o-ab’-di-us (Codex Alexandrinus Oabdios; Codex Vaticanus eios, Fritzsche, Ioabdios, omitted in the King James Version): One of the sons of Ela who put away their "strange wives" (1 Esdras 9:27) =" Abdi" of Ezr 10:26.


ok: Several Hebrew words are so translated, but there has always been great doubt as to which words should be translated "oak" and which "terebinth." This uncertainty appears in the Septuagint and all through English Versions of the Bible; in recent revisions "terebinth" has been increasingly added in the margin. All the Hebrew words are closely allied and may originally have had simply the meaning of "tree" but it is clear that, when the Old Testament was written, they indicated some special kind of tree.

1. Hebrew Words and References:

The words and references are as follows:

(1) ‘elah (in the Septuagint usually terebinthos. in Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) terebinthus, or, more commonly, quercus) (Ge 35:4; Jud 6:11,19; 2Sa 18:9,10,14; 1Ki 13:14; 1Ch 10:12; Isa 1:30; Eze 6:13—in all these margin "terebinth "). In Isa 6:13 (the King James Version "teil tree") and Ho 4:13 (the King James Version "elms") the translation is "terebinths" because of the juxtaposition of ‘allon, translated "oaks." "Vale of Elah" (margin "the Terebinth") is found in 1Sa 17:2,19; 21:9. The expression in Isa 1:30, "whose leaf fadeth," is more appropriate to the terebinth than the oak (see below).

(2) ‘allah (terebinthos, quercus (Vulgate)), apparently a slight variant for ‘elah; only in Jos 24:26; Ge 35:4 (’elah) and in Jud 9:6 (’elon).

(3) ‘elim or ‘eylim, perhaps plural of ‘elah occurs in Isa 1:29 (margin "terebinths"); Isa 57:5, margin "with idols," the King James Version "idols," margin "oaks"; Isa 61:3, "trees"; Eze 31:14 (text very doubtful), "height," the King James Version margin "upon themselves"; ‘el, in El-paran Septuagint terebinthos) (Ge 14:6), probably means the "tree" or "terebinth" of Paran. Celsius (Hierob. 1,34 ff) argues at length that the above words apply well to the TEREBINTH (which see) in all the passages in which they occur.

(4) ‘elon (usually drus, "oak"), in Ge 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; De 11:30; Jos 19:33; Jud 4:11; 9:6,37; 1Sa 10:3 (the King James Version "plain"); in all these references the margin has "terebinth" or "terebinths." In Ge 12:6; De 11:30 we have "oak" or "oaks" "of the teacher" (Moreh); "oak in Zaanannim" in Jud 4:11; Jos 19:33; the "oak of Meonenim," margin "the augurs’ oak (or, terebinth)" in Jud 9:37.

(5) ‘allon (commonly drus, or balanos), in Ge 35:8 (compare 35:4); Ho 4:13; Isa 6:13, is contrasted with ‘elah, showing that ‘allon and ‘elah cannot be identical, so no marginal references occur; also in Isa 44:14; Am 2:9, but in all other passages, the margin "terebinth" or "terebinths" occurs. "Oaks of Bashan" occurs in Isa 2:13; Eze 27:6; Zec 11:2.

If (1) (2) (3) refer especially to the terebinth, then (4) and (5) are probably correctly translated "oak." If we may judge at all by present conditions, "oaks" of Bashan is far more correct than "terebinths" of Bashan.

2. Varieties of Oak:

There are, according to Post (Flora of Palestine, 737-41), no less than 9 species of oak (Natural Order Cupuliferae) in Syria, and he adds to these 12 sub-varieties. Many of these have no interest except to the botanist. The following species are widespread and distinctive: (1) The "Turkey oak," Quercus cerris, known in Arabic as Ballut, as its name implies, abounds all over European Turkey and Greece and is common in Palestine. Under favorable conditions it attains to great size, reaching as much as 60 ft. in height. It is distinguished by its large sessile acorns with hemispherical cups covered with long, narrow, almost bristly, scales, giving them a mossy aspect. The wood is hard and of fine grain. Galls are common upon its branches.

(2) Quercus lusitanica (or Ballota), also known in Arabic as Ballut, like the last is frequently found dwarfed to a bush, but, when protected, attains a height of 30 ft. or more. The leaves are denate or crenate and last late into the winter, but are shed before the new twigs are developed. The acorns are solitary or few in cluster, and the cupules are more or less smooth. Galls are common, and a variety of this species is often known as Q. infectoria, on account of its liability to infection with galls.

(3) The Valonica oak (Q. aceglops), known in Arabic as Mellut, has large oblong or ovate deciduous leaves, with deep serrations terminating in a bristle-like point, and very large acorns, globular, thick cupules covered with long reflexed scales. The cupules, known commercially as valonica, furnish one of the richest of tanning materials.

(4) The Evergreen oak is often classed under the general name "Ilex oak" or Holm (i.e. holly-like) oak. Several varieties are described as occurring in Palestine. Q. ilex usually has rather a shrublike growth, with abundant glossy, dark-green leaves, oval in shape and more or less prickly at the margins, though sometimes entire. The cupules of the acorns are woolly. It shows a marked predilection for the neighborhood of the sea. The Q. coccifera (with var. Q. pseudococcifera) is known in Arabic as Sindian. The leaves, like the last, usually are prickly. The acorns are solitary or twin, and the hemispherical cupules are more or less velvety. On the Q. coccifera are found the insects which make the well-known Kermes dye. These evergreen oaks are the common trees at sacred tombs, and the once magnificent, but now dying, "Abraham’s oak" at Hebron is one of this species.

3. Oaks in Modern Palestine:

Oaks occur in all parts of Palestine, in spite of the steady ruthless destruction which has been going on for centuries. All over Carmel, Tabor, around Banias and in the hills to the West of Nazareth, to mention well-known localities, there are forests of oak; great tracts of country, especially in Galilee and East of the Jordan, are covered by a stunted brushwood which, were it not for the wood-cutter, would grow into noble trees. Solitary oaks of magnificent proportions occur in many parts of the land, especially upon hilltops; such trees are saved from destruction because of their "sacred" character. To bury beneath such a tree has ever been a favorite custom (compare Ge 35:8; 1Ch 10:12). Large trees like these, seen often from great distances, are frequently landmarks (Jos 19:33) or places of meeting (compare "Oak of Tabor," 1Sa 10:3). The custom of heathen worship beneath oaks or terebinths (Ho 4:13; Eze 6:13, etc.) finds its modern counterpart in the cult of the Wely in Palestine. The oak is sometimes connected with some historical event, as e.g. Abraham’s oak of Mamre now shown at Hebron, and "the oak of weeping," Allon bacuth, of Ge 35:8.

E. W. G. Masterman


(’elon tabhor): Thus the Revised Version (British and American) in 1Sa 10:3 for the King James Version "plain of Tabor" (the Revised Version margin "terebinth"). Tabor was famous for its groves of oak, but what "oak" is meant here is not known. Ewald thinks that "Tabor" is a different pronunciation for "Deborah," and connects with Ge 35:8; but this is not likely.

See OAK, 3.



See SHIPS AND BOATS, II, 2, (3).


oth (shebhu‘ah, probably from shebha‘, "seven," the sacred number, which occurs frequently in the ritual of an oath; horkos; and the stronger word ‘alah, by which a curse is actually invoked upon the oath-breaker Septuagint ara)): In Mt 26:70-74 Peter first denies his Lord simply, then with an oath (shebhu‘ah), then invokes a curse (’alah), thus passing through every stage of asseveration.

1. Law Regarding Oaths:

The oath is the invoking of a curse upon one’s self if one has not spoken the truth (Mt 26:74), or if one fails to keep a promise (1Sa 19:6; 20:17; 2Sa 15:21; 19:23). It played a very important part, not only in lawsuits (Ex 22:11; Le 6:3,5) and state affairs (Ant., XV, x, 4), but also in the dealings of everyday life (Ge 24:37; 50:5; Jud 21:5; 1Ki 18:10; Ezr 10:5). The Mosaic laws concerning oaths were not meant to limit the widespread custom of making oaths, so much as to impress upon the people the sacredness of an oath, forbidding on the one hand swearing falsely (Ex 20:7; Le 19:12; Zec 8:17, etc.), and on the other swearing by false gods, which latter was considered to be a very dark sin (Jer 12:16; Am 8:14). In the Law only two kinds of false swearing are mentioned: false swearing of a witness, and false asseveration upon oath regarding a thing found or received (Le 5:1; 6:2 ff; compare Pr 29:24). Both required a sin offering (Le 5:1 ). The Talmud gives additional rules, and lays down certain punishments for false swearing; in the case of a thing found it states what the false swearer must pay (Makkoth 2 3; Shebhu‘oth 8 3). The Jewish interpretation of the 3rd commandment is that it is not concerned with oaths, but rather forbids the use of the name of Yahweh in ordinary cases (so Dalman).

2. Forms of Swearing:

Swearing in the name of the Lord (Ge 14:22; De 6:13; Jud 21:7; Ru 1:17, etc.) was a sign of loyalty to Him (De 10:20; Isa 48:11; Jer 12:16). We know from Scripture (see above) that swearing by false gods was frequent, and we learn also from the newly discovered Elephantine papyrus that the people not only swore by Jahu (= Yahweh) or by the Lord of Heaven, but also among a certain class of other gods, e.g. by Herem-Bethel, and by Isum. In ordinary intercourse it was customary to swear by the life of the person addressed (1Sa 1:26; 20:3; 2Ki 2:2); by the life of the king (1Sa 17:55; 25:26; 2Sa 11:11); by one’s own head (Mt 5:36); by the earth (Mt 5:35); by the heaven (Mt 5:34; 23:22); by the angels (BJ, II, xvi, 4); by the temple (Mt 23:16), and by different parts of it (Mt 23:16); by Jerusalem (Mt 5:35; compare Kethubhoth 2:9). The oath "by heaven" (Mt 5:34; 23:22) is counted by Jesus as the oath in which God’s name is invoked. Jesus does not mean that God and heaven are identical, but He desires to rebuke those who paltered with an oath by avoiding a direct mention of a name of God. He teaches that such an oath is a real oath and must be considered as sacredly binding.

3. The Formula:

Not much is told us as to the ceremonies observed in taking an oath. In patriarchal times he who took the oath put his hand under the thigh of him to whom the oath was taken (Ge 24:2; 47:29). The most usual form was to hold up the hand to heaven (Ge 14:22; Ex 6:8; De 32:40; Eze 20:5). The wife suspected of unfaithfulness, when brought before the priest, had to answer "Amen, Amen" to his adjuration, and this was considered to be an oath on her part (Nu 5:22). The usual formula of an oath was either: "God is witness betwixt me and thee" (Ge 31:50), or more commonly: "As Yahweh (or God) liveth" (Jud 8:19; Ru 3:13; 2Sa 2:27; Jer 38:16); or "Yahweh be a true and faithful witness amongst us" (Jer 42:5). Usually the penalty invoked by the oath was only suggested: "Yahweh (or God) do so to me" (Ru 1:17; 2Sa 3:9,35; 1Ki 2:23; 2Ki 6:31); in some cases the punishment was expressly mentioned (Jer 29:22). Nowack suggests that in general the punishment was not expressly mentioned because of a superstitious fear that the person swearing, although speaking the truth, might draw upon himself some of the punishment by merely mentioning it.

Philo expresses the desire (ii.194) that the practice of swearing should be discontinued, and the Essenes used no oaths (BJ, II, viii, 6; Ant., XV, x, 4).

4. Oaths Permissible:

That oaths are permissible to Christians is shown by the example of our Lord (Mt 26:63 f), and of Paul (2Co 1:23; Ga 1:20) and even of God Himself (Heb 6:13-18). Consequently when Christ said, "Swear not at all" (Mt 5:34), He was laying down the principle that the Christian must not have two standards of truth, but that his ordinary speech must be as sacredly true as his oath. In the kingdom of God, where that principle holds sway, oaths become unnecessary.

Paul Levertoff


o-ba-di’-a (‘obhadhyah, more fully ‘obhadhyahu, "servant of Yahweh"):

(1) The steward or prime minister of Ahab, who did his best to protect the prophets of Yahweh against Jezebel’s persecution. He met Elijah on his return from Zarephath, and bore to Ahab the news of Elijah’s reappearance (1Ki 18:3-16).

(2) The prophet (Ob 1:1).


(3) A descendant of David (1Ch 3:21).

(4) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1Ch 7:3).

(5) A descendant of Saul (1Ch 8:38; 9:44).

(6) A Levite descended from Jeduthun (1Ch 9:16), identical with Abda (Ne 11:17).

(7) A chief of the Gadites (1Ch 12:9).

(8) A Zebulunite, father of the chief Ishmaiah (1Ch 27:19).

(9) One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law in Judah (2Ch 17:7).

(10) A Merarite employed by Josiah to oversee the workmen in repairing the temple (2Ch 34:12).

(11) The head of a family who went up with Ezra from Babylon (Ezr 8:9).

(12) One of the men who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah (Ne 10:5).

(13) A gate-keeper in the days of Nehemiah (Ne 12:25).

The name "Obadiah" was common in Israel from the days of David to the close of the Old Testament. An ancient Hebrew seal bears the inscription "Obadiah the servant of the King."

John Richard Sampey


Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. The theme of the book is the destruction of Edom. Consequent upon the overthrow of Edom is the enlargement of the borders of Judah and the establishment of the kingship of Yahweh. Thus far all scholars are agreed; but on questions of authorship and date there is wide divergence of opinion.

1. Contents of the Book:

(1) Yahweh summons the nations to the overthrow of proud Edom. The men of Esau will be brought down from their lofty strongholds; their hidden treasures will be rifled; their confederates will turn against them; nor will the wise and the mighty men in Edom be able to avert the crushing calamity (Ob 1:1-9).

(2) The overthrow of Edom is due to the violence and cruelty shown toward his brother Jacob. The prophet describes the cruelty and shameless gloating over a brother’s calamity, in the form of earnest appeals to Edom not to do the selfish and heartless deeds of which he had been guilty when Jerusalem was sacked by foreign foes (Ob 1:10-14).

(3) The day of the display of Yahweh’s retributive righteousness upon the nations is near. Edom shall be completely destroyed by the people whom he has tried to uproot, while Israel’s captives shall return to take possession of their own land and also to seize and rule the mount of Esau. Thus the kingship of Yahweh shall be established (Ob 1:15-21).

2. Unity of the Book:

The unity of Obadiah was first challenged by Eichhorn in 1824, 1:17-21 being regarded by him as an appendix attached to the original exilic prophecy in the time of Alexander Janneus (104-78 BC). Ewald thought that an exilic prophet, to whom he ascribed 1:11-14 and 19-21, had made use of an older prophecy by Obadiah in 1:1-10, and in 1:15-18 of material from another older prophet who was contemporary, like Obadiah, with Isaiah. As the years went on, the material assigned to the older oracle was limited by some to 1:1-9 and by others to 1:1-6. Wellhausen assigned to Obadiah 1:1-5,7,10,11,13,14,15b, while all else was regarded as a later appendix. Barton’s theory of the composition of Obadiah is thus summed up by Bewer: "Ob 1:1-6 are a pre-exilic oracle of Obadiah, which was quoted by Jeremiah, and readapted with additions (Ob 1:7-15) by another Obadiah in the early post-exilic days; 1:16-21 form an appendix, probably from Maccabean times" (ICC, 5). Bewer’s own view is closely akin to Barton’s. He thinks that Obadiah, writing in the 5th century BC, "quoted 1:1-4 almost, though not quite, literally; that he commented on the older oracle in 1:5-7, partly in the words of the older prophet, partly in his own words, in order to show that it had been fulfilled in his own day; and that in 1:8,9 he quoted once more from the older oracle without any show of literalness." He ascribes to Obadiah 1:10-14 and 15b. The appendix consists of two sections, 1:15a, 16-18 and 1:19-21, possibly by different authors, 1:18 being a quotation from some older prophecy. To the average Bible student all this minute analysis of a brief prophecy must seem hypercritical. He will prefer to read the book as a unity; and in doing so will get the essence of the message it has for the present day.

3. Date of the Book:

Certain preliminary problems require solution before the question of date can be settled.

(1) Relation of Obadiah and Jeremiah 49.

(a) Did Obadiah quote from Jeremiah? Pusey thus sets forth the impossibility of such a solution: "Out of 16 verses of which the prophecy of Jeremiah against Edom consists, four are identical with those of Obadiah; a fifth embodies a verse of Obadiah’s; of the eleven which remain, ten have some turns of expression or idioms, more or fewer, which recur in Jer, either in these prophecies against foreign nations, or in his prophecies generally. Now it would be wholly improbable that a prophet, selecting verses out of the prophecy of Jeremiah, should have selected precisely those which contain none of Jeremiah’s characteristic expressions; whereas it perfectly fits in with the supposition that Jeremiah interwove verses of Obadiah with his own prophecy, that in verses so interwoven there is not one expression which occurs elsewhere in Jer" (Minor Prophets, I, 347).

(b) Did Jeremiah quote from Obadiah? It is almost incredible that the vigorous and well-articulated prophecy in Obadiah could have been made by piecing together detached quotations from Jer; but Jeremiah may well have taken from Obadiah many expressions that fell in with his general purpose. There are difficulties in applying this view to one or two verses, but it has not been disproved by the arguments from meter advanced by Bewer and others.

(c) Did both Obadiah and Jeremiah quote from an older oracle? This is the favorite solution among recent scholars, most of whom think that Obadiah preserves the vigor of the original, while Jeremiah quotes with more freedom; but Bewer in ICC, after a detailed comparison, thus sums up: "Our conclusion is that Obadiah quoted in Ob 1:1-9 an older oracle, the original of which is better preserved in Jer 49." The student will do well to get his own first-hand impression from a careful comparison of the two passages. With Ob 1:1-4 compare Jer 49:14-16; with Ob 1:5,6 compare Jer 49:9,10 a; with Ob 1:8 compare Jer 49:7; with Ob 1:9 a compare Jer 49:22 b. On the whole, the view that Jeremiah, who often quotes from earlier prophets, draws directly from Obadiah, with free working over of the older prophets, seems still tenable.

(2) Relation of Obadiah and Joel.

There seems to be in Joe 2:32 (Hebrew 3:5) a direct allusion to Ob 1:17. If Joe prophesied during the minority of the boy king Joash (circa 830 BC), Obadiah would be, on this hypothesis, the earliest of the writing prophets.

(3) What Capture of Jerusalem Is Described in Obadiah 1:10-14?

The disaster seems to have been great enough to be called "destruction" (Ob 1:12). Hence, most scholars identify the calamity described by Obadiah with the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans in 587 BC. But it is remarkable, on this hypothesis, that no allusion is made either in Obadiah or Jer 49:7-22 to the Chaldeans or to the destruction of the temple or to the wholesale transportation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem to Babylonia. We know, however, from Eze 35:1-15 and Ps 137:7 that Edom rejoiced over the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans in 587 BC, and that they encouraged the destroyers to blot out the holy city. Certain it is that the events of 587 accord remarkably with the language of Ob 1:10-14. Pusey indeed argues from the use of the form of the direct prohibition in Ob 1:12-14 that Edom had not yet committed the sins against which the prophet warns him, and so Jerusalem was not yet destroyed, when Obadiah wrote. But almost all modern scholars interpret the language of Ob 1:12-14 as referring to what was already past; the prophet "speaks of what the Edomites had actually done as of what they ought not to do." The scholars who regard Obadiah as the first of the writing prophets locate his ministry in Judah during the reign of Jehoram (circa 845 BC). Both 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles tell of the war of rebellion in the days of Jehoram when Edom, after a fierce struggle, threw off the yoke of Judah (2Ki 8:20-22; 2Ch 21:8-10). Shortly after the revolt of Edom, according to 2Ch 21:16 f, the Philistines and Arabians broke into Judah, "and carried away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons." Evidently the capital city fell into the hands of the invaders. It was a calamity of no mean proportions.

The advocates of a late date call attention to three points that weaken the case for an early date for Obadiah:

(a) The silence of 2 Kings as to the invasion of the Philistines and Arabians. But what motive could the author of Chronicles have had for inventing the story?

(b) The absence of any mention of the destruction of the city by the Philistines and Arabians. It must be acknowledged that the events of 587 BC accord more fully with the description in Ob 1:10-14, though the disaster in the days of Jehoram must have been terrible.

(c) The silence as to Edom in 2Ch 21:16 f. But so also are the historic books silent as to the part that Edom took in the destruction of Jerusalem in 587.

It is true that exilic and post-exilic prophets and psalmists speak in bitter denunciation of the unbrotherly conduct of Edom (La 4:21,22; Eze 25:12-14; 35:1-15; Ps 137:7; Mal 1:1-5; compare also Isa 34 and 63:1-6); but it is also true that the earliest Hebrew literature bears witness to the keen rivalry between Esau and Jacob (Ge 25:22 f; 27:41; Nu 20:14-21), and one of the earliest of the writing prophets denounces Edom for unnatural cruelty toward his brother (Am 1:11 f; compare Joe 3:19 (Heb 4:19)).

(4) The Style of Obadiah.

Most early critics praise the style. Some of the more recent critics argue for different authors on the basis of a marked difference in style within the compass of the twenty-one verses in the little roll. Thus Selbie writes in HDB: "There is a difference in style between the two halves of the book, the first being terse, animated, and full of striking figures, while the second is diffuse and marked by poverty of ideas and trite figures." The criticism of the latter part of the book is somewhat exaggerated, though it may be freely granted that the first half is more original and vigorous. The Hebrew of the book is classic, with scarcely any admixture of Aramaic words or constructions. The author may well have lived in the golden age of the Hebrew language and literature.

(5) Geographical and Historical Allusions.

The references to the different sections and cities in the land of Israel and in the land of Edom are quite intelligible. As to Sepharad (Ob 1:20) there is considerable difference of opinion. Schrader and some others identify it with a Shaparda in Media, mentioned in the annals of Sargon (722-705 BC). Many think of Asia Minor, or a region in Asia Minor mentioned in Persian inscriptions, perhaps Bithynia or Galatia (Sayce). Some think that the mention of "the captives of this host of the children of Israel" and "the captives of Jerusalem" (Ob 1:20) proves that both the Assyrian captivity and the Babylonian exile were already past. This argument has considerable force; but it is well to remember that Amos, in the first half of the 8th century, describes wholesale deportations from the land of Israel by men engaged in the slave trade (Am 1:6-10). The problem of the date of Obadiah has not been solved to the satisfaction of Biblical students. Our choice must be between a very early date (circa 845) and a date shortly after 587, with the scales almost evenly balanced.

4. Interpretation of the Book:

Obadiah is to be interpreted as prediction rather than history. In 1:11-14 there are elements of historic description, but 1:1-10 and 15-21 are predictive.


Comms.: Caspari, Der Prophet Obadjah ausgelegt, 1842; Pusey, The Minor Prophets, 1860; Ewald, Commentary on the Prophets of the Old Testament (English translation), II, 277 ff, 1875; Keil (ET), 1880; T.T. Perowne (in Cambridge Bible), 1889; von Orelli (English translation), The Minor Prophets, 1893; Wellhausen, Die kleinen Propheten, 1898; G.A. Smith, The Book of the Twelve Prophets, II, 163 ff, 1898; Nowack, Die kleinen Propheten, 1903; Marti, Dodekapropheton, 1903; Eiselen, The Minor Prophets, 1907; Bewer, ICC, 1911. Miscellaneous: Kirkpatrick, Doctrine of the Prophets, 33 ff; Intros of Driver, Wildeboer, etc.; Selbie in HDB, III, 577-80; Barton in JE, IX, 369-70; Cheyne in EB, III, 3455-62; Peckham, An Introduction to the Study of Obadiah, 1910; Kent, Students’ Old Testament, III, 1910.

John Richard Sampey



See EBAL, 1.


ob-di’-a (Codex Alexandrinus Obdia; Codex Vaticanus Hobbeia): One of the families of usurping priests (1 Esdras 5:38) =" Habaiah" of Ezr 2:61; "Hobaiah" of Ne 7:63.

OBED o’-bed (‘obhedh, "worshipper"; in the New Testament Iobed):

(1) Son of Boaz and Ru and grandfather of David (Ru 4:17,21,22; 1Ch 2:12; Mt 1:5; Lu 3:32).

(2) Son of Ephlal and descendant of Sheshan, the Jerahmeelite, through his daughter who was married to Jarha, an Egyptian servant of her father’s (1Ch 2:37,38).

(3) One of David’s mighty men (1Ch 11:47).

(4) A Korahite doorkeeper, son of Shemaiah, and grandson of Obed-edom (1Ch 26:7).

(5) Father of Azariah, one of the centurions who took part with Jehoiada in deposing Queen Athaliah and crowning Joash (2Ch 23:1; compare 2Ki 11:1-16).

David Francis Roberts


o’-bed-e’-dom (‘obhedh ‘edhowm (2Ch 25:24), ‘obhedd ‘edhom (2Sa 6:10; 1Ch 13:13,14; 15:25), but elsewhere without hyphen, "servant of (god) Edom"; so W. R. Smith, Religion of Semites (2), 42, and H. P. Smith, Samuel, 294 f, though others explain it as =" servant of man"): In 2Sa 6:10,11,12; 1Ch 13:13,14 a Philistine of Gath and servant of David, who received the Ark of Yahweh into his house when David brought it into Jerusalem from Kiriath-jearim. Because of the sudden death of Uzzah, David was unwilling to proceed with the Ark to his citadel, and it remained three months in the house of Obed-edom, "and Yahweh blessed Obed-edom, and all his house" (2Sa 6:11). According to 1Ch 13:14 the Ark had a special "house" of its own while there. He is probably the same as the Levite of 1Ch 15:25. In 1Ch 15:16-21 Obed-edom is a "singer," and in 1Ch 15:24 a "doorkeeper," while according to 1Ch 26:4-8,15 he is a Korahite doorkeeper, to whose house fell the overseership of the storehouse (26:15), while 1Ch 16:5,38 names him as a "minister before the ark," a member of the house or perhaps guild of Jeduthun (see 2Ch 25:24).

Obed-edom is an illustration of the service rendered to Hebrew religion by foreigners, reminding one of the Simon of Cyrene who bore the cross of Jesus (Mt 27:32, etc.). The Chronicler naturally desired to think that only Levites could discharge such duties as Obed-edom performed, and hence, the references to him as a Levite.

David Francis Roberts.


The "obedience" (hupakoe) of Christ is directly mentioned but 3 times in the New Testament, although many other passages describe or allude to it: "Through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous" (Ro 5:19); "He humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross" (Php 2:8); "Though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered" (Heb 5:8). In 2Co 10:5, the phrase signifies an attitude toward Christ: "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

1. As an Element of Conduct and Character:

His subjection to His parents (Lu 2:51) was a necessary manifestation of His loving and sinless character, and of His disposition and power to do the right in any situation. His obedience to the moral law in every particular is asserted by the New Testament writers: "without sin" (Heb 4:15); "who knew no sin" (2Co 5:21); "holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners" (Heb 7:26), etc.; and is affirmed by Himself: "Which of you convicteth me of sin?" (Joh 8:46); and implicitly conceded by His enemies, since no shadow of accusation against His character appears. Of His ready, loving, joyful, exact and eager obedience to the Father, mention will be made later, but it was His central and most outstanding characteristic, the filial at its highest reach, limitless, "unto death." His usually submissive and law-abiding attitude toward the authorities and the great movements and religious requirements of His day was a part of His loyalty to God, and of the strategy of His campaign, the action of the one who would set an example and wield an influence, as at His baptism: "Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness" (Mt 3:15); the synagogue worship (Lu 4:16, "as his custom was"); the incident of the tribute money: "Therefore the sons are free. But, lest we cause them to stumble," etc. (Mt 17:24-27). Early, however, the necessities of His mission as Son of God and institutor of the new dispensation obliged Him frequently to display a judicial antagonism to current prescription and an authoritative superiority to the rulers; and even to important details of the Law, that would in most eyes mark Him as insurgent, and did culminate in the cross, but was the sublimest obedience to the Father, whose authority alone He, as full-grown man, and Son of man, could recognize.

