MAACAH or MAACHAH
1. A city and region of Syria or Aram, 1Ch 19:6; somewhere near the foot of mount Hermon, and Geshur. The portion of Manesseh beyond Jordan reached to this country, like that of Og king of Bashan, De 3:13,14; but it does not appear to have become subject to Israel, Jos 12:4-6 13:13, except during the reign of David, Solomon, and Jeroboam II. The king of Maachah, with other Syrians, joined the Ammonites in a war with David, and were defeated and made tributary, 2Sa 10:6-8,19.
2. A wife of David, and the mother of Absalom. She was a daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur in Syria, 2Sa 3:3.
3. The wife of Rehoboam and mother of Abijah, kings of Judah. She is called the "daughter" of Abishalom or Absalom, 1Ki 15:2 2Ch 11:20-22. In 2Ch 13:2, she is called Michaiah, and is said to be the daughter of Uriel. She appears to have exerted a great influence over the members of the royal family; but was degraded from her high position, by Asa her grandson, for promoting idolatry, 2Ch 15:16.
Six others of the same name are mentioned, in Ge 22:24 1Ki 2:39 1Ch 2:48 7:16 11:43 27:16.
A large country lying north of Greece proper, bounded south by Thessaly and Epirus, east by Thrace and the Aegean sea, west by the Adriatic Sea and Illyria, and north by Dardania and Moesia. Its principal rivers were the Strymon and Axius. Its most celebrated mountains were Olympus and Athos: the former renowned in heathen mythology as the residence of the gods, lying on the confines of Thessaly, and principally within the state; the latter being at the extremity of a promontory which juts out into the Aegean sea, and noted in modern times as the seat of several monasteries, in which are many manuscripts supposed to be valuable. This region is believed to have been peopled by Kittim, Ge 10:4; but little is known of its early history. The Macedonian Empire is traced back some four hundred years before the Famous Philip, under whom, and especially under his son Alexander the Great, it reached the summit of its power. Alexander, B. C. 336-323, at the head of Macedonians and Greeks united, conquered a large part of western and southern Asia.
This power was foretold by Daniel, Da 8:3-8, under the symbol of a goat with one horn; and it is worthy of note that ancient Macedonian coins still exist, bearing that national symbol. After the death of Alexander, the power of the Macedonians declined, and they were at length conquered by the Romans under Paulus Emilius, B. C. 168, who divided their country into four districts. The Romans afterwards divided the whole of Greece and Macedonia into two great provinces, which they called Macedonia and Achaia, B. C. 142, Ro 15:26 2Co 9:2. SeeGREECE.
In the New Testament the name is probably to be taken in this latter sense. Of the cities of Macedonia proper, there are mentioned in the New Testament, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Berea, Neapolis, Philippi, and Thessalonica. This country early received the gospel, A. D. 55, Paul having been summoned to labor there by a supernatural vision, Ac 16:9 20:1. Its fertile soil is now languishing under the Turkish sway.
1. A son of Manasseh, Ge 50:23. His posterity were active in the conquest of Gilead, Nu 32:39; Jos 17:1; and in the war with Jabin and Sisera, Jud 5:14.
2. A friend of Mephibosbeth, the son of Jonathan, 2Sa 9:4,5.
The field and cave purchased by Abraham for a family tomb. Sarah was first buried there, Ge 23:1-20; and afterwards Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, with Rebekah, Leah, etc., Ge 49:30 50:13. SeeHEBRON.
The third son of Japheth, ancestor of the Medes, etc., Ge 10:2.
A city near Gaza, first assigned to Judah, and afterwards to Simeon, Jos 15:31 1Ch 2:49.
An unknown place in Moab, Jer 48:2.
A town not far from Jerusalem, site not known, Isa 10:31.
The ancient Migdal-el in the border of Naphtali, Jos 19:38; now a small Turkish village called Medjel. It lay near the shore of the Sea of Galilee, at its most westerly point, three miles northwest of Tiberias; in the southern part of a small plain on which stood also Capernaum at the other end, and Dalmanutha in its immediate vicinity, Mt 15:39; Mr 8:10. Mary Magdalene was born, or resided, at Magdala; and it was the seat of a Jewish school after Jerusalem was destroyed.
MAGI or WISE MEN
An appellation given among the Medes and Persians to a class of priests, wise men, philosophers, etc., who devoted themselves to the study of the moral and physical sciences, and particularly cultivated astrology and medicine. They alone performed the religious rites, and pretended to communicate to men secret things, future events, and the will of the gods. SeeMEDIA. As they thus acquired great honor and influence, they were introduced into the courts of kings and consulted on all occasions. They also accompanied the army in warlike expeditions; and so much importance was attached to their advice and opinions, that nothing was attempted without their approbation. A similar class of men existed in Babylon, Egypt, Arabia, etc. The book of Daniel shows in what high estimation they were held in Babylon, Daniel was appointed master of the wise men; but their jealousy of his wisdom and their hatred of his religion, as well as the terms in which they are spoken of in Isa 47:13,14 Da 2:9,27, show that as a class they were destitute of true wisdom.
Not so those who came "from the East" to salute and adore the infant Jesus, Mt 2:1-12. The captivity of the Jews beyond the Euphrates had dispersed throughout the East much knowledge of the true God; and these philosophers and astronomers, in their search after wisdom, had found and believed the prophecies respecting the Messiah, and were divinely guided to his presence at Bethlehem. SeeSTAR. In them, the science and philosophy of the heathen world laid their homage at the feet of Christ. Compare Ps 72:10,11 Isa 60:1-3.
In the Bible, all the superstitious ceremonies of magicians, sorcerers, enchanters, necromancers, spiritualists, exorcists, astrologers, soothsayers, interpreters of dreams, fortune-tellers, casters of nativities, etc., which are all forbidden by the law of God, whether practiced to hurt or to benefit mankind. It was also forbidden to consult magicians on pain of death, Le 19:31 20:6. SeeENCHANTMENTS and SORCERERS.
In the title of Ps 53:1; 88:1, is conjectured to refer to the tune or the instrument used in chanting these Psalms; or a Gengstenberg and Alexander suggest, the spiritual malady which they lament.
Two hosts, a place so named because a host of angels here met the host of Jacob, on his return from Padan-aram, Ge 32:1-2. It lay north of the Jabbok and near Penuel, and afterwards became a Levitical city in the tribe of Gad, Jos 21:38. It was apparently a town of some strength; for Ishbosheth lived there during his short reign, and David took refuge there during Absalomís rebellion, 2Sa 2:8 17:24,27.
Haste, spoil, speed to the prey, the name given by Isaiah to one of his sons, for a prophetic intimation of the speedy victory of the Assyrians over Syria and Israel, Isa 8:1-3.
A son of Elimelech and Naomi, and the first husband of Ruth the Moabites, Ru 1:1-22.
A chief city of the Canaanites, near which five confederate kings were defeated, taken in the cave to which they had fled, and executed. It lay in the vicinity of Libnah, Azekah, and Lachish, southwest of Jerusalem, in the tribe of Judah, Jos 10:10-28; 12:16; 15:41.
Zep 1:11, apparently in or near Jerusalem, and occupied by merchants; but we have no clue to its location.
The last of the minor prophets, and of all the Old Testament writers; so little known, that it is doubted by some, though without sufficient reason, whether his name be a proper name, or only a generical one, signifying the angel of the Lord that is, a messenger, a prophet, Hag 1:13; Mal 3:1. Malachi most probably prophesied about B. C. 416, in the latter part of the administration of Negemiag, and after Haggai and Zechariah, at a time of great disorder among the priests and people of Judah, whom her reproves. He inveighs against the priests; reproves the people for having taken strange wives, for inhumanity to their brethren, for divorcing their wives, and for neglect of paying tithes and first fruits. He seems to allude to the covenant that Nehemiah renewed with the lord, together with the priests and chief of the nation. In the latter part he foretells the coming of John the Baptist in the spirit and power of Elijah, Mal 3:1; 4:5,6; Mt 11:10,14; 17:10-13; Lu 1:17. He also foretells the two-fold coming of Christ, and the blessedness of those who fear and serve him. Thus the Old Testament closes with Predictions of the Messiah, and the New Testament opens with the record of their fulfillment.
The servant whose right ear was cut off by Peter and miraculously restored by Christ, in Gethsemane, Mt 26:51. The seizure of the Savior immediately after two manifestations of his divinity, Lu 22:51; Joh 18:6, evinces the blindness and obstinacy of mankind in sin.
Job 30:4, supposed by Bochart to signify the plant called Orach, the Atriplex Halimus of Linnaeus. It somewhat resembles lettuce, and its young leaves are used in the East, either green or boiled, as food, by the poor.
A Chaldee word signifying riches. Our Savior says we cannot serve God and Mammon, Mt 6:24. Wealth is as truly an idol to those who set their hearts on it, as Jupiter or Diana; and no idolater can enter heaven. He also charges us, from the example of the unjust steward, so to use worldly goods, which are generally sought and used sinfully ó"the unrighteous mammon" óas to have God the Judge our friend, and receive the true riches in heaven, Lu 16:9,11.
An Amorite prince, brother of Eshcol and Aner. All three united their forces to aid Abraham in the rescue of Lot, Ge 14:1-24. He gave his name to the town where he dwelt, afterwards Hebron, in the suburbs of which was a large terebinth-tree, or grove, (seeOAK,) called in the English Bible "the plain of Mamre." Here Abraham and his descendants often pitched their tents, Ge 13:18 18:1. The cave of Machpelah was adjacent to Mamre on the east, Ge 23:17,19 49:30; and from the heights nearby, Abraham could see the smoking plain of Sodom, Ge 19:27,28.
MAN OF SIN
A foster-brother of Herod Antipas, but unlike him in character and end: Manaen was a minister of Christ at Antioch; Herod was guilty of the blood of both Christ and his forerunner, Ac 13:1. "One shall be taken, and another left."
1. The eldest son of Joseph, born in Egypt. His descendants constituted a full tribe. This was divided in the promised land: one part having settled east of the Jordan, in the country of Bashan, from the river Jabbok northwards; and the other west of the Jordan, between Ephraim and Issachar, extending from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. It was far inferior to Ephraim in wealth and power, according to the prediction of Jacob, Ge 41:50,51 48:1-22 Jos 16:10.
2. The son and impious successor of the good Hezekiah, king of Judah. He began to reign at twelve years old, B. C. 698, and reigned fifty-five years. For his shocking idolatries, tyranny, and cruelties, God suffered him to be carried as a prisoner to Babylon in the twenty-second year of his reign, probably by Esarhaddon king of Assyria. Here, however, he so humbled himself that God moved the Assyrians to restore him to his throne, as a tributary; and thenceforth he set himself to undo the evil he had done. He abolished the idols he had worshipped and the diviners he had consulted; accomplished many reforms for the spiritual and material good of his kingdom; repaired the defenses of Jerusalem, enclosing with Ophel on the southeast; and strengthened the walled cities of Judah. After a reign longer than that of any other king of Judah, he died in peace and was buried in Jerusalem, 2Ki 21:1-26 2Ch 33:24.
Hebrew Dudaim, Ge 30:14-16 So 7:13, a plant to which was attributed, probably without reason, the power of rendering barren women fruitful. According to most of the ancient versions, it was the Atropa Mandragora of Linnaeus, a plant of the genus Belladonna, with a root like a beet, white and reddish blossoms, and fragrant yellow apples, which ripen from May to July. But this opinion is uncertain.
A Hebrew weight of sixty shekels, Eze 45:12.
The miraculous food given by God to the Israelites during their wanderings in the desert. It was a small grain, white like hoarfrost, round, and of the size of coriander-seed, Ex 16:1-36 Nu 11:1-35. It fell every morning, with the dew, about the camp of the Israelites, and in so great quantities during the whole forty years of their journey in the wilderness, that it was sufficient to serve the entire multitude instead of bread, Ex 16:35 De 29:5,6 Jos 5:12. It is nowhere said that the Israelites had no other food, that numerous flocks and herds accompanied the camp of Israel is clear from many passages. Certainly the daily sacrifices were offered, and no doubt to her offerings affording animal food on which the priests and Levites subsisted, according to their offices.
When manna was first sent the Israelites "knew not what it was," and "said one to another",MAN-HU, which means, What is it? Most interpreters think that form the frequent repetition of this inquiry the name MAN or manna arose. Burckhardt says, that in the valleys around Sinai a species of manna is still found, dropping from the sprigs of several trees, but principally from the tamarisk, in the month of June. It is collected by the Arabs, who make cakes of it, and call it honey of betrouk. See Ex 16:31. Since his time it has been ascertained by Dr. Ehrenburg that the exudation of this manna is occasioned by an insect, which he has particularly described. Besides this substance and the manna of commerce, which is used as a laxative medicine, and is produced by the ash-trees of southern Europe, several other vegetable products in Arabia, Persia, etc., of similar origin and qualities, are known by the same name. It is in vain, however, to seek to identify with any of these the manna of the Israelites, which was evidently a special provision for them, beginning and terminating with their need of it. It was found, not on trees and shrubs, but on "the face of the wilderness" wherever they went; and was different in its qualities from any now known by that name, being dry enough to grind and bake like grain, but breeding worms on the second day. It was miraculous in the amount that fell, for the supply of millions; in not falling on the Sabbath; in falling in double quantities the previous day; and in remaining fresh during the Sabbath. By these last three peculiarities God miraculously attested the sanctity of the Sabbath, as dating from the creation and not from Mount Sinai. Moreover, a specimen of manna as laid up in a golden vase in the ark of the covenant in memory of a substance which would otherwise have perished, Heb 9:4.
