Bible Dictionary S 1

Salt, City of.

One of the six cities in the wilderness that fell to the lot of Judah. Joshua 15:62. Identified by some with Tell el Milh, 'salt hill,' 31 13' N, 35 1' E.

Salt Sea.

The lake on the south of Palestine, now commonly called the Dead Sea, because it was for long judged that nothing having life could exist in it; but some inferior organisms (as the polygaster) have been found in it at its northern end. It is called, 'the Salt Sea' in Num. 34:3, 12; Deut. 3:17; Joshua 3:16; 'the Sea of the plain' ('Sea of the Arabah,' R.V.), in Deut. 4:49; 2 Kings 14:25; 'the East Sea' in Ezek. 47:18; Joel 2:20; and simply, 'the Sea' in Ezek. 47:8.  The term, 'Salt Sea' is very appropriate; for it contains much more salt than is found in ordinary sea water, which makes it extremely nauseous. It is also very heavy, so that a person cannot sink in it; and after bathing it leaves a crust of salt on the flesh.

The river Jordan and some streams run into the Salt Sea, but there is no outlet. The rocks that surround it make the heat there very great, and evaporation must be rapid. Its size is about 48 miles long, and 10 miles across at its widest part. Its surface is at times (for it varies according to the rain) about 1,292 feet below the level of the sea, making it, as far as is known, the lowest lake in existence. Its deepest part is about 1,300 feet below the surface. Altogether it is like no other known lake, and is characteristic of death and dreary desolation.

On the restoration of Israel in a future day a river will issue out of the house, the future temple, which river will go down into the desert and run into this sea, and the waters will be healed. En-gedi (Ain Jidy, about half way along the coast of the Dead Sea, on the west) will be one of the stations of the fishermen. Ezek. 47:1-10. A beautiful figure of God's future bringing to life the dead and dry bones of Israel and Judah, and making them the means of life to others.

What connection there is, if any, between the present state of the Salt Sea and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, is not known. In Genesis 14 the battle of the four kings against the five was in "the vale of Siddim, which is the Salt Sea." Gen. 14:3. The four kings had come from a distance, but the five kings, of whom the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were two, were near home; farther than this the connection cannot be traced. This sea is now called Bahr Lut, the 'Sea of Lot.'

Salt, Valley of.

Place where battles were fought by David and Amaziah against their enemies. 2 Sam. 8:13; 2 Kings 14:7; 1 Chr. 18:12; 2 Chr. 25:11; Ps. 60 title. It is supposed to be in the northern part of the Arabah valley, south of the Dead Sea.

Salu. [Sa'lu]

Father of Zimri and a prince of Simeon. Num. 25:14.


The brotherly greetings expressed at the close of nearly all the epistles. They were sent from the saints located where the epistles were written to the saints addressed, together with, at times, the injunction to greet one another with 'a holy kiss,' that being the ordinary form of salutation in the East among the men as well as among the women. Rom. 16:5-23; 1 Thess. 5:26; Titus 3:15, etc.

When evil doctrine had spread in the professing church, the question of salutation became serious. The 'lady' to whom the apostle John wrote was strictly enjoined not to receive into her house any one who brought not good doctrine, nor was she even to salute such a one; for to do so, would be to become morally a partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 10, 11; cf. Rom. 16:17.

Salutations in the East being often very lengthy and of mere ceremony, may well account for those sent in haste being told to salute no one by the way. 2 Kings 4:29; Luke 10:4.


This may be seen in various connections in scripture.

1. It has reference primarily to the judgement of God to which man is obnoxious by reason of sin. This is illustrated by the destruction of the firstborn (the strength) of Egypt when the destroying angel passed through the land. The Israelites were saved only through being sheltered by the blood of the passover lamb. Salvation is based on God's righteousness having been maintained and declared in the death of Christ, and hence is for the believer in Christ. Luke 1:77.

2.  Intimately connected with the above is the question of salvation from enemies carnal or spiritual. With Israel it was the former, as the Egyptians and the Canaanites. With Christians it is the latter, as sin, death, the world and the power of Satan. Salvation in this sense is by the power of God. Luke 1:71.

3.  It has reference further to the actual physical condition of Christians which is met by the redemption of the body. In this sense salvation is hoped for. During the interval the Christian has to work out into result his own salvation (it was in the case of the Philippians their 'own salvation' in contrast to the care exercised over them by Paul when present with them). Phil. 2:12-13: cf. Heb. 7:25.

Samaria. [Sama'ria]

This city was built by Omri, king of Israel, and came into prominence by becoming the capital of the kingdom of the ten tribes. It was situated on the side of a hill, and was adorned and fortified by the kings of Israel. Ben-hadad, king of Syria, besieged Samaria in the reign of Ahab, but by the intervention of God it was not taken. 1 Kings 20:1-34. In the days of Jehoram it was again besieged by Ben-hadad, and the famine became so great that they were on the point of capitulating when some lepers brought word that the enemy had fled, and abundance of provision was to be found in the camp. 2 Kings 6:24-33; 2 Kings 7:1-20.

It was besieged again by Shalmaneser, about B.C. 723, but held out for three years, being eventually taken by Sargon. The people were now carried into captivity. 2 Kings 18:9-12. Among the Assyrian inscriptions there is one in which Sargon says, "The city of Samaria I besieged, I captured; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away." It was partly re-peopled by the colonists imported by Esar-haddon. Samaria was again taken by John Hyrcanus, who did his best to destroy it.

The city was rebuilt by Herod the Great, and named Sebaste (the Greek form of Augusta) in honour of his patron the emperor Augustus; but on the death of Herod it gradually declined. It is now only a miserable village, called Sebustieh, 32 17 N, 35 12' E, but with some grand columns standing and relics of its former greatness lying about.

THE DISTRICT OF SAMARIA is often alluded to in the N.T.  It occupied about the same territory as that of Ephraim and Manasseh's portion in the west. It had the district of Galilee on the north, and Judaea on the south. Luke 17:11; John 4:4; Acts 1:8; Acts 8:1-14; Acts 9:31; Acts 15:3.

Samaritan, The Good.


Samaritan Pentateuch.

An ancient recension of the five books of Moses. Though it had been mentioned by some of the early fathers, it was not till about A.D. 1616 that a MS copy of it was discovered. At first it was considered by some as far superior to the Hebrew Pentateuch, but when other copies came to light (there are now about twenty) and they were examined more carefully, the thought of its superiority was not maintained; it is now regarded only as a copy of the Hebrew, though it agrees with the LXX in many places where that differs from the present Hebrew text. The Pentateuch which the Samaritans called 'The Law' is all they have of the O.T.  The characters in which it is written, by being compared with ancient coins, etc., are judged to be more ancient than the square Hebrew letters now in common use. The origin of it may have been a copy of the Pentateuch secured by the Israelites on the division of the kingdom. The Paris and the London Polyglots give the text in full.


The only place in the O.T. where these are mentioned gives their origin, and the mixed character of their worship. The king of Assyria had peopled the cities by colonists from the East, they were then in Jehovah's land, but they did not fear Him, therefore He sent lions among them. On the king of Assyria being informed of this, a priest who had been carried away from Samaria was sent thither, to teach them how they should fear the God of that land. The result was that they feared Jehovah, and served their own gods!  2 Kings 17:24-41.

When Ezra returned from exile to build the temple, some of these people came and said, "Let us build with you: for we seek your God as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him, since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither." Ezra refused to let them have anything to do with building the temple, and this aroused their hatred and opposition. Ezra 4:1-4. We further read that Nehemiah ejected one of the priests who had defiled the priesthood by marrying the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite. Neh. 13:28. Josephus speaks of him as Manasseh, and relates that Sanballat built a temple for him at Gerizim, which became a refuge for apostate Jews. This naturally increased the hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans.

This temple was destroyed by John Hyrcanus, son of Simon Maccabaeus, about B.C. 109. The animosity, however, was not removed. The woman of Samaria in John 4 alluded to the differences between Jews and Samaritans, and in Luke 9:52-53 it is said of a village of the Samaritans that the inhabitants would not receive the Lord because His face was turned towards Jerusalem. A Jew regarded it as the extreme of opprobrium, to be called a Samaritan, and those of Judaea added this to the other insults they heaped on the blessed Lord. John 8:48.

The Samaritans claimed to be true Israelites. The woman of Samaria said to the Lord, "Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well?" As to their religion, she spoke of 'this mountain' as the proper place to worship; but the Lord said, "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews." The hour had however arrived when they that worship God must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Many of the Samaritans believed and received the Holy Spirit. John 4:9-42; Acts 8:5-17.

It is remarkable that while the Jews have lost all means of keeping their feasts at Jerusalem, a few, still calling themselves Samaritans, at Nablus, in a humble synagogue at the foot of the mountain, continue their worship, and annually ascend the mountain and keep the feast of the Passover with a roasted lamb: a marked instance of imitation, now so common in Christendom. They have an ancient MS called the SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH (q.v.), for which they claim great antiquity.

Samgarnebo.  [Sam'gar-ne'bo]

One of the princes of Babylon present at the taking of Jerusalem, unless, as some suppose, the words are really the title of Nergal-sharezer. Jer. 39:3.

Samlah. [Sam'lah]

One of the ancient kings of Edom. Gen. 36:36-37; 1 Chr. 1. 47, 48.

