A fable is a narrative in which being irrational, and sometimes inanimate, are, for the purpose of moral instruction, feigned to act and speak with human interests and passions. —Encyc. Brit. The fable differs from the parable in that —

1. The parable always relates what actually takes place, and is true to fact, which the fable is not; and

2. The parable teaches the higher heavenly and spiritual truths, but the fable only earthly moralities. Of the fable, as distinguished from the parable [PARABLE], we have but two examples in the Bible:

PARABLE - See 8319

1. That of the trees choosing their king, addressed by Jotham to the men of Shechem,

Jud 9:8-15

2. That of the cedar of Lebanon and the thistle, as the answer of Jehoash to the challenge of Amaziah.

2Ki 14:9

The fables of false teachers claiming to belong to the Christian Church, alluded to by writers of the New Testament,

1Ti 1:4; 4:7; Tit 1:14; 2Pe 1:16

do not appear to have had the character of fables, properly so called.

Fair Ha’vens,

a harbor in the island of Crete,

Ac 27:8

though not mentioned in any other ancient writing, is still known by its own Greek name, and appears to have been the harbor of Lasaea.


a word which occurs only in

Eze 27:1

... and there no less than seven times, vs.

Eze 27:12,14,16,19,22,27,33

in the last of these verses it is rendered "wares," and this we believe to be the true meaning of the word throughout.

Fallow deer

(called fallow from its reddish-brown color) (Heb. yachmur). The Hebrew word, which is mentioned only in

De 14:5

and 1Kin 4:23 probably denotes the Alcelaphus bubalis (the bubale or wild cow) of Barbary and North Africa. It is about the size of a stag, and lives in herds. It is almost exactly like the European roebuck, and is valued for its venison.


In the whole of Syria and Arabia, the fruits of the earth must ever be dependent on rain; the watersheds having few large springs, and the small rivers not being sufficient for the irrigation of even the level lands. If therefore the heavy rains of November and December fail, the sustenance of the people is cut off in the parching drought of harvest-time, when the country is almost devoid of moisture. Egypt, again, owes all its fertility to its mighty river, whose annual rise inundates nearly the whole land. The causes of dearth and famine in Egypt are defective inundation, preceded, accompanied and followed by prevalent easterly and southerly winds. Famine is likewise a natural result in the East when caterpillars, locusts or other insects destroy the products of the earth. The first famine recorded in the Bible is that of Abraham after he had pitched his tent on the east of Bethel,

Ge 12:10

the second in the days of Isaac,

Ge 26:1

seq. We hear no more of times of scarcity until the great famine of Egypt, which "was over all the face of the earth."

Ge 41:53-57

The modern history of Egypt throws some curious light on these ancient records of famines; and instances of their recurrence may be cited to assist us in understanding their course and extent. The most remarkable famine was that of the reign of the Fatimee Khaleefeh, El-Mustansir billah, which is the only instance on record of one of seven years duration in Egypt since the time of Joseph (A.H. 457-464, A.D. 1064-1071). Vehement drought and pestilence continued for seven consecutive years, so that the people ate corpses, and animals that died of themselves. The famine of Samaria resembled it in many particulars; and that very briefly recorded in

2Ki 8:1,2

affords another instance of one of seven years. In Arabia famines are of frequent occurrence.


a winnowing-shovel, with which grain was thrown up against the wind to be cleansed from the chaff and straw.

Isa 30;24; Mt 3:12

A large wooden fork is used at the present day.


Two names of coins in the New Testament are rendered in the Authorized Version by this word:

1. Quadrans,

Mt 5:26; Mr 12:42

a coin current in the time of our Lord, equivalent to three-eights of a cent;

2. The assarion, equal to one cent and a half,

Mt 10:29; Lu 12:6


1. One fast only was appointed by the Mosaic law, that on the day of atonement. There is no mention of any other periodical fast in the Old Testament except in

Zec 7:1-7; 8:19

From these passages it appears that the Jews, during their captivity, observed four annual fasts, —in the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months.

2. Public fasts were occasionally proclaimed to express national humiliation and to supplicate divine favor. In the case of public danger the proclamation appears to have been accompanied with the blowing of trumpets.

