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Edward Robinson

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LABAN, son of Bethuel, and grandson of Nahor, brother to Rebekah, and father to Rachel and Leah. See Jacob. is sometimes taken for the fruit of labor, Ps. cv. 44, "And they inherited the labor of the people." And elsewhere, " Let strangers spoil his labor, and the first-fruits of their labors ;" that is, what they have acquired by their labor.


LACHISH, a city in the south of Judah, Josh. x. 23 ; xv 39. It was rebuilt and fortified by Reho- boam, 2 Chron. xi. 9. Sennacherib besieged but did not take it, 2 Kings xviii. 17 ; xix. 8 ; 2 Chron. xxxii. 9.


LAISH, a city in the northern border of Pales- tine, acquired by the tribe of Dan, from whom it was subsequently called Dan, Judg. xviii. 7, 29. (See Dan.) The Laish mentioned Isa. x. 30. may, or may not, be the Laish of Dan. The prophet commands the daughter of Gallim to lift up her voice, so that it may be heard to a distance ; but whether to so great a distance as Dan, may be doubted. Indeed, it does not appear for what purpose her screams should be heard so far off ; but if this Laish were a town nearer to Geba, Gibeab, and the other places mentioned, then this alarm might be intended to reach Laish, for the purpose of inducing its inhabitants to join in the general flight.


LAKE, a confluence of waters. The principal lakes in Judea were the lake Asphaltites, or Dead sea, the lake of Tiberias, and the lake Semechon, or Merom. See the respective articles.


LAMB, the young of a sheep; but in Scripture it sometimes comprehends the kid ; the Hebrews at the passover were at liberty to choose either for a victim. The original, seh, in general signifies a youngling, whether of a goat or ewe. " A lamb of a year old," may be interpreted a lamb of the year, born in the year, but which does not suck ; for to sacrifice the paschal iamb while it used the teat, or to seethe it in the milk of its dam, was prohibited, Exod. xii. 5 ; Lev. xxiii.-12. On other occasions the law required, that the young should be eft eight [ 600 ] days with its dam before it was offered, Exod. xxii. 30 ; Lev. xxii. 27. The prophets represent the Mes- siah, in meekness, like a lamb which is sheared, or carried to the altar, without complaint, Isa. liii. 7; Jer. xi. 19. In the Revelation our Saviour is sym- bolized as a lamb that had been sacrificed. The wicked at the judgment are compared to goats, the righteous to lambs. OF GOD. By this name John the Bap- tist called our Saviour, (John i. 29, 36.) to signify his innocence, and ljis quality as a victim to be offered for the sins of the world. Or, he might allude to these words of the prophet : " He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth," Isa. liii. 7. If it were a little before the passover — then the sight of a number of lambs going to Jerusalem to be slain on that occasion, might suggest the idea ; as if he had said, " Behold the true, the most excel- lent Lamb of God," &c.