2. Its Christological Bearing:

Two Scriptural statements raise an important question as to the inner experience of Jesus. Heb 5:8 states that "though he was a Son, yet learned (he) obedience by the things which he suffered" (emathen aph’ hon epathen ten hupakoen); Php 2:6,8 Existing in the form of God .... he humbled himself, becoming obedient, even unto death." As Son of God, His will was never out of accord with the Father’s will. How then was it necessary to, or could He, learn obedience, or become obedient? The same question in another form arises from another part of the passage in Heb 5:9: "And having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author (cause) of eternal salvation"; also Heb 2:10: "It became him (God) .... to make the author (captain) of their salvation perfect through sufferings." How and why should the perfect be made perfect? Gethsemane, with which, indeed, Heb 5:8 is directly related, presents the same problem. It finds its solution in the conditions of the Redeemer’s work and life on earth in the light of His true humanity. Both in His eternal essence and in His human existence, obedience to His Father was His dominant principle, so declared through the prophet-psalmist before His birth: Heb 10:7 (Ps 40:7), "Lo, I am come (in the roll of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God." It was His law of life: "I do always the things that are pleasing to him. I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things" (Joh 8:29,28); "I can of myself do nothing. .... I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (Joh 5:30). It was the indispensable process of His activity as the "image of the invisible God," the expression of the Deity in terms of the phenomenal and the human. He could be a perfect revelation only by the perfect correspondence in every detail, of will, word and work with the Father’s will (Joh 5:19). Obedience was also His life nourishment and satisfaction (Joh 4:34). It was the guiding principle which directed the details of His work: "I have power to lay it (life) down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from my Father" (Joh 10:18); "The Father that sent me, he hath given me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak" (Joh 12:49; compare 14:31, etc.). But in the Incarnation this essential and filial obedience must find expression in human forms according to human demands and processes of development. As true man, obedient disposition on His part must meet the test of voluntary choice under all representative conditions, culminating in that which was supremely hard, and at the limit which should reveal its perfection of extent and strength. It must become hardened, as it were, and confirmed, through a definite obedient act, into obedient human character. The patriot must become the veteran. The Son, obedient on the throne, must exercise the practical virtue of obedience on earth. Gethsemane was the culmination of this process, when in full view of the awful, shameful, horrifying meaning of Calvary, the obedient disposition was crowned, and the obedient Divine-human life reached its highest manifestation, in the great ratification: "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done." But just as Jesus’ growth in knowledge was not from error to truth, but from partial knowledge to completer, so His "learning obedience" led Him not from disobedience or debate to submission, but from obedience at the present stage to an obedience at ever deeper and deeper cost. The process was necessary for His complete humanity, in which sense He was "made perfect," complete, by suffering. It was also necessary for His perfection as example and sympathetic High Priest. He must fight the human battles under the human conditions. Having translated obedient aspiration and disposition into obedient action in the face of, and in suffering unto, death, even the death of the cross, He is able to lead the procession of obedient sons of God through every possible trial and surrender. Without this testing of His obedience He could have had the sympathy of clear and accurate knowledge, for He "knew what was in man," but He would have lacked the sympathy of a kindred experience. Lacking this, He would have been for us, and perhaps also in Himself, but an imperfect "captain of our salvation," certainly no "file leader" going before us in the very paths we have to tread, and tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. It may be worth noting that He "learned obedience" and was "made perfect" by suffering, not the results of His own sins, as we do largely, but altogether the results of the sins of others.

3. In Its Soteriological Bearings:

In Ro 5:19, in the series of contrasts between sin and salvation ("Not as the trespass, so also is the free gift"), we are told: "For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous." Interpreters and theologians, especially the latter, differ as to whether "obedience" here refers to the specific and supreme act of obedience on the cross, or to the sum total of Christ’s incarnate obedience through His whole life; and they have made the distinction between His "passive obedience," yielded on the cross, and His "active obedience" in carrying out without a flaw the Father’s will at all times. This distinction is hardly tenable, as the whole Scriptural representation, especially His own, is that He was never more intensely active than in His death: "I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished" (Lu 12:50); "I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again" (Joh 10:17,18). "Who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God" (Heb 9:14), indicates the active obedience of one who was both priest and sacrifice. As to the question whether it was the total obedience of Christ, or His death on the cross, that constituted the atonement, and

the kindred question whether it was not the spirit of obedience in the act of death, rather than the act itself, that furnished the value of His redemptive work, it might conceivably, though improbably, be said that "the one act of righteousness" through which "the free gift came" was His whole life considered as one act. But these ideas are out of line with the unmistakable trend of Scripture, which everywhere lays principal stress on the death of Christ itself; it is the center and soul of the two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper; it holds first place in the Gospels, not as obedience, but as redemptive suffering and death; it is unmistakably put forth in this light by Christ Himself in His few references to His death: "ransom," "my blood," etc. Paul’s teaching everywhere emphasizes the death, and in but two places the obedience; Peter indeed speaks of Christ as an ensample, but leaves as his characteristic thought that Christ "suffered for sins once .... put to death in the flesh" (1Pe 3:18). In Hebrews the center and significance of Christ’s whole work is that He "put away sin by the sacrifice of himself"; while John in many places emphasizes the death as atonement: "Unto him that .... loosed us from our sins by his blood" (Re 1:5), and elsewhere. The Scripture teaching is that "God set (him) forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood" (Ro 3:25). His lifelong obedience enters in chiefly as making and marking Him the "Lamb without blemish and without spot," who alone could be the atoning sacrifice. If it enters further, it is as the preparation and anticipation of that death, His life so dominated and suffused with the consciousness of the coming sacrifice that it becomes really a part of the death. His obedience at the time of His death could not have been atonement, for it had always existed and had not atoned; but it was the obedience that turned the possibility of atonement into the fact of atonement. He obediently offered up, not His obedience, but Himself. He is set forth as propitiation, not in His obedience, but in His blood, His death, borne as the penalty of sin, in His own body on the tree. The distinction is not one of mere academic theological interest. It involves the whole question of the substitutionary and propitiatory in Christ’s redemptive work, which is central, vital and formative, shaping the entire conception of Christianity. The blessed and helpful part which our Lord’s complete and loving obedience plays in the working out of Christian character, by His example and inspiration, must not be underestimated, nor its meaning as indicating the quality of the life which is imparted to the soul which accepts for itself His mediatorial death. These bring the consummation and crown of salvation; they are not its channel, or instrument, or price.


DCG, article "Obedience of Christ"; Denney, Death of Christ, especially pp. 231-33; Champion, Living Atonement; Forsythe, Cruciality of the Cross, etc.; works on the Atonement; Commentaries, in the place cited.

Philip Wendell Crannell


o-be’-di-ens, o-ba (shama‘; hupakoe):

1. Meaning of Terms:

In its simpler Old Testament meaning the word signifies "to hear," "to listen." It carries with it, however, the ethical significance of hearing with reverence and obedient assent. In the New Testament a different origin is suggestive of "hearing under" or of subordinating one’s self to the person or thing heard, hence, "to obey." There is another New Testament usage, however, indicating persuasion from, peithomai.

The relation expressed is twofold: first, human, as between master and servant, and particularly between parents and children. "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that, will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and, though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place" (De 21:18,19; compare Pr 15:20); or between sovereign and subjects, "The foreigners shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me" (2Sa 22:45; 1Ch 29:23).

2. The Old Testament Conception:

The highest significance of its usage, however, is that of the relation of man to God. Obedience is the supreme test of faith in God and reverence for Him. The Old Testament conception of obedience was vital. It was the one important relationship which must not be broken. While sometimes this relation may have been formal and cold, it nevertheless was the one strong tie which held the people close to God. The significant spiritual relation is expressed by Samuel when he asks the question, "Hath Yahweh as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1Sa 15:22). It was the condition without which no right relation might be sustained to Yahweh. This is most clearly stated in the relation between Abraham and Yahweh when he is assured "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Ge 22:18).

In prophetic utterances, future blessing and prosperity were conditioned upon obedience: "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land" (Isa 1:19). After surveying the glories of the Messianic kingdom, the prophet assures the people that "this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of Yahweh your God" (Zec 6:15). On the other hand misfortune, calamity, distress and famine are due to their disobedience and distrust of Yahweh.


This obedience or disobedience was usually related to the specific commands of Yahweh as contained in the law, yet they conceived of God as giving commands by other means. Note especially the rebuke of Samuel to Saul: "Because thou obeyedst not the voice of Yahweh, .... therefore hath Yahweh done this thing unto thee this day" (1Sa 28:18).

3. The New Testament Conception:

In the New Testament a higher spiritual and moral relation is sustained than in the Old Testament. The importance of obedience is just as greatly emphasized. Christ Himself is its one great illustration of obedience. He "humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross" (Php 2:8). By obedience to Him we are through Him made partakers of His salvation (Heb 5:9). This act is a supreme test of faith in Christ. Indeed, it is so vitally related that they are in some cases almost synonymous. "Obedience of faith" is a combination used by Paul to express this idea (Ro 1:5). Peter designates believers in Christ as "children of obedience" (1Pe 1:14). Thus it is seen that the test of fellowship with Yahweh in the Old Testament is obedience. The bond of union with Christ in the New Testament is obedience through faith, by which they become identified and the believer becomes a disciple.

Walter G. Clippinger


o-ba’-sans: It is used 9 times in the King James Version in the phrase "made (or did) obeisance" as a rendering of the reflexive form of (shachah), and denotes the bow or curtsey indicative of deference and respect. The same form of the verb is sometimes translated "to bow one’s self" when it expresses the deferential attitude of one person to another (Ge 33:6,7, etc.). Occasionally the vow of homage or fealty to a king on the part of a subject is suggested. In Joseph’s dream his brother’s sheaves made obeisance to his sheaf (Ge 43:28; compare also 2Sa 15:5; 2Ch 24:17). But in a large number of instances the verb denotes the prostrate posture of the worshipper in the presence of Deity, and is generally rendered, "to worship" in the King James Version. In all probability this was the original significance of the word (Ge 24:26, etc.). Obeisance (= obedience) originally signified the vow of obedience made by a vassal to his lord or a slave to his master, but in time denoted the act of bowing as a token of respect.

T. Lewis


ob’-e-lisk, ob’-el-isk: A sacred stone or matstsebhah. For matstsebhah the Revised Version (British and American) has used "pillar" in the text, with "obelisk" in the margin in many instances (Ex 23:24; Le 26:1; De 12:3; 1Ki 14:23; Ho 3:4; 10:1,2, etc.), but not consistently (e.g. Ge 28:18).



o’-beth (Obeth; Codex Vaticanus Ouben): One of those who went up with Ezra (1 Esdras 8:32) =" Ebed" of Ezr 8:6.


o’-bil (’obhil, "camel driver"): An Ishmaelite who was "over the camels" in David’s palace (1Ch 27:30).


ob-jekt’:Now used only in the sense "to make opposition," but formerly in a variety of meanings derived from the literal sense "to throw against." So with the meaning "to charge with" in The Wisdom of Solomon 2:12, the King James Version "He objecteth to our infamy the transgressing of our education" (the Revised Version (British and American) "layeth to our charge sins against our discipline"), or "to make charges against" in Ac 24:19, the King James Version "who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me" (the Revised Version (British and American) "and to make accusation").


ob-la’-shun: In Leviticus and Numbers, the King James Version occasionally uses "oblation," but generally "offering," as a rendering of qorban—a general term for all kinds of offering, but used only in Ezekiel, Leviticus and Numbers. the Revised Version (British and American) renders consistently "oblation." In Ezekiel (also Isa 40:20), "oblation" renders terumah, generally translated "heave offering." In some cases (e.g. Isa 1:13; Da 9:21) "oblation" in the King James Version corresponds to minchah, the ordinary word for "gift," in the Priestly Code (P) "grain offering."



o’-both, o’-both (’obhoth, "waterbags"): A desert camp of the Israelites, the 3rd after leaving Mt. Hor and close to the borders of Moab (Nu 21:10,11; 33:43,14).



ob-sku’-ri-ti: In modern English generally denotes a state of very faint but still perceptible illumination, and only when preceded by some such adjective as "total" does it imply the absence of all light. In Biblical English, however, only the latter meaning is found. So in Isa 29:18 (’ophel, "darkness"); 58:10; 59:9 (choshekh, "darkness"); Additions to Esther 11:8 (gnophos, "darkness"). Compare Pr 20:20, the King James Version "in obscure darkness," the English Revised Version "in the blackest darkness," the American Standard Revised Version "in blackness of darkness."


ob-zurv’ (representing various words, but chiefly shamar, "to keep," "to watch" etc.): Properly means "to take heed to," as in Isa 42:20, "Thou seest many things, but thou observest not" and from this sense all the usages of the word in English Versions of the Bible can be understood. Most of them, indeed are quite good modern usage (as "observe a feast," Ex 12:17, etc.; "observe a law" Le 19:37, etc.), but a few are archaic. So Ge 37:11, the King James Version "His father observed the saying" (the Revised Version (British and American) "kept the saying in mind"); Ho 13:7, "As a leopard .... will I observe them" (the Revised Version (British and American) "watch"); Jon 2:8, "observe lying vanities" (the Revised Version (British and American) "regard," but "give heed to" would be clearer; compare Ps 107:43). Still farther from modern usage is Ho 14:8, "I have heard him, and observed him" (the Revised Version (British and American) "will regard"; the meaning is "care for"); and Mr 6:20, "For Herod feared John .... and observed him" (the Revised Version (British and American) "kept him safe"). In the last case, the King James Version editors seem to have used "to observe" as meaning "to give reverence to."

Observation is found in Lu 17:20, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation" (meta paratereseos). The meaning of the English is, "so that it can be observed," but the exact force of the underlying Greek ("visibly"? "so that it can be computed in advance"?) is a matter of extraordinary dispute at the present time.


Burton Scott Easton








o-ka’-zhun: The uses in English Versions of the Bible are all modern, but in Jer 2:24 "occasion" is employed (both in Hebrew and English) as a euphemism for "time of conception of offspring."


ok’-u-pi: Is in the King James Version the translation of 7 different words:

(1) nathan;

(2) cachar;

(3) ‘arabh;

(4) ‘asah, either with or without the added word, mela’khah;

(5) anapleroun;

(6) peripatein;

(7) pragmateuein.

In almost every case the meanings of "to occupy" as used in the King James Version in harmony with the common usage of the time have become obsolete.

(1) In Eze 27:16,19,22, nathan meant "to trade," and the Revised Version (British and American) reads "traded."

(2) From cachar, "to go about," was derived a designation of "merchants" (Revised Version) (Eze 27:21).

(3) ‘Arabh (Eze 27:9) signifies "to exchange" (the English Revised Version and the American Revised Version margin, but the American Standard Revised Version "deal in").

(4) ‘asah (Ex 38:24) means simply "to use" (Revised Version), and the same word in Jud 16:11, with mela’khah ("work") added, signifies that work had been done (Revised Version).

(5) In 1Co 14:16, "occupy," the King James Version rendering of anapleroun, would still be as intelligible to most as the Revised Version (British and American) "fill."

(6) "Occupy" in Heb 13:9, in the sense of "being taken up with a thing," is the translation (both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)) of peripatein, literally, "to walk." Finally

(7) pragmateuein (Lu 19:13) is rendered in the King James Version "occupy" in its obsolete sense of "trade" (Revised Version).

David Foster Estes


o-kur’-ent (King James Versions, the English Revised Version, 1Ki 5:4): An obsolete form of "occurrence" (so the American Standard Revised Version).


o-ki-e’-lus (Ochielos; Codex Vaticanus Ozielos; the King James Version Ochiel): One of the "captains over thousands" who furnished the Levites with much cattle for Josiah’s Passover (1 Esdras 1:9) =" Jeiel" of 2Ch 35:9.


ok’-ran (‘okhran, from ‘akhar, "trouble"; the King James Version Ocran): The father of Pagiel, the prince of the tribe of Asher (Nu 1:13; 2:27; 7:72,77; 10:26).


o’-ker, (Isa 44:13, "He marketh it out with a pencil," margin "red ochre," the King James Version "line"; seredh, a word found only here, and of unknown etymology): Designates the implement used by the carpenter to mark the wood after measuring and before cutting. "Red ochre" supposes this to have been a crayon (as does "pencil"), but a scratch-awl is quite as likely. Ochre is clay colored by an iron compound.


os-i-de’-lus, ok-i-de’-lus (Codex Alexandrinus Okeidelos; Codex Vaticanus and Swete, Okailedos, Fritzsche, Okodelos; the King James Version and Fritzsehe Ocodelus): One of the priests who had married a "strange wife" (1 Esdras 9:22); it stands in the place of "Jozabad" in Ezr 10:22 of which it is probably a corruption.


o-si’-na, os’-i-na, ok’-i-na (Okeina): A town on the Phoenician coast South of Tyre, mentioned only in Judith 2:28, in the account of the campaign of Holofernes in Syria. The site is unknown, but from the mention of Sidon and Tyre immediately preceding and Jemnaan, Azotus and Ascalon following, it must have been South of Tyre. One might conjecture that it was Sandalium (Iskanderuna) or Umm ul-’Awamid, but there is nothing in the name to suggest such an identification.





o’-ded (‘owdhedh (2Ch 15), ‘odhedh (elsewhere), ‘odhedh, "restorer"):

(1) According to 2Ch 15:1, he was the father of Azariah who prophesied in the reign of Asa of Judah (c 918-877), but 15:8 makes Oded himself the prophet. The two verses should agree, so we should probably read in 15:8, "the prophecy of Azariah, the son of Oded, the prophet," or else "the prophecy of Azariah the prophet."


(2) A prophet of Samaria (2Ch 28:9) who lived in the reigns of Pekah, king of the Northern Kingdom, and Ahaz, king of Judah. According to 2Ch 28, Oded protested against the enslavement of the captives which Pekah had brought from Judah and Jerusalem on his return from the Syro-Ephraimitic attack on the Southern Kingdom (735 BC). In this protest he was joined by some of the chiefs of Ephraim, and the captives were well treated. After those who were naked (i.e. those who had scanty clothing; compare the meaning of the word "naked" in Mr 14:51) had been supplied with clothing from the spoil, and the bruised anointed with oil, the prisoners were escorted to Jericho.

The narrative of 2Ch 28 as a whole does not agree with that of 2Ki 15:37; 16:5 f, where the allied armies of Rezin of Damascus and Pekah besieged Jerusalem, but failed to capture it (compare Isa 7:1-17; 8:5-8 a). As Curtis points out (Chronicles, 459, where he compares Ex 21:2 ff; Le 25:29-43; De 15:12-18), wholesale enslavement of their fellow-countrymen was not allowed to the Hebrews, and this fact the passage illustrates. It seems to be a fulfillment in spirit of Isa 61:1-2, a portion which our Lord read in the synagogue at Nazareth (Lu 4:16-20).

David Francis Roberts





o-dol’-am (Odollam): The Greek form of ADULLAM (which see), found only in 2 Macc 12:38.


od-o-me’-ra (Odomera; Codex Vaticanus Odoaarres, Itala Odaren; the King James Version Odonarkes, margin Odomarra): It is not certain whether Odomera was an independent Bedouin chief, perhaps an ally of the Syrians, or an officer of Bacchides. He was defeated by Jonathan in his campaign against Bacchides (1 Macc 9:66) in 156 BC.


o’-der: In the Old Testament the rendering of besem, "fragrance" (2Ch 16:14; Es 2:12; Jer 34:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "burnings"), and of one or two other words; in the New Testament of osme (Joh 12:3; Php 4:18; Eph 5:2 the Revised Version (British and American)); in Re 5:8; 18:13, of thumiama, where the Revised Version (British and American) (with the King James Version margin in former passage) has "incense."

See also SAVOR.



(1) In Anglo-Saxon, had the meaning "from," "away from" (as the strengthened form "off" has still), and was not used for genitive or possessive relations, these being expressed by special case-forms. In the Norman period, however, "of" was taken to represent the French de (a use well developed by the time of Chaucer), and in the Elizabethan period both senses of "of" were in common use. But after about 1600 the later force of the word became predominant, and in the earlier sense (which is now practically obsolete) it was replaced by other prepositions. In consequence the King James Version (and in some cases the Revised Version (British and American)) contains many uses of "of" that are no longer familiar—most of them, to be sure, causing no difficulty, but there still being a few responsible for real obscurities.

(2) Of the uses where "of" signifies "from," the most common obscure passages are those where "of" follows a verb of hearing. In modern English "hear of" signifies "to gain information about," as it does frequently in the King James Version (Mr 7:25; Ro 10:14, etc.). But more commonly this use of "of" in the King James Version denotes the source from which the information is derived. So Joh 15:15, "all things that I have heard of my Father"; Ac 10:22, "to hear words of thee"; 28:22, "We desire to hear of thee"; compare 1Th 2:13; 2Ti 1:13; 2:2, etc. (similarly Mt 11:29, "and learn of me"; compare Joh 6:45). All of these are ambiguous and in modern English give a wrong meaning, so that in most cases (but not Mt 11:29 or Ac 28:22) the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "from." A different example of the same use of "of" is 2Co 5:1, "a building of God" (the Revised Version (British and American) "from"). So Mr 9:21, "of a child," means "from childhood" ("from a child," the Revised Version (British and American), is dubious English). A still more obscure passage is Mt 23:25, "full of extortion and excess." "Full of" elsewhere in the King James Version (and even in the immediate context, Mt 23:27,28) refers to the contents, but here the "of" represents the Greek ek, "out of," and denotes the source—"The contents of your cup and platter have been purchased from the gains of extortion and excess." the Revised Version (British and American) again substitutes "from," with rather awkward results, but the Greek itself is unduly compressed. In Mr 11:8, one of the changes made after the King James Version was printed has relieved an obscurity, for where the edition of 1611 read "cut down branches of the trees," the modern editions have "off" (the Revised Version (British and American) "from"). For clear examples of this use of "of," without the obscurities, compare Judith 2:21, "they went forth of Nineveh"; 2 Macc 4:34, "forth of the sanctuary"; and, especially, Mt 21:25, "The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?" Here "from" and "of" represent exactly the same Greek preposition, and the change in English is arbitrary (the Revised Version (British and American) writes "from" in both cases).

(3) In a weakened sense this use of "of" as "from" was employed rather loosely to connect an act with its source or motive. Such uses are generally clear enough, but the English today seems sometimes rather curious: Mt 18:13, "rejoiceth more of that sheep" (the Revised Version (British and American) "over"); Ps 99:8, "vengeance of their inventions" (so the King James Version); 1Co 7:4, "hath not power of her own body" (the Revised Version (British and American) "over"), etc.

(4) A very common use of "of" in the King James Version is to designate the agent—a use complicated by the fact that "by" is also employed for the same purpose and the two interchanged freely. So in Lu 9:7, "all that was done by him .... it was said of some ....," the two words are used side by side for the same Greek preposition (the Revised Version (British and American) replaces "of" by "by," but follows a different text in the first part of the verse). Again, most of the examples are clear enough, but there are some obscurities. So in Mt 19:12, "which were made eunuchs of men," the "of men" is at first sight possessive (the Revised Version (British and American) "by men"). Similarly, 2 Esdras 16:30, "There are left some clusters of them that diligently seek through the vineyard" (the Revised Version (British and American) "by them"). So 1Co 14:24, "He is convinced of all he is judged of all," is quite misleading (the Revised Version (British and American) "by all" in both cases). Php 3:12, the King James Version "I am apprehended of Christ Jesus," seems almost meaningless (the Revised Version (British and American) "by").

(5) In some cases the usage of the older English is not sufficient to explain "of" in the King James Version. So Mt 18:23, "take account of his servants," is a very poor rendition of "make a reckoning with his servants" (so the Revised Version (British and American)). In Ac 27:5, the "sea of Cilicia" may have been felt to be the "sea which is off Cilicia" (compare the Revised Version (British and American)), but there are no other instances of this use. In 2Co 2:12, "A door was opened unto me of the Lord" should be "in the Lord" (so the Revised Version (British and American)). 2Sa 21:4, "We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house," is very loose, and the Revised Version (British and American) rewrites the verse entirely. In all these cases, the King James Version seems to have looked solely for smooth English, without caring much for exactness. In 1Pe 1:11, however, "sufferings of Christ" probably yields a correct sense for a difficult phrase in the Greek (so the Revised Version (British and American), with "unto" in the margin), but a paraphrase is needed to give the precise meaning. And, finally, in Heb 11:18, the Greek itself is ambiguous and there is no way of deciding whether the preposition employed (pros) means "to" (so the Revised Version (British and American)) or "of" (so the King James Version, the Revised Version margin; compare Heb 1:7, where "of" is necessary).

Burton Scott Easton


o-fens’, o-fend’ (mikhshol, ‘asham, chaTa’; skandalon, skandalizo): "Offend" is either transitive or intransitive As transitive it is primarily "to strike against," hence, "to displease" "to make angry," "to do harm to," "to affront," in Scripture, "to cause to sin"; intransitive it is "to sin," "to cause anger," in Scripture, "to be caused to sin." "Offence" is either the cause of anger, displeasure, etc., or a sin. In Scripture we have the special significance of a stumbling-block, or cause of falling, sin, etc.

1. Old Testament Usage:

In the Old Testament it is frequently the translation of ‘asham, "to be guilty," "to transgress": Jer 2:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "shall be held guilty"; 50:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "not guilty"; Eze 25:12, "hath greatly offended"; Ho 4:15, the Revised Version margin "become guilty"; 5:15, "till they acknowledge their offense," the Revised Version margin "have borne their guilt"; 13:1, "He offended in Baal," the Revised Version margin "became guilty"; Hab 1:11, "He shall pass over, and offend, (imputing) this his power unto his god," the Revised Version (British and American) "Then shall he sweep by (as) a wind, and shall pass over (margin "transgress"), and be guilty, (even) he whose might is his god."