Joe 2:1-15


1Sa 7:6; 2Ch 20:3; Jer 36:6-10

) Three days after the feast of tabernacles, when the second temple was completed, "the children of Israel assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes and earth upon them," to hear the law read and to confess their sins.

Ne 9:1

3. Private occasional fasts are recognized in one passage of the law —

Nu 30:13

The instances given of individuals fasting under the influence of grief, vexation or anxiety are numerous.

4. In the New Testament the only reference to the Jewish fasts are the mention of "the fast" in

Ac 27:9

(generally understood to denote the day of atonement) an the allusions to the weekly fasts.

Mt 9:14; Mr 2:18; Lu 5:33; 18:12; Ac 10:30

These fasts originated some time after the captivity.

5. The Jewish fasts were observed with various degrees of strictness. Sometimes there was entire abstinence from food.

Es 4:16

etc. On other occasions there appears to have been only a restriction to a very plain diet.

Da 10:3

Those who fasted frequently dressed in sackcloth or rent their clothes, put ashes on their head and went barefoot.

1Ki 21:27; Ne 9:1; Ps 35:13

6. The sacrifice of the personal will, which gives to fasting all its value, is expressed in the old term used in the law, afflicting the soul.


The Hebrews distinguished between the suet or pure fat of an animal and the fat which was intermixed with the lean.

Ne 8:10

Certain restrictions were imposed upon them in reference to the former; some parts of the suet, viz., about the stomach, the entrails, the kidneys, and the tail of a sheep, which grows to an excessive size in many eastern countries, and produces a large quantity of rich fat, were forbidden to be eaten in the case of animals offered to Jehovah in sacrifice.

Le 3:3,9,17; 7:3,23

The ground of the prohibition was that the fat was the richest part of the animal, and therefore belonged to him.

Le 3:16

The burning of the fat of sacrifices was particularly specified in each kind of offering.


i.e. VAT, the word employed in the Authorized Version to translate the Hebrew term yekeb, in

Joe 2:24; 3:13

The word commonly used for yekeb is "winepress" or "winefat," and once "pressfat."

Hag 2:16

The "vats" appear to have been excavated out of the native rock of the hills on which the vineyards lay.


The position and authority of the father as the head of the family are expressly assumed and sanctioned in Scripture, as a likeness of that of the Almighty over his creatures. It lies of course at the root of that so-called patriarchal government,

Ge 3:16; 1Co 11:3

which was introductory to the more definite systems which followed, and which in part, but not wholly, superseded it. The father’s blessing was regarded as conferring special benefit, but his malediction special injury, on those on whom it fell,

Ge 9:25,27; 27:27-40; 48:15,20; 49:1

... and so also the sin of a parent was held to affect, in certain cases, the welfare of his descendants.

2Ki 5:27

The command to honor parents is noticed by St. Paul as the only one of the Decalogue which bore a distinct promise,

Ex 20:12; Eph 6:2

and disrespect towards them was condemned by the law as one of the worst crimes.

Ex 21:15,17; 1Ti 1:9

It is to this well-recognized theory of parental authority and supremacy that the very various uses of the term "father" in Scripture are due. "Fathers" is used in the sense of seniors,

Ac 7:2; 22:1

and of parents in general, or ancestors.

Da 5:2; Jer 27:7; Mt 23:30,32



WEIGHTS - See 9455

MEASURES - See 7886



FESTIVALS - See 6522

MEALS - See 7884


(happy), a Roman procurator of Judea appointed by the emperor Claudius in A.D. 53. He ruled the province in a mean, cruel and profligate manner. His period of office was full of troubles and seditions. St. Paul was brought before Felix in Caesarea. He was remanded to prison, and kept there two years in hopes of extorting money from him.

Ac 24:26,27

At the end of that time Porcius Festus [FESTUS] was appointed to supersede Felix, who, on his return to Rome, was accused by the Jews in Caesarea, and would have suffered the penalty due to his atrocities had not his brother Pallas prevailed with the emperor Nero to spare him. This was probably about A.D. 60. The wife of Felix was Drusilla, daughter of Herod Agrippa I., who was his third wife and whom he persuaded to leave her husband and marry him.

