pa’-a-ri (pa‘aray, "devotee of Peor"): One of David’s 37 valiant men (2Sa 23:35). Doubtless the "Naarai" of 1Ch 11:37.


pa-ka-ti-a’-na, pak-a-ti’-a-na (Pakatiane): About 295 AD, when the province of Asia was broken up, two new provinces were formed, Phrygia Prima (Pacatiana), of which Laodicea was "the chiefest city" (subscription to 1Ti the King James Version), and Phrygia Secunda (Salutaris).

See PHRYGIA, and HDB, III, 865.


pas (tsa‘adh): A step in 2Sa 6:13, hence, about one yard.


pa’-kon (Pachon): The name of a month mentioned in 3 Macc 6:38.


pad’-an (Ge 48:7; the King James Version Padan, padan). See next article.


pad’-an-a’-ram or p.-ar’-am (paddan ‘aram; Septuagint Mesopotamia tes Surias; the King James Version Padan-aram): In Ge 48:7, Paddan stands alone, but as the Septuagint, Sam, and Peshitta read "Aram" also, it must in this verse have dropped out of the Massoretic Text. In the time of Abraham, padanu occurs on the Babylonian contract-tablets as a land measure, to which we may compare the Arabic feddan or "ox-gang." In the Assyrian syllabaries it is the equivalent of iklu, "a field," so that Paddan-aram would mean "the field of Aram," and with this we may compare Ho 12:12 (Hebrew 12:13) and the use of the Hebrew sadheh in connection with Moab and Edom (Jud 5:4; Ru 1:6).

Furthermore, [‘padanu] and harranu are given as synonyms with the meaning of "road."

Paddan-aram occurs only in the Priestly Code (P), but it corresponds to the "Haran" of the older documents. The versions agree in translating both as Mesopotamia, and identify with the home of the patriarchs and the scene of Jacob’s exile the district of Haran to the East of the Upper Euphrates valley. More in harmony with the length of Jacob’s flight, as indicated by the time given (Ge 31:22,23), is Harran-el-‘Awamid, an ancient site 10 miles to the East of Damascus, which satisfies all the demands of history.


W .M. Christie


pad’-’-l (yathedh): De 23:13 (Hebrew 14), the Revised Version margin "shovel."


pa’-don (padhon, "redemption"): One of the Nethinim (see NETHINIM) who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:44; Ne 7:47); the "Phaleas" of 1 Esdras 5:29 (margin "Padon").


pa’-gi-el, pa’-ji-el, pa-gi’-el (pagh‘i’el, "God’s intervention"): Son of Ocran, of the tribe of Asher, among those enrolled by Moses at the numbering of Israel (Nu 1:13; 2:27). When the tabernacle was set up, the heads of the families of Israel "brought their offerings" in rotation, and Pagiel, as prince of his tribe, came on the 11th day (Nu 7:72). Nu 7:72-77 describes his offering. In the journeyings of Israel he was "over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher" (Nu 10:26), and possibly standard-bearer (compare Nu 10:14,22,25).

Henry Wallace


pa’-hath-mo’-ab (pachath mo’abh, "sheik of Moab"; in I Esdras 5:11; 8:31, "Phaath Moab"): A Jewish clan probably named after an ancestor of the above title. Part of the clan returned with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:6; compare Ne 7:11) under two family names, Jeshua and Joab; and a part came back with Ezra (Ezr 8:4). Hashub, a "son of Pahath-moab," is named among the repairers of both the wall and the "tower of the furnaces" at Jerusalem (Ne 3:11). It is the name of one of the signatories "sealing" the "sure covenant" of Ne 9:38 (Ne 10:14). Some of the sons of this name had taken "strange wives" (Ezr 10:30)

Henry Wallace


pa’-i (pa‘i; Phogor): The royal city of Hadad or Hadar, king of Edom (1Ch 1:50). The name is given as "Pau" (pa‘u) in Ge 36:39. There is no indication of its position. It is not identified.


pan (chul, chil, chebhel, chalah, chalchalah, ka’-ebh, ke’ebh, metsar, makh’obh, ‘amal, tsir; basanizo, ponos, odin): These words signifying various forms of bodily or mental suffering are generally translated "pain"; 28 out of the 34 passages in which the word is used are in the poetical or prophetical books and refer to conditions of mental disquiet or dismay due to the punishment of personal or national sin. There is only one instance where the word is used as a historic record of personal physical pain: the case of the wife of Phinehas (1Sa 4:19), but the same word tsir is used figuratively in Isa 13:8; 21:3; Da 10:16, and translated "pangs" or "sorrows." In other passages where we have the same comparison of consternation in the presence of God’s judgments to the pangs of childbirth, the word used is chebhel, as in Isa 66:7; Jer 13:21; 22:23; 49:24. In some of these and similar passages several synonyms are used in the one verse to intensify the impression, and are translated "pain," "pangs," and "sorrows," as in Isa 13:8.

The word most commonly used by the prophets is some form of chul or chil, sometimes with the addition "as of a woman in travail," as in Ps 48:6; Isa 26:18; Jer 6:24; 22:23; Mic 4:10. This pain is referred to the heart (Ps 55:4) or to the head (Jer 30:23; compare Jer 30:5,6). In Eze 30:4, it is the penal affliction of Ethiopia, and in 30:16, the King James Version "Sin (Tanis) shall have great pain" (the Revised Version (British and American) "anguish"); in Isa 23:5 Egypt is sorely pained at the news of the fall of Tyre. Before the invading host of locusts the people are much pained (Joe 2:6 the King James Version). Pain in the sense of toil and trouble in Jer 12:13 is the translation of chalah a word more frequently rendered grieving or sickness, as in 1Ki 14:1; Pr 23:35; So 2:5; Jer 5:3. The reduplicated form chalchalah is especially used of a twisting pain usually referred to the loins (Isa 21:3; Eze 30:4,9; Na 2:10).

Pain in the original meaning of the word (as it has come down to us through the Old French from the Latin poena) as a penalty inflicted for personal sin is expressed by the words ka’ebh or ke’abh in Job 14:22; 15:20, and in the questioning complaint of the prophet (Jer 15:18). As a judgment on personal sin pain is also expressed by makh’obh in Job 33:19; Jer 51:8, but this word is used in the sense of afflictions in Isa 53:3 in the expression "man of sorrows." The Psalmist (Ps 25:18) praying for deliverance from the afflictions which weighed heavily on him in turn uses the word ‘amal, and this word which primarily means "toil" or "labor," as in Ec 1:3, or "travail" as in Isa 53:11, is translated "painful" in Ps 73:16, as expressing Asaph’s disquiet due to his misunderstanding of the ways of Providence. The "pains of hell" (Ps 116:3 the King James Version), which got hold of the Psalmist in his sickness, is the rendering of the word metsar; the same word is translated "distress" in Ps 118:5. Most of these words have a primary physical meaning of twisting, rubbing or constricting.

In the New Testament, odin is translated "pain" (of death, the Revised Version (British and American) "pang") in Ac 2:24. This word is used to express any severe pain, such as that of travail, or (as in Aeschylus, Choephori, 211) the pain of intense apprehension. The verb from this, odunomai, is used by the Rich Man in the parable to describe his torment (the Revised Version (British and American) "anguish") (Lu 16:24). The related verb sunodino is used in Ro 8:22 and is translated "travailing in pain together." In much the same sense, the word is used by Euripides (Helena, 727).

In Re 12:2 the woman clothed with the sun (basanizomene) was in pain to be delivered; the verb (basanizo) which means "to torture" is used both in Mt 8:6 in the account of the grievously tormented centurion’s servant, and in the description of the laboring of the apostles’ boat on the stormy Sea of Galilee (Mt 14:24). The former of these seems to have been a case of spinal meningitis. This verb occurs in Thucydides vii.86 (viii.92), where it means "being put to torture." In the two passages in Revelation where pain is mentioned the word is ponos, the pain which affected those on whom the fifth vial was poured (16:10), and in the description of the City of God where there is no more pain (21:4). The primary meaning of this word seems to be "toil," as in Iliad xxi.525, but it is used by Hippocrates to express disease (Aphorisma iv.44).

Alexander Macalister


pan’-fool-nes (mochthos): In the summary of his missionary labors in 2Co 11:27 the King James Version, Paul uses this word. The Revised Version (British and American) renders it "travail," which probably now expresses its meaning more closely, as in modern usage "painfulness" is usually restricted to the condition of actual soreness or suffering, although we still use "painstaking" in the sense of careful labor. The Greek word is used for toil or excessive anxiety, as in Euripides (Medea, 126), where it refers to that care for her children which she had lost in her madness. Tyndale uses "painfulness" in 1 Joh 4:18 as the translation of kolasis, which the King James Version renders "torment" and the Revised Version (British and American) "punishment."

Alexander Macalister


pant (from Old French peinctre, frequentative of peindre, Latin pingo, "to paint"):

(1) From Hebrew verb mashach, "to smear," "to anoint," "to paint," describing the painting of interiors with vermilion, perhaps resembling lacquer: "ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion" (Jer 22:14). The shields of the Ninevite soldiers were red, presumably painted (Na 2:3).

(2) From noun pukh, "paint," "antimon," "stibium," "black mineral powder" used as a cosmetic, to lend artificial size and fancied beauty to the eye, always spoken of as a meretricious device, indicating light or unworthy character. Jezebel "painted her eyes, and attired her head" (2Ki 9:30, literally, "put pukh into her eyes"). To the harlot city Jerusalem, Jeremiah (4:30) says, "deckest thee ...., enlargest thine eyes with paint" (pukh). the King James Version renders "rentest thy face," as if the stain were a cut, or the enlarging done by violence.

(3) From verb kachal, "to smear," "to paint." Ezekiel says to Oholah-Oholibah (Judah-Israel), "didst wash thyself, paint (kachal) thine eyes," as the adulteress prepares herself for her paramour (Eze 23:40). The antimony, in an extremely fine powder (Arabic kuchl, from kachal), is placed in the eye by means of a very fine rod, bodkin, or probe, drawn between the edges of the eyelids. This distends the eye, and also increases its apparent size, the effect being increased by a line of stain drawn from the corner, and by a similar line prolonging the eyebrow.


Philip Wendell Crannell



See CRAFTS, II, 12.


par: The margin of So 4:2 (but not of the parallel 6:6) reads, "which are all of them in pairs," while the text has, "whereof every one hath twins." The Hebrew math’imoth, is from the root, ta’am, "to be double," and is perhaps susceptible of either meaning. But the description is of sheep, and the margin gives no comprehensible figure, while the text points to the exceedingly sleek and healthy appearance. "Pairs" seems to result from confusing the figure with the thing figured—the teeth, where each upper is paired with the corresponding lower.


pal’-as: In Hebrew chiefly ‘armon, in the Revised Version (British and American) text translated "castle" in 1Ki 16:18; 2Ki 15:25; birah, hekhal, the same word often rendered "temple"; in Greek aule, in the Revised Version (British and American) translated "court" (Mt 26:3,18,69; Mr 14:54,66; Lu 11:21; Joh 18:15). On the other hand, "palace" takes the place in the Revised Version (British and American) of the King James Version "common hall" or "judgment hall" (praitorion, Mt 27:27; Joh 18:28,33; 19:9; Ac 23:35). See JUDGMENT HALL. A description of Solomon’s palace is given in 1Ki 7:1-12 (see TEMPLE). Archaeology has brought to light the remains of great palaces in Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria (Sargon, Sennacherib, Assurbanipal, etc.), Susa, etc.


James Orr



See GAMES, II, 3, (i).


pa’-lal (palal, "judge"): Son of Uzai, and one of the repairers of the wall (Ne 3:25).


pal-an-ken’:In So 3:9 occurs ‘appiryon, a word that has no Semitic cognates and is of dubious meaning. In form, however, it resembles the Sanskrit paryanka, and still more closely the Greek phoreion, both of which mean "litter bed." Hence, the Revised Version (British and American) "palanquin" (ultimately derived from paryanka). The margin "car of state" and the King James Version "chariot" are mere guesses.


pal-es-ti’-na (pelesheth): Ex 15:14; Isa 14:29,31 the King James Version; changed in the Revised Version (British and American) to PHILISTIA (which see).


(as of 1915)

Preliminary Consideration


1. Outside of Palestine

2. In Palestine

(1) Early Christian Period

(2) Period of Cursory Observation

(3) Beginning of Scientific Observation


1. Period of Individual Enterprise

(1) First Trained Explorers

(2) The Climax of Individual Exploration

2. Scientific Cooperative Surface Exploration

3. Most Recent Results in Surface Exploration


1. Southern Palestine

(1) Tell el-Chesy

(2) Excavations in Jerusalem

(3) Excavations in the Shephelah

(4) Painted "Tombs of Marissa"

2. Northern Palestine

(1) Tell Ta‘annek

(2) Tell el-Mutesellim

(3) Tell Chum

3. Eastern Palestine


4. Central Palestine

(1) Jerusalem

(2) Samaria

(3) ‘Ain Shems

(4) Gezer


Preliminary Consideration:

Previous to the last century, almost the entire stock of knowledge concerning ancient Palestine, including its races, laws, languages, history and manners, was obtained from Josephus and the Bible, with a few brief additional references given by Greek and Roman authors; knowledge concerning modern Palestine was limited to the reports of chance travelers. The change has been due largely to the compelling interest taken in sacred history and the "Holy Oracles." This smallest country in the world has aroused the spirit of exploration as no other country has or could. It has largely stimulated many of the investigations carried on in other lands.

I. Era of Preparation.

1. Outside of Palestine:

Much direct information concerning ancient Palestine, absolutely essential to the success of modern exploration in that land, has come through discoveries in other countries; but due in many cases to Biblical influence. All the most important Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and versions of the Bible and most of the Jewish Talmud and apocryphal and Wisdom books were found outside of Palestine. The pictures of its population, cities, fortresses and armies give a color and perspective to its ancient history far more vivid than can be found on any of its own contemporary monuments. The records of Thothmes III (15th century BC) describing the capture of Megiddo in the plain of Esdraelon with its vast stores of "chariots wrought with gold," bronze armor, silver and ebony statues, ivory and ebony furniture, etc., and of his further capture of 118 other Canaanite towns, many of which are well known from the Bible, and from which he takes an enormous tribute of war materials, golden ornaments and golden dishes, "too many to be weighed," find no parallel in any indigenous record—such records even if written having been doomed to perish because of the soil, climate and character of the rocks West of the Jordan. So circa 1400 BC, the Tell el-Amarna Letters (discovered in 1887) mention by name many Biblical cities, and give much direct information concerning the political and social conditions at that period, with at least 6 letters from the governor of Jerusalem, who writes to the Pharaoh news that the Egyptian fleet has left the coast, that all the neighboring cities have been lost to Egypt, and that Jerusalem will be lost unless help can be had quickly against the invasion of the Khabiri. The literature of the XIXth Dynasty contains many Hebrew names with much information concerning Goshen, Pithom, Canaan, etc., while in one huge stele of Menephtah the Israelites are mentioned by name. Later Egyptian Pharaohs give almost equally important knowledge concerning Palestine, while the Assyrian texts are even more direct. The black obelisk of Shalmancser II (9th century) catalogues and pictures the tribute received from Jehu; almost every king of the 8th century tells something of his relations with the rulers of Jerusalem or Damascus, throwing immense light on local politics, and the later Bah records give vividly the conditions previous to and during the exile, while the edict of Cyrus gives the very decree by virtue of which the Jews could return to their native land. Later discoveries, like the Code of Hammurabi at Susa (1901), the Sendjirli and other Aramaic texts from Northern Syria (1890, 1908), and the Elephantine papyri, some of which are addressed to the "sons of Sanballat" and describe a temple in Egypt erected to Yahu (Yahweh) in the 5th century BC, may not give direct information concerning Palestine, but are important to present explorers because of the light thrown upon the laws of Palestine in patriarchal times; upon the thought and language of a neighboring Semitic community at the time of the Monarchy; upon the religious ritual and festivals of Nehemiah’s day, and upon the general wealth and culture of the Jews of the 5th century; opening up also for the first time the intimate relations which existed between Jerusalem and Samaria and the Jews of the Dispersion. So the vast amounts of Greek papyri found recently in the Fayyum not only have preserved the "Logia" and "Lost Gospels" and fragments of Scripture texts, early Christian Egyptian ritual, etc., but have given to scholars for the first time contemporaneous examples of the colloquial language which the Jews of Palestine were using in the 1st century AD, and in which they wrote the "memoirs" of the apostles and the Gospels of Jesus.

2. In Palestine:

(1) Early Christian Period.

At this time, during the first three or four centuries the ancient sites and holy places were identified, giving some valuable information as to the topographical memories of the earlier church. By far the most valuable of these carefully prepared summaries of ancient Bible places, with their modern sites, and the distances between them, was the Onomasticon of Eusebius, as it was enlarged by Jerome, which attempted seriously the identification of some 300 holy places, most of these being vitally important for the modern student of the Bible. While some of these identifications were "curiously incorrect" (Bliss) and the distances even at the best only approximate, yet few satisfactory additions were made to the list for 1,500 years; and it was certainly a splendid contribution to Palestinian topography, for the list as a whole has been confirmed by the scientific conclusions of recent investigators.

(2) Period of Cursory Observation.

The earliest traveler who has left a record of his journey into Palestine was Sinuhit, who, perhaps a century after Abraham, mentions a number of places known to us from the Bible and describes Canaan as a "land of figs and vines, .... where wine was more plentiful than Water, .... honey and oil in abundance .... all kinds of fruit upon its trees, barley and spelt in the fields, and cattle beyond number"; each day his table is laden with "bread, wine, cooked flesh and roasted fowl .... wild game from the hills and milk in every sort of cooked dish" (Breasted, Ancient Records, I, 496). A few other Egyptian visitors (1300-1000 BC) add little to our knowledge. The report of the Hebrew spies (Nu 13) records important observations, although they can only humorously be called "genuine explorers" (Bliss), and Joshua’s list of cities and tribes, although their boundaries are carefully described (Joshua 13-21), are naturally excluded from this review.

The record of early Christian travel begins with the Bordeaux Pilgrim (332 AD), and during the next two centuries scores of others write out their observations in the Holy Land, but for 1,000 years there is scarcely a single visitor who looks at the country except through the eyes of the monks. A woman traveler of the 4th century reports some interesting facts about the early ritual of the Jerusalem church and the catechumen teaching, and surprises us by locating Pithom correctly (although the site was totally forgotten and only recovered in 1883), and the Epitome of Eucherius (5th century) gives a clear description of the holy places in Jerusalem; but almost the only other significant sign that anyone at this era ever made serious observations of value comes from the very large, fine mosaic of the 5th century recently discovered at Madeba, which gives a good impression of ancient Jerusalem with its buildings, and a careful bird’s-eye view of the surrounding country (see below II, 3). By the middle of the 6th century the old "Holy Places" were covered by churches, while new ones were manufactured or discovered in dreams, and relics of martyrs’ bones began to engross so much attention that no time was left in which to make any ordinary geographical or natural-history observations. A little local color and a few facts in regard to the plan of early churches and the persecution of Christians by Moslems constitute almost the sum total of valus to be gathered from the multitude of pilgrims between the 6th and 12th centuries. In the 12th century John of Wurzburg gives a few geographical notes of value; Theoderich notices certain inscriptions and tombs, describes accurately the churches and hospitals he visits, with their pictures and decorations, and outlines intelligently the boundaries of Judea and the salient features of the mountains encompassing Jerusalem; the Abbot Daniel notices the wild beasts in the Jordan forests and the customs at church feasts, and his account is important because of the light it throws on conditions in Palestine just after its conquest by the Crusaders, while in the 13th century Burchard of Mt. Zion makes the earliest known medieval map of Palestine, mentions over 100 Scripture sites, and shows unexpected interest in the plant and animal life of the country—but this practically exhausts the valuable information from Christian sources in these centuries. The Moslem pilgrims and writers from the 9th to the 15th centuries show far more regard to geographical realities than the Christians. It is a Moslem, Istakhri, who in the 10th century makes the first effort at a systematic geography of Palestine, and in the 10th and 13th centuries, respectively, Muqaddasi, after 20 years of preparation, and Yaqut, in a "vast work," publish observations concerning climate, native customs, geographical divisions, etc., which are yet valuable, while Nacir-i-Qhusran, in the 11th century, also gave important information concerning Palestinian botany, gave dimensions of buildings and gates, and even noticed to some extent the ancient arches and ruins—though in all these there are pitiful inaccuracies of observation and induction. One of the best Moslem writers thinks the water of Lake Tiberias is not fit to drink because the city sewerage has ceased to flow into it, and Christian writers from the 7th century down to modern times continually mention the Jor and Da as two fountains from which the Jordan rises, and continually report the most absurd stories about the Dead Sea and about its supernatural saltness never noticing the salt mountain near by and the other simple causes explaining this phenomenon.


In the 14th century Marino Sanuto gave a "most complete monograph" (Ritter) of Palestinian geography, his maps being really valuable, though, according to modern standards, quite inaccurate. The Jew, Estoai ben Moses ha-Phorhi, in this same century advanced beyond all Christian writers in a work of "real scientific knowledge" (Bliss), in which he correctly identified Megiddo and other ancient sites, though the value of his work was not recognized for 400 years. The great name of the 15th century is that of the Dominican, Father Felix Fabri, who in his large book, Wanderings in the Holy Land, was the first to notice monuments and ruins to which no Biblical traditions were attached (Bliss), and who, within a decade of the discovery of America, described most vividly the dangers and miseries of the sea voyages of that era, and in most modern fashion narrated his adventures among the Saracens; yet notwithstanding the literary value of the book and his better method of arranging his materials, Fabri actually explained the saltness of the Dead Sea as due to the sweat which flowed from the skin of the earth! In the 16th century travelers showed more interest in native customs, but the false traditional identification of sites was scarcely questioned; the route of travel was always the same, as it was absolutely impossible to get East of the Jordan, and even a short trip away from the caravan was dangerous.

(3) Beginning of Scientific Observation.

In the 17th century Michal Nau, for 30 years a missionary in Palestine, De la Roque and Hallifix showed a truly scientific veracity of observation and an increasing accuracy in the recording and verification of their notes, and Maundrell advanced beyond all his predecessors in noticing the antiquities on the seacoast, North of Beirut; but all of these, though possessing fine qualities as explorers, were forced to travel hastily and limit their study to a very narrow field.

II. Era of Scientific Exploration.

1. Period of Individual Enterprise:

(1) First Trained Explorers.

True scientific exploration opened with the 18th century, as men began to think of this as itself an important life-work and not merely as a short episode in a life devoted to more serious pursuits. Th. Shaw (1722) carefully fitted himself as a specialist in natural history and physical geography, and scientifically reported a number of new facts, e.g. conditions and results of evaporation, etc., in the Dead Sea. Bishop Pococke (1738) had been well trained, was free from the bondage of tradition, and did for the antiquities of Palestine what Maundrell had done for those of Syria, making a large number of successful identifications of sites and contributing much to the general knowledge of Palestine. Volney (1783) was a brilliant literary man, in full sympathy with the scientific spirit, who popularized results and made a considerable number of original researches, especially in the Lebanon. Seetzen (1800-1807) and Burckhardt (1810-1812) are called by Bliss "veritable pioneers in the exploration of the ruins of Eastern and Southern Palestine." The former opened Caesarea Philippi to light, visited a large unexplored district and made important observations in almost every field of knowledge, zoology, meteorology, archaeology; the latter, having become an Arab in looks and language, was able to go into many places where no European had ventured, one of his chief triumphs being the discovery of Petra and the scientific location of Mt. Sinai.

(2) The Climax of Individual Exploration.

The climax of the era of scientific observation, unassisted by learned societies, was reached by the American clergyman and teacher, Edward Robinson. He spent parts of two years in Palestine (1838 and 1852) and in 1856 published 3 volumes of Biblical Researches. He strictly employed the scientific method, and showed such rare insight that scarcely one of his conclusions has been found incorrect. His knowledge was as extensive as minute, and although he gave, in all, only five months of steady labor to the specific task of exploration, yet in that time he "reconstructed the map of Palestine" (Bliss), and his conclusions henceforth "formed the ground work of modern research" (Conder). He studied Jerusalem, being the first to show that the ancient fragment of an arch (now "Robinson’s") had been part of the bridge connecting the temple with Mt. Zion, and was the first to trace with accuracy the windings of the tunnel leading from the Virgin’s Fount to the Pool of Siloam. All Judea, Galilee and Samaria were very well covered by him. He was the first to notice that the ruined building at Tell Chum was a synagogue; from the top of one hill he recognized seven Biblical sites which had been lost for at least 1,500 years; he identified correctly at least 160 new sites, almost all being Biblical places. Robinson’s results were phenomenal in number and variety, yet necessarily these have been constantly improved upon or added to in each generation since, for no man can cover the entire field or be a specialist in every department. W.M. Thomson in his Thomson, The Land and the Book (new edition, 1910) and G.E. Post, Flora of Syria, Palestine, and Sinai (1896), gave a needed popular resume of the manners, customs and folklore of the people, as these illustrated the Bible, and many books and articles since have added to this material.

In 1848 the United States sent an expedition under Lieutenant Lynch to the Dead Sea, which ascertained the exact width, depth, currents, temperature, etc., and many parties since have added to this knowledge (see e.g. DEAD SEA; and also PEFS, 1911, XII, 7). From 1854 to 1862 De Vogue thoroughly examined the monuments of Central Syria and remained the sole authority on this section down to the American Archaeological Expedition of 1899. Tabler (1845-63) scientifically described Jerusalem and its environs, and the districts lying between Jaffa and the Jordan, and between Jerusalem and Bethel. Guerin who studied Palestine during periods covering 23 years (1852-75), though limited by lack of funds, covered topographically, with a minuteness never before attempted, almost the whole of Judea, Samaria and Galilee, gathering also many new records of monuments and inscriptions, the record of which was invaluable because many of these had been completely destroyed before the arrival of the next scientific party. A most sensational discovery was that of F. Klein in 1868, when he found at Dibon the huge basalt tablet set up by Mesha, king of Moab (9th century BC), on which in a language closely resembling the Hebrew, he gave honor to his god Chemosh by describing his successful revolt against a successor of Omri, the latter being mentioned by name with many well-known Biblical places. In style, thought and language this inscription greatly resembles the early Old Testament records.

2. Scientific Cooperative Surface Exploration:

With the foundation of the Palestine Exploration Fund (1865) the work of exploration took on an entirely new phase, since in this case, not a single individual, but a large company of specialists entered the work, having behind them sufficient funds for adequate investigation in each necessary line of research, and with the British War Office furnishing its expert Royal Engineers to assist the enterprise. Under the auspices of this society during the next 15 years Jerusalem was explored as never before, and all Western Palestine was topographically surveyed (see below); a geological survey (1883-1884) of Sinai, Wady ‘Arabah and the Dead Sea, and later of Mt. Seir (1885) was accomplished under Professor Edward Hull; the natural history of the country was treated with great thoroughness by several specialists; Palmer and Drake in the dress of Syrian natives, without servants, risked the dangerous journey through the Desert of the Tih in order to locate so far as possible the route of the Exodus; Clermont-Ganneau, who had previously made the discovery of the Jewish placard from the Temple, forbidding strangers to enter the sacred enclosure, added greatly to archaeological knowledge by gathering and deciphering many ancient inscriptions, uncovering buried cemeteries, rock-cut tombs and other monuments. He also laid down important criteria for the age of stone masonry (yet see PEFS, 1897, LXI); identified various sites including Adullam, found the "stone of Bethphage," "Zoheleth," etc., and made innumerable plans of churches, mosques, tombs, etc., and did an incredible amount of other important work. Capt., afterward Col., C.R. Conder did an equally important work, and as the head of the archaeological party could finally report 10,000 place-names as having been gathered, and 172 new Bible sites successfully identified, while the boundaries of the tribes had been practially settled and many vitally important Bible locations for the first time fixed. The excavations in Jerusalem under the same auspices had meanwhile been carried out as planned. After an introductory examination by Sir Charles Wilson, including some little excavating, Sir Charles Warren (1867-1870) and, later, Col. Conder (1872-1875) made thorough excavations over a large area, sinking shafts and following ancient walls to a depth of 80-150 ft. They uncovered the Temple-area from its countless tons of debris and traced its approximate outline; examined underground rock chambers; opened ancient streets; discovered many thousand specimens of pottery, glass, tools, etc., from Jewish to Byzantine periods; found the pier in the Tyropoeon Valley, where Robinson’s arch had rested, and also parts of the ancient bridge; traced the line of several important ancient walls, locating gates and towers, and fixed the date of one wall certainly as of the 8th century BC, and probably of the age of Solomon (G.A. Smith), thus accomplishing an epoch-making work upon which all more recent explorers have safely rested—as Maudslay (1875), in his masterly discovery and examination of the Great Scarp, and Guthe (1881), who made fine additional discoveries at Ophel, as well as Warren and Conder in their work afterward (1884), when they published plans of the whole city with its streets churches, mosques, etc., 25 inches to the mile, which in that direction remains a basis for all later work.


Perhaps, however, the greatest work of all done by this society was the Topographical Survey (1881-1886), accomplished for Judea and Samaria by Col. Conder, and for Galilee by Lord Kitchener, resulting in a great map of Western Palestine in 26 sheets, on a scale of an inch to the mile (with several abridged additions), showing all previous identifications of ancient places. These maps, with the seven magnificent volumes of memoirs, etc., giving the other scientific work done by the various parties, marked such an epoch-making advance in knowledge that it has been called "the most important contribution to illustrate the Bible since its translation into the vulgar tongue."

In addition to the above the Palestine Exploration Fund established a Quarterly Statement and Society of Biblical Archaeology from which subscribers could keep in touch with the latest Biblical results, and published large quantities of translations of ancient texts and travels and of books reporting discoveries as these were made. Altogether more advance was made during these 15 years from 1865-1880 than in the 15 centuries before.

3. Most Recent Results in Surface Exploration:

The next ten years (1880-90) did not furnish as much new material from Palestine exploration, but in 1880 the Siloam Inscription (compare 2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:30) was accidentally found in Jerusalem, showing the accuracy with which the engineers of Hezekiah’s day could, at least occasionally, cut long tunnels through the rock (see also Clermont-Ganneau, Archaeological Researches, 313); and in 1881-1885 Conder and Schumacher attempted their difficult task of making a scientific topographical map of Eastern Palestine. In 1881 H. Clay Trumbull rediscovered and properly described Kadesh-barnea, settling authoritatively its location and thus making it possible to fix previously obscure places mentioned in the account of the Exodus wanderings. Since 1890 continued investigations in small districts not adequately described previously have taken place, new additions to the zoological, botanical, geological and meteorological knowledge of Palestine have been frequent; studies of irrigation and the water-supply have been made, as well as investigations into the customs, proverbs, folklore, etc., of the Arabs; many districts East of the Jordan and through Petra down into Sinai have yielded important results, and many discoveries of surface tombs, ossuaries, mosaics, seals and manuscripts have been made in many parts of Palestine. This has been done perhaps chiefly by the Palestine Exploration Fund, but much by individuals and some by the newly organized excavation societies (see below). The most surprising discoveries made by this method of surface exploration (a method which can never become completely obsolete) have been the finding at different times of the four Boundary Stones of Gezer (1874, 1881, 1889) by Clermont-Ganneau, and, in 1896, of the very large mosaic at Madeba by Father Cleopas, librarian of the Greek Patriarch.

The latter proved to be part of the pavement of a 6th-century basilica and is a "veritable map of Palestine," showing its chief cities, the boundaries of the tribes, and especially the city of Jerusalem with its walls, gates, chief buildings, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and chief streets, notably one long straight street intersecting the city and lined with colonnades. As Madeba lies near the foot of Mt. Nebo, it is thought the artist may have intended to represent ideally a modern (6th-cent.) vision of Moses. George Adam Smith (HGHL, 7th edition, 1901); Jerusalem (2 volumes, 1910), and E. Huntington, Palestine and Its Transformation (1911), have given fine studies illustrating the supreme importance of accurate topographical knowledge in order to understand correctly the Bible narratives and the social life and politics of the Hebrews.


III. Era of Scientific Excavation.

1. Southern Palestine:

(1) Tell el-Chesy.

(Palestine Exploration Fund).—Exploration must always continue, but excavation is a vast advance. The modern era in Palestinian study begins with Petrie at LACHISH (which see) in 1890. Though Renan was actually the first man to put a spade into the soil (1860), yet his results were practically confined to Phoenicia. From Renan’s time to 1890 there had been no digging whatever, except some narrow but thorough work in Jerusalem, and a slight tickling of the ground at Jericho and at the so-called Tombs of the Kings. Nothing was more providential than this delay in beginning extensive excavations in Palestine, such as had been previously so profitably conducted in Egypt and elsewhere. The results could not have been interpreted even two years earlier, and even when these excavations were commenced, the only man living who could have understood what he found was the man who had been selected to do the work. Nearly two centuries before, a traveler in Palestine (Th. Shaw) had suggested the possibility of certain mounds ("tells") being artificial (compare Jos 8:28; Jer 30:18); but not even Robinson or Guerin had suspected that these were the cenotaphs of buried cities, but had believed them to be mere natural hills. The greatest hour in the history of exploration in Palestine, and perhaps in any land, was that in which on a day in April, 1890, W.M. Flinders Petrie climbed up the side of Tell el-Chesy, situated on the edge of the Philistine plain, circa 30 miles Southwest of Jerusalem, and 17 miles Northeast from Gaza, and by examining its strata, which had been exposed by the stream cutting down its side, determined before sunset the fact, from pieces of pottery he had seen, that the site marked a city covering 1,000 years of history, the limits of occupation being probably 1500 BC to 500 BC. This ability to date the several occupations of a site without any inscription to assist him was due to the chronological scale of styles of pottery which he had originated earlier and worked out positively for the Greek epochs at Naukratis a year or two before, and for the epochs preceding 1100 BC at Illahun in the Fayyum only a month or two before. The potsherds were fortunately very numerous at Tell el-Chesy, and by the end of his six weeks’ work he could date approximately some eight successive occupations of the city, each of these being mutually exclusive in certain important forms of pottery in common use. Given the surface date, depth of accumulation and rate of deposit as shown at Lachish, and a pretty sure estimate of the history of other sites was available. Not only was this pottery scale so brilliantly confirmed and elaborated at Tell el-Chesy that all excavators since have been able accurately to date the last settlement on a mound almost by walking over it; but by observations of the methods of stone dressing he was able to rectify many former guesses as to the age of buildings and to establish some valuable architectural signs of age. He proved that some of the walls at this site were built by "the same school of masons which built the Temple of Solomon," and also that the Ionic volute, which the Greeks borrowed from the Asiatics, went back in Palestine at least to the 10th century BC, while on one pilaster he found the architectural motif of the "ram’s horn" (compare Ps 118:27). He also concluded, contrary to former belief, that this mound marked the site of Lachish (Jos 10:31; 2Ki 18:14), as by a careful examination he found that no other ruins near could fill the known historic conditions of that city, and the inscription found by the next excavator and all more recent research make this conclusion practically sure. Lachish was a great fortress of the ancient world. The Egyptian Pharaohs often mention it, and it is represented in a picture on an Assyrian monument under which is written, "Sennacherib .... receives the spoil of Lachish" (see 2Ki 18:14). It was strategically a strong position, the natural hill rising some 60 ft. above the valley and the fortification which Sennacherib probably attacked being over 10 ft. thick. The debris lay from 50-70 ft. deep on top of the hill. Petrie fixed the directions of the various walls, and settled the approximate dates of each city and of the imported pottery found in several of these. One of the most unexpected things was an iron knife dug up from a stratum indicating a period not far from the time when Israel must have entered Canaan, this being the earliest remnant of iron weapons ever found up to-this date (compare Jos 17:16).

The next two years of scientific digging (1891-1892), admirably conducted by Dr. F.G. Bliss on this site, wholly confirmed Petrie’s general inductions, though the limits of each occupation were more exactly fixed and the beginning of the oldest city was pushed back to 1700 BC. The work was conducted under the usual dangers, not only from the Bedouin, but from excessive heat (104 degrees in the shade), from malaria which at one time prostrated 8 of the 9 members of the staff, scarcity of water, which had to be carried 6 miles, and from the sirocco (see my report, PEFS, XXI, 160-70 and Petrie’s and Bliss’s journal, XXI, 219-46; XXIII, 192, etc.). He excavated thoroughly one-third of the entire hill, moving nearly a million cubic feet of debris. He found that the wall of the oldest city was nearly 30 ft. thick, that of the next city 17 ft. thick, while the latest wall was thin and weak. The oldest city covered a space 1,300 ft. square, the latest one only about 200 ft. square. The oldest pottery had a richer color and higher polish than the later, and this art was indigenous, for at this level no Phoenician or Mycenaean styles were found. The late pre-Israelitish period (1550-800 BC) shows such importations and also local Cypriote imitations. In the "Jewish" period (800-300 BC) this influence is lost and the new styles are coarse and ungraceful, such degeneration not being connected with the entrance of Israel into Canaan, as many have supposed, but with a later period, most probably with the desolation which followed the exile of the ten tribes (Bliss and Petrie). In the pre-Israelite cities were found mighty towers, fine bronze implements, such as battle-axes, spearheads, bracelets, pins, needles, etc., a wine and treacle press, one very large building "beautifully symmetrical," a smelting furnace, and finally an inscribed tablet from Zimrida, known previously from the Tell el-Amarna Letters to have been governor of Lachish, circa 1400 BC. Many Jewish pit ovens were found in the later ruins and large quantities of pottery, some containing potters’ marks and others with inscriptions. Clay figures of Astarte, the goddess of fertility, were found in the various layers, one of these being of the unique Cypriote type, with large earrings, and many Egyptian figures, symbols and animal forms.

See also LACHISH.

(2) Excavations in Jerusalem.

During 1894:1894-1897, notwithstanding the previously good work done in Jerusalem (see above) and the peculiar embarrassments connected with the attempt to dig in a richly populated town, Dr. Bliss, assisted by an expert architect, succeeded in adding considerably to the sum of knowledge. He excavated over a large area, not only positively confirming former inductions, but discovering the remains of the wall of the empress Eudocia (450 AD), and under this the line of wall which Titus had destroyed, and at a deeper level the wall which surrounded the city in the Herodian age, and deeper yet that which must probably be dated to Hezekiah, and below this a construction "exquisitely dressed, with pointed masonry," which must be either the remains of a wall of Solomon or some other preexilic fortification not later than the 8th century. He found gates and in ancient times paved streets and manholes leading to ancient sewer systems, and many articles of interest, but especially settled disputed questions concerning important walls and the levels of the ancient hills, thus fixing the exact topography of the ancient city. H. G. Mitchell and others have also carefully examined certain lines of wall, identifying Nehemiah’s Dung Gate, etc., and making a new surveyor certain parts of underground Jerusalem, the results of the entire work being a modification of tradition in a few particulars, but corroborative in most. The important springs and reservoirs, valleys and hills of the ancient Jerusalem have been certainly identified. It is now settled that modern Jerusalem "still sits virtually upon her ancient seat and at much the same slope," though not so large as the Jerusalem of the kings of Judah which certainly extended over the Southwestern Hill. Mt. Zion, contrary to tradition which located it on the Southwestern Hill where the citadel stands, probably lay on the Eastern Hill above the Virgin’s Spring (Gihon). On this Eastern Hill at Ophel lay the Temple, and South of the Temple on the same hill "above Gihon" lay the old Jebusite stronghold (David’s City). The ancient altar of burnt offering was almost surely at es-Sakhra. The evidence has not been conclusive as to the line of the second wall, so that the site of Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre cannot certainly be determined (see George Adam Smith’s exhaustive work, Jerusalem, 2 volumes, 1907; Sir Charles Wilson, Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre, 1906; and compare Selah Merrill, Ancient Jerusalem, 1908; C.R. Conder, City of Jerusalem, 1909; P.H. Vincent, Underground Jerusalem, 1911).

(3) Excavations in the Shephelah. (Palestine Exploration Fund).—During 1898-1900 important work was done by Bliss and Macalister at 4 sites on the border land between Philistia and Judea, while five other small mounds were tunneled, but without important results. The four chief sites were Tell Zakariya, lying about midway between Jerusalem and Tell el-Chesy; Tell ec Cafi, 5 miles W. of Tell Zakariya, and Tell Sandachannah, about 10 miles South; while Tell ej-Judeideh lay between Tell Zakariya and Tell Sandachannah. As Tell ej-Judeideh was only half-excavated and merely confirmed other results, not being remarkable except for the large quantity of jar inscriptions found (37), we omit further mention of it.

(a) Tell Zakariya:

From this height, 1,214 ft. above the sea, almost all Philistia could be seen. A pre-Israelitish town was found under some 20 ft. of debris, containing pre-Israelitish, Jewish and Seleucidan pottery. Many vaulted cisterns, partly hewn from the rock, were found in the lowest level. In later levels Jewish pit ovens were found and inscribed jar-handles with winged Egyptian symbols, implements of bronze, iron, bone and stone, and Egyptian images of Bes and the Horus eye, etc., besides a strange bronze figure of a woman with a fish’s tail which seems to represent Atargatis of Ashkelon. The ancient rampart was strengthened, perhaps in Rehoboam’s time, and towers were added in the Seleucidan era. Only half of this site was excavated.

(b) Tell es-Safi:

The camp was pitched near here in the Vale of Elah. From a depth of 21 ft. to the rock, was found the characteristic pre-Israelitish pottery and much imported pottery of the Mycenaean type. A high place was also found here, containing bones of camels, sheep, cows, etc., and several monoliths of soft limestone in situ, and near by a jar-burial. In an ancient rubbish heap many fragments of the goddess of fertility were found. Many old Egyptian and later Greek relics were also found, and four Babylonian seals and the usual pottery from Jewish and later periods. With strong probability this site was identified as Gath.

(c) Tell Sandachannah:

This was situated circa 1,100 ft. above sea-level. The town covered about 6 acres and was protected by an inner and outer wall and occasional towers. The strongest wall averaged 30 ft. thick. The work done here "was unique in the history of Palestinian excavation" (Bliss). At Tell el-Chesy only one-third of each stratum was excavated; at Tell Zakariya only one-half; at Jerusalem the work was confined to the enclosures of the temple, a few city walls and a few churches, pools, streets, etc., but at Tell Sandachannah "we recovered almost an entire town, probably the ancient Mareshah (Jos 15:44), with its inner and outer walls, its gates, streets, lanes, open places, houses, reservoirs, etc." (Bliss). Nearly 400 vessels absolutely intact and unbroken were found. It was a Seleucidan town of the 3rd and 2nd century BC, with no pre-Israelitish remains. The town was built with thin brick, like blocks of soft limestone, set with wide joints and laid in mud with occasionally larger, harder stones chisel-picked. The town was roughly divided into blocks of streets, some of the streets being paved. The houses were lighted from the street and an open court. Very few rooms were perfectly rectangular, while many were of awkward shape. Many closets were found and pit ovens and vaulted cisterns, reached by staircases, as also portions of the old drainage system. The cisterns had plastered floors, and sometimes two heavy coats of plaster on the walls; the houses occasionally had vaulted roofs but usually the ordinary roof of today, made of boards and rushes covered with clay. No religious building was found and no trace of a colonnade, except perhaps a few fragments of ornament. An enormous columbarium was uncovered (1906 niches). No less than 328 Greek inscriptions were found on the handles of imported wine jars. Under the Seleucidan town was a Jewish town built of rubble, the pottery of the usual kind including stamped jar-handles. An Astarte was found in the Jewish or Greek stratum, as also various animal forms. The Astarte was very curious, about 11 inches high, hollow, wearing a long cloak, but with breasts, body and part of right leg bare, having for headdress a closely fitting sunbonnet with a circular serrated top ornament in front and with seven stars in relief. A most striking find dating from about the 2nd century AD was that of 16 little human figures bound in fetters of lead, iron, etc., undoubtedly representing "revenge dolls" through which the owners hoped to work magic on enemies, and 49 fragments of magical tablets inscribed in Greek on white limestone, with exorcisms, incantations and imprecations. It ought to be added that the four towns as a whole supplement each other, and positively confirm former results. No royal stamps were found at Tell el-Chesy, but 77 were found in these 4 sites, in connection with 2- or 4-winged symbols (Egyptian scarabaeus or winged sundisk). Writing-materials (styli) were found in all strata, their use being "continuous from the earliest times into the Seleucidan period" (Bliss). From the four towns the evolution of the lamp could be traced from the pre-Israelite, through the Jewish to the Greek period. Some 150 of the labyrinthine rock-cut caves of the district were also examined, some of which must be pre-Christian, as in one of these a million cubic feet of material had been excavated, yet so long ago that all signs of the rubbish had been washed away.

(4) Painted "Tombs of Marissa."

In 1902 John P. Peters and Hermann Thiersch discovered at Belt Jibrin (adjoining Tell Sandachannah) an example of sepulchral art totally different from any other ever found in Palestine. It was a tomb containing several chambers built by a Sidonian, the walls being brilliantly painted, showing a bull, panther, serpent, ibex, crocodile with ibis (?) on its back, hunter on horseback, etc., with dated inscriptions, the earliest being 196 BC (see John P. Peters, Painted Tombs in Necropolis of Marissa, 1905). The writer (April 18, 1913) found another tomb here of similar character, decorated with grapes, birds, two cocks (life size), etc. Perhaps most conspicuous was a wreath of beautiful flowers with a cross in its center. Nothing shows the interrelations of that age more than this Phoenician colony, living in Palestine, using the Greek language but employing Egyptian and Libyan characteristics freely in their funeral article

2. Northern Palestine:

(1) Tell Ta‘annek.

(Austrian Government and Vienna Academy).—During short seasons of three years (1902-4) Professor Ernst Sellin of Vienna made a rapid examination of this town (the Biblical Taanach), situated in the plain of Esdraelon in Northern Palestine, on the ancient road between Egypt and Babylon. Over 100 laborers were employed and digging was carried on simultaneously at several different points on the mound, the record being kept in an unusually systematic way and the official reports being minute and exhaustive. Only a general statement of results can be given, with an indication of the directions in which the "findings" were peculiar. The absence of Phoenician and Mycenaean influence upon the pottery in the earliest levels (100-1600 BC) is just as marked as at other sites, the kind of pottery and the presence of Semitic matstsebhoth (see IMAGES) in the Jewish periods are just as in previous sites, and the development in mason work and in pottery is identically the same in this first city to be excavated in Northern Palestine as in Southern Palestine. "The buildings and antiques might be interchanged bodily without any serious confusion of the archaeological history of Palestine. . . . Civilization over all Western Palestine is thus shown to have had the same course of development, whether we study it North or South" (Macalister). This is by far the most important result of this excavation, showing that, notwithstanding divergences in many directions, an equivalent civilization, proving a unity in the dominating race, can be seen over all parts of Palestine so far examined. Iron is introduced at the same time (circa 1000 BC), and even the toys and pottery decorations are similar, and this continues through all the periods, including the Jewish. Yet foreign intercourse is common, and the idols, even from the earliest period, "show religious syncretism" (Sellin). From almost the oldest layer comes a curious seal cylinder containing both Egyptian and Babylonian features. On one pre-Israelite tablet are pictures of Hadad and Baal. The Astarte cult is not quite as prominent here as in Southern Palestine. No figures of the goddess come from the earliest strata, but from 1600 BC to circa 900-800 BC they are common; after this they cease. The ordinary type of Astarte found in Babylonia and Cyprus as well as in Palestine—with crown, necklace, girdle, anklets, and hands clasped on breasts—is found most frequently; but from the 12th to the 9th century other forms appear representing her as naked, with hips abnormally enlarged, to show her power of fecundity. One figure is of a peculiarly foreign type, wearing excessively large earrings, and this is in close connection with one of the most unique discoveries ever made in Palestine—a hollow terra cotta Canaanite or Israelite (2Ki 16:10) altar (800-600 BC), having no bottom but with holes in its walls which admitted air and insured draft when fire was kindled below; in its ornamentation showing a mixture of Babylonian and Egyptian motives, having on its right side winged animals with human heads by the side of which is a man (or boy) struggling with a serpent the jaws of which are widely distended in anger; at its top two ram’s (?) horns, and between them a sacrificial bowl in which to receive the "drink offering"; on its front a tree (of life), and on each side of it a rampant ibex. A bronze serpent was found near this altar, as also. near the high place at Gezer. Continuous evidence of the gruesome practice of foundation sacrifices, mostly of little children, but in one case of an adult, was found between the 13th and 9th centuries BC, after which they seem to cease. In one house the skeletons of a lady and five children were found, the former with her rings and necklace of gold, five pearls, two scarabs, etc. Many jar-burials of new-born infants, 16 in one place, were found, and, close to this deposit, a rock-hewn altar with a jar of yellow incense (?). Egyptian and Babylonian images were found of different eras and curious little human-looking amulets (as were also found at Lachish) in which the parental parts are prominent, which Sellin and Bliss believe to be "teraphim" (Ge 31:19,34; but see Driver, Modern Research, 57, etc.), such as Rachel, being pregnant, took with her to protect her on the hard journey from Haran to Palestine (Macalister).

The high place, with one or more steps leading up to it, suggesting "elevation, isolation and mystery" (Vincent), is represented here as in so many other Palestinian ruins, and the evidence shows that it continued long after the entrance of Israel into Canaan. When Israel entered Palestine, no break occurred in the civilization, the art development continuing at about the same level; so probably the two races were at about the same culture-level, or else the Hebrew occupation of the land was very gradual. In the 8th century there seems to be an indication of the entrance of a different race, which doubtless is due to the Assyrian exile. A most interesting discovery was that of the dozen cuneiform tablets found in a terra cotta chest or jar (compare Jer 32:14) from the pre-Israelite city.

These few letters cannot accurately be called "the first library found in Palestine"; but they do prove that libraries were there, since the personal and comparatively unimportant character of some of these notes and their easy and flowing style prove that legal, business and literary documents must have existed. These show that letter-writing was used not only in great questions of state between foreign countries, but in local matters between little contiguous towns, and that while Palestine at this period (circa 1400 BC) was politically dependent on Egypt, yet Babylonia had maintained its old literary supremacy. One of these letters mentions "the finger of Ashirat," this deity recalling the ‘asherah or sacred post of the Old Testament (see IMAGES); another note is written by Ahi-Yawi, a name which corresponds to Hebrew Ahijah ("Yah is Brother"), thus indicating that the form of the Divine name was then known in Canaan, though its meaning (i.e. the essential name; compare Ex 6:3; 34:6; Ne 1:9; Jer 44:26), may not have been known. Ahi-Yawi invokes upon Ishtar-washur the blessing of the "Lord of the Gods."

On the same level with these letters were found two subterranean cells with a rock-hewn chamber in front and a rock-hewn altar above, and even the ancient drain which is supposed to have conveyed the blood from the altar into the "chamber of the dead" below. It may be added that Dr. Sellin thinks the condition of the various walls of the city is entirely harmonious with the Bible accounts of its history (Jos 12:21; 17:11; Jud 1:27; 5:19-21; 1Ki 4:12; 9:15; 1Ch 7:29). So far as the ruins testify, there was no settled city life between circa 600 BC and 900 AD, i.e. it became a desolation about the time of the Babylonian captivity. An Arab castle dates from about the 10th century AD.

(2) Tell el-Mutesellim.

(Megiddo, Jos 12:21; Jud 5:19; 2Ki 9:27).—This great commercial and military center of Northern Palestine was opened to the world in 1903-1905 by Dr. Schumacher and his efficient staff, the diggings being conducted under the auspices of His Majesty the Kaiser and the German Palestine Society. The mound, about 5 miles Northwest from Ta‘anach, stood prominently 120 ft. above the plain, the ruins being on a plateau 1,020 X 750 ft. in area. An average of 70 diggers were employed for the entire time. The debris was over 33 ft. deep, covering some eight mutually excluding populations. The surrounding wall, 30 X 35 ft. thick, conformed itself to the contour of the town. The excavations reached the virgin rock only at one point; but the oldest stratum uncovered showed a people living in houses, having fire, cooking food and making sacrifices; the next city marked an advance, but the third city, proved by its Egyptian remains to go back as far as the 20th century BC, showed a splendid and in some directions a surprising civilization, building magnificent city gates (57 X 36 ft.), large houses and tombs with vaulted roofs, and adorning their persons with fine scarabs of white and green steatite and other jewelry of stone and bronze. It was very rich in colored pottery and little objects such as tools, seals, terra cotta figures and animals, including a bridled horse, and some worked iron is also said to have been found. In one pile of bodies were two children wearing beautiful bronze anklets. The city lying above this begins as early as the 15th century BC, as is proved by a scarab of Thothmes III and by other signs, although the scarabs, while Egyptian in form, are often foreign in design and execution. Anubis, Bes, Horus and other Egyptian figures appear, also 32 scarabs in one pot, much jewelry, including gold ornaments, and some very long, sharp bronze knives. One tomb contained 42 vessels, and one skeleton held 4 gold-mounted scarabs in its hand. One remarkable fragment of pottery contained a colored picture of pre-Israelite warriors with great black beards, carrying shields (?). A most interesting discovery was that of the little copper (bronze?) tripods supporting lamps, on one of which is the figure of a flute-player, being strikingly similar to pictures of Delphic oracles and to representations lately found in Crete (MNDPV, 1906, 46). This city was destroyed by a fearful conflagration, and is separated from the next by a heavy stratum of cinders and ashes. The fifth city is remarkable for a splendid palace with walls of stone from 3-5 ft. thick. This city, which probably begins as early as Solomon’s time, shows the best masonry. An oval, highly polished seal of jasper on which is engraved a Hebrew name in script closely resembling the Moabite Stone, suggests a date for the city, and casts an unexpected light upon the Hebrew culture of Palestine in the days of the monarchy. The seal is equal to the best Egyptian or Assyrian work, clearly and beautifully engraved, and showing a climax of article In the center is the Lion (of Judah), mouth wide open, tail erect, body tense. Upon the seal is carved: "To Shema, servant of Jeroboam." This name may possibly not refer to either of the Biblical kings (10th or 8th century BC), but the stratum favors this dating. The seal was evidently owned by some Hebrew noble at a prosperous period when some Jeroboam was in power, and so everything is in favor of this being a relic from the court of one of these kings, probably the latter (Kautzsch, M u. N, 1904, 81). We have here, in any case, one of the oldest Hebrew inscriptions known, and one of the most elegant ever engraved (see MNDPV, 1906, 33). After seeing it the Sultan took it from the museum into his own private collection. A second seal of lapis lazuli, which Schumacher and Kautzsch date from about the 7th century BC, also contains in Old Hebrew the name "Asaph" (compare M u. N, 1906, 334; MNDPV, 1904, 147). There are several other remarkable works of art, as e.g. a woman playing the tambourine, wearing an Egyptian headdress; several other figures of women besides several Astartes, and especially a series of six terra cotta heads, one with a prominent Semitic nose, another with Egyptian characteristics, another quite un-Egyp, with regular features, vivacious eyes, curls falling to her shoulders and garlanded with flowers.

The sixth stratum might well be called the temple-city, for here were found the ruins of a sanctuary built of massive blocks in which remained much of the ceremonial furniture—sacrificial dishes, a beautiful basalt pot with three feet, a plate having a handle in the form of a flower, etc. Seemingly connected with the former town, three religious stones were found covered by a fourth, and one with a pyramidal top; so here several monoliths were found which would naturally be thought of as religious monuments—though, since they have been touched with tools, this is perhaps doubtful (Ex 20:25). One incense altar, carved out of gray stone, is so beautiful as to be worthy of a modern Greek cathedral. The upper dish rests on a support of carved ornamental leaves painted red, yellow and cobalt blue, in exquisite taste, the colors still as fresh as when first applied. A blacksmith’s shop was found in this stratum, containing many tools, including iron plowshares, larger than the bronze ones in the 3rd and 4th layers. Allegorical figures were found, which may possibly belong to the former town, representing a man before an altar with his hands raised in adoration, seemingly to a scorpion, above which are a 6-pointed star, crescent moon, etc. Another most wonderful seal of white hard stone is engraved with three lines of symbols, in the first a vulture chasing a rabbit; in the second a conventional palm tree, with winged creatures on each side; in the third a lion springing on an ibex (?) under the crescent moon. Near by was found a cylinder of black jasper, containing hieroglyphs, and much crushed pottery. The 7th city, which was previous to the Greek or Roman eras, shows only a complex of destroyed buildings. After this the place remains unoccupied till the 11th century AD, when a poor Arab tower was erected, evidently to protect the passing caravans.

These excavations were specially important in proving the archaeological richness of Palestine and the elegance of the native works of article They were reported with an unexampled minuteness—various drawings of an original design showing the exact place and altitude where every little fragment was found.

(3) Tell Chum.

(Capernaum), etc.—In April and May, 1905, the German Oriental Society excavated a Hebrew synagogue of the Roman era at Tell Chum. It was 78 ft. long by 59 ft. wide, was built of beautiful white limestone, almost equal to marble, and was in every way more magnificent than any other yet found in Palestine, that in Chorazin being the next finest. Its roof was gable-shaped and it was surprisingly ornamented with fine carvings representing animals, birds, fruits, flowers, etc., though in some cases these ornamentations had been intentionally mutilated. In January, 1907, Macalister and Masterman proved that Khan Minyeh was not the ancient Capernaum, as it contained no pottery older than Arab time, thus showing Tell Chum to be the ancient site, so that the synagogue just excavated may be the one referred to in Lu 7:5. At Samieh, 6 hours North of Jerusalem, two important Canaanite cemeteries were discovered by the fellahin in 1906, consisting of circular or oval tomb chambers, with roofs roughly dome-shaped, as at Gezer (see below). A large quantity of pottery and bronze objects, much of excellent quality, was found (Harvard Theological Review, I, 70-96; Masterman, Studies in Galilee; Henson, Researches in Palestine).

3. Eastern Palestine:


(German Oriental Society).—During 1908-9, Dr. E. Sellin, assisted by a specialist in pottery, (Watzinger) and a professional architect (Langenegger), with the help of over 200 workmen, opened to view this famous Biblical city (Jos 6:1-24). Jericho was most strategically situated at the eastern gateway of Palestine, with an unlimited water-supply in the ‘Ain es-Sultan, having complete control of the great commercial highway across the Jordan and possessing natural provisions in its palm forest (Smith, HGHL). It was also set prominently on a hill rising some 40 ft. above the plain. The excavations proved that from the earliest historic time these natural advantages had been increased by every possible artifice known to ancient engineers, until it had become a veritable Gibraltar. The oldest city, which was in the form of an irregular ellipse, somewhat egg-shaped, with the point at the Southwest, was first surrounded with a rampart following the contour of the hill, a rampart so powerful that it commands the admiration of all military experts who have examined it.

The walls even in their ruins are some 28 ft. high. They were built in three sections:

(a) a substratum of clay, gravel and small stones, making a deposit upon the rock about 3 or 4 ft. deep, somewhat analogous to modern concrete;

(b) a rubble wall, 6 to 8 ft. thick, of large stones laid up to a height of 16 ft. upon this conglomerate, the lowest layers of the stone being enormously large;

(c) upon all this a brick wall over 6 ft. thick, still remaining, in places, 8 ft. high. Not even Megiddo, famous as a military center throughout all the ancient world, shows such workmanship (compare Jos 2:1; Nu 13:28).

"These were masters in stone work and masonry" (The Builder); "Taken as a whole it may justly be regarded as a triumph of engineering skill which a modern builder, under the same conditions, could scarcely excel" (Langenegger); "It is as well done as a brilliant military engineer with the same materials and tools could do today" (Vincent). All the centuries were not able to produce a natural crevice in this fortification. At the North, which was the chief point of danger, and perhaps along other sections also, a second wall was built about 100 ft. inside the first, and almost as strong, while still another defense ("the citadel"), with 265 ft. of frontage, was protected not only by another mighty wall but by a well-constructed glacis. The old pre-Israelite culture in Jericho was exactly similar to that seen in the southern and northern cities, and the idolatry also. In its natural elements Canaanite civilization was probably superior to that of the Hebrews, but the repugnant and ever-present polytheism and fear of magic led naturally to brutal and impure manifestations. It cannot be doubted that, at least in some cases, the infants buried in jars under the floors represent foundation sacrifices. Some of the pottery is of great excellence, comparing favorably with almost the best examples from Egypt; a number of decorative figures of animals in relief are specially fine; the bronze utensils are also good; especially notable are the 22 writing-tablets, all ready to be used but not inscribed. Somewhere near the 15th century the old fortifications were seriously damaged, but equally powerful ones replaced them. The German experts all believed that a break in the city’s history was clearly shown about the time when, according to the pottery, Israel ought to have captured the city, and it was confidently said that the distinctively Canaanite pottery ceased completely and permanently at this point; but further research has shown that at least a portion of the old town had a practically continuous existence (so Jos 16:7; Jud 1:16; 3:13; 2Sa 10:5). No complete Israelite house was preserved, but the Israelite quarter was located close to the spring and no little furniture of the usual kind was found, including dishes, pots, grainmills, lamps, etc., many iron instruments and terra cotta heads of men and animals. The pottery is quite unlike the old Canaanite, being closely allied to the Greek-Phoenician ware of Cyprus. It is noticeable that, as in other Palestinian towns, in the Jewish era, little Babylonian influence is discernible; the Aegean and Egyptian influence is not as marked as in the cities dug up near the Mediterranean coast. One large edifice (60 by 80 ft.) is so like the dwellings of the 7th century BC at Sendjirli that "they seem to have been copied from Syrian plans" (Vincent). Absolutely unique was the series of 12 Rhodian jar-handles stamped in Aramaic, "To Yahweh" (Yah, Yahu). Vincent has suggested that as during the monarchy (7th to 6th century) "To the King" meant probably "For His Majesty’s Service," so in post-exilic time the Divine name meant "For the Temple" (Rev. biblique). After the exile the city had about 3 centuries of prosperity; but disappears permanently in the Maccabean era (MNDPV, 1907; MDOG, 1908-9; PEFS, 1910; Rev. biblique, 1907-9).


4. Central Palestine:

(1) Jerusalem.

See above, III, 1, (2).

(2) Samaria.

(Harvard Expedition).—Although the ancient capital of the Northern Kingdom, yet Samaria was Centrally located, being 20 miles from the Mediterranean coast and only about 30 miles North of Jerusalem. Ancient Samaria was very famous in Israel for its frivolity and wealth, special mention being made of its ointments, instruments of music, luxurious couches, and its "ivory palace" (Am 6:4-6; 1Ki 16:24). Its history is known so fully that the chronological sequences of the ruins can be determined easily. The citadel and town originated with Omri, circa 900 BC (1Ki 16:24); the Temple of Baal and palace were constructions of Ahab (1Ki 16:32; 22:39); it continued prosperous down to the Assyrian exile, 722 BC (1Ki 22 to 2Ki 17); Sargon and Esarhaddon established a Babylonian colony and presumably forrifled the town (720-670 BC); Alexander the Great captured it in 331 BC, and established there a Syrio-Maccabean colony; it was destroyed by John Hyrcanus in 109 BC, but rebuilt by Pompey in 60 BC, and again by Herod (30-1 BC). All of these periods are identified in the excavations, Herod’s work being easily recognized, and Josephus’ description of the town being found correct; the Greek work is equally well defined, so that the lower layers of masonry which contained the characteristic Jewish pottery, and which in every part of the ruin lay immediately under the Babylonian and Greek buildings, must necessarily be Hebrew, the relative order of underlying structures thus being "beyond dispute" (Reisner). During 1908-9 George A. Reisner with a staff of specialists, including David G. Lyon of the Harvard Semitic Museum, G. Schumacher, and an expert architect, undertook systematically and thoroughly to excavate this large detached "tell" lying 350 ft. above the valley and 1,450 ft. above sea-level, its location as the only possible strategic stronghold proving it to be the ancient Samaria. This was a "gigantic enterprise" because of the large village of 800 population (Sebastiyeh), and the valuable crops which covered the hill. Some $65,000 were spent during the two seasons, and the work finally ceased before the site was fully excavated. The following statement is an abridgment, in so far as possible in their words, of the official reports of Drs. Reisner and Lyon to the Harvard Theological Review: An average of 285 diggers were employed the first season and from 230-260 the second. Hundreds of Arabian lamps, etc., were found close to the surface, and then nothing more until the Roman ruins. Many fine Roman columns still remained upright, upon the surface of the hill. The road of columns leading to the Forum and ornamental gate (oriented unlike the older gates), the great outer wall "20 stadii in circuit" (Jos), the hippodrome, etc., were all found with inscriptions or coins and pottery of the early Roman Empire. Even the old Roman chariot road leading into the Forum was identified. Adjoining the Forum and connected with it by a wide doorway was a basilica, consisting of a large open stone-paved court surrounded by a colonnade with mosaic floor. An inscription in Greek on an architrave in the courtyard dates this to 12-15 AD. The plan of the Herodian temple consisted of a stairway, a portico, a vestibule and a cella with a corridor on each side. The staircase was about 80 ft. wide, composed of 17 steps beautifully constructed, the steps being quite modern in style, each tread overlapping the next lower by several inches. The roof was arched and the walls very massive and covered with a heavy coat of plaster still retaining traces of color. A few Greek graffiti were found near here, and 150 "Rhodian" stamped amphora handles and many fragments of Latin inscriptions. A complete inscription on a large stele proved to be a dedication from some Pannonian soldiers (probably 2nd or 3rd century AD) to "Jupiter Optimus Maximus." Near this was found a torso of heroic size carved in white marble, which is much finer than any ever before discovered in Palestine, the work "bringing to mind the Vatican Augustus" (Vincent), though not equal to it. Close to the statue was a Roman altar (presumably Herodian) circa 13 by 7 ft., rising in six courses of stone to a height of 6 ft. Beneath the Roman city was a Seleucid town (circa 300-108 BC), with its fortifications, gateway, temples, streets, and great public buildings and a complex of private houses, in connection with which was a large bath house, with mosaic floor, hot and cold baths, water closet, etc., which was heated by a furnace. Underneseath the Greek walls, which were connected with the well-known red-figured Greek ware of circa 400 BC, were brick structures and very thick fortress walls built in receding courses of small stones in the Babylonian style. In the filling of the construction trench of this Babylonian wall were found Israelite potsherds and a Hebrew seal with seemingly Babylonian peculiarities, and one fragment of a cuneiform tablet. Below these Babylonian constructions "there is a series of massive walls beautifully built of large limestone blocks founded on rock and forming a part of one great building, which can be no other than the Jewish palace." It consisted of "great open courts surrounded by small rooms, comparable in plan and even in size with the Babylonian palaces and is certainly royal in size and architecture." Its massive outlines which for the first time reveal to the modern world the masonry of an Israelite palace show that unexpected material resources and technical skill were at the command of the kings of Israel. An even greater discovery was made when on the palace hill was found an alabaster vase inscribed with the cartouche of Osorkon II of Egypt (874-853 BC), Ahab’s contemporary; and at the same level, about 75 fragments of pottery, not jar-handles but ostraca, inscribed with records or memorials in ancient Hebrew. The script is Phoenician, and according to such experts as Lyon and Driver, practically identical with that of the Siloam Inscription (circa 700 BC) and Moabite Stone (circa 850 BC). "The inscriptions are written in ink with a reed pen in an easy flowing hand and show a pleasing contrast to the stiff forms of Phoenician inscriptions cut in stone. The graceful curves give evidence of a skill which comes only with long practice" (Lyon). The ink is well preserved, the writing is distinct, the words are divided by dots or strokes, and with two exceptions all the ostraca are dated, the reigning king probably being Ahab. The following samples represent the ordinary memoranda: "In the 11th year. From ‘Abi‘ezer. For ‘Asa, ‘Akhemelek (and) Ba‘ala. From ‘Elnathan (?). .... In 9th yr. From Yasat. For ‘Abino‘am. A jar of old wine. .... In 11th yr. For Badyo. The vineyard of the Tell." Baal and El form a part of several of the proper names, as also the Hebrew Divine name, the latter occurring naturally not in its full form, YHWH, but as ordinarily in compounds YW (Lyon, Harvard Theol. Rev., 1911, 136-43; compare Driver, PEFS, 1911, 79-83). In a list of 30 proper names all but three have Biblical equivalents. "They are the earliest specimens of Hebrew writing which have been found, and in amount they exceed by far all known ancient Hebrew inscriptions; moreover, they are the first Palestinian records of this nature to be found" (see especially Lyon, op. cit., I, 70-96; II, 102-13; III, 136-38; IV, 136-43; Reisner, ib, III, 248-63; also Theol. Literaturblatt, 1911, III, 4; Driver, as above; MNOP, 1911, 23-27; Rev. Bibique, VI, 435-45).

(3) ‘Ain Shems

(Beth-shemesh, 1Sa 6:1-21; 2Ki 14:11).—In a short but important campaign, during 1911-12, in which from 36 to 167 workmen were employed, Dr. D. Mackenzie uncovered a massive double gate and primitive walls 12-15 ft. high, with mighty bastions, and found in later deposits Egyptian images, Syrian Astartes, imported Aegean vases and a remarkable series of inscribed royal jar-handles "dating from the Israelite monarchy" (Vincent), as also what seemed to be an ancient Semitic tomb with fatsade entrance. The proved Cretan relations here are especially important. The town was suddenly destroyed, probably in the era of Sennacherib (PEFS, 1911, LXIX, 172; 1912, XII, 145).

(4) Gezer

(Palestine Exploration Fund).—Tell ej-Jezer occupies a conspicuous position, over 250 ft. above the plain, and 750 ft. above the sea, on a ridge of hills some 20 miles Northwest of Jerusalem, overlooking the plain toward Jaffa, which is 17 miles distant. It is in plain sight of the two chief trade caravan roads of Southern Palestine which it controlled. The ancient Gezer was well known from many references to it on the Egyptian records, the names of several governors of Gezer being given in letters dating from circa 1400 BC and Menephtah (circa 1200 BC) calling himself "Binder of Gezer," etc. The discovery of the boundary stones of Gezer (see above) positively identified it. It was thoroughly excavated by R.A. Stewart Macalister in 1902-5, 1907-9, during which time 10,000 photographs were made of objects found. No explorations have been so long continued on one spot or have brought more unique discoveries or thrown more light upon the development of Palestinian culture and religion, and none have been reported as fully (Excavations of Gezer, 1912, 3 volumes; History of Civilization in Palestine, 1912). Ten periods-are recognized as being distinctly marked in the history of the mound—which broadly speaking represents the development in all parts of Pal:

(a) pre-Semitic period (circa 3000-2500 BC), to the entrance of the first Semites;

(b) first Semitic city (circa 2500-1800 BC), to the end of the XIIth Egyptian Dynasty;

(c) second Semitic city (circa 1800-1400 BC), to the end of the XVIIIth Egyptian Dynasty;

(d) third Semitic city (circa 1400-1000 BC), to the beginning of the Hebrew monarchy;

(e) fourth Semitic city (circa 1000-550 BC), to the destruction of the monarchy and the Babylonian exile;

(f) Persian and Hellenistic period (550-100 BC), to the beginning of the Roman dominion;

(g) Roman (100 BC-350 AD);

(h) Byzantine (350-600 AD);

(i) and (j) early and modern Arabian (350 AD to the present).

The last four periods have left few important memorials and may be omitted from review.

(a) The aboriginal non-Semitic inhabitants of Gezer were troglodytes (compare Ge 14:6) living in the caves which honeycomb this district (compare ZDPV, 1909, VI, 12), modifying these only slightly for home purposes. They were a small race 5 ft. 4 inches to 5 ft. 7 in. in height, slender in form, with rather broad heads and thick skulls, who hunted, kept domestic animals (cows, sheep, goats); had fire and cooked food; possessed no metals; made by hand a porous and gritty soft-baked pottery which they decorated with red lines; and were capable of a rude art—the oldest in Palestine—in which drawings of various animals are given. They prized certain bars of stone (possibly phallic); they probably offered sacrifices; they certainly cremated their dead, depositing with the ashes a few food vessels. The crematory found was 31 ft. long by 24 wide, and in it the bodies were burned whole, without regard to orientation. Many cup marks in the rocks suggest possible religious rites; in close connection with these markings were certain remains, including bones of swine (compare Le 11:7).

(b) The Semites who displaced this population were more advanced in civilization, having bronze tools and potter’s wheels, with finer and more varied pottery; they were a heavier race, being 5 ft. 7 inches to 5 ft. 11 inches tall, larger-boned, thicker-skulled, and with longer faces. They did not burn but buried their dead carelessly upon the floor of the natural caves. The grave deposits are the same as before; occasionally some beads are found with the body. The former race had surrounded their settlement with a wall 6 ft. high and 8 ft. thick, mostly earth, though faced with selected stones; but this race built a wall of hammered stones, though irregularly cut and laid, the wall being 10 ft. thick, and one gateway being 42 ft. wide, flanked by two towers. While huts were always the common residences (as in later eras), yet some buildings of stone were erected toward the close of this period and one large palace was found, built of stone and having a row of columns down the center, and containing a complex of rooms, including one rectangular hall, 40 ft. long by 25 ft. wide. Most remarkable of all were their works of engineering. They hewed enormous constructions, square, rectangular and circular, out of the soft chalk and limestone rocks, one of which contained 60 chambers, one chamber being 400 by 80 ft. The supreme work, however, was a tunnel which was made circa 2000 BC, passing out of use circa 1450-1250 BC, and which shows the power of these early Palestinians. It was 200-250 ft. long and consisted of a roadway cut through the hill of rock some 47 1/2 ft. to an imposing archway 23 ft. high and 12 ft. 10 inches broad, which led to a long sloping passage of equal dimensions, with the arch having a vaulted roof and the sides well plumb. This led into a bed of much harder rock, where dimensions were reduced and the workmanship was poorer, but ultimately reached, about 130 ft. below the present surface of the ground, an enormous living spring of such depth that the excavators could not empty it of the soft mud with which it was filled. A well-cut but well-worn and battered stone staircase, over 12 ft. broad, connected the spring with the upper section of the tunnel 94 ft. above. Beyond the spring was a natural cave 80 by 25 ft. Dr. Macalister asks, "Did a Canaanite governor plan and Canaanite workmen execute this vast work? How did the ancient engineers discover the spring?" No one can answer; but certainly the tunnel was designed to bring the entrance of the water passage within the courtyard protected by the palace walls.

Another great reservoir, 57 by 46 ft., at another part of the city was quarried in the rock to a depth of 29 1/2 ft., and below this another one of equal depth but not so large, and narrowing toward the bottom. These were covered with two coats of cement and surrounded by a wall; they would hold 60,000 gals.

(c) The second Semitic city, built on the ruins of the first, was smaller, but more luxurious. There were fewer buildings but larger rooms. The potter’s wheel was worked by the foot. Pottery becomes much finer, the styles and decoration reaching a climax of grace and refinement. Foreign trade begins in this period and almost or quite reaches its culmination. The Hyksos scarabs found here prove that under their rule (XVIth and XVIIth Dynastles) there was close intercourse with Palestine, and the multitudes of Egyptian articles show that this was also true before and after the Hyksos. The Cretan and the Aegean trade, especially through Cyprus, introduced new art ideas which soon brought local attempts at imitation. Scribes’ implements for writing in wax and clay begin here and are found in all strata hereafter.

While the pottery is elaborately painted, it is but little molded. The older "combed" ornament practically disappears, while burnished ornament reaches high-water mark. Animal figures are common, the eyes often being elaborately modeled and stuck on; but it is infantile article Burials still occur in natural caves, but also in those hewn artificially; the bodies are carelessly deposited on the floor without coffins, generally in a crouching position, and stones are laid around and over them without system. Drink offerings always and food offerings generally are placed with the dead. Scarabs are found with the skeletons, and ornaments of bronze and silver, occasionally gold and beads, and sometimes weapons. Lamps also begin to be deposited, but in small numbers.

(d) During this period Menephtah "spoiled Gezer," and Israel established itself in Canaan. The excavations have given no hint of Menephtah’s raid, unless it be found in an ivory pectoral bearing his cartouche. About 1400 BC a great wall, 4 ft. thick, was built of large and well-shaped stones and protected later by particularly fine towers, perhaps, as Macalister suggests, by the Pharaoh who captured Gezer and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, wife of King Solomon. A curious fact, which seemingly illustrates Jos 16:10, is the large increase of the town shortly after the Hebrew invasion. "The houses are smaller and more crowded and the sacred area of the high place is built over." "There is no indication of an exclusively Israelite population around the city outside" (Macalister, v. Driver, Modern Research, 69). That land was taken for building purposes from the old sacred enclosure, and that new ideas in building plans and more heavily fortified buildings were now introduced have been thought to suggest the entrance among the ancient population of another element with different ideas. The finest palace of this period with very thick walls (3-9 ft.) carefully laid out at right angles, and certainly built near "the time of the Hebrew invasion," was perhaps the residence of Horam (Jos 10:33). At this period seals begin (10 being found here, as against 28 in the next period, and 31 in the Hellenistic) and also iron tools; the use of the carpenter’s compass is proved, the bow drill was probably in use, bronze and iron nails appear (wrought iron being fairly common from circa 1000 BC); a cooking-pot of bronze was found, and spoons of shell and bronze; modern methods of making buttons and button holes are finest from this period, pottery buttons being introduced in the next city. One incidental Bible reference to the alliance between Gezer and Lachish (Jos 10:33) finds unexpected illustration from the fact that a kind of pottery peculiar to Lachish, not having been found in any other of the Southern Palestinian towns, was found at Gezer. The pottery here in general shows the same method of construction as in the 3rd stratum, but the decoration and shapes deteriorate, while there is practically no molding. It shows much the same foreign influence as before, the styles being affected from Egypt, Crete, the Aegean, and especially Cyprus. From this period come 218 scarabs, 68 from the period previous and 93 from the period following. Ornamental colored specimens of imported Egyptian glass also occur, clear glass not being found till the next period. Little intercourse is proved with Babylon at this era: as against 16 Babylonian cylinders found in the previous period, only 4 were found in this and 15 in the next period. There is no marked change in the method of disposing of the dead, but the food vessels are of smaller size and are placed in the graves in great numbers, most of these being broken either through the use of poor vessels because of economy or with the idea of liberating the spirit of the object that it might serve the deceased in the spirit world. Lamps are common now in every tomb but there is a marked decrease in the quantity and value of ornamental objects. Religious emblems occur but rarely. The worship of Astarte (see ASHTORETH), the female consort of Baal, is most popular at this era, terra cotta figures and plaques of this goddess being found in many types and in large numbers. It is suggestive that these grow notably less in the next stratum. It is also notable that primitive idols are certainly often intentionally ugly (Vincent). So to this day Arabs ward off the evil eye.

(e) This period, during which almost the entire prophetic literature was produced, is of peculiar interest. Gezer at this time as at every other period was in general appearance like a modern Arab village, a huge mass of crooked, narrow, airless streets, shut inside a thick wall, with no trace of sanitary conveniences, with huge cisterns in which dead men could lie undetected for centuries, and with no sewers. Even in the Maccabean time the only sewer found ran, not into a cesspool, but into the ground, close to the governor’s palace. The mortality was excessively high, few old men being found in the cemeteries, while curvature of the spine, syphilis, brain disease, and especially broken, unset bones were common. Tweezers, pins and needles, kohl bottles, mirrors, combs, perfume boxes, scrapers (for baths) were common in this stratum and in all that follow it, while we have also here silver earrings, bracelets and other beautiful ornaments with the first sign of clear glass objects; tools also of many kinds of stone, bronze and iron, an iron hoe just like the modern one, and the first known pulley of bronze. The multitude of Hebrew weights found here have thrown much new light on the weight-standards of Palestine (see especially Macalister, Gezer, II, 287-92; E. J. Pilcher, PEFS, 1912; A. R. S. Kennedy, Expository Times, XXIV).

The pottery was poor in quality, clumsy and coarse in shape and ornament, except as it was imported, the local Aegean imitations being unworthy. Combed ornament was not common, and the burnished as a rule was limited to random scratches. Multiple lamps became common, and a large variety of styles in small jugs was introduced. The motives of the last period survive, but in a degenerate form. The bird friezes so characteristic of the 3rd Semitic period disappear. The scarab stamp goes out of use, but the impressions of other seals "now become fairly common as potter’s marks." These consist either of simple devices (stars, pentacles, etc.) or of names in Old Hebrew script. These Hebrew-inscribed stamps were found at many sites and consist of two classes, (i) those containing personal names, such as Azariah, Haggai, Menahem, Shebaniah, etc., (ii) those which are confined to four names, often repeated—Hebron, Socoh, Ziph, Mamshith—in connection with a reference to the king, e.g. "For (or Of) the king of Hebron." These latter date, according to Dr. Macalister’s final judgment, from the Persian period. He still thinks they represent the names of various potters or potters’ guilds in Palestine (compare 1Ch 2; 4; 5, and see especially Bible Side-Lights from Gezer, 150, etc.), but others suppose these names to represent the local measures of capacity, which differed in these various districts; others that these represented different tax-districts where wine jars would be used and bought. At any rate, we certainly have here the work of the king’s potters referred to in 1Ch 4:23. Another very curious Hebrew tablet inscription is the so-called Zodiacal Tablet, on which the signs of the Zodiac are figured with certain other symbols which were at first supposed to express some esoteric magical or religious meaning, but which seem only to represent the ancient agricultural year with the proper months indicated for sowing and reaping—being the same as the modern seasons and crops except that flax was cultivated in ancient times. An even more important literary memorial from this period consists of two cuneiform tablets written about three-quarters of a century after the Ten Tribes had been carried to Assyria and foreign colonies had been thrown into Israelite territory. This collapse of the Northern Kingdom was not marked by any local catastrophe, so far as the ruins indicate, any more than the collapse of the Canaanite kingdom when Israel entered Palestine; but soon afterward we find an Assyrian colony settled in Gezer "using the Assyrian language and letters .... and carrying on business with Assyrian methods." In one tablet (649 BC), which is a bill of sale for certain property, containing description of the same, appeared the name of the buyer, seals of seller and signature of 12 witnesses, one of whom is the Egyptian governor of the new town, another an Assyrian noble whose name precedes that of the governor, and still another a Western Asiatic, the others being Assyrian. It is a Hebrew "Nethaniah," who the next year, as the other tablet shows, sells his field, his seal bearing upon it a lunar stellar emblem. Notwithstanding the acknowledged literary work of high quality produced in Palestine during this period, no other hint of this is found clear down to the Greek period except in one neo-Babylonian tablet.

The burials in this period were much as previously, except that the caves were smaller and toward the end of the period shelves around the walls received the bodies. In one Semitic tomb as many as 150 vessels were found. Quite the most astonishing discovery at this level was that of several tombs which scholars generally agree to be "Philistine." They were not native Canaanite, but certainly Aegean intruders with relations with Crete and Cyprus, such as we would expect the Philistines to have (see PHILISTINES). The tombs were oblong or rectangular, covered with large horizontal slabs, each tomb containing but a single body, stretched out with the head to the East or West One tomb was that of a girl of 18 with articles of alabaster and silver about her, and wearing a Cretan silver mouth plate; another was a man of 40 with agate seal of Assyrian design, a two-handled glass vessel, etc.; another was a woman surrounded by handsome ornaments of bronze, lead, silver and gold, with a basalt scarab between her knees. The richest tomb was that of a girl whose head had been severed from the body; with her was a hemispherical bowl, ornamented with rosette and lotus pattern, and a horde of beautiful things. The iron in these tombs was noticeable (compare 1Sa 17:7), and in one tomb were found two ingots of gold, one of these being of the same weight almost to a fraction as that of Achan (Jos 7:21). The most impressive discovery was the high place. This began as early as 2500-2000 BC, and grew by the addition of monoliths and surrounding buildings up to this era. The eight huge uncut pillars which were found standing in a row, with two others fallen (yet compare Benzinger, Hebrew Archaeology, 320), show us the actual appearance of this ancient worshipping-place so famous in the Bible (De 16:22; 2Ki 17:9,11; 23:8). The top of one of these monoliths had been worn smooth by kisses; another was an importation, being possibly, as has been suggested, a captured "Aril"; another stone, near by, had a large cavity in its top, nearly 3 ft. long and 2 ft. broad and 1 ft. 2 inches deep, which is differently interpreted as being the block upon which the ‘asherah, so often mentioned in connection with the matstsebhoth, may have been erected, or as an altar, or perhaps a layer for ritual ablutions. Inside the sacred enclosure was found a small bronze cobra (2Ki 18:4), and also the entrance to an ancient cave, where probably oracles were given, the excavators finding that this cave was connected with another by a small, secret passage—through which presumably the message was delivered. In the stratum underlying the high place was a cemetery of infants buried in large jars. "That the sacrificed infants were the firstborn, devoted in the temple, is indicated by the fact that none were over a week old" (Macalister). In all the Semitic strata bones of children were also found in corners of the houses, the deposits being identical with infant burials in the high place; and examination showed that these were not stillborn children. At least some of the burials under the house thresholds and under the foundation of walls carry with them the mute proofs of this most gruesome practice. In one place the skeleton of an old woman was found in a corner where a hole had been left just large enough for this purpose. A youth of about 18 had been cut in two at the waist and only the upper part of his body deposited. Before the coming into Palestine of the Israelites, a lamp began to be placed under the walls and foundations, probably symbolically to take the place of human sacrifice. A lamp and bowl deposit under the threshold, etc., begins in the 3rd Semitic period, but is rare till the middle of that period. In the 4th Semitic period it is common, though not universal; in the Hellenic it almost disappears. Macalister suspects that these bowls held blood or grape juice. In one striking case a bronze figure was found in place of a body. Baskets full of phalli were carried away from the high place. Various types of the Astarte were found at Gezer. When we see the strength and popularity of this religion against which the prophets contended in Canaan, "we are amazed at the survival of this world-religion," and we now see "why Ezra and Nehemiah were forced to raise the ‘fence of the law’ against this heathenism, which did in fact overthrow all other Semitic religions" (George Adam Smith. PEFS, 1906, 288).

(f) During the Maccabean epoch the people of Gezer built reservoirs (one having a capacity of 4,000,000 gallons) used well-paved rooms, favored complex house plans with pillars, the courtyard becoming less important as compared with the rooms, though domestic fowls were now for the first time introduced. The architectural decorations have all been annihilated (as elsewhere in Pal) except a few molded stones and an Ionic volute from a palace, supposed to be that of Simon Maccabeus because of the references in Josephus and because of a scribbled imprecation found in the courtyard: "May fire overtake (?) Simon’s palace." This is the only inscription from all these post-exilic centuries, to which so much of the beautiful Bible literature is ascribed, except one grotesque animal figure on which is scrawled a name which looks a little like "Antiochus." Only a few scraps of Greek bowls, some Rhodian jar-handles, a few bronze and iron arrow heads, a few animal figures and a fragment of an Astarte, of doubtful chronology, remain from these four centuries. The potsherds prove that foreign imports continued and that the local potters followed classic models and did excellent work. The ware was always burnt hard; combed ornament and burnishing were out of style; molded ornament was usually confined to the rope design; painted decorations were rare; potter’s marks were generally in Greek, though some were in Hebrew, the letters being of late form, and no names appearing similar to those found in Scripture. The tombs were well cut square chambers, with shafts hewn in the rock for the bodies, usually nine to each tomb, which were run into them head foremost. The doorways were well cut, the covers almost always being movable flat slabs, though in one case a swinging stone door was found—circular rolling stones or the "false doors" so often found in the Jerusalem tombs being unknown here. Little shrines were erected above the forecourt or vestibule. When the body decayed, the bones in tombs having these kukhin, shafts, were collected into ossuaries, the inscriptions on these ossuaries showing clearly the transition from Old Hebrew to the square character. After the Maccabean time the town was deserted, though a small Christian community lived here in the 4th century AD.

See also GEZER.


Most Important Recent Monographs:

Publications of Palestine Exploration Fund, especially Survey of Western Palestine (9 volumes, 1884); survey of Eastern Palestine (2 Volumes, 1889); "Palestinian Pilgrim’s Text Society’s Library" (13 vols) and the books of W.M. Flinders Petrie, F.J. Bliss and R.A.S. Macalister; also Bliss, Development of Palestine Exploration (1906), and Macalister, Bible Side-Lights from the Mound of Gezer (1906); Ernst Sellin, Tell Ta‘annek (1904); Eine Nachlese auf dem Tell Ta‘annek (1905); C. Steuernagel, Tell el-Mutesellim (1908); Mommert, Topog. des alten Jerusalem (1902-7); H. Guthe, Bibelatlas (1911).

Most Important Periodicals:

PEFS; ZDPV; Mitteilungen Und Nachrichten des deutschen Palastina-Vereins; Palastina-Jahrbuch (MNDPV); Revue Biblique.

Most Important General Works:

L.B. Paton, Early History of Syria and Palestine (1902); Cuinet, Syrie, Liban et Palestine (1896-1900); H.V. Hilprecht, Explorations in Bible Lands during the 19th Century. (1903); P.H. Vincent, Canaan, d’apres l’exploration recente (1907); G.A. Smith, Jerusalem (1908); S. R. Driver, Modern Research as Illustrating the Bible (1909).

Camden M. Cobern


pal’-es-tin (pelesheth; Phulistieim, Allophuloi; the King James Version Joe 3:4 (the Revised Version (British and American) "Philistia"), "Palestina"; the King James Version Ex 15:14; Isa 14:29,31; compare Ps 60:8; 83:7; 87:4; 108:9):


1. General Geographical Features

2. Water-Supply

3. Geological Conditions

4. Fauna and Flora

5. Climate

6. Rainfall

7. Drought and Famine


1. Places Visited by Abraham

2. Places Visited by Isaac

3. Places Visited by Jacob

4. Mentioned in Connection with Judah

5. Review of Geography of Genesis

6. Exodus and Leviticus

7. Numbers

8. Deuteronomy


1. Book of Joshua

2. Book of Judges

3. Book of Ruth

4. Books of Samuel

5. Books of Kings

6. Post-exilic Historical Books


1. Book of Job

2. Book of Psalms

3. Book of Proverbs

4. So of Songs


1. Isaiah

2. Jeremiah

3. Ezekiel

4. Minor Prophets


1. Book of Judith

2. Book of Wisdom

3. 1 Maccabees

4. 2 Maccabees


1. Synoptic Gospels

2. Fourth Gospel

3. Book of Acts


The word properly means "Philistia," but appears to be first used in the extended sense, as meaning all the "Land of Israel" or "Holy Land" (Zec 2:12), by Philo and by Ovid and later Roman authors (Reland, Palestine Illustr., I, 38-42).

I. Physical Conditions.

The Bible in general may be said to breathe air of Palestine; and it is here intended to show how important for sound criticism is the consideration of its geography, and of the numerous incidental allusions to the natural features, fauna, flora, cultivation, and climate of the land in which most of the Bible books were written. With the later history and topography of Palestine, after 70 AD, we are not here concerned, but a short account of its present physical and geological conditions is needed for our purpose.

1. General Geographical Features:

Palestine West of the Jordan, between Da and Beersheba, has an area of about 6,000 square miles, the length from Hermon southward being nearly 150 miles, and the width gradually increasing from 20 miles on the North to 60 miles on the South. It is thus about the size of Wales, and the height of the Palestinian mountains is about the same as that of the Welsh. East of the Jordan an area of about 4,000 square miles was included in the land of Israel. The general geographical features are familiar to all.

(1) The land is divided by the deep chasm of the Jordan valley—an ancient geological fault continuing in the Dead Sea, where its depth (at the bottom of the lake) is 2,600 ft. below the Mediterranean.

(2) West of the valley the mountain ridge, which is a continuation of Lebanon, has very steep slopes on the East and long spurs on the West, on which side the foothills (Hebrew shephelah or "lowland") form a distinct district, widening gradually southward, while between this region and the sea the plains of Sharon and Philistia stretch to the sandhills and low cliffs of a harborless coast.

(3) In Upper Galilee, on the North, the mountain ridge rises to 4,000 ft. above the Mediterranean. Lower Galilee, to the South, includes rounded hills less than 1,000 ft. above the sea, and the triangular plain of Esdraelon drained by the River Kishon between the Gilboa watershed on the East and the long spur of Carmel on the West.

(4) In Samaria the mountains are extremely rugged, but a small plain near Dothan adjoins that of Esdraelon, and another stretches East of Shechem, 2,500 ft. above the level of the Jordan valley. In Judea the main ridge rises toward Hebron and then sinks to the level of the Beersheba plains about 1,000 ft. above the sea. The desert of Judah forms a plateau (500 ft. above sea-level), between this ridge and the Dead Sea, and is throughout barren and waterless; but the mountains—which average about 3,000 ft. above the sea—are full of good springs and suitable for the cultivation of the vine, fig and olive. The richest lands are found in the shephelah region—especially in Judea—and in the corn plains of Esdraelon, Sharon, and Philistia.

(5) East of the Jordan the plateau of Bashan (averaging 1,500 ft. above the sea) is also a fine corn country. South of this, Gilead presents a mountain region rising to 3,600 ft. above sea-level at Jebel Osha‘, and sloping gently on the East to the desert. The steep western slopes are watered by the Jabbok River, and by many perennial brooks. In North Gilead especially the wooded hills present some of the most picturesque scenery of the Holy Land. South of Gilead, the Moab plateau (about 2,700 ft. above sea-level) is now a desert, but is fitted for raising grain, and, in places, for vines. A lower shelf or plateau (about 500 to 1,000 ft. above sea-level) intervenes between the main plateau and the Dead Sea cliffs, and answers to the Desert of Judah West of the lake.

2. Water-Supply:

The water-supply of Palestine is abundant, except in the desert regions above noticed, which include only a small part of its area. The Jordan runs into the Dead Sea, which has no outlet and which maintains its level solely by evaporation, being consequently very salt; the surface is nearly 1,300 ft. below the Mediterranean, whereas the Sea of Galilee (680 ft. below sea-level) is sweet and full of fish. The Jordan is fed, not only by the snows of Hermon, but by many affluent streams from both sides. There are several streams also in Sharon, including the Crocodile River under Carmel. In the mountains, where the hard dolomite limestone is on the surface, perennial springs are numerous. In the lower hills, where this limestone is covered by a softer chalky stone, the supply depends on wells and cisterns. In the Beersheba plains the water, running under the surface, is reached by scooping shallow pits—especially those near Gerar, to be noticed later.

3. Geological Conditions:

The fertility and cultivation of any country depends mainly on its geological conditions. These are comparatively simple in Palestine, and have undergone no change since the age when man first appeared, or since the days of the Hebrew patriarchs. The country was first upheaved from the ocean in the Eocene age; and, in the subsequent Miocene age, the great crack in the earth’s surface occurred, which formed a narrow gulf stretching from that of the ‘Aqabah on the South almost to the foot of Hermon. Further upheaval, accompanied by volcanic outbreaks which covered the plateaus of Golan, Bashan, and Lower Galilee with lava, cut off the Jordan valley from the Red Sea, and formed a long lake, the bottom of which continued to sink on the South to its present level during the Pleiocene and Pluvial periods, after which—its peculiar fauna having developed meanwhile—the lake gradually dried up, till it was represented only, as it now is, by the swampy Chuleh, the pear-shaped Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea. These changes all occurred long ages before the appearance of man. The beds upheaved include: (1) the Nubian Sandstone (of the Greensand period), which was sheared along the line of the Jordan fault East of the river, and which only appears on the western slopes of Hermon, Gilead, and Moab; (2) the limestones of the Cretaceous age, including the hard dolomite, and softer beds full of characteristic fossils; (3) the soft Eocene limestone, which appears chiefly on the western spurs and in the foothills, the angle of upheaval being less steep than that of the older main formation. On the shores of the Mediterranean a yet later sandy limestone forms the low cliffs of Sharon.


4. Fauna and Flora:

As regards fauna, flora and cultivation, it is sufficient here to say that they are still practically the same as described throughout the Bible. The lion and the wild bull (Bos primigenius) were exterminated within historic times, but have left their bones in the Jordan gravels, and in caves. The bear has gradually retreated to Hermon and Lebanon. The buffalo has been introduced since the Moslem conquest. Among trees the apple has fallen out of cultivation since the Middle Ages, and the cactus has been introduced; but Palestine is still a land of grain, wine and oil, and famous for its fruits. Its trees, shrubs and plants are those noticed in the Bible. Its woods have been thinned in Lower Galilee and Northern Sharon, but on the other hand the copse has often grown over the site of former vineyards and villages, and there is no reason to think that any general desiccation has occurred within the last 40 centuries, such as would affect the rainfall.

5. Climate:

The climate of Palestine is similar to that of other Mediterranean lands, such as Cyprus, Sicily or Southern Italy; and, in spite of the fevers of mosquito districts in the plains, it is much better than that of the Delta in Egypt, or of Mesopotamia. The summer heat is oppressive only for a few days at a time, when (espescially in May) the dry wind—deficient in ozone—blows from the eastern desert. For most of the season a moisture-laden sea breeze, rising about 10 AM, blows till the evening, and fertilizes all the western slopes of the mountains. In the bare deserts the difference between 90ø F. by day and 40ø F. by night gives a refreshing cold. With the east wind the temperature rises to 105ø F., and the nights are oppressive. In the Jordan valley, in autumn, the shade temperature reaches 120ø F. In this season mists cover the mountains and swell the grapes. In winter the snow sometimes lies for several days on the watershed ridge and on the Edomite mountains, but in summer even Hermon is sometimes quite snowless at 9,000 ft. above the sea. There is perhaps no country in which such a range of climate can be found, from the Alpine to the tropical, and none in which the range of fauna and flora is consequently so large, from the European to the African.

6. Rainfall:

The rainfall of Palestine is between 20 and 30 inches annually, and the rainy season is the same as in other Mediterranean countries. The "former rains" begin with the thunderstorms of November, and the "latter rains" cease with April showers. From December to February—except in years of drought—the rains are heavy. In most years the supply is quite sufficient for purposes of cultivation. The plowing begins in autumn, and the corn is rarely spoiled by storms in summer. The fruits ripen in autumn and suffer only from the occasional appearance of locust swarms. There appears to be no reason to suppose that climate or rainfall have undergone any change since the times of the Bible; and a consideration of Bible allusions confirms this view.

7. Drought and Famine:

Thus, the occurrence of drought, and of consequent famine, is mentioned in the Old Testament as occasional in all times (Ge 12:10; 26:2; 41:50; Le 26:20; 2Sa 21:1; 1Ki 8:35; Isa 5:6; Jer 14:1; Joe 1:10-12; Hag 1:11; Zec 14:17), and droughts are also noticed in the Mishna (Ta‘anith, i. 4-7) as occurring in autumn, and even lasting throughout the rainy season till spring. Good rains were a blessing from God, and drought was a sign of His displeasure, in Hebrew belief (De 11:14; Jer 5:24; Joe 2:23). A thunderstorm in harvest time (May) was most unusual (1Sa 12:17,18), yet such a storm does still occur as a very exceptional phenomenon. By "snow in harvest" (Pr 25:13) we are not to understand a snowstorm, for it is likened to a "faithful messenger," and the reference is to the use of snow for cooling wine, which is still usual at Damascus. The notice of fever on the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Mt 8:14) shows that this region was as unhealthy as it still is in summer. The decay of irrigation in Sharon may have rendered the plain more malarious than of old, but the identity of the Palestinian flora with that of the Bible indicates that the climate, generally speaking, is unchanged.

II. Palestine in the Pentateuch.

1. Places Visited by Abraham:

The Book of Genesis is full of allusions to sites sacred to the memory of the Hebrew patriarchs. In the time of Abraham the population consisted of tribes, mainly Semitic, who came originally from Babylonia, including Canaanites ("lowlanders") between Sidon and Gaza, and in the Jordan valley, and Amorites ("highlanders") in the mountains (Ge 10:15-19; Nu 13:29). Their language was akin to Hebrew, and it is only in Egypt that we read of an interpreter being needed (Ge 42:23), while excavated remains of seal-cylinders, and other objects, show that the civilization of Palestine was similar to that of Babylonia.

(1) Shechem.

The first place noticed is the shrine or "station" (maqom) of Shechem, with the Elon Moreh, the Septuagint "high oak"), where Jacob afterward buried the idols of his wives, and where Joshua set up a stone by the "holy place" (Ge 12:6; 35:4; Jos 24:26). Samaritan tradition showed the site near BalaTa ("the oak") at the foot of Mt. Gerizim. The "Canaanite was then in the land" (in Abraham’s time), but was exterminated (Ge 34:25) by Jacob’s sons. From Shechem Abraham journeyed southward and raised an altar between Bethel (Beitin) and Hal (Chayan), East of the town of Luz, the name of which still survives hard-by at the spring of Lozeh (Ge 12:8; 13:3; 28:11,19; 35:2).

(2) The Negeb.

But, on his return from Egypt with large flocks (Ge 12:16), he settled in the pastoral region, between Beersheba and the western Kadesh (Ge 13:1; 20:1), called in Hebrew the neghebh, "dry" country, on the edge of the cultivated lands. From East of Bethel there is a fine view of the lower Jordan valley, and here Lot "lifted up his eyes" (Ge 13:10), and chose the rich grass lands of that valley for his flocks. The "cities of the Plain" (kikkar) were clearly in this valley, and Sodom must have been near the river, since Lot’s journey to Zoar (Ge 19:22) occupied only an hour or two (Ge 19:15,23) through the plain to the foot of the Moab mountains. These cities are not said to have been visible from near Hebron; but, from the hilltop East of the city, Abraham could have seen "the smoke of the land" (Ge 19:28) rising up. The first land owned by him was the garden of Mamre (Ge 13:18; 18:1; 23:19), with the cave-tomb which tradition still points out under the floor of the Hebron mosque. His tent was spread under the "oaks of Mamre" (Ge 18:1), where his mysterious guests rested "under the tree" (Ge 18:8). One aged oak still survives in the flat ground West of the city, but this tree is very uncommon in the mountains of Judah. In all these incidental touches we have evidence of the exact knowledge of Palestine which distinguishes the story of the patriarchs.

(3) Campaign of Amraphel.

Palestine appears to have been an outlying province of the empire of. Hammurabi, king of Babylon in Abraham’s time; and the campaign of Amraphel resembled those of later Assyrian overlords exacting tribute of petty kings. The route (Ge 14:5-8) lay through Bashan, Gilead and Moab to Kadesh (probably at Petra), and the return through the desert of Judah to the plains of Jericho. Thus Hebron was not attacked (see Ge 14:13), and the pursuit by Abraham and his Amorite allies led up the Jordan valley to Dan, and thence North of Damascus (Ge 14:15). The Salem whose king blessed Abraham on his return was thought by the Samaritans, and by Jerome, to be the city near the Jordan valley afterward visited by Jacob (Ge 14:18; 33:18).


(4) Gerar.

Abraham returned to the southern plains, and "sojourned in Gerar" (Ge 20:1), now Umm Jerrar, 7 miles South of Gaza. The wells which he dug in this valley (Ge 26:15) were no doubt shallow excavations like those from which the Arabs still obtain the water flowing under the surface in the same vicinity (SWP, III, 390), though that at Beersheba (Ge 21:25-32), to which Isaac added another (Ge 26:23-25), may have been more permanent. Three masonry wells now exist at Bir es Seba‘, but the masonry is modern. The planting of a "tamarisk" at this place (Ge 21:33) is an interesting touch, since the tree is distinctive of the dry lowlands. From Beersheba Abraham journeyed to "the land of Moriah" Septuagint "the high land") to sacrifice Isaac (Ge 22:2); and the mountain, according to Hebrew tradition (2Ch 3:1), was at Jerusalem, but according to the Samaritans was Gerizim near the Elon Moreh—a summit which could certainly have been seen "afar off" (2Ch 3:4) on "the third day."

2. Places Visited by Isaac:

Isaac, living in the same pastoral wilderness, at the western Kadesh (Ge 25:11) and at Gerar (Ge 26:2), suffered like his father in a year of drought, and had similar difficulties with the Philistines. At Gerar he sowed grain (Ge 26:12), and the vicinity is still capable of such cultivation. Thence he retreated Southeast to Rehoboth (Rucheibeh), North of Kadesh, where ancient wells like those at Beersheba still exist (Ge 26:22). To Beersheba he finally returned (Ge 26:23).

3. Places Visited by Jacob:

When Jacob fled to Haran from Beersheba (Ge 28:10) he slept at the "place" (or shrine) consecrated by Abraham’s altar near Bethel, and like any modern Arab visitor to a shrine—erected a memorial stone (Ge 28:18), which he renewed twenty years later (Ge 35:14) when God appeared to him "again" (Ge 35:9).

(1) Haran to Succoth.

His return journey from Haran to Gilead raises an interesting question. The distance is about 350 miles from Haran to the Galeed or "witness heap" (Ge 31:48) at Mizpah—probably Suf in North Gilead. This distance Laban is said to have covered in 7 days (Ge 31:23), which would be possible for a force mounted on riding camels. But the news of Jacob’s flight reached Laban on the 3rd day (Ge 31:22), and some time would elapse before he could gather his "brethren." Jacob with his flocks and herds must have needed 3 weeks for the journey. It is remarkable that the vicinity of Mizpah still presents ancient monuments like the "pillar" (Ge 31:45) round which the "memorial cairn" (yeghar-sahadhutha) was formed. From this place Jacob journeyed to Mahanaim (probably Machmah), South of the Jabbok river—a place which afterward became the capital of South Gilead (Ge 32:1 f; 1Ki 4:14); but, on hearing of the advance of Esau from Edom, he retreated across the river (Ge 32:22) and then reached Succoth (Ge 33:17), believed to be Tell Der‘ala, North of the stream.

(2) From the Jordan to Hebron.

Crossing the Jordan by one of several fords in this vicinity, Jacob approached Shechem by the perennial stream of Wady Far‘ah, and camped at Shalem (Salim) on the east side of the fertile plain which stretches thence to Shechem, and here he bought land of the Hivites (Ge 33:18-20). We are not told that he dug a well, but the necessity for digging one in a region full of springs can only be explained by Hivite jealousy of water rights, and the well still exists East of Shechem (compare Joh 4:5 f), not far from the Elon Moreh where were buried the teraphim (Ge 35:4) or "spirits" (Assyrian, tarpu) from Haran (Ge 31:30) under the oak of Abraham. These no doubt were small images, such as are so often unearthed in Palestine. The further progress of Jacob led by Bethel and Bethlehem to Hebron (Ge 35:6,19,27), but some of his elder sons seem to have remained at Shechem. Thus, Joseph was sent later from Hebron (Ge 37:14) to visit his brethren there, but found them at Dothan.

(3) Dothan.

Dothan (Ge 37:17) lay in a plain on the main trade route from Egypt to Damascus, which crossed the low watershed at this point and led down the valley to Jezreel and over Jordan to Bashan. The "well of the pit" (SWP, II, 169) is still shown at Tell Dothan, and the Ishmaelites, from Midian and Gilead, chose this easy caravan route (Ge 37:25,28) for camels laden with the Gilead balm and spices. The plain was fitted for feeding Jacob’s flocks. The products of Palestine then included also honey, pistachio nuts, and almonds (Ge 43:11); and a few centuries later we find notice in a text of Thothmes III of honey and balsam, with oil, wine, wheat, spelt, barley and fruits, as rations of the Egyptian troops in Canaan (Brugsch, Hist Egypt, I, 332).

4. Mentioned in Connection with Judah:

The episode of Judah and Tamar is connected with a region in the Shephelah, or low hills of Judea. Adullam (‘Aid-el-ma), Chezib (‘Ain Kezbeh), and Timnath (Tibneh) are not far apart (Ge 38:1,5,12), the latter being in a pastoral valley where Judah met his "sheep shearers." Tamar sat at "the entrance of Enaim" (compare Ge 38:14,22 the English Revised Version) or Enam (Jos 15:34), perhaps at Kefr ‘Ana, 6 miles Northwest of Timnath. She was mistaken for a qedheshah, or votary (sacred prostitute) of Ashtoreth (Ge 38:15,21), and we know from Hammurabi’s laws that such votaries were already recognized. The mention of Judah’s signet and staff (Ge 38:18) also reminds us of Babylonian customs as described by Herodotus (i.195), and signet-cylinders of Babylonian style, and of early date, have been unearthed in Palestine at Gezer and elsewhere (compare the "Babylonian garment," Jos 7:21).

