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]

<< Previous Page |

GIMZO

GIMZO, a city in the south of Judah, which the Philistines took from Ahaz, 2 Chron. xxviii. 18. GIRDLE. The Hebrews only wore a girdle when at work, or on a journey. At these times, they girt their clothes about them, as the eastern people now do, as appears from many passages of the Old and New Testaments. Our Saviour, preparing himself to wash the feet of his disciples, " girt himself about with a towel," John xiii. 4, 5. Soldiers also had their belts generally girt about them, Ps. xviii. 39. Belts were often made of precious stuffs. The vir- tuous wife made rich girdles, and sold them to the Canaanite or Phoenician merchants, Prov. xxxi. 24. They were used both by men and women, Ezek. xvi. 10. We may judge of their value, by the kings of Persia sometimes giving cities and provinces to their wives, for the expense of their girdles. (Plato Alcib. Athen. 1.) Our Lord, in the Revelation, (i. 13.) ap- peared to John with a golden girdle ; and the seven angels, who came out of the temple, had similar ones. On the contrary, the prophets, and persons secluded from the world, wore girdles of skin or leather, 2 Kings i. 8 ; Matt. iii. 4. In times of mourning, the Hebrews used girdles of ropes, or sackcloth, as marks of humiliation, Isa. iii. 24 ; xxii. 12. The military girdle, or belt, of the Hebrews, did not come over the shoulder, as among the Greeks, but was worn upon the loins ; whence the expression of "sword girded on the loins." They were gene- rally rich ; and sometimes given as rewards to sol- diers, 2 Sam. xviii. 11. Job, exalting the power of God, says, " He looseth the bond of kings, and gird- eth their loins with a girdle," (chap. xii. 18.) where we observe two kinds of girdles, (1.) the royal cinc- ture ; (2.) the ordinary girdle. The girdle was used as a purse, (Matt. x. 9 ; Hag. i. 6.) where the English version has purse.

GIRGASHITES

GIRGASHITES, see Gergesenes, and Canaan- ites, p. 243.

GITH

GITH, a grain, by the Greeks called Melanthion, by the Latins Nigella, because it is black. In cur translation fitches or vetches, which see.

GITTAIM

GITTAIM, a town of Benjamin, 2 Sam. iv. 3 ; Neh. xi. 33.

GITTITES

GITTITES, the inhabitants of Gath, Josh. xiii. 3. Obed-Edom and Ittai are called Gittites, (2 Sam. vi.' 10; xv. 19.) probably, because they visited David at Gath, or because they were natives of Gittaim, a city of Benjamin, 2 Sam. iv. 3.

GITTITH

GITTITH, a word which occurs frequently in the titles of the Psalms. The conjectures of" interpreters as to its import are various. Some think it signifies a sort of musical instrument, invented at Gath ; oth- ers that the Psalms with this title were sung during the vintage. ' The word Gath, from which this is the feminine gentile form, signifies wine-press. GLEANING. The Hebrews were not permitted to go over their trees or fields a second time, to gath- er the fruit or the grain, but were to leave the glean- ings for the poor, the fatherless, and the widow, Lev. xix. 10 ; xxiii. 22 ; Deut. xxiv. 21.

GLORY

GLORY, splendor, magnificence. The glory of God, in the writings of Moses, denotes, generally, the Divine presence, Exod. xxiv. 9, 10, 16, 17. Moses, with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders of Is- rael, went up mount Sinai, and " saw the glory of the Lord." The glory of the Lord appeared (Exod. xvi. 7, 10.) to Israel in the cloud, also, when he gave them manna and quails. Moses having earnestly begged of God to reveal his glory to him, was answered that he could not see his face and live, Exod. xxxiii. 18,22. The ark of God is called the glory of Israel ; and the glory of God, (1 Sam. iv. 21, 22; Ps. xx d 8.) and Calmet remarks that the Psalmist calls his in- struments of music his glory, in Ps. xxx. 12; lvii. 8, but he perhaps rather means, his voice, his tongue. The priestly ornaments are called " garments of glory," (Exod. xxviii. 2, 40.) and the sacred vessels, "vessels of glory," 1 Mac. ii. 9, 12. When the prophets describe the conversion of the Gentiles, they say, " the glory of the Lord" shall fill all the earth ; or, the whole earth shall see " the glory of the Lord." Paul terms the happiness of believers, " the glory of the sons of God," Rom. v. 2 ; 2 Cor. iv. &c. When the Hebrews required an oath of any man, they said, " Give glory to God :" confess the truth, give him glory, confess that God knows the most secret thoughts, the very bottom of your hearts, Josh, vii. 19 ; John ix. 24. " Children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children are theii fathers," Prov. xvii. 6. "Woman is the glory of man," 1 Cor. xi. 7. When God thought fit to call his servant Moses to himself, he directed him to go up to mount Abaiim, And the Lord commanded him to take Joshua, say- ing, " He is a man in whom is the spirit ; lay thine hand upon him, and set him before Eleazar, and be- fore all the congregation, and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honor [Heb. glory] on him," Numb, xxvii. 20. The ques- tion is, what was this glory ? Onkelos, and some rab- bins, are of opinion, that Moses imparted to him that lustre which surrounded his countenance after his conversation with God ; that is, a part of it, Exod. xxxiv. 29. Moses, they say, shined like the sun, and Joshua like the moon. But it may be better un- derstood of that authority of which he stood in need, for the government committed to him. Moses gave him his orders and instructions, that he might acquit [ 459 ] himself with dignity and honor. Part of his official dress, also, which was proper to confer a kind of glory, in the eyes of the multitude, might have been given to him.

