With respect to the general features of the Holy Land, see CANAAN; and for descriptions of some of its numerous valleys, see JERUSALEM, JEZREEL, JORDAN, REPHAIM, SHECHIEM, and SODOM. "The valley of the shadow of death," is an expression denoting an extremely perilous and cheerless condition of the soul, Ps 23:4, and may have been suggested by the psalmistís experience with his flock in some of the deep, narrow, and dark ravines of Syria.

Thus the entrance to Petra is by long winding defile, between rugged precipices in some spots not more than twelve or fourteen feet apart and two or three hundred feet high, and almost excluding the light of day. See view in SELA. A similar pass south of mount Carmel is now known as the "Valley of Death-shade."


Does not usually denote, in Scripture, self-conceit or personal pride, 2Pe 2:18, but sometimes emptiness and fruitlessness, Job 7:3 Ps 144:4 Ec 1:1-18. It often denotes wickedness, particularly falsehood, De 32:21 Ps 4:2 24:4 119:37, and sometimes idols and idol-worship, 2Ki 17:15 Jer 2:5 18:15 Jon 2:8. Compare Paulís expression, "they turned the truth of God into a lie," Ro 1:25. "In vain," in the second commandment, Ex 20:7, is unnecessarily and irreverently. "Vain men," 2Sa 6:20 2Ch 13:7, are dissolute and worthless fellows.


The queen of Persia, divorced by Ahasuerus or Xerxes her husband for refusing to appear unveiled before his reveling company, Ex 1:1- 22.


An indispensable part of the outdoor dress of Eastern Ladies, who live secluded from the sight of all men except their own husbands and their nearest relatives. If an Egyptian lady is surprised uncovered, she quickly draws her veil over her face, with some exclamation like, "O my misfortune." To lift or remove oneís veil was to insult and degrade her, Ge 24:65 So 5:7 1Co 11:5,10. The custom of wearing veils, however, has not been prevalent at all times. Sarah the wife of Abraham, and Rebekah and her companions at the well do not appear to have worn them, Ge 12:14,15 24:16. Compare also Ge 38:14,15 Pr 7:13. See ABIMELECH.

Veil were of different kinds. Those now worn in Syria and Egypt may be divided into two classes, the one large and sometimes thick, the other small and of lighter materials. The usual indoor veil is of thin muslin, attached to the headdress, and falling over the back, sometimes to the feet. A similar veil is added to the front of the headdress on going abroad, partially covering the face and hanging low. The other veil, to be worn in the street, is a large mantle or sheet, of black silk, linen, or some coarse material, so ample as to envelope the whole person and dress, leaving but one of the eyes exposed, So 4:9. Such was the veil worn by Ru 3:15, translated "mantle" in Isa 3:22. Many women wear no other veil than this. The Greek word translated "power" in 1Co 11:10, probably means a veil, as a token of her husbandís rightful authority and her own subordination. This was to be worn in their Christian assemblies "because of the angels;" that is, because of the presence either of true angels, or of the officers of the church, who being unaccustomed to see the unveiled faces of women, might be distracted by them in the discharge of their public duties.

For the "veil of the temple," see TABERNACLE and TEMPLE.


In De 32:35 Ro 12:19 Heb 10:30 Jude 1:7, means retributive justice- a prerogative of God with which those interfere who seek to avenge themselves. So also in Ac 28:4; though many suppose that the islanders meant the goddess of justice, Dike, whom the Greeks and Romans regarded as a daughter of Jupiter, and feared as an independent, just, and unappeasable deity.


A brilliant red color, resembling scarlet, Jer 22:14; Eze 23:14. The vermilion now used is a sulphuret of mercury.






Of this valuable and familiar plant there are several varieties, the natural products of warm climates, where also it has been cultivated from the earliest times. Hence the early and frequent mention of its products in Scripture, Ge 9:20 14:18 19:22 Job 1:18. The grape-vine grew plentifully in Palestine, De 8:8, and was particularly excellent in some of the districts. The Scriptures celebrate the vines of Sibmah and Eshcol; and profane authors mention the excellent wines of Gaza, Sarepta, Lebanon, Sharon, Ascalon, and Tyre. See SOREK.