5. Review of the Geography of Genesis:

Generally speaking, the geography of Ge presents no difficulties, and shows an intimate knowledge of the country, while the allusions to natural products and to customs are in accord with the results of scientific discovery. Only one difficulty needs notice, where Atad (Ge 50:10) on the way from Egypt to Hebron is described as "beyond the Jordan." In this case the Assyrian language perhaps helps us, for in that tongue Yaur-danu means "the great river," and the reference may be to the Nile itself, which is called Yaur in Hebrew (ye’or) and Assyrian alike.

6. Exodus and Leviticus:

Exodus is concerned with Egypt and the Sinaitic desert, though it may be observed that its simple agricultural laws (Exodus 21-23), which so often recall those of Hammurabi, would have been needed at once on the conquest of Gilead and Bashan, before crossing the Jordan. In Leviticus 11 we have a list of animals most of which belong to the desert—as for instance the "coney" or hyrax (Le 11:5; Ps 104:18; Pr 30:26), but others—such as the swine (Le 11:7), the stork and the heron (Le 11:19)—to the ‘Arabah and the Jordan valley, while the hoopoe (the King James Version "lapwing," Le 11:19) lives in Gilead and in Western Palestine. In Deuteronomy 14 the fallow deer and the roe (14:5) are now inhabitants of Tabor and Gilead, but the "wild goat" (ibex), "wild ox" (buball), "pygarg" (addax) and "chamois" (wild sheep), are found in the ‘Arabah and in the deserts.

7. Numbers:

In Numbers, the conquest of Eastern Palestine is described, and most of the towns mentioned are known (21:18-33); the notice of vineyards in Moab (21:22) agrees with the discovery of ancient rock-cut wine presses near Heshbon (SEP, I, 221). The view of Israel, in camp at Shittim by Balaam (22:41), standing on the top of Pisgah or Mt. Nebo, has been shown to be possible by the discovery of Jebel Neba, where also rude dolmens recalling Balak’s altars have been found (SEP, I, 202). The plateau of Moab (32:3) is described as a "land for cattle," and still supports Arab flocks. The camps in which Israel left their cattle, women and children during the wars, for 6 months, stretched (33:49) from Beth-jeshimoth (Suweimeh), near the northeastern corner of the Dead Sea over Abel-shittim ("the acacia meadow"—a name it still bears) in a plain watered by several brooks, and having good herbage in spring.

8. Deuteronomy:

(1) Physical Allusions.

The description of the "good land" in Deuteronomy (8:7) applies in some details with special force to Mt. Gilead, which possesses more perennial streams than Western Palestine throughout—"a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills"; a land also "of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates, a land of olive-trees and honey" is found in Gilead and Bashan. Palestine itself is not a mining country, but the words (8:9), "a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig copper," may be explained by the facts that iron mines existed near Beirut in the 10th century AD, and copper mines at Punon North of Petra in the 4th century AD, as described by Jerome (Onomasticon, under the word "Phinon"). In Deuteronomy also (11:29; compare 27:4; Jos 8:30) Ebal and Gerizim are first noticed, as beside the "oaks of Moreh." Ebal the mountain of curses (3,077 ft. above sea-level) and Gerizim the mountain of blessings (2,850 ft.) are the two highest tops in Samaria, and Shechem lies in a rich valley between them. The first sacred center of Israel was thus established at the place where Abraham built his first altar and Jacob dug his well, where Joseph was buried and where Joshua recognized a holy place at the foot of Gerizim (Jos 24:26). The last chapters of Deuteronomy record the famous Pisgah view from Mt. Nebo (34:1-3), which answers in all respects to that from Jebel Neba, except as to Dan, and the utmost (or "western") sea, neither of which is visible. Here we should probably read "toward" rather than "to," and there is no other hill above the plains of Shittim whence a better view can be obtained of the Jordan valley, from Zoar to Jericho, of the watershed mountains as far North as Gilboa and Tabor, and of the slopes of Gilead.

(2) Archaeology.

But besides these physical allusions, the progress of exploration serves to illustrate the archaeology of Deuteronomy. Israel was commanded (12:3) to overthrow the Canaanite altars, to break the standing stones which were emblems of superstition, to burn the ‘asherah poles (or artificial trees), and to hew down the graven images. That these commands were obeyed is clear. The rude altars and standing stones are now found only in Moab, and in remote parts of Gilead, Bashan, and Galilee, not reached by the power of reforming kings of Judah. The ‘asherah poles have disappeared, the images are found, only deep under the surface. The carved tablets which remain at Damascus, and in Phoenicia and Syria, representing the gods of Canaan or of the Hittites, have no counterpart in the Holy Land. Again when we read of ancient "landmarks" (De 19:14; Pr 22:28; 23:10), we are not to understand a mere boundary stone, but rather one of those monuments common in Babylonia—as early at least as the 12th century BC—on which the boundaries of a field are minutely described, the history of its grant by the king detailed, and a curse (compare De 27:17) pronounced against the man who should dare to remove the stone.

See illustration under NEBUCHADNEZZAR.


III. Palestine in the Historic Books of the Old Testament.

1. Book of Joshua:

Joshua is the great geographical book of the Old Testament; and the large majority of the 600 names of places, rivers and mountains in Palestine mentioned in the Bible are to be found in this book.

(1) Topographical Accuracy.

About half of this total of names were known, or were fixed by Dr. Robinson, between 1838 and 1852, and about 150 new sites were discovered (1872-1878, 1881-1882) in consequence of the 1-in. trigonometrical survey of the country, and were identified by the present writer during this period; a few interesting sites have been added by M. Clermont-Ganneau (Adullam and Gezer), by A. Henderson (Kiriathjearim), by W.F. Birch (Zoar at Tell esh Shaghur), and by others. Thus more than three-quarters of the sites have been fixed with more or less certainty, most of them preserving their ancient names. It is impossible to study this topography without seeing that the Bible writers had personal knowledge of the country; and it is incredible that a Hebrew priest, writing in Babylonia, could have possessed that intimate acquaintance with all parts of the land which is manifest in the geographical chapters of Joshua. The towns are enumerated in due order by districts; the tribal boundaries follow natural lines—valleys and mountain ridges—and the character of various regions is correctly indicated. Nor can we suppose that this topography refers to conditions subsequent to the return from captivity, for these were quite different. Simeon had ceased to inhabit the south by the time of David (1Ch 4:24), and the lot of Da was colonized by men of Benjamin after the captivity (1Ch 8:12,13; Ne 11:34,35). Tirzah is mentioned (Jos 12:24) in Samaria, whereas the future capital of Omri is not. Ai is said to have been made "a heap forever" (Jos 8:28), but was inhabited apparently in Isaiah’s time (Isa 10:28 = Aiath) and certainly after the captivity (Ezr 2:28; Ne 7:32; 11:31 = Aija). At latest, the topography seems to be that of Solomon’s age, though it is remarkable that very few places in Samaria are noticed in the Book of Joshua.

(2) The Passage of the Jordan.

Israel crossed Jordan at the lowest ford East of Jericho. The river was in flood, swollen by the melting snows of Hermon (Jos 3:15); the stoppage occurred 20 miles farther up at Adam (ed-Damieh), the chalky cliffs at a narrow place being probably undermined and falling in, thus damming the stream. A Moslem writer asserts that a similar stoppage occurred in the 13th century AD, near the same point. (See JORDAN.) The first camp was established at Gilgal (Jilgulieh), 3 miles East of Jericho, and a "circle" of 12 stones was erected. Jericho was not at the medieval site (er Richa) South of Gilgal, or at the Herodian site farther West, but at the great spring ‘Ain es SulTan, close to the mountains to which the spies escaped (Jos 2:16). The great mounds were found by Sir C. Warren to consist of sun-dried bricks, and further excavations (see Mitteil. der deutschen Orient-Gesell., December, 1909, No. 41) have revealed little but the remains of houses of various dates.

(3) Joshua’s First Campaign.

The first city in the mountains attacked by Israel was Ai, near Chayan, 2 miles Southeast of Bethel. It has a deep valley to the North, as described (Jos 8:22). The fall of Ai and Bethel (Jos 8:17) seems to have resulted in the peaceful occupation of the region between Gibeon and Shechem (Jos 8:30-9:27); but while the Hivites submitted the Amorites of Jerusalem and of the South attacked Gibeon (el Jib) and were driven down the steep pass of Beth-horon (Beit ‘Aur) to the plains (Jos 10:1-11). Joshua’s great raid, after this victory, proceeded through the plain to Makkedah, now called el Mughar, from the "cave" (compare Jos 10:17), and by Libnah to Lachish (Tell el Chesy), whence he went up to Hebron, and "turned" South to Debir (edh Dhaheriyeh), thus subduing the shephelah of Judah and the southern mountains, though the capital at Jerusalem was not taken. It is now very generally admitted that the six letters of the Amorite king of Jerusalem included in Tell el-Amarna Letters may refer to this war. The ‘Abiri or Chabiri are therein noticed as a fierce people from Seir, who "destroyed all the rulers," and who attacked Ajalon, Lachish, Ashkelon, Keilah (on the main road to Hebron) and other places.


(4) The Second Campaign.

The second campaign (Jos 11:1-14) was against the nations of Galilee; and the Hebrew victory was gained at "the waters of Merom" (Jos 11:5). There is no sound reason for placing these at the Chuleh lake; and the swampy Jordan valley was a very unlikely field of battle for the Canaanite chariots (Jos 11:6). The kings noticed are those of Madon (Madin), Shimron (Semmunieh), Dor (possibly Tell Thorah), "on the west," and of Hazor (Chazzur), all in Lower Galilee. The pursuit was along the coast toward Sidon (Jos 11:8); and Merom may be identical with Shimron-meron (Jos 12:20), now Semmunieh, in which case the "waters" were those of the perennial stream in Wady el Melek, 3 miles to the North, which flow West to join the lower part of the Kishon. Shimron-meron was one of the 31 royal cities of Palestine West of the Jordan (Jos 12:9-24).

The regions left unconquered by Joshua (13:2-6) were those afterward conquered by David and Solomon, including the Philistine plains, and the Sidonian coast from Mearah (el Mogheiriyeh) northward to Aphek (Afqa) in Lebanon, on the border of the Amorite country which lay South of the "land of the Hittites" (Jos 1:4). Southern Lebanon, from Gebal (Jubeil) and the "entering into Hamath" (the Eleutherus Valley) on the West, to Baal-gad (probably at ‘Ain Judeideh on the northwestern slope of Hermon) was also included in the "land" by David (2Sa 8:6-10). But the whole of Eastern Palestine (Jos 13:7-32), and of Western Palestine, except the shore plains, was allotted to the 12 tribes. Judah and Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh), being the strongest, appear to have occupied the mountains and the shephelah, as far North as Lower Galilee, before the final allotment.

Thus, the lot of Simeon was within that inherited by Judah (Jos 19:1), and that of Da seems to have been partly taken from Ephraim, since Joseph’s lot originally reached to Gezer (Jos 16:3); but Benjamin appears to have received its portion early (compare Jos 15:5-11; 16:1,2; 18:11-28). This lot was larger than that of Ephraim, and Benjamin was not then the "smallest of the tribes of Israel" (1Sa 9:21), since the destruction of the tribe did not occur till after the death of Joshua and Eleazar (Jud 20:28).

The twelve tribes were distributed in various regions which may here briefly be described. Reuben held the Moab plateau to the Arnon (Wady Mojub) on the South, and to the "river of Gad" (Wady Na‘aur) on the North, thus including part of the Jordan valley close to the Dead Sea. Gad held all the West of Gilead, being separated from the Ammonites by the upper course of the Jabbok. All the rest of the Jordan valley East of the river was included in this lot. Manasseh held Bashan, but the conquest was not completed till later. Simeon had the neghebh plateau South of Beersheba. Judah occupied the mountains South of Jerusalem, with the shephelah to their West, and claimed Philistia South of Ekron. Benjamin had the Jericho plains and the mountains between Jerusalem and Bethel. The border ran South of Jerusalem to Rachel’s tomb (1Sa 10:2), and thence West to Kiriath-jearim (‘Erma) and Ekron. Da occupied the lower hills West of Benjamin and Ephraim, and claimed the plain from Ekron to Rakkon (Tell er Raqqeit) North of Joppa. Manasseh had a large region, corresponding to Samaria, and including Carmel, Sharon and half the Jordan valley, with the mountains North of Shechem; but this tribe occupied only the hills, and was unable to drive the Cannanites out of the plains (Jos 17:11,16) Ephraim also complained of the smallness of its lot (Jos 17:15), which lay in rugged mountains between Bethel and Shechem, including however, the grain plateau East of the latter city. Issachar held the plains of Esdraelon and Dothan, with the Jordan valley to the East, but soon became subject to the Canaanites. Zebulun had the hills of Lower Galilee, and the coast from Carmel to Accho. Naphtali owned the mountains of Upper Galilee, and the rich plateau between Tabor and the Sea of Galilee. Asher had the low hills West of Naphtali, and the narrow shore plains from Accho to Tyre. Thus each tribe possessed a proportion of mountain land fit for cultivation of figs, olives and vines, and of arable land fit for corn. The areas allotted appear to correspond to the density of population that the various regions were fitted to support.

The Levitical cities were fixed in the various tribes as centers for the teaching of Israel (De 33:10), but a Levite was not obliged to live in such a city, and was expected to go with his course annually to the sacred center, before they retreated to Jerusalem on the disruption of the kingdom (2Ch 11:14). The 48 cities (Jos 21:13-42) include 13 in Judah and Benjamin for the priests, among which Beth-shemesh (1Sa 6:13,15) and Anathoth (1Ki 2:26) are early noticed as Levitical. The other tribes had 3 or 4 such cities each, divided among Kohathites (10), Gershonites (13), and Merarites (12). The six Cities of Refuge were included in the total, and were placed 3 each side of the Jordan in the South, in the center, and in the North, namely Hebron, Shechem and Kedesh on the West, and Bezer (unknown), Ramoth (Reimun) and Golan (probably Sachem el Jaulan) East of the river. Another less perfect list of these cities, with 4 omissions and 11 minor differences, mostly clerical, is given in 1Ch 6:57-81. Each of these cities had "suburbs," or open spaces, extending (Nu 35:4) about a quarter-mile beyond the wall, while the fields, to about half a mile distant, also belonged to the Levites (Le 25:34).

2. Book of Judges:

(1) Early Wars.

In Judges, the stories of the heroes who successively arose to save Israel from the heathen carry us to every part of the country. "After the death of Joshua" (Jud 1:1) the Canaanites appear to have recovered power, and to have rebuilt some of the cities which he had ruined. Judah fought the Perizzites ("villagers") at Berek (Berqah) in the lower hills West of Jerusalem, and even set fire to that city. Caleb attacked Debir (Jsg 1:12-15), which is described (compare Jos 15:15-19) as lying in a "dry" (the King James Version "south") region, yet with springs not far away. The actual site (edh Dhaheriyeh) is a village with ancient tombs 12 miles Southwest of Hebron; it has no springs, but about 7 miles to the Northeast there is a perennial stream with "upper and lower springs." As regards the Philistine cities (Jud 1:18), the Septuagint reading seems preferable; for the Greek says that Judah "did not take Gaza" nor Ashkelon nor Ekron, which agrees with the failure in conquering the "valley" (Jud 1:19) due to the Canaanites having "chariots of iron." The Canaanite chariots are often mentioned about this time in the Tell el-Amarna Letters and Egyptian accounts speak of their being plated with metals. Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher and Naphtali, were equally powerless against cities in the plains (Jud 1:27-33); and Israel began to mingle with the Canaanites, while the tribe of Da seems never to have really occupied its allotted region, and remained encamped in the borders of Judah till some, at least, of its warriors found a new home under Hermon (Jud 1:34; 18:1-30) in the time of Jonathan, the grandson of Moses.

(2) Defeat of Sisera.

The oppression of Israel by Jabin II of Hazor, in Lower Galilee, appears to have occurred in the time of Rameses II, who, in his 8th year, conquered Shalem (Salim, North of Taanach), Anem (‘Anin), Dapur (Deburieh, at the foot of Tabor), with Bethanath (‘Ainitha) in Upper Galilee (Brugsch, History of Egypt, II, 64). Sisera may have been an Egyptian resident at the court of Jabin (Jud 4:2); his defeat occurred near the foot of Tabor (Jud 4:14) to which he advanced East from Harosheth (el Charathiyeh) on the edge of the sea plain. His host "perished at Endor" (Ps 83:9) and in the swampy Kishon (Jud 5:21). The site of the Kedesh in "the plain of swamps" (Jud 4:11) to which he fled is doubtful. Perhaps Kedesh of Issachar (1Ch 6:72) is intended at Tell Qadeis, 3 miles North of Taanach, for the plain is here swampy in parts. The Canaanite league of petty kings fought from Taanach to Megiddo (Jud 5:19), but the old identification of the latter city with the Roman town of Legio (Lejjun) was a mere guess which does not fit with Egyptian accounts placing Megiddo near the Jordan. The large site at Mugedd‘a, in the Valley of Jezreel seems to be more suitable for all the Old Testament as well as for the Egyptian accounts (SWP, II, 90-99).

(3) Gideon’s Victory.

The subsequent oppression by Midianites and others would seem to have coincided with the troubles which occurred in the 5th, year of Minepthah (see EXODUS, THE). Gideon’s home (Jud 6:11) at Ophrah, in Manasseh, is placed by Samaritan tradition at Fer‘ata, 6 miles West of Shechem, but his victory was won in the Valley of Jezreel (Jud 7:1-22); the sites of Beth-shittah (ShaTTa) and Abel-meholah (‘Ain Chelweh) show how Midian fled down this valley and South along the Jordan plain, crossing the river near Succoth (Tell Der‘ala) and ascending the slopes of Gilead to Jogbehah (Jubeichah) and Nobah (Jud 8:4-11). But Oreb ("the raven") and Zeeb ("the wolf") perished at "the raven’s rock" and "the wolf’s hollow" (compare Jud 7:25), West of the Jordan. It is remarkable (as pointed out by the present author in 1874) that, 3 miles North of Jericho, a sharp peak is now called "the raven’s nest," and a ravine 4 miles farther North is named "the wolf’s hollows." These sites are rather farther South than might be expected, unless the two chiefs were separated from the fugitives, who followed Zebah and Zalmunna to Gilead. In this episode "Mt. Gilead" (Jud 7:3) seems to be a clerical error for "Mt. Gilboa," unless the name survives in corrupt form at ‘Ain Jalud ("Goliath’s spring"), which is a large pool, usually supposed to be the spring of Harod (Jud 7:1), where Gideon camped, East of Jezreel.

The story of Abimelech takes us back to Shechem. He was made king by the "oak of the pillar" (Jud 9:6), which was no doubt Abraham’s oak already noticed; it seems also to be called ‘the enchanter’s oak’ (Jud 9:37), probably from some superstition connected with the burial of the Teraphim under it by Jacob. The place called Beer, to which Jotham fled from Abimelech (Jud 9:21), may have been Beeroth (Bireh) in the lot of Benjamin. Thebez, the town taken by the latter (Jud 9:50), and where he met his death, is now the village Tubas, 10 miles Northeast of Shechem.

The Ammonite oppression of Israel in Gilead occurred about 300 years after the Hebrew conquest (Jud 11:26), and Jephthah the deliverer returned to Mizpah (Jud 11:29), which was probably the present village Cuf (already noticed), from his exile in the "land of Tob" (Jud 11:3,6). This may have been near Taiyibeh, 9 miles South of Gadara, in the extreme North of Gilead—a place notable for its ancient dolmens and rude stone monuments, such as occur also at Mizpah. Jephthah’s dispute with the men of Ephraim (Jud 12:1) indicates the northern position of Mizpah. Aroer (Jud 11:33) is unknown, but lay near Rabbath-ammon (Jos 13:25; 2Sa 24:5); it is to be distinguished from Aroer (’Ar‘air) in the Arnon ravine, mentioned in Jud 11:26.

The scene of Samson’s exploits lies in the shephelah of Judah on the borders of Philistia. His home at Zorah (Sur‘ah) was on the hills North of the Valley of Sorek, and looked down on "the camp of Dan" (Jud 13:25 margin), which had been pitched in that valley near Beth-shemesh. Eshtaol (Eshu‘a) was less than 2 miles East of Zorah on the same ridge. Timnath (Jud 14:1) was only 2 miles West of Beth-shemesh, at the present ruin Tibneh. The region was one of vineyards (Jud 14:5), and the name Sorek (Surik) still survives at a ruin 2 miles West of Zorah. Sorek signified a "choice vine," and a rock-cut wine press exists at the site (SWP, III, 126). These 5 places, all close together, were also close to the Philistine grain lands (Jud 15:5) in a region of vines and olives. Samson’s place of refuge in the "cleft of the rock of Etam" (see Jud 15:8) was probably at Beit ‘ATab, only 5 miles East of Zorah, but rising with a high knoll above the southern precipices of the gorge which opens into the Valley of Sorek. In this knoll, under the village, is a rock passage now called "the well of refuge" (Bur el Chasutah), which may have been the "cleft" into which Samson "went down." Lehi (Jud 15:9) was apparently in the valley beneath, and the name ("the jaw") may refer to the narrow mouth of the gorge whence, after conference with the Philistines, the men of Judah "went down" (Jud 15:11) to the "cleft of the rock of Etam" (SWP, III, 83, 137), which was a passage 250 ft. long leading down, under the town, to the spring. All of Samson’s story is connected with this one valley (for Delilah also lived in the "Valley of Sorek," Jud 16:4) except his visit to Gaza, where he carried the gates to the ‘hill facing Hebron’ (Jud 16:3), traditionally shown (SWP, III, 255) at the great mound on the East side of this town where he died, and where his tomb is (wrongly) shown. Another tomb, close to Zorah, represents a more correct tradition (16:31), but the legends of Samson at this village are of modern Christian origin.

The appendix to Judges includes two stories concerning Levites who both lived in the time of the 2nd generation after the Hob conquest (18:30; 20:28), and who both "sojourned" in Bethlehem of Judah (17:8; 19:2), though their proper city was one in Mt. Ephraim, In the first case Jonathan, the grandson of Moses, founded a family of idolatrous priests, setting up Micah’s image at Da (Tell el Qadi) beside the sources of the Jordan, where ancient dolmen altars still exist. This image may have been the cause why Jeroboam afterward established a calf-temple at the same place. It is said to have stood there till the "captivity of the ark" (St. Petersburg MS, Jud 18:30), "all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh" (Jud 18:31). From this narrative we learn that the tribe of Da did not settle in its appointed lot (Jud 18:1), but pitched in the "camp of Dan," west of Kiriath-jearim (Jud 18:12). This agrees with the former mention of the site (Jud 13:25) as being near Zorah; and the open valley near Beth-shemesh is visible, through the gorges of Lehi, from the site of Kiriath-jearim at ‘Erma.

(4) Appendix: The Defeat of Benjamin.

In the 2nd episode we trace the journey of the Levite from Bethlehem past Jerusalem to Gibeah (Jeba‘), East of Ramah (er-Ram), a distance which could easily be traversed in an afternoon (compare Jud 19:8-14). Gibeah was no doubt selected as a halting-place by the Levite, because it was a Levitical city. The story of the great crime of the men of Gibeah was well known to Hosea (Jud 9:9). Israel gathered against them at Mizpah (Tell en Nacbeh) on the watershed, 3 miles to the Northwest, and the ark was brought by Phinehas to Bethel (compare Jud 20:1,31; 18:26,27), 3 miles Northeast of Mizpah. The defeat of Benjamin occurred where the road to Gibeah leaves the main north road to Bethel (Jud 18:31), West of Ramah. The survivors fled to the rock Rimmon (Rummon), 3 1/2 miles East of Bethel, on the edge of the "wilderness" which stretches from this rugged hill toward the Jordan valley. The position of Shiloh, 9 miles North of this rock, is very accurately described (Jud 21:19) as being North of Bethel (Beitin), and East of the main road, thence to Shechem which passes Lebonah (Lubban), a village 3 miles Northwest of Seilun or Shiloh. The "vineyards," in which the maidens of Shiloh used to dance (Jud 21:20) at the Feast of Tabernacles, lay no doubt where vineyards still exist in the little plain South of this site. It is clear that the writer of these two narratives had an acquaintance with Palestinian topography as exact as that shown throughout Jgs. Nor (if the reading "captivity of the ark" be correct) is there any reason to suppose that they were written after 722 BC.

3. Book of Ruth:

The Book of Ru gives us a vivid picture of Hebrew life "when the judges ruled" (1:1 the King James Version), about a century before the birth of David. Laws as old as Hammurabi’s age allowed the widow the choice of remaining with the husband’s family, or of quitting his house (compare 1:8). The beating out of gleanings (2:17) by women is still a custom which accounts for the rock mortars found so often scooped out on the hillside. The villager still sleeps, as a guard, beside the heap of winnowed grain in the threshing-floor (3:7); the head-veil, still worn, could well have been used to carry six measures of barley (3:15). The courteous salutation of his reapers by Boaz (2:4) recalls the common Arabic greeting (Allah ma‘kum), "God be with you." But the thin wine (2:14) is no longer drunk by Moslem peasants, who only "dip" their bread in oil.

4. Books of Samuel:

(1) Samuel.

The two Books of Samuel present an equally valuable picture of life, and an equally real topography throughout. Samuel’s father—a pious Levite (1Ch 6:27)—descended from Zuph who had lived at Ephratah (Bethlehem; compare 1Sa 9:4,5), had his house at Ramah (1Sa 1:19) close to Gibeah, and this town (er-Ram) was Samuel’s home also (1Sa 7:17; 25:1). The family is described as ‘Ramathites, Zuphites of Mt. Ephraim’ (1Sa 1:1), but the term "Mt. Ephraim" was not confined to the lot of Ephraim, since it included Bethel and Ramah, in the land of Benjamin (Jud 4:5). As a Levite, Elkanah obeyed the law of making annual visits to the central shrine, though this does not seem to have been generally observed in an age when "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Jud 21:25). The central shrine had been removed by Joshua from Shechem to the remote site of Shiloh (Jos 22:9), perhaps for greater security, and here the tabernacle (Jos 22:19) was pitched (compare 1Sa 2:22) and remained for 4 centuries till the death of Eli. The great defeat of Israel, when the ark was captured by the Philistines, took place not far from Mizpah (1Sa 4:1), within an easy day’s journey from Shiloh (compare 1Sa 4:12). Ekron, whence it was sent back (1Sa 6:16), was only 12 miles from Beth-shemesh (‘Ainshems), where the ark rested on a "great stone" (Septuagint, 1Sa 6:18); and Beth-shemesh was only 4 miles West of Kiriath-jearim (1Sa 6:21), which was in the mountains, so that its inhabitants "came down" from "the hill" (1Sa 6:21; 7:1) to fetch the ark, which abode there for 20 years, till the beginning of Saul’s reign (1Sa 14:18), when, after the war, it may have been restored to the tabernacle at Nob, to which place the latter was probably removed after Eli’s death, when Shiloh was deserted. The exact site of Nob is not known, but probably (compare Isa 10:32) it was close to Mizpah, whence the first glimpse of Jerusalem is caught, and thus near Gibeon, where it was laid up after the massacre of the priests (1Sa 21:1; 22:9,18; 2Ch 1:3), when the ark was again taken to Kiriath-jearim (2Sa 6:2). Mizpah (Tell en-Nacbeh) was the gathering-place of Israel under Samuel; and the "stone of help" (Eben-ezer) was erected, after his victory over the Philistines, "between Mizpah and Shen" (1Sa 7:12)—the latter place (see Septuagint) being probably the same as Jeshanah (‘Ain Sinai), 6 miles North of Mizpah which Samuel visited yearly as a judge (1Sa 7:16).

(2) Saul’s Search.

The journey of Saul, who, "seeking asses found a kingdom," presents a topography which has often been misunderstood. He started (1Sa 9:4) from Gibeah (Jeba’) and went first to the land of Shalisha through Mt. Ephraim. Baal-shalisha (2Ki 4:42) appears to have been the present Kefr Thilth, 18 miles North of Lydda and 24 miles Northwest from Gibeah. Saul then searched the land of Shalim—probably that of Shual (1Sa 13:17), Northeast of Gibeah. Finally he went south beyond the border of Benjamin (1Sa 10:2) to a city in the "land of Zuph," which seems probably to have been Bethlehem, whence (as above remarked) Samuel’s family—descendants of Zuph—came originally. If so, it is remarkable that Saul and David were anointed in the same city, one which Samuel visited later (1Sa 16:1,2 ) to sacrifice, just as he did when meeting Saul (1Sa 9:12), who was probably known to him, since Gibeah and Ramah were only 2 miles apart. Saul’s journey home thus naturally lay on the road past Rachel’s tomb near Bethlehem, and along the Bethel road (1Sa 10:2,3) to his home at Gibeah (1Sa 10:5,10). It is impossible to suppose that Samuel met him at Ramah—a common mistake which creates great confusion in the topography.

(3) Saul’s Coronation and First Campaign.

Saul concealed the fact of his anointing (1Sa 10:16) till the lot fell upon him at Mizpah. This public choice by lot has been thought (Wellhausen, History of Israel, 1885, 252) to indicate a double narrative, but to a Hebrew there would not appear to be any discrepancy, since "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of Yahweh" (Pr 16:33). Even at Mizpah he was not fully accepted till his triumph over the Ammonites, when the kingdom was "renewed" at Gilgal (1Sa 11:14). This campaign raises an interesting question of geography. Only 7 days’ respite was allowed to the men of Jabesh in Gilead (1Sa 11:3), during which news was sent to Saul at Gibeah, and messengers dispatched "throughout the borders of Israel" (1Sa 11:7), while the hosts gathered at Bezek, and reached Jabesh on the 7th or 8th day (1Sa 11:8-10) at dawn. Bezek appears to be a different place from that West of Jerusalem (Jud 1:4) and to have been in the middle of Palestine at Ibzik, 14 miles North of Shechem, and 25 miles West of Jabesh, which probably lay in Wady Yabis in Gilead. The farthest distances for the messengers would not have exceeded 80 miles; and, allowing a day for the news to reach Saul and another for the march from Bezek to Jabesh, there would have been just time for the gathering of Israel at this fairly central meeting-place.

The scene of the victory over the Philistines at Michmash is equally real. They had a ‘post’ in Geba (or Gibeah, 1Sa 13:3), or a governor (compare the Septuagint), whom Jonathan slew. They came up to Michmash (Mukhmas) to attack Jonathan’s force which held Gibeah, on the southern side of the Michmash valley, hard by. The northern cliff of the great gorge was called Bozez ("shining") in contrast to the southern one (in shadow) which was named Seneh or "thorn" (1Sa 14:4). Josephus (BJ, V, ii, 2) says that Gibeah of Saul was by "the valley of thorns," and the ravine, flanked by the two precipitous cliffs East of Michmash, is still called Wady es SuweiniT, or "the valley of little thorn trees." Jonathan climbed the steep slope that leads to a small flat top (1Sa 14:14 the King James Version), and surprised the Philistine ‘post.’ The pursuit was by Bethel to the Valley of Aijalon, down the steep Beth-boron pass (1Sa 14:23,31); but it should be noted that there was no "wood" (1Sa 14:25,26) on this bare hilly ridge, and the word (compare So 5:1) evidently means "honeycomb." It is also possible that the altar raised by Saul, for fulfillment of the Law (Ge 9:4; Ex 20:25), was at Nob where the central shrine was then established.

(4) David’s Early Life.

David fed his flocks in the wilderness below Bethlehem, where many a silent and dreadful "Valley of Shadows" (compare Ps 23:4) might make the stoutest heart fail. The lion crept up from the Jordan valley, and (on another occasion) the bear came down from the rugged mountains above (1Sa 17:34). No bears are now known South of Hermon, but the numerous references (2Ki 2:24; Isa 59:11; Ho 13:8; Pr 17:12; 28:15) show that they must have been exterminated, like the lion, in comparatively late times. The victory over Goliath, described in the chapter containing this allusion, occurred in the Valley of Elah near Shochoth (Shuweikeh); and this broad valley (Wady es SunT) ran into the Philistine plain at the probable site of Gath (Tell es Cafi) to which the pursuit led (1Sa 17:1,2,52). The watercourse still presents "smooth stones" (1Sa 17:40) fit for the sling, which is still used by Arab shepherds; and the valley still has in it fine "terebinths" such as those from which it took its name Elah. The bronze armor of the giant (1Sa 17:5,6) indicates an early stage of culture, which is not contradicted by the mention of an iron spearhead (1Sa 17:7), since iron is found to have been in use in Palestine long before David’s time. The curious note (1Sa 17:54) as to the head of Goliath being taken "to Jerusalem" is also capable of explanation. Jerusalem was not conquered till at least 10 years later, but it was a general practice (as late as the 7th century BC in Assyria) to preserve the heads of dead foes by salting them, as was probably done in another case (2Ki 10:7) when the heads of Ahab’s sons were sent from Samaria to Jezreel to be exposed at the gate.

David’s outlaw life began when he took refuge with Samuel at the "settlements" (Naioth) near Ramah, where the company of prophets lived. He easily met Jonathan near Gibeah, which was only 2 miles East; and the "stone of departure" ("Ezel," 1Sa 20:19) may have marked the Levitical boundary of that town. Nob also (1Sa 20:1) was, as we have seen, not far off, but Gath (1Sa 20:10) was beyond the Hebrew boundary. Thence David retreated up the Valley of Elah to Adullam (‘Aid-el-ma), which stood on a hill West of this valley near the great turn (southward) of its upper course. An inhabited cave still exists here (compare 1Sa 22:1), and the site meets every requirement (SWP, III, 311, 347, 361-67). Keilah (1Sa 23:1) is represented by the village Kila, on the east side of the same valley, 3 miles farther up; and Hereth (1Sa 22:5) was also near, but "in Judah" (1Sa 23:3), at the village Kharas on a wooded spur 7 miles Northwest of Hebron. Thence David went "down" (1Sa 23:4) to Keilah 2 miles away to the West. As there was no safety for the outlaws, either in Philistia or in Judah, they had to retreat to the wilderness of Ziph (Tell ez Zif), 4 miles Southeast of Hebron. The word "wood" (choresh) may more probably be a proper name, represented by the ruin of Khoreisa, rather more than a mile South of Ziph, while the hill Hachilah (1Sa 23:19) might be the long spur, over the Jeshimon or desert of Judah, 6 miles East of Ziph, now called el Kola. Maon (M‘ain) lay on the edge of the same desert still farther South, about 8 miles from Hebron. En-gedi (1Sa 23:29; 24:1,2) was on the precipices by the Dead Sea. The "wild goats" (ibex) still exist here in large droves, and the caves of this desert are still used as folds for sheep in spring (1Sa 24:3). The villagers South of Hebron are indeed remarkable for their large flocks which—by agreement with the nomads—are sent to pasture in the Jeshimon, like those of Nabal, the rich man of Carmel (Kurmul), a mile North of Maon (1Sa 25:2), who refused the customary present to David’s band which had protected his shepherds "in the fields" (1Sa 25:15) or pastures of the wilderness. In summer David would naturally return to the higher ridge of Hachilah (1Sa 26:1) on the south side of which there is a precipitous gorge (impassable save by a long detour), across which he talked to Saul (1Sa 26:13), likening himself (1Sa 26:20) to the desert "partridge" still found in this region.

(5) The Defeat and Death of Saul.

The site of Ziklag is doubtful, but it evidently lay in the desert South of Beersheba (Jos 15:31; 19:5; 1Ch 4:30; 1Sa 27:6-12), far from Gath, so that King Achish did not know whether David had raided the South of Judah, or the tribes toward Shur. Saul’s power in the mountains was irresistible; and it was for this reason perhaps that his fatal battle with the Philistines occurred far North in the plain near Jezreel. They camped (1Sa 28:4) by the fine spring of Shunem (Sulem), and Saul on Gilboa to the South. The visit to Endor (Andur) was thus a perilous adventure, as Saul must have stolen by night round the Philistine host to visit this place North of Shunem. He returned to the spur of Gilboa on which Jezreel stands (1Sa 29:1), and the spring noticed is a copious supply North of the village Zer‘in. Beth-shan (1Sa 31:12) was at the mouth of the valley of Jezreel at Besian, and here the bodies of Saul and his sons were burned by the men of Jabesh-gilead; but, as the bones were preserved (1Sa 31:13; 2Sa 21:13), it is possible that the corpses were cremated in pottery jars afterward buried under the tree. Excavations in Palestine and in Babylonia show that this was an early practice, not only in the case of infants (as at Gezcr, and Taanach), but also of grown men. See PALESTINE EXPLORATION. The list of cities to which David sent presents at the time of Saul’s death (1Sa 30:26-31) includes those near Ziklag and as far North as Hebron, thus referring to "all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt."

(6) Wellhausen’s Theory of a Double Narrative.

The study of David’s wanderings, it may be noted, and of the climatic conditions in the Jeshimon desert, does not serve to confirm Wellhausen’s theory of a double narrative, based on the secret unction and public choice of Saul, on the double visit to Hachilah, and on the fact that the gloomy king had forgotten the name of David’s father. The history is not a "pious make-up" without "a word of truth" (Wellhausen, Hist Israel, 248-49); and David, as a "youth" of twenty years, may yet have been called a "man of war"; while "transparent artifice" (p. 251) will hardly be recognized by the reader of this genuine chronicle. Nor was there any "Aphek in Sharon" (p. 260), and David did not "amuse himself by going first toward the north" from Gibeah (p. 267); his visit to Ramah does not appear to be a "worthless anachronistic anecdote" (p. 271); and no one who has lived in the terrible Jeshimon could regard the meeting at Hachilah as a "jest" (p. 265). Nor did the hill ("the dusky top") "take its name from the circumstance," but Wellhausen probably means the Sela‘-ha-machleqoth ("cliff of slippings" or of "slippings away"), now Wady Malaqeh near Maon (compare 1Sa 23:19,24,28), which lay farther South than Ziph.

(7) Early Years of David’s Reign.

David, till the 8th year of his reign, was king of Judah only. The first battle with Saul’s son occurred at Gibeon (2Sa 2:13), where the "pool" was no doubt the cave of the great spring at el Jib; the pursuit was by the ‘desert Gibeon road’ (2Sa 2:24) toward the Jordan valley. Gibeon itself was not in a desert, but in a fertile region. Abner then deserted to David, but was murdered at the "well of Sirah" (‘Ain Sarah) on the road a mile North of David’s capital at Hebron. Nothing more is said about the Philistines till David had captured Jerusalem, when they advanced on the new capital by the valley of Rephaim (2Sa 5:22), which apparently ran from South of Jerusalem to join the valley of Elah. If David was then at Adullam ("the hold," 2Sa 5:17 the King James Version; compare 1Sa 22:5), it is easy to understand how he cut off the Philistine retreat (2Sa 5:23), and thus conquered all the hill country to Gezer (2Sa 5:25). After this the ark was finally brought from Baale-judah (Kiriath-jearim) to Jerusalem (2Sa 6:2), and further wars were beyond the limits of Western Palestine, in Moab (2Sa 8:2) and in Syria (2Sa 8:3-12); but for "Syrians" (2Sa 8:13) the more correct reading appears to be Edomites (1Ch 18:12), and the "Valley of Salt" was probably South of the Dead Sea. Another war with the Syrians, aided by Arameans from East of the Euphrates, occurred East of the Jordan (2Sa 10:16-18), and was followed by the siege of Rabbath-ammon (‘Amman), East of Gilead, where we have notice of the "city of waters" (2Sa 12:27), or lower town by the stream, contrasted, it seems, with the citadel which was on the northern hill.

(8) Hebrew Letter-writing.

In this connection we find the first notice of a "letter" (2Sa 11:14) as written by David to Joab. Writing is of course noticed as early as the time of Moses when—as we now know—the Canaanites wrote letters on clay tablets in cuneiform script. These, however, were penned by special scribes; and such a scribe is mentioned early (Jud 8:14). David himself may have employed a professional writer (compare 2Sa 8:17), while Uriah, who carried his own fate in the letter, was probably unable to read. Even in Isaiah’s time the art was not general (Isa 29:12), though Hebrew kings could apparently write and read (De 17:18; 2Ki 19:14); to the present day the accomplishment is not general in the East, even in the upper class. It should be noted that the first evidence of the use of an alphabet is found in the early alphabetic Psalms, and the oldest dated alphabetic text yet known is later than 900 BC. The script used in the time of Moses may have been cuneiform, which was still employed at Gezer for traders’ tablets in 649 BC. The alphabet may have come into use first among Hebrews, through Phoenician influence in the time of David; and so far no script except this and the cuneiform has been unearthed in Palestine, unless it is to be recognized in signs of the Hittite syllabary at Lachish and Gezer. Another interesting point, as regards Hebrew civilization in David’s time, is the first mention of "mules" (2Sa 13:29; 18:9; 1Ki 1:33,38), which are unnoticed in the Pentateuch. They are represented as pack animals on an Assyrian bas-relief; but, had they been known to Moses, they would probably have been condemned as unclean. The sons of David fled on mules from Baal-hazor (Tell ‘Acur) "beside Ephraim" (now probably Taiyibeh), North of Bethel, where Absalom murdered Amnon.

(9) The Later Years of David’s Reign.

On the rebellion of Absalom David retreated to Mahanaim, apparently by the road North of the Mount of Olives, if the Targum of Jonathan (2Sa 16:5) is correct in placing Bahurim at Almon (‘Almit), Northeast of Jerusalem. It is not clear where the "wood of Ephraim," in which Absalom perished, may have been, but it was beyond Jordan in Gilead (2Sa 17:22; 18:6); and oak woods are more common there than in Western Palestine. The latest revolt, after Absalom’s death, was in the extreme north at Abel (Abil), in Upper Galilee (2Sa 20:14), after which Joab’s journey is the last incident to be studied in the Books of Samuel. For census purposes he went East of the Jordan to Aroer (perhaps the city on the Arnon), to the "river of Gad" (Wady Na‘aur) near Jazer, and through Gilead. Tahtim-hodshi (2Sa 24:6) is believed (on the authority of three Greek manuscripts) to be a corruption of "the Hittites at Kadesh" (Qades), the great city on the Orontes (see HITTITES), which lay on the northern boundary of David’s dominions, South of the kingdom of Hamath. Thence Joab returned to Zidon and Tyre, and after visiting all Judah to Beersheba reached Jerusalem again within 10 months. The acquisition of the temple-site then closes the book.

5. Books of Kings:

(1) Solomon’s Provinces.

The Books of Kings contain also some interesting questions of geography. Solomon’s twelve provinces appear to answer very closely to the lots of the twelve tribes described in Josh. They included (1Ki 4:7-19) the following:

(a) Ephraim,

(b) Dan,

(c) Southern Judah (see Jos 12:17),

(d) Manasseh,

(e) Issachar,

(f) Northern Gilead and Bashan,

(g) Southern Gilead,

(h) Naphtali,

(i) Asher,

(j) part of Isaachar and probably Zebulun (the text is doubtful, for the order of 1Ki 4:17 differs in the Septuagint),

(k) Benjamin,

(1) Reuben.

The Septuagint renders the last clause (4:19), "and one Naseph (i.e. "officer"‘) in the land of Judah"—probably superior to the other twelve. Solomon’s dominions included Philistia and Southern Syria, and stretched along the trade route by Tadmor (Palmyra) to Tiphsah on the Euphrates (4:21,24; compare 9:18 = Tamar; 2Ch 8:4 = Tadmot). Another Tiphsah (now Tafsach) lay 6 miles Southwest of Shechem (2Ki 15:16). Gezer was presented to Solomon’s wife by the Pharaoh (1Ki 9:16).

(2) Geography of the Northern Kingdom.

Jeroboam was an Ephraimite (1Ki 11:26) from Zereda, probably Curdah, 2 miles Northwest of Bethel, but the Septuagint reads "Sarira," which might be Carra, 1 1/2 miles East of Shiloh. After the revolt of the ten tribes, "Shishak king of Egypt" (1Ki 11:40; 14:25) sacked Jerusalem. His own record, though much damaged, shows that he not only invaded the mountains near Jerusalem, but that he even conquered part of Galilee. The border between Israel and Judah lay South of Bethel, where Jeroboam’s calf-temple was erected (1Ki 12:29), Ramah (er-Ram) being a frontier town with Geba and Mizpah (1Ki 15:17,22); but after the Syrian raid into Galilee (1Ki 15:20), the capital of Israel was fixed at Tirzah (1Ki 15:21), a place celebrated for its beauty (So 6:4), and perhaps to be placed at Teiacir, about 11 miles Northeast of Shechem, in romantic scenery above the Jordan valley. Omri reigned here also for six years (1Ki 16:23) before he built Samaria, which remained the capital till 722 BC. Samaria appears to have been a city at least as large as Jerusalem, a strong site 5 miles Northwest of Shechem, commanding the trade route to its west. It resisted the Assyrians for 3 years, and when it fell Sargon took away 27,290 captives. Excavations at the site will, it may be hoped, yield results of value not as yet published: See next article.

The wanderings of Elijah extended from Zarephath (Curafend), South of Sidon, to Sinai. The position of the Brook Cherith (1Ki 17:3) where—according to one reading—"the Arabs brought him bread and flesh" (1Ki 17:6) is not known. The site of this great contest with the prophets of the Tyrian Baal is supposed to be at el Machraqah ("the place of burning") at the southeastern end of the Carmel ridge. Some early king of Israel perhaps, or one of the judges (compare De 33:19), had built an altar to Yahweh above the Kishon (1Ki 18:20,40) at Carmel; but, as the water (1Ki 18:33) probably came from the river, it is doubtful whether this altar was on the "top of Carmel," 1,500 ft. above, from which Elijah’s servant had full view of the sea (1Ki 18:42,43). Elijah must have run before Ahab no less than 15 miles, from the nearest point on Carmel (1Ki 18:46) to Jezreel, and the journey of the Shunammite woman to find Elisha (2Ki 4:25) was equally long. The vineyard of Naboth in Jezreel (1Ki 21:1) was perhaps on the east of the city (now Zer‘in), where rock-cut wine presses exist. In the account of the ascension of Elijah, the expression "went down to Bethel" (2Ki 2:2) is difficult, if he went "from Gilgal" (2Ki 2:1). The town intended might be Jiljilia, on a high hill 7 miles North of Bethel. The Septuagint, however, reads "they came."

(3) Places Connected with Elisha.

The home of Elisha was at Abel-meholah (1Ki 19:16) in the Jordan valley (Jud 7:22), probably at ‘Ain Chelweh, 10 miles South of Beth-shan. If we suppose that Ophel (2Ki 5:24 the Revised Version margin), where he lived, was the present ‘Afuleh, it is not only easy to understand that he would often "pass by" Shunem (which lay between Ophel and Abel-meholah), but also how Naaman might have gone from the palace of Jezreel to Ophel, and thence to the Jordan and back again to Ophel (2Ki 5:6,14,24), in the course of a single day in his chariot. The road down the valley of Jezreel was easy, and up it Jehu afterward drove furiously, coming from Ramoth in Gilead, and visible afar off from the wall of Jezreel (2Ki 9:20). The ‘top of the ascents’ (2Ki 9:13), at Ramoth, refers no doubt to the high hill on which this city (now Reimun) stood as a strong fortress on the border between Israel and the Syrians. The flight of Ahaziah of Judah, from Jezreel was apparently North by Gur (Qara), 4 miles West of Ibleam (Yebla), on the road to "the garden house" (Beit Jenn), and thence by Megiddo (Mujedda‘) down the Jordan valley to Jerusalem (2Ki 9:27,28). Of the rebellion of Moab (2Ki 1:1; 3:4) it is enough to point out here that King Mesha’s account on the Moabite Stone agrees with the Old Testament, even in the minute detail that "men of Gad dwelt in Ataroth from of old" (compare Nu 32:34), though it lay in the lot of Reuben.

6. Post-exilic Historical Books:

The topographical notices in the books written after the captivity require but short notice. The Benjamites built up Lod (Ludd), Ono (Kerr ‘Ana) and Aijalon (Yalo), which were in the lot of Da (1Ch 8:12; Ne 11:35), and it is worthy of note that Lod (Lydda) is not to be regarded as a new town simply because not mentioned in the earlier books; for Lod is mentioned (number 64) with Ono in the lists of Thothmes III, a century before the Hebrew conquest of Palestine The author of Chronicles had access to information not to be found elsewhere in the Old Testament. His list of Rehoboam’s fortresses (2Ch 11:6-10) includes 14 towns, most of which were on the frontiers of the diminished kingdom of Judah, some being noticed (such as Shoco and Adoraim) in the list of Shishak’s conquests. He speaks of the "valley of Zephathah" (2Ch 14:10), now Wady Cafieh, which is otherwise unnoticed, and places it correctly at Mareshah (Mer‘ash) on the edge of the Philistine plain. He is equally clear about the topography in describing the attack on Jehoshaphat by the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites. They camped at En-gedi (‘Ain Jidi), and marched West toward Tekoa (Tequ‘a); and the thanksgiving assembly, after the Hebrew victory, was in the valley of Beracah (2Ch 20:1,20,26), which retains its name as Breikut, 4 miles West of Tekoa.


IV. Palestine in the Poetic Books of the Old Testament.

1. Book of Job:

In Job the scene is distinctively Edomite. Uz (Job 1:1; compare Ge 22:21 the English Revised Version; Jer 25:20; La 4:21) and Buz (Job 32:2; compare Ge 22:21) are the Assyrian Chazu and Bazu reached by Esarhaddon in 673 BC South of Edom. Tema and Sheba (Job 6:19) are noticed yet earlier, by Tiglath-pileser III, and Sargon, who conquered the Thamudites and Nabateans. We have also the conjunction of snowy mountains and ice (Job 6:16) with notice of the desert and the ‘Arabah valley (24:5), which could hardly apply to any region except Edom. Again, we have a nomad population dwelling close to a city (29:4-7)—perhaps Petra, or Ma‘an in Edom. There were mines, not only in the Sinaitic desert, but at Punon in Northern Edom (compare 28:2-11). The white broom (30:4) is distinctive of the deserts of Moab and Edom. The wild donkey and the ostrich (39:5,13) are now known only in the desert East of Edom; while the stork (39:13 the Revised Version margin) could have been found only in the ‘Arabah, or in the Jordan valley. The wild ox (39:9 the Revised Version (British and American)), or Boa primi-genius, is now extinct Septuagint "unicorn," Nu 23:22; De 33:17), though its bones occur in Lebanon caves. It was hunted about 1130 BC in Syria by Tiglath-pileser I (compare Ps 29:6), and is mentioned as late as the time of Isaiah (34:7) in connection with Edom; its Hebrew name (re’em) is the Assyrian rimu, attached to a representation of the beast. As regards the crocodile ("leviathan," Job 41:1), it was evidently well known to the writer, who refers to its strong, musky smell (Job 41:31), and it existed not only in Egypt but in Palestine, and is still found in the Crocodile River, North of Caesarea in Sharon. Behemoth (Job 40:15), though commonly supposed to be the hippopotamus, is more probably the elephant (on account of its long tail, its trunk, and its habit of feeding in mountains, Job 40:17,20,24); and the elephant was known to the Assyrians in the 9th century BC, and was found wild in herds on the Euphrates in the 16th century BC. The physical allusions in Job seem clearly, as a rule, to point to Edom, as do the geographical names; and though Christian tradition in the 4th century AD (St. Silvia, 47) placed Uz in Bashan, the Septuagint defines it as lying "on the boundary of Edom and Arabia." None of these allusions serves to fix dates, nor do the peculiarities of the language, though they suggest Aramaic and Arabic influences. The mention of Babylonians (Job 1:17) (Kasdim) as raiders may, however, point to about 600 BC, since they could not have reached Edom except from the North, and did not appear in Palestine between the time of Amraphel (who only reached Kadesh-barnea), and of Nebuchadnezzar. It is at least clear (Job 24:1-12) that this great poem was written in a time of general anarchy, and of Arab lawlessness.

2. Book of Psalms:

In the Psalms there are many allusions to the natural phenomena of Palestine, but there is very little detailed topography. "The mountain of Bashan" (Ps 68:15) rises East of the plateau to 5,700 ft. above sea-level; but Zalmon (Ps 68:14) is an unknown mountain (compare Zalmon, Jud 9:48). This psalm might well refer to David’s conquest of Damascus (2Sa 8:6), as Ps 72 refers to the time of Solomon, being the last in the original collection of "prayers of David". In Ps 83 (verses 6-8) we find a confederacy of Edom, Ishmael, Moab and the Hagarenes (or "wanderers" East of Palestine; compare 1Ch 5:18-22) with Gebal (in Lebanon), Ammon, Amalek, and Tyre, all in alliance with Assyria—a condition which first existed in 732 BC, when Tiglath-pileser III conquered Damascus. The reference to the "northern" ("hidden") tribes points to this date (Ps 83:3), since this conqueror made captives also in Galilee (2Ki 15:29; 1Ch 5:26; Isa 9:1).

3. Book of Proverbs:

In Proverbs the allusions are more peaceful, but not geographical. They refer to agriculture (3:10; 11:26; 12:11; 25:13), to trade (7:16; 31:14,24) and to flocks (27:23-27). The most remarkable passage (26:8) reads literally, "As he that packs a stone into the stone-heap, so is he that giveth honor to a fool." Jerome said that this referred to a superstitious custom; and the erection of stone heaps at graves, or round a pillar (Ge 31:45,46), is a widely spread and very ancient custom (still preserved by Arabs), each stone being the memorial of a visitor to the spot, who thus honors either a local ghost or demon, or a dead man—a rite which was foolish in the eyes of a Hebrew of the age in which this verse was written (see Expository Times, VIII, 399, 524).

4. So of Songs:

The geography of Canticles is specially important to a right understanding of this bridal ode of the Syrian princess who was Solomon’s first bride. It is not confined, as some critics say it is, to the north, but includes the whole of Palestine and Syria. The writer names Kedar in North Arabia (So 1:5) and Egypt, whence horses came in Solomon’s time (So 1:9; 1Ki 10:28,29). He knows the henna (the King James Version "camphire") and the vineyards of En-gedi (So 1:14), where vineyards still existed in the 12th century AD. He speaks of the "rose" of Sharon (So 2:1), as well as of Lebanon, with Shenir (Assyrian Saniru) and Hermon (So 4:8) above Damascus (So 7:4). He notices the pastoral slopes of Gilead. (So 6:5), and the brown pool, full of small fish, in the brook below Heshbon (So 7:4), in Moab. The locks of the "peaceful one" (So 6:13, Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) pacifica) are like the thick copses of Carmel; ‘the king is caught in the tangles’ (So 7:5). See GALLERY. She is "beautiful as Tirzah (in Samaria), comely as Jerusalem, terrible to look at" (So 6:4 the King James Version). She is a garden and a "paradise" ("orchard") of spices in Lebanon, some of which spices (calamus, cinnamon, frankincense and myrrh) have come from far lands (So 4:12-15). Solomon’s vineyard—another emblem of the bride—(So 1:6; 8:11) was in Baal-hamon, which some suppose to be Baal-hermon, still famous for its vineyards. He comes to fetch her from the wilderness (So 3:6); and the dust raised by his followers is like that of the whirlwind pillars which stalk over the dry plains of Bashan in summer. The single word "paradise" (So 4:13 margin) is hardly evidence enough to establish late date, since—though used in Persian—its etymology and origin are unknown. The word for "nuts" (Hebrew ‘eghoz) is also not Persian (So 6:11), for the Arabic word jauz, is Semitic, and means a "pair," applying to the walnut which abounds in Shechem. The "rose of Sharon" (So 2:1), according to the Targum, was the white "narcisus; and the Hebrew word occurs also in Assyrian (chabacillatu), as noted by Delitzsch (quoting WAI, V, 32, number 4), referring to a white bulbous plant. Sharon in spring is covered still with wild narcissi, Arabic buceil (compare Isa 35:1,2). There is perhaps no period when such a poem is more likely to have been written than in the time of Solomon, when Israel "dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree" (1Ki 4:25); when the roe and the fallow deer (So 2:17; 1Ki 4:23) abounded; and when merchants (So 3:6) brought "powders" from afar; when also the dominion included Damascus and Southern Lebanon, as well as Western Palestine with Gilead and Moab.


V. Palestine in the Prophets.

1. Isaiah:

Isaiah (1:8) likens Zion, when the Assyrian armies were holding Samaria, Moab and Philistia, to "a booth in a vineyard, a lodge in a garden of cucumbers." He refers no doubt to a "tower" (Mt 21:33), or platform, such as is to be found beside the rock-cut wine press in the deserted vineyards of Palestine; and such as is still built, for the watchman to stand on, in vineyards and vegetable gardens.

The chief topographical question (Isa 10:28-32) refers to the Assyrian advance from the north, when the outposts covered the march through Samaria (whether in 732, 722, or 702 BC) to Philistia. They extended on the left wing to Ai (Chayan), Michmash (Mukhmas), and Geba, South of the Michmash valley (Jeba‘), leading to the flight of the villagers, from Ramah (er-Ram) and the region of Gibeah—which included Ramah, with Geba (1Sa 22:6) and Migron (1Sa 14:2) or the precipice. They were alarmed also at Gallim (Beit Jala), and Anathoth (‘Anata), near Jerusalem; yet the advance ceased at Nob (compare Ne 11:32) where, as before noted, the first glimpse of Zion would be caught if Nob was at or near Mizpah (Tell en Nacbeh), on the main north road leading West of Ramah.

Another passage refers to the towns of Moab (Isa 15:1-6), and to Nimrim (Tell Nimrin) and Zoar (Tell esh Shaghur) in the valley of Shittim. The ascent of Luhith (Isa 15:5) is the present Tal‘at el Cheith, on the southern slope of Nebo (Jebel Neba). The curious term "a heifer of three years old" (compare Jer 48:34 margin) is taken from Septuagint, but might better be rendered "a round place with a group of three" (see EGLATH-SHELISHIYAH). It is noticed with the "high places" of Moab (Isa 15:2; Jer 48:35), and probably refers to one of those large and ancient stone circles, surrounding a central group of three rude pillars, which still remain in Moab (SEP, I, 187, 203,233) near Nobo and Zoar. Sibmah—probably Sumieh, 2 miles Southwest of Heshbon (Chesban)—is said to have had vines reaching to Jazer (Sa‘aur, 6 miles to the North); and rock-cut wine presses still remain at Sibmah (Isa 16:8; Jer 48:32). The Bozrah mentioned with Edom (Isa 34:6; 63:1; Jer 49:13,22; Mic 2:12) is probably Buceirah, near the southern border of Moab. In the last-cited passage there is a play on the words batsrah ("fortress") and botscah for "sheepfold."

2. Jeremiah:

In Jer 1:1, Anathoth (‘Anata) is mentioned as a priests’ city (compare 1Ki 2:26). The "place" or shrine of Shiloh was deserted (Jer 7:12), but the town seems still to have been inhabited (Jer 41:5). The "pit" at Mizpah (Jer 41:6-9) may have been the great rock reservoir South of Tell en-Nacbeh. The Moabite towns noticed (Jer 48:1-5,20-24,31-45; 49:3) with Rabbah (‘Amman) have been mentioned as occurring in the parallel passages of Isaiah. The numerous petty kings in Edom, Moab, Philistia, Phoenicia, and Arabia (Jer 25:20-24) recall those named in Assyrian lists of the same age. La 4:3 recalls Job 39:14 in attributing to the ostrich want of care for her young, because she endeavors (like other birds) to escape, and thus draws away the hunter from the nest. This verse should not be regarded as showing that the author knew that whales were mammals, since the word "sea-monsters" (the King James Version) is more correctly rendered "jackals" (Revised Version) or "wild beasts."

3. Ezekiel:

In Ezekiel (chapter 27), Tyre appears as a city with a very widespread trade extending from Asia Minor to Arabia and Egypt, and from Assyria to the isles (or "coasts") of the Mediterranean. The "oaks of Bashan" (27:6; Isa 2:13; Zec 11:2) are still found in the Southwest of that region near Gilead. Judah and Israel then provided wheat, honey, oil and balm for export as in the time of Jacob. Damascus sent white wool and the wine of Helbon (Chelbon), 13 miles North, where fine vineyards still exist. The northern border described (47:15-18) is the same that marked that of the dominions of David, running along the Eleutherus River toward Zedad (Cudud). It is described also in Nu 34:8-11 as passing Riblah (Riblah) and including Ain (el ‘Ain), a village on the western slopes of the Anti-Lebanon, East of Riblah. In this passage (as in Eze 47:18) the Hauran (or Bashan plain) is excluded from the land of Israel, the border following the Jordan valley, which seems to point to a date earlier than the time when the Havvoth-jair (Nu 32:41; De 3:14; Jos 13:30; Jud 10:4; 1Ki 4:13; 1Ch 2:23), in Gilead and Bashan were conquered or built—possibly after the death of Joshua. The southern border of the land is described by Ezekiel (47:19) as reaching from Kadesh (-barnea)—probably Petra—to Tamar, which seems to be Tamrah, 6 miles Northeast of Gaza.

4. Minor Prophets:

In the Minor Prophets there are fewer topographical notices. Hosea (12:11) speaks of the altars of Gilead and Gilgal as being "as heaps in the furrows of the fields." He perhaps alludes to the large dolmen fields of this region, which still characterize the country East of the Jordan. He also perhaps speaks of human sacrifice at Bethel (13:2). In Joe (1:12) the apple tree (Hebrew tappuach, Arabic tuffach) is noticed (compare So 2:3,5; 8:5), and there seems to be no reason to doubt that the apple was cultivated, since el Muqaddasi mentions "excellent apples" at Jerusalem in the 10th century AD, though it is not now common in Palestine. The sycamore fig (Am 7:14), which was common in the plains and in the shephelah (1Ki 10:27), grew also near Jericho (Lu 19:4), where it is still to be found. In Mic (1:10-15), a passage which appears to refer to Hezekiah’s reconquest of the shephelah towns and attack on Gaza before 702 BC (2Ki 18:8; 2Ch 28:18) gives a list of places and a play on the name of each. They include Gath (Tell es Cafi), Saphir (es Safir), Lachish (Tell el-Chesy), Achzib (‘Ain Kezbeh), and Mareshah (Mer‘ash): "the glory of Israel shall come even unto Adullam" (‘Aid-el-ma) perhaps refers to Hezekiah himself (Mic 1:15). After the captivity Philistia (Zec 9:5) was still independent. See PHILISTINES. The meaning of the "mourning of Hadadrimmon in the Valley of Megiddon" (Zec 12:11) is disputed. Jerome (see Reland, Palestine Illustr., II, 891) says that the former of these names referred to a town near Jezreel (Maximianopolis, now Rummaneh, on the western side of the plain of Esdraelon), but the mourning "for an only son" was probably a rite of the Syrian god called Hadad, or otherwise Rimmon, like the mourning for Tammuz (Eze 8:14).

VI. Palestine in the Apocrypha.

1. Book of Judith:

The Book of Judith is regarded by Renan (Evangiles, 1877, 29) as a Haggadha’ (legend), written in Hebrew in 74 AD. It is remarkable, however, that its geographical allusions are very correct. Judith was apparently of the tribe of Manasseh (8:2,3); and her husband, who bore this name, was buried between Dothaim (Tell Dothan) and Balamon (in Wady Belameh), East of Dothan. Her home at Bethulia was thus probably at Mithilieh, on a high hill (6:11,12), 5 miles Southeast of Dothan (SWP, II, 156), in the territory of Manasseh. The requirements of the narrative are well met; for this village is supplied only by wells (7:13,10), though there are springs at the foot of the hill to the South (7:7,12), while there is a good view over the valley to the North (10:10), and over the plain of Esdraelon to Nazareth and Tabor. Other mountains surround the village (15:3). The camp of the invaders reached from Dothart to Belmaim (Balamon) from West to East, and their rear was at Cyamon (Tell Qeimun), at the foot of Carmel. The Babylonians were allied with tribes from Carmel, Gilead and Galilee on the North with the Samaritans, and with others from Betane (probably Beth-anoth, now Belt ‘Ainun, North of Hebron), Chellus (Klalach—the later Elusa—8 miles Southwest of Beersheba), and Kades (‘Ain Qadis) on the way to Egypt. Among Samaritan towns South of Shechem, Ekrebel (‘Aqrabeh) and Chusi (Kuzah) are mentioned, with "the brook Mochmur" (Wady el Chumr) rising North of Ekrebel and running East into the Jordan.

2. Book of Wisdom:

The philosophical Book of Wisdom has no references to Palestine; and in Ecclesiasticus the only allusions are to the palm of En-gaddi (24:14), where palms still exist, and to the "rose plant in Jericho" (24:14; compare 39:13; 50:8); the description of the rose as "growing by the brook in the field" suggests the rhododendron (Tristram, NHB, 477), which flourishes near the Jordan and grows to great size beside the brooks of Gilead.

3. 1 Maccabees:

Judas Maccabeus.—The first Book of Maccabees is a valuable history going down to 135 BC, and its geographical allusions are sometimes important. Modin, the home of Judas-Maccabaeus (1 Macc 2:15), where his brother Simon erected seven monuments visible from the sea (1 Macc 9:19; 13:25-30), was above the plain in which Cedron (Qatrah, 5 miles East of Jamnia) stood (1 Macc 15:40,41; 16:4,9), and is clearly the present village el Midieh on the low hills with a sea view, 17 miles from Jerusalem and 6 miles East of Lydda, near which latter Eusebius (Onom under the word "Modeim") places Modin. The first victory of Judas (1 Macc 3:24) was won at Beth-horon, and the second at Emmaus (‘Amwas) by the Valley of Aijalon—the scenes of Joshua’s victories also.

The Greeks next attempted to reach Jerusalem from the South and were again defeated at Beth-zur (1 Macc 4:29), now Beit-cur, on the watershed, 15 miles South of Jerusalem, where the road runs through a pass. Judas next (after cleansing the temple in 165 BC) marched South of the Dead Sea, attacking the Edomites at Arabattine (perhaps Akrabbim) and penetrating to the Moab plateau as far North as Jazar (1 Macc 5:3-8). On his return to Judea the heathen of Gilead and Bashan rose against the Israelites of Tubias (1 Macc 5:13) or Tobit (Taiyibeh), and the Phoenicians against the Galilean Hebrews who were, for a time, withdrawn to Jerusalem until the Hasmoneans won complete independence (1 Macc 11:7,59). In the regions of Northern Gilead and Southern Bashan (1 Macc 5:26,36,37) Judas conquered Bosor (Bucr), Alema (Kerr el-ma), Caphon (Khisfin), Maged (perhaps el Mejd, North of ‘Amman), and Carnaim (Ashteroth-karnaim), now Tell Ashterah. The notice of a "brook" at the last-named place (1 Macc 5:42) is an interesting touch, as a fine stream runs South from the west side of the town. In 162 BC Judas was defeated at Bathzacharias (1 Macc 6:32), now Beit Skaria 9 miles South of Jerusalem, but the cause was saved by a revolt in Antioch; and in the next year he defeated Nicanor near Caphar-salama (perhaps Selmeh, near Joppa), and slew him at Adasah (‘Adaseh), 8 miles Southeast of Beth-horon (1 Macc 7:31,40,45). The fatal battle in which Judas was killed (1 Macc 9:5,15) was fought also near Beth-horon. He camped at Eleasa (Il‘asa), close by, and defeated the Greeks on his right, driving them to Mt. Azotus (or Beth-zetho, according to Josephus (Ant., XII, xi, 2)), apparently near Bir-ez-Zeit, 4 miles Northwest of Bethel; but the Greeks on his left surrounded him during this rash pursuit.

On the death of Judas, Bacchides occupied Judea and fortified the frontier towns (1 Macc 9:50,51) on all sides. Simon and Jonathan were driven to the marshes near the Jordan, but in 159 BC the Greeks made peace with Jonathan who returned to Michmash (1 Macc 9:73) and 7 years later to Jerns (1 Macc 10:1,7). Three districts on the southern border of Samaria were then added to Judea (1 Macc 10:30; 11:34), namely Lydda, Apherema (or Ephraim) now Taiyibeh, and Ramathem (er-Ram); and Jonathan defeated the Greeks in Philistia (1 Macc 10:69; 11:6). Simon was "captain" from the "Ladder of Tyre" (Ras en Naqurah), or the pass North of Accho, to the borders of Egypt (1 Macc 11:59); and the Greeks in Upper Galilee were again defeated by Jonathan, who advanced from Gennesaret to the plateau of Hazor (Chazzur), and pursued them even to Kedesh Naphtali (Qedes), northward (1 Macc 11:63,73). He was victorious even to the borders of Hamath, and the Eleutherus River (Nahr el Kebir), North of Tripoils, and defeated the Arabs, called Zabadeans (probably at Zebdany in Anti-Lebanon), on his way to Damascus (1 Macc 12:25,30,32). He fortified Adida (Chadditheh) in the shephelah (1 Macc 12:38), West of Jerusalem, where Simon awaited the Greek usurper Tryphon (1 Macc 13:13,20), who attempted to reach Jerusalem by a long detour to the South near Adoraim (Dura), but failed on account of the snow in the mountains. After the treacherous capture of Jonathan at Accho, and his death in Gilead (1 Macc 12:48; 13:23), Simon became the ruler of all Palestine to Gaza (1 Macc 13:43), fortifying Joppa, Gezer and Ashdod (1 Macc 14:34) in 140 BC. Five years later he won a final victory at Cedron (Qatrah), near Jamnia (Yebnah), but was murdered at Dok (1 Macc 16:15), near Jericho, which site was a small fort at ‘Ain Duk, a spring North of the city.

4. 2 Maccabees:

The second Book of Maccabees presents a contrast to the first in which, as we have seen, the geography is easily understood. Thus the site of Caspis with its lake (2 Macc 12:13,16) is doubtful. It seems to be placed in Idumaea, and Charax may be the fortress of Kerak in Moab (2 Macc 12:17). Ephron, West of Ashteroth-karnaim (2 Macc 12:26,27), is unknown; and Beth-shean is called by its later name Scythopolis (2 Macc 12:29), as in the Septuagint (Jud 1:27) and in Josephus (Ant., XII, viii, 5; vi, 1). A curious passage (1 Macc 13:4-6) seems to refer to the Persian burial towers (still used by Parsees), one of which appears to have existed at Berea (Aleppo), though this was not a Greek custom.


VII. Palestine in the New Testament.

1. Synoptic Gospels:

We are told that our Lord was born in "Bethlehem of Judea"; and theory of Neubauer, adopted by Gratz, that Bethlehem of Zebulun (Jos 19:15)—which was the present Beit-Lachm, 7 miles Northwest of Nazareth—is to be understood, is based on a mistake. The Jews expected the Messiah to appear in the home of David (Mic 5:2); and the Northern Bethlehem was not called "of Nazareth," as asserted by Rix (Tent and Testament, 258); this was a conjectural reading by Neubauer (Geog. du Talmud, 189), but the Talmud (Talm Jerusalem, Meghillah 1 1) calls the place Bethlechem-ceridh (or "of balm"), no doubt from the storax bush (Styrax officinalis) or stacte (Ex 30:34), the Arabic ‘abhar, which still abounds in the oak wood close by.

(1) Galilean Scenery.

The greater part of the life of Jesus was spent at Nazareth in Zebulun, and the ministry at Capernaum in Naphtali (compare Mt 4:13-15; Isa 9:1), with yearly visits to Jerusalem. The Gospel narratives and the symbolism of the parables constantly recall the characteristic features of Galilean scenery and nature, as they remain unchanged today. The "city set on a hill" (Mt 5:14) may be seen in any part of Palestine; the lilies of the field grow in all its plains; the "foxes have holes" and the sparrows are still eaten; the vineyard with its tower; the good plowland, amid stony and thorny places, are all still found throughout the Holy Land. But the deep lake surrounded by precipitous cliffs and subject to sudden storms, with its shoals of fish and its naked fishers; the cast nets and drag nets and small heavy boats of the Sea of Galilee, are more distinctive of the Gospels, since the lake is but briefly noticed in the Old Testament.

(2) Nazareth.

Nazareth was a little village in a hill plateau North of the plain of Esdraelon, and l, 000 ft. above it. The name (Hebrew natsarah) may mean "verdant," and it had a fine spring, but it is connected (Mt 2:23) in the Gospels with the prophecy of the "branch" (netser, Isa 11:1) of the house of David. Its population was Hebrew, for it possessed a synagogue (Lu 4:16). The "brow of the hill whereon their city was built" (Lu 4:29) is traditionally the "hill of the leap" (Jebel Qafsi), 2 miles to the South—a cliff overlooking the plain. Nazareth was not on any great highway; and so obscure was this village that it is unnoticed in the Old Testament, or by Josephus, while even a Galilean (Joh 1:46) could hardly believe that a prophet could come thence. Jerome (Onomasticon, under the word) calls it a "village"; but today it is a town with 4,000 Christians and 2,000 Moslems, the former taking their Arabic name (Nacarah) from the home of their Master.

(3) Capernaum.

Capernaum (Mt 4:13; 9:1) lay on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, apparently (Mr 14:34; Joh 6:17) in the little plain of Gennesaret, which stretches for 3 miles on the northwest side of the lake, and which has a breadth of 2 miles. It may have stood on a low cliff (though this is rendered doubtful by the Sinaiticus manuscript rendering of Mt 11:23—"Shalt thou be exalted unto heaven?"), and it was a military station where taxes were levied (Mt 9:9), and possessed a synagogue (Mr 1:21; Lu 4:33; Joh 6:59). Christian tradition, since the 4th century AD, has placed the site at Tell Chum, where ruins of a synagogue (probably, however, not older than the 2nd century AD) exist; but this site is not in the plain of Gennesaret, and is more probably Kephar ‘Achim (Babylonian Talmud, Menachoth 85a). Jewish tradition (Midrash, Qoheleth, vii.20) connects Capernaum with minim or "heretics"—that is to say Christians—whose name may yet linger at ‘Ain Minyeh at the north end of the plain of Gennesaret. Josephus states (BJ, III, x, 8) that the spring of Capernaum watered this plain, and contained the catfish (coracinus) which is still found in ‘Ain el Mudawwerah ("the round spring"), which is the principal source of water in the Gennesaret oasis.

(4) Chorazin.

The site of Chorazin (Kerazeh) has never been lost. The ruined village lies about 2 1/4 miles North of Tell Chum and possesses a synagogue of similar character. Bethsaida ("the house of fishing") is once said to have been in Galilee (Joh 12:21), and Reland (Palestine Illustr., II, 553-55) thought that there were two towns of the name. It is certain that the other notices refer to Bethsaida, called Julias by Herod Philip, which Josephus (Ant., XVIII, ii, 1; iv, 6; BJ, III, x, 7) and Pliny (NH, v.15) place East of the Jordan, near the place where it enters the Sea of Galilee. The site may be at the ruin edition Dikkeh ("the platform"), now 2 miles North of the lake, but probably nearer of old, as the river deposit has increased southward. There are remains of a synagogue here also. The two miracles of feeding the 5,000 and the 4,000 are both described as occurring’ East of the Jordan, the former (Lu 9:10) in the desert (of Golan) "belonging to the city called Bethsaida" (the King James Version). The words (Mr 6:45 the King James Version), "to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida," may be rendered without any straining of grammar, "to go to the side opposite to Bethsaida." For the disciples are not said to have reached that city; but, after a voyage of at least 3 or 4 miles (Joh 6:17,19), they arrived near Capernaum, and landed in Gennesaret (Mr 6:53), about 5 miles Southwest of the Jordan.

(5) Country of the Gerasenes.

The place where the swine rushed down a steep place into the lake (Mt 8:32; Mr 5:1; Lu 8:26) was in the country of the Gerasenes (see Codex Vaticanus MS), probably at Qersa on the eastern shore opposite Tiberias, where there is a steep slope to the water. It should be noted that this was in Decapolis (Mr 5:20), a region of "ten cities" which lay (except Scythopolis) in Southwest Bashan, where a large number of early Greek inscriptions have been found, some of which (e.g. Vogue-Waddington, numbers 2412, 2413) are as old as the 1st century AD. There was evidently a Greek population in this region in the time of our Lord; and this accounts for the feeding of swine, otherwise distinctive of "a far country" (Lu 15:13,15); for, while no Hebrew would have tended the unclean beast in Palestine, the Greeks were swine-herds from the time at least of Homer.

(6) Magadan-Magdala.

The site of Magadan-Magdala (Mejdel) was on the west shore at the Southwest end of the Gennesaret plain (Mt 15:39). In Mr 8:10 we find Dalmanutha instead. Magdala was the Hebrew mighdol ("tower"), and Dalmanutha may be regarded as the Aramaic equivalent (De’almanutha) meaning "the place of high buildings"; so that there is no necessary discrepancy between the two accounts. From this place Jesus again departed by ship to "the other side," and reached Bethsaida (Mt 16:5; Mr 8:13,22), traveling thence up the Jordan valley to Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16:13; Mr 8:27), or Banias, at the Jordan springs. There can be little doubt that the "high mountain apart" (Mt 17:1) was Hermon. The very name signifies "separate," applying to its solitary dome; and the sudden formation of cloud on the summit seems to explain the allusion in Lu 9:34.

(7) Other Allusions in the Synoptic Gospels.

Other allusions in the Synoptic Gospels, referring to natural history and customs, include the notice of domestic fowls (Mt 23:37; 26:34), which are never mentioned in the Old Testament. They came from Persia, and were introduced probably after 400 BC. The use of manure (Lu 13:8) is also unnoticed in the Old Testament, but is mentioned in the Mishna (Shebi‘ith, ii.2), as is the custom of annually whitening sepulchers (Mt 23:27; Sheqalim, i.1). The removal of a roof (Mr 2:4; compare Lu 5:19) at Capernaum was not difficult, if it resembled those of modern Galilean mud houses, though the Third Gospel speaks of "tiles" which are not now used. Finally, the presence of shepherds with their flocks (Lu 2:8) is not an indication of the season of the nativity, since they remain with them "in the field" at all times of the year; and the "manger" (Lu 2:7) may have been (as tradition affirmed even in the 2nd century AD) in a cave like those which have been found in ruins North and South of Hebron (SWP, III, 349, 369) and elsewhere in Palestine

2. Fourth Gospel:

(1) The topography of the Fourth Gospel is important as indicating the writer’s personal knowledge of Palestine; for he mentions several places not otherwise noticed in the New Testament. Beth-abarah (Joh 1:28, the Revised Version (British and American) "Bethany"; 10:40), or "the house of the crossing," was "beyond the Jordan." Origen rejected the reading "Bethania," instead of Beth-abarah, common in his time, and still found in the three oldest uncial manuscripts in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. The place was a day’s journey from Cana (compare Joh 1:29,35,43; 2:1), which may have been at ‘Ain Qana, a mile North of Nazareth. It was two or three days’ distance from Bethany near Jerusalem (Joh 10:40; 11:3,6,17), and would thus lie in the upper part of the Jordan valley where, in 1874, the surveyors found a ford well known by the name ‘Abarah, North of Beisan, in the required situation. John, we are told, baptized in "all the region round about the Jordan" (Mt 3:5), including the waters of "AEnon near to Salim" (Joh 3:23). There is only one stream which answers to this description, namely that of Wady Far‘ah, Northeast of Shechem, on the boundary of Judea and Samaria, where there is "much water." AEnon would be ‘Ainun, 4 miles North, and Salim is Salim, 4 miles South of this perennial affluent of the Jordan.

(2) The site of Sychar (Samaritan: Iskar, Arabic: ‘Askar) near Jacob’s well (Joh 4:5,6) lay West of Salim, and just within the Samaritan border. The present village is only half a mile North of the well. Like the preceding sites, it is noticed only in the Fourth Gospel, as is Bethesda, while this Gospel also gives additional indications as to the position of Calvary. The town of Ephraim, "near to the wilderness" (Joh 11:54), is noticed earlier (2Sa 13:23; compare Ephraim, 2Ch 13:19 margin), and appears to be the same as Apherema (1 Macc 11:34), and as Ophrah of Benjamin (Jos 18:23; 1Sa 13:17). Eusebius (Onom under the word) places it 20 Roman miles North of Jerusalem, where the village Taiyibeh looks down on the desert of Judah.

3. Book of Acts:

In the Book of Ac the only new site, unnoticed before, is that of Antipatris (23:31). This stood at the head of the stream (Me-jarkon) which runs thence to the sea North of Joppa, and it was thus the half-way station between Jerusalem and the seaside capital at Caesarea. The site is now called Ras el ‘Ain ("head of the spring"), and a castle, built in the 12th century, stands above the waters. The old Ro road runs close by (SWP, II, 258). Caesarea was a new town, founded by Herod the Great about 20 BC (SWP, II, 13-29). It was even larger than Jerusalem, and had an artificial harbor. Thence we may leave Palestine with Paul in 60 AD. The reader must judge whether this study of the country does not serve to vindicate the sincerity and authenticity of Bible narratives in the Old Testament and the New Testament alike.


Though the literature connected with Palestine is enormous, and constantly increasing, the number of really original and scientific sources of knowledge is (as in other cases) not large. Besides the Bible, and Josephus, the Mishna contains a great deal of valuable information as to the cultivation and civilization of Palestine about the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The following 20 works are of primary importance. The Onomasticon of Eusebius and Jerome shows intimate acquaintance with Palestine in the 4th century AD, though the identification of Bible sites is as often wrong as right. The rabbinical geography is discussed by A. Neubauer (La geographie du Talmud, 1868), and the scattered notices by Greek and Roman writers were collected by H. Reland (Palaestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata, 2 volumes, 1714). The first really scientific account of the country is that of Dr. E. Robinson (Biblical Researches, 1838, and Later Biblical Researches, 1852; in 3 volumes, 1856). The Survey of Western Palestine (7 volumes, 1883) includes the present writer’s account of the natural features, topography and surface remains of all ages, written while in command (1872-1878) of the 1-inch trigonometric survey. The Survey of Eastern Palestine (1 vol, 1889) gives his account of Moab and Southern Gilead, as surveyed in 1881-1882. The natural history is to be studied in the same series, and in Canon Tristram’s Natural History of the Bible, 1868. The geology is best given by L. Lartet (Essai sur la geologie de la Palestine) and in Professor Hull’s Memoir on the Geol. and Geog. of Arabia Petrea, etc., 1886. The Archaeological Researches of M. Clermont-Ganneau (2 volumes, 1896) include his discoveries of Gezer and Adullam. Much information is scattered through the PEFQ, (1864-1910) and in ZDPV. G. Schumacher’s Across the Jordan, 1885, Pella, 1888, and Northern ‘Ajlun, 1890, give detailed information for Northeast Palestine; and Lachish, by Professor Flinders Petrie, is the memoir of the excavations which he began at Tell el-Chesy (identified in 1874 by the present writer), the full account being in A Mound of Many Cities by F.J. Bliss, 1894. Other excavations, at Gath, etc., are described in Excavations in Palestine (1898-1900), by F.J. Bliss, R.A.S. Macalister, and Professor Wunsch; while the memoir of his excavations at Gezer (2 volumes) has recently been published by Professor Macalister. For those who have not access to these original sources, The Historical Geography of the Holy Land by Professor G.A. Smith, 1894, and the essay (300 pp.) by Professor D.F. Buhl (Geographie des alten Palastina, 1896) will be found useful. The best guide book to Palestine is still that of Baedeker, written by Dr. A. Socin and published in 18765, 1912. This author had personal acquaintance with the principal routes of the country. Only standard works of reference have been herein mentioned, to which French, German, American, and British explorers and scholars have alike contributed.


C. R. Conder


pal’-u, pal’-u-its (pallu’," distinguished"): A son of Reuben (Ge 46:9 ("Phallu"); Ex 6:14; Nu 26:5,8; 1Ch 5:3). Perhaps Peleth of Nu 16:1 is the same. Palluites, the patronymic, occurs in Nu 26:5.


pam (kaph): The Hebrew word which is used in a variety of senses (see HAND; PAW) is usually translated "hand" in English Versions of the Bible, but the translation "palm" is found in 5 passages of the Old Testament, in 3 of which the Hebrew text adds the word yadh ("hand," 1Sa 5:4; 2Ki 9:35; Da 10:10). It would properly mean the "hollow hand" (root kaphaph, "to bend," "to curve"), which receives or grasps things. It is therefore used in reference to filling the priest’s hands with sacrificial portions (Le 14:15,26). The palms of the hands of Dagon are mentioned as cut off, when the idol was found mutilated in the presence of the ark of Yahweh (1Sa 5:4), from which may be inferred that this idol probably was represented with hands spread out in blessing, as we find in numerous Babylonian representations of divinities.

In a beautiful metaphor God answers the repentant people of Jerusalem, who thought Yahweh had forgotten and forsaken them: "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands" (Isa 49:16; see also Ecclesiasticus 18:3). Daniel is touched upon the palms of his hands to wake him from sleep (Da 10:10).

In the New Testament we find the phrase, "to smite with the palms of the hands," as a translation of the Greek verb rhapizo (Mt 26:67; see also 5:39 and Septuagint Ho 11:4; 1 Esdras 4:30), and, derived from the same verb, rhapisma, a blow of the palm on the cheek, etc. (Mr 14:65; Joh 18:22; 19:3, where, however, in English Versions of the Bible the word "palm" has not been given). The marginal translation "to smite or strike with rods" (Mt 26:67; Joh 18:22; 19:3) and "strokes of rods" (Mr 14:65 margin) does not seem to be applicable to the Greek text of the Old Testament and New Testament, while it is a frequent meaning of the words in classical language. It would therefore be better to eliminate these marginal additions.

H. L. E. Luering


pam’-tre (tamar, same as the Aramaic and Ethiopic, but in Arabic =" date"; phoinix (Ex 15:27; Le 23:40; Nu 33:9; De 34:3; Jud 1:16; 3:13; 2Ch 28:15; Ne 8:15; Ps 92:12; So 7:7 f; Joe 1:12); tomer, Deborah "dwelt under the palm-tree" (Jud 4:5); "They are like a palm-tree (margin "pillar"), of turned work" (Jer 10:5); timorah (only in the plural), the palm tree as an architectural feature (1Ki 6:29,32,35; 7:36; 2Ch 3:5; Eze 40:16); Greek only Ecclesiasticus 50:12; Joh 12:13; Re 7:9):

1. Palm Trees:

The palm, Phoenix dactylifera (Natural Order Palmeae), Arabic nakhl, is a tree which from the earliest times has been associated with the Semitic peoples. In Arabia the very existence of man depends largely upon its presence, and many authorities consider this to have been its original habitat. It is only natural that such a tree should have been sacred both there and in Assyria in the earliest ages. In Palestine the palm leaf appears as an ornament upon pottery as far back as 1800 BC (compare PEF, Gezer Mere., II, 172). In Egypt the tall palm stem forms a constant feature in early architecture, and among the Hebrews it was extensively used as a decoration of the temple (1Ki 6:29,32,35; 7:36; 2Ch 3:5). It is a symbol of beauty (So 7:7) and of the righteous man:

"The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree:

He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

They are planted in the house of Yahweh;

They shall flourish in the courts of our God.

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age;

They shall be full of sap and green" (Ps 92:12-14).

The palm tree or branch is used extensively on Jewish coinage and most noticeably appears as a symbol of the land upon the celebrated Judea Capta coins of Vespasian. A couple of centuries or so later it forms a prominent architectural feature in the ornamentation of the Galilean synagogues, e.g. at Tell Chum (Capernaum). The method of artificial fertilization of the pistillate (female) flowers by means of the staminate (male) flowers appears to have been known in the earliest historic times. Winged figures are depicted on some of the early Assyrian sculptures shaking a bunch of the male flowers over the female for the same purpose as the people of modern Gaza ascend the tall trunks of the fruit-bearing palms and tie among the female flowers a bunch of the pollen-bearing male flowers.

2. Their Ancient Abundance in Palestine:

In Palestine today the palm is much neglected; there are few groves except along the coast, e.g. at the bay of Akka, Jaffa and Gaza; solitary palms occur all over the land in the courtyards of mosques (compare Ps 92:13) and houses even in the mountains. Once palms flourished upon the Mount of Olives (Ne 8:15), and Jericho was long known as the "city of palm-trees" (De 34:3; Jud 1:16; 3:13; 2Ch 28:15; Josephus BJ, IV, viii, 2-3), but today the only palms are scarce and small; under its name Hazazon-tamar (2Ch 20:2), En-gedi would appear to have been as much a place of palms in ancient days as we know it was in later history. A city, too, called Tamar ("date palm") appears to have been somewhere near the southwestern corner of the Dead Sea (Eze 47:19; 48:28). Today the numerous salt-encrusted stumps of wild palm trees washed up all along the shores of the Dead Sea witness to the existence of these trees within recent times in some of the deep valleys around.

3. Palm Branches:

Branches of palms have been symbolically associated with several different ideas. A palm branch is used in Isa 9:14; 19:15 to signify he "head," the highest of the people, as contrasted with the rush, the "tail," or humblest of the people. Palm branches appear from early times to have been associated with rejoicing. On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles the Hebrews were commanded to take branches of palms, with other trees, and rejoice before God (Le 23:40; compare Ne 8:15; 2 Macc 10:7). The palm branch still forms the chief feature of the lulabh carried daily by every pious Jew to the synagogue, during the feast. Later it was connected with the idea of triumph and victory. Simon Maccabeus entered the Akra at Jerusalem after its capture, "with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel" (1 Macc 13:51 the King James Version; compare 2 Macc 10:7). The same idea comes out in the use of palm branches by the multitudes who escorted Jesus to Jerusalem (Joh 12:13) and also in the vision of the "great multitude, which no man could number .... standing before the .... Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands" (Re 7:9). Today palms are carried in every Moslem funeral procession and are laid on the new-made grave.

See also TAMAR as a proper name.

E. W. G. Masterman


pam’-er-wurm (gazam; Septuagint kampe (Am 4:9; Joe 1:4; 2:25)): "Palmer-worm" means "caterpillar," but the insect meant is probably a kind of locust.



pol’-zi, pa-ral’-i-sis (paralusis): The English word "palsy" is derived from the Old French paralesie, which in Middle English was shortened into palesie, the form in which it appears in Wycliff’s version. In the 16th century it appears as "palsy," the form used in the King James Version. This, however, is seldom used at the present day, the Latinized Greek form "paralysis" being more frequently employed, both in modern literature and in colloquial English "Sick of the palsy" is the translation either of the adjective paralutikos or of the participle of the verb paraluomai. The disease is one characterized by extreme loss of the power of motion dependent on some affection either of the motor centers of the brain or of the spinal cord. It is always serious, usually intractable, and generally sudden in onset (1 Macc 9:55 f). Miraculous cures by our Lord are related in general terms, as in Mt 4:24; Ac 8:7. Aeneas (Ac 9:33) was probably a paralytic eight years bedridden. Though the Lord addressed the paralytic let down through the roof (Mt 9:6; Mr 2:3; Lu 5:18) as "son," it was not necessarily a proof that he was young, and though He prefaces the cure by declaring the forgiveness of sin, we need not infer that the disease was the result of an evil life, although it may have been. Bennett conjectures that the centurion’s palsied servant grievously tormented was suffering from progressive paralysis with respiratory spasms (see PAIN). The substantive paralusis is only once used in the Septuagint in Eze 21:10, but here it refers to the loosing of the sword, not to the disease.

Alexander Macalister


pal’-ti (palTi, "Yah delivers"):

(1) One of the "searchers" of Canaan sent by Moses (Nu 13:9), representing Benjamin in the expedition (13:9).

(2) The man to whom Saul gave Michal, David’s wife, after the estrangement (1Sa 25:44). He is "the captain of the people" of 2 Esdras 5:16 ("Phaltiel," margin "Psaltiel"). In 2Sa 3:15, he is named "Phaltiel" (the King James Version), "Paltiel" (the Revised Version), and is there mentioned in connection with David’s recovery of Michal.


pal’-ti-el (palTi’el, "God’s deliverance"):

(1) A prince of Isaachar (Nu 34:26).

(2) Same as PALTI, (2) (which see).


pal’-tit (palTi (as Palti); The Septuagint has: Codex Vaticanus Kelothei; Codex Alexandrinus Phellonei): The description occurs but once in this form and is then applied to Helez, one of David’s 30 valiant men (2Sa 23:26). Helez’ name, however, occurs in 1Ch 11:27 and 27:10 as the "Pelonite." Doubtless there is some confusion of words. The word may be given as a patronymic of Palti, or it may designate a native of the village of Beth-pelet mentioned in Jos 15:27 and Ne 11:26 as being in Lower Judah. Helez, however, is described as "of the children of Ephraim" in 1Ch 27:10.


pam-fil’-i-a (Pamphulia): A country lying along the southern coast of Asia Minor, bounded on the North by Pisidia, on the East by Isauria, on the South by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the West by Lycia (Ac 2:10; 27:5).

1. Physical Features:

In the earliest time, Pamphylia was but a narrow strip of low-lying land between the base of the mountains and the sea, scarcely more than 20 miles long and half as wide. A high and imposing range of the Taurus Mountains practically surrounds it upon three sides, and, jutting out into the sea, isolates it from the rest of Asia Minor. Its two rivers, the Cestrus and the Cataractes, are said by ancient writers to have been navigable for several miles inland, but now the greater part of their water is diverted to the fields for irrigating purposes, and the general surface of the country has been constantly changed by the many rapid mountain streams. The level fertile coast land is therefore well watered, and the moist air, which is excessively hot and enervating, has always been laden with fever. Several roads leading from the coast up the steep mountain to the interior existed in ancient times; one of them, called the Kimax or the Ladder, with its broad stair-like steps 2,000 ft. high, may still be seen. Beyond the steps is the high land which was once called "Pisidia," but which the Romans, in 70 AD, made a part of Pamphylia.

2. Importance:

Pamphylia, unless in pre-historic times, was never an independent kingdom; it was subject successively to Lydia, Persia, Macedonia, Pergamos and Rome. Because of its comparatively isolated position, civilization there was less developed than in the neighboring countries, and the Asiatic influence was at most times stronger than the Greek As early as the 5th century BC a Greek colony settled there, but the Greek language which was spoken in some of its cities soon became corrupt; the Greek inscriptions, appearing upon the coins of that age, were written in a peculiar character, and before the time of Alexander the Great, Greek ceased to be spoken. Perga then became an important city and the center of the Asiatic religion, of which the Artemis of Perga, locally known as Leto, was the goddess. Coins were struck also in that city. Somewhat later the Greek city of Attalia, which was rounded by Attalus III Philadelphus (159-138 BC), rose to importance, and until recent years has been the chief port of entry on the southern coast of Asia Minor. About the beginning of our era, Side became the chief city, and issued a long and beautiful series of coins, possibly to facilitate trade with the pirates who found there a favorable market for their booty. Pamphylia is mentioned as one of the recipients of the "letters" of 1 Macc 15:23.

3. Introduction of Christianity:

Christianity was first introduced to Pamphylia by Paul and Barnabas (Ac 13:13; 14:24), but because their stay in the country was brief, or because of the difficulty of communication with the neighboring countries, or because of the Asiatic character of the population, it was slow in being established.

See also ATTALIA; PERGA; SIDE, the chief cities of Pamphylia.

E. J. Banks


Name of a utensil used in the preparation or the serving of food, and representing several words in the original. Passing over the use of the word in connections like 1Ch 9:31, "things baked in pans," where the Hebrew word chabhittim refers, not to the pan itself, but to the cakes baked in the flat pan or griddle which was called machabhath (see below), and the "firepans" (machtah) (Ex 27:3; 1Ki 7:50, etc.) which seem to have been used to carry burning coals, we note the following words:

(1) machabhath, "pan" the King James Version, "baking-pan" the Revised Version (British and American), a dish of uncertain shape and size which was used in the preparation of the minchah or vegetable offering. See Le 2:5; 6:21; 7:9; 1Ch 23:29. On the basis of Eze 4:3 it might be assumed that the pan was rectangular in shape and of good size.

(2) kiyyor, rendered "pan" in 1Sa 2:14. The same word is used in the phrase, "pan of fire" the Revised Version (British and American), "hearth of fire" the King James Version (Zec 12:6); and it is also translated "laver" in the descriptions of the furnishing of tabernacle and temple (Ex 30:18; 1Ki 7:30, etc.). As it held water and was used for boiling meat and the like, it must have been a kind of pot or kettle.

(3) masreth, (2Sa 15:9). The connection gives no clue as to shape or size except that it must have been small enough to serve food in, and of the proper shape to hold a substance which could be poured out. Some authorities suggest a connection with the root se’or, "leaven," and think that this pan was like the kneading-trough in shape.

(4) sir, rendered "pan" in Ex 27:3 the King James Version, "pot" the Revised Version (British and American).

See POT.

(5) parur, "pan" in Nu 11:8 the King James Version, "pot" the Revised Version (British and American).

See POT.

(6) celachah (2Ch 35:13). Some kind of dish or pot. Slightly different forms of the same root are rendered "cruse" (2Ki 2:20 (tselochith), "dish" (2Ki 21:13 (tsallachath); and also in the Revised Version (British and American) in Pr 19:24; 26:15, instead of the probably incorrect "bosom" of the King James Version.

(7) lebes translated "pan" in 1 Esdras 1:12 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "cauldron").

(8) teganon, 2 Macc 7:3,5, with the verb teganizo, 7:5, is the usual Greek word for "frying-pan," but here a large sheet of metal must be meant (compare 4 Macc 8:13; 12:10,20).


Whitehouse, Primer of Hebrew Antiquities, 76, 77; Benzinger, Hebraische Archaologie, 70, 71; Nowack, Hebraische Archdologie, I, 144.

Walter R. Betteridge


pan’-ag (pannagh; kasia; Eze 27:17 margin, "Perhaps a kind of confection"): One of the articles of commerce of Judah and Israel. The kasia of the Septuagint is said to be a shrub similar to the laurel. Nothing is known of the nature of pannag. Cheyne (EB, 3555) thinks the Heb letters have got misplaced and should be gephen, "vine," and he would join to it the debhash, "honey," which follows in the verse, giving a translation "grape honey," the ordinary dibbs of Palestine—an extremely likely article of commerce.



pan’-o-pli: 1 Macc 13:29 the Revised Version margin.



(shadh, shodh, "breast" (Eze 23:21); mastos, "the breast" (Lu 11:27; 23:29; Re 1:13)): The English word, which goes back to Middle English "pappe" (see Skeat, Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, 327) and is now obsolete, has been replaced in the Revised Version (British and American) by "breast." The Hebrew word signifies the "female breast"; the Greek word has a wider signification, including the male chest.





redz: In Isa 19:7 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "meadows").



1. Site:

The name of two towns, Old (Palaia Paphos, or Palaipaphos) and New Paphos Nea Paphos), situated at the southwestern extremity of Cyprus. Considerable confusion is caused by the use of the single name Paphos in ancient writers to denote now one, now the other, of these cities. That referred to in Ac 13:6,13 is strictly called New Paphos (modern Baffa), and lay on the coast about a mile South of the modern Ktima and some 10 miles Northwest of the old city. The latter (modern Kouklia) is situated on an eminence more than a mile from the sea, on the left bank of the Diarrizo, probably the ancient Bocarus.

2. History of Old Paphos:

It was founded by Cinyras, the father of Adonis, or, according to another legend, by Aerias, and formed the capital of the most important kingdom in Cyprus except that of Salamis. Its territory embraced a considerable portion of Western Cyprus, extending northward to that of Soli, southward to that of Curium and eastward to the range of Troodus. Among its last kings was Nicocles, who ruled shortly after the death of Alexander the Great. In 310 BC Nicocreon of Salamis, who had been set over the whole of Cyprus by Ptolemy I of Egypt, was forced to put an end to his life at Paphos for plotting with Antigonus (Diodorus xx. 21, who wrongly gives the name as Nicocles; see Athenische Mitteilungen, XXII, 203 ff), and from that time Paphos remained under Egyptian rule until the Roman annexation of Cyprus in 58 BC. The growth of New Paphos brought with it the decline of the old city, which was also ruined by successive earthquakes. Yet its temple still retained much of its old fame, and in 69 AD Titus, the future emperor of Rome, turned aside on his journey to Jerusalem, which he was to capture in the following year, to visit the sacred shrine and to inquire of the priests into the fortune which awaited him (Tacitus History ii.2-4; Suetonius Titus 5).

3. History of New Paphos:

New Paphos, originally the seaport of the old town, was founded, according to tradition, by Agapenor of Arcadia (Iliad ii.609; Pausan. viii.5, 2). Its possession of a good harbor secured its prosperity, and it had several rich temples. According to Dio Cassius (liv.23) it was restored by Augustus in 15 BC after a destructive earthquake and received the name Augusta (Greek Sebaste). Under the Roman Empire it was the administrative capital of the island and the seat of the governor. The extant remains all date from this period and include those of public buildings, private houses, city walls and the moles of the harbor.

4. The Temple and Cult:

But the chief glory of Paphos and the source of its fame was the local cult, of which the kings and their descendants remained hereditary priests down to the Roman seizure of Cyprus. The goddess, identified with the Greek Aphrodite, who was said to have risen from the sea at Paphos, was in reality a Nature-goddess, closely resembling the Babylonian Ishtar and the Phoenician Astarte, a native deity of Asia Minor and the Aegean Islands. Her cult can be traced back at Paphos to Homeric times (Odyssey viii.362) and was repeatedly celebrated by Greek and Latin poets (Aeschylus Suppl. 555; Aristoph. Lys. 833; Virgil Aen. i.415; Horace Odes i.19 and 30; iii.26; Statius Silvae i.2, 101, etc.). The goddess was represented, not by a statue in human form, but by a white conical stone (Max. Tyr. viii.8; Tacitus History ii.3; Servius Ad Aen. i.724), of which models were on sale for the benefit of pilgrims (Athenaeus xv.18); her worship was sensuous in character and she is referred to by Athanasius as the deification of lust (Contra Genres 9). Excavation has brought to light at Old Paphos a complex of buildings belonging to Roman times and consisting of an open court with chambers or colonnades on three sides and an entrance on the East only, the whole forming a quadrilateral enclosure with sides about 210 ft. long. In this court may have stood the altar, or altars, of incense (Homer speaks of a single altar, Virgil of "a hundred altars warm with Sabean frankincense"); no blood might be shed thereon, and although it stood in the open it was "wet by no rain" (Tacitus, loc. cit.; Pliny, NH, ii.210). On the south side are the ruins of another building, possibly an earlier temple, now almost destroyed save for the western wall (Journal of Hellenic Studies, IX, 193-224). But the fact that no remains or inscriptions have been found here earlier than the Roman occupation of Cyprus militates against the view that the sanctuary stood at this spot from prehistoric times. Its site may be sought at Xylino, a short distance to the North of Kouklia (D.G. Hogarth, Times, August 5, 1910), or possibly on the plateau of Rhantidi, some 3 miles Southeast of the village, where numerous inscriptions in the old Cyprian syllabic script were found in the summer of 1910 (M. Ohnefalsch-Richter, Times, July 29, 1910).

5. The Apostles’ Visit:

After visiting Salamis and passing through the whole island, about 100 miles in length, Barnabas, Paul and Mark reached Paphos, the residence of the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus (for the title see CYPRUS). Here too they would doubtless begin by preaching in the synagogue, but the governor—who is probably the same Paulus whose name appears as proconsul in an inscription of Soli (D.G. Hogarth, Devia Cypria, 114)—hearing of their mission, sent for them and questioned them on the subject of their preaching. A Jew named Bar-Jesus or Elymas, who, as a Magian or soothsayer, "was with the proconsul," presumably as a member of his suite, used all his powers of persuasion to prevent his patron from giving his adherence to the new faith, and was met by Paul (it is at this point that the name is first introduced) with a scathing denunciation and a sentence of temporary loss of sight. The blindness which at once fell on him produced a deep impression on the mind of the proconsul, who professed his faith in the apostolic teaching. From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed in a northwesterly direction to Perga in Pamphylia (Ac 13:6-13).

Paul did not revisit Paphos, but we may feel confident that Barnabas and Mark would return there on their 2nd missionary journey (Ac 15:39). Of the later history of the Paphian church we know little. Tychicus, Paul’s companion, is said to have been marryred there, and Jerome tells us that Hilarion sought in the neighborhood of the decayed and almost deserted town the quiet and retirement which he craved (Vita Hilar. 42). The Acta Barnabae speak of a certain Rhodon, who was attached to the temple service at Old Paphos, as having accepted the Christian faith.


Besides the works already referred to, see Journal of Hellenic Studies, IX, 175-92 (citation of passages from ancient authors relating to Old Paphos, together with a list of medieval and modern authorities), 225-271 (inscriptions and tombs), and the bibliography appended to article CYPRUS.

Marcus N. Tod


pa-pi’-rus (Cyperus papyrus; bublos, biblos, whence biblion, a roll, ta biblia, "the Books" = the Bible):

1. Papyrus Paper

2. Egyptian Papyri

3. Aramaic Papyri

4. Greek Papyri

5. Their Discovery.

6. Classical Papyri

7. Septuagint Papyri

8. New Testament Papyri

9. Theological Papyri

10. Documentary Papyri

11. Contribution to New Testament Study

12. Chief Collections

13. Coptic, Arabic and Other Papyri

A marsh or water plant, abundant in Egypt in ancient times, serving many purposes in antiquity. The papyrus tuft was the emblem of the Northern Kingdom in Egypt. Like the lotus, it suggested one of the favorite capitals of Egyptian architecture. Ropes, sandals, and mats were made from its fibers (see Odyssey xxi.391; Herod. ii.37, 69), and bundles of the long, light stalks were bound together into light boats (Isa 18:2; Breasted, History of the Egyptians, 91).

1. Papyrus Paper:

Most importantly, from it was made the tough and inexpensive paper which was used from very ancient times in Egypt and which became the common writing-material of the ancient world. The white cellular pith of the long triangular papyrus stalk was stripped of its bark or rind and sliced into thin strips. Two layers of these strips were laid at right angles to each other, pasted together (Pliny says with the aid of Nile water), dried and smoothed. The sheets thus formed were pasted one to another to form a roll of any length desired. The process and the product are described by Pliny the EIder (NH, . xiii.11-13).

2. Egyptian Papyri:

Egyptian papyrus rolls are in existence dating from the 27th century BC, and no doubt the manufacture of papyrus had been practiced for centuries before. The Egyptian rolls were sometimes of great length and were often beautifully decorated with colored vignettes (Book of the Dead). Egyptian documents of great historical value have been preserved on these fragile rolls. The Papyrus Ebers of the 16th century BC sums up the medical lore of the Egyptians of the time of Amenhotep I. The Papyrus Harris, 133 ft. long, in 117 columns, dates from the middle of the 12th century BC and records the benefactions and achievements of Ramses III. For the XIXth, XXth and XXIst dynasties, indeed, papyri are relatively numerous, and their contribution important for Egyptian history, life and religion. By the year 1000 BC, papyrus had doubtless come to be used for writing far beyond the limits of Egypt. The Wenamon Papyrus (11th century) relates that 500 rolls of papyrus were among the gifts sent from the Delta to the Prince of Biblus, but except in the rarest instances papyri have escaped destruction only in Upper Egypt, where climatic conditions especially favored their preservation.

3. Aramaic Papyri:

In very recent years (1898, 1904, 1907) several Aramaic papyri have been found on the Island of Elephantine, just below the First Cataract, dating from 494 to 400 BC. They show that between 470 and 408 BC a flourishing colony of Jews existed there, doing business under Persian sway, and worshipping their god Yahu, not in a synagogue, but in a temple, in which they offered meal offerings, incense and burnt offerings. In 408, the Egyptians had destroyed their temple at Yeb, and the Jews appealed for redress to the Persian governor. It is well known that some Jews had taken refuge in Egypt in 586 BC, taking the prophet Jeremiah with them, and with some such band of refugees the Yeb colony may have originated, although it may have been much older (compare Jer 44:1,15; Biblical World, XXIX, 1907, 305 ff; XXXI, 448 ff; chief publications by Euting, Sayce and Cowley, and especially Sachau, Drei aramdische Papyrusurkunden aus Elephantine, 2nd edition, 1908; Aramaische Papyrus und Ostraka, 1911).

