Bible Dictionary A 3

Ashtaroth, Ashtoreth.  [Ash'taroth, Ash'toreth]

Goddess of the Phoenicians and Zidonians, worshipped by Israel after the death of Joshua, and by Solomon. Ashtaroth was the chief female goddess and Baal the chief male god, and they are often named together. Josiah destroyed the emblems of her worship as introduced by Solomon. Judges 2:13; Judges 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:3-4; 1 Sam. 12:10; 1 Sam. 31:10; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13. Ashtaroth is often called ASTARTE, which is her name in the Greek, and Istar or Ishtar in the Assyrian.

Ashtaroth, Astaroth.  [Ash'taroth, As'taroth]

City of Bashan in the kingdom of Og, on the east of the Jordan. It was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh and afterwards devoted to the Levites. Deut. 1:4; Joshua 9:10; Joshua 12:4; Joshua 13:12, 31; 1 Chr. 6:71: apparently the same as BEESH-TERAH in Joshua 21:27.  Identified with Tell Ashtarah, 32 50' N, 36 1' E.

Ashterathite. [Ashtera'thite]

Designation of Uzzia, one of David's valiant men. 1 Chr. 11:44.

Ashteroth Karnaim.  [Ash'teroth Karna'im]

City of the Rephaims who were smitten by Chedorlaomer. Gen. 14:5. Identified with Tell Ashary, 32 46' N, 36 1' E.

Ashtoreth. [Ash'toreth]


Ashur. [Ash'ur]

Son of Hezron and father of Tekoa. 1 Chr. 2:24; 1 Chr. 4:5.

Ashurites. [Ash'urites]

Probably the same as the Asherites, of the tribe of Asher, who were among the subjects of Ishbosheth. 2 Sam. 2:9. In 'the company of the Ashurites' in Ezek. 27:6, it is doubtful whether a proper name is intended, it is translated variously: see margin.

Ashvath. [Ash'vath]

Son of Japhlet of the tribe of Asher. 1 Chr. 7:33.

Asia. [A'sia]

This term in the N.T. does not refer to the portion of the earth now called Asia, nor does it include the whole of Asia Minor; but applies simply to the western part of Asia Minor, which was bequeathed to Rome by Attalus III.  Philometor, king of Pergamus or king of Asia, B.C. 133. The province, with Ephesus as its capital, included Caria, Lydia, and Mysia, which were anciently called Doris, Ionia, and AEolis. It was governed by a proconsul. In Acts 2:9-10  'Asia' does not include Cappadocia, Pontus, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, which are all included in Asia Minor. Again, in Acts 16:6, Phrygia and Galatia are distinct from Asia: see also 1 Peter 1:1. It will be seen in a map that all the seven churches of Asia, mentioned in the Revelation, are in the above named district. As Paul laboured in other parts of Asia Minor, and there being frequent intercourse between the various places and Ephesus, it may be that a wider area is in some passages referred to as 'Asia,' as in Acts 19:10, 26, 27.

Asiarchs. [A'siarchs]

The word is  Ἀσιαρχῶν, 'chiefs of Asia.' They were officers chosen annually by the cities in the Roman province of Asia. They had charge of the public games and religious festivals. Acts 19:31. There were similar officers in other districts, as Syriarchs for Syria, etc. Some of the Asiarchs were friends of Paul and begged him not to endanger himself in the theatre: tumultuous mobs could not always be controlled.

Asiel. [A'siel]

Father of Seraiah, of the tribe of Simeon. 1 Chr. 4:35.

Askelon. [As'kelon]


Asnah. [As'nah]

Father of some of the Nethinim, who returned from Babylon. Ezra 2:50.

Asnapper. [Asnap'per]

One called 'great and noble' who brought colonists from Assyria to Samaria. Ezra 4:10.


The word is pethen: it has been identified with the naja haje, a snake that has the power of expelling its deadly poison to some distance, which has caused the Dutch colonists at the Cape to call them the spitting snake. Its 'cruel venom' is used symbolically to describe the wine of the wicked (Deut. 32:33: cf. Rom. 3:13), and the inward misery of those who are secretly wicked, Job 20:14, 16. In the millennium a child will play harmlessly at its hole. Isa. 11:8.

Aspatha. [Aspa'tha]

Son of Haman, slain and hanged. Esther 9:7.

Asriel, Asrielites.  [As'riel, As'rielites]

Son of Gilead, and his descendants. Num. 26:31; Joshua 17:2.


In the East the ass takes the place which the horse has among European nations. It is there a much more noble animal, and is declared to be a very intelligent one: cf. Isa. 1:3. It is highly valued there and is well treated. It was used for riding both by men and women, and for carrying burdens. Among a man's property the asses are often enumerated. Gen. 12:16; Job 1:3; Job 42:12; Ezra 2:67; Neh. 7:69. There are five Hebrew words used for the domestic and the wild ass, referring to its strength or to its colour.

The 'white asses' mentioned in Judges 5:10 are still greatly prized in the East. In some parts the flesh of the ass is highly esteemed for food, but it was forbidden as unclean to the Jews: it was however eaten in the dire famine at the siege of Samaria. 2 Kings 6:25.

THE WILD ASS is very wild and very swift.  It is seldom tamed. It is thus a fit emblem of man's natural birth. Job 11:12. Jehovah demanded of Job "Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?" Job 39:5: cf. Jer. 7:24; Dan. 5:21.


Besides the use of this word for any 'collecting together,' as the 'assembly of the wicked,' it has a special reference in the O.T. to the children of Israel as 'the assembly,' whether they were collected together or not. Several Hebrew words are used, some implying 'an appointed meeting,' others a 'calling together,' etc. 'The whole assembly of the congregation' were to eat the passover, Ex. 12:6, though each family ate it in its own house. They accused Moses of having brought them into the wilderness to kill the 'whole assembly with hunger,' Ex. 16:3; so in many places. When they were especially called together to the feasts it is often called a SOLEMN ASSEMBLY, as in Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35; Deut. 16:8; 2 Kings 10:20; 2 Chr. 7:9; Neh. 8:18, etc.

In the N.T. the word is also used for any gathering of people, as at the tumult in Ephesus. Acts 19:32, 39, 41. In James 2:2  the word 'assembly' is really the synagogue, or place of meeting. In Heb. 12:23 the words 'GENERAL ASSEMBLY' should be joined to ver. 22, reading "and to the innumerable company of angels, the general assembly:" the word 'and' dividing the subjects. The Greek word used in Acts 19:32, etc. is ἐκκλησία, and this often occurs in the N.T. where it is translated 'church.' It signifies 'called out,' and the church is a people called out by God to Himself from the mass of mankind. The church may more accurately be designated by the word 'assembly.'  See CHURCH.

Asshur. [As'shur]

In Gen. 10:11 it would appear from the A.V. that a son of Ham named Asshur built Nineveh; and then in Gen. 10:22 and 1 Chr. 1:17 Asshur is named as the son of Shem. But in the margin of ver. 11 it reads that "he went out into Assyria," that is, Nimrod went forth into Asshur or Assyria (the Hebrew is the same). This is confirmed by Micah 5:6, where Assyria and Nimrod are associated together. Assyria is traced to Asshur or Assur, a son of Shem.  Nimrod came afterwards and may have subdued the country, but with what result is not shown.

Asshurim. [Asshu'rim]

Sons of Dedan. Gen. 25:3.

Assir. [As'sir]

1.  Son of Korah. Ex. 6:24; 1 Chr. 6:22.

2.  Son of Ebiasaph. 1 Chr. 6:23, 37.

3.  Son of Jeconiah. 1 Chr. 3:17.

Assos. [As'sos]

Seaport in Mysia, in the west of Asia Minor, on the north shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium 20 miles from Troas. Acts 20:13-14. A glance at a map will show that Paul in walking from Troas to Assos could be there as soon as the ship. The place is now utterly desolate, but with ruins in good preservation, some being of granite.

Assur. [As'sur]

Another form of Asshur or Assyria. Ezra 4:2; Ps. 83:8.


This word has in the O.T. a different application from that which it has in the N.T. In the former it is 'confidence or trust,' and agrees with the hopes of God's earthly people in connection with the security in which Israel will dwell when restored to their land, when all their enemies shall have been put down by divine power: the effect of righteousness will be "quietness and assurance for ever," Isa. 32:17: whereas in their disobedience they should fear day and night and have no assurance of their life. Deut. 28:66.

In the N.T. the Greek word πληροφορία implies 'full assurance' and refers to eternal salvation. The gospel reaches a soul in power, and in the Holy Ghost and in 'much full assurance.' 1 Thess. 1:5. We also meet with:

1,   the full assurance of  faith, Heb. 10:22; the reception of God's testimony respecting the work of Christ and the glory He now enjoys:

2,   the full assurance of  hope, Heb. 6:11, issuing in continued diligence of the saints in their work and labour of love: and

3,   the full assurance of  understanding, Col. 2:2, for full knowledge in the mystery of God.

Assyria. [Assy'ria]

The great kingdom of Assyria was situated near the river Tigris, having Armenia on the North, Mount Zagros and Media on the east, Babylonia on the south, Syria and the Syrian desert on the west; but its boundaries were doubtless not always the same. Nineveh became its capital. The first allusion to Assyria is found in Gen. 2:14, where we read that one of the rivers of Paradise went "toward the east of Assyria," or "went eastward to Assyria," margin.

The name of Assyria appears to have arisen from its first capital, Asshur (now called Kalah Sherghat) on the Tigris. Apparently a monarchy was established there by some from Babylonia, and there were several kings before SHALMANESER I. (about B.C. 1300), whose family kept the throne for six generations until TIGLATH-PILESER I. (about B.C. 1130), who may be said to be the founder of the first Assyrian Empire. He beautified Nineveh and carried his arms in various directions. After him the kingdom became feeble until RIMMON-NIRARI  II., B.C. 911, but his victorious career was excelled by his grandson, the great ASSUR-NATSIR-PAL, B.C. 883, who made conquests over the Phoenicians and the 'Kaldu' (Chaldeans).

SHALMANESER II succeeded, B.C. 858. He carried his arms still farther. We have his conquests told by himself on three monuments in the British Museum, one of which is known as the Black Obelisk. If the names are correctly interpreted he mentions as allied against him Benhadad king of Syria and Ahab king of Israel. These were defeated at the battle of Karkar, B.C. 853. Hazael of Damascus was also defeated; and from Yahua, the son of Khumri, that is, Jehu, whom he incorrectly calls son of Omri, king of Israel, he received tribute; but of this scripture says nothing.

The next king who invaded Syria was RIMMON-NIRARI  III B.C. 810. He extended his victories to what he calls, 'the shore of the sea of the setting sun,' which is doubtless the Mediterranean, and imposed tribute on the Phoenicians, Israelites, Edomites, Philistines, and the king of Damascus. After this king the power of Assyria waned for a time.

