Stacte - (Heb. nataph), one of the components of the perfume which was offered on the golden altar (Ex. 30:34; R.V. marg., "opobalsamum"). The Hebrew word is from a root meaning "to distil," and it has been by some interpreted as distilled myrrh. Others regard it as the gum of the storax tree, or rather shrub, the Styrax officinale. "The Syrians value this gum highly, and use it medicinally as an emulcent in pectoral complaints, and also in perfumery."
Stargazers - (Isa. 47:13), those who pretend to tell what will occur by looking upon the stars. The Chaldean astrologers "divined by the rising and setting, the motions, aspects, colour, degree of light, etc., of the stars."
Star, Morning - a name figuratively given to Christ (Rev. 22:16; comp. 2 Pet. 1:19). When Christ promises that he will give the "morning star" to his faithful ones, he "promises that he will give to them himself, that he will give to them himself, that he will impart to them his own glory and a share in his own royal dominion; for the star is evermore the symbol of royalty (Matt. 2:2), being therefore linked with the sceptre (Num. 24:17). All the glory of the world shall end in being the glory of the Church." Trench's Comm.
Stars - The eleven stars (Gen. 37:9); the seven (Amos 5:8); wandering (Jude 1:13); seen in the east at the birth of Christ, probably some luminous meteors miraculously formed for this specific purpose (Matt. 2:2-10); stars worshipped (Deut. 4:19; 2 Kings 17:16; 21:3; Jer. 19:13); spoken of symbolically (Num. 24:17; Rev. 1:16, 20; 12:1). (See ASTROLOGERS.)
Stater - Greek word rendered "piece of money" (Matt. 17:27, A.V.; and "shekel" in R.V.). It was equal to two didrachmas ("tribute money," 17:24), or four drachmas, and to about 2s. 6d. of our money. (See SHEKEL.)
Steel - The "bow of steel" in (A.V.) 2 Sam. 22:35; Job 20:24; Ps. 18:34 is in the Revised Version "bow of brass" (Heb. kesheth-nehushah). In Jer. 15:12 the same word is used, and is also rendered in the Revised Version "brass." But more correctly it is copper (q.v.), as brass in the ordinary sense of the word (an alloy of copper and zinc) was not known to the ancients.
Stephanas - crown, a member of the church at Corinth, whose family were among those the apostle had baptized (1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15, 17). He has been supposed by some to have been the "jailer of Philippi" (comp. Acts 16:33). The First Epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi some six years after the jailer's conversion, and he was with the apostle there at that time.
Stephen - one of the seven deacons, who became a preacher of the gospel. He was the first Christian martyr. His personal character and history are recorded in Acts 6. "He fell asleep" with a prayer for his persecutors on his lips (7:60). Devout men carried him to his grave (8:2).
It was at the feet of the young Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, that those who stoned him laid their clothes (comp. Deut. 17:5-7) before they began their cruel work. The scene which Saul then witnessed and the words he heard appear to have made a deep and lasting impression on his mind (Acts 22:19, 20).
The speech of Stephen before the Jewish ruler is the first apology for the universalism of the gospel as a message to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. It is the longest speech contained in the Acts, a place of prominence being given to it as a defence.
Stoics - a sect of Greek philosophers at Athens, so called from the Greek word stoa i.e., a "porch" or "portico," where they have been called "the Pharisees of Greek paganism." The founder of the Stoics was Zeno, who flourished about B.C. 300. He taught his disciples that a man's happiness consisted in bringing himself into harmony with the course of the universe. They were trained to bear evils with indifference, and so to be independent of externals. Materialism, pantheism, fatalism, and pride were the leading features of this philosophy.
Stone - Stones were commonly used for buildings, also as memorials of important events (Gen. 28:18; Josh. 24:26, 27; 1 Sam. 7:12, etc.). They were gathered out of cultivated fields (Isa. 5:2; comp. 2 Kings 3:19). This word is also used figuratively of believers (1 Pet. 2:4, 5), and of the Messiah (Ps. 118:22; Isa. 28:16; Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11, etc.). In Dan. 2:45 it refers also to the Messiah. He is there described as "cut out of the mountain." (See ROCK.)
A "heart of stone" denotes great insensibility (1 Sam. 25:37).
Stones were set up to commemorate remarkable events, as by Jacob at Bethel (Gen. 28:18), at Padan-aram (35:4), and on the occasion of parting with Laban (31:45-47); by Joshua at the place on the banks of the Jordan where the people first "lodged" after crossing the river (Josh. 6:8), and also in "the midst of Jordan," where he erected another set of twelve stones (4:1-9); and by Samuel at "Ebenezer" (1 Sam. 7:12).
Stones, Precious - Frequently referred to (1 Kings 10:2; 2 Chr. 3:6; 9:10; Rev. 18:16; 21:19). There are about twenty different names of such stones in the Bible. They are figuratively introduced to denote value, beauty, durability (Cant. 5:14; Isa 54:11, 12; Lam. 4:7).
Stoning - a form of punishment (Lev. 20:2; 24:14; Deut. 13:10; 17:5; 22:21) prescribed for certain offences. Of Achan (Josh. 7:25), Naboth (1 Kings 21), Stephen (Acts 7:59), Paul (Acts 14:19; 2 Cor. 11:25).