4. Greek Papyri:

With Alexander’s conquest of Egypt (332 BC), and the subsequent Ptolemaic dynasty, Greeks came more than ever before into Egypt, and from Greek centers like Alexandria and Arsinoe in the Faytum the Greek language began to spread. Through the Ptolemaic (323-30 BC), Roman (30 BC-292/93 AD), and Byzantine periods (292/93-640 AD), that is, from the death of Alexander to the Arab conquest, Greek was much used in Upper and Lower Egypt, and Greek papyri from these times are now abundant. The 300 Aphrodito Greek and Coptic papyri published by Bell and Crum (1910) date from 698-722 AD, and show how Greek persisted in the Arab period.

5. Their Discovery:

The first important discovery of Greek papyri made in modern times was among the ruins of Herculaneum, near Naples, where in 1752 in the ruins of the house of a philosopher which had been destroyed and buried by volcanic ashes from Vesuvius (79 AD) a whole library of papyrus rolls was found, quite charred by the heat. With the utmost pains many of these have been unrolled and deciphered, and the first part of them was published in 1793. They consist almost wholly of works of Epicurean philosophy. In 1778 the first discovery of Greek papyri in Egypt was made. In that year some Arabs found 40 or 50 papyrus rolls in an earthen pot, probably in the Faytum, where Philadelphus settled his Greek veterans. One was purchased by a dealer and found its way into the hands of Cardinal Stefano Borgia; the others were destroyed as of no worth. The Borgia Papyrus was published 10 years later. It was a document of little value, recording the forced labor of certain peasants upon the Nile embankment of a given year.

In 1820 another body of papyri was found by natives, buried, it was said, in an earthen pot, on the site of the Serapeum at Memphis, just above Cairo. These came for the most part from the 2nd century BC. They fell into various hands, and are now in the museums of London, Paris, Leyden, Rome and Dresden. With them the stream of papyri began to flow steadily into the British and Continental museums. In 1821 an Englishman, Mr. W.J. Bankes, bought an Elephantine roll of the xxivth book of the Iliad, the first Greek literary papyrus to be derived from Egypt. The efforts of Mr. Harris and others in 1847-1850 brought to England considerable parts of lost orations of Hyperides, new papyri of the 17th book of the Iliad, and parts of Iliad ii, iii, ix. In 1855 Mariette purchased a fragment of Alcman for the Louvre, and in 1856 Mr. Stobart obtained the funeral oration of Hyperides.

The present period of papyrus recovery dates from 1877, when an immense mass of Greek and other papyri, for the most part documentary, not literary, was found in the Fayum, on the site of the ancient Arsinoe. The bulk of this collection passed into the hands of Archduke Rainer at Vienna, minor portions of it being secured by the museums of Paris, London, Oxford and Berlin. These belong largely to the Byzantine period. Another great find was made in 1892 in the Faytum; most of these went to Berlin some few to the British Museum, Vienna and Geneva. These were mostly of the Roman period.

It will be seen that most of these discoveries were the work of natives, digging about indiscriminately in the hope of finding antiquities to sell to tourists or dealers. By this time, however, the Egypt Exploration Fund had begun its operations in Egypt, and Professor Flinders Petrie was at work there. Digging among Ptolemaic tombs at Gurob in 1889-90, Professor Petrie found many mummies, or mummy-casings, adorned with breast-pieces and sandals made of papyri pasted together. The separation of these was naturally a tedious and delicate task, and the papyri when extricated were often badly damaged or mutilated; but the Petrie papyri, as they were called, were hailed by scholars as the most important found up to that time, for they came for the most part from the 3rd century BC. Startling acquisitions were made about this time by representatives of the British Museum and the Louvre. The British Museum secured papyri of the lost work of Aristotle on the Constitution of Athens, the lost Mimes of Herodas, a fragment of an oration of Hyperides, and extensive literary papyri of works already extant; while the Louvre secured the larger part of the Oration against Athenogenes, the masterpiece of Hyperides. In 1894 Bernard P. Grenfell, of Oxford, appeared in Egypt, working with Professor Petrie in his excavations, and securing papyri with Mr. Hogarth for England. In that year Pettie and Grenfell obtained from native dealers papyrus rolls, one more than 40 ft. in length, preserving revenue laws of Ptolemy Philadelphus, dated in 259-258 BC. These were published in 1896 by Mr. Grenfell, the first of many important works in this field from his pen.

With Arthur S. Hunt, of Oxford, Mr. Grenfell excavated in 1896-1897, at Behnesa, the Roman Oxyrhynchus, and unearthed the greatest mass of Greek papyri of the Roman period thus far found. In 9 large quarto volumes, aggregating 3,000 pages, only a beginning has been made of publishing these Oxyrhynchus texts, which number thousands and are in many cases of great importance. The story of papyrus digging in Egypt since the great find of 1896-1897 is largely the record of the work of Grenfell and Hunt. At Tebtunis, in the Faytum; in 1900, they found a great mass of Ptolemaic papyri, comparable in importance with their great discovery at Oxyrhynchus. One of the most productive sources of papyri at Tebtunis was the crocodile cemetery, in which many mummies of the sacred crocodiles were found rolled in papyrus. Important Ptolemaic texts were found in 1902 at Hibeh, and a later visit to Oxyrhynchus in 1903 produced results almost as astonishing and quite as valuable as those of the first excavations there. The work of Rubensohn at Abusir in 1908 has exceptional interest, as it developed the first considerable body of Alexandrian papyri that has been found. The soil and climate of Alexandria are destructive to papyri, and only to the fact that these had in ancient times been carried off into the interior as rubbish is their preservation due. Hogarth, Jouguet, Wilcken and other Continental scholars have excavated in Egypt for papyri with varying degrees of success. The papyri are found in graves a few feet below the surface, in house ruins over which sand has drifted, or occasionally in earthen pots buried in the ground. Despite government efforts to stop indiscriminate native digging, papyri in considerable quantities have continued to find their way into the hands of native dealers, and thence into English, Continental, and even American collections.

6. Classical Papyri:

Thus far upward of 650 literary papyri, great and small, of works other than Biblical have been published. The fact that about one-third of these are Homeric attests the great popularity enjoyed by the Homeric poems in Greek-Roman times. These are now so abundant and extensive as to make an important contribution to the Homeric text. Rather less than one-third preserve works of other ancient writers which were already known to us through later copies, medieval or modern. Among these are works of Plato, Demosthenes, Isocrates, Thucydides, Euripides, Sophocles, Aeschines, Herodotus and others. Rather more than one-third preserve works, or fragments of works, which have been either quite unknown or, oftener, regarded as lost. Such are portions of Alcman and Sappho, fragments of the comedies of Menander and the iambi of Callimachus, Mimes of Herodas, poems of Bacchylides, parts of the lost Antiope and Hypsipyle of Euripides, Aristotle On the Constitution of Athens, the Persac of Timotheus (in a papyrus of the 4th century BC, probably the oldest Greek book in the world), and six orations, one of them complete, of Hyperides. In 1906 Grenfell and Hunt discovered at Oxyrhynchus the unique papyrus of the lost Paeans of Pindar, in 380 fragments, besides the Hellenica of Theopompus (or Cratippus?), whose works were believed to have perished.

7. Septuagint Papyri:

Of the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) more than 20 papyri have been discovered. Perhaps the most important of these is the Berlin Genesis (3rd or 4th century) (1) in a cursive hand, purchased at Akhmim in 1906. Other papyri preserving parts of Ge among the Amherst

(2), British Museum

(3), and Oxyrhynehus

(4), papyri date from the 3rd or 4th century. A Bodleian papyrus leaf

(5) (7th or 8th century) preserves So 1:6-9. An Amherst papyrus

(6) (7th century) contains Job 1:21 f; 2,3. There are several papyri of parts of the Psalms. An Amherst papyrus

(7) (5th or 6th century) has Ps 5:6-12. Brit. Mus. 37 (Fragmenta Londinensia, 6th or 7th century)

(8), of thirty leaves, contains Ps 10:2-18:6 and 20:14-34:6. This was purchased in 1836 and is one of the longest of Biblical papyri. Brit. Mus. 230

(9) (3rd century) preserves Ps 12:7-15:4. A Berlin papyrus

(10) contains Ps 40:26-41:4. Oxyrhynchus papyrus 845

(11) (4th or 5th century) contains parts of Psalms 68; 70. Another Amherst papyrus

(12) (7th century) shows parts of Psalms 108; 118; 135; 138-140. There is also a papyrus at Leipzig

(13) which contains part of the Psalms. Of the Prophets the chief papyrus is the Heidelberg codex

(14) (7th century), which contains Zec 4:6 through Mal 4:5. Oxyrhynchus 846

(15) (6th century) contains Am 2. A gainer papyrus

(16) (3rd century) preserves Isa 38:3-5,13-16, and a Bodleian

(17) (3rd century) shows Eze 5:12-6:3. The Rylands papyri include De 2; 3

(18) (4th century); Job 1; 5; 6

(19) (6th or 7th century); Ps 90

(20) (5th or 6th century). Recent Oxyrhynchus volumes supply parts of Ex 21; 22; 40

(21; 22) (3rd century, O.P. 1074, 1075); and of Ge 16

(23) (3rd century, O.P. 1166), and Ge 31

(24) (4th century, O.P. 1167). The great antiquity of some of these documents gives especial interest to their readings.

8. New Testament Papyri:

Twenty-three papyri containing parts of the Greek New Testament have thus far been published, nearly half of them coming from Oxyrhynchus (O.P. 2, 208, 209, 402, 657, 1008, 1009, 1078, 1079, 1170, 1171). The pieces range in date from the 3rd to the 6th century. Their locations, dates and contents are:

1. Philadelphia, Pa. 3rd or 4th century Mt 11-9,12,13,14-20 (O.P. 2).

2. Florence. 5th or 6th century Joh 12:12-15.

3. Vienna. 6th century Lu 7:36-45; 10:38-42.

4. Paris. 4th century Lu 1:74-80; 5:3-8; 5:30-6:4.

5. London. 3rd or 4th century Joh 1:23-31,33-41; 20:11-17,19-25 (O.P. 208).

6. Strassburg. ? century Joh 11:45.

7. Kiew. ? century Lu 4:1,2.

8. Berlin. 4th century Ac 4:31-37; 5:2-9; 6:1-6,8-15.

9. Cambridge, Mass. 4th or 5th century 1 Joh 4:11-13,15,17 (O.P 402).

10. Cambridge, Mass. 4th century Ro 1:1-7 (O.P. 209).

11. Petersburg. 5th century 1Co 1:17-20; 6:13,18; 7:3,4,10-14. 12. Didlington Hall. 3rd or 4th century Heb 1:1.

13. London. 4th century Heb 2:14-5:5; 10:8-11:13; 11:28-12:17 (O.P. 657). This is the most considerable papyrus of the New Testament, and doubly important because Codex Vaticanus breaks off with Heb 9:14.

14. Sinai. 5th century 1Co 1:25-27; 2:6-8; 3:8-10,20.

15. Oxford. 4th century 1Co 7:18-8:4 (O.P. 1008). Php 3:9-17; 4:2-8 (O.P. 1009).

16. Manchester (Rylands). 6th or 7th century Ro 12:3-8.

17. Manchester (Rylands). 3rd century Tit 1:11-15; 2:3-8.

18. Oxford. 4th century Heb 9:12-19 (O.P. 1078).

19. Oxford. 3rd or 4th century Re 1:4-7 (O.P. 1079).

20. Oxford. 5th century Mt 10:32-11:5 (O.P. 1170).

21. Oxford. 3rd century Jas 2:19-3:2,4-9 (O.P. 1171).

22. Florence. 7th century Mt 25:12-15,20-23.

23. Florence. ? century Joh 3:14-18,31,32.

Berlin Pap. 13,269 (7th century) is a liturgical paraphrase of Lu 2:8-14.

Further details as to numbers 1-14 may be found in Gregory, Textkritik, 1084-92, and for numbers 1-23 in Kenyon, Handbook to Text. Crit. 2, or Milligan, New Testament Documents, 249-54.

9. Theological Papyri:

Among other theological papyri, the Oxyrhynchus Sayings of Jesus (O.P. 1,654), dating from the 2nd and 3rd centuries, are probably the most widely known (see LOGIA). Other Oxyrhynchus pieces preserve parts of the Apocalypse of Baruch (chapters 12-14; 4th or 5th century; O.P. 403); the Gospel according to the Hebrews (? in its later form, if at all; 3rd century; O.P. 655); the Ac of John (4th century; O.P. 850, compare 851); the Shepherd of Hermas (3rd or 4th century; O.P. 404); Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., iii.9 (3rd century; O.P. 405). Other small fragments of the Shepherd and Ignatius are among the Amherst and Berlin papyri. Early Christian hymns, prayers and letters of interest have also been found.

10. Documentary Papyri:

We have spoken thus far only of literary papyri, classical and theological. The overwhelming jority of the papyri found have of course been documentary—private letters, accounts, wills, receipts, contracts, leases, deeds, complaints, petitions, notices, invitations, etc. The value of these contemporary and original documents for the illumination of ancient life can hardly be overestimated. The life of Upper Egypt in Ptolemaic and Roman times is now probably better known to us than that of any other period of history down to recent times. Many papyrus collections have no literary papyri at all, but are rich in documents. Each year brings more of these to light and new volumes of them into print. All this vast and growing body of material contributes to our knowledge of Ptolemaic and imperial times, often in the most intimate ways. Among the most important of these documentary papyri from Ptolemaic times are the revenue laws of Ptolemy Philadelphus (259 BC) and the decrees of Ptolemy Euergetes II, 47 in number (118 BC, 140-139 BC). Very recently (1910) a Hamburg papyrus has supplied the Constitutio Antoniniana, by which Roman citizenship was conferred upon the peregrini of the empire. The private documents in ways even more important illustrate the life of the common people under Ptolemaic and Roman rule.

11. Contribution to New Testament Study:

It is not necessary to point out the value of all this for Biblical and especially New Testament study. The papyri have already made a valuable contribution to textual materials of both Old Testament and New Testament. For other early Christian literature their testimony has been of surprising interest (the Oxyrhynchus Logia and Gospel fragments). The discovery of a series of uncial manuscripts running through six centuries back of the Codex Vaticanus bridges the gap between what were our earliest uncials and the hand of the inscriptions, and puts us in a better position than ever before to fix the dates of uncial manuscripts. Minuscule or cursire hands, too, so common in New Testament manuscripts of the 10th and later centuries, appear in a new light when it is seen that such writing was not a late invention arising out of the uncial, but had existed side by side with it from at least the 4th century BC, as the ordinary, as distinguished from the literary, or book, hand. See WRITING. The lexical contribution of these documentary papyri, too, is already considerable, and is likely to be very great. Like the New Testament writings, they reflect the common as distinguished from the literary language of the times, and words which had appeared exceptional or unknown in Greek literature are now shown to have been in common use. The problems of New Testament syntax are similarly illuminated. Specific historical notices sometimes light up dark points in the New Testament, as in a British Museum decree of Gaius Vibius Maximus, prefect of Egypt (104 AD), ordering all who are out of their districts to return to their own homes in view of the approaching census (compare Lu 2:1-5). Most important of all is the contribution of the papyri to a sympathetic knowledge of ancient life. They constitute a veritable gallery of New Testament characters. A strong light is sometimes thrown upon the social evils of the time, of which Paul and Juvenal wrote so sternly. The child, the prodigal, the thief, the host with his invitations, the steward with his accounts, the thrifty householder, the soldier on service receiving his viaticum, or retired as a veteran upon his farm, the Jewish money-lender, the husbandman, and the publican, besides people in every domestic relation, we meet at first hand in the papyri which they themselves in many cases have written. The worth of this for the historical interpretation of the New Testament is very great.

12. Chief Collections:

The principal collections of Greek papyri with their editors are Schow, Herculaneurn Papyri; Peyron, Turin Papyri; Leemans, Leyden Papyri; Wessely, Rainer and Paris Papyri; Kenyon and Bell, British Museum Papyri; Mahaffy and Smyly, Pettie Papyri; Grenfell and Hunt, Oxyrhynchus, Amherst and Hibeh Papyri (with Hogarth), Faytum Papyri, and (with Smyly and Goodspeed) Tebtunis Papyri; Hunt, Rylands Papyri; Nicole, Geneva Papyri; Krebs, Wilcken, Viereck, Schubart and others, Berlin Papyri; Meyer, Hamburg and Giessen Papyri; Deissmann, Heidelberg Papyri; Vitelli and Comparetti, Florence Papyri; Mitteis, Leipzig Papyri; Preisigke, Strassburg Papyri; Reinach, Paris Papyri; Jouguet and Lesquier, Lille Papyri; Rubensohn, Elephantine Papyri; Maspero, Cairo Papyri; Goodspeed, Cairo and Chicago Papyri. The Munich papyri have been described by Wilcken. Milligan’s Greek Papyri, Kenyon’s Paleography of Greek Papyri, and Deissmann’s Light from the Ancient East are useful introductions to the general subject. Mayser has prepared a Grammatik der Ptolemaischen Papyri.

13. Coptic, Arabic, and Other Papyri:

Coptic, Arabic, Hebrew, and Demotic papyri are numerous; even Latin papyri are found. The Coptic have already made important contributions to early Christian literature. A considerable Coptic fragment of the Ac of Paul, and a Coptic (Akhmimic) codex of 1 Clement, almost complete, have recently been published by Carl Schmidt. Another much mutilated papyrus of 1 Clement, with James, complete, is at Strassburg. A Coptic text of Proverbs has been brought to Berlin from the same source which supplied the Clement codex (the White Convent, near Akhmim); indeed, Biblical papyri in Coptic are fairly numerous, and patristic literature is being rapidly enriched by such discoveries of Coptic papyri, e.g. the Deuteronomy, Jonah; Ac papyrus, 1912 (compare the Sahidic New Testament, Oxford, 1911).

Arabic papyri first began to appear from Egypt in 1825, when three Arabic pieces were brought to Paris and published by Silvestre de Sacy. Two others, from the 7th century, were published by him in 1827. It was not until the great papyrus finds of 1877-1878, however, that any considerable number of Arabic papyri found their way into Europe. The chief collections thus far formed are at Vienna (Rainer Collection), Berlin and Cairo. Becker has published the Schott-Reinhardt Arabic papyri at Heidelberg, and Karabacek has worked upon those at Vienna. They belong of course to the period after the Arabic conquest, 640 AD.

Edgar J. Goodspeed


See SHIPS AND BOATS, II, 2, (1).



1. Name

2. Historical Data

3. Christ’s Use of Parables.

4. Purpose of Christ in Using Parables

5. Interpretation of the Parables

6. Doctrinal Value of the Parables

1. Name:

Etymologically the word "parable" (paraballo) signifies a placing of two or more objects together, usually for the purpose of a comparison. In this widest sense of the term there is practically no difference between parable and simile (see Thayer, Dictionary of New Testament Greek, under the word). This is also what substantially some of Christ’s parables amount to, which consist of only one comparison and in a single verse (compare Mt 13:33,44-46). In the more usual and technical sense of the word, "parable" ordinarily signifies an imaginary story, yet one that in its details could have actually transpired, the purpose of the story being to illustrate and inculcate some higher spiritual truth. These features differentiate it from other and similar figurative narratives as also from actual history. The similarity between the last-mentioned and a parable is sometimes so small that exegetes have differed in the interpretation of certain pericopes. A characteristic example of this uncertainty is the story of Dives and Lazarus in Lu 16:19-31. The problem is of a serious nature, as those who regard this as actual history are compelled to interpret each and every statement, including too the close proximity of heaven and hell and the possibility of speaking from one place to the other, while those who regard it as a parable can restrict their interpretation to the features that constitute the substance of the story. It differs again from the fable, in so far as the latter is a story that could not actually have occurred (e.g. Jud 9:8 ff; 2Ki 14:9; Eze 17:2 f). The parable is often described as an extended metaphor. The etymological features of the word, as well as the relation of parables to other and kindred devices of style, are discussed more fully by Ed. Koenig, in HDB, III, 660 ff.

2. Histotical Data:

Although Christ employed the parable as a means of inculcating His message more extensively and more effectively than any other teacher, He did not invent the parable. It was His custom in general to take over from the religious and linguistic world of thought in His own day the materials that He employed to convey the higher and deeper truths of His gospels, giving them a world of meaning they had never before possessed. Thus, e.g. every petition of the Lord’s Prayer can be duplicated in the Jewish liturgies of the times, yet on Christ’s lips these petitions have a significance they never had or could have for the Jews. The term "Word" for the second person in the Godhead is an adaptation from the Logos-idea in contemporaneous religious thought, though not specifically of Philo’s. Baptism, regeneration, and kindred expressions of fundamental thoughts in the Christian system, are terms not absolutely new (compare Deutsch, article "Talmud" Literary Remains) The parable was employed both in the Old Testament and in contemporaneous Jewish literature (compare e.g. 2Sa 12:1-4; Isa 5:1-6; 28:24-28, and for details see Koenig’s article, loc. cit.). Jewish and other non-Biblical parables are discussed and illustrated by examples in Trench’s Notes on the Parables of our Lord, introductory essay, chapter iv: "On Other Parables besides Those in the Scriptures."

3. Christ’s Use of Parables:

The one and only teacher of parables in the New Testament is Christ Himself. The Epistles, although they often employ rhetorical allegories and similes, make absolutely no use of the parable, so common in Christ’s pedagogical methods. The distribution of these in the Canonical Gospels is unequal, and they are strictly confined to the three Synoptic Gospels. Mark again has only one peculiar to this book, namely, the Seed Growing in Secret (Mr 4:26), and he gives only three others that are found also in Mt and Lk, namely the Sower, the Mustard Seed, and the Wicked Husbandman, so that the bulk of the parables are found in the First and the Third Gospels. Two are common to Matthew and Luke, namely the Leaven (Mt 13:33; Lu 13:21) and the Lost Sheep (Mt 18:12; Lu 15:3 ). Of the remaining parables, 18 are found only in Luke and 10 only in Mt. Luke’s 18 include some of the finest, namely, the Two Debtors, the Good Samaritan, the Friend at Midnight, the Rich Fool, the Watchful Servants, the Barren Fig Tree, the Chief Seats, the Great Supper, the Rash Builder, the Rash King, the Lost Coin, the Lost Son, the Unrighteous Steward, the Rich Man and Lazarus, the Unprofitable Servants, the Unrighteous Judge, the Pharisee and Publican, and the Pounds. The 10 peculiar to Matthew are the Tares, the Hidden Treasure, the Pearl of Great Price, the Draw Net, the Unmerciful Servant, the Laborers in the Vineyard, the Two Sons, the Marriage of the King’s Son, the Ten Virgins, and the Talents. There is some uncertainty as to the exact number of parables we have from Christ, as the Marriage of the King’s Son is sometimes regarded as a different recension of the Great Supper, and the Talents of the Pounds. Other numberings are suggested by Trench, Julicher and others.

4. Purpose of Christ in Using Parables:

It is evident from such passages as Mt 13:10 ff (compare Mr 4:10; Lu 8:9) that Christ did not in the beginning of His career employ the parable as a method of teaching, but introduced it later. This took place evidently during the 2nd year of His public ministry, and is closely connected with the changes which about that time He made in His attitude toward the people in general. It evidently was Christ’s purpose at the outset to win over, if possible, the nation as a whole to His cause and to the gospel; when it appeared that the leaders and the great bulk of the people would not accept Him for what He wanted to be and clung tenaciously to their carnal Messianic ideas and ideals, Christ ceased largely to appeal to the masses, and, by confining His instructions chiefly to His disciples and special friends, saw the necessity of organizing an ecclesiola in ecclesia, which was eventually to develop into the world-conquering church. One part of this general withdrawal of Christ from a proclamation of His gospel to the whole nation was this change in His method of teaching and the adoption of the parable. On that subject He leaves no doubt, according to Mt 13:11 ff; Mr 4:12; Lu 8:10. The purpose of the parable is both to reveal and to conceal the truth. It was to serve the first purpose in the case of the disciples, the second in the case of the uncleserving Jews. Psychologically this difference, notwithstanding the acknowledged inferiority in the training and education of the disciples, especially as compared with the scribes and lawyers, is not hard to understand. A simple-minded Christian, who has some understanding of the truth, can readily understand figurative illustrations of this truth, which would be absolute enigmas even to an educated Hindu or Chinaman. The theological problem involved is more difficult. Yet it is evident that we are not dealing with those who have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, for whom there is no possibility of a return to grace, according to Heb 6:4-10; 10:26 (compare Mt 12:31,32; Mr 3:28-30), and who accordingly could no longer be influenced by an appeal of the gospel, and we have rather before us those from whom Christ has determined to withdraw the offer of redemption—whether temporarily or definitely and finally, remaining an open question—according to His policy of not casting pearls before the swine. The proper sense of these passages can be ascertained only when we remember that in Mr 4:12 and Lu 8:10, the hina, need not express purpose, but that this particle is used here to express mere result only, as is clear too from the passage in Mt 13:13, where the hoti, is found. The word is to be withheld from these people, so that this preaching would not bring about the ordinary results of conversion and forgiveness of sins. Hence, Christ now adopts a method of teaching that will hide the truth from all those who have not yet been imbued by it, and this new method is that of the parable.

5. Interpretation of the Parables:

The principles for the interpretation of the parables, which are all intended primarily and in the first place for the disciples, are furnished by the nature of the parable itself and by Christ’s own method of interpreting some of them. The first and foremost thing to be discovered is the scope or the particular spiritual truth which the parable is intended to convey. Just what this scope is may be stated in so many words, as is done, e.g., by the introductory words to that of the Pharisee and the Publican. Again the scope may be learned from the occasion of the parable, as the question of Peter in Mt 18:21 gives the scope of the following parable, and the real purpose of the Prodigal Son parable in Lu 15:11 ff is not the story of this young man himself, but is set over against the murmuring of the Pharisees because Christ received publicans and sinners, in 15:1 and 2, to exemplify the all-forgiving love of the Father. Not the Son but the Father is in the foreground in this parable, which fact is also the connecting link between the two parts. Sometimes the scope can be learned only from an examination of the details of the parable itself and then may be all the more uncertain.

A second principle of the interpretation of the parables is that a sharp distinction must be made between what the older interpreters called the body (corpus) and the soul (anima) of the story; or, to use other expressions, between the shell or bark (cortex) and the marrow (medulla). Whatever serves only the purpose of the story is the "ornamentation" of the parable, and does not belong to the substance. The former does not call for interpretation or higher spiritual lesson; the latter does. This distinction between those parts of the parable that are intended to convey spiritual meanings and those which are to be ignored in the interpretation is based on Christ’s own interpretation of the so-called parabolae perfectae. Christ Himself, in Mt 13:18 ff, interprets the parable of the Sower, yet a number of data, such as the fact that there are four, and not more or fewer kinds of land, and others, are discarded in this explanation as without meaning. Again in His interpretation of the Tares among the Wheat in Mt 13:36 ff, a number of details of the original parable are discarded as meaningless.

Just which details are significant and which are meaningless in a parable is often hard, sometimes impossible to determine, as the history of their exegesis amply shows. In general it can be laid down as a rule, that those features which illustrate the scope of the parable belong to its substance, and those which do not, belong to the ornamentation. But even with this rule there remain many exegetical cruces or difficulties. Certain, too, it is that not all of the details are capable of interpretation. Some are added of a nature that indeed illustrate the story as a story, but, from the standpoint of Christian morals, are more than objectionable. The Unjust Steward in using his authority to make the bills of the debtors of his master smaller may be a model, in the shrewd use of this world’s goods for his purpose, that the Christian may follow in making use of his goods for his purposes, but the action of the steward itself is incapable of defense. Again, the man who finds in somebody else’s property a pearl of great price but conceals this fact from the owner of the land and quietly buys this ground may serve as an example to show how much the kingdom of God is worth, but from an ethical standpoint his action cannot be sanctioned. In general, the parable, like all other forms of figurative expression, has a meaning only as far as the tertium comparationis goes, that is, the third thing which is common to the two things compared. But all this still leaves a large debatable ground in many parables. In the Laborers in the Vineyard does the "penny" mean anything, or is it an ornament? The history of the debate on this subject is long. In the Prodigal Son do all the details of his sufferings, such as eating the husks intended for swine, have a spiritual meaning?

6. Doctrinal Value of the Parables:

The interpreters of former generations laid down the rule, theologia parabolica non eat argumentativa, i.e. the parables, very rich in mission thoughts, do not furnish a basis for doctrinal argument. Like all figurative expressions and forms of thought, the parables too contain elements of doubt as far as their interpretation is concerned. They illustrate truth but they do not prove or demonstrate truth. Omnia aimilia claudicunt, "all comparisons limp," is applicable here also. No point of doctrine can be established on figurative passages of Scripture, as then all elements of doubt would not be eliminated, this doubt being based on the nature of language itself. The argumentative or doctrinal value of parables is found in this, that they may, in accordance with the analogy of Scripture, illustrate truth already clearly expressed elsewhere. Compare especially Trench, introductory essay, in Notes on the Parables of our Lord, chapter iii., 30-43; and Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics, Part II, chapter vi: "Interpretation of Parables," 188-213, in which work a full bibliography is given. Compare also the article "Parabel" in Hauck-Herzog, Realencyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche.

G.H. Schodde



1. Where Used:

This word occurs 5 times in the New Testament, all in the writings of John. Four instances are in the Gospel and one in the First Epistle. In the Gospel the in the Epistle, 1 Joh 2:1. "Paraclete" is simply the Greek word transferred into English. The translation of the word in English Versions of the Bible is "Comforter" in the Gospel, and "Advocate" in the Epistle. The Greek word is parakletos, froth the verb parakaleo. The word for "Paraclete" is passive in form, and etymologically signifies "called to one’s side." The active form of the word is parakletor, not found in the New Testament but found in Septuagint in Job 16:2 in the plural, and means "comforters," in the saying of Job regarding the "miserable comforters" who came to him in his distress.

2. General Meaning:

In general the word signifies:

(1) a legal advocate, or counsel for defense,

(2) an intercessor,

(3) a helper, generally.

The first, or technical, judicial meaning is that which predominates in classical usage, corresponding to our word "advocate," "counsel," or "attorney." The corresponding Latin word is advocatus, "advocate," the word applied to Christ in English Versions of the Bible in the translation of the Greek word parakletos, in 1 Joh 2:1. There is some question whether the translation "Comforter" in the passages of John’s Gospel in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) is warranted by the meaning of the word. It is certain that the meaning "comforter" is not the primary signification, as we have seen. It is very probably, however, a secondary meaning of the word, and some of its cognates clearly convey the idea of comfort in certain connections, both in Septuagint and in the New Testament (Ge 37:35; Zec 1:13; Mt 5:4; 2Co 1:3,4). In the passage in 2 Corinthians the word in one form or another is used 5 times and in each means "comfort." In none of these instances, however, do we find the noun "Paraclete," which we are now considering.

3. In the Talmud and Targums:

Among Jewish writers the word "Paraclete" came to have a number of meanings. A good deed was called a paraclete or advocate, and a transgression was an accuser. Repentance and good works were called paracletes: "The works of benevolence and mercy done by the people of Israel in this world become agents of peace and intercessors (paracletes) between them and their Father in heaven." The sin offering is a paraclete; the paraclete created by each good deed is called an angel (Jewish Encyclopedia, IX, 514-15, article "Paraclete").

4. As Employed by Philo:

Philo employs the word in several instances. Usually he does not use it in the legal, technical sense. Joseph is represented as bestowing forgiveness on his brethren who had wronged him and declaring that they needed "no one else as paraclete," or intercessor (De Joseph c. 40). In his Life of Moses, iii.14, is a remarkable passage which indicates Philo’s spiritualizing methods of interpreting Scripture as well as reflects his philosophic tendency. At the close of a somewhat elaborate account of the emblematic significance of the vestments of the high priest and their jeweled decorations, his words are: "The twelve stones arranged on the breast in four rows of three stones each, namely, the logeum, being also an emblem of that reason which holds together and regulates the universe. For it was indispensable (anagkaion) that the man who was consecrated to the Father of the world should have, as a paraclete, his son, the being most perfect in all virtue, to procure the forgiveness of sins, and a supply of unlimited blessings." This is rather a striking verbal or formal parallel to the statement in 1 Joh 2:1 where Christ is our Advocate with the Father, although of course Philo’s conceptions of the Divine "reason" and "son" are by no means the Christian conceptions.

5. The Best Translation:

If now we raise the question what is the best translation of the term "Paraclete" in the New Testament, we have a choice of several words. Let us glance at them in order. The translation "Comforter" contains an element of the meaning of the word as employed in the Gospels, and harmonizes with the usage in connection with its cognates, but it is too narrow in meaning to be an adequate translation. Dr. J. Hastings in an otherwise excellent article on the Paraclete in HDB says the Paraclete was not sent to comfort the disciples, since prior to His actual coming and after Christ’s promise the disciples’ sorrow was turned into joy. Dr. Hastings thinks the Paraclete was sent to cure the unbelief or half-belief of the disciples. But this conceives the idea of comfort in too limited a way. No doubt in the mind of Jesus the comforting aspect, of the Spirit’s work applied to all their future sorrows and trials, and not merely to comfort for their personal loss in the going of Christ to the Father. Nevertheless there was more in the work of the Paraclete than comfort in sorrow. "Intercessor" comes nearer the root idea of the term and contains an essential part of the meaning. "Advocate" is a closely related word, and is also suggestive of the work of the Spirit. Perhaps there is no English word broad enough to cover all the significance of the word "Paraclete" except the word "Helper." The Spirit helps the disciples in all the above-indicated ways. Of course the objection to this translation is that it is too indefinite. The specific Christian conception is lost in the comprehensiveness of the term. Our conclusion, therefore, is that the term "Paraclete" itself would perhaps be the best designation of the Spirit in the passage in John’s Gospel. It would thus become a proper name for the Spirit and the various elements of meaning would come to be associated with the words which are found in the context of the Gospel.

Christianity introduced many new ideas into the world for which current terms were inadequate media of expression. In some cases it is best to adopt the Christian term itself, in our translations, and let the word slowly acquire its own proper significance in our thought and life. If, however, instead of translating we simply transfer the word "Paraclete" as a designation of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel passages, we would need then to translate it in the passage in the Epistle where it refers to Christ. But this would offer no serious difficulty. For fortunately in the Epistle the word may very clearly be translated "Advocate" or "Intercessor."

6. Christ’s Use of the Word:

We look next at the contents of the word as employed by Jesus in reference to the Holy Spirit. In Joh 14:16 the Paraclete is promised as one who is to take the place of Jesus. It is declared elsewhere by Jesus that it is expedient that He go away, for unless He go away the Paraclete will not come (Joh 16:7). Is the Paraclete, then, the successor or the substitute for Christ as He is sometimes called? The answer is that He is both and neither. He is the successor of Christ historically, but not in the sense that Christ ceases to act in the church. He is the substitute for Christ’s physical presence, but only in order that He may make vital and actual Christ’s spiritual presence. As we have seen, the Paraclete moves only in the range of truths conveyed in and through Christ as the historical manifestation of God. A "Kingdom of the Spirit," therefore, is impossible in the Christian sense, save as the historical Jesus is made the basis of the Spirit’s action in history. The promise of Jesus in 14:18, "I come unto," is parallel and equivalent in meaning with the preceding promise of the Paraclete. The following are given as the specific forms of activity of the Holy Spirit:

(1) to show them the things of Christ,

(2) to teach them things to come,

(3) to teach them all things,

(4) to quicken their memories for past teaching,

(5) to bear witness to Christ,

(6) to dwell in believers,

(7) other things shown in the context such as "greater works" than those of Christ (see Joh 14:16,17),

(8) to convict of sin, of righteousness and judgment.

It is possible to range the shades of meaning outlined above under these various forms of the Spirit’s activity. As Comforter His work would come under (1), (2), (3) and (6); as Advocate and Intercessor under (6), (7), (8); as Helper and Teacher under (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8).

The manner of the sending of the Paraclete is of interest. In Joh 14:16 the Paraclete comes in answer to Christ’s prayer. The Father will give the Spirit whom the world cannot receive. In Joh 14:26 the Father will send the Spirit in Christ’s name. Yet in 15:26 Christ says, "I will send (him) unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth," and in 16:7, "If I go, I will send him unto you."


7. As Applied to Christ:

It remains to notice the passage in 1 Joh 2:1 where the term "Paraclete" is applied to Christ: "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous"; 2:2 reads: "and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." Here the meaning is quite clear and specific. Jesus Christ the righteous is represented as our Advocate or Intercessor with the Father. His righteousness is set over against our sin. Here the Paraclete, Christ, is He who, on the basis of His propitiatory offering for the sins of men, intercedes for them with God and thus averts from them the penal consequences of their transgressions. The sense in which Paraclete is here applied to Christ is found nowhere in the passages we have cited from the Gospel. The Holy Spirit as Paraclete is Intercessor or Advocate, but not in the sense here indicated. The Spirit as Paraclete convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment. Jesus Christ as Paraclete vindicates believers before God.


Grimm-Thayer, Gr-Eng. Lexicon of the New Testament; Cremer, Biblico-Theol. Lexicon; HDB, article "Paraclete"; DCG, article "Paraclete"; EB, article "Paraclete"; Jew Encyclopedia, article "Paraclete"; Hare, Mission of the Comforter; Pearson, On the Creed; Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers; various comms., Westcott, Godet and others.

See list of books appended to article on HOLY SPIRIT.

E. Y. Mulhns


par’-a-dis (pardec; paradeisos):

1. Origin and Meaning:

A word probably of Persian origin meaning a royal park. See GARDEN. The word occurs in the Hebrew Scriptures but 3 times: So 4:13, where it is translated "an orchard"; Ne 2:8, where it is translated "a forest" (the Revised Version margin "park"); Ec 2:5, where it is in the plural number (the King James Version "orchards," the Revised Version (British and American) "parks"). But it was early introduced into the Greek language, being made specially familiar by Xenophon upon his return from the expedition of Cyrus the Younger to Babylonia (see Anab. i.2, section 7; 4, section 9; Cyrop. i.3, section 14). In Septuagint the word is of frequent use in translating other terms of kindred significance. The Garden of Eden became "the paradise of pleasure or luxury" (Ge 2:15; 3:23; Joe 2:3). The valley of the Jordan became ‘the paradise of God’ (Ge 13:10). In Eze 31:8,9, according to Septuagint, there is no tree in the ‘paradise of God’ equal to that which in the prophet’s vision symbolizes the glory of Assyria. The figures in the first 9 verses of this chapter may well have been suggested by what the prophet had himself seen of parks in the Persian empire.

2. Use in Jewish Literatare:

In the apocryphal and pseudepigraphical literature the word is extensively used in a spiritual and symbolia sense, signalizing the place of happiness to be inherited by the righteous in contrast to Gehenna, the place of punishment to which the wicked were to be assigned. In the later Jewish literature "Sheol" is represented as a place where preliminary rewards and punishments are bestowed previous to the final judgment (see APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE; ESCHATOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; and compare 2 Esdras 2:19; 8:52). But the representations in this literature are often vague and conflicting, some holding that there were 4 divisions in Sheol, one for those who were marryred for righteousness’ sake, one for sinners who on earth had paid the penalty for their sins, one for the just who had not suffered martyrdom, and one for sinners who had not been punished on earth (En 102:15). But among the Alexandrian Jews the view prevailed that the separation of the righteous from the wicked took place immediately after death (see The Wisdom of Solomon 3:14; 4:10; 5:5,17; Josephus, Ant, XVIII, i, 3; B J, II, viii, 14). This would seem to be the idea underlying the use of the word in the New Testament where it occurs only 3 times, and then in a sense remarkably free from sensuous suggestions.

3. Used by Christ:

Christ uses the word but once (Lu 23:43), when He said to the penitent thief, "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise" (see ABRAHAM’S BOSOM (compare HADES)). This was no time to choose words with dialectical precision. The consolation needed by the penitent thief suffering from thirst and agony and shame was such as was symbolized by the popular conception of paradise, which, as held by the Essenes, consisted of "habitations beyond the ocean, in a region that is neither oppressed with storms of rain, or snow, or with intense heat, but that this place is such as is refreshed by the gentle breathin of a west wind, that is perpetually blowing from the ocean" (Josephus, BJ, II, viii, 11).


4. Other Forms and Uses:

Nowhere in His public teaching did Christ use the word "Paradise." He does indeed, when speaking in parables, employ the figure of the marriage supper, and of new wine, and elsewhere of Abraham’s bosom, and of houses not made by hands, eternal in the heavens; but all these references are in striking contrast to the prevailing sensuous representations of the times (see 2 Esdras 2:19; 8:52), and such as have been introduced into Mohammedan literature. Likewise Paul (2Co 12:4) speaks of having been "caught up into Paradise" where he "heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." See ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. But in 2Co 12:2 this is referred to more vaguely as "the third heaven." In Re 2:7 it is said to the members of the church at Ephesus who should overcome, "I (will) give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God," where the Eden of Ge 2:8 is made the symbol of the abode of the righteous, more fully described without the words in the last chapter of the book. The reticence of the sacred writers respecting this subject is in striking contrast to the profuseness and crudity both of rabbinical writers before Christ and of apocryphal writers and Christian commentators at a later time. "Where the true Gospels are most reticent, the mythical are most exuberant" (Perowne). This is especially noticeable in the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Acta Philippi, the writings of Tertullian (De Idol. c. 13; De Anim. c. 55; Tertullian’s treatise De Paradiso is lost), Clement of Alexandria (Frag. 51), and John of Damascus (De Orthod. Fid., ii, 11). In modern literature the conception of Paradise is effectually sublimated and spiritualized in Faber’s familiar hymn:

"O Paradise, O Paradise,

I greatly long to see

The special place my dearest Lord

Is destining for me;

Where loyal hearts and true

Stand ever in the light,

All rapture thro’ and thro’,

In God’s most holy sight."


The articles in the great Dicts., especially Herzog, RE; HDB; Alger, Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life; Schodde, Book of Enoch; Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. on Lu 23:43; Salmond, The Christian Doctrine of Immortality, 346 ff. For a good account of Jewish and patristic speculation on Paradise, see Professor Plumptre’s article in Smith’s D.B, II, 704 ff.

G. F. Wright


pa’-ra, par’-a (ha-parah; Codex Vaticanus Phara; Codex Alexandrinus Aphar): A city named as in the territory of Benjamin between Avvim and Ophrah (Jos 18:23). It may with some confidence be identified with Farah on Wady Farah, which runs into Wady Suweinit, about 3 miles Northeast of ‘Anata.


pa-ral’-i-sis, par-alit’-ik.



par’-a-moor (pilleghesh, "a concubine," masculine or feminine): A term applied in Eze 23:20 to the male lover, but elsewhere translated "concubine."


pa’-ran, (pa’ran, ‘el-pa’ran; Pharan):

(1) El-paran (Ge 14:6) was the point farthest South reached by the kings. Septuagint renders ‘el by terebinthos, and reads, "unto the terebinth of Paran." The evidence is slender, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that this is the place elsewhere (De 2:8; 1Ki 9:26, etc.) called Elath or Eloth (’el with feminine termination), a seaport town which gave its name to the Aelanitic Gulf (modern Gulf of ‘Aqaba), not far from the wilderness of Paran (2).

(2) Many places named in the narrative of the wanderings lay within the Wilderness of Paran (Nu 10:12; 13:21; 27:14; compare 13:3,16, etc.). It is identified with the high limestone plateau of Ettih, stretching from the Southwest of the Dead Sea to Sinai along the west side of the Arabah. This wilderness offered hospitality to Ishmael when driven from his father’s tent (Ge 21:21). Hither also came David when bereaved of Samuel’s protection (1Sa 25:1).

(3) Mount Paran (De 33:2; Hab 3:3) may be either Jebel Maqrah, 29 miles South of ‘Ain Kadis (Kadesh-barnea), and 130 miles North of Sinai (Palmer, Desert of the Exodus, 510); or the higher and more imposing range of mountains West of the Gulf of ‘Aqaba. This is the more probable if El-paran is rightly identified with Elath.

(4) Some place named Paran would seem to be referred to in De 1:1; but no trace of such a city has yet been found. Paran in 1Ki 11:18 doubtless refers to the district West of the Arabah.

W. Ewing


par’-bar (parbar (1Ch 26:18), and parwarim, translated "precincts" (the King James Version "suburbs" in 2Ki 23:11); Septuagint pharoureim): In 1Ch 26:18 reference is made to the position of the gatekeepers, "for Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar." The word is supposed to be of Persian origin, connected with Parwar, meaning "possessing light," and hence, the meaning has been suggested of "colonnade" or "portico," some place open to the light. In the plural form (2Ki 23:11) the situation of the house of "Nathan-melech" is described, and the translation, "in the colonnades," should, if the above origin is accepted, be more correct than English Versions of the Bible. It is difficult to understand the occurrence of a Persian word at this time, and it has been suggested (EB, col 3585) that the word is a description of the office of Nathan-melech, ba-parwarim being a misreading for ba-peradhim, meaning "who was over the mules."

E. W. G. Masterman


par’-sel: Properly "a little part," in Elizabethan English being used in almost any sense. In the King James Version of Ge 33:19; Jos 24:32; Ru 4:3; 1Ch 11:13,14 it is the translation of chelqah; Joh 4:5 of chorion—both the Greek and Hebrew words meaning a "piece of land." the Revised Version (British and American) writes "plot" in 1Ch 11:13,14, but if the change was needed at all, it should have been made throughout.


parcht: Four different root words have been translated "parched" in English Versions of the Bible:

(1) qalah, "roasted." This word is applied to corn or pulse. It is a common practice in Palestine and Syria to roast the nearly ripe wheat for eating as a delicacy. A handful of heads of fully developed grain, with the stalks still attached, are gathered and bound together and then, holding the bunch by the lower ends of the stalks, the heads are toasted over a fire of straw or thorn bush. By the time most of the sheaths are blackened the grain is toasted, and, after rubbing off the husks between the hands, is ready to eat (Le 2:14). A form of pulse is toasted in the same way and is more sought after than the grain. In the larger towns and cities, venders go about the streets selling bunches of toasted chick-peas. The Bible references, however, are probably to another form of roasted grain. The threshed wheat or pulse is roasted over a fire on an iron pan or on a fiat stone, being kept in constant motion with a stirrer until the operation is finished. The grain thus prepared is a marketable article. Parched grain is not now so commonly met with as the pulse, which either roasted or unroasted is called chommoc (from Arabic "to roast" or "parch"). Parched pulse is eaten not only plain, but is often made into confection by coating the seeds with sugar. In Bible times parched wheat or pulse was a common food, even taking the place of bread (Le 23:14; Jos 5:11; Ru 2:14). It was a useful food supply for armies, as it required no further cooking (1Sa 17:17). It was frequently included in gifts or hostages (1Sa 25:18; 2Sa 17:28).

(2) charer, "burned" or "parched" (compare Arabic chariq, "burned"), is used in the sense of dried up or arid in Jer 17:6.

(3) tsicheh, is used in Isa 5:13, the King James Version "dried up" the Revised Version (British and American) "parched" tsechichah in Ps 68:6, the King James Version "dry," the Revised Version (British and American) "parched."

(4) sharabh, rendered "parched" in the King James Version, is "glowing" in the Revised Version (British and American). The word implies the peculiar wavy effect of the air above parched ground, usually accompanied by mirages (compare Arabic serdb, "mirage") (Isa 35:7; 49:10). In predicting a happy future for Zion the prophet could have chosen no greater contrast than that the hot glowing sands which produce illusive water effects should be changed into real pools.


James A. Patch





parch’-ment (membrana (2Ti 4:13)): The word "parchment "which occurs only once (2Ti 4:13), is derived from Latin pergamena (Greek Pergamene), i.e. pertaining to Pergamum, the name of an ancient city in Asia Minor where, it is believed, parchment was first used. Parchment is made from the skins of sheep, goats or young calves. The hair and fleshy portions of the skin are removed as in tanning by first soaking in lime and then dehairing, scraping and washing. The skin is then stretched on a frame and treated with powdered chalk, or other absorptive agent, to remove the fatty substances, and is then dried. It is finally given a smooth surface by rubbing with powdered pumice. Parchment was extensively used at the time of the early Christians for scrolls, legal documents, etc., having replaced papyrus for that purpose. It was no doubt used at even a much earlier time. The roll mentioned in Jer 36 may have been of parchment. Scrolls were later replaced by codices of the same material. After the arabs introduced paper, parchment was still used for centuries for the book bindings. Diplomas printed on "sheepskins," still issued by many universities, represent the survival of an ancient use of parchment. See following article.

James A. Patch


parch’-ments (membranai, "membranes," "parchments," "vellum"): The skins, chiefly of sheep, lambs, goats and calves, prepared so as to be used for writing on (2Ti 4:13).

In Greek and Roman times parchment was much employed as a writing material. "At Rome, in the 1st century BC, and the 1st and 2d centuries AD, there is evidence of the use of vellum, but only for notebooks and for rough drafts or inferior copies of literary works. .... A fragment of a vellum MS, which may belong to this period, is preserved in British Museum Add. manuscript 34,473, consisting of two leaves of Demosthenes, De Fals. Leg., in a small hand, which pears to be of the 2nd cent." (F. G. Kenyon in HDB, IV, 947).

Paul directs Timothy that, when he comes from Ephesus to Rome, he is to bring "the books, especially the parchments." These, as well as the "cloak," which is also mentioned, had evidently been "left at Troas with Carpus." What were these parchments? They are distinguished from "the books," which were probably a few choice volumes or rolls, some portions of the Scriptures of the Old Testament, some volumes of the Law of Moses or of the Prophets or of the Psalms. Among "the books" there might also be Jewish exegetical works, or heathen writings, with which, as is made evident by references in his Epistles, Paul was well acquainted.

The parchments were different from these, and were perhaps notebooks, in which the apostle had, from time to time, written what he had observed and wished to preserve as specially worthy of remembrance, facts which he had gathered in his study of the Old Testament or of other books. These notes may have been the result of many years’ reading and study, and he wished Timothy to bring them to him.

Various conjectures have been made in regard to the contents of "the parchments." It has been suggested by Kenyon (HDB, III, 673) that they contained the Old Testament in Greek; by Farrar, that the parchments were a diploma of Paul’s Roman citizenship; by Bull, that they were his commonplace books; by Latham, that the parchments were a copy of the Grundschrift of the Gospels, a volume containing the all-important narrative of the Saviour’s life and cross and resurrection. Workman (Persecution in the Early Church, 39) writes: "By tas membranas I understand the proofs of his citizenship."

Whatever their contents may have been, they were of such value that Paul wished to have them with him in his prison at Rome, so that, if life were spared for even a few weeks or months, the books and parchments might be at hand for reference. Perhaps in the fact that the books and the parchments and the cloak had been left at Troas with Carpus, there may be a hint that his final arrest by the Roman authorities took place at that city, and that was the suddenness of his arrest that caused him to be unable to carry his books and parchments and the cloak with him. "The police had not even allowed him time to find his overcoat or necessary documents" (Workman, op. cit., 39; see p. 1886, 14).

Be this as it may, he desired to have them now. His well-disciplined mind, even in the near prospect of death by public execution, could find the most joyous labor in the work of the gospel, wherever his influence reached, and could also find relaxation among "the books, especially the parchments."

John Rutherfurd


par’-d’n, par’-dun.



par (‘asah, "to fix," "manipulate"): The word, which in Hebrew has a very wide range of application, and which is of very frequent occurrence in the Hebrew Bible, is found in the above meaning in but one passage of English Versions of the Bible (De 21:12; see NAIL). In a similar sense it is found in 2Sa 19:24, where it is used to express the dressing of the feet anti the trimming of the beard.





park (pardec; Septuagint paradeisos; compare Arabic firdaus): "I made me gardens and parks," the King James Version "orchards" (Ec 2:5); "Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest," the Revised Version margin "park" (Ne 2:8). The same word occurs in So 4:13, "Thy shoots are an orchard (the Revised Version margin "paradise") of pomegranates." according to Liddell and Scott, paradeisos occurs first in Xenophon, who always uses it of the parks of Persian kings and noblemen. Like many other quadriliterals the word is undoubtedly of eastern origin. It seems to connote an enclosure. It is used in Septuagint of the Garden of Eden. Compare Lu 23:43; 2Co 12:4; Re 2:7.


Alfred Ely Day


par’-ler: This word in the King James Version, occurring in Jud 3:20-25; 1Sa 9:22; 1Ch 28:11, is in every instance changed in the Revised Version: in Judges into "upper room," in 1 Samuel into "guest-chamber," in 1 Chronicles into "chambers," representing as many Hebrew words.



par-mash’-ta (parmashta’; Septuagint Marmasima, or Marmasimna): One of the sons of Haman (Es 9:9).


par’-me-nas (Parmenas): A Greek name, an abbreviated form of Parmenides. Parmenas was one of "the seven" chosen by the people and appointed by the apostles to superintend the daily distribution to the Christian poor of Jerusalem (Ac 6:5). Tradition states that he was martyred at Philippi, in the reign of Trajan, but his name does not appear again in Scripture.


par’-nak (parnakh, "gifted"): Father of Elizaphan, the prince of Zebulun (Nu 34:25).


pa’-rosh, par’-osh (par‘osh, "flea" (leap)): a family that in part returned under Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:3; Ne 7:8), and in part under Ezra (Ezr 8:3; there spelt "Pharosh," the King James Version). Some of the family had foreign wives (Ezr 10:25). One descendant, Pedaiah (see PEDAIAH, (3)), helped to rebuild the city walls (Ne 3:25), and others were among those who "sealed" the covenant of Nehemiah (Ne 10:1,14). In 1 Esdras 5:9; 8:30; 9:26, "Phoros."




1. Terms

2. Data and Sources

3. Consistency

4. Meaning of the Symbolism


1. Critical Problems

2. Summary

3. Fall of Jerusalem

4. Time


1. Solution of Problem

2. The Church a Divine Quantity


I. The Apostolic Doctrine.

1. Terms:

The Second Coming of Christ (a phrase not found in the Bible) is expressed by the apostles in the following special terms:

(1) "Parousia" (parousia), a word fairly common in Greek, with the meaning "presence" (2Co 10:10; Php 2:12). More especially it may mean "presence after absence," "arrival" (but not "return," unless this is given by the context), as in 1Co 16:17; 2Co 7:6,7; Php 1:26. And still more particularly it is applied to the Coming of Christ in 1Co 15:23; 1Th 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2Th 2:1,8; Jas 5:7,8; 2Pe 1:16; 3:4,12; 1Joh 2:28—in all 13 times, besides 2Th 2:9, where it denotes the coming of Anti-christ. This word for Christ’s Second Coming passed into the early Patristic literature (Diognetus, vii.6, e.g.), but its use in this sense is not invariable. For instance the word in Ignatius, Philadelphians, ix.2, means the Incarnation. Or the Incarnation is called the first Parousia, as in Justin, Trypho, xiv. But in modern theology it means invariably the Second Coming. Recent archaeological discoveries have explained why the word received such general Christian use in the special sense. In Hellenistic Greek it was used for the arrival of a ruler at a place, as is evidenced by inscriptions in Egypt, Asia Minor, etc. Indeed, in an Epidaurus inscription of the 3rd century BC (Dittenberger, Sylloge

(2), Number 803, 34), "Parousia" is applied to a manifestation of Aesculapius. Consequently, the adoption by the Greek-speaking Christians of a word that already contained full regal and even Divine concepts was perfectly natural. (The evidence is well summarized in Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East3, 372-78, German edition, 281-87.) (2) "Epiphany" epiphaneia), "manifestation," used of the Incarnation in 2Ti 1:10, but of the Second Coming in 2Th 2:8; 1Ti 6:14; 2Ti 4:1,8; Tit 2:13. The word was used like Parousia in Hellenistic Greek to denote the ceremonial arrival of rulers; compare Deissmann, as above.

(3) "Apocalypse" apokalupsis), "revelation," denotes the Second Coming in 1Co 1:7; 2Th 1:7; 1Pe 1:7,13; 4:13.

(4) "Day of the Lord, more or less modified, but referring to Christ in 1Co 1:8; 5:5; 2Co 1:14; Php 1:6,10; 2:16; 1Th 5:2; 2Th 2:2. The phrase is used of the Father in the strict Old Testament sense in Ac 2:20; 2Pe 3:12; Re 1:6-14, and probably in 2Pe 3:10. Besides, as in the Old Testament and the intermediate literature, "day of wrath," "last day," or simply "day" are used very frequently.


Of the first three of the above terms, only Parousia is found in the Gospels, 4 times, all in Mt 24:3,17,37,39, and in the last three of these all in the set phrase "so shall be the Parousia of the Son of Man." As Christ spoke in Aramaic, the use of "Parousia" here is of course due to Matthew’s adoption of the current Greek word.

2. Data and Sources:

The last of the 4 terms above brings the apostolic doctrine of the Parousia into connection with the eschatology (Messianic or otherwise) of the Old Testament and of the intermediate writings. But the connection is far closer than that supplied by this single term only, for newly every feature in the apostolic doctrine can be paralleled directly from the Jewish sources. The following summary does not begin to give complete references to even such Jewish material as is extant, but enough is presented to show how closely allied are the eschatologies of Judaism and of early Christianity.

The end is not to be expected instantly. There are still signs to come to pass (2Th 2:3), and in especial the determined number of martyrs must be filled up (Re 6:11; compare 2 Esdras 4:35,36). There is need of patience (Jas 5:7, etc.; compare 2 Esdras 4:34; Baruch 83:4). But it is at hand (1Pe 4:7; Re 1:3; 22:10; compare 2 Esdras 14:17). "Yet a little while" (Heb 10:37), "The night is far spent" (Ro 13:12), "The Lord is at hand" (Php 4:5). "We that are alive" expect to see it (1Th 4:15; 1Co 15:51; compare Baruch 76:5); the time is shortened henceforth (1Co 7:29; compare Baruch 20:1; 2 Esdras 4:26, and the commentaries on 1 Corinthians). Indeed, there is hardly time for repentance even (Re 22:11, ironical), certainly there is no time left for self-indulgence (1Th 5:3; 1Pe 4:2; 2Pe 3:11; Re 3:3; compare Baruch 83:5), and watchfulness is urgently demanded (1Th 5:6; Re 3:3).

An outpouring of the Spirit is a sign of the end (Ac 2:17,18; compare Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Test. Levi 18:11; Sib Or 4:46, always after the consummation in the Jewish sources). But the world is growing steadily worse, for the godly and intense trials are coming (passim), although those especially favored may be spared suffering (Re 3:10; compare Baruch 29:2). This is the beginning of Judgment (1Pe 4:17; compare Enoch 99:10). Iniquity increases and false teachers are multiplied (Jude 1:18; 2Pe 3:3; 2Ti 3$, especially 2Ti 3:13; compare Enoch 80:7; Baruch 70:5; 2 Esdras 5:9,10). Above all there is to be an outburst of diabolic malevolence in the antichrist (1 Joh 2:18,22; 4:3; 2 Joh 1:7; 2Th 2:8-10; Re 19:19; compare Baruch 36:8-10; Sib Or 3:63-70, and see ANTICHRIST), who will gather all nations to his ensign (Re 19:19; 2Th 2:10 compare 2 Esdras 13:5; Enoch 56). Plagues fall upon men (Rev, passim; compare especially Philo, Execr.), and natural portents occur (Ac 2:19,20; Rev, passim; compare 2 Esdras 5:4,5; Enoch 80:5-8). But the conversion of the Jews (Ro 11:26) is brought about by these plagues (Re 11:13; in the Jewish sources, naturally, conversion of Gentiles, as in Sib Or 3:616-623; Enoch 10:21). Then Christ is manifested and Antichrist is slain or captured (2Th 2:8; Re 19:20; compare 2 Esdras 13:10,11). In Re 20:3 the Millennium follows (compare 2 Esdras 7:28; 12; 34; Baruch 40:3, and often in rabbinical literature; the millennium in Slavic Enoch, chapter 33, is of very dubious existence), but other traces of millennial doctrine in the New Testament are of the vaguest (compare the commentaries to 1Co 15:24, for instance, especially Schmiedel, J. Weiss, and Lietzmann, and see MILLENNIUM). The general resurrection follows (see RESURRECTION for details).

The Father holds the Judgment in Heb 10:30; 12:23; 13:4; Jas 4:11,12; 1Pe 1:17; Re 14:7; 20:11, and probably in Jude 1:14,15. Christ is Judge in Ac 10:42; 2Co 5:10; 2Ti 4:1. The two concepts are interwoven in Ro 14:9,10. God mediates judgment through Christ in Ac 17:31; Ro 2:16, and probably in Ro 2:2-6; 3:6. In 2 Thessalonians Christ appears as the executor of punishment. For similar uncertainties in the Jewish schemes, compare, for instance, 2 Esdras 7:33 and Enoch 45:3. For the fate of the wicked see ESCHATOLOGY; HELL; Paul, rather curiously, has very little to say about this (Ro 2:3; 1Co 3:17; 2Th 1:8,9). Then all Nature is renewed (Ro 8:21; Enoch 45:4,5) or completely destroyed (1Co 7:31; Heb 12:27; Re 21:1; compare Enoch 1:6; 2 Esdras 7:30); by fire in 2Pe 3:10 (compare Sib Or 4:172-177), so as to leave only the eternal verities (Heb 12:27; compare 2 Esdras 7:30(?)), or to be replaced with a new heaven and a new earth (Re 21:1; compare Slavic Enoch 33:1-2). And the righteous receive the New Jerusalem (Ga 4:26; Heb 12:22; Re 3:12; 21:2,10; compare Baruch 4:2-6; 2 Esdras 7:26).

3. Consistency:

It is of course possible, as in the older works on dogmatics, to reconcile the slight divergences of the above details and to fit them all into a single scheme. But the propriety of such an undertaking is more than dubious, for the traditional nature of these details is abundantly clear—a tradition that is not due solely to the fact that the Christian and the Jewish schemes have a common Old Testament basis. That the Jewish writers realized that the eschatological details were merely symbolic is made obvious by the contradictions that every apocalypse contains—the contradictions that are the despair of the beginner in apocalyptics. No writer seems to have thought it worth while to reconcile his details, for they were purely figures of dimly comprehended forces. And the Christian symbolism must be interpreted on the same principle. No greater injustice, for instance, could be done Paul’s thought than to suppose he would have been in the least disturbed by John’s interpretation of the Antichrist as many persons and all of them ordinary human beings (1 Joh 2:18,19).

4. Meaning of the Symbolism:

The symbolism, then, in which the Parousia is described was simply that held by the apostles in their pre-Christian days. This symbolism, to be sure, has been thoroughly purified from such puerilities as the feast on Leviathan and Behemoth of Baruch 29, or the "thousand children" of Enoch 10:17, a fact all the more remarkable as 2nd-century Christianity has enough of this and to spare (e.g. Irenaeus, v.33). What is more important is that the symbolism of the Parousia is simply in the Jewish sources the symbolism of the coming of the Messiah (or of God in such schemes as have no Messiah). Now it is to be observed that among the apostles the Kingdom of God is almost uniformly regarded as a future quantity (1Co 6:9,10; 15:50; Ga 5:21; Eph 5:5; 2Ti 4:1,18; 2Pe 1:11; Re 11:15; 12:10), with a definitely present idea only in Col 1:13. Remembering again that the term "Messiah" means simply "the Bringer of the Kingdom," the case becomes entirely clear. No apostle, of course, ever thought of Christ as anything but the Messiah. But neither did they think of His Messianic work as completed, or, if the most exact terminology be pressed, of the strict Messianic work as done at all. Even the Atonement belonged to the preliminary acts, viewed perhaps somewhat as Enoch 39:6 views the preexistent Messiah’s residence among the "church expectant." This could come to pass more readily as the traditions generally were silent as to what the Messiah was to do before He brought the Kingdom, while they all agreed that He was not to be created only at that moment. Into this blank, especially with the aid of Isa 53, etc., our Lord’s earthly life and Passion fitted naturally, leaving the fact of His Second Coming to be identified with the coming of the Messiah as originally conceived.

II. The Teaching of Jesus.

1. Critical Problems:

It will be found helpful, in studying the bitter controversies that have raged around Christ’s teaching about the future, to remember that the apostolic idea of the word "Messiah" is the only definition that the word has; that, for instance, "Messiah" and "Saviour of the world" are not quite convertible terms, or that a redefinition of the Messiah as a moral teacher or an expounder of the will of God does not rest on "spiritualizing" of the term, but on a destruction of it in favor of "prophet." Now the three expressions, "Messianic work," "coming of the Kingdom," and "Parousia" are only three titles for one and the same thing, while the addition of "Son of Man" to them merely involves their being taken in the most transcendental form possible. In fact, this is the state of affairs found in the Synoptists. Christ predicts the coming of the Kingdom. He claims the title of its king (or Regent under the Father). The realization of this expectation He placed on the other side of the grave, i.e. in a glorified state. And in connection with this evidence we find His use of the title Son of Man. From all this the doctrine of the Parousia follows immediately, even apart from the passages in which the regular apocalyptic symbolism is used. The contention may be made that this symbolism in the Gospels has been drawn out of other sources by the evangelists (the so-called "Little Apocalypse" of Mr 13:7-9,14-20,24-27,30-31 is the usual point of attack), but, even if the contention could be made out (and agreement in this regard is anything but attained), no really vital part of the case would be touched. Of course, it is possible to begin with the a priori assumption that "no sane man could conceive of himself as an apocalyptic being walking the earth incognito," and to refer to later tradition everything in the Gospels that contradicts this assumption. But then there are difficulties. The various concepts involved are mentioned directly so often that the number of passages to be removed grows alarmingly large. Then the concepts interlock in such a way as to present a remarkably firm resistance to the critical knife; the picture is much too consistent for an artificial product. Thus, there are a number of indirect references (the title on the Cross, the "Palm-Sunday" procession, etc.) that contradict all we know of later growths. And, finally, the most undeterred critic finds himself confronted with a last stubborn difficulty, the unwavering conviction of the earliest church that Christ made the eschatological claims. It is conceivable that the apostles may have misunderstood Christ in other matters, but an error in this central point of all (as the apostles appraised things) is hardly in the realms of critical possibility. On the whole, such an attempt to force a way through the evidence of the documents would seem something surprisingly like the violence done to history by the most perverse of the older dogmatists.

2. Summary:

The number of relevant passages involved is so large and the critical problems so intricate that any detailed discussion is prohibited here. Moreover, the symbolism presents nothing novel to the student familiar with the usual schemes. Forces of evil increase in the world, the state of the righteous grows harder, distress and natural portents follow, at the climax Christ appears suddenly with His angels, bringing the Kingdom of God, gathers the elect into the Kingdom, and dismisses the wicked into outer darkness (or fire). The Father is the Judge in Mt 10:32,33, but the Son in the parallel Lu 12:8,9, and in Mt 13:41; 16:27; 25:32; probably in Mt 24:50 parallel Lu 12:46; Mr 8:38 and its parallel Lu 9:26 are uncertain. At all events, the eternal destiny of each man depends on Christ’s attitude, possibly with the Father’s (invariable) ratification considered.

3. Fall of Jerusalem:

How far Christ connected the Parousia and the fall of Jerusalem, it is not easy to say. Various sayings of Christ about the future were certainly grouped by the evangelists; compare Mt 24 with Mr 13 and Lu 17:20-37; or Lu 17:31 with Mr 13:15,16 (noting the inappropriateness of Lu 17:31 in its present context). The critical discussions of Mr 13 are familiar and those of Lu 21 (a still more complex problem) only less so. Remembering what the fall of Jerusalem or its immediate prospect would have meant to the apostles, the tendency to group the statements of Christ will be realized. Consequently, not too much stress should be laid on the connection of this with the Parousia, and in no case can the fall of Jerusalem be considered to exhaust the meaning of the Parousia.

4. Time:

The most debated question is that of the time of the Parousia. Here Mr 13:30 parallel Lu 21:32 parallel Mt 24:34 place it within Christ’s generation, Mr 9:1 parallel Lu 9:27 parallel Mt 16:28 within the lifetime of some of His hearers, Mt 10:23 before all the cities of Judea are closed to Christ’s apostles. (Only the first of these contains any reference to the fall of Jerusalem.) Then there is "ye shall see" of Mr 14:62; Lu 13:35 parallel Mt 23:39. Agreeing with this are the exhortations to watchfulness (Mr 13:33-37; Lu 12:40 parallel Mt 24:44, etc., with many parables, such as the Ten Virgins). Now Mr 13:32 parallel Mt 24:36 do not quite contradict this, for knowledge of the generation is quite consistent with ignorance of the day and hour; "It will be within your generation, but nothing more can be told you, so watch!" The real difficulty lies in Mr 13:10 parallel Mt 24:14, the necessity of all Gentiles hearing the gospel (Lu 21:24 is hardly relevant). To leave the question here, as most conservative scholars do, is unsatisfactory, for Mr 13:10 is of no deep value for apologetic service and this value is far outweighed by the real contradiction with the other passages. The key, probably, lies in Mt 10:18, from which Mr 13:10 differs only in insisting on all Gentiles, perhaps with the apostles’ thought that "world" and "Roman Empire" were practically coextensive. With this assumption the data yield a uniform result.

III. John’s Evaluatlon.

1. Solution of Problem:

It appears, then, that Christ predicted that shortly after His death an event would occur of so transcendental a nature that it could be expressed only in the terms of the fullest eschatological symbolism. John has a clear interpretation of this. In place of the long Parousia discourses in the Synoptists, we have, in the corresponding part of the Fourth Gospel, John 13-17, dealing not only with the future in general but concretely with Christ’s coming and the Judgment. Christ indeed came to His own (Joh 14:18), and not He only but the Spirit also (14:16), and even the Father (14:23). When the disciples are so equipped, their presence in the world subjects the world to a continual sifting process of judgment (16:11). The fate of men by this process is to be eternally fixed (3:18), while the disciples newly made are assured that they have already entered into their eternal condition of blessedness (11:25,26; 5:24; 10:28; 17:2,3). Equally directly the presence of Christ is conceived in Re 3:20. So in Paul, the glorified Christ has returned to His own to dwell in them (Ro 8:9,10, etc.), uniting them into a body vitally connected with Him (Col 1:18), so supernatural that it is the teacher of ‘angels’ (Eph 3:10), a body whose members are already in the Kingdom (Col 1:13), who even sit already in heavenly places (Eph 2:6). The same thought is found in such synoptic passages (Lu 7:28 parallel Mt 11:11; Lu 17:21(?); see KINGDOM OF GOD) as represent the Kingdom as present. Already the eschatological promises were realized in a small group of men, even though they still lacked the transforming influence of the Spirit. Compare the continuous coming of Mt 26:64 (Lu 22:69).

It is on these lines of the church as a supernatural quantity (of course not to be confused with any particular denomination) that the immediate realization of the Parousia promises is to be sought. Into human history has been "injected" a supernatural quantity, through which a Divine Head works, whose reaction on men settles their eternal destiny, and within which the life of heaven is begun definitely.

2. The Church a Divine Quantity:

The force in this body is felt at the crises of human history, perhaps especially after the catastrophe that destroyed Jerusalem and set Christianity free from the swaddling clothes of the primitive community. This conception of the church as a divine quantity, as, so to speak, a part of heaven extended into earth, is faithful to the essentials of the predictions. Nor is it a rationalization of them, if the idea of the church itself be not rationalized. With this conception all realms of Christian activity take on a transcendental significance, both in life and (especially) death, giving to the individual the confidence that he is building better than he knows, for even the apostles could not realize the full significance of what they were doing. Generally speaking, the details in the symbolism must not be pressed. The purpose of revelation is to minister to life, not to curiosity, and, in teaching of the future, Christ simply taught with the formal language of the schools of the day, with the one change that in the supernatural process He Himself was to be the central figure. Still, the end is not yet. "The hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice" (Joh 5:28; compare Joh 6:40; 21:23; 1Joh 2:28). In Christ human destiny is drawing to a climax that can be expressed only in spiritual terms that transcend our conceptions.



This is overwhelming. For the presuppositions, GJV4 (HJP is antiquated); Volz, Judische Eschatologie; Bousset, Religion des Judentums(2). General discussions: Mathews, The Messianic Hope in the New Testament (the best in English); Sanday, The Life of Christ in Recent Research; Holtzmann, Das messianische Bewusstein Jesu (a classic); von Dobschiitz, The Eschatology of the Gospels (popular, but very sound). Eschatological extreme: Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus (Von Reimarus zu Wrede), is quite indispensable; Tyrrell, Christianity at the Cross Roads (perverse, but valuable in parts); Loisy, Gospel and the Church (compare his Evangiles synoptiques). Anti-eschatological: Sharman, The Teaching of Jesus about the Future (minute criticism, inadequate premises, some astounding exegesis); Bacon, The Beginnings of Gospel Story (based on Wellhausen). For the older literature see Schweitzer, Sanday, Holtzmann, as above, and compare Fairweather, The Background of the Gospels, and Brown, "Parousia," in HDB, III.

Burton Scott Easton


par-shan-da’-tha, par-shan’-da-tha (parshandatha; Septuagint Pharsan, or Pharsanestan; perhaps from the Persian fratsna-data, "given by prayer"): One of the sons of Haman (Es 9:7).


part: "to part" as a verb is no longer in good use (except in a few special phrases, compare Ru 1:17), but is obscure only in Pr 18:18, where the meaning is "break up their quarrel" (compare 2Sa 14:6). the Revised Version (British and American) has not changed the King James Version’s usage, except (strangely) in 1Sa 30:24, where "share" is written. For the noun see PORTION.


par’-thi-anz (Parthoi):

1. Country and Early History:

A people mentioned in Ac 2:9 only, in connection with other strangers present at Jerusalem at Pentecost, from which we infer that they were Jews or proselytes from the regions included in the Parthian empire. This empire stretched from the Euphrates to the confines of India and the Oxus, and for centuries was the rival of Rome, and more than once proved her match on the battlefield. The Parthians are not mentioned in the Old Testament, but are frequently in Josephus, and they had an important connection with the history of the Jews, on account of the large colonies of the latter in Mesopotamia, and the interference of the Parthians in the affairs of Judea, once making it a vassal state.

Parthia proper was a small territory to the Southeast of the Caspian Sea, about 300 miles long by 120 wide, a fertile though mountainous region, bordering on the desert tract of Eastern Persia. The origin of the Parthians is rather uncertain, though the prevailing opinion is that they were of Scythic stock or of the great Tartar race. We have no reference to them earlier than the time of Darius the Great, but they were doubtless among the tribes subdued by Cyrus, as they are mentioned by Darius as being in revolt. They seem to have remained faithful to the Persians after that, and submitted to Alexander without resistance.

2. The Seleucid Kings:

Next they came under the rule of the Seleucid kings of Syria, but revolted about 250 BC, in the reign of Antiochus II (Theos), and gained their independence under the lead of Arsaces I who established the dynasty of the Arsacidae, which continued for nearly 5 centuries. His capital was Hecatompylos, but his reign continued only about 3 years, and his brother Tridates succeeded him as Arsaces II and he consolidated the kingdom. The war between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies freed him from interference from that quarter until 237 BC, when Seleucus II (Callinicus) marched against him, but was completely defeated, and Parthian independence was secured. Artabanus I, who followed him, extended his dominions westward to the Zagros Mountains, but Antiochus III would not permit such an encroachment with impunity, and led an expedition against him, driving him back and even invading his ancestral dominion. But after a struggle of some years the Parthians remained still unsubdued, and the difficulties of the contest led Antiochus to conclude peace with him in which he acknowledged the independence of Parthia. For about a quarter of a century the king of Parthia remained quiet, but Phraates I (181-174 BC) recommenced aggressions on the Seleucid empire which Were continued by Mithridates I (174-137), who added to his dominions a part of Bactria, on the East, and Media, Persia and Babylonia on the West. This was a challenge to Demetrius II, of Syria, to whose empire the provinces belonged, and he marched against him with a large force, but was defeated and taken prisoner. He remained in Parthia some years, well treated by Phraates II, whose sister he married, and, when Phraates wished to create a diversion against Antiochus Sidetes, he set Demetrius at liberty and sent him back to Syria. Antiochus was at first successful, as his force of 300,000 men far outnumbered the Parthians, but he was at last defeated and slain in 129 BC and his army destroyed. This was the last attempt of the Seleucid kings to subdue Parthia, and it was acknowledged as the dominant power in Western Asia. But Phraates fell in conflict with the Scyths, whom he called in to aid him in his war with Sidetes, and his successor likewise, and it was only on the accession of Mithridates in 124 BC that these barbarians were checked. The king then turned his attention toward Armenia, which he probably brought under his control, but its king Tigranes recovered its independence and even attacked the Parthians, and took from them two provinces in Mesopotamia.

3. In Contact with Rome:

Not long after, the power of Rome came into contact with armenia and Parthia. In 66 BC when, after subduing Mithridates of Pontus, Pompey came into Syria, Phraates III made an alliance with him against Armenia, but was offended by the way in which he was treated and thought of turning against his ally, but refrained for the time being. It was only a question of time when the two powers would come to blows, for Parthia had become an empire and could ill brook the intrusion of Rome into Western Asia. It was the ambition and greed of Crassus that brought about the clash of Rome and Parthia. When he took the East as his share of the Roman world as apportioned among the triumvirs, he determined to rival Caesar in fame and wealth by subduing Parthia, and advanced across the Euphrates on his ill-fated expedition in 53 BC. The story of his defeat and death and the destruction of the army and loss of the Roman eagles is familiar to all readers of Roman history. It revealed Parthia to the world as the formidable rival of Rome, which she continued to be for nearly 3 centuries. After the death of Crassus, the Parthians crossed the Euphrates and ravaged Northern Syria, but retired the following year without securing any portion of the country, and thus ended the first war with Rome. In 40 BC, after the battle of Philippi, Pacorus, who was then king, invaded Syria a second time and took possession of it together with all Palestine, Tyre alone escaping subjection. He set Antigonus on the throne of Judea, deposing Hyrcanus for the purpose. Syria and Palestine remained in the hands of Parthia for 3 years, but the coming of Ventidius gave a new turn to affairs. He drove the Parthians out of Syria, and when they returned the following year, he defeated them again and Pacorus was slain. Parthia had to retire within her own borders and remain on the defensive. Antony’s attempt to subdue them proved abortive, and his struggle with Octavian compelled him to relinquish the project. The Parthians were unable to take advantage of the strife in the Roman empire on account of troubles at home. an insurrection led by Tiridates drove the king Phraates IV from the throne, but he recovered it by the aid of the Scyths, and Tiridates took refuge in Syria with the youngest son of the king. Augustus afterward restored him without ransom, and obtained the lost standards of Crassus, and thus peace was established between the rival empires. Each had learned to respect the power of the other, and, although contention arose regarding the suzerainty of armenia, peace was not seriously disturbed between them for about 130 years, or until the reign of Trajan. Parthia was not at peace with herself, however. Dynastic troubles were frequent, and the reigns of the kings short. Artabanus III, who reigned 16-42 AD, was twice expelled from his kingdom and twice recovered his throne. In his days occurred a terrible massacre of Jewish colonists in Mesopotamia, as narrated by Josephus (Ant., XVIII, ix). The contest with Rome over Armenia was settled in the days of Nero in a manner satisfactory to both parties, so that peace was not broken for 50 years. The ambition of Trajan led him to disregard the policy inaugurated by Augustus, adhered to, for the most part, by succeeding emperors, not to extend the limits of the empire. After the conquest of Dacia he turned his attention to the East and resolved on the invasion of Parthia. The Parthian king, Chosroes, endeavored to placate Trajan by an embassy bearing presents and proposals of peace, but Trajan rejected them and carried out his purpose. He subdued armenia, took Upper Mesopotamia, Adiabebe (Assyria), Ctesiphon, the capital, and reached the Pets Gulf, but was obliged to turn back by revolts in his rear and failed to reduce the fortress of Hatra. The conquered provinces were restored, however, by Hadrian, and the Parthians did not retaliate until the reign of Aurelius, when they overran Syria, and in 162 AD Lucius Verus was sent to punish them. In the following year he drove them back and advanced into the heart of the Parthian empire, inflicting the severest blow it had yet received. It was evident that the empire was on the decline, and the Romans did not meet with the resistance they had experienced in former times. Severus and Caracalla both made expeditions into the country, and the latter took the capital and massacred the inhabitants, but after his assassination his successor, Macrinus, fought a three days’ battle with the Parthians at Nisibis in which he was worsted and was glad to conclude a peace by paying an indemnity of some 1,500,000 British pounds (217 AD).

4. Fall of the Empire:

But this was the last achievement of the Parthians. It is evident that Artabanus had suffered severely in his conflict with the Romans, and was unable to put down the revolt of the Persians under the lead of Artaxerxes, who overthrew the Parthian empire and established the dynasty of the Sassanidae in its place (226 AD).

5. Culture:

The Parthians were not a cultured people, but displayed a rude magnificence, making use, to some extent, of remains of Greek culture which they found within the regions they seized from the empire of Alexander. They had no native literature, as far as known, but made use of Greek in writing and on their coins. They were familiar with Hebrew or Syro-Chaldaic, and the later kings had Semitic legends on their coins. Josephus is said to have written his history of the Jewish War in his native tongue for Parthian readers. In their method of government they seem to have left the different provinces pretty much to themselves, so long as they paid tribute and furnished the necessary contingents.

H. Porter


pir-tik’-u-lar, par-tik’-u-lar-li: The adverbial phrase "in particular" occurs twice in the King James Version (1Co 12:27, ek merous, the Revised Version (British and American) "severally," the Revised Version margin "each in his part"; and Eph 5:33, hoi kath’ hena, the Revised Version (British and American) "severally"); in both cases it has the obsolete meaning of "severally," "individually." The adverb "particularly" occurs in the same sense in Ac 21:19 the King James Version, kath’ hen hekaston, the Revised Version (British and American) "one by one," and Heb 9:5 the King James Version, kata meros, the Revised Version (British and American) "severally." We have the plural noun in the sense of "details" in 2 Macc 2:30: "to be curious in particulars"; 11:20, (the King James Version "Of the particulars I have given order," the Revised Version (British and American) I have given order in detail); and the adjective "particular" in the sense of "special" in the first Prologue to Sirach (King James Version, Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) peculiares; the whole section was omitted in the Revised Version (British and American)).

D. Miall Edwards


par-tish’-un, par-tish’-un (to mesotoichon tou phragmou (Eph 2:14)):

1. The Barrier in the Temple

What Paul here asserts is that Christ is our peace, the peace of both Jewish and Gentile believers. He has made them both to be one in Himself, and has broken down the middle wall of partition which divided them from one another. Then the apostle regards Jew and Gentile as two, who by a fresh act of creation in Christ are made into one new man. In the former of these similes he refers to an actual wall in the temple at Jerusalem, beyond which no one was allowed to pass unless he were a Jew, the balustrade or barrier which marked the limit up to which a Gentile might advance but no farther. Curiously, this middle wall of partition had a great deal to do with Paul’s arrest and imprisonment, for the multitude of the Jews became infuriated, not merely because of their general hostility to him as an apostle of Christ and a preacher of the gospel for the world, but specially because it was erroneously supposed that he had brought Trophimus the Ephesian past this barrier into the temple (Ac 21:29), and that he had in this manner profaned the temple (Ac 24:6), or, as it is put in Ac 21:28, he had ‘brought Greeks into the temple and polluted this holy place.’ In the assault which they thereupon made on Paul they violently seized and dragged him out of the temple-dragged him outside the balustrade. The Levites at once shut the gates, to prevent the possibility of any further profanation, and Paul would have been torn in pieces, had not the Roman commander and his soldiers forcibly prevented.

2. Herod’s Temple; Its Divisions; the Courts:

In building the temple Herod the Great had enclosed a large area to form the various courts. The temple itself consisted of the two divisions, the Holy Place, entered by the priests every day, and the Holy of Holies into which the high priest entered alone once every year. Immediately outside the temple there was the Court of the Priests, and in it was placed the great altar of burnt offering. Outside of this again was the Court of the Sons of Israel, and beyond this the Court of the Women. The site of the temple itself and the space occupied by the various courts already mentioned formed a raised plateau or platform. "From it you descended at various points down 5 steps and through gates in a lofty wall, to find yourself overlooking another large court—the outer court to which Gentiles, who desired to see something of the glories of the temple and to offer gifts and sacrifices to the God of the Jews, were freely admitted. Farther in than this court they were forbidden, on pain of death, to go. The actual boundary line was not the high wall with its gates, but a low stone barrier about 5 ft. in height, which ran round at the bottom of 14 more steps" (J. Armitage Robinson, D.D., Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, 59; see also Edersheim, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services as They Were at the Time of Jesus Christ, 46).

The middle wall of partition was called Coregh, and was built of marble beautifully ornamented.

3. The Court of the Gentiles:

The Court of the Gentiles formed the lowest and the outermost enclosure of all the courts of the sanctuary. It was paved with the finest variegated marble. Its name signified that it was open to all, Jews or Gentiles alike. It was very large, and is said by Jewish tradition to have formed a square of 750 ft. It was in this court that the oxen and sheep and the doves for the sacrifices were sold as in a market. It was in this court too that there were the tables of the money-changers, which Christ Himself overthrew when He drove out the sheep and oxen and them that bought and sold in His Father’s house. The multitudes assembling in this court must have been very great, especially on occasions such as the Passover and Pentecost and at the other great feasts, and the din of voices must oftentimes have been most disturbing. As already seen, beyond this court no Gentile might go.


In the year 1871, while excavations were being made on the site of the temple by the Palestine Exploration Fund, M. Clermont-Ganneau discovered one of the pillars which Josephus describes as having been erected upon the very barrier or middle wall of partition, to which Paul refers. This pillar is now preserved in the Museum at Constantinople and is inscribed with a Greek inscription in capital or uncial letters, which is translated as follows:







While Paul was writing the Epistle to the Ephesians at Rome, this barrier in the temple at Jerusalem was still standing, yet the chained prisoner of Jesus Christ was not afraid to write that Christ had broken down the middle wall of partition, and had thus admitted Gentiles who were far off, strangers and foreigners, to all the privileges of access to God in ancient times possessed by Israel alone; that separation between Jew and Gentile was done away with forever in Christ.

4. The Throwing Down of the Barrier:

If Paul wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians in 60 or 61 AD, then the actual barrier of stone remained in its position in the Court of the Gentiles not more than some 10 years, for it was thrown down in the burning of the temple by the Roman army. And out of those ruins a fragment has been excavated in our own day, containing the very inscription threatening death to the Gentileintruder, and reminding us that it is only in Christ Jesus that we now draw nigh unto God, and that we are thus one body in Christ, one new man. Christ has broken down the middle wall of partition, for He, in His own person, is our peace.

John Rutherfurd


par’-trij (qore; Latin perdix; Septuagint, 1Sa 26:20, nuktikorax, "owl," Jer 17:11, perdix): a bird of the family Tetraonidae. The Hebrew word for this bird, qore’, means "a caller," and the Latin perdix is supposed to be an imitation of its cry, and as all other nations base their name for the bird on the Latin, it becomes quite evident that it was originally named in imitation of its call. The commonest partridge of Palestine, very numerous in the wilderness and hill country, was a bird almost as large as a pheasant. It had a clear, exquisite cry that attracted attention, especially in the mating season. The partridge of the wilderness was smaller and of beautifully marked plumage. It made its home around the Dead Sea, in the Wilderness of Judea and in rocky caverns. Its eggs were creamy white; its cry very similar to its relatives’. The partridge and its eggs were used for food from time immemorial.

The first reference to it is found in 1Sa 26:20: "Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of Yahweh: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains." David in this dialogue with Saul clearly indicates that if he did not hunt the partridge himself, he knew how it was done. The birds were commonly chased up the mountains and stunned or killed with "throw sticks." David knew how deft these birds were at hiding beside logs and under dry leaves colored so like them as to afford splendid protection; how swiftly they could run; what expert dodgers they were; so he compared taking them with catching a flea. The other reference is found in Jer 17:11: "As the partridge that sitteth on eggs which she hath not laid, so is he that getteth riches, and not by right; in the midst of his days they shall leave him, and at his end he shall be a fool." If this reference is supposed to indicate that partridges are in the habit of brooding on the nest of their kind or of different birds, it fails wholly to take into consideration the history of the bird. Partridges select a location, carefully deposit an egg a day for from 10 to 15 days, sometimes 20, and then brood, so that all the young emerge at one time. But each bird knows and returns to its nest with unfailing regularity. It would require the proverbial "Philadelphia lawyer" to explain this reference to a "partridge sitting on eggs she had not laid." No ornithologist ever could reconcile it to the habits or characteristics of the birds. the King James Version translated these lines, "As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not." This was easy to explain clearly. The eggs of the partridge were delicious food, and any brooding bird whose nest was discovered after only a few days of incubation did not hatch, because she lost her eggs. Also the eggs frequently fall prey to other birds or small animals. Again, they are at the mercy of the elements, sometimes being spoiled by extremely wet cold weather. Poultry fanciers assert that a heavy thunder storm will spoil chicken eggs when hatchingtime is close; the same might be true with eggs of the wild. And almost any wild bird will desert its nest and make its former brooding useless, if the location is visited too frequently by man or beast.

There is also a partridge reference in the Book of Ecclesiasticus 11:29 ff the Revised Version (British and American)): "Bring not every man into thine house; for many are the plots of the deceitful man. As a decoy partridge in a cage, so is the heart of a proud man; and as one that is a spy, he looketh upon thy falling. For he lieth in wait to turn things that are good into evil; and in things that are praiseworthy he will lay blame." The reference is to confining a tame partridge in a hidden cage so that its calls would lure many of its family within range of arrows or "throw sticks" used by concealed hunters.

Gene Stratton-Porter


pa-roo’-a (paruach "blooming"): Father of Jehoshaphat, who was one of Solomon’s twelve victualers or providers, and had charge in Isaachar of this function (1Ki 4:17).


par-va’-im (parwayim; Septuagint Pharouaim): The word occurs only in 2Ch 3:6, as the place from which Solomon obtained gold for the decoration of his Temple. A derivation is given from the Sanskrit purva, "eastern," so that the name might be a vague term for the East (Gesenius, Thesaurus, 1125). Whether there was such a place in arabia is doubtful. Farwa in Yemen has been suggested, and also Saq el Farwain in Yemamah. Some have considered the name a shortened form of Cepharvayim which occurs in the Syriac and Targum Jonathan for the "Sephar" of Ge 10:30.

A. S. Fulton





pa’-sak (pacakh, "divider"): Son of Japhlet, descendant of Asher (1Ch 7:33).


pa-se’-a, pas’-e-a (paceach "limping"):

(1) A son of Eshton, descendant of Judah (1Ch 4:12).

(2) The eponym of a family of Nethinim (Ezr 2:49; Ne 7:51, the King James Version "Phaseah" equals "Phinoe" (1 Esdras 5:31).

(3) Father of Joiada, who helped to repair the old gate (Ne 3:6).


pash’-hur, pash’-ur (pashchur, "splitter," "cleaver"): The name of several persons difficult to individuate:

(1) A priest, son of Immer, and "chief governor in the house of the Lord" (Jer 20:1), who persecuted Jeremiah, putting him in "the stocks" hard by the "house of Yahweh" in the "gate of Benjamin" (Jer 20:2). When released, Jeremiah pronounced Divine judgment on him and the people. Future captivity and an exile’s death are promised to Pashur whose name he changed from its masterful significance to a cowering one. "Terror on every side" (maghor miccabhibh) is to take the place of "stable strength" (Jer 20:3 ).

(2) Son of Melchiah, a prince of Judah, and one of the delegation sent by Zedekiah, the king, to consult Jeremiah (Jer 21:1). It looks like a larger and later deputation, similarly sent, to which this Pashur belongs, whose record is given in Jer 38:1-13. Accompanying them was one, Gedaliah, who was a son of (3).

(3) Another Pashur (Jer 38:1), who may be the person mentioned in 1Ch 9:12; Ne 11:12.

(4) A priest, of those who "sealed" Nehemiah’s covenant (Ne 10:1,3), who may, however, be the same as (5).

(5) The chief of a priestly family called "sons of Pashur" (Ezr 2:38; 10:22; Ne 7:41; 1 Esdras 5:25 ("Phassurus," margin "Pashhur"); 1 Esdras 9:22 ("Phaisur," margin "Pashhur")). Doubtless it is this Pashur, some of whose sons had "strange wives" (Ezr 10:22).

Henry Wallace


pas, pas’-aj, pas’-en-jer: "To pass" bears different meanings and corresponds to various words in Hebrew and Greek. It occurs frequently in the phrase "and it came to pass" (literally, "and it was"). This is simply a Hebrew idiom linking together the different paragraphs of a continuous narrative. As a rule "pass" renders the Hebrew word ‘abhar. This verb has various meanings, e.g. "to pass over" a stream (Ge 31:21); "to cross" a boundary (Nu 20:17); "to pass through," or "traverse," a country (Nu 21:22); "to pass on" (Ge 18:5); "to pass away," "cease to exist" (Job 30:15). The word is used metaphorically, "to pass over," "overstep," "transgress" (Nu 14:41). In the causative form the verb is used in the phrase "to cause to pass through fire" (De 18:10; 2Ki 16:3). In the King James Version "pass" sometimes has the force of "surpass," "exceed," e.g. 2Ch 9:22, "King Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom"; compare also Eph 3:19, "the love of Christ which passeth knowledge," and Php 4:7, "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."

Passage in the King James Version renders ma‘abhar, or ma‘abharah. The former word denotes (1) the ford of a river (Ge 32:23 King James Version margin); (2) the pass of a mountain range (1Sa 13:23). In the only other instance of the use of the shorter form (Isa 30:32 margin), the King James Version renders "where the grounded staff shall pass." A more correct translation would be, "and every sweep (or stroke) of the appointed staff." The longer form bears both meanings, namely, "ford" (e.g. Jos 2:7; Jud 3:28, etc.) and "pass" (1Sa 14:4; Isa 10:29). In Jos 22:11, the rendering ‘towards the region opposite the children of Israel’ would be more correct than the King James Version, "at the passage of the children of Israel." In English Versions of the Bible of Nu 20:21 "passage" seems to mean "right of way," and renders the infinitive of the Hebrew verb. In Jer 22:20 the King James Version the word rendered "passage" should be translated "from Abarim" (as in the Revised Version (British and American)), a mountain range in Moab, Northeast of the Dead Sea.

Passenger in the King James Version means a "passer-by." In Eze 39:11,14,15 where the word occurs 4 times in the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) translates "them that pass through."

T. Lewis






pash’-un, pash’-unz: "Passion" is derived from Latin passio, which in turn is derived from the verb patior, with the root, pat-. The Latin words are connected with the Greek root, path-, which appears in a large number of derivatives. And in Greek, Latin, and English (with other languages in addition) words connected with this root, pat-, path-, are often susceptible of a great variety of meanings, for which the dictionaries must be consulted. For "passion," however, as it appears in English Versions of the Bible, only three of these meanings need be considered.

(1) Close to what seems to be the primary force of the root is the meaning "suffer," and in this sense "passion" is used in Ac 1:3, "to whom he also showed himself alive after his passion." This translation is a paraphrase (Greek: "after he had suffered"), due to the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) (post passionem suam), and in English is as old as Wycliff, whom the subsequent English Versions of the Bible has followed. This is the only case in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) where "passion" has this meaning, and it can be so used in modern English only when referring (as here) to the sufferings of Christ (compare "Passion play").

(2) "Suffering," when applied to the mind, came to denote the state that is controlled by some emotion, and so "passion" was applied to the emotion itself. This is the meaning of the word in Ac 14:15, "men of like passions," and Jas 5:17, "a man of like passions," Greek homoiopathes; the Revised Version margin "of like nature" gives the meaning exactly: "men with the same emotions as we."

(3) From "emotion" a transition took place to "strong emotion," and this is the normal force of "passion" in modern English the King James Version does not use this meaning, but in the Revised Version (British and American) "passion" in this sense is the translation of pathos, in its three occurrences: Ro 1:26 (the King James Version "affection"); Col 3:5 (the King James Version "inordinate affection"); 1Th 4:5 (the King James Version "lust").

It is used also for two occurrences of pathema (closely allied to pathos) in Ro 7:5 (the King James Version "motions," the King James Version margin "passions") and in Ga 5:24 (the King James Version "affection"). The fixing of the exact force in any of these cases is a delicate problem fully discussed in the commentaries. In Col 3:5 only does "passion" stand as an isolated term. The context here perhaps gives the word a slight sexual reference, but this must not be overstressed; the warning probably includes any violent over-emotion that robs a man of his self-control.


Burton Scott Easton


pas’-o-ver (pecach, from pacach, "to pass" or "spring over" or "to spare" (Ex 12:13,23,17; compare Isa 31:5. Other conjectures connect the word with the "passing over" into a new year, with assyr pasahu, meaning "to placate," with Hebrew pacah, meaning "to dance," and even with the skipping motions of a young lamb; Aramaic [~paccha’, whence Greek Pascha; whence English "paschal." In early Christian centuries folk-etymology connected pascha with Greek pascho, "to suffer" (see PASSION), and the word was taken to refer to Good Friday rather than the Passover):

1. Pecach and Matstsoth

2. Pecach mitsrayim

3. Pecach doroth

4. Matstsoth

5. The ‘Omer

6. Non-traditional Theories

7. The Higher Criticism

8. Historical Celebrations: Old Testament Times

9. Historical Celebrations: New Testament Times

10. The Jewish Passover

1. Pecach and Matstsoth:

The Passover was the annual Hebrew festival on the evening of the 14th day of the month of ‘Abhibh (Abib) or Nisan, as it was called in later times. It was followed by, and closely connected with, a 7 days’ festival of matstsoth, or unleavened bread, to which the name Passover was also applied by extension (Le 23:5). Both were distinctly connected with the Exodus, which, according to tradition, they commemorate; the Passover being in imitation of the last meal in Egypt, eaten in preparation for the journey, while Yahweh, passing over the houses of the Hebrews, was slaying the firstborn of Egypt (Ex 12:12 f; 13:2,12 ); the matstsoth festival being in memory of the first days of the journey during which this bread of haste was eaten (Ex 12:14-20).

2. Pecach mitsrayim:

The ordinance of pecach mitsrayim, the last meal in Egypt, included the following provisions:

(1) the taking of a lamb, or kid without blemish, for each household on the 10th of the month;

(2) the killing of the lamb on the 14th at even;

(3) the sprinkling of the blood on doorposts and lintels of the houses in which it was to be eaten;

(4) the roasting of the lamb with fire, its head with its legs and inwards—the lamb was not to be eaten raw nor sodden (bashal) with water;

(5) the eating of unleavened bread and bitter herbs;

(6) eating in haste, with loins girded, shoes on the feet, and staff in hand;

(7) and remaining in the house until the morning;

(8) the burning of all that remained; the Passover could be eaten only during the night (Ex 12:1-23).

3. Pecach doroth:

This service was to be observed as an ordinance forever (Ex 12:14,24), and the night was to be lel shimmurim, "a night of vigils," or, at least, "to be much observed" of all the children of Israel throughout their generations (Ex 12:42). The details, however, of the pecach doroth, or later observances of the Passover, seem to have differed slightly from those of the Egyptian Passover (Mishna, Pesachim, ix.5). Thus, it is probable that the victim could be taken from the flock or from the herd (De 16:2; compare Eze 45:22). (3), (6) and (7) disappeared entirely, and judging from De 16:7, the prohibition against seething (Hebrew bashal) was not understood to apply (unless, indeed, the omission of the expression with water" gives a more general sense to the Hebrew word bashal, making it include roasting). New details were also added: for example, that the Passover could be sacrificed only at the central sanctuary (De 16:5); that no alien or uncircumcised person, or unclean person could partake thereof, and that one prevented by uncleanness or other cause from celebrating the Passover in season could do so a month later (Nu 9:9 ). The singing of the Hallel (Psalms 113-118), both while the Passover was being slaughtered and at the meal, and other details were no doubt added from time to time.

4. Matstsoth:

Unleavened bread was eaten with the Passover meal, just as with all sacrificial meals of later times (Ex 23:18; 34:25; Le 7:12), independently perhaps of the fact that the Passover came in such close proximity with the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex 12:8). Jewish tradition distinguishes, at any rate, between the first night and the rest of the festival in that the eating of matstsoth is an obligation on the first night and optional during the rest of the week (Pesachim 120a), although the eating of unleavened bread is commanded in general terms (Ex 12:15,18; 13:6,7; 23:15; 34:18; Le 23:6; Nu 28:17). The eating of leavened bread is strictly prohibited, however, during the entire week under the penalty of kareth, "excision" (Ex 12:15,19 f; 13:3; De 16:3), and this prohibition has been observed traditionally with great care. The 1st and 7th days are holy convocations, days on which no labor could be done except such as was necessary in the preparation of food. The festival of matstsoth is reckoned as one of the three pilgrimage festivals, though strictly the pilgrimage was connected with the Passover portion and the first day of the festival.

During the entire week additional sacrifices were offered in the temple: an offering made by fire and a burnt offering, 2 young bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs of the first year without blemish, together with meal offerings and drink offerings and a goat for a sin offering.

5. The ‘Omer:

During the week of the matstsoth festival comes the beginning of the barley harvest in Palestine (Menachoth 65b) which lasts from the end of March in the low Jordan valley to the beginning of May in the elevated portions. The time of the putting-in of the sickle to the standing grain (De 16:9) and of bringing the sheaf of the peace offering is spoken of as the morrow after the Sabbath (Le 23:15), that is, according to the Jewish tradition, the day after the first day, or rest-day, of the Passover (Mend. 65b; Meg Ta‘an. 1; Josephus, Ant, III, x, 5), and according to Samaritan and Boethusian traditions and the modern Karites the Sunday after the Passover. At this time a wave offering is made of a sheaf, followed by an offering of a lamb with a meal and drink offering, and only thereafter might the new grain be eaten. From this day 7 weeks are counted to fix the date of Pentecost, the celebration connected with the wheat harvest. It is of course perfectly natural for an agricultural people to celebrate the turning-points of the agricultural year in connection with their traditional festivals. Indeed, the Jewish liturgy of today retains in the Passover service the Prayer of Dew (Tal) which grew up in Palestine on the basis of the needs of an agricultural people.

6. Non-traditional Theories:

Many writers, however, eager to explain the entire festival as originally an agricultural feast (presumably a Canaanitic one, though there is not a shred of evidence that the Canaanites had such a festival), have seized upon the ‘omer, or sheaf offering, as the basis of the hagh (festival), and have attempted to explain the matstsoth as bread hastily baked in the busy harvest times, or as bread quickly baked from the freshly exempted first-fruits. Wherein these theories are superior to the traditional explanation so consistently adhered to throughout the Pentateuch it is difficult to see. In a similar vein, it has been attempted to connect the Passover with the sacrifice or redemption of the firstborn of man and beast (both institutions being traditionally traced to the judgment on the firstborn of Egypt, as in Ex 13:11-13; 22:29,30; 23:19; 34:19,20), so as to characterize the Passover as a festival of pastoral origin. Excepting for the multiplication of highly ingenious guesses, very little that is positive has been added to our knowledge of the Passover by this theory.

7. The Higher Criticism:

The Pentateuch speaks of the Passover in many contexts and naturally with constantly varying emphasis. Thus the story of the Exodus it is natural to expect fewer ritual details than in a manual of temple services; again, according to the view here taken, we must distinguish between the pecach mitsrayim and the pecach doroth. Nevertheless, great stress is laid on the variations in the several accounts, by certain groups of critics, on the basis of which they seek to support their several theories of the composition of the Pentateuch or Hexateuch. Without entering into this controversy, it will be sufficient here to enumerate and classify all the discrepancies said to exist in the several Passover passages, together with such explanations as have been suggested. These discrepancies, so called, are of three kinds:

(1) mere omissions,

(2) differences of emphasis, and

(3) conflicting statements.

The letters, J, E, D, P and H will here be used to designate passages assigned to the various sources by the higher criticism of today merely for the sake of comparison.

(1) There is nothing remarkable about the omission of the daily sacrifices from all passages except Le 23:8 (H) and Nu 28:19 (P), nor in the omission of a specific reference to the holy convocation on the first day in the contexts of De 16:8 and Ex 13:6, nor even in the omission of reference to a central sanctuary in passages other than De 16. Neither can any significance be attached to the fact that the precise day is not specified in Ex 23 (E) where the appointed day is spoken of, and in Le 23:15 (H) where the date can be figured out from the date of Pentecost there given.

(2) As to emphasis, it is said that the socalled Elohist Covenant (E) (Ex 23) has no reference to the Passover, as it speaks only of matstsh in Ex 23:15, in which this festival is spoken of together with the other reghalim or pilgrimage festivals. The so-called Jehovistic source (Jahwist) (Ex 34:18-21,25) is said to subordinate the Passover to matstsoth, the great feast of the Jehovistic history (JE) (Ex 12:21-27,29-36,38,39; 13:3-16); in De (D) the Passover is said to predominate over matstsoth, while in Le (P and H) it is said to be of first importance. JE and P emphasize the historical importance of the day. Whether these differences in emphasis mean much more than that the relative amount of attention paid to the paschal sacrifice, as compared with matstsoth, depends on the context, is of course the fundamental question of the higher criticism; it is not answered by pointing out that the differences of emphasis exist.

(3) Of the actual conflicts, we have already seen that the use of the words "flock" and "herd" in De and Hebrew bashal are open to explanation, and also that the use of the matstsoth at the original Passover is not inconsistent with the historical reason for the feast of matstsoth—it is not necessary to suppose that matstsoth were invented through the necessity of the Hebrews on their journey. There is, however, one apparent discrepancy in the Biblical narrative that seems to weaken rather than help the position of those critics who would ascribe very late dates to the passages which we have cited: Why does Ezekiel’s ideal scheme provide sacrifices for the Passover different from those prescribed in the so-called P ascribed to the same period (Eze 45:21)?

8. Historical Celebrations: Old Testament Times:

The children of Israel began the keeping of the Passover in its due season according to all its ordinances in the wilderness of Sinai (Nu 9:5). In the very beginning of their national life in Palestine we find them celebrating the Passover under the leadership of Joshua in the plains of Jericho (Jos 5:10). History records but few later celebrations in Palestine, but there are enough intimations to indicate that it was frequently if not regularly observed. Thus Solomon offered sacrifices three times a year upon the altar which he had built to Yahweh, at the appointed seasons, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread (1Ki 9:25 equals 2Ch 8:13). The later prophets speak of appointed seasons for pilgrimages and sacrifices (compare Isa 1:12-14), and occasionally perhaps refer to a Passover celebration (compare Isa 30:29, bearing in mind that the Passover is the only night-feast of which we have any record). In Hezekiah’s time the Passover had fallen into such a state of desuetude that neither the priests nor the people were prepared for the king’s urgent appeal to observe it. Nevertheless, he was able to bring together a large concourse in Jerusalem during the 2nd month and institute a more joyful observance than any other recorded since the days of Solomon. In the 18th year of King Josiah, however, there was celebrated the most memorable Passover, presumably in the matter of conformity to rule, since the days of the Judges (2Ki 23:21; 2Ch 35:1 ). The continued observance of the feast to the days of the exile is attested by Ezekiel’s interest in it (Eze 45:18). In post-exilic times it was probably observed more scrupulously than ever before (Ezr 6:19 ).