FESTUS - See 6523

Fenced cities,

i.e. cities fortified or defended. The fortifications of the cities of Palestine, thus regularly "fenced," consisted of one or more walls (sometimes of thick stones, sometimes of combustible material), crowned with battlemented parapets, having towers at regular intervals,

2Ch 32:5; Jer 31:38

on which in later times engines of war were placed, and watch was kept by day and night in time of war.

Jud 9:45; 2Ki 9:17; 2Ch 26:9,15


one of the unclean creeping things mentioned in

Le 11:30

The animal referred to was probably a reptile of the lizard tribe (the gecko). The rabbinical writers seen to have identified this animal with the hedgehog.


I. The religious times ordained int he law fall under three heads:

1. Those formally connected with the institution of the Sabbath;

2. This historical or great festivals;

3. The day of atonement.

1. Immediately connected with the institution of the Sabbath are— a. The weekly Sabbath itself. b. The seventh new moon, or feast of trumpets. c. The sabbatical year. d. The year of jubilee.

2. The great feasts are— a. The passover. b. The feast of pentecost, of weeks, of wheat-harvest or of the first-fruits. c. The feast of tabernacles or of ingathering. On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded to "appear before the Lord," that is, to attend in the court of the tabernacle or the temple, and to make his offering with a joyful heart.

De 27:7; Ne 8:9-12

The attendance of women was voluntary, but the zealous often went up to the passover. On all the days of holy convocation there was to be an entire suspension of ordinary labor of all kinds,

Ex 12:16; Le 16:29; 23:21,24,25,35

but on the intervening days of the longer festivals work might be carried on. The agricultural significance of the three great festivals is clearly set forth int he account of the Jewish sacred year contained in

Le 23:1

... The times of the festivals were evidently ordained in wisdom, so as to interfere as little as possible with the industry of the people. The value of these great religious festivals was threefold. (1) Religious effects. —They preserved the religious faith of the nation and religious unity among the people. They constantly reminded the people of the divinely-wrought deliverances of the past; promoted gratitude and trust; and testified the reverence of the people for the temple and its sacred contents. Besides this was the influence of well-conducted temple services upon the synagogues through the land. (2) Political effects. —The unity of the nation would be insured by this fusion of the tribes; otherwise they would be likely to constitute separate tribal states. They would carry back to the provinces glowing accounts of the wealth, power and resources of the country. (3) Social effects. —They promoted friendly intercourse between travelling companions; distributed information through the country at a time when the transmission of news was slow and imperfect; and imported into remote provincial districts a practical knowledge of all improvements in arts and sciences.

3. For the day of atonement see that article. II. After the captivity, the feast of purim,

Es 9:20

seq., and that of the dedication, 1Macc 4:56, were instituted.

Fes’tus, Por’cius

(Festus means festival), successor of Felix as procurator of Judea,

Ac 24:27

sent by Nero probably in the autumn of A.D. 60. A few weeks after Festus reached his province he heard the cause of St. Paul, who had been left a prisoner by Felix, in the presence of Herod Agrippa II and Bernice his sister,

Ac 25:11,12

Judea was in the same disturbed state during the procuratorship of Festus which had prevailed through that of his predecessor. He died probably in the summer of A.D. 60, having ruled the province less than two years.


Fetters were for the feet only, while chains were for any part of the body. They were usually made of brass, and also in pairs, the word being in the dual number. Iron was occasionally employed for the purpose.

Ps 105:18; 149:8


The Hebrew sadeh is applied to any cultivated ground, and in some instances in marked opposition to the neighboring wilderness. On the other hand the sadeh is frequently contrasted with what is enclosed, whether a vineyard, a garden or a walled town. In many passages the term implies what is remote from a house,

Ge 4:8; 24:63; De 22:25

or settled habitation, as in the case of Esau.

Ge 25:27

The separate plots of ground were marked off by stones, which might easily be removed,

De 19:14; 27:17

cf. Job 24:2; Prov 22:28; 23:10 the absence of fences rendered the fields liable to damage from straying cattle,

Ex 22:5

or fire,

Ex 22:6; 2Sa 14:30

hence the necessity of constantly watching flocks and herds. From the absence of enclosures, cultivated land of any size might be termed a field.

Fig, Fig tree.