GNAT

GNAT, a small insect well known. Several com- mentators differ from our translators in the only place where the latter use the word gnat (Matt, xxiii. 24.) by introducing another insect, more immediately referable, as they suppose, to the subject there in- tended. (See Camel.) — On the other hand the LXX, Wisdom, Philo, Origen, and Jerome, consider the insects which produced the plague translated of lice, (Exod. viii. 16.) as rather being effected by gnats. It will be remarked, that the miracles performed in Egypt refer mostly, if not entirely, to the water, and to the air ; gnats would be a mixture of both. Barbut says of these creatures, "Before they turn to flying insects, they have been in some manner fishes, under two different forms. We observe in stagnant waters, from the beginning of JVIay till winter, small grubs, with their heads downwards, their hinder parts on the surface of the water ; from which part arises sideways a kind of vent-hole, or small hollow tube, like a funnel, and this is the organ of respiration. The head is armed with hooks, that serve to seize insects and bits of grass, on which it feeds. On the sides are placed four small fins, by the help of which the insect swims about, and dives to the bottom. These larva? retain their form during a fortnight or three weeks, after which period they turn to chrysa- lids. All the parts of the winged insect are distin- guishable through the outward robe that shrouds them. The chrysalids are rolled up into spirals. The situation and shape of the windpipe is then al- tered; it consists of two tubes near the head, which occupy the place of the stigmata, through which the winged insect is one day to breathe. After three or four days' strict fasting, they pass to the state of gnats. moment before water was its element ; but now, become an aerial insect, he can no longer exist in it. He swells his head and bursts his enclosure. The robe he lately wore turns to a ship, of which the in- sect is the mast and sail. If at the instant the gnat displays his wings there arises a breeze, it proves to him a dreadful hurricane ; the water gets into the ship, and the insect, who is not yet loosened from it, sinks, and is lost. But in calm weather the gnat forsakes his slough, dries himself, flies into the air, and seeks to pump the alimentary juice of leaves, or the blood of man and beasts. It is impossible to be- hold, and not admire, the amazing structure of its sting, which is a tube, containing five or six spicula, of exquisite minuteness ; some dentated at their ex- tremity like the head of an arrow, others sharp-edged like razors. These spicula introduced into the veins, act as pump-suckers, into which the blood ascends by reason of the smallness of the capillary tubes. The insect injects a small quantity of liquor into the wound, by which the blood becomes more fluid, and is seen through the microscope passing through those spicula. The animal swells, grows red, and does not quit its hold till it has gorged itself. The female de- posits her eggs on the water by the help of her mov- able hinder part and her legs, placing them one by the side of another, in the form of a little boat. This vessel, composed of two or three hundred eggs, swims on the water for two or three days, after which they are hatched. If storms arise, the boats are sunk. Every month there is a fresh progeny of these insects. Were they not devoured by swallows, by other birds, and by several carnivorous insects, the air would be darkened by them. Gnats, in this country, however troublesome, do not bite so severe- ly as the musketoe-flies of foreign parts. Both by day and night these insects enter houses, and when peo- ple are in bed and would sleep, they begin their disagreeable humming noise ; by degrees they ap- proach the bed, and often fill themselves with blood, sucked from the suffering sleeper. Their bite causes blisters in people of any delicacy. Cold weather diminishes their activity ; but after rain they gather in quantities truly astonishing. In the great heats of summer, the air seems to be full of them. In some places the inhabitants make fires before their houses to expel these troublesome guests. Nevertheless, they accompany the cattle when driven home ; and they enter in swarms wherever they can. Forskal describes the stinging gnat as being of the size and general appearance of the common humming gnat. "At Rosetta, Cairo, and Alexandria, are immense multitudes ; they disturb sleep at night ; and can hardly be kept out, unless the curtains be carefully closed." Hasselquist says, (at Cairo,) "It was not in the power of our janissary to protect us from the gnats, so great are their numbers. The rice fields are their breeding places, and they lay their eggs in a marshy soil. They are smaller than those of Egypt, but their sting is sharper ; and the itching they cause is insupportable. They are ash-colored, and have white spots on the articulation of the legs." Sir R. Wilson affirms, their bite was particularly venomous, especially near Rosetta. " Many of those disagreea- ble animals, the Egyptians may say, are also inmates of Europe, but in no other country are they so nu- merous or so voracious as in Egypt." (Exped. Egypt, p. 252.) The reader will judge from these representations, whether the gnat do not bid fair to be the Hebrew uDJD, Cinnim ; being winged, it would spread over a district or country, with equal ease as over a village or a city, and would be equally terrible to cattle as to men. It seems also to precede the dog-fly, or zimb, with great propriety. (See Fly.) It should be added, that the gnat abounds not in great rivers, but in ditches, ponds, and repositories of water. Moses, therefore, did not strike the hill, but clods of earth, as the word rendered dust may import. GNOSTICS. This name is not in the sacred writings ; but the apostles Peter and Paul, in their epistles, if they did not attack the heretics who after- wards were known by this name, did certainly op- pose those principles which afterwards produced the Gnostic heresy. They professed to enjoy a higher degree of gnosis, knowledge ; and regarded all those who held to a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, as simple and ignorant. (Comp. 1 Tim. i. 3 ; iii. 2.)

GOB

GOB, a plain where two battles were fought be- tween the Hebrews and Philistines, 2 Sam. xxi. 18, 19. In 1 Chron. xx. 4, we read Gezer instead of Gob. The LXX, in some copies, read Nob instead of Gob; and in others, Gath. GOD. This name we give to that eternal, infinite, and incomprehensible Being, the Creator of all things; who preserves and governs all, by his almighty power and wisdom, and is the only proper object of worship. God, properly speaking, can have no name ; for as he is one, and not subject to those individual quali- ties which distinguish men, and on which the differ- ent denominations given to them are founded, he needs not any name to distinguish him from others, or to mark a difference between him and any, since there is none like him. The names, therefore, which we ascribe to him, are descriptions or epithets, which express our sense of his divine perfections, in terms necessarily ambiguous, because they are borrowed from human life or conceptions ; rather than true names which justly represent his nature. (See Elohi.) The Hebrews call God, Jehovah, or Jaho, which they never pronounce ; substituting for it, Adonai, or Elohim ; lords, masters : or El, strong : or Shaddai : or Elion, the Most High : or El-Sabaoth, God of Hosts : or Jah, God. In Exod. iii. 13, 14, the angel who spoke in God's name, said to Moses, " Thus shalt thou say, I AM hath sent me unto you :" I am He who is; or, I shall ever be He who shall be. See' Jehovah and Name.

GODLY

GODLY, that which proceeds from God, and is pleasing to him. It also signifies conformity to his will, and an assimilation to his character, Ps. xii. 1 ; Mai. ii. 15 ; 2 Cor. i. 12 ; Tit. ii. 12, &c.