In 2Ch 28:13, we have ‘ashmath ‘al, literally, "the offense against," the Revised Version (British and American) "a trespass (margin "or guilt") against Yahweh"; we have also chaTa’," to miss the mark," "to sin," "to err" (Ge 20:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "sinned against thee"; 40:1, "offended their lord"; 2Ki 18:14; Jer 37:18, the Revised Version (British and American) "sinned against thee"); baghadh, "to deal treacherously" (Ps 73:15, "offend against the generation of thy children," the Revised Version (British and American) "dealt treacherously with"); chabhal, "to act wickedly" (Job 34:31); mikhshol, "a stumbling block" (Le 19:14; translated in Isa 8:14, "a rock of offense"; compare Eze 14:3; 1Sa 25:31; Ps 119:165, "nothing shall offend," the Revised Version (British and American) "no occasion of stumbling"; compare Isa 57:14; Jer 6:21, etc.); pasha‘, "to be fractious," "to transgress" (Pr 18:19, "a brother offended," the Revised Version margin "injured"). "Offence" is mikhshol (see above, 1Sa 25:31; Isa 8:14); cheT’," sin," etc. (Ec 10:4, "Yielding pacifleth great offenses," the American Standard Revised Version "Gentleness (the English Revised Version "yielding") allayeth," the American Revised Version margin "Calmness (the English Revised Version "gentleness") leaveth great sins undone"). "Offender" is chaTTa’ (1Ki 1:21, margin "Hebrew: sinners"; Isa 29:21, "that make a man an offender for a word," the American Standard Revised Version "that make a man an offender in his cause," margin "make men to offend by (their) words," or, "for a word," the English Revised Version "in a cause," margin "make men to offend by (their) words").

2. New Testament Usage:

The New Testament usage of these words deserves special attention. The word most frequently translated "offend" in the King James Version is skandalizo (skandalon, "offence"), very frequent in the Gospels (Mt 5:29, "if thy right eye offend thee"; 5:30; 11:6; 18:6, "whoso shall offend one of these little ones"; 13:41, "all things that offend"; Lu 17:1, "It is impossible but that offenses will come," etc.; Ro 14:21; 16:17, "Mark them which cause .... offenses"; 1Co 8:13 twice, "if meat make my brother to offend," etc.). Skandalon is primarily "a trap-stick," "a bentstick on which the bait is fastened which the animal strikes against and so springs the trap," hence, it came to denote a "snare," or anything which one strikes against injuriously (it is Septuagint’s word for moqesh, a "noose" or "snare," Jos 23:13; 1Sa 18:21); "a stumbling-block" Septuagint for mikhshol (see above), Le 19:14). For skandalizo, skandalon, translated in the King James Version, "offend," "offence," the Revised Version (British and American) gives "cause to stumble," "stumbling-block," etc.; thus, Mt 5:29, "if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble," i.e. "is an occasion for thy falling into sin"; Mt 16:23, "Thou art a stumbling-block unto me," an occasion of turning aside from the right path; in Mt 26:31,33 twice, "offended" is retained, margin, 26:33 twice, "Greek: caused to stumble" (same word in 26:31); Mr 9:42, "whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble," to fall away from the faith, or fall into sin; Lu 17:1, "It is impossible but that occasions of stumbling should come; but woe unto him, through whom they come"; in Ro 14:21; 16:17; in 1Co 8, Paul’s language has the same meaning, and we see how truly he had laid to heart the Saviour’s earnest admonitions—"weak brethren" with him answering to the master’s "little ones who believe"; Ro 14:21, "It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything whereby thy brother stumbleth," i.e. "is led by your example to do that which he cannot do with a good conscience"; 14:20, "It is evil for that man who eateth with offense (dia proskommatos)," so as to place a stumbling-block before his brother, or, rather, ‘without the confidence that he is doing right’; compare 14:23, "He that doubteth is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith; and whatsoever is not of faith is sin"; so 1Co 8:13; Ro 16:17, "Mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine, (margin "teaching") which ye learned" (Is not the "teaching" of Christ Himself implied here?). Everything that would embolden another to do that which would be wrong for him, or that would turn anyone away from the faith, must be carefully avoided, seeking to please, not ourselves, but to care for our brother, "for whom Christ died," "giving no occasion of stumbling (proskope) in anything" (2Co 6:3).

Aproskopos, "not causing to stumble," is translated "void of offense" (Ac 24:16, "a conscience void of offense"; 1Co 10:32, the Revised Version (British and American) "occasion of stumbling"; Php 1:10, "void of offense"); hamartano, "to miss the mark," "to sin," "to err," is translated "offended" (Ac 25:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "sinned"); hamartia, "sin," "error" (2Co 11:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "Did I commit a sin?"); ptaio, "to stumble," "fall" (Jas 2:10; 3:2 twice, "offend," the Revised Version (British and American) "stumble," "stumbleth"); paraptoma, "a falling aside or away," is translated "offence" (Ro 4:25; 5:15,16,17,18,20, in each case the Revised Version (British and American) "trespass"); adikeo, "to be unrighteous" (Ac 25:11, the Revised Version (British and American) "wrongdoer," the King James Version "offender").

In the Apocrypha we have "offence" (skandalon, Judith 12:2), the Revised Version (British and American) "I will not eat thereof, lest there be an occasion of stumbling"; "offend" (hamartano, Ecclesiasticus 7:7), the Revised Version (British and American) "sin"; "greatly offended" (prosochthizo, Ecclesiasticus 25:2); "offended" (skandalizo, Ecclesiasticus 32:15), the Revised Version (British and American) "stumble."

W. L Walker


of’-er, of’-er-ing.



of’-is: In the Old Testament the word is often used in periphrastic renderings, e.g. "minister .... in the priest’s office," literally, act as priest (Ex 28:1, etc.); "do the office of a midwife," literally, cause or help to give birth (Ex 1:16). But the word is also used as a rendering of different Hebrew words, e.g. ken, "pedestal," "place" (Ge 40:13, the King James Version "place"; Ge 41:13); ‘abhodhah, "labor," "work" (1Ch 6:32); pequddah, "oversight," "charge" (Ps 109:8); ma‘amadh, literally, "standing," e.g. waiting at table (1Ch 23:28); mishmar, "charge," observance or service of the temple (Ne 13:14 the King James Version).

Similarly in the New Testament the word is used in periphrastic renderings, e.g. priest’s office (Lu 1:8,9); office of a deacon (diakonia, 1Ti 3:10); office of a bishop (episkope, 1Ti 3:1). the Revised Version (British and American) uses other renderings, e.g. "ministry" (Ro 11:13); "serve as deacons" (1Ti 3:10). In Ac 1:20, the Revised Version (British and American) has "office" (margin "overseership") for the King James Version "bishoprick."

T. Lewis


of’-i-ser: In the King James Version the term is employed to render different words denoting various officials, domestic, civil and military, such as caric, "eunuch," "minister of state" (Ge 37:36); paqidh, "person in charge," "overseer" (Ge 41:34); necibh, "stationed," "garrison," "prefect" (1Ki 4:19); shoTer, "scribe" or "secretary" (perhaps arranger or organizer), then any official or overseer. In Es 9:3 for the King James Version "officers of the king" the Revised Version (British and American) has (more literal) "they that did the king’s business."

In the New Testament, "officer" generally corresponds to the Greek word huperetes, "servant," or any person in the employ of another. In Mt 5:25 the term evidently means "bailiff" or exactor of the fine imposed by the magistrate, and corresponds to praktor, used in Lu 12:58.

T. Lewis




of’-skour-ing: This strong and expressive word occurs only once in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. The weeping prophet uses it as he looks upon his erstwhile fair and holy city, despoiled, defiled, derided by the profane, the enemies of God and of His people (La 3:45, cechi). The favored people, whose city lies in heaps and is patrolled by the heathen, are hailed and held up as the scrapings, the offscouring, the offal of the earth. They are humbled to earth, crushed into the dust, carried away to be the slaves of licentious idolaters. The haughty, cruel, cutting boastfulness of the victors covered Israel with contumely.

In 1Co 4:13 the greatest of the apostles reminds the prosperous and self-satisfied Corinthinns that they, the apostles, were "made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things." In such contempt were they held by the unbelieving world and by false apostles. The strange, strong word (peripsema) should remind us what it cost in former times to be a true servant of Christ.

G.H. Gerberding





of’-n (puknos, "thick," "close"): An archaic usage for "frequent": "Thine often infirmities" (1Ti 5:23); compare "by often rumination" (Shakespeare, As You Like It, IV, i, 18); "The often round" (Ben Jonson, The Forest, III); "Of wrench’d or broken limb—an often chance" (Tennyson, Gareth and Lynette).


(‘ogh; Og): King of Bashan, whose territory, embracing 60 cities, was conquered by Moses and the Israelites immediately after the conquest of Sihon, king of the Amorites (Nu 21:33-35; De 3:1-12). The defeat took place at Edrei, one of the chief of these cities (Nu 21:33; Jos 12:4), and Og and his people were "utterly destroyed" (De 3:6). Og is described as the last of the REPHAIM (which see), or giant-race of that district, and his giant stature is borne out by what is told in De 3:11 of the dimensions of his "bedstead of iron" (‘eres barzel), 9 cubits long and 4 broad (13 1/2 ft. by 6 ft.), said to be still preserved at Rabbath of Ammon when the verse describing it was written. It is not, of course, necessary to conclude that Og’s own height, though immense, was as great as this. Some, however, prefer to suppose that what is intended is "a sarcophagus of black basalt," which iron-like substance abounds in the Hauran. The conquered territory was subsequently bestowed on the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (Nu 32:33; De 3:12,13). Other references to Og are De 1:4; 4:47; 31:4; Jos 2:10; 9:10; 13:12,30). The memory of this great conquest lingered all through the national history (Ps 135:11; 136:20). On the conquest, compare Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church, I, 185-87.


James Orr


o’-had (’ohadh, meaning unknown): A son of Simeon, mentioned as third in order (Ge 46:10; Ex 6:15). The name is not found in the list of Nu 26:12-14.


o’-hel (’ohel, "tent"): A son of Zerubbabel (1Ch 3:20).


o-ho’-la (’oholah; the King James Version Aholah): The exact meaning is a matter of dispute. As written, it seems to mean a tent-woman, or the woman living in a tent. With a mappik in the last consonant it could mean "her tent." The term is used symbolically by Ezekiel to designate Samaria or the kingdom of Israel (Eze 23:4,5,36,44).



o-ho’-li-ab (’oholi’abh, "father’s tent"; the King James Version Aholiab): A Danite artificer, who assisted Bezalel in the construction of the tabernacle and its furniture (Ex 31:6; 35:34; 36:1 f; 38:23).

OHOLIBAH o-hol’-i-ba, o-ho’-li-ba (’oholibhah, "tent in her," or "my tent is in her"): An opprobrious and symbolical name given by Ezekiel to Jerusalem, representing the kingdom of Judah, because of her intrigues and base alliances with Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia, just as the name OHOLAH (which see) was given to Samaria or the Northern Kingdom, because of her alliances with Egypt and Assyria. There is a play upon the words in the Hebrew which cannot be reproduced in English Both Oholah and Oholibah, or Samaria and Jerusalem, are the daughters of one mother, and wives of Yahweh, and both are guilty of religious and political alliance with heathen nations. Idolatry is constantly compared by the Hebrew prophets to marital unfaithfulness or adultery.

W. W. Davies


o-hol-i-ba’-ma, o-hol-i-ba’-ma (’oholibhamah, "tent of the high place"):

(1) One of Esau’s wives, and a daughter of Anah the Hivite (Ge 36:2,5). It is strange that she is not named along with Esau’s other wives in either Ge 28:9 or 26:30. Various explanations have been given, but none of them is satisfactory. There is probably some error in the text.

(2) An Edomite chief (Ge 36:41; 1Ch 1:52).


oil (shemen; elaion):

1. Terms

2. Production and Storage

3. Uses

(1) As a Commodity of Exchange

(2) As a Cosmetic

(3) As a Medicine

(4) As a Food

(5) As an Illuminant

(6) In Religious Rites

(a) Consecration

(b) Offerings

(c) Burials

4. Figurative Uses

Shemen, literally, "fat," corresponds to the common Arabic senin of similar meaning, although now applied to boiled butter fat.

1. Terms:

Another Hebrew word, zayith (zeth), "olive," occurs with shemen in several passages (Ex 27:20; 30:24; Le 24:2). The corresponding Arabic zeit, a contraction of zeitun, which is the name for the olive tree as well as the fruit, is now applied to oils in general, to distinguish them from solid fats. Zeit usually means olive oil, unless some qualifying name indicates another oil. A corresponding use was made of shemen, and the oil referred to so many times in the Bible was olive oil (except Es 2:12). Compare this with the Greek elaion, "oil," a neuter noun from elaia, "olive," the origin of the English word "oil." yitshar, literally, "glistening," which occurs less frequently, is used possibly because of the light-giving quality of olive oil, or it may have been used to indicate fresh oil, as the clean, newly pressed oil is bright. meshach, a Chaldaic word, occurs twice: Ezr 6:9; 7:22. elaion, is the New Testament term.

2. Production and Storage:

Olive oil has been obtained, from the earliest times, by pressing the fruit in such a way as to filter out the oil and other liquids from the residue. The Scriptural references correspond so nearly to the methods practiced in Syria up to the present time, and the presses uncovered by excavators at such sites as Gezer substantiate so well the similarity of these methods, that a description of the oil presses and modes of expression still being employed in Syria will be equally true of those in use in early Israelite times.

The olives to yield the greatest amount of oil are allowed to ripen, although some oil is expressed from the green fruit. As the olive ripens it turns black. The fruit begins to fall from the trees in September, but the main crop is gathered after the first rains in November. The olives which have not fallen naturally or have not been blown off by the storms are beaten from the trees with long poles (compare De 24:20). The fruit is gathered from the ground into baskets and carried on the heads of the women, or on donkeys to the houses or oil presses. Those carried to the houses are preserved for eating. Those carried to the presses are piled in heaps until fermentation begins. This breaks down the oil cells and causes a more abundant flow of oil. The fruit thus softened may be trod out with the feet (Mic 6:15)—which is now seldom practiced—or crushed in a handmill. Such a mill was uncovered at Gezer beside an oil press. Stone mortars with wooden pestles are also used. Any of these methods crushes the fruit, leaving only the stone unbroken, and yields a purer oil (Ex 27:20). The method now generally practiced of crushing the fruit and kernels with an edgerunner mill probably dates from Roman times. These mills are of crude construction. The stones are cut from native limestone and are turned by horses or mules. Remains of huge stones of this type are found near the old Roman presses in Mt. Lebanon and other districts.

The second step in the preparation of the oil is the expression. In districts where the olives are plentiful and there is no commercial demand for the oil, the householders crush the fruit in a mortar, mix the crushed mass with water, and after the solid portions have had time to settle, the pure sweet oil is skimmed from the surface of the water. This method gives a delicious oil, but is wasteful. This is no doubt the beaten oil referred to in connection with religious ceremonials (Ex 27:20). Usually the crushed fruit is spread in portions on mats of reeds or goats’ hair, the corners of which are folded over the mass, and the packets thus formed are piled one upon another between upright supports. These supports were formerly two stone columns or the two sections of a split stone cylinder hollowed out within to receive the mats. Large hollow tree trunks are still similarly used in Syria. A flat stone is next placed on top, and then a heavy log is placed on the pile in such a manner that one end can be fitted into a socket made in a wall or rock in close proximity to the pile. This socket becomes the fulcrum of a large lever of the second class. The lever is worked in the same manner as that used in the wine presses (see WINE PRESS). These presses are now being almost wholly superseded by hydraulic presses. The juice which runs from the press, consisting of oil, extractive matter and water, is conducted to vats or run into jars and allowed to stand until the oil separates. The oil is then drawn off from the surface, or the watery fluid and sediment is drawn away through a hole near the bottom of the jar, leaving the oil in the container. (For the construction of the ancient oil presses, see The Excavations of Gezer, by Macalister.) The oil, after standing for some time to allow further sediment to settle, is stored either in huge earthenware jars holding 100 to 200 gallons, or in underground cisterns (compare 1Ch 27:28) holding a much larger quantity. Some of these cisterns in Beirut hold several tons of oil each (2Ch 11:11; 32:28; Ne 13:5,12; Pr 21:20). In the homes the oil is kept in small earthen jars of various shapes, usually having spouts by which the oil can be easily poured (1Ki 17:12; 2Ki 4:2). In 1Sa 16:13; 1Ki 1:39, horns of oil are mentioned.

3. Uses:

(1) As a Commodity of Exchange.

Olive oil when properly made and stored will keep sweet for years, hence, was a good form of merchandise to hold. Oil is still sometimes given in payment (1Ki 5:11; Eze 27:17; Ho 12:1; Lu 16:6; Re 18:13).

(2) As a Cosmetic.

From earliest times oil was used as a cosmetic, especially for oiling the limbs and head. Oil used in this way was usually scented (see OINTMENT). Oil is still used in this manner by the Arabs, principally to keep the skin and scalp soft when traveling in dry desert regions where there is no opportunity to bathe. Sesame oil has replaced olive oil to some extent for this purpose. Homer, Pliny and other early writers mention its use for external application. Pliny claimed it was used to protect the body against the cold. Many Biblical references indicate the use of oil as a cosmetic (Ex 25:6; De 28:40; Ru 3:3; 2Sa 12:20; 14:2; Es 2:12; Ps 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; 141:5; Eze 16:9; Mic 6:15; Lu 7:46).

(3) As a Medicine.

From early Egyptian literature down to late Arabic medical works, oil is mentioned as a valuable remedy. Many queer prescriptions contain olive oil as one of their ingredients. The good Samaritan used oil mingled with wine to dress the wounds of the man who fell among robbers (Mr 6:13; Lu 10:34.)

(4) As a Food.

Olive oil replaces butter to a large extent in the diet of the people of the Mediterranean countries. In Bible lands food is fried in it, it is added to stews, and is poured over boiled vegetables, such as beans, peas and lentils, and over salads, sour milk, cheese and other foods as a dressing. A cake is prepared from ordinary bread dough which is smeared with oil and sprinkled with herbs before baking (Le 2:4). At times of fasting oriental Christians use only vegetable oils, usually olive oil, for cooking. For Biblical references to the use of oil as food see Nu 11:8; De 7:13; 14:23; 32:13; 1Ki 17:12,14,16; 2Ki 4:2,6,7; 1Ch 12:40; 2Ch 2:10,15; Ezr 3:7; Pr 21:17; Eze 16:13,18; Ho 2:5,8,22; Hag 2:12; Re 6:6.

(5) As an Illuminant.

Olive oil until recent years was universally used for lighting purposes (see LAMP). In Palestine are many homes where a most primitive form of lamp similar to those employed by the Israelites is still in use. The prejudice in favor of the exclusive use of olive oil for lighting holy places is disappearing. Formerly any other illuminant was forbidden (compare Ex 25:6; 27:20; 35:8,14,28; 39:37; Mt 25:3,4,8).

(6) In Religious Rites.

(a) Consecration:

Consecration of officials or sacred things (Ge 28:18; 35:14; Ex 29:7,21 ff; Le 2:1 ff; Nu 4:9 ff; 1Sa 10:1; 16:1,13; 2Sa 1:21; 1Ki 1:39; 2Ki 9:1,3,1; Ps 89:20): This was adopted by the early Christians in their ceremonies (Jas 5:14), and is still used in the consecration of crowned rulers and church dignitaries.

(b) Offerings:

Offerings, votive and otherwise: The custom of making offerings of oil to holy places still survives in oriental religions. One may see burning before the shrines along a Syrian roadside or in the churches, small lamps whose supply of oil is kept renewed by pious adherents. In Israelite times oil was used in the meal offering, in the consecration offerings, offerings of purification from leprosy, etc. (Ex 29:2; 40:9 ff; Le 2:2 ff; Nu 4:9 ff; De 18:4; 1Ch 9:29; 2Ch 31:5; Ne 10:37,39; 13:5,12; Eze 16:18,19; 45; 46; Mic 6:7).

(c) Burials:

In connection with the burial of the dead: Egyptian papyri mention this use. In the Old Testament no direct mention is made of the custom. Jesus referred to it in connection with His own burial (Mt 26:12; Mr 14:3-8; Lu 23:56; Joh 12:3-8; 19:40).

4. Figurative Uses:

Abundant oil was a figure of general prosperity (De 32:13; 33:24; 2Ki 18:32; Job 29:6; Joe 2:19,24). Languishing of the oil indicated general famine (Joe 1:10; Hag 1:11). Joy is described as the oil of joy (Isa 61:3), or the oil of gladness (Ps 45:7; Heb 1:9). Ezekiel prophesies that the rivers shall run like oil, i.e. become viscous (Eze 32:14). Words of deceit are softer than oil (Ps 55:21; Pr 5:3). Cursing becomes a habit with the wicked as readily as oil soaks into bones (Ps 109:18). Excessive use of oil indicates wastefulness (Pr 21:17), while the saving of it is a characteristic of the wise (Pr 21:20). Oil was carried into Egypt, i.e. a treaty was made with that country (Ho 12:1).

James A. Patch




oil tre (’ets shemen (Isa 41:19), margin "oleaster," in Ne 8:15, translated "wild olive," the King James Version "pine"; ‘atse shemen, in 1Ki 6:23,31,32, translated "olive wood"): The name "oleaster" used to be applied to the wild olive, but now belongs to quite another plant, the silver-berry, Eleagnus hortensis (Natural Order Elaeagnaceae), known in Arabic as Zeizafan. It is a pretty shrub with sweet-smelling white flowers and silver-grey-green leaves. It is difficult to see how all the three references can apply to this tree; it will suit the first two, but this small shrub would never supply wood for carpentry work such as that mentioned in 1 Kings, hence, the translation "olive wood." On the other hand, in the reference in Ne 8:15, olive branches are mentioned just before, so the translation "wild olive" (the difference being too slight) is improbable. Post suggests the translation of ‘ets shemen by PINE (which see), which if accepted would suit all the requirements.

E. W. G. Masterman


(shemen hamishchah): This holy oil, the composition of which is described in Ex 30:22-33, was designed for use in the anointing of the tabernacle, its furniture and vessels, the altar and laver, and the priest, that being thus consecrated, they might be "most holy." It was to be "a holy anointing oil" unto Yahweh throughout all generations (30:31). On its uses, compare Ex 37:29; Le 8:12; 10:7; 21:10. The care of this holy oil was subsequently entrusted to Eleazar (Nu 4:16); in later times it seems to have been prepared by the sons of the priests (1Ch 9:30). There is a figurative allusion to the oil on Aaron’s head in Ps 133:2.


James Orr


(Ex 27:20; Le 24:2; Nu 28:5).







See CRAFTS, II, 11.


oint’-ment: The present use of the word "ointment" is to designate a thick unguent of buttery or tallow-like consistency. the King James Version in frequent instances translates shemen or meshach (see Ex 30:25) "ointment" where a perfumed oil seemed to be indicated. the American Standard Revised Version has consequently substituted the word "oil" in most of the passages. Merqachah is rendered "ointment" once in the Old Testament (Job 41:31 (Hebrew 41:23)). The well-known power of oils and fats to absorb odors was made use of by the ancient perfumers. The composition of the holy anointing oil used in the tabernacle worship is mentioned in Ex 30:23-25. Olive oil formed the base. This was scented with "flowing myrrh .... sweet cinnamon .... sweet calamus .... and .... cassia." The oil was probably mixed with the above ingredients added in a powdered form and heated until the oil had absorbed their odors and then allowed to stand until the insoluble matter settled, when the oil could be decanted. Olive oil, being a non-drying oil which does not thicken readily, yielded an ointment of oily consistency. This is indicated by Ps 133:2, where it says that the precious oil ran down on Aaron’s beard and on the collar of his outer garment. Anyone attempting to make the holy anointing oil would be cut off from his people (Ex 30:33). The scented oils or ointments were kept in jars or vials (not boxes) made of alabaster. These jars are frequently found as part of the equipment of ancient tombs.

The word translated "ointment" in the New Testament is muron, "myrrh." This would indicate that myrrh, an aromatic gum resin, was the substance commonly added to the oil to give it odor. In Lu 7:46 both kinds of oil are mentioned, and the verse might be paraphrased thus: My head with common oil thou didst not anoint; but she hath anointed my feet with costly scented oil.

For the uses of scented oils or ointments see ANOINTING; OIL.

James A. Patch


ol’-a-mus (Olamos): One of the Israelites who had taken a "strange wife" (1 Esdras 9:30) equals "Meshullam" of Ezr 10:29.







(palaios, "old," "ancient"): A term thrice used by Paul (Ro 6:6; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9) to signify the unrenewed man, the natural man in the corruption of sin, i.e. sinful human nature before conversion and regeneration. It is theologically synonymous with "flesh" (Ro 8:3-9), which stands, not for bodily organism, but, for the whole nature of man (body and soul) turned away from God and devoted to self and earthly things.

The old man is "in the flesh"; the new man "in the Spirit." In the former "the works of the flesh" (Ga 5:19-21) are manifest; in the latter "the fruit of the Spirit" (Ga 5:22,23). One is "corrupt according to the deceitful lusts"; the other "created in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph 4:22-24 the King James Version).


Dwight M. Pratt


(nabhi’ ‘echadh zaqen, "an old prophet" (1Ki 13:11), ha-nabhi’ ha-zaqen, "the old prophet" (1Ki 13:29)):

1. The Narrative:

The narrative of 1Ki 13:11-32, in which the old prophet is mentioned, is part of a larger account telling of a visit paid to Bethel by "a man of God" from Judah. The Judean prophet uttered a curse upon the altar erected there by Jeroboam I. When the king attempted to use force against him, the prophet was saved by divine intervention; the king then invited him to receive royal hospitality, but he refused because of a command of God to him not to eat or drink there. The Judean then departed (13:1-10). An old prophet who lived in Bethel heard of the stranger’s words, and went after him and offered him hospitality. This offer too was refused. But when the old prophet resorted to falsehood and pleaded a divine command on the subject, the Judean returned with him. While at table the old prophet is given a message to declare that death will follow the southerner’s disobedience to the first command. A lion kills him on his way home. The old prophet hears of the death and explains it as due to disobedience to God; he then buries the dead body in his own grave and expresses a wish that he also at death should be buried in the same sepulcher.

2. Critical:

There are several difficulties in the text. In 1Ki 13:11, the King James Version reads "his sons came" instead of "one of his sons came," and translation 1Ki 13:12 b: "And his sons shewed the way the man of God went." There is a gap in the Massoretic Text after the word "table" in 13:20; and 13:23 should be translated, "And it came to pass after he had eaten bread and drunk water, that he saddled for himself the ass, and departed again" (following Septuagint, B with W. B. Stevenson, HDB, III, 594a, note).

Benzinger ("Die Bucher der Konige," Kurz. Hand-Komm. zum Altes Testament, 91) holds that we have here an example of a midrash, i.e. according to LOT, 529, "an imaginative development of a thought or theme suggested by Scripture, especially a didactic or homiletic exposition or an edifying religious story." 2Ch 24:27 refers to a "midhrash of the book of the kings," and 2Ch 13:22 to a "midrash of the prophet Iddo." In 2Ch 9:29 we have a reference to "the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat." Josephus names the Judean prophet Jadon (Ant., VIII, viii, 5), and so some would trace this narrative to the midrash of Iddo, which would be a late Jewish work. There is a trace of late Hebrew in 1Ki 13:3, and evidence in several places of a later editing of the original narrative. Kittel and Benzinger think it possible that the section may be based on a historical incident. If the narrative is historical in the main, the mention of Josiah by name in 13:2 may be a later insertion; if not historical, the prophecy there is ex eventu, and the whole section a midrash on 2Ki 23:15-20.