In Ps 78:24-25, manna is called "angelsí food" and "corn of heaven," in token of its excellence, and that it came directly from the hand of God. The people gathered on an average about three quarts for each man. They who gathered more than they needed, shared it freely with others; it could not be hoarded up: and thus, as Paul teaches us, 2Co 8:13-15, it furnishes for all men a lesson against hoarding the earthly and perishable gifts of God, and in favor of freely imparting to our brethren in need.
This great boon of God to the Israelites also offers many striking analogies, illustrative of "the true Bead" which came down form heaven to rebellious and perishing man, Joh 6:31-58 Re 2:17. Like the manna, Christ descends from above around the camp of his church in daily abundant supplies, to meet the wants of every man.
A native of Zorah, in the tribe of Dan, and the father of Samson, Jud 13:14; 16:31. In the prediction of his sonís birth and achievements, we see the Angel of the covenant, who appeared to Abraham, Gideon, etc., and who never slumbers nor sleeps, caring for his oppressed people. So, too, he appeared to Jacob, and would not tell his mysterious name, Ge 32:29; Jud 13:18; Isa 9:6; Lu 13:34.
SeeREFUGE, CITIES OF.
A town in the edge of the hill-country of Judah, Jos 15:55, near which Nabal lived and David took refuge from Saul, 1Sa 23:24- 25; 25:2. Dr Robinson finds it the ruinous place called Main, seven miles south by east from Hebron.
CalledMEHUNIM in 2Ch 26:7, an Arabian tribe, named with the Amalekintes and other foes of Israel. Their abode may have been near the place now called Maan, nearly east of Petra, on the Haj route from Damascus to Mecca. Uzziah defeated them.
Bitterness, a well near the Red Sea, three daysí journey from the point where the Israelites crossed it. The well was sweetened for the use of the distressed Hebrews by the miraculous efficacy imparted to the branches of a certain tree which Moses threw in, Ex 15:23-25. No plant is now known possessed of such a quality. The name Amarah now marks the dry bed of a wintry torrent, a little south of which is a well called Hawara, which answers well to the description. Its water, after remaining a few seconds in the mouth, becomes exceedingly nauseous. The Arabs do not drink it though their camels will. See also Ru 1:20.
Composed of two Syriac words, signifying "the Lord cometh." SeeANATHEMA.
A town in Judah, Jos 15:44, fortified by Rehobaoam, 2Ch 11:8, and the birthplace of Micah. In a valley near by, Asa defeated Zerah with an immense host of Ethiopians, 2Ch 14:9-13. It probably lay on the western border of Judah, just south of Eleutheropolis.
MARK or MARCUS
The writer of one of the four gospels. SeeGOSPELS. There can be little doubt of the correctness of the general opinion of learned men, that he is the same person who is mentioned by the names of John and Mark in Ac 12:12,25 13:5,13, and as the cousin and disciple of Barnabas, Col 4:10. He was also the companion of Paul and Barnabas in their journey through Greece to Antioch, Perga, and Pamphylia, at which last place he left them and returned to Jerusalem, much to the dissatisfaction of Paul, Ac 13:5, etc.; Ac 15:37-39. Yet he labored faithfully with Barnabas at Cyprus, and Paul mentions him, when in captivity at Rome, as one of those who were associated with him, Col 4:10-11 2Ti 4:11 Phm 1:24. He afterwards accompanied Peter also to Babylon. As he was the son of that Mary at whose house in Jerusalem the apostles were wont to convene, so it is probable that he was particularly instructed in the doctrines of Christianity by Peter, who on the account calls him son, 1Pe 5:13. Compare 1Ti 1:2 2Ti 1:2.
In GreekAGORA, in Latin FORUM, a large open area in many ancient cities, especially of Greece and Rome, having the public market on one side only, the other sides of the are being occupied by temples, theatres, colonnades, courts of justice, baths, and other public structures, the whole square often presenting a magnificent appearance.
Here was the city exchange, the focus to which converged all the lines of public life. Hither laborers resorted in search of employment, Mt 20:3-7, and children to pursue their sports, Lu 7:32. Here the ordinary assemblies of the people were held; here philosophers and statesmen met and debated; here laws were promulgated and news announced; hither men resorted for pleasure as well as for business.
The most notable public men, and indeed all classes of citizens, here congregated; and what was done here was done before the whole city. Hence the proud Pharisees desired "greeting in the market places," Mt 12:38; and Paul resorted to the agora at Athens to meet and convince the philosophers, Ac 17:17; and the masters of the damsel at Philippi exorcised by Paul and Silas, "drew them into the market place unto the rulers," Ac 16:19.
The union for life of one man and one woman, is an ordinance of the Creator for the perpetuity and happiness of the human race; instituted in Paradise, Ge 1:27-28 2:18-24, and the foundation of no small part of all that is valuable to human society. By promoting parental love and the sense of responsibility, marriage most effectually promotes the health and happiness of children, and their careful education to virtue, industry, and honor, to right habits and ends, and to all that is included in the idea of home. God made originally but one man and one woman. The first polygamists were Lamech and those degenerate "sons of God," or worshippers of Jehovah, who "took them wives of all that they chose," Ge 4:17 6:2. On the other hand, Noah and his three sons had each but one wife; and the same appears to be true of all his direct ancestorsí back to Adam. So also was it with Job, Nahor, Lot, and at first with Abraham. SeeCONCUBINE. In after-times a plurality of wives became more common among the Hebrews, and the Scriptures afford numerous illustrations of its evil results, Ge 16:16 Jud 8:30 2Sa 3:3-5 1Ki 11:18 2Ch 11:18-21 13:21. In the time of Christ there is no mention of polygamy as prevalent among the Jews.
The Israelites were forbidden to marry within certain specified degrees, Le 18:1-30,1-27 De 27:1-26. Marriage with Canaanites and idolaters was strictly forbidden, Ex 34:16; and afterwards with any of the heathen nations around them, especially such as were uncircumcised, Ne 13:1-31. By the Levirate law, as it is termed, if a Jew died without children, his nearest brother or kinsman was bound to marry the widow, that her firstborn son after this marriage might be reckoned the son and heir of the first husband, Ge 38:1-30 De 25:5-10 Mt 22:23-26. The Savior set his seal to marriage as a divine and permanent institution, aside from all the civil laws which guard and regulate, or seek to alter or annul it; forbidding divorce except for one cause, Mt 5:32 19:3-6,9; and denouncing all breaches of marriage vows, even in thought, Mt 5:28. Compare Heb 13:4 Re 21:8.
Jewish parents were wont to arrange with other parents as to the marriage of their children, sometimes according to the previous choice of the son, and not without some regard to the consent of the daughter, Ge 21:21 24:1-67 34:4-6 Jud 14:2-3. The parties were often betrothed to each other long before the marriage took place. SeeBETROTHING. A dowry was given by the suitor to the parents and brethren of the bride, Ex 22:13 De 22:29 2Sa 13:11. The nuptials were often celebrated with great pomp and ceremony, and with protracted feasting and rejoicing. It was customary for the bridegroom to appoint a Paranymphus, or groomsman, called by our Savior "the friend of the bridegroom," John 3.29. A number of other young men also kept him company during the days of the wedding, to do him honor; as also young women kept company with the bride all this time. The companions of the bridegrooms are expressly mentioned in the history of Samson, Jud 14:11,20 So 5:1 8:13 Mt 9:14; also the companions of the bride, Ps 45:9,14 So 1:5 2:7 3:5 8:4. The office of the groomsman was to direct in the ceremonies of he wedding. The friends and companions of the bride sang the epithalamium, or wedding song, at the door of the bride the evening before the wedding. The festivities of the wedding were conducted with great decorum, the young people of each sex being in distinct apartments and at different tables. The young men at Samsonís wedding diverted themselves in proposing riddles, and the bridegroom appointed the prize to those should could explain them, Jud 14:14.
The Jews affirm, that before Jerusalem was laid in ruins, the bridegroom and bride wore crowns at their marriage. Compare Isa 61:10 So 3:11, "Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother, crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart." The modern Jews, in some places, throw handfuls of wheat on the newly married couple, particularly on the bride, saying "Increase and multiply." In other places they mingle pieces of money with the wheat, which are gathered up by the poor. The actual ceremony of marriage was very simple, consisting of little more than the reading of the marriage contract, Pr 2:17 Mal 2:14, and the nuptial blessing invoked by the friends, Ge 24:60 Ru 4:11,12.
The wedding festivities commonly lasted seven days for a maid, and three days for a widow. So Laban says to Jacob, respecting Leah, "Fulfill her week," Ge 29:27. The ceremonies of Samsonís wedding continued seven whole days, Jud 14:17,18. These seven days of rejoicing were commonly spent in the house of the womanís father, after which they conducted the bride to her husbandís home.
The procession accompanying the bride from the house of her father to that of the bridegroom, was generally one of more or less pomp, according to the circumstances of the married couple; and for this they often chose the night, as is tell the custom in Syria. Hence the parable of the ten virgins that went at midnight to meet the bride and bridegroom, Mt 25:1-46. "At a Hindoo marriage, the procession of which I saw some years ago," says Mr. Ward, "the bridegroom came from a distance, and the bride lived at Serampre, to which place the bridegroom was to come by water. After waiting two or three hours, at length, near midnight, it was announced, as if in the very words of Scripture, ĎBehold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.í All the persons employed now lighted their lamps, and ran with them in their hands to fill up their stations in the procession; some of them had lost their lights, and were unprepared; but it was then too late to seek them, and the cavalcade moved forward to the house of the bride, at which place the company entered a large and splendidly illuminated area, before the house, covered with an awning, where a great multitude of friends, dressed in their best apparel, were seated upon mats. The bridegroom was carried in the arms of a friend, and placed in a superb seat in the midst of the company, where he sat a short time, and them went into the house, the door of which was immediately shut, and guarded by sepoys. Others and I expostulated with the doorkeepers, but in vain. Never was I so struck with our Lordís beautiful parable as at this moment; Ďand the door was shut.í"
Christianity invests the family institution with peculiar sacredness; makes true love its basis, and mutual preference of each othersí happiness its rule; and even likens it to the ineffable union between Christ and his church,Eph 5:22-33. Nowhere in the world is woman so honored, happy, and useful as in a Christian land and a Christian home. Believers are directed to marry "in the Lord," 1Co 7:39. No doubt the restrictions laid upon the ancient people of God contain a lesson for all periods, and the recorded ill results of forbidden marriages among the Jews, if heeded, would prevent the serious evils which often result form union between a Christian and a worldling. As to the mutual duties of husband and wife, see Eph 5:22-23 1Ti 2:11,12 1Pe 3:1-7.
The Romish church puts dishonor on what the Holy Spirit describes as "honorable in all." It not only extols celibacy and virginity in the laity, but also strictly refuses marriage to all its priests, bishops, etc., and in thus "forbidding to marry," fixes upon itself the name of anti-Christ, 1Ti 4:3. SeeBETROTHING, CONCUBINE, DIVORCE, GARMENTS, etc.
Sister of Lazarus and Mary, at Bethany. Though different from Mary in temperament, she was no less truly a devoted friend of Christ and beloved by him, Joh 11:5. His gentle reproof,Lu 10.38-42, does not imply that she was a stranger to renewing grace. Her affectionate care for the hospitable entertainment of Christ must not be forgotten, nor her promptness in hasting to meet him nor her faith in his power, Joh 11:20-28 12:1,2. See MARY 4.
A witness, Mt 18:16 Lu 24:48; in ecclesiastical history, "a witness, by the shedding of his blood, in testifying to the truth." Thus martyrs are distinguished from "confessors," properly so called, who underwent great afflictions for their confession of the truth, but without suffering death. The term "martyr" occurs only thrice in the New Testament, Ac 22:20 Re 2:13 17:6. Since the time of Stephen, Ac 7:59 22:20, myriads of martyrs have sealed the truth of Christianity by a painful death; which they willingly endured through faith, rather than to deny Christ, and which they often eagerly desired as a special privilege. It is doubtless possible to be put to death as a Christian, without real love for Christ, 1Co 13:3; but in general "the noble army of the martyrs" have borne a true and overwhelming testimony to the power and preciousness of faith in Christ; and their blood witnesses before God against their foes, especially against that apostate church which is "drunken with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus," Re 17:6.
1. "The Mother of Jesus," Ac 1:14. Her amiable and lovely character, and her remarkable history in connection with the wonders relating to the birth of Christ, are recorded in Mt 1:1-2:23 Lu 1:1-2:52. The genealogy of the Savior through her, in the line of David and Abraham, is preserved in Lu 3:1-38, to prove that he was born "as concerning the flesh" according to ancient prophecies. After the return from Egypt to Nazareth, she is but five times mentioned in the gospel history: three on the part of Christ, Mt 12:46-50 Lu 2:49,50 Joh 2:4; one when he commended her to the care of John, Joh 19:26; and lastly as among the disciples at Jerusalem after his ascension, Ac 1:14.
Thenceforth, throughout the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the Revelation, no allusions made to her. Manifestly the worship of Mary had not then commenced. The inventions of the Romish church in after-centuries are wholly destitute of foundation in Scripture, and subversive of the gospel. One of these unauthorized inventions is the alleged immaculate conception and spotless holiness of Mary. See Ro 3:10,23 Ga 3:22 1Jo 1:8; and compare also the reproofs above alluded to, and her own confession of her need of a Savior, Lu 1:47. Another unauthorized invention is her alleged virginity after the birth of Jesus, Mt 1:25 Lu 2:7. No case can be found in Scripture where "firstborn son" is used of an only child. In other passages the brethren, sisters, and mother of Christ are mentioned together, apparently as one family, Mt 13:55,56; and she was known as the wife of Joseph probably for almost thirty ears,Joh 6:42. To adore her as the "queen of heaven," and the "mother of God," is, in the light of the Bible, blasphemous idolatry; and to pray to her as divine, or even as a mediator with God implies that she possesses the attribute of omnipresence, and degrades the only and sufficient Mediator, 1Ti 2:5 Heb 4:16. She was "blessed" or signally favored "among women," as Jael was "blessed above women," Jud 5:24 Lu 1:28; but Christ himself declares that a higher blessing belongs to those "that hear the word of God and keep it," Lu 11:27,28.