The fig tree (Ficus carica) is very common in Palestine.

De 8:8

Mount Olivet was famous for its fig trees in ancient times, and they are still found there. To "sit under one’s own vine and one’s own fig tree" became a proverbial expression among the Jews to denote peace and prosperity.

1Ki 4:25; Mic 4:4; Zec 3:10

The fig is a pear-shaped fruit, and is much used by the Orientals for food. The young figs are especially prized for their sweetness and flavor. The fruit always appears before the leaves; so that when Christ saw leaves on the fig tree by the wayside,

Mr 11:13

he had a right to expect fruit. The usual summer crop of fruits is not gathered till May or June; but in the sunny ravines of Olivet fig trees could have ripe fruit some weeks earlier (Dr. Thomson), and it was not strange so early as Easter Christ might find the young eatable figs, although it was not the usual season for gathering the fruit.


Isa 14:8; Eze 27:5

etc. As the term "cedar" is in all probability applicable to more than one tree, so also "fir" in the Authorized Version represents probably one or other of the following trees:

1. Pinus sylvestris, or Scotch fir;

2. Larch;

3. Cupressus sempervirens, or cypress, all which are at this day found in the Lebanon. The wood of the fir was used for ship-building,

Eze 27:5

for musical instruments,

2Sa 6:5

for beams and rafters of houses,

1Ki 5:8,10; 2Ch 2:8

It was a tall evergreen tree of vigorous growth.


is represented as the symbol of Jehovah’s presence and the instrument of his power, in the way either of approval or of destruction.

Ex 3:2; 14:19

etc. There could not be a better symbol for Jehovah than this of fire, it being immaterial, mysterious, but visible, warming, cheering, comforting, but also terrible and consuming. Parallel with this application of fire and with its symbolical meaning are to be noted the similar use for sacrificial purposes and the respect paid to it, or to the heavenly bodies as symbols of deity, which prevailed among so many nations of antiquity, and of which the traces are not even now extinct; e.g. the Sabean and Magian systems of worship.

Isa 27:9

Fire for sacred purposes obtained elsewhere than from the altar was called "strange fire," and for the use of such Nadab and Abihu were punished with death by fire from God.

Le 10:1,2; Nu 3:4; 26:61


one of the vessels of the temple service.

Ex 27:3; 38:3; 2Ki 25:15; Jer 52:19

The same word is elsewhere rendered "snuff-dish,"

Ex 25:38; 37:23; Nu 4:9

and "censer."

Le 10:1; 16:12; Nu 16:6

ff. There appear, therefore, to have been two articles so called: one, like a chafing-dish, to carry live coals for the purpose of burning incense; another, like a snuffer-dish, to be used in trimming the lamps, in order to carry the snuffers and convey away the snuff.



WEIGHTS - See 9455

MEASURES - See 7886


In Scripture the word denotes an expanse, a wide extent; for such is the signification of the Hebrew word. The original, therefore, does not convey the sense of solidity, but of stretching, extension; the great arch of expanse over our heads, in which are placed the atmosphere and the clouds, and in which the stars appear to be placed, and are really seen. —Webster.


Under the law, in memory of the exodus (when the first-born of the Egyptians were slain), the eldest son was regarded as devoted to God, and was in very case to be redeemed by an offering not exceeding five shekels, within one month from birth. If he died before the expiration of thirty days, the Jewish doctors held the father excused, but liable to the payment if he outlived that time.

Ex 13:12-15,16; Le 27:6

The eldest son received a double portion of the father’s inheritance,

De 21:17

but not of the mother’s. Under the monarchy the eldest son usually, but no always, as appears in the case of Solomon, succeeded his father in the kingdom.

1Ki 1:30; 2:22

The male first-born of animals was also devoted to God.

Ex 13:2,12,13; 22:29; 34:19,20

Unclean animals were to be redeemed with the addition of one-fifth of the value, or else put to death; or, if not redeemed, to be sold, and the price given to the priests.

Le 27:13,27,28


1. The law ordered in general that the first of all ripe fruits and of liquors, or, as it is twice expressed, the first of first-fruits, should be offered in God’s house.

Ex 22:29; 23:19; 34:27

It was an act of allegiance to God as the giver of all. No exact quantity was commanded, but it was left to the spiritual and moral sense of each individual.

