Dye - The art of dyeing is one of great antiquity, although no special mention is made of it in the Old Testament. The Hebrews probably learned it from the Egyptians (see Ex. 26:1; 28:5-8), who brought it to great perfection. In New Testament times Thyatira was famed for its dyers (Acts 16:14). (See COLOUR.)
Eagle - (Herb. nesher; properly the griffon vulture or great vulture, so called from its tearing its prey with its beak), referred to for its swiftness of flight (Deut. 28:49; 2 Sam. 1:23), its mounting high in the air (Job 39:27), its strength (Ps. 103:5), its setting its nest in high places (Jer. 49:16), and its power of vision (Job 39:27-30).
This "ravenous bird" is a symbol of those nations whom God employs and sends forth to do a work of destruction, sweeping away whatever is decaying and putrescent (Matt. 24:28; Isa. 46:11; Ezek. 39:4; Deut. 28:49; Jer. 4:13; 48:40). It is said that the eagle sheds his feathers in the beginning of spring, and with fresh plumage assumes the appearance of youth. To this, allusion is made in Ps. 103:5 and Isa. 40:31. God's care over his people is likened to that of the eagle in training its young to fly (Ex. 19:4; Deut. 32:11, 12). An interesting illustration is thus recorded by Sir Humphry Davy:, "I once saw a very interesting sight above the crags of Ben Nevis. Two parent eagles were teaching their offspring, two young birds, the maneuvers of flight. They began by rising from the top of the mountain in the eye of the sun. It was about mid-day, and bright for the climate. They at first made small circles, and the young birds imitated them. They paused on their wings, waiting till they had made their flight, and then took a second and larger gyration, always rising toward the sun, and enlarging their circle of flight so as to make a gradually ascending spiral. The young ones still and slowly followed, apparently flying better as they mounted; and they continued this sublime exercise, always rising till they became mere points in the air, and the young ones were lost, and afterwards their parents, to our aching sight." (See Isa. 40:31.)
There have been observed in Palestine four distinct species of eagles, (1) the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos); (2) the spotted eagle (Aquila naevia); (3) the common species, the imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca); and (4) the Circaetos gallicus, which preys on reptiles. The eagle was unclean by the Levitical law (Lev. 11:13; Deut. 14:12).
Ear - used frequently in a figurative sense (Ps. 34:15). To "uncover the ear" is to show respect to a person (1 Sam. 20:2 marg.). To have the "ear heavy", or to have "uncircumcised ears" (Isa. 6:10), is to be inattentive and disobedient. To have the ear "bored" through with an awl was a sign of perpetual servitude (Ex. 21:6).
Earing - an Old English word (from the Latin aro, I plough), meaning "ploughing." It is used in the Authorized Version in Gen. 45:6; Ex. 34:21; 1 Sam. 8:12; Deut. 21:4; Isa. 30:24; but the Revised Version has rendered the original in these places by the ordinary word to plough or till.
Earnest - The Spirit is the earnest of the believer's destined inheritance (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14). The word thus rendered is the same as that rendered "pledge" in Gen. 38:17-20; "indeed, the Hebrew word has simply passed into the Greek and Latin languages, probably through commercial dealings with the Phoenicians, the great trading people of ancient days. Originally it meant no more than a pledge; but in common usage it came to denote that particular kind of pledge which is a part of the full price of an article paid in advance; and as it is joined with the figure of a seal when applied to the Spirit, it seems to be used by Paul in this specific sense." The Spirit's gracious presence and working in believers is a foretaste to them of the blessedness of heaven. God is graciously pleased to give not only pledges but foretastes of future blessedness.
Earrings - rings properly for the ear (Gen. 35:4; Num. 31:50; Ezek. 16:12). In Gen. 24:47 the word means a nose-jewel, and is so rendered in the Revised Version. In Isa. 3:20 the Authorized Version has "ear-rings," and the Revised Version "amulets," which more correctly represents the original word (lehashim), which means incantations; charms, thus remedies against enchantment, worn either suspended from the neck or in the ears of females. Ear-rings were ornaments used by both sexes (Ex. 32:2).
Earth - (1.) In the sense of soil or ground, the translation of the word adamah'. In Gen. 9:20 "husbandman" is literally "man of the ground or earth." Altars were to be built of earth (Ex. 20:24). Naaman asked for two mules' burden of earth (2 Kings 5:17), under the superstitious notion that Jehovah, like the gods of the heathen, could be acceptably worshipped only on his own soil.
(2). As the rendering of 'erets, it means the whole world (Gen. 1:2); the land as opposed to the sea (1:10). Erets also denotes a country (21:32); a plot of ground (23:15); the ground on which a man stands (33:3); the inhabitants of the earth (6:1; 11:1); all the world except Israel (2 Chr. 13:9). In the New Testament "the earth" denotes the land of Judea (Matt. 23:35); also things carnal in contrast with things heavenly (John 3:31; Col. 3:1, 2).
Earthquake - mentioned among the extraordinary phenomena of Palestine (Ps. 18:7; comp. Hab. 3:6; Nah. 1:5; Isa. 5:25).
The first earthquake in Palestine of which we have any record happened in the reign of Ahab (1 Kings 19:11, 12). Another took place in the days of Uzziah, King of Judah (Zech. 14:5). The most memorable earthquake taking place in New Testament times happened at the crucifixion of our Lord (Matt. 27:54). An earthquake at Philippi shook the prison in which Paul and Silas were imprisoned (Act 16:26).
It is used figuratively as a token of the presence of the Lord (Judg. 5:4; 2 Sam. 22:8; Ps. 77:18; 97:4; 104:32).
(2). Properly what is in front of one, or a country that is before or in front of another; the rendering of the word kedem. In pointing out the quarters, a Hebrew always looked with his face toward the east. The word kedem is used when the four quarters of the world are described (Gen. 13:14; 28:14); and mizrah when the east only is distinguished from the west (Josh. 11:3; Ps. 50:1; 103:12, etc.). In Gen. 25:6 "eastward" is literally "unto the land of kedem;" i.e., the lands lying east of Palestine, namely, Arabia, Mesopotamia, etc.
Easter - originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons, in honour of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover. Hence the name came to be given to the festival of the Resurrection of Christ, which occured at the time of the Passover. In the early English versions this word was frequently used as the translation of the Greek pascha (the Passover). When the Authorized Version (1611) was formed, the word "passover" was used in all passages in which this word pascha occurred, except in Act 12:4. In the Revised Version the proper word, "passover," is always used.
East sea - (Joel 2:20; Ezek. 47:18), the Dead Sea, which lay on the east side of the Holy Land. The Mediterranean, which lay on the west, was hence called the "great sea for the west border" (Num. 34:6).
East wind - the wind coming from the east (Job 27:21; Isa. 27:8, etc.). Blight caused by this wind, "thin ears" (Gen. 41:6); the withered "gourd" (Jonah 4: 8). It was the cause and also the emblem of evil (Ezek. 17:10; 19:12; Hos. 13:15). In Palestine this wind blows from a burning desert, and hence is destitute of moisture necessary for vegetation.
Eating - The ancient Hebrews would not eat with the Egyptians (Gen. 43:32). In the time of our Lord they would not eat with Samaritans (John 4:9), and were astonished that he ate with publicans and sinners (Matt. 9:11). The Hebrews originally sat at table, but afterwards adopted the Persian and Chaldean practice of reclining (Luke 7:36-50). Their principal meal was at noon (Gen. 43:16; 1 Kings 20:16; Ruth 2:14; Luke 14:12). The word "eat" is used metaphorically in Jer. 15:16; Ezek. 3:1; Rev. 10:9. In John 6:53-58, "eating and drinking" means believing in Christ. Women were never present as guests at meals (q.v.).