2. The mother of Mark the Evangelist. She had a house in Jerusalem, where the followers of Jesus were wont to convene. Hither Peter, when delivered from prison by the angel, came and knocked at the gate, Ac 12:12. Many such hospitable Christian homes, and places of social prayer, even in troublous times, are forever enshrined in the remembrances of the people of God.
3. The wife of Cleophas, and mother of James the Less and Joses, Mt 27:56,61 Lu 24:10 Joh 19:25. This last passage leaves it uncertain whether this Mary was sister to Mary our Lordís mother, or not. Some suppose that four persons are there named: Christís mother, his motherís sister, Mary of Cleaophas, and Salome. SeeMARY 1 and Jas 3. She believed early on Jesus Christ, and accompanied him in some of his journeys, to minister to him, followed him to Calvary, and was with his mother at the foot of his cross. She was also present at his burial, prepared perfumes to embalm him, and was early at his sepulchre on the morning of his resurrection. See CLEOPHAS.
4. The sister of Lazarus, whom our Lord raised from the dead. Her character presents a beautiful companion-picture to that of her more active and impulsive sister Martha. Contemplative, confiding, and affectionate, it was like heaven to her to sit at the feet of her adored Teacher and Lord, Lu 10:39-42. The character of the two sisters was well contrasted at the supper in Bethany, after the resurrection of Lazarus. No service was too humble for Martha to render, and no offering too costly for Mary to pour out, in honor of their Savior, Joh 11:1-57 12:1-8. This occurrence should not be confounded with that described in Lu 7:37-50.
5. The Magdalene, or native of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee. She was foremost among the honorable women of substance who ministered unto Christ and his disciples, Mt 28:1-10 Mr 15:47 16:1-10 Lu 24:1-12 Joh 20:1,2,10-18. She was especially devoted to Christ, for his mercy in casting out from her seven evil spirits, Lu 8:23. She was early at his tomb; and lingering there when the disciples had retired, she was the first to throw herself at the feet of the risen Savior. There is no evidence that she was ever a profligate.
6. A benevolent and useful Christian at Rome, saluted in Paulís epistle, Ro 16:6.
Is a term found as a title of thirteen Psalms, and imports one that instructs or makes to understand. Some interpreters think it means an instrument of music; but it more probably signifies an instructive song.
The womb. To "open the matrix," Ex 13:12,15, means, to be the firstborn.
An apostle and evangelist, was son of Alpheus, a Galilean by birth, a Jew by religion, and a publican by profession, Mt 9:9 10:3 Lu 6:15. The other evangelists call him onlyLEVI, which was his Hebrew name, Mr 2:14 Lu 5:27; but he always calls himself Matthew, which was probably his name as a publican, or officer for gathering taxes. He does not dissemble his former profession; thus exalting the grace of Christ which raised him to the apostleship. His ordinary abode was at Capernaum, and his office probably on the main road, near the Sea of Tiberias; here, in the midst of his business, he was called by Jesus to follow him, Mt 9:9 Mr 2:14. It is probable that he had a previous knowledge of the miracles and doctrine of Christ.
For theGOSPEL OF MATTHEW, see GOSPEL.
One of the disciples who continued with our Savior from his baptism to his ascension, Ac 1:21-26, and was after the ascension associated with the eleven apostles. We know nothing further of him.
Job 38:32. Our translators properly suppose this word to denote the twelve signs of the zodiac, a broad circle in the heavens, comprehending all such stars as lie in the path of the sun and moon. As these luminaries appear to proceed throughout this circle annually, so different parts of it progressively receive them every month; and this progression seems to be what is meant by "bringing forth mazzaroth in his season," that is, Canst thou by thy power cause the revolutions of the heavenly bodies in the zodiac, and the seasons of summer and winter, in their regular succession?
SeeSHEKELS, TALENT, BATH, or Ephah, EPHAH, etc.
"Meat" in the English Bible usually signifies "food," and not merely "flesh," Ge 1:29,30 Mt 15:37. So in Lu 24:41; "Have ye here any meat?" literally, anything to eat? The "meat-offerings" of the Jews were made of flour and oil, etc., Le 2:1-16. SeeOFFERINGS and SACRIFICES. As to the animal food used by the Jews, see CLEAN, and FOOD.
It does not appear that the ancient Hebrews were very particular about the seasoning and dressing of their food. We find among them roast meat, boiled meat, and ragouts. Moses forbade them to seethe a kid in its motherís milk,Ex 23:19 34:26 óa precept designed to inculcate principles of humanity, and perhaps to prevent them from adopting an idolatrous custom of their heathen neighbors. The Jews were also forbidden to kill a cow and its calf in the same day; or a sheep, or goat, and its young one, at the same time. They might not cut off a part of a living animal to eat it, either raw or dressed. If any lawful beast or bird should die of itself or be strangled, and the blood not drain away, they were no allowed to taste of it. They ate of nothing dressed by any other than a Jew, nor did thy ever dress their victuals with the kitchen implements of any but one of their own nation.
The prohibition of eating blood, or animals that are strangled, has been always rigidly observed by the Jews. In the Christian church, the custom of refraining from things strangled, and from blood, continued for a long time, being approved by the council held at Jerusalem, and recommended to the Gentile converts, Ac 15:1-41.
At the first settling of the church, there were many disputes concerning the use of meats offered to idols. Some newly converted Christians, convinced that an idol was nothing, and that the distinction of clean and unclean creatures was abolished by our Savior, ate indifferently of whatever was served up to them, even among pagans, without inquiring whether the meats had been offered to idols. They took the same liberty in buying meat sold in the market, not regarding whether it were pure or impure according to the Jews; or whether it had been offered to idols or not. But other Christians, weaker, more scrupulous, or less instructed, were offended at this liberty, and thought the eating of meat which had been offered to idols was a kind of partaking in that wicked and sacrilegious offering. This diversity of opinion among the disciples called for the judgment of inspiration; and we find in several of Paulís epistles directions both for those who held such scruples, and for those who were free from them. The former, while in obedience to their own conscience they carefully abstained from the food in question, were charged to view with charity the conduct of those who did not share their scruples. The latter might freely but and eat without guilt, since meat is in no wise injured as an article of food by being offered to an idol; yet whenever others would be scandalized, pained, or led into sin by this course, even they were required by the laws of Christian charity and prudence to abstain, Ro 14:20-23 1Co 8:1-13 10:19-33 Tit 1:15. This principle is of general application in similar cases; and many in our own day might well adopt the generous determination of the self-denying apostle to partake of no questionable indulgence while the world stands, if it may be the occasion of sin to others.
A son of Abraham and Keturah, Ge 25:2. He is supposed to have settled in Arabia, near Midian his brother.
A town east of the Jordan in the tribe of Reuben, Jos 13:9,16. Near it the army of David gained a great victory, 1Ch 19:7. Long afterwards, it fell again into the hands of the Moabites its ancient masters,Nu 21:30; Isa 15:2. Its ruins, on rising ground a few miles southeast of Heshbon, still retain the old name.
Called by the HebrewsMADAI, and supposed to have been peopled by the descendants of Madai the son of Japheth, Ge 10:2; extended itself on the west and south of the Caspian Sea, from Armenia and Assyria on the north and west, to Farsistan or Persia proper on the south; and included the districts now called Shirvan, Adserbijan, Ghilan, Masanderan, and Irak Adjemi. It covered a territory larger than that of Spain, lying between 32 degrees and 40 degrees of north latitude, and was one of the most fertile and earliest cultivated among the kingdoms of Asia. It had two grand divisions, of which the northwestern was called Atropatene, or Lesser Media, and the southern Greater Media. The former corresponds to the modern Abserbijan, now, as formerly, a province of the Persian empire, on the west of the Caspian, surrounded by high mountains of the Tauritic range, except towards the east, where the river Kur, or Byrus, discharges its waters into the Caspian. The Greater Media corresponds principally to the modern Irak Adjemi, or Persian Irak. Ecbatana was the ancient capital.
Media is one of the most ancient independent kingdoms of which history makes mention. After several centuries of subjugation under Assyria, the Medes rebelled under Arbaces in the time of Sardanapalus, and again in the time of Sennacherib, about 700 B. C.. They became powerful, cultivated, and wealthy, Isa 13:17,18 21:2-3, and continued an independent kingdom until under Cyrus, Media became united with Persia. In this way arose the Medro-Persian kingdom; and the "laws of the Medes and Persians" are always mentioned by the sacred writers together, Es 1:19, etc.; Da 6:8,12, etc. So also the "Chronicles" of the Medes and Persians are mentioned together, Es 10:2. Indeed, from this time inward, the manners, customs, religion, and civilization of the Medes and Persians seem ever to have become more and more amalgamated. And in general it would seem, as we may gather from the ancient Zend writings, that the Medes, Persians, and Bactraians were originally the same people, having in common one language, the Zend, and one religion, the worship of Ormuzd, the highest being, under the symbol of fire. They also worshipped the stars, particularly the planets; and still more, the sun and moon. The priests of this religion, the Magi, were a Median race, to whom were intrusted the cultivation of the sciences, and the performance of the sacred rites. Among these, and as is supposed before the time of Cyrus, appeared Zerdusht, or Zoroaster, as a reformer, or rather as the restorer of the ancient but degenerated religion of light, whose disciples have maintained themselves even to the present day in Persia and India, under the name of Guebres.
Media is first mentioned in the Bible as the part of Assyria to which the ten tribes were transported: at first, those beyond the Jordan, by Tiglath-pileser, 1Ch 5:26; and afterwards, about 721 B. C., the remainder of Israel, by Shalmaneser, 2Ki 17:6. The subsequent history of Media is involved in that of Persia. Both countries were subdued by Alexander of Macedon, 330 B. C.; and in the next century became tributary to the Parthians on their east, in connection with whom they are mentioned in Ac 2:9. SeePERSIA.
One who stands between two parties or persons as the organ of communication or the agent of reconciliation. So far as man is sensible of his own guilt and of the holiness and justice of God, he shrinks from any direct communication with a being he has so much reason to fear. Hence the disposition more or less prevalent in all ages and in all parts of the world, to interpose between the soul and its judge some person or thing most adapted to propitiate his favor as a priestly order, an upright and devout man, or the smoke of sacrifices and the sweet savor of incense, Job 9:33. The Israelites evinced this feeling at the Mount Sinai, De 5:23-31; and God was pleased to constitute Moses a mediator between himself and them, to receive and transmit the law on the one had, and their vows of obedience on the other. In this capacity he acted on various other occasions, Ex 32:30-32 Nu 14:1-45 Ps 106:23; and was thus an agent and a type of Christ, Ga 3:19. The Messiah has been in all ages the only true Mediator between God and man; and without Him, God is inaccessible and a consuming fire, Joh 14:6 Ac 4:12. As the Angel of the covenant, Christ was the channel of all communications between heaven and earth in Old Testament days; and as the Mediator of the new covenant, he does all that is needful to provide for a perfect reconciliation between God and man. He consults the honor of God by appearing as our Advocate with the blood of atonement; and through his sympathizing love and the agency of the Holy Spirit, he disposes and enables us to return to God. The believing penitent is "accepted in the Beloved" -his person, his praises, and his prayers; and through the same Mediator alone he receives pardon, grace, and eternal life. In this high office Christ stands alone, because he alone is both God and man, 1Ti 2:5. To join Mary and the saints to him in his mediatorship, as the antichristian church of Rome does, implies that he is unable to accomplish his own peculiar work, Heb 8:6 9:15 12:24.
A town of Manesseh, thought within the bounds of Issachar. It had been a royal city of the Canaanites, and they long retained a foothold in it, Jos 12:21; 17:11; Jud 1:27. It lay in the southwest border of the plain of Esdraelon, near the Kishon, which is probably intended by "the waters of Megiddo," mentioned in the song of Deborah and Barak as the scene of their victory, Jud 5:19,21. In the reign of Solomon, Megiddo was fortified, 1Ki 9:15. Here king Ahaziah died, and King Josiah was defeated, slain, and sorely lamented, 2Ki 9:27; 23:29; Zec 12:11. Robinson identifies it with a village now called Lejun, the Legio of the Romans.
King of righteousness, king of Salem, and also priest of the most high God, in which capacity he blessed Abraham, and received tithes at his hand, Ge 14:18-20. Scripture tells us nothing of his father or mother, of his genealogy, his birth, or his death; he stands alone, without predecessor or successor, a royal priest by the appointment of God; and thus he was a type of Jesus Christ, who is "a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek," and not after the order of Aaron, whose origin, consecration, life, and death, are known, Ps 110:4 Heb 7:1-28. SeeGENEALOGY.
It has been a matter of great inquiry among commentators, who Melchizedek really was. He has been variously supposed to be the Holy Spirit, the Son of God, an angel, Enoch and Shem. But the safest and most probable opinion is that which considers Melchizedek as a righteous and peaceful king, a worshiper and priest of the most high God, in the land of Caanan; a friend of Abraham, and of a rank elevated above him. This opinion, indeed, lies upon the very face of the sacred record in Ge 14:1-24 Heb 7:1-28, and it is the only one that can be defeated on any tolerable grounds of interpretation. SeeSALEM.
The name Melita was anciently applied to two islands; one in the Adriatic Sea, on the coast of Illyricum, now called Meleda; the other in the Mediterranean, between Sicily and Africa, now called Malta. That the latter is the one on which Paul suffered shipwreck is evident both from the direction of the wind which blew him thither, (SeeEUROCLYDON,) and from the fact that he left the island in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered there on her voyage to Italy, and after touching at Syracuse and Rhegium, landed at Puteoli, thus sailing on a direct course. The other Melita would be far out of the usual track from Alexandria to Italy; and in sailing from it to Rhegium, Syracuse also would be out of the direct course. The fact that the vessel was tossed all night before the shipwreck in the Adriatic Sea, does not militate against this view, because the name Adria was applied to the whole Ionian Sea, which lay between Sicily and Greece. See ADRIA. Ac 27:27 28:1.
