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COMPREHENSIVE CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Edward Robinson

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]

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I

I, 2, 7.

I. ABEL

I. ABEL, (Heb. S^,) the second son of Adam and Eve. Cain and ' Abel having been instructed by their father Adam in the duty of worship to their r B 1 Creator, each offered the first-fruits of his labors. Cain, as a husbandman, offered the fruits of the field ; Abel, as a shepherd, offered fadings of his flock. God was pleased to accept the offering of Abel, in preference to that of his brother, (Heb. xi. 4.) in con- sequence of which, Cain sank into melancholy, and giving himself up to envy, formed the design of kill- ing Abel ; which he at length effected, having invited him to go into the field, Gen. iv. 8, 9. 1 John iii. 12. It should be remarked, that in our translation no mention is made of Cain inviting his brother into the field: — "Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." But in the Samaritan text, the words are express ; and in the Hebrew there is a kind of chasm, thus: "and Cain said unto Abel his brother," — "and it cafne to pass," &c. without inserting what he said to his brother. The Jews had a tradition that Abel was murdered in the plain of Damascus ; and accordingly, his tomb is still shown on a high hill, near the village of Sinie or Seneiah, about twelve miles north-west of Damas- cus, on the road to Baalbek. The summit of the hill is still called J\"ebbi Abel ; but circumstances lead to the probable supposition, that this was the site, or in the vicinity of the site, of the ancient Abela or Abila. The legend, therefore, was most likely sug- gested by the ancient name of the place. Paul, speaking in commendation of Abel, says, (Heb. xi. 4.) "By faith he offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain ; by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts ; and by it he being dead yet speaketh," even after his death. Our Saviour places Abel at the head of those saints who had been persecuted for right- eousness' sake, and distinguishes him by the title righteous, Matt, xxiii. 35.

I. ABIJAH

I. ABIJAH, son of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel. Having been seized with a dangerous dis- ease, his mother disguised herself, and visited the prophet Ahijah to know whether he might recover. Ahijah answered her that he would die, and be the only person in his family who would receive funeral honors, and be lamented by Israel, 1 Kings xiv. 1.

I. ABIMELECH

I. ABIMELECH, king of Gerar of the Philistines. This prince, being captivated by the beauty of Sarah, took her into his haranr, with the design of making her his wife. In a dream, however, the Lord threat- ened him with death, unless he immediately restored her to her husband. Abimelech pleaded his ignorance of the relation between Sarah and Abram, and early B I the next day returned her to her husband, and com- plained of the deception that had been practised upon him by Abram, who had described Sarah as his sister. The patriarch explained the motives for his conduct, stating, at the same time, that although Sarah was his wife, she was also his sister, being of the same father by another mother. Abimelech dismissed them with presents, giving to Sarah, through her husband, a thousand pieces of silver, as a "covering of the eyes," i. e. an atoning present, and as a testimony of her innocence in the eyes of all, Gen. c. xx. See Abram. It has been thought strange that a miraculous interference should have been necessary here, as well as in the case of Pharaoh, (Gen. xii. 14 — 20.) to con- vince Abimelech of his criminality in detaining the wife of Abraham ; and equally strange that Abraham could not procure Sarah's release by proper applica- tion and request. But it must be remembered that God favored Abraham with his constant intercourse and direct protection, and in cases too of less diffi- culty than the one here in question. It is well known that oriental sovereigns in all ages have exercised the right of selecting the most beautiful females of their kingdoms for the use of their own harams, (Gen. xii. 15 ; Esth. ii. 3.) and that whenever a woman is taken into the haram of a prince in the East, she is secluded, without possibility of coming out, at least during the life of the prince on the throne. In fact, communi- cation with the women in the haram is hardly to be obtained, and only by means of the keepers, (Esth. iv. 5.) and certainly not, when any suspicion occurs to the guards, to whom is intrusted the custody of such buildings. The whole transaction, then, may be placed in a stronger light than, perhaps, it has usually appeared in, by the following extract from a review of the travels of Peter Henry Bruce, Esq., an officer in the Russian army, under Czar Peter. " The retreat of the Russians, we are told, was productive of an unfortunate incident to Colonel Pitt, an officer iu that army. Immediately on decamping from the fatal banks of the Pruth, he lost both his wife and daughter, beautiful women, by the breaking of one of their coach wheels. By this accident, they were left so far in the rear, that the Tartars seized and carried them off. The colonel applied to the grand vizier, who ordered a strict inquiry to be made, but without effect. The colonel being afterwards informed that they were both carried to Constanti- nople, and presented to the grand signior, obtained a passport, and went thither in search of them. Getting acquainted with a Jew doctor, who was physician to the seraglio, the doctor told him that two such ladies as he described had lately been presented to the sultan ; but that when any of the sex were once taken into the seraglio, they ivere never suffered to quqt it more. The colonel, however, tried every expedient he could devise to recover his wife, if he could not obtain both ; until, becoming outrageous by repeated disap- pointments, they shut him up in a dungeon, and it was with much difficulty he got released by the intercession of some of the ambassadors at that court. He was afterwards told by the same doctor, that both the ladies had died of the plague ; with which infor- mation he was obliged to content himself, and return home!* 1 Critical Review, vol. iii. p. 332.

I. ABIRAM

I. ABIRAM, the eldest son of Hiel the Bethelite. Joshua, after having destroyed Jericho, uttered this imprecation : '" Cursed be the man before the Loi-d. that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho : he shall lay the foundation thereof in his first-born, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gate of it," Josh vi. 26. About 537 years after this, Hiel undertook to rebuild the city ; and in conformity with the pre- diction, he lost his children, 1 Kings xvi. 34. It is not expressly said, either in the curse, or in the nar- ration, that the children should die ; but this is clearly implied. Hiel, it will be observed, is not blamed for his proceeding; his loss is mentioned only as a remarkable fulfilment of a prediction ; and it is possible that the prediction was unknown to him. See Barren.

