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COMPREHENSIVE CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Edward Robinson

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GEBER

GEBER, son of Uri, governor of Gilead, in the reign of Solomon, 1 Kings iv. 19.

GEDERAH

GEDERAH, a city in the plain of Judah, (Josh, xv. 36.) probably the same with the preceding Ge- der, and with Beth-Gader, 1 Chron. ii. 51. It would thence seem to have pertained to the family of Caleb. R.

GEDEROTH

GEDEROTH, a place in the tribe of Judah, Josh, xv. 41 ; 2 Chron. xxviii. 18. R.

GEDEROTHAIM

GEDEROTHAIM, a place in the plain of Judah, Josh. xv. 36. R.

GEDOR

GEDOR, a city apparently in the south of the mountains of Judah, surrounded by fat pastures, and formerly occupied by the Amalekites ; 1 Chron. iv. 39 seq. xii. 7 ; Josh. xv. 58. It is also the name of a man, 1 Chron. viii. 31 ; ix. 37. R.

GEHAZI

GEHAZI, Elisha's servant, almost continually at- tended that prophet, and was concerned in whatever happened to him ; till being overcome by avarice, he solicited, and obtained, in the prophet's name, from Naaman the Syrian, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments, 2 Kings v. 20. His avarice, however, was punished, for he was seized with a leprosy, and quitted Elisha. The king of Israel would sometimes make Gehazi relate the wonders which God had wrought by Elisha, 2 Kings viii. 4, 5, &c. See Elisha.

GEHENNA

GEHENNA, or Gehennom, or valley of Hinnom ; or valley of the son of Hinnom, (see Josh. xv. 8 ; 2 Kings xxiii. 10. Heb.) a valley adjacent to Jerusa- lem, through which the southern limits of the tribe of Benjamin passed. Eusebius says, it lay east of Jerusalem, at the foot of its walls ; but we are cer- tain it also extended south, along the brook Kedron It is thought to have been the common sewer be- longing to Jerusalem, and that a fire was always burning there to consume the filth of the city. In allusion to this circumstance, or to the fire kept up in the valley in honor of Moloch, the false god, to whom the Hebrews frequently offered human sacrifices, and even their own children, (Jer. vii. 31.) hell is called Gehenna, in some parts of the New Testa- ment. Josiah, to pollute this place, and render it odious, commanded all manner of ordure, and dead men's bones, to be thrown into it, 2 Kings xxiii. 10. After having been the scene of much cruelty, then Gehenna became the receptacle of much pollution ; so far it coincided in character with hell ; and the perpetual fires that were kept burning there to con- sume the filth of the city, added another similarity to those evils attributed to the place of torment. The combined ideas of wickedness, pollution, and pun- ishment, compose that character which might well justify the Syriac language in deriving its name of hell from this valley of the sons of Hinnom. (Comp. Matt. v. 22.) [The name rrfvrd, Gehenna, properly signifies the valley of Hinnom, am nu, Ghe-Hinnom, (Jer. vii. 31.) a valley just south of Jerusalem, running westward from the valley of the Cedrqn, well watered, and in ancient times, most, verdant and delightfully shaded with trees. It was here that the idolatrous Israel- ites established the worship of Moloch, under the form of a brazen image having the face of a bull ; and to this image they offered their own children in sacrifice, causing them to be consumed in a furnace of fire into which they dropped from the arms of the idol ; 1 Kings xi. 7 ; 2 Kings xvi. 3. The valley is also called nop, Tophet, (Jer. vii. 31,) from the drums, r|n, d'bp, which were beaten to drown the cries of the victims. After the captivity, the Jews regarded this spot with abhorrence, on account of the abomina- tions which had been practised there, and following the example of Josiah, (2 Kings xxiii. 10.) they threw into it every species of filth, as well as the carcasses of animals and the dead bodies of malefactors, etc. To prevent the pestilence which such a mass would occasion if left to putrify, constant fires were main- tained in the valley in order to consume the whole ; and hence the place received the appellation of Ge- henna of fire. By an easy metaphor, the Jews, who could imagine no severer torment than that of fire, transferred this name to the infernal fire, — to that part of Hades in which they supposed that demons and the souls of wicked men were punished in eter- nal fire. (See Jahn, § 411. Wetstein N. T. torn. i. p. 299.) R. I. GEM ARIAH, son of Hilkiah, was sent to Baby- lon with Elasah, son of Shaphan, from Zedekiah, king of Judah, to carry the tribute-money to Nebu- chadnezzar. They carried also a letter from Jere- miah to the Jewish captives at Babylon, warning them against certain false prophets, who flattered them with promises of a speedy return to Judea ; (Jer. xxix. 3, 4.) about A. M. 3408.

