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COMPREHENSIVE CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Edward Robinson

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NAAMAN

NAAMAN, a general in the army of Benhadad, king of Syria, who, being afflicted with a leprosy, was cured by washing seven times in the Jordan, agreea- bly to the command of Elisha the prophet, 2 Kings v. (Comp. Lev. xiv. 7, &c.) The prophet having refused to receive a present offered to him by Naaman, the latter begged that he might be permitted to carry home two mules' burden of the earth of Canaan, assigning as a reason, that henceforth he would serve no God but Jehovah. It seems that his intention was to build an altar in Syria formed of that holy ground, as he conceived it to be, to which God had assigned the blessing of his pecu- liar presence, that he might daily testify his gratitude for the great mercy which he had received, that he might declare openly his renunciation of idolatry, and that he might keep a sort of communication, by simil- itude of worship, with the people who inhabited the land where Elisha dwelt, who had so miraculously cured him. This is perfectly consistent with the precept, (Exod. xx. 24.) "An altar of earth shalt that make unto me ; " and it is very credible, that th& temporary altars were usually of earth ; especially on the high places. To such an altar, apparently, Elijah, after repairing it, added twelve stones, in allusion tc the twelve tribes of Israel, 1 Kings xviii. 31. See, however, another suggestion in respect to this pasw sage, under Baptism, p. 143. Elisha having consented to this request, Naaman again addressed the prophet thus : " In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimrnon to worship there, and .he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon ; when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing." And Elisha said to him, " Go in peace." This passage has given rise to many scruples. Many commentators think, that Naaman only asks leave t» continue those external services to his masler Ben hadad, which he had been used to render him, wher [ 692 ] A I he entered the temple of Rimmon ; and that Elisha suffered him to accompany the king into the temple, provided he paid no worship to the idol. Others, translating the Hebrew in the past tense, suppose that Naaman mentions only his former sin, and asks par- don for it.

NAARATH

NAARATH, a city of Ephraim, (Josh. xvi. 7.) about five miles distant from Jericho.

NABAL

NABAL, a rich but churlish man, of the tribe of Judah, and race of Caleb, who dwelt in the south of Judah, and who had a very numerous flock on Car- mel, but refused to give David and his followers, in their distress, any provisions, though modestly re- quested to do so. David, resenting this harsh treat- ment, so contrary to the usages of eastern hospitality, armed 400 of his people, aud resolved to put Nabal and his family to the sword. In the interim, however, one of Nabal's servants acquainted his vvife Abigail with what had passed, and she, as a wise and pru- dent woman, having justified David's people, pre- pared provisions and refreshments, with which she appeased David. On her return home, Abigail ap- prized Nabal of the danger he had brought himself into, and her account had such effect on his mind, that he became as immovable as a stone, and died in ten days, 1 Sam. xxv. 25, &c.

NABATHEANS

NABATHEANS, or Nabatiienians, Arabians descended from Nebajoth. Their country is called Nabatha3a, and extends from the Euphrates to the Red sea, the chief cities of which are Petra, the capital of Arabia Deserta, and Medaba.

NABONASSAR

NABONASSAR, the first king of Babylon. See Babylon, p. 138.

NABOPOLASSAR

NABOPOLASSAR, see Nebuchadnezzar I.

NABOTH

NABOTH, au Israelite of Jezreel, who lived under Ahab, king of Israel, and had a vineyard in Jezreel, near to the king's palace, which he refusing to trans- fer to the king, was, by the command of Jezebel, falsely accused of blasphemy, condemned, and stoned to death, 1 Kings xxi. Jezebel immediately went to the king, and wished him joy of the vineyard, of which Ahab instantly took possession. See Ahab, Jezebel, and 2 Kings ix. 10. AC HON. The floor of Nachon (2 Sam. vi. 6.) was either so called from the name of its proprietor ; or, which is more probable, the Hebrew denotes the prepared floor, that is, the floor of Obed-edom, which was near, and was prepared to receive the ark. This place, wherever it might be, was either in Jerusalem, or very near Jerusalem, and near the house of Obed- edom, in that city.

NAHALAL

NAHALAL, and Nahalol, a city of Zebulun, (Josh. xix. 15.) yielded to the Levites, and given to the family of Merari, Josh. xxi. 35. The children of Zebulun did not make themselves complete masters of it, but permitted the Canaanites to dwell in it, Judg. i. 30.