I. ACHZIB

I. ACHZIB, a city in the plain of Judah, Josh. xv. 44 ; Micah i. 14.

I. ADAH

I. ADAH, one of Lamech's two wives ; mother of Jabal and Jubal, Gen. iv. 19. Sec Lamech.

I. ADAR

I. ADAR, the twelfth month of the Hebrew ec- clesiastical year, and the sixth of the civil year. It has twenty-nine days ; and nearly answers to our February and March, according to the Rabbins. (See Months, and the Jewish Calendar.) As the lunar year, which the Jews follow in their calcula- tion, is shorter than the solar year by eleven days, which after three years make about a month, they then insert a thirteenth month, which they call Ve- Adar, or a second Adar, to which they assign twenty- nine days.

I. ADRAMMELECH

I. ADRAMMELECH, magnificent king, son of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, (Isaiah xxxvii. 38 ; 2 Kings xix. 37.) who, upon returning to Nineveh, after his fatal expedition into Judea, against Heze- kiah, was killed by his two sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, who fled to the mountains of Armenia. A. M. 3291, ante A. D. 713.

I. AGRIPPA

I. AGRIPPA, surnamed Herod, son of Aristobu- lus and Berenice, and grandson of Herod the Great, was born three years before our Saviour, and seven years before the vulgar sera. After the death of his father Aristobulus, Herod, his grandfather, under- took his education, and sent him to Rome, to make his court to Tiberius. The emperor conceived a great affection for Agrippa, and placed him near his son Drusus, whose favor he soon obtained, as also that of the empress Antonia. Drusus, however, dying soon afterwards, (A. D. 23.) all who had been his intimate friends were commanded by Tiberius to quit Rome, lest their presence should renew his affliction. Agrippa, who had indulged his disposi- tion to liberality, was obliged to leave Rome over- whelmed with debts, and very poor. He was averse to go to Jerusalem, because of his inability to make an appearance equal to his birth ; he retired there- fore to the castle of Massada, where he lived in pri- vate. Herod the tetrarch, his uncle, assisted him for son» ? time with great generosity ; made him the princij al magistrate of Tiberias, and presented him with a large sum. But all this being insufficient to answer the excessive profusion of Agrippa, Herod became weary of assisting him, and reproached him with his want of economy. Agrippa was so affected by his uncle's reproof, that he resolved to quit Judea, and return to Rome. A. D. 35. To effect his purpose, he borrowed from Protus, a freed-man in the suite of Berenice, the sum of 20,000 drachmas, and from Alexander, the Alabarch or chief of the Jews at Alexandria, he procured 200,000 more. When Agrippa landed in Italy, Ti- berius was with his court at Caprea, whither Agrip- pa sent intelligence of his arrival, and desired leave to present himself. Tiberius, whom time had cured of his affliction, was glad to hear of his return, re- ceived him with kindness, and, as a mark of distinc- tion, gave him an apartment in his palace. On the next day, letters were brought to the em- peror from Herennius, who was charged with his affairs in Judea, in which it was stated that Agrippa, having borrowed 300,000 pieces of silver out of his exchequer, had fled from Judea, without repaying them. This intelligence so exasperated Tiberius that. he commanded Agrippa to leave the palace, and to pay what he owed. Agrippa, however, addressed himself to the empress Antonia, from whom he ob- tained a sum of money sufficient to discharge the claim ; and was restored to the emperor's favor. Agrippa now attached himself to Caius Caligula, the son of Germanicus, and grandson of Antonia ; as if he had some presentiment of the future elevation of Caius, who at that time was beloved by all, and whose affection he so engaged that the prince was not able to live without him. Joseph. Ant. xviii. 6. 1—5. Upon the death of Tiberius, Caligula placed a dia- dem upon the head of Agrippa, and gave him the tetrarchy which Philip, son of Herod the Great, had possessed ; that is, Batana?a and Trachonitis : to this he added that of Lysanias, (see Abilene,) and Agrippa returned into Judea, to take possession of his new kingdom, A. D. 39. Caius, desiring to be adored as a god. ietermined [ 29 ] GR to place his statue in the temple at Jerusalem, but this the Jews determinately opposed. Agrippa, who was at Rome at the time that Petrouius, the empe- ror's lieutenant in Judea, addressed Caius upon the subject, so far succeeded in his entreaties, that the emperor desisted, at least in appearance, from his design. After the death of Caligula, Agrippa espoused the interest of Claudius, who, in acknowledgment for his services, bestowed upon him all Judea, and the kingdom of Chalcis, which had belonged to Herod his brother. Thus Agrippa suddenly became one of the most powerful princes of the East, and pos- sessed a greater extent of territory, perhaps, than had been enjoyed by his grandfather, Herod the Great. He returned into Judea, and governed to the great satisfaction of his subjects The desire of pleasing the Jews, however, and a mistaken zeal for their religion, induced him to commit an act of in- justice, the memory of which is preserved in Scrip- ture, Acts xii. 1,

