Bible Dictionary P

Parah. [Pa'rah]

City in Benjamin. Joshua 18:23. Identified with ruins at Farah, 31 50' N, 35 18' E.

Paran. [Pa'ran]

The wilderness on the south of Canaan and west of Edom. It was here Ishmael dwelt, and in which was Kadesh, where the Israelites encamped when they sent out the twelve spies, and again near the close of their wanderings. David also at one time took shelter in this wilderness. Gen. 21:21; Num. 10:12; Num. 12:16; Num. 13:3, 26; Deut. 1:1; 1 Sam. 25:1; 1 Kings 11:18. In Deut. 33:2; Hab. 3:3 MOUNT PARAN is spoken of, which doubtless refers to some mount in the same district. Paran is now called et Tih, it lies between Kadesh and Sinai.

Parbar. [Par'bar]

Some place connected with the temple, at which two doorkeepers were placed: its meaning or situation is not known. 1 Chr. 26:18; R.V. margin 'the Precinct.' Gesenius identifies it with parvar, 'suburbs,' 2 Kings 23:11, 'precincts,' R.V.


A thin skin prepared for receiving writing. It is much more durable than papyrus. The great majority of the early copies of the scriptures that are extant are on parchment and have thus been preserved to us. 2 Tim. 4:13.


Four Hebrew words are so translated.

1. kaphar, 'to cover,' same as 'to make atonement,' forgive. 2 Chr. 30:18.

2. nasa, 'to lift up,' forgive. Ex. 23:21; 1 Sam. 15:25; Job 7:21; Micah 7:18.

3. salach, 'to pass over,' forgive; used only of God's forgiveness. Ex. 34:9; Num. 14:19-20; 2 Kings 5:18; 2 Kings 24:4; Neh. 9:17; Ps. 25:11; Isa. 55:7; Jer. 5:1, 7; Jer. 33:8; Jer. 50:20; Lam. 3:42.

4. ratsah, 'to delight in,' receive graciously, forgive, Isa. 40:2.


An inner or upper private apartment. Judges 3:20-25; 1 Sam. 9:22; 1 Chr. 28:11.

Parmashta. [Parmash'ta]

Son of Haman: he was slain and hanged. Esther 9:9.

Parmenas. [Par'menas]

One of the seven chosen to look after the poor saints at Jerusalem. Acts 6:5.

Parnach. [Par'nach]

A Zebulunite, father of Elizaphan. Num. 34:25.

Parosh. [Pa'rosh]

A family who returned from exile, one of whom sealed the covenant, and some had married strange wives. Ezra 2:3; Ezra 10:25; Neh. 3:25; Neh. 7:8; Neh. 10:14.

Parshandatha. [Parshanda'tha]

Son of Haman: he was slain and hanged. Esther 9:7.

Parthians. [Par'thians]

Inhabitants of Parthia, a country in the East, lying south of Hyrcania, north of Sagartia, and east of Media. Some Jews from thence were present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:9. They were a very warlike people, they rode swift horses, and skilfully used the bow as they rode.


The word qone signifies 'caller' and this suits the common Palestine partridge because of its loud ringing call. Two things are said of this bird. David, when pursued by Saul, compares himself to a partridge hunted on the mountains. 1 Sam. 26:20. This agrees with the way in which the partridges are taken: they are chased on the mountains till they are tired out. The other passage, Jer. 17:11, says, "as the partridge sitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool." In the margin it reads, she "that gathereth young which she hath not brought forth." This rendering is confirmed by the LXX and Vulgate and is supposed to refer to the partridge sitting upon eggs she has not laid, such eggs being left in her nest on the ground by other birds. When hatched the young birds desert her. This agrees with the context. The Caccabis saxatilis and Ammoperdix Heyii are known in Palestine.

Paruah. [Paru'ah]

Father of Jehoshaphat, a commissariat officer of Solomon. 1 Kings 4:17.

Parvaim. [Parva'im]

An unknown gold region. 2 Chr. 3:6. Supposed by some to be a general term from the Sanscrit for the East.

Pasach. [Pa'sach]

Son of Japhlet, a descendant of Asher. 1 Chr. 7:33.

Pasdammim.  [Pas-dam'mim]


Paseah, [Pase'ah] Phaseah. [Phase'ah]

1.  Son of Eshton, a descendant of Judah. 1 Chr. 4:12.

2. Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile. Ezra 2:49; Neh. 7:51.

3. Father of Jehoiada, who helped to repair the wall of Jerusalem. Neh. 3:6.

Pashur. [Pa'shur]

1.  Son of Malchijah, a priest, and ancestor of some who returned from exile. 1 Chr. 9:12; Ezra 2:38; Ezra 10:22; Neh. 7:41; Neh. 11:12. Perhaps the same as No. 4.

2. Priest who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:3.

3. Son of Immer, 'chief governor in the house of the Lord.' He struck Jeremiah and put him in the stocks. Jeremiah said to him that the Lord had called his name MAGOR-MISSABIB, 'fear round about' margin. The Lord would make him a terror to himself and all his friends; and they should fall by the sword. He should be carried into captivity and die there. Jer. 20:1-6.

4. Son of Melchiah or Malchiah: he with others advised Zedekiah to put Jeremiah to death. Jer. 21:1; Jer. 38:1.

5. Father of Gedaliah. Jer. 38:1.


Any mountain pass, or ford over a river. Joshua 22:11; Judges 12:5-6; 1 Sam. 14:4; Isa. 10:29; Jer. 51:32.


'Suffering:' Christ showed Himself alive after His suffering. Acts 1:3.

Passover, The.

This was instituted when the Israelites were in Egypt. Jehovah being about to cut off all the firstborn of Egypt, the Israelites were ordered to sprinkle the blood of a lamb, taken for each house, on the lintel and two side posts of their houses, and the promise was given, "The Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you." The Israelites obeyed, and in perfect safety fed upon the lamb, under shelter of the blood. When they should come to the promised land they were enjoined to keep the Passover, as one of their yearly feasts. Ex. 12:3-28; Lev. 23:4-8. See FEASTS.

The Passover sets forth typically the offering of Christ as that in which the righteousness of God in regard of sin has been declared. The blood was a witness of death, that is, of the removal from under the eye of God of the man, or order of man, that had sinned against God. This removal was brought to pass vicariously in the person of the righteous One who gave Himself a ransom for all. In the eating of the lamb roast with fire the people were to enter into the solemnity of what had been effected.

The Lord Jesus greatly desired to eat the last passover with His disciples, forming, as they did, a unique 'family' circle. It was about to be fulfilled in the kingdom of God, and the Lord takes the place of separation from the earth until the kingdom of God should come. Luke 22:15-18.

The Jewish authorities state the manner of eating the Passover at the time of the Lord to have been as follows:

1.  When all were seated, the head of the feast gave thanks, and they drank the first cup of wine mingled with water.

2.  All washed their hands.

3. The table was spread with the paschal lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and a dish of thick sauce (said to signify the mortar with which they made bricks in Egypt).

4.  They all dipped a portion of the bitter herbs into the sauce, and ate it.

5.  All the dishes were removed from the table, and the children or proselytes were instructed in the meaning of the Passover.

6.  The dishes were then brought back, and the president said, "This is the passover which we eat, because the Lord passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt." And holding up the bitter herbs he said, "These are the bitter herbs that we eat in remembrance that the Egyptians made the lives of our fathers bitter in Egypt." He then spoke of the unleavened bread, and repeated Ps. 113 and Ps. 114, concluding with a prayer. They all drank the second cup of wine.

7.  The governor broke one of the cakes of unleavened bread, and gave thanks.

8.  They then all partook of the paschal lamb.

9.  As an ending of the supper they all took a piece of bread and some of the bitter herbs, dipped them in the sauce, and ate them.

10.  They then drank the third cup of wine, called 'the cup of blessing.'

11.  The governor rehearsed Ps. 115, Ps.116, Ps.117, and Ps.118, and a fourth cup of wine concluded the whole.

Connected with the Passover is the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. It was kept for seven days, during which all leaven had to be put away. The first day and the seventh day were holy convocations, on which no servile work was to be done. This feast was intimately connected with the Passover: "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." The unleavened bread sets forth that sense of grace, through faith, in the Christian, in which, apart from influences of the flesh and old associations, he can be habitually in the appreciation of, and in communion with the sacrifice of Christ, so that his whole life is consistent therewith.

It appears evident that the term 'passover' was also applied to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as in Deut. 16:2: "Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd."  The 'herd' here must refer to the seven days' feast; and this may account for the Jews refusing to go into the judgement hall "lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the passover," John 18:28, though they had eaten the paschal lamb the night before.


In the O.T. the word is raah, 'to feed,' and refers to those who should have succoured God's people. They, as all others, had failed; they had destroyed and scattered the sheep. Jer. 2:8; Jer. 3:15; Jer. 12:10; Jer. 17:16; Jer. 22:22; Jer. 23:1-2.  In the N.T. it is ποιμήν, which is applied to Christ Himself as the good Shepherd, etc. The pastor is one of the gifts in the church, Eph. 4:11; he is one who is gifted to help on the saints individually, enter into their trials and difficulties, and bring the word to instruct and comfort them, or to remonstrate with and counsel them if needed.


City on the coast of Lycia in Asia Minor. Acts 21:1. The same name is still retained, but the ruins are being covered and the harbour blocked up with sand.


Crown of the head. Ps. 7:16.

Pathros. [Path'ros]

Place situate in Egypt, probably a part of Upper Egypt, where there were many Jews who set Jeremiah at defiance. Jer. 44:1, 15. In a future day the Israelites will be gathered from thence, and the place be destroyed. Isa. 11:11; Ezek. 29:14; Ezek. 30:14.

Pathrusim. [Pathru'sim]

The people of Pathros. Gen. 10:14; 1 Chr. 1:12.

Patmos. [Pat'mos]

An island to which John was banished by one of the Roman emperors, and where he received the Revelation. Rev. 1:9. It is a rocky island in the Ægean Sea, about 37 18' N, 26 33' E, and is peculiarly rugged, bare, and desolate. On the hill to the south is a monastery called 'John the Divine.' In the ascent is a cave or grotto in which John is said to have written the Revelation.


'Head of a family,' applied in the N.T. to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as ancestors of the Israelites, and to the twelve sons of Jacob. David also is thus designated. Acts 2:29; Acts 7:8-9; Heb. 7:4. In other passages the same persons are called 'the fathers.'

Patrobas. [Pat'robas]

Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent a salutation. Rom 16:14.


See PAI.


