NAAMAN

The highly esteemed general of Ben-hadad, king of Damascene Syria in the time of Joram king of Israel. He was afflicted with the leprosy; but was miraculously cured, on washing seven times in the Jordam, Le 14:7, according to the direction of Elisha, 2Ki 5:1- 27; Lu 4:27. He had found all his honor and power valueless, and all physicians of no avail for his cure; was led to renounce his pride, and avail himself of the simple remedy prescribed; and being cured, was grateful not only to the prophet, but to the prophet’s God. He frankly yielded other evidence which probed that Jehovah was the living and true God; and took home with him two mule-loads of earth, for an altar to the Lord, Ex 20:24. With respect to his attending Ben-hadad while in the temple of Rimmon, the prophet gave him no precise rule; discerning, we may suppose, a growing fear and love of God which would preserve him from all even outward homage to the idol.

NABAL

Foolish, a descendant of Caleb, owner of a large property in lands and flocks, at Maon and Carmel in the south of Judah. He was under great obligations to David, for protecting him from the robbers of the desert; and yet, in the very hour most suggestive of a grateful generosity, he churlishly refused David’s modest request of provisions for his needy troop. Indignant at this ingratitude and inhospitality, David was soon on his way to put him and his men to the sword. Happily, the discreet intervention of Abigail averted this catastrophe. Ten days after, the lord smote him, and he died, 1Sa 25:1-43. See ABIGAIL.

NABOTH

An Israelite at Jezreel, who declined selling his ancestral vineyard to Ahab, Le 25:23,24; and was in consequence murdered, on a false charge of blasphemy contrived by Jezebel the queen. Ahab took immediate possession of the coveted vineyard—perhaps as being legally for forfeited to the government, construing blasphemy as treason; or it may be, that the heirs were deterred from asserting their claim by a dread of the unscrupulous arts of Jezebel. Elijah, however, did not fear to denounce against the king and queen the vengeance of One "higher than they," 1Ki 21:1-29 2Ki 9:24-26,36 Ec 5:8.

NADAB

1. The oldest son of Aaron, slain by the lord for presumptuously offering strange fire on the altar of burnt offering, Le 10:1-20. See ABIHU.

2. Son of Jeroboam I. King of Israel. He succeeded his father, B. C. 954, and reigned but two years, being assassinated, while besieging Gibbethon, by Baasha, of the tribe of Issachar, who usurped his kingdom. Nadab did evil in the sight of the Lord; and with him perished his children and the race of Jeroboam, as God had foretold, 1Ki 15:25-30.

NAHASH

1. A king of the Ammonites, defeated by Saul while besieging Ramothgilead, 1Sa 11:1-15. He, or as some think, his son of the same name, was on friendly terms with David, 2Sa 10:2

2. The father of Zeruiah and Abigail, David’s half-sisters, 2Sa 17:25 1Ch 2:13-16. Nahash, however, may have been another name for Jesse; or possibly the name of his wife.

NAHOR

1. Son of Serug, and father of Terah, Ge 11:22-25 Lu 3:34.

2. Son of Terah, and brother of Abraham and Haran. He married Milcah his niece in Ur of the Chaldees, Ge 11:26,29, but seems to have transferred his residence to Haran, Ge 24:10 27:43. He had twelve sons, and among them Bethuel the father of Rebekah, Ge 22:20-24.

NAHSHON or NAASSON

One of our Lord’s ancestors, Mt 1:4 Lu 3:32; chief of the tribe of Judah in the desert, Nu 1:7 2:3 7:12; and brother-in-law of Aaron, Ex 6:23 Ru 4:20 1Ch 2:10.

NAHUM

Consolation, the seventh of the twelve minor prophets. The circumstances of Nahum’s life are unknown, except that he was a native of Elkosh, which probably was a village in Galilee. His prophecy consists of three chapters, which form one discourse, in which he foretells the destruction of Nineveh in so powerful and vivid a manner, that he might seem to have been on the very spot. The native elegance, fire, and sublimity of his style are universally admired.

Opinions are divided as to the time in which Nahum prophesied. The best interpreters adopt Jerome’s opinion, that he foretold the destruction of Nineveh in the time of Hezekiah, after the war of Sennacherib in Egypt mentioned by Berosus. Compare Isa 20:6 Na 3:8. Nahum speaks of the taking of shakeh, and of the defeat of Sennacherib, as things that were past. He implies that the tribe of Judah was still in their own country, and that they there celebrated their festivals. He notices also the captivity and dispersion of the ten tribes.

NAIL

The "nail" with which Jael killed Sisera was rather a tent-pin, such as is driven into the ground in order to fasten the cords of the tent, Ex 27:19 Jud 4:21-22. Sometimes the Hebrew word is used for the wooden pins or iron spikes firmly inwrought into the walls of a building, Ezr 9:8 Eze 15:3. The word implies fixedness, Isa 22:23; and a firm support, Zec 10:4. Another Hebrew word describes the golden and ornamental nails of the temple, etc., 2Ch 3:9 Ec 12:11 Isa 41:7 Jer 10:4.

NAIN

Where Christ performed one of his chief miracles, in raising to life a widow’s only son, Lu 7:11-17, was a small village in Galilee, three miles south by west of Mount Tabor: It is now a petty hamlet, called Nein.

NAIOTH

The abode of Samuel, and his pupils in a "school of the prophets," 1Sa 19:18-24 20:1. It appears to have been a suburb of Ramah; and David, having sought refuge there with Samuel, was pursued by Saul.

NAKED

In the Bible, often means no more than "not fully dressed." So in Joh 21:7, Peter is said to have been "naked," that is, he had laid off his outer garment, and had on only his inner garment or tunic. See GARMENT. So probably in Isa 20:2 Mic 1:8 Ac 19:16. Sometimes poorness and insufficiency of clothing are meant, as in Jas 2:15. So in Isa 58:7 2Co 11:27. A nation is said to be "naked," when stripped of its defenses, wealth, etc., Ge 42:9 Ex 32:25 2Ch 28:19.

"Nakedness" is also put for shame. To "uncover the nakedness" denotes an unlawful or incestuous union, Le 20:19.

NAMES

Among the Hebrews were frequently significant; sometimes of a family trait, and sometimes of circumstances attending the birth of a child; often too they were assumed afterwards to commemorate some striking occurrence in one’s history. Compare the cases of Ishmael, Esau, and Jacob, Moses, Ichabod, etc., Ge 16:16 25:25,26 Ex 2:10 1Sa 4:21.

Compound names were frequent; and often a part of the name of God, JAH EL, JEHO, etc., was employed as in Eliezer, Ex 18:4, Amuel, Josiah, Adonijah. Sometimes a whole phrase was formed into a name; as Elioneai, to Jehovah are mine eyes, 1Ch 4:36. The New Testament names are chiefly ancient and family names perpetuated, Lu 1:61. The men of the East change their names for slight causes; and hence many persons occur in the Bible bearing tow or more names, Ru 1:20 2Sa 23:8 Joh 1:42. Kings often changed the names of those to whom they gave offices, Da 1:6,7; hence the honor and privilege implied in a "new name," Re 2:17. Many slight inflections of the same Hebrew name give it a very different appearance to an English eye, as Geshem and Gashmu, Ne 6:1,6.