I. AHAB

I. AHAB, king of Israel, the son and successor of Omri, ascended the throne A. M. 3086, and reigned 22 years, 1 Kings xvi. 29. Ahab married Jezebel, the dai'ghter of . Eth-baal, king of the Zidonians, who Litroduced the idols Baal and Astarte into Is- rael, and engaged Ahab in their worship, who soon exceeded in impiety all his predecessors. Being displeased at his conduct, the Lord sent the prophet Elijah to reprove him, who predicted a famine of three years' continuance ; after which he retired to Zarephath, lest Ahab or Jezebel should procure his death. Towards the close of the three years, Ahab sent Obadiah, the governor of his house, to seek pasture in the country, that he might preserve part of his cattle. In his progress Obadiah met Elijah, who directed him to go and tell Ahab that Elijah was there. Ahab. immediately came, and said to him, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" The prophet answered, " I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house ; in that thou hast for- saken the commandments of the Lord, and followed Baalim." He then desired Ahab to gather all the people, with the prophets of Baal, at mount Carmel ; and when they were assembled, he brought fire from heaven on his sacrifice. After this the rain descended on the earth, and it recovered its former fertility, 1 Kings xviii. Some years after this, Ben-hadad, king of Syria, besieged Samaria, and sent ambassadors to Ahab, who was in the city, with insolent messages ; but Ahab significantly reproved him by saying, " Let not him that girdeth on his harness, boast himself as he that putteth it off." Ahab then reviewed the people in Samaria, who amounted to 7000, and mak- ing a sally at noon-day, (while Ben-hadad and his associates were carousing in their tents,) killed all who opposed them, put the Syrian army to flight, and took a considerable booty, 1 Kings xx. 21. Ahab being probably much elated by this victory, a prophet, supposed by the Jews to have been Mi- caiah, was sent to admonish him to prepare for Ben- hadad's return in the following year. In accordance with the prediction, the Syrian repeated his invasion, and encamped with his army at Aphek, designing to give Ahab battle.- Assured of victory, by the prophet of the Lord, the king of Israel marched out into the plain, and encamped over against his enemies. On the seventh day they joined battle, and the Israelites slew 100,000 Syrians. The rest of them fled to Aphek ; but as they were pressing to enter the city, the walls fell upon them, and killed 27,000 more. Ben-hadad, throwing himself on the clemency of Ahab, was received by him into his chariot ; after which he formed an alliance, and permitted him to etire, on condition that Ahab should be allowed to make streets in Damascus, as Ben-hadad's father had previously done in Samaria, 1 Kings xx. 22 — 34. This alliance, however, was displeasing to the Lord, who reproved Ahab by his prophet, and the king returned to Samaria depressed and displeased, ver. 35 — 43. Upon the nature of the streets which Ahab pro- posed to build in Damascus, commentators are di- vided in opinion, variously understanding the ex- pression to mean markets, courts of judicature, pi- azzas, citadels, and fortifications, for the purpose of keeping the Syrians in check, &c. In illustration of the passage, Mr. Harmer adduces the privileges granted to the Venetians in recompense for their aid, by the states of the kingdom of Jerusalem ; and observes, that it was customary to assign churches, and to give streets, in their towns, to foreign nations. These, however, are rather instances of rewards for services performed, than proofs of such terms as conditions of peace ; and we may therefore cite the following passage from Knolles's "History of the Turks," (p. 206.) as being more applicable to the his- tory of Ben-hadad, than any of those which Mr. Harmer has produced: "Baiazet having worthily relieued his besieged citie, returned againe to the siege of Constantinople, laying more hardly vnto it than before, building forts and bulwarks against it on die one side towards the land ; and passing oner the strait of Bosphorus, built a strong castle vpou that strait oner against Constantinople, to impeach, so much as was possible, all passage thereunto by sea. This streight siege (as most write) continued also two yeres, which I suppose by the circumstance of the historie, to haue been part of the aforesaid eight yeres. Emanuel, the besieged emperor, wearied with these long wars, sent an ambassador to Baiazet, to intreat with him a peace ; which Baiazet was the more willing to hearken vnto, for that he heard newes, that Tamerlane, the great Tartarian prince, intended shortly to warre upon him. Yet could this peace not be obtained, but vpon condition that the emperor shoidd grant free libcrlie for the Turks to dwell together in one street of Constanti- nople, with free exercise of their own religion and laioes, vnder a judge of their own nation ; and further, to pay unto the Turkish king a yeerely tribute of ten thousand duckats. Which dishonorable conditions the distressed emperor was glad to accept of. So was this long siege broken yp, and presently a great sort of Turks with their families were sent out of Bi- thynia, to dwell in Constantinople, and a church there built for them ; winch hot long after was by the em- peror pulled downe to the ground, and the Turks againe driuen out of the citie, at such time as Baia- zet was by the mighty Tamerlane ouerthrowne and taken prisoner." The circumstances of these two stories, and the remarks, are so. much alike, that it merely remains to notice the propriety with which our translators have chosen the word streets, rather than any other proposed by commentators. Com- pare the bakers' 1 street, Jer. xxxvii. 21. It is worthy of observation, that there are extant medals of Ptol- emais, referring to "Antiocheans in Ptolemais," meaning, in all probability, establishments for the purposes of commerce, formed by companies of merchants from Antioch ; not unlike our companies of merchants in Smyrna, and other cities of the East, and similar to the streets of Ahab. In the year following the events just narrated, Ahab, desiring to possess a kitchen-garden near his palace, requested Naboth, a citizen of Jezreel, to sell him his vineyard. Naboth, however, refused to alienate any part of his paternal inheritance, which greatly incensed the king, and brought down upon the patriotic man disgrace and death. Jezebel had him arraigned as a traitor, and by means of false witnesses procured his death. As Ahab was return ing to Samaria, after having taken possession of Na- both's vineyard, he was met by Elijah, who de- nounced the judgment of God against him and his house. Ahab expressed his sorrow and contrition. [ 31 ] whereupon the Lord promised that the execution of these threatenings should be deferred till the days of his son, 1 Kings xxi. About two years after this, Ahab, contrary to the word of the prophet Micaiah, joined his forces to those of Jehoshaphat, king ofJudah, who was going up to attack Ramoth-Gilead. He went out in dis- guise, but, being wounded by an arrow, immediately left the field of battle. He continued the whole day, however, in his chariot, the blood streaming from his wound, and in the evening he died. He was carried to Samaria, and there buried. His chariot, and the harness of his horses, were washed in the fish-pool of Samaria, and there the dogs licked up his blood, according to the prophet's prediction, 1 Kings xxii. A. M. 3107. See Elijah, Jezebel, Mi- caiah, Naboth.