3. Central Truths:

(1) Several questions are suggested by the narrative, but in putting as well as in answering these questions, it must be remembered that the old prophet himself, as has been pointed out, is not the chief character of the piece. Hence, it is a little pointless to ask what became of the old prophet, or whether he was not punished for his falsehood. The passage should be studied, like the parables of Jesus, with an eye on the great central truth, which is, here, that God punishes disobedience even in "a man of God." It is not inconsistent with this to regard the old prophet as an example of "Satan fashioning himself into an angel of light" (2Co 11:14), or of the beast which "had two horns like unto a lamb" (Re 13:11).

(2) It must also be remembered that the false prophets of the Old Testament are called prophets in spite of their false prophecies. So here the old prophet in spite of his former lie is given a divine message to declare that death will follow the other’s disobedience.

(3) One other question suggests itself, and demands an answer. Why did the old prophet make the request that at death he should be buried in the same grave as the Judean (1Ki 13:31)? The answer is implied in 1Ki 13:32, and is more fully given in 2Ki 23:15-20, where King Josiah defiles the graves of the prophets at Bethel. On seeing a "monument" or grave-stone by one of the graves, he inquires what it is, and is told that it marks the grave of the prophet from Judah. Thereupon he orders that his bones be not disturbed. With these the bones of the old prophet escape. Perhaps no clearer instance of a certain kind of meanness exists in the Old Testament. The very man who has been the cause of another’s downfall and ruin is base enough to plan his own escape under cover of the virtues of his victim. And the parallels in modern life are many.

David Francis Roberts








o-le-as’-ter (Isa 41:19 the Revised Version margin).








ol’-iv tre (zayith, a word occurring also in Aramaic, Ethiopic and Arabic; in the last it means "olive oil," and zaitun, "the olive tree"; elaia):

1. The Olive Tree:

The olive tree has all through history been one of the most characteristic, most valued and most useful of trees in Palestine. It is only right that it is the first named "king" of the trees (Jud 9:8,9). When the children of Israel came to the land they acquired olive trees which they planted not (De 6:11; compare Jos 24:13). The cultivation of the olive goes back to the earliest times in Canaan. The frequent references in the Bible, the evidences (see 4 below) from archaeology and the important place the product of this tree has held in the economy of the inhabitants of Syria make it highly probable that this land is the actual home of the cultivated olive. The wild olive is indigenous there. The most fruitful trees are the product of bare and rocky ground (compare De 32:13) situated preferably at no great distance from the sea. The terraced hills of Palestine, where the earth lies never many inches above the limestone rocks, the long rainless summer of unbroken sunshine, and the heavy "clews" of the autumn afford conditions which are extraordinarily favorable to at least the indigenous olive.

The olive, Olea Europaea (Natural Order Oleaceae), is a slow-growing tree, requiring years of patient labor before reaching full fruitfulness. Its growth implies a certain degree of settlement and peace, for a hostile army can in a few days destroy the patient work of two generations. Possibly this may have something to do with its being the emblem of peace. Enemies of a village or of an individual often today carry out revenge by cutting away a ring of bark from the trunks of the olives, thus killing the trees in a few months. The beauty of this tree is referred to in Jer 11:16; Ho 14:6, and its fruitfulness in Ps 128:3. The characteristic olive-green of its foliage, frosted silver below and the twisted and gnarled trunks—often hollow in the center—are some of the most picturesque and constant signs of settled habitations. In some parts of the land large plantations occur: the famous olive grove near Beirut is 5 miles square; there are also fine, ancient trees in great numbers near Bethlehem.

In starting an oliveyard the fellah not infrequently plants young wild olive trees which grow plentifully over many parts of the land, or he may grow from cuttings. When the young trees are 3 years old they are grafted from a choice stock and after another three or four years they may commence to bear fruit, but they take quite a decade more before reaching full fruition. Much attention is, however, required. The soil around the trees must be frequently plowed and broken up; water must be conducted to the roots from the earliest rain, and the soil must be freely enriched with a kind of marl known in Arabic as chuwwarah. If neglected, the older trees soon send up a great many shoots from the roots all around the parent stem (perhaps the idea in Ps 128:3); these must be pruned away, although, should the parent stem decay, some of these may be capable of taking its place. Being, however, from the root, below the original point of grafting, they are of the wild olive type—with smaller, stiffer leaves and prickly stem—and need grafting before they are of use. The olive tree furnishes a wood valuable for many forms of carpentry, and in modern Palestine is extensively burnt as fuel.

2. The Fruit:

The olive is in flower about May; it produces clusters of small white flowers, springing from the axils of the leaves, which fall as showers to the ground (Job 15:33). The first olives mature as early as September in some places, but, in the mountain districts, the olive harvest is not till November or even December. Much of the earliest fruit falls to the ground and is left by the owner ungathered until the harvest. The trees are beaten with long sticks (De 24:20), the young folks often climbing into the branches to reach the highest fruit, while the women and older girls gather up the fruit from the ground. The immature fruit left after such an ingathering is described graphically in Isa 17:6: "There shall be left therein gleanings, as the shaking (margin "beating") of an olive-tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost branches of a fruitful tree." Such gleanings belonged to the poor (De 24:20), as is the case today. Modern villages in Palestine allow the poor of even neighboring villages to glean the olives. The yield of an olive tree is very uncertain; a year of great fruitfulness may be followed by a very scanty crop or by a succession of such.

The olive is an important article of diet in Palestine. Some are gathered green and pickled in brine, after slight bruising, and others, the "black" olives, are gathered quite ripe and are either packed in salt or in brine. In both cases the salt modifies the bitter taste. They are eaten with bread.

More important commercially is the oil. This is sometimes extracted in a primitive way by crushing a few berries by hand in the hollow of a stone (compare Ex 27:20), from which a shallow channel runs for the oil. It is an old custom to tread them by foot (Mic 6:15).

3. Olive Oil:

Oil is obtained on a larger scale in one of the many varieties of oil mills. The berries are carried in baskets, by donkeys, to the mill, and they are crushed by heavy weights. A better class of oil can be obtained by collecting the first oil to come off separately, but not much attention is given to this in Palestine, and usually the berries are crushed, stones and all, by a circular millstone revolving upright round a central pivot. A plenteous harvest of oil was looked upon as one of God’s blessings (Joe 2:24; 3:13). That the "labor of the olive" should fail was one of the trials to faith in Yahweh (Hab 3:17). Olive oil is extensively used as food, morsels of bread being dipped into it in eating; also medicinally (Lu 10:34; Jas 5:14). In ancient times it was greatly used for anointing the person (Ps 23:5; Mt 6:17). In Rome’s days of luxury it was a common maxim that a long and pleasant life depended upon two fiuids—"wine within and oil without." In modern times this use of oil for the person is replaced by the employment of soap, which in Palestine is made from olive oil. In all ages this oil has been used for illumination (Mt 25:3).

4. Greater Plenty of Olive Trees in Ancient Times:

Comparatively plentiful as olive trees are today in Palestine, there is abundant evidence that the cultivation was once much more extensive. "The countless rock-cut oil-presses and wine-presses, both within and without the walls of the city (of Gezer), show that the cultivation of the olive and vine was of much greater importance than it is anywhere in Palestine today. .... Excessive taxation has made olive culture unprofitable" ("Gezer Mem," PEF, II, 23). A further evidence of this is seen today in many now deserted sites which are covered with wild olive trees, descendants of large plantations of the cultivated tree which have quite disappeared.

5. Wild Olives:

Many of these spring from the old roots; others are from the fallen drupes. Isolated trees scattered over many parts of the land, especially in Galilee, are sown by the birds. As a rule the wild olive is but a shrub, with small leaves, a stem more or less prickly, and a small, hard drupe with but little or no oil. That a wild olive branch should be grafted into a fruitful tree would be a proceeding useless and contrary to Nature (Ro 11:17,24). On the mention of "branches of wild olive" in Ne 8:15, see OIL TREE.

E. W. G. Masterman


ol’-iv yard.





Figuratively used in Ro 11:17,24 for the Gentiles, grafted into "the good olive tree" of Israel.



ol’-ivz, (har ha-zethim (Zec 14:4), ma‘aleh ha-zethim, "the ascent of the mount of Olives" (2Sa 15:30, the King James Version "the ascent of (mount) Olivet"); to oros ton elaion, "the Mount of Olives" (Mt 21:1; 24:3; 26:30; Mr 11:1; 13:3; 14:26; Lu 19:37; 22:39; Joh 8:1), to oros to kaloumenon elaion, "the mount that is called Olivet" (Lu 19:29; 21:37; in both references in the King James Version "the mount called (the mount) of Olives"), tou elaionos (Ac 1:12, English Versions of the Bible "Olivet" literally, "olive garden")):

1. Names

2. Situation and Extent

3. Old Testament Associations

(1) David’s Escape from Absalom

(2) The Vision of Ezekiel

(3) The Vision of Zechariah

4. High Places

5. Olivet and Jesus

6. View of the City from Olivet

7. Churches and Ecclesiastical Traditions


Olivet comes to us through the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Oliverum, "an oliveyard."

1. Names:

Josephus frequently uses the expression "Mount of Olives" (e.g. Ant, VII, ix, 2; XX, viii, 6; BJ, V, ii, 3; xii, 2), but later Jewish writings give the name har ha-mishchah, "Mount of Oil"; this occurs in some manuscripts in 2Ki 23:13, and the common reading har ha-mashchith, "Mount of Corruption," margin "destruction," may possibly be a deliberate alteration (see below). In later ages the Mount was termed "the mountain of lights," because here there used to be kindled at one time the first beacon light to announce throughout Jewry the appearance of the new moon.

To the natives of Palestine today it is usually known as Jebel et Tar ("mountain of the elevation," or "tower"), or, less commonly, as Jebel Tur ez zait ("mountain of the elevation of oil"). The name Jebel ez-zaitun ("Mount of Olives") is also well known. Early Arabic writers use the term Tur Zait, "Mount of Oil."

2. Situation and Extent:

The mountain ridge which lies East of Jerusalem leaves the central range near the valley of Sha‘phat and runs for about 2 miles due South. After culminating in the mountain mass on which lies the "Church of the Ascension," it may be considered as giving off two branches: one lower one, which runs South-Southwest, forming the southern side of the Kidron valley, terminating at the Wady en Nar, and another, higher one, which slopes eastward and terminates a little beyond el-‘Azareyeh (modern Bethany). The main ridge is considerably higher than the site of ancient Jerusalem, and still retains a thick cap of the soft chalky limestone, mixed with flint, known variously as Nari and Ka‘kuli, which has been entirely denuded over the Jerusalem site (see JERUSALEM, II, 1). The flints were the cause of a large settlement of paleolithic man which occurred in prehistoric times on the northern end of the ridge, while the soft chalky stone breaks down to form a soil valuable for the cultivation of olives and other trees and shrubs. The one drawback to arboriculture upon this ridge is the strong northwest wind which permanently bends most trees toward the Southeast, but affects the sturdy, slow-growing olive less than the quicker-growing pine. The eastern slopes are more sheltered. In respect of wind the Mount of Olives is far more exposed than the site of old Jerusalem.

The lofty ridge of Olivet is visible from far, a fact now emphasized by the high Russian tower which can be seen for many scores of miles on the East of the Jordan. The range presents, from such a point of view particularly, a succession of summits. Taking as the northern limit the dip which is crossed by the ancient Anathoth (‘anata) road, the most northerly summit is that now crowned by the house and garden of Sir John Gray Hill, 2,690 ft. above sea-level. This is sometimes incorrectly pointed out as Scopus, which lay farther to the Northwest. A second sharp dip in the ridge separates this northern summit from the next, a broad plateau now occupied by the great Kaiserin Augusta Victoria Stiftung and grounds. The road makes a sharp descent into a valley which is traversed from West to East by an important and ancient road from Jerusalem, which runs eastward along the Wady er Rawabeh. South of this dip lies the main mass of the mountain, that known characteristically as the Olivet of ecclesiastical tradition. This mass consists of two principal summits and two subsidiary spurs. The northern of the two main summits is that known as Karem es Sayyad, "the vineyard of the hunter," and also as "Galilee," or, more correctly, as Viri Galilaei (see below, 7). It reaches a height of 2,723 ft. above the Mediterranean and is separated from the southern summit by a narrow neck traversed today by the carriage road. The southern summit, of practically the same elevation, is the traditional "Mount of the Ascension," and for several years has been distinguished by a lofty, though somewhat inartistic, tower erected by the Russians. The two subsidiary spurs referred to above are:

(1) a somewhat isolated ridge running Southeast, upon which lies the squalid village of el ‘Azareyeh—Bethany;

(2) a small spur running South, covered with grass, which is known as "the Prophets," on account of a remarkable 4th-century Christian tomb found there, which is known as "the tomb of the Prophets"—a spot much venerated by modern Jews.

A further extension of the ridge as Batn el Hawa, "the belly of the wind," or traditionally as "the Mount of Offence" (compare 1Ki 11:7; 2Ki 23:13), is usually included in the Mount of Olives, but its lower altitude—it is on a level with the temple-platform—and its position South of the city mark it off as practically a distinct hill. Upon its lower slopes are clustered the houses of Silwan (Siloam).

The notices of the Mount of Olives in the Old Testament are, considering its nearness to Jerusalem, remarkably scanty.

3. Old Testament Associations:

(1) David’s Escape from Absalom:

David fleeing before his rebellious son Absalom (2Sa 15:16) crossed the Kidron and "went up by the ascent of the mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot: and all the people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went (2Sa 15:30). .... And it came to pass, that, when David was come to the top of the ascent where he was wont to worship God, (m), behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head (2Sa 15:32). And when David was a little past the top of the ascent, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and a hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine" (2Sa 16:1).

It is highly probable that David’s route to the wilderness was neither by the much-trodden Anathoth road nor over the summit of the mountain, but by the path running Northeast from the city, which runs between the Viri Galilaei hill and that supporting the German Sanatorium and descends into the wilderness by Wady er Rawabi.


(2) The Vision of Ezekiel:

Ezekiel in a vision (11:23) saw the glory of Yahweh go up from the midst of the city and stand "upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city" (compare 43:2). In connection with this the Rabbi Janna records the tradition that the shekhinah stood 3 1/2 years upon Olivet, and preached, saying, "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near"—a strange story to come from a Jewish source, suggesting some overt reference to Christ.

(3) The Vision of Zechariah:

In Zec 14:4 the prophet sees Yahweh in that day stand upon the Mount of Olives, "and the Mount of Olives shall be cleft in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

In addition to these direct references, Jewish tradition associates with this mount—this "mount of Corruption"—the rite of the red heifer (Nu 19); and many authorities consider that this is also the mount referred to in Ne 8:15, whence the people are directed to fetch olive branches, branches of wild olive, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of thick trees to make their booths.

4. High Places:

It is hardly possible that a spot with such a wide outlook—especially the marvelous view over the Jordan valley and Dead Sea to the lands of Ammon and Moab—should have been neglected in the days when Semitic religion crowned such spots with their sanctuaries. There is Old Testament evidence that there was a "high place" here. In the account of David’s flight mention is made of the spot on the summit "where he was wont to worship God" (2Sa 15:32 margin). This is certainly a reference to a sanctuary, and there are strong reasons for believing that this place may have been NOB (which see) (see 1Sa 21:1; 22:9,11,19; Ne 11:32; but especially Isa 10:32). This last reference seems to imply a site more commanding in its outlook over the ancient city than Ras el Musharif proposed by Driver, one at least as far South as the Anathoth road, or even that from Wady er Rawabi. But besides this we have the definite statement (1Ki 11:7): "Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, in the mount that is before (i.e. East of) Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon," and the further account that the "high places that were before (East of) Jerusalem, which were on the right hand (South) of the mount of corruption (margin "destruction") which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king (Josiah) defile" (2Ki 23:13). That these high places were somewhere upon what is generally recognized as the Mount of Olives, seems clear, and the most probable site is the main mass where are today the Christian sanctuaries, though Graetz and Dean Stanley favor the summit known as Viri Galilaei. It is the recognition of this which has kept alive the Jewish name "Mount of Corruption" for this mount to this day. The term Mons offensionis, given to the southeastern extension, South of the city, is merely an ecclesiastical tradidition going back to Quaresmius in the 17th century, which is repeated by Burckhardt (1823 AD).

5. Olivet and Jesus:

More important to us are the New Testament associations of this sacred spot. In those days the mountain must have been far different from its condition today. Titus in his siege of Jerusalem destroyed all the timber here as elsewhere in the environs, but before this the hillsides must have been clothed with verdure—oliveyards, fig orchards and palm groves, with myrtle and other shrubs. Here in the fresh breezes and among the thick foliage, Jesus, the country-bred Galilean, must gladly have taken Himself from the noise and closeness of the over-crowded city. It is to the Passion Week, with the exception of Joh 8:1, that all the incidents belong which are expressly mentioned as occurring on the Mount of Olives; while there would be a special reason at this time in the densely packed city, it is probable that on other occasions also our Lord preferred to stay outside the walls. Bethany would indeed appear to have been His home in Judea, as Capernaum was in Galilee. Here we read of Him as staying with Mary and Martha (Lu 10:38-42); again He comes to Bethany from the wilderness road from Jericho for the raising of Lazarus (Joh 11), and later He is at a feast, six days before the Passover (Joh 12:1), at the house of Simon (Mt 26:6-12; Mr 14:3-9; Joh 12:1-9). The Mount of Olives is expressly mentioned in many of the events of the Passion Week. He approached Jerusalem, "unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives" (Mr 11:1; Mt 21:1; Lu 19:29); over a shoulder of this mount—very probably by the route of the present Jericho carriage road—He made His triumphal entry to the city (Mt 21; Mr 11; Lu 19), and on this road, when probably the full sight of the city first burst into view, He wept over Jerusalem (Lu 19:41). During all that week "every day he was teaching in the temple; and every night he went out, and lodged in the mount that is called Olivet" (Lu 21:37)—the special part of the mount being Bethany (Mt 21:17; Mr 11:11). It was on the road from Bethany that He gave the sign of the withering of the fruitless fig tree (Mt 21:17-19; Mr 11:12-14,20-24), and "as he sat on the mount of Olives" (Mt 24:3 f; Mr 13:3 f) Jesus gave His memorable sermon with the doomed city lying below Him.

On the lower slopes of Olivet, in the Garden of Gethsemane (see GETHSEMANE), Jesus endured His agony, the betrayal and arrest, while upon one of its higher points—not, as tradition has it, on the inhabited highest summit, but on the secluded eastern slopes "over against Bethany" (Lu 24:50-52)—He took leave of His disciples (compare Ac 1:12).

6. View of the City from Olivet:

The view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives must ever be one of the most striking impressions which any visitor to Jerusalem carries away with him. It has been described countless times. It is today a view but of ruin and departed glory compared with that over which Jesus wept. A modern writer with historic imagination has thus graphically sketched the salient features of that sight:

"We are standing on the road from Bethany as it breaks round the Mount of Olives and on looking northwest this is what we see. .... There spreads a vast stone stage, almost rectangular, some 400 yards. North and South by 300 East and West, held up above Ophel and the Kidron valley by a high and massive wall, from 50 to 150 ft. and more in height, according to the levels of the rock from which it rises. Deep cloisters surround this platform on the inside of the walls. .... Every gate has its watch and other guards patrol the courts. The crowds, which pour through the south gates upon the platform for the most part keep to the right; the exceptions, turning westward, are excommunicated or in mourning. But the crowd are not all Israelites. Numbers of Gentiles mingle with them; there are costumes and colors from all lands. In the cloisters sit teachers with groups of disciples about them. On the open pavement stand the booths of hucksters and money-changers; and from the North sheep and bullocks are being driven toward the Inner Sanctuary. This lies not in the center of the great platform, but in the northwest corner. It is a separately fortified, oblong enclosure; its high walls with their 9 gates rising from a narrow terrace at a slight elevation above the platform and the terrace encompassed by a fence within which none but Israelites may pass. .... Upon its higher western end rises a house ‘like a lion broad in front and narrow behind.’ .... From the open porch of this house stone steps descend to a great block of an altar perpetually smoking with sacrifices. .... Off the Northwest of the Outer Sanctuary a castle (the Antonia) dominates the whole with its 4 lofty towers. Beyond .... the Upper City rises in curved tiers like a theater, while all the lower slopes to the South are a crowded mass of houses, girded by the eastern wall of the city. Against that crowded background the sanctuary with its high house gleams white and fresh. But the front of the house, glittering with gold plates, is obscured by a column of smoke rising from the altar; and the Priests’ Court about the latter is colored by the slaughterers and sacrifices—a splash of red, as our imagination takes it, in the center of the prevailing white. At intervals there are bursts of music; the singing of psalms, the clash of cymbals and a great blare of trumpets, at which the people in their court in the Inner Sanctuary fall down and worship" (extracts from G.A. Smith’s Jerusalem, II, 518-20).

7. Churches and Ecclesiastical Traditions:

To the Bible student the New Testament is the best guide to Olivet; tradition and "sites" only bewilder him. Once the main hilltop was a mass of churches. There was the "Church of the Ascension" to mark the spot whereby tradition (contrary to the direct statement of Luke) states that the Ascension occurred; now the site is marked by a small octagonal chapel, built in 1834, which is in the hands of the Moslems. There a "footprint of Christ" is shown in the rock. A large basilica of Helena was built over the place where it was said that Christ taught His disciples. In 1869 the Princess de Latour d’Auvergne, learning that there was a Moslem tradition that this site was at a spot called el Battaniyeh south of the summit, here erected a beautiful church known as the Church of the Pater Noster and around the courtyard she had the Lord’s Prayer inscribed in 32 languages. When the church was in course of erection certain fragments of old walls and mosaics were found, but, in 1911, as a result of a careful excavation of the site, the foundations of a more extensive mass of old buildings, with some beautiful mosaic in the baptistry, were revealed in the neighborhood; there is little doubt but that these foundations belonged to the actual Basilica of Helena. It is proposed to rebuild the church.

Mention has been made of the name Viri Galilaei or Galilee as given to the northern summit of the main mass of Olivet. The name "Mount Galilee" appears to have been first given to this hill early in the 4th century and in 1573 AD Rawolf explains the name by the statement that here was in ancient times a khan where the Galileans lodged who came up to Jerusalem. In 1620 Quaresmius applies the names "Galilee" and Viri Galilaei to this site and thinks the latter name may be due to its having been the spot where the two angels appeared and addressed the disciples as "Ye men of Galilee" (Ac 1:11). Attempts have been made, without much success, to maintain that this "Galilee" was the spot which our Lord intended (Mt 28:10,16) to indicate to His disciples as the place of meeting.

The Russian enclosure includes a chapel, a lofty tower—from which a magnificent view is obtainable—a hospice and a pleasant pine grove. Between the Russian buildings to the North and the Church of the Ascension lies the squalid village of et tur, inhabited by a peculiarly turbulent and rapacious crowd of Moslems, who prey upon the passing pilgrims and do much to spoil the sentiment of a visit to this sacred spot. It is possible it may be the original site of BETHPHAGE (which see).


PEF, Memoirs, "Jerusalem" volume; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem; Robinson, BRP, I, 1838; Stanley, Sinai and Palestine; Baedeker’s Palestine and Syria (by Socin and Bensinger); Tobler, Die Siloahquelle und der Oelberg, 1852; Porter, Murray’s Palestine and Syria; R. Hofmann, Galilaea auf dem Oelberg, Leipzig, 1896; Schick, "The Mount of Olives," PEFS, 1889, 174-84; Warren, article "Mount of Olives," in HDB; Gauthier, in EB, under the word; Vincent (Pere), "The Tombs of the Prophets," Revue Biblique, 1901.

E. W. G. Masterman





o-lim’-pas (Olumpas): The name of a Roman Christian to whom Paul sent greetings (Ro 16:15). Olympas is an abbreviated form of Olympiadorus. The joining in one salutation of the Christians mentioned in 16:15 suggests that they formed by themselves a small community in the earliest Roman church.


o-lim’-pi-us (Olumpios): An epithet of JUPITER or ZEUS (which see) from Mt. Olympus in Thessaly, where the gods held court presided over by Zeus. Antiochus Epiphanes, "who on God’s altars dansed," insulted the Jewish religion by dedicating the temple of Jerusalem to Jupiter Olympius, 168 BC (2 Macc 6:2; 1 Macc 1:54 ff).


om-a-e’-rus: the King James Version equals the Revised Version (British and American) "Ismaerus" (1 Esdras 9:34).


o’-mar (omar, connected perhaps with ‘amar, "speak"; Septuagint Oman or Omar): Grandson of Esau and son of Eliphaz in Ge 36:11; 1Ch 1:36; given the title "duke" or "chief" in Ge 36:15.


o’-me-ga o-me’-ga o-meg’-a.






o’-mer (‘omer): A dry measure, the tenth of an ephah, equal to about 7 1/2 pints.




1. Terms and Usage:

The noun "omnipotence" is not found in the English Bible, nor any noun exactly corresponding to it in the original Hebrew or Greek

The adjective "omnipotent" occurs in Re 19:6 the King James Version; the Greek for this, pantokrator, occurs also in 2Co 6:18; Re 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7,14; 19:15; 21:22 (in all of which the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) render "almighty"). It is also found frequently in the Septuagint, especially in the rendering of the divine names Yahweh tsebha’oth and ‘El Shadday. In pantokrator, the element of "authority," "sovereignty," side by side with that of "power," makes itself more distinctly felt than it does to the modern ear in "omnipotent," although it is meant to be included in the latter also. Compare further ho dunatos, in Lu 1:49.

2. Inherent in Old Testament Names of God:

The formal conception of omnipotence as worked out in theology does not occur in the Old Testament. The substance of the idea is conveyed in various indirect ways. The notion of "strength" is inherent in the Old Testament conception of God from the beginning, being already represented in one of the two divine names inherited by Israel from ancient Semitic religion, the name ‘El. According to one etymology it is also inherent in the other, the name ‘Elohim, and in this case the plural form, by bringing out the fullness of power in God, would mark an approach to the idea of omnipotence.


In the patriarchal religion the conception of "might" occupies a prominent place, as is indicated by the name characteristic of this period, ‘El Shadday; compare Ge 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3; 49:24,25; Ex 6:3. This name, however, designates the divine power as standing in the service of His covenant-relation to the patriarchs, as transcending Nature and overpowering it in the interests of redemption.

Another divine name which signalizes this attribute is Yahweh tsebha’oth, Yahweh of Hosts. This name, characteristic of the prophetic period, describes God as the King surrounded and followed by the angelic hosts, and since the might of an oriental king is measured by the splendor of his retinue, as of great, incomparable power, the King Omnipotent (Ps 24:10; Isa 2:12; 6:3,5; 8:13; Jer 46:18; Mal 1:14).

Still another name expressive of the same idea is ‘Abhir, "Strong One," compounded with Jacob or Israel (Ge 49:24; Ps 132:2,5; Isa 1:24; 49:26; 60:16). Further, ‘El Gibbor, "God-Hero" (Isa 9:6 (of the Messiah); compare for the adjective gibbor, Jer 20:11); and the figurative designation of God as Tsur, "Rock," occurring especially in the address to God in the Psalter (Isa 30:29, the King James Version "Mighty One"). The specific energy with which the divine nature operates finds expression also in the name ‘El Chay, "Living God," which God bears over against the impotent idols (1Sa 17:26,36; 2Ki 19:4,16; Ps 18:46; Jer 23:36; Da 6:20,26 f). An anthropomorphic description of the power of God is in the figures of "hand," His "arm," His "finger."

See GOD.

