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COMPREHENSIVE CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Edward Robinson

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O

O, lovely charmer, pity me ! See how my blood does from me fly ! Yet were I sure to conquer thee, Witness it, Heaven ! I'd gladly die." Aaron Hill's Travels, p. 108. This account is confirmed by De la Motraye, who giv.es a print of such a subject. This custom of cutting themselves is taken, in other places of Scrip- ture, as a mark of affection : so, Jer. xlviii. 37 : " Ev- ery head shall be bald, every beard clipped, and upon all hands cuttings ; and upon the loins sackcloth ;" as tokens of excessive grief, for the absence of those thus regarded. So, chap. xvi. ver. 6: "Both the great and the small shall die in the land ; they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves," in proof of their affection, and expression of their loss ; " nor make themselves bald for them," by tearing their hair, &c. as a token of grief. So, chap. xli. 5 : " There came from Samaria fourscore men having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent ; and having cut themselves ; with offer- ings to the house of the Lord." So, chap, xlvii. 5 . [ 325 ] " Baldness is come upon Gaza : Askelon is cut off, with the residue of her valleys ; how long wilt thou cut thyself?" rather, perhaps, how deep ? or to what length wilt thou cut thyself? All these places in- clude the idea of painful absence of the party belov- ed. Cuttings for the dead had the same radical idea of privation. The law says, Lev. xix. 28, and Deut. xiv. 1 : "Ye are the children of the Lord your God ; ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes, for the dead," i. e. restrain such excessive tokens of grief: sorrow not as those with- out hope — if for a dead friend ; but if for a dead idol, as Cahnet always takes it — then it prohibits the idol- atrous custom, of which it also manifests the antiqui- ty. Mr. Harmer has properly referred " the wounds in the hands" of the examined prophet, (Zech. xiii. 6.) to this custom : — the prophet denies that he gave himself these wounds in token of his affection to an idol ; but admits that he had received them in token of affection to a person. It is usual to refer the ex- pression of the apostle (Gal. vi. 17 : "I bear in my body the marks, stigmata, of the Lord Jesus,") to those imprinted on soldiers by their commanders ; or to those imprinted on slaves by their masters ; but would there be any impropriety in referring them to tokens of affec- tion towards Jesus ? q. d. " Let no man take upon him to [m'olest, fatigue] trouble me by questioning my pretensions to the apostleship, or to the charac- ter of a true lover of Jesus Christ, as some among you Galatians have done ; for I think my losses, my sufferings, my scars, received in the fulfilment of my duty to him, are tokens sufficiently visible to every man who considers them, of my regard to him, for whose sake I have borne, and still bear them : I shall, therefore, write no more in vindication of my character, in that respect, however it may be . impugned."

