KJV Study Bible

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

Preface
[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
 

COMPREHENSIVE CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Edward Robinson

[1] [2] [3]

Next Page >>

GAAL

GAAL, son of Ebed, having entered Shechem, to assist it against Abimelech, the people amidst their entertainments cursed the invader. Gaal advanced to engage him, but was defeated, Judg. ix. 26, A. M. 2771.

GABA

GABA, a city at the foot of mount Carmel, be- tween Ptolemais and Cesarea. Josephus says, it was called the city of horsemen, because Herod gave it to his veteran cavalry. Reland is of opinion, that it is the same as Ca'ipha, or Hepha ; but Eusebius places a little town called Gaba, or Gabe, sixteen miles from Cesarea in Palestine, on the side of the great plain. It is mentioned only by Josephus, iii. 2. In Josh, xviii. 24, a Gaba is mentioned, which is elsewhere called Geba, which see.

GABALA

GABALA, see Gebae.

GABATHA

GABATHA, a town in the south of Judah, twelve miles from Eleutheropolis, where the prophet Ha- bakkuk's sepulchre was shown.

GABBATHA

GABBATHA, high, or elevated. In Greek, \<3o- oTQioror, paved loith stones. This was the Hebrew name of a place in Pilate's palace, (John xix. 13.) from whence he pronounced sentence against our Saviour. It was probably an eminence, or terrace, paved with stone or marble, and of considerable height. [It was properly a tesselated marble pave- ment, or a pavement of mosaic work. From the time of Sylla, ornamented pavements of this sort be- came common among the wealthy Romans ; and when they went abroad on military expeditions or to administer the government of a province, they car- ried with them pieces of marble ready fitted, which, as often as an encampment was formed or a court of justice opened, were regularly spread around the elevated tribunal on which the commander or pre- siding officer was to sit. Julius Csesar followed this custom in his expeditions. (See Sueton. Cses. 46. Plin. H. N. xxxv. 25.) The word r«>iadh there- fore refers to a raised tribunal of this sort. Others, considering the origin of the word and the fact that Josephus, in describing the exterior of the temple, speaks of a pavement of this sort, (B. J. V. 5. 2,) suppose that a particular part of Jerusalem is intend- ed, pertaining, it would seem, to that part of the tem- ple which was called the court of the Gentiles. (Winer Bibl. Realw. p. 414.) R.

GABINIUS

GABINIUS, (Aulus,) one of Pompey's generals, who was sent into Judea against Alexander and An- tigonus. (See Alexander, and Antigonus III.) He restored Hircanus at Jerusalem, confirmed him f 445 ] AI in the hign-priesthood, and settled governors and judges in the provinces, so that Judea, from a mon archy, became an aristocracy. He established courts of justice at Jerusalem, Gadara, (or at Dora,) Ama- tha, Jericho, and Sephoris ; that the people, finding judges in all parts of the country, might not be obliged to go far from their habitations. Some learn- ed men are of opinion, that the establishment of the Sanhedrim owed its origin to Gabinius. On return- ing to Rome, Gabinius was prosecuted by the Syri- ans, and exiled, ante A. D. 55. He was recalled by Julius Caesar, and returned to Syria as triumvir, about ante A. D. 41. He showed great friendship to Phasael and Herod, and fell in the civil war. (Joseph. Ant. xiv. 6β€”10 ; Bel. Jud. i. 6.)

GABRIEL

GABRIEL, a principal angel. He was sent to the prophet Daniel to explain his visions; also toZacha- rias, to announce to him. the future birth of John the Baptist, Dan. viii. 16; ix. 21 ; x. 16; Luke i. 11, et seq. Six months afterwards, he was sent to Naza- reth, to the Virgin Mary, Luke i. 26, &c. (See An- nunciation.) Probably, also, Gabriel was the angel which appeared to Joseph, when thinking to dismiss the Virgin Mary; also, on another occasion, enjoin- ing him to retire to Egypt ; and, after the decease of Herod, directed him to return into Judea. The Cabalists say, Gabriel was master or preceptor to the patriarch Joseph.

