Bible Dictionary V

Vashni. [Vash'ni]

See JOEL No. 1.

Vashti. [Vash'ti]

Queen of Ahasuerus, whom he repudiated on account of her refusing to show her beauty before the people and princes at the king's feast. Esther 1:9-19; Esther 2:1, 4, 17.

Veadar. [Ve-a'dar]




Versions of the Scripture, Ancient.

It is very gratifying to find in history how in many places, as the gospel was disseminated and souls were saved, they naturally felt a need for the scriptures, and how that need was by the providence of God supplied. This blessing would doubtless have been vouchsafed everywhere, and continually without a break, had not apostate Rome extended its influence and wickedly suppressed the knowledge of the scriptures in order that its own assumption might have full sway.

Though Christianity entered into the British Isles at a very early date, it was not till the year 1380 that the English New Testament was issued, in spite of Rome, only however to be collected and burnt by the clergy so far as they could.

Under the article VARIOUS READINGS it is shown that early translations of the New Testament are used as evidence of what was in the primitive Greek text, and we now proceed to name the principal of these versions. They are important, as some of them are of an earlier date than any existing Greek Manuscript.

1.  THE AETHIOPIC VERSION.  The date of this is not known: some place it in the fourth century, but it was probably later. The introduction of Christianity into that part of Africa is remarkable. Meropius, a philosopher of Tyre, determined to visit that region, which ecclesiastical historians termed 'India.' On landing at a port, the whole party was attacked, peace having been broken previously between these 'Indians' and Rome: all were massacred except two young relatives of Meropius, named Frumentius and AEdesius, who were carried to the king. He set them at liberty and employed them, and on his death, they were appointed ministers of the young king. They began to teach the Christian religion to the Abyssinians, and a place was set apart for the worship of the true God. Frumentius was afterwards appointed Bishop of that district by Athanasius. It has been judged that the version was made from the Greek, but by one who did not well understand that language.

The AEthiopic New Testament was printed at Rome in the years 1548-9, but it was incorrect, the printers being altogether ignorant of the language. It was reprinted in Walton's Polyglott, with (says Ludolf) the same and additional errors; but it had now a Latin translation, which enabled the Editors of the Greek Testament to quote the AEthiopic as an evidence for or against certain readings. The value of its testimony was enhanced by C. A. Bode, who furnished a more correct text and a better Latin translation. (Brunswick, 1753.) The fact of the MSS being of different recensions lessens their critical value.

2.  ARABIC VERSIONS.  There have been five printed Editions of the Arabic New Testament. The Gospels issued at Rome in 1590-1; one at Leyden in 1616, called the Erpenian Arabic; the Arabic in the Paris Polyglott in 1645; the same in Walton's Polyglott in 1657; and one at Rome in 1703, called the Carshuni. It is known that in the eighth century John, Bishop of Seville, translated the holy scriptures into Arabic but it is not known whether he translated from the Greek or the Latin, nor what other translations were made. The Arabic is seldom quoted by the Editors, as it is judged to be of little value as evidence.

3. ARMENIAN VERSION.  In the fifth century arose a desire to have an Armenian alphabet, the Syrian having been previously used. Miesrob invented an alphabet for his nation, and appears to have regarded it as a gift from heaven. He laboured to instruct the Armenians, being warmly aided by Isaac the patriarch. They then became eager to have the scriptures in their own tongue, and an effort was made to translate from the Syriac. This was, however, abandoned, and Miesrob, with two or three others, resorted to Alexandria to learn more perfectly the Greek language. The Old Testament was translated from the LXX, and the New Testament from the Greek.

In the seventeenth century MS copies of the Armenian Bible being very scarce, a bishop named Oscan or Uscan was sent to Europe to get it printed. After vainly trying to get it done at Rome, he proceeded to Amsterdam and there it was printed in 1666. Not having, however, any Latin interpretation, it was not readily available to Editors of the Greek Testament, though some of its readings were furnished to Mill, Griesbach, and Scholz. Dr. Tregelles at length succeeded, by the aid of Dr. C. Rieu, in ascertaining its readings more generally.

4. EGYPTIAN VERSIONS.  Of these there are two, probably being both dialects of the Ancient Egyptian language. When only one was known it was called the Coptic, but another recension being discovered, the first-named is now called the MEMPHITIC or BOHAIRIC. The translation is assigned to the second century: though there are no MSS of so early a date.

The first printed edition appeared, in 1716, at Oxford, but badly collated from various MSS by Wilkins, with a Latin interpretation. A better edition of the four Gospels was edited by Schwartze in 1846-8. And the Acts and Epistles were issued by Boetticher of Halle later. Thus the Memphitic Version became available to the Editors of the Greek Testament, and is often quoted by them.

4.2. THE THEBAIC VERSION.  This has been also called the Sahidic. It is assigned to the second century, some MSS being judged to be of the fifth century and others of the sixth century. Fragments of this recension were issued from time to time, and Ford attempted to gather up the fragments in one edition as an Appendix to the Codex Alexandrinus in 1799. Griesbach and succeeding Editors quoted this version.

There are now accounted to be three other dialects of ancient Egyptian, of which fragments of the New Testament have been found. They are called, 1. The Fayoumic or Bashmuric. 2. Middle Egyptian or Coptic, or Lower Sahidic. 3. Akhmimic.

5. GOTHIC VERSION. This was made by Ulphilas, about A.D. 348. The Goths from Scandinavia had invaded the Roman territory, and carried away a number of captives. These by their intercourse with the barbarians brought a number of them to embrace the true faith, at least nominally. Theophilus was their first bishop: he was present at the Council of Nice and subscribed the Nicene creed. Ulphilas, a Cappadocian, a descendant of some of the captives, became his successor, but the Arian error was at that time dominant in the empire and he subscribed the Arian creed, and this the Goths then generally held. Except in one passage (Phil. 2:6) it is not apparent that the Arian heresy influenced Ulphilas in his translation: the Arians maintained their creed more by interpretation. It was made in the fourth century. The Old Testament was also translated, but curiously enough the four books of Kings were omitted, being "prudently suppressed," says Gibbon, "as they might tend to irritate the fierce and sanguinary spirit of the barbarians."

5.2. A remarkably beautiful copy of the Gothic Gospels is called the CODEX ARGENTEUS, being written in silver, with the initial words in gold. It is assigned to the fifth or early in the sixth century. Queen Christina gave it her librarian, Isaac Vossius, and from him it was purchased about 1662 by the Swedish nation, and deposited at Upsal. The Gospels are in the Western or Latin order, Matthew, John, Luke and Mark. There are 187 leaves (out of 330) of purple vellum, 4to.

5.3. CODICES AMBROSIANI, being five manuscripts, now in the Ambrosian Library of Milan. They contain the Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, and to Timothy almost entire, and fragments of Philippians, Colossians, Titus, and Philemon. They were discovered and rescued from palimpsests. These are not unlike the Codex Carolinus.

5.4.  CODEX CAROLINUS.  This contains about forty verses of the Epistle to the Romans. It is also a palimpsest, and is accompanied by a Latin version. It has been traced to Mayence and Prague, and was purchased by a duke of Brunswick in 1689.

6.  LATIN VERSIONS.  For these see VULGATE.

7.  SLAVONIC VERSION.  A portion of the Slavonic race had settled in a district bounded by the Danube and in Great Moravia. The production of the version bearing this name is interesting. A missionary from Thessalonica, named Cyril, visited these tribes, learnt their language, and then invented an alphabet that he might translate into their vernacular tongue the word of God. He commenced his labours there, with his brother Methodius, A.D. 862. The version is assigned to the ninth century, though the oldest known MS belongs to the year 1056. The four Gospels were published in 1512, and in 1581 the whole Bible. It has been quoted by Wetstein, Griesbach, etc.