I. AHASUERUS

I. AHASUERUS, a king of Persia mentioned Dan. ix. 1. and called Astyages in the Vulgate, Dan. xih. 65. He is evidently to be distinguished from the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther. See Astyages II.

I. AHAZIAH

I. AHAZIAH, son and successor of Ahab, king of Israel, 1 Kings xxii. 40. 51. He reigned two years, alone aud with his father, who associated him in the kingdom the year before his death, A. M. 3106. Ahaziah imitated Ahab's impiety ; and wor- shipped Baal aud Astarte, whose rites had been in- troduced into Israel by Jezebel his mother. In the second year of his reign, the Moabites, who had been subject to the kings of Israel since its separa- tion from Judah, revolted against Ahaziah, and re- fused to pay him the ordinary tribute. About the same time, he fell from the terrace of his house, and being considerably hurt thereby, he sent to Ekron, for the purpose of consulting Beelzebub con- cerning his indisposition. His messengers were met on their way by the prophet Elijah, reproved for their impiety, and sent back to Ahaziah, with the assurance that his illness would be fatal. Incensed at the interference of the prophet, Ahaziah gave orders to have him apprehended. Two officers, with fifty men each, successively perished by fire from heaven, while endeavoring to execute this com- mand ; but Elijah yielded to the supplications of a third, and accompanied him into the presence of tht> king, whom he again reproved for resorting to idols, instead of betaking himself to Jehovah, and re- peated his declaration that he should not recover. The prophet's words were verified by the death of Ahaziah, after a short reign of two years, A. M. 3108. He was succeeded by his brother Jehoram, 2 Kings i ; 2 Chron. xx. 35.

I. AHIJAH

I. AHIJAH, a prophet of the Lord, who dwelt at Shilo, and is conjectured by some to be the person who spoke twice to Solomon from God, 1 Kings vi. 11 ; xi. 11. Ahijah wrote the history of this prince's life, 2 Chron. ix. 29. Jeroboam, going one day out of Jerusalem, was met by the prophet Ahijah, (1 Kings xi. 29.) who took a new mantle, in which he had wrapped himself, (see Veil,) from off his shoul- ders, and, tearing it in twelve pieces, gave ten of them to Jeroboam, and declared that God would thus rend the kingdom, after the death of Solomon, and give ten of the tribes to himself. See 1 Kings xii. 2, seq. Jeroboam's son having fallen sick, his wife went in disguise to Ahijah, to inquire whether he would recover. Notwithstanding the disguise of the queen and his own blindness, however, the prophet dis- covered her, and foretold the death of her son, and the entire extirpation of the house of Jeroboam, 1 Kings xiv. The event was answerable to the pre- diction. Ahijah, in all probability, did not long survive.

I. AHIMELECH

I. AHIMELECH, son of Ahitub, and brother of Ahiah, whom he succeeded in the high-priesthood. David, flying from Saul, (1 Sam. xxi. 1.) went to Nob, where Ahimelech, with other priests, then dwelt, and representing to the high-priest that he was on pressing business from the king, obtained the shew-bread, and also the sword which he had won from Goliah. Doeg, the. Ed'omite, who was then at Nob, related what had passed to Saul, who imme- diately sent for Ahimelech and the other priests, and, after accusing them of having conspired with David, commanded his guards to slay them. These having refused to execute the sanguinary man- date, the king commanded Doeg to execute the deed, which he immediately did, and massacred fourscore and five persons. He went afterwards to Nob, with a party of soldiers, and put men, women, children, and cattle, to the sword. One of Ahimelech's sons, (Abiathar,) however, escaped the carnage, and retired to David, 1 Sam. xxi. xxii. Probably Ahimelech himself also bore the name of Abiathar. See Abiathar, and Abimelech IV.