OATH

OATH, a solemn affirmation, accompanied by an appeal to the Supreme Being. God has prohibited all false oaths, and all useless and customary swear- ing in ordinary discourse ; but when the necessity or importance of a matter requires an oath, he allows to swear by his name. Among the Hebrews an oath was administered by the judge, who stood up, and adjured the party, who was to be sworn. To this mode of administering an oath Moses alludes, when he says, (Lev. v. 1.) "If a person sin, hearing the voice of swearing, that is, of adjuration, being called on to witness, whether he hath seen or known of the transaction then in judg- ment," &c. And this we take to be the true import of Prov. xxix. 24, "Whoso is partner, accomplice, even after the fact, with a thief, hateth his own soul : he heareth the voice of cursing, that is, the adjura- tion by the judge, when inquiry is making after the truth of a fact, but does not discover his knowledge of the matter :" consequently, he is guilty of perjury. (See 1 Kings viii. 31 ; 2 Chron. vi. 22.) In this man- ner our Lord was adjured by Caiaphas, Matt. xxvi. 63. Jesus had remained silent under long examina- tion, when the high-priest rising up, knowing he had a sure mode of obtaining an answer, said, "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ," &c. To this oath, thus solemn- ly administered, Jesus confessed a good confession. That the high-priests had this power, see Exod. xxii. 11 ; Lev. v. 1 ; Prov. xxix. 24 ; xxx. 9. Probably, they might thus interfere only on occasions of some moment, and when the most solemn kind of oath was necessary. An oath is a solemn appeal to God, as to an all- seeing witness, and an almighty avenger, if what we say be false, Heb. vi. 16. It is an act of religious worship ; whence God requires it to be done in his name, (Deut. x. 20.) and points out the manner in which it ought to be administered, and the duty of the person who swears, Ps. xv. 4; xxiv. 4; Jer. iv. 2. An oath in itself is not unlawful, either as it is a re- ligious act, or as God is called on to witness. See Covenant. God himself is represented as confirming his prom- ise by oath, (Heb. vi. 13.) and thus conforming him- self to what is practised among men, chap. v. 16, 17. The oaths forbidden (Matt. v. 34, 35; Jam. v. 12.) refer only to the unthinking, hasty and vicious prac- tices of the Jews ; otherwise, Paul would have acted against the command of Christ, Rom. i. 9 ; 2 Cor. i. 23. Neither atheists nor Epicureans, who deny, the former the being, the latter the providence, of God, can take an oath administered, and be bound by it, from the very form of an oath, which declares the omniscience and primitive justice of God. That per- son is obliged to take an oath, whose duty requires him to profess the truth. As we are bound to mani- fest every possible degree of reverence towards God, the greatest care is to be taken that we swear neither rashly nor negligently in making promises. To neg- lect performance is perjury; unless the promise be contrary to the law of nature ; in which case no oath is binding. A person is guilty of perjury who takes an oath in a sense different from that in which it is (lawfully) tendered: such simulation and dissimula- tion, or mental reservation, is contrary to the law of nature, because a violation of duty. To swear by a creature is simply unlawful, from the nature of an oath, which implies omniscience and omnipotence in the party appealed to, and sworn by, perfections in- competent to any creature. We find Joseph using an extraordinary kind of oath, as it appears to us ; (Gen. xlii. 15.) " As Pharaoh liveth," or, by the life of Pharaoh. This custom of swearing by the king still continues in the East. The most sacred oath among the Persians is " by the king's head," says Hanway, (Trav. vol. i. p. 313.) and among other instances of it, we read in the Travels of the Ambassadors, (p. 204.) "There were but sixty horses for ninety-four persons. The Mehemander (or conductor) swore by the head of the king (which is the greatest oath among the Persians) that he could not possibly find any more." And Thenevot says, (Trav. p. 97, part ii.) "His subjects never look upon him but with fear and trembling, and they have such respect for him, and pay so blind an obedience to all his orders, that how unjust soever his commands might be, they perform them, though against law both of God and nature. Nay, if they swear by the king's head, their oath is more authentic, and of greater credit, than if they swore by all that is most sacred in heaven and upon earth." These instances seem allied to that very common oath to Scripture, "As the Lord liveth:" and it should seem, that as this oath could not be taken without naming the name of God, which the later Jews regarded as a profanation, that they gradually introduced the cus- tom of swearing'(not judicially) by sacred things, as heaven, the temple, the gold of the temple, the altar, &c. all which our Lord forbids, and refers oaths to the great object of swearing, God ; or, if the subject in debate be too trivial to call upon God about, then swear not at all ; use no subterfuge, no lesser oath, but either affirm, or deny, simply. Our Lord further says, thou shalt not swear by thy head, as some we see are accustomed to do by the king's head. The apostle Paid observes, "men ver- ily swear by a greater than themselves ;" as those no doubt understood they did, who sware by the king. Grievous curses are promulgated against false swearers, and false oaths are among the greatest abominations before both God and man. (1.) That a person swear lawfully, he must swear by the Most High God, since only the Most High God can judge of the sincerity of his affirmation, which is the es- sence of an oath : to swear by any person or thing not omniscient to know, and omnipotent to remuner- ate, is to trifle with an oath. (2.) The veracity of an oath is its essence : to preserve this veracity we should swear only on due deliberation, only on actual knowl- edge, only agreeably to justice and equity : openly, candidly, with due circumspection, and if necessary, with due inquiry and explanation. (3.) The end of an oath is to glorify God, by acknowledging his attri butes of holiness, justice, truth, knowledge, &c. and to appease man, by determining controversy, cleat - ingthe innocent, satisfying oiir brethren, or discharg- ing our own consciences : and an oath should be " an end of all strife ! "? — If such be the essence and nature of oaths, what apology shall be made for profane swearing? swearing without an object, and to no avail ; for who credits such asseverations beyond what they would credit simple assertion ? We have in Gen. xxi. 28. a curious account of a ceremony practised by Abraham, in respect to Abim- elech : "Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves, and Abimelech said to Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs, which thou hast set by themselves ? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me [in my behalf] that I have digged this well : wherefore he called that place Beersheba, because they there sware both of them. Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba."— Beersheba may sig- nify the well of the oath, or the well of the seven, Mr. Taylor inclines to the latter signification, from having read the following, in Bruce's Travels : — "All that is right, Shekh, said I ; but suppose your people rn^et us in the desert, in going to Cosseir, or otherwise, how should we fare in (hat case? Should we fight? — I have told you, Shekh, already, says he, cursed be the man who lifts his hand against you, or even does not defend and befriend you to his own loss, even were it Ibrahim, my own son." Then, after some conversation — "The old man muttered something to his sons, in a dialect I did not then un- derstand ; it was that of the shepherds of Suakem ; and a little after, the whole hut was filled with peo- ple. These were priests and monks of their religion, and the heads of families ; so that the house could not contain half of them. The great people among them came, and, after joining hands, repeated a kind of prayer of about two minutes long ; [this kind of oath was in use among the Arabs, or shepherds, as early as the time of Abraham, Gen. xxi. 22, 23 ; xxvi. 28.] by which they declared themselves and their children accursed, if ever they lifted their hands against me, in the tell, [or field,] in the desert, or on the river ; or, in case that I, or mine, should fly to them for ref- uge, if they did not protect us, at the risk of their lives, their families, and their fortunes, or, as they emphatically expressed it, ' to the death of the last [ 710 ] male child among them.' (See 1 Sam. xxv. 22 ; 1 Kings xiv. 10 ; xvi. 11 ; xxi. 21 ; 2 Kings ix. 8.) Medicines and advice being given on my part, faith and protection pledged on theirs, two bushels of wheat and seven sheep were carried down to the boat; nor could we decline their kindness ; as refus- ing a present in that country is just as great an affront as coming into the presence of a superior without any present at all," Gen. xxxiii. 10, 11 ; Mai. i. 20; Matt. viii. 11. There is a remarkable passage in Prov. xi. 21, thus rendered by our translators, " Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished ; but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered ; " i. e. though they make many associations, and oaths, and join hands among themselves, (as formed part of the cere- mony of swearing among these shepherds of Suakem,) yet they shall be punished. But Michae'lis proposes another sense of these words, " hand in hand " — my hand in your hand, i. e. as a token of swearing, "the wicked shall not go unpunished." — How far this sense of the passage is illustrated by the foregoing and the following extract, the reader will judge: "I cannot here help accusing myself of what, doubtless, may be well reputed a very great sin. I was so enraged at the traitorous part which Hassan had acted, that, at parting, I could not help saying to Ibrahim, 'Now, Shekh, I have done every thing you have desired, without ever expecting fee or reward ; the only thing I now ask you — and it is probably the last — is, that you avenge me upon this Hassan, who is every day in your power. Upon this, he gave me his hand, saying, He shall not die in his bed, or I shall never see old age." (Bruce's Travels, vol. i. p. 199.) We may remark further on this extract, that though Bruce's reflections do not applaud his conduct in this instance, yet it seems, in some sense, similar to the behavior of David, when he gave charge to his son, Solomon, to execute that justice upon Joab and Shi- mei, which he himself had been unable to do by reason of the vicissitudes of his life and kingdom ; and of the influence which Joab, the general, had in the army; but of which the pacific reign of Solomon would deprive him, 1 Kings ii. 6. Perhaps, also, this joining of hands may add a spirit to the passage, 2 Kings x. 15 : " Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? " says Jehu U> Jehona- dab ; " if it be, give me thine hand" — " And he (Jeho- nadab) gave him (Jehu) his hand;" i. e. in token of affirmation ; " and he (Jehu) took him (Jehonadab) up into his chariot." So, then, it was not as an assist- ance to enable Jehonadab to get into the chariot, that Jehu gave him his hand, but, on the contrary, Jehona- dab gave his hand to Jehu. This seems confirmed by verse 16, " So they made him (Jehonadab) ride in his (Jehu's) chariot." All these pronouns embar- rass our translation, but they were perfectly under- stood by those who knew the customs of their country. This sense of the passage is further confirmed by the following extracts from Ockley's History of the Saracens : — " Several [of the Mahometan chiefs] came to Ali, and desired him to accept the government. He re- solved not to accept of their allegiance in private ; for they proffered to give him their hands (the customary ceremony then in use among them, on such occasions) at his own house; but he would have it performed at the mosque. Telha and Zobein came, and offered him their hands, as a mark, or token, of their approbation. Ah bade them, if they did it, to be in good earnest, otherwise he would give his own hand to either of them that would accept of the government ; which they refused ; and gave him theirs." (Vol. i. p. 4.) Again (p. 36.) : — " Telha, being wounded in the leg, ordered his man to take him up behind him ; who conveyed him into a house in Bassora, where he died. But, just before, he saw one of Ali's men, and asked him if he belonged to the emperor of the faithful. Being informed that he did, Give nie then, said he, your hand, that I may put mine in it, and by this action renew the oath of fidelity, which I have already made to Ali." (See 1 Sam. xxii. 17 ; 1 Chron. xxix. 24, marg. or orig. ; Lam. v. 6 ; 2 Kings xiv. 5 ; xv. 19.) Whoever recollects the mode of swearing allegi- ance, or doing homage for provinces, anciently used between sovereigns and vassals, (as by the kings of England to those of France, while England held provinces in that country,) will find considerable re- semblance in it to this eastern usage. The vassal put both his hands into the hands of his sovereign, repeat- ing words to this effect : " Thus I do thee homage, for such or such a province," &c. After which he withdrew his hands. This was repeated according to the number of fiefs or provinces held. OBADIAH. There are several persons of this name mentioned in the Old Testament : it is only necessary, however, that we should notice the proph- et. It is not certain when he lived, but it is probable that he was contemporary with Jeremiah and Eze- kiel, who denounced the same dreadful judgments on the Edomites, as the punishment of their pride, vio- lence, and cruel insultings over the Jews, after the destruction of their city. The prophecy, according to Usher, was fulfilled about five years after the de- struction of Jerusalem.