8.  SYRIAC VERSIONS.  It is generally admitted that as early as the second century a Syriac New Testament was in existence. Eusebius speaks of quotat ions being made from the Syriac, but the origin of the version is not known. It is clear that as far back as the fifth century the scriptures were in use among the Syrian Christians. Unhappily there was an early division among them, that has never been healed; but the Nestorians, Monophysites (those who believed there was but one nature in Christ, the Word), and those claiming to be orthodox, all use the same recension of the scriptures.

This version became known by being brought into Europe in 1552 for the purpose of being printed. It was finished in 1555. It did not include the Catholic Epistles nor the Revelation. John 8:1-11 was also wanting. (These portions have been found in other Syriac translations.) It found a place in the various Polyglots, and has been highly valued as a faithful record of the Greek text. It is commonly called the Peshito, 'or Simple.'

8.2. THE CURETONIAN SYRIAC.  This takes its name from Dr. Wm. Cureton, who observed, bound up with other Syriac MSS in the British Museum, some leaves containing a large part of the four Gospels in a recension different from the Peshito. Its early date is undoubted, and it is highly valued. It has been published with an English translation.

8.3. THE PHILOXENIAN SYRIAC.  This embraces the whole New Testament except the Revelation. It was professedly made by Polycarp, 'Rural-bishop,' about A.D. 508, for Xenaias of Mabug, who is also called Philoxenus (whence the name of the version) in 616. It having been revised and modified by one called Thomas of Harkel, very little of the original translation is left, except in one copy at Rome uncollated. Still the translation from the Greek is so literal that it leaves no doubt as to what the Greek copy contained. It is also called the HARKLEIAN from Thomas of Harkel.

8.4.  THE PALESTINIAN or JERUSALEM SYRIAC consisting of fragments; and

8.5.  THE KARKAPHLENSIAN SYRIAC, being of much later date, do not need to be referred to here.

All these versions, as they became available, were consulted by the various Editors of the Greek New Testament: some Editors attaching more importance to certain of them than was done by others.

Some of the versions included the Old Testament or portions of it.

All these various translations into different languages are a marked contrast to the policy of Rome with regard to the scriptures. The Dark Ages followed, especially where Rome had its sway, and light and learning diminished. God's set time however arrived: the darkness and ignorance were deplored, and one here and there was empowered by God to seek to spread the light of the holy scriptures among those professing Christianity, and more modern versions of the word of God were gradually made and printed, being hailed with delight by all who wished to know what God Himself had revealed as the only way of salvation, and to know His will concerning themselves.

From that time, translations have rapidly increased: missionaries all over the world have no sooner obtained a footing and learnt the language, than they have constructed a grammar, and proceeded to translate portions of scripture for those whose salvation they seek. "The word of God is not bound." 2 Tim. 2:9.

Versions of the Scripture, English.

Bede relates that Caedmon embodied a history of the Bible in Anglo-Saxon poetry; Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, translated the Psalms in the seventh century; and Bede translated the Gospel of John; he finished dictating it as he breathed his last, A.D. 735.  King Alfred translated Ex. 20 — Ex. 23 as the groundwork of his legislation: he desired indeed that "all the free-born youth of his kingdom should be able to read the English scriptures."

There is also an Anglo-Saxon MS of a version of the Gospels interlinear with the Latin Vulgate in the British Museum (cir. A.D. 680); also another (cir. 900) in a different translation at Oxford. There was also a translation of the Psalms. These and other portions were the first sparks of light that created the longing for the full light of God's word in English.

1.  WYCLIFFE was the first to give to England a translation of the whole of the New Testament. He completed the four Gospels first, with a commentary, saying in his preface that he did it "so that pore Cristen men may some dele know the text of the Gospel with the comyn sentence of olde holie doctores."

The Old Testament was undertaken by his coadjutor, Nicholas de Hereford. He had proceeded as far as the middle of Baruch (following the order of the Vulgate) when he was in A.D. 1382 cited before Archbishop Arundel. Others followed to revise and increase the copies. All these were translations of the Latin.

Wycliffe's version must have been well circulated, for though Arundel destroyed many copies there are about 150 manuscripts of it still existing.

WYCLIFFE — John 1:1.

In the bigynnynge was the word and the word was at god, and god was the word.

Succeeding translations have "with God."  Coverdale and Cranmer have "God was the word."

2.  TYNDALE. This man made the translation of the scriptures the work of his life. He said he would cause "a boy that driveth the plough" to know more of scripture than the great body of the clergy then knew. In his work there was a great advance inasmuch as after study he was able to translate from both the Hebrew and the Greek. He had to carry on his work abroad, and to change his abode frequently in order to baffle those who sought his life.

Edition followed edition, which were smuggled into England in various ways, and were there readily bought and circulated. On one occasion his enemies purchased a large portion of an edition to destroy it, and the money thus obtained furnished the funds for bringing out a revised issue.

To show the opposition of the Papists to these copies of the scripture being brought into England, Sir Thomas More may be quoted: " . . . . which books, albeit that they neither can be there printed without great cost, nor here sold without great adventure and peril: yet cease they not with money sent from hence, to print them there, and send them hither, by the whole vatts-full at once. And, in some places, looking for no lucre, cast them abroad by night; so great a pestilent pleasure have some devilish people caught, with the labour, travel, cost, charge, peril, harm, and hurt of themselves, to seek the destruction of others."

Through God's intervention neither Wolsey nor the king, neither More nor Cromwell, with all their agents, were able to arrest the supposed culprit. Other plans, however, were at last successful: Henry Philips and Gabriel Dunne with subtilty entrapped him, the former passing as a gentleman, and the latter as his servant. Philips by mixing with the merchants discovered Tyndale's retreat, made his acquaintance, and professed great friendship for him, but only first to rob him under the plea of a loan, and then to betray him into the hands of his enemies. He lingered in prison several months and then suffered martyrdom in 1536.

His translation of the New Testament appeared in A.D. 1525, and he translated portions of the O.T. before his death. The New Testament was reprinted many times abroad and once in London.

TYNDALE — John 10:16.

And other shepe I have, which are not of this folde. Them also must I bringe, that they maye heare my voyce, and that ther maye be one flocke and one shepeherde.

Both Wycliffe and Coverdale agree with the "one flock," so that if the translators of the A.V. had made the best use of the translations that preceded them, they would not have put "one fold."

3.  COVERDALE.  This translation was produced under a somewhat different spirit from that possessed by Tyndale. As we have seen Tyndale's was his life's work and a labour of love, but Coverdale could say that he "sought it not, neither desired it," but accepted it as work assigned him. Yet he attempted to do his best, and with good will. The people in England began generally to desire the scriptures. Tyndale's prefaces and notes had given so much offence, that there was no prospect of the king giving his sanction to that translation being reprinted. But through the influence of Cranmer and Cromwell all difficulties were removed as to Coverdale's, and the work was completed. The king sent copies to the bishops, who were in no hurry to give their judgement. They were at length requested to give their opinion as to its merits. They declared that there were many faults therein. "Well," said king Henry, "but are there any heresies maintained thereby?" They replied that there were no heresies. "Then if there are no heresies," said the king, "in God's name let it go abroad among the people."

The edition was issued in 1535, but it is not now known where it was printed. Coverdale placed the Apocrypha at the end of the O.T., instead of mixing it with the canonical books, as in the Vulgate.

It is curious to notice that on the title page it says "faithfully translated out of Douche and Latyn." One would have naturally expected that it should have been from the Hebrew and Greek; but it has been remarked that in those troublous times the 'Douche' would be pleasing to those who held Luther's name in honour, whereas the 'Latyn' would conciliate Gardiner and his party. Coverdale apparently alludes to having Tyndale's translation before him, but also speaks of five others: these were probably the Vulgate, Luther's, the German Swiss, the Latin of Pagninus, and perhaps Wycliffe's.

COVERDALE — Psalm 26: (27) 14.

