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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
Baal, Baalah, Baalath, Baale Of Judah, Baali, Baalim, Baalis, Baana, Baanah, Baara, Baaseiah, Or Basseiah, Baasha, Babel, Babylon, Babylonians, Babylonish Garment, Baca, Bachrites, The, Badger Skins, Bag, Baharumite, The, Bahurim, Bajith, Bakbakkar, Bakbuk, Bakbukiah, Bake, Balaam, Balac, Baladan, Balah, Balak, Balamo, Balances, Baldness, Balm, Bamah, Bamothbaal, Band, Bani, Banner, Banquets, Baptism, Barabbas, Barachel, Barachias, Barak, Barbarian, Barhumite, The, Bariah, Barjesus, Barjona, Barkos, Barley, Barnabas, Barsabas, Barsabbas, Bartholomew, Bartimaeus, Baruch, Baruch, Book Of, Barzillai, Bashan, Bashanhavothjair, Bashemath, Basin, Basket, Basmath, Bastard, Bat, Bath, Bath, Bathing, Bathrabbim, Bathsheba, Or Bathsheba, Bathshua, Battering-ram, Battleaxe, Battlement, Bavai, Bay Tree, Bazlith, Bazluth, Bdellium, Beacon, Bealiah, Bealoth, Beans, Bear, Bearbel, Beard, Bebai, Becher, Bechorath, Bed, Bedad, Bedan, Bedeiah, Bee, Beeliada, Beelzebub, Beelzebul, Beer, Beera, Beerah, Beerelim, Beeri, Beerlahairoi, Beeroth, Beeroth Of The Children Of Jaakan, Beersheba, Or Beersheba, Beeshterah, Beetle, Beeves, Beggar, Begging, Behemoth, Bekah, Bel, Bela, Belah, Belaites, The, Belial, Bellows, Bells, Belshazzar, Belteshazzar, Ben, Benaiah, Benammi, Beneberak, Benejaakan, Benekedem, Benhadad, Benhail, Benhanan, Beninu, Benjamin, Benjamin, High Gate, Or Gate Of, Benjamin, The Land Of, Benjamin, The Tribe Of, Beno, Benon, Benoni, Benzoheth, Beor, Bera, Beraa, Berachah, Berachah, Valley Of, Berachiah, Beraiah, Berechiah, Bered, Berenice, Beri, Beriah, Beriites, The, Berith, Bernice, Or Berenice, Berodachbaladan, Berothah, Berothite, The, Beryl, Besai, Besodeiah, Besom, Besor, The Brook, Betah, Beten, Beth, Bethabara, Bethanath, Bethanoth, Bethany, Betharabah, Betharam, Bethaven, Bethbaalmaveth, Bethbaalmeon, Bethbarah, Bethbirei, Bethcar, Bethdagon, Bethdiblathaim, Bethel, Bethemek, Bether, Bethesda, Bethezel, Bethgader, Bethgamul, Bethgilgal, Bethhaccerem, Bethharan, Bethhogla, Bethhoron, Bethjeshimoth, Bethlebaoth, Bethlehem, Bethlomon, Bethmaachah, Bethmarcaboth, Bethmeon, Bethnimrah, Bethpalet, Bethpazzez, Bethpeor, Bethphage, Bethphelet, Bethrapha, Bethrehob, Bethsaida, Bethshean, Bethshemesh, Bethshittah, Bethtappuah, Bethuel, Bethul, Bethzur, Betonim, Betrothing, Beulah, Bezai, Bezaleel, Bezek, Bezer, Bezer In The Wilderness, Bible, Bichri, Bidkar, Bier, Bigtha, Bigthan, Or Bigthana, Bigvai, Bildad, Bileam, Bilgah, Bilgai, Bilhah, Bilhan, Bilshan, Bimhal, Binea, Binnui, Birds, Birsha, Birthday, Birthright, Birzavith, Bishop, Bishopric, Bithiah, Bithron, Bithynia, Bitter Herbs, Bittern, Bizjothjah, Biztha, Blains, Blasphemy, Blastus, Blindness, Blood, Blood, Revenger Of, Boanerges, Boar, Boaz, Bocheru, Bochim, Bohan, Bohan, Stone Of, Boil, Bondage, Book, Booths, Booty, Booz, Boscath, Bosor, Bottle, Bow, Boxtree, Bozes, Bozkath, Bozrah, Bracelet, Bramble, Brass, Brazen, Bread, Breastplate, Brethren Of Jesus, Brick, Bride, Bridegroom, Brigandine, Brimstone, Brother, Bukki, Bukkiah, Bul, Bull, Bullock, Bulrush, Bunah, Bunni, Burial, Sepulchres, Burnt Offering, Bush, Bushel, Butler, Butter, Buz, Buzi
Baalah - [Baal, NO. 2]
Baalath - [Baal, Nos. 3,4]
Baale Of Judah - [Baal, NO. 2, a]
Baali - (Hosea 2:16) [Baal]
Baalim - [Baal]
Baasha - (wicked), B. C. 953-931, third sovereign of the separate kingdom of Israel, and the founder of its second dynasty. He was son of Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar and conspired against King Nadab, (1 Kings 15:27) and killed him with his whole family. He appears to have been of humble origin. (1 Kings 16:2) It was probably in the 13th year of his reign that he made war on Asa, and began to fortify Ramah. He was defeated by the unexpected alliance of Asa with Ben-hadad I. Of Damascus. Baasha died in the 24th year of his reign, and was buried in Tirzah, (Song of Solomon 6:4) which he had made his capital. (1 Kings 16:6; 2 Chronicles 16:1-6)
Babel - (confusion), Bab'ylon (Greek form of Babel), is properly the capital city of the country which is called in Genesis Shinar, and in the later books Chaldea, or the land of the Chaldeans. The first rise of the Chaldean power was in the region close upon the Persian Gulf; thence the nation spread northward up the course of the rivers, and the seat of government moved in the same direction, being finally fixed at Babylon, perhaps not earlier than B. C, 1700.
Babylon - in the Apocalypse, is the symbolical name by which Rome is denoted. (Revelation 14:8; 17:18) The power of Rome was regarded by the later Jews as was that of Babylon by their forefathers. Comp. (Jeremiah 51:7) with Reve 14:8 The occurrence of this name in (1 Peter 5:13) has given rise to a variety of conjectures, many giving it the same meaning as in the Apocalypse; others refer it to Babylon in Asia, and others still to Babylon in Egypt. The most natural supposition of all is that by Babylon is intended the old Babylon of Assyria, which was largely inhabited by Jews at the time in question.
Babylonish Garment - literally "robe of Shinar," (Joshua 7:21) an ample robe, probably made of the skin or fur of an animal, comp. (Genesis 25:25) and ornamented with embroidery or perhaps a variegated garment with figures inwoven in the fashion for which the Babylonians were celebrated.