NAHALIEL

NAHALIEL, an encampment of the Israelites in the wilderness, (Numb xxi. 19.) which Eusebius places on the Anion.

NAHASSON

NAHASSON, son of Aminadab, and head of the tribe of Judah at the exodus, Numb. vii. 12, 13.

NAHUM

NAHUM, the seventh of the twelve minor proph- ets. The circumstances of Nahum's life are un- known. His prophecy consists of three chapters, which form one discourse, in which he foretells the destruction of Nineveh, in so powerful and vivid a manner, that he seems to have been on the very spot. Opiuions are divided as to the time in which Na- hum prophesied. Josephus says, he foretold the fall of Nineveh 115 years before it happened, which makes him contemporary with Ahaz. The Jews say, that he prophesied under Manasseh ; Clemens Alex- andrinus places him between Daniel and Ezekiel, and, consequently, during the captivity. The best inter- preters, as Gesenius, Rosenmiiller, and others, adopt Jerome's opinion, that he foretold the de- struction of Nineveh in the time of Hezekiah, and after the war of Sennacherib in Egypt, mentioned by Berosus. Nahum speaks of the taking of No-ammon, of the haughtiness of Rabshakeb, and of the defeat of Sennacherib, as things that were passed. He supposes that the tribe of Judah were still in their own country, and that they there celebrated their festivals. He no- tices also the captivity aud dispersion of the ten tribes. NAIL. Few things are more perplexing to dis- tant strangers than those which are of daily occur- rence in their own country ; their very familiarity renders them beneath the notice of persons where they are practised, who, therefore, seldom report them, but where they are not practised, simple as they are in themselves, they occasion much perplexity to those who wish to understand what they read. Our trans- lation renders by one 'word, nail, what the Hebrew employs two words to denote ; a distinction which seems to import a difference. (1.) The nail of Jael's tent, or rather the tent-pw, [ 693 ] With which she killed Sisera, is called irp, ydthed; it was formed for penetrating earth, or other hard sub- stance, when driven by sufficient force, as with a hammer ; it includes the idea of strength. So, in Isa. xxii. 23, the idea is that of strength : " I will fasten him as a nail (-irn) in a sure place," that is, he shall be strong enough to support whatever is suspended on him. This illustrates an allusion of the prophet Zechariah, x. 4, "The Lord hath made (Judah) his flock of sheep, &c. which are naturally timid, as martial as a horse trained to battle ; yea, out of Judah shall come the chief for the corner, (a hero,) out of Judah shall come the strong nail, or pike-head, (v,) which shall effect whatever is requisite, by force or strength ; out of him shall come the battle-bow, with powers augmented by additional vigor ; out of him shall come the general regulator, f the commander- in-chief, perhaps,) at once ;" meaning, most probably, different ranks of men, (the lower class, the nail, hum- ble but strong ; a superior class, the battle-bow,) which, combined in their proper stations, should com- pose a formidable army. Observe, too, these shall come at once, without much disciplining ; without that experience in former wars, which is usually necessary to form the complete military character. We add Chardin's account of the manner of fasten- ing nails in the East: "They do not drive with a hammer the nails that are put into the eastern walls ; the walls are too hard, being of brick ; or if they are of clay, they are too mouldering ; but they fix them in the brick- work as they are building. They are large nails, with square heads like dice, well made, the ends bent so as to make them cramp-irons. They com- monly place them at the windows and doors, in order to hang upon them, when they like, veils and cur- tains." (Harmer, vol. i. p. 191.) (2.) But we have another word for nails, which seems to imply ornament, rather than strength ; or something of dignified stability. So we read, 2 Chron. iii. 9, "The weight of the nails (m-roc, mismeroth) was fifty shekels of gold." These nails, then, being of gold, were used to adorn the holy place, no less than to strengthen it. We have the same . word, though varied, in 1 Chron. xxii. 3. David prepared iron in abundance for the nails, (o-nroc, mismerim,) designed to ornament, no doubt, the leaves of the doors of the sanctuary entrance ; for, had the inten- tion been only to fasten these doors, what need of so great a quantity ? Observe how Ezra employs his simile, chap. ix. 8 : " The Lord leaves us a remnant to escape, to give us a nail β€” not an ornamental nail, not a golden stud, but a ydthed, a nail of support in his holy place." Can any thing be less arrogant, than assimilation to such a nail ? But the idea of Eccl. xii. 11, seems to be the reverse of this: "The words (sayings) of the wise are as goads," sharp, piercing, penetrating, stimulating, when taken each one by itself ; but when combined they are like ornamental nails {mismeroth) planted in a regular order, and disposed in symmetrical rows, or patterns, as those were in the holy place, or those in the doors of the sanctuary. This gives also the true import of the expression, Isa. xli. 7 : " The image is ready for joining together," that is, the junctures fit accurately to each other, now fir them to each other ; and he strengthens it, by driving in ornamental nails, nails of the best kind, (mismerim,) or, at least, flat-headed nails, not brads ; that it should not start, be separated, fall to pieces." This is very different from the usual notion of the passage, but is supported by Jer. x. 4 : " They deck the image with silver and with gold ; with ornamental nails, (mismeroth,) and with piercings ; they bind it tightly together, compact it, brace it up, and add to the whole a delicate coat of paint, for complete decoration ;" as we know was customary in early antiquity.