Malta is a rocky island, sixty-two miles south of Sicily, seventeen miles long and nine broad, and containing nearly one hundred square miles, and 100,000 inhabitants. At an early period it was seized by the Phoenicians; these were dispossessed by the Greeks of Sicily; they by the Carthaginians; and they in turn, 242 B. C., by the Romans, who held it in the time of Paul. After numerous changes, it fell at length into the hands of the English, who since 1814 have held undisputed possession of it. The name of "St Paulís bay" is now borne by a small inlet on the north side of the island, opening towards the east, which answers well to the description in Ac 27:1-44. Here Paul was protected by the hand of God, amid perils on shore as well as in the sea. He remained here three months, and wrought many miracles.
Are common in the East, but do not differ particularly form ours. Watermelons grow luxuriantly in Palestine, even in dry and sandy soil. They are a delicious fruit in a hot climate, and were among the articles of food for which the Hebrews pined in the desert, Nu 11:5.
The name or the official title of a butler or steward at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, Da 1:11-16.
Ho 9:6. SeeNOPH.
The sixteenth king of Israel, previously general of the army of Zachariah. He was at Tirzah when he heard of his masterís murder; and immediately marching against Shallum, who had shut himself up in Samaria, he captured and slew him, and them ascended the throne. He reigned in Samaria ten years, 771-760 B. C., and was a tyrannical and cruel idolater. Pul, king of Assyria, having invaded Israel during the reign of Menahem, obliged him to pay a tribute of a thousand talents, which Menahem raised by a tax on all his rich subjects of fifty shekels a head. He seems to have died a natural death; but his son and successor Pekahiah reigned only two years, and was the last of the dynasty, 2Ki 15:13-22. The name of Menahem is found on the Assyrian tablets recently discovered.
He is numbered;TEKEL, he is weighed; UPHARSIN, and they are dividing; Chaldee words supernaturally traced on the wall at Balshazzarís impious feast, and significant of his impending doom, Da 5:1-31. The astrologers could not read them, perhaps because they were written in antique Hebrew characters; still less could they explain, even if they had dared to do it, what was so portentous. Daniel, however, received skill to understand and courage to declare their awful meaning; and the same night witnessed their fulfillment. Over how many proud heads often found in scenes of ungodliness and reveling, the hand that has recorded their past history is even now preparing to record their doom
A son of Jonathan, also called Merib-baal, 1Ch 8:34. SeeESHBAAL. Mephibosbeth was very young when his father was killed in the battle of Gilboa, 2Sa 4:4, and his nurse was in such consternation at the news, that she let the child fall; and from this accident he was lame all his life. When David found himself in peaceable possession of the kingdom, he sought for all that remained of the house of Saul, that he might show them kindness, in consideration of the friendship between him and Jonathan. He gave Mephibosheth the estate of his grandfather Saul. Of a part of this, however, he was afterwards deprived by the treachery of his steward Zeba, and the hasty injustice, as it appears, of David towards and unfortunate but noble and loyal prince, 2Sa 9:1-13 16:1-4 19:24-30. David subsequently took care to exempt him from the number of the descendants of Saul given up to the vengeance of the Gibeonites, 2Sa 21:1-14, though another Mephibosheth, a son of Saul was slain, 2Sa 21:8.
The eldest daughter of king Saul, was promised to David in marriage, in reward for his victory over Goliath; but was given to Adriel, son of Barzillai the Meholathite, 1Sa 14:49 18:17,19. Merab had five sons by him, who were delivered to the Gibeonites, and hanged before the Lord, 2Sa 21:8,9. The text intimates that the five men delivered to the Gibeonites were sons of Michal; but seeADRIEL.
The youngest of Leviís three sons, born in Canaan, and head of a family of the Levites, Ge 46:11; Ex 6:16; Nu 3:17; 1Ch 6:1. In the journey through the wilderness they were charged with the framework of the tabernacle, to carry from one place of encampment to another, and there set it up, Nu 4:29-33; 7:8. Twelve cities were assigned to them beyond Jordan, Jos 21:7,34-40.
Ge 23:16. The commodities of different countries were usually exchanged by traders of various kinds, in caravans or "traveling companies," Isa 21:13, which had their regular season and routes for passing from one great mart to another, Ge 37:25,28. These merchants prospered by wandering, as ours do by remaining stationary.
The apostle James reminds them to lay their plans in view of the uncertainty of life, and their need of divine guidance, Jas 4:13. Some of the maritime nations, as Egypt, and still more the Phoenicians, carried on a large traffic by sea, Isa 23:2 Eze 27:28.
A fabulous god of the ancient heathen, the messenger of the celestials, and the deity that presided over learning, eloquence, and traffic. The Greeks named him Hermes, interpreter, because they considered him as the interpreter of the will of the gods. Probably it was for this reason that he people of Lystra, having heard Paul preach, and having seen him heal a lame man, would have offered sacrifice to him as to their god Mercury; and to Barnabas as Jupiter, because of his venerable aspect, Ac 14:11-12.
The divine goodness exercised towards the wretched and the guilty, in harmony with truth and justice, Ps 85:10. The plan by which God is enabled to show saving mercy to men, for Christís sake, is the most consummate work of infinite wisdom and love. The soul that has truly experienced the mercy of God will be merciful like him, Lu 6:36, compassionate to the wretched, Ps 41:1,2, and forgiving towards all, Mt 5:7 18:33.
1Ch 28:11, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant, which see. The Hebrew word means a cover, but contains an allusion to the covering or forgiving of sins, Ps 32:1. In the New Testament it is designated by a Greek word meaning "the propitiatory," or "expiatory," Heb 9:4,5. It was approached only by the high priest, and not without the blood of atonement, to show that the divine mercy can be granted only through the blood of Christ, Ro 3:25.
The "waters of Merom," Jos 11:5, or lake of Semechon, is the most northern of the three lakes supplied by the river Jordan. It is situated in the southern part of a valley formed by the two branches of Mount Hermon. The lake is now called after the valley, the lake of Huleh. The lake proper is four or five miles long, and perhaps four broad, tapering towards the south. It is very shallow, and a large part of it is covered with aquatic plants. Thousand of waterfowl sport on its surface, and its water abound in fish. On the north lies the plain of the Huleh, which is a dead level for a distance of six miles or more. Near the upper end of this, the three streams which form the Jordan unite. On the west side of the Jordan above the lake, a marsh extends up north as far as the junction of these streams, or even farther; while on the eastern side the land is tilled almost down to the lake. It is a splendid plain, and extremely fertile. All kinds of grain grow on it, with very little labor; and it still merits the praise accorded to it by the Danite spies; "We have seen the land; and behold, it is very good, .... a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth," Jud 18:9,10. Its rich soil is formed by deposit, and it seems to be partially submerged in the spring. Thus the lake and valley El-Huleh form an immense reservoir, and unite with the snows of Hermon to maintain the summer supplies of the Jordan. Near this lake Joshua defeated the kings of Northern Canaan, Jos 11:1-8.
1. A station of the Israelites between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai, where they murmured against the Lord, and a fountain gushed from the rock for their use, Ex 17:1-7. It was also named Massah, temptation, when they tempted God there, De 33:8 Heb 3:8.
2. A similar miraculous fountain in the desert of Zin, near Kadesh, which see, Nu 20:13,14. This was the scene of the transgression of Moses and Aaron, for which they were precluded from crossing the Jordan. It is called "the waters of Meribah," De 33:8 Ps 81:7 106:32, and also Meribah-kadesh, Nu 27:14 De 32:51 Eze 47:19.
An idol of the Babylonians, representing probably the planet Mars, Jer 50:2. The names of Babylonish kings were also sometimes compounded with this name, as Evil-Merodach and Merodach-Baladan, Isa 39:1, who is also called Berodach-Baladan in 2Ki 20:12.
An unknown place in Galilee, cursed in the song of Deborah and Barak for not joining with them against the foes of Israel, Jud 5:23. Probably their vicinity to the scene of conflict, or the opportunity they had of rendering some special assistance, rendered their refusal peculiarly guilty.
1. A place on the eastern frontier of the territory of Joktan, Ge 10:30, supposed to have been in the region of Bassora, at the northwest end of the Persian Gulf.
2. A king of Moab, who paid an enormous tribute to Ahab king of Israel, but revolted at his death, 2Ki 1:1; 3:4-27. Joram the son of Ahab, with the aid of Judah and Edom, made war upon him, and besieged him in his capital. Unable to force his way through the besieging host, King Mesha sought the aid of his gods by sacrificing his own son on the city wall; and the besiegers, horrorstruck at this atrocious act, withdrew in terror, lest some curse should fall on them.
MESHECH or MESECH
Ps 120:5, the sixth son of Japheth, Ge 10:2, located near Tubal at the northeast corner of Asia Minor, in Iberia, and supposed by many to have been the father of the Muscovites. Meshech traded with Tyre in "the persons of men, and in vessels of brass," Eze 27:13; 32:26; 38:2.
Between the rivers, the Greek name of the country between the Euphrates and the Tigris, called in Arabic, Al Jezira, the island. SeeARAM 2, and PADAN-ARAM. In its fullest sense, Mesopotamia extended from the Persian Gulf to mount Taurus; but the name usually denotes only the tract above Babylonia, now called Dearbekr and celebrated for its exuberant fertility; while the part below, now Irak-Arabi, is sterile and without water. Mesopotamia was including the territories of the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires successively, and belongs now to that of the Turks.
This region is associated with the earliest history of the human race both before and after the flood. Eden was not far off; Ararat was near to it on the north, and the land of Shinar on the south. The traveler here reaches what is truly "the Old World," and is surrounded by objects compared with which the antiquities of Greece and Rome are modern novelties. This was the home of the patriarchs who proceeded Abraham-Terah, Heber, Peleg, etc. Here Abraham and Sarah were born, and the wives of Isaac, and Jacob, and most of the sons of Jacob, the heads of the twelve tribes. Mesopotamia is also mentioned in Scripture as the abode of the first oppressor of Israel in the time of the judges, Jud 3:8-10; in the history of the wars of David, 2Sa 10:16; and as furnishing a delegation of Jews, and perhaps proselytes, to attend the Passover at Jerusalem, Ac 2:9.
MESSIAH or MESSIAS
Anointed, a title given principally, or by way of eminence, to that sovereign Deliverer promised to the Jews. They were accustomed to anoint their kings, high priests, and sometimes prophets, when they were set apart to their office; and hence the phrase, "to anoint" for an employment, sometimes signifies merely a particular designation or choice for such an employment. Cyrus, who founded the empire of the Persians, and who set the Jews at liberty, is called, Isa 45:1, "the anointed of the Lord;" and in Eze 28:14, the epithet "anointed" is given to the king of Tyre.
But, as we have already observed,MESSIAH is the designation given by the Hebrews, eminently, to that Savior and Deliverer whom they expected, and who was promised to them by all the prophets. As the holy unction was given to kings, priests, and prophets, by describing the promised Savior of the world under the name of Christ, Anointed, or Messiah, it was sufficiently evidenced that the qualities of king, prophet, and highpriest would eminently center in him, and that he should exercise them not only over the Jews but over all mankind, and particularly over those who should receive him as their Savior. See CHRIST.
That Jesus Christ was the trueMESSIAH of the Old Testament, the "Shiloh" of Jacob, the "Redeemer" of Job, the "Angel of the Covenant," is abundantly clear. The time of his appearance was predicted in Ge 49:10 Da 9:20,25 Hag 2:7 Mal 3:1. At the time when the Savior actually came, and then only, could these predictions meet: then the seventy weeks of years were ended; and soon after, the scepter was torn forever from the hands of Judah, the only tribe that could then claim the headship of the Jews; and the temple in which the Messiah was to appear was annihilated. Then also the genealogical lists were extant, which proved the descent of Christ from the line predicted. Numerous and clear detached predictions respecting the birth, character, life, sufferings, and death of Christ, his resurrection, ascension, and kingdom, were all in him perfectly fulfilled, Joh 1:41 4:25.
2Sa 8:1; 1Ch 18:1. SeeGATH.
Son of Enoch, and father of Lamech. He lived 969 years, a longer life than any other on record, and died within the year before the deluge, Ge 5:21,22.
1. The Morasthite, or of Maresheth, a village near Eleutheropolis, in the west of Judah; the seventh in order of the lesser prophets. He prophesied under Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, for about fifty years, if with some we reckon from near the beginning of the reign of Jotham, to the last year of Hezekiah B. C. 750-698. He was nearly contemporary with Isaiah, and has some expressions in common with him. Compare Isa 2:2 with Mic 4:1, andIsa 41:15 with Mic 4:13. His bold fidelity served as a shield to the prophet Jeremiah a century afterwards, Jer 26:18,19 Mic 3:12. He wrote in an elevated and vehement style, with frequent transitions. His prophecy relates to the sins and judgments of Israel and Judah, the destruction of Samaria and Jerusalem, the return of the Jews from captivity, and the punishment of their enemies. He proclaims the coming of the Messiah, "whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting," as the foundation of all hope for the glorious and blessed future he describes; and specifies Bethlehem in Judah as the place where He should be born of woman, Mic 5:2,3. The prediction was thus understood by the Jews, Mt 2:6 Joh 7:41,42.
2. An Ephraimite in the time of the Judges, soon after Joshua, who stole eleven hundred shekels of silver from his mother, but restored them, and with her consent employed them in establishing a private sanctuary, with an image to be used in the worship of Jehovah, and with a Levite for his priest. Providence frowned on his idolatrous service, and a troop of Danites robbed him of his priest and of all implements of worship, Jud 17:13.