GODS

GODS, False Gods. The name of God (Elohim) is very ambiguous in the Hebrew Scriptures. The true God is often called Elohim ; as are the angels, judges, and sometimes idols and false gods. (See Gen. i. 1 ; Exod. xxii. 20 ; Ps. Ixxxvi. 8, also the follow- ing passages in the Hebrew : Exod. xxi. 6 ; xxii. 8 ; 1 Sam. ii. 25 ; Exod. xxii. 28.) Josephus and Philo believe, that Moses, in the last passage, designed to forbid the speaking evil of strange gods. Good Is- raelites had so great an aversion and contempt for strange gods, that they would not name them ; but substituted some term of contempt : so, instead of cn s t- , Elohim, they called them a^N, elilim, nothings, vanities, gods of no value. Sometimes they called idols, ordures ; Heb. o'Sibj, gillulim. God forbids the Israelites from swearing by strange gods, or pro- nouncing their names in oaths, Exod. xxiii. 13. Moses says, that the Israelites worshipped strange gods, whom they knew not, and whom he had not given to them, (Deut. xxix. 26.) gods who were net their own; gods to whom they did not belong; which increases the ingratitude, and the crime of their rebellion. The Hebrew may be translated, " strange gods, and who had given them nothing." When we compare this p«^ssage with others of Scripture, God seems to have abandoned other na- tions to strange gods, to the stars, to their idols, but to have reserved his own people to himself ; not that he hereby excuses the idolatry of other people ; but it is without comparison, less criminal than that of the Hebrews. (Compare Deut. xxix. 26, with iv. 19 ; xvii. 3 ; Acts vii. 42 ; Jer. xix. 13 ; 2 Kings xvii. 16 ; xxi. 3, 5 ; 2 Chron. xxxiii. 3, 5 ; Amos v. 25 — 27.) and MAGOG. We unite these two names, because Scripture generally joins them. Moses (Gen. x. 2.) speaks of Magog, son of Japheth, but says nothing of Gog, who was prince of Magog, accord- ing to Ezekiel xxxviii. xxxix. Magog, no doubt, sig- nifies the country, or people; and Gog signifies the king ; but critics are much divided as to the people and country intended under these names. The Scythians, the Goths, the Persians, and several other nations, have been identified by interpreters as the Magog of the Scriptures ; but we incline to think that it is a name given generally to the northern na- tions of Europe and Asia ; or the districts north of the Caucasus. — Calmet is of opinion, that Gog wasCam- byses, king of Persia. He thinks Gog and Magog, in Ezekiel and the Revelation, (ch. xx. 7 — 9.) are to be taken allegorically, for princes who are enemies to the church. By Gog in Ezekiel, many understand Antioehus Epiphanes, the persecutor of the Jews; and by Gog in the Revelation, Antichrist.

GOLAN

GOLAN, see Gatjlon.

GOLD

GOLD, a well-known valuable metal, found in many parts of the world, but the greatest quantity of which is obtained from the coast of Guinea. It is spoken of throughout Scripture ; and the use of it among the ancient Hebrews, in its native and mixed state, and for the same purposes as at present, was very common. The ark of the covenant was over- laid with pure gold ; the mercy-seat, the vessels and utensils belonging to the tabernacle, and those also of the house of the Lord, as well as the drinking vessels of Solomon, were of gold.

GOLGOTHA

GOLGOTHA, (in Greek, zQan&r, cranium, the top of the skull, or head,) a small hill, or rising, on a greater hill, or mount, north-west of Jerusalem ; so called, either from its form, which resembles a human skull ; or because criminals were executed there. Here our Saviour was crucified ; and near to it he was buried, in a garden belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, in a tomb cut in the rock. The emperor Adrian, when he rebuilt Jerusalem, and called it iElia, profaned the tomb, filling it up, and placing idols over it; but the empress Helena had it cleansed, and built over it a magnificent church. See Calvary and Sepul- chre.

GOMORRHA

GOMORRHA, one of the principal cities of the Pentapolis ; consumed by fire from heaven. (See Sea Dead.) The Hebrew reads Amora, orHomora; but the LXX frequently express the letter ain, y, by g.

GOOD

GOOD, agreeable, beautiful, perfect in its kind. " God beheld all he had created, and it was very good," (Gen. i. 31,) every creature had its proper good- ness, beauty, perfection. " This man never prophe- eieth good to me," (2 Chron. xviii. 7.) nothing agree- able. A good eye signifies — liberality; an evil eye — a covetous, an envious person. WOOD. Bochart, Fuller, and some other writers have maintained, that the gopher wood of which the ark was made (Gen. vi. 14.) was cypress. This is argued — First, from the appellation: for if, from the Greek y.ununmao;, be taken the termination maog, xvTzctq and idj gopher \x\\\ nearly resemble each other. Secondly, because, as they prove from the ancients, no wood is more durable against rot and worms. Thirdly, because, as Bochart particularly shows, the cypress was very fit for ship-building, and actually used for that purpose where it grew in sufficient plenty. And lastly, beeause it abounded in Assyria, where Noah probably built the ark. On the other hand, Asenarius, Minister, Taylor, and some other critics, think the pine bids fairest to furnish the wood described by the Hebrew word ; its relative gophrit signifying sulphur, brimstone, &c. and no wood pro- ducing pitch, tar, turpentine, and other inflammables, in such quantities as the pine. After all, gopher may probably be a general name for such trees as abound with resinous inflammable juices ; as the cedar, cy- press, fir-tree, pine, &c.

GOPHNA

GOPHNA, Guphna, or Gophnith, the principal place of one of the ten toparchies of Judea. Josephus generally joins it with the Acrabatene ; and Eusebius places it fifteen miles north of Jerusalem.