3. Other Modes of Expression:

Some of the attributes of Yahweh have an intimate connection with His omnipotence. Under this head especially God’s nature as Spirit and His holiness come under consideration. The representation of God as Spirit in the Old Testament does not primarily refer to the incorporealness of the divine nature, but to its inherent energy. The physical element underlying the conception of Spirit is that of air in motion, and in this at first not the invisibility but the force forms the point of comparison. The opposite of "Spirit" in this sense is "flesh," which expresses the weakness and impotence of the creature over against God (Isa 2:22; 31:3).

The holiness of God in its earliest and widest sense (not restricted to the ethical sphere) describes the majestic, specifically divine character of His being, that which evokes in man religious awe. It is not a single attribute coordinated with others, but a peculiar aspect under which all the attributes can be viewed, that which renders them distinct from anything analogous in the creature (1Sa 2:2; Ho 11:9). In this way holiness becomes closely associated with the power of God, indeed sometimes becomes synonymous with divine power equals omnipotence (Ex 15:11; Nu 20:12), and especially in Ezk, where God’s "holy name" is often equivalent to His renown for power, hence, interchangeable with His "great name" (Eze 36:20-24). The objective Spirit as a distinct hypostasis and the executive of the Godhead on its one side also represents the divine power (Isa 32:15; Mt 12:28; Lu 1:35; 4:14; Ac 10:38; Ro 15:19; 1Co 2:4).

4. Unlimited Extent of the Divine Power:

In all these forms of expression a great and specifically divine power is predicated of God. Statements in which the absolutely unlimited extent of this power is explicitly affirmed are rare. The reason, however, lies not in any actual restriction placed on this power, but in the concrete practical form of religious thinking which prevents abstract formulation of the principle. The point to be noticed is that no statement is anywhere made exempting aught from the reach of divine power. Nearest to a general formula come such statements as nothing is "too hard for Yahweh" (Ge 18:14; Jer 32:17); or "I know that thou canst do everything?" or "God .... hath done whatever he pleased" (Ps 115:3; 135:6), or, negatively, no one "can hinder" God, in carrying out His purpose (Isa 43:13), or God’s hand is not "waxed short" (Nu 11:23); in the New Testament: "With God all things are possible" (Mt 19:26; Mr 10:27; Lu 18:27); "Nothing is impossible with God" (the Revised Version (British and American) "No word from God shall be void of power," Lu 1:37). Indirectly the omnipotence of God is implied in the effect ascribed to faith (Mt 17:20 "Nothing shall be impossible unto you"; Mr 9:23 "All things are possible to him that believeth"), because faith puts the divine power at the disposal of the believer. On its subjective side the principle of inexhaustible power finds expression in Isa 40:28: God is not subject to weariness. Because God is conscious of the unlimited extent of His resources nothing is marvelous in His eyes (Zec 8:6).

5. Forms of Manifestation:

It is chiefly through its forms of manifestation that the distinctive quality of the divine power which renders it omnipotent becomes apparent. The divine power operates not merely in single concrete acts, but is comprehensively related to the world as such. Both in Nature and history, in creation and in redemption, it produces and controls and directs everything that comes to pass. Nothing in the realm of actual or conceivable things is withdrawn from it (Am 9:2,3; Da 4:35); even to the minutest and most recondite sequences of cause and effect it extends and masters all details of reality (Mt 10:30; Lu 12:7). There is no accident (1Sa 6:9; compare with 1Sa 6:12; Pr 16:33). It need not operate through second causes; it itself underlies all second causes and makes them what they are.

It is creative power producing its effect through a mere word (Ge 1:3 ff; De 8:3; Ps 33:9; Ro 4:17; Heb 1:3; 11:30). Among the prophets, especially Isaiah emphasizes this manner of the working of the divine power in its immediateness and suddenness (Isa 9:8; 17:13; 18:4-6; 29:5). All the processes of nature are ascribed to the causation of Yahweh (Job 5:9 ff; 9:5 ff; 38$; 39$; Isa 40:12 ff; Am 4:13; 5:8,9; 9:5,6); especially God’s control of the sea is named as illustrative of this (Ps 65:7; 104:9; Isa 50:2; Jer 5:22; 31:35). The Old Testament seldom says "it rains" (Am 4:7), but usually God causes it to rain (Le 26:4; De 11:17; 1Sa 12:17; Job 36:27; Ps 29$; 65$; Mt 5:45; Ac 14:17).

The same is true of the processes of history. God sovereignly disposes, not merely of Israel, but of all other nations, even of the most powerful, e.g. the Assyrians, as His instruments for the accomplishment of His purpose (Am 1-2:3; 9:7; Isa 10:5,15; 28:2; 45:1; Jer 25:9; 27:6; 43:10). The prophets ascribe to Yahweh not merely relatively greater power than to the gods of the nations, but His power extends into the sphere of the nations, and the heathen gods are ignored in the estimate put upon His might (Isa 31:3).

Even more than the sphere of Nature and history, that of redemption reveals the divine omnipotence, from the point of view of the supernatural and miraculous. Thus Ex 15 celebrates the power of Yahweh in the wonders of the exodus. It is God’s exclusive prerogative to do wonders (Job 5:9; 9:10; Ps 72:18); He alone can make "a new thing" (Nu 16:30; Isa 43:19; Jer 31:22). In the New Testament the great embodiment of this redemptive omnipotence is the resurrection of believers (Mt 22:29; Mr 12:24) and specifically the resurrection of Christ (Ro 4:17,21,24; Eph 1:19 ); but it is evidenced in the whole process of redemption (Mt 19:26; Mr 10:27; Ro 8:31; Eph 3:7,20; 1Pe 1:5; Re 11:17).

6. Significance for Biblical Religion:

The significance of the idea may be traced along two distinct lines. On the one hand the divine omnipotence appears as a support of faith. On the other hand it is productlye of that specifically religious state of consciousness which Scripture calls "the fear of Yahweh." Omnipotence in God is that to which human faith addresses itself. In it lies the ground for assurance that He is able to save, as in His love that He is willing to save (Ps 65:5,6; 72:18; 118:14-16; Eph 3:20).

As to the other aspect of its significance, the divine omnipotence in itself, and not merely for soteriological reasons, evokes a specific religious response. This is true, not only of the Old Testament, where the element of the fear of God stands comparatively in the foreground, but remains true also of the New Testament. Even in our Lord’s teaching the prominence given to the fatherhood and love of God does not preclude that the transcendent majesty of the divine nature, including omnipotence, is kept in full view and made a potent factor in the cultivation of the religious mind (Mt 6:9). The beauty of Jesus’ teaching on the nature of God consists in this, that He keeps the exaltation of God above every creature and His loving condescension toward the creature in perfect equilibrium and makes them mutually fructified by each other. Religion is more than the inclusion of God in the general altruistic movement of the human mind; it is a devotion at every point colored by the consciousness of that divine uniqueness in which God’s omnipotence occupies a foremost place.


Oehler, Theologie des A T (3), 131, 139 ff; Riehm, Alttestamentliche Theologie, 250 ff; Dillmann, Handbuch der alttestamentlichen Theologie, 244; Davidson, Old Testament Theology, 163 ff; Konig, Geschichte der alttestamentlichen Religion, 127, 135 ff, 391, 475.

Geerhardus Vos



1. Non-Occurrence of the Term in Scripture:

Neither the noun "omnipresence" nor adjective "omnipresent" occurs in Scripture, but the idea that God is everywhere present is throughout presupposed and sometimes explicitly formulated. God’s omnipresence is closely related to His omnipotence and omniscience: that He is everywhere enables Him to act everywhere and to know all things, and, conversely, through omnipotent action and omniscient knowledge He has access to all places and all secrets (compare Ps 139). Thus conceived, the attribute is but the correlate of the monotheistic conception of God as the Infinite Creator, Preserver and Governor of the universe, immanent in His works as well as transcendent above them.

2. Philosophical and Popular Ideas of Omnipresence:

The philosophical idea of omnipresence is that of exemption from the limitations of space, subjectively as well as objectively; subjectively, in so far as space, which is a necessary form of all created consciousness in the sphere of sense-perception, is not thus constitutionally inherent in the mind of God; objectively, in so far as the actuality of space-relations in the created world imposes no limit upon the presence and operation of God. This metaphysical conception of transcendence above all space is, of course, foreign to the Bible, which in regard to this, as in regard to the other transcendent attributes, clothes the truth of revelation in popular language, and speaks of exemption from the limitations of space in terms and figures derived from space itself. Thus, the very term "omnipresence" in its two component parts "everywhere" and "present" contains a double inadequacy of expression, both the notion of "everywhere" and that of "presence" being spacial concepts. Another point, in regard to which the popular nature of the Scriptural teaching on this subject must be kept in mind, concerns the mode of the divine omnipresence. In treating the concept philosophically, it is of importance to distinguish between its application to the essence, to the activity, and to the knowledge of God. The Bible does not draw these distinctions in the abstract. Although sometimes it speaks of God’s omnipresence with reference to the pervasive immanence of His being, it frequently contents itself with affirming the universal extent of God’s power and knowledge (De 4:39; 10:14; Ps 139:6-16; Pr 15:3; Jer 23:23,24; Am 9:2).

3. Theories Denying Omnipresence of Being:

This observation has given rise to theories of a mere omnipresence of power or omnipresence by an act of will, as distinct from an omnipresence of being. But it is plain that in this antithetical form such a distinction is foreign to the intent of the Biblical statements in question. The writers in these passages content themselves with describing the practical effects of the attribute without reflecting upon the difference between this and its ontological aspect; the latter is neither affirmed nor denied. That no denial of the omnipresence of being is intended may be seen from Jer 23:24, where in the former half of the verse the omnipresence of 23:23 is expressed in terms of omniscience, while in the latter half the idea finds ontological expression. Similarly, in Ps 139, compare verse 2 with verses 7 ff, and verses 13 ff. As here, so in other passages the presence of God with His being in all space is explicitly affirmed (1Ki 8:27; 2Ch 2:6; Isa 66:1; Ac 17:28).

4. Denial of the Presence of the Idea in the Earlier Parts of the Old Testament:

Omnipresence being the correlate of monotheism, the presence of the idea in the earlier parts of the Old Testament is denied by all those who assign the development of monotheism in the Old Testament religion to the prophetic period from the 8th century onward. It is undoubtedly true that the earliest narratives speak very anthropomorphically of God’s relation to space; they describe Him as coming and going in language such as might be used of a human person. But it does not follow from this that the writers who do so conceive of God’s being as circumscribed by space. Where such forms of statement occur, not the presence of God in general, but His visible presence in theophany is referred to. If from the local element entering into the description God’s subjection to the limitations of space were inferred, then one might with equal warrant, on the basis of the physical, sensual elements entering into the representation, impute to the writers the view that the divine nature is corporeal.

5. The Special Redemptive and Revelatory Presence of God:

The theophanic form of appearance does not disclose what God is ontologically in Himself, but merely how He condescends to appear and work for the redemption of His people. It establishes a redemptive and revelatory presence in definite localities, which does not, in the mind of the writer, detract from the divine omnipresence. Hence, it is not confined to one place; the altars built in recognition of it are in patriarchal history erected in several places and coexist as each and all offering access to the special divine presence. It is significant that already during the patriarchal period these theophanies and the altars connected with them are confined to the Holy Land. This shows that the idea embodied in them has nothing to do with a crude conception of the Deity as locally circumscribed, but marks the beginning of that gradual restoration of the gracious presence of God to fallen humanity, the completion of which forms the goal of redemption. Thus, God is said to dwell in the ark, in the tabernacle, on Mt. Zion (Nu 10:35; 2Sa 6:2; 2Ki 19:15; Ps 3:4; 99:1); in the temple (1Ki 8; Ps 20:2; 26:8; 46:5; 48:2; Isa 8:18; Joe 3:16,21; Am 1:2); in the Holy Land (1Sa 26:19; Ho 9:3); in Christ (Joh 1:14; 2:19; Col 2:9); in the church (Joh 14:23; Ro 8:9,11; 1Co 3:16; 6:19; Eph 2:21,22; 3:11; 2Ti 3:15; Heb 10:21; 1Pe 2:5); in the eschatological assembly of His people (Re 21:3). In the light of the same principle must be interpreted the presence of God in heaven. This also is not to be understood as an ontological presence, but as a presence of specific theocratic manifestation (1Ki 8:27; Ps 2:4; 11:4; 33:13 ff; 104:3; Isa 6:1 ff; 63:15; 66:1; Hab 2:20; Mt 5:34; 6:9; Ac 7:48; 17:28; Eph 1:20; Heb 1:3). How little this is meant to exclude the presence of God elsewhere may be seen from the fact that the two representations, that of God’s self-manifestation in heaven and in the earthly sanctuary, occur side by side (1Ki 8:26-53; Ps 20:2-6; Am 9:6). It has been alleged that the idea of God’s dwelling in heaven marks a comparatively late attainment in the religion of Israel, of which in the pre-prophetic period no trace can as yet be discovered (so Stade, Bibl. Theol. des Altes Testament, I, 103, 104). There are, however, a number of passages in the Pentateuch bearing witness to the early existence of this belief (Ge 11:1-9; 19:24; 21:17; 22:11; 28:12). Yahweh comes, according to the belief of the earliest period, with the clouds (Ex 14:19,20; 19:9,18; 24:15; Nu 11:25; 12:5). That even in the opinion of the people Yahweh’s local presence in an earthly sanctuary need not have excluded Him from heaven follows also from the unhesitating belief in His simultaneous presence in a plurality of sanctuaries. If it was not a question of locally circumscribed presence as between sanctuary and sanctuary, it need not have been as between earth and heaven (compare Gunkel, Gen, 157).

6. Religious Significance:

Both from a generally religious and from a specifically soteriological point of view the omnipresence of God is of great practical importance for the religious life. In the former respect it contains the guaranty that the actual nearness of God and a real communion with Him may be enjoyed everywhere, even apart from the places hallowed for such purpose by a specific gracious self-manifestation (Ps 139:5-10). In the other respect the divine omnipresence assures the believer that God is at hand to save in every place where from any danger or foe His people need salvation (Isa 43:2).


Oehler, Theologie des A T (3), 174 ff; Riehm, Alttestamentliche Theologie, 262 ff; Dillmann, Handbuch der alttestamentlichen Theologie, 246 ff; Davidson, Old Testament Theology, 180 ff; Konig, Geschichte der alttestamentlichen Religion, 197 ff.

Geerhardus Vos


om-nish’-ens: The term does not occur in Scripture, either in its nominal or in its adjectival form.

1. Words and Usage:

In the Old Testament it is expressed in connection with such words as da’ath, binah, tebhunah, chokhmah; also "seeing" and "hearing," "the eye" and "the ear" occur as figures for the knowledge of God, as "arm," "hand," "finger" serve to express His power. In the New Testament are found ginoskein, gnosis, eidenai, sophia, in the same connections.

2. Tacit Assumption and Explicit Affirmation:

Scripture everywhere teaches the absolute universality of the divine knowledge. In the historical books, although there is no abstract formula, and occasional anthropomorphic references to God’staking knowledge of things occur (Ge 11:5; 18:21; De 8:3), none the less the principle is everywhere presupposed in what is related about God’s cognizance of the doings of man, about the hearing of prayer, the disclosing of the future (1Sa 16:7; 23:9-12; 1Ki 8:39; 2Ch 16:9). Explicit affirmation of the principle is made in the Psalter, the Prophets, the chokhmah literature and in the New Testament. This is due to the increased internalizing of religion, by which its hidden side, to which the divine omniscience corresponds, receives greater emphasis (Job 26:6; 28:24; 34:22; Ps 139:12; 147:4; Pr 15:3,11; Isa 40:26; Ac 1:24; Heb 4:13; Re 2:23).

3. Extends to All Spheres:

This absolute universality is affirmed with reference to the various categories that comprise within themselves all that is possible or actual. It extends to God’s own being, as well as to what exists outside of Him in the created world. God has perfect possession in consciousness of His own being. The unconscious finds no place in Him (Ac 15:18; 1 Joh 1:5). Next to Himself God knows the world in its totality. This knowledge extends to small as well as to great affairs (Mt 6:8,32; 10:30); to the hidden heart and mind of man as well as to that which is open and manifest (Job 11:11; 34:21,23; Ps 14:2; 17:2 ff; 33:13-18; 102:19 f; 139:1-4; Pr 5:21; 15:3; Isa 29:15; Jer 17:10; Am 4:13; Lu 16:15; Ac 1:24; 1Th 2:4; Heb 4:13; Re 2:23). It extends to all the divisions of time, the past, present and future alike (Job 14:17; Ps 56:8; Isa 41:22-24; 44:6-8; Jer 1:5; Ho 13:12; Mal 3:16). It embraces that which is contingent from the human viewpoint as well as that which is certain (1Sa 23:9-12; Mt 11:22,23).

4. Mode of the Divine Knowledge:

Scripture brings God’s knowledge into connection with His omnipresence. Ps 139 is the clearest expression of this. Omniscience is the omnipresence of cognition (Jer 23:23 ). It is also closely related to God’s eternity, for the latter makes Him in His knowledge independent of the limitations of time (Isa 43:8-12). God’s creative relation to all that exists is represented as underlying His omniscience (Ps 33:15; 97:9; 139:13; Isa 29:15). His all-comprehensive purpose forms the basis of His knowledge of all events and developments (Isa 41:22-27; Am 3:7).

This, however, does not mean that God’s knowledge of things is identical with His creation of them, as has been suggested by Augustine and others. The act of creation, while necessarily connected with the knowledge of that which is to be actual, is not identical with such knowledge or with the purpose on which such knowledge rests, for in God, as well as in man, the intellect and the will are distinct faculties. In the last analysis, God’s knowledge of the world has its source in His self-knowledge. The world is a revelation of God. All that is actual or possible in it therefore is a reflection in created form of what exists uncreated in God, and thus the knowledge of the one becomes a reproduction of the knowledge of the other (Ac 17:27; Ro 1:20). The divine knowledge of the world also partakes of the quality of the divine self-knowledge in this respect, that it is never dormant. God does not depend for embracing the multitude and complexity of the existing world on such mental processes as abstraction and generalization.

The Bible nowhere represents Him as attaining to knowledge by reasoning, but everywhere as simply knowing. From what has been said about the immanent sources of the divine knowledge, it follows that the latter is not a posteriori derived from its objects, as all human knowledge based on experience is, but is exercised without receptivity or dependence. In knowing, as well as in all other activities of His nature, God is sovereign and self-sufficient. In cognizing the reality of all things He needs not wait upon the things, but draws His knowledge directly from the basis of reality as it lies in Himself. While the two are thus closely connected it is nevertheless of importance to distinguish between God’s knowledge of Himself and God’s knowledge of the world, and also between His knowledge of the actual and His knowledge of the possible. These distinctions mark off theistic conception of omniscience from the pantheistic idea regarding it. God is not bound up in His life with the world in such a sense as to have no scope of activity beyond it.

5. God’s Omniscience and Human Freewill:

Since Scripture includes in the objects of the divine knowledge also the issue of the exercise of freewill on the part of man, the problem arises, how the contingent character of such decisions and the certainty of the divine knowledge can coexist. It is true that the knowledge of God and the purposing will of God are distinct, and that not the former but the latter determines the certainty of the outcome. Consequently the divine omniscience in such cases adds or detracts nothing in regard to the certainty of the event. God’s omniscience does not produce but presupposes the certainty by which the problem is raised. At the same time, precisely because omniscience presupposes certainty, it appears to exclude every conception of contingency in the free acts of man, such as would render the latter in their very essence undetermined. The knowledge of the issue must have a fixed point of certainty to terminate upon, if it is to be knowledge at all. Those who make the essence of freedom absolute indeterminateness must, therefore, exempt this class of events from the scope of the divine omniscience. But this is contrary to all the testimony of Scripture, which distinctly makes God’s absolute knowledge extend to such acts (Ac 2:23). It has been attempted to construe a peculiar form of the divine knowledge, which would relate to this class of acts specifically, the so-called scientia media, to be distinguished from the scientia necessaria, which has for its object God Himself, and the scientia libera which terminates upon the certainties of the world outside of God, as determined by His freewill. This scientia media would then be based on God’s foresight of the outcome of the free choice of man. It would involve a knowledge of receptivity, a contribution to the sum total of what God knows derived from observation on His part of the world-process. That is to say, it would be knowledge a posteriori in essence, although not in point of time. It is, however, difficult to see how such a knowledge can be possible in God, when the outcome is psychologically undetermined and undeterminable. The knowledge could originate no sooner than the determination originates through the free decision of man. It would, therefore, necessarily become an a posteriori knowledge in time as well as in essence. The appeal to God’s eternity as bringing Him equally near to the future as to the present and enabling Him to see the future decisions of man’s free will as though they were present cannot remove this difficulty, for when once the observation and knowledge of God are made dependent on any temporal issue, the divine eternity itself is thereby virtually denied. Nothing remains but to recognize that God’s eternal knowledge of the outcome of the freewill choices of man implies that there enters into these choices, notwithstanding their free character, an element of predetermination, to which the knowledge of God can attach itself.

6. Religious Importance:

The divine omniscience is most important for the religious life. The very essence of religion as communion with God depends on His all-comprehensive cognizance of the life of man at every moment. Hence, it is characteristic of the irreligious to deny the omniscience of God (Ps 10:11,12; 94:7-9; Isa 29:15; Jer 23:23; Eze 8:12; 9:9). Especially along three lines this fundamental religious importance reveals itself:

(a) it lends support and comfort when the pious suffer from the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of men;

(b) it acts as a deterrent to those tempted by sin, especially secret sin, and becomes a judging principle to all hypocrisy and false security;

(c) it furnishes the source from which man’s desire for self-knowledge can obtain satisfaction (Ps 19:12; 51:6; 139:23,24).


Oehler, Theologie des A T (3), 876; Riehm, Alttestamentliche Theologie, 263; Dillmann, Handbuch der alttestamentlichen Theologie, 249; Davidson, Old Testament Theology, 180 if.

Geerhardus Vos


om’-ri (‘omri; Septuagint Ambri; Assyrian "Chumri" and "Chumria"):

(1) The 6th king of Northern Israel, and founder of the IIIrd Dynasty which reigned for nearly 50 years. Omri reigned 12 years, circa 887-876 BC. The historical sources of his reign are contained in 1Ki 16:15-28; 20:34, the Moabite Stone, Assyrian inscriptions, and in the published accounts of recent excavations in Samaria. In spite of the brief passage given to Omri in the Old Testament, he was one of the most important of the military kings of Northern Israel.

1. His Accession:

Omri is first mentioned as an officer in the army of Elah, which was engaged in the siege of the Philistine town of Gibbethon. While Omri was thus engaged, Zimri, another officer of Elah’s army, conspired against the king, whom he assassinated in a drunken debauch, exterminating at the same time the remnant of the house of Baasha. The conspiracy evidently lacked the support of the people, for the report that Zimri had usurped the throne no sooner reached the army at Gibbethon, than the people proclaimed Omri, the more powerful military leader, king over Israel. Omri lost not a moment, but leaving Gibbethon in the hands of the Philistines, he marched to Tirzah, which he besieged and captured, while Zimri perished in the flames of the palace to which he had set fire with his own hands (1Ki 16:18). Omri, however, had still another opponent in Tibni the son of Ginath, who laid claim to the throne and who was supported in his claims by his brother Joram (1Ki 16:22 Septuagint) and by a large number of the people. Civil war-followed this rivalry for the throne, which seems to have lasted for a period of four years (compare 1Ki 16:15, with 16:23 and 29) before Omri gained full control.

Omri’s military ability is seen from his choice of Samaria as the royal residence and capital of the Northern Kingdom. This step may have been suggested to Omri by his own easy conquest of Tirzah, the former capital. Accordingly, he purchased the hill Shomeron of Shemer for two talents of silver, about $4,352.00 in American money. The conical hill, which rose from the surrounding plain to the height of 400 ft., and on the top of which there was room for a large city, was capable of easy defense.

2. The Founding of Samaria:

The superior strategic importance of Samaria is evidenced by the sieges it endured repeatedly by the Syrians and Assyrians. It was finally taken by Sargon in 722, after the siege had lasted for 3 years. That the Northern Kingdom endured as long as it did was due largely to the strength of its capital. With the fall of Samaria, the nation fell.

Recent excavations in Samaria under the direction of Harvard University throw new light upon the ancient capital of Israel. The first results were the uncovering of massive foundation walls of a large building, including a stairway 80 ft. wide. This building, which is Roman in architecture, is supposed to have been a temple, the work of Herod. Under this Roman building was recovered a part of a massive Hebrew structure, believed to be the palace of Omri and Ahab. During the year 1910 the explorations revealed a building covering 1 1/2 acres of ground. Four periods of construction were recognized, which, on archaeological grounds, were tentatively assigned to the reigns of Omri, Ahab, Jehu, and Jeroboam II. See SAMAIAS and articles by David G. Lyon in Harvard Theological Review, IV, 1911; JBL, V, xxx, Part I, 1911; PEFS, 1911, 79-83.

3. His Foreign Policy:

Concerning Omri’s foreign policy the Old Testament is silent beyond a single hint contained in 1Ki 20:34. Here we learn that he had to bow before the stronger power of Syria. It is probable that Ben-hadad I besieged Samaria shortly after it was built, for he forced Omri to make "streets" in the city for the Syrians. It is probable, too, that at this time Ramoth-gilead was lost to the Syrians. Evidently Omri, was weakened in his foreign policy at the beginning of his reign by the civil conflict engendered by his accession. However, he showed strength of character in his dealings with foreign powers. At least he regained control over the northern part of Moab, as we learn from the Moabite Stone. Lines 4-8 tell us that "Omri was king of Israel and afflicted Moab many days because Chemosh was angry with his land. .... Omri obtained possession of the land of Medeba and dwelt therein during his days and half the days of his son, forty years. "

Omri was the first king of Israel to pay tribute to the Assyrians under their king Asurnacirpal III, in 876 BC. From the days of Shalmaneser II (860 BC) down to the time of Sargon (722 BC), Northern Israel was known to the Assyrians as "the land of the house of Omri." On Shalmaneser’s black obelisk, Jehu, who overthrew the dynasty of Omri, is called Ja’uaabal Chumri, "Jehu son of Omri."

Omri entered into an alliance with the Phoenicians by the marriage of his son Ahab to Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians. This may have been done as protection against the powers from the East, and as such would have seemed to be a wise political move, but it was one fraught with evil for Israel.

4. His Religious Influence and Death:

Although Omri laid the foundation of a strong kingdom, he failed to impart to it the vitalizing and rejuvenating force of a healthy spiritual religion. The testimony of 1Ki 16:25,26, that he "dealt wickedly above all that were before him," coupled with the reference to "the statutes of Omri" in Mic 6:16, indicates that he may have had a share in substituting foreign religions for the worship of Yahweh, and therefore the unfavorable light in which he is regarded is justified. Upon his death, Omri was succeeded upon the throne by his son Ahab, to whom was left the task of shaking off the Syrian yoke, and who went beyond his father in making the Phoenician influence along with Baalism of prime importance in Israel, thus leading the nation into the paths that hastened its downfall.

(2) A Benjamite, son of Becher (1Ch 7:8).

(3) A Judahite, descendant of Perez, who lived at Jerusalem (1Ch 9:4).

(4) A prince of Issachar in the time of David (1Ch 27:18).