GENESIS

GENESIS, the first of the sacred books in the Old Testament, so called from the title given to it in the Septuagint, and which signifies "the book of the generation, or production," of all things. Moses is generally admitted to have been the writer of this book ; and it is belie-ved that he penned it after the promulgation of the law. Its authenticity is attested by the most indisputable evidence, and it is cited as an inspired record thirty-three times in the course of the Scriptures. The history related in it comprises a period of about 2369 years, according to the low- est computation, but according to Dr. Hales, a much larger period. It contains an account of the crea- tion ; the primeval state and fall of man ; the history of Adam and his descendants, with the progress of religion and the origin of the arts ; the genealogies, age, and death of the patriarchs, until Noah ; the general defection and corruption of mankind, the general deluge, and preservation of Noah and his family in the ark ; the history of Noah and his family subsequent to the time of the deluge ; the re-peo- phng and division of the earth among the sons of Noah ; the building of Babel, the confusion of tongues, and the dispersion of mankind ; the lives of Abra- ham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

GENNESARETH

GENNESARETH, a small district of Galilee, adjacent to the lake of the same name, or, as subse- quently called, the sea of Tiberias, and described by Josephus as being extremely fertile, and, in con- sequence of the temperature of the air, abounding in fruits of different climates. For a description of the lake, see Tiberias II.

GENTILES

GENTILES, a name given by the Hebrews to all th ose that had not received the law. Those who were converted, and embraced Judaism, they called proselytes. Since the promulgation of the gospel, the true religion has been extended to all nations God, who had promised by his prophets, to call the Gentiles to the faith, with a superabundance of grace, having fulfilled his promise ; so that the Christian church is composed principally of Gentile converts ; the Jews being too proud of their privileges, to ac- knowledge Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Re- deemer. In the writings of Paul, the Gentiles are generally called Greeks; (Rom. i. 14, 16; ii. 9, 10; x. 12 ; 1 Cor. i. 22, 24 ; Gal. iii. 28.) and Luke, in the Acts, expresses himself in the same manner, chap. vi. 1 ; xi. 20 ; xviii. 4. et at. Paul is commonly called the apostle of the Gentiles, (1 Tim. ii. 7.) or Greeks, because he, principally, preached Christ to them ; whereas Peter, and the other apostles, preached gen- erally to the Jews ; and are called apostles of the Circumcision, Gal. ii. 8. The prophets declared very particularly the calling of the Gentiles. Jacob foretold that the Messiah, he who was to be sent, the Shiloh, should be the ex- pectation of the Gentiles ; and Solomon, at the ded- ication of his temple, prayed for the stranger, who should there entreat God. The Psalmist says (ii. 8.) that the Lord shall give the Gentiles to the Messiah, for his inheritance; that Egypt and Babylon shall know him ; (Ps. lxxxvii. 4.) that Ethiopia shall hasten to bring him presents; (Ps. lxxii. 9, 10.) and that the kings of Tarshish, and of the isles, the kings of Arabia and Sheba, shall be tributary to him. Isaiah abounds with prophecies of a similar nature, on which account he has justly been distinguished by the name of the prophet of the Gentiles. In the New Testament, we see that Gentiles came to Jerusalem to worship. Some of these, a little be- fore the death of our Saviour, addressed themselves to Philif), desiring him to show them Jesus, John xii. 20, 21. Many of the fathers believed, that Gentiles, who lived in a laudable manner, and observed the law of nature, were saved; and Paul (Rom. ii.) assigns "glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." Clemens Alexaudrinus asserts, that the Gentiles had two means for acquiring justification, the law and philosophy; the latter of which might at least dis- pose them to justice, though it produced not perfect righteousness. But if it be inquired whether hea- thens have lived up to their knowledge ; that is, whether, with proper knowledge of God, they have loved him, given him glory, hoped in him, followed the precepts of the law of nature, and observed them as they ought to do, (with a view to God,) and de- monstrated the power and exercise of these princi- ples, by actions animated with grace and charity ; whether they have practised the first and greatest commandments, to love God with all their hearts, and their neighbor as themselves.; we have much reason to fear they will be found wanting. See Philosophy. Court of the Gentiles. Josephus says, that there was, in the court oi the temple, a wall, or bal- ustrade, breast high, with pillars at certain distances, with inscriptions on them in Greek and Latin, im- porting that strangers were forbidden from approach- ing nearer to the altar. Isles of the Gentiles (Gen. x. 5.) evidently denote Asia Minor and the whole of Europe, which were peopled by the descendants of Japheth. [ 455 ]