Stork - Heb. hasidah, meaning "kindness," indicating thus the character of the bird, which is noted for its affection for its young. It is in the list of birds forbidden to be eaten by the Levitical law (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18). It is like the crane, but larger in size. Two species are found in Palestine, the white, which are dispersed in pairs over the whole country; and the black, which live in marshy places and in great flocks. They migrate to Palestine periodically (about the 22nd of March). Jeremiah alludes to this (Jer. 8:7). At the appointed time they return with unerring sagacity to their old haunts, and re-occupy their old nests. "There is a well-authenticated account of the devotion of a stork which, at the burning of the town of Delft, after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to carry off her young, chose rather to remain and perish with them than leave them to their fate. Well might the Romans call it the pia avis!"
In Job 39:13 (A.V.), instead of the expression "or wings and feathers unto the ostrich" (marg., "the feathers of the stork and ostrich"), the Revised Version has "are her pinions and feathers kindly" (marg., instead of "kindly," reads "like the stork's"). The object of this somewhat obscure verse seems to be to point out a contrast between the stork, as distinguished for her affection for her young, and the ostrich, as distinguished for her indifference.
Zechariah (5:9) alludes to the beauty and power of the stork's wings.
Stranger - This word generally denotes a person from a foreign land residing in Palestine. Such persons enjoyed many privileges in common with the Jews, but still were separate from them. The relation of the Jews to strangers was regulated by special laws (Deut. 23:3; 24:14-21; 25:5; 26:10-13). A special signification is also sometimes attached to this word. In Gen. 23:4 it denotes one resident in a foreign land; Ex. 23:9, one who is not a Jew; Num. 3:10, one who is not of the family of Aaron; Ps. 69:8, an alien or an unknown person. The Jews were allowed to purchase strangers as slaves (Lev. 25:44, 45), and to take usury from them (Deut. 23:20).
Stream of Egypt - (Isa. 27:12), the Wady el-'Arish, called also "the river of Egypt," R.V., "brook of Egypt" (Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4; 2 Kings 24:7). It is the natural boundary of Egypt. Occasionally in winter, when heavy rains have fallen among the mountains inland, it becomes a turbulent rushing torrent. The present boundary between Egypt and Palestine is about midway between el-'Arish and Gaza.
Street - The street called "Straight" at Damascus (Acts 9:11) is "a long broad street, running from east to west, about a mile in length, and forming the principal thoroughfare in the city." In Oriental towns streets are usually narrow and irregular and filthy (Ps. 18:42; Isa. 10:6). "It is remarkable," says Porter, "that all the important cities of Palestine and Syria Samaria, Caesarea, Gerasa, Bozrah, Damascus, Palmyra, had their 'straight streets' running through the centre of the city, and lined with stately rows of columns. The most perfect now remaining are those of Palmyra and Gerasa, where long ranges of the columns still stand.", Through Samaria, etc.
Stripes - as a punishment were not to exceed forty (Deut. 25:1-3), and hence arose the custom of limiting them to thirty-nine (2 Cor. 11:24). Paul claimed the privilege of a Roman citizen in regard to the infliction of stripes (Acts 16:37, 38; 22:25-29). Our Lord was beaten with stripes (Matt. 27:26).
Subscriptions - The subscriptions to Paul's epistles are no part of the original. In their present form they are ascribed to Euthalius, a bishop of the fifth century. Some of them are obviously incorrect.
Suburbs - the immediate vicinity of a city or town (Num. 35:3, 7; Ezek. 45:2). In 2 Kings 23:11 the Hebrew word there used (parvarim) occurs nowhere else. The Revised Version renders it "precincts." The singular form of this Hebrew word (parvar) is supposed by some to be the same as Parbar (q.v.), which occurs twice in 1 Chr. 26:18.
(1.) The first encampment of the Israelites after leaving Ramesses (Ex. 12:37); the civil name of Pithom (q.v.).
(2.) A city on the east of Jordan, identified with Tell Dar'ala, a high mound, a mass of debris, in the plain north of Jabbok and about one mile from it (Josh. 13:27). Here Jacob (Gen. 32:17, 30; 33:17), on his return from Padan-aram after his interview with Esau, built a house for himself and made booths for his cattle. The princes of this city churlishly refused to afford help to Gideon and his 300 men when "faint yet pursuing" they followed one of the bands of the fugitive Midianites after the great victory at Gilboa. After overtaking and routing this band at Karkor, Gideon on his return visited the rulers of the city with severe punishment. "He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth" (Judg. 8:13-16). At this place were erected the foundries for casting the metal-work for the temple (1 Kings 7:46).
Sukkiims - dwellers in tents, (Vulg. and LXX., "troglodites;" i.e., cave-dwellers in the hills along the Red Sea). Shiskak's army, with which he marched against Jerusalem, was composed partly of this tribe (2 Chr. 12:3).
Sun - (Heb. shemesh), first mentioned along with the moon as the two great luminaries of heaven (Gen. 1:14-18). By their motions and influence they were intended to mark and divide times and seasons. The worship of the sun was one of the oldest forms of false religion (Job 31:26,27), and was common among the Egyptians and Chaldeans and other pagan nations. The Jews were warned against this form of idolatry (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; comp. 2 Kings 23:11; Jer. 19:13).
Suph - (Deut. 1:1, R.V.; marg., "some ancient versions have the Red Sea," as in the A.V.). Some identify it with Suphah (Num. 21:14, marg., A.V.) as probably the name of a place. Others identify it with es-Sufah = Maaleh-acrabbim (Josh. 15:3), and others again with Zuph (1 Sam. 9:5). It is most probable, however, that, in accordance with the ancient versions, this word is to be regarded as simply an abbreviation of Yam-suph, i.e., the "Red Sea."
