KJV Study Bible

Home | Resources | Polyglot Old Testament | Polyglot New Testament | Bible Encyclopedia | Dictionary
Go to book

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]
Search Article

Edward Robinson

[1] [2] [3]

Next Page >>


D, on the right hand side ;) in the most conspicuous situation the wall could afford. 2. The miracle is supposed to have consisted in tracings, marks, or delineations, on the plaster : — now such might be made by various means ; as (1.) by lines, drawn with a black substance on a white ground ; or (2.) by fissures, cracks, or crevices, wrought, as it were, in the plaster ; or (3.) as a finger might write on soft plaster, by tracing its course along it ; thereby forming hollows, little furrows, indented marks on its surface ; much like those made by the impression of a seal ; for so the word is used, ch. vi. 8. — Now, O king, establish the decree and stamp (ann) mark by stamping with thy seal, as the custom in the East is, for confirmation, the writing. This may be accepted as answering the second question. So far we are justified, no less by our plate, than by the narration itself: there remains another ques- tion, which is rather to be answered by conjecture than by facts. The following crude ideas on the sub- ject are offered that the reader may improve them into a better character. Why could not the Chaldean wise men read the writing? They could not ascertain its meaning, probably, because, if it consisted in indented tracings, as with a finger, on soft plaster, there was no dis- coloration, whereby to distinguish them as letters (i. e. well-drawn, well formed letters) from the rest of the plaster ; at most, perhaps, the Chaldeans saw merely a number of (to them confused) lines ; or if the marks were delineated by means of cracks or fissures, in the plaster itself, the effect was, to the Chaldeans, much the same. When Daniel inspect- ed the inscription, he perceived that it formed let- ters and words ; he was enabled to combine and arrange them ; also, to perceive their hidden mean- ing and application tc persons and things ; which he had the fortitude to tell the king ; and to apply to him, personally. These ideas go far in explana- tion of this matter. But if it be thought the letters, as letters, were clear to the eyes of the wisp men, as they were to Daniel, there still remains a question, in what characters were they written ? Not in the Chaldee character, it is presumed ; but, probably, in the sacred language ; the ancient Hebrew ; which for the present we call the Samaritan. This was a character not likely to be familiar to the Chaldeans r they would not readily think of combining into let- ters and words, in this character of the ancient He- brews, (now their vanquished subjects and slaves,) a few irregular scrawling lines: that character was no sacred character to them ; nor were they in the habit of investigating it ; while to Daniel, this very description of writing had been his daily study from his youth, — his daily perusal, in the holy Scrip- tures. We see no objection against uniting these ideas, — As thus : suppose the lines might be formed by hol- lows or tracings in the plaster ; these, though they appeared to the Chaldean wise men to be no better than those random veins which are occasionally ob- served in marble, &c. yet, when inspected by the learned eye of Daniel, he saw they were letters, in that sacred language to which he had been ac- customed ; he read them without difficulty, he com- bined them, and, more than that, he explained them. The text says expressly, that the Chaldeans could not read them ; but even if they had happened to possess the power of reading them, they might have been none the nearer toward ascertaining their pro- phetic import. We see daily instances of foreign characters, and foreign words, which are unintel- • ligible to most persons, much like what these char- acters were to the Chaldeans. There is a species of eastern wit which consists in forming letters and sentences into enigmas, of va- rious kinds : no doubt Belshazzar considered this inscription as something of the same nature, and therefore expected his profound decipherers to ex- plain it. This kind of puzzle is more common in the East than we are aware of; and we find INadir Shah had coins struck with the same play of words upon them, " Al kher fi ma vacheh, 'What has hap- pened is best :' the numerical letters of this motto make up 1148, the year he usurped the crown." Frazer's History, p. 119. Thus we have endeavored to deflect a few scat- tered rays on the nature of this miracle ; always meaning to insist on the distinction between inquir- ing in what a miracle consisted ; and by what power it was accomplished. The first is the proper duty of rational minds: the latter is confessedly above them.


DABBASHETH, a town of Zebulun, Josh, xix. 11. DABERATH. Joshua (xix. 12.) mentions Da- berath as a town of Zebulun, or on its borders, but in chap. xxi. 28. it is placed in the tribe of Issachar ; which tribe ceded it to the Levites. Josephus calls it Dabaritta, or Darabitta, in the great plain at the ex- tremity of Galilee and Samaria ; perhaps it is Dahira, which Jerome places toward mount Tabor, in the district of Diocsesarea. Maundrell speaks of Debora at the foot of mount Tabor. I. D AGON, a god of the Philistines. The Etymolo- gicum Magnum says that Dagon was Saturn ; others say, he was Jupiter ; others say, Venus, whom the Egyptians worshipped under the form of a fish ; be- cause, in Tryphon's war against the gods, Venus con- cealed herself under this shape. (Ovid Met. lib. v. fab. 5.) Diodorus Siculus says (lib. ii.) that at Aske- lon the goddess Derceto, or Atergatis, was worship- ped under the figure of a woman, with the lower parts of a fish ; and Lucian (de Dea Syr.) describes that goddess, or Venus, as being adored under this form. There is an ancient fable, that 'S2arvijc, (Oannes,) who was half a man and half a fish, came to Babylon, and taught several arts : and qfterivards returned to the sea .... there were several of these Oannes . . . the name of one was Odacon, i. e. « Da- gon (the Dagon). Berosus, speaking of Oannes, says, he had the body and head of a fish ; and above the head of the fish he had a human head ; and below the tail of the fish he had human feet. This is the true figure of Dagon. Helladius reports of Oes, what Berosus reports of Oannes ; (whence Scaliger thought Oes was the name Oannes mutilated ;) he says, he was a monster who came out of the Red sea. He had the head, the hands, and the feet of a man ; in the rest of his body he was a fish : he first taught letters and astronomy to mankind. We con- clude, then, that Oes and Oannes are the same person ; and that Oannes is Dagon.- See Deluge. temple of Dagon at Gaza was pulled down by Samson, Judg. xvi. 23. In another at Ashdod, the Philistines deposited the ark of God, 1 Sam. v. 1 — 3. city in Judah was called Beth-Dagon, that is, the house [or temple] of Dagon ; (Josh. xv. 41.) and an- other on the frontiers of Asher, Josh. xix. 27. Euse- bius speaks of a town called Caphar Dagon, the Field of Dagon, between Jamnia and Diospolis. Philo-Bib- lius, in his translation of Sanchoniathon, says that Da- gon means Siton, the god of wheat. Dagdn does, in- deed, signify ivheat, in the Hebrew ; but who is this god of wheat ? probably Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and plenty : the Hebrews have no feminine names to signify goddesses : and Elian informs us, that among the names of Ceres, Siton was one. Ceres was " the goddess of wheat," in her character of the in- ventress and protectress of agriculture. We find her likewise delineated with fish around her on some medals, as those of Syracuse. In Philo-Biblius, Dagon is brother to Saturn, as in Greek authors Ceres is sister to Saturn. Ceres submitted to the embraces of her brother, according to the Greeks ; Atergatis is sister to Saturn, according to Philo-Bib- lius. Lastly, Ceres is sometimes described with the attributes of Isis, the goddess of fertility among the Egyptians. An Egyptian medal represents half the body of a woman with a cornucopia in her hands, the tail of a fish bent behind, and feet like those of a crocodile, or a sea-calf. Salmasius is of opinion, that Dagon is the same as Ceto. a great fish. Ceto the sea-monster, to which Andromeda was exposed at Joppa, and Derceto the goddess of the Askelonites, are the same deity. Selden thinks Atergatis to be the same as Dagon, and derived from the Hebrew Adir- Dagan, "magnificent fish;" and Diana, the Per- sian, or Venus, was, it is said, changed into a fish, by throwing herself into the waters of Babylon. There was a deep pond near Askelon filled with fish, con- secrated to Derceto, from which the inhabitants of the town abstained, through superstitious belief that Venus, having cast herself into this pond, was there metamorphosed into a fish. [The name Dagon is derived from dag, fish, and signifies a large fish. This god seems originally to have been the same with Astarte. For fuller information respecting Dagon, see Selden de Diis Syris, ii. 3. Creuzer's Symbolik, ii. 12. De Wette, Heb. Jiid. Archseol. § 233. R.


DALMANUTHA, a city west of the sea of Tibe- rias, in the district of Magdala, Matt. xv. 39 ; Mark viii. 10. (See Magdala.) Others suppose it to have been on the south-eastern shore of the lake.


DALMATIA, part of Illyricum, on the gulf of Venice, 2 Tim. iv. 10.