A Hebrew name was sometimes transferred to the Greek, with but little change: Elijah became Elias, or Elie. But sometimes it was exchanged for the Greek word of the same meaning, though very different in form; Thomas became Didymus, and Tabitha, Dorcas. The "name" of God is put for God himself, or for his perfections. To "raise up the name of the dead," is explained in Ru 4:1-22; while to "put out" one’s name, means to extinguish his family, Ps 9:5.

NAOMI

Wife of Elimelech, and mother-in-law of Ruth. See RUTH.

NAPHTALI

The sixth son of Jacob, by Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid, Ge 30:8. We know but few particulars of the lie of Naphtali. His sons were four, Ge 46:24. The patriarch Jacob, when he gave his blessing, said, as it is in the English Bible, "Naphtali is a hind let loose; he giveth goodly words," Ge 49:21. For an illustration of this passage, see HIND.

The tribe of Naphtali, called Nephtalim in Mt 4:15, were located in a rich and fertile portion of northern Palestine; having Asher on the west, the upper Jordan and part of the sea of Tiberias on the east; and running north into the Lebanon range, some lower offshoots of which prolonged to the south formed the "mountains of Naphtali," Jos 19:32-39 20:7. They attended in force at the coronation of David, 1Ch 12:34; and are mentioned with honor in the wars of the Judges, Jud 1:33 5:18 6:35 7:23; as much reduced by the Syrians, 1Ki 15:20; and as among the first captives to Assyria, 2Ki 15:29 Isa 9:1. Our Savior spent much time in the southern part of this region, Mt 4:13-15.

NARCISSUS

A Roman, many of whose household Paul salutes as Christians, Ro 16:11. Two men of this name are mentioned in Roman histories of that time; one, executed three or four years before Paul wrote, was a favorite of the emperor Claudius; the other, of Nero his successor.

NATHAN

1. A Hebrew prophet, Zec 12:12; a friend and counselor of David. He approved the king’s purpose of building a temple to the lord, but by divine direction transferred this accomplishment to Solomon, 2Sa 7:1-17. By a fine parable, pointedly applied, he convicted David of his guilt in respect to Uriah and Bathsheba, 2Sa 12:1-31 Ps 51:1-19; and his bold fidelity here seems to have been appreciated by David, see NATHAN 2, and is worthy of everlasting remembrance. Solomon was probably educated under his care, 2Sa 12:25; and was effectually aided by him in his peaceful succession to the throne, 1Ki 1.1-53. He wrote some memorials, long since lost, of both David and Solomon, 1Ch 29:29 2Ch 9:29. How long he lived under the reign of Solomon is unknown; but two of his sons were high officers at court, 1Ki 4:5.

2. A son of David, by Bathsheba, 1Ch 3:5 14:4; an ancestor of Christ, Lu 3:21. See GENEALOGY.

NATHANAEL

A disciple of Christ, probably the same as BARTHOLOMEW, which see. He was a native of Cana in Galilee, Joh 21:2, and was one of the first to recognize the Messiah, who at their first interview manifested his perfect acquaintance with Nathanael’s secret heart and life, Joh 1:45-51. He was introduced by Philip to Jesus, who on seeing him pronounced that remarkable eulogy which has rendered his name almost another word for sincerity: "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." He was one of the disciples to whom Christ appeared at the sea of Tiberias after his resurrection, Joh 21:2; and after witnessing the ascension returned with the other apostles to Jerusalem, Ac 1:4,12,13.

NAZARENE

An epithet applied to Christ, and usually translated "of Nazareth," as in Mt 21:11 Ac 2:22 4:10. It was foretold in prophecy, Ps 22:7,8 Isa 53:2, that the Messiah should be despised and rejected of men; and this epithet, which came to be used as a term of reproach, showed the truth of these predictions, Mt 2:23 Ac 24:5. Nazareth was a small town, in a despised part of Palestine. See GALILEE, and NAZARETH.

NAZARETH

A city of lower Galilee, about seventy miles north of Jerusalem, in the territory of the tribe of Zebulun. It was situated on the side of a hill overlooking a rich and beautiful valley, surrounded by hills, with a narrow outlet towards the south. At the mouth of this ravine the monks profess to show the place where the men of the city were about to cast Jesus from the precipice, Lu 4:29. Nazareth is about six miles west north west of Mount Tabor, and nearly half way form the Jordan to the Mediterranean. It is said in the New Testament to be "the city of Jesus," because it was the place of his usual residence during the first thirty years of his life, Mt 2:23 Lu 1:26 2:51 4:16. He visited it during his public ministry, but did not perform many miracles there because of the unbelief of the people, Mt 13:54-58. It is not even named in the Old Testament, nor by Josephus; and appears to have been a small place, of no very good repute, Joh 1:46. The modern town, en-Nasirah, is a secluded village of about three thousand inhabitants, most of whom are Latin and Greek Christians. It lies about eight hundred feet above the level of the sea; and is one of the pleasantest towns in Syria. Its houses are of stone, two stories high, with flat roofs. It contains a mosque, a large Latin convent, and two or three chapels. The traditionary "Mount of the Precipitation" is nearly two miles from the town, too remote to have answered the purpose of the enraged Nazarenes; while there were several precipitous spots close at hand, where the fall is still from thirty to fifty feet.

From the summit of the hill on the eastern slope of which Nazareth lies, is a truly magnificent prospect. Towards the north, the eye glances over the countless hills of Galilee, and reposes on the majestic and snow-crowned Hermon. On the east, the Jordan valley may be traced, and beyond it the dim heights of ancient Bashan. Towards the south, spreads the broad and beautiful plain of Esdraelon, with the bold outline of Mount Tabor, and parts of Little Hermon and Gilboa visible on its eastern border, and the hills of Samaria on the south, while Carmel rises on the west of the plain, and dips his feet in the blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Says Dr. Robinson in his "Biblical Researches in Palestine," "I remained for some hours upon this spot, lost in the contemplation of the wide prospect and of the events connected with the scenes around. In the village below, the Savior of the world had passed his childhood; and although we have few particulars of his life during those early years, yet there are certain features of nature which meet our eyes now, just as they once met his."

"He must often have visited the fountain near which we had pitched our tent; his feet must frequently have wandered over the adjacent hills, and his eyes have doubtless gazed upon the splendid prospect form this very spot. Here the Prince of peace looked down upon the great plain, where the din of battles so oft had rolled, and the garments of the warrior been dyed in blood; and he liked out, too, upon the sea over which the swift ships were to bear the tidings of his salvation to nations and to continents them unknown. How has the moral aspect to things been changed!"