Samos. [Sa'mos]

An island in the AEgean Sea, a few miles south-west of Ephesus, only incidently mentioned in the return of Paul's third missionary journey. Acts 20:15. It is still called Samos.

Samothracia. [Samothra'cia]

A small island in the north-east of the AEgean Sea off which Paul's ship anchored for a night on his first visit to Europe. Acts 16:11. It is now called Samothraki.

Samson. [Sam'son]

Son of Manoah, of the tribe of Dan. His birth had been pre-announced by an angel to his mother, who had long been childless. The angel told his parents that he was to be a Nazarite (that is, a separated one) from his birth. When Israel was in bondage to the Philistines, the internal enemies of God's people, a Nazarite had to be raised up by God to work out their deliverance. The statement that "he judged Israel twenty years," doubtless signifies the south-west parts of the land near the country of the Philistines. It was said of Samson before his birth: "He shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."

His marriage with a woman of Timnath was so far "of the Lord" that it became in the ways of God an occasion against the Philistines to whom he had allied himself. His going down to her was the occasion of his killing a lion; this led to Samson's riddle, and the riddle to his slaying thirty of the Philistines. Then, his wife being given to another man, Samson burned up their corn, their vineyards, and their olives, and smote the Philistines with 'a great slaughter.'

When the Philistines gathered themselves together to arrest Samson, the men of Judah would not defend him, but, owning their bondage, said, "Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us?" and three thousand of Judah bound Samson and delivered him to the Philistines. Thus Samson, through God's inscrutable ways, was separated from his own people: they delivered him up, as afterwards the people of Judah delivered up the Lord Jesus, the true Nazarite, who came to save them.

When in the hands of his enemies, he was mightily moved by the Spirit, and with the jaw-bone of an ass slew a thousand of the Philistines. After this great victory he fainted for water, and cried unto the Lord, who clave a hollow place in the rock [also called lehi, 'a jaw-bone'] and gave him drink.

His humiliating end was brought about through his lust after strange women. It was extreme folly to make known the secret of his strength to Delilah when he knew she would betray him. It is a striking instance of the foolish things a Nazarite (and all Christians are morally Nazarites) may do if he gets out of communion with the Lord. The strong man was blinded and made to grind in a dungeon for his enemies.

But God had not forsaken him, and his hair began to grow again. The Philistines offered a great sacrifice to their god Dagon, and they praised their god, and said it was he that had delivered Samson into their hands. Then they sent for him to make sport before them; but he cried unto the Lord, and asked Him to strengthen him this once, that he might be avenged on the Philistines for the loss of his two eyes. God strengthened him, and he pulled down the house, on the roof of which there were about three thousand souls, and thus he slew at his death more than he had slain in his life.

Notwithstanding the failures of Samson, God accomplished the purpose for which He had raised him up in subduing the Philistines; but it was only accomplished in his own death. Among the cloud of witnesses who 'obtained a good report through faith,' Samson is named, but his acts are not there recorded. Heb. 11:32.  His history is given in Judges 13 — Judges 16.


A prophet, a Nazarite from his birth, raised up by God to be His servant because Israel had failed in its priests, and every man was doing that which was right in his own eyes. He was one whom God answered when he called upon Him, Ps. 99:6, and is classed with Moses as intercessor with God. Jer. 15:1. Samuel was also a faithful judge in Israel, and acted as priest when Eli and his sons were dead. His history is given in the books that bear his name. He is called SHEMUEL in 1 Chr. 6:33.

Samuel, First Book of.

The personal history of Samuel is contained in this book: it opens with his birth. He was the son of Hannah and Elkanah, a descendant of Korah, of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim. He was given by God in answer to the prayer of his mother, and was consecrated by her as a Nazarite from his birth, and 'lent to the Lord' as long as he lived.

1 Sam. 2.  The beautiful prayer, or song, of Hannah recognises the sovereign grace of God that brings down pride, and exalts the poor and weak. Israel had been brought low in the time of the Judges, and needed to learn that all strength and exaltation must come from God. This prophetic song looks forward to the time when God shall judge the ends of the earth by His King and His Anointed. 1 Sam. 2:10. The wickedness of the sons of Eli is then brought out, and Eli is solemnly warned by 'a man of God.' Samuel had been growing and was in favour both with Jehovah and with men.

1 Sam. 3.  The word of Jehovah was precious: there was no open vision: the priest had failed. God called Samuel, but he supposed it was Eli. On this being repeated three times, Eli instructed him, if he was called again, to say, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." He was called again, and said, "Speak; for thy servant heareth" (omitting as yet the word 'Lord'). God now began to make revelations to Samuel. Because Eli did not restrain his sons, judgement should fall upon his house. When told of this, Eli answered, "It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good." Samuel became God's servant for the crisis: the Lord was with him, and none of his words fell to the ground. From Dan to Beersheba Samuel was recognised as the prophet of Jehovah.

1 Sam. 4.  Israel was smitten before the Philistines; but instead of turning to the Lord and confessing their sins, they sent for the ark of the covenant, saying that it should save them, and made a great shout; but God was not in this act, the Israelites were smitten, including the two sons of Eli, and the ark was captured by the Philistines. When Eli heard the sad news he fell back and died. The wife of Phinehas also, in giving birth to a son, called his name Ichabod, [I-chabod] 'no glory,' and died.

1 Sam. 5, 1 Sam. 6  rehearse the judgements of God on the Philistines while the ark was in their possession, and the fall of their god Dagon. Also the return of the ark, and God's judgement on the men of Bethshemesh for looking into it.

1 Sam. 7.  The ark was taken to Kirjath-jearim. After twenty years the people lamented after the Lord, and Samuel said they must put away their strange gods, and prepare their hearts to the Lord and serve Him only, and He would save them. They gathered at Mizpeh, poured out water before the Lord as a token of repentance (cf. 2 Sam. 14:14), and confessed their sins. On the Philistines coming to attack them they begged Samuel to cry unto the Lord for them. He offered a sucking lamb as a burnt offering, thus recognising the ground of the relationship between the people and God. The Philistines were subdued: God thundered upon them. They came no more to attack Israel, and the cities they had taken were restored. Samuel raised up a stone and called it EBEN-EZER, that is, 'the stone of help.' Samuel went on circuit and judged all Israel. He resided at Ramah, and erected an altar there. The days of Samuel were exceptional: he was not a priest, but he offered sacrifices, and had this altar without either the tabernacle or the ark. He was the man of faith in those days, being owned of God as the upholder of His people.

1 Sam. 8.  There is a change here. Samuel was growing old, and had appointed his two sons to be judges; but they took bribes and perverted judgement. The people, making this the excuse, begged Samuel to appoint them a king, that he might be their judge 'like all the nations.' God had separated them from all the nations, and He bade Samuel tell them that in asking a king they were rejecting, not Samuel merely, but Himself; yet He told Samuel to listen to their request.

1 Sam. 9, 1 Sam. 10.  God caused Saul the son of Kish providentially to go where Samuel was, and then pointed him out as the one to be anointed as king, that he might save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. On Samuel presenting him to them — a man taller than the rest of the people, and consequently approved according to man's natural judgement — they shouted "God save the king."

1 Sam. 11, 1 Sam. 12.  On Nahash the Ammonite declaring that he would make a covenant with the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead only on the condition of thrusting out all their right eyes, to "lay it for a reproach upon all Israel," Saul was stirred to action by the Spirit of God, and the Ammonites were slain. Samuel called the people to Gilgal (the place where the flesh had been judged), and Saul was made king before the Lord, and peace offerings were offered. Samuel solemnly appealed to the people, first as to his own integrity, and then as to God's faithfulness , and to their own waywardness. A sign was given them; they were not to fear, but be faithful, and mercy would be the result.

1 Sam. 13.  Saul is left without Samuel and is put to the test. He had been told that he was to go to Gilgal and wait there seven days for Samuel, for Samuel was the link between Saul and the Lord: 1 Sam. 10:8.  Saul tarried the seven days, and then, because the people were leaving him, he 'forced himself,' as he says, and offered a burnt offering. Samuel came as soon as he had finished, and rebuked him for not keeping the commandment of the Lord, and announced that his kingdom should not continue. Samuel left him, and Philistine 'spoilers' spread themselves in the land. The Israelites were in weakness, they had even to resort to the Philistines to sharpen their weapons.

1 Sam. 14.  The Israelites were hiding themselves in caves. Jonathan, Saul's son, was a man of faith: he had previously attacked the Philistines, and now, with his armour-bearer only, began again to smite them. God sent a great earthquake, and the Philistines smote one another. The Israelites also attacked them, and there would have been a greater victory had not Saul, in fleshly zeal, put all under a curse who should eat before the evening. Jonathan, who had not heard of this, tasted a little honey. When evening arrived the people hasted to kill and eat, and would have eaten with the blood had not Saul restrained them. He raised an altar unto God, and then enquired of God, and would have put Jonathan to death for eating the honey had not the people prevented it. Saul had all the outward forms of reverence for God, but he was not a man of faith: he called the Israelites Hebrews, missing the point of their relationship with God. Still God used him to subdue some of the enemies of Israel.

