Bible Dictionary B 1

Barabbas. [Barab'bas]

One described as a 'robber' in John 18:40; 'a notable prisoner' in Matt. 27:16-26: he had made an insurrection and had committed murder. Mark 15:7-15. Yet the Jews, led by the chief priests and elders, requested the release of this man rather than the release of the Lord Jesus. Why they petitioned for this particular prisoner is not known; but it manifests in the most decided manner their ungodliness that they could choose such a notoriously wicked man in preference to the Lord of life and glory, their Messiah. Luke 23:18.  Peter did not fail to charge this home upon the Jews, "Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you." Acts 3:14.

Barachel. [Bar'achel]

A Buzite, father of Elihu. Job 32:2, 6.

Barachias. [Barachi'as]

Father of Zacharias who was slain between the temple and the altar. Matt. 23:35.

Barak. [Ba'rak]

Son of Abinoam, of Naphtali. He was called by Deborah the prophetess (who judged Israel at that time) to collect from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon 10,000 men that God might deliver into his hand Sisera, the captain of the army of Jabin, king of Canaan, who had 900 chariots of iron, and who had mightily oppressed the children of Israel twenty years. It required great faith to attack so strong an enemy with such a small force; and Barak had not this strong faith in God; he said he would not go unless Deborah would go with him. Deborah consented to go, but told Barak that it would not be to his honour; Sisera would fall by the hand of a woman. When the armies were face to face it was still Deborah that had to tell Barak when to arise to the attack.

Jehovah discomfited Sisera and his chariots and his host, by the swords of the Israelites, and apparently the overthrow was completed by a severe storm and the overflowing of the river Kishon. Judges 4:6-17; Judges 5:20-21. The Canaanites being smitten, Sisera left his chariot and fled for refuge to the house of Heber the Kenite, where he was killed by Jael, Heber's wife. Judges 4:18-24.  Judges 5: gives the song of Deborah and Barak over the victory. Barak's faith is like that of many who can follow if another will lead, though they cannot take a first place; it is very gracious of God to mention Barak in Heb. 11:32 as one in the cloud of witnesses who had become victorious by their faith.


βάρβαρος. The word signifies 'foreigner, alien:' it was used by the Romans for any people who did not understand Latin or Greek. In Rom. 1:14 they are in contrast to the Greeks. In 1 Cor. 14:11, a person hearing another speak in a language he did not understand would account him and be accounted a foreigner. The inhabitants of Melita were so called by Luke. Acts 28:2-4. In Col. 3:1 the 'barbarian' is in contrast to the uncultivated Scythian.

Barbed Irons.

Irons shaped like a harpoon, that will enter the flesh easily but which cannot be withdrawn. God, to show His wisdom and power to Job, speaks of the leviathan, or crocodile, into which barbed irons have no entrance. Job 41:7.


Only referred to in Ezek. 5:1. Their employment was not usual, but was needed on special occasions, as for a Nazarite; for one supposed to have the leprosy, etc.

Barhumite.  [Barhu'mite]    


Bariah.  [Bari'ah]

Son of Shemaiah, descendant of David. 1 Chr. 3:22.

Barjesus.  [Bar-je'sus]   


Barjona.  [Bar-jo'na]

'Son of Jonas,' surname of Peter. Matt. 16:17.

Barkos. [Bar'kos]

Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile. Ezra 2:53; Neh. 7:55.


seorah, κριθή. The well-known cereal, which was used as food for horses, 1 Kings 4:28; and also for the food of man when wheat failed. At the famine of Samaria, when the Syrian camp was found deserted, one measure (seah) of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, 2 Kings 7:1,16, showing that barley was valued at half the price of wheat. In Rev. 6:6, when scarcity is foretold, one choenix of wheat will be sold for a denarius, and three measures of barley for a denarius. Here it is one-third the value of wheat, and 5 pints would have cost, in N.T. times, about the equivalent of a man's daily wages.

In the trial of jealousy an offering was made of barley meal, without oil or frankincense, Num. 5:15. It was a domestic sorrow, that never ought to occur; but if the sin was there it must be judged. In Judges 7:13 Gideon hears himself compared to a cake of barley bread: he would not have heard this had he not been afraid, Judges 7:10; but it the more showed him whose hand must give the victory. Israel is charged with having polluted God among His people for "handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread," Ezek. 13:19; as it says elsewhere, they had sold themselves for nought.

It was with five barley-loaves and a few fishes that the Lord fed the five thousand. John 6:9-13. Such loaves are still the bread of the poorest in Palestine. Barley is sown in October as soon as the ground is softened by the rains, and the harvest is in April, but extends to May in the colder districts.

Barnabas. [Bar'nabas]

A Levite of Cyprus. His name was JOSES (or Joseph as in some MSS); but by the apostles he was surnamed Barnabas, 'son of consolation' (rather 'exhortation'). We first read of him as one who sold his land and laid the money at the apostles' feet. Acts 4:36-37. When the disciples at Jerusalem were afraid of Saul, it was Barnabas who introduced him to the apostles. Acts 9:26-27. When the Gentiles were converted at Antioch it was Barnabas who was sent there from Jerusalem. He rejoiced in the reality of the work and exhorted them to cleave to the Lord; the scripture says he was "a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." He then sought Saul and brought him to Antioch, where they laboured a whole year. They then together visited Jerusalem with contributions from the saints. Acts 11:22-30. Antioch became a centre, from whence the gospel went forth to the Gentiles; it was there that the Holy Ghost said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them," and from thence they started on what is called Paul's first missionary journey. Acts 13:2-4.

On the question being raised as to the necessity of the Gentile disciples being circumcised, Paul and Barnabas (Paul being now mostly mentioned first) went up to Jerusalem about the subject. Acts 15:1-41. After this Paul proposed that they should visit again the brethren in the cities where they had preached. Barnabas insisted that they should take his nephew Mark with them; but Paul objected, for Mark had previously left the work. Barnabas persisting in his desire, they parted, and he and Mark sailed to Cyprus, his own country. Thus were separated these two valuable servants of the Lord who had hazarded their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus. We have no record of any further labours of Barnabas. Paul alludes to him as one who had been carried away by the dissimulation of Peter, otherwise he speaks of him affectionately. 1 Cor. 9:6; Gal. 2:1, 9, 13.

BARNABAS, EPISTLE OF.   There is an Epistle of 21 chapters attributed to Barnabas. Clement of Alexandria treated it as genuine, and Origen called it a 'catholic epistle;' but it is now commonly held that its author was not the companion of Paul. It was most probably written by a Gentile, for it is strongly opposed to Judaism; it has numerous inaccuracies as to the Old Testament, and absurd interpretations of scripture, and contains many silly allusions to the writer's superior knowledge. It was by Eusebius ranked among the spurious writings.


The word kad signifies a large earthen vessel, not a barrel made of wood. 1 Kings 17:12, 14, 16; 1 Kings 18:33. It is often translated 'pitcher.'

Barsabas. [Bar'sabas]

1.  JOSEPH, also called JUSTUS, who was nominated with Matthias as suitable to fill the place of Judas Iscariot. Acts 1:23.

2.  The surname of JUDAS, who with Silas was sent to Antioch with the decision arrived at by the church at Jerusalem respecting Gentile converts being circumcised. He and Silas are called 'chief men among the brethren,' and 'prophets,' who exhorted the brethren and confirmed them. Acts 15:22, 27, 32.

Bartholomew. [Barthol'omew]

One of the twelve apostles, who is not referred to by name except in the lists of the twelve. Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13.  Probably identical with Nathanael: cf. John 1:45; John 21:2,

Bartimaeus. [Bartimae'us]

The blind beggar of Jericho, to whom the Lord gave sight. Mark 10:46.

Baruch. [Ba'ruch]

1.  Son of Zabbai: he helped to build the wall of Jerusalem. Neh. 3:20.

2.  A priest who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:6.

3.  Father of Maaseiah who returned from exile. Neh. 11:5.

4.  Son of Neriah, and faithful secretary to Jeremiah. He was eventually carried with Jeremiah into Egypt. Jer. 32:12-16; Jer. 36:4-32; Jer. 43:3, 6; Jer. 45:1-2.

BARUCH, BOOK OF.   This forms part of the O.T. Apocrypha, though its professed author is Baruch, the friend and secretary of Jeremiah. It relates that the Jews in Babylon sent a deputation to Jerusalem with money for sacrifices, and requested that prayers might be offered for Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar. It confesses that their sufferings were in consequence of their sins. It points to the sin of neglecting the source of wisdom, and exhorts to a return. It laments over Jerusalem; but exults in its future blessing. It ends with an Epistle of Jeremiah to those who were to be led captive into Babylon, warning them against the idols they would find there. It is generally agreed that the book was not written by its assumed author, but there is great diversity of opinion as to its probable date: some placing it B.C. 160, and others not till B.C. 79-69.

Barzillai. [Barzil'lai]

1.  Gileadite of Rogelim, who liberally supplied David with provisions when he fled from Absalom. For his faithful services David invited him to return with him to Jerusalem; but being 80 years old he pleaded his great age and declined the honour, but requested that Chimham might go in his stead. 2 Sam. 17:27; 2 Sam. 19:31-39; 1 Kings 2:7.

2.  Meholathite, father of Adriel. 2 Sam. 21:8.

3.  Priest who had married a daughter of Barzillai of Rogelim and had adopted that name. Ezra 2:61; Neh. 7:63.

Bashan. [Ba'shan]

Now best known for the Golan Heights, it is a large district on the east of the Jordan, having Gilead on the south and extending northward to Mount Hermon; westward to the Jordan valley, and eastward nearly as far as 37 E. It is sometimes called the "land of Bashan," and it was the kingdom of Og the Amorite. It was conquered by Moses, and became, with part of Gilead, the portion of the half-tribe of Manasseh. Its principal cities were Ashtaroth (or Beeshterah) given to the Levites, Golan a 'city of refuge,' Edrei, and Salcah on its border. It was ravaged by Hazael in the time of Jehu, and is not often alluded to in the later history of the kings of Judah and Israel. Joshua 13:30-31; Joshua 21:27; 2 Kings 10:33; 1 Chr. 5:11.

      The district was in later days divided into
1.   GAULANITIS on the west, now called Jaulan, a rich district with noble forests.
2.   AURANITIS, in the centre, now called Hauran, a magnificent plain.
3.   TRACHONITIS, on the north-east, also called ARGOB, q.v.; now called El Lejah, a wild district of basaltic rocks.
4.   BATANAEA, on the south-east, now called Ard el Bathanyeh.
The four districts have relics of a numerous population, with massive houses built of stone in some parts.