"Battles and bloodshed have indeed not ceased to desolate this unhappy country, and gross darkness now covers the people; but from this region a light went forth, which has enlightened the world and unveiled new climes; and now the rays of that light begin to be reflected back form distant isles and continents, to illuminate anew the darkened land where it first sprung up."

NAZARITE

Under the ancient Hebrew law, a man or woman engaged by a vow to abstain from wine and all intoxicating liquors, and from the fruit of the vine in any form; to let the hair grow; not to enter any house polluted by having a dead body in it, nor to be present at any funeral. If by accident any one died in their presence, they recommenced the whole of their consecration and Nazariteship. This vow generally lasted eight days, sometimes only a month, and sometimes during their whole lives. When the time of Nazariteship expired, the person brought a umber of sacrifices and offerings to the temple; the priest then cut off his hair and burnt it; after which he was free from his vow, Nu 6:1-27 Am 2:11,12.

Perpetual Nazarites were consecrated as such by their parents from their birth, as was proposed by the mother of Samuel, 1Sa 1:11, and continued all their lives in this state, neither drinking wine, nor cutting their hair. Such were Samson and John the Baptist, Jud 13:4,5 Lu 1:15 7:33.

As the cost of the offerings required at the expiration of the term of Nazariteship was very considerable for the poor, they were often relieved by persons not Nazarites, who assumed these charges for them for the sake of performing an act of piety and charity. Paul availed himself of this custom to disarm the jealousy of those who represented him as hostile to the faith of their fathers. He took four Christian Jews whose vow of Nazariteship was accomplished, assumed the expense of their offerings, and with them went through the customary services and purification’s at the temple, Ac 21:20-26. There is also in Ac 18:18 an unexplained allusion to some similar vow made by Paul himself, or perhaps by Aquila, probably in view of some danger escaped or some blessing received.

NEAPOLIS

Now called Napoli, Acts 16.11, a maritime city of Macedonia, near the borders of Thrace, whither Paul came from the isle of Samothracia. From Neapolis he went to Philippi.

NEBAIOTH

A son if Ishmael, Ge 25:13, whose posterity, occupied the pasture grounds of Arabia Deserta, Isa 60:7, and ultimately possessed themselves of Edom. They are thought to have been the Nabatheans of profane history. See IDUMEA.

NEBO

1. A town in the vicinity of Bethel and Ai, Ezr 2:29 Ne 7:33.

2. A city of Reuben, Nu 32:38, taken by the Moabites, who held it in the time of Jeremiah, Isa 15:2 Jer 48:1.

3. A mountain of Moab, whence Moses had a view of the promised land, and where he died. It is a summit of the range Abarim, "over against Jericho." Seetzen, Burckhardy, etc., identify it with Mount Attarus, about ten miles north of the Arnon. Travelers do not observe any very prominent summit in the rage immediately opposite Jericho; but it has not yet fully explored, De 32:49 34:1-12.

4. An idol of the Babylonians, Isa 46:1. In the astrological mythology of the Babylonians, this idol probably represented the planet Mercury. It was also worshipped by the ancient Arabians. The extensive prevalence of this worship among the Chaldeans and Assyrians, is evident from the many compound proper names occurring in the Scriptures, of which this word forms part; as Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan, Nebushasban, Jer 39:9,13; and also in the classics, as Naboned, Nabonassar, Nabopolassar, etc.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR

Called in Jeremiah Nebuchadnezzar, the son and successor of Nabopolassar, succeeded to the kingdom of Chaldea about 600 B. C. He had been some time before associated in the kingdom, and sent to recover Carchemish, which had been wrested from the empire by Necho king of Egypt. Having been successful, he marched against the governor of Phoenicia, and Jehoiakim king of Judah, tributary of Necho king of Egypt. He took Jehoiakim, and put him in chains to carry him captive to Babylon; but afterwards he left him in Judea, on condition of his paying a large annual tribute. He took away several persons from Jerusalem; among others, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, all of the royal family, whom the king of Babylon caused to be carefully educated in the language and learning of the Chaldeans, that they might be employed at court, 2Ki 24:1 2Ch 36:6 Da 1:1.

Nabopolassar dying, Nebuchadnezzar, who was then either in Egypt or in Judea, hastened to Babylon, leaving to his generals the care of bringing to Chaldea the captives taken in Syria, Judea, Phoenicia, and Egypt; for according to Berosus, he had subdued all these countries. He distributed these captives into several colonies, and in the temple of Belus he deposited the sacred vessels of the temple of Jerusalem, and other rich spoils. Jehoiakim king of Judah continued three years in fealty to Nebuchadnezzar, and then revolted; but after three or four years, he was besieged and taken in Jerusalem, put to death, and his body thrown to the birds of the air according to the predictions of Jeremiah, Jer 22:1-30.

His successor, Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, king of Judah, having revolted against Nebuchadnezzar, was besieged in Jerusalem, forced to surrender, and taken, with his chief officers, captive to Babylon; also his mother, his wives, and the best workmen of Jerusalem, to the number of ten thousand men. Among the captives were Mordecai, the uncle of Esther, and Ezekiel the prophet, Es 2:6. Nebuchadnezzar also took all the vessels of gold, which Solomon made for the temple and the king’s treasury, and set up Mattaniah, Jeconiah’s uncle by the father’s side, whom he named Zedekiah. Zedekiah continued faithful to Nebuchadnezzar nine years, at the end of which time he rebelled, and confederated with the neighboring princes. The king of Babylon came into Judea, reduced the chief places of the country, and besieged Jerusalem; but Pharaoh Hophra coming out of Egypt to assist Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar went to meet him, and forced him to retire to his own country. This done, he resumed the siege of Jerusalem, and was three hundred and ninety days before the place. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, B. C. 588, the city was taken and Zedekiah, being seized, was brought to Nebuchadnezzar, who was then at Riblah in Syria. The king of Babylon condemned him to die, caused his children to be put to death in his presence, and then bored out his eyes, loaded him with chains, and sent him to Babylon, 2Ki 24:1-25:30 2Ch 36:1-23.

During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the city of Babylon and the kingdom of Babylonia attained their highest pitch of splendor. He took great pains in adorning Babylon; and this was one great object of his pride. "Is not this," said he, "great Babylon that I have built for the house of my kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?" But God vanquished his pride, and he was reduced for a time to the condition of a brute, according to the predictions of Daniel. See Da 1.1-4.37. An inscription found among the ruins on the Tigris, and now in the East India House at London, gives an account of the various works of Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon and Borsippa. Abruptly breaking off, the record says the king’s heart was hardened against the Chaldee astrologers. "He would grant no benefactions for religious purposes. He intermitted the worship of Merodach, and put an end to the sacrifice of victims. He labored under the effects of enchantment." Nebuchadnezzar is supposed to have died B. C. 562, after a reign of about forty years.