O tary thou the LORDES leysure, be stronge, let thine hert be of good comforte and wayte thou still for the LORDE.

4.  MATTHEW.  This has been judged to have been the translation of Rogers, of Cambridge, the name of Matthew being assumed to conceal the translator. Rogers, when indicted in the days of Mary, is called Joannes Rogers, alias Matthew, and his martyrdom followed. It was probably printed abroad, and published in England by Grafton and Whitchurch, who wanted not only the king's sanction but a monopoly for five years. This the king would not grant. They then asked that every incumbent should purchase a copy and that every abbey should take six copies. The result was that the king ordered by royal proclamation that a copy should be set up in every church, the cost being divided between the clergy and the people.

This was therefore the first "Authorised Version," and for it to be in every church was a great advance in the circulation of the scriptures in England. Its date is A.D. 1537.

5.  CRANMER'S  (passing over TAVERNER'S Edition, 1539, as a reprint of Matthew's, with the notes altered and some omitted) takes precedence of all that had yet been attempted as to detail of interpretation. Words not in the original were in a different type. It was pointed out, at least partially, where the Vulgate differed from the Hebrew, and where the Chaldee and Hebrew differed. It had marginal references, but no notes.

It appended the Preface to the Apocrypha that had appeared in Matthew's Bible, but, curiously enough, in order to avoid giving offence to the Romish party by the name of Apocrypha, they sought for some other word, and adopted the inaccurate statement that the "Books were called Hagiographa,'' because "they were read in secret and apart"! This term, which signifies 'holy writings,' is applied to some of the canonical books, of the O.T.  See BIBLE.

The first edition was in 1539 or 40, and in 1541 an edition appeared as "authorised" to be used and frequented in every church in the kingdom.

CRANMER — 1 John 3:4.

Whosoeuer commytteth synne, committeth vnryghteousnes also, and synne is vnryghteousnes.

Tyndale and Coverdale agree with Cranmer; Wycliffe has "synne is wickidnesse," and the Rheims Version has "sinne is iniquitie" — there were thus five early witnesses against the A.V.'s translation of "sin is the transgression of the law".

6.  GENEVA.  Cranmer's edition did not give general satisfaction. Some thought the English might be improved, and its bulk in folio and its expense were against its circulation. It, however, held its ground until Queen Mary ascended the throne, when a stop was put to all Bible-printing in England. The persecution drove many away, and among other exiles the following took refuge at Geneva: Whittingham, Gilby, Goodman, Sampson, and Coverdale, the last-named having laboured on Cranmer's edition. These men zealously set to work on a new translation, and laboured for two years or more "night and day."

In A.D. 1557 the New Testament was ready, and in 1560 the whole Bible. It was largely imported in the reign of Elizabeth, and was reprinted in England. Being smaller and cheaper it found favour, and held its ground for about 60 years — partly owing no doubt to a monopoly being given to James Bodleigh. This was transferred to Barker whose family held the right of printing Bibles for more than a century.

This edition was printed in Roman type instead of the black letter which had formerly been employed. It was also divided into verses, and was the first English Bible that entirely omitted the Apocrypha.

GENEVA — Romans 5:11.

And not only so, but we also reioyse in God by the meanes of our Lord Iesus Christe, by whom we haue now receaued the atonement.

Wycliffe and the Rheims version have "reconciliation," the right translation.

7.  THE BISHOPS' BIBLE.  Fault being found with the Geneva version, especially by the clergy, Archbishop Parker was very desirous for a new translation. Some eight bishops with deans and professors proceeded with the work, and in A.D. 1568 a folio Bible was issued. It was sought to make it attractive: finer woodcuts were inserted, also a map of Palestine, and genealogical tables.

A novelty was introduced by classifying the books as legal, historical, sapiential, and prophetic. The Gospels, the Catholic Epistles, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews were grouped as legal; Paul's other Epistles as sapiential; the Acts as historical; and the Revelation as prophetical. Some passages were marked to be omitted when read in the service of the church.

Opinions were divided as to the translation: some extolled it highly, but it did not commend itself to scholars generally. On the whole it had but little success.

8. RHEIMS AND DOUAY.  The Romanists had often pointed a finger of scorn at the different English translations as not exhibiting unity; and, as they could not hinder the circulation of Bibles in England, they determined to have a translation of their own. The Protestant refugees had produced the Geneva Edition, and now some Romanists, who had resorted to the continent, set to work at Rheims. The principal persons engaged in it were William Allen, Gregory Martin, and Richard Bristow.

As the title states it was a translation from "the authentic Latin, according to the best corrected copies of the same, diligently conferred with the Greek and other editions in divers languages." They gave various reasons why the Latin was chosen, such as that it agreed with the Greek, or where it did not, it was better than the Greek. The New Testament was issued in A.D. 1582; and the Old Testament, printed at Douay, in 1609. We give a specimen.

The RHEIMS Edition — Luke 15:7.

I say to you, that euen so there shall be ioy in heauen vpon one sinner that doth penance, then vpon ninetie nine iust that neede not penance.

It is remarkable that Wycliffe also used the word "penance" in this and other passages.

Version, The Authorised.

On the accession of James (A.D. 1603) there were more outcries for a new translation of the Bible, but the suggestion was as strongly discountenanced by others. It was discussed at the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, but nothing definitely settled.

The king, however, took up the matter: it would be to the glory of his reign. He proceeded to make the needed arrangements, fifty-four scholars were chosen, though only forty-seven names appear in the lists in Fuller, etc.: some were connected with 'the church,' and others taken from the Puritans. The king exhorted the clergy to contribute 1000 marks, and he was to be informed of what each man gave, intimating that when any vacancies occurred, he would think of the translators for preferment. The colleges were to give free board and lodging to such as came from country places.

The king drew up a list of instructions, among which were

1.  The Bishops' Bible was to be followed, being as little altered as the original would permit.

2.  The translations of Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, Whitchurch (that is, Cranmer's), and the Geneva to be used when they agree better with the text than the Bishops' Bible.

3.  The old ecclesiastical names were to be retained, as church, bishop, etc.

4.  When any word had various significations, that was to be retained which had been most commonly used by the most eminent fathers, if suitable to the propriety of the place and the analogy of faith.

5.  No marginal notes were to be added, only such as explained the Hebrew and Greek words.

6.  Marginal references were to be added. (These were but few in the edition of 1611, most of those in modern editions were added afterwards.)

Then followed instructions as to the company being divided into committees; each person was to bring his own alterations, and these were to be considered and settled in each committee, and then passed on to the other committees. The work of translation occupied three years, and then six of the company were chosen to superintend its publication. The Company of Stationers gave, in instalments, thirty pounds to each of them for their expenses.

The Bible was issued in 1611, and was often re-printed; by degrees errors crept in, some being very serious. A revision of the whole was undertaken in the year 1683 by Dr. Scattergood; and it was again examined in 1769 by Dr. Blayney, who revised the punctuation, corrected the italics, added the translations of the proper names, altered the summaries of the chapters, greatly added to the marginal references, and amended some of the chronology.

The Dedication, with its flattery first of King James, and then of Queen Elizabeth, is commonly inserted in all editions; but the Preface is seldom given. It makes a sort of apology for the work they had done: it was not to make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one: "their endeavour was to make a good one better, or out of many good ones one principal good one." They had endeavoured to take a middle course between the Puritans who had forsaken "the old ecclesiastical words," and the obscurity of the Papists in "retaining foreign words of purpose to darken the sense.'' They justify their plan of translating the same word by different words on the legitimate plea that the same word could not always be translated by the same English word; but they varied the translation where the sense was the same, under the plea that it would have been advancing some words to "a place in the Bible always," and banishing for ever others of like quality: curiously adding "niceness in words was always counted the next step to trifling."  John 5 gives an instance of such variations. The word κρίσις is translated 'judgement ' in John 5:22, 27, 30; 'condemnation' in John 5:24; and 'damnation' in John 5:29; 'judgement' suits well in all these verses.