DAMASCUS, a celebrated city of Syria, which was long the capital of a kingdom of Damascus, or Aram of Damascus, i. e. Syria of Damascus. It was a city in the time of Abraham ; and some of the an- cients say that this patriarch reigned there, imme- diately after Damascus, its founder. Scripture says nothing more of this city till David's time ; when Hadad, king of Damascus, sending troops to assist Hadadezer, kinc of Zobah, was defeated with the latter, and subdued by David, A. M. 2992. Toward the end of Solomon's reign, God stirred up Rezin, son of Eliadah, who restored the kingdom of Damas- cus, and shook off the yoke of the Jewish kings [ 329 ] Asa, king of Judah, implored the help of Benhadad, son of Tabrimmon, king of Damascus, against Baa- sha, king of Israel, and engaged him, by subsidies, to invade his enemy's territories. After this time, the kings of Damascus were generally called Benhadad, Which they assumed as a surname, like the Caesars of Rome. Jeroboam II. king of Israel, regained the suneriority of Israel over the kings of Syria. He conquered Damascus and Hamath, the two principal cities of Syria, (2 Kings xiv. 25.) but after the death of Jeroboam II. the Syrians reestablished their monarchy. Rezin assumed the title of king of Da- mascus ; entered into a confederacy with Pekah, usurper of the kingdom of Israel, and, in conjunction with him, made great havoc in the territories of Jo- tham and Ahaz, kings of Judah, 2 Kings xvi. 5. Tiglath-Pileser, however, coming to the assistance of Ahaz, invaded the dominions of' Rezin, took Damascus, destroyed it, killed Rezin, and sent the Syrians into captivity beyond the Euphrates ; according to the predictions of the prophets Isaiah and Amos, 2 Kings xv. 29 ; Is. vii. 4, 8 ; viii. 4 ; xxii. 1 — 3 ; Amos i. 3. Damascus, however, recovered from these misfortunes ; and it appears, that Sen- nacherib took it, when he marched against Hezekiah, Is. ix. 11. Holofernes also took it, Judith ii. 27. Ezekiel speaks of it as flourishing, chap, xxvii. 11. Jeremiah threatens it with the attacks of Nebuchad- nezzar, xxv. 9.; xxvii. 8 ; xlix. 23. After the return from the captivity, Zechariah (ix. 1.) foretold several calamities which should befall it, and which, in all probability, did befall it when it was conquered by the generals of Alexander the Great. The Romans took it about A. M. 3939, when Pompey made war against Tigranes, and sent MeteLlus and Lselius thither, who seized it. Damascus remained under the Roman government till it fell into the hands of the Arabians. Obodas, father of Aretas, king of Arabia, whom Paul mentions, (2 Cor. xi. 32.) was master of Damascus in the reign of Augustus ; but was subject to the Romans. Aretas, whose officer was governor at Damascus when Paul came thither, quarrelled with the Romans, and was then at war with them, A. D. 37. (See Aretas.) In A. D. 713, it was conquered by the Saracens, and miserably devastated. In 1147, it was besieged by the crusa- ders, but not taken ; it yielded to the Christian forces 125 years afterwards. In 1396, Tamerlane besieged it with a large army, some say a million of men. After a desperate and prolonged resistance, it yielded to his forces ; and, irritated at its obstinate defence, he put its inhabitants to the sword without mercy. Selim took it, A. D. 1517, under whose successors, the Ottoman emperors, it still continues. The Arabians call this city Damasch, or Demeschk, or Schams, which is also their name for the province. They generally believe that this city derived its name from Demeschk Eliezer, Abraham's steward, and that Abraham was its founder. Yet some Arabian histo- rians affirm, that it was founded and named by Dem- schak,son ofCanaan,sonofHam,and grandson of Noah. Damascus was a metropolitan see under the patri- arch of Antioch ; at present the Greek patriarch of Antioch resides there. The Persian geographer says, that the field or plain of Damascus is one of the four Paradises of the East ; and, notwithstanding all the revolutions which have happened to it, Damascus is still one of the most considerable cities in Syria. It is situated in a very fertile plain, at the foot of mount Libanus, being surrounded by hills, in, the manner of a triumphal arch. It is bounded bv a river, which 42 the ancients named Chryson-hoas, as if it flowed with gold, divided into several canals. The city has still a great number of fountains, which render it ex- tremely agreeable. Its fertile and delightful mead- ows, covered with fruits and flowers, contribute, also, to its fame. Damascus, says Ibn Haukal, or, as he writes it, " Demeshk, is a chief city ; the right hand of the cities of Syria. It has ample territories among the mountains; and is well watered by streams which flow around. The land about it produces trees, and is well cultivated by husbandmen. This tract is called Ghouteh. It extends about one mer- idian by two. There is not in all Syria a more de- lightful place. Here is one of the largest mosques in all the land of the Mussulmans, part of which was built in ancient times, by the Sabians." — He then traces this mosque into the hands of the Greeks, the Jews, the Christians and the true believers: he adds, "Walid ben Abd-al-Molk repaired this building, beautified it with pavements of marble, and pillars of variegated marble, the tops of which were or- namented with gold, and studded with precious stones, and all the ceiling he caused to be covered with gold: it is said he expended the revenues of all Syria in this work." The Via Recta, or street called Straight, (Acts ix. 11.) extends from the eastern to the western gate, about a league, crossing the whole city and suburbs in a direct line. On both sides of it are shops, in which are sold the rich merchandise brought by the caravans. Near the eastern gate is a house, said to be that of Judah, where Paul lodged after his con- version ! There is in it a very small closet, where tradition reports, that the apostle passed three days without food, till Ananias restored him to sight. Tradition also says, that here he had the vision re- ferred to, 2 Cor. xii. 2. About forty paces from the house of Judah, stands a little mosque, where Ana- nias is said to have been buried. There is also in the Great Street, or Straight, a fountain, whose wa- ter is drunk by the Christians, in remembrance of that which the same fountain supplied for the bap- tism of Paul. Near the eastern gate, on the south of it, is a kind of window or port-hole, in the para- pet of the great wall ; by which tradition says Paul escaped from the Jews ! Near the city, on the way leading to the Turkish burying-ground, is a building said to be that of Naaman the Syrian. It is an hospital for lepers ; and near it is a tomb, report- ed to be that of Gehazi, servant to Elisha, who, after his disgrace, retired to Damascus, where he died ! The ancient road from Jerusalem near Damascus lies between two mountains, not above a hundred paces distant from each other: both are round at bot- tom, and terminate in a point. That nearest the great road is called Cocab, the star, in memory of the dazzling light which here appeared to Paul. The other mountain is called Medawer el Cocab, the. circle of light. Towards the middle of this moun- tain is an oJd monastery, almost destroyed, of which only one grotto remains, and this so small that a man can hardly turn himself in it. This is reported to have been Paul's shelter after his conversion, till he could make ready for continuing his journey to Da- mascus. South-west is the plain of Hauran, the granary of Turkey. The external appearance of the houses in Damas- cus is mean ; the internal is magnificent. There are many covered markets built of hewn stone, and well vaulted, with openings from space to space. The foot- ways in the streets are raised ; and there are many khans or lodging merchants and travellers. The Straight [ 330 ] Street is at present a covered bazaar, exchange, or market. Damascus is one of the most commercial cities in the Ottoman empire, and has many rich manufac- tures. The inhabitants are witty and cunning ; they are, however, polite, and less oppressed by the pacha than many others. The Christians are mostly of the Greek church, with a few Maronites. The popula- tion is estimated at from 100,000 to 150,000. Damascus was highly favored by the emperor Julian. It was a metropolis and a colony ; it is so called on the medals of Gordian and Philip ; and it appears that the latter gave his veteran soldiers es- tablishments in the city and its neighborhood. It was also made the capital of that part of Coele-Syria which was called from it Damascene. In the divis- ion of the country established by Constantine and his successors, it was included in Phoenicia Libanica, which had for its chief town, Heliopolis (Baalbek). [The city of Damascus, with the surrounding coun- try, is celebrated by all travellers, as one of the most beautiful and luxuriant regions in the world. The orientals themselves call it the Paradise on earth. Mr.Carne gives the following account of his approach to the city from the S. W. and of the city itself: (Letters from the East, vol. ii. p. 76, seq.) " On the following day, we set out early, impatient to behold the celebrated plain of Damascus. A large round mountain in front prevented us from catching a glimpse at it, till, on turning a point of the rock, it appeared suddenly at our feet. Perhaps the bar- ren and dreary hills we had been for some days pass- ing, made the plain look doubly beautiful, and we stood gazing at it for some time ere we advanced. The domes and minarets of the sacred city rose out of the heart of a forest of gardens and trees, which was twelve miles in circumference. Four or five small rivers ran through the forest and the city, glit- tering at intervals in the sun ; and to form that vivid contrast of objects in which Asiatic so much excels European scenery, the plain was encircled on three of its sides by mountains of light and naked rocks. " After descending the mountain, we were some time travelling through avenues of trees and gardens before we entered the city. Damascus is seven miles in circumference ; the width is quite disproportioned to the length, which is above two miles. The walls of this, the most ancient city in the world, are low, and do not enclose it more than two thirds round. The street still called Straight, and where St. Paul is, with reason, said to have lived, is entered by the road from Jerusalem. It is as straight as an arrow, a mile in length, broad, and well paved. A lofty window in one of the towers to the east, is shown us as the place where the apostle was let down in a basket. In the way to Jerusalem is the spot where his course was arrested by the light from heaven. A Christian is not allowed to reside in Damascus, ex- cept in a Turkish dress. " The great number of tall palm and cypress-trees in the plain of Damascus add much to its beauty. The fruits of the plain are of various kinds, and of excellent flavor. Provisions are cheap ; the bread is the finest to be found in the East ; it is sold every morning in small, light cakes, perfectly white, and surpasses in quality even that of Paris. This luxu- rious city is no place to perform penance in ; the paths around, winding through the mass of woods and fruit-trees, invite you daily to the most delightful rides and walks. Summer-houses are found in pro- fusion ; some of the latter may be hired for a day's use, or are open for rest and refreshment, and you sit beneath the fruit-trees, or on the divan which opens in- to the garden. If one feels at any time satiated, he has only to advance out of the canopy of woods, and mount the naked and romantic heights of some of the mountains around, amidst the sultry beams of the sun, and he will soon return to the shades and waters beneath, with fresh delight. Among the fruits pro- duced in Damascus are oranges, citrons, and apricots of various kinds. The celebrated plain of roses, from the produce of which the rich perfume [attar of roses) is obtained, is about three miles from the town ; it is a part of the great plain, and its entire area is thickly planted with rose-trees, in the cultiva- tion of which great care is taken. " Our abode was not far from the gate that con- ducted to the most frequented and charming walks around the city. Here four or five of the rivers meet, and form a large and foaming cataract a short distance from the walls. In this spot it was pleasant to sit or walk beneath the trees ; for the exciting sounds and sights of nature are doubly welcome near an eastern city, to relieve the languor and stillness that prevail. "We often went to the pleasant Village at the foot of the mountain Salehieh. One of the streams passed through it ; almost every house had its gar- den : and above the mass of foliage, in the midst of them, rose the dome and minaret of the mosque, and, just beyond, the gray and naked cliffs. The finest view of the city is to the right of this place: a light kiosk stands partly up the ascent of the mountain ; and from its cool and upper apartment, the prospect of the city, its woods, plain, and mountains, is inde- scribably rich and delightful. The plain in front is unenclosed, and its level extent stretches to the east as far as the eye can reach. " The place called the ' Meeting of the Waters,' is about five miles to the north-west of the city. Here the river Barrady, which may be the ancient Abana, being enlarged by another river that falls into it about two miles off, is divided into several streams, which flow through the plain. The separation is the result of art, and takes place at the foot of one or two rocky hills, and the scene is altogether very picturesque. The streams, six or seven in number, are some of them carried to water the orchards and gardens of the higher grounds, others into the lower, but all meet, at last, close to the city, and form the fine cata- ract." *R.


DAMNATION, a word used among us, in a theo- logical sense, to express a total loss of the soul ; or a state of suffering under spiritual punishment: but this is not its proper import in all places where it occur^ in Scripture ; and the use of it is in some passages of our translation extremely unfortunate. We read, John v. 29, of the "resurrection to dam- nation ;" of " eternal damnation," (Mark iii. 29.) of "the damnation of hell," (Matt, xxiii. 33.) where the stronger sense of the word is exacted by the context: but in Matt, xxiii. 14, we read of the " greater damnation," which evidently implies a lesser damnation ; and in Rom. xiii. 2, 1 Cor. xi. 29, and 1 Tim. v. 12, we should read "condemna'ion," or "judgment." Rom. xiv. 23, "He tiiat doubteth is damned," should be read "self-condemned,'' — if he eat flesh, or any thing else which may offend a weak brother.


