za’-a-nan (tsa‘anan; Sennaar): A place named by Micah in the Shephelah of Judah (1:11). In this sentence the prophet makes verbal play with the name, as if it were derived from yatsa’," to go forth": "The inhabitant (margin "inhabitress") of tsa’anan is not come forth" (yatse’ah). The place is not identical. It is probably the same as ZENAN.


za-a-nan’-im, elon betsa‘anayim; or betsa‘anannim Codex Vaticanus Besamiein; Codex Alexandrinus Besananim (Jos 19:33); in Jud 4:11 Codex Vaticanus translates it as pleonektounton, and Codex Alexandrinus has anapauomenon): In Jos 19:33 the King James Version reads "Allon to Zaanannim," the Revised Version (British and American) "the oak in Zaanannim," the Revised Version margin "oak (or terebinth) of Bezaanannim." In Jud 4:11 the King James Version reads "plain of Zaanaim," the Revised Version (British and American) "oak in Zaanannim." It is probable that the same place is intended in the two passages. It was a place on the southern border of the territory of Naphtali (Joshua), and near it the tent of Heber the Kenite was pitched (Judges). The absence of the article before ‘elon shows that the "be" is not the preposition before "z", but the first letter of the name, which accordingly should be read "Bezaanannim." We should naturally look for it near Adami and Nekeb. This agrees also with the indications in Judges, if the direction of Sisera’s flight suggested in MEROZ (which see) is correct. The Kadesh, then, of Jud 4:11 may be represented by the ruin Qadish on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee; and in the name Khirbet Bessum, about 3 miles Northeast of Tabor, there is perhaps an echo of Bezaanannim.

W. Ewing


za’-a-van (za‘-awan, meaning unknown): A Horite descendant of Seir (Ge 36:27; 1Ch 1:42). In 1 Chronicles, Lucian has Zauan = Samaritan z-w-‘-n i.e. Zaw‘an, from a root meaning "to tremble," "fear" (see ..., BDB). King James Version has "Zavan" in 1 Chronicles.


za’-bad (zabhadh, perhaps a contraction for (1) zebhadhyah, "Yahweh has given," i.e. Zebadiah; or (2) zabhdi’el, "El (God) is my gift" (HPN, 222 f); Zabed(t), with many variants):

(1) A Jerahmeelite (1Ch 2:36,37), son of Nathan (see NATHAN, IV).

(2) An Ephraimite, son of Tahath (1Ch 7:21).

(3) Son of Ahlai (1Ch 11:41) and one of David’s mighty men (the name is wanting in 2Sa 23:24-29).

(4) Son of Shimeath the Ammonitess (2Ch 26); he was one of the murderers of King Joash of Judah; called "Jozacar" in 2Ki 12:21 (Hebrew verse 22). Perhaps the name in Chronicles should be Zacar (zakhar),

(5) Name of three men who had married foreign wives:

(a) son of Zattu (Ezr 10:27)=" Sabathus" of 1 Esdras 9:28;

(b) son of Hashum (Ezr 10:33) =" Sabanneus" of 1 Esdras 9:33;

(c) son of Nebo (Ezr 10:43) =" Zabadeas" of 1 Esdras 9:35.

David Francis Roberts


zab-a-de’-anz (Zabadaioi; the King James Version Zabadeans; Oesterley, in Charles, Apocrypha, I, 112, prefers, on what seems insufficient evidence, to read "Gabadeans"; Josephus (Ant., XIII, v, 10) by an obvious error has "Nabateans"): According to 1 Macc 12:31, an Arabian tribe, defeated and spoiled by Jonathan after his victory in Hamath and before he came to Damascus. There is an ez-Zebedani about 25 miles Northwest of Damascus (now a station on the railway to Beirut), on the eastern slope of the Anti-Lebanon range. This town may very well have preserved the name of the Zabadaeans, and its situation accords nicely with Jonathan’s movements in 1 Macc 12.

Burton Scott Easton


zab-a-da’-yas. The King James Version = the Revised Version (British and American) ZABADEAS (which see)


zab-a-de’-as (Zabadaias; the King James Version Zabadaias): One of the sons of Nooma who put away their foreign wives (1 Esdras 9:35) =" Zabad" of Ezr 10:43.


zab’-a-i, zab’-i ( zabbay, meaning unknown; Zabou):

(1) One of those who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:28) =" Jozabdus" of 1 Esdras 9:29.

(2) Father of Baruch (Ne 3:20). The Qere has zakkay =" Zaccai"of Ezr 2:9; Ne 7:14.


zab’-ud (zabbudh, meaning uncertain; Ezr 8:14, where Kere is zakkur and Kethibh is zabhudh =" Zabud"; 1 Esdras 8:40 has "Istalcarus"): A companion of Ezra on his journey from Babylon to Jerusalem.


zab-de’-us (Zabdaios): In 1 Esdras 9:21 =" Zebadiah" of Ezr 10:20.


zab’-di (zabhdi>, perhaps "(a) gift of Yahweh" or "my gift" = New Testament "Zebedee"):

(1) An ancestor of Achan (Jos 7:1,17,18). Some Septuagint manuscripts and 1Ch 2:6 have "Zimri" (zimri); "the confusion of the Hebrew letter beth (b) and the Hebrew letter mem (m) is phonetic; the confusion of the Hebrew letter daleth (d) and the Hebrew letter resh (r) is graphic" (Curtis, Chronicles, 86).

See ZIMRI, (3).

(2) A Benjamite, son of Shimei (1Ch 8:19), and possibly a descendant of Ehud (Curtis).

(3) "The Shiphmite," one of David’s officers who had charge of the wine-cellars (1Ch 27:27). The Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus has Zachrei (probably Zichri).

(4) An ancestor of Mattaniah (Ne 11:17). Luc. and 1Ch 9:15 have "Zichri."

See ZICHRI, I, 2.

David Francis Roberts


zab’-di-el (zabhdi’el, "my gift is El (God)"; Zabdiel):

(1) Father of Jashobeam (1Ch 27:2), or rather Ishbaal (Curtis, Chronicles, 290 f).

(2) An overseer of the priests (Ne 11:14).

(3) An Arabian who beheaded Alexander Balas and sent his head to Ptolemy (1 Macc 11:17).


za’-bud (zabhudh, "bestowed"):

(1) A son of Nathan (the prophet, probably) said in Kings to be chief minister to Solomon and also the king’s friend (1Ki 4:5; 1Ch 2:36). The American Revised Version margin has "priest" for "chief minister." Benzinger (Kurz. Hand-Commentary, 18) holds that "this expression is a marginal gloss here," while Kittel (Handkomm., 31) holds it to be genuine, though it is wanting in the Septuagint. Some suggest cokhen (see SHEBNA) for kohen. The expression "king’s friend" (compare 2Sa 15:37; 16:16) is, says Kittel, an old Canaanite title, found also in the Tell el-Amarna Letters.


David Francis Roberts


zab’-u-lon (Zaboulon): Greek form of "Zebulun" of Mt 4:13,16; Re 7:8 the King James Version.


zak’-a-i, zak’-i.

See ZABBAI, (2).


za-ke’-us (Zakchaios, from zakkay, "pure"):

(1) A publican with whom Jesus lodged during His stay in Jericho (Lu 19:1-10). He is not mentioned in the other Gospels. Being a chief publican, or overseer, among the tax-gatherers, Zaccheus had additional opportunity, by farming the taxes, of increasing that wealth for which his class was famous. Yet his mind was not entirely engrossed by material considerations, for he joined the throng which gathered to see Jesus on His entrance into the city. Of little stature, he was unable either to see over or to make his way through the press, and therefore scaled a sycomore tree. There he was singled out by Jesus, who said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house" (Lu 19:5). The offer thus frankly made by Jesus was accepted eagerly and gladly by Zaccheus; and the murmurings of the crowd marred the happiness of neither. How completely the new birth was accomplished in Zaccheus is testified by his vow to give half of his goods to the poor, and to make fourfold restitution where he had wrongfully exacted. The incident reveals the Christian truth that just as the publican Zaccheus was regarded by the rest of the Jews as a sinner and renegade who was unworthy to be numbered among the sons of Abraham, and was yet chosen by our Lord to be His host, so the social outcast of modern life is still a son of God, within whose heart the spirit of Christ is longing to make its abode. "For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost" (Lu 19:10).

(2) An officer of Judas Maccabeus (2 Macc 10:19). (3) A Zaccheus is mentioned in the Clementine Homilies (iii.63) as having been a companion of Peter and appointed bishop of Caesarea.

(4) According to the Gospel of the Childhood, by Thomas, Zaccheus was also the name of the teacher of the boy Jesus.

C. M. Kerr





zak’-ur (zakkur, perhaps "ventriloquist" (Gray, Nu, 137)):

(1) Father of Shammua the Reubenite spy (Nu 13:4).

(2) A Simeonite (1Ch 4:26); the King James Version "Zacchur."

(3) Levites: (a) a Merarite (1Ch 24:27); (b) a "son" of Asaph (1Ch 25:2,10; Ne 12:35); (c) Ne 10:12 (Hebrew verse 13), and probably the same as in Neb 13:13, father of Hanan.

(4) A marginal reading in Ezr 8:14 for Zabbud where Kethibh is really "Zabud".


(5) Son of Imri and one of the builders of Jerusalem (Ne 3:2).

David Francis Roberts


zak-a-ri’-a (Zacharias; the King James Version, Zacharias):

(1) The son of Barachiah, who, Jesus says, was slain between the temple and the altar (Mt 23:35; Lu 11:51). The allusion seems to be to the murder of Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada (2Ch 24:20 ). In this case "Barachiah" would seem to be a gloss which has crept into the text through confusion with the name of the father of the prophet Zechariah, BERECHIAH (which see).



zak-a-ri’-as (Zacharias):

(1) One of the "rulers of the temple" at the time of Josiah’s Passover (1 Esdras 1:8) =" Zechariah" of 2Ch 35:8.

(2) One of the "holy singers" at Josiah’s Passover (1 Esdras 1:15); the name stands in place of "Heman" in 2Ch 35:15.

(3) In 1 Esdras 6:1; 7:3 = the prophet Zechariah.

(4) One of the sons of Pharos who returned with Ezra at the head of his family (1 Esdras 8:30) =" Zechariah" of Ezr 8:3, and perhaps identical with (5).

(5) One of the "men of understanding" with whom Ezra consulted when he discovered the absence of priests and Levites (1 Esdras 8:44) =" Zechariah" of Ezr 8:16, and perhaps identical with (6).

(6) Zacharias (omitted in the King James Version), who stood on Ezra’s left hand as he expounded the Law (1 Esdras 9:44) =" Zechariah" of Ne 8:4.

(7) One of the sons of Babi who went up at the head of his family with Ezra (1 Esdras 8:37) =" Zechariah" of Ezr 8:11.

(8) One of the sons of Elam who had taken foreign wives (1 Esdras 9:27) =" Zechariah" of Ezr 10:26.

(9) The father of Joseph, one of the "leaders of the people" under Judas (1 Macc 5:18,56).

(10) The King James Version = the Revised Version (British and American) "Zarains" (1 Esdras 5:8).

(11) The King James Version = the Revised Version (British and American) "Zachariah" of Mt 23:35.

S. Angus


(Zacharias): Father of John the Baptist (Lu 1:5, etc.). He was a priest of the course of ABIJAH (which see), of blameless life, who in his old age was still childless. But on one occasion when it was the turn of the course of Abijah to minister in the temple (see TEMPLE), Zacharias was chosen by lot to burn incense. While engaged in this duty he was visited by Gabriel, who announced to him that he should become the father of the precursor of the Messiah. Zacharias received the promise incredulously and was punished by being stricken mute. When, however, the child was born and Zacharias had obeyed the injunction of Gabriel by insisting on the name John, his powers of speech returned to him. According to Lu 1:67-79, Zacharias was the author of the hymn Benedictus, which describes God’s deliverance of Israel in language drawn entirely from the Old Testament, and which is unaffected by the later Christian realization that the Kingdom is also for Gentiles.

Elisabeth, his wife, was of the daughters of Aaron (Lu 1:5) and kinswoman of the Virgin (Lu 1:36; the relationship is altogether obscure). According to Lu 1:42-45, she was one of those who shared in the secret of the Annunciation. A few manuscripts in Lu 1:46 ascribe the Magnificat to her, but this seems certainly erroneous. See especially Zahn, Evangelium des Lucas, 98-101 and 745-751 (1913).

Burton Scott Easton


zak’-a-ri (Latin Zacharias): the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) in 2 Esdras 1:40 = the prophet Zechariah.





za’-dok (tsadowq, once tsadhoq (1Ki 1:26), similar to tsaddiq, and tsadduq, post-Biblical, meaning justus, "righteous"; Septuagint Sadok): Cheyne in Encyclopedia Biblica suggests that Zadok was a modification of a Gentilic name, that of the Zidkites the Negeb, who probably derived their appellation from the root ts-d-q, a secondary title of the god they worshipped. At the same time Cheyne admits that cultivated Israelites may have interpreted Zadok as meaning "just," "righteous"—a much more credible supposition.

(1) Zadok the son of Ahitub (2Sa 8:17)—not of Ahitub the ancestor of Ahimelech (1Sa 14:3) and of Abiathar, his son (1Sa 22:20).

(2) Zadok father of Jerusha, mother of Jotham, and wife of Uzziah king of Judah (2Ki 15:33; 2Ch 27:1).

(3) Zadok the son of Ahitub and father of Shallum (1Ch 6:12) or Meshullam (Ne 11:11), and the ancestor of Ezra (7:1,2).

(4) Zadok the son of Baana, a wall-builder in the time of Nehemiah (Ne 3:4), and probably one of the signatories to the covenant made by the princes, priests and Levites of Israel (Ne 10:21)—in both places his name occurring immediately after that of Meshezabel.

(5) Zodak the son of Immer, and, like the preceding, a repairer of the wall (Ne 3:29).

(6) Zodak a scribe in the time of Nehemiah (13:13). Whether this was the same as either of the two preceding cannot be determined.

The first of these filled a larger place in Old Testament history than either of the others; and to him accordingly the following paragraphs refer. They set forth the accounts given of him first in Samuel and Kings and next in Chronicles; after which they state and criticize the critical theory concerning him.

1. In Samuel and Kings:

(1) In these older sources Zodak first appears in David’s reign, after Israel and Judah were united under him, as joint occupant with Ahimelech of the high priest’s office and his name taking precedence of that of his colleague Ahimelech, the son of Abiathar (2Sa 8:17).

(2) On David’s flight from Jerusalem, occasioned by Absalom’s rebellion, Zadok and Abiathar (now the joint high priest), accompanied by the whole body of the Levites, followed the king across the Kidron, bearing the Ark of the Covenant, which, however, they were directed to carry back to the city, taking with them their two sons, Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar, to act as spies upon the conduct of the rebels and send information to the king (2Sa 15:24-36; 17:15,17-21).

(3) On the death of Absalom, Zodak and Abiathar were employed by David as intermediaries between himself and the elders of Judah to consult about his return to the city, which through their assistance was successfully brought about (2Sa 19:11).

(4) When, toward the end of David’s life, Adonijah the son of Haggith, and therefore the crown prince, put forward his claim to the throne of all Israel, taking counsel with Joab and Abiathar, Zodak along with Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, espoused the cause of Solomon, Bathsheba’s son, and acting on David’s instructions anointed him as king in Gihon (1Ki 1:8,26,32-45).

(5) Accordingly, when Solomon found himself established on the throne, he put Zodak in the room of Abiathar, i.e. made him sole high priest, while retaining Abiathar in the priestly office, though deposed from a position of coordinate authority with Zodak (1Ki 2:26,27,35; 4:4).

2. In Chronicles:

(1) As in the earlier sources so in these, Zodak’s father was Ahitub and his son Ahimaaz—the information being added that they were all descendants from Aaron through Eleazar (1Ch 6:50-53).

(2) Among the warriors who came to Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul to David was "Zodak, a young man mighty of valor," who was followed by 22 captains of his father house (1Ch 12:26-28).

(3) Along with Abiathar and the Levites, Zodak was directed by David to bring up the Ark from the house of Obed-edom to the tent pitched for it on Mt. Zion, when Zodak was appointed to officiate at Gibeon, while Abiathar, it is presumed, ministered in Jerusalem (1Ch 15:11; 16:39).

(4) Toward the end of David’s reign Zodak and Abimelech the son of Abiathar acted as priests, Zodak as before having precedence (1Ch 18:16).

(5) To them was committed by the aged king the task of arranging the priests and Levites according to their several duties, it being intimated by the narrator that Zodak was of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech (in 1Ch 18:16, named Abiathar; see above) of the sons of Ithamar (1Ch 24:3). In 1Ch 24:6 Ahimelech is called the son of Abiathar, while in 18:16, Abiathar’s son is Abimelech—which suggests that the letters "b" and "h" were interchangeable in the name of Abiathar’s sons.

(6) When Solomon was anointed king, Zodak was anointed (sole) priest (1Ch 29:22).

Obviously a large measure of agreement exists between the two narratives. Yet some points demand explanation.

3. Harmony of the Accounts:

(1) The seeming discrepancy between the statements in the earlier sources, that Zodak’s colleague in the high priest’s office is first named Ahimelech (2Sa 8:17) and afterward Abiathar (2Sa 15:24), should occasion little perplexity. Either Ahimelech and Abiathar were one and the same person—not an unlikely supposition (see above); or, what is more probable, Abiathar was Ahimelech’s son and had succeeded to his father’s office.

(2) Zodak’s appearance as a young soldier among the captains who brought David to Jerusalem (assuming that Zodak the soldier was Zodak the priest, which is not absolutely certain) need create no difficulty, if Zodak was not then of age to succeed his father in the priestly office. The earlier sources do not make Zodak an acting priest till after David’s accession to the throne of all Israel.

(3) Neither should it prove an insoluble problem to explain how, soon after David’s accession to the throne of Judah and Israel, Zodak should be found engaged along with Abiathar in bringing up the Ark to Mt. Zion, as by this time Zodak had obviously entered on the high-priestly office, either in succession to or as colleague of his father.

(4) That Zodak was left to officiate at Gibeon where the tabernacle was, while Abiathar was selected to exercise office in the capital, in no way conflicts with the earlier account and seems reasonable as a distribution of official duties. Why Zodak was sent to Gibeon, where the tabernacle was, and not kept at Jerusalem whither the Ark had been brought, he being always named before Abiathar and probably looked upon as the principal high priest, may have had its reason either in the fact that the king regarded Gibeon as the central sanctuary for national worship, the tabernacle being there (Solomon obviously did; see 2Ch 1:3), and therefore as the proper place for the principal high priest; or in the fact that Zodak was younger than Abiathar and therefore less fitted than his older colleague to be at court, as an adviser to the king.

(5) That toward the end of David’s reign, not Abiathar, but his son Ahimelech (or Abimelech), should be introduced as joint high priest with Zodak will not be surprising, if Abiathar was by this time an old man, as his father was at the beginning of David’s reign. That grandfather and grandson should have the same name is as likely to have been common then as it is today.

(6) That Zodak should have been appointed sole high priest on Solomon’s accession (1Ch 29:22) is not inconsistent with the statement (1Ki 4:4) that under Solomon Zodak and Abiathar were priests. Abiathar might still be recognized as a priest or even as a high priest, though no longer acting as such. The act of deposition may have affected his son Ahimelech as well, and if both father and son were degraded, perhaps this was only to the extent of excluding them from the chief dignity of high priest.

4. The Higher Critical Theory:

The higher criticism holds:

(1) that the Zadok of David’s reign was not really an Aaronite descended from Eleazar through Ahitub, who was not Zadok’s father but Ahimelech’s (Gray in EB, article "Ahitub"), but an adventurer, a soldier of fortune who had climbed up into the priest’s office, though by what means is not known (Wellhausen, GJ, 145);

(2) that up till Zadok’s appearance the priesthood had been in Ithamar’s line, though, according to the insertion by a later writer in the text of 1Sa 2 (see 2:27 ff), in Eli’s day it was predicted that it should pass from Eli’s house and be given to another;

(3) that when Abiathar or Ahimelech or both were deposed and Zadok instituted sole high priest by Solomon, this fictitious prophecy was fulfilled—though in reality there was neither prophecy nor fulfillment;

(4) that during the exile Ezekiel in his sketch of the vision-temple represented the Zadokites as the only legitimate priests, while the others of the line of A were degraded to be Levites;

(5) that in order to establish the legitimacy of Zadok the writer of the Priestly Code (P) invented his Aaronic descent through Eleazar and inserted the fictitious prophecy in 1 Samuel.

5. Criticism of This Theory:

(1) This theory proceeds upon the assumption, not that the Chronicler was a post-exilic writer (which is admitted), but that he deliberately and purposely idealized and to that extent falsified the past history of his people by ascribing to them a faithful adherence to the Levitical institutions of the Priestly Code, which, according to this theory, were not then in existence—in other words by representing the religious institutions and observances of his own age as having existed in the nation from the beginning. Were this theory established by well-accredited facts, it would doubtless require to be accepted; but the chief, if not the only, support it has is derived from a previous reconstruction of the sacred text in accordance with theory it is called on to uphold.

(2) That the father of Zadok was not Ahitub, a priest of the line of Eleazar, is arrived at by declaring the text in 2Sa 8:17 to have been intentionally corrupted, presumably by a late redactor, the original form of the verse having been, according to criticism (Wellhausen, TBS, 176 f): "Abiathar the son of Ahimelech, the son of Ahitub, and Zadok were priests." But if this was the original form of the words it is not easy to explain why they should have been so completely turned round as to say the opposite, namely, that Ahimelech was the son of Abiathar, and that Ahitub was the father of Zadok., when in reality he was the father of Ahimelech. If, as Cornill admits (Einl, 116), the Chronicler worked "with good, old historical material," it is not credible that he made it say the opposite of what it meant.

(3) If Zadok was not originally a priest, but only a military adventurer, why should David have made him a priest at all? Wellhausen says (GI, 20) that when David came to the throne he "attached importance to having as priests the heirs of the old family who had served the Ark at Shiloh." But if so, he had Abiathar of the line of Ithamar at hand, and did not need to go to the army for a priest. If, however, it be urged that in making Zadok a priest he gave him an inferior rank to Abiathar, and sent him to Gibeon where the tabernacle was, why should both sources so persistently place Zadok before Abiathar?

(4) If Zadok was originally a soldier not connected with the priesthood, and only became a priest after David came to Jerusalem, why should the earlier source have omitted to record this, when no reason existed, so far as one can discover, why it should have been left out? And why should the priestly disposed Chronicler have incorporated this in his narrative when all his inclinations should have moved him to omit it, more especially when he was intending to invent (according to the critical theory) for the young warrior an Aaronite descent?

(5) That the prediction of the fall of Eli’s house (1Sa 2:27-36) was inserted by a late writer to justify its supersession by the line of Zadok has no foundation except the presupposition that prediction is impossible, which fair-minded criticism cannot admit. The occurrence of the word "anointed" it is contended, presupposes the monarchy. This, however, it only predicts; and at the most, as Driver sees (Introduction, 164), cannot prove the fictitious character of the prophecy, but merely that it has been "recast by the narrator and colored by the associations with which he himself is familiar"; and even this is entirely hypothetical.

(6) Ezekiel’s reference to Zadok’s descendants as the only legitimate priests in the vision-temple does not prove that Zadok himself was a soldier who climbed up into the priesthood. Even if the critical interpretation of the vision-temple were correct, it in no way affects the personality of Zadok, and certainly does not disprove his original connection with the priesthood or his descent from Eleazar.

T. Whitelaw


za’-ham (zaham, meaning uncertain; Septuagint Codex Alexandrinus Zalam, Codex Vaticanus Rhoollam): A son of King Rehoboam (2Ch 11:19).





za’-ir (tsa‘ir; Zeior): When he invaded Edom, we are told that Joram passed over to Zair and all his chariots with him (2Ki 8:21). In the parallel passage (2Ch 21:9), "with his captains" (‘im sarayw) takes the place of "to Zair" (tsa‘irah), probably a copyist’s corruption. The place has not been identified. Some have thought that Mt. Seir is intended; others that it means the town of Zoar. Conder suggested ez-Zuweirah, Southeast of the Dead Sea. If Zoar lay in this direction, it is the way by which an invading army might enter Edom.


zar’-e-tan (tsarethan): the King James Version Jos 3:16 for ZARETHAN (which see).


za’-laf (tsalaph, "caper-plant"): Father of Hanun, one of the repairers of the wall (Ne 3:30).


zal’-mon (tsalmon; Selmon, oros Ermon; the King James Version Salmon (Ps 68:14)):

(1) From the slopes of Mt. Zalmon, Abimelech and his followers gathered the wood with which they burned down "the stronghold of the house of El-berith," which may have been the citadel of Shechem (Jud 9:46). The mountain therefore was not far from the city; but no name resembling this has yet been recovered in Mt. Ephraim. It is just possible that in the modern Arabic name of Mt. Ebal, es-Sulemiyeh, there may be an echo of Zalmon. It is precisely to this mountain, especially to the western slopes, that one would expect Abimelech and his people to go for the purpose in view. The name occurs again in Ps 68:14, a passage of admitted difficulty. Snow in Palestine is mainly associated with Mt. Hermon, where it may be seen nearly all the year round; hence, doubtless the Greek reading "Mt. Hermon" in Judges. But snow is well known among the uplands in winter; and the Psalmist may simply have meant that the kings were scattered like snowflakes in the wind on Mt. Zalmon. We need not therefore look to Bashan or elsewhere for the mountain. The locality is fixed by the narrative in Jgs.

(2) One of David’s heroes (2Sa 23:28).


W. Ewing


zal-mo’na (tsalmonah, "gloomy"): A desert camp of the Israelites, the first after Mt. Hor (Nu 33:41,42). The name "suggests some gloomy valley leading up to the Edomite plateau."






zam’-bis: the King James Version = the Revised Version (British and American) ZAMBRI (which see).


zam’-bri (Codex Vaticanus Zambrei, Codex Alexandrinus Zambris; the King James Version Zambis, from Aldine Zambis) :

(1) One of the sons of Ezora who put away their foreign wives (1 Esdras 9:34) =" Amariah" of Ezr 10:42.