I. AHINOAM

I. AHINOAM, daughter of Ahimaaz, and wife of Saul, 1 Sam. xiv. 50.

I. AHITUB

I. AHITUB, the son of Phinehas, and grand- son and successor of Eli, the high-priest, 1 Sam. xiv. 3.

I. ALOES

I. ALOES, or Aloe, an East Indian tree, that grows about eight or ten feet high. At the head of it is a large bundle of leaves, thick and indented, broad at bottom, but narrowing towards the point, and about four feet in length ; the blossom is red, inter- mixed with yellow, and double like a pink; from this blossom comes fruit, like a large pea, white and red. The juice of the leaves is drawn by cutting them with a knife ; and afterwards it is received in bottles. The eastern geographers tell us, that the wood of aloes, the smell of which is exquisite, is found only in those provinces of India which are comprehended in the first climate ; that the best is that which grows in the isle of Senf, situated in the Indian sea, towards China. Others are of opinion, that the wood of aloes, produced in the isle of Comar, or at Cape Comorin, is the best, and that it was of this kind a certain king of India made a present, weigh- ing ten quintals, to Nouschirvan ; which, when ap- plied to the fire, melted, and burned like wax. This wood is brought likewise from the islands of Su- matra and Ceylon. The Siamese ambassadors to the court of France, in 1686, brought a present of it from their sovereign ; and were the first to commu- nicate any consistent account of the tree. It is said to be about the height and form of the olive-tree ; the trunk is of three colors, and contains three sorts •of wood ; the heart, or finest part, is called tambac or -calambac, and is used to perfume dresses and apart- ments. It is worth more than its weight in gold ; and is esteemed a sovereign cordial against fainting fits, and other nervous disorders. From this account the reader will perceive the rarity and value of this perfume, implied in the notice taken of it by the spouse in the Canticles, (iv. 14.) and the boast of the prostitute, Prov. vii. 17. The sandal-wood ap- proaches to many of its properties ; and is applied to similar uses, as a perfume at sacrifices, &c. The aloes of Syria, Rhodes, and Candia, called Aspalathus, is a shrub full of thorns; the wood of which is used by perfumers, after they have taken off the bark, to give consistency to their per- fumes. [This tree or wood was called by the Greeks ayuV.oxbv, and later £v).aXi>i, and has been known to moderns by the names of aloe-wood, paradise-wood, eagle-wood, etc. Modern botanists distinguish two kinds ; the one genuine and most precious, the other more common and inferior. The former grows in Cochin-China, Siam, and China, is never exported, and is of so great rarity in India itself, as to be worth its weight in gold. Pieces of this wood that are resinous, of a dark color, heavy, and perforated as if by worms, are called calambac ; the tree itself is called by the Chinese svk-h'iang. It is represented as large, with an erect trunk, and lofty branches. The other or more common species is called garo in the East Indies, and is the wood of a tree growing in the Moluccas, the cxcoecaria agallocha of Linnaeus. The leaves are like those of a pear-tree ; and it has a milky juice, which, as the tree grows old, hardens into a fragrant resin. The trunk is knotty, crooked, and usually hollow. The domestic name in India is aghil ; whence the Europeans who first visited India gave it the name of lignum aquilte, or eagle- wood. From this same aghil the Hebrew name D^nN seems also to be derived. But as this is also, as to form, the plural of Snx, a tent, the Vulgate in Numb. xxiv. 6. has translated thus : " As tents which the Lord hath spread ;" while the Hebrew is : " As aloe-trees which the Lord hath planted ;" — in our version, " lign-aloes."— Aloe-wood is said by Herodotus to have been used by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies ; and Nicodemus brought it, mingled with myrrh, to embalm the body of our Lord, John xix. 39. See Gesenius, Thesaurus Ling. Heb. p. 33. R.