Suphah - (Num. 21:14, marg.; also R.V.), a place at the south-eastern corner of the Dead Sea, the Ghor es-Safieh. This name is found in an ode quoted from the "Book of the Wars of the Lord," probably a collection of odes commemorating the triumphs of God's people (comp. 21:14, 17, 18, 27-30).
Surety - one who becomes responsible for another. Christ is the surety of the better covenant (Heb. 7:22). In him we have the assurance that all its provisions will be fully and faithfully carried out. Solomon warns against incautiously becoming security for another (Prov. 6:1-5; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16).
Swallow - (1.) Heb. sis (Isa. 38:14; Jer. 8:7), the Arabic for the swift, which "is a regular migrant, returning in myriads every spring, and so suddenly that while one day not a swift can be seen in the country, on the next they have overspread the whole land, and fill the air with their shrill cry." The swift (cypselus) is ordinarily classed with the swallow, which it resembles in its flight, habits, and migration.
(2.) Heb. deror, i.e., "the bird of freedom" (Ps. 84:3; Prov. 26:2), properly rendered swallow, distinguished for its swiftness of flight, its love of freedom, and the impossibility of retaining it in captivity. In Isa. 38:14 and Jer. 8:7 the word thus rendered ('augr) properly means "crane" (as in the R.V.).
Swelling - of Jordan (Jer. 12:5), literally the "pride" of Jordan (as in R.V.), i.e., the luxuriant thickets of tamarisks, poplars, reeds, etc., which were the lair of lions and other beasts of prey. The reference is not to the overflowing of the river banks. (Comp. 49:19; 50:44; Zech. 11:3).
Swine - (Heb. hazir), regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred of all animals (Lev. 11:7; Isa. 65:4; 66:3, 17; Luke 15:15, 16). A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:32, 33). Spoken of figuratively in Matt. 7:6 (see Prov. 11:22). It is frequently mentioned as a wild animal, and is evidently the wild boar (Arab. khanzir), which is common among the marshes of the Jordan valley (Ps. 80:13).
It is a symbol of divine chastisement (Deut. 32:25; Ps. 7:12; 78:62), and of a slanderous tongue (Ps. 57:4; 64:3; Prov. 12:18). The word of God is likened also to a sword (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17; Rev. 1:16). Gideon's watchword was, "The sword of the Lord" (Judg. 7:20).
Sycamine tree - mentioned only in Luke 17:6. It is rendered by Luther "mulberry tree" (q.v.), which is most probably the correct rendering. It is found of two species, the black mulberry (Morus nigra) and the white mulberry (Mourea), which are common in Palestine. The silk-worm feeds on their leaves. The rearing of them is one of the chief industries of the peasantry of Lebanon and of other parts of the land. It is of the order of the fig-tree. Some contend, however, that this name denotes the sycamore-fig of Luke 19:4.
Sycamore - more properly sycomore (Heb. shikmoth and shikmim, Gr. sycomoros), a tree which in its general character resembles the fig-tree, while its leaves resemble those of the mulberry; hence it is called the fig-mulberry (Ficus sycomorus). At Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed a sycomore-tree to see Jesus as he passed by (Luke 19:4). This tree was easily destroyed by frost (Ps. 78:47), and therefore it is found mostly in the "vale" (1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chr. 1:15: in both passages the R.V. has properly "lowland"), i.e., the "low country," the shephelah, where the climate is mild. Amos (7:14) refers to its fruit, which is of an inferior character; so also probably Jeremiah (24:2). It is to be distinguished from our sycamore (the Acer pseudo-platanus), which is a species of maple often called a plane-tree.
Sychar - liar or drunkard (see Isa. 28:1, 7), has been from the time of the Crusaders usually identified with Sychem or Shechem (John 4:5). It has now, however, as the result of recent explorations, been identified with 'Askar, a small Samaritan town on the southern base of Ebal, about a mile to the north of Jacob's well.
Syene - opening (Ezek. 29:10; 30:6), a town of Egypt, on the borders of Ethiopia, now called Assouan, on the right bank of the Nile, notable for its quarries of beautiful red granite called "syenite." It was the frontier town of Egypt in the south, as Migdol was in the north-east.
Synagogue - (Gr. sunagoge, i.e., "an assembly"), found only once in the Authorized Version of Ps. 74:8, where the margin of Revised Version has "places of assembly," which is probably correct; for while the origin of synagogues is unknown, it may well be supposed that buildings or tents for the accommodation of worshippers may have existed in the land from an early time, and thus the system of synagogues would be gradually developed.