LAND, in the Old Testament, often denotes the country of the Israelites, or the particular country, or district, spoken of ; the land of Canaan, the land of Egypt, the land of Ashur, the land of Moab. " Be- hold, my land is before thee ;" (Gen. xx. 15.) settle where you please. In many places of out public version the phrase " all the earth" is used, where the meaning should be restricted to the land, or all the land. LANGUAGE. Several questions are proposed on this subject, as (1.) Whether God was the author of the original language. (2.) Whether Adam re- ceived it from him by infusion ; or formed and invented it by his own industry and labor. (3.) Whether this language is still in being. (4.) Where it is to be found. The ancients, who were unacquainted with the true history of the world's creation, affirm, that un- der the happy reign of Saturn, not only all men, but all terrestrial animals, birds, and even fishes, spoke the same language ; that mankind, not sufficiently sensible of their happiness, sent a deputation to Sat- urn, desiring immortality, representing, that it was not just that they should be without a prerogative granted by him to serpents, which are yearly re- newed by shedding their old skin, and assuming a new one. Saturn, in great anger, not only refused their request, but punished their ingratitude, by de- priving them of that unity of language which kept them associated. He confounded their language, and thereby put them under a necessity of separating. Hence we learn that the heathen attributed the con- fusion of tongues to a divine interposition ; and so far they confirm the history of what took place at Babel. Moses represents Adam and Eve as the stock whence all nations spring. He describes them as reasonable and intelligent persons, speaking, and giving names to things. Now, if we admit God as a Creator, there is . no difficulty in acknowledging him to be the Author of the language of the first man ; and it is difficult to conceive of his attaining the power of language without a divine inspiration. There is scarcely any eastern language which has not aspired to the honor of having been the original ; but the majority of critics decide for the Hebrew, or its cognate, the Arabic ; the conciseness, simplicity, energy, and fertility of which ; their relation to the most ancient oriental languages, which seem to de- rive from them the etymologies of the earliest names borne by mankind ; the names of animals, which are all significant in them, and describe the nature and property of the animals, (particulars not observed in other languages ;) — all these characters uniting, in- cline us much in favor of their primacy and excellency. The Hebrew has another privilege, that the most ancient and venerable books in the world are written in it. Language is the medium of communication be- tween the material animal life and the spiritual rational power, in man ; it is the link that connects the senses with the understanding. Whatever fac- ulties we may suppose belong to animals, we see no proof of their drawing inferences, conclusions, and determinations consequent on the exercise of language. In respect to vocal sounds man may have taken hints and lessons from animals ; but ani- mals have taken no discursive lessons from man. It is well worth while, then, to consider this invaluable gift of the Almighty ; and the rather, as it forma one of the chains of evidence that all the families of mankind are derived from the same origin ; and are made, as the apostle's expression is, " of one blood." Late years have brought us acquainted with ancient [605 ] .anguages which were formerly unknown to the .earned of Europe ; among them the most venerable is the Sanscrit of India. Its structure is, apparently, too perfect, too refined and artificial, to warrant our admitting it as the first language of mankind ; yet in point of antiquity, it may compete with the Hebrew, as current in the days of Moses ; and it is remarka- ble that the Mosaic writings seem to contain several words of Sanscrit origin ; (chiefly in the history of Baalam ;) which may give occasion to various re- flections. The following extracts from Niebuhr will show the fate of language, when those who speak it are subjected to foreigners of another tongue : never- theless, that some remains of it may survive the general wreck, in different places, is not incredible ; and such an account, with the manner in which it is preserved, is subjoined from the same author : "Many people living under the dominion of the Arabians and Turks, have lost the use of their mother tongue. The Greeks and Armenians settled in Egypt and Syria speak Arabic ; and the services of their public worship are performed in two languages at once. In Natolia, these nations speak their own languages in several different dialects. The Turkish officers sometimes extend their desp'otism to the language of their subjects. A pacha of Kaysar, who could not endure to hear the Greek language spo- ken, forbade the Greeks in his pachalic, under pain of death, to use any language but the Turkish. Since that prohibition was issued, the Christians of Kaysar and Angora have continued to speak the Turkish, and at present do not even understand their original language." (Vol. ii. p. 259.) " In Syria and Palestine, indeed, no language is to be heard but the Arabic ; and yet the Syriac is not absolutely a dead language, but is still spoken in several villages in the pachalic of Damascus. In many places, in the neighborhood of Merdin and Mosul, the Christians still speak in the Chaldean language ; and the inhab- itants of the villages who do not frequent towns, never hear any other than their mother tongue. The Christians born in the cities of Merdin and Mosul, although they speak Arabic, write in the Chal- dean characters, just as the Maronites write their Arabic in Syriac letters, and the Greeks write their Turkish in Greek letters." Many languages now spoken may be traced to one common and primitive stock, as the original. Sir W. Jones has demonstrated, that three great branches of language are sufficient to account for all the varieties extant : and this hypothesis forms a very strong, as well as a new, argument in favor of the Mosaic history of the early post-diluvian ages, which represents the three great families as being implicated in the confusion of languages at Babel. But, should we allow a fourth branch, we should do violence to the narration of Moses. It is now, per- haps, impossible to combine, or even to ascertain, what words remaining in either, or in all, of the three branches, should be considered as belonging to the primitive language ; but, by way of showing how words may sometimes be traced into different dialects, to which at first sight they appear to have little relation, the reader will accept the following note from a popular work : " — Numberless in- stances might be given, but our limits permit us to produce only a few. In the Sanscrit, or ancient language of the Gentoos, our signifies a day. (See Halhed's preface to the Code of Gentoo Laws.) In other eastern languages, the same word was used to denote both light and fire. Thus in the Chaldee, ur is fire ; in the Egyptian, or is the sun, or Zt'g7ii ; (Pint, de Osir. et Isid ;) in the Hebrew, aor is light ; in Greek, iiio {aer) is the air, often light; in Latin, aura is the air, from the iEolic Greek ; and in Irish it is aear." From what appears on this- subject, we may war- rantably suppose, (1.) That the ancient Hebrew lan- guage retained a considerable portion of original words, and expressions, or modes of expression. (2.) That some of these may occur in the Hebrew Scrip- tures. (3.) That the sister dialects to the Hebrew, the Chaldee, the Arabic, &c. may also have retained many original words ; and when these radical words are similar to those retained by the Hebrew, an ade- quate knowledge of these languages cannot but con- tribute essentially to our understanding of passages where derivatives from such words occur in the Hebrew. And this is particularly fortunate, when such words occur but once in Holy Scripture ; when they have, as we may say, neither friend nor brother in the Holy language, the advantage to be derived from their relations, in foreign but kindred dialects, becomes invaluable. See Letters. [To the student of the Bible one of the most im- portant subjects is the character and history of the original languages in which that holy book was writ- ten. In respect to the original Greek of the New Tes- tament, some remarks have been made, and the best sources of information pointed out, under the article Greece. For the Hebrew language, a reference has been made to the present article. The Hebrew is but one of the cluster of cognate languages which anciently prevailed in western Asia ; commonly called the oriental languages, or in late years the Semitish, or Shemitish, languages, as belonging partic- ularly to the descendants of Shem. A proper knowl- edge of the Hebrew, therefore, implies also an ac- quaintance with these other kindred dialects. The principal source of information on these points is the work of Gesenius entitled Gcschichtc der hebraischen Sprache und Sch'ifit, History of the Hebrew Language and Letters, Leipsic, 1815. An abstract of the re- sults detailed in this work, accompanied with remarks of his own, was given by professor Stuart in the In- troduction prefixed to the first and second editions of his Hebrew Grammar. From these sources the following statements have been condensed. Oriental or Shemitish Languages. — The lan- guages of western Asia, though differing in respect to dialect, are radically the same ; and have been so as far back as any historical records enable us to trace them. Palestine, Syria, Phenicia, Mesopo- tamia, Babylonia, Arabia, and also Ethiopia, are reckoned as the countries where the languages com- monly denominated oriental have been spoken. Of late, many critics have rejected the appellation ori- ental, as being too comprehensive, and substituted that of Shemitish. Against this appellation, however, objections of a similar nature may be urged ; for no inconsiderable portion of those who spoke the lan- guages in question, were not descendants of Shem. It is doubtless a matter of indifference which appel- lation is used, if it be first defined. The oriental languages may be divided into three principal dialects ; viz. the Aramrean, the Hebrew, and the Arabic. — (1.) The Aramaean, spoken in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Babylonia, or