OBED-EDOM

OBED-EDOM, son of Jeduthun, a Levite, 1 Chron. xvi. 38. He had a numerous family, (1 Chron. xxvi. 4.) because the Lord blessed him. After the death of Uzzah, David, terrified at that accident, durst not re- move the ark into the apartment he had provided for it in his palace, but left it in the house of Obed-Edom, near the place where Uzzah was struck. The presence of the ark became a blessing to Obed-Edom, which encouraged David some months afterwards to remove it to the place he had appointed for it. Obed-Edom and his sons were assigned to the keeping of the doors of the temple, 1 Chron. xv. 18, 21. In 2 Sam. vi. 10, Obed-Edom is called the Gittite, probably, because he was of Gath Rimmon, a city of the Levites beyond Jordan, Josh. xxi. 24, 25.

OBIL

OBIL, an Ishmaelite, and master of the camels under David, 1 Chron. xxvii. 30.

OBLATION

OBLATION, see Sacrifice.

OBOTH

OBOTH, an encampment of the Hebrews in the wilderness of Arabia Petrsea. See Exodus. is put for adversity. (See Night, and Darkness.) An obscure, dark, or sad countenance is opposed to a serene and open one. Christ upbraids the Pharisees, that they had obscure or sad aspects (Matt. vi. 16, okvSqojttoi) when they fasted. AndNa- hum, (ii. 10.) speaking of the destruction of Nineveh, says, their faces were as black as a pot ; (Heb.) as if they had blacked their faces with soot. Some travel- lers affirm that, by way of mourning, the orientals daub their faces with the black of a kettle. Joel al- ludes to this custom : (chap. ii. 6.) " All faces shall gath- er blackness." [In these passages, however, the more appropriate translation is, "All faces shall withdraw their light," i. e. their cheerfulness, cheerful expres- sion ; all countenances shall become pale with fear; [ 711 ] just as it is said in the context that the stars shall withdraw their light. R. Obscure places denote the grave, (Ps. cxliii. 3.) " The enemy hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those who have been long dead." In Ps. lxxiv. 20, we read, " The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty," which some understand of the obscure places of prisons, in which tyrants often keep the weak and unfortunate ; because the obscure of the earth, the poor Israelites, are reduced to captivity in the houses of the Babylonians. In great calamities, the sun is said to be obscured, and the moon to be covered with darkness, Matt. xxiv. 29 ; Luke xxiii. 45. (See also Nah. iii. 19 ; Jer. xiv. 2.) Obscurity of the heart and mind, is put for the wil- ful ignorance and hardness of the Jews, Rom. i. 21 ; Eph. iv. 18.