The grapes of Egypt, Ge 40:11, being small, we may easily conceive of the surprise which was occasioned to the Israelites by witnessing the bunch of grapes brought by the spies to the camp, from the valley of Eshcol, Nu 13:23. The account of Moses, however, is confirmed by the testimony of several travelers; and even in England a bunch of Syrian grapes has been produced which weighed nineteen pounds, was twenty-three inches in length, and nineteen and a half in its greatest diameter. At the present day, although the Mohammedan religion does not favor the cultivation of the vine, there is no want of vineyards in Palestine. Besides the large quantities of grapes and raisins which are daily sent to the markets of Jerusalem and other neighboring places, Hebron alone in the first half of the eighteenth century, annually sent three hundred camel loads, or nearly three hundred thousand pounds weight of grape juice, or honey of raisins, to Egypt.

In the East, grapes enter very largely into the provisions at an entertainment, and in various forms contribute largely to the sustenance of the people. See GRAPES. To show the abundance of vines which should fall to the lot of Judah in the partition of the promised land, Jacob, in his prophetic benediction, says of this tribe, he shall be found

Binding his colt to the vine,

And to the choice vine the foal of his ass;

Washing his garments in wine,

His clothes in the blood of the grape.

Ge 49:11.

In many places the vines spread over the ground and rocks unsupported. Often, however, they are trained upon trellis-work, over walls, trees, arbors, the porches and walls of houses, and at times within the house on the side of the central court. Thus growing, the vine became a beautiful emblem of domestic love, peace, and plenty, Ps 128:3 Mic 4:4.

The law enjoined that he who planted a vine should not eat of the produce of it before the fifth year, Le 19:23-25. Nor did they gather their grapes on the sabbatical year; the fruit was then left for the poor, the orphan, and the stranger, Ex 23:11 Le 25:4,5,11. See also Le 19:10 De 24:21. At any time a traveler was permitted to gather and eat grapes in a vineyard, as he passed along, but was not permitted to carry any away, De 23:24. Another generous provision of the Mosaic code exempted from liability to serve in war a man who, after four years of labor and of patience, was about to gather the first returns from his vineyard, De 20:6.

Josephus describes a magnificent and costly vine of pure gold, with precious stones for grapes, which adorned the lofty eastern gate of the Holy Place. It was perhaps in view of this that our Savior said, "I am the true Vine;" and illustrated the precious truth of his oneness with his people, Joh 15:1-8.

In the expression, "The vine of Sodom," De 32:32, there does not seem to be an allusion to any then existing degenerate species of vine. The writer means rather to say that their vine, that is figuratively their corrupt character, instead of yielding good grapes, bears only poisonous fruit, like that for which the shores of the Dead Sea have always been famed- such as "the apples of Sodom," for example, said to be beautiful without, but nothing but shreds or ashes within.

For the "wild grapes" in Isa 5:2,4, see under GRAPES.

The Jews planted their VINEYARDS most commonly on the side of a hill or mountain, Jer 31:5, (See MOUNTAIN,) the stones being gathered out, and the space hedged round with thorns, or walled, Isa 5:1-6 Ps 80:1-19 Mt 21:33. Vineyards were sometimes rented for a share of their produce, Mt 28:20; and from other passages we may perhaps infer that a good vineyard consisted of a thousand vines, and produced a rent of a thousand silverlings, or shekels of silver, Isa 7:23, and that it required two hundred more to pay the dressers, So 8:11-12. In these vineyards the keepers and vinedressers labored, digging, planting, propping, and pruning or purging the vines, Joh 15:2, gathering the grapes, and making wine. They formed a distinct class among cultivators of the ground, and their task was sometimes laborious and regarded as menial, 2Ki 25:12 2Ch 26:10 So 1:6 Isa 61:5. Scripture alludes to the fragrance of the "vines with the tender grapes," So 2:13, and draws from the vineyard many illustrations and parables, Jud 9:12 Mt 20:1 21:28.

The vineyard of Naboth, 1Ki 21:1-29, has become a perpetual emblem of whatever is violently taken from the poor by the rich or the powerful. The deserted hut or tower, in which a watchman kept guard during, the season of ripe grapes, Ps 80:12-13 So 2:15, becomes, when all are gathered, an apt image of desolation, Isa 1:8. A beautiful allegory in Ps 80:1-19 represents the church as a vineyard, planted, defended, cultivated, and watered by God.

