "Darkon" in Ezr 2:56; Ne 7:58.


lu’-bim (lubhim): A people mentioned in the Old Testament (2Ch 12:3; 16:8; Da 11:43; Na 3:9). In all these cases the word is translated in the King James Version "Libyans"; in the Revised Version (British and American) only in Da 11:43. The people so named had their seat in North Africa, West of Egypt (compare Ac 2:10, "the parts of Libya about Cyrene"). See LIBYA. On three different occasions the Libyans invaded Egypt, and at length, in the 10th century BC, succeeded in founding an Egyptian dynasty under SHISHAK (which see).


lu’-kas, loo’-kas. In Phm 1:24 the King James Version, for "Luke" (Revised Version).


lu’-si-fer, loo’-si-fer: The morning star, an epithet of the planet Venus.



lu’-shi-us, lu’-shus (Loukios, Leukios): A Roman consul who is said (1 Macc 15:16 ff) to have written a letter to Ptolemy Euergetes securing to Simon the high priest and to the Jews the protection of Rome. As the praenomen only of the consul is given, there has been much discussion as to the person intended. The weight of probability has been assigned to Lucius Calpurnius Piso, who was one of the consuls in 139-138 BC, the fact of his praenomen being Cneius and not Lucius being explained by an error in transcription and the fragmentary character of the documents. The authority of the Romans not being as yet thoroughly established in Asia, they were naturally anxious to form alliances with the kings of Egypt and with the Jews to keep Syria in check. The imperfections that are generally admitted in the transcription of the Roman letter are not such as in any serious degree to invalidate the authority of the narrative in 1 Maccabees.

J. Hutchison


(Loukios): This name is mentioned twice:

(1) In the church at Antioch which sent out Barnabas and Saul as its missionaries were several prophets and teachers, among whom was Lucius of Cyrene (Ac 13:1). He was probably one of those "men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Greeks also" (Ac 11:20). It has been suggested that he is the same as Luke, but this is merely conjecture.

(2) "Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen" were among those who joined Paul in saluting the Christians in Rome (Ro 16:21). By "kinsmen" Paul means "Jews" (compare Ro 9:3; 16:11,21). This Lucius may have been the same person as (1), but, as we have no more information about either, we cannot determine this.

S. F. Hunter


lu’-ker, loo’-ker (betsa’>; kerdos): Literally, "gain" (1Sa 8:3; Tit 1:7), hence, in the New Testament always qualified by "filthy" (1Ti 3:8, "not greedy of filthy lucre" aischrokerdes; so Tit 1:7). The adverb is found in 1Pe 5:2 (see also Tit 1:11). In 1Ti 3:3, the Revised Version (British and American) changes the King James Version to "no lover of money" (@aphilarguros).


lud, lu’-dim, lood’-im (ludh, ludhim, ludhiyum, "Ludites"; Loud, Loudieim; Targum Onk: ludha’e):

1. Two Different Nationalities:

In Ge 10:13 Ludim appears as the firstborn of Mizraim (Egypt), and in 10:22 Lud is the fourth son of Shem. We have therefore to do with two different nationalities bearing the same name, and not always easy to distinguish. 1Ch 1:11,17 simply repeat the statements of Ge 10:13,22. In Isa 66:19 Lud is mentioned with Tarshish and Pul (generally regarded as a mistake for Phut), Tubal, Javan, and the isles. Accepting this emendation, the passage agrees with Jer 46:9, where the Ludim are spoken of with Kush and Phut as the allies of Egypt; and also with Eze 27:10, where Lud is referred to with Persia and Put as soldiers of Tyre. Lud, again, is mentioned with Ethiopia (Gush), Put, all the mingled people, Cab, and the children of the land which is in league (or, margin "the land of the covenant"), which were all to fall by the sword (Eze 30:5).

2. The Semitic Lud:

Coming to the Semitic Lud, it is to be noted that the Assyrians called Lydia Lu(d)du, and that the mythical ancestor of the Lydians, according to Herodotus (i.7), was Lydos, and their first king, Agros, was descended from Ninos and Belos, i.e. Assyria and Babylonia. The apparently Assyrian colony in Cappadocia about 2000 BC, who used the Babylonian script, may be regarded as supporting this statement, and that there were other colonies of the same nationality in the neighborhood is implied by the fact that Assyro-Babylonian was one of the official languages of the Hittite state whose capital was Hattu or Boghaz-keui. On the other hand when Gyges sent an embassy to Assur-bani-apli of Assyria, Lu(d)du is described as a country whose name had never before been heard, and whose language was unknown. As, however, the earlier kings of Assyria certainly warred in that district, this statement has to be taken with caution. Perhaps the name had changed in the interval, owing to an immigration similar to that which brought the Hittites into Asia Minor, and caused change in the language at the same time.

3. Not Recognizable as Semitic Later:

Naturally Lydia was not recognizable as Semitic in classical times. The existence of Lud in the neighborhood of Egypt as well as in Asia Minor finds parallels in the Syrian Mucri of the Assyrian inscriptions by the side of the Mucur which stood for Egypt, and still more in the Cappadocian Cush (Kusu) of certain Assyrian letters relating to horses, by the side of the Cush (Kusu likewise) which stands for Ethiopia.

4. Egyptian Lud Not Recognizable:

Everything points, therefore, to the Semitic Lud and Ludim being Lydia, and the identification may be regarded as satisfactory. It is altogether otherwise with the Egyptian Lud and Ludim, however, about which little can be said at present. The reference to a city which seems to be Putu-yawan in an inscription mentioning the 37th year of Nebuchadrezzar, and apparently referring to an expedition against Amasis, though it may stand for "Grecian Phut," has very little bearing upon the position of the Egyptian Lud, especially as the text in which it occurs is very mutilated. One thing is certain, however: the Hebrews regarded this Lud and Ludim as being Hamitic, and not Semitic.

T. G. Pinches


lu’-hith, loo’-hith, ma‘-aleh ha-luchith): A place named in Isa 15:5; Jer 48:5. It is clearly identical with the way, or descent, of Horonaim. Eusebius, Onomasticon places Luhith between Areopolis and Zoar. Some way is intended by which fugitives from the Arabah could reach the uplands of the Moabite plateau. Guthe thinks it may be the road which leads from the district of the ancient Zoar on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea to the uplands through Wady Bene Hammad. Along this track ran also a Roman road. If Horonaim were the higher of the two places, this might account for the way being called the "descent" of Horonaim as going down from that place, and the "ascent" of Luhith as going up thence. Neither place can as yet be identified with certainty.

W. Ewing


look, luk.

1. Name:

The name Luke (Loukas) is apparently an abbreviation for Loukanos. Old Latin manuscripts frequently have the words CATA LUCANUM as the title of the Third Gospel. (But the form Loukios, is also found in inscriptions synonymous with Loukas; compare Ramsay, The Expositor, December, 1912.)

It was a common fashion in the koine to abbreviate proper names, as it is today, for that matter (compare Amphias from Amphiatos, Antipas from Antipatros, Apollos from Apollonias, Demas from Demetrios, Zenas from Zenodoros, etc.; and see Jannaris, Historical Greek Grammar, section 287).

2. Mentioned Three Times by Name:

Paul alone names Luke (Col 4:14; 2Ti 4:11; Phm 1:24). He does not mention his own name in the Gospel or in the Acts. Compare the silence of the Fourth Gospel concerning the name of the apostle John. There was no particular occasion to mention Luke’s name in the Gospel, except as the author, if he had so wished. The late legend that Luke was one of the Seventy sent out by Jesus (Epiphanius, Haer., ii.51, 11) is pure conjecture, as is the story that Luke was one of the Greeks who came to Philip for an introduction to Jesus (Joh 12:20 f), or the companion of Cleopas in the walk to Emmaus (Lu 24:13). The clear implication of Lu 1:2 is that Luke himself was not an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus.

3. A Gentile:

In Col 4:14 Luke is distinguished by Paul from those "of the circumcision" (Aristarchus, Mark, Jesus Justus). Epaphras, Luke, Demas form the Gentilegroup. He was believed by the early Christian writers to have come directly from heathendom to Christianity. He may or may not have been a Jewish proselyte. His first appearance with Paul at Troas (compare the "we"-sections, Ac 16:10-12) is in harmony with this idea. The classic introduction to the Gospel (Lu 1:1-4) shows that he was a man of culture (compare Apollos and Paul). He was a man of the schools, and his Greek has a literary flavor only approached in the New Testament by Paul’s writings and by the Epistle to the Hebrews.