The next king of note was TIGLATH -PILESER II. or III. B.C. 745, who is considered to have founded the second Assyrian kingdom. He consolidated the various dependencies, turbulent populations were removed, and the empire was divided into provinces, each of which paid a fixed annual tribute. In his inscriptions occur the names of Jehoahaz (Ahaz) of Judah; Pekah, and Hoshea of Israel; Reson (Resin) of Damascus; and Hiram of Tyre. The name of Merodach-baladan is also found. Hamath was taken and then all Palestine was at his feet. He attacked those on the east of the Jordan, and carried away the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 1 Chr. 5:26. Ahaz sought his alliance against Rezin the king of Damascus. Rezin was slain and the city taken; and there Ahaz met the king of Assyria. 2 Kings 16:1-10; 2 Chr. 28:16-21. He also made himself master of Babylonia; but this afterwards gained its independence under Merodach-baladan. Some Assyrian scholars take Tiglath-pileser (whose name appears to have been Pulu) to be the same person as the Pul mentioned in the Bible; but this does not at all agree with the dates of scripture, and in 1 Chr. 5:26 the names of Pul and Tiglath-pileser are mentioned as of two persons.  See PUL.

In B.C. 727 SHALMANESER IV. succeeded to the throne. Hoshea king of Israel was subject to him; but on being found in treaty with the king of Egypt, Samaria was besieged. 2 Kings 17:3-5.

In B.C. 722 SARGON succeeded, and apparently it was he who captured Samaria. An inscription of his at Khorsabad reads, "I besieged the city of Samaria and carried away 27,280 men who dwelt there into captivity, and took fifty chariots from among them, and ordered the rest to be taken. I set my judges over them, and imposed upon them the tribute of the former kings." He also placed colonists in Samaria, but it is supposed by the names of the places mentioned from which these were sent, that this was not done immediately. Sargon captured Carchemish, punished the king of Syria, flayed alive the king of Hamath, and then successfully overcame So or Sabako. Sargon is mentioned in Isa. 20:1 as sending his general to Ashdod, who took it. An inscription also mentions the fall of the city. Sargon defeated Merodach-baladan in Babylonia, but was assassinated in B.C. 705. He was called SHARRU-KENU, that is, 'faithful king.'

SENNACHERIB succeeded Sargon his father, B.C. 705. Hezekiah had been tributary; but on his revolting Sennacherib took the fenced cities of Judah, and then Hezekiah sent him the treasures of his own house and the house of the Lord. Still Jerusalem was attacked, and profane speeches made against the God of Israel. Hezekiah humbled himself before God, and the angel of the Lord smote of the Assyrians 185,000. Sennacherib returned to his land and was eventually murdered by two of his sons. 2 Kings 18:13 - 19:37. In Sennacherib's own account he says, "Hezekiah himself I shut up like a bird in a cage in Jerusalem, his royal city . . . . in addition to his former tribute and yearly gifts I added other tribute and the homage due to my majesty, and I laid it upon them." The above date would clash with the date of Hezekiah, but it is probable that Sennacherib was co-regent with his father some nine years before he reigned alone.

A tablet shows Sennacherib sitting on a throne to receive the spoils of the city of Lachish. It is supposed he lived 20 years after he left Palestine before he was assassinated. He says nothing of the loss of his army, and perhaps never recovered the shock.

ESAR-HADDON succeeded, B.C. 681. He is said to have reigned from the Euphrates to the Nile. He also conquered Egypt, and divided it into 20 provinces, governed by Assyrians. According to an inscription he claimed the sovereignty of Babylon, and held his court there. This accounts for him, as king of Assyria, carrying Manasseh captive to Babylon. 2 Chr. 33:11. He is mentioned also in Ezra 4:2 as having sent the colonists into Judaea. After reigning about 10 years he associated with him his son the noted ASSUR-BANI-PAL. Egypt was again conquered. He gathered a famous library at Kouyunjik, the terra cotta tablets of which have been preserved. Assur-bani-pal died about B.C. 626. The glory of the Assyrian kingdom was permanently departing, and about B.C. 606 Nineveh was taken and destroyed. Nahum 1 - 3.

There are many monuments and inscriptions on tablets which the learned are deciphering; but the difficulties of distinguishing the proper names on the Assyrian monuments are shown by M. Joachim Menant, who gives as an instance one sign which may be read kal, rip, dan, or lip, being one of the signs called 'polyphones.'

The following list of kings is from Rawlinson, Sayce, and other Assyrian scholars. The early dates are uncertain and several of the later dates do not agree with the usual chronology of scripture.

  Shalmaneser I. 1300
  Tiglath-Adar I., his son 1280
  Bel-kudur-utsur (Belchadrezzar) his son 1260
  Assur-narara and Nebo-dan 1240
  Adar-pal-esar (Adar-pileser) 1220
  Assur-dan I., his son 1200
  Mutaggil-Nebo, his son 1180
  Assur-ris-ilim, his son 1160
  Tiglath-pileser I., his son 1140
  Assur-bel-kala, his son 1110
  Samas-Rimmon I., his brother 1090
  Assur-rab-buri  ?
  Assur-zalmati  ?
  Assur-dan II   930
  Rimmon-nirari II., his son   911
  Tiglath-Adar II., his son   889
  Assur-natsir-pal, his son   883
  Shalmaneser II., his son   858
  Samas-Rimmon II., his son   823
  Rimmon-nirari III., his son   810
  Shalmaneser III.   781
  Assur-dan III.   771
  Assur-nirari    753
  Pulu, usurper, Tiglath-pileser II. or III   745
  Ulula (Elulaeos) of Tinu, usurper, Shalmaneser IV.   727
  Sargon, usurper   722
  Sennacherib of Khabigal, his son    705
  Esar-haddon, his son   681
  Assur-bani-pal (Sardanapalus) his son    668
  Assur-etil-ili-yukinni, his son ?    626
  Esar-haddon II. (Sarakos)   ?
     Fall of Nineveh? 606

The Assyrians were idolaters: from the inscriptions the names of hundreds of gods can be gathered.

The Assyrian language was a branch of the Semitic, and came from the Accadian. It was written in Cuneiform or wedge-shaped characters.

Assyria was used by God as His rod to punish His guilty people Israel, and then, as in other instances, the rod itself, for its pride and wickedness, had to bear God's judgement. See Isa. 10:5-19; Isa. 14:25; Ezek. 31:3-17; Nahum 3:18-19; Zeph. 2:13. Some of the passages that speak of the kings of Assyria are prophetic, and refer to the still future, when as 'kings of the north' they will again have to do with Israel and will be judged of God. The indignation against Israel ceases in the destruction of the Assyrian: see Isa. 10:12; Isa. 14:25; Isa. 30:27-33. One remarkable passage speaks of Assyria with Egypt and Israel as being brought into blessing, Isa. 19:23-25, "Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance." We thus see that the Assyrians have a large place in scripture both in the past and in the future, doubtless because they have had, and will yet have, to do with Jehovah's earthly people, "the Israel of God." The Assyrian is the over-flowing scourge of God's anger because of Israel's connection with idolatry.

Assyrian. [Assy'rian]


Astaroth. [As'taroth]



Simply 'astonished.' Ezra 9:3-4.


1.  In Dan. 1:20; Dan. 2:2, 10, 27; Dan. 4:7; Dan. 5:7, 11, 15 the Hebrew word is ashshaph, signifying 'enchanter, magician;' one who practised occult arts. This word occurs nowhere else.

2.  habar shamayim, one who viewed or divided the heavens, an astrologer, who professed to foretell events by the position of the planets. Isa. 47:13. Babylon was wearied with its various counsellors, who doubtless often differed one from another; but it had no other resource, so it turned to its astrologers, stargazers, etc. See DIVINATION.

Asuppim. [Asup'pim]

In 1 Chr. 26:15, 17 the Hebrew word is given untranslated; but the same occurs in Neh. 12:25, where it is translated 'thresholds,' and in the margin 'treasuries.' It probably refers to the apartments used as storehouses in the outer temple.

Asyncritus. [Asyn'critus]

A Christian at Rome to whom Paul sends salutations. Rom. 16:14.

Atad. [A'tad]

Place near the Jordan, where Joseph, his brethren, and the Egyptians made great lamentation at the burial of Jacob. The inhabitants of the land called it ABEL-MIZRAIM, q.v. Gen. 50:10-11.

Atarah. [At'arah]

Wife of Jerahmeel, and mother of Onam. 1 Chr. 2:26.

Ataroth. [At'aroth]

1.  City on the east of the Jordan, built or rebuilt by the children of Gad. Num. 32:3, 34. Identified with Attarus, 31 36' N, 35 42' E.

2.  City on the borders of Ephraim and Manasseh. Joshua 16:2,7

3.  'Ataroth of the house of Joab,' a person or place in connection with the descendants of Caleb. 1 Chr. 2:54.

Atarothadar or Atarothaddar. [At'aroth-adar or -addar]

City on the borders of Benjamin and Ephraim. Joshua 16:5; Joshua 18:13. Identified with ed-Dariah, 31 53' N, 35 4' E.

Ater. [A'ter]

1.  Ancestor of some of those who returned from exile and dwelt in Jerusalem. Ezra 2:16; Neh. 7:21.

2.  Apparently head of one of the families of porters to the temple. Ezra 2:42; Neh. 7:45.

3.  A chief of the people who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:17.

Athach. [A'thach]

City in the south of Judah. 1 Sam. 30:30.

Athaiah. [Athai'ah]

One who dwelt in Jerusalem. Neh. 11:4.

Athaliah. [Athali'ah]

1.  Descendant of Benjamin. 1 Chr. 8:26.

2.  Father of Jeshaiah who returned from exile. Ezra 8:7.

3.  Daughter of Jezebel and Ahab, and granddaughter of Omri (cf. 2 Kings 8:26 with ver. 18), wife of Jehoram king of Judah. She may be said to have introduced the worship of Baal into Judah, and she brought up her son to follow in her evil ways. 2 Chr. 22:3. He having been slain by Jehu when he was executing judgement on the house of Ahab, Athaliah usurped the throne and endeavoured to destroy all the seed royal. One child, Joash, was concealed in the temple, and after Athaliah had reigned six years, he was anointed king and crowned; Athaliah was taken outside the enclosures of the temple and slain, B.C. 878. The temple and idol of Baal were at once destroyed, and the priest slain. The history is a solemn instance of the danger of an unholy alliance. 2 Kings 11:1-20; 2 Chr. 23:12-21.


The Greek is ἄθεος, lit. 'without God,' and so translated in Eph. 2:12. It is used as a description of Gentiles as such by nature, and true of all the heathen world in their ignorance of God: not, as the term is now used, namely, one who wilfully refuses to acknowledge God's existence.