DANIEL, called Belteshazzar by the Chaldeans, a prophet, descended from the royal family of David, who was carried captive to Babylon, when very young, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, king of Ju- dah, A. M. 3398. He was chosen, with his three companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, to re- side in Nebuchadnezzar's court, where he received a suitable education, and made great progress in all the sciences of the Chaldeans, but declined to pollute himself, by eating provisions from the king's table, Dan. i. Nebuchadnezzai - , having dreamed of a large statue, composed of several metals, which was beaten to pieces by a stone, and believing this dream to be prophetical, was very solicitous to have it explained ; but having lost the recollection of it, he insisted that the Magi should not only interpret its meaning, but recall it to his mind ; this being impossible, they were condemned to death. Daniel recovered and explain- ed the dream ; and was, as a reward, established governor of the province of Babylon, and chief of the Magi, ii. 14 — 48. Another time, Nebuchadnezzar having dreamed of a large tree cut down, yet so that its root remained in the earth, Daniel explained it of the king himself, whose fate it prefigured. (See Nebuchadnezzar.) In the reign of Belshazzar, Daniel had a vision of four beasts, which represented the four great empires of the Chaldeans, the Per- sians, the Greeks, and the Romans, or, rather, the Seleucidee and Lagidse, Dan. vii. In the follow- ing chapter, he saw in vision a ram and a he-goat ; (the ram denoted Darius Codomannus, the last king of Persia, and the he-goat denoted Alexander the Great ;) the ram was overcome, and the he-goat be- came irresistibly powerful. (See Darius.) He de- scribes, also, the successors of Alexander ; and partic- ularly the persecutions of the Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes ; the vengeance of God upon him ; and the victories of the Maccabees. It was to this mon- arch that Daniel explained the import of the myste- rious writing on the wail. (See Belshazzar.) Bel- shazzar, being killed on the night in which he had profaned the sacred vessels of the temple, was suc- ceeded by Darius the Mede, (Dan. v. A. M. 3449,) who promoted Daniel above all his governors, and de- signed to give him the general administration of his kingdom. This mark of favor, however, excited envy in the governors, who prevailed upon the king to issue an edict, forbidding every man, during a time, to solicit any thing from God or man, except from the king. Daniel, continuing his prayers to God, setting his face towards Jerusalem, was im- peached to the king, who was obliged to enforce the unalterable law, and order him to be thrown into the lions' den. Early the next morning, Darius went thither, and, finding Daniel safe, commanded him to be taken out, and his accusers, with their wives and families, to be thrown to the lions, chap. vi. Daniel, having read in Jeremiah that seventy years would be accomplished in the desolation of Jerusa- lem, prayed and fasted, to receive the explanation of this period of time. After his devotion, the angel Gabriel appeared to him, and revealed something of much greater importance, even the death and sacri- fice of the Messiah ; which was to happen after seventy weeks of years, chap. ix. (See Artaxerxes Longimanus.) In the third year of Cyrus's reign in Persia, which coincides with the first year of Darius at Babylon, Daniel had another remarkable vision, in which the angel Gabriel discovered to him, in a manner almost as clear as if he had related a history, what was to happen in Persia, after Cyrus, (chap, x.) viz. the coming of Alexander the Great, the over- throw of the Persian empire, the Greek dominion in Asia, the continued wars between the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, the persecutions by Antiochus Epiphanes, the destruction of that persecuting prince, nd the victory and happiness of the saints, chap. xi. After the death of Darius the Mede, Cyrus ascended the throne of the Persians and Medes ; and Daniel continued to enjoy great authority. The reputation of Daniel was so great, even in hia life-time, that it became a proverb. " Thou art wiser than Daniel," says Ezekiel, (xxviii. 3.) ironically, to the king of Tyre: and in chap. xiv. 14, 20, God says, "Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness." He enjoyed the favor of the princes whom he served, with the affection of the people, to his death ; and his reputation was immortal. Formerly, some of the Jews showed an inclination to exclude Daniel from among the prophets, because his predictions were too clear and express for Jesus being the Messiah, and fixed with too much precision the time of his coming. Our Saviour, however, bears testimony to his prophetic character, Matt. xxiv. 15. It is believed that Daniel died in Chaldea, being probably detained there by his high employments in the Persian empire. Epiphanius says he died at Babylon ; and this sentiment is followed by most historians. Others think he died at Shushan, or Susa. Benjamin of Tudela relates, that his monument was shown at Chuzestan, which is the ancient Susa. Among Daniel's writings, some have at all times been esteemed canonical ; others have been contest- ed. Whatever is written in Hebrew or Chaldee is generally acknowledged as canonical both by Jews and Christians ; but there has been constant opposi- tion to those parts which are extant only in Greek, 332 ] as the history of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon The first twelve chapters of Daniel are written partly in Hebrew, partly in Chaldee. He writes Hebrew where he delivers a simple narrative ; but he relates in Chaldee his conversations with the Magi, and Nebuchadnezzar's edict, published after the inter- pretation of his dream of the golden image. This shows the extreme accuracy of this prophet, who relates the very words of those persons whom he in- troduces as speaking. The Greek which we have of Daniel is Theodotion's ; that of the LXX has been" long lost. Porphyry asserted, that the prophecies which we receive as Daniel's were falsely ascribed to him ; and that they were, in fact, histories of past events. But that Daniel lived at Babylon long be- fore Antiochus Epiphanes, and there wrote the prophecies ascribed to him, cannot reasonably be contested. The rabbins maintain that Daniel ought not to be ranked among the prophets for two reasons; (1.) be- cause he did not live in the Holy Land, out of which the spirit of prophecy, they say, does not reside ; (2.) because he spent his life in a court, in honor and pleasure ; contrary to the other prophets. Some add, that he was, personally, a eunuch, and, therefore, ex- cluded from the congregation ; for which opinion they quote the words of Isaiah to Hezekiah, (2 Kings xx. 18.) " And of thy sons — shall they take away ; and they shall be eunuchs, in the palace of the king of Babylon." Ma"ny of the Jews, therefore, place his writings among the Hagiographa, as of much less authority than the canonical Scriptures. There are two or three things appertaining to this eminent prophet, which could not be noticed in their proper place, without breaking the thread of the nar- rative, but which we may not pass over without remark. title given to the prophet in chap. v. 12. — "an untier of knots" — though it may appear strange to us, was highly expressive of the powers of his mind ; and, as we leam from sir John Chardin, is not un- known at present in the East. The patent given to sir John by the king of Persia, is addressed — " To the Lords of Lords, who have the presence of a lion, the aspect of Deston ; the princes who have the stature of Tahem-ten-ten, who seem to be in the time of Ardevon, the regents who carry the majesty of Ferribours ; the conquerors of kingdoms, superintendents that unloose all manner of knots, and who are under the ascendant of Mercury," &c. In his explanation, sir John says, it is, in the original, who unloose all sorts of knots. — The Persians rank all penmen, books, and writings, under Mercury, whom they call Attared ; and hold all people born under that planet, to be endued with a refined, penetrating, clear- sighted, and subtile wit. Now, on turning to Daniel v. 12, it will be observed with what accurate coinci- dence to these principles the queen describes the prophet: "In all respects an abundant spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, which manifests it- self in his interpreting dreams, and explaining intri- cate enigmas, and untying of knots, is found in Daniel." We gather from this comparison, that as superintendents (of provinces) are described as un- tiers of knots, and Daniel is thus described, he was, or had been, a superintendent. Daniel had been made governor of the province of Babylon by Nebu- chadnezzar : as he is not so described on this occa- sion, it is every way probable he was not now in that office, yet the queen continues his titles to him. The prophecy of the seventy weeks may justify, by its importance, a few remarks, oy way of elucidation Part of it is thus rendered in our translation : — " Af- ter threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself," c. ix. 26. The passage contains two expressions for exami- nation ; the first is, the term "Messiah." The Jews insist, with all their might, that this term must not be restricted to a single individual, but means, "proper- ly, the whole class, or race of those who were anointed, whether kings or priests." — That is to say, the legal exercise of civil or ecclesiastical functions ; or the just title to the office and power of government, in both its branches. But observe, (1.) This sense arises, in some degree, from the placing of a point in the sen- tence ; (2.) that it is no new principle ; for both Eu- sebius and Clemens Alexandrinus, by " Messiah the Prince," in verse 25, understand an anointed governor, or settled government; and Eusebius expressly ex- plains it to be, the series and succession of the high- priests who held the government till Herod's time. There is some difference among translators in ren- dering the words Messiah the Prince. — Our present Septuagint, which is Theodotion's translation, says pmroti ),;'«,'" ' », the Christ the governor ; or the anointed governor : Arias Mpntanus says, unctem ducem, the an- ointed leader : Tertullian, and the Vulgate, say, Chris- tum ducem : Castalio says, Messiam principem, like our English version : Tremellius says, Christum anteces- sorem, the anointed antecessor, or leader. These versions evidently refer to a particular person preeminent of a whole sei'ies, all of which series might be anointed, but this person distinguishedly. This is very similar to what Mr. Taylor has suggested ; — that the united claims of the two Jewish branches of royalty centred in the one person of Jesus, so that he was, as it were, doubly anointed — anointed from each line of descent. (See Genealogy.) This view of the passage com- bines the notion of a continued line of persons, le-> gaily entitled to the government, with that of an individual especially entitled to govern. But our attention is more particularly directed to the latter phrase of the passage quoted, which our translators have rendered, "but not for himself." That this translation was well intended we cannot doubt ; but it is not the customary meaning of the Hebrew words. Theodotion renders them — the anointing shall be destroyed, and no judgment shall he in it. Aquila — the anointed shall be destroyed (xal oil?, laxiv mhoi) and shall have nothing : Symmachus — the anointed shall be cut off, (*ui ovx imuQtei avTm,) and there shall be nothing to him: Vulgate — et non erit ; and he shall notbe: Tertullian — the anointing shall be extirpated, and shall not be. The phrase commonly signifies, shall be no more ; or a total and entire loss — cessation — without any continuity or renewal. This is, then, in other words, the very sentiment of the venerable Jacob : " Shiloh shall be destroyed" — the power of government shall sink in him whose especial right it is : this is the very sentiment of the prophet Ezekiel : " The diadem, the crown, the legal right of govern- ment, shall first be overturned, and then shall be destroyed with him whose right it is," ch. xxi. 27. Thus we see that the prophet does but connect with a prefixed period of time that event which the dying Jacob left at large ; and that Ezekiel and Daniel do, as it were, echo the indications of each other. All agree, from the earliest notice of any government to be established in Judea, down to the time when the character of that government was ascertained and experienced, that when that particular person, whose legal title, whose just pretensions, whose specific [ 333 ] Claims, might excite the most animated hopes, the most fervid expectations — when he should come — the issue would disappoint hope and expectation : — which would behold their object sink in destruction, and the accomplishment of their prolonged anxieties annihilated in utter impossibility ! See Shiloh. Hieroglyphic animals. — Among the figures which Le Bruyn has copied from the ruins of Persepolis, in Persia, there are some which seem remarkably coin- cident with the purport of certain passages in the prophet Daniel. It is not easy to ascertain the era of these ruins, which are universally considered as having formed a palace of the Persian kings. Prob- ably it is assuming too much to attribute them to Cyrus ; but if, as is stated, they may date soon after that monarch, they will be sufficiently ancient to justify the use we propose to make of them. The palace of Persepolis was destroyed by Alexander the Great; yet, from its remaining ruins, we infer its former grandeur. Among its ornaments are several hundred figures, sculptured on the wall in basso relievo. Some of them are certainly of a religious nature ; others are emblematical ; of these, several have greatly the appearance of being political em- blems, commemorating past events, which, being flattering to the Persian kings, they wished to per- petuate the memory of. Under this aspect they justify examination. Le Bruyn gives the following account of some of them : — " These portals are twenty-two feet and four inches in depth, and thirteen feet and four inches in breadth. In the inside, and on each pilaster, is seen a large figure in low relief, and almost as long as the pilas- ter ; with a distance of twenty-two feet from the fore to the hinder legs, and a height of fourteen feet and a half. The heads of these animals are entirely de- stroyed, and their breasts and fore feet project from the pilaster. Their bodies are, likewise, greatly dam- aged." ..." The figures in the two first portals very much resemble a horse, both before and behind, only the head seems to be like that of an ape ; and, indeed, the tail has no great similitude to that of a horse ; but this may be imputed to the ornaments which are fastened to it, and were much used among the an- cient Persians." . . . . " Under a portal to the west, is the figure of a man hunting a bull, who has one horn in his forehead, which is grasped by the man's left hand, while his right plunges a large dagger into the belly of the bull. On the other side, the figure of another man clasps the horn with his right hand, and stabs the beast with his left. The second portal discovers the figure of a man carved in the same manner, with a deer that greatly resembles a lion, having a horn in his forehead, and wings on the body. The same representations are to be seen under the portal to the north, with this exception, that, in- Emblematical Representation. 1. I saw a lion, 2. Having eagle's wings ; 3. The wings were plucked ; 4. It was raised from the ground, 5. Made to stand on its feet as a man, 6. A man's heart {intellect) was given to it. Dan. chap. vii. Does not this sculpture represent the destruction of this metaphorical lion ? The ideas are remarkably coincident ; they differ but as the language of sculp- ture necessarily differs from that of poetry. stead of the deer, there is a great lion, which a man holds by the mane." . . . . " There are also two other figures on each side, in the two niches to the souths one of which grasps the horn of a goat with one hand, while the other rests on the neck of that ani- imal." . . . . " In one of these portals, to the east, we observed the figure of a man encountering a lion ; and in another compartment, a man fighting with a bull. We likewise beheld, under the two portals to the west, several figures of lions, one of which is represented with wings." .... "The Spanish ambas- sador was persuaded, that the animal attacked by the lion, on the staircase, represents an ox, or a bull ; but I rather think it intended for a horse or an ass. This particular piece of sculpture is no more than a hieroglyphic, representing virtue victorious over force; and every one knows, that the ancient Persians and Egyptians concealed their greatest mysteries under equivocal figures, as Heliodorus observes. As all these animals, therefore, are represented with horns, which are not natural to them, some mystery must certainly be intended by that sculpture ; and this sup- position seems the more reasonable, because it is well known that horns were anciently the emblem of strength, and even of majesty itself." . ..." I take the other figure, which encounters a lion, and is hab- ited like a Mede, to be a hieroglyphic ; because the Egyptians, from whom the Persians borrowed sev- eral customs, represented strength and fortitude by the figure of a lion. The reader may consult Clemens Alexandrinus with relation to this particular. It may likewise be intended for a real combat, the Medes and Persians having been very fond of encountering animals, as Xenophon observes in his ' Institution of Cyrus.' Those who are versed in antiquity may judge of these figures as they think proper." It is evident from these extracts, that Le Bruyn had no fixed opinion as to what these figures repre- sent. Without controverting what he offers, Mr. Taylor thus proposes his own conceptions. One of these figures "represents a man who has seized a lion with one hand : in his other hand he holds a sword, as if drawn back, in order to plunge it the more forcibly into the body of the lion ; the lion is lifted up from the earth, and stands upright on its hind legs ; he looks behind him, as if fearing harm from thence. This lion is partly clothed with feath- ers ; and these, from their size, &c have the appear- ance of being eagle's feathers : his feathers seem to be diminishing ; at least, he is by no means so full of feathers as another figure adjoining. The man, from his cap, &c. is doubtless a person of distinction ; in fact, a Persian king, victorious over a power denoted by a lion ; but possessed of the additional strength and celerity of an eagle. The correspondence of events is thus : — Historical Narration. 1. The Babylonian empire : 2. Nineveh added to it — but, 3. Nineveh almost destroyed at the fall of Sar- danapalus : 4. Again raised, but by artificial means, 5. To stand in an unnatural posture, 6. Through the policy and good management of its king; perhaps Nebuchadnezzar. " Another of these sculptures also represents a man, certainly no less a personage than a king, who with one hand seizes the [single] horn of an animal, which he has attacked; while, with the other hand, he [ 334 ] plunges a sword into its belly. This animal has the body, fore legs, and head of a beast ; he is also great- ly clothed with feathers, has wings, and birds' legs, on which he stands upright. He seems to make a stout resistance. " It is not easy to determine what beast is here rep- resented, but it seems to be clear that the king is breaking its [single] horn, (power,) and destroying it. It probably alludes to some province of the Persian empire, acquired by victory ; and most likely the other emblems in this palace have similar reference : for we learn from Diodorus, that military actions of the Egyptian monarchs were represented on the tem- ples and palaces of Egypt ; and we may fairly pre- sume that the vanity of Persia would not be inferior to that of Egypt." Mr. Taylor's opinion is, that these figures represent the king, or the deity, under whose auspices the king conquered, by whom the neighbor- ing powers, allegorized by these figurative beasts, were subdued ; and that these are allusions to such actions : but his opinion goes no further, than to ac- knowledge their coincidence with the animals de- scribed by the prophet Daniel ; whose emblems are not only justified by the comparison, but it is proved, also, that such national allegories were in use at th&t time, and were then well known and publicly ad- mitted. It is remarkable, that Daniel does not determine the species of the fourth beast in his vision ; perhaps because its insignia were then unknown in so distant a region as Persia. That ancient opponent of Christianity, Porphyry, affirmed that the book of Daniel was a history writ- ten figuratively after the events it refers to had hap- pened; even after Antiochus Epiphanes, and long after the empire of the Greeks ; and Eichhorn and others adopt his notion ; but, as the emblems on this palace are, at all events, prior to Alexander, who de- stroyed them, and have no Greek allusions among them, their antiquity becomes a voucher for the an- tiquity of Daniel, with whom they coincide so remark- ably ; and if the antiquity of Daniel be established, his prophetic character follows of course. The reader will reflect on the importance of establishing the antiquity of Daniel ; since our calculations of the time of the Messiah's coming, &c. originate from him, who remarkably, clearly, and systematically, calculates the periods and dates of following events. Mr. Taylor further suggests, that the reason why Daniel calculates so systematically, perhaps was, be- cause he dwelt in Babylon, where a new era had lately been established, which we call that of Nabo- nassar : this formed a fixed point, of which Daniel's proficiency in Chaldean studies enabled him to avail himself. No such era was as yet adopted in Greece, Judea, or Syria. I. DARIUS THE MEDE, spoken of in Daniel, (chap. v. 31 ; ix. 1-; xi. 1.) was son of Astyages, king of the Medes, and brother of Mandane, mother of Cyrus, and Amyit, the mother of Evil-merodach and grandmother of Belshazzar : thus he was uncle, by the mother's side, to Evil-merodach and to Cyrus. The Hebrew generally calls him Dariavesch, or Darius ; the LXX, Artaxerxes ; and Xenophon, Cyaxares. See Astyages II. II. DARIUS CODOMANNUS was one of the most handsome men in the Persian empire ; and at the same time the most brave and generous of the Persian kings. Alexander the Great defeated Darius several times, and at length subverted the Persian monarchy, after it had been established 206 years. Darius was killed by his own generals, after a short reign of six years. Thus were verified the prophe- cies of Daniel, (chap, viii.) who had foretold the en- largement of the Persian monarchy, under the sym bol of a ram, butting with its horns westward, northward, and southward, which nothing could resist : and its destruction, by a goat having a very large horn between his eyes, (Alexander the Great,) coming from the West, and overrunning the world without touching the earth. Springing forward with impetuosity, he ran against the ram with all his force, attacked him with fury, broke his two horns, and trampled him under foot, without anyone being able to rescue him. Nothing can be added to the clear- ness of these prophecies.