S. K. Mosiman

ON (1)

on (’on; Egyptian An, Ant, Annu, probably pronounced An only, as this is often all that is written, a "stone" or "stone pillars"): Later called Hellopolis. The name On occurs only in Ge 41:45,50; 46:20. It occurs in one other place in the Septuagint (Ex 1:11), where On is mentioned with Pithom and Raamses as strong cities which the Israelites built. Hebrew slaves may have worked upon fortifications here, but certainly did not build the city. On is possibly referred to as ‘ir ha-herec, in Isa 19:18 (see IR-HA-HERES). On may also be mentioned by Jeremiah (43:13) under the name Beth-shemesh. Ezekiel speaks of an Aven (’awen) (Eze 30:17), where it is mentioned with Pibeseth (Bubastis). Aven in this passage is almost certainly the same as On in Ge 41:45; 46:20, as the letters of both words are the same in the Hebrew. Only the placing of the vowel-points makes any difference. If there is a mistake, it is a mistake of the Massoretes, not of the Hebrew writer.

1. Location and Description:

There were two Ons in Egypt: one in Upper Egypt, An-res (Hermonthis); the other in Lower Egypt, An-Meheet (Brugsch, Geogr. Inschr., 254, 255, numbers 1217, a, b, 1218, 8708, 1225). The latter is the On referred to in the Bible. It lay about 20 miles North of the site of old Memphis, about 10 miles Northeast of the location of modern Cairo. It has left until this time about 4 square miles of ruins within the old walls. Little or nothing remains outside the walls.

On was built at the edge of the desert, which has now retreated some 3 or 4 miles eastward, the result of the rising of the bed of the Nile by sediment from the inundation, and the broadening of the area of infiltration which now carries the water of the Nile that much to the East. The land around On has risen about 10 ft., and the waters of infiltration at the time of lowest Nile are now about 1 1/2 ft. above the floor-level of the temple.

2. History:

The history of On is very obscure, yet its very great importance is in no doubt. No clear description of the ancient city or sanctuary has come down to us, but there are so many incidental references, and so much is implied in ancient records, that it stands out as of the very first importance, both as capital and sanctuary. The city comes from the Ist Dynasty, when it was the seat of government, and indeed must have been founded by the Ist Dynasty or have come down to it from pre-historic time. From the IIIrd to the VIth Dynasty the seat of government was shifted from On to Memphis, and in the XIIth Dynasty to Diospolis. Throughout these changes On retained its religious importance. It had been the great sanctuary in the time of the Pyramid Texts, the oldest religious texts of Egypt, and judging from the evident great development of the temple of On at the time of the writing of the texts, the city must have antedated them by considerable time (Budge, History of Egypt, II, 83, 84, 108; Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Egypt, chapters i, ii). The myth of Osiris makes even the charge against Set for the murder of Osiris to have been preferred at Heliopolis (Breasted, op. cit., 34). This certainly implies a very great age for the sanctuary at On. It contained a temple of the sun under the name Ra, the sun, and also Atum, the setting sun, or the sun of the Underworld. There was also a Phoenix Hall and asacred object called a ben, probably a stone, and the origin of the name An, a "stone" or "pillar" (compare Breasted, op. cit., 76, 11, and 71). Though the XIIth Dynasty removed the capital to Diospolis, Usertsen I (Senwesret) of that Dynasty erected a great obelisk at On in front of the entrance to the temple. The situation of this obelisk in the templearea indicates that the great temple was already more than a half-mile in length as early as the XIIth Dynasty. The mate of this obelisk on the opposite side of the entrance seems not to have been erected until the XVIIIth Dynasty. Its foundations were discovered in 1912 by Petrie. Some scraps of the granite of the obelisk bear inscriptions of Thothmes III. A great Hyksos wall, also discovered by Petrie in 1912, exactly similar to that of the fortified camp at Tel el Yehudiyeh, 4 miles North, makes it quite certain that these usurpers between the Old Empire and the New fortified On as the capital once more. The manifest subserviency of the priests of On in the story of Joseph makes it most probable that the old capital at On had already been subjugated in Joseph’s time, and that within this old fortification still existing Joseph ruled as prime minister of Egypt. Merenptah in his 5th year began to fortify On. Sheshonk III called himself "divine prince of Annu," and seems to have made On one of the greatest sanctuaries of his long reign. On still figured in Egyptian history in the rebellion against Ashurbanipal. The city has been deserted since the Persian invasion of 525 BC. Tradition makes the dwelling-place of Joseph and Mary with the child Jesus, while in Egypt, to have been near Heliopolis.

The exploration of On was attempted by Schiaparelli, but was not carried out, and his work has not been published. In 1912 Petrie began a systematic work of excavation which, it is expected, will continue until the whole city has been examined. The only great discovery of the first season was the Hyksos wall of fortification. Its full import can only be determined by the continuance of the exploration.

M. G. Kyle

ON (2)

(’on; Aun): A Reubenite, son of Peleth, who took part with Dathan and Abiram in their revolt against Moses (Nu 16:1).


o’-na (’onam, "vigorous"; compare ONAN):

(1) "Son" of Shobal "son" of Seir the Horite (Ge 36:23; 1Ch 1:40).

(2) "Son" of Jerahmeel by Atarah; perhaps the name is connected with Onan son of Judah (1Ch 2:26,28).


o’-nan (’onan, "vigorous"; compare ONAM, a "son" of Judah (Ge 38:4,8-10; 46:12; Nu 26:19; 1Ch 2:3); "The story of the untimely death of Er and Onan implies that two of the ancient clans of Judah early disappeared" (Curtis, Chron, 84). See Skinner, Gen, 452, where it is pointed out that in Ge 38:11 Judah plainly attributes the death of his sons in some way to Tamar herself. The name is allied to Onam.





o-nes’-i-mus (Onesimos, literally, "profitable," "helpful" (Col 4:9; Phm 1:10)):

1. With Paul in Rome:

Onesimus was a slave (Phm 1:16) belonging to Philemon who was a wealthy citizen of Colosse, and a prominent member of the church there. Onesimus was still a heathen when he defrauded his master and ran off from Colosse. He found his way to Rome, where evil men tended to flock as to a common center, as Tacitus tells us they did at that period. In Rome he came into contact with Paul, who was then in his own hired house, in military custody.

What brought him into contact with Paul we do not know. It may have been hunger; it may have been the pangs of conscience. He could not forget that his master’s house in Colosse was the place where the Christians met in their weekly assemblies for the worship of Christ. Neither could he forget how Philemon had many a time spoken of Paul, to whom he owed his conversion. Now that Onesimus was in Rome—what a strange coincidence—Paul also was in Rome.

The result of their meeting was that Onesimus was converted to Christ, through the instrumentality of the apostle ("my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds," Phm 1:10). His services had been very acceptable to Paul, who would gladly have kept Onesimus with him; but as he could not do this without the knowledge and consent of Philemon, he sent Onesimus back to Colosse, to his master there.

2. Paul’s Epistles to Colosse and to Philemon:

At the same time Paul wrote to the church in Colosse on other matters, and he entrusted the Epistle to the Colossians to the joint care of Tychicus and Onesimus. The apostle recommends Onesimus to the brethren in Colosse, as a "faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you," and he goes on to say that Tychicus and Onesimus will make known to them all things that have happened to Paul in Rome. Such a commendation would greatly facilitate’ Onesimus’s return to Colosse.

But Paul does more. He furnishes Onesimus with a letter written by himself to Philemon. Returning to a city where it was well known that he had been neither a Christian nor even an honest man, he needed someone to vouch for the reality of the change which had taken place in his life. And Paul does this for him both in the Epistle to the Colossians and in that to Philemon.

With what exquisite delicacy is Onesimus introduced! ‘Receive him,’ says the apostle, ‘for he is my own very heart’ (Phm 1:12). "The man whom the Colossians had only known hitherto, if they knew him all, as a worthless runaway slave, is thus commended to them, as no more a slave but a brother, no more dishonest and faithless but trustworthy; no more an object of contempt but of love" (Lightfoot’s Commentary on Col, 235).

(1) Onesimus Profitable.

The apostle accordingly begs Philemon to give Onesimus the same reception as he would rejoice to give to himself. The past history of Onesimus had been such as to belie the meaning of his name. He had not been "profitable"—far from it. But already his consistent conduct in Rome and his willing service to Paul there have changed all that; he has been profitable to Paul, and he will be profitable to Philemon too.

(2) Paul Guarantees.

Onesimus had evidently stolen his master’s goods before leaving Colosse, but in regard to that the apostle writes that if he has defrauded Philemon in anything, he becomes his surety. Philemon can regard Paul’s handwriting as a bond guaranteeing payment: "Put that to mine account," are his words, "I will repay it." Had Philemon not been a Christian, and had Paul not written this most beautiful letter, Onesimus might well have been afraid to return. In the Roman empire slaves were constantly crucified for smaller offenses than those of which he had been guilty. A thief and a runaway had nothing but torture or death to expect.

(3) The Change Which Christ Makes.

But now under the sway of Christ all is changed. The master who has been defrauded now owns allegiance to Jesus. The letter, which is delivered to him by his slave, is written by a bound "prisoner of Jesus Christ." The slave too is now a brother in Christ, beloved by Paul: surely he will be beloved by Philemon also. Then Paul intimates that he hopes soon to be set free, and then he will come and visit them in Colosse. Will Philemon receive him into his house as his guest?

(4) The Result.

It cannot be imagined that this appeal in behalf of Onesimus was in vain. Philemon would do more than Paul asked; and on the apostle’s visit to Colosse he would find the warmest welcome, both from Philemon and from Onesimus.

John Rutherfurd


o-ne-sif’-o-rus (Onesiphoros, literally, "profit bringer" (2Ti 1:16; 4:19)):

1. The Friend of Paul:

Onesiphorus was a friend of the apostle Paul, who mentions him twice when writing to Timothy. In the former of the two passages where his name occurs, his conduct is contrasted with that of Phygellus and Hermogenes and others—all of whom, like Onesiphorus himself, were of the province of Asia—from whom Paul might well have expected to receive sympathy and help. These persons had "turned away" from him. Onesiphorus acted in a different way, for "he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but, when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me."

Onesiphorus was one of the Christians of the church in Ephesus; and the second passage, where his name is found, merely sends a message of greeting from Paul, which Timothy in Ephesus is requested to deliver to "the household of Onesiphorus." (the King James Version).

2. Visits Paul in Rome:

Onesiphorus then had come from Ephesus to Rome. It was to Paul that the church at Ephesus owed its origin, and it was to him therefore that Onesiphorus and the Christians there were indebted for all that they knew of Christ. Onesiphorus gratefully remembered these facts, and having arrived in Rome, and learned that Paul was in prison, he "very diligently" sought for the apostle. But to do this, though it was only his duty, involved much personal danger at that particular time. For the persecution, inaugurated by Nero against the Christians, had raged bitterly; its fury was not yet abated, and this made the profession of the Christian name a matter which involved very great risk of persecution and of death.

Paul was not the man to think lightly of what his Ephesian friend had done. He remembered too, "in how many things he ministered at Ephesus." And, writing to Timothy, he reminded him that Onesiphorus’s kindly ministrations at Ephesus were already well known to him, from his residence in Ephesus, and from his position, as minister of the church there.

It should be observed that the ministration of Onesiphorus at Ephesus was not, as the King James Version gives it, "to me," that is, to Paul himself. "To me" is omitted in the Revised Version (British and American). What Onesiphorus had done there was a wide Christian ministry of kindly action; it embraced "many things," which were too well known—for such is the force of the word—to Timothy to require repetition.

The visits which Onesiphorus paid to Paul in his Roman prison were intensely "refreshing." And it was not once or twice that he thus visited the chained prisoner, but he did so ofttimes.

3. His Household:

Though Onesiphorus had come to Rome, his household had remained in Ephesus; and a last salutation is sent to them by Paul. He could not write again, as he was now ready to be offered, and his execution could not long be delayed. But as he writes, he entertains the kindest feelings toward Onesiphorus and his household, and he prays that the Lord will give mercy to the household of Onesiphorus.

He also uses these words in regard to Onesiphorus himself: "The Lord grant unto him to find mercy of the Lord in that day." It is not clear whether Onesiphorus was living, or whether he had died, before Paul wrote this epistle. Different opinions have been held on the subject.

The way in which Paul refers twice to "the household (the Revised Version (British and American) "house") of Onesiphorus," makes it possible that Onesiphorus himself had died. If this is so—but certainty is impossible—the apostle’s words in regard to him would be a pious wish, which has nothing in common with the abuses which have gathered round the subject of prayers for the dead, a practice which has no foundation in Scripture.

John Rutherfurd


o-ni’-a-rez, o-ni-a’-rez: 1 Macc 12:19 the King James Version equals the Revised Version (British and American) ARIUS (which see).


o-ni’-as (Onias): There were 3 high priests of the name of Onias, and a 4th Onias who did not become a high priest but was known as the builder of the temple of Leontopolis (Josephus, Ant, XIII, iii, 1-3). Only two persons of the name are mentioned in the Apocrypha—Onias I and Onias III.

(1) Onias I, according to Josephus (Ant., XI, viii, 7), the son of Jaddua and father of Simon the Just (ibid., XII, ii, 5; Sirach 50), and, according to 1 Macc 12:7,20, a contemporary of Areus (Arius), king of Sparta, who reigned 309-265 BC (Diod. xx.29). This Onias was the recipient of a friendly letter from Areus of Sparta (1 Macc 12:7; see manuscripts readings here, and 12:20). Josephus (Ant., XII, iv, 10) represents this letter as written to Onias III, which is an error, for only two Areuses are known, and Areus II reigned about 255 BC and died a child of 8 years (Paus. iii.6,6). The letter—if genuine—exists in two copies (Josephus, Ant, XII, iv, 10, and 1 Macc 12:20 ff) (see Schurer, History of the Jewish People, 4th edition, I, 182 and 237).

(2) Onias III, son of Simon II (Josephus, Ant, XII, iv, 10), whom he succeeded, and a contemporary of Seleucus IV and Antiochus Epiphanes (2 Macc 3:1; 4:7) and father of Onias IV. He was known for his godliness and zeal for the law, yet was on such friendly terms with the Seleucids that Seleucus IV Philopator defrayed the cost of the "services of the sacrifices." He quarreled with Simon the Benjamite, guardian of the temple, about the market buildings (Greek aedileship). Being unable to get the better of Onias and thirsting for revenge, Simon went to Apollonius, governor of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, and informed him of the "untold sums of money," lodged in the treasury of the temple. The governor told the king, and Seleucus dispatched his chancellor, Heliodorus, to remove the money. Onias remonstrated in vain, pleading for the "deposits of widows and orphans." Heliodorus persisted in the object of his mission. The high priest and the people were in the greatest distress. But when Heliodorus had already entered the temple, "the Sovereign of spirits, and of all authority caused a great apparition," a horse with a terrible rider accompanied by two strong and beautiful young men who scourged and wounded Heliodorus. At the intercession of Onias, his life was spared. Heliodorus advised the king to send on the same errand any enemy or conspirator whom he wished punished. Simon then slandered Onias, and the jealousy having caused bloodshed between their followers, Onias decided to repair in person to the king to intercede for his country. Apparently before a decision was given, Seleucus was assassinated and Epiphanes succeeded (175 BC). Jason, the brother of Onias, having offered the new king larger revenue, secured the priesthood, which he held until he himself was similarly supplanted by Menelaus, Simon’s brother (2 Macc 4:23; Josephus, Ant, XII, v, 1, says Jason’s brother). Menelaus, having stolen golden vessels belonging to the temple to meet his promises made to the king, was sharply reproved by Onias. Menelaus took revenge by persuading Andronicus, the king’s deputy, to entice Onias by false promises of friendship from his sanctuary at Daphne and treacherously slay him—an act which caused indignation among both the Jews and the Greeks (2 Macc 4:34 ff). Josephus (Ant., XII, v, 1) says that "on the death of Onias the high priest, Antiochus gave the high-priesthood to his brother Jesus (Jason)," but the account of 2 Macc given above is the more probable. Some see in Da 9:26; 11:22 reference to Onias III (Schurer, 4th edition, I, 194 ff; III, 144).

S. Angus


un’-yunz (betsalim; krommuon): One of the delicacies of Egypt for which the children of Israel pined in the wilderness (Nu 11:5). The onion, alllium cepa (Natural Order Liliaceae), is known in Arabic as bucal and is cultivated all over Syria and Egypt; it appears to be as much a favorite in the Orient today as ever.


on’-li be-got-’-’n (monogenes): Although the English words are found only 6 times in the New Testament, the Greek word appears 9 times, and often in the Septuagint. It is used literally of an only child: "the only son of his mother" (Lu 7:12); "an only daughter" (Lu 8:42); "mine only child" (Lu 9:38); "Isaac .... his only begotten" (Heb 11:17). In all other places in the New Testament it refers to Jesus Christ as "the only begotten Son of God" (Joh 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1 Joh 4:9). In these passages, too, it might be translated as "the only son of God"; for the emphasis seems to be on His uniqueness, rather than on His sonship, though both ideas are certainly present. He is the son of God in a sense in which no others are. "Monogenes describes the absolutely unique relation of the Son to the Father in His divine nature; prototokos describes the relation of the Risen Christ in His glorified humanity to man" (Westcott on Heb 1:6). Christ’s uniqueness as it appears in the above passages consists of two things:

(a) He reveals the Father: "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (Joh 1:18). Men therefore behold His glory, "glory as of the only begotten from the Father" (1:14).

(b) He is the mediator of salvation: "God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him" (1 Joh 4:9; Joh 3:16); "He that believeth not (on him) hath been judged already" (Joh 3:18). Other elements in His uniqueness may be gathered from other passages, as His sinlessness, His authority to forgive sins, His unbroken communion with the Father, and His unique knowledge of Him. To say that it is a uniqueness of nature or essence carries thought no farther, for these terms still need definition, and they can be defined only in terms of His moral consciousness, of His revelation of God, and especially of His intimate union as Son with the Father.


The reading "God only begotten" in Joh 1:18 the Revised Version margin, though it has strong textual support, is improbable, and can well be explained as due to orthodox zeal, in opposition to adoptionism. See Grimm-Thayer, Lexicon; Westcott, at the place

T. Rees


o’-no (’ono; Codex Vaticanus Onan; Codex Alexandrinus Ono, and other forms): A town mentioned along with Lod as fortified by certain Benjamites (1Ch 8:12). The Mishna (Arakhin ix.6) says that Joshua fortified it, but there is no such early notice of it in Scripture. It was occupied by Benjamites after the return from exile (Ezr 2:33; Ne 7:37; 11:35). In one of the villages in the plain of Ono, Sanballat and his friends vainly tried to inveigle Nehemiah into a conference (6:2). It is represented by the modern Kefr ‘Ana, which lies to the Northwest of Lydda. In 1 Esdras 5:22, the name appears as "Onus."

W. Ewing



See ONO.


on’i-ka (shecheleth; compare Arabic suchalat, "filings," "husks"): "Onycha" is a transliteration of the Septuagint onucha, accusative of onux, which means "nail," "claw," "hoof," and also "onyx," a precious stone. The form "onycha" was perhaps chosen to avoid confusion with "onyx," the stone. The Hebrew shecheleth occurs only in Ex 30:34 as an ingredient of the sacred incense. It is supposed to denote the horny operculum found in certain species of marine gasteropod molluscs. The operculum is a disk attached to the upper side of the hinder part of the "foot" of the mollusc. When the animal draws itself into its shell, the hinder part of the foot comes last, and the operculum closes the mouth of the shell. The operculum, which may be horny or stony, is absent in some species. The horny opercula when burned emit a peculiar odor, and are still used in combination with other perfumes by the Arab women of Upper Egypt and Nubia. (See Sir S. Baker, The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia, cited by EB, under the word "Onycha.")

Alfred Ely Day


on’-iks o’-niks.



o’-p’-n: In the Old Testament represents chiefly pathach, but also other words, as galah, "to uncover"; of the opening of the eyes in vision, etc. (thus Balaam, Nu 22:31; 24:4; compare Job 33:16; 36:10; Ps 119:18; Jer 32:11,14). In the New Testament the usual word is anoigo (of opening of mouth, eyes, heavens, doors, etc.). A peculiar word, trachelizomai (literally, to have the neck bent back, to be laid bare), is used for "laid open" before God in Heb 4:13.


(1) The "open place" of Ge 38:14 the King James Version, in which Tamar sat, has come from a misunderstanding of the Hebrew, the translators having taken bephethach ‘enayim to mean "in an opening publicly," instead of "in an opening (i.e. a gate) of Enaim" (compare Pr 1:21 in the Hebrew). The Revised Version (British and American) has corrected; see ENAIM.

(2) In 1Ki 22:10 parallel 2Ch 18:9 the Revised Version (British and American) relates that Ahab and Jehoshaphat sat "each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, in an open place (margin "Hebrew: a threshing-floor," the King James Version "a void place") at the entrance of the gate of Samaria." The Hebrew here is awkward, and neither the Septuagint nor the Syriac seems to have read the present text in 1Ki 22:10, the former having "in arms, at the gate of Samaria," and the latter "in many-colored garments." Consequently various attempts have been made to emend the text, of which the simplest is the omission of beghoren, "in an open place." If, however, the text is right—as is not impossible—the open place is a threshing-floor close to the gate. See the commentaries.

Burton Scott Easton


op-er-a’-shun (ma‘ashe, "work"; energeia, energema, "energy"): Twice used in the Old Testament of God’s creative work (Ps 28:4,5; Isa 5:12). The Holy Spirit’s inworking and power are manifest in the bestowal of spiritual gifts on individuals and on the church (1Co 12:6 the King James Version), and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, through which energy or operation of God those dead in sins are, through faith, raised to newness of life (Col 2:12 the King James Version).


o’-fel (ha-‘ophel (2Ch 27:3; 33:14; Ne 3:26 f; 11:21; and without article, Isa 32:14 and Mic 4:8; also 2Ki 5:24)):

1. Meaning of Name:

There has been considerable divergence of opinion with regard to the meaning of this name. Thus, in all the references given above with the article, the Revised Version (British and American) has simply "Ophel," but the King James Version adds in margin "the tower"; in Isa 32:14, "the hill" with margin "Ophel," but the King James Version "the forts," margin "clifts"; Mic 4:8, "the hill," margin "Hebrew: Ophel," but the King James Version "the stronghold"; 2Ki 5:24, "the hill," margin "Hebrew: Ophel," but the King James Version "the tower," margin "secret place." It is true that the other occurrences of the word in 1Sa 5:9,12; 6:5 f, where it is translated "tumors," and Hab 2:4, where a verbal form is translated "puffed up," seem to imply that one meaning assigned to the root may be that of "swelling." Recently Dr. Burney (PEF, January, 1911) has produced strong arguments in favor of Ophel, when used as the name of a locality, meaning "fortress."

2. Three Ophels:

Three places are known to have received this name:

(1) A certain place on the east hill of Jerusalem, South of the temple; to this all the passages quoted above—except one—refer.

(2) The "Ophel," translated "hill," situated apparently in Samaria (compare 2Ki 5:3), where Gehazi took his ill-gotten presents from the hands of the servants of Naaman the Syrian. The translation "tower" would suit the sense at least as well. It was some point probably in the wall of Samaria, perhaps the citadel itself.

(3) The third reference is not Biblical, but on the Moabite Stone, an inscription of Mesha, king of Moab, contemporary with Omri. He says: "I built Q-R-CH-H (? Karhah), the wall of ye‘arim, and the wall of ‘Ophel and I built its gates and I built its towers."

In comparing the references to (1) and (3), it is evident that if Ophel means a "hill," it certainly was a fortified hill, and it seems highly probable that it meant some "artificial swelling in a fortification, e.g. a bulging or rounded keep or enceinte" (Burney, loc. cit.). Isa 32:14 reads, "The palace shall be forsaken; the populous city shall be deserted; the hill (Ophel) and the watch-tower shall be for dens for ever." Here we have palace, city and watch-tower, all the handiwork of the builder. Does it not seem probable that the Ophel belongs to the same category?

3. The Ophel of Jerusalem:

The situation of the Ophel of Jerusalem is very definitely described. It was clearly, from the references (Ne 3:26,27; 2Ch 27:3; 33:14), on the east hill South of the temple. Josephus states (Josephus, Jewish Wars, V, iv, 2) that the eastern wall of the city ran from Siloam "and reaches as far as a certain place which they called Ophlas when it was joined to the eastern cloister of the temple." In BJ, V, vi, 1, it states that "John held the temple and the parts thereto adjoining, for a great way, as also ‘Ophla,’ and the Valley called the ‘Valley of the Cedron.’ " It is noticeable that this is not identical with the "Acra" and "Lower City" which was held by Simon. There is not the slightest ground for applying the name Ophel, as has been so commonly done, to the whole southeastern hill. In the days of Josephus, it was a part of the hill immediately South of the temple walls, but the Old Testament references suit a locality nearer the middle of the southeastern hill. In the article ZION (which see) it is pointed out that that name does not occur (except in reference to the Jebusite city) in the works of the Chronicler, but that "the Ophel," which occurs almost alone in these works, is apparently used for it. Mic 4:8 margin seems to confirm this view: "O tower of the flock, the Ophel of the daughter of Zion." Here the "tower of the flock" may well refer to the shepherd David’s stronghold, and the second name appears to be a synonym for the same place.

Ophel then was probably the fortified site which in earlier days had been known as "Zion" or "the City of David." King Jotham "built much" "on the wall of Ophel" (2Ch 27:3). King Manasseh "built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate; and he compassed Ophel about with it, and raised it up to a very great height" (2Ch 33:14). It was clearly a fortified place of great importance, and its situation must have been so near that of the ancient "Zion" that scarcely any other theory is possible except that it occupied the site of that ancient fortress.

E. W. G. Masterman


o’-fer, o’-fir (’owphiyr (Ge 10:29), ‘owphir (1Ki 10:11), ‘ophir):

1. Scriptural References:

The 11th in order of the sons of Joktan (Ge 10:29 equals 1Ch 1:23). There is a clear reference also to a tribe Ophir (Ge 10:30). Ophir is the name of a land or city somewhere to the South or Southeast of Palestine for which Solomon’s ships along with Phoenician vessels set out from Ezion-geber at the head of the Gulf of Aqabah, returning with great stores of gold, precious stones and "almug"-wood (1Ki 9:28; 10:11; 2Ch 9:10; 1Ki 22:48; 2Ch 8:18). We get a fuller list of the wares and also the time taken by the voyage if we assume that the same vessels are referred to in 1Ki 10:22, "Once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks." The other products may not have been native to the land of Ophir, but it is certain that the gold at least was produced there. This gold was proverbial for its purity, as is witnessed by many references in the Old Testament (Ps 45:9; Job 28:16; Isa 13:12; 1Ch 29:4), and, in Job 22:24, Ophir is used for fine gold itself. In addition to these notices of Ophir, it is urged that the name. occurs also in two passages under the form "Uphaz" (Jer 10:9; Da 10:5).

2. Geographical Position:

At all times the geographical position of Ophir has been a subject of dispute, the claims of three different regions being principally advanced, namely

(1) India and the Far East,

(2) Africa,

(3) Arabia.

(1) India and the Far East.