2. On the morrow after the passover sabbath, i.e. on the 16th of Nisan, a sheaf of new corn was to be brought to the priest and waved before the altar, in acknowledgment of the gift of fruitfulness.

Le 2:12; 23:5,6,10,12

3. At the expiration of seven weeks from this time, i.e. at the feast of pentecost, an oblation was to be made from the new flour, which were to be waved in like manner with the passover sheaf.

Ex 34:22; Le 23:15,17; Nu 28:26

4. The feast of ingathering, i.e. the feast of tabernacles, in the seventh month, was itself an acknowledgment of the fruits of the harvest.

Ex 23:16; 34:22; Le 23:39

These four sorts of offerings were national. Besides them, the two following were of an individual kind.

5. A cake of the first dough that was baked was to be offered as a heave-offering.

Nu 15:19,21

6. The first-fruits of the land were to be brought in a basket to the holy place of God’s choice, and there presented to the priest, who was to set the basket down before the altar.

De 26:2-11

The offerings were the perquisite of the priests.

Nu 18:11; De 18:4

Nehemiah, at the return from captivity, took pains to reorganize the offerings of first-fruits of both kinds, and to appoint places to receive them.

Ne 10:35,37; 12:44

An offering of first-fruits is mentioned as an acceptable one to the prophet Elisha.

2Ki 4:42


The Hebrews recognized fish as one of the great divisions of the animal kingdom, and as such gave them a place in the account of the creation,

Ge 1:21,28

as well as in other passages where an exhaustive description of living creatures is intended.

Ge 9:2; Ex 20:4; De 4:18; 1Ki 4:33

The Mosaic law,

Le 11:9,10

pronounced unclean such fish as were devoid of fins and scales; these were and are regarded as unwholesome in Egypt. Among the Philistines Dagon was represented by a figure half man and half fish.

1Sa 5:4

On this account the worship of fish is expressly prohibited.

De 4:18

In Palestine, the Sea of Galilee was and still is remarkable well stored with fish. (Tristram speaks of fourteen species found there, and thinks the number inhabiting it at least three times as great.) Jerusalem derived its supply chiefly from the Mediterranean. Comp.

Eze 47:10

The existence of a regular fish-market is implied in the notice of the fish-gate, which was probably contiguous to it.

2Ch 33:14; Ne 3:3; 12:39; Zep 1:10

The Orientals are exceedingly fond of fish as an article of diet. Numerous allusions to the art of fishing occur in the Bible. The most usual method of catching fish was by the use of the net, either the casting net,

Eze 26:5,14; 47:10

; Habb 1:15 probably resembling the one used in Egypt, as shown in Wilkinson (iii. 55), or the draw or drag net,

Isa 19:8

; Habb 1:15 which was larger, and required the use of a boat. The latter was probably most used on the Sea of Galilee, as the number of boats kept on it was very considerable.


(i.e. VETCHES), without doubt the Nigella sativa, an herbaceous annual plant belonging to the natural order Ranunculaceoe (the buttercup family), which grows in the south of Europe and in the north of Africa. Its black seeds are used like pepper, and have almost as pungent a taste. The Syrians sprinkle these seeds over their flat cakes before they are baked. [SEE RYE]

RYE - See 8689


There are two Hebrew words rendered "flag" in our Bible:

1. A word of Egyptian origin, and denoting "any green and course herbage, such as rushes and reeds, which grows in marshy places."

Ge 41:2,18

(here translated meadow). It is perhaps the Cyperus esculentus.

2. A word which appears to be used in a very wide sense to denote "weeds of any kind."

Ex 2:3,5; Isa 19:6


a word employed in the Authorized Version to render two distinct Hebrew terms:

1. Ashishah,

2Sa 6:19; 1Ch 16:3; So 2:5; Ho 3:1

It really means a cake of pressed raisins. Such cakes were considered as delicacies; they were also offered to idols.

2. Nebel,

Isa 22:24

is commonly used for a bottle or vessel, originally probably a skin, but in later times a piece of pottery.