Some, however, are of opinion that it was specially during the Babylonian captivity that the system of synagogue worship, if not actually introduced, was at least reorganized on a systematic plan (Ezek. 8:1; 14:1). The exiles gathered together for the reading of the law and the prophets as they had opportunity, and after their return synagogues were established all over the land (Ezra 8:15; Neh. 8:2). In after years, when the Jews were dispersed abroad, wherever they went they erected synagogues and kept up the stated services of worship (Acts 9:20; 13:5; 17:1; 17:17; 18:4). The form and internal arrangements of the synagogue would greatly depend on the wealth of the Jews who erected it, and on the place where it was built. "Yet there are certain traditional pecularities which have doubtless united together by a common resemblance the Jewish synagogues of all ages and countries. The arrangements for the women's place in a separate gallery or behind a partition of lattice-work; the desk in the centre, where the reader, like Ezra in ancient days, from his 'pulpit of wood,' may 'open the book in the sight of all of people and read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and give the sense, and cause them to understand the reading' (Neh. 8:4, 8); the carefully closed ark on the side of the building nearest to Jerusalem, for the preservation of the rolls or manuscripts of the law; the seats all round the building, whence 'the eyes of all them that are in the synagogue' may 'be fastened' on him who speaks (Luke 4:20); the 'chief seats' (Matt. 23:6) which were appropriated to the 'ruler' or 'rulers' of the synagogue, according as its organization may have been more or less complete;", these were features common to all the synagogues.
Where perfected into a system, the services of the synagogue, which were at the same hours as those of the temple, consisted,
(1) of prayer, which formed a kind of liturgy, there were in all eighteen prayers;
(2) the reading of the Scriptures in certain definite portions; and
(3) the exposition of the portions read. (See Luke 4:15, 22; Acts 13:14.)
The synagogue was also sometimes used as a court of judicature, in which the rulers presided (Matt. 10:17; Mark 5:22; Luke 12:11; 21:12; Acts 13:15; 22:19); also as public schools.
The establishment of synagogues wherever the Jews were found in sufficient numbers helped greatly to keep alive Israel's hope of the coming of the Messiah, and to prepare the way for the spread of the gospel in other lands. The worship of the Christian Church was afterwards modelled after that of the synagogue.
Christ and his disciples frequently taught in the synagogues (Matt. 13:54; Mark 6:2; John 18:20; Acts 13:5, 15, 44; 14:1; 17:2-4, 10, 17; 18:4, 26; 19:8).
To be "put out of the synagogue," a phrase used by John (9:22; 12:42; 16:2), means to be excommunicated.
Syracuse - a city on the south-east coast of Sicily, where Paul landed and remained three days when on his way to Rome (Acts 28:12). It was distinguished for its magnitude and splendour. It is now a small town of some 13,000 inhabitants.
Syria - (Heb. Aram), the name in the Old Testament given to the whole country which lay to the north-east of Phoenicia, extending to beyond the Euphrates and the Tigris. Mesopotamia is called (Gen. 24:10; Deut. 23:4) Aram-naharain (=Syria of the two rivers), also Padan-aram (Gen. 25:20). Other portions of Syria were also known by separate names, as Aram-maahah (1 Chr. 19:6), Aram-beth-rehob (2 Sam. 10:6), Aram-zobah (2 Sam. 10:6, 8). All these separate little kingdoms afterwards became subject to Damascus. In the time of the Romans, Syria included also a part of Palestine and Asia Minor.
"From the historic annals now accessible to us, the history of Syria may be divided into three periods: The first, the period when the power of the Pharaohs was dominant over the fertile fields or plains of Syria and the merchant cities of Tyre and Sidon, and when such mighty conquerors as Thothmes III. and Rameses II. could claim dominion and levy tribute from the nations from the banks of the Euphrates to the borders of the Libyan desert. Second, this was followed by a short period of independence, when the Jewish nation in the south was growing in power, until it reached its early zenith in the golden days of Solomon; and when Tyre and Sidon were rich cities, sending their traders far and wide, over land and sea, as missionaries of civilization, while in the north the confederate tribes of the Hittites held back the armies of the kings of Assyria. The third, and to us most interesting, period is that during which the kings of Assyria were dominant over the plains of Syria; when Tyre, Sidon, Ashdod, and Jerusalem bowed beneath the conquering armies of Shalmaneser, Sargon, and Sennacherib; and when at last Memphis and Thebes yielded to the power of the rulers of Nineveh and Babylon, and the kings of Assyria completed with terrible fulness the bruising of the reed of Egypt so clearly foretold by the Hebrew prophets.", Boscawen.
Syriac - (2 Kings 18:26; Ezra 4:7; Dan. 2:4), more correctly rendered "Aramaic," including both the Syriac and the Chaldee languages. In the New Testament there are several Syriac words, such as "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" (Mark 15:34; Matt. 27:46 gives the Heb. form, "Eli, Eli"), "Raca" (Matt. 5:22), "Ephphatha" (Mark 7:34), "Maran-atha" (1 Cor. 16:22).
A Syriac version of the Old Testament, containing all the canonical books, along with some apocryphal books (called the Peshitto, i.e., simple translation, and not a paraphrase), was made early in the second century, and is therefore the first Christian translation of the Old Testament. It was made directly from the original, and not from the LXX. Version. The New Testament was also translated from Greek into Syriac about the same time. It is noticeable that this version does not contain the Second and Third Epistles of John, 2 Peter, Jude, and the Apocalypse. These were, however, translated subsequently and placed in the version. (See VERSION.)
When our Lord retired into the borderland of Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 15:21), a Syro-phoenician woman came to him, and earnestly besought him, in behalf of her daughter, who was grievously afflicted with a demon. Her faith in him was severely tested by his silence (Matt. 15:23), refusal (24), and seeming reproach that it was not meet to cast the children's bread to dogs (26). But it stood the test, and her petition was graciously granted, because of the greatness of her faith (28).