This apostle was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of pure descent, born at Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, a fact which gave to him the privilege of Roman citizenship. He was a disciple of Gamaliel and a strict Pharisee. He is first introduced to us as a young man, by name SAUL, at whose feet the witnesses who stoned Stephen laid their clothes. He became afterwards a violent persecutor of the saints, both of men and women, acting with great zeal, thinking he was doing God's service. His conversion as the effect of the Lord appearing to him was unique, and he was so completely changed that he became at once as bold for Christ as before he had been a persecutor of Christ in the persons of His saints. He immediately preached in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. This was the distinctive point of his testimony. As the Jews sought his life at Damascus, he departed into Arabia, where doubtless he had deep exercise of heart and learnt more of the Lord.

After three years he went up to see Peter at Jerusalem, where he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Jews again seeking his life, he was conducted to Caesarea, and sent to Tarsus, his native place. From thence he was fetched by Barnabas to go to Antioch, where the gospel had been effectual, and there they both laboured. After having, in company with Barnabas, taken supplies to Jerusalem (his second visit), on occasion of a dearth, he commenced his first missionary journey to Cyprus and Asia Minor. He and Barnabas returned to Antioch, where he remained 'a long time.' On a dispute arising as to Gentile converts being circumcised, he went with Barnabas to Jerusalem concerning that question, and returned to Antioch. This city had become a sort of centre of the activity of the Spirit. Being far from Jerusalem it was less influenced by Judaising tendencies, though communion with the saints there was maintained.

Asia Minor, Macedonia and Greece were the sphere of Paul's second missionary journey. Having differed from Barnabas, because the latter wished to take John with them (who had left them on the first journey), Paul selected Silas for his companion, and departed with the full fellowship of the brethren. During part of this journey Timothy was one of the company. He abode a year and a half at Corinth, where he wrote the two EPISTLES TO THE THESSALONIANS. He now visited Jerusalem at the feast, and returned to Antioch. He took his third missionary journey through Galatia and Phrygia. When he visited Ephesus he separated the disciples from the synagogue, and they met in the school of Tyrannus. At Ephesus he wrote the FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, and probably the EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS. After the tumult raised by Demetrius he went to Macedonia, and there wrote the SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. He again visited Corinth and wrote the EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS.

The Jews seeking his life, Paul went through Macedonia, sailed from Philippi, and preached at Troas. At Miletus he gave a solemn parting address to the elders of Ephesus, and took his leave of the disciples at Tyre, where he was cautioned not to go to Jerusalem. At Caesarea also he was warned of what awaited him at Jerusalem, but he avowed that he was ready not only to be bound, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Paul arrived at Jerusalem just before Pentecost. In order to prove himself a good Jew he was advised by the brethren to associate himself with four men who had a vow on them, and to be at charges with them. But while carrying this out he was seized by some Asiatic Jews, and beaten, but was rescued by Lysias, the Roman chief captain. After appearing before the council, and again being rescued by him, he was for safety sent off by night to Caesarea. There his cause was heard by Felix, who kept him prisoner, hoping to be bribed to release him. Two years later, when superseded by Festus, Felix, to please the Jews, left Paul in bonds. On appearing before Festus, to save himself from being sent to Jerusalem, there being a plot to waylay and murder him, Paul appealed to the emperor. His case having been heard by Agrippa and Festus, he was finally remitted to Rome. The ship, however, was wrecked at Malta, where they wintered, all on board having been saved.

On his arrival at Rome, Paul sent for the chief men of the Jews and preached to them: some of them believed, though the majority rejected God's grace (thus fulfilling Isa. 6:9-10), which should henceforth go to the Gentiles. He, though still a prisoner, abode two years in his own hired house. There he wrote the EPISTLES TO THE COLOSSIANS, the EPHESIANS, the PHILIPPIANS, and also to PHILEMON.

The history of Paul is thus far given in the Acts of the Apostles, but there are intimations in the later epistles that after the two years at Rome he was liberated. His movements from that time are not definitely recorded; apparently he visited Ephesus and Macedonia, 1 Tim. 1:3; wrote the FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY; visited Crete, Titus 1:5; and Nicopolis, Titus 3:12; wrote the EPISTLE TO TITUS (the early writers say that he went to Spain, which we know he desired to do, Rom. 15:24, 28); visited Troas and Miletus, 2 Tim. 4:13, 20; wrote the EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS; and when a prisoner at Rome the second time, wrote the SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY, when expecting his death. Early writers say that he was beheaded with the sword, which is probable, as he was a Roman citizen.

Paul received his commission directly from Christ who appeared to him in glory, and this source of his apostleship he carefully insists on in the Epistle to the Galatians. New light as to the church in its heavenly character came out by Paul, who was God's special apostle for that purpose. To him was revealed the truth that the assembly was the body of Christ, and the doctrine of new creation in Christ Jesus, in which evidently there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. This caused great persecution from the Jews and from Judaising teachers, who could not readily give up the law, nor endure the thought of Gentiles having an equal place with themselves. This Paul insisted on: it was his mission as apostle to the Gentiles. To Paul also was committed what he calls "my gospel:" this was 'the gospel of the glory' (Christ in glory who put away the Christian's sins being presented in it as the last Adam, the Son of God). 2 Cor. 4:4. It not only brings salvation, great as that is, but it separates the believer from earth, and conforms him to Christ as He is in glory.

Paul was an eminent and faithful servant of Christ. As such he was content to be nothing, that Christ might be glorified. To the Thessalonians he was gentle 'as a nurse cherisheth her children.' 1 Thess. 2:7. He was severe however to the Corinthians when they were allowing sin in their midst, and to them he had to assert his apostolic authority when traducers were seeking to nullify his influence among them. To the Galatians he was still more severe: they were in danger of being shipwrecked as to faith by false Judaising teachers, who were undermining the truth of the gospel.

In the epistles we get a few glimpses of the inner life of Paul. After having been caught up into the third heavens, he prayed for the removal of the thorn in the flesh which had been given him lest he should be puffed up, and was told that Christ's grace was sufficient for him, he could say, "most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.'' 2 Cor. 12:9-10. He also could say, "To me to live is Christ;" and "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3:13-14. As a martyr he reached that goal. The catalogue he gives of his privations and sufferings in 2 Cor. 11:23-28 discloses the fact that but a small part of his gigantic labours is recounted in the Acts of the Apostles.




A booth or tent, used poetically for a dwelling. 2 Sam. 22:12; 1 Kings 20:12, 16; Ps. 18:11; Ps. 27:5; Ps. 31:20.


This term is used to express the present attitude and testimony of God toward man consequent on the declaration of God's righteousness in the death of Christ. The state of man which was obnoxious to the holiness of God by reason of sin has been removed in the cross. Hence the believer is justified by faith, and has peace (peace of conscience) with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:1. Christ made peace through the blood of the cross, Col. 1:20 and to the Christian God is 'the God of peace,' and the Lord Jesus is 'the Lord of peace.' He also is peace between believers, having on the cross broken down the barrier between Jew and Gentile. Eph. 2:14-15.

When the Lord Jesus left the earth He left to the disciples peace, and said, "My peace I give unto you." Peace is also spoken of as the state of heart in which a believer is kept in regard of circumstances. The record in the O.T. is, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace (peace, peace, margin) whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee." Isa. 26:3. The Christian makes his requests known unto God, and the peace of God that passeth all understanding keeps his heart and mind through Christ Jesus (peace of heart). Phil. 4:6-7. Blessed privilege! and what a contrast to "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Isa. 57:21 The Lord Jesus will, in the future, among His other titles, be hailed as PRINCE OF PEACE. Isa. 9:6.

Peace Offering.



These were imported by Solomon along with ivory and apes. The Hebrew word tukkiyyim is very similar to the Cingalese name of the peacock, tokei, and this is doubtless the bird intended. 1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chr. 9:21. The common peacock is the Pavo cristatus. In Job 39:13 is the word renanim, and this is supposed to refer to the ostrich: q.v.


In Job 28:18 the word is gabish, which signifies 'ice' and hence 'crystal.' In the N.T. παργαρίτης is from 'to glisten, shine,' and perhaps refers to pearls, such as are discovered in shells of various species. They are mentioned three times as distinct from precious stones. Rev. 17:4; Rev. 18:12, 16. They were worn as an ornament by women. 1 Tim. 2:9. Metaphorically the term applies to anything costly: things which should not be cast before swine. Matt. 7:6. The gates of the heavenly Jerusalem were each of one pearl. Rev. 21:21. In the parable of the one Pearl of Great Price the Lord is represented as selling all that He had (as man and Messiah) in order to become its possessor. Matt. 13:45-46. It implies the unique character of the church in the eyes of Christ.

Peculiar People, or Treasure.

Except in Ecc. 2:8, where 'the peculiar treasure of kings' is gathered by Solomon, these expressions both in the O.T. and in the N.T. refer to what God's people are to Him. Ex. 19:5; Deut. 14:2; Deut. 26:18; Ps. 135:4; Titus 2:14. The terms imply a possession upon which a specially choice value is set. 1 Peter 2:9 is a little different "Ye are 'a people for a possession': cf. Mal. 3:17.

Pedahel. [Pedah'el]

Son of Ammihud, and a prince of Naphtali. Num. 34:28.

Pedahzur. [Pedah'zur]

Father of Gamaliel, of the tribe of Manasseh. Num. 1:10; Num. 2:20; Num. 7:54, 59; Num. 10:23.

Pedaiah. [Pedai'ah]

1.  Father of Zebudah the mother of Jehoiakim. 2 Kings 23:36.

2. Descendant of Jeconiah. 1 Chr. 3:18-19.

3. Father of Joel a prince of Manasseh. 1 Chr. 27:20.

4. Son of Parosh: he helped to repair the wall of Jerusalem. Neh. 3:25.

5. One who stood with Ezra when the law was read. Neh. 8:4.

6. Son of Kolaiah, a Benjamite. Neh. 11:7.

7. Levite, set over the treasuries. Neh. 13:13.

Pekah. [Pe'kah]

Son of Remaliah and captain to Pekahiah, king of Israel, whom he murdered, and then seized the throne: he reigned 20 years, B.C. 759-739. He invaded Judah, and slew 120,000 in one day, and carried away 200,000 'women, sons and daughters.' It was on this occasion that the prophet Oded, with others, protested against their brethren, the children of Judah, being made slaves; the captives were thereupon released, clothed out of the spoils, and sent back to their homes. Pekah afterwards formed an alliance with Rezin, king of Damascus, against Judah; but Ahaz, king of Judah, called to his aid Tiglath-pileser, who killed Rezin and destroyed Damascus, and then attacked Pekah, and carried away captive the two and a half tribes on the east of the Jordan, B.C. 740. Pekah was killed by Hoshea, in what is called the 20th year of Jotham, that is, the 4th year of Ahaz, which would have been the 20th of Jotham. 2 Kings 15:25-37; 2 Kings 16:1, 5; 2 Chr. 28:6-15; Isa. 7:1.

Pekahiah. [Pekahi'ah]

Son and successor of Menahem king of Israel. His two years' reign, B.C. 761-759, was uneventful; he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord; and was slain by Pekah, who succeeded him. 2 Kings 15:22-26.