One of the famous structures ascribed to Nebuchadnezzar, and in which no doubt he took much pride, was the famous "hanging gardens," which he is said to have erected to gratify the wish of his queen Amytis for elevated groves such as she was accustomed to in her native Media. This could only be done in a country so level as Babylonia, by constructing an artificial mountain; and accordingly the king caused on e to be made, four hundred feet square and over three hundred feet high. The successive terraces were supported on ranges of regular piers, covered by large stones, on which were placed thick layers of matting and of bitumen and two courses of stones, which were again covered, with a solid coating of lead. On such a platform another similar, but smaller, was built, etc. The various terraces were then covered with earth, and furnished with trees, shrubbery, and flowers. The whole was watered from the Euphrates, which flowed at its base, by machinery within the mound. These gardens occupied but a small portion of the prodigious area of the palace, the wall inclosing the whole being six miles in circumference. Within this were two other walls and a great tower, besides the palace buildings, courts, gardens, etc. Al the gates were of brass, which agrees with the language used by Isaiah in predicting the capture of Babylon by Cyrus, Isa 45:25. The ruins of the hanging gardens are believed to be found in the vast irregular mound called Kasr, on the East Side of the Euphrates, eight hundred yards by six hundred at its base. The bricks taken from this mound are of fine quality, and are all stamped with the name of Nebuchadnezzar.

Another labor of this monarch was that the ruins of which are now called Birs, Nimroud, about eight miles southwest of the above structure. See BABEL. The researches of Sir Henry Rawlinson have shown that this was built by Nebuchadnezzar, on the platform of a ruinous edifice of more ancient days. It consisted of six distinct terraces, each twenty feet high, and forty-two feet less horizontally than the one below it. On the top was the sanctum and observatory of the temple, now a vitrified mass. Each story was dedicated to a different planet, and stained with the color appropriated to that planet in their astrological system. The lowest, in honor of Saturn, was black; that of Jupiter was orange; that of Mars red, that of the sun yellow, that of Venus green, and that of Mercury blue. The temple was white, probably for the moon. In the corners of this longruined edifice, recently explored were found cylinders with arrowhead inscriptions, in the name of Nebuchadnezzar, which inform us that the building was named "The Stages of the Seven Spheres of Borsippa;" that it had been in a dilapidated condition; and that, moved by Merodach his god, he had reconstructed it with bricks enriched with lapis lazuli, "without changing its site or destroying its foundation platform." This restoration is also stated to have taken place five hundred and four years after its first erection in that form by Tiglath Pileser I., 1100 B. C. If not actually on the site of the tower of Babel mentioned in the Bible, and the temple of Belus described by Herodotus, this building would seem to have been erected on the same general plan. Every brick yet taken from it bears the impress of Nebuchadnezzar. Borsippa would seem to have been a suburb of ancient Babylon.

NEBUZARADAN

A general of king Nebuchadnezzar, and his agent in the sacking and destruction of Jerusalem, 1Ki 22:53; Jer 39:9; 40:1; 52:12-30.

NECHO or PHARAOH-NECHO

An Egyptian king, mentioned not only in Scripture, but by Herodotus, who says that he was son of Psammetichus, king of Egypt: and that, having succeeded him in the kingdom, he raised great armies, and sent out great fleets, as well on the Mediterranean as the Red Sea; that he expended a vast sum and many thousands of lives in a fruitless effort to unite and Nile and the Red Sea by a canal; and that he was the first to send a ship wholly around Africa. Josiah king of Judah being tributary to the king of Babylon, opposed Necho on his first expedition against Nebuchadnezzar, and gave him battle at Megiddo, where he received the wound of which he died; and Necho pressed forward, without making any long stay in Judea. On his return from the Euphrates, where he had taken and garrisoned the city of Carchemish, B. C. 610, he halted at Riblah in Syria; and sending for Jehoahaz, king of the Jews, he deposed him, loaded him with chains, and sent him into Egypt. Then coming to Jerusalem, he set up Eliakim, or Jehoiakim, in his place, and exacted the payment of one hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold. The accompanying cut from the great "Tomb of the Kings" in Egypt, explored by Belzoni, is believed to represent four Jewish hostages or captives of distinction presented before Pharaoh-Necho. One of them may be meant for Jehoahaz.

They were colored white; and with them were four reds, four blacks, and four others white supposed to represent Babylonians, Ethiopians, etc. They were led before the king, seated on his throne, by one of the hawk-headed figures so frequent on Egyptian monuments. Jer 46:2, acquaints us that Carchemish was retaken by Nabopolassar king of Babylon, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim king of Judah; so that Necho did not retain his conquests in Syria more than four year, 2Ki 23:29-24:7 2Ch 35:20-36:6.

NECK

The phrases to "harden the neck," Pr 29:1, and to be "stiff- necked," like a headstrong brute, illustrate the willful obstinacy of sinners against the instructions and commands of God. The tyrants of ancient days sometimes put their feet on the prostrate necks of princes, in token of their subjugation, trampling them in the dust. Their mischief sometimes returned upon their own heads, Jos 10:24; Ps 18:40.

NECROMANCER

One who pretended to discover unknown and future events by summoning and interrogating the dead, De 18:10,11, a crime punishable by stoning to death, Le 20:27. See SORCERER. No good reason can be given for believing that such pretended communications with departed spirits are less offensive to God now than in the time of Moses.

NEESING

Translated sneezing in 2Ki 4:35; used in Job 41:18 to describe the violent breathing of the enraged leviathan, or crocodile.

NEGINOTH

Hab 3:19, a general name for Hebrew stringed instruments, Ps 4:1-8 6:1-10 54:1-55:23 76:1-12, are addressed to the leader of the music on that class of instruments.

NEHEMIAH

The son of Hachaliah was born at Babylon during the captivity. He was, according to some, of the race of the priests; according to others, of the royal family of Judah. He sustained the office of cupbearer to the Persian king Artazerzes Longimanus. Touched with the calamitous state of the colony of Jews, which had formerly returned to Jerusalem, he besought the king of Persia to permit him to go to Jerusalem and aid in rebuilding it. He was accordingly sent thither as governor, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, about 444 B. C. He directed his attention chiefly to rebuilding the walls of the city.

The enmity of the Samaritans, under which the colony had formerly suffered, was now increased; and under Sanballat, the governor of the country, they cast all possible hindrances in the way of the Jews. They even went so far as to attack the laborers at their work; so that Nehemiah had to cause them to labor with arms in their hands; yet in one year their task was completed. In this great work and in his whole administration, his pious zeal and disinterestedness, his love for the people and city of god, and his prayerful reliance on divine aid were crowned with success. He had the cooperation of faithful friends, especially of Ezra, Ne 8:1,9,13 12:36, and instituted many excellent civil improvements. About 432 B. C., though perhaps not for the first time, he returned to his post at the court of Babylon, Ne 2:6 5:14 13:6; but after a few years, was recalled to Jerusalem to reform certain growing irregularities neglect of the temple service, breaches of the Sabbath, marriages with the heathen, etc. He required of those Jews who had married heathen wives, that they should either abandon them, or else they quit the country. This voluntary exile of a number of discontented priests may have given occasion to the building of the temple on Mount Gerizim, and the establishment of the Samaritan worship. See SANBALLAT.