4. Home:

His home is very uncertain. The text of D (Codex Bezae) and several Latin authorities have a "we-"passage in Ac 11:27. If this reading, the so-called B text of Blass, is the original, then Luke was at Antioch and may have been present at the great event recorded in Ac 13:1 f. But it is possible that the Western text is an interpolation. At any rate, it is not likely that Luke is the same person as Lucius of Ac 13:1. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 389 f) thinks that Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, iv, 6) does not mean to say that Luke was a native of Antioch, but only that he had Antiochian family connections. Jerome calls him Lucas medicus Antiochensis. He certainly shows an interest in Antioch (compare Ac 11:19-27; 13:1; 14:26; 15:22,23,30,35; 18:22). Antioch, of course, played a great part in the early work of Paul. Other stories make Luke live in Alexandria and Achaia and narrate that he died in Achaia or Bithynia. But we know that he lived in Philippi for a considerable period. He first meets Paul at Troas just before the vision of the Man from Macedonia (Ac 16:10-12), and a conversation with Paul about the work in Macedonia may well have been the human occasion of that vision and call. Luke remains in Philippi when Paul and Silas leave (Ac 16:40, "They .... departed"). He is here when Paul comes back on his 3rd tour bound for Jerusalem (Ac 20:3-5). He shows also a natural pride in the claims of Philippi to the primacy in the province as against Amphipolis and Thessalonica (Ac 16:12, "the first of the district"). On the whole, then, we may consider Philippi as the home of Luke, though he was probably a man who had traveled a great deal, and may have been with Paul in Galatia before coming to Troas. He may have ministered to Paul in his sickness there (Ga 4:14). His later years were spent chiefly with Paul away from Philippi (compare Ac 20:3-28,31, on the way to Jerusalem, at Caesarea, the voyage to Rome and in Rome).

5. Physician:

Paul (Col 4:14) expressly calls him "the beloved physician." He was Paul’s medical adviser, and doubtless prolonged his life and rescued him from many a serious illness. He was a medical missionary, and probably kept up his general practice of medicine in connection with his work in Rome (compare Zahn, Intro, III, 1). He probably practiced medicine in Malta (Ac 28:9 f). He naturally shows his fondness for medical terms in his books (compare Hobart, The Medical Language of Luke; Harnack, New Testament Studies: Luke the Physician, 175-98). Harnack adds some examples to those given by Hobart, who has overdone the matter in reality.


6. Brother of Titus:

It is possible, even probable (see Souter’s article in DCG), that in 2Co 8:18 "the brother" is equivalent to "the brother" of Titus just mentioned, that is, "his brother." If so, we should know that Paul came into contact with Luke at Philippi on his way to Corinth during his 2nd tour (compare also 2Co 12:18). It would thus be explained why in Ac the name of Titus does not occur, since he is the brother of Luke the author of the book.

7. Connection with Paul:

If the reading of Codex Bezae (D) in Ac 11:27 f is correct, Luke met Paul at Antioch before the 1st missionary tour. Otherwise it may not have been till Troas on the 2nd tour. But he is the more or less constant companion of Paul from Philippi on the return to Jerusalem on the 3rd tour till the 2 years in Rome at the close of the Acts. He was apparently not with Paul when Php 2:20 was written, though, as we have seen, he was with Paul in Rome when he wrote Colossians and Philemon. He was Paul’s sole companion for a while during the 2nd Roman imprisonment (2Ti 4:11). His devotion to Paul in this time of peril is beautiful.

8. Author of Both Gospel and Acts:

For the proof of the Lukan authorship of the Ac see ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. For the discussion of the Lukan authorship of the Gospel with his name, see LUKE, THE GOSPEL OF. Our interest in him is largely due to this fact and to his relations with Paul. The Christian world owes him a great debt for his literary productions in the interest of the gospel.

9. Legends:

One legend regarding Luke is that he was a painter. Plummer (Commentary on Luke, xxi f) thinks that the legend is older than is sometimes supposed and that it has a strong element of truth. It is true that he has drawn vivid scenes with his pen. The early artists were especially fond of painting scenes from the Gospel of Luke. The allegorical figure of the ox or calf in Eze 1 and Re 4 has been applied to Luke’s Gospel.


Bible dicts., comms., lives of Paul, instroductions. See also Harnack, "Lukas, der Arzt, der Verfasser" (1906); New Testament Studies: Luke the Physician (1907); Ramsay, Luke the Physician (1908); Selwyn, Luke the Prophet (1901); Hobart, The Medical Language of Luke (1882); Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? A Study in the Credibility of Luke (1898); Maclachlan, John, Evangelist and Historian (1912).

A. T. Robertson


1. Text

2. Canonicity

3. Authorship

4. Sources

5. Credibility

6. Characteristics

7. Date

8. Analysis


1. Text:

The five primary uncials (Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Ephraemi, Bezae) are the chief witnesses for the text of Luke’s Gospel. This group is reinforced by L, Codex Delta and the Freer (Detroit) MS; R, T, X and Xi are also valuable in fragments. The other uncials are of secondary value. The Latin, Egyptian and Syriac versions are also of great importance. There are 4 Latin versions (African, European, Italian, Vulgate), 3 Egyptian (Memphitic, Sahidic, Bohairic), 5 Syriac (Curetonian, Sinaitic, Peshitto, Harclean, Palestinian or Jerusalem). Many of the cursive (minuscule) manuscripts are also of considerable worth, as are some of the quotations from the Fathers.

Blass, Philology of the Gospels (1898), has advanced theory of two recensions of this Gospel (a longer and a shorter), such as he holds to be true of Acts. In the case of Acts, theory has won some acceptance (see ACTS OF THE APOSTLES), but that is not true of the Gospel to any extent. The Western text of the Gospel is the shorter text, while in Ac it is the longer text. In both instances Blass holds that the shorter text was issued after the longer and original text. His idea is that Luke himself revised and issued the shorter text. In itself this is, of course, possible, since the books are both addressed to an individual, Theophilus. The other edition may have been meant for others. Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek explain the omission in the Western text of the Gospel as "Western non-interpolations," and often hold them to be the true text. As samples one may note Lu 10:41; 12:19; 24:36,40,42, where the Western text is the shorter text. This is not always true, however, for in 6:2 ff Codex Bezae (D) has the famous passage about the man working on the Sabbath, which the other documents do not give. In Lu 3:22, D has the reading of Ps 2:7 (" Thou art my Son; this day I have begotten thee") for the usual text. Zahn (Introduction, III, 38) accepts this as the true text. There is no doubt of the interest and value of the Western readings in Luke, but it cannot be said that Blass has carried his point here. The peculiar mutilation of the Gospel by Marcion has an interest of its own.

2. Canonicity:

Plummer (Commentary on Luke, lxxx) says: "In the second half of the 2nd century this Gospel is recognized as authentic and authoritative; and it is impossible to show that it had not been thus recognized at a very much earlier date." On the other hand, Schmiedel (Encyclopedia Biblica) says: "This ‘tradition,’ however, cannot be traced farther back than toward the end of the 2nd century (Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria and the Muratorian Fragment); there is no sound basis for the contention of Zahn (II, 175) that the existence of the tradition can also be found as early as in Marcion, because that writer, from his aversion to the Third Gospel (which nevertheless was the only one he admitted into his collection—with alterations it is true) omitted the expression of honor applied to Luke in Col 4:14." Here the two views are well stated. Schmiedel shows dogmatic bias and prejudice against Luke. Julicher, however, frankly admits (Intro, 330) that "the ancients were universally agreed that the writer was that Luke, disciple of Paul, who is mentioned in Phm 1:24; 2Ti 4:11, and called ‘the physician’ in Col 4:14; presumably a native of Antioch." This statement bears more directly on the question of authorship than of canonicity, but it is a good retort to the rather cavalier tone of Schmiedel, who is reluctant to admit the facts. The recognition of the Third Gospel in the Muratorian Canon (170 AD) is a fact of much significance. It was used in Tatian’s Diatessaron (circa 170 AD) as one of the four recognized Gospels (compare Hemphill, Diatessaron of Tatian, 3 ff). The fact that Marcion (140 AD) mutilated this Gospel to suit his theology and thus used it is even more significant (compare Sanday, Gospels in the 2nd Century, Appendix). Other heretics like the Valentinians (compare Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, 5-7) made use of it, and Heracleon (compare Clement of Alexandria, Strom., iv.9) wrote a commentary on it. Irenaeus (end of the 2nd century) makes frequent quotations from this Gospel. He argues that there could be only "four" Gospels because of the four points of the compass—an absurd argument, to be sure, but a powerful testimony to the general acceptance of this Gospel along with the other three. It is needless to appeal to the presence of the Third Gospel in the Curetonian Syriac, the Sinaitic Syriac, the African Latin—versions that date to the 2nd century, not to mention the probability of the early date of the Memphitic (Coptic) versions. Examples of the early use of this Gospel occur in various writings of the 2nd century, as in Justin Martyr (150 AD), the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs (circa 140 AD), Celsus (circa AD 160), the Gospel of Peter (2nd century), the Epistle of the Church of Lyons and Vienne (177 AD), probably also the Didache (2nd century), Clement of Alexandria (190-202 AD), Tertullian (190-220 AD). It is doubtful about Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp; and the Epistle of Barnabas seems to make no use of the Third Gospel. But Clement of Rome, Ignatius and Polycarp quote Acts. But surely the general use and acceptance of the Third Gospel in the early 2nd century is beyond reasonable doubt. It is not easy to decide when the actual use began, because we have so little data from the 1st century (compare Plummer, Commentary, lxxiii).