Baca - (weeping), The Valley of, A valley in Palestine, through which the exiled Psalmist sees in vision the pilgrims passing in their march towards the sanctuary of Jehovah at Zion. (Psalms 84:6) That it was a real locality is most probable from the use of the definite article before the name. The rendering of the Targum is Gehenna, i. E. The Ge-Hinnom or ravine below Mount Zion. This locality agrees well with the mention of became (Authorized Version "mulberry") trees in (2 Samuel 5:23)
Bachrites, The - the family of Becher, son of Ephraim. (Numbers 26:35)
Badger Skins - There is much obscurity as to the meaning of the word tachash, rendered "badger" in the Authorized Version, (Exodus 25:5; 35:7) etc. The ancient versions seem nearly all agreed that it denotes not an animal but a color, either black or sky- blue. The badger is not found in the Bible lands. The Arab duchash or tufchash denotes a dolphin, including seals and cetaceans. The skins referred to are probably those of these marine animals, some of which are found in the Red Sea. The skin of the Halicore, one of these, from its hardness would be well suited for making soles for shoes. (Ezekiel 16:10)
Baharumite, The - [Bahurim]
Balaam - (B. C. 1451), the son of beor, a man endowed with the gift of prophecy. (Numbers 22:5) He is mentioned in conjunction with the five kings of Midian, apparently as a person of the same rank. (Numbers 31:8) cf. Numb 31:16 He seems to have lived at Pethor, (23:4; Numbers 22:5) on the river Euphrates, in Mesopotamia. Such was his reputation that when the Israelites were encamped in the plains of Moab, Balak, the king of Moab, sent for Balaam to curse them. Balaam at first was prohibited by God from going. He was again sent for by the king and again refused, but was at length allowed to go. He yielded to the temptations of riches and honor which Balak set before him; but God's anger was kindled at this manifestation of determined self-will, and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. See (2 Peter 2:16) Balaam predicted a magnificent career for the people whom he was called to curse, but he nevertheless suggested to the Moabites the expedient of seducing them to commit fornication. The effect of this is recorded in (Numbers 25:1). . . A battle was afterwards fought against the Midianites, in which Balaam sided with them, and was slain by the sword of the people whom he had endeavored to curse. (Numbers 31:8)
Balac - (Revelation 2:14) [Balak]
Balah - (Joshua 19:3) [Baal, Geogr. No. 2, b]
Balamo - [Baal, Geogr. No. 6]
Balances - Reference to balances is found in (Leviticus 19:36) They were in common use, gold and silver being paid out and received by weight. Reference is also made in (Micah 6:11; Hosea 12:7) to the dishonest practice of buying by heavier and selling by lighter weights.
Baldness - Natural baldness seems to have been uncommon, since it exposed people to public derision. (Leviticus 13:29; 2 Kings 2:23; Isaiah 3:24; 15:2; Jeremiah 47:5; Ezekiel 7:18) Artificial baldness marked the conclusion of a Nazarite's vow, (Numbers 6:9; Acts 18:18) and was a sign of mourning.
Balm - (from balsam, Heb. Tzori, tezri) occurs in (Genesis 37:25; 43:11; Jeremiah 8:22; 46:11; 51:8; Ezekiel 27:17) (It is an aromatic plant, or the resinous odoriferous sap or gum which exudes from such plants.) It is impossible to identify it with any certainty. It is impossible to identify it with any certainty. It may represent the gum of the Pistacia lentiscus, or more probably that of the Balsamodendron opobalsamum, allied to the balm of Gilead, which abounded in Gilead east of the Jordan. The trees resembled fig trees (or grape vines), but were lower, being but 12 to 15 feet high. It is now called the BALM OF Gilead, or Meccabalsam, the tree or shrub being indigenous in the mountains around Mecca. [Incense; Spice, Spices] Hasselquist says that the exudation from the plant "is of a yellow color, and pellucid. It has a most fragrant smell, which is resinous, balsamic and very agreeable. It is very tenacious or glutinous, sticking to the fingers, and may be drawn into long threads. " It was supposed to have healing as well as aromatic qualities.
Bamothbaal - (heights of Baal), a sanctuary of Baal in the country of Moab (Joshua 13:17) which is probably mentioned in (Numbers 21:19) under the shorter form of Bamoth, or Bamoth-in-the-ravine (Numbers 21:20), and again in (Isaiah 15:2)
Band - The "band of Roman soldiers" referred to in (Matthew 27:27) and elsewhere was the tenth part of a legion. It was called a "cohort," and numbered 400 to 600 men. [See Army]
Banner - [See Ensign]
Banquets - among the Hebrews, were not only a means of social enjoyment, but were a part of the observance of religious festivity. At the three solemn festivals the family also had its domestic feast. (16:11) Sacrifices, both ordinary and extraordinary, (Exodus 34:15; Judges 16:23) includes a banquet. Birthday banquets are only mentioned (Genesis 40:20; Matthew 14:6) The usual time of the banquet was the evening, and to begin early was a mark of excess. (Ecclesiastes 10:16; Isaiah 5:11) The most essential materials of the banqueting room, next to the viands and wine, which last was often drugged with spices, (Proverbs 9:2) were perfumed unguents, garlands or loose flowers, white or brilliant robes; after these, exhibitions of music singers and dancers, riddles, jesting and merriment. (Judges 14:12; 2 Samuel 19:35; Nehemiah 8:10; Ecclesiastes 10:19; Isaiah 5:12; 25:6; 28:1; Matthew 22:11; Luke 15:25) The posture at table in early times was sitting, (1 Samuel 16:11; 20:5,18) and the guests were ranged in order of dignity. (Genesis 43:33; 1Sam 9:22 Words which imply the recumbent posture belong to the New Testament.
Baptism - It is well known that ablution or bathing was common in most ancient nations as a preparation for prayers and sacrifice or as expiatory of sin. In warm countries this connection is probably even closer than in colder climates; and hence the frequency of ablution in the religious rites throughout the East. Baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is the rite or ordinance by which persons are admitted into the Church of Christ. It is the public profession of faith and discipleship. Baptism signifies:
Barabbas - (son of Abba), a robber, (John 18:40) who had committed murder in an insurrection, (Mark 15:7; Luke 28:18) in Jerusalem and was lying in prison the time of the trial of Jesus before Pilate. P
Barachel - (God has blessed), father of Elihu. (Job 32:2,6) [Buz]
Barachias - (Matthew 23:35) [Zacharias]
Barak - (lightning), son of Abinoam of Kedesh, a refuge city in Mount Naphtali, was incited by Deborah, a prophetess of Ephraim, to deliver Israel from the yolk of Jabin. Judges 4. He utterly routed the Canaanites int eh plain of Jezreel (Esdraelon). (B. C. 1291-1251.)