DARKNESS, obscurity. " Darkness was upon the face of the deep," (Gen. i. 2,) that is, chaos was im- mersed in thick darkness, because light was withheld from it. The most terrible darkness was that brought on Egypt as a plague ; it was so thick as to be, as it were, palpable ; so horrible, that no one durst stir out of his place ; and so lasting, that it endured three days and three nights, Exod. x. 21, 22 ; Wisd. xvii. 2, 3. The darkness at our Saviour's death began at the sixth hour, or noon ; and ended at the third hour, or three o'clock in the afternoon. Thus it lasted al- most the whole time he was on the cross ; compare Matt, xxvii. 45, with John xix. 14, and Mark xv. 25. Some are of opinion, that this darkness covered Judea only ; which is sometimes expressed by the whole earth ; that is, land or country ; others, that it extended over a hemisphere. It should be remarked, that the moon being at full, a natural eclipse of the sun was impossible ; though Julius Africanus, Euse- bius, and Jerome, in their several chronicles, refer that eclipse of the sun which Phlegon mentions, to our Saviour's death. That author says, it was the greatest eclipse ever seen, since at noon-day the stars were discernible in the heavens. It happened in the fourth year of the 102d Olympiad, which is that of Jesus Christ's death. And Tertullian refers the heathen to their public archives for an account of this darkness. The remarks, however, made by Dr. Lardner, in opposition to the application of what has been adduced from Phlegon, have great force. That ancient writer speaks of what passed in Bithynia, not in Judea ; the references he makes to the year are uncertain, and do not specify the time of the year ; his language, so far as appears, may be referred to a natural eclipse of the sun ; and, further, the quota- tions made from his work, or the allusions to it by Christian writers, are very loose, imperfect, and un- satisfactory. On the whole, it does not appear that Phlegon intended a reference to the period of Christ's passion. Darkness is sometimes used metaphorically: for death, Job x. 22. The land of darkness — the grave. It is also used to denote misfortunes and calamities, Psalm cvii. 10. " A day of darkness," (Esth. xi. 8. Apoc.) an unhappy day. " Let that day be darkness — let darkness stain it," (Job iii. 4, 5.) let it be reck- oned among the unfortunate days. " I am encom- passed with darkness." " I will cover the heavens with darkness." "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood," &c. These expressions signify very great calamities ; personal and national. In a moral sense, darkness denotes sin ; the children of light, in opposition to the chil- dren of darkness ; the righteous in opposition to the wicked. "Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light" Ephes. v. 8, 11. "God hath called us AU [ 335 ] out of darkness," &c. (1 Pet. ii. 9.) from idolatry, ignorance, &c. to Christianity.


DATE, the fruit of the palm-tree. See Palm. DAUGHTER. This word, like other names of relation employed in Scripture, being a noun express- ing similitude, no less than kindred, is used in refer- ence to many subjects, which are not properly the offspring of that person, or that thing, of which they are said to be daughters. The following are senses in which the word daughter is used in Scripture. (1.) Female offspring, by natural birth, Gen. vi. 1 ; xxiv. 23, and other places. — (2.) Grand-daughter; so the servant of Abraham calls Rebekah " my master's brother's daughter," (Gen. xxiv. 48.) whereas she was daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor, as appears from verse 24 ; consequently, grand -daughter of Na- hor, brother of Abraham, the master of the speaker. — (3.) Bemote descendants, of the same family or tribe, but separated by many ages ; " daughter of Heth," of his posterity ; daughters of Canaan, of Moab, of Amnion ; and Luke (i. 5.) says, Elisabeth was of the "daughters of Aaron," of his descendants, though many generations had intervened. — (4.) Daughter by nation. Dinah went out to see the young women of Shechem, called the " daughters of the land," Gen. xxxiv. 1. (See also Numb. xxv. 1 ; Deut. xxiii. 17.) — (5.) Daughter, by reference to the human species; young women, of whatever nation, Gen. xxx. 13. (See Prov. xxxi. 29 ; Cant. ii. 2.) — (6.) Daughter, by person- ification, of a people, or city, whence daughter of Jerusalem, or of Zion ; of Babylon ; (Isa. xlvii. 1, 5.) of Edom ; (Lam. iv. 21.) of Egypt, Jer. xlvi. 11, 14. — (7.) Daughter by law ; (Ruth iii. 1.) and this is com- mon in all nations, to call a son's wife daughter ; but Boaz calls Ruth " daughter" by courtesy, as express- ing kindness, affability, affection, from a senior- to a junior in age, from a superior to an inferior by sta- tion, iii. 10, 11. — (8.) Daughter by adoption, as Esther was to Mordecai, (Esther ii. 7.) and as God promises his people by his grace, 2 Cor. vi. 18. — (9.) Daughter, in reference to disposition and conduct : as we have "sons of Belial," so .we have " daughter of Belial," a woman of an unrestrainable conduct, uncontrollable, 1 Sam. i. 16. (See also Belial, and Sons.) — (10.) Daughter, in reference to age : as we have " a son of so many years," so we have " a daughter of ninety years," Heb. — a woman of that age ; (Gen. xvii. 17.) and the same is said of a female beast, Lev. xiv. 10. — (11.) The female offspring of a bird, (Isa. xiii. 21. marg.) "daughter of the owl." — (12.) The branches, which are, as it were, the offspring of a tree, (Gen. xlix. 22.) the branches — daughters, Heb. — of Joseph, compared to a tree, spread over a wall. — (13.) Towns, or villages, around a mother city, that is, probably originating from it, or supported by it : so Tyre is called the daughter of Zidon, Isa. xxiii. 12. (See also 2 Sam. xx. 19.) So we read of Gath-AMMAH, that is, Gath the mo£ter-town ; of a town being a mother in Israel : (see Numb. xxi. 25, 32 ; Josh. xv. 45 ; 2 Chron. xiii. 19 ; Psalm xlviii. 11. in the He- brew :) and many cities in ancient medals are quali- fied as metropolis, mother-towns, implying, no doubt, lesser towns, and towns not equally ancient, as being included in their jurisdiction. We might ask wheth- er "the daughter of Tyre" (Psalm xlv. 12.) be a per- son, the king's daughter, or a town, offering a present by its deputies. [The meaning is, Tyre itself. R. The state of daughters, that is, young women, in the East, their employments, duties, &c. may be gath- ered from various parts of Scripture ; and seem to have borne but little resemblance to the state of young women of respectable parentage among our- selves. Rebekah drew and fetched water ; Rachel kept sheep, as did the daughters of Jethro, though Jethro was a priest, or a prince, of Midian. They superintended and performed domestic services for the family ; Tamar, though a king's daughter, baked bread ; and the same of others. We have the same occupations for the daughters of princes in the an- cient poets, of which Homer is an unquestionable evidence.