The fact that the author was not an apostle affected the order of the book in some lists. Most manuscripts and versions have the common order of today, but the Western order (Matthew, John, Luke, Mark) is given by D, many Old Latin manuscripts, the Gothic VS, the Apostolical Constitutions. The object was probably to place the books by apostles together and first. The Old Latin has Luke second (John, Luke, Mark, Matthew), while the Curetonian Syriac has Luke last of the four. The cursives 90 and 399 also have Luke second.

3. Authorship:

The first writers who definitely name Luke as the author of the Third Gospel belong to the end of the 2nd century. They are the Canon of Muratori (possibly by Hippolytus), Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria. We have already seen that Julicher (Introduction, 330) admits that the ancients Universally agreed that Luke wrote the Third Gospel. In the early part of the 2nd century the writers did not, as a rule, give the names of the authors of the Gospels quoted by them. It is not fair, therefore, to use their silence on this point as proof either of their ignorance of the author or of denial of Luke’s authorship. Julicher for instance, says (Introduction, 330): "There is no tradition worthy of the name concerning Luke, whom Papias did not mention, or at any rate did not know." But we owe to Eusebius all the fragments that we have preserved from the writings of Papias. Our ignorance of Papias can hardly be charged up to him. Plummer (Commentary, xii) says that nothing in Biblical criticism is more certain than the fact that Luke wrote the Third Gospel. On the other hand, Julicher (Introduction, 331) is not willing to let it go as easily as that. He demands appeal to Acts, and there (ibid., 447) he denies the Lukan authorship save as to the "we" sections. J. Weiss (Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments; das Lukas Evang., 1906, 378) admits that but for Ac no sufficient reason would exist for denying the authorship of the Third Gospel to Luke, the disciple of Paul. A Pauline point of view in this Gospel is admitted generally. Many modern critics take it for granted that the Lukan authorship of Ac is disproved, and hence, that of the Gospel likewise falls by the way. So argue Baur, Clemen, De Wette, Hausrath, Hilgenfeld, Holtzmann, Julicher, Pfleiderer, Schurer, Spitta, von Soden, J. Weiss, Weizsacker, Zeller. Men like Blass, Credner, Harnack, Hawkins, Hobart, Klostermann, Plummer, Ramsay, Renan, Vogel, Zahn, stand by the tradition of Lukan authorship, but Harnack is almost irritated (Luke the Physician, 1907, 6), since "the indefensibility of the tradition is regarded as being so clearly established that nowadays it is thought scarcely worth while to reprove this indefensibility, or even to notice the arguments of conservative opponents." Harnack proceeds to make a plea for a hearing. Jacobus (Standard Bible Dictionary) admits that "Ac tells us nothing more of the author than does the Gospel." That is true so far as express mention is concerned, but not so far as natural implication goes. It is true that the place to begin the discussion of the Lukan authorship of the Gospel is Acts. For detailed discussion of the proof that Luke wrote Acts, see ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. It is there shown that the line of argument which has convinced Harnack, the leader of the liberal criticism of Germany, ought to convince any openminded critic. It means a good deal when Harnack (Luke the Physician, 14) says: "I subscribe to the words of Zahn (Einleitung, II, 427): ‘Hobart has proved for everyone who can at all appreciate proof that the author of the Lukan work was a man practiced in the scientific language of Greek medicine—in short, a Greek physician.’ " It is here assumed that the line of argument pursued in the article on ACTS OF THE APOSTLES is conclusive. If so, little remains to be done in the way of special proof for the Gospel. The author of Ac specifically refers (Ac 1:1) to a former treatise which was likewise addressed to Theophilus. This we find to be the case with the Gospel passing under the name of Luke (1:4). The critics who admit the Lukan authorship of Ac and deny the Lukan authorship of the Gospel are hardly worth considering.

It is, therefore, largely a work of supererogation to give at length the proof from internal grounds that Luke wrote the Gospel, after being convinced about Acts. Still it may be worth while to sketch in outline the line of argument, even though it is very simple. Plummer (Comm., x-xvii) argues three propositions:"

(1) The author of the Third Gospel is the author of the Acts.

(2) The author of Ac was a companion of Paul.

(3) This companion was Luke."

Harnack (The Ac of the Apostles, 1909) has argued with great minuteness and skill theory that the same linguistic peculiarities occur in all portions of Acts, including the "we-"sections. He accepts the facts set forth by Hawkins (Horae Synopticae) and adds others. He agrees, therefore, that the author of Ac was a companion of Paul. Harnack is convinced by the exhaustive labors of Hobart (Medical Language of Luke) that this author was a physician, as we know Luke to have been (Col 4:14). He shows this to be true of the author of Ac by the use of "us" in Ac 28:10, showing that the author of Ac received honors along with Paul, probably because he practiced medicine and treated many (compare Barnack, Luke the Physician, 15 f). These medical terms occur in the Gospel of Luke also, and the same general linguistic style is found in both the Gospel and Acts. Hawkins has made a careful study of likenesses and variations in style in these two books (compare Horae Synopticae, 15-25, 174-89). The argument is as conclusive as such a line of proof can be expected to be. For further discussion see Ramsay, Luke the Physician, 1908, 1-68; Zahn, Introduction, III, 160 ff. There are no phenomena in the Gospel hostile to this position save the Semitic character of Luke 1 and 2 (barring the classical introduction 1:1-4). Luke, though a Gentile, has in these chapters the most Semitic narrative in the New Testament. But the explanation is obvious. He is here using Semitic material (either oral or written), and has with true artistic skill preserved the tone of the original. To a certain extent the same thing is true of the opening chapters of Acts.

4. Sources:

The synoptic problem (see GOSPELS, THE SYNOPTIC) remains the most difficult one in the realm of New Testament criticism. But the Gospel of Luke yields on the whole more satisfactory results than is yet true of Matthew.

(1) Unity.

If the Lukan authorship of the book is accepted, there remains no serious doubt concerning the unity and integrity of the Gospel. The abridgment of Luke’s Gospel used by Marcion does not discredit those portions of the Gospel omitted by him. They are omitted for doctrinal reasons (compare Sanday, Gospels in the 2nd Century, chapter viii). His readings are of interest from the viewpoint of textual criticism, as are the quotations of other early writers, but his edition does not seriously challenge the value of Luke’s work.

(2) Luke’s Method.