1. A faithful and fearless prophet, consulted by King Ahab at the demand of Jehoshaphat as to the issue of their proposed campaign against the Syrians. He was imprisoned to abide the event, which coincided with his predictions and probably secured his release, 1Ki 22:8-38. Ahabís conduct in this matter displays the amazing folly of sins against light.
2. A prince of Judah, who seconded the efforts of Jehoshaphat to instruct and reform the people of Judah, 2Ki 17:7-9.
A young prince at the court of Jehoiakim, who communicated to the kingís counselors the solemn warnings of Jeremiah, Jer 36:11- 13.
The younger of Saulís two daughters, in love with David, and whom Saul reluctantly gave to him in marriage, 1Sa 14:49 18:20-29. She saved her husbandís life from assassins sent by her father, by a stratagem that gave him time to escape, 1Sa 19:14-15. Her father then gave her in marriage to Phalti, 1Sa 25:44, from whom David some years after recovered her, 2Sa 3:12-21.
When David brought the ark of God to Jerusalem, she conceived and expressed great disgust at his pious joy, and the affections of the king remained alienated from her till her death, 2Sa 6:16-23. Her hatred of unfashionable zeal in religion was stronger than her love of her husband and her God. She left no children.
A town of Benjamin, nine miles north by east of Jerusalem, Ne 7:31; 11:31. It was a strong position and lay on the north side of a deep valley; for which reasons perhaps Sennacherib, on his way to Jerusalem, left his heavy equipage there, Isa 10:28,29. In this deep valley, a little west of the town, are two steep hills or rocks, supposed to be the ones referred to in the account of Jonathanís achievement at "the passage of Michmash," 1Sa 13:23; 14:4. Dr. Robinson found here a village called Mukhmas, which appeared to be the remnant of a town of some size and importance.
Prefixed to Ps 16:11, and meaning golden, profound, or as some think, a writing or song, as in Isa 38:9.
The fourth son of Abraham and Keturah, Ge 25:2.
Descendants of Midian, a nomade race in Arabia, numerous, and rich in flocks, herds, and camels, Isa 60:6. The original and appropriate district of the Midianites seems to have been on the east side of the Elantic branch of the Red Sea, where the Arabian geographers place the city Midian, Ac 7:29. But they appear to have spread themselves northward, probably along the desert east of Mount Seir, to the vicinity of the Moabites; and on the other side, also, they covered a territory extending to the neighborhood of Mount Sinai. See Ex 3:1 18:1 Nu 22:25,31 Jud 6:1-8:35. In Ge 25:2,4, compared with Ge 25:12-18, they are distinguished from the descendants of Ishmael, though elsewhere we find the two people intimately associated, so that they are called now by one name and now by the other. See Ge 37:25, compared with Ge 37:36. Their capital city was called Midian, and its remains were to be seen in the time of Jerome and Eusebius. It was situated on the Arnon, south of the city Ar, or Areopolis.
The Midianites were idolaters, and often led Israel astray to worship their gods. They also not infrequently rendered the Hebrews tributary, and oppressed them. See Nu 22:1-41 25:1-18 31:1-54. Often when the Israelites had sown, and their harvest was nearly ready to be gathered in, the Midianites and Amalekites, children of the eastern desert, came down like locusts in countless swarms, with their cattle and tents and camels, to devour and carry off the fruits of the ground, and not only rob but destroy their owners. And often did the Jews, lacking the strength or the faith or the leadership necessary for effectual resistance, seek refuge in mountain-dens and caverns till the invaders retired. Gideon was their deliverer in one such period of oppression, Jud 6:7. The modern Ishmaelites still follow the ancient practice, and their violent incursions, robberies, and murders might be described in the same terms that were used with reference to their fathers by the historians of old.
A tower, a frontier town in Northern Egypt towards the Red Sea, Jer 44:1; 46:14; Eze 29:10; 30:6. The Hebrews, on leaving Egypt, encamped between it and the sea, Ex 14:2; Nu 33:7.
A town in the vicinity of Ai and Gibeah, north of Michmash, now lost, 1Sa 14:2; Isa 10:28.
The word mile, in Mt 5:41, is spoken of the Roman milliare, or mile, which contained eight stadia, 1,000 paces, that is, about 1,614 yards, while the English mile contains 1,760 yards.
An ancient city, formerly the metropolis of all Ionia, situated on the western coast of Asia Minor, on the confines of Caria, just south of the mouth of the river Meander. It was the parent of many colonies, and was celebrated for a temple and oracle of Apollo Didymaeus, an as the birthplace of Thales, Anaximander, Democritus, and other famous men.
The apostle Paul, on his voyage from Macedonia toward Jerusalem, spent a day or two here, and held an affecting interview with the Christian elders of Ephesus, who at his summons came nearly thirty miles from the north to meet him, Ac 20:15-38. He also revisited Miletus after his first imprisonment at Rome, 2Ti 4:20. There were Christians and bishops there from the fifth to the eighth century; but the city has long been in ruins, and its exact site can hardly be determined, so much is the coast altered around the mouth of the Meander.
Is often alluded to in the Bible, as a symbol of pure, simple, and wholesome truth, Heb 5:12,13 1Pe 2:2; and in connection with honey, to denote fertility and plenty, Ge 49:12 Nu 16:13 Jos 5:6. The Jews and their neighbors used not only the milk of cows, but also that of camels, sheep, and goats, Ge 32:15 De 32:14 Pr 27:27. SeeBUTTER and CHEESE.
1. Probably a bastion of the citadel of Zion, at Jerusalem, mentioned in the history of David and Solomon, 2Sa 5:9 2Ki 12:20 1Ch 11:8 2Ch 32:5.
2. The name of a family or of a fortress at Shechem; in the latter case, the "house of Millo" would mean the garrison of that fortress, Jud 9:6.
A kind of grain of which there are several species cultivated in Italy, Syria, Egypt, and India. It is used partly green as fodder, and partly in the ripe grain for bread, etc. Eze 4:9, received an order from the Lord to make himself bread with a mixture of wheat, barley, beans, lentiles, and millet. "Durra," says Niebuhr, "is a kind of millet, made into bread with camelís milk, oil, butter, etc, and is almost the only food eaten by the common people of Arabia Felix. I found it so disagreeable, that I would willingly have preferred plain barley bread." This illustrates the appointment of it to the prophet Ezekiel as a part of his hard fare.
One who attends or waits on another, Mt 20:28; so Elisha was the minister of Elijah, 1Ki 19:21 2Ki 3:11. These persons did not feel themselves degraded by their stations, and in due time they succeeded to the office of their masters. In like manner, John Mark was minister to Paul and Barnabas, Ac 13:5. Angels are ministers of God and of his people, Ps 103:21 Heb 1:14. The term is applied to one who performs any function, or administers any office or agency: as to magistrates, Ro 15:16 1Co 4:1 5:5; and to teachers of error, 2Co 11:15. Christ came to minister, not to be ministered unto; and is called in another sense a minister "of the circumcision," Ro 15:8, and of the heavenly sanctuary, Heb 8:2.
A kingdom summoned to a war against Babylon, with Ararat and Ashchenaz, Jer 51:27; supposed to denote Armenia, or a portion of it.
A town of the Ammonites in the time of Jephthah, Jud 11:33, four miles northeast of Heshbon. It furnished fine wheat for the market of Tyre, Eze 27:17.
A garden herb, sufficiently known. The Pharisees, desiring to distinguish themselves by a most scrupulous and literal observation of the law, gave tithes of mint, anise, and cummin, Mt 23:23. Our Savior does not censure this exactness, but complains, that while they were so precise in these lesser matters, they neglected the essential commandments of the law-making their punctiliousness about easy and external duties an excuse for disregarding their obligations to love God supremely, to be regenerated in heart, and just and beneficent in life.
Also called a sign, wonder, or mighty work, Ac 2:32; a work so superseding in its higher forms the established laws of nature as to evince the special interposition of God. A miracle is to be distinguished from wonders wrought by designing men through artful deceptions, occult sciences, or laws of nature unknown except to adepts. The miracles wrought by Christ, for example, were such as God only could perform; were wrought in public, before numerous witnesses, both friends and foes; were open to the most perfect scrutiny; had an end in view worthy of divine sanction; were attested by witnesses whose character and conduct establish their claim to our belief; and are further confirmed by institutions still existing, intended to commemorate them, and dating from the period of the miracles. Christ appealed to his mighty works as undeniable proofs of his divinity and Messiahship, Mt 9:6 11:4,5,23,24 Joh 10:24-27 20:29,31. The deceptions of the magicians in Egypt, and of false prophets in ancient and in modern times, De 13:1 Mt 24:24 2Th 2:9 Re 13:13,14, would not bear the above tests. By granting to any man the power to work a miracle, God gave the highest attestation to the truth he should teach and the message he should bring, 1Ki 18:38,39; this is Godís own seal, not to be affixed to false hoods; and though the lying wonders of Satan and his agents were so plausible as to "deceive if possible the very elect," no one who truly sought to know and do the will of God could be deluded by them.
The chief object of miracles having been to authenticate the revelation God has made of his will, these mighty words ceased when the Scripture canon was completed and settled, and Christianity was fairly established. Since the close of the first century from the ascension of Christ, few or no undoubted miracles have been wrought; and whether a sufficient occasion for new miracles will ever arise is known only to God.
The following list comprises most of the miracles on record in the Bible, not including the supernatural visions and revelations of himself which God vouch-safed to his ancient servants, nor those numerous wonders of his providence which manifest his hand almost as indisputable as miracles themselves. See alsoPROPHECY. Old Testament Miracles
The creation of all things, Ge 1:1-31.
The deluge, comprising many miracles, Ge 6:1-22.
The destruction of Sodom, etc., Ge 19:1-38.
The healing of Abimelech, Ge 20:17,18.
The burning bush, Ex 3:2-4.
Mosesí rod made a serpent, and restored, Ex 4:3-4 7:10.
Mosesí hand made leprous, and healed,Ex 4.6-7.
Water turned into blood, Ex 4:9,30.
The Nile turned to blood, Ex 7:20.
Frogs brought and removed, Ex 8:6,13.
Lice brought, Ex 8:17.
Flies brought, and removed, Ex 8:21-31.
Murrain of beasts, Ex 9:3-6.
Boils and blains brought, Ex 9:10,11.
Hail brought, and removed, Ex 9:23,33.
Locusts brought, and removed, Ex 10:13,19.
Darkness brought, Ex 10:22.
First-born destroyed, Ex 10:29.
The Red Sea divided, Ex 14:21-22.
Egyptians overwhelmed, Ex 14:26-28.
Waters of Marah sweetened, Ex 15:27.
Quails and manna sent, Ex 16:1-36.
Water from the rock, in Horeb, Ex 17:6.
Amalek vanquished, Ex 17:11-13.
Pillar of cloud and fire, Nu 9:15-23.
Leprosy of Miriam, Nu 12:10.
Destruction of Korah, etc., Nu 16:28-35,46-50.
Aaronís rod budding, Nu 17:8.
Water from the rock, in Kadesh, Nu 20:11.
Healing by the brazen serpent, Nu 21:8,9.
Balaamís ass speaks, Nu 22:28.
Plague in the desert, Nu 25:1,9.
Water of Jordan divided, Jos 3:10-17.
Jordan restored to its course, Jos 4:18.
Jericho taken, Jos 6:6-20.
Achan discovered, Jos 7:14-21.
Sun and moon stand still, Jos 10:12-14.
Gideonís fleece wet, Jud 6:36-40.
Midianites destroyed, Jud 7:16-22.
Exploits of Samson, Jud 14:1-16:31.
House of Dagon destroyed, Jud 16:30.
Dagon falls before the ark, etc., 1Sa 5:1-12.
Return of the ark, 1Sa 6:12.
Thunder and rain in harvest, 1Sa 12:18.
Jeroboamís hand withered, etc., 1Ki 13:4,6.
The altar rent, 1Ki 13:5.
Drought caused, 1Ki 17:6.
Elijah fed by ravens, 1Ki 17:6.
Meal and oil supplied, 1Ki 17:14-16.
Child restored to life, 1Ki 17:22-23.
Sacrifice consumed by fire, 1Ki 18:36,38.
Rain brought, 1Ki 18:41-45.
Men destroyed by fire, 2Ki 1:10-12.
Waters of Jordan divided, 2Ki 2:14.
Oil supplied, 2Ki 4:1-7.
Child restored to life, 2Ki 4:32-35.
Naaman healed, 2Ki 5:10,14.
Gehaziís leprosy, 2Ki 5:27.
Iron caused to swim, 2Ki 6:6.
Syrians smitten blind, etc., 2Ki 19:35.
Hezekiah healed, 2Ki 20:7.
Shadow put back, 2Ki 20:11.
Pestilence in Israel, 1Ch 21:14.
Jonah preserved by a fish, Jon 1:17 2:10.
New Testament Miracles.
The star in the east, Mt 2:3.
The Spirit like a dove, Mt 3:16.
Christís fast and temptations, Mt 4:1-11.
Many miracles of Christ, Mt 4:23-24 8:16 14:14,36 15:30 Mr 1:34 Lu 6:17-19.
Lepers cleansed, Mt 8:3-4 Lu 17:14.
Centurionís servant healed, Mt 8:5-13.
Peterís wifeís mother healed, Mt 8:14.
Tempests stilled, Mt 8:23-26 14:32.
Devils cast out, Mt 8:28-32 9:32-33 15:22-28 17:14-18.
Paralytics healed, Mt 9:2-6 Mr 2:3-12.
Issue of blood healed, Mt 9:20-22.
Jairusí daughter raised to life, Mt 9:18,25.