GADARA

GADARA, surrounded, walled, a city east of the Jordan, in the De- capolis. Josephus calls it the capital of Persea : and Pli- ny (lib. v. cap. 16.) places it on the riv- er Hieromax, (Jar- much,) about five miles from its junc- tion with the Jor- dan. It gave name to a district which extended, probably, from the region of Scythopolis to the borders of Tiberias. Pompey repaired Gadara, in consideration of Demetrius his freedrnan, a native of it; and Gabinius settled there one of the five courts of justice for Judea. Polybius says, that An- tiochus the Great besieged this city, which was thought to be one of the strongest places in the coun- try, and that it surrendered to him on composition. Epiphanius speaks of its hot baths. The evangelists Mark (v. 1.) and Luke (viii. 26. Gr.) say that our Saviour, having passed the sea of Tiberias, came into the district. of the Gadarenes. Matthew (viii. 28.) calls it Gergasenes ; but as the lands belonging to one of these cities were included within the limits of the other, one evangelist might say, the country of the Gergasenes, another the country of the Gadarenes ; either being equally correct. Mr. Bankes thinks that the place called Oom-kais, where are shown numerous caverns and extensive ruins, marks the site of Gadara ; but. Mr. Bucking- ham speaks of Oom-kais as Gamala. If Gadara be properly understood as denoting a fenced protection, the name might, with great propriety, be common in many parts ; and such retreats would be no less ne- cessary at the northern extremities of the country, than at the southern. See Geder.

GADDI

GADDI, son of Susi, of Manasseh, sent by Moses to explore the land, Numb. xiii. 11.

GADDIEL

GADDIEL, son of Sodi, of Zebulun, one of the spies, Numb. xiii. 10.

GALATIA

GALATIA, a province in Asia Minor, having Pon- tus on the east, Bithynia and Paphlagonia north, Cappadocia and Phrygia south, and Phrygia west. The Gauls, having invaded Asia Minor, in several bodies, conquered this 'country, settled in it, and called it Galatia, which, in Greek, signifies Gaul. The apostle Paul preached several times in Gala- tia ; first, A. D. 51, (Acts xvi. 6.) afterwards, A. D. 54, (Acts xviii. 23.) and formed considerable churches there. It is probable he was the first who preached there to the Gentiles; but,possibly,Peter had preached there to the Jews, since his first epistle is directed to Hebrews, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, &c. These Jews were probably the persons who occa- sioned those differences in the Galatian church, on account of which Paul wrote his epistle, in which he takes some pains to establish his character of apostle, which had been disputed, with intention to place him below Peter, who preached generally to Jews only, and who observed the law. In 2 Mac. viii. 20, it is said, that Judas Maccabseus, exhorting his people to fight valiantly against the Syrians, related to them several instances of God's protection"; among others, that which they had ex- perienced in a battle fought in Babylonia, wherein ' 6000 Jews killed 120,000 Galatians. We have no particulars of the time or circumstances of this de- feat ; but it is probable, that the Galatians, settled in Galatia, were not meant, but the Gauls, who at that time overran Asia, as we have observed