Athenians. [Athe'nians]

The dwellers in Athens. Acts 17:21-22.

Athens. [Ath'ens]

The chief city of Attica, and the seat of Grecian learning and art. The city was wholly given to idolatry, and the people spent their time in strolling about and asking 'what news?' Paul laboured alone in Athens, while he waited for Silas and Timothy, and sought to reason with the Jews in their synagogue and in the market daily; then certain philosophers took him to Mars' Hill, where he delivered his memorable address to polished but heathen hearers. There was some fruit of his labours. Acts 17:15-22; Acts 18:1; 1 Thess. 3:1. Athens was an ancient city, and experienced many changes and different forms of government. It surrendered to Sulla the Roman general in B.C. 86 and became a part of the Roman empire, but in A.D. 267 it was besieged by the Goths, and in 396 was taken by Alaric, king of the Visigoths. Taken by Mahomet II. in 1456, and became the capital of the kingdom of modern Greece in 1833. It gradually lost all its renown, and the houses became roofless and in ruins. In 1834 the Greek king Otho encouraged the rebuilding of the city, and from that date it has again gradually become a populous city.

Athlai. [Ath'lai]

One who had married a strange wife. Ezra 10:28.


The word 'atonement' occurs but once in the N.T. and there it should be 'reconciliation,' and the verb in the preceding sentence is so translated: "If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life . . . . through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation," καταλλαγή Rom. 5:10-11. On the other hand, in Heb. 2:17 the A.V. has "to make reconciliation for the sins of the people:" here it is propitiation,' ἱλάσκομαι. If the word atonement is not found in the N.T., atonement in its true meaning is spoken of continually, as 'ransom;' 'bearing our sins in his own body on the tree;' 'Christ our passover is sacrificed for us;' 'Christ . . . . being made a curse for us;' 'He suffered for sins, the just for the unjust;' and, to use the language of faith, 'with his stripes we are healed;' 'He was delivered for our offences;' 'He was manifested to take away our sins.'

In the O.T. we have the word 'atonement' continually, but 'propitiation' not at all; 'expiation' twice in the margin, Num. 35:33; Isa. 47:11. But the same word, kaphar, though generally translated by 'make atonement,' is employed for 'purging' and occasionally for 'cleansing,' 'reconciling,' 'purifying.' The word kaphar is literally 'to cover,' with various prepositions with it; the ordinary one is 'up' or 'upon.' Hence in 'atoned for him ' or 'his sin:' he or his sin is covered up: atonement is made for him or for his sin. Atonement was made upon the horns of the altar: the force is 'atonement for.' With the altar of incense atonement was not made upon it, but for it; so for the holy place, and for or about Aaron and his house: the preposition is al.

The same is used with the two goats. The sins were seen on the sinless goat, and expiation was made in respect of those sins. The how is not said here, but it is by the two goats making really one, because the object was to show that the sins were really laid upon it (that is, on Christ), and the sins carried away out of sight, and never to be found. If we can get our ideas, as taught of God as to the truth, into the train of Jewish thought, there is no difficulty in the al. In either case the difficulty arises from the fact that in English for presents the interested person to the mind; on is merely the place where it was done, as on an altar; whereas the al refers to the clearing away by the kaphar what was upon the thing al which the atoning rite was performed. Clearly the goat was not the person interested, nor was it merely done upon it as the place. It was that on which the sins lay, and they must be cleared and done away. The expiation referred to them as thus laid on the goat. As has been said, the how is not stated here, but the all-important fact defined that they were all carried away from Israel and from before God. The needed blood or life was presented to God in the other, which did really put them away; but did much more, and that aspect is attached to them there. This double aspect of the atoning work is of the deepest importance and interest, the presenting of the blood to God on the mercy seat, and the bearing away the sins. The word kaphar, to make atonement, occurs in Ex. 29, 30, 32;  Lev. 1, 4-10, 12, 14-17, 19, 23;  Num. 5, 6, 8, 15, 16, 25, 28, 29, 31;  2 Sam. 21:3;  1 Chr. 6:49;  2 Chr. 29:24;  Neh. 10:33.

A short notice of some other Hebrew words may help. We have nasa, 'to lift up,' and so to forgive, to lift up the sins away in the mind of the person offended, or to show favour in lifting up the countenance of the favoured person. Ps. 4:6. We have also kasah, 'to cover,' as in Ps. 32: 1, where sin is 'covered': sometimes used with al, as in Prov. 10:12, "love covereth all sins," forgives: they are out of sight and mind. The person is looked at with love, and not the faults with offence.

But in such words there is not the idea of expiation, the side of the offender is contemplated, and he is looked at in grace, whatever the cause: it may be needed atonement, or simply, as in Proverbs, gracious kindness. We have also salach, 'pardon or forgiveness.' Thus it is used as the effect of kaphar, as in Lev. 4:20. But kaphar has always a distinct and important idea connected with it. It views the sin as toward God, and is ransom, when not used literally for sums of money; and kapporeth is the mercy seat. And though it involves forgiveness, purging from sin, it has always God in view, not merely that the sinner is relieved or forgiven: there is expiation and propitiation in it. And this is involved in the idea of purging sin, or making the purging of sin (ἱλάσκεσθαι, ἐξιλάσκεσθαι, ἱλασμὸν ποιεῖν); it is in God's sight as that by which He is offended, and what He rejects and judges.

There was a piaculum, 'an expiatory sacrifice,' something satisfying for the individual involved in guilt, or what was offensive to God, what He could not tolerate from His very nature. This with the heathen, who attached human passions or demon-revenge to their gods, was of course perverted to meet those ideas. They deprecated the vengeance of a probably angry and self-vengeful being. But God has a nature which is offended by sin. It is a holy, not of course a passionate, one; but the majesty of holiness must be maintained. Sin ought not to be treated with indifference, and God's love provides the ransom. It is God's Lamb who undertakes and accomplishes the work. The perfect love of God and His righteousness, the moral order of the universe and of our souls through faith, is maintained by the work of the cross. Through the perfect love not only of God, the giver, but of Him, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, propitiation is made, expiation for sin, its aspect being toward God, while the effect applies to us in cleansing and justifying, though it goes much farther.

Expiation is more the satisfaction itself which is made, the piaculum, what takes the wrath, and is devoted, made the curse, and so substituted for the offender, so that he goes free. And here the noun kopher comes to let light in on the inquiry. It is translated 'ransom, satisfaction,' and in 1 Sam. 12:3 a 'bribe.' So in Ex. 21:30 a kopher (translated 'sum of money') is laid upon a man to save his life where his ox had killed his neighbour; but in Num. 35:31 no kopher was to be taken for the life of a murderer; for (ver. 33) the land cannot be cleansed, kaphar, but by the blood of the man that shed blood as a murderer. This clearly shows what the force of kopher and of kaphar is. A satisfaction is offered suited to the eye and mind of him who is displeased and who judges; and through this there is purgation of the offence, cleansing, forgiveness, and favour, according to him who takes cognisance of the evil.

A word may be added as to the comparison made between the two birds, Lev. 14:4-7, and the two goats, Lev. 16:7-10. The object of the birds was the cleansing of the leper; it was application to the defiled man, not the kopher, ransom, presented to God. It could not have been done but on the ground of the blood-shedding and satisfaction, but the immediate action was the purifying: hence there was water as well as blood. One bird was slain over running water in an earthen vessel, and the live bird and other objects dipped in it, and the man was then sprinkled, and the living bird let loose far from death, though once identified with it, and was free. The Spirit, in the power of the word, makes the death of Christ available in the power of His resurrection. There was no laying sins on the bird let free, as on the goat: it was identified with the slain one, and then let go. The living water in the earthen vessel is doubtless the power of the Spirit and word in human nature, characterising the form of the truth, though death and the blood must come in, and all nature, its pomp and vanity, be merged in it. The leper is cleansed and then can worship. This is not the atonement itself towards God, though founded on it, as marked by the death of the bird. It is the cleansing of man in death to the flesh, but in the power of resurrection known in Christ who once died to sin.

So also the Red Heifer, Num. 19:1-22, was not in itself an act of atonement, but of purification. The ground was there laid in the slaying and burning of the heifer. Sin was, so to speak, consumed in it, and the blood was sprinkled seven times before the tabernacle of the congregation. When Christ died sin was, as it were, all consumed for His people by the fire of judgement, and all the value of the blood was before God where He communicated with the people. All that was settled, but man had defiled himself in his journey through the wilderness, and must be cleansed. The witness that sin had been put away long ago by Christ undergoing what was the fruit of sin was brought by the living power of the Holy Spirit and the word, and so he was purified. But the act of purifying is not in itself atonement; for atonement the offering is presented to God. It is a kopher a ransom, a satisfaction, to meet the infinite, absolute perfection of God's nature and character, which indeed is there alone brought out. Thereby atonement is made and the very Day of Atonement is called kippurim.  The priest made an atonement in respect of the sins; and it had the double aspect of presenting the blood before God within as meeting what He was, and bearing His people's sins and carrying them away never to be found. We must make the difference of an un-rent veil and repeated sacrifices, and a rent veil and a sacrifice offered once for all. This is taught in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

There is still one case to be noticed, but it was merely a principle confirming the real character of the kaphar, making atonement. In Ex. 30:11-16 it was ordered that when the people were numbered, each, rich or poor, should give half a shekel as a kopher ransom, for his soul or life. This had nothing to do with sin, but with ransom, that there might be no plague — a recognition that they belonged to God all alike, and could have no human boast in numbers, as David afterwards brought the plague on Israel. This was offered to God as a sign of this, and shows what the force of kaphar, making atonement, is.

We have no atonement in connection with the meat offering: we get the perfectness of Christ's person, and all the elements that constituted it so as man, and there tested by the fire of God, which was even to death, the death of the cross, and all a perfect sweet savour, and perfect in presenting it to God a sweet savour, but no kopher, ransom: for that we must have blood-shedding.

The essence then of atonement is, firstly, a work or satisfaction presented to God according to, and perfectly glorifying, His nature and character about sin by sacrifice; and secondly, the bearing our sins; glorifying God even where sin was and in respect of sin (and thus His love is free to go out to all sinners); and giving the believer, him that comes to God by that blood-shedding, the certainty that his sins are all gone, and that God will remember them no more.

Atonement, Day of.

This was one of the most solemn days in the whole year, being, in common with the Sabbath, the only occasion on which the people were commanded to cease from work entirely. On the day of atonement they were also to afflict their souls, and that by a statute for ever. Lev. 16:29-31. The time of the year in which the day fell — the tenth day of the seventh month — is very significant, especially when viewed in connection with the other feasts. See FEASTS.