NAIN

NAIN, a city of Palestine, where Jesus restored a widow's son to life, as they were carrying him out to be buried. Eusebius says, it was in the neighborhood of Endor and Scythopolis ; and elsewhere, that it was two miles from Tabor, south. The brook Kishon ran between Tabor and Nain.

NAIOTH

NAIOTH, a town near Ramah, where David withdrew to avoid the violence of Saul ; and where Samuel, with the sons of the prophets, dwelt, 1 Sam. xix. 23. NAKEDNESS. This term, besides its ordinary and literal meaning, sometimes signifies, void of suc- cor, disarmed. So, after worshipping the golden calf, the Israelites found themselves naked in the midst of their enemies. " Nakedness of the feet" was a token of respect. Moses put off his shoes to ap- proach the burning bush. Most commentators are of opinion, that the priests served in the tabernacle and temple with their feet naked ; which idea is countenanced by the fact, that in the enumeration that Moses makes of the habit and ornaments of the priests, he no where mentions any dress for the feet. Some also maintain, that the Israelites might not enter this holy place, till they had put off their shoes, and cleaned their feet. (See Eccles. v. 1.) "Naked- ness of the feet" sometimes expresses what delicacy would conceal, Lam. i. 9. "Nakedness " should in many places be understood as our word undressed ;β€” not fully, or properly, or becomingly clothed. A king having on only his under-clothing, is undressed, that is, naked, for a king ; though his garb might suit a laborer. When the apostle says, (1 Cor. iv. 11.) " To this present hour we are naked," he does not mean absolute nakedness, in the same sense as J ob says, (i. 21.) " Naked came out of my mother's womb, and naked shall 1 return ;" but he means unprovided with suitable clothing. To the same effect, a nation, or people, is said to be made naked ; (Exod. xxxii. 25 ; 2 Chron. xxviii. 19.) " Asa made Judah naked ; " unprovided with means of re- sisting the enemy. So the walls of Babylon are said to be made naked ; (Jer. li. 58.) that is, stripped of their towers and other defences ; and a tree in the wilder- ness is described as naked, deprived of its verdure, its foliage, Jer. xlviii. 6. In warm countries slight cloth- ing, or even nakedness, is more endurable than with us; but when nakedness is put absolutely, it usually intends a shameful discovery of the person ; ruthless privation of necessaries, degradation, misery. " Naked " is put for discovered, known, manifest. So Job xxvi. 6, " Hell is naked before him ; " the sepulchre, the unseen state, is open to the eyes of God. Paul says in the same sense, " Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight ; but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do," Heb. iv. 13. The nakedness of Adam and Eve was unknown that is, unfelt ; they were unconscious of it, before they sinned. They were not ashamed at it, because concupiscence and irregular desires had not yet excit- ed the flesh against the spirit. They were exempt from whatever indecency might now happen among their descendants on occasion of nakedness. NAME. " The name," without any addition, sig- [ G94 1 nifies the name of the Lord, which, out of respect, was not pronounced. "The Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name," Lev. xxiv. 11. " The name of God" often stands for God himself, his power, or majesty. Our assistance, or strength, and hope, is in the name of God, in his goodness, power, &c. To take the name of God in vain, (Exod. xx. 7.) is to swear falsely, or without occasion ; or to mingle the name of God in our discourses, or oaths, either falsely, rashly, wantonly, unnecessarily, or presumptuously. God forbids to "make mention of the names of other gods," Exod. xxiii. 13. It is doing them too much honor to swear by their names, to take them as wit- nesses of what we affirm, as if they were really some- thing. The Hebrews hardly ever pronoun;cd the name Baal ; they disfigured it, by saying Mephibo- sheth, or Meribosheth, instead of Mephibaal, or Meri- baal ; where Bosheth signifies something shameful or contemptible ; instead of saying Elohim, they said Elilim, gods of filthiness. To give a name is a token of command and author- ity. A father gives names to his children, a master to his slaves, to his animals. It is said, (Gen. ii. 23.) that Adam gave name to his wife and to all the animals, and that the -names he gave them became their true names. God changed the name of Abram, Jacob and Sarai, as a token of honor, an addition, expressing his particular regard towards those whom he receives, more especially, into the number of his own. Hence he gave a name, even before their birth, to some per- sons whom he appointed, and who belonged to him in a particular manner: e. g. to Jedidiah, or Solomon, son of David, to the Messiah, to John the Baptist, &c. God, speaking to Moses, promises to send his angel before him ; and says, " My name is in him," Exod. xxiii. 