Sight given to the blind, Mt 9:27-30 20:34 Mr 8:22-25 Joh 9:17.
The dumb restored, Mt 9:32-33 12:22 Mr 7:33-35.
Miracles by the disciples, Mt 10:1-8.
Multitudes fed, Mt 14:15-21 15:35-38.
Christ walking on the sea, Mt 14:25-27.
Peter walking on the sea, Mt 14:29.
Christís transfiguration, etc., Mt 17:1-8.
Tribute from a fishís mouth, Mt 17:27.
The fig tree withered, Mt 21:19.
Miracles at the crucifixion, Mt 27:51-53.
Miracles at the resurrection, Mt 28:1-7 Lu 24:6.
Draught of fishes, Lu 5:4-6 Joh 21:6.
Widowís son raised to life, Lu 7:14,15.
Miracles before Johnís messengers, Lu 7:21-22.
Miracles by the seventy, Lu 10:9,17.
Woman healed of infirmity, Lu 13:11-13.
Dropsy cured, Lu 14:2-4.
Malchusí ear restored, Lu 22:50-51.
Water turned to wine, Joh 2:6-10.
Noblemanís son healed, Joh 4:46-53.
Impotent man healed, Joh 5:5-9.
Sudden crossing of the sea, Joh 6:21.
Lazarus raised from the dead, Joh 11:43-44.
Christís coming to his disciples, Joh 20:19,26.
Wonders at the Pentecost, Ac 2:1-11.
Miracles by the apostles, Ac 2:43 5:12.
Lame man cured, Ac 3:7.
Death of Ananias and Sapphira, Ac 5:5,10.
Many sick healed, Ac 5:15-16.
Apostles delivered from prison, Ac 5:19.
Miracles by Stephen, Ac 6:8.
Miracles by Philip, Ac 8:6,7,13.
Eneas made whole, Ac 9:34.
Dorcas restored to life, Ac 9:40.
Peter delivered from prison, Ac 12:6-10.
Elymas struck blind, Ac 13:11.
Miracles by Paul and Barnabas, Ac 14:3.
Lame man cured, Ac 14:10.
Unclean spirit cast out, Ac 16:18.
Paul and Silas delivered, Ac 16:25-26.
Special miracles, Ac 19:11-12.
Eutchus restored to life, Ac 20:10-12.
Viperís bite made harmless, Ac 28:5.
Father of Publius, etc., healed, Ac 28:8,9.
The sister of Moses and Aaron, probably the one who watched over Moses in the ark of bulrushes, Ex 2:4,5 Nu 26 59 Mic 6 4. As a prophetess, she led the women of Israel in their song of worship and thanksgiving to God on the drowning of the Egyptians, Ex 15:20,21. Her jealous murmurs against Moses and his Cushite wife were punished by a temporary leprosy, Nu 12:1-16 De 24:9; but she was forgiven and restored, and near the close of the wandering of Israel, died at Kadwshbarnea, Nu 20:1.
MISHAEL or MESHACH
A fellow-captive with Daniel in Babylon. SeeABEDNEGO.
A small piece of money, two of which made a kodrantes, or the fourth part of the Roman as. The as was equal to three and one-tenth farthings sterling, or about one and one-half cents. The mite, therefore, would be equal to about two mills, Lu 12:59; 21:2.
The sacred turban or bonnet of the Jewish high priest, made of a piece of fine linen many yards long, wound about the head, and having in front, secured with blue lace, a plate of pure gold on which was inscribed, "HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD," Ex 28:4,36-38 39:28-31.
The ancient capital of the island of Lesbos; a seaport on the east side of the island, towards Asia Minor. Paul touched there on his way from Greece to Jerusalem, Ac 20:14. The island is now called Mitelino; and the ruins of the city still exist near Castro.
MIZPAH or MIZPEH
A watch tower,
1. A town in Gilead, Ho 5:1; so named from the stone-heap cast up by Jacob and Laban, Ge 31:49; supposed by many to be the place mentioned in the history of Jephthah, Jud 10:17 11:11,29,34.
2. A city of Benjamin, a central gathering-place of the tribes in the period of the judges, Jos 18:26 Jud 20:1,3 21:1. Here Samuel sacrificed and judged, and here Saul was designated as king, 1Sa 7:5-16 10:17. It was fortified by Asa as a defense against Israel, 1Ki 15:22, was the residence of the governor, under Nebuchadnezzar, Jer 40:6, and was reoccupied after the captivity, Ne 3:19. Its name indicates that it occupied an elevated site, and it was near Ramah; hence Dr. Robinson identifies it with the modern place called Neby Samwil, four or five miles northnorthwest of Jerusalem.
3. A town in the plain of Judah, Jos 15:38.
4. A valley near Mount Hermon, towards Zidon, Jos 11:3,8.
A son of Ham, and father of various African races, Ge 10:6, but particularly of the Egyptians, to whom his name was given. Mizraim is also the Hebrew word for Egypt in the Bible, and this country is still called Misr in Arabic.
Of Cyprus, "an old disciple" with whom Paul lodged at Jerusalem, Ac 21:16.
Descendants of Moab the son of Lot, Ge 19:30-38. The land of Moab lay east and southeast of the Dead Sea, and chiefly south of the river Arnon. At one period, however, it extended north as far as the Jabbok, and for a long time the region beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho retained the name of "the plains of Moab," Nu 22:1 De 1:5 29:1 Jos 13:32. The Moabites had dispossessed a race of giants called Emin, De 2:11, and had themselves been expelled by the Amorites from the territory north of the Arnon, Nu 21:13,26 Jud 11:13-18, which was again conquered by Moses, and assigned to the tribe of Reuben. On the approach of Israel from Egypt, the Moabites acted with great inhumanity, Nu 22:1-24:25 De 2:8-9; and though God spared them from conquest, he excluded them and their seed even to the tenth generation form the peculiar privileges of his people, De 23:3-6. They were gross idolaters, worshipping Chemosh and Baalpeor with obscene rites, Nu 25:1-18 2Ki 3:27. SeeMOLOCH.
At times, as in the days of Ruth, there was peace between them and Israel; but a state of hostility was far more common, as in the time of Eglon, Jud 3:12-30; of Saul, 1Sa 14:47; of David, 2Sa 8:2,12; of Joram and Jeroboam, 2Ki 3:13,20 14:25. They aided Nebuchadnezzar against the Jews, 2Ki 24:2 Eze 25:6-11; and after these began to be carried captive, appear to have regained their old possessions north of the Arnon,Isa 15:1-16:14. The Jewish prophets recorded many threatenings against these hereditary enemies of God and his people, Nu 24:17 Ps 60:12 83:6 Jer 25:9-21 48:1-47 Am 2:1-3; and all travelers concur in attesting the fulfillment of these predictions. Desolation and gloom, brood over the mountains of Moab, and its fruitful valleys are for the most part untilled. It is under Turkish government, but is inhabited chiefly by migratory Arabs, Zep 2:8-9. Few travelers have ventured to traverse it in modern times. They describe it as abounding in ruins, such as shattered tombs, cisterns walls, temples, etc., proving that it was once densely populated. See "KEITH ON PROPHECY."
A small animal, which burrows obscurely in the ground, Isa 2:20. It is common is some parts of Palestine, and is mentioned as unclean in Le 11:30; or, according to Bochart, in Le 11:29, in the word translated "weasel."
MOLECH, MOLOCH, or MILCOM
A king, 1Ki 11:5,7 Ac 7:43; supposed also to be intended by Malcham, or "their king," in Jer 49:1 Am 1:15 Zep 1:5, the name of a heathen deity, worshipped by the Ammonites. The Israelites also introduced the worship of this idol, both during their wanderings in the desert, and after their settlement in Palestine, 2Ki 23:10 Eze 20:26,31. The principal sacrifices to Moloch were human victims, namely, children who were cast alive into the redhot arms of his statue. SeeHINNOM. Compare Le 18:21 20:2 De 12:31 Ps 106:37,38 Jer 7:31 19:2-6 32:35. According to some of these passages, Moloch would seem to be another name for Baal; and we find that the Phoenicians, whose chief god was Baal, and the Carthaginians their colonists, worshipped his image with similar horrid sacrifices, as the Romans did their god Saturn.
Was anciently weighed, and did not at first exist in the form of coins. The most ancient commerce was conducted by barter, or exchanging one sort of merchandise for another. One man gave what he could spare to another, who gave him in return part of his superabundance. Afterwards, the more precious metals were used in traffic, as a value more generally known and stated, and the amount agreed upon was paid over by weight, Ge 23:16 43:21 Ex 30:24. Lastly they gave this metal, a certain weight, and a certain degree of alloy, to fix its value, and to save buyers and sellers the trouble of weighing and examining the coins. The first regular coinage among the Jews is supposed to have been in the time of Simon Maccabaeus, less than a century and a half before Christ. The coins were the shekel, and a half, a third, and a quarter of a shekel. The Jewish coins bore an almond rod and a vase of manna, but no image of any man was allowed. Compare Mt 22:16-22. Many Greek and Roman coins circulated in Judea in New Testament times. SeeMITE, PENNY, SHEKEL.
Volney says, "The practice of weighing money is general in Syria, Egypt, and all Turkey. No piece, however effaced, is refused there: the merchant draws out his scales and weighs it, as in the days of Abraham, when he purchased his sepulchre. In considerable payments, an agent of exchange is sent for, who counts paras by thousands, rejects pieces of false money, and weighs all the sequins, either separately or together." This may serve to illustrate the phrase, "current money with the merchant," Ge 23:16; and the references to "divers weights" óa large one to weigh the money received, and a small one for that paid out; and to "wicked balances," De 25:13 Am 8:5 Mic 6:11. Our Savior alludes to a class of "exchangers," who appear to have taken money on deposit, and so used it that the owner might afterwards receive his own with interest, Mt 25:27. There were also money brokers who had stands in the outer court of the temple, probably to exchange foreign for Jewish coins; and to accommodate those who wished to pay the yearly half-shekel tax, Ex 30:15, or to present an offering. They were expelled by the Lord of the temple, not only for obtruding a secular business within the house of prayer, but also for pursuing it dishonestly, Mr 11:15-17.
In 1Ti 6:10, Paul speaks of the "love of money" as a root of all evils; censuring not money itself, but the love of itóa prevailing form of human selfishness and covetousness. This passion, to which so many crimes are chargeable, may infest the heart of a poor man as well as that of the rich; for the one may have as much of "the love of money" as the other.
The Hebrews months were lunar months, that is, from one new moon to another. These lunar months were each reckoned at twenty-nine days and a half; or rather, one was of thirty days, the following of twenty-nine, and so on alternately: that which had thirty days was called a full or complete month; that which had but twenty-nine days was called incomplete. The new moon was always the beginning of the month and this day they called new-moon day, or new month. The Hebrews usually designated the months only as first, second, etc.; and the names by which they are now known are believed to be of Persian origin, and to have been adopted by the Jews during the captivity. At the exodus from Egypt, which occurred in April, God ordained that that month-the seventh of the civil yearóshould be the first of the sacred year, according to which the religious festivals were to be reckoned; and from that time both these modes of numbering the months continued to be employed.
As the Jewish months were governed by the moon, while ours entirely disregard it, the two systems cannot wholly coincide. It is generally agreed, however, that their month Nisan answers most nearly to our April, Iyar to our May, etc.
Twelve lunar months making but three hundred and fifty-four days and six hours, the Jewish year was short of the Roman by twelve days. To recover the equinoctial points, from which this difference of the solar and lunar year would separate the new moon of the first month, the Jews every three years intercalated a thirteenth month, which they called Veadar, the second Adar. By this means their lunar year nearly equaled the solar. SeeYEAR.
This beautiful and stately ruler of the night, Ge 1:16, is one of the chief witnesses to mankind of the goodness, wisdom, and power of the Creator, Ps 8:3; and as receiving all its light from the sun, and reflecting it on all around, it is a striking image of the church of Christ. In the clear sky of the East, the moon shines with peculiar brilliancy; and it was worshipped by most nations of antiquity, either directly, or as an idol-goddess under the name of Ashtoreth, Artemis, Diana, Hecate, Meni, Mylitta, Maja, etc. The Hebrews were specially cautioned against this form of idolatry, De 4:19 17:3; and yet fell into it; 2Ki 21:3 Isa 65:11 Jer 7:18 8:2 19:13 44:17-25. SeeLUNATIC and NEW MOON.
The uncle of Esther, who rose to dignity and honor in the court of Ahasuerus. See the book of Esther.
The hill on which the temple of Jerusalem was built, 2Ch 3:1. SeeJERUSALEM. It seems to have been the same place where Abraham was about to offer up Isaac, Ge 22:1-2; and where David interceded for his people at the threshing-floor of Araunah, 2Sa 24:16-25.
This well-known utensil was employed by the Hebrews in preparing manna for use, Nu 11:8. Large iron mortars, for pounding grain, have been used by the Turks in the execution of criminals; but it is not known that the Jews ever practiced this mode of punishment. To this day a favorite article of food in Syria is prepared by pounding meat for hours in an iron mortar, and adding grain and spice while the process of "braying" goes on, Pr 27:22.
The name of the illustrious prophet and legislator of the Hebrews, who led them from Egypt to the Promised Land. Having been originally imposed by a native Egyptian princess, the word is no doubt Egyptian in its origin, and Josephus gives its true derivationófrom the two Egyptian words,MO, water, and USE, saved. With this accords the Septuagint form, MOUSES. The Hebrews by a slight change accommodated it to their own language, as they did also in the case of some other foreign words; calling it MOSHIE, from the verb MASHA, to draw. See Ex 2:10. Moses was born about 15.71 B. C., the son of Amram and Jochebed, of the tribe of Levi, and the younger brother of Miriam and Aaron. His history is too extensive to permit insertion here, and in general too well known to need it. It is enough simply to remark, that it is divided into three periods, each of forty years. The first extends from his infancy, when he was exposed in the Nile, and found and adopted y the daughter of Pharaoh, to his flight to Midian.