1 Sam. 15.  Saul is now put to a final test. A message is sent him from God to go and utterly destroy Amalek. Saul however saved the best of the sheep and oxen under the plea of these being for sacrifice. Agag was also brought away alive. Yet Saul said he had obeyed the word of the Lord. Samuel uttered that important principle, "To obey is better than sacrifice," telling Saul that God had rent the kingdom from him. Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord: he then finally left Saul.

1 Sam. 16 commences a new section in the book. Samuel was told by the Lord not to mourn for Saul: He had rejected him. Samuel was then sent to Bethlehem to anoint David. The Spirit of Jehovah came upon David from that day, but He departed from Saul, and an evil spirit troubled him. David, as a skilful player on the harp, was sent for by the king. Saul, a figure of the first man, having been tested and found wanting, the beloved one (David) is brought forward: he is announced as a type of Christ: cf. Matt. 3.

1 Sam. 17 - 1 Sam. 19.  David must have left Saul, and we know not exactly what interval elapsed before David slew Goliath. His victory over the giant is a striking type of Christ's victory over the power of Satan in the cross. Heb. 2.  In returning triumphant, David is a type of the risen Christ; he must have the first place, even as Christ of the seed of David according to the flesh is declared Son of God with power by resurrection from the dead. Rom. 1:2-4.

Saul set David over the men of war, but the praises of the women, "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands," raised his envy, and he eyed him from that day and attempted to kill him. Having failed in this he sought to ensnare him by demanding, as a dowry for his daughter, a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. But the Lord prospered David everywhere and Michal became his wife.

Jonathan's heart was knit to David, and he endeavoured to divert his father from his murderous intentions. Michal also protected him and saved his life. David fled to Samuel, and on Saul sending messengers to take him, the Spirit of God was on the messengers and they prophesied. When this had taken place three times, Saul went himself, but the Spirit of God came upon him also, and he prophesied: David was saved.

1 Sam. 20 - 1 Sam. 31.  Nothing could teach Saul wisdom — to let God's anointed one alone: it is thus that man cannot bear to be superseded by Christ. Then began the flight of David from the wrath of Saul, and Saul's pursuit of him; the grace of David in twice saving the life of Saul when he had him in his power; the wickedness of Saul in slaying the priestly house of Ahimelech; the mistake of David in joining himself to the Philistines, from which the Lord delivered him; and his discipline in the destruction of Ziklag, and the carrying away of his two wives with the inhabitants, but in mercy all were recovered.

In the meantime Samuel had passed away, with the simple notice that he died, and all the Israelites gathered together and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah: 1 Sam. 25:1. He was a faithful prophet of God (cf. Jer. 15:1), though, alas! his house failed in his sons as judges.

When Saul approached his end, and could get no answer from God, he resorted to the witch at Endor: just as man, who has rejected Christ these 2,000 years, will at the close of this age, in the apostasy of Christendom, give himself up to Satan. Rev. 13.  Samuel was raised, who foretold the speedy death of Saul and of his sons: see DIVINATION.  A battle with the Philistines was fought on the next day, three of Saul's sons were slain, and Saul, being sore wounded, fell on his sword, and was put to death by an Amalekite. The bodies of Saul and of his sons were hanged up on the wall of Beth-shan, but were rescued during the night by men of Jabesh-gilead, burnt, and the bones buried under a tree.

The First Book of Samuel shows a solemn change in the manifest relationship of Israel with God. Not only had the priest failed in the house of Eli, but the ark of the covenant, the symbol of Israel's relationship with God, was in the hands of their enemies, this being permitted by God to bring things to an issue. He raised up a faithful prophet in Samuel, who also in a measure acted as priest, thus providing in grace a means of communication with his unfaithful people. Their demanding a king was virtually refusing God as their sovereign, though we know that according to the purpose of God there was to be a king as type of the Lord Jesus, King of Israel. The history of their first king shows that royalty, as everything else committed to man, was quickly followed by failure.

Samuel, Second Book of.

This gives the definite establishment of David in the kingdom, with the history of the kingdom and his own personal history to near the close of his life. See DAVID.

2 Sam. 1 - 4.  David lamented over the death of Saul, and did not seek to grasp the kingdom immediately. He committed his way unto the Lord, asked to which of the cities he should go, and was content to reign in Hebron seven years and six months, until God's time was come for him to reign over the whole of the tribes.

Abner, Saul's captain, made Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, king at Mahanaim; but he was not, as Saul had been, God's anointed. There were wars between the two houses, but David does not appear in them; they were conducted by Joab and Abner. The house of David waxed stronger and stronger. Abner, taking affront at the rebuke of Ish-bosheth concerning Rizpah, Saul's concubine, revolted to David; but as he had previously killed Asahel, Joab's brother, in one of the wars, Joab treacherously slew him, doubtless as much out of jealousy as to avenge the death of his brother. Two of Saul's captains then killed Ish-bosheth, and brought his head to David, but David only condemned them to lose their own lives for their wickedness. This was followed by the whole of the tribes anointing David as their king.

2 Sam. 5.  David, now king of all Israel, went to reside at Jerusalem, where he took more wives and concubines, and children were born to him. Twice he signally defeated the Philistines.

2 Sam. 6; 2 Sam. 7 give the bringing up of the ark of God to Jerusalem. Then David thought to have built a house for God; but this was not God's will: God would build him a house, and his son should build a house for God. David prays and gives thanks.

2 Sam. 8 - 2 Sam. 10.  David subdued all the enemies of Israel, and executed judgement and justice unto all the people. He then graciously showed kindness to the house of Saul in the person of Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan: though lame on both his feet, he sat continually at the king's table. Hanun, king of the Ammonites, by insulting the ambassadors sent to him in kindness by David, drew upon the Ammonites sore punishment, and upon the Syrians who went to their aid: a vivid illustration of the solemn fact that those who refuse grace will be dealt with in judgement

2 Sam. 11; 2 Sam. 12  record the sad story of David's sin respecting Bathsheba, and the way he brought about the death of her husband. He was rebuked by Nathan: he confessed his sin, and it was put away; but he had to bear the needed discipline.

2 Sam. 13 - 2 Sam. 20.  Disorders in David's house are related: his son Amnon is killed. Absalom is obliged to go into exile, but returns unrepentant; his revolt follows, and David seeks safety in flight. The punishment foretold by Nathan had come to pass, but God had mercy on His anointed; the counsels of Ahithophel are turned to foolishness, and Absalom meets the end he deserved. David returns to Jerusalem. A smaller revolt by Sheba is crushed by his death. David is again established on the throne, and his officers in the kingdom are duly recorded: see 2 Sam. 8:16, 18.

2 Sam. 21; 2 Sam. 22.  For three years God sent a famine, for He had a controversy with Saul's house because Saul had slain the Gibeonites, to whom Israel had sworn protection. David sought to make reparation, and the Gibeonites asked that seven of the descendants of Saul should be given them, and they would hang them up before the Lord. Rizpah, the mother of some of them, defended the bodies day and night, until David buried them with the remains of Saul and his sons. And God was entreated for the land.

The Philistines again war with Israel, and now the descendants of the giants are slain by David's valiant men. This is followed by a psalm of thanksgiving by David in which he celebrates what God had been for him in his necessities and dangers. Some of the expressions, as in many of the Psalms, will only be fully accomplished in the person of Christ Himself.

2 Sam. 23  gives "the last words of David," wherein he exults in the infallibility of God's covenant, notwithstanding the failure in his house. Then follows a list of David's worthies, with their deeds of valour and devotedness. God also will have His valiant men; He will count them when He writeth up the people. Ps. 87:6.

2 Sam. 24.  It is sad that the last public act of David should be one of sin, but it must be observed that the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and God punished their rebellion by allowing Satan to act upon the pride of David's heart to number Israel. Cf. 1 Chr. 21:1. Even Joab could see that it was an error, and sought to divert the king from his purpose; but Satan succeeded, and the people were numbered. David then saw that he had sinned greatly, and confessed it to God, and asked Him to take away his iniquity. Three punishments were offered to David by the mouth of the prophet, and he chose to fall "into the hand of the Lord, for his mercies are great." A pestilence swept off 70,000 men, but when the destroying angel came to Jerusalem his hand was stayed. David bought the threshing floor of Araunah and his oxen, erected an altar, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and the plague was stayed.

The Second Book of Samuel gives the reign of David. In his rejection and in his subduing all his enemies he is a manifest type of Christ. David's sins are not hidden, but his heart always turned to God, and his faith was answered by grace and restoration, though for his good the governmental chastisement was not withheld.

Sanballat. [Sanbal'lat]

A Horonite, who seemed to act as a governor under the Persian king when Nehemiah returned from exile to rebuild Jerusalem. He was an enemy of the Jews, and by plots and guile hindered the work as far as he could. A descendant of the priests had become his son-in-law, whom Nehemiah rejected. His case is an illustration of the way in which, whenever God has work in progress, Satan finds an agent to oppose it. Neh. 2:10, 19; Neh. 4:1, 7; Neh. 6:1-14; Neh. 13:28.  See SAMARIA.


This term is from qadesh, ἁγιάζω, 'to set apart to sacred purposes, consecrate.'  It has various applications in the O.T.

As to days: God sanctified the seventh day on which He rested; it was afterwards to be kept holy by the Israelites. Gen. 2:3; Ex. 20:8.

As to persons: The whole of the Israelites were sanctified to God. Ex. 19:10, 14. The firstborn were further sanctified to God, to be redeemed by the Levites. Ex. 13:2. The priests and Levites were sanctified to the service of God.