THE OAKS OF BASHAN  are used symbolically for great strength and loftiness, which God in His judgement brings down. Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6; Zech. 11:2.

BULLS OF BASHAN are figurative of strong ruthless enemies, Amos 4:1, whom God in the coming judgement on Gog will crush, and will call for the fowls and the beasts to come and feed upon their flesh and their blood, Ezek. 39:18: and lastly, when the blessed Lord was on the cross, His description of His vindictive enemies includes the strong bulls of Bashan which beset Him around, and gaped upon Him with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. Ps. 22:12-13.

BashanHavothJair.  [Ba'shan-Ha'voth-Ja'ir]

The name given to the country of Argob, a district in Bashan, after it had been conquered by Jair. Deut. 3:14.

Bashemath. [Bash'emath]

One of the wives of Esau, the daughter of Ishmael and the mother of Reuel. Gen. 36:3-4. In the earlier narrative, Gen. 26:34; Gen. 28:9, the names of Esau's wives differ from those given in Gen. 36:2-3. The women may have had two names, or another name have been given them on their marriage. It appears probable that Bashemath, daughter of Elon, is the same as ADAH, daughter of Elon; and that Bashemath, daughter of Ishmael, is the same as MAHALATH, daughter of Ishmael. JUDITH, daughter of Beeri, may be the same as AHOLIBAMAH, daughter of Anah, if Beeri is her father's name and Anah her mother's.


Various Hebrew words are translated 'basket,' and doubtless the size, shape and strength varied according to the purpose for which they were intended. In the N.T. there are three Greek words used: συργάνη, 'a hamper,' in which Paul was let down by the wall, 2 Cor. 11:33, though for the same occurrence another word is used in Acts 9:25, σπυρίς, which also signifies 'a hamper,' and is used for the seven baskets of fragments remaining after the four thousand were fed. Matt. 15:37; Matt. 16:10; Mark 8:8,20. When the five thousand were fed there were twelve baskets of fragments, but it was then the κόφινος, 'a hand basket.' Matt. 14:20; Matt. 16:9; Mark 6:43; Mark 8:19; Luke 9:17; John 6:13. The two perfect numbers seven and twelve show the inexhaustible supply the Lord furnishes when His purpose is to bless His own.

Basmath. [Bas'math]

Daughter of Solomon and wife of Ahimaaz, one of Solomon's commissariat officers. 1 Kings 4:15.


  There are four Hebrew words used for basons nearly all referring to the temple service.

1.  aggan,  'a cup, bowl, or bason.' Ex. 24:6.

2.  kephor, 'large cup or bowl,' probably for the wine when drunk before the Lord; when blood is spoken of a different word is used. 1 Chr. 28:17; Ezra 1:10; Ezra 8:27.

3.  mizraq, 'large bason or bowl,' used for holding the blood that had to be sprinkled, etc. Ex. 27:3; Ex. 38:3; Num. 7:13-85 'bowls'; 1 Kings 7:40, 45, 50; 2 Kings 12:13; 2 Chr. 4:8, 11, 22; Neh. 7:70.

4.  saph, 'dish, bowl.' Ex. 12:22; 2 Sam. 17:28; Jer. 52:19. In the N.T. νιπτήρ, 'large bason,' which our Lord used when he washed the feet of His disciples. John 13:5.


The atalleph, νυκτερίς, 'night bird,' is the animal well known as the bat: it was in the law forbidden to be eaten. Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18. There are several species found in Palestine: they inhabit the tombs and caves, and are familiar with darkness. Where there are many the effluvium from them is very noisome. Their habitation becomes a fit emblem of darkness and offensiveness, a place to which men will cast their idols of gold and silver when Jehovah arises to deal with the earth. Isa. 2:20.



Bathrabbim. [Bath-rab'bim]

Gate of the ancient city of Heshbon, to the fishpools of which the bridegroom compares the eyes of his beloved. Cant. 7:4.

Bathsheba. [Bath'sheba]

Daughter of Eliam, or Ammiel, and wife of Uriah the Hittite. David's lusting after her became the occasion of his sin in accomplishing the death of her husband. She afterwards became David's wife and was the mother of Solomon and other children. When Adonijah sought to make himself king, Bathsheba, moved by Nathan, appealed to David to fulfil his promise to her that Solomon should be his successor. When Solomon was king Adonijah begged Bathsheba to use her influence to obtain Abishag for him as wife. She asked this of Solomon, but it led to Adonijah's death. 2 Sam. 11:3; 2 Sam. 12:24; 1 Kings 1:11-31; 1 Kings 2:13-19; Ps. 51 title.

Bathshua. [Bath'-shua]

Another name for BATHSHEBA, the wife of David. 1 Chr. 3:5. The same Hebrew word is translated 'daughter of Shua,' Judah's wife in Gen. 38:12; 1 Chr. 2:3.

Battering Ram.

The machine used anciently for knocking down gates or walls. A heavy beam was suspended by chains, at the end of which was an iron head, shaped something like a ram. The name (which in both passages is simply 'ram') may have been derived either from its shape, or from the resemblance of its action to the butting of a ram. It was pulled away from the wall and then swung heavily against it. Ezek. 4:2; Ezek. 21:22.

Battle Axe.

Large hammer or axe, at the end of a long handle, a formidable ancient weapon. Jer. 51:20. It is referred metaphorically to Jacob as God's weapon to break the nations into pieces.


1. maaqeh, the balustrade or parapet round the flat roofs of houses required by the law for the protection of life. Deut. 22:8.

2.  netishoth:  this signifies 'expansion,' and may well refer to extended battlements. A parapet on the walls, with holes through which arrows could be shot, may be seen on some of the Assyrian monuments. Jer. 5:10.

Bavai. [Bav'ai]

One who helped to build the wall of Jerusalem. Neh. 3:18.


From 'strong, sharp,' and hence a bright colour, perhaps 'reddish brown.' Zech. 6:3, 7. The chariot with grisled and bay horses signified the Roman empire.

Bay Tree.

From 'native born,' or that which springs up without transplanting. Ps. 37:35 reads in the margin, 'tree that groweth in his own soil,' a striking emblem of the wicked spreading himself in his own earthly soil.

Bazlith, Bazluth.  [Baz'lith, Baz'luth]

Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile. Ezra 2:52; Neh. 7:54.


The word bedolach has been interpreted to signify both a white transparent oily gum, and a white pearl. Its colour is referred to in the description of the manna, Num. 11:7, and in Gen. 2:12 it is mentioned with gold and onyx stones as characterising the land of Havilah. The white pearl seems the more probable allusion, for the manna is in Ex. 16:14 compared also to the hoar frost.


Signal pole placed on the top of a hill. Isa. 30:17. Israel should be so reduced in prosperity and in number as to become like a solitary 'tree bereft of branches,' margin.

Bealiah. [Beali'ah]

Benjamite who joined David at Ziklag. 1 Chr. 12:5.

Bealoth. [Be'aloth]

City in the south of Judah. Joshua 15. 24.


pol.  The common and well-known bean. It grows plentifully in Palestine, and is eaten with rice or mixed with wheat and barley in making bread for the poor. 2 Sam. 17:28; Ezek. 4:9.


dob, ἄρκτος.  The species which inhabited Palestine is the Syrian Bear (Syriacus Ursus). When young its colour is a dark brown, but this colour gets lighter with age, and when old it is nearly white. They are now comparatively scarce in Palestine, but may still be seen on the mountains of Lebanon, and occasionally farther south. When vegetables and fruits are to be had the bear feeds upon them, but in the winter it lives upon animals. David slew a lion and a bear that had seized a lamb of the flock. 1 Sam. 17:34-37. The she-bear is regarded as peculiarly fierce and dangerous when robbed of her whelps. 2 Sam. 17:8; Prov. 17:12: cf. 2 Kings 2:24. Alas that God should have to compare His fierce judgements on Israel to such a creature, together with the lion and leopard. Hosea 13:7-8. In the millennium the cow and the bear shall feed together. Isa. 11:7.

In Dan. 7:5 the Medo-Persian kingdom was compared to a bear, with three ribs in its mouth; and to it was said, "Arise, devour much flesh." In Rev. 13:2 the beast that represents the still future Roman empire is described as being like a leopard, with feet as the feet of a bear, showing its destructive character, for it is by the strength of its feet the bear destroys its prey by tearing it open.


The Israelites always cultivated the beard, and highly valued it. The law forbade them to 'mar the corners of their beards,' Lev. 19:27, and a priest must not shave off the corner of his beard as a sign of mourning. Lev. 21:5.  King Hanun inflicted a sore indignity when he marred the beards of David's ambassadors. 2 Sam. 10:4. Ezra in great grief at the sin of the people plucked off the hair of his head and of his beard. Ezra 9:3: cf. Jer. 41:5. God's judgement on Israel is compared to the beard being consumed by a razor, Isa. 7:20; and they were to be scattered as hair that is cut off. Ezek. 5:1-2, 12. Of Moab it was said, every beard should be cut off. Isa. 15:2; Jer. 48:37.


Besides the ordinary use of this word — such as distinguishing all animals from man, Ex. 9:10; Ps. 36:6; and as specifying quadrupeds from fowls and creeping things, Gen. 8:19 — the word is used symbolically for:

a.   the ignorance of man, Ps. 73:22; and for his acting as an irrational creature, that is, without conscience before God. The word is beir, translated 'brutish' in Ps. 94:8; Jer. 10:8, 14, 21; Jer. 51:17.

b. Great worldly powers, cheyva, θηρίον, having different characters according to the symbolic creature specified, but signifying in each case the absence of all moral connection with God: used by Daniel for the four great kingdoms, Dan. 7:3-23; and in Rev. 13:1 to Rev. 20:10 for the revived Roman empire and for the Antichrist.

c.  God's executive powers in creation and providence, ζῶον, unhappily translated 'beasts' in the A.V. in Rev. 4:6-9, etc., where it should be 'living creatures,' as in Ezekiel.   See LIVING CREATURES.


Much in the tabernacle was to be made of beaten work, Ex. 25:18, 31, 36, in contrast to 'molten,' as idols were often made. The cherubim and the mercy-seat were to be beaten out of one piece, Ex. 37:7: the candlestick also was beaten work of pure gold. Ex. 37:17, 22

Beatitudes, The.