from Pausa- nias : the Greek Galatai being taken equally for either. The Galatians worshipped the mother of the gods. Callimachus, in his hymns, calls them "a foolish people ;" and Hilary, himself a Gaul, as well as Je- rome, describes them as Gallos indociles ; expressions which may well excuse Paul's addressing them as "foolish," chap. iii. It was probably an appellation given to v hem, current in their neighborhood. The possessors of Galatia were of three different nations, or tribes of Gauls: the Tolistobogi, the Trocmi, and the Tectosagi. There are imperial medals extant, on which these names are found. (See Rosenmuller Bib. Geogr. I. ii. 210, seq.) It is of some consequence to maintain these dis- tinctions. We have supposed that while Peter was preaching in one part of Galatia, the apostle Paul was making converts in another part ; and that some, claiming authority from Peter, propagated tenets not conformable to the opinion of Paul ; to correct and expose which was the occasion of Paul's epistle. It is probable, th-K the different nations of Gauls fur- nished partisans, whose overweening zeal far ex- ceeded the doctrines of their instructers. Such has ever been the character of the Gauls. Hence, while they were at one time ready to pluck out their eyes, if it might benefit their evangelical teacher, they quickly relinquished his principles, and were as readily brought to adopt another gospel, which in- deed was not a gospel, but a continuation of unne- cessary observances, to which they had already paid too much attention. Epistle to the Galatians. Some suppose that this epistle is the first that was written by Paul. Its early date was asserted by Marcion, in the second century ; and Tertullian represents the writer as a " Neophytos," full of zeal, and not yet brought to be- come a "JevV to the Jews, that he might gain the Jews." Without adopting this sentiment, we may conclude that Paul's first visit to the Galatians was not long after his return to Antioch from the council at Jerusalem, (Acts xvi.) when he and Silas went through Phrygia and Galatia, &c. Calmet has fixed this journey to A. D. 51, but Michaelis argues for A. D. 49, and it would seem that this letter was writ- ten very soon after the departure of the apostle from his converts on this journey; for he expresses his wonder that they were so soon alienated from him, their spiritual father, chap. i. 6. Th'e apostle writes this epistle in his own name, and in the names of the brethren who were with him ; and who were, in all probability, personally known to the Galatians, Acts xv. 40 ; xvi. 2. This leads us to think, that it was written before he went into Macedonia ; probably from Troas, where the apostle made some stay, (Acts xvi. 8.) and where he had books and parchments, which he committed to the care of Carpus. Others, however, have supposed it to have been written at Corinth, (Acts xviii.) about A. D. 51 or 52 ; or, at Ephesus ; (Acts xviii. 23, 24.) β€” or, at the same time with the epistle to the Romans ; (Acts xx. 2, 4.) β€” or at Rome, which is most improbable: as the writer mentions nothing of his bonds, as he does in all his epistles written from hence ; nor could he, at that time, have reproached the Galatians with being so soon perverted from his principles. See more under Paul.