Barbarian - "every one not a Greek is a barbarian" is the common Greek definition, and in this strict sense the word is sued in (Romans 1:14) It often retains this primitive meaning, as in (1 Corinthians 14:11; Acts 28:24)
Barhumite, The - [Bahurim]
Barjesus - (son of Jesus). [Elymas]
Barjona - (son of Jonah). [Peter]
Barley - is one of the most important of the cereal grains, and the most hardy of them all. It was grown by the Hebrews, (Leviticus 27:16; 8:8; Ruth 2:17) etc. , who used it for baking into bread chiefly among the poor, (Judges 7:13; 2 Kings 4:42; John 6:9,13) and as fodder for horses. (1 Kings 4:28) The barley harvest, (Ruth 1:22; 2:23; 2 Samuel 21:9;10) takes place in Palestine in March and April, and in the hilly district as late as May. It always precedes the wheat harvest, in some places by a week, in others by fully three weeks. In Egypt the barley is about a month earlier than the wheat; whence its total destruction by the hail storm. (Exodus 9:31)
Barnabas - (son of consolation or comfort) a name given by the apostles, (Acts 4:36) to Joseph (or Jose), a Levite of the island of Cyprus, who was early a disciple of Christ. In (Acts 9:27) we find him introducing the newly-converted Saul to the apostles at Jerusalem. Barnabas was sent to Jerusalem, (Acts 11:19-26) and went to Tarsus to seek Saul, as one specially raised up to preach to the Gentiles. (Acts 26:17) He brought him to Antioch, and was sent with him to Jerusalem. (Acts 11:30) On their return, they were ordained by the church for the missionary work, (Acts 13:2) and sent forth (A. D. 45). From this time Barnabas and Paul enjoy the title and dignity of apostles. Their first missionary journey is related in (Acts 13:14) Returning to Antioch (A. D. 47 or 48), they were sent (A. D. 50), with some others, to Jerusalem. (Acts 15:1,36) Afterwards they parted and Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus, his native island. Here the Scripture notices of him cease. The epistle attributed to Barnabas is believed to have been written early in the second century.
Bartholomew - (son of Tolmai), one of the twelve apostles of Christ. (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13) It has been not improperly conjectured that he is identical with Nathanael. (John 1:45) ff. He is said to have preached the gospel in India, that is, probably, Arabia Felix, and according to some in Armenia.
Bashan - (fruitful), a district on the east of Jordan. It is sometimes spoken of as the "land of Bashan," (1 Chronicles 5:11) and comp. Numb 21:33; 32:33 And sometimes as "all Bashan. " (3:10,13; Joshua 12:5; 13:12,30) It was taken by the children of Israel after their conquest of the land of Sihon from Arnon to Jabbok. The limits of Bashan are very strictly defined. It extended from the "border of Gilead" on the south to Mount Hermon on the north, (3:3,10,14; Joshua 12:5; 1 Chronicles 5:23) and from the Arabah or Jordan valley on the west to Salchah (Sulkhad) and the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites on the east. (Joshua 12:3-5; 3:10) This important district was bestowed on the half-tribe of Manasseh, (Joshua 13:29-31) together with "half Gilead. " This country is now full of interesting ruins, which have lately been explored and from which much light has been thrown upon Bible times. See Porter's "Giant Cities of Bashan. "
Basin - Among the smaller vessels for the tabernacle or temple service, many must have been required to receive from the sacrificial victims the blood to be sprinkled for purification. The "basin" from which our Lord washed the disciples' feet was probably deeper and larger than the hand-basin for sprinkling.
Bastard - Among those who were excluded from entering the congregation, even to the tenth generation, was the bastard. (23:2) The term is not, however, applied to any illegitimate offspring, born out of wedlock, but is restricted by the rabbins to the issue of any connection within the degrees prohibited by the law.
Bat - (Leviticus 11:19; 14:18) Many travellers have noticed the immense numbers of bats that are found in caverns in the East, and Mr. Layard said that on the occasion of a visit to a cavern these noisome beasts compelled him to retreat.
Bath - [Measures]
Bath, Bathing - This was a prescribed part of the Jewish ritual of purification in cases of accident, or of leprous or ordinary uncleanness, (Leviticus 15; 16:28; 22:6; Numbers 19:7; 19; 2 Samuel 11:2,4; 2 Kings 5:10) as also after mourning, which always implied defilement. (Ruth 3:3; 2 Samuel 12:20) The eastern climate made bathing essential alike to health and pleasure, to which luxury added the use of perfumes. (Esther 2:12) Judith 10:3; Susan 17. The "pools," such as that of Siloam and Hezekiah, (2 Kings 20:20; Nehemiah 3:15,16; Isaiah 22:11; John 9:7) often sheltered by porticos, (John 5:2) are the first indications we have of public bathing accommodation.
Bathsheba, Or Bathsheba - (daughter of the oath), (2 Samuel 11:3) etc. , also called Bath-shua in (1 Chronicles 3:5) the daughter of Eliam, (2 Samuel 11:3) or Ammiel, (1 Chronicles 3:5) the son of Ahithophel, (2 Samuel 23:34) and wife of Uriah the Hittite. (B. C. 1035.) The child which was the fruit of her adulterous intercourse with David died; but after marriage she became the mother of four sons, Solomon, (Matthew 1:6) Shimea, Shobab and Nathan. When Adonijah attempted to set aside the succession promised to Solomon, Bath-sheba informed the king of the conspiracy. (1 Kings 1:11,15,23) After the accession of Solomon, she, as queen-mother, requested permission of her son for Adonijah to take in marriage Abishag the Shunammite. (1 Kings 2:21-25)
Battering-ram - (Ezekiel 4:2; 21:22) a large beam with a head of iron which was sometimes made to resemble the head of a ram. It was suspended by ropes to a beam supported by posts, and balanced so as to swing backward and forward, and was impelled by men against the wall. In attacking the walls of a fort or city, the first step appears to have been to form an inclined plane or bank of earth, comp. (Ezekiel 4:2) "cast a mount against it," by which the besiegers could bring their battering-rams and other engines to the foot of the walls. "The battering-rams," says Mr. Layard "were of several kinds. Some were joined to movable towers which held warriors and armed men. The whole then formed one great temporary building, the top of which is represented in sculptures as on a level with the walls, and even turrets, of the besieged city. In some bas-reliefs the battering-ram is without wheels: it was then perhaps constructed upon the spot and was not intended to be moved. "
Battleaxe - (Jeremiah 51:20) [Maul]
Battlement - Among the Jews a battlement was required by law to be built upon every house. It consisted of a low wall built around the roofs of the houses to prevent persons from falling off, and sometimes serving as a partition from another building. (22:8; Jeremiah 5:10)
Bazlith - (asking). "Children of Bazlith" were among the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel. (Nehemiah 7:54) In (Ezra 2:52) the name is given as Bazluth. (B. C. 536.)
Bazluth - [Bazlith]
Bdellium - (bedolach). (Genesis 2:12; Numbers 11:7) It is quite impossible to say whether bedolach denotes a mineral or an animal production or a vegetable exudation. Bdellium is an odoriferous exudation from a tree which is perhaps the Borassus flabelliformis, Lin. , of Arabia Felix.
Bear - (1 Samuel 17:34; 2 Samuel 17:8) The Syrian bear, Ursus syriacus, which is without doubt the animal mentioned in the Bible, is still found on the higher mountains of Palestine. During the summer months these bears keep to the snowy parts of Lebanon, but descend in winter to the villages and Gardens. It is probable also that at this period in former days they extended their visits to other parts of Palestine.