(1.) A mountain 3,076 feet above the level of the sea, and 1,200 feet above the level of the valley, on the north side of which stood the city of Shechem (q.v.). On this mountain six of the tribes (Deut. 27:12,13) were appointed to take their stand and respond according to a prescribed form to the imprecations uttered in the valley, where the law was read by the Levites (11:29; 29:4, 13). This mountain was also the site of the first great altar erected to Jehovah (Deut. 27:5-8; Josh. 8:30-35). After this the name of Ebal does not again occur in Jewish history. (See GERIZIM.)
(2.) A descendant of Eber (1 Chr. 1:22), called also Obal (Gen. 10:28).
(3.) A descendant of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36:23).
Ebed-melech - a servant of the king; probably an official title, an Ethiopian, "one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house;" i.e., in the palace of Zedekiah, king of Judah. He interceded with the king in Jeremiah's behalf, and was the means of saving him from death by famine (Jer. 38:7-13: comp. 39:15-18).
Eben-ezer - stone of help, the memorial stone set up by Samuel to commemorate the divine assistance to Israel in their great battle against the Philistines, whom they totally routed (1 Sam. 7:7-12) at Aphek, in the neighbourhood of Mizpeh, in Benjamin, near the western entrance of the pass of Beth-horon. On this very battle-field, twenty years before, the Philistines routed the Israelites, "and slew of the army in the field about four thousand men" (4:1,2; here, and at 5:1, called "Eben-ezer" by anticipation). In this extremity the Israelites fetched the ark out of Shiloh and carried it into their camp. The Philistines a second time immediately attacked them, and smote them with a very great slaughter, "for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken" (1 Sam. 4:10). And now in the same place the Philistines are vanquished, and the memorial stone is erected by Samuel (q.v.). The spot where the stone was erected was somewhere "between Mizpeh and Shen." Some have identified it with the modern Beit Iksa, a conspicuous and prominent position, apparently answering all the necessary conditions; others with Dier Aban, 3 miles east of 'Ain Shems.
(1.). The third post-duluvian patriach after Shem (Gen. 10:24; 11:14). He is regarded as the founder of the Hebrew race (10:21; Num. 24:24). In Luke 3:35 he is called Heber.
(2.) One of the seven heads of the families of the Gadites (1 Chr. 5:13).
(3.) The oldest of the three sons of Elpaal the Benjamite (8:12).
(4.) One of the heads of the familes of Benjamites in Jerusalem (22).
(5.) The head of the priestly family of Amok in the time of Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:20).
Ecclesiastes - the Greek rendering of the Hebrew Koheleth, which means "Preacher." The old and traditional view of the authorship of this book attributes it to Solomon. This view can be satisfactorily maintained, though others date it from the Captivity. The writer represents himself implicitly as Solomon (1:12). It has been appropriately styled The Confession of King Solomon. "The writer is a man who has sinned in giving way to selfishness and sensuality, who has paid the penalty of that sin in satiety and weariness of life, but who has through all this been under the discipline of a divine education, and has learned from it the lesson which God meant to teach him." "The writer concludes by pointing out that the secret of a true life is that a man should consecrate the vigour of his youth to God." The key-note of the book is sounded in ch. 1:2,
"Vanity of vanities! saith the Preacher, Vanity of vanities! all is vanity!"
i.e., all man's efforts to find happiness apart from God are without result.
Eclipse - of the sun alluded to in Amos 8:9; Micah 3:6; Zech. 14:6; Joel 2:10. Eclipses were regarded as tokens of God's anger (Joel 3:15; Job 9:7). The darkness at the crucifixion has been ascribed to an eclipse (Matt. 27:45); but on the other hand it is argued that the great intensity of darkness caused by an eclipse never lasts for more than six minutes, and this darkness lasted for three hours. Moreover, at the time of the Passover the moon was full, and therefore there could not be an eclipse of the sun, which is caused by an interposition of the moon between the sun and the earth.
Ed - witness, a word not found in the original Hebrew, nor in the LXX. and Vulgate, but added by the translators in the Authorized Version, also in the Revised Version, of Josh. 22:34. The words are literally rendered: "And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad named the altar. It is a witness between us that Jehovah is God." This great altar stood probably on the east side of the Jordan, in the land of Gilead, "over against the land of Canaan." After the division of the Promised Land, the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, on returning to their own settlements on the east of Jordan (Josh. 22:1-6), erected a great altar, which they affirmed, in answer to the challenge of the other tribes, was not for sacrifice, but only as a witness ('Ed) or testimony to future generations that they still retained the same interest in the nation as the other tribes.
Edar - tower of the flock, a tower between Bethlehem and Hebron, near which Jacob first halted after leaving Bethlehem (Gen. 35:21). In Micah 4:8 the word is rendered "tower of the flock" (marg., "Edar"), and is used as a designation of Bethlehem, which figuratively represents the royal line of David as sprung from Bethlehem.
(1.) The garden in which our first parents dewlt (Gen. 2:8-17). No geographical question has been so much discussed as that bearing on its site. It has been placed in Armenia, in the region west of the Caspian Sea, in Media, near Damascus, in Palestine, in Southern Arabia, and in Babylonia. The site must undoubtedly be sought for somewhere along the course of the great streams the Tigris and the Euphrates of Western Asia, in "the land of Shinar" or Babylonia. The region from about lat. 33 degrees 30' to lat. 31 degrees, which is a very rich and fertile tract, has been by the most competent authorities agreed on as the probable site of Eden. "It is a region where streams abound, where they divide and re-unite, where alone in the Mesopotamian tract can be found the phenomenon of a single river parting into four arms, each of which is or has been a river of consequence."
Among almost all nations there are traditions of the primitive innocence of our race in the garden of Eden. This was the "golden age" to which the Greeks looked back. Men then lived a "life free from care, and without labour and sorrow. Old age was unknown; the body never lost its vigour; existence was a perpetual feast without a taint of evil. The earth brought forth spontaneously all things that were good in profuse abundance."
(2.) One of the markets whence the merchants of Tyre obtained richly embroidered stuffs (Ezek. 27:23); the same, probably, as that mentioned in 2 Kings 19:12, and Isa. 37:12, as the name of a region conquered by the Assyrians.
(3.) Son of Joah, and one of the Levites who assisted in reforming the public worship of the sanctuary in the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:12).
(1.) A city in the south of Judah, on the border of Idumea (Josh. 15:21).
(2.) The second of the three sons of Mushi, of the family of Merari, appointed to the Levitical office (1 Chr. 23:23; 24:30).
Edom - (1.) The name of Esau (q.v.), Gen. 25:30, "Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage [Heb. haadom, haadom, i.e., 'the red pottage, the red pottage'] ...Therefore was his name called Edom", i.e., Red.
(2.) Idumea (Isa. 34:5, 6; Ezek. 35:15). "The field of Edom" (Gen. 32:3), "the land of Edom" (Gen. 36:16), was mountainous (Obad. 1:8, 9, 19, 21). It was called the land, or "the mountain of Seir," the rough hills on the east side of the Arabah. It extended from the head of the Gulf of Akabah, the Elanitic gulf, to the foot of the Dead Sea (1 Kings 9:26), and contained, among other cities, the rock-hewn Sela (q.v.), generally known by the Greek name Petra (2 Kings 14:7). It is a wild and rugged region, traversed by fruitful valleys. Its old capital was Bozrah (Isa. 63:1). The early inhabitants of the land were Horites. They were destroyed by the Edomites (Deut. 2:12), between whom and the kings of Israel and Judah there was frequent war (2 Kings 8:20; 2 Chr. 28:17).