The translation was highly extolled by many as next to perfection, but was equally criticised and condemned by some. Hugh Broughton, described as the greatest Hebrew scholar of the age, but who had not been invited to help in the work, declared he "would rather be torn in pieces by wild horses than impose such a version on the poor churches of England"!  This is a verdict that has been annulled by the praise bestowed upon it by thousands of learned men ever since, who, without saying that the translation is perfect, have yet spoken in the highest terms of its excellence as a whole, and indeed this opinion is evidenced in that it has held its ground for nearly 400 years, and has been the means of carrying the gospel and God's revealed truth wherever in the world the English language is spoken, to the salvation of lost sinners, and to the comfort and edification of believers.

And this is not all: it is a noteworthy fact that amidst all the divisions of Christendom, with its various discussions, all have been content to appeal to the same English Authorised Version.

The version in 1611 was so gladly hailed that five editions were printed in the succeeding three years. The Geneva Version was not, however, eclipsed by it: for between 1611 and 1617 it had as many as thirteen reprints.

Though the Authorised Version was said to have been translated from the Hebrew and the Greek, there is no intimation either in the instructions given to the translators nor in their preface as to what Greek text was used. Being a revision rather than a translation they might have simply followed the Bishops' Bible in this respect, but they did not do that, and it is uncertain what text they followed.

It is commonly understood that the Authorised Version corresponds with the 'common Greek text,' as given, for instance, in Stephen's 1550. Beza's text came after that of Stephen, and those of Elzevir were not then published. But the A.V. in about 28 places follows neither Stephen nor Beza, so that it appears they did not follow any strict rule as to the text they adopted. The differences are not of great importance and a few of them have been altered in modern reprints.

To show the cost of the early editions of the English New Testaments, it may be mentioned that in 1429 Nicholas Belward was accused of having in his possession a New Testament which he had bought in London for four marks and forty pence (£2 16s. 8d.) a sum equal in value to more than £40 in modern times. Now, 1899, a New Testament can be purchased for one penny, and a Bible for six pence.

Version, The Revised English.

This originated with a resolution passed in the Convocation of Canterbury in the year 1870.  A Committee of Revisers was appointed for the Old Testament and another for the New, and the work was proceeded with. The New Testament was published in May, 1881.

Besides the few remarks with regard to this Revision under VARIOUS READINGS, as to the violation of the principles laid down for the guidance of the Revisers, both as to the Greek text they should adopt, and as to the translation — a few further notes are added.

The Revisers in their Preface speak enthusiastically of the Authorised Version, stating how they admired "its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression, its general accuracy," and did not fail to add, "the music of its cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm."

In contrast to this, Bishop Chr. Wordsworth says, of the R.V., "To pass from the one to the other is as it were, to alight from a well-built and well-hung carriage which glides easily over a macadamised road — and to get into one which has bad springs, or none at all, and in which you are jolted in ruts with aching bones over the stones of a newly-mended and rarely- traversed road."

The mere style of the English is of little consequence in comparison to giving the sense of the original without any room for uncertainty. The same writer says, "We meet in every page with small changes, which are vexatious, teasing, and irritating, even the more so because they are small; which seem almost to be made for the sake of change."

To this may be added the marginal notes of readings by 'some' or 'many' authorities, which leave the reader in doubt as to the text in many places.

On the other hand, Bishop Ellicott and others have strongly defended the Revision both as to its Greek basis and its translation. But Bishop Ellicott was chairman of the revising committee.

In conclusion, a writer, well versed in scripture, and a Greek scholar, who fully acknowledges that the Version has many improvements on the A.V., after pointing out many errors, says, "On the whole, I accuse the Revisers of having mischievously erred as to the use of prepositions, particularly ἐν, to have been entirely ignorant of the force of the definite article, and to have made a complete mess of the Greek aorist, blundering as to Greek and English . . . . I do not find the mind of God apprehended, so as to help a simple Christian; nor do I find, though the grace of Almighty God is referred to, any reference to the Spirit of God as Author, or as help in the work . . . . I believe that a person who takes it up for his daily use will injure his own soul."

The Revisers had an avowed Unitarian amongst them, and how could God bless such dishonour on His beloved Son?

All the above remarks refer to the New Testament. A different company translated the Old Testament. In that, the Hebrew text did not need much revision, and it does not appear that its translation has met with such censure.


Wardrobe. 2 Kings 10:22.


Golden bowls, mentioned in the symbolical language of the Revelation as

1.  Containing incense or odours, which are the prayers of saints. Rev. 5:8.

2.  Containing the wrath of God. There are seven direct judgements of the wrath of God (they are no longer mere providential actings) upon the settled sphere of God's dealings, whereby those who have received the mark of the beast are grievously affected; and upon masses of people outside that sphere, and upon the sources of national life and prosperity; also on those in authority in the world; also on the Euphrates, that it may be dried up to make way for the kings from the sun rising; followed by a general break up of human governments introductory to the reign of Christ. Rev. 15:7; Rev. 16:1-17; Rev. 17:1; Rev. 21:9.  See REVELATION.


A term often used in the O.T. where a city is mentioned and 'its villages,' but at times nothing more is meant than its 'suburbs,' not in the sense of separate villages. The two principal words are bath, 'daughter,' Num. 21:25, 32, etc. and chatser, 'hamlet, encampment,' etc. Joshua 18:24, 28, etc.  In the N.T. it is κώμη, 'village,' Matt. 9:35, etc.

Vine, Vineyard.

The vine was extensively cultivated in Palestine. One sign of peace and prosperity was that every man might sit under his own vine. The grapes were large and plentiful, as was proved by the cluster found at Eshcol and borne by the spies. The illustration of a 'vineyard ' representing Israel was one that would be well understood by them. God had formed it in a very fruitful hill, planted it with the choicest vine, and had done everything possible for its fruitfulness and protection. Yet when fruit was sought, it was found to have brought forth only wild grapes. Eventually God broke down the wall thereof, and the vineyard was trodden down — a picture of the state of Israel until now. Ps. 80; Isa.5:1-10.

The Lord when He was upon earth said He was the true Vine, and His disciples were the branches. There could not and cannot be any fruit-bearing but by abiding in Him. John 15:1-5.

Vine of Sodom.

Many suggestions have been made as to what tree this refers to. Josephus speaks of some fruits that grew near the Dead Sea, which "have a colour as if fit to be eaten, but if plucked they dissolve into smoke and ashes." Many have sought for such fruit. Some judge the vine alluded to in scripture to be the poisonous colocynth, which grows near the Dead Sea. May not the term be symbolical of that which leads to destruction, which was the doom of Sodom? Deut. 32:32.


This was a thin sour wine, that might be called either wine or vinegar, there being other words for wine of a better quality. It was the drink of the reapers and of the Roman soldiers. It is represented as intoxicating, and as irritating to the teeth. "As vinegar upon nitre [natron, an alkali], so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart." Prov. 25:20. Its acidity is referred to in Prov. 10:26.

Vinegar was offered to the Lord mingled with myrrh or gall, and He refused it; but He received the vinegar when He had said, 'I thirst,' according to the prophecy "In my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." Num. 6:3; Ruth 2:14; Ps. 69:21; Matt. 27:34, 48, etc.




The time of rejoicing when the grapes were gathered. As there were different elevations in the land, the grapes would not be all ripe at the same time. In reference to the future time of blessing for Israel it is said, "Your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time." Lev. 26:5; Judges 8:2; Job 24:6; Isa. 24:13; Isa. 32:10; Jer. 48:32; Micah 7:1; Zech. 11:2. See SEASONS.