Pekod. [Peko'd]

This name occurs in connection with Babylon, and is supposed to be a symbolical name, signifying 'visitation' or 'punishment,' associated with the name of Merathaim, signifying 'of the rebels,' or 'double rebellion.' That is, that Babylon should be visited by God 'because of its rebellion.' Jer. 50:21. In Ezek. 23:23 Pekod appears more as a proper name; but it is again associated with Babylon, and the three names Pekod, Shoa, and Koa are all judged to be symbolical names.

Pelaiah. [Pelai'ah]

1.  Son of Elioenai, a descendant of David. 1 Chr. 3:24.

2. Levite who instructed the people in the law, and who sealed the covenant. Neh. 8:7; Neh. 10:10.

Pelaliah. [Pelali'ah]

Ancestor of some priests who returned from exile. Neh. 11:12.

Pelatiah. [Pelati'ah]

1.  Son of Hananiah, a descendant of David. 1 Chr. 3:21.

2. Captain in the tribe of Simeon when they smote the Amalekites. 1 Chr. 4:42.

3. One who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:22.

4. One seen in a vision by Ezekiel, described as son of Benaiah, and who devised mischief and gave wicked counsel in the city, He died when Ezekiel prophesied. Ezek. 11:1, 13.

Peleg. [Pe'leg]

Son of Eber, a descendant of Shem. The name signifies 'division,' and apparently he was so called because 'in his days was the earth divided.' Gen. 10:25. This doubtless means, as is said in Gen. 10:5, "By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; " and again in Gen. 10:32, "By these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood." In the next chapter is the account of the confusion of tongues and the scattering of the people generally. Gen. 11:16-19; 1 Chr. 1:19, 25.

Pelet. [Pel'et]

1.  Son of Jahdai, a descendant of Caleb, brother of Jerahmeel. 1 Chr. 2:47.

2. Son of Azmaveth, and one of David's valiant men. 1 Chr. 12:3.

Peleth. [Pel'eth]

1.  Reubenite, father of On. Num. 16:1.

2. Son of Jonathan, a descendant of Jerahmeel. 1 Chr. 2:33.

Pelethites. [Pel'ethites]

These formed a part of David's guard. They are always grouped with the Cherethites. It is uncertain from whence they came or what the name signifies. 2 Sam. 8:18; 2 Sam. 15:18; 2 Sam. 20:7, 23; 1 Kings 1:38, 44; 1 Chr. 18:17. Gesenius calls them 'public couriers,' doubtless because peleth means 'swiftness.' The LXX and Vulgate leave the name untranslated. Some trace the word to the Philistines.


The Hebrew word is qaath, and this is said to be derived from a verb signifying 'to vomit.' The pelican has a peculiar habit in feeding its young that seems to have suggested this name. It goes into the sea and catches a number of fishes which it stows away in its lower beak, the under side of which is capable of being distended like a large pouch. Then it flies away inland with its burden, for which purpose it is provided with enormous wings. On the land it presses its beak against its breast, and the fish are thrown out for the young birds.

The Psalmist said, "I am like a pelican of the wilderness," which refers to the bird sitting solitary for hours as it digests its stock of fish. It was an unclean bird. Lev. 11:18; Deut. 14:17; Ps. 102:6. In two other passages the same Hebrew word is in the A.V. translated 'CORMORANT,' where it should be 'pelican.' Isa. 34:11; Zeph. 2:14. The Pelicanus graculus and the P. crispus are known in Palestine.

Pelonite. [Pelo'nite]

Designation of Helez and Ahijah, two of David's mighty men. Why they are so called is not known. 1 Chr. 11:27, 36; 1 Chr. 27:10. In 2 Sam. 23:26 Helez is called 'the Paltite.'


A general term for any implement used either for cutting an inscription on stone or metal, or a reed for writing on papyrus or parchment. Judges 5:14; Job 19:24; Ps. 45:1; Isa. 8:1; Jer. 8:8; Jer. 17:1; 3 John 13.

Peniel. [Peni'el]


Peninnah. [Penin'nah]

One of the wives of Elkanah. 1 Sam. 1:2, 4.


Lit. 'knife of a writer,' with which he sharpened his reed. Jer. 36:23.


δηνάριον. A common Roman coin. It was the labourer's wages for a day. Matt. 20. Higher sums were reckoned by this coin, as the debt of 500 pence in Luke 7:41. The Lord when answering the Jews said "Show me a penny." Luke 20:24. It was the chief Roman silver coin. See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.


The Greek name given to the first five books of the O.T., which are also called 'the five books of Moses.' The many references to and quotations from them in other parts of the scripture, and allusions to them by Christ under the name of Moses, show plainly that Moses was the inspired writer of them, except of course the small portion that records his death and burial. See MOSES.


This name which signifies 'fiftieth' is found only in the N.T.: it corresponds to the FEAST OF WEEKS. From the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits fifty days were counted, and on the day after the seven sabbaths the feast was kept. A new meat offering of two loaves baken with leaven was offered; also seven lambs, one bullock, and two rams for a burnt offering, with their meat and drink offerings "even an offering made by fire of sweet savour unto the Lord." Also one kid of the goats for a sin offering; and two lambs for a peace offering. It was proclaimed a holy convocation, in which no servile work was to be done. Lev. 23:15-21. The Israelites came with their free-will offerings unto Jehovah, according as He had blessed them. See OFFERINGS.

The feast is typical of the presentation of the saints in the power and sanctification of the Holy Spirit. It was to be a day of universal rejoicing before the Lord, Deut. 16:9-12, and was the commencement of the ingathering of the harvest. It is not mentioned in Ezekiel's future feasts, because it has been fulfilled in the present interval in God's dealings with Israel. Cf. John 7:37-39. See FEASTS.

Penuel. [Penu'el]

1.  The place where the mysterious man wrestled with Jacob. Jacob gave it this name, signifying 'face of God,' because, as he said, he had seen God face to face, and his life was preserved. Five hundred years later the place is mentioned, the men of which would not give supplies to Gideon. On his return he broke down the tower and slew the men of the city. Jeroboam rebuilt it. It was situated between Succoth and the Jabbok, but its site cannot now be identified. Gen. 32:31; Judges 8:8-17; 1 Kings 12:25. It is called PENIEL in Gen. 32:30.

2. A descendant of Judah and father of Gedor. 1 Chr. 4:4.

3. Son of Shashak, a Benjamite. 1 Chr. 8:25.

Peor. [Peor']

1.  A peak in the mountain range of Moab, to which Balaam was taken to curse Israel. It 'looked toward' or was 'opposite' Jeshimon; but it cannot be identified. Num. 23:28.

2. A contraction of BAAL-PEOR: it refers to the fornication and idolatry of the Israelites in connection with the Midianites. Num. 25:18; Num. 31:16; Joshua 22:17.

Perazim, [Pera'zim] Mount.

A place probably connected with BAAL-PERAZIM, where David smote the Philistines. Isa. 28:21: cf. 2 Sam. 5:20.

Peresh. [Pe'resh]

Son of Machir, a descendant of Manasseh. 1 Chr. 7:16.

Perez. [Pe'rez]

One whose 'children' were in David's army. 1 Chr. 27:3. His descendants returned from exile. Neh. 11:4, 6. Perhaps the same as PHARES, q.v.

Perezuzzah, [Pe'rez-uz'zah] or Perezuzza. [Perez-uz'za]

Place signifying 'Breach of Uzzah,' thus named by David, in his anger, because God there smote Uzzah for putting his hand to the ark, which by the law should not have been touched except by the priests. 2 Sam. 6:8; 1 Chr. 13:11.


The principal words in the N.T. thus translated are τέλειόω, τέλειος, 'full, complete, perfect.' The Lord Jesus was always morally perfect, yet scripture speaks of His being 'made perfect,' for instance, as the captain of salvation: antitype of Joshua, leader into the purpose of God. All had been completed in view of that office. Heb. 2:10. Though a Son, yet He learned obedience (not 'to be obedient') by the things which He suffered; and being made 'perfect ' (that is, glorified) after He had finished the work of redemption, He became the author of eternal salvation to all that obey Him (Heb. 5:9): this may be the meaning of the words "the third day I shall be perfected." Luke 13:32.

The disciples were exhorted to be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect, for He sends His blessings on the evil and the good. Matt. 5:48. By one offering Christ hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. His work consecrates them for the priesthood, Heb. 10:14: cf. Col. 1:12. Being 'perfect' is also applied to being a 'full grown ' man. Eph. 4:13. The same word is translated 'of full age' in Heb. 5:14; and simply 'men' (of a ripe age) in 1 Cor. 14:20. The spirits of just men are made perfect. Heb. 12:23. Paul was not yet perfected, Phil. 3:12; yet in Phil. 3:15 he adds "as many as be perfect be thus minded." There are various applications of the term which can be gathered from the context of each occurrence, but in general it may be said to have reference either to the purging of conscience, which is indispensable to the service of God, or to intelligence of a true standard (dead and risen with Christ) as a necessity to testimony for Christ here.


A special perfume was made to burn as incense in the tabernacle. It was compounded of stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense, an equal weight of each: it was most holy. No one was allowed to compound the same for themselves, or they would be cut off from God's people. It was typical of the excellencies of Christ which were as sweet incense to God. Ex. 30:34, 38. Perfumes are supposed to be more needful in hot countries. Cant. 3:6. In Prov. 27:9 it is said, "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart;" but it may also be employed as a mere matter of luxury or of sin when the heart is away from God. Prov. 7:17; Isa. 57:9.

Perga. [Per'ga]

City of Pamphylia in Asia Minor. It was twice visited by Paul. Acts 13:13-14; Acts 14:25. Its ruins are called Eski-Kalesi.

Pergamos. [Per'gamos]

Royal city of Mysia in Asia Minor: it was not visited by Paul as far as is recorded. The church there is one of the seven in Asia to which the addresses in the Revelation were sent. The saints dwelt where Satan's throne was (the city was renowned for its idolatry). Rev. 1:11; Rev. 2:12. The city is still in existence, and is called Bergama, with a population of about 20,000, some 2,000 of whom are nominally christian. See REVELATION.

Perida. [Peri'da]

One of Solomon's servants, whose descendants returned from exile. Neh. 7:57. Called PERUDA in Ezra 2:55.

Perilous times.

This expression occurs in Paul's second letter to Timothy: "In the last days perilous times shall come:" then follows such a picture of moral depravity that it might have been supposed that the apostle was referring to the heathen; but he adds, "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof . . . . evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." 2 Tim. 3:1-13. This plainly shows (and the solemn fact is confirmed by other passages) that so far from the world being converted before the Lord returns, even the professing church itself has been hopelessly corrupted, and the path of the Christian becomes more and more difficult as he seeks to avoid the multiplied dangers and seductions by which he is surrounded.