Taanach - a sandy place, an ancient royal city of the Canaanites, on the south-western border of the plain of Esdraelon, 4 miles south of Megiddo. Its king was conquered by Joshua (12:21). It was assigned to the Levites of the family of Kohath (17:11-18; 21:25). It is mentioned in the song of Deborah (Judg. 5:19). It is identified with the small modern village of Ta'annuk.
(2.) A portable shrine (comp. Acts 19:24) containing the image of Moloch (Amos 5:26; marg. and R.V., "Siccuth").
(3.) The human body (2 Cor. 5:1, 4); a tent, as opposed to a permanent dwelling.
(4.) The sacred tent (Heb. mishkan, "the dwelling-place"); the movable tent-temple which Moses erected for the service of God, according to the "pattern" which God himself showed to him on the mount (Ex. 25:9; Heb. 8:5). It is called "the tabernacle of the congregation," rather "of meeting", i.e., where God promised to meet with Israel (Ex. 29:42); the "tabernacle of the testimony" (Ex. 38:21; Num. 1:50), which does not, however, designate the whole structure, but only the enclosure which contained the "ark of the testimony" (Ex. 25:16, 22; Num. 9:15); the "tabernacle of witness" (Num. 17:8); the "house of the Lord" (Deut. 23:18); the "temple of the Lord" (Josh. 6:24); a "sanctuary" (Ex. 25:8).
A particular account of the materials which the people provided for the erection and of the building itself is recorded in Ex. 25-40. The execution of the plan mysteriously given to Moses was intrusted to Bezaleel and Aholiab, who were specially endowed with wisdom and artistic skill, probably gained in Egypt, for this purpose (Ex. 35:30-35). The people provided materials for the tabernacle so abundantly that Moses was under the necessity of restraining them (36:6). These stores, from which they so liberally contributed for this purpose, must have consisted in a great part of the gifts which the Egyptians so readily bestowed on them on the eve of the Exodus (12:35, 36).
The tabernacle was a rectangular enclosure, in length about 45 feet (i.e., reckoning a cubit at 18 inches) and in breadth and height about 15. Its two sides and its western end were made of boards of acacia wood, placed on end, resting in sockets of brass, the eastern end being left open (Ex. 26:22). This framework was covered with four coverings, the first of linen, in which figures of the symbolic cherubim were wrought with needlework in blue and purple and scarlet threads, and probably also with threads of gold (Ex. 26:1-6; 36:8-13). Above this was a second covering of twelve curtains of black goats'-hair cloth, reaching down on the outside almost to the ground (Ex. 26:7-11). The third covering was of rams' skins dyed red, and the fourth was of badgers' skins (Heb. tahash, i.e., the dugong, a species of seal), Ex. 25:5; 26:14; 35:7, 23; 36:19; 39:34.
Internally it was divided by a veil into two chambers, the exterior of which was called the holy place, also "the sanctuary" (Heb. 9:2) and the "first tabernacle" (6); and the interior, the holy of holies, "the holy place," "the Holiest," the "second tabernacle" (Ex. 28:29; Heb. 9:3, 7). The veil separating these two chambers was a double curtain of the finest workmanship, which was never passed except by the high priest once a year, on the great Day of Atonement. The holy place was separated from the outer court which enclosed the tabernacle by a curtain, which hung over the six pillars which stood at the east end of the tabernacle, and by which it was entered.
The order as well as the typical character of the services of the tabernacle are recorded in Heb. 9; 10:19-22.
The holy of holies, a cube of 10 cubits, contained the "ark of the testimony", i.e., the oblong chest containing the two tables of stone, the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded.
The holy place was the western and larger chamber of the tabernacle. Here were placed the table for the shewbread, the golden candlestick, and the golden altar of incense.
Round about the tabernacle was a court, enclosed by curtains hung upon sixty pillars (Ex. 27:9-18). This court was 150 feet long and 75 feet broad. Within it were placed the altar of burnt offering, which measured 7 1/2 feet in length and breadth and 4 1/2 feet high, with horns at the four corners, and the laver of brass (Ex. 30:18), which stood between the altar and the tabernacle.
The whole tabernacle was completed in seven months. On the first day of the first month of the second year after the Exodus, it was formally set up, and the cloud of the divine presence descended on it (Ex. 39:22-43; 40:1-38). It cost 29 talents 730 shekels of gold, 100 talents 1,775 shekels of silver, 70 talents 2,400 shekels of brass (Ex. 38:24-31).
The tabernacle was so constructed that it could easily be taken down and conveyed from place to place during the wanderings in the wilderness. The first encampment of the Israelites after crossing the Jordan was at Gilgal, and there the tabernacle remained for seven years (Josh. 4:19). It was afterwards removed to Shiloh (Josh. 18:1), where it remained during the time of the Judges, till the days of Eli, when the ark, having been carried out into the camp when the Israelites were at war with the Philistines, was taken by the enemy (1 Sam. 4), and was never afterwards restored to its place in the tabernacle. The old tabernacle erected by Moses in the wilderness was transferred to Nob (1 Sam. 21:1), and after the destruction of that city by Saul (22:9; 1 Chr. 16:39, 40), to Gibeon. It is mentioned for the last time in 1 Chr. 21:29. A new tabernacle was erected by David at Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:17; 1 Chr. 16:1), and the ark was brought from Perez-uzzah and deposited in it (2 Sam. 6:8-17; 2 Chr. 1:4).
The word thus rendered ('ohel) in Ex. 33:7 denotes simply a tent, probably Moses' own tent, for the tabernacle was not yet erected.