Isa 30:14


a well-known plant with yellowish stem and bright-blue flowers. Its fibres are employed in the manufacture of linen. The root contains an oil, and after the oil is expressed is sued as a food for cattle. Egypt was celebrated for the culture of flax and the manufacture of linen. The spinning was anciently done by women of noble birth. It seems probable that the cultivation of flax for the purpose of the manufacture of linen was by no means confined to Egypt, but that, originating in India, it spread over Asia at a very early period of antiquity. That it was grown in Palestine even before the conquest of that country by the Israelites appears from

Jos 2:6

The various processes employed in preparing the flax for manufacture into cloth are indicated:

1. The drying process.

2. The peeling of the stalks and separation of the fibres.

3. The hackling.

Isa 19:9

That flax was one of the most important crops in Palestine appears from

Ho 2:5,9


an insect but twice mentioned in Scripture, viz., in

1Sa 24:14; 26:20

Fleas are abundant in the East, and afford the subject of many proverbial expressions.



FLOOD - See 6542


a well-known stone, a variety of quartz. It is extremely hard, and strikes fire. It was very abundant in and about Palestine.



NOAH - See 8212



GABBATHA - See 6570



BREAD - See 5830


1Ki 1:40

(marg., PIPE),

PIPE - See 8458

a musical instrument mentioned amongst others,

Da 3:5,7,10,15

as used at the worship of the golden image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up. It bore a close resemblance to the modern flute, and was made of reeds, of copper, and other material. It was the principal wind-instrument.

Flux, Bloody,

Ac 28:8

the same as our dysentery, which in the East is, though sometimes sporadic, generally epidemic and infectious, and then assumes its worst form.

Fly, Flies.

The two following Hebrew terms denote flies of some kind:

1. Zebub, which occurs only in

Ec 10:1

and in Isai 7:18 and is probably a generic name for an insect.

2. ’Arob ("swarms of flies," "divers sorts of flies," Authorized Version), the name of the insect or insects which God sent to punish Pharaoh; see

Ex 8:21-31; Ps 78:45; 105:31

The question as to what particular species is denoted, or whether any one species is to be understood, has long been a matter of dispute. As the arob are said to have filled the houses of the Egyptians, it seems not improbable that common flies (Muscidae) are more especially intended. The arob may include various species of Culicidae (gnats), such as the mosquito; but the common flies are to this day in Egypt regarded as a "plague," and are the great instrument of spreading the well-known ophthalmia, which is conveyed from one individual to another by these dreadful pests. "It is now generally supposed that the dog-fly is meant, which at certain seasons is described as a far worse plague than mosquitos. The bite is exceedingly sharp and painful, causing severe inflammation, especially in the eyelids. Coming in immense swarms, they cover all objects in black and loathsome masses, and attack every exposed part of a traveller’s person with incredible pertinacity." —Cook.


The diet of eastern nations has been in all ages light and simple. Vegetable food was more used than animal. The Hebrews used a great variety of articles,

Joh 21:5

to give a relish to bread. Milk and its preparations hold a conspicuous place in eastern diet, as affording substantial nourishment; generally int he form of the modern leben, i.e. sour milk. Authorized Version "butter;"

Ge 18:8; Jud 5:25; 2Sa 17:29

Fruit was another source of subsistence: figs stood first in point of importance; they were generally dried and pressed into cakes. Grapes were generally eaten in a dried state as raisins. Of vegetables we have most frequent notice of lentils, beans, leeks, onions and garlic, which were and still are of a superior quality in Egypt.

Nu 11:5

Honey is extensively used, as is also olive oil. The Orientals have been at all times sparing in the use of animal food; not only does the extensive head of the climate render it both unwholesome to eat much meat and expensive from the necessity of immediately consuming a whole animal, but beyond this the ritual regulations of the Mosaic law in ancient, as of the Koran in modern, times have tended to the same result. The prohibition expressed against consuming the blood of any animal,

Ge 9:4

was more fully developed in the Levitical law, and enforced by the penalty of death.