The rites prescribed for the Day of Atonement are given in Lev. 16; Lev. 23:26-32; Num. 29:7-11. In the first we have a detailed account of the peculiar work appointed for the high priest on that day; in the second, we learn what had been shortly expressed in chap. 16, how the people should comport themselves on that day; and in the third we are told of certain sacrifices which were to be offered up besides those spoken of in Lev. 16. In this passage we learn that the Day of Atonement was a gracious provision in order that the relationship of the people with the holy God who dwelt among them might be maintained.

 The points to be noticed are:

1.  The entrance into the holy place. Aaron, on account of the failure of his sons in the priestly office, could not enter there at all times, but, as the representative of the people, once a year on the Day of Atonement, and he must enter alone. Even then he went in not for communion, but for the cleansing of the defilements of a people among whom God dwelt. He must put on the holy linen garments, and must enter with a cloud of incense and with blood, lest he die. For the contrast to this for the Christian, see Heb. 9:7-12.

2.  Aaron must offer sacrifices for himself and his house: a young bullock for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Aaron and his sons represent the saints who now form the church as a company of priests, and were thus, in the type, distinct from the people (Israel) as an earthly company who formed the camp.

3. For the congregation two goats were taken for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. On the two goats the lot was cast, and the one on whom the lot fell was for Jehovah, and was offered as a sin offering. This, as with the bullock for Aaron and his house, was the atonement offering Godward. The other, after being presented before the Lord, was brought forth: on him Aaron laid both his hands and confessed over him "all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat," Lev. 16:21, which was then sent away into the wilderness, a land of forgetfulness. In the two goats we have the two sides of atonement, namely, that which meets the character and holiness of God, and that which meets the need of the sinner as to the removal of his sins.*  See the preceding article.

* Note there is no scapegoat for the priestly family: they belong to the inside, where God is glorified. The earthly saints will have 'the forgiveness of sins' in the new covenant at the end of days. In connection with them prominence is given to the scapegoat aspect — sins remembered no more.

4.  Atonement was made for the holy place, for the tabernacle, and for the altar, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

The day of Atonement being once a year — once every year, by a perpetual statute — stands in strong contrast to the one perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, by which the believer is perfected in perpetuity. See Heb. 10:1-18.

The reiterated injunction to afflict their souls in connection with this great day has an important prophetical bearing as to the Lord's earthly people Israel. If the blowing of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month suggests that testimony from the Lord which shall arouse the nation from their long spiritual slumber, the Day of Atonement points to the moral effect produced in them when they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced, and mourn for Him. They will also at this time learn and confess that He was wounded for their transgressions. Cf. Zech. 12:10-14; Isa. 53; Ps. 51.

Atroth. [At'roth]

City of Gad, Num. 32:35: it should probably be joined to the next word and read Atroth-shophan, the several places being divided by the word 'and.'

Attai. [At'tai]

1.  Grandson of Sheshan. 1 Chr. 2:35-36.

2.  Gadite, a man of might, who joined David in his rejection. 1 Chr. 12:11.

3.  Son of Rehoboam and grandson of Solomon. 2 Chr. 11:20.

Attalia. [Attali'a]

Seaport of Pamphylia, near Perga, visited by Paul and Barnabas. Acts 14:25. It was founded by Attalus king of Pergamus: now called Adalia.

Augustus. [Augus'tus]

Title given to the Roman Emperors after Augustus Caesar, named in Luke 2:1. In Acts 25:21, 25 the Augustus or Caesar at that time was Nero.

Augustus Caesar. [Augus'tus Cae'sar]

The first Roman emperor, son of Cains Octavius and Atia, niece of Julius Caesar. He was one of the Triumvirate with Antony and Lepidus, and upon the death of the latter he shared the empire with Antony: but both being too ambitious to share the kingdom, the battle of Actium, B.C. 31, resulted in Caesar's favour, and he reigned alone: four years later he was confirmed as 'emperor,' and 'Augustus' in B.C. 27. He became associated with Palestine at the defeat of Antony, whom Herod had supported. He behaved, contrary to expectation, kindly to Herod, confirmed him as king, and added Samaria and Gadara to his dominions. Herod gave unreserved allegiance to Augustus, and built a marble temple to his honour at Caesarea Philippi. The emperor died A.D. 14. The Lord Jesus was born during his reign. Luke 2:1.

Augustus Band. [Augustus' Band]

The word σπεῖρα signifies 'cohort,' the tenth part of a 'legion.' This cohort was probably a sort of 'King's Own.'


See AWL.


1.  ἀρχηγός, 'beginner, leader.' It is 'prince' in Acts 3:15 ('author' in the margin), the Lord Jesus is the originator of life.  In Heb. 12:2, the Lord Jesus is the 'leader ' and completer of faith: He began and finished the whole course.  In Heb. 2:10 it is 'captain ' in the A.V., He was 'leader' of their salvation through suffering

2.  αἴτιος, 'cause,' 'occasion.' The Lord Jesus became the author of eternal salvation.' Heb. 5:9.



Ava. [A'va]

Place subject to Assyria from which colonists were sent to Samaria: possibly the same as AHAVA and IVAH. 2 Kings 17:24.

Aven. [A'ven]

1. On, or Heliopolis, 'House of the Sun,' in northern Egypt, a seat of idolatry: its young men should fall by the sword. Ezek. 30:17.   See ON.

2.  Used symbolically in that Beth-el, 'the house of God,' had become Aven or Beth-aven, that is, 'the house of vanity' because of idolatry. Hosea 10:8: cf. Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5.

3.  The Plain of Aven, a place in Syria. Amos 1:5. Not identified.

Avenger, Avenger of Blood.

After the flood God gave to Noah the law that "whose sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed," Gen. 9:6; and to this day in the East it is considered the solemn duty of the relatives of a slain man to see that his blood is avenged. The law made a distinction between murder and man-slaughter: when a person was killed accidentally the man-slayer could run to a City of Refuge (q.v.) and be protected. God has invested man with governmental authority to carry out this universal command, which was given long before the law by Moses, and which has never been repealed or relaxed. In the N.T. the magistrate bears not the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God for the punishment of evil-doers. Rom. 13.

Under the law of Moses it was enacted 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' Matt. 5:38; Ex. 21:24. With the Christian it is quite different: having been dealt with in grace, he must act also in grace towards others. The word to him is "Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." Rom. 12:19; Rev. 6:10; Rev. 19:2. Now it is the day of grace; but there is a day of vengeance coming for those that "know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thess. 1:8. The duty of a Christian in not avenging himself in no way clashes with the exercise of the government of God by magistrates, who derive their authority from Him, in repressing and punishing evil.

Avim, Avites. [A'vim, A'vites]

1.  A people who once inhabited the villages of Philistia, who were destroyed by the Caphtorims, Deut. 2:23; a remnant being left till the days of Joshua. Joshua 13:3.

2.  City belonging to the tribe of Benjamin, not far from Bethel; but the name having the article in the Hebrew may signify a group of villages. Joshua 18:23.

3.  A people localised in Samaria by the king of Assyria. 2 Kings 17:31.

Avith. [A'vith]

City of Edom in the east of Moab, seat of Hadad the fourth king. Gen. 36:35; 1 Chr. 1:46.


A piercing instrument, only spoken of as being thrust through the ear: its form is not known. Ex. 21:6; Deut. 15:17.

Ax, Axe.

There are seven different Hebrew words translated 'ax' or 'axe,' with various shades of meaning. Deut. 19:5; Judges 9:48; 2 Sam. 12:31; 1 Chr. 20:3; Ps. 74:6; Jer. 10:3; Ezek. 26:9; Matt. 3:10; Luke 3:9.

Azal. [A'zal]

Not known as a place: in the margin it is not read as a proper name. Zech. 14:5.

Azaliah. [Azali'ah]

Father of Shaphan the scribe. 2 Kings 22:3; 2 Chr. 34:8.

Azaniah. [Azani'ah]

Father of Jeshua, who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:9.

Azarael, Azareel. [Azar'ael, Azar'eel]

1.  One who resorted to David at Ziklag. 1 Chr. 12:6.

2.  One in the service of song in the time of David. 1 Chr. 25:18. See ASARELAH.

3.  Danite ruler in the time of David. 1 Chr. 27:22.

4.  One who had married a strange wife. Ezra 10:41.

5.  Son of Ahasai. Neh. 11:13.

6.  A Levite-musician. Neh. 12:36.

Azariah. [Azari'ah]

  A name common in the priestly family especially of Eleazar.

1.  Descendant of Zadok. 1 Kings 4:2.

2.  Son of Nathan, over the officers. 1 Kings 4:5.

3.  Son of Amaziah king of Judah. See UZZIAH.

4.  Son of Ethan, descendant of Judah. 1 Chr. 2:8.

5.  Son of Jehu. 1 Chr. 2:38-39.

6.  Son of Ahimaaz and grandson of Zadok. 1 Chr. 6:9.

7.  Son of Johanan, descendant of Zadok, apparently the first high priest who ministered in Solomon's temple. 1 Chr. 6:10-11.

8.  Son of Hilkiah the high priest in the time of Josiah. 1 Chr. 6:13-14; 1 Chr. 9:11; Ezra 7:1.

9.  Son of Zephaniah, descendant of Kohath. 1 Chr. 6:36.

10.  Prophet, son of Oded, sent by God to encourage Asa to seek the Lord. 2 Chr. 15:1.

11, 12.  Two of the sons of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. 2 Chr. 21:2.

13.  Son of Jehoram, 2 Chr. 22:6: also called AHAZIAH, q.v.

14, 15.  Two of the captains who aided Jehoiada to place Joash on the throne. 2 Chr. 23:1.

16.  The high priest who hindered Uzziah king of Judah from burning incense in the temple. 2 Chr. 26:17, 20.

17.  One of the 'heads' of the tribe of Ephraim who objected to the bringing into Samaria the captives from Judah. 2 Chr. 28:12.

18.  Father of Joel, a Kohathite. 2 Chr. 29:12

19. Son of Jehalelel, a Merarite 2 Chr. 29:12.

20.  Priest of the family of Zadok in the time of Hezekiah. 2 Chr. 31:10.

21.  One mentioned in the genealogy of Ezra. Ezra 7:3.

22.  Son of Maaseiah : he repaired a portion of the wall of Jerusalem. Neh. 3:23-24.

23.  One who returned from exile, Neh. 7:7: supposed, as in the margin, to be the same as SERAIAH in Ezra 2:2.

24.  One who assisted in the reading of the law under Ezra. Neh. 8:7.

25.  One of the priests who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:2.

26. A prince of Judah who took part in the procession when the wall of Jerusalem was to be purified. Neh. 12:33.

27.  Son of Hoshaiah: he charged Jeremiah with prophesying falsely. Jer. 43:2.

28.  One carried away with Daniel to Babylon, probably of the seed royal: his name was changed to ABED-NEGO. q.v. Dan. 1:6-19; Dan. 2:17.