GERAH

GERAH, the smallest piece of money among the Hebrews, twenty of which made a shekel, Exod. xxx. 13. GERAR. We find a city of this name so early as Gen. xx. 1 ; xxvi. 1, 17. expressly stated to be a city of the Philistines. The probability is, that some wandering tribe of this people had settled here, be- fore the great influx of their nation into these parts, during the captivity of the Israelites in Egypt. As Abraham himself was a pilgrim from a region not very distant from their original country, they might, per- haps, feel some kind of sympathy with him and for him. He appears to have been, on the whole, on good terms with the king of Gerar ; and Isaac lived many years in the neighborhood. Gerar appears to have been a favorable station for flocks ; and it might be called "the fixed residence," that is, not tents, but buildings, by those who here abode, whether they were, properly speaking, exiles or not. Gerar was not far from Gaza, in the south of Judah. Moses says, it lay between Kadesh and Shur ; and Jerome states, that from Gerar to Jerusalem was three days' journey. Moses also mentions the brook or valley of Gerar, Gen. xxvi. 17.

GERASA

GERASA, or Gergesa, a cit, east of the Jordan, and in the Decapolis, Matt. vii. 28. Burckhardt, Buckingham, and other writers consider the ruins of Djerash to be those of the ancient Gerasa. They are nearly 50 miles from the sea of Tiberias, and nearly opposite to mount Ebal.

GERGESENES

GERGESENES, or Girgashites, a people of the land of Canaan, who settled east of the sea of Tiberias, and gave name to a region and city. See Gadara, and Gerasa.