ODED

ODED, a prophet of the Lord, (2 Chron. xxviii. 9.) who, being at Samaria, when the Israelites returned from the war against Judah, with their king Pekah, and brought 200,000 captives, wenttomeet them, and remonstrated effectually with them ; so that the principal men in Samaria took care of them, gave them clothes, food, and other assistances, with horses, because the greater part of them were exhausted, and unable to walk. Thus they conducted them to Jeri- cho, on the confines of Judah. may be either active or passive. We may give offence by our conduct, or we may receive offence from the conduct of others. We should be very careful to avoid giving just cause of offence, that we may not prove impediments to others in their re- ception of the truth, in their progress in sanctification, in their peace of mind, or in their general course toward heaven. We should abridge or deny our- selves in some things, rather than, by exercising our liberty to the utmost, give uneasiness to Christians weaker in mind, or weaker in the faith, than ourselves, 1 Cor. x. 32. On the other hand, we should not take offence without ample cause ; but endeavor, by our exercise of charity, and perhaps by our increase of knowledge, to think favorably of what is dubious, as well as honorably of what is laudable. It was foretold of the Messiah, that he should be " a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence." Per- haps predictions of this kind are among the most valuable which Providence has preserved to us ; as we see by them, that we ought not to be discouraged because the Jews, the natural people of the Messiah, rejected him, and still reject him ; since the very offence they take at his humiliation, death, &c. is in perfect conformity to, and fulfilment of, those proph- ecies which foretold, that however they might profess to wish for the great deliverer, yet when he came they would overlook him, and stumble at him. OFFERINGS. The Hebrews had several kinds of offerings, which they presented at the temple. Some were free-will offerings ; others were of obli- gation. The first-fruits, the tenths, and the sin-offer- ings were of obligation : the peace-offerings, vows, offerings of wine, oil, bread, salt, and other things, made to the temple, or to the ministers of the Lord, were offerings of devotion. The Hebrews called of- ferings in general Corban ; but the offerings of bread, salt, fruits, and liquors, as wine and oil, presented to the temple, they called Mincha. Sacrifices are not properly offerings : nor are they generally included under this name. Offerings of grain, meal, bread, cakes, fruits, wine, salt, oil, were common in the temple. Sometimes these offerings were alone ; sometimes they accompanied the sacrifices. Honey | was never offered with sacrifices, but it might be presented alone, as first-fruits, Lev. ii. 1J, 12. There were five sorts of offerings called Mincha, or Korban Mincha, Lev. ii. 1. (1.) Fine flour, or meal. (2.) Cakes of several sorts, baked in the oven. (3.) Cakes baked on a plate. (4.) Another sort of cakes baked on a plate with holes in it. (5.) The first-fruits of the new corn, which were offered either pure and without mixture, or roasted, or parched in the ear, or out of the ear. The cakes were kneaded with oil- olive, or fried in a pan, or only dipped in oil after they were baked. The bread offered to the altai was without leaven ; for leaven was never offered on the altar, nor with the sacrifices, Lev. ii. 11, 12. But they might make presents of common bread to the priests and ministers of the temple. These offerings were appointed in favor of the poor, who could not afford the charge of sacrificing animals. Those also who offered living victims were not excused from giving meal, wine and salt, which were to accompany the greater sacrifices. Those who offered only obla- tions of bread, or of meal, offered also oil, incense, salt and wine, which were in a manner their season- ing. The priest in waiting received the offerings from the hand of him who brought them, laid a part on the altar, and reserved the rest for his own sub- sistence, as a minister of the Lord. Nothing was wholly burnt up but the incense, of which the priest retained none. (See Lev. ii. 2, 13 ; Numb. xv. 4, 5.) When an Israelite offered a loaf to the priest, or a whole cake, the priest broke it into two parts, setting aside that part he reserved to himself, and breaking the other into crumbs, poured on it oil, salt, wine and incense, and spread the whole on the fire of the altar. If these offerings were accompanied by an animal for a sacrifice, this portion was all thrown on the victim, to be consumed with it. If the offerings were ears of new corn, (wheat or barley,) these ears were pai'ched at the fire, or in the flame, and rubbed in the hand, and then offered to the priest in a vessel ; over the grain he put oil, in- cense, wine and salt, and then burnt it on the altar, first having taken his own portion, Lev. ii. 14, 15. The most of these offerings were voluntary, and of pure devotion. But when an animal was of- fered in sacrifice, they were not at liberty to omit them. Every thing proper was to accompany the sacrifice, and what served as seasoning to the victim. In some cases the law required only offerings of corn, or bread ; as when they offered the first-fruits of har- vest, whether offered solemnly by the nation, or as the devotion of private persons. As to the quantity of meal, oil, wine or salt to ac- company the sacrifices, we cannot see that the law determines it. Generally, the priest threw a handful of meal, or crumbs, on the fire of the altar, with wine, oil and salt in proportion, and all the incense. The rest belonged to himself ; the quantity depended on the liberality of the offerer. We observe, that Moses appoints an assaron, or the tenth part of an ephah of meal, for those who had not wherewith to offer the appointed sin-offerings, Lev. v. 11 ; xiv. 21. In the solemn offerings of the first-fruits for the whole na- tion, they offered an entire sheaf of corn, a lamb of a year old, two tenths or two assarons of fine meal mixed with oil, and a quarter of a bin of wine for the libation, Lev. xxiii. 10, &c. Numb. v. 15. In the sacrifice of jealousy, when a husband ac- cused his wife of infidelity, the husband offered the tenth part of a satum of barley meal, without oil or incense, because it was a sacrifice of jealousv. LI Offerings of fruits of the earth, of bread, wine, oil and salt, are the most ancient of any that are known, Gen. iv. 3, 4. Cain offered to the Lord fruits of the earth, the first-fruits of his labor. Abel offered first- lings of his flock, and of their fat. The heathen religion has nothing more ancient than these sorts of offerings made to their gods. The difference between the offerings of meal, wine and salt, with which the Greeks and Latins accompanied their bloody sacrifices, and those used by the Hebrews in their temple, consisted, chiefly, in that the Hebrews cast the oblations on the flesh of the victim, being already offered and laid on the fire, whereas the Greeks put them on the head of the victim while alive, and when just going to be sacrificed.

OG

OG, king of Bashan, was a giant of the race of the Rephaim. We may judge of his stature by the length of his bed, which was long preserved in Rabbath, the capital of the Ammonites, Deut. iii. 11. See Bed. Moses says, (Numb. xxi. 33.) that after having con- quered Sihon, king of the Amorites, lie advanced to- ward the country of Bashan ; where Og reigned, who marched against him to Edrei, with all his subjects. Og was conquered, and slain, with his children, and all his people. Og and Sihon were the only kings that withstood Moses. Their country was given to the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Ma- nasseh. OIL. The Hebrews commonly anointed them- selves with oil ; they anointed also their kings and high-priests. See Anointing. Isaiah calls an eminence, or vineyard, that was fruitful and fat, a horn, the son of oil, chap. v. 1. In chap. x. 27, he says, that God would destroy the yoke of the Israelites, by the quantity of oil that he would pour thereon. He would take from it all its roughness and hardness. The high-priest Joshua, and the prince Zerubbabel, are called sons of oil; (Zech. iv. 14.) that is, each of them had received the sacred unction. Job, speaking of the condition of his first prosperity, says that the rocks were then fountains of oil to him, Job xxix. G. The oil of gladness (Ps. xlv. 7 ; Isa. lxi. 3.) was the perfumed oil with which the Hebrews anointed them- selves on days of rejoicing and festivity. Moses says (Deut. xxxii. 13.) that God made his people to suck oil and honey out of the rocks ; that is, that in the midst of dreary deserts, he abundantly provided them with all things not only necessary, but agreeable. The olive-tree shall fail to bring forth fruit, says Hab. iii. 17. James directs that the sick should be anoint- ed with oil in the name of the Lord, by the elders of the church, Jam. v. 14. OINTMENT. As perfumes are seldom made up among us in the form of ointment, but mostly in that of essence, while ointments are rather medical, we do not always discern the beauty of those comparisons in Scripture, in which ointments are mentioned. "Dead flies, though but small insects, cause the oint- ment of the apothecary (it should be, the fragrant unguent of the perfumer) to emit a fetid vapor ; so • does a small proportion of folly, or perverseness, over- come, prevail above, overpower by its fetor, the fra- grance of wisdom and glory," Eccl. x. 1. We read of ointments for the head ; (Eccl. ix. 8.) our own pomatums, some of which are pretty strongly essenced, may indicate the nature of these, as being their representatives in this country. Ointments and oils were used in warm countries after bathing ; and as oil was the first recipient of fragrance, probably from herbs, &c. steeped in it, many kinds of unguents not made of oil (o live oil retained that appellation. As the plants imparted somewhat of their color as well as of their fragrance, hence the expression green oil, &c. in the Hebrew. See Anointing, and Alabaster.