Azaz. [A'zaz]

Father of Bela a chief of the Reubenites. 1 Chr. 5:8.

Azaziah. [Azazi'ah]

1.  A Levite appointed to the musical service on the bringing up of the ark from the house of Obed-edom.1 Chr. 15:21.

2.  Father of Hoshea, prince of Ephraim, in David's time. 1 Chr. 27:20.

3.  One of the overseers in the time of Hezekiah. 2 Chr. 31:13.

Azbuk. [Az'buk]

Father of Nehemiah, who repaired a part of the wall of Jerusalem. Neh. 3:16.

Azekah. [Aze'kah]

City in the plain of Judah with adjacent villages, near Shochoh, the scene of one of Joshua's victories. It was fortified by Rehoboam, and was in existence at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion. The Jews inhabited it after the return. Joshua 10:10-11; Joshua 15:35; 1 Sam. 17:1; 2 Chr. 11:9; Neh. 11:30; Jer. 34:7. Identified with Tell Zahariya 31 42' N, 34 55' E.

Azel. [A'zel]

Descendant of Saul. 1 Chr. 8:37-38; 1 Chr. 9:43-44.


City on the south of Judah, afterwards allotted to Simeon. Joshua 15:29; Joshua 19:3. Supposed to be the same as EZEM. It is not identified.

Azgad. [Az'gad]

1, 2. Two whose descendants returned from exile. Ezra 2:12; 8:12; Neh. 7:17.

3.     One who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:15.

Aziel. [A'ziel]

Levite in the choral service at the bringing up of the ark from the house of Obed-edom, 1 Chr. 15:20: a shortened form apparently of JAAZIEL in 1 Chr. 15:18.

Aziza. [Azi'za]

One who had married a strange wife. Ezra 10:27.

Azmaveth. [Azma'veth]

1.  The 'Barhumite,' one of David's valiant men. 2 Sam. 23:31; 1 Chr. 11:33.

2. Son of Jehoadah, descendant of Saul. 1 Chr. 8:36; 1 Chr. 9:42.

3. One whose two sons resorted to David at Ziklag. 1 Chr. 12:3.

4.  Treasurer of David. 1 Chr. 27:25.

5.  Village lying on the borders of Judah and Benjamin. Ezra 2:24; Neh. 12:29. Called BETH-AZMAVETH in Neh. 7:28. Identified with Hizmeh, 31 50' N, 35 15' E.

Azmon. [Az'mon]

Place on the south west frontier of Palestine, apparently near the Wady el-Arish, the torrent of Egypt. Num. 34:4-5; Joshua 15:4.

Aznothtabor, [Az'noth-ta'bor]

'ears or peaks of Tabor.' Landmark on the border of Naphtali. Joshua 19:34. Not identified.

Azor. [A'zor]

Son of Eliakim in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus. Matt. 1:13-14.

Azotus. [Azo'tus]


Azriel. [A'zriel]

1.  Head of one of the families of the half tribe of Manasseh. 1 Chr. 5:24.

2.  Father of Jerimoth. 1 Chr. 27:19.

3.  Father of Seraiah. Jer. 36:26.

Azrikam. [Azri'kam]

1.  Son of Neariah, and descendant of David. 1 Chr. 3:23.

2.  Son of Azel, a descendant of Saul. 1 Chr. 8:38; 1 Chr. 9:44.

3.  Levite of the family of Merari. 1 Ch 9:14; Neh. 11:15.

4.  Governor of the house of king Ahaz: he was slain when the Israelites and Syrians invaded the land. 2 Chr. 28:7.

Azubah. [Azu'bah]

1.  Mother of Jehoshaphat the king. 1 Kings 22:42; 2 Chr. 20:31.

2.  Wife of Caleb, son of Hezron. 1 Chr. 2:18-19.

Azur. [A'zur]

1.  Father of Jaazaniah, prince of the people, against whom Ezekiel prophesied. Ezek. 11:1.

2.  Prophet whose son Hananiah withstood Jeremiah. Jer. 28:1.

Azzan. [Az'zan]

Father of Paltiel, prince of Issachar, chosen to divide the land. Num. 34:26.

Azzah. [Az'zah]


Azzur. [Az'zur]

One who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:17.

Baal. [Ba'al]

1.  City in the tribe of Simeon, 1 Chr. 4:33: apparently the same as Baalath-Beer (q.v.) Joshua 19:8.

2.  Descendant of Reuben. 1 Chr. 5:5.

3.  Descendant of Benjamin. 1 Chr. 8:30; 9:36.

Baal, Baalim. [Ba'al, Ba'alim]

The name signifies 'master, possessor;' and whether singular or plural it always has the article. The chief male god of the Phoenicians and the Canaanites, as ASHTORETH was the chief female goddess. The Israelites in coming into the land doubtless found temples, groves, altars and high places set apart to Baal: incense was offered and offerings burnt, and children were sacrificed to him, whilst a great retinue of prophets and priests was maintained in his service, as is manifest by its revival afterwards. Num. 22:41 ; 1 Kings 18:22; Jer. 11:13; Jer. 19:5; Jer. 32:29.

The children of Israel were soon led away to the worship of Baal, Judges 2:11, 13; Judges 3:7; Judges 6:31-32; Judges 8:33; Judges 10:6, 10; and though under Samuel they relinquished it, 1 Sam. 7:4; 1 Sam. 12:10, yet after the division of the kingdom it was by Ahab fully established in Israel. 1 Kings 16:32. Elijah however stood for Jehovah, and raised the question with Israel whether Jehovah was God, or whether Baal, and established the rights of Jehovah by fire from heaven. This led to the destruction of all the prophets of Baal, 1 Kings 18:17-40; but his idolatrous worship continued until the days of Jehu, who slew his worshippers and destroyed his house and images. 2 Kings 10:18-28. It however revived again in Israel, and under Ahaziah and Athaliah extended also to Judah, and during the reigns of Ahaz and Manasseh worshippers of Baal are found there. 2 Kings 11:18; 2 Kings 16:3-4; 2 Kings 17:16-17; 2 Kings 21:3. Thus did Satan succeed in leading aside to idolatry God's favoured people for whom He had done so much. Balaam's advice was only too successful, the women of Canaan being the snare that led to idolatry.

The word Baal is used in several compounds, at times referring to the god and in other cases to persons or places.

Baalah. [Ba'alah]

1.  City in Judah on the border of Benjamin, Joshua 15:9-11, (called Baale of Judah in 2 Sam. 6:2), the same as KIRJATH-JEARIM (q.v.) and KIRJATH-BAAL. Joshua 15:60; Joshua 18:14-15; 1 Chr. 13:6.

2.  Town in the south of Judah. Joshua 15:29: apparently given to Simeon, and called BALAH in Joshua 19:3, and BILHAH in 1 Chr. 4:29.

Baalath. [Ba'alath]

1.  Town in Dan in his southern portion. Joshua 19:44. Identified with Belain, 31 56' N, 35 4' E.

2.  Store-city of Solomon apparently in the north. 1 Kings 9:18; 2 Chr. 8:6.

Baalathbeer. [Ba'alath-beer]

Town in the south border of the tribe of Simeon. Joshua 19:8; also called 'RAMATH of the South;' and in 1 Sam. 30:27 South RAMOTH; and apparently the same as BAAL in 1 Chr. 4:33.

Baalberith. [Ba'al-be'rith]

The god signifying 'covenant lord' set up at Shechem. Judges 8:33; 9:4. He is called BERITH in Judges 9:46.

Baale of Judah.  [Ba'ale of Ju'dah]

Another form of BAALAH, 2 Sam. 6:2, and the same as KIRJATH-JEARIM.

Baalgad. [Ba'al-gad]

Place at the foot of Mount Hermon in the valley of Lebanon, the northern limit of Joshua's conquest. Joshua 11:17; Joshua 12:7; Joshua 13:5.  Identified by some with Caesarea Philippi.

Baalhamon. [Ba'al-ha'mon]

Place where Solomon had a vineyard. Cant. 8:11. The only clue to this name is the doubtful one of Belamon in Judith 8:3, which was near Dothaim, not far from Samaria, in the mountains of Ephraim.

Baalhanan. [Ba'al-ha'nan]

1.  The seventh of the ancient kings of Edom. Gen. 36:38-39; 1 Chr. 1:49-50.

2. Superintendent of David's olive and sycamore trees. 1 Chr. 27:28.

Baalhazor. [Ba'al-ha'zor]

Place in or near Ephraim where Absalom had pastures for sheep, and where Amnon was slain. 2 Sam. 13:23. Identified with Tell Asur, 31 59' N, 35 16' E.

Baalhermon. [Ba'al-her'mon]

Town or mount in connection with Mount Hermon: there was probably a shrine of Baal there: see BAAL-GAD. Judges 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23.

Baali. [Ba'ali]

Israel had attributed to Baalim the blessings Jehovah had given them: Jehovah said He would strip them of those mercies to show them their folly. In the last days a remnant will be brought into the wilderness, and be spoken comfortably to. Self judgement will be the door of hope — (Valley of Achor). God will no longer be called 'my Master,' as the word Baali signifies, but 'Husband,' and He will take away the names of their idolatrous masters, Baalim, and they shall no more be remembered. Hosea 2:16: cf. vers. 8, 13, 17.

Baalim. [Ba'alim]

See  BAAL.

Baalis. [Ba'alis]

King of the Ammonites, who sent Ishmael to slay Gedaliah. Jer. 40:14.

Baalmeon.  [Ba'al-me'on]


Baalpeor.  [Ba'al-pe'or]

It was to Peor that Balaam was called to curse Israel, and where the people were ensnared to sacrifice to the gods of Moab, to eat of things sacrificed to their idols, and commit fornication. Thus Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor — had full fellowship with its demon worship and its attendant uncleanness. Num. 23:28; Num. 25:1-5, 18; Deut. 4:3; Ps. 106:28; Hosea 9:10: cf. 1 Cor. 10:8; Rev. 2:14.

Baalperazim.  [Ba'al-pera'zim]

Name given by David to a place in Judah near the valley of Rephaim, where he defeated an army of the Philistines. It signifies 'place of breaches,' margin. 2 Sam. 5:20; 1 Chr. 14:11.

Baalshalisha.  [Ba'al-shal'isha]

Unknown place from which a man brought to Elisha bread of the firstfruits, when there was a dearth in the land. 2 Kings 4:42.

Baaltamar.   [Ba'al-ta'mar]

Place in the tribe of Benjamin, near Gibeah. Judges 20:33.

