WAFER

A thin cake made of fine flour, Ex 16:31, and used in carious offerings, anointed with sweet oil, Ex 29:2,23; Le 2:4; 7:12; Nu 6:15.

WAGES

The law and the gospel both require the full and prompt payment of a just equivalent for all services rendered according to agreement, Le 19:13 Jer 22:13 Jas 5:4. Eternal death is the wages or just recompense of sin; while eternal life is not a recompense earned by obedience, but a sovereign gift of God, Ro 6:22-23.

WAGONS

Were sent by Joseph to convey his fatherís family into Egypt. The same vehicle, translated "cart" in 1Sa 6:7, was employed to transport some of the sacred utensils, Nu 7:3,6, and in one instance the ark itself. In those later cases it was drawn by oxen. It was probably of simple structure, with two solid wheels. Such carts are sometimes used in Syria in removing agricultural produce, Am 2:3; but vehicles of any kind are little used, and travelers and merchandise are borne on the backs of camels, horses, and mules. See CART.

WALK

Is often figuratively used to denote a manís mode of life, or his spiritual character, course, and relations, Eze 11:20. He may walk as a carnal or as a spiritual man, Ro 8:1; with God, or in ignorance and sin, Ge 5:24 1Jo 5:21; in the fire of affliction, Isa 43:2, or in the light, purity, and joy of Christís favor here and in heaven, Ps 89:15 Re 3:4.

WALLS

The walls of dwellings in the East were of very different materials, from mere clay, or clay and pebbles, to durable hewn stone. See the latter part of the article HOUSE. As to the city walls, see BABYLON, CITY, and JERUSALEM.

The accompanying cut shows a portion of the western wall of the sacred area, Haram-es-Sherif, at Jerusalem. The huge stones in its lower part are believed by the Jews, and with good reason, to have formed a part of the substructions of their ancient temple, and to be near the site of the Holy of Holies. Hence they assemble here every Friday, and more or less on other days, to weep and wail with every token of the sorest grief, and to pray for the coming of the Messiah. In former years they had to pay a large price for this melancholy privilege. A little beyond this spot, towards the south, is the fragment of an immense arch of forty-one feet span, one of five or six which supported a lofty causeway, from mount Zion to the temple area at its southern portico, 1Ki 10:5 1Ch 26:16,18. Some of the stones in this part of the wall are twenty to twentyfive feet long.

WANDERINGS of the Israelites

See EXODUS. The following tabular view of their various encampments, so far as they are recorded in Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, is from Dr. Robinsonís Biblical Researches. The "great and terrible wilderness" between mount Sinai and Palestine is still known by the Arabs as Et-Tyh, or the Wanderings.

WAR

One of the evil fruits of the fall, and an appalling manifestation of the depravity of mankind, Ge 6:11-13 Isa 9:5 Jas 4:1-2, often rendered apparently inevitable by the assaults of enemies, or commanded by God for their punishment. See AMALEKITES and CANAAN.

By this scourge, subsequently to the conquest of Canaan, God chastised both his own rebellious people and the corrupt and oppressive idolaters around them. In many cases, moreover, the issue was distinctly made between the true God and idols; as with the Philistines, 1Sa 17:43-47; the Syrians, 1Ki 20:23-30; the Assyrians, 2Ki 19:10-19,35; and the Ammonites, 2Ch 20:1-30. Hence God often raised up champions for his people, gave them counsel in war by Urim and by prophets, and miraculously aided them in battle.

Before the period of the kings, there seems to have been scarcely any regular army among the Jews; but all who were able to bear arms were liable to be summoned to the field, 1Sa 11:7. The vast armies of the kings of Judah and Israel usually fought on foot, armed with spears, swords, and shields; having large bodies of archers and slingers, and comparatively few chariots and horsemen. See ARMS.

The forces were arranged in suitable divisions, with officers of tens, hundreds, thousands, etc., Jud 20:10 1Ch 13:1 2Ch 25:5. The Jews were fully equal to the nations around them in bravery and the arts of war; but were restrained from wars of conquest, and when invaders had been repelled the people dispersed to their homes. A campaign usually commenced in spring, and was terminated before winter, 2Sa 11:1 1Ki 20:22. As the Jewish host approached a hostile army, the priests cheered them by addresses, De 20:2 1Sa 7:9,13, and by inspiring songs, 2Ch 20:21. The sacred trumpets gave the signal for battle, Nu 10:9,10 2Ch 13:12-15; the archers and slingers advanced first, but at length made way for the charge of the heavy-armed spearmen, etc., who sought to terrify the enemy, ere they reached them, by their aspect and war-cries, Jud 7:18-20 1Sa 17:52 Job 39:25 Isa 17:12,13.