Chaldea, is subdivided into the Syriac and Chaldee dialects, sometimes called also the west and east Aramaean. — (2.) The Hebrew or Canaanitish dialect (Isa xix. [ 606 ] 18.) was spoken iu Palestine, and probably, with little variation, in Pbenieia and the Pheniciau colo- nies, e. g. at Carthage and other places. The re- mains of the Pheniciau and Punic dialects are too few aud too much disfigured, to enable us to judge with certainty how extensively these languages were the same as the dialect of Palestine. — (3.) The Ara- bic, to which the Ethiopic bears a special resem- blance, comprises, in modern times, a great variety of dialects as a spoken language, and is spread over a vast extent of country ; but so far as we are ac- quainted with its former state, it appears, more an- ciently, to have been limited principally to Arabia and Ethiopia. The Arabic is very rich in words and forms ; the Syriac, so far as it is yet known, is comparatively limited in both ; the Hebrew holds a middle place between them, both as to copiousness of words and variety of forms. The Samaritan dialect appears to be made up, as one might expect, (see 2 Kings xvii.) of Aramaean and Hebrew. And the slighter varieties of Arabic are as numerous as the provinces where the lan- guage is spoken. In all these cases, however, we commonly name the slighter differences provincial- isms rather than dialects. It is uncertain whether any of the oriental or Shemitish dialects were spoken in Assyria proper, or in Asia Minor. The probability seems to be against the supposition that the Assyrians used them ; and a great part of Asia Minor, before it was subju- gated by the Greeks, most probably spoke the same language with Assyria, i. e. perhaps a dialect of the Persian. A small part only of this section of Asia seem to have spoken a Shemitish dialect. (Gesen. Geschichte, § 4. 1. aud § 17. 3.) When western Asia is described, therefore, as speaking the Shemitish languages, the exceptions just made are to be uni- formly understood. Of all the oriental languages, the Hebrew bears marks of being the most ancient. The oldest records that are known to exist are composed in this lan- guage ; and there are other reasons which render it probable, that it preceded its kindred dialects. It flourished in Palestine, among the Phenicians and Hebrews, until the period of the Babylonish exile ; soon after which it declined, and finally was suc- ceeded by a kind of Hebreeo- Aramaean dialect, such as was spoken in the time of our Saviour among the Jews. (See Biblical Repository, vol. i. p. 309, 317.) The west Aramaean had flourished before this, for a long time, in the east and north of Palestine ; but it now advanced farther west, and during the period that the Christian churches of Syria flourished, it was widely extended. It is at present almost a dead language, and has been so for several centuries. The Hebrew may be regarded as having been a dead language, except among a small circle of literati, for about the space of two thousand years. — Our knowl- edge of Arabic literature extends back very little be- yond the time of Mohammed. But the followers of this pretended prophet have spread the dialect of the Koran over almost half the population of the world. Arabic is now the vernacular language of Arabia, Syria, Egypt, and in a great measure of Palestine and all the northern coast of Africa; while it is read and understood wherever the Koran has gone, in Turkey, Persia, India, and Tartary. The remains of the ancient Hebrew tongue are contained in the Old Testament, and in the few Phenician and Punic words and inscriptions that have been here and there discovered. — The remains of the Aramaean are extant in a variety of books. In Chaldee, we have a part of the books of Daniel and Ezra, (Dan. ii. 4 — vii. 28. Ezra iv. 8 — vi. 19, and vii. 12 — 27.) which are the most ancient of any specimens of this dialect. The Targum of Onkelos, i. e. the translation of the Pentateuch into Chaldee, affords the next and purest specimen of that language. All the other Targums, the Mishna and Gemara are a mixture of Aramaean and Hebrew. It has been said that there are still some small districts in the East, where the Chaldee is a vernacular language. In Syriac, there is a considerable number of books and MSS. extant. The oldest specimen of this lan- * guage, that we have, is contained in the Peshito, or Syriac, version of the Old and New Testament. A multitude of writers in this dialect have flourished, (vid. Assemani Bibliotheca Orientals,) many of whose writings probably are still extant, although but few have been printed in Europe. — In Arabic, there exists a great variety of MSS. and books, histor- ical, scientific and literary. The means of illustrat- ing this living language are now very ample and satis- factory. See Talmud, and Versions. It is quite obvious from the statement made above, that a knowledge of the kindred dialects of the He- brew is very important, for the illustration of that language. Who can, even now, have a very ex- tensive and accurate understanding of the English language, that is unacquainted with the Latin, Greek, Norman, French and Saxon ? Supposing, then, that the English had been a dead language for more than two thousand years, and that all the remains of it were comprised in one moderate volume ; who could well explain this volume, that did not under- stand the languages with which it is closely connect- ed ? The answer f o this question will decide wheth- er the study of the \anguages, kindred with the Hebrew, is important to the thorough understanding and illustration of the Hebrew Scriptures. The relation of the Hebrew to the Aramaean and Arabic is not such as exists between the Attic and other dialects of Greece. The diversity is much greater. It bears more resemblance to the diversity between German and Dutch, or German and Swed- ish. The idiom of all is substantially the same. The fundamental words are of common origin. But the inflections differ in some considerable meas- ure : derivative words are diverse in point of form ; and not a few words have been adopted in each of the- dialects, which either are not common to the others, or are used in a different sense.- — -The affin- ity between the Chaldee and Syriac is very great, in every respect. The oriental languages are distinguished from the western or European tongues, in general, by a number of peculiar traits ; viz. (1.) Several kinds- of guttural letters are found in them, which we can- not distinctly mark ; and some of which our organs are inacapable of pronouncing, after the age of matu- rity. — (2.) In general, the roots are triliteral, and of two syllables. By far the greater part of the roots are verbs. — (3.) Pronouns, whether personal or ad- jective, are, in the oblique cases, united in the same word with the noun or verb to which they have a relation. — (4.j The verbs have but two tenses, the past and future ; and in general, there are no optative or subjunctive moods definitely marked. — (5.) The genders are only masculine and feminine ; and these are extended to the verb, as well as to the noun. (6.) For the most part, the cases are marked bv [ 607 1 prepositions. Two nouns coming together, the latter of which is in the genitive, the first, in most cases, suf- fers a change which indicates this state of relation, while the latter noun remains unchanged; i. e. the governing noun suffers the change, and not the noun governed. (7.) To mark the comparative and super- lative degrees, no special forms of adjectives exist. From this observation the Arabic must be excepted, which, for the most part, lias an intensive form of adjectives that marks both the comparative and su- perlative. (8.) Scarcely any composite words exist in these languages, if we except proper names. (9.) Verbs are not only distinguished into active and pas- sive, by their forms ; but additional forms are made, by the inflections of the same verb with small varia- tions, to signify the cause of action, or the frequency of it, or that it is reflexive, or reciprocal, or intensive, fee. (10.) Lastly, all these dialects (the Ethiopic ex- cepted) are written and read from the right hand to the left ; the alphabets consisting of consonants only, and the vowels being generally written above or be- low the consonants. Hebrew Language. — The appellation of Hebrew, ('?ny,) so far as we can learn from history, was first given to Abraham by the people of Canaan among whom he dwelt, Gen. xiv. 13. As the first names of nations were commonly appellatives, it is quite prob- able that this epithet was applied to Abraham be- cause he came from beyond the Euphrates, -u;> meaning over or beyond ; so that v-up, Hebrew, meant as much as one who came from beyond the Euphrates. But whatever extent of meaning was attached to the appellation Hebrew before the time of Jacob, it ap- pears afterwards to have been limited only to his posterity, and to be synonymous with Israelite. The origin of the Hebrew language must be dated further back than the period to which we can trace the appellation Hebrew. It is plain from the history of Abraham, that wherever he sojourned he found a language in which he could easily converse. That Hebrew was originally the language of Palestine ap- pears plain, moreover, from the names of persons and places in Canaan, and from other facts in respect to the formation of this dialect. E. g. the west is in Hebrew s', which means the sea, i. e. towards the Mediterranean sea. As the Hebrew has no other proper word for ivest, so it must be evident that the language, in its distinctive and peculiar form, must have been formed in Palestine. That this dialect was the original language of mankind, is not established by any historical evidence, which may not admit of some doubt. But it seems highly probable, that if the original parents of mankind were placed in west- ern Asia, they spoke substantially the language which has for more than fifty centuries pervaded those coun- tries. This probability is greatly increased, by the manner in which the book of Genesis makes use of appellatives, as applied to the antediluvians ; which are nearly all explicable by Hebrew etymology, and would probably all be so, if we had that part of the Hebrew which is lost. How far back then the Hebrew dialect in its dis- tinctive form is to oe dated, we have no sure means of ascertaining. At the time when the Pentateuch was written, it had reached nearly, if not quite, its highest point of culture and grammatical structure. The usual mode of reasoning