Baalzebub.  [Ba'al-zebub']

Name of Baal as the god of Ekron, signifying 'lord of the fly.' Josephus says with reference to king Ahaziah sending to this god, "Now it happened that Ahaziah, as he was coming down from the top of his house, fell down from it, and in his sickness sent to the Fly, which was the god of Ekron, for that was this god's name." Ant. ix: 2, 1. It was regarded as a preserver from poisonous flies, and hence as a healer of diseases. 2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16. In the N.T. there is the similar name of BEELZEBUB (q.v.) to whom the miracles of the Lord in casting out demons were blasphemously attributed.

Baalzephon.   [Ba'al-ze'phon]

Place on the border of Egypt, near the Gulf of Suez. The Israelites encamped in its vicinity before crossing the Red Sea. Zephon is supposed to correspond to Typhon, but this has not led to the identification of the place. Ex. 14:2, 9; Num. 33:7.

Baana. [Ba'ana]

1.  Solomon's commissariat officer in Jezreel and the north of the Jordan valley. 1 Kings 4:12.

2.  Father of Zadok who repaired part of the wall of Jerusalem. Neh. 3:4.

Baanah. [Ba'anah]

1.  Commissariat officer of Solomon in Asher. 1 Kings 4:16.

2.  Father of Heleb, or Heled, one of David's mighty men. 2 Sam. 23:29; 1 Chr. 11:30.

3.  Captain of Ish-bosheth's army, who, with his brother Rechab, murdered Ish-bosheth. 2 Sam. 4:2-12.

4.  One who returned with Zerubbabel. Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7; Neh. 10:27.

Baara. [Ba'ara]

One of the wives of Shaharaim the Benjamite. 1 Chr. 8:8.

Baaseiah. [Baasei'ah]

A Gershonite ancestor of Asaph the minstrel. 1 Chr. 6:40.

Baasha. [Ba'asha]

Son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar: he conspired against Nadab king of Israel, killed him and all the seed royal, and reigned in his stead, B.C. 953-930. It was according to the word of the Lord by the prophet Ahijah, that the seed of Jeroboam should be entirely destroyed, because of his wickedness; but Baasha was no better, and his posterity fell under a like judgement. 1 Kings 15:16-33; 1 Kings 16:1-13; 1 Kings 21:22; 2 Kings 9:9; 2 Chr. 16:1-6; Jer. 41:9.


This is literally 'master of the tongue,' Ecc. 10:11 : the verse may be translated, "If the serpent bite without enchantment, then the 'charmer' hath no advantage." In Acts 17:18 the word is σπερμολόγος lit. 'seed picker;' a word of contempt; one that picks up idle tales, a gossip, chatterer; 'base fellow,' margin.


The word 'Babel' occurs but twice: in Gen. 10:10 it is the name of the first place mentioned as the beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod; and in Gen. 11:9 the tower and city are called 'Babel,' because there the language of man was confounded so that they did not understand one another. The tower was to be very high 'unto heaven,' not with any thought of reaching heaven, but it declared the lofty imagination of man's heart in the desire to make them a name, and to form a gathering point, which would prevent their being scattered. God would not suffer this, for man no sooner has power than he begins to abuse it. He could not therefore let them as one family exalt their own name, for the Lord's name alone is to be exalted. As the result of God's judgement they were scattered and formed into nations according to their tongues and families.

It may be that the name given to the city by Nimrod was Bab-il, signifying 'gate of God' (and it is said that on the monuments this very name 'The 'gate of God,' as the name of a city has been found); but that Jehovah altered it to Ba-bel, which signifies 'confusion.'



Babylon. [Bab'ylon]

Nimrod's BABEL was doubtless in some way connected with the renowned city of Babylon and of the kingdom of which it was the capital. The Hebrew is Babel, the same for Babel and Babylon. In Gen. 11:2, it speaks of Babel being built in a plain in the land of Shinar, which they reached by travelling from the east; this reads in the margin travelling 'eastward,' a reading preferred by many and by the Revisers. This direction agrees well with the locality of Babylon on the river Euphrates.

Historians speak of the great size of the city, though they are not agreed as to its dimensions. It had 25 gates on each side, and from the gates were streets which crossed one another at right angles. The houses were not built close together, so that there was ample room inside the city for gardens and even fields and vineyards. The walls were said to be 75 feet thick and 300 feet in height; and the gates were of brass. The river Euphrates ran through the city; but on the banks of the river strong walls were built with gates of brass; there was also a bridge from side to side near the centre of the city. A lake was formed outside the city into which the waters of the river could be turned when the water rose too high, and deep ditches filled with water surrounded the walls of the city.

We also read of 'hanging gardens' which Nebuchadnezzar built for his wife Amyitis, or Amyhia, daughter of a Median king, to give the place a measure of resemblance to the mountains and wooded hills of her native country. These gardens are supposed to have been built in terraces of different heights.

In several particulars scripture corroborates the statements of the historians. In Jer. 50:11 of Babylon it is said, 'O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;' its broad walls are mentioned, Jer. 51:12, 58; its gates of brass and bars of iron, Isa. 45:2; and Nebuchadnezzar boasted of the 'great Babylon' which he had built by the might of his power and for the honour of his majesty. Dan. 4:30.

Among the relies recovered from the various mounds of ruins are some bricks with the names of the kings Neriglissar and Labynetus stamped upon them, but the great majority of those found bear the name of Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon was built with bricks, there being no stone at all near, and in later years the mounds were ransacked for bricks for other cities.

Of the early governments in Babylon but little is known with certainty. Berosus, as arranged by Rawlinson, gives from B.C. 2458 to 625 various dynasties of Medes, Chaldaeans, Arabs, and Assyrians; and lastly Babylonians from B.C. 625 to 538.

Babylon and Assyria are much blended together in history, sometimes being independent one of the other, and at other times being tributary to one another. In B.C. 745 Tiglath-pileser may be said to have founded the later kingdom of Assyria, and among his victories he became master of Babylonia, as the kingdom of Babylon was called. About 721 Merodachbaladan became king of Babylon, and in 712 he sent ambassadors to Hezekiah on hearing of his sickness. This is recorded in 2 Kings 20:12, where he is called Berodach-baladan. In B.C. 702 Sennacherib king of Assyria expelled Merodach, and Babylon was governed by viceroys from Assyria. In B.C. 681 Esar-haddon became king of Assyria but held his court at Babylon, to which place Manasseh king of Judah was carried prisoner about B.C. 677. 2 Chr. 33:11. About B.C. 625 Nabo-polassar revolted from the king of Assyria and established the later kingdom of Babylon. He with Cyaxares (the Ahasuerus of Dan. 9:1) founder of the Median kingdom, attacked and took Nineveh, and put an end to the Assyrian rule. Nebuchadnezzar, co-regent with Nabo-polassar, took Jerusalem, and carried many captives and the holy vessels to Babylon, about B.C. 606. In B.C. 604 Nabo-polassar died and Nebuchadnezzar reigned alone. In B.C. 603 Jehoiakim revolted and in 599 Nebuchadnezzar again took Jerusalem, and Ezekiel was carried to Babylon: this is called the great captivity. 2 Kings 24:1-16. Mattaniah was left as king in Jerusalem, his name being changed to Zedekiah: he reigned 11 years. 2 Kings 24:17-20. Having rebelled against Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, after a siege of eighteen months, once more took Jerusalem, destroyed the city and burnt the house of the Lord, bringing the kingdom of Judah to an end:  B.C. 588. 2 Kings 25:1-26. For the personal history of the king see NEBUCHADNEZZAR. In B.C. 561 Nebuchadnezzar died. He was the 'head of gold' in Daniel's great image. The glory of the later Babylonian Empire virtually began and ended with him. The succession of kings was somewhat as follows:

625   Nabo-polassar.
606   Nebuchadnezzar, co-regent.
604   Nabo-polassar dies. Nebuchadnezzar reigns alone.
561   Evil-Merodach succeeds. He raises up Jehoiachin in the 37th year of his captivity. 2 Kings 25:27.
559   Neriglissar succeeds. Perhaps the same as one of the princes called Nergal-sharezer in Jer. 39:3, 13.
556   Laborosoarchod succeeds. Reigned 9 months and is slain.
555   Nabonidus or Nabonadius (also called Labynetus), a usurper: Belshazzar his son afterwards reigning with him.
538   Babylon taken, and Belshazzar slain.  End of the Empire of Babylon.

Babylon has a large place in the O.T. with reference to its intercourse with Israel, in nearly every chapter of Jeremiah, from 20 - 52, Babylon is mentioned. Babylon is also of note as being the first of the four great empires prophesied of by Daniel. The kingdom of the Lord, established in the house of David, and maintained in Judah, had for the time come to an end because of iniquity, and the 'times of the Gentiles' had begun.* Of Nebuchadnezzar it was said, "Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength and glory . . . . Thou art this head of gold." Dan. 2:37-38. Babylon was God's instrument by which Judah was punished; and then because of the pride and wickedness of the king of Babylon he also was brought under the rod of the Almighty.

* The times of the Gentiles will end when the power returns to Judah, the house of David, in the person of the Lord Jesus.

The destruction of Babylon was fully foretold in scripture, though some of these prophecies may refer also to still future events, namely, the overthrow by the Lord (typified by Cyrus) of the last holder of Nebuchadnezzar-like authority, namely, the beast, the last head of the revived Roman empire. Isa. 13:6-22; Isa. 14:4-23; Isa. 21:2-9; Isa. 47:1-11; Jer. 25:12-14 and Jer. 50, 51. Its downfall was unexpected. For 24 years after the death of Nebuchadnezzar Babylon continued the seat of the imperial court. In B.C. 538 the city was taken in a remarkable way. A night was chosen when the inhabitants were about to hold a festival, when the whole city would be given up to drunkenness and debauchery. The water of the river was diverted from its bed so as to render it shallow enough to let the troops pass along. The gates were found open, and the city was taken.

This also was prophesied of in scripture: it specifies that Cyrus was God's shepherd, and He had holden him to subdue nations: God would loose the loins of kings to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates should not be shut: the gates of brass should be broken, and the bars of iron be cut asunder. Isa. 45:1-2. Again the suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack is also mentioned: "evil shall come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know." Isa. 47:11. We also find that it was on the night of the revelry of Belshazzar's feast that the king was slain. Dan. 5:30.

The monuments show that Babylon was taken by Gobryas the general of Cyrus, and that the capture of the city was, as some think, aided by treachery among its inhabitants. Dan. 5:31 says, "Darius the Median took the kingdom." This king has not been found mentioned by name on the monuments, but he is well accredited as king in Daniel. He was probably ASTYAGES, who was a Median king. He had been conquered by Cyrus, who may have found it to his advantage to let him reign at Babylon as long as he lived. Astyages being a Mede and Cyrus a Persian agree with the second great empire being called by the two names. Persia gained the ascendancy, and Babylon was a royal residence during part of the year. There were occasional revolts, in the putting down of which the city was more and more destroyed. In the year B.C. 478 Xerxes returning from his inglorious invasion of Greece passed through the city, robbed the temple of Belus of its wealth and left its lofty towers a heap of ruins. In B.C. 324 Alexander the Great attempted to rebuild that edifice, and employed 10,000 men; but his sudden death, before the ruins had been cleared away, left it still in desolation.