DAVID, son of Jesse, of Judah, and of the town of Bethlehem, was born A. M. 2919. After the re- jection of Saul, as to the descent of the crown in his family, the Lord sent Samuel to Bethlehem to' anoint a son of Jesse to be the future king. Jesse produced his seven sons one after another ; but the intended sovereign was not among them. David, therefore, was sent for, who was about fifteen years of age, and Samuel conferred on him an unction in the midst of his brethren. After which, David returned to his ordinary occupation of feeding his father's flocks, 1 , Sam. xvi. 15, 16, A. M. 2934. Some time after- wards, Saul falling into a lamentable state of melan- choly, David was chosen to play before him, and the king appointed him his armor-bearer, 1 Sam. xvi. 14 — 23. When Saul recovered, David returned to his father's house ; but some years after, Goliath, a Phi- listine giant, having insulted Israel by a challenge, he encountered the giant and slew him. The Philis- tines, seeing their hero killed, fled, 1 Sam. xvii. 1 — 52. When Saul saw David coming against this Phi- listine, he inquired of Abner who he was ; but Abner answered that he knew not. Calmet remarks that this appears strange, considering Saul had seen David in his own house, where he played before him on his harp, and had appointed him armor- bearer. He supposes that either David's face, voice, and air, must have been changed since that time ; or that Saul, during his gloomy insanity, had acquired false ideas of David's person ; or, after his recovery, had forgotten him. But we are not certain that David had ever been a regular attendant on the person of Saul ; that he had often played before him ; nor do we know under what circumstances of dress or place. It does not appear that even Jonathan had seen Da- vid, at least not familiarly, before, and this is the greater difficulty : Abner, as general, might be absent, but Jonathan was, no doubt, more or less, about his father. Abner, however, presented David to the king, with the head and sword of Goliath in his hands. From this instant, Jonathan conceived a great affection for David, which continued ever after, 1 Sam. xvii. xviii. 1 — 4. When Saul and David re- turned from this expedition, the women of Israel met them, singing, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands ;" which so enraged Saul against David, that henceforth he looked on him with an evil eye ; though he kept him about his person, and gave him the command of some troops. He, however, refused to give him his daughter in marriage, though he had promised her to the man who should kill Goliath, xvii. 25. Saul's distemper having returned, David played on the harp before him, and Saul with his spear twice attempted to kill him, xviii. 10, 11. Having discovered that his second daughter entertained kind thoughts of David, Saul caused it to o be communicated to him, that to merit the honor of becoming the king's son-in-law, he required no great gifts, dowry, or presents, but a hundred foreskins of the Philistines ; his design being to have David fall by their hands. David, DA\TD [ 336 ] however, with his people, killed two hundred Philis- tines, and brought their foreskins to the king, who could, therefore, no longer refuse him his daughter ; though he did not lay aside the intention of his de- struction. His distemper again possessing him, David, as usual, played on the harp before him ; but the king endeavoring to pierce him with his lance, ae fled to his house, xviii. 17 ; xix. 10, A. M. 2944. Having thus repeatedly escaped from Saul's mal- .ce, David went to Samuel at Rauiah, and related to him what had passed. They went together to Nai- oth, but David, not thinking himself secure here, secretly visited Jonathan, who encouraged him, and promised to discover Saul's real disposition towards him, distinct from his disease. This proving to be altogether inimical to David, the two friends renewed protestations of perpetual. friendship, and David re- tired to the high-priest Abimelech at Nob, to whom he represented, that the king had sent him on busi- ness that required haste. Abimelech gave him Goliath's sword which was deposited in the taberna- cle, and some of the shevv-bread, taken the day be- fore from the golden table. Not believing himself to be safe in Saul's territories, David retired to Achish, king of Gath ; but being soon discovered, he was pre- served, either by counterfeiting madness, or by a real epilepsy, 1 Sam. xx. xxi. From hence he went to Adullum, where his relations and others resorted to him, so that he was at the head of about four hun- dred men. The prophet Gad advised his return into the land of Judah, where Abiathar the priest joined him, bringing the priestly ornaments. The Philis- tines having invaded the threshing-floors of Keilah, David attacked and dispersed them ; but Saul march- ing against him, he retreated to the desert of Maon. Saul pursued him thither ; but, receiving information that the Philistines had invaded the land, he desisted from his pursuit. Being delivered from this danger, David retired to the wilderness of En-gedi, whither Saul soon followed him with 3000 men ; but going into a cave, David, who lay there concealed with his people, cut off the skirt of his robe, without his per- ceiving it. When Saul had proceeded to some dis- tance, David went out, cried after him, protested his innocence, and showed him the skirt of his robe. Saul was so touched with what he said t that he shed tears, acknowledged David's integrity, and made him swear not to exterminate his family, when he should be advanced to the throne, xxii. — xxiv. A. M. 2946. While in the wilderness of Maon, David protected the flocks of Nabal, not only from his own people, but from the tribes of wandering Arabs, who seize as prey all they can find. For this service he solicit- ed a present from Nabal, but meeting a denial, his anger prompted him to destroy him and his family. With this resolution he set forward ; but Abigail, Nabal's wife, pacified him with presents, for which David returned thanks to God ; and after Nabal's death he married Abigail. The Ziphites having informed Saul that David lay concealed in the hill of Hachilah, he marched with 3000 men against him ; but David, by night, got into Saul's tent, took his spear and cruse of water, and departed without being discovered, 1 Sam. xxvi. 1 — 25. After this, Achish, king of Gath, (1 Sam. xxvii.) gave David Ziklag for a habitation ; whence he made several incursions on the Amalekites, and on the people of Geshur and Gezri ; killing all who oppos- ed him, to prevent any discovery where he had been. He brought all the cattle to Achish, reporting that they were from the south of Judah. This prince did not scruple to carry David with him to war against Saul ; but the other princes of the Philistines obtained his dismission, which must have been most agreeable to David, A. M. 2949, 1 Sam. xxix. On his return to Ziklag, he discovered that the Amalek- ites, in revenge of his incursions, had burned the city, and carried off all the property and persons. David and his people pursued them, put the greater part of them to the sword, and recovered all their booty. While this was passing in the south, the Philistines had defeated the Hebrews, on mount Gilboa ; Saul being overpowered and slain in the engagement, with Jonathan and his two other sons, 1 Sam. xxxi. The news was brought to David by an Amalekite ; who boasted that he had assisted Saul in despatching himself, and as a proof presented the king's diadem and bracelet. David ordered this Amalekite to be slain, who boasted that he had Jain hands on the Lord's anointed ; composed a mournful elegy in honor of Saul and Jonathan ; and with all his people lamented their deaths, and the defeat 'of Israel, 2 Sam.' i. Directed by God, David advanced to Hebron, where the tribe of Judah acknowledged him as their king, (2 Sam. ii.) while Ishbosheth, son of Saul, reign- ed at Mahanaim beyond Jordan, over the other tribes. For some years, there were almost perpetual skir- mishes between their troops, in which David was al- ways successful ; but Ishbosheth having reprimanded Abner, his general, he visited David, and promised to make him master of all Israel ; but was treacher- ously killed by Joab, at the gate of Hebron. Ishbo- sheth was killed soon afterwards, and David punished the murderers. Being now proclaimed king overall Israel, he expelled the Jebusites from Jerusalem, and there settled his residence. Some years afterwards, he removed the ark of the Lord from Kirjath-jearim to bis own palace, 2 Sam. v. vi. xxiii. 13 — 17 ; 1 Chron. xii. — xvi. David, now enjoying peace, formed the design of building a temple to the Lord ; and the prophet Na- than applauded his intention. The night following, however, God discovered to the prophet, that this honor was reserved for David's son, because David had shed blood. About A. M. 2960, David fought the Philistines, and freed Israel from these enemies ; also from the Moabites, whom he treated with a se- verity, for which we are not well acquainted with the motives, nor, indeed, with all the circumstances. He subdued likewise all Syria ; made an expedition as far as the Euphrates, and conquered the Edom- ites in the valley of Salt, 2 Samuel viii. Nahash, king of the Ammonites, being dead, he sent compli- ments of condolence to his son and successor ; but his courtiers having persuaded him, that David sent them as spies, the prince insulted the ambassadors, and thus provoked David's anger. Joab was sent against the Ammonites, who were routed, together with the Syrians ; and the next year David marched in person against the former, who had received suc- cors from the Syrians beyond the Euphrates, and dispersed them. The year following, having resolved to subdue Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites, he sent Joab with the army, while he continued at Je- rusalem, ch. x. It was at this time that he fell into the dreadful crimes of adultery and murder in regard to Bathsheba, and Uriah her husband, xi. 2—27. After the death of Uriah, David married Bathsheba. Joab having reduced Rabbah to extremities, David went thither, took the city, and plundered it ; ordtr DELUGE. 337 ] ing the people to be subjected to the most severe labors, ver. 26 — 31. This was probably before he was brought to repentance on account of his criminal connection with Bathsheba. Upon his return to Je- rusalem, Nathan, by God's command, visited him, and, under an affecting parable of a rich man, who had taken from a poor man the only ewe-lamb he had, induced David to condemn himself. Nathan foretold that his house should be filled with blood, as a punishment for his crime ; and that the child born of this adultery should die ; as it did within a few days, ch. xii. 1—25. As the beginning of his predicted punishment in David's own family, his son Amnon was slain by his brother Absalom, who fled, but was brought back by Joab's intercession. Shortly after this, he aspired to the royal dignity, and was acknowledged king at Hebron, David being compelled to fly from Jerusa- lem ; just beyond mount Olivet, he met Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan, to whom he gave the whole inheritance of his master, chap. xvi. Near Bahurim, Shimei loaded him with curses ; but David endured all with a patience analo- gous to his remorse for his past iniquity. Absalom followed him to Mahanaim, and a battle ensued, in which Absalom's army was defeated ; and he, hang- ing by his hair 'on a tree, was slain by Joab, chap, xviii. The news of his death overwhelmed the king with sorrow ; but, by the advice of Joab, he showed himself publicly to the people, and set out on his re- turn to Jerusalem. The tribe of Judah met him, but Sheba said, " We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse." Israel followed Sheba, but Judah adhered to David, chap, xx. The land being afflicted by a famine of three years' continuance, the Lord reminded David of the blood of the Gibeonites unjustly shed by Saul. Da- vid, therefore, asked the Gibeonites, what satisfaction they required ; and they demanding that seven of Saul's sons should be hanged up in Gibeah, David complied, A. M. 2983, 2 Sam. xxi. Some time after this, David having proudly and obstinately com- manded the people to be numbered, the Lord sent the prophet Gad to offer him the choice of three scourges ; either that the land should be afflicted by famine during seven years, or that he should fly three months before his enemies, or that a pesti- lence should rage during three days. David chose the latter, and, though 70,000 persons died, the sen- tence was not fully executed. David, as an act of thanksgiving, erected an altar in the threshing-floor of Araunah, where, as some think, the temple was afterwards built, xxiv. David, from his great age, could now scarcely ob- tain any warmth ; a young woman, therefore, named Abishag, was brought to him, to lie with him, and attend him ; but continued a virgin, 1 Kings i. 1 — 4. At this time, Adonijah, his fourth son, set up the equipage of a king, and formed a party ; but Nathan, who knew the promises of David in favor of Solo- mon, acquainted Bathsheba with it, who claiming those promises, David gave orders that Solomon should be anointed king. David, being now near his end, sent for Solomon, committed to him the plans and models of the temple, with the gold and silver he had prepared for it, and charged him to be constant- ly faithful to God. He died, aged 71, A. M. 2990, ante A. D. 1 014. He reigned seven years and a half at Hebron, and thirty-three at Jerusalem, in all forty years, chap ii. 43 In the account here given, chiefly from Calmet. the history of David only is narrated ; but he must also be regarded as an eminent type of our Saviour, and as being the author of a large portion of the Psalms, from which the church of Christ in all ages has derived the utmost advantage in consolation, in- struction, and assistance in divine worship ; and in which the clearness and fulness of the prophecies re- lating to the advent, and offices, and kingdom of our Lord, are remarkable. See Psalms. Joseph us relates, that Solomon deposited abun- dance of riches in David's monument ; and that, 1300 years after, the high-priest Hircanus, being be- sieged in Jerusalem by Antiochus Pius, opened David's monument, took out 3000 talents, and gave Antiochus part of them. He adds that, many years after, Herod the Great searched this monument, and took great sums out of it. In the memoirs published in Arabic by M. le Jay, in his Polyglott, we read that Hircanus, when besieged by king Antiochus Sidetes opened a treasure chamber, which belonged to some of David's descendants, and that, after he had taken a large sum out of it, he still left much, and sealed it up again. This is very different from Josephus's account ; but is probably the foundation of it. Da- vid's monument was much respected by the Jews. Peter (Acts ii. 29.) tells them, it was still with them, and Dio informs us, that part of the mausoleum fell down in the emperor Adrian's reign. There is one circumstance in the history of David which requires further notice than it has received in the narrative just given. There is an apparent discrepancy between the ac- counts of his numbering the people, as given in 2 Sam. xxiv. 9. and 1 Chron. xxi. 5. In the former place it stands thus -.—Israel 800,000 ; Judah 500,000 ; in the latter it is, Israel 1,100,000 ; Judah 470,000. very striking difference, certainly ; and the question for solution is, Are the accounts to be reconciled ? Patrick, Lightfoot, Hales, and others, are of opinion that the returns were not completed when sent in to the king ; and that the writer of the book of Samuel mentions the number according to the list actually given in ; whereas the author of the Chronicles gives the list not laid before the king, nor inserted in the public records, but generally known among the peo- ple. It is difficult, however, to conceive that the compiler of public annals, such as are the Chroni- cles, should depart from the authentic or authorized returns, and insert such as were obtained from cur- rent report, or sources of private information. Per- haps the conjecture of a more recent writer, Mr. Baruch, is better adapted to meet the case, and we shall, therefore, lay the substance of his remarks be- fore the reader : — "It appears," he observes, "by 1 Chron. xxvii.that there were twelve divisions of generals, who com- manded monthly, and whose duty was to keep guard near the king's person, each having a body of troops, consisting of twenty-four thousand men, which jointly, formed a grand army of two hundred and eighty-eight thousand ; and as a separate body of twelve thousand men naturally attended on the twelve princes of the twelve tribes, mentioned in the same chapter, the whole will be three hundred thou- sand ; which is the difference between the two ac- counts of eight hundred thousand, and of one million one hundred thousand. As to the men of Israel, the author of Samuel does not take notice of the three hundred thousand, because they were in the actual service of the king, as a standing army, and, therefore [ 338 ] A here was no need to number them ; but Chronicles joins them to the rest, saying expressly (SN-ie» Ss) ' all those of Israel were one million one hundred thou- sand ;' whereas the author of Samuel, who reckons only the eight hundred thousand, does not say, C?nie» bj) 'all those of Israel,'' but barely (Sn-ke» inni) ' and Israel were,' &c. It must also be observed, that, exclusive of the troops before mentioned, there was an army of observation on the frontiers of the Phi- listines' country, composed of thirty thousand men, as appears by 2 Sam. vi. 1. which, it seems, were included in the number of five hundred thousand of the people of Judah, by the author of Samuel ; but the author of Chronicles, who mentions only four hundred and seventy thousand, gives the number of that tribe, exclusive of those thirty thousand men, because they were not all of the tribe of Judah, and, therefore, he does not say, (nyn> S3) 'all those of Judah, ' as he had said, (Sine" S3,) 'all those of Israel? but only, (mvpi) ' and those of Judah.' 1 Thus both accounts may be reconciled, by only having re- course to other parts of Scripture, treating on the same subject, which will ever be found the best method of explaining difficult passages." The remarks which follow are so just and valuable, that no apology will be required for their insertion : "The above variations are, in appearance, so glar- ingly contradictory, that, if the standing army of two hundred and eighty-eight thousand men, and the ar- my of observation of thirty thousand, had not been recorded in Scripture, by which the difficulties are solved, those modern critics who take a delight in finding seeming defects, blemishes, and corruptions in our copies of the sacred books, might, with great plausibility, produce the present collation, as an irref- ragable instance to support their position. But let us, for a moment, suppose that those circumstances, though real facts, had not been recorded ; how would the state of the question then rest? Those critics would plume themselves on what they would call the irresistible force of such contradictory instances ; but all their boasting would be grounded on the baseless fabric of a vision, I mean, on our ignorance of those particulars, which, if known, would imme- diately reconcile the variations. The inference I would draw from this observation is, that many diffi- culties may appear insurmountable, which might easily be solved, had the sacred writers been more explicit in recording circumstances, which, perhaps, they have omitted, as being well known in their time : and, therefore, critics should be more cautious, than peremptorily to pronounce all seeming varia- tions to be a proof of corruption, since our present inability to reconcile them is no certain proof of any blemish or defect." DAY. The day is distinguished into natural, as- tronomical, civil, and artificial ; and there is another distinction which may be termed prophetic ; the proph- ets being the only persons who call years days ; of which there is an example in the explanation given of Daniel's seventy weeks. The natural day is one revolution of the sun. The astronomical day is one revolution of the equator, added to that portion of it through which the sun has passed in one natural day. The civil day is that, the beginning and end of which are determined by the custom of any nation. The Hebrews began their day in the evening ; (Lev. xxiii. 32.) the Babylonians from sun-rising. The artificial day is the time of the sun's continuance above the horizon, which is unequal according to different seasons, on account of the obliquity of the sphere. The sacned writers generally divide the day and night into twelve unequal hours. The sixth hour is always noon throughout the year ; and the twelfth hour is the last hour of the day. But in sum- mer, the twelfth hour, as all the others were, was longer than in winter. See Hours. To-Day, does not only signify the particular day on which we are speaking, but any definite time ; as we say, the people of the present clay, or of that clay, or time. DEACON. Among the Greeks those youths who served the tables were called Siuxoroi, deacons, i. e. ministers, attendants ; and there is a manifest allu- sion to them in our Lord's rebuke of his disciples : (Luke xxii. 25.) "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them ; and those possessing authority over them, are called benefactors [v'tQyirai). But among you it shall not be so ; but he who is great- est among you, let him be as the youngest ; and he who takes place as a ruler, as he who serveth (i. e. a deacon). For whether is greater, he who reclines at table, (inuy.f'iftivuQ.'y or he who serveth (i. e. the dea- con) ? Whereas I am among you as (the deacon) he who serveth." Is there not great humility in our Lord's allusion ? But the word is used in ecclesias- tical language, to denote an officer who assists either the bishop or priest, or in the service of the poor. (For the institution of deacons, see Acts vi. 1.) They were selected by the people from among themselves, were then presented to the apostles, and ordained by prayer and imposition of hands. Paul enumerates the qualifications of a deacon in 1 Tim. hi. 8- — 12. [The word Staxoroc, deacon, attendant, &c. as spoken in reference to the primitive institutions of the Chris- tian churches, means one who collects and distributes alms to the poor, an overseer of the poor, an almoner. Persons of both sexes were appointed to perform the duties of this office ; which consisted in a gen- eral inquiry into the situation and wants of the poor, in taking care of the sick, and in administering all necessary and proper relief, Phil. i. 1 ; 1 Tim. iii. 8 12; Rom. xvi. 1. From this word, as applied to this office, is derived the English word deacon ; which, however, retains little of its original signification. R. DEACONESS. Such women Were called dea conesses, as served the church in those offices in which the deacons could not with propriety engage - such as keeping the doors of that part of the church where the women sat ; assisting the women to un- dress and dress at baptism ; privately instructing those of their own sex ; and visiting others impris- oned for the faith. They were of mature and ad- vanced age when chosen ; of good manners and reputation. They were, in the primitive times, ap- pointed to this office, with the imposition of hands. Paul speaks of Phoebe, deaconess of the church at the port of Cenchrea, the eastern haven of Corinth, Rom. xvi. 1. See Deacon. These persons appear to be the same as those whom Pliny, in his famous letter to Trajan, styles "Ancillis, qua ministry dicebantur" — female attend- ants called assistants, ministers, or servants. It appears, then, that these were customary officers throughout the churches ; and when the fury of persecution fell on Christians, these were among the first to suffer ; the most cruel of tortures being in- flicted on them, not sparing even extreme old age. Is it not remarkable that the office, which is so well adapted to the matronly character of the female sex, should be ivholly excluded from our list of assistants in the church ? [ 339 ] It is usually understood, that at first deaconesses were widows, who had lived with one husband only ; not less than sixty years of age ; which, by the fifteenth canon of the council of Chalcedon, was re- duced to forty years. In later times, they wore a distinguishing dress. The apostle Paul says, that Phoebe had been his patroness, as well as that of many others, (Rom. xvi. 2.) which implies a dignity seldom considered ; and shows that great respecta- bility of station was the reverse of inconsistent with the office of deaconess. DEAD. It was natural that the Hebrews should have great consideration for the dead, since they be- lieved the soul's immortality, and a resurrection of the body. They esteemed it the greatest misfortune to be deprived of burial, and hence made it a point of duty to bury the dead, (Tob. i. 19 ; ii. 3,9; iv. 17.) and to leave something on their graves to be eaten by the poor. When an Israelite died in any house or tent, all the persons and furniture in it contracted a pollution, which continued seven days, Numb. xix. 14 — 16. All who touched the body of one who died, or was killed, in the open fields ; all who touched men's bones, or a grave, were unclean seven days. To cleanse this pollution, they formerly took the ashes of the red heifer, sacrificed by the high-priest on the day of solemn expiation : (Numb, xix.) on these they poured water in a vessel, and a person who was clean dipped a bunch of hyssop in the water, and sprinkled with it the furniture, the chamber, and the persons, on the third day and on the seventh day. It was required that the polluted person should pre- viously bathe his whole body, and wash his clothes ; after which he was clean, ver. 17 — 22. Since the destruction of the temple, the Jews have ceased generally to consider themselves as polluted by a dead body. It appears to have been a custom in Palestine, to embalm the bodies of persons of distinction and for- tune : but this was never general. The evangelist John remarks, that our Saviour was wrapt in linen clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury ; (John xix. 40.) and we read, that either with, or near, the bodies of some kings of Judah, abundance of spices was burnt ; (2 Chron. xxi. 19.) but we cannot affirm that this was customary, Jer. xxxiv. 5. See Embalming. Anciently the Jews had women hired to lament at funerals, and who played on doleful instruments, and walked in procession. The rabbins say, that an Israelite was enjoined to have two of these musicians at his wife's obsequies, besides the women hired to weep. Persons who met the funeral procession, in civility joined the company, and mingled their groans. To this our Saviour seems to allude : (Luke vii. 32.) " We have mourned to you, and ye have not wept." And Paul — " Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep," Rom. xii. 15. See Burial. For baptism of the dead, see Baptism.