would lead us to say, therefore, that it must, for a long time before, have been spoken and cultivated, in order to attain so much regularity of structure and syntax. But reasoning on this subject, except from facts, is very uncertain. Many of the savage tribes in the wilds of America possess languages which, as to variety in combina- tions, declensions and expression, are said to surpass the most cultivated languages of Asia or Europe. Homer was as little embarrassed in respect to variety of form, combination or structure, as any Greek poet who followed a thousand years later. The best pledge for the great antiquity of the Hebrew is, that there never has been, so far as we have any knowl- edge, but one language substantially in western Asia ; and of the various dialects of this, the Hebrew has the highest claims to be regarded as the most ancient. Sketch of the Hebrew language. — From the time when the Pentateuch was composed until the Baby- lonish exile, the language, as presented. to us in the Old Testament, wears a very uniform appearance ; if we except the variety of style, which belongs of course to different writers. This period has been usually called the golden age of the Hebrew. On ac- count of this uniformity, many critics deny that the Pentateuch could have been composed five hundred years before the time of David and Solomon, or even long before the captivity. They are willing to admit the antiquity of a few laws, and of some fragments of history in Genesis and some other books. But it is against all analogy, they aver, that a language should continue so nearly the same, as the Hebrew of the Pentateuch and of the historical books, for a space of time so great as this. And besides, they affirm, there are many internal evidences of a later origin, con- tained in occasional notices of later events, which could not possibly be known in the time of Moses. In regard to this last allegation, only a single con- sideration can be here stated. It may be safely ad- mitted, that some things were added to the Pentateuch by writers in later times ; such as a completion of the- genealogy of the Edomitish princes, Gen. xxxvi. ait account of the death and burial of Moses, Deut. xxxiv ; and a few other things of a similar nature. But the other allegation, that universal analogy, in respect to other languages, renders it highly improb- able that such uniformity in the Hebrew could have been preserved, so long as from the time of Moses- down to that of David, or down to the period of the captivity, we may be permitted to doubt ; for a greater philological wonder than this, which so much excites their incredulity, can be produced. Dr. Marshman is very extensively acquainted with the Chinese language, and has published a copious grammar and dictionary of it, with a translation of the works of Confucius, which were written about 550 years before Christ, or, according to the Chinese, much earlier. He asserts, that there is very little dif- ference between the style of Confucius and that of the best Chinese writers of the present day. One commentary on his works was written 1500 years after the text, and another still later, which Dr. Marshman consulted. He found no difference be- tween them and the works of Confucius, except that the original was somewhat more concise. The doc- uments of this philologist, gathered from Chinese rec- ords, prove that the written and spoken language of the Chinese (nearly one fourth part of the human race) has not varied, in any important respect for more than 2000 years. (Quarterly Review, May, 1811, p. 401, fee. Marshman's Chinese Gram, in var. loc.) In respect to seclusion from other nations, the Jews bore a very exact resemblance to the Chi- nese. Like them, they had no foreign commerce or intercourse to corrupt their language. New inven- tions and improvements in the arts and sciences there- [ 608 ] were not. What then was there to change the lan- guage? Anrl why should not David and Solomon, and others write in the same manner, substantially as Moses did ? In respect to the argument, which concludes against the composition of the Pentateuch by Moses, because there are some things in it, which, if written by him, must be admitted to be predictions, it can here be observed only, that if the inspiration of the Scriptures be admitted, criticism has no right to reject it in any investigations respecting these books ; for inspiration constitutes one of the circumstances in which the books were composed, and cannot, therefore, be omit- ted in the critical consideration of them, without vir- tually denying the fact of inspiration, and conducting the investigation in an uncritical manner. The second or silver age of the Hebrew, reaches from the period of the captivity down to the time when it ceased to be a living language. The distin- guishing trait of Hebrew writings belonging to this age is, that they approximate to the Chaldee dialect. Nothing is more natural, than that the language of exiles, in a foreign country for seventy years, should approximate to that of their conquerors who held them in subjection. To this period belong many of the Psalms, and the whole books of Jeremiah, Eze- kiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and perhaps some others. The books of Job and Ecclesiastes abound in Aramae- isms ; and Canticles exhibits a considerable number. The age of these three last books, as also that of Jo- nah, Daniel, and the Pentateuch, has been the sub- ject of animated contest among critics on the conti- nent of Europe, for almost half a century. The Chaldaisms, or Aramffiisms, of the silver age, consist, either in adopting both the form and meaning of Aramaean words, or in preserving the Hebrew form, but assigning to it an Aramaean signification. (Ges. Gesch. § 10. 4, 5.) What is called the younger or later Hebrew is somewhat distinct from Aramae- ism. It does not consist in using foreign words, but in a departure from the customary idiom of the older Hebrew, by the adoption of different expressions to convey the same idea. E. g. the early Hebrew calls the sheiv-bread Qijsn =>nS ; the younger Hebrew anS ro-ipe. The Hebrew of the Talmud, and of the rabbins, has a close affinity with the later He- brew. All the books belonging to the second age are not of the same character in respect to idiom. The book of Job, if it be set down to a later age, though full of Aramceisms, in other respects is a peculiar example of the ancient simplicity of diction. Such is the case with many Psalms, which belong, as their contents plainly show, to the second period. Of the other authors comprised in this period, Jeremiah and Eze- kiel merely border upon the silver age in regard to diction. Esther, Canticles, Chronicles and Daniel are strongly tinctured with the characteristics of later Hebrew ; and the remaining later books are not less strongly marked. Nearly half of the books of Daniel and Ezra is composed in pure Chaldee. In general, the earlier Hebrew writers are entitled to preeminence in respect to their compositions, when considered merely in a rhetorical point of view. But still, among the later class are some of most exquisite taste and genius. Some parts of Jeremiah have scarcely been excelled. Psalms exxxix, xliv, lxxxiv, lxxxv ; several of the Psalms of degrees, exx, &c. Dan. vii, &c. and other parts of later authors, are fine specimens of writing; and some of them may challenge competi- tion, in reespct to excellence of style, with the writ- ings of any age or country. The Hebrew language throughout, both earlier and later, exhibits a twofold diction, viz. the prosaic and the poetic. Hebrew poetry, so far as we can as- certain, never comprised any thing of the Roman and Grecian measure of long and short syllables, and the varieties of verse arising from this cause. Its distin- guishing characteristics are four ; viz. a rhythmical conformation of periods or distichs ; a parallelism of the same in regard to sense or expression ; a figura- tive, parabolic style ; and a diction peculiar to this species of composition. (See Lowth's Lectures on Heb. Poetry, Lec. xviii. — xx ; also the Introduction to his Commentary on Isaiah. De Wette's Commentar liber den Psalmen, Einleit. § 7.) The poetic diction displays itself in the choice of words, the meaning assigned to them, and the forms which it gives them. In other respects, too, poetic usage gives peculiar liberty. The conjugations Piel and Hithpael are sometimes used intransitively ; the apocopated future stands for the common future ; the participle is often used for the verb ; and anomalies in respect to concord, ellipsis, &c. are more frequent than in prose. As the Aramaean dialect was learned by the Jews during their captivity, and a mixture of this ami the Hebrew, ever after their return, was perhaps spoken in Palestine by the people at large ; so it is evident, that many words of the old Hebrew, in consequence of this, must fall into desuetude, and the meaning of them become obscured. Of course, the later Hebrew writers were obliged to avoid such words. A com- parison of the books of Kings with those of the Chronicles, where they are parallel, is full of instruc- tion in respect to this subject. It will be found, that the author of the Chronicles has introduced the later orthography and forms of words ; substituted new words for old ones ; given explanations of the ancient text from which he drew the materials of his history • atid inserted grammatical glosses of the same, so as to accommodate his style to the times in which he wrote. (Ges. Gesch. § 12.) There is no probability that the Hebrew language ceased, during the captivity, to be cultivated and un- derstood, in a good degree,-by those who were well educated among the Jews. The number of books already extant in it at this period ; the reverence with which they were regarded ; the care with which they were preserved ; all render such a supposition entirely inadmissible. Every nation subjected to a foreign yoke and to exile, does indeed gradually lose its own language and approximate to that of its con- querors. Yet the Jews, who held all foreign nations in abhorrence, were less exposed to this than most others would be. The fact, that after the return from exile, so many authors wrote in the Hebrew dialect, and for public use, demonstrates that the knowledge of the language was not generally lost, although the dialect spoken may have been a mixed one. After the worship of God was renewed in the second tem- ple, the ancient Hebrew Scriptures were unquestiona- bly used in