All the wares mentioned are more or less appropriate to India, even including the fuller list of 1Ki 10:22. "Almug"-wood is conjectured to be the Indian sandal-wood. Another argument is based on the resemblance between the Septuagint form of the word (Sophera) and the Coptic name for India (Sophir). A closer identification is sought with Abhira, a people dwelling at the mouths of the Indus. Supara, an ancient city on the west coast of India near the modern Goa, is also suggested. Again, according to Wildman, the name denotes a vague extension eastward, perhaps as far as China.

(2) Africa.

This country is the greatest gold-producing region of the three. Sofala, a seaport near Mozambique on the east coast of Africa, has been advanced as the site of Ophir, both on linguistic grounds and from the nature of its products, for there all the articles of 1Ki 10:22 could be procured. But Gesenius shows that Sofala is merely the Arabic form of the Hebrew shephelah. Interest in this region as the land of Ophir was renewed, however, by Mauch’s discovery at Zimbabye of great ruins and signs of old Phoenician civilization and worked-out gold mines. According to Bruce (I, 440), a voyage from Sofala to Ezion-geber would have occupied quite three years owing to the monsoons.

(3) Arabia.

The claim of Southeastern Arabia as the land of Ophir has on the whole more to support it than that of India or of Africa. The Ophir of Ge 10:29 beyond doubt belonged to this region, and the search for Ophir in more distant lands can be made only on the precarious assumption that the Ophir of Ki is not the same as the Ophir of Gen. Of the various products mentioned, the only one which from the Old Testament notices can be regarded as clearly native to Ophir is the gold, and according to Pliny and Strabo the region of Southeastern Arabia bordering on the Persian Gulf was a famous gold-producing country. The other wares were not necessarily produced in Ophir, but were probably brought there from more distant lands, and thence conveyed by Solomon’s merchantmen to Ezion-geber. If the duration of the voyage (3 years) be used as evidence, it favors this location of Ophir as much as that on the east coast of Africa. It seems therefore the least assailable view that Ophir was a district on the Persian Gulf in Southeastern Arabia and served in old time as an emporium of trade between the East and West.

A. S. Fulton


of’-ni (ha-‘ophni; Aphne): A place in the territory of Benjamin (Jos 18:24). The modern Jifneh, in a fine vale West of the road to Nablus and 2 1/2 miles Northwest of Bethel, might suit as to position; but the change in the initial letter from ‘ain to jim is not easy. This is the Gophna of the rabbis (compare Josephus, Jewish Wars, III, iii, 5).


of’-ra (‘ophrah; Codex Vaticanus Aphra; Codex Alexandrinus Iephratha, etc.):

(1) A town in the territory allotted to Benjamin named between Parah and Chephar-ammoni (Jos 18:23). It is mentioned again in 1Sa 13:17. The Philistines who were encamped at Michmash sent out marauding bands, one of which went westward, another eastward, down "the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness"; the third "turned unto the way that leadeth to Ophrah, unto the land of Shual." This must have been northward, as Saul commanded the passage to the South. Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 5 Roman miles East of Bethel. A site which comes near to fulfilling these conditions is eT-Taiyebeh, which stands on a conical hill some 5 miles Northeast of Beitin. This is possibly identical with "Ephron" (2Ch 13:19), and "Ephraim" (Jn. 11:54).

(2) A city in the tribal lot of Manasseh West of Jordan. It is mentioned only in connection with Gideon, whose native place it was, and with his son Abimelech (Jud 6:11, etc.). It was, indeed, family property, belonging to Joash the Abiezrite, the father of Gideon. It was apparently not far from the plain of Esdraelon (Jud 6:33 f), so that Gideon and his kinsmen smarted under the near presence of the oppressing Midianites. Manasseh, of course, as bordering on the southern edge of the plain, was in close touch with the invaders. At Ophrah, Gideon reared his altar to Yahweh, and made thorough cleansing of the instruments of idolatry. After his great victory, he set up here the golden ephod made from the spoils of the enemy, which proved a snare to himself and to his house (Jud 8:27). Here he was finally laid to rest. It was at Ophrah that Abimelech, aspiring to the kingdom, put to death upon one stone three score and ten of his brethren, as possible rivals, Jotham alone escaping alive (Jud 9:5). Apparently the mother of Abimelech belonged to Shechem; this established a relationship with that town, his connection with which does not therefore mean that Ophrah was near it.

No quite satisfactory identification has yet been suggested. Conder (PEFS, 1876, 1971) quotes the Samaritan Chronicle as identifying Ferata, which is 6 miles West of Nablus, with an ancient Ophra, "and the one that suggests itself as most probably identical is Ophrah of the Abiezerite." But this seems too far to the South.

(3) A man of the tribe of Judah, son of Meonothai (1Ch 4:14).

W. Ewing


o-pin’-yun (dea‘, ce‘ippim): "Opinion" occurs only 5 times, thrice in Job (32:6,10,17) as the translation of dea‘, "knowledge," "opinion" (in the address of Elihu), and once of ce‘ippim, from ca‘aph, "to divide or branch out," hence, division or party, unsettled opinion (in the memorable appeal of Elijah, "How long halt ye between two opinions?" 1Ki 18:21, the American Standard Revised Version "How long go ye limping between the two sides?"). In Ecclesiasticus 3:24, we have, "For many are deceived by their own vain opinion" (hupolepsis, "a taking up," "a hasty judgment"), the Revised Version (British and American) The conceit of many hath led them astray.

W. L. Walker


op-o-bal’-sa-mum: the Revised Version margin in Ex 30:34.



o-presh’-un: Used in the King James Version to translate a variety of Hebrew words, all of which, however, agree in the general sense of wrong done by violence to others. There are a few cases where the reference is to the oppression of Israel by foreigners, as by their Egyptian masters (Ex 3:9; De 26:7), or by Syria (2Ki 13:4), or by an unmentioned nation (Isa 30:20 King James Version, margin). In all these cases the Hebrew original is lachats. But in the vast number of cases the reference is to social oppression of one kind or another within Israel’s own body. It is frequently theme of psalmist and prophet and wise man. The poor and weak must have suffered greatly at the hands of the stronger and more fortunate. The word lachats, various forms of the root ‘ashaq, and other words are used by the writers as they express their sorrow and indignation over the wrongs of their afflicted brethren. In his own sorrow, Job remembers the suffering of the oppressed (Job 35:9; 36:15); it is a frequent subject of song in the Psalms (Ps 12:5; 42:9; 43:2; 44:24; 55:3; 119:134); the preacher observes and reflects upon its prevalence (Ec 4:1; 5:8; 7:7 the King James Version); the prophets Amos (3:9), Isaiah (5:7; 59:13), Jeremiah (6:6; 22:17) and Ezekiel (22:7,29) thundered against it. It was exercised toward strangers and also toward the Israelites themselves, and was never wholly overcome. In Jas 2:6, "oppress" is the rendering of katadunasteuo, "to exercise harsh control over one," "to use one’s power against one."

William Joseph Mcglothlin


or: The word is used once for either (1Sa 26:10), and is still in poetic use in this sense; as in, "Without or wave or wind" (Coleridge); "Or the bakke or some bone he breketh in his dzouthe" (Piers Plowman (B), VII, 93; compare Merchant of Venice, III, ii, 65). It is also used with "ever" for before (Ps 90:2; Ecclesiasticus 18:19), which the American Standard Revised Version substitutes in Ec 12:6 (compare 12:1,2); So 6:12; Da 6:24.



(1) A divine utterance delivered to man, usually in answer to a request for guidance. So in 2Sa 16:23 for dabhar ("word," as in the Revised Version margin). The use in this passage seems to indicate that at an early period oracular utterances were sought from Yahweh by the Israelites, but the practice certainly fell into disuse at the rise of prophecy, and there are no illustrations of the means employed (1Sa 14:18,19,36-42, etc., belong rather to DIVINATION (which see)). In. the Revised Version margin of such passages as Isa 13:1, "oracle" is used in the titles of certain special prophecies as a substitute for BURDEN (which see) (massa’), with considerable advantage (especially in La 2:14).

(2) In heathen temples "oracle" was used for the chamber in which the utterances were delivered (naturally a most sacred part of the structure). This usage, coupled with a mistake in Hebrew philology (connecting debhir, "hinder part," with dibber, "speak"), caused English Versions of the Bible to give the title "oracle" to the Most Holy Place of the Temple, in 1Ki 6:5, etc., following the example of Aquila, Symmachus and the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) But the title is very unfortunate, as the Most Holy Place had nothing to do with the delivery of oracles, and the Revised Version (British and American) should have corrected (compare Ps 28:2 margin).

(3) In the New Testament English Versions of the Bible employs "oracle" as the translation of logion, "saying," in four places. In all, divine utterances are meant, specialized in Ac 7:38 as the Mosaic Law ("living oracles" equals "commandments enforced by the living God"), in Ro 3:2 as the Old Testament in general, and in Heb 5:12 as the revelations of Christianity (Heb 6:2,3). In 1Pe 4:11 the meaning is debated, but probably the command is addressed to those favored by a supernatural "gift of speech." Such men must keep their own personality in the background, adding nothing of their own to the inspired message as it comes to them.

Burton Scott Easton


sib’-i-lin, -lin.



or’-a-ter, o-ra’-shun: The word "orator" occurs twice:

(1) As the King James Version rendering of lachash; only Isa 3:3, "the eloquent orator," the King James Version margin "skilful of speech," where the Revised Version (British and American) rightly substitutes "the skillful enchanter." The word lachash is probably a mimetic word meaning "a hiss," "a whisper" and is used in the sense of "incantation" "charm." Hence, nebhon lachash means "skillful in incantation," "expert in magic." See DIVINATION; ENCHANTMENT.

(2) As the rendering of rhetor, the title applied to Tertullus, who appeared as the advocate of the Jewish accusers of Paul before Felix (Ac 24:1). The proceedings, as was generally the case in the provincial Roman courts, would probably be conducted in Latin, and under Roman modes of procedure, in which the parties would not be well versed; hence, the need of a professional advocate. Rhetor is here the equivalent of the older Greek sunegoros, "the prosecuting counsel," as opposed to the sundikos, "the defendant’s advocate."

Oration occurs only in Ac 12:21: "Herod .... made an oration unto them" (edemegorei pros autous). The verb demegoreo, "to speak in an assembly" (from demos, "people," agoreuo, "to harangue"), is often found in classical Greek, generally in a bad sense (Latin concionari); here only in the New Testament.

D. Miall Edwards



(1) pardec, from Old Persian, "a walled-in enclosure"; paradeisos, a word in classical Greek applied to the garden of Babylon (Diodorus Siculus xi.10) and to a game park (Xenophon, Anab. i.2, 7). See Ne 2:8, "forest," margin "park"; So 4:13, "orchard," margin "paradise" (of pomegranates); Ec 2:5, "parks," the King James Version "orchards"; see PARADISE.

(2) kepos, "garden" or "orchard": "a white thorn in an orchard" (Baruch 6:71).


or-dan’, or-di-na-shun (Latin ordinare, "to set in order" "to arrange"; in post-Augustan Latin "to appoint to office"; from ordo, gen. ordinis, "order," "arrangement"): In the King James Version the verb "to ordain" renders as many as 35 different words (11 Hebrew words in the Old Testament, 21 Greek words in Apocrypha and the New Testament, and 3 Latin words in Apocrypha). This is due to the fact that the English word has many shades of meaning (especially as used in the time the King James Version was made), of which the following are the chief:

(1) To set in order, arrange, prepare:

"All things that we ordained festival,

Turn from their office to black funeral."

—Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, IV, v, 84.

This meaning is now obsolete. It is found in the King James Version of Ps 132:17; Isa 30:33; Heb 9:6 (in each of which cases the Revised Version (British and American) or margin substitutes "prepare"); 1Ch 17:9 (the Revised Version (British and American) "appoint"); Ps 7:13 (the Revised Version (British and American) "maketh"); Hab 1:12 (also the Revised Version (British and American)).

(2) To establish, institute, bring into being: "When first this order (i.e. the Garter) was ordained, my Lord" (Shakespeare). So in 1Ki 12:32, "Jeroboam ordained a feast in the 8th month" (12:33); Nu 28:6; Ps 8:2,3; Isa 26:12; RAPC 2Es 6:49 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "preserve"); Sirach 7:15; Ga 3:19.

(3) To decree, give orders, prescribe:

"And doth the power that man adores

Ordain their doom "—Byron.

So Es 9:27, "The Jews ordained .... that they would keep these two days according to the writing thereof"; 1 Esdras 6:34; 2 Esdras 7:17; 8:14 the King James Version; Tobit 1:6; 8:7 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "command"); Additions to Esther 14:9; 1 Macc 4:59; 7:49; Ac 16:4; Ro 7:10 the King James Version; 1Co 2:7; 7:17; 9:14; Eph 2:10 the King James Version.

(4) To set apart for an office or duty, appoint, destine: "Being ordained his special governor" (Shakespeare). Frequent in EV. When the King James Version has "ordain" in this sense, the Revised Version (British and American) generally substitutes "appoint"; e.g. "He (Jesus) appointed (the King James Version "ordained") twelve, that they might be with him" (Mr 3:14). So 2Ch 11:15; Jer 1:5; Da 2:24; 1 Esdras 8:49; 1Ma 3:55; 10:20; Joh 15:16; Ac 14:23; 1Ti 2:7; Tit 1:5; Heb 5:1; 8:3. The Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "formedst" in The Wisdom of Solomon 9:2, "recorded" in Sirach 48:10, "become" in Ac 1:22, "written of" (margin "set forth") in Jude 1:4, but retains "ordain" in the sense of "appoint," "set apart," in 2Ki 23:5; 1Ch 9:22; 1 Esdras 8:23; Additions to Esther 13:6; Ac 10:42; 13:48; 17:31; Ro 13:1.

(5) To appoint ceremonially to the ministerial or priestly office, to confer holy orders on. This later technical or ecclesiastical sense is never found in English Versions of the Bible. The nearest approach is (4) above, but the idea of formal or ceremonial setting-apart to office (prominent in its modern usage) is never implied in the word.

Ordination: The act of arranging in regular order, especially the act of investing with ministerial or sacerdotal rank (ordo), the setting-apart for an office in the Christian ministry. The word does not occur in English Version of the Bible. The New Testament throws but little light on the origin of the later ecclesiastical rite of ordination. The 12 disciples were not set apart by any formal act on the part of Jesus. In Mr 3:14; Joh 15:16, the King James Version rendering "ordain" is, in view of its modern usage, misleading; nothing more is implied than an appointment or election. In Joh 20:21-23, we have indeed a symbolic act of consecration ("He breathed on them"), but "the act is described as one and not repeated. The gift was once for all, not to individuals but to the abiding body" (Westcott, at the place). In the Apostolic age there is no trace of the doctrine of an outward rite conferring inward grace, though we have instances of the formal appointment or recognition of those who had already given proof of their spiritual qualification.

(1) The Seven were chosen by the brethren as men already "full of the Spirit and of wisdom," and were then "appointed" by the Twelve, who prayed and laid their hands upon them (Ac 6:1-6).

(2) The call of Barnabas and Saul came direct from God (Ac 13:2, "the work whereunto I have called them"; Ac 13:4, they were "sent forth by the Holy Spirit"). Yet certain prophets and teachers were instructed by the Holy Spirit to "separate" them (i.e. publicly) for their work, which they did by fasting and praying and laying on of hands (Ac 13:3). But it was utterly foreign to Paul’s point of view to regard the church’s act as constituting him an apostle (compare Ga 1:1).

(3) Barnabas and Paul are said to have "ordained," the Revised Version (British and American) "appointed" (cheirotonesantes, "elect," "appoint," without indicating the particular mode of appointment), elders or presbyters in every city with prayers and fasting (Ac 14:23). So Titus was instructed by Paul to "appoint elders in every city" in Crete (Tit 1:5).

(4) The gift of Timothy for evangelistic work seems to have been formally recognized in two ways:

(a) by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery (1Ti 4:14),

(b) by the laying on of the hands of Paul himself (2Ti 1:6). The words "Lay hands hastily on no man" (1Ti 5:22) do not refer to an act of ordination, but probably to the restoration of the penitent. The reference in Heb 6:2 is not exclusively to ordination, but to all occasions of laying on of hands (see HANDS, IMPOSITION OF). From the few instances mentioned above (the only ones found in the New Testament), we infer that it was regarded as advisable that persons holding high office in the church should be publicly recognized in some way, as by laying on of hands, fasting, and public prayer. But no great emphasis was laid on this rite, hence, "it can hardly be likely that any essential principle was held to be involved in it" (Hort, The Christian Ecclesia, 216). It was regarded as an outward act of approval, a symbolic offering of intercessory prayer, and an emblem of the solidarity of the Christian community, rather than an indispensable channel of grace for the work of the ministry. (For the later ecclesiastical doctrine and rite see Edwin Hatch’s valuable article on "Ordination" in the Dictionary of Christian Antiquity)

D. Miall Edwards


or’-der (‘arakh, "to arrange"; tassein ( diatassein, taxis, tagma)): "Order" in Biblical phrases may indicate

(1) arrangement in rows,

(2) sequence in time,

(3) classification and organization,

(4) likeness or manner,

(5) regulation, direction or command, or

(6) the declaring of a will.

In many passages it is difficult if not impossible to determine from the English text alone in which of these senses the word is used.

1. Arrangement in Rows:

The fundamental idea suggested by the Hebrew, Greek and English words is that of arrangement in rows. Thus "order" is used in the Bible of arranging wood for an altar (Le 1:7; 1Ki 18:33; compare Hebrew Ge 22:9; Isa 30:33); of laying out flax-stalks for drying (Jos 2:6); of preparing offerings (Le 1:8,12; compare Lu 6:5; Jud 6:26); of arranging lamps (Ex 27:21; 39:37; Le 24:3,4; compare Ps 132:17); of placing the shewbread on the table (Ex 40:4,23; Le 6:12; 24:8; 2Ch 13:11); of drawing up the battle array (1Ch 12:38 (Hebrew 39, ‘adhar)); and of arranging weapons in order for battle (Jer 46:3, the American Standard Revised Version "prepare"). As a verb "to order" in the older versions usually has the obsolete sense "to arrange" and not the more usual English meanings, "to demand" or "to direct." Thus: "In the tent of meeting shall Aaron order it" (Le 24:4, the American Standard Revised Version "keep in order"); "Order ye the buckler and shield" (Jer 46:3; compare Ps 119:133; Job 23:4, the American Standard Revised Version "set in order"; Judith 2:16; The Wisdom of Solomon 8:1; 15:1; Ecclesiasticus 2:6). The Hebrew pa‘am (literally, "hoof-beat," "occurrence," "repetition") in the plural conveys the idea of an architectural plan (Eze 41:6). Another word, shalabh, literally, "to join," in connection with the tabernacle, has in some versions been translated as including the idea of orderly arrangement (Ex 26:17). The word "order" standing by itself may mean orderly or proper arrangement (1 Esdras 1:10; The Wisdom of Solomon 7:29; 1 Macc 6:40; Col 2:5). Akin to the idea of arranging things in a row is that of arranging words (Job 33:5; 37:19; Ps 5:3), of recounting things in order (Isa 44:7; Lu 1:1 the King James Version (diatassein); Lu 1:3; Ac 11:4 (kathexes)), of setting forth a legal case (Job 23:4; 13:18; compare Ps 50:21). From the idea of arranging in order for the purpose of comparison the Hebrew ‘arakh acquires the meaning "to compare" (Isa 40:18; Ps 89:7). This is clearly the meaning of ‘en ‘arokh ‘elekha (Ps 40:5 (Hebrew 6)), where "They cannot be set in order unto thee" must be interpreted to mean "There is nothing that can be compared unto thee."

2. Sequence in Time:

As the fundamental meaning of ‘arakh is arrangement in space, that of cadhar is order or sequence in time. In later Hebrew cedher was used in the sense of "program." In Job 10:22 lo’ cedharim, absence of regularity, in the description of the uncertain period that follows death probably means "confusion in time." (The Septuagint (pheggos) suggests, in the place of cedharim, a word for "light," possibly tsohorayim.) In the New Testament we find "order" used of time in connection with the resurrection of the dead (1Co 15:23 (tagma)) and of a succession of places visited (Ac 18:23 (kathexes)). The phrase "in order unto" (Ps 119:38) expresses causal sequence and hence, purpose.

3. Classification and Organization:

The idea of classification is present in the Hebrew taqan, translated "set in order," with reference to a collection of proverbs (Ec 12:9). The same stem is used with reference to the arranging of singers before the altar (Hebrew Ecclesiasticus 47:9), The classification of priests according to their service is spoken of as "ordering" (1Ch 24:3,19, Hebrew paqadh). Next to the high priests ranked priests of the second order (mishneh, 2Ki 23:4; compare 25:18 parallel Jer 52:24). The related concept of organization is present where the Hebrew kun (literally, "to establish".) is translated "order" (Isa 9:7 the King James Version, "to establish" the American Standard Revised Version; Ps 119:133; 2Ch 29:35; compare 1 Macc 16:14). A similar use of the term "order" is found in the New Testament in connection with the organization of the affairs of the church (1Co 16:1 (diatassein); Tit 1:5 (epidiorthoo); 1Co 11:34).

4. Likeness or Manner:

"Order," in the sense of likeness or manner, is used in the phrase "after the order of Melchisedek" to translate the Hebrew ‘al dibherath, or rather the archaic form ‘al dibherathi (Ps 110:4), which in other passages is translated "because of" (compare Ec 3:18; 7:14; 8:2). This well-known phrase is rendered in Septuagint kata ten taxin, a translation adopted in Heb 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:11,17, where the passage from Psalm is made the basis of an extended argument, in the course of which "order" is taken in the sense of "likeness" (Heb 7:16).

5. Regulation, Direction, Command:

In the sense of regulation, we find "order" as a translation of mishpaT (which is literally, "the ruling of a shopheT," whether as a judicial decree or legislative act) in connection with the conduct of priests (1Ch 6:32 (Hebrew 17); 2Ch 30:16; compare Lu 1:8; 1 Esdras 1:6), and with reference to the Nazirite regulations in the story of Samson (Jud 13:12, the Revised Version (British and American) "manner"), church services (1Co 14:40) and, in the older English VSS, with reference to other ritual matters (1Ch 15:13; 23:31; 2Ch 8:14, the American Standard Revised Version "ordinance"). The phrase ‘al yadh, literally, "according to the hand of," translated in Ezr 3:10; 1Ch 25:2 b, 3,6 twice in various ways, means "under the direction of," or "under the order of," as translated in the last instance. The modern sense of "command" is suggested here and in several other instances (1 Esdras 8:10; 1 Macc 9:55). He "that ordereth his conversation aright" (sam derekh, Ps 50:23) is probably one who chooses the right path and directs his steps along it. "Who shall order the battle?" (1Ki 20:14) is corrected in the American Standard Revised Version: "Who shall begin the battle?" (compare 2Ch 13:3, Hebrew ‘acar, literally, "to bind," hence, "to join" or "begin"; compare proelium committere).

6. Declaring of Last Will:

The phrase "to set one’s house in order" (Isa 38:1 parallel 2Ki 20:1; 2Sa 17:23), used of Hezekiah and Ahithophel, in contemplation of death, means to give final instructions to one’s household or to make one’s will. The Hebrew tsawah used in this phrase is the stem found in the later Hebrew tsawwa’ah, "a verbal will" (Babha’ Bathra’ 147a, 151b; BDB). Great moral weight was attached in Biblical times to the charges laid upon a household by a deceased father or remoter ancestor, not only as to the disposition of property but also as to personal conduct. (Compare the case of the Rechabites, where the same Hebrew expression is used, tsiwwah ‘alenu, Jer 35:6.)

Nathan Isaacs



1. Old Testament Use:

This word generally represents chuqqah, something prescribed, enactment, usually with reference to matters of ritual. In the King James Version the same word is frequently translated by "statute" or "statutes," which is also the rendering of a similar Hebrew word, namely, choq. the Revised Version (British and American) generally retains "ordinance," but sometimes substitutes "statute" (e.g. Ex 18:20; Ps 99:7). In one instance the Revised Version (British and American) renders "set portion" (Eze 45:14). The word generally has a religious or ceremonial significance. It is used for instance in connection with the Passover (Ex 12:43; Nu 9:14). According to Ex 12:14, the Passover was "an ordinance for ever," i.e. a permanent institution. In the plural the word is often employed, along with such terms as commandments, laws, etc., with reference to the different prescriptions of the Deuteronomic and Priestly codes (De 6:1,2; Le 18:4).

In 11 passages (Ex 15:25; Jos 24:25; 1Sa 30:25; 2Ki 17:34,37; 2Ch 33:8; 35:13; Ps 119:91; Isa 58:2 twice; Eze 11:20) "ordinance" is the rendering of mishpaT, judgment, decision or sentence by a judge or ruler. In the Book of the Covenant (Ex 20:22-23:33) the term "judgments" denotes civil, as contrasted with ritual, enactments. In 2Ki 17:34 the King James Version employs "manners" and "ordinances" as renderings of this word. In 3 passages (Le 18:30; 22:9; Mal 3:14) "ordinance" is the translation of mishmereth, "charge," which the Revised Version (British and American) restores. In one instance (Ne 10:32) ordinance renders mitswah, "commandment," while in Ezr 3:10 the King James Version the phrase "after the ordinance of David" represents a Hebrew phrase which literally means "upon the hands of David," i.e. under the guidance or direction of David.

2. New Testament Use:

In the New Testament, "ordinance" renders different Greek words, namely,

(1) dikaioma, in Lu 1:6 and Heb 9:1,10. The word means literally, "anything declared right"; but in these passages ceremonial and religious regulation;

(2) dogma, in Eph 2:15; Col 2:14. In the New Testament this word always means a decree or edict (Ac 17:7);

(3) paradosis, in 1Co 11:2 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "traditions";

(4) ktisis, "setting up," "institution" in 1Pe 2:13. The term is used exclusively of the action of God. Peter implies that institutions, apparently human, such as the family and the state, are of divine origin. The same doctrine is found in Ro 13:1.

T. Lewis


See ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 1.





In 2 Esdras 2:33 the King James Version for Mt. HOREB (which see; so the Revised Version (British and American)).


o’-reb, ze’-eb, zeb (‘orebh, "raven," especially "crow"), and (ze’ebh, "wolf") (Jud 7:25; 8:3; Ps 83:11, Isa 10:26 (Oreb only)): Two Midianite chieftains captured and beheaded by the Ephraimites, who brought their heads to Gideon.

1. Meaning of Names:

As to the meaning of the two names, both words are found in Arabic. Robertson Smith, Kinship, etc. (190 ff, 218 ff), says that the use of the names of animals as names of persons is a relic of totemism. But Noldeke (ZDMG, XL, 160 ff) and others hold that such a use shows a desire that those so named should be as disagreeable to their enemies as the plant or animal which the name denoted. Some again (e.g. Stade, Geschichte, 189 ff) maintain that the two names here are borrowed from localities and not vice versa, as Jud 7:25 implies. If so, we must take the names to be originally two places, apparently in Ephraim, for the words "beyond Jordan" in 7:25 contradict 8:4, where it is said that Gideon came to the Jordan and passed over. Moore (Jgs, 214) suggests that the two localities were near the junction with the Jordan of the stream that comes from Wady Far‘ah. The construction of the Hebrew allows of a translation "the rock (called) Oreb," and "the winepress (called) Zeeb."