Scripture is very decisive as to the utter destruction of the city: "Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there: but wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces." Isa. 13:19-22.

Now vast mounds extend for miles. If Hillah (about 32 27' N, 44 25' E) be taken as a centre, the mounds extend northward about 3 miles. About 6 miles S.W. of Hillah stands the celebrated heap known as Birs Nimrood, supposed to be the site of the ancient temple of Belus. There are three large piles on the east of the river: the Mujelibe or Mukallibe, the Kasr or palace, and the Amran.

The moral features of Babylon were idolatrous corruption and worldliness, which will be seen in full manifestation in Babylon the Great. It is the place where the people of God get into captivity through dalliance with the world.

In the N.T. Babylon is mentioned in 1 Peter 5:13. There is evidence in Josephus that there were many Jews in the district forty years after Christ. On the occasion of the gathering at Jerusalem in Acts 2:9-11 mention is made of the Parthians, Medes and Elamites; and when Peter commences his epistle, supposing he was in the district of Babylon, he naturally puts Pontus first and then passes on to Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. There can be no reason therefore to doubt that the ancient district of Babylon is alluded to by Peter, where, through God's grace, there were some of the 'elect.'

Babylon the Great.  [Bab'ylon]

This is also called "MYSTERY," "THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Rev. 17:5.  Some great religious system is alluded to, with whom the kings of the earth had had illicit intercourse, and by whom the merchants of the earth had been made rich. It had also been guilty of shedding the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus It is compared to a woman arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. Could there possibly be drawn a more vivid and life-like portrait of the worldly and idolatrous system of the apostate Church, whose centre is at Rome, than is here drawn by the pen of the Holy Spirit ? To make it doubly sure as to who is represented by the description it is added "The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth,"  Rev. 17:9, 'the seven-hilled city' being a well-known appellation of Rome.

It is further revealed that the ten horns (the ten kingdoms of the future Roman empire) will make war with the woman, make her desolate and naked, will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. Heaven, the apostles and prophets are called on to rejoice over the fall of that seductive and soul-destroying system: cf. Rev. 14:8; Rev. 16:19; Rev. 17:1-18; Rev. 18:1-24; Rev. 19:1-3.

It should be noted that though Papal Rome is one of the worst of the antichrists, and the one that has had sway for the longest period; yet she is not what is called in scripture the Antichrist or Man of sin: she is rather the anti-church. He also is found in the Revelation as a beast, having two horns like a lamb, and speaking as a dragon; and also as the false prophet. Rev. 13:11; Rev. 20:10.   See ANTICHRIST.

Babylonians. [Babylo'nians]

The inhabitants of Babylon or its districts. Ezra 4:9; Ezek. 23:15, 17, 23. Thousands of tablets have been discovered which throw great light upon the social life and character of the Babylonians. They were an educated people. Some tablets appear to be Geological, Geographical, and Mathematical; and many others are records of contracts, loans, marriages, dowries, purchase of slaves, etc. Their Astronomy was mixed up with Astrology. Many tablets show that they held that the stars and signs of the heavens foretold events, agreeing with God's message to Babylon "Let now the astrologers, the star-gazers, the monthly prognosticators stand up and save thee." Isa. 47:13. Many magical and incantation tablets show that they were in great fear of evil spirits: they called upon 'the spirit of heaven' and 'the spirit of earth' to deliver them. Their religion has been described as the worst possible form of nature worship, and their gods seem to have been countless. These tablets, made thousands of years ago, now reveal how Satan succeeded in keeping the Babylonians completely under his dominion.

Baca Valley of. [Ba'ca]

This signifies 'weeping.' The blessedness of going up to the courts of Jehovah turns 'the valley of tears' into 'the fountain of joy'  Ps. 84:6. The article being before the name seems to imply that some natural valley was before the eye of the Psalmist though unknown now.

Bachrites. [Bach'rites]

A family descending from Becher, son of Ephraim. Num. 26:35.


  There are four Hebrew words applied to backsliding.

1.  sug, 'to go back:' 'the backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways,' instead of God's ways. Prov. 14:14.

2.  sarar, to act like a refractory heifer, that will not draw regularly in the plough: to which Israel is compared. Hosea 4:16.

3.  meshubah, 'a turning away, apostasy.' Jer. 2:19; Jer. 3:6-12, 22; Jer. 5:6; Jer. 8:5; Jer. 14:7; Hosea 11:7; Hosea 14:4.

4.  shobeb  'rebellious, backsliding.' Jer. 3:14, 22; Jer. 31:22; Jer. 49:4. The last three words are all used of backsliding Israel. We do not find the word 'backslider' in the N.T. but the same sin is there pointed out, for instance the drawing back which may lead to perdition as in Heb. 10:38-39.  See APOSTASY.

Badgers' Skins.

The word tachash has been referred to several animals, principally the seal or dugong. The R.V. translates it 'seal-skins' and 'porpoise-skins' in the margin; but the badger seems to answer all the purposes for which the skin was used. It is a good protection from the weather, and we find the tachash was used for the outer covering of the tabernacle, and to cover the ark when it was being carried. One passage speaks of its being used for the shoes or sandals of delicate women, and in Exodus it is included among the costly articles, so that it was comparatively rare. Ex. 25:5; Ex. 26:14; Ex. 35:7, 23; Ex. 36:19; Ex. 39:34; Num. 4:6-25; Ezek. 16:10. Typically the badgers' skins refer to the holy, separate walk of the Lord Jesus, in entire protection from all the contaminations of the world: He was always morally 'separate from sinners.'

Baharumite, Barhumite. [Baharu'mite, Barhu'mite]

Designation of Azmaveth, one of David's thirty valiant men. 2 Sam. 23:31; 1 Chr. 11:33.

Bahurim. [Bahu'rim]

Village of Benjamin, near the road running from the valley of the Jordan to Jerusalem. 2 Sam. 3:16; 2 Sam. 16:5; 2 Sam. 17:18; 2 Sam. 19:16; 1 Kings 2:8.

Bajith. [Ba'jith]

House of the gods of Moab. Isa. 15:2: cf. Isa. 16:12.

Bakbakkar. [Bakbak'kar]

Levite not otherwise specified. 1 Chr. 9:15.

Bakbuk. [Bak'buk]

Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile. Ezra 2:51; Neh. 7:53.

Bakbukiah. [Bakbuki'ah]

1.  A leader of the temple service in the days of Nehemiah. Neh. 11:17.

2.  Levite who returned from exile. Neh. 12:9, 25.


In Egypt the king had a man-servant who is called his 'chief baker,' Gen. 40:1-22; Gen. 41:10; but in Israel the baking was done by the women of each house, as Abraham called to Sarah to prepare cakes upon the hearth, Gen. 18:6; and Samuel said that if the Israelites had a king he would take their daughters to be bakers. 1 Sam. 8:13. In Jerusalem there was apparently a part devoted to the bakers, for Jeremiah was to have a piece of bread out of the Bakers' street (or Bazaar, as it would now be expressed in the East) as long as the bread lasted. Jer. 37:21. In Hosea 7:4, 6, the heating of the oven by the baker is used figuratively for those who, as it were, prepared their lusts for evil, and then waited till the moment when they could satisfy them more greedily. Alas, that it should be Israel of whom the prophet thus speaks.


A Midianite prophet who resided at Pethor, son of Beor or Bosor. He was hired by Balak king of Moab to curse Israel, but God compelled him to bless instead of curse His chosen people. Though he talked piously his heart was evidently set on getting the reward from Balak. Jude 11. The angel of Jehovah withstood him, and he was rebuked by his ass, yet he was allowed to go on his way. Num. 22, 23, 24; Deut. 23:4-5; Joshua 24:9-10. Though compelled by God to bless Israel, he most treacherously counselled Balak to seduce them by means of the Midianitish women, Num. 31:16; 2 Peter 2:15; Rev. 2:14, which led to their gross idolatry. Num. 25:1-2: see BAAL-PEOR. After Israel was punished for their sin, they were avenged on Moab, and among the slain was Balaam. In Joshua 13:22 he is called a soothsayer, and when he was with Balak he sought enchantments. In Num. 23:15 the words 'the LORD' are added by the translators. Num. 24:1 says that he went not then as at other times to meet enchantments. But he was overpowered by God. In the passages in the N.T. he is held up as an example of consummate wickedness and apostasy.

Balac. [Ba'lac]


Balah. [Ba'lah]


Balak, Balac. [Ba'lak, Ba'lac]

King of Moab, son of Zippor, who sought to resist Israel in advancing to the promised land, and hired Balaam to curse them: he was taught by that false prophet to seduce Israel to idolatry by means of fornication with their women. Num. 22, 23, 24; Joshua 24:9; Judges 11:25; Micah 6:5.


Moznayim, ζυγός, a pair of balances or scales: such are seen on the Egyptian monuments, with the weights in one scale and the article to be weighed in the other. They were needful also in early days for weighing the money: when Abraham bought a burying place he "weighed to Ephron the silver." Gen. 23:16: cf. Jer. 32:10. Job asked to be weighed in an even balance, Job 31:6: cf. Lev. 19:36; Ezek. 45:10, for men contrived to falsify the balance, as well as the weights, which was an abomination to the Lord. Prov. 11:1; Prov. 16:11; Hosea 12:7; Amos 8:5. In Isa. 46:6 another Hebrew word is used, qaneh, which signifies a reed, rod or beam, which may refer to the beam of the scales, for it is not known that the steel-yard was then in use. In Rev. 6:5 the rider on the black horse had a pair of balances with which to weigh out the food, showing that great scarcity will be one of God's judgements in the future.

Bald Locust.



The Israelites were forbidden to cut themselves or to make themselves bald for the dead, as the heathen did; for they were a holy people unto the Lord. Lev. 21:5; Deut. 14:1; Jer. 16:6. Baldness is one of the judgements of the Lord: perhaps they would make themselves bald in their distress. Isa. 3:24; Isa. 15:2; Isa. 22:12; Ezek. 7:18; Amos 8:10; Micah 1:16.  See NAZARITE.


tseri. The gum of the balsam bush, of great medicinal virtue. Gilead was noted for its production. It is used as a proverb to set forth the healing God had for His people if they really turned to Him.  Jer. 8:22; Jer. 46:11; Jer. 51:8. It was carried by the merchants into Egypt and elsewhere. Gen. 37:25; Ezek. 27:17. Jacob sent a little to Joseph. Gen. 43:11.