At the time of the Exodus they churlishly refused permission to the Israelites to pass through their land (Num. 20:14-21), and ever afterwards maintained an attitude of hostility toward them. They were conquered by David (2 Sam. 8:14; comp. 1 Kings 9:26), and afterwards by Amaziah (2 Chr. 25:11, 12). But they regained again their independence, and in later years, during the decline of the Jewish kingdom (2 Kings 16:6; R.V. marg., "Edomites"), made war against Israel. They took part with the Chaldeans when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, and afterwards they invaded and held possession of the south of Palestine as far as Hebron. At length, however, Edom fell under the growing Chaldean power (Jer. 27:3, 6).
There are many prophecies concerning Edom (Isa. 34:5, 6; Jer. 49:7-18; Ezek. 25:13; 35:1-15; Joel 3:19; Amos 1:11; Obad.; Mal. 1:3, 4) which have been remarkably fulfilled. The present desolate condition of that land is a standing testimony to the inspiration of these prophecies. After an existence as a people for above seventeen hundred years, they have utterly disappeared, and their language even is forgotten for ever. In Petra, "where kings kept their court, and where nobles assembled, there no man dwells; it is given by lot to birds, and beasts, and reptiles."
The Edomites were Semites, closely related in blood and in language to the Israelites. They dispossessed the Horites of Mount Seir; though it is clear, from Gen. 36, that they afterwards intermarried with the conquered population. Edomite tribes settled also in the south of Judah, like the Kenizzites (Gen. 36:11), to whom Caleb and Othniel belonged (Josh. 15:17). The southern part of Edom was known as Teman.
(1.) One of the chief towns of the kingdom of Bashan (Josh. 12:4, 5). Here Og was defeated by the Israelites, and the strength of the Amorites broken (Num. 21:33-35). It subsequently belonged to Manasseh, for a short time apparently, and afterwards became the abode of banditti and outlaws (Josh. 13:31). It has been identified with the modern Edr'a, which stands on a rocky promontory on the south-west edge of the Lejah (the Argob of the Hebrews, and Trachonitis of the Greeks). The ruins of Edr'a are the most extensive in the Hauran. They are 3 miles in circumference. A number of the ancient houses still remain; the walls, roofs, and doors being all of stone. The wild region of which Edrei was the capital is thus described in its modern aspect: "Elevated about 20 feet above the plain, it is a labyrinth of clefts and crevasses in the rock, formed by volcanic action; and owing to its impenetrable condition, it has become a refuge for outlaws and turbulent characters, who make it a sort of Cave of Adullam...It is, in fact, an impregnable natural fortress, about 20 miles in length and 15 in breadth" (Porter's Syria, etc.). Beneath this wonderful city there is also a subterranean city, hollowed out probably as a refuge for the population of the upper city in times of danger. (See BASHAN.)
(2.) A town of Naphtali (Josh. 19:37).
Effectual prayer - occurs in Authorized Version, James 5:16. The Revised Version renders appropriately: "The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working", i.e., "it moves the hand of Him who moves the world."
Egg - (Heb. beytsah, "whiteness"). Eggs deserted (Isa. 10:14), of a bird (Deut. 22:6), an ostrich (Job 39:14), the cockatrice (Isa. 59:5). In Luke 11:12, an egg is contrasted with a scorpion, which is said to be very like an egg in its appearance, so much so as to be with difficulty at times distinguished from it. In Job 6:6 ("the white of an egg") the word for egg (hallamuth') occurs nowhere else. It has been translated "purslain" (R.V. marg.), and the whole phrase "purslain-broth", i.e., broth made of that herb, proverbial for its insipidity; and hence an insipid discourse. Job applies this expression to the speech of Eliphaz as being insipid and dull. But the common rendering, "the white of an egg", may be satisfactorily maintained.
(1.) Chieftain or king of one of the Moabite tribes (Judg. 3:12-14). Having entered into an alliance with Ammon and Amalek, he overran the trans-Jordanic region, and then crossing the Jordan, seized on Jericho, the "city of palm trees," which had been by this time rebuilt, but not as a fortress. He made this city his capital, and kept Israel in subjection for eighteen years. The people at length "cried unto the Lord" in their distress, and he "raised them up a deliverer" in Ehud (q.v.), the son of Gera, a Benjamite.
(2.) A city in Judah, near Lachish (Josh. 15:39). It was destroyed by Joshua (10:5, 6). It has been identified with Tell Nejileh, 6 miles south of Tell Hesy or Ajlan, north-west of Lachish. (See LACHISH.)
The Egyptians belonged to the white race, and their original home is still a matter of dispute. Many scholars believe that it was in Southern Arabia, and recent excavations have shown that the valley of the Nile was originally inhabited by a low-class population, perhaps belonging to the Nigritian stock, before the Egyptians of history entered it. The ancient Egyptian language, of which the latest form is Coptic, is distantly connected with the Semitic family of speech.
Egypt consists geographically of two halves, the northern being the Delta, and the southern Upper Egypt, between Cairo and the First Cataract. In the Old Testament, Northern or Lower Egypt is called Mazor, "the fortified land" (Isa. 19:6; 37: 25, where the A.V. mistranslates "defence" and "besieged places"); while Southern or Upper Egypt is Pathros, the Egyptian Pa-to-Res, or "the land of the south" (Isa. 11:11). But the whole country is generally mentioned under the dual name of Mizraim, "the two Mazors."
The civilization of Egypt goes back to a very remote antiquity. The two kingdoms of the north and south were united by Menes, the founder of the first historical dynasty of kings. The first six dynasties constitute what is known as the Old Empire, which had its capital at Memphis, south of Cairo, called in the Old Testament Moph (Hos. 9:6) and Noph. The native name was Mennofer, "the good place."
The Pyramids were tombs of the monarchs of the Old Empire, those of Gizeh being erected in the time of the Fourth Dynasty. After the fall of the Old Empire came a period of decline and obscurity. This was followed by the Middle Empire, the most powerful dynasty of which was the Twelfth. The Fayyum was rescued for agriculture by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty; and two obelisks were erected in front of the temple of the sun-god at On or Heliopolis (near Cairo), one of which is still standing. The capital of the Middle Empire was Thebes, in Upper Egypt.
The Middle Empire was overthrown by the invasion of the Hyksos, or shepherd princes from Asia, who ruled over Egypt, more especially in the north, for several centuries, and of whom there were three dynasties of kings. They had their capital at Zoan or Tanis (now San), in the north-eastern part of the Delta. It was in the time of the Hyksos that Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph entered Egypt. The Hyksos were finally expelled about B.C. 1600, by the hereditary princes of Thebes, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty, and carried the war into Asia. Canaan and Syria were subdued, as well as Cyprus, and the boundaries of the Egyptian Empire were fixed at the Euphrates. The Soudan, which had been conquered by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, was again annexed to Egypt, and the eldest son of the Pharaoh took the title of "Prince of Cush."
One of the later kings of the dynasty, Amenophis IV., or Khu-n-Aten, endeavoured to supplant the ancient state religion of Egypt by a new faith derived from Asia, which was a sort of pantheistic monotheism, the one supreme god being adored under the image of the solar disk. The attempt led to religious and civil war, and the Pharaoh retreated from Thebes to Central Egypt, where he built a new capital, on the site of the present Tell-el-Amarna. The cuneiform tablets that have been found there represent his foreign correspondence (about B.C. 1400). He surrounded himself with officials and courtiers of Asiatic, and more especially Canaanitish, extraction; but the native party succeeded eventually in overthrowing the government, the capital of Khu-n-Aten was destroyed, and the foreigners were driven out of the country, those that remained being reduced to serfdom.
The national triumph was marked by the rise of the Nineteenth Dynasty, in the founder of which, Rameses I., we must see the "new king, who knew not Joseph." His grandson, Rameses II., reigned sixty-seven years (B.C. 1348-1281), and was an indefatigable builder. As Pithom, excavated by Dr. Naville in 1883, was one of the cities he built, he must have been the Pharaoh of the Oppression. The Pharaoh of the Exodus may have been one of his immediate successors, whose reigns were short. Under them Egypt lost its empire in Asia, and was itself attacked by barbarians from Libya and the north.