Beard - Western Asiatics have always cherished the beard as the badge of the dignity of manhood, and attached to it the importance of a feature. The Egyptians, on the contrary for the most part shaved the hair of the face and head, though we find some instances to the contrary. The beard is the object of an oath, and that on which blessing or shame is spoken of as resting. The custom was and is to shave or pluck it and the hair out in mourning, (Ezra 9:3; Isaiah 15:2; 50:6; Jeremiah 41:5; 48:37) Bar. 6:31; to neglect it in seasons of permanent affliction, (2 Samuel 19:24) and to regard any insult to it as the last outrage which enmity can inflict. (2 Samuel 10:4) The beard was the object of salutation. (2 Samuel 20:9) The dressing, trimming, anointing, etc. , of the beard was performed with much ceremony by persons of wealth and rank (Psalms 133:2) The removal of the beard was a part of the ceremonial treatment proper to a leper. (Leviticus 14:9)
Bed - The Jewish bed consisted of the mattress, a mere mat, or one or more quilts; the covering, a finer quilt, or sometimes the outer garment worn by day, (1 Samuel 19:13) which the law provided should not be kept in pledge after sunset, that the poor man might not lack his needful covering, (24:13) the pillow, (1 Samuel 19:13) probably formed of sheep's fleece or goat's skin with a stuffing of cotton, etc. ; the bedstead, a divan or bench along the side or end of the room, sufficing at a support for the bedding. Besides we have bedsteads made of ivory, wood, etc. Referred to in (3:11; Amos 6:4) The ornamental portions were pillars and a canopy, Judith 13:9, ivory carvings, gold and silver, and probably mosaic work, purple and fine linen. (Esther 1:6; Song of Solomon 3:9,10) The ordinary furniture of a bedchamber in private life is given in (2 Kings 4:10)
Bee - (deborah). (1:44; Judges 14:8; Psalms 118:12; Isaiah 7:18) Bees abounded in Palestine, honey being a common article of food (Psalms 81:16) and was often found in the clefts of rocks and in hollow trees. (1 Samuel 14:25,27) English naturalists know little of the species of bees that are found in Palestine, but are inclined tn believe that the honey-bee of Palestine is distinct from the honey-bee (Apis mellifica) of this country. The passage in (Isaiah 7:18) refers "to the custom of the people in the East of calling attention to any one by a significant hiss or rather hist. " We read, (Judges 14:8) that "after a time," probably many days, Samson returned to the carcass of the lion he had slain, and saw bees and honey therein. "If any one here represents to himself a corrupt and putrid carcass, the occurrence ceases to have any true similitude, for it is well known that in these countries, at certain seasons of the year, the heat will in the course of twenty-four hours completely dry up the moisture of dead camels, and that, without their undergoing decomposition their bodies long remain like mummies, unaltered and entirely free from offensive odor. "--Edmann.
Beeliada - (the Lord knows); one of David's 9 sons, born in Jerusalem. (1 Chronicles 14:7) In the lists in Samuel the name is Eliada. (B. C. After 1045.)
Beelzebub - [See Beelzebul]
Beelzebul - (lord of the house), the title of a heathen deity, to whom the Jews ascribed the sovereignty of the evil spirits; Satan, the prince of the devils. (Matthew 10:25; 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15) ff. The correct reading is without doubt Beelzebul, and not Beelzebub.
Beeroth Of The Children Of Jaakan - the wells of the tribe of Bene- Jaakan, which formed one of the halting-places of the Israelites in the desert. (10:6) In (Numbers 33:31) the name is given as BENE-JAAKAN only.
Beersheba, Or Beersheba - (well of the oath), the name of one of the old places in Palestine which formed the southern limit of the country. There are two accounts of the origin of the name. According to the first, the well was dug by Abraham, and the name given to Judah, (Joshua 15:28) and then to Simeon, (Joshua 19:2; 1 Chronicles 4:28) In the often-quoted "from Dan even unto Beersheba," (Judges 20:1) it represents the southern boundary of Canaan, as Dan the northern. In the time of Jerome it was still a considerable place, and still retains its ancient name--Bir es-Seba. There are at present on the spot two principal wells and five smaller ones. The two principal wells are on or close to the northern bank of the Wady es-Seba. The larger of the two, which lies to the east, is, according to Dr. Robinson, 12 1/2 feet in diameter, and at the time of his visit (April 12) was 44 1/2 feet to the surface of the water. The masonry which encloses the well extends downward 28 1/2 feet. The other well is 5 feet in diameter, and was 42 feet to the water. The curb-stones around the mouth of both wells are worn into deep grooves by the action of the ropes of so many centures. These wells are in constant use today. The five lesser wells are in a group in the bed of the wady. On some low hills north of the large wells are scattered the foundations and ruins of a town of moderate size.
Beeshterah - (house of Ashterah), one of the two cities allotted to the sons of Gershon out of the tribe of Manasseh beyond Jordan. (Joshua 21:27) Probably identical with Ashtaroth. (1 Chronicles 6:71)
Beetle - [Locust]
Beeves - Same as cattle. (Leviticus 22:19) [See Bull, Bullock]
Beggar, Begging - The poor among the Hebrews were much favored. They were allowed to glean in the fields, and to gather whatever the land produced in the year in which it was not tilled (Leviticus 19:10; 25:5,6; 24:19) They were also invited to feasts. (14:29) and Deuteronomy 26:12 The Israelite could not be an absolute pauper. His land was in alienable, except for a certain term, when it reverted to him or his posterity. And if this resource were insufficient, he could pledge the services of himself and family or a valuable sum. Those who were indigent through bodily infirmities were usually taken care of by their kindred. A beggar was sometimes seen, however, and was regarded and abhorred as a vagabond. (Psalms 109:10) In later times beggars were accustomed, it would seem, to have a fixed place at the corners of the streets, (Mark 10:46) or at the gates of the temple, (Acts 3:2) or of private houses, (Luke 16:20)
Behemoth - (great beasts). There can be little or no doubt that by this word, (Job 40:15-24) the hippopotamus is intended since all the details descriptive of the behemoth accord entirely with the ascertained habits of that animal. The hippopotamus is an immense creature having a thick and square head, a large mouth often two feet broad, small eyes and ears, thick and heavy body, short legs terminated by four toes, a short tail, skin without hair except at the extremity of the tail. It inhabits nearly the whole of Africa, and has been found of the length of 17 feet. It delights in the water, but feeds on herbage on land. It is not found in Palestine, but may at one time have been a native of western Asia.
Bel - [Baal]
Belah - [Bela, 3]
Belaites, The - (Numbers 26:38) [Bela, 3]
Belial - The meaning of this word as found in the Scriptures is worthlessness, and hence reckless, lawlessness. The expression son or man of Belial must be understood as meaning simply a worthless, lawless fellow. The term as used in (2 Corinthians 6:15) is generally understood as an appellative of Satan, as the personification of all that was bad.