GOSPEL

GOSPEL, Evayyif.ior, good news. The subject of the apostolic message is called the Gospel ; that is, a good message, or glad tidings, as the same word is sometimes rendered, Luke ii. 10 ; Acts xiii. 32. It is also called " the Gospel of peace," (Rom. x. 5.) because it proclaims peace with God to guilty rebels through Jesus Christ. " The word of reconciliation," (2 Cor. v. 19.) because it shows how God is recon- ciled to sinners, and contains the great motive or ar- gument for reconciling their minds to him. " The Gospel of salvation," (Eph. i. 13.) because it holds forth salvation to the lost or miserable. " The Gospel of the grace of God," (Acts xx. 24.) as being a dec- laration of God's free favor and unmerited love and good-will to the utterly worthless and undeserving. " The Gospel of the kingdom," (Matt. xxiv. 14.) be- cause it proclaims the power and dominion of the Messiah, and the nature and privileges of his king- dom, which is not of this world. — It is termed the truth, (John xviii. 37; 2 Thess. ii. 13; 1 John ii. 21.) not only as being the most important of all truths, and the testimony of God, who cannot lie, (1 John v. 9.) but also because it is the accomplishment of Old Testament prophecies, and the substance, spirit, and truth of all the shadows and types of the former economy. A general idea of the Gospel may also be formed from the short summaries given of it in various parts of the New Testament. Jesus sums up the Gospel to Nicodemus thus: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only- oegotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have everlasting life," John iii. 14, 15, 16. Paul gives several brief compendiums jf the Gospel, from which we shall select the follow- ng : " Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you — by the which ye are also saved — how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures," 1 Cor. xv. 1 — 5. "God hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not im- puting their trespasses unto them. For he hath made him (auaoriav) a sin-offering for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," 2 Cor. v. 19—21. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom am chief," 1 Tim. i. 15. John gives the substance of the Gospel testimony in these words: "This is the record {uuorvQia, witness or testimony) that God hath given unto us, eternal life ; and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life," 1 John v. 11, 12. Maclean. The writings which contain the recital of our Saviour's life, miracles, death, resurrection, and doctrine, are called Gospels, because they include the best news that coidd be published to mankind. We have but four canonical Gospels — those of Mat- thew, Mark, Luke, and John. These have not only been generally received, but they were received very early, as the standards of evangelical history ; as the depositories of the doctrines and actions of Jesus. They are appealed to under that character both by friends and enemies ; and no writer im- pugning or defending Christianity, acknowledges a fifth Gospel as of equal or concurrent authority, al- though there were many others which purported to be authentic memoirs of the life and actions of Christ. lull account of these spurious productions may be found in Fabricius's Codex Apocryphus Novi Testa- menti. Jones's well-known work in the Apocryphal canon also gives an account of the principal of them. The evangelist Luke, in the preface to his Gospel, observes, that " many" had taken in hand to draw up histories of Christian events. He does not blame these writers ; but rather associates himself with them by the phrase, " It hath seemed good to me also." Nothing could be more natural, than that transactions which raised so much interest, among the Jewish people especially, should excite the wishes of those at a distauce from the places where they occurred, to receive that information which writing only could correctly furnish. Paul, pleading before Agrippa, ascribes to that prince a knowledge of Chris- tian events ; and asserts, that " these things were not done in a corner." What was so public and notori- ous was, doubtless, in general circulation, as well by writing as by report; but, after the publication of the four Gospels now extant, the former docu- ments sunk into oblivion, and were no longer distin- guished. [The remarks which follow here are from the pen of Mr. Taylor. They exhibit a view of the subject which has been taken by some ; but which more thorough investigation has shown to be untenable. For the present state of the question as to the sources of the striking resemblances, as well as striking differ- ences, of the three first Gospels, see the additions below. R. There have been a variety of opinions respecting the time and the order of the four Gospels ; but, perhaps, the plan on which each of them is written, has not hitherto been sufficiently attended to, or as- certained. Matthew. — The following remarks on the Gos- pel of Matthew may have their effect in solving some difficulties of chronology, &c. Let us suppose that Matthew wrote his Gospel the first of the four — not in one continued or orderly narrative, but divided into books, according to the different subjects, or classes of transactions. If this be admissible, it removes entirely the chronological diffi- culties which embarrass commentators, in attempt- ing to reconcile Matthew with Luke ; because it supposes Matthew to associate similar facts in one book, while Luke proposes "an orderly his- tory," according to the course of events. The dif- ferent plans of these writers led them to adopt differ- t 467 ] ent arrangements. This also furnishes a reason why Luke might compose an orderly history, which Matthew's, however correct, was not, he having no such design ; while it relieves Mark from the charge of having abstracted Matthew. It has been main- tained by many eminent critics, that Matthew wrote his Gospel first in Syriac, and that it was afterwards translated into Greek ; whether by himself is not certain, though it is highly probable. Some of the fathers date the writing of this Gospel eight years after the death of Jesus ; while others date it fifteen or even twenty years after. (See the additions below.) Mark's Gospel may be considered, upon the tra- ditionary testimony of antiquity, as a collection of facts, gathered by him from authorities adduced by Peter ; as well from his private discourse, as from his public preachings. Now, it is not very likely that these facts, which might be heard, or obtained, at various times, and on various occasions, should be arranged by the evangelist precisely in chronologi- cal order. It woidd answer his purpose, if they were accurately related, though but loosely connect- ed, or, perhaps, not intentionally connected at all ; that is, in reference to their order as a series of events. But we see no reason why Mark might not also avail himself of such written information as was extant at the time ; such, for instance, as Matthew's Gospel. This would account for the verbal resem- blance observed between some parts of Matthew and some parts of Mark ; while, elsewhere, Mark might adhere to such facts as he had collected, and to such expressions as he had adopted. To ex- change these for others, when the histories were the same, would have answered no valuable purpose. Luke. — It remains that we consider the Gospel by this evangelist as the most regular in arrangement, according to the order of facts ; and we ought to reflect with the deepest gratitude on the pains taken by him to acquire such a knowledge of the series of Gospel events, as that which his history presents. In fact, in his Gospel, no less than in his " Acts of the Apostles," Luke displays manifest proofs of a liberal and cultivated mind, and of ardent research after truth. This is of great importance ; for on the accuracy and research of Luke depend much of our satisfaction, if not of our faith. See Luke. certain class of persons have manifested great anxiety to get rid of the first two chapters of Luke, in conjunction with part of the first chapter of Mat- thew ; but it has never, perhaps, been suggested that a question of the utmost importance rests exclusive- ly upon these impugned portions of the sacred his- tory. The people of the Jews expected, and with the utmost propriety, that Messiah