(2) The King James Version = the Revised Version (British and American) "Zimri" of 1 Macc 2:26.


za’-moth, za’-moth (Zamoth): The head of a family, some members of which married. foreign wives (1 Esdras 9:28) =" Zattu" of Ezr 10:27; called "Zathui" in 1 Esdras 5:12 and "Zathoes" (the King James Version "Zathoe") in 1 Esdras 8:32.


zam-zum’-im (zam-zummim): A race of giants who inhabited the region East of the Jordan afterward occupied by the Ammonites who displaced them. They are identified with the Rephaim (De 2:20). They may be the same as the Zuzim mentioned in connection with the Rephaim in Ge 14:5.



za-no’-a (zanoach; Codex Vaticanus Tano; Codex Alexandrinus Zano):

(1) A town in the Judean Shephelah, grouped with Eshtaol, Zorah and Ashnah (Jos 15:34). The Jews reoccupied the place after the exile (Ne 11:30). Here it is named between Jarmuth and Adullam. The inhabitants assisted in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, repairing the valley gate (Ne 3:13). Eusebius (in Onomasticon) places it at Zanna, in the district of Eleutheropolis on the Jerusalem road. It is represented by the modern Zanu‘a, about 10 miles North of Belt Jibrin (Eleutheropolis).

(2) (Codex Vaticanus Zakanaeim; Codex Alexandrinus Zano): A place in the mountains (Jos 15:56) of which Jekuthiel was the "father" or founder (1Ch 4:18). It may be identified with Zenuta, a ruined site on a hill about 12 miles South of Hebron.

W. Ewing


zaf-e’-nath-pa-ne’-a, zaf’-nath-pa-a-ne’a (tsaphenath pa‘aneach; Egyptian Zoph-ent-pa-ankh; Septuagint D, Psonthomphantch, "the one who furnishes the nourishment of life," i.e. the chief steward of the realm): The name given Joseph by the Egyptian king by whom he was promoted, probably the Hyksos king Aphophis (Ge 41:45).



za’-fon (tsaphon; Codex Vaticanus Saphan; Codex Alexandrinus Saphon): A city on the East of the Jordan in the territory of Gad (Jos 13:27). It is named again in Jud 12:1 as the place where the elders of Gilead gathered to meet with Jephthah (tsaphonah should be translated "to Zaphon," not "northward"). It must have lain well to the North of Gad. According to the Talmud Amathus represented Zaphon (Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, 249). Here sat one of the Synedria created by Gabinius (Ant., XIV, v, 4). It was a position of great strength (B J, I, iv, 2). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 21 Roman miles S. of Pella. This is the modern Tell ‘Amateh, on the south bank of Wady er-Rujeib, 15 miles South of Pella, and nearly 5 miles North of the Jabbok. Buhl (GAP, 259) objects to the identification that Tell ‘Amateh corresponds to the Asophon of Josephus (Ant., XIII, xii, 5). But this objection does not seem well founded.

W. Ewing


za’-ra (Zara): the King James Version (Mt 1:3) = Greek form of ZERAH (which see).


zar’-a-sez: the King James Version = the Revised Version (British and American) ZARAKES (which see).



See ZERAH (1).


za-ra’-yas, za-ri’-as (Zaraias):

(1) One of the leaders in the Return along with Zerubbabel (1 Esdras 5:8) =" Seraiah" of Ezr 2:2 and "Azariah" of Ne 7:7 = the King James Version ZACHARIAS (which see).

(2) An ancestor of Ezra in 1 Esdras 8:2 (omitted in Codex Vaticanus and Swete) =" Zerahiah" of Ezr 7:4 and apparently=" Arna" of 2 Esdras 1:2.

(3) The father of Eliaonias, the leader of the sons of Phaath Moab under Ezra (1 Esdras 8:31)=" Zerahiah" of Ezr 8:4.

(4) One of "the sons of Saphatias" who went up with Ezra (1 Esdras 8:34) =" Zebadiah" of Ezr 8:8.


zar’-a-kez (Codex Alexandrinus and Fritzsche, Zarakes; Codex Vaticanus and Swete, Zarios; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Zaracelem; the King James Version Zaraces): Occurs in the difficult passage, 1 Esdras 1:38, as the equivalent of Jehoahaz (2Ki 23:34) and Joahaz (2Ch 36:4), the brother of Eliakim (Jehoiakim or JOAKIM (which see)). According to 1 Esdras 1:38, Joakim apparently apprehended his brother, Zarakes, and brought him up out of Egypt, whither he must have been previously taken by Necoh, whereas 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles only state that Necoh took Joahaz (Zarakes) to Egypt.


zar-de’-us (Codex Alexandrinus Zardaias; Codex Vaticanus Swete and Fritzsche, Zeralias; the King James Version Sardeus): One of the sons of Zamoth who had married "strange wives" (1 Esdras 9:28) =" Aziza" of Ezr 10:27.


za’-re-a, za-re’-a (tsor‘ah): the King James Version in Ne 11:29 for ZORAH (which see).





za’-red (zaredh (in pause)).



zar’-e-fath (tsarephath; Sarepta): The Sidonian town in which Elijah was entertained by a widow after he left the brook Cherith (1Ki 17:9 ). Obadiah refers to it as a Canaanite (probably meaning Phoenicia) town (Ob 1:20). It appears in the Greek form Sarepta in Lu 4:26 (the King James Version), and is said to be in the land of Sidon. Josephus (Ant., VIII, xiii, 2) says it was not "far from Sidon and Tyre, for it lay between them." Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. "Sarefta"), places it on the public road, i.e. the road along the seashore. It can be no other than the modern Sarafend, about 13 miles North of Tyre, on the spur of the mountain which divides the plain of Tyre from that of Sidon.

The site of the ancient town is marked by the ruins on the shore to the South of the modern village, about 8 miles to the South of Sidon, which extend along the shore for a mile or more. They are in two distinct groups, one on a headland to the West of a fountain called Ain el-Qantara, which is not far from the shore. Here was the ancient harbor which still affords shelter for small craft. The other group of ruins is to the South, and consists of columns, sarcophagi and marble slabs, indicating a city of considerable importance. The modern village of Sarafend was built some time after the 12th century, since at the time of the Crusades the town was still on the shore.

It is conjectured that the Syrophoenician woman mentioned in Lu 4:26 was an inhabitant of Zarephath., and it is possible that our Lord visited the place in His journey to the region as narrated in Mr 7:24-31, for it is said that he "came through Sidon unto the sea of Galilee."

The place has been identified by some with Misrephoth-maim of Jos 11:8 and 13:6, but the latter passage would indicate that Misrephoth-maim was at the limit of the territory of the Sidonians, which Zarephath was not in the days of Joshua.


Originally Sidonian, the town passed to the Tyrians after the invasian of Shalmaneser IV, 722 BC. It fell to Sennacherib 701 BC. The Wely, or shrine bearing the name of el-Khudr, the saint in whom George is blended with Elijah, stands near the shore. Probably here the Crusaders erected a chapel on what they believed to be the site of the widow’s house.

W. Ewing


zar’-e-than (tsarethan) :A city, according to Jos 3:16 (omitted, however, by the Septuagint) near Adam, which is probably to be identified with Tell Damieh at the mouth of the Jabbok. In 1Ki 4:12 it is mentioned in connefection with Bethshean and said to be "beneath Jezreel." In 1Ki 7:46, this is said to be at "the ford of Adamah," according to the reading of some, but according to the Massoretic text, "in the clay around between Succoth and Zarethan," where the bronze castings for the temple were made by Solomon’s artificers. In 2Ch 4:17, the name appears as Zeredah, which in 1Ki 11:26 is said to have been the birthplace of Jeroboam, son of Nebat. In Jud 7:22, Gibeon is said to have pursued the Midianites "as far as Bethshittah toward Zererah," which is probably a misreading for Zeredah, arising from the similarity of the Hebrew letters daleth and resh. The place has not been positively identical. From the suggestion that the name means "the great (or lofty) rock," it has without sufficient reason been supposed that it designates the conspicuous peak of Kurn Surtabheh] which projects from the mountains of Ephraim into the valley of the Jordan opposite the mouth of the Jabbok.

George Frederick Wright


za’-reth-sha’-har (tsereth ha-shachar).




See ZERAH, (1), (4).


zar-ta’-na, zar’-ta-na (tsarethanah): the King James Version in 1Ki 4:12 for "Zarethan." The form is Zarethan with Hebrew locale.


zar’-than (tsarethan): the King James Version in 1Ki 7:46 for ZARETHAN (which see).


zath’-o-ez, za-tho’-ez (Zathoes; the King James Version, Zathoe): Name of a family, part of which returned with Ezra (1 Esdras 8:32), not found in the Hebrew of Ezr 8:5; probably identical with "Zattu" of Ezr 2:8; Ne 7:13, many of which family went up with Zerubbabel, and so called also "Zathui" (1 Esdras 5:12).



za-thu’-i (Zaththoui, Septuagint Codex Vaticanus Zaton): In 1 Esdras 5:12 =" Zattu" in Ezr 2:8; Ne 10:14. In 1 Esdras 9:28 the same name is "Zamoth."


zat’-thu: In Ne 10:14; the Revised Version (British and American) ZATTU (which see).


zat’-u (zattu’, meaning unknown): Head of a large family that returned with Zerubbabel to Jerusalem from Babylon (Ezr 2:8; 10:27; Ne 7:13; 10:14 (15)). According to Ezr 10:27, some of his sons had married foreign wives, and Zattu is named in Ne 10:14 as one of the chiefs who signed Nehemiah’s covenant. Septuagint A also adds the name before that of Shecaniah in Ezr 8:5, and so we should read, "And of the sons of Zattu, Shecaniah .... "; so 1 Esdras 8:32 has Zathoes. the King James Version has "Zatthu" in Neb 10:14.





za’-yin "z": The 7th letter of the Hebrew alphabet; transliterated in this Encyclopedia as "z". It came also to be used for the number 7. For name, etc., see ALPHABET.


za’-za (zaza’, meaning unknown; the Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus Ozam; Codex Alexandrinus Ozaza): A Jerahmeelite (1Ch 2:33).


zel’-ut, zel’-uts: Simon, one of the apostles, was called "the Zealot" Zelotes from zeloo "to rival," "emulate," "be jealous," "admire," "desire greatly," Lu 6:15; Ac 1:13, the King James Version "Zelotes"). In Mt 10:4 and Mr 3:18 he is called "the Cananean" (so the Revised Version (British and American) correctly; not "the Canaanite," as the King James Version says, following inferior manuscripts), ho Kananaios. From the time of the Maccabees there existed among the Jews a party who professed great zeal for the observance of the "law." According to Josephus (BJ, IV, iii, 9; v, 1; VII, viii, 1) they resorted to violence and assassination in their hatred of the foreigner, being at many points similar to the Chinese Boxers. It is not improbable that the "Assassins" (see ASSASSINS) of Ac 21:38 were identical, or at least closely associated, with this body of "Zealots," to which we must conclude that Simon had belonged before he became one of the Twelve.

See, further, SIMON THE ZEALOT.

William Arthur Heidel



(1) zebhadhyaha,

(2) zebhadhyah, "Yah has bestowed";

the form (1) is the Hebrew name in (1), (a), (b), (2), below; the form (2) in the rest. Some manuscripts have Zechariah in (1), (a), (b), (3)).


(1) Levites:

(a) a Korahite doorkeeper of David’s reign (1Ch 26:2);

(b) one of the Levites sent by King Jehoshaphat to teach the Torah in Judah (2Ch 17:8).

(2) Son of Ishmael (2Ch 19:11); "ruler of the house of Judah in all the king’s (Jehoshaphat’s) matters," i.e. judge in civil cases, the "controversies" of 2Ch 19:8.

(3) Benjamites, perhaps descended from Ehud (see Curtis, Chron., 158 ff):

(a) In 1Ch 8:15;

(b) in 8:17, where the name may be a dittography from 8:15.

(4) A Benjamite recruit of David at Ziklag (1Ch 12:7 (Hebrew verse 8)).

(5) One of David’s army officers, son and successor of Asahel (1Ch 27:7).

(6) One of those who returned from Babylon to Jerusalem with Ezra (Ezr 8:8) =" Zaraias" of 1 Esdras 8:34.

(7) One of those who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:20) =" Zabdeus" of 1 Esdras 9:21.

David Francis Roberts


ze’-ba (zebhach, "victim"), zal-mun’-a (tsalmunna‘, "protection refused"): Two Midianite kings or chiefs whom Gideon slew (Jud 8:4-21; Ps 83:11 (Hebrew text, verse 12)). The name zebhach (Zebee) is very much like that of ze’ebh (Zeb, "Zeeb" in the Septuagint). Moore (Judgess, 220) says that tsalmunna‘ is probably "a genuine Midianite name"; Noldeke conjectured that it contains that of a deity (ts(a)lm), and a compound form tslmshzbh, is found in an inscription from Teima, a place East of the Midianite capital (Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, II, cxiii f).

The narrative of Jud 8:4-21 is not to be connected with that of 8:1-3. Budde (Kurzer Hand-Comm. z. Altes Testament, XXII) would join 8:4 to 6:34; Moore (ICC) following Budde’s earlier work (1890) would connect it with a part of 7:22b, describing the direction of the flight, while Nowack (Hand-Komm.) regards the battle of 8:11 as the same as that of 7:11 if; he then takes the latter part of 8:11 to refer to the place of the camp at night. There are many difficulties in forming a natural connection for the verses. It may be noted that in 8:18 f Gideon is not "the least in my father’s house," as he represents himself to be in 6:15.

The whole section tells of a daring raid made by Gideon upon the Midianites. Some of his own kin had been slain by Midianite hordes at Ophrah (Jud 8:18 f), and, stirred by this, Gideon went in hot pursuit with 300 men (Jud 8:4). He requested provisions for his men from the people of Succoth and Penuel, but was refused this. He then went on and caught the Midianites unawares at Karkor (Jud 8:10) and captured their two chiefs. He then had his revenge on the two towns, and returned probably to his home with the two notable prisoners. These he determined to slay to avenge the death of his own kinsmen, and called upon his eldest son to perform this solemn public duty that he owed to the dead. His son, apparently only a boy, hesitated, and he did the deed himself. W. R. Smith (Lectures on the Religion of the Semites, 2nd edition, 417, note) compares with this call to Gideon’s son the choice of young men or lads as sacrificers in Ex 24:5, and says that the Saracens also charged lads with the execution of their captives.

The narrative reminds one of David’s romantic life in 1Sa 25; 27; 30. It is throughout a characteristic picture of the life of the early Hebrews in Palestine, for whom it was a sacred duty to avenge the dead. It affords a splendid illustration of what is meant by the spirit of Yahweh coming upon, or rather "clothing itself with" (Revised Version margin) Gideon (Jud 6:34); compare also Saul’s call to action (1Sa 11:1-11), and also Jud 19 f.

David Francis Roberts





zeb’-e-de (zibhdi, "the gift of God"; Zebedaios): The father of the apostles James and John (Mr 1:19) and a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee (Mr 1:20), the husband of Salome (Mt 27:56; compare Mr 16:1).



ze-bi’-da, zeb’-i-da (zebhudhah, Qere, whence the King James Version "Zebudah," whereas the Kethibh is zebhidhah; the Qere means "bestowed" and is the feminine of Zabud): Daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah, and mother of King Jehoiakim of Judah (2Ki 23:36). The Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus has, however, Iella thugater Edeil ek Krouma, Codex Alexandrinus Eieldaph th. Eieddila ek Rhuma. In 2Ch 36:5 Massoretic Text lacks these names, but the Septuagint Codex Vaticanus has Zechora th. Nereiou ek Rhama; here the name of the king’s mother = Hebrew zekhurah, due to a confusion of the Hebrew letter kaph (k) with the Hebrew letter beth (b), and the Hebrew letter resh (r) with the Hebrew letter daleth (d), and thus we find support for the Qere, zebhudhah ("Zebudah," in 2Ki 23:36 the King James Version). Lucian has confused the names here with those of 2Ki 24:18, and has as there, "Amital, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah."

David Francis Roberts


ze-bi’-na (zebhina’," bought"): One of those who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:43); the name is not in 1 Esdras 9:35, and is omitted by the Septuagint’s Codex Alexandrinus in Ezra.


ze-boi’-im (tsebhoyim; the Septuagint uniformly Sebo(e)im; the King James Version, Zeboim): One of the cities in the Vale of Siddim, destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah. It is always mentioned next to Admah (Ge 10:19; 14:2,8; De 29:23; Ho 11:8). It is not to be confounded with Zeboim mentioned in 1Sa 13:18 and Ne 11:34. The site has not been positively identified, but must be determined by the general questions connected with the Vale of Siddim.



ze-bo’-im ((1) tsebho‘im; Seboeim (Ne 11:34); (2) ge ha-tsebho‘im; Gai ten Samein (1Sa 13:18)):

(1) A Benjamite town mentioned as between HADID (which see) and NEBALLAT (which see), and therefore in the maritime plain near Lydda; the site is lost (Ne 11:34).

(2) The Valley of Zeboim, "the valley of hyenas," one of three companies of the Philistines left their camp at Michmash and "turned the way of the border that looketh down upon the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness" (1Sa 13:18). There are several valleys with names derived from the hyena, so common in these parts. There is a small branch valley called Shakked dab‘a, "ravine of the hyenas," North of the Wady kelt (Grove), a, Wady abu dab‘a, "valley of the father of hyenas, which joins the Wady kelt from the South (Marti), and a large and well-known Wady dab‘a, "valley of hyenas," which runs parallel with the Wady kelt, some 3 miles farther South, and ends at the Dead Sea. The first of these, which apparently leads to Mukhmas itself, seems the most probable. See Conder’s Handbook, 241.

E. W. G. Masterman





ze’-bul (zebhul, perhaps "exalted"; Zeboul): In Jud 9:26 ff. He is called in 9:30 sar ha-‘ir, "the ruler of the city," a phrase translated "the governor of the city" in 1Ki 22:26 = 2Ch 18:25; 2Ki 23:8; 2Ch 34:8; he was "commandant of the town" of Shechem. In Jud 9:28 he is referred to as the paqidh, "officer," or, more correctly, "deputy" of Abimelech. This verse is a little difficult, but if we read "served" for "serve ye," it becomes fairly clear in meaning. With Moore (Judges, 255 ff) we may translate it thus: "Who is Abimelech? and who is Shechem, that we should serve him (i.e. Abimelech)? Did not the son of Jerubbaal and Zebul his deputy (formerly) serve the people of Qamor (the father of Shechem)? Why then should we serve him (Abimelech)?" This is also the way Budde (Kurzer Hand-Comm. z. Altes Testament, 75) takes the verse. And further in Jud 9:29 for "and he said" many read with the Septuagint "then would I say."

The position of Zebul is here that of a deputy to Abimelech, who lived in Arumah (Jud 9:41). When Gaal came to Shechem, a newcomer with a band of men, he seized the opportunity at a vintage feast to attack Abimelech and express a desire to lead a revolt against him (Jud 9:26-29). Zebul heard these words and reported the matter to his master, vising him to make s sudden rush upon the city (Jud 9:30-33). This Abimelech does, and Gaal, on noticing the troops, tells Zebul, who turns upon him and bids him make good his bragging words. Gaal is thus forced to go out and fight Abimelech, and is defeated (Jud 9:34-40).

If this be the correct interpretation of the narrative so far, it is fairly simple and clear. Some, however, maintain that the words of Gaal about Zebul in Jud 9:28 are meant as an insult to the governor of the city; this is the view of Wellbausch (Compos., 353 f, note) and Nowack (Handkomm.; compare also his Archdologie, I, 304, 308, for the meaning of sar). Zebul is, according to them, head of the Shechemite community, and Wellhausen and Kittel (History of Hebrew, II, 85) believe him to have had something to do with the revolt of 9:23-25. For the latter view there is no proof; possibly Zebul was the head of the community of Shechem, but as he was a subject of Abimelech, who was the king or prince of Shechem, there could not be much sting in calling him the" deputy" of his master.

The questions that arise from Jud 9:41 ff need only be referred to here. Many critics have seen in 9:22-45 more than one source. Moore groups the verses thus:

(1) 9:22-23,25,42 ff as due to the Elohist (E), with 9:24 from RJE;

(2) 9:26-41 due to J. It is doubtful if the division is as clear as this.

There seem however to be parallels:

(1) The plans of Abimelech in 9:34-40 are very similar to those in 9:42 ff.

(2) Jud 9:41 b seems to give in short what we find related in 9:34-40.

(3) Septuagint in 9:31 has suggested to many that we should read there, "and he sent messengers unto Abimelech in Arumah," instead of reading "craftily." We would thus have a parallel to 9:41a.

It may be suggested therefore that if the account be double (and it is strange that Abimelech should again attack the city by almost the same methods as before, when the revolters had been already got rid of), the narratives would be in this order:

Introductory, Jud 9:23-25; then 9:26-29,30 common to both, and so possibly part of 9:31 and 32 f. Then we have two accounts of the event: (a) 9:31 (part), 34-40; (b) 9:41-45, followed by 9:46 ff.

David Francis Roberts





zeb’-u-lun (zebhulun, also written zebuwlun and zebuluwn; the first form occurs only in Jud 1:30; the other two are frequent, and are used interchangeably; Zaboulon): In Ge 30:20 Leah exclaims, "God hath endowed me with a good dowry," which suggests a derivation of Zebulun from zabhadh, "to bestow," the (d) being replaced by (l). Again she says, "Now will my husband dwell with me (or "honor me"): and she called his name Zebulun"; the derivation being from zabhal, "to exalt" or "honor" (OHL, under the word).

Zebulun was the 10th son of Jacob, the 6th borne to him by Leah in Paddan-aram. Nothing is known of this patriarch’s life, save in so far as it coincides with that of his brethren. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan says that he first of the five brethren was presented to Pharaoh by Joseph, when Israel and his house arrived in Egypt (Ge 47:2). Three sons, Sered, Elon and Jahleel, were born to him in Canaan, and these became the ancestors of the three main divisions of the tribe (Ge 46:14).

The position of the tribe of Zebulun in the wilderness was with the standard of the camp of Judah on the east side of the tabernacle (Nu 2:7). This camp moved foremost on the march (Nu 2:9). At the first census Zebulun numbered 57,400 men of war (Nu 1:30), the prince of the tribe being Eliab, son of Helon (Nu 1:9). At the second census the men of war numbered 60,500 (Nu 26:27); see, however, NUMBERS. Among the spies Zebulun was represented by Gaddiel son of Sodi (Nu 13:10). To assist in the division of the land Elizaphan son of Parnach was chosen (Nu 34:25). At Shechem Zebulun, the descendants of Leah’s youngest son, stood along with Reuben, whose disgrace carried with it that of his tribe, and the descendants of the sons of the handmaids, over against the other six, who traced their descent to Rachel and Leah (De 27:13). At the second division of territory the lot of Zebulun came up third, and assigned to him a beautifully diversified stretch of country in the North. The area of his possession is in general clear enough, but it is impossible to define the boundaries exactly (Jos 19:10-16). It "marched" with Naphtali on the East and Southeast, and with Asher on the West and Northwest. The line ran northward from Mt. Tabor, keeping on the heights West of the Sea of Galilee, on to Kerr ‘Anan (Hannathon). It turned westward along the base of the mountain, and reached the border of Asher, probably by the vale of ‘Abilin. It then proceeded southward to the Kishon opposite Tell Kaimun (Jokneam). As the plain belonged to Issachar, the south border would skirt its northern edge, terminating again at Tabor, probably near Deburiyeh (Daberath), which belonged to Issachar (Jos 21:28).

The details given are confusing. It is to be observed that this does not bring Zebulun into touch with the sea, and so is in apparent contradiction with Ge 49:13, and also with Josephus (Ant., V, i, 22; BJ, III, iii, 1), who says the lot of Zebulun included the land which "lay as far as the Lake of Gennesareth, and that which belonged to Carmel and the sea." Perhaps, however, the limits changed from time to time. So far as the words in Ge 49:13 are concerned, Delitzsch thinks they do not necessarily imply actual contact with the sea; but only that his position should enable him to profit by maritime trade. This it certainly did; the great caravan route, via maris, passing through his territory. Thus he could "suck the treasures of the sea." See also TABOR, MOUNT. Within the boundaries thus roughly indicated were all varieties of mountain and plain, rough upland country. shady wood and fruitful valley. What is said of the territory of Naphtali applies generally to this. Olive groves and vineyards are plentiful. Good harvests are gathered on the sunny slopes, and on the rich levels of the Plain of Asochis (el-BaTTauf).

Elon the Zebulunite was the only leader given by the tribe to Israel of whom we have any record (Jud 12:11 f); but the people were brave and skillful in war, furnishing, according to the So of Deborah, "(them) that handle the marshal’s staff" (Jud 5:14). The tribe sent 50,000 single-hearted warriors, capable and well equipped, to David at Hebron (1Ch 12:33). From their rich land they brought stores of provisions (1Ch 12:40). Over Zebulun in David’s time was Ishmaiah, son of Obadiah (1Ch 27:19). Although they had fallen away, Hezekiah proved that many of them were capable of warm response to the appeal of religious duty and privilege (2Ch 30:10 f, 18 ). They are not named, but it is probable that Zebulun suffered along with Naphtali in the invasion of Tiglath-pileser (2Ki 15:29). In later days the men from these breezy uplands lent strength and enterprise to the Jewish armies. Jotapata (Tell Jifat), the scene of Josephus’ heroic defense, was in Zebulun. So was Sepphoris (Seffuriyeh), which was for a time the capital of Galilee (Ant., XVIII, ii, 1; BJ, VII; III, ii, 4). Nazareth, the home of our Saviour’s boyhood, is sheltered among its lower hills.