The name commonly given to the nine statements of blessing in the Sermon on the Mount, showing the character and the portion of those who enter into the kingdom. Matt. 5:1-11. This stands in remarkable contrast to the economy of the law, in which there is a list of curses as well as of blessings. When Israel entered the land the blessings, but also the curses, were duly read to the people. Joshua 8:33-35.

Several of the Psalms contain beatitudes, and such are called Asherite Psalms, from the Hebrew word ashrey, 'happiness, blessing.'

Beautiful Gate.

A gate of the temple. Acts 3:2. Josephus says there were nine gates overlaid with silver and gold; but one without the temple, made of Corinthian brass, far exceeded those of gold and silver. (Wars v. 5, 3) This is supposed to be the gate called Beautiful in the above passage.

Bebai. [Be'bai]

Two or three whose descendants returned from exile. Ezra 2:11; Ezra 8:11; Ezra 10:28; Neh. 7:16. And one who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:15.

Becher. [Be'cher]

1.  Son of Benjamin, perhaps his second son, but the first-born of one of his wives. The name signifies 'first-born.' Gen. 46:21; 1 Chr. 7:6, 8.

2.  Son of Ephraim, and the head of the BACHRITES, Num. 26:35.

Bechorath. [Becho'rath]

Son of Aphiah, a Benjamite. 1 Sam. 9:1.

Bed, Bedstead.

In the East the beds were simply mats that could be rolled up in the morning and put away in any corner. This explains why the persons who were healed were told to 'take up' their beds.  Matt. 9:6; Mark 2:9, 11, 12; John 5:8-12. For covering, a quilt sufficed, and in cold weather a thicker one; but often they used their own garments only: this accounts for the law that a garment taken in pledge must be restored when the sun went down, that the owner might sleep in his own raiment, or outer garment. Deut. 24:13. For bedsteads, simple couches were commonly used, and where there was no separate bed-chamber the divan on one side of the room, that was used for reclining on in the day, served for the bedstead at night. Doubtless light movable couches were also used as bedsteads, 2 Kings 4:10, under which a lamp could be placed, Mark 6:21, and on which the man was let down through the roof. Luke 5:18. The bedstead of Og the giant king of Bashan was of iron, 9 cubits long (about 13 feet 6 inches) and 4 cubits wide (6 feet). Deut. 3:11.


The room set apart for sleeping in; being placed in the most retired position it became symbolical of the utmost privacy. 2 Kings 6:12; Ecc. 10:20. Joash was hid in a bed-chamber, or a room adapted to that purpose, apparently connected with the temple. 2 Kings 11:2. Travellers however, in the East, often have to spread their rugs on the floor of the same room in which the members of their host's family sleep, and the servants they bring with them sleep 'anywhere.' cf. 2 Sam. 11:9.

Bedad. [Be'dad]

Father of Hadad king of Edom. Gen. 36:35; 1 Chr. 1:46.

Bedan. [Be'dan]

1.  Judge of Israel, between Gideon and Jephthah, mentioned in 1 Sam. 12:11; but not found in the book of Judges. The LXX, Syriac, and Arabic give the name as Barak.

2.  Son of Ulam, descendant of Manasseh. 1 Chr. 7:17.

Bedeiah. [Bedei'ah]

One who had married a strange wife. Ezra 10:35.


The well-known insect that supplies honey. They are referred to symbolically as chasing and surrounding an enemy, and the painfulness of their attacks has often been experienced. Deut. 1:44; Judges 14:8; Ps. 118:12; Isa. 7:18.  Bees abound in Palestine, making their nests in the woods and in the clefts of the rocks, which habit well illustrates the description of the land as "flowing with milk and honey:" cf. 1 Sam. 14:26.

Beeliada. [Beeli'ada]

Son of David, 1 Chr. 14. 7: also called ELIADA in 2 Sam. 5:16; 1 Chr. 3:8.

Beelzebub, [Beel'zebub]

βεελζεβούλ.  The meaning of this word is much disputed, some associate it with BAAL-ZEBUB 'lord of the fly,' in the O.T., but others believe it to be a term of contempt, signifying 'lord of dung.'  The Jews, who blasphemously charged the Lord with casting out demons by Beelzebul (as it should be spelled), call him 'the prince of the demons,' which sufficiently explains their meaning to be that the one who was the head of those demons enabled the Lord to cast them out. Matt. 10:25; Matt. 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 18, 19. The Lord shows the folly of supposing that the same evil one who was seeking to build up a kingdom should be at the same time the means of pulling it down. He also denounces the dreadful blasphemy of saying that the work done by the Holy Spirit was accomplished by the influence of Satan: this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was the sin that should never be forgiven.  Cf. also 2 Kings 1:2.

Beer. [Be'er]

1.  A station of the Israelites when they drew near the Land, so called because of a well (which the word signifies) being sunk there, from which God gave them water. They sang -

"Spring up, O well; sing ye to it:

The princes digged the well,

The nobles of the people digged it

By the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves."

Num. 21:16-18. Probably the same as BEER-ELIM of Isa. 15:8.

2.  Place to which Jotham fled for fear of his brother Abimelech. Judges 9:21. Its position unknown.

Beera. [Bee'ra]

Son of Zophah, of the tribe of Asher. 1 Chr. 7:37.

Beerah. [Bee'rah]

Prince of the Reubenites, carried to Assyria. 1 Chr. 5:6.

Beerelim. [Beer-e'lim]   


Beeri. [Bee'ri]

1.  A Hittite, father of Judith, wife of Esau. Gen. 26:34. See BASHEMATH.

2.  Father of the prophet Hosea. Hosea 1:1.

Beerlahairoi. [Beer-laha'i-roi]

This signifies 'well of the living and seeing one.' A well situated between Kadesh and Bered, "in the way to Shur," therefore in the south. It was here that Hagar, when she fled from Sarai, was met by the angel of the Lord: her exclamation on that occasion, "Thou God seest me," gave to the well its name. Gen. 16:14. Isaac dwelt near the same 'well LAHAI-ROI.' Gen. 24:62; Gen. 25:11.

Beeroth. [Bee'roth]

1.  Station of Israel belonging to Jaakan. Deut. 10:6.

2.  One of the four cities of the Hivites which deceived Joshua into making a treaty of peace. It was given to Benjamin. Joshua 9:17; Joshua 18:25; 2 Sam. 4. 2. It is identified with Bireh, 31 54' N, 35 13' E, about 7 miles north of Jerusalem. The inhabitants of the city were called BEEROTHITES, 2 Sam. 4:2-9; 2 Sam. 23:37; 1 Chr. 11:39 (BEROTHITE); and 'children' or 'men of Beeroth' on returning from exile. Ezra 2:25; Neh. 7:29.

Beersheba  [Beer'-sheba]

This name, signifying well of the oath, was given to the place where Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant not to molest each other, and confirmed it by an oath. It afterwards became the dwelling place of Abraham and of Isaac, who also digged a well there, and a city is spoken of as bearing the same name. Gen. 21:14, 31-33; Gen. 22:19; Gen. 26:23, 33; Gen. 28:10. It became a part of Simeon's lot, Joshua 19:1-2; and after the settlement of the land it is constantly referred to as the most southern part of the land possessed, as Dan is pointed to as the most northern; thus 'from Dan to Beer-sheba' was the common expression for the whole territory even in the days of Solomon. 1 Kings 4:25.

The prophet Amos warns the people not to trust in any places of renown or of former blessing, as Bethel, Gilgal, nor Beersheba; the glory of all had faded: they must seek Jehovah, and they should live. Amos 5:5-6; Amos 8:14. On the return of the exiles some of them dwelt at Beer-sheba, and from thence northward to the valley of Hinnom. Neh. 11:27, 30. Beer-sheba is identified with Bir es Seba, 31 15' N, 34 48' E. There are still two principal wells in the district giving excellent water, besides five smaller ones.

Beeshterah. [Beesh'-terah]

Levitical city in Manasseh, east of Jordan. Joshua 21:27. It would appear by comparing 1 Chr. 6:71 to be the same as ASHTAROTH.


chargol.  This name occurs but once in the list of insects which the Israelites were allowed to eat, and is generally held to be a species of locust. Lev. 11:22.


baqar.   Horned cattle. Lev. 22:19, 21; Num. 31:28-44. The old English plural of 'beef.'


In the O.T. earthly prosperity was a sign of blessing. The Psalmist said that during the whole of his life he had not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread, Ps. 37:25; whereas of a wicked one, typical of Judas, it is said, "Let his children be continually vagabonds and beg," Ps. 109:10; but in bringing in strength and salvation Jehovah "lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes," 1 Sam. 2:8. The law made many provisions for the poor. In the N.T. we read of several beggars who were also blind, who received blessing, Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35; John 9:8; and in the parable the Lord spoke of the beggar named Lazarus who was carried into Abraham's bosom. Luke 16:20, 22: cf. Acts 3:2.


Besides the common use of this word in many connections, it is used in a special sense to carry the mind back into

a,  eternity, when the Word was with God, and was God, by whom all things were made. John 1:1-3; Acts 15:18 (which should read 'from eternity'). Also to the eternity of Jehovah, 'the beginning and the end.' Rev. 1:8; Rev. 21:6; Rev. 22:13.

b,  The creation, whether it was creating out of nothing or forming the heavens and the earth Isa. 64:4; Heb. 1:10.  Also the creation of man and woman. Matt. 19:4, 8; Mark 10:6.

c,  The beginning of Christianity. John 15:27; John 16:4; 1 John 1:1; 1 John 3:11; 2 John 5, 6.

d,  foundation or source, It is used also with a moral sense as a foundation or source, as in Col. 1:18; Rev. 3:14.


1.  From γεννάω, 'to beget.'  This word is used:

a,  for the natural generation of mankind, as in Matt. 1.

b,  for the, spiritual generation of the Christian. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel," 1 Cor. 4. 15; and of Onesimus he says, "whom I have begotten in my bonds," Philemon 10 signifying that he had been the means of their conversion; for the Christian is begotten of God. 1 John 5:18; 1 Peter 1:3.

c,  for the Lord Jesus, when He became a man, conceived (begotten) of the Holy Ghost, Matt. 1:20; and declared in those words of Jehovah to Him, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." Ps. 2:7; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; Heb. 5:5.

d,  μόνογενής, a name of peculiar affection for the Lord Jesus in His eternal Sonship as existing before He came into the world, and referred to as the only begotten Son, the only begotten of the Father. John 1:14, 18; John 3:16, 18. It is here used as the equivalent of a Hebrew word (yachid) which signifies 'only one,' and hence 'darling,' Gen. 22:2; Ps. 22:20; 35:17, etc.