The combatants were soon engaged hand to hand; the battle became a series of duels; and the victory was gained by the obstinate bravery, the skill, strength, and swiftness of individual warriors, 1Ch 12:8 Ps 18:32-37. See Paulís exhortations to Christian firmness, under the assaults of spiritual foes, 1Co 16:13 Eph 6:11-14 1Th 3:8. The battles of the ancients were exceedingly sanguinary, 2Ch 28:6; few were spared except those reserved to grace the triumph or be sold as slaves. A victorious army of Jews on returning was welcomed by the whole population with every demonstration of joy, 1Sa 18:6,7. The spoils were divided after reserving an oblation for the Lord, Nu 31:50 Jud 5:30; trophies were suspended in public places; eulogies were pronounced in honor of the most distinguished warriors, and lamentations over the dead.

In besieging a walled city, numerous towers were usually erected around it for throwing missiles; catapults were prepared for hurling large darts and stones. Large towers were also constructed and mounds near to the city walls, and raised if possible to an equal or greater height, that by casting a movable bridge across access to the city might be gained. The battering-ram was also employed to effect a breach in the wall; and the crow, a long spar with iron claws at one end and ropes at the other, to pull down stones or men from the top of the wall. These and similar modes of assault the besieged resisted by throwing down darts, stones, heavy rocks, and sometimes boiling oil; but hanging sacks of chaff between the battering-ram and the wall; by strong and sudden sallies, capturing and burning the towers and enginery of the assailants, and quickly retreating into the city, 2Ch 26:14,15. The modern inventions of gunpowder, rifles, bombs, and heavy artillery have changed all this. See BATTERING-RAM.

As the influence of Christianity diffuses itself in the world, war is becoming less excusable and less practicable; and a great advance may be observed from the customs and spirit of ancient barbarism towards the promised universal supremacy of the Prince of peace, Ps 46:9 Isa 2:4 Mic 4:3.

"Wars of the Lord" was probably the name of an uninspired book, long since lost, containing details of the events alluded to in Nu 21:14-15.

WARD, or GUARD

To put "in ward" was to place under guard, or in confinement, Ge 40:3; Le 24:12. Ward also seems to mean a guard-room, Ne 12:25; Isa 21:8, and the guards themselves, Ac 12:10, or any small band, 1Ch 25:8; 26:16.

WASHING

Various ceremonial washings were enjoined in the Mosaic law, both upon priests, Ex 30:19-21, and upon others, Le 12:1; 15:33 Heb 9:10.

These were significant of spiritual purification through the Saviorís blood, Tit 3:5 Re 1:5, as well as of that holiness without which none can see God. To these the Jews added other traditional ablutions, Mr 7:2-4; and regarded it as an act of impiety to neglect them, as Christ frequently did, Lu 11:38. The washing of the hands before and after meals, Mt 15:2, called for by their custom of feeding themselves with their fingers, is still practiced in Syria. See cut in BED.

Where there is a servant in attendance, he pours water from a pitcher over his masterís hands, holding also a broad vessel underneath them, 2Ki 3:11 Ps 60:8. See FOOT and SANDALS. "Washing the hands" was a protestation of innocence, De 21:6 Mt 27:24; and has given rise to the proverbial saying common among us, "I wash my hands of that."

WATCH

A division of the night. See HOURS.

WATCHER

Da 4:13,17,23, a figurative designation of heavenly beings, apparently angels, as seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream.

WATCHMEN

Are of as early a date as cities, robbers, and wars, Ex 14:24 Jud 7:19. Jerusalem and other cities had regular guards night and day, So 3:1-3 5:7, to whose hourly cries Isaiah refers in illustration of the vigilance required by God in his ministers, Isa 21:8,11,12 62:6.

At this day the watchmen of Jerusalem "keep not silence," nor do they "hold their peace day nor night;" especially at night and when danger is apprehended, they are required to call to each other every few minutes, and the cry passes from one to another entirely around the city walls. Those of Sidon also do the same. Watchmen always had a station at the gate of a city and in the adjacent tower, 2Sa 18:24-27 2Ki 9:27; also on hill-tops overlooking a large circuit of terraced vineyards, whence they could "see eye to eye," and "lift up the voice" of warning or of cheer, Isa 52:7,8; and their responsible office, requiring so much vigilance and fidelity, illustrates that of prophets and ministers, Jer 6:17 Eze 33:1-9 Heb 13:17.

WATER

See CISTERN and WELLS.

In Isa 35:7, the Hebrew word for "parched ground" that shall become a pool of water, is the same with the Arabic term for the mirage, a peculiar optical illusion by which travelers in hot and dry deserts think they see broad lakes and flowing waters; they seem to discern the very ripple of the waves, and the swaying of tail trees on the margin in the cool breeze; green hills and houses and city ramparts rise before the astonished sight, recede as the traveler advances, and at length melt away in the hot haze. Not so the blessings of the gospel; they are no alluring mockery, but real waters of everlasting life, Isa 55:1 Joh 4:14 Re 22:1. Compare Isa 29:8 Jer 15:18.