As to the place and vessels of divine service: The tabernacle and temple, and all the vessels used therein, were devoted to sacred use in the worship of God. Ex. 30:29. We have thus what was suitable in view of God: there was also what was obligatory on the part of those that approached.

The priests, Levites, and people were often called upon to sanctify themselves, to be ceremonially fit to approach God and His sanctuary. Lev. 20:7; Num. 11:18; etc. God declared, "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me," Lev. 10:3; God must be approached with reverence and in separation from what is unsuited to Him.

In the N.T. sanctification has many applications.

1. The thought is twice expressed by the Lord Jesus as to Himself. He spoke of Himself as one "whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world." John 10:36. He was set apart by the Father for the accomplishment of the purposes of His will. In His prayer for His disciples in John 17 the Lord also says, "For their sakes I sanctify myself." He set Himself apart in heaven from rights that belonged to Him as man, that His own might be sanctified by the truth. He was sanctified on earth for the Father, He has sanctified Himself in heaven for the saints.

2.  Believers are said to be "sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Rom. 15:16; 1 Cor. 1:2; Heb. 10:10. They are thus 'saints,' 'sanctified ones' before God, apart from the life of flesh, a class of persons set apart to God for priestly service. Acts 20:32; Acts 26:18; Rom. 1:7; etc. In this there is no progress: in effect it implies the most intimate identification with Christ. Such are His brethren. "He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one," Heb. 2:11; the sanctified are "perfected for ever" by one offering. Heb. 10:14.

3.  But believers are viewed also on the side of obligation and are exhorted to yield their members "servants to righteousness unto holiness" (ἁγιασμός). Rom. 6:19. God chastens them that they may be partakers of His holiness. Heb. 12:10. Without sanctification no one will see the Lord. In this there is progress: a growing up into Christ in all things. Eph. 4:15. The apostle Paul prayed that the God of peace would sanctify the Thessalonians wholly. 1 Thess. 5:23.

4.  Sanctification appears to refer to change of association, for the possibility is contemplated of some who had been sanctified treading under foot the Son of God, and treating the blood of the covenant as an unholy or common thing, thus becoming apostates from Christ, and departing from the association in which they had been sanctified. Heb. 10:29.

5.  In the existing mixed and corrupt state of Christendom (viewed as a great house, in which are vessels, some to honour and some to dishonour), the obligation to sanctification from evil within the sphere of profession has become obligatory in order that a man may be "a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." 2 Tim. 2:21.

6.  An unbelieving husband or wife is said to be sanctified in the believing partner, and their children are holy (ἅγιος). They can thus dwell together in peace, instead of having to separate from an unbelieving partner, as in Old Testament times. 1 Cor. 7:14: cf. Ezra 9, Ezra 10.

7.  Food is "sanctified by the word of God and prayer." Hence "every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving." 1 Tim. 4:4-5. This is altogether opposed to restrictions prescribed by the law, or which man may impose on the use of what God in His goodness has created for man's use.


This is 'holy [place],' and is applied in the O.T. both to the tabernacle and to the temple as a whole, and to the 'holy [place]' and 'most holy' in distinction from the other parts: "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary." Ps. 77:13. The sanctuary was where, in retirement from man and the world, God's glory was seen, and His mind apprehended; it was where the sacrifices were offered, and God was worshipped.

In the N.T. also the word sanctuary is applied to the holy and most holy parts of the tabernacle. Heb. 9:1-8; Heb. 10:19; Heb. 13:11. Here it is called 'worldly,' (κοσμικός) in reference possibly to its order, and its contrast to the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man. The word 'sanctuary' in Heb. 8:2 is literally holy (places or things); of these Christ is minister. The sanctuary for the Christian consists in the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. God is revealed without a veil.


Soles worn under the feet; and tied by strings or thongs to keep them in their place. Mark 6:9; Acts 12:8.  See SHOES.

Sanhedrin or Sanhedrim.

The Greek word is συνέδριον, 'a sitting together': it is always translated 'council' in the A.V. There appears to be no Hebrew equivalent to the name. The Jews trace its origin to the seventy elders chosen to assist Moses, Num. 11:16-17; but nothing is said of such a council in the time of the kingdom; and it is probable that it was instituted in the time of the Maccabees. The early writers do not say how it was composed; from the N.T. we find it consisted of the chief priests, or heads of the twenty-four courses, the elders, lawyers, and the scribes. It was the highest court of the Jews, acting 'in all causes, and over all persons, ecclesiastical and civil.' Its decisions were binding on Jews everywhere. Its powers were curtailed by Herod and afterwards by the Romans, who prevented the Jews from putting any one to death legally. John 18:31. The Lord, Luke 22:66; Peter and John, Acts 4:1-23; Acts 5:17-41; Stephen, Acts 6:12-15; and Paul, Acts 22:30; Acts 23:1-10; were arraigned before the Sanhedrin.

Sansannah. [Sansan'nah]

Town in the south of Judah. Joshua 15:31. Not identified.


One described as "of the sons of the giant" (or Rapha), slain by Sibbechai. 2 Sam. 21:18. He is called SIPPAI in 1 Chr. 20:4.

Saphir. [Sa'phir]

City mentioned in Micah 1:11, the inhabitants of which are thus addressed, "Pass ye away . . . . having thy shame naked," when judgements are being proclaimed against Judah and Israel. The name signifies 'fair, beautiful': it should be changed into 'shame.' Probably one of the three villages named es Suafir near 31 42' N, 34 42' E.

Sapphira. [Sapphi'ra]



sappir, σάπφειρος. When Moses, and the elders, etc., went up into the mount to God "there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone." Ex. 24:10. In Ezekiel's vision, above the firmament, was seen the "likeness of a throne as the appearance of a sapphire stone." Ezek. 1:26. It was one of the stones in the breastplate, and one that garnished the foundation of the holy Jerusalem. It is symbolical of heavenly glory. Ex. 28:18; Rev. 21:19. The word occurs in Job 28:6, 16; Cant. 5:14; Isa. 54:11; Lam. 4:7; Ezek. 10:1; Ezek. 28:13. Probably an azure or sky-blue stone. Some suppose it was the Lapis-lazuli, others identify it with the modern sapphire.

Sarah, [Sa'rah] Sarai, [Sa'rai] Sara. [Sa'ra]

Wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. Abraham said she was the daughter of his father but not of his mother, therefore he called her 'sister'; but God preserved her in His mercy to Abraham, who had, through fear, denied his true relationship to her in the land of Egypt and before Abimelech. Sarah, being barren, gave to Abraham her Egyptian handmaid Hagar, who, when she had conceived, despised her mistress. Sarah then dealt harshly with her and she ran away; but the angel of the Lord sent her back, and Ishmael was born.

When God promised Abraham that a son should be born to him of Sarah, He altered her name from Sarai to Sarah, which signifies 'princess.' The meaning of Sarai is uncertain. Jerome gave 'my princess;' others 'princely;' others 'contentious;' Fürst says, 'Jah is ruler.' (See NAMES.) When Sarah heard that she was to have a son, she laughed within herself, for she was old, but it was known by the Lord, and then, being afraid, she denied that she had laughed.

In fulfilment of God's promise, Isaac was at length born. When he was weaned, Ishmael was seen mocking, which roused Sarah to demand the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael. Though it was grievous to Abraham, God bade him do what Sarah desired. This is taken up in Galatians 4 as a figure of Christians being children of the free woman, that is, of Jerusalem which is above, which, says the apostle, is our mother. Ishmael represents the man born after the flesh, who persecutes him born after the Spirit.

Sarah lived to the age of 127, and died in Kirjath-arba, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah, which was purchased as a burying place. Her history is given in Gen. 11 — Gen. 23. Sarah is held up in the N.T. as an example of faith, Heb. 11:11; and also as a wife who was in subjection to her husband. 1 Peter 3:6.

Sarah. [Sa'rah]

Daughter of Asher. Num. 26:46. Called SERAH in Gen. 46:17; 1 Chr. 7:30.

Saraph. [Sa'raph]

Descendant of Shelah, of the tribe of Judah. 1 Chr. 4:22.

Sardine, Sardius,

odem, σάρδιος. One of the precious stones in the breastplate. Ex. 28:17; Ex. 39:10. It also embellished one of the foundations of the holy Jerusalem. Rev. 21:20. It was one of the stones that covered the king of Tyrus (doubtless portraying Satan before his fall). Ezek. 28:13.  In heaven One who sat upon the throne was "to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone." Rev. 4:3. It is supposed to be the sard, a superior variety of agate, of various colours, some blood-red, and others of a golden hue.

Sardis. [Sar'dis]

The capital of ancient Lydia in Asia Minor. The church that was gathered there is known only by being selected as one of the seven typical churches to which addresses were sent by the apostle John. Rev. 1:11; Rev. 3:1, 4;  See REVELATION.  In the time of Croesus, its last king, Sardis was a rich and splendid city. It was taken by Cyrus. Now there is nothing but ruins. Its modern name is Sart, 38 28' N, 28 4' E.

Sardites. [Sar'dites]

Descendants of Sered, son of Zebulun. Num. 26:26.