Bellows - The word occurs only in (Jeremiah 6:29) where it denotes an instrument to heat a smelting furnace. Wilkinson in "Ancient Egypt," iii. 338, says, "They consisted of a leather, secured and fitted into a frame, from which a long pipe extended for carrying the wind to the fire. They were worked by the feet, the operator standing upon them, with one under each foot, and pressing them alternately, while he pulled up each exhausted skin with a string he held in his hand. "
Bells - In (Exodus 28:33) the bells alluded to were the golden ones 72 in number, round the hem of the his priest's ephod. The object of them was so that his sound might be heard. " (Exodus 28:34) Ecclus. 45:9. To this day bells are frequently attached, for the sake of their pleasant sound, to the anklets of women. The little girls of Cairo wear strings of them around their feet. In (Zechariah 14:20) "bells of the horses" were concave or flat pieces of brass, which were sometimes attached to horses for the sake of ornament.
Belshazzar - (prince of Bel), the last king of Babylon. In (Daniel 5:2) Nebuchadnezzar is called the father of Belshazzar. This, of course, need only mean grandfather or ancestor. According to the well-known narrative Belshazzar gave a splendid feast in his palace during the siege of Babylon (B. C. 538), using the sacred vessels of the temple, which Nebuchadnezzer had brought from Jerusalem. The miraculous appearance of the handwriting on the wall, the calling in of Daniel to interpret its meaning the prophecy of the overthrow of the kingdom, and Belshazsar's death, accorded in Dan. 5.
Benejaakan - (sons of Jaakan), a tribe who gave their name to certain wells in the desert which formed one of the halting-places of the Israelites on their journey to Canaan. [Beeroth Of The Children Of Jaakan BENE-JAAKAN] Also given in (Genesis 36:27) as Akan.
Benhadad - (son of Hadad), the name of three kings of Damascus. BENHADAD I. , King of Damascus, which in his time was supreme in Syria. He made an alliance with Asa, and conquered a great part of the north of Israel. (1 Kings 15:18) His date is B. C. 950. BEN-HADAD II. , son of the preceding, and also king of Damascus. Long wars with Israel characterized his reign. Some time after the death of Ahab, Benhadad renewed the war with Israel, attacked Samaria a second time, and pressed the siege so closely that there was a terrible famine in the city. But the Syrians broke up in the night in consequence of a sudden panic. Soon after Ben-hadad fell sick, and sent Hazael to consult Elisha as to the issue of his malady. On the day after Hazael's return Ben-hadad was murdered, probably by some of his own servants. (2 Kings 8:7-15) Ben-hadad's death was about B. C. 890, and he must have reigned some 30 years. BEN-HADAD III. , son of Hazael, and his successor on the throne of Syria. When he succeeded to the throne, Jehoash recovered the cities which Jehoahaz had lost to the Syrians, and beat him in Aphek. (2 Kings 13:17,25) The date of Ben-hadad III is B. C. 840.
Benjamin, High Gate, Or Gate Of - (Jeremiah 20:2; 37:13; 38:7; Zechariah 14:10) [Jerusalem]
Benjamin, The Land Of - The proximity of Benjamin to Ephraim during the march to the promised land was maintained in the territory allotted to each. That given to Benjamin formed almost a parallelogram, of about 26 miles in length by 12 in breadth, lying between Ephraim, the Jordan, Judah and Dan. The general level of this part of Palestine is not less than 2000 feet above the Mediterranean or than 3000 feet above the valley of the Jordan, the surrounding country including a large number of eminences--almost every one of which has borne some part in the history of the tribe--and many torrent beds and deep ravines.
Benjamin, The Tribe Of - The contrast between the warlike character of the tribe and the peaceful image of its progenitor comes out in many scattered notices. Benjamin was the only tribe which seems to have pursued archery to any purpose, and their skill in the bow, (1 Samuel 20:20,36; 2 Samuel 1:232; 1 Chronicles 8:40; 12:2; 2 Chronicles 17:17) and the sling, (Judges 20:16) is celebrated. The dreadful deed recorded in Judges 19 was defended by Benjamin. Later the tribe seems, however, to assume another position, as Ramah, (1 Samuel 9:12) etc. , Mizpeh, (1 Samuel 7:5) Bethel and Gibeon, (1 Kings 3:4) were all in the land of Benjamin. After the struggles and contests which followed the death of Saul, the history of Benjamin becomes merged in that of the southern kingdom.
Berachah, Valley Of - a valley in which Jehoshaphat and his people assembled to "bless" Jehovah after the overthrow of the hosts of Moabites. (2 Chronicles 20:26) It is now called Bereikut, and lies between Tekua and the main road from Bethlehem to Hebron.
Berachiah - (blessed of Jehovah), a Gershonite Levite, father of Asaph. (1 Chronicles 6:39) [Berechiah]
Berenice - [Bernice, Or Berenice]
Bernice, Or Berenice - (bringing victory), the eldest daughter of Herod Agrippa I. (Acts 12:1) etc. She was first married to her uncle Herod, king of Chaleis, and after his death (A. D. 48) she lived under circumstances of great suspicion with her own brother, Agrippa II. , in connection with whom she is mentioned, (Acts 25:13,23; 26:30) as having visited Festus on his appointment as procurator of Judea.
Berothah - (toward the wells), Bero'-tha-i (my wells). The first of these two names is given by Ezekiel, (Ezekiel 47:16) in connection with Hahlath and Damascus as forming part of the northern boundary of the promised land. The second is mentioned, (2 Samuel 8:8) in the same connection. The well-known city Beirut (Berytus) naturally suggests itself as identical with one at least of the names; but in each instance the circumstances of the case seem to require a position farther east. They were probably in the vicinity of the springs near the present Hasbeya.
Berothite, The - (1 Chronicles 11:39) [Beeroth Of The Children Of Jaakan]
Beryl - (tarshish) occurs in (Exodus 28:20) It is generally supposed that the tarshish derives its name from the place so called, in Spain. Beryl is a mineral of great hardness, and, when transparent, of much beauty. By tarshish the modern yellow topaz is probably intended, while in (Revelation 21:20) a different stone is perhaps referred to, probably the mineral now called beryl, which is identical with the emerald except in color, being a light green or bluish-green.
Bethabara - (house of the ford), a place beyond Jordan, in which according to the Received Text of the New Testament, John was baptizing. (John 1:28) If this reading be correct, Bethabara is identical with Beth-barah (fords of Abarah) the ancient ford of Jordan on the road to Gilead; or, which seems more likely, with Beth-nimrah, on the east of the river, nearly opposite Jericho. The Revised Version reads Bethany, which see below.
Betharabah - (house of the desert), one of the six cities of Judah which were situated down in the Arabah, the sunk valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea, (Joshua 15:61) on the north border of the tribe. It is also included in the list of the towns of Benjamin. (Joshua 18:22)
Betharam - (house of the height), accurately BETH-HARAM, one of the towns of Gad on the east of Jordan, described as in "the valley," (Joshua 13:27) and no doubt the same place as that named BETH-HARAN in (Numbers 32:36)
Bethaven - (house of nothingness, i. E. Of idols), a place on the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel, (Joshua 7:2; 18:12) and lying between that place and Michmash. (1 Samuel 13:5; 14:28) In (Hosea 4:15; 5:8; 10:5) the name is transferred to the neighboring Bethel,--once the "house of God" but then the house of idols of "naught. "
Bethbaalmaveth - (house of Azmaveth). Under this name is mentioned, in (Nehemiah 7:28) only, the town of Benjamin which is elsewhere called Azmaveth and BETH-SAMOS.