2.  πρωτότοκος, applied to the Lord Jesus as 'the first-begotten,' or rather 'the firstborn' as marking His supremacy above all. The angels were called to worship Him when He was brought into the world, Heb. 1:6; and He is said to be the firstborn from among the dead. Rev. 1:5.


This was not a form of capital punishment in the O.T.  Ishbosheth was beheaded by his murderers that his head might be carried to David, 2 Sam. 4:7-8; as Goliath's head had been carried to Saul. In the N.T. John the Baptist was killed in the Roman manner of beheading with the sword. Matt. 14:10; Mark 6:16, 27; Luke 9:9. In Rev. 20:4, those 'beheaded' for the witness of Jesus, may be killed in other ways, for the word πελεκίζω signifies 'to cut with an axe,' having no particular reference to the head.


This is a Hebrew word and is now very generally believed to refer to the Hippopotamus. Job 40:15. Jehovah calls the attention of Job to this wonderful animal that he might see the wisdom and power of its Creator.

Bekah. [Be'kah]  



One of the gods of Babylon, supposed by some to be the Babylonish name of Baal. Isa. 46:1; Jer. 1:2; Jer. 51:44.

Bela. [Be'la]

1.  Another name of ZOAR, a small city near the Dead Sea. Gen. 14:2, 8; Gen. 19:22.

2.  Son of Beor and king in Edom. Gen. 36:32-33; 1 Chr. 1:43-44.

3.  Son of Azaz, of the tribe of Reuben. 1 Chr. 5:8.

4.  Eldest son of Benjamin, and head of the family of the BELAITES. Gen. 46:21 (BELAH); Num. 26:38, 40; 1 Chr. 7:6-7; 1 Chr. 8:1, 3.

Belial. [Be'lial]

The Hebrew word signifies 'worthless, lawless,' and is not a proper name, but is used as a personification of evil; thus we have 'son of Belial, daughter of Belial,' etc. Deut. 13:13; Judges 19:22; 1 Sam. 1:16; 1 Sam. 25:17, 25; etc. In the N.T. it is put in contradistinction to Christ as if it meant Satan, 2 Cor. 6:15: it is there βελίαρ.


  This word occurs but twice in the A.V.

1.  πιστεύω, 'to believe,' from πίστις, 'faith,' Acts 5:14: "Believers were the more added to the Lord." The same Greek word is constantly used for those that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of their souls, as in John 3:15-18.

2.  πιστός, 'trusting, trusty,' also from πίστις, 'faith,' 1 Tim. 4:12; "be thou an example of the believers" The same word is used for "What part hath he that believeth with an infidel, or unbeliever?" 2 Cor. 6:15.  'Believers' are a class of persons, who, through the mercy of God, have faith in Christ as the Son of God, and in His atoning work on the cross.  See FAITH.


Instead of 'the bellows are burned,' some prefer to translate 'the bellows puff, or blow, and the lead is consumed in the fire,' lead being formerly used to purify silver. Jer. 6:29. The allusion is that Israel had not been refined by means of judgement: "reprobate silver shall men call them." Jer. 6:30. Bellows are seen on the monuments of Egypt, having two bags on which a man stands; by lifting up each foot alternately, and pulling a string, each bag is inflated, and the wind is forced to the fire as the foot descends.


1.  paamon, from 'to strike.' Ex. 28:33-34; Ex. 39:25-26. They were on Aaron's robes, "a bell and a pomegranate," testimony and fruit were to mark all his goings, as they should accompany the Christian's walk through being attached to Christ.

2.  metsilloth, 'bells' from their tinkling, Zech. 14:20, but in the margin is read 'or bridles.' These are supposed to be the metallic plates suspended from the heads of the horses, on which inscriptions can be engraved, and which make a tinkling noise. At the restoration and blessing of Israel "Holiness unto the Lord" will be engraved on such plates.

Belshazzar. [Belshaz'zar]

The last king of the Babylonish empire, who, at a festival, when he desecrated the sacred vessels of Jerusalem, was warned of God by the fingers of a man's hand writing upon the wall. He had been weighed by God and was found wanting. Though remonstrated with by Daniel he showed no signs of repentance, and in the midst of the festivities the city was taken by Cyrus or one of his generals and the king was slain. The monuments record that it was taken by Gobryas. The queen, probably the queen-mother, was not at such a scene of revelry, and she could tell of one who would be able to interpret the writing on the wall.   See MENE

For a long time Daniel's account of the taking of the city and of Belshazzar being the last king, was held to be contradicted by history, which names several kings between Nebuchadnezzar and the close of the empire. Of these, two are mentioned in scripture: Evil-merodach, 2 Kings 25:27; Jer. 52:31; and Nergal-sharezer. Jer. 39:3, 13. Two others are also named in history, Laborosoarchod and Nabonadius or Labynetus: the former reigned only nine months, and the latter cannot be made to agree with Belshazzar; but happily Col. Rawlinson in A.D. 1854 at Mugheir, the ancient Ur, found an inscription on a monument to the effect that Nabonadius associated his son Bel-shar-eser with himself on the throne. Some tablets also have been discovered bearing the record of certain contracts made by Bilu-sarra-utsur, son of the king, which is also believed to refer to Belshazzar.

Nabonadius was elsewhere, and Belshazzar was slain. This agrees with his saying to Daniel that if he could interpret the writing he should be the third in the kingdom. Belshazzar is called the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but this in scripture often means grandson, and Nabonadius is supposed to have married a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. He is said to have been a usurper, and by such a marriage would have consolidated his position on the throne. Dan. 5:1-30; Dan. 7:1; Dan. 8:1.

Belteshazzar. [Belteshaz'zar]  



A word signifying 'son,' and often placed at the beginning of proper names to say whose son the person is: or followed by an appellative, as Ben-oni, 'son of my sorrow.' In the plural it is BENE, or BENI.   See BAR.


Levite appointed to the service of song by David. 1 Chr. 15:18.

Benaiah. [Benai'ah]

1.  Son of Jehoiada, and officer in David's and Solomon's army, perhaps chief of their body-guard. 2 Sam. 8:18; 2 Sam. 20:23; 2 Sam. 23:20, 22; 1 Kings 1:8-44; 1 Kings 2:25-46; 1 Kings 4:4; 1 Chr. 11:24; 1 Chr. 18:17; 1 Chr. 27:5-6.

2.  One of David's valiant men, a Pirathonite. 2 Sam. 23:30; 1 Chr. 11:31; 1 Chr. 27:14.

3.  Prince of a family of Simeon. 1 Chr. 4:36.

4.  Levite and 'porter,' 1 Chr. 15:18, 20; 1 Chr. 16:5.

5.  Priest who blew the trumpet before the ark. 1 Chr. 15:24; 1 Chr. 16:6.

6.  Father of Jehoiada, one of David's counsellors. 1 Chr. 27:34.

7.  Levite descendant of Asaph. 2 Chr. 20:14.

8.  Levite, overseer of the temple-offerings. 2 Chr. 31:13.

9.  Father of Pelatiah, prince of Judah. Ezek. 11:1, 13.

10-13.  Four who had married strange wives. Ezra 10:25, 30, 35, 43.

Benammi.  [Ben-am'mi]

Name signifying 'son of my people,' given to the son of Lot's daughter: he was father of the Ammonites. Gen. 19:38.

Beneberak.  [Bene'-berak]

City in Dan.  Joshua 19:45. Identified with Ibn Ibrak, 32 2' N, 34 50' E.


This was a term of praise and flattery often used towards the rulers who loved to hear themselves spoken well of. The Lord said it was not to be so with His disciples; they had been disputing who should be the greatest (and that too when their Lord was approaching the cross!) whereas they ought to have taken a low place, following in His steps. Luke 22:25.

Benejaakan. [Ben'e-ja'akan]

A tribe that gave its name to several wells, near to which was one of the halting places of the Israelites. Num. 33:31-32.

Benhadad.  [Ben-ha'dad]

This appears to be the royal title of the kings of Syria. There are three mentioned in scripture bearing this name, and the last apparently not a relative of the other two. The title may signify 'son of Adad' one of the gods of Syria.

1.  Son of Tabrimon. He was induced, by a present from Asa king of Judah, to attack Baasha king of Israel. 1 Kings 15:18, 20; 2 Chr. 16:2, 4.

2.  Another king of Syria in the time of Ahab. He fought against Israel, but was defeated and taken prisoner. Ahab called him 'brother,' and spared his life, for which he was rebuked by a prophet: God had devoted Ben-hadad to death and Ahab's life should go for his life. Benhadad again besieged Samaria in the reign of Jehoram, causing a great famine, but God made the Syrians flee when no man pursued, leaving plentiful provisions for His people. Afterwards when Ben-hadad was sick he sent Hazael to Elisha, who had come to Damascus, to know whether he would recover. Elisha said Hazael could tell the king he might surely recover, though Elisha knew he would die. He also told Hazael that he would be king of Syria. Hazael told the king that he would certainly recover; but the next day smothered him with a wet cloth, and reigned over Syria in his stead. 1 Kings 20:1-33; 2 Kings 6:24; 2 Kings 8:7-15.

3.  Son of the above-named Hazael.  Because of Israel's sin, God delivered them into the hands of this king; but eventually Ben-hadad was defeated three times and the cities of Israel were recovered. 2 Kings 13:3, 24, 25; Jer. 49:27; Amos 1:4.

Benhail.  [Ben-ha'il]

Prince of Judah under Jehoshaphat. 2 Chr. 17:7.

Benhanan. [Ben-ha'nan]

Son of Shimon, descendant of Judah. 1 Chr. 4:20.

Beninu. [Beni'nu]

Levite who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:13.

Benjamin. [Ben'jamin]

The youngest son of Jacob by his beloved wife Rachel. She died at his birth and named him BEN-ONI, signifying 'son of my sorrow,' but his father named him BENJAMIN, 'son of the right hand.' Gen. 35:18, 24. Type of Christ both as exalted at God's right hand (Benjamin), and, as rejected, the occasion of Israel's tribulation in the last days (Ben-oni), Rachel being a type of Israel (Micah 5.). Very little is recorded of Benjamin personally: he was the father of ten sons. Gen. 46:21.