The Nineteenth Dynasty soon afterwards came to an end; Egypt was distracted by civil war; and for a short time a Canaanite, Arisu, ruled over it.
Then came the Twentieth Dynasty, the second Pharaoh of which, Rameses III., restored the power of his country. In one of his campaigns he overran the southern part of Palestine, where the Israelites had not yet settled. They must at the time have been still in the wilderness. But it was during the reign of Rameses III. that Egypt finally lost Gaza and the adjoining cities, which were seized by the Pulista, or Philistines.
After Rameses III., Egypt fell into decay. Solomon married the daughter of one of the last kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty, which was overthrown by Shishak I., the general of the Libyan mercenaries, who founded the Twenty-second Dynasty (1 Kings 11:40; 14:25, 26). A list of the places he captured in Palestine is engraved on the outside of the south wall of the temple of Karnak.
In the time of Hezekiah, Egypt was conquered by Ethiopians from the Soudan, who constituted the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. The third of them was Tirhakah (2 Kings 19:9). In B.C. 674 it was conquered by the Assyrians, who divided it into twenty satrapies, and Tirhakah was driven back to his ancestral dominions. Fourteen years later it successfully revolted under Psammetichus I. of Sais, the founder of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. Among his successors were Necho (2 Kings 23:29) and Hophra, or Apries (Jer. 37:5, 7, 11). The dynasty came to an end in B.C. 525, when the country was subjugated by Cambyses. Soon afterwards it was organized into a Persian satrapy.
The title of Pharaoh, given to the Egyptian kings, is the Egyptian Per-aa, or "Great House," which may be compared to that of "Sublime Porte." It is found in very early Egyptian texts.
The Egyptian religion was a strange mixture of pantheism and animal worship, the gods being adored in the form of animals. While the educated classes resolved their manifold deities into manifestations of one omnipresent and omnipotent divine power, the lower classes regarded the animals as incarnations of the gods.
Under the Old Empire, Ptah, the Creator, the god of Memphis, was at the head of the Pantheon; afterwards Amon, the god of Thebes, took his place. Amon, like most of the other gods, was identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis.
The Egyptians believed in a resurrection and future life, as well as in a state of rewards and punishments dependent on our conduct in this world. The judge of the dead was Osiris, who had been slain by Set, the representative of evil, and afterwards restored to life. His death was avenged by his son Horus, whom the Egyptians invoked as their "Redeemer." Osiris and Horus, along with Isis, formed a trinity, who were regarded as representing the sun-god under different forms.
Even in the time of Abraham, Egypt was a flourishing and settled monarchy. Its oldest capital, within the historic period, was Memphis, the ruins of which may still be seen near the Pyramids and the Sphinx. When the Old Empire of Menes came to an end, the seat of empire was shifted to Thebes, some 300 miles farther up the Nile. A short time after that, the Delta was conquered by the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, who fixed their capital at Zoan, the Greek Tanis, now San, on the Tanic arm of the Nile. All this occurred before the time of the new king "which knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). In later times Egypt was conquered by the Persians (B.C. 525), and by the Greeks under Alexander the Great (B.C. 332), after whom the Ptolemies ruled the country for three centuries. Subsequently it was for a time a province of the Roman Empire; and at last, in A.D. 1517, it fell into the hands of the Turks, of whose empire it still forms nominally a part. Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt in the time of the shepherd kings. The exile of Joseph and the migration of Jacob to "the land of Goshen" occurred about 200 years later. On the death of Solomon, Shishak, king of Egypt, invaded Palestine (1 Kings 14:25). He left a list of the cities he conquered.
A number of remarkable clay tablets, discovered at Tell-el-Amarna in Upper Egypt, are the most important historical records ever found in connection with the Bible. They most fully confirm the historical statements of the Book of Joshua, and prove the antiquity of civilization in Syria and Palestine. As the clay in different parts of Palestine differs, it has been found possible by the clay alone to decide where the tablets come from when the name of the writer is lost. The inscriptions are cuneiform, and in the Aramaic language, resembling Assyrian. The writers are Phoenicians, Amorites, and Philistines, but in no instance Hittites, though Hittites are mentioned. The tablets consist of official dispatches and letters, dating from B.C. 1480, addressed to the two Pharaohs, Amenophis III. and IV., the last of this dynasty, from the kings and governors of Phoenicia and Palestine. There occur the names of three kings killed by Joshua, Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, Japhia, king of Lachish (Josh. 10:3), and Jabin, king of Hazor (11:1); also the Hebrews (Abiri) are said to have come from the desert.
The principal prophecies of Scripture regarding Egypt are these, Isa. 19; Jer. 43: 8-13; 44:30; 46; Ezek. 29-32; and it might be easily shown that they have all been remarkably fulfilled. For example, the singular disappearance of Noph (i.e., Memphis) is a fulfilment of Jer. 46:19, Ezek. 30:13.
(1.) A descendant of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:10), his great-grandson.
(2.) The son of Gera, of the tribe of Benjamin (Judg. 3:15). After the death of Othniel the people again fell into idolatry, and Eglon, the king of Moab, uniting his bands with those of the Ammonites and the Amalekites, crossed the Jordan and took the city of Jericho, and for eighteen years held that whole district in subjection, exacting from it an annual tribute. At length Ehud, by a stratagem, put Eglon to death with a two-edged dagger a cubit long, and routed the Moabites at the fords of the Jordan, putting 10,000 of them to death. Thenceforward the land, at least Benjamin, enjoyed rest "for fourscore years" (Judg. 3:12-30). (See QUARRIES .) But in the south-west the Philistines reduced the Israelites to great straits (Judg. 5:6). From this oppression Shamgar was raised up to be their deliverer.
Ekron - firm-rooted, the most northerly of the five towns belonging to the lords of the Philistines, about 11 miles north of Gath. It was assigned to Judah (Josh. 13:3), and afterwards to Dan (19:43), but came again into the full possession of the Philistines (1 Sam. 5:10). It was the last place to which the Philistines carried the ark before they sent it back to Israel (1 Sam. 5:10; 6:1-8). There was here a noted sanctuary of Baal-zebub (2 Kings 1: 2, 3, 6, 16). Now the small village Akir. It is mentioned on monuments in B.C. 702, when Sennacherib set free its king, imprisoned by Hezekiah in Jerusalem, according to the Assyrian record.
(1.) Valley of, where the Israelites were encamped when David killed Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2, 19). It was near Shochoh of Judah and Azekah (17:1). It is the modern Wady es-Sunt, i.e., "valley of the acacia." "The terebinths from which the valley of Elah takes its name still cling to their ancient soil. On the west side of the valley, near Shochoh, there is a very large and ancient tree of this kind known as the 'terebinth of Wady Sur,' 55 feet in height, its trunk 17 feet in circumference, and the breadth of its shade no less than 75 feet. It marks the upper end of the Elah valley, and forms a noted object, being one of the largest terebinths in Palestine." Geikie's, The Holy Land, etc.
(2.) One of the Edomite chiefs or "dukes" of Mount Seir (Gen. 36:41).
(3.) The second of the three sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).
(4.) The son and successor of Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings 16:8-10). He was killed while drunk by Zimri, one of the captains of his chariots, and was the last king of the line of Baasha. Thus was fullfilled the prophecy of Jehu (6, 7, 11-14).
(5.) The father of Hoshea, the last king of Israel (2 Kings 15:30; 17:1).
Elam - highland, the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22), and the name of the country inhabited by his descendants (14:1, 9; Isa. 11:11; 21:2, etc.) lying to the east of Babylonia, and extending to the shore of the Mediterranean, a distance in a direct line of about 1,000 miles. The name Elam is an Assyrian word meaning "high."