The book of Nehemiah contains the history of all these transactions, written by himself near the close of his long life, B. C. 434. It is a sort of a continuation of the book of Ezra, and was called by some of the fathers the Second Book of Ezra. Some portions of it, Ezr 8:1-9:15 10:44, appear to be compilations from public registers, etc. With it the historical books of the Old Testament close.

NEGILOTH

Supposed to mean flutes or wind instruments; found only in the title of the fifth Psalm, which is addressed, to the leader of this class of instruments, as though intended to be sung with this accompaniment only.

NEGUSHTA

Wife of Jehoiakim, and mother of the young king Jechoniah, with whom she was probably associated in the government, as she is in the reproaches of Jeremiah, 2Ki 24:8; Jer 13:18; 29:2.

NEHUSHTAN

Brazen, a name given by Hezekiah king of Judah to the brazen serpent that Moses had set upon the wilderness, Nu 21:8, and which had been preserved by the Israelites to that time. The superstitious people having made an idol of this serpent, Hezekiah caused it to be burned, and in derision have it the name of Nehushtan, a mere piece of brass, 2Ki 18:4. Memorials, relics, and other outward aids to devotion which men rely upon, have the opposite effect; and visible emblem hides the Savior it ought to reveal, Joh 3:14-16.

NEIGHBOR

At the time of our Savior, the Pharisees had restrained the meaning of the word "neighbor" to those of their own nation, or to their own friends; holding, that to hate their enemy was not forbidden by the law, Mt 5:43. But our Savior informed them that the whole world was neighbors; that they ought not to do to another what they would not have done to themselves; and that this charity extended even to enemies. See the beautiful parable of the Good Samaritan, the real neighbor to the distressed, Lu 10:29.

NERGAL

One of the gods of the Cuthite heathen who were transplanted into Palestine, 2Ki 7:20. This idol probably represented the planet Mars, which was ever the emblem of bloodshed. Mars is names, by the Zabians and Arabians, ill luck, misfortune. He was represented as holding in one had a drawn sword, and in the other, by the hair, a human head just cut off; his garments were blood red, as the light of the planet is also reddish. His temple among the Arabs was painted red; and they offered to him garments sprinkled with blood, and also a warrior, (probably a prisoner,) who was cast into a pool. The name Nergal appears in the proper names Nergalsharezer. Neriglassar, Jer 39:3,13.

NETS

Are often referred to in Scripture, Pr 1:17 Ec 7:26 Isa 19:8,9 Hab 1:15,16, particularly in connection with the first disciples of Christ, Mt 4:18 13:47-50 Lu 5:1-10. Before the invention of fire-arms, nets were much used in hunting and fowling, and possible in catching men, as robbers, etc., Job 19:6 Ps 140:5 Mic 7:2. Among the ancient Romans there was a gladiatorial game, in which one man was armed with sword and shield, and his antagonist with a net, by casting which he strove to entangle the other so that he might easily dispatch him with has dagger.

NETHER

Lower; as the lower stone of a handmill, De 24:6; the foot of Sinai, Ex 19:17; the regions of the dead, Eze 32:18.

NETHINIM

Given, or consecrated, a term first applied to the Levites, Nu 8:19; but after the settlement in Canaan, to servants dedicated to the service of the tabernacle and temple, to perform the most laborious offices, as carrying of wood and water. At first the Gibeonites were destined to this station, Jud 9:27; afterwards, other Canaanites who surrendered themselves, and whose lives were spared. Many of them appear to have been first assigned to David, Solomon, and other princes, and by them transferred to the temple service, 1Ki 9:20,21 Ezr 2:58,70 8:20 Ne 11:3. It is probable that they became proselytes, Ne 10:28, and that many of them could cordially unite with David in saying, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness," Ps 84:10. The Nethinim were carried into captivity with the tribe of Judah, and great numbers were placed not far from the Caspian sea, whence Ezra brought two hundred and twenty of them into Judea, Ezr 8:17.

NETOPHAH

A town near Bethlehem, of which little more than the name is known, 2Sa 24:25,25; 2Ki 25:23; Ezr 2:22; Ne 7:26.

NETTLE

A well known stinging plant, growing in neglected grounds, Isa 34:13 Ho 9:6. A different Hebrew word in Job 30:7 Pr 24:31 Zep 2:9, seems to indicate a larger species.

NEW MOON

The new moon was the commencement of each of the Hebrew months. See MONTH.

The Hebrews had a particular veneration of the first day of every month, for which Moses appointed peculiar sacrifices, Nu 28:11-15; but he gave no orders that it should be kept as a holy day, nor can it be proved that the ancients observed it as such: it was a festival of merely voluntary devotion. It appears that even from the time of Saul, they made on this day a sort of family entertainment; since David ought then to have been at the king’s table and Saul took his absence amiss, 1Sa 20:5,18. Moses implies that, besides the national sacrifices then regularly offered, every private person had his particular sacrifices of devotion, Nu 10:10.

The beginning of the month was proclaimed by sound of trumpet, Ps 81:3, and the offering of solemn sacrifices. But the most celebrated "new moon" was that at the beginning of the civil year, or first day of the month Tishri, Le 23:24. This was a sacred festival, on which no servile labor was performed, Am 8:5. In the kingdom of the ten tribes, it seems to have been a custom of the people to visit the prophets at the new moons, for the purpose of carrying them presents, and hearing their instructions, 2Ki 4:23. Ezekiel says, Eze 45:17, (see also 1Ch 23:31 2Ch 8:13) that the burnt offerings offered on the day of the new moon were to be provided at the king’s expense. The observance of this festival was discontinued soon after the establishment of Christianity, Ga 4:9,10 Col 2:16, though the Jews take some notice of the day even now.

NEBHAZ

A god of the Avites, 2Ki 17:31. Jewish interpreters say the name means barker, and affirm that this idol had the shape of a dog. Historical traces have also been found of the ancient worship of idols in the form of dogs among the Syrians. In the Zabian books, Nibhaz occurs as the "lord of darkness;" which, according to the character of Assyrian- Chaldean mythology, would point to an evil planetary demon.

NICANOR

One of the first seven deacons, who were chosen and appointed at Jerusalem soon after the Pentecostal descent of the Holy Ghost, Ac 6:1-6.

NICODEMUS

A member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, at first a Pharisee, and afterwards a disciple of Jesus. He was early convinced that Christ came from God, but was not ready at once to rank himself among His followers. In Joh 3:1-20, he first appears as a timid inquirer after the truth, learning the great doctrines of regeneration and atonement. In Joh 7:45-52, we see him cautiously defending the Savior before the Sanhedrin. At last, in the trying scene of the crucifixion, he avowed himself a believer, and came with Joseph of Arimathea to pay the last duties to the body of Christ, which they took down from the cross, embalmed, and laid in the sepulchre, Joh 19:39.