WATER-SPOUTS

Are well-known phenomena in the Levant , and are supposed to be produced by whirlwinds. A dense, black, funnel-shaped cloud is seen depending from the sky, and sometimes moving rapidly over the sea, from which at times a similar cone ascends to meet the upper one. Where they unite, the column may be three or four feet thick; and when they break, torrents of water descend. The word occurs in Ps 42:7, where, however, the psalmist probably alludes to cataracts of water.

WAX

To grow or become, Ex 22:24; Isa 50:9; Lu 13:19.

WEASEL

One of the unclean animals, Le 11:29. Several varieties of weasels are found in and around Palestine; but in the verse above probably the common mole is intended.

WEAVING

An art very early practiced by all nations, and exhibited on the ancient monuments of Egypt, Ge 41:42. See FLAX.

It is usually performed by women, 2Ki 23:7 Pr 31:13,19. The Jews say that the high-priestís tunic was made without a needle, being "woven from the top throughout;" thus also "the High-priest of our profession" was clothed, Joh 19:23.

WEDDING

See MARRIAGE.

WEDDING-GARMENT

See GARMENTS.

WEEKS

Or successive periods of seven days each, were known from the earliest times among nations remote from each other in Europe, Asia, and Africa, Ge 29:27. See SABBATH.

The Hebrew had only numeral names for the days of the week, excepting the Sabbath; the names now current among us being borrowed from Saxon mythology. The Jews called Sunday "one of the Sabbath." A prophetic week and a week of years were each seven years; and a week of sabbatical years, or fortynine years, brought round the year of jubilee. In Joh 20:26, the disciples are said to have met again after "eight days," that is, evidently after a week, on the eighth day after our Lordís resurrection. See THREE.

For the "Feast of Weeks," see PENTECOST.

WEEPING

See FUNERAL.

WEIGHTS

The Hebrews weighed all the gold and silver they used in trade. The shekel, the half shekel, the manch, the talent, are not only denominations of money, of certain values in gold and silver, but also of certain weights. The weight "of sanctuary," or weight of the temple, Ex 30:13,24; Le 5:5; Nu 3:50; 7:19; 18:16, was perhaps the standard weight, preserved in some apartment of the temple, and not a different weight from the common shekel; for though Moses appointed that all things valued by their price in silver should be rated by the weight of the sanctuary, Le 27:25, he made no difference between this shekel of twenty gerahs and the common shekel. Eze 45:12, speaking of the ordinary weights and measures used in traffic among the Jews, says that the shekel weighed twenty gerahs: it was therefore equal to the weight of the sanctuary.

WELLS and SPRINGS

By those living in a temperate climate, where the well or the aqueduct furnishes to every house a supply of water practically inexhaustible, no idea can be formed of the extreme distress caused by thirst, and of the luxury of relieving it by drinking pure wateróa luxury which is said to excel all other pleasures of sense. One must reside or travel in a Syrian climate to realize the beauty and force of the allusions of Scripture to "water out of the wells of salvation," "cold water to a thirsty soul," "the fountain of living waters," and many others. The digging of a permanent well or the discovery of a spring was a public benefaction, and its possession was a matter of great importance. Its existence at a given spot decided the nightly resting-place of caravans, the encampment of armies, and the location of towns, 1Sa 29:1 2Sa 2:13. Hence BEER, the Hebrew name for a well or spring, forms a part of many names of places, as Beeroth, Beer-sheba. See also EN.

So valuable was a supply of water, that a field containing a spring was a princely dowry, Jud 1:13-15, and a well was a matter of strife and negotiation between different tribes. Thus we read that Abraham, in making a treaty with king Abimelech, "reproved him because of a well of water which Abimelichís servants had violently taken away," and the ownership of the well was sealed to Abraham by a special oath and covenant, Ge 21:25-31. A similar transaction occurred during the life of Isaac, Ge 26:14-33. In negotiating with the king of Edom for a passage through his territory, the Israelites said, "We will go by the highway; and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it," Nu 20:17-19. Still stronger is the expression in La 5:4: "We have drunk our own water for money:" that is, we bought it of our foreign rulers, though we are the natural proprietors of the wells that furnished it. The custom of demanding pay for water of the traveler is still found in some parts of the East; while in many other towns a place is provided where cold water and sometimes bread are offered gratuitously to the stranger, at the expense of the village, or as an act of charity by the benevolent, Mr 9:41. In case of a hostile invasion, nothing could more effectually harass an advancing army or the besiegers of a city, than to fill with stones the wells on which they relied, 2Ki 3:25 2Ch 32:3.