GALBANUM

GALBANUM, a gum, or sweet spice, and an in- gredient in the incense burned at the golden altar, in the holy place, Exod. xxx. 34. It is a juice, drawn by incision from a plant, much like the large kind of fennel. The smell is not very agreeable, especially alone. The word signifiesβ€” -fat, unctuous, gummy. [It is the gum of a plant growing in Abyssinia, Ara- bia, and Syria, called by Pliny Stagonitis, (xii. 25.) but supposed to be the same as the Bubon Galbanum of Linnaeus. The gum is unctuous and adhesive, of a strong and somewhat astringent smell. R.

GALILEE

GALILEE, one of the most extensive provinces into which the Holy Land was divided ; but it prob- [ 447 ] ably varied in its limits at different periods. It is divided by the rabbins into (1.) The Upper ; (2.) The Nether; and, (3.) The Valley. Josephus limits Gal- ilee west, by the city of Ptolemais and mount Carmel ; on the south by the country of Samaria and Scytho- polis ; on the east by the cantons of Hippos, Gadara, and Gaulan ; on the north by the confines of the Tyrians. Lower Galilee reaches in length from Tiberias to Chabulon, or Zabulon, the frontier of Ptolemais ; in width from Chaloth, in the great plain, to Bersabee. The breadth of Upper Galilee begins at Bersabee, and extends to Baca, which separates it from the Tyrians. Its length reaches from Telia, a village on the river Jordan, to Meroth. But the ex- act situation of these places is not known. This province contained four tribes ; Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher ; a part also of Dan ; and part of Perea, beyond the river. Upper Galilee abounded in mountains, and was termed " Galilee of the Gentiles," as the mountainous nature of the country enabled those who possessed the fastnesses to maintain themselves against invaders. Strabo (lib. xvi.) enumerates among its inhabitants Egyp- tians, Arabians, and Phoenicians. Lower Galilee, which contained the tribes of Zebulun and Asher, was sometimes called the Great Field, "the cham- paign," Deut. xi. 30. The valley was adjacent to the sea of Tiberias. Josephus describes Galilee as being very populous, containing two hundred and four cities and towns, the least of which contained 15,000 inhabitants. It was also very rich, and paid two hundred talents in tribute. The natives were brave, and made good soldiers ; they were also seditious, and prone to insolence and rebellion. Their lan- guage and customs differed considerably from those of the Judeans, Mark xiv. 70. Josephus states that the Galileans were naturally good soldiers, bold and intrepid ; that they bravely resisted the foreign nations around them ; that their country was fruitful, and well cultivated ; and the people laborious and industrious. The Galileans, according to Josephus, agreed in all things with the Pharisees ; but were distinguished by an excessive love of liberty ; being strongly prejudiced with the idea, that they ought to obey God alone as their prince. Perhaps there was some reference to this, in representing Jesus as a Galilean to Pilate, Luke xxiii. 2. His accusers, to render him suspected of this heresy, say, they found him perverting the na- tion, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar. Our Saviour was surnamed Galilean, (Matt. xxvi. 69.) because he was brought up at Nazareth, a city of this province ; and it deserves notice, that he was so addressed by his bitter adversary the dying Julian: β€” " Thou hast conquered, O Galilean !" His disciples, and Christians in general, were called Galileans after their master, or because several of his apostles be- longed to that province, Acts ii. 7. Sea of Galilee. See Cinnereth, and Tiberia s. GALL. Moses, in the name of God, threatens the Israelites to make their grapes β€” "grapes of gall, and their wine the poison of dragons," (Deut. xxxii. 32, 33.) i. e. to change the sweetness of their grapes into bitterness, and their wine into poison ; which, instead of cheering and nourishing, would intoxicate and destroy them. In the story of Tobit, the gall of a fish is used in curing his father's eyes, Tobit vi. 8 ; xi. 8, 13. In Jeremiah viii. 14 ; ix. 15, to give water of gall to drink, denotes very bitter affliction, Lam. iii. 19. The Psalmist (lxix. 21.) says, that his- ene- mies, or rather the enemies of the Messiah, offered him gall to eat, and vinegar to drink. (See Myrrh, and Wine.) " The gall of bitterness," (Acts viii. 23.) signifies the most excessively bitter gall ; the most desperate disposition of mind ; the most incurable malignity, as difficult to be corrected as to change gall into sweetness.

GALLIM

GALLIM, a city of Benjamin, having many foun- tains, 1 Sam. xxv. 44 ; Isa. x. 30. GALLIC", brother of Seneca the philosopher, and proconsul of Achaia, A. D. 53. Like his brother Seneca, he was put to death by order of Nero. (Tacit. Ann. vi. 3 ; xv. 73.) The Jews being enraged against Paul, for converting many Gentiles, dragged him to Gallio's tribunal, who, as proconsul, generally resided at Corinth, (Acts xviii. 12, 13.) and accused him of " teaching men to worship God contrary to the law." Paul being about to speak, Gallio told the Jews, that " if the matter in question were a breach of justice, or an action of a criminal nature, he should think himself obliged to hear them ; but as the dis- pute was only concerning their law, he would not determine such differences." Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, was seized and beaten, before Gallio's seat of justice, without his concerning himself about it.

GALLUS

GALLUS, a Roman governor of Sy- ria, under whose government the Jews began their rebellion, A. D. 66.

GAMALA

GAMALA, a considerable town beyond Jordan, in the Gaulanitis ; called Gamala, because its appear- ance somewhat resembled the form of a camel. It is not mentioned in Scripture. It is placed by Jose- phus over against Tarichea, but on the opposite side of the lake. Gamala was part of Agrippa's kingdom ; but the inhabitants refusing to submit to him, it was besieged, first by Agrippa's forces, and afterwards by the Romans, who, after a long siege, took and sacked it. Mr. Legh supposes the ruins of Oora- Kais to mark the site of Gamala ; we have, however, identified them with Gadara, which see.