"The inhabitants of Elam, or 'the Highlands,' to the east of Babylon, were called Elamites. They were divided into several branches, speaking different dialects of the same agglutinative language. The race to which they belonged was brachycephalic, or short-headed, like the pre-Semitic Sumerians of Babylonia.
"The earliest Elamite kingdom seems to have been that of Anzan, the exact site of which is uncertain; but in the time of Abraham, Shushan or Susa appears to have already become the capital of the country. Babylonia was frequently invaded by the Elamite kings, who at times asserted their supremacy over it (as in the case of Chedorlaomer, the Kudur-Lagamar, or 'servant of the goddess Lagamar,' of the cuneiform texts).
"The later Assyrian monarchs made several campaigns against Elam, and finally Assur-bani-pal (about B.C. 650) succeeded in conquering the country, which was ravaged with fire and sword. On the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Elam passed into the hands of the Persians" (A.H. Sayce).
This country was called by the Greeks Cissia or Susiana.
(1.) One of the descendants of Judah, of the family of Hezron (1 Chr. 2:39, "Eleasah").
(2.) A descendant of king Saul (1 Chr. 8:37; 9:43).
(3.) The son of Shaphan, one of the two who were sent by Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar, and also took charge of Jeremiah's letter to the captives in Babylon (Jer. 29:3).
Elath - grove; trees, (Deut. 2:8), also in plural form Eloth (1 Kings 9:26, etc.); called by the Greeks and Romans Elana; a city of Idumea, on the east, i.e., the Elanitic, gulf, or the Gulf of Akabah, of the Red Sea. It is first mentioned in Deut. 2:8. It is also mentioned along with Ezion-geber in 1 Kings 9:26. It was within the limits of Solomon's dominion, but afterwards revolted. It was, however, recovered and held for a time under king Uzziah (2 Kings 14:22). Now the ruin Aila.
Eldad - whom God has loved, one of the seventy elders whom Moses appointed (Num. 11:26, 27) to administer justice among the people. He, with Medad, prophesied in the camp instead of going with the rest to the tabernacle, as Moses had commanded. This incident was announced to Moses by Joshua, who thought their conduct in this respect irregular. Moses replied, "Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets" (Num. 11:24-30; comp. Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49).
Elder - a name frequently used in the Old Testament as denoting a person clothed with authority, and entitled to respect and reverence (Gen. 50:7). It also denoted a political office (Num. 22:7). The "elders of Israel" held a rank among the people indicative of authority. Moses opened his commission to them (Ex. 3:16). They attended Moses on all important occasions. Seventy of them attended on him at the giving of the law (Ex. 24:1). Seventy also were selected from the whole number to bear with Moses the burden of the people (Num. 11:16, 17). The "elder" is the keystone of the social and political fabric wherever the patriarchal system exists. At the present day this is the case among the Arabs, where the sheik (i.e., "the old man") is the highest authority in the tribe. The body of the "elders" of Israel were the representatives of the people from the very first, and were recognized as such by Moses. All down through the history of the Jews we find mention made of the elders as exercising authority among the people. They appear as governors (Deut. 31:28), as local magistrates (16:18), administering justice (19:12). They were men of extensive influence (1 Sam. 30:26-31). In New Testament times they also appear taking an active part in public affairs (Matt. 16:21; 21:23; 26:59).
The Jewish eldership was transferred from the old dispensation to the new. "The creation of the office of elder is nowhere recorded in the New Testament, as in the case of deacons and apostles, because the latter offices were created to meet new and special emergencies, while the former was transmitted from the earlies times. In other words, the office of elder was the only permanent essential office of the church under either dispensation."
The "elders" of the New Testament church were the "pastors" (Eph. 4:11), "bishops or overseers" (Acts 20:28), "leaders" and "rulers" (Heb. 13:7; 1 Thess. 5:12) of the flock. Everywhere in the New Testament bishop and presbyter are titles given to one and the same officer of the Christian church. He who is called presbyter or elder on account of his age or gravity is also called bishop or overseer with reference to the duty that lay upon him (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17-28; Phil. 1:1).
Elealeh - God has ascended, a place in the pastoral country east of Jordan, in the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3, 37). It is not again mentioned till the time of Isaiah (15:4; 16:9) and Jeremiah (48:34). It is now an extensive ruin called el-A'al, about one mile north-east of Heshbon.
(1.) The third son of Aaron (Ex. 6:23). His wife, a daughter of Putiel, bore him Phinehas (Ex. 6:25). After the death of Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:12; Num. 3:4) he was appointed to the charge of the sanctuary (Num. 3:32). On Mount Hor he was clothed with the sacred vestments, which Moses took from off his brother Aaron and put upon him as successor to his father in the high priest's office, which he held for more than twenty years (Num. 20:25-29). He took part with Moses in numbering the people (26:3, 4), and assisted at the inauguration of Joshua. He assisted in the distribution of the land after the conquest (Josh. 14:1). The high-priesthood remained in his family till the time of Eli, into whose family it passed, till it was restored to the family of Eleazar in the person of Zadok (1 Sam. 2:35; comp. 1 Kings 2:27). "And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son" (Josh. 24:33). The word here rendered "hill" is Gibeah, the name of several towns in Palestine which were generally on or near a hill. The words may be more suitably rendered, "They buried him in Gibeah of Phinehas", i.e., in the city of Phinehas, which has been identified, in accordance with Jewish and Samaritan traditions, with Kefr Ghuweirah='Awertah, about 7 miles north of Shiloh, and a few miles south-east of Nablus. "His tomb is still shown there, overshadowed by venerable terebinths." Others, however, have identified it with the village of Gaba or Gebena of Eusebius, the modern Khurbet Jibia, 5 miles north of Guphna towards Nablus.
(2.) An inhabitant of Kirjath-jearim who was "sanctified" to take charge of the ark, although not allowed to touch it, while it remained in the house of his father Abinadab (1 Sam. 7:1, 2; comp. Num. 3:31; 4:15).
(3.) The son of Dodo the Ahohite, of the tribe of Benjamin, one of the three most eminent of David's thirty-seven heroes (1 Chr. 11:12) who broke through the Philistine host and brought him water from the well of Bethlehem (2 Sam. 23:9, 16).
(4.) A son of Phinehas associated with the priests in taking charge of the sacred vessels brought back to Jerusalem after the Exile (Ezra 8:33).
(5.) A Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 23:21, 22).
(1) of the election of individuals to office or to honour and privilege, e.g., Abraham, Jacob, Saul, David, Solomon, were all chosen by God for the positions they held; so also were the apostles.
(2) There is also an election of nations to special privileges, e.g., the Hebrews (Deut. 7:6; Rom. 9:4). (3) But in addition there is an election of individuals to eternal life (2 Thess. 2:13; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:2; John 13:18).
The ground of this election to salvation is the good pleasure of God (Eph. 1:5, 11; Matt. 11:25, 26; John 15:16, 19). God claims the right so to do (Rom. 9:16, 21).
It is not conditioned on faith or repentance, but is of soverign grace (Rom. 11:4-6; Eph. 1:3-6). All that pertain to salvation, the means (Eph. 2:8; 2 Thess. 2:13) as well as the end, are of God (Acts 5:31; 2 Tim. 2:25; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 2:5, 10). Faith and repentance and all other graces are the exercises of a regenerated soul; and regeneration is God's work, a "new creature."
Men are elected "to salvation," "to the adoption of sons," "to be holy and without blame before him in love" (2 Thess. 2:13; Gal. 4:4, 5; Eph. 1:4). The ultimate end of election is the praise of God's grace (Eph. 1:6, 12). (See PREDESTINATION.)
El-elohe-Isreal - mighty one; God of Israel, the name which Jacob gave to the alter which he erected on the piece of land where he pitched his tent before Shechem, and which he afterwards purchased from the sons of Hamor (Gen. 33:20).