it. In the synagogues, which appear to have been erected not long after this, the Hebrew Scriptures were always used. Even so late as the time of the apostles, this was the case, (Acts xv. 21.) as it has continued to be ever since. How long the Hebrew was retained, both in writ- ing and conversation, or in writing, after it ceased to be the language of conversation, it is impossible to determine. The coins stamped in the time of the [ 609 ] Maccabees are all the oriental monuments we have, of the period that elapsed between the latest canoni- cal writers and the advent of Christ ; and the inscrip- tions on these are in Hebrew. At the time of the Maccabees, then, Hebrew was understood, at least as the language of books ; perhaps in some measure also among the better informed, as the language of con- versation. But soon after this, the dominion of the Seleucidse in Syria over the Jewish nation, uniting with the former influence of the Babylonish captivity So diffuse the Aramaean dialect among them, appears to have destroyed the remains of proper Hebrew, as i living language, and to have universally substituted, in its stead, the Hebrseo-Aramreau as it was spoken in the time of our Saviour. A representation very different from this has been made by the Talmudists and Jewish grammarians; and, in following them, by a multitude of Christian critics. This is, that the He- brew became altogether a dead language during the Babylonish exile ; which, say they, is manifest from Neh. viii. 8. But as this sentiment is wholly built on a mistaken interpretation of the verse, and as facts speak so plainly against such an opinion, it cannot be admitted. (Ges. Gesch. § 13.) From the time when Hebrew ceased to be vernac- ular, down to the present day, a portion of this dialect has been preserved in the Old Testament. It has always been the subject of study among learned Jews. Before and at the time of Christ, there were flourishing Jewish academies at Jerusalem. Those of Hillel and Shammai are the most celebrated. After Jerusalem was destroyed, schools were set up in various places ; but particularly they flourished at Tiberias, until the death of rabbi Judah, surnamed Hakkodesh, or the Holy, the author of the Mishna, about A. D. 230. Some of his pupils set up other schools in Babylonia, which became the rivals of these. The Babylonish academies flourished until noar the tenth century. From the schools at Tiberias and in Babylonia, we have received the Targums, the Talmud, the Masora, and the written vowels and ac- cents of the Hebrew language. The Mishna or second law, i. e. the oral traditions of the fathers, was reduced to writing by rabbi Ju- dah Hakkodesh, in the beginning of the third century, as above stated. This constitutes the text of both the Jerusalem and Babylonish Talmuds ; and though tinctured with Aramaeism, still exhibits a style of Hebrew that is pretty pure. The Gemara or commentary on the Mishna is later. The Jerusalem Gemara belongs, perhaps, to the latter part of the third century ; that of Babylon is about three centuries later. Both exhibit a very corrupted state of the Hebrew language. Other Jewish writings, composed about this period, - are similar as to their dialect. The Targums, or translations of the Old Testament, are confessedly Chaldee ; but they are quite impure, if you except that of Onkelos. See Versions. The Masora consists of critical remarks on the text of the Old Testament. A part of it is older than the Targums : but it was not completed, or reduced to its present form, until the eighth or ninth century. Its contents or criticisms show, that already the substan- tial principles of Hebrew grammar, and the analogical structure of the language, had been an object of par- ticular study and attention. Among Christians, during the first twelve centuries after the apostolic age, the knowledge of Hebrew could scarcely be said to exist. Epiphanius, who be- r oie his conversion was a Jew, probably had a knowl- 77 edge of the Hebrew tongue ; and perhaps Theodoret and Ephrem Syrus whose native language was Syriac, may have understood it. But among all the fathers of the Christian churches, none have acquired any reputation for the knowledge of Hebrew, except Origen and Jerome. In regard to the former, it is very doubtful whether he possessed any thing more than a superficial knowledge of it. (Ges. Gesch. § 27. 1.) But Jerome spent about twenty years in Pales- tine, in order to acquire a knowledge of this tongue and has left the fruits of his knowledge behind him, in the celebrated translation of the Hebrew Scriptures called the Vulgate. See Versions. In consequence of the persecutions and vexations of the Jews in the East, by Christians, and especially by Mohammedans, in the tenth and eleveuth centu- ries, their literati emigrated to the west, and their schools in Babylonia were destroyed. The north of Africa, but particularly Spain, and afterwards France and Germany, became places of resort for the Jews ; and here, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, almost all those important Jewish works in grammar and lexicography were composed, which have been the means of preserving a knowledge of the Hebrew language in the world, and eventually of rousing Christians to the study of this sacred tongue. It was during this period, that the Kimchis, Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Maimonides flourished ; and somewhat later appeared Ben Gerson, Ben Melech, Abarbanel, Elias Levita, and others ; who, by their philological labors, prepared the way for the diffusion of Hebrew learning over the Christian world. During the dark ages, the knowledge of Hebrew appears to have been banished from the Christian world, and to have been commonly regarded as a proof of heresy. But in the fourteenth century, some glimmerings of light appeared. The council at Vi- enna, in A. D. 1311, ordered the establishment of professorships of oriental literature in the universi- ties. After this, slow but gradual progress was made among Christians in the study of Hebrew, until the sixteenth century ; when the reformation, operating with other causes, served to increase the attention among the learned to the original Scriptures. But as yet, the study of Hebrew was embarrassed by many Jewish traditions and conceits, which had been propagated by the rabbins among their christian pupils. Nor was it until about the middle of the seventeenth century, that Hebrew philology made real advances, beyond the limits by which it had as yet been circumscribed. During this century, many grammars and lexicons of the Hebrew and its cognate dialects were published, which increased the means of investigation for future philologists. In the first part of the succeeding century, Schultens published his philological works, which exhibited deeper re- searches into the structure and nature of the She- mitish languages than had hitherto appeared. The application of the kindred dialects, especially of the Arabic, to the illustration of the Hebrew, was urged much beyond what had before been done. Many eminent philologists were nurtured in his school at Leyden. The great body of critics, almost until the present time, have followed in the path which he trod. Many of them have made an excessive use of the Arabic languages in tracing the signification of Hebrew words. Some of the best lexicographers such as Eichhorn and Michaelis, are not free from this fault. Of late, years, a new and much better method of Hebrew philology has commenced, and is still advai" [ a xai I'utfc arayviTm, Col. iv. 16. This expression, however, is ambiguous. It may either signify the letter which the apostle wrote to Laodicea, or that which the Laodiceans wrote to him. The letter to the Laodiceans, which has been attributed to Paul, is universally admitted to be spurious. Laodicea was long an inconsiderable place, but it increased towards the time of Augustus Caesar. The fertility of the soil, and the good fortune of some of its citizens, raised it to greatness. Hiero, who adorned it with many offerings, bequeathed to the people more than two thousand talents ; and though an in- land town, it grew more potent than the cities on the coast, and became one of the largest towns in Phrygia, as its present ruins prove. Among the ruins seen by doctor Chandler, was an oblong amphitheatre, the area of which was about one thousand feet in extent, with a number of other splendid ruins. " Laodicea was often damaged by earthquakes, and restored by its own opulence, or by the munifi- cence of the Roman emperors. These resources failed, and the city, it is probable, became early a scene of ruin. About the year 1097, it was possessed by the Turks, and submitted to Ducas, general of the emperor Alexis. In 1120, the Turks sacked some of the cities of Phrygia by the Meander, but were defeated by the emperor John Comnenus, who took Laodicea, and repaired and built anew the walls. About 1161, it was again unfortified. Many of the inhabitants were then killed, with their bishop, or carried with their cattle into captivity by the Turkish sultan. In 1190, the German emperor Frederick Barbarossa, going by Laodicea with his army toward Syria on a croisade, was received so kindly, that he prayed on his knees for the prosperity of the people. About 1196, this region, with Caria, was dreadfully ravaged by the Turks. The sultan, on the invasion of the Tartars in 1255, gave Laodicea to the Romans, but they were unable to defend it, and it soon re- turned to the Turks. We saw no traces either of houses, churches or mosques. All was silence and solitude. Several strings of camels passed eastward of the hill ; but a fox, which we first discovered by his ears peeping over a brow, was the only inhabitant of Laodicea." (Trav. p. 225.) The grandeur of this city in A. D. 79, is sufficiently attested by these ruins; whence we infer, that at the date of the Epistle to the Colossians, (A. D. 60, or 61,) it was a place of consequence. Whether the church here were numerous we know not ; but, from the epistle in the Revelations addressed to its minister, it should seem to have fallen into a luke- warm state, (about A. D. 96,) and it is threatened ac- cordingly. It seems, also, that the Laodiceans boast- ed of their wealth, and knowledge, and garments ; which agrees with their history, that they were en- riched by the fleeces of their sheep, and eminent in polite studies, as evinced by the odeum, the theatre, the amphitheatre, and the magnified sculptures, the the remains of which are still descernible.