should be, (1.) of the tribe of Judah ; (2.) of the posterity of David ; (3.) in the direct line of that prince ; so that, had he enjoyed his own, as a descendant from David, his right to the throne itself was unquestionable ; (4.) born in David's town, Bethlehem of Judah. (Com- pare John vii. 42; Matthew xxii. 42, 45; Mark xii. 35, 37.) Now, it happens, that no other parts of the Gospels will prove this fact ; so that if we had not these chap- ters, whatever we might think of the person termed in reproach "Jesus born at Nazareth," "Jesus the Naza- rene," we could not prove that we received as the Mes- siah, Jesus born at Bethlehem ; we could not prove that this person traced his descent from David, still less in the immediate line, and direct descent, from him ; we could not even prove that he was of the tribe of Judah ; all which particulars are absolute- ly indispensable in determining the person of Messiah. And then what will follow ? — That the Jews, in rejecting Jesus born at Nazareth, as Mes- siah, were perfectly laudable ; for he was defective in a main branch of that evidence which was neces- sary, indispensably necessary, to vindicate his claim to this title. Supposing him to be born at Nazareth he was not of Judah, but of Galilee ; he was not of Bethlehem, by the terms of the affirmation ; he was not descended from David, or at least there could be no proof of it; for how should the town records of Bethlehem concern themselves about a birth at Nazareth ? — therefore he could not be the Messiah. It appears that those who were unacquainted with the early history of Jesus, uniformly considered him a Galilean, Matt. xxi. 11 ; Luke xxiii. 6, seq. John vii. 41. They also unanimously described him as born at Nazareth ; and this was a circumstance of such direct opposition to a justly founded character- istic mark of Messiah, that we cannot but approve of Saul's opposing, with all his might, the prevalence of of Jesus born, as he supposed at Nazareth. Indeed, a prominent topic of discussion between those who fa- vored and those who opposed Jesus, was — the place of his birth ; and, unless we can prove negatively, that he was not born at Nazareth, or in Galilee, a| the Jews affirm ; and positively, that he was born in Judah, and in Bethlehem, of which our only proof lies in these to-be-exploded chapters — we have no (com- plete) rational evidence to produce, nor any (deci- sive) reasons to justify us, in supporting our faith. Such is the importance of the introductory chapters to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. To disman- tle the Gospels of any integral part is to injure the religion of which they are the basis, in proportion to the importance of that part ; and, if we be not mistaken, a more vital part than what our attention has now been directed to, can hardly be selected. The genealogy in Matthew was necessary to evince the descent of Jesus in the royal line of David, and his right to the kingdom ; a right, that he constantly refused to recognize during his life- — and, being asserted only after his decease, could give no just umbrage to the ruling powers. That was a public document. The genealogy in Luke was a private document ; and his preservation of it coincides with that accuracy which is characteristic of him. John. — This Gospel is universally allowed to be supplementary to the others. It abounds more in instructive discourses than in narrative ; which is easily accounted for, if we suppose John to have had a knowledge of Matthew and Luke's writings. He would, naturally, not desire to load the public with books, for the reasons assigned by him, at the close of his own work. There are many indications, in the Gospel by John, that the writer had specially in view the refutation of certain religious errors which were prevalent in his time, (see Sabeans,) affecting both the divinity and the humanity of the Son of God. [The preceding remarks furnish only a very mea- gre and one-sided view of a very interesting and im- portant subject. But the very extent of the subject itself precludes the possibility of doing it justice in a work of this kind ; and these additions, therefore, must be limited to a .bare outline of the present state of the question. The four Gospels contain, in general, the record of the birth, actions, teaching, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Mat. [ 468 ] thew and Luke commence with his birth, as intro- juctory to his ministry ; Mark and John omit this ntroductory matter. Matthew, Mark, and Luke nil narrate the events of his ministry in a maimer gen- erally similar ; while John contains mostly matter not contained in the other three, and may, therefore, be called supplementary to them. All four exhibit an account of our Lord's death and the subsequent events. Under thes^e circumstances, a general re- semblance would naturally be expected, especially in the three first Gospels, as is, indeed, the fact ; but then this resemblance, which is often manifested in a literal identity, is also attended with very remark- able differences, both in regard to chronological order, and in respect to the facts themselves. It has, therefore, ever been a favorite study of comment- ators and interpreters of Scripture, to endeavor to arrange the accounts given us in these different Gos- pels, in such a manner as to show their harmony with each other ; to place them together in such a way, as out of the several disconnected accounts to form one connected and harmonious whole in the proper chronological order. Such an arrangement is called a Synopsis or Harmony of the Gospels. The first attempt of this kind is attributed to Tatian or Theophilus of Antioch in the second century ; his vvorkiis called Diatesseron, i. e. the four. Others were afterwards composed by Ammonius of Alex- andria, about A. D. 220 ; by Eusebius of Caesarea, about A. D. 315 ; and in modern times by Osiander, Jansenius, Whiston, Lamy, Le Clerc, Doddridge, Macknight, Priestley, Newcome, White, Griesbach, De Wette, Liicke, H. Planck, and others. One of the most judicious of these Harmonies, is that of Newcome for the Greek, which has also been pub- lished in English. In all these attempts there are two grand difficulties to be overcome ; in which the writers of harmonies have hitherto differed very widely. The first is, the duration of our Lord's ministry, which Priestley and others, after Origen and Clerneus Alexandrinus, limit to oneyearand, perhaps, a few months ; while Newcome and others suppose it to have continued three years and a half, and to have included four passovers. Sir Isaac Newton makes it include five passovers. The second diffi- culty is to ascertain the true chronological order ; and on this point the opinions have been almost as nu- merous as the writers; some assuming that Matthew has strictly followed the order of time in his narra- tion, and, therefore, accommodating the narrations of the other evangelists to his ; others (as Mr. Taylor above) adopting Luke as the standard of chronological order ; others again preferring Mark ; and others, still, supposing that neither evangelist has adhered strictly to the order of time in his narrative. Such is the opinion of Newcome : "In fact, chrono- logical order is not precisely observed by any of the evangelists; St. John and St. Mark observe it most ; and St. Matthew neglects it most." (Pref. to Harmo- ny.) Indeed, it is every where obvious, as the same writer remarks, " that the evangelists are more in- tent on representing the substance of what is spoken, than the words of the speaker ; that, they neglect ac- curate order in the detail of particular incidents, though they pursue a good general method ; that de- tached and distant events are sometimes joined to- gether on account of a sameness in the scene, the persons, the cause, or the consequences ; and that in such concise histories as the Gospels, transitions are often made from one fact to another, without any in- timation that important matters intervened." (Ibid.) The arrangement of the Gospels in a harmony shows at once to the eye, that, both in the facts and in the language, there is a very close resemblance be- tween the three first Gospels ; and that the Gospel of John is in a great measure supplementary to the others. Indeed, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, sometimes cor- respond word for word ; at other times, the sense and general language are the same, with variations in the single expressions. One needs only to open a Greek Harmony, to be convinced of this fact. Still more striking is the relation in which Mark stands to both Matthew and Luke ; he has only tiventy-four verses peculiar to himself; all the rest is found in the other two. He seldom stands independently between the two ; but follows sometimes one and sometimes the other, or is the medium of harmonizing all the three. According to bishop Marsh, in that which is com- mon to all three, Luke never accords perfectly with Matthew, except where Mark also accords with him ; though, in such cases, Luke is sometimes nearer to Matthew than Mark is. It is singular that Mark sometimes has a mixed text, compounded from those of Matthew and Luke. (See Matt. viii. 3 ; Mark i. 42 Luke v. 13.