GERIZIM

GERIZIM, a mount in Ephraiin, a province of Samaria, between which and Ebal lay the city of Shechem. (See Judg. ix. 7.) Gerizim was fruitful, Ebal was barren. God commanded that the He- brews, after passing the Jordan, should be so divided, that six tribes might be stationed on mount Gerizim, and six on mount Ebal. The former were to pro- nounce blessings on those who observed the law of the Lord ; the others, curses against those who should violate it, Deut. xi. 29 ; xxvii. 12. After the captivity, Manasseh, by permission of Alexander the Great, built a temple on Gerizim, and the Samaritans joined the worship of the true God to that of their idols: "They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the na- tions whom they carried away from thence," 2 Kings xvii. 33. The Samaritans maintain, that Abraham and Ja- cob erected altars at Gerizim, and that here Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, Gen. xii. 6, 7 ; xiii. 4 ; xxxiii. 20, They, too, affirm, that God re- quired the blessings to be given from mount Ge- rizim, to those who observed his laws, and the curses from Ebal, (Deut. xxvii. 12, 13.) and they further cite from their Pentateuch the passage ; (Deut. xxvii. 4.) "When ye be gone over Jordan, ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Gerizim, [in the Hebrew copies, Ebal,] thou shalt plaster them," &c. (verses 12, 13 ;) thus making Moses direct an altar to be erected in Gerizim instead of Ebal. [They accuse the Jews of falsifying the text in this passage, and of putting Ebal instead of Ge- rizim, in order to deprive this mountain of the honor of having been a place appointed for the public wor- ship of Jehovah. The suspicion of falsifying the text, however, falls much more heavily upon the Sa- maritans than upon the Jews ; since they had a far greater interest to change the reading Ebal into Ge- rizim, than the Hebrews had to change Gerizim for Ebal. For after the proposition of the Samaritans, to take part in rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem, had been rejected by the Jews, (Ezra iv. 1 — 3.) the former erected a temple for themselves in mount Gerizim, which is mentioned 2 Mace. vi. 2. By changing the text, therefore, of this passage from Ebal to Gerizim, they wished to procure for their temple the honor of" standing on that mountain, where, after the conquest of Canaan, the first public religious transaction was to be performed. R. This temple was built on Gerizim, and conse- crated to the God of Israel, ante A. D. 332 ; and as the mountain was very high, there were steps cut for the convenience of the people. When Antiochus Epi- phanes began to persecute the Jews, (ante A. D. 168,) the Samaritans entreated him, that their temple upon Gerizim, which hitherto had been dedicated to an unknown and nameless God, might be conse- cr' ted to Jupiter the Grecian ; which was readily c jnsented to by Antiochus. The temple was destroyed by John Hircanus, and was not rebuilt till Gabinius was governor of Syria ; who repaired Samaria, and called it by his own name. In our Saviour's time, this temple was in be- ing ; and the true God was worshipped there, John iv. 20. Herod the Great, having rebuilt Samaria, and called it Sebaste, in honor of Augustus, would have compelled the Samaritans to worship in the temple which he had erected, but they constantly refused ; and have continued to this day to worship on Gerizim. See Ebal and Shechem.

GERSHON

GERSHON, son of Levi, and under Moses prince of a family of the Levites, consisting of 7500 men, Numb. iii. 21, &c. Their office, during marches, was to carry the veils and curtains of the taber- nacle ; and their place in the camp was west of the tabernacle.

GETHSEMANE

GETHSEMANE, the oil-press, a place at the foot of the mount of Olives, over against Jerusalem, to which our Saviour sometimes retired ; and in a gar- den belonging to which he endured his agony; and was taken by Judas, Matt. xxvi. 36. seq. It is an even plat of ground, according to Maundrell, about 57 yards square. There are several ancient olive- trees standing in it. (See the Missionary Herald for 1824. p. 66.) See Jerusalem.

GEZEZ

GEZEZ, formerly a royal city of the Canaanites, [ 456 ] in the western part of the tribe of Ephraim, from which the Canaanites were not expelled, Josh. x. 33 ; xvi. 3, 10. Judg. i. 29. It was nevertheless assigned to the Levites, Josh. xxi. 21. Destroyed by the Egyptians, it was rebuilt by Solomon, i Kings ix. 15—17. R.