A stringed instrument. The word is nebel, and is often translated 'PSALTERY.' Its exact form is not known. Isa.5:12; Isa.14:11; Amos 5:23; Amos 6:5.


epheh, ἔχιδνα. All we learn from the passages that speak of the viper is that its bite was poisonous: "the viper's tongue shall slay him." When one fixed on Paul's hand they expected that he would drop down dead. What species of serpent is alluded to is unknown. It is only otherwise referred to in the N.T. as symbolical of evil ones. John the Baptist called the multitude who came to be baptised 'a brood of vipers,' and the Lord applies the same term to the scribes and Pharisees, showing the deadly character of their opposition. Job 20:16; Isa. 30:6; Isa. 59:5; Matt. 3:7; Matt. 12:34; Matt. 23:33; Luke 3:7; Acts 28:3.

Virgin, Virginity,

παρθένος. Used symbolically for those in separation from evil. Paul had espoused the saints at Corinth to one husband to 'present them as a chaste virgin to Christ.' 2 Cor. 11:2: cf. Rev. 14:4. In their natural application the words apply to both sexes, and in 1 Cor. 7:36-37 it is perhaps better translated 'his virginity.'


By means of visions God often vouchsafed to make known His will. When Samuel was a child, before the word of Jehovah was revealed to him, for a time 'there was no open vision.' 1 Sam. 3:1, 15. With the prophets they were frequently employed: more than twenty times we read of them in Daniel. In the future when the Spirit will be poured out, Israel's sons and daughters will prophesy; the old men will dream dreams, and the young men will see visions. Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17.  The book of Revelation is a series of visions. Rev. 1:2.



Vophsi. [Voph'si]

Father of Nahbi, of the tribe of Naphtali. Num. 13:14.


The Israelites were not told to make vows, but if they voluntarily made them, God said they must conscientiously perform them. Man is ever ready to boast of his strength, not being conscious of his own weakness. Israel, on hearing the law, did not hesitate to say, "all that the Lord hath said we will do;" but they alas, miserably failed. The law made vows binding, and gave directions as to exceptional cases where it was impossible to perform them. Num. 30:2-14; Deut. 23:21-23; Ps. 1:14; Ecc. 5:4-5; Nahum 1:15; etc.

The only instances of vows in the N.T. are those of Paul (or Aquila, as some judge) at Cenchrea, which is shrouded in mystery, and the four men at Jerusalem. Acts 18:18; Acts 21:23. These were probably the vows of Nazariteship, by the head being shaven. According to the law the final shaving must be at the tabernacle or temple. Num. 6:18.

Vulgate, The.

This is the name usually given to the Latin version of the scriptures, signifying that it is commonly received, and it is the book used and accredited by the Romish church; but there was a Latin version long before that church assumed any authority: indeed the apostle Paul wrote (about A.D. 58) that for 'many years' he had desired to visit the saints at Rome, and it is probable that during those many years the saints there had early copies of the Old Testament in the Latin tongue, and of the New Testament as the Gospels and the Epistles came into existence.

It is known by the evidence of Jerome [346-420] and Augustine [354-430] that in the fourth century there was a great variety of Latin interpretations, though more modern scholars have judged that many of them may be traced to some one unknown recension.

Augustine, however, judged that one of them differed from the rest in its clearness and fidelity, and it was distinguished by the name of Itala or Italic. This has led to the earliest Latin codices being associated with Italy, where, as already observed, there were certainly assemblies in the days of the apostles. Heb. 13:24.

Some nevertheless, by comparing the earliest copies with the writings of the Latin Fathers, are convinced that the primitive translation into Latin was of African origin. This opinion was accepted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Davidson and Tregelles; but others still refer the translation to Italy. May there not have been one made in each place?

The principal MSS quoted by the Editors as dating before the time of Jerome (called Old Latin as well as Italic, though the distinction is not clearly marked) are
a.  Cod. Vercellensis. Contains the Gospels. Century IV.
b.  Cod. Veronensis. The Gospels. A little later than a., a good specimen of the Old Latin.
c.  Cod. Colbertinus. All the N T., but only the Gospels in the Old Latin.  XI.
d.  Cod. Bezae. The Latin that accompanies the Greek D, the Gospels, Acts.  VI. or VII.
d.  Cod. Claromontanus.  Paul's Epistles of the same.  VI. or VII.  It ranks higher than the Gospels and Acts.
e.  Cod. Palatinus. The Gospels.  IV. or V.  A mixed text.
e.  Cod. Laudianus. The Acts of the Greek Codex E.
e.  Cod. Sangermanensis. Paul's Epistles. The Latin text of the Greek Codex E, but is judged to be a copy of d.
g.  Cod. Boernerianus. Paul's Epistles. The Latin interlinear text of the Greek Codex G.  IX. or X.
h.  Cod. Claromontanus. The Gospels, but Matthew only is the Old Latin. IV. or V.
k.  Cod. Bobbiensis. Parts of Matthew and Mark. Judged by some to be the oldest representative of the African type.  IV. or V.
m.  From a "speculum," a remarkable ancient work. It contains a number of doctrines as heads, under which are quoted passages from the O.T. and N.T. without note or comment. The text is considered to be generally African as distinguished from Italic. It contains twice 1 John 5:7, known as "the heavenly witnesses."  VI. or VII.

There are many other portions, some of which are described as European, but it is judged impossible to class some either as African, European, or Italian.

In the fourth century, the Latin copies having multiplied, with obvious corruptions in some of them, a revision was deemed necessary, and Damasus, Bishop of Rome, laid the duty upon Jerome.

Jerome saw the difficulties he would have to encounter in the prejudices that such a work would excite, nevertheless it had to be done. He said there were errors "by false transcription, by clumsy corrections, and by careless interpolations." The evils could only be remedied by going back to the original Greek.

The Gospels having suffered most, he began with them, not, however, making a new translation, but revising the Old Latin. His revision of the Gospels appeared in A.D. 384, with his preface to Damasus, who died in the same year. It is probable that he completed the rest of the New Testament in 385.

In his Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Titus, and Philemon, in 386, he acted as a translator with more freedom than he had exercised as a reviser. And in his new version of the Old Testament, except the Psalms, which had been made from the LXX, he translated from the Hebrew. Of this freedom Augustine disapproved. The people generally resisted alterations: quite a commotion in a church is recorded, the prophet Jonah being read, because Jerome had used the word hedera, 'ivy,' in his translation, for they had been accustomed to the word cucurbita, 'gourd.' But the agitation gradually subsided.

In the 400 years that followed, as the MS copies multiplied so did the errors, until Charlemagne sought a remedy in getting Alcuin to revise the text for public use. This was accomplished about A.D. 802: and was called Charlemagne's Bible. A copy of this is in the British Museum, but is of later date than Charlemagne.

Copies still increased, and variations were again multiplied; and as soon as printing was invented, several editions were published, all more or less differing. At length the Popes undertook to prepare a correct edition, it was finished by Sixtus V. in 1590, but this proved to be so incorrect, that others were contemplated. In 1592 Clement VIII. published one, and in 1593 another, and in 1598 a third, with a list of errata for the three. The modern printed copies bear the date of 1592. In giving the Vulgate as an authority for various readings in the N.T. the printed editions are not often referred to, but the manuscripts that are still in existence of Jerome's revision. The principal of these are:
   am.  Cod. Amiatinus, containing the whole Bible.  VI.
   fuld.  Cod. Fuldensis. The New Testament.  VI.
   tol.  Cod. Toletanus. The whole Bible, in Gothic letters.
   for.  Cod. Forojuliensis. Portions of the Gospels.
   per.  Fragments of Luke.
   harl.  Cod. Harleian. The Gospels. VII.
With portions and fragments of many others.

The passage in John 7:53 — John 8:11, "the woman taken in adultery" (which is omitted in many Greek MSS., including Aleph A B C L T X Δ, but in L and Δ is a blank space), is found in Codices c. and e. of the Old Latin, and was in b., but had been erased. Verses 10 and 11 are here quoted, along with Cod. Amiatinus.