I. ALTAR

I. ALTAR, the place on which sacrifices were offered. Sacrifices are nearly as ancient as worship ; and altars are of nearly equal antiquity. Scripture epeaks of altars, erected by the patriarchs, without describing their form, or the materials of which they were composed. The altar which Jacob set up at Bethel, Was the stone ? which had served him for a pillow ; and Gideon sacrificed on the rock before his house. The first altars which God commanded Moses to raise, were of earth or rough stones ; and the Lord declared, that if iron were used in con- structing them, they would become impure, Exod. xx. 24, 25. The altar which Moses enjoined Joshua to build on Mount Ebal, Was to be of unpolished stones, (Deut. xxvii. 5 ; Josh. viii. 31.) and it is very probable, that such were those built by Samuel, Saul, and David. The altar which Solomon erected in the temple was of brass, but filled, it is believed, with rough stones, 2 Chron. iv. 1. That built at Jerusalem, by Zerubbabel, after the return from Babylon, was of rough stones ; as was that of the Maccabees. Josephus says, (De Bello, lib. vi. cap. 14.) that the altar which was in his time in the tem- ple, was of rough stones, fifteen cubits high, forty long, and forty wide. Among the ancieut Egyptian pictures that have been discovered at Herculaueum, are two of a veiy curious description, representing sacred ceremo- nies of the Egyptians, probably in honor of Isis. Upon these subjects we shall lay the substance of Mr. Taylor's remarks before our readers. In the first picture, the scene of the subject is in the area before a temple ; (as usual ;) the congregation is numerous, the mu- sic various, and the priests engaged are at least nine per- sons. The temple is raised, aud an ascent of eleven steps leads up to it. On this altar we observe, (1.) Its form and decora- tions. (2.) The birds about it. In the original, one Ibis is lying down at ease, another is standing up, without fear or apprehension ; a third, perched on some paling, is looking over the heads of the people ; and a fourth is standing on the back of a Sphinx, nearly adjacent t<"> the temple, in the front of it. It deserves notice, that ihis altar (and the other also) has at each of its four corners a rising, which continues square to about half its height, but from thence is gradually sloped off to an edge, or a point. These are, no doubt, the horns of the altar; and probably this is their true figure. See Exod. xxvii. 2, &c. ; xxix. 12 ; Ezekiel xliii. 15. On these Joab caught hold, (1 Kings ii. 28.) and to these the Psalmist alludes, (cxviii. 27.) " Bind the sacrifice with cords unto the horns of the altar." It is probable that the primary use of these horns was to retain the victim. (1.) Observe the garland with which this altar is decorated. (2.) Observe the occupation of the priest, who, with a kind of fan, is blowing up the fire. No doubt this fan is employed, because to blow up the sacred flame with the breath would have been deemed a kind of polluting it. It may bear a ques- tion, whether something of the same nature were not used in kindling the fire on the Jewish altar. That funs were known anciently in the East, is highly probable, from the simplicity of the instrument, no less than from its use. The ancients certainly had fans to drive away flies with, (Greek pv«xroj9t;, Latin muscarium, Martial, xiv. Ep. 67.) We do not know indeed that any Jewish writer mentions the use of a fan in kindling the altar fire ; nor, indeed, should we have thought of it, had it not occurred in this Egyptian representation. The other figure shows the homs of the altar, ^ formed on the same prin- ciple as the foregoing ; but this is seen on its angle, and its general form is more eievated. It has no garlands, and perfumes appear to be burning on it. In this picture the as- sembly is not so numer- ous as in the other ; but almost all, to the number of ten or a dozen persons, are playing on musical in- struments. Both these altars have a simple projecting ornament, running round them on their upper parts ; but this has also a correspond- ing ornament at bottom. Upon the base of it stand two birds, which deserve notice, on account of their being unquestionable representations of the true ancient Egyptian Ibis ; a bird long lost to naturalists. Perhaps the publication of these portraits of the bird may contribute to recover and identify it ; which will be deemed a service to natural history. They also deserve especial notice, on account of their situations, as standing on the altar itself, or lying down close to it, even while the sacred fire is burn- ing, and the sacred ceremonies being performed by the priests, close around them. From their confident familiarity, it should seem that these birds were not only tolerated, but were considered as sacred ; and, in some sense, as appertaining to the altar. Would it not have been a kind of sacrilege to have dis- turbed, or expelled from their domicile, their resi- dence, these refugees, if refugees they were, at the altar ? (See the history of Aristodicus, Herod, lib. i. cap. 159.) Diodorus Siculus (lib. i.) reports, that the Egyptians were very severe to those who killed a cat, or an Ibis, whether purposely, or inadvertently ; the populace, he says, would attack them in crowds, and put them to death by the most cruel means ; often without observing any form of justice ; — by a kind of judgment of zeal. As these Ibises were privileged birds in Egypt, so might some clean species of birds be equally priv ileged among the Jews, and be suffered quietly build in various parts of the temple, in the cou around the altar; and if they were of the nature our domestic fowl, they might even make nests, and lay their eggs, at or about the altar, or among the interstices and projections of the bottom layer of 47 1 large rough stones, which formed the base of it. If they were the property of the priests, or of their children, or of any constant residents in the temple, (alluded to in the next verse,) they might give no more offence, by straggling about the sacred pre- cincts, than the vicar's sheep or horse grazing in the church-yard does among ourselves. We know, too, that there is scarcely a country church among our- selves, in which sparrows, and swallows too, do not make their nests ; and yet, though we dislike the de- filement they occasion, we do not think the building the less sacred. By these considerations, we may perhaps illustrate the passage, Psalm lxxxiv. 3. The sparrow hath found a liouse, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, Lord of hosts. The Altars hi the tabernacle and in the temple at Jerusalem were as follow: — (1.) The Altar of Burnt- offerings. (2.) The Altar of Incense. (3.) The Table of Shew-bread ; but this is improperly called an altar. See Shew-bread. 1. The Altar of Burnt-offerings is thus de- scribed by Cahnet. It was a kind of coffer of Shit- tim-wood, covered with brass plates, (Exod. xxvii. 1, seq.) five cubits square, and three in height. Moses placed it towards the east, before the entrance of the Tabernacle, in the open air, that so the fire which was to be kept perpetually upon it, and the smoke arising from the sacrifices which were burnt there, might not disfigure the inside of the Tabernacle. At the four corners were four horns, of a cubit square, covered with the same metal as the rest of the Altar. They were hollow, that part of the blood might be poured into them. Within the depth or hollow of it was a grate of brass, on which the fire was made, and through which fell the ashes, which were received in a pan below. At the four corners of this grate were four rings, and four chains, which kept it up at the four horns of the Altar above mentioned. As this Altar was portable, Moses had rings made, and fastened to the sides of it, into which were put staves of Shittim-wood, overlaid with brass, by means of which it was removed from place to place. Such was the Altar of Burnt-offerings belonging to the tabernacle erected by Moses in the wilderness ; but in Solomon's temple it was much larger. This was a kind of cube, twenty cubits long, as maDy wide, and ten in height, covered with thick plates of brass, and filled with rough stones ; and on the east side there was an easy ascent leading up to it. When the Jews returned from the captivity of Baby- lon, they rebuilt the Altar of Burnt-offerings, upon the model of Solomon's ; but after both the temple and the altar had been profaned by the orders of Antiochus Epiphanes, this altar was demolished, and the stones of it laid in some part of the temple which was unpolluted, till a prophet should be raised up by God, who should come and declare the use for which they were reserved, 1 Mace. xiv. 41. Herod the Great, having built a new temple, raised an altar of burnt-offerings like that which had been there before ; but J osephus says, that the ascent to it was on the south side. B. J. vi. p. 918. edit. Col [ 48 ] The Altar of Burnt-offerings, according to the

I. AMANA

I. AMANA, a mountain, mentioned in Cant. iv. 8. and by some supposed to be mount Amanus, in Ci- licia. Jerome and the rabbins describe the land of Israel as extending northward to this mountain ; and it is known that Solomon's dominion did extend so far. Mount Amanus, with its continuations, separates Syria and Cilicia, and reaches from the Mediterra- nean to the Euphrates. — [The Amana of the Canti- cles, however, is rather the southern part or sum- mit of Antilibanus ; so called perhaps from the river Amana, which descended from it. See Gesenius Heb. Lex. Reland Pal. p. 320. R.