OLD

OLD, ancient. We say the Old Testament, by way of contradistinction from the New. Moses was the minister of the Old Testament, of the old age of the letter ; but Christ is the Mediator of the New Testa- ment, or of the new covenant ; not of the letter, but of the spirit, Heb. ix. 15 — 20. The old man, (Rom. vi. 6.) the old Adam, in a moral sense, is our derived corrupted nature, which we ought to crucify with Jesus Christ, that the body of sin may die in us. In Col. iii. 9, the apostle enjoins us "to put off the old man with his deeds, and to put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." And in Eph. iv. 22, we are instructed to " put off the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts." The old leaven is concupiscence, and adherence to the literal and ceremonial observances of the law. Paul advises (1 Cor. v. 8.) "to keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness ; but with the unleavened bread of sin- cerity and truth." Our Saviour expresses almost the same thing, when he says (Luke v. 37.) that "no man putteth new wine into old bottles, else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish." The old fruits and the new, which succeed one another, (Lev. xxv. 22 ; xxvi. 10 ; Cant. vii. 13.) de- note great abundance. You shall have so much that, to make room for the new, you shall be obliged to remove the old. Old age is promised as a blessing by God, to those who maintain obedience to his commands; and it is probable that Providence did, and still does, watch over and prolong the lives of eminently pious men. It was formerly thought a great blessing to come to the grave in a good old age, or " as a shock of corn fully ripe ;" and though "they are not to be heard, which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises," yet we think we may venture to say they did on various occasions expect peculiar mercies from God, even in this life ; and that their expectations were not disappointed. Old age was entitled to peculiar honor, and no doubt, when men lived to the age of several hundred years, the wisdom they must needs have acquired, the influence they must needs have possessed over the younger part of the community, must have been much greater than they are among ourselves. Very venerable must have been the personal appearance of a patriarch of three or four hundred years, or even of half that age, in the eyes of his family, and of his descendants, whether immediate or remote. There is nothing more decidedly recorded than the respect paid among the ancients to old age ; of which Grecian story affords highly pleasing proofs ; and that it was equal among the orientals we learn from various allusions in the book of Job, the Proverbs, &c. Old is spoken of what is decaying; (Isa. 1. 9; Heb. viii. 13.) of what has been aestroyed ; (2 Pet. ii. 5.) of former times, Lam. i. 7. OLIVE-TREE. Paul, in his Epistle to the Ro- mans, (xi. 24.) distinguishes two kinds of olive-trees ; (1.) the wild and natural ; and (2.) those under care and culture. The cultivated olive-tree is of a moder- ate height, its trunk knotty, its bark smooth, and ash- colored ; its wood is solid and yellowish ; the leaves LI are oblong, almost like those of the willow, of a green color, daik on the upper side, and white on the under side. In the month of June it puts out white flow- ers that grow in bunches. Each flower is of one p!ece, widening upwards, and dividing into four parts ; the fruit oblong and plump. It is first green, then pale, and when it is quite ripe, black. In the flesh of it is enclosed a hard stone, full of an oblong seed. The wild olive is smaller in all its parts. When Noah sent forth the dove out of the ark, it brought back to him a small olive-branch with its leaves, (Gen. viii. 11.) which was a token to the pa- triarch that the waters of the deluge were sunk away. In the temple of Jerusalem, Solomon made of olive- wood the cherubim, and the portal that parted the sanctum from the sanctuary, 1 Kings vi. 23, 33. Eli- phaz (Job xv. 33.) compares a wicked man to a vine which sheds its blossoms, and to an olive whose flowers fall before their season, and consequently brings no fruit. The sacred writers often use similes taken from the olive.

OLIVES

OLIVES, Mount of, is situate east of Jerusalem, and separated from the city by the brook Kidron, and the valley of Jehoshaphat. On this mount Solomon built temples to the gods of the Ammonites and Moab- ites, out of complaisance to his wives, 1 Kings xi. 7. Hence the mount of Olives is called the mountain of Corruption, 2 Kings xxiii. 13. Josephus says, it is five stadia (or furlongs) from Jerusalem. Luke says, a sabbath-day's journey ; i. e. about eight furlongs, Acts i. 12. The mount of Olives has three summits, ranging from north to south ; from the middle sum- mit our Saviour ascended into heaven ; on the south summit Solomon built temples to his idols ; the north summit is distant two furlongs from the middlemost. This is the highest, and is commonly called Galilee, or Viri Galilsei, from the expression used by the an- gels, Ye men of Galilee. In the time of king Uzziah, the mount of Olives was so shattered by an earthquake, that half the earth or the western side fell, and rolled four furlongs, or five hundred paces, toward the opposite mountain on the east ; so that the earth blocked up the highways, and covered the king's gardens. (Joseph. Antiq. lib. ix. cap. 11, and Zech. xiv. 5.) Though this mount was named from its olive-trees, yet it abounded in other trees also. It was a station for signals, which were communicated from hence by lights and flames, on various occasions. They were made of long staves of cedar, canes, pine wood, with coarse flax, which, while on fire, were shaken about till they were answered from other signals. What is said in Midras Tellim, by Rab. Janna, is extremely remarkable : " The Divine Majesty stood three years and a half on mount Olivet, saying, 'Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found; call on him while he is near.' " Is this the language of a Jew ? The names of the various districts of this mount deserve attention, as, (1.) Geth-semane, the place of oil-presses ; (2.) Bethany, the house of dates ; (3.) Bethphage, the house of green figs, and, probably, other names in different places. The Talmudists say, that on mount Olivet were shops, kept by the children of Canaau, of which shops some were in Bethany ; and that under two large cedars which stood there, were four shops, where things necessary for purification were constantly on sale, such as doves or pigeons for the women, &c. Probably, these shops were supplied by country persons, who hereby avoided paying rent for their sittings in the temple. 9'J The mention of these residences implies that this- mount had various dwellings upon it. ? There was also a collection of water at Bethany on this mount, which was by some used as a place of purification. i The small building, erected over the place of as- cension, is contiguous to a Turkish mosque, and is in possession of the Turks, who show it for profit ; and subject the Christians to an annual contribution for permission to officiate within it on Ascension day. From the mosque is a fine and commanding view of Jerusalem, mount Sion and the Dead sea. Dr. Clarke found on the top of the mount of Olives a vast and very ancient crypt, in " the shape of a cone^ of immense size ; the vertex alone appearing level with the soil, and exhibiting by its section at the top a small circular aperture ; the sides extending below to a great depth, lined with a hard red stucco." He thinks it to have been an idolatrous construction, per- haps as old as Solomon, and profaned by Josiah, 2 Kings xxiii. 13. The number of crypts about Jeru- salem is well deserving attention. If Solomon built this crypt, he might, as the Jews say he did, construct one of the same kind for the reception of the ark, &c. in case of danger; but this must continue undecided till the " times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.'.' " So commanding is the view of Jerusalem afforded in this situation, (says Dr. Clarke,) that the eye roams over all the streets, and around the walls, as if in the survey of a plan or model of the city. The most con- spicuous object is the mosque, erected upon the site and foundations of the temple of Solomon." Hence the observation of the evangelist, (Luke xix. 37.) that Jesus beheld the city, and wept over it, acquires ad- ditional force. " Towards the south appears the lake Asphaltites, a noble expanse of water, seeming to be within a short ride from the city ; but the real dis- tance is much greater. Lofty mountains enclose it with prodigious grandeur. To the north are seen the verdant and fertile pastures of the plain of Jericho,, watered by the Jordan, whose course may be distinct- ly discerned." (Travels, vol. ii. p. 572.)