Wells are sometimes found in Palestine furnished with a well-sweep and bucket, or a windlass; and in some cases there were steps leading down to the water, Ge 24:15,16; but usually the water is drawn with pitchers and ropes; and the stone curbs of ancient wells bear the marks of long use. They were often covered with a large flat stone, to exclude the flying sand and secure the water to its owners, and also for the security of strangers, who were liable to fall into them unawares- a mischance which very often occurs in modern Syria, and against which the beneficent law of Moses made provision, Ex 21:33-34. This stone was removed about sunset, when the females of the vicinity drew their supply of water for domestic use, and the flocks and herds drank from the stone troughs which are still found beside almost every well. At this hour, the well was a favorite place of resort, and presented a scene of life and gayety greatly in contrast with its ordinary loneliness, Ge 24:11-28 29:1-10 Ex 2:16-19 1Sa 9:11. Wells, however, were sometimes infested by robbers, Jud 5:11; and Dr. Shaw mentions a beautiful spring in Barbary, the Arabic name of which means, "Drink, and away!" a motto which may well be inscribed over even the best springs of earthly delight. See CISTERN.

The cut above given presents a view of "The Fountain of the Virgin" at Nazareth, so called from the strong probability that the mother of our Lord was wont to draw water from it, as the women of Nazareth do at this day. It is a copious spring, just out of the village; and the path that leads to it is well worn, as by the feet of many generations. All travelers in Palestine mention the throngs of females that resort to it, with their pitchers or goat-skins on the shoulder or head and loitering to gossip or gaily returning in companies of two or three. Every day witnesses there what might almost be described in the very words of Ge 24:11: "And he made his camels to kneel down without the city, by a well of water, at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. And behold, Rebekah came out, with her pitcher upon her shoulder; and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up." It is an uncommon sight to see "a man bearing a pitcher of water," Mr 14:13.

Jacobís well, at the eastern entrance of the charming valley of Shechem, is still in existence, though now little used and often nearly dry. It is covered by a vaulted roof, with a narrow entrance closed by a heavy rock. Around it is a platform, and the remains of a church built over the spot by the empress Gelena. Close at hand is mount Gerizim, which the woman of Sychar no doubt glanced at as she said, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain." On the west is the broad and fertile plain of Mukna, where the fields were "white already to the harvest." The woman intimated that the well was "deep," and had no steps. Actual measurement shows it to be seventyfive feet deep, and about nine feet in diameter. Dr. Wilson, in 1842, sent down with ropes a Jew named Jacob, to explore the well and recover a Bible dropped into it by Rev. Mr. Bonar three years before. This was found, almost destroyed by lying in water. As the traveler stands by this venerated well and thinks of the long series of men of a hundred nations and generations who have drunk of its waters, thirsted again, and died, he is most forcibly affected by the truth of Christís words to the Samaritan woman, and made to feel his own perishing need of the water "springing up into everlasting life," Joh 4:1-54.

WHALE

The largest known inhabitant of the sea, Job 7:12, put by our translators for a Hebrew word including all the huge marine monsters, as in Ge 1:21. In Eze 32:2, referring to Egypt and the Nile, it doubtless means the crocodile; as also in Ps 74:13; Isa 27:1; 51:9; Eze 29:3, where it is translated "dragon." The "great fish" that swallowed Jonah cannot be named with certainty. The Greek word in Mt 12:40 being also indeterminate. Whales, however, were anciently found in the Mediterranean, and sharks of the largest size.

WHEAT

Is the principal and most valuable kind of grain for the service of man, and is produced in almost every part of the world, Ge 30:14 De 8:8 Jud 6:11 Mt 13:25 1Co 15:37. It is often intended where the word corn is used. See CORN.

The Egyptian wheat, Triticum Compositum, has six or seven ears on one head; so that it presented its usual appearance in this respect in Pharaohís dream, Ge 41:5-7. The "meat-offerings" of the Mosaic service, Le 2:1-16, were all made of wheaten flour.

WHEEL

Ps 83:13, translated "rolling thing" in Isa 17:13. Mr. Thomson, for many years a missionary in Syria, thinks the wild artichoke may here be referred to. This plant sends out numerous stalks or branches of equal length in all directions, forming a globe a foot in diameter. These globes become rigid and light as a feather in autumn, and thousands of them fly rolling and bounding over the plains, the sport of every wind. This "rolling thing" furnishes the modern Arabs with a current proverb and a curse.

WHIRLWINDS

Were very frequent in the deserts of Arabia, Job 37:9 38:1 Na 1:3, and travelers in the East have encountered many. Most of them are not formidable, Isa 17:13; but one now and then occurs, sudden, swift, and awful in its devastating course; houses and trees are no obstruction in its way, and the traveler is buried alive under the pillar of sand it raises and bears along, like a water-spout at sea, Job 1:19 Isa 21:1. The sudden and resistless judgments of God are well compared to whirlwinds, Ps 58:9 Pr 1:27 Isa 66:15. One of the Hebrew words thus translated sometimes denotes only a powerful and tempestuous gust of wind, Jer 23:19 30:23 Zec 9:14. See WINDS.