— Matt. viii. 4 ; Mark i. 44 ; Luke v. 14.— Matt. ix. 9 ; Mark ii. 3 ; Luke v. 27 ; and elsewhere.) To account for these remarkable appearances, has been a subject of deep interest to learned men, and also of great research, especially during the last hair of the eighteenth century. It is obvious, that the re- semblances can be accounted for only on two hy- potheses, or by a union of the two, viz. (1.) that one evangelist saw and copied from the others ; or (2.) that they all three drew from a common source ; or (3.) that they not only had this common source, but also copied from each other. These hypotheses seem, in themselves, very simple ; but to carry them out and apply them in detail is attended with difficul ties which no writer has yet been able wholly to solve. On the first hypothesis, some have adopted the or- der of the canon, without further inquiry, and have at once assumed that Mark made use of Matthew's Gospel, which he abridged and corrected ; while Luke corrected and supplied what he thought necessary in both the others. So Grotius, Mill, Wetstein, and Hug. Storr held Mark's Gospel to be the oldest, and the source of the others ; while others ascribe the same character to Luke. Griesbach showed from observation, without regard to any theory, that Mark extracted from both Matthew and Luke ; and he also assumed that Luke, in writing his Gospel, had some reference to Matthew. To this hypothesis, however, there lie many difficulties in the way. Each evan- gelist has every where something peculiar to him- self ; here and there he is more definite, exact, mi- nute ; it is, therefore, difficult to see why a following evangelist, who used and copied from him, should make no use of these circumstances ; and why he should rather adopt unnecessary changes of ex- pression; and even sometimes expressions less definite and appropriate. Especially, if Mark compiled his Gospel from those of Matthew and Luke, can we not free him from the charge of want of plan and of mere arbitrary procedure? Upon the other hypothesis, that of one common source, some have assumed that this was the so call- ed Gospel of the Hebrews ; but this assumption was made on conjecture, and without knowing what this Gospel of the Hebrews was. Others held the sup- posed Hebrew Gospel of Matthew to be the primitive source of all the others. Eichhorn first endeavored, by a more definite conjectural theory, to "jrnove the [ 469 ] difficulties. He assumed a certain original Gospel, which existed and was used by the evangelists in different editions or recensions ; that which they all have in common is from the groundwork or body of this original Gospel ; that which only two of .iem have in common, is from a recension with soi e ad- ditions, which was used by both ; that which c iy one has, is from another recension used by him aione, or from some other source. This original Gospel he sup- posed to be written in Aramaean ; and thus was able, very naturally, to explain, how the three Gospels, as being independent translations, might coincide in similar terms and expressions. But still he could not thus account for the remarkable coincidence in the use of the same Greek words and expressions, some of which are unusual and singular. Bishop Marsh, therefore, (in the additions to his translation of Mi- chaelis's Introduction,) improved Eichhorn's theory, by supposing that there existed a Greek translation of this Aramaean original Gospel, which Mark and Luke used in the composition of their Greek Gospels ; he supposed, too, that the Greek translator of Matthew probably made use of the Greek texts of Mark and Luke. These suggestions were afterwards adopted in substance by Eichhorn. This theory for a time made great noise in the theological world ; but when it came to be seen, that a theory so complex and arti- ficial, and requiring the aid of so many subordinate theories, is utterly at variance with the simple char- acter of the apostolic writings ; and that no hint oc- curs of the existence of any such primitive Gospel, which could be of such paramount authority ; on these and other grounds, the good sense of the public recoiled from this hypothesis ; and the only wonder now is, how it could ever have been received with so much favor. On the whole, then, we must give up the hope of finding any definite theory, which will entirely ac- count for the close resemblances of the three first Gospels, and at the same time solve the opposite diffi- culties. We can only, in general, make the supposi- tion, that the evangelists wrote down the traditionary accounts (so to speak) which they had retained of the actions and words of Jesus. In their teaching and preaching, the apostles must necessarily often have had occasion to relate the actions and repeat the dis- courses of their Lord and Master ; these relations and repetitions would naturally assume, at length, a defi- nite shape, and were, no doubt, written down and copied among the Christian converts. But such writings, thus coming into circulation, could not have the sanction of apostolical authority ; and, therefore, it would be very natural that the apostles themselves, or those who were intimately connected with them, should at length give a more full and complete ac- count of all these things. It is to such previous writings, and to such a state of things, that Luke alludes, eh. i. 1. In this way, the writers would nat- urally follow the same train as in their oral discourses, and might, perhaps, make occasional use of writings already extant. Thus far only can we safely go. Gospel of Matthew. — The time when this Gos- pel was written is very uncertain. All ancient testi- mony, however, goes to show that it was published before the others. Hug draws from internal evidence the conclusion, that it was written shortly before the siege and capture of Jerusalem by the Romans, when they already had possession of Galilee, about A. D. 65. It has been much disputed, whether this Gospel was originally written in Hebrew or Greek. The unanimous testimony of ancient writers is in favor of a Hebrew original, i. e. that it was written in the lan- guage of Palestine and for the use of the Hebrew Christians. But, on the other hand, the definiteness and accuracy of this testimony is drawn into ques- tion ; there is no historical notice of a translation into Greek ; and the present Gospel bears many marks of being an original ; the circumstances of the age, too, and the prevalence of the Greek language in Pales- tine, seem to give weight to the opposite hypothesis. Critics of the greatest name are arranged on both sides of the question. Gospel of Mark. — All the writers of the church are unanimous in the statement, that Mark wrote his Gospel under the influence and direction of the apos- tle Peter. The same traditionary authority makes it to have been written at Rome, and published after the death of Peter and Paul. Gospel of Luke. — In like manner, Luke is said to have written his Gospel under the direction of Paul, whose companion he was on his journeys. Hug supposes this Gospel to have been written at a late period, after those of Matthew and Mark, and after the destruction of Jerusalem. Gospel of John. — The ancient writers all make this Gospel the latest. Hug places its publication in the first year of the emperor Nerva, A. D. 96, sixty- five years after our Saviour's death, and when John was now more than eighty years of age. This would be about thirty years later than the Gospel of Matthew. *R.