W. Ewing


zeb’-u-lun-its (hazebhuloni; Zaboulon): Members of the tribe of Zebulun (Nu 26:27; Jud 12:11 f).


zek-a-ri’-a (zekharyahu, or zekharyah; the Septuagint Zacharia(s)): A very common name in the Old Testament. The form, especially the longer form, of the name would suggest for its meaning, "Yah remembers" or "Yah is renowned," and the name was doubtless understood in this sense in later times. But the analogies with ZACCUR, ZECHER, ZICHRI (which see), etc., make some original ethnic derivation probable.

(1) King of Israel, son of Jeroboam II (the King James Version "Zachariah"). See the next article.

(2) The grandfather of King Hezekiah, through Hezekiah’s mother Abi (2Ki 18:2, the King James Version "Zachariah" parallel 2Ch 29:1).

(3) A contemporary of Isaiah, taken by Isaiah as a trustworthy witness in the matter of the sign Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isa 8:1). As his father’s name was Jeberechiah, some support seems to be offered to theories of those who would make him the author of certain portions of Zechariah.


(4) A Reubenite of the time of Israel’s captivity (1Ch 5:7).

(5) A Benjamite, living in Gideon (1Ch 9:37; called "Zecher" in 8:31). He was the brother of Kish and hence, the uncle of Saul.

(6) A Manassite of Gilead, at the time of David (1Ch 27:21).

(7) The third son of Jehoshaphat (2Ch 21:2). He was slain by Jehoram (2Ch 21:4).

(8) A "prince" who Jehoshaphat sent to "teach" in the cities of Judah (2Ch 17:7). As this "teaching" was in connection with the establishing of the Law, Zechariah was primarily a judge.

(9) A prophet who was influential in the early days of Uzziah (2Ch 26:5). He is characterized as ha-mebh in bire’oth (beyir’ath(?)) ha-elohim, which phrase is usually understood to mean that he had instructed (Revised Version margin) the king in the fear of God. As long as he lived the king profited by his instruction and advice.

The following eight are all Levites:

(10) A doorkeeper at the time of David, who was made a singer "of the second degree" (1Ch 15:18; the text is confused). He was a player on a "psaltery" (1Ch 15:20) and took part in the thanksgiving when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem (1Ch 16:5).

(11) A son of Isshiah (1Ch 24:25).

(12) A son of Meshelemiah, a "porter of the door of the tent of meeting" at the time of David (1Ch 9:21; 26:2,14). In 1Ch 26:14 called "a discreet counselor."

(13) A son of Hosah, a Merarite, also at David’s time (1Ch 26:11).

(14) The father of the prophet, JAHAZIEL (which see) (2Ch 20:14).

(15) A son of Asaph, who assisted in the purification of the Temple at the time of Hezekiah (2Ch 29:13).

(16) A Kohathite, who assisted in the repair of the Temple at the time of Josiah (2Ch 34:12).

(17) A son of Jonathan, an Asaphite, one of the musicians at the dedication of the wall at the time of Nehemiah (Ne 12:35).

The following are all priests:

(18) A trumpeter at the time of David (1Ch 15:24).

(19) A son of Jehoiada, at the time of Joash. He rebuked the people publicly for their apostasy, and was stoned by them, Joash consenting to their act (2Ch 24:20-22). As 2 Chronicles is the last book in the Hebrew Old Testament, Zechariah was regarded as the last of the Old Testament martyrs, and hence, is coupled with Abel (the first martyr) in Mt 23:35 parallel Lu 11:51. The words "son of Barachiah" in Matthew are due to confusing this Zechariah with the prophet.


(20) One of the "rulers of the house of God" at the time of Josiah (2Ch 35:8).

(21) A son of Pashhur, 242 of whose descendants as "chiefs of fathers’ houses" dwelt in Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah (Ne 11:13).

(22) A trumpeter at the dedication of the wall at the time of Nehemiah (Ne 12:41).

(23) The prophet (Ezr 5:1; 6:14; Ne 12:16; Zec 1:1,7; 7:1,8; 1 Esdras 6:1; 7:3).


The following are all returned exiles or are mentioned only as ancestors of such:

(24) A son of Parosh (Ezr 8:3; 1 Esdras 8:30 has "Zacharias" here and elsewhere).

(25) A son of Bebai (Ezr 8:11; 1 Esdras 8:37)

(26) One of the "chief men" dispatched by Ezra to bring priests from Casiphia (Ezr 8:16; 1 Esdras 8:44). Doubtless the same as (24) or (25), above.

(27) One of the persons who stood by Ezra at the reading of the Law (Ne 8:4; 1 Esdras 9:44); almost certainly identical with (26).

(28) A son of Elam, who had taken a foreign wife (Ezr 10:26; 1 Esdras 9:27).

(29) A son of Amariah, a Judahite, the ancestor of certain persons dwelling in Jerusalem (Ne 11:4).

(30) A son of "the Shilonite," the ancestor of certain persons dwelling in Jerusalem (Ne 11:5).

Burton Scott Easton


(zekharyah, zekharydhu, "Yah has remembered" (2Ki 14:29; 15:8-12); Zacharias, the King James Version Zachariah): Son of Jeroboam II, and 14th king of Israel. He was the 4th of the line of Jehu, and reigned six months. Zechariah succeeded to a splendid inheritance, as he was king, not only of the ten tribes of Israel, but of the Syrian state of Damascus, which his father had subdued. In the unusual wealth and dignity of this position lay his peril. Also there were two dark shadows falling across his path, though both probably unseen by him. One was the promise to Jehu, as the reward of his destroying the worship of Baal in Israel, that his sons should sit on the throne of Israel to the 4th generation (2Ki 10:30; 15:12). Zechariah was Jehu’s great-great-grandson. The other was the word of Amos to the priest of Bethel: "Then said the Lord. ... I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword" (Am 7:8,9).

The only brief notice of Zechariah personal to himself is that he gave his support to the worship of the calves, since Jeroboam I established the religion of the state. He hardly had time, however, to identify himself with this or any institution before he was publicly assassinated by Shallum, the son of Jabesh (he "smote him before the people"). The prophet Hosea was then alive, and there is probably allusion to this crime when, addressing Ephraim, he says: "Where is thy king, that he may save thee in all thy cities?. ... I have given thee a king in mine anger, and have taken him away in my wrath" (Ho 13:10,11; compare 1:4).

There has long been difficulty with the chronology of this period. Archbishop Ussher assumed an interregnum of 11 years between the death of Jeroboam II and Zechariah’s accession. This is accepted as probable by a recent writer, who sees "at least 10 years of incessant conflict between rival claimants to the throne on Jeroboam’s death" (see article "Zechariah" in HDB, IV). It seems more likely that there is error in certain of the synchronisms. The year of Zechariah’s accession was probably 759 BC (some put it later), and the 6 months of his reign, with that given to Shallum, may be included in the 10 years of Menahem, who followed them (2Ki 15:17).


W. Shaw Caldecott


1. The Prophet

2. His Times and Mission

3. Contents and Analysis

4. The Critical Question Involved

5. The Unity of the Book

6. Conclusion


Few books of the Old Testament are as difficult of interpretation as the Book of Zechariah; no other book is as Messianic. Jewish expositors like Abarbanel and Jarchi, and Christian expositors such as Jerome, are forced to concede that they have failed "to find their hands" in the exposition of it, and that in their investigations they passed from one labyrinth to another, and from one cloud into another, until they lost themselves in trying to discover the prophet’s meaning. The scope of Zechariah’s vision and the profundity of his thought are almost without a parallel. In the present writer’s judgment, his book is the most Messianic, the most truly apocalyptic and eschatological, of all the writings of the Old Testament.

1. The Prophet:

Zechariah was the son of Berechiah, and the grandson of Iddo (Zec 1:1,7). The same Iddo seems to be mentioned among the priests who returned from exile under Zerubbabel and Joshua in the year 536 BC (Ne 12:4; Ezr 2:2). If so, Zechariah was a priest as well as a prophet, and presumably a young man when he began to preach. Tradition, on the contrary, declares that he was well advanced in years. He apparently survived Haggai, his contemporary (Ezr 5:1; 6:14). He was a poet as well as a prophet. Nothing is known of his end. The Targum says he died a martyr.

2. His Times and Mission:

The earliest date in his book is the 2nd year (520 BC) of the reign of Darius Hystaspis, and the latest, the 4th year of the same king’s reign (Zec 1:1,7; 7:1). Though these are the only dates given in his writings, it is possible of course that he may have continued active for several additional years. Otherwise, he preached barely two years. The conditions under which he labored were similar to those in Haggai’s times. Indeed, Haggai had begun to preach just two months before Zechariah was called. At that time there were upheavals and commotions in different parts of the Persian empire, especially in the Northeast Jeremiah’s prophecies regarding the domination of Babylon for 70 years had been fulfilled (Jer 15:11; 29:10). The returned captives were becoming disheartened and depressed because Yahweh had not made it possible to restore Zion and rebuild the temple. The foundations of the latter had been already laid, but as yet there was no superstructure (Ezr 3:8-10; Zec 1:16). The altar of burnt offering was set up upon its old site, but as yet there were no priests worthy to officiate in the ritual of sacrifice (Ezr 3:2,3; Zec 3:3). The people had fallen into apathy, and needed to be aroused to their opportunity. Haggai had given them real initiative, for within 24 days after he began to preach the people began to work (Hag 1:1,15). It was left for Zechariah to bring the task of temple-building to completion. This Zechariah did successfully; this, indeed, was his primary mission and work.

3. Contents and Analysis:

The prophecies of Zechariah naturally fall into two parts, chapters 1-8 and 9-14, both of which begin with the present and look forward into the distant future. (1) Zechariah 1-8, consisting of three distinct messages delivered on three different occasions:

(a) Zec 1:1-6, an introduction, delivered in the 8th month of the 2nd year of Darius Hystaspis (520 BC). These words, having been spoken three months before the prophecies which follow, are obviously a general introduction. They are decidely spiritual and strike the keynote of the entire collection. In them the prophet issues one of the strongest and most intensely spiritual calls to repentance to be found in the Old Testament.

(b) Zec 1:7-6:15, a series of eight night visions, followed by a coronation scene, all delivered on the 24th day of the 11th month of the same 2nd year of Darius (520 BC), or exactly two months after the corner stone of the temple had been laid (Hag 2:18; Zec 1:7). These visions were intended to encourage the people to rebuild God’s house. They are eight in number, and teach severally the following lessons:

(i) The vision of the horses (Zec 1:7-17), teaching God’s special care for and interest in his people: "My house shall be built" (Zec 1:16).

(ii) The four horns and four smiths (Zec 1:18-21), teaching that Israel’s foes have finally been destroyed; in fact that they have destroyed themselves. There is no longer, therefore, any opposition to building God’s house.

(iii) The man with a measuring line (Zechariah 2), teaching that God will re-people, protect and dwell in Jerusalem as soon as the sacred edifice has been built. The city itself will expand till it becomes a great metropolis without walls; Yahweh will be a wall of fire round about it.

(iv) Joshua, the high priest, clad in filthy garments, and bearing the sins both of himself and the people (Zechariah 3); but cleansed, continued and made typical of the Messiah-Branch to come.

(v) The candelabrum and the two olive trees (Zechariah 4), teaching that the visible must give place to the spiritual, and that, through "the two sons of oil," Zerubbabel the layman, and Joshua the priest (Zec 4:14), the light of God’s church will continue to burn with ever-flaming brightness. For it is "not by might" but by Yahweh’s Spirit, i.e. by divine life and animation, by divine vigor and vivacity, by divine disposition and courage, by divine executive ability and technical skill, that God’s house shall be built and supplied with spiritual life (Zec 4:6).

(vi) The flying roll (Zec 5:1-4), teaching that when the temple is built and God’s law is taught the land shall be purified from outward wickedness.

(vii) The Ephah (Zec 5:5-11); wickedness personified is borne away back to the land of Shinar, teaching that when the temple is rebuilt wickedness shall be actually removed from the land.

(viii) The four chariots (Zec 6:1-8), teaching that God’s protecting providence will be over His sanctuary, and that His people, purified from sin, shall rest secure in Him.

These eight visions are followed by a coronation scene, in which Joshua the high priest is crowned and made typical of the Messiah-Priest-King, whose name is Branch (Zec 6:9-15). (c) Zechariah 7; 8, Zechariah’s answer to the Bethel deputation concerning fasting; delivered on the 4th day of the 9th month of the 4th year of Darius (518 BC). The Jews had been accustomed to fast on the anniversaries of the following four great outstanding events in the history of their capital:

(i) when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem, in the 4th month (Jer 52:6);

(ii) when the Temple was burned in the 5th month (Jer 52:12);

(iii) when Gedaliah was murdered in the 7th month (Jer 41:2); and

(iv) when the siege of Jerusalem was begun in the 10th month (2Ki 25:1).

There are four sections to the prophet’s answer divided by the slightly varying formula, "The word of Yahweh came unto me" (Zec 7:4,8; 8:1,18) and teaching:

(a) Fasting affects only yourselves; God requires obedience (Zec 7:4-7).

(b) Look at the lesson from your fathers; they forsook justice and compassion and God punished them (Zec 7:8-14).

(c) Yahweh is now waiting to return to Jerusalem to save His people in truth and holiness. In the future, instead of a curse God will send blessing, instead of evil, good (Zec 8:1-17).

(d) In fact, your fasts shall be changed into festivals, and many nations shall in that day seek Yahweh of hosts in Jerusalem (Zec 8:18-23).

(2) Zechariah 9-14, consisting of two oracles, without dates;

(a) Zechariah 9-11, an oracle of promise to the new theocracy. This section contains promises of a land in which to dwell, a return from exile, victory over a hostile world-power, temporal blessings and national strength, closing, with a parable of judgment brought on by Israel’s rejection of Yahweh as their shepherd; thus Judah and Ephraim restored, united and made victorious over their enemies, are promised a land and a king (Zec 9); Israel shall be saved and strengthened (Zec 10); Israel shall be punished for rejecting the shepherding care of Yahweh (Zec 11);

(b) Zechariah 12-14, an oracle describing the victories of the new theocracy, and the coming day of Yahweh. This section is strongly eschatological, presenting three distinct apocalyptic pictures: thus how Jerusalem shall be besieged by her enemies, but saved by Yahweh (Zec 12); how a remnant of Israel purified and refined shall be saved (Zec 13); closing with a grand apocalyptic vision of judgment and redemption—the nations streaming up to Jerusalem to keep the joyous Feast of Tabernacles, and everything in that day becoming holy to Yahweh.

4. The Critical Question Involved:

There are two opposing schools of criticism in regard to the origin of Zechariah 9-14; one holds what is known as the pre-exilic hypothesis, according to which chapters 9-14 were written before the downfall of Jerusalem; more specifically, that Zechariah 9-11 and 13:7-9 spring from the 8th century BC, having been composed perhaps by Zechariah, the son of Jeberechiah mentioned in Isa 8:2; whereas Zechariah 12-14, except 13:7-9, were composed by some unknown contemporary of Jeremiah in the 7th century BC. On the other hand, there are also those who advocate a late post-Zecharian origin for chapters 9-14, somewhere about the 3rd century BC. The latter hypothesis is today the more popular. Over against these the traditional view, of course, is that Zechariah, near the close of the 6th century, wrote the entire book ascribed to him. Only chapters 9-14 are in dispute. No one doubts the genuineness of Zechariah 1-8.

The following are the main arguments of those who advocate a pre-exilic origin for these oracles:

(1) Zec 11:8, "And I cut off the three shepherds in one month." These "three shepherds" are identified with certain kings who reigned but a short time each in the Northern Kingdom; for example, Zechariah, Shallum and Menahem (2Ki 15:8-14). But the difficulty with this argument is that they were not cut off "in one month"; Menahem, on the contrary, reigned 10 years in Samaria (2Ki 15:17).

(2) Zec 12:11-14, which speaks of "a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon," is claimed to fix the date of Zechariah 12-14. Josiah fell in the valley of Megiddo (2Ki 23:29; 2Ch 35:22). But surely the mourning of Judah for Josiah might have been remembered for a century, from 609 BC till 518 BC.

(3) Zec 14:5, referring to the "earthquake" in the days of Uzziah, is another passage fastened upon to prove the preexilic origin of these prophecies. But the earthquake which is here alluded to took place at least a century and a half before the date assigned for the composition of Zechariah 14. And surely if an earthquake can be alluded to by an author 150 years after it occurs, Zechariah, who lived less than a century later, might have alluded to it also.

(4) A much stronger argument in favor of a pre-exilic origin of these prophecies is the names given to theocracy, e.g. "Ephraim" and "Jerusalem" (Zec 9:10), "Judah" and "Ephraim" (Zec 9:13), "house of Judah" and "house of Joseph" (Zec 10:6), "Judah and Israel" (Zec 11:14), implying that the kingdoms of Israel and Judah are still standing. But subsequent to the captivity the Jews ever regarded themselves as representatives of the 12 tribes, as is obvious from their offering 12 sacrifices (Ezr 6:17; 8:35). Moreover, old names such as "Israel" and "Judah" long survived (compare Jer 31:27-31; Zec 8:13).

(5) Zec 14:10, which defines the area occupied by Judah as extending "from Geba to Rimmon," which corresponds, it is alleged, with the conditions which prevailed just prior to the captivity. But it satisfies equally well the conditions after the exile in Zechariah’s own time.

(6) Again, it is argued that the national sins, the prevailing sins, idolatry, teraphim and false prophecy (Zec 10:2; 13:2-6), are those of pre-exilic times. But the same sins persisted in the post-exilic congregation (Ne 6:7-14; Mal 2:11; 3:5), and there is no special emphasis laid upon them here.

(7) Finally, it is argued that the enemies of Israel mentioned in Zechariah 9-14 are those of pre-exilic times, Assyria and Egypt (10:10,11), Syria, Phoenicia and Philistia (9:1-7). But forms of expression are slow in changing: the name "Assyrians" occurs in La 5:6, and "Assyria" is employed instead of "Persia" in Ezr 6:22. Jeremiah prophesied against Damascus and Hamath long after their loss of independence (49:23-27). After the exile, the Philistines resisted Israel’s return (Ne 4:7,8). In short all these nations were Israel’s hereditary foes, and, therefore, judgments pronounced against them were always in place. Furthermore, it may be said in general that there are reasons for thinking that, in both halves of the Book of Zechariah, the exile is represented as an event of the past, and that the restoration from exile both of Ephraim and Judah, though incomplete, has already begun. This is unquestionably true of Zechariah 1-8 (1:12; 2:6-12; 6:10; 7:5; 8:7,8). The exile is treated as a fact. It is almost equally true of Zechariah 9-14 (compare 9:8,11; 10:6,8-10). Moreover, it may with justice be claimed that the alleged authors of chapters 9-14 dissociate themselves from any definitely named person or any specific event known to be pre-exilic. God alone is described as Ruler of His people. The only king mentioned is the Messiah-King (9:9,10; 14:9). The "house of David" mentioned in 12:7-12; 13:1, is never described as in possession of the throne. It is David’s "house," and not any earthly ruler in it, of which the prophet speaks. Further, there are passages, indeed, in chapters 9-14 which, if pre-exilic in origin, would have been obscure and even misleading to a people confronted by the catastrophes of 722 and 586 BC. No specific enemy is alluded to. No definite army is named as approaching. Instead of Assyria, Javan is painted as the opposing enemy of theocracy (9:13), and even she is not yet raised up or even threatening. On the other hand, in Zechariah 12-14, it is not the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar, but "all nations," who are described as coming up against Jerusalem (12:2,3; 14:2). Moreover, victory and not defeat is promised (9:8,14,16; 12:4,7,8). The preexilic prophets Amos, Hosea and Jeremiah held out no such hopes. These oracles, however, promise even temporal prosperity and abundance (9:17; 10:1,8,12; 12:8; 14:2,14); and they exhort the people to rejoice rather than to fear (9:9; 10:7); while in 14:16-19 all nations are represented as going up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, which was the most joyous feast of the Hebrew calendar. All this is quite the opposite of what the pre-exilic prophets (who are known to have been pre-exilic) actually prophesied. In Zec 9-14, there is sounded forth not one clear note of alarm or warning; judgment rather gives place to hope, warning to encouragement, threatening to joy and gladness, all of which is most inconsistent with the idea that these chapters are of preexilic origin. On the other hand, their are perfectly consistent with the conditions and promises of post-exilic times.

The other hypothesis remaining to be discussed is that known as the post-Zecharian. This may be said to represent the prevailing critical view at the present time. But it, like the pre-exilic hypothesis, is based upon a too literalistic and mechanical view of prophecy. Those, like Stade, Wellhausen, Kuenen, Marti, Kautzsch, Cornill, Cheyne, Driver, Kuiper, Echardt and Mitchell, who advocate this view, employ the same critical methods as those whose views we have just discussed, but arrive at diametrically opposite conclusions. Indeed, no two critics agree as to the historical circumstances which produced these oracles. Most are of the opinion, however, that these chapters were composed during the Greek period, i.e. after 333 BC. In examining the arguments urged by the representatives of this school special caution is needed in distinguishing between the grounds advanced in support of a post-exilic and those which argue a post-Zecharian date. The former we may for the most part accept, as Zechariah was himself a post-exilic prophet; the latter we must first examine. In favor of a very late or Grecian origin for Zechariah 9-14, the chief and all-important passage, and the one upon which more emphasis is placed than upon all others together, is 9:13, "For I have bent Judah for me, I have filled the bow with Ephraim; and I will stir up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and will make thee as the sword of a mighty man." Kuiper in summing up throws the whole weight of his argument in favor of a Greek date on this verse. Wellhausen makes it decide the date of these prophecies; while Stade declares that the announcement of the "sons of Javan" is alone sufficient to prove that these prophecies are after 333 BC. Two things are especially emphasized by critics in connection with this important passage:

(1) that the sons of Javan are the world-power of the author’s day, namely, the Greek-Maccabean world-power; and

(2) that they are the enemies of Zion.

But in opposition to these claims it should be observed

(1) that the sons of Javan are but one of several world-powers within the range of the prophet’s horizon (Zec 9:1-7, Syria, Phoenicia, Philistia; 12:2 f; 14:2 f, all nations; and 10:10,11, Assyria and Egypt); and

(2) that the Greeks under Alexander were not the enemies of Zion, and did not fight against the Jews, but against the Persians.

Assuming the genuineness of the passage (Zec 9:13), the following considerations point to the Persian period as its probable historical background:

(a) The prophecy would be vague and meaningless if uttered after the invasion of Alexander.

(b) The passage does not describe a victory for the sons of Javan, but rather a defeat.

(c) It is introduced by an appeal to those still in exile to return, which would have been quite meaningless after Alexander’s conquest.

(d) In short, Zec 9:13-17, as a whole, is not a picture of actual war, but rather an apocalyptic vision of the struggle of Israel with the world-power of the West, hence, its indefiniteness and figurative language.

Furthermore, it must not be forgotten that in Zechariah’s own day the Greeks were rapidly becoming a menacing world-power. In the first 3 years (521-519 BC) of Darius’ reign, 12 different revolts took place, principally in the North and East But, in 518, Darius was compelled to move westward at the head of his royal armies; Darius’ visit to Egypt in 517 BC was cut short by the disturbances of the Greeks (compare Wiedemann, Gesch., 236). In the year 516 BC the Greeks of the Hellespont and Bosporus, with the island of Samos, were made to submit to Pets rule. The next year (515 BC), Darius led an expedition against the Scythians across the Danube, the failure of which encouraged the Ionians subsequently to revolt. In 500 BC the great Ionian revolt actually took place. In 499 BC Sardis, the most important stronghold for Persia in Asia Minor, was burned by the Athenians. In 490 BC Marathon was fought and Persia was conquered. In 480 BC Xerxes was defeated at Salamis. But it is unnecessary to sketch the rise of Jayan further. Enough has been related to show that already in the reign of Darius Hystaspis—in whose reign Zechariah is known to have lived and prophesied—the sons of Greece were a rising world-power, and a threatening world-power. This is all really that is required by the passage. The sons of Jayan were but one of Israel’s enemies in Zechariah’s day; but they were of such importance that victory over them carried with it momentous Messianic interests. The language of chapter 9 is vague, and, in our judgment, too vague and too indefinite to have been uttered after Marathon (490 BC), or even after the burning of Sardis (500 BC); for, in that case, the author would have been influenced more by Greece and less by the movements and commotions of the nations.

Other arguments advanced by the post-Zecharian school are:

(1) Zec 14:9, "And Yahweh shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall Yahweh be one, and his name one." To Stade this passage contains a polemic against the conditions in Greek times when all gods were conceived of as only different representations of one and the same god. But, on the contrary, the post-exilic congregation was as truly a theocracy in the days of Darius Hystaspis as in the period subsequent to Alexander’s conquest. The Jewish colony of the Restoration was a religious sect, not a political organization. Zechariah often pictures the close relation of Yahweh to His people (2:10-13; 8:3,13), and the author of chapters 9-14 describes similar conditions. The "yearning for a fuller theocracy," which Cheyne (Bampton Lectures, 120) discovers in Zec 9-14, is thoroughly consistent with the yearning of a struggling congregation in a land of forsaken idols shortly after the return from exile.

(2) Zec 12:2 b, interpreted to mean that "Judah also, forced by the enemy, shall be in the siege against Jerusalem," is a proof, it is alleged, that the children of the Diaspora had served as soldiers. The verse, accordingly, is said to be a description of the hostile relations which actually existed between Jerusalem and Judah in the beginning of the Maccabean struggle. The validity of these claims, however, is vitiated by a correct exegesis of the passage in hand. The text is apparently corrupt. In order to obtain a subject for "shall be," the preposition before Judah had better be stricken out, as in the Targum. The passage then translated reads, "And Judah also shall be in the siege against Jerusalem." But this is ambiguous. It may mean that Judah shall fight against Jerusalem, or it may mean that Judah, too, shall be besieged. The latter is obviously the true meaning of the passage, as Zec 12:7 indicates. For, as one nation might besiege Jerusalem (a city), so all nations, coming up are practically going to besiege Judah. The Septuagint favors this interpretation; likewise the Coptic version; and Zec 14:14. Wellhausen frankly concedes that "no characteristic of the prophecy under discussion in reality agrees with the conditions of the Maccabean time. The Maccabees were not the Jews of the lowland, and they did not join themselves with the heathen out of hatred to the city of Jerusalem, in order finally to fall treacherously upon their companions in war. There is not the slightest hint in our passage of religious persecution; that alone decides, and hence, the most important sign of Maccabean times is wanting."