21. He shall act, he shall speak, he shall pun- ish in my name ; he shall bear my name, he shall be my ambassador, he shall receive the same honors as belong to me. And in effect, the angel that spake to Moses, that appeared to him in the bush, that gave him the law on mount Sinai, speaks and acts always as God himself; and Moses always gives him the name of God : " Thus saith the Lord," and " The Lord spake to Moses," &c. To know any one by his name, (Exod. xxxiii. 12.) expresses a distinction, a friendship, aparticular famil- iarity. The kings of the East had little coinmunica- don with then - subjects, and hardly ever appeared in public ; so that when they knew their servants by name, vouchsafed to speak to them, to call them, and to admit them into their presence, it was a great mark of favor. In many eastern countries the true per- sonal name of the king is unknown to his subjects ; in Japan, to pronounce the emperor's real name is punishable ; his general name, as emperor, is held to be sufficiently sacred. Titles often became names, or parts of names ; by these titles many sovereigns are known in history ; and varying with incidents and occurrences, they occasion great confusion. Those who in the assemblies were called by their names, (Numb. xvi. 2.) were principals of the people, the heads of tribes ; or those who had some great employment, or particular dignity. God, speaking of the fixed place where his temple should be built, calls it "The place which the Lord shall choose to place his name there," Dent. xiv. 23 ; xvi. 2. There his name should be solemnly invoked ; this place should have the honor of bearing the name of the Lord, of being consecrated to his service and worship. These expressions show the veneration of the Hebrews for whatever in any wise belonged to God. "Name" is often put for renown or reputation. The n,ame of Joshua became famous over all the country ; (Josh. vi. 27.) and God said to David, when he reproached him with the crime he had committed with Bathsheba, " I have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth ; " (2 Sam. vii. 9.) I have given you honor and reputation, equal to that of the greatest of mon- archs. "To raise up the name of the dead," (Ruth iv. 5, 10, &c.) is said of the brother of a man who died without children, when his brother married the widow of the deceased, and revived his name in Israel, by means of the children which he might beget ; and which were deemed to be children of the deceas- ed. In a contrary sense to this, to blot out the name of any one, is to exterminate his memory ; to extirpate his race, his children, works, or houses, and in general whatever may continue his name on the earth, Ps. ix 5 ; Prov. x. 7. Isaiah (iv. 1.) describes a time of calamity and dis grace in Israel, in which men should be very scarce : he says, "In that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel ; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Take us for wives, and let us be called your spouses. The Lord complains in Ezekiel, that his spouses (Judah and Israel) are become prostitutes, though they bore his name ; they defiled his holy name by abominations and idolatry. God often complains that the false prophets prophe sied in his name ; (Jer. xiv. 14, 15; xxvii. 15, &c.) and Christ says, (Matt. vii. 22.) that in the day of judg ment many shall say, " Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works ?" He also says, (Mark ix. 41.) whosoever shall give a cup of cold water in his name, shall not lose his re- ward ; and he that receives a prophet or a just man, in the name of a prophet or a just man, shall receive a recompense in proportion to his good intention, Matt. x. 41. In all these instances the " name" is put for the person, for his service, his sake, his authority. So names of men are sometimes put for persons. Rev. iii. 4, " Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments." And chap. xi. 13, seven thousand men perished in the earthquake, β€” names of men, Gr. Perhaps this should be considered as implying men of name, persons of consequence, nobles,- &c. It is probable, also, that this phrase contains some allusion to a list or cata- logue of names : very credibly, of eminent persons, for we find it in Actsii. 15, expressing the apostles and. principals of the Christian church β€” " The number of the names was about a hundred and twenty." There were many thousands of followers of Jesus in Jerusa- lem ; but the apostles, the Seventy and some others, enough to make up about the number stated, were the principals. There were certain mysterious notions connected with the names of individuals ; hence, in calling a muster-roll of soldiers, the sergeants always began with names of good omen, as Felix, Faustus, &c. analogous to our Good-luck, Happy, &c. Also, the number comprised in the letters of a name was mys- terious, as that of Antichrist. See that article.