Perizzites. [Periz'zites]

One of the ancient nations in Palestine. They are several times the only people named along with the Canaanites. Joseph's descendants were told by Joshua to take the land of the Perizzites, where they are classed with the giants. Joshua 17:15. Though they were in a great measure either driven out or slain by the Israelites, yet some dwelt with the children of Israel, and intermarried with them. Judges 3:5-6. In the days of Solomon those that were still in the land were made bondservants. It is not known definitely in what part of Canaan they were originally located, but by Joshua 17:14-18 it was probably near Manasseh's lot on the west. Gen. 13:7; Ex. 3:8, 17; Joshua 3:10; Joshua 9:1; Judges 1:4-5; 1 Kings 9:20; Ezra 9:1; Neh. 9:8, etc.

Persia, Persians.

The Persians were located between Media and the Persian Gulf, but very little is known of their history until the time of Cyrus, when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had been brought to an end. 2 Chr. 36:22-23. Apparently they were a union of tribes, the ancestors of Cyrus being the chiefs of the leading clan. They conquered Elam ('ANSHAM' on the monuments). Media ruled them in early times, but under Cyrus the yoke was shaken off, and, together with the Medes, they formed the second Gentile empire, succeeding that of Babylon. In the great image of Dan. 2 Nebuchadnezzar was represented by the head of gold. The empire that followed was an 'inferior' one, represented by the breast and arms of silver. Dan. 2:31-39. This refers to the Medo-Persian kingdom. It was inferior in that the nobles concurred in the king's laws, and the king could not alter them: the power was depreciated from gold. It is further described as a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between the teeth, an emblem of its power and rapacity. To it was said, "Arise, devour much flesh. " Dan. 7:5.

The history in Dan. 5 relates that it was Darius the Mede that 'took the kingdom.' He was the first head of the empire, and his taking the kingdom does not clash with Cyrus taking the city of Babylon, which is implied in Isa. 45:1-2. See BABYLON.  On the death of Darius, Cyrus succeeded and reigned in Babylon, and from thence the Persian element prevailed in the empire. The Persians are mentioned before the Medes in Esther 1:19. This agrees also with the above passage in Dan. 7 which represents the bear as raising itself on one side.

The Medo-Persian empire is further represented as a ram with two horns, one higher than the other, though it came up last. It pushed westward, northward, and southward, and no beast could stand before it, nor deliver out of its hand. This again exactly corresponds with the above description; the one horn higher than the other representing Persia. The same chapter (Dan. 8:6-7) speaks of a he-goat that rushed upon the ram and smote it and cast it to the ground and stamped upon it; and none could deliver it. This foretold the destruction of the Persian empire by that of Greece in the person of Alexander the Great.

For the dealings of the Persian kings with Israel, see AHASUERUS, and the names of the other kings mentioned in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. The following table gives the succession of the kings, with approximate dates:

Table of Succession of Persian Kings

       Historical Names. Began to reign about B.C.      Scripture Names.
1.  Cyaxares, king of Media          …      …      …633   Ahasuerus: Dan. 9:1.
2.  Astyages, his son, last king of Media  …      …593   Probably Darius the Mede.
3.  Cyrus, king of Persia     …      …      …      …558   Cyrus: 2 Chr. 36:20-23.
           Babylon taken         …      …      …      …538
           Cyrus reigns at Babylon   …      …      …536   Cyrus: Ezra 1:1.
4.  Cambyses, his son       …      …      …      …529   Ahasuerus: Ezra 4:6.
5.  Gomates, a Mede, who personified Smerdis   522   Artaxerxes: Ezra 4:7.
6.  Darius Hystaspes         …      …      …      …521   Darius: Ezra 5:5; Hag. 1:1 etc.
7.  Xerxes, his son  …      …      …      …      …485   Ahasuerus of Esther.
8.  Artabanus (seven mouths)       …      …      …475
9.  Artaxerxes, Longimanus          …      …      …474   Artaxerxes: Ezra 7:1; Neh. 2:1.
10. Xerxes 2. (two months)           …      …      …425
11. Sogdianus   …     …      …     …      …      …425
12. Darius 2, Ochus or Nothus    …      …      …424   Darius: Neh. 12:22.
13. Artaxerxes 2, Mnemon …     …      …      …405
14. Ochus, or Artaxerxes 3 …      …      …      …359
15. Arses        …      …      …      …      …      …338
16. Darius 3. (Codomanus) …      …      …      …336
          Defeated by Alexander       …      …      …331   end of the Persian empire.

The above dates are those usually given to the kings of Persia, except Nos. 8 and 9, the common dates of which Usher and Hengstenberg have proved to be incorrect. See SEVENTY WEEKS. The kingdom of Babylon was smaller in extent than that of Persia. This latter included what is now known as Turkey in Asia, Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, as far as the river Indus, with a good portion of Egypt. According to the language of scripture it had 'devoured much flesh.' Esther 1:1 speaks of a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. See DANIEL and ESTHER.

Persis. [Per'sis]

A Christian woman at Rome, to whom Paul sent a salutation. He called her, "the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord." Rom. 16:12.

Peruda. [Peru'da]



This is often mentioned along with the sword and the famine as punishment from God upon His rebellious people. It is represented as being sent directly by God Himself. When David had numbered the people, the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel, and there died 70,000 men. 2 Sam. 24:15-16.


The son of Jonas and one of the twelve apostles. His name was originally Simon, and apparently at his first interview with the Lord he received from Him the surname CEPHAS. This is an Aramaic word, the same as Peter in Greek, both signifying 'a stone.' John 1:42. (In Acts 10:5 he is called "Simon, whose surname is Peter.") The next notice of Peter is in Luke 5 when he was called to the apostleship. Overpowered at the draught of fishes, he exclaimed, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord;" but at the bidding of Christ he forsook all and followed Him. Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16-17; Luke 5:3-11.

He had a sort of prominence among the apostles: when a few of them were selected for any special occasion, Peter was always one of them, and is named first. The three names 'Peter, James, and John' occur often together, still we do not read of Peter having any authority over the others: cf. Matt. 20:25-28. Peter was in character energetic and impulsive: he wanted to walk on the water to go to Christ, and his strong affection for the Lord led him to oppose when the Lord spoke of His coming sufferings, for which he was rebuked as presenting Satan's mind. His self-confidence led him into a path of temptation, in which he thrice denied his Lord. But the Lord had prayed for him that his faith should not fail, and his repentance was real and instant. He was fully restored by the Lord, who significantly demanded thrice if he loved Him, and then committed to him the care of His sheep and His lambs. John 21.

When Peter confessed to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," the Lord said that He would build His church upon that foundation, and added, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven," with assurance that what he bound or loosed on earth would be ratified in heaven. Matt. 16. On the day of Pentecost we find Peter accordingly using these keys, and opening to three thousand Jews the doors of the kingdom. He afterwards admitted Gentiles in the person of Cornelius and those that were gathered with him.

Peter was the apostle of the circumcision, as Paul was of the Gentiles, and was a long time getting entirely clear of Jewish prejudices. Paul had to withstand him to the face at Antioch, for refusing under Jewish influence to continue eating with Gentiles. On the other hand, Peter, while confessing that in some of Paul's writings there were things hard to be understood, recognises them as scripture.

In the beginning of the Acts Peter's boldness in testimony is conspicuous. He was leaning on One stronger than himself and was carried on by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was miraculously delivered out of prison. The Lord had intimated to him that he would die the death of a martyr (John 21:19), and historians relate that he was crucified, and with his head downward by his own request: they also state that his wife died with him. He was the writer of the two epistles bearing his name.

Peter, First Epistle of.

This was addressed to believing Jews dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. It was apparently sent from Babylon on the Euphrates, where many Jews were located. There is nothing in the epistle itself that fixes its date: but it is generally dated A.D. 60 to 63. The teaching of the epistle is based upon a living hope by the resurrection of Christ, in contrast to the portion of the Jews on earth. Believers are contemplated as strangers and pilgrims, salvation being regarded in its completeness as future, soul salvation being the point of consequence in the present, in contrast to temporal deliverances. The thought of a 'spiritual house' composed of living stones, in 1 Peter 2 connects the epistle with the revelation given to Peter in Matt. 16 — as the reference to the Mount of Transfiguration in the second epistle brings before our minds the vision of the kingdom in Matt. 17, of which Peter was eye-witness.

The epistle may be briefly summed up as a gracious leading of Christians into the sense and reality of their spiritual privileges, but, at the same time, pressing on them the recognition of their being subjects of God's moral government on earth. They were placed here between the time of Christ's sufferings and the glories that were to follow. They called on God as Father; are viewed as redeemed and born again, and by the sincere milk of the word were to grow up to salvation, having tasted that the Lord is gracious.

And further, though suffering under the government of God, they had, in coming to Christ as the Living Stone (disallowed of men but chosen of God and precious), acquired in a spiritual way privileges which, after a carnal sort, the Jews had lost. They were built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood — were a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. They had thus the means for the service of God and for testimony to man. The calling of Christians is herein fully brought out.

But with all these privileges, Christians had to remember that they had nothing in which to boast after the flesh. They were among the Gentiles as strangers and pilgrims, the subjects of God's moral government, suffering for the state of Israel; and hence had to recognise those to whom God had entrusted honour and power here. But the eyes of the Lord were over the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers: the face of the Lord was against evil-doers. The general bearing of government was in favour of those who did good, and if they suffered for righteousness' sake they were happy. The point of importance was that none of them should suffer as evil-doers.

It is remarkable that, in touching on duties connected with social relationships, the apostle addresses himself to husbands and wives and domestic servants (not slaves), and the peculiar delicacy of his reference to the conduct relatively of the two former classes is a marked feature of beauty in the epistle.

The peculiar character of this moment, in which judgement as the issue of God's moral government is imminent, is marked by the reference to the time of Noah, whose testimony in preparing the ark was that of coming judgement; but at the same time of a way of salvation. Baptism has, in the case of Christians, much of the same character and import. Again, in 1 Peter 4 it is said that the time has come for judgement to begin at the house of God; and if it begin first at us, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

The epistle closes with special and touching admonitions to the elders and the younger, the former being especially exhorted to shepherd the flock of God. This is deeply interesting as coming from one who himself received the charge recorded in John 21.

Peter, Second Epistle of.

The object of this epistle appears to be primarily the confirmation of the minds of Jewish believers in the certainty of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have in it the only record by an eye-witness of what took place on the Mount of Transfiguration. This vision made more sure the word of prophecy to which saints did well in taking heed, as to a light shining in a dark place, till the day dawned, and the day-star arose in their hearts.