GAMES

GAMES, see Race.

GAMMADIM

GAMMADIM, brave, valiant warriors. It is very uncertain what people are meant by this term, in Ezek. xxvii. 11. The learned Fuller supposes them to be the people of Phoenicia; Ludolphus conjec- tures that they were Africans ; the Cha'dee para- phrase makes them Cappadocians ; and the Vulgate renders the word " pygmies." Dr. Spencer thinks they were images of the tutelar gods, like the lares among the Romans, not above a cubit in height. [Many of the conjectures on this word are ridiculous. It is not necessary to understand it as the name of a people ; but rather as an adjective, brave, warlike. So Gesenius. R.

GAREB

GAREB, a hill near Jerusalem, (Jer. xxxi. 39.) the situation of which is not known.

GARMENTS

GARMENTS, see Dresses. GATE. The gates or doors to the houses of the Hebrews, with their posts, were generally of wood : such were the gates of Gaza which Samson carried away on his shoulders ; (Judg. xvi. 3.) that is, the gate, bars, posts, and locks, if there were any. " Gate" is often used in Scripture to denote a place of public [ 448 ] AZ assembly, where justice was administered, (Deut. xvii. 5, 8 ; xxi. 19 ; xxii. 15 ; xxv. 6, 7, &c.) because, as the Jews mostly labored in the fields, assemblies were held at their city gates, and justice administered there, that laborers might lose no time ; and that country people, who had affairs of justice, might not be obliged to enter the town. See Ruth iv. 1 ; Gen. xxiii. 10, 18. [The gates of oriental cities were at the same time the market-places, the place of justice ; Prov. xxii. 22 ; Amos v. 10, 12, 15; there, too, peo- ple assembled to spend their leisure hours, Gen. xix. 1. Hence " they that sit in the gate" is put for idlers, loungers, who are coupled with drunkards, Ps. lxix. 12. R. Hence, also, "gate" sometimes signifies β€” power, dominion ; almost in the same sense as the Turkish sultan's palace is called the Porte. God promises Abraham, that his posterity shall possess the gates of their enemies β€” their towns, their fortresses, (Gen. xxii. 17.) and Christ says to Peter, " Thou art Peter ; and on this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it," Matt. xvi. 18. See Hell, ad Jin. It is remarked, that the idol Dagon, having fallen before the ark, and the two hands of his statue hav- ing fallen on the threshold of his temple, the priests afterwards forbore to tread on this part of the door- way, 1 Sain. v. 5. The prophet Zephaniah, perhaps, alludes to this custom of the Philistines, under the expression of "Those who leap on" or over "the threshold," chap. i. 9. OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, (Psal. cxviii. 19.) those of the temple, where the righteous, the saints, true Israelites, pay their vows and praises to God ; where none enter but purified Israelites β€” a na- tion of righteous men.