(3) Zec 10:10,11, which mentions "Egypt" and "Assyria" (and which, strange to say, is also one of the strongest proofs in support of the preexilic hypothesis), is singularly enough interpreted to refer respectively to the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria. But this is quite impossible, and especially so in view of the prominence which is given to Egypt in 14:19, which points to Persian rather than Greek conditions; for then Egypt, in consequence of her perpetual efforts to throw off the Persian yoke, was naturally brought under the observation of the Jews in Palestine, who repeatedly beheld the Persian armies passing on their way to the valley of the Nile.

(4) Still another argument advanced in favor of a late post-Zecharian date for these oracles is that from language and style: Aramaisms, scriptio plena, the preponderance of the shorter form of the personal pronoun "I," the Hebrew ending on, the frequent use of the nota accusativi, especially with suffixes, the omission of the article, the use of the infinitive absolute, and the clumsy diction and weary repetition of these prophecies are pointed to as evidence of their origin in Grecian times. But in opposition to these claims, it may be remarked in general that their force is greatly weakened by two considerations: (a) the fact that the author of Zechariah 9-14 depends so largely on older prophecies for his thoughts, and consequently more or less for his language; and (b) the fact that these prophecies are so very brief. There is no mode of reasoning so treacherous as that from language and style. (For the technical discussion of this point, see the present writer’s The Prophecies of Zechariah, 54-59.)

5. The Unity of the Book:

Among the further objections made to the genuineness of Zechariah 9-14, and consequently to the unity of the book, the following are the chief:

(1) There are no "visions" in these oracles as in Zechariah 1-6. But there are none either in Zechariah 7; 8, and yet these latter are not denied to Zechariah. As a matter of fact, however, visions do actually occur in chapters 9-14, only of a historico-parabolic (11:4-17) and eschatological character (9:13-17; chapters 12; 14).

(2) There are "no dates," as in Zec 1:1,7; 7:1. But dates are seldom attached to "oracles" (Isa 13:1; 15:1; Na 1:1; Hab 1:1; Mal 1:1). There is but one instance in the entire Old Testament (Isa 14:28 margin); whereas "visions" are frequently dated.

(3) There is "no Satan." But Satan is never mentioned elsewhere in any prophetic book of the Old Testament.

(4) There is "no interpreting angel" in Zechariah 9-14. But "oracles" need no interpreting angel. On the other hand, "the Angel of Yahweh" is mentioned in both parts (3:1 ff; 12:8), a fact which is far more noteworthy.

(5) Proper names are wanting in Zechariah 9-14, e.g. Zerubbabel and Joshua. But neither do these names occur in chapters 7; 8.

(6) The sins alluded to are different, e.g. theft and false swearing in Zec 5:3,1; while in 10:2 seeking teraphim and in 13:2 ff false prophecy are named. But these sins may have existed side by side. What is far more noteworthy, in both parts the prophet declares that all these evils shall be taken away and removed out of the land (3:9; 5:9-11; 13:1,2).

(7) The Messianic pictures are different, e.g. in Zechariah 1-8 the Messiah is spoken of as Branch-Priest (3:8,9; 6:12,13); whereas in chapters 9-14, as King, (9:9,10). But in 6:13 it is expressly stated that the Branch-Priest "shall sit and rule upon his throne." Of far greater moment is the picture of the nations coming to Zion to worship Yahweh. This remarkable picture recurs in all the different sections of the book (6:12,13,15; 8:20-23; 12:6; 14:16-19).

On the other hand, the following are some of the arguments which favor the genuineness of these disputed chapters:

(1) The fundamental ideas of both parts are the same. By this we mean that the deeper we go the nearer we approach unity. As Dr. G.A. Smith argues against Graetz, who divides Hosea 1-3 from Hosea 4-14, "in both parts there are the same religious principles and the same urgent and jealous temper"; the same is equally true of Zec 1-8 and Zec 9-14. Certain similarities are especially noteworthy, e.g.

(a) an unusually deep, spiritual tone pervades the entire book. The call to a true repentance, first sounded forth in the introduction (1:1-7), is developed more and more throughout the entire 14 chapters; thus, in the sanctifying of Joshua (Zec 3:4), in the message to Zerubbabel, "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit" (Zec 4:6), in the conditions of future blessing (Zec 6:15), in the answer to the Bethel deputation (Zec 7:5-9; 8:16 ); and in Zechariah 9-14, in the consecration of the remnant of the Philistines (9:7), in the blessings to Ephraim (10:12), in the baptism of grace upon Jerusalem (12:10), in the fountain for sin (13:1), in the worship of Yahweh (13:9), in the living waters going forth from Jerusalem (14:8), and in the dedication of everything as holy unto the Lord (14:20,21). The tone which tempers these prophecies is an extraordinarily deep and spiritual one throughout. And this argument cannot be set aside by rejecting wholesale certain passages as later interpolations, as is done by Mitchell (ICC, 242-44).

(b) There is a similar attitude of hope and expectation in both parts. This is especially important. For example,

(i) the return of the whole nation is a prevailing idea of happiness in both parts (Zec 2:6,10; 8:7,8; 9:12; 10:6,7).

(ii) The expectation that Jerusalem shall be inhabited (Zec 1:16,17; 2:4; 8:3,8; 12:6; 14:10,11),

(iii) and that the temple shall be built and become the center of the nation’s religious life (Zec 1:16,17; 3:7; 6:15; 7:2,3; 9:8; 14:20,21).

(iv) Messianic hope is peculiarly strong in both (Zec 3:8,9; 6:12,13; 9:9,10; 11:12,13; 12:10; 13:1,7-9).

(v) Peace and prosperity are expected (Zec 1:17; 3:10; 6:13; 8:12,19; 9:10,12-17; 10:1,7,8,10,12; 12:8; 14:11,16-19).

(vi) The idea of God’s providence as extending to the whole earth (Zec 1:14-17; 2:9,12; 4:10; 6:5; 9:1,8,14; 10:3,1,9,12; 12:2-4,8; 13:7; 14:3,9). Again,

(c) the prophet’s attitude toward Judah is the same in both parts. It is an attitude of supreme regard for Judah’s interests, making them second only to the capital (Zec 2:2,4,16; 8:19; 1:12; 8:13,15; 12:2; 14:14; 10:3; 12:4,6,7; 14:21; 9:9,13; 10:6; 11:14; 14:5). The prophet’s attitude toward the nations, the enemies of theocracy, is the same in both parts. The whole assembled world are the enemies of Israel. But though they have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem (1:11), and are still coming up to besiege Jerusalem (12:2; 14:2), yet they shall be joined to the Lord in that day (2:11) and worship Yahweh like the Jews (8:20-23; 14:16-19). These are all striking instances of similarity in the fundamental ideas of the two parts of the book.

(2) There are peculiarities of thought common to both parts: e.g.

(a) the habit of dwelling on the same thought (Zec 2:1,4,5,11; 6:12,13; 8:4,5; 8:21,22; 11:8; parallel 13:3; 14:5,16,18,19);

(b) the habit of expanding one fundamental thought into a series of clauses (Zec 6:13; 9:5,7; 1:17; 3:8,9; 12:4);

(c) the habit of referring to a thought already introduced: e.g. to the "Branch" (Zec 3:8; 6:12); "eyes" (Zec 3:9; 4:10); measuring "line" (Zec 1:16; 2:5,6); choosing Jerusalem (Zec 1:17; 2:12; 3:2); removing iniquity (Zec 3:9; 5:3 ff; 13:2); measurements (Zec 5:2; 14:10); colors of horses (Zec 1:8; 6:2,6); the idea of Israel as a "flock" (Zec 9:16; 10:2; 11:4 f; 13:7); idols (Zec 10:2; 13:2); shepherds (Zec 11:3 ff; 13:7); and of "all nations" (Zec 11:10; 12:3 ff; 14:2 ); Mitchell in attempting to answer this argument has failed utterly to grasp the point (ICC, 243);

(d) the use made of the cardinal number "two"; thus, two olive trees (Zec 4:3); two women (Zec 5:9); two mountains (Zec 6:1); two staves (Zec 11:7); two parts (Zec 14:2,4); with which compare Zec 6:13; 9:12; 14:8;

(e) the resort in each part of the book to symbolic actions as a mode of instruction; e.g. the coronation scene in 6:9-15, and the breaking of the two staves in 11:4-14.

(3) Certain peculiarities of diction and style favor unity of authorship; e.g. the phrase "no man passed through nor returned" (Zec 7:14; 9:8) never occurs elsewhere in the Old Testament. The author’s preference for and frequent use of vocatives (Zec 2:7,10; 3:2,8; 4:7; 9:9,13; 11:1,2; 13:7); and especially the frequent alternation of the scriptio plena and the scriprio defectiva orthography in the Hebrew (compare Zec 1:2,5 with 1:4,6 and 8:14; 2:11 with 5:7; 1:11 with 7:7; 9:5 with 10:5,11; and 10:4 with 9:9).

Accordingly, we conclude,

(1) that Zechariah 9-14 are of post-exilic origin;

(2) that they are not, however, late post-exilic;

(3) that they had their origin in the period just before the completion of the temple, 516 BC, and

(4) that they were probably composed by Zechariah himself.

6. Conclusion:

This conclusion is based upon the text taken as a whole, without an arbitrary dissection of the prophecies in the interests of a false theory. Mitchell (ICC, 258-59), after eliminating numerous individual passages, arrives at the conclusion that Zechariah 9-14 were written by four different writers;

(1) Zec 9:1-10, soon after 333 BC;

(2) Zec 9:11-11:3, about 247-222 BC;

(3) Zec 11:4-17 and 13:7-9, between 217 and 204 BC; and

(4) Zec 12:1-13:6 and chapter 14, about the same time.

Tradition points to a saner and securer conclusion, that these oracles were written by Zechariah himself; which in turn is corroborated by internal evidence, as has been shown above. One wonders why these oracles, written so late in Israel’s history, should have been appended by the collectors of the Canon to the genuine prophecies of Zechariah, if, as is alleged, that prophet had nothing whatever to do with them!


(1) Those Who Defend the Unity of the Book:

C. H. H. Wright, Zechariah and His Prophecies (Bampton Lectures), London, 1879; G. L. Robinson, The Prophecies of Zechariah, with Special Reference to the Origin and Date of Chapters 9-14, Leipzig Dissertation, reprinted from American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, XII, 1896; W.H. Lowe, Hebrew Student’s Commentary on Zechariah, Hebrew and the Septuagint, London, 1882; O.J. Bredenkamp, Der Prophet Sach., Erklart, 1879; Marcus Dods, The Post-Exilian Prophets: Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi ("Handbook for Biblical Classes"), Edinburgh, 1879; E.B. Pusey, Minor Prophets, 1877; W. Drake, "Commentary on Zechariah" (Speaker’s Commentary), 1876; T. W. Chambers, "The Book of Zechariah" (Lange’s Bible Work), 1874; A. Van Hoonacker, in Revue Biblique, 1902, 161 ff; idem, Les douze petits prophetes, 1908; Wm. Moeller, article "Zechariah" in The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, edited by W.C. Piercy, 1908.

(2) Those Who Advocate a Preexilic Origin for Zechariah 9-14:

Hitzig-Steiner, Die zwolf kleinen Propheten, 1881; Samuel Davidson, An Introduction to the Old Testament, 1862-63; W. Pressel, Commentar zu den Schriften der Propheten Haggai, Sacharja und Maleachi, 1870; C. A. Bruston, Histoire critique de la litterature prophetique des Hebreux, 1881; Samuel Sharpe, History of the Hebrew Nation, Literature and Chronology, 1882; G. von Orelll, Das Buch Ezechiel u. die zwolf kleinen Propheten, 1888; Ferd. Montet, Etude critique sur la date assignable aux six derniers chapitres de Zac, 1882; H. L. Strack, Einleitung in das Altes Testament, 1895; F. W. Farrar, Minor Prophets, in "Men of the Bible" series.

(3) Those Who Advocate a Post-Zecharian Origin for Zecharaih 9-14:

B. Stade, "Deuterozacharja, eine krit. Studie," in ZATW, 1881-82; T. K. Cheyne, "The Date of Zec 9-14," in JQR, I, 1889; C. H. Cornill, Einleitung in das Altes Testament, 1891; S. R. Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, 1910; J. Wellhausen, Die kleinen Propheten ubersetzt, 1893; N. I. Rubinkam, The Second Part of the Book of Zechariah, 1892; Karl Marti, Der Prophet Sacharja, 1892; A. F. Kirkpatrick, Doctrine of the Prophets, 1892; R. Eckardt, "Der Sprachgebrauch von Zach 9-14," ZATW, 1893, 76-109; A. K. Kuiper, Zacharja 9-14; eine exegetischcritische Studie, 1894; J. W. Rothstein, Die Nachtgesichte des Sacharja, 1910; G.A. Smith in Expositor’s Bible, 1896-97; S. R. Driver In the New Century Bible; H. G. Mitchell, ICC, 1912.

George L. Robinson


ze’-ker (zakher, pausal form for zekher, "memorial"; the King James Version Zacher): In 1Ch 8:31 =" Zechariah" of 1Ch 9:37.



zek-ri’-as (Codex Vaticanus (Zechrias, A and Fritzsche, Ezerias; the King James Version Ezerias): An ancestor of Ezra (1 Esdras 8:1) =" Azariah" of Ezr 7:1.


ze’-dad (tsedhadhah, only found with He locale; Samaritan tseradhah; Septuagint Saradak, Sadadak, Saddak): A town or district named in Nu 34:8; Eze 47:15 as on the ideal northern boundary of Israel. The uncertainty of the reading has led to two different identifications being proposed. The form "Zerad" was accepted by yon Kasteren, and his identification was Khirbet Serada in the Merj ‘Ayun, West of the Hasbany branch of the Jordan and North of ‘Abil. This identification, however, would compel us to draw the ideal boundary along the Qasmiyeh valley and thence eastward to Hermon, and that is much too far South If with Dillmann, Wetzstein, Muehlau and others we read "Zedad," then it is clearly identical with Sadad, a village on the road between Ribleh and Qaryetain. It has been objected that Sadad is too far to the East; but here, as in the tribal boundaries also, the references are rather to the district or lands possessed than to their central town or village.

W. M. Christie


zed-e-ki’-as: 1 Esdras 1:46 the King James Version = the Revised Version (British and American) "Sedekias."


zed-e-ki’-a (tsidhqiyahu, tsidhqiyah, "Yah my righteousness"; Sedekia, Sedekias):

(1) The son of Chenaanah (1Ki 22:11,24; 2Ch 18:10,23). Zedekiah was apparently the leader and spokesman of the 400 prophets attached to the court in Samaria whom Ahab summoned in response to Jehoshaphat’s request that a prophet of Yahweh should be consulted concerning the projected campaign against Ramoth-gilead. In order the better to impress his audience Zedekiah produced iron horns, and said to Ahab, "With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until they be consumed." He also endeavored to weaken the influence of Micaiah ben Imlah upon the kings by asking ironically, "Which way went the Spirit of Yahweh from me to speak unto thee?"

In Josephus (Ant., VIII, xv, 4) there is an interesting rearrangement and embellishment of the Biblical narrative. There Zedekiah is represented as arguing that since Micaiah contradicts Elijah’s prediction as to the place of Ahab’s death, he must be regarded as a false prophet. Then, smiting his opponent, he prayed that if he were in the wrong his right hand might forthwith be withered. Ahab, seeing that no harm befell the hand that had smitten Micaiah, was convinced; whereupon Zedekiah completed his triumph by the incident of the horns mentioned above.

(2) The son of Maaseiah (Jer 29:21-23). A false prophet who, in association with another, Ahab by name, prophesied among the exiles in Babylon, and foretold an early return from captivity. Jeremiah sternly denounced them, not only for their false and reckless predictions, but also for their foul and adulterous lives, and declared that their fate at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar should become proverbial in Israel.

(3) The son of Hananiah (Jer 36:12). One of the princes of Judah before whom Jeremiah’s roll was read in the 5th year of Jehoiakim.

(4) One of the officials who sealed the renewed covenant (Ne 10:1, the King James Version "Zid-kijah"). The fact that his name is coupled with Nehemiah’s suggests that he was a person of importance. But nothing further is known of him.

(5) The last king of Judah (see following article).

John A. Lees


(tsidhqiyahu, "Yah my righteousness"; name changed from Mattaniah (mattanyah, "gift of Yah"; Sedekias):


1. Annalistic

2. Prophetic


1. The Situation

2. The Parvenu Temper

3. Inconsistencies

4. Character of the King

5. His Fate

6. Doom of the Nation

The last king of Judah, uncle and successor of Jehoiachin; reigned 11 years, from 597 to 586, and was carried captive to Babylon.

I. Sources for His Reign and Time.

1. Annalistic:

Neither of the accounts in 2Ki 24:18-25:7 and 2Ch 36:11-21 refers, as is the usual custom, to state annals; these ran out with the reign of Jehoiakim. The history in 2 Kings is purely scribal and historianic in tone; 2 Chronicles, especially as it goes on to the captivity, is more fervid and homiletic. Both have a common prophetic origin; and indeed Jeremiah 52, which is put as an appendix to the book of his prophecy, tells the story of the reign and subsequent events, much as does 2 Kings, but in somewhat fuller detail.

2. Prophetic:

Two prophets are watching with keen eyes the progress of this reign, both with the poignant sense that the end of the Judean state is imminent: Jeremiah in Jerusalem and Ezekiel, one of the captives in the deportation with Jehoiachin, in Babylon. Dates are supplied with the prophecies of both: Jeremiah’s numbered from the beginning of the reign and not consecutive; Ezekiel’s numbered from the beginning of the first captivity, and so coinciding with Jeremiah’s. From these dated prophecies the principal ideas are to be formed of the real inwardness of the time and the character of the administration. The prophetic passages identifiable with this reign, counted by its years, are: Jeremiah 24, after the deportation of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah)—the inferior classes left with Zedekiah (compare Eze 11:15; 17:12-14); Jer 27-29, beginning of reign—false hopes of return of captives and futile diplomacies with neighboring nations; Jer 51:59, 4 th year—Zedekiah’s visit to Babylon; Eze 4-7, 5 th year—symbolic prophecies of the coming end of Judah; Eze 8-12, 6 th year—quasi-clairvoyant view of the idolatrous corruptions in Jerusalem; Eze 17:11-21, same year—Zedekiah’s treacherous intrigues with Egypt; Eze 21:18-23, 7 th year—Nebuchadnezzar casting a divination to determine his invasion of Judah; Jer 21, undated but soon after—deputation from the king to the prophet inquiring Yahweh’s purpose; Jer 34:1-7, undated—the prophet’s word to the king while Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion is still among the cities of the land; Eze 24:1,2, 9 th year—telepathic awareness of the beginning of the siege, synchronistic with Jer 39:1-10; 2Ki 25:1-7; Jer 37; 38, undated, but soon after—prophecies connected with the temporary raising of the siege and the false faith of the ruling classes; Jer 32, 10 th year—Jeremiah’s redemption of his Anathoth property in the midst of siege, and the good presage of the act; Jer 39, 11 th year—annalistic account of the breaching of the city wall and the flight and eventual fate of the king. A year and a half later Ezekiel (33:21,22) hears the news from a fugitive.

II. The Administration of the Last King of Judah.

1. The Situation:

When Nebuchadnezzar took away Jehoiachin, and with him all the men of weight and character (see under JEHOIACHIN), his object was plain: to leave a people so broken in resources and spirit that they would not be moved to rebellion (see Eze 17:14). But this measure of his effected a segmentation of the nation which the prophets immediately recognized as virtually separating out their spiritual "remnant" to go to Babylon, while the worldly and inferior grades remained in Jerusalem. These are sharply distinguished from each other by Jeremiah in his parable of the Figs (chapter 24), published soon after the first deportation. The people that were left were probably of the same sort that Zephaniah described a few years before, those who had "settled on their lees" (1:12), a godless and inert element in religion and state. Their religious disposition is portrayed by Ezekiel in Zedekiah’s 6th year, in his clairvoyant vision of the uncouth temple rites, as it were a cesspool of idolatry, maintained under the pretext that Yahweh had forsaken the land (see Eze 8). Clearly these were not of the prophetic stamp. It was over such an inferior grade of people that Zedekiah was appointed to a thankless and tragic reign.

2. The Parvenu Temper:

For a people so raw and inexperienced in administration the prophets recognized one clear duty: to keep the oath which they had given to Nebuchadnezzar (see Eze 17:14-16). But they acted like men intoxicated with new power; their accession to property and unwonted position turned their heads. Soon after the beginning of the reign we find Jeremiah giving emphatic warning both to his nation and the ambassadors of neighboring nations against a rebellious coalition (Jeremiah 27 mistakenly dated in the 4th year of Jehoiakim; compare 27:3,12); he has also an encounter with prophets who, in contradiction of his consistent message, predict the speedy restoration of Jehoiachin and the temple vessels. The king’s visit to Babylon (Jer 51:59) was probably made to clear himself of complicity in treasonable plots. Their evil genius, Egypt, however, is busy with the too headstrong upstart rulers; and about the middle of the reign Zedekiah breaks his covenant with his over-lord and, relying on Egypt, embarks on rebellion. The prophetic view of this movement is, that it is a moral outrage; it is breaking a sworn word (Eze 17:15-19), and thus falsifying the truth of Yahweh.

3. Inconsistencies:

This act of rebellion against the king of Babylon was not the only despite done to "Yahweh’s oath." Its immediate effect, of course, was to precipitate the invasion of the Chaldean forces, apparently from Riblah on the Orontes, where for several years Nebuchadnezzar had his headquarters. Ezekiel has a striking description of his approach, halting to determine by arrow divination whether to proceed against Judah or Ammon (21:18-23). Before laying siege to Jerusalem, however, he seems to have spent some time reducing outlying fortresses (compare Jer 34:1-7); and during the suspense of this time the king sent a deputation to Jeremiah to inquire whether Yahweh would not do "according to all his wondrous works," evidently hoping for some such miraculous deliverance as had taken place in the time of Sennacherib (Jer 21:1 ). The prophet gives his uniform answer, that the city must fall; advising the house of David also to "execute justice and righteousness." Setting about this counsel as if they would bribe Yahweh’s favor, the king then entered into an agreement with his people to free all their Hebrew bond-slaves (Jer 34:8-10), and sent back a deputation to the prophet entreating his intercession (Jer 37:3), as if, having bribed Yahweh, they might work some kind of a charm on the divine will. Nebuchadnezzar had meanwhile invested the city; but just then the Egyptian army approached to aid Judah, and the Babylonian king raised the siege long enough to drive the Egyptians back to their own land; at which, judging that Yahweh had interfered as of old, the people caused their slaves to return to their bondage (Jer 34:11). This treachery called forth a trenchant prophecy from Jeremiah, predicting not only the speedy return of the Chaldean army (Jer 37:6-10), but the captivity of the king and the destruction of the city (Jer 34:17-22). It was during this temporary cessation of the siege that Jeremiah, attempting to go to Anathoth to redeem his family property, was seized on the pretext of deserting to the enemy, and put in prison (Jer 37:11-15).

4. Character of the King:

During the siege, which was soon resumed, Zedekiah’s character, on its good and bad sides, was revealed through his frequent contact with the prophet Jeremiah. The latter was a prisoner most of the time; and the indignities which he suffered, and which the king heedlessly allowed, show how the prophet’s word and office had fallen in respect (compare the treatment he received, Jer 26:16-19 with 37:15; 38:6). The king, however, was not arrogant and heartless like his brother Jehoiakim; he was weak and without consistent principles; besides, he was rather helpless and timid in the hands of his headstrong officials (compare Jer 38:5,24-26). His regard for the word of prophecy was rather superstitious than religious: while the prophet’s message and counsel were uniformly consistent, he could not bring himself to follow the will of Yahweh, and seemed to think that Yahweh could somehow be persuaded to change his plans (see Jer 37:17; 38:14-16). His position was an exceedingly difficult one; but even so, he had not the firmness, the wisdom, the consistency for it.

In his siege of the city Nebuchadnezzar depended mainly on starving it into surrender; and we cannot withhold a measure of admiration for a body of defenders who, in spite of the steadily decreasing food supply and the ravages of pestilence, held the city for a year and a half.

5. His Fate:

During this time Jeremiah’s counsel was well known: the counsel of surrender, and the promise that so they could save their lives (Jer 21:9; 38:2). It was for this, indeed, that he was imprisoned, on the plea that he "weakened the hands" of the defenders; and it was due to the mercy of a foreign slave that he did not suffer death (Jer 38:7-9). At length in the 11th year of Zedekiah’s reign, just as the supply of food in the city was exhausted, the Chaldean army effected a breach in the wall, and the king of Babylon with his high officials came in and sat in the middle gate. Zedekiah and his men of war, seeing this, fled by night, taking the ill-advised route by the road to Jericho; were pursued and captured in the plains of the Jordan; and Zedekiah was brought before the king of Babylon at Riblah. After putting to death Zedekiah’s sons and the nobles of Judah before his eyes, the king of Babylon then put out the eyes of Zedekiah and carried him captive to Babylon, where, it is uncertain how long after, he died. Jeremiah had prophesied that he would die in peace and have a state mourning (Jer 34:4,5); Ezekiel’s prophecy of his doom is enigmatic: "I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there" (Eze 12:13).