I. AMASA

I. AMASA, son of Jether or Ithra and Abigail, David's sister. Absalom, during his rebellion against David, placed his cousin, Arnasa, at the head of his troops, (2 Sam. xvii. 25.) but he was defeated by Joab. After the extinction of Absalom's party, David, from dislike to Joab, who had killed Absalom, offered Amasa his pardon and the command of the army, in rooni of Joab, whose insolence rendered him insupportable, 2 Sam. xix. 13. On the revolt of Sheba, son of Bichri, David ordered Amasa to assemble all Judah against Sheba ; but Amasa de- laying, David directed Abishai to pursue Sheba, with what soldiers he then had about his person. Joab, with his people, accompanied him ; and when thev had reached the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa joined them with his forces. Joab's jealousy being excited he formed the dastardly and cruel purpose of assas- sinating his rival — "Then said Joab to Amasa, An thou in "health, my brother ? and took him by the beard with the right hand to kiss him ;" but at the same time smote him with the sword. Such was the end of Amasa, David's nephew, ch. xx. 4 — 10. A. M. 2982.

I. AMAZIAH

I. AMAZIAH, son of Joash, eighth king of Judah, (2 Chron. xxiv. 27.) succeeded his father, A. M. 3165. He was twenty-five years of age when he began to reign, and reigned twenty-nine years at Jerusalem. He did good in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. When settled in his kingdom, he put to death the murderers of his father, but not their children ; becu 'se it is written in the law, " The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers ; every man shall be put to death for his own sin," Deut. xxiv. 16 ; 2 Chron. xxv. 2, 3, 4. Designing to proceed against Edom, which had re- volted from Judah, in the reign of Joram, about fifty-four years before, (2 Kings viii. 20.) Arnaziah mustered 300,000 men able to bear arms. To these he added 100,000 men of Israel ; for which he paid 100 talents, about $150,000. But a prophet of the Lord came to him, and said, " O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee ; for the Lord is not with Israel." Arnaziah, hereupon, sent back those troops ; and they returned strongly irritated against him. They dispersed themselves over the cities of Judah, from Beth-horon to Samaria, killed 3000 men, and carried off a great booty, to make themselves [ 52 ] MM imends for that they had expected from Edom. Amaziah, with his own forces, gave battle to the Edomites, in the Valley of Salt, killed 10,000, and took 10,000 more, who had saved themselves, in all probability, on a rock, where they were assaulted, and from whence they were thrown headlong, and thereby dashed to pieces. In 2 Kings xiv. 7. it is said, " Amaziah took Selah, yc, (Petra,) and gave it the name of Joetael ;" i. c. probably he took Petra, the capital of Arabia Petrsea ; others are of opinion, that he only took the rock (Gr. Petra) to which these ten thousand Edomites had retreated. Amaziah, having thus punished Edom, and taken their gods prisoners, adored them as his own deities. This provoked the Lord, who, by a prophet, remon- strated with him ; but Amaziah was incorrigible, and the prophet departed foretelling his premature end. From this time Amaziah appears to have been so greatly infatuated as to think himself invincible, and sought a quarrel with the king of Israel, for the pur- pose of showing his prowess, 2 Kings xiv. 8, 9 ; 2 Chron. xxv. 17, seq. Joash's attempts to conciliate him proving unavailing, the two armies came to battle near Bethshemesh, where Amaziah was de- feated, and himself carried prisoner to Jerusalem, part of whose walls were demolished by Joash, and the most valuable things, including the gold and sil- ver vessels belonging to the temple, taken away to Samaria, ver. 11 — 14. Amaziah reigned after this, fifteen or sixteen years at Jerusalem ; but as he returned not to the Lord with all his heart, he was punished by a con- spiracy formed against him at Jerusalem. He en- deavored to escape to Lacbisb ; but was assassinated, and brought back on horses, and buried with his an- cestors, in the city of David, A. M. 3194. Uzziah, or Azariah, his son, about sixteen years of age, suc- ceeded him, ver. l9, 20, 21.

I. AMINADAB

I. AMINADAB, of Judah, son, of Aram, and father of Naason and Elisheba, wife of Aaron, the high-priest, Exod. vi. 23 ; Matt. i. 4.