NAOMI

NAOMI, wife of Elimelech. and mother-in-law of Ruth. See Ruth.

NAPHTALI

NAPHTALI, the sixth son of Jacob, by Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid Gen. xxx. 8. We know but few A V [ 095 ] particulars of the life of Naphtali. His sons were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer. and Shillem, Gen. xlvi. 24. Tlie patriarch Jacob, when he gave his blessing, said, as it is in the English Bible, "Naphtali is a hind let loose ; he giveth goodly words," Gen. xlix. 21. For an illustration of this passage, see the article Hind. NAPHTUH1M, the fourth son of Mizraim, Gen. x. 13. He dwelt in Egypt, and probably peopled that part of Ethiopia, between Syene and Meroe, of which Napata, or Napatea, was the capital.

NARCISSUS

NARCISSUS, a freed man and favorite of the Ro- man emperor Claudius, who possessed great influ- ence at court, Rom. xvi. 11.

NATHAN

NATHAN, a famous prophet, who lived under David, and had much of the confidence of that prince, whom he served in a number of ways. (See 2 Sam. xi. xii. &c.) The time and manner of Na- than's death are not known. 1 Chron. xxix. 29, no- tices that he, with Gad, wrote the history of David. There are several other persons of this name men- tioned in Scripture ; one of them a son of David, 2 Sam. v. 14. NATHANx\EL, a disciple of Christ, the manner of whose conversion is related John i. 46, &c. He is probably the same as Bartholomew. See Bar- tholomew.

NATION

NATION, all the inhabitants of a particular coun- try, (Deut. iv. 34.) a country or kingdom, (Exod. xxxiv. 10 ; Rev. vii. 9.) countrymen, natives of the same stock, (Acts xxvi. 4.) the father, head, and ori- ginal of a people, (Gen. xxv. 23.) the heathen, or Gentiles, Isa. Iv. 5. See Gentiles, or Heathen.

NATURE

NATURE, in Scripture, expresses the course of things established in the world. So a crime is said to be against nature, because it is contrary to what is established by the Creator, Rom. i. 26 ; Judg. xix. 24. Paul says, to engraft a good olive-tree into a wild olive, is contrary to nature ; (Rom. xi. 24.) the cus- tomary order of nature is thereby in some measure inverted. " Nature " is also put for natural descent ; (Gal. ii. 15 ; Eph. ii. 3.) and for common sense, nat- ural instinct, 1 Cor. xi. 14. The nature of animals is that by which they are distinguished from other creatures, and from one another, James iii. 7. Peter informs us that our Saviour has made us partakers of a divine nature ; he has merited for us the character of children of God, and grace to prac- tise godliness, &c. like our Father who is in heaven. {Comp. 1 John iii. 1.) was little cultivated among the Hebrews, till the days of their kings : Solomon had a fleet, but he had not sailors equal to the manage- ment of it ; no doubt, from their want of habit. Mo- ses mentions nothing of navigation, and David, it should seem, rather acquired his great wealth by land commerce than by sea voyages. It is not easy to say what assistance the wisdom of Solomon contrib- uted to his fleet and officers on the mighty ocean. Perhaps his extensive knowledge of natural things first suggested the plan of these voyages. We know that Judea had ports on the Mediterranean, as Joppa, &c. but probably the coast, during the days of the judges, was in the hands of the Philistines, to the ex- clusion of Hebrew mariners ; and this accounts for the means by which the Philistines, on so narrow a slip of land, could become powerful, and could occa- sionally furnish immense armies, because they were free to receive reinforcements by sea. In later ages the Greeks and Romans invaded Syria by sea, and the intercourse between Judea and Rome was direct ? as we learn from the voyage of Paul, &c. Comp Joppa. There were also many boats and lesser vessels employed in navigating the lakes, or seas, as the Hebrews called them, which are in the Holy Land ; and there must have been some embarkations on the Jordan ; but the whole of these were trifling ; and it appears, that though Providence taught navigation to mankind, yet it was not the design of Providence that the chosen people, and the depositaries of the Messiah, should have been other than a settled or local nation, attached to one country, to which coun- try, and even to certain of its towns, peculiar privi- leges were attributed in prophecy, and by divine ap- pointment. The legal observances, distinction of meats, &c. were great impediments to Jewish sailors, and prevented their attainment of any great skill in navigation.