Luke has announced his methods of work in a most classic introduction (1:1-4). Here we catch a glimpse of the author’s personality. That is not possible in Mark nor in Matthew, and only indirectly in passing shadows in the Fourth Gospel. But here the author frankly takes the reader into his confidence and discloses his standpoint and qualifications for the great task. He writes as a contemporary about the recent past, always the most difficult history to interpret and often the most interesting. He speaks of "those matters which have been fulfilled among us," in our time. He does not himself claim to have been an eyewitness of "those matters." As we know already, Luke was a Gentile and apparently never saw Jesus in the flesh. He occupies thus a position outside of the great events which he is to record. He does not disguise his intense interest in the narrative, but he claims the historical spirit. He wishes to assure Theophilus of "the certainty concerning the things wherein thou wast instructed." He claims to have investigated "the course of all things accurately from the first," just as the true historian would. He thus implies that some of the attempts made had been fragmentary at any rate, and to that extent inaccurate. He has also produced an "orderly" narrative by which Theophilus may gain a just conception of the historical progress of the events connected with the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The fact that "many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters" does not deter Luke from his task. The rather he is stirred thereby ("It seemed good to me also") to give his interpretation of the life and work of Jesus as the result of his researches. He stands not farther away than one generation from the death of Jesus. He has the keen interest natural to a cultured follower of Jesus in the origin of what had become a great world-movement. He is able to get at the facts because he has had intercourse with eyewitnesses of Jesus and His work, "even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word." Luke had abundant opportunity during the two years at Caesarea with Paul (Ac 24-26) to make careful and extended investigations. Many of the personal followers of Jesus were still living (1Co 15:6). It was a golden opportunity for Luke’s purpose. He had also the written narratives which others ("many") had already drawn up. We are, then, to expect in Luke’s Gospel a book closely akin to Ac in style and plan, with the historian’s love of accuracy and order, with the author’s own contribution in the assimilation and use of this oral and written material. One would not expect in such a writer slavish copying, but intelligent blending of the material into an artistic whole.

(3) The Aramaic Infancy Narrative.

The very first section in this Gospel (Lu 1:5-2:52) illustrates Luke’s fidelity in the use of his material. Wellhausen drops these two chapters from his edition of Luke’s Gospel as not worthy of consideration. That is conjectural criticism run mad and is not to be justified by the example of Marcion, who begins with chapter 4. Wright (Gospel according to Luke in Greek, 1900, viii f; under the word "Luke’s Gospel," DCG) holds that this section was the last to be added to the Gospel though he holds that it comes from Luke. It may be said in passing that Wright is a stout advocate for the oral source for all of Luke’s Gospel. He still holds out against the "two-document" or any document theory. However, he claims rightly that Luke’s information for these two chapters was private. This material did not form part of the current oral Gospel. In Matthew the narrative of the birth of Jesus is given from the standpoint of Joseph, and Mary is kept in the background, according to Eastern feeling (Wright). But in Lu the story is told from Mary’s point of view. Luke may, indeed, have seen Mary herself in the years 57-59 AD (or 58-60). He could easily have seen some of Mary’s intimate friends who knew the real facts in the case. The facts were expressly said to have been kept in Mary’s heart. She would tell only to sympathetic ears (compare Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? 74 f). It is not possible to discredit Luke’s narrative of the Virgin Birth on a priori grounds (compare Orr, The Virgin Birth of Christ, 1907; Sweet, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ, 1906). The curious Semitic flavor of this narrative argues strongly for its genuineness, since Luke was a Greek. We do not know whether Luke knew Aramaic or not. That was possible, since he spent these 2 years in Palestine. We do not know whether this information came to him in written form (note especially the hymns of Mary and of Zacharias) or in oral tradition. But it is hardly possible to credit a Greek with the invention of these birth-narratives and poems which ring so true to the soil and the Hebrew life. Immediately after Luke’s statement about historical research comes the narrative of the birth of Jesus. It is the first illustration of his work on his sources.

(4) Luke’s Relation to Mark’s Gospel.

Luke knew Mark in Rome (Col 4:10,14; Phm 1:24). He may have met him in Palestine also. Had he seen Mark’s Gospel when he wrote his own? Was it one of the "many" narratives that came under Luke’s eye? Wright (compare DCG) denies that Luke had our Mark. He admits that he may have had an Urmarkus or proto-Mark which he heard in oral form, but not the present (written) Gospel of Mark. He thinks that this can best be accounted for by the fact that out of 223 sections in Mark there are 54 not in Luke. But most modern critics have come to the conclusion that both Matthew and Luke had Mark before them as well as other sources. Matthew, if he used Mark, in the early chapters, followed a topical arrangement of his material, combining Mark with the other source or sources. But Luke has followed the order of Mark very closely in this part and indeed throughout. Luke has a special problem in 9:51-19:27, but the broad general outline follows that of Mark. But it cannot be said that Luke made a slavish use of Mark, if he had this Gospel before him. He gives his own touch to each incident and selects what best suits his purpose. It is not possible for us to tell always that motive, but it is idle to suppose that Luke blindly recorded every incident found in every document or every story that came to his ears. He implies in his introduction that he has made a selection out of the great mass of material and has woven it into a coherent and progressive narrative. We may admit with Harnack (New Testament Studies: Sayings of Jesus, xiii) that the Markan problem "has been treated with scientific thoroughness" and that Luke had Mark as one of his sources. The parallel between Luke and Mark in the narrative portion is easily seen in any Harmony of the Gospels, like Broadus or Stevens and Burton.

(5) Q (Quelle) or the Logia.

It is a matter of more uncertainty when we come to the mass of material common to Matthew and Luke, but absent from Mark. This is usually found in the discourses of Jesus. The more generally accepted theory today is that both Matthew and Luke made use of Mark and also this collection of Logia called Q for short (Ger. Quelle, "source"). But, while this theory may be adopted as a working hypothesis, it cannot be claimed that it is an established fact. Zahn (compare Introduction) stoutly stands up for the real authorship of the First Gospel of Matthew. Arthur Carr ("Further Notes on the Synoptic Problem," The Expositor, January, 1911, 543-553) argues strongly for the early date and Matthean authorship of the First Gospel. He says on the whole subject: "The synoptic problem which has of late engaged the speculation of some of our keenest and most laborious students is still unsolved." He even doubts the priority of Mark’s Gospel. Wellhausen (Einleitung in die drei ersten Evangelien, 73-89) advocates the priority of Mark to Q. But Harnack balances the problem of "Q and Mark" (Sayings of Jesus, 193-233) and decides in favor of Q. In any case, it is to be noted that the result of critical research into the value of Q is to put it quite on a paragraph with Mark. Harnack is quite impressed with the originality and vivid reality of the matter in Q. The material present in Q cannot be gauged so accurately as that in Mark, since we have the Gospel of Mark in our hands. Where both Matthew and Luke give material not found in Mark, it is concluded that this is drawn from Q. But it cannot be shown that Matthew may not have used Q at some points and Luke at still others independently. Besides Q may have contained material not preserved either in Matthew or Luke. A careful and detailed comparison of the material common to both Matthew and Luke and absent from Mark may be found in Hawkins, Horae Synopticae, 10713; Harnack, Sayings of Jesus, 127-82; Wellhausen, Einleitung, 66; Robertson, "Matthew" in Bible for Home and School, 14-19. But, if it is true that Luke made use of Q as of Mark, he was no mere copyist. No solution of the synoptic problem can ever be obtained on the idea that the Gospels are mere reproductions of previous documents. There was freedom in the use of all the material, both oral and written, and the writer gave his own interpretation to the result. It was often a restatement in the author’s own language, not formal quotation. Wright (DCG) calls this editorial element "editorial notes"; that is, of course, often true when the author makes comments on the matters presented, but "ancient authors took immense pains to reduce the rude chronicles which they used, into literary form" (same place) . The point of all this is that a great deal of criticism of the Gospels is attempting the impossible, for many of the variations cannot possibly be traced to any "source." Wright (same place) puts it tersely again: "And if in John’s Gospel it is more and more recognized that the mind of the evangelist cast the utterances of our Lord into the peculiar form which they there hold, the same process of redaction may be observed in Luke, who comes nearest of the synoptists to the methods of John." As a matter of fact, this is as it should be expected. The frank recognition of this point of view marks progress in synoptic criticism.

(6) Other Sources.