Bethbaalmeon - (house of Baalmeon), a place in the possessions of Reuben, on the downs (Authorized Version "plain") east of the Jordan. (Joshua 13:17) At the Israelites' first approach is name was BAAL-MEON, (Numbers 32:38) or, in its contracted form, BEON (Numbers 32:3) to which the Beth was possibly a Hebrew addition. Later it would seem to have come into possession of Moab, and to be known either as Beth- meon, (Jeremiah 48:23) or Baal-meon. (Ezekiel 25:9) The name is still attached to a ruined place of considerable size a short distance to the southwest of Hesban, and bearing the name of "the fortress of Mi'un, " or Makin.
Bethbarah - (house of the ford), named only in (Judges 7:24) It derived its chief interest in the possibility that its more modern representative may have been Beth-abara, where John baptized. It was probably the chief ford of the district.
Bethbirei - (house of my creation), a town of Simeon, (1 Chronicles 4:31) which by comparison with the parallel list in (Joshua 19:6) appears to have had also the name Of BETH-LEBAOTH. It lay to the extreme south.
Bethel - (the house of God) well known city and holy place of central Palestine, about 12 mlles north of Jerusalem. If we are to accept the precise definition of (Genesis 12:8) the name of Bethel would appear to have existed at this spot even before the arrival of Abram in Canaan. (Genesis 12:8; 13:3,4) Bethel was the scene of Jacob's vision. (Genesis 28:11-19; 31:13) Jacob lived there. (Genesis 35:1-8) The original name was Luz. (Judges 1:22,23) After the conquest Bethel is frequently heard of. In the troubled times when there was no king in Israel, it was to Bethel that the people went up in their distress to ask counsel of God. (Judges 20:18,26,31; 21:2) Authorized Version, "house of God. " Here was the ark of the covenant. (Judges 20:26-28; 21:4) Later it is named as one of the holy cities to which Samuel went on circuit. (1 Samuel 7:16) Here Jeroboab placed one of the two calves of gold. Toward the end of Jeroboam's life Bethel fell into the hands of Judah. (2 Chronicles 13:19) Elijah visited Bethel, and we hear of "sons of the prophets" as resident there. (2 Kings 2:2,3) But after the destruction of Baal worship by Jehu Bethel comes once more into view. (2 Kings 10:29) After the desolation of the northern kingdom by the king of Assyria, Bethel still remained an abode of priests. (2 Kings 17:27,28) In later times Bethel is named only once under the scarcely-altered name of Beitin. Its ruins still lie on the righthand side of the road from Jerusalem to Nablus.
Bethesda - (house of mercy, or the flowing water), the Hebrew name of a reservoir or tank, with five "porches," close upon the sheep-gate or "market" in Jerusalem. (John 5:2) The largest reservoir - Birket Israil - 360 feet long, 120 feet wide and 80 feet deep, within the walls of the city, close by St. Stephen's Gate, and under the northeast wall of the Haram area, is generally considered to be the modern representative of Bethesda. Robinson, however, suggests that the ancient Bethesda is identical with what is now called the Pool of the Virgin, an intermittent pool, south of Birket Israil and north of the pool of Siloam.
Bethhogla - (partridge-house), and Holg'lah a place on the border of Judah, (Joshua 15:6) and of Benjamin. (Joshua 18:19,21) A magnificent spring and a ruin between Jericho and the Jordan still bear the names of Ainhajala.
Bethhoron - (house of caverns), the name of two towns or villages, an "upper" and a "nether," (Joshua 16:3,5; 1 Chronicles 7:24) on the road from Gibeon to Azekah, (Joshua 10:10,11) and the Philistine plain. 1 Macc. 3:24. Beth-horon lay on the boundary line between Benjamin and Ephraim, (Joshua 16:3,5) and Josh 18:13,14 Was counted to Ephraim, (Joshua 21:22; 1 Chronicles 7:24) and given to the Kohathites. (Joshua 21:22; 1 Chronicles 6:68) (1Chr 6:53) The two Beth-horons still survive in the modern villages of Beit-ur, et-tahta and el-foka.
Bethjeshimoth - (house of deserts) or Jes'imoth, a town or place east of Jordan, on the lower level at the south end of the Jordan valley, (Numbers 33:49) and named with Ashdod-pisgah and Beth-peor. It was one of the limits of the encampment of Israel before crossing the Jordan. Later it was allotted to Reuben, (Joshua 12:3; 13:20) but came at last into the hands of Moab, and formed one of the cities which were "the glory of the country. " (Ezekiel 25:9)
Bethlebaoth - (house of lionesses), a town in the lot of Simeon, (Joshua 19:6) in the extreme south of Judah. [(Joshua 15:32) Lebaoth] In (1 Chronicles 4:31) the name is given BETH-BIREI.
Bethlomon - 1 Esd. 5:17. [Bethlehem, 1]
Bethmaachah - (house of oppression), a place named only in (2 Samuel 20:14,15) In the absence of more information we can only conclude that it is identical with Maachah or Aram-maachah, one of the petty Syrian kingdoms in the north of Palestine. (Comp. (2 Kings 15:29)
Bethmarcaboth - (house of the chariots), one of the towns of Simeon, situated to the extreme south of Judah. (Joshua 19:5; 1 Chronicles 4:31) In the parallel list, (Joshua 15:31) Madmannah occurs in place of Beth-marcaboth.
Bethnimrah - (house of leopards) one of the fenced cities on the east of Jordan taken and built by the tribe of Gad (Numbers 32:36) and described as being in the valley beside Beth-haran. (Joshua 13:27) In (Numbers 32:3) it is called simply Nimrah. The name still survives in the modern Nahr Nimrim, above Jericho on the Jordan.
Bethphelet - (Nehemiah 11:26) [Bethpalet]
Bethrehob - (house of Rehob), place mentioned as having near it the valley in which lay the town of Laish or Dan. (Judges 18:28) It was one of the little kingdoms of Aram or Syria. (2 Samuel 10:6) Robinson conjectures that this ancient place is represented by the modern Hunin.
Bethsaida - (house of fish) of Galilee, (John 12:21) a city which was the native place of Andrew, Peter and Philip, (John 1:44; 12:21) in the land of Gennesareth, (Mark 6:46) comp. Mark 6:53 And therefore on the west side of the lake. By comparing the narratives in (Mark 6:31-53) and Luke 9:10-17 It appears certain that the Bethsaida at which the five thousand were fed must have been a second place of the same name on the east of the lake. (But in reality "there is but one Bethsaida, that known on our maps at Bethsaida Julias. " L. Abbot in Biblical and Oriental Journal. The fact is that Bethsaida was a village on both sides of the Jordan as it enters the sea of Galilee on the north, so that the western part of the village was in Galilee and the eastern portion in Gaulonitis, part of the tetrarchy of Philip. This eastern portion was built up into a beautiful city by Herod Philip, and named by him Bethsaida Julias, after Julia the daughter of the Roman emperor Tiberius Caesar. On the plain of Butaiha, a mile or two to the east, the five thousand were fed. The western part of the town remained a small village. ED.)