9. Historical Celebrations: New Testament Times:

Further evidence, if any were needed, of the importance of the Passover in the life of the Jews of the second temple is found in the Talmud, which devotes to this subject an entire tractate, Pecachim on which we have both Babylonian and Palestine gemara’. These are devoted to the sacrificial side and to the minutiae of searching out and destroying leaven, what constitutes leaven, and similar questions, instruction in which the children of Israel sought for 30 days before the Passover. Josephus speaks of the festival often (Ant., II, xiv, 6; III, x, 5; IX, iv, 8; XIV, ii, 2; XVII, ix, 3; BJ, II, i, 3; V, iii, 1; VI, ix, 3). Besides repeating the details already explained in the Bible, he tells of the innumerable multitudes that came for the Passover to Jerusalem out of the country and even from beyond its limits. He estimates that in one year in the days of Cestius, 256,500 lambs were slaughtered and that at least 10 men were counted to each. (This estimate of course includes the regular population of Jerusalem. But even then it is doubtless exaggerated.) The New Testament bears testimony, likewise, to the coming of great multitudes to Jerusalem (Joh 11:55; compare also Joh 2:13; 6:4). At this great festival even the Roman officers released prisoners in recognition of the people’s celebration. Travel and other ordinary pursuits were no doubt suspended (Compare Ac 12:3; 20:6). Naturally the details were impressed on the minds of the people and lent themselves to symbolic and homiletic purposes (compare 1Co 5:7; Joh 19:34-36, where the paschal lamb is made to typify Jesus; and Heb 11:28). The best-known instance of such symbolic use is the institution of the Eucharist on the basis of the paschal meal. Some doubt exists as to Whether the Last Supper was the paschal meal or not. According to the Synoptic Gospels, it was (Lu 22:7; Mt 26:17; Mr 14:12); while according to John, the Passover was to be eaten some time following the Last Supper (Joh 18:28). Various harmonizations of these passages have been suggested, the most in genious, probably, being on theory that when the Passover fell on Friday night, the Pharisees ate the meal on Thursday and the Sadducees on Friday, and that Jesus followed the custom of the Pharisees (Chwolson, Das letzte Passahmal Jesu, 2nd edition, Petersburg, 1904). Up to the Nicene Council in the year 325, the church observed Easter on the Jewish Passover. Thereafter it took precautions to separate the two, condemning their confusion as Arianism.

10. The Jewish Passover:

After the destruction of the temple the Passover became a home service. The paschal lamb was no longer included. Only the Samaritans have continued this rite to this day. In the Jewish home a roasted bone is placed on the table in memory of the rite, and other articles symbolic of the Passover are placed beside it: such as a roasted egg, said to be in memory of the free-will offering; a sauce called charoceth, said to resemble the mortar of Egypt; salt water, for the symbolic dipping (compare Mt 26:23); the bitter herbs and the matstsoth. The cedher (program) is as follows: sanctification; washing of the hands; dipping and dividing the parsley; breaking and setting aside a piece of matstsah to be distributed and eaten at the end of the supper; reading of the haggadhah shel pecach, a poetic narrative of the Exodus, in answer to four questions asked by the youngest child in compliance with the Biblical command found 3 times in Exodus and once in Deuteronomy, "Thou shalt tell thy son on that day"; washing the hands for eating; grace before eating; tasting the matstsah; tasting the bitter herbs; eating of them together; the meal; partaking of the matstsah that had been set aside as ‘aphiqomen or dessert; grace after meat; Hallel; request that the service be accepted. Thereafter folk-songs are sung to traditional melodies, and poems recited, many of which have allegorical meanings. A cup of wine is used at the sanctification and another at grace, in addition to which two other cups have been added, the 4 according to the Mishna (Pecachim x.1) symbolizing the 4 words employed in Ex 6:6,7 for the delivery of Israel from Egypt. Instead of eating in haste, as in the Egyptian Passover, it is customary to recline or lean at this meal in token of Israel’s freedom.

The prohibition against leaven is strictly observed. The searching for hidden leaven on the evening before the Passover and its destruction in the morning have become formal ceremonies for which appropriate blessings and declarations have been included in the liturgy since the days when Aramaic was the vernacular of the Jews. As in the case of other festivals, the Jews have doubled the days of holy convocation, and have added a semi-holiday after the last day, the so-called ‘iccur chagh, in token of their love for the ordained celebration and their loathness to depart from it.

Nathan Isaacs


pas’-ter (ro‘eh; poimen; literally, a helper, or feeder of the sheep (the King James Version Jer 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10; 17:16; 22:22; 23:1,2, and in Eph 4:11, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American))): Besides the literal sense the word has now a figurative meaning and refers to the minister appointed over a congregation. This latter meaning is recognized in the translation of the King James Version.





1. External Evidence

2. Genuineness Questioned


1. Relative to Paul’s Experiences

(1) Data in 1 Timothy

(2) Data in 2 Timothy

(3) Data in Titus

2. Subject-Matter Post-Pauline (1) Difficulty Regarding Church Organization

(2) The Doctrinal Difficulty

3. Difficulty Relative to Language

4. Is There "Another Gospel" in the Pastorals?


1. Date of the Epistles

2. Their Order


The First and Second Epistles to Timothy, and the Epistle to Titus form a distinct group among the letters written by Paul, and are now known as the Pastoral Epistles because they were addressed to two Christian ministers. When Timothy and Titus received these epistles they were not acting, as they had previously done, as missionaries or itinerant evangelists, but had been left by Paul in charge of churches; the former having the oversight of the church in Ephesus, and the latter having the care of the churches in the island of Crete. The Pastoral Epistles were written to guide them in the discharge of the duties devolving upon them as Christian pastors. Such is a general description of these epistles. In each of them, however, there is a great deal more than is covered or implied by the designation, "Pastoral"—much that is personal, and much also that is concerned with Christian faith and doctrine and practice generally.

I. Genuineness.

1. External Evidence:

In regard to the genuineness of the epistles there is abundant external attestation. Allusions to them are found in the writings of Clement and Polycarp. In the middle of the 2nd century the epistles were recognized as Pauline in authorship, and were freely quoted.

"Marcion indeed rejected them, and Tatian is supposed to have rejected those to Timothy. But, as Jerome states in the preface to his Commentary on Titus, these heretics rejected the epistles, not on critical grounds, but merely because they disliked their teaching. He says they used no argument, but merely asserted, This is Paul’s, This is not Paul’s. It is obvious that men holding such opinions as Marcion and Tatian held, would not willingly ascribe authority to epistles which condemned asceticism. So far, then, as the early church can guarantee to us the authenticity of writings ascribed to Paul, the Pastoral Epistles are guaranteed" (Marcus Dods, Introduction to the New Testament, 167).

The external evidence is all in favor of the reception of these epistles., which were known not only to Clement and Polycarp, but also to Irenaeus, Tertullian, the author of the Epistle to the churches of Vienne and Lyons, and Theophilus of Antioch. The evidence of Polycarp, who died in 167 AD, is remarkably strong. He says, "The love of money is the beginning of all trouble, knowing .... that we brought nothing into the world, neither can carry anything out" (compare 1Ti 6:7,10). It would be difficult to overthrow testimony of this nature.

2. Genuineness Questioned:

The decision of certain critics to reject the Pastoral Epistles as documents not from the hand of Paul, "is not reached on the external evidence, which is perhaps as early an attestation as can be reasonably expected. They are included in the Muratorian Canon, and quoted by Irenaeus and later writers as Paul’s" (A.S. Peake, A Critical Introduction to the New Testament, 60). This admission is satisfactory. In recent times, however, the authenticity of these epistles has been called in question by Schmidt, Schleiermacher, Baur, Renan, and many others. Baur asserted that they were written for the purpose of combating the Gnosticism of the 2nd century, and of defending the church from it by means of ecclesiastical organization, and that the date of their composition was about the year 150 AD.

II. Alleged Difficulties against Pauline Authorship.

Various difficulties have been alleged against the reception of the Pastoral Epistles as Pauline. The chief of these are:

(1) the difficulty of finding any place for these letters in the life of Paul, as that is recorded in the Ac and in the Pauline Epistles written before the Pastorals;

(2) the fact that there are said to be in them indications of an ecclesiastical organization, and of a development of doctrine, both orthodox and heretical, considerably in advance of the Pauline age;

(3) that the language of the epistles is, to a large extent, different from that in the accepted epistles; (4) the "most decisive" of all the arguments against the Pauline authorship—so writes Dr. A.C. McGiffert (A History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age, 402)—is that "the Christianity of the Pastoral Epistles is not the Christianity of Paul."

Where can a place be found for these epistles, in the life of Paul? The indications of the date of their composition given in the epistles themselves are these.

1. Relative to Paul’s Experiences:

(1) Data in 1 Timothy

In 1Ti 1:3 Paul had gone from Ephesus to Macedonia, and had left Timothy in Ephesus in charge of the church there. In the Ac and in the previously written Pauline epistles, it is impossible to find such events or such a state of matters as will satisfy these requirements. Paul had previously been in Ephesus, on several occasions. His 1st visit to that city is recorded in Ac 18:19-21. On that occasion he went from Ephesus, not into Macedonia, but into Syria. His 2nd visit was his 3 years’ residence in Ephesus, as narrated in Ac 19; and when he left the city, he had, previous to his own departure from it, already sent Timothy into Macedonia (19:22)—a state of matters exactly the reverse of that described in 1Ti 1:3. Timothy soon rejoined Paul, and so far was he from being left in Ephesus then, that he was in Paul’s company on the remainder of his journey toward Jerusalem (Ac 20:4; 2Co 1:1).

No place therefore in Paul’s life, previous to his arrest in Jerusalem, and his first Roman imprisonment, can be found, which satisfies the requirements of the situation described in 1Ti 1:3. "It is impossible, unless we assume a second Roman imprisonment, to reconcile the various historical notices which the epistle (2 Timothy) contains" (McGiffert, op. cit., 407).

In addition to this, the language used by the apostle at Miletus, when he addressed the elders of the Ephesian church (Ac 20:30) about the men speaking perverse things, who should arise among them, showed that these false teachers had not made their appearance at that time. There is, for this reason alone, no place for the Pastoral Epistles in Paul’s life, previous to his arrest in Jerusalem. But Paul’s life did not end at the termination of his first Roman imprisonment; and this one fact gives ample room to satisfy all the conditions, as these are found in the three Pastorals.

Those who deny the Pauline authorship of these epistles also deny that he was released from what, in this article, is termed his 1st Roman imprisonment. But a denial of this latter statement is an assumption quite unwarranted and unproved. It assumes that Paul was not set free, simply because there is no record of this in the Acts. But the Ac is, on the very face of it, an incomplete or unfinished record; that is, it brings the narrative to a certain point, and then breaks off, evidently for the reason which Sir W.M. Ramsay demonstrates, that Luke meant to write a sequel to that book—a purpose, however, which he was unable, owing to some cause now unknown, to carry into execution. The purpose of the Acts, as Ramsay shows (St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, 23, 308), is to lead up to the release of Paul, and to show that the Christian faith was not a forbidden or illegal religion, but that the formal impeachment of the apostle before the supreme court of the empire ended in his being set at liberty, and thus there was established the fact that the faith of Jesus Christ was not, at that time, contrary to Roman law. "The Pauline authorship .... can be maintained only on the basis of a hypothetical reconstruction, either of an entire period subsequent to the Roman imprisonment, or of the events within some period known to us" (McGiffert, op. cit., 410). The one fact that Paul was set free after his 1st Roman imprisonment gives the environment which fits exactly all the requirements of the Pastoral Epistles.

Attention should be directed to the facts and to the conclusion stated in the article PRAETORIUM (which see), Mommsen having shown that the words, "My bonds became manifest in Christ throughout the whole praetorian guard" (Php 1:13), mean that at the time when Paul wrote the Epistle to the Philippians, the case against him had already come before the supreme court of appeal in Rome, that it had been partly heard, and that the impression made by the prisoner upon his judges was so favorable, that he expected soon to be set free.

The indications to be drawn from other expressions in three of the epistles of the Roman captivity—Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon—are to the same effect. Thus, writing to the Philippians, he says that he hopes to send Timothy to them, so soon as he sees how matters go with him, and that he trusts in the Lord that he himself will visit them shortly. And again, writing to his friend Philemon in the city of Colosse, he asks him to prepare him a lodging, for he trusts that through the prayers of the Colossians, he will be granted to them.

These anticipations of acquittal and of departure from Rome are remarkable, and do not in any degree coincide with the idea that Paul was not set free but was condemned and put to death at that time. "It is obvious that the importance of the trial is intelligible only if Paul was acquitted. That he was acquitted follows from the Pastoral Epistles with certainty for all who admit their genuineness; while even they who deny their Pauline origin must allow that they imply an early belief in historical details which are not consistent with Paul’s journeys before his trial, and must either be pure inventions or events that occurred on later journeys. .... If he was acquitted, the issue of the trial was a formal decision by the supreme court of the empire that it was permissible to preach Christianity; the trial, therefore, was really a charter of religious liberty, and therein lies its immense importance. It was indeed overturned by later decisions of the supreme court; but its existence was a highly important fact for the Christians" (Ramsay, op. cit., 308). "That he was acquitted is demanded both by the plan evident in Ac and by other reasons well stated by others" (ibid., 360).

It should also be observed that there is the direct and corroborative evidence of Paul’s release, afforded by such writers as Cyril of Jerusalem, Ephrem Syriac., Chrysostom and Theodoret, all of whom speak of Paul’s going to Spain. Jerome (Vir. Ill., 5) gives it as a matter of personal knowledge that Paul traveled as far as Spain. But there is more important evidence still. In the Muratorian Canon, 1,37, there are the words, "profectionem Pauli ab urbe ad Spaniam proficiscentis" ("the journey of Paul as he journeyed from Rome to Spain"). Clement also in the epistle from the church in Rome to the church in Corinth, which was written not later than the year 96 AD, says in reference to Paul, "Having taught righteousness to the whole world, and having gone to the extremity of the west (epi to terma tes duseos elthon) and having borne witness before the rulers, so was he released from the world and went to the holy place, being the greatest example of endurance." The words, "having gone to the extremity of the west," should be specially noticed. Clement was in Rome when he wrote this, and, accordingly, the natural import of the words is that Paul went to the limit of the western half of then known world, or in other words, to the western boundary of the lands bordering the Mediterranean, that is, to Spain.

Now Paul never had been in Spain previous to his arrest in Jerusalem, but in Ro 15:24,28 he had twice expressed his intention to go there. These independent testimonies, of Clement and of the Muratorian Canon, of the fact that after Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem he did carry into execution his purpose to visit Spain, are entitled to great weight. They involve, of course, the fact that he was acquitted after his 1st Roman imprisonment.

Having been set free, Paul could not do otherwise than send Timothy to Philippi, and himself also go there, as he had already promised when he wrote to the Philippian church (Php 2:19,24). As a matter of course he would also resume his apostolic journeys for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel. There is now ample room in his life for the Pastoral Epistles, and they give most interesting details of his further labors. The historical and geographical requirements in 1 Timothy are, in this way, easily satisfied. It was no great distance to Ephesus from Philippi and Colosse, where he had promised that he would "come shortly."

(2) Data in 2 Timothy

The requirements in 2 Timothy are (a) that Paul had recently been at Troas, at Corinth, and at Miletus, each of which he mentions (2Ti 4:13,20); (b) that when he wrote the epistles he was in Rome (1:17); (c) that he was a prisoner for the cause of the gospel (1:8; 2:9), and had once already appeared before the emperor’s supreme court (4:16,17); (d) that he had then escaped condemnation, but that he had reason to believe that on the next hearing of his case the verdict would be given against him, and that he expected it could not be long till execution took place (4:6); (e) that he hoped that Timothy would be able to come from Ephesus to see him at Rome before the end (4:9,21). These requirements cannot be made to agree or coincide with the first Roman captivity, but they do agree perfectly with the facts of the apostle’s release and his subsequent second imprisonment in that city.

(3) Data in Titus

The data given in the Epistle to Titus are

(a) that Paul had been in Crete, and that Titus had been with him there, and had been left behind in that island, when Paul sailed from its shores, Titus being charged with the oversight of the churches there (Tit 1:5); and

(b) that Paul meant to spend the next winter at Nicopolis (3:12).

It is simply impossible to locate these events in the recorded life of Paul, as that is found in the other epistles, and in the Acts. But they agree perfectly with his liberation after his first Roman imprisonment. "As there is then no historical evidence that Paul did not survive the year 64, and as these Pastoral Epistles were recognized as Pauline in the immediately succeeding age, we may legitimately accept them as evidence that Paul did survive the year 64—that he was acquitted, resumed his missionary labors, was again arrested and brought to Rome, and from this second imprisonment wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy—his last extant writing" (Dods, Introduction to the New Testament, 172).

2. Subject-Matter, Post-Pauline:

The second difficulty alleged against the acceptance of these epistles as Pauline is that there are said to exist in them indications of an ecclesiastical organization and of a doctrinal development, both orthodox and heretical, considerably later than those of the Pauline age.

(1) Difficulty Regarding Church Organization

The first statement, that the epistles imply an ecclesiastical organization in advance of the time when Paul lived, is one which cannot be maintained in view of the facts disclosed in the epistles themselves. For directions are given to Timothy and to Titus in regard to the moral and other characteristics necessary in those who are to be ordained as bishops, elders, and deacons. In the 2nd century the outstanding feature of ecclesiastical organization was the development of monarchical episcopacy, but the Pastoral Epistles show a presbyterial administration. The office held by Timothy in Ephesus and by Titus in Crete was, as the epistles themselves show, of a temporary character. The directions which Paul gives to Timothy and Titus in regard to the ordaining of presbyters in every church are in agreement with similar notices found elsewhere in the New Testament, and do not coincide with the state of church organization as that existed in the 2nd century, the period when, objectors to the genuineness of the epistles assert, they were composed. "Everyone acquainted with ancient literature, particularly the literature of the ancient church, knows that a forger or fabricator of those times could not possibly have avoided anachronisms" (Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, II, 93). But the ecclesiastical arrangements in the Pastoral Epistles coincide in all points with the state of matters as it is found in the church in the time of the apostles, as that is described in the Ac and elsewhere in the New Testament.

It seems an error to suppose, as has often been done, that these epistles contain the germ of monarchical episcopacy; for the Christian church had already, from the day of Pentecost, existed as a society with special officers for the functions of extension, discipline and administration. The church in the Pastoral Epistles is a visible society, as it always was. Its organization therefore had come to be of the greatest importance, and especially so in the matter of maintaining and handing down the true faith; the church accordingly is described as "the pillar and stay of the truth" (1Ti 3:15 margin), that is, the immovable depository of the Divine revelation.

(2) The Doctrinal Difficulty

The other statement, that the epistles show a doctrinal development out of harmony with the Pauline age is best viewed by an examination of what the epistles actually say.

In 1Ti 6:20, Paul speaks of profane and vain babblings and oppositions of gnosis (the Revised Version (British and American) "knowledge," the King James Version "science") falsely so called. In Tit 3:9, he tells Titus to avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law. These phrases have been held to be allusions to the tenets of Marcion, and to those of some of the Gnostic sects. There are also other expressions, such as fables and endless genealogies (1Ti 1:3,4; 6:3), words to no profit but the subverting of the hearer (2Ti 2:14), foolish and unlearned questions which do gender strifes (2Ti 2:23), questions and strifes of words (1Ti 6:4,5), discussions which lead to nothing but word-battles and profane babbling. Such are the expressions which Paul uses. These, taken with what is even more clearly stated in the Epistle to the Colossians, certainly point to an incipient Gnosticism. But had the writer of the Pastoral Epistles been combating the Gnosticism of the 2nd century, it would not have been phrases like these that he would have employed, but others much more definite. Godet, quoted by Dods (Intro, 175), writes, "The danger here is of substituting intellectualism in religion for piety of heart and life. Had the writer been a Christian of the 2nd century, trying, under the name of Paul, to stigmatize the Gnostic systems, he would certainly have used much stronger expressions to describe their character and influence."

It should be observed that the false teachers described in 2Ti 3:6-9,13, as well as in other places in these epistles, were persons who taught that the Mosaic Law was binding upon all Christians. They laid stress upon rabbinic myths, upon investigations and disputations about genealogies and specific legal requirements of the Old Testament. What they taught was a form of piously sounding doctrine assuming to be Christian, but which was really rabbinism.

"For a pseudo-Paul in the post-apostolic age—when Christians of Jewish birth had become more and more exceptions in the Gentile Christian church—to have invented a description of and vigorously to have opposed the heterodidaskaloi, who did not exist in his own age, and who were without parallel in the earlier epistles of Paul, would have been to expose himself to ridicule without apparent purpose or meaning" (Zahn, Introduction, II, 117). "A comparison of the statements in these epistles about various kinds of false doctrine, and of those portions of the same that deal with the organization and officers of the church, with conditions actually existing in the church, especially the church of Asia Minor, at the beginning and during the course of the 2nd century, proves, just as clearly as does the external evidence, that they must have been written at latest before the year 100. But they could not have been written during the first two decades after Paul’s death, because of the character of the references to persons, facts and conditions in Paul’s lifetime and his own personal history, and because of the impossibility on this assumption of discovering a plausible motive for their forgery. Consequently the claim that they are post-Pauline, and contain matter which is un-Pauline, is to be treated with the greatest suspicion" (Zahn, op. cit., II, 118).

3. Difficulty Relative to Language:

The third difficulty alleged against the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles is connected with the language employed, which is said to be, to a large extent, different from that in the accepted epistles. The facts in regard to this matter are that in 1 Timothy there are 82 words not found elsewhere in the New Testament; in 2 Timothy there are 53 such words, and in Titus there are 33. But, while the total of such words in the three epistles is 168, this number, large though it appears, may be compared with the words used only once in the other Epistles of Paul. In Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians and Philemon, the words of this description are 627 in number. So nothing can be built upon the fact of the 168 peculiar words in the Pastoral Epistles, that can safely be alleged as proof against their Pauline authorship. The special subjects treated in these epistles required adequate language, a requirement and a claim which would not be refused in the case of any ordinary author.

The objections to the Pauline authorship of the Pastorals, based upon the dissimilarity of diction in them and in Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, cease to exist when theory is no longer persisted in, that the nucleus of the Pastoral Epistles was composed during the Roman imprisonment, which, according to this theory ended, not in the apostle’s release, but in his execution. The fact that he was writing to intimate and beloved friends, both on personal matters and on the subject of church organization, and on that of incipient Gnosticism, which was troubling the churches of Asia Minor, made it essential that he should, to a large extent, use a different vocabulary.

4. Is There "Another Gospel" in the Pastorals?:

The "most decisive" of all the arguments against the Pauline authorship is that "the Christianity of the Pastoral Epistles is not the Christianity of Paul" (McGiffert, A History of Christianity, 402). "For the most part," Dr. McGiffert writes, "there is no trace whatever of the great fundamental truth of Paul’s gospel—death unto the flesh and life in the Spirit." Now this is not so, for the passages which Dr. McGiffert himself gives in a footnote (2Ti 1:9-11; 2:11 ff; Tit 3:4-7), as well as other references, do most certainly refer to this very aspect of the gospel. For example, the passage in 2Ti 2 contains these words, "If we died with him (Christ), we shall also live with him." What is this but the great truth of the union of the Christian believer with Christ? The believer is one with Christ in His death, one with Him now as He lives and reigns. The objection, therefore, which is "most decisive of all," is one which is not true in point of fact. Dr. McGiffert also charges the author of the Pastoral Epistles as being "one who understood by resurrection nothing else than the resurrection of the fleshly body" (p. 430). The body of our Lord was raised from the dead, but how very unjust this accusation is, is evident from such a passage as 1Ti 3:16, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness;

He who was manifested in the flesh,

Justified in the Spirit,

Seen of angels,

Preached among the nations,

Believed on in the world,

Received up in glory."

Charges of this nature are unsupported by evidence, and are of the kind on which Dr. A.S. Peake (A Critical Introduction to the New Testament, 71) bases his rejection of the Pauline authorship—except for a Pauline nucleus—that he "feels clear." More than an ipse dixit of this sort is needed.

The theory that the Pastoral Epistles are based upon genuine letters or notes of Paul to Timothy and Titus is thus advocated by Peake, McGiffert, Moffatt and many others. It bears very hard upon 1 Timothy. "In 1 Timothy not a single verse can be indicated, which clearly bears the stamp of Pauline origin" (Peake, op. cit., 70). "We may fairly conclude then in agreement with many modern scholars that we have here, in the Pastoral Epistles, authentic letters of Paul to Timothy and Titus, worked over and enlarged by another hand" (McGiffert, op. cit., 405). In regard to 1 Timothy he writes, "It is very likely that there are scattered fragments of the original epistle in 1 Timothy, as for instance in 1:23. But it is difficult to find anything which we can be confident was written by Paul" (p. 407).

Dr. McGiffert also alleges that in the Pastoral Epistles, the word "faith" "is not employed in its profound Pauline sense, but is used to signify one of the cardinal virtues, along with love, peace, purity, righteousness, sanctification, patience and meekness." One of the Pauline epistles, with which he contrasts the Pastorals, is the Epistle to the Galatians; and the groundlessness of this charge is evident from Ga 5:22, where "faith" is included in the list there given of the fruit of the Spirit, along with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness and self-control.

If the Pastoral Epistles are the work of Paul, then, Dr. McGiffert concludes, Paul had given up that form of the gospel which he had held and taught throughout his life, and descended from the lofty religious plane upon which he had always moved, to the level of mere piety and morality (op. cit., 404). But this charge is not just or reasonable, in view of the fact that the apostle is instructing Timothy and Titus how to combat the views and practices of immoral teachers. Or again, in such a passage as 1Ti 1:12-17 the King James Version, the author of the epistle has not descended from the lofty plane of faith to that of mere piety and morality, when he writes, "The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."

If such be the "most decisive" objection against the Pauline authorship, the other difficulties, as already seen, need not cause alarm, for they resolve themselves into the equally groundless charges that the historical requirements of the epistles cannot be fitted into any part of Paul’s life, and that the doctrine and ecclesiastical organization do not suit the Apostolic age. These objections have been already referred to.

The real difficulty, writes Dr. Peake (A Critical Introduction, 68), is that "the old energy of thought and expression is gone, and the greater smoothness and continuity in the grammar is a poor compensation for the lack of grip and of continuity in the thought." Dr. Peake well and truly says that this statement does not admit of detailed proof. Lack of grip and lack of continuity of thought are not the characteristics of such passages as 1Ti 1:9-17, a passage which will bear comparison with anything in the acknowledged Pauline Epistles; and there are many other similar passages, e.g. Tit 2:11-3:7.

What must be said of the dullness of the intelligence of Christian men and of the Christian church as a whole, if they could thus let themselves be imposed upon by epistles which purported to be Paul’s, but which were not written by him at all, but were the enlargement of a Pauline nucleus? Can it be believed that the church of the 2nd century, the church of the martyrs, was in such a state of mental decrepitude as to receive epistles which were spurious, so far as the greater portion of their contents is concerned? And can it be believed that this idea, so recently originated and so destitute of proof, is andequate explanation of epistles which have been received as Pauline from the earliest times?

When placed side by side with sub-apostolic writings like the Didache, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, and Ignatius, "it is difficult to resist the idea which returns upon one with almost every sentence that .... the Pastorals are astonishingly superior" (Moffatt, The Historical New Testament, 556). Godet, quoted by R.D. Shaw (The Pauline Epistles, 441), writes, "When one has had enough of the pious amplifications of Clement of Rome, of the ridiculous inanities of Barnabas, of the general oddities of Ignatius, of the well-meant commonplaces of Polycarp, of the intolerable verbiage of Hermas, and of the nameless platitudes of the Didache, and, after this promenade in the first decade of the 2nd century, reverts to our Pastoral Epistles, one will measure the distance that separates the least striking products of the apostolic literature from what has been preserved to us as most eminent in the ancient patristic literature."

In the case of some modern critics, the interpolation hypothesis "is their first and last appeal, the easy solution of any difficulty that presents itself to their imaginations. Each writer feels free to give the kaleidoscope a fresh turn, and then records with blissful confidence what are called the latest results. .... The whole method postulates that a writer must always preserve the same dull monotone or always confine himself to the same transcendental heights. .... He must see and say everything at once; having had his vision and his dream, he must henceforth be like a star and dwell apart. .... To be stereotyped is his only salvation. .... On such principles there is not a writer of note, and there never has been a man in public life, or a student in the stream of a progressive science, large parts of whose sayings and doings could not be proved to be by some one else" (Shaw, The Pauline Epistles, 483).

III. Date and Order.

1. Date of the Epistles:

In regard to the date of these epistles, external and internal evidence alike go to show that they belong to practically the same period. The dates of their composition are separated from each other by not more than three or four years; and the dates of each and all of them must be close to the Neronic persecution (64 AD). If Paul was executed 67 AD (see Ramsay, Paul, 396), there is only a short interval of time between his release in 61 or 62, and his death in 67, that is a period of some 5 or 6 years, during which his later travels took place, and when the Pastoral Epistles were written. "Between the three letters there is an affinity of language, a similarity of thought, and a likeness of errors combated, which prevents our referring any of them to a period much earlier than the others" (Zahn, Introduction, II, 37).

2. Their Order:

The order in which they were written must have been 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy. It is universally acknowledged that 2 Timothy is the very last of Paul’s extant epistles, and the internal evidence of the other two seems to point out 1 Timothy as earlier than Titus.

To sum up, the evidence of the early reception of the Pastoral Epistles as Pauline is very strong. "The confident denial of the genuineness of these letters—which has been made now for several generations more positively than in the case of any other Pauline epistles—has no support from tradition. .... Traces of their circulation in the church before Marcion’s time are clearer than those which can be found for Romans and 2 Corinthians" (Zahn, op. cit., II, 85). The internal evidence shows that all three are from the hand of one and the same writer, a writer who makes many personal allusions of a nature which it would be impossible for a forger to invent. It is generally allowed that the personal passages in 2Ti 1:15-18; 4:9-22 are genuine. But if this is so, then it is not possible to cut and carve the epistles into fragments of this kind. Objections dating only a century back are all too feeble to overturn the consistent marks of Pauline authorship found in all three epistles, corroborated as this is by their reception in the church, dating from the very earliest period. The Pastoral Epistles may be used with the utmost confidence, as having genuinely come from the hand of Paul.


R. D. Shaw, The Pauline Epistles; A. S. Peake, A Critical Introduction to the New Testament; A. C. McGiffert, A History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age; Theodor Zahn, An Introduction to the New Testament; Marcus Dods, . Introduction to the New Testament; Weiss, Einleitung in das New Testament (English translation); C. J. Ellicott, A Critical and Grammatical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles; Patrick Fairbairn, The Pastoral Epistles; John Ed. Huther, Critical and Exegetical Handbook of the Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus; George Salmon, A Historical Introduction to the Study of the Books of the New Testament; James Moffatt, The Historical New Testament; Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament; Adolf Julicher, An Introduction to the New Testament; Caspar Rene Gregory, Canon and Text of the New Testament.

The "lives" of Paul may also be consulted, as they contain much that refers to these epistles, i.e. those by Conybeare and Howson, Lewin, Farrar and others. See also Ramsay’s Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen.

John Rutherfurd


pas’-tur-aj, pas’-tur.



pat’-a-ra (ta Patara): A coast city of ancient Lycia, from which, according to Ac 21:1, Paul took a ship for Phoenicia. Because of its excellent harbor, many of the coast trading ships stopped at Patara, which therefore became an important and wealthy port of entry to the towns of the interior. As early as 440 BC autonomous coins were struck there; during the 4th and the 3rd centuries the coinage was interrupted, but was again resumed in 168 BC when Patara joined the Lycian league. Ptolemy Philadelphus enlarged the city, and changed its name to Arsinoe in honor of his wife. The city was celebrated not only as a trading center, but especially for its celebrated oracle of Apollo which is said to have spoken only during the six winter months of the year. Among the ruins there is still to be seen a deep pit with circular steps leading to a seat at the bottom; it is supposed that the pit is the place of the oracle. In the history of early Christianity, Patara took but little part, but it was the home of a bishop, and the birthplace of Nicholas, the patron saint of the sailors of the East. Though born at Patara, Nicholas was a bishop and saint of Myra, a neighboring Lycian city, and there he is said to have been buried. Gelemish is the modern name of the ruin. The walls of the ancient city may still be traced, and the foundations of the temple and castle and other public buildings are visible. The most imposing of the ruins is a triumphal arch bearing the inscription: "Patara the Metropolis of the Lycian Nation." Outside the city walls many sarcophagi may be seen, but the harbor, long ago choked by sand, has been converted into a useless swamp. another at grace, in addition to which two other cups have been added, the 4 according to the Mishna (Pecachim x.1) symbolizing the 4 words employed in Ex 6:6,7 for the delivery of Israel from Egypt. Instead of eating in haste, as in the Egyptian Passover, it is customary to recline or lean at this meal in token of Israel’s freedom.

See also MYRA.

E. J. Banks


pat (qodhqodh): The word usually translated "crown," "crown of the head" (Ge 49:26; De 28:35; 33:16,20; 2Sa 14:25; Job 2:7; Isa 3:17; Jer 2:16; 48:45) and "scalp" (Ps 68:21) is rendered "pate" in Ps 7:16 in agreement with earlier English translators since Coverdale: "His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violence shall come down upon his own pate." The reason for the choice of the word lies evidently in the desire to make the Hebrew parallelism with "head" (ro’sh) apparent. The same object has, however, been achieved differently in another poetical passage (Ge 49:26 parallel De 33:16), namely, by the juxtaposition of "head" and "crown of the head."

H. L. E. Luering


path, path’-wa (orach, nethibhah, etc.; tribos, trochia):

(1) In the Old Testament.—In addition to its obvious literal sense (e.g. Ge 49:17), it has very frequently a figurative meaning.

(a) As applied to man, a course or manner of life: (i) man’s outward lot in life, his career or destiny, whether of the just man (Isa 26:7) or of the ungodly (Job 8:13); (ii) frequently in an ethical sense, of men’s conduct or inward life-purpose, whether it be good or evil (e.g. Pr 2:15), generally accompanied by a term defining the moral quality of the conduct, either an abstract noun (e.g. "the paths of uprightness," Pr 2:13; 4:11; "the paths of justice," Pr 2:8; Isa 40:14; "the paths of life," Ps 16:11; Pr 2:19), or a concrete adjective or noun (e.g. "crooked paths," Isa 59:8; "the paths of the righteous," Pr 2:20; 4:18).

(b) The term is also applied to God either (i) of the methods of the Divine Providence, God’s dealings with men (Ps 25:10; 65:11), or (ii) of the principles and maxims of religion and morality divinely revealed to man ("Show me thy ways, O Yahweh, teach me thy paths," Ps 25:4; compare Isa 2:3).

(2) In the Apocrypha we have the "paths" of Wisdom (tribos, Baruch 3:21,31); the "path" shown to men by the Law (semita, 2 Esdras 14:22); and a man’s "paths" (tribos, Tobit 4:10).

(3) In the New Testament the word occurs only in Mt 3:3 and parallel passages Mr 1:3; Lu 3:4 (of the forerunner’s work), and in Heb 12:13 (in the Old Testament ethical sense).

Pathway occurs in Pr 12:28 (derekh nethibhah) and The Wisdom of Solomon 5:10 (atrapos).

See WAY.

D. Miall Edwards


pa-the’-us (Pathaios, Phathaios): One of the Levites who had married a foreign wife (1 Esdras 9:23) equals "Pethahiah" of Ezr 10:23.


path’-ros (pathros; Egyptian Pata resii, the "South land"; Septuagint ge Pathoures): The Hebrew form of the Egyptian name for Upper Egypt (Isa 11:11; Jer 44:1,15; Eze 29:14; 30:14).


path-roo’-sim, path-ru’-sim (pathruci, "an inhabitant of Pathros"; Septuagint hoi Patrosonieim): The branch of the Egyptians who came from PATHROS (which see). They are represented as begotten of Mizraim, "Mizraim begat Zudim. .... and Pathrusim" (Ge 10:13 f; 1Ch 1:11 f).


pa’-shens (hupomone, makrothumia): "Patience" implies suffering, enduring or waiting, as a determination of the will and not simply under necessity. As such it is an essential Christian virtue to the exercise of which there are many exhortations. We need to "wait patiently" for God, to endure uncomplainingly the various forms of sufferings, wrongs and evils that we meet with, and to bear patiently injustices which we cannot remedy and provocations we cannot remove.

The word "patience" does not occur in the Old Testament, but we have "patiently" in Ps 40:1 as the translation of qawah, "to wait," "to expect," which word frequently expresses the idea, especially that of waiting on God; in Ps 37:7, "patiently" ("wait patiently") is the translation of qul, one of the meanings of which is "to wait" or "to hope for" or "to expect" (of Job 35:14); "patient" occurs (Ec 7:8) as the translation of ‘erekh ruach, "long of spirit," and (Job 6:11) "that I should be patient" (ha’arikh nephesh). Compare "impatient" (Job 21:4).

"Patience" occurs frequently in the Apocrypha, especially in Ecclesiasticus, e.g. 2:14; 16:13; 17:24; 41:2 (hupomone); 5:11 (makrothumia); 29:8 (makrothumeo, the Revised Version (British and American) "long suffering"); in The Wisdom of Solomon 2:19, the Greek word is anexikakia.

In the New Testament hupomone carries in it the ideas of endurance, continuance (Lu 8:15; 21:19; Ro 5:3,4, the American Standard Revised Version "stedfastness"; Ro 8:25, etc.).

In all places the American Revised Version margin has "stedfastness," except Jas 5:11, where it has "endurance"; makrothumia is translated "patience" (Heb 6:12; Jas 5:10); makrothumeo, "to bear long" (Mt 18:26,29; Jas 5:7; See LONGSUFFERING); the same verb is translated "be patient" (1Th 5:14, the Revised Version (British and American) "longsuffering"; Jas 5:7,8, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "patient"); makrothumos, "patiently" (Ac 26:3); hupomeno (1Pe 2:20); anexikakos is translated "patient" (2Ti 2:4, the Revised Version (British and American), the King James Version margin, "forbearing"); epieikes, "gentle" (1Ti 3:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "gentle"); hupomeno (Ro 12:12, "patient in tribulation"). For "the patient waiting for Christ" (2Th 3:5), the Revised Version (British and American) has "the patience of Christ."

Patience is often hard to gain and to maintain, but, in Ro 15:5, God is called "the God of patience" (the American Revised Version margin "stedfastness") as being able to grant that grace to those who look to Him and depend on Him for it. It is in reliance on God and acceptance of His will, with trust in His goodness, wisdom and faithfulness, that we are enabled to endure and to hope stedfastly.

See also GOD.

W. L. Walker


pat’-mos (Patomos; Italian: San Giovanni di Patino): A Turkish island of the group Sporades, Southwest of Samos, mentioned once in the Bible, Re 1:9, "I, John .... was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus" (dia ton logon tou theou kai ten marturian Iesou). The island is 10 miles long, and about 6 broad along the northern coast. It is for the most part rocky. The highest part is Mount Elias, which rises to a height of over 800 ft. As in Greece, and in the adjacent mainland of Asia Minor, the land is treeless. Near the city of Patmos there is a good harbor. A famous monastery, Christodulos, was founded on the island in 1088. Near this is a thriving school, attended by students from all parts of the Archipelago. The population of the island numbers 3,000, almost entirely Greek. The ancient capital was on an isthmus between the inlets of La Scala and Merika. Many ruins can still be seen. The huge walls of Cyclopean masonry, similar to those at Tiryns, attest their great age. In Roman times Patmos was one of the many places to which Rome banished her exiles. In 95 AD, according to a tradition preserved by Irenaeus, Eusebius, Jerome and others, John was exiled here—in the 14th year of the reign of Domitian—whence he returned to Ephesus under Nerva (96 AD). The cave in which he is said to have seen his visions is still pointed out to the traveler. Only a small part of the once valuable library in the monastery of Christodulos is left. Just 100 years ago (1814) Mr. E.D. Clark purchased here the manuscript of Plato which is now in the Bodleian Library, the celebrated Clarkianus, a parchment written in the year 895, and admittedly the best of all for the 1st of the 2 volumes into which the works of Plato were divided for convenience. Patmos is mentioned by Thucydides (iii.33), by Pliny (NH, iv.23), and by Strabo (x.5).



Tozer, The Islands of the Aegean (1890), 178-95; Walpole, Turkey (London, 1820), II, 43; E.D. Clark, Travels (London, 1818), VI, 2; Ross, Reisen (Stuttgart, 1840), II; Guerin, Description de l’Ile de Patmos (Paris, 1856).

J. E. Harry


pa’-tri-ark, patriarches). The word occurs in the New Testament in application to Abraham (Heb 7:4), to the sons of Jacob (Ac 7:8,9), and to David (Ac 2:29). In Septuagint it is used as the equivalent of the head of the fathers’ house, or of a tribe (1Ch 24:31; 27:32; 2Ch 26:12). Commonly now the term is used of the persons whose names appear in the genealogies and covenant-histories in the periods preceding Moses (Ge 5; 11, histories of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.; compare "patriarchal dispensation"). The problems connected with the longevity ascribed to the patriarchs in the genealogies and narratives in Ge are dealt with in special articles.


James Orr



pat’-ri-mo-ni (ha-’abhoth, "the fathers"): A word occurring once in English Versions of the Bible (De 18:8), meaning literally, "the fathers," which, however, is obscure, probably by reason of abbreviation for some phrase, e.g. "house of the fathers." It may indicate "some private source of income possessed by the Levite (who has come up from a country district to the central sanctuary) distinct from what he receives as a priest officiating at the central sanctuary" (Driver, "Deuteronomy," ICC, in the place cited.). Beyond this one occurrence of the word the same idea is conveyed often by other words or phrases: "He divided unto them his living" (Lu 15:13); "Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me" (Lu 12:13). Full and specific directions were given in the Law for the division of the patrimony (Nu 27$; De 21$, etc.) and for its redemption (Ru 4:1-12). The idea was frequently used with figurative and spiritual application: the land of Canaan was Israel’s patrimony, being inherited from Yahweh (Ps 105:11); salvation because of its origin in grace was the believer’s patrimony (Ga 3:26-4:7). Contrariwise Israel was Yahweh’s inheritance (Isa 19:25; 63:14; compare Ps 33:12; and the whole earth is the Messiah’s patrimony, inherited from His Eternal Father (Ps 2:8).


Edward Mack


pat’-ro-bas (Patrobas): The name of a member of the Christian community at Rome to whom Paul sent greetings (Ro 16:14). The name is an abbreviated form of "Patrobius." There was a wealthy freedman of Nero of the same name who was put to death by Galba (Tacitus, History i.49; ii.95). The Patrobas of Paul may have been a dependent of his.


pa-tro’-klus (Patroklos): The father of the Syrian general Nicanor (2 Macc 8:9).


pat’-ern (tabhnith, "model," mar’eh, "a vision" or "view"): The Old Testament words translated "pattern" do not necessarily indicate a drawing such as a modern constructor begins with, or the patterns made from these drawings for the guidance of workmen. In Ex 25:9,40 the word "idea" or "suggestion" would possibly indicate more distinctly than "pattern" what Moses received in regard to the building of the tabernacle, etc. It is doubtful if any architect’s drawing was ever made of the temple. It is not the custom in Palestine and Syria today to work from any pattern more concrete than an idea. A man who wants a house calls the builder and says he wants to build so many rooms of such and such dimensions with, for example, a court 10 drahs (arm’s lengths) wide and 15 drahs long, made of sandstone and plastered inside and out. With these meager instructions the builder starts. The details are worked out as the building proceeds. When a piece of iron or brass work is to be made, the customer by gestures with his hands outlines the form the piece should take. "I want it haik wa haik" ("thus and thus"), he says, and leaves the metal worker to conceive the exact form. It is probable that directions similar to these were given by David to Solomon. "Then David gave Solomon his son the pattern (his conception) of the porch of the temple," etc. (1Ch 28:11). The above does not apply to Greek and Roman work in Syria. Their workmen, probably mostly native, were trained to work from models. Williams in the Architect, January, 1913, says of the works at Baalbek and Palmyra, "There is a machine-like resemblance betokening slavish copying." At the present time native workmen coming under the influence of foreigners are beginning to work from models and plans, but they show little tendency to create models of their own.

Three Greek words have been translated in the New Testament: tupos, "type," occurs in Tit 2:7 and Heb 8:5. In the first instance the Revised Version (British and American) reads "ensample." hupotuposis, "outline," has been similarly translated in 1Ti 1:16, but "pattern" in 2Ti 1:13. In Heb 9:24 the American Standard Revised Version. antitupos, is rendered "like in pattern." hupodeigma, the King James Version "pattern," is translated in the American Standard Revised Version "copy" (Heb 8:5), "copies" (Heb 9:23). At the time of the translation of the King James Version the word "pattern" meant either the thing to be copied or the copy.

James A. Patch



See PAI.



I. Sources

1. The Acts

2. The Thirteen Epistles

(1) Pauline Authorship

(2) Lightfoot’s Grouping

(a) First Group (1 and 2 Thessalonians)

(b) Second Group (1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, (c) Third Group-(Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians)

(d) Fourth Group (1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy)

(3) Paul’s Conception of His Epistles

(4) Development in Paul’s Epistles


1. Criticism Not Infallible

2. The Tubingen Theory

3. Protest against Baur’s View

4. Successors to Baur

5. Appeal to Comparative Religion

6. The Eschatological Interpretation


1. Schemes

2. Crucial Points

(1) The Death of Stephen

(2) The Flight from Damascus

(3) The Death of Herod Agrippa I

(4) The First Mission Tour

(5) The First Visit to Corinth

(6) Paul at Troas according to Ac 20:6 f

(7) Festus Succeeding Felix


1. The City of Tarsus

2. Roman Citizenship

3. Hellenism

4. The Mystery-Religions

5. Judaism

6. Personal Characteristics

(1) Personal Appearance

(2) Natural Endowments

(3) Supernatural Gifts

7. Conversion

(1) Preparation

(2) Experience

(3) Effect on Paul


1. Adjustment

2. Opposition

3. Waiting

4. Opportunity

5. The First Great Mission Campaign

6. The Conflict at Jerusalem

7. The Second Mission Campaign

8. The Third Mission Campaign

9. Five Years a Prisoner

10. Further Travels

11. Last Imprisonment and Death



I. Sources.

1. The Acts:

For discussion of the historical value of the Ac of the Apostles see the article on that subject. It is only necessary to say here that the view of Sir W.M. Ramsay in general is accepted as to the trustworthiness of Luke, whose authorship of the Ac is accepted and proved by Harnack (Die Apostelgeschichte, 1908; The Ac of the Apostles, translation by Wilkinson, 1909; Neue Untersuch. zur Ap., 1911; The Date of the Ac and of the Synoptic Gospels, translations by Wilkinson, 1911). The proof need not be given again. The same hand appears in the "we" sections and the rest of the book. Even Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 311) admits the Lukan authorship though dating it in 100 AD instead of 60-62 AD, against Harnack. The Ac is written independently of the Epistles of Paul, whether early or late, and supplements in a wonderful way the incidental references in the epistles, though not without lacunae and difficulties.

2. The Thirteen Epistles:

(1) Pauline Authorship.

See the articles on each epistle for detailed criticism. It is here assumed that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by Paul, though Pauline in point of view. One cannot stop to prove every statement in an article like this, else a large book would be needed. Criticism is not an infallible science. One can turn easily from the Hatch-Van Manen article on "Paul" in Encyclopedia Biblica (1902) to the Maclean article on "Paul the Apostle" in the 1-vol HDB (1909). Van-Manen’s part of the one denies all the thirteen, while Maclean says: "We shall, in what follows, without hesitation use the thirteen epistles as genuine." It is certain that Paul wrote more epistles, or "letters," as Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 225) insists on calling all of Paul’s epistles. Certainly Philera is a mere "letter," but it is difficult to say as much about Romans. Deissmann (St. Paul, 22) admits that portions of Romans are like "an epistolary letter." At any rate, when Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 64-82) carefully justifies the Pauline authorship of both 1 and 2 Thessalonians, it is clear that the case against them cannot be very strong, especially as Moffatt stands out against the genuineness of Ephesians (op. cit., 393) and the Pastoral Epistles (p. 414).

Bartlet, who was once at a loss to know what to do with the Pastorals on theory that Paul was not released from the Roman imprisonment (Apostolic Age, 1899, 200), is now quite willing to face the new facts set forth by Ramsay (Expos, VII, viii-ix, VIII, i), even if it means the admission of a second Roman imprisonment, a view that Bartlet had opposed. He now pleads for "the fresh approach from the side of experience, by men who are in touch with the realities of human nature in all its variety, as well as at home in the historical background of society in the early Roman empire, that has renovated the study of them and taken it out of the old ruts of criticism in which it has moved for the most part in modern times" (Expos, January, 1913, 29). Here Bartlet, again, now eloquently presents the view of common-sense criticism as seen by the practical missionary better than by a life "spent amid the academic associations of a professor’s chair," though he pauses to note as an exception Professor P. Gardner’s The Religious Experience of Paul (1912). We may quote Bartlet once more (Expos, January, 1913, 30): "In the recovery of a true point of view a vital element has been the newer conception of Paul himself and so of Paulinism. Paul the doctrinaire theologian, or at least the prophet of a one-sided gospel repeated with fanatical uniformity of emphasis under all conditions, has largely given place to Paul the missionary, full indeed of inspired insight on the basis of a unique experience, but also of practical instinct, the offspring of sympathy with living men of other types of training. When the Pastorals are viewed anew in the light of this idea, half their difficulties disappear." One need not adopt Deissmann’s rather artificial insistence on "letters" rather than "epistles," and his undue depreciation of Paul’s intellectual caliber and culture as being more like Amos than Origen (St. Paul, 1912, 6), in order to see the force of this contention for proper understanding of the social environment of Paul. Against Van Manen’s "historical Paul" who wrote nothing, he places "the historic Paul" who possibly wrote all thirteen. "There is really no trouble except with the letters to Timothy and Titus, and even there the difficulties are perhaps not quite so great as many of our specialists assume" (St. Paul, 15). See PASTORAL EPISTLES. Deissmann denies sharply that Paul was an "obscurantist" who corrupted the gospel of Jesus, "the dregs of doctrinaire study of Paul, mostly in the tired brains-of gifted amateurs" (p. 4). But A. Schweitzer boldly proclaims that he alone has the key to Paul and Jesus. It is the "exclusively Jewish eschatological" (Paul and His Interpreters, 1912, ix), conception of Christ’s gospel that furnishes Schweitzer’s spring-board (The Quest of the Historical Jesus). Thus he will be able to explain "the Hellenization of the gospel" as mediated through Paul. To do that Schweitzer plows his weary way from Grotius to Holtzmann, and finds that they have all wandered into the wilderness. He is positive that his eschatological discovery will rescue Paul and some of his epistles from the ruin wrought by Steck and Van Manen to whose arguments modern criticism has nothing solid to offer, and the meager negative crumbs offered by Schweitzer ought to be thankfully received (ibid, 249).

(2) Lightfoot’s Grouping.

(Compare Biblical Essays, 224.) There is doubt as to the position of Galatians. Some advocates of the South-Galatian theory make it the very earliest of Paul’s Epistles, even before the Jerusalem Conference in Ac 15. So Eramet, Commentary on Galatians (1912), ix, who notes (Preface) that his commentary is the first to take this position. But the North Galatian view still has the weight of authority in spite of Ramsay’s powerful advocacy in his various books (see Historical Commentary on Galatians), as is shown by Moffatt, Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 90 ff. Hence, Lightfoot’s grouping is still the best to use.

(a) First Group (1 and 2 Thessalonians):

1 and 2 Thessalonians, from Corinth, 52-53 AD. Harnack’s view that 2 Thessalonians is addressed to a Jewish Christian church in Thessalonica while 1 Thessalonians is addressed to a Gentilechurch is accepted by Lake (Earlier Epistles of Paul, 1911, 83 ff) but Frame (ICC, 1912, 54) sees no need for this hypothesis. Milligan is clear that 1 Thessalonians precedes 2 Thessalonians (Commentary, 1908, xxxix) and is the earliest of Paul’s Epistles (p. xxxvi). The accent on eschatology is in accord with the position of the early disciples in the opening chapters of Acts. They belong to Paul’s stay in Corinth recorded in Ac 18.

(b) Second Group (1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans):

1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, 55-58 AD. This is the great doctrinal group, the four chief epistles of Baur. They turn about the Judaizing controversy which furnishes the occasion for the expansion of the doctrine of justification by faith in opposition to the legalistic contention of the Judaizing Christians from Jerusalem (Ac 15:1-3; Ga 2:1-10). The dates of these epistles are not perfectly clear. 1 Corinthians was written shortly before the close of Paul’s 3 years’ stay at Ephesus (Ac 20:31; 1Co 16:8; Ac 20:1 f). 2 Corinthians was written a few months later while he was in Macedonia (2:13; 7:5,13; 8:16-24). Romans was written from Corinth (16:23; Ac 20:2 f) and sent by Phoebe of Cenchrea (Ro 16:1). The integrity of Romans is challenged by some who deny in particular that chapter 16 belongs to the epistle Moffatt (Intro, 134-38) gives an able, but unconvincing, presentation of the arguments for the addition of the chapter by a later hand. Deissmann (St. Paul, 19) calls Ro 16 "a little letter" addressed to the Christians at Ephesus. Von. Soden (History of Early Christian Literature, 78) easily justifies the presence of Ro 16 in the Epistle to the Romans: "These greetings, moreover, were certainly intended by Paul to create bonds of fellowship between the Pauline Christians and the Roman community, and to show that he had not written to them quite exclusively in his own name." A common-sense explanation of Paul’s personal ties in Rome is the fact that as the center of the world’s life the city drew people thither from all parts of the earth. So, today many a man has friends in New York or London who has never been to either city. A much more serious controversy rages as to the integrity of 2 Corinthians. Semler took 2Co 10-13 to be a separate and later ep., because of its difference in tone from 2Co 1-9, but Hausrath put it earlier than chapters 1-9, and made it the letter referred to in 2:4. He has been followed by many scholars like Schmiedel, Cone, McGiffert, Bacon, Moffatt, Kennedy, Rendall, Peake, Plummer. Von Soden (History of Early Christian Literature, 50) accepts the partition-theory of 2 Corinthians heartily: "It may be shown with the highest degree of probability that this letter has come down to us in 2Co 10:1-13:10." But the unity of the epistle on theory that the change in tone is a climax to the disobedient element of the church is still maintained with force and justice by Klopper, Zahn, Bachmann, Denhey, Bernard, A. Robertson, Weiss, Menzies. The place of the writing of Galatians turns on its date. Lightfoot (in loc.) argues for Corinth, since it was probably written shortly before Romans. But Moffatt (Introduction, 102) holds tentatively to Ephesus, soon after Paul’s arrival there from Galatia. So he gives the order: Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans. In so much doubt it is well to follow Lightfoot’s logical argument. Galatians leads naturally to Romans, the one hot and passionate, the other calm and contemplative, but both on the same general theme.

(c) Third group (Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians):

Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians. Date 61-63, unless Paul reached Rome several years earlier. This matter depends on the date of the coming of Festus to succeed Felix (Ac 24:27). It was once thought to be 60 AD beyond any doubt, but the whole matter is now uncertain. See "Chronology," III, 2, (2), below. At any rate these four epistles were written during the first Roman imprisonment, assuming that he was set free.

But it must be noted that quite a respectable group of scholars hold that one or all of these epistles were written from Caesarea (Schultz, Thiersch, Meyer, Hausrath, Sabatier, Reuss, Weiss, Haupt, Spitta, McPherson, Hicks). But the arguments are more specious than convincing. See Hort, Romans and Ephesians, 101-10. There is a growing opinion that Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians were written from Ephesus during a possible imprisonment in Paul’s stay of 3 years there. So Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 229; Paul, 16); Lisco (Vincula Sanctorum, 1900); M. Albertz (Theol. Studien und Kritiken, 1910, 551 ff); B. W. Bacon (Journal of Biblical Lit., 1910, 181 ff). The strongest argument for this position is that Paul apparently did not know personally the readers of Eph (1:15); compare also Col 1:4. But this objection need not apply if the so-called Ephesian Epistle was a circular letter and if Paul did not visit Colosse and Laodicea during his 3 years at Ephesus. The theory is more attractive at first than on reflection. It throws this group before Romans—a difficult view to concede.

But even so, the order of these epistles is by no means certain. It is clear that Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians were sent together. Tychicus was the bearer of Colossians (4:7 f) and Ephesians (6:21 f). Onesimus carried the letter to Philemon (1:10,13) and was also the companion of Tychicus to Colosse (Col 4:9). So these three epistles went together from Rome. It is commonly assumed that Php was the last of the group of four, and hence later than the other three, because Paul is balancing life and death (Php 1:21 ) and is expecting to be set free (Php 1:25), but he has the same expectation of freedom when he writes Philemon (1:22). The absence of Luke (Php 2:20) has to be explained on either hypothesis. Moffatt (Introduction, 159) is dogmatic, "as Philippians was certainly the last letter that he wrote," ruling out of court Ephesians, not to say the later Pastoral Epistles. But this conclusion gives Moffatt trouble with the Epistle to the Laodiceans (Col 4:16) which he can only call "the enigmatic reference" and cannot follow Rutherford (St. Paul’s Epistles to Colosse and Laodicea, 1908) in identifying the Laodicean Epistle with Ephesians, as indeed Marcion seems to have done. But the notion that Ephesians was a circular letter designed for more than one church (hence, without personalities) still holds the bulk of modern opinion.

Von Soden (History of Early Christian Literature, 294) is as dogmatic as Wrede or Van Manen: "All which has hitherto been said concerning this epistle, its form, its content, its ideas, its presuppositions, absolutely excludes the possibility of a Pauline authorship." He admits "verbal echoes of Pauline epistles"

Lightfoot puts Philippians before the other three because of its doctrinal affinity with the second group in chapter 3 as a reminiscence, and because of its anticipation of the Christological controversy with incipient Gnosticism in chapter 2. This great discussion is central in Colossians and Ephesians. At any rate, we have thus a consistent and coherent interpretation of the group. Philemon, though purely personal, is wondrously vital as a sociological document. Paul is in this group at the height of his powers in his grasp of the Person of Christ.

(d) Fourth Group (1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy):

1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy. The Pastoral Epistles are still hotly disputed, but there is a growing willingness in Britain and Germany to make a place for them in Paul’s life. Von Soden bluntly says: "It is impossible that these epistles as they stand can have been written by Paul" (History of Early Christian Literature, 310). He finds no room for the heresy here combated, or for the details in Paul’s life, or for the linguistic peculiarities in Paul’s style. But he sees a "literary nicety"—this group that binds them together and separates them from Paul. Thus tersely he puts the case against the Pauline authorship. So Moffatt argues for the "sub-Pauline environment" and "sub-Pauline atmosphere" of these epistles with the advanced ecclesiasticism (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 410 ff). Wrede thrusts aside the personal details and argues that the epistles give merely the tendency of early Christianity (Ueber Aufgabe und Metbode der Sogen. New Testament Theologie, 1897, 357). The Hatch-Van Manen article in Encyclopedia Biblica admits only that "the Pastoral Epistles occupy themselves chiefly with the various affairs of the churches within ‘Pauline circles.’ "

Moffatt has a vigorous attack on these letters in EB, but he "almost entirely ignores the external evidence, while he has nothing to say to the remarkable internal evidence which immediately demands our attention" (Knowling, Testimony of Paul to Christ, 3rd edition, 1911, 129). Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 414) holds that the Pastoral Epistles came from one pen, but the personality and motives are very vague to him. The personal details in 2Ti 1:14-18; 4:9-22 are not on a paragraph with those in The Ac of Paul and Thekla in the 2nd century. Many critics who reject the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles admit the personal details in 2 Timothy, but it is just in such matters that forgeries are recognizable. To admit these fragments is logically to admit the whole (Maclean in 1-vol HDB), as Moffatt sees (Intro, 414), however much he seeks to tone down the use of Paul’s name as "a Christian form of suasoriae," and "a further and inoffensive development of the principle which sought to claim apostolic sanction for the expanding institutions and doctrines of the early church" (ibid., 415). The objection against these epistles from differences in diction has been grievously overdone. As a matter of fact, each of the four groups has words peculiar to it, and naturally so. Style is a function of the subject as well as a mark of the man. Besides, style changes with one’s growth. It would have been remarkable if all four

groups had shown no change in no change in vocabulary and style. The case of Shakespeare is quite pertinent, for the various groups of plays stand more or less apart. The Pastoral Epistles belong to Paul’s old age and deal with personal and ecclesiastical matters in a more or less reminiscential way, with less of vehement energy than we get in the earlier epistles, but this situation is what one would reasonably expect. The "ecclesiastical organization" argument has been greatly overdone. As a matter of fact, "the organization in the Pastoral Epistles is not apparently advanced one step beyond that of the church in Philippi in 61 AD" (Ramsay, The Expositor, VII, viii, 17). The "gnosis" met by these epistles (1Ti 6:20; Tit 1:14) is not the highly developed type seen in the Ignatian Epistles of the 2nd century. Indeed, Bartlet ("Historic Setting of the Pastoral Epistles," The Expositor, January, 1913, 29) pointedly says that, as a result of Hort’s "Judaistic Christianity" and "Christian Ecclesia" and Ramsay’s "Historical Commentary on the Epistles of Timothy" (Expos, VII, vii, ix, VIII, i), "one feels the subject has been lifted to a new level of reality and that much criticism between Baur and Julicher is out of date and irrelevant." It is now shown that the Pastoral Epistles are not directed against Gnosticism of advanced type, but even of a more Jewish type (Tit 1:14) than that in Colossians. Ramsay (Expos, VIII, i, 263) sweeps this stock criticism aside as "from the wrong point of view." It falls to the ground. Lightfoot ("Note on the Heresy Combated in the Pastoral Epistles," Biblical Essays, 413) had insisted on the Jewish character of the Gnosticism attacked here. As a matter of fact, the main objection to these epistles is that they do not fit into the story in Acts, which breaks off abruptly with Paul in Rome. But it is a false premise to assume that the Pastoral Epistles have to fit into the events in Acts. Harnack turns the objection that Paul in Ac 20:26 predicted that he would never see the Ephesian elders again into a strong argument for the date of Luke’s Gospel before 2Ti 4:21 (The Date of Ac and Synoptic Gospels, 103). Indeed, he may not have revisited Ephesus after all, but may have seen Timothy at Miletus also (1Ti 1:3). Harnack frankly admits the acquittal and release of Paul and thus free play for the Pastoral Epistles Blass (Acta Apostolorum, 24) acknowledges the Pastoral Epistles as genuine. So also Findlay, article "Paul," in HDB; Maclean in 1-vol HDB; Denney in Standard BD. Sanday (Inspiration, 364) comments on the strength of the external evidence for the Pastoral Epistles. Even Holtzmann (Einl(3), 291) appears to admit echoes of the Pastoral Epistles in the Ignatian Epistles Lightfoot (Biblical Essays, "Date of the Pastoral Epistles," 399-437) justifies completely the acceptance of the Pauline authorship. Deissman (St. Paul, 15) has a needed word: "The delusion is still current in certain circles that the scientific distinction of a Bible scholar may be estimated in the form of a percentage according to the proportion of his verdicts of spuriousness. .... The extant letters of Paul have been innocently obliged to endure again a fair share of the martyrdom suffered by the historic Paul." See further PASTORAL EPISTLES.

(3) Paul’s Conception of His Epistles

Assuming, therefore, the Pauline authorship of the thirteen epistles, we may note that they, reveal in a remarkable way the growth in Paul’s apprehension of Christ and Christianity, his adaptation to varied situations, his grasp of world-problems and the eternal values of life. Paul wrote other epistles, as we know. In 1Co 5:9 there is a clear reference to a letter not now known to us otherwise, earlier than 1 Corinthians. The use of "every epistle" in 2Th 3:17 naturally implies that Paul had written more than two already. It is not certain to what letter Paul refers in 2Co 2:4—most probably to one between 1 and 2 Corinthians, though, as already shown, some scholars find that letter in 2Co 10-13. Once more Paul (Col 4:16) mentions an epistle addressed to the church at Laodicea. This epistle is almost certainly that which we know as Ephesians. If not, here is another lost epistle. Indeed, at least two apocryphal Epistles to the Laodiceans were written to supply this deficiency. As early as 2Th 2:2 forgers were at work to palm, off epistles in Paul’s name, "or by epistle as from us," to attack and pervert Paul’s real views, whom Paul denounces. It was entirely possible that this "nefarious work" would be continued (Gregory, Canon and Text of the New Testament, 1907, 191), though, as Gregory argues, Paul’s exposure here would have a tendency to put a stop to it and to put Christians on their guard and to watch for Paul’s signature to the epistles as a mark of genuineness (2Th 3:17; 1Co 16:21; Ga 6:11; Col 4:18). This was all the more important since Paul evidently dictated his letters to amanuenses, as to Tertius in the case of Ro 16:22. In the case of Phm 1:19, Paul probably wrote the whole letter. We may be sure therefore that, if we had the other genuine letters of Paul, they would occupy the same general standpoint as the thirteen now in our possession. The point to note here is that the four groups of Paul’s Epistles fit into the historical background of the Ac as recorded by Luke, barring the fourth group which is later than the events in Acts. Each group meets a specific situation in a definite region or regions, with problems of vital interest. Paul attacks these various problems (theological, ecclesiastical, practical) with marvelous vigor, and applies the eternal principles of the gospel of Christ in such fashion as to furnish a norm for future workers for Christ. It is not necessary to say that he was conscious of that use. Deissmann (St. Paul, 12 f) is confident on this point: "That a portion of these confidential letters should be still extant after centuries, Paul cannot have intended, nor did it ever occur to him that they would be." Be that as it may, and granted that Paul’s Epistles are "survivals, in the sense of the technical language employed by the historical method" (ibid., 12), still we must not forget that Paul attached a great deal of importance to his letters and urged obedience to the teachings which they contained: "I adjure you by the, Lord that this epistle be read unto all the brethren" (1Th 5:27). This command we find in the very first one preserved to us. Once more note 2Th 3:14: "And if any man obeyeth not our word by this ep., note that man, that ye have no company with him." Evidently therefore Paul does not conceive his epistles as mere incidents in personal correspondence, but authoritative instructions for the Christians to whom they are addressed. In 1Co 7:17, "And so ordain I in all the churches," he puts his epistolary commands on a paragraph with the words of Jesus quoted in the same chapter. Some indeed at Corinth (2Co 10:9 f) took his "letters" as an effort to "terrify" them, a thing that he was afraid to do in person. Paul (2Co 10:11) does not deny the authority of his letters, but claims equal courage when he comes in person (compare 2Co 13:2,10). That Paul expected his letters to be used by more than the one church to which they were addressed is clear from Col 4:16: "And when this epistle hath been read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye also read the epistle from Laodicea." If the letter to Laodicea is our Eph and a sort of circular letter (compare Galatians), that is clear. But it must be noted that Colossians, undoubtedly a specific letter to Colosse, is likewise to be passed on to Laodicea. It is not always observed that in 1Co 1:2, though the epistle is addressed "unto the church of God which is at Corinth," Paul adds, "with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours." Philemon is, of course, a personal letter, though it deals with a sociological problem of universal interest. The Pastoral Epistles are addressed to two young ministers and have many personal details, as is natural, but the epistles deal far more with the social aspects of church life and the heresies and vices that were threatening the very existence of Christianity in the Roman empire. Paul is eager that Timothy shall follow his teaching (2Ti 3:10 ), and "the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2Ti 2:2). It is this larger view of the future of Christianity that concerns Paul very keenly. The very conception of his ministry to the Gentiles (Ro 15:16; Eph 3:7 ) led Paul to feel that he had a right to speak to all, "both to Greeks and to Barbarians" (Ro 1:14), and hence, even to Rome (Ro 1:15 f). It is a mistake to limit Paul’s Epistles to the local and temporary sphere given them by Deissmann.

(4) Development in Paul’s Epistles

For Paul’s gospel or theology see later. Here we must stress the fact that all four groups of Paul’s Epistles are legitimate developments from his fundamental experience of grace as conditioned by his previous training and later work. He met each new problem with the same basal truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, revealed to Paul on the way to Damascus. The reality of this great experience must here be assumed (see discussion later). It may be admitted that the Ac does not stand upon the same plane as the Pauline Epistles as a witness concerning Paul’s conversion (Fletcher, The Conversion of Paul, 1910, 5). But even so, the Epistles amply confirm Luke’s report of the essential fact that Jesus appeared to Paul in the same sense that He did to the apostles and 500 Christians (1Co 15:4-9). The revelation of Christ to Paul and in Paul (en emoi, Ga 1:16) and the specific call connected therewith to preach to the Gentiles gave Paul a place independent of and on a paragraph with the other apostles (Ga 1:16 f; 2:1-10). Paul’s first preaching (Ac 9:20) "proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God." This "primitive Paulinism" (Sabatier, The Apostle Paul, 1893, 113) lay at the heart of Paul’s message in his sermons and speeches in Acts. Professor P. Gardner regards Luke as a "careless" historian ("The Speeches of Paul in Acts," Cambridge Biblical Essays, 1909, 386), but he quite admits the central place of Paul’s conversion, both in the Ac and the Epistles (ib; compare also The Religious Experience of Paul).

We cannot here trace in detail the growth of Paulinism. Let Wernle speak (Beginnings of Christianity, 1903, I, 224) for us: "The decisive factor in the genius of Paul’s theology was his personal experience, his conversion on the road to Damascus." This fact reappears in each of the groups of the Epistles. It is the necessary implication in the apostolic authority claimed in 1Th 2:4-6; 2Th 2:15; 3:6,14. "We might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ" (1Th 2:6). For the second group we need only refer to 1Co 9:1 f and 15:1-11, where Paul justifies his gospel by the fact of having seen the risen Jesus. His self-depreciation in 15:9 is amply balanced by the claims in 15:10. See also 2Co 10-13 and Galatians 1 and 2 for Paul’s formal defense of his apostolic authority. The pleasantry in Ro 15:14 does not displace the claim in 15:16,23 f. In the third group note the great passage in Php 3:12-14, where Paul pointedly alludes to his conversion: "I was laid hold of by Jesus Christ," as giving him the goal of his ambition, "that I may lay hold"; "I count not myself yet to have laid hold." This concentration of effort to come up to Christ’s purpose in him is the key to Paul’s life and letters, "I press on toward the goal." So the golden cord reappears in Eph 3:2-13: "How that by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ." In the fourth group he still recalls how Christ Jesus took pity on him, the blasphemer, the persecutor, the chief of sinners, and put him into the ministry, "that in me as chief might Jesus Christ show forth all his longsuffering, for an ensample of them that should thereafter believe on him unto eternal life" (1Ti 1:16). He kept up the fight to the end (2Ti 4:6 f), for the Lord Jesus stood by him (2Ti 4:17), as on the road to Damascus. So the personal note of experience links all the epistles together.They reveal Paul’s growing conception of Christ. Paul at the very start perceived that men are redeemed by faith in Jesus as the Saviour from sin through His atoning death, not by works of the Law (Ac 13:38 f). In the first group there are allusions to the "work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Th 1:3). He speaks of "election" (1Th 1:4) and "our gospel" (1Th 1:5) and the resurrection of Jesus (1Th 1:10). The Father, Son and Spirit cooperate in the work of salvation (2Th 2:13 f), which includes election, belief, sanctification, glorification. It is not necessary to press the argument for the conception of salvation by faith in Christ, grace as opposed to works, in the second group. It is obviously present in the third and the fourth. We seem forced to the view therefore that Paul’s experience was revolutionary, not evolutionary. "If we consider the whole history of Paul as it is disclosed to us in his letters, are we not forced to the conclusion that his was a catastrophic or explosive, rather than a slowly progressive personality?" (Garvie, Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 1911, 32). "His gospel was included in his conversion, and it was meditation that made explicit what was thus implicit in his experience" (same place) . This is not to say that there was no "spiritual development of Paul" (Matheson, 1890). There was, and of the richest kind, but it was a growth of expression in the successive application of the fundamental Christian conception. The accent upon this or that phase of truth at different stages in Paul’s career does not necessarily mean that the truth is a new one to him. It may simply be that the occasion has arisen for emphasis and elaboration.

In a broad generalization the first group of the epistles is eschatological, the second soteriological, the third Christological, and the fourth pastoral (Garvie, Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 22). But one must not get the notion that Paul did not have a full gospel of salvation in the first group, and did not come to the true motive of the person of Christ as Lord till the second, or understand the pastoral office till the fourth. See emphasis on Paul’s work as pastor and preacher in 1Th 2 (first group), and the Lordship of Christ also (1Th 1:1,3; 2Th 1:1; 2:13 f), on a paragraph with the Father.

There was a change of accent in each group on questions of eschatology, but in each one Paul cherishes the hope of the second coming of Christ up to the very end when he speaks of his own death (2Ti 4:8,18). Paul has a whole gospel of grace in all his epistles, but he presses home the special phase of truth needed at the moment, always with proper balance and modification, though not in the form of a system of doctrine. In the first group he relieves the minds of the Thessalonian Christians from the misapprehension into which they had fallen concerning his position on the immediate coming of Christ. In the second group Paul vindicates the gospel of grace from the legalistic addition of the Judaizers who sought to rob the Gentiles of their freedom by insisting that they become Jews as well as Christians. This ringing battle is echoed in Ac 15 and is the mightiest conflict of Paul’s career. We hear echoes of it in Php 3, but he had won his contention. In the third group the battle with error has shifted to the province of Asia, especially the Lycus Valley, where a mystic mixture of Judaism (Essenism) and heathen mystery-religions and philosophies (incipient Gnosticism) was so rife in the 2nd century (the various forms of Gnosticism which combined with some aspects of Christianity). It is possible also that Mithraism was already a foe of Christianity. The central position and essential deity of Jesus Christ was challenged by these new and world-old heresies, and Paul attacks them with marvelous skill in Col and Eph and works out in detail his teaching concerning the person of Christ with due emphasis on the soteriological aspects of Christ’s work and on Christian life. Bruce (St. Paul’s Conception of Christianity) conceives that Paul gives us his entire conception of Christianity in the four great epistles of the second group, while B. Weiss (Biblical Theology of the New Testament) sees a more developed doctrine in the third group. He is in his prime in both groups. In the fourth group the same struggle lingers on with variations in Crete and even in Ephesus. The Jewish phase of the heresy is more decided (perhaps Pharisaic), and recalls to some extent the Judaistic controversy in the second group. Paul is older and faces the end, and Christianity has enemies within and without. He turns to young ministers as the hope of the future in the propagation of the gospel of the happy God. The fires have burned lower, and there is less passion and heat. The tone is now fierce, now tender. The style is broken and reminiscent and personal, though not with the rush of torrential emotion in 2 Corinthians, nor the power of logic in Galatians and Romans. Each epistle fits into its niche in the group. Each group falls into proper relation to the stage in Paul’s life and justly reveals the changes of thought and feeling in the great apostle. It is essential that one study Paul’s Epistles in their actual historical order if one wishes to understand the mind of Paul. Scholars are not agreed, to be sure on this point. They are not agreed on anything, for that matter. See two methods of presenting Paul’s Epistles in Robertson, Chronological New Testament (1904), and Moffatt, Historical New Testament (1901).

PAUL, THE APOSTLE, 2 II. Modern Theories about Paul.

1. Criticism Not Infallible:

Findlay (HDB, "Paul") utters a needed warning when he reminds us that the modern historical and psychological method of study is just as liable to prepossession and prejudice as the older categories of scholastic and dogmatic theology. "The focus of the picture may be displaced and its colors falsified by philosophical no less than by ecclesiastical spectacles" (same place). Deissmann (St. Paul, 4 f) sympathizes with this protest against the infallibility of modern subjective criticism: "That really and properly is the task of the modern student of Paul: to come back from the paper Paul of our western libraries, Germanized, dogmatised, modernized, to the historic Paul; to penetrate through the ‘Paulinism’ of our New Testament theologies to the Paul of ancient reality." He admits the thoroughness and the magnitude of the work accomplished in the 19th century concerning the literary questions connected with Paul’s letters, but it is a "doctrinaire interest" that "has gone farther and farther astray." Deissmann conceives of Paul as a "hero of piety first and foremost," not as a theologian. "As a religious genius Paul’s outlook is forward into a future of universal history." In this position of Deissmann we see a return to the pre-Baur time. Deissmann would like to get past all the schools of criticism, back to Paul himself.

2. The Tubingen Theory:

Baur started the modern critical attitude by his Pastoralbriefe (1835, p. 79), in which he remarked that there were only four epistles of Paul (Galatians 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans) which could be accepted as genuine. In his Paulus (1845) he expounded this thesis. He also rejected the Acts. From the four great epistles and from the pseudo-Clementine literature of the 2nd century, Baur argued that Paul and Peter were bitter antagonists. Peter and the other apostles were held fast in the grip of the legalistic conception of Christianity, a sort of Christianized Pharisaism. Paul, when converted, had reacted violently against this view, and became the exponent of Gentile freedom. Christianity was divided into two factions, Jewish Christians (Petrinists) and Gentile Christians (Paulinists). With this "key" Baur ruled out the other Pauline epistles and Ac as spurious, because they did not show the bitterness of this controversy. He called them "tendency" writings, designed to cover up the strife and to show that peace reigned in the camp. This arbitrary theory cut a wide swath for 50 years, and became a fetich with many scholars, but it is now dead. "It has been seen that it is bad criticism to make a theory on insecure grounds, and then to reject all the literature which contradicts it" (Maclean in 1-vol HDB). Ramsay (The First Christian Century, 1911, 195) contends that the perpetuation of the Baur standpoint in Moffatt’s Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament is an anachronism: "We are no longer in the 19th century with its negations, but in the 20th century with its growing power of insight and the power of belief that springs therefrom." Van Marten (Encyclopedia Biblica) calls the Baur view that of the "old guard" of liberal theology in Germany, Switzerland, France, Holland, and, to some extent, in Britain.

3. Protest against Baur’s View:

But even in Germany the older conservative view of Paul has always had champions. The most consistent of the recent opponents of Baur’s views in Germany is Th. Zahn (compare his Einlin das New Testament, 2 volumes, 1897-99; Introduction to the New Testament, 3 volumes, 1910). In Britain the true successor of Lightfoot as the chief antagonist of the Tubingen School is Sir W.M. Ramsay, whose numerous volumes (Church in the Roman Empire, 1893; Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, 1895; Paul the Traveler, 1896; Pauline and Other Studies, 1906; Cities of Paul, 1908; Luke the Physician and Other Studies, 1908; Pictures of the Apostolic Church, 1910; The First Christian Century, 1911) have given the finishing touches to the overthrow of Baur’s contention.

4. Successors to Baur:

But even so, already the Baur school had split into two parts. The ablest representatives, like H. J. Holtzmann, Pfleiderer, Harnack, Julicher, Lipsius, von Soden, were compelled to admit more of Paul’s Epistles as genuine than the four principal ones, till there are left practically none to fight over but Eph and the Pastoral Epistles. This progress eliminated completely Baur’s thesis and approached very nearly to the position of Lightfoot, Ramsay and Zahn. Von Soden (Early Christian Literature, 324) still stands out against 2 Thessalonians, but Harnack has deserted him on that point. But the old narrow view of Baur is gone, and von Soden is eloquent in his enthusiasm for Paul (ibid., 119): "As we gaze upon the great literary memorials of the Greeks we may well question whether these Pauline letters are not equal to them—indeed, do not surpass them—in spiritual significance, in psychological depths and loftiness of ideal, above all in the art of complete and forcible expression." The other wing of Baur’s school Findlay (HDB) calls "ultra-Baurians." It is mainly a Dutch school with Loman and Van Manen as its main exponents, though it has support in Germany from Steck and Volter, and in America from W. B. Smith. These writers do not say that Paul is a myth, but that our sources (Acts and the 13 epistles) are all legendary. It is a relentless carrying of Baur’s thesis to a reductio ad absurdum. Van Manen (Encyclopedia Biblica) says of "the historical, Paul" as distinct from "the legendary Paul": "It does not appear that Paul’s ideas differed widely from those of the other disciples, or that he had emancipated himself from Judaism or had outgrown the law more than they." When one has disposed of all the evidence he is entirely free to reconstruct the pictures to suit himself. Quite arbitrarily, Van Manen accepts the "we"-sections in Ac as authoritative. But these give glimpses of the historical Jesus quite as truly as the Pauline Epistles, and should therefore be rejected by advocates of the mythical Jesus. So the pendulum swings back and forth. One school destroys the other, but the fact of Paul’s personality remains. "The new start is one of such importance that we must distinguish the pre-Pauline from the post-Pauline Christianity, or, what amounts to the same thing, the Palestinian sect and the world-religion" (Wernle, Beginnings of Christianity, I, 159).

5. Appeal to Comparative Religion:

In his Paulus (1904), Wrede finds the explanation of Paul’s theology in late Jewish apocalyptic views and in the oriental mystery religions. Bousset (Die Religion des Judenthums im New Testament Zeitalter, 1903) seeks to find in the "late Jewish apocalyptic" "conceptions from the Babylonian and the Irano-Zarathustrian religions" (Schweitzer, Paul and His Interpreters, 173). According to Wrede’s view, Paul is one of the creators of "Christ" as distinct from the Jesus of history (compare "Jesus or Christ," HJ, suppl., January, 1909). "Wrede’s object is to overthrow the view predominant in modern theology, that Paul loyally and consistently expounded and developed theology of Jesus" (J. Weiss, Paul and Jesus, 1909, 2). J. Weiss in this book makes a careful reply to Wrede as others have done; compare A. Meyer, Jesus or Paul (1909), who concludes (p. 134) dramatically: "Paul—just one who points the way to Jesus and to God!" See also Julicher, Paulus und Jesus (1907); Kaftan, Jesus und Paulus (1906); Kolbing, Die geistige Einwirkung der Person Jesu und Paulus (1906). The best reply to Wrede’s arguments about the mystery-religion is found in articles in the The Expositor for 1912-13 (now in book form) by H.A.A. Kennedy on "St. Paul and the Mystery-Religions." The position of Wrede is carried to its logical conclusion by Drews (Die Christus-Mythe, 1909), who makes Paul the creator of Christianity. W. B. Smith (Der vorchristliche Jesus, 1906) tries to show that "Jesus" was a pre-Christian myth or god. Schweitzer (Paul and His Interpreters, 235) sums the matter up thus: "Drews’s thesis is not merely a curiosity; it indicates the natural limit at which the hypothesis advanced by the advocates of comparative religion, when left to its own momentum, finally comes to rest."

6. The Eschatological Interpretation:

Schweitzer himself may be accepted as the best exponent of the rigid application of this view to Paul (Paul and His Interpreters, 1912) that he had made to Jesus (The Quest of the Historical Jesus, 1910). He glories in the ability to answer the absurdities of Steck, Loman and Van Manen and Drews by showing that the eschatological conceptions of Paul in his epistles are primitive, not late, and belong to the 1st century, not to the 2nd (Paul and His Interpreters, 249). He thus claims to be the true pupil of Baur, though reaching conclusions utterly different. There is undoubtedly an element of truth in this contention of Schweitzer, but he loses his case, when he insists that nothing but eschatology must be allowed to figure. "The edifice constructed by Baur has fallen," he proclaims (p. viii), but he demands that in its place we allow the "exclusively Jewish-eschatological" (p. ix) interpretation. There he slips, and his theory will go the way of that of Baur. C. Anderson Scott ("Jesus and Paul," Cambridge Biblical Essays, 365) admits that Paul has the same eschatological outlook as Jesus, but also the same ethical interest. It is not "either ..... or," but both in each case. See a complete bibliography of the "Jesus and Paul" controversy in J. G. Machens’ paper on "Jesus and Paul" in Biblical and Theological Studies (1912, 547 f). As Ramsay insists, we are now in the 20th century of insight and sanity, and Paul has come to his own. Even Wernle (Beginnings of Christianity, I, 163) sees that Paul is not the creator of the facts: "He merely transmits historical facts. God—Christ—Paul, such is the order." Saintsbury (History of Criticism, 152) says: "It has been the mission of the 19th century to prove that everybody’s work was written by somebody else, and it will not be the most useless task of the 20th to betake itself to more profitable inquiries."


III. Chronology of Paul’s Career.

1. Schemes:

There is not a single date in the life of Paul that is beyond dispute, though several are narrowed to a fine point, and the general course and relative proportion of events are clear enough. Luke gave careful data for the time of the birth of Jesus (Lu 2:1 f), for the entrance of the Baptist on his ministry (Lu 3:1 f), and the age of Jesus when He began His work (Lu 3:23), but he takes no such pains in the Ac with chronology. But we are left with a number of incidental allusions and notes of time which call for some discussion. For fuller treatment see CHRONOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. Garvie (Life and Teaching of Paul, 1910, 181) gives a comparative table of the views of Harnack, Turner, Ramsay and Lightfoot for the events from the crucifixion of Christ to the close of Acts. The general scheme is nearly the same, differing from one to four years here and there. Shaw (The Pauline Epistles, xi) gives a good chronological scheme. Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 62 f) gives theories of 23 scholars:

Turner, "Chronology," in HDB; Neteler, Untersuchung New Testament Zeitverhaltnisse, 1894; O. Holtzmann, New Testament Zeitgeschichte, 1895, changed in 2nd edition, 1906; Bartlet, Apostolic Age, xiii f; Cornely (compare Laurent), New Testament Studien; Harnack, Chron. d. altchristl. Lit. bis Eusebius, 233-329; McGiffert, Apostolic Age, 164, 172; Zahn, Intro, III, 450 f; Ramsay, "The Pauline Chronology," Pauline and Other Studies, 345 f; Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, 213-33; Wendt, Acts, 53-60, Meyer, Commentary; Renan, Paul; Bornemann, Thess, 17 f, Meyer, Comm.; Clemen, Paulus, I, 411; Giffert, Student’s Life of Paul, 242-59; Weiss, Intro, I, 154 f; Sabatier, Paul, 13 f; Julicher, Einl6, 31 f; Findlay, "Paul" in HDB; Farrar, Paul, Appendix; Belser, Theol. Quartalschrift; Steinmann, Abfassungszeit d. Gal, 169; Hoennicke, Die Chronologie des Paulus.

Let us look at the dates given by ten of this list:

Turner Bartlet Harnack McGiffert Zahn

Conversion 35-36 31-32 30 31-32 35

1st visit to Jerusalem 38 34-35 33 34-45 38

2nd visit to Jerusalem 46 46 44 45 44

1st missionary tour 47 47 45 before 45 50-51

Meeting in Jerusalem 49 49 46-47 45 52

2nd missionary tour 49 49 46-47 46 52

3rd missionary tour 52 52 50 49 54

Arrest in Jerusalem 56 56 53-54 53 58

Arrival in Rome 59 59 56-57 56 61

Death of Paul 64-65 61-62 64 58 66-67

Ramsay Lightfoot Clemen Findlay Hoennicke

Conversion 32 34 31 36 33-35

1st visit to Jerusalem 34 37 34 39 36-38

2nd visit to Jerusalem 45 45 .. .. 45-46

1st missionary tour 46-48 48 46 46 49?

Meeting in Jerusalem 50 51 48 49 50-52

2nd missionary tour 50-53 51 49-52 49 ..

3rd missionary tour 53-57 54 53-59 53 ..

Arrest in Jerusalem 57 58 59 57 ..

Arrival in Rome 60 61 62 60 60-62

Death of Paul 67 67 64 67 ..

This table shows very well the present diversity of opinion on the main points in Paul’s life. Before expressing an opinion on the points at issue it is best to examine a few details. Paul himself gives some notes of time. He gives "after 3 years" (Ga 1:18) as the period between his conversion and first visit to Jerusalem, though he does not necessarily mean 3 full years. In Ga 2:1, Paul speaks of another visit to Jerusalem "after the space of 14 years." Then again Luke quotes him as saying to the Ephesian elders at Miletus that he had spent "3 years" at Ephesus (Ac 20:31). These periods of time all come before Paul’s last visit and arrest in Jerusalem, and they do not embrace all the time between his conversion and arrest. There is also another note of time in 2Co 12:2, where he speaks in an enigmatic way of experiences of his "14 years" ago from the writing of this epistle from Macedonia on the third tour. This will take him back to Tarsus before coming to Antioch at the request of Barnabas, and so overlaps a bit the other "14" above, and includes the "3 years" at Ephesus. We cannot, therefore, add these figures together for the total. But some light may be obtained from further details from Ac and the Epistles.

2. Crucial Points:

(1) The Death of Stephen.

Saul is "a young man" (Ac 7:58) when this event occurs. Like other young Jews he entered upon his life as a rabbi at the age of thirty. He had probably been thus active several years, especially as he was now in a position of leadership and may even have been a member of the Sanhedrin (Ac 26:10). Pontius Pilate was not deposed from his procuratorship till 36 AD, but was in a state of uneasiness for a couple of years. It is more probable, therefore, that the stoning of Stephen would take place after his deposition in the interregnum, or not many years before, when he would be afraid to protest against the lawlessness of the Jewish leaders. He had shown timidity at the death of Jesus, 29 or 30 AD, but some of the forms of law were observed. So nothing decisive is here obtained, though 35 AD seems more probable than 32 or 33.

(2) The Flight from Damascus.

Paul locates this humiliating experience (2Co 11:32 f) when "the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes." Aretas the Arabian, and not the Roman, has now control when Paul is writing. The likelihood is that Aretas did not get possession of Damascus till 37 AD, when Tiberius died and was succeeded by Caligula. It is argued by some that the expression "the city of the Damascenes" shows that the city was not under the control of Aretas, but was attacked by a Bedouin chieftain who lay in wait for Paul before the city. That to me seems forced. Josephus (Ant., XVIII, v, 3; vi, 3) at any rate is silent concerning the authority of Aretas over Damascus from 35-37 AD, but no coins or inscriptions show Roman rule over the city between 35 and 62 AD. Ramsay, however ("The Pauline Chronology," Pauline and Other Studies, 364), accepts the view of Marquardt (Romische Staatsalterth., I, 404 f) that it was possible for Aretas to have had possession of Damascus before 37 AD. The flight from Damascus is the same year as the visit to Jerusalem, Paul’s first after his conversion (Ac 9:26; Ga 1:18). If we knew the precise year of this event, we could subtract two or three years and reach the date of his conversion. Lightfoot in his Commentary on Ga gives 38 as the date of this first visit to Jerusalem, and 36 as the date of the conversion, taking "after 3 years" in a free way, but in his Biblical Essays, 221, he puts the visit in 37 and the conversion in 34, and says "‘ after 3 years’ must mean three whole years, or substantially so." Thus we miss a sure date again.

(3) The Death of Herod Agrippa I.

Here the point of contact between the Ac (12:1-4,19-23) and Josephus (Ant., XIX, viii) is beyond dispute, since both record and describe in somewhat similar vein the death of this king. Josephus says that at the time of his death he had already completed the 3rd year of his reign over the whole of Judea (Ant., XIX, viii, 2). He received this dignity soon after Claudius began to reign in 41 AD, so that makes the date 44 AD. He died after the Passover in that year (44), for Peter was imprisoned by him during that feast (Ac 12:3). But unfortunately Luke sandwiches the narrative about Herod Agrippa in between the visit of Barnabas and Saul to Jerusalem from Antioch (Ac 11:29 f) and their return to Antioch (Ac 12:25). He does not say that the events here recorded were exactly synchronous with this visit, for he says merely "about that time." We are allowed therefore to place this visit before 44 AD or after, just as the facts require. The mention of "elders" in Ac 11:30 instead of apostles (compare both in 15:4) may mean that the apostles are absent when the visit is made. After the death of James (Ac 12:1 f) and release of Peter we note that Peter "went to another place" (Ac 12:17). But the apostles are back again in Jerusalem in Ac 15:4 ff. Lightfoot (Biblical Essays, 216) therefore places the visit "at the end of 44, or in 45." Once more we slip the connection and fail to fix a firm date for Paul. It is disputed also whether this 2nd visit to Jerusalem according to Ac (9:26; 11:29 f) is the same as the "again" in Ga 2:1. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 59) identifies the visit in Ga 2:1 with that in Ac 11:29 f, but Lightfoot (Biblical Essays, 221) holds that it "must be identified with the third of the Acts" (15:4 ff). In Ga 1 and 2 Paul is not recording his visits to Jerusalem, but showing his independence of the apostles when he met them in Jerusalem. There is no proof that he saw the apostles on the occasion of the visit in Ac 11:29 f. The point of Lightfoot is well taken, hut we have no point of contact with the outside history for locating more precisely the date of the visit of Ga 2:1 and Ac 15:4 ff, except that it was after the first missionary tour of Ac 13 and 14.

(4) The First Missionary Tour.

Sergius Paulus is proconsul of Cyprus when Barnabas and Saul visit the island (Ac 13:7). The proconsul Paulus is mentioned in a Greek inscription of Soloi (Hogarth, Devia Cypria, 1889, 114) and Lucius Sergius Paulus in CIL, VI, 31, 545, but, as no mention of his being proconsul is here made, it is probably earlier than that time. The Soloi inscription bears the date 53 AD, but Sergius Paulus was not proconsul in 51 or 52. Hence, he may have been proconsul in 50 or the early part of 51 AD.It could not be later and may have been earlier.

(5) The First Visit to Corinth.

The point to note here is that Gallio becomes proconsul of Achaia (Ac 18:12). Paul has been apparently in Corinth a year and six months when Gallio appears on the scene (Ac 18:11). Aquila and Priscilla had "lately come from Italy" (Ac 18:2) when Paul arrived there. They had been expelled from Rome by the emperor Claudius (Ac 18:2). On the arrival of Gallio the Jews at once accuse Paul before him; he refuses to interfere, and Paul stays on for a while and then leaves for Syria with Aquila and Priscilla (Ac 18:18). Deissmann (St. Paul, Appendix, I, "The Proconsulate of L. Junius Gallio") has shown beyond reasonable doubt that Gallio, the brother of Seneca, became proconsul of Achaia about July, 51 AD (or possibly 52). On a stone found at Delphi, Gallio is mentioned as proconsul of Achaia according to the probable restoration of part of the text. But the stone mentions the fact that Claudius had been acclaimed imperator 26 times. By means of another inscription we get the 27th proclamation as imperator in connection with the dedication of an aqueduct on August 1, 52 AD. So thus the 26th time is before this date, some time in the earlier part of the year. We need not follow in detail the turns of the argument (see Deissmann, op. cit.). Once more we do not get a certain date as to the year. It is either. the summer of 51 or 52 AD, when Gallio comes. And Paul has already been in Corinth a year and a half. But the terminus ad quem for the close of Paul’s two years’ stay in Corinth would be the early autumn of 52 AD, and more probably 51 AD. Hence, the 2 Thessalonian Epistles cannot be later than this date. Before the close of 52 AD, and probably 51, therefore must come the 2nd missionary tour, the conference at Jerusalem, the first missionary tour, etc. Deissmann is justified in his enthusiasm on this point. He is positive that 51 AD is the date of the arrival of Gallio.

(6) Paul at Troas according to Ac 20:6 f.

On this occasion Luke gives the days and the time of year (Passover). Ramsay figures (St. Paul the Traveler, 289 f) that Paul had his closing service at Troas on Sunday evening and the party left early Monday morning. Hence, he argues back to the Passover at Philippi and concludes that the days as given by Luke will not fit into 56, 58, or 59 AD, but will suit 57. If he is correct in this matter, then we should have a definite year for the last trip to Jerusalem. Lewin (Fasti Sacri, numbers 1856, 1857) reaches the same conclusion. The conclusion is logical if Luke is exact in his use of days in this passage. Yet Lightfoot insists on 58 AD but Ramsay has the advantage on this point. See Pauline and Other Studies, 352 f.

(7) Festus Succeeding Felix.

When was Felix recalled? He was appointed procurator in 52 AD (Schurer, Jewish People in the Time of Christ, I, ii, 174). He was already ruler "many years" (Ac 24:10) when Paul appears before him in Caesarea. He holds on "two years" when he is succeeded by Festus (Ac 24:27). But in the Chronicle of Eusebius (Armenian text) it is stated that the recall of Felix took place in the last year of Claudius, or 54 AD. But this is clearly an error, in spite of the support given to it by Harnack (Chronologie d. Paulus), since Josephus puts most of the rule of Felix in the reign of Nero (Ant., XX, viii, 1-9; BJ, II, xii, 8-14), not to mention the "many years" of Paul in Ac 24:10. But the error of Eusebius has now been explained by Erbes in his Todestage Pauli und Petri, and is made perfectly clear by Ramsay in Pauline and Other Studies, 349 ff. Eusebius over-looked the interregnum of 6 years between the death of Herod Agrippa I in 44 AD and the first year of Herod Agrippa II in 50 AD. Eusebius learned that Festus came in the 10th year of Herod Agrippa II. Counting from 50 AD, that gives us 59 AD as the date of the recall of Felix. This date harmonizes with all the known facts. "The great majority of scholars accept the date 60 for Festus; but they confess that it is only an approximate date, and there is no decisive argument for it" (Ramsay, Pauline and Other Studies, 351). For minute discussion of the old arguments see Nash, article "Paul" in new Sch-Herz Enc; Schurer, Hist of the Jewish People, I, ii, 182 ff. But if Erbes and Ramsay are correct, we have at last a date that will stand. So then Paul sails for Rome in the late summer of 59 AD and arrives at his destination in the early spring ("had wintered," Ac 28:11) of 60 AD. He had been "two whole years in his own hired dwelling" (Ac 28:30) when Luke closes the Acts. On the basis of his release in 63 or early 64 and the journeyings of the Pastoral Epistles, Paul’s death would come by early summer of 68 before Nero’s death, and possibly in 67. On this point see later. We can now count back from 59 AD with reasonable clearness to 57 as the date of Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem. Paul spent at least a year and three months (Ac 19:8,10) in Ephesus (called in round numbers three years in Ac 20:31). It took a year for him to reach Jerusalem, from Pentecost (1Co 16:8) to Pentecost (Ac 20:16). From the spring of 57 AD we thus get back to the end of 53 as the time of his arrival in Ephesus (Ac 19:1). We have seen that Gallio came to Corinth in the summer of 51 AD (or 52), after Paul had been there a year and a half (Ac 18:11), leaving ample time in either case for the journeys from Corinth to Ephesus, to Caesarea, to Jerusalem apparently (Ac 18:21 f), and to Ephesus (Ac 19:1) from the summer of 51 (or 52) we go back two years to the beginning of the 2nd missionary tour (Ac 16:1-6) as 49 (or 50). The Jerusalem Conference was probably in the same year, and the first missionary tour would come in the two (or three) preceding years 47 and 48 (48-49). The stay at Antioch (Ac 14:28) may have been of some length. So we come back to the end of 44 or beginning of 45 for the visit to Jerusalem in Ac 11:29 f. Before that comes the year in Antioch with Barnabas (11:26), the years in Tarsus in Cilicia, the "three years" after the conversion spent mostly in Arabia (Ga 1:17 f), Paul’s first appearance at the death of Stephen (Ac 7:58). These early dates are more conjectural, but even so the facts seem to indicate 35 AD as the probable year of Saul’s conversion. The year of his birth would then be between 1 and 5 AD, probably nearer 1. If so, and if his death was in 67 or 68 AD, his age is well indicated. He was "Paul the Aged" (Phm 1:9) when he wrote to Philemon from Rome in 61-63 AD.


IV. His Equipment.

Ramsay chooses as the title of chapter ii, in his Paul the Traveler, the words "The Origin of Paul." It is not possible to explain the work and teaching of Paul without a just conception of the forces that entered into his life. Paul himself is still woefully misunderstood by some. Thus, A. Meyer (Jesus or Paul, 1909, 119) says: "In spite of all that has been said, there is no doubt that Paul, with his peculiar personality, with his tendency to recondite Gnostic speculation and rabbinic argument, has heavily encumbered the cause of Christianity. For many simple souls, and for many natures that are otherwise constituted than himself, he has barred the way to the simple Christianity of Jesus." That is a serious charge against the man who claimed to have done more than all the other apostles, and rightly, so far as we can tell (1Co 15:10), and who claimed that his interpretation of Jesus was the only true one (Ga 1:7-9). Moffatt (Paul and Paulinism, 1910, 70) minimizes the effect of Paulinism: "The majority of Paul’s distinctive conceptions were either misunderstood, or dropped, or modified, as the case might be, in the course of a few decades." "Paulinism as a whole stood almost as far apart from the Christianity that followed it as from that which preceded it" (ibid., 73). "The aim of some scholars seems to be to rob every great thinker of his originality" (Garvie, Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 1). Ramsay (Pauline and Other Studies, 3 ff) boldly challenges the modern prejudice of some scholars against Paul by asking, "Shall we hear evidence or not?" Every successive age must study afresh the life and work of Paul (ibid., 27) if it would understand him. Deissmann (St. Paul, 3 f) rightly sees that "St. Paul is spiritually the great power of the apostolic age." Hence, "the historian, surveying the beginnings of Christianity, sees Paul as first after Jesus." Feine (Jesus Christus und Paulus, 1902, 298) claims that Paul grasped the essence of the ministry of Christ "auf das tiefste." I own myself a victim to "the charm of Paul," to use Ramsay’s phrase (Pauline and Other Studies, 27). In seeking to study "the shaping influences" in Paul’s career (Alexander, The Ethics of Paul, 1910, 27), we shall be in error if we seek to explain everything by heredity and environment and if we deny any influence from these sources. He is what he is because of original endowments, the world of his day, and his experience of Christ Jesus. He had both essential and accidental factors in his equipment (Fairbairn, Studies in Religion and Theology, 1910, 469 f). Let us note the chief factors in his religious development.

1. The City of Tarsus:

Geography plays an important part in any life. John the Baptist spent his boyhood in the hill country of Judea in a small town (Lu 1:39) and then in the wilderness. Jesus spent His boyhood in the town of Nazareth and the country round. Both John and Jesus show fondness for Nature in all its forms. Paul grew up in a great city and spent his life in the great cities of the Roman empire. He makes little use of the beauties of Nature, but he has a keen knowledge of men (compare Robertson, Epochs in the Life of Paul, 12). Paul was proud of his great city (Ac 21:39). He was not merely a resident, but a "citizen" of this distinguished city. This fact shows that Paul’s family had not just emigrated from Judea to Tarsus a few years before his birth, but had been planted in Tarsus as part of a colony with full municipal rights (Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 31 f). Tarsus was the capital of Cilicia, then a part of the province of Syria, but it had the title of metropolis and was a free city, urbs libera (Pliny, NH, v.27). To the ancient Greek the city was his "fatherland" (Ramsay, Cities of Paul, 1908, 90). Tarsus was situated on the river Cydnus, and in a wide plain with the hill country behind and the snow-covered Taurus Mountains in the distance. It was subject to malaria. Ramsay (ibid., 117 ff) from Ge 10:4 f holds that the early inhabitants were Greeks mingled with Orientals. East and West flowed together here. It was a Roman town also with a Jewish colony (ibid., 169 ff), constituting a city tribe to which Paul’s family belonged. So then Tarsus was a typical city of the Greek-Roman civilization.

The religions of the times all met there in this great mart of business. But it was one of the great seats of culture also. Strabo (xiv.6,73) even says that "Tarsus surpassed all other universities, such as Alexandria and Athens, in the study of philosophy and educational literature in general." "Its great preeminence," he adds, "consists in this, that the men of learning here are all natives." Accordingly, he and others have made up a long list of distinguished men who flourished at Tarsus in the late autumn of Greek learning: philosophers—of the Academy, of the Epicurean and Stoic schools—poets, grammarians, physicians. At Tarsus, one might say, "you breathed the atmosphere of learning" (Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, 205). But Ramsay (Cities of Paul, 231 f) cautions us not to misunderstand Strabo. It was not even one of the three great universities of the world in point of equipment, fame, students from abroad, or general standing. It was not on a paragraph with Athens and Alexandria, except that "it was rich in what constitutes the true excellence and strength of a university, intense enthusiasm and desire for knowledge among the students and great ability and experience among some at least of the teachers" (ibid., 233). Strabo was very fond of Athenodorus, for instance. No students from abroad came to Tarsus, but they went from Tarsus elsewhere. But Philostratus represents Apollonius of Tyana as disgusted with the university and the town, and Dio Chrysostom describes Tarsus as an oriental and non-Hellenic town.

Ramsay speaks of Tarsus in the reign of Augustus as "the one example known in history of a state ruled by a university acting through its successive principals." "It is characteristic of the general tendency of university life in a prosperous and peaceful empire, that the rule of the Tarsian University was marked by a strong reaction toward oligarchy and a curtailment of democracy; that also belongs to the oriental spirit, which was so strong in the city. But the crowning glory of Tarsus, the reason for its undying interest to the whole world, is that it produced the apostle Paul; that it was the one city which was suited by its equipoise between the Asiatic and the Western spirit to mold the character of the great Hellenist Jew; and that it nourished in him a strong source of loyalty and patriotism as the citizen of no mean city" (Ramsay, op. cit., 235). The city gave him a schooling in his social, political, intellectual, moral, and religious life, but in varying degrees, as we shall see. It was because Tarsus was a cosmopolitan city with "an amalgamated society" that it possessed the peculiar suitability "to educate and mold the mind of him who would in due time make the religion of the Jewish race intelligible to the Greek-Roman world" (ibid., 88). As a citizen of Tarsus Paul was a citizen of the whole world.

2. Roman Citizenship:

It was no idle boast with Paul when he said, "But I am a Roman born" (Ac 22:28). The chief captain might well be "afraid when he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him" (Ac 22:29). Likewise the magistrates at Philippi "feared when they heard that they were Romans" (Ac 16:39), and promptly released Paul and Silas and "asked them to go away from the city." "To the Roman his citizenship was his passport in distant lands, his talisman in seasons of difficulties and danger. It shielded him alike from the caprice of municipal law and the injustice of local magistrates" (Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, 203). As a citizen of Rome, therefore, Paul stood above the common herd. He ranked with the aristocracy in any provincial town (Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 31). He would naturally have a kindly feeling for the Roman government in return for this high privilege and protection. In its pessimism the Roman empire had come to be the world’s hope, as seen in the Fourth Eclogue of Virgil (Ramsay, Cities of Paul, 49). Paul would seize upon the Roman empire as a fit symbol of the kingdom of heaven. "Our citizenship is in heaven" (Php 3:20); "Ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints" (Eph 2:19). So he interprets the church in terms of the body politic as well as in terms of the Israelite theocracy (Col 2:19). "All this shows the deep impression which the Roman institutions made on Paul" (Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, 205). Ramsay draws a striking parallel under the heading, "Paulinism in the Roman Empire" (Cities of Paul, 70 ff). "A universal Paulinism and a universal Empire must either coalesce, or the one must destroy the other." It was Paul’s knowledge of the Roman empire that gave him his imperialism and statesmanlike grasp of the problems of Christianity in relation to the Roman empire. Paul was a statesman of the highest type, as Ramsay has conclusively shown (Pauline and Other Studies, 49-100). Moffatt (Paul and Paulinism, 66) does say: "His perspective was not imperialistic," but he shows thereby a curious inability to understand Paul. The vision of Paul saw that the regeneration of the empire could come only through Christianity. Ramsay strikingly shows how the emperor dreaded the spiritual upheaval in Paulinism and fought it steadily till the time of Constantine, when "an official Christianity was victorious, but Pauline Christianity had perished, and Paul was now a mere saint, no longer Paul but Paul, forgotten as a man or a teacher, but remembered as a sort of revivification of the old pagan gods" (Cities of Paul, 78). But, as Ramsay says, "it was not dead; it was only waiting its opportunity; it revived when freedom of thought and freedom of life began to stir in Europe; and it guided and stimulated the Protestants of the Reformation." Suffer Ramsay once more (Pauline and Other Studies, 100): "Barbarism proved too powerful for the Greek-Roman civilization unaided by the new religious bond; and every channel through which that civilization was preserved or interest in it maintained, either is now or has been in some essential part of its course Christian after the Pauline form." Paul would show the Roman genius for organizing the churches established by him. Many of his churches would be in Roman colonies (Antioch in Pisidia, Philippi, Corinth, etc.). He would address his most studied epistle to the church in Rome, and Rome would be the goal of his ministry for many years (Findlay, HDB). He would show his conversance with Roman law, not "merely in knowing how to take advantage of his rights as a citizen, but also in the use of legal terms like "adoption" (Ga 4:5 f), where the adopted heir becomes son, and heir and son are interchangeable. This was the obsolete Roman law and the Greek law left in force in the provinces (compare Ga 3:15). But in Ro 8:16 f the actual revocable Roman law is referred to by which "heirship is now deduced from sonship, whereas in Ga sonship is deduced from heirship; for at Rome a son must be an heir, but an heir need not be a son (compare Heb 9:15 ff which presupposes Roman law and the revocability of a will)" (Maclean in 1-vol HDB). So in Ga 3:24 the tutor or pedagogue presents a Greek custom preserved by the Romans. This personal guardian of the child (often a slave) led him to school, and was not the guardian of the child’s property in Ga 4:2. See Ramsay, Gal, 337-93; Ball, Paul and the Roman Law, 1901, for further discussion. As a Roman, Paul would have "nomen and praenomen, probably taken from the Roman officer who gave his family civitas; but Luke, a Greek, had no interest in Roman names. Paulus, his cognomen, was not determined by his nomen; there is no reason to think he was an AEmilius" (Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 31). It is probable, though not certain, that Paul spoke Latin (see Souter, The Expositor, April, 1911). He was at any rate a "Roman gentleman" (Findlay, HDB), as is shown by the dignity of his bearing before governors and kings and the respect accorded him by the proconsul Sergius Paulus, the procurator Porcius Festus, and the centurion Julius, whose prisoner he was in the voyage to Rome. His father, as a Roman citizen, probably had some means which may have come to Paul before the appeal to Rome, which was expensive (Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 310 ff). Though a prisoner in Rome, he made Rome "his best vantage ground and his adoptive home," and it was here that he rose to "his loftiest conceptions of the nation and destiny of the universal church" (Findlay, HDB) as "an ambassador in chains" (Eph 6:20). As a Roman citizen, according to tradition, he was beheaded with the sword and not subjected to crucifixion, the traditional fate of Simon Peter. He saw the true pax Romana to be the peace that passeth all understanding (Php 4:7; compare Rostron, The Christology of Paul, 1912, 19).