There is a large block of material in Lu 9:51-18:14 which is given by him alone. There are various sayings like some reported by Matthew (or Mark) in other connections. Some of the incidents are similar to some given elsewhere by Matthew and Mark. There are various theories concerning this position of Luke. Some critics hold that Luke has here put a mass of material which he had left over, so to speak, and which he did not know where to locate, without any notion of order. Against this theory is the express statement of Luke that he wrote an orderly narrative (1:3 f). One is disposed to credit Luke’s own interpretation unless the facts oppose it. It is common for traveling preachers, as was Jesus, to have similar experiences in different parts of the country and to repeat their favorite sayings. So teachers repeat many of their sayings each year to different classes. Indeed, it is just in this section of Luke that the best parts of his Gospel are found (the parables of the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Pharisee and the Publican, etc.). "The more we consider this collection, the more we are entranced with it. It is the very cream of the Gospel, and yet (strange to say) it is peculiar to Luke" Wright DCG) Wright calls this "a Pauline collection, not because Paul is responsible for the material, but because the chapters breathe cosmopolitan spirit of Paul. That is true, but Jesus loved the whole world. This side of the teaching of Jesus may have appealed to Luke powerfully because of its reflection in Paul. Matthew’s Gospel was more narrowly Jewish in its outlook, and Mark’s had fewer of the sayings of Christ. But it is to be noted that this special material in Luke extends more or less all through the Gospel. Burton (Some Principles of Literary Criticism and Their Application to the Synoptic Problem, 49) calls this special material in Lu 9:51-18:14 "the Perean document." We do not know, of course, anything of the actual source of this material. Whether Luke has here followed one or more documents, he has, as elsewhere, given his own stamp to the whole, while preserving in a marvelous way the spirit of Jesus. (For the possible parallel between this section of Luke and John see Robertson’s "Notes" to Broadus, Harmony of the Gospels, 249-52.) For the earlier material in Luke not found elsewhere (3:7-15,17,18; 4:2b-13(14,15), 16-30; 5:1-11; 6:21-49; 7:1-8:3) Burton suggests "the Galilean document" as the source. Wright, on the other hand, proposes "anonymous fragments" as the source of Luke’s material not in the infancy narrative, nor in Mark, nor in Q, nor in the "Pauline" or Perean document. At any rate, it is certain that Luke’s own words of explanation should warn us against drawing too narrow a line around the "sources" used by him. His "many" may well have included a dozen sources, or even more. But it may be said, in a word, that all that criticism has been able to learn on the subject has confirmed the statement of Luke himself concerning his method of research and his use of the material.

5. Credibility:

More fault has been found with Luke as a historian in Ac than in the Gospel. Harnack (Ac of the Apostles) is not disposed to give Luke full credit as a reliable historian. But Ramsay (Luke the Physician, 5) champions the reliability of Luke (compare also Paul the Traveler; The Church in the Roman Empire) against the skepticism of Harnack, which is growing less, since in the Theol. Literaturzeitung (July 7, 1906, S. 4) he speaks well of Luke’s ability to secure correct information. So in Luke the Physician (121-45) Harnack urges that the possible "instances of incredibility have been much exaggerated by critics." He adds about Ac 5:36: "It is also possible that there is a mistake in Jos" (compare Chase, Credibility of the Book of the Ac of the Apostles; see also ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

But the Gospel is not free from attack. The chief matter in the Gospel of Lu which is challenged on historical grounds, apart from the birth-narratives, which some critics treat as legendary, is the census in Lu 2:1 ff. Critics, who in general have accepted Luke’s veracity, have sometimes admitted that here he fell into error and confused the census under Quirinius in 6-7 AD when Quirinius came, after the banishment of Archelaus, to take a census and to collect taxes, much to the indignation of the Jews (compare Ac 5:37; Josephus, Ant, XVIII, i). It was not known that Quirinius had been governor of Syria before this time, nor was there any other knowledge of a census under Augustus. The case against Luke seemed strong. But Ramsay (Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? 227 ff) shows that the inscription at Tibur, as agreed by Mommsen and like authorities, shows that Quirinius "twice governed Syria as legatus of the divine Augustus." He was consul in 12 BC, so that the first mission was after that date. Ramsay shows also from the papyri that the 14-year cycle was used for the Roman census (many census papers are known from 20 AD on). He argues that the first one was instituted by Augustus in 8 BC. Herod, as a vassal king, would naturally be allowed to conduct it in the Jewish fashion, not the Roman, and it was probably delayed several years in the provinces. Thus once more Luke is vindicated in a remarkable way (see CHRONOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, sec. I, 1, (2)).

The Ac of the Apostles has come out of the critical ordeal in a wonderful manner, so that Luke’s credit as a historical writer is now very high among those qualified to know the facts. He has been tested and found correct on so many points that the presumption is in his favor where he cannot as yet be verified. Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 265) finds Luke "more graphic than historical."

6. Characteristics:

He was the most versatile of the Gospel writers. He was a Greek, a Christian, a physician, a man of travel, a man of world-outlook, sympathetic, cultured, poetic, spiritual, artistic, high-minded. His Prologue is the most classic piece of Greek in the New Testament, but the rest of chapter 1 and all of chapter 2 are the most Semitic in tone. The breadth of his literary equipment is thereby shown. He not only uses many medical terms common to technical circles, but he has the physician’s interest in the sick and afflicted, as shown in the large number of miracles of healing narrated. His interest in the poor is not due to Ebionitic prejudice against the rich, but to human compassion for the distressed. His emphasis on the human side of the work of Jesus is not due to Ebionitic denial of the Divinity of Jesus, but to his keen appreciation of the richness of the human life of the Son of God. His rich and varied vocabulary reveals a man who read and mingled with the best life of his time. He wrote his books in the vernacular, but the elevated vernacular of an educated man touched with a distinct literary flavor. His poetic temperament is shown in the preservation of the beautiful hymns of the nativity and in the wonderful parables of Jesus in chapters 10, 15-18. They are reported with rare grace and skill. Luke is fond of showing Christ’s sympathy with women and children, and he has more to say about prayer than the authors of the other Gospels. His interest in individuals is shown by the dedication of both his books to Theophilus. His cosmopolitan sympathies are natural in view of his training and inheritance, but part of it is doubtless due to his association with the apostle Paul. He comes to the interpretation of Jesus from a world-standpoint and does not have to overcome the Pharisaic limitations incident to one reared in Palestine. It is a matter of rejoicing that we have this book, called by Renan the most beautiful book in the world, as a cultured Greek’s interpretation of the origin of Christianity. He thus stands outside of the pale of Judaism and can see more clearly the world-relations and world-destiny of the new movement. With Luke, Jesus is distinctly the world’s Saviour. The accent on sin is human sin, not specifically Jewish sin. John in his Gospel came in his old age to look back upon the events in Judea from a non-Jewish standpoint. But he rose to the essentially spiritual and eternal apprehension of Christ, rather than extended his vision, as Luke did, to the cosmopolitan mission and message of Jesus, though this did not escape John. The Gospel of Luke thus has points of affinity with Paul, John and the author of Hebrews in style and general standpoint. But while Luke’s own style is manifest throughout, it is not obtrusive. He hides himself behind the wonderful portrait of Jesus which he has here drawn in undying colors.

7. Date:

The extreme position of Baur and Zeller may be dismissed at once. There is no reason for dating the Gospel of Luke in the 2nd century on the ground that he used Marcion’s Gospel, since it is now admitted all round that Marcion made use of Luke. The supposed use of Josephus by Luke (see ACTS OF THE APOSTLES for discussion and refutation) leads a goodly number of radical scholars (Hilgenfeld, Holsten, Holtzmann, Julicher, Krenkel, Weizsacker, Wernle) to date the book at the end of the 1st century. This is still extreme, as Harnack had already shown in his Chronologie der altchristl. Litt., I, 1897, 246-50. Any use of Josephus by Luke is highly improbable (see Plummer on Lk, xxix). The Gospel was certainly written before Ac (Ac 1:1) and while Paul was alive, if 1Ti 5:18 be taken as a quotation from Lu 10:7, which is by no means certain, however. But it is true that the most natural way to interpret the sudden close of Acts, after 2 years in Rome (Ac 28:31), is the fact that Luke finished the book at that time (Maclean, 1 volume HDB). Moffatt (Historical New Testament, 273) calls this early date "reactionary" and "extravagant." But it is supported by Alford, Blass, Ebrard, Farrar, Gloag, Godet, Grau, Guericke, Hahn, Headlam, Hitzig, Hofmann, Hug, Keil, Lange, Lumby, Marshall, Nosgen, Oosterzee, Resch, Riehm, Schaff, Schanz, Thiersch, Tholuck, Wieseler, and Harnack himself is now ready to join this goodly company. He warns critics against too hasty a closing of the chronological question (Ac of the Apostles, 291), and admits that Ac was written "perhaps so early as the beginning of the 7th decade of the 1st century" (ibid., 297), "the Ac (and therefore also the Gospel)." In the Date of the Ac and the Synoptic Gospels (1911, 124) Harnack says: "It seems now to be established beyond question that both books of this great historical order were written while Paul was still alive." There is an intermediate date about 80 AD, assigned by Adeney, Bartlett, Plummer, Sanday, Weiss, Wright, on the ground that the investigations mentioned in Lu 1:1-4 describe the use of narratives which could have been written only after a long period of reflection. But that is not a valid objection. There is no sound critical reason why the Gospel of Mark, Q, the infancy narratives, and all the other sources alluded to by this preface could not have been in circulation in Palestine by 55 AD. Indeed, Allen writes in The Expository Times (July, 1910): "I see no reason why such an original (Mark’s Gospel in Aramaic) should not have appeared before the year 50 AD." The other objection to the early date comes out of Lu 21:20, "Jerus compassed with armies" as compared with "the abomination of desolation" in Mr 13:14. The change is so specific that it is held by some critics to be due to the fact that Luke is writing after the destruction of Jerusalem. But it is just as likely (Maclean) that Luke has here interpreted the Hebraism of Mark for his Gentilereaders. Besides, as Plummer (p. xxxi) shows, Luke in 21:5-36 does not record the fact that Jerusalem was destroyed, nor does he change Christ’s "flee to the mountains" to "Pella in North Peraea," whither the Christians actually fled. Besides, the fact that Ac shows no acquaintance with Paul’s Epistles is best explained on the assumption of the early date. The question is thus practically settled in favor of the early date. The place of the writing is not known. The early date naturally falls in with Caesarea (Blass, Michaelis, Thiersch), but there is little to guide one.