LANGUAGES, see Language, p. 605.


LANGUAGES, see Languages, p. 605.


LAPIDOTH, the prophetess Deborah's husband, Judg. iv. 4.


LAPWING, a bird by Moses declared to be un- clean, Lev. xi. 19. It is about the size of a thrush ; its beak is long, black, thin, and a little hooked ; its legs gray and short. On its head is a tuft of feathers of different colors, which it raises or lowers as it pleases. Its neck and stomach are something red- dish ; and its wings and tail black with white streaks. See Birds, p. 188. LASHA. Moses, describing the limits of the land of Canaan, says, that it reaches south to Lasha, Gen. x. 19. The Chaldee and Jerome take this to be the place Callirhoe, east of the Dead sea, where are warm springs, (see Anah,) and this is the more proba- ble opinion ; but Calmet thinks it is the city of Lasba, Lusa, or Elusa, at nearly an equal distance between the Dead sea and the Red sea. Ptolemy mentions this city of Lusa. as do Stephens the geographer, and Josephus.


LATTICE, see House, p.. 506.


LAVER, Brazen. Moses was directed (Exod. xxx. 18.) to make, among other articles of furniture for the services of the tabernacle, a laver of brass. This is not particularly described as to form ; but the lavers made for the temple were borne by four cherubim, standing upon bases or pedestals mounted on brazen wheels, and having handles belonging to them, by means of which they might be drawn, and conveyed from one place to another, as they should be wanted. These lavers were double, that is to say, composed of a basin, which received the water that fell from another square vessel above it, from which they drew water with cocks. The whole work was of brass ; the square vessel was adorned with the heads of a lion, an ox, and a cherub ; that is to say, of extraordinary hieroglyphic creatures. Each of the lavers contained forty baths, or four bushels, forty- one pints, and forty cubic inches of Paris measure. There were ten made in this form, and of this ca- pacity ; five of them were placed to the right, and five to the left of the temple, between the altar of burnt-offerings and the steps which led to the porch of the temple. In describing the laver nmde for the tabernacle, the sacred writer says, Moses " made it of brass, and the foot of it of brass, and of the looking-glasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation," Exod. xxxviii. 8. The impropriety of introducing looking-glasses here is obvious, since a laver of brass could never have been formed out of these ; besides, our glass. en ] •iiirrors are quite a modern invention. Dr. A. Clarke ?onceives, therefore, that the Hebrew word n«icj ma- roth, denotes mirrors simply, and here, mirrors of polished metal, such as were known to be in com- mon use among the ancients ; and which Dr. Shaw states to be still used by the Arab women in Barbary. (Jahn, Bib. Arch. § 132. Hartmann. Hebraerinn, ii. p. 240. Adam's Rom. Antiq. p. 423.) is an indication of joy, insult, mock- ery, assurance, or admiration. Sarah in her trans- port of joy called her son Isaac, that is, laughter, Gen. xxi. 6. " At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh ;" i. e. thou shalt not fear it, thou shalt be per- fectly secure against those evils. God laughs at the wicked ; he despises their vain efforts. Ishmael Jaughed at Isaac ; he insulted him, he vexed him. (See Gal. iv. 29.) Laughter in general implies re- joicing. " There is a time to laugh, and a time to weep ;" that is, a time to rejoice, and a time to be afflicted, Eccl. hi. 4. " Blessed are ye who weep now, for ye shall laugh," Luke vi. 21, 25. " I said of laughter," of joy, pleasure, " it is mad," Eccl. ii. 2. " Your laughter shall be turned into mourning ;" your joy shall terminate in sorrow, repentance, re- morse, James iv. 9. Laughter does not become a wise man.- " A fool lifteth up his voice with laugh- ter, but a wise man doth scarcely smile a little. The laughter of a fool is as noisy as the crackling of thorns," Ecclus. viii. 8. Abraham's laughter, when God promised him a son, was an expression of ad- miration and gratitude, not of doubt ; the Scripture, which relates it, does not disapprove of it, as it does of Sarah's, Gen. xvii. 17. denotes in general a rule by which actions are to be determined ; and is either natural or posi- tive ; the former is founded on the unchangeable na- ture of things, and is therefore immutable ; the latter is founded on the circumstances in which rational creatures may happen to be placed, and is therefore changeable. The former is called moral ; the latter ritual. The rabbins pretend that Noah's sons received cer- tain laws which compose the law of nature, and bind all people, in all countries. Maimonides believes, that the first six were given to Adam, and that God added a seventh to Noah. Of these precepts the first ordains submission to judges and magistrates ; the second forbids blasphemy against God ; the third, idolatry and superstition ; the fourth, incest, sodomy, bestiality, and sins against nature ; the fifth, murder, and all effusions of blood ; the sixth, theft ; the sev- enth, the eating of the limb of an animal while liv- ing, that is, of crude blood, &c. distinction is generally made between the law of nature and positive laws. The law of nature is impressed on our hearts ; such are our obligations to worship the Supreme Being, to honor our parents, to obey superiors, to do to no man what we would not have done to us, &c. Positive laws are of several kinds ; civil and political or ceremonial. Judicial, civil and political laws regard principally the duties of men in society, and the order and polity of the state ; they restrain the violence of wicked men, de- fend the weak from the oppression of the strong, and regulate duties, rights and powers. Ceremonial laws respect the external worship of God, the duties of ministers and people towards God, and their re- ciprocal obligations to one another, with relation to the Divine Being. The law was given to the Hebrews, by the inter- vention of Moses, on mount Sinai, fifty days after then departure out of Egypt, A. M. 25l3, inte A.I) 1491. (See Exod. xx. &c.) Some learned men have been of opinion, that Moses in most of his laws intended either to imitate those of the Egyptians, or to reverse their customs and maxims, or to circumscribe the Hebrews, to prevent their falling into those errors, idolatries, and superstitions, which they had seen in Egypt. Others, on the contrary, have asserted, that the Egyptians imitated, in part, at least, the Hebrew laws. Cal- met most reasonably concludes, that there was a re- ciprocal imitation ; bearing in mind that the practices of the Mosaic laws, which oppose the superstition of Egypt, were not instituted without design, and that the Jewish legislator intended to cure the Is- raelites of their proneness to idolatry, and to cor- rect the evil habits which they had contracted in Egypt. What was useful among those of Egypt, might be retained ; and such as had been perverted, might be restored to their purity. The law of Moses being the shadow only of good things to come, (see Type,) but bringing nothing to perfection, (Heb. x. 1 ; vii. 19.) it was necessary that Jesus Christ should complete what was imperfect in it, reform what abuses it tolerated, and fulfil what it only promised and typified. This he has executed with great precision. He declares, (Matt. v. 17.) that he came not to destroy the law, but to perfect it. He has enlarged, modified, or restrained it, more par- ticularly the explanations which the rabbins, and masters in Israel, had given of it; explanations, which were rather corruptions than illustrations. Paul has, in some sort, finished what our Saviour had begun ; or rather, he has set in their full light the purposes of his Master. E. g. that the law of Moses is superseded or abrogated by the gospel ; that since the death of the Messiah the legal cere- monies are of no obligation ; that believers are no longer under the yoke of the law, but under grace ; (Rom. vi. 14.) that Christ has procured for us the liberty of sons, instead of the spirit of bondage, which reigned under the Old Testa ment ; in a word, that it is neither the law, nor the works of it, that justify Christians, (Rom. viii.) but faith animated by love, and accompanied with good works, Gal. iv. 31 ; v. 13. When we say that the gospel has rescued us from the yoke of the law, we understand only the appointments of the ceremonial and judicial law; not those moral pre- cepts, whose obligation is indispensable, and whose observation is much more perfect, and extensive, and enforced, under the law of grace, than it was under the old law. The Jews affirm, that Moses received with the written code, on mount Sinai, an oral law ; that the latter was given only by word of mouth, and has been transmitted by the elders. They give a prefer- ence to the oral law, before the written law ; for this, they say, is in many places obscure, imperfect, or de- fective, and could not be used as a rule without the assistance of the oral law, which supplies all that is wanting in the written law, and removes all difficul- ties. They therefore add to the written law the ex- planations, modifications and glosses of the oral law, and it is a sort of maxim among them, that the covenant which God made with them at Sinai, con- sists less in the precepts of the written law than in those of the oral law ; and to the latter they gene- rally give the preference. They say that the words of the Levites are more lovely than those of the law; that the words of the law are sometimes weighty and [ 012 j sometimes light; whereas those of the doctors are always weighty ; that the words of the elders were of greater weight than those of the prophets. They compare the sacred text to water, and the Mishna, or Talmud, which contains their tradition, to wine ; or the written law to salt, but the Mishna and Talmud to most exquisite spices ; the law is only, as it were, the body, but the oral law or tradition, is the soul of religion. They have been justly reproached with making the word of God of no effect by their tra- ditions, Mark vii. 13. The word " law" often implies the Scriptures of the Old Testament. [In the Jewish division of the Old Testament into ' law, the prophets and the hagiography, the law, ov torah, designates the Penta- teuch. R. LAWYERS. These functionaries, so often men- tioned in the New Testament, were men who de- voted themselves to the study and explanation of the Jewish law ; particularly of the traditionary or oral law. They belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, and fell under the reproof of our Saviour for hav- ing taken from the people the key of knowledge. They were as the blind leading the blind. See Scribes.