Cumque se erexisset Jesus, dixit ad mulierem: Ubi sunt? nemo te condemnavit ? Quae dixit, Nemo Domino. Dixit autem illi Jesus: Nec ego te condemnabo: Vade, et ex hoc jam noli peccare.


Cum adlevasset autem capud ihs dixit ei. mulier ubi sunt nemo te judicavit. Dixit et illa, nemo dne dixit autem ihs ad illam nec ego te judico. i et amplius noli peceare.


Erigens autem se Jesus dixit ei mulier, ubi sunt? nemo te condemnavit? Quae dixit, Nemo domine. Dixit autem Jesus Nec ego te condemnabo: vade et amplius jam noli peccare.

This passage gives an illustration of how the Old Latin, preserved in the Vulgate, may be the means of authenticating true readings that would otherwise be condemned because of the supposed preponderance (of weight, not number) of Greek MSS against it. Augustine (A.D. 354-430) and Nicon (cent. X.) both gave as the reason why this passage was omitted that it was thought to give a license to sin!

The Latin text therefore should not be ignored simply because it has been adopted by Rome. It existed long before papal supremacy and for many centuries was the only copy of the New Testament that was available to the mass of Christians, and was largely used by the Reformers until they could obtain a copy of the Greek, and were able to read it.


There are three words so translated.

1. ayyah, a bird of keen sight. Job 28:7.  It is supposed to be a species of KITE, as the Hebrew is translated in Lev. 11:14; Deut. 14:13.

2. dayyah, a bird inhabiting ruins: supposed to be another species of KITE.  Deut. 14:13; Isa. 34:15.

3. daah, a bird of rapid flight, Lev. 11:14; supposed to be the FALCON; the word occurs here only. These are all classed among the unclean birds. For the true vulture see EAGLE.



Wanderings of the Israelites.

The Israelites were always directed by God as to their journeyings and when and where to pitch their tents. It was God who caused them to 'wander' because of their sin. Num. 32:13.

The accounts of the journeys of the children of Israel have not escaped the unwarrantable attacks to which many parts of scripture have been subjected. Though many of the places mentioned cannot now be identified, and therefore the actual path trodden cannot be traced, yet enough is recorded to show in the main what their route was, and to prove that the several records do not clash one with another. The passage quoted above speaks of the wanderings occupying forty years, yet it was after their first visit to Kadesh-barnea in the 2nd year that their real 'wanderings' began.

Travellers have visited the districts along which the Israelites are supposed to have travelled, and have not hesitated to say that the cattle and sheep of the Israelites could not possibly have found pasture or fodder on which to have lived.

Map of Route of Israel

We read that they brought out of Egypt 'flocks and herds,' and in Ex. 12:38 "very much cattle" is mentioned. Before crossing the Jordan the two and a half tribes are described as having "a great multitude of cattle," but this was after the Midianites had been destroyed, and most of the cattle and sheep may have fallen to these tribes, the other tribes taking "the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead" with other spoils.

The Israelites were forbidden to graze their flocks and herds "before the mount." And this implies that there was pasture there for them; the Amalekites also dwelt there, and doubtless had cattle. Ex. 17:8; Ex. 34:3. The actual state of the desert now is no proof of what it was then. It is well known that the Bedouins do not encourage cultivation, and they have destroyed the trees extensively in order to make charcoal, which they can always sell, and this decreases the fertility. A traveller records that "the gardens at the Wells of Moses, under the French and English agents from Suez, and the gardens in the valleys of Jebel Musa, under the care of the Greek monks of the Convent of St. Catherine" are proofs of the fertility of the ground under culture.

The barren state of the desert in general does not preclude the fact that parts of it are fertile. There are few parts of the Sinai Peninsula that do not show signs of vegetation. The numerous valleys of the Sinaitic group of mountains are full of shrubs and grass.

Much farther north, near Kadesh, the Amalekites and Canaanites were able to live in the mountain. Num. 14:40-45.

It is therefore useless and unbelieving to draw conclusions from the present aspect of the land through which the Israelites travelled. If they continued to have much cattle, God could as easily have provided for their cattle as have given them manna from heaven for themselves.

The first part of their journey from Egypt was from Rameses to the Red Sea. Rameses was on the east of the Nile, but some place it farther north than others. The western branch of the Red Sea doubtless then extended farther north than it does at present, and it cannot be ascertained at what point the sea was crossed. The stations are
    Ex. 12.                         Num. 33.
    Rameses, Ex. 12:37.|  Rameses, Num. 33:3.
    Succoth, Ex. 12:37.|  Succoth, Num. 33:5.
    Etham, Ex. 13:20.|  Etham, Num. 33:6.
    Pi-hahiroth, Ex. 14:2.|  Pi-hahiroth, Num. 33:7.
    Passage through the Red Sea,|  Passage through the Red Sea
        Ex. 14:22, and three days' march|   and three days' march in the
        into the desert of Shur, Ex. 15:22|   desert of Etham, Num. 33:8.

It will be noticed that in Numbers, Etham is mentioned on both sides of the Red Sea. The word has been interpreted 'boundary of the sea' (a meaning which Fürst thinks doubtful, but gives no other): if so, it might apply to either side. The desert of Etham may have swept round the end of the Gulf of Suez, as in some maps.

The second part of their journey was from the Red Sea to Mount Sinai, on the east side of the Gulf of Suez. The wilderness of Sin, Mount Sinai, and Horeb are in the main identified. The stations are

 Marah Ex. 15:23.|  Marah, Num. 33:8.
 Elim, Ex. 15:27.|  Elim, Num. 33:9.
        |  Encampment by the Red Sea, Num. 33:10.
 Desert of Sin, Ex. 16:1.|  Desert of Sin, Num. 33:11.
        |  Dophkah, Num. 33:12.
        |  Alush. Num. 33:13.
 Rephidim, Ex. 17:1.|  Rephidim, Num. 33:14.
 Desert of Sinai, Ex. 19:1, in the|  Desert of Sinai, Num. 33:15.
  third month of the first year.  |

In the wilderness of Sinai the Israelites remained until the second month of the second year, during which period the law was given. Num. 10:11; Num. 33:16.

The third part of their journey was from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, some eighty miles farther north. In this journey only three intermediate stations are mentioned.

 Taberah, Num. 11:3; Deut. 9:22|
 Kibroth-hattaavah, Num. 11:34.  |  Kibroth-hattaavah, Num. 33:16.
 Hazeroth, Num. 11:35.|  Hazeroth, Num. 33:17.
 Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran|  Rithmah, Num. 33:18.
    Num., 12:16; Num.13:1-26.|

At Taberah the fire of the Lord burnt among them. At Kibroth-hattaavah the people lusted for flesh: quails were given them, and then God sent upon them a very great plague. Num. 11:4, 31-34. At Hazeroth Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, and Miriam was smitten with leprosy. Num. 12:10. The above shows that Kadesh is in the same locality as Rithmah, from whence the spies were despatched. The spies are not mentioned in Num. 33.

There was a prolonged stay at Kadesh or Rithmah in the wilderness of Paran. The return of the spies was waited for. The rebellion broke out on the report of the faithless spies, and God sware they should not enter the land, but should wander in the wilderness that all the men who came out of Egypt might die except Caleb and Joshua. In defiance of this they invaded the land, and were attacked by the Amalekites. Num. 14:33-45. Then followed the rebellion of Korah. Num. 16.

Apparently the Israelites spent about thirty-seven years in travelling three times between Kadesh and Ezion-gaber, at the corner of the Gulf of Akaba, but many of the stations cannot be identified; some may have been situated farther to the west. It is not, however, recorded how long they remained at the various places, and it is possible that some of them are not included in the lists.