DEBIR, the name of a city. (It signifies that sepa- rated part of a 'temple, called the adytum; the mos*. retired or secret part, from which the oracle was un- derstood to issue, in Solomon's temple, the holy of holies was called the debir, in Hebrew, 1 Kings vi. 5 19 — 22, etc.) The city Debir is called, also, Kirjath- sepher, " the city of the book," or learning ; and Kirjath-sannali, the "city of purity," from the Chal- dee and Arabic root to cleanse. This ancient city was near Hebron, in the south of Judah, and its first inhabitants were giants of the race of Anak. Joshua took it, and slew its king, Josh. x. 39 ; xii. 13. It fell by lot to Caleb ; and Othuiel first entering the place, Caleb gave him his daughter Achsah, xv. 15, 16. It subsequently belonged to the Levites, xxi. 15; 1 Chron. vi. 58. See Kirjath-sepher. There were two other cities of this name ; one be- longing to Gad, beyond Jordan, (Josh. xiii. 26.) the other to Benjamin, though originally to Judah, Josh, xv. 7.


DEBT, an obligation which must be discharged by the party bound so to do. This may be either spe- cial or general : special obligations are where the party has contracted to do something in return for a service received ; general obligations are those to which a man is bound by his relative situation. " Whoso shall swear by the gold of the temple — by the gift on the altar — is a debtor ;" (Matt, xxiii. 16.) is bound by his oath ; is obliged to fulfil his vow. " I am debtor to the Greeks and barbarians ;" Rom. i. 14. N [ 340 ] G under ooligations to persons of all nations and char- acters. Gal. v. 3, he is a debtor — is bound — to do the whole law. Men may be debtors to human justice, or to dirine justice ; bound to obedience, and if that be not complied with, bound to suffer the penalties annexed to transgression.


DECALOGUE, the ten principal commandments, (Exod. xx. 1, &c.) from the Greek ten, and Xoyog, toord. The Jews call these precepts, The ten words.


DECAPOLIS, (from the Greek ten, and noXig, a city,) a country in Palestine, which contained ten principal cities, on both sides of Jordan, Matt. iv. 25 ; Mark v. 20 ; vii. 31. According to Pliny, they were, 1. Scythopolis ; 2. Philadelphia ; 3. Raphana? ; 4. Gadara; 5. Hippos ; 6. Dios ; 7. Pella ; 8. Gerasa; 9. Canatha ; 10. Damascus. Josephus inserts Oto- pos instead of Canatha. Though within the limits of Israel, the Decapolis was probably inhabited by foreigners ; and hence it retained a foreign appella- tion. This may also contribute to account for the numerous herds of swine kept in the district, (Matt, viii. 30.) a practice which was forbidden by the Mo- saic law. See further under Canaan.


DECREE, a determination or appointment, judi- cial, civil, ecclesiastical, or divine. The divine ap- pointments never err, being founded on truth, judg- ment, perfect wisdom, and perfect knowledge, united with perfect goodness, kindness, and grace. See Predestination.


DEDICATION, a religious ceremony, by which any thing is declared to be consecrated to the wor- ship of God. Moses dedicated the tabernacle built in the wilderness, (Exod. xl ; Numb, vii.) and the ves- sels set apart for divine service. Solomon dedicated the temple which he erected, (1 Kings viii.) as did the Israelites, returned from the captivity, their new tem- ple, Ezra vi. 16, 17. The Maccabees, having cleansed the temple, which had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes, again dedicated the altar, 1 Mac. iv. 52 — 59. This is believed to be the dedication which the Jews celebrated in winter, at which our Lord was present,' John x. 22. The temple rebuilt by Herod was dedicated with great solemnity ; and in order to make the festival more august, Herod appointed it on the anniversary of his accession to the crown. This was towards the end of ante A. D. 40 ; and the tem- ple which he built was dedicated at the end of his > 32d year, four years before the true date of the birth of Christ. Some think it probable that this was the dedication referred to above. But not only were sacred places thus dedicated ; cities, walls, and gates, and even the houses of private persons, were sometimes thus consecrated, Neh. xii. 27, the title of Ps. xxx ; Deut. xx. 5. Hence the custom of dedicating churches, oratories, chapels and other places of worship.


DEEP, see Abyss.


DEER, fallow, a wild quadruped, of a middle size, between the stag and the roe-buck ; its horns turn inward, and are large and flat. The deer is naturally very timorous : it was reputed clean, and good for food, Deut. xiv. 5. Young deer were par- ticularly esteemed for their delicacy ; and are no ticed in the Canticles, Proverbs, and Isaiah, as beau- tiful, lovely creatures, and very swift, Cant, iv.5; viii. 3 : Prov. v. 19. See Hind.