Elements - In its primary sense, as denoting the first principles or constituents of things, it is used in 2 Pet. 3:10: "The elements shall be dissolved." In a secondary sense it denotes the first principles of any art or science. In this sense it is used in Gal. 4:3, 9; Col. 2:8, 20, where the expressions, "elements of the world," "week and beggarly elements," denote that state of religious knowledge existing among the Jews before the coming of Christ, the rudiments of religious teaching. They are "of the world," because they are made up of types which appeal to the senses. They are "weak," because insufficient; and "beggarly," or "poor," because they are dry and barren, not being accompanied by an outpouring of spiritual gifts and graces, as the gospel is.
Elephant - not found in Scripture except indirectly in the original Greek word (elephantinos) translated "of ivory" in Rev. 18:12, and in the Hebrew word (shenhabim, meaning "elephant's tooth") rendered "ivory" in 1 Kings 10:22 and 2 Chr. 9:21.
(1.) A warrior of the time of David famed for his exploits. In the Authorized Version (2 Sam. 21:19) it is recorded that "Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath." The Revised Version here rightly omits the words "the brother of." They were introduced in the Authorized Version to bring this passage into agreement with 1 Chr. 20:5, where it is said that he "slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath." Goliath the Gittite was killed by David (1 Sam. 17). The exploit of Elhanan took place late in David's reign.
(2.) The son of Dodo, and one of David's warriors (2 Sam. 23:24).
Eli - ascent, the high priest when the ark was at Shiloh (1 Sam. 1:3, 9). He was the first of the line of Ithamar, Aaron's fourth son (1 Chr. 24:3; comp. 2 Sam. 8:17), who held that office. The office remained in his family till the time of Abiathar (1 Kings 2:26, 27), whom Solomon deposed, and appointed Zadok, of the family of Eleazar, in his stead (35). He acted also as a civil judge in Israel after the death of Samson (1 Sam. 4:18), and judged Israel for forty years.
His sons Hophni and Phinehas grossly misconducted themselves, to the great disgust of the people (1 Sam. 2:27-36). They were licentious reprobates. He failed to reprove them so sternly as he ought to have done, and so brought upon his house the judgment of God (2:22-33; 3:18). The Israelites proclaimed war against the Philistines, whose army was encamped at Aphek. The battle, fought a short way beyond Mizpeh, ended in the total defeat of Israel. Four thousand of them fell in "battle array". They now sought safety in having the "ark of the covenant of the Lord" among them. They fetched it from Shiloh, and Hophni and Phinehas accompanied it. This was the first time since the settlement of Israel in Canaan that the ark had been removed from the sanctuary. The Philistines put themselves again in array against Israel, and in the battle which ensued "Israel was smitten, and there was a very great slaughter." The tidings of this great disaster were speedily conveyed to Shiloh, about 20 miles distant, by a messenger, a Benjamite from the army. There Eli sat outside the gate of the sanctuary by the wayside, anxiously waiting for tidings from the battle-field. The full extent of the national calamity was speedily made known to him: "Israel is fled before the Philistines, there has also been a great slaughter among the people, thy two sons Hophni and Phinehas are dead, and the ark of God is taken" (1 Sam. 4:12-18). When the old man, whose eyes were "stiffened" (i.e., fixed, as of a blind eye unaffected by the light) with age, heard this sad story of woe, he fell backward from off his seat and died, being ninety and eight years old. (See ITHAMAR.)
Eli, Heb. eli, "my God", (Matt. 27:46), an exclamation used by Christ on the cross. Mark (15:34), as usual, gives the original Aramaic form of the word, Eloi.
(1.) A Reubenite, son of Pallu (Num. 16:1, 12; 26:8, 9; Deut. 11:6).
(2.) A son of Helon, and chief of the tribe of Zebulun at the time of the census in the wilderness (Num. 1:9; 2:7).
(3.) The son of Jesse, and brother of David (1 Sam. 16:6). It was he who spoke contemptuously to David when he proposed to fight Goliath (1 Sam. 17:28).
(4.) One of the Gadite heroes who joined David in his stronghold in the wilderness (1 Chr. 12:9).
(1.) One of David's sons born after his establishment in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:16).
(2.) A mighty man of war, a Benjamite (2 Chr. 17:17).
(3.) An Aramite of Zobah, captain of a marauding band that troubled Solomon (1 Kings 11:23).
(1.) The son of Melea (Luke 3:30), and probably grandson of Nathan.
(2.) The son of Abiud, of the posterity of Zerubbabel (Matt. 1:13).
(3.) The son of Hilkiah, who was sent to receive the message of the invading Assyrians and report it to Isaiah (2 Kings 18:18; 19:2; Isa. 36:3; 37:2). In his office as governor of the palace of Hezekiah he succeeded Shebna (Isa. 22:15-25). He was a good man (Isa. 22:20; 2 Kings 18:37), and had a splendid and honourable career.
(4.) The original name of Jehoiakim, king of Judah (2 Kings 23:34). He was the son of Josiah.
(1.) The father of Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah (2 Sam. 11:3). In 1 Chr. 3:5 his name is Ammiel.
(2.) This name also occurs as that of a Gilonite, the son of Ahithophel, and one of David's thirty warriors (2 Sam. 23:34). perhaps these two were the same person.
(1.) A priest, head of one of the courses of the priests of the time of David (1 Chr. 24:12).
(2.) A high priest in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (Neh. 12:22, 23). He rebuilt the eastern city wall (3:1), his own mansion being in that quarter, on the ridge Ophel (3:20, 21). His indulgence of Tobiah the Ammonite provoked the indignation of Nehemiah (13:4, 7).
(1.) A chief of Manasseh, on the east of Jordan (1 Chr. 5:24).
(2.) A Gadite who joined David in the hold at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:11).
(3.) One of the overseers of the offerings in the reign of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:13).
(1.) "Of Damascus," the "steward" (R.V., "possessor") of Abraham's house (Gen. 15:2, 3). It was probably he who headed the embassy sent by Abraham to the old home of his family in Padan-aram to seek a wife for his son Isaac. The account of this embassy is given at length in Gen. 24.
(2.) The son of Becher, and grandson of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8).
(3.) One of the two sons of Moses, born during his sojourn in Midian (Ex. 18:4; 1 Chr. 23:15, 17). He remained with his mother and brother Gershom with Jethro when Moses returned to Egypt. (Ex. 18:4). They were restored to Moses when Jethro heard of his departure out of Egypt.
(4.) One of the priests who blew the trumpet before the ark when it was brought to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).
(5.) Son of Zichri, and chief of the Reubenites under David (1 Chr. 27:16).
(6.) A prophet in the time of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20:37). Others of this name are mentioned Luke 3:29; Ezra 8:16; 10:18, 23, 31.
(1.) "The son of Barachel, a Buzite" (Job 32:2), one of Job's friends. When the debate between Job and his friends is brought to a close, Elihu for the first time makes his appearance, and delivers his opinion on the points at issue (Job 32-37).
(2.) The son of Tohu, and grandfather of Elkanah (1 Sam. 1:1). He is called also Eliel (1 Chr. 6:34) and Eliab (6:27).
(3.) One of the captains of thousands of Manasseh who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:20).
(4.) One of the family of Obed-edom, who were appointed porters of the temple under David (1 Chr. 26:7).
(1.) "The Tishbite," the "Elias" of the New Testament, is suddenly introduced to our notice in 1 Kings 17:1 as delivering a message from the Lord to Ahab. There is mention made of a town called Thisbe, south of Kadesh, but it is impossible to say whether this was the place referred to in the name given to the prophet.
Having delivered his message to Ahab, he retired at the command of God to a hiding-place by the brook Cherith, beyond Jordan, where he was fed by ravens. When the brook dried up God sent him to the widow of Zarephath, a city of Zidon, from whose scanty store he was supported for the space of two years. During this period the widow's son died, and was restored to life by Elijah (1 Kings 17: 2-24).