WIDOW

A custom was prevalent in patriarchal times, Ge 38:1-30, and was afterwards confirmed by the Mosaic law, De 25:5-10, that a widow without children, in order to preserve the family name and inheritance, should marry the brother of her deceased husband; or he failing his nearest kinsman, Ru 3:12,13 4:1-11 Mt 22:23-30. The high-priest was forbidden to marry a widow, Le 21:14. The humanity and justice of true religion are shown in the Bible, as might be expected, by numerous indications that God and the friends of God sympathize with the sorrows, supply the wants, and defend the rights of the widow, Ex 22:22-24 De 16:11 24:17,19 Ps 68:5 Isa 1:17 10:2 Jer 22:3 Mt 23:14.

The apostolic church was not negligent in providing for widows, Ac 6:1-3 1Ti 5:16; and James makes this duty an essential part of true piety, Jas 1:27. Heathenism, on the contrary, makes those who have been slaves to a husbandís caprices during his life, either victims upon the funeral pile at his death, or forlorn and hopeless sufferers under destitution and contempt. The duties of Christian widows are specified in 1Ti 5:3-16.

WILDERNESS

See DESERT.

WILLOW

A very common tree, which grows in marshy places, Job 40:22 Isa 44:4, with a leaf much like that of the olive. God commanded the Hebrews to take branches of the handsomest trees, particularly of the willows of the brook, and to bear them in their hands before the Lord, as a token of rejoicing, at the feast of Tabernacles, Le 23:40.

The "weeping willow," memorable in connection with the mourning Hebrew captives, Ps 137:2, is a native of Babylonica. The "book of the willows," Isa 15:7, on the southern border of Moab, flows into the southeast extremity of the Dead Sea.

WIMPLE

A veil or hood; but the Hebrew signifies, properly, a broad and large mantle or shawl. See VEIL. Thus, in Ru 3:15, Boaz gives Ruth six measures of barley, which she carries away in her mantle, rather than veil, as in the English translation. So in Isa 3:22.

WINDS

Mt 24:31. The winds which most commonly prevail in Palestine are from the western quarter, more usually perhaps from the southwest, Lu 12:54. Not infrequently a north wind arises, Job 37:9, which, as in ancient days, is till the sure harbinger of fair weather; illustrating the truth of the observation in Pr 25:23, "The north wind driveth away rain." For the tempestuous wind called EUROCLYDON, see that article.

But the wind most frequently mentioned in the Bible is the "cast wind," which is represented as blasting and drying up the fruits, Ge 41:6 Eze 17:10 19:12, and also as blowing with great violence, Ps 48:7 Eze 27:26 Jon 4:8. It is also the "horrible tempest" literally the glow-wind, of Ps 11:6. This is a sultry and oppressive wind blowing from the south-east, and prevailing only in the hot and dry months of summer. Coming thus from the vast Arabian desert, it seems to increase the heat and drought of the season, and produces universal languor and debility. Rev. Dr. Eli Smith, who experienced it effects during the summer, at Beyrout, describes it as possessing the same qualities and characteristics as the Sirocco, which he had felt at Malta, and which also prevails in Sicily and Italy; except that the Sirocco, in passing over the sea, acquires great dampness.

This wind is called by the Arabs the Simoom, by the Turks the Samuel; and by the Egyptians the Camsin; and has long been regarded as a pestilential wind, suddenly overtaking travelers and caravans in the deserts, and almost instantly destroying them by its poisonous and suffocating death. But late and judicious travelers find no evidence that this wind is laden with any poisonous influence. It is indeed oppressively hot and dry, rapidly evaporating the water in the ordinary skin bottles, stopping the perspiration of travelers, drying up the palate and the air passages, and producing great restlessness and exhaustion. As it often blows with a terrible roaring and violence, it carries dust and fine sand high up into the air, so that the whole atmosphere is lurid, and seems in a state of combustion, and the sun is shorn of his beams, and looks like a globe of dull smoldering fire. Both men and animals are greatly annoyed by the dust, and seek any practicable shelter or covering. The camels turn their backs, and hide their heads from it in the ground. It is often accompanied by local whirlwinds, which form pillars of sand and dust, rising high above the ground and moving with swiftness over the plain. Such a tempest may have suggested some features in the prophetic descriptions of the day of Godís power: "wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood," Joe 2:30,31 Ac 2:19,20.

Dr. Thomson describes another variety of hot winds or siroccos, often more overwhelming than those just mentioned. The sky is covered with clouds, and pale lightning play through the air; but there is no rain, thunder, or wind. The heat, however, is intolerable; every traveler seeks a refuge, the birds hide themselves in the thickest shades, the fowls pant under the walls with open mouths, and no living thing is in motion.