The VINTAGE followed the wheat harvest and the threshing, Le 26:5 Am 9:13. The "first ripe grapes" were gathered in June, or later on elevated ground, Nu 13:20; and grapes continued to be gathered for four months afterwards. The general vintage, however, was in September, when the clusters of grapes were gathered with a sickle, and put into baskets, Jer 6:9, carried and thrown into the wine-vat or wine-press, where they were probably first trodden by men, and then pressed, Re 14:18-20. It was a laborious task, lightened with songs, jests, and shouts of mirth, Jer 25:30 48:33. It is mentioned as a mark of the great work and power of the Messiah, that he had trodden the figurative wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with him, Isa 63:1-3 Re 19:15. The vintage was a season of great mirth, Isa 16:9,10, and often of excesses and idolatry, Jud 9:27; while the mourning and languishing of the vine was a symbol of general distress, Isa 24:7 Hab 3:17 Mal 3:11. Of the juice of the squeezed grapes were formed wine and vinegar. See PRESS.

Grapes were also dried into raisins. A part of Abigailís present to David was one hundred clusters of raisins, 1Sa 25:18; and when Zibah met David, his present contained the same quantity, 2Sa 16:1 1Sa 30:12 1Ch 12:40. Respecting other uses of the fruits of the vine, see GRAPES, HONEY, VINEGAR, and WINE.


Poor or sour wine, the produce of the second or acetous fermentation of vinous liquors. The term sometimes designates a thin, sour wine, much used by laborers and by the Roman soldiers, Nu 6:3 Ru 2:14 2Ch 2:10 Joh 19:29. See GALL. In other places it denotes the common sharp vinegar, which furnished the wise man with two significant illustrations, Pr 10:26 25:20.




Isa 5:12 Am 6:5, a stringed instrument of music, resembling the psaltery. See MUSIC.


A genus of serpents noted for the virulence of their poison, which is said to be one of the most dangerous in the animal kingdom. Hence the viper is a symbol of whatever is most evil and destructive, Job 20:16 Isa 30:6. As such the term was applied by Christ and by John to certain classes of the Jews, Mt 3:7 12:34 23:33 Lu 3:7. Paulís escape from the bite of a viper in Malta led the people to believe that he was a god in human form, Ac 28:3. A species of viper in Northern Africa, though little more than a foot long is called the most formidable serpent there; and Hasselquist speaks of a viper in Cyprus, whose bits produces a universal gangrene, and occasions death within a few hours. See SERPENTS.


A supernatural presentation of certain scenery or circumstances to the mind of a person either while awake or asleep, Isa 6:1-13 Eze 1:1-28 Da 8:1-27 Ac 26:13. See DREAM.


A promise made to God of doing some good thing or abstaining from some lawful enjoyment, under the influence of gratitude for divine goodness, of imminent danger, the apprehension of future evils, or the desire of future blessings. To fulfill a vow binding one to sin, was to all sin to sin; but no considerations of inconvenience or loss could absolve one from a vow, Ps 15:4 Mal 1:14. Jacob, going into Mesopotamia, vowed the tenth of his estate, and promised to offer it at Beth-el, to the honor of God, Ge 28:20-22. Moses enacted several laws for the regulation and execution of vows. "If thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee; that which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform," De 23:21,23 Ec 5:4-5.

The vows of minors, etc., were not binding without the consent of the head of the family, Nu 30:1-16. A man might devote himself or his children to the Lord, Nu 6:2. Jephthah devoted his daughter, Jud 11:30-40; and Samuel was vowed and consecrated to the service of the Lord, 1Sa 1:11,27,28. If men or women vowed themselves to the Lord, they were obliged to adhere strictly to his service, according to the conditions of the vow; but in some cases they might be redeemed, Le 27:1-34. These selfimposed services were more in keeping with the ancient dispensation, in which outward sacrifices and observances had so large a share, than with enlightened Christianity. See CORBAN, and NAZARITES.


Is the name of the Latin version of the Scriptures used by the church of Rome. The Old Testament was a very close translation of the Greek Septuagint, not of the Hebrew. It was made at a very early period by an unknown author. A part of this version was afterwards revised by Jerome, and some of the books retranslated from the Hebrew.


A large bird of prey, belonging to the genus hawks, and including a great many species. It is pronounced unclean by Moses, Le 11:14 De 14:13. See BIRDS. The vulture has a naked or downy head, a bare neck and long wings, and is disgusting to every sense, especially to the smell. It is a carrion bird, though not exclusively, and has extraordinary powers of vision. Scarcely can an exhausted camel fall on it route and die, before numbers of these filthy scavengers show themselves in the distance, hastening to the spot, Job 28:7.