By comparing Num. 20:22-29 with Deut. 10:6 it will be seen that Mosera and Mount Hor are regarded as the same place, Mosera, or Moseroth, being situated at the foot of Mount Hor. Mosera is therefore a recognised place to which they travelled when the real 'wanderings' began. They removed from Kadesh, or Rithmah, to Rimmon-parez, and then to other stations till they arrived at Mosera, or Mount Hor, the first time, though it seems but a short distance. Num. 33:19-30.

From Mosera they travelled southward to Ezion-gaber, there being four stations between.  Num. 33:31-35.

From Ezion-gaber they turned and travelled northward again and arrived at Kadesh or Kadesh-barnea a second time, no stations being mentioned between those two distant places. At Kadesh Miriam died. The people murmured, and the rock was smitten, on which occasion Moses and Aaron offended. Num. 20:1-13.

From Kadesh they travelled to Mount Hor, without any station being mentioned between them, unless Beeroth in Deut. 10:6 comes in here. At Mount Hor Aaron died and was buried. Num. 33:37-38. They were attacked by King Arad the Canaanite, who was defeated and his cities destroyed. Num. 21:1-3.

The King of Edom having refused to let the Israelites pass through his land necessitated their journeying again to the Red Sea in order to compass the land of Edom (perhaps passing Gudgodah and Jotbath, Deut. 10:7, in the route). Num. 20:14-21; Num. 21:4. From the Red Sea their route is plainly on the east of Edom and the Salt Sea until they arrived opposite Jericho, where their wanderings ended.

 From Mount Hor by the way of the|  By Elath and Ezion-gaber, Deut. 2:8.
     Red Sea, Num. 21:4.|
                    |  Zalmonah, Num. 33:41.
                    |  Punon, Num. 33:42.
 Oboth. Num. 21:10.|  Oboth, Num. 33:43.
 Ije-abarim, Num. 21:11.|  Ije-abarim, or Iim, Num. 33:44-45.
 The Brook Zared, Num. 21:12;  |
     Deut. 2:13-14.|
 The Brook Arnon, Num. 21:13;|
     Deut. 2:24.|
                    |  Dibon-gad, Num. 33:45,
                    |  Almon-diblathaim, Num. 33:46,
 Beer, in the desert, Num. 21:16, 18.|
 Mattanah, Num. 21:18.|
 Nahaliel, Num. 21:19.|
 Bamoth. Num. 21:19.|
 Pisgah, Num. 21:20 (on Abarim).|  Mountains of Abarim, before
                    |       Nebo, Num. 33:47.
 Plains of Moab, by Jordan, near  |  Plains of Moab, by Jordan, near
    Jericho, Num. 22:1.|       Jericho, Num. 33:48.

The many failings and murmurings of the Israelites are recorded in scripture, and stand as solemn warnings to the Christian, as we see in 1 Cor. 10:1-14. For the typical signification of the journey of the Israelites see under WILDERNESS.


War is the natural consequence of sin being in the world, and men and nations coveting the possessions of others. James 4:1-3. The principal wars recorded in scripture are, however, different: they are those of Israel in taking possession of Canaan for Jehovah as the Lord's host, and in maintaining their position in His land, for which they had divine instruction. Their warfare is typical of the conflict of Christians against principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies. Eph. 6:12. There are also the wars against Israel, when God used other nations to punish them. But God always maintained His rights in His own people and in His own land.

When Jehovah destroyed the army of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, He was called 'a man of war,' and this and other victories were recorded in "the book of the wars of Jehovah." Ex. 15:3; Num. 21:14. David could say of God, "He teacheth my hands to war." 2 Sam. 22:35; Ps. 18:34.

There are still wars on the earth, for sin is here, and nation rises against nation; and Israel again in the land will be persecuted by their enemies. The kings of the habitable world will be gathered at Armageddon to the battle of that great day of God the Almighty. Rev. 16:14, 16. The Lord must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet. This will be followed by a time when they "shall learn war no more," when warlike weapons will be beaten into agricultural instruments, and the Prince of Peace will reign over the whole earth.


A requirement of frequent literal recurrence under the law, but in the N.T. a term bearing commonly a moral force and application. Important truth may be learned from the different significations of the Greek words used for 'washing' in John 13. The word in John 13:10 is λούω, 'to cleanse, wash thoroughly.' One who is cleansed in this sense never needs to be thus washed again; he is, as the Lord said, 'clean every whit,' yet in order to have 'part with' Christ, he needs, because of the defilement of the way, that his feet should be washed (here the word is νίπτω), John 13:5-14, an action which is applied to parts of the body only. The same difference was typified in the cleansing of Aaron and his sons. They were at their consecration once 'washed' by Moses, but were thenceforward required continually, when executing their service, to wash only their hands and feet in the laver. Ex. 40:12, 30-32.

Washing of Regeneration.

This term occurs only in Titus 3:5. 'Regeneration' is not used in scripture in the modern ecclesiastical signification of the word, as may be seen from the only other occurrence of it in Matt. 19:28, where it evidently refers to an order of things still future. In Titus the believer is said to be saved by the cleansing in connection with the new order of things introduced by Christianity, as indicated in baptism, and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.

The words "saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," show that there is a present escape and deliverance from the world and its course, and an entrance into those things which characterise the world to come, of which the Holy Ghost is now the revealer and power, even as Israel escaped from Egypt and its shame through the Red Sea, and anticipated Canaan in their song of praise.


Twice used by the Psalmist in the sentence, "Moab is my washpot." Ps. 60:8; Ps. 108:9. Moab is to be brought down to the lowest servile subjection.

Watches, Night.

There were with the Israelites three night watches:

1.  From sunset (about 6 P.M.) to 10 P.M. Lam. 2:19.

2. The middle watch, from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M. Judges 7:19.

3. From 2 A.M. till sunrise. 1 Sam. 11:11. Under the Romans there were four night watches, agreeing with the changes of the Roman guards, each being of three hours' duration, from sunset to sunrise. They were sometimes called evening, midnight, cock-crowing and morning. Matt. 14:25; Matt. 24:43; Mark 6:48; Mark 13:35; Luke 12:38.

Water of Separation.

Used for purification in cases of ceremonial defilement, without the re-application of blood. Num. 19:9-21. See HEIFER, RED.



Wayfaring Man.

A traveller. Judges 19:17; 2 Sam. 12:4; Isa. 33:8; Isa. 35:8; Jer. 9:2; Jer. 14:8.


This occurs only in Lev. 11:29 as one of the unclean animals. The word is choled, and occurs nowhere else. Gesenius translates it 'weasel,' so called from its swift gliding motion, or its gliding into holes. Some, however, judge it to be the mole, the Arabic name of which is chuld, and the Syriac chuldo. This latter interpretation is probably the right one.

Weaver, Weaving.

This art was early practised in Egypt, and though the looms were of the simplest description, some Egyptian productions were very fine. Weaving was known to the Israelites, and by it they produced fine work for the tabernacle and the priests' robes. A weaver's beam is often referred to as a heavy thing for a man to use as a weapon. Ex. 28:32; Ex. 35:35; Ex. 39:22, 27; 1 Sam. 17:7; Job 7:6, etc. Of the wicked it is said, they "weave the spider's web . . . . their webs shall not become garments." Isa. 59:5-6.



Weeks, Feast of.


Weeks, Seventy.


Weights and Measures.

In the O.T. money was weighed. The first recorded transaction in scripture is that of Abraham buying the field of Ephron the Hittite for four hundred shekels of silver, which Abraham 'weighed' to Ephron. Gen. 23:15-16. The shekel here was a weight. Judas Maccabaeus, about B.C. 141, was the first to coin Jewish money, though there existed doubtless from of old pieces of silver of known value, which passed from hand to hand without being always weighed. Herod the Great coined money with his name on it; and Herod Agrippa had some coins; but after that the coins in Palestine were Roman. The following tables must be taken approximately only: the authorities differ.