NICOLAITANS

Heretical persons or teachers, mentioned in Re 2:6,15. Whether they were the same as the Nicolaitans of the second century and later is very doubtful. Some suppose them to be followers of Nicolas the deacon, but there is no good evidence that he ever became a heretic.

NICOLAS

A proselyte of Antioch, that is, one converted from paganism to the religion of the Jews. He afterwards embraced Christianity, and was among the most zealous of the first Christians; so that he was chosen one of the first seven deacons of the church at Jerusalem, Ac 6:5.

NICOPOLIS

A city where Paul spent probably the last winter of his life, having previously written to Titus, at Crete, to meet him there, Ti 3:12. He is supposed to refer to the Nicopolis of Thrace, situated on the river Nestus, near the borders of Macedonia, and hence called, in the subscription to the epistle, Nicopolis of Macedonia. Others, however, suppose him to have meant Nicopolis in Epirus, which stood near the mouth of the Ambracian gulf, opposite to Actium, and which was built by Augustus in honor of his decisive victory over Antony.

NIGHT

The ancient Hebrews began their artificial day at evening, and ended it the next evening, so that the night proceeded the day. This usage may probably be traced to the terms employed in describing the creation, Ge 1:5,8,13, etc., "The evening and the morning were the first day." The Hebrews allowed twelve to the day; but these hours were not equal, except at the equinox. At other times, when the hours of the night were long, those of the day were short, as in winter; and when the hours of night were short, as at midsummer, the hours of the day were long in proportion. See HOURS.

The nights are sometimes extremely cold in Syria, when the days are very hot; and travelers in the deserts and among the mountains near Palestine refer to their own sufferings from these opposite extremes, in illustration of Jacob’s words in Ge 31:40, "In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes."

NIGHT-HAWK

An unclean bird, Le 11:16 De 14:15. Its name seems to indicate voracity, and is therefore thought by many to point out the Syrian owl, a more powerful bird than the nighthawks, and exceedingly voracious; it sometimes attacks sleeping children.

NILE

The celebrated river of Egypt. It takes this name only after the junction of the two great streams of which it is composed, namely, the Bahr el Abiad, or White River, which rises in the mountains of the Moon, in the interior of Africa, and runs northeast till it is joined by the other branch, the Bahr el Azrek, or Blue river, which rises in Abyssinia, and after a large circuit to the southeast and southwest, in which it passes through the lake of Dembea, flows northwards to join the White river. This Abyssinian branch has in modern times been regarded as the real Nile, although the White River is much the largest and longest, and was in ancient times considered as the true Nile. The junction takes place about latitude sixteen degrees north. From this point the Nile flows always in a northerly direction, with the exception of one large bend to the west. About thirteen hundred miles form the sea it receives its last branch, the Tacazze, a large stream from Abyssinia, and having passed through Nubia, it enters Egypt at the cataracts near Syene, or Essuan, which are formed by a chain of rocks stretching east and west. There are here three falls; after which the river pursues its course in still and silent majesty through the whole length of the land of Egypt. Its average breadth is about seven hundred yards. In Lower Egypt it divides into several branches and forms the celebrated Delta; for which see under EGYPT. See also a view of the river in AMMON, or NoAmmon, or No.

As rain very seldom falls, even in winter, in Southern Egypt, and usually only slight and infrequent showers in Lower Egypt, the whole physical and political existence of Egypt may be said to depend on the Nile; since without this river, and even without its regular annual inundation’s, the whole land would be but a desert. These inundation’s, so mysterious in the view of ancient ignorance and superstition, are caused by the regular periodical rains in the countries farther south, around the sources of the Nile, in March and later. The river begins to rise in Egypt about the middle of June, and continues to increase through the month of July. In August it overflows its banks, and reaches its highest point early in September; and the country is then mostly covered with its waters, Am 8:8 9:5 Na 3:8. In the beginning of October, the inundation still continues; and it is only towards the end of this month that the stream returns within its banks. From the middle of August till towards the end of October, the whole land of Egypt resembles a great lake or sea, in which the towns and cities appear as islands.

The cause of the fertility which the Nile imparts lies not only in its thus watering the land, but also in the thick slimy mud which its waters bring down along with them and deposit on the soil of Egypt. It is like a coat of rich manure; and the seed being immediately sown upon it, without digging or ploughing, springs up rapidly, grows with luxuriance, and ripens into abundance. See EGYPT.

It must not, however, be supposed that the Nile spreads itself over every spot of land, and waters it sufficiently without artificial aid. Niebuhr justly remarks, "Some descriptions of Egypt would lead us to think that the Nile, when it swells, lays the whole province under water. The lands immediately adjoining to the banks of the river are indeed laid under water, but the natural inequality of the ground hinders it from overflowing the interior country. A great part of the lands would therefore remain barren, were not canals and reservoirs formed to receive water from the river, when at its greatest height, which is thus conveyed everywhere through the fields, and reserved for watering them when occasion requires." In order to raise the water to grounds, which lie higher, machines have been used in Egypt from times immemorial. These are chiefly wheels to which buckets are attached. One kind is turned by oxen; another smaller kind, by men seated, and pushing the lower spokes from them with their feet, while they pulled the upper spokes towards them with their hands, De 11:10.

As the inundations of the Nile are of so much importance to the whole land, structures have been erected on which the beginning and progress of its rise might be observed. These are called Nilometers; that is, "Nile measures." At present there is one, one thousand years old and half in ruins, on the little island opposite Cairo; it is under the care of the government, and according to it the beginning and subsequent progress of the rise of the Nile were carefully observed and proclaimed by authority. If the inundation reached the height of twenty-two Paris feet, a rich harvest was expected; because then all the fields had received the requisite irrigation. If it fell short of this height and in proportion as it thus fell short, the land was threatened with want and famine of which many horrible examples occur in Egyptian history. Should the rise of the water exceed twenty-eight Paris feet, a famine was in like manner feared. The annual rise of the river also varies exceedingly in different parts of its course, being twenty feet greater where the river is narrow than in Lower Egypt. The channel is thought to be gradually filling up; and many of the ancient outlets at the Delta are dry in summer and almost obliterated. The drying up of the waters of Egypt would involve its destruction as a habitable land to the destruction as a habitable land to the same extent; and this fact is recognized in the prophetic denunciations of this remarkable country, Isa 11:15 19:1-10 Eze 29:10 30:12.

The water of the Nile, although during a great part of the year turbid, from the effects of the rains above, yet furnishes, when purified by settling, the softest and sweetest water for drinking. Its excellence is acknowledged by all travelers. The Egyptians are full of its praises, and even worshipped the river as a god.