Benjamin was the smallest of the tribes except Manasseh in the numbering of Num. 1:37; Num. 2:22-23. In Ps. 68:27 it is called 'little Benjamin;' but in the numbering before entering the land Benjamin exceeded in number four of the other tribes. Num. 26:41. In Gen. 49:27 Jacob prophesied of the tribe that it should "ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil;" typical of Christ in judgement on the earth in a future day. In Deut. 33:12, where Moses prophesied of the tribes, he said of Benjamin, "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders." So in the blessings of Ps. 68:27 Benjamin is the first named of the four tribes; and in Ps. 80:2, where God is called upon to save them, Benjamin is mentioned with Ephraim and Manasseh, being the three tribes which followed the ark. Num. 2:17-24; Num. 10:22-24.

The tribe did not drive out the Jebusites, but allowed them to dwell with them in Jerusalem, Judges 1:21; this may have led to their idolatry, for when, with Judah and Ephraim, they were attacked by the children of Ammon, they confessed they had forsaken God and served Baalim. Judges 10:9-10. It may also have led to the dreadful deed which resulted in the destruction of nearly the whole tribe. Judges 19 - 21. From this they in a measure recovered their strength. At the division of the kingdom they remained with Judah, but a large portion of their lot was seized by Israel. At times they appear to be lost sight of, for Ahijah said that God had reserved to the house of David one tribe (as if Benjamin was reckoned as cut off in judgement), 1 Kings 11:36. The two tribes were constantly spoken of as 'Judah,' whereas the ten tribes were called 'Israel.' On the return from the captivity, Benjamin had its share of blessing with Judah. Ezra 1:5; Ezra 10:9; Neh. 11:4-36. Paul relates twice that he was of the tribe of Benjamin. Rom. 11:1; Phil. 3:5. In the future, twelve thousand of this tribe will be sealed. Rev. 7:8.

The district occupied by the tribe is often simply called Benjamin. It was situated with Ephraim on its north, and Judah on its south, Dan on its west, and the Jordan on its east; it occupied about 28 miles east and west and 14 miles north and south at its widest parts. The district is mountainous with rocks and ravines, having an elevated table land. It contained the important cities of Jerusalem (in its south border), Bethel, Gibeon, Ramah, etc.

Benjamin. [Ben'jamin]

1.    Son of Bilhan, descendant of Benjamin. 1 Chr. 7:10.

2, 3, 4.   Three who returned from exile. Ezra 10:32; Neh. 3:23; Neh. 12:34.

Benjamin, Gate of.  [Ben'jamin]

One of the gates in Jerusalem; but which with others named in the O.T. cannot now be identified. Jer. 20:2; Jer. 37:13; Jer. 38:7; Zech. 14:10.

Beno. [Beno']

Son of Jaaziah, a descendant of Merari. 1 Chr. 24:26.

Benoni. [Ben-o'ni]    


Benzoheth. [Ben-zo'heth]   Son of Ishi, a descendant of Judah. 1 Chr. 4. 20.

Beon. [Be'on]

Another form of BAAL-MEON. Num. 32:3: cf. Num. 32:38.    See BETH-MEON.

Beor. [Be'or]

1.    Father of Bela, king of Edom. Gen. 36:32.

2.    Father of Balaam the prophet. Num. 22:5.  See BOSOR.

Bera. [Be'ra]

King of Sodom. Gen. 14:2.

Berachah. [Bera'chah]

1. One who joined David at Ziklag. 1 Chr. 12:3.

2.  A valley between Bethlehem and Hebron where Jehoshaphat overcame Moab and Ammon, and where he blessed the Lord because of the victory: hence its name 'Valley of Blessing.' 2 Chr. 20:26, margin. Identified with Wady el Arrub, 31 37' N, 35 10' E.

Berachiah. [Berachi'ah]

Another form of BERECHIAH.   1 Chr. 6:39.

Beraiah. [Berai'ah]

Son of Shimhi, a Benjamite. 1 Chr. 8:21.

Berea. [Bere'a]

City of Macedonia, visited by Paul, where he found some Jews who were more noble than those of Thessalonica, inasmuch as they tested by the scriptures what Paul preached: to which is added "therefore many of them believed." Sopater was of this city. It is now called Kara Verria, on the eastern slope of the Olympian range. Acts 17:10, 13; Acts 20:4.

Berechiah. [Berechi'ah]

1.  Descendant of the royal family of Judah. 1 Chr. 3:20.

2.  Father of Asaph, a 'singer,' 1 Chr. 6:39 (BERACHIAH); 15:17.

3.  Levite, son of Asa. 1 Chr. 9:16.

4. Levite, a door keeper 'for the ark.' 1 Chr. 15:23.

5.  Son of Meshillemoth: he opposed the captives from Judah being brought into Samaria. 2 Chr. 28:12.

6.  Father of Meshullam. Neh. 3:4, 30; Neh. 6:18.

7.  Father of Zechariah the prophet. Zech. 1:1, 7.

Bered. [Be'red]

1.  Place in the south of Canaan near to which was the well Lahai-roi. Gen. 16:14.

2.  An Ephraimite, apparently the grandson of Ephraim. 1 Chr. 7:20.

Berenice. [Bereni'ce]    


Beri. [Be'ri]

Son of Zophah, an Asherite. 1 Chr. 7:36.

Beriah. [Beri'ah]

1.  Son of Asher. Gen. 46:17; Num. 26:44-45; 1 Chr. 7:30-31.

2.  Son of Ephraim. 1 Chr. 7:23.

3.  Son of Elpaal, a Benjamite. 1 Chr. 8:13, 16.

4.  Son of Shimei, a Gershonite. 1 Chr. 23:10-11.

Beriites. [Beri'ites]

Descendants of Beriah, the son of Asher. Num. 26:44.

Berites. [Be'rites]

People in the north of Palestine, possibly the descendants of Beri. 2 Sam. 20:14.

Berith. [Be'rith]    


Bernice. [Berni'ce]

Daughter of Agrippa I, and wife of Herod of Chalcis. She visited Caesarea with her brother Agrippa II., and heard Paul's defence. Acts 25:13, 23; Acts 26:30. She afterwards married Polemon II. king of Pontus or Cilicia; but eventually became mistress of both Vespasian and Titus: in all this keeping up the dissolute character of the Herods. Often called BERENICE by historians.

Berodachbaladan. [Ber'odach-bal'adan]   


Berothah. [Be'rothah]

Place mentioned as a north border of the land when it will again be inhabited by the twelve tribes. Ezek. 47:16. Supposed by some to be Beyrout.[Beirut]

Berothai. [Be'rothai]

City belonging to Hadadezer king of Zobah. 2 Sam. 8:8. Apparently the same as CHUN in 1 Chr. 18:8.

Berothite. [Be'rothite]

Inhabitant of Beeroth. 1 Chr. 11:39.


There is no certainty as to what stone the word tarshish denotes. The LXX translate it by different words. In Ezek. 1:16; Ezek. 10:9 the 'wheels' are compared to its colour, without stating what that was. Some suppose it was the golden topaz; others that it was the chrysolite. It was the first in the fourth row of the high priest's breastplate, and is mentioned in the foundation of the heavenly Jerusalem. Ex. 28:20; Ex. 39:13; Cant. 5:14; Ezek. 28:13; Dan. 10:6. In Rev. 21:20 the word is βήρυλλος, beryl.

Besai. [Be'sai]

Ancestor of some Nethinim, who returned from exile. Ezra 2:49; Neh. 7:52.

Besodeiah. [Besodei'ah]

Father of Meshullam who repaired the old gate at Jerusalem. Neh. 3:6.


Anglo-Saxon name for a broom made of twigs. Isa. 14:23.

Besor. [Be'sor]

A brook or wady in the south of Judah. 1 Sam. 30:9-10, 21.

Betah. [Be'tah]

City of Hadadezer, from which David took much brass. 2 Sam. 8:8: cf. 1 Chr. 18:8. See TIBHATH.

Beten. [Be'ten]

City on the border of Asher. Joshua 19:25. Identified with el Baneh, 32 56' N, 35 16' E.


A word used in many compound names of places, and signifying 'house' or dwelling place: as Beth-el, house of God.

Bethabara. [Bethab'ara]

Place beyond Jordan where John was baptizing. John 1:28.  Identified with the ford Abarah, 32 32' N, 35 33' E.   Most Editors of the Greek Testament read BETHANY.

Bethanath. [Beth'-anath]

City of Naphtali, the inhabitants of which were not driven out, but were made tributary. Joshua 19:38; Judges 1:33. Identified with Ainitha, 33 8' N, 35 26' E.

Bethanoth.  [Beth'-anoth]

City of Judah. Joshua 15:59. Identified with Beit Ainun, 31 34' N, 35 7' E.

Bethany. [Beth'any]

The 'house of dates,' a village on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about 2 miles from Jerusalem, near the road to Jericho. It was where Lazarus, Martha, and Mary resided, in whose house the Lord found a resting place, amidst those whom He loved, and who were ever ready to welcome Him, and to devote the best of their substance to Him. It was from or near Bethany that the Lord ascended. Matt. 21:17; Matt. 26:6; Mark 11:1, 11, 12; Mark 14:3; Luke 19:29; Luke 24:50; John 11:1, 18; John 12:1. It is now a ruinous and wretched hamlet called el Azariyeh, or 'Lazariyeh,' from Lazarus, 31 46' N, 35 15' E.

Some of the Greek MSS read BETHANY in John 1:28 where John was baptizing on the east of the Jordan.

Betharabah. [Beth-ar'abah]

A city of Benjamin, or Judah, near the valley of the Jordan. Joshua 15:6, 61; Joshua 18:22.

Betharam.  [Beth-ar'am]

A city of Gad, east of the Jordan, between Succoth and Debir. Joshua 13:27: held to be the same as BETH-HARAN of Num. 32:36. Identified with Tell Rameh, 31 50' N, 35 38' E.

Betharbel.  [Beth-ar'bel]

A city destroyed by Shalman, who was possibly Shalmaneser king of Assyria; nothing further is known of the city. Hosea 10:14.

Bethaven.  [Beth-a'ven]

A place or 'wilderness' of Benjamin near Bethel. Joshua 7:2; Joshua 18:12; 1 Sam. 13:5; 1 Sam. 14:23; Hosea 4. 15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5. Though this is said to be on the east of Bethel, in Hosea it would appear to be a name given to Bethel itself as being no longer the 'house of God,' but the 'house of vanity' because of the idols there.

Bethazmaveth.  [Beth-azma'veth]


Bethbaalmeon.  [Beth-ba'al-me'on]


Bethbarah. [Beth-ba'rah]

Place on the east of Jordan, to which the Midianites were pursued. Judges 7:24.