OMEGA

OMEGA, {2,) the last letter of the Greek alphabet;. Alpha, A, and Omega, 2, therefore, include all ; the first and the last. See Alpha.

OMER

OMER, or Gomer, a measure of capacity among the Hebrews; the tenth part of an ephah, a little more than five pints.

OMRI

OMRI, or Amri, was general of the army of Elah, king of Israel ; but being at the siege of Gibbethon, and hearing that his master Elah was assassinated by Zimri, who had usurped his kingdom, he raised the siege, and, being elected king by his army, marched against Zimri, attacked him at Tirzah, and forced him to burn himself and all his family, in the palace in which he had shut up himself. Zimri reigned but seven days, A. M. 3075, 1 Kings xvi. 9. After his death, half of Israel acknowledged Omri for king, the other half adhered to Tibni, son of Gineth ; which division continued four years. When Tibni was dead, the people united in acknowledging Omri as king of all Israel, who reigned twelve years ; six years at Tirzah, and six at Samaria, 1 Kings xvh Tirzah had previously been the chief residence of the kings of Israel, but when Omri purchased the hill of Shomeron, (1 Kings xvi. 24, about A. M. 3030,) he there built a new city, which he called Sa- maria, from the name of the first possessor Shemer, or Shomer, and there fixed his royal seat. From this time Samaria was the capital of the kingdom of the ten tribes. Omri did evil before the Lord, and his crimes ex- ceeded those of his predecessors. He walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and died at Sa- maria, A. M. 3066. His successor was Ahab.

ON

ON, a city of Benjamin, given to Aaron's family, Josh. xxi. 18 ; probably the Alameth men- tioned 1 Chron. vi. 60.

ON

ON, or Heliopolis, a city of Egypt, by Ptolemy called Onion ; On, Gen. xli. 45 ; xlvi. 20 ; and Beth Shemesh, the temple of the sun, Jer. xliii. 13, which agrees with the Egyptian idea of the name. See Heliopolis, I.

ONESIMUS

ONESIMUS, (Philem. verse 10.) a Phrygian by nation, and slave to Philemon. Having run away from his master, and also having robbed him, (Philem. verse 18 ; Chrysost. Prolog.) he went to Rome about A. D. 61, while Paul was there in prison the first time. As Onesimus knew the apostle by repute, (his master Philemon being a Christian,) he sought him out, acquainted him with his transgression, owned his flight, and did him all the service Phile- mon himself could have done, had he been at Rome. Paul brought him to a sense of the greatness of his crime, instructed, converted and baptized him, and sent him back to his master Philemon, with a letter inserted among Paul's epistles ; which is univer- sally acknowledged as his. Philemon, it is related, not only received Onesimus as a faithful servant, but as a brother and a friend : and after a little time, he sent him back to Rome, that he might continue his services to Paul, in his prison. From this time Onesimus's employment was in the ministry of the gospel. The Apostoli- cal Constitutions report that Paul made him bishop of Berea in Macedonia. The martyrologies call him apostle, and say he ended his life by martyrdom. The Roman martyrology mentions him as being made bishop of Ephesus, by Paul, after Timothy. Others add, that it was he whom Ignatius the Martyr speaks of, as bishop of Ephesus, A. D. 107 ; but this wants proof.

ONESIPHORUS

ONESIPHORUS, (2 Tim. i. 16.) a Christian who came to Rome A. D. 65, while the apostle Paul was imprisoned there for the faith, and at a time when almost every one had forsaken him, 2 Tim. i. 16, 18. Having found Paul in bonds, after long seeking him, he assisted him to the utmost of his power; for which the apostle wishes all sorts of benedictions on himself and his family.

ONO

ONO, a city of Benjamin ; built or re-built by the family of Elpaal, of Benjamin, 1 Chron. viii. 12. It was five miles from Lod, or Lydda, also built by Benjamites. In Neh. vi. 2, we have mention of " The Plain of Ono," which probably was not far from the city. ONYCHA. The Hebrew nSnc, Shecheleth, (Exod. xxx. 34.) which Jerome, after the LXX, translates onychinus, others understand of labdanum, or of bdellium. But the greater part of commentators explain it by the onycha or odoriferous shell, a shell like that of the shell-fish purpura. The ony- cha is fished for in watery places of the Indies, where the spica nardi grows, which is the food of this fish, and what-makes its shell so aromatic. The best onycha is found in the Red sea, and is white and large. The Babylonian is black and smaller, ac- cording to Dioscorides. [The onycha is the Blatta Byzantina of the shops. It consists of the cover or lid of a species of muscle, which, when burnt, emits a musky odor. R. was the eleventh stone in the high-priest's pectoral, Exod. xxviii. 20. It is a kind of flesh- colored agate, whence it has obtained the name of onyx, or the nail. See Sardonyx. was a cliff, or acclivity, a part of mount Zion, on the east, not far from mount Moriah. Jo- tham, king of Judah, made several buildings on Ophel, 2 Chron. xxvii. 3. Manasseh, king of Judah, built a wall west of Jerusalem and the fountain Gi- hon, beyond the city of David, from the fish-gate to Ophel, 2 Chron. xxxiii. 14. At the return from the captivity, the Nethinirn dwelt at Ophel, Neh. iii. 26 ; xi. 21. Micah (iv. 8.) mentions the tower of Ophel: "And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion :" Heb. " And thou tower of the flock, Ophel, daughter of Zion." There was at Jerusalem a sheep-gate, and a tower of Ophel.

OPHNI

OPHNI, a city of Benjamin, (Josh, xviii. 24.) and thought to be the same as Gophni, or Gophna, which was about 15 miles from Jerusalem, towards Na- plouse, or Shechem.