Tabernacles, Feast of - the third of the great annual festivals of the Jews (Lev. 23:33-43). It is also called the "feast of ingathering" (Ex. 23:16; Deut. 16:13). It was celebrated immediately after the harvest, in the month Tisri, and the celebration lasted for eight days (Lev. 23:33-43). During that period the people left their homes and lived in booths formed of the branches of trees. The sacrifices offered at this time are mentioned in Num. 29:13-38. It was at the time of this feast that Solomon's temple was dedicated (1 Kings 8:2). Mention is made of it after the return from the Captivity. This feast was designed
(1) to be a memorial of the wilderness wanderings, when the people dwelt in booths (Lev. 23:43), and
(2) to be a harvest thanksgiving (Neh. 8:9-18).
The Jews, at a later time, introduced two appendages to the original festival, viz.,
(1) that of drawing water from the Pool of Siloam, and pouring it upon the altar (John 7:2, 37), as a memorial of the water from the rock in Horeb; and
(2) of lighting the lamps at night, a memorial of the pillar of fire by night during their wanderings.
"The feast of Tabernacles, the harvest festival of the Jewish Church, was the most popular and important festival after the Captivity. At Jerusalem it was a gala day. It was to the autumn pilgrims, who arrived on the 14th (of the month Tisri, the feast beginning on the 15th) day, like entrance into a silvan city. Roofs and courtyards, streets and squares, roads and gardens, were green with boughs of citron and myrtle, palm and willow. The booths recalled the pilgrimage through the wilderness. The ingathering of fruits prophesied of the spiritual harvest.", Valling's Jesus Christ, p. 133.
Tabitha - (in Greek called Dorcas), gazelle, a disciple at Joppa. She was distinguished for her alms-deeds and good works. Peter, who was sent for from Lydda on the occasion of her death, prayed over the dead body, and said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes and sat up; and Peter "gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive" (Acts 9:36-43).
Tables - (Mark 7:4) means banqueting-couches or benches, on which the Jews reclined when at meals. This custom, along with the use of raised tables like ours, was introduced among the Jews after the Captivity. Before this they had, properly speaking, no table. That which served the purpose was a skin or piece of leather spread out on the carpeted floor. Sometimes a stool was placed in the middle of this skin. (See ABRAHAM'S BOSOM; BANQUET; MEALS.)
(1.) Now Jebel et-Tur, a cone-like prominent mountain, 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee. It is about 1,843 feet high. The view from the summit of it is said to be singularly extensive and grand. This is alluded to in Ps. 89:12; Jer. 46:18. It was here that Barak encamped before the battle with Sisera (q.v.) Judg. 4:6-14. There is an old tradition, which, however, is unfounded, that it was the scene of the transfiguration of our Lord. (See HERMON.) "The prominence and isolation of Tabor, standing, as it does, on the border-land between the northern and southern tribes, between the mountains and the central plain, made it a place of note in all ages, and evidently led the psalmist to associate it with Hermon, the one emblematic of the south, the other of the north." There are some who still hold that this was the scene of the transfiguration (q.v.).
(2.) A town of Zebulum (1 Chr. 6:77).
(3.) The "plain of Tabor" (1 Sam. 10:3) should be, as in the Revised Version, "the oak of Tabor." This was probably the Allon-bachuth of Gen. 35:8.
Tabret - (Heb. toph), a timbrel (q.v.) or tambourine, generally played by women (Gen. 31:27; 1 Sam. 10:5; 18:6). In Job 17:6 the word (Heb. topheth) "tabret" should be, as in the Revised Version, "an open abhorring" (marg., "one in whose face they spit;" lit., "a spitting in the face").
Tadmor - palm, a city built by Solomon "in the wilderness" (2 Chr. 8:4). In 1 Kings 9:18, where the word occurs in the Authorized Version, the Hebrew text and the Revised Version read "Tamar," which is properly a city on the southern border of Palestine and toward the wilderness (comp. Ezek. 47:19; 48:28). In 2 Chr. 8:14 Tadmor is mentioned in connection with Hamath-zobah. It is called Palmyra by the Greeks and Romans. It stood in the great Syrian wilderness, 176 miles from Damascus and 130 from the Mediterranean and was the centre of a vast commercial traffic with Western Asia. It was also an important military station. (See SOLOMON.) "Remains of ancient temples and palaces, surrounded by splendid colonnades of white marble, many of which are yet standing, and thousands of prostrate pillars, scattered over a large extent of space, attest the ancient magnificence of this city of palms, surpassing that of the renowned cities of Greece and Rome."
Tahapanes - =Tahpanhes=Tehaphnehes, (called "Daphne" by the Greeks, now Tell Defenneh), an ancient Egyptian city, on the Tanitic branch of the Nile, about 16 miles from Pelusium. The Jews from Jerusalem fled to this place after the death of Gedaliah (q.v.), and settled there for a time (Jer. 2:16; 43:7; 44:1; 46:14). A platform of brick-work, which there is every reason to believe was the pavement at the entry of Pharaoh's palace, has been discovered at this place. "Here," says the discoverer, Mr. Petrie, "the ceremony described by Jeremiah [43:8-10; "brick-kiln", i.e., pavement of brick] took place before the chiefs of the fugitives assembled on the platform, and here Nebuchadnezzar spread his royal pavilion" (R.V., "brickwork").