GATH

GATH, (a iv'nie-press,) a city of the Philistines, and one of their five principalities ; (1 Sam. v. 8 ; vi. 17.) was famous for having given birth to Goliath. It was 18 miles south of Joppa, and 32 west of Jerusalem. David conquered Gath in the beginning of his reign over all Israel, (1 Chr. xviii. 1.) and it continued subject to his successors till the declension of the kingdom of Judah, 2 Chr. xxvi. 6. Rehoboam re- built or fortified it, (2 Chron. xi. 8.) and it was after- wards recovered by the Philistines, but Uzziah re- conquered it. Josephns makes it part of the tribe of Dan. Metheg or Metheg-Ammah (Metheg the Mother) of 2 Sam. viii. 1, is explained in 1 Chron. xviii. 1, by β€” " Gath and her daughters ;" Gath being the mother, and Metheg the daughter. Or it may be, that the district of Gath, and its dependencies, was in David's time called Metheg-Ammah ; which, being unusual, or becoming obsolete, the author of the Chronicles explains it to be Gath and its villages. Jerome says, there was a large town called Gath, ia the way from Eleutheropolis to Gaza ; and Euse- bius speaks of another Gath, five miles from Eleu- theropolis, towards Lydda, and, consequently, differ- ent from that of which Jerome speaks. The former author, also, speaking of Gath-Hepher, the place of the prophet Jonah's birth, says, it was called Gath- Hepher, or Gath in the district of Hepher, to distin- guish it from others of the same name. Gath signi- fies a wine-press; wherefore it is no wonder that we find several places of this name in Palestine, where wine-presses were common. Cahnet, who is follow- ed by many subsequent writers, makes Gath to be the most southern city of the Philistines, and Ekron the most northern ; when he supposes that Ekron and Gath are placed as the boundaries of their land, 1 Sam. v. 8, 10 ; xvii. 52. But, as Mr. Conder re- marks, this phrase may be more properly interpreted as intimating that Gath was the south-eastern border, as Ekron was the north-eastern ; and this much better accords with the sense of the passages. David had a company of Gittite guards. GATH-HEPHER was the birth-place of the prophet Jonah, 2 Kings xiv. 25. Joshua (xix. 13.) places it in Zebulun ; and Jerome says it was two miles from Sephoris, or Diocesarea, on the way to- wards Tiberias.

GATH-RIMMON

GATH-RIMMON, the ivine-press of Rimmon, or of the deity, whose symbol was the pomegranate. β€” I. A city of Dan, (Josh. xix. 45.) which Jerome places ten miles from Diospolis, towards Eleutheropolis. It was given to the Korathites. β€” II. A town in the half-tribe of Manasseli, west of Jordan ; given to the Korathites, Josh. xxi. 25. β€” III. A city of Ephraim, given to the Korathites, 1 Chron. vi. 69.

GAULAN

GAULAN, or Golan, a city of Bashan, from which the small province of Gaulanitis was named. It was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, (Deut. iv. 43.) but was ceded to the Levites of Gershom's family, and became a city of refuge, Josh. xxi. 27. Eusebius says, that in his time, the city of Gaulan was still con- siderable, but he does not exactly describe its situa- tion. It was in Upper Galilee, and Judas of Gaulan, head of the Galileans, was a native of it.