GIAH

GIAH, a valley, probably not far from Gibeon, which might be an outlet, as its name imports, from a narrow and contracted road or country, to one more open ; or it might be an eruption of water, as it were, 'from the mountain, 2 Sam. ii. 24. GL\NT, (Heb. ^dj, nephil, one ivho bears down other men.) Scripture speaks of giants before the flood; "Nephilim, mighty men who were of old, men of renown," Gen. vi. 4. Aquila translates nephilim, men ivho attack, who fall with impetuosity on their enemies ; which agrees very well with the force of the term. Symmachus translates it BiaCoi, violent men, cruel, whose only rule of action is vio- lence. Scripture sometimes calls giants Rephaim, Gen. xiv. 5, &c. The Eniim, ancient inhabitants of Moab, were of a gigantic stature, that is, Rephaim. Job says, that the ancient Rephaim groan under the waters; and Solomon, (Prov. ii. 18; ix. 18.) that the ways of a loose woman lead to the Rephaim, and that he who deviates from the ways of wisdom, shall dwell in the assembly of Rephaim ; that is, in hell, Prov. xxi. 16, &c. (See Gen. xiv. 5 ; Dent. ii. 11, 20 ; iii. 11, 13 ; Josh. xii. 4 ; xiii. 12 ; Job xxvi. 5.) The Ana- kim, or sons of Auak, who dwelt at Hebron, were the most famous giants of Palestine, Numb. xiii. 33. The LXX sometimes translate ioj, gibbor, giant, though literally it signifies — a strong man, a man of valor, a warrior. See in the LXX, Gen. x. 8 ; Ps. xix. 5. Isa. iii. 2 ; xiii. 2; xlix. 24, 25 ; Ezek. xxxix. 18, 20. It is probable that the first men were of a strength and stature superior to those of mankind at present, eince they lived a much longer time ; long life being commonly the effect of a strong constitution. Giants, however, were not uncommon in the times of Josh- ua and David, notwithstanding that the life of man was already shortened, and, as may be presumed, the size and strength of human bodies proportiona- bly diminished. Goliah was ten feet seven inches in height, (1 Sam. xvii. 4.) according to Calmet ; but this depends on the length at which the Hebrew cubit is taken.

GIBBETHON

GIBBETHON, a city of the Philistines, given to Dan, and allotted to the Levites, (Josh. xix. 44 ; xxi. 23.) and probably the same as the Gabatho of Jose- phus. Baasha killed Nadab, son of Jeroboam, in Gibbethon, 1 Kings xv. 27.