Tahtim-hodshi - the land of the newly inhabited, (2 Sam. 24:6). It is conjectured that, instead of this word, the reading should be, "the Hittites of Kadesh," the Hittite capital, on the Orontes. It was apparently some region east of the Jordan and north of Gilead.
(2.) Heb. hegeh, "a thought;" "meditation" (Ps. 90:9); meaning properly "as a whisper of sadness," which is soon over, or "as a thought." The LXX. and Vulgate render it "spider;" the Authorized Version and Revised Version, "as a tale" that is told. In Job 37:2 this word is rendered "sound;" Revised Version margin, "muttering;" and in Ezek. 2:10, "mourning."
Talent - of silver contained 3,000 shekels (Ex. 38:25, 26), and was equal to 94 3/7 lbs. avoirdupois. The Greek talent, however, as in the LXX., was only 82 1/4 lbs. It was in the form of a circular mass, as the Hebrew name kikkar denotes. A talent of gold was double the weight of a talent of silver (2 Sam. 12:30). Parable of the talents (Matt. 18:24; 25:15).
Talitha cumi - (Mark 5:41), a Syriac or Aramaic expression, meaning, "Little maid, arise." Peter, who was present when the miracle was wrought, recalled the actual words used by our Lord, and told them to Mark.
(1.) One of the Anakim of Hebron, who were slain by the men of Judah under Caleb (Num. 13:22; Josh. 15:14; Judg. 1:10).
(2.) A king of Geshur, to whom Absalom fled after he had put Amnon to death (2 Sam. 3:3; 13:37). His daughter, Maachah, was one of David's wives, and the mother of Absalom (1 Chr. 3:2).
(1.) A Levite porter (1 Chr. 9:17; Neh. 11:19).
(2.) One whose descendants returned with Zerubbabel to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:42; Neh. 7:45); probably the same as (1).
(1.) A place mentioned by Ezekiel (47:19; 48:28), on the southeastern border of Palestine. Some suppose this was "Tadmor" (q.v.).
(2.) The daughter-in-law of Judah, to whose eldest son, Er, she was married (Gen. 38:6). After her husband's death, she was married to Onan, his brother (8), and on his death, Judah promised to her that his third son, Shelah, would become her husband. This promise was not fulfilled, and hence Tamar's revenge and Judah's great guilt (38:12-30).
(3.) A daughter of David (2 Sam. 13:1-32; 1 Chr. 3:9), whom Amnon shamefully outraged and afterwards "hated exceedingly," thereby illustrating the law of human nature noticed even by the heathen, "Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris", i.e., "It is the property of human nature to hate one whom you have injured."
(4.) A daughter of Absalom (2 Sam. 14:27).
Tamarisk - Heb. 'eshel (Gen. 21:33; 1 Sam. 22:6; 31:13, in the R.V.; but in A.V., "grove," "tree"); Arab. asal. Seven species of this tree are found in Palestine. It is a "very graceful tree, with long feathery branches and tufts closely clad with the minutest of leaves, and surmounted in spring with spikes of beautiful pink blosoms, which seem to envelop the whole tree in one gauzy sheet of colour" (Tristram's Nat. Hist.).
Tammuz - a corruption of Dumuzi, the Accadian sun-god (the Adonis of the Greeks), the husband of the goddess Ishtar. In the Chaldean calendar there was a month set apart in honour of this god, the month of June to July, the beginning of the summer solstice. At this festival, which lasted six days, the worshippers, with loud lamentations, bewailed the funeral of the god, they sat "weeping for Tammuz" (Ezek. 8:14).
The name, also borrowed from Chaldea, of one of the months of the Hebrew calendar.
(1.) A town in the valley or lowland of Judah; formerly a royal city of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:17; 15:34). It is now called Tuffuh, about 12 miles west of Jerusalem.
(2.) A town on the border of Ephraim (Josh. 16:8). The "land" of Tappuah fell to Manasseh, but the "city" to Ephraim (17:8).
(3.) En-tappuah, the well of the apple, probably one of the springs near Yassuf (Josh. 17:7).
Tares - the bearded darnel, mentioned only in Matt. 13:25-30. It is the Lolium temulentum, a species of rye-grass, the seeds of which are a strong soporific poison. It bears the closest resemblance to wheat till the ear appears, and only then the difference is discovered. It grows plentifully in Syria and Palestine.
Target - (1 Sam. 17:6, A.V., after the LXX. and Vulg.), a kind of small shield. The margin has "gorget," a piece of armour for the throat. The Revised Version more correctly renders the Hebrew word (kidon) by "javelin." The same Hebrew word is used in Josh. 8:18 (A.V., "spear;" R.V., "javelin"); Job 39:23 (A.V., "shield;" R.V., "javelin"); 41:29 (A.V., "spear;" R.V., "javelin").
(1.) One of the "sons" of Javan (Gen. 10:4; 1 Chr. 1:7).
(2.) The name of a place which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon. The question as to the locality of Tarshish has given rise to not a little discussion. Some think there was a Tarshish in the East, on the Indian coast, seeing that "ships of Tarshish" sailed from Eziongeber, on the Red Sea (1 Kings 9:26; 22:48; 2 Chr. 9:21). Some, again, argue that Carthage was the place so named. There can be little doubt, however, that this is the name of a Phoenician port in Spain, between the two mouths of the Guadalquivir (the name given to the river by the Arabs, and meaning "the great wady" or water-course). It was founded by a Carthaginian colony, and was the farthest western harbour of Tyrian sailors. It was to this port Jonah's ship was about to sail from Joppa. It has well been styled "the Peru of Tyrian adventure;" it abounded in gold and silver mines.