GOZAN

GOZAN, a river of Media, (2 Kings xvii. 6.) and also a province, (chap. xix. 12 ; Isa. xxxvii. 12.) prob- ably that through which the river ran. Salmaneser, after he had subdued the ten tribes, carried them be- yond the Euphrates, to a country bordering on the river Gozan ; and Sennacherib boasts, that the kings of Assyria had conquered the people of Gozan, Haran, and others. Ptolemy places the Gauzanites in Mesopotamia ; and there is a district in Media called Gauzan, between the rivers Cyrus and Cam- byses. [The passage in 2 Kings xvii. 6, Gesenius trans- lates thus: — "and placed them in Chalcitis (Halah) and on the Chabor, (Habor,) a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes." This would make the river to be the Chaboras, the Chebar of Ezekiel, which empties into the Euphrates in the northern part of Mesopotamia. This accords with the notice of Ptolemy, (v. 18.) who calls the region lying between the rivers Chaboras and Laocoras, by the name of Gauzanitis, e. g. the Hebrew Gozan. In 1 Chron. v. 26, the name Hara is inserted between Chabor and the river of Gozan, — which may be an error of tran- scribers, as the reading of 2 Kings xvii. 6 seems cor- rect and appropriate. In other places, too, Gozan is. mentioned along with and before other cities and countries of Mesopotamia, 2 Kings xix. 42 ; Isa. xxxviii. 12. According to Bochart, Habor, or Chabor, is the mountain Chaboras, between Assyria and Me- dia ; (Ptolem. Geogr. vi. 1.) between this mountain and the Caspian sea there is, according to Ptolemy, (vi. 2.) a city and country called Gausania, with a river of the same name, probably the present Kizzil-Ouzan or Kizel-Ozan, which flows eastward into the Cas- pian. (Sir R. K. Porter's Travels in Persia, i. p. 267.) That tliis tract is the Gozan of Scripture is the opin- ion of Rosenmiiller ; (Bibl. Geogr. I. ii. 102.) — and the mention of it along with the " cities of the Medes" would seem to indicate a remote district. See Ha- bor. R. is taken (1.) for beauty, graceful form, or agreeableness of person, Prov. i. 9 ; iii. 22. (2.) For favor, friendship, kindness, Gen. vi. 8 ; xviii. 3 ; Rom. ix. 6 ; 2 Tim. i. 9. (3.) For pardon, mercy, un- expected remission of offences, Eph. ii. 5 ; Col. i. 6. (4.) For certain gifts of God, which he bestows free- ly, when, where, and on whom he pleases; such are the gifts of miracles, prophecy, languages, &c. (Rom. xv. 15 ; 1 Cor. xv. 10 ; Eph. iii. 8.) which are intend- ed rather for the advantage of others, than of the person who possesses them ; though the good use he makes of them may contribute to his sanctification. (5.) For the gospel dispensation, in contradistinction to that of the law, Rom. vi. 14 ; 1 Pet. v. 12. (6.) For a liberal and charitable disposition, 2 Cor. viii. 7. (7.) For eternal life, or final salvation, 1 Pet. i. 13. (8.) There are several sorts of inward graces; for the graces of the understanding may be called by this name, as ^ell as the graces of the will. There are habitual graces, and actual graces. Augustin defines inwaru, actual grace to be the inspiration of love, which prompts us to practise according to what we know, out of a religious affection and compliance. He says, also that the grace of God is the blessing of God's swet influence, by which we are induced to take pleas, e in that which he commands, to desire and to love it ; and that if God does not prevent us with this blessing, what he commands not only is not perfected, but is not so much as begun in us. Without the grace of Christ, man is not able to do the least thing that is good. He stands in need of this grace to begin, continue, and finish all the good he does, or, rather, which God does in him and with him, by his grace. This grace is free ; it is not due to us : if it were, it would be no more grace, but a debt, Rom. xi. 6. It is in its nature an assistance so powerful and effi- cacious, that it surmounts the obstinacy of the most rebellious human heart, without destroying human liberty. There is no subject on which theologians have written so largely, as on the grace of God. The dif- ficulty consists in reconciling human liberty with the operation of divine grace ; the concurrence of man with the influence and assistance of the Almighty. And who is able to set just bounds between these two things ? Who can pretend to know how far the privileges of grace extend over the heart of man, and what that man's liberty is, who is prevented, enlight- ened, moved, and attracted by grace ? Although the books of the Old Testament express themselves very clearly with relation to the fall of man, his incapacity to good, his continual necessity of God's aid, the darkness of his understanding, and the evil propensities of his heart ; although all this is observable, not only in the historical parts of the Bible, but also in the prayers of the saints, and in the writings of the prophets ; yet these truths are far from being so clearly revealed in the Old Testament as in the New.

GRAIN

GRAIN, see Corn.