3. Hellenism:

It is not possible "to specify all the influences that worked on Paul in his youth" (Ramsay, Cities of Paul, 79). We do not know all the life of the times. But he was subject to all that life in so far as any other Jewish youth was. "He was master of all the education and the opportunities of his time. He turned to his profit and to the advancement of his great purpose all the resources of civilization" (Ramsay, Pauline and Other Studies, 285). I heartily agree with this conception of Paul’s ability to assimilate the life of his time, but one must not be led astray so far as Schramm who, in 1710, wrote De stupenda eruditione Pauli ("On the Stupendous Erudition of Paul"). This is, of course, absurd, as Lightfoot shows (Biblical Essays, 206). But we must not forget Paul lived in a Greek city and possessed Greek citizenship also (Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 33). Certainly the Greek traits of adaptability, curiosity, alertness, the love of investigation were marked features of his character, and Tarsus afforded wide opportunity for the acquiring of these qualities (The Ethics of Paul, 39). He learned to speak the vernacular koine like a native and with the ease and swing displayed by no other New Testament writer save Luke and the author of He. He has a "poet’s mastery of language," though with the passion of a soul on fire, rather than with the artificial rules of the rhetoricians of the day (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 239 f). Blass (Die Rhythmen der asianischen und romischen Kunstprosa, 1905) holds that Paul wrote "rhythmically elaborated artistic prose—a singular instance of the great scholar’s having gone astray" (Deissmann, Light, etc., 64). But there is evidence that Paul was familiar with the use of the diatribe and other common rhetorical devices, though he was very far from being tinged with Atticism or Asianism. It is certain that Paul did not attend any of the schools of rhetoric and oratory. Heinrici (Vorrede to 1 Cor. in Meyer’s Krit. exeget. Komm.) argues that Paul’s methods and expressions conform more nearly to the cynic and Stoic diatribe than to the rabbinical dialectic; compare also Wendland und Kern Philo u. d. kynisch-stoische Diatribe, and Hicks, "St. Paul and Hellenism" in Stud. Biblical, IV. How extensive was his acquaintance with Greek literature is in doubt. Lightfoot says: "There is no ground for saying that Paul was a very erudite or highly-cultivated man. An obvious maxim of practical life from Menander (1Co 15:33), a religious sentiment of Cleanthes repeated by Aratus, himself a native of Tarsus (Ac 17:28), a pungent satire of Epimenides (Tit 1:12), with possibly a passage here and there which dimly reflects some classical writer, these are very slender grounds on which to build the supposition of vast learning" (Biblical Essays, 206); but Lightfoot admits that he obtained directly or indirectly from contact with Greek thought and learning lessons far wider and more useful for his work than a perfect style or a familiar acquaintance with the classical writers of antiquity. Even so, there is no reason to say that he made his few quotations from hearsay and read no Greek books (compare Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, 52). Certainly he knew the Greek Old Testament and the Jewish Apocrypha and apocalypses in Greek Garvie is only willing to admit that Paul had such knowledge of Greek literature and philosophy as any Jew, living among Greeks, might pick up (Life and Teaching of Paul, 2), and charges Ramsay with "overstating the influence of the Gentile environment on Paul’s development" (Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 8). Ramsay holds that it is quite "possible that the philosophical school at Tarsus had exercised more influence on Paul than is commonly allowed" (St. Paul the Traveler, 354). Tarsus was the home of Athenodorus. It was a stronghold of Stoic thought. "At least five of the most eminent teachers of that philosophy were in the university" (Alexander, Ethics of Paul, 47). It is not possible to say whether Paul artended these or any lectures at the university, though it is hard to conceive that a brilliant youth like Saul could grow up in Tarsus with no mental stimulus from such a university. Carvie (ibid., 6) asks when Paul could have studied at the university of Tarsus. He was probably too young before he went to Jerusalem to study under Gamaliel. But it is not probable that he remained in Jerusalem continuously after completing his studies till we see him at the death of Stephen (Ac 7:58). He may have returned to Tarsus meanwhile and taken such studies. Another possibility is that he took advantage of the years in Tarsus after his conversion (Ac 9:30; Ga 1:21) to equip himself better for his mission to the Gentiles to which he had been called. There is no real difficulty on the score of time. The world was saturated with Greek ideas, and Paul could not escape them. He could not escape it unless he was innocent of all culture. Ramsay sees in Paul a love of truth and reality "wholly inconceivable in a more narrow Hebrew, and wholly inexplicable without an education in Greek philosophy" ("St. Paul and Hellenism," Cities of Paul, 34). Paul exhibited a freedom and universalism that he found in the Greek thought of the time which was not so decayed as some think. For the discussion between Garvie and Ramsay see The Expositor, April and December, 1911. Pfleiderer (Urchristenthum, Vorwort, 174-178) finds a "double root" of Paulinism, a Christianized Hellenism and a Christianized Pharisaism. Harnack is more nearly correct in saying that "notwithstanding Paul’s Greek culture, his conception of Christianity is, in its deepest ground, independent of Hellenism." The Hellenistic influence on Paul was relative and subordinate (Wendland, Die hell.-rom. Kultur in ihren Beziehungen zu Judenthum und Christenthum, 3te Aufl, 1912, 245), but it was real, as Kohler shows (Zum Verstandnis des Apostels Paulus, 9). He had a "Gr inheritance" beyond a doubt, and it was not all unconscious or subliminal as Rostron argues (Christology of Paul, 17). It is true that in Athens the Stoics and Epicureans ridiculed Paul as a "picker up of learning’s crumbs"—Browning’s rendering (An Epistle) of spermologos. Paul shows a fine scorn of the sophistries and verbal refinements of the mere philosophers and orators in 1Co 1 and 2, but all the same he reveals a real apprehension of the true significance of knowledge and life. Dr. James Adam (The Religious Teachers of Greece, 360) shows instances of "the real kinship of thought between Plato and Paul." He does not undertake to say how it came about. He has a Platonic expression, ta dia tou somatos, in 2Co 5:10, and uses a Stoic and cynic word in 2Co 9:8, autarkeian. Indeed, there are so many similarities between Paul and Seneca in language and thought that some scholars actually predicate an acquaintance or dependence of the one on the other. It is far more likely that Paul and Seneca drew upon the common phrases of current Stoicism than that Seneca had seen Paul’s Epistles or knew him personally. Lightfoot has a classic discussion of the matter in his essay on "St. Paul and Seneca" in the Commentary on Php (see also Carr, "St. Paul’s Attitude to Greek Philosophy," The Expositor, V, ix). Alexander finds four Stoic ideas (Divine Immanence, Wisdom, Freedom, Brotherhood) taken and glorified by Paul to do service for Christ (Ethics of Paul, 49-55). Often Paul uses a Stoic phrase with a Christian content. Lightfoot boldly argues (Biblical Essays, 207) that the later Greek literature was a fitter handmaid for the diffusion of the gospel than the earlier.

Paul as the apostle to the Greek-Roman world had to "understand the bearings of the moral and religious life of Greece as expressed in her literature, and this lesson he could learn more impartially and more fully at Tarsus in the days of her decline than at Athens in the freshness of her glory" (same place). Ramsay waxes bold enough to discuss "the Pauline philosophy of history" (Cities of Paul, 10-13). I confess to sympathy with this notion and find it in all the Pauline Epistles, especially in Romans. Moffatt (Paul and Paulinism, 66) finds "a religious philosophy of history" in Ro 9-11, throbbing with strong personal emotion. Paul rose to the height of the true Christian philosopher, though not a technical philosopher of the schools. Deissmann (St. Paul, 53) admits his language assigns him "to an elevated class," and yet he insists that he wrote "large letters" (Ga 6:11) because he had "the clumsy, awkward writing of a workman’s hand deformed by toil" (p. 51). I cannot agree that here Deissmann understands Paul. He makes "the world of Paul" on too narrow a scale.

4. The Mystery-Religions:

Was Paul influenced by Mithraism? H.A.A. Kennedy has given the subject very careful and thorough treatment in a series of papers in The Expositor for 1912-13, already mentioned (see II, 5, above). His arguments are conclusive on the whole against the wild notions of W.B. Smith, Der vorchristliche Jesus; J.M. Robertson, Pagan Christs; A. Drews, Die Christus-Mythe; and Lublinski, Die Entstehung des Christenrums aus der antiken Kultur. A magic papyrus about 300 AD has "I adjure thee by the god of the Hebrew Jesu" (ll. 3019 f), but Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 256) refuses to believe this line genuine: "No Christian, still less a Jew, would have called Jesus ‘the god of the Hebrews.’ " Clemen (Primitive Christianity and Its non-Jewish Sources, 1912, 336) endorses this view of Deissmann and says that in the 1st century AD "one cannot speak of non-Jewish influences on Christology." One may dismiss at once the notion that Paul "deified" Jesus into a god and made Him Christ under the influence of pagan myths. Certainly pagan idolatry was forced upon Paul’s attention at every turn. It stirred his spirit at Athens to see the city full of idols (Ac 17:16), and he caught eagerly at the altar to an unknown god to give him an easy introduction to the true God (Ac 17:23); but no one can read Ro 1 and 2 and believe that Paul was carried away by the philosophy of vain deceit of his time. He does use the words "wisdom" and "mystery" often in 1 Corinthians, Colossians, and Ephesians, and in Php 4:12, "I (have) learned the secret," he uses a word employed in the mystic cults of the time. It is quite possible that Paul took up some of the phrases of these mystery-religions and gave them a richer content for his own purposes, as he did with some of the Gnostic phraseology (pleroma, "fullness," for instance). But Schweitzer (Paul and His Interpreters, 191 f) deals a fatal blow against the notion that the mystery-religions had a formative influence on Paul. He urges, with point, that it is only in the 2nd century that these cults became widely extended in the Roman empire. The dates and development are obscure, but it "is certain that Paul cannot have known the mystery-religions in the form in which they are known to us, because in this fully developed form they did not exist." Cumont (Lea religions orientales dana le paganisme romain, 2nd edition, 1909 (ET)) insists repeatedly on the difficulties in the way of assuming without proof that Mithraism had any influence on Paul. But in particular it is urged that Paul drew on the "mysteries" for his notions of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as having magical effects. Appeal is made to the magical use of the name of Jesus by the strolling Jewish exorcists in Ephesus (Ac 18:13 ). Kirsopp Lake (Earlier Epistles of Paul, 233) holds that at Corinth they all accepted Christianity as a mystery-religion and Jesus as "the Redeemer-God, who had passed through death to life, and offered participation in this new life to those who shared in the mysteries which He offered," namely, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But Kennedy (Expos, December, 1912, 548) easily shows how with Paul baptism and the Lord’s Supper are not magical sacraments producing new life, but symbolic pictures of death to sin and new life in Christ which the believer has already experienced. The battle is still raging on the subject of the mystery-religions, but it is safe to say that so far nothing more than illustrative material has been shown to be true of Paul’s teaching from this source.

There is nothing incongruous in the notion that Paul knew as much about the mystery-religions as he did about incipient Gnosticism. Indeed the two things may have been to some extent combined in some places. A passage in Col 2:18 has long bothered commentators: "dwelling in the things which he hath seen," or (margin) "taking his stand upon the things," etc. Westcott and Hort even suspected an early error in the text, but the same word, embateuo, has been found by Sir W.M. Ramsay as a result of investigations by Makridi Bey, of the Turkish Imperial Museum, in the sanctuary of Apollo at Claros, a town on the Ionian coast. Some of the initiates here record the fact and say that being "enquirers, having been initiated, they entered" (embateuo). The word is thus used of one who, having been initiated, enters into the life of the initiate (compare Independent, 1913, 376). Clearly, then, Paul uses the word in that sense in Col 2:18.

For further discussion see Jacoby, Die antiken Mysterienreligionen und das Christentum; Glover, Conflict of Religions in the Early Roman Empire; Reitzenstein, Die hell. Mysterienreligionen; Friedlander, Roman Life and Manners under the Early Empire, III; Thorburn, Jesus Christ, Historical or Mythical.

M. Bruckner (Der sterbende und auferstehende Gottheiland in den orientalischen Religionen und ihr Verhaltnis zum Christentum, 1908) says: "As in Christianity, so in many oriental religions, a belief in the death and resurrection of a Redeemer-God (sometimes as His Son), occupied a central place in the worship and cult." To this Schweitzer (Paul and His Interpreters, 193) replies: "What manipulations the myths and rites of the cults in question must have undergone before this general statement could become possible! Where is there anything about dying and resurrection in Mithra?" There we may leave the matter. 5. Judaism:

Paul was Greek and Roman, but not "pan-Babylonian," though he was keenly alive to all the winds of doctrine that blew about him, as we see in Colossians, Ephesians, and the Pastoral Epistles. But he was most of all the Jew, that is, before his conversion. He remained a Jew, even though he learned how to be all things to all men (1Co 9:22). Even though glorying in his mission as apostle to the Gentiles (Eph 3:8), he yet always put the Jew first in opportunity and peril (Ro 2:9 f). He loved the Jews almost to the point of death (Ro 9:3). He was proud of his Jewish lineage and boasted of it (2Co 11:16-22; Ac 22:3 ff; 26:4 ff; Php 3:4-6). "His religious patriotism flickered up within his Christianity" (Moffatt, Paul and Paulinism, 66). Had he not been a Roman citizen with some Greek culture and his rich endowments of mind, he would probably not have been the "chosen vessel" for the work of Christ among the Gentiles (Garvie, Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 15). Had he not been the thorough Jew, he could not have mediated Christianity from Jew to Greek. "In the mind of Paul a universalized Hellenism coalesced with a universalized Hebraism" (Ramsay, Cities of Paul, 43). Ramsay strongly opposes the notion of Harhack and others that Paul can be understood "as purely a Hebrew." So in Paul both Hebraism and Hellenism meet though Hebraism is the main stock. He is a Jew in the Greek-Roman world and a part of it, not a mere spectator. He is the Hellenistic Jew, not the Aramaic Jew of Palestine (compare Simon Peter’s vision on the house-top at Joppa, for instance). But Paul is not a Hellenizing Jew after the fashion of Jason and Menelaus in the beginning of the Maccabean conflict. Findlay (HDB) tersely says: "The Jew in him was the foundation of everything that Paul became." But it was not the narrowest type of Judaism in spite of his persecution of the Christians. He belonged to the Judaism of the Dispersion. As a Roman citizen in a Greek city he had departed from the narrowest lines of his people (Ramsay, Cities of Paul, 47). His Judaism was pure, in fact, as he gives it to us in Php 3:5. He was a Jew of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Hebrew, of the seed of Abraham (2Co 11:22). He shared in full all the covenant blessings and privileges of his people (Ro 9:1-5), whose crowning glory was, that of them came Jesus the Messiah. He was proud of the piety of his ancestors (2Ti 1:3), and made progress as a student of Judaism ahead of his fellows (Ga 1:14). His ancestry was pure, Hebrew of the Hebrews. (Php 3:5), and so his family preserved the native Palestinian traditions in Tarsus. His name Saul was a proof of loyalty to the tribe of Benjamin as his cognomen Paul was evidence of his Roman citizenship. In his home he would be taught the law by his mother (compare Ga 1:14), as was true of Timothy’s mother and grandmother (2Ti 1:5). In Tarsus he would go to the synagogue also. We know little of his father, save that he was a Roman citizen and so a man of position in Tarsus and possibly of some wealth; that he was a tent-maker and taught his son the same trade, as all Jewish fathers did, whatever their rank in life; that he was a Pharisee and brought up his son as a Pharisee (Ac 23:6), and that he sent the young Saul to Jerusalem to study at the feet of Gamaliel (Ac 22:3). Paul always considered himself a Pharisee as distinct from the Sadducaic scepticism (Ac 23:6). Many of the Pharisaic doctrines were identical with those of Christianity. That Paul did not consider himself a Pharisee in all respects is shown later by his conflict with the Judaizers (Ga 2; Ac 15; 2Co 10-13). Paul says that he was reared as a strict Pharisee (Ac 26:5), though the school of Gamaliel (grandson of Hillel) was not so hard and narrow as that of Shammai. But all Pharisees were stricter than the Sadducees. So Jerusalem played an important part in the training of Saul (Ac 22:3), as Paul recognized. He was known in Jerusalem as a student. He knew Aramaic as well as Greek (and Latin), and could speak in it so as to attract the attention of a Jewish audience (Ac 22:2). Paul was fortunate in his great teacher Gamaliel, who was liberal enough to encourage the study of Greek literature. But his liberality in defending the apostles against the Sadducees in Ac 5:34-39 must not be misinterpreted in comparison with the persecuting zeal of his brilliant pupil against Stephen (7:58). Stephen had opened war on the Pharisees themselves, and there is no evidence that Gamaliel made a defense of Stephen against the lawless rage of the Sanhedrin. It is common for pupils to go farther than their teachers, but Gamaliel did not come to the rescue. Still Gamaliel helped Saul, who was undoubtedly his most brilliant pupil and probably the hope of his heart for the future of Judaism. Harnack (History of Dogma, I, 94) says: "Pharisaism had fulfilled its mission in the world when it produced this man." Unfortunately, Pharisaism did not die; in truth has never died, not even from Christianity. But young Saul was the crowning glory of Pharisaism. An effort has recently been made to restore Pharisaism to its former dignity. Herford (Pharisaism, Its Aim and Method, 1912) undertakes to show that the Gospels have slandered Pharisaism, that it was the one hope of the ancient world, etc. He has a chapter on "Pharisaism and Paul," in which he claims that Paul has not attacked the real Pharisaism, but has aimed his blows at an unreal creation of his own brain (p. 222). But, if Paul did not understand Pharisaism, he did not understand anything. He knew not merely the Old Testament in the Hebrew and the Septuagint translation, for he quotes from both, though usually from the Septuagint, but he also knew the Jewish Apocrypha and apocalypses, as is shown in various ways in his writings (see articles on these subjects). Schweitzer (Paul and His Interpreters) carries too far his idea that Paul and Jesus merely moved in the circle of Jewish eschatology. He makes it explain everything, and that it cannot do. But Paul does show acquaintance with some of these books. See Kennedy, Paul’s Conception of the Last Things (1904), for a sane and adequate discussion of this phase of the subject. Pfleiderer pursues the subject in his Paulinism, as does Kabisch in his Eschatologie. So Sanday and Headlam use this source in their Commentary on Romans. Paul knew Wisd, also, a book from the Jewish-Alexandrian theology with a tinge of Greek philosophy (see Goodrick, Book of Wisd, 398-403; compare also Jowett’s essay on "St. Paul and Philo" in his Epistles of Paul). Paul knew how to use allegory (Ga 4:24) in accord with the method of Philo. So then he knew how to use the Stoic diatribe, the rabbinical diatribe and the Alexandrian allegory. "In his cosmology, angelology, and demonology, as well as eschatology, he remains essentially Jewish" (Garvie, Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 17). When he becomes a Christian he will change many of his views, for Christ must become central in his thinking, but his method learned in the rabbinical schools remains with him (Kohler, Zum Verstandnis, etc., 7). Here, then, is a man with a wonderfully rounded culture. What of his mental gifts?

6. Personal Characteristics:

Much as we can learn about the times of Paul (compare Selden, In the Time of Paul, 1900, for a brief sketch of Paul’s world), we know something of the political structure of the Roman world, the social life of the 1st century AD, the religious condition of the age, the moral standards of the time, the intellectual tendencies of the period. New discoveries continue to throw fresh light on the life of the middle and lower classes among whom Paul chiefly labored. And, if Deissmann in his brilliant study (St. Paul, A Study in Social and Religious History) has pressed too far the notion that Paul the tent-maker ranks not with Origen, but with Amos the herdman (p. 6, on p. 52 he calls it a mistake "to speak of Paul the artisan as a proletarian in the sense which the word usually bears with us"), yet he is right in insisting that Paul is "a religious genius" and "a hero of piety" (p. 6). It is not possible to explain the personality and work of a man like Paul by his past and to refer with precision this or that trait to his Jewish or Greek training (Alexander, Ethics of Paul, 58). "We must allow something to his native originality" (same place) . We are all in a sense the children of the past, but some men have much more the power of initiative than others. Paul is not mere "eclectic patchwork" (Bruce, Paul’s Conception of Christ, 218). Even if Paul was acquainted with Philo, which is not certain, that fact by no means explains his use of Philo, the representative Jew of the Hellenistic age. "Both are Jews of the Dispersion, city-dwellers, with marked cosmopolitan traits. Both live and move in the Septuagint Bible. Both are capable of ecstatic and mystical experiences, and have many points of contact in detail. And yet they stand in very strong contrast to one another, a contrast which reminds us of the opposition between Seneca and Paul. .... Philo is a philosopher, Paul the fool pours out the vials of his irony upon the wisdom of the world" (Deissmann, Paul, 110). Deissmann, indeed, cares most for "the living man, Paul, whom we hear speaking and see gesticulating, here playful, gentle as a father, and tenderly coaxing, so as to win the hearts of the infatuated children—there thundering and lightning with the passionate wrath of a Luther, with cutting irony and bitter sarcasm on his lips" (ibid., 16 f).

(1) Personal Appearance.

We have no reliable description of Paul’s stature and looks. The Ac of Paul and Thecla (section3) have a protraiture thus: "Baldheaded, bowlegged, strongly built, a man small in size, with meeting eyebrows, with a rather large nose, full of grace, for at times he looked like a man and at times he had the face of an angel," and Ramsay (Church in the Roman Empire, 32) adds: "This plain and unflattering account of the apostle’s personal appearance seems to embody a very early tradition," and in chapter xvi he argues that this story goes back to a document of the 1st century. We may not agree with all the details, but in some respects it harmonizes with what we gather from Paul’s Epistles Findlay (HDB) notes that this description is confirmed by "the lifelike and unconventional figure of the Roman ivory diptych, ‘supposed to date not later than the 4th century.’ "( Lewin’s Life and Epistles of Paul, Frontispiece, and II, 211). At Lystra the natives took Barnabas for Jupiter and Paul for Hermes, "because he was the chief speaker" (Ac 14:12), showing that Barnabas had the more impressive appearance, while Paul was his spokesman. In Malta the natives changed their minds in the opposite direction, first thinking Paul a murderer and then a god because he did not die from the bite of the serpent (Ac 28:4-6). His enemies at Corinth sneered at the weakness of his bodily presence in contrast to the strength of his letters (2Co 10:9 f). The attack was really on the courage of Paul, and he claimed equal boldness when present (2Co 10:11 f), but there was probably also a reflection on the insignificance of his physique. The terrible bodily sufferings which he underwent (2Co 11:23-26) left physical marks (stigmata, Ga 6:17) that may have disfigured him to some extent. Once his illness made him a trial to the Galatians to whom he preached, but they did not scorn him (Ga 4:14). He felt the frailty of his body as an earthen vessel (2Co 4:7) and as a tabernacle in which he groaned (2Co 5:4). But the effect of all this weakness was to give him a fresh sense of dependence on Christ and a new influx of divine power (2Co 11:30; 12:9). But even if Paul was unprepossessing in appearance and weakened by illness, whether ophthalmia, which is so common in the East (Ga 4:15), or malaria, or recurrent headache, or epilepsy, he must have had a tough constitution to have endured such hardship to a good old age. He had one infirmity in particular that came upon him at Tarsus (2Co 12:1-9) in connection with the visions and revelations of the Lord then granted him. The affliction seems to have been physical (skolops te sarki, "a stake in the flesh" or "for the flesh"), and it continued with him thereafter as a messenger of Satan to buffet Paul and to keep him humble. Some think that this messenger of Satan was a demon that haunted Paul in his nervous state. Others hold it to be epilepsy or some form of hysteria superinduced by the visions and revelations which he had had. Compare Krenkel, Beitrage (pp. 47-125), who argues that the ancients looked with such dread on epilepsy that those who beheld such attacks would "spit out so as to escape the evil (compare modern knocking on wood"); compare qui sputatur morbus in Plautus (Captivi, iii.4, 17). Reference is made to Ga 4:14, oude exeptusate, "nor did ye spit out," as showing that this was the affliction of Paul in Galatia. But epilepsy often affects the mind, and Paul shows no sign of mental weakness, though his enemies charged him with insanity (Ac 26:24; 2Co 5:13; 12:11). It is urged in reply that Julius Caesar, Alfred the Great, Peter the Great, and Napoleon all had epilepsy without loss of mental force. It is difficult to think headache or malaria could have excited the disgust indicated in Ga 4:14, where some trouble with the eyes seems to be indicated. The ministers of Satan (2Co 11:15) do not meet the requirements of the case, nor mere spiritual sins (Luther), nor struggle with lust (Roman Catholic, stimulus carnis). Garvie (Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 65, 80) thinks it not unlikely that "it was the recurrence of an old violent temptation," rather than mere bodily disease. "Can there be any doubt that this form of temptation is more likely to assail the man of intense emotion and intense affection, as Paul was?" But enough of what can never be settled. "St. Paul’s own scanty hints admonish to caution" (Deissmann, Paul, 63). It is a blessing for us not to know, since we can all cherish a close bond with Paul. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 37 ff) calls special attention to the look of Paul. He "fastened his eyes on" the man (Ac 13:9; 14:9). He argues that Paul had a penetrating, powerful gaze, and hence, no eye trouble. He calls attention also to gestures of Paul (Ac 20:24; 26:2). There were artists in marble and color at the court of Caesar, but no one of them cared to preserve a likeness of the poor itinerant preacher who turned out to be the chief man of the age (Deissmann, Paul, 58). "We are like the Christians of Colesage and Laodicea, who had not seen his face in the flesh" (Col 2:1).

(2) Natural Endowments.

In respect to his natural endowments we can do much better, for his epistles reveal the mind and soul of the man. He is difficult to comprehend, not because he conceals himself, but because he reveals so much of himself in his epistles. He seems to some a man of contradictions. He had a many-sided nature, and his very humanness is in one sense the greatest thing about him. There are "great polar contradictions" in his nature. Deissmann (St. Paul, 62 ff) notes his ailing body and his tremendous powers for work, his humility and his self-confidence, his periods of depression and of intoxication with victory, his tenderness and his sternness; he was ardently loved and furiously hated; he was an ancient man of his time, but he is cosmopolitan and modern enough for today. Findlay (HBD) adds that he was a man possessed of dialectical power and religious inspiration. He was keenly intellectual and profoundly mystical (compare Campbell, Paul the Mystic, 1907). He was a theologian and a man of affairs. He was a man of vision with a supreme task to which he held himself. He was a scholar, a sage, a statesman, a seer, a saint (Garvie, Studies in Paul and His Gospel, 68-84). He was a man of heart, of passion, of imagination, of sensibility, of will, of courage, of sincerity, of vivacity, of subtlety, of humor, of adroitness, of tact, of genius for organization, of power for command, of gift of expression, of leadership—"All these qualities and powers went to the making of Jesus Christ’s apostle to the nations, the master-builder of the universal church and of Christian theology" (Findlay, HDB; see Lock, Paul the Master Builder, 1905; and M. Jones, Paul the Orator, 1910).

I cannot agree with Garvie’s charge of cowardice (Life and Teaching of Paul, 173,) in the matter of the purifying rites (Ac 21:23) and the dividing of the Sanhedrin (Ac 23:6). The one was a mere matter of prudence in a nonessential detail, the other was justifiable skill in resisting the attack of unscrupulous enemies. One does not understand Paul who does not understand his emotional nature. He was "quick, impetuous, strenuous, impassioned" (Bevan, Paul in the Light of Today, 1912, 26). His heart throbs through his epistles, and he loves his converts like a mother or a lover (Findlay, HDB) rather than a pastor. We feel the surging emotion of his great spirit in 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, Philippians, 2 Timothy in particular. He had the spiritual temperament and reaches his highest flights in his moments of rhapsody. He has elasticity and rebound of spirit, and comes up with the joy of victory in Christ out of the severest trials and disappointments. His ambition is great, but it is to serve Christ his Lord. He is a man of faith and a man of prayer. For him to live is Christ. He has a genius for friendship and binds men to him with hooks of steel—men like Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, Titus (Speer, The Man Paul, 1900, 111 ff). He is not afraid to oppose his friends when it is necessary for the sake of truth, as with Peter (Ga 2:11 ) and with Barnabas (Ac 15:35 )." While God made Paul like the other apostles out of the clay whereof ordinary men are fashioned, yet we may say that He took extraordinary pains with his education" (Fairbairn, Studies in Religion and Theology, 471). If ever a man, full-blooded and open-eyed, walked the earth, it was Paul. It is a debatable question whether Paul was married or not. He certainly was not when he wrote (1Co 7:7; 9:5). But, if he was a member of the Sanhedrin when he cast his vote against the disciples (Ac 26:10), as his language naturally means, then he had been married.

There is in Paul the gift of leadership in a marked degree. He, though young, is already at the head of the opposition to Stephen (Ac 7:58), and soon drives the disciples out of Jerusalem.

(3) Supernatural gifts.

He had his share of them. He had all the gifts that others could boast of at Corinth, and which he lightly esteemed except that of prophecy (1Co 14:18-29). He had his visions and revelations, but would not tell what he had seen (2Co 12:1-9). He did the signs of an apostle (2Co 12:12-14). He had the power to work miracles (1Co 4:19-21) and to exercise discipline (1Co 5:4 f; 2Co 13:1-3). But what he cared for most of all was the fact that Jesus had appeared to him on the road to Damascus and had called him to the work of preaching to the Gentiles (1Co 15:8).

7. Conversion:

No other element in the equipment of Paul is comparable in importance to his conversion.

(1) Preparation.

It was sudden, and yet God had led Saul to the state of mind when it could more easily happen. True, Saul was engaged in the very act of persecuting the believers in Jerusalem. His mind was flushed with the sense of victory. He was not conscious of any lingering doubts about the truth of his position and the justice of his conduct till Jesus abruptly told him that it was hard for him to kick against the goad (Ac 26:14). Thus suddenly brought to bay, the real truth would flash upon his mind. In later years he tells how he had struggled in vain against the curse of the Law (Ro 7:7 f). It is probable though not certain, that Paul here has in mind his experience before his conversion, though the latter part of the chapter may refer to a period later. There is difficulty in either view as to the "body of this death" that made him so wretched (Ro 7:24). The Christian keeps up the fight against sin in spite of defeat (Ro 7:23), but he does not feel that he is "carnal, sold under sin" (Ro 7:14). But when before his conversion did Paul have such intensity of conviction? We can only leave the problem unanswered. His reference to it at least harmonizes with what Jesus said about the goad. The words and death of Stephen and the other disciples may have left a deeper mark than he knew. The question might arise whether after all the Nazarenes were right. His plea for his conduct made in later years was that he was conscientious (Ac 26:9) and that he did it ignorantly in unbelief (1Ti 1:13). He was not willfully sinning against the full light as he saw it. It will not do to say with Holsten that Saul was half convinced to join the disciples, and only needed a jolt to turn him over. He was "yet breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord" (Ac 9:1), and went to the high priest and asked for letters to Damascus demanding the arrest of the disciples there. His temper on the whole is distinctly hostile to Christ, and the struggle against his course was in the subconscious mind. There a volcano had gathered ready to burst out.

It is proper to ask whether Paul had known Jesus in the flesh, but it is not easy to give a categorical reply. It is possible, though hardly likely, that Paul had come to Jerusalem to study when Jesus as a boy of 12 visited the temple, and so heard Jesus and the doctors. That could be true only in case Paul was born 5 or 6 BC, which is quite unlikely. It is possible again that Paul may have remained in Jerusalem after his graduation the school of Gamaliel and so was present in Jerusalem at the trial and death of Jesus. Some of the ablest of modern scholars hold that Paul knew Jesus in the flesh. It will at once seem strange that we have no express statement to this effect in the letters of Paul, when he shows undoubted knowledge of various events in the life of Christ (compare Wynne, Fragmentary Records of Jesus of Nazareth, 1887). It is almost certain, as J. Weiss admits (Paul and Jesus, 41), that in 1Co 9:1 Paul refers to the Risen Jesus. The passage in 2Co 5:16 is argued both ways: "Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh: even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more." J. Weiss (ibid., 41-55) argues strongly for the view that he knew Jesus in the flesh. But in the first clause of the sentence above Paul means by "after the flesh," not acquaintance, but standpoint. It is natural to take it in the same way as applied to Christ. He has changed his viewpoint of Christ and so of all men. Weiss pleads (ibid., p. 40), at any rate, that we have no word saying that "Paul had not seen Jesus in person." It may be said in reply that the fact that Jesus has to tell Paul who He is (Ac 9:5) shows that Paul did not have personal acquaintance with Him. But the question may be left in abeyance as not vitally important. He certainly had not understood Jesus, if he knew Him.

(2) Experience.

Space does not, permit a discussion of this great event of Paul’s conversion at all commensurate with its significance. A literature of importance has grown up around it besides the lengthy discussions in the lives and theologies of Paul (see e.g. Lord Lyttleton’s famous Observations on Saul’s Conversion, 1774; Fletcher’s A Study of the Conversion of Paul, 1910; Gardner, The Religious Experience of Paul, 1911; Maggs, The Spiritual Experience of Paul). All sorts of theories have been advanced to explain on naturalistic grounds this great experience of Christ in the life of Paul. It has been urged that Paul had an epileptic fit, that he had a sunstroke, that he fell off his horse to the ground, that he had a nightmare, that he was blinded by a flash of lightning, that he imagined that he saw Jesus as a result of his highly wrought nervous state, that he deliberately renounced Judaism because of the growing conviction that the disciples were right. But none of these explanations explains. Mere prejudice against the supernatural, such as is shown by Weinel in his Paulus, and by Holsten in his able book (Zum Evangelium d. Paulus und Petrus), cannot solve this problem. One must be willing to hear the evidence. There were witnesses of the bright light (Ac 26:13) and of the sound (Ac 9:7) which only Paul understood (Ac 22:9), as he alone beheld Jesus. It is claimed by some that Paul had a trance or subjective vision, and did not see Jesus with his eyes. Denney (Standard Bible Dictionary) replies that it is not a pertinent objection. Jesus (Joh 21:1) "manifested" Himself, and Paul says that he "saw" Jesus (1Co 9:1), that Jesus "appeared" (1Co 15:8) to him. Hence, it was both subjective and objective. But the reality of the event was as clear to Paul as his own existence. The account is given 3 times in Ac (chapters 9; 22; 26) in substantial agreement, with a few varying details. In Ac 9 the historical narrative occurs, in Ac 22 Paul’s defense before the mob in Jerusalem is given, and in Ac 26 we have the apology before Agrippa. There are no contradictions of moment, save that in chapter 26 Jesus Himself is represented as giving directly to Paul the call to the Gentiles while in chapters 9 and 22 it is conveyed through Ananias (the fuller and more accurate account). There is no need to notice the apparent contradiction between Ac 9:7 and 22:9, for the difference in case in the Greek gives a difference in sense, hearing the sound, with the genitive, and not understanding the sense, with the accusative. Findlay (HBD) remarks that the conversion of Paul is a psychological and ethical problem which cannot be accounted for save by Paul’s own interpretation of the change wrought in him. He saw Jesus and surrendered to Him.

(3) Effect on Paul.

His surrender to Jesus was instantaneous and complete: "What shall I do, Lord?" (Ac 22:10). He could not see for the glory of that light (Ac 22:11), but he had already seen "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2Co 4:6). The god of this world could blind him no longer. He had seen Jesus, and all else had lost charm for Paul. There is infinite pathos in the picture of the blind Saul led by the hand (Ac 9:8) into Damascus. All the pride of power is gone, all the lust for vengeance. The fierceness of the name of Saul is well shown in the dread that Ananias has and the protest that he makes to the Lord concerning him (Ac 9:10-14). Ananias doubtless thought that the Lord had made a strange choice of a vessel to bear the message of Christ to the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel (Ac 9:15), but there was hope in the promise of chastisement to him (Ac 9:16). So he went, and calls him "Brother Saul." Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit, the scales fell from his eyes, he was baptized. And now what next? What did the world hold in store for the proud scion of Judaism who had renounced power, place, pride for the lowly Nazarene? He dared not go back to Jerusalem. The Jews in Damascus would have none of him now. Would the disciples receive him? They did. "And he was certain days with the disciples that were at Damascus" (Ac 9:19). Ananias vouched for him by his vision. Then Saul took his courage in his hands and went boldly into the synagogues and "proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God" (Ac 9:20). This was a public committal and a proclamation of his new creed. There was tremendous pith and point in this statement from Saul. The Jews were amazed (Ac 9:21). This is the core of Paul’s message as we see in his later ministry (Ac 13; 17:3). It rests at bottom on Paul’s own experience of grace. "His whole theology is nothing but the explanation of his own conversion" (Stalker, Life of Paul, 45). We need not argue (Garvie, Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 51) that Paul understood at once the full content of the new message, but he had the heart of it right.


V. Work.

1. Adjustment:

There was evidently a tumult in Paul’s soul. He had undergone a revolution, both intellectual and spiritual. Before he proceeded farther it was wise to think through the most important implications of the new standpoint. Luke gives no account of this personal phase of Paul’s career, but he allows room for it between Ac 9:21 and 22. It is Paul who tells of his retirement to Arabia (Ga 1:17 f) to prove his independence of the apostles in Jerusalem. He did not go to them for instruction or for ecclesiastical authority. He did not adopt the merely traditional view of Jesus as the Messiah. He knew, of course, the Christian contention well enough, for he had answered it often enough. But now his old arguments were gone an4t he must work his way round to the other side, and be able to put his new gospel with clearness and force. He was done with calling Jesus anathema (1Co 12:3). Henceforth to him Jesus is Lord. We know nothing of Paul’s life in Arabia nor in what part of Arabia he was. He may have gone to Mt. Sinai and thought out grace in the atmosphere of law, but that is not necessary. But it is clear that Paul grew in apprehension of the things of Christ during these years, as indeed he grew to the very end. But he did not grow away from the first clear vision of Christ. He claimed that God had revealed His Son in him that he might preach to the Gentiles (Ga 1:16). He claimed that from the first and to the very last. The undoubted development in Paul’s Epistles (see Matheson, Spiritual Development of Paul, and Sabatier, The Apostle Paul) is, however, not a changing view of Christ that nullifies Paul’s "original Christian inheritance" (Kohler, Zum Verstandnis des Apostels Paulus, 13). Pfieiderer (Influence of the Apostle Paul on the Development of Christianity, 3rd edition, 1897, 217) rejects Colossians because of the advanced Christology here found. But the Christology of Col is implicit in Paul’s first sermon at Damascus. "It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the significance and value of the Cross became clear to him almost simultaneously with the certainty of the resurrection and of the Messiahship of Jesus" (Garvie, Studies, etc., 57). The narrow Jew has surrendered to Christ who died for the sins of the world. The universal gospel has taken hold of his mind and heart, and it will work out its logical consequences in Paul. The time in Arabia is not wasted. When he reappears in Damascus (Ac 9:22) he has "developed faith" (Findlay, HDB) and energy that bear instant fruit. He is now the slave of Christ. For him henceforth to live is Christ. He is crucified with Christ. He is in Christ. The union of Paul with Christ is the real key to his life. It is far more than a doctrine about Christ. It is real fellowship with Christ (Deissmann, Paul, 123). Thus it is that the man who probably never saw Christ in the flesh understands him best (Wernle, Beginnings of Christianity, I, 159).

2. Opposition:

Saul had "increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews that dwelt in Damascus, proving that this is the Christ" (Ac 9:22). Now he not merely "proclaims" as before (Ac 9:20); he "proves." He does it with such marvelous skill that the Jews are first confounded, then enraged to the point of murder. Their former hero was now their foe. The disciples had learned to run from Saul. They now let him down in a basket through the wall by night and he is gone (Ac 9:23 ). This then is the beginning of the active ministry of the man who was called to be a chosen vessel to Gentiles, kings, and Jews, There was no need to go back to the wilderness. He had gotten his bearings clearly now. He had his message and it had his whole heart. He had not avoided Jerusalem because he despised flesh and blood, but because he had no need of light from the apostles since "the divine revelation so completely absorbed his interest and attention" (Garvie, Life and Teaching of Paul, 33). No door was open as yet among the Gentiles. Sooner or later he must go to Jerusalem and confer with the leaders there if he was to cooperate with them in the evangelization of the world. Saul knew that he would be an object of suspicion to the disciples in Jerusalem. That was inevitable in view of the past. It was best to go, but he did not wish to ask any favors of the apostles. Indeed he went in particular "to visit Cephas" (margin, "to become acquainted with" Ga 1:18). They knew each other, of course, as opponents. But Saul comes now with the olive branch to his old enemy. He expressly explains (Ga 1:19) that he saw no other apostle. He did see James, the Lord’s brother, who was not one of the Twelve. It seems that at first Peter and James were both afraid of Saul (Ac 9:26), "not believing that he was a disciple." If a report came 3 years before of the doings at Damascus, they had discounted it. All had been quiet, and now Saul suddenly appears in Jerusalem in a new role. It was, they feared, just a ruse to complete his work of old. But for Barnabas, Saul might not have had that visit of 15 days with Peter. Barnabas was a Hellenist of Cyprus and believed Saul’s story and stood by him. Thus, he had his opportunity to preach the gospel in Jerusalem, perhaps in the very synagogues in which he had heard Stephen, and now he is taking Stephen’s place and is disputing against the Grecian Jews (Ac 9:29). He had days of blessed fellowship (Ac 9:28) with the disciples, till the Grecian Jews sought to kill him as Saul had helped to do to Stephen (Ac 9:29). It was a repetition of Damascus, but Saul did not wish to run again so soon. He protested to the Lord Jesus, who spoke in a vision to him, and recalls the fate of Stephen, but Jesus bids him go: "For I will send thee forth far hence unto the Gentiles" (Ac 22:17-21). One martyr like Stephen is enough. So the brethren took him down to Caesarea (Ac 9:30). It was an ominous beginning for a ministry with so clear a call. Where can he go now?

3. Waiting:

They "sent him forth to Tarsus" (Ac 9:30). Who would welcome him there? At Jerusalem he apparently avoided Gamaliel and the Sanhedrin. He was with the Christians and preached to the Hellenistic Jews. The Jews regarded him as a turncoat, a renegade Jew. There were apparently no Christians in Tarsus, unless some of the disciples driven from Jerusalem by Saul himself went that far, as they did go to Antioch (Ac 11:19 f). But Saul was not idle, for he speaks himself of his activity in the regions of Syria and Cilicia during this "period of obscurity" (Denney, Standard Bible Dict.) as a thing known to the churches of Judea (Ga 1:21 f). He was not idle then. The way was not yet opened for formal entrance upon the missionary enterprise, but Saul was not the man to do nothing at home because of that. If they would not hear him at Damascus and Jerusalem, they would in the regions of Syria and Cilicia, his home province. We are left in doubt at first whether Paul preached only to Jews or to Gentiles also. He had the specific call to preach to the Gentiles, and there is no reason why he should not have done so in this province, preaching to the Jews first as he did afterward. He did not have the scruples of Simon Peter to overcome. When he appears at Antioch with Barnabas, he seems to take hold like an old hand at the business. It is quite probable, therefore, that this obscure ministry of some 8 or 10 years may have had more results than we know. Paul apparently felt that he had done his work in that region, for outside of Antioch he gives no time to it except that in starting out on the second tour from Antioch "he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches" (Ac 15:41), churches probably the fruit of this early ministry and apparently containing Gentiles also. The letter from the Jerusalem conference was addressed to "the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia" (Ac 15:23). Cilicia was now part of the Roman province of Syria. So then we conclude that Saul had a Gentileministry in this region. "Independently, under no human master, he learned his business as a missionary to the heathen" (Findlay, HDB). One can but wonder whether Saul was kindly received at home by his father and mother. They had looked upon him with pride as the possible successor of Gamaliel, and now he is a follower of the despised Nazarene and a preacher of the Cross. It is possible that his own exhortations to fathers not to provoke their children to wrath (Eph 6:4) may imply that his own father had cast him out at this time. Findlay (HDB) argues that Saul would not have remained in this region so long if his home relations had been altogether hostile. It is a severe test of character when the doors close against one. But Saul turned defeat to glorious gain.

4. Opportunity:

Most scholars hold that the ecstatic experience told by Paul in 2Co 12:1-9 took place before he came to Antioch. If we count the years strictly, 14 from 56 AD would bring us to 42 AD. Paul had spent a year in Antioch before going up to Jerusalem (Ac 11:29 f). Findlay (HDB) thinks that Paul had the visions before he received the call to come to Antioch. Garvie (Life and Teaching of Paul, 41) holds he received the call first. "Such a mood of exaltation would account for the vision to which he refers in 2Co 12:1-4." At any rate he had the vision with its exaltation and the thorn in the flesh with its humiliation before he came to Antioch in response to the invitation of Barnabas. He had undoubtedly had a measure of success in his work in Cilicia and Syria. He had the seal of the divine blessing on his work among the Gentiles. But there was a pang of disappointment over the attitude of the Jerusalem church toward his work. He was apparently left alone to his own resources. "Only such a feeling of disappointment can explain the tone of his references to his relations to the apostles (Ga 1:11-24)" (Garvie, Life and Teaching of Paul, 41). There is no bitterness in this tone—but puzzled surprise. It seems that the 12 apostles are more or less absent from Jerusalem during this period with James the brother of the Lord Jesus as chief elder. A narrow Pharisaic element in the church was active and sought to shape the policy of the church in its attitude toward the Gentiles. This is clear in the treatment of Peter, when he returned to Jerusalem after the experience at Caesarea with Cornelius (Ac 11:1-18). There was acquiescence, but with the notion that this was an exceptional case of the Lord’s doing. Hence, they show concern over the spread of the gospel to the Greeks at Antioch, and send Barnabas to investigate and report (Ac 11:19-22). Barnabas was a Hellenist, and evidently did not share the narrow views of the Pharisaic party in the church at Jerusalem (Ac 11:2), for he was glad (Ac 11:23 f) of the work in Antioch. Probably mindful of the discipline attempted on Simon Peter, he refrained from going back at once to Jerusalem. Moreover, he believed in Saul and his work, and thus he gave him his great opportunity at Antioch. They had there a year’s blessed work together (Ac 11:25 ). So great was the outcome that the disciples received a new name to distinguish them from the Gentiles and the Jews. But the term "Christian" did not become general for a long time. There was then a great Greek church at Antioch, possibly equal in size to the Jewish church in Jerusalem. The prophecy by Agabus of a famine gave Barnabas and Saul a good excuse for a visit to Jerusalem with a general collection—"every man according to his ability"—from the Greek church for the relief of the poverty in the Jerusalem church. Barnabas had assisted generously in a similar strain in the beginning of the work there (Ac 4:36 f), unless it was a different Barnabas, which is unlikely. This contribution would help the Jerusalem saints to understand now that the Greeks were really converted. It was apparently successful according to the record in Acts. The apostles seem to have been absent, since only "elders" are mentioned in 11:30.

The incidents in Ac 12, as already noted, are probably not contemporaneous with this visit, but either prior or subsequent to it. However, it is urged by some scholars that this visit is the same as that of Ga 2:1-10 since Paul would not have omitted it in his list of visits to Jerusalem. But then Paul is not giving a list of visits, but is only showing his independence of the apostles. If they were absent from Jerusalem at that time, there would be no occasion to mention it. Besides, Luke in Ac 15 does recount the struggle in Jerusalem over the problem of Gentileliberty. If that question was an issue at the visit in Ac 11:30, it is quite remarkable that he should have passed it by, especially if the matter caused as much heat as is manifest in Ga 2, both in Jerusalem and Antioch. It is much simpler to understand that in Ac 15 and Ga 2:1-10 we have the public and the private aspects of the same issue, than to suppose that Luke has slurred the whole matter over in Ac 11:30. The identification of the visit of Ga 2 with that in Ac 11:30 makes it possible to place Galatians before the conference in Jerusalem in Ac 15 and implies the correctness of the South Galatian theory of the destination of the epistle and of the work of Paul, a theory with strong advocates and arguments, but which is by no means established (see below for discussion at more length). So far as we can gather from Luke, Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem with John Mark (Ac 12:25)," when they had fulfilled their ministration" with satisfaction. The Pharisaic element was apparently quiescent, and the outlook for the future work among the Gentiles seemed hopeful. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 62 ff) argues strongly for identifying the revelation mentioned in Paul’s speech in Ac 22:20 f with this visit in 11:30 (12:25), rather than with the one in Ac 9:29 f. There is a textual problem in 12:25, but I cannot concur in the solution of Ramsay.

5. The First Great Mission Campaign:

Ac 13 and 14, 47 and 48 AD:

Paul had already preached to the Gentiles in Cilicia and Syria for some 10 years. The work was not new to him. He had had his specific call from Jerusalem long ago and had answered it. But now an entirely new situation arises. His work had been individual in Cilicia. Now the Spirit specifically directs the separation of Barnabas and Saul to this work (Ac 13:2). They were to go together, and they had the sympathy and prayers of a great church. The endorsement was probably not "ordination" in the technical sense, but a farewell service of blessing and good will as the missionaries went forth on the world-campaign (Ac 13:3). No such unanimous endorsement could have been obtained in Jerusalem to this great enterprise. It was momentous in its possibilities for Christianity. Hitherto work among the Gentiles had been sporadic and incidental. Now a determined effort was to be made to evangelize a large section of the Roman empire. There is no suggestion that the church at Antioch provided funds for this or for the two later Campaigns, as the church at Philippi came to do. How that was managed this time we do not know. Some individuals may have helped. Paul had his trade to fall back on, and often had resort to it later. The presence of John Mark "as their attendant" (Ac 13:5) was probably due to Barnabas, his cousin (Col 4:10). The visit to Cyprus, the home of Barnabas, was natural. There were already some Christians there (Ac 11:20), and it was near. They preach first in the synagogues of the Jews at Salamis (Ac 13:5). We are left to conjecture as to results there and through the whole island till Paphos is reached. There they meet a man of great prominence and intelligence, Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, who had been under the spell of a sorcerer with a Jewish name—Elymas Bar-jesus (compare Peter’s encounter with Simon Magus in Samaria). In order to win and hold Sergius Paulus, who had become interested in Christianity, Paul has to punish Bar-jesus with blindness (Ac 13:10 ) in the exercise of that apostolic power which he afterward claimed with such vigor (1Co 5:4 f; 2Co 13:10). He won Sergius Paulus, and this gave him cheer for his work. From now on it is Paul, not Saul, in the record of Luke, perhaps because of this incident, though both names probably belonged to him from the first. Now also Paul steps to the fore ahead of Barnabas, and it is "Paul’s company" (Ac 13:13) that sets sail from Paphos for Pamphylia. There is no evidence here of resentment on the part of Barnabas at the leadership of Paul. The whole campaign may have been planned from the start by the Holy Spirit as the course now taken may have been due to Paul’s leadership. John Mark deserts at Perga and returns to Jerusalem (his home), not to Antioch (Ac 13:13). Paul and Barnabas push on to the tablelands of Pisidia. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 93) thinks that Paul had malaria down at Perga and hence desired to get up into higher land. That is possible. The places mentioned in the rest of the tour are Antioch in Pisidia (Ac 13:14), and Iconium (Ac 13:51), Lystra (Ac 14:8), and Derbe (Ac 14:20), cities of Lycaonia. These terms are ethnographic descriptions of the southern divisions of the Roman province of Galatia, the northern portion being Galatia proper or North Galatia. So then Paul and Barnabas are now at work in South Galatia, though Luke does not mention that name, using here only the popular designations. The work is wonderfully successful. In these cities, on one of the great Roman roads east and west, Paul is reaching the centers of provincial life as will be his custom. At Antioch Paul is invited to repeat his sermon on the next Sabbath (Ac 13:42), and Luke records at length the report of this discourse which has the characteristic notes of Paul’s gospel as we see it in his epistles. Paul may have kept notes of the discourse. There were devout Gentiles at these services. These were the first to be won, and thus a wider circle of Gentiles could be reached. Paul and Barnabas were too successful at Antioch in Pisidia. The jealous Jews opposed, and Paul and Barnabas dramatically turned to the Gentiles (Ac 13:45 ). But the Jews reached the city magistrate through the influential women, and Paul and Barnabas were ordered to leave (Ac 13:50 f). Similar success brings like results in Iconium. At Lystra, before the hostile Jews come, Paul and Barnabas have great success and, because of the healing of the impotent man, are taken as Mercury and Jupiter respectively, and worship is offered them. Paul’s address in refusal is a fine plea on the grounds of natural theology (Ac 14:15-18). The attempt on Paul’s life after the Jews came seemed successful. In the band of disciples that "stood round about him," there may have been Timothy, Paul’s son in the gospel. From Derbe they retrace their steps to Perga, in order to strengthen the churches with officers, and then sail for Seleucia and Antioch. They make their report to the church at Antioch. It is a wonderful story. The door of faith is now wide open for the Gentiles who have entered in great numbers (Ac 14:27). No report was sent to Jerusalem. What will the Pharisaic party do now?

6. The Conflict at Jerusalem:

Ac 15$; Ga 2$, 49 AD:

The early date of Galatians, addressed to these churches of Pisidia and Lycaonia before the Conference in Jerusalem does not allow time for a second visit there (Ga 4:13), and requires that the Judaizers from Jerusalem followed close upon the heels of Paul and Barnabas (Ga 1:6; 3:1) in South Galatia. Besides, there is the less likelihood that the matter would have been taken a second time to Jerusalem (Ac 15:2 f) if already the question had been settled in Paul’s favor (Ac 11:30). It is strange also that no reference to this previous conference on the same subject is made in Ac 15, since Peter does refer to his experience at Caesarea (15:9) and since James in Ac 21:25 specifically ("we wrote") mentions the letter of Ac 15 in which full liberty was granted to the Gentiles. Once more, the attack on the position of Paul and Barnabas in Ac 15:1 is given as a new experience, and hence the sharp dissension and tense feeling. The occasion for the sudden outbreak at Antioch on the part of the self-appointed (Ac 15:24) regulators of Paul and Barnabas lay in the reports that came to Jerusalem about the results of this campaign on a large scale among the Gentiles. There was peril to the supremacy of the Jewish element. They had assumed at first, as even Peter did who was not a Judaizer (Ac 10), that the Gentiles who became disciples would also become Jews. The party of the circumcision had made protest against the conduct of Peter at Caesarea (11:1 f) and had reluctantly acquiesced in the plain work of God (11:18). They had likewise yielded in the matter of the Greeks at Antioch (11:19 ff) by the help of the contribution (11:29 f). But they had not agreed to a campaign to Hellenize Christianity. The matter had to stop. So the Judaizers came up to Antioch and laid down the law to Paul and Barnabas. They did not wait for them to come to Jerusalem. They might not come till it was too late (compare Barnabas in Ac 11). Paul and Barnabas had not sought the controversy. They had both received specific instructions from the Holy Spirit to make this great campaign among the Gentiles. They would not stultify themselves and destroy the liberty of the Gentiles in Christ by going back and having the Mosaic Law imposed on them by the ceremony of circumcision. They saw at once the gravity of the issue. The very essence of the gospel of grace was involved. Paul had turned away from this yoke of bondage. He would not go back to it nor would he impose it on his converts. The church at Antioch stood by Paul and Barnabas. Paul (Ga 2:2) says that he had a revelation to go to Jerusalem with the problem. Luke (Ac 15:3) says that the church sent them. Surely there is no inconsistency here. It is not difficult to combine the personal narrative in Ga 2 with the public meetings recorded in Ac 15. We have first the general report by Paul and Barnabas to the church in Jerusalem (Ac 15:4 f) to which instant exception was made by the Judaizing element. There seems to have come an adjournment to prepare for the conflict, since in 15:6 Luke says again that "the apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider of this matter." Between these two public meetings we may place the private conference of Paul and Barnabas with Peter, John and James and other teachers (Ga 2:1-10). In this private conference some of the timid brethren wished to persuade Paul to have Titus, a Greek Christian whom Paul had brought down from Antioch (a live specimen!), offered as a sacrifice to the Judaizers ("false brethren") and circumcised. But Paul stood his ground for the truth of the gospel and was supported by Peter, John and James. They agreed all around for Paul and Barnabas to go on with their work to the Gentiles, and Peter, John and James would push the work among the Jews (a division in sphere of work, like home and foreign missions, not a denominational cleavage). Here, then, for the first time, Paul has had an opportunity to talk the matter over with the apostolic teachers, and they agree. The Judaizers will have no support from the apostles. The battle was really won in their private conference. In the second public meeting (Ac 15:6-29) all goes smoothly enough. Ample opportunity for free discussion is offered. Then Peter shows how God had used him to preach to the Romans, and how the Jews themselves had to believe on Christ in order to be saved. He opposed putting a yoke on the Gentiles that the Jews could not bear. There was a pause, and then Barnabas and Paul (note the order here: courtesy to Barnabas) spoke again. After another pause, James, the president of the conference, the brother of the Lord Jesus, and a stedfast Jew, spoke. He cited Am 9:11 f to show that God had long ago promised a blessing to the Gentiles. He suggests liberty to the Gentiles with the prohibition of pollution of idols, of fornication, things strangled, and blood. His ideas are embodied in an unanimous decree which strongly commends "our beloved Barnabas and Paul" and disclaims responsibility for the visit of the Judaizers to Antioch. The Western text omits "things strangled" from the decree. If this is correct, the decree prohibits idolatry, fornication and murder (Wilson, Origin and Aim of the Ac of the Apostles, 1912, 55). At any rate, the decision is a tremendous victory for Paul and Barnabas. If the other reading is correct, Jewish feelings about things strangled and blood are to be respected. The decision was received with great joy in Antioch (Ac 15:30-35). Some time later Peter appears at Antioch in the fullest fellowship with Paul and Barnabas in their work, and joins them in free social intercourse with the Gentiles, as he had timidly done in the home of Cornelius, till "certain came from James" (Ga 2:11 f), and probably threatened to have Peter up before the church again (Ac 11:2) on this matter, claiming that James agreed with them on the subject. This I do not believe was true in the light of Ac 15:24, where a similar false claim is discredited, since James had agreed with Paul in Jerusalem (Ac 15:19 ff; Ga 2:9 f). The new ground for complaint was that they had not settled the question of social relations with the Gentiles in the Jerusalem conference and that Peter had exceeded the agreement there reached. Peter quailed before the accusation, "fearing them that were of the circumcision" Ga 2:12) To make it worse, "even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation" (Ga 2:13). Under this specious plea Paul was about to lose the fruit of the victory already won, and charged Peter to his face with Judaizing hypocrisy (Ga 2:11-14). It was a serious crisis. Peter had not changed his convictions, but had once more cowered in an hour of peril. Paul won both Barnabas and Peter to his side and took occasion to show how useless the death of Christ was if men could be saved by mere legalism (Ga 2:21). But the Judaizers had renewed the war, and they would keep it up and harry the work of Paul all over the world. Paul had the fight of his life upon his hands.

7. The Second Mission Campaign:

Ac 15:36-18:22; 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 49-51 (or 52) AD:

The impulse to go out again came from Paul. Despite the difference in Ga 2:13, he wished to go again with Barnabas (Ac 15:36), but Barnabas insisted on taking along John Mark, which Paul was not willing to do because of his failure to stick to the work at Perga. So they agreed to disagree after "sharp contention" (Ac 15:39 f). Barnabas went with Mark to Cyprus, while Paul took Silas, "being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord." Luke follows the career of Paul, and so Barnabas drops out of view (compare later 1Co 9:6). Paul and Silas go "through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches" (Ac 15:41). They pass through the Cilician gates to Derbe, the end of the first tour, and go to Lystra. Here they pick up Timothy, who more than takes Mark’s place in Paul’s life. Timothy’s mother was a Jewess and his father a Greek. Paul decided therefore to have him circumcised since, as a half-Jew, he would be especially obnoxious to the Jews. This case differed wholly from that of Titus, a Greek, where principle was involved. Here it was a matter merely of expediency. Paul had taken the precaution to bring along the decrees of the Conference at Jerusalem in case there was need of them. He delivered them to the churches. It has to be noted that in 1Co 8-10 and in Ro 14 and 15, when discussing the question of eating meats offered to idols, Paul does not refer to these decrees, but argues the matter purely from the standpoint of the principles involved. The Judaizers anyhow had not lived up to the agreement, but Paul is here doing his part by the decision. The result of the work was good for the churches (Ac 16:4).

When we come to Ac 16:6, we touch a crucial passage in the South-Galatian controversy. Ramsay (Christianity in the Roman Empire, chapters iii through vi; History and Geography of Asia Minor; Paul the Traveler, chapters v, vi, viii, ix; The Expositor, IV, viii, ix, "replies to Chase"; "Galatia," HDB; Commentary on Gal; The Cities of Paul; The Expositor T, 1912, 1913) has become by his able advocacy the chief champion of the view that Paul never went to Galatia proper or North Galatia, and that he addressed his epistle to South Galatia, the churches visited in the first tour. For a careful history of the whole controversy in detail, see Moffatt, Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 90-106, who strongly supports the view of Lightfoot, H.J. Holtzmann, Blass, Schurer, Denney, Chase, Mommsen, Steinmann, etc. There are powerful names with Ramsay, like Hausrath, Zahn, Barrlet, Garvie, Weizsacker, etc. The arguments are too varied and minute for complete presentation here. The present writer sees some very attractive features in the South-Galatian hypothesis, but as a student of language finds himself unable to overcome the syntax of Ac 16:6. The minor difficulty is the dropping of kai, between "Phrygia" and "Galatic region" by Ramsay. It is by no means certain that this is the idea of Luke. It is more natural to take the terms as distinct and coordinated by kai. In Paul the Traveler, 212, Ramsay pleads for the aorist of subsequent time, but Moulton (Prolegomena, 133) will have none of it. With that I agree. The aorist participle must give something synchronous with or antecedent to the principal verb. In Expository Times for February, 1913, 220 f, Ramsay comes back to the "construction of Ac 16:6." He admits that the weight of authority is against the Textus Receptus of the New Testament and in favor of dielthon .... koluthentes. He now interprets the language thus: "Paul, having in mind at Lystra his plan of going on to Asia from Galatia, was ordered by the Spirit not to preach in Asia. He therefore made a tour through the Phrygio-Galatic region, which he had already influenced so profoundly from end to end (13:49)." But there is grave difficulty in accepting this interpretation as a solution of the problem. Ramsay here makes the narrative in 16:6 resumptive and takes us back to the standpoint of 16:1 at Lystra. The proper place for such a forecast was in 16:1, or at most before 16:4, which already seems to mark an advance beyond Lystra to Iconium and Antioch in Pisidia: "and as they went on their way through the cities."

Besides, "the Phrygio-Galatic region" lay between Lystra and Asia, and, according to Ramsay, after the prohibition in Lystra, he went straight on toward Asia. This is certainly very artificial and unlike the usual procedure. According to the other view, Paul had already visited the churches in Lycaonia and Pisidia on his former visit. He wished to go on west into Asia, probably to Ephesus, but was forbidden by the Holy Spirit, and as a result turned northward through Phrygia and the regions of Galatia, using both terms in the ethnographic sense. Paul was already in the province of Galatia at Derbe and Lystra. The matter has many "ins and outs" and cannot be argued further here. It is still in debate, but the present interpretation is in harmony with the narrative in Acts.


By this view Paul had not meant to stop in Galatia proper and did so only because of an attack of illness (Ga 4:13). It is possible that Luke may have come to his rescue here. At any rate, he finally pushes on opposite Mysia and Bithynia in the extreme north and was forbidden by the Spirit from going on into Bithynia. So they came down to Troas (Ac 16:7 f) when Luke ("we," Ac 16:10) appears on the scene and the Macedonian call comes to Paul. Thus Paul is led out of Asia into Europe and carries the gospel successively to Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, and Corinth. The gospel is finally planted in the great provinces of Macedonia and Achaia. In Philippi, a Roman colony and military outpost, Paul finds few Jews and has to go out to a prayer-place to find a few Jewish women to whom he can tell the story of Jesus. But he gains a start with Lydia and her household, and soon arouses the hostility of a company of men who were making money out of a poor girl’s powers of divination. But before Paul and Silas leave the jail, the jailer is himself converted, and a good church is established. At Thessalonica Paul has great success and arouses the jealousy of the Jews who gather a rabble and raise a disturbance and charge it up to Paul. At Philippi appeal was made to prejudice against Jews. At Thessalonica the charge is made that Paul preaches Jesus as a rival king to Caesar. In Berea Paul and Silas have even more success till the Jews come from Thessalonica and drive Paul out again. Timothy, who has come out from Philippi where Luke has remained, and Silas stay in Berea while Paul hurries on to Athens with some of the brethren, who return with the request for Timothy and Silas "to come to him with all speed." Apparently Timothy did come (1Th 3:1 f), but Paul soon sent him back to Thessalonica because of his anxiety about conditions there. Left alone in Athens, Paul’s spirit was stirred over the idolatry before his eyes. He preaches in the synagogues and argues with the Stoics and Epicureans in the Agora who make light of his pretensions to philosophy as a "babbler" (Ac 17:18). But curiosity leads them to invite him to speak on the Areopagus. This notable address, all alive to his surroundings, was rather rudely cut short by their indifference and mockery, and Paul left Athens with small results for his work. He goes over to Corinth, the great commercial city of the province, rich and with bizarre notions of culture. Paul determined (1Co 2:1-5) to be true to the cross, even after his experience in Athens. He gave them, not the flashy philosophy of the sophists, but the true Wisdom of God in simple words, the philosophy of the cross of Christ (1Co 1:17-3:4). In Corinth Paul found fellow-helpers in Aquila and Priscilla, just expelled from Rome by Claudius. They have the same trade of tentmakers and live together (Ac 18:1-4), and Paul preached in the synagogues. Paul is cheered by the coming of Timothy and Silas from Thessalonica (Ac 18:5) with supplies from Philippi, as they had done while in Thessalonica (Php 4:15 f). This very success led to opposition, and Paul has to preach in the house of Titus Justus. But the work goes on till Gallio comes and a renewed effort is made to have it stopped, but Gallio declines to interfere and thus practically makes Christianity a religio licita, since he treats it as a variety of Judaism. While here, after the arrival of Timothy and Silas, Paul writes the two letters to Thessalonica, the first of his 13 epistles. They are probably not very far apart in time, and deal chiefly with a grievous misunderstanding on their part concerning the emphasis placed by him on the Man of Sin and the Second Coming. Paul had felt the power of the empire, and his attention is sharply drawn to the coming conflict between the Roman empire and the kingdom of God. He treats it in terms of apocalyptic eschatology. When he leaves Corinth, it is to go by Ephesus, with Aquila and Priscilla whom he leaves there with the promise to return. He goes down to Caesarea and "went up and saluted the church" (Ac 18:22), probably at Jetus (fourth visit), and "went down to Antioch." If he went to Jerusalem, it was probably incidental, and nothing of importance happened. He is back once again in Antioch after an absence of some 3 or 4 years.

8. The Third Mission Campaign:

Ac 18:23-21:14; 1 and 2 Corinthians; Galatians; Romans, 52 (or 53)-57 (or 58) AD:

The stay of Paul at Antioch is described as "sometime" (Ac 18:23). Denney (Standard Bible Dictionary) conjectures that Paul’s brief stay at Jerusalem (see above) was due to the fact that he found that the Judaizers had organized opposition there against him in the absence of the apostles, and it was so unpleasant that he did not stay. He Suggests also that the Judaizers had secured letters of commendation from the church for their emissaries (2Co 3:1) to Corinth and Galatia, who were preaching "another Jesus" of nationalism and narrowness, whom Paul did not preach (Ga 1:6; 2Co 11:4). Both Denney and Findlay follow Neander, Wieseler, and Sabatier in placing here, before Paul starts out again from Antioch, the visit of certain "from James" (Ga 2:12), who overpowered Peter for the moment. But I have put this incident as more probably before the disagreement with Barnabas over Mark, and as probably contributing to that breach at the beginning of the second tour. It is not necessary to suppose that the Judaizers remained acquiescent so long.

Paul seems to have set out on the third tour alone—unless Timothy came back with him, of which there is no evidence save that he is with Paul again in Ephesus (Ac 19:22). What became of Silas? Paul "went through the region of Galatia, and Phrygia, in order, establishing all the disciples" (Ac 18:23), the opposite order to Ac 16:6, "through the region of Phrygia and Galatia." According to the North-Galatian view, here followed, he went through the northern part of the province, passing through Galatia proper and Phrygia on his way west to Ephesus. Luke adds, "Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus" (Ac 19:1). The ministry of Apollos in Ephesus (Ac 18:24-28) had taken place before Paul arrived, though Aquila and Priscilla were still on hand. Apollos passed over to Corinth and innocently became the occasion of such strife there (1Co 1-4) that he left and refused to return at Paul’s request (1Co 16:12). Paul has a ministry of 3 years, in round numbers, in Ephesus, which is full of excitement and anxiety from the work there and in Corinth. He finds on his arrival some ill-informed disciples of John the Baptist who are ignorant of the chief elements of John’s teaching about repentance, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (Ac 19:2-7), matters of which Apollos had knowledge, though he learned more from Priscilla and Aquila, but there is no evidence that he was rebaptized as was true of the 12 disciples of John (Robertson, John the Loyal, 290-303). The boldness of Paul in Ephesus led in 3 months to his departure from the synagogue to the schoolhouse of Tyrannus, where he preached for 2 years (Ac 19:8-10) with such power that "all they that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord." It is not strange later to find churches at Colosse and Hierapolis in the Lycus Valley (compare also Re 1:11). Paul has a sharp collision with the strolling Jewish exorcists that led to the burning of books of magic by the wholesale (Ac 19:11-20), another proof of the hold that magic and the mysteries had upon the Orient. Ephesus was the seat of the worship of Diana whose wonderful temple was their pride. A great business in the manufacture of shrines of Diana was carried on here by Demetrius, and "this Paul" had hurt his trade so much that he raised an insurrection under the guise of piety and patriotism and might have killed Paul with the mob, if he could have got hold of him (Ac 19:23-41). It was with great difficulty that Paul was kept from going to the amphitheater, as it was. But here, as at Corinth, the Roman officer (the town clerk) defended Paul from the rage of his enemies (there the jealous Jews, here the tradesmen whose business suffered). He was apparently very ill anyhow, and came near death (2Co 1:9). All this seems to have hastened his departure from Ephesus sooner than Pentecost, as he had written to the Corinthians (1Co 16:8). His heart was in Corinth because of the discussions there over him and Apollos and Peter, by reason of the agitation of the Judaizers (1Co 1:10-17). The household of Chloe had brought word of this situation to Paul. He had written the church a letter now lost (1Co 5:9). They had written him a letter (1Co 7:1). They sent messengers to Paul (1Co 16:17). He had sent Timothy to them (1Co 4:17; 16:10), who seems not to have succeeded in quieting the trouble. Paul wrote 1Co (spring of 56), and then sent Titus, who was to meet him at Troas and report results (2Co 2:12 f). He may also have written another letter and sent it by Titus (2Co 2:3 f). The sudden departure from Corinth brought Paul to Troas ahead of time, but he could not wait for Titus, and so pushed on with a heavy heart into Macedonia, where he met him, and he had good and bad news to tell (2Co 2:12 ff; 7:5-13). The effect on Paul was instantaneous. He rebounded to hope and joy (2Co 2:14 ) in a glorious defense of the ministry of Jesus (compare Robertson, The Glory of the Ministry; Paul’s Exultation in Preaching), with a message of cheer to the majority. of the church that had sustained Paul and with instructions (2Co 8$; 9$) about the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem, which must be pushed to a completion by Titus and two other brethren (possibly also Luke, brother of Titus, and Erastus). Timothy and Erastus had been sent on ahead to Macedonia from Ephesus (Ac 19:22), and Timothy sends greetings with Paul to the Corinthians in a letter (2 Corinthians) which Paul now forwards, possibly by Titus. The latter part of the epistle (1Co 10-13) deals with the stubborn minority who still resist the authority of Paul as an apostle. On the proposed treatment of these chapters as a separate epistle see the earlier part of this article. Paul seems to wait a while before going on to Corinth. He wishes the opposition to have time to repent. During this period he probably went round about to Illyricum (Ro 15:19). He spent three months in Greece (Ac 20:2 f), probably the winter of 56 and 57.

We have placed Galatians in the early part of this stay in Corinth, though it could have been written while at Ephesus. Romans was certainly written while here, and they both treat the same general theme of justification by faith. Ramsay (Expos, February, 1913, 127-45) has at last come to the conclusion that Ga belongs to the date of Ac 15:1 f. He bases this conclusion chiefly on the "absolute independence" of his apostleship claimed in Ga 1 and 2, which, he holds, he would not have done after the conference in Ac 15, which was "a sacrifice of complete independence." This is a curious interpretation, for in Ga 2:1-10 Paul himself tells of his recognition on terms of equality by Peter, John and James, and of his going to Jerusalem by "revelation," which was just as much "a sacrifice of complete independence" as we find in Ac 15. Besides, in 2Co 11:5 and 12:11 Paul expressly asserts his equality (with all humility) with the very chiefest apostles, and in 1Co 15:10 he claims in so many words to have wrought more than all the apostles. Perhaps messengers from Galatia with the contributions from that region report the havoc wrought there by the Judaizers. Ga is a tremendous plea for the spiritual nature of Christianity as opposed to Jewish ceremonial legalism.

Paul had long had it in mind to go to Rome. It was his plan to do so while at Ephesus (Ac 19:21) after he had gone to Jerusalem with the great collection from the churches of Asia, Galatia, Achaia, and Macedonia. He hoped that this collection would have a mollifying effect on the Jerusalem saints as that from Antioch had (Ac 11:29 f). He had changed some details in his plans, but not the purpose to go to Jerusalem and then to Rome. Meanwhile, he writes the longest and most important letter of all to the Romans, in which he gives a fuller statement of his gospel, because they had not heard him preach, save his various personal friends who had gone there from the east (Ac 16). But already the shadow of Jerusalem is on his heart, and he asks their prayers in his behalf, as he faces his enemies in Jerusalem (Ro 15:30-32). He hopes also to go on to Spain (Ro 15:24), so as to carry the gospel to the farther west also. The statesmanship of Paul comes out now in great clearness. He has in his heart always anxiety for the churches that consumes him (2Co 11:28 f). He was careful to have a committee of the churches go with him to report the collection (2Co 8:19 f). Paul had planned to sail direct for Syria, but a plot on his life in Corinth led him to go by land via Macedonia with his companions (Ac 20:2-4). He tarried at Philippi while the rest went on to Troas. At Philippi Paul is joined again by Luke, who stays with him till Rome is reached. They celebrate the Passover (probably the spring of 57) in Philippi (Ac 20:6). We cannot follow the details in Ac at Troas, the voyage through the beautiful Archipelago, to Miletus. There Paul took advantage of the stop to send for the elders of Ephesus to whom he gave a wonderful address (Ac 20:17-38). They change ships at Patara for Phoenicia and pass to the right of Cyprus with its memories of Barnabas and Sergius Paulus and stop at Tyre, where Paul is warned not to go on to Jerusalem. The hostility of the Judaizers to Paul is now common talk everywhere. There is grave peril of a schism in Christianity over the question of Gentile liberty, once settled in Jerusalem, but unsettled by the Judaizers. At Caesarea Paul is greeted by Philip the evangelist and his four daughters (prophetesses). At Caesarea Paul is warned in dramatic fashion by Agabus (compare Ac 11:28) not to go on to Jerusalem (Ac 21:9 ), but Paul is more determined than ever to go, even if he die (Ac 20:13). He had had three premonitions for long (Ac 20:22 ), but he will finish his course, cost what it may. He finds a friend at Caesarea in Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, who was to be the host of Paul in Jerusalem (Ac 21:16).

9. Five Years a Prisoner:

Ac 21:17-28:31; Philippians; Philemon; Colossians; Ephesians, 57-62 (or 63) AD:

Paul had hoped to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost (Ac 20:16). He seems to have done so. Luke gives the story of Paul in Jerusalem, Caesarea, and the voyage to Rome in much detail. He was with him and considered this period of his ministry very important. The welcome from the brethren in Jerusalem was surprisingly cordial (Ac 21:17). On the very next day Paul and his party made a formal call on James and all the elders (Ac 21:18 f), who gave a sympathetic hearing to the narrative of God’s dealings with Paul and the Gentiles. He presented the alms (collection) in due form (Ac 24:17), though some critics have actually suggested that Paul used it to defray the expenses of the appeal to Caesar. Ramsay’s notion that he may have fallen heir by now to his portion of his father’s estate is quite probable. But the brethren wish to help Paul set himself right before the rank and file of the church in Jerusalem, who have been imposed upon by the Judaizers who have misrepresented Paul’s real position by saying that he urged the Jewish Christians to give up the Mosaic customs (Ac 21:21). The elders understand Paul and recall the decision of the conference at which freedom was guaranteed to the Gentiles, and they have no wish to disturb that (Ac 21:25). They only wish Paul to show that he does not object to the Jewish Christians keeping up the Mosaic regulations. They propose that Paul offer sacrifice publicly in the temple and pay the vows of four men, and then all will know the truth (Ac 21:23 f). Paul does not hesitate to do that (Ac 21:26 ). He had kept the Jewish feasts (compare Ac 20:6) as Jesus had done, and the early disciples in Jerusalem. He was a Jew. He may have had a vow at Corinth (Ac 18:18). He saw no inconsistency in a Jew doing thus after becoming a Christian, provided he did not make it obligatory on Gentiles. The real efficacy of the sacrifices lay in the death of Jesus for sin. Garvie (Life and Teaching of Paul, 173) calls this act of Paul "scarcely, worthy of his courage as a man or his faith in God." I cannot see it in that light. It is a matter of practical wisdom, not of principle. To have refused would have been to say that the charge was true, and it was not. So far as the record goes, this act of Paul accomplished its purpose in setting Paul in a right light before the church in Jerusalem. It took away this argument from the Judaizers. The trouble that now comes to Paul does not come from the Judaizers, but from "the Jews from Asia" (Ac 21:27). If it be objected that the Jerusalem Christians seem to have done nothing to help Paul during his years of imprisonment, it can be said that there was little to be done in a legal way, as the matter was before the Roman courts very soon. The attack on Paul in the temple was while he was doing honor to the temple, engaged in actual worship offering sacrifices. But then Jews from Ephesus hated him so that they imagined that he had Greeks with him in the Jewish court, because they had seen him one day with Trophimus in the city (Ac 21:27 ). It is a splendid illustration of the blindness of prejudice and hate. It was absolutely untrue, and the men who raised the hue and cry in the temple against Paul as the desecrator of the holy place and the Law and the people disappear, and are never heard of more (Ac 24:18 f). But it will take Paul five years or more of the prime of his life to get himself out of the tangled web that will be woven about his head. Peril follows peril. He was almost mobbed, as often before, by the crowd that dragged him out of the temple (Ac 21:30 f). It would remind Paul of Stephen’s fate. When the Roman captain rescued him and had him bound with two chains as a dangerous bandit, and had him carried by the soldiers to save his life, the mob yelled "Away with him" (Ac 21:36 f), as they had done to Jesus. After the captain, astonished that "Paul the Egyptian assassin" can speak Greek, grants him permission to stand on the steps of the tower of Antonia to speak to the mob that clamored for his blood, he held their rapt attention by an address in Aramaic (Ac 22:2) in which he gave a defense of his whole career. This they heard eagerly till he spoke the word "Gentiles," at which they raged more violently than ever (Ac 22:21 ). At this the captain has Paul tied with thongs, not understanding his Aramaic speech, and is about to scourge him when Paul pleads his Roman citizenship, to the amazement of the centurion (Ac 22:24 ). Almost in despair, the captain, wishing to know the charge of the Jews against Paul, brings him before the Sanhedrin. It is a familiar scene to Paul, and it is now their chance for settling old scores. Paul makes a sharp retort in anger to the high priest Ananias, for which he apologizes as if he was so angry that he had not noticed, but he soon divides the Sanhedrin hopelessly on the subject of the resurrection (compare the immunity of the disciples on that issue when Gamaliel scored the Sadducees in Ac 5). This was turning the tables on his enemies, and was justifiable as war. He claimed to be a Pharisee on this point, as he was still, as opposed to the Sadducees. The result was that Paul had to be rescued from the contending factions, and the captain knew no more than he did before (Ac 23:1-10). That night "the Lord stood by him" and promised that he would go to Rome (Ac 23:11). That was a blessed hope. But the troubles of Paul are by no means over. By the skill of his nephew he escaped the murderous plot of 40 Jews who had taken a vow not to eat till they had killed Paul (Ac 23:12-24). They almost succeeded, but Claudius Lysias sent Paul in haste with a band of soldiers to Caesarea to Felix, the procurator, with a letter in which he claimed to have rescued Paul from the mob, "having learned that he was a Roman" (Ac 23:26-30). At any rate he was no longer in the clutches of the Jews. Would Roman provincial justice be any better? Felix follows a perfunctory course with Paul and shows some curiosity about Christianity, till Paul makes him tremble with terror, a complete reversal of situations (compare Pilate’s meanness before Jesus). But love of money from Paul or the Jews leads Felix to keep Paul a prisoner for two years, though convinced of his innocence, and to hand him over to Festus, his successor, because the Jews might make things worse for him if he released him (Ac 24). The case of the Sanhedrin, who have now made it their own (or at least the Sadducean section), though pleaded by the Roman orator Tertullus, had fallen through as Paul calmly riddied their charges. Festus is at first at a loss how to proceed, but he soon follows the steps of Felix by offering to play into the hands of the Jewish leaders by sending Paul back to Jerusalem, whereupon Paul abruptly exercises his right of Roman citizenship by appealing to Caesar (Ac 25:1-12). This way, though a long one, offered the only ray of hope. The appearance of Paul before Agrippa and Bernice was simply by way of entertainment arranged by Festus to relieve his guests of ennui, but Paul seized the opportunity to make a powerful appeal to Agrippa that put him in a corner logically, though he wriggled out and declined to endorse Christianity, though confirming Paul’s innocence, which Festus also had admitted (Ac 25:13-26:32). Paul was fortunate in the centurion Julius who took him to Rome, for he was kindly disposed to him at the start, and so it was all the way through the most remarkable voyage on record. Luke has surpassed his own record in Ac 27, in which he traces the voyage, stage by stage, with change of ship at Myra, delay at Fair Havens, Crete, and shipwreck on the island of Malta. More is learned about ancient seafaring from this chapter than from any other source (see the article PHOENIX, and Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of Paul, 1866). In it all Paul is the hero, both on the ships and in Malta. In the early spring of 60 another ship takes Paul and the other prisoners to Puteoli. Thence they go on to Rome, and enter by the Appian Way. News of Paul’s coming had gone on before (his epistle had come 3 years ago), and he had a hearty welcome. But he is now an imperial prisoner in the hands of Nero. He has more liberty in his own hired house (Ac 28:16,30), but he is chained always to a Roman soldier, though granted freedom to see his friends and to preach to the soldiers. Paul is anxious to remove any misapprehensions that the Jews in Rome may have about him, and tries to win them to Christ, and with partial success (Ac 28:17-28). And here Luke leaves him a prisoner for 2 years more, probably because at this point he finishes the Book of Acts. But, as we have seen, during these years in Rome, Paul wrote Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, and Ephesians. He still has the churches on his heart. They send messengers to him, and he writes back to them. The incipient Gnosticism of the East has pressed upon the churches at Colosse and Laodicea, and a new peril confronts Christianity. The Judaizing controversy has died away with these years (compare Php 3:1 ff for an echo of it), but the dignity and glory of Jesus are challenged. In the presence of the power of Rome Paul rises to a higher conception than even that of the person of Christ and the glory of the church universal. In due time Paul’s case was disposed of and he was once more set free. The Romans were proverbially dilatory. It is doubtful if his enemies ever appeared against him with formal charges.

10. Further Travels:

The genuineness of the Pastoral Epistles is here assumed. But for them we should know nothing further, save from a few fragments in the early Christian writings. As it is, some few who accept the Pastoral Epistles seek to place them before 64 AD, so as to allow for Paul’s death in that year from the Neronian persecution. In that case, he was not released. There is no space here to argue the question in detail. We can piece together the probable course of events. He had expected when in Corinth last to go on to Spain (Ro 15:28), but now in Rome his heart turns back to the east again. He longs to see the Philippians (1:23 ff) and hopes to see Philemon in Colosse (Phm 1:22). But he may have gone to Spain also, as Clement of Rome seems to imply (Clement ad Cor 5), and as is stated in the Canon of Muratori. He may have been in Spain when Rome was burned July 19, 64 AD. There is no evidence that Paul went as far as Britain. On his return east he left Titus in Crete (Tit 1:5). He touched at Miletus when he left Trophimus sick (2Ti 4:20) and when he may have met Timothy, if he did not go on to Ephesus (1Ti 1:3). He stopped at Troas and apparently expected to come back here, as he left his cloak and books with Carpus (2Ti 4:13). He was on his way to Macedonia (1Ti 1:3), whence he writes Timothy in 65-67 a letter full of love and counsel for the future. Paul is apprehensive of the grave perils now confronting Christianity. Besides the Judaizers, the Gnostics, the Jews and the Romans, he may have had dim visions of the conflict with the mystery-religions. It was a syncretistic age, and men had itching ears. But Paul is full of sympathy and tender solicitude for Timothy, who must push on the work and get ready for it. Paul expects to spend the winter in Nicopolis (Tit 3:12), but is apparently still in Macedonia when he writes to Titus a letter on lines similar to those in 1 Timothy, only the note is sharper against Judaism of a certain type. We catch another glimpse of Apollos in Tit 3:13. Paul hits off the Cretans in 1:10 with a quotation from Epimenides, one of their own poetic prophets.

11. Last Imprisonment and Death:

68 (or 67) AD:

When Paul writes again to Timothy he has had a winter in prison, and has suffered greatly from the cold and does not wish to spend another winter in the Mamertine (probably) prison (2Ti 4:13,21). We do not know what the charges now are. They may have been connected with the burning of Rome. There were plenty of informers eager to win favor with Nero. Proof was not now necessary. Christianity is no longer a religio licita under the shelter of Judaism. It is now a crime to be a Christian. It is dangerous to be seen with Paul now, and he feels the desertion keenly (2Ti 1:15 ff; 4:10). Only Luke, the beloved physician, is with Paul (2Ti 4:11), and such faithful ones as live in Rome still in hiding (2Ti 4:21). Paul hopes that Timothy may come and bring Mark also (2Ti 4:11). Apparently Timothy did come and was put into prison (Heb 13:23). Paul is not afraid. He knows that he will die. He has escaped the mouth of the lion (2Ti 4:17), but he will die (2Ti 4:18). The Lord Jesus stood by him, perhaps in visible presence (2Ti 4:17). The tradition is, for now Paul fails us, that Paul, as a Roman citizen, was beheaded on the Ostian Road just outside of Rome. Nero died June, 68 AD, so that Paul was executed before that date, perhaps in the late spring of that year (or 67). Perhaps Luke and Timothy were with him. It is fitting, as Findlay suggests, to let Paul’s words in 2Ti 4:6-8 serve for his own epitaph. He was ready to go to be with Jesus, as he had long wished to be (Php 1:23).


VI. Gospel.

I had purposed to save adequate space for the discussion of Paul’s theology, but that is not now possible. A bare sketch must suffice. Something was said (see above on his epistles and equipment) about the development in Paul’s conception of Christ and his message about Him. Paul had a gospel which he called his own (Ro 2:16). I cannot agree with the words of Deissmann (St. Paul, 6): "St. Paul theologian looks backward toward rabbinism. As a religious genius Paul’s outlook is forward into a future of universal history." He did continue to use some rabbinical methods of argument, but his theology was not rabbinical. And he had a theology. He was the great apostle and missionary to the heathen. He was a Christian statesman with far-seeing vision. He was the loving pastor with the shepherd heart. He was the great martyr for Christ. He was the wonderful preacher of Jesus. But he was also "Paul theologian" (Garvie, Life and Teaching of Paul, chapter v) . There are two ways of studying his teaching. One is to take it by groups of the epistles, the purely historical method, and that has some advantages (compare Sabatier, The Apostle Paul). But at bottom Paul has the same message in each group, though with varying emphasis due to special exigencies. The same essential notes occur all through. The more common method, therefore, is to Study his gospel topically, using all the epistles for each topic. A measure of historical development may still be observed. Only the chief notes in Paul’s gospel can be mentioned here. Even so, one must not turn to his epistles for a complete system of doctrine. The epistles are "occasional letters, pieces de circonstance" (Findlay, HDB), and they do not profess, not even Romans, to give a full summary of Christian doctrine. They are vital documents that throb with life. There is no theological manual in them. But Paul’s gospel is adequately stated repeatedly. Paul’s message is Christocentric. Jesus as Messiah he preached at once on his conversion (Ac 9:20,22). He knew already the current Jewish Messianism to which Jesus did not correspond. The acceptance of Jesus as He was (the facts about Him and teachings) revolutionized his Messianic conceptions, his view of God, and his view of man. "When he takes and uses the Messianic phraseology of his day, he fills it with a meaning new and rich" (Rostron, Christology of Paul, 31). Paul was not merely a new creature himself, but he had a new outlook: "Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh: even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new. But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (2Co 5:16-19). Perhaps no single passage in Paul’s Epistles tells us more than this one of the change in Paul’s theological conceptions wrought by his conversion. His view of Christ as the revealer of God (God in Christ) and the manifestation of love for men (of God, who reconciled us to Himself, reconciling the world to Himself) and the means (through Christ) by whom God is able to forgive our sins ("not reckoning unto them their trespasses") on the basis of the atoning death of Christ ("wherefore"; for this see 2Co 5:14 f just before 5:16) with whom the believer has vital union ("in Christ") and who transforms the nature and views of the believer, is here thoroughly characteristic. Paul’s passion is Christ (2Co 5:14; Php 1:21). To gain Christ (Php 3:8), to know Christ (Php 3:10), to be found in Christ (Php 3:9), to know Christ as the mystery of God (Col 2:2 f), to be hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3)—this with the new Paul is worth while. Thus Paul interprets God and man, by his doctrine of Christ. To him Jesus is Christ and Christ is Jesus. He has no patience with the incipient Cerinthian Gnosticism, nor with the docetic Gnosticism that denied the true humanity of Jesus. The real mystery of God is Christ, not the so-called mystery-religions. Christ has set us free from the bondage of ceremonial legalism. We are free from the curse of the law (Ga 3:13). Grace is the distinctive word for the gospel (Ro 3-5), but it must lead to sanctification (Ro 6-8), not license (Col 3). Paul’s Christology is both theocentric and anthropocentric, but it is theocentric first. His notion of redemption is the love of God seeking a world lost in sin and finding love’s way, the only way consonant with justice, in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ His Son (Ro 3:21-31). The sinner comes into union with God in Christ by faith in Christ as Redeemer and Lord. Henceforth he lives to God in. Christ by the help of the Holy Spirit (Ro 8; Ga 5). Paul presents God as Father of all in one sense (Eph 4:6), but in a special sense of the believers in Christ (Ro 8:15 f). Jesus Christ is the incarnation of the pre-incarnate Son of God (2Co 8:9; Php 2:5-10), who is both God and man (Ro 1:3 f). With Paul the agent of creation is Jesus (Col 1:15 f), who is also the head of the church universal (Col 1:18; Eph 1:22 f). In the work of Christ Paul gives the central place to the cross (1Co 1:17 f; 2:2; Col 2:20; Eph 2:13-18). Sin is universal in humanity (Ro 1:18-3:20), but the vicarious death of Christ makes redemption possible to all who believe (Ro 3:21 ff; Ga 3:6-11). The redeemed constitute the kingdom of God or church universal, with Christ as head. Local bodies (churches) are the chief means for pushing the work of the kingdom. Paul knows two ordinances, both of which present in symbolic form the death of Christ for sin and the pledge of the believer to newness of life in Christ. These ordinances are baptism (Ro 6:1-11) and the Lord’s Supper (1Co 11:17-34). If he knew the mystery-religions, they may have helped him by way of illustration to present his conception of the mystic union with Christ. Paul is animated by the hope of the second coming of Christ, which will be sudden (1Th 5:1-11) and not probably at once (2Th 2), but was to be considered as always imminent (1Th 5:2 ). Meanwhile, death brings us to Christ, which is a glorious hope to Paul (2Co 5:1-10; Php 1:21 ff; 2Ti 4:18). But, while Paul was a theologian in the highest and best sense of the term, the best interpreter of Christ to men, he was also an ethical teacher. He did not divorce ethics from religion. He insisted strongly on the spiritual experience of Christ as the beginning and the end of it all, as opposed to mere ritualistic ceremonies which had destroyed the life of Judaism. But all the more Paul demanded the proof of life as opposed to mere profession. See Ro 6-8 in particular. In most of the epistles the doctrinal section is followed by practical exhortations to holy living. Mystic as Paul was, the greatest of all mystics, he was the sanest of moralists and had no patience with hypocrites or licentious pietists or idealists who allowed sentimentalism and emotionalism to take the place of righteoushess. His notion of the righteousness demanded by God and given by God included both sanctification and justification. In the end, the sinner who for Christ’s sake is treated as righteous must be righteous. Thus the image of God is restored in man by the regenerating work of the Spirit of God (2Co 3:18). Paul sees God in the face of Christ (2Co 4:6), and the vision of Christ brings God to all who see.


Out of the vast Pauline literature the following selections may be mentioned:

(1) General Works:

Addis, Christianity and the Roman Empire, 1893; Bartlet, The Apostolic Age, 1899; Bohlig, Die Geisteskultur yon Tarsos, 1913; Clemen, Primitive Christianity and Its Non-Jewish Sources, 1912; Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, 1911; Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 1910; Dewick, Primitive Christian Eschatology, 1912; Dollinger, Gentile and Jew in the Courts of the Temple of Christ, translation, 1862; Farrar, Early Days of Christianity, 1882, Darkness and Dawn, 1893; Ferrero, Greatness and Decline of Rome, 1908; Friedlander, Roman Life and Manners under the Early Empire; Glover, Conflict of Religions in the Early Roman Empire, 1910; Gunkel, Zum religionsgeschichtlichen Verst. d. New Testament, 1903; Hausrath, Time of the Apostles, translation; Neander, Planting and Training of the Christian Church, translation; McGiffert, A History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age, 1897; Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, 1893, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, 1895, The First Christian Century, 1911; Reitzenstein, Die hellenistischen Mysterienreligionen, 1910; Ropes, The Apostolic Age, 1906; Schurer, HJP; Weizsacker, The Apostolic Age in the Christian Church, 1894-95.

(2) Introductions:

E. Burton, Chronicle of Paul’s Epistles; Clemen, Die Chron der Paulinischen Briefe, 1893, Die Einheitlichkeit der Paulinischen Briefe, 1894; Findlay, Epistles of Paul the Apostle, 1893; Gloag, Introduction to the Pauline Epistles, 1876; Gregory, Canon and Text of the New Testament, 1900; Herr, Prolegomena to Romans and Ephesians, 1895; Harnack, The Ac of the Apostles, 1909, Date of the Ac and the Synoptic Gospels, 1911, History of Early Christian Literature until Eusebius, 1897; Holtzmann, Einleitung3, 1892; James, Genuineness and Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles, 1906; Julicher, Introduction to the New Testament, 1903; Lake, Earlier Epistles of Paul, 1911; Moffatt, Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 1911; Peake, Critical Introduction to the New Testament, 1909; Salmon, Introduction to the New Testament, 1892; R. Scott, Epistles of Paul, 1909; Shaw, The Pauline Epistles, 1903; von Soden, History of Early Christian Literature, 1906; B. Weiss, Present State of the Inquiry Concerning the Genuineness of Paul’s Epistles, 1897; Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, 1909.

(3) Commentaries:

For exegetical commentaries on special epistles see special articles For the ancients see Chrysostom for the Greeks, and Pelagius for the Latins. For the Middle Ages see Thomas Aquinas. For the later time see Beza, Calvin, Colet, Estius, Grotius, Cornelius a Lapide, Wettstein, Bengel. Among the moderns note Alford, Beet (Romans-Colossians), Boise, Bible for Home and School, Cambridge Bible for Schools, Cambridge Greek Testament, New Century Bible; Drummond, Epistles of Paul, Ellicott (all but Romans and 2 Corinthians), Expositor’s Bible, Expositor’s Greek Testament; Holtzmann, Hand-Comm. zum New Testament; Jewett (1 and 2 Thessalonians, Romans, Galatians), Lightfoot (Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon and Notes), Lietzmann, Handbuch zum New Testament; Meyer (translation, revised German editions), Zahn, Kommentar zum New Testament.

(4) Lives and Monographs:

Albrecht, Paulus der Apestel Jesu Christi, 1903; Bacon, The Story of Paul, 1904; Bartlet, article in Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition; Baring-Gould, A Study of Paul, 1897; Baur, The Apostle Paul(2), 1845; Bevan, Paul in the Light of Today, 1912; Bird, Paul of Tarsus, 1900; Campbell, Paul the Mystic, 1907; Chrysostom, Homiliae in Laude S. Pauli, Opera, volume II, edition Montf. (more critically in Field’s edition); Clemen, Paulus, 1904; Cone, Paul the Man, the Missionary, 1898; Cohu, Paul in the Light of Recent Research, 1910; Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of Paul (many editions); Deissmann, Paul, 1912; Drescher, Das Leben Jesu bei Paulus, 1900; Drury, The Prison Ministry of Paul, 1910; Eadie, Paul the Preacher, 1859; Farrar, Life and Work of Paul (various editions); Erbes, Die Todestage der Apostel Paulus und Petrus, 1899; Fletcher, A Study of the Conversion of Paul, 1911; Forbes, Footsteps of Paul in Rome, 1899; Fouard, Paul and His Mission, 1894, Last Years of Paul, 1897; Gardner, Religious Experience of Paul, 1911; Garvie, Life and Teaching of Paul, 1909, Studies of Paul and His Gospel, 1911; Gilbert, Student’s Life of Paul, 1899; Heim, Paulus, 1905; Honnicke, Chronologie des Lebens Pauli, 1904; Iverach, Paul, His Life and Time, 1890; Johnston, The Mission of Paul to the Roman Empire, 1909; M. Jones, Paul the Orator, 1910; Kennedy, Paul and the Mystery-Religions, 1913; Kohler, Zum Verstandnis d. Apostels Paulus, 1908; Lewin, Life and Epistles of Paul, 1875; Lock, Paul the Master Builder, 1905; Lyttleton, Observations on Saul’s Conversion, 1774; Myers, Saint Paul (various editions); Matheson, Spiritual Development of Paul, 1891; Means, Paul and the Ante-Nicene Church, 1903; Noesgen, Paulus der Apostel der Heiden, 1908; Paley, Horae Paulinae, 1790; Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 1896, Pauline and Other Studies, 1906, Cities of Paul, 1908, Luke the Physician and Other Studies, 1908, Pictures of the Apostolic Church, 1910; Renan, Paul, 1869; A. T. Robertson, Epochs in the Life of Paul, 1909, The Glory of the Ministry or Paul’s Exultation in Preaching, 1911; Sabatier, The Apostle Paul, 1896; Selden, In the Time of Paul, 1900; Schweitzer, Paul and His Interpreters, 1912; Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of Paul4, 1880; Speer, The Man Paul, 1900; Stalker, Life of Paul, 1889; Taylor, Paul the Missionary, 1882; Underhill, Divine Legation of Paul, 1889; Weinel, Paul (translation, 1906); Whyte, The Apostle Paul, 1903; Wilkinson, Epic of Saul, 1891, Epic of Paul, 1897; Wrede, Paulus(2), 1907 (translation); Wright, Cities of Paul, 1907; Wynne, Fragmentary Records of Jesus of Nazareth by a Contemporary, 1887.

(5) Teaching:

A.B.D. Alexander, The Ethics of Paul, 1910; S.A. Alexander, Christianity of Paul, 1899; Anonymous, The Fifth Gospel, 1906; R. Allen, Christelegy of Paul, 1912; M. Arnold, Paul and Protestantism, 1897; Ball, Paul and the Roman Law, 1901; Breitenstein, Jesus et Paul, 1908; Bruce, Paul’s Conception of Christianity, 1898; Bruckner, Die Entstehung der Paulinischen Christologie, 1903; Bultmann, Der Stil der Paulin. Predigt und die kyn. Diatribe, 1910; Chadwick, Social Teaching of Paul, 1907, Pastoral Teaching of Paul, 1907; M. Dibelius, Die Geisterwelt im Glauben des Paulus, 1909; Dickie, Culture of the Spiritual Life, 1905; Dickson, Paul’s Use of the Terms Flesh and Spirit, 1883; Du Bose, Gospel according to Paul, 1907; Dykes, Gospel according to Paul, 1888; Everett, Gospel of Paul, 1893; Feine, Paul as Theologian (translation, 1908); Greenough, Mind of Christ in Paul; Goguel, L’Apotre Paul et Jesus Christ, 1904; Harford, The Gospel according to Paul, 1912; Hicks, "St. Paul and Hellenism," Stud. Bibl., IV; Holsten, Das Evangelium des Paulus, 1898; Julicher, Paulus und Jesus, 1907; Kaftan, Jesus und Paulus, 1906; Kennedy, Paul’s Conceptions of Last Things, 1904; Knowling, Testimony of Paul to Christ (3rd edition, 1911); A. Meyer, Jesus or Paul? 1909; Moffatt, Paul and Paulinism, 1910; Montet, Essai sur la christologie de Saint Paul, 1906; Nageli, Der Wortschatz des Apostels Paulus, 1905; Oehler, Paulus und Jesus, 1908; Paterson, The Pauline Theology, 1903; Pfleidercr, Paulinismus, 1873, Influence of the Apostle Paul on the Development of Christianity, 1885; Prat, La theologie de Saint Paul, 1907; Ramsay, The Teaching of Paul in Terms of the Present Day, 1913; Resch, Paulinismus und die Logia Jesu, 1904; Rostron, The Christology of Paul, 1912; Simon, Die Psychologie des Apostels Paulus, 1897; Somerville, Paul’s Conception of Christ, 1897; Stevens, The Pauline Theology, 1894; Thackeray, Relation of Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought, 1900; J. Weiss, Paul and Jesus, 1909; Paul and Justification, 1913; Williams, A Plea for a Reconstruction of Paul’s Doctrine of Justification, 1912; Wustmann, Jesus und Paulus, 1907; Zahn, Das Gesetz Gottes nach der Lehre des Apostels Paulus(2), 1892.

A. T. Robertson





1. The Pharisee

2. Saul and Sin

3. Primitive Christianity


1. Christ

2. The Spirit

3. The Unio Mystica

4. Salvation

5. Justification


1. Abolition of the Law

2. Gentiles

3. Redemption

4. Atonement

5. Moral Example

6. Function of the Law


1. The Church

2. The Sacraments

I. The Preparation.

In order to understand the development of Paul’s theological system, it is necessary to begin with his beliefs as a Pharisee. The full extent of these beliefs, to be sure, is not now ascertainable, for Pharisaism was a rule of conduct rather than a system of dogmas, and great diversity of opinions existed among Pharisees. Yet there was general concurrence in certain broad principles, while some of Paul’s own statements enable us to specify his beliefs still more closely.

1. The Pharisee:

Saul the Pharisee believed that God was One, the Creator of all things. In His relation to His world He was transcendent, and governed it normally through His angels. Certain of these angelic governors had been unfaithful to their trust and had wrought evil, although God still permitted them to bear rule for a time (Col 2:15; compare Enoch 89:65). And evil had come into humanity through the transgression of the first man (Ro 5:12; compare 2 Esdras 7:118). To lead men away from this evil God gave His Law, which was a perfect revelation of duty (Ro 7:12), and this Law was illumined by the traditions of the Fathers, which the Pharisees felt to be an integral part of the Law itself. God was merciful and would pardon the offender against the Law, if he completely amended his ways. But imperfect reformation brought no certain hope of pardon. To a few specially favored individuals God had given the help of His Spirit, but this was not for the ordinary individual. The great majority of mankind (compare 2 Esdras 7:49-57), including all Gentiles, had no hope of salvation. In a very short time the course of the world would be closed. With God, from before the beginning of creation, there was existing a heavenly being, the Son of man of Da 7:13, and He was about to be made manifest. (That Saul held the transcendental Messianic doctrine is not to be doubted.) As the world was irredeemably bad, this Messiah would soon appear, cause the dead to rise, hold the Last Judgment and bring from heaven the "Jerus that is above" (Ga 4:26), in which the righteous would spend a blessed eternity.


2. Saul and Sin:

Ro 7:7-25 throws a further light on Saul’s personal beliefs. The Old Testament promised pardon to the sinner who amended his ways, but the acute moral sense of Saul taught him that he could never expect perfectly to amend his ways. The 10th Commandment was the stumbling-block. Sins of deed and of word might perhaps be overcome, but sins of evil desires stayed with him, despite his full knowledge of the Law that branded them as sinful. Indeed, they seemed stimulated rather than suppressed by the divine precepts against them. With the best will in the world, Saul’s efforts toward perfect righteousness failed continually and gave no promise of ever succeeding. He found himself thwarted by something that he came to realize was ingrained in his very nature and from which he could never free himself. Human nature as it is, the flesh (not "the material of the body"), contains a taint that makes perfect reformation impossible (Ro 7:18; compare Ro 8:3, etc.). Therefore, as the Law knows no pardon for the imperfectly reformed, Saul felt his future to be absolutely black. What he longed for was a promise of pardon despite continued sin, and that the Law precluded. (Any feeling that the temple sacrifices. would bring forgiveness had long since been obsolete in educated Judaism.)

There is every reason to suppose that Saul’s experience was not unique at this period. Much has been written in recent years about the Jews’ confidence in God’s mercy, and abundant quotations are brought from the Talmud in support of this. But the surviving portions of the literature of the Daniel-Aqiba period (165 BC-135 AD) give a different impression, for it is predominantly a literature of penitential prayers and confessions of sin, of pessimism regarding the world, the nation and one’s self. In 2 Esdras, in particular, Saul’s experience is closely paralleled, and 2 Esdras 7 (of course not in the King James Version) is one of the best commentaries ever written on Ro 7.

3. Primitive Christianity:

Saul must have come in contact with Christianity very soon after Pentecost, at the latest. Some personal acquaintance with Christ is in no way impossible, irrespective of the meaning of 2Co 5:16. But no one in Jerusalem, least of all a man like Saul, could have failed tq learn very early that there was a new "party" in Judaism. To his eyes this "party" would have about the following appearance: Here was a band of men proclaiming that the Messiah, whom all expected, would be the Jesus who had recently been crucified. Him the disciples were preaching as risen, ascended and sitting on God’s right hand. They claimed that He had sent on all His followers the coveted gift of the Spirit, and they produced miracles in proof of their claim. A closer investigation would show that the death of Jesus was being interpreted in terms of Isa 53, as a ransom for the nation. The inquirer would learn also that Jesus had given teaching that found constant and relentless fault with the Pharisees. Moreover, He had swept aside the tradition of the Fathers as worthless and had given the Law a drastic reinterpretation on the basis of eternal spiritual facts.