8. Analysis:

(1) Prologue, Luke 1:1-4.

(2) Infancy and childhood of John and Jesus, Luke 1:5-2:52.

(3) Beginning of Christ’s Ministry, Luke 3:1-4:13.

(4) Galilean Campaign, Luke 4:14-9:6.

(5) Retirement from Galilee, Luke 9:7-50.

(6) Later Judean and Perean Ministry, Luke 9:51-19:28.

(7) Close of the Public Ministry in Jerusalem, Luke 19:29-21:37.

(8) The Dreadful End, Luke 21-23.

(9) Resurrection of Christ, Luke 24.


See extended list of books at close of article on ACTS OF THE APOSTLES; the extensive list of Commentaries Plummer’s Commentary on Luke can also be consulted. After Plummer the best commentaries on Luke’s Gospel are Bruce, Expositor’s Greek Test.; Weiss’ Meyer Krit.-exeget. Komm.; Godet; Holtzmann, Hand-Commentary Of the many Introduction to the New Testament, Zahn’s is the ablest and most exhaustive (conservative) and Julicher’s is the fairest of the radical school. The best of the briefer ones is Gregory’s Canon and Text (1907). Special treatises deserving mention here are Blass, Philology of the Gospels (1898); Ev. secundum Lukam (1897); Wellhausen. Das Ev. Lukae (1904); Sense, Origin of the Third Gospel (1901); Friedrich, Das Lukasevangelium und die Apostelgeschichte, Werke desselben Verfassers (1890); Harnack, Luke the Physician (1907), and Sayings of Jesus (1908); The Date of the Ac and the Synoptic Gospels (1911); Hawkins, Horae Synopticae (2nd edition, 1909); Hervey. Authenticity of Luke (1892); Hobart, Medical Language of Luke (1882); Litzinger, Die Entstehung des Lukasevangelium und der Apostelgeschichte (1883); Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? (1898) and Luke the Physician (1908); Resch, Das Kindheit-Evangelium nach Lukas und Matthaus; Selwyn, Luke the Prophet (1901); Vogel, Zur Characteristik des Lukas nach Sprache und Stil (1897); Weiss, Quellen des Lukasevangelium (1907); Wright, Synopsis of the Gospels and his Gospel according to Luke in Greek (1900).

A. T. Robertson



I. Epilepsy.

1. Incorrect Translation:

The English word "lunatic," which in popular speech signifies a sufferer from any mental derangement, whether periodic or chronic, other than congenital idiocy, appears in the King James Version as a translation of the Greek word seleniazomai, in the two passages where it occurs. In the Revised Version (British and American) the word has very properly been displaced by the strictly accurate term "epileptic." This change is justified not only by the extra-Biblical usage (see Liddell and Scott, under the word), but clearly enough by Mt 17:15 (compare 4:24), where epilepsy is circumstantially described.

2. Original Meaning:

The original meaning of the term seleniazomai, "moon-struck," is connected with the popular belief, widespread and of strange persistency, that the moon, in certain of its phases, is injurious to human beings, especially in the case of diseases of a periodic or remittent character. There are no data by which to determine whether, in the New Testament times, this particular word represented a living and active belief or had passed into the state of usage in which the original metaphor disappears, and the word simply indicates the fact signified without reference to the idea embodied in the etymology. We still use the word "lunatic" to signify a person mentally diseased, although we have long since ceased to believe in the moon’s influence in such cases.

II. Madness.

The Bible designates "madness," or alienation of mind, by various terms, all of which seem to be onomatopoetic. These various words seem to be derived from the strange and fierce or mournful cries uttered by the unfortunate victims of this dread malady. In De 28:34 the word "maddened" is meshugga‘, participle of shagha‘ (compare also 1Sa 21:15). With this corresponds the word mainomai, in the New Testament. In 1Sa 21:13 (Hebrew 14) the word is a form of the verb chalal, which is also a derivative from the sound indicated.

In certain cases, though by no means uniformly, madness is ascribed to demon-possession (Lu 8:26 f) . One is struck by the fact that mental derangement occupies a very small place in Scripture.

Louis Matthews Sweet


lurk, lurk’-ing-plas: "To lurk" means "to lie in wait," usually with intent to do harm (see Ps 17:12; Pr 1:11,18).

Lurking-place, a place of hiding, usually for the purpose of murder. See 1Sa 23:23; Ps 10:8.


(5 Hebrew and 5 Greek words are so rendered, namely:

(1) nephesh,

(2) sheriruth,

(3) ta’awah,

(4) chamadh,

(5) ‘awah;

(1) epithumia,

(2) hedone,

(3) epipotheo,

(4) orexis,

(5) pathos):

The word both as verb and as substantive has a good and a bad meaning. It probably meant at first a strong desire, a craving, abnormal appetite, not only for physical but for spiritual satisfaction. It has come, however, to be confined in its use almost entirely to the bad sense. Some old translations are not accepted now, the word being used in connections which at present seem almost irreverent. Shades of meaning are learned from an examination of the Hebrew and Greek originals.

1. The Old Testament Use:

The substantive and verbs are:

(1) Nephesh, in Ex 15:9 and Ps 78:18 translated "desire"; "My desire shall be satisfied"; "by asking food according to their desire." A strong but not sensual sense.

(2) Sheriruth, meaning "obstinacy," evil imagination. Yahweh said (Ps 81:12), "I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart," a willful self-satisfaction.

(3) Ta’awah, "a delight" "a longing satisfaction," and so it came to mean "sinful pleasure." Translated in Ps 78:30, "that which they desired," intensely longed for, referring to Yahweh’s provision of food in the wilderness. Also in Nu 11:4 concerning "flesh to eat" it is said the multitude "lusted exceedingly" i.e. "craved eagerly.

(4) Chamadh, the verb meaning "to delight in," "greatly belove," "covet," probably for evil purposes. The young man is warned against the evil woman (Pr 6:25): "Lust not after her beauty." Here the bad sense is evident, for in the same connection are used such expressions as "harlot," "adulteress," "evil woman."

(5) ‘Awah, meaning "greatly to desire," long after, with undue emphasis, with evil spirit though not perhaps with impure thought. In Nu 11:34 reference is made to a place called qibhroth ha-ta’wah, "the graves of lust, where "they buried the people that lusted." Ps 106:14 also refers to the Israelites who "lusted exceedingly." Translated in De 12:15,21 "desire of thy soul"; 12:20; 14:26, "thy soul desireth." These Deuteronomy passages evidently mean lust only in the good sense.

2. The New Testament Use:

As in the Old Testament, so in the New Testament we find both meanings of the word.

(1) Epithumia is used most frequently, and means a longing for the unlawful, hence, concupiscence, desire, lust. The following references hold the idea, not only of sinful desire known as "fleshly," "worldly," as opposed to "spiritual" "heavenly," "the will of man" as opposed to "the will of God," but also the sensual desire connected with adultery, fornication; verb in Mt 5:28; Mr 4:19; Joh 8:44; Ro 1:24; 1Co 10:6; Ga 5:16,17,24; Tit 2:12; 1Pe 1:14; 1 Joh 2:16 f; Jude 1:16,18; Re 18:14.