Bamah. [Ba'mah]

The Hebrew word bamah, signifying 'high place,' is once left untranslated, Ezek. 20:29, where Israel offered sacrifices to idols. It is frequently translated HIGH PLACES, q.v.

Bamoth. [Ba'moth]

The halting place of the Israelites before they reached Pisgah, Num. 21:19-20: probably the same as the following.

Bamothbaal. [Ba'moth-ba'al]

City, linked with the worship of Baal. Joshua 13:17.

Bani. [Ba'ni]

1.  One of David's thirty valiant men, a Gadite. 2 Sam. 23:36.

2.  Son of Shamer, a descendant of Merari. 1 Chr. 6:46.

3.  Descendant of Pharez, son of Judah. 1 Chr. 9:4.

4,  etc.  Several whose descendants returned from exile, some of whom had married strange wives. Ezra 2:10; Ezra 10:29, 34, 38. There are also several persons named Bani, mentioned in connection with Nehemiah, who cannot be separately distinguished. Neh. 3:17; Neh. 8:7; Neh. 9:4-5; Neh. 10:13-14; Neh. 11:22.


τράπεζα. This is literally a table, and mostly so translated, and which could be used for any purpose. Luke 19:23. In Matt. 25:27 a kindred word is translated 'exchangers:' both passages imply that there were in those days, as now, those who received and lent money on interest.




1.  karah, 'to prepare, provide,' etc. Job 41:6.

2.  mirzach, 'a banquet.' Amos 6:7.

3.  mishteh, from 'to drink, to banquet.' Esther 5:4-14; Esther 6:14; Esther 7:1-8; Dan. 5:10.

Banqueting House.

Lit. 'house of wine,' Cant. 2:4; used figuratively for the house of delights to which the Bridegroom brings the bride.


Used figuratively to express the overwhelming sufferings which the Lord Jesus endured in order to accomplish the purpose for which He came to the earth; He was 'straitened' until that work was accomplished. Luke 12:50; John 12:27. When the sons of Zebedee asked to sit on the right and on the left of the Lord in His glory, He at once referred to the cup He had to drink, and asked if they could drink of that cup, and be baptised with the baptism He was to be baptised with. They, ignorant of the depths of suffering involved in the question, said they could. In one sense they should share in His sufferings — the non-atoning sufferings, from the hand of man; but the places they sought were not His to give. Mark 10:38-40.


  The Greek is βάπτισμα, from βαπτίζω, to dip, plunge, wash, etc. The ordinance of Baptism:

1.  JEWISH.   In Heb. 6:2 (βαπτισμός) the Hebrew believers were exhorted to leave 'the doctrine of baptisms;' and in Heb. 9:10 we read of 'divers baptisms or washings,' but which is followed by the words "imposed until the time of reformation," which 'time' is referred to as 'Christ being come.' This shows that the baptisms referred to were some part of the Jewish ritual, in which there were many washings and bathings; but none of these washings signified fully the baptism of the N.T., which as an initiatory ordinance places the baptised in a new position: the Red Sea (1 Cor. 10:2) was a figure of this. It was the Jewish washings that the Hebrew believers were exhorted to leave, or not to be laying again as a foundation.

Further, it has often been said that the Jews received their proselytes by baptism. Of this we have no record in the O.T., and Josephus, who details the rites necessary for the reception of a proselyte, makes no mention of baptism. It is true that Maimonides says that proselytes were thus received; but he was not born till A.D. 1135, and was thus far too late to know what took place so long before when contemporary writers are silent on the subject.

2.  BAPTISM BY JOHN.   This was specially in the Jordan, to which the multitudes went out, and which is spoken of again and again as the baptism 'of repentance.' Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24; Acts 19:4. He challenged the multitudes who came to be baptised that they should bring forth 'fruits worthy of repentance.' Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8. He baptised those who came 'confessing their sins,' Matt. 3:6; and he exhorted the people to believe on Him who would come after him," that is, on Christ Jesus." Acts 19:4: cf. John 1:29, 36. The godly remnant by John's baptism took separate ground from the national body, in expectancy of Messiah's coming: they judged themselves, and cleared themselves of the sinful condition of the nation. The Lord was baptised by John, thus taking His place among the repentant in Israel, not as confessing sins, but as fulfilling righteousness, as He said, "Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" Matt. 3:15.

3.  CHRISTIAN BAPTISM.   We have seen that John the Baptist preached the baptism of repentance. During the Lord's ministry before the cross, some were baptised to Him as Messiah. John 4:1. After His death and resurrection Peter preached, not repentance, but the rejected Jesus as exalted, and made Lord and Christ. When they were pricked in heart, he said to them, 'Repent,' etc., but the baptism was to the remission of sins because the work was now done which gave it fully: they were baptised to the remission of sins — administratively and governmentally. Acts 2:38.

Rom. 6:3-4 gives the meaning of Christian baptism to saints who had been baptised long before. It treats of the death of Christ (the sinless One,) as death to sin and to the state man was in, and draws conclusions from it for us inasmuch as He is risen. They were baptised to His death, that is, they have a part in it — they are alive to God in Him risen (and consequently also alive to Him risen — not to law), and hence sin was not to reign any longer; but there is no resurrection with Him in these verses. Baptism is prefigured by Israel's passage through the Red Sea, not by their crossing Jordan, though resurrection is added in Col. 2:12, as leaving sins behind: "Having forgiven you all trespasses." It is individual, and reception into the profession of Christianity: "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." The signification of baptism goes further in Colossians than in Romans, but is always connected with a status upon earth, and not with heavenly privileges. It saves, 1 Peter 3:21; we wash away our sins in it, Acts 22:16; we go into death in it; and in Col. 2:12, it is added, we 'are risen:' hence also it is individual. The church as such has never to be brought into death, its very origin is in the resurrection of Christ, Col. 1:18: it is first-born in the new creation.

It is clear that Baptism, though in a certain aspect it places the recipient in a resurrection status, giving Christ for our life, never takes us out of the earth; but puts us in the position of christian responsibility in it, according to newness of life, as it is said, "so we also should walk in newness of life." There is a warning in 1 Cor. 10:1-6. They were baptised, etc., "but with many of them God was not well pleased." A mere sacramental position is not enough: we have to "continue in the faith, grounded and settled." Col. 1:23. We are called, as baptised, to walk in this world as dead and risen again, as in a wilderness. It is the expression of the outward visible church in its profession: "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." In baptism we have a good conscience by the resurrection. 1 Peter 3:21. We wash away our sins in it, calling on the name of the Lord, Acts 22:16; we are received by it into the responsible place of God's people in this world.

With Peter, Christian Baptism seems more connected with the kingdom of heaven: cf. Matt. 16:19; Acts 2:38; Acts 10:48: with Paul it was connected rather with the house of God when he did use it. Paul had a new commission. He is not found, like Peter, ministering in the midst of a known people who had promises, calling souls out of it to repentance, that they should receive remission and be separated from the untoward generation. Paul takes up man as man (though owning the Jews) and brings him into God's presence in light. For the Gentiles it was, even in testimony, a wholly new resurrection state, not merely a good conscience through the resurrection; and baptism, which gives a status on earth founded on resurrection, forms no part of Paul's testimony, any more than of the mission in John 20:21-23; and Paul tells us himself, that he was not sent to baptise.

Faith sees that when God brings a man into privileges on earth, he does not separate his household from him, for example, Gen. 7:1, etc. Under Christianity this surely holds good: see 1 Cor. 7:14: and we see households were baptised by Paul.

At the end of Matthew's gospel we have a commandment connected with baptism and apostolic mission to the Gentiles exclusively, but then there is nothing of repentance or remission. It is simply discipling all the nations, baptizing and then teaching them. Matt. 28:19-20. (This passage contemplates in its full sense a work to be done at the end of the age by the Jewish remnant toward the Gentiles. Christian Baptism now is for Jews and Gentiles alike, that by it they should lose their standing as such, and being committed to the death of Christ be brought into Christian profession, leaving those distinctions behind them.) The direction in Luke 24:47 is repentance and remission of sins. In Mark 16:15-16 salvation belonged to him who believed and was baptised; for if he was not, he refused to be a Christian.

Scripture gives no definite teaching as to the mode of baptism, the great point being what the recipients of the ordinance were baptised to: cf. Acts 19:3. The idea conveyed by the word is 'washing,' as with the priests of old (Ex. 29:4), rather than 'sprinkling,' as with the Levites.

Num. 8:7.

As to the formula used, some have supposed that because we read in the Acts that persons were baptised 'to the name of the Lord Jesus,' the instruction given in Matt. 28:19 to baptise "to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," was superseded. But this does not follow: baptism is always to some person or thing. The disciples found at Ephesus had been baptised to the baptism of John, Acts 19:3; the Israelites had been baptised to Moses; and those baptised in the Acts were to the name of the Lord Jesus as Saviour and Lord; and there is no reason why this should not be combined with the words found in Matthew, and a person be baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus unto the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. In Acts 2:38 the preposition is ἐπί (ἐν in MSS  B,C,D); in Acts 10:48 it is ἐν; and elsewhere it is εἰς.

4.  BAPTISED FOR THE DEAD.   This occurs in 1 Cor. 15:29. Some maintain that the Corinthian saints had fallen into the error of holding that if some of their number had fallen asleep without being baptised, others could be baptised for them, and that Paul was condemning this. But in the language he uses there is no condemnation. If 1 Cor. 15:20-28 inclusive be read as a parenthesis, 1 Cor. 15:18 explains 1 Cor. 15:29; and 1 Cor. 15:19 explains 30-32. Thus, if there be no resurrection, those "fallen asleep in Christ are perished . . . . else what shall they do who are baptised for the dead?" Why step into their place in the ranks, and be in jeopardy every hour, like soldiers in a war, if the dead rise not? What advantage was it for Paul to have fought with beasts at Ephesus if the dead rise not? The allusion in the 'jeopardy every hour' and in the 'fighting' is to those in danger, as soldiers in a war.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

This is distinct from baptism with water. John's baptism is contrasted with it, Acts 11:16; Matt. 3:11. Christian baptism, though distinct, was in view of the reception of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), but does not confer it. Acts 19:5-6. Baptism of the Holy Spirit took place at Pentecost: the Lord said to His disciples, "Ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence," Acts 1:5; so that at Pentecost the saints were all baptised by the one Spirit into one body. 1 Cor. 12:13. This agrees with the church having been begun at Pentecost, and tells us that no one can be a part of the body of Christ until he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, being initiated into the one body formed, characterised, by the baptism of the Holy Spirit once for all.


A Chaldaic or Aramaic word (Bar) signifying 'son,' as 'Bar-jona,' son of Jona. It corresponds to Ben in Hebrew.