6. Doom of the Nation:

The cruelly devised humiliation of the king was only an episode in the tragic doom of the city and nation. Nebuchadnezzar was not minded to leave so stubborn and treacherous a fortress on his path of conquest toward Egypt. A month after the event at Riblah his deputy, Nebuzaradan, entered upon the reduction of the city: burning the temple and all the principal houses, breaking down the walls, carrying away the temple treasures still unpillaged, including the bronze work which was broken into scrap metal, and deporting the people who were left after the desperate resistance and those who had voluntarily surrendered. The religious and state officials were taken to Riblah and put to death. "So," the historian concludes, "Judah was carried away captive out of his land" (Jer 52:27). This was in 586 BC. This, however, was only the political date of the Babylonian exile, the retributive limit for those leavings of Israel who for 11 years had played an insincere game of administration and failed. The prophetic date, from which Ezekiel reckons the years of exile, and from which the prophetic eye is kept on the fortunes and character of the people who are to be redeemed, was 597 BC, when Jehoiachin’s long imprisonment began and when the flower of Israel, transplanted to a foreign home, began its term of submission to the word and will of Yahweh. It was this saving element in Israel who still had a recognized king and a promised future. By both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Zedekiah was regarded not as Yahweh’s anointed but as the one whom Nebuchadnezzar "had made king" (Jer 37:1; Eze 17:16), "the king that sitteth upon the throne of David" (Jer 29:16). The real last king of Judah was Jehoiachin; Ezekiel’s title for Zedekiah is "prince" (Eze 12:10).

John Franklin Genung


ze’-eb, zeb.



ze’-la (tsela‘ (2Sa 21:14)): A city in the territory of Benjamin (Jos 18:28; the Septuagint here omits). Here was the burying-place of the family of Saul, whither the bones of the king and of Jonathan were brought for burial (2Sa 21:14; the Septuagint here reads en te pleura, translating tsela‘, "side"). The place is not identified. It may be the Zilu of the Tell el-Amarna Letters.


ze’-lek (tseleq, meaning unknown): An Ammonite, one of David’s mighty men (2Sa 23:37; 1Ch 11:39).


ze-lo’-fe-had (tslophchadh, meaning unknown): Head of a Manassite family who died without male issue (Nu 26:33; 27:1,7; 36:2,6,10,11; Jos 17:3; 1Ch 7:15). His daughters came to Moses and Eleazar and successfully pleaded for a possession for themselves (Nu 27:1 ). This became the occasion for a law providing that in the case of a man dying without sons, the inheritance was to pass to his daughters if he had any. A further request is made (Nu 36:2 ) by the heads of the Gileadite houses that the women who were given this right of inheritance should be compelled to marry members of their own tribe, so that the tribe may not lose them and their property. This is granted and becomes law among the Hebrews.

Gray says (ICC on Nu 26:33) that the "daughters" of Zelophehad are towns or clans.

David Francis Roberts


ze-lo’-tez (Zelotes).



zel’-za (tseltsach; hallomenous megala): A place where Samuel told Saul he would meet two men with news that the asses were found. Its position is defined as "by Rachel’s sepulchre, in the border of Benjamin" (1Sa 10:2). It has been thought that the place of meeting was sufficiently indicated without the word betseltsach, which is translated "at Zelzah," and that this cannot therefore be a place-name. The Septuagint has "leaping mightily" or "in great haste" (Ewald) points to a different text. Whether the Greek can be so translated is also a question, as megala does not elsewhere occur as an adverb. Some corruption of the text is probable. The border of Benjamin may be roughly determined, but the tomb of Rachel is now unknown. No name like Zelzah has been recovered in the district. Smith ("Samuel," ICC, at the place) suggests that we should read "Zela" for "Zelzah" (tsela‘, for tseltsach).

W. Ewing


zem-a-ra’-im (cemdrayim; Codex Vaticanus Sara; Codex Alexandrinus Semrim): A city in the territory of Benjamin. It is named between Betharabah and Bethel (Jos 18:22), and is probably to be sought East of the latter city. It is usual to identify it with es-Samra, a ruin about 4 miles North of Jericho. Mt. Zemaraim probably derived its name from the city, and must be sought in the neighborhood. On this height, which is said to be in Mt. Ephraim, Abijah, king of Judah, stood when making his appeal to the men of Israel under Jeroboam (2Ch 13:4). If the identification with es-Samra is correct, this hill must be in the uplands to the West, es-Samra being on the floor of the valley. Dillmann (Joshua, at the place) thinks Zemaraim cannot be so far East of Bethel, but may be found somewhere to the South of that town.

W. Ewing


zem’-a-rit (ha-tsemari; ho Samaraios): A Canaanite people named in Ge 10:18; 1Ch 1:16. The occurrence of the name between Arvadite and Hamathite gives a hint as to locality. A place called Cumur is mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna Letters along with Arvad. The name probably survives in that of Sumra, a village on the seacoast between Tripolis and Ruwad, about 1 1/2 miles North of Nahr el-Kebir. We may with some certainty identify this modern village with the site of the town from which the inhabitants were named "Zemarites."


ze-mi’-ra (zemirah, meaning uncertain; Septuagint Codex Vaticanus Amarias; Codex Alexandrinus Zamarias; the King James Version Zemira): A descendant of Benjamin (1Ch 7:8), but more probably of Zebulun (Curtis, Chronicles, 145 ff).





ze’-nas (Zenas (Tit 3:13); the name in full would probably be Zenodorus, literally, meaning "the gift of Zeus"):

1. A Jewish Lawyer:

Paul calls Zenas "the lawyer." The meaning of this is, that, previous to his becoming a Christian, he had been a Jewish lawyer. The lawyers were that class of Jewish teachers who were specially learned in the Mosaic Law, and who interpreted that Law, and taught it to the people.

They are met with again and again in the Gospels, where they frequently came into contact with Christ, usually in a manner hostile to Him. For example, "A certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (Lu 10:25). our Lord replied to him on his own ground, asking, "What is written in the law? how readest thou?" Regarding this class of teachers as a whole, it is recorded that "the Pharisees and lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God" (Lu 7:30). The term nomikos, "lawyer," applied to Zenas, is in the Gospels varied by nomodidakalos, "a teacher of the law," and by grammateus, "a scribe": all three terms describe the same persons. Before his conversion to Christ, Zenas had been a lawyer, one of the recognized expounders of the Law of Moses.

A different view of Zenas’ occupation is taken by Zahn (Introduction to the New Testament, II, 54), who says that in itself nomikos could denote a rabbi, quoting Ambrosiaster, "Because Zenas had been of this profession in the synagogue, Paul calls him by this name." But Zahn gives his own opinion that "since the Jewish scribe who became a Christian, by that very act separated himself from the rabbinic body, and since the retention of rabbinic methods and ways of thinking was anything but a recommendation in Paul’s eyes (1Ti 1:7), Zenas is here characterized, not as legis (Mosaicae), doctor, but as juris peritus. The word denotes not an office, but usually the practical lawyer, through whose assistance e.g. a will is made, or a lawsuit carried on. Plutarch applies this name to the renowned jurist Mucius Scaevola."

The ordinary meaning seems preferable, which sees in Zenas one who previous to his conversion had been a Jewish rabbi.

2. Paul’s Wishes regarding Zenas:

It is not certain where Paul was when he wrote the Epistle to Titus. But he directs Titus to come to him to Nicopolis, where he had resolved to spend the ensuing winter. And he adds the injunction that he desires him to "bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos"—Paul’s old friend from Alexandria—with him "on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them" (the King James Version). This may mean that Paul wished to have Zenas and Apollos with him at Nicopolis; but, on the other hand, it may not have this meaning. For the King James Version in translating "bring" is in error. The word signifies, as given in the Revised Version (British and American), "set forward" on their journey, that is, furnish them with all that they need for the journey. But even supposing Paul is not instructing Titus to bring Zenas and Apollos to Nicopolis—though this is perhaps what he means—yet it is most interesting to find these two friends of the apostle mentioned in this particular way, and especially at a time so near to the close of his life. Paul was unselfish as ever, solicitous that Zenas and Apollos be comfortably provided for on their intended journey. He is full of affectionate regard for them, interested in their welfare at every step; while he himself is far distant in another country, he remembers them with tender and sympathetic friendship. Doubtless the two friends reciprocated his affection.

Nothing more is known of Zenas than is contained in this passage.

John Rutherfurd





zef-a-ni’-a (tsephanyah, tsephanyahu, "Yah hath treasured"):

(1) The prophet.


(2) A Levite or priest (1Ch 6:36 (Hebrew 6:21)), called in some genealogies "Uriel" (1Ch 6:24; 15:5,11).

(3) Judean father or fathers of various contemporaries of Zechariah, the prophet (Zec 6:10,14).

(4) A priest, the second in rank in the days of Jeremiah. He was a leader of the "patriotic" party which opposed Jeremiah. Nevertheless, he was sent to the prophet as a messenger of King Zedekiah when Nebuchadnezzar was about to attack the city (Jer 21:1) and at other crises (Jer 37:3; compare 29:25,29; 2Ki 25:18). That he continued to adhere to the policy of resistance against Babylonian authority is indicated by the fact that he was among the leaders of Israel taken by Nebuzaradan before the king of Babylon, and killed at Riblah (2Ki 25:18 parallel Jer 52:24).

Nathan Isaacs


A (probably) Jewish apocryphal work of this name is mentioned in the Stichometry of Nicephorus and another list practically identical with this; a quotation from it is also preserved by Clement of Alexandria (Strom., v. 11,77). Dr. Charles thinks this indicates a Christian revision (Encyclopedia Brittanica, II, article "Apocalypse"); others suppose it to point to a Christian, rather than a Jewish, origin. See Schurer, HJP, div II, volume III, pp. 126-27, 132; GJV4, III, 367-69.



1. Name

2. Ancestry 3. Life


1. Date

2. Political Situation

3. Moral and Religious Conditions


1. Contents

2. Integrity


1. The Day of Yahweh

2. Universalism

3. Messianic Prophecy


I. The Author.

1. Name:

The name "Zephaniah" (tsephanyah; Sophonias), which is borne by three other men mentioned in the Old Testament, means "Yah hides," or "Yah has hidden" or "treasured." "It suggests," says G. A. Smith, "the prophet’s birth in the killing time of Manasseh" (2Ki 21:16).

2. Ancestry:

The ancestry of the prophet is carried back four generations (Ze 1:1), which is unusual in the Old Testament (compare Isa 1:1; Ho 1:1); hence, it is thought, not without reason (Eiselen, Minor Prophets, 505), that the last-mentioned ancestor, Hezekiah, must have been a prominent man—indeed, no other than King Hezekiah of Judah, the contemporary of Isaiah and Micah. If Zephaniah was of royal blood, his condemnation of the royal princes (1:8) becomes of great interest. In a similar manner did Isaiah, who in all probability was of royal blood, condemn without hesitation the shortcomings and vices of the rulers and the court. An ancient tradition declares that Zephaniah was of the tribe of Simeon, which would make it impossible for him to be of royal blood; but the origin and value of this tradition are uncertain.

Zephaniah lived in Judah; that he lived in Jerusalem is made probable by the statement in 1:4, "I will cut off .... from this place," as well as by his intimate knowledge of the topography of the city (1:10,11).

3. Life:

For how long he continued his prophetic activity we do not know, but it is not improbable that, as in the case of Amos, his public activity was short, and that, after delivering his message of judgment in connection with a great political crisis, he retired to private life, though his interest in reforms may have continued (2Ki 23:2).

II. Time.

1. Date:

The title (Ze 1:1) places the prophetic activity of Zephaniah somewhere within the reign of Josiah, that is, between 639 and 608 BC. Most scholars accept this statement as historically correct. The most important exception is E. Koenig (Einl, 252 ff), who places it in the decade following the death of Josiah. Koenig’s arguments are altogether inconclusive, while all the internal evidence points toward the reign of Josiah as the period of Zephaniah’s activity. Can the ministry of the prophet be more definitely located within the 31 years of Josiah? The latter’s reign falls naturally into two parts, separated by the great reform of 621. Does the work of Zephaniah belong to the earlier or the later period?

The more important arguments in favor of the later period are:

(a) De 28:29,30 is quoted in Ze 1:13,15,17, in a manner which shows that the former book was well known, but according to the modern view, the Deuteronomic Code was not known until 621, because it was lost (2Ki 22:8).

(b) The "remnant of Baal" (Ze 1:4) points to a period when much of the Baal-worship had been removed, which means subsequent to 621.

(c) The condemnation of the "king’s sons" (Ze 1:8) presupposes that at the time of the utterance they had reached the age of moral responsibility; this again points to the later period.

These arguments are inconclusive:

(a) The resemblances between Deuteronomy and Zephaniah are of such a general character that dependence of either passage on the other is improbable.

(b) The expression in Ze 1:4 bears an interpretation which made its use quite appropriate before 621 (Eiselen, Minor Prophets, 508).

(c) "King’s sons" may be equivalent to "royal princes," referring not to Josiah’s children at all. The last two objections lose all force if the Septuagint readings are accepted (Ze 1:4, "names of Baal"; 1:8, "house of the king").

On the other hand, there are several considerations pointing to the earlier date:

(a) The youth of the king would make it easy for the royal princes to go to the excesses condemned in Ze 1:8,9.

(b) The idolatrous practices condemned by Zephaniah (1:3-5) are precisely those abolished in 621.

(c) The temper described in Ze 1:12 is explicable before 621 and after the death of Josiah in 608, but not between 621 and 608, when religious enthusiasm was widespread.

(d) Only the earlier part of Josiah’s reign furnishes a suitable occasion for the prophecy.

Evidently at the time of its delivery an enemy was threatening the borders of Judah and of the surrounding nations. But the only foes of Judah during the latter part of the 7th century meeting all the conditions are the Scythians, who swept over Western Asia about 625 BC. At the time the prophecy was delivered their advance against Egypt seems to have been still in the future, but imminent (Ze 1:14); hence, the prophet’s activity may be placed between 630 and 625, perhaps in 626. If this date is correct, Zephaniah and Jeremiah began their ministries in the same year.

2. Political Situation:

Little can be said about the political conditions in Judah during the reign of Josiah, because the Biblical books are silent concerning them. Josiah seems to have remained loyal to his Assyrian lord to the very end, even when the latter’s prestige had begun to wane, and this loyalty cost him his life (2Ki 23:29). As already suggested, the advance of the Scythians furnished the occasion of the prophecy. Many questions concerning these Scythians remain still unanswered, but this much is clear, that they were a non-Semitic race of barbarians, which swept in great hordes over Western Asia during the 7th century BC (see SCYTHIANS). The prophet looked upon the Scythians as the executioners of the divine judgment upon his sinful countrymen and upon the surrounding nations; and he saw in the coming of the mysterious host the harbinger of the day of Yahweh.

3. Moral and Religious Conditions:

The Book of Zephaniah, the early discourses of Jeremiah, and 2Ki 21-23 furnish a vivid picture of the social, moral, and religious conditions in Judah at the time Zephaniah prophesied. Social injustice and moral corruption were widespread (3:1,3,7). Luxury and extravagance might be seen on every hand; fortunes were heaped up by oppressing the poor (1:8,9). The religious situation was equally bad. The reaction under Manasseh came near making an end of Yahweh-worship (2Ki 21). Amon followed in the footsteps of his father, and the outlook was exceedingly dark when Josiah came to the throne. Fortunately the young king came under prophetic influence from the beginning, and soon undertook a religious reform, which reached its culmination in the 18th year of his reign. When Zephaniah preached, this reform was still in the future. The Baalim were still worshipped, and the high places were flourishing (1:4); the hosts of heaven were adored upon the housetops (1:5); a half-hearted Yahweh-worship, which in reality was idolatry, was widespread (1:5); great multitudes had turned entirely from following Yahweh (1:6). When the cruel Manasseh was allowed to sit undisturbed upon the throne for more than 50 years, many grew skeptical and questioned whether Yahweh was taking any interest in the affairs of the nation; they began to say in their hearts, "Yahweh will not do good, neither will he do evil" (1:12). Conditions could hardly be otherwise, when the religious leaders had become misleaders (3:4). The few who, amid the general corruption, remained faithful would be insufficient to avert the awful judgment upon the nation, though they themselves might be "hid in the day of Yahweh’s anger" (2:3).

III. Book.

1. Contents:

The Book of Zephaniah falls naturally into two parts of unequal length. The first part (1:2-3:8) contains, almost exclusively, denunciations and threats; the second (3:9-20), a promise of salvation and glorification. The prophecy opens with the announcement of a world judgment (1:2,3), which will be particularly severe upon Judah and Jerusalem, because of idolatry (1:4-6). The ungodly nobles will suffer most, because they are the leaders in crime (1:8,9). The judgment is imminent (1:7); when it arrives there will be wailing on every hand (1:10,11). No one will escape, even the indifferent skeptics will be aroused (1:12,13). In the closing verses of chapter 1, the imminence and terribleness of the day of Yahweh are emphasized, from which there can be no escape, because Yahweh has determined to make a "terrible end of all them that dwell in the land" (1:14-18). A way of escape is offered to the meek; if they seek Yahweh, they may be "hid in the day of Yahweh" (2:1-3). Ze 2:4-15 contains threats upon 5 nations, Philistia (2:4-7), Moab and Ammon (2:8-11), Ethiopia (2:12), Assyria (2:13-15). In Ze 3:1 the prophet turns once more to Jerusalem. Leaders, both civil and religious, and people are hopelessly corrupt (3:1-4), and continue so in spite of Yahweh’s many attempts to win the city back to purity (3:5-7); hence, the judgment which will involve all nations has become inevitable (3:8). A remnant of the nations and of Judah will escape and find rest and peace in Yahweh (3:9-13). The closing section (3:14-20) pictures the joy and exaltation of the redeemed daughter of Zion.

2. Integrity:

The authenticity of every verse in Zephaniah 2 and 3, and of several verses in chapter 1, has been questioned by one or more scholars, but the passages rejected or questioned with greatest persistency are 2:1-3,4-15 (especially 2:8-11); 3:9,10,14-20. The principal objection to 2:1-3 is the presence in 2:3 of the expressions "meek of the earth," and "seek meekness." It is claimed that "meek" and "meekness" as religious terms are post-exilic. There can be no question that the words occur more frequently in post-exilic psalms and proverbs than in preexilic writings, but it cannot be proved, or even shown to be probable, that the words might not have been used in Zephaniah’s day (compare Ex 10:3; Nu 12:3; Isa 2:9 ff; Mic 6:8). A second objection is seen in the difference of tone between these verses and Zephaniah 1. The latter, from beginning to end, speaks of the terrors of judgment; 2:1-3 weakens this by offering a way of escape. But surely, judgment cannot have been the last word of the prophets; in their thought, judgment always serves a disciplinary purpose. They are accustomed to offer hope to a remnant. Hence, 2:1-3 seems to form the necessary completion of chapter 1.

The objections against Zephaniah 2:4-15 as a whole are equally inconclusive. For 2:13-15, a date preceding the fall of Nineveh seems most suitable. The threat against Philistia (2:4-7) also is quite intelligible in the days of Zephaniah, for the Scythians passed right through the Philistine territory. If Ethiopia stands for Egypt, 2:12 can easily be accounted for as coming from Zephaniah, for the enemies who were going along the Mediterranean coast must inevitably reach Egypt. But if it is insisted upon that the reference is to Ethiopia proper, again no difficulty exists, for in speaking of a world judgment Zephaniah might mention Ethiopia as the representative of the far south. Against 2:8-11 the following objections are raised:

(a) Moab and Ammon were far removed from the route taken by the Scythians.

(b) The "reproaches" of 2:8,10 presuppose the destruction of Jerusalem (Eze 25:3,6,8).

(c) The attitude of the prophet toward Judah (Zech 2:9,10) is the exact opposite of that expressed in Zephaniah 1.

(d) The qinah meter, which predominates in the rest of the section, is absent from 2:8-11.

(e) Ze 2:12 is the natural continuation of 2:9.

These five arguments are by no means conclusive:

(a) The prophet is announcing a world judgment. Could this be executed by the Scythians if they confined themselves to the territory along the Mediterranean Sea?

(b) Is it true that the "reproaches" of 2:8,10 presuppose the destruction of Jerusalem?

(c) The promises in 2:7,8-10 are only to a remnant, which presupposes a judgment such as is announced in chapter 1.

(d) Have we a right to demand consistency in the use of a certain meter in oratory, and, if so, may not the apparent inconsistency be due to corruption of the text, or to a later expansion of an authentic oracle?

(e) Ze 2:8-11 can be said to interrupt the thought only if it is assumed that the prophet meant to enumerate the nations in the order in which the Scythians naturally would reach their territory.

From Philistia they would naturally pass to Egypt. But is this assumption warranted? While the objections against the entire paragraph are inconclusive, it cannot be denied that 2:12 seems the natural continuation of 2:9, and since 2:10 and 11 differ in other respects from those preceding, suspicion of the originality of these two verses cannot be suppressed.

Ze 3:1-8 is so similar to chapter 1 that its originality cannot be seriously questioned, but 3:1-8 carry with them 3:9-13, which describe the purifying effects of the judgment announced in 3:1-8. The present text of 3:10 may be corrupt, but if properly emended there remains insufficient reason for questioning 3:10 and 11. The authenticity of 3:14-20 is more doubtful than that of any other section of Zephaniah. The buoyant tone of the passage forms a marked contrast to the somber, quiet strain of 3:11-13; the judgments upon Judah appear to be in the past; 3:18-20 seem to presuppose a scattering of the people of Judah, while the purifying judgment of 3:11-13 falls upon the people in their own land; hence, there is much justice in Davidson’s remark that "the historical situation presupposed is that of Isa 40 ff." On the other hand, it must be borne in mind that the passage is highly poetic, that it presents an ideal picture of the future, in the drawing of which imagination must have played some part, and it may be difficult to assert that the composition of this poem was entirely beyond the power of Zephaniah’s enlightened imagination. But while the bare possibility of Zephaniah’s authorship may be admitted, it is not impossible that 3:14-20 contains a "new song from God," added to the utterances of Zephaniah at a period subsequent to the fall of Jerusalem.

IV. Teaching.

The teaching of Zephaniah closely resembles that of the earlier prophetic books. Yahweh is the God of the universe, a God of righteousness and holiness, who expects of His worshippers a life in accord with His will. Israel are His chosen people, but on account of rebellion they must suffer severe punishment. Wholesale conversion seems out of the question, but a remnant may escape, to be exalted among the nations. He adds little, but attempts with much moral and spiritual fervor to impress upon his comtemporaries the fundamental truths of the religion of Yahweh. Only a few points deserve special mention.

1. The Day of Yahweh:

Earlier prophets had spoken of the day of Yahweh; Amos (5:18-20) had described it in language similar to that employed by Zephaniah; but the latter surpasses all his predecessors in the emphasis he places upon this terrible manifestation of Yahweh (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT). His entire teaching centers around this day; and in the Book of Zephaniah we find the germs of the apocalyptic visions which become so common in later prophecies of an eschatological character. Concerning this day he says

(a) that it is a day of terror (1:15),

(b) it is imminent (1:14),

(c) it is a judgment for sin (1:17),

(d) it falls upon all creation (1:2,3; 2:4-15; 3:8),

(e) it is accompanied by great convulsions in Nature (1:15),

(f) a remnant of redeemed Hebrews and foreigners will escape from its terrors (Ze 2:3; 3:9-13).

2. Universalism:

The vision of the book is world-wide. The terrors of the day of Yahweh will fall upon all. In the same manner from all nations converts will be won to Yahweh (Ze 3:9,10). These will not be compelled to come to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh (Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1); they may worship Him "every one from his place" (Ze 2:11), which is a step in the direction of the utterance of Jesus in Joh 4:21.

3. Messianic Prophecy:

The Messianic King is not mentioned by Zephaniah. Though he draws a sublime picture of the glories of the Messianic age (Ze 3:14-20), there is not a word concerning the person of the Messianic King. Whatever is done is accomplished by Yahweh Himself.


Cornms. on the Minor Prophets by Ewald, Pusey, Keil, Orelli, G. A. Smith (Expositor’s Bible); Driver (New Century); Eiselen; A. B. Davidson, Commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (Cambridge Bible); A. F. Kirkpatrick, Doctrine of the Prophets; Eiselen, Prophecy and the Prophets; F. W. Farrar, "Minor Prophets," Men of the Bible; S. R. Driver, Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament; Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), article "Zephaniah, Book of"; Encyclopedia Biblica, article "Zephaniah."

F. C. Eiselen





zef’-a-tha (ge’tsephathah; Septuagint kata borran, reading tsephoah, instead of tsephathah): This is the place where Asa met and defeated the Ethiopians under Zerah (2Ch 14:10). It is said to be at Mareshah. No name resembling this has been recovered there. Possibly, therefore, the Septuagint rendering is right, "in the ravine to the North of Mareshah." In that case the battle may have been fought in Wady el-‘Afranj.


ze’-fi, ze’-fo (tsephi, perhaps "gaze," or "gazing," in 1Ch 1:36; tspho, the same meaning in Ge 36:11,15): A duke of Edom. Septuagint has Sophar, which Skinner (Genesis, 431) says may be the original of Job’s kind friend. In Ge 36:43 the Septuagint has Zaphoei (= tsepho, i.e. Zepho), for Iram. Skinner holds it probable that the two names, Zepho and Iram, were in the original text, thus making the number 12 (compare Lagarde, Septuagint-Stud., II, 10, 1. 178; 37, 1. 270; Nestle, Margin., 12). Lucian has Sophar, in Ge 36:11,15; Sepphoue, in 1Ch 1:37, and Saphoin, in Ge 36:43.

David Francis Roberts





ze’-fon-its, ze-fo’-nits (ha-tsphoni; ho Saphoni, Codex Alexandrinus omits): A family of Gadites descended from Zephon (Nu 26:15), who is called "Ziphion" in Ge 46:16.


zer, zer (tser; in Septuagint the verse (Jos 19:35) reads kai hai poleis teichereis ton Turion, which implies a Hebrew text with ha-tsurim, "Tyrians"; this must be an error): One of the fortified cities in Naphtali, named between Ziddim (ChaTTin) and Hammath (el-Chammeh, South of Tiberias). If the text is correct, it must have lain on the slopes West of the Sea of Galilee. It is not identified.


ze’-ra (zerach, meaning uncertain):

(1) In Ge 38:30; 46:12; Nu 26:20; Jos 7:1,18,24; 22:20; 1Ch 2:4,6; 9:6; Ne 11:24; Mt 1:3, younger twin-son of Judah and Tamar, and an ancestor of Achan. In Nu 26:20; Jos 7:17 f he is the head of the Zerahites (also 1Ch 27:11,13). the King James Version has "Zarah" in Ge 38:30; 46:12, and "Zarhites" for "Zerahites" in Numbers, Joshua and 1 Chronicles. See Curtis (Chronicles, 84 f) for identification of Ezrahite with Zerahite.