A precious stone associated with one of the foundations of the holy Jerusalem. Rev. 21:20. The word does not occur in the A.V. of the O.T.  Aquila, in his Greek version, uses it for the onyx in Gen. 2:12. It is judged to be a variety of chalcedony, or of agate, of various colours, with stripes of a different shade.

Sarepta. [Sarep'ta]

The village to which Elias was sent to succour a poor widow. Luke 4:26. Called ZAREPHATH in 1 Kings 17:9. Identified with Sarafend, 33 27' N, 35 18' E: it is near the sea, about midway between Tyre and Sidon.

Sargon. [Sar'gon]

King of Assyria, successor of Shalmaneser 4, but called a usurper. His general, the Tartan, captured Ashdod. Isa. 20:1. He reigned B.C. 722-705. Though his name appears in scripture only in the above passage, it is believed that he accomplished the taking of Samaria which was begun by Shalmaneser. See SAMARIA. He made various conquests and strengthened the kingdom of Assyria, and built some of the palaces.

Sarid. [Sa'rid]

Boundary city of Zebulun. Joshua 19:10, 12. Identified with Tell Shadud, 32 40' N, 35 14' E.

Saron. [Sa'ron]


Sarsechim. [Sar'sechim]

Name of the 'Rab-saris,' or chief of the eunuchs, who was with Nebuchadnezzar's army at the capture of Jerusalem. Jer. 39:3.

Saruch. [Sa'ruch]


Satan. [Sa'tan]

A name by which THE DEVIL, the great enemy of God and man, is designated. The name may be said to be the same in Hebrew, Greek, and English, and signifies 'adversary,' as the word is rendered in several places where other adversaries are alluded to: cf. Num. 22:22; 1 Kings 11:14, 23, 25. It was Satan who at the outset deceived Eve, for it is clear that the dragon, the old serpent, the devil, and Satan all represent the same evil spirit. Rev. 20:2. Satan was the great adversary of God's people in O.T. times, 1 Chr. 21:1; the tempter of the Lord Jesus, who treated him as Satan; and is the tempter and adversary of the saints and of all mankind now. He endeavours to neutralise the effect of the gospel; catches away the good seed sown in the heart (Matt. 13), and blinds the minds of the unbelieving lest the light of the gospel of Christ's glory should shine to them. His efforts are frustrated by God or none would be saved.

Further, to counteract God's work, Satan has raised up heretics to mingle with the saints and to corrupt them by evil doctrine, as taught in the metaphor of the tares sown among the wheat. He goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but saints are told to resist him, and he will flee from them. The power of death, which Satan had, has been annulled by Christ in His death. Saints are warned against his devices, for he is transformed into an angel of light, a teacher of morality. God has provided complete armour for His saints in order that they may withstand him and all his wiles, and has given them the sword of the Spirit (the word of God), as a weapon of attack. Eph. 6:11-18.

The origin of Satan is not definitely stated, but if Ezekiel 28:12-19 refer to him, under the appellation of the king of Tyre (as was very early believed in the church, and may be correct), he is described as the anointed cherub that 'covereth;' all the precious stones and gold were also his covering, resplendent by reflected light; he had a place in Eden, the garden of God, and was upon the holy mountain of God. He was perfect in his ways from the day he was created, until iniquity was found in him. Tyre, in its worldly wisdom and beauty, is looked at morally as the creation of the prince and god of this world. He will eventually be cast out as profane and find his portion in the lake of fire.

In the Epistle of Jude, the act of Michael the archangel in reference to Satan is given as an example of restraint in speaking of dignities: he dared not bring a railing accusation against the devil, but said, "The Lord rebuke thee." This implies that Satan had been set in dignity, which, though he had fallen, was still to be respected — as Saul's life was sacred in David's eyes because he was the anointed of God, though he had then fallen. That Satan had been set in dignity is confirmed by the fact of Christ having on the cross spoiled 'principalities and authorities' (ἐξουσία), not simply 'powers.' Col. 2:15.

The expressions "the prince of this world,"  "the god of this world," and "the prince of the power of the air," all presumably refer to Satan. When the Lord was tempted in the wilderness, Satan, after showing Him "all the kingdoms of the world," proposed to give to Him all the power and glory of them, if He would worship him, adding "for that is delivered unto me: and to whomsoever I will I give it." Luke 4:5-6.

From the Book of Job we learn that Satan has access to God in the heavens; the Christian wrestles with the spiritual powers of wickedness in the heavenlies; and a day is coming when Michael and his angels will fight against Satan and his angels, and the latter will be cast out of heaven. This seems to indicate that Satan has a place in heaven originally given to him by God. During the millennium he will be shut up in the abyss, then loosed for a little season, and finally be cast into the lake of fire, a place prepared for him and his angels.

When Jesus was born, Satan attempted to destroy Him. Matt. 2:16; Rev. 12:1-5. At the close of the Lord's course Satan was the great mover in His being put to death. To accomplish this Satan entered into Judas the traitor, whereas, as far as is revealed, in other cases, possession was by a demon, and not by Satan himself. When the Lord was arrested He said to the Jews, "This is your hour and the power of darkness." But Christ was morally the victor: in His death He annulled him that had the power of death, that is, the devil: He led captivity captive. Still Satan works, and will, when cast down to earth, be the spirit of a trinity of evil. He gives his throne and authority to the beast, that is, to the resuscitated Roman Empire, whose power is wielded by the Antichrist. Rev. 13. He will also be the leader of the nations in the last battle against the camp of the saints. Rev. 20:7-9.

It is remarkable that, notwithstanding the malignity of Satan, God uses him in the discipline of His saints, as in the case of Job, but allows the evil one to go only as far as He pleases. Paul used his apostolic power to commit some to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:20. The thorn in the flesh which Paul himself had was a messenger of Satan to buffet him, lest he should be puffed up because of the marvellous revelations made to him in the third heaven. It is well to remember that Satan is morally a vanquished foe, for he is exposed; and that no Christian can be touched by him except as permitted and controlled by his God and Father in discipline for his good.

The epithet 'Devil' is from 'to strike through,' and hence figuratively to stab with accusation: so Satan is called "the accuser of the brethren." Rev. 12:10: cf. Zech. 3:1-2. Satan and the devil being identical, there is but one devil. In the A.V. of the N.T., where 'devils' are spoken of, the word in the original is always 'demons.'


The word is sair, which signifies 'hairy one,' and hence a 'he goat.' It is translated 'goat' and 'kid' many times. In Lev. 17:7 and 2 Chr. 11:15 it is translated 'devils,' but would have been better 'demons,' referring to the gods which the heathen unconsciously worshipped: cf. 1 Cor. 10:20. The word is translated 'satyr' in Isa. 13:21; Isa. 34:14, both passages referring to places brought to utter desolation, so that they are inhabited by wild beasts, owls, and perhaps 'wild goats' are intended; or that the desolation would be such that men would shun them as if haunted by unearthly beings. Such a dread is often expressed by dwellers in the East.


Son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, and the first king of Israel. He was anointed by Samuel by God's direction when the Israelites demanded a king. As the king whom they had chosen and desired, 'a new heart' was given him, and he had a fair start in his reign; but he signally failed in obedience to God, by the word of Samuel. He was rejected, and David was anointed, whom for years he malignantly persecuted. Being forsaken of God, without faith or conscience he resorted to one with a familiar spirit, and there heard his doom. (See DIVINATION.) He was conquered by the Philistines, the very people he was to have overcome. Thus royalty, as everything else committed to man by God, at once failed. For details of Saul's life see SAMUEL, FIRST BOOK OF.


One of the ancient kings of Edom. Gen. 36:37-38. Called SHAUL in 1 Chr. 1:48-49.

Saul of Tarsus.



This title is in the O.T. applied to Jehovah. The term in itself implies that some oppression exists or some danger impends from which salvation is needed. God says, "All flesh shall know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob." Isa. 49:26; Isa. 60:16. In the N.T. man is plainly declared to be lost, and the title 'Saviour' is applied both to God and to Christ. "The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world," 1 John 4:14; and the very name of Jesus conveys the thought of a Saviour. His becoming this involved His meeting vicariously the question of sin and sins, which He did on the cross. The expression occurs in Paul's later epistles of 'God our Saviour,' or 'our Saviour-God,' indicating the attitude which God occupies towards all men. How gladly all His saints say, "To the only wise God our Saviour be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." God is also declared to be "the Saviour of all men" in a providential sense, and men probably little know how much they are indebted to His preserving care. 1 Tim. 4:10. See SALVATION.


Ancient Egyptian saws have been discovered, and a double handed one was found at Nimrood. They are such as would be used for wood, but there must have been other kinds, for 1 Kings 7:9 speaks of stones that were 'sawed with saws.' The inhabitants of Rabbah, when conquered by David, were 'cut with saws and harrows of iron and axes.' 1 Chr. 20:3. They had perhaps thus treated the captives they had taken, and this was God's judgement upon them. Cf. Heb. 11:37.