DEFILE, DEFILEMENT. Many were the blemishes of person and conduct, which, under the law, were esteemed defilements ; some were volun- tary, some involuntary ; some originated with the party, others were received by him ; some were in- evitable, being defects of nature, others the conse- quences of personal transgression. Under the gos- pel, defilements are those of the heart, of the mind, the temper, the conduct. Moral defilements are as numerous, and as strongly prohibited as ever; but ceremonial defilements are superseded, as requiring religious rites, though many of them claim attention as usages of health, decency, and civility. (See Matt, xv. 18 ; Gen. xlix. 4 ; Rom. i. 24 ; James iii. 6 ; Ezek. xliii. 8 ; also many passages in Leviticus and Num- bers.) See Purification.


DEGREES, Psalms of, is the title prefixed to fifteen Psalms, from Ps. cxx. to Ps. cxxxiv. inclusive. This title has given great difficulty to commentators, and a variety of explanations have been proposed. The most probable are the three following: (1.) Pil- grim songs, carmina ascensionum, sung by the Israel- ites while going up to Jerusalem to worship ; (comp. Ps. cxxii. 4.) but to this explanation the contents of only a few of these Psalms are appropriate, e. g. of Ps. cxxii. — (2.) Others suppose the title to refer to a species of rhythm in these Psalms ; by which the sense ascends, as it were, by degrees, — one member or clause frequently repeating the words with which the preceding member closes. Thus, in Ps. cxxi. 1. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, From whence cometh my help. 2. My help cometh from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved ; Thy keeper will not slumber. 4. Lo, not slumber nor sleep will the keeper of Israel. 5. Jehovah is thy keeper, etc. But the same objection lies against this solution, as before, viz. that it does not suit the contents of all these psalms. — (3.) Perhaps the poetry of the Syrians may hereafter throw some light upon this title. Of the eight species of verse which they distinguish, one is . called gradus, scalce, degrees, like these psalms ; and the name appears to refer- to a particular kind of metre. But what that metre is, and whether it exists [ 341 ] in the psalms bearing this title, we have not yet the means of determining. (See. Oberleitner's Chres- tom. Syr. p. 287. Stuart's Heb. Chrestom. on Ps. cxxxiv.) *R.


DELILAH, a woman who dwelt in the valley of Sorek, belonging to Dan, near the land of the Philis- tines. Samson abandoned himself to her, and, as some think, married her, Judg. xvi. 4. The princes of the Philistines, by bribes, prevailed on her to betray Samson : he eluded her first demands ; but at length she succeeded, and reduced his strength to weakness, by cutting off his hair. See Samson.


DELOS, one of the Cyclades, a number of islands in the JEgean sea. It was much celebrated, and held in the highest veneration, for its famous temple and oracle of Apollo, 1 Mac. xv. 23. DELUGE. We understand principally by this word, that universal flood which happened in the time of Noah, and from which, as Peter says, there were but eight persons saved. Moses's account of this event is recorded Gen. vi. vii. See Ark, Noah. The sins of mankind were the causes of the del- uge ; and commentators agree to place it A. M. 1656 ; but they find difficulties as to the month in which it began. Several of the fathers were of opinion, that it began and ended in the spring of the year ; under- standing the second month mentioned by Moses, of the second in the ecclesiastical year, beginning at Nisan, (March, O. S.) about the vernal "equinox. Among other proofs, they borrow one from the dove's bringiug back an olive-leaf to Noah, which was, they think, a tender shoot of that year. But the most learned chronologists believe, that the sacred author designed the second month in the civil year, which answered partly to October, and partly to November ; so that the deluge began in autumn. OF THE YEAR OF THE DELUGE. A. M. 1656. [According to M. Basnage, Ant. Jud. torn. ii. p. 399.) Month. I. September. Methuselah died, aged 969 years. II. October. Noah and his family entered the ark. III. November. The fountains of the great deep broken up. IV. Decemb. 26. The rain began ; and continued forty days and nights. V. January. The earth buried under the waters. VI. February. Rain continued. VII. March. The waters at their height till the 27th, when they began to abate. VIII. April 17. The ark rested on mount Ararat, in Armenia. IX. May. Waiting the retiring of the wa- ters. X. June 1. The tops of the mountains ap- peared. XI. July 11. Noah let go a raven, which did not return. 18. He let go a dove, which returned. 25. The dove, being sent a second time, brought back the olive- branch. XII. August 2. The dove, sent out a third time, returned no more. A. M. 1657 I. September 1. The dry land appeared. II. October 27. Noah went out of the ark. The question concerning the universality of the deluge, is very serious and important. Some learn- ed men have denied it, and pretended that to main- tain it, is an absurdity ; that the universality of the deluge is contrary both to the divine power and the divine goodness ; that it may be geometrically de- monstrated, that were all the clouds in the air reduced to water, that water would not cover the superficies of the earth to the height of a foot and a half ; and that all the waters in the rivers and the sea, if spread over the earth, would never reach the tops of the mountains, unless rarified in an extraordinary man- ner, and that then it could not support the weight of the ark ; that all the air which encompasses the earth, if condensed into water, would not rise above thirty-one feet, which would be far from enough to cover the surface of the earth and the mountains to fifteen cubits above their tops. All this, they say, seems contrary to reason, as what follows is contrary to nature. Rain does not fall upon eminences above 600 paces high : it does not descend from a greater height ; but if formed higher, it would immediately be frozen by the cold that prevails in those upper re- gions. Whence, then, it is asked, came the water to cover the tops of those mountains that rise above this region ? Will any one say that the rain found a way back again ? How could the plants be preserved so long under water ? How could the animals that came out of the ark disperse themselves throughout the whole world ? Besides, all the eartn was not peopled at that time ; why, then, should the deluge be universal ? Was it not sufficient if it reached those countries which were inhabited ? How were beasts brought from the extremities of the world, and col- lected into the ark ? The universality of the deluge, says Vossius, is im- possible and unnecessary ; was it not sufficient to deluge those countries where there were men ? — But how did Vossius learn that the world was not then fully peopled ? According to the LXX, whose chronology is supported by him, the world was above 2200 years old. Besides, supposing a partial deluge only, what necessity was there to build, at a great expense, a prodigious ark ? to bring all sorts of animals into it for preservation ? or to oblige eight persons to enter into it, &c. Was it not more easy to have directed these people and animals to travel into those countries which the deluge was not to reach ? How could the waters continue above the mountains of Armenia without spreading into the neighboring countries ? How should the ark float many months on a mountain of water, without sliding down the declivity of it? which Vossius himself confesses would be the situation of the ark, supposing a partial deluge. He says, if the deluge extended through the world, the plants and trees would have died; but that they did not die, since Noah, and the animals, when they quitted the ark, settled in those very countries which the deluge overflowed. In answer to this, Calmet asks why, if the plants and trees in this country did not die, they should die elsewhere. If the waters of the deluge destroyed the trees and plants where they reached, whence, he asks, came the shoot of the olive-tree, which the dove brought to Noah ? and adds, that there is an infinite fertility of nature in the production and reproduction of [ 342 ] plants ; and that water is a principle much more proper to preserve, than to destroy them ; that many plants grow under water, and that all vegetables re- quire moisture to cause them to germinate. To this is to be added, that the waters of the deluge covered the whole surface of the earth not more than about a hundred and ten days ; not half a year. As to the bringing of beasts of all kinds to Noah, the difficult}' is not so great as might be imagined. The number of beasts created in the beginning might not be very many ; for if the various tribes of man- kind proceeded from one man and one woman, why might not the various kinds of animals proceed from one pair of each kind ? The differences between the most unlike sort of 'dogs and horses, is not greater than between the different nations of men, of whom some are white and others black ; some of an olive color, and others red. Besides, of every species of animals, some individuals might inhabit the country about paradise, where Noah most probably resided, perhaps not far from Armenia ; and there is little doubt, but that Noah's ark was built in Mesopotamia, towards Chaldea. If there be any animals, that, through long habit, which becomes a second nature, cannot now live in this part of the world, (which, however, seems very difficult to prove,) it does not follow that there were such in Noah's time. If men or beasts were suddenly conveyed from the extreme- ly heated regions of Africa, to the coldest parts of the North, then, indeed, it is credible, they would perish ; but the case is greatly altered, if they remove, by in- sensible degrees, to those places, or if they were bred there ; and if now some creatures are found only in particular countries, we are not warranted to infer, that there never were any of the same kind else- where. On the contrary, we know, that formerly beasts of several species were numerous in countries where, at present, none of the kind inhabits, as the hippopotami of Egypt ; wolves and beavers in Eng- land ; and even several kinds of birds, as the crane, stork, &c. which formerly bred in England, where they are now unknown ; though they still breed in Holland. But the strongest objection against the universality of the deluge, is, the quantity of water requisite to cover the whole earth, to the height of fifteen cubits above the mountains. It has been said, as above, that if all the air in the atmosphere around our globe were condensed into water, it would not yield above two-and-thirty feet depth of water over all the earth. This calculation is founded on experiments made to prove the gravity of the air ; but these experiments are contradicted by others., which allow us to ques- tion, at least, the precision of the inference, because there is a prodigious extent of atmosphere above that which can reasonably be supposed to have any influ- ence on the barometer, or on any instrument which we can construct for the purpose of ascertaining the weight of the air. At the creation, the terrestrial globe was surrounded with water, the whole of which might not be exhaled into the atmosphere, but of which a part might run into reservoirs below the sur- face of the globe. But wherever these primitive waters were deposited, and whatever became of them, certainly they were not annihilated ; and it was as easy for God to restore them into the state and action of fluidity at the deluge, as in the beginning it was to rarify the other portions of water into air or vapors ; or to appoint them other (inferior, or supe- rior) situations. Moses relates, (Gen. vii. 11, 12.) that the foundations f the great deep were broken up, as well as that the windpAvs of heaven were opened ; — evidently meaning to describe a rising of waters from beneath the earth, no less than a. falling of waters from above upon it. But, supposing the ark to be raised fifteen cubits above the highest mountains, how could the men and creatures in it live and breathe amidst the cold, and the extreme tenuity of the air, in that middle region ? Two things are offered in reply to this objection : (1.) Though the air is colder and sharper on the tops of the highest mountains, than in the plains, yet peo- ple do not die there from those causes. — (2.) The middle region of the air, in respect to temperature, is more or less elevated, according to the greater or lesser heat of the sun. During winter, it is much nearer the earth than in summer ; or, to speak more properly, the cold which rises into the middle region of the air during summer, descends to the lower re- gion during winter. Thus, supposing the deluge to be universal, it is evident, that the middle region of the air must have risen higher above the earth and waters, during the long winter of that calamity ; con- sequently, the men and beasts enclosed in the ark. breathed nearly, or altogether, the same air as they would have ordinarily breathed a thousand or twelve hundred paces lower, that is, on the surface of the earth. It is not intended, however, by these argu- ments, to prove, that the deluge was produced with- out a miracle ; but only to show that it does not involve all the difficulties imputed. Dr. Burnet attempted to explain the physical causes of the deluge. He supposed the earth in its beginning to be round, smooth, and even, through- out ; without mountains or valleys ; that the centre of the earth contained a great abyss of water ; that the earth, by sinking in many places, and by rising in others, in consequence of different shocks, and of divers earthquakes, opened a passage for the internal waters, which issued impetuously from the centre where they had been enclosed, and spread over all the earth; that, in the beginning, the axis -of the earth was parallel with the axis of the world, moving directly under the equator, and producing a perpet- ual equinox ; and that in the first world there were neither seas, nor rain, nor rainbow. The objections to this theory arise rather from the extremes to which the author pushed his suppositions, than from the general idea itself. If, instead of main- taining that the earth was uniformly level, he had admitted hills and valleys, though not such high mountains as at present ; if he had admitted lakes or small seas, though not such oceans as at present ; much might have been said in its support. For it is every way credible, that the state of the globe before the deluge was very different from what it is now ; but to show in what those differences might consist, requires, besides a lively fancy, a correct judgment, and much scientific information. Mr. Whiston en- deavored to account for this phenomenon by the pro- jection of a comet, which, he supposes, passed so close to the body of the earth, at the time of the del- uge, as to involve it in its atmosphere and tail ; which, consisting of vapors, rarified and expanded in differ- ent degrees, caused the tremendous fall of rain spoken of by Moses. The presence of the comet would also occasion a double tide, by the power of which the orb of the earth would undergo a change, in which innumerable fissures would be made, whence the waters from its centre would rush, — corresponding with the other part of the narrative, — the fountains of the great deep being broken up. Dr. Woodward [ 343 ] thought that the whole mass of the earth being dis- solved by the waters of the deluge, a new earth was afterwards formed, composed of different beds or layers of terrestrial matter which had floated in this fluid ; that these layers were disposed one over the other, almost according to their different gravities ; so that plants or animals, and particularly shell-fish, which were not dissolved like others, remained en- closed by mineral and fossil materials, which have preserved them entire, or at least have retained im- pressions of them : and these are what we now call fossils. By this hypothesis he accounts for the shells found in places very remote from the sea, the ele- phants' teeth, the bones of animals, the petrified fishes, and other things found on the tops of moun- tains, and other elevated places. In his work are many very curious facts and observations relating to the deluge ; and Dr. Woodward ranks among the first, who, by inquiring into the actual appearances of nature, produced proofs of this great event still re- maining in sufficient abundance. He opened those memorials of evidence which have since been en- larged by others— Mr. Whitehurst and Mr. Parkin- son, and more recently Mr. Townsend and professor Buckland. The Mussulmans, Pagans, Chinese, and Ameri- cans, have traditions of the deluge ; but each nation relates it after its own manner. Josephus (contra Apion. lib. i.) cites Berosus, who, on the testimony of ancient documents, describes the deluge much like Moses ; and gives also the history of Noah, of the ark, and of the mountains where it rested. Abyde- nus (apud Euseb. Praepar. lib. ix. cap. . 12.) relates, that one Sesistrus was informed by Saturn of a del- uge approaching to drown all the earth ; that Sesis- trus, having embarked in a covered vessel, sent forth birds to learn in what condition the earth was ; and that these birds returned three times. Alexander Polyhistor relates the same story with Abydenus, adding that the four-footed beasts, the creeping things, and birds of the air, were preserved in this ves- sel. Lucian, in his book de Dea Syra, says, that mankind having given themselves up to vices, the earth was drowned by a deluge, so that none but Deucalion remained upon it, he having taken shelter in a vessel, with his family, and the animals. Apol- lodorus, Ovid, and many others, have discoursed of Deucalion's deluge ; but have intermixed many circumstances, which agree only with that of Noah. On these various traditions, as well as on the com- memorative emblems of this event, preserved by the Egyptians, Hindoos, Druids, Greeks, Persians, Phoe- nicians, and others, Mr. Taylor has collected a large mass of information, in his Fragments ; we select a few striking examples. The following is from Syncellus: — "In the first year there came up, according to Berosus, from the waters of the Red sea, (the Indian ocean,) and ap- peared on the shore contiguous to Babylonia, a crea- ture void of reason [this is a palpable error, as the whole history shows ; therefore, for i<7>ov UyQsvor read troov evtiqav, a creature truly wise] named Oannes ; and as Apollodorus reports, having the whole body of a fish ; above the head of this fish rose another head (of a man) ; he had human feet, (or legs,) which came out from each of the two sides of the tail ; he had also human voice and language. They still pre- serve at Babylon, says Berosus, his resemblance painted. This creature remained some time, during the day, among the natives, without taking any nour- ishment, aud conversed with them from time to time ; he taught them letters and learning ; showed them the arts of life ; instructed them to build cities ; to raise temples to the Deity ; to institute laws ; to study geometry ; the various manners (and seasons) of committing to the earth the seeds of fruits, and of gathering their productions ; and generally, what- ever conduces to soften and to polish the manners of mankind. Since that period nothing more has been heard of him. After the setting of the sun, this creature, Oannes, went toward the sea, plunged into it, and passed the night in the water. After- wards, other similar creatures appeared ; concerning whom Berosus promises to relate many things, in his history of the kings." This " history" is unfortu- nately lost ; but Oannes is thus mentioned by Apollo- dorus (in Syncellus). " Berosus reports, that Alorus was the first king of Babylon, native of that city ; he reigned ten sari ; then came Alasparus and Ame- lonus, of the country of Pantibiblos ; then the Chal- dean Ammenonus, under whose reign was seen to issue from the Red sea (the Indian ocean) that Oannes which Alexander Polyhistor, by anticipation of time, placed in the first year, and which we place after a lapse of forty sari. Abydenus places the second Oannes after a period of twenty-six sari." Apollodorus goes on to mention other kings, as Meg Alorus, Da-onus, and Evedorachus, in whose time appeared another creature, half man, half fish, named o Jaywv, the Dagon. Helladius, an author of the fourth century, cited by Photius, (Biblioth. p. 194.) also reports, " that a person named Oan was seen in the Red sea ; who had the body of a fish ; but his head, feet and hands were human ; he taught the use of letters and astronomy. Some said he was born of the first parent, which is the egg. This Oan was altogether a man ; and he appeared like a fish, only because he was covered with the skin of a fish." It is clear that Oan is the same as Oannes ; and that Oannes is the same as Dagon. " He was a man, but clad with the appearance of a fish ;" — " he was born of the first parent, the egg." — This egg once contained all mankind. The n ost complete series of emblems coincident with this subject, hitherto procured, consists of a num- ber of medals of Corinth, which represent very dis- tinctly the ark, with the in- fant rising into renewed life, after having been preserved ? by the fish (the ark). The Apamean medal (see Apamea) contains a history of that event, rather than an emblem of it. The incidental mention of the " Lady of the Egg," the "Goddess of the Egg," venerated among the Druidical Britons, incites me to wish to add a few words in illustration of that appellation. I do not know, indeed, that it occurs expressly in Scripture ; yet, if the rabbins have (or had) any authority for explaining the import of the terms Succoth Benoth by reference to the emblem of a hen and chickens, (the doves, among the Greeks,) the occurrence of the title alluded to, is not impossible. Many creatures lay eggs ; and the seed of a plant is but another term for an egg. The title "Goddess of the Egg,' may, therefore, be taken in a general sense, as de- noting the procreative power universal ; otherwise, with a stricter reference to a specific object, symbol- ized under the type of an egg. And this was adopted among the Asiatics and the Greeks. [ 344 ] On some of the medals of Tyre is seen the em- blem of a serpent enfolding an egg. Now, that the serpent was on many occasions significant of benevo- lent superintendence, is expressly recorded on some of the medals of Egypt, by the motto JYEO ATA®.