During this time he lived at the Egyptian court, and "was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was nightly in words and in deeds," Ac 7:22. This is no unmeaning praise; the "wisdom" of the Egyptians, and especially of their priests, was then the profoundest in the world. The second period was from his flight till his return to Egypt, Ac 7:30, during the whole of which interval he appears to have lived in Midian, it may be much after the manner of the Bedaween sheikhs of the present day. Here he married Zipporah, daughter of the wise and pious Jethro, and became familiar with life in the desert. What a contrast between the former period, spent amid the splendors and learning of a court, and this lonely nomadic life. Still it was in this way that God prepared him to be the instrument of deliverance to His people during the third period of his life, which extends from the exodus out of Egypt to his death on mount Nebo. In this interval how much did he accomplish, as the immediate agent of the Most High.
The life and institutions of Moses present one of the finest subjects for the pen of a Christian historian, who is at the same time a competent biblical antiquary. His institutions breathe a spirit of freedom, purity, intelligence, justice, and humanity, elsewhere unknown; and above all, of supreme love, honor, and obedience to God.
They molded the character of the Hebrews, and transformed them from a nation of shepherds into a people of fixed residence and agricultural habits. Through that people, and through the Bible, the influence of these institutions has been extended over the world; and often where the letter has not been observed, the spirit of them has been adopted. Thus it was in the laws established by the pilgrim fathers of New England; and no small part of what is of most value in the institutions which they founded, is to be ascribed to the influence of the Hebrew legislator.
The name of this servant of God occurs repeatedly in Greek and Latin writings, and still more frequently in those of the Arabs and the rabbinical Jews. Many of their statements, however, are mere legends without foundation, or else distortions of the Scripture narrative. By the Jews he has always been especially honored, as the most illustrious personage in all their annals, and as the founder of their whole system of laws and institutions. Numerous passages both in the Old and New Testament show how exalted a position they gave him, Ps 103:7 105:26 106:16 Isa 63:12 Jer 15:1 Da 9:11 Mt 8:4 Joh 5:45 9:28 Ac 7:20,37 Ro 10:5,19 Heb 3:1-19 11:23.
In all that he wrought and taught, he was but the agent of the Most High; and yet in all his own character stands honorably revealed. Though naturally liable to anger and impatience, he so far subdued himself as to be termed the meekest of men, Nu 12:3; and his piety, humility, and forbearance, the wisdom and vigor of his administration, his unfailing zeal and faith in God, and his disinterested patriotism are worthy of all imitation. Many features of his character and life furnish admirable illustrations of the work of Christóas the deliver, ruler, and guide of his people, bearing them on his heart, interceding for them, rescuing, teaching, and nourishing them even to the promised land. All the religious institutions of Moses pointed to Christ; and he himself, on the mount, two thousand years after his death, paid his homage to the Prophet he had foretold, De 18:15-19, beheld "that goodly mountain and Lebanon," De 3:25, and was admitted to commune with the Savior on the most glorious of themes, the death He should accomplish at Jerusalem, Lu 9:31.
Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, as it is called, or the first five books of the Bible. In the composition of them he was probably assisted by Aaron, who kept a register of public transactions, Ex 17:14 24:4,7 34:27 Nu 33:1,2 De 31:24, etc. Some things were added by a later inspired hand; as for example, De 34:1-12 Ps 90:1-17 also is ascribed to him; and its noble and devout sentiments acquire a new significance, if received as from his pen near the close of his pilgrimage.
The common moth is an insect destructive to woolen cloths. The egg is laid by a small shining worm; which by another transformation becomes a miller. Allusions to the moth, as devouring clothes, and as a frail and feeble insect, are frequent in Scripture, Job 4:19 13:28 27:18 Isa 50:9 Ho 5:12 Mt 6:19,20. SeeGARMENTS.
The insects called in general moths, of which the above is only one species, are exceedingly numerous. The main genus is called by naturalists Phaloena, and contains more than fifteen hundred species. Moths fly abroad only in the evening and night; differing in this respect from the tribe of butterflies that fly only by day. Their larva, or the worms from which they spring, are active, and quick in motion, mostly smooth, and prey voraciously on the food adapted to them; the common moth on cloths, others on furs, the leaves of plants, etc.
The Hebrew wordsAM and AB, mother and father, are simple and easy sounds for infant lips, like mamma and papa in English. See ABBA. "Before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and My mother," Isa 8:4. In addition to the usual meaning of "mother," AM sometimes signifies in the Bible grandmother, 1Ki 15:10, or some remote female ancestor, Ge 3:20. It is put for a chief city, 2Sa 20:19; for a benefactress, Jud 5:7; for a nation, as in the expressive English phrase, "the mother country," Isa 3:12 49:23. The fond affection of a mother is often referred to in Scripture; and God has employed it to illustrate his tender love for his people, Isa 49:15. Mothers are endowed with an all-powerful control over their offspring; and most men of eminence in the world have acknowledged their great indebtedness to maternal influence. When Bonaparte asked Madame Campan what the French nation most needed, she replied in one word, "Mothers." The Christian church already owes much, and will owe infinitely more, to the love, patience, zeal, and self-devotion of mothers in training their children for Christ.
Are among the most sublime and impressive of the Creatorís works on earth, and from the noblest and most enduring monuments of great events. Most of the mountains of Scripture thus stand as witnesses for Godóevery view of their lofty summits, and every recurrence to them in thought reminding us of the sacred facts and truths connected with them. Thus Mount Ararat is a standing memorial of the deluge of manís sin, Godís justice, and Godís mercy. Mount Sinai asserts the terrors of the divine law. Mount Carmel summons us, like the prophet Elijah of old, not to "halt between two opinions;" but if Jehovah is God, to love and serve him. The mount of the Transfiguration still shines with the glory of the truths there taught, and Mounts Ebal and Gerizim still echo the curses and the blessings once so solemnly pronounced from them. So Mount Hor, Nebo, Lebanon, and Gilboa have been signalized by striking events; mount Zion, Moriah, and Olivet are covered with precious memories; and the mountains about Jerusalem and all other "everlasting hills" are sacred witnesses of the eternal power and faithfulness of God.
Judea was eminently a hilly country; and the sacred poets and prophets drew from the mountains around them many beautiful and sublime illustrations of divine truth. Thus a kingdom is termed a mountain, Ps 30:7, especially the kingdom of Christ, Isa 2:2 11:9 Da 2:35. Thus also difficulty is a "great mountain," Zec 4:7. A revolution is the "carrying of mountains into the midst of the sea," Ps 46:3. God easily and speedily removes every obstacleó"hills melt like wax at the presence of the Lord," Ps 97:5. The integrity of the divine nature is sure and lastingó"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains," Ps 36:6. The eternity of Godís love is pictured out by this comparison: "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee," Isa 54:10.
When David wishes to express the stability of his kingdom, he says, "Lord, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong," Ps 30:7. The security and protection afforded by God to his people are thus beautifully delineated: "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth, even for ever," Ps 125:2. When the prophet would express his faith in God, how pure it was, and what confidence it inspired, far above any assurance which could arise from earthly blessing or defense, he sings, "Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is salvation of Israel," Jer 3:23.
The hills of Judea were anciently cultivate to the top, with scores of terraces, and covered with vines, olives, figs, etc. Hence the expression, alluding to the vine of Godís planting, "the hills were covered with the shadow of it," Ps 80:10; and others of the same kind. Travelers say it is a rare thing to pass a mountain, even in the wild parts of Judea, which does not show that it was formerly terraced and made to flow with oil and wine, though it may now be desolate and bare. Says Paxton, "There are many districts that are sadly encumbered with rock, yet the soil among these rocks is of a very superior kind: and were the rock somewhat broken up, the large pieces piled, and the small mixed with the soil, it might be made very productive. There is very striking proof of this in some districts, as that about Hebron, which abounds with rock, and yet is covered with the most productive vineyards. As to such a rocky country being so spoken of in the days of the patriarchs, I suppose that it was in truth, at that time the finest of lands; that the rock which now lies bare in so many places, was then all covered with earth of the richest kind."
"Even in those parts where all is now desolate," remarks Dr. Robinson, "there are everywhere traces of the hand of the men of other days... Most of the hills indeed exhibit the remains of terraces built up around them, the undoubted signs of former cultivation." Again, when traveling towards Hebron, he observes, "Many of the former terraces along the hill sides are still in use; and the land looks somewhat as it may have done in ancient times."
"We often counted forty, fifty, sixty, and even seventy terraces from the bottom of the valley up to the summit of the mountain... What a garden of delights this must have been, when instead of grass making green the surface, verdant and luxuriant vines were their clothing... We could understand how the words of Joel shall yet be literally true, ĎThe mountains shall drop down new wine,í when every vine on these hills shall be hanging its ripe clusters over the terraces. In observing too the singular manner in which the most rocky mountains have at one time been made, through vast labor and industry, to yield an abundant return to the husbandman, we saw clearly the meaning of the promise in Ezekiel, ĎBut ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit.í" Narrative of a Mission.
The Hebrews, at the death of their friends and relations, made striking demonstrations of grief and mourning. They wept, tore their clothes, smote their breasts, threw dust upon their heads, Jos 7:6, and lay upon the ground, went barefooted, pulled their hair and beards, or cut them, Ezr 9:3 Isa 15:2, and made incisions on their breasts, or tore them with their nails, Le 19:28 21:5 Jer 16:6 48:37. The time of mourning was commonly seven days, 1Sa 31:11-13; but it was lengthened or shortened according to circumstances, Zec 12:10. That for Moses and Aaron was prolonged to thirty days, Nu 20:29 De 34:8; and that for Jacob to seventy days, Ge 50:3.
During the time of their mourning, the near relations of the deceased continued sitting in their houses, and fasted, 2Sa 12:16, or ate on the ground. The food they took was thought unclean, and even themselves were judged impure. "Their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners: all that eat thereof shall be polluted," Ho 9:4. Their faces were covered, and in all that time they could not apply themselves to any occupation, nor read the book of the law, nor offer their usual prayers. They did not dress themselves, nor make their beds, nor uncover their heads, nor shave themselves, nor cut their nails, nor go into the bath, nor salute any body. Nobody spoke to them unless they spoke first, Job 2:11-13. Their friends commonly went to visit and comfort them, Joh 11:19,39, bringing them food, 2Sa 3:35 Jer 16:7. They also went up to the roof, or upon the platform of their houses, to bewail their misfortune: "They shall gird themselves with sackcloth; on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly," Isa 15:3 Jer 48:38. The mourning dress among the Hebrews was not fixed either by law or custom. We only find in Scripture that they used to tear their garments, a custom still observed; but now they tear a small part merely, and for formís sake, 2Sa 13:19 2Ch 34:27 Ezr 9:3 Job 2:12 Joe 2:13. Anciently in times of mourning, they clothed themselves in sackcloth, or haircloth, that is, in clothes of coarse brown or black stuff, 2Sa 3:31 1Ki 21:27 Es 4:1 Ps 35:13 69:11.
They hired women to weep and wail, and also persons to play on instruments, at the funerals of the rich or distinguished, Jer 9:17. In Mt 9:23, we observe a company of minstrels or players on the flute, at the funeral of a girl of twelve year of age. All that met a funeral procession were accustomed to join them for a time, to accompany them on their way, sometimes relieving the bearers of the bier, and mingling their tears with those of the mourners, Ro 12:15.
The custom of hiring women to weep and wail has come down to modern times. The following account of such a scene at Nablous, the ancient Shechem, is form Dr. Jowett. The governor of the city had died the very morning of Dr. Jowettís arrival. "On coming within sight of the gate, we perceived a numerous company of females, who were singing in a kind of recitative, far from melancholy, and beating time with their hands. If this be mourning, I thought, it is of a strange kind. It had indeed sometimes more the air of angry defiance. But on our reaching the gate, it was suddenly exchanged for most hideous plaints and shrieks, which, with the feeling that we were entering a city at no time celebrated for its hospitality, struck a very dismal impression upon my mind. They accompanied us a few paces; but it soon appeared that the gate was their station, to which having received nothing from us, they returned. We learned, in the course of the evening, that these were only a small detachment of a very numerous body of Ďcunning womení with the design, as of old, to make the eyes of all the inhabitants Ďrun down with tears, and their eyelids gush out with water,í Jer 9:17-18. For this good service, they would, the next morning wait upon the government and principal persons, to receive some trifling fee."
Some of the Jewish forms of mourning are the appropriate and universal language of grief; others, to our modern and occidental taste, savor of extravagance. None of these were enjoined by their religion, which rather restricted than encouraged them, Le 10:6 19:27 21:1-11 Nu 6:7 De 14:1. They were the established customs of the times. Sorrow finds some relief in reversing all the usages of ordinary life. Christianity, however, moderates and assuages our grief; shows us a Fatherís hand holding the rod, and the dark valley itself penetrated by the heavenly light into which it emerges, 1Co 15:53-55 1Th 4:14-18 Re 7:13-17 14:13.
In the Scriptures, is used chiefly of the field mouse, but probably includes various species of these animals, some of which were eaten. Moses, Le 11:29, declared it to be unclean, yet it was sometimes eaten; and Isa 66:17, reproaches the Jews with this practice. The hamster and the dormouse, as well as the jerboa, are sometimes used for food by the modern Arabs. Mice made great havoc in the fields of the Philistines, after that people had taken the ark of the Lord; which induced them to send it back with mice and emerods of gold, 1Sa 5:6,9,11 6:4-5. The field mice are equally prevalent in those regions at the present day. SeeHAMATH.