The word most frequently translated 'scarlet' is shani, and this is often accompanied by the word tolaath, 'worm or grub,' apparently intimating that the colour was obtained from some insect, as it is now from the cochineal. Scarlet was much used in the needlework and hangings of the tabernacle, in conjunction with blue and purple; but there it apparently refers to some fabric of the colour of scarlet. If the purple be taken as symbolical of royalty and universal dominion, the scarlet may signify earthly grandeur and Israelitish royalty. Ex. 39:1-29; Joshua 2:18, 21; 2 Sam. 1:24; Prov. 31:21; Cant. 4:3; Isa. 1:18.  In the N.T. they clothed the Lord in a scarlet robe, κόκκινος, Matt. 27:28 (it is 'purple' in Mark and John: it may have been an old faded robe that could be called either). Scarlet is also employed with purple to point out the earthly grandeur of Papal Rome. Rev. 17:3-4; Rev. 18:12, 16.


One of the distinguishing insignia of royalty: a rod or staff of dignity. It was held out by the king to Esther. Esther 4:11, etc. The prophecy that "the sceptre shall not depart from Judah . . . . until SHILOH come," refers to Christ as 'the Prince of Peace.' Gen. 49:10. The sceptre is not now wielded by Judah while the people are Lo-ammi, but their supremacy will be renewed when the purpose of God is fulfilled. Many passages speak of Christ sitting upon the throne of David, and reigning till His enemies are cast beneath His feet. A sceptre of righteousness will be the sceptre of His kingdom. Num. 24:17; Ps. 45:6; Isa. 14:5; Ezek. 19:11, 14; Amos 1:5, 8; Zech. 10:11; Heb. 1:8.

Sceva. [Sce'va]

A Jew at Ephesus, a chief of the priests, whose seven sons sought by the name of Jesus to cast out a demon. The demon acknowledged that he knew Jesus and Paul, but demanded "Who are ye?" and then by means of the possessed man attacked them, so that they fled away naked and wounded. Acts 19:14-16. Here Satan showed his power as the 'strong man.' The One stronger than he would not let His power be used by these men.


σχίσμα. The word is rendered 'divisions' in 1 Cor. 1:10, etc., and refers to divisions caused by parties in the church. In view of the unity of the Spirit, schism cannot be regarded in any other light than as sin. The unity contemplated in the church was not merely that of being gathered together in assembly. The Corinthians were exhorted: "That ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions [schisms] among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement." 1 Cor. 1:10; 1 Cor. 11:18; 1 Cor. 12:25. The modern ideas of 'agreeing to differ,' or of 'unity only in essentials,' are not found in scripture, but the contrary. At Philippi the saints were exhorted to walk by the same rule, to mind the same thing; and then is added "If in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." Phil. 3:15. The 'unity of the Spirit' cannot be lightly disregarded. Christians are exhorted to use diligence to keep it in the uniting bond of peace. Eph. 4:3. There are different lines of ministry, as is manifest in the apostles Paul and John, but all true ministry tends to one end — Christ; and hence such differences in no way clash with the unity of the Spirit. See HERESY.


παιδαγωγός. This is literally 'child conductor,' pedagogue: originally a slave who took his master's children to school. The law was a schoolmaster to the Jews (not to the Gentiles: Paul said we, Gal. 3:24; in contrast to ye in Gal. 3:26) until Christ came; but any led to Christ were no longer under that schoolmaster. Gal. 3:24-25: cf. Rom. 6:14.


Both in the Hebrew and in the Greek the words signify 'knowledge,' and are generally so translated. They are rendered 'science' only in Dan. 1:4, where 'knowledge' and 'wisdom' are also mentioned; and in 1 Tim. 6:20, where it is science, or knowledge, 'falsely so called,' doubtless alluding in Daniel to the speculations of the Magi, and in the Epistle to Timothy to the philosophers or Gnostic heretics, whose 'knowledge' had no real foundation.


aqrab, σκορπίος. These words refer to the well-known animal armed with claws like a lobster, and having its sting in its tail. In the East it inhabits desolate places, hides under stones or logs of wood, and comes out at night. It is carnivorous. Various species are known, they belong to the class arachnida, which includes the spider.  Deut. 8:15; Luke 10:19; Luke 11:12. In Ezek. 2:6 the children of Israel are compared to scorpions, among whom Ezekiel had to labour.

In Rev. 9 we read of locusts with stings in their tails, and which torment men as do the scorpions: they are employed as symbols of some form of cruel and pitiless agents. In 1 Kings 12:11, 14; 2 Chr. 10:11, 14, a scourge with hard knots or metal points is supposed to be alluded to.


This was a punishment inflicted by the Romans. The culprit was stripped and stretched by cords or thongs on a frame, and beaten with a whip or a rod. From about B.C. 300 Roman citizens were exempt from scourging. Paul availed himself of this privilege when he was about to be 'examined' under this punishment. Acts 22:24-29. But he was thrice beaten with rods. 2 Cor. 11:25. The Lord was subject to the pain and indignity of scourging. John 19:1.


'To make marks': it is what David did on the door when he feigned madness. 1 Sam. 21:13.

Screech Owl.

See OWL.


In the Old Testament this word is applied to the officer who carried on the correspondence for a king, the army, etc., what is now generally understood by secretary. 2 Sam. 8:17; 2 Chr. 24:11; Esther 3:12; Isa. 36:3, etc. It is also applied to those who wrote and explained the scriptures: thus Ezra was "a ready scribe in the law," even "a scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord," though he was also a priest. Ezra 7:6, 11; Neh. 8:1-13.

In the New Testament the word is used in the sense in which it is applied to Ezra, and scribes are classed with the chief priests and the elders. They are described as sitting in Moses' seat, and what they taught was to be observed; but, alas, their works were not to be followed. Matt. 7:29; Matt. 23:2, 13-33. Many woes are proclaimed against them, and they are addressed, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" Thus these men, who ought to have been examples to others, were publicly denounced because their practice denied what they taught. They did not form a separate sect in New Testament times, a person might be both scribe and Pharisee or Sadducee: cf. Acts 23:9.


A bag, or satchel, often made of the skin of a kid, stripped off whole, and tanned by a simple process. They were slung over the shoulder. 1 Sam. 17:40; Luke 22:35-36; etc.


This word occurs but once in the Old Testament, where an angel speaks of 'the scripture of truth.' Dan. 10:21. In the New Testament the various parts of the Old Testament are referred to as 'the scriptures'; they are the 'holy scriptures,' 2 Tim. 3:15; they must needs be fulfilled; they cannot be broken. John 10:35; Acts 17:2, 11. Some erred because they did not know the scriptures. Matt. 22:29. And 'all scripture' is God-inspired, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, or complete, fully fitted to every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16-17. It is in short a God-inspired and infallible revelation to man, and especially to those who are by grace in relationship with Him. As in a nation 'the records' are referred to as authority, so in the church, it is 'the scriptures' that bind the conscience, and should be an end of all controversy. To understand them the teaching of the Holy Spirit is needed, for "the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life."

Scythian. [Scyth'ian]

This word, being associated with the term 'barbarian,' signifies a most uncultivated person. Col. 3:11. Happily such a one has the same reception as the most cultivated: such is the grace of God. 'In Christ Jesus' all distinctions are lost. As a race, the Scythians were located north of the Caspian and Black Seas. They were esteemed by the ancients as very low in intelligence and culture.


The seas referred to in scripture are:

1.  THE MEDITERRANEAN, under the names of 'the great sea,' Num. 34:6-7; Ezek. 48:28; 'the uttermost sea,' or 'the hinder sea,' Deut. 11:24; Zech. 14:8; 'the sea of Joppa,' Ezra 3:7; 'sea of the Philistines,' Ex. 23:31.

The 'SEA OF CILICIA AND PAMPHYLIA,' Acts 27:5, is the N.E. corner of the Mediterranean Sea.

2.  THE SALT SEA, Num. 34:3, 12; also called 'the east sea,' Ezek. 47:18; Joel 2:20; 'the former sea,' Zech. 14:8; 'the sea of the plain,' Deut. 3:17; Joshua 3:16; Joshua 12:3; 2 Kings 14:25.  See SALT SEA

3.  THE RED SEA, Ex. 10:19; Ps. 106:7, 9, 22; Heb. 11:29; also called 'the Egyptian sea,' Isa. 11:15.  See RED SEA.

4.  THE SEA OF GALILEE, Mark 1:16; also called the 'Sea of Tiberias,' John 21:1; the 'Sea of Chinnereth,' Num. 34:11; Joshua 12:3; Joshua 13:27; the 'Lake of Gennesaret,' Luke 5:1.  See GALILEE, SEA OF.

5.  SEA OF JAZER, a small lake in Gilead, now represented by some ponds, near where Jazer stood. Jer. 48:32.

Sea of Glass.

Symbolical laver seen in heaven, signifying fixed, accomplished holiness, with no need of the hands or feet being washed. Rev. 4:6.  In Rev. 15:2 the saints are seen standing upon 'a sea of glass mingled with fire': they had come out of the tribulation.

Sea, The.

This is used as a symbol of the mass of the people unorganised. Rev. 13:1.  In Rev. 13:11 a beast arises out of the earth, pointing to organisation.

Sea, The Molten.

The name given to the 'laver' made by Solomon when he built the temple. It was five cubits high, ten in diameter from brim to brim and thirty in circumference. It stood upon twelve oxen, three facing each way. 1 Kings 7:23-26; 2 Chr. 4:2-5.  See LAVER.

Sea Monster.


Seal, Signet.