The Hebrews sometimes gave both to the Euphrates and the Nile the name of "sea," Isa 19:5 Na 3:8. In this they are borne out by Arabic writers, and also by the common people of Egypt, who to this day commonly speak of the Nile as "the sea." It is also still celebrated for its fish. Compare Nu 11:5 Isa 19:8. In its waters are likewise found the crocodile or leviathan, and the hippopotamus or behemoth. See EGYPT, and SIHOR.

NIMRIM

See BETH-NIMRAH.

NIMROD

Rebellion, impiety, a son of Cush and grandson of Ham, proverbial from the earliest times as a mighty hunter, Ge 10:8-10 1Ch 1:10. He seems to have feared neither God nor man; to gather around him a host of adventurers, and extended his conquests into the land of Shinar, where he founded or fortified Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh. According to one interpretation of Ge 10:11, he also founded Nineveh and the Assyrian empire; though this is usually understood to have been done by Asshur, when expelled by Nimrod from the land of Shinar, Mic 5:6. Nimrod is supposed to have begun the tower of Babel; and his name is still preserved by a vast ruinous mound, on the site of ancient Babylon. See BABEL.

NINEVEH

Dwelling of Ninus, the metropolis of ancient Assyria, called by the Greeks and Romans "the great Ninus;" situated on the east bank of the Tigris, opposite and below the modern Mosul. Its origin is traced to the times near the flood. See NIMROD. For nearly fifteen centuries afterwards it is not mentioned. In the books of Jonah, and Nahum it is described as an immense city, three days’ journey in circuit, containing more than one hundred and twenty thousand young children, or probably six hundred thousand souls. It contained "much cattle," and numerous parks, garden groves, etc. Its inhabitants were wealthy, warlike, and far advanced in civilization. It had numerous strongholds with gates and bars; and had multiplied its merchants above the stars: its crowned princes were as locusts, and its captains as grasshoppers. With this description agrees that of the historian Diodorus Siculus, who says Nineveh was twenty-one miles long, nine miles broad, and fifty-four miles in circumference; that its walls were a hundred feet high, and so broad that three chariots could drive upon them abreast; and that it had fifteen hundred towers, each two hundred feet high.

Nineveh had long been the mistress of the East; but for her great luxury and wickedness, the prophet Jonah was sent, more than eight hundred years before Christ, to warn the Ninevites of her speedy destruction. See also Isa 14:24,25. Their timely repentance delayed for a time the fall of the city; but about 753 B. C., the period of the foundation of Rome, it was taken by the Medes under Arbaces; and nearly a century and a half later, according to the predictions of Nahum, Na 1:1-3:19, and Zep 2:13, it was a second time taken by Cyaraxes and Nabopolassar; after which it no more recovered its former splendor. Subsequent writers mention it but seldom, and as an unimportant place; so complete was its destruction, that for ages its site has been well-nigh lost, and infidels have even denied that the Nineveh of the Bible ever existed. The mounds which were the "grave" of its ruins, Na 1:14, were covered with soil as to seem like natural hills. But since 1841, Layard, Botta, and others have been exploring its remains, so long undisturbed. The mounds chiefly explored lie at three corners of a trapezium about eighteen miles long, and twelve miles wide, and nearly sixty in circumference, thus confirming the ancient accounts of its vast extent. The recent excavations disclose temples and palaces, guarded by huge winged bulls and lions with human heads. The apartments of these buildings are lined with slabs of stone, covered with sculptures in basrelief, and inscriptions in arrow-headed characters which have been in part deciphered; and these sculptured memorials of the history and customs of the Assyrians, together with the various articles made of glass, wood, ivory, and metals, now brought to light after a burial of twenty-four centuries, furnish invaluable aid in the interpretation of Scripture, and most signally confirm its truth. Our surprise is equal to our gratification, when we behold the actual Assyrian account of events recorded in Kings and Chraonicles. Not only do we find mention made of Jehu, Menehem, Hezekiah, Omri, Hazael, etc., and of various cities in Judea and Syria; but we discover Sennacherib’s own account of his invasion of Palestine, and of the amount of tribute which king Hezekiah was forced to pay him; also pictures representing his capture of Lachish, 2Ki 18:14, and his officers, perhaps the railing Rabshakeh himself, presenting Jewish captives to the king, etc. (See cut and details in SENNACHERIB.)

These mural tablets also furnish a graphic comment on the language of the prophet Ezekiel; and as he was a captive in the region of Ninveh, he had no doubt heard of, and had probably seen these very "chambers of imagery," as well as the objects they represent. We there find reproduced to our view the men and scenes he describes in Eze 23:6,14,15, etc.; Eze 26:7-12: "Captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously," "portrayed with vermilion," "girded with girdles upon their loins," "exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads." The "vermilion" or red color is quite prevalent among the various brilliant colors with which these tablets were painted, Eze 23:14,15. Here are "horsemen riding upon horses," "princes to look to" in respect to war-like vigor and courage; and their horses of high spirit, noble form, and attitudes, and decked with showy trappings. Here, in fine, are the idols, kings, and warriors of Nineveh, in various scenes of worship, hunting, and war; fortresses attacked and taken; prisoners led in triumph, impaled, flayed, and otherwise tortured; and sometimes actually held by cords attached to hooks which pierce the nose or the lips, 2Ki 19:28 Isa 37:29, and having their eyes put out by the point of a spear, 2Ki 25:7. For other cuts see NISROCH, SENNACHERIB, SHALMANEZER, and WAR.

The Christian world is under great obligations to Layard and Botta for their enterprising explorations, and to Rawlinson and Hincks for their literary investigations of these remains. To the student of the Bible especially these buried treasures are of the highest value, and we may well rejoice not only in this new accumulation of evidence to the truth of the history and prophecies of Scripture, but in the additional light thus thrown on its meaning. How impressive too the warning which these newly found memorials of a city once so vast and powerful bring to us in these latter days and in lands then unknown, to beware of the luxury, pride, and ungodliness that caused her ruin.

NISAN

A Hebrew month, nearly answering to our April, but varying somewhat from year to year, according to the course of the moon. It was the seventh month of the civil year; but was made the first month of the sacred year, at the coming out of Egypt, Ex 12:2. By Moses it is called Abib, Ex 13:4. The name Nisan found only after the time of Ezra, and the return from the captivity of Babylon. See MONTIS.

NISROCH

A god of the Assyrians, in whose temple, and in the very act of idolatry, Sennacherib was slain by his own sons, 2Ki 19:37. According to the etymology, the name would signify "the great eagle;" and the earlier Assyrian sculptures recently exhumed at Nineveh have many representations of an idol in human form, but with the head of an eagle, as shown above. Among the ancient Arabs also the eagle occurs as an idol. The other accompanying cut, representing a winged figure in a circle, armed with a bow, is frequently met on the walls of ancient Nineveh in scenes of worship, and is believed to be an emblem of the supreme divinity of the Assyrians.