(2) Edomites:

(a) an Edomite chief (Ge 36:13,17; 1Ch 1:37);

(b) father of an Edomite king (Ge 36:33; 1Ch 1:44).

(3) Levites:

(a) 1Ch 6:21 (Hebrew verse 6);

(b) 1Ch 6:41 (Hebrew verse 26).

(4) Head of the Zerahites (Nu 26:13, the King James Version "Zarhites"; 1Ch 4:24). In Nu 26:13 =" Zohar" of Ge 46:10; Ex 6:15.

See ZOHAR, (2).

(5) Cushite king (2Ch 14:9). See the next article

David Francis Roberts


(zerach ha-kushi (2Ch 14:9); Zare): A generation ago the entire story of Zerah’s conquest of Asa, coming as it did from a late source (2Ch 14:9-15), was regarded as "apocryphal": "If the incredibilities are deducted nothing at all is left" (Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Israel, 207, 208); but most modern scholars, while accepting certain textual mistakes and making allowance for customary oriental hyperbole in description; accept this as an honest historical narrative, "nothing" in the Egyptian inscriptions being "inconsistent" with it (Nicol in BD; and compare Sayce, HCM, 362-64). The name "Zerah" is a "very likely corruption" of "Usarkon" (U-Serak-on), which it closely resembles (see Petrie, Egypt and Israel, 74), and most writers now identify Zerah with Usarkon II, though the Egyptian records of this particular era are deficient and some competent scholars still hold to Usarkon I (Wiedemann, Petrie, McCurdy, etc.). The publication by Naville (1891) of an inscription in which Usarkon II claims to have invaded "Lower and Upper Palestine" seemed to favor this Pharaoh as the victor over Asa; but the chronological question is difficult (Eighth Memoir of the Egyptian Exploration Fund, 51). The title "the Cushite" (Hebrew) is hard to understand. There are several explanations possible.

(1) Wiedemann holds that this may refer to a real Ethiopian prince, who, though unrecorded in the monuments, may have been reigning at the Asa era. There is so little known from this era "that it is not beyond the bounds of probability for an Ethiopian invader to have made himself master of the Nile Valley for a time" (Geschichte von Alt-Aegypten, 155).

(2) Recently it has been the fashion to refer this term "Cushite" to some unknown ruler in South or North Arabia (Winckler, Cheyne, etc.). The term "Cushite" permits this, for although it ordinarily corresponds to ETHIOPIA (which see), yet sometimes it designates the tract of Arabia which must be passed over in order to reach Ethiopia (Jeremias, The Old Testament in the Light of Ancient East, I, 280) or perhaps a much larger district (see BD; EB; Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition; Winckler, KAT, etc.). This view, however, is forced to explain the geographical and racial terms in the narrative differently from the ordinary Biblical usage (see Cheyne, EB). Dr. W. M. Flinders Petrie points out that, according to the natural sense of the narrative, this army must have been Egyptian for

(a) after the defeat it fled toward Egypt, not eastward toward Arabia;

(b) the cities around Gerar (probably Egyptian towns on the frontier of Palestine), toward which they naturally fled when defeated, were plundered;

(c) the invaders were Cushim and Lubim (Libyans), and this could only be the case in an Egyptian army; (d) Mareshah is a well-known town close to the Egyptian frontier (History of Egypt, III, 242-43; compare Konig, Funf neue arab. Landschaftsnamen im Altes Testament, 53-57).

(3) One of the Usarkons might be called a "Cushite" in an anticipatory sense, since in the next dynasty (XXIII) Egypt was ruled by Ethiopian kings.

Camden M. Cobern


zer-a-hi’-a (zerachyah, "Yahweh hath risen" or "come forth"; the Septuagint has Zaraia, with variants):

(1) A priest of the line of Eleazar (1Ch 6:6,51; Ezr 7:4).

(2) A head of a family, who returned with Ezra from Babylon (Ezr 8:4).


ze’-ra-hits (ha-zarchi; Codex Vaticanus ho Zarai; Codex Alexandrinus ho Zaraei; the King James Version Zarhites):

(1) A family of Simeonites (Nu 26:13).

(2) Descendants of Zerah, son of Judah (Nu 26:20). To this family Achan belonged (Jos 7:17), as did also two of David’s captains (1Ch 27:11,13).


ze’-red (zeredh; Codex Vaticanus Zaret; Codex Alexandrinus Zare; the King James Version, Zared (Nu 21:12)): This is the nachal or "torrent valley" given as the place where Israel encamped before they reached the Arnon (Nu 21:12). In De 2:13 f, the crossing of the brook Zered marks the end of the 38 years’ desert wanderings. It has often been identified with Wady el-‘Achsa, which runs up from the southeastern corner of the Dead Sea. A fatal objection to this is that the host had entered the wilderness to the East of Moab before they crossed the Zered (Nu 21:11), while Wady el-‘Achsa must have formed the southern boundary of Moab. We may conclude with certainty that one of the confluents of Wady Kerak is intended, but which, it is impossible now to say.

W. Ewing

ZEREDAH; ZEREDATH; ZEREDATHA; ZERERAH; ZERERATH zer’-e-da, zer’-e-dath, zer-e-da’-tha, zer’-e-ra, zer’-e-rath.



ze’-resh (zeresh, "gold," from the Persian; Sosara): The wife of Haman (Es 5:10,14; 6:13), the vizier of Xerxes.


ze’-reth (tsereth, meaning unknown): A Judahite (1Ch 4:7).


ze’-reth-sha’-har (tsereth ha-shachar; Codex Vaticanus Sereda kai Seion, Codex Alexandrinus Sarth kai Sior): A town in the territory of Reuben, "in the mount of the valley," named with Kiriathaim and Sibmah (Jos 13:19). Perhaps in the name Chammat ec-Cara, attaching to the hot springs near Macherus, there may be some echo of the ancient name; but no identification is possible.


ze’-ri (tseri, meaning unknown): "Son" of Jeduthun, and a temple musician (1Ch 25:3) =" Izri" of 1Ch 25:11, which should be read here.



ze’-ror (tseror, meaning unknown; the Septuagint has Ared; Lucian has Sara): An ancestor of Kish and King Saul (1Sa 9:1).

See ZUR, (2).


ze-roo’-a (tseru‘ah, perhaps "leprous"): Mother of King Jeroboam I (1Ki 11:26), the Septuagint, Codex Vaticanus and Lucian omit the name in 1Ki 11:26, but the long the Septuagint after Massoretic Text of 12:24 reads (12:24b): "And there was a man of the hill-country of Ephraim, a servant of Solomon, and his name was Jeroboam, and the name of his mother was Sareisa (Septuagint has Sareisa), a harlot."



ze-rub’-a-bel (zerubbabhel, probably a transliteration of the Babylonian name Zeru-Babili, "seed of Babylon"; Zorobabel):

1. Name:

Is commonly called the son of Shealtiel (Ezr 3:2,8; 5:2; Ne 12:1; Hag 1:1,12,14; Mt 1:12; Lu 3:27); but in 1Ch 3:19 he is called the son of Pedaiah, the brother apparently of Shealtiel (Salathiel) and the son or grandson of Jeconiah. It is probable that Shealtiel had no children and adopted Zerubbabel; or that Zerubbabel was his levirate son; or that, Shealtiel being childless, Zerubbabel succeeded to the rights of sonship as being the next of kin.

2. Family:

Whatever may have been his blood relationship to Jeconiah, the Scriptures teach that Zerubbabel was his legal successor, of the 3rd or 4th generation. According to 1Ch 3:19, he had one daughter, Shelomith, and seven sons, Meshullam, Hananiah, Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah and Jushab-hesed. In Mt 1:13 he is said to have been the father of Abiud (i.e. Abi-hud). As it is the custom in Arabia today to give a man a new name when his first son is born, so it may have been, in this case, that Meshullam was the father of Hud, and that his name was changed to Abiud as soon as his son was named Hud. In Lu 3:27, the son of Zerubbabel is called Rhesa. This is doubtless the title of the head of the captivity, the resh gelutha’, and would be appropriate as a title of Meshullam in his capacity as the official representative of the captive Jews. That Zerubbabel is said in the New Testament to be the son of Shealtiel the son of Neri instead of Jeconiah may be accounted for on the supposition that Shealtiel was the legal heir or adopted son of Jeconiah, who according to Jer 36:30 was apparently to die childless.

3. Relation to Sheshbazzar:

It has been shown in the article on Sheshbazzar that he and Zerubbabel may possibly have been the same person and that the name may have been Shamash-ban (or bun)-zer-Babili-usur. It seems more probable, however, that Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah, was governor under Cyrus and that Zerubbabel was governor under Darius. The former, according to Ezr 1:8 and 5:14-16, laid the foundations, and the latter completed the building of the temple (Ezr 2:2,68; 4:2; Hag 1:14; Zec 4:9).

4. History:

All that is known certainly about Zerubbabel is found in the canonical books of Zechariah, Haggai and Ezra-Nehemiah. According to these he and Jeshua, the high priest, led up a band of captives from Babylon to Jerusalem and began rebuilding the temple in the second year of Darius Hystaspis. They first constructed the altar of burnt offerings, and afterward built a temple, usually called the Second Temple, much inferior in beauty to that of Solomon. According to Josephus and the apocryphal Book of Ezra (1 Esdras 3,4), Zerubbabel was a friend of Darius Hystaspis, having successfully competed before him in a contest whose object was to determine what was the strongest thing in the world—wine, kings, women, or truth. Zerubbabel, having demonstrated that truth was the mightiest of all, was called the king’s "cousin," and was granted by him permission to go up to Jerusalem and to build the temple. Zerubbabel was also made a governor of Jerusalem, and performed also the duties of the tirshatha, an official who was probably the Persian collector of taxes.


R. Dick Wilson


ze-roo-i’-a, ze-roo’-ya (tseruyah, tseruyah (2Sa 14:1; 16:10), meaning uncertain; Sarouia): In 2Sa 2:18; 17:25; 1Ch 2:16, and elsewhere where the names Joab, Abishai, occur. According to 1Ch 2:16 a sister of David and mother of Joab, Abishai and Asahel, the two former being always referred to as sons of Zeruiah. This latter fact is explained by some as pointing to a type of marriage by which the children belonged to their mother’s clan (compare Abimelech, Jud 8:31; 9:1 ff); by others as being due to her husband’s early death; and again as a proof of the mother in this case being the stronger personality. Either of the last two reasons may be the correct one, and plenty of parallels from the village names of boys today can be produced to illustrate both explanations. According to 2Sa 2:32, her husband was buried at Bethlehem. In 2Sa 17:25, "Abigal the daughter of Nahash" is said to be her sister.


David Francis Roberts


ze’-tham (zetham, meaning unknown): A Gershonite Levite (1Ch 23:8; 26:22). In the second passage Curtis holds that "the sons of Jehieli" is a gloss; he points the Massoretic Text to read "brethren" instead of "brother," and so has "Jehiel (1Ch 26:22) and his brethren, Zetham and Joel, were over the treasures."


ze’-than (zethan, perhaps "olive tree"): A Benjamite (1Ch 7:10), but Curtis holds that he is a Zebulunite (Chron., 145 ff).


ze’-thar (zethar; Oppert, Esther, 25, compares Persian zaitar, "conqueror"; see BDB; Septuagint Abataza): A eunuch of Ahasuerus (Es 1:10).


zus (Zeus, the Revised Version margin; the Revised Version (British and American) and the King James Version Jupiter): The supreme god of Hellenic theology, "king of gods and of men." In 168 BC Antiochus Epiphanes, "who on God’s altars danced," bent upon the thorough Hellenization of Judea and Jerusalem, sent "an old man of Athens" (or "Geron an Athenian," the Revised Version margin) to pollute the sanctuary in the temple at Jerusalem and to call it by the name of Jupiter Olympius, and that at Gerizim by the name of Jupiter Xenius (2 Macc 6:1 ff). Olympius, from Mt. Olympus, the home of the gods, is the favorite epithet of Zeus, Zeus Olympius being to the Greek world what Jupiter Capitolinus was to the Roman. The same Antiochus commenced the splendid temple of Zeus Olympius, finished under Hadrian. Zeus is also frequently styled Xenius or "Protector of strangers" (Juppiter hospitalis) in classical literature. The epithet is here applied because the people of Gerizim—the Samaritans—were hospitable, probably an ironical statement of the author (compare Lu 9:52 f). Zeus is also in Ac 14:12 f the Revised Version margin for JUPITER (which see).

S. Angus


zi’-a (zia‘, meaning uncertain): A Gadite, possibly the name of a Gadite clan (1Ch 5:13).


zi’-ba (tsibha’, tsibha’ (2Sa 16:4 a), meaning unknown; Seiba): A former servant or probably dependent of Saul’s house (2Sa 9:1 ), who was brought to David when the king inquired if there was not a member of Saul’s family that he could show kindness to (compare David’s oath to Jonathan in 1Sa 20:14 ff). Ziba tells David of Mephibosheth (Meribbaal), Jonathan’s son, who is thereupon taken to the king from Lodebar, East of the Jordan, and given Saul’s estate. Ziba is also bidden to till the land and bring in its produce, and "it shall be food for thy master’s son," according to Massoretic Text in 2Sa 9:10 b; but the Septuagint and Lucian have a better reading, "thy master’s household." Mephibosheth himself is to eat at David’s table. Ziba is to be assisted in this by his sons and servants; he had 15 sons and 20 servants (9:10).

When David has to leave Jerusalem at the time of Absalom’s revolt, Ziba (2Sa 16:1-4) takes two asses for members of the king’s household to ride on, and 200 loaves and 100 clusters of raisins as provisions for the youths. When asked where Mephibosheth is, he accuses his master of remaining behind purposely in hopes that his father’s kingdom would be restored to him. David then confers upon Ziba his master’s estate.

After Absalom’s death, David sets out to return to Jerusalem from Mahanaim, East of Jordan. Ziba with his sons and servants, as we are told in a parenthesis in 2Sa 19:17,18 a (Hebrew verses 18,19a), by means of a ferry-boat goes backward and forward over Jordan, and thus enables the king’s household to cross. But he has wrongly accused his master of treacherous lukewarmness toward David, for Mephibosheth meets the king on his return journey to Jerusalem (2Sa 19:24-30 (Hebrew verses 25-31)) with signs of grief. When he is asked why he had not joined the king at the time of the latter’s flight, he answers that Ziba deceived him, "for thy servant said to him, Saddle me (so read in 2Sa 19:26 (Hebrew text, verse 27) with Septuagint and Syriac for Massoretic Text ‘I will have saddled me’) the ass." He then accuses Ziba of falsehood, and David divides the estate between the two, although Mephibosheth is quite willing that Ziba should retain the whole of it.

David Francis Roberts


zib’-e-on (tsibh‘on, "hyena"; HPN, 95; Sebegon): A Horite chief (Ge 36:2,14,20,24,29; 1Ch 1:38,40); he is called the "Hivite" in Ge 36:2 where "Horite" should be read with 36:20,29. In Ge 36:2,14 Anah is said to be "the daughter of Zibeon," whereas the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Syriac, and Lucian have "the son of Zibeon"; compare 1Ch 1:38,40, where also Anah is Zibeon’s son.


zib’-i-a (tsibhya’, perhaps "gazelle"): A Benjamite (1Ch 8:9).


zib’-i-a (tsibhyah, probably "gazelle"): A woman of Beersheba, mother of King Jehoash (Joash) of Judah (2Ki 12:1 (Hebrew verse 2); 2Ch 24:1. Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Vaticanus have Abia).


zik’-ri (zikhri, meaning uncertain):

(1) Levites:

(a) grandson of Kohath (Ex 6:21, where some the King James Version editions read wrongly, "Zithri");

(b) an Asaphite (1Ch 9:15), called "Zabdi" in Ne 11:17, where the Septuagint’s Codex Alexandrinus has Zechri = Zichri, but the Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus other names; see ZABDI, (4);

(c) a descendant of Eliezer (1Ch 26:25).

(2) Benjamites:

(a) 1Ch 8:19;

(b) 1Ch 8:23;

(c) 1Ch 8:27;

(d) Ne 11:9.

(3) Father of Eliezer, who was one of David’s tribal princes (1Ch 27:16).

(4) Father of Amasiah, "who willingly offered himself unto Yahweh" (2Ch 17:16).

(5) Father of Elishaphat, a captain in Jehoiada’s time (2Ch 23:1).

(6) "A mighty man of Ephraim," who when fighting under Pekah slew the son of Ahaz, the king of Judah (2Ch 28:7).

(7) A priest in the days of Joiakim (Ne 12:17); the section, Ne 12:14-21, is omitted by the Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus with the exception of "of Maluchi" (12:14); Lucian has Zacharias.

David Francis Roberts





zid’-im (ha-tsiddim; Codex Vaticanus ton Turion; Codex Alexandrinus omits): A fortified city in Naphtali (Jos 19:35), probably represented by the modern Chattin, about 5 miles Northwest of Tiberias, in the opening of the gorge that breaks down seaward North of Qurun Chattin, the traditional Mount of Beatitudes.


zi’-don, zi-do’-ni-anz.




See ZIV.


zi’-ha (tsicha’, tsicha’ (Ne 7:46), meaning unknown): An overseer of Nethinim (Ne 11:21) who are called (Ezr 2:43; Ne 7:46) "the children (or sons) of Ziha." The Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus and Alexandrinus omit Ne 11:20 f; the Septuagint has Sial, Lucian Siaau; in Ne 7:46; the Septuagint Codex Vaticanus Sea; Codex Alexandrinus has Oiaa; Lucian has Soulai; in Ezr 2:43 the Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus has Southia; Codex Alexandrinus has Souaa; Lucian has Souddaei.


zik’-lag (tsiqelagh, tsiqelagh (2Sa 1:1), tsiqelagh (1Ch 12:1,20); usually in the Septuagint Sekelak, or Sikelag): A town assigned (Jos 19:5; 1Ch 4:30) to Simeon, but in Jos 15:31 named, between Hornah and Madmannah, as one of the cities of the Negeb of Judah, "toward the border of Edom." It is said (1Sa 27:6) to have remained a royal city. In Ne 11:28 it is in the list of towns reinhabited by the returning children of Judah. Its chief associations are with David. Achish the Philistine king of Gath gave it to David as a residence (1Sa 27:6 f; 1Ch 12:1,20); it was raided by the Amalekites, on whom David took vengeance and so recovered his property (1Sa 30:14,26); here the messenger who came to announce Saul’s death was slain (2Sa 1:1; 4:10).

The site of this important place is not yet fixed with certainty; Conder proposed Zucheilika, a ruin 11 miles South-Southeast of Gaza, and 4 miles North of Wady es-Sheri’a, which may be the "Brook Besor" (1Sa 30:9,10,21); Rowland (1842) proposed ‘Asluj, a heap of ruins South of Beersheba and 7 miles to the East of Bered. Neither site is entirely satisfactory. See Williams, Holy City, I, 463-68; BR, II, 201, PEF, 288, Sh XX.

E. W. G. Masterman


zil’-a (tsillah; Sella): One of Lamech’s wives (Ge 4:19,22,23). The name is perhaps connected with tsel, "shadow."


zil’-e-thi, zil-e’-tha-i (tsillethay, meaning uncertain; the King James Version Zilthai):

(1) A Benjamite (1Ch 8:20).

(2) A Manassite who joined David at Ziklag (1Ch 12:20 (Hebrew verse 21)).


zil’-pa (zilpah, meaning uncertain; Zelpha): The ancestress of Gad and Asher (Ge 30:10,12; 35:26; 46:18), a slave girl of Leah’s, given her by Laban (Ge 29:24; 30:9). In Eze 48 the Zilpah tribes have the 5th division toward the South of Palestine and the 6th to the North, a slightly more favorable position than that of the Bilhah tribes.


zil’-thi, zil’-tha-i.



zim’-a (zimmah, perhaps "device," "plan"): A Gershonite Levite (1Ch 6:20 (Hebrew, verse 5); also in 6:42 (Hebrew verse 27); 2Ch 29:12). See Curtis, Chronicles, 130, 134 ff.


zim’-ran (zimran, from zemer, "wild sheep" or "wild goat," the ending -an being gentilic; Skinner, Genesis, 350): Son of Abraham and Keturah (Ge 25:2; 1Ch 1:32). The various manuscripts of the Septuagint give the name in different forms, e.g. in Ge A, Zebran; Codex Sinaiticus Zemran; Codex Alexandrinus(1) Zembram; D(sil) Zombran; and Lucian Zemran; in Chronicles, Codex Vaticanus has Zembran, Codex Alexandrinus Zemran, Lucian Zemran (compare Brooke and McLean’s edition of the Septuagint for Genesis).

Hence, some have connected the name with Zabram of Ptol. vi.7,5, West of Mecca; others with the Zamareni of Pliny (Ant. vi.158) in the interior of Arabia; but according to Skinner and E. Meyer (see Gunkel, Gen3, 261) these would be too far south. Curtis (Chronicles, 72) says the name is probably to be identified with the "Zimri" of Jer 25:25. It would then be the name of a clan, with the mountain sheep or goat as its totem.


David Francis Roberts


zim’-ri (zimri, "wild sheep" or "wild goat"; in 1 Maccabees, with the King James Version, has Zambri; Codex Sinaiticus has Zambrei):

(1) A Simeonite prince (Nu 25:14; 1 Macc 2:26), slain by Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson. Nu 25:1-5 records how the Israelites, while they were at Shittim, began to consort with Moabite women and "they (i.e. the Moabite women) called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods" (25:2), i.e. as explained by 25:5 to take part in the immoral rites of the god Baal-peor. Moses is bidden to have the offenders punished. The next paragraph (25:6-9) relates how the people engage in public mourning; but while they do this Zimri brings in among his brethren a Midianitess. Phinehas sees this and goes after Zimri into the qubbah, where he slays the two together, and thus the plague is stayed (25:6-9).

The connection between these two paragraphs is difficult; Moabite women are mentioned in the first, a Midianitess in the second; the plague of Nu 25:8 f is not previously referred to, although it seems clear that the plague is the cause of the weeping in 25:6. The sequel, 25:16-18, makes the second paragraph have something to do with Baal-peor. Critics assign 25:1-5 to J-E, 25:6-18 to P.

It seems, however, that the two accounts refer to similar circumstances. This is evident if the meaning of qubbah in Nu 25:8 be as the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) renders it, lupinar, "a house of ill-repute." The difficulty is that the word only occurs here in the Old Testament, but it has that meaning in New Heb (see Gray, Nu, 385; BDB, however, translates it "a large vaulted tent." While one narrative says the women were Moabitesses and the other Midianitesses, the latter section presupposes something like the account in the former; and the point is that Zimri, at the very time that the rest of the people publicly mourned because of a plague that was due to their own dealings with foreign women, brought a Midianite woman among the people, possibly to be his wife, for he was a prince or chief, and she was the daughter of a Midianite chief. It may be urged that if this be the case, there was nothing wrong in it; but according to Hebrew ideas there was, and we only need to remember the evil influence of such marriages as those entered into by Solomon, or especially that of Ahab with Jezebel, to see at any rate a Hebrew justification for Zimri’s death.

Numbers 31 describes the extermination of the Midianites at the bidding of Moses. All the males are slain by the Israelites (31:7), but the women are spared. Moses is angry at this: "Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against Yahweh in the matter of Peor, and so the plague was among the congregation of Yahweh" (31:15 f). Here we find, although the chapter is a Midrash (see Gray, Numbers, 417 ff), that the Hebrews themselves connected the two events of Numbers 25, but in addition the name of Balaam is also introduced, as again in 31:8, where he is said to have been slain along with the kings of Midian. See further De 4:3, and Driver’s note on the verse.


(2) A king of Israel (1Ki 16:8-20). See special article.

(3) A Judahite "son" of Zerah (1Ch 2:6) =" Zabdi" of Jos 7:1,17 f.

See ZABDI, (1).

(4) A Benjamite, descendant of King Saul (1Ch 8:36; 9:42).

(5) In Jer 25:25, where "all the kings of Zimri" are mentioned along with those of Arabia (25:24) and Elam and the Medes. The name is as yet unidentified, although thought to be that of a people called ZIMRAN (which see) in Ge 25:2.

David Francis Roberts


(zimri; Septuagint Zambrei, Zambri): The 5th king of Israel, but who occupied the throne only seven days (1Ki 16:9-20). Zimri had been captain of half the chariots under Elah, and, as it seems, made use of his position to conspire against his master. The occasion for his crime was furnished by the absence of the army, which, under the direction of Omri, was engaged in the siege of the Philistine town Gibbethon. While Elah was in a drunken debauch in the house of his steward Arza, who may have been an accomplice in the plot, he was foully murdered by Zimri, who ascended the throne and put the remnant of Elah’s family to death, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Jehu concerning the house of Baasha. However, the conspiracy lacked the support of the people, for word of the crime no sooner reached Gibbethon, than the army raised Omri to the throne of Israel. Omri at once hastened to Tirzah and captured the place, which as it seems offered little resistance. Zimri resolved to die as king, and accordingly set fire to the palace with his own hands, and perished in the flames that he had kindled. Thus came to an ignominious end the short reign which remained as a blot even upon the blood-stained record of the deeds of violence that ushered in the change of dynasties in the Northern Kingdom, for the foul crime was abhorred even among arch plotters. When Jehu entered Jezreel he was met with Jezebel’s bitter taunt, "Is it peace, thou Zimri, thy master’s murderer?" (2Ki 9:31). The historian too, in the closing formula of the reign, specially mentions "his treason that he worked."