I. AMMON

I. AMMON, or No-Ammon, or Ammon-No, a city of Egypt. The Vulgate generally take this city for Alexandria, although they could not be ignorant that Alexandria is much more modern than Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Nahum, who speak of No-Ammon. But they might believe that this city had stood at or near the place where Alexandria now stands ; though there is no evidence in history that such was the fact. The prophets describe No-Ammon as being situated among the rivers ; as having the waters surrounding it ; having the sea as 'its rampart ; and as being ex- tremely populous. This description has induced some interpreters to consider No-Ammon as having been the same with Diospolis, or the city of Jupiter, in Lower Egypt. The ruin of this city, so distinctly foretold by the prophets, occurred partly under Sargon ; and more fully, though still not completely, under Cambyses. [The name of the city is properly No-Ammon, i. e. the seat or dwelling of the god Amnion, Nah. hi. 8. In Ezek. xxx. 14 — 16 it is called simply No ; and in both Nah. iii. 8. and Jer. xlvi.25, the English version has also only No ; in the latter case with a misap- prehension of the sense. See the next article. It means, beyond all reasonable doubt, the city of Thebes, the ancient and renowned capital of Egypt, called also Diospolis by the Greeks, and the chief seat of the worship of Jupiter Amnion. The vast ruins of the temples of Luxor and Carnac still pro- claim the grandeur and magnificence with which this worship was conducted. Nahuni indeed de- scribes No-Ammon as 'situated among the rivers, and that its rampart was the sea ;' but this, in the highly figurative language of the prophet, applies rather to Thebes as the capital of Egypt, as the rep- resentative of the whole country, than to its literal position. — The other Diospolis, although literally situated among the branches of the Nile, was not of sufficient importance to bear the comparison with Nineveh which Nahum institutes. See the Mission- ary Herald for 1823, p. 347, seq. Greppo, Essay on the Hieroglyphic System, Bost. 1830. p. 156, seq. Champollion, Egypte sous les Pharaons, i. p. 199, seq. ii. p. 198, seq. The ruins of the ancient city of Thebes are the wonder and delight of all modern travellers, for their extent, their vastness, and their sad and solitary gran- deur. Mr. Carrie, in his Letters from the East, (vol. i. p. 150, seq. Lond. 1826,) gives the following account of them : " It is difficult to describe the noble and stu- pendous ruins of Thebes. Beyond all others they give you the idea of a ruined, yet imperishable, city ; so vast is their extent, that you wander a long time confused and perplexed, and discov er at every step some new object of interest. From the temple of Luxor to that of Karnac the distance is a mile and a. half, and they were formerly connected by a long avenue of sphynxes, the mutilated remains of which, the heads being broken off the greater part, still line the whole path. Arrived at the end of this avenue, you come to a lofty gate-way of granite, and quite isolated. About fifty yards farther you enter a temple of inferior dimensions ; you then advance into a spa- cious area, strewed with broken pillars, and sur- rouifded with vast and lofty masses of ruins, — all parts of the great temple ; a little on your right is the magnificent portico of Karnac, the vivid remem- brance of which will never leave him who has once gazed on it. Its numerous colonnades of pillars, of gigantic form and height, are in excellent preserva- tion, but without ornament ; the ceiling and walls of the portico are gone ; the ornamented plat-stone still connects one of the rows of pillars with a slender remain of the edifice attached to it. Passing hence, you wander amidst obelisks, porticoes, and statues ; the latter without grace or beauty, but of a most colossal kind. If you ascend one of the hills of rub- bish, and look around, you see a gate-way standing afar, conducting only to solitude, — and detached and roofless pillars, while others lie broken at their feet ; the busts of gigantic statues appearing above the earth, while the rest of the body is yet buried, or the head torn away. "The length of the great temple of Kamac is esti- mated at 1200 feet, and its breadth at 400 ; and among its hundred and fifty columns are two rows, each pil- lar of which is ten feet in diameter. On the left, spread the dreary deserts of the Thebais, to the edge of which the city extends. The front is a pointed and barren range of mountains. The Nile flows at the foot of the temple of Luxor ; but the ruins extend far on the other side of the river ; to the very base of those formidable precipices, and into the wastes of sand. The natural scenery around Thebes is as fine as can possibly be conceived." See No and Thebes. *R.

I. AMOS

I. AMOS, dicn, the fourth of the minor prophets, belonged to the little town of Tekoah. in Judah, about 12 miles south-east of Jerusalem. He was a herdsman ; and from his herds and fiocks came for- ward as a prophet, not in Judah, nut in Israel. He prophesied in Bethel, (where the golden calves were erected,) under Jeroboam II. about A. M. 3215 ; and Amaziah, high-priest of Bethel, accused him before the king, as conspiring against him, and ordered the prophet to return into Judah. Amos answered Ama- ziah, " I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son ; but I was a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore fruit ; and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel," Amos vii. 10, to end. (See Syca- more.) He began to prophesy the second year be- fore the earthquake, in the reign of king Uzziah, (Amos i. 1.) which Josephus (with most commenta- tors) refers to that prince's usurpation of the priest's office, when he attempted to offer incense. The rabbins, and Procopius of Gaza, are of opinion that this happened in the twenty-fifth year of Uzziah, A. M. 3219 ; but this cannot be, for Jotham, son of Uz- ziah, born A. M. 3221, was of age to govern, that is, between fifteen and twenty years old, when his father was struck with a leprosy. — It is, however, im- possible to determine the exact date of this earth- quake, although it is also referred to in Zech. xiv. 5. The book of Amos is divided into two parts. The first six chapters contain admonitions and denuncia tions ; the three others, visions. The former are di- rected partly against Israel and Judah, and partly against foreign nations, viz. the Syrians, Phenicians, Moabites, and Edomites. Assyria is not mentioned by name, but is clearly implied in ch. v. 17. He employs sharp invectives against the sins of Israel, and especially of the inhabitants of Samaria, their effeminacy, avarice, and harshness to the poor ; the splendor of their buildings, and the delicacy of their tables. He reproves Israel for going to Bethel, Dan, Gilgal, and Beersheba, which were the most famous pilgrimages of the country; and for swearing by the gods of those places. The time and manner of Amos's death are not known. Some authors relate, that Amaziah, priest of Bethel, provoked by the discourses of the prophet to silence him, had his teeth broken ; (Cyril, Prsef. in Amos;) others say, that Hosea, or Uzziah, son of Amaziah, struck him with a stake on the temples, and almost killed him ; that in this condition he was carried to Tekoah, where he died, and was buried with his fathers. Epiphan. de Vita Prophet, c. 12. [All this, however, is useless dreaming. From the circumstance that Amos was a herdsman, we cannot draw the conclusion that he was therefore rude and unpolished, or destitute of cultivation. The exam- ple of David had shown long before, that even among the lower classes a high degree of poetical talent and cultivation was sometimes to be found. In regard tc style, Amos takes a high rank among the prophets. He is full of fancy and imagery, concise, and yet sim- ple and perspicuous. His language is occasionally harsh. His prophecies are arranged in a certain order ; so that we may suppose that, after having ut- tered them, he had carefully written them out. As interpreters have been aware of his having been a herdsman, they have mostly set themselves to find only pastoral figures and imagery in his writings, and also something which should be low and incor- rect. But he exhibits no more imagery from pas- toral life than the other Hebrew poets ; and as to incorrectness, there is nothing which can be taken into account. It is therefore unjust,. when Jerome calls him sermone imperitum, i. e. rude in speech. — Such is the judgment of Gesenius. R.

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