It appears that this name also is used without reference to any locality. "Ships of Tarshish" is an expression sometimes denoting simply ships intended for a long voyage (Isa. 23:1, 14), ships of a large size (sea-going ships), whatever might be the port to which they sailed. Solomon's ships were so styled (1 Kings 10:22; 22:49).
Tarsus - the chief city of Cilicia. It was distinguished for its wealth and for its schools of learning, in which it rivalled, nay, excelled even Athens and Alexandria, and hence was spoken of as "no mean city." It was the native place of the Apostle Paul (Acts 21:39). It stood on the banks of the river Cydnus, about 12 miles north of the Mediterranean. It is said to have been founded by Sardanapalus, king of Assyria. It is now a filthy, ruinous Turkish town, called Tersous. (See PAUL.)
(1.) One of Sennacherib's messengers to Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17).
(2.) One of Sargon's generals (Isa. 20:1).
Tatnai - gift, a Persian governor (Heb. pehah, i.e., "satrap;" modern "pasha") "on this side the river", i.e., of the whole tract on the west of the Euphrates. This Hebrew title pehah is given to governors of provinces generally. It is given to Nehemiah (5:14) and to Zerubbabel (Hag. 1:1). It is sometimes translated "captain" (1 Kings 20:24; Dan. 3:2, 3), sometimes also "deputy" (Esther 8:9; 9:3). With others, Tatnai opposed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 5:6); but at the command of Darius, he assisted the Jews (6:1-13).
Taverns, The three - a place on the great "Appian Way," about 11 miles from Rome, designed for the reception of travellers, as the name indicates. Here Paul, on his way to Rome, was met by a band of Roman Christians (Acts 28:15). The "Tres Tabernae was the first mansio or mutatio, that is, halting-place for relays, from Rome, or the last on the way to the city. At this point three roads run into the Via Appia, that from Tusculum, that from Alba Longa, and that from Antium; so necessarily here would be a halting-place, which took its name from the three shops there, the general store, the blacksmith's, and the refreshment-house...Tres Tabernae is translated as Three Taverns, but it more correctly means three shops" (Forbes's Footsteps of St. Paul, p.20).
Taxes - first mentioned in the command (Ex. 30:11-16) that every Jew from twenty years and upward should pay an annual tax of "half a shekel for an offering to the Lord." This enactment was faithfully observed for many generations (2 Chr. 24:6; Matt. 17:24).
Afterwards, when the people had kings to reign over them, they began, as Samuel had warned them (1 Sam. 8:10-18), to pay taxes for civil purposes (1 Kings 4:7; 9:15; 12:4). Such taxes, in increased amount, were afterwards paid to the foreign princes that ruled over them.
In the New Testament the payment of taxes, imposed by lawful rulers, is enjoined as a duty (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13, 14). Mention is made of the tax (telos) on merchandise and travellers (Matt. 17:25); the annual tax (phoros) on property (Luke 20:22; 23:2); the poll-tax (kensos, "tribute," Matt. 17:25; 22:17; Mark 12:14); and the temple-tax ("tribute money" = two drachmas = half shekel, Matt. 17:24-27; comp. Ex. 30:13). (See TRIBUTE.)
Taxing - (Luke 2:2; R.V., "enrolment"), "when Cyrenius was governor of Syria," is simply a census of the people, or an enrolment of them with a view to their taxation. The decree for the enrolment was the occasion of Joseph and Mary's going up to Bethlehem. It has been argued by some that Cyrenius (q.v.) was governor of Cilicia and Syria both at the time of our Lord's birth and some years afterwards. This decree for the taxing referred to the whole Roman world, and not to Judea alone. (See CENSUS.)
Teil tree - (an old name for the lime-tree, the tilia), Isa. 6:13, the terebinth, or turpentine-tree, the Pistacia terebinthus of botanists. The Hebrew word here used (elah) is rendered oak (q.v.) in Gen. 35:4; Judg. 6:11, 19; Isa. 1:29, etc. In Isa. 61:3 it is rendered in the plural "trees;" Hos. 4:13, "elm" (R.V., "terebinth"). Hos. 4:13, "elm" (R.V., "terebinth"). In 1 Sam. 17:2, 19 it is taken as a proper name, "Elah" (R.V. marg., "terebinth").
"The terebinth of Mamre, or its lineal successor, remained from the days of Abraham till the fourth century of the Christian era, and on its site Constantine erected a Christian church, the ruins of which still remain."
This tree "is seldom seen in clumps or groves, never in forests, but stands isolated and weird-like in some bare ravine or on a hill-side where nothing else towers above the low brushwood" (Tristram).
Tekoa, Tekoah - pitching of tents; fastening down, a town of Judah, about 12 miles south of Jerusalem, and visible from the city. From this place Joab procured a "wise woman," who pretended to be in great affliction, and skilfully made her case known to David. Her address to the king was in the form of an apologue, similar to that of Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-6). The object of Joab was, by the intervention of this woman, to induce David to bring back Absalom to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 14:2, 4, 9).
This was also the birth-place of the prophet Amos (1:1).
It is now the village of Teku'a, on the top of a hill among ruins, 5 miles south of Bethlehem, and close to Beth-haccerem ("Herod's mountain").
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