WINE

The vine being natural to the soil of Canaan and its vicinity, wine was much used as a beverage, especially at festivals, Es 1:7 5:6 Da 5:1-4 Joh 2:3. As one of the staple products of the Holy Land, it was employed for drink-offerings in the temple service, Ex 20:26 Nu 15:4-10; it was included among the "first-fruits," De 18:4, and was used in the celebration of the Passover, and subsequently of the Lordís supper, Mt 26:27-29. Together with corn and oil it denoted all temporal supplies, Ps 4:7 Ho 2:8 Joe 2:19.

The word "wine" in our Bible is the translation of as many as ten different Hebrew words and two Greek words, most of which occur in but a few instances. The two most frequently used, Yayin and its Greek equivalent Oinos, are general terms for all sorts of wine, Ne 5:18. Without minute details on this subject, we may observe that "wine" in Scripture denotes,

1. The pure juice of the grape, fermented, and therefore more or less intoxicating, but free from drugs of any kind, and not strengthened by distilled liquors.

2. Must, the fresh juice of the grape, unfermented or in process of fermentation. For this the Hebrew employs the word tirosh, English version, new wine. Wine, as a product of agriculture, is commonly mentioned by this name along with corn and oil, Ge 40:11 Ex 22:29 De 32:14 Lu 5:37-38

3. Honey of wine, made by boiling down must to one-fourth of its bulk. This commonly goes, in the Old Testament, by the name debhash, honey; and only the context can enable us to determine whether honey of grapes or of bees is to be understood, Nu 18:12 Pr 9:2,5

4. Spiced wine, made stronger and more inviting to the taste by the admixture of spices and other drugs, So 8:2 5. Strong drink, Hebrew shechar. This word sometimes denotes pure strong wine, as Nu 28:7; or drugged wine, as Isa 5:22; but more commonly wine made from dates, honey, etc., and generally made more inebriating by being mingled with drugs.

See also, in connection with this article, FLAGON, MYRRH, and VINEGAR.

The "wine of Helbon" was made in the vicinity of Damascus, and sent from that city to Tyre, Eze 27:19. It resembled the "wine of Lebanon," famous for its excellence and fragrance, Ho 14:7. See HELBON.

Great efforts have been made to distinguish the harmless from the intoxicating wines of Scripture, and to show that inspiration has in all cases approved the former alone, and condemned the latter, directly or indirectly. It is not necessary, however, to do this in order to demonstrate that so far as the use of wine leads to inebriation it is pointedly condemned by the word of God. Son and shame are connected with the first mention of wine in the Bible, and with many subsequent cases, Ge 9:20 19:31-36 1Sa 25:36-37 2Sa 13:28 1Ki 20:12-21 Es 1:10-11 Da 5:23 Re 17:2. It is characterized as a deceitful mocker, Pr 21:1; as fruitful in miseries, Pr 23:29-35; in woes, Isa 5:22; in errors, Isa 28:1-7; and in impious folly, Isa 5:11,12 56:12 Ho 4 11.

The use of it is in some cases expressly forbidden, Le 10:9 Nu 6:3; and in other cases is alluded to as characteristic of the wicked, Joe 3:3 Am 6:6. Numerous cautions to beware of it are given, 1Sa 1:14 Pr 23:31 31:4-5 1Ti 3:3; and to tempt other to use it is in one passage made the occasion of a bitter curse, Hab 2:15. On the other hand, whatever approval was given in Palestine to the moderate use of wine, can hardly apply to a country where wine is an imported or manufactured article, often containing not a drop of the juice of the grape; or if genuine and not compounded with drugs, still enforced with distilled spirits. The whole state of the case, moreover, is greatly modified by the discovery of the process of distilling alcohol, and by the prevalence of appalling evils now inseparable from the general use of any intoxicating drinks. Daniel and the Rechabites saw good reason for total abstinence from wine, Jer 35:14 Da 1:8; and the sentiment of Paul, on a mater involving the same principles, is divinely commended to universal adoption, Ro 14:21 1Co 8:13.

For "wine-press," see PRESS, and VINE.

WINNOW

See FAN, and THRESHING.

WINTER

See CANAAN.

WISE Men from the East

See MAGI, and STAR.

WIST

Knew; the past tense, from an obsolete present wis, Ex 16:15. Wot and wotteth, meaning know and knoweth, Ge 21:26 39:8, and to wit, meaning to know, Ge 24:21, are also from the same Saxon root. "Do you to wit," 2Co 8:1, means, make you to know, or inform you. "To wit," in 2Co 5:19, means, that is to say.

WIT

See WIST.