S. K. Mosiman

ZIN zin (tsin; Sin):

(1) A town in the extreme South of Judah, on the line separating that province from Edom, named between the ascent of Akrabbim and Kadesh-barnea (Nu 34:4; Jos 15:3). It must have lain somewhere between Wady el-Fiqra (the ascent of Akrabbim?) and ‘Ain Qadis (Kadesh-barnea); but the site has not been recovered.

(2) The Wilderness of Zin is the tract deriving its name from the town (Nu 34:3). It is identified with the wilderness of Kadesh in Nu 33:36; while in other places Kadesh is said to be in the wilderness of Zin (Nu 20:1; 27:14; De 32:51). We may take it that the two names refer to the same region. The spies, who set out from Kadesh-barnea, explored the land from the wilderness of Zin northward (Nu 13:21; compare 32:8). It bordered with Judah "at the uttermost part of the south" (Jos 15:1). In this wilderness Moses committed the offense which cost him his hope of entering the promised land (Nu 27:14; De 32:51). It is identical with the uplands lying to the North and Northwest of the wilderness of Paran, now occupied by the ‘Azazimeh Arabs.

W. Ewing





zi’-on (tsiyon; Sion):

1. Meaning of the Word

2. The Zion of the Jebusites

3. Zion of the Prophets

4. Zion in Later Poetical Writings and Apocrypha

5. Omission of Name by Some Writers

6. The Name "Zion" in Christian Times


1. Meaning of the Word:

A name applied to Jerusalem, or to certain parts of it, at least since the time of David. Nothing certain is known of the meaning. Gesenius and others have derived it from a Hebrew root tsahah, "to be dry"; Delitzsch from tsiwwah, "to set up" and Wetzstein from tsin, "to protect." Gesenius finds a more hopeful suggestion in the Arabic equivalent cihw, the Arabic cahwat signifying "ridge of a mountain" or "citadel," which at any rate suitably applies to what we know to have been the original Zion (compare Smith, HGHL, under the word).

Considerable confusion has been caused in the past by the want of clear understanding regarding the different sites which have respectively been called "Zion" during the centuries. It will make matters clearer if we take the application of the name: in David’s time; in the early Prophets, etc.; in late poetical writings and in the Apocrypha; and in Christian times.

2. The Zion of the Jebusites:

Jerus (in the form Uru-sa-lim) is the oldest name we know for this city; it goes back at least 400 years before David. In 2Sa 5:6-9, "The king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites. .... Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is the city of David .... And David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David." It is evident that Zion was the name of the citadel of the Jebusite city of Jerusalem. That this citadel and incidentally then city of Jerusalem around it were on the long ridge running South of the Temple (called the southeastern hill in the article JERUSALEM, III, (3) (which see)) is now accepted by almost all modern scholars, mainly on the following grounds:

(1) The near proximity of the site to the only known spring, now the "Virgin’s Fount," once called GIHON (which see). From our knowledge of other ancient sites all over Palestine, as well as on grounds of common-sense, it is hardly possible to believe that the early inhabitants of this site with such an abundant source at their very doors could have made any other spot their headquarters.

(2) The suitability of the site for defense.—The sites suited for settlement in early Canaanite times were all, if we may judge from a number of them now known, of this nature—a rocky spur isolated on three sides by steep valleys, and, in many sites, protected at the end where they join the main mountain ridge by either a valley or a rocky spur.

(3) The size of the ridge, though very small to our modern ideas, is far more in keeping with what we know of fortified towns of that period than such an area as presented by the southwestern hill—the traditional site of Zion. Mr. Macalister found by actual excavation that the great walls of Gezer, which must have been contemporaneous with the Jebusite Jerusalem, measured approximately 4,500 feet in circumference. G. A. Smith has calculated that a line of wall carried along the known and inferred scarps around the edge of this southeastern hill would have an approximate circumference of 4,250 feet. The suitability of the site to a fortified city like Gezer, Megiddo, Soco, and other sites which have been excavated, strikes anyone familiar with these places.

(4) The archaeological remains on these hills found by Warren and Professor Guthe, and more particularly in the recent excavations of Captain Parker (see JERUSALEM), show without doubt that this was the earliest settlement in pre-Israelite times. Extensive curves and rock-cuttings, cave-dwellings and tombs, and enormous quantities of early "Amorite" (what may be popularly called "Jebusite") pottery show that the spot must have been inhabited many centuries before the time of David. The reverse is equally true; on no other part of the Jerusalem site has any quantity of such early pottery been found.

(5) The Bible evidence that Zion originally occupied this site is clear. It will be found more in detail under the heading "City of David" in the article JERUSALEM, IV, (5), but three points may be mentioned here:

(a) The Ark of the Covenant was brought up out of the city of David to the Temple (1Ki 8:1; 2Ch 5:2), and Pharaoh’s daughter "came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her"—adjacent to the Temple (1Ki 9:24). This expression "up" could not be used of any other hill than of the lower-lying eastern ridge; to go from the southwestern hill (traditional Zion) to the Temple is to go down.

(b) Hezekiah constructed the well-known Siloam tunnel from Gihon to the Pool of Siloam. He is described (2Ch 32:30) as bringing the waters of Gihon "straight down on the west side of the city of David."

(c) Manasseh (2Ch 33:14) built "an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley" (i.e. nachal—the name of the Kedron valley).

3. Zion of the Prophets:

Zion, renamed the City of David, then originally was on this eastern ridge. But the name did not stay there. It would almost seem as if the name was extended to the Temple site when the ark was carried there, for in the pre-exilic Prophets the references to Zion all appear to have referred to the Temple Hill. To quote a few examples: "And Yahweh will create over the whole habitation of mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night" (Isa 4:5); "Yahweh of hosts, who dwelleth in mount Zion" (Isa 8:18); "Let us go up to Zion unto Yahweh our God" (Jer 31:6); "Yahweh will reign over them in mount Zion" (Mic 4:7). All these, and numbers more, clearly show that at that time Zion was the Temple Hill.

4. Zion in Later Poetical Writings and Apocrypha:

In many of the later writings, particularly poetical references, Zion appears to be the equivalent of Jerusalem; either in parallelism (Ps 102:21; Am 1:2; Mic 3:10,12; Zec 1:14,17; 8:3; Ze 3:16) or alone (Jer 3:14; La 5:11); even here many of the references will do equally well for the Temple Hill. The term "Daughter of zion" is applied to the captive Jews (La 4:22), but in other references to the people of Jerusalem (Isa 1:8; 52:2; Jer 4:31, etc.). When we come to the Apocrypha, in 2 Esdras there are several references in which Zion is used for the captive people of Judah (2:40; 3:2,31; 10:20,39,44), but "Mount Zion" in this and other books (e.g. 1 Macc 4:37,60; 5:54; 6:48,62, etc.) is always the Temple Hill.

5. Omission of Name by Some Writers:

It has been pointed out as a curious and unaccountable exception that in Ezekiel as well as in Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, there is no mention of Zion, except the incidental reference to David’s capture of the Jebusite fort. The references in the other Prophets and the Psalms are so copious that there must be some religious reason for this. The Chronicler (2Ch 3:1), too, alone refers to the Temple as on Mount Moriah. It is also noticeable that only in these books (2Ch 27:3; 33:14; Ne 3:26 f; 11:21) does the name "Ophel" appear as a designation of a part of the southeastern hill, which apparently might equally fitly have been termed Zion. See OPHEL. Josephus never uses the name "Zion" nor does it occur in the New Testament, except in two quotations (Heb 12:22; Re 14:1).

6. The Name "Zion" in Christian Times:

Among the earlier Christian writers who mention "Zion," Origen used it as equivalent to the Temple Hill, but in the 4th century writers commence to localize it up the southern part of the western hill. It was a period when Biblical topography was settled in a very arbitrary manner, without any scientific or critical examination of the evidence, and this tradition once established remained, like many such traditions, undisputed until very recent years. To W. F. Birch belongs much of the credit for the promulgation of the newer views which now receive the adherence of almost every living authority on the topography of Jerusalem.


See especially chapter vi in Smith’s Jerusalem; for a defense of the older view see Kuemmel, Materialien z. Topog. des alt. Jerusalem.

E. W. G. Masterman


zi’-or (tsi‘or; Sorth, or Sior): A town in the hill country of Judah (Jos 15:54); probably Si’air, 4 1/2 miles North-Northeast of Hebron where the Mukam ‘Aisa (Tomb of Esau) is now shown. It is a considerable village surrounded by cultivated land; a spring exists in the neighborhood; there are rock-cut tombs showing it is an ancient site (PEF, III, 309, Sh XXI).

ZIPH (1)

zif (ziph; Ozeib, or Ziph):

(1) A town in the hill country of Judah, mentioned along with Maon, Carmel and Jutah (Jos 15:55). It is chiefly celebrated in connection with the earlier history of David: "David .... remained in the hill-country in the wilderness of Ziph" (1Sa 23:14,15,24; 26:2); the Ziphites (1Sa 23:19; 26:1; compare Ps 54 title) sought to betray him to Saul, but David escaped. Ziph was fortified by Rehoboam (2Ch 11:8). The name also occurs in 1Ch 2:42; 4:16. In connection with this last (compare 4:23) it is noticeable that Ziph is one of the four names occurring on the Hebrew stamped jar handles with the added la-melekh, "to the king."

The site is Tell Zif, 4 miles Southeast of Hebron, conspicuous hill 2,882 ft. above sea-level; there are cisterns and, to the East, some ruins (PEF, III, 312, 315).

(2) A town in the Negeb of Judah (Jos 15:24), site unknown.

E. W. G. Masterman

ZIPH (2)

(ziph, meaning unknown):

(1) A grandson of Caleb (1Ch 2:42); the Septuagint has Zeiph.

(2) A son of Jehallelel (1Ch 4:16). In the Septuagint’s Codex Alexandrinus reads Ziphai, but Codex Vaticanus has the totally different form Ameachei.


zi’-fa (ziphah, a feminine form of "Ziph"): A Judahite, "son" of Jehallelel. The name being feminine may be a dittography of the previous Ziph (1Ch 4:16).


zif’-imz: In title of Ps 54 the King James Version for the Revised Version (British and American) ZIPHITES (which see).


zif’-i-on (tsiphyon, "gaze" (?)( BDB)): A "son" of Gad (Ge 46:16) =" Zephon" of Nu 26:15.









zip’-or (tsippor; in Nu 22:4; 23:18; tsippor, "bird," "swallow" (HPN, 94)): Father of Balak, king of Moab (Nu 22:2,10,16; Jos 24:9; Jud 11:25).


zi-po’-ra, zip’-o-ra (tsipporah; Sepphora): The Midianite wife of Moses, daughter of Jethro, also called Hobab, and probably grand-daughter of Reuel, a priest of Midian at the time Moses fled from Egypt, later succeeded at his death by Jethro, or Hobab (Ex 2:21,22; 4:25,26; 18:2-6).

Whether or not Zipporah was the "Cushite woman" (Nu 12:1) is a much-mooted question. There is little ground for anything more than speculation on the subject. The use of the words, "Cushite woman" in the mouth of Aaron and Miriam may have been merely a description of Zipporah and intended to be opprobrious, or they may have been ethnic in character and intended to denote another woman whom Moses had married, as suggested by Ewald (Gesch. des Volkes Israel, II, 252). The former view seems the more probable. The association of Midian and Cushan by Habakkuk (3:7) more than 700 years afterward may hardly be adduced to prove like close relationship between these peoples in the days of Moses.

M. G. Kyle





ziv (ziw; the King James Version Zif): The 2nd month of the old Hebrew calendar, corresponding to Iyyar of the Jewish reckoning in later times. It is mentioned in 1Ki 6:1,37.



ziz (ma‘aleh ha-tsits; Hasae, Hasisa): A pass in the wilderness of Judea (2Ch 20:16) leading from Hazazon-tamar (En-gedi, 2Ch 20:2). This is generally identified with Wady Chacaca, a valley by which the ancient road from En-gedi runs toward Jerusalem. At any rate, an echo of the ancient name survives here: possibly the actual ascent was the present steep pass from En-gedi to the plateau above. See PEF, Sh XXI.


zi’-za (ziza’, probably a childish reduplicated abbreviation or a term of endearment (Curtis, Chron., 369, quoting Noldeke in EB, III 3294)):

(1) A Simeonite chief (1Ch 4:37).

(2) A son of King Rehoboam, his mother being a daughter or grand-daughter of Absalom (2Ch 11:20).

(3) A probable reading for ZIZAH (which see).


zi’-za (zizah; see ZIZA): A Gershonite Levite (1Ch 23:11); in verse 10 the name is "Zina" (zina’), while the Septuagint and Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) have "Ziza" (Ziza) in both verses, and one Hebrew manuscript has ziza’ in 1Ch 23:10. We should then probably read ziza’ in both verses, i.e. "Ziza."


zo’-an (tso‘an; Tanis):

1. situation

2. Old Testament Notices

3. Early History

4. Hyksos Monuments

5. Hyksos Population

6. Hyksos Age

7. Description of Site

1. Situation:

The name is supposed to mean "migration" (Arabic, tsan). The site is the only one connected with the history of Israel in Egypt, before the exodus, which is certainly fixed, being identified with the present village of San at the old mouth of the Bubastic branch of the Nile, about 18 miles Southeast of Damietta. It should be remembered that the foreshore of the Delta is continually moving northward, in consequence of the deposit of the Nile mud, and that the Nile mouths are much farther North than they were even in the time of the geographer Ptolemy. Thus in the times of Jacob, and of Moses, Zoan probably lay at the mouth of the Bubastic branch, and was a harbor, Lake Menzaleh and the lagoons near Pelusium having been subsequently formed.

2. Old Testament Notices:

The city is only once noticed in the Pentateuch (Nu 13:22), as having been built seven years after Hebron, which existed in the time of Abraham. Zoan was certainly a very ancient town, since monuments of the VIth Egyptian Dynasty have been found at the site. It has been thought that Zoar on the border of Egypt (Ge 13:10) is a clerical error for Zoan, but the Septuagint reading (Zogora) does not favor this view, and the place intended is probably the fortress Zar, or Zor, often mentioned in Egyptian texts as lying on the eastern borders of the Delta. Zoan is noticed in the Prophets (Isa 19:11,13; 30:4; Eze 30:14), and its "princes" are naturally mentioned by Isaiah, since the capital of the XXIIInd Egyptian Dynasty (about 800 to 700 BC) was at this city. In Ps 78:12,43 the "field (or pastoral plain) of Zoan" is noticed as though equivalent to the land of GOSHEN (which see).

3. Early History:

Zoan was the capital of the Hyksos rulers, or "shepherd kings," in whose time Jacob came into Egypt, and their monuments have been found at the site, which favors the conclusion that its plain was that "land of Rameses" (Ge 47:11; Ex 12:37; see RAAMSES) where the Hebrews had possessions under Joseph. It is probably the site of Avaris, which lay on the Bubastic channel according to Josephus quoting Manetho (Apion, I, xiv), and which was rebuilt by the first of the Hyksos kings, named Salatis; for Avaris is supposed (Brugsch, Geog., I, 86-90, 278-80) to represent the Egyptian name of the city Ha-uar-t, which means "the city of movement" (or "flight"), thus being equivalent to the Semitic Zoan or "migration." It appears that, from very early times, the pastoral peoples of Edom and Palestine were admitted into this region. The famous picture of the Amu, who bring their families on donkeys to Egypt, and offer the Sinaitic ibex as a present, is found at Beni Chasan in a tomb as old as the time of Usertasen II of the XIIth Dynasty, before the Hyksos age. A similar immigration of shepherds (see PITHOM) from Aduma (or Edom) is also recorded in the time of Menepthah, or more than four centuries after the expulsion of the Hyksos by the XVIIIth, or Theban, Dynasty.

4. Hyksos Monuments:

Besides the name of Pepi of the Vlth Dynasty, found by Burton at Zoan, and many texts of the XIIth Dynasty, a cartouche of Apepi (one of the Hyksos kings) was found by Mariette on the arm of a statue apparently of older origin, and a sphinx also bears the name of Khian, supposed to have been an early Hyksos ruler. The Hyksos type, with broad cheek bones and a prominent nose, unlike the features of the native Egyptians, has been regarded by Virchow and Sir W. Flower as Turanian, both at Zoan and at Bubastis; which agrees with the fact that Apepi is recorded to have worshipped no Egyptian gods, but only Set (or Sutekh), who was also adored by Syrian Mongols (see HITTITES). At Bubastis this deity is called "Set of Rameses," which may indicate the identity of Zoan with the city Rameses.

5. Hyksos Population:

In the 14th century BC the city was rebuilt by Rameses II, and was then known as Pa-Ramessu. The Hyksos rulers had held it for 500 years according to Manetho, and were expelled after 1700 BC. George the Syncellus (Chronographia, about 800 AD) believed that Apepi (or Apophis) was the Pharaoh under whom Joseph came to Egypt, but there seems to have been more than one Hyksos king of the name, the latest being a contemporary of Ra-Sekenen of the XIIIth Dynasty, shortly before 1700 BC. Manetho says that some supposed the Hyksos to be Arabs, and the population of Zoan under their rule was probably a mixture of Semitic and Mongolic races, just as in Syria and Babylonia in the same ages. According to Brugsch (Hist of Egypt, II, 233), this population was known as Men or Menti, and came from Assyria East of Ruten or Syria. This perhaps connects them with the Minyans of Matiene, who were a Mongolic race. This statement occurs in the great table of nations, on the walls of the Edfu temple.

6. Hyksos Age:

The Hyksos age corresponds chronologically with that of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon, and thus with the age of the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham and Jacob—time when the power of Babylon was supreme in Syria and Palestine. It is very natural, therefore, that, like other Semitic tribes even earlier, these patriarchs should have been well received in the Delta by the Hyksos Pharaohs, and equally natural that, when Aahmes, the founder of the XVIIIth Egyptian Dynasty, took the town of Avaris and expelled the Asiatics, he should also have oppressed the Hebrews, and that this should be intended when we read (Ex 1:8) that "there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph." The exodus, according to the Old Testament dates, occurred in the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty (see EXODUS) when Israel left Goshen. The later date advocated by some scholars, in the reign of Menepthah of the XIXth Dynasty, hardly agrees with the monumental notice of the immigration of Edomites into the Delta in his reign, which has been mentioned above; and in his time Egypt was being invaded by tribes from the North of Asia.

7. Description of Site:

Zoan, as described by G. J. Chester (Mem. Survey West Palestine, Special Papers, 1881, 92-96), is now only a small hamlet of mud huts in a sandy waste, West of the huge mounds of its ancient temple; but, besides the black granite sphinx, and other statues of the Hyksos age, a red sandstone figure of Rameses II and obelisks of granite have been excavated, one representing this king adoring the gods; while the names of Amen, Tum and Mut appear as those of the deities worshipped, in a beautiful chapel in the temple, carved in red sandstone, and belonging to the same age of prosperity in Zoan.

C. R. Conder


zo’-ar (tso‘ar; the Septuagint usually Segor, Zogora): The name of the city to which Lot escaped from Sodom (Ge 19:20-23,30), previously mentioned in Ge 13:10; 14:2,8, where its former name is said to have been Bela. In 19:22, its name is said to have been given because of its littleness, which also seems to have accounted for its being spared. The location of Zoar has much to do with that of the cities of the Plain or Valley of Siddim, with which it is always connected. In De 34:3, Moses is said to have viewed "the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, unto Zoar," while in Isa 15:5 and Jer 48:4 (where the Septuagint reads unto "Zoar," instead of "her little ones") it is said to be a city of Moab. The traditional location of the place is at the south end of the Dead Sea. Josephus says (BJ, IV, viii, 4) that the Dead Sea extended "as far as Zoar of Arabia," while in Ant, I, xi, 4, he states that the place was still called Zoar. Eusebius (Onomasticon, 261) locates the Dead Sea between Jericho and Zoar, and speaks of the remnants of the ancient fertility as still visible. Ptolemy (v. 17,5) regards it as belonging to Arabia Petrea. The Arabian geographers mention it under the name Zughar, Sughar, situated 1 degrees South of Jericho, in a hot and unhealthful valley at the end of the Dead Sea, and speak of it as an important station on the trade route between Akkabah and Jericho. The Crusaders mention "Segor" as situated in the midst of palm trees. The place has not been definitely identified by modern explorers, but from Ge 19:19-30 we infer that it was in the plain and not in the mountain. If we fix upon the south end of the Dead Sea as the Vale of Siddim, a very natural place for Zoar and one which agrees with all the traditions would be at the base of the mountains of Moab, East of Wady Ghurundel, where there is still a well-watered oasis several miles long and 2 or 3 wide, which is probably but a remnant of a fertile plain once extending out over a considerable portion of the shallow south end of the Dead Sea when, as shown elsewhere (see DEAD SEA), the water level was considerably lower than now.

Robinson would locate it on the northeast corner of el-Lisan on the borders of the river Kerak, but this was done entirely on theoretical grounds which would be met as well in the place just indicated, and which is generally fixed upon by the writers who regard the Vale of Siddim as at the south end of the Dead Sea. Conder, who vigorously maintains that the Vale of Siddim is at the north end of the Dead Sea, looks favorably upon theory of W.H. Birch that the place is represented by the present Tell Shaghur, a white rocky mound at the foot of the Moab Mountains, a mile East of Beth-haram (Tell er-Rameh), 7 miles Northeast of the mouth of the Jordan, a locality remarkable for its stone monuments and well-supplied springs, but he acknowledges that the name is more like the Christian Segor than the original Zoar.

George Frederick Wright


zo’-ba (tsobhah; Souba): The name is derived by Halevy from zehobhah as referring to its supplies of "bright yellow" brass; but this word might be more appropriately used to contrast its cornfields with white Lebanon. Zobah was an Aramean kingdom of which we have the first notice in Saul’s wars (1Sa 14:47).

(1) David’s First War.

When David sought to extend his boundary to the Euphrates, he came into contact with its king Hadadezer, and a great battle was fought in which David took many prisoners. Damascus, however, came to the rescue and fresh resistance was made, but a complete rout followed and great spoil fell to the victor, as well as access to the rich copper mines of Tebah and Berothai. Toi, king of Hamath, who had suffered in war with Hadadezer, now sent his son on an embassy with greetings and gifts to David (2Sa 8:3-12; 1Ch 18:3-12). See Ps 60, title.

(2) David’s Second War.

During David’s Ammonite war, the enemy was strengthened by alliance with Zobah, Maacah and Beth-rehob, and Israel was attacked from both North and South at the same time. The northern confederation was defeated by Joab, but Hadadezer again gathered an army, including levies from beyond the Euphrates. These, under Shobach the captain of the host, were met by David in person at Helam, and a great slaughter ensued, Shobach himself being among the slain (2Sa 10:6-19, the King James Version "Zoba"; 1Ch 19:3-19). Rezon, son of Eliada, now broke away from Hadadezer and, getting possession of Damascus, set up a kingdom hostile to Israel (1Ki 11:23-25). Solomon seems (2Ch 8:3) to have invaded and subdued Hamath-zobah, but the text, especially Septuagint, is obscure.

(3) Geographical Position.

We can now consider the vexed question of the situation and extent of Aram-zobah. (See SYRIA, 4, (10).) In addition to the Old Testament references we have the Assyrian name lists. In these Subiti is placed between Kui and Zemar, and, where it is otherwise referred to, a position is implied between Hamath and Damascus. It would thus lie along the eastern slopes of Anti-Lebanon extending thence to the desert, and in the north it may have at times included Emesa (modern Homs) around which Noldeke would locate it. Damascus was probably a tributary state till seized by Rezon. Winckler would identify it with another Cubiti, a place in the Hauran mentioned by Assurbanipal on the Hassam Cylinder vii, lines 110-12. This latter may be the native place of Igal, one of David’s "thirty" (2Sa 23:36), who is named among eastern Israelites.

The kingdom of Zobah in addition to its mineral wealth must have been rich in vineyards and fruitful fields, and its conquest must have added greatly to the wealth and power of Israel’s king.

W. M. Christie


zo-be’-ba (ha-tsobhebhah, meaning uncertain): A Judahite name with the article prefixed (1Ch 4:8); some would read "Jabez" instead as in 1Ch 4:9.


zo’-har (tsochar, meaning uncertain):

(1) Father of Ephron the Hittite (Ge 23:8; 25:9).

(2) "Son" of Simeon (Ge 46:10; Ex 6:15) =" Zerah" of Nu 26:13; 1Ch 4:24.

See ZERAH, 4.

(3) In 1Ch 4:7, where the Qere is "and tsochar" for the Kethibh is yitschar, the Revised Version (British and American) "Izhar," the King James Version wrongly "Jezoar."


zo’-he-leth, (’ebhen ha-zacheleth, "serpent’s stone"): "And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel" (1Ki 1:9). Evidently this was a sacred stone—probably a matstsbhah such as marked a Canaanite sanctuary. A source of "living water" has always in the Semitic world been a sacred place; even today at most such places, e.g. at Bir Eyyub, the modern representative of En-rogel, there is a michrab and a platform for prayer. The stone has disappeared, but it is thought that an echo of the name survives in ez-Zechweleh, the name of a rocky outcrop in the village of Siloam. Because the name is particularly associated with an ascent taken by the woman coming from the Virgin’s Fount, to which it is adjacent, some authorities have argued that this, the Virgin’s Fount, must be En-rogel; on this see EN-ROGEL; GIHON. Against this view, as far as ez- Zechweleh is concerned, we may note:

(1) It is by no means certain that the modern Arabic name—which is used for similar rocky spots in other places—is really derived from the Hebrew;

(2) the name is now applied to quite different objects, in the Hebrew to a stone, in the Arabic to a rocky outcrop;

(3) the name is not confined to this outcrop near the Virgin’s Fount alone, but applies, according to at least some of the fellahin of Siloam, to the ridge along the whole village site; and

(4) even if all the above were disproved, names are so frequently transferred from one locality to another in Palestine that no argument can be based on a name alone.