But before the kingdom could be displayed, it was necessary that the corruption of Christianity, which had already set in, should be complete and the course and climax of this corruption are vividly portrayed in 2 Peter 2. It originated in false teachers privily bringing in destructive heresies, denying the Lord that bought them. The development of this evil is viewed in the light of wickedness (rather than of apostasy, as in the Epistle of Jude), as that which is specially obnoxious to the government of God. While in Jude the gainsaying of Core is shown to be the culminating point of apostasy, here the incitement to abominable wickedness by Balaam is before the mind of the Spirit, indicating how corrupting the influence of those who held the place of 'prophet' would become.

In the concluding part of the epistle (2 Peter 3) we have also the closing phase of unbelief (perhaps Jewish), namely, scepticism, built up on the assumed unchangeability of the creation, as to the coming of the day of the Lord. And this becomes the occasion of the apostle's leading the minds of the saints beyond the thoughts of the kingdom to that which, resting on perfect moral foundations, is eternal and unchangeable. The day of the Lord was a means to an and, and would make way for the day of God, and the fulfilment of His promise of new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness would reside, and in view of which the existing heavens and earth would pass away. Saints, knowing these things before, were not to fall from their stedfastness, but to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Pethahiah. [Pethahi'ah]

1.  Head of the nineteenth priestly course. 1 Chr. 24:16.

2. Levite who had married a strange wife. Ezra 10:23.

3. Levite who called upon the people to bless Jehovah. Neh. 9:5.

4. Son of Meshezabeel, a descendant of Judah: he was at the king of Persia's hand 'in all matters concerning the people.' Neh. 11:24.

Pethor. [Pethor']

Dwelling place of Balaam in Mesopotamia. Num. 22:5; Deut. 23:4. Not identified.

Pethuel. [Pethu'el]

Father of the prophet Joel. Joel 1:1.

Peulthai. [Peultha'i]

Son of Obed-edom, a Korhite. 1 Chr. 26:5.

Phalec. [Pha'lec]

Son of Heber, mentioned in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus. Luke 3:35.

Phallu. [Phal'lu]


Phalti, [Phal'ti] Phaltiel. [Phal'tiel]

Son of Laish, of Gallim: Saul gave him Michal, David's wife. When she was restored to David, Phalti followed weeping behind her, till abruptly sent back by Abner. 1 Sam. 25:44; 2 Sam. 3:15.

Phanuel. [Phan'uel]

Father of Anna the prophetess. Luke 2:36.

Pharaoh. [Pha'raoh]

This was the regal title of the kings of Egypt, so the mere appellation, 'Pharaoh' in no way intimates which king is alluded to. Some kings of Egypt are mentioned in scripture without this title, as Shishak, Necho, Hophra, So, and Tirhakah, the last two of whom were Ethiopians. Those specially referred to in the O.T. are:

1. The Pharaoh who took Abram's wife, Sarai, into his house (about B.C. 1919). Gen. 12:14-20.

2. The Pharaoh who promoted Joseph (about B.C. 1715), and received into Egypt Jacob and his sons and their families. Gen. 40 — Gen. 50; Acts 7:10, 13.

3. The Pharaoh who knew not Joseph (about B.C. 1635), he oppressed the Israelites, and ordered the male children to be killed, under whom Moses was born; and whose daughter adopted him as her son. Ex. 1.

4. The Pharaoh from whom Moses fled when he was grown up (about B.C. 1531). Ex. 2.

5. The Pharaoh of the Exodus (about B.C. 1491). See EGYPT and PLAGUES.

After a period of about 500 years scripture refers to

6. The Pharaoh whose daughter Bithiah was married to Mered, of the tribe of Judah. 1 Chr. 4:18.

7. The Pharaoh whose daughter was married to Solomon (about B.C. 1014). 1 Kings 3:1; 1 Kings 7:8, etc. This Pharaoh captured and burnt the city of Gezer in Canaan, and gave the site to his daughter. 1 Kings 9:16.

8. The Pharaoh who received Hadad when he fled from Solomon, and gave him his sister-in-law to wife (about A.D. 984). 1 Kings 11:14-22.

The title 'Pharaoh' is judged by Professor Sayce to signify 'Great House' [in which all men live], or somewhat similar to the 'Sublime Porte,' or Gate. Each king had a title of honour as well as his personal name: the titles were such as 'The Sun, Lord of Glory'; 'The Sun, Lord of Truth,' etc.

Phares, [Pha'res] Pharez. [Pha'rez]

Son of Judah and Tamar, his daughter-in-law, through whom David descended. Gen. 38:29; Gen. 46:12; Num. 26:20-21; Ruth 4:12, 18; 1 Chr. 2:4-5; 1 Chr. 4:1; 1 Chr. 9:4; Matt. 1:3; Luke 3:33. The Hebrew is the same as PEREZ in 1 Chr. 27:3; Neh. 11:4, 6.


This name was given to a religious school among the Jews; it is supposed to have been derived from the Hebrew word parash, signifying 'to separate'; it was given to them by others, their chosen name being chasidim, 'pious ones.' Josephus speaks of them as early as the reign of Jonathan (B.C. 161-144). They prided themselves on their superior sanctity of life, devotion to God, and their study of the law. The Pharisee in the parable thanked God that he was 'not as other men.' Luke 18:11. Paul, when before Agrippa, spoke of them as 'the most straitest sect.' The Pharisees included all classes of men, rich and poor: they were numerous, and at times had great influence. In the council before which Paul was arraigned they were well represented. Acts 23:6-9. They were the great advocates of tradition, and were punctilious in paying tithes. In many respects the ritualists of modern days resemble them.

The Lord severely rebuked all their pretensions, and laid bare their wickedness as well as their hypocrisy. It may have been that because of the great laxity of the Jews generally, some at first devoutly sought for greater sanctity. Others, not sincere, may have joined themselves to the sect, and it thus degenerated from its original design, until its moral state became such as was exposed and denounced by the Lord. The very name has become a synonym for bigotry and formalism. Probably such men as Gamaliel, Nicodemus, and Saul were men of a different stamp, though all needed the regenerating power of grace to give them what they professed to seek.

Pharosh. [Pha'rosh]

Ancestor of some who returned from exile. Ezra 8:3. The Hebrew is the same as PAROSH.

Pharpar. [Phar'par]

One of the two rivers of Damascus which the proud Naaman declared to be better than the waters of the Jordan. The Barada is associated with Abana, thus leaving only the Awaj for the Pharpar. This has its source in Hermon, then runs for about 40 miles, ending in a lake or swamp. It is in the district of Damascus, but does not approach the city nearer than about eight miles. 2 Kings 5:12.

Pharzites. [Phar'zites]

Descendants of Pharez, son of Judah. Num. 26:20.

Phaseah. [Phase'ah]


Phebe. [Phe'be]

A christian woman commended by the apostle to the saints at Rome as 'a servant of the church.' He desired that they should assist her in anything in which she needed their aid. She had been a succourer of many and of Paul. The word for 'servant' is διάκονος, 'deaconess,' but may not imply any official service. Rom. 16:1.

Phenice. [Phe'nice]

Harbour on the south coast of Crete. Acts 27:12. Identified with the modern Lutro. The haven is said in the A.V. to lie 'toward the S.W. and N.W.'; this is held to mean that it 'looks toward the N.E. and S.E.'

Phenice, [Pheni'ce] Phenicia. [Phenic'ia]

The same as PHOENICE, the coast of Northern Syria, extending south of Tyre, and north of Sidon, being a narrow strip of land in the south, but reaching to the Lebanon range in the N.E. The Phoenicians carried on great commercial enterprises; they established colonies (one of which was at Carthage), and their ships brought in the produce of foreign lands, with which they supplied the East. They became subject successively to the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans. Phoenice later formed a part of the Turkish Empire, it is now part of the state of Lebanon. Acts 11:19; Acts 15:3; Acts 21:2.

The language of the ancient Phoenicians may be said to be only a different dialect from the Hebrew, as shown by ancient inscriptions; and according to Herodotus, the Phoenicians taught the Greeks 'letters.'

Phichol. [Phi'chol]

Chief captain of Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in the times of Abraham and Isaac. Gen. 21:22, 32; Gen. 26:26.

Philadelphia. [Philadel'phia]

City of Lydia, in the west of Asia Minor. It was founded by Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamos. It has been more or less destroyed by earthquakes several times, but is still an important town, with ancient ruins, called Alla Shehr. Rev. 1:11; Rev. 3:7.

The assembly in this city was one of the "seven churches in Asia" to which the addresses in the Revelation were sent. The address to Philadelphia shows that the church there was characterised by little strength, but by faithfulness. If the seven addresses be viewed historically, this one comes after those representing Popery and Protestantism, intimating that when all hope of restoring the church is over, there may still be found a company keeping Christ's word and not denying His name. See REVELATION.

Philemon, [Phile'mon] Epistle to.

Nothing is known of Philemon beyond what is found in this epistle, nor is it clear where he resided. The similarity of the salutations to those found in the Epistle to the Colossians, and the reference to Onesimus in that epistle, leads to the conclusion that Philemon dwelt somewhere in the direction of Colosse (probably at Laodicea, Archippus being mentioned in Col. 4:17, and Philemon 2), and that both epistles were sent from Rome about A.D. 62. Though the assembly in the house of Philemon is mentioned in verse 2, the epistle is a personal one to Philemon and his wife.

Onesimus their slave had run away, and, having been converted under the ministry of Paul, he was sent back by the latter to his master. Paul does not ask for the freedom of Onesimus, but that he may now be received in grace as a brother, indeed, be received as the apostle's 'own bowels.' Paul does not assert apostolic authority, but entreats as the 'prisoner ' and 'the aged.' Led by the Holy Spirit, the epistle is a gracious appeal, and difficulties are met in it in a matter requiring much delicacy. If the slave had robbed Philemon, Paul would repay it; but he reminds Philemon of how much he owed him, even his 'own self besides.'

Some may be surprised that such an epistle should form part of the inspired word. But it is 'profitable': for fifteen hundred years slaves were extensively owned by Christians. Many may never have thought of seeking their conversion, or may have been prejudiced against it. A Boer in South Africa, though a Christian himself, once told a preacher that he was sure he might as well preach to the dogs as to his African servants. God saw the need of such an epistle. The slave had become 'a brother beloved.'

Philetus. [Phile'tus]

One mentioned with Hymenaeus as having taught that the resurrection was already past (probably allegorising it) by whom the faith of some had been overthrown. Their evil doctrine would eat as a canker, or gangrene. 2 Tim. 2:17.

Philip. [Phil'ip]

1.  One of the twelve apostles: he was a native of Bethsaida. It was in Galilee that the Lord met him; and said to him, 'Follow me.' Philip at once announced to Nathanael that he had found the One of whom Moses and the prophets had written. He was the apostle who asked the Lord to show them the Father, when the Lord said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father . . . . Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me." Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; John 1:43-48; John 6:5-7; John 12:21-22; John 14:8-9; Acts 1:13.