2. The Battle of Oreb:

The account of a battle here is corroborated by Isa 10:26, a verse which mentions the "rock of Oreb," and suggests that the great defeat of the Midianites took place there (compare Isa 9:4). The passage in Isa 10:24-26 is prose, however, and is said to be late editing (see G.H. Box, Isa, 65). In Ps 83:11 (Hebrew 12) there is a prayer that God would make the "nobles" among the Psalmist’s enemies as Oreb and Zeeb.

David Francis Roberts


o’-ren (’oren; Aram, Alex. Aran): A son of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron (1Ch 2:25).





o-ri’-on: A brilliant constellation dedicated to Nimrod or Merodach.

See ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 11.


or’-na-ment (‘adhi, "adornment"): In common with all the Orientals, the Hebrews were very fond of wearing ornaments, and their tendency to extravagance of this kind often met with stern prophetic rebuke (Isa 3:16-24; Eze 13:18-20). On this subject, little is said in the New Testament apart from Jesus’ (Lu 7:25; 12:23) and James’ (Jas 2:2) invectives against meretricious estimates of moral character. Yet the employment of attractive attire receives sanction in the divine example of Eze 16:10-14.

Ornaments in general would include finely embroidered or decorated fabrics, such as the priest’s dress or the high-priestly attire, and the richly wrought veil, girdle and turban used by the wealthier class. But the term may be limited here to the various rings, bracelets and chains made of precious metals and more or less jeweled (compare Jer 2:32).

These latter, described in detail under their own titles, may be summarized here as finger-rings, particularly prized as seal-rings (Ge 38:18,25; Jer 22:24); arm-rings or bracelets (Ge 24:22; 2Sa 1:10); earrings (Ge 35:4; Ex 32:2); noserings (Ge 24:47; Eze 16:12); anklets or ankle-chains (Isa 3:16,18); head-bands or fillets or cauls (referred to in Isa 3:18 only), and necklaces or neck-chains (Ge 41:42; Eze 16:11).

Figurative: The universal devotion to ornament among the Orientals is the occasion for frequent Biblical allusions to the beauty and splendor of fine jewelry and attire. But everywhere, in divine injunctions, the emphasis of value is placed upon the beauty of holiness as an inward grace rather than on the attractions of outward ornament (Job 40:10; Ps 110:3; Joe 2:13; 1Ti 2:9,10; 1Pe 3:4). In grievous sorrow, all ornament was to be laid aside in token of mourning (Ex 33:4-6).

Leonard W. Doolan


or’-nan (1Ch 21:15).



or’-pa (‘orpah; for meaning see below): A Moabitess, wife of Mahlon, son of Elimelech and Naomi. Unlike her sister Ru she returned to her own people after escorting Naomi on her way to Judah (Ru 1:4 ). Her name is supposed to be derived from the Hebrew word for "neck" (‘oreph), and so to mean "stiff-necked" because of her turning-back from following her mother-in-law; others take it to mean "gazelle."


or’-fan: This word occurs once only in the Old Testament (La 5:3, where it stands for yathom, elsewhere rendered "fatherless," and in the Septuagint always orphanos); in the Apocrypha it occurs 3 times (2 Esdras 2:20; Tobit 1:8; 2 Macc 8:28). There is no clear case where it means the loss of both parents. The Scriptures devote considerable attention to the widow and orphan, and the idea is that the child is fatherless. It is not found in the King James Version of the New Testament; but the Greek word orphanos occurs twice, Joh 14:18 (the King James Version "comfortless," the Revised Version (British and American) "desolate," margin "orphans") and Jas 1:27 ("fatherless").


D. Miall Edwards


or-tho-si’-a (Orthosias; the King James Version Orthosias): The city to which Tryphon fled when he escaped from Dora, where he was besieged by Antiochus Sidetes (1 Macc 15:37). According to Pliny (NH, v.17) it lay South of the river Eleutherus, and North of the city of Tripolis. The Peutinger Tables place it 12 Roman miles North of Tripolis and 30 miles South of Antaradus on the Phoenician coast. Porter would place it on the southern bank of Nahr el-Barid.


o-za’-yas, o-sa’-yas (Osaias; Codex Vaticanus omits): In 1 Esdras 8:48 a corruption of Jeshaiah (compare Ezr 8:19).


o-ze’-a, o-se’-a: In 2 Esdras 13:40 equals HOSHEA, king of Israel (which see).


o-ze’-as, o-se’-as: "Osee" in 2 Esdras 1:39; the prophet Hosea.


o’-ze, o’-se (Hosee): the King James Version in Ro 9:25; the prophet Hosea (thus the Revised Version (British and American)).


o-she’-a, o’-she-a (the Revised Version (British and American) "Hoshea" (Nu 13:8,16)): The original name of Joshua, the son of Nun, changed by Moses (Nu 13:16) from Hoshea (hoshea‘, "help") to Joshua (yehoshua‘, "help of Yahweh").



os-nap’-ar (Ezr 4:10).



os’-pra (‘ozniyah; haliaetos; Latin Pandion haliaetus): A large hawk preferring a diet of fish. The word is found in the list of abominations only. See Le 11:13; De 14:12. The osprey was quite similar in appearance to some of the smaller eagles, and by some it is thought that the short-toed eagle is intended. But the eagle and the gier-eagle had been specified, and on account of the osprey plunging into water for food and having feet bare to the lower leg-joint and plumage of brighter and more distinctive marking, it seems very probable that it was recognized as a distinctive species, and so named separately. Moreover, the osprey was not numerous as were other hawks and eagles. It was a bird that lived almost wholly on fish, and these were not plentiful in the waters of Palestine. This would tend to make it a marked bird, so no doubt the translation is correct as it stands, as any hawk that lived on fish would have been barred as an article of diet (see Tristram, Natural History of the Bible, 182; also Studers, Birds of North America, p. 16).

Gene Stratton-Porter


os’-i-fraj (perec; gups; Let Ossifraga): The great bearded vulture known as the lammer-geier (Le 11:13; De 14:12 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "gier-eagle"). The Hebrew name perec means "to break." Let oasis, "bone," and frangere, "to break," indicate the most noticeable habit of the bird. It is the largest of the vulture family, being 3 1/2 ft. in length and 10 in sweep. It has a white head, black beard on the chin, and the part of the eye commonly called the "white" in most animals, which is visible in but few birds, in this family is pronounced and of a deep angry red, thus giving the bird a formidable appearance. The back is grayish black, the feathers finely penciled, the shaft being white, the median line tawny. The under parts are tawny white and the feet and talons powerful. It differs from the vulture in that it is not a consistent carrion feeder, but prefers to take prey of the size captured by some of the largest eagles. It took its name from the fact that after smaller vultures and eagles had stripped a carcass to the last shred of muscle, the lammergeier then carried the skeleton aloft and dropped it repeatedly until the marrow from the broken bones could be eaten. It is also very fond of tortoise, the meat of which it secures in the same manner. As this bird frequents Southern Europe, it is thought to be the one that mistook the bald head of Aeschylus, the poet, for a stone and let fall on it the tortoise that caused his death. This bird also attacks living prey of the size of lambs, kids and hares. It is not numerous and does not flock, but pairs live in deep gorges and rocky crevices. It builds an enormous nest, deposits one pinkish or yellowish egg, and the young is black. It requires two years to develop the red eyes, finely penciled plumage and white head of the adult bird. It was included among the abominations because of its diet of carrion.

Gene Stratton-Porter


os’-tra-ka: The word ostracon ("potsherd," Hebrew cheres) occurs in Job 2:8 (Septuagint), kai elaben ostrakon, "and he took him a potsherd." Earthen vessels were in universal use in antiquity (they are twice mentioned in the New Testament: skeue ostrakina (2Co 4:7; 2Ti 2:20)), and the broken fragments of them, which could be picked up almost anywhere, were made to serve various purposes. Upon the smoothest of these pieces of unglazed pottery the poorest might write in ink his memoranda, receipts, letters or texts.

1. Hebrew Ostraca:

A fortunate discovery at Samaria (1910), made among the ruins of Ahab’s palace, has brought to light 75 Hebrew ostraca inscribed with ink, in the Phoenician character, with accounts and memoranda relating to private matters and dating probably from the time of Ahab. Their historical contribution, aside from the mention of many names of persons and places, is slender, but for ancient Hebrew writing and to a less extent for Hebrew words and forms they are of value, while the fact that in them we possess documents actually penned in Israel in the 9th century BC gives them extraordinary interest. The nature of ostraca tends to their preservation under conditions which would quickly destroy parchment, skin or papyrus, and this discovery in Palestine encourages the hope of further and more significant finds.

2. Greek Ostraca:

Greek ostraca in large quantities have been found in Egypt, preserving documents of many kinds, chiefly tax receipts. The texts of some 2,000 of these have been published, principally by Wilcken (Griechische Ostraka, 2 volumes, 1899), and serve to illustrate in unexpected ways the everyday Greek speech of the common people of Egypt through the Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine periods. Like the papyri, they help to throw light on New Testament syntax and lexicography, as well as on ancient life in general.

3. New Testament Ostraca:

It is said that Cleanthes the Stoic, being too poor to buy papyrus, used to write on ostraca, but no remains of classical literature have been found on the ostraca thus far discovered. In some instances, however, Christian literary texts are preserved upon ostraca. Some years ago Bouriant bought in Upper Egypt 20 ostraca, probably of the 7th century, inscribed with the Greek text of parts of the Gospels. The ostraca are of different sizes, and preserve among others one long continuous passage (Lu 22:40-71), which runs over 10 of the pieces. The ostraca contain from 2 to 9 verses each, and cover Mt 27:31,32; Mr 5:40,41 (9:3); 9:17,18,22; 15:21; Lu 12:13-16; 22:40-71; Joh 1:1-9; 1:14-17; 18:19-25; 19:15-17. The texts are in 3 different hands, and attest the interest of the poor in the gospel in the century of the Arab conquest. Another late ostracon has a rough drawing labeled "St. Peter the evangelist," perhaps in allusion to the Gospel of Peter.

4. Coptic Ostraca:

Coptic ostraca, too, are numerous, especially from the Byzantine period, and of even more interest for Christian history than the Greek. A Sa‘idic ostracon preserves the pericope on the woman taken in adultery (Joh 7:53-8:11), which is otherwise unattested in the Sa‘idic New Testament. A Christian hymn to Mary, akin to the canticles of Luke, and some Christian letters have been found. The work of W.E. Crum on the Coptic ostraca is of especial importance. See, further, Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 1910; Lyon, Harvard Theol. Review, January, 1911.

Edgar J. Goodspeed


os’-trich (ya‘anah; strouthos; Latin Struthio camelus): The largest bird now living. The Hebrew words ya‘anah, which means "greediness," and bath ha-ya‘anah, "daughter of greediness," are made to refer to the indiscriminate diet of the ostrich, to which bird they apply; and again to the owl, with no applicability. The owl at times has a struggle to swallow whole prey it has taken, but the mere fact that it is a night hunter forever shuts it from the class of greedy and promiscuous feeders. The bodies of owls are proverbially lean like eagles. Neither did the owl frequent several places where older versions of Jer and Isa place it; so the translations are now correctly rendered "ostrich." These birds came into the Bible because of their desert life, the companions they lived among there, and because of their night cries that were guttural, terrifying groans, like the roaring of lions. The birds were brought into many pictures of desolation, because people dreaded their fearful voices. They horned on the trackless deserts that were dreaded by travelers, and when they came feeding on the fringe of the wilderness, they fell into company with vulture, eagle, lion, jackal and adder, and joined their voices with the night hawks and owls. For these reasons no birds were more suitable for drawing strong comparisons from.

1. Physical Peculiarities:

They attained a height ranging from 6 to 8 ft., and weighed from 200 to 300 lbs. The head was small with large eyes having powerful vision, and protected by lashes. The neck was long, covered with down, and the windpipe showed, while large bites could be seen to slide down the gullet. The legs were bare, long, and the muscles like steel from the long distances covered in desert travel. The foot was much like the cloven hoof of a beast. The inner toe was 7 inches long, with a clawlike hoof, the outer, smaller with no claw. With its length and strength of leg and the weight of foot it could strike a blow that saved it from attack by beasts smaller than a leopard. The wings were small, the muscles soft and flabby. They would not bear the weight of the bird, but the habit of lifting and beating them proved that this assisted in attaining speed in running (compare Xen. Anab. i.5,2, 3). The body was covered with soft flexible feathers, the wings and tail growing long plumes, for which the bird has been pursued since the beginning of time. These exquisite feathers were first used to decorate the headdress and shields of desert chieftains, then as decorations for royalty, and later for hat and hair ornaments. The badge of the Prince of Wales is three white ostrich plumes. The females are smaller, the colors gray and white, the males a glossy black, the wing and tail plumes white. The ostrich has three physical peculiarities that stagger scientists. It has eyelashes, developed no doubt to protect the eyes from the dust and sand of desert life. On the wings are two plumeless shafts like large porcupine quills. These may be used in resisting attack. It also has a bladder like a mammal, that collects uric acid, the rarest organ ever developed in a feathered creature.

2. Eggs and Care of Young:

These birds homed on the deserts of Arabia and at the lower end of the great Salt Sea. Here the ostrich left her eggs on the earth and warmed them in the sand. That they were not hard baked was due to the fact that they were covered for protection during the day and brooded through the cooler nights. The eggs average 3 lbs. weight. They have been used for food in the haunts of the ostrich since the records of history began, and their stout shells for drinking-vessels. It is the custom of natives on finding a nest to take a long stick and draw out an egg. If incubation has advanced enough to spoil the eggs for use, the nest is carefully covered and left; if fresh, they are eaten, one egg being sufficient for a small family. No doubt these were the eggs to which Job referred as being tasteless without salt (Job 6:6). The number of eggs in the nest was due to the fact that the birds were polygamous, one male leading from 2 to 7 females, all of which deposited their eggs in a common nest. When several females wanted to use the nest at the same time, the first one to reach it deposited her egg in it, and the others on the sand close beside. This accounts for the careless habits of the ostrich as to her young. In this communal nest, containing from 2 to 3 dozen eggs, it is impossible for the mother bird to know which of the young is hers. So all of them united in laying the eggs and allowing the father to look after the nest and the young. The bird first appears among the abominations in Le 11:16 the Revised Version (British and American) the King James Version "owl"; De 14:16, the Revised Version (British and American) "little owl," the King James Version "owl." This must have referred to the toughness of grown specimens, since there was nothing offensive in the bird’s diet to taint its flesh and the young tender ones were delicious meat. In his agony, Job felt so much an outcast that he cried:

"I am a brother to jackals,

And a companion to ostriches" (Job 30:29).

Again he records that the Almighty discoursed to him about the ostrich in the following manner:

"The wings of the ostrich wave proudly;

But are they the pinions and plumage of love?" etc.

(Job 39:13-18).

3. Old Testament References:

The ostrich history previously given explains all this passage save the last two verses, the first of which is a reference to the fact that the Arabs thought that the ostrich was a stupid bird, because, when it had traveled to the point of exhaustion, it hid its head and thought its body safe, and because some of its eggs were found outside the nest. The second was due to a well-known fact that, given a straight course, the ostrich could outrun a horse. The birds could attain and keep up a speed of 60 miles an hour for the greater part of half a day and even longer, hence, it was possible to capture them only by a system of relay riders (Xenophon, op. cit.) When Isaiah predicted the fall of Babylon, he used these words: "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and ostriches shall dwell there, and wild goats shall dance there" (Isa 13:21). Because this was to be the destruction of a great city, located on the Euphrates River and built by the fertility and prosperity of the country surrounding it, and the ruins those of homes, the bird indicated by every natural condition would be the owl. The wild goats clambering over the ruins would be natural companions and the sneaking wolves—but not the big bird of daytime travel, desert habitation, accustomed to constant pursuit for its plumage. Exactly the same argument applies to the next reference by the same writer (Isa 34:13). "And the wild beasts of the desert shall meet with the wolves, and the wild goat shall cry to his fellow; yea, the night monster shall settle there, and shall find her a place of rest" (Isa 34:14). "The beasts of the field shall honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen" (Isa 43:20). Here we find the ostrich in its natural location, surrounded by creatures that were its daily companions. The next reference also places the bird at home and in customary company: "Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wolves shall dwelI there, and the ostriches (the King James Version "owls") shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited forever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation" (Jer 50:39).

"Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones:

The daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness" (La 4:3).

This reference is made to the supposed cruelty of the ostrich in not raising its young.

Gene Stratton-Porter


oth’-ni (‘othni, meaning unknown): A son of Shemaiah, a Korahite Levite (1Ch 26:7).


oth’-ni-el (‘othni’el): A hero in Israel, son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. He conquered Kiriath-sepher, later known as Debir, in the territory of Judah in the days of Joshua, and was given the daughter of Caleb, Achsah, to wife as a reward (Jos 15:17, parallel found in Jud 1:13). He later smote Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, whom the children of Israel had served 8 years, and thus not only saved the Israelites, but by reviving national sentiment among them (compare Ant, V, iv, 3), and reestablishing government, became the first of those hero-rulers known as "judges." The effects of his victory lasted an entire generation (40 years, Jud 3:9-11). He had a son named Hathath (1Ch 4:13) and probably another named Meonothai (compare recensio Luciana of Septuagint, at the place). In the days of David we find a family bearing the name of Othniel, from which came Heldai the Metophathite, captain of the twelfth month (1Ch 27:15).

Nathan Isaacs


oth-o-ni’-as (Othonias): One of those who had taken "strange wives" (1 Esdras 9:28) equals "Mattaniah" of Ezr 10:27.


ouch’-ez, -iz (mishbetsoth (Ex 28:11,13,14,25; 39:6,13,16,18) the American Standard Revised Version "settings," but in Ex 39:13, "inclosings"): The secondary meaning of this now archaic word is the gold or silver setting of a precious stone. In Exodus, where it occurs 8 times, it is clear that the gold settings of the engraved stones forming the breast-plate of the high priest are intended; the onyx stones forming the fibula or brooch for holding together the two sides of the breast-plate being said to be "enclosed in ouches (settings) of gold" (Ex 39:6). Not only were these two onyx or beryl stones so set, but the 12 stones forming the front of the breast-plate were "inclosed in gold in their settings" (Ex 28:20). The same word occurs in Ps 45:13, where the king’s daughter is said to have her clothing "in-wrought with gold," i.e. embroidered with gold thread or wire. Ex 39:3 tells us how this wire was produced. From this fact it may be inferred that the settings of the breast-plate were not solid pieces of gold, but were formed of woven wire wreathed round the stones, in a sort of filigree.


W. Shaw Caldecott


out’-kast: Represents some form of dachah, or nadhach, both meaning "thrust out." In Jer 30:17 "outcast" means "thrust out of society," "degraded person"; elsewhere it means "exile" (Ps 147:2; Isa 16:3 f; Jer 49:36).


out’-er: This adjective is used 12 times by Ezekiel of the outside court of the temple. In Matthew we find it 3 times (8:12; 22:13; 25:30) in "outer darkness" (to skotos to exoteron), which typifies the utter darkness of the doom of the lost.


out’-go-ing: In Ps 65:8, "Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice," the Hebrew is motsa’. The word (from yatsa’," to go forth") refers to the "going forth" of the sun, and so means "east" (as in Ps 75:6). The connection of motsa’ with "evening" is therefore zeugmatic, but the meaning is clear and there are extra-Biblical parallels (compare "the two Orients"). In Jos 17:18, the King James Version uses "outgoings" for the Hebrew totsa’oth (also from yatsa’), where the meaning is "extremity" (the Revised Version (British and American) "goings out," as in Nu 34:5, etc.). "Outwent" occurs in the margin of Mr 6:33.

Burton Scott Easton


out-land’-ish (Ne 13:26, the King James Version "Him did outlandish women cause to sin") "Outlandish" in modern English is colloquial only and with the sense "utterly extraordinary," but the King James Version uses it in the literal meaning "out of the land," "foreign," the English Revised Version "strange women," the American Standard Revised Version "foreign women," Hebrew nokhri, "foreign."


out’-raj, out-ra’-jus: The noun (from the French outre plus age, "that which goes beyond") only in the heading to Ps 10 the King James Version; the adjective in Pr 27:4, the King James Version and the English Revised Version, for sheTeph, "flood." "Anger is overwhelming" (American Standard Revised Version), is much better.


out’-rodz (exodeuo, "to go forth," "to make a military expedition"; the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) in 1 Macc 15:41, "horsemen .... that they might make outroads upon the ways of Judah"; 1 Esdras 4:23, the Revised Version (British and American) "goeth forth to make outroads"): "Outroads" is obsolete, but its opposite, "inroads," is still good English.


out’-werd, (exo, "outside," "without," "out of doors"): The body, subject to decay and death, in distinction from the inner man, the imperishable spiritual life which "is renewed day by day" (2Co 4:16); also the body as the object of worldly thought and pride in external dress and adornment (1Pe 3:3).






o-ver-charj’:Lu 21:34, "lest haply your hearts be overcharged with drunkenness" (baruno, "burden," here with the force "be occupied with"); 2Co 2:5, the King James Version "that I may not overcharge you" (epibareo, "overload"), the Revised Version (British and American) "that I press not too heavily."



o-ver-pas’:A special translation of the very common verb ‘abhar, "to pass over," found in English Versions of the Bible of Ps 57:1 and Isa 26:20 in the sense "to pass by," and in Jer 5:28 with the meaning "to overflow."


o’-ver-plus: Le 25:27, for ‘adhaph, "excess."


o-ver-se’-er, or -ser’:One who overlooks, inspects; in the Old Testament from natsach (2Ch 2:18; in 2Ch 34:13 the Revised Version (British and American) changes to "set forward"), and paqadh (Ge 39:4,5; 2Ch 34:12,17; the Revised Version (British and American) has this word for the King James Version "officers" in Ge 41:34, and for "rulers" in 1Ch 26:32); in the New Testament once for episkopos, in Ac 20:28, where the Revised Version (British and American) has "bishops" (margin "overseers"; compare 1Pe 5:2).



oul (bath ha-ya‘anah; Latin Ulula): The name of every nocturnal bird of prey of the Natural Order Striges. These birds range from the great horned owl of 2 feet in length, through many subdivisions to the little screech-owl of 5 inches. All are characterized by very large heads, many have ear tufts, all have large eyes surrounded by a disk of tiny, stiff, radiating feathers. The remainder of the plumage has no aftershaft. So these birds make the softest flight of any creature traveling on wing. A volume could be written on the eye of the owl, perhaps its most wonderful feature being in the power of the bird to enlarge the iris if it wishes more distinct vision. There is material for another on the prominent and peculiar auditory parts. With almost all owls the feet are so arranged that two toes can be turned forward and two back, thus reinforcing the grip of the bird by an extra toe and giving it unusual strength of foot. All are night-hunters, taking prey to be found at that time, of size according to the strength. The owl was very numerous in the caves, ruined temples and cities, and even in the fertile valleys of Palestine. It is given place in the Bible because it was considered unfit for food and because people dreaded the cries of every branch of the numerous family. It appeared often, as most birds, in the early versions of the Bible; later translators seem to feel that it was used in several places where the ostrich really was intended (see OSTRICH). It would appear to a natural historian that the right bird could be selected by the location, where the text is confusing. The ostrich had a voice that was even more terrifying, when raised in the night, than that of the owl. But it was a bird of the desert, of wide range and traveled only by day. This would confine its habitat to the desert and the greenery where it joined fertile land, but would not bring it in very close touch with civilization. The owl is a bird of ruins, that lay mostly in the heart of rich farming lands, where prosperous cities had been built and then destroyed by enemies. Near these locations the ostrich would be pursued for its plumage, and its nesting conditions did not prevail. The location was strictly the owl’s chosen haunt, and it had the voice to fit all the requirements of the text. In the lists of abominations, the original Hebrew yanshuph, derived from a root meaning twilight, is translated "great owl" (see Le 11:17 and De 14:16). It is probable that this was a bird about 2 ft. in length, called the eagle-owl. In the same lists the word koc (nuktikorax) refers to ruins, and the bird indicated is specified as the "little owl," that is, smaller than the great owl—about the size of our barn owl. This bird is referred to as the "mother of ruins," and the translations that place it in deserted temples and cities are beyond all doubt correct. Qippoz (echinos) occurs once (Isa 34:15), and is translated "great owl" in former versions; lately (in the American Standard Revised Version) it is changed to "dart-snake" (the English Revised Version "arrowsnake"). In this same description lilith (onokentauros), "a specter of night," was formerly screech-owl, now it reads "night monster," which is more confusing and less suggestive. The owls in the lists of abominations (Le 11:17,18; De 14:16) are the little owl, the great owl and the horned owl. The only other owl of all those that produced such impressions of desolation in the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Job, and Micah is referred to in Ps 102:6:

"I am like a pelican of the wilderness;

I am become as an owl of the waste places."

Here it would appear that the bird habitual to the wilderness and the waste places, that certainly would be desert, would be the ostrich—while in any quotation referring to ruins, the owl would be the bird indicated by natural conditions.

Gene Stratton-Porter


(yanshuph; Septuagint ibis, or eibis): A member of the Palestine species of the family Strigidae. The great owl mentioned in the Bible was no doubt their largest specimen of the family, a bird fully 2 ft. in length, full feathered, with unusually large head and long ear tufts. It was a formidable and noble-appearing bird, with resounding voice. It was abundant among the ruins of temples, the tombs of Carmel, the caves of Gennesaret, and among the ruined cities of Southern Judah. It is included in the abomination lists of Le 11:17 and De 14:16.

See OWL.

Gene Stratton-Porter


(koc; nuktikorax; Latin Athene meridionalis): A night bird of prey distinguished by a round head, and extremely large eyes. The little owl is left in the Revised Version (British and American) only in the lists of abominations (see Le 11:17; De 14:16).

See OWL.






OX (1)


OX (2)

oks (Ox): One of the ancestors of Judith (Judith 8:1). The name is not Hebrew. Perhaps the Itala Ozi and the Syriac Uz point to the Hebrew Uzzi.





o’-zem (’otsem, meaning unknown):

(1) The 6th son of David (1Ch 2:15). Septuagint (Asom) and Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) suggest that the name should be pointed ‘atsom.

(2) A "son" of Jerahmeel (1Ch 2:25).



(1) (Ozeias, Ozias, Codex Vaticanus a b): The son of Micah, a Simeonite, one of the 3 rulers of Bethulia in the days of Judith (Judith 6:15,16; 7:23; 8:9 ff; 10:6).

(2) (Ozeias, Codex Vaticanus and Swete; the King James Version has Ezias (1 Esdras 8:2), following Codex Alexandrinus Ezias): An ancestor of Ezra (1 Esdras 8:2; 2 Esdras 1:2) equals "Uzzi" of Ezr 7:4; 1Ch 6:51.

(3) Head of a family of temple-servants who returned with Zerubbabel (1 Esdras 5:31) equals "Uzza" of Ezr 2:49; Ne 7:51.

(4) Greek form of UZZIAH (which see) in Mt 1:8,9 the King James Version. A king of Judah.

S. Angus


o’-zi-el (Ozeiel): An ancestor of Judith (Judith 8:1); another form of the Old Testament name "Uzziel."


oz’-ni (’ozni, "my hearing," or "my ear"): A "son" of Gad (Nu 26:16) equals "Ezbon" of Ge 46:16 (compare 1Ch 7:7).


oz’-nits (with the article ha’ozni (collective), "the Oznites"): Of the clan of Ozni (Nu 26:16).