GIBEON

GIBEON, the capital of the Gibeonites, who hav- ing taken advantage of the oaths of Joshua, and the elders of Israel, which they procured by an artful representation of belonging to a very remote country, (Josh, ix.) were condemned to labor in carrying wood and water for the tabernacle, as a mark of their pusillanimity and duplicity. Three days after the Gibeonites had thus surrendered to the Hebrews, five of the kings of Canaan besieged the city of Gib- eon ; but Joshua attacked and put them to flight, and pursued them to Bethoron, josh. x. 3, &c. The Gibeonites were descended from the Hivites, and possessed four cities ; Cephirah, Beeroth, Kir- jath-jearim, and Gibeon, their capital ; all of which were given to Benjamin, except Kirjath-jearim, which fell to the lot of Judah. The Gibeonites continued subject to the burdens which Joshua im- posed on them, and were very faithful to the Israel- ites ; but Saul, through what enmity we know not, destroyed a great nun .ber of them, 2 Sam. xxi. 1. In the reign of David the Lord sent a great famine, which continued tor three years, and which, the prophets informed him, would continue, while Saul's cruelty remained unavenged. David therefore per- mitted the Gibeonites to put to death seven of Saul's sons to avenge the blood of their brethren ; after which the famine ceased. From this time there is no mention of the Gibeon- ites, as a distinct people ; but Calmet supposes they were included among the Nethinim, who were ap- pointed for the service of the temple, 1 Chron. ix. 2. Those of the Canaanites, who were afterwards sub- dued, and had their lives spared, were added to the Gibeonites. We see in Ezra viii. 20 ; ii. 58 ; 1 Kings ix. 20, 21. that David, Solomon, and the princes of Judah, gave many such to the Lord ; these Nethinim being carried into captivity with Judah and the Le- vites, many of them returned with Ezra, Zerub- babel, and Nehemiah, and continued, as before, in the service of the temple, under the priests and Levites. Gibeon stood on an eminence, as its name imports, and was forty furlongs north from Jerusalem, ac- cording to Josephus. [In 2 Sam. v. 25. it would seem to be called Geba, as compared with 1 Chron. xiv. 16 ; but it is to be distinguished from both Geba and Gibeah, and lay to the northward of them. See Geba. R. We neither know when, nor by whom, nor on what occasion, the tabernacle and altar of burnt- sacrifices, made by Moses, in the wilderness, were removed to Gibeon ; but toward the end of David's reign, and in the beginning of Solomon's, they were there, 1 Kings iii. 4, 5 ; 1 Chron. xxi. 29, 30. David, seeing an angel of the Lord at Araunah's thrashing- floor, was so terrified, that he had not time nor strength to go so far as Gibeon, to offer sacrifice. Solomon went to sacrifice at Gibeon, and there the Lord ap- peared to him, 1 Kings iii. 4. It is said (2 Sam. ii. 13.) that there was a pool in Gibeon. Whether it were of any considerable ex- tent, does not appear from this passage ; but there is little doubt that it is the same as " the great waters that are in Gibeon," Jer. xli. 12. As this, then, was probably a running stream, the discovery of such a one may contribute to distinguish and ascertain the city. There was also a great stone or rock here, (2 t 457 ] Sam. xx. 8.) and also the great high place, 1 Kings iii. 4. Eusebius mentions a place called Gibeon, which stood four miles west of Bethel. From Jer. xli. 16, we may infer that after the destruction of Je- rusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Gibeon became again the seat of government. It produced prophets in the days of Jeremiah, Jer. xxviii. L

GIBLITES

GIBLITES, Josh. xiii. 5. See Gebal II.

GIDEON

GIDEON, son of Joash, of Manasseh ; called also Jerubbaal, that is, let Baal see to it, or let Baal contest with him who has thrown down his altar. After the deaths of Deborah and Barak, the Israelites were cruelly oppressed by Midian, for the deliverance from which Gideon had an extraordinary call, which was confirmed by a double miracle. After having destroyed the altar and grove of Baal,' he gathered together 30,000 troops, for the purpose of attacking the enemy. By divine direction these were reduced first to 10,000, and subsequently to 300 ; with which number Gideon, by stratagem, defeated the Midian- ites, and delivered Israel from their yoke, Judg. vi. vii. The people of Succoth and Penuel, having re- fused to supply him and his warriors with bread during his pursuit, were visited with exemplary pun- ishment on his return from battle, viii. 1 — 17. The Israelites after this victory solicited Gideon to become their ruler. This he declined ; but taking the ear- rings of the Midianites from among the spoils, he made an ephod — which became the occasion of idol- atry to Israel, the cause of Gideon's ruin, and the destruction of his house. He judged Israel nine years, from A. M. 2759 to 2768. He had 70 sons, who were destroyed by Abimelech, their, brother, who afterwards reigned at Shechem, chap. viii. 18 ; ix. 5.

GIDGAD

GIDGAD, a mountain in the wilderness of Paran, between Bene-jaakau and Jotbathah, where the He- brews encamped, Numb, xxxiii. 32.

GILBOA

GILBOA, a ridge of mountains, memorable for the defeat and deaths of Saul and Jonathan, (1 Sam. xxxi.) running north of Bethshan or Scythopolis, and forming the western boundary of that part of the valley of the Jordan, between it and the great plain of Esdraelon. They are said to be extremely dry and barren, and are still called, by the Arabs, Djebel Gilbo. (Bib!. Repository, vol. i. p. 599.)

GILOH

GILOH, a city of Judah, Josh. xv. 51 ; 2 Sam. xv. 12.

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