2.  One of the seven chosen to look after the poor saints at Jerusalem. He is also called 'Philip the evangelist.' When the church was scattered from Jerusalem by persecution, Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ and wrought miracles, and men and women believed and were baptised. The apostles at Jerusalem hearing that Samaria had received the word of God, sent thither Peter and John. Then Philip was directed by an angel of the Lord to meet the eunuch of Ethiopia in the desert towards Gaza. Philip obeyed and preached unto him Jesus. On the eunuch asking what hindered him from being baptised, he was at once baptised by Philip. On coming out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, and he was found at Azotus, and he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. Much later Philip was residing at Caesarea and received Paul and those with him into his house. He had four daughters, virgins, who prophesied. Philip is a beautiful instance of one being under the immediate guidance of God in his service for Him. Acts 6:5; Acts 8:5-40; Acts 21:8.

3.  Son of Herod the Great: he married Herodias, who deserted him to live with his brother, Herod Antipas. Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19.

4.  Another son of Herod the Great: he was tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis. Luke 3:1. He was the founder of Caesarea Philippi. Matt. 16:13; Mark 8:27.

Philippi. [Philip'pi]

City in the east of Macedonia. It was founded by Philip the father of Alexander the Great, from whom it derived its name. It was the first European city visited by Paul. His preaching was blessed to the conversion of Lydia and others. On his casting out a spirit of divination from the young woman who followed him, a tumult was raised, and Paul and Silas were scourged and cast into prison; but this happily led to the conversion of the jailer and his household. Acts 16:12-40. Paul visited the place for a short time afterwards. Acts 20:6. To the church gathered there the Epistle to the Philippians was written. Phil. 1:1; 1 Thess. 2:2. Extensive ruins are all that are left of the ancient city, now called Kavalla. It was the chief city, not of all Macedonia, but of that part of it.

Philippians, Epistle to the.

This epistle is of profound interest on account of certain marks in it, which connect the truth presented with a state of things much akin to that of the present day. The testimony is not viewed as opposed by the Jewish leaders, as in the beginning of the Acts, nor in conflict with Judaising influences, as at Antioch; but as in contact with the world power (Rome), which was holding Paul, the vessel of it, in bondage.

Further, in Philippians 3 the Jews are viewed as utterly debased, and are spoken of as 'the concision;' and in the same chapter many of those professedly Christian are described as 'enemies of the cross of Christ,' serving their own desires, whose end is destruction.

Again, as regards the preaching of the gospel, though the apostle could rejoice in the fact of its being preached, he could find but little satisfaction in the motives that prompted activity in it. All this exhibits a state of things to which Christendom in our own day presents a striking analogy.

The immediate occasion of the epistle was the effect produced on the apostle by the practical expression which the Philippians had given to their fellowship with him in the gospel; and the object of his writing was that they might complete his joy in perfectly answering to God's mind for them down here. This was in order that, in the complete abnegation of self, as to the state of their minds, by the death of Christ, they might by God's power be manifest as a divine generation (children of God), occupying collectively the place which Christ had occupied in the world — lights in the world, holding forth the word of life. This is the proper place of the church in testimony here.

The second part of the epistle (Phil. 3 and Phil. 4) is intensely individual. In view of religious pretensions, in which men gloried, the apostle presents himself as the example of a man running a race. The course meant the distancing in spirit, at every step, all that which gave importance to him as a man after the flesh — all was in his account dross and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. At the same time every step brought his soul more distinctly under the power of the calling above of God in Christ Jesus.

While encouraging saints to follow him, he exhorts them to walk in unity by the same rule, to mind the same thing. In contrast to many who were earthly-minded, he reminds them that their citizenship was in heaven, and they were expecting Christ as Saviour from heaven completely to conform them to Himself.

The closing chapter shows the apostle's interest in, and consideration of individuals; his anxiety that saints should by prayer and supplication be kept in divine peace as to everything that might naturally occasion anxiety; and the moral superiority in which he himself was maintained through circumstances: the secret being his absolute confidence in the goodness of the God whom he had faith to appropriate as 'my God.'

The epistle was written when Paul was a prisoner at Rome, and probably near the close of his imprisonment, about A.D. 62, when he was expecting to be released and again to visit the Philippian saints.

Philistia. [Philis'tia]


Philistim. [Philis'tim]


Philistines. [Philis'tines]

Descendants, with the Caphtorim, of the Pathrusim, and the Casluhim, two clans descended from Ham. Gen. 10:14; Deut. 2:23; Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7. They were found in the S.W. of Palestine when Abraham went to sojourn at Gerar, Gen. 20; and both Abraham and Isaac had certain contentions with them respecting the wells which they had digged. Gen. 21:25-34; Gen. 26:1-18. They were a warlike people, which was the reason that God did not lead the Israelites near to them when He led them out of Egypt. Ex. 13:17. It is probable that at first they were a sort of colony of Egypt. Their five cities commanded the coast road from Egypt to Syria, and there is proof that Egypt had a strong hold on Palestine before the arrival of Joshua; but it was then declining.

As they occupied a part of the promised land, the Israelites should have dispossessed them; but when Joshua was old 'all the borders of the Philistines' were still unoccupied by the Israelites. They represent the pretension and intrusion of man in the flesh into that which belongs to God. Nazariteship in Samson is God's way of deliverance, but the Nazarite utterly failed, and in the days of Eli the Israelites were conquered by them and the ark taken. When Saul was king he was in fear of them, and they were enabled to enter his dominions, and in a battle Saul and his sons lost their lives. It was by David, God's king, that the Philistines were really conquered, and under Solomon we find they were tributary.

When the kingdom of Israel was divided, the Philistines regained their independence more or less. God used them at times to punish His guilty people, and at other times gave those that served Him power over them. In the prophets destruction is pronounced upon their land and the remnant of the people. The five fortified cities of the Philistines, with their 'daughters' or dependent villages, were Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron. The Philistines were idolaters and worshipped Dagon, Ashtaroth and Baal-zebub. 1 Sam. 5:2; 1 Sam. 31:10; 2 Kings 1:2; Jer. 57; Ezek. 25:15-17; Amos 1:7-8; Zeph. 2:5.  PHILISTIM in Gen. 10:14 is the same Hebrew word that is elsewhere translated Philistines.

Philologus. [Philo'logus]

A Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent salutations. Rom. 16:15.

Philosopher, Philosophy.

The words φιλόσοφος, φιλόσοφία signify 'a lover, or, love of wisdom.' The wisdom that God gives, the wisdom 'from above,' must ever be distinguished from that which emanates from man. This latter is variously designated in scripture as the wisdom of this world, fleshly wisdom, wisdom of man, the wisdom that does not come from above. This in regard to the things of God is only foolishness. It has an entirely different source, and works in the natural mind of man, which should not have any place in Christianity.

The Colossian saints were warned against being spoiled by such philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world; which stands in contrast to what is 'after Christ.' Col. 2:8: cf. 1 Tim. 6:20. Then as to the gospel, the Greeks sought after wisdom, and to preach Christ crucified was foolishness to them. 1 Cor. 1:22-23. It was so at Athens, when Paul preached to the philosophers. They said, "He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods." And why? "Because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection." Paul spoke to them first of the true God, but when he came to the truth of 'the Man' whom God had raised from the dead, some mocked, and others would hear him another time. Acts 17:18-32. See EPICUREANS, GNOSTICISM, STOICS.

The philosophy of modern days has the same source, the mind of man, though it acts differently in respect to Christianity. For instance, with some, Christianity is regarded as emanating from man, and so is compared with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, all of which are said to be branches of the same religion of man; though Christianity is judged to be the best, none are to be condemned; there is truth in them all! Others sit in judgement on the word of God, and profess to be able to cut out many parts as not being written by the professed writers, and having no claim, ought not to form a part of scripture. Others declare that modern thought cannot be cramped up in the dogmas hitherto held by Christians almost universally, which in general really means what scripture teaches.

According to the advocates of another theory, the wisest thing is to be ignorant of everything except what the senses or the higher affections teach. As to whether there is a Being in any higher position than man, or any future existence for man, they know nothing, and there is, they say, no means of knowing: it is all unknown. The key to their ignorance of God (which they call Agnosticism) is that they do not want to obey, or to know Him.

Again, another class resort to spirits, and let them teach them: they imagine the inhabitants of the unseen world must be able to tell them what is true, and these spirits even profess to interpret scripture for them.

These and other delusions prove how busy Satan is in using the mind of man to exalt man in his own eyes, and to lead him away from the scriptures, which alone are able to make wise unto salvation.

Phinehas. [Phin'ehas]

1.  Son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron. He showed his zeal for God in slaying Zimri and Cozbi, for which he was commended by God, who promised His 'covenant of peace' to him and his seed, even 'the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.' He succeeded Eleazar as high priest. Ex. 6:25; Num. 25:7-13; Num. 31:6; Joshua 22:13-32; Judges 20:28; 1 Chr. 6:4, 50; 1 Chr. 9:20; Ezra 7:5; Ezra 8:2; Ps. 106:30.

2. Son of Eli: he degraded the priesthood by his wickedness, and was slain with his brother Hophni by the Philistines when the ark was taken. He was father of Ahitub and Ichabod; his wife, overcome with sorrow, dying when the latter was born. 1 Sam. 1:3; 1 Sam. 2:34; 1 Sam. 4:4-19; 1 Sam. 14:3.

3. Father of Eleazar who returned from exile. Ezra 8:33.

Phlegon. [Phleg'on]

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



Phrygia. [Phryg'ia]

District in the centre of Asia Minor, but its boundaries are not definitely known. It was visited by Paul. Acts 2:10; Acts 16:6; Acts 18:23.

Phurah. [Phu'rah]

Military attendant on Gideon. Judges 7:10-11.

Phut, Put.

Third son of Ham, the name being also applied to his descendants, and to the district they inhabited. Gen. 10:6; 1 Chr. 1:8; Ezek. 27:10; Nahum 3:9. The land of Phut is generally supposed to be the same as Libya, to the N.W. of Egypt. A broken fragment of the annals of Nebuchadnezzar mentions 'the city of Phut-Yavan,' or 'Phut of the Ionians' (that is Greeks). This however may refer to a different people. The same Hebrew word is translated Libya in Ezek. 30:5; Ezek. 38:5; and Libyans in Jer. 46:9.

Phuvah. [Phu'vah]

Son of Issachar and ancestor of the PUNITES. Gen. 46:13. He is called PUA in the A.V. of Num. 26:23., though the Hebrew is the same, and is apparently identical with PUAH in 1 Chr. 7:1.

Phygellus. [Phygel'lus]

One in Asia, who with Hermogenes turned away from Paul, probably from the heavenly doctrines Paul taught. 2 Tim. 1:15.


Short portions of the law written on strips of parchment, which were placed in a case made of calf skin, and worn upon the forehead and the left arm, supposed to be in obedience to Deut. 6:8; Deut. 11:18. The Pharisees and scribes made them large to attract attention; it was their being made 'broad' that was condemned by the Lord. Matt. 23:5. In later times they were worn as a sort of charm. See FRONTLET.