Stones on which words, letters, or symbols are engraved. Anciently these were pierced, and by a cord or chain were hung from the arm or the neck, or they were set in rings and worn on the finger. The design was impressed on pieces of clay which were attached to official documents, which in the East are not considered authentic without being sealed. Ex. 28:11; Esther 8:8, 10; Job 38:14; Dan. 6:17. The seal was also used to ensure security, or to preserve the sanctity of things not to be revealed. Isa. 29:11; Dan. 12:4, 9; Matt. 27:66; Rev. 20:3; Rev. 22:10.

A covenant was sealed by Nehemiah and those with him. Neh. 10:1. The believer, in crediting what God says of man, and of God's salvation, virtually attaches his seal (vouches for the fact) that God is true. John 3:33. "The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his [God's side]; and, Let every one that nameth the name of the Lord depart from iniquity [man's side]." 2 Tim. 2:19. This is an illustration of a double-seal turning on a pivot, of which either side could be used.

The roll in Revelation 5 had seven seals, so arranged that by breaking one seal a certain portion could be unrolled; and each seal was broken in succession until the whole was revealed.


A legal process by which the validity of a deed of conveyance is confirmed: see Jer. 32:7-11. A seal is often employed as a witness and proof of genuineness. This may help us to understand the force of the term as applied to Christ and to Christians.

1. The Lord Jesus spoke of Himself as sealed by God the Father, John 6:27, doubtless referring to the Holy Ghost having come upon Him at His baptism. He was thus witnessed of as the Son of God.

2.  Believers are sealed by the Spirit for the day of redemption, and the Spirit is also the earnest of their inheritance. 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 4:30. The gift of the Spirit is the seal. This could not be until redemption had been wrought and righteousness secured thus for man. But the seal is now the distinctive mark of those who are of God. The idea of sealing is distinct from that of being born of the Spirit, as well as from that of being led of the Spirit after He has been received. Believers only are sealed, in virtue of their faith in a Saviour who died for them and rose again. The sealing, based on forgiveness of sins, gives the consciousness of the benefit gained by faith.

Various incidents in the Acts of the Apostles throw light upon this. On the day of Pentecost, after Peter had proclaimed the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Christ, the hearers being "pricked in their heart," said, "What shall we do?" Peter replied, "Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38. So also when Peter preached to Cornelius and those gathered with him, while he was saying "Whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins . . . . the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." Acts 10:43-44. In Eph. 1:13, it is said of the Gentiles that having believed the gospel of their salvation they were sealed. See HOLY SPIRIT.

3.  The hundred and forty-four thousand of the twelve tribes of Israel referred to in Rev. 7:3-8 will be sealed in their foreheads. The number typifies the completeness of the remnant which is preserved through the great tribulation for blessing, and they are conspicuous as bearing the witness and mark of the living God.


When God created the lights in the firmament He said, "Let them be for signs and for seasons," and it is well known that the different seasons on the earth are in great measure caused by the days being longer or shorter, and thus having more or less of the heat of the sun. After the flood, God declared that while the earth remained the seasons should continue, Gen. 8:22 these fall approximately thus:
1. Seed-time   }
3.    Cold       }   falling in October to March.
6.       Winter }
2.  Harvest          }
4.     Heat            }   falling in April to September.
5.         Summer  }

These seasons must overlap each other in Palestine, and are somewhat different in the hill country from what they are in the plains and valleys. Seed-time follows what was called 'the early rain,' in October and November, and continues till January. Harvest commences in sheltered places as early as the beginning of April: in the hill country it is a month later; and in the north it extends to the end of July. The rains of November clothe the fields with grass. In January oranges, citrons, and lemons are ripening. In February and March, apple, pear, plum, and apricot trees are in blossom. During May, in some places, apricots and melons are ripe. In June, figs, cherries, and plums begin to ripen, but August is the chief month for fruit. The vintage extends through September. In August the great heat begins to dry up the vegetation, and it gradually changes the whole scene into what appears to be a dry and barren land; but the early rains soon show that it is only the surface that is parched.

In places there are masses of choice wild flowers, and where the land is well cultivated, it is now, as formerly, very productive. "Twenty thousand measures of wheat" year by year were sent to Hiram in exchange for timber. 1 Kings 5:11. Wheat, honey, oil and balm were sent to Tyre as merchandise. Ezek. 27:17. Barley also is produced plentifully.

The Jewish Calendar here given follows the order usually found in books of reference, but the climate and seasons have somewhat altered. Some of the names of the months apparently point to the time of the year in which they fell. Thus Abib signifies 'budding' or 'ear of corn'; Zif, 'blossom'; and Bul, 'rain.'  See MONTHS and RAIN.


Jewish Calendar and Its Antitypes

Tammuz and Ab are not mentioned in scripture. The names in italic are used by Josephus and others.

Seba. [Seba']

Son of Cush, a son of Ham, and the territory where his descendants were located. Gen. 10:7; 1 Chr. 1:9; Ps. 72:10; Isa. 43:3. The descendants have been traced to Meroe, on the west of Abyssinia, and Josephus says that Meroe was at one time called Saba, or Seba. Its ruins lie between lat. 16 and 17 N. It is, however, believed by some that this tribe first settled near the Persian Gulf (probably along with the descendants of SHEBA, another descendant of Ham), and afterwards migrated into Africa.  See SABEANS.



Secacah. [Seca'cah]

City 'in the wilderness' of Judah. Joshua 15:61. Identified by some with ruins at es Sikkeh, 31 46' N, 35 17' E.

Sechu. [Se'chu]

A place apparently lying between Gibeah and Ramah. 1 Sam. 19:22. Identified with Suweikeh, 31 53' N, 35 12' E.



Secundus. [Secun'dus]

A believer of Thessalonica, and for a time a companion of Paul. Acts 20:4.


In the days of Samuel it is said "a prophet was beforetime called a seer." 1 Sam. 9:9. They were so-called apparently because they were given of God to fore-see events or to see visions. This is confirmed by Isa. 30:10, where rebellious Israel, in effect, said to the seers, "See not." They did not want to hear what God had to say to them. Ezekiel also says, "Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!" Ezek. 13:3.


'To boil,' from the Anglo-Saxon seothan. Ex. 16:23; etc.

Segub. [Segub']

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

2. Son of Hezron and father of Jair. 1 Chr. 2:21-22.


Ancestor of the Horites who dwelt in Mount Seir and 'the land of Seir.' Gen. 36:20-21; 1 Chr. 1:38.

Seir, Mount.

1.  The early name of the long range of mountains, extending from about eight miles, south of the Salt Sea, to near the Gulf of Akaba. It is also called 'the land of Seir.' It was occupied at first by the Horites, and afterwards by the descendants of Esau, and acquired the name of EDOM, q.v. The Israelites had to compass the whole of this mountainous range to reach their entrance to the promised land. Gen. 14:6; Gen. 36:8-9, 30; Deut. 2:1-12; etc. The word of Jehovah announced to the prophet the perpetual desolation of Mount Seir. Ezek. 35:2-15.

2. A northern boundary of Judah. Joshua 15:10. Probably the ridge north of Kirjath-jearim, about 31 47' N, 35 05' E[?].

Seirath. [Sei'rath]

City in Ephraim. Judges 3:26. Not identified.

Sela, [Se'la] Selah. [Se'lah]

The rock city of Edom. 2 Kings 14:7; Isa. 16:1. The same Hebrew word is that usually translated 'rock.' The place was taken by Amaziah, who called it JOKTHEEL, q.v. It is judged to be the same as PETRA (which occurs in the margin of Isa. 16:1). Petra is a remarkable place. Though about two thousand feet above the sea, it is shut in by mountain-cliffs, and is entered by a narrow ravine, through which also the river winds. The tombs cut in the rocks are large, especially one called el Khuzneh, which has three rows of columns. The tiers of a theatre remain, a triumphal arch, and ruined bridges. There is a sort of awe-inspiring grandeur in the place. Petra lies 30 22' N, 35 43' E.

Selahammahlekoth.  [Se'la-ham'mahlekoth]

This probably signifies 'rock of escapes,' or 'rock of divisions,' as in the margin. It is a rock in the wilderness of Maon, where David escaped from Saul. 1 Sam. 23:28. Identified with Wady Malaki, 31 27' N, 35 14' E.


A term occurring in Hab. 3:3, 9, 13, and many times in the Psalms. There have been various suggestions as to its meaning, but its signification is not really known. The Targum mostly renders the word 'for ever.' The LXX has διάψαλμα, denoting, as some think, 'a pause, a break or rest.'  'Pause, consider,' is perhaps its signification.

Seled. [Sel'ed]

Son of Nadab, a descendant of Judah. 1 Chr. 2:30.

Seleucia. [Seleu'cia]

A seaport some sixteen miles from Antioch in Syria, from whence Paul and Barnabas embarked on their first missionary journey; doubtless they landed there on their return. Acts 13:4; Acts 14:26. It was founded by Seleucus Nicator, the successor in Syria to Alexander the Great. There are two piers in the old harbour still called Paul and Barnabas. The modern village is called es Suweidiyeh, 36 15' N, 35 50' E.



Semachiah. [Semachi'ah]

Son of Shemaiah, a son of Obed-edom. 1 Chr. 26:7.

Semei. [Sem'ei]

Son of Joseph, in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus. Luke 3:26.

Senaah. [Sena'ah]


Senate, Senators.

The 'assembly of the elders, priests,' etc. Ps. 105:22; Acts 5:21. See SANHEDRIN.