NAZARENE

NAZARENE, see Nazarite.

NAZARETH

NAZARETH, a little town of Zebulun, in lower Galilee, west of Tabor, and east of Ptolemais ; cele- brated for having been the residence of Christ for the first thirty-three years of his life, (Luke ii. 51.) and from which he received the name of Nazarene. After he had begun* his mission, he sometimes preached here in the synagogue, (Luke iv. 16.) but because his countrymen had no faith in him, and were offended at the meanness of his origin, he did not many miracles among them, (Matt. xiii. 54, 58.) and fixed his habitation at Capernaum for the latter part of his life, Matt. iv. 13. Nazareth is situated on high ground, having on one side a precipice, from whence the Nazarenes one day attempted to throw down our Saviour, because he upbraided them with their unbelief, Luke iv. 29. Nazareth is upon the side of a barren, rocky eleva- tion, facing the east, and commanding a long valley, of a round, concave form, and encompassed with mountains. The place is shown where the house of the Holy Virgin stood ; but the house itself, say the Catholics, was transported by angels to Loretto ! Dr. E. D. Clarke, who describes Nazareth, mentions the village of Sephoury, in which is shown the house of St. Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary, five miles from the town ; the fountain near Nazareth, called the "Virgin Mary's fountain ;" the great church, or convent, at that time the refuge of wretches afflicted with the plague, hoping for recovery from the sanc- tity of the place ; Joseph's workshop, converted into a chapel ; the synagogue wherein JesUs is said to have preached, now a church ; the precipice, whence the inhabitants would have thrown our Lord, con- cerning which " the words of the evangelist are re- markably explicit ; and it is, .probably, the precise spot alluded to in the text of Luke's Gospel." β€” A stone, that is said to have served as a table to Christ and his disciples, is an object of worship to the super- stitious of Galilee. [The following description of Nazareth, and the " brow of the hill " on which it stood, is given by Dr. Jowett, (Chr. Researches in Syria, p. 128, Amer. ed.) " Nazareth is situated on the side, and extends near- ly to the foot, of a hill, which, though not very high, is rather steep and overhanging. The eye naturally wanders over its summit, in quest of some point from which it might, probably be that the men of this place endeavored to cast our Saviour down, (Luke iv. 29.) but in vain : no rock adapted to such an object ap- pears. At the foot of the hill is a modest, simple plain, surrounded by low hills, reaching in length nearly a mile ; in breadth, near the city, a hundred [ C96 ] and fifty yards ; but farther on, about four hundred yards. On this plain there are a few olive-trees, and fig-trees, sufficient, or rather scarcely sufficient, to make the spot picturesque. Then follows a ravine, which gradually grows deeper and narrower ; till, after walking about another mile, you find yourself in an immense chasm, with steep rocks on either side, from whence you behold, as it were beneath your feet, and before you, the noble plain of Esdraelon. Nothing can be finer than the apparently immeas- urable prospect of this plain, bounded to the south by the mountains of Samaria. The elevation of the hills on which the spectator stands in this ravine is verj great ; and the whole scene, when we saw it, was clothed in the most rich mountain-blue color that can be conceived. At this spot, on the right han^ of the ravine, is shown the rock to which the mes? of Nazareth are supposed to have conducted our Lord, for the purpose of throwing him down. WΒ»th the Testament in our hands, we endeavored to examine the probabilities of the spot; and I confess there is nothing in it which excites a scruple of in- crbdulity in my mind. The rock here is perpendicu- lar for about fifty feet, down which space it would be easy to hurl a person who should be unawares brought to the summit; and his perishing woidd be a very certain consequence. That the spot might be at a considerable distance from the city, is an idea not inconsistent with St. Luke's account ; for the ex- pression, thrusting Jesus out of the city, and leading him to the brow of the hill on which their city ivas built, gives fair scope for imagining, that, in their rage and debate, the Nazarcnes might, without originally in- tending his murder, press upon him for a considera- ble distance after they had quitted the synagogue. The distance, as already noticed, from modern Naz- areth to this spot is scarcely two miles β€” a space, which, in the fury of persecution, might soon he passed over. Or should this appear too considera- ble, it is by no means certain but that Nazareth ma) 7 at that time have extended through the principal- part of the plain, which I have described as lying before the modern town : in this case, the distance passed over might not exceed a mile. It remains only to note the expression β€” the brotv of the hill, on which their city ivas built : this, according to the mod- ern aspect of the spot, would seem to be the hill north of the town, on the lower slope of which the town is built ; but I apprehend the word hill to have in this, as it has in very many other passages of Scripture, a much larger sense ; denoting sometimes a range of mountains, and in some instances a whole mountain- ous district. In all these cases the singular word "Β»7Z," "geieZ," is used, according to the idiom of the language of this country. Thus, Gebel Carmyl, or mount Carmel, is a range of mountains : Gebel Lib- nan, or mount Lebanon, is a mountainous district of more than fifty miles in length ; Gebel ez-Zeitun, the mount of Olives, is certainly, as will be hereafter noted, a considerable tract of mountainous country. And thus any person, coming from Jerusalem and entering on the plain of Esdraelon, would, if asking the name of that bold line of mountains which bounds the north side of the plain, be informed that it was Gebel Nasra, the hill of Nazareth ; though, in Eng- lish, we should call them the mountains of Nazareth. Now the spot shown as illustrating Luke iv. 29, is, in fact, on the very brow of this lofty ridge of moun- tains ; in comparison of which, the hill upon which the modern town is built is but a gentle eminence. can see, therefore, no reason for thinking other- wise, than that this may be the real scene where our divine Prophet, Jesus, experienced so great a dis- honor from the men of his own country, and of his own kindred." R.