DEMAS, a Thessalonian mentioned by Paul, (2 Tim. iv. 10.) who was at first a most zealous disci- ple of the apostle, and very serviceable to him at Rome during his imprisonment, but afterwards forsook him to follow a more secular life. I. DEMETRIUS SOTER, king of Syria, reigned twelve years, from A. M. 3842 to 3854. He was son of Seleucus IV. surnamed Philopater ; but, being a hostage at Rome when his father died, his uncle An- tiochus Epiphanes, who in the interim arrived in Syria, procured himself to be acknowledged king, and reigned eleven years : after him his son, Antio- chus Eupator, reigned two years. At length De- metrius Soter regained his father's throne. He is often mentioned in the books of the Maccabees. II. DEMETRIUS NICANOR, or Nicator, son of Demetrius Soter, was for many years deprived of the throne by Alexander Balas; but he at length recov- ered it by the assistance of Ptolemy Philometor, his father-in-law. After a number of vicissitudes, he was killed, ante A. D. 126, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Seleucus, to whom he left a dangerous ri- val in the person of Alexander, surnamed Zebina.


DEMON, or Djemon, Jatfiwv. Good and bad an- gels, but generally bad angels, are called in Greek and Latin, Demones, or Da:mones. The Hebrews ex- press. Demon by Serpent; Satan, or Tempter; Shed- dim, or destroyers ; Seirim, goats, or hairy satyrs : and in Greek authors we find Damones, or Diabolus, that is, calumniators, or impure spirits, &c. See Angel. The Jews represent evil angels as being at the left hand of God's throne, to receive his orders, while the good angels are at his right hand, ready to exe- cute his will. Lactantius believed that there were two sorts of demons, celestial and terrestrial ; that the celestial were the fallen angels who engaged in impure amours, and that the terrestrial were their is- sue, and the authors of all the evils committed on earth. Many of the ancients allotted to each man an evil angel continually tempting him to evil, and a good angel continually inciting him to good. The Jews hold the same sentiment at this day ; and the same may be remarked in the ancient philosophers. We commonly hold that the devils are in hell, where they suffer the punishment of their rebellion. But the ancient fathers placed (sec Ephes. ii. 2 ; vi. 12.) the devils in the air ; and Jerome says, it was the general opinion of the doctors in the church, that the air between heaven and earth is filled with evil spir- its. Augustin. and others of the fathers, believed that the demons fell from the highest and purest re- gion of the air into that near the earth, which is but darkness in comparison to the serenity and clearness of the other. The request of the devils to our Saviour, not to send them into the deep, but to permit them to enter [ 345 ] d e s the herd of swine, intimates that these evil spirits found some enjoyment while on earth ; and the fear of torment before the time, shows, that the time of their extreme punishment was not yet come, Matt, viii. 29 ; Luke viii. 31. When our Saviour pro- nounces sentence against the wicked, he says, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," Matt. xxv. 41. This fire, therefore, was prepared for the devil, who may not as yet suf- fer the full pain of it. But we are not to suppose that devils suffer nothing at present ; grief, despair, and rage, to find themselves fallen from happiness, and banished to infinite and eternal misery, must be a very great punishment. That the devil formerly affected divine honors, and that whole nations were so far blinded as to pay them, cannot be questioned. (See Deut. xxxii. 17; Ps. cvi. 37 ; Baruch iv. 7.) It does not appear that the Hebrews ever paid any worship to the devil, in our sense of this word, as understanding by it Satan, th^ fallen angel ; or the head of the fallen angels. The heathens worshipped Pluto, or Hades, the god of hell, and other infernal deities, manes, furies, &c. But the Greeks and Romans had not the same idea of Satan as we have. The Persians, who acknowl- edged two principles, one good, Oromazes, the other bad, Arimanes, offered to the first sacrifices of thanksgiving, and to the second sacrifices to avert misfortunes. They took an herb, called omomi, which they bruised in a mortar, invoking the god of hell and darkness; then, mingling with it the b ood of a wolf, they carried this composition to a place where the rays of the sun never entered, and threw it down. There are people of America, Asia, and Africa who pay superstitious worship to the devil, that is, the evil principle, under whose government they suppose this earth to be. Examples of demoniacal possession are fre- quent, especially in the New Testament. Christ and his apostles cured great numbers of possessed per- sons. But as it has been found in many cases, that credulity has been imposed on, by fictitious posses- sions, some have maintained, that all were diseases of the mind, the effects of distempered imagination ; that persons sometimes thought themselves really possessed ; that others feigned themselves to be so, in order to carry on some design ; in a word, that there never were any real possessions. In answer to this, it is observed, that, if there were no real pos- sessions, Christ and his apostles, and the whole church, would be in error, and must wilfully involve us in error, also, by speaking, acting, and praying, as if there were real possessions. Our Saviour speaks to and commands the devils, who actuated the possess- ed ; which devils answered, and obeyed, and gave proofs of their presence by tormenting those misera- ble creatures, whom they were obliged to quit. They cast them into violent convulsions, throw them on the ground, leave them for dead, take possession of hogs, and hurry those animals into the sea. Can this be merely delusion ? Christ alleges, as proof of his mission, that the devils are cast out ; he promises his apostles the same power that he himself exercis- ed against those wicked spirits. Can all this be nothing but chimera ? It is admitted that there are several tokens of possession which are equivocal and fallible, but there are others which are indubitable. person may counterfeit a demoniac, and imitate the actions, words, motions, contortions, cries, bowl- ings and convulsions of one possessed. — Some ef- forts, that seem to be supernatural, may be effects ol heated imagination, of melancholy blood, of trick and contrivance. But if a person suddenly should speak and understand languages he never learned, talk of sublime matters he never studied, or discover things secret and unknown ; should he lift up himself in the air without visible assistance, act and speak in a manner very distant from his natural temper and condition ; and all this without any inducement from interest, passion, or other natural motive ; if all these circumstances, or the greater part of them, concur in the same possession, can there be any room to sus- pect that it is not real ? There have, then, been pos- sessions in which all these circumstances have con- curred. There have, therefore, been real ones, but especially those which the gospel declares as such. God was pleased to permit, that in our Saviour's time there should be many such in Israel, to furnish him with occasions of signalizing his power, and to supply further and convincing proofs of his mission and divinity. It is admitted, that true possessions by the devil are miraculous. They do not hap- pen without divine permission ; but they are neither contrary nor superior to the laws of nature. God only suffers the demons to act ; and they only exer cise a power that is natural to them, but which was before suspended and restrained by Divine Provi- dence. See Angel.


DENARIUS, a Roman coin, worth four sesterces, generally valued at seven pence three farthings Eng- lish, or, more properly, about 12£ cents. In the New Testament, it is taken for a piece of money in gener- al ; Matt. xxii. 19 ; Mark xii. 15 ; Luke xx. ;«•».

Next Page >>

Home | Resources