Bethbirei.  [Beth-bi'rei]

Town of Simeon. 1 Chr. 4:31. Apparently the same as BETH-LEBAOTH in Joshua 19:6.

Bethcar.  [Beth-car']

Place to which the Philistines were pursued from Mizpeh. 1 Sam. 7:11.

Bethdagon.  [Beth-da'gon]

1.  Town of Judah, probably, by its name, near to the Philistines. Joshua 15:41.

2.  Boundary town of Asher. Joshua 19:27.

Bethdiblathaim.  [Beth-diblatha'im]

Moabite town, upon which judgement was pronounced. Jer. 48:22. Perhaps the same as ALMON-DIBLATHAIM.

Bethel.  [Beth'-el]

1.   Name, signifying 'house of God,' given to the place where God first appeared to Jacob in a dream. It led him to say, "Surely the Lord is in this place . . . . this is none other but the house of God . . . . and he called the name of that place Beth-el." Gen. 28:16-19. God thus gave to Jacob the apprehension that the house of God on earth — the gate of heaven — was to be connected with him and his seed, and afterwards God acknowledged the place and the name, saying, "I am the God of Beth-el," Gen. 31:13. To take Jacob out of a false position God bade him go up to Beth-el and dwell there, and Jacob felt he must take no idols there, so he told his household to put away the strange gods from among them, to be clean, and to change their garments. "He built there an altar and called the place El-beth-el;" and there God met him, revealed His name to him, and confirmed the change of his name to Israel (cf. Gen. 32:28-29), blessed him, and renewed His promises. Gen. 35:1-16.

It was afterwards conquered and given to Benjamin. Joshua 12:9; Joshua 18:22; Judges 1:22. Apparently the tabernacle was pitched at Shiloh near Bethel, for Israel went there to inquire of God, and Samuel told Saul that he should meet three men "going up to God to Beth-el." Judges 21:19; 1 Sam. 10:3. At the division of the kingdom Beth-el fell to Israel, and Jeroboam set up there one of the golden calves to prevent the Israelites going to Jerusalem to worship. An altar was erected and sacrifices offered to the idol; but it was condemned by a man of God, and the altar was rent. 1 Kings 12:29-33; 1 Kings 13:1-32; Amos 7:10, 13. There were sons of the prophets dwelling at Beth-el, 2 Kings 2:3, but the idolatrous altar was not destroyed until the days of Josiah. 2 Kings 23:4, 15, 17, 19. Among those who returned from exile were men of Beth-el, and the place was again inhabited. Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; Neh. 11:31. See also Hosea 10:15; Hosea 12:4; Amos 3:14; Amos 4:4; Amos 5:5-6.

The city had been originally named Luz. It is now identified with Beitin, 31 56' N, 35 14' E, some 10 miles north of Jerusalem. It stands on a rocky ridge between two valleys, but has higher ground on each side except the south.  Amos 5:5 said it should 'come to nought,' and now amid the scattered ruins are about 20 houses roughly formed out of the old materials. 'MOUNT BETH-EL' occurs in Joshua 16:1; 1 Sam. 13:2.   See BETH-AVEN.

2.    This name, found in Joshua 12:16 (not that in Joshua 12:9) and 1 Sam. 30:27, is probably a different place from the preceding because of the names associated with it, and was farther south. It is probably the same as Bethul, Bethuel. In the latter reference the LXX (Vat.) read Baethsur.

Bethelite. [Beth'elite]

The designation of Hiel who rebuilt Jericho. 1 Kings 16:34.

Bethemek.  [Beth-e'mek]

Town on the border of Asher. Joshua 19:27. Identified by some with Amka, 32 58' N, 35 10' E.

Bether. [Be'ther]

Mountains not identified, and to what the name refers is not known. Cant. 2:17. It reads 'division' in the margin and in the LXX.

Bethesda. [Bethes'da]

Pool at Jerusalem, near the sheep market or gate, into which an angel occasionally descended and troubled the water. The person who first stepped in after this, was cured of whatever disease he had. John 5:2. This was a marvellous witness of God's mercy still left to Israel, though it met the need of those only who had sufficient strength to avail themselves of it, and did not reach the most weakly and destitute, whose condition truly sets forth the state of man spiritually. In contrast to the law, which was 'weak through the flesh,' the Son of God was there with life and liberty in His gift. The name signifies 'house of mercy:' cf. Ex. 15:26, "I am Jehovah that healeth thee."

The large pool, called 'Birket Israil,' near St. Stephen's Gate is the traditional Pool of Bethesda, but its identity is refused by most. There are other tanks in the city, and some prefer the 'fountain of the Virgin' outside of the city; but there is no certainty that any one of them is the pool mentioned in scripture.

Bethezel.  [Beth-e'zel]

Place probably situated in the plain of Philistia, by the names associated with it. Micah 1:11.

Bethgader.  [Beth-ga'der]

Apparently a place near Beth-lehem, of which Hareph was the founder. 1 Chr. 2:51.

Bethgamul.  [Beth-ga'mul]

Town of Moab. Jer. 48:23. Identified by some with Jemail, 31 31' N, 35 50' E.

Bethhaccerem.  [Beth-hac'cerem]

Place near Tekoa in Judah, used as a beacon hill. Neh. 3:14; Jer. 6:1.

Bethharan.  [Beth-ha'ran]   


Bethhogla, Bethhoglah.  [Beth-hog'la, Beth-hog'lah]

Border city between Judah and Benjamin belonging to the latter. Joshua 15:6; Joshua 18:19, 21. Identified with Ain Hajlah, 31 50' N, 35 31' E.

Bethhoron.  [Beth-ho'ron]

Two towns called the 'upper' and the 'nether,' though also spoken of as one, on the boundary between Benjamin and Ephraim. They were allotted to Ephraim, and given to the Kohathites. The district is memorable as where Joshua conquered the Amorites, and near which God smote them with hailstones. Joshua 10:10-11; Joshua 16:3, 5; Joshua 18:13-14; Joshua 21:22; 1 Sam. 13:18.  In 1 Chr. 7:24 these towns are said to have been built by Sherah, apparently the grand-daughter of Ephraim. Solomon also built or rebuilt them. 1 Kings 9:17; 2 Chr. 8:5.

It was near these cities that Judas Maccabaeus won his victory over Seron; and here that the Roman Cestius Gallus was signally defeated. The places are still called upper, el Foka, and lower, el Tahta, with the general name of Beit Ur, 31 54' N, 35 5' E and 31 53' N, 35 7' E.

Bethjeshimoth, or Bethjesimoth.  [Beth-jesh'imoth, or -jes'imoth]

Town of Moab, near to one of the stations of the Israelites. It was assigned to Reuben, but was eventually secured by the Moabites. Num. 33:49; Joshua 12:3; Joshua 13:20; Ezek: 25:9. Identified with Sueimeh, 31 47' N, 35 35' E.

Bethlebaoth.  [Beth-leba'oth]   


Bethlehem.  [Beth'-lehem]

1.  City of Judah, also called BETH-LEHEM-JUDAH (Judges 17:7-9). It is first mentioned in connection with the death and burial of Rachel. Gen. 35:19. The history of Ruth is also connected with Beth-lehem. Ruth 1:1-22; Ruth 2:4. David was anointed in the house of Jesse the Bethlehemite, so that apparently it was the place of David's birth, 1 Sam. 16:4; 1 Sam. 17:12, 15; and this accounts for its being called in Luke 2:11 the 'city of David.' It was also the birth-place of Jesus: though it was "little among the thousands of Judah," it the better agreed with His humiliation. Beth-lehem, signifying 'house of bread,' is a very appropriate name for a place whence the Saviour should proceed as a man — He who was the living bread that came down from heaven.

Apparently it was originally called EPHRATH, Gen. 35:16, 19; Gen. 48:7; and was afterwards called EPHRATAH, Ruth 4:11; Ps. 132:6. It is once called BETH-LEHEM EPHRATAH, that is, the fruitful, for the ruler of Israel was to come from thence. Micah 5:2; Luke 2:4, 15; John 7:42. This led to the massacre of the infants by Herod. Matt. 2:16-18.

In 1 Chr. 2:51, 54; 1 Chr. 4:4, 'father of Beth-lehem' may signify 'prince of Beth-lehem.' It is identified with Beit Lahm, 31 42' N, 35 12' E, situated 6 miles south of Jerusalem, on a narrow ridge which runs from the central range of hills. The ridge is cut into terraces, which are covered with olives and vines. There are now about 5,000 inhabitants, almost all called Christian, with convents for the Latins, Greeks, and Armenians. An enormous pile of buildings called the 'Church of the Nativity' is connected with the convents.

2.  Town in Zebulun, mentioned only in Joshua 19:15, also called Beit Lahm, 32 44' N, 35 10' E, described as a most miserable village. (It is not known which of the above places is referred to in Judges 12:8,10.)

Bethlehemite.  [Beth'-lehemite]

Native of Beth-lehem. 1 Sam. 16:1,18; 1 Sam. 17:58; 2 Sam. 21:19.

Bethmaachah.  [Beth-ma'achah]

2 Sam. 20:14-15.    See ABEL-BETH-MAACHAH.

Bethmarcaboth.  [Beth-mar'caboth]

Town of Simeon in the extreme south, with Ziklag and Hormah.  Joshua 19:5; 1 Chr. 4:31.

Bethmeon.  [Beth-me'on]

City of Reuben on the east of the Jordan. Jer. 48:23. Apparently also called BAAL-MEON, BETH-BAAL-MEON, and BEON,  Joshua 13:17; Num. 32:3; Num. 32:38 (which says 'their names being changed'); 1 Chr. 5:8.  Ezek. 25:9 speaks of it as a city that was 'the glory of the country.' Identified with the ruins at Tell Maain, 31 41' N, 35 44' E.

Bethnimrah.   [Beth-nim'rah]

City of Gad, on the east of the Jordan, Num. 32:36; Joshua 13:27: it is called NIMRAH in Num. 32:3. Identified with Tell Nimrin, 31 54' N, 35 37' E.

Bethpalet.  [Beth-pa'let]

Town in the south of Judah.  Joshua 15:27: called BETH-PHELET in Neh. 11:26.

Bethpazzez.  [Beth-paz'zez]

Town of Issachar. Joshua 19:21.

Bethpeor.  [Beth-pe'or]

A city of Moab, east of the Jordan, near to which, in the valley, Israel made one of their last encampments, Deut. 3:29; Deut. 4:46; and near to which the Lord buried Moses. It was allotted to Reuben. Deut. 34:6; Joshua 13:20. Identified with Mareighat, 31 39' N, 35 42' E.