Is sometimes used in Scripture for speaker, Ex 4:16 Jer 15:19. God spoke with Moses "mouth to mouth,"Numbers 12.8, that is, condescendingly and clearly. The law was to be "in the mouth" of the Hebrews, Ex 13:9, often rehearsed and talked of. "The rod of his mouth," Isa 11:4, and the sharp sword, Re 1:16, denote the power of Christís word to convict, control, and judge; compare Isa 49:2 Heb 4:12. The Hebrew word for mouth is often translated "command," Ge 45:21 Job 39:27 Ec 8:2; and the unclean spirits out of the mouth of the dragon, Re 16:14, are the ready executors of his commands.
The word-translated mulberry-tree signifies literally weeping, and indicates some tree, which distils balsam or gum. The particular species is not known; though some think the popular, or aspen, may be intended, 2Sa 5:23-24; 1Ch 14:14-15.
A mixed animal, the offspring of a horse and an ass. A mule is smaller than a horse, and has long ears, though not so long as those of an ass. It is a remarkably hardy, patient, obstinate, surefooted animal, lives twice as long as a horse, and is much more easily and cheaply fed. Mules are much used in Spain and South America, for transporting goods across the mountains. So also in the Alps, they are used by travelers among the mountains, where a horse would hardly be able to pass with safety. There is no probability that the Jews bred mules, because it was forbidden to couple creatures of different species, Le 19:19. But they were not forbidden to obtain them from abroad and use them, 1Ki 10:25 Eze 27:14. Thus we may observe, especially after Davidís time, that mules, male and female, were common among the Hebrews; formerly they used only male and female asses, 2Sa 13:29 18:9 1Ki 1:33 10:25 18:5 Es 8:10,14.
In Ge 36:24, Anah is said to have found "mules" in the desert; but the Hebrew word here probably means hot springs. SeeANAH.
Implements of war. "Munitions of rocks" seems to mean, a rocky fortress or stronghold. The strong tower of the righteous is impregnable and inaccessible to their foes, Isa 33:16.
The designed and malevolent taking of human life, was by the original appointment of God, a crime to be punished by death. Cain, the first murderer, recognized it as such, Ge 4:14. The ground for the death penalty for murder is the eminent dignity and sacredness of man as a child of God, Ge 9:5-6. Like the Sabbath and marriage, it is a primeval and universal institution for mankind, and all nations have so recognized it, Ac 28:4. The Mosaic code reenacted it, Le 24:17; and while providing for the unintentional homicide a safe retreat, declares that deliberate murder must be punished by death, from which neither the city of refuge nor the altar of God could shield the criminal, Ex 21:12-14 Nu 35:9-34 De 19:1-13 1Ki 2:5-6,28-34. Death was usually inflicted by stoning, upon the testimony of at least two witnesses, Nu 35:30. If a corpse were found in the open fields, and the murderer could not be discovered, the town nearest to the spot was obliged to purge itself by a solemn ceremony, lest it should become liable to the judgments of God, De 21:1-9.
In various ways God is represented as specially abhorring this crime, and securing its punishment, De 32:43 2Sa 21:1 Ps 9:12 55:23 Ho 1:4 Re 22:15. Our Savior instructs us that one may be guilty, in the sight of God, of murder in the heart, without any overt act, Mt 5:21-22 1Jo 3:15. Nothing is said especially in the law respecting selfmurder, and only the cases of Saul, Ahithophel, and Judas are described in the Bible, 1Sa 31:4 2Sa 17:23 Ac 1:18. Of all murders, that of the soul is incomparably the most awful, Joh 8:44, and many plunge not only themselves but also others into the second death.
A special mortality, wrought by miraculous agency, among the cattle of the Egyptians, while those of the Hebrews in the same region were unharmed, Ex 9:3.
The ancient Hebrews had a great taste for music, which they used in their religious services, in their public and private rejoicing, at their weddings and feasts, and even in their mourning. We have in Scripture canticles of joy, of thanksgiving, of praise, of mourning; also mournful elegies or songs, as those of David on the death of Saul and Abner, and the Lamentations of Jeremiah on the destruction of Jerusalem; so, too, songs of victory, triumph, and gratulation, as that which Moses sung after passing the Red Sea, that of Deborah and Barak, and others. The people of God went up to Jerusalem thrice a year, cheered on their way with songs of joy, Ps 84:12 Isa 30:29. The book of Psalms comprises a wonderful variety of inspired pieces for music, and is an inexhaustible treasure for the devout in all ages.
Music is perhaps the most ancient of the fine arts. Jubal, who lived before the deluge, was the "father" of those who played on the harp and the organ, Ge 4:21 31:26-27. Laban complains that his sonin-law Jacob had left him, without giving him an opportunity of sending his family away "with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp." Moses, having passed through the Red Sea, composed a song, and sung it with the Israelitish men, while Miriam, his sister, sung it with dancing, and playing on instruments, at the head of the women, Ex 15:20-21. He caused silver trumpets to be made to be sounded at solemn sacrifices, and on religious festivals. David, who had great skill in music, soothed the perturbed spirit of Saul by playing on the harp, 1Sa 16:16,23; and when he was himself established on the throneóseeing that the Levites were not employed, as formerly, in carrying the boards, veils, and vessels of the tabernacle, its abode being fixed at Jerusalem-appointed a great part of them to sing and to play on instruments in the temple, 1Ch 25:1-31. David brought the ark to Jerusalem with triumphant and joyful music, 1Ch 13:8 15:16-28; and in the same manner Solomon was proclaimed king, 1Ki 1:39-40. The Old Testament prophets also sought the aid of music in their services, 1Sa 10:5 2Ki 3:15.
Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were chiefs of the music of the tabernacle under David, and of the temple under Solomon. Asaph had four sons, Jeduthun six, and Heman fourteen. These twenty-four Levites, sons of the three great masters of the temple-music, were at the head of twenty-four bands of musicians, which served in the temple by turns. Their number there was always great, but especially at the chief solemnities. They were ranged in order about the altar of burnt-sacrifices. As the whole business of their lives was to learn and to practice music, it must be supposed that they understood it well, whether it were vocal or instrumental, 2Ch 29:25.
The kings also had their music. Asaph was chief master of music to David. In the temple, and in the ceremonies of religion, female musicians were admitted as well as male; they generally were daughters of the Levites. Ezra, in his enumeration of those whom he brought back with him from the captivity, reckons two hundred singing men and singing women, 2Sa 19:35 Ezr 2:65 Ne 7:67.
As to the nature of their music, we can judge of it only by conjecture, because it has been long lost. Probably it was a unison of several voices, of which all sung together the same melody, each according to his strength and skill; without musical counterpoint, or those different parts and combinations which constitute harmony in our music. Probably, also, the voices were generally accompanied by instrumental music. If we may draw any conclusions in favor of their music from its effects, its magnificence, its majesty, and the lofty sentiments contained in their songs, we must allow it great excellence. It is supposed that the temple musicians were sometimes divided into two or more separate choirs, which, with a general chorus, sung in turn responsive to each other, each a small portion of the Psalm. The structure of the Hebrew Psalms is eminently adapted to this mode of singing, and very delightful and solemn effects might thus be produced. Compare Ps 24:10,10,10.
Numerous musical instruments are mentioned in Scripture, but it has been found impossible to affix heir names with certainty to specific instruments now in use. By a comparison, however, of the instruments probably held in common by the Jews with the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, a degree of probability as to most of them has been secured. They were of three kinds:
A. Stringed instruments:
1.KINNOR, "the harp," Ge 4:21. Frequently mentioned in Scripture, and probably a kind of lyre.
2.NEBEL, "the psaltery," 1Sa 10:5. It appears to have been the name of various large instruments of the harp kind.
3.ASOR, signifying ten-stringed. In Ps 92:4, it apparently denotes an instrument distinct from the NEBEL; but elsewhere it seems to be simply a description of the NEBEL as ten-stringed. See Ps 33:2 144:9.
4.GITTITH. It occurs in the titles of Ps 8:1 81:1 84:1. From the name, it is supposed that David brought it from Gath. Others conclude that it is a general name for a string instrument.
5.MINNIM, strings, Ps 150:4. Probably another kind of stringed instrument.
6.SABECA, "sackbut," Da 3:5,7,10,15. A kind of lyre.
7.PESANTERIN, "psaltery," occurs Da 3:7, and is supposed to represent the NEBEL.
8.MACHALATH. Found in the titles of Ps 53:1 88:1; supposed to be a lute or guitar.
B. Wind instruments:
9.KEREN, "horn," Jos 6:5. Cornet.
10.SHOPHAR, "trumpet," Nu 10:10. Used synonymously with KEREN.
11.CHATZOZERAH, the straight trumpet, Ps 98:6.
12.JOBEL, or KEREN JOBEL, horn of jubilee, or signal trumpet, Jos 6:4. Probably the same with 9 and 10.
13.CHAIL, "pipe" or "flute." The word means bored through, 1Sa 10:5.
14.MISHROKITHA, Da 3:5, etc. Probably the Chaldean name for the flute with two reeds.
15.UGAB, "organ" in our version Ge 4:21. It means a double or manifold pipe, and hence the shepherdís pipe; probably the same as the syrinx or Panís pipe; or perhaps resembling the bagpipe.
C. Instruments which gave out sound on being struck:
17.TOPH, Ge 31:27, the tambourine and all instruments of the drum kind.
18.PHAAMON, "bells," Ex 28:33. Attached to the hem of the high priestís garment.
19.TZELITZELIM, "cymbals," Ps 150:5. A word frequently occurring. There were probably two kinds, hand-cymbals.
20.SHALISHIM, 1Sa 18:6. In our version, "instruments of music." "Three-stringed instruments." Most writers identify it with the triangle.
21.MENAANEIM, "cymbals," 2Sa 6:5. Probably the sistrum. The Hebrew word means to shake. The sistrum was generally about sixteen or eighteen inches long, occasionally inlaid with silver, and being held upright, was shaken, the rings moving to and fro on the bars.
Further particulars concerning some of these may be found under the names they severally bear in our English Bible.
A species of this annual shrub is found in Palestine, growing to the height of seven to nine feet, and with a stem one inch thick. Prof. Hacket, while examining a field of these plants, saw a bird of the air come and lodge in the branches before him, Mt 13:31,32; Mr 4:31,32. Others suppose a tree is meant, called Salvadora Persica. It is found in Palestine, and bears berries containing small, mustard- like seeds. "A grain of mustard" was used proverbially to denote any thing extremely small, Mt 17:20.
A town of Lycia, where Paul embarked for Rome, on board a ship of Alexandria, Ac 27:5.
A precious gum yielded by a tree common in Africa and Arabia, which is about eight or nine feet high; its wood hard, and its trunk thorny. It was of several kinds, and various degrees of excellence. The best was an ingredient in the holy ointment, Ex 30:23. It was also employed in perfumes, Es 2:12 Ps 45:8 So 4:6 5:5,13; and in embalming, to preserve the body from corruption, Joh 19:39. The magi, who came from the East to worship Christ, offered him myrrh, Mt 2:11.
In Mr 15:23, is mentioned "wine mingles with myrrh," which was offered to Jesus previous to his crucifixion, and intended to deaden the anguish of his sufferings. It was a custom among the Hebrews to give such stupefying liquors to persons who were about to be capitally punished, Pr 31:6. Some have thought that the myrrhed wine of Mark is not the same as the "vinegar mingled with gall" of Mt 27:34. They suppose the myrrhed wine was given to our Lord from a sentiment of sympathy, to prevent him from feeling too sensibly the pain of his sufferings; while the potation mingled with gall, of which he would not drink, was given from cruelty. But the other explanation is the more probable. SeeGALL.
A beautiful and fragrant evergreen tree, growing wild throughout the southern parts of Europe, the north of Africa, and the temperate parts of Asia; principally on the seacoast. The leaves are of a rich and polished evergreen; the flowers white, with sometimes a tinge of red externally; and the berries are of the size of a small pea, violet or whitish, sweetish, and with the aromatic flavor which distinguishes the whole plant. These are used for spices in the Levant. It furnishes a useful tonic medicine, Ne 8:15; Isa 41:19; 55:13; Zec 1:8,10,11.
A province in the northwest corner of Asia Minor bounded north by the Propontis, west by the Aegean Sea, south by Lydia, and east by Bithynia. Paul preached in this country on his first journey to Europe, Ac 16:7-8.
Means strictly a secret, and is so used when spoken of the heathen "mysteries" or secret rites, which were full of all manner of abominations. In the Scriptures the word "mystery" denotes those truths of religions which, without a revelation from God, would have remained unknown to man. Our Savior says to his disciples, that they are peculiarly happy, because God has revealed to them "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," Mt 16:17 11:25 Lu 10:21-24. Paul explains the word in Eph 3:1-9; and often speaks of the mystery of the gospel, of the mystery of the cross of Christ, of the mystery of Christ which was unknown to former ages, of the mystery of the incarnation, the resurrection, etc., Ro 11:25 1Co 2:7-10 4:1 13:2 15:51 1Ti 3:9,16. These, then, were called mysteries, not only because they included some things which stretch beyond all human thought, and others which would never have been known if the Son of God and his Holy Spirit had not revealed them, but also because they were not opened indifferently to everyone; according to the advice of Christ to his apostles, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine," 1Co 2:14. In one place "mystery" seems to denote the whole cycle of Godís secret plan in the administration of the gospel, gradually unfolded even to the end, Re 10:7 11:15.
Mystery signifies also an allegory, that is, a mode of information under which partial instruction is given, a partial discovery is made, but there is still a cover of some kind, which the persons who desires to know the whole must endeavor to remove. So the mystery of the seven star, Re 1:20, is an allegory representing the seven Asiatic churches under the symbol of seven burning lamps. So the mystery "Babylon the Great," is an allegorical representation of the spiritual Babylon, idolatry, spiritual fornication, etc., "I will tell thee the mystery of the woman;" that is, I will explain to thee the allegory of this figure, Re 17:5,7.