LEAH, wife of Jacob, and Laban's eldest daughter. See Jacob. was forbidden to the Hebrews, during the seven days of the passover, in memory of what their ancestors did, when they went out of Egypt ; they being then obliged to carry unleavened meal with them, and to make bread in haste ; the Egyp- tians pressing them to be gone, Exod. xii. 15, 19 ; Lev. ii. 11. They were very careful in cleansing their houses from it before this feast began. God forbade either leaven or honey to be offered to him in his temple ; that is, in cakes, or in any baked meats. But on other occasions they might offer leavened bread, or honey. See Numb. xv. 20,21, where God requires them to give the first fruits of the bread, which was kneaded in all the cities of Is- rael, to the priests and Levites. Paul (1 Cor. v. 7,8.) expresses his desire, that Christians should celebrate their passover with unleavened bread ; which figu- ratively signifies sincerity and truth. The apostle here teaches us two things ; first, that the law which obliged the Jews to a literal observance of the pass- over is no longer in force ; secondly, that by un- leavened bread, truth and purity of heart were de- noted. Paul alludes to the care with which the Hebrews cleansed their houses from leaven, when he says, " A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump ;" that is, if there were but a small portion of leaven in a quan- tity of bread or paste, during the passover, it was thereby rendered unclean, and was to be thrown away and burned. Our Saviour (Matt. xvi. 11.) warns his apostles to avoid the leaven of the Phari- sees, Sadducees, and Herodians ; meaning their doc- trine.


LEBANON, see Libanus.


LEBAOTH, a town in Judah and Simeon, (Josh, xv 32.) called Beth Lebaoth, in Josh. xix. 6. LEBBiEUS, otherwise Judas, or Thaddeus, brother of James the Less, son of Mary, sister of the Vir- gin, and of Cleophas, and brother of Joseph. He was married and had children. Nicephorus calls his wife Mary. The Muscovites believe, that they received the faith from him. See Judas IV.


LEBONAH, (Judg. xxi. 19.) a place which Maun- drell takes for Chan-Leban, four leagues from Si- chem southward, and two from Bethel.


LEECH, see Horse-leach.


LEEK, a pot-herb generally known. The He- brews complained in the wilderness, that manna grew insipid to them ; they longed for the leeks and onions of Egypt. Hasselquist says the karrat, or leek, is surely one of those after which the Israel ites repined ; for it has been cultivated in Egypt from time immemorial. The favorable seasons for this plant are winter and spring. The Egyptians are ex- tremely fond of it.


LEES, faces. To drink up the cup of God's [ 613 ] vrath, " even to the lees," is to drink the whole cup to the bottom, Ps. lxxv. 8 ; Isa. li. 17 ; Ezek. xxiii. 34. The rabbins say that Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, drank the lees of all the foregoing ages. " The lees of the people," signifies the vilest part of them, Isa. xlix. 6, 7. God threatens by Zephaniah,- to visit those who are settled on their lees ; i. e. hard- ened in their sins, Zeph. i. 12. LEGION. The Roman legions were composed each of ten cohorts, a cohort of fifty maniples, and a maniple of fifteen men; consequently, a full legion contained six thousand soldiers. But the number varied at different times. In the time of Polybius it was 4200. (See Adam's Rom. A ntiq. p. 367.) Jesus cured a demoniac who called himself " legion," as if possessed by a legion of devils, Mark v. 9. He also said to Peter, who drew his sword to defend him in the olive-garden : " Thinkest thou that I can- not now pray to my Father, who shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels ?" Matt, xxvi. 53. are properly those limbs of an animal, by which it moves from place to place ; yet, to mani- fest the divine omnipotence, and that God is not confined to one mode of action, many creatures have no legs, though they move, (and some swiftly too,) as serpents, worms, snails, &c. and various kinds of fishes, which pass from one place to another, not having even the rudiments of legs. Linnseus classes some kinds of fishes by the situation of their fins, which he considers as answering the purposes of legs, or feet, to land-animals. But, beside being the instruments of motion, the legs of the human frame are the supporters of the body, and great means of strength they are, when in health, firm, stable, se- cure. As such Scripture often alludes to them, Ps. cxlvii. 10. "Leg" is sometimes used modestly, in the same manner as foot, which see.


LEHABIM, the third son of Mizraim, Gen. x. 13. Some think that Lehabim denotes the Libyans, one of the most ancient people in Africa. In Nah. iii. 9, and Dan. xi. 43, we find mention of the Lubim, which the Vulgate and LXX. every where render Libyans ; or, what comes to the same in Nahum and Daniel, they render Nubians. It is clear that this name describes colonies of Egyptians ; whether to the west or south, is the question. (See Lubim.) It is probable that we should restrain our researches after them to the continent of Africa. Certainly we ought to distinguish them from the Lydians of Lesser Asia. The Targum of Jerusalem reads Pentapoli- tauos, which was a region in the country of Cy- rene, including the cities of Berenice, Arsinoe, Ptol- emais, and Gyrene ; and this is usually considered as a very probable situation for the Lehabim. These and the Lubim are doubtless the same.