WITCH and WIZARD

Our best exposition of these terms as found in the Bible is in the narrative of the witch of Endor. She was widely known as "one that had a familiar spirit" or an attendant demon, and was thereby professedly able to summon departed souls from the spirit world and converse with them. From this it appears that the essential character of witchcraft was a pretended commerce with demons and the spirits of the departed. In this respect it is identical with modern witchcraft and with spiritualism; and all the condemnation pronounced against witchcraft and with spiritualism; and all the condemnation pronounced against witchcraft in the Bible falls equally on these and every similar system of professed commerce with ghosts and demons.

To this practice the ancient witches and wizards joined the arts of fortune-telling and divining, and a professed knowledge and control of the secret powers of the elements, heavenly bodies, etc. In order to give color and concealment to their pretended commerce with spirits, they made use of drugs, fumigationís, chemical arts, incantations, and every mysterious device to awe and impose upon a superstitious people. Their unlawful arts were near akin to the others forbidden in De 18:10-11: "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer." It would appear from this catalogue that all forms of superstition were as prevalent in the East in the days of Moses as they now are. Those familiar with the Syria and Arabia of our days inform us that old and young of all sects universally believe in the potency of "the evil eye," of incantations, charms, amulets, serpent-charming, and exorcism; and that these superstitions exert a prodigious influence on oriental life. Even modern mesmerism has its counterpart among the pretended magic arts of the East, practiced, like many other existing superstitions, from time immemorial.

Such follies and knaveries are all strictly forbidden in the Bible, and many of them in the Jewish dispensation were punishable with death. They are all idolatrousóignoring the only true God, and seeking help from foreign sources. They are sure to prevail in proportion as men lose a calm trust in the Almighty, and an intelligent loving obedience to his will. He that fears God needs fear nothing else; while he that, like king Saul, departs from God, finds help and comfort nowhere. See ENDOR, and SORCERER.

WITHE

Jud 16:7, a band made by plaiting together willow or some other pliable twigs or stalks.

WITNESS

One who testifies to any fact from his own personal knowledge. Under the Mosaic law, two witnesses under oath were necessary to convict a person charged with a capital crime, Nu 35:30; and if the criminal was stoned, the witnesses were bound to cast the first stones, De 17:6-7 Ac 7:58. The Greek word for witness is MARTYR, which see.

The apostles were witnesses, in proclaiming to the world the facts of the gospel, Ac 1:8,22 2:32 2Pe 1:12,16-18; and Christ is a "faithful witness," in testifying to men of heavenly things, Joh 3:12 Re 1:5. The heroes of the ancient church are "witnesses" to the power of true faith, Heb 12:1.

WOE

Is sometimes used in our Bibles where a softer expression would be at least equally proper: "Woe to such a one!" is in our language a threat or imprecation of some calamity, natural or judicial, to befall a person; but this is not always the meaning of the word in Scripture. We find the expression, "Woe is me!" that is, Alas for my sufferings! And, "Woe to the women with child, and those who give suck!" that is, Alas for their redoubled sufferings in times of distress! If in the denunciatory language of Christ, we should read, "Alas for thee, Chorazin! Alas for thee, Bethsaida!" we should do not injustice to the general sentiments of the passage.

Yet in many cases the word woe is used in a fuller and more awful sense, expressing an inspired denunciation and foreshadowing of Godís wrath upon sinners; as when we read, "Woe to those who build houses by unrighteousness, and cities by blood;" woe to those who are "rebellious against God," etc., in numerous passages, especially of the Old Testament, Hab 2:6,9,12,15,19 Zep 3:1.

WOLF

A ferocious wild animal, the Canis Lupus of Linnaeus, belonging to the dog genus. Indeed, it closely resembles the dog; and it is only by a few slight differences of shape that they are distinguished. Wolves never bark, but only howl. They are cruel, but cowardly animals; they fly from man, except when impelled by hunger; in which case they prowl by night in great droves through villages, and destroy any persons they meet, Jer 5:6 Eze 22:27 Hab 1:8.

They are swift of foot, strong enough to carry off a sheep at full speed, and an overmatch for ordinary dogs. In severe winters, wolves assemble in large troops, join in dreadful howlings, and make terrible devastation. They are the peculiar object of terror to shepherds, as the defenselessness and timidity of the sheep render it an easy prey to wolves, Lu 10:3 Joh 10:12. So persecutors and false teachers have been "grievous wolves" to the flock of Christ, Mt 10:16 Ac 20:29. The wolf inhabits the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. Driven in general from the populous parts of the country, he is yet everywhere found in large forests and mountainous regions.