This inwardness must have appealed to Saul and he must have envied the joyous enthusiasm of the disciples. But to him Pharisaism was divine, and he was in a spiritual condition that admitted of no compromxses. Moreover, the Law (Ga 3:13; compare De 21:23) cursed anyone who had been hanged on a tree, and the new party was claiming celestial Messiahship for a man who had met this fate. The system aroused Saul’s burning hatred; he appointed himself (perhaps stimulated by his moral desperation) to exterminate the new religion, and in pursuit of his mission he started for Damascus.

Saul must have gained a reasonable knowledge of Christ’s teachings in this period of antagonism. He certainly could not have begun to persecute the faith without learning what it was, and in the inevitable discussions with his victims he must have learned still more, even against his will. This fact is often overlooked.

II. The Conversion.

1. Christ:

The immediate content of Paul’s conversion was the realization that the celestial Messiah was truly Jesus of Nazareth. This was simply the belief of the primitive church and was the truth for which Christ had died (Mr 14:62). But it involved much. It made Christ the Son of God (Ro 8:32; Ga 4:4, etc.), "firstborn of (i.e. "earlier than") all creation" (Col 1:15), "existing in the form of God" (Php 2:6) and "rich" (2Co 8:9). In the Messiah are "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden" (Col 2:3), to be manifested at the end of time when the Messiah shall appear as the Judge of all (2Co 5:10, etc.), causing the resurrection of the dead (1Co 15:45, etc.). All this was given by Paul’s former beliefs and had been claimed by Christ for Himself. That this Messiah had become man was a fact of the immediate past (the reality of the manhood was no problem at this period). As Messiah His sinlessness was unquestioned, while the facts of His life proved this sinlessness also. His teaching was wholly binding (1Co 7:10,11; that the writer of these words could have spared any effort to learn the teaching fully is out of the question). The conversion experience was proof sufficient of the resurrection, although for missionary purposes Paul used other evidence as well (1Co 15:1-11).

Faith in this Messiah brought the unmistakable experience of the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:2; Ga 3:2, etc.; compare Ac 9:17), demonstrating Christ’s Lordship (1Co 12:3; compare Ac 2:33). So "the head of every man is Christ" (1Co 11:3; compare Col 1:18; Eph 1:22; 4:15), with complete control of the future (1Co 15:25), and all righteous men are His servants ("slaves," Ro 1:1, etc.). To Him men may address their prayers (2Co 12:8; 1Co 1:2, etc.; compare Ac 14:23).

Further reflection added to the concepts. As the Lordship of Christ was absolute, the power of all hostile beings must have been broken also (Ro 8:38; Php 2:9-11; Col 2:15; Eph 1:21-23, etc.). The Being who had such significance for the present and the future could not have been without significance for the past. "In all things" He must have had "the preeminence" (Col 1:18). It was He who ministered to the Israelites at the Exodus (1Co 10:4,9). In fact He was not only "before all things" (Col 1:17), but "all things have been created through him" (Col 1:16). Wisdom and Logos concepts may have helped Paul in reaching these conclusions, which in explicit statement are an advance on Christ’s own words. But the conclusions were inevitable.

Fitting these data of religious fact into the metaphysical doctrine of God was a problem that occupied the church for the four following centuries. After endless experimenting the only conclusion was shown to be that already reached by Paul in Ro 9:5 (compare Tit 2:13, the English Revised Version, the American Revised Version margin), that Christ is God. To be sure, Paul’s terminology, carried over from his pre-Christian days, elsewhere reserves "God" for the Father (and compare 1Co 15:28). But the fact of this theology admits only of the conclusion that was duly drawn.

2. The Spirit:

A second fact given directly by the conversion was the presence of the Spirit, where the actual experience transcended anything that had been dreamed of. Primarily the operation of the Spirit was recognized in vividly supernatural effects (Ro 15:19; 1Co 12:5-11, etc.; compare 2Co 12:12; Ac 2:4), but Paul must at first have known the presence of the Spirit through the assurance of salvation given him, a concept that he never wearies of expressing (Ro 8:16,23; Ga 4:6, etc.). The work of the Spirit in producing holiness in the soul needs no comment (see HOLY SPIRIT; SANCTIFICATION), but it is characteristic of Paul that it is on this part of the Spirit’s activity, rather than on the miraculous effects, that he lays the emphasis. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace," etc. (Ga 5:22); the greatest miracles without love are more than useless (1Co 13:1-3); in such sayings Paul touched the depths of the purest teaching of Christ. To be sure, in the Synoptic Gospels the word "Spirit" is not often on Christ’s lips, but there is the same conception of a life proceeding from a pure center (Mt 6:22; 7:17, etc.) in entire dependence on God.

Further reflection and observation taught Paul something of the greatest importance for Christian theology. In prayer the Spirit appeared distinguished from the Father as well as from the Son (Ro 8:26 f; compare 1Co 2:10 f), giving three terms that together express the plenitude of the Deity (2Co 13:14; Eph 1:3,6,13, etc.), with no fourth term ever similarly associated.


3. The Unio Mystica:

The indwelling of the divine produced by the Spirit is spoken of indifferently as the indwelling of the Spirit, or of the Spirit of Christ, or of Christ Himself (all three terms in Ro 8:9-11; compare 1Co 2:12; Ga 4:6; Eph 3:17, etc.). The variations are in part due to the inadequacy of the Old terminology (so 2Co 3:17), in part to the nature of the subject. Distinctions made between the operations of the persons of the Trinity on the soul can never be much more than verbal, and the terms are freely interchangeable. At all events, through the Spirit Christ is in the believer (Ro 8:10; Ga 2:20; 4:19; Eph 3:17), or, what is the same thing, the believer is in Christ (Ro 6:11; 8:1; 16:7, etc.). "We have become united with him" (Ro 6:5, sumphutoi, "grown together with") in an union once and for all effected (Ga 3:27) and yet always to be made more intimate (Ro 13:14). The union so accomplished makes the man "a new creature" (2Co 5:17).

4. Salvation:

Paul now saw within himself a dual personality. His former nature, the old man, still persisted, with its impulses, liability to temptation, and inertnesses. The "flesh" still existed (Ga 5:17; Ro 8:12; 13:14; Eph 4:22; Php 3:12, etc.). On the other hand there was fighting in him against this former nature nothing less than the whole power of Christ, and its final victory could not be uncertain for a moment (Ro 6:12; 8:2,10; Ga 5:16, etc.). Indeed, it is possible to speak of the believer as entirely spiritual (Ro 6:11,22; 8:9, etc.), as already in the kingdom (Col 1:13), as already sitting in heavenly places (Eph 2:6). Of course Paul had too keen an appreciation of reality to regard believers as utterly sinless (Php 3:12, etc.), and his pages abound in reproofs and exhortations. But the present existence of remnants of sin had no final terrors, for the ultimate victory over sin was certain, even if it was not to be complete until the last day when the power of God would redeem even the present physical frame (Ro 8:11; Php 3:21, etc.).

As the first man to belong to’the higher order, and as the point from which the race could take a fresh start, Christ could justly be termed a new Adam (1Co 15:45-49; compare Ro 5:12-21). If Cor 15:46 has any relation to the PhiIonic doctrine of the two Adams, it is a polemic against it. Such a polemic would not be unlikely.

5. Justification:

A most extraordinary fact, to the former Pharisee, was that this experience had been gained without conscious effort and even against conscious effort (Php 3:7 f). After years of fruitless striving a single act of self-surrender had brought him an assurance that he had despaired of ever attaining. And this act of self-surrender is what Paul means by "faith," "faith without works." This faith is naturally almost anything in the world rather than a mere intellectual acknowledgment of a fact (Jas 2:19), and is an act of the whole man, too complex for simple analysis. It finds, however, its perfect statement in Christ’s reference to ‘receiving the kingdom of God as a little child’ (Mr 10:15). By an act of simple yielding Paul found himself no longer in dread of his sins; he was at peace with God, and confident as to his future; in a word, "justified." In one sense, to be sure, "works" were still involved, for without the past struggles the result would never have been attained. A desire, however imperfect, to do right is a necessary preparation for justification, and the word has no meaning to a man satisfied to be sunk in complete selfishness (Ro 6:2; 3:8, etc.). This desire to do right, which Paul always presupposes, and the content given "faith" are sufficient safeguards against antinomianism. But the grace given is in no way commensurate with past efforts, nor does it grow out of them. It is a simple gift of God (Ro 6:23).

III. Further Developments.

1. Abolition of the Law:

The adoption by Paul of the facts given by his conversion (and the immediate conclusions that followed from them) involved, naturally, a readjustment and a reformation of the other parts of his belief. The process must have occupied some time, if it was ever complete during his life, and must have been affected materially by his controversies with his former co-religionists and with very many Christians.

Fundamental was the problem of the Law. The Law was perfectly clear that he—and only he—who performed it would live. But life was found through faith in Christ, while the Law was not fulfilled. There could be no question of compromise between the two positions; they were simply incompatible (Ro 10:5 f; Ga 2:16; 3:11 f; Php 3:7). One conclusion only was possible: "Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believeth" (Ro 10:4). As far as concerned the believer, the Law was gone. Two tremendous results followed. One was the immense simplification of what we call "Christian ethics," which were now to be determined by the broadest general principles of right and wrong and no longer by an elaborate legalistic construing of God’s commands (Ro 13:8-10; Ga 5:22 f, etc.; compare Mr 12:29-31). To be sure, the commandments might be quoted as convenient expressions of moral duty (Eph 6:2; 1Co 9:9, etc.; compare Mr 10:19), but they are binding because they are right, not because they are commandments (Col 2:16). So, in Paul’s moral directions, he tries to bring out always the principle involved, and Ro 14 and 1Co 8 are masterpieces of the treatment of concrete problems by this method.

2. Gentiles:

The second result of the abolition of the Law was overwhelming. Gentiles had as much right to Christ as had the Jews, barring perhaps the priority of honor (Ro 3:2, etc.) possessed by the latter. It is altogether conceivable, as Ac 22:21 implies, that Paul’s active acceptance of this result was long delayed and reached only after severe struggles. The fact was utterly revolutionary, and although it was prophesied in the Old Testament (Ro 9:25 f), yet ‘the Messiah among you Gentiles’ remained the hidden mystery that God had revealed only in the last days (Col 1:26 f; Eph 3:3-6, etc.). The struggles of the apostle in defense of this principle are the most familiar part of his career.

3. Redemption:

This consciousness of deliverance from the Law came to Paul in another way. The Law was meant for men in this world, but the union with Christ had raised him out of this world and so taken him away from the Law’s control. In the Epistles this fact finds expression in an elaborately reasoned form. As Christ’s nature is now a vital part of our nature, His death and resurrection are facts of our past as well. "Ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col 3:3). But "the law hath dominion over a man" only "for so long time as he liveth" (Ro 7:1). "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ" (Ro 7:4). Compare Col 2:11-13,20, where the same argument is used to show that ritual observance is no longer necessary. In Ro 6:1-14 this argument is made to issue in a practical exhortation. Through the death of Christ, which is our death (6:4), we, like Him, are placed in a higher world (6:5) where sin has lost its power (6:7), a world in which we are no longer under Law (6:14). Hence, the intensest moral effort becomes our duty (6:13; compare 2Co 5:14 f).

4. Atonement:

This release from the Law, however, does not solve the whole problem. Evil, present and past, is a fact, Law or no Law (on Ro 4:15 b; 5:13b; see the comms.), and a forbearance of God that simply "passes over" sins is disastrous for man as well as contrary to the righteous nature of God (Ro 3:25 f). However inadequate the Old Testament sacrifices were felt to have been (and hence, perhaps, Paul’s avoidance of the Levitical terms except in Eph 5:2), yet they offered the only help possible for the treatment of this most complex of problems. The guilt of our sins is "covered" by the death of Christ (1Co 15:3, where this truth is among those which were delivered to converts "first of all"; Ro 3:25; 4:25; 5:6, etc.). This part of his theology Paul leaves in an incomplete form. He was accustomed, like any other man of his day, whether Jew or Gentile, to think naturally in sacrificial terms, and neither he nor his converts were conscious of any difficulty involved. Nor has theology since his time been able to contribute much toward advancing the solution of the problem. The fatal results of unchecked evil, its involving of the innocent with the guilty, and the value of vicarious suffering, are simple facts of our experience that defy our attempts to reduce them to intellectual formulas. In Paul’s case it is to be noted that he views the incentive as coming from God (Ro 3:25; 5:8; 8:32, etc.), because of His love toward man, so that a "gift-propitiation" of an angry deity is a theory the precise opposite of the Pauline. Moreover, Christ’s death is not a mere fact of the past, but through the "mystical union" is incorporated into the life of every believer.

Further developments of this doctrine about Christ’s death find in it the complete destruction of whatever remained of the Law (Col 2:14), especially as the barrier between Jew and Gentile (Eph 2:15 f). The extension of the effects of the death to the unseen world (Col 2:15; compare Ga 4:9; Eph 4:8) was of course natural.

5. Moral Example:

The death of Christ as producing a subjective moral power in the believer is appealed to frequently (compare Ro 8:3; Ga 2:20; Eph 5:2,25; Php 2:5, etc.), while the idea is perhaps present to some degree even in Ro 3:26. From a different point of view, the Cross as teaching the vanity of worldly things is a favorite subject with Paul (1Co 1:22-25; 2Co 13:4; Ga 5:11; 6:14, etc.). These aspects require no explanation.

There are, accordingly, in Paul’s view of the death of Christ at least three distinct lines, the "mystical," the "juristic," and the "ethical." But this distinction is largely only genetic and logical, and the lines tend to blend in all sorts of combinations. Consequently, it is frequently an impossible exegetical problem to determine which is most prominent in any given passage (e.g. 2Co 5:14 f).

6. Function of the Law:

Regarding the Law a further question remained, which had great importance in Paul’s controversies. If the Law was useless for salvation, why was it given at all? Paul replies that it still had its purpose. To gain righteousness one must desire it and this desire the Law taught (Ro 7:12,16; 2:18), even though it had no power to help toward fulfillment. So the Law gave knowledge of sin (Ro 3:20; 7:7). But Paul did not hesitate to go beyond this. Familiar in his own experience with the psychological truth that a prohibition may actually stimulate the desire to transgress it, he showed that the Law actually had the purpose of bringing out all the dormant evil within us, that grace might deal with it effectually (Ro 5:20 f; 7:8,25; compare 1Co 15:56). Thus the Law became our paidagogos "to bring us unto Christ" (Ga 3:24; see SCHOOLMASTER), and came in "besides" (Ro 5:20), i.e. as something not a primary part of God’s plan. Indeed, this could be shown from the Law itself, which proved that faith was the primary method of salvation (Ro 4; compare Ga 3:17) and which actually prophesied its own repeal (Ga 4:21-31). With this conclusion, which must have required much time to work out, Paul’s reversal of his former Pharisaic position was complete.

IV. Special Topics.

1. The Church:

As Christ is the central element in the life of the believer, all believers have this element in common and are so united with each other (Ro 12:5). This is the basis of the Pauline doctrine of the church. The use of the word "church" to denote the whole body of believers is not attained until the later Epistles (Col 1:18; Php 3:6; Eph 1:22, etc.)—before that time the word is in the plural when describing more than a local congregation (2Th 1:4; 1Co 7:17; Ro 16:16, etc.)—but the idea is present from the first. Indeed, the only terms in Judaism that were at all adequate were "the nation" or "Israel." Paul uses the latter term (Ga 6:16) and quite constantly expresses himself in a manner that suggests the Old Testament figures for the nation (e.g. compare Eph 5:25 with Ho 2:19 f), and time was needed in order to give ekklesia (properly "assembly") the new content.

The church is composed of all who have professed faith in Christ and the salvation of its members Paul takes generally for granted (1Th 1:4; Ro 1:7; 1Co 1:8, etc.), even in the case of the incestuous person of 1Co 5:5 (compare 3:15; 11:32). To be sure, 1Co 5:11-13 makes it clear that the excommunication of grave sinners had been found necessary, and one may doubt if Paul had much hope for the "false brethren" of 2Co 11:26; Ga 2:4 (compare 1Co 3:17, etc.). But on the whole Paul’s optimism has little doubt that every member of the church is in right relations with God. These members, through their union with Christ, form a corporate, social organism of the greatest possible solidarity (1Co 12:26, etc.) and have the maximum of responsibility toward one another (Ro 14:15; 1Co 8:11; 2Co 8:13-15; Ga 6:2; Eph 4:25; Col 1:24, etc.). They are utterly distinct from the world around them (2Co 6:14-18; 1Co 5:12, etc.), although in constant intercourse with it (1Co 5:10; 10:27, etc.). It was even desirable, in the conditions of the times, that the church should have her own courts like Jews in Gentilecities (1Co 6:5 f). The right of the church to discipline her members is taken for granted (1Co 5; 2Co 2:5-11). According to Ac 14:23 Paul made his own appointments of church officers, but the Epistles as a whole would suggest that this practice did not extend beyond Asia Minor. For further details see CHURCH GOVERNMENT; MINISTRY. A general obedience to Paul’s own authority is presupposed throughout.

The church is, of course, the object of Christ’s sanctifying power (Eph 5:25-30) and is so intimately united with Him as to be spoken of as His "body" (1Co 12:27; Col 1:18; Eph 1:23, etc.), or as the "complement" of Christ, the extension of His personality into the world (Eph 1:22 f). As such, its members have not only their duty toward one another, but also the responsibility of carrying Christ’s message into the world (Php 2:15 f, and presupposed everywhere). And to God shall "be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations forever and ever" (Eph 3:21).

2. The Sacraments:

As the union with Christ’s death is something more than a subjective impression made on the mind by the fact of that death, the references to the union with the death accomplished in baptism in Ro 6:1-7 and Col 2:11 f are not explained by supposing them to describe a mere dramatic ceremony. That Paul was really influenced by the mystery-religion concepts has not been made out. But his readers certainly were so influenced and tended to conceive very materialistic views of the Christian sacraments (1Co 10:5; 15:29). And historic exegesis is bound to construe Paul’s language in the way in which he knew his readers would be certain to understand it, and no ordinary Gentile reader of Paul’s day would have seen a purely "symbolic" meaning in either of the baptismal passages. Philo would have done so, but not the class of men with whom Paul had to deal. Similarly, with regard to the Lord’s Supper, in 1Co 10:20 Paul teaches that through participation in a sacral meal it is possible to be brought into objective relations with demons of whom one is wholly ignorant. In this light it is hard to avoid the conclusion that through participation in the Lord’s Supper the believer is objectively brought into communion with the Lord (1Co 10:16), a communion that will react for evil on the believer if he approach it in an unworthy manner (1Co 11:29-32): i.e. the union with Christ that is the center of Paul’s theology he teaches to be established normally through baptism. And in the Lord’s Supper this union is further strengthened. That faith on the part of the believer is an indispensable prerequisite for the efficacy of the sacraments need not be said.



See under PAUL.

Burton Scott Easton


po’-lus, sur’-ji-us (Sergios Paulos): The Roman "proconsul" (Revised Version) or "deputy" (the King James Version) of Cyprus when Paul, along with Barnabas, visited that island on his first missionary journey (Ac 13:4,7). The official title of Sergius is accurately given in Acts. Cyprus was originally an imperial province, but in 22 BC it was transferred by Augustus to the Senate, and was therefore placed under the administration of proconsuls, as is attested by extant Cyprian coins of the period. When the two missionaries arrived at Paphos, Sergius, who was a "prudent man" (the King James Version) or "man of understanding" (Revised Version), i.e. a man of practical understanding, "sought to hear the word of God" (Ac 13:7). Bar-Jesus, or Elymas, a sorcerer at the court of Sergius, fearing the influence of the apostles, sought, however, "to turn aside the proconsul from the faith," but was struck with blindness (Ac 13:8-11); and the deputy, "when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord" (Ac 13:12). The narrative indicates that not only the miracle but also the attention with which Sergius listened to the teaching of Paul (compare Ac 13:7) conduced to his conversion (Bengel). Attempts have been made to trace some connection between the name Sergius Paulus and the fact that Saul is first called Paul in Ac 13:9, but the joint occurrence of the two names is probably to be set down as only a coincidence.

C. M. Kerr


pav’-ment: In the Old Testament, with the exception of 2Ki 16:17, the Hebrew word is ritspah (2Ch 7:3; Es 1:6; Eze 40:17, etc.); in Sirach 20:18 and Bel and the Dragon verse 19 the word is edaphos; in Joh 19:13, the name "The Pavement" (lithostrotos, "paved with stone") is given to the place outside the Pretorium on which Pilate sat to give judgment upon Jesus. Its Hebrew (Aramaic) equivalent is declared to be GABBATHA (which see). The identification of the place is uncertain.


pa-vil’-yun: A covered place, booth, tent, in which a person may be kept hid or secret (cokh, Ps 27:5; cukkah—the usual term—Ps 31:20), or otherwise be withdrawn from view. The term is used with reference to God (2Sa 22:12; Ps 18:11); to kings drinking in privacy (1Ki 20:12,16); the Revised Version (British and American) gives "pavilion" for the King James Version "tabernacle" in Job 36:29; Isa 4:6; while in Nu 25:8 it substitutes this word, with the margin "alcove," for the King James Version "tent" (qubbah), and Jer 43:10, for "royal pavilion" (shaphrur), reads in the margin "glittering pavilion."

James Orr


po (kaph, literally, "palm," yadh, literally, "hand"): The former (kaph) is applied to the soft paws of animals in contradistinction to the hoofs (Le 11:27); the latter is thrice used in 1Sa 17:37: "Yahweh that delivered me out of the paw (yadh) of the lion, and out of the paw (yadh) of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand (yadh) of this Philistine." The verb "to paw" (chaphar) is found in the description of the horse: "He paweth (margin "they paw") in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth out to meet the armed men (margin, "the weapons")" (Job 39:21). The word is usually translated "to delve into," "to pry into," "to explore."

H. L. E. Luering


pa "p": The 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet; transliterated in this Encyclopedia as "p" with daghesh and "ph" (equals f) without. It came also to be used for the number 80. For name, etc., see ALPHABET.


pes (shalom; eirene):

1. In the Old Testament:

Is a condition of freedom from disturbance, whether outwardly, as of a nation from war or enemies, or inwardly, within the soul. The Hebrew word is shalom (both adjective and substantive), meaning, primarily, "soundness," "health," but coming also to signify "prosperity," well-being in general, all good in relation to both man and God. In early times, to a people harassed by foes, peace was the primary blessing. In Ps 122:7, we have "peace" and "prosperity," and in 35:27; 73:3, shalom is translated "prosperity." In 2Sa 11:7 the King James Version, David asked of Uriah "how Joab did" (margin "of the peace of Joab"), "and how the people did (the Revised Version (British and American) "fared," literally, "of the peace of the people"), and how the war prospered" (literally, "and of the peace (welfare) of the war").

(1) Shalom was the common friendly greeting, used in asking after the health of anyone; also in farewells (Ge 29:6, "Is it well with him?" ("Is there peace to him?"); 43:23, "Peace be to you"; 43:27, "He asked them of their welfare (of their peace)"; Jud 6:23, "Yahweh said unto him, Peace be unto thee"; 18:15 (the King James Version "saluted him," margin "Hebrew asked him of peace," the Revised Version (British and American) "of his welfare"); Jud 19:20, etc.). See also GREETING.

(2) Peace from enemies (implying prosperity) was the great desire of the nation and was the gift of God to the people if they walked in His ways (Le 26:6; Nu 6:26, "Yahweh lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace"; Ps 29:11; Isa 26:12, etc.). To "die in peace" was greatly to be desired (Ge 15:15; 1Ki 2:6; 2Ch 34:28, etc.).

(3) Inward peace was the portion of the righteous who trusted in God (Job 22:21, "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace (shalam)"; Ps 4:8; 85:8, "He will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints"; 119:165; Pr 3:2,17; Isa 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace (Hebrew "peace, peace"), whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee"; Mal 2:5); also outward peace (Job 5:23,24; Pr 16:7, etc.).

(4) Peace was to be sought and followed by the righteous (Ps 34:14, "Seek peace, and pursue it"; Zec 8:16,19, "Love truth and peace").

(5) Peace should be a prominent feature of the Messianic times (Isa 2:4; 9:6, "Prince of Peace"; Isa 11:6; Eze 34:25; Mic 4:2-4; Zec 9:10).

In the New Testament, where eirene has much the same meaning and usage as shalom (for which it is employed in the Septuagint; compare Lu 19:42, the Revised Version (British and American) "If thou hadst known .... the things which belong unto peace"), we have still the expectation of "peace" through the coming of the Christ (Lu 1:74,79; 12:51) and also its fulfillment in the higher spiritual sense.

2. In the New Testament:

(1) The gospel in Christ is a message of peace from God to men (Lu 2:14; Ac 10:36, "preaching .... peace by Jesus Christ"). It is "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," in Ro 5:1; the King James Version 10:15; peace between Jew and Gentile (Eph 2:14,15); an essential element in the spiritual kingdom of God (Ro 14:17).

(2) It is to be cherished and followed by Christians. Jesus exhorted His disciples, "Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace one with another" (Mr 9:50); Paul exhorts, "Live in peace: and the God of love and peace shall be with you" (2Co 13:11; compare Ro 12:18; 1Co 7:15).

(3) God is therefore "the God of peace," the Author and Giver of all good ("peace" including every blessing) very frequently (e.g. Ro 15:33; 16:20; 2Th 3:16, etc., "the Lord of peace"). "Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" is a common apostolic wish or salutation (compare 1Co 1:3; 2Co 1:2, etc.).

(4) We have also "peace" as a greeting (Mt 10:13; Lu 10:5); "a son of peace" (Lu 10:6) is one worthy of it, in sympathy with it; the Lord’s own greeting to His disciples was "Peace be unto you" (Lu 24:36; Joh 20:19,21,26), and ere He left them He gave them specially His blessing of "Peace" (Joh 14:27); we have also frequently "Go in peace" (Mr 5:34; Lu 7:50). In Lu 19:38, we have "peace in heaven" (in the acclamation of Jesus on His Messianic entry of Jerusalem).

(5) The peace that Christ brought is primarily spiritual peace from and with God, peace in the heart, peace as the disposition or spirit. He said that He did not come "to send peace on the earth, but a sword," referring to the searching nature of His call and the divisions and clearances it would create. But, of course, the spirit of the gospel and of the Christian is one of peace, and it is a Christian duty to seek to bring war and strife everywhere to an end. This is represented as the ultimate result of the gospel and Spirit of Christ; universal and permanent peace can come only as that Spirit rules in men’s hearts.

"Peace" in the sense of silence, to hold one’s peace, etc., is in the Old Testament generally the translation of charash, "to be still, or silent" (Ge 24:21; 34:5; Job 11:3); also of chashah, "to hush," "to be silent" (2Ki 2:3,5; Ps 39:2), and of other words. In Job 29:10 ("The nobles held their peace," the King James Version), it is qol, "voice."

In the New Testament we have siopao, "to be silent," "to cease speaking" (Mt 20:31; 26:63; Ac 18:9, etc.); sigao, "to be silent," "not to speak" (Lu 20:26; Ac 12:17); hesuchazo, "to be quiet" (Lu 14:4; Ac 11:18); phimoo, "to muzzle or gag" (Mr 1:25; Lu 4:35).

In Apocrypha eirene is frequent, mostly in the sense of peace from war or strife (Tobit 13:14; Judith 3:1; Ecclesiasticus 13:18; 1 Macc 5:54; 6:49; 2 Macc 14:6, eustatheia equals "tranquillity").

The Revised Version (British and American) has "peace" for "tongue" (Es 7:4; Job 6:24; Am 6:10; Hab 1:13); "at peace with me" for "perfect" (Isa 42:19, margin "made perfect" or "recompensed"); "security" instead of "peaceably" and "peace" (Da 8:25; 11:21,24); "came in peace to the city," for "came to Shalem, a city" (Ge 33:18); "it was for my peace" instead of "for peace" (Isa 38:17); "when they are in peace," for "and that which should have been for their welfare" (Ps 69:22).

W. L. Walker




pes’-mak-er: Occurs only in the plural (Mt 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers (eirenopoioi): for they shall be called sons of God" (who is "the God of peace")). We have also what seems to be a reflection of this saying in Jas 3:18, "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for (the Revised Version margin "by") them that make peace" (tois poiousin eirenen). In classical Greek a "peacemaker" was an ambassador sent to treat of peace. The word in Mt 5:9 would, perhaps, be better rendered "peace-workers," implying not merely making peace between those who are at variance, but working peace as that which is the will of the God of peace for men.

W. L. Walker


pe’-kok (tukkiyim (plural); Latin Pavo cristatus): A bird of the genus Pavo. Japan is the native home of the plainer peafowl; Siam, Ceylon and India produce the commonest and most gorgeous. The peacock has a bill of moderate size with an arched tip, its cheeks are bare, the eyes not large, but very luminous, a crest of 24 feathers 2 inches long, with naked shafts and broad tips of blue, glancing to green. The neck is not long but proudly arched, the breast full, prominent and of bright blue green, blue predominant. The wings are short and ineffectual, the feathers on them made up of a surprising array of colors. The tail consists of 18 short, stiff, grayish-brown feathers. Next is the lining of the train, of the same color. The glory of this glorious bird lies in its train. It begins on the back between the wings in tiny feathers not over 6 inches in length, and extends backward. The quills have thick shafts of purple and green shades, the eye at the tip of each feather from one-half to 2 inches across, of a deep peculiar blue, surrounded at the lower part by two half-moon-shaped crescents of green. Whether the train lies naturally, or is spread in full glory, each eye shows encircled by a marvel of glancing shades of green, gold, purple, blue and bronze. When this train is spread, it opens like a fan behind the head with its sparkling crest, and above the wondrous blue of the breast. The bird has the power to contract the muscles at the base of the quills and play a peculiar sort of music with them. It loves high places and cries before a storm in notes that are startling to one not familiar with them. The bird can be domesticated and will become friendly enough to take food from the hand. The peahen is smaller than the cock, her neck green, her wings gray, tan and brown—but she has not the gorgeous train. She nests on earth and breeds with difficulty when imported, the young being delicate and tender. The grown birds are hardy when acclimated, and live to old age. By some freak of nature, pure white peacocks are at times produced. Aristophanes mentioned peafowl in his Birds, II. 102, 269. Alexander claimed that he brought them into Greece from the east, but failed to prove his contention. Pliny wrote that Hortensius was the first to serve the birds for food, and that Aufidius Lurco first fattened and sold them in the markets. It was the custom to skin the bird, roast and recover it and send it to the table, the gaudy feathers showing.

The first appearance of the bird in the Bible occurs in a summing-up of the wealth and majesty of Solomon (1Ki 10:22 "For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks"). (Here the Septuagint translates peleketoi (s.c. lithoi), equals "(stones) carved with an ax.") The same statement is made in 2Ch 9:21: "For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks" Septuagint omits). There is no question among scholars and scientists but that these statements are true, as the ships of Solomon are known to have visited the coasts of India and Ceylon, and Tarshish was on the Malabar coast of India, where the native name of the peacock was tokei, from which tukkiyim undoubtedly was derived (see GOLD, and The Expository Times, IX, 472). The historian Tennant says that the Hebrew names for "ivory" and "apes" were also the same as the Tamil. The reference to the small, ineffectual wing of the peacock which scarcely will lift the weight of the body and train, that used to be found in Job, is now applied to the ostrich, and is no doubt correct:

"The wings of the ostrich wave proudly;

But are they the pinions and plumage of love?" (Job 39:13).

While the peacock wing seems out of proportion to the size of the bird, it will sustain flight and bear the body to the treetops. The wing of the ostrich is useless for flight.

Gene Stratton-Porter





pe-kul’-yar: The Latin peculium means "private property," so that "peculiar" properly equals "pertaining to the individual." In modern English the word has usually degenerated into a half-colloquial form for "extraordinary," but in Biblical English it is a thoroughly dignified term for "esp. one’s own"; compare the "peculiar treasure" of the king in Ec 2:8 (the King James Version). Hence, "peculiar people" (the King James Version De 14:2, etc.) means a people especially possessed by God and particularly prized by Him. The word in the Old Testament (the King James Version Ex 19:5; De 14:2; 26:18; Ps 135:4; Ec 2:8) invariably represents ceghullah, "property," an obscure word which Septuagint usually rendered by the equally obscure periousios (apparently meaning "superabundant"), which in turn is quoted in Tit 2:14. In Mal 3:17, however, Septuagint has peripoiesis, quoted in 1Pe 2:9. the English Revised Version in the New Testament substituted "own possession" in the two occurrences, but in the Old Testament kept "peculiar" and even extended its use (De 7:6; Mal 3:17) to cover every occurrence of ceghullah except in 1Ch 29:3 ("treasure"). the American Standard Revised Version, on the contrary, has dropped "peculiar" altogether, using "treasure" in 1Ch 29:3; Ec 2:8, and "own possession" elsewhere. the King James Version also has "peculiar commandments" (idios, "particular," the Revised Version (British and American) "several") in The Wisdom of Solomon 19:6, and the Revised Version (British and American) has "peculiar" where the King James Version has "special" in The Wisdom of Solomon 3:14 for eklekte, "chosen out."

Burton Scott Easton


ped’-a-hel, pe-da’-el (pedhah’-el, "whom God redeems"): A prince of Naphtali; one of the tribal chiefs who apportioned the land of Canaan (Nu 34:28; compare Nu 34:17).


pe-da’zur (pedhahtsur): Mentioned in Nu 1:10; 2:20; 7:54,59; 10:23 as the father of Gamaliel, head of the tribe of Manasseh, at the time of the exodus. See The Expository Times, VIII, 555 ff.


pe-da’-ya, pe-di’-a (pedhayahu, "Yah redeems"):

(1) Father of Joel, who was ruler of Western Manasseh in David’s reign (1Ch 27:20). Form pedhayah (see above).

(2) Pedaiah of Rumah (2Ki 23:36), father of Zebudah, Jehoiakim’s mother.

(3) A son of Jeconiah (1Ch 3:18); in 1Ch 3:19 the father of Zerubbabel. Pedaiah’s brother, Shealtiel, is also called father of Zerubbabel (Ezr 3:2; but in 1Ch 3:17 the King James Version spelled "Salathiel"). There may have been two cousins, or even different individuals may be referred to under Shealtiel and Salathiel respectively.

(4) Another who helped to repair the city wall (Ne 3:25), of the family of PAROSH (which see). Perhaps this is the man who stood by Ezra at the reading of the Law (Ne 8:4; 1 Esdras 9:44, called "Phaldeus").

(5) A "Levite," appointed one of the treasurers over the "treasuries" of the Lord’s house (Ne 13:13).

(6) A Benjamite, one of the rulers residing in Jerusalem under the "return" arrangements (Ne 11:7).

Henry Wallace


ped’-es-tal (ken): In two places (1Ki 7:29,31) the Revised Version (British and American) gives this word for the King James Version "base" (in Solomon’s "Sea").


ped’-i-as, pe-di’-as (Pedias; Codex Alexandrinus Paideias; the King James Version by mistake Pelias): One of those who had taken "strange wives" (1 Esdras 9:34) equals "Bedeiah" of Ezr 10:35.


ped’-i-gre (hithyalledh, "to show one’s birth"): The English word "pedigree" occurs only once in the Bible, according to the concordance. In Nu 1:18, it is said: "They declared their pedigrees"; that is, they enrolled or registered themselves according to their family connections. The same idea is expressed frequently, employing a different term in the Hebrew, by the common phrase of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, "to reckon by genealogy," "to give genealogy," etc. (compare 1Ch 7:5,9; Ezr 2:62 ff; Ne 7:64). These last passages indicate the importance of the registered pedigree or genealogy, especially of the priests in the post-exilic community, for the absence of the list of their pedigrees, or their genealogical records, was sufficient to cause the exclusion from the priesthood of certain enrolled priests.

Walter R. Betteridge


pel, pil: "Pill" (Ge 30:37,38; Tobit 11:13 (the Revised Version (British and American) "scaled")) and "peel" (Isa 18:2,7 (the King James Version and the Revised Version margin); Eze 29:18 (the King James Version and the English Revised Version)) are properly two different words, meaning "to remove the hair" (pilus) and "to remove the skin" (pellis), but in Elizabethan English the two were confused. In Isa 18:2,7, the former meaning is implied, as the Hebrew word here (marat) is rendered "pluck off the hair" in Ezr 9:3; Ne 13:25; Isa 50:6. The word, however, may also mean "make smooth" (so the Revised Version margin) or "bronzed." This last, referring to the dark skins of the Ethiopians, is best here, but in any case the King James Version and the Revised Version margin are impossible. In the other cases, however, "remove the skin" (compare "scaled," Tobit 11:13 the Revised Version (British and American)) is meant. So in Ge 30:37,38, Jacob "peels" (so the Revised Version (British and American)) off portions of the bark of his rods, so as to give alternating colors (compare 30:39). And in Eze 29:18, the point is Nebuchadrezzar’s total failure in his siege of Tyre, although the soldiers had carried burdens until the skin was peeled from their shoulders (compare the American Standard Revised Version "worn").

Burton Scott Easton


pep (tsphaph; the King James Version Isa 8:19; 10:14 (the Revised Version (British and American) "chirp")): In 10:14, the word describes the sound made by a nestling bird; in 8:19, the changed (ventriloquistic?) voice of necromancers uttering sounds that purported to come from the feeble dead. The modern use of "peep" equals "look" is found in Sirach 21:23, as the translation of parakupto: "A foolish man peepeth in from the door of another man’s house."

PEKAH pe’-ka (peqach, "opening" (of the eyes) (2Ki 15:25-31); Phakee):

1. Accession:

Son of Remaliah, and 18th king of Israel. Pekah murdered his predecessor, Pekahiah, and seized the reins of power (2Ki 15:25). His usurpation of the throne is said to have taken place in the 52nd year of Uzziah, and his reign to have lasted for 20 years (2Ki 15:27). His accession, therefore, may be placed in 748 BC (other chronologies place it later, and make the reign last only a few years).

Pekah came to the throne with the resolution of assisting in forming a league to resist the westward advance of Assyria. The memory of defeat by Assyria at the battle of Karkar in 753, more than 100 years before, had never died out.

2. Attitude of Assyria:

Tiglath-pileser III was now ruler of Assyria, and in successive campaigns since 745 had proved himself a resistless conqueror. His lust for battle was not yet satisfied, and the turn of Philistia and Syria was about to come. In 735, a coalition, of which Pekah was a prominent member, was being formed to check his further advance. It comprised the princes of Comagene, Gebal, Hamath, Arvad, Ammon, Moab, Edom, Gaza, Samaria, Syria, and some minor potentates, the list being taken from a roll of the subject-princes who attended a court and paid tribute after the fall of Damascus. Ahaz likewise attended as a voluntary tributary to do homage to Tiglath-pileser (2Ki 16:10).

3. Judah Recalcitrant:

While the plans of the allies were in course of formation, an obstacle was met with which proved insurmountable by the arts of diplomacy. This was the refusal of Ahaz, then on the throne of David, to join the confederacy. Arguments and threats having failed to move him, resort was had to force, and the troops of Samaria and Damascus moved on Jerusalem (2Ki 16:5). Great alarm was felt at the news of their approach, as seen in the 7th and 8th chapters of Isa. The allies had in view to dispossess Ahaz of his crown, and give it to one of their own number, a son of Tabeel. Isaiah himself was the mainstay of the opposition to their projects. The policy he advocated, by divine direction, was that of complete neutrality. This he urged with passionate earnestness, but with only partial success. Isaiah (probably) had kept back Ahaz from joining the coalition, but could not prevent him from sending an embassy, laden with gifts to Tiglath-pileser, to secure his intervention. On the news arriving that the Assyrian was on the march, a hasty retreat was made from Jerusalem, and the blow soon thereafter fell, where Isaiah had predicted, on Rezin and Pekah, and their kingdoms.

4. Chronicles Ancillary to Kings:

The severely concise manner in which the writer of Kings deals with the later sovereigns of the Northern Kingdom is, in the case of Pekah, supplemented in Chronicles by further facts as to this campaign of the allies. The Chronicler states that "a great multitude of captives" were taken to Damascus and many others to Samaria. These would be countrymen and women from the outlying districts of Judah, which were ravaged. Those taken to Samaria were, however, returned, unhurt, to Jericho by the advice of the prophet Oded (2Ch 28:5-15).

5. Fall of Damascus; Northern and Eastern Palestine Overrun:

The messengers sent from Jerusalem to Nineveh appear to have arrived when the army of Tiglath-pileser was already prepared to march. The movements of the Assyrians being expedited, they fell upon Damascus before the junction of the allies was accomplished. Rezin was defeated in a decisive battle, and took refuge in his capital, which was closely invested. Another part of the invading army descended on the upper districts of Syria and Samaria. Serious resistance to the veteran troops of the East could hardly be made, and city after city fell. A list of districts and cities that were overrun is given in 2Ki 15:29. It comprises Gilead beyond Jordan—already partly depopulated (1Ch 5:26); the tribal division of Naphtali, lying to the West of the lakes of Galilee and Merom, and all Galilee, as far South as the plain of Esdraelon and the Valley of Jezreel. Cities particularly mentioned are Ijon (now ‘Ayun), Abel-beth-maacah (now ‘Abi), Janoah (now Yanun), Kedesh (now Kados) and Hazor (now Hadireh).

6. Deportation of the Inhabitants:

These places and territories were not merely attacked and plundered. Their inhabitants were removed, with indescribable loss and suffering, to certain districts in Assyria, given as Halah, Habor, Hara, and both sides of the river Gozan, an affluent of the Euphrates. The transplantation of these tribes to a home beyond the great river was a new experiment in political geography, devised with the object of welding the whole of Western Asia into a single empire. It was work of immense difficulty and must have taxed the resources of even so great an organizer as Tiglath-pileser. The soldiers who had conquered in the field were, of course, employed to escort the many thousands of prisoners to their new locations. About two-thirds of the Samarian kingdom, comprising the districts of Samaria, the two Galilees, and the trans-Jordanic region, was thus denuded of its inhabitants.

7. Death of Pekah:

Left with but a third of his kingdom—humbled but still defiant—Pekah was necessarily unpopular with his subjects. In this extremity—the wave of invasion from the North having spent itself—the usual solution occurred, and a plot was formed by which the assassination of Pekah should be secured, and the assassin should take his place as a satrap of Assyria. A tool was found in the person of Hoshea, whom Tiglath-pileser claims to have appointed to the throne. The Biblical narrative does not do more than record the fact that "Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead" (2Ki 15:30). The date given to this act is the 20th year of Jotham. As Jotham’s reign lasted but 16 years, this number is evidently an error.

8. References in Isaiah:

For the first time, the historian makes no reference to the religious conduct of a king of Israel. The subject was beneath notice. The second section of Isaiah’s prophecies (Isa 7:1-10:4) belongs to the reign of Ahaz and thus to the time of Pekah, both of whom are named in it. Pekah is named in Isa 7:1, and is often, in this and the next chapter, referred to as "the son of Remaliah." His loss of the territorial divisions of Zebulun and Naphtali is referred to in 9:1, and is followed by prophecy of their future glory as the earthly home of the Son of Man. The wording of Isa 9:14 shows that it was written before the fall of Samaria, and that of Isa 10:9-11 that Damascus and Samaria had both fallen and Jerusalem was expected to follow. This section of Isaiah may thus be included in the literature of the time of Pekah.

W. Shaw Caldecott


pek-a-hi’-a, pe-ka’-ya (peqachyah, "Yah hath opened" (the eyes) (2Ki 15:23-26); Phakesias; Codex Alexandrinus Phakeias):

1. Accession:

Son of Menahem, and 17th king of Israel. He is said to have succeeded his father in the "50th year of Azariah" (or Uzziah), a synchronism not free from difficulty if his accession is placed in 750-749 (see MENAHEM; UZZIAH). Most date lower, after 738, when an Assyrian inscription makes Menahem pay tribute to Tiglath-pileser (compare 2Ki 15:19-21).

2. Regicide in Israel:

Pekahiah came to the throne enveloped in the danger which always accompanies the successor of an exceptionally strong ruler, in a country where there is not a settled law of succession. Within two years of his accession he was murdered in a foul manner—the 7th king of Israel who had met his death by violence (the others were Nadab, Elah, Tibni, Jehoram, Zechariah and Shallum). The chief conspirator was Pekah, son of Remaliah, one of his captains, with whom, as agent in the crime, were associated 50 Gileadites. These penetrated into the palace (the Revised Version (British and American) "castle") of the king’s house, and put Pekahiah to death, his bodyguards, Argob and Arieh, dying with him. The record, in its close adherence to fact, gives no reason for the king’s removal, but it may reasonably be surmised that it was connected with a league which was at this time forming for opposing resistance to the power of Assyria. This league, Pekahiah, preferring his father’s policy of tributary vassalage, may have refused to join. If so, the decision cost him his life. The act of treachery and violence is in accordance with all that Hosea tells us of the internal condition of Israel at this time: "They .... devour their judges; all their kings are fallen" (Ho 7:7).

3. Pekahiah’s Character:

The narrative of Pekahiah’s short reign contains but a brief notice of his personal character. Like his predecessors, Pekahiah did not depart from the system of worship introduced by Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, "who made Israel to sin." Despite the denunciations of the prophets of the Northern Kingdom (Am 5:21-27; Ho 8:1-6), the worship of the calves remained, till the whole was swept away, a few years later, by the fall of the kingdom.

After Pekahiah’s murder, the throne was seized by the regicide Pekah.

W. Shaw Caldecott


pe’-kod (peqodh): A name applied in Jer 50:21 and Eze 23:23 to the Chaldeans. Various English Versions of the Bible (margins) in the former passage gives the meaning as "visitation."


pe-la’-ya, pe-li’-a (pela’yah):

(1) A son of Elioenai, of the royal house of Judah (1Ch 3:24).

(2) A Levite who assisted Ezra by expounding the Law (Ne 8:7), and was one of those who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah (10:10). He is called "Phalias" in 1 Esdras 9:48 (Revised Version).


pel-a-li’-a (pelalyah, "Yahweh judges"): A priest, father of Jeroham, one of the "workers" in the Lord’s house (Ne 11:12).


pel-a-ti’-a (pelatyah, "Yahweh delivers"):

(1) One who "sealed" the covenant (Ne 10:22).

(2) A descendant of Solomon, grandson of Zerubbabel (1Ch 3:21).

(3) A Simeonite, one of the captains who cleared out the Amalekites and dwelt on the captured land (1Ch 4:42,43).

(4) A prince of the people whom Ezekiel (in Babylon) pictures as ‘devising mischief’ and giving ‘wicked counsel’ in Jerusalem. He is represented as falling dead while Ezekiel prophesies (Eze 11:1,13). His name has the "-u," ending.


pe’-leg (pelegh, "watercourse," "division"): A son of Eber, and brother of Joktan. The derivation of the name is given: "for in his days was the earth divided" (niphleghah) (Ge 10:25; compare Lu 3:35, the King James Version "Phalec"). This probably refers to the scattering of the world’s population and the confounding of its language recorded in Ge 11:1-9. In Aramaic pelagh and Arabic phalaj mean "division"; in Hebrew pelegh means "watercourse." The name may really be due to the occupation by this people of some well-watered (furrowed), district (e.g. in Babylonia), for these patronymics represent races, and the derivation in Ge 10:25 is a later editor’s remark.

S. F. Hunter


pe’-let (peleT, "deliverance"):

(1) Son of Iahdai (1Ch 2:47).

(2) Son of Azmaveth, one of those who resorted to David at Ziklag while he was hiding from Saul (1Ch 12:3).


pe’-leth (peleth, "swiftness"):

(1) Father of On, one of the rebels against Moses and Aaron (Nu 16:1); probably same as PALLU (which see).

(2) A descendant of Jerahmeel (1Ch 2:33).


pel’-e-thits, pe’-leth-its (pelethi): A company of David’s bodyguard, like the CHERETHITES (which see) (2Sa 8:18; 15:18); probably a corrupt form of "Philistines."


pe-li’-as: the King James Version equals the Revised Version (British and American) "Pedias."


pel’-kan (qa’ath; Latin Pelecanus onocrotalus Septuagint reads pelekan, in Leviticus and Psalms, but has 3 other readings, that are rather confusing, in the other places)): Any bird of the genus Pelecanus. The Hebrew qi’ means "to vomit." The name was applied to the bird because it swallowed large quantities of fish and then disgorged them to its nestlings. In the performance of this act it pressed the large beak, in the white species, tipped with red, against the crop and slightly lifted the wings. In ancient times, people, seeing this, believed that the bird was puncturing its breast and feeding its young with its blood. From this idea arose the custom of using a pelican with lifted wings in heraldry or as a symbol of Christ and of charity. (See Fictitious Creatures in Art, 182-86, London, Chapman and Hall, 1906.) Palestine knew a white and a brownish-gray bird, both close to 6 ft. long and having over a 12 ft. sweep of wing. They lived around the Dead Sea, fished beside the Jordan and abounded in greatest numbers in the wildernesses of the Mediterranean shore. The brown pelicans were larger than the white. Each of them had a long beak, peculiar throat pouch and webbed feet. They built large nests, 5 and 6 ft. across, from dead twigs of bushes, and laid two or three eggs. The brown birds deposited a creamy-white egg with a rosy flush; the white, a white egg with bluish tints. The young were naked at first, then covered with down, and remained in the nest until full feathered and able to fly. This compelled the parent birds to feed them for a long time, and they carried such quantities of fish to a nest that the young could not consume all of them and many were dropped on the ground. The tropical sun soon made the location unbearable to mortals. Perching pelicans were the ugliest birds imaginable, but when their immense brown or white bodies swept in a 12 ft. spread across the land and over sea, they made an impressive picture. They are included, with good reason, in the list of abominations (see Le 11:18; De 14:17). They are next mentioned in Ps 102:6:

"I am like a pelican of the wilderness;

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

Here David from the depths of affliction likened himself to a pelican as it appears when it perches in the wilderness. See Isa 34:11: "But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it; and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein: and he will stretch over it the line of confusion, and the plummet of emptiness." Here the bird is used to complete the picture of desolation that was to prevail after the destruction of Edom. The other reference concerns the destruction of Nineveh and is found in Ze 2:14: "And herds shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the pelican and the porcupine shall lodge in the capitals thereof; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he hath laid bare the cedar-work."

Gene Stratton-Porter


pel’-ish-tim, pe-lish’-tim (pelishtim (the Revised Version margin of Ge 10:14)).



pel’-o-nit, pe’-lo-nit, pe-lo’-nit (peloni, a place-name): Two of David’s heroes are thus described: (1) "Helez the Pelonite" (1Ch 11:27) (see PALTITE); and (2) "Ahijah the Pelonite" (1Ch 11:36).


(‘et, cheret; kalamos): The first writing was done on clay, wax, lead or stone tablets by scratching into the material with some hard pointed instrument. For this purpose bodkins of bronze, iron, bone or ivory were used (Job 19:24; Isa 8:1; Jer 17:1). In Jer 17:1 a diamond is also mentioned as being used for the same purpose. In Jer 36 Baruch, the son of Neriah, declares that he recorded the words of the prophet with ink in the book. In Jer 36:23 it says that the king cut the roll with the penknife (literally, the scribe’s knife). This whole scene can best be explained if we consider that Baruch and the king’s scribes were in the habit of using reed pens. These pens are made from the hollow jointed stalks of a coarse grass growing in marshy places. The dried reed is cut diagonally with the penknife and the point thus formed is carefully shaved thin to make it flexible and the nib split as in the modern pen. The last operation is the clipping off of the very point so that it becomes a stub pen. The Arab scribe does this by resting the nib on his thumb nail while cutting, so that the cut will be clean and the pen will not scratch. The whole procedure requires considerable skill. The pupil in Hebrew or Arabic writing learns to make a pen as his first lesson. A scribe carries a sharp knife around with him for keeping his pen in good condition, hence, the name penknife. The word used in 3 Joh 1:13 is kalamos, "reed," indicating that the pen described above was used in John’s time (compare qalam, the common Arabic name for pen).


Figurative: "Written with a pen of iron," i.e. indelibly (Jer 17:1). "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Ps 45:1; compare Jer 36:18). As the trained writer records a speech, so the Psalmist’s tongue impresses or engraves on his hearers’ minds what he has conceived.

James A. Patch





pen’-sil (Isa 44:13, margin "red ochre," the King James Version "line").



pen’-dant (from French from Latin pendeo, "to hang"): Not in the King James Version. Twice in the Revised Version (British and American).

(1) netiphoth (the King James Version "collars"), ornaments of the Midianites captured by Gideon (Jud 8:26).

(2) netiphoth (the King James Version "chains"), an article of feminine apparel (Isa 3:19). The reference seems to be (Cheyne, "Isaiah" Polychrome Bible (HDB, III, 739)) to ear-drops, pearl or gold ornaments resembling a drop of Water, fastened, probably, to the lobe of the ear.


pe-ni’-el, pen’-i-el, pe’-ni-el (peni’el, "face of God"; Eidos theou): This is the form of the name in Ge 32:30. In the next verse and elsewhere it appears as "Penuel." The name is said to have been given to the place by Jacob after his night of wrestling by the Jabbok, because, as he said, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." It was a height evidently close by the stream over which Jacob passed in the morning. Some have thought it might be a prominent cliff, the contour of which resembled a human face. Such a cliff on the seashore to the South of Tripoli was called theou prosopon, "face of God" (Strabo xvi.2,15 f). In later times a city with a strong tower stood upon it. This lay in the line of Gideon’s pursuit of the Midianites. When he returned victorious, he beat down the place because of the churlishness of the inhabitants (Jud 8:8,9,17). It was one of the towns "built" or fortified by Jeroboam (1Ki 12:25). Merrill would identify it with Telul edh-Dhahab, "hills of gold," two hills with ruins that betoken great antiquity, and that speak of great strength, on the South of the Jabbok, about 10 miles East of Jordan (for description see Merrill, East of the Jordan, 390 if). A difficulty that seems fatal to this identification is that here the banks of the Jabbok are so precipitous as to be impassable. Conder suggests Jebel ‘Osha. The site was clearly not far from Succoth; but no certainty is yet possible.

W. Ewing


pe-nin’-a (peninnah, "coral," "pearl"): Second wife of Elkanah, father of Samuel (1Sa 1:2,4).


pen’-nif (Jer 36:23).

See PEN.


pen’-i (denarion; Latin denarius (which see)): the American Standard Revised Version (Mt 18:28; 20:2,9,10,13, etc.) renders it by "shilling" except in Mt 22:19; Mr 12:15 and Lu 20:24, where it retains the original term as it refers to a particular coin.



pen’-shun (1 Esdras 4:56, the King James Version "and he commanded to give to all that kept the city pensions and wages"; kleros, "allotted portion," usually (here certainly) of lands (the Revised Version (British and American) "lands")): Literally it means simply "payment," and the King James Version seems to have used the word in order to avoid any specialization of kleros. There is no reference to payment for past services.

See LOT.





1. The Current Critical Scheme 2. The Evidence for the Current Critical Scheme

(1) Astruc’s Clue

(2) Signs of Post-Mosaic Date

(3) Narrative Discrepancies

(4) Doublets

(5) The Laws

(6) The Argument from Style

(7) Props of the Development Hypothesis

3. The Answer to the Critical Analysis

(1) The Veto of Textual Criticism

(2) Astruc’s Clue Tested

(3) The Narrative Discrepancies and Signs of Post-Mosaic Date Examined

(4) The Argument from the Doublets Examined

(5) The Critical Argument from the Laws

(6) The Argument from Style

(7) Perplexities of the Theory

(8) Signs of Unity

(9) The Supposed Props of the Development Hypothesis

4. The Evidence of Date

(1) The Narrative of Genesis

(2) Archaeology and Genesis

(3) The Legal Evidence of Genesis

(4) The Professedly Mosaic Character of the Legislation

(5) The Historical Situation Required by Pentateuch

(6) The Hierarchical Organization in Pentateuch

(7) The Legal Evidence of Pentateuch

(8) The Evidence of D

(9) Later Allusions

(10) Other Evidence

5. The Fundamental Improbabilities of the Critical Case

(1) The Moral and Psychological Issues

(2) The Historical Improbability

(3) The Divergence between the Laws and Post-exilic Practice

(4) The Testimony of Tradition

6. The Origin and Transmission of the Pentateuch


1. Style of Legislation

2. The Narrative

3. The Covenant

4. Order and Rhythm


1. Textual Criticism and History

2. Hebrew Methods of Expression

3. Personification and Genealogies

4. Literary Form

5. The Sacred Numbers

6. Habits of Thought

7. National Coloring

8. How Far the Pentateuch Is Trustworthy

(1) Contemporaneous Information

(2) Character of Our Informants

(3) Historical Genius of the People

(4) Good Faith of Deuteronomy

(5) Nature of the Events Recorded

(6) External Corroborations

9. The Pentateuch as Reasoned History


1. Hindu Law Books

2. Differences

3. Holiness

4. The Universal Aspect

5. The National Aspect


I. Title, Division, Contents

(Torah, "law" or "teaching").—It has recently been argued that the Hebrew word is really the Babylonian tertu, "divinely revealed law" (e.g. Sayce, Churchman, 1909, 728 ff), but such passages as Le 14:54-57; De 17:11 show that the legislator connected it with horah (from yarah), "to teach." Also called by the Jews chamishshah chumeshi torah, "the five-fifths of the law": ho nomos, "the Law." The word "Pentateuch" comes from pentateuchos, literally "5-volumed (book)." The Pentateuch consists of the first five books of the Bible, and forms the first division of the Jewish Canon, and the whole of the Samaritan Canon. The 5-fold division is certainly old, since it is earlier than the Septuagint or the Sam Pentateuch. How much older it may be is unknown. It has been thought that the 5-fold division of the Psalter is based on it.

The five books into which the Pentateuch is divided are respectively Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and the separate articles should be consulted for information as to their nomenclature.

The work opens with an account of the Creation, and passes to the story of the first human couple. The narrative is carried on partly by genealogies and partly by fuller accounts to Abraham. Then comes a history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the collateral lines of descendants being rapidly dismissed. The story of Joseph is told in detail, and Genesis closes with his death. The rest of the Pentateuch covers the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, their exodus and wanderings, the conquest of the trans-Jordanic lands and the fortunes of the people to the death of Moses. The four concluding books contain masses of legislation mingled with the narrative (for special contents, see articles on the several books).


II. Authorship, Composition, Date.

1. The Current Critical Scheme:

The view that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, with the exception of the concluding verses of Deuteronomy, was once held universally. It is still believed by the great mass of Jews and Christians, but in most universities of Northern Europe and North America other theories prevail. An application of what is called "higher" or "documentary criticism" (to distinguish it from lower or textual criticism) has led to the formation of a number of hypotheses. Some of these are very widely held, but unanimity has not been attained, and recent investigations have challenged even the conclusions that are most generally accepted. In the English-speaking countries the vast majority of the critics would regard Driver’s, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament and Carpenter and Harford-Battersby’s Hexateuch as fairly representative of their position, but on the Continent of Europe the numerous school that holds some such position is dwindling alike in numbers and influence, while even in Great Britain and America some of the ablest critics are beginning to show signs of being shaken in their allegiance to cardinal points of the higher-critical case. However, at the time of writing, these latter critics have not put forward any fresh formulation of their views, and accordingly the general positions of the works named may be taken as representing with certain qualifications the general critical theory. Some of the chief stadia in the development of this may be mentioned.

After attention had been drawn by earlier writers to various signs of post-Mosaic date and extraordinary perplexities in the Pentateuch, the first real step toward what its advocates have, till within the last few years, called "the modern position" was taken by J. Astruc (1753). He propounded what Carpenter terms "the clue to the documents," i.e. the difference of the divine appellations in Genesis as a test of authorship. On this view the word ‘Elohim ("God") is characteristic of one principal source and the Tetragrammaton, i.e. the divine name YHWH represented by the "LORD" or "GOD" of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), shows the presence of another. Despite occasional warnings, this clue was followed in the main for 150 years. It forms the starting-point of the whole current critical development, but the most recent investigations have successfully proved that it is unreliable (see below, 3, (2)) Astruc was followed by Eichhorn (1780), who made a more thorough examination of Genesis, indicating numerous differences of style, representation, etc.

Geddes (1792) and Vater (1802-1805) extended the method applied to Genesis to the other books of the Pentateuch.

In 1798 Ilgen distinguished two Elohists in Genesis, but this view did not find followers for some time. The next step of fundamental importance was the assignment of the bulk of Deuteronomy to the 7th century BC. This was due to De Wette (1806). Hupfeld (1853) again distinguished a second Elohist, and this has been accepted by most critics. Thus, there are four main documents at least: D (the bulk of Deuteronomy), two Elohists (P and E) and one document (Jahwist) that uses the Tetragrammaton in Genesis. From 1822 (Bleek) a series of writers maintained that the Book of Joshua was compounded from the same documents as the Pentateuch (see HEXATEUCH).

Two other developments call for notice:

(1) there has been a tendency to subdivide these documents further, regarding them as the work of schools rather than of individuals, and resolving them into different strata (P1, Secondary Priestly Writers, P3, etc., J1, Later additions to J, etc., or in the notation of other writers Jj Je, etc.);

(2) a particular scheme of dating has found wide acceptance. In the first period of the critical development it was assumed that the principal Elohist (P) was the earliest document.

A succession of writers of whom Reuss, Graf, Kuenen and Wellhausen are the most prominent have, however, maintained that this is not the first but the last in point of time and should be referred to the exile or later. On this view theory is in outline as follows: J and E (so called from their respective divine appellations)—on the relative dates of which opinions differ—were composed probably during the early monarchy and subsequently combined by a redactor (Rje) into a single document JE. In the 7th century D, the bulk of Deuteronomy, was composed. It was published in the 18th year of Josiah’s reign. Later it was combined with JE into JED by a redactor (Rjed). P or Priestly Code the last of all (originally the first Elohist, now the Priestly Code) incorporated an earlier code of uncertain date which consists in the main of most of Le 17:1-26:46 and is known as the Law of Holiness (H or Ph). P itself is largely postexilic. Ultimately it was joined with JED by a priestly redactor (Rp) into substantially our present Pentateuch. As already stated, theory is subject to many minor variations. Moreover, it is admitted that not all its portions are equally well supported. The division of JE into J and E is regarded as less certain than the separation of Pentateuch. Again, there are variations in the analysis, differences of opinion as to the exact dating of the documents, and so forth. Yet the view just sketched has been held by a very numerous and influential school during recent years, nor is it altogether fair to lay stress on minor divergences of opinion. It is in the abstract conceivable that the main positions might be true, and that yet the data were inadequate to enable all the minor details to be determined with certainty.


This theory will hereafter be discussed at length for two reasons:

(1) while it is now constantly losing ground, it is still more widely held than any other; and

(2) so much of the modern literature on the Old Testament has been written from this standpoint that no intelligent use can be made of the most ordinary books of reference without some acquaintance with it.

Before 1908 the conservative opposition to the dominant theory had exhibited two separate tendencies. One school of conservatives rejected the scheme in toto; the other accepted the analysis with certain modifications, but sought to throw back the dating of the documents. In both these respects it had points of contact with dissentient critics (e.g. Delitzsch, Dillmann, Baudissin, Kittel, Strack, Van Hoonacker), who sought to save for conservatism any spars they could from the general wreckage. The former school of thought was most prominently represented by the late W.H. Green, and J.

Raven’s Old Testament Introduction may be regarded as a typical modern presentation of their view; the latter especially by Robertson and Orr. The scheme put forward by the last named has found many adherents. He refuses to regard J and E as two separate documents, holding that we should rather think (as in the case of the parallel Psalms) of two recensions of one document marked by the use of different divine appellations. The critical P he treats as the work of a supplemented, and thinks it never had an independent existence, while he considers the whole Pentateuch as early. He holds that the work was done by "original composers, working with a common aim, and toward a common end, in contrast with the idea of late irresponsible redactors, combining, altering, manipulating, enlarging at pleasure" (POT, 375).

While these were the views held among Old Testament critics, a separate opposition had been growing up among archaeologists. This was of course utilized to the utmost by the conservatives of both wings. In some ways archaeology undoubtedly has confirmed the traditional view as against the critical (see ARCHAEOLOGY AND CRITICISM); but a candid survey leads to the belief that it has not yet dealt a mortal blow, and here again it must be remembered that the critics may justly plead that they must not be judged on mistakes that they made in their earlier investigations or on refutations of the more uncertain portions of their theory, but rather on the main completed result. It may indeed be said with confidence that there are certain topics to which archaeology can never supply any conclusive answer. If it be the case that the Pentateuch contains hopelessly contradictory laws, no archaeological discovery can make them anything else; if the numbers of the Israelites are original and impossible, archaeology cannot make them possible. It is fair and right to lay stress on the instances in which archaeology has confirmed the Bible as against the critics; it is neither fair nor right to speak as if archaeology had done what it never purported to do and never could effect.

The year 1908 saw the beginning of a new critical development which makes it very difficult to speak positively of modern critical views. Kuenen has been mentioned as one of the ablest and most eminent of those who brought the Graf-Wellhausen theory into prominence. In that year B.D. Eerdmans, his pupil and successor at Leyden, began the publication of a series of Old Testament studies in which he renounces his allegiance to the line of critics that had extended from Astruc to the publications of our own day, and entered on a series of investigations that were intended to set forth a new critical view. As his labors are not yet complete, it is impossible to present any account of his scheme; but the volumes already published justify certain remarks. Eerdmans has perhaps not converted any member of the Wellhausen school, but he has made many realize that their own scheme is not the only one possible. Thus while a few years ago we were constantly assured that the "main results" of Old Testament criticism were unalterably settled, recent writers adopt a very different tone: e.g. Sellin (1910) says, "We stand in a time of fermentation and transition, and in what follows we present our own opinion merely as the hypothesis which appears to us to be the best founded" (Einleitung, 18). By general consent Eerdmans’ work contains a number of isolated shrewd remarks to which criticism will have to attend in the future; but it also contains many observations that are demonstrably unsound (for examples see BS, 1909, 744-48; 1910, 549-51). His own reconstruction is in many respects so faulty and blurred that it does not seem likely that it will ever secure a large following in its present form. On the other hand he appears to have succeeded in inducing a large number of students in various parts of the world to think along new lines and in this way may exercise a very potent influence on the future course of Old Testament study. His arguments show increasingly numerous signs of his having been influenced by the publications of conservative writers, and it seems certain that criticism will ultimately be driven to recognize the essential soundness of the conservative position. In 1912 Dahse (TMH, I) began the publication of a series of volumes attacking the Wellhausen school on textual grounds and propounding a new pericope hypothesis. In his view many phenomena are due to the influence of the pericopes of the synagogue service or the form of the text and not to the causes generally assigned.

2. The Evidence for the Current Critical Scheme:

The examination of the Graf-Wellhausen theory must now be undertaken, and attention must first be directed to the evidence which is adduced in its support. Why should it be held that the Pentateuch is composed mainly of excerpts from certain documents designated as J and E and P and D? Why is it believed that these documents are of very late date, in one case subsequent to the exile?

(1) Astruc’s Clue.

It has been said above that Astruc propounded the use of the divine appellations in Genesis as a clue to the dissection of that book. This is based on Ex 6:3, ‘And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as ‘El Shadday (God Almighty); but by my name YHWH I was not known to them.’ In numerous passages of Genesis this name is represented as known, e.g. 4:26, where we read of men beginning to call on it in the days of Enosh. The discrepancy here is very obvious, and in the view of the Astruc school can be satisfactorily removed by postulating different sources. This clue, of course, fails after Ex 6:3, but other difficulties are found, and moreover the sources already distinguished in Genesis are, it is claimed, marked by separate styles and other characteristics which enable them to be identified when they occur in the narrative of the later books.


(2) Signs of Post-Mosaic Date.

Close inspection of the Pentateuch shows that it contains a number of passages which, it is alleged, could not have proceeded from the pen of Moses in their present form. Probably the most familiar instance is the account of the death of Moses (De 34). Other examples are to be found in seeming allusions to post-Mosaic events, e.g. in Ge 22 we hear of the Mount of the Lord in the land of Moriah; this apparently refers to the Temple Hill, which, however, would not have been so designated before Solomon. So too the list of kings who reigned over Edom "before there reigned any king over the children of Israel" (36:31) presumes the existence of the monarchy. The Canaanites who are referred to as being "then in the land" (Ge 12:6; 13:7) did not disappear till the time of Solomon, and, accordingly, if this expression means "then still" it cannot antedate his reign. De 3:11 (Og’s bedstead) comes unnaturally from one who had vanquished Og but a few weeks previously, while Nu 21:14 (the King James Version) contains a reference to "the book of the Wars of the Lord" which would hardly have been quoted in this way by a contemporary. Ex 16:35 refers to the cessation of the manna after the death of Moses. These passages, and more like them, are cited to disprove Mosaic authorship; but the main weight of the critical argument does not rest on them.

(3) Narrative Discrepancies.

While the divine appellations form the starting-point, they do not even in Genesis constitute the sole test of different documents. On the contrary, there are other narrative discrepancies, antinomies, differences of style, duplicate narratives, etc., adduced to support the critical theory. We must now glance at some of these.

In Ge 21:14 f Ishmael is a boy who can be carried on his mother’s shoulder, but from a comparison of 16:3,16; 17, it appears that he must have been 14 when Isaac was born, and, since weaning sometimes occurs at the age of 3 in the East, may have been even as old as 17 when this incident happened. Again, "We all remember the scene (Ge 27) in which Isaac in extreme old age blesses his sons; we picture him as lying on his deathbed. Do we, however, all realize that according to the chronology of the Book of Genesis he must have been thus lying on his deathbed for eighty years (compare 25:26; 26:34; 35:28)? Yet we can only diminish this period by extending proportionately the interval between Esau marrying his Hittite wives (26:34) and Rebekah’s suggestion to Isaac to send Jacob away, lest he should follow his brother’s example (27:46); which, from the nature of the case, will not admit of any but slight extension. Keil, however, does so extend it, reducing the period of Isaac’s final illness by 43 years, and is conscious of no incongruity in supposing that Rebekah, 30 years after Esau had taken his Hittite wives, should express her fear that Jacob, then aged 77, will do the same" (Driver, Contemporary Review, LVII, 221).

An important instance occurs in Numbers. According to 33:38, Aaron died on the 1st day of the 5th month. From De 1:3 it appears that 6 months later Moses delivered his speech in the plains of Moab. Into those 6 months are compressed one month’s mourning for Aaron, the Arad campaign, the wandering round by the Red Sea, the campaigns against Sihon and Og, the missions to Balaam and the whole episode of his prophecies, the painful occurrences of Nu 25, the second census, the appointment of Joshua, the expedition against Midian, besides other events. It is clearly impossible to fit all these into the time.

Other discrepancies are of the most formidable character. Aaron dies now at Mt. Hor (Nu 20:28; 33:38), now at Moserah (De 10:6). According to De 1; 2:1,14, the children of Israel left Kadesh-barnea in the 3rd year and never subsequently returned to it, while in Nu they apparently remain there till the journey to Mt. Hor, where Aaron dies in the 40th year. The Tent of Meeting perhaps

provides some of the most perplexing of the discrepancies, for while according to the well-known scheme of Ex 25 ff and many other passages, it was a large and heavy erection standing in the midst of the camp, Ex 33:7-11 provides us with another Tent of Meeting that stood outside the camp at a distance and could be carried by Moses alone. The verbs used are frequentative, denoting a regular practice, and it is impossible to suppose that after receiving the commands for the Tent of Meeting Moses could have instituted a quite different tent of the same name. Joseph again is sold, now by Ishmaelites (Ge 37:27,28; 39:1), anon by Midianites (31:28a, 36). Sometimes he is imprisoned in one place, sometimes apparently in another. The story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram in Nu 16 is equally full of difficulty. The enormous numbers of the Israelites given in Nu 1-4, etc., are in conflict with passages that regard them as very few.

(4) Doublets.

Another portion of the critical argument is provided by doublets or duplicate narratives of the same event, e.g. Ge 16 and 21. These are particularly numerous in Genesis, but are not confined to that book. "Twice do quails appear in connection with the daily manna (Nu 11:4-6,31 ff; Ex 16:13) Twice does Moses draw water from the rock, when the strife of Israel begets the name Meribah (‘strife’)( Ex 17:1-7; Nu 20:1-13)" (Carpenter, Hexateuch, I, 30).

(5) The Laws.

Most stress is laid on the argument from the laws and their supposed historical setting. By far the most important portions of this are examined in SANCTUARY and PRIESTS AND LEVITES. These subjects form the two main pillars of the Graf-Wellhausen theory, and accordingly the articles in question must be read as supplementing the present article. An illustration may be taken from the slavery laws. It is claimed that Ex 21:1-6; De 15:12 ff permit a Hebrew to contract for life slavery after 6 years’ service, but that Le 25:39-42 takes no notice of this law and enacts the totally different provision that Hebrews may remain in slavery only till the Year of Jubilee. While these different enactments might proceed from the same hand if properly coordinated, it is contended that this is not the case and that the legislator in Le ignores the legislator in Exodus and is in turn ignored by the legislator in Deuteronomy, who only knows the law of Exodus.

(6) The Argument from Style.

The argument from style is less easy to exemplify shortly, since it depends so largely on an immense mass of details. It is said that each of the sources has certain characteristic phrases which either occur nowhere else or only with very much less frequency. For instance in Ge 1, where ‘Elohim is used throughout, we find the word "create," but this is not employed in 2:4b ff, where the Tetragrammaton occurs. Hence, it is argued that this word is peculiarly characteristic of P as contrasted with the other documents, and may be used to prove his presence in e.g. 5:1 f.

(7) Props of the Development Hypothesis.

While the main supports of the Graf-Wellhausen theory must be sought in the articles to which reference has been made, it is necessary to mention briefly some other phenomena to which some weight is attached. Jeremiah displays many close resemblances to Deuteronomy, and the framework of Kings is written in a style that has marked similarities to the same book. Ezekiel again has notable points of contact with P and especially with H; either he was acquainted with these portions of the Pentateuch or else he must have exercised considerable influence on those who composed them. Lastly the Chronicler is obviously acquainted with the completed Pentateuch. Accordingly, it is claimed that the literature provides a sort of external standard that confirms the historical stages which the different Pentateuchal sources are said to mark. Deuteronomy influences Jeremiah and the subsequent literature. It is argued that it would equally have influenced the earlier books, had it then existed. So too the completed Pentateuch should have influenced Kings as it did Chronicles, if it had been in existence when the earlier history was composed.


3. Answer to the Critical Analysis:

(1) The Veto of Textual Criticism.

The first great objection that may be made to the higher criticism is that it starts from the Massoretic text (MT) without investigation. This is not the only text that has come down to us, and in some instances it can be shown that alternative readings that have been preserved are superior to those of the Massoretic Text. A convincing example occurs in Ex 18. According to the Hebrew, Jethro comes to Moses and says "I, thy father-in-law .... am come," and subsequently Moses goes out to meet his father-in-law. The critics here postulate different sources, but some of the best authorities have preserved a reading which (allowing for ancient differences of orthography) supposes an alteration of a single letter. According to this reading the text told how one (or they) came to Moses and said "Behold thy father-in-law .... is come." As the result of this Moses went out and met Jethro. The vast improvement in the sense is self-evident. But in weighing the change other considerations must be borne in mind. Since this is the reading of some of the most ancient authorities, only two views are possible. Either the Massoretic Text has undergone a corruption of a single letter, or else a redactor made a most improbable cento of two documents which gave a narrative of the most doubtful sense. Fortunately this was followed by textual corruption of so happy a character as to remove the difficulty by the change of a single letter; and this corruption was so widespread that it was accepted as the genuine text by some of our best authorities. There can be little doubt which of these two cases is the more credible, and with the recognition of the textual solution the particular bit of the analysis that depends on this corruption falls to the ground. This instance illustrates one branch of textual criticism; there are others. Sometimes the narrative shows with certainty that in the transmission of the text transpositions have taken place; e.g. the identification of Kadesh shows that it was South of Hormah. Consequently, a march to compass Edom by way of the Red Sea would not bring the Israelites to Hormah. Here there is no reason to doubt that the events narrated are historically true, but there is grave reason to doubt that they happened in the present order of the narrative. Further, Deuteronomy gives an account that is parallel to certain passages of Numbers; and it confirms those passages, but places the events in a different order. Such difficulties may often be solved by simple transpositions, and when transpositions in the text of Nu are made under the guidance of Deuteronomy they have a very different probability from guesses that enjoy no such sanction. Another department of textual criticism deals with the removal of glosses, i.e. notes that have crept into the text. Here the ancient versions often help us, one or other omitting some words which may be proved from other sources to be a later addition. Thus in Ex 17:7 the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) did not know the expression, "and Meribah" (one word in Hebrew), and calls the place "Massah" simply. This is confirmed by the fact that Deuteronomy habitually calls the place Massah (6:16; 9:22; 33:8). The true Meribah was Kadesh (Nu 20) and a glossator has here added this by mistake (see further (4) below). Thus we can say that a scientific textual criticism often opposes a real veto to the higher critical analysis by showing that the arguments rest on late corruptions and by explaining the true origin of the difficulties on which the critics rely.

(2) Astruc’s Clue Tested.

Astruc’s clue must next be examined. The critical case breaks down with extraordinary frequency. No clean division can be effected, i.e. there are cases where the Massoretic Text of Genesis makes P or E use the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) or J Yahweh (Yahweh). In some of these cases the critics can suggest no reason; in others they are compelled to assume that the Massoretic Text is corrupt for no better reason than that it is in conflict with their theory. Again the exigencies of the theory frequently force the analyst to sunder verses or phrases that cannot be understood apart from their present contexts, e.g. in Ge 28:21 Carpenter assigns the words "and Yahweh will be my God" to J while giving the beginning and end of the verse to E; in Genesis 31, verse 3 goes to a redactor, though E actually refers to the statement of 31:3 in verse 5; in Genesis 32, verse 30 is torn from a J-context and given to E, thus leaving 32:31 (Jahwist) unintelligible. When textual criticism is applied, startling facts that entirely shatter the higher critical argument are suddenly revealed. The variants to the divine appellations in Genesis are very numerous, and in some instances the new readings are clearly superior to the Massoretic Text, even when they substitute ‘Elohim for the Tetragrammaton. Thus, in 16:11, the explanation of the name Ishmael requires the word ‘Elohim, as the name would otherwise have been Ishmayah, and one Hebrew MS, a recension of the Septuagint and the Old Latin do in fact preserve the reading ‘Elohim. The full facts and arguments cannot be given here, but Professor Schlogl has made an exhaustive examination of the various texts from Ge 1:1 to Ex 3:12. Out of a total of 347 occurrences of one or both words in the Massoretic Text of that passage, there are variants in 196 instances. A very important and detailed discussion, too long to be summarized here will now be found in TMH, I. Wellhausen himself has admitted that the textual evidence constitutes a sore point of the documentary theory (Expository Times, XX, 563). Again in Ex 6:3, many of the best authorities read "I was not made known" instead of "I was not known" a difference of a single letter in Hebrew. But if this be right, there is comparative evidence to suggest that to the early mind a revelation of his name by a deity meant a great deal more than a mere knowledge of the name, and involved rather a pledge of his power. Lastly the analysis may be tested in yet another way by inquiring whether it fits in with the other data, and when it is discovered (see below 4, (1)) that it involves ascribing, e.g. a passage that cannot be later than the time of Abraham to the period of the kingdom, it becomes certain that the clue and the method are alike misleading (see further EPC, chapter i; Expository Times, XX, 378 f, 473-75, 563; TMH, I; PS, 49-142; BS, 1913, 145-74; A. Troelstra, The Name of God, NKZ, XXIV (1913), 119-48; The Expositor, 1913).

(3) The Narrative Discrepancies and Signs of Post-Mosaic Date Examined.

Septuagintal manuscripts are providing very illuminating material for dealing with the chronological difficulties. It is well known that the Septuagint became corrupt and passed through various recensions (see SEPTUAGINT). The original text has not yet been reconstructed, but as the result of the great variety of recensions it happens that our various manuscripts present a wealth of alternative readings. Some of these show an intrinsic superiority to the corresponding readings of the Massoretic Text. Take the case of Ishmael’s age. We have seen (above, 2, (3)) that although in Ge 21:14 f he is a boy who can be carried by his mother even after the weaning of Isaac, his father, according to 16:3,16, was 86 years old at the time of his birth, and, according to Genesis 17, 100 years old when Isaac was born. In 17:25 we find that Ishmael is already 13 a year before Isaac’s birth. Now we are familiar with marginal notes that set forth a system of chronology in many printed English Bibles. In this case the Septuagintal variants suggest that something similar is responsible for the difficulty of our Hebrew. Two manuscripts, apparently representing a recension, omit the words, "after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan" in 16:3, and again, 16:16, while in 17:25 there is a variant making Ishmael only 3 years old. If these readings are correct it is easy to see how the difficulty arose. The narrative originally contained mere round numbers, like 100 years old, and these were not intended to be taken literally. A commentator constructed a scheme of chronology which was embodied in marginal notes. Then these crept into the text and such numbers as were in conflict with them were thought to be corrupt and underwent alteration. Thus the 3-year-old Ishmael became 13.

The same manuscripts that present us with the variants in Ge 16 have also preserved a suggestive reading in 35:28, one of the passages that are responsible for the inference that according to the text of Genesis Isaac lay on his deathbed for 80 years (see above, 2, (3)). According to this Isaac was not 180, but 150 years old when he died. It is easy to see that this is a round number, not to be taken literally, but this is not the only source of the difficulty. In 27:41, Esau, according to English Versions of the Bible, states "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob." This is a perfectly possible rendering of the Hebrew, but the Septuagint translated the text differently, and its rendering, while grammatically correct, has the double advantage of avoiding Isaac’s long lingering on a deathbed and of presenting Esau’s hatred and ferocity far more vividly. It renders, "May the days of mourning for my father approach that I may slay my brother Jacob." Subsequent translators preferred the milder version, but doubtless the Septuagint has truly apprehended the real sense of the narrative. If we read the chapter with this modification, we see Isaac as an old man, not knowing when he may die, performing the equivalent of making his will. It puts no strain on our credulity to suppose that he may have lived 20 or 30 years longer. Such episodes occur constantly in everyday experience. As to the calculations based on Ge 25:26 and 26:34, the numbers used are 60 and 40, which, as is well known, were frequently employed by the ancient Hebrews, not as mathematical expressions, but simply to denote unknown or unspecified periods.


The other chronological difficulty cited above (namely, that there is not room between the date of Aaron’s death and the address by Moses in the plains of Moab for all the events assigned to this period by Numbers) is met partly by a reading preserved by the Peshitta and partly by a series of transpositions. In Nu 33:38 Peshitta reads "first" for "fifth" as the month of Aaron’s death, thus recognizing a longer period for the subsequent events. The transpositions, however, which are largely due to the evidence of Deuteronomy, solve the most formidable and varied difficulties; e.g. a southerly march from Kadesh no longer conducts the Israelites to Arad in the north, the name Hormah is no longer used (Nu 14:45) before it is explained (Nu 21:3), there is no longer an account directly contradicting De and making the Israelites spend 38 years at Kadesh immediately after receiving a divine command to turn "tomorrow" (Nu 14:25). A full discussion is impossible here and will be found in EPC, 114-38. The order of the narrative that emerges as probably original is as follows: Nu 12; 20:1,14-21; 21:1-3; 13; 14; 16-18; 20:2-13,12; 21:4b-9, then some missing vs, bringing the Israelites to the head of the Gulf of Akabah and narrating the turn northward from Elath and Ezion-geber, then 20:22b-29; 21:4a, and some lost words telling of the arrival at the station before Oboth. In Nu 33:40 is a gloss that is missing in Lagarde’s Septuagint, and 33:36b-37a should probably come earlier in the chapter than they do at present.

Another example of transposition is afforded by Ex 33:7-11, the passage relating to the Tent of Meeting which is at present out of place (see above 2, (3)). It is supposed that this is E’s idea of the Tabernacle, but that, unlike the Priestly Code (P), he places it outside the camp and makes Joshua its priest. This latter view is discussed and refuted in PRIESTS AND LEVITES, sec. 3, where it is shown that Ex 33:7 should be rendered "And Moses used to take a (or, the) tent and pitch it for himself," etc. As to theory that this is E’s account of the Tabernacle, Ex 18 has been overlooked. This chapter belongs to the same E but refers to the end of the period spent at Horeb, i.e. it is later than 33:7-11. In 18:13-16 we find Moses sitting with all the people standing about him because they came to require of God; i.e. the business which according to Ex 33 was transacted in solitude outside the camp was performed within the camp in the midst of the people at a later period. This agrees with the Priestly Code (P), e.g. Nu 27. If now we look at the other available clues, it appears that Ex 33:11 seems to introduce Joshua for the first time. The passage should therefore precede 17:8-15; 24:13; 32:17, where he is already known. Again, if Ex 18 refers to the closing scenes at Horeb (as it clearly does), Ex 24:14 providing for the temporary transaction of judicial business reads very strangely. It ought to be preceded by some statement of the ordinary course in normal times when Moses was not absent from the camp. Ex 33:7 ff provides such a statement. The only earlier place to which it can be assigned is after 13:22, but there it fits the context marvelously, for the statements as to the pillar of cloud in 33:9 f attach naturally to those in 13:21 f. With this change all the difficulties disappear. Immediately after leaving Egypt Moses began the practice of carrying a tent outside the camp and trying cases there. This lasted till the construction of the Tabernacle. "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee" (Ex 25:22). After its erection the earlier tent was disused, and the court sat at the door of the Tabernacle in the center of the camp (see, further, EPC, 93-102, 106 f) .

Some other points must be indicated more briefly. In Nu 16 important Septuagintal variants remove the main difficulties by substituting "company of Korah" for "dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram" in two verses (see EPC, 143-46). Similarly in the Joseph-story the perplexities have arisen through corruptions of verses which may still be corrected by the versional evidence (PS, 29-48). There is evidence to show that the numbers of the Israelites are probably due to textual corruption (EPC, 155-69). Further, there are numerous passages where careful examination has led critics themselves to hold that particular verses are later notes. In this way they dispose of De 10:6 f (Aaron’s death, etc.), the references to the Israelirish kingdom (Ge 36:31) and the Canaanites as being "then" in the land (Ge 12:6; 13:7), the bedstead of Og (De 3:11) and other passages. In Ge 22, "the land of Moriah" is unknown to the versions which present the most diverse readings, of which "the land of the Amorite" is perhaps the most probable; while in 22:14 the Septuagint, reading the same Hebrew consonants as Massoretic Text, translates "In the Mount the Lord was seen." This probably refers to a view that God manifested Himself especially in the mountains (compare 1Ki 20:23,28) and has no reference whatever to the Temple Hill. The Massoretic pointing is presumably due to a desire to avoid what seemed to be an anthropomorphism (see further PS, 19-21) . Again, in Nu 21:14, the Septuagint knows nothing of "a book of the Wars of Yahweh" (see Field, Hexapla, at the place). It is difficult to tell what the original reading was, especially as the succeeding words are corrupt in the Hebrew, but it appears that no genitive followed wars" and it is doubtful if there was any reference to a "book of wars."

(4) The Argument from the Doublets Examined.

The foregoing sections show that the documentary theory often depends on phenomena that were absent from the original Pentateuch. We are now to examine arguments that rest on other foundations. The doublets have been cited, but when we examine the instances more carefully, some curious facts emerge. Ge 16 and 21 are, to all appearance, narratives of different events; so are Ex 17:1-7 and Nu 20:1-13 (the drawing of water from rocks). In the latter case the critics after rejecting this divide the passages into 5 different stories, two going to J, two to E and one to Pentateuch. If the latter also had a Rephidimnarrative (compare Nu 33:14 P), there were 6 tales. In any case both J and E tell two stories each. It is impossible to assign any cogency to the argument that the author of the Pentateuch could not have told two such narratives, if not merely the redactor of the Pentateuch but also J and E could do so. The facts as to the manna stories are similar. As to the flights of quails, it is known that these do in fact occur every year, and the Pentateuch places them at almost exactly a year’s interval (see EPC, 104 f, 109 f).

(5) The Critical Argument from the Laws.

The legal arguments are due to a variety of misconceptions, the washing out of the historical background and the state of the text. Reference must be made to the separate articles (especially SANCTUARY; PRIESTS AND LEVITES). As the slave laws were cited, it may be explained that in ancient Israel as in other communities slavery could arise or slaves be acquired in many ways: e.g. birth, purchase (Ge 14:14; 17:12, etc.), gift (Ge 20:14), capture in war (Ge 14:21; 34:29), kidnapping (Joseph). The law of Exodus and Deuteronomy applies only to Hebrew slaves acquired by purchase, not to slaves acquired in any other way, and least of all to those who in the eye of the law were not true slaves. Le 25 has nothing to do with Hebrew slaves. It is concerned merely with free Israelites who become insolvent. "If thy brother be waxed poor with thee, and sell himself" it begins (25:39). Nobody who was already a slave could wax poor and sell himself. The law then provides that these insolvent freemen were not to be treated as slaves. In fact, they were a class of free bondsmen, i.e. they were full citizens who were compelled to perform certain duties. A similar class of free bondsmen existed in ancient Rome and were called nexi. The Egyptians who sold themselves to Pharaoh and became serfs afford another though less apt parallel In all ancient societies insolvency led to some limitations of freedom, but while in some full slavery ensued, in others a sharp distinction was drawn between the slave and the insolvent freeman (see further SBL, 5-11).

(6) The Argument from Style.

Just as this argument is too detailed to be set out in a work like the present, so the answer cannot be given with any degree of fullness. It may be said generally that the argument too frequently neglects differences of subject-matter and other sufficient reasons (such as considerations of euphony and slight variations of meaning) which often provide far more natural reasons for the phenomena observed. Again, the versions suggest that the Biblical text has been heavily glossed. Thus in many passages where the frequent recurrence of certain words and phrases is supposed to attest the presence of the Priestly Code (P), versional evidence seems to show that the expressions in question have been introduced by glossators, and when they are removed the narrative remains unaffected in meaning, but terser and more vigorous and greatly improved as a vehicle of expression. To take a simple instance in Ge 23:1, "And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years: .... the years of the fife of Sarah," the italicized words were missing in the Septuagint. When they are removed the meaning is unaltered, but the form of expression is far superior. They are obviously mere marginal note. Again the critical method is perpetually breaking down. It constantly occurs that redactors have to be called in to remove from a passage attributed to some source expressions that are supposed to be characteristic of another source, and this is habitually done on no other ground than that theory requires it. One instance muse be given. It is claimed that the word "create" is a P-word. It occurs several times in Ge 1:1-2:4 a and 3 times in Ge 5:1,2, but in 6:7 it is found in a J-passage, and some critics therefore assign it to a redactor. Yet J undoubtedly uses the word in Nu 16:30 and D in De 4:32. On the other hand, P does not use the word exclusively, even in Ge 1-2:4, the word "make" being employed in 1:7,25,26,31; 2:2, while in 2:3 both words are combined. Yet all these passages are given unhesitatingly to P.

(7) Perplexities of the Theory.

The perplexities of the critical hypothesis are very striking, but a detailed discussion is impossible here. Much material will, however, be found in POT and Eerd. A few general statements may be made. The critical analysis repeatedly divides a straightforward narrative into two sets of fragments, neither of which will make sense without the other. A man will go to sleep in one document and wake in another, or a subject will belong to one source and the predicate to another. No intelligible account can be given of the proceedings of the redactors who one moment slavishly preserve their sources and at another cut them about without any necessity, who now rewrite their material and now leave it untouched. Even in the ranks of the Wellhausen critics chapters will be assigned by one writer to the post-exilic period and by another to the earliest sources (e.g. Ge 14, pre-Mosaic in the main according to Sellin (1910), post-exilic according to others), and the advent of Eerdmans and Dahse has greatly increased the perplexity. Clue after clue, both stylistic and material, is put forward, to be abandoned silently at some later stage. Circular arguments are extremely common: it is first alleged that some phenomenon is characteristic of a particular source; then passages are referred to that source for no other reason than the presence of that phenomenon; lastly these passages are cited to prove that the phenomenon in question distinguishes the source. Again theory is compelled to feed on itself; for J, E, the Priestly Code (P), etc., we have schools of J’s, E’s, etc., subsisting side by side for centuries, using the same material, employing the same ideas, yet remaining separate in minute stylistic points. This becomes impossible when viewed in the light of the evidences of pre-Mosaic date in parts of Genesis (see below 4, (1) to (3)).

(8) Signs of Unity.

It is often possible to produce very convincing internal evidence of the unity of what the critics sunder. A strong instance of this is to be found when one considers the characters portrayed. The character of Abraham or Laban, Jacob or Moses is essentially unitary. There is but one Abraham, and this would not be so if we really had a cento of different documents representing the results of the labor of various schools during different centuries. Again, there are sometimes literary marks of unity, e.g. in Nu 16, the effect of rising anger is given to the dialogue by the repetition of "Ye take too much upon you" (16:3,7), followed by the repetition of "Is it a small thing that" (16:9,13). This must be the work of a single literary artist (see further SBL, 37 f).

(9) The Supposed Props of the Development Hypothesis.

When we turn to the supposed props of the development hypothesis we see that there is nothing conclusive in the critical argument. Jeremiah and the subsequent literature certainly exhibit the influence of Deuteronomy, but a Book of the Law was admittedly found in Josiah’s reign and had lain unread for at any rate some considerable time. Some of its requirements had been in actual operation, e.g. in Naboth’s case, while others had become a dead letter. The circumstances of its discovery, the belief in its undoubted Mosaic authenticity and the subsequent course of history led to its greatly influencing contemporary and later writers, but that really proves nothing. Ezekiel again was steeped in priestly ideas, but it is shown in PRIESTS AND LEVITES, sec. 5b, how this may be explained. Lastly, Chronicles certainly knows the whole Pentateuch, but as certainly misinterprets it (see PRIESTS AND LEVITES). On the other hand the Pentateuch itself always represents portions of the legislation as being intended to reach the people only through the priestly teaching, and this fully accounts for P’s lack of influence on the earlier literature. As to the differences of style within the Pentateuch itself, something is said in III, below. Hence, this branch of the critical argument really proves nothing, for the phenomena are susceptible of more than one explanation.

4. The Evidence of Date:

(1) The Narrative of Genesis.

Entirely different lines of argument are provided by the abundant internal evidences of date. In Ge 10:19, we read the phrase "as thou goest toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboiim" in a definition of boundary. Such language could only have originated when the places named actually existed. One does not define boundaries by reference to towns that are purely mythical or have been overthrown many centuries previously. The consistent tradition is that these towns were destroyed in the lifetime of Abraham, and the passage therefore cannot be later than his age. But the critics assign it to a late stratum of J, i.e. to a period at least 1,000 years too late. This suggests several comments. First, it may reasonably be asked whether much reliance can be placed on a method which after a century and a half of the closest investigation does not permit its exponents to arrive at results that are correct to within 1,000 years. Secondly, it shows clearly that in the composition of the Pentateuch very old materials were incorporated in their original language. Of the historical importance of this fact more will be said in IV; in this connection we must observe that it throws fresh light on expressions that point to the presence, in Genesis of sources composed in Palestine, e.g. "the sea" for "the West" indicates the probability of a Palestinian source, but once it is proved that we have materials as old as the time of Abraham such expressions do not argue post-Mosaic, but rather pre-Mosaic authorship. Thirdly, the passage demolishes theory of schools of J’s, etc. It cannot seriously be maintained that there was a school of J’s writing a particular style marked by the most delicate and subjective criteria subsisting continuously for some 10 or 12 centuries from the time of Abraham onward, side by side with other writers with whom its members never exchanged terms of even such common occurrence as "handmaid."

Ge 10:19 is not the only passage of this kind. In 2:14 we read of the Hiddekel (Tigris) as flowing East of Assur, though there is an alternative reading "in front of." If the translation "east" be correct, the passage must antedate the 13th century BC, for Assur, the ancient capital, which was on the west bank of the Tigris, was abandoned at about that date for Kalkhi on the East.

(2) Archaeology and Genesis.

Closely connected with the foregoing are cases where Genesis has preserved information that is true of a very early time only. Thus in 10:22 Elam figures as a son of Shem. The historical Elam was, however, an Aryan people. Recently inscriptions have been discovered which show that in very early times Elam really was inhabited by Semites. "The fact," writes Driver, at the place, "is not one which the writer of this verse is likely to have known." This contention falls to the ground when we find that only three verses off we have material that goes back at least as far as the time of Abraham. After all, the presumption is that the writer stated the fact because he knew it, not in spite of his not knowing it; and that knowledge must be due to the same cause as the noteworthy language of Ge 10:19, i.e. to early date.

This is merely one example of the confirmations of little touches in Genesis that are constantly being provided by archaeology. For the detailed facts see the separate articles, e.g. AMRAPHEL; JERUSALEM, and compare IV, below.

From the point of view of the critical question we note

(a) that such accuracy is a natural mark of authentic early documents, and

(b) that in view of the arguments already adduced and of the legal evidence to be considered, the most reasonable explanation is to be found in a theory of contemporary authorship.

(3) The Legal Evidence of Genesis.

The legal evidence is perhaps more convincing, for here no theory of late authorship can be devised to evade the natural inference. Correct information as to early names, geography, etc., might be the result of researches by an exilic writer in a Babylonian library; but early customs that are confirmed by the universal experience of primitive societies, and that point to a stage of development which had long been passed in the Babylonia even of Abraham’s day, can be due to but one cause—genuine early sources. The narratives of Genesis are certainly not the work of comparative sociologists. Two instances may be cited. The law of homicide shows us two stages that are known to be earlier than the stage attested by Ex 21:12 ff. In the story of Cain we have one stage; in Ge 9:6, which does not yet recognize any distinction between murder and other forms of homicide, we have the other.

Our other example shall be the unlimited power of life and death possessed by the head of the family (Ge 38:24; 42:37, etc.), which has not yet been limited in any way by the jurisdiction of the courts as in Exodus-Deuteronomy. In both cases comparative historical jurisprudence confirms the Bible account against the critical, which would make e.g. Ge 9:6 post-exilic, while assigning Ex 21 to a much earlier period. (On the whole subject see further OP, 135 ff.)

(4) The Professedly Mosaic Character of the Legislation.

Coming now to the four concluding books of the Pentateuch, we must first observe that the legislation everywhere professes to be Mosaic. Perhaps this is not always fully realized. In critical editions of the text the rubrics and an occasional phrase are sometimes assigned to redactors, but the representation of Mosaic date is far too closely interwoven with the matter to be removed by such devices. If e.g. we take such a section as De 12, we shall find it full of such phrases as "for ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance" etc.; "When ye go over Jordan," "the place which the Lord shall choose" (the King James Version), etc. It is important to bear this in mind throughout the succeeding discussion.

(5) The Historical Situation required by Pentateuch.

What do we find if we ignore the Mosaic dress and seek to fit P into any other set of conditions, particularly those of the post-exilic period? The general historical situation gives a clear answer. The Israelites are represented as being so closely concentrated that they will always be able to keep the three pilgrimage festivals. One exception only is contemplated, namely, that ritual uncleanness or a journey may prevent an Israelite from keeping the Passover. Note that in that case he is most certainly to keep it one month later (Nu 9:10 f). How could this law have been enacted when the great majority of the people were in Babylonia, Egypt, etc., so that attendance at the temple was impossible for them on any occasion whatever? With this exception the entire Priestly Code always supposes that the whole people are at all times dwelling within easy reach of the religious center. How strongly this view is embedded in the code may be seen especially from Le 17, which provides that all domestic animals to be slaughtered for food must be brought to the door of the Tent of Meeting. Are we to suppose that somebody deliberately intended such legislation to apply when the Jews were scattered all over the civilized world, or even all over Canaan? If so, it means a total prohibition of animal food for all save the inhabitants of the capital.

In post-exilic days there was no more pressing danger for the religious leaders to combat than intermarriage, but this code, which is supposed to have been written for the express purpose of bringing about their action, goes out of its way to give a fictitious account of a war and incidentally to legalize some such unions (Nu 31:18). And this chapter also contains a law of booty. What could be more unsuitable? How and where were the Jews to make conquests and capture booty in the days of Ezra?

"Or again, pass to the last chapter of Nu and consider the historical setting. What is the complaint urged by the deputation that waits upon Moses? It is this: If heiresses ‘be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be added to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they shall belong.’ What a pressing grievance for a legislator to consider and redress when tribes and tribal lots had long since ceased to exist for ever!" (OP, 121 f).

Perhaps the most informing of all the discrepancies between P and the post-exilic age is one that explains the freedom of the earlier prophets from its literary influence. According to the constant testimony of the Pentateuch, including the Priestly Code (P), portions of the law were to reach the people only through priestly teaching (Le 10:11; De 24:8; 33:10, etc.). Ezra on the other hand read portions of P to the whole people.

(6) The Hierarchical Organization in Pentateuch.

Much of what falls under this head is treated in PRIESTS AND LEVITES, sec. 2, (a), (b), and need not be repeated here. The following may be added: "Urim and Thummim were not used after the Exile. In lieu of the simple conditions—a small number of priests and a body of Levites—we find a developed hierarchy, priests, Levites, singers, porters, Nethinim, sons of Solomon’s servants. The code that ex hypothesi was forged to deal with this state of affairs has no acquaintance with them. The musical services of the temple are as much beyond its line of vision as the worship of the synagogue. Even such an organization as that betrayed by the reference in 1Sa 2:36 to the appointment by the high priest to positions carrying pecuniary emoluments is far beyond the primitive simplicity of P" (OP, 122).

(7) The Legal Evidence of the Pentateuch.

As this subject is technical we can only indicate the line of reasoning. Legal rules may be such as to enable the historical inquirer to say definitely that they belong to an early stage of society. Thus if we find elementary rules relating to the inheritance of a farmer who dies without leaving sons, we know that they cannot be long subsequent to the introduction of individual property in land, unless of course the law has been deliberately altered. It is an everyday occurrence for men to die without leaving sons, and the question What is to happen to their land in such cases must from the nature of the case be raised and settled before very long. When therefore we find such rules in Nu 27, etc., we know that they are either very old or else represent a deliberate change in the law. The latter is really out of the question, and we are driven back to their antiquity (see further OP, 124 ff). Again in Nu 35 we find an elaborate struggle to express a general principle which shall distinguish between two kinds of homicide. The earlier law had regarded all homicide as on the same level (Ge 9). Now, the human mind only reaches general principles through concrete cases, and other ancient legislations (e.g. the Icelandic) bear witness to the primitive character of the rules of Numbers. Thus, an expert like Dareate can say confidently that such rules as these are extremely archaic (see further SBL and OP, passim).

(8) The Evidence of Deuteronomist.

The following may be quoted: "Laws are never issued to regulate a state of things which has passed away ages before, and can by no possibility be revived. What are we to think, then, of a hypothesis which assigns the code of Deuteronomy to the reign of Josiah, or shortly before it, when its injunctions to exterminate the Canaanites (20:16-18) and the Amalekites (25:17-19), who had long since disappeared, would be as utterly out of date as a law in New Jersey at the present time offering a bounty for killing wolves and bears, or a royal proclamation in Great Britain ordering the expulsion of the Danes? A law contemplating foreign conquests (20:10-15) would have been absurd when the urgent question was whether Judah could maintain its own existence against the encroachments of Babylon and Egypt. A law discriminating against Ammon and Moab (23:3,4), in favor of Edom (23:7,8), had its warrant in the Mosaic period, but not in the time of the later kings. Jeremiah discriminates precisely the other way, promising a future restoration to Moab (48:47) and Ammon (49:6), which he denies to Edom (49:17,18), who is also to Joe (3:19), Obadiah, and Isaiah (63:1-6), the representative foe of the people of God. .... The allusions to Egypt imply familiarity with and recent residence in that land .... And how can a code belong to the time of Josiah, which, while it contemplates the possible selection of a king in the future (De 17:14 ), nowhere implies an actual regal government, but vests the supreme central authority in a judge and the priesthood (De 17:8-12; 19:17); which lays special stress on the requirements that the king must be a native and not a foreigner (De 17:15), when the undisputed line of succession had for ages been fixed in the family of David, and that he must not ‘cause the people to return to Egypt.’ (De 17:16), as they seemed ready to do on every grievance in the days of Moses (Nu 14:4), but which no one ever dreamed of doing after they were fairly established in Canaan?" (Green, Moses and the Prophets, 63 f). This too may be supplemented by legal evidence (e.g. De 22:26 testifies to the undeveloped intellectual condition of the people). Of JE it is unnecessary to speak, for Ex 21 f are now widely regarded as Mosaic in critical circles. Wellhausen (Prolegomena (6), 392, note) now regards their main elements as pre-Mosaic Canaanitish law.

(9) Later Allusions.

These are of two kinds. Sometimes we have references to the laws, in other cases we find evidence that they were in operation.

(a) By postulating redactors evidence can be banished from the Biblical text. Accordingly, reference will only be made to some passages where this procedure is not followed. Eze 22:26 clearly knows of a law that dealt with the subjects of the Priestly Code (P), used its very language (compare Le 10:10 f), and like P was to be taught to the people by the priests. Ho 4:6 also knows of some priestly teaching, which, however, is moral and may therefore be Le 19; but in 8:11-13 he speaks of 10,000 written precepts, and here the context points to ritual. The number and the subject-matter of these precepts alike make it certain that he knew a bulky written law which was not merely identical with Ex 21$; 22$; 23$, and this passage cannot be met by Wellhausen who resorts to the device of translating it with the omission of the important word "write."

(b) Again, in dealing with institutions the references can often be evaded. It is possible to say, "Yes, this passage knows such and such a law, but this law does not really come into existence with D or the Priestly Code (P), but was an older law incorporated in these documents." That argument would apply, e.g. to the necessity for two witnesses in the case of Naboth. That is a law of D, but those who assign Deuteronomy to the reign of Josiah would assert that it is here merely incorporating older material. Again the allusions sometimes show something that differs in some way from the Pentateuch, and it is often impossible to prove that this was a development. The critics in such cases claim that it represents an earlier stage, and it frequently happens that the data are insufficient either to support or refute this view. "But fortunately there are in P certain institutions of which the critics definitely assert that they are late. Accordingly, references that prove the earlier existence of such institutions have a very different probative value. Thus it is alleged that before the exile there was but one national burnt offering and one national meal offering each day: whereas Nu 28 demands two. Now in 1Ki 18:29,36, we find references to the offering of the evening oblation, but 2Ki 3:20 speaks of ‘the time of offering the oblation’ in connection with the morning. Therefore these two oblations were actually in existence centuries before the date assigned to P—who, on the critical theory, first introduced them. So 2Ki 16:15 speaks of ‘the morning burnt-offering, and the evening meal-offering .... with the burnt-offering of all the people of the land, and their meal-offering.’ This again gives us the two burnt offerings, though, on the hypothesis, they were unknown to pre-exilic custom. Similarly in other cases: Jer 32 shows us the land laws in actual operation; Ezekiel is familiar with the Jubilee laws—though, on the critical hypothesis, these did not yet exist. Jeroboam was acquainted with P’s date for Tabernacles, though the critics allege that the date was first fixed in the Exile" (OP, 132 f) .

(10) Other Evidence.

We can only mention certain other branches of evidence. There is stylistic evidence of early date (see e.g. Lias, BS, 1910, 20-46, 299-334). Further, the minute accuracy of the narrative of Ex-Nu to local conditions, etc. (noticed below, IV, 8, (6)), affords valuable testimony. It may be said generally that the whole work—laws and narrative—mirrors early conditions, whether we regard intellectual, economic or purely legal development (see further below, IV, and OP, passim).

5. The Fundamental Improbabilities of the Critical Case:

(1) Moral and Psychological Issues.