NITRE

Not the substance used in making gunpowder, but natron, a mineral alkali composed of several salts of soda. It effervesces with vinegar, Pr 25:28, and is still used in washing, Jer 2:22. Combined with oil, it makes a hard soap. It is found deposited in, or floating upon, certain lakes west of the Delta of Egypt.

NO or NO-AMMON

See AMMON, or No-Ammon, or No.

NOAH

Rest, comfort, the name of celebrated patriarch who was preserved by Jehovah with his family, by means of the ark, through the deluge, and thus became the second founder of the human race. The history of Noah and the deluge is contained in Ge 5:1-9:29. He was the son of Lamech, and grandson of Methuselah lived six hundred years before the deluge, and three hundred and fifty after it, dying two years before Abram was born. His name may have been given to him by his parents in the hope that he would be the promised "seed of the woman" that should "bruise the serpent’s head." He was in the line of the patriarchs who feared God, and was himself a just man, Eze 14:14,20, and a "preacher of righteousness," 1Pe 3:19,20 2Pe 2:5. His efforts to reform the degenerate world, continued as some suppose for one hundred and twenty years, produced little effect, Mt 24:37; the flood did not "find faith upon the earth." Noah, however, was an example of real faith: he believed the warning of God, was moved by fear, and pursued the necessary course of action, Heb 11:7.

His first care on coming out from the ark was to worship the Lord, with sacrifices of all the fitting animals. Little more is recorded of him except his falling into intoxication, a sad instance of the shame and misfortune into which wine is apt to lead. His three sons, it is believed, peopled the whole word; the posterity of Japheth chiefly occupying Europe, those of Shem Asia, and those of Ham Africa.

Numerous traces of traditions respecting Noah have been found all over the world. Among the most accurate is that embodied in the legend of the Greeks respecting Deucalion and Pyrrha. We may also mention the medals struck at Apamea in Phrygia, in the time of Septimus Severus, and bearing the name NO, an ark, a man and woman, a raven, and a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. See ARK.

NOB

A city of priests, in Benjamin, near Jerusalem; its inhabitants were once put to the sword by command of Saul, for their hospitality to David, 1Sa 21:2; 22:9-23; Ne 11:32; Isa 10:32. Its site is unknown.

NOD

Wandering, a region east of Eden so named on account of wanderings in it of the exiled Cain, Ge 4:16.

NOPH

Sometimes called also, in Hebrew, MOPH, Ho 9:6, the ancient city of Memphis in Egypt. The ruins of it, though not to any great extent, are still found a few miles above Old Cairo, or Fostat, Isa 19:13 Jer 2:16 44:1 Eze 30:13,16.

Memphis was the residence of the ancient kings of Egypt till the times of the Ptolemies, who commonly resided at Alexandria. Here, it is supposed, Joseph was a prisoner and a ruler, and here Moses stood before Pharaoh. The prophets, in the places above referred to, foretell the miseries Memphis was to suffer from the kings of Chaldea and Persia; and threaten the Israelites who should retire into Egypt, or should have recourse to the Egyptians, that they should perish in that country. In this city they fed and worshipped the sacred bull Apis, the embodiment of their false god Osiris; and Ezekiel says, that the lord will destroy the idols of Memphis, Eze 30:13,16. Memphis retained much of its splendor till it was conquered by the Arabians in the eighteenth or nineteenth year of the Hegira, A. D. 641; after which it was superseded as the metropolis of Egypt by Fostat, now Old Cairo, in the construction of which its materials were employed. The pyramids, in which its distinguished men were buried, still survive; but the magnificent city, that stretched along for many miles between them and the river, has almost wholly disappeared.

NORTH

See EAST. The Babylonians and Assyrians are represented as coming from "the north," because they invaded Israel by a northern route in order to avoid the desert, Jer 1:14 46:6,24 Zep 2:13. "Fair weather," says Job, or golden weather, "cometh out of the north," Job 37:22. This is as true in Syria and Arabia now as it was three thousand years ago. A traveler there remarks, "Our friends, who have been long residents, informed us that we should have fair weather for our start on the morrow, as the wind was from the north."

"... And so we have found it come to pass that the clouds of a golden hue always followed upon a north wind, and indicated a clear day; and as in the times of the Savior, we could always say when it was evening, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’" Mt 16:2.

NOSE

Several expressions in Scripture grew out of the fact that anger often shows itself by distended nostrils, hard breathing, and in animals by snorting, 2Sa 22:9 Job 39:20 Ps 18:8. Gold rings hung in the cartilage of the nose, or the left nostril, were favorite ornaments of eastern women, Pr 11:22 Eze 16:12. Rings were inserted in the noses of animals, to guide and control them; and according to the recently discovered tablets at Nineveh, captives among the Assyrians were sometimes treated in the same way, 2Ki 19:28 Eze 38:4. See NINEVEH.

NOVICE

Or neophite, one recently converted and received to the Christian church, 1Ti 3:6.

NUMBER

Isa 65:11. See GAD 3.

NUMBERS, The Book of

So called because the first three chapters contain the numbering of the Hebrews and Levites, which was performed separately, after the erection and consecration of he tabernacle. The rest of the book contains an account of the breaking up of the Israelites from Sinai, and their subsequent wanderings in the desert, until their arrival on the borders of Moab. It was written by Moses, B. C. 1451, and is the fourth book of the Pentateuch. See EXODUS.

NURSE

The Bible contains various allusions to the tender and confidential relation anciently subsisting between a nurse and the children she had brought up, Isa 49:22,23 1Th 2:7,8. See also the story of Rebekah, attended through life by her faithful and honored Deborah, the oak under which she was buried being called "The oak of weeping," Ge 24:59 35:8. The custom still prevails in the better families of Syria and India. Says Roberts in his Oriental Illustrations, "how often have scenes like this led my mind to the patriarchal age. The daughter is about for the first time to leave the paternal roof; the servants are all in confusion; each refers to things long gone by, each wishes to do something to attract the attention of his young mistress. One says, ‘Ah do not forget him who nursed you when an infant;’ another, ‘How often did I bring you the beautiful lotus from the distant tank. Did I not always conceal your faults?’ Then the mother comes to take leave. She weeps and tenderly embraces her, saying, ‘My daughter, I shall see you no more; forget not your mother.’ The brother enfolds his sister in his arms, and promises soon to come and see her. The father is absorbed in thought, and is only aroused by the sobs of the party. He then affectionately embraces his daughter, and tells her not to fear. The female domestics must each smell of the poor girl, and the men touch her feet. As Rebekah had her nurse to accompany her, so, at this day, the aya (nurse) who has from infancy brought up the bride goes with her to the new scene. She is her adviser, her assistant and friend, and to her will she tell all her hopes and all her fears."

NYMPHAS

A Christian at Laodicea, whom Paul salutes, together with the company of believers wont to worship at his house, Col 4:15.