GREECE

GREECE, Heb. p>, the same as ' lav, 'wra, Ionia. This word, in Scripture, often comprehends all the countries inhabited by the descendants of Javan, as well in Greece as in Ionia and Asia Minor. After the time of Alexander the Great, when the Greeks became masters of Egypt, Syria, and the countries beyond the Euphrates, the Jews included all Gen- tiles under the name of Greeks. In the Old Testa- ment, both Greece and Greeks are called Javan. Isaiah says, (lxvi. 19.) "The Lord shall send his am- bassadors to Javan, who dwells in the isles afar oft'." Ezekiel, (ch. xxvii. 13, 19.) that Javan, Tubal, and Meshech came to the fairs at Tyre. Daniel, (xi. 2.) speaking of Xerxes, says, " He shall stir up all against the realm o'f Javan." Alexander the Great is described by the same prophet as "king of Javan," chap. viii. 21 ; x. 20. Javan was a son of Japheth, (Gen. x. 2, 4.) after whom that part of Greece called Ionia was named. It is remarkable that the Hindoos call the Greeks Yavanas, which is the ancient He- brew appellation. They also regard them with a contempt bordering on abhorrence. They are sel- dom described in the Hindoo books, but as molest- ing other people, who are better than themselves. Greece, in its largest acceptation, as denoting the countries where the Greek language prevailed, in- cluded from the Scardian mountains north, to the Levant, south ; and from the Adriatic sea west, to Asia Minor east. Hence it is used by Daniel to denote Macedonia ; whereas, we read in Acts xx. 2, that Paul, passing through Macedonia, came to Greece ; that is, Grecia Proper. In this more re- stricted sense, Macedonia and the river Strymon formed the northern boundary of Greece. The Greeks were called Achaei, or Achivi, from Achaeus, son of Jupiter ; hence the name of Achaia. They were also named Hellenes, from a son of Deucalion. It is probable, however, that these names describe distinct nations, or the inhabitants of Greece at dif- ferent periods. The name Iones is not only the most ancient, but the most general. [The Greek name of Greece in the New Testa- ment is " EX'.ac, Hellas. The name Hellas is sup- posed to have been originally appropriated to a sin- gle city in Thessaly, said to have been built by Hellen, the son of Deucalion, and named from him- self. It was afterwards applied to the region of Thessaly, then to Greece exclusive of the Pelopon- nesus, and at last to the whole of Greece including the Peloponnesus, and extending from Macedonia to the Mediterranean sea. The name of Greeks, rnaixul, by some is supposed to be derived from a people of that name in the southern part of the country, a part of whom migrated to Italy, and founded the colonies of Magna Greecia ; others suppose the name to have come from Vqaixug, an ancient king of the country. About the year 146 after Christ, the Romans under Mummius conquered Greece, and afterwards divid- ed it into two great provinces, viz. Macedonia, in- cluding Macedonia Proper, Thessaly, Epirus, and lllyricum ; and Achaia including all the country which lies south of the former province. (See Achaia.) In Acts xx. 2, Greece is probably to be taken in its widest acceptation, as including the whole of Greece Proper and the Peloponnesus. This country was bounded north by Macedonia and lllyr- icum, from which it was separated by the mountains Acrocerauuii and Cambunii ; south by the Mediter- ranean sea ; east by the iEgean sea ; and west by the Ionian sea. It was generally known under the three great divisions of Peloponnesus, Hellas, and Northern Greece. The Peloponnesus, more anciently called Pelasgia, and Argos, and now the Morea, included the follow- ing countries, viz. Arcadia, with the cities Megalopo- lis, Tegaea, Man tinea ; Laconia v. Laconica, with the cities Sparta, now Misitra, Epidaurus Limera ; Mes- senia, with the cities Messene, Methone, now Modon ; Elis, with the village Olympia and the city Elis; Achaia, more anciently called Egialea, or Ionia, with its twelve cities, including the minor states of Sicyon and Corinth ; Argolis, with the cities Argos and Troezene. The division of Hellas, which now constitutes a great part of Livadia, included the following states and territories, viz. Attica, with the city Athenas, now Atini, or Setines ; Megaris, with the city Megara • Baiotia, with the cities Thebae, Plataeae, Leuctra Coronea, Chaeronea, Orchomenus ; Phocis, with the cities Delphos, Anticyra; Doris; Locris, with the towns Thermopylae, Naupactus, now Lepanto ; JEto- lia, with the cities Calydon, Chalcis, Thermis ; Acar- nania, with the city Actium, now Azio. The remaining division of Northern Greece includ ed the following territories, viz. Thessaly, more an- ciently called Pelasgia, iEmonia, or Hellas, with the cities Larissa, Larissa Cremaste, Phthia, Magnesia, Methone, Pharsalus; Epirus, more anciently Dodo- nea, now Albania, with the cities Ambracia, Nicopo- lis, Apollonia, Dyrrhachium, or Epidamnum. The most important islands which belonged to Greece were the following, viz. Eubo>a, now Negro- pont, with the cities Chalcis, Eretria, Carystus ; Crete, now Candia, with the cities Cnossus, Gortyna, Minoa, Cydonia ; the islands of the Archipelago, i. e. the Cyclades, including Naxos, Paros, Delos, and about fifty others ; the Sporades, including Samos, Patmos, Rhodes, etc. the islands higher up the JEge- an sea, as Samothrace, Lemnos, Lesbos, with the city Mitylene ; and the Ionian islands, including Cythe- rea, now Cerigo, Zacynthus, Cephalonia, Ithica, now Teaki, Leucadia, now Santa Maura, Paxos, Corcyra, now Corfu. *R. Scripture refers but little to Greece, till the time of Alexander, whose conquests extended into Asia, where Greece had hitherto been of no importance. Yet that some intercourse was maintained with these countries from Jerusalem, may be inferred from the desire of Baasha to shut up all communication be- tween Jerusalem and Joppa, which was its port, by the building of Ramah ; and from the anxiety of Asa to counteract his scheme, 1 Kings xv. 2, 17. Greece was certainly symbolized by a goat having a strong horn between his eyes, Dan. viii. 5, 21. After the establishment of the Grecian dynasties in Asia, Judea could not but be considerably affected by them, and the books of the Maccabees afford proofs that they were. The Roman power super- seded the Grecian establishments, but left traces of Greek language, customs, &c. to the days of the Herods, where the gospel history commences. By the activity of the apostles, and especially of Paul, the i [ 473 1 gospel was propagaled in those countries which used the Grecian dialects ; hence, we are interested in the study of this language, and of the peculiar manners of the people by whom it was spoken. From a consideration of the Grecian disposition, to combine all wisdom in themselves, and to suppose all others in darknetes, to regard their own institutions as supremely excellent, while they were enslaved by superstition, we may discern, with greater evidence, the propriety of the cautions addressed to some of the new converts to Christianity ; of the reprimands in- tended for others; of the exhortations directed to all ; and of those pathetic entreaties which occasion- ally animate the apostolic writings. We may also safely conclude, that many hints are incidentally dropped, many expressions used, and many remarks made, with reference to local phrases, peculiarities, and turns of thought ; to local institutions, and exist- ing circumstances and opinions, of which we have but a slight or imperfect knowledge. Many flourishing churches were, in early times, established among the Greeks: and there can be no doubt but that they, for a long time, preserved the apostolic customs with considerable care. At length, however, opinions fluctuated considerably on points of doctrine ; schisms and heresies divided the church ; and rancor, violence, and even persecution, followed in their train. To check these evils, coun- cils were called, and various creeds composed. The removal of the seat of government from Rome to Constantinople, gave a preponderance to the Grecian districts of the empire, and the ecclesiastical deter- minations of the Greek church were extensively received. The Greek is the original language of almost all the books in the New Testament ; but the sacred au- thors have followed that style of writing which was used by the Hellenists, or Grecizing Hebrews, blend- ing idioms and turns of speech, peculiar to the Syriac and Hebrew languages, very different from the clas- sical spirit of the Greek writers. After Alexander the Great. Greek became the common language of almost all the East, and was generally used in com- merce. As the sacred authors had principally in view the conversion of the Jews, then scattered throughout the East, it was natural for them to write to them in Greek, that being a language to which they were of necessity accustomed. [For the char- acter of the Greek language of the New Testament, see a celebrated essay by H. Planck, published in the Biblical Repository, vol. i. p. 638, seq. and also Winer's Grammar of the New Testament. For the prevalence of the Greek language in Palestine, see an essay by Hug, in the Bibl. Repos. vol. i. p. 530, seq. R. At this time, many Jews had two names, one Greek, the other Hebrew; others Grecized their He- brew names: of Jesus they made Jason ; of Saulus, Paulus ; of Simon, or Simeon, Petros, &c. were, properly, the inhabitants of Greece ; but this is not the only acceptation of the name in the New Testament. It seems to import, (1.) Those persons of Hebrew descent who, being settled in cities where Greek was the natural lan- guage, spoke this language rather than their parental Hebrew. They, are called Greeks, to distinguish them from those Jews who spoke Hebrew. (2.) Such persons as were Greek settlers in the land of Israel, or in any of its towns. After the time of Alexander, these aliens were numerous in some places. It seems that we* have, in Mark vii. 26, the name of Greek, applied not to a native, or an inhabitant of Greece, but to a descendant of a Greek family set- tled in Syria. We read that, " in the borders of Tyre and Sidon, a woman who was a Greek, a Sy- rophenician by nation," addressed our Lord. The evangelist characterizes her as a Syrophenician, to distinguish her from the Greeks of Europe. In the parallel passage, (Matt. xv. 21.) she is called a woman of Canaan, and the history is said to pass in the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

GUDGODAH

GUDGODAH, a station of the Israelites in the wilderness ; (Deut. x. 7.) called Hor-hagidgad, Numb, xxxiii. 32.

<< Previous Page |

Home | Resources