The great fundamental improbabilities of the critical view have hitherto been kept out of sight in order that the arguments for and against the detailed case might not be prejudiced by other considerations. We must now glance at some of the broader issues. The first that occurs is the moral and psychological incredibility. On theory two great frauds were perpetrated—in each case by men of the loftiest ethical principles. Deuteronomy was deliberately written in the form of Mosaic speeches by some person or persons who well knew that their work was not Mosaic. P is a make-up—nothing more. All its references to the wilderness, the camp, the Tent of Meeting, the approaching occupation of Canaan, etc., are so many touches introduced for the purpose of deceiving. There can be no talk of literary convention, for no such convention existed in Israel. The prophets all spoke in their own names, not in the dress of Moses. David introduced a new law of booty in his own name; the Chronicler repeatedly refers temple ordinances to David and Solomon; Samuel introduced a law of the kingdom in his own name. Yet we are asked to believe that these gigantic forgeries were perpetrated without reason or precedent. Is it credible? Consider the principles inculcated, e.g. the Deuteronomic denunciations of false prophets, the prohibition of adding aught to the law, the passionate injunctions to teach children. Can it be believed that men of such principles would have been guilty of such conduct? Nemo repente fit turpissimus, says the old maxim; can we suppose that the denunciations of those who prophesy falsely in the name of the Lord proceed from the pen of one who was himself forging in that name? Or can it be that the great majority of Bible readers know so little of truth when they meet it that they cannot detect the ring of unquestionable sincerity in the references of the Deuteronomist to the historical situation? Or can we really believe that documents that originated in such a fashion could have exercised the enormous force for righteousness in the world that these documents have exercised? Ex nihilo nihil. Are literary forgeries a suitable parentage for Ge 1 or Leviticus or Deuteronomy? Are the great monotheistic ethical religions of the world, with all they have meant, really rooted in nothing better than folly and fraud?

(2) The Historical Improbability.

A second fundamental consideration is the extraordinary historical improbability that these frauds could have been successfully perpetrated. The narrative in Kings undoubtedly relates the finding of what was regarded as an authentic work. King and people, priests and prophets must have been entirely deceived if the critical theory be true. It is surely possible that Huldah and Jeremiah were better judges than modern critics. Similarly in the case of the Priestly Code (P), if e.g. there had been no Levitical cities or no such laws as to tithes and firstlings as were here contemplated, but entirely different provisions on the subjects, how came the people to accept these forgeries so readily? (See further POT, 257 f, 294-97.) It is of course quite easy to carry this argument too far. It cannot be doubted that the exile had meant a considerable break in the historical continuity of the national development; but yet once the two views are understood the choice cannot be difficult. On the critical theory elaborate literary forgeries were accepted as genuine ancient laws; on the conservative theory laws were accepted because they were in fact genuine, and interpreted as far as possible to meet the entirely different requirements of the period. This explains both the action of the people and the divergence between preexilic and post-exilic practice. The laws were the same but the interpretation was different.

(3) The Divergence between the Laws and Post-exilic Practice.

Thirdly, the entire perversion of the true meaning of the laws in post-exilic times makes the critical theory incredible. Examples have been given (see above, 4, (5), (6), and PRIESTS AND LEVITES, passim). It must now suffice to take just one instance to make the argument clear. We must suppose that the author of P deliberately provided that if Levites approached the altar both they and the priests should die (Nu 18:3), because he really desired that they should approach the altar and perform certain services there. We must further suppose that Ezra and the people on reading these provisions at once understood that the legislator meant the exact opposite of what he had said, and proceeded to act accordingly (1Ch 23:31). This is only one little example. It is so throughout Pentateuch. Everybody understands that the Tabernacle is really the second Temple and wilderness conditions post-exilic, and everybody acts accordingly. Can it be contended that this view is credible?

(4) The Testimony of Tradition.

Lastly the uniform testimony of tradition is in favor of Mosaic authenticity—the tradition of Jews, Samaritans and Christians alike. The national consciousness of a people, the convergent belief of Christendom for 18 centuries are not lightly to be put aside. And what is pitted against them? Theories that vary with each fresh exponent, and that take their start from textual corruption, develop through a confusion between an altar and a house, and end in misdating narratives and laws by 8 or 10 centuries! (see above 3 and 4; SANCTUARY; PRIESTS AND LEVITES).

6. The Origin and Transmission of the Pentateuch:

If anything at all emerges from the foregoing discussion, it is the impossibility of performing any such analytical feat as the critics attempt. No critical microscope can possibly detect with any reasonable degree of certainty the joins of various sources, even if such sources really exist, and when we find that laws and narratives are constantly misdated by 8 or 10 centuries, we can only admit that no progress at all is possible along the lines that have been followed. On the other hand, certain reasonable results do appear to have been secured, and there are indications of the direction in which we must look for further light.

First, then, the Pentateuch contains various notes by later hands. Sometimes the versions enable us to detect and remove those notes, but many are pre-versional. Accordingly, it is often impossible to get beyond probable conjectures on which different minds may differ.

Secondly, Genesis contains pre-Mosaic elements, but we cannot determine the scope of these or the number and character of the sources employed, or the extent of the author’s work.

Thirdly, the whole body of the legislation is (subject only to textual criticism) Mosaic. But the laws of De carry with them their framework, the speeches which cannot be severed from them (see SBL, II). The speeches of Deuteronomy in turn carry with them large portions of the narrative of Exodus-Numbers which they presuppose. They do not necessarily carry with them such passages as Ex 35$; 36$; 37$; 38$; 39$ or Nu 1$; 2$; 3$; 4$; 7$; 26$, but Nu 1-4 contains internal evidence of Mosaic date.

At this point we turn to examine certain textual phenomena that throw light on our problem. It may be said that roughly there are two great classes of textual corruption—that which is due to the ordinary processes of copying, perishing, annotating, etc. and that which is due to a conscious and systematic effort to fix or edit a text. In the case of ancient authors, there comes a time sooner or later when scholarship, realizing the corruption that has taken place, makes a systematic attempt to produce, so far as possible, a correct standard text. Instances that will occur to many are to be found in the work of the Massoretes on the Hebrew text, that of Origen and others on the Septuagint, and that of the commission of Peisistratos and subsequently of the Alexandrian critics on Homer. There is evidence that such revisions took place in the case of the Pentateuch. A very important instance is to be found in the chronology of certain portions of Genesis of which three different versions survive , the Massoretic, Samaritan and Septuagintal. Another instance of even greater consequence for the matter in hand is to be found in Ex 35$; 36$; 37$; 38$; 39$. It is well known that the Septuagint preserves an entirely different edition from that of Massoretic Text (supported in the main by the Samaritan and other VSS). Some other examples have been noticed incidentally in the preceding discussion; one other that may be proved by further research to possess enormous importance may be mentioned. It appears that in the law of the kingdom (De 17) and some other passages where the Massoretic and Samaritan texts speak of a hereditary king, the Septuagint knew nothing of such a person (see further PS, 157-68). The superiority of the Septuagint text in this instance appears to be attested by 1 Samuel, which is unacquainted with any law of the kingdom.

Thus, we know of at least three recensions, the M, the Samaritan and the Septuagint. While there are many minor readings (in cases of variation through accidental corruption) in which the two last-named agree, it is nevertheless true that in a general way the Samaritan belongs to the same family as the M, while the Septuagint in the crucial matters represents a different textual tradition from the other two (see The Expositor, September 1911, 200-219). How is this to be explained? According to the worthless story preserved in the letter of Aristeas the Septuagint was translated from manuscripts brought from Jerusalem at a date long subsequent to the Samaritan schism. The fact that the Septuagint preserves a recension so different from both Samaritan and (i.e. from the most authoritative Palestinian tradition of the 5th century BC and its lineal descendants) suggests that this part of the story must be rejected. If so, the Septuagint doubtless represents the text of the Pentateuch prevalent in Egypt and descends from a Hebrew that separated from the ancestor of the M before the Samaritan schism. At this point we must recall the fact that in Jeremiah the Septuagint differs rom Massoretic Text more widely than in any other Biblical book, and the current explanation is that the divergence goes back to the times of Jeremiah, his work having been preserved in two editions, an Egyptian and a Babylonian. We may be sure that if the Jews of Egypt had an edition of Jeremiah, they also had an edition of that law to which Jeremiah refers, and it is probable that the main differences between Septuagint and Massoretic Text (with its allies) are due to the two streams of tradition separating from the time of the exile—the Egyptian and the Babylonian. The narrative of the finding of the Book of the Law in the days of Josiah (2Ki 22), which probably refers to Deuteronomy only, suggests that its text at that time depended on the single manuscript found. The phenomena presented by Genesis-Numbers certainly suggest that they too were at one time dependent on a single damaged MS, and that conscious efforts were made to restore the original order—in some cases at any rate on a wrong principle (see especially EPC, 114-38; BS, 1913, 270-90). In view of the great divergences of the Septuagint in Ex 35$; 36$; 37$; 38$; 39$, it may be taken as certain that in some instances the editing went to considerable lengths.

Thus, the history of the Pentateuch, so far as it can be traced, is briefly as follows: The backbone of the book consists of pre-Mosaic sources in Genesis, and Mosaic narratives, speeches and legislation in Exodus-Deuteronomy. To this, notes, archaeological, historical, explanatory, etc., were added by successive readers. The text at one time depended on a single manuscript which was damaged, and one or more attempts were made to repair this damage by rearrangemerit of the material. It may be that some of the narrative chapters, such as Nu 1-4; 7; 26, were added from a separate source and amplified or rewritten in the course of some such redaction, but on this head nothing certain can be said. Within a period that is attested by the materials that survive, Ex 35$; 36$; 37$; 38$; 39$ underwent one or more such redactions. Slighter redactions attested by Samaritan and Septuagint have affected the chronological data, the numbers of the Israelites and some references to post-Mosaic historical events. Further than this it is impossible to go on our present materials.


III. Some Literary Points.

1. Style of Legislation:

No general estimate of the Pentateuch as literature can or need be attempted. Probably most readers are fully sensible to its literary beauties. Anybody who is not would do well to compare the chapter on Joseph in the Koran (12) with the Biblical narrative. A few words must be said of some of the less obvious matters that would naturally fall into a literary discussion, the aim being rather to draw the reader’s attention to points that he might overlook.

Of the style of the legislation no sufficient estimate can now be formed, for the first requisite of legal style is that it should be clear and unambiguous to contemporaries, and today no judgment can be offered on that head. There is, however, one feature that is of great interest even now, namely, the prevalence in the main of three different styles, each marked by its special adaptation to the end in view. These styles are

(1) mnemonic,

(2) oratorical, and

(3) procedural.

The first is familiar in other early legislations. It is lapidary, terse in the extreme, pregnant, and from time to time marked by a rhythm that must have assisted the retention in the memory. Occasionally we meet with parallelism. This is the style of Ex 21 ff and occasional later passages, such as the judgment in the case of Shelomith’s son (Le 24:10 ). No doubt these laws were memorized by the elders.

Secondly, the legislation of De forms part of a speech and was intended for public reading. Accordingly, the laws here take on a distinctly oratorical style. Thirdly, the bulk of the rest of the legislation was intended to remain primarily in the custody of the priests who could certainly write (Nu 6:23). This was taken into account, and the style is not terse or oratorical, but reasonably full. It was probably very clear to those for whom the laws were meant. There are minor varieties of style but these are the most important. (On the whole subject see especially PS, 170-224.)

2. The Narrative:

What holds good of the laws is also true with certain modifications of the narrative. The style varies with the nature of the subject, occasion and purpose. Thus, the itinerary in Nu 33 is intentionally composed in a style which undoubtedly possesses peculiar qualities when chanted to an appropriate tune. The census lists, etc., appear to be written in a formal official manner, and something similar is true of the lists of the spies in Nu 13. There is no ground for surprise in this. In the ancient world style varied according to the genre of the composition to a far greater extent than it does today.

3. The Covenant:

A literary form that is peculiar to the Pentateuch deserves special notice, namely, the covenant document as a form of literature. Many peoples have had laws that were attributed to some deity, but it is only here that laws are presented in the form of sworn agreements entered into with certain formalities between the nation and God. The literary result is that certain portions of the Pentateuch are in the form of a sort of deed with properly articulated parts. This deed would have been ratified by oath if made between men, as was the covenant between Jacob and Laban, but in a covenant with God this is inapplicable, and the place of the jurat is in each case taken by a discourse setting forth the rewards and penalties attached by God to observance and breach of the covenant respectively. The covenant conception and the idea that the laws acquire force because they are terms in an agreement between God and people, and not merely because they were commanded by God, is one of extraordinary importance in the history of thought and in theology, but we must not through absorption in these aspects of the question fail to notice that the conception found expression in a literary form that is unknown elsewhere and that it provides the key to the comprehension of large sections of the Pentateuch, including almost the whole of De (see in detail SBL, chapter ii).

4. Order and Rhythm:

Insufficient attention has been paid to order and rhythm generally. Two great principles must be borne in mind:

(1) in really good ancient prose the artist appeals to the ear in many subtle ways, and

(2) in all such prose, emphasis and meaning as well as beauty are given to a great extent by the order of the words. The figures of the old Greek rhetoricians play a considerable part.

Thus the figure called kuklos, "the circle," is sometimes used with great skill. In this the clause or sentence begins and ends with the same word, which denotes alike the sound and the thought. Probably the most effective instance—heightened by the meaning, the shortness and the heavy boom of the word—is to be found in De 4:12, where there is an impressive "circle" with qol, "voice"—the emphasis conveyed by the sound being at least as marked as that conveyed by the sense. This is no isolated instance of the figure; compare e.g. in Nu 32:1, the "circle" with "cattle"; 14:2 that with "would that we had died." Chiasmus is a favorite figure, and assonances, plays on words, etc., are not uncommon. Such traits often add force as well as beauty to the narrative, as may be seen from instances like Ge 1:2: tohu wa-bhohu, "waste and void"; 4:12: na’ wa-nadh, "a fugitive and a wanderer"; 9:6: shophekh dam ha-’adham, ba-’adham damo, yishshaphekh, literally, "shedding blood-of man, by-man his-blood shall-be-shed"; Nu 14:45: wayyakkum-wayyakkethum, "and smote them and beat them down."

The prose of the Pentateuch, except in its more formal and official parts, is closely allied to poetry (compare e.g. the Aeschylean "Sin coucheth at the door" (Ge 4:7); "The fountains of the great deep (were) broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened" (Ge 7:11); "how I bare you on eagles’ wings" (Ex 19:4)). In the oratorical prose of Deuteronomy we find an imagery and a poetical imagination that are not common among great orators. Its rhythm is marked and the arrangement of the words is extraordinarily forcible, especially in such a chapter as Deuteronomy 28. It is difficult to convey any idea of how much the book loses in English Versions of the Bible from the changes of order. Occasionally the rendering does observe the point of the original, e.g. in De 4:36: "Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice," and if we consider how strikingly this contrasts with the fiat "He made thee to hear his voice out of heaven," some notion may perhaps be formed of the importance of retaining the order. More frequently, however, the English is false to the emphasis and spirit of the Hebrew. Sometimes, but not always, this is due to the exigencies of English idiom. This is the cardinal fault of the King James Version, which otherwise excels so greatly.

IV. The Pentateuch as History.

1. Textual Criticism and History:

Beyond all doubt, the first duty of any who would use the Pentateuch for historical purposes is to consider the light that textual criticism throws upon it. So many of the impossibilities that are relied upon by those who seek to prove that the book is historically worthless may be removed by the simplest operations of scientific textual criticism, that a neglect of this primary precaution must lead to disastrous consequences. After all, it is common experience that a man who sets out to produce a history—whether by original composition or compilation—does not intentionally make, e.g., a southward march lead to a point northward of the starting-place, or a woman carry an able-bodied lad of 16 or 17 on her shoulder, or a patriarch linger some 80 years on a deathbed. When such episodes are found, the rudiments of historical judgment require that we should first ask whether the text is in order, and if the evidence points to any easy, natural and well-supported solutions of the difficulties, we are not justified in rejecting them without inquiry and denying to the Pentateuch all historical value. It is a priori far more probable that narratives which have come down to us from a date some 3,000 years back may have suffered slightly in transmission than that the Pentateuch was in the first instance the story of a historical wonderland. It is far more reasonable, e.g., to suppose that in a couple of verses of Exodus a corruption of two letters (attested by Aquila) has taken place in the Massoretic Text than that the Pentateuch contains two absolutely inconsistent accounts of the origin of the priesthood (see PRIESTS AND LEVITES). Accordingly, the first principle of any scientific use of the Pentateuch for historical purposes must be to take account of textual criticism.

2. Hebrew Methods of Expression:

Having discovered as nearly as may be what the author wrote, the next step must be to consider what he meant by it. Here, unfortunately, the modern inquirer is apt to neglect many most necessary precautions. It would be a truism, but for the fact that it is so often disregarded, to say that the whole of a narrative must be carefully read in order to ascertain the author’s meaning; e.g. how often we hear that Ge 14 represents Abram as having inflicted a defeat on the enemy with only 318 men (14:14), whereas from 14:24 (compare 14:13) it appears that in addition to these his allies Aner, Eshcol and Mature (i.e. as we shall see, the inhabitants of certain localities) had accompanied him! Sometimes the clue to the precise meaning of a story is to be found near the end: e.g. in Jos 22 we do not see clearly what kind of an altar the trans-Jordanic tribes had erected (and consequently why their conduct was open to objection) till 22:28 when we learn that this was an altar of the pattern of the altar of burnt offering, and so bore not the slightest resemblance to such lawful altars as those of Moses and Joshua (see ALTAR; SANCTUARY). Nor is this the only instance in which the methods of expression adopted cause trouble to some modern readers; e.g. the word "all" is sometimes used in a way that apparently presents difficulties to some minds. Thus in Ex 9:6 it is possible to interpret "all" in the most sweeping sense and then see a contradiction in 9:19,22, etc., which recognize that some cattle still existed. Or again the term may be regarded as limited by 9:3 to all the cattle in the field.

See ALL.

3. Personification and Genealogies:

At this point two further idiosyncrasies of the Semitic genius must be noted—the habits of personification and the genealogical tendency; e.g. in Nu 20:12-21, Edom and Israel are personified: "thy brother Israel," "Edom came out against him," etc. Nobody here mistakes the meaning. Similarly with genealogical methods of expression. The Semites spoke of many relationships in a way that is foreign to occidental methods. Thus the Hebrew for "30 years old" is "son of 30 years." Again we read "He was the father of such as dwell in tents" (Ge 4:20). These habits (of personification and genealogical expression of relationships) are greatly extended, e.g. "And Canaan begat Zidon his first-born" (Ge 10:15). Often this leads to no trouble, yet strangely enough men who will grasp these methods when dealing with Genesis 10 will claim that Genesis 14 cannot be historical because localities are there personified and grouped in relationships. Yet if we are to estimate the historical value of the narrative, we must surely be willing to apply. the same methods to one chapter as to another if the sense appears to demand this.

See, further, GENEALOGY.

4. Literary Form:

A further consideration that is not always heeded is the exigency of literary form; e.g. in Ge 24 there occurs a dialogue. Strangely enough, an attack has been made on the historical character of Genesis on this ground. It cannot be supposed—so runs the argument—that we have here a literal report of what was said. This entirely ignores the practice of all literary artists. Such passages are to be read as giving a literary presentation of what occurred; they convey a far truer and more vivid idea of what passed than could an actual literal report of the mere words, divorced from the gestures, glances and modulations of the voice that play such an important part in conversation.

5. The Sacred Numbers:

Another matter is the influence of the sacred numbers on the text; e.g. in Nu 33 the journeys seem designed to present 40 stations and must not be held to exclude camping at other stations not mentioned; Ge 10 probably contained 70 names in the original text. This is a technical consideration which must be borne in mind, and so, too, must the Hebrew habit of using certain round numbers to express an unspecified time: When, for instance, we read that somebody was 40 or 60 years old, we are not to take these words literally. "Forty years old" often seems to correspond to "after he had reached man’s estate".


6. Habits of Thought:

Still more important is it to endeavor to appreciate the habits of thought of those for whom the Pentateuch was first intended, and to seek to read it in the light of archaic ideas. One instance must suffice. Of the many explanations of names few are philologically correct. It is certain that Noah is not connected with the Hebrew for "to comfort" or Moses with "draw out"—even if Egyptian princesses spoke Hebrew. The etymological key will not fit. Yet we must ask ourselves whether the narrator ever thought that it did. In times when names were supposed to have some mystic relation to their bearers they might be conceived as standing also in some mystic relation to events either present or future; it is not clear that the true original meaning of the narratives was not to suggest this in literary form. How far the ancient Hebrews were from regarding names in the same light as we do may be seen from such passages as Ex 23:20 f; Isa 30:27; see further EPC, 47 ff.


7. National Coloring:

The Pentateuch is beyond all doubt an intensely national work. Its outlook is so essentially Israelite that no reader could fail to notice the fact, and it is therefore unnecessary to cite proofs. Doubtless this has in many instances led to its presenting a view of history with which the contemporary peoples would not have agreed. It is not to be supposed that the exodus was an event of much significance in the Egypt of Moses, however important it may appear to the Egyptians of today; and this suggests two points. On the one hand we must admit that to most contemporaries the Pentateuchal narratives must have seemed out of all perspective; on the other the course of subsequent history has shown that the Mosaic sense of perspective was in reality the true one, however absurd it may have seemed to the nations of his own day. Consequently in using the Pentateuch for historical purposes we must always apply two standards—the contemporary and the historical. In the days of Moses the narrative might often have looked to the outsider like the attempt of the frog in the fable to attain to the size of an ox; for us, with the light of history upon it, the values are very different. The national coloring, the medium through which the events are seen, has proved to be true, and the seemingly insignificant doings of unimportant people have turned out to be events of prime historical importance.

There is another aspect of the national coloring of the Pentateuch to be borne in mind. If ever there was a book which revealed the inmost soul of a people, that book is the Pentateuch. This will be considered in V, below, but for the present we are concerned with its historical significance. In estimating actions, motives, laws, policy—all that goes to make history—character is necessarily a factor of the utmost consequence. Now here we have a book that at every point reveals and at the same t ime grips the national character. Alike in contents and in form the legislation is adapted with the utmost nicety to the nature of the people for which it was promulgated.

8. How Far the Pentateuch Is Trustworthy:

When due allowance has been made for all the various matters enumerated above, what can be said as to the trustworthiness of the Pentateuchal history? The answer is entirely favorable.

(1) Contemporaneous Information.

In the first place the discussion as to the dating of the Pentateuch (above, II, 4) has shown that we have in it documents that are in many cases certainly contemporaneous with the matters to which they relate and have been preserved in a form that is substantially original. Thus we have seen that the wording of Ge 10:19 cannot be later than the age of Abraham and that the legislation of the last four books is Mosaic. Now contemporaneousness is the first essential of credibility.

(2) Character of Our Informants.

Given the fact (guaranteed by the contemporaneousness of the sources) that our informants had the means of providing accurate information if they so desired, we have to ask whether they were truthful and able. As to the ability no doubt is possible; genius is stamped on every page of the Pentateuch. Similarly as to truthfulness. The conscience of the narrators is essentially ethical. This appears of course most strongly in the case of the legislation (compare Le 19:11) and the attribution of truthfulness to God (Ex 34:6), but it may readily be detected throughout; e.g. in Ge 20:12 the narrative clearly shows that truthfulness was esteemed as a virtue by the ancient Hebrews. Throughout, the faults of the dramatis personae are never minimized even when the narrator’s sympathy is with them. Nor is there any attempt to belittle the opponents of Israel’s heroes. Consider on the one hand the magnanimity of Esau’s character and on the other the very glaring light that is thrown on the weaknesses of Jacob, Judah, Aaron. If we are taught to know the Moses who prays, "And if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written" (Ex 32:32), we are also shown his frequent complaints, and we make acquaintance with the hot-tempered manslayer and the lawgiver who disobeyed his God.

(3) Historical Genius of the People.

Strangely enough, those who desire to discuss the trustworthiness of the Pentateuch often go far afield to note the habits of other nations and, selecting according to their bias peoples that have a good or a bad reputation in the matter of historical tradition, proceed to argue for or against the Pentateuchal narrative on this basis. Such procedure is alike unjust and unscientific. It is unscientific because the object of the inquirer is to obtain knowledge as to the habits of this people, and in view of the great divergences that may be observed among different races the comparative method is clearly inapplicable; it is unjust because this people is entitled to be judged on its own merits or defects, not on the merits or defects of others. Now it is a bare statement of fact that the Jews possess the historical sense to a preeminent degree. Nobody who surveys their long history and examines their customs and practices to this day can fairly doubt that fact. This is no recent development; it is most convincingly attested by the Pentateuch itself, which here, as elsewhere, faithfully mirrors the spirit of the race. What is the highest guaranty of truth, a guaranty to which unquestioning appeal may be made in the firm assurance that it will carry conviction to all who hear? "Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations: Ask thy father and he will show thee; Thine elders, and they will tell thee" (De 32:7). "For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth," etc. (De 4:32). Conversely, the due handing down of tradition is a religious duty: "And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say," etc. (Ex 12:26 f). "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but make them known unto thy children, and thy children’s children" (De 4:9). It is needless to multiply quotations. Enough has been said to show clearly the attitude of this people toward history.

(4) Good Faith of Deuteronomy.

Closely connected with the preceding is the argument from the very obvious good faith of the speeches in Deuteronomy. It is not possible to read the references to events in such a chapter as Deuteronomy 4 without realizing that the speaker most fully believed the truth of his statements. The most unquestionable sincerity is impressed upon the chapter. The speaker is referring to what he believes with all the faith of which he is capable. Even for those who doubt the Mosaic authenticity of these speeches there can be no doubt as to the writer’s unquestioning acceptance of the historical consciousness of the people. But once the Mosaic authenticity is established the argument becomes overwhelming. How could Moses have spoken to people of an event so impressive and unparalleled as having happened within their own recollection if it had not really occurred?

(5) Nature of the Events Recorded.

Another very important consideration arises from the nature of the events recorded. No nation, it has often been remarked, would gratuitously invent a story of its enslavement to another. The extreme sobriety of the patriarchal narratives, the absence of miracle, the lack of any tendency to display the ancestors of the people as conquerors or great personages, are marks of credibility. Many of the episodes in the Mosaic age are extraordinarily probable. Take the stories of the rebelliousness of the people, of their complaints of the water, the food, and so on: what could be more in accordance with likelihood? On the other hand there is another group of narratives to which the converse argument applies. A Sinai cannot be made part of a nation’s consciousness by a clever story-teller or a literary forger. The unparalleled nature of the events narrated was recognized quite as clearly by the ancient Hebrews as it is today (see De 4:32 ff). It is incredible that such a story could have been made up and successfully palmed off on the whole nation. A further point that may be mentioned in this connection is the witness of subsequent history to the truth of the narrative. Such a unique history as that of the Jews, such tremendous consequences as their religion has had on the fortunes of mankind, require for their explanation causal events of sufficient magnitude.

(6) External Corroborations.

All investigation of evidence depends on a single principle: "The coincidences of the truth are infinite." In other words, a false story will sooner or later become involved in conflict with ascertained facts. The Biblical narrative has been subjected to the most rigorous cross-examination from every point of view for more than a century. Time after time confident assertions have been made that its falsehood has been definitely proved, and in each case the Pentateuch has come out from the test triumphant. The details will for the most part be found enumerated or referred to under the separate articles. Here it must suffice just to refer to a few matters. It was said that the whole local coloring of the Egyptian scenes was entirely false, e.g. that the vine did not grow in Egypt. Egyptology has in every instance vindicated the minute accuracy of the Pentateuch, down to even the non-mention of earthenware (in which the discolored Nile waters can be kept clean) in Ex 7:19 and the very food of the lower classes in Nu 11:5. It was said that writing was unknown in the days of Moses, but Egyptology and Assyriology have utterly demolished this. The historical character of many of the names has been strengthened by recent discoveries (see e.g. JERUSALEM; AMRAPHEL). From another point of view modern observation of the habits of the quails has shown that the narrative of Numbers is minutely accurate and must be the work of an eyewitness. From the ends of the earth there comes confirmation of the details of the evolution of law as depicted in the Pentateuch. Finally it is worth noting that even the details of some of the covenants in Genesis are confirmed by historical parallels (Churchman, 1908, 17 f).

It is often said that history in the true sense was invented by the Greeks and that the Hebrew genius was so intent on the divine guidance that it neglected secondary causes altogether. There is a large measure of truth in this view; but so far as the Pentateuch is concerned it can be greatly overstated.

9. The Pentateuch as Reasoned History:

One great criticism that falls to be made is entirely in favor of the Hebrew as against some Greeks, namely, the superior art with which the causes are given. A Thucydides would have stated the reasons that induced Pharaoh to persecute the Israelites, or Abraham and Lot to separate, or Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their followers to rebel; but every reader would have known precisely what he was doing and many who can read the material passages of the Pentateuch with delight would have been totally unable to grapple with his presentation of the narrative. The audience is here more unsophisticated and the material presented in more artistic form. In truth, any historian who sat down to compose a philosophical history of the period covered by the Pentateuch would in many instances be surprised at the lavish material it offered to him. A second criticism is more obvious. The writer clearly had no knowledge of the other side of the case. For example, the secondary causes for the defeat near Hormah are plain enough so far as they are internal to the Israelites—lack of morale, discipline and leadership, division of opinion, discouragement produced by the divine disapproval testified by the absence from the army of Moses and the Ark, and the warnings of the former—but the secondary causes on the side of the Amalekites and Canaanites are entirely omitted. Thus it generally happens that we do not get the same kind of view of the events as might be possible if we could have both sides. Naturally this is largely the case with the work of every historian who tells the story from one side only and is not peculiar to the Pentateuch. Thirdly, the object of the Pentateuch is not merely to inform, but to persuade. It is primarily statesmanship, not literature, and its form is influenced by this fact. Seeking to sway conduct, not to provide a mere philosophical exposition of history, it belongs to a different (and higher) category from the latter, and where it has occasion to use the same material puts it in a different way, e.g. by assigning as motives for obeying laws reasons that the philosophic historian would have advanced as causes for their enactment. To some extent, therefore, an attempt to criticize the Pentateuch from the standpoint of philosophic history is an attempt to express it in terms of something that is incommensurable with it.

V. The Character of the Pentateuch.

1. Hindu Law Books:

The following sentences from Maine’s Early Law and Custom form a suggestive introduction to any consideration of the character of the Pentateuch:

"The theory upon which these schools of learned men worked, from the ancient, perhaps very ancient, Apastamba and Gautama to the late Manu and the still later Narada, is perhaps still held by some persons of earnest religious convictions, but in time now buried it affected every walk of thought. The fundamental assumption is that a sacred or inspired literature being once believed to exist, all knowledge is contained in it. The Hindu way of putting it was, and is, not simply that the Scripture is true, but that everything which is true is contained in the Scripture. .... It is to be observed that such a theory, firmly held during the infancy of systematic thought, tends to work itself into fact. As the human mind advances, accumulating observation and accumulating reflection, nascent philosophy and dawning science are read into the sacred literature, while they are at the same time limited by the ruling ideas of its priestly authors. But as the mass of this literature grows through the additions made to it by successive expositors, it gradually specializes itself, and subjects, at first mixed together under vague general conceptions, become separated from one another and isolated. In the history of law the most important early specialization is that which separates what a man ought to do from what he ought to know. A great part of the religious literature, including the Creation of the Universe, the structure of Heaven, Hell, and the World or Worlds, and the nature of the Gods, falls under the last head, what a man ought to know. Law-books first appear as a subdivision of the first branch, what a man should do. Thus the most ancient books of this class are short manuals of conduct for an Aryan Hindu who would lead a perfect life. They contain much more ritual than law, a great deal more about the impurity caused by touching impure things than about crime, a great deal more about penances than about punishments" (pp. 16-18).

It is impossible not to see the resemblances to the Pentateuch that these sentences suggest. Particularly interesting is the commentary they provide on the attitude of Moses toward knowledge: "The secret things belong unto Yahweh our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law" (De 29:29).

But if the Pentateuch has significant resemblances to other old law books, there are differences that are even more significant.

2. Differences:

"By an act that is unparalleled in history a God took to Himself a people by means of a sworn agreement. Some words that are fundamental for our purpose must be quoted from the offer; ‘Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be mine own possession from among all peoples: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ The views here expressed dominate the legislation. Holiness—the correlative holiness to which the Israelites must attain because the Lord their God is holy—embraces much that is not germane to our subject, but it also covers the whole field of national and individual righteousness. The duty to God that is laid upon the Israelites in these words is a duty that has practical consequences in every phase of social life. I have already quoted a sentence from Sir Henry Maine in which he speaks of the uniformity with which religion and law are implicated in archaic legislation. There is a stage in human development where life is generally seen whole, and it is to this stage that the Pentateuch belongs. But no other legislation so takes up one department of man’s life after another and impresses on them all the relationship of God and people. Perhaps nothing will so clearly bring out my meaning as a statement of some of the more fundamental differences between the Pentateuchal legislation and the old Indian law-books which often provide excellent parallels to it. Those to which I desire to draw particular attention are as follows: The Indian law-books have no idea of national (as distinct from individual) righteousness—a conception that entered the world with the Mosaic legislation and has perhaps not made very much progress there since. There is no personal God: hence, His personal interest in righteousness is lacking: hence, too, there can be no relationship between God and people: and while there is a supernatural element in the contemplated results of human actions, there is nothing that can in the slightest degree compare with the Personal Divine intervention that is so often promised in the Pentateuchal laws. The caste system, like Hammurabi’s class system, leads to distinctions that are always inequitable. The conception of loving one’s neighbour and one’s sojourner as oneself are alike lacking. The systematic provisions for poor relief are absent, and the legislation is generally on a lower ethical and moral level, while some of the penalties are distinguished by the most perverted and barbarous cruelty. All these points are embraced in the special relationship of the One God and the peculiar treasure with its resulting need for national and individual holiness" (PS, 330 f).

3. Holiness:

These sentences indicate some of the most interesting of the distinguishing features of the Pentateuch—its national character, its catholic view of life, its attitude toward the Divine, and some at any rate of its most peculiar teachings. It is worth noting that Judaism, the oldest of the religions which it has influenced, attaches particular importance to one chapter, Le 19. The keynote of that chapter is the command: ‘Holy shall ye be, for holy am I the Lord your God’—to preserve the order and emphasis of the original words. This has been called the Jew’s imitatio Dei, though a few moments’ reflection shows that the use of the word "imitation" is here inaccurate. Now this book with this teaching has exercised a unique influence on the world’s history, for it must be remembered that Judaism, Christianity and Islam spring ultimately from its teachings, and it is impossible to sever it from the history of the "people of the book"—as Mohammed called them. It appears then that it possesses in some unique way both an intensely national and an intensely universal character and a few words must be said as to this.

4. The Universal Aspect:

The great literary qualities of the work have undoubtedly been an important factor. All readers have felt the fascination of the stories of Genesis. The Jewish character has also counted for much; so again have the moral and ethical doctrines, and the miraculous and unprecedented nature of the events narrated. And yet there is much that might have been thought to militate against the book’s obtaining any wide influence. Apart from some phrases about all the families of the earth being blessed (or blessing themselves) in the seed of Abraham, there is very little in its direct teaching to suggest that it was ever intended to be of universal application. Possibly these phrases only mean that other nations will use Israel as a typical example of greatness and happiness and pray that they may attain an equal degree of glory and prosperity. Moreover, the Pentateuch provides for a sacrificial system that has long ceased to exist, and a corpus of jural law that has not been adopted by other peoples. Of its most characteristic requirement—holiness—large elements are rejected by all save its own people. Wherein then lies its universal element? How came this the most intensely national of books to exercise a world-wide and ever-growing influence? The reason lies in the very first sentence: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." This doctrine of the unity of an Almighty God is the answer to our question. Teach that there is a God and One Only All-powerful God, and the book that tells of Him acquires a message to all His creatures.

5. The National Aspect:

Of the national character of the work something has already been said. It is remarkable that for its own people it has in very truth contained life and length of days, for it has been in and through that book that the Jews have maintained themselves throughout their unique history. If it be asked wherein the secret of this strength lies, the answer is in the combination of the national and the religious. The course of history must have been entirely different if the Pentateuch had not been the book of the people long before the Jews became the people of the book.


The current critical view is set forth in vast numbers of books. The following may be mentioned: LOT; Cornill’s Introduction to the Canonical Books of the Old Testament; Carpenter and Harford-Battersby’s Hexateuch (a 2nd edition of the Introduction without the text has been published as The Composition of the Hexateuch); the volumes of the ICC, Westminster Comms. and Century Bible. Slightly less thoroughgoing views are put forward in the German Introductions of Konig (1893), Baudissin (1901), Sellin (1910); and Geden, Outlines of Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (1909); Kittel, Scientific Study of the Old Testament (English translation, 1910); Eerdm. has entirely divergent critical views; POT; TMH, I, and W. Moller, Are the Critics Right? and Wider den Bann der Quellenscheidung; Robertson, Early Religion of Israel; Van Hoonacker, Lieu du culte, and Sacerdoce levitique are all much more conservative and valuable. J.H. Raven, Old Testament Intro, gives a good presentation of the most conservative case. The views taken in this article are represented by SBL, EPC, OP, PS, Troelstra, The Name of God, and in some matters, TMH, I.

Harold M. Wiener




1. In Older Times

2. Revived Knowledge


1. Nablus Roll

2. The Script

3. Peculiarities of Writing

4. The Tarikh

5. The Mode of Pronunciation

6. Age of the Nablus Roll


1. Relation to the Massoretic Text: Classification of Differences

(1) Examples of Accidental Variations

(a) Due to Mistakes of Sight

(b) Variations Due to Mistakes of Hearing

(c) Changes Due to Deficient Attention

(2) Intentional

(a) Grammatical

(b) Logical

(c) Doctrinal

2. Relation of Samaritan Recension to Septuagint

(1) Statement of Hypotheses

(2) Review of These Hypotheses




The existence of a Samaritan community in Nablus is generally known, and the fact that they have a recension of the Pentateuch which differs in some respects from the Massoretic has been long recognized as important.

I. Knowledge of Samaritan Pentateuch.

1. In Older Times:

Of the Greek Fathers Origen knew of it and notes two insertions which do not appear in the Massoretic Text—Nu 13:1 and 21:12, drawn from De 1:2 and 2:18. Eusebius of Caesarea in his Chronicon compares the ages of the patriarchs before Abraham in the Septuagint with those in the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Massoretic Text. Epiphanius is aware that the Samaritans acknowledged the Pentateuch alone as canonical. Cyril of Jerusalem notes agreement of Septuagint and Samaritan in Ge 4:8. These are the principal evidences of knowledge of this recension among the Greek Fathers. Jerome notes some omissions in the Massoretic Text and supplies them from the Samaritan Text. The Talmud shows that the Jews retained a knowledge of the Samaritan Pentateuch longer, and speaks contemptuously of the points in which it differs from the Massoretic Text. Since the differences observed by the Fathers and the Talmudists are to be seen in the Samaritan Pentateuch before us, they afford evidence of its authenticity.

2. Revived Knowledge:

After nearly a millennium of oblivion the Samaritan Pentateuch was restored to the knowledge of Christendom by Pietro de la Valle who in 1616 purchased a copy from the Samaritan community which then existed in Damascus. This copy was presented in 1623 to the Paris Oratory and shortly after published in the Paris Polyglot under the editorship of Morinus, a priest of the Oratory who had been a Protestant. He emphasized the difference between the Massoretic Text and Samaritan Pentateuch for argumentative reasons, in order to prove the necessity for the intervention of the church to settle which was Scripture. A fierce controversy resulted, in which various divines, Protestant and Catholic, took part. Since then copies of this recension have multiplied in Europe and America. All of them may be regarded as copies ultimately of the Nablus roll. These copies are in the form, not of rolls, but of codices or bound volumes. They are usually written in two columns to the page, one being the Targum or interpretation and this is sometimes in Aramaic and sometimes in Arabic. Some codices show three columns with both Targums. There are probably nearly 100 of these codices in various libraries in Europe and America. These are all written in the Samaritan script and differ only by scribal blunders.

II. Codices and Script.

1. Nablus Roll:

The visitor to the Samaritans is usually shown an ancient roll, but only rarely is the most ancient exhibited, and when so exhibited still more rarely is it in circumstances in which it may be examined.

Dr. Mills, who spent three months in the Samaritan community, was able to make a careful though interrupted study of it. His description (Nablus and the Modern Samaritans, 312) is that "the roll is of parchment, written in columns, 13 inches deep, and 7 1/2 inches wide. The writing is in a fair hand, rather small; each column contains from 70 to 72 lines, and the whole roll contains 110 columns. The name of the scribe is written in a kind of acrostic, running through these columns, and is found in the Book of Deuteronomy The roll has the appearance of very great antiquity, but is wonderfully well preserved, considering its venerable age. It is worn out and torn in many places and patched with re-written parchment; in many other places, where not torn, the writing is unreadable. It seemed to me that about two-thirds of the original is still readable. The skins of which the roll is composed are of equal size and measure each 25 inches long by 15 inches wide." Dr. Rosen’s account on the authority of Kraus (Zeitschr. der deulschmorgenl. Gesellsch., XVIII, 582) agrees with this, adding that the "breadth of the writing is a line and the space between is similar." Both observers have noted that the parchment has been written only on the "hair" side. It is preserved in a silk covering enclosed in a silver case embossed with arabesque ornaments.

2. The Script:

The reader on opening one of the codices of the Samaritan Pentateuch recognizes at once the difference of the writing from the characters in an ordinary Hebrew Bible. The Jews admit that the character in which the Samaritan Pentateuch is written is older than their square character. It is said in the Talmud (Sanhedhrin 21b): "The law at first was given to Israel in ‘ibhri letters and in the holy tongue and again by Ezra in the square (’ashurith) character and the Aramaic tongue. Israel chose for themselves the ‘ashurith character and the holy tongue: they left to the hedhyoToth ("uncultured") the ‘ibhri character and the Aramaic tongue—‘the Cuthaeans are the hedhyoToth,’ said Rabbi Chasda." When Jewish hatred of the Samaritans, and the contempt of the Pharisees for them are remembered, this admission amounts to a demonstration. The Samaritan script resembles that on the Maccabean coins, but is not identical with it. It may be regarded as between the square character and the angular, the latter as is seen in the manuscript and the Siloam inscription. Another intermediate form, that found on the Assouan papyri, owes the differences it presents to having been written with a reed on papyrus. As the chronology of these scripts is of importance we subjoin those principally in question.

The study of these alphabets. will confirm the statement above made that the Samaritan alphabet is, in evolution, between the square character and the angular, nearer the latter than the former, while the characters of the Assouan papyri are nearer the former than the latter. Another point to be observed is that the letters which resemble each other in one alphabet do not always resemble in another. We can thus, from comparison of the letters liable to be confused, form a guess as to the script in which the document containing the confusion written.

3. Peculiarities in Writing:

In inscriptions the lapidary had no hesitation, irrespective of syllables, in completing in the next line any word for which he had not sufficient room. Thus, the beginnings and endings of lines were directly under each other, as on the MS. In the papyri the words are not divided, but the scribe was not particular to have the ends of lines directly under each other. The scribe of the square character by use of literae dilatabiles secured this without dividing the words. The Samaritan secured this end by wider spacing. The first letter or couple of letters of each line are placed directly under the first letter or letters of the preceding line—so with the last letters—two or three—of the line, while the other words are spread out to fill up the space. The only exception to this is a paragraph ending. Words are separated from each other by dots; sentences by a sign like our colon. The Torah is divided into 966 qisam or paragraphs. The termination of these is shown by the colon having a dot added to it, thus:. Sometimes this is reinforced by a line and an angle. These qisam are often enumerated on the margin; sometimes, in later manuscripts in Arabic numerals. A blank space sometimes separates one of these qisam from the next.

4. The Tarikh:

When the scribe wished to inform the reader of his personality and the place where he had written the manuscript he made use of a peculiar device. In copying he left a space vacant in the middle of a column. The space thus left is every now and then bridged by a single letter. These letters read down the column form words and sentences which convey the information. In the case of the Nablus roll this tarikh occurs in Deuteronomy and occupies three columns. In this it is said, "I Abishua, son of Pinhas (Phinehas), son of Eleazar, son of Aharun (Aaron) the priest, have written this holy book in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in Mt. Gerizim in the 13th year of the rule of the children of Israel in the land of Canaan." Most of the codices in the libraries of Europe and America have like information given in a similar manner. This tarikh is usually Hebrew, but sometimes it is in the Samaritan Aramaic. Falsification of the date merely is practically impossible; the forgery must be the work of the first scribe.

5. The Mode of Pronunciation:

Not only has the difference of script to be considered, but also the different values assigned to the letters. The names given to the letters differ considerably from the Hebrew, as may be seen above. There are no vowel points or signs of reduplication. Only B and P of the BeGaDH-KePHaTH letters are aspirated. The most singular peculiarity is that none of the gutturals is pronounced at all—a peculiarity which explains some of the names given to the letters. This characteristic appears all the more striking when it is remembered how prominent gutturals are in Arabic, the everyday language of the Samaritans. The Genesis 1:1-5 are subjoined according to the Samaritan pronunciation, as taken down by Petermann (Versuch einer hebr. Formenlehre, 161), from the reading of Amram the high priest: Barashet bara Eluwem it ashshamem wit aarets. Waarets ayata-te’u ube’u waashek al fani .... turn uru Eluwem amra, efet al fani ammem waya’mer Eluwem ya’i or way’ai or wayere Eluwem it a’ or ki tov wayabdel Eluwem bin a’ir ubin aashek uyikra Eluwem la’or yom ula ‘ashek qara lila. Uyai ‘erev uyai beqar yom a’ad.

6. Age of the Nablus Roll:

There is no doubt that if the inscription given above is really in the manuscript it is a forgery written on the skin at the first. Of its falsity also there is no doubt. The Tell el-Amarna Letters sent from Canaan and nearly contemporary with the Israelite conquest of the land were impressed with cuneiform characters and the language was Babylonian. Neglecting the tarikh, we may examine the matter independently and come to certain conclusions. If it is the original from which the other manuscripts have been copied we are forced to assume a date earlier at least than the 10th century AD, which is the date of the earliest Hebrew MS. The script dates from the Hasmoneans. The reason of this mode of writing being perpetuated in copying the Law must be found in some special sanctity in the document from which the copies were made originally. Dr. Mills seems almost inclined to believe the authenticity of the tarikh. His reasons, however, have been rendered valueless by recent discoveries. Dr. Cowley, on the other hand, would date it somewhere about the 12th century AD, or from that to the 14th. With all the respect due to such a scholar we venture to think his view untenable. His hypothesis is that an old manuscript was found and the tarikh now seen in it was afterward added. That, however, is impossible unless a new skin—the newness of which would be obvious—had been written over and inserted. Even the comparatively slight change implied in turning Ishmael into Israel in the tarikh in the Nablus roll necessitates a great adjustment of lines, as the letters of the tarikh must read horizontally as well as perpendicularly. If that change were made, the date would then be approximately 650 AD, much older than Cowley’s 12th century. There is, however, nothing in this to explain the sanctity given to this MS. There is a tradition that the roll was saved from fire, that, it leaped out of the fire in the presence of Nebuchadnezzar. If it were found unconsumed when the temple on Mt. Gerizim was burned by John Hyrcanus I, this would account for the veneration in which it is held. It would account also for the stereotyping of the script. The angular script prevailed until near the time of Alexander the Great. In it or in a script akin to it the copy of the Law must have been written which Manasseh, the son-in-law of Sanballat, brought to Samaria. The preservation of such a copy would be ascribed to miracle and the script consecrated.

III. Relation of the Samaritan Recension to the Massoretic Text and to the Septuagint.

1. Relation to Massoretic Text: Classification of Differences:

While the reader of the Samaritan Pentateuch will not fail to observe its practical identity with the Massoretic Text, closer study reveals numerous, if minor, differences.

These differences were classified by Gesenius. Besides being illogical, his classification is faulty, as founded on the assumption that the Samaritan Pentateuch text is the later. The same may be said of Kohn’s. We would venture on another classification of these variations, deriving the principle of division from their origin. These variations were due either to

(1) accident or

(2) intention.

(1) The first of these classes arose from the way in which books were multiplied in ancient days. Most commonly one read and a score of scribes, probably slaves, wrote to this dictation. Hence, errors might arise

(a) when from similarity of letters the reader mistook one word for another.

(b) If the reader’s pronunciation was not distinct the scribes might mis-hear and therefore write the word amiss.

(c) Further, if the reader began a sentence which opened in a way that generally was followed by certain words or phrases, he might inadvertently conclude it, not in the way it was written before him, but in the customary phrase. In the same way the scribe through defective attention might also blunder. Thus the accidental variations may be regarded as due to mistakes of sight, hearing and attention.

(2) Variations due to intention are either

(a) grammatical, the removal of peculiarities and conforming them to usage, or

(b) logical, as when a command having been given, the fulfillment is felt to follow as a logical necessity and so is narrated, or, if narrated, is omitted according to the ideas of the scribe;

(c) doctrinal changes introduced into the text to suit the doctrinal position of one side or other. Questions of propriety also lead to alterations—these may be regarded as quasi-doctrinal.

(1) Examples of Accidental Variations.

(a) Due to Mistakes of Sight:

The cause of mistakes of sight is the likeness of differing letters. These, however, differ in different scripts, as may be proved by consideration of the table of alphabets. Some of these mistakes found in connection with the Samaritan Pentateuch appear to be mistakes due to the resemblance of letters in the Samaritan script. Most of these are obvious blunders; thus, in Ge 19:32, we have the meaningless tabhinu instead of ‘abhini, "our father," from the likeness of the Samaritan "t" to "a." In Ge 25:29 we have tsazedh instead of yazedh, "to seethe," because of the likeness of a Samaritan "ts", to "y" or "i". These, while in Blayney’s transcription of Walton’s text, are not in Petermann or the Samaritan Targum. The above examples are mistakes in Samaritan manuscripts, but there are mistakes also in the Massoretic Text. In Ge 27:40 the Revised Version (British and American) rendering is "When thou shalt break loose, thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck." This rendering does violence to the sense of both verbs and results in a tautology. In the Hiphil the first verb rudh ought to mean "to cause to wander," not "to break loose," and the second verb paraq means "to break," not "to shake off." The Samaritan has "When thou shalt be mighty, thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck." The Massoretic Text mistake may be due to the confounding of the Samaritan "a" with a "t", and the transposition of a Samaritan "d" and "b". The verb ‘adhar, "to be strong," is rare and poetic, and so unlikely to suggest itself to reader or scribe. The renderings of the Septuagint and Peshitta indicate confusion. There are numerous cases, however, where the resembling letters are not in the Samaritan script, but sometimes in the square character and sometimes in the angular. Some characters resemble each other in both, but not in the Samaritan. The cases in which the resemblance is only in letters in the square script may all be ascribed to variation in the Massoretic Text. Cases involving the confusion of waw and yodh are instances in point. It may be said that every one of the instances of variation which depends on confusion of these letters is due to a blunder of a Jewish scribe, e.g. Ge 25:13, where the Jewish scribe has written nebhith instead of nebhdyoth (Nebaioth) as usual; 36:5, where the Jewish scribe has ye‘ish instead of ye‘ush (Jeush), as in the Qere. In Ge 46:30, by writing re’othi instead of ra’ithi, the Jewish scribe in regard to the same letters has made a blunder which the Samaritan scribe has avoided. When d and r are confused, it must not be ascribed to the likeness in the square script, for those letters are alike in the angular also. As the square is admitted to be later than the date of the Samaritan script, these confusions point to a manuscript in angular. There are, however, confusions which apply only to letters alike in angular. Thus, binyamim, invariably in the Samaritan Pentateuch Benjamin, binyamin, is written Benjamin; also in Ex 1:11 pithon instead of pithom, but "m" and "n" are alike only in the script of the Siloam inscription. In De 12:21, the Samaritan has leshakken, as the Massoretic Text has in 12:11, whereas the Massoretic Text has lasum. A study of the alphabets on p. 2314 will show the close resemblance between waw (w) and kaph (k) in the Siloam script, as well as the likeness above mentioned between "m" and "n". This points to the fact that the manuscripts from which the Massoretic Text and the Samaritan were transcribed in some period of their history were written in angular of the type of the Siloam inscription, that is to say of the age of Hezekiah.

(b) Variations Due to Mistakes of Hearing:

The great mass of these are due to one of two sources, either on the one hand the insertion or omission of waw and yodh, so that the vowel is written plenum or the reverse, or, on the other hand, to the mistake of the gutturals. Of the former class of variations there are dozens in every chapter. The latter also is fairly frequent, and is due doubtless to the fact that in the time when the originals of the present manuscripts were transcribed the gutturals were not pronounced at all. Ge 27:36 shows ‘aleph (’) and he (h) interchanged, he (h) and cheth (ch) in Ge 41:45, cheth (ch) for ‘ayin (‘) in Ge 49:7, and ‘aleph (’) and ‘ayin (‘) in Ge 23:18, in many Samaritan manuscripts, but the result is meaningless. This inability to pronounce the gutturals points to a date considerably before the Arab domination. Possibly this avoidance of the gutturals became fashionable during the Roman rule, when the language of law was Latin, a language without gutturals. A parallel instance may be seen in Aquila, who does not transliterate any gutturals. This loss of the gutturals may be connected with the fact that in Assyrian ‘aleph (’) is practically the only guttural. The colonists from Assyria might not unlikely be unable to pronounce the gutturals.

(c) Changes Due to Deficient Attention:

Another cause of variation is to be found in reader or scribe not attending sufficiently to the actual word or sentence seen or heard. This is manifested in putting for a word its equivalent. In Ge 26:31 the Samaritan has lere‘ehu, "to his friend," instead of as the Massoretic Text le’achiw, "to his brother," and in Ex 2:10 Samaritan has na‘ar for yeledh in Massoretic Text. In such cases it is impossible to determine which represents the original text. We may remark that the assumption of Gesenius and of such Jewish writers as Kohn that the Massoretic Text is always correct is due to mere prejudice. More important is the occasional interchange of YHWH and ‘Elohim, as in Ge 28:4, where Samaritan has YHWH and the Massoretic Text ‘Elohim, and Ge 7:1 where it has ‘Elohim against YHWH in the Massoretic Text. This last instance is the more singular, in that in the 9th verse of the same chapter the Massoretic Text has ‘Elohim and the Samaritan YHWH. Another class of instances which may be due to the same cause is the completion of a sentence by adding a clause or, it may be, dropping it from failure to observe it to be incomplete, as Ge 24:45. If the Massoretic Text be the original text, the Samaritan adds the clause "a little water from thy pitcher"; if the Samaritan, then the Massoretic Text has dropped it.

(2) Intentional.

(a) Grammatical:

The variations from the Massoretic Text most frequently met with in reading the Samaritan Pentateuch are those necessary to conform the language to the rules of ordinary grammar. In this the Samaritan frequently coincides with the Qere of the Massoretic Text. The Kethibh of the Massoretic Text has no distinction in gender between hu’ in the 3rd personal pronoun singular—in both masculine and feminine it is hu’. The Samaritan with the Qere corrects this to hi’. So with na‘ar, "a youth"—this is common in the Kethibh, but in the Qere when a young woman is in question the feminine termination is added, and so the Samaritan writers also. It is a possible supposition that this characteristic of the Torah is late and due to blundering peculiar to the manuscript from which the Massoretes copied the Kethibh. That it is systematic is against its being due to blunder, and as the latest Hebrew books maintain distinction of gender, we must regard this as an evidence of antiquity. This is confirmed by another set of variations between the Samaritan and the Massoretic Text. There are, in the latter, traces of case-endings which have disappeared in later Hebrew. These are removed in the Samaritan. That case terminations have a tendency to disappear is to be seen in English and French The sign of the accusative, ‘eth, frequently omitted in the Massoretic Text, is generally supplied in Samaritan. A short form of the demonstrative pronoun plural (’el instead of ‘ellah) is restricted to the Pentateuch and 1Ch 20:8. The syntax of the cohortative is different in Samaritan from that in the Massoretic Hebrew. It is not to be assumed that the Jewish was the only correct or primitive use. There are cases where, with colloquial inexactitude, the Massoretic Text has joined a plural noun to a singular verb, and vice versa; these are corrected in Samaritan. Conjugations which in later Hebrew have a definite meaning in relation to the root, but are used in the Massoretic Text of the Torah in quite other senses, are brought in the Samaritan Pentateuch into harmony with later use. It ought in passing to be noted that these pentateuchal forms do not occur in the Prophets; even in Jos 2:15 we have the feminine 3rd personal pronoun; in Jud 19:3 we have na‘arah.

(b) Logical:

Sometimes the context or the circumstances implied have led to a change on one side or another. This may involve only the change of a word, as in Ge 2:2, where the Samaritan has "sixth" instead of "seventh" (Massoretic Text), in this agreeing with the Septuagint and Peshitta, the Jewish scribe thinking the "sixth day" could only be reckoned ended when the "seventh’ had begun. In Ge 4:8, after the clause, "And Cain talked with (said to) Abel his brother," the Samaritan, Septuagint and Peshitta add, "Let us go into the field." From the evidence of the VSS, from the natural meaning of the verb ‘amar, "to say," not "to speak," from the natural meaning also of the preposition ‘el, "to," not "with" (see Gesenius), it is clear that the Massoretic Text has dropped the clause and that the Samaritan represents the true text. If this is not the case, it is a case of logical completion on the part of the Samaritan. Another instance is the addition to each name in the genealogy in Ge 11:10-24 of the sum of the years of his life. In the case of the narrative of the plagues of Egypt a whole paragraph is added frequently. What has been commanded Moses and Aaron is repeated as history when they obey.

(c) Doctrinal:

There are cases in which the text so suits the special views of the Samaritans concerning the sanctity of Gerizim that alteration of the original in that direction may be supposed to be the likeliest explanation. Thus there is inserted at Ge 20:6, 7 a passage from De 27:2 slightly modified: Gerizim being put for Ebal, the object of the addition being to give the consecration of Gerizim the sanction of the Torah. Kennicott, however, defends the authenticity of this passage as against the Massoretic Text. Insertion or omission appears to be the result of doctrinal predilection. In Nu 25:4,5 the Samaritan harmonizes the command of Yahweh with the action of Moses. The passage removed has a bloodthirsty Moloch-like look that might seem difficult to defend. On the other hand, the Jewish hatred of idolatry might express itself in the command to "take all the heads of the people and hang them up before the Lord against the sun," and so might be inserted. There are cases also where the language is altered for reasons of propriety. In these cases the Samaritan agrees with the Qere of the Massoretic Text.

These variations are of unequal value as evidences of the relative date of the Samaritan recension of the Pentateuch. The intentional are for this purpose of little value; they are evidence of the views prevalent in the northern and southern districts of Palestine respectively. Only visual blunders are of real importance, and they point to a date about the days of Hezekiah as the time at which the two recensions began to diverge. One thing is obvious, that the Samaritan, at least as often as the Massoretic Text, represents the primitive text.

2. Relation of Samaritan Recension to Septuagint:

(1) Statement of Hypotheses.

The frequency with which the points in which the Samaritan Pentateuch differs from the Massoretic Text agree with those in which the Septuagint also differs has exercised scholars. Castelli asserts that there are a thousand such instances. It may be noted that in one instance, at any rate, a passage in which the Samaritan and the Septuagint agree against the Massoretic Text has the support of the New Testament. In Ga 3:17, the apostle Paul, following the Samaritan and Septuagint against the Massoretic Text, makes the "430 years" which terminated with the exodus begin with Abraham. As a rule the attention of Biblical scholars has been so directed to the resemblances between the Samaritan and the Septuagint that they have neglected the more numerous points of difference. So impressed have scholars been, especially when Jews, by these resemblances that they have assumed that the one was dependent on the other. Frankel has maintained that the Samaritan was translated from the Septuagint. Against this is the fact that in all their insulting remarks against them the Talmudists never assert that the "Cuthaeans" (Samaritans) got their Torah from the Greeks. Further, even if they only got the Law through Manasseh, the son-in-law of Sanballat, and even if he lived in the time of Alexander the Great, yet this was nearly half a century before the earliest date of the Septuagint. Again, while there are many evidences in the Septuagint that it has been translated from Hebrew, there are none in the Samaritan that it has been translated from Greek The converse hypothesis is maintained by Dr. Kohn with all the emphasis of extended type. His hypothesis is that before the Septuagint was thought of a Greek translation was made from a Samaritan copy of the Law for the benefit of Samaritans resident in Egypt. The Jews made use of this at first, but when they found it wrong in many points, they purposed a new translation, but were so much influenced by that to which they were accustomed that it was only an improved edition of the Samaritan which resulted. But it is improbable that the Samaritans, who were few and who had comparatively little intercourse with Egypt, should precede the more numerous Jews with their huge colonies in Egypt, in making a Greek translation. It is further against the Jewish tradition as preserved to us by Josephus. It is against the Samaritan tradition as learned by the present writer from the Samaritan high priest. According to him, the Samaritans had no independent translation, beyond the fact that five of the Septuagint were Samaritan. Had there been any excuse for asserting that the Samaritans were the first translators, that would not have disappeared from their traditions.

(2) Review of These Hypotheses.

The above unsatisfactory explanations result from deficient observation and unwarranted assumption. That there are many cases where the Samaritan variations from the Massoretic Text are identical with those of the Septuagint is indubitable. It has, however, not been observed by those Jewish scholars that the cases in which the Samaritan alone or the Septuagint alone (one or the other) agrees with the Massoretic Text against the other, are equally numerous. Besides, there are not a few cases in which all three differ. It ought to be observed that the cases in which the Septuagint differs from the Massoretic Text are much more numerous than those in which the Samaritan differs from it. One has only to compare the Samaritan, Septuagint and Massoretic Text of any half a dozen consecutive chapters in the Pentateuch to prove this. Thus neither is dependent on the others. Further, there is the unwarranted assumption that the Massoretic Text represents the primitive text of the Law. If the Massoretic Text is compared with the VSS, it is found that the Septuagint, despite the misdirected efforts of Origen to harmonize it to the Palestinian text, differs in very many cases from the Massoretic Text. Theodotion is nearer, but still differs in not a few cases. Jerome is nearer still, though even the text behind the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) is not identical with the Massoretic Text. It follows that the Massoretic Text is the result of a process which stopped somewhere about the end of the 5th century AD. The origin of the Massoretic Text appears to have been somewhat the result of accident. A manuscript which had acquired a special sanctity as belonging to a famous rabbi is copied with fastidious accuracy, so that even its blunders are perpetuated. This supplies the Kethibh. Corrections are made from other manuscripts, and these form the Qere. If our hypothesis as to the age of the Nablus roll is correct, it is older than the Massoretic Text by more than half a millennium, and the manuscript from which the Septuagint was translated was nearly a couple of centuries older still. So far then from its being a reasonable assumption that the Septuagint and Samaritan differ from the Massoretic Text only by blundering or willful corruption on the part of the former, the converse is at least as probable. The conclusion then to which we are led is that of Kennicott (State of Hebrew Text Dissertation, II, 164) that the Samaritan and Septuagint being independent, "each copy is invaluable—each copy demands our pious veneration and attentive study." It further ought to be observed that though Dr. Kohn points to certain cases where the difference between the Massoretic Text and the Septuagint is due to confusion of letters only possible in Samaritan character, this does not prove the Septuagint to have been translated from a Samaritan MS, but that the manuscripts of the Massoretic Text used by the Septuagint were written in that script. Kohn also exhibits the relation of the Samaritan to the Peshitta. While the Peshitta sometimes agrees with the Samaritan where it differs from the Massoretic Text, more frequently it supports the Massoretic Text against the Samaritan.

IV. Bearing on the Pentateuchal Question.

Josephus (Ant., XI, viii, 2) makes Sanballat contemporary with Alexander the Great, and states that his son-in-law Manasseh came to Samaria and became the high priest. Although it is not said by Josephus, it is assumed by critics that he brought the completed Torah with him. This Manasseh is according to Josephus the grandson of Eliashib the high priest, the contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah, and therefore contemporary with Artaxerxes Longimanus. Nehemiah (13:28) mentions, without naming him, a grandson of Eliashib, who was son-in-law of Sanballat, whom he chased from him. It is clear that Josephus had dropped a century out of his history, and that the migration of Manasseh is to be placed not circa 335 BC, but circa 435 BC. Ezra is reputed to be, if not the author of the Priestly Code in the Pentateuch, at all events its introducer to the Palestinians, and to have edited the whole, so that it assumed the form in which we now have it. But he was the contemporary of Manasseh, and had been, by his denunciation of foreign marriages, the cause of the banishment of Manasseh and his friends. Is it probable that he, Manasseh, would receive as Mosaic the enactments of Ezra, or convey them to Samaria? The date of the introduction of the Priestly Code (P), the latest portion of the Law, must accordingly be put considerably earlier than it is placed at present. We have seen that there are visual blunders that can be explained only on the assumption that the manuscript from which the mother Samaritan roll was copied was written in some variety of angular script. We have seen, further, that the peculiarities suit those of the Siloam inscription executed in the reign of Hezekiah, therefore approximately contemporary with the priest sent by Esarhaddon to Samaria to teach the people "the manner of the God of the land." As Amos and Hosea manifest a knowledge of the whole Pentateuch before the captivity, it would seem that this "Book of the Law" that was "read (Am 4:5, the Septuagint) without," which would be the source from which the priest sent from Assyria taught as above "the manner of the God of the land," would contain all the portions—J, E, D, and P—of the Law. If so, it did not contain the Book of Josh; notwithstanding the honor they give the conqueror of Canaan, the Samaritans have not retained the book which relates his exploits. This is confirmed by the fact that the archaisms in the Massoretic Text of the Pentateuch are not found in Josh. It is singular, if the Prophets were before the Law, that in the Law there should be archaisms which are not found in the Prophets. From the way the divine names are interchanged, as we saw, sometimes ‘Elohim in the Samaritan represents YHWH in the Massoretic Text, sometimes vice versa, it becomes obviously impossible to lay any stress on this. This conclusion is confirmed by the yet greater frequency with which this interchange occurs in the Septuagint. The result of investigation of the Samaritan Pentateuch is to throw very considerable doubt on the validity of the critical opinions as to the date, origin and structure of the Pentateuch

V. Targums and Chronicle.

As above noted, there are two Targums or interpretations of the Samaritan Pentateuch, an Aramaic and an Arabic. The Aramaic is a dialect related to the Western Aramaic, in which the Jewish Targums were written, sometimes called Chaldee. It has in it many strange words, some of which may be due to the language of the Assyrian colonists, but many are the result of blunders of copyists ignorant of the language. It is pretty close to the original and is little given to paraphrase. Much the same may be said of the Arabic Targum. It is usually attributed to Abu Said of the 13th century, but according to Dr. Cowley only revised by him from the Targum of Abulhassan of the 11th century. There is reference occasionally in the Fathers to a Samaritikon which has been taken to mean a Greek version. No indubitable quotations from it survive—what seem to be so being really translations of the text of the Samaritan recension. There is in Arabic a wordy chronicle called "The Book of Joshua." It has been edited by Juynboll. It may be dated in the 13th century. More recently a "Book of Joshua" in Hebrew and written in Samaritan characters was alleged to be discovered. It is, however, a manifest forgery; the characters in which it is written are very late. It is partly borrowed rom the canonical Josh, and partly from the older Samaritan Book of Joshua with fabulous additions. The Chronicle of Abulfatach is a tolerably accurate account of the history of the Samaritans after Alexander the Great to the 4th century AD.


The text in the Samaritan script is found in the polyglots—Paris and London. Walton’s text in the London Polyglot is transcribed in square characters by Blayney, Oxford, 1790. The English works of importance of recent times are Mills, Nablus and the Samaritans, London, 1864; Nutt, Fragments of a Samaritan Targum, London, 1874; Montgomery, The Samaritans, Philadelphia, 1907 (this has a very full bibliography which includes articles in periodicals); Iverach Munro. The Samaritan Pentateuch and Modern Criticism, 1911, London. In Germany, Gesenius’ dissertation, De Pentateuchi Samaritani origine, etc., Jena, 1815, has not quite lost its value; Kohn, De Pentateucho Samaritano, Leipzig, 1865; Petermann, Versuch einer hebr. Formenlehre nach der Aussprache der heutigen Samaritaner, Leipzig, 1868. There are besides articles on this in the various Biblical Dictionaries and Encyclodedias. In the numerous religious and theological periodicals there have been articles on the Samaritan Pentateuch of varying worth. The Aramaic Targum has been transcribed in square characters and edited by Brull (Frankfort, 1875).

J. E. H. Thompson



1. In the Old Testament:

As the name indicates (pentekoste), this second of the great Jewish national festivals was observed on the 50th day, or 7 weeks, from the Paschal Feast, and therefore in the Old Testament it was called "the feast of weeks." It is but once mentioned in the historical books of the Old Testament (2Ch 8:12,13), from which reference it is plain, however, that the people of Israel, in Solomon’s day, were perfectly familiar with it: "offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles." The requirements of the three great festivals were then well understood at this time, and their authority was founded in the Mosaic Law and unquestioned. The festival and its ritual were minutely described in this Law. Every male in Israel was on that day required to appear before the Lord at the sanctuary (Ex 34:22,23). It was the first of the two agrarian festivals of Israel and signified the completion of the barley-harvest (Le 23:15,16; De 16:9,10), which had begun at the time of the waving of the first ripe sheaf of the first-fruits (Le 23:11). Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, therefore fell on the 50th day after this occurrence. The wheat was then also nearly everywhere harvested (Ex 23:16; 34:22; Nu 28:26), and the general character of the festival was that of a harvest-home celebration. The day was observed as a Sabbath day, all labor was suspended, and the people appeared before Yahweh to express their gratitude (Le 23:21; Nu 28:26). The central feature of the day was the presentation of two loaves of leavened, salted bread unto the Lord (Le 23:17,20; Ex 34:22; Nu 28:26; De 16:10). The size of each loaf was fixed by law. It must contain the tenth of an ephah, about three quarts and a half, of the finest wheat flour of the new harvest (Le 23:17). Later Jewish writers are very minute in their description of the preparation of these two loaves (Josephus, Ant, III, x, 6). According to the Mishna (Menachoth, xi.4), the length of the loaf was 7 handbreadths, its width 4, its depth 7 fingers. Le 23:18 describes the additional sacrifices required on this occasion. It was a festival of good cheer, a day of joy. Free-will offerings were to be made to the Lord (De 16:10), and it was to be marked by a liberal spirit toward the Levite, the stranger, and orphans and widows (De 16:11,14). Perhaps the command against gleaning harvest-fields has a bearing on this custom (Le 23:22).

The Old Testament does not give it the historical significance which later Jewish writers have ascribed to it. The Israelites were admonished to remember their bondage on that day and to reconsecrate themselves to the Lord (De 16:12), but it does not yet commemorate the giving of the Law at Sinai or the birth of the national existence, in the Old Testament conception (Ex 19). Philo, Josephus, and the earlier Talmud are all ignorant of this new meaning which was given to the day in later Jewish history. It originated with the great Jewish rabbi Maimonides and has been copied by Christian writers. And thus a view of the Jewish Pentecost has been originated, which is wholly foreign to the scope of the ancient institution.

2. In the New Testament:

The old Jewish festival obtained a new significance, for the Christian church, by the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joh 16:7,13). The incidents of that memorable day, in the history of Christianity, are told in a marvelously vivid and dramatic way in the Ac of the Apostles. The old rendering of sumplerousthai (Ac 2:1) by "was fully come" was taken by Lightfoot (Her. Heb.) to signify that the Christian Pentecost did not coincide with the Jewish, just as Christ’s last meal with His disciples was considered not to have coincided with the Jewish Passover, on Nisan 14. The bearing of the one on the other is obvious; they stand and fall together. the Revised Version (British and American) translates the obnoxious word simply "was now come." Meyer, in his commentary on the Acts, treats this question at length. The tradition of the ancient church placed the first Christian Pentecost on a Sunday. According to John, the Passover that year occurred on Friday, Nisan 14 (18:28). But according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Passover that year occurred on Thursday, Nisan 14, and hence, Pentecost fell on Saturday. The Karaites explained the shabbath of Le 23:15 as pointing to the Sabbath of the paschal week and therefore always celebrated Pentecost on Sunday. But it is very uncertain whether the custom existed in Christ’s day, and moreover it would be impossible to prove that the disciples followed this custom, if it could be proved to have existed. Meyer follows the Johannic reckoning and openly states that the other evangelists made a mistake in their reckoning. No off-hand decision is possible, and it is but candid to admit that here we are confronted with one of the knottiest problems in the harmonizing of the Gospels.


The occurrences of the first pentecostal day after the resurrection of Christ set it apart as a Christian festival and invested it, together with the commemoration of the resurrection, with a new meaning. We will not enter here upon a discussion of the significance of the events of the pentecostal day described in Ac 2. That is discussed in the article under TONGUES (which see). The Lutherans, in their endeavor to prove the inherent power of the Word, claim that "the effects then exhibited were due to the divine power inherent in the words of Christ; and that they had resisted that power up to the day of Pentecost and then yielded to its influence." This is well described as "an incredible hypothesis" (Hodge, Systematic Theology, III, 484). The Holy Spirit descended in answer to the explicit promise of the glorified Lord, and the disciples had been prayerfully waiting for its fulfillment (Ac 1:4,14). The Spirit came upon them as "a power from on high." God the Holy Spirit proved on Pentecost His personal existence, and the intellects, the hearts, the lives of the apostles were on that day miraculously changed. By that day they were fitted for the arduous work that lay before them. There is some difference of opinion as to what is the significance of Pentecost for the church as an institution. The almost universal opinion among theologians and exegetes is this: that Pentecost marks the rounding of the Christian church as an institution. This day is said to mark the dividing line between the ministry of the Lord and the ministry of the Spirit. The later Dutch theologians have advanced the idea that the origin of the church, as an institution, is to be found in the establishment of the apostolate, in the selection of the Twelve. Dr. A. Kuyper holds that the church as an institution was founded when the Master selected the Twelve, and that these men were "qualified for their calling by the power of the Holy Spirit." He distinguishes between the institution and the constitution of the church. Dr. H. Bavinck says: "Christ gathers a church about Himself, rules it directly so long as He is on the earth, and appoints twelve apostles who later on will be His witnesses. The institution of the apostolate is an especially strong proof of the institutionary character which Christ gave to His church on the earth" (Geref. Dogm., IV, 64).

Whatever we may think of this matter, the fact remains that Pentecost completely changed the apostles, and that the enduement with the Holy Spirit enabled them to become witnesses of the resurrection of Christ as the fundamental fact in historic Christianity, and to extend the church according to Christ’s commandment. Jerome has an especially elegant passage in which Pentecost is compared with the beginning of the Jewish national life on Mt. Sinai (Ad Tabiol, section 7): "There is Sinai, here Sion; there the trembling mountain, here the trembling house; there the flaming mountain, here the flaming tongues; there the noisy thunderings, here the sounds of many tongues; there the clangor of the ramshorn, here the notes of the gospel-trumpet." This vivid passage shows the close analogy between the Jewish and Christian Pentecost.

3. Later Christian Observance:

In the post-apostolic Christian church Pentecost belonged to the so-called "Semestre Domini," as distinct from the "Semestre Ecclesiae" the church festivals properly so called. As yet there was no trace of Christmas, which began to appear about 360 AD. Easter, the beginning of the pentecostal period, closed the "Quadragesima," or "Lent," the entire period of which had been marked by self-denial and humiliation. On the contrary, the entire pentecostal period, the so-called "Quinquagesima," was marked by joyfulness, daily communion, absence of fasts, standing in prayer, etc. Ascension Day, the 40th day of the period, ushered in the climax of this joyfulness, which burst forth in its fullest volume on Pentecost. It was highly esteemed by the Fathers. Chrysostom calls it "the metropolis of the festivals" (De Pentec., Hom. ii); Gregory of Nazianzen calls it "the day of the Spirit" (De Pentec., Orat. 44). All the Fathers sound its praises. For they fully understood, with the church of the ages, that on that day the dispensation of the Spirit was begun, a dispensation of greater privileges and of a broader horizon and of greater power than had hitherto been vouchsafed to the church of the living God. The festival "Octaves," which, in accordance with the Jewish custom, devoted a whole week to the celebration of the festival, from the 8th century, gave place to a two days’ festival, a custom still preserved by the Roman church and such Protestant bodies as follow the ecclesiastical year. The habit of dressing in white and of seeking baptism on Pentecost gave it the name "Whitsunday," by which it is popularly known all over the world.

Henry E. Dosker


pe-nu’-el, pen’-u-el.



pen’-u-ri (machcor): In Pr 14:23, with sense of "poverty," "want": "The talk of the lips tendeth only to penury." In the New Testament the word in Lu 21:4 (husterema) is in the Revised Version (British and American) translated "want" (of the widow’s mites).


pe’-p’-l: In English Versions of the Bible represents something over a dozen Hebrew and Greek words. Of these, in the Old Testament, ‘am, is overwhelmingly the most common (about 2,000 times), with le’om, and goy, next in order; but the various Hebrew words are used with very little or no difference in force (e.g. Pr 14:28; but, on the other hand, in Ps 44 contrast verses 12 and 14). Of the changes introduced by the Revised Version (British and American) the only one of significance (cited explicitly in the Preface to the English Revised Version) is the frequent use of the plural "peoples" (strangely avoided in the King James Version except Re 10:11; 17:15), where other nations than Israel are in question. So, for instance, in Ps 67:4; Isa 55:4; 60:2, with the contrast marked in Ps 33:10 and 12; Ps 77:14 and 15, etc. In the New Testament, laos, is the most common word, with ochlos, used almost as often in the King James Version. But in the Revised Version (British and American) the latter word is almost always rendered "multitude," "people" being retained only in Lu 7:12; Ac 11:24,26; 19:26, and in the fixed phrase "the common people" (ho polus ochlos) in Mr 12:37; Joh 12:9,12 margin (the retention of "people" would have been better in Joh 11:42, also), with "crowd" (Mt 9:23,25; Ac 21:35). The only special use of "people" that calls for attention is the phrase "people of the land." This may mean simply "inhabitants," as Eze 12:19; 33:2; 39:13; but in 2Ki 11:14, etc., and the parallel in 2 Chronicles, it means the people as contrasted with the king, while in Jer 1:18, etc., and in Eze 7:27; 22:29; 46:3,9, it means the common people as distinguished from the priests and the aristocracy. A different usage is that for the heathen (Ge 23:7,12,13; Nu 14:9) or half-heathen (Ezr 9:1,2; 10:2,11; Ne 10:28-31) inhabitants of Palestine. From this last use, the phrase came to be applied by some rabbis to even pure-blooded Jews, if they neglected the observance of the rabbinic traditions (compare Joh 7:49 the King James Version). For "people of the East" see CHILDREN OF THE EAST.

Burton Scott Easton


pe’-or (ha-pe‘or; Phogor):

(1) A mountain in the land of Moab, the last of the three heights to which Balaam was guided by Balak in order that he might curse Israel (Nu 23:28). It is placed by Eusebius, Onomasticon on the way between Livias and Heshbon, 7 Roman miles from the latter. Buhl would identify it with Jebel el-Mashaqqar, on which are the ruins of an old town, between Wady A‘yun Musa and Wady Chesban.

(2) A town in the Judean uplands added by Septuagint (Phagor) to the list in Jos 15:9. It may be identical with Khirbet Faghur to the South of Bethlehem.

(3) Peor, in Nu 25:18; 31:16; Jos 22:17, is a divine name standing for "Baal-peor."

(4) In Ge 36:39, Septuagint reads Phogor for "Pau" (Massoretic Text), which in 1Ch 1:50 appears as "Pai."

W. Ewing


pe-re’-a (he Peraia, Peraios, Peraites):

1. The Country:

This is not a Scriptural name, but the term used by Josephus to denote the district to which the rabbis habitually refer as "the land beyond Jordan." This corresponds to the New Testament phrase peran tou Iordanou (Mt 4:15; 19:1, etc.). The boundaries of the province are given by Josephus (BJ, III, iii, 3). In length it reached from Pella in the North to Macherus in the South, and in breadth from the Jordan on the West to the desert on the East. We may take it that the southern boundary was the Arnon . The natural boundary on the North would be the great gorge of the Yarmuk. Gadara, Josephus tells us (BJ, IV, vii, 3, 6), was capital of the Peraea. But the famous city on the Yarmuk was a member of the Decapolis, and so could hardly take that position. More probably Josephus referred to a city the ruins of which are found at Jedur—a reminiscence of the ancient name—not far from es-SalT. The northern Gadara then holding the land on the southern bank of the Yarmuk, the northern boundary of the Peraea would run, as Josephus says, from Pella eastward. For the description of the country thus indicated see GILEAD, 2.

In the time of the Maccabees the province was mainly gentile, and Judas found it necessary to remove to Judea the scattered handful of Jews to secure their safety (1 Macc 5:45).

2. History:

Possibly under Hyrcanus Jewish influence began to prevail; and before the death of Janneus the whole country owned his sway (HJP, I, i, 297, 306). At the death of Herod the Great it became part of the tetrarchy of Antipas (Ant., XVII, vii, 1). The tetrarch built a city on the site of the ancient Beth-haram (Jos 13:27) and called it Julias in honor of the emperor’s wife (Ant., XVIII, ii, 1; BJ, II, ix 1). Here Simon made his abortive rising (Ant., XVII, x, 6; BJ, II, iv, 2). Claudius placed it under the government of Felix (BJ, II, xii, 8). It was finally added to the Roman dominions by Placidus (BJ, IV, vii, 3-6). Under the Moslems it became part of the province of Damascus.

Peraea, "the land beyond Jordan," ranked along with Judea and Galilee as a province of the land of Israel. The people were under the same laws as regarded tithes, marriage and property.

Peraea lay between two Gentileprovinces on the East, as Samaria between two Jewish provinces on the West of the Jordan. The fords below Beisan and opposite Jericho afforded communication with Galilee and Judea respectively. Peraea thus formed a link connecting the Jewish provinces, so that the pilgrims from any part might go to Jerusalem and return without setting foot on Gentilesoil. And, what was at least of equal importance, they could avoid peril of hurt or indignity which the Samaritans loved to inflict on Jews passing through Samaria (Lu 9:52 f; Ant, XX, vi, 1; Vita, 52).

It seems probable that Jesus was baptized within the boundaries of the Peraea; and hither He came from the turmoil of Jerusalem at the Feast of the Dedication (Joh 10:40). It was the scene of much quiet and profitable intercourse with His disciples (Mt 19; Mr 10:1-31; Lu 18:15-30). These passages are by many thought to refer to the period after His retirement to Ephraim (Joh 11:54). It was from Peraea that He was summoned by the sisters at Bethany (Joh 11:3).

Peraea furnished in Niger one of the bravest men who fought against the Romans (BJ, II, xx, 4; IV, vi, 1). From Bethezob, a village of Peraea, came Mary, whose story is one of the most appalling among the terrible tales of the siege of Jerusalem (BJ, VI, iii, 4). Josephus mentions Peraea for the last time (BJ, VI, v, 1), as echoing back the doleful groans and outcries that accompanied the destruction of Jerusalem.

W. Ewing


per’-a-zim, pe-ra’-zim (har-peratsim): "Yahweh will rise up as in mount Perazim" (Isa 28:21). It is usually considered to be identical with BAAL-PERAZIM (which see), where David obtained a victory over the Philistines (2Sa 5:20; 1Ch 14:11).


per-dish’-un (apoleia, "ruin" or "loss," physical or eternal): The word "perdition" occurs in the English Bible 8 times (Joh 17:12; Php 1:28; 2Th 2:3; 1Ti 6:9; Heb 10:39; 2Pe 3:7; Re 17:11,18). In each of these cases it denotes the final state of ruin and punishment which forms the opposite to salvation. The verb apolluein, from which the word is derived, has two meanings:

(1) to lose;

(2) to destroy.

Both of these pass over to the noun, so that apoleia comes to signify:

(1) loss;

(2) ruin, destruction.

The former occurs in Mt 26:8; Mr 14:4, the latter in the passages cited above. Both meanings had been adopted into the religious terminology of the Scriptures as early as the Septuagint. "To be lost" in the religious sense may mean "to be missing" and "to be ruined," The former meaning attaches to it in the teaching of Jesus, who compares the lost sinner to the missing coin, the missing sheep, and makes him the object of a seeking activity (Mt 10:6; 15:24; 18:11; Lu 15:4,6,8,24,32; 19:10). "To be lost" here signifies to have become estranged from God, to miss realizing the relations which man normally sustains toward Him. It is equivalent to what is theologically called "spiritual death." This conception of "loss" enters also into the description of the eschatological fate of the sinner as assigned in the judgment (Lu 9:24; 17:33), which is a loss of life. The other meaning of "ruin" and "destruction" describes the same thing from a different point of view. Apoleia being the opposite of soteria, and soteria in its technical usage denoting the reclaiming from death unto life, apoleia also acquires the specific sense of such ruin and destruction as involves an eternal loss of life (Php 1:28; Heb 10:39). Perdition in this latter sense is equivalent to what theology calls "eternal death." When in Re 17:8,11 it is predicated of "the beast," one of the forms of the world-power, this must be understood on the basis of the Old Testament prophetic representation according to which the coming judgment deals with powers rather than persons.

The Son of Perdition is a name given to Judas (Joh 17:12) and to the Antichrist (2Th 2:3). This is the well-known Hebrew idiom by which a person typically embodying a certain trait or character or destiny is called the son of that thing. The name therefore represents Judas and the Antichrist (see MAN OF SIN) as most irrecoverably and completely devoted to the final apoleia.

Geerhardus Vos





pe’-resh (peresh, "dung"): Son of Machir, grandson of Manasseh through his Aramitish concubine (1Ch 7:14,16).





pe’-rez, fa’-rez (perets, "breach"): One of the twins born to Judah by Tamar, Zerah’s brother (Ge 38:29,30). In the King James Version Mt 1:3 and Lu 3:33, he is called "Phares," the name in 1 Esdras 5:5. He is "Pharez" in the King James Version Ge 46:12; Nu 26:20,21; Ru 4:12,18; 1Ch 2:4,5; 4:1; 9:4. In the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) 1Ch 27:3; Neh 11:4,6, he is "Perez." He is important through the fact that by way of Ru and Boaz and so through Jesse and David his genealogy comes upward to the Saviour. The patronymic "Pharzite" occurs in Nu 26:20 the King James Version.

Perezites (Nu 16:20, the King James Version "Pharzites"). The patronymic of the name Perez.

Henry Wallace


pur’-fekt, per-fek’-shun (shalem, tamim; teleios, teleiotes):

1. In the Old Testament:

"Perfect" in the Old Testament is the translation of shalem, "finished," "whole," "complete," used (except in De 25:15, "perfect weight") of persons, e.g. a "perfect heart," i.e. wholly or completely devoted to Yahweh (1Ki 8:61, etc.; 1Ch 12:38; Isa 38:3, etc.); tamim, "complete," "perfect," "sound or unblemished," is also used of persons and of God, His way, and law ("Noah was a just man and perfect," the Revised Version margin "blameless" (Ge 6:9); "As for God, his way is perfect" (Ps 18:30); "The law of Yahweh is perfect" (Ps 19:7), etc.); tam, with the same, meaning, occurs only in Job, except twice in Psalms (Job 1:1,8; 2:3, etc.; Ps 37:37; 64:4); kalil, "complete," and various other words are translated "perfect."

Perfection is the translation of various words so translated once only: kalil (La 2:15); mikhlal, "completeness" (Ps 50:2); minleh, "possession" (Job 15:29, the King James Version "neither shall the prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth," the American Standard Revised Version "neither shall their possessions be extended on the earth," margin "their produce bend to the earth"; the English Revised Version reverses this text and margin); tikhlah, "completeness," or "perfection (Ps 119:96); takhlith (twice), "end," "completeness" (Job 11:7, "Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?" 28:3, "searcheth out all the Revised Version (British and American) the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "to the furthest bound"; compare Job 26:10, "unto the confines of light and darkness"); tom, "perfect," "completeness" (Isa 47:9, the King James Version "They shall come upon thee in their perfection," the Revised Version (British and American) "in their full measure"). the Revised Version margin gives the meaning of "the Urim and the Thummim" (Ex 28:30 etc.) as "the Lights and the Perfections."

2. In the New Testament:

In the New Testament "perfect" is usually the tr of teleios, primarily, "having reached the end," "term," "limit," hence, "complete," "full," "perfect" (Mt 5:48, "Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect"; Mt 19:21, "if thou wouldst be perfect; Eph 4:13, the King James Version "till we all come .... unto a perfect man," the Revised Version (British and American) "full-grown"; Php 3:15, "as many as are perfect," the American Revised Version margin "full-grown"; 1Co 2:6; Col 1:28, "perfect in Christ"; 4:12; Jas 3:2 margin, etc.).

Other words are teleioo. "to perfect," "to end," "complete" (Lu 13:32, "The third day I am perfected," the Revised Version margin "end my course"; Joh 17:23, "perfected into one"; 2Co 12:9; Php 3:12, the Revised Version (British and American) "made perfect"; Heb 2:10, etc.); also epiteleo, "to bring through to an end" (2Co 7:1, "perfecting holiness in the fear of God"; Ga 3:3, "Are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "perfected in the flesh," margin "Do ye now make an end in the flesh?"); katartizo "to make quite ready," "to make complete," is translated "perfect," "to perfect" (Mt 21:16, "perfected praise"; Lu 6:40, "Every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher"; 1Co 1:10; 2Co 13:11, "be perfected"; 1Th 3:10; 1Pe 5:10, the Revised Version margin "restore"); akribos, "accurately," "diligently," is translated "perfect" (Lu 1:3, "having had perfect understanding," the Revised Version (British and American) "having traced .... accurately"; Ac 18:26 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "more accurately"). We have also artios, "fitted," "perfected" (2Ti 3:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "complete"); pleroo, "to fill," "to make full" (Re 3:2, the American Standard Revised Version "perfected," the English Revised Version "fulfilled"); katartismos, "complete adjustment," "perfecting" (Eph 4:12, "for the perfecting of the saints").

Perfection is the translation of katartisis "thorough adjustment," "fitness" (2Co 13:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "perfecting"); of teleiosis (Heb 7:11); of teleiotess (Heb 6:1, the Revised Version margin "full growth"); it is translated "perfectness" (Col 3:14); "perfection" in Lu 8:14 is the translation of telesphoreo, "to bear on to completion or perfection." In Apocrypha "perfect," "perfection," etc., are for the most part the translation of words from telos, "the end," e.g. The Wisdom of Solomon 4:13; Ecclesiasticus 34:8; 44:17; 45:8, suntelia "full end"; 24:28; 50:11.

The Revised Version (British and American) has "perfect" for "upright" (2Sa 22:24,26 twice); for "sound" (Ps 119:80); for "perform" (Php 1:16); for "undefiled" (Ps 119:1, margin "upright in way"); for "perfect peace, and at such a time" (Ezr 7:12), "perfect and so forth"; for "He maketh my way perfect" (2Sa 22:33), "He guideth the perfect in his way," margin "or, ‘setteth free.’ According to another reading, ‘guideth my way in perfectness’";" shall himself perfect," margin "restore," for, "make you perfect" (1Pe 5:10); "perfecter" for "finisher" (Heb 12:2); "perfectly" is omitted in the Revised Version (British and American) (Mt 14:36); "set your hope perfectly on" for the King James Version "hope to the end for" (1Pe 1:13).

3. The Christian Ideal:

Perfection is the Christian ideal and aim, but inasmuch as that which God has set before us is infinite—"Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48)—absolute perfection must be forever beyond, not only any human, but any finite, being; it is a divine ideal forever shining before us, calling us upward, and making endless progression possible. As noted above, the perfect man, in the Old Testament phrase, was the man whose heart was truly or wholly devoted to God. Christian perfection must also have its seat in such a heart, but it implies the whole conduct and the whole man, conformed thereto as knowledge grows and opportunity arises, or might be found. There may be, of course, a relative perfection, e.g. of the child as a child compared with that of the man. The Christian ought to be continually moving onward toward perfection, looking to Him who is able to "make you perfect in every good thing (or work) to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen (Heb 13:21).

W. L. Walker


per-form’ (Fr. parfournir, "to furnish completely," "to complete" "finish entirely"): In modern English, through a mistaken connection with "form," "perform" usually suggests an act in its continuity, while the word properly should emphasize only the completion of the act. the King James Version seems to have used the word in order to convey the proper sense (compare Ro 15:28; 2Co 8:11; Php 1:6, where the Revised Version (British and American) has respectively "accomplish," "complete," "perfect"), but usually with so little justification in the Hebrew or Greek that "do" would have represented the original even better. the Revised Version (British and American) has rarely changed the word in the Old Testament, and such changes as have been made (De 23:23; Es 1:15, etc.) seem based on no particular principle. In the New Testament the word has been kept only in Mt 5:33 and Ro 4:21, but in neither verse does the Greek accent the completion of the act, in the former case apodidomi, literally, "to give back," in the latter poieo, "to make," "to do," being used.

Performance is found in the King James Version Sirach 19:20 (the Revised Version (British and American) "doing"); 2 Macc 11:17 (inserted needlessly and omitted by the Revised Version (British and American)); Lu 1:45 (the Revised Version (British and American) "fulfilment"); 2Co 8:11 (the Revised Version (British and American) "completion").

Burton Scott Easton


See CRAFTS, II, 14.


pur’-ium, per-fum’ (qeToreth qaTar literally, "incense"): The ancients were fond of sweet perfumes of all kinds (Pr 27:9), and that characteristic is still especially true of the people of Bible lands. Perfumed oils were rubbed on the body and feet. At a feast in ancient Egypt a guest was anointed with scented oils, and a sweet-smelling water lily was placed in his hand or suspended on his forehead. In their religious worship the Egyptians were lavish with their incense. Small pellets of dried mixed spices and resins or resinous woods were burned in special censers. In the preparation of bodies for burial, perfumed oils and spices were used. Many Biblical references indicate the widespread use of perfumes. So 7:8 suggests that the breath was purposely scented; clothing as well as the body was perfumed (Ps 45:8; So 3:6; 4:11); couches and beds were sprinkled with savory scents (Pr 7:17); ointments were used in the last rites in honor of the dead (2Ch 16:14; Lu 24:1; Joh 19:39). The writer has in his collection a lump of prepared spices and resins taken from a tomb dating from the lst or 2nd century AD, which was apparently fused and run into the thoracic cavity, since an impression of the ribs has been made on the perfume. Its odor is similar to that of the incense used today, and it perfumes the whole case where it is kept. The above collection also contains a small glass vial in which is a bronze spoon firmly held in some solidified ointment, probably formerly perfumed oil. Perfumes were commonly kept in sealed alabaster jars or cruses (Lu 7:38). Thousands of these cruses have been unearthed in Palestine and Syria.

Perfumes were mixed by persons skilled in the article In the King James Version these are called "apothecaries" (raqqach). The Revised Version (British and American) "perfumer" is probably a more correct rendering, as the one who did the compounding was not an apothecary in the same sense as is the person now so designated (Ex 30:25,35; 37:29; Ec 10:1).

Today incense is used in connection with all religious services of the oriental Christian churches. Although there is no direct mention of the uses of incense in the New Testament, such allusions as Paul’s "a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell" (Eph 5:2; Php 4:18) would seem to indicate that it was used by the early Christians.

The delight of the people of Syria in pleasant odors is recorded in their literature. The attar of roses (from Arabic ‘iTr, "a sweet odor") was a wellknown product of Damascus. The guest in a modern Syrian home is not literally anointed with oil, but he is often given, soon after he enters, a bunch of aromatic herbs or a sweet-smelling flower to hold and smell. During a considerable portion of the year the country air is laden with the odor of aromatic herbs, such as mint and sage. The Arabic phrase for taking a walk is shemm el-hawa’, literally, "smell the air."


James A. Patch


pur’-ga (Perge):

1. Location and History:

An important city of the ancient province of Pamphylia, situated on the river Cestris, 12 miles Northeast of Attalia. According to Ac 13:13, Paul, Barnabas and John Mark visited the place on their first missionary journey, and 2 years later, according to Ac 14:24,25, they may have preached there. Though the water of the river Cestris has now been diverted to the fields for irrigating purposes, in ancient times the stream was navigable, and small boats from the sea might reach the city. It is uncertain how ancient Perga is; its walls, still standing, seem to come from the Seleucidan period or from the 3rd century BC. It remained in the possession of the Seleucid kings until 189 BC, when Roman influence became strong in Asia Minor. A long series of coins, beginning in the 2nd century BC, continued until 286 AD, and upon them Perga is mentioned as a metropolis. Though the city was never a stronghold of Christianity, it was the bishopric of Western Pamphylia, and several of the early Christians were martyred there. During the 8th century under Byzantine rule the city declined; in 1084 Attalia became the metropolis, and Perga rapidly fell to decay. While Attalia was the chief Greek and Christian city of Pamphylia, Perga was the seat of the local Asiatic goddess, who corresponded to Artemis or Diana of the Ephesians, and was locally known as Leto, or the queen of Perga. She is frequently represented on the coins as a huntress, with a bow in her hand, and with sphinxes or stags at her side.

2. The Ruins:

The ruins of Perga are now called Murtana. The walls, which are flanked with towers, show the city to have been quadrangular in shape. Very broad streets, running through the town, and intersecting each other, divided the city into quarters. The sides of the streets were covered with porticos, and along their centers were water channels in which a stream was always flowing. They were covered at short intervals by bridges. Upon the higher ground was the acropolis, where the earliest city was built, but in later times the city extended to the South of the hill, where one may see the greater part of the ruins. On the acropolis is the platform of a large structure with fragments of several granite columns, probably representing the temple of the goddess Leto; others regard it as the ruin of an early church. At the base of the acropolis are the ruins of an immense theater which seated 13,000 people, the agora, the baths and the stadium. Without the walls many tombs are to be seen. E. J. Banks


pur’-ga-mos, or pur’-ga-mum (he Pergamos, or to Pergamon):

1. History:

Pergamos, to which the ancient writers also gave the neuter form of the name, was a city of Mysia of the ancient Roman province of Asia, in the Caicus valley, 3 miles from the river, and about 15 miles from the sea. The Caicus was navigable for small native craft. Two of the tributaries of the Caicus were the Selinus and the Kteios. The former of these rivers flowed through the city; the latter ran along its walls. On the hill between these two streams the first city stood, and there also stood the acropolis, the chief temples, and theaters of the later city. The early people of the town were descendants of Greek colonists, and as early as 420 BC they struck coins of their own. Lysimachus, who possessed the town, deposited there 9,000 talents of gold. Upon his death, Philetaerus (283-263 BC) used this wealth to found the independent Greek dynasty of the Attalid kings. The first of this dynasty to bear the title of king was Attalus I (241-197 BC), a nephew of Philetaerus, and not only did he adorn the city with beautiful buildings until it became the most wonderful city of the East, but he added to his kingdom the countries of Mysia, Lydia, Caria, Pamphylia and Phrygia. Eumenes II (197-159 BC) was the most illustrious king of the dynasty, and during his reign the city reached its greatest height. Art and literature were encouraged, and in the city was a library of 200,000 volumes which later Antony gave to Cleopatra. The books were of parchment which was here first used; hence, the word "parchment," which is derived from the name of the town Pergamos. Of the structures which adorned the city, the most renowned was the altar of Zeus, which was 40 ft. in height, and also one of the wonders of the ancient world. When in 133 BC Attalus III, the last king of the dynasty, died, he gave his kingdom to the Roman government. His son, Aristonicus, however, attempted to seize it for himself, but in 129 he was defeated, and the Roman province of Asia was formed, and Pergamos was made its capital. The term Asia, as here employed, should not be confused with the continent of Asia, nor with Asia Minor. It applied simply to that part of Asia Minor which was then in the possession of the Romans, and formed into the province of which Pergamos was the capital. Upon the establishment of the province of Asia there began a new series of coins struck at Pergamos, which continued into the 3rd century AD. The magnificence of the city continued.

2. Religions:

There were beautiful temples to the four great gods Zeus, Dionysus, Athena and Asklepios. To the temple of the latter, invalids from all parts of Asia flocked, and there, while they were sleeping in the court, the god revealed to the priests and physicians by means of dreams the remedies which were necessary to heal their maladies. Thus opportunities of deception were numerous. There was a school of medicine in connection with the temple. Pergamos was chiefly a religious center of the province. A title which it bore was "Thrice Neokoros," meaning that in the city 3 temples had been built to the Roman emperors, in which the emperors were worshipped as gods. Smyrna, a rival city, was a commercial center, and as it increased in wealth, it gradually became the political center. Later, when it became the capital, Pergamos remained the religious center. As in many of the towns of Asia Minor, there were at Pergamos many Jews, and in 130 BC the people of the city passed a decree in their favor. Many of the Jews were more or less assimilated with the Greeks, even to the extent of bearing Greek names.

3. Christianity:

Christianity reached Pergamos early, for there one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Re stood, and there, according to Re 2:13, Antipas was marryred; he was the first Christian to be put to death by the Roman state. The same passage speaks of Pergamos as the place "where Satan’s throne is," probably referring to the temples in which the Roman emperors were worshipped. During the Byzantine times Pergamos still continued as a religious center, for there a bishop lived. However, the town fell into the hands of the Seljuks in 1304, and in 1336 it was taken by Suleiman, the son of Orkhan, and became Turkish.

The modern name of the town, which is of considerable size, possessing 15 mosques, is Bergama, the Turkish corruption of the ancient name. One of its mosques is the early Byzantine church of Sophia. The modern town is built among the ruins of the ancient city, but is far less in extent. From 1879 to 1886 excavations among the ruins were conducted by Herr Humann at the expense of the German government. Among them are still to be seen the base of the altar of Zeus, the friezes of which are now in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin; theater, the agora, the gymnasium and several temples. In ancient times the city was noted for its ointments, pottery and parchment; at present the chief articles of trade are cotton, wool, opium, valonia, and leather.

E. J. Banks


pe-ri’-da (peridha’ "recluse"): A family of "Solomon’s servants" (Ne 7:57). In Ezr 2:55, a difference in the Hebrew spelling gives "Peruda" for the same person, who is also the "Pharida" of 1 Esdras 5:33.


per’-i-zit, pe-riz’-it (perizzi; Pherezaios): Signifies "a villager," and so corresponds with the Egyptian fellah. Hence, the Perizzite is not included among the sons of Canaan in Ge 10, and is also coupled with the Canaanite (Ge 13:7; 34:30; Jud 1:4). We hear, accordingly, of Canaanites and Perizzites at Shechem (Ge 34:30), at Bezek in Judah (Jud 1:4) and, according to the reading of the Septuagint, at Gezer (Jos 16:10). In De 3:5 and 1Sa 6:18, where the King James Version has "unwalled towns" and "country villages," the Septuagint has "Perizzite," the literal translation of the Hebrew being "cities of the Perizzite" or "villager" and "village of the Perizzite." The same expression occurs in Es 9:19, where it is used of the Jews in Elam. In Jos 17:15,18, where the Manassites are instructed to take possession of the forest land of Carmel, "Perizzites and Rephaim" are given as the equivalent of "Canaanite."

A. H. Sayce





per-pet’-u-al, per-pet’-u-al-i, pur-pe-tu’-i-ti (‘olam, netsach, [~tamidh):

Perpetual is usually the translation of ‘olam, properly, "a wrapping up" or "hiding," used often of time indefinitely long, and of eternity when applied to God; hence, we have, "for perpetual generations" (Ge 9:12); "the priesthood by a perpetual statute" (Ex 29:9; compare Ex 31:16; Le 3:17; 24:9, etc.); "placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it" (Jer 5:22, the Revised Version margin "an everlasting ordinance which it cannot pass"); "sleep a perpetual sleep" (Jer 51:39,57); "Moab shall be .... a perpetual desolation" (Ze 2:9), etc.; netsach, "preeminence," "perpetuity," "eternity" (often translated "for ever," Ps 9:6), is translated "perpetual" (Ps 74:3; Jer 15:18); natsach (participle) (Jer 8:5); tamidh, "continuance," generally rendered "continually," but sometimes "perpetual" or "perpetually" (Ex 30:8; Le 6:20).

"Perpetually" is the rendering of ‘adh, properly "progress," "duration," hence, long or indefinite time, eternity (usually in the King James Version rendered "for ever "), in Am 1:11, "His anger did tear perpetually"; and of kol ha-yamim, "all the days" (1Ki 9:3; 2Ch 7:16, "my heart shall be there perpetually"; compare Mt 28:20, pasas tas hemeras, literally, "all the days").

Perpetuity occurs in the Revised Version (British and American) of Le 25:23,30, "The land shall not be sold in perpetuity," "The house .... shall be made sure in perpetuity."

Perpetual is frequent in the Apocrypha, most often as the translation of aionios and kindred words, e.g. Judith 13:20, "a perpetual praise"; The Wisdom of Solomon 10:14, "perpetual glory," the Revised Version (British and American) "eternal"; Ecclesiasticus 11:33, "a perpetual blot," the Revised Version (British and American) "blame for ever"; 1 Macc 6:44, "a perpetual name," the Revised Version (British and American) "everlasting"; aenaos, "ever-flowing," occurs in The Wisdom of Solomon 11:6 (so the Revised Version); endeleches, "constant" (Ecclesiasticus 41:6, "perpetual reproach").

For "perpetual" (Jer 50:5; Hab 3:6) the Revised Version has "everlasting"; for "the old hatred" (Eze 25:15), "perpetual enmity"; for "perpetual desolation" (Jer 25:12) "desolate forever," margin "Hebrew ‘everlasting desolations.’"

W. L. Walker


pur-se-ku’-shun (@diogmos] (Mt 13:21; Mr 4:17; 10:30; Ac 8:1; 13:50; Ro 8:35; 2Co 12:10; 2Th 1:4; 2Ti 3:11)):

1. Persecution in Old Testament Times

2. Between the Testaments

3. Foretold by Christ

4. A Test of Discipleship

5. A Means of Blessing

6. Various Forms

7. In the Case of Jesus

8. Instigated by the Jews

9. Stephen

10. The Apostles James and Peter

11. Gentile Persecution

Christianity at First Not a Forbidden Religion

12. The Neronic Persecution

(1) Testimony of Tacitus

(2) Reference in 1 Peter

(3) Tacitus Narrative

(4) New Testament References

13. Persecution in Asia

14. Rome as Persecutor

15. Testimony of Pliny, 112 AD

16. 2nd and 3rd Centuries

17. Best Emperors the Most Cruel Persecutors

18. Causes of Persecution

19. 200 Years of Persecution

20. Persecution in the Army

21. Tertullian’s Apology

22. "The Third Race"

23. Hatred against Christians

24. The Decian Persecution

25. Libelli

26. The Edict of Milan

27. Results of Persecution

The importance of this subject may be indicated by the fact of the frequency of its occurrence, both in the Old Testament and New Testament, where in the King James Version the words "persecute," "persecuted," "persecuting" are found no fewer than 53 times, "persecution" 14 times, and "persecutor" 9 times.

1. Persecution in Old Testament Times:

It must not be thought that persecution existed only in New Testament times. In the days of the Old Testament it existed too. In what Jesus said to the Pharisees, He specially referred to the innocent blood which had been shed in those times, and told them that they were showing themselves heirs—to use a legal phrase—to their fathers who had persecuted the righteous, "from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah" (Mt 23:35).

2. Between the Testaments:

In the period between the close of the Old Testament and the coming of Christ, there was much and protracted suffering endured by the Jews, because of their refusal to embrace idolatry, and of their fidelity to the Mosaic Law and the worship of God. During that time there were many patriots who were true martyrs, and those heroes of faith, the Maccabees, were among those who "know their God .... and do exploits" (Da 11:32). ‘We have no need of human help,’ said Jonathan the Jewish high priest, ‘having for our comfort the sacred Scriptures which are in our hands’ (1 Macc 12:9).

In the Epistle to the Hebrews, persecution in the days of the Old Testament is summed up in these words: "Others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword: they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, illtreated (of whom the world was not worthy)" (Heb 11:36-38).

3. Foretold by Christ:

Coming now to New Testament times, persecution was frequently foretold by Christ, as certain to come to those who were His true disciples and followers. He forewarned them again and again that it was inevitable. He said that He Himself must suffer it (Mt 16:21; 17:22,23; Mr 8:31).

4. A Test of Discipleship:

It would be a test of true discipleship. In the parable of the Sower, He mentions this as one of the causes of defection among those who are Christians in outward appearance only. When affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately the stony-ground hearers are offended (Mr 4:17).

5. A Means of Blessing:

It would be a sure means of gaining a blessing, whenever it came to His loyal followers when they were in the way of well-doing; and He thus speaks of it in two of the Beatitudes, "Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"; "Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you .... for my sake" (Mt 5:10,11; see also Mt 5:12).