During all these two years a famine prevailed in the land. At the close of this period of retirement and of preparation for his work (comp. Gal. 1:17, 18) Elijah met Obadiah, one of Ahab's officers, whom he had sent out to seek for pasturage for the cattle, and bade him go and tell his master that Elijah was there. The king came and met Elijah, and reproached him as the troubler of Israel. It was then proposed that sacrifices should be publicly offered, for the purpose of determining whether Baal or Jehovah were the true God. This was done on Carmel, with the result that the people fell on their faces, crying, "The Lord, he is the God." Thus was accomplished the great work of Elijah's ministry. The prophets of Baal were then put to death by the order of Elijah. Not one of them escaped. Then immediately followed rain, according to the word of Elijah, and in answer to his prayer (James 5:18).
Jezebel, enraged at the fate that had befallen her priests of Baal, threatened to put Elijah to death (1 Kings 19:1-13). He therefore fled in alarm to Beersheba, and thence went alone a day's journey into the wilderness, and sat down in despondency under a juniper tree. As he slept an angel touched him, and said unto him, "Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee." He arose and found a cake and a cruse of water. Having partaken of the provision thus miraculously supplied, he went forward on his solitary way for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God, where he took up his abode in a cave. Here the Lord appeared unto him and said, "What dost thou here, Elijah?" In answer to his despondent words God manifests to him his glory, and then directs him to return to Damascus and anoint Hazael king over Syria, and Jehu king over Israel, and Elisha to be prophet in his room (1 Kings 19:13-21; comp. 2 Kings 8:7-15; 9:1-10).
Some six years after this he warned Ahab and Jezebel of the violent deaths they would die (1 Kings 21:19-24; 22:38). He also, four years afterwards, warned Ahaziah (q.v.), who had succeeded his father Ahab, of his approaching death (2 Kings 1:1-16). (See NABOTH.) During these intervals he probably withdrew to some quiet retirement, no one knew where. His interview with Ahaziah's messengers on the way to Ekron, and the account of the destruction of his captains with their fifties, suggest the idea that he may have been in retirement at this time on Mount Carmel.
The time now drew near when he was to be taken up into heaven (2 Kings 2:1-12). He had a presentiment of what was awaiting him. He went down to Gilgal, where was a school of the prophets, and where his successor Elisha, whom he had anointed some years before, resided. Elisha was solemnized by the thought of his master's leaving him, and refused to be parted from him. "They two went on," and came to Bethel and Jericho, and crossed the Jordan, the waters of which were "divided hither and thither" when smitten with Elijah's mantle. Arrived at the borders of Gilead, which Elijah had left many years before, it "came to pass as they still went on and talked" they were suddenly separated by a chariot and horses of fire; and "Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven, "Elisha receiving his mantle, which fell from him as he ascended.
No one of the old prophets is so frequently referred to in the New Testament. The priests and Levites said to the Baptist (John 1:25), "Why baptizest thou, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias?" Paul (Rom. 11:2) refers to an incident in his history to illustrate his argument that God had not cast away his people. James (5:17) finds in him an illustration of the power of prayer. (See also Luke 4:25; 9:54.) He was a type of John the Baptist in the sternness and power of his reproofs (Luke 9:8). He was the Elijah that "must first come" (Matt. 11:11, 14), the forerunner of our Lord announced by Malachi. Even outwardly the Baptist corresponded so closely to the earlier prophet that he might be styled a second Elijah. In him we see "the same connection with a wild and wilderness country; the same long retirement in the desert; the same sudden, startling entrance on his work (1 Kings 17:1; Luke 3:2); even the same dress, a hairy garment, and a leathern girdle about the loins (2 Kings 1:8; Matt. 3:4)."
How deep the impression was which Elijah made "on the mind of the nation may be judged from the fixed belief, which rested on the words of Malachi (4:5, 6), which many centuries after prevailed that he would again appear for the relief and restoration of the country. Each remarkable person as he arrives on the scene, be his habits and characteristics what they may, the stern John equally with his gentle Successor, is proclaimed to be Elijah (Matt. 11:13, 14; 16:14; 17:10; Mark 9:11; 15:35; Luke 9:7, 8; John 1:21). His appearance in glory on the mount of transfiguration does not seem to have startled the disciples. They were 'sore afraid,' but not apparently surprised."
(2.) The Elijah spoken of in 2 Chr. 21:12-15 is by some supposed to be a different person from the foregoing. He lived in the time of Jehoram, to whom he sent a letter of warning (comp. 1 Chr. 28:19; Jer. 36), and acted as a prophet in Judah; while the Tishbite was a prophet of the northern kingdom. But there does not seem any necessity for concluding that the writer of this letter was some other Elijah than the Tishbite. It may be supposed either that Elijah anticipated the character of Jehoram, and so wrote the warning message, which was preserved in the schools of the prophets till Jehoram ascended the throne after the Tishbite's translation, or that the translation did not actually take place till after the accession of Jehoram to the throne (2 Chr. 21:12; 2 Kings 8:16). The events of 2 Kings 2 may not be recorded in chronological order, and thus there may be room for the opinion that Elijah was still alive in the beginning of Jehoram's reign.
Elim - trees, (Ex. 15:27; Num. 33:9), the name of the second station where the Israelites encamped after crossing the Red Sea. It had "twelve wells of water and threescore and ten palm trees." It has been identified with the Wady Ghurundel, the most noted of the four wadies which descend from the range of et-Tih towards the sea. Here they probably remained some considerable time. The form of expression in Ex. 16:1 seems to imply that the people proceeded in detachments or companies from Elim, and only for the first time were assembled as a complete host when they reached the wilderness of Sin (q.v.).
Elimelech - God his king, a man of the tribe of Judah, of the family of the Hezronites, and kinsman of Boaz, who dwelt in Bethlehem in the days of the judges. In consequence of a great dearth he, with his wife Naomi and his two sons, went to dwell in the land of Moab. There he and his sons died (Ruth 1:2,3; 2:1,3; 4:3,9). Naomi afterwards returned to Palestine with her daughter Ruth.
Elioenai - toward Jehovah are my eyes, the name of several men mentioned in the Old Testament (1 Chr. 7:8; 4:36; Ezra 10:22, 27). Among these was the eldest son of Neariah, son of Shemaiah, of the descendants of Zerubbabel. His family are the latest mentioned in the Old Testament (1 Chr. 3:23, 24).
(1.) One of Job's "three friends" who visited him in his affliction (4:1). He was a "Temanite", i.e., a native of Teman, in Idumea. He first enters into debate with Job. His language is uniformly more delicate and gentle than that of the other two, although he imputes to Job special sins as the cause of his present sufferings. He states with remarkable force of language the infinite purity and majesty of God (4:12-21; 15:12-16).
(2.) The son of Esau by his wife Adah, and father of several Edomitish tribes (Gen. 36:4, 10, 11, 16).
(1.) One of David's distinguished warriors (2 Sam. 23:34); called also Eliphal in 1 Chr. 11:35.
(2.) One of the sons of David born at Jerusalem (1 Chr. 3:6; 14:5); called Elpalet in 1 Chr. 14:5. Also another of David's sons (1 Chr. 3:8); called Eliphalet in 2 Sam. 5:16; 1 Chr. 14:7.
(3.) A descendant of king Saul through Jonathan (1 Chr. 8:39).
Elisabeth - God her oath, the mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5). She was a descendant of Aaron. She and her husband Zacharias (q.v.) "were both righteous before God" (Luke 1:5, 13). Mary's visit to Elisabeth is described in 1:39-63.