NAZARITE

NAZARITE, or Nazarene, may signify, (1.) An inhabitant of Nazareth ; or a native of that city. (2.) sect of Christians. (3.) A man under a vow to ob- serve the rules of Nazariteship ; whether for his whole life, as Samson, and John the Baptist ; or for a time, as those in Numb. vi. 18 β€” 20 ; Amos ii. 11, 12. (4.) A man of distinction and dignity in the court of a prince. (Compare the Bibl. Repository, ii. p. 388.) (1.) The name of Nazarene is given to Christ, not only because of his" having lived the greater part ol his life at Nazareth, and because that place was con sidered as his country, but also because the prophets had foretold that "he should be called a Nazarene,'- Matt. ii. 23. We find no particular place in the prophets, expressly affirming, that the Messiah should be called a Nazarene ; and Matthew only mentions the prophets in genera!. Perhaps he would infei that the consecration of Nazarites, and their great purity, was a type and prophecy referring to our Saviour ; (Numb. vi. 18, 19.) or, that the name Nazir, or Nazarite, [separated,] given to the patriarch Jo- seph, had some reference to Christ, Gen. xlix. 26; Deut. xxxiii. 16. Jerome was of opinion, that Mat- thew alludes to Isa. xi. 1 ; Ix. 21 : " There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch (Heb. JVezer) shall grow out of his roots." This branch, or Nezer, and this rod, are certainly intended to de- note the Messiah, by the general consent of the fa- thers and interpreters. Or, possibly, in a more general sense, " He shall be vilified, despised, neglected," as every thing was that came from Nazareth ; and this might be a kind of prophetic proverb. (2.) It may reasonably be doubted, whether the Naz- arenes or Nazaraeans spoken of in early ecclesiastical history were heretics : it is more probable, that they were descendants of theoriginal Jewish Christians,and, as Jews, were too harshly treated by those who should have been their Gentile brethren. They must have been well known to Jerome, who lived long in Judea, and who thus de:scribes them in several places. Mentioning Hebrews believing in Christ, he says they were anathematized for their rigid adherence to the ceremonies of the Jewish law, which they min- gled with the gospel of Christ : " They so receive Christ, that they discard not the rites of the ancient law." He also describes the Nazarenes as persons " who believed in Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary," in whom the orthodox believe ; but who were nevertheless so bigoted to the Mosaic law, that they were rather to be considered as a Jewish sect, than a Christian. (3.) A Nazarite, under the ancient law, was a man or woman engaged by a vow to abstain from wine and all intoxicating liquors, to let the hair grow, not to enter any house polluted by having a dead body in it, nor to be present at any funeral. If, by accident, any one should have died in their presence, they re- commenced the whole of their consecration and Naz- ariteship. This vow generally lasted eight days, sometimes a month, and sometimes during their whole lives. When the time of Nazariteship was expired, the priest brought the person to the door of the temple, who there offered to the Lord a he-la-mb for a burnt-offering, a she-lamb for an expiatory sac- rifice, and a ram for a peace-offering. They offered likewise loaves and cakes, with wine for libations. After all was sacrificed and offered, the priest, oir [ 697 1 some other person, shaved the head of the Nazarite at the door of the tabernacle, and burnt his hair on the fire of the altar. Then the priest put into his hands