The Lord said, "They that be whole need not a physician," showing that then, as now, the work of such persons was to cure diseases. In the O.T. the word is rapha, 'to heal,' and in Gen. 50:2 Joseph called upon such to embalm the body of his father, a certain amount of chemical knowledge being needed also for that. The Lord promised to the Israelites that if they obeyed Him He would preserve them from the diseases that were common in Egypt. On the other hand, there are many proofs in scripture that diseases were sent as a punishment for the sins of His people. For any remedy for such, their eyes should have been directed to Him who was disciplining them. Of Asa it is said, "he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians," which probably means those associated with magic. 2 Chr. 16:12.

The Christian should surely be cast upon the Lord in his sicknesses, and be exercised as to why they are sent or allowed, though doubtless he may use the means, without trusting to them apart from the blessing of God upon them. Jehovah Himself was the physician of His people Israel, ready at all times to heal and restore them. Jer. 8:22.  Job, in the bitterness of his soul, found his friends to be physicians of no value. They did not understand his case, and only added to his misery. Job 13:4.

In the N.T. ἰατρός signifies 'healer.' The Lord Jesus was the Great Healer not only of the diseases of the body, but of the soul. Luke 4:23. A woman who had spent her all on physicians without relief obtained from Him an immediate cure. Luke 8:43. Luke was called 'the beloved physician,' though there is no information as to his practising this profession. Col. 4:14.

Pibeseth.  [Pi-bes'eth]

Place whose young men were to fall by the sword and others be carried into captivity, mentioned in the judgement of God upon Egypt, Ezek. 30:17. Judged to be the city Bubastis on the west bank of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile. Its ruins at Tell Basta, 30 35' N, 31 30' E, attest its ancient grandeur; pieces of the finest red granite are there, which apparently formed part of a temple.


In Isa. 2:16 the expression 'pleasant pictures' is supposed to mean 'pictures of desire,' as it reads in the margin, referring to anything on which their hearts were set. In ancient Egypt the nearest approach to what is now called a picture, is the coloured representations made on the walls of the temples and tombs. The walls in Babylon were ornamented with pictures on enamelled bricks: these seem to be alluded to in Ezek. 23:14: cf. Num. 33:52. In Prov. 25:11 "apples of gold in pictures of silver" probably describe some piece of jewellery judging from what immediately follows; others prefer to translate it 'graven imagery.'

Pieces of Gold or of Silver.



The word εὐσέβεια, εὐσέβέω signifies 'to exercise piety, reverence': a reverential sense of having to say to God, which should be shown by the creature to the Creator, and which should especially characterise the saints towards God their Father and to the Lord Jesus. The word is translated 'piety' in the A.V. only in 1 Tim. 5:4. It is rendered 'holiness' in Acts 3:12, and 'worship' in Acts 17:23. In all other places it is 'godliness.' 'Piety' is a better translation, and distinguishes it from θεοσέβεια, which signifies 'worship, or fear of God,' and is translated 'godliness' in 1 Tim. 2:10.


The well-known bird, often associated with the turtle dove, as being used by the poor in various sacrifices. A pair of these birds were offered when the Lord was presented in the temple. Luke 2:24. Pigeons were so numerous in Palestine that the poor were enabled easily to obtain a pair for any needed sacrifice. Gen. 15:9; Lev. 1:14; Lev. 5:7, 11; Lev. 12:6, 8; Lev. 14:22, 30; Lev. 15:14, 29; Num. 6:10.

Pihahiroth.  [Pi-hahi'roth]

Place on the west of the Red Sea where the children of Israel encamped. Ex. 14:2, 9; Num. 33:7-8. Not identified.

Pilate. [Pi'late]


Pildash. [Pil'dash]

Son of Nahor, Abraham's brother. Gen. 22:22.

Pileha. [Pi'leha]

One who sealed the covenant. Neh. 10:24.

Pill, to.

'To peel.' Gen. 30:37-38.


There are several Hebrew words translated 'pillar': the principal are

1. matstsebah, from 'to set, put, place;' and hence anything that is set up. It is used for the stone that Jacob had had for a pillow, which he set up, and on which he poured oil and made his vow. Also for the heap of stones he raised when Laban and he parted. Gen. 28:18, 22; Gen. 31:13, 45-52; Gen. 35:14, 20; Ex. 24:4; Isa. 19:19.  From Deut. 12:3 it would appear that pillars of some sort were also connected with idolatry. These may resemble the cairns often found in what were idolatrous lands. Absalom raised up for himself a pillar to keep his name in remembrance because he had no son. 2 Sam. 18:18.

2.  The word ammud occurs many times for the pillars of the tabernacle and the temple. It is also used for the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire; also symbolically for the pillars of the heavens and the pillars of the earth. Ex. 13:21; Ex. 27:10-17; 1 Kings 7:2-42; Job 9:6; Job 26:11; Ps. 75:3; Ezek. 40:49; Ezek. 42:6.

In the N.T. the word is στύλος, 'a pillar or column.' James, Cephas and John seemed to be 'pillars' in the church at Jerusalem — those to whom matters were referred, as they were afterwards to Paul. Gal. 2:9. The church of God is "the pillar and ground of the truth" — the witness that maintains the truth on earth. 1 Tim. 3:15. The word occurs also in Rev. 3:12; Rev. 10:1.

Piltai. [Pil'tai]

Priest of the house of Moadiah. Neh. 12:17.

Pine Tree.

1. tidhar. A tree that grew on Mount Lebanon, but of what sort is uncertain. Isa. 41:19; Isa. 60:13.

2. ets shemen, 'trees of oil,' Neh. 8:15. See OIL TREE.


The word πτερύγιον has the article, and refers to some elevated part of the temple that is now unknown. Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9.

Pinon. [Pi'non]

Descendant of Esau and a duke of Edom. Gen. 36:41; 1 Chr. 1:52.


The simplest of musical instruments, often made of a reed, with holes to vary the notes. They were sometimes double, as seen on the Egyptian monuments, and in present use in Egypt: a number of them fastened together was called an 'organ.' 1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; Isa. 30:29; Jer. 48:36; Ezek. 28:13; 1 Cor. 14:7.

Piram. [Pi'ram]

Amorite king of Jarmuth, conquered by Joshua. Joshua 10:3.

Pirathon. [Pira'thon]

Place in Ephraim where Abdon was buried 'in the mount of the Amalekites.' Judges 12:15. Identified by some with Feron, 32 17' N, 35 1' E.

Pirathonite. [Pira'thonite]

An inhabitant of Pirathon. Judges 12:13, 15; 2 Sam. 23:30; 1 Chr. 11:31; 1 Chr. 27:14.

Pisgah. [Pis'gah]

Mountain on the east of the Jordan. Balaam offered sacrifices there, and it was the spot from which Moses viewed the promised land, and near to which he died. It was associated with Nebo (q.v.), and was said to be 'over against Jericho.' Num. 21:20; Num. 23:14; Deut. 3:27; Deut. 4:49; Deut. 34:1. The peak called Ras Siaghah, 31 46' N, 35 43' E, is probably the site.

Pisidia. [Pisid'ia]

District of Asia Minor lying between Pamphylia and Phrygia, through which Paul passed. Acts 13:14; Acts 14:24. Travellers speak of it as wild and rugged.

Pison. [Pi'son]

One of the four 'heads' or main streams into which the river divided that flowed through Eden. Gen. 2:11. Not identified.

Pispah. [Pis'pah]

Son of Jether, of the tribe of Asher. 1 Chr. 7:38.


There are several Hebrew words translated 'pit.' The principal are:

1. sheol, 'the grave, hades, hell.' Num. 16:30, 33; Job 17:16.

2. shachath, 'a pit, a pitfall to entrap animals,' place of doom and corruption. Job 33:18, 24, 28, 30; Ps. 9:15; Ps. 30:9; Ps. 35:7; Ezek. 28:8; etc.

3. bor, beer, 'pit or well dug for water,' but which could be used for a dungeon. Gen. 37:20-29; Ps. 28:1; Ps. 40:2; Ps. 88:4, 6; Ezek. 26:20; Zech. 9:11; etc.  See BOTTOMLESS PIT.


A kind of bitumen. Noah covered the ark with pitch inside and outside. Gen. 6:14. The ark in which the infant Moses was put, was likewise thus rendered waterproof. Ex. 2:3. Among God's judgements on the earth the streams are turned into pitch, and the land into burning pitch. Isa. 34:9. Different words are employed in the Hebrew of Gen. 6:14 from the other passages. Noah was to pitch (kaphar, 'to cover,' often translated 'atonement') the ark with pitch (kopher, translated 'ransom') as if to teach that Noah and those with him could be saved only by being covered with a ransom, and which would introduce them to a new earth.

Pithom. [Pi'thom]

One of the store-cities built by the Israelites for the Pharaoh 'who knew not Joseph.' Ex. 1:11. It has been identified with Tell Maskhuta, on the west of the Suez Canal, 30 35' N, 32 11'E. In these ruins bricks have been found in some of which no straw can be discovered.

Pithon. [Pi'thon]

Son of Micah, a descendant of Saul. 1 Chr. 8:35; 1 Chr. 9:41.

Plagues of Egypt.

These were wrought by God to show to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians His great power, and that all the elements of creation were at His disposal. Ex. 7 — Ex. 12.

1.  THE PLAGUE OF BLOOD. The water of the Nile and of the canals and pools was turned into blood. The water stank, and the fish died. This was a real punishment; for it was the water they all drank, and which was highly esteemed. The fish too was abundant: the Israelites in the wilderness could not forget the fish of which they had eaten freely, or 'for nothing.' The magicians also were able to turn water into blood: where then was the great power of the God of Israel? Pharaoh hardened his heart.

2.  FROGS.  The land swarmed with them: they were in their bedchambers, their ovens, and their bread pans. The magicians also were able to bring up frogs on the land. The presence of the frogs was so insufferable that Pharaoh called for Moses, and begged him to entreat Jehovah for their removal, and he would let the people go. The frogs died and were gathered in heaps; but with the relief, Pharaoh hardened his heart, and would not let the people go.

3.  LICE,  ken, kinnam. The dust of the land became lice in man and in beast. It has been supposed that the word signifies gnats, because the LXX has σκνίφες, which some translate 'mosquito-gnats.' But these may be included in the next plague. It is more probable that the louse or the tick is alluded to. It is described as being 'in man and in beast.' The magicians could not imitate this: it was a communication of life. They acknowledged, "This is the finger of God." Yet Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not let Israel go.