Bethshean - (house of rest), or in Samuel, BETHSHAN, a city which belonged to Manasseh, (1 Chronicles 7:29) though within the limits of Issachar (Joshua 17:11) and therefore on the west of Jordan. Comp. 1 Macc. 5:62. In later times it was called Scythopolis. 2 Macc. 12:29. The place is still known as Beisan. It lies in the Ghor or Jordan valley, about twelve miles south of the Sea of Galilee and four miles west of the Jordan.
Bethtappuah - (house of apples), one of the towns of Judah in the mountainous district, and near Hebron. (Joshua 15:53) comp. 1Chr 2:43 Here it has actually been discovered by Robinson under the modern name of Teffuh, five miles west of Hebron, on a ridge of high table -land.
Bethuel - (dweller in God), the son of Nahor by Milcah; nephew of Abraham, and father of Rebekah, (Genesis 22:22,23; 24:15,24,47; 28:2) In (Genesis 25:20) and (Genesis 28:5) he is called "Bethuel the Syrian. "
Bethzur - (house of rock) a town in the mountains of Judah, built by Jeroboam, (Joshua 15:58; 2 Chronicles 11:7) now Beit-zur. It commands the road from Beersheba and Hebron, which has always been the main approach to Jerusalem from the south.
Betrothing - [Marriage. 1]
Bible - The Bible is the name given to the revelation of God to man contained in sixty-six books or pamphlets, bound together and forming one book and only one, for it has in reality one author and one purpose and plan, and is the development of one scheme of the redemption of man.
Bier - [Burial, Sepulchres. 1]
Bigthan, Or Bigthana - (gift of God), a eunuch (chamberlain, Authorized Version) in the court of Ahasuerus, one of those "who kept the door," and conspired with Teresh against the king's life. (Esther 2:21) (B. C. 479.)
Bilgai - (Nehemiah 10:8) [Bilgah, 2]
Birds - [Sparrow]
Birthday - The custom of observing birthdays is very ancient, (Genesis 40:20; Jeremiah 20:15) and in (Job 1:4) etc. , we read that Job's sons "feasted every one his day. " In Persia birthdays were celebrated with peculiar honors and banquets, and in Egypt those of the king were kept with great pomp. It is very probable that in (Matthew 14:6) the feast to commemorate Herod's accession is intended, for we know that such feasts were common, and were called "the day of the king. " (Hosea 7:5)
Birthright - the advantages accruing to the eldest son. These were not definitely fixed in patriarchal times. Great respect was paid to him in the household, and, as the family widened into a tribe, this grew into a sustained authority, undefined save by custom, in all matters of common interest. Thus the "princes" of the congregation had probably rights of primogeniture. (Numbers 7:2; 21:18; 25:14) (Gradually the rights of the eldest son came to be more definite:
Bishop - The word originally signified an "overseer" or spiritual superintendent. The titles bishop and elder, or presbyter, were essentially equivalent. Bishop is from the Greek, and denotes one who exercises the function of overseeing. Presbyter was derived from the office in the synagogue. Of the order in which the first elders or bishops were appointed, as of the occasion which led to the institution of the office, we have no record. The duties of the bishop-elders appear to have been as follows:
Bithynia - a Roman province of Asia Minor. Mentioned only in (Acts 16:7) and in 1Pet 1:1 The chief town of Bithynia was Nicaea, celebrated for the general Council of the Church held there in A. D. 325 against the Arian heresy.
Bitter Herbs - The Israelites were commanded to eat the Paschal lamb "with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs. " (Exodus 12:8) These "bitter herbs" consisted of such plants as chicory, bitter cresses, hawkweeds, sow-thistles and wild lettuces, which grow abundantly in the peninsula of Sinai, in Palestine and in Egypt. The purpose of this observance was to recall to the minds of the Israelites their deliverance from the bitter bondage of the Egyptians.
Bittern - The word occurs in (Isaiah 14:23; 34:11; Zephaniah 2:14) and we are inclined to believe that the Authorized Version is correct. The bittern (Botaurus stellaris) belongs to the Ardeidae, the heron family of birds, and is famous for the peculiar nocturnal booming sound which it emits.
Blains - violent ulcerous inflammations, the sixth plague of Egypt, (Exodus 9:9,10) and hence called in (28:27,35) "the botch of Egypt. " It seems to have been the black leprosy, a fearful kind of elephantiasis.
Blasphemy - in its technical English sense, signifies the speaking evil of God and in this sense it is found (Psalms 74:18; Isaiah 52:5; Romans 2:24) etc. But according to its derivation it may mean any species of calumny and abuse: see (1 Kings 21:10; Acts 18:6; Jude 1:9) etc. Blasphemy was punished by stoning, which was inflicted on the son of Shelomith. (Leviticus 24:11) On this charge both our Lord and St. Stephen were condemned to death by the Jews. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, (Matthew 12:32; Mark 3:28) consisted in attributing to the power of Satan those unquestionable miracles which Jesus performed by "the finger of God" and the power of the Holy Spirit. It is plainly such a state of wilful, determined opposition to God and the Holy Spirit that no efforts will avail to lead to repentance. Among the Jews it was a sin against God answering to treason in our times.
Blindness - is extremely common in the East from many causes. Blind beggars figure repeatedly in the New Testament (Matthew 12:22) and "opening the eyes of the blind" is mentioned in prophecy as a peculiar attribute of the Messiah. (Isaiah 29:18; 42:7) etc. The Jews were specially charged to treat the blind with compassion and care. (Leviticus 19:14; 27:18) Blindness willfully inflicted for political or other purposes is alluded to in Scripture. (1 Samuel 11:2; Jeremiah 39:7)
Blood - To blood is ascribed in Scripture the mysterious sacredness which belongs to life, and God reserved it to himself when allowing man the dominion over and the use of the lower animals for food. Thus reserved, it acquires a double power:
Blood, Revenger Of - He who avenged the blood of one who had been killed. The nearest relative of the deceased became the authorized avenger of blood. (Numbers 35:19) The law of retaliation was not to extend beyond the immediate offender. (24:16; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:4; Jeremiah 31:29,30; Ezekiel 18:20)
Boanerges - a name signifying sons of thunder, given by our Lord to the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, probably on account of their fiery earnestly. (Mark 3:17) See (Luke 9:54; Mark 9:38) comp. Matt 20:20 etc.