LEHI, the jaw-bone. Samson, having vanquished the Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass, after the conflict threw away the jaw which had been his weapon, and called the. spot where it fell, "the place of the lifting up of the jaw-bone — Ramath Lehi." Becoming, soon after, very thirsty, he cried to the Lord, and said, " It is thou, Lord, who hast given this great deliverance into ihe hand of thy ser- vant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised ?" Upon which God opened one of the large teeth in lehi, the jaw-hone, and a fountain sprung out of it, to allay Samson's thirst ; and the place retained the name of Lehi, or the Jaw-boue, Judg. xv. 18. To explain this, Cal- met remarks, that the Hebrews sometimes called naked, sharp, and steep roaks, teeth, (1 Sam. xiv I, 5 ; Job xxxix. 28.) and that in this case God opened a rock called Machtes, or the Cheek-tooth, whici. was at the place where Samson obtained his victory, and which, for this reason, he called Lehi, the Jaw-bone. This fountain issuing out of a rock called the Cheek- tooth, at a place named Lehi, or the Jaw-bone, has induced some to believe that it came immediately out of a tooth-hole in the ass's jaw-bone, which would be a surprising miracle indeed. But as Cal- met explains the matter, the miracle of the fountain issuing out of the rock at Samson's prayer is ac- knowledged ; and wonders are not to be multiplied without necessity. This opinion is adopted by Jose- phus, by the paraphrast Jonathan, and by many commentators. The fountain subsisted long, and still subsists, probably, in Palestine. Glycas, and the martyr Antoninus, speak of it as in the suburbs of Eleutheropolis. Mr. Taylor has observed, that perhaps this foun- tain gushed out at the very point in the rock where the jaw-bone of the ass struck when thrown away by Samson ; and thus, though the water really issued from the rock, it might seem to issue from under the jaw-bone. He queries,- in fact, whether the violence with which the jaw-bone was thrown away by Sam- son, did not make a breach, or open a crevice in the rock, from which issued water; that part of the rock which before confined it being broken off. If this be just, we see tl.e reason of the name of the foun- tain, with the veracity of the remark, " it exists to this day ;" which, if it had issued merely from the alveole, the hole of a tooth in the jaw-bone of the ass, is not within the compass of credibility ; as the jaw itself must have perished in a few years at fur- thest.


LENTIL, a species of pulse ; or a kind of bean We find Esau longing for a mess of pottage made of lentiles, (Gen. xxv. 34.) and Augustin says, "Lentiles are used as food in Egypt, for this plant grows abun- dantly in that country ; which is what renders the lentiles of Alexandria so valuable, that they are brought from thence to us, as if none were grown among us." In Barbary, Dr. Shaw says, that "len- tiles are dressed in the same manner as beans, dis- solving easily into a mass, and making a pottage of a chocolate color." This we find was the red pottage which Esau, from thence called Edom, (m-N, red Gen. xxxv. 30.) exchanged for his birthright.


LEOPARD, a fierce animal, spotted with a diver- sity of colors ; it has small white eyes, wide jaws, sharp teeth, round ears, a large tail ; five claws on his fore feet, four on those behind. It is said to be extremely cruel to man. Its name, leo-pard, implies that it has something of the lion and of the panther in its nature. It seems from Scripture, that the leopard could not be rare in Palestine. Isaiah, de- scribing the happy reign of the Messiah, says, (chap, xi. 6.) " The leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fading together." Jeremiah says, (chap. v. 6.) that the leopard lies in ambuscade near the cities of the wicked ; that all they who go out thence shall be torn in pieces by it. And Hosea (chap. xiii. 7.) affirms that the Lord will be unto them as a lion, and as a leopard, lurking in the way of the Assyrians, to devour those who pass by. Jeremiah speaks of the leopard's spots : " Can the ^Ethiopian change his color, or the leopard his spots ?" Scripture often joins the leopard with the lion, as animals of equal fierceness. Iiabakkuk says, (i. 8.) that the Chaldean horses are swifter than leop- [ 614 ] ards. The spouse in the Canticles speaks of the mountains of the leopards, (Cant. iv. 8.) that is to say, of mountains such as Libanus, Shenir, and Her- mon, where wild beasts dwelt. Brocard says, that the mountain called by the name of Leopards is two leagues from Tripoli northwards, and one league from Libanus ; but we can scarcely believe that Sol- omon in tbe Canticles had this mountain in view.


LEPER, a person afflicted with the leprosy. ' The law excluded such from society ; banishing them into the country, and to places uninhabited, Lev. xiii. 45, 46. This law was observed so punctually, that even kings, under the disease, were expelled their pal- aces, shut out of society, and deprived of the govern- ment, as Uzziah, or Azariah, king of Judah, who was afflicted with this malady for attempting to offer incense in the temple, 2 Kings xv. 5; 2 Chron. xxvi. 20. When a leper was cured, he appeared at the city gate, and the priest examined whether he were truly healed, Lev. xiv. 1, &c. After this he went to the temple, took two clean birds, made a wisp with a branch of cedar, and another of hyssop, tied to- gether with a scarlet riband made of wool ; an earthen vessel was then filled with water, and one of these birds was fastened alive to the wisp we have mentioned. The leper who was cured killed the other bird, and let the blood of it run into the vessel filled with water. The priest then took the wisp with the live bird, dipped both into the water tinged with the blood of one of the birds, and sprinkled the leper with it. After this the live bird was set at lib- erty, and the person healed, and purified in this manner, was again admitted to the society of the healthy, and to the use of sacred things. Many commentators are of opinion, that Job's dis- ease was a leprosy, but in a degree of malignity which rendered it incurable, and produced a complication of diseases. LEPROSY. Moses mentions three sorts of lep- rosies ; in (1.) men ; (2.) houses ; and (3.) clothes. 1. Leprosy in men. This disease affects the skin, and sometimes increases in such a manner, as to pro- duce scurf, scabs, and violent itchings, and to corrupt the whole mass of blood. At other times it is only a deformity. The Jews regarded the leprosy as a dis- ease sent from God, and Moses prescribes no natural remedy for the cure of it. He requires only that the diseased person should show himself to the priest, and that the priest should judge of his leprosy ; if it appeared to be a real leprosy, capable of being com- municated to others, he separated the leper from the company of mankind. He appoints certain sacri- fices and particular ceremonies already mentioned for the purification of a leper, and for restoring him to society. The marks which Moses gives for the better distinguishing a leprosy, are signs of the in- crease of this disease. An outward swelling, a pim- ple, a white spot, bright, and somewhat reddish, created just suspicions of a man's being attacked with it. When a bright spot, something reddish or whitish, appeared, and the hair of that place was of a pale red, and the place itself something deeper than the rest of the skin, this was a certain mark of lep- rosy. Those who have treated of this disease, have made the same remarks, but have distinguished a re- cent leprosy from one already formed and become inveterate. A recent leprosy may be healed, but an inveterate one is incurable. Travellers who have seen lepers in the East, say, that the disease attacks principally the feet. Maundrell, who had seen lepers in Palestine, says, that their feet are swelled like those of elephants, or he ses' feet swelled with the farcy The common marks by which, as physicians tell us, i


LESHEM, probably Laish, or Dan.

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