GAZA

GAZA, or Azzah, (Gen. x. 19.) a city of the Phi- listines, given by Joshua to Judah, Josh. xv. 47 ; 1 Sam. vi. 17. It was one of the five principalities of the Philistines, towards the southern extremity of Canaan. It was situated between Raphia and Aske- lon, about 60 miles south-west of Jerusalem. ' Its advantageous situation exposed it to many revolu- tions. It belonged to the Philistines ; then to the Hebrews ; recovered its liberty in the reigns of Jo- tham and Ahaz ; but was reconquered by Hezekiah, 2 Kings xviii. 8. It was subject to the Chaldeans, with Syria and Phoenicia ; and afterwards to the Persians, and the Egyptians, who held it when Alex- ander Jannanis besieged, took, and destroyed it, ante A. D. 98. (See Zeph. ii. 4.) A new town was after- wards built, nearer to the sea, which is now existing. Luke speaks (Acts viii. 26.) of Gaza as a desert place ; meaning, most probably, the greater Gaza, situated on a mountain twenty miles from the sea; not Little Gaza, or Majuma, which was very popu- lous. Diodorus Siculus mentions old Gaza, and Strabo notices " Gaza the desert," which agrees with Acts viii. 26. The emperor Constantine gave Maju- ma the name of Constantia, in honor of his son ; and granted it the honors and privileges of a city, inde- pendent on Gaza. The emperor Julian deprived it both of its name and its privileges. Gaza was a city of great antiquity ; being noticed among those cities which marked the boundaries of the Canaanite territory. It was a frontier defence against Egypt, and has at all times been a town of importance. The rabbins mention a street outside the city of Gaza, where were shambles and an idol temple ; as also a place called the Leper's Cloister. See 2 Kings vii. 3, &c. Dr. Wittman gives the following de- scription of the modern town : β€” " Gaza is situated on an eminence, and is rendered picturesque by the number of fine minarets which rise majestically above the buildings, and by the beautiful date-trees interspersed. A very fine plain commences about three miles from the town, on the other side, in which are several groves of olive-trees. [ 449 ] Advancing toward Gaza, the view becomes still more interesting; the groves of olive-trees extending to the town, in front of which is a fine avenue of these trees. About a mile distant from the town is a commanding height. The soil in the neighborhood is of a superi or quality. Much pasturage. On the east side of the town is a small gateway, near to which, it is said, Samson performed his exploit of carrying away the gate of the city ; and where he threw down the building which killed him and his adversaries. The suburbs of Gaza are composed of wretched mud huts ; but the interior of the town contains buildings superior in appearance to those generally met with in Syria. The streets are of a moderate breadth : many fragments of statues, columns, &c. of marble, are seen in the town walls and other buildings. Oph- thalmia and blindness are very prevalent. The sub- urbs and environs of Gaza are rendered extremely agreeable by a number of large gardens, cultivated with great care, on the north, south, and west of the town. Plantations of date-trees, also, are numerous. The landing place of Gaza is an open beach, highly dangerous to boats, especially if laden, a heavy surf constantly beating on the shore. Quails are very abundant in the neighborhood." Gaza distinguishes itself on its medals as sacred, and an asylum. Some of them have a key of a pe- culiar shape, which seems to have been the appro- priate ( β€” nbol of the city. It is possible that, beside the character of this city, as the key of Syria towards Egypt, which it really is, the inhabitants might boast of the excellence of a kind of key or bolt which was proper to it. Whether such might or might not be the fact, this representation may perhaps illustrate a circumstance mentioned in Judges xvi. 2. The Ga- zaites laid wait (or snares) for Samson, all night, in the gate of the city, and were quiet, depending on the impossibility of hi! opening the bolt of their city door β€” but Samson, at midnight, took away the doors β€” ? the two posts β€” bar (bolt) and all β€” which had been the reliance of the Gazaites for securing him. This bolt is what Mr. Taylor thinks appears on the medals of Gaza. The middle bar of the instrument is rep- resented as shooting through that which crosses it ; and this is precisely the application elsewhere of the word rendered bar in this passage, as appears from Exod. xxxvi. 33. "He made the middle bar to shoot through the boards from one end to the other," which is otherwise phrased, chap. xxvi. 28, " the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end." These two ideas are very consistent ; for if Gaza prided itself on being the key of Syria, no doubt but it would denote this character by employing on its medals a key of that kind, which it considered as the most secure and substantial. In modern times, the arms of Gibraltar have been a key, that town having been formerly esteemed the key of Spain.

GAZELLE

GAZELLE, see Antelope. GEBA. By comparing 2 Sam. v. 25. with 1 Chron. xiv. 16, we find apparently the same place called Geba and Gibeon ; for David is said, in Samuel, to smite the Philistines from Geber to Gazer, which in Chronicles is, " from Gibeon even to Gazer." That, however, they were not the same city is manifest from Josh. xxi. 17, where "Gibeon with her suburbs and Geba with her suburbs," are said to be given to the Levites. They probably lay not far distant from one another. (See Gibeon.) That Geba is not the same place as Gibeah of Saul, appears from Isaiah x. 29. 'They have taken up quarters at Geba ; Ramath is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled." Gibeah was near β€’ 57 Ramah, (Judg. xix. 13; comp. Hos. v. o.) but it ap- pears, that Geba is called " Geba of Benjamin " in 1 Kings xv. 22, though Geba simply, in the parallel passage, (2 Chron. xvi. 6.) on occasion of its being mentioned among the cities rebuilt by Asa. Geba seems to have been the northern limit of the kingdom of Judah, (2 Kings xxiii. 8.) "From Geba to Beer- sheba," seems to be, with respect to Judah, of the same import as "from Dan to Beersheba" had been, with respect to all Israel, when under one dominion.

Next Page >>

Home | Resources