The principal weights in use were as follows with their approximate equivalents:


Pounds    ozs.    drams.
 Gerah (1/20 of a shekel)…………………………….-         -      0.439
 Bekah (½ of a shekel) ………………………………-         -      4.390
 Shekel ……………………………………………… -         -      8.780
 Maneh or pound (60 shekels).……………………… 2         0     14.800
 Talent, kikkah (50 maneh).………………………….102     14      4.000
 Talent of Lead (Zech. 5:7), 'weighty piece,' margin.
 Talent (Rev. 16:21): if Attic = about 55 lbs.
 Pound, λίτρα (John 12:3; John 19:39) about 12 oz. avoirdupois.

It must be noted that there are two shekels mentioned in the Old Testament: one according to 'the king's weight,' probably the standard shekel used for all ordinary business, as in Ex. 38:29; Joshua 7:21; 2 Sam. 14:26; Amos 8:5; and another called the 'shekel of the sanctuary,' of which it is said in Ex. 30:13; Lev. 27:25; Num. 3:47; Num. 18:16, 'the shekel is 20 gerahs,' implying perhaps that the common shekel was different. Michaelis says that the proportion was as 5 to 3, the business shekel being the smaller.

This seems confirmed by the word maneh in the following passages. By comparing 1 Kings 10:17 with 2 Chr. 9:16 it will be seen that a maneh equals 100 shekels (probably, for the word 'shekels' has been added by the translators); whereas in Ezek. 45:12 the maneh equals 60 shekels, because the latter would be shekels of the sanctuary. The passage in Ezekiel is obscure, but the sense appears to be that three weights (20, 25, and 15 shekels) should be their maneh, which makes, as in the above table, a maneh = 60 shekels. Some modern tables give the maneh as equal to 50 shekels, from the supposition that this is what is meant in Ezek. 45:12 in the LXX. The maneh is translated 'pound' in 1 Kings 10:17; Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:71-72.

The word bekah occurs in Ex. 38:26; it signifies 'half,' and is 'half shekel' in Ex. 30:13.


If the weights in the foregoing list be approximately correct, and silver be taken at  ??? per ounce, and gold at £  ??? per ounce Troy, the money value will be about

 Gerah (1/20 of a shekel)……………….       ??? Ex. 30:13.
 Bekah, beqa (½ of a shekel)…………..        ??? Gen. 24:22.
 Shekel…………………………………       ??? Gen. 23:15.
 Dram (daric, a Persian gold coin) about        ??? 1 Chr. 29:7.
 Maneh or pound, 60 shekels…………..        ??? Ezek. 45:12.
 Talent of Silver………………………..         ??? Ezra 7:22.
 Talent of Gold…………………………        ??? Ex. 25:39.

With respect to 'Piece of money' (Gen. 33:19; Job 42:11) and 'Piece of silver' (Joshua 24:32) qesitah, Gesenius compares Gen. 33:19 with Gen. 23:16 and supposes the weight to equal 4 shekels.

 Mite, λεπτόν……………………………………   ??? Mark 12:42.
 Farthing, κοδράντης ……………………………   ??? Matt. 5:26.
 Farthing, ἀσσάριον………………………….…..   ??? Matt. 10:29.
 Penny, δηνάριον…………………………….…..   ??? Matt. 20:2.
 Piece of silver, δραχμή………………………..…   ??? Luke 15:8-9.
 Tribute money, δίδραχμον…………………..…..   ??? Matt. 17:24.
 Piece of money, στατήρ……………………..…..   ??? Matt. 17:27.
 Pound, μνᾶ ...………………………………..….   ??? Luke 19:13-25.
 Talent (Roman) τάλαντον…………………..…...   ??? Matt. 18:24.
 Piece of silver, ἀργύριον ……………………..….   ??? in  Matt. 26:15.
 Money, ἀργύριον ……………………………..    indefinite  Matt. 25:18.

The Greek word ἀργύριον is the common word for 'silver,' and 'money,' as l'argent in French. 'Piece of silver' in the A.V. is always ἀργύριον except in Luke 15:8-9, where it is δραχμή.

The above gives no idea of the purchasing value of these sums, which often varied. A penny (δηνάριον) was the usual daily wages of a working man: its purchasing value then must have been considerably more than it is now.

 Caph………………………………………..…. 0.552  pints
 Log (1.3 caphs)………………………………... 0.718     '' Lev. 14:10-24.
 Cab (4 logs)…………………………………… 2.872   '' 2 Kings 6:25.
 Hin (12 logs)…………………………………..  1.077  gallons Ex. 29:40.
 Bath, Ephah (72 logs)………………………..… 6.462    '' 1 Kings 7:26.
 Cor, Homer (720 logs)……………………….. 64.620   '' Ezek. 45:14.
 Pot, ξέστης……………..……………………     0.96  pints  Mark 7:4, 8.
 Measure, βάτος ……..……………………....       7.5  gallons  Luke 16:6.
 Firkin, μετρητής……………………………..   8.625      '' John 2:6.
 Measure, κόρος……………………………… 64.133  '' Luke 16:7.

 Log …………………………………………..  0.718  pints
 Cab (4 logs) ………………………………….   2.872    '' 2 Kings 6:25.
 Omer (1.8 cabs) ……………………………..   5.169    '' Ex. 16:16, 36.
 Tenth deal (tenth of an Ephah) ……………….. 5.169    '' Ex. 29:40.
 Measure, seah (6 cabs) ………………………   2.154  gallons  1 Sam. 25:18.
 Ephah (18 cabs) ……………………………..    6.462     "  Lev. 5:11.
 Half Homer, lethek (90 cabs) ………………..    4.040  bushels  Hosea 3:2.
 Homer, chomer (180 cabs) ………………….    8.081     ''  Lev. 27:16.
 Measure, χοῖνιξ ……………………………..  2.000  pints  Rev. 6:6.
 Bushel, μόδιος ………………………………  2.000  gallons  Matt. 5:15.
 Measure, σάτον ……………………………..  2.875     ''  Matt. 13:33.

 Finger or Digit, etsba ……………………….      .7584  inches  Jer. 52:21.
 Handbreadth or Palm (4 digits), tephach           3.0337      '' 1 Kings 7:26.
 Span, zereth (3 palms) ……………………..    9.1012      '' Ex. 28:16.
 Cubit, ammah, πῆχυς (2 spans) …………… 18.2025      '' Gen. 6:15.
 Fathom, ὀργυιά (4 Cubits) …………………    6.0675    feet Acts 27:28.
 Reed, qaneh, (6 cubits) …………………….    9.1012      '' Ezek. 40:3-8.
 Furlong, στάδιον (400 cubits) …………….. 606.750        '' Luke 24:13.
 Sabbath-day's journey (2000 cubits) ……... 3033.75          '' Acts 1:12.
 Mile, μίλιον (3,200 cubits) ………………. 4854.0           '' Matt. 5:41.
 Acre. As much land as a yoke of oxen would plough in a day.  1 Sam. 14:14.

The above measures are calculated from the cubit being the same as the Hebrew ammah and the Greek πῆχυς, which latter is found in Matt. 6:27; Luke 12:25; John 21:8; Rev. 21:17.  This may be called the short cubit (perhaps not the shortest: See CUBIT). In Ezek. 41:8 is the expression, 'a full reed of six great cubits.' The 'great cubit ' is supposed to be a cubit and a handbreadth. This would make Ezekiel's reed to be about 10.618 feet. By adding a sixth to any of the above measurements they will correspond to the great cubit. There can be no doubt, however, that the 'furlong' and the 'mile' were Greek measures.

Though all these reckonings are only approximate, they help to throw light upon many passages of scripture. Thus Isaiah 5:10 shows that there is a curse resting upon the fields of a covetous man. In Revelation 6:6 the quantities prove that the time then spoken of will be one of great scarcity, etc.