ORACLE

ORACLE, a name sometimes given to the lid or covering of the ark,the mercy-seat, (see Mercy-seat,) and also to those supernatural communications of which such frequent mention is made in Scripture. Among the Jews we distinguish several sorts of oracles. (1.) Those delivered viva voce; as when God spake to Moses face to face, and as one friend speaks to another, Numb. xii. 8. (2.) Prophetical dreams ; as those which God sent to Joseph, fore- telling his future greatness, Gen. xxxvii. 5, 6. (3.) Visions ; as when a prophet in an ecstasy had su- pernatural revelations, Gen. xv. 1 ; xlvi. 2. (4.) The response of Urim and Thutnmim, which accom- panied the ephod, or the pectoral worn by the high- priest, Numb. xii. 6 ; Joel ii. 28. This manner of inquiring of the Lord was often used, from Joshua's time to the erection of the temple at Jerusalem, (1 Sam. xxiii. 9 ; xxx. 7.) after which they generally consulted the prophets. The Jews pretend that upon the ceasing of proph- ecy, God gave them what they call Bath-kol, the daughter of the voice, which was a supernatural manifestation of the divine will, either by a strong inspiration or internal voice, or by a sensible and ex- ternal voice, heard by a number of persons sufficient to bear testimony to it ; such as the voice heard at the baptism of Christ. In the early period of the Christian church the gifts of prophecy and inspiration were frequent ; after that time the greater part of the heathen oracles fell into contempt and silence. Some have ascribed to demons all the oracles of antiquity ; others impute them to the knavery of the priests and false prophets. The most famous oracle of Palestine was that of Baal-zebub, king of Ekron, which the Jews them- selves consulted, 2 Kings i. 2, 3, 6, 16. There were also oracular Teraphim, as that of Micah ; (Judg. xvii. 1, 5.) the ephod of Gideon, (viii. 27, &c.) and the false gods adored in the kingdom of Samaria, which had their false proohets, and consequently their oracles. Hosea (chap iv. 12.) reproaches Israel with consulting wooden idols, as does the book of Wis- dom, (xiii. 16, 17.) and the prophet Habakkuk, ii. 19. The Hebrews, living in the midst of idolatrous people, accustomed to receive oracles, to have re- course to diviners, magicians and interpreters of dreams, would have been under a more powerful temptation to imitate these impieties and supersti- tions, if God had not afforded to them certain means of knowing some future events by priests and proph- ets, in their most urgent necessities. Thus, when Moses had forbidden the Israelites to consult magi- cians, witches, enchanters and necromancers, he promised to send them a prophet of their own nation, who should instruct them, and discover to them the truth, Deut. xviii. 10, 11,15, &c. These oracles of truth had no necessary connection with time or place, or any other circumstance ; or with the per- sonal merit of the individual by whom they were uttered. The high-priest, clothed with the ephod and pectoral, gave a true answer, whatever may have been his personal character. The fathers inform us, that at the coming of the Messiah, the oracles of the heathen were struck dumb ; and it is certain that since the preaching of the gospel, the empire of the devil is much contract- ed and weakened, and the most famous oracles are fallen into disuse. This silence of the oracles, how- ever, did not happen all at once ; John, (Rev. xiii. 5, 6, 13.) describing a persecution of the church, speaks of .signs, wonders and delusions, which the deceivei and his accomplices should produce, to excite men to worship the image of the beast, and to entice them to idolatry. It may, however, assist us in forming a right no- tion of oracles, to separate them into two classes ; those which are proper oracles, and those which are oracles in a qualified sense only. The witch of Endor was no oracle, though irregularly applied to by Saul, when he could obtain no answer from the instituted means of consulting the Lord. The hag Erichto, in Lucan's Pharsalia, was no ora- cle, as no temple, &c. was extant in her cave. Nor is that properly an oracle, which consists in catching up words which fall from certain persons. Most persons will recollect that Alexander the Great, by the false pronunciation of a Greek word by the priest of Amnion, [''Si Ttai-Siog instead of '' S2 Trai-Siov^was made to pass for son of Jupiter, Slog, says Plutarch. When, too, he visited the Delphic prophetess on a wrong day, and urged her, she at length complied, saying, " Thou art irresistible, my son ! " " That is all I want," answered Alexander ; " to be irresistible is enough." These are not oracles ; though policy and flattery might make them pass for such. The most ancient oracle on record, probably, is that given to Rebekah, (Gen. xxv. 22.) but the most complete instance is that of the child Samuel, 1 Sam. iii. The place was the residence of the ark, the regular station of worship. The manner was by an audible and distinct voice: "The Lord called Sam- uel ; and the child mistook the voice for that of Eli, (and this more than once,) for he did not yet know the word of the Lord:" the subject was of high na- tional importance ; no less than a public calamity, with the ruin of the first family in the land. Nor could the child have any inducement to deceive Eli ; as in that case, he would have rather invented some- thing flattering to his venerable superior. This com- municative voice, issuing from the interior of the sanctuary, was properly an oracle. The highest instances of oracles are those voices which, being formed in the air by a power superior to nature, bore testimony to the celestial character of the divine Messiah ; as at his baptism, (Matt. iii. 17 ; Mark i. 2 ; Luke iii. 22.) and again at his trans- figuration ; (Matt. xxii. 2 ; Luke ix. 29.) "And this voice that came from heaven," says Peter, " we heard," 2 Epist. i. -18. Nothing can exceed the grandeur and majesty of these oracles ; and they could not but forcibly impress the minds of all who witnessed them. Now, ii should be observed, that these communi- cations were marked by simplicity and distinctness : they were the most remote possible from ambiguity and double meaning: they spake out their purport explicitly. Prophetic impulses, or communications, are with less propriety called oracles : as when Samuel went to Bethlehem, to anoint the future king of Israel, his own opinion fixed on Eliab, "Surely, the Lord's anointed is before him ;" but the Lord corrected his judgment ; not by an audible voice, which must have been heard by all the company, but by some internal monition, 1 Sam. xvi. (i. It will appear, also, that in the time of Saul and David, w hen appli- cation for advice was made to the oracle, it could only be given in a regular manner to one party, as there were not two tabernacles, and two arks of the covenant, with which sacred objects the oracle was connected. Neither were there two high-priests' pectorals, on which the names of the tribes were written. The priest who did not wear these names on his breast, could not inquire as representative of the tribes of the whole nation ; and by what means he received an answer is uncertain. It could not be, as some have supposed, by radiation of the letters on the precious stones ; since he did not wear them. We read very little, or nothing, of oracles given by the high-priest, in succeeding ages. When Jehosha- phat desired Ahab to " inquire at the word of the Lord to-day," there is no mention of an oracle, as con- nected with the established worship in Israel, (1 Kings xxii.) nor do we read that when the copy of Moses' law was found in the temple at Jerusalem, king Josiah applied to the oracle for advice. Neither did Zedekiah, king of Judah, though the very exist- ence of his country depended on the policy he adopted ; and no crisis could have been more im- portant. Dreams, visions, the bath-kol, &c. are not properly oracles ; nor is the sentiment uttered by Caiaphas, which recommended the policy of cutting off one man, even though no malefactor, rather than haz- arding the fate of the nation, an oracle. It was a maxim of a statesman, applicable to the designs of Providence ; but not properly an oracle. It is prob- able, that oracles are extremely ancient among the heathen : they were known before the Trojan war, as appears from Homer ; and Ovid makes Deucalion consult an oracle, immediately after his deluge. The reader will perceive in all this the intention to establish a strong distinction between the oracles of the Bible, and those promulgated by the heathen. When Crcesus applied to the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, to know whether he should attack Cyrus, he received for answer, Croesus transgressus Halym maxima regna perdet : or, as Cicero quotes it, CrGesus Halym penetrans magnam pervertet opum vim : " If Crcesus crosses the river Halys he will overthrow a great empire." This he understood of the empire of Cyrus : the event proved his own overthrow. The same ambiguity attends the famous reply of the same oracle to Pyrrhus : Aio te, iEacida, Romanos vincere posse ; do pronounce that Rome Pyrrhus shall overcome ; which may be interpreted to mean, either that Rome should overcome Pyrrhus, or that Pyrrhus should overcome Rome. Whoever reads Herodotus and Pausanias carefully, will find most of their oracles — and they record many — either so dark as to be unin- telligible, or so equivocal as to bear whatever in- terpretation policy might be pleased to impose upon them. The heathen drew auguries from almost every thing : from the flight of birds ; from the manner of certain chickens feeding ; and above all from the entrails of victims, offered in sacrifice. This most ridiculous superstition was not lawfully practised among the Jews; their sacrifices were simply offered in tin' Deity. It was, however, customary in the Last. Thus, the king of Babylon not only divined by arrows, and consulted images, but he looked in the liver, Ezek. xxi. 21. Nor should we forget, that it is equally to the credit of Christianity, that sur- rounded, as the Christians were, by the most invet- erate of oracular prejudices and impostures, no such mummery profaned their assemblies. The reader has only to compare Lucan's description of the violences practised on the priestess at Delphi, the furious con- tortions of her person, or Virgil's of the Sybil at Cumre, with the calm observation of the apostle, "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the proph- ets," with his injunctions of ordeiyon various occa- sions, and with his strict prohibition of indecent forwardness in women, while at worship, indecorous exposure of their persons, disorderly dress, &c. to evince this. It is well to know, that in the remains of several heathen temples, though in ruins, there are traces of the secret ways of access, which the priests possessed, undiscovered by the spectators. Dr. E. D. Clarke found such in a temple at Argos ; also a secret chamber, in an oracular cave at Telmessus. A pri- vate staircase still exists, leading to the Adytum, in the temple of Isis, at Pompeii ; undoubtedly for oracular purposes. To do this subject justice here, is impossible; some able pen, well acquainted with the charlatanerie of ancient days, might render it equally amusing and instructive to not a few among our own nation, who have opportunities of knowing better — very much better- — than their practice ra- phes.