Boar - [Swine]
Boil - [Medicine]
Bondage - [Slave]
Book - [Writing]
Booty - consisted of captives of both sexes, cattle, and whatever a captured city might contain, especially metallic treasures. Within the limits of Canaan no captives were to be made, (20:14,16) beyond these limits, in case of warlike resistance, all the women and children were to be made captives, and the men put to death. The law of booty is given in (Numbers 31:26-47) As regarded the army, David added a regulation that the baggage guard should share equally with the troops engaged. (1 Samuel 30:24; 25)
Booz - (Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32) [Boaz]
Boscath - (2 Kings 22:1) [Bozkath]
Bosor - same as Beor. (2 Peter 2:15)
Bottle - The Arabs keep their water, milk and other liquids in leathern bottles. These are made of goatskins. When the animal is killed they cut off its feet and its head, and draw it in this manner out of the skin without opening its belly. The great leathern bottles are made of the skin of a he-goat, and the small ones, that serve instead of a bottle of water on the road, are made of a kid's skin. The effect of external heat upon a skin bottle is indicated in (Psalms 119:83) "a bottle in the smoke," and of expansion produced by fermentation in (Matthew 9:17) "new wine in old bottles. " Vessels of metal, earthen or glassware for liquids were in use among the Greeks, Egyptians, Etruscans and Assyrians, and also no doubt among the Jews, especially in later times. Thus (Jeremiah 19:1) "a potter's earthen bottle. " (Bottles were made by the ancient Egyptians of alabaster, gold, ivory and stone. They were of most exquisite workmanship and elegant forms. Tear-bottles were small urns of glass or pottery, made to contain the tears of mourners at funerals, and placed in the sepulchres at Rome and in Palestine. In some ancient tombs they are found in great numbers. (Psalms 56:8) refers to this custom. ED.)
Boxtree - (Isaiah 41:19; 60:13) A beautiful evergreen growing in many parts of Europe and Asia. Its hard wood is much prized by engravers. The reference in (Isaiah 60:13) is supposed by some to mean a species of cedar.
Bracelet - [See Armlet] Bracelets of fine twisted Venetian gold are still common in Egypt. In (Genesis 38:18,25) the word rendered "bracelet" means probably a string by which a seal-ring was suspended. Men as well as women wore bracelets, as we see from (Song of Solomon 5:14) Layard says of the Assyrian kings, "The arms were encircled by armlets, and the wrists by bracelets. "
Bramble - [Thorns]
Brass - The word nechosheth is improperly translated by "brass. " In most places of the Old Testament the correct translation would be copper, although it may sometimes possibly mean bronze a compound of copper and tin. Indeed a simple metal was obviously intended, as we see from (8:9; 33:25; Job 28) Copper was known at a very early period. (Genesis 4:22)
Brazen - Serpent [Serpent]
Bread - The preparation of bread as an article of food dates from a very early period. (Genesis 18:6) The corn or grain employed was of various sorts. The best bread was made of wheat, but "barley" and spelt were also used. (John 6:9,13; Isaiah 28:25) The process of making bread was as follows: the flour was first mixed with water or milk; it was then kneaded with the hands (in Egypt with the feet also) in a small wooden bowl or "kneading-trough" until it became dough. (Exodus 12:34,39; 2 Samuel 13:3; Jeremiah 7:18) When the kneading was completed, leaven was generally added [Leaven]; but when the time for preparation was short, it was omitted, and unleavened cakes, hastily baked, were eaten as is still the prevalent custom among the Bedouins. ((Genesis 18:6; 19:3; Exodus 12:39; Judges 6:19; 1 Samuel 28:24) The leavened mass was allowed to stand for some time, (Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:21) the dough was then divided into round cakes, (Exodus 29:23; Judges 7:13; 8:5; 1 Samuel 10:3; Proverbs 6:26) not unlike flat stones in shape and appearance, (Matthew 7:9) comp. Matt 4:8 About a span in diameter and a finger's breadth in thickness. In the towns where professional bakers resided, there were no doubt fixed ovens, in shape and size resembling those in use among ourselves; but more usually each household poured a portable oven, consisting of a stone or metal jar, about three feet high which was heated inwardly with wood, (1 Kings 17:12; Isaiah 44:15; Jeremiah 7:18) or dried grass and flower-stalks. (Matthew 6:30)
Breastplate - [Arms, Armor]
Brethren Of Jesus - [James The Less]
Brick - (Genesis 11:3) The brick in use among the Jews were much larger than with us, being usually from 12 to 13 inches square and 3 1/2 inches thick; they thus possess more of the character of tiles. (Ezekiel 4:1) The Israelites, in common with other captives, were employed by the Egyptian monarchs in making bricks and in building. (Exodus 1:14; 5:7) Egyptian bricks were not generally dried in kilns, but in the sun. That brick-kilns were known is evident from (2 Samuel 12:31; Jeremiah 43:9) When made of the Nile mud they required straw to prevent cracking. [See Straw]
Bride, Bridegroom - [Marriage]
Brimstone - Brimstone, or sulphur, is found in considerable quantities on the shores of the Dead Sea. (Genesis 19:24) It is a well-known simple mineral substance, crystalline, easily melted, very inflammable, and when burning emits a peculiar suffocating odor. It is found in great abundance near volcanoes. The soil around Sodom and Gomorrah abounded in sulphur and bitumen.
Bul - (rain). [Month]
Bull, Bullock - terms used synonymously with ox, oxen, and properly a generic name for horned cattle when a full age and fit for the plough. It is variously rendered "bullock," (Isaiah 65:25) "cow," (Ezekiel 4:15) "oxen," (Genesis 12:16) Kine is used in the Bible as the plural of cow. In (Isaiah 51:20) the "wild bull" ("wild ox" in (14:5)) was possibly one of the larger species of antelope, and took its name from its swiftness. Dr. Robinson mentions larger herds of black and almost harmless buffaloes as still existing in Palestine, and these may be the animal indicated.
Bulrush - (or papyrus), a red growing in the shallow water on the banks of the Nile. It grows to the height of 12 or 15 feet, with a stalk two or three inches in diameter. The stalks are very pliable and can be very closely interwoven, as is evident from their having been used in the construction of arks. (Exodus 2:3,5) Paper was made from this plant, from which it derives its name.
Burnt Offering - The word is applied to the offering which was wholly consumed by fire on the altar, and the whole of which, except the refuse ashes "ascended" in the smoke to God. The meaning of the whole burnt offering was that which is the original idea of all sacrifice, the offering by the sacrificer of himself, soul and body, to God--the submission of his will to the will of the Lord. The ceremonies of the burnt offering are given in detail in the book of Leviticus. [Sacrifice]
Bush - The Hebrew word seneh occurs only in those passages which refer to Jehovah's appearance to Moses "in the flame of fire in the bush. " (Exodus 3:2,3,4; 33:16) It is quite impossible to say what kind of thorn bush is intended; but it was probably the acacia a small variety of the shittim tree found in the Sinai region.
Butler - One of the officers of the king's household, (Nehemiah 1:11) who had charge of the wine and poured it out for the king. The chief butler, as the title signifies, was in charge of the butlers. (Genesis 40:1-13)
Butter - Curdled milk. (Genesis 18:8; 32:14; Judges 5:25; Job 20:17) Milk is generally offered to travellers in Palestine in a curdled or sour state, leben, thick, almost like butter. Hasselquist describes the method of making butter employed by the Arab women: "they made butter in a leather bag, hung on three poles erected for the purpose, in the form of a cone, and drawn to and fro by two women. "