Elisha - God his salvation, the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah, who became the attendant and disciple of Elijah (1 Kings 19:16-19). His name first occurs in the command given to Elijah to anoint him as his successor (1 Kings 19:16). This was the only one of the three commands then given to Elijah which he accomplished. On his way from Sinai to Damascus he found Elisha at his native place engaged in the labours of the field, ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen. He went over to him, threw over his shoulders his rough mantle, and at once adopted him as a son, and invested him with the prophetical office (comp. Luke 9:61, 62). Elisha accepted the call thus given (about four years before the death of Ahab), and for some seven or eight years became the close attendant on Elijah till he was parted from him and taken up into heaven. During all these years we hear nothing of Elisha except in connection with the closing scenes of Elijah's life. After Elijah, Elisha was accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets, and became noted in Israel. He possessed, according to his own request, "a double portion" of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings 2:9); and for the long period of about sixty years (B.C. 892-832) held the office of "prophet in Israel" (2 Kings 5:8).
After Elijah's departure, Elisha returned to Jericho, and there healed the spring of water by casting salt into it (2 Kings 2:21). We next find him at Bethel (2:23), where, with the sternness of his master, he cursed the youths who came out and scoffed at him as a prophet of God: "Go up, thou bald head." The judgment at once took effect, and God terribly visited the dishonour done to his prophet as dishonour done to himself. We next read of his predicting a fall of rain when the army of Jehoram was faint from thirst (2 Kings 3:9-20); of the multiplying of the poor widow's cruse of oil (4:1-7); the miracle of restoring to life the son of the woman of Shunem (4:18-37); the multiplication of the twenty loaves of new barley into a sufficient supply for an hundred men (4:42-44); of the cure of Naaman the Syrian of his leprosy (5:1-27); of the punishment of Gehazi for his falsehood and his covetousness; of the recovery of the axe lost in the waters of the Jordan (6:1-7); of the miracle at Dothan, half-way on the road between Samaria and Jezreel; of the siege of Samaria by the king of Syria, and of the terrible sufferings of the people in connection with it, and Elisha's prophecy as to the relief that would come (2 Kings 6:24-7:2).
We then find Elisha at Damascus, to carry out the command given to his master to anoint Hazael king over Syria (2 Kings 8:7-15); thereafter he directs one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Israel, instead of Ahab. Thus the three commands given to Elijah (9:1-10) were at length carried out.
We do not again read of him till we find him on his death-bed in his own house (2 Kings 13:14-19). Joash, the grandson of Jehu, comes to mourn over his approaching departure, and utters the same words as those of Elisha when Elijah was taken away: "My father, my father! the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof."
Afterwards when a dead body is laid in Elisha's grave a year after his burial, no sooner does it touch the hallowed remains than the man "revived, and stood up on his feet" (2 Kings 13:20-21).
Elishah - the oldest of the four sons of Javan (Gen. 10:4), whose descendants peopled Greece. It has been supposed that Elishah's descendants peopled the Peloponnesus, which was known by the name of Elis. This may be meant by "the isles of Elishah" (Ezek. 27:7).
(1.) A prince of Benjamin, grandfather of Joshua (Num. 1:10; 1 Chr. 7:26).
(2.) One of David's sons (2 Sam. 5:16).
(3.) Another of David's sons (1 Chr. 3:6).
(4.) A priest sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the people the law (2 Chr. 17:8).
(1.) The second son of Korah (Ex. 6:24), or, according to 1 Chr. 6:22, 23, more correctly his grandson.
(2.) Another Levite of the line of Heman the singer, although he does not seem to have performed any of the usual Levitical offices. He was father of Samuel the prophet (1 Chr. 6:27, 34). He was "an Ephrathite" (1 Sam. 1:1, 4, 8), but lived at Ramah, a man of wealth and high position. He had two wives, Hannah, who was the mother of Samuel, and Peninnah.
Ellasar - the oak or heap of Assyria, a territory in Asia of which Arioch was king (Gen. 14:1, 9). It is supposed that the old Chaldean town of Larsa was the metropolis of this kingdom, situated nearly half-way between Ur (now Mugheir) and Erech, on the left bank of the Euphrates. This town is represented by the mounds of Senkereh, a little to the east of Erech.
Elm - Hos. 4:13; rendered "terebinth" in the Revised Version. It is the Pistacia terebinthus of Linn., a tree common in Palestine, long-lived, and therefore often employed for landmarks and in designating places (Gen. 35:4; Judg. 6:11, 19. Rendered "oak" in both A.V. and R.V.). (See TEIL TREE.)
Elnathan - whom God has given. (1.) An inhabitant of Jerusalem, the father of Nehushta, who was the mother of king Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:8). Probably the same who tried to prevent Jehoiakim from burning the roll of Jeremiah's prophecies (Jer. 26:22; 36:12). (2.) Ezra 8:16.
(1.) A city of Dan (Josh. 19:43).
(2.) A Hittite, father of Bashemath, Esau's wife (Gen. 26:34).
(3.) One of the sons of Zebulun (Gen. 46:14).
(4.) The eleventh of the Hebrew judges. He held office for ten years (Judg. 12:11, 12). He is called the Zebulonite.
Elparan - oak of Paran, a place on the edge of the wilderness bordering the territory of the Horites (Gen. 14:6). This was the farthest point to which Chedorlaomer's expedition extended. It is identified with the modern desert of et-Tih. (See PARAN.)
Elul - (Neh. 6:15), the name of the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year, and the twelfth of the civil year. It began with the new moon of our August and September, and consisted of twenty-nine days.
Embalming - the process of preserving a body by means of aromatics (Gen. 50:2, 3, 26). This art was practised by the Egyptians from the earliest times, and there brought to great perfection. This custom probably originated in the belief in the future reunion of the soul with the body. The process became more and more complicated, and to such perfection was it carried that bodies embalmed thousands of years ago are preserved to the present day in the numberless mummies that have been discovered in Egypt.
The embalming of Jacob and Joseph was according to the Egyptian custom, which was partially followed by the Jews (2 Chr. 16:14), as in the case of king Asa, and of our Lord (John 19:39, 40; Luke 23:56; 24:1). (See PHARAOH.)
Embroider - The art of embroidery was known to the Jews (Ex. 26:36; 35:35; 38:23; Judg. 5:30; Ps. 45:14). The skill of the women in this art was seen in the preparation of the sacerdotal robes of the high priest (Ex. 28). It seems that the art became hereditary in certain families (1 Chr. 4:21). The Assyrians were also noted for their embroidered robes (Ezek. 27:24).
Emerald - Heb. nophek (Ex. 28:18; 39:11); i.e., the "glowing stone", probably the carbuncle, a precious stone in the breastplate of the high priest. It is mentioned (Rev. 21:19) as one of the foundations of the New Jerusalem. The name given to this stone in the New Testament Greek is smaragdos, which means "live coal."
Emims - terrors, a warlike tribe of giants who were defeated by Chedorlaomer and his allies in the plain of Kiriathaim. In the time of Abraham they occupied the country east of Jordan, afterwards the land of the Moabites (Gen. 14:5; Deut. 2:10). They were, like the Anakim, reckoned among the Rephaim, and were conquered by the Moabites, who gave them the name of Emims, i.e., "terrible men" (Deut. 2:11). The Ammonites called them Zamzummims (2:20).
Emmaus - hot baths, a village "three-score furlongs" from jerusalem, where our Lord had an interview with two of his disciples on the day of his resurrection (Luke 24:13). This has been identified with the modern el-Kubeibeh, lying over 7 miles north-west of Jerusalem. This name, el-Kubeibeh, meaning "little dome," is derived from the remains of the Crusaders' church yet to be found there. Others have identified it with the modern Khurbet Khamasa i.e., "the ruins of Khamasa", about 8 miles south-west of Jerusalem, where there are ruins also of a Crusaders' church. Its site, however has been much disputed.
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