Le 3:17; 7:26; 19:26; De 12:16

Certain portions of the fat of sacrifices were also forbidden,

Le 3:9,10

as being set apart for the altar,

Le 3:16; 7:25

In addition to the above, Christians were forbidden to eat the flesh of animals portions of which had been offered to idols. All beasts and birds classed as unclean,

Le 11:1

ff.; Deut 14:4 ff., were also prohibited. Under these restrictions the Hebrews were permitted the free use of animal food: generally speaking they only availed themselves of it in the exercise of hospitality or at festivals of a religious, public or private character. It was only in royal households that there was a daily consumption of meat. The animals killed for meat were —calves, lambs, oxen not above three years of age, harts, roebucks and fallow deer; birds of various kinds; fish, with the exception of such as were without scales and fins. Locusts, of which certain species only were esteemed clean, were occasionally eaten,

Mt 3:4

but were regarded as poor fare.


a word employed in the English Bible in two senses:

1. Generally, to distinguish those of the fighting men who went on foot from those who were on horseback or in chariots;

2. In a more special sense, in

1Sa 22:17

only, and as the translation of a different term from the above —a body of swift runners in attendance on the king. This body appears to have been afterwards kept up, and to have been distinct from the body-guard —the six hundred and thirty— who were originated by David. See

1Ki 14:27,28; 2Ki 11:4,6,11,13,19; 2Ch 12:10,11

In each of these cases the word is the same as the above, and is rendered "guard," with "runners" in the margin in two instances -

1Ki 14:27; 2Ki 11:13


The practice of veiling the face (forehead) in public for women of the high classes, especially married women, in the East, sufficiently stigmatizes with reproach the unveiled face of women of bad character.

Ge 24:64; Jer 3:3

The custom among many Oriental nations both of coloring the face and forehead and of impressing on the body marks indicative of devotion to some special deity or religious sect is mentioned elsewhere. The "jewels for the forehead," mentioned by Ezekiel,

Eze 16:12

and in margin of Authorized Version,

Ge 24:22

were in all probability nose-rings.

Isa 3:21


Although Palestine has never been in historical times a woodland country, yet there can be no doubt that there was much more wood formerly than there is a t present, and that the destruction of the forests was one of the chief causes of the present desolation.



FENCED - See 6520



1Co 16:17

one of the three Corinthians the others being Stephanas and Achaicus, who were at Ephesus when St. Paul wrote his first epistle. There is a Fortunatus mentioned in the end of Clement’s first epistle to the Corinthians, who was possibly the same person.


(a spring in distinction from a well). The springs of Palestine, though short-lived, are remarkable for their abundance and beauty, especially those which fall into the Jordan and into its lakes, of which there are hundreds throughout its whole course. The spring or fountain of living water, the "eye" of the landscape, is distinguished in all Oriental languages from the artificially-sunk and enclosed well. Jerusalem appears to have possessed either more than one perennial spring or one issuing by more than one outlet. In Oriental cities generally public fountains are frequent. Traces of such fountains at Jerusalem may perhaps be found in the names of Enrogel,

2Sa 17:17

the "Dragon well" or fountain, and the "gate of the fountain."

Ne 2:13,14


Several distinct Hebrew and Greek words are thus rendered in the English Bible. Of these the most common is ’oph, which is usually a collective term for all kinds of birds. In

1Ki 4:23

among the daily provisions for Solomon’s table "fatted fowl" are included. In the New Testament the word translated "fowls" is most frequently that which comprehends all kinds of birds (including ravens,

Lu 12:24


SPARROW - See 9112


(Heb. shu’al). Probably the jackal is the animal signified in almost all the passages in the Old Testament where the Hebrew term occurs. Though both foxes and jackals abound in Palestine, the shu’alim (foxes) of

Jud 15:4

are evidently jackals and not foxes, for the former animal is gregarious, whereas the latter is solitary in its habits; and Samson could not, for that reason, have easily caught three hundred foxes, but it was easy to catch that number of jackals, which are concealed by hundreds in caves and ruins of Syria. It is not probable, however, that Samson sent out the whole three hundred at once. With respect to the jackals and foxes of Palestine, there is no doubt that the common jackal of the country is the Canis aureus, which may be heard every night in the villages. It is like a medium-sized dog, with a head like a wolf, and is of a bright-yellow color. These beasts devour the bodies of the dead, and even dig them up from their graves.


a vegetable resin, brittle, glittering, and of a bitter taste, used for the purpose of sacrificial fumigation.