E. W. G. Masterman


zo’-heth (zocheth, meaning unknown): A Judahite (1Ch 4:20). The name after "Ben-zoheth" at the end of the verse has fallen out.



zo-ol’-o-ji: A systematic list of the animals of the Bible includes representatives of the principal orders of mammals, birds and reptiles, and not a few of the lower animals. For further notices of animals in the following list, see the articles referring to them:



INSECTIVORA: Hedgehog. MOLE (which see) not found in Palestine



(a) Felidae, Cat, Lion, Leopard

(b) Hyaenidae, Hyena

(c) Canidae, Dog (including Greyhound), Fox, Jackal, Wolf

(d) Mustelidae, Ferret, Badger, Marten (s.v. CAT)

(e) Ursidae, Bear


(a) Odd-toed: Horse, Ass, Mule, Rhinoceros

(b) Even-toed non-ruminants: Swine, Hippopotamus (Behemoth)

(c) Ruminants:

(1) Bovidae, Domestic Cattle, Wild Ox or Unicorn, Sinaitic Ibex (s.v. GOAT), Persian Wild Goat (s.v. CHAMOIS), Gazelle, Arabian Oryx (s.v. ANTELOPE), Chamois

(2) Cervidae, Roe Deer, Fallow Deer, Red Deer (s.v. DEER)

(3) Camelidae, Camel



SIRENIA: Dugong (s.v. BADGER)

CETACNA: Whale, Dolphin, Porpoise

RODENTIA: Mouse, Mole-Rat (s.v. MOLE), Porcupine, Hare Birds:

PASSERES: Sparrow, Swallow, Raven, Hoopoe, Night Hawk

RAPTORES: Great Owl, Little Owl, Horned Owl, Eagle, Vulture, Gier-Eagle, Osprey, Kite, Glede, Hawk, Falcon

COLUMBAE: Dove, Turtle-Dove

GALLINAE: Cock, Partridge, Quail, Peacock

GRALLATORES: Crane, Heron, Stork

STEGANOPODES: Pelican, Cormorant

RATTAE: Ostrich Reptiles:

CROCODILIA: Crocodile (Leviathan)

CHELONIA: Tortoise

OPHIDIA: Serpent, Fiery Serpent, Adder, Asp, Vipet (s.v. SERPENT)

LACERTILIA: Lizard, Great Lizard, Gecko, Chameleon, Land Crocodile, Sand Lizard (s.v. LIZARD) Amphibians: Frog

Fishes: Fish (in general)

Mollusks: Snail, Murex (Purple)


HYMENOPTERA: Ant, Bee, Hornet

LEPIDOPTERA: Clothes-Moth (s.v. MOTH), Silk-Worm, Worm (Larva)



RHYNCHOTA; Louse, Scarlet-Worm

ORTHOPTERA: Grasshopper, Locust (s.v. INSECTS)

Arachnida: Spider, Scorpion

Coelenterata: Coral



Some interesting problems arise in connection with the lists of clean and unclean animals in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The list of clean animals in De 14:4-5 is as follows:

Probably the most valuable modern work on Bible animals is Tristram’s Natural History of the Bible, published in 1867 and to a great extent followed in the Revised Version (British and American) and in articles in various Biblical encyclopedias. In the table given above, the Revised Version (British and American) really differs from Tristram only in 6, 8 and 10. Hart is the male of the red deer, the ibex is a kind of wild goat, and the oryx is a kind of antelope. The first three in the table are domestic animals whose identification is not questioned. The other seven are presumably wild animals, regarding every one of which there is more or less uncertainty. ‘Aqqo, dishon and zemer occur only in this passage, te’o only here and in Isa 51:20. ‘Ayyal occurs 22 times, tsebhi 16 times, yachmur only twice. The problem is to find seven ruminant mammals to correspond to these names. The camel (De 14:7) is excluded as unclean. The gazelle, the Sinaitic ibex, and the Persian wild goat are common. The roe deer was fairly common in Carmel and Southern Lebanon 20 years ago, but is now nearly or quita extinct. The fallow deer exists in Mesopotamia, and Tristram says that he saw it in Galilee, though the writer is inclined to question the accuracy of the observation. The oryx is fairly common in Northwestern Arabia, approaching the limits of Edom. Here, then, are six animals, the gazelle, ibex, Persian wild goat, roe deer, fallow deer, and oryx, whose existence in or near Palestine is undisputed.

The bubale, addax and Barbary sheep of Tristram’s list are North African species which the writer believes do not range as far East as Egypt, and which he believes should therefore be excluded. In Asia Miner are found the red deer, the chamois and the Armenian wild sheep, but there is no proof that any of these ever ranged as far South as Palestine. The bison exists in the Caucasus, and the wild ox, urus or aurochs, seems to be depicted in Assyrian sculptures. The buffalo is found in Palestine, but is believed to have been introduced since Bible times. The Tartarian roe is named Cervus pygargus, and there is a South African antelope named Bubalis pygargus, but the pygarg of English Versions of the Bible has no real existence. The word means "white-rumped," and might apply to various deer and antelopes.

To complete the list of seven we are therefore driven to one of the following: the red deer, the chamois, the Armenian wild sheep, the bison and the aurochs, no one of which has a very good claim to be included; The writer considers that the roe, which has been the commonest deer of Palestine, is the ‘ayyal (compare Arabic ‘aiyil, "deer"). Tsebhi is very near to Arabic zabi, "gazelle," and, with its 16 occurrences in the Old Testament, may well be that common animal. There is reason to think that yachmur is the name of a deer, and the writer prefers to apply it to the fallow deer of Mesopotamia, as being more likely to have inhabited Palestine than the red deer of Asia Minor. There is little evidence regarding ‘aqqo, which occurs only here. The etymology is uncertain. Septuagint has tragelaphos, "goat-stag." Targum and Syriac VSS, according to BDB, have ibex. Ya‘el (Job 39:1; Ps 104:18; 1Sa 24:2), English Versions of the Bible "wild goat," is quite certainly the ibex, but it is possible that ‘aqqo may be another name for the same animal, ya‘el not occurring in this list. In BDB dishon is derived from dush, "to tread," and is considered to be a kind of wild goat. Since we have assigned ‘aqqo to the ibex, we may then assign this name to the other wild goat of the country, the Persian wild goat or pasang. Te’o is in the Revised Version (British and American) antelope and in the Septuagint orux, "oryx." This is a possible identification which suits also, Isa 51:20, and does not preclude the possibility that the re’em, the King James Version "unicorn," the Revised Version (British and American) "wild-ox," may also be the oryx. The oryx is known to the Arabs under at least three names, the most common of which, baqr el-wachsh, means "wild-ox." Under CHAMOIS, the writer suggests that zemer may be the pasang or Persian wild goat, which is figured in that article. There is little to choose in the assignment of the names, but as dishon has here been provisionally assigned to the pasang, nothing better is left for zemer than the "chamois" of English Versions of the Bible, the claims of which are referred to above.

The list of unclean animals is considered in the article on LIZARD.

Prophecies of the desolation of Babylon and Edom in Isa 13:21,22; 34:11-15 contain names of animals, some of which present apparently insuperable difficulties. See under JACKAL and SATYR. The Book of Job contains some remarkable references to animals, especially in chapters 39; 40; 41: to the wild goat, the wild ass, the wild ox, the ostrich, the horse, the hawk, the behemoth and the leviathan.

Pr 30 contains some curious allusions to natural history:

".... Things which are too wonderful for me ....

The way of an eagle in the air;

The way of a serpent upon a rock (see EAGLE; WAY);

There are four things which are little upon the earth,

But they are exceeding wise:

The ants are a people not strong,

Yet they provide their food in the summer;

The conies are but a feeble folk,

Yet they make their houses in the rocks;

The locusts have no king,

Yet go they forth all of them by bands;

The lizard taketh hold with her hands,

Yet is she in kings’ palaces.

There are three things which are stately in their march,

Yea, four which are stately in going:

The lion, which is might, lest among beasts,

And turneth not away for any;

The greyhound; the he-goat also;

And the king against whom there is no rising up."

An interesting grouping is found in the prophecy in Isa 11:6-8 (compare 65:25): "And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den."

The fauna of Palestine is mainly European and Asiatic, but resembles in some important points the fauna of Africa. The Syrian coney is not found elsewhere and its only near allies are the conies of Africa. The gazelle and oryx belong to the group of antelopes which is especially African. The lion and leopard range throughout Africa and Southwest Asia. The ostrich is found outside of Africa only in Arabia. Some of the smaller birds, as for instance the sun-bird, have their nearest allies in Africa. The fish of the Sea of Tiberias and the Jordan present important resemblances to African fishes. The same is true of some of the butterflies of Palestine. Allying the fauna of Palestine with that of Europe and North Asia may be noted the deer, bear, wolf, fox, hare and others. The ibex and Persian wild goat constitute links with central Asia, which is regarded as the center of distribution of the goat tribe.

The fauna of Palestine has undoubtedly changed since Bible times. Lions have disappeared, bears and leopards have become scarce, the roe deer has nearly or quite disappeared within recent years. It is doubtful whether the aurochs, the chamois and the red deer were ever found in Palestine, but if so they are entirely gone. The buffalo has been introduced and has become common in some regions. Domestic cats, common now, were perhaps not indigenous to ancient Palestine. In prehistoric times, or it may be before the advent of man, the glacial period had an influence upon the fauna of this country, traces of which still persist. On the summits of Lebanon are found two species of butterfly, Pieris callidice, found also in Siberia, and Vanessa urticae, common in Europe. When the glacial period came on, these butterflies with a host of other creatures were driven down from the North. When the cold receded northward they moved back again, except for these, and perhaps others since become extinct, which found the congenial cold in ascending the mountains where they became isolated. Syria and Palestine were never covered with a sheet of ice, but the famous cedar grove of Lebanon stands on the terminal moraine of what was once an extensive glacier.

Alfred Ely Day


zo’-fa (tsophach, meaning uncertain): An Asherite (1Ch 7:35,36).


zo’fi, zo’-fa-i (tsophay, meaning uncertain): In 1Ch 6:26 (Hebrew verse 11) = Zuph, the Qere of 1Ch 6:35 (Hebrew, verse 20), and 1Sa 1:1.

See ZUPH, (1).


zo’-far (tsphar, meaning doubtful, supposed from root meaning "to leap"; Sophar): One of the three friends of Job who, hearing of his affliction, make an appointment together to visit and comfort him. He is from the tribe of Naamah, a tribe and place otherwise unknown, for as all the other friends and Job himself are from lands outside of Palestine, it is not likely that this place was identical with Naamah in the West of Judah (Jos 15:41). He speaks but twice (Job 11; 20); by his silence the 3rd time the writer seems to intimate that with Bildad’s third speech (Job 25; see under BILDAD) the friends’ arguments are exhausted. He is the most impetuous and dogmatic of the three (compare Job 11:2,3; 20:2,3); stung to passionate response by Job’s presumption in maintaining that he is wronged and is seeking light from God. His words are in a key of intensity amounting to reckless exaggeration. He is the first to accuse Job directly of wickedness; averring indeed that his punishment is too good for him (11:6); he rebukes Job’s impious presumption in trying to find out the unsearchable secrets of God (11:7-12); and yet, like the rest of the friends, promises peace and restoration on condition of penitence and putting away iniquity (11:13-19). Even from this promise, however, he reverts to the fearful peril of the wicked (11:20); and in his 2nd speech, outdoing the others, he presses their lurid description of the wicked man’s woes to the extreme (20:5-29), and calls forth a straight contradiction from Job, who, not in wrath, but in dismay, is constrained by loyalty to truth to acknowledge things as they are. Zophar seems designed to represent the wrong-headedness of the odium theologicum.

John Franklin Genung


zo’-fim, (sedheh tsophim; eis agrou skopian): The place on the top of Pisgah to which Balak took Balaam, whence only a part of the host of Israel could be seen (Nu 23:14). Perhaps we should simply translate "field of watchers." Conder draws attention to the name Tal‘at es-Sufa attached to an ascent leading up to the ridge of Neba from the North Here possibly is a survival of the old name. For Ramathaim-zophim see RAMAH.


zo’-ra (tsor‘ah; Saraa): A city on the border of Dan, between Eshtaol and Ir-shemesh (Jos 19:41); the birthplace of Samson (Jud 13:2,25); near here too he was buried (Jud 16:31); from here some Danites went to spy out the land (Jud 18:2,11). In Jos 15:33 it is, with Eshtaol, allotted to Judah, and after the captivity it was reinhabited by the "children of Judah" (Ne 11:29, the King James Version "Zareah"). It was one of the cities fortified by Rehoboam (2Ch 11:10). It is probable that it is mentioned under the name Tsarkha along with Aialuna (Aijalon; 2Ch 11:10) in the Tell el-Amarna Letters(no. 265, Petrie) as attacked by the Khabiri.

It is the modern Sur‘a, near the summit of a lofty hill on the north side of the Wady es-Surar (Vale of Sorek). The summit itself is occupied by the Mukam Nebi Samit, overhung by a lofty palm, and there are many remains of ancient tombs, cisterns, wine presses, etc., around. From here Eshu‘a (Eshtaol), ‘Ain Shems (Beth-shemesh) and Tibnah (Timnah) are all visible. See PEF, III, 158, Sh XVII.

E. W. G. Masterman


zo’-rath-its (tsor‘athi; Sarathaioi (1Ch 2:53, the King James Version "Zareathites"), Codex Vaticanus ho Arathei; Codex Alexandrinus ho Sarathi (4 2)): The inhabitants of Zorah, who are said to be descended from Kiriath-jearim families.


zo’-re-a (tsor‘ah): the King James Version of Jos 15:33 for ZORAH (which see).


zo’-rits (tsor‘i; Codex Vaticanus ho Hesarsei; Codex Alexandrinus ho Hesaraei) :In 1Ch 2:54 for "Zorites" we should probably read ZORATHITES (which see). These formed a half of the inhabitants of MANAHATH (which see).





1. Influence on Occident

2. Popular Judaism

3. Possible Theological Influence

4. Angelology and Demonology

5. Eschatology

6. Messiah

7. Ethics

8. Summary


I. History.


The sacred book of the Persians, the Avesta, is a work of which only a small part has survived. Tradition tells that the Avestan manuscripts have suffered one partial and two total destructions (at the hands of Turanians, Macedonians, and Mohammedans, respectively), and what remains seems to be based on a collection of passages derived from oral tradition and arranged for liturgical purposes at the time of the first Sassanians (after 226 AD). None the less, a portion (the Gathas) of the present work certainly contains material from Zoroaster himself and much of the remainder of the Avesta is pre-Christian, although some portions are later. Outside of the Avesta there is an extensive literature written in Pahlavi. Most of this in its final form belongs to the 9th Christian century, or to an even later date, but in it there is embodied much very early matter. Unfortunately criticism of these sources is as yet in a very embryonic condition. The Greek historians, especially Plutarch and Strabo, are naturally of great importance, but the chief Greek work (that of Theopompus) is lost.

For a general account of Zoroastrianism, see PERSIAN RELIGION.

II. Relation to Israel.

1. Influence on Occident:

Zoroastrianism was an active, missionary religion that has exerted a profound influence on the world’s thought, all the more because in the West (at any rate) Ahura Mazda was not at all a jealous god, and Mazdeism was always quite ready to enter into syncretism with other systems. But this syncretistic tendency makes the task of the historian very delicate. None of the three great streams that swept from Persia over the West—Mithraism, Gnosticism, and Manicheism—contained much more than a Mazdean nucleus, and the extrication of Mazdean from other (especially older Magian and Babylonian) elements is frequently impossible. Yet the motive force came from Zoroaster, and long before the Christian era "Magi" were everywhere (as early as 139 BC they were expelled from Rome; compare RAB-MAG; BRANCH). Often, doubtless, charlatans, they none the less brought teachings that effected a far-reaching modification of popular views and produced an influence on so basic a writer as Plato himself.

2. Popular Judaism:

Within the period 538-332 BC (that Cyrus was a Zoroastrian seems now established) Israel was under the rule of Mazdeans, and Mazdean influence on at least the popular conceptions was inevitable. It appears clearly in such works as Tobit (Expository Times, XI, 257 ff), and Hystaspis (GJV, edition 4, III, 592-95), in many Talmudic passages (ZDMG, XXI, 552-91), certain customs of the Essenes, various anti-demoniac charms (see EXORCISM; SORCERY), and, perhaps, in the feast of Purim. And the stress laid on the prophetic ability of the Magi in Mt 2:1-12 is certainly not without significance. But the important question is the existence or extent of Mazdean influence on the formal Jewish religion.

3. Possible Theological Influence:

As a matter of fact, after Israel’s contact with Persia the following elements, all known to Mazdeism, appear, and apparently for the first time:

(1) a formal angelology, with six (or seven) archangels at the head of the developed hierarchy;

(2) these angels not mere companions of God but His intermediaries, established (often) over special domains;

(3) in the philosophical religion, a corresponding doctrine of hypostases;

(4) as a result, a remoter conception of God;

(5) a developed demonology;

(6) the conception of a supreme head (Satan) over the powers of evil;

(7) the doctrine of immortality;

(8) rewards or punishments for the soul immediately after death;

(9) a schematic eschatology especially as regards chronological systems;

(10) a superhuman Messiah;

(11) bodily resurrection;

(12) a rationalized, legalistic conception of God’s moral demands.

4. Angelology and Demonology:

In this list Mazdean influence may be taken as certain in points (1), (2), (5), (6). Of course belief in angels and (still more) in demons had always existed in Israel, and a tendency to classification is a natural product of increased culture. But the thoroughness and rapidity of the process and the general acceptance of its principles show something more than cultural growth (compare the influence of pseudo-Dionysius on Christianity). In particular, the doctrine of patrons (angelic or demoniac) seems to find no expression in the pre-exilic religion. Nor was the incorporation into a single being, not only of phases, but of the whole power of evil, a necessary growth from the earlier religion; the contrast between 2Sa 24:1 and 1Ch 21:1 shows a sharp alteration in viewpoint. On the other hand, the dualism that Ahriman was to explain produced no effect on Israel, and God remained the Creator of all things, even of Satan. See SATAN; ANTICHRIST. (3) presents a problem that still needs proper analysis. The Zoroastrian abstractions may well have stimulated Jewish speculation. But the influence of Greek thought can certainly not be ignored, and a rationalizing process applied to the angelelegy would account for the purely Jewish growth of the concepts. (4) is bound up to some degree with the above, and presents the most unpleasant feature of the later Judaism. Sharply counter to prophetic and pre-prophetic teaching, it was modified by the still later Talmudism. Its inconsistency with the teaching of Christ needs no comment. In part, however, it may well have been due to the general "transcendentalizing" tendencies of the intermediate period.


5. Eschatology:

It is possible, similarly, to understand the advanced Jewish eschatology as an elaboration and refinement of the genuinely prophetic Day of Yahweh concepts, without postulating foreign influence. In particular, a doctrine of immortality was inevitable in Judaism, and the Jewish premises were of a sort that made a resurrection belief necessary. The presence of similar beliefs in Mazdeism may have hastened the process and helped determine the specific form, and for certain details direct borrowing is quite likely (compare the twelve periods of world-history in Apocrypha Abraham 29; Syriac Baruch 53 ff; 2 Esdras 14). But too much stress cannot be laid on details. The extant Persian apocalypses are all very late, and literary (if not religious) influence on them from Christian and Jewish sources seems inevitable (for the Bahman Yast it is certain). Nor could the effect of the Mazdean eschatology have been very thorough. Of its two most cardinal doctrines, the Chinvat Bridge is absent from Judaism, and the molten-metal ordeal is referred to only in the vaguest terms, if at all. Indeed, the very fact that certain doctrines were identified with the "heathen" may well have deterred Jewish acceptance.


6. Messiah:

Similarly, the Messiah, as future king, was fixed in Jewish belief, and His elevation to celestial position was an inevitable step in the general refining process. The Persian Saoshyant doctrine may well have helped, and the appearance of the Messiah "from .... the sea" in 2 Esdras 13:3 certainly recalls the Mazdean appearance from a lake. But Saoshyant is not a celestial figure. He has no existence before his final appearance (or birth) and he comes from earth, not from heaven. The Jewish Son of man—Messiah—on the other hand, is a purely celestial figure and (even in 2 Esdras 13) existed from (or before) creation. The birth of Saoshyant from the seed of Zoroaster and that of the (non-celestial) Messiah from the seed of David have no connection whatever.


7. Ethics:

Not much can be made of the parallel in legalism. Nearly every religion has gone through a similar legalistic state. The practical eudemonistic outlook of such works as Proverbs and Sirach (see WISDOM) doubtless have analogies in Mazdeism, and the comfortable union of religion and the good things of the present life among the Persians may well have had an effect on certain of the Jews, especially as the Persians preserved a good ethical standard. But only a part of Judaism was eudemonistic, and Mazdean and Jewish casuistry are based on entirely distinct principles.

8. Summary:

Summarizing, about the most that can be asserted for Mazdean influence is that it left its mark on the angelology and demonology and that it possibly contributed certain eschatological details. Apart from this, it may well have helped determine the development of elements already present in Israel’s faith. On the common people (especially the more superstitious) its influence was considerably greater. But there is nothing in the formal theology of Judaism that can be described as "borrowed" from Mazdean teachings.


There is almost certainly no reference to Mazdean dualism in Isa 45:7.


The Avesta is in SBE, IV, 23, 31, but the Gathas are best studied in L.H. Mills, The Gathas of Zarathushtra (1900); Pahlavi texts in SBE, V, 18, 24, 37, 47. The best presentation of Mazdeism is in Saussaye’s Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte, II, 162-233 (by Ed. Lehmann); compare the articles "Zoroastrianism" in Encyclopedia Biblica (Geldner and Cheyne) and HDB (J. H. Moulton, excellent); on the relation to Judaism, Stave, Uber den Einfluss des Parsismus auf das Judenthum (1898); Soderblom, La vie future d’apres le Mazdeisme (An. Mus. Guimet, 1901, needs checking); Boklen, Die Verwandtschaft der jud.-chr. mit der parsischen Eschatologie (1902, good material but very uncritical); L. H. Mills, Our Own Religion in Ancient Persia (1912, theory of parallel development; Mazdeism rather idealized); J. H. Moulton, Early Zoroastrianism (1913) and articles by T. K. Cheyne, The Expository Times, II, 202, 224, 248; and J. H. Moulton, The Expository Times, IX, 352. For details compare Clemen, Religionsgeschichtliche Erklarung des New Testament (1909, English translation, Primitive Christianity and Its non-Jewish Sources); Bousset, Religion des Judenthums (2nd edition, 1906); Offenbarung Johannis (1906); Hauptprobleme der Gnosis (1907, indispensable).

Burton Scott Easton


zo-rob’-a-bel, zo-ro’-ba-bel (Zerobabel): In the King James Version; Greek form of "Zerubbabel," thus the Revised Version (British and American) (Mt 1:12,13; Lu 3:27).


zor-zel’-e-us (Zorzelleos, Codex Vaticanus (and Swete) Phaezeldaios; Fritzsche, Berzellaios; the King James Version Berzelus; the Revised Version margin "Phaezeldaeus"): The father of Augia, the wife of Jaddus, head of a family that "usurped the office of the priesthood" in the return under Zerubbabel (1 Esdras 5:38); "Barzillai" of Ezr 2:61; Ne 7:63.



zu’-ar, zoo’-ar (tsu‘-ar "little one"; Sogar): Father of Nethanel (Nu 1:8; 2:5; 7:18,23; 10:15), who was head of the tribe of Issachar.


zuf (tsuph, "honeycomb"):

(1) According to 1Sa 1:1 b; 1Ch 6:35 (Hebrew verse 20) =" Zophai" of 1Ch 6:26 (11), an ancestor of Elkanah and Samuel. But Budde and Wellhausen take it to be an adjective, and so read tsuphi, in 1Sa 1:1 b: "Tohu a Zuphite, an Ephraimite." It should probably be read also in 1:1a: "Now there was a certain man of the Ramathites, a Zuphite of the hill-country of Ephraim," as the Hebrew construction in the first part of the verse is otherwise unnatural. The Septuagint’s Codex Alexandrinus has Soup; Lucian has Souph in 1Sa 1:1 b; 1Ch 6:26 (11); Codex Vaticanus has Souphei; Codex Alexandrinus and Lucian have Souphi; 6:35 (20), Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus have Souph; Lucian has Souphi; and the Kethibh has tsiph.

(2) The Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus have Seiph; Lucian has Sipha, "the land of Zuph," a district in Benjamin, near its northern border (1Sa 9:5).

David Francis Roberts


zur (tsur "rock"):

(1) A prince or chief (Nu 25:15; 31:8) of Midian, father of the woman slain with Zimri by Phinehas. Jos 13:21 describes him as one of the princes of Sihon, but the reference there is regarded as a gloss.

(2) An inhabitant of Gibeon (1Ch 8:30; 9:36), to be connected probably, according to Curtis, with "Zeror" of 1Sa 9:1.


zu’-ri-el (tsuri’-el, "my rock is El (God)"): Prince of the house of Merari (Nu 3:35).

The word tsur, "rock," occurs also in the compound names Elizur (Nu 1:5), Zurishaddai (Nu 1:6, etc.) and Pedahzur (Nu 1:10). Gray, Numbers 6, says that a Sabean name Suri’addana is found in an inscription said to be of the 8th century BC, or somewhat carrier (Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition, 320), and bartsur, in a Zinjirli inscription of the 8th century BC (Panammu Inscr., 1. 1), and that possibly the Old Testament place-name "Beth-zur" should be added (Jos 15:58; 1Ch 2:45; 2Ch 11:7; Ne 3:16).

David Francis Roberts


zu-ri-shad’-a-i, zu-ri-shad’-i (tsurishadday, "my rock is Shadday"): Father of Shelumiel the head of the tribe of Simeon (Nu 1:6; 2:12; 7:36,41; 10:19).



zu’-zim (zuzim; (ethne ischura, "strong nations." So Jerome in Quaest. Hebr.: genres fortes) :A people conquered by Chedorlaomer (Ge 14:5) . They dwelt in Ham, a region not otherwise known but, from the connection, inferred to be East of the Jordan. It may also be inferred that they were a race of giants. They were perhaps to be identified with the Zamzummim.