Seneh. [Sen'eh]

Rock in the "passage of Michmash" where the Philistines had a garrison in the days of Saul. 1 Sam. 14:4.

Senir. [Senir']


Sennacherib. [Sennach'erib]

Son and successor of Sargon, king of Assyria. He invaded Syria and Palestine in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign. Hezekiah owned that he had offended, and paid to him a tribute of three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. Sennacherib has left an account of this on a clay tablet. He says he captured forty-six fenced cities, and the fortresses and villages round about them belonging to Hezekiah the Jew, and carried away 200,150 souls, and horses, mules, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep without number, etc. He shut up Hezekiah in his house at Jerusalem like a bird in a cage. Cf. 2 Kings 18:13-16; 2 Chr. 32:1-8.

On Sennacherib's second invasion, he sent insulting and impious messages to Hezekiah, who apparently was again trusting in Egypt. But an angel of God destroyed the Assyrian army. Of course the monuments say nothing of this. The king returned to Assyria, and did not venture to invade Palestine again. He was eventually murdered by two of his sons, and Esar-haddon, another son, succeeded him. 2 Kings 18:17-37; 2 Kings 19:1-37; 2 Chr. 32:9-22; Isa. 36; Isa. 37. Apparently Sennacherib was co-regent with Sargon in B.C. 714 when he invaded Judaea the first time; he reigned alone from B.C. 705 to 681.


The word is ψυχικός, 'animal, sensuous,' in opposition to what is 'spiritual.' It is translated 'natural' in 1 Cor. 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:44, 46. To be sensual is to be led by the passions of man's flesh: it is placed with 'earthly' and 'devilish' in James 3:15; and is contrasted with having the Holy Spirit in Jude 19.

Senuah. [Senu'ah]

Father of Judah who returned from exile. Neh. 11:9.

Seorim. [Seo'rim]

Head of -the fourth course of the priests. 1 Chr. 24:8.

Sephar. [Sephar']

A mountainous district, the boundary of the descendants of Joktan. Gen. 10:30. Probably Dhafar (pronounced Zafar) or Dhafari (pronounced Zafari) in Hadramaut, part of Southern Arabia.

Sepharad. [Sepha'rad]

Place where the Jews were in captivity, but from whence they would be brought to possess 'the cities of the south.' Obadiah 20. The LXX has 'as far as Ephratha'; and the Vulgate 'in Bosphoro.' Jerome considered the word signified 'boundary,' and referred to the dispersion of the Jews in any region.

Sepharvaim. [Sepharva'im]

Place conquered by Assyria, and from whence people were sent to colonise Samaria. 2 Kings 17:24, 31; 2 Kings 18:34; 2 Kings 19:13; Isa. 36:19; Isa. 37:13.  Identified with Sippara, on the Euphrates, 33 5' N, 44 15' E.

Sepharvites. [Sepharvites']

The inhabitants of Sepharvaim: they burnt their children in the fire to their gods. 2 Kings 17:31.

Septuagint, The.

As this version of the Old Testament is constantly referred to in biblical works, a short account of it is appended. Its name has arisen from the tradition that the translation was made by seventy Jews (or seventy-two, six out of each of the twelve tribes); but this is considered improbable. It is however often referred to simply by the numeral LXX.

It is believed to have been made at Alexandria, and to have been begun about B.C. 280. The translation was by Alexandrian Jews, and by different persons. Some parts are found to be a better translation than others, the Pentateuch being considered the best, and the historical parts better than the poetical, except the Psalms and the Proverbs. It has been judged that the Hebrew MSS used in the translation had not the vowel points found in modern Hebrew Bibles, nor any divisions between the words. This may account for some of the differences between the Hebrew and the Greek, but there are variations, the origin of which cannot now be ascertained. The many quotations from the LXX adopted by the Lord Jesus and by the writers of the N.T., make it evident that it was then in common use, and its language in a great measure influenced that employed in the N.T. The principal uncial manuscripts are the Codices Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, and Ephraemi; with a number of cursive copies. The Vaticanus is the MS usually printed, with more or less of the various readings.*

* This has been translated into English by Sir Charles Brenton, and published by Messrs. Bagster, who also publish a Handy Concordance of the Septuagint. The Oxford Press has a full Concordance, including the Apocrypha

The Hebrew Old Testament was also anciently translated into Greek by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, but of these only fragments remain in Origen's Hexapla, except Theodotion's Daniel, which is usually preferred to the translation of that prophet by the LXX.

The Septuagint can never take the place of the Hebrew Scriptures; but it is often useful to show how the Jews at that early period, who understood both Hebrew and Greek, translated many of the words or sentences; as well as to see how far the Lord and His apostles quoted that version verbatim, or how their citations differed from it.  See QUOTATIONS.



Serah. [Se'rah]

See SARAH, daughter of Asher.

Seraiah. [Serai'ah]

1.  David's scribe or secretary. 2 Sam. 8:17. See SHAVSHA.

2. Son of Azariah, and high priest in the reign of Zedekiah. When Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar he was carried to Riblah, and there put to death. 2 Kings 25:18; 1 Chr. 6:14; Jer. 52:24.

3. Son of Tanhumeth: a captain in the time of Gedaliah. 2 Kings 25:23; Jer. 40:8.

4. Son of Kenaz and brother of Othniel. 1 Chr. 4:13-14.

5. Son of Asiel, of the tribe of Simeon. 1 Chr. 4:35.

6. A chief man who returned from exile. Ezra 2:2. Supposed, as in the margin, to be called AZARIAH in Neh. 7:7.

7. Father of Ezra the scribe. Ezra 7:1.

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

9. Son of Hilkiah: 'ruler of the house of God.' Neh. 11:11.

10. Priest who returned from exile. Neh. 12:1, 12.

11. Son of Azriel: he was ordered by Jehoiakim to seize Baruch and Jeremiah. Jer. 36:26.

12. Son of Neriah: to him was committed by Jeremiah a roll 'written against Babylon,' to be read at Babylon, and then with a stone tied to it, he was to cast it into the Euphrates; and to declare, "Thus shall Babylon sink." Jer. 51:59-64. In verse 59, instead of 'a quiet prince,' it is better translated 'chief chamberlain,' as in the margin.


Symbolical celestial beings seen by Isaiah standing above the Lord on His throne (Adonai, but many MSS read Jehovah). Each had three sets of wings: with one pair he covered his face, in token of reverence; with another he covered his feet, in token of humility; and with the third he flew to accomplish his mission.

Gesenius and Fürst give to the word saraph the meanings 'to burn,' and 'to be exalted.' They trace the seraphim to the latter signification, as 'exalted ones.' The word occurs only in Num. 21:6; Deut. 8:15, translated 'fiery;' and in Num. 21:8; Isa. 14:29; Isa. 30:6, translated 'fiery serpent.' In Isa. 6:2-7 (the plural) the seraphim are exalted beings, but the only actions recorded there are that one brought a live coal from off the altar and laid it upon the prophet's mouth, and said, "Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." They cried to one another, "Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."

The distinction between seraphim and cherubim may be that, while the former bear witness to God's holiness (that is, to His nature), in the latter are exhibited the principles of His righteous government on the earth. The 'living creatures' of Rev. 4 combine the characteristics of both cherubim and seraphim.

Sered. [Se'red]

Firstborn of Zebulun, and ancestor of the SARDITES. Gen. 46:14; Num. 26:26.

Sergius Paulus. [Ser'gius Pau'lus]

Roman proconsul of Cyprus when Paul and Barnabas visited that island. Having heard the word, and seen Elymas struck with blindness, he believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Acts 13:7-12.


ῥαβδοῦχος. This was literally 'one who carried a rod:' an inferior Roman officer who attended the magistrates to execute their orders, otherwise called a LICTOR. Acts 16:35, 38. They carried a bundle of rods, in the centre of which was an axe.


The Hebrew word most commonly translated serpent is nachash, agreeing with ὄφις in the N.T., so called because of its 'hissing.' These words are used for the serpent that beguiled Eve, Gen. 3:1-14; 2 Cor. 11:3, and in other passages where Satan is alluded to. Isa. 27:1; Rev. 12:9-15; Rev. 20:2.

Satan has succeeded in causing the serpent to be worshipped all over the world. Nachash is also the word for the serpents that bit the Israelites in Num. 21:6-9. In Num. 21:8, for the serpent that Moses was told to make, the word is saraph, 'FIERY SERPENT,' signifying that the poison burnt like fire, as we say 'a burning pain,' though the serpents may also have been of a red colour. From the bite of these serpents much people died.

The serpents mentioned in Isa. 14:29; Isa. 30:6, are described as 'FIERY FLYING SERPENTS.' There is no known species of serpent that fly: the allusion may be to those which dart short distances from tree to tree; but in both the passages the language is figurative.

Three other words are translated 'serpent:' zachal, Deut. 32:24; tannin Ex. 7:9-12 (to what particular species these refer is not known); and ἑρπετόν, James 3:7, this word refers to any creeping thing or reptile.

The taming and charming of serpents is alluded to, which shows that it was an ancient practice. Ps. 58:4-5; Ecc. 10:11; Jer. 8:17.

The Lord bade His disciples be as wise as serpents, probably an allusion to Gen. 3:1. The word 'subtil' there is translated by the same word in the LXX as used in this passage. It is 'prudence.'