6. Various Forms:

It would take different forms, ranging through every possible variety, from false accusation to the infliction of death, beyond which, He pointed out (Mt 10:28; Lu 12:4), persecutors are unable to go. The methods of persecution which were employed by the Jews, and also by the heathen against the followers of Christ, were such as these:

(1) Men would revile them and would say all manner of evil against them falsely, for Christ’s sake (Mt 5:11).

(2) Contempt and disparagement: "Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a demon?" (Joh 8:48); "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household!" (Mt 10:25).

(3) Being, solely on account of their loyalty to Christ, forcibly separated from the company and the society of others, and expelled from the synagogues or other assemblies for the worship of God: "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake" (Lu 6:22); "They shall put you out of the synagogues" (Joh 16:2).

(4) Illegal arrest and spoliation of goods, and death itself.

All these various methods, used by the persecutor, were foretold, and all came to pass. It was the fear of apprehension and death that led the eleven disciples to forsake Jesus in Gethsemane and to flee for their lives. Jesus often forewarned them of the severity of the persecution which they would need to encounter if they were loyal to Him: "The hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you shall think that he offereth service unto God" (Joh 16:2); "I send unto you prophets .... some of them shall ye kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city" (Mt 23:34).

7. In the Case of Jesus:

In the case of Christ Himself, persecution took the form of attempts to entrap Him in His speech (Mt 22:15); the questioning of His authority (Mr 11:28); illegal arrest; the heaping of every insult upon Him as a prisoner; false accusation; and a violent and most cruel death.

8. Instigated by the Jews:

After our Lord’s resurrection the first attacks against His disciples came from the high priest and his party. The high-priesthood was then in the hands of the Sadducees, and one reason which moved them to take action of this kind was their ‘sore trouble,’ because the apostles "proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead" (Ac 4:2; 5:17). The gospel based upon the resurrection of Christ was evidence of the untruth of the chief doctrines held by the Sadducees, for they held that there is no resurrection. But instead of yielding to the evidence of the fact that the resurrection had taken place, they opposed and denied it, and persecuted His disciples. For a time the Pharisees were more moderate in their attitude toward the Christian faith, as is shown in the case of Gamaliel (Ac 5:34); and on one occasion they were willing even to defend the apostle Paul (Ac 23:9) on the doctrine of the resurrection. But gradually the whole of the Jewish people became bitter persecutors of the Christians. Thus, in the earliest of the Pauline Epistles, it is said, "Ye also suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even as they (in Judea) did of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove out us, and please not God, and are contrary to all men" (1Th 2:14,15).

9. Stephen:

Serious persecution of the Christian church began with the case of Stephen (Ac 7:1-60); and his lawless execution was followed by "a great persecution" directed against the Christians in Jerusalem. This "great persecution" (Ac 8:1) scattered the members of the church, who fled in order to avoid bonds and imprisonment and death. At this time Saul signalized himself by his great activity, persecuting "this Way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women" (Ac 22:4).

10. The Apostles, James and Peter:

By and by one of the apostles was put to death—the first to suffer of "the glorious company of the apostles"—James the brother of John, who was slain with the sword by Herod Agrippa (Ac 12:2). Peter also was imprisoned, and was delivered only by an angel (Ac 12:7-11).

11. Gentile Persecution:

During the period covered by the Ac there was not much purely Gentilepersecution: at that time the persecution suffered by the Christian church was chiefly Jewish. There were, however, great dangers and risks encountered by the apostles and by all who proclaimed the gospel then. Thus, at Philippi, Paul and Silas were most cruelly persecuted (Ac 16:19-40); and, even before that time, Paul and Barnabas had suffered much at Iconium and at Lystra (Ac 14:5,19). On the whole the Roman authorities were not actively hostile during the greater part of Paul’s lifetime. Gallio, for instance, the deputy of Achaia, declined to go into the charge brought by the Jews at Corinth against Paul (Ac 18:14,15,16). And when Paul had pleaded in his own defense before King Herod Agrippa and the Roman governor Festus, these two judges were agreed in the opinion, "This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds" (Ac 26:31). Indeed it is evident (see Ramsay, Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, 308) that the purpose of Paul’s trial being recorded at length in the Ac is to establish the fact that the preaching of the gospel was not forbidden by the laws of the Roman empire, but that Christianity was a religio licita, a lawful religion.

Christianity at First Not a Forbidden Religion.

This legality of the Christian faith was illustrated and enforced by the fact that when Paul’s case was heard and decided by the supreme court of appeal at Rome, he was set free and resumed his missionary labors, as these are recorded or referred to in the Pastoral Epistles "One thing, however, is clear from a comparison of Philippians with 2 Timothy. There had been in the interval a complete change in the policy toward Christianity of the Roman government. This change was due to the great fire of Rome (July, 64). As part of the persecution which then broke out, orders were given for the imprisonment of the Christian leaders. Poppea, Tigellinus and their Jewish friends were not likely to forget the prisoner of two years before. At the time Paul was away from Rome, but steps were instantly taken for his arrest. The apostle was brought back to the city in the autumn or winter of 64. .... That he had a trial at all, instead of the summary punishment of his brethren. witnesses to the importance attached by the government to a show of legality in the persecution of the leader" (Workman, Persecution in the Early Church, 38).


12. The Neronic Persecution:

The legal decisions which were favorable to the Christian faith were soon overturned on the occasion of the great fire in Rome, which occurred in July, 64. The public feeling of resentment broke out against the emperor to such a degree that, to avoid the stigma, just or unjust, of being himself guilty of setting the city on fire, he made the Christians the scapegoats which he thought he needed. Tacitus (Annals xv.44) relates all that occurred at that time, and what he says is most interesting, as being one of the very earliest notices found in any profane author, both of the Christian faith, and of Christ Himself.

(1) Testimony of Tacitus.

What Tacitus says is that nothing that Nero could do, either in the way of gifts to the populace or in that of sacrifice the Roman deities, could make the people believe that he was innocent of causing the great fire which had consumed their dwellings. Hence, to relieve himself of this infamy he falsely accused the Christians of being guilty of the crime of setting the city on fire. Tacitus uses the strange expression "the persons commonly called Christians who were hated for their enormities." This is an instance of the saying of all manner of evil against them falsely, for Christ’s sake. The Christians, whose lives were pure and virtuous and beneficent, were spoken of as being the offscouring of the earth.

(2) Reference in 1 Peter.

The First Epistle of Peter is one of the parts of the New Testament which seem to make direct reference to the Neronic persecution, and he uses words (1Pe 4:12 ) which may be compared with the narrative of Tacitus: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which cometh upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: but insomuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice. .... If ye are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are ye; because the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God resteth upon you. For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men’s matters: but if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name. For the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God. .... Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator."

(3) Tacitus’ Narrative.

How altogether apposite and suitable was this comforting exhortation to the case of those who suffered in the Neronic persecution. The description which Tacitus gives is as follows: "Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator in the reign of Tiberius. But the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and disgraceful flow from all quarters as to a common sink, and where they are encouraged. Accordingly, first, those were seized who confessed they were Christians; next, on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of setting the city on fire, as of hating the human race. And in their deaths they were made the subject of sport, for they were covered with the skins of wild beasts and were worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when day declined were burned to serve for nocturnal lights. Nero offered his own gardens for that spectacle, and exhibited circus games, indiscriminately mingling with the common people dressed as a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot. Whence a feeling of compassion arose toward the sufferers, though guilty and deserving to be made examples of by capital punishment, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but to be victims to the ferocity of one man."


(4) New Testament References.

Three of the books of the New Testament bear the marks of that most cruel persecution under Nero, the Second Epistle to Timothy, the First Epistle of Peter—already referred to—and the Revelation of John. In 2 Timothy, Paul speaks of his impending condemnation to death, and the terror inspired by the persecution causes "all" to forsake him when he is brought to public trial (2Ti 4:16).

The "fiery trial" is spoken of in 1 Peter, and Christians are exhorted to maintain their faith with patience; they are pleaded with to have their "conversation honest" (1Pe 2:12 the King James Version), so that all accusations directed against them may be seen to be untrue, and their sufferings shall then be, not for ill-doing, but only for the name of Christ (1Pe 3:14,16). "This important epistle proves a general persecution (1Pe 1:6; 4:12,16) in Asia Minor North of the Taurus (1Pe 1:1; note especially Bithynia) and elsewhere (1Pe 5:9). The Christians suffer ‘for the name,’ but not the name alone (1Pe 4:14). They are the objects of vile slanders (1Pe 2:12,15; 3:14-16; 4:4,15), as well as of considerable zeal on the part of officials (1Pe 5:8 (Greek 3:15)). As regards the slanders, the Christians should be crcumspect (1Pe 2:15,16; 3:16,17; 4:15). The persecution will be short, for the end of all things is at hand (1Pe 4:7,13; 5:4)" (Workman, Persecution in the Early Church, 354).

13. Persecution in Asia:

In Re the apostle John is in "Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus" (Re 1:9). Persecution has broken out among the Christians in the province of Asia. At Smyrna, there is suffering, imprisonment and prolonged tribulation; but the sufferers are cheered when they are told that if they are faithful unto death, Christ will give them the crown of life (Re 2:10). At Pergamum, persecution has already resulted in Antipas, Christ’s faithful martyr, being slain (Re 2:13). At Ephesus and at Thyatira the Christians are commended for their patience, evidently indicating that there had been persecution (Re 2:2,19). At Philadelphia there has been the attempt made to cause the members of the church to deny Christ’s name (Re 3:8); their patience is also commended, and the hour of temptation is spoken of, which comes to try all the world, but from which Christ promised to keep the faithful Christians in Philadelphia. Strangely enough, there is no distinct mention of persecution having taken place in Sardis or in Laodicea.

14. Rome as Persecutor:

As the book proceeds, evidences of persecution are multiplied. In Re 6:9, the apostle sees under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held; and those souls are bidden to rest yet for a little season "until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled their course" (Re 6:11). The meaning is that there is not yet to be an end of suffering for Christ’s sake; persecution may continue to be as severe as ever. Compare Re 20:4 "I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast," for the persecution had raged against all classes indiscriminately, and Roman citizens who were true to Christ had suffered unto death. It is to these that reference is made in the words "had been beheaded," decapitation being reserved as the most honorable form of execution, for Roman citizens only. So terrible does the persecution of Christians by the imperial authorities become, that Rome is "drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Re 17:6; 16:6; see also Re 18:24; 19:2).

Paul’s martyrdom is implied in 2 Timothy, throughout the whole epistle, and especially in 4:6,7,8. The martyrdom of Peter is also implied in Joh 21:18,19, and in 2Pe 1:14. The abiding. impression made by these times of persecution upon the mind of the apostle John is also seen in the defiance of the world found throughout his First Epistle (1 Joh 2:17; 5:19), and in the rejoicing over the fall of Babylon, the great persecuting power, as that fall is described in such passages as Re 14:8; 15:2,3; 17:14; 18:24.

Following immediately upon the close of the New Testament, there is another remarkable witness to the continuance of the Roman persecution against the Christian church. This is Pliny, proconsul of Bithynia.

15. Testimony of Pliny, 112 AD:

In 111 or 112 AD, he writes to the emperor Trajan a letter in which he describes the growth of the Christian faith. He goes on to say that "many of all ages and of all ranks and even of both sexes are being called into danger, and will continue to be so. In fact the contagion of this superstition is not confined to the cities only, but has spread to the villages and country districts." He proceeds to narrate how the heathen temples had been deserted and the religious rites had been abandoned for so long a time: even the sacrificial food—that is, the flesh of the sacrificial victims—could scarcely find a purchaser.

But Pliny had endeavored to stem the tide of the advancing Christian faith, and he tells the emperor how he had succeeded in bringing back to the heathen worship many professing Christians. That is to say, he had used persecuting measures, and had succeeded in forcing some of the Christians to abandon their faith. He tells the methods he had used. "The method I have observed toward those who have been brought before me as Christians is this. I asked them whether they were Christians. If they admitted it, I repeated the question a second and a third time, and threatened them with punishment. If they persisted I ordered them to be punished. For I did not doubt, whatever the nature of that which they confessed might be, that a contumacious and inflexible obstinacy ought to be punished. There were others also, possessed with the same infatuation, whom, because they were Roman citizens, I ordered to be sent to Rome. But this crime spreading, as is usually the case, while it was actually under legal prosecution, several cases occurred. An anonymous information was laid before me, containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were Christians, or that they had ever been so, repeated after me an invocation of the gods, and offered prayer, with wine and incense, to your statue, which I had ordered to be brought in for this very purpose, along with the statues of the gods, and they even reviled the name of Christ; whereas there is no forcing, it is said, those who are really Christians into any of these compliances: I thought it proper to discharge them. Others who were accused by a witness at first confessed themselves Christians, but afterward denied it. Some owned indeed that they had been Christians formerly, but had now, some for several years, and a few above 20 years ago, renounced it. They all worshipped your statue and the images of the gods. .... I forbade the meeting of any assemblies, and therefore I judged it to be so much the more necessary to endeavor to extort the real truth by putting to the torture two female slaves, who were called deaconesses, yet I found nothing but an absurd and extravagant superstition."

In Trajan’s reply to Pliny he writes, "They (the Christians) ought not to be searched for. If they are brought before you and convicted, they should be punished, but this should be done in such a way, that he who denies that he is a Christian, and when his statement is proved by his invoking our deities, such a person, although suspected for past conduct, must nevertheless be forgiven, because of his repentance."

These letters of Pliny and Trajan treat state-persecution as the standing procedure—and this not a generation after the death of the apostle John. The sufferings and tribulation predicted in Re 2:10, and in many other passages, had indeed come to pass. Some of the Christians had denied the name of Christ and had worshipped the images of the emperor and of the idols, but multitudes of them had been faithful unto death, and had received the martyr’s crown of life.

16. 2nd and 3rd Centuries:

Speaking generally, persecution of greater or less severity was the normal method employed by the Roman empire against the Christian church during the 2nd and the 3rd centuries It may be said to have come to an end only about the end of the 3rd or the beginning of the 4th century, when the empire became nominally Christian. When the apostolic period is left, persecution becomes almost the normal state in which the church is found. And persecution, instead of abolishing the name of Christ, as the persecutors vainly imagined they had succeeded in doing, became the means of the growth of the Christian church and of its purity. Both of these important ends, and others too, were secured by the severity of the means employed by the persecuting power of the Roman empire.

Under Trajan’s successor, the emperor Hadrian, the lot of the Christians was full of uncertainty: persecution might break out at any moment. At the best Hadrian’s regime was only that of unauthorized toleration.

17. Best Emperors the Most Cruel Persecutors:

With the exception of such instances as those of Nero and Domitian, there is the surprising fact to notice, that it was not the worst emperors, but the best, who became the most violent persecutors. One reason probably was that the ability of those emperors led them to see that the religion of Christ is really a divisive factor in any kingdom in which civil government and pagan religion are indissolubly bound up together. The more that such a ruler was intent on preserving the unity of the empire, the more would be persecute the Christian faith. Hence, among the rulers who were persecutors, there are the names of Antoninus Pius. Marcus Aurelius the philosopher-emperor, and Septimius Severus (died at York, 211 Ad).

18. Causes of Persecution:

Persecution was no accident, which chanced to happen, but which might not have occurred at all. It was the necessary consequence of the principles embodied in the heathen Roman government, when these came into contact and into conflict with the essential principles of the Christian faith. The reasons for the persecution of the Christian church by the Roman empire were

(1) political;

(2) on account of the claim which the Christian faith makes, and which it cannot help making, to the exclusive allegiance of the heart and of the life.

That loyalty to Christ which the martyrs displayed was believed by the authorities in the state to be incompatible with the duties of a Roman citizen. Patriotism demanded that every citizen should united in the worship of the emperor, but Christians refused to take pat in the worship on any terms, and so they continually lived under the shadow of a great hatred, which always slumbered, and might break out at any time. The claim which the Christian faith made to the absolute and exclusive loyalty of all who obeyed Christ was such that it admitted of no compromise with heathenism. To receive Christ into the pantheon as another divinity, as one of several—this was not the Christian faith. To every loyal follower of Christ compromise with other faiths was an impossibility. An accommodated Christianity would itself have been false to the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He had sent, and would never have conquered the world. To the heathen there were lords many and gods many, but to the Christians there was but one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world (1Co 8:5,6). The essential absoluteness of the Christian faith was its strength, but this was also the cause of its being hated.

"By a correct instinct paganisms of all sorts discerned in the infant church their only rival. So, while the new Hercules was yet in the cradle, they sent their snakes to kill him. But Hercules lived to cleanse out the Augean stables" (Workman, op. cit., 88).

19. 200 Years of Persecution:

"For 200 years, to become a Christian meant the great renunciation, the joining a despised and persecuted sect, the swimming against the tide of popular prejudice, the coming under the ban of the Empire, the possibility at any moment of imprisonment and death under its most fearful forms. For 200 years he that would follow Christ must count the cost, and be prepared to pay the same with his liberty and life. For 200 years the mere profession of Christianity was itself a crime. Christianus sum was almost the one plea for which there was Persecution no forgiveness, in itself all that was necessary as a ‘title’ on the back of the condemned. He who made it was allowed neither to present apology, nor call in the aid of a pleader. ‘Public hatred,’ writes Tertullian, ‘asks but one thing, and that not investigation into the crimes charged, but simply the confession of the Christian name.’ For the name itself in periods of stress, not a few, meant the rack, the blazing shirt of pitch, the lion, the panther, or in the case of maidens an infamy worse than death" (Workman, 103).

20. Persecution in the Army:

Service in the Roman army involved, for a Christian, increasing danger in the midst of an organized and aggressive heathenism. Hence, arose the persecution of the Christian soldier who refused compliance with the idolatrous ceremonies in which the army engaged, whether those ceremonies were concerned with the worship of the Roman deities or with that of Mithraism. "The invincible saviour," as Mithra was called, had become, at the time when Tertullian and Origen wrote, the special deity of soldiers. Shrines in honor of Mithra were erected through the entire breadth of the Roman empire, from Dacia and Pannonia to the Cheviot Hills in Britain. And woe to the soldier who refused compliance with the religious sacrifices to which the legions gave their adhesion! The Christians in the Roman legions formed no inconsiderable proportion of "the noble army of martyrs," it being easier for the persecuting authorities to detect a Christian in the ranks of the army than elsewhere.

21. Tertullian’s Apology:

In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Christians were to be found everywhere, for Tertullian, in an oftentimes quoted passage in his Apology, writes, "We live beside you in the world, making use of the same forum, market, bath, shop, inn, and all other places of trade. We sail with you, fight shoulder to shoulder, till the soil, and traffic with you"; yet the very existence of Christian faith, and its profession, continued to bring the greatest risks. "With the best will in the world, they remained a peculiar people, who must be prepared at any moment to meet the storm of hatred" (Workman, 189). For them it remained true that in one way or another, hatred on the part of the world inevitably fell to the lot of those who walked in the footsteps of the Master; "All that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2Ti 3:12).

22. "The Third Race":

The strange title, "the third race," probably invented by the heathen, but willingly accepted by the Christians without demur, showed with what a bitter spirit the heathen regarded the faith of Christ. "The first race" was indifferently called the Roman, Greek, or Gentile. "The second race" was the Jews; while "the third race" was the Christian. The cry in the circus of Carthage was Usque quo genus tertium? "How long must we endure this third race?"

23. Hatred against Christians:

But one of the most powerful causes of the hatred entertained by the heathen against the Christians was, that though there were no citizens so loyal as they, yet in every case in which the laws and customs of the empire came into conflict with the will of God, their supreme rule was loyalty to Christ, they must obey God rather than man. To worship Caesar, to offer even one grain of incense on the shrine of Diana, no Christian would ever consent, not even. when this minimum of compliance would save life itself.

The Roman empire claimed to be a kingdom of universal sway, not only over the bodies and the property of all its subjects, but over their consciences and their souls. It demanded absolute obedience to its supreme lord, that is, to Caesar. This obedience the Christian could not render, for unlimited obedience of body, soul and spirit is due to God alone, the only Lord of the conscience. Hence, it was that there arose the antagonism of the government to Christianity, with persecution as the inevitable result.

These results, hatred and persecution, were, in such circumstances, inevitable; they were "the outcome of the fundamental tenet of primitive Christianity, that the Christian ceased to be his own master, ceased to have his old environment, ceased to hold his old connections with the state; in everything he became the bond-servant of Jesus Christ, in everything owing supreme allegiance and fealty to the new empire and the Crucified Head. ‘We engage in these conflicts,’ said Tertullian, ‘as men whose very lives are not our own. We have no master but God’"( Workman, 195).

24. The Decian Persecution:

The persecution inaugurated by the emperor Decius in 250 AD was particularly severe. There was hardly a province in the empire where there were no martyrs; but there were also many who abandoned their faith and rushed to the magistrates to obtain their libelli, or certificates that they had offered heathen sacrifice. When the days of persecution were over, these persons usually came with eagerness to seek readmission to the church. It was in the Decian persecution that the great theologian Origen, who was then in his 68th year, suffered the cruel torture of the rack; and from the effects of what he then suffered he died at Tyre in 254.

25. Libelli:

Many libelli have been discovered in recent excavations in Egypt. In the The Expository Times for January, 1909, p. 185, Dr. George Milligan gives an example, and prints the Greek text of one of these recently discovered Egyptian libelli. These libelli are most interesting, illustrating as they do the account which Cyprian gives of the way in which some faint-hearted Christians during the Decian persecution obtained certificates—some of these certificates being true to fact, and others false—to the effect that they had sacrificed in the heathen manner. The one which Dr. Milligan gives is as follows: "To those chosen to superintend the sacrifices at the village of Alexander Island, from Aurelius Diogenes, the son of Sarabus, of the village of Alexander Island, being about 72 years old, a scar on the right eyebrow. Not only have I always continued sacrificing to the gods, but now also in your presence, in accordance with the decrees, I have sacrificed and poured libations and tasted the offerings, and I request you to countersign my statement. May good fortune attend you. I, Aurelius Diogenes, have made this request."

(2nd Hand) "I, Aurelius Syrus, as a participant, have certified Diogenes as sacrificing along with us."

(1st Hand) "The first year of the Emperor Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Trajan Decius Plus Felix Augustus, Epiph. 2" ( equals June 25, 250 AD).

Under Valerian the persecution was again very severe, but his successor, Gallienus, issued an edict of toleration, in which he guaranteed freedom of worship to the Christians. Thus Christianity definitely became a religio licita, a lawful religion. This freedom from persecution continued until the reign of Diocletian.

26. The Edict of Milan:

The persecution of the Christian church by the empire of Rome came to an end in March, 313 AD, when Constantine issued the document known as the "Edict of Milan," which assured to each individual freedom of religious belief. This document marks an era of the utmost importance in the history of the world. Official Roman persecution had done its worst, and had failed; it was ended now; the Galilean had conquered.

27. Results of Persecution:

The results of persecution were:

(1) It raised up witnesses, true witnesses, for the Christian faith. Men and women and even children were among the martyrs whom no cruelties, however refined and protracted, could terrify into denial of their Lord. It is to a large extent owing to persecution that the Christian church possesses the testimony of men like Quadratus and Tertullian and Origen and Cyprian and many others. While those who had adopted the Christian faith in an external and formal manner only generally went back from their profession, the true Christian, as even the Roman proconsul Pliny testifies, could not be made to do this. The same stroke which crushed the straw—such is a saying of Augustine’s—separated the pure grain which the Lord had chosen.

(2) Persecution showed that the Christian faith is immortal even in this world. Of Christ’s kingdom there shall be no end. "Hammer away, ye hostile bands, your hammers break, God’s altar stands." Pagan Rome, Babylon the Great, as it is called by the apostle John in the Apocalypse tried hard to destroy the church of Christ; Babylon was drunk with the blood of the saints. God allowed this tyranny to exist for 300 years, and the blood of His children was shed like water. Why was it necessary that the church should have so terrible and so prolonged an experience of suffering? It was in order to convince the world that though the kings of the earth gather themselves against the Lord and against His Christ, yet all that they can do is vain. God is in the midst of Zion; He shall help her, and that right early. The Christian church, as if suspended between heaven and earth, had no need of other help than that of the unseen but divine hand, which at every moment held it up and kept it from falling. Never was the church more free, never stronger, never more flourishing, never more extensive in its growth, than in the days of persecution.

And what became of the great persecuting power, the Roman empire? It fell before the barbarians. Rome is fallen in its ruins, and its idols are utterly abolished, while the barbarians who overwhelmed the empire have become the nominally Christian nations of modern Europe, and their descendants have carried the Christian faith to America and Australia and Africa and all over the world.

(3) Persecution became, to a large extent, an important means of preserving the true doctrines of the person and of the work of Christ. It was in the ages of persecution that Gnosticism died, though it died slowly. It was in the ages of persecution that Arianism was overthrown. At the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, among those who were present and took part in the discussion and in the decision of the council, there were those who "bore in their bodies the branding-marks of Jesus," who had suffered pain and loss for Christ’s sake.

Persecution was followed by these important results, for God in His wisdom had seen fit to permit these evils to happen, in order to change them into permanent good; and thus the wrath of man was overruled to praise God, and to effect more ultimate good, than if the persecutions had not taken place at all. What, in a word, could be more divine than to curb and restrain and overrule evil itself and change it into good ? God lets iniquity do what it pleases, according to its own designs; but in permitting it to move on one side, rather than on another, He overrules it and makes it enter into the order of His providence. So He lets this fury against the Christian ith be kindled in the hearts of persecutors, so that they afflict the saints of the Most High. But the church remains safe, for persecution can work nothing but ultimate good in the hand of God. "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." So said Tertullian, and what he said is true.

Persecution has permanently enriched the history of the church. It has given us the noble heritage of the testimony and the suffering of those whose lives would otherwise have been unrecorded. Their very names as well as their careers would have been unknown had not persecution "dragged them into fame and chased them up to heaven."

Persecution made Christ very near and very precious to those who suffered. Many of the martyrs bore witness, even when in the midst of the most cruel torments, that they felt no pain, but that Christ was with them. Instances to this effect could be multiplied. Persecution made them feel how true Christ’s words were, that even as He was not of the world, so they also were not of it. If they had been of the world, the world would love its own, but because Christ had chosen them out of the world, therefore the world hated them. They were not greater than their Lord. If men had persecuted Jesus, they would also persecute His true disciples. But though they were persecuted, they were of good cheer, Christ had overcome the world; He was with them; He enabled them to be faithful unto death. He had promised them the crown of life.

Browning’s beautiful lines describe what was a common experience of the martyrs, how Christ "in them" and "with them," "quenched the power of fire," and made them more than conquerors:

"I was some time in being burned,

But at the close a Hand came through

The fire above my head, and drew

My soul to Christ, whom now I see.

Sergius, a brother, writes for me

This testimony on the wall—

For me, I have forgot it all."

John Rutherfurd


per-sep’-o-lis (2 Macc 9:2; Persepolis, Persaipolis, in Ptolemy Persopolis; original Persian name unknown; Pahlavi Stakhr, now Ictakhr and Shihil Minar, "Forty Turrets"):

1. Location:

The ruins of Persepolis lie about 35 miles Northeast of Shiraz and some 40 miles South of the ruins of Pasargadae.

2. History:

The magnificent palace of which such striking remains are still visible (Takht i Jamshid) was built by Darius and Xerxes of white marble and black stone. The city was captured, pillaged and burnt by Alexander in 324 BC, most of the inhabitants being massacred or enslaved. Much of the treasure of the Persian kings was found there. Curtius says the palace was never rebuilt. Antioehus Epiphanes (166 BC) tried but failed to plunder the temple (of Anaitis, Anihita?) there (2 Macc 9:2; perhaps this is the incident referred to in 1 Macc 6:1 ff, and Polyb. xxxi.11). At Persepolis were the sepulchers of the Achemenian kings (except Cyrus). Long and important inscriptions of Darius and Xerxes are found at Persepolis and the neighboring Naqsh i Rustam, in cuneiform characters and in the Aehaemenian Persian, Assyrian and neo-Susian tongues (published by Spiegel, Rawlinson and Weisbaeh). Clitarehus first among Europeans mentions the city. The writer of this article visited it in 1892. Not now inhabited.


Inscriptions (as above), Arrian, Curtius, Polybius, Pliny, Diod. Siculus, medieval and modern travelers.

W. St. Clair Tisdall


pur’-sus, pur’-se-us (Perseus): In 1 Macc 8:5 the conquest of "Perseus, king of the Citims" (the Revised Version (British and American) "king of Chittim") was part of the "fame of the Romans" which reached the ears of Judas. This Perseus, the son and successor of Philip III of Macedonia, came to the throne in 178 BC and was the last king of Maccedonia. In 171 BC began the war with Rome which ended in his disastrous defeat and capture at Pydna, 168 BC (to which 1 Macc 8:5 refers), by L. Aemilius Paulus. Macedonia soon became a Roman province. Perseus was led to Rome to grace the triumph of his conqueror, by whose clemency he was spared, and died in captivity at Rome (Polyb. xxix. 17; Livy xliv. 40 ff).

Kittim or Chittim, properly of the people of the town of Citium in Cyprus, then signifying Cyprians, and extended by Jewish writers (Ge 10:4; Nu 24:24; Isa 23:1; Jer 2:10; Eze 27:6; Da 11:30; Josephus, Ant, I, vi) to include the coasts of Greece generally, is here applied to Maccdonia. In 1 Macc 1:1 Macedonia (or Greece) is called "the land of Chittim."

S. Angus


pur-se-ver’-ans: The word occurs only once in the King James Version (Eph 6:18), where it refers quite simply to persistence in prayer. In theology (especially in the phrase "final perseverance") the word has come to denote a special persistency, the undying continuance of the new life (manifested in faith and holiness) given by the Spirit of God to man. It is questioned whether such imparted life is (by its nature, or by the law of its impartation) necessarily permanent indestructible so that the once regenerate and believing man has the prospect of final glory infallibly assured. This is not the place to trace the history of a great and complex debate. It is more fitting here to point to the problem as connected with that supreme class of truths in which, because of our necessary mental limits, the entire truth can only be apprehended as the unrevealed but certain harmony of seeming contradictions. Scripture on the one hand abounds with assurances of "perseverance" as a fact, and largely intimates that an exulting anticipation of it is the intended experience of the believer (see Joh 10:28 above all, and compare among other passages Ro 8:31-37; 1Pe 1:8,9). On the other hand, we find frequent and urgent warnings and cautions (see e.g. 1Co 8:11; 9:27). The teacher dealing with actual cases, as in pastoral work, should be ready to adopt both classes of utterances, each with its proper application; applying the first, e.g., to the true but timid disciple, the latter to the self-confident. Meanwhile Scripture on the whole, by the manner and weight of its positive statements, favors a humble belief of the permanence, in the plan of God, of the once-given new life. It is as if it laid down perseverance" as the divine rule for the Christian, while the negative passages came in to caution the man not to deceive himself with appearances, nor to let any belief whatever palliate the guilt and minimize the danger of sin. In the biographies of Scripture, it is noteworthy that no person appears who, at one time certainly a saint, was later certainly a castaway. The awful words of Heb 6:4-6; 10:26,27 appear to deal with cases (such as Balaam’s) of much light but no loving life, and so are not precisely in point. Upon the whole subject, it is important to make "the Perseverance of the Saviour" our watchword rather than "the Perseverance of the saint."

Handley Dunelm


pur’-sha, (parats; Persia; in Assyrian Parsu, Parsua; in Achemenian Persian Parsa, modern Fars): In the Bible (2Ch 36:20,22,23; Ezr 1:1,8; Es 1:3,14,18; 10:2; Eze 27:10; 38:5; Da 8:20; 10:1; 11:2) this name denotes properly the modern province of Fars, not the whole Persian empire. The latter was by its people called Airyaria, the present Iran (from the Sanskrit word arya, "noble"); and even now the Persians never call their country anything but Iran, never "Persia." The province of Persis lay to the East of Elam (Susiana), and stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Great Salt Desert, having Carmania on the Southeast. Its chief cities were Persepolis and Pasargadae. Along the Persian Gulf the land is low, hot and unhealthy, but it soon begins to rise as one travels inland. Most of the province consists of high and steep mountains and plateaus, with fertile valleys. The table-lands in which lie the modern city of Shiraz and the ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae are well watered and productive. Nearer the desert, however, cultivation grows scanty for want of water. Persia was doubtless in early times included in Elam, and its population was then either Semitic or allied to the Accadians, who founded more than one state in the Babylonian plain. The Aryan Persians seem to have occupied the country in the 8th or 9th century BC.

W. St. Clair Tisdall


pur’-shan, pur’-zhan, RATURE (ANCIENT):

I. LANGUAGE (Introductory)




1. Ordinary Ayestic

2. Gathic


1. His Date, etc.

2. Date of Avesta

3. Divisions of the present Avesta

(1) The Yasna

(2) The Vispered

(3) The Vendidad

(4) The Yashts

(5) The Khorda Avesta


1. Literature

2. Comparison


I. Language: (Introductory).

The Persian language, ancient and modern alike, is an Aryan tongue. In its ancient forms it is more closely connected with Vedic Sanskrit than with any other language except Armenian. Most of its roots are to be found also in Slavonic, Greek, Latin and other tongues of the same stock.


There were two main dialects in the ancient language of Iran (Airyanem),

(1) that of the Persians proper, and

(2) that of the Medes.

The former is known to us from the inscriptions of the Achemenian kings, the latter from the Avesta, and a few Median words preserved for us by Herodotus and other Greek writers.

II. Old Persian Inscriptions.

These fall between 550 and 330 BC, and contain about 1,000 lines and 400 words. They are carved upon the rocks in a cuneiform character, simplified from that of the neo-Susian, which again comes from the neo-Babylonian syllabary. In Old Persian inscriptions only 44 characters are employed, of which 7 are ideographs or contractions. The remaining 37 phonetic signs are syllabic, each consisting of an open syllable and not merely of a single letter, except in case of separate vowels. The syllabary, though much simpler than any other cuneiform system, does not quite attain therefore to being an alphabet. It was written from left to right, like the other cuneiform syllabaries. Of Cyrus the Great only one Persian sentence has been found: Adam Kurush Khshayathiya Hakhamanishiya, "I am Cyrus the King, the Achemenian." Darius I has left us long inscriptions, at Behistan (Besitun), Mt. Alvand, Persepolis, Naqsh i Rustam, etc., and one at Suez, the latter mentioning his conquest of Egypt and the construction of the first (?) Suez canal:

Adam niyashtayam imam yuviyam kantanaiy haca Pirava nama rauta tya Mudrayaiy danauvatiy abiy daraya tya haca Parsa aiti.

("I commanded to dig this canal from the river named the Nile, which flows through Egypt, to the sea which comes from Persia.")

We have also inscriptions of Xerxes at Persepolis and many short ones of Artaxerxes I, Artaxerxes Mnemon, and Artaxerxes Ochus. From them all taken together we learn much concerning the history and the religion of the Achemenian period. It is from Achemenian or Old Persian, and not from the Medic or Avestic, that modern Persian has sprung through Pahlavi and Dari as intermediate stages. This is probably due to the political supremacy which the Persians under the Achaemenides gained over the Medes. The few words in the inscriptions which might otherwise be doubtful can be understood through comparison with Armenian and even with the modern Pets, e.g. yuviya in the above inscription is the modern vulgar Pets jub.

III. Medic Dialect.

1. Ordinary Avestic:

The Medic dialect is represented in literature by the Avesta or sacred books of the Zoroastrians (Parsis). The word Avesta does not occur in the book itself and is of uncertain meaning and signification. It is probably the Abashta of Beh. Inscr., IV, 64, and means either

(1) an interview, meeting (Sanskrit avashta, "appearance before a judge"; At. ava-sta, "to stand near"), or (2) a petition (Pahl. apastan, "petition"; Arm. apastan, "refuge," "asylum"),

in either case deriving its name from Zoroaster’s drawing near to Ahura Mazda in worship.

This dialect represents a much greater decadence in grammar and vocabulary than does the Old Persian. Many of its consonants and most of its vowels are weakened. Its verbs have almost entirely lost the augment; its declensional system shows extreme confusion. It stands to Old Persian grammatically somewhat as English does to German Its alphabet, consisting of 43 letters, is derived from the Syriac (probably the Estrangela), and is written from right to left. As a specimen of the language of most of the Avesta we give the following extract (Yasna LXIV, 15(61)):

Daidi moi, ye gam tasho apasca urvarwsca

Ameretata, haurvata, Spenista Mainyu Mazda,

Tevishi, utayuiti, Mananha Vohu, senhe.

"Give me, O thou who didst make the bull (earth),

and the waters and the plants, immortality, health—

O most Bountiful Spirit, Mazda

—strength, might, through Vohu Mano, I say.")

2. Gathic:

There is a sub-dialect of Medic (Avestic) known as the Gatha-dialect, from the fact that the Gathas or "Hymns" (Yasna XXVIII-XXXIV, XLII-L, LII), and also the prayers (Yatha Ahu Vairyo, Ashem Vohu, Airyama Ishyo, and originally Yenhe Halam, and a few scattered passages elsewhere) are composed in it. This represents, speaking generally, an older form of the Avestic. It is probably the old language of Bactria or of Margiana Gatha I, 2, runs thus:

Ye vw, Mazda Ahura, pairijasai Vohu Mananha,

Maibyo davoi ahvw (astivatasca hyaTca mananho)

Ayapta AshaT haca, yais rapento daidiT hvathre.

"To me, O Ahura Mazda, who approach you two through Vohu Mano,

grant the benefits from Asha, (those) of both worlds,

both of the material (world)

and of that which is of the spirit, through which (benefits)

may (Asha) place in glory those who please him.")

The meter of the Gathas, like that of the other Avestic poems, is based on the number of syllables in a line, with due regard to the caesura. But the condition of the text is such that there is great difficulty in recovering the original reading with sufficient accuracy to enable us to lay down rules on the subject with any certainty. The first Gatha is composed of strophes of 3 lines each (as above). Each line contains 16 syllables, with a caesura after the 7th foot.

IV. Zoroaster.

1. His Date, etc.:

Many of the Gathas are generally ascribed to Zoroaster himself, the rest to his earliest disciples. They compose the most ancient part of the Avesta. It is now becoming a matter of very great probability that Zoroaster lived at earliest in the middle of the 7th century BC, more probably a century later. The Arta Viraf Namak says that his religion remained pure for 300 years, and connects its corruption with the alleged destruction of much of the Avesta in the palace burned by Alexander at Persepolis, 324.BC. This traditional indication of date is confirmed by other evidence. Zoroaster’s prince Vishtaspa (in Greek Hustaspes) bears the same name as the father of Darius I, and was probably the same person. Vishtaspa’s queen Hutaosa, who also protected and favored Zoroaster, bears the same name (in Greek Atossa) as Cambyses’ sister who afterward married Darius, and probably belonged to the same family. Zoroastrianism comes to the fore under Darius, whereas Cyrus in his inscriptions speaks as a decided polytheist. Hence, we conclude that the earliest part of the Avesta belongs to circa 550 BC. Of Zoroaster himself we learn much from the Avesta, which traces his genealogy back for 10 generations. It mentions his wife’s name (Hvovi), and tells of his 3 sons and 3 daughters. His first disciple was Frashaostra, his wife’s natural uncle. His own name means "Owner of the yellow camel," and has none of the higher meanings sometimes assigned to it by those who would deny his existence. Tradition says he was born at Ragha (Raga, Rai) about 5 1/2 miles South of the present Tehran, though some think his native place was Western Atropatene (Azarbaijan). Rejected by his own tribe, the Magi, he went to Vishtispa’s court in Bactria. The faith which he taught spread to the Persian court (very naturally, if Vishtispa was identical with Darius’ father) and thence throughout the country. Tradition (Yasht XIX, 2, etc.) says that the Avesta was revealed to Zoroaster on Mt. Ushi-darena ("intellect-holding") in Sistan. But it is not the composition of one man or of one age.

2. Date of Avesta:

Herodotus makes no mention of Zoroaster, but speaks of the Magi (whom he calls a Median tribe (i.101)) as already performing priestly functions. His description of their repetition of charms and theological compositions (i.132) would agree very well with recitation of the Gathas and Yasna. Mention of controversies with Gautama, Buddha’s disciples (Yasht XIII, 16) who probably reached Persia in the 2nd century BC, is another indication of date. The fact that in both the Yasna and the Vendidad heretics (zanda) are mentioned who preferred the commentary (zand) on the Avesta to the Avesta itself, is a sign of late date. Names of certain persons found in the Avesta (e.g. Atare-pata, a Dastur who lived under Hormuzd I, 273 AD, and Rastare-Yaghenti, whom the Dinkarl identifies with the chief Mobed of Sapor II, 309-379 AD, Aderpad Marespand, and who, according to the Patet, section 28, "purified" the revelation made to Zoroaster, i.e. revised the text of the earlier parts of the Avesta) enable us to prove that certain portions of the work as we now have it were composed as late as near the end of the 4th century of our era. It is said that the text was in confusion in the time of Vologases I (51-78 (?) AD). A reccnsion was then begun, and continued with much zeal by Ardashir Papakan, 226-240 AD. According to Geldner (Prolegomena, xlvi) the final recension took place some considerable time after Yezdigird III (overthrown 642 AD). In the times of the Sasanides there were, it is said, 21 Naskas or volumes of the Avesta, and the names of these are given in the Dinkart (Book IX). Of these we now possess only one entire Naska, the Vendidad, and portions of three others.

3. Divisions of the Present Avesta:

The present Avesta is divided into 5 parts:

(1) The Yasna

The Yasna root yaz, Sanskrit yaj, "to invoke," "to praise") contains 72 chapters of hymns for use at sacrifices, etc., including the "Older Yasna" or Gathas.

(2) The Vispered

The Vispered (vispa, "every," "all," and radha, "a lord") is divided into 24 chapters in Geldner’s edition; it is supplementary to the Yasna.

(3) The Vendidad

The Vendidad (van plus daea plus data, "law for " vanquishing the demons") contains 22 chapters. The first chapter contains the Iranian myth about the order in which the provinces of the Iranian world were created by Ahura Mazda. It tells how the Evil Spirit, Anro Mainyus, created plagues, sins and death, to destroy the good creatures of the Good Spirit. The greater part of the book contains ceremonial laws and formulas, some of them loathsome and all rather petty and superstitious in character.

(4) The Yashts

The Yashts, 21 in all, are hymns, telling many mythological tales about Mithra, Tishtriya, etc.

(5) The Khorda Avesta

The Khorda Avesta ("Little Avesta") consists of a number of short compositions, hymns, etc., compiled by the Aderpad Marespand (Adharpadh Mahraspand, Atarobat Mansarspendan) already mentioned, in Sapor II’s reign.

Much of the Avesta is said to have been destroyed by the Khalffah ‘Umar’s orders when Persia was conquered by the Arabs after the battle of Nahavand (642 AD). Certainly ‘Umar ordered the destruction of Persian libraries, as we learn from the Kashfu’z Zunun (p.341).

V. Pahlavi.

1. Literature:

Under ancient Persian literature may be classed the Pahlavi

(a) inscriptions of Sapor at Hajiabad and elsewhere,

(b) legends on Sasanian coins,

(c) translations of certain parts of the Avesta, made under the Sasanides for the most part,

(d) such books as the Arta Viraf Namak, the Zad Sparam, Dinkart, Ormazd Yasht, Patet, Bundishnih, etc.

These are mostly of religious import. The Arta Viraf Namak gives a description of the visit of the young dastur Arta Viraf, to the Zoroastrian heaven. The Bundihishnih ("creation") tells how Ormazd and Ahriman came into being, and treats of the 9,000 years’ struggle between them. Pahlavi, as written (the so-called Huzvaresh), contains an immense number of Aramaic words, but the Persian terminations attached to these show that they were read as Persian: thus yehabunt-ano is written, and dat-ano ("to give") is read. Pahlavi works that are no longer extant are the sources of the Vis o Ramin, Zaratusht Namah, Shahnamah, etc.

2. Comparison:

In order to understand the relation in which the Persian dialects and stages in the history of the language stand to one another, it may be well to subjoin a list of words in Old Persian, Avestic, Pahlavi and modern Persian. It will be seen that Ayestic is not the source of the Aryan part of the present tongue.


Friend.... zusta daushta dost dust

Hand...... zasta dasta dast dast

Bactreia.. Bakhdhi Bakhtri Bahr Balkh

Straight.. drva(sta)@@ duruva(sta) drust durust

Greatest.. mazista@@ mathishta mahist mahin Most right razista@@ rasta rast rast

Abode..... nmana maniya man man-dan ("to remain")





Achaemenian inscriptions, Korsowitz, Spiegel, Rawlinson: Geiger and Kuhn (editors), Grundriss der iranischen Philologie; Darmesteter, Etudes iraniennes; Spiegel, Eranische Altertumskunde; Noldeke, Aufsatze zur persischen Geschichte; W. Geiger, Ostiranische Kultur im Alterium; Geldner’s edition of Avesta; Professor Browne, Literary History of Persia; De Harlez, Manuel de la langue de l’ Avesta, Manuel de la langue Pehlevie, and Introduction to the Avesta; Haug, Book of Artd Viraf; Cook, Origins of Religion and Language.

W. St. Clair Tisdall



1. Early Aryan Religion

2. Avesta and Rig-Veda

3. The Creator


1. Leading Principle

2. Not Monotheistic

(1) Darius and Xerxes

(2) Ahura Mazda

3. Objects of Worship

4. Anro Mainyus and His Creatures

5. Production versus Destruction Fertility

6. Contest between Ormazd and Ahriman

7. Ethics

8. Sacred Thread

9. Early Traditions

10. The Earth

11. Heaven and Hell

12. Interment

13. Worship

14. The Magi

15. Eschatology

16. Hebrew and Christian Influence

17. No Virgin Birth


I. Before Zoroaster.

1. Early Aryan Religion:

There are clear indications in the Avesta that the religion of the Medes and Persians before Zoroaster’s time agreed in most respects with that of the Indian Aryans, and in a less degree with the beliefs of the Aryans in general. All the Aryan tribes in very ancient times showed great respect for the dead, though they carefully distinguished them from the gods (compare Rig-Veda X, 56, 4). The latter were principally the powers of Nature, the wind, fire, water, the sky, the sun, the earth, and a host of personifications. The procreative powers in Nature, animate and inanimate, seeming to be the source of animal and vegetable life, received adoration, which ultimately led to unspeakable corruption. Herodotus tells us that the Persians in his time worshipped the sun, moon, sky, earth, fire, wind and water (i.131). Offerings to the gods were laid on a mass of pomegranate twigs (baresman; Sanskrit, barhis), and the flesh of victims was boiled, not burnt. Libations of haoma-juice were poured out, just as in India the soma was the drink of both gods and their worshippers.

2. Avesta and Rig-Veda:

A comparison between the spiritual beings mentioned in the Avesta and those spoken of in the Rig-Veda is most instructive in two ways. It shows that the original religion of the Iranians and of the Indian Aryans agreed very closely; and it also enables us to realize the immensity of the reformation wrought by Zoroaster. Many of the names of supernatural beings are practically the same; e.g. Indra (Indra, Andra), Mitra (Mithra), Aryaman (Airyaman), Asura (Ahura), Apam Napat (Apam Napat), Tvashtri (? Tishtrya), Rama (Raman), Vayu (Vayu), Vata (Vata). So are many words of religious import, as Soma (Haoma), Mantra (Mathra), Hotra (Zaotar). The Yama of India is the Yima of Persia, and the father of the one is Vivasvat and that of the other Vivanhat, which is the same word with dialectic change. The Holy River of the Avesta, Aredhvi Sura, the Unstained (Anahita), is represented by the Sarasvati, the Ganga (Ganges) and other sacred streams worshipped in India. In Persia Atar (or Fire) is a son of Ahura Mazda (Yasna LXIV, 46-53), as Agni (equals Ignis) is of Tvashtri in the Rig-Veda. Armaiti is Ahura Mazda’s daughter, as Saranyu in the Rig-Veda is the daughter of Tvashtri, the "Creator." The use of gomez (bovis urina) for purification is common to both India and Persia. Though the soma-plant is not now the same as the haoma, the words are the same, and no doubt they at one time denoted one and the same plant. Many of the myths of the Avesta have a great resemblance to those of the Rig-Veda. This comparison might be extended almost indefinitely.

In another respect also there is an important agreement between the two. Though some 33 deities are adored in the Vedic Hymns, yet, in spite of polytheism and low ideas of the divine, traces of something higher may be found. Varuna, for instance, represents a very-lofty conception. In the closest connection with him stands Asura, who is a being of great eminence, and whose sons are the gods, especially the Adityas.

3. The Creator:

Tvashtri again is creator of heaven and earth and of all beings, though his worship was ultimately in Vedic times displaced by that of Indra. It is clear then that the Indian Aryans were worshippers of the Creator and that they knew something of Him long before they sank into polytheism. In the Avesta and in the Persian cuneiform inscriptions alike, Ahura Mazda occupies much the same position as Varuna, Asura (the same word as Ahura), or Tvashtri in the Rig-Veda, or rather in the ancient belief of which traces are retained in the latter work. Hence, as the Avesta teaches, Zoroaster was not for the first time preaching the existence of Ahura Mazda, but he was rather endeavoring to recall his people to the belief of their ancestors, the doctrine which Ahura Mazda had taught Yima in primeval time in his first revelation (Vendidad II, 1-16,42). The great truth of the existence of the Creator, testified to by tradition, reason and conscience, undoubtedly contributed largely to Zoroaster’s success, just as a similar proclamation of the God Most High (Allah ta‘ala’), worshipped by their ancestors, helped the thoughtful among the Arabs in later years to accept Muhammad’s teaching. The consciousness in each case that the doctrine was not new but very ancient, materially helped men to believe it true.

II. Zoroastrianism.

1. Leading Principle:

The reformation wrought by Zoroaster was a great one. He recognized—as Euripides in Greece did later—that "if the gods do aught shameful, they are not gods." Hence, he perceived that many of the deities worshipped in Iran were unworthy of adoration, being evil in character, hostile to all good and therefore to the "All-Wise" Spirit (Ahura Mazda) and to men. Hence, his system of dualism, dividing all beings, spiritual or material, into two classes, the creatures of Ahura Mazda and those of the "Destroying Mind" (Anro Mainyus). So many of the popular deities were evil that Zoroaster used the word daeva (the same as deva, deus, and Aramaic di) to denote henceforth an evil spirit, just as Christianity turned the Greek daimones and daimonia (words used in a good sense in classical authors) into "demons." Instead of this now degraded word daeva, he employed baga (Old Persian; Av. bagha, Vedic bhaga, "distribution," "natron" "lord") for "God."

2. Not Monotheistic:

But, it must be remembered that Zoroaster did not teach monotheism. Darius says that "Auramazda and the other gods that there are" brought him aid (Beh. Inscr., IV, 60-63), and both he and Xerxes speak of Auramazda as "the greatest of the gods." So, even in the first Gatha, Zoroaster himself invokes Asha, Vohu-Mano, maiti, Sraosha, and even Geus-urvan ("the Soul of the Bull"), as well as Ahura Mazda.

(1) Darius and Xerxes.

Darius mentions the "clan-gods," but does not name any of them. He and Xerxes ascribe the creation of heaven and earth to Auramazda, and say that the latter, "Who made this earth, who made yon sky, who made man, who made happiness for man," has appointed each of them king. It is "by the grace of Auramazda" (vashna Auramazdaha) that Darius conquers his enemies. But both Artaxerxes Mnemon and Artaxerxes Ochus couple Mithra and Anahata (Anahita) with Auramazda (Ahura Mazda) in praying for the protection of the empire.

(2) Ahura Mazda.

In the Avesta, Ahura Mazda is one of the seven Amesha spentas or "Bountiful Immortals." He is the father of one of them, Spentas Armaiti, who is also his spouse. He is primus inter pares among them, their chief, but by no means the only god. Monotheism is distinctly taught in later Zoroastrian works, for instance, in the Zaratusht-Namah, composed 1278 AD, but it is due to Christian and Islamic influence.

3. Objects of Worship:

The modern Zoroastrian view, clearly stated in the Dasatir i Asmani and elsewhere, that all the good creatures of Ormazd (Ahura Mazda) are entitled to adoration, undoubtedly rests upon the Avesta. There we find, in the first place, the Amesha Spentas, who occupy in regard to Mazda the same position as do the Vedic Adityas toward Varuna, though not one of the Adityas is identical with any of the Amesha Spentas.

The names of these are: (1) Ahura Mazda (otherwise called Spento Mainyus or "Bountiful Mind");

(2) Vohu Mano ("Good Mind");

(3) Asha Vahista ("Best Righteousness");

(4) Khshathra Vairya ("Excellent Ruler");

(5) Spenta Amaiti ("Bounteous Piety");

(6) Haurvatat ("Health");

(7) Ameretat ("Immortality").

Each has a special province: thus Armaiti is the general spirit of earth and presides over its fruitfulness. She is the troness of virtuos matrons. Khshathra is the guardian of metals. Vohu Mano guards sheep and cattle and introduces to Ahura Mada the spirits of the just. Next in rank come the Yazatas ("Worshipful Ones"), of whom there are a large number. Three of them, Mithra, Rashnu and Sraosha, preside at the judgment of the dead on the 4th day from death. Rashnu holds the scales in which a man’s deeds are weighed. Sraosha guards the soul during the first three nights after death. Airyaman Ishya ("the longed-for comrade") is the protector of mankind, the bestower of peace and happiness. On one occasion (Vend., Farg. XXII, 23-29) Ahura Mazda sends his messenger Nairyo Sanha ("male instructor") to ask his aid against overwhelming odds. Riman Hvastra, the bosom friend of Mithra, presides over the atmosphere and also gives its taste to food. Mithra is the genius of truth, possessed of 1,000 ears, and riding in a single-wheeled chariot (the sun), while darting golden darts and driving fiery steeds. Tishtrya, identified with the dog-star Sirius, sends rain and is by Ahura Mazda endowed with his own power and dignity (Yasht VIII, 52 ff). This is true of Mithra also (Yasht X, 1) Atar ("Fire"), Vayu ("Air"), Vata ("Wind"), Verethraghna ("Mars"), Saoka ("Prosperity"), Aratat (genius of Justice), Vizista ("Lightning"), Fradatfshu (the guardian of cattle), Berejya (genius of grain), Cista and Daena ("Knowledge" and "Religion"), who are others of the Yazatas. All these are entitled to worship at the hands of the true adorer of Mazda (Mazdayasna, opposed to Daevayasna, or worshipper of the demons).

4. Anro Mainyus and His Creatures:

In opposition to the creatures of Ahura Mazda are those of Anro Mainyus, who is the source of all moral and material evil. The first chapter of the Vendidad tells how he created something bad in opposition to everything good made by Ahura Mazda.

A demon is the adversary of each Amesha Spenta: Aka Mano ("Evil Mind") that of Vohu Mano, and so in order: Indra (or Andra, "demon of untruthfulness"), Saurva ("evil government") Nonhaithya ("discontent"), Tauru ("who poisons water") and Zairi ("poison"), being antagonistic to the other Bountiful Immortals. Aeshma-Daeva ("Demon of Wrath")—the Asmodeus of Tobit 3:8—is the special foe of Sraosha, the genius of obedience. Apaosha, demon of drought, is the enemy of Tishtrya. Buiti (or Buidhi) teaches men to worship idols, and also causes death. Bushyasta is the demon of sloth. Vidhatus or Astuvidhstus causes death by destroying the body. Other evil beings, Drujes, Pairikas, Jainis, Yatus, are so numerous in the later parts of the Avesta that a pious Zoroastrian must have lived in continual dread of their assaults. He had even to conceal the parings of his nails, lest they should be used as darts to his injury by these his spiritual foes.

5. Production versus Destruction:

Holiness does not enter into Zoroaster’s conception of the divine nature. This is a point to which attention has not yet been properly directed, though its importance can hardly be exaggerated. The epithet Spenta, often applied to Ahura Mazda and mistranslated "Holy," is by the Zoroastrians themselves in Pahlavi rendered afzunik, i.e. "that causes increase." Its (?) span or spen equals (Sanskrit) svi, "to swell," "to grow," "to increase." The opposite to this is the term anro (angro, from (?) angh; compare German eng, "narrow") to the Evil Spirit, and denoting "narrowing," "decreasing," "destroying." Hence, as the Destroyer, he is styled pourumahrka, "full of death."


Ahura Mazda and his assistants promote life, fertility in man, beast and plant, agriculture, increase; while Ahro Mainyus and his creatures cause destruction and death. Atar ("Fire"), also styled Apam Napat ("Offspring of the Waters"), is the vital flame and the male energy in the world; Aredhvi Sura Anahita is the female. As a river the latter flows from Mt. Hukairya, a peak in the Elburz Range (Yasna LXIV), into the Caspian Sea (Vourukasha) in the midst of which grows the tree Hvapa ("well watered") which bears the seeds of all plants. Anahita means "‘undefiled," but it is applied to purity of water (to defile any of the four "elements" was, for later Zoroastrians, a grievous sin) and not to any moral purity in the goddess. Her association with Mithra was close, even in Herodotus time, for he falls into the mistake of saying (i.131) that the Persians called Aphrodite Mithra, when he should have said Anaitis (Anahita). Though god of truth and righteousness Mithra is not associated with moral purity (chastity). On the contrary, he was said to fertilize the earth with his rays, as sun-god, and Anahita as goddess of fruitfulness represented the female principle in conjunction with him. The vileness which led to the identification of Anahita with the Babylonian Mylitta was doubtless of later date than Zoroaster’s time, yet there was little or nothing in Zoroastrianism to check it. Something similar asserts itself in Armenia, as well as in Iran, and in fact in all Nature-worship everywhere. Associated with this was the form of incest known as next-of-kin marriage (Av. Hvaetva-datha, Pahl. Khvetukdas), which permitted and encouraged marriages between brothers and sisters.

6. Contest between Ormazd and Ahriman:

According to later Zoroastrian belief, the contest between Ormazd (Ahura Mazda) and Ahriman (Anro Mainyus), after continuing for 9,000 years, is to be decided in favor of the former only through his possessing foreknowledge and Ahriman’s lacking it (Bund., I). Both came into existence independently in limitless time (Av. Zrvana Akarana; Vend., Farg. XIX, 13; Pahl. Daman i Akandrakhom-and, Bund., I), which, personified in the Vendidad, is called "Self-created," and is there by Ahura Mazda’s command invoked by Zoroaster in conjunction with Vayu, the Air, the Winds, "the bountiful, beauteous daughter of Ahura Mazda" (Armaiti), the Earth, and other objects of worship (loc. cit.). No creature of Ahriman is to be worshipped; hence, Indra, though in later Vedic times rising in India to a leading position in the Pantheon, is in the Avesta accounted a fiend, the very impersonation of the Lie which the Avesta so firmly denounces and which Darius mentions as the cause of all the rebellions, which produced so much bloodshed in his time. No virtue was valued so highly as truth in ancient Iran, as Herodotus agrees with the Avesta in testifying.

7. Ethics:

Avestic morality encourages the destruction of all hurtful things, as being of Anro Mainyus’ creation, and the propagation of everything good. Hence, agriculture is especially commended, together with the rearing of cattle and sheep. Somewhat later the whole duty of man was said to consist in good thoughts, good words, good deeds. Fierce opposition to every other religion was enjoined as a religious duty, and, under the Sasanides especially, this led to fearful and repeated persecutions of Christians throughout the empire.

8. Sacred Thread:

The Sacred Thread (Av. Aiwyonhana; Skt. Upavitam, etc., now by the Parsis styled the Kushti) plays as important a part in Zoroastrianism as in Hinduism. So do charms, mathras (Sanskrit, mantras), consisting in repetitions of the verses of the Avesta. The latter is even adored.

9. Early Traditions:

The first thing created by Ahura Mazda was a Bull, which may represent the earth, and reminds us of the Cow Audhumla in the Edda (Gylfaginning VI). This was killed Traditions by Anro Mainyus (in a later version, by Mithra). His spirit (Geus Urvan) went to heaven and became the guardian of cattle. The first man was Gaya-maretan ("Mortal Life"); hence, the phrase Haca Gayat Marethnat a Saosh-yantat, "from Gaya-maretan (Gayomard), Kayomarth) to Saoshyant" (Yasna XXVI, 10; Yasht XIII, 145), means "from the beginning to the end of the world." From the Airyanem Vaejo ("Aryan germ"), the first home of the Iranians, men were compelled to migrate because Anro Mainyus so altered the climate that the winter became ten months long and the summer only two. Yima Khshaeta ("Yima the Brilliant," Persian, Jamshid), son of Vivanhat, though he twice refused Ahura Mazda’s commission to guard his creatures, and though by three lies he lost the "Royal Light" (Chvareno Kavaem) which he originally possessed, was yet directed to prepare a very extensive enclosure (Vara), in which he preserved "the seeds of sheep and cattle, of men, of dogs, of birds, and of red, glowing fires" from some terribly severe winters which came upon the earth (Vendidad II; Yasht XIX). The Bundihishnih tale of a flood differs from this, preserving an independent narrative. Ahura Mazda’s law was preached to men within Yima’s enclosure.

10. The Earth:

The earth consists of seven divisions, called Karshvares (compare the Sanskrit dvipas). Only one of these, Chvaniratha, is inhabited by men; the others are separated from it by impassable abysses. Sun, moon, and stars revolve round Mt. Taera, a peak in the Elburz Mountains (Demavend?). A later legend says that the Elburz Range surrounds the earth.

11. Heaven and Hell:

Each god and man possesses a fravashi, which has been compared to a guardian spirit and seems to differ from the soul (urvan). After judgment by Mithra, Rashnu and Sraosha, the souls of the dead must cross the Chinvat-bridge ("Bridge of the Judge"), which is guarded by two dogs and is narrow and difficult for the unjust, but wide and easy for the just. The righteous man then advances through three Paradises, those of Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Works (Humata, Hukhta, Hvarsta: Yasht XVI; Arta Viraf Namak, VII IX), until, led by Sraosha, Atar, and Vohu Mano, he finally reaches Ahura Mazda’s abode of light and glory, Garo-nmana (in Gathas, Garo-demana; Pahl. Garotman), where Ahura Mazda himself receives him with the words: "Greeting to thee; well hast thou come; from that mortal world hast thou come to this pure, bright place" (A. V. Namak, XI, 8, 9). But the soul of the wicked man, passing through regions of Evil Thoughts, Evil Words and Evil Deeds, finally reaches a dark and gloomy Hell (Duzhanh). In later times it was believed that those not yet fit for heaven waited in Misvana Gatus, an intermediate place where the extra merits of the just were stored up for the benefit of the less fortunate (Vend., Farg. XIX). A later name was Hamistakan. But De Harlez is of the opinion that this idea was borrowed from medieval Christianity.

12. Interment:

In primeval times the Persians buried or burned their dead. Zoroastrianism may have introduced the dakhma (Vendidad, passim) or Tower of Silence, on which bodies are exposed to be eaten by vultures. Those of which the ruins have been discovered at Al Hibbah are very ancient. But in Herodotus’ time it was usual, after permitting the flesh to be devoured by dogs and birds, to cover the bones with wax and bury them (Herodotus i.140). This was done to prevent them from coming in contact with and so polluting the earth. The custom of burial is proved by the tombs of the Achemenian kings near Persepolis, and that of Cyrus, a stone chamber raised high above the ground, at Pasargadae.

13. Worship:

Zoroastrianism permits no idol-worship and no temples, fire-altars only being used. These were served by Atharvans or fire-priests, who fed the fire with costly wood and poured into it libations of haomajuice, taking care to cover their mouths with a cloth (paiti-dhana) to keep the sacred fire from being polluted by their breath. Sacrifices were often offered on the tops of the highest mountains under the open sky (Herodotus i.132; Xen. Cyrop. viii).

14. The Magi:

The Magi doubtless owed their monopoly of priestly functions to their being Zoroaster’s own tribe. They are not mentioned as priests in the Persian cuneiform inscriptions. Only once does the word. "Magus" occur in the Avesta, and then in composition (Moghu-tbish, a Magus-hater, Yasna LXV, 7). It is not necessary to trace to Babylonian influence the decay of Zoroastrianism and its degradation in late Achemenian times. This was at least in large measure due to a revival of the ideas and practices forbidden by Zoroaster, which reassert themselves in some parts of the Avesta, and which afterward gave rise to Mithraism.

15. Eschatology:

The Avesta states that, 1,000 years after Zoroaster’s death, a prophet named Ukhshyat-ereta will arise from his seed to restore his religion. After another 1,000 years another, Ukhshyat-nemanh, will appear for the same purpose. The end of the world will come 1,000 years later. Then a third prophet, Saoshyant, will be born, and will usher in the Restoration (frasho-kereti) of the world to its primitive happiness and freedom from the evil creatures of Anro Mainyus. This process will be completed in 57 years, during which 6 other prophets will perform in the other 6 Karshvares the work which will here be accomplished by Saoshyant. But mention of this Restoration occurs only in very late parts of the Avesta (e.g. Vend., Farg. XVIII, 51). It does not mean Resurrection, as De Harlez has shown. Later still, something of the kind was believed, and in the Bundihishnih (chapter v) and the Patet (section 28) we have the word ristakhiz (from Av. irista, "departed," and chvis,"to rise"), which does mean "rising of the dead." But it can hardly be doubted that the doctrine is due to Hebrew and Christian influence, especially when we consider the late and uncertain date of the books in which the idea occurs.

16. Hebrew and Christian Influence:

Israelites settled in Media in large numbers in or about 730-728 BC under Sargon (2Ki 17:6), long before Zoroaster’s birth. It is possible that his reformation may have owed much therefore to Hebrew influence.


The idea of virgin birth has been asserted to occur in Zoroastrianism, both with reference to Zoroaster himself and to the last three great prophets of whom mention has been made. This is an error. The Avesta and all later Zoroastrian books speak of Zoroaster’s birth as quite natural, his father being Pourushaspa. Nor is virgin birth referred to in the case of Saoshyant and the rest.

17. No Virgin Birth:

(Mater cuiusque ex iis, sese in lacu quodam lavans, Zoroastris semine illic reposito grayida facta filium pariet: Vend., Farg. XIX, 4-6; Yasht XIII, 128, 142; Bund., XXXII, 8, 9.) Virginity is not highly esteemed in the Avesta, though fornication is condemned.


Geldner’s edition of text of Avesta; De Harlez, Avesta; Achemenian Inscriptions; Sacred Books of the East, volumes IV, XXIII, XXXI; Grassmann, Worterbuch zum Rig Veda; Haug and West, Arta Viraf Namak; Spiegel, Einleitung in die trad. Schriften der Parsen; Eranische Altertumskunde; Darmesteter, Etudes iraniennes; Haug, Essays on .... Religion of Parsis; De Harlez, Manuel du Pehlavi; Cook, Origins of Religion and Language.


W. St. Clair Tisdall


pur’-shanz, -zhanz (parac, also equals PERSIA, PERSIS (which see); adjective parci Hebrew, and parcay, Aramaic.; Persai, adjective only in Ne 12:22; Da 6:28; Achaem. Persian Parsa, name of both country and people; does not occur in Avesta):


1. Three Classes

2. Tribal and Clan Divisions

3. Achemenian Dynasty


1. Writing

2. Institutions and Customs


1. Cyrus

2. Capture of Babylon

3. Cambyses

4. Pseudo-Smerdis

5. Darius I

6. Darius’ Suez Canal

7. Xerxes I

8. Artaxerxes II

9. Xerxes II

10. Later Persian Kings



The Persians are not mentioned in the Bible until the exilic books (2Ch 36:20,22,23; Ezr 1:1,2,8; 3:7; Es 1:19, etc.; Da 5:28; 6:8,12,15,28), being previously included under the Medes (Ge 10:2), as they were by Thucydides, and even by Xenophon often.

Archaemenes (Hakhamanish)

Teispes (Chaishpish, Sispis)

Cyrus Ariaramnes (Ariyaramna)

Cambyses Arsames (Arshama)

Cyrus the Great Hystaspes (Vishtaspa)

Cambyses Darius I

Xerxes I (Ahasuerus)

Artaxerxes I (Longimanus)

Xerxes II Sogdianus Darius II

(Nothos, Ochos)

Artaxerxes III (Ochos) (Sisygambis, a daughter)


Darius III (Codomannus)

(Neh. 12:22; 1 Macc. 1:1)

I. Affinity.

Being of the same stock as the Medes they shared the name Aryans (Achaem. ariya; Av. airya; Sanskrit, arya, "noble"); compare the Naqsh i Rustam Inscription, where Darius I calls himself "a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, of Aryan descent" (II. 13, 14). Tradition assigns as their earliest known habitat the so-called Airyanem Vaejo ("Aryan germ"), a district between the Jaxartes and the Oxus (Vendidad I), whence they migrated gradually to what was afterward known as Persis (modern Fars), including probably part of Elam.

1. Three Classes:

The Avesta shows that the Medo-Pers community was divided into 3 classes (zantu): the Athravans or fire-priests, the Rathaestars or charioteers, and the Vastryafshuyans or cattle-rearers (compare the three original Hindu castes, the Brahmans, the Kshattriyas and the Vaisyas). A fourth class, the artisans or Hutis, came later. But these were classes, not castes.

2. Tribal and Clan Divisions:

They were also divided into tribes, clans (Achaem. vith; Av. vis; compare vicus) and families or households (Achaem. tauma; Av. nmana). Herodotus (i.125) mentions ten Persian tribes, the chief being the Pasargadae, to which belonged the Achemenian clan (phretre) which included the royal family. This dynasty traced its origin to Achaemenes (Chakhamanish) according to Darius and Herodotus.Oxus (Vendidad I), whence they migrated gradually to what was afterward known as Persis (modern Fars), including probably part of Elam.

3. Achemenian Dynasty:

The following scheme will serve to show the descent of the line of Persian kings mentioned in the Bible and in secular history up to the time of the fall of the dynasty in 331 BC.

II. Civilization.

1. Writing:

The Persians had indulged less in luxury than the Medes, until their conquest of Media and other lands under Cyrus the Great gave them the opportunity, which they were not slow to embrace, being famed for their readiness to adopt foreign customs. Writing was introduced from Babylonia through Elam.

2. Institutions and Customs:

This cuneiform character was afterward superseded by one derived from Syria, from which came the Avestic writing, which, in its corrupt Pahlavi form, lasted until the Arabian conquest imposed the Arabic character on the people. The Achemenian kings probably borrowed from Babylon and further developed their system of royal posts (Es 8:14) or messengers (and even the words aggaroi, and astandai, used to denote them, are almost certainly Babylonian). Of these men’s pace it was said, "No mortal thing is quicker." The custom of showing special honor to the "Benefactors of the King" (Herodotos viii.85: orosaggai equals Av. uru plus sanh, "widely renowned") is referred to in Es 6:1,2,3, and that of covering the (head and) face of a criminal condemned to death (with a large black cap) (Es 7:8,9) occurs in the Shahnamah also.

(1) The King.

The king was an arbitrary ruler with unlimited power, the council of seven princes who stood nearest to the throne (Es 1:14; compare Herodotos iii. 70-84) having no share in the government.

(2) The Army.

As soldiers, the Persians were famous as archers and javelin-throwers; they were also skilled in the use of the sling, and above all in riding. Boys were taken from the women’s into the men’s part of the house at the age of 5, and were there trained in "riding, archery and speaking the truth" until 20 years old. In Darius’ inscriptions, as well as in the Avesta, lying is regarded as a great crime.

(3) Marriage.

The Persians practiced polygamy, and marriages between those next of kin were approved of. Pride and garrulity are mentioned as distinctive of the Persian character.

III. History.

1. Cyrus:

Persian history, as known to us, begins with Cyrus the Great. His ancestors, for at least some generations, seem to have been chiefs or "kings" of Anshan, a district in Persia or Elam. Cyrus himself (Western Asiatic Inscriptions, V, plate 35) gives his genealogy up to and including Teispes, entitling all his ancestors whom he mentions, kings of Anshan. Phraortes, king of the Medes, is said to have first subjugated the Persians to that kingdom about 97 years before Cyrus (Herodotus i.102). Cyrus himself headed his countrymen’s revolt against Astyages, who advanced to attack Pasargadae (549 BC). His army mutinied and surrendered him to Cyrus, whom the Greeks held to be his grandson on the mother’s side. Cyrus, becoming supreme ruler of both Medes and Persians, advanced to the conquest of Lydia. He defeated and captured Croesus, overran Lydia, and compelled the Greek colonies in Asia Minor to pay tribute (547 BC).

2. Capture of Babylon:

He overthrew the Sute (Bedouin) across the Tigris the following year, and was then invited by a large party in Babylonia to come to their help against the usurper Nabunahid, whose religious zeal had led him to collect as many as possible of the idols from other parts of Babylonia and remove them to Babylon, thereby increasing the sacredness and magnificence of that city but inflicting injury on neighboring and more ancient sanctuaries. Defeating Nabunahid’s army and capturing the king, Cyrus sent his own forces under Gobryas (Gubaru, Gaubaruva)to take possession of Babylon. This he did in June, 538, "without opposition and without a battle." The citadel, however, where Belshazzar "the king’s son" was in command, held out for some months, and was then taken in a night attack in which "the king’s son" was slain. Cyrus made Gobryas viceroy of Chaldea, and he "appointed governors in Babylonia (Cyrus’ "Annalistic Tablet"). When Gobryas died within the year, Cyrus’ son Cambyses was made viceroy of the country, now become a province of the Persian empire. Cyrus restored the gods to their sanctuaries, and this doubtless led to permission being given to the Jews to return to Jerusalem, taking with them their sacred vessels, and to rebuild their temple. Cyrus was killed in battle against some frontier tribe (accounts differ where) in 529 BC. His tomb at Murghab, near the ruins of Pasargadae, is still standing.

3. Cambyses:

Cyrus’ son and successor, Cambyses, invaded Egypt and conquered it after a great battle near Pelusium (525 BC). During his absence, a Magian, Gaumata, who pretended to be Smerdis (Bardiya), Cambyses’ murdered brother, seized the throne. Marching against him, Cambyses committed suicide.

4. Pseudo-Smerdis:

After a reign of 7 months, the usurper was overthrown and slain by Darius and his 6 brother-nobles (their names in Herodotus iii.70 are confirmed with one exception in Darius’ Besitun Inscription, column iv, 80-86). Darius became king as the heir of Cambyses (521 BC). But in nearly every part of the empire rebellions broke out, in most cases headed by real or pretended descendants of the ancient kings of each country.

5. Darius I:

After at least 3 years’ struggle Darius’ authority was firmly established everywhere. He then divided the empire into satrapies, or provinces (dahyava), of which there were at first 23 (Beh. Inscription, column i, 13-17), and ultimately at least 29 (Naqsh i Rustam Inscription, 22-30). Over these he placed satraps of noble Persian or Median descent, instead of representatives of their ancient kings. His empire extended from the Indus to the Black Sea, from the Jaxartes to beyond the Nile.

6. Darius’ Suez Canal:

Darius united the latter river with the Red Sea by a canal, the partly obliterated inscription commemorating which may perhaps be thus restored and rendered: "I am a Persian; with Persia I seized Egypt. I commanded to dig this canal from the river named the Nile (Pirava), which flows through Egypt, to this sea which comes from Persia. Then this canal was dug, according as I commanded. And I said, ‘Come ye from the Nile through this canal to Persia.’ " Darius’ expedition into Scythia, his success in subduing the rebellion among the Asiatic Greeks, his attempts to conquer Greece itself and his overthrow at Marathon (499-490 BC) are part of the history of Greece. A rebellion in Egypt had not been repressed when Darius died in 485 BC.

7. Xerxes I:

Xerxes I, who succeeded his father, regained Egypt, but his failure in his attempts to conquer Greece largely exhausted his empire. In 464 BC he was murdered. His son Artaxerxes I, surnamed "the longarmed," succeeded him, being himself succeeded in 424 BC by his son Xerxes II, who was murdered the following year. This ended the legitimate Achemenian line, the next king, Darius II (styled Nothos, or "bastard," as well as Ochos), being one of Artaxerxes’ illegitimate sons (we pass over Sogdianus’ brief reign).

8. Artaxerxes II:

Artaxerxes II, Mnemon, succeeded his father and left the throne to his son Artaxerxes III, Ochos. The latter was murdered with all his sons but the youngest, Arses, by an Egyptian eunuch Bagoas, probably in revenge for Artaxerxes’ conduct in Egypt (338 BC).

9. Xerxes II:

Arses was murdered by Bagoas 3 years later, when Darius III, Codomannus, the son of Sisygambis, daughter of Artaxerxes II, and her husband, a Persian noble, ascended the throne.

10. Later Persian Kings:

Darius was completely overthrown by Alexander the Great in the battle of Gaugamela or Arbela, 331 BC, and shortly after fell by an assassin’s hand. This ended the Persian empire of the Achaemenides, the whole of the lands composing it becoming part of the empire of Macedon.

IV. First Mention in Inscriptions.

Persia (Parsua) is first mentioned as a country in an inscription of Rammanu Nirari III (WAI, I, plate 35, number 1, l. 8), who boasts of having conquered it and other lands (he reigned from 812 to 783 or from 810 to 781 BC).


Besides the main authorities mentioned in the text, we learn much from Spiegel, Die Altper-sischen Keilinschriften, Arrian, Thucydides, Polybius, Strabo, Curtius.

W. St. Clair Tisdall


pur’-sis (Persis): The name of a female member of the Christian community at Rome, to whom Paul sent greetings (Ro 16:12). Paul designates her "the beloved, who labored much in the Lord." The name is not found in inscriptions of the imperial household, but it occurs as the name of a freedwoman (CIL, VI, 23, 959).


Method of the Article

I. THE TEACHING OF PAUL 1. Philippians 2:5-9

(1) General Drift of Passage

(2) our Lord’s Intrinsic Deity

(3) No Examination

(4) our Lord’s Humanity

2. Other Pauline Passages


Hebrews 2:1 ff

(1) Background of Express Deity

(2) Completeness of Humanity

(3) Continued Possession of Deity



1. The Epistles

2. Prologue to the Gospel

(1) The Being Who Was Incarnated

(2) The Incarnation

(3) The Incarnated Person

3. The Gospel



1. The Johannine Jesus

(1) His Higher Nature

(2) His Humiliation

2. The Synoptic Jesus

(1) His Deity

(a) Mark 13:32

(b) Other Passages: Son of Man and Son of God

(c) Matthew 11:27; 28:19

(2) His Humanity

(3) Unity of the Person




Method of the Article:

It is the purpose of this article to make as clear as possible the conception of the Person of Christ, in the technical sense of that term, which lies on—or, if we prefer to say so, beneath—the pages of the New Testament. Were it its purpose to trace out the process by which this great mystery has been revealed to men, a beginning would need to be taken from the intimations as to the nature of the person of the Messiah in Old Testament prophecy, and an attempt would require to be made to discriminate the exact contribution of each organ of revelation to our knowledge. And were there added to this a desire to ascertain the progress of the apprehension of this mystery by men, there would be demanded a further inquiry into the exact degree of understanding which was brought to the truth revealed at each stage of its revelation. The magnitudes with which such investigations deal, however, are very minute; and the profit to be derived from them is not, in a case like the present, very great. It is, of course, of importance to know how the person of the Messiah was represented in the predictions of the Old Testament; and it is a matter at least of interest to note, for example, the difficulty experienced by our Lord’s immediate disciples in comprehending all that was involved in His manifestation. But, after all, the constitution of our Lord’s person is a matter of revelation, not of human thought; and it is preeminently a revelation of the New Testament, not of the Old Testament. And the New Testament is all the product of a single movement, at a single stage of its development, and therefore presents in its fundamental teaching a common character. The whole of the New Testament was written within the limits of about half a century; or, if we except the writings of John, within the narrow bounds of a couple of decades; and the entire body of writings which enter into it are so much of a piece that it may be plausibly represented that they all bear the stamp of a single mind. In its fundamental teaching, the New Testament lends itself, therefore, more readily to what is called dogmatic than to what is called genetic treatment; and we shall penetrate most surely into its essential meaning if we take our start from its clearest and fullest statements, and permit their light to be thrown upon its more incidental allusions. This is peculiarly the case with such a matter as the person of Christ, which is dealt with chiefly incidentally, as a thing already understood by all, and needing only to be alluded to rather than formally expounded. That we may interpret these allusions aright, it is requisite that we should recover from the first the common conception which underlies them all.

I. Teaching of Paul.

1. Philippians 2:5-9:

(1) General Drift of the Passage.

We begin, then, with the most didactic of the New Testament writers, the apostle Paul, and with one of the passages in which he most fully intimates his conception of the person of his Lord, Php 2:5-9. Even here, however, Paul is not formally expounding the doctrine of the Person of Christ; he is only alluding to certain facts concerning His person and action perfectly well known to his readers, in order that he may give point to an adduction of Christ’s example. He is exhorting his readers to unselfishness, such unselfishness as esteems others better than ourselves, and looks not only on our own things but also on those of others. Precisely this unselfishness, he declares, was exemplified by our Lord. He did not look upon His own things but the things of others; that is to say, He did not stand upon His rights, but was willing to forego all that He might justly have claimed for Himself for the good of others. For, says Paul, though, as we all know, in His intrinsic nature He was nothing other than God, yet He did not, as we all know right well, look greedily on His condition of equality with God, but made no account of Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and, being found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself, becoming obedient up to death itself, and that, the death of the cross. The statement is thrown into historical form; it tells the story of Christ’s life on earth. But it presents His life on earth as a life in all its elements alien to His intrinsic nature, and assumed only in the performance of an unselfish purpose. On earth He lived as a man, and subjected Himself to the common lot of men. But He was not by nature a man, nor was He in His own nature subject to the fortunes of human life. By nature He was God; and He would have naturally lived as became God—‘on an equality with God.’ He became man by a voluntary act, ‘taking no account of Himself,’ and, having become man, He voluntarily lived out His human life under the conditions which the fulfillment of His unselfish purpose imposed on Him.

(2) Our Lord’s Intrinsic Deity.

The terms in which these great affirmations are made deserve the most careful attention. The language in which our Lord’s intrinsic Deity is expressed, for example, is probably as strong as any that could be devised. Paul does not say simply, "He was God." He says, "He was in the form of God," employing a turn of speech which throws emphasis upon our Lord’s possession of the specific quality of God. "Form" is a term which expresses the sum of those characterizing qualities which make a thing the precise thing that it is. Thus, the "form" of a sword (in this case mostly matters of external configuration) is all that makes a given piece of metal specifically a sword, rather than, say, a spade. And "the form of God" is the sum of the characteristics which make the being we call "God," specifically God, rather than some other being—an angel, say, or a man. When our Lord is said to be in "the form of God," therefore, He is declared, in the most express manner possible, to be all that God is, to possess the whole fullness of attributes which make God God. Paul chooses this manner of expressing himself here instinctively, because, in adducing our Lord as our example of self-abnegation; his mind is naturally resting, not on the bare fact that He is God, but on the richness and fullness of His being as God. He was all this, yet He did not look on His own things but on those of others.

It should be carefully observed also that in making this great affirmation concerning our Lord, Paul does not throw it distinctively into the past, as if he were describing a mode of being formerly our Lord’s, indeed, but no longer His because of the action by which He became our example of unselfishness. our Lord, he says, "being," "existing," "subsisting" "in the form of God"—as it is variously rendered. The rendering proposed by the Revised Version margin, "being originally," while right in substance, is somewhat misleading. The verb employed means "strictly ‘to be beforehand,’ ‘to be already’ so and so" (Blass, Grammar of New Testament Greek, English translation, 244), "to be there and ready," and intimates the existing circumstances, disposition of mind, or, as here, mode of subsistence in which the action to be described takes place. It contains no intimation, however, of the cessation of these circumstances or disposition, or mode of subsistence; and that, the less in a case like the present, where it is cast in a tense (the imperfect) which in no way suggests that the mode of subsistence intimated came to an end in the action described by the succeeding verb (compare the parallels: Lu 16:14,23; 23:50; Ac 2:30; 3:2; 2Co 8:17; 12:16; Ga 1:14). Paul is not telling us here, then, what our Lord was once, but rather what He already was, or, better, what in His intrinsic nature He is; he is not describing a past mode of existence of our Lord, before the action he is adducing as an example took place—although the mode of existence he describes was our Lord’s mode of existence before this action—so much as painting in the background upon which the action adduced may be thrown up into prominence. He is telling us who and what He is who did these things for us, that we may appreciate how great the things He did for us are.

(3) No Examination.

And here it is important to observe that the whole of the action adduced is thrown up thus against this background—not only its negative description to the effect that our Lord (although all that God is) did not look greedily on His (consequent) being on an equality with God; but its positive description as well, introduced by the "but ...." and that in both of its elements, not merely that to the effect (Php 2:7) that ‘he took no account of himself’ (rendered not badly by the King James Version, He "made himself of no reputation"; but quite misleading by the Revised Version (British and American), He "emptied himself"), but equally that to the effect (Php 2:8) that "he humbled himself." It is the whole of what our Lord is described as doing in Php 2:6-8, that He is described as doing despite His "subsistence in the form of God." So far is Paul from intimating, therefore, that our Lord laid aside His Deity in entering upon His life on earth, that he rather asserts that He retained His Deity throughout His life on earth, and in the whole course of His humiliation, up to death itself, was consciously ever exercising self-abnegation, living a life which did not by nature belong to Him, which stood in fact in direct contradiction to the life which was naturally His. It is this underlying implication which determines the whole choice of the language in which our Lord’s earthly life is described. It is because it is kept in mind that He still was "in the form of God," that is, that He still had in possession all that body of characterizing qualities by which God is made God, for example, that He is said to have been made, not man, but "in the likeness of man," to have been found, not man, but "in fashion as a man"; and that the wonder of His servanthood and obedience, the mark of servanthood, is thought of as so great. Though He was truly man, He was much more than man; and Paul would not have his readers imagine that He had become merely man. In other words, Paul does not teach that our Lord was once God but had become instead man; he teaches that though He was God, He had become also man.

An impression that Paul means to imply, that in entering upon His earthly life our Lord had laid aside His Deity, may be created by a very prevalent misinterpretation of the central clause of his statement—a misinterpretation unfortunately given currency by the rendering of English Revised Version: "counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied himself," varied without improvement in the American Standard Revised Version to: "counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself." The former (negative) member of this clause means just: He did not look greedily upon His being on an equality with God; did not "set supreme store" by it (see Lightfoot on the clause). The latter (positive) member of it, however, cannot mean in tithesis to this, that He therefore "emptied himself," divested Himself of this, His being on an equality with God, much less that He "emptied himself," divested Himself of His Deity ("form of God") itself, of which His being on an equality with God is the manifested consequence. The verb here rendered "emptied" is in constant use in a metaphorical sense (so only in the New Testament: Ro 4:14; 1Co 1:17; 9:15; 2Co 9:3) and cannot here be taken literally. This is already apparent from the definition of the manner in which the "emptying" is said to have been accomplished, supplied by the modal clause which is at once attached: by "taking the form of servant." You cannot "empty" by "taking"—adding. It is equally apparent, however, from the strength of the emphasis which, by its position, is thrown upon the "himself." We may speak of our Lord as "emptying Himself" of something else, but scarcely, with this strength of emphasis, of His "emptying Himself" of something else. This emphatic "Himself," interposed between the preceding clause and the verb rendered "emptied," builds a barrier over which we cannot climb backward in search of that of which our Lord emptied Himself. The whole thought is necessarily contained in the two words, "emptied himself," in which the word "emptied" must therefore be taken in a sense analogous to that which it bears in the other passages in the New Testament where it occurs. Paul, in a word, says here nothing more than that our Lord, who did not look with greedy eyes upon His estate of equality with God, emptied Himself, if the language may be pardoned, of Himself; that is to say, in precise accordance with the exhortation for the enhancement of which His example is adduced, that He did not look on His own things. ‘He made no account of Himself,’ we may fairly paraphrase the clause; and thus all question of what He emptied Himself of falls away. What our Lord actually did, according to Paul, is expressed in the following clauses; those now before us express more the moral character of His act. He took "the form of a servant," and so was "made in the likeness of men." But His doing this showed that He did not set overweening store by His state of equality with God, and did not account Himself the sufficient object of all the efforts. He was not self-regarding: He had regard for others. Thus, He becomes our supreme example of self-abnegating conduct.

See also KENOSIS.

(4) Our Lord’s Humanity.

The language in which the act by which our Lord showed that He was self-abnegating is described, requires to be taken in its complete meaning. He took "the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men," says Paul. The term "form" here, of course, bears the same full meaning as in the preceding instance of its occurrence in the phrase "the form of God." It imparts the specific quality, the whole body of characteristics, by which a servant is made what we know as a servant, our Lord assumed, then, according to Paul, not the mere state or condition or outward appearance of a servant, but the reality; He became an actual "servant" in the world. The act by which He did this is described as a "taking," or, as it has become customary from this description of it to phrase it, as an "assumption." What is meant is that our Lord took up into His personality a human nature; and therefore it is immediately explained that He took the form of a servant by "being made in the likeness of men." That the apostle does not say, shortly, that He assumed a human nature, is due to the engagement of his mind with the contrast which he wishes to bring out forcibly for the enhancement of his appeal to our Lord’s example, between what our Lord is by nature and what He was willing to become, not looking on His own things but also on the things of others. This contrast is, no doubt, embodied in the simple opposition of God and man; it is much more pungently expressed in the qualificative terms, "form of God" and "form of a servant." The Lord of the world became a servant in the world; He whose right it was to rule took obedience as His life-characteristic. Naturally therefore Paul employs here a word of quality rather than a word of mere nature; and then defines his meaning in this word of quality by a further epexegetical clause. This further clause—"being made in the likeness of men"—does not throw doubt on the reality of the human nature that was assumed, in contradiction to the emphasis on its reality in the phrase "the form of a servant." It, along with the succeeding clause—"and being found in fashion as a man"—owes its peculiar form, as has already been pointed out, to the vividness of the apostle’s consciousness, that he is speaking of one who, though really man, possessing all that makes a man a man, is yet, at the same time, infinitely more than a man, no less than God Himself, in possession of all that makes God God. Christ Jesus is in his view, therefore (as in the view of his readers, for he is not instructing his readers here as to the nature of Christ’s person, but reminding them of certain elements in it for the purposes of his exhortation), both God and man, God who has assumed man into personal union with Himself, and has in this His assumed manhood lived out a human life on earth.

2. Other Pauline Passages:

The elements of Paul’s conception of the person of Christ are brought before us in this suggestive passage with unwonted fullness. But they all receive endless illustration from his occasional allusions to them, one or another, throughout his Epistles. The leading motive of this passage, for example, reappears quite perfectly in 2Co 8:9, where we are exhorted to imitate the graciousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who became for our sakes (emphatic) poor—He who was (again an imperfect participle, and therefore without suggestion of the cessation of the condition described) rich—that we might by His (very emphatic) poverty be made rich. Here the change in our Lord’s condition at a point of time perfectly understood between the writer and his readers is adverted to and assigned to its motive, but no further definition is given of the nature of either condition referred to. We are brought closer to the precise nature of the act by which the change was wrought by such a passage as Ga 4:4. We read that "When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law." The whole transaction is referred to the Father in fulfillment of His eternal plan of redemption, and it is described specifically as an incarnation: the Son of God is born of a woman—He who is in His own nature the Son of God, abiding with God, is sent forth from God in such a manner as to be born a human being, subject to law. The primary implications are that this was not the beginning of His being; but that before this He was neither a man nor subject to law. But there is no suggestion that on becoming man and subject to law, He ceased to be the Son of God or lost anything intimated by that high designation. The uniqueness of His relation to God as His Son is emphasized in a kindred passage (Ro 8:3) by the heightening of the designation to that of God’s "own Son," and His distinction from other men is intimated in the same passage by the declaration that God sent Him, not in sinful flesh, but only the likeness of sinful flesh." The reality of our Lord’s flesh is not thrown into doubt by this turn of speech, but His freedom from the sin which is associated with flesh as it exists in lost humanity is asserted (compare 2Co 5:21). Though true man, therefore (1Co 15:21; Ro 5:21; Ac 17:31), He is not without differences from other men; and these differences do not concern merely the condition (as sinful) in which men presently find themselves; but also their very origin: they are from below, He from above—‘the first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven’ (1Co 15:47). This is His peculiarity: He was born of a woman like other men; yet He descended from heaven (compare Eph 4:9; Joh 3:13). It is not meant, of course, that already in heaven He was a man; what is meant is that even though man He derives His origin in an exceptional sense from heaven. Paul describes what He was in heaven (but not alone in heaven)—that is to say before He was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh (though not alone before this)—in the great terms of "God’s Son," "God’s own Son," "the form of God," or yet again in words whose import cannot be mistaken, ‘God over all’ (Ro 9:5). In the last cited passage, together with its parallel earlier in the same epistle (Ro 1:3), the two sides or elements of our Lord’s person are brought into collocation after a fashion that can leave no doubt of Paul’s conception of His twofold nature. In the earlier of these passages he tells us that Jesus Christ was born, indeed, of the seed of David according to the flesh, that is, so far as the human side of His being is concerned, but was powerfully marked out as the Son of God according to the Spirit of Holiness, that is, with respect to His higher nature, by the resurrection of the dead, which in a true sense began in His own rising from the dead. In the later of them, he tells us that Christ sprang indeed, as concerns the flesh, that is on the human side of His being, from Israel, but that, despite this earthly origin of His human nature, He yet is and abides (present participle) nothing less than the Supreme God, "God over all (emphatic), blessed forever." Thus Paul teaches us that by His coming forth from God to be born of woman, our Lord, assuming a human nature to Himself, has, while remaining the Supreme God, become also true and perfect man. Accordingly, in a context in which the resources of language are strained to the utmost to make the exaltation of our Lord’s being clear—in which He is described as the image of the invisible God, whose being antedates all that is created, whom, through whom and to whom all things have been created, and in whom they all subsist—we are told not only that (naturally) in Him all the fulhess dwells (Col 1:19), but, with complete explication, that ‘all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in him bodily’ (Col 2:9); that is to say, the very Deity of God, that which makes God God, in all its completeness, has its permanent home in our Lord, and that in a "bodily fashion," that is, it is in Him clothed with a body. He who looks upon Jesus Christ sees, no doubt, a body and a man; but as he sees the man clothed with the body, so he sees God Himself, in all the fullness of His Deity clothed with the humanity. Jesus Christ is therefore God "manifested in the flesh" (1Ti 3:16), and His appearance on earth is an "epiphany" (2Ti 1:10), which is the technical term for manifestations on earth of a God. Though truly man, He is nevertheless also our "great God" (Tit 2:13).

II. Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

The conception of the person of Christ which underlies and finds expression in the Epistle to the Hebrews is indistinguishable from that which governs all the allusions to our Lord in the Epistles of Paul. To the author of this epistle our Lord is above all else the Son of God in the most eminent sense of that word; and it is the divine dignity and majesty belonging to Him from His very nature which forms the fundamental feature of the image of Christ which stands before his mind. And yet it is this author who, perhaps above all others of the New Testament writers, emphasizes the truth of the humanity of Christ, and dwells with most particularity upon the elements of His human nature and experience.

Hebrews 2:1 ff:

(1) Background of Express Deity.

The great Christological passage which fills Hebrews 2 of the Epistle to the Hebrews rivals in its richness and fullness of detail, and its breadth of implication, that of Philippians 2. It is thrown up against the background of the remarkable exposition of the divine dignity of the Son which occupies Hebrews 1 (notice the "therefore" of 2:1). There the Son had been declared to be "the effulgence of his (God’s) glory, and the very image of his substance," through whom the universe has been created and by the word of whose power all things are held in being; and His exaltation above the angels, by means of whom the Old Covenant had been inaugurated, is measured by the difference between the designations "ministering spirits" proper to the one, and the Son of God, nay, God itself (1:8,9), proper to the other. The purpose of the succeeding statement is to enhance in the thought of the Jewish readers of the epistle the value of the salvation wrought by this divine Saviour, by removing from their minds the offense they were in danger of taking at His lowly life and shameful death on earth. This earthly humiliation finds its abundant justification, we are told, in the greatness of the end which it sought and attained. By it our Lord has, with His strong feet, broken out a pathway along which, in Him, sinful man may at length climb up to the high destiny which was promised him when it was declared he should have dominion over all creation. Jesus Christ stooped only to conquer, and He stooped to conquer not for Himself (for He was in His own person no less than God), but for us.

(2) Completeness of Humanity.

The language in which the humiliation of the Son of God is in the first instance described is derived from the context. The establishment of His divine majesty in chapter 1 had taken the form of an exposition of His infinite exaltation above the angels, the highest of all creatures. His humiliation is described here therefore as being "made a little lower than the angels" (Heb 2:9). What is meant is simply that He became man; the phraseology is derived from Ps 8 the King James Version, from which had just been cited the declaration that God had made man (despite his insignificance) "but a little lower than the angels," thus crowning him with glory and honor. The adoption of the language of the psalm to describe our Lord’s humiliation has the secondary effect, accordingly, of greatly enlarging the reader’s sense of the immensity of the humiliation of the Son of God in becoming man: He descended an infinite distance to reach man’s highest conceivable exaltation. As, however, the primary purpose of the adoption of the language is merely to declare that the Son of God became man, so it is shortly afterward explained (Heb 2:14) as an entering into participation in the blood and flesh which are common to men: "Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same." The voluntariness, the reality the completeness of the assumption of humanity by the Son of God, are all here emphasized.

The proximate end of our Lord’s assumption of humanity is declared to be that He might die; He was "made a little lower than the angels .... because of the suffering of death" (Heb 2:9); He took part in blood and flesh in order that through death ...."( Heb 2:14). The Son of God as such could not die; to Him belongs by nature an "indissoluble life" (Heb 7:16 margin). If He was to die, therefore, He must take to Himself another nature to which the experience of death were not impossible (Heb 2:17). Of course it is not meant that death was desired by Him for its own sake. The purpose of our passage is to save its Jewish readers from the offense of the death of Christ. What they are bidden to observe is, therefore, Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels because of the suffering of death, ‘crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God the bitterness of death which he tasted might redound to the benefit of every man’ (Heb 2:9), and the argument is immediately pressed home that it was eminently suitable for God Almighty, in bringing many sons into glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect (as a Saviour) by means of suffering. The meaning is that it was only through suffering that these men, being sinners could be brought into glory. And therefore in the plainer statement of Heb 2:14 we read that our Lord took part in flesh and blood in order "that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage"; and in the still plainer statement of 2:17 that the ultimate object of His assimilation to men was that He might "make propitiation for the sins of the people." It is for the salvation of sinners that our Lord has come into the world; but, as that salvation can be wrought only by suffering and death, the proximate end of His assumption of humanity remains that He might die; whatever is more than this gathers around this.

The completeness of our Lord’s assumption of humanity and of His identification of Himself with it receives strong emphasis in this passage. He took part in the flesh and blood which is the common heritage of men, after the same fashion that other men participate in it (Heb 2:14); and, having thus become a man among men, He shared with other men the ordinary circumstances and fortunes of life, "in all things" (Heb 2:17). The stress is laid on trials, sufferings, death; but this is due to the actual course in which His life ran—and that it might run in which He became man—and is not exclusive of other human experiences. What is intended is that He became truly a man, and lived a truly human life, subject to all the experiences natural to a man in the particular circumstances in which He lived.

(3) Continued Possession of Deity.

It is not implied, however, that during this human life—"the days of his flesh" (Heb 5:7)—He had ceased to be God, or to have at His disposal the attributes which belonged to Him as God. That is already excluded by the representations of Hebrews 1. The glory of this dispensation consists precisely in the bringing of its revelations directly by the divine Son rather than by mere prophets (1:1), and it was as the effulgence of God’s glory and the express image of His substance, upholding the universe by the word of His power, that this Son made purification of sins (1:3). Indeed, we are expressly told that even in the days of the flesh, He continued still a Son (5:8), and that it was precisely in this that the wonder lay: that though He was and remained (imperfect participle) a Son, He yet learned the obedience He had set Himself to (compare Php 2:8) by the things which He suffered. Similarly, we are told not only that, though an Israelite of the tribe of Judah, He possessed "the power of an indissoluble life" (Heb 7:16 margin), but, describing that higher nature which gave Him this power as an "eternal Spirit" (compare "spirit of holiness," Ro 1:4), that it was through this eternal Spirit that He could offer Himself without blemish unto God, a real and sufficing sacrifice, in contrast with the shadows of the Old Covenant (Heb 9:14). Though a man, therefore, and truly man, sprung out of Judah (Heb 7:14), touched with the feeling of human infirmities (Heb 4:15), and tempted like as we are, He was not altogether like other men. For one thing, He was "without sin" (Heb 4:15; 7:26), and, by this characteristic, He was, in every sense of the words, separated from sinners. Despite the completeness of His identification with men, He remained, therefore, even in the days of His flesh different from them and above them.

III. Teaching of Other Epistles.

It is only as we carry this conception of the person of our Lord with us—the conception of Him as at once our Supreme Lord, to whom our adoration is due, and our fellow in the experiences of a human life—that unity is induced in the multiform allusions to Him throughout, whether the Epistles of Paul or the Epistle to the Hebrews, or, indeed, the other epistolary literature of the New Testament. For in this matter there is no difference between those and these. There are no doubt a few passages in these other letters in which a plurality of the elements of the person of Christ are brought together and given detailed mention. In 1Pe 3:18, for instance, the two constitutive elements of His person are spoken of in the contrast, familiar from Paul, of the "flesh" and the "spirit." But ordinarily we meet only with references to this or that element separately. Everywhere our Lord is spoken of as having lived out His life as a man; but everywhere also He is spoken of with the supreme reverence which is due to God alone, and the very name of God is not withheld from Him. In 1Pe 1:11 His pre-existence is taken for granted; in Jas 2:1 He is identified with the Shekinah, the manifested Yahweh—‘our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory’; in Jude verse 4 He is "our only Master (Despot) and Lord"; over and over again He is the divine Lord who is Yahweh (e.g. 1Pe 2:3,13; 2Pe 3:2,18); in 2Pe 1:1, He is roundly called "our God and Saviour." There is nowhere formal inculcation of the entire doctrine of the person of Christ. But everywhere its elements, now one and now another, are presupposed as the common property of writer and readers. It is only in the Epistles of John that this easy and unstudied presupposition of them gives way to pointed insistence upon them.


IV. Teaching of John.

1. The Epistles:

In the circumstances in which he wrote, John found it necessary to insist upon the elements of the person of our Lord—His true Deity, His true humanity and the unity of His person—in a manner which is more didactic in form than anything we find in the other writings in form than anything we find in the other writings of New Testament. The great depository of his teaching on the subject is, of course, the prologue to his Gospel. But it is not merely in this prologue, nor in the Gospel to which it forms a fitting introduction, that these didactic statements are found. The full emphasis of John’s witness to the twofold nature of the Lord is brought out, indeed, only by combining what he says in the Gospel and in the Epistles. "In the Gospel," remarks Westcott (on Joh 20:31), "the evangelist shows step by step that the historical Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God (opposed to mere ‘flesh’); in the Epistle he reaffirms that the Christ, the Son of God, was true man (opposed to mere ‘spirit’; 1 Joh 4:2)." What John is concerned to show throughout is that it was "the true God" (1 Joh 5:20) who was "made flesh" (Joh 1:14); and that this ‘only God’ (Joh 1:18, the Revised Version margin "God only begotten") has truly come "in .... flesh" (1 Joh 4:2). In all the universe there is no other being of whom it can be said that He is God come in flesh (compare 2 Joh 1:7, He that "cometh in the flesh," whose characteristic this is). And of all the marvels which have ever occurred in the marvelous history of the universe, this is the greatest—that ‘what was from the beginning’ (1 Joh 2:13,14) has been heard and gazed upon, seen and handled by men (1 Joh 1:1).

2. Prologue to the Gospel:

From the point of view from which we now approach it, the prologue to the Gospel of John may be said to fall into three parts. In the first of these, the nature of the Being who became incarnate in the person we know as Jesus Christ is described; in the second, the general nature of the act we call the incarnation; and in the third, the nature of the incarnated person.


(1) The Being Who Was Incarnated.

John here calls the person who became incarnate by a name peculiar to himself in the New Testament—the Logos or "Word." According to the predicates which he here applies to Him, he can mean by the "Word" nothing else but God Himself, "considered in His creative, operative, self-revealing, and communicating character," the sum total of what is divine (C.F. Schmid). In three crisp sentences he declares at the outset His eternal subsistence, His eternal intercommunion with God, His eternal identity with God: ‘In the beginning the Word was; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God’ (Joh 1:1). "In the beginning," at that point of time when things first began to be (Ge 1:1), the Word already "was." He antedates the beginning of all things. And He not merely antedates them, but it is immediately added that He is Himself the creator of all that is: ‘All things were made by him, and apart from him was not made one thing that hath been made’ (Joh 1:3). Thus He is taken out of the category of creatures altogether. Accordingly, what is said of Him is not that He was the first of existences to come into being—that ‘in the beginning He already had come into being’—but that ‘in the beginning, when things began to come into being, He already was.’ It is express eternity of being that is asserted: "the imperfect tense of the original suggests in this relation, as far as human language can do so, the notion of absolute, supra-temporal existence" (Westcott). This, His eternal subsistence, was not, however, in isolation: "And the Word was with God." The language is pregnant. It is not merely coexistence with God that is asserted, as of two beings standing side by side, united in a local relation, or even in a common conception. What is suggested is an active relation of intercourse. The distinct personality of the Word is therefore not obscurely intimatead. From all eternity the Word has been with God as fellow: He who in the very beginning already "was," "was" also in communion with God. Though He was thus in some sense a second along with God, He was nevertheless not a separate being from God: "And the Word was"—still the eternal "was"—"God." In some sense distinguishable from God, He was in an equally true sense identical with God. There is but one eternal God; this eternal God, the Word is; in whatever sense we may distinguish Him from the God whom He is "with," He is yet not another than this God, but Himself is this God. The predicate "God" occupies the position of emphasis in this great declaration, and is so placed in the sentence as to be thrown up in sharp contrast with the phrase "with God," as if to prevent inadequate inferences as to the nature of the Word being drawn even momentarily from that phrase. John would have us realize that what the Word was in eternity was not merely God’s coeternal fellow, but the eternal God’s self.

(2) The Incarnation.

Now, John tells us that it was this Word, eternal in His subsistence, God’s eternal fellow, the eternal God’s self, that, as "come in the flesh," was Jesus Christ (1 Joh 4:2). "And the Word became flesh" (Joh 1:14), he says. The terms he employs here are not terms of substance, but of personality. The meaning is not that the substance of God was transmuted into that substance which we call "flesh." "The Word" is a personal name of the eternal God; "flesh" is an appropriate designation of humanity in its entirety, with the implications of dependence and weakness. The meaning, then, is simply that He who had just been described as the eternal God became, by a voluntary act in time, a man. The exact nature of the act by which He "became" man lies outside the statement; it was matter of common knowledge between the writer and the reader. The language employed intimates merely that it was a definite act, and that it involved a change in the life-history of the eternal God, here designated "the Word." The whole emphasis falls on the nature of this change in His life-history. He became flesh. That is to say, He entered upon a mode of existence in which the experiences that belong to human beings would also be His. The dependence, the weakness, which constitute the very idea of flesh, in contrast with God, would now enter into His personal experience. And it is precisely because these are the connotations of the term "flesh" that John chooses that term here, instead of the more simply denotative term "man." What he means is merely that the eternal God became man. But he elects to say this in the language which throws best up to view what it is to become man. The contrast between the Word as the eternal God and the human nature which He assumed as flesh, is the hinge of the statement. Had the evangelist said (as he does in 1 Joh 4:2) that the Word ‘came in flesh,’ it would have been the continuity through the change which would have been most emphasized. When he says rather that the Word became flesh, while the continuity of the personal subject is, of course, intimatead, it is the reality and the completeness of the humanity assumed which is made most prominent.

(3) The Incarnated Person.

That in becoming flesh the Word did not cease to be what He was before entering upon this new sphere of experiences, the evangelist does not leave, however, to mere suggestion. The glory o