(2) Hedone, delight in sensuality, hence, wicked pleasures; translated in Jas 4:1,3 "pleasures": "Your pleasures that war in your members"; "Ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures" (the King James Version "lust").

(3) Epipotheo means to crave intensely the wrong possession; translated in Jas 4:5 "long (the King James Version "lusteth") unto envying."

(4) Orexis, used in Ro 1:27, from context evidently meaning "lust" in the worst sense; translated "lust."

(5) Pathos, meaning "passion" inordinate affection, with the idea in it of suffering; translated in 1Th 4:5 "passion of lust."

William Edward Raffety


lut (nebhel; thus the Revised Version (British and American); the King James Version viol (Isa 5:12)): Nebhel is rendered elsewhere by psaltery" or "viol." The lute was originally an Arabic instrument. It resembled a guitar, though with a longer and more slender neck. The name is derived from Arabic al’ood, with a of article elided; hence, Italian liuto; French luth.



(Luz):the Hebrew word means "almond tree" or "almond wood" (OHL, under the word). It may also mean "bone," particularly a bone of the spine, and might be applied to a rocky height supposed to resemble a backbone (Lagarde, Uebersicht., 157 f). Winckler explains it by Aramaic laudh, "asylum," which might be suitably applied to a sanctuary (Geschichte Israels). Cheyne (EB, under the word) would derive it by corruption from chalutsah, "strong (city)."

(1) This was the ancient name of Bethel (Ge 28:19; Jud 1:23; compare Ge 35:6; 48:3; Jos 16:2; 18:13). It has been thought that Jos 16:2 contradicts this, and that the two places were distinct. Referring to Ge 28:19, we find that the name Bethel was given to "the place," ha-maqom, i.e. "the sanctuary," probably "the place" (28:11, Hebrew) associated with the sacrifice of Abraham (12:8), which lay to the East of Bethel. The name of the city as distinguished from "the place" was Luz. As the fame of the sanctuary grew, we may suppose, its name overshadowed, and finally superseded, that of the neighboring town. The memory of the ancient nomenclature persisting among the people sufficiently explains the allusions in the passages cited.

(2) A Bethelite, the man who betrayed the city into the hands of the children of Joseph, went into the land of the Hittites, and there founded a city which he called Luz, after the ancient name of his native place (Jud 1:26). No satisfactory identification has been suggested.

W. Ewing


lik-a-o’-ni-a, li-ka-o’-ni-a (Lukaonia (Ac 14:6), Lukaonisti, (Ac 14:11, "in the speech of Lycaonia"); Lycaonia is meant, according to the South Galatian view, by the expression ten Galatiken choran, in Ac 18:23, and the incidents in Ac 16:1-4 belong to Lycaonia): Was a country in the central and southern part of Asia Minor whose boundaries and extent varied at different periods. In the time of Paul, it was bounded on the North by Galatia proper (but lay in the Roman province Galatia), on the East by Cappadocia, on the South by Cilicia Tracheia, and on the West by Pisidia and Phrygia. The boundary of Phrygia and Lycaonia passed between Iconium and Lystra (see ICONIUM). Lycaonia consists of a level plain, waterless and treeless, rising at its southern fringe for some distance into the foothills of Taurus, and broken on its eastern side by the volcanic mass of Kara-Dagh and by many smaller hills. Strabo informs us that King Amyntas of Galatia fed many flocks of sheep on the Lycaonian plain. Much of the northern portion of Lycaonia has been proved by recent discovery to have belonged to the Roman emperors, who inherited the crown lands of Amyntas.

In Ac 14:6 Lycaonia is summed up as consisting of the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the district (including many villages) lying around them. This description refers to a particular division of Lycaonia, which alone is mentioned in the Bible. In the time of Paul, Lycaonia consisted of two parts, a western and an eastern. The western part was a "region" or subdivision of the Roman province Galatia; the eastern was called Lycaonia Antiochiana, after Antiochus of Commagene under whom it had been placed in 37 AD. This non-Roman portion was traversed by Paul; but nothing is recorded of his journey through it (see DERBE). It included the important city of Laranda; and when Lycaonia is described as consisting of the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding district, the writer is clearly thinking only of the western portion of Lycaonia, which lay in, and formed a "region" of, the province Galatia. This is the tract of country which is meant in Ac 18:23, where it is called the "region" of Galatia, and placed side by side with Phrygia, another region of Galatia. The province Galatia was divided into districts technically known as "regions," and Roman Lycaonia is called the "region of Galatia" in implied contrast with Antiochian Lycaonia, which lay outside the Roman province. Of the language of Lycaonia. (see LYSTRA) nothing survives except some personal and place names, which are discussed in Kretschmar’s Einleitung in die Gesch. der griech. Sprache.


Ramsay, Historical Commentary on Galatians (Introduction); Sterrett, Wolfe Expedition (inscriptions).

W. M. Calder


lish’-i-a (Lukia): An ancient country forming the southeast portion of Asia Minor. The surface of Lycia is exceedingly rugged, and its lofty mountains rise almost directly from the sea. Over them several trade routes or passes lead from the coast to the interior. Down the mountain sides rush many small rivers, of which the Xanthus is the chief. The history of Lycia, like that of the neighboring countries, forms a part of the history of Asia Minor. Successively it was in the possession of the Persians, of Alexander the Great, of the Seleucid kings and of the Ptolemies. In 188 BC it fell into the hands of the Romans, who gave it to the island of Rhodes; 20 years later, because of its loyalty to Rome, it became free and independent (1 Macc 15:23). In 53 AD, during the reign of the emperor Claudius, it became a Roman province, and in 74 AD it was united with Pamphylia to form a double province over which a Roman governor presided.

At different times during the history of Lycia, there were about 100 places which issued coins of their own. Pliny speaks of 70 cities which had existed there, but in his age there were but 36. Of these, Patara, Myra and Phaselis are of interest to Bible students. From the coast city of Patara, according to Ac 21 f, Paul took ship for Phoenicia. It was a place celebrated not only as a trading-center, and a port of entry to the interior, but as the seat of the oracle of Apollo, and the birthplace of Nicholas. Myra, though over 2 miles from the coast, possessed a harbor, and was also a trading-center. Here, according to Ac 27:5-38, Paul found a grain ship from Alexandria. For some time Myra was the capital of the Roman province; to Christendom it is especially known as the home of Nicholas, who was its bishop and the patron saint of the sailors along the coast. Phaselis, on the border of Pamphylia, was also the home of the bishop.

Lycia was a stopping-place, rather than the scene of the active work of Paul, and therefore it figures little in the earliest history of Christianity. For a long time the people strongly opposed the introduction of a strange religion, and in 312 AD they even petitioned the Roman emperor Maximin against it. A portion of the petition has been discovered at Arykander.

E. J. Banks



See LOD.


lid’-i-a (Ludia): An important country in the western part of Asia Minor bounded on the North by Mysia, on the East by Phrygia, on the South by Caria, and on the West by the Aegean Sea. Its surface is rugged, but along the valleys between its mountain ranges ran some of the most important highways from the coast cities to the distant interior. Of its many rivers the chief are the Cayster, the Lower Hermus, the Cogamos, the Caicus and, during a part of its course, the Meander.

Lydia was an exceedingly ancient and powerful kingdom whose history is composed chiefly of that of its individual cities. In 546 BC it fell into the hands of the Persians, and in 334 BC it became a part of Alexander’s empire. After the death of Alexander its possession was claimed by the kings both of Pergamos and of Seleucia, but in 190 BC it became the undisputed possession of the former (1 Macc 8:8). With the death of Attalus III, 133 BC, it was transferred by the will of that king to Rome, and Lydia, which then became but a name, formed, along with Caria, Mysia and Phrygia, a part of the Roman province of Asia (see ASIA). Chief among its cities were Smyrna and Ephesus, two of the most important in Asia Minor, and Smyrna is still the largest and wealthiest city of that part of Turkey. At Ephesus, the seat of the goddess Diana, Paul remained longer than elsewhere in Asia, and there his most important missionary work was done (Ac 19). Hence, Lydia figures prominently in the early history of the church; it became Christianized during the residence of the apostle at Ephesus, or soon afterward (see also LUD).