Bethphage. [Beth'phage]

Village on the Mount of Olives near to Bethany. Its came signifies 'house of figs ' (hard or unripe). Identified with Kefr el Tor, on the mount half way between Bethany and the top. Matt. 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29.

Bethphelet.  [Beth-phe'let]


Bethrapha. [Beth-ra'pha]

Obscure name in the genealogy of Judah. 1 Chr. 4:12.

Bethrehob.  [Beth-re'hob]

Place in the north near Dan, from which perhaps Syrians were hired by the Ammonites against David, Judges 18:28; 2 Sam. 10:6. Identified with Hunin, 33 13' N, 35 32' E. Some judge that the Syrians came from a different place near the Euphrates.

Bethsaida. [Bethsa'ida]

This name signifies 'house of fish.'

1.  BETHSAIDA OF GALILEE, a town from whence came Philip, Andrew, and Peter, John 1:44; John 12:21; and against which the Lord pronounced a 'woe' because it had not repented at His mighty works. Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13. After the Lord had fed the 5,000 on the east of Jordan He sent His disciples to Bethsaida on the western shore. Mark 6:45. It was near the shore on the west of the Sea of Galilee, in the same locality as Capernaum and Chorazin: there are ruins in the district, but its exact situation cannot be identified.

2.  BETHSAIDA JULIAS, a town near the N.E. corner of the same lake. A blind man was cured there, Mark 8:22; and near to it the 5,000 were fed, Luke 9:10-17: also related in Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; John 6:1-14. It was called 'Julias,' because Philip the tetrarch enlarged the town, giving it the above name in honour of Julia, daughter of Augustus. It is identified by some with et Tell, 32 54' N, 35 37' E. A few rude houses and heaps of stones are all that mark the spot. (The context of the above passages shows that the events recorded could not have taken place at or near the Bethsaida on the west of the lake.)

Bethshan, Bethshean.  [Beth'-shan, Beth-she'an]

City of Manasseh west of the Jordan, though situate in Issachar, Joshua 17:11, 16; 1 Chr. 7:29; from which the Canaanites were not driven out. Judges 1:27. In the days of Saul the Philistines appear to have had possession of the town, for on their finding the dead body of Saul it was here that they hung it on the wall. 1 Sam. 31:10, 12; 2 Sam. 21:12. In the time of Solomon Beth-shean was under the charge of one of his commissariat officers. 1 Kings 4:12. 1, is identified with Beisan, 32 30' N, 35 30' E. It must have been a place of note, from the extent of the ruins, which consist of black volcanic basalt. It is doubtless on the same spot as SCYTHOPOLIS, mentioned in 2 Mac. 12:29, and which was one of the ten cities of Decapolis.

Bethshemesh.  [Beth-she'mesh]

1.  A Levitical town on the north border of Judah, whither the ark was miraculously guided by God when sent back by the Philistines from Ekron, and where the people were smitten for looking into it. Here Amaziah king of Judah was defeated by Jehoash king of Israel. It was afterwards occupied by the Philistines.   Joshua 15:10; Joshua 21:16; 1 Sam. 6:9-20; 1 Kings 4:9; 2 Kings 14:11, 13; 1 Chr. 6:59; 2 Chr. 25:21, 23; 2 Chr. 28:18.  Identified with Ain Shems, 31 45' N, 34 59' E.

2.  Border town of Issachar, Joshua 19:22. Identified by some with Ain esh Shemsiyeh, 32 24' N, 35 31' E.

3.  Fenced city of Naphtali. Joshua 19:38; Judges 1:33.

4.  Idolatrous temple in Egypt. Jer. 43:13.  Supposed from its signification, 'house of  the sun,' to be the same as On, or Heliopolis, associated with sun-worship.

Bethshemite.  [Beth-she'mite]

Native of Beth-shemesh, No. 1.  1 Sam. 6:14, 18.

Bethshittah. [Beth-shit'tah]

Place near the Jordan valley.  Judges 7:22. Identified with Shutta, 32 33' N, 35 25' E.

Bethtappuah.  [Beth-tap'puah]

City in the mountainous district of Judah, near Hebron. Joshua 15:53: cf. 1 Chr. 2:43. Identified with Tuffuh, 31 33' N, 35 2' E.

Bethuel. [Bethu'el]

Son of Nahor, a Syrian, Abraham's brother, and father of Rebekah. Gen. 22:22-23; Gen. 24:15-47; Gen. 25:20; Gen. 28:2, 5.

Bethuel, Bethul.  [Bethu'el, Beth'ul]

Town in Simeon. Joshua 19:4; 1 Chr. 4:30.   See BETHEL, No. 2.

Bethzur.  [Beth'-zur]

City in the mountains of Judah, apparently founded by Maon. The city was built or fortified by Rehoboam on the division of the tribes. Joshua 15:58; 1 Chr. 2:45; 2 Chr. 11:7; Neh. 3:16. Identified with Beit Sur, 31 36' N, 35 6' E.  It commanded the road from Beer-sheba to Jerusalem, and is often referred to in the Wars of the Maccabees.

Betonim. [Beto'nim]

Town in Gad, east of the Jordan. Joshua 13:26.


Among the Jews this was looked upon as being as binding as marriage, and could not be dissolved except by divorce. Certain laws were given as to a betrothed woman. Ex. 21:8-9; Deut. 20:7; Deut. 28:30. Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus, was betrothed to Joseph, and he contemplated putting her away privately, but was instructed as to the truth of her condition by the angel of the Lord. Matt. 1:18-19; Luke 1:27; Luke 2:5. It is used symbolically to express Jehovah's favour to His ancient people in a future day, when He will 'betroth' them to Himself for ever. Hosea 2:19-20. Also as to the position in which the church stands to Christ: Paul wrote to the Corinthian saints "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." 2 Cor. 11:2. The conduct of the saints should be true to this betrothal.

Beulah. [Beu'lah]

The land of Palestine shall be called Beulah, which signifies 'married,' when the set time comes for Jehovah to bless Israel. Isa. 62:4.


To accuse or betray. Isa. 16:3; Prov. 27:16; Prov. 29:24; Matt. 26:73. From the Anglo-Saxon.

Bezai. [Be'zai]

One whose descendants returned from exile, and one who sealed the covenant. Ezra 2:17; Neh. 7:23; Neh. 10:18.

Bezaleel. [Bezal'eel]

1.  Son of Uri, of the tribe of Judah. He was called of God, and filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom, understanding and knowledge to devise cunning works in gold, silver, brass, stone, and timber, for the tabernacle, and to take the oversight thereof. Ex. 31:2; Ex. 35:30; Ex. 36:1-2; Ex. 37: l; Ex. 38:22; 1 Chr. 2:20; 2 Chr. 1:5.

2.  One who had married a strange wife. Ezra 10:30.

Bezek. [Be'zek]

1.  City in which 10,000 of the Canaanites and Perizzites were slain, to be possessed by Judah. Judges 1:4-5.  Identified with Bezkah, 31 53' N, 34 58' E.

2.  Place where Saul numbered the army before he slew the Ammonites, 1 Sam. 11:8, apparently near the centre of Palestine. Identified with Ibzik, 32 22' N, 35 24' E.

Bezer. [Be'zer]

1.  A city in Reuben, described as 'in the wilderness, in the plain country.' It was one of the three Cities of Refuge on the east of the Jordan. Deut. 4:43; Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:36; 1 Chr. 6:78. Identified with Kusr el Besheir, 31 29' N, 35 43' E.

2.  Son of Zophah, one of the princes of Asher. 1 Chr. 7:37.


Biblia. This name is from the Greek through the Latin, and signifies 'The Books.' The whole is also called 'The Scriptures,' and once 'The Holy Scriptures,' that is, 'the Sacred Writings,' distinguishing them from all others. The advent of the Lord Jesus, who was the great subject of the scriptures, John 5:39, and in whom as 'Son' God spoke, after a silence of 400 years, naturally led to a division of the sacred writings into two parts, called the Old and New Testaments. The 'Old Testament' is mentioned as being read in 2 Cor. 3:14; but the term 'New Testament,' as applied to the collection of books that commonly bear that title, does not occur in scripture. There was also a change in the language in which the various books of the two Testaments were written. The Old was written in Hebrew, except Ezra 4:8 to Ezra 6:18; Ezra 7:12-26; Jer. 10:11; Dan. 2:4 to Dan. 7:28: these portions being written in Chaldee or Aramaic. The books of the New Testament were written in Greek (without now taking into consideration whether the Gospel by Matthew was originally written in Aramaic). The glad tidings of salvation was for the whole world, and the language most extensively known at that time was chosen for its promulgation.

The Old Testament may be considered as dividing itself into:

1.   The Pentateuch, or five books of Moses.

2.   The Historical Books, including Joshua to the end of Esther.

3.   The Poetical Books, Job to the end of Song of Solomon.

4.   The Prophetical Books, from Isaiah to Malachi.

The Jews divided the Old Testament into three parts:

1.   The Law (Torah), the five books of Moses.

2.   The Prophets (Nebiim), including Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and

2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve Minor Prophets.

3.   The Writings (Kethubim, or Hagiographa, 'holy writings'), including

a,  the Psalms, Proverbs, Job;

b,  Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther;

c,  Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Chronicles.

The books are in this order in the Hebrew Bible. The above triple division is doubtless alluded to by the Lord, in Luke 24:44, "All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me;" cf. Luke 24:27. 'The Psalms' being the first book in the third part, may have been used as a title to express the whole of the division.

The Talmud and later Jewish writers reckon twenty-four books in the O.T. To make out this number they count the two books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles as one book each; Ezra and Nehemiah as one; and the twelve Minor Prophets as one. The earlier Jews reckoned the books as 22, according to the letters in the alphabet: they united Ruth with Judges, and Lamentations with Jeremiah. But all such arrangements are arbitrary and fanciful.

The 'oracles of God' were committed to Israel, Rom. 3:2, and they have been zealous defenders of the letter of the O.T. For a long time it was thought that their great care and exactitude in copying had preserved the manuscripts from error; but it has been abundantly proved that those copyists erred, as all others have erred in this respect, and numerous errors have been discovered in the MSS, though many of them are seen at once to be mistakes of the pen, some doubtless caused through the similarity of the Hebrew letters, and are easily corrected. Other differences can be set right by the preponderance of evidence in the MSS themselves now that many of these have been collated.

Besides such variations there are other deviations from the common Hebrew text that profess to have some amount of authority. They are commonly called Keri and Chethib, q.v.