Ex 30:34-36

It was called frank because of the freeness with which, when burned, it gives forth its odor. It burns for a long time, with a steady flame. It is obtained by successive incisions in the bark of a tree called Arbor thuris. The first incision yields the purest and whitest resin, while the product of the after incisions is spotted with yellow, and loses its whiteness altogether as it becomes old. The Hebrews imported their frankincense from Arabia,

Isa 60:6; Jer 6:20

and more particularly from Saba; but it is remarkable that at present the Arabian libanum or olibanum is a very inferior kind, and that the finest frankincense imported into Turkey comes through Arabia from the islands of the Indian Archipelago. There can be little doubt that the tree which produces the Indian frankincense is the Boswellia serrata of Roxburgh, or Boswellia thurifera of Colebrooke, and bears some resemblance when young to the mountain ash. It grows to be forty feet high.


a well-known amphibious animal of the genus Rana. The mention of this reptile in the Old Testament is confined to the passage in

Ex 8:2-7

etc., in which the plague of frogs is described, and to

Ps 78:45; 105:30

In the New Testament the word occurs once only, in

Re 16:13

There is no question as to the animal meant. The only known species of frog which occurs at present in Egypt is the Rana esculenta, the edible frog of the continent.

Frontlets, or Phylacteries.

Ex 13:16; De 6:8; 11:18; Mt 23:5

These "frontlets" or "phylacteries" were strips of parchment, on which were written four passages of Scripture,

Ex 13:2-10,11-17; De 6:4-9,13-23

in an ink prepared for the purpose. They were then rolled up in a case of black calfskin, which was attached to a stiffer piece of leather, having a thong one finger broad and one and a half cubits long. They were placed at the bend of the left arm. Those worn on the forehead were written on four strips of parchment, and put into four little cells within a square case on which the letter was written. The square had two thongs, on which Hebrew letters were inscribed. That phylacteries were used as amulets is certain, and was very natural. The expression "they make broad their phylacteries,"

Mt 23:5

refers not so much to the phylactery itself, which seems to have been of a prescribed breadth, as to the case in which the parchment was kept, which the Pharisees, among their other pretentious customs,

Mr 7:3,4; Lu 5:33

etc., made as conspicuous as they could. It is said that the Pharisees wore them always, whereas the common people only used them at prayers.


The trade of the fullers, so far as it is mentioned in Scripture, appears to have consisted chiefly in cleansing garments and whitening them. The process of fulling or cleansing clothes consisted in treading or stamping on the garments with the feet or with bats in tubs of water, in which some alkaline substance answering the purpose of soap had been dissolved. The substances used for this purpose which are mentioned in Scripture are natron,

Pr 25:20; Jer 2:22

and soap.

Mal 3:2

Other substances also are mentioned as being employed in cleansing, which, together with alkali, seem to identify the Jewish with the Roman process, as urine and chalk. The process of whitening garments was performed by rubbing into them calk or earth of some kind. Creta cimolia (cimolite) was probably the earth most frequently used. The trade of the fullers, as causing offensive smells, and also as requiring space for drying clothes, appears to have been carried on at Jerusalem outside the city.

Fuller’s field, The,

a spot near Jerusalem,

2Ki 8:17; Isa 7:3; 36:2

so close to the walls that a person speaking from there could be heard on them.

2Ki 18:17,26

One resort of the fullers of Jerusalem would seem to have been below the city on the southeast side. But Rabshakeh and his "great host" must have come from the north; and the fuller’s field was therefore, to judge from this circumstance, on the table-land on the northern side of the city.



BURIAL - See 5846



WEIGHTS - See 9455

MEASURES - See 7886


Various kinds of furnaces are noticed in the Bible, such as a smelting or calcining furnace,

Ge 19:28; Ex 9:8,10; 19:18

especially a lime-kiln,

Isa 33:12; Am 2:1

a refining furnace,

Pr 17:3

Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace, a large furnace built like a brick-kiln,

Da 3:22,23

with two openings one at the top for putting in the materials, and another below for removing them; the potter’s furnace, Ecclus. 27:5; The blacksmith’s furnace. Ecclus. 38:28. The Persians were in the habit of using the furnace as a means of inflicting punishment.

Da 3:22,23; Jer 29:22