4.  FLIES.  In the A.V. the words 'of flies' are added, and the 'swarms' may refer to swarms of insects of different sorts. They were to come into the houses and also to corrupt the land. Gesenius gives 'gad-fly' for arob, but in Ps. 78:45; Ps. 105:31, the same word is translated 'divers sorts of flies.' There is an insect that is exceedingly destructive to property, ruining the wood of a house in a short time. No doubt the common fly of Egypt is included: they are very troublesome; soon defiling food, and persistently attacking the body. One thing that characterises this plague is that these pests were not sent into the land of Goshen, where the Israelites dwelt. The plague was felt so much that Pharaoh hastened to call Moses, and proposed that they should have their sacrifice, but have it in Egypt. To this Moses could not accede, for the Israelites would have to sacrifice the animals which the Egyptians worshipped. Pharaoh at length consented to their going; but they were not to go very far away. However no sooner was the plague removed than Pharaoh again refused to let Israel go.

5.  MURRAIN OF BEASTS.  It fell upon the cattle, horses, asses, camels, and sheep, that were in the fields, and all that were attacked died. Of the cattle of the children of Israel none were stricken. Pharaoh sent to certify this, and one would have thought that, finding they were all safe, it would have convinced him that it was the Almighty he was fighting against. But he would not let Israel go.

6.  BOILS upon man and beast. The magicians were now smitten, so that they could not stand before Pharaoh as at other times. But Pharaoh hardened his heart, and refused to let the people go.

7.  HAIL, with thunder and lightning. The fire ran along upon the ground. There had not been a storm of such violence since Egypt had been a nation. This also had not fallen upon Goshen. The king said, "I have sinned this time: Jehovah is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Entreat Jehovah (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer." The hail and thunder ceased; but Pharaoh would not let Israel go.

8.  LOCUSTS.  Moses threatened these, and Pharaoh's servants now begged him to let the people go. He called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Go, serve the Lord your God: but who are they that shall go?" All must go, and the flocks and herds. Pharaoh again refused, but said the men might go. The devastation of the locusts was such that Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron 'in haste,' confessed that he had sinned against Jehovah, and begged that 'this death' might be removed. A west wind carried away the locusts but Pharaoh's heart was hardened; and he again refused.

9.  DARKNESS.  "They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings." It was a darkness that might be felt, and Pharaoh called for Moses, and bade the Israelites to depart with their wives and their little ones; but they must leave their flocks and herds behind. Moses could not agree: all must go: not a hoof must be left behind, it was God's redemption. Pharaoh was angry, saying, "Take heed to thyself, see my face no more: for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die." Moses replied, "Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more." This is in Ex. 10:29; but in Ex. 11:4-8 it is clear that Moses told Pharaoh of the death of the firstborn, which might have been on the same occasion by a message direct from God. We read that Moses, though the meekest of men, went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

10.  DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN. "From the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle." The Israelites had prepared the paschal lamb, and had sprinkled its blood upon the lintel and door-posts, and the destroyer passed them by. This was typical of the precious blood of Christ, which is the testimony that judgement on man has been executed, and is the basis of all God's subsequent dealings in grace. Moses and Aaron were called for, and told to depart with flocks and herds. The Egyptians were urgent upon them to make haste, exclaiming, "We be all dead men." Thus did God bring His sore judgements upon Egypt, to let Pharaoh know that He was the mighty God, and to redeem His chosen people with a high hand.


The Hebrew word is mazzaloth, and is supposed to refer to the twelve signs or constellations of the Zodiac, as intimated in the margin. These, with the sun, moon, and 'all the host of heaven,' had been worshipped by the Israelites. 2 Kings 23:5. The word occurs nowhere else.

Plaster, Plaister.

This was used to cover the walls of houses, Lev. 14:42-48; Dan. 5:5; and was also spread on large stones, on which the law could be inscribed. Deut. 27:2-4; Joshua 8:32. It may have been compounded of different substances for divers purposes. In Isaiah 38:21 plaister is used in a medical sense as spread on a boil.


'Portion or plot.' 2 Kings 9:26.


The taking of articles as security for loans, etc. was very early practised, and restrictions were given in the law that no unfair advantage should be taken thereby. Ex. 22:26; Deut. 24:10-17; Job 22:6; Job 24:3, 9; Amos 2:8. In 2 Kings 18:23 and Isa. 36:8 the sense is 'to make an engagement or treaty.'

Pleiades, [Plei'ades]

kimah. The Hebrew signifies lit. 'a heap or collection.' Being named with Arcturus and Orion, it doubtless refers to the group of stars that still bear the name Pleiades. Job 9:9; Job 38:31. The same Hebrew word is translated SEVEN STARS in Amos 5:8. There are many stars in the group, but seven are visible to the naked eye. Job 38:31 is better translated, "Canst thou fasten the bands of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords of Orion?"

Plough, Plow, to.

Besides the literal signification of breaking up the ground for tillage, this term is employed figuratively; as 'plotting' wickedness. Job 4:8; Hosea 10:13. Israel, speaking of the trials they had passed through, say, "The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows." Ps. 129:3. It is doubtless typical of the treatment which the blessed Lord received when on earth, especially His being scourged.

Plumbline, Plummet.

The simple contrivance of a lump of lead, a stone, or other weight attached to a string, for testing whether a building or other erection is perpendicular. It is used symbolically for the exactness with which judgement was brought upon Israel. Israel had been built up by God as a wall with a plumbline, and with a plumbline it should be destroyed. Amos 7:7-8: cf. 2 Kings 21:13; Isa. 28:17.  In Zech. 4:10, although it was a day of small things when the temple was rebuilt, the plummet was in the hands of Zerubbabel, and the Lord of hosts was supporting him.

Pochereth. [Pocher'eth]

Servant of Solomon, described as 'of Zebaim': ancestor of some who returned from exile. Ezra 2:57; Neh. 7:59. Some translate 'Pochereth-hazzebaim.'


The Books of Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and various parts of the Prophets are poetical. It is not easy to define Hebrew poetry. It appears clear that the lines did not end with corresponding sounds, and it cannot be discovered in what the rhythm consists, the ancient pronunciation of the language being lost. Ewald concluded that in the Hebrew poetry there was a thought rhythm, and not one of sound.

One of their most marked styles is an alphabetical poem. These consist of twenty-two lines or stanzas, or systems of lines, and the lines or stanzas begin with letters which follow in alphabetical order: the first A, the second B, and so on. There is doubtless a spiritual significance in these arrangements: such as intense human exercises, emotions, etc., under the working of the Spirit. And they may have assisted the memory, at least in the Psalms when they were sung. Such may be found in Ps. 25; Ps. 34; Ps. 37; Ps. 111; Ps. 112; Ps. 119; Ps. 145; Prov. 31:10-31; Lam. 1; Lam. 2; Lam. 3; Lam. 4.

In some stanzas, called 'synthetical,' one half corresponds to the other, either in expressing the same sentiment or explaining it: thus -
"But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses;
Therefore shall ye flee:
And, We will ride upon the swift;
Therefore shall they that pursue you be swift."    Isa. 30:16,

Other stanzas are called 'antithetical,' in which the second half is the reverse of the first: as
"The memory of the just is blessed:
But the name of the wicked shall rot."    Prov. 10:7

From these simple examples the form of the stanzas varies in many ways. The first example we meet with is what Lamech said to his wives. It will be seen that it is in parallelism, or correspondence.
"Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
 Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech:
For I have slain a man to my wounding,
And a young man to my hurt.
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold."    Gen. 4:23-24.

Towards the end of the O.T., Habakkuk (Hab. 3:18-19), when all earthly blessings were failing, sang
"Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And he will make my feet like hinds' feet,
And he will make me to walk upon mine high places."


The poison of serpents and of asps is used in scripture symbolically for the judgement of God and for the malignity inherent in the wicked. Deut. 32:24, 33; Job 6:4; Job 20:16; Ps. 58:4; Ps. 140:3; Rom. 3:13. The tongue is "an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." James 3:8.  Job 6:4 apparently alludes to arrows being poisoned.


The skull or head, but used to express a person. Num. 1:2-22; Num. 3:47; 1 Chr. 23:3, 24.

Poll, to.

To cut the hair of the head. 2 Sam. 14:26; Ezek. 44:20; Micah 1:16.



Pomegranates, rimmon.

This tree and its fruit are often referred to, though it is rather a shrub. It is named among the vines and fig trees as of the products of Palestine. The fruit is as large as an apple. It was represented alternately with bells, at the bottom of the high priest's robe, as a type of fruitfulness, and was copied as an ornament on the columns of Solomon's temple. The temples, or cheeks, of the bride in the Canticles are compared to 'a piece of a pomegranate.' Cant. 4:3; Cant. 6:7. Spiced wine was made of its juice. Cant. 8:2; Ex. 39:24-26; Num. 20:5; Deut. 8:8; 1 Kings 7:18, 42; Jer. 52:22-23; Joel 1:12; Hag. 2:19.  It is the Punica granatum, which both wild and cultivated still grows in Palestine, and is highly valued.


Anything round. It formed some part of the chapiters of the two pillars in the temple built by Solomon. 2 Chr. 4:12-13.  The same word is translated 'bowls' in 1 Kings 7:41-42.


Pools, left by the retiring of the river Nile, or formed by artificial means. Ex. 7:19; Ex. 8:5; Isa. 19:10.

Pontius Pilate. [Pon'tius Pi'late]

Procurator of Palestine A.D. 26-35. Unlike former governors he fixed the headquarters of the army at Jerusalem instead of Caesarea. They brought their standards with them, which gave great offence. The Jews went to him in crowds, and on his finding that they would rather suffer death than give way, he ordered the standards to be removed. He also hung up in his palace at Jerusalem some gilt shields on which were the names of heathen gods. These were removed by an order from Tiberius. He proceeded to use the 'Corban or Sacred Fund,' raised by the redemption of vows, to form an aqueduct for the public benefit; but this caused an insurrection, which he crushed in blood. Scripture also records that he had mingled the blood of certain Galileans with their sacrifices. Luke 13:1.

His wickedness culminated in the trial and condemnation of the Lord. After declaring more than once that he found no fault in Him, and receiving the warning from his wife, and having the conversation with the Lord, which led to his seeking to release Him — yet to deliver Him up to be crucified at the mere clamour of the Lord's enemies, shows his extreme meanness of character and his unrighteousness. His washing his hands before the multitude, and saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it," is evidence that he had a bad conscience, he senselessly condemned himself by his own lips. Like Judas, it had been well for him if he had never been born, though alas, the Jewish rulers, who delivered up the Lord after having seen His miracles and heard His words, had the greater sin. Matt. 27:2, Acts 4:27; 1 Tim. 6:13.

In consequence of complaints by the Samaritans, Pilate was summoned to Rome to answer the charges before the emperor. He was banished, and ended his life by his own hand. Pilate is a signal instance of the way Satan leads his dupes into sin, and then goads them to their own destruction.

There is extant a report of Pilate to the Emperor as to the miracles and death of Christ, laying all blame upon the Jews, also an account of the 'ACTS OF PILATE,' but they are now accounted to be spurious.