E. J. Banks


lid’-i-a (Ludia): The feminine of Lydian, a native of Lydia, a large country on the West of Asia Minor, and the name of Paul’s first convert in Europe. This name was a popular one for women (compare Horace Odes i.8; iii.9; vi.20), but Ramsay thinks she "was familiarly known in the town by the ethnic that showed her origin" (H D B, under the word "Lydia"; compare Paul the Traveler, 214). It has always been and is still a common custom in the Orient to refer to one living in a foreign land by employing the adjective which designates the nationality. Renan thinks it means "the Lydian"; Thyatira is a city of Lydia. Lydia was (1) living in Philippi, (2) of the city of Thyatira, (3) a seller of the purple-dyed garments from her native town, (4) and "one that worshipped God." Her occupation shows her to have been a woman of some capital. The phrase which describes her religion (sebomene ton Theon) is the usual designation for a proselyte. She was in the habit of frequenting a place of prayer by a riverside, a situation convenient for the necessary ablutions required by the Jewish worship, and there Paul and his companions met her. After she had been listening to Paul (Greek imperfect), the Lord opened her heart to give heed to his teaching ("To open is the part of God, to pay attention that of the woman," Chrysostom). Her baptism and that of her household followed. To prove her sincerity she besought the missionaries to accept the hospitality of her home. Her house probably became the center for the church in Philippi (Ac 16:14,15,40). Lydia is not mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, but, if Ramsay be correct, she may have been Euodias or Syntyche (Php 4:2).

S. F. Hunter









See LIE.


li-sa’-ni-as (Lusanias): Mentioned in Lu 3:1 as tetrarch of Abilene in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, and thus fixing the date of the preaching of John the Baptist in the wilderness at about 26 or 28 AD. A Lysanias is mentioned by Josephus as having ruled over Chalcis and Abilene, and as having been slain by Mark Antony at the instigation of Cleopatra. As this happened about 36 BC, Luke has been charged with inaccuracy. Inscriptions, however, corroborate the view that the Lysanias of Luke was probably a descendant of the Lysanias mentioned by Josephus (compare Schurer, H J the Priestly Code (P), div I, volume II, App. 1, p. 338).

C. M. Kerr


lis’-i-as (Lusias):

(1) "A noble man, and one of the blood royal" whom Antiochus Epiphanes (circa 166 BC) left with the government of Southern Syria and the guardianship of his son, while he went in person into Persia to collect the revenues which were. not coming in satisfactorily (1 Macc 3:32; 2 Macc 10:11). According to Josephus (Ant., XII, vii, 2), the instructions of Lysias were’ "to conquer Judea, enslave its inhabitants, utterly destroy Jerusalem and abolish the whole nation." Lysias, accordingly, armed against Judas Maccabeus a large force under Ptolemy, son of Dorymenes, Nicanor and Gorgias. Of this force Judas defeated the two divisions under Nicanor and Gorgias near Emmaus (166 BC), and in the following year Lysias himself at Bethsura (1 Macc 4), after which he proceeded to the purification of the temple. In the narration of these campaigns there are considerable differences between the writers of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees which scholars have not found easy to explain. Antiochus died at Babylon on his Persian expedition (164 BC), and Lysias assumed the office of regent during the minority of his son, who was yet a child (1 Macc 6:17). He collected another army at Antioch, and after the recapture of Bethsura was besieging Jerusalem when he learned of the approach of Philip to whom Antiochus, on his deathbed, had entrusted the guardianship of the prince (1 Macc 6:15; 2 Macc 13). He defeated Philip in 163 BC and was supported at Rome, but in the following year he fell with his ward Antiochus into the hands of Demetrius I (Soter), who put both of them to death (1 Macc 7:1-23).

(2) See CLAUDIUS LYSIAS (Ac 23:26).

J. Hutchison


li-sim’-a-kus (Lusimachos):

(1) The son of Ptolemy, of Jerusalem, is named (Additions to Esther 11:1) as the interpreter (translator of the Rest of Esther into Greek).


(2) Brother of Menelaus, a Greek name said by Josephus (Ant., XII, v, 1) to have been assumed by Onias, the high priest in the hellenizing days of Antiochus Epiphanes, as the Jewish name Jesus was changed to Jason. When Menelaus was summoned to Antioch (2 Macc 4:29) on a charge of malversation, he left Lysimachus as his deputy in the priesthood at Jerusalem. Lysimachus robbed the temple and caused an insurrection in which he met his death beside the treasury (2 Macc 4:42). The name of Lysimachus does not appear in the narrative of these events given by Josephus

J. Hutchison


lis’-tra: The forms Lustran, and Lustrois, occur. Such variation in the gender of Anatolian city-names is common (see Harnack, Apostelgeschichte, 86; Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 128). Lystra was visited by Paul 4 times (Ac 14:6,21; 16:1; 18:23 —the last according to the "South Galatian" theory), and is mentioned in 2Ti 3:10 f as one of the places where Paul suffered persecution. Timothy resided in Lystra (Ac 16:1).

1. Character and Site:

Lystra owed its importance, and the attention which Paul paid to it, to the fact that it had been made a Roman colonia by Augustus (see ANTIOCH), and was therefore, in the time of Paul, a center of education and enlightenment. Nothing is known of its earlier, and little of its later, history. The site of Lystra was placed by Leake (1820) at a hill near Khatyn Serai, 18 miles South-Southwest from Iconium; this identification was proved correct by an inscription found by Sterrett in 1885. The boundary between Phrygia and Lycaonia passed between Iconium and Lystra. (Ac 14:6) (see ICONIUM).

The population of Lystra consisted of the local aristocracy of Roman soldiers who formed the garrison of the colonia, of Greeks and Jews (Ac 16:1,3), and of native Lycaonians (Ac 14:11).

2. Worship of Paul and Barnabas:

After Paul had healed a life-long cripple at Lystra, the native population (the "multitude" of Ac 14:11) regarded him and Barnabas as pagan gods come down to them in likeness of men, and called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes." Commentators on this incident usually point out that the same pair of divinities appeared to Baucis and Philemon in Ovid’s well-known story, which he locates in the neighboring Phrygia. The accuracy in detail of this part of the narrative in Ac has been strikingly confirmed by recent epigraphic discovery. Two inscriptions found in the neighborhood of Lystra in 1909 run as follows:

(1) "Kakkan and Maramoas and Iman Licinius priests of Zeus";

(2) "Toues Macrinus also called Abascantus and Batasis son of Bretasis having made in accordance with a vow at their own expense (a statue of) Hermes Most Great along with a sun-dial dedicated it to Zeus the sun-god."

Now it is evident from the narrative in Ac that the people who were prepared to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods were not Greeks or Romans, but native Lycaonians. This is conclusively brought out by the use of the phrase "in the speech of Lycaonia" (Ac 14:11). The language in ordinary use among the educated classes in Central Anatolian cities under the Roman Empire was Greek; in some of those cities, and especially of course, in Roman colonies, Latin also was understood, and it was used at this period in official documents. But the Anatolian element in the population of those cities continued for a long time to use the native language (e.g. Phrygian was in use at Iconium till the 3rd century of our era; see ICONIUM). In the story in Ac a fast distinction is implied, and in fact existed, between the ideas and practices of the Greeks and the Roman colonists and those of the natives. This distinction would naturally maintain itself most vigorously in so conservative an institution as religious ritual and legend. We should therefore expect to find that the association between Zeus and Hermes indicated in Ac belonged to the religious system of the native population, rather than to that of the educated society of the colony. And this is precisely the character of the cult illustrated in our two inscriptions. It is essentially a native cult, under a thin Greek disguise. The names in those inscriptions can only have been the names of natives; the Zeus and Hermes of Ac and of our inscriptions were a graecized version of the Father-god and Son-god of the native Anatolian system. The college of priests which appears in inscription number 1 (supporting the Bezan variant "priests" for "priest" in Ac 14:13) was a regular Anatolian institution. The miracle performed by Paul, and his companionship with Barnabas would naturally suggest to the natives who used the "speech of Lycaonia" a pair of gods commonly associated by them in a local cult. The two gods whose names rose to their lips are now known to have been associated by the dedication of a statue of one in a temple, of the other in the neighborhood of Lystra.


Ramsay, Cities of Paul, 407 ff. On the new inscriptions, see Calder, The Expositor, 1910, 1 ff, 148 ff; id, Classical Review, 1910, 67 ff. Inscriptions of Lystra are published in Sterrett, Wolfe Expedition, and in Jour. Hell. Stud., 1904 (Cronin).

W. M. Calder