WOMAN

Is spoken of in Scripture as the beloved and honored companion and helpmeet, not the servant, of man, Ge 2:23,24, created as the necessary completion of man, Ge 3:16 1Co 11:3,8,9 14:34,35 1Ti 2:11-14, yet specially qualified for that sphere, and as necessary in it as man in his. Man and woman are indeed essentially one, the natural qualities of each so responding to those of the other as to lay the foundation of the most tender and abiding unity. The Bible thus raised the Jewish woman high above the woman of heathenism; and the Old Testament contains some of the finest portraitures of female character. But still greater is the contrast between the women of heathenism and those of Christianity: the former with mind and soul undeveloped, secluded, degraded, the mere toys and slaves of their husbands; the latter educated, refined, ennobled, cheering and blessing the world. Christianity forbids a man to have more than one wife, or to divorce her for any cause but one, Mt 5:32 19:3-9; declares that bond and free, male and female, are all one in Christ, Ga 3:28; and that in heaven they are no more given in marriage, but are as the angels of God, Mt 22:33. If woman was first in the Fall, she was honored in the exclusive parentage of the Savior of mankind; and women were the truest friends of Christ while on earth. The primal curse falls with heaviest weight on woman; but the larger proportion of women in our churches may indicate that it was the purpose of God to make his grace to man "yet more abound" to her who was the first in sinning and suffering.

In the East, women have always lived in comparative seclusion, not appearing in public unless closely veiled, not mingling in general society, nor seen the men who visit their husbands and brothers, nor even taking their meals with the men of their own family. Their seclusion was less in the rural districts than in towns, and among the Jews than among most to her nations. They were chiefly engaged in domestic duties, Pr 31:1-31; among which were grinding flour, baking bread, making cloth, needle work, etc. The poor gleaned the remnants of the harvest; the daughters of he patriarchs joined in tending their fathersí flocks, Ge 29:9 Ex 2:16; and females of all classes were accustomed to draw water for family use, bearing it in earthen pitchers on their shoulders often for a considerable distance, Ge 24:15-20 Joh 7:28.

WORD

One of the titles of the second person of the Trinity, indicating perhaps that by his acts and teachings God is revealed, somewhat as thought is by words, 1Jo 1:1 5:7 Re 19:13. "The word of the Lord" was a common phrase in the Old Testament, always denoting some revelation of Jehovah. Long before the coming of Christ, the Jewish paraphrasts of the Bible used "The Word" in the passage where Jehovah occurred in the original; and the term was familiar to Jewish writers as the name of a divine being, the Son of God.

To show its true meaning and its application to our Savior, was of great importance to John, the last of the inspired writers, in whose later years certain errors as to the person of Christ, borrowed from Eastern philosophy, had begun to creep into the Christian church. He describes "The Word" as a personal and divine Being, self-existent, and coexistent from eternity with the Father, yet distinguished from him as The Son, the creator of all created things, the source of all life and light to men, and in the fullness of time incarnate among men, Joh 1:13,14. Johnís gospel is full and clear respecting the divinity of Christ, Joh 20:31.

WORLD

The earth on which we dwell, 1Sa 2:8; its inhabitants, Joh 3:16, or a large number of them, Joh 12:19. In several places it is equivalent to "land," meaning the Roman Empire, or Judea and its vicinity, Lu 2:1 4:3 Ac 11:28. It also denotes the objects and interests of time and sense, Ga 6:14 1Jo 2:15.

WORMWOOD

La 3:15, an intensely bitter and poisonous plant, a symbol for whatever is nauseous and destructive, De 29:18 Jer 9:15. The fruits of vicious indulgence are "better as wormwood," Pr 5:3; and injustice and oppression are like wormwood and gall, Am 5:7 6:12.

The Chaldee paraphrase calls it "the wormwood of death." In Re 8:10-11, the star called wormwood seems to denote a mighty prince, or power of the air, the instrument, in its fall, of sore judgments on large numbers of the wicked. Compare Da 10:20-21 Isa 14:12.

WORSHIP of God

Both spiritual and visible, private and public, by individuals, families, and communities, is not only a self-evident duty for all who believe in God, but is abundantly commanded in his word. See PRAYER.

The stated assembling of all people for united worship on the Sabbath, in continuance of the temple and synagogue services enjoined by God and practiced by Christ, is most manifest duty. The very name church, meaning assembly, implies it; and the preaching of the gospel, the great means for promoting Christianity, requires it. The directions of Paul, not to forsake the "assembling of ourselves together," to read his epistles "in all the churches," and to join in "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," and his rules for securing the highest spiritual edification of all when they came together in the church, all indicate the established law of Christianity.

"Worship" is sometimes used of the form of homage paid by subjects to kings, or of honor to one held entitled to it, Da 2:46 Lu 14:10. In the East, this is still often rendered by prostrating the body and touching the forehead to the ground, Ge 33:3 Mt 18:26.

"Will-worship," Col 2:23, is a term descriptive of such forms of adoration and service as are not prescribed in Godís word, but are offensive in his sight. Such are the masses and penances of Popery.

WRITING

See BOOK.