As to the text of the NEW TESTAMENT there is no particular copy that claims any authority, though the Received Text (Elzevir, 1624) was for a long time treated 'as if an angel had compiled it,' as one expressed it. But the undue respect for that text has passed away, and every translator has to examine the evidence for and against every variation, in order to know what he shall translate.

He has before him

  1.   Many GREEK MANUSCRIPTS: some 40 being called Uncials because of being written all in capital letters (though some of this number are only portions or mere fragments), and are represented by capital letters, A, B, C, etc. They date from the fourth to the tenth century. There are also hundreds of Cursives (those written in a more running hand), for the most part of later date than the uncials, a few of which are of special value. They date from the tenth century to the fourteenth, and are represented by numerals.

  2.   ANCIENT VERSIONS, which show what was apparently in the Greek copies used for the versions: the Old Latin, often called Italic; the Vulgate; Syriac; Egyptian, called the Memphitic and the Thebaic; the Gothic; Armenian; and AEthiopic. These Versions date from the second to the sixth century.

  3.   THE FATHERS, which are useful as showing what was in the Greek copies from which they quoted: they date from the second century.

The variations in the Greek Manuscripts are very numerous, yet the Editors (men who have attempted to discover what God originally caused to be written) — though each formed his own plan as to which of the above witnesses he would examine — have come to the same judgement in the great majority of the variations. In such cases we are doubtless safe in leaving the commonly received text. In other places their conclusions differ, and in a few cases nearly all the Editors have been obliged to declare the reading as doubtful. Though this is to be deplored, for we should desire to ascertain in every instance the actual words which God caused to be written, yet it is a matter of deep thankfulness that the variations do not in the least affect any one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. These all stand forth in sublime and lucid grandeur as parts of the will of God Himself, notwithstanding all that men have done to obscure or nullify them.

The above must suffice as to the text of the Old and New Testaments. Under the name of each book will be found what are considered the leading thoughts therein, but a few words are now added as to the whole Bible.

It is 'the word of God,' an unfolding of unseen things — a revelation of the nature of God morally, and the history, divinely penned, of man His creature, first as innocent, and then as fallen, with its consequences. It shows man's responsibility and how man has been tested in various ways, each test resulting, alas, in his failure. It manifests that if man is to be saved and eternally blessed, it must be by a work done for him by another. This was graciously accomplished by the Son of God becoming a man and dying a sacrificial death on the cross, which glorified God and met the question of man's responsibility.

The word reveals that there was a counsel respecting the second Man in eternity, it also reveals that when the mediatorial kingdom of the Lord Jesus as Son of Man has been finished, God will again in eternity become all in all. In the mean time, according to the eternal purpose of God, many are being brought to Himself through faith in the atoning death of the Lord Jesus, being quickened by the Spirit, and made new creatures in Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus is awaiting the time when He will come to fetch His saints, to carry out all God's purposes, and to punish those that know not God, and who obey not the gospel.

The Bible also reveals the character of Satan since his fall, as being a liar and murderer; he is the great enemy of the Lord Jesus and of man, and he deceived our mother Eve. It also details the future eternal punishment of that wicked one with those who are obedient to him.

The choice of Israel and the wonders wrought for their deliverance from Egypt, together with their history in the land of promise, their expulsion and captivity, and their future tribulation and blessing in the same land, occupy a large part of the Bible.

Christ in type, antitype, and prophecy, is the centre of the whole Book: "All things were made by him and for him." He is pointedly referred to in the 3rd chapter of Genesis, and gives His parting word to His saints in the last chapter of the Revelation.

The N.T. brings out not only the history of redemption by the death of Christ, but gives the doctrine of the Church in its various aspects, showing that Christianity is an entirely new order of things — indeed a new creation. Those who form the church are instructed as to their true position in Christ, and their true position in the world, with details to guide them in every station of life. The Revelation gives the various phases of the church at that time (though prophetic of its condition to the end) with warnings of the evils that had already crept in. This is followed by the many and varied judgements that will fall upon Christendom and the world, reaching to the eternal state of the new heavens and the new earth.

This is but a brief and incomplete sketch of the contents of the Bible, for who can in few or indeed in many words describe that wonderful God-made Book? It is an inexhaustible mine: the more it is explored, the more is the finger of God manifest everywhere, and new treasures are revealed to the devout, calling forth their praise and adoration.   See INSPIRATION.

Bichri. [Bich'ri]

Father of Sheba who rose against David. 2 Sam. 20:1-22.

Bidkar. [Bid'kar]

Fellow officer and afterwards Jehu's captain; he executed the sentence on Joram, or Jehoram, son of Ahab, by casting him into the field of Naboth. 2 Kings 9:25.


A light frame or couch on which the dead could be carried. 2 Sam. 3:31; Luke 7:14. The Hebrew word mittah is often translated 'bed.'

Bigtha. [Big'tha]

One of the chamberlains of Ahasuerus. Esther 1:10.

Bigthan, Bigthana.  [Big'than, Bigtha'na]

One of the two servants of Ahasuerus who 'kept the door,' and conspired against his life. Through Mordecai the plot was made known and the servants were hanged. Esther 2:21; Esther 6:2.

Bigvai. [Big'vai]

Ancestor of some who returned from exile, one of whom, bearing the same name, sealed the covenant. Ezra 2:2,14; Ezra 8:14; Neh. 7:7, 19; Neh. 10:16.

Bildad. [Bil'dad]

One of Job's friends, 'the Shuhite,' perhaps a descendant of Shuah the son of Abraham and Keturah. He in no way understood Job's case, and could only judge that Job was being punished for wickedness, whereas God had called Job a righteous man. God's anger was kindled against Bildad: but he, with his two companions, brought a sacrifice, and when Job prayed for them God accepted him. Job 2:11; Job 8:1; Job 18:1; Job 25:1; Job 42:9.

Bileam. [Bil'eam]

Levitical city in Manasseh, west of the Jordan. 1 Chr. 6:70.  Supposed to be the same as GATH-RIMMON in Joshua 21:25, and perhaps the same as IBLEAM in Joshua 17:11.

Bilgah. [Bil'gah]

1.  Priest in David's time. 1 Chr. 24:14.

2.  Priest who returned from exile. Neh. 12:5, 18.

Bilgai. [Bil'gai]

One who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:8. Perhaps the same as Bilgah, No. 2.

Bilhah. [Bil'hah]

1.  Handmaid of Rachel, and mother of Dan and Naphtali. Gen. 29:29; Gen. 30:3-7; Gen. 35:22, 25; Gen. 37:2; Gen. 46:25.

2.  Town in Simeon, 1 Chr. 4:29: the same as BALAH in Joshua 19:3. See BAALAH.

Bilhan. [Bil'han]

1.  Son of Ezer, the Horite. Gen. 36:27; 1 Chr. 1:42.

2.  Son of Jediael, a Benjamite. 1 Chr. 7:10.

Bill of Divorce.    


Bilshan. [Bil'shan]

One who returned from exile. Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7.

Bimhal. [Bim'hal]

Son of Japhlet. 1 Chr. 7:33.

Binea. [Bin'ea]

Son of Moza, descendant of Saul. 1 Chr. 8:37; 1 Chr. 9:43.

Binnui. [Binnu'i]

Several of this name who returned from exile, two of whom had married strange wives. Ezra 8:33; Ezra 10:30, 38;  Neh. 3:24; Neh. 7:15; Neh. 10:9; Neh. 12:8.


These are employed as symbols of evil agents: as, in the dream of Pharaoh's baker, the birds ate the bakemeats he was carrying on his head, Gen. 40:17; and in the parable of the Sower the fowls or birds which devoured the seed by the wayside are interpreted by Christ to signify 'the wicked one.'  Matt. 13:4, 19. In the parable of the Mustard Seed the kingdom of heaven becomes a great system with roots in the earth, under the protection of which the birds of the air find shelter. Matt. 13:31-32. The Greek is πετεινόν, the same in the two parables.

Birds, Clean and Unclean.

A list of the unclean birds is given in Lev. 11:13-20; Deut. 14:12-18. In the A.V. the unclean are called the Bat, Cormorant, Cuckoo, Eagle, Gier Eagle, Glede, Hawk, Heron, Kite, Lapwing, Night Hawk, Ospray, Ossifrage, Owl great and little, Pelican, Raven, Stork, Swan, Vulture, and 'fowls that creep, going upon all four.' This leaves for the clean birds the Bittern, Crane, Dove, Ostrich, Partridge, Peacock, Pigeon, Quail, Sparrow, and Swallow. Of these the Ostrich is supposed to be among the unclean under the name of Owl; the Peacock was not a native bird of Palestine; and the Bittern and Crane were inhabitants of the marshy ground among the reeds, and were probably classed with the unclean under some of the above names. We do not read of the ordinary domestic fowl in the O.T.  See under each of the above names.

Birsha. [Bir'sha]

King of Gomorrah. Gen. 14:2.

Birth, New.   



The only scriptural notices of birth-days being kept are in reference to Pharaoh, Gen. 40. 20; and to Herod Antipas, when John the Baptist lost his life. Matt. 14:6; Mark 6:21. It is thought by some that the sons of Job who feasted 'every one his day' did so on their birth-days.  Job 1:4, 13. We do not read that the Israelites had any such custom; and the Preacher says the day of death is better than the day of one's birth. Ecc. 7:1.


Jacob when dying said of Reuben "Thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power." This is what he was as the firstborn, for in himself he was 'unstable as water ' and he should not excel. Gen. 49:3-4. He forfeited his birth-right for defiling his father's bed, and it was given to Joseph, who in Ephraim and Manasseh had a double portion among the tribes. 1 Chr. 5:1. The law declared that if a man's first-born son was by a wife he hated, he must not put the son of another wife in his place: the first-born must have a double portion of all that the man possessed "for he is the beginning of his strength: the right of the first-born is his." Deut. 21:16-17. Esau is called a profane person for selling his birth-right: it was a privilege God had given him, and which he should have valued as such. Gen. 25:31-34; Heb. 12:16.

Birzavith. [Bir'zavith]

Son of Malchiel the grandson of Asher. 1 Chr. 7:31.

Bishlam. [Bish'lam]

Officer of Artaxerxes in Palestine at the time of the return of Zerubbabel. He wrote against the rebuilding of the city, which resulted in the building of the temple being stopped by the king. Ezra 4:7. It will be seen that in the margin instead of Bishlam is read 'in peace,' and this is the reading in the LXX, Arabic, and Syriac Versions.