the shoulder of tiie ram roasted, with a loaf and a cake, which the Nazarite returning into the hands of the priest, he offered them to the Lord, lift- ing them up in the presence of the Nazarite. From this time the offerer might drink wine, his Naza- ritcship being accomplished. Perpetual Nazarites, as Samson and John the Baptist, were consecrated to their Nazariteship by their parents, and continued all their lives in this state, without drinking wine, or cutting their hair. Those who made a vow of Naz- ariteship out of Palestine, and could not come to the temple when their vow was expired, contented them- selves with observing the abstinence required by the law, and cutting off their hair in the place where they were. The offerings and sacrifices prescribed by Moses, to be offered at the temple, by themselves, or by others for them, they deferred, till a conve- nient opportunity. Hence Paul, being at Corinth, having made the vow of a Nazarite, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, but deferred the complete fulfilment of his vow till he came to Jerusalem, Acts xviii. 18. ' When a person found he was not in condition to make a vow of Nazariteship, or had not leisure fully to perform it, he contented himself by contribut- ing to the expense of the sacrifices and offerings of ' those who had made, and were fulfilling, this vow ; by which means he became a partaker in such Naz- ariteship. Josephus, magnifying the zeal and devo- tion of Herod Agrippa, says, he caused several Naz- arites to be shaven. Maimonides says, that he who would partake in the Nazariteship of another, went to the temple, and said to the priest, " In such a time such an one will finish his Nazariteship ; I intend to defray the charge attending the shaving off his hair, either in part, or in whole." When Paul came to Jerusalem, (A. D. 58, Acts xxi. 23, 24.) James, with other brethren, advised that, to quiet the minds of the converted Jews, he should unite with four persons, who had vows of Nazariteship, and contribute to their charges and ceremonies ; by which the people would perceive, that he did not disregard the law, as they had been led to suppose. (4.) Nazarite expresses a man of great dignity : hence the patriarch Joseph is called a Nazarite, a prince, among his brethren ; (Gen. xlix. 26.) Engl. tr. separated from his brethren. Nazarite in this sense is variously understood. Some think it signifies one who is crowned, chosen, separated, distinguished ; JYezer in Hebrew signifying a crown. The LXX translate, a chief, or him that is honored. Nazir was a name of dignity in the courts of eastern princes. In the court of Persia, the Nezir is superintendent- general of the king's household, the chief officer of the crown ; the high steward of his family, treasures and revenues. (Chardin, Government of the Persians, ch. 5.) In this sense Joseph was Nezir of the house of Pharaoh. Moses also gives to Joseph the title of Nazir, speaking of the tribes of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, Deut. xxxiii. 16.

NEAPOLIS

NEAPOLIS, now called Napoli, (Acts xvi. 11.) a maritime city of Macedonia, near the borders of Thrace, whither Paul came from the isle of Samo- thracia. From Neapolis he went to Philippi.

NEBAJOTH

NEBAJOTH, a son of Ishmael, (Gen. xxv. 13 ; xxviii. 9.) the 'father of the Nabatheans, (q. v.) a peo- ple of Arabia Petrsea, who lived by plunder and trade, Is. lx. 7. R.

NEBAT

NEBAT, or Nabath, of Ephraim, of the race of 88 Joshua, and father of Jeroboam, the first king of the ten tribes, 1 Kings xi. 26.

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