ORDINANCE

ORDINANCE, an institution established by law- ful authority. Religious ordinances must be insti- tuted by the great institutor of religion, or they are not binding : minor regulations are not properly ordinances. Ordinances, once established, are not to be varied by human caprice, or mutability. The original ordinance seems to have been sacrifice, to which praise and prayer were naturally appended. Circumcision was an ordinance appointed to Abra- ham and his family : baptism and the eucharist are ordinances under the gospel. Human ordinances, established by national laws, may be varied by other laws, because the inconve- niences arising from them can only be determined by experience. Yet Christians are bound to submit to these institutions, when they do not infringe on those established by divine authority ; not only from the consideration, that if every individual were to oppose national institutions, no society could subsist, but by the tenor of Scripture itself. Nevertheless, Chris- tianity does not interfere with political rights, but leaves individuals, as well as nations, in full enjoy- ment of whatever advantages the constitution of a country secures to its subjects. The course of nature is the ordinance of God ; and every planet obeys that impulse which the divine Governor has impressed on it, Jer. xxxi. 36.

OREB

OREB, a prince of the Midianites, killed with Zeeb, another prince of the same people, Judg. vii. 25.

ORION

ORION, one of the brightest constellations of the southern hemisphere. The Heb. S>d:j, Chesil, signi- fies, according to the best interpreters and the ancient versions, the constellation Orion, which, on account of its supposed connection with storms and tempests, Virgil calls nimbosus Orion. In Job xxxviii. 31, fet- ters are ascribed to him ; and this coincides with the Greek fable of the giant Orion, bound in the heav- ens. R.] It also marks the west. Hence the LXX on Job ix. 9, and Theodotion on Amos, v. 8, translate it vesperum.

ORPAH

ORPAH, a Moabitess, wife of Chilion, son of Elimelech and Naomi. Chilion, the husband of Or- pah, being dead, she lived with Naomi, her mother- in-law ; who returning into her own country, Orpah was prevailed on to stay in Moab, but Ruth followed Naomi to Bethlehem, Ruth i. 9, 10, &c. See Ruth. ORPHAN. The customary acceptation of the word orphans is well known to be that of " children deprived of their parents ;" but the force of the Greek word oQtpavovc, (rtftidered comfortless in our transla- tion, John xiv. 18.) implies the case of those who have lost some dear protecting friend ; some patron, though not strictly a father : and in this sense it is used, 1 Thess. ii. 17, "We also, brethren, being taken away from our care over you," imoQipaviadhrtq. Cor- responding to this import of the word, it might be used by our Lord, in the passage of John's Gospel referred to ; and a very lively comment on it may perhaps be inferred from the following remark ; es- pecially if there were in the court of Herod, or of tl.e kings of Syria, or other western Asiatic monarchs, an order of soldiery of the same description ; which is by no means impossible. " The soldiers of Nadir Shah are obliged to keep Yetims at their own ex- pense. Yetim signifies an orphan : but these are considered as servants, who, when their masters die, or fall in battle, are ready to serve as soldiers." (Han- way's Travels in Persia, vol. i. p. 172.) May we now paraphrase our Lord's sentiment? — "You are about to see your master die, fall, as it were, in bat- tle ; and might imagine that it would be your duty to succeed into my place, and to maintain the bloody conflict, till you also fell, as I had fallen ; but I will not (long) leave you in that anxious situation : I will again return to you, and lead you on to victory under my protection and patronage : I will not now leave you Yetims; though most of you may, at distant pe- riods, close your lives as gallant soldiers in this noble warfare, after your master's example." There seems nothing inconsistent with the affection of Jesus to his followers, in this explanation.

OSPREY

OSPREY, a kind of eagle, whose flesh is forbid- den, Lev. xi. 13. It is thought to be the black eagle ; perhaps the JYisser Tookoor described by Bruce. See Birds, p. 186.

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