Baal-shalisha - lord of Shalisha, a place from which a man came
with provisions for Elisha, apparently not far from Gilgal (2 Kings 4:42).
It has been identified with Sirisia, 13 miles north of Lydda.
Baal-tamar - lord of palm trees, a place
in the tribe of Benjamin near Gibeah of Saul (Judg. 20:33). It was one of
the sanctuaries or groves of Baal. Probably the palm tree of Deborah (Judg.
4:5) is alluded to in the name.
Baal-zebub - fly-lord, the god of the Philistines
at Ekron (2 Kings 1:2, 3, 16). This name was given to the god because he
was supposed to be able to avert the plague of flies which in that region
was to be feared. He was consulted by Ahaziah as to his recovery.
Baal-zephon - Baal of the north, an Egyptian
town on the shores of the Gulf of Suez (Ex. 14:2; Num. 33:7), over against
which the children of Israel encamped before they crossed the Red Sea. It
is probably to be identified with the modern Jebel Deraj or Kulalah, on
the western shore of the Gulf of Suez. Baal-zapuna of the Egyptians was
a place of worship.
Baana - son of affliction. (1.) One of Solomon's
purveyors (1 Kings 4:12).
(2.) Son of Hushai, another of Solomon's purveyors (1 Kings 4:16).
(3.) Father of Zadok (Neh. 3:4).
Baanah - son of affliction. (1.) One of
the two sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, a captain in Saul's army. He and
his brother Rechab assassinated Ishbosheth (2 Sam. 4:2), and were on this
account slain by David, and their mutilated bodies suspended over the pool
at Hebron (5, 6, 12).
(2.) The father of Heled, who was one of David's thirty heroes (2 Sam.
23:29; 1 Chr. 11:30).
Baasha - bravery, the third king of the
separate kingdom of Israel, and founder of its second dynasty (1 Kings 15;
16; 2 Chr. 16:1-6). He was the son of Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar. The
city of Tirzah he made the capital of his kingdom, and there he was buried,
after an eventful reign of twenty-four years (1 Kings 15:33). On account
of his idolatries his family was exterminated, according to the word of
the prophet Jehu (1 Kings 16:3, 4, 10-13).
Babe - used of children generally (Matt.
11:25; 21:16; Luke 10:21; Rom. 2:20). It is used also of those who are weak
in Christian faith and knowledge (1 Cor. 3:1; Heb. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:2). In
Isa. 3:4 the word "babes" refers to a succession of weak and wicked princes
who reigned over Judah from the death of Josiah downward to the destruction
Babel, tower of - the name given to
the tower which the primitive fathers of our race built in the land of
Shinar after the Deluge (Gen. 11:1-9). Their object in building this tower
was probably that it might be seen as a rallying-point in the extensive
plain of Shinar, to which they had emigrated from the uplands of Armenia,
and so prevent their being scattered abroad. But God interposed and defeated
their design by condounding their language, and hence the name Babel,
meaning "confusion." In the Babylonian tablets there is an account of
this event, and also of the creation and the deluge. (See CHALDEA.)
The Temple of Belus, which is supposed to occupy its site, is described
by the Greek historian Herodotus as a temple of great extent and magnificence,
erected by the Babylonians for their god Belus. The treasures Nebuchadnezzar
brought from Jerusalem were laid up in this temple (2 Chr. 36:7).
The Birs Nimrud, at ancient Borsippa, about 7 miles south-west of Hillah,
the modern town which occupies a part of the site of ancient Babylon,
and 6 miles from the Euphrates, is an immense mass of broken and fire-blasted
fragments, of about 2,300 feet in circumference, rising suddenly to the
height of 235 feet above the desert-plain, and is with probability regarded
as the ruins of the tower of Babel. This is "one of the most imposing
ruins in the country." Others think it to be the ruins of the Temple of
Babylon - the Greek form of BABEL; Semitic
form Babilu, meaning "The Gate of God." In the Assyrian tablets it means
"The city of the dispersion of the tribes." The monumental list of its kings
reaches back to B.C. 2300, and includes Khammurabi, or Amraphel (q.v.),
the contemporary of Abraham. It stood on the Euphrates, about 200 miles
above its junction with the Tigris, which flowed through its midst and divided
it into two almost equal parts. The Elamites invaded Chaldea (i.e., Lower
Mesopotamia, or Shinar, and Upper Mesopotamia, or Accad, now combined into
one) and held it in subjection. At length Khammu-rabi delivered it from
the foreign yoke, and founded the new empire of Chaldea (q.v.), making Babylon
the capital of the united kingdom. This city gradually grew in extent and
grandeur, but in process of time it became subject to Assyria. On the fall
of Nineveh (B.C. 606) it threw off the Assyrian yoke, and became the capital
of the growing Babylonian empire. Under Nebuchadnezzar it became one of
the most splendid cities of the ancient world.
After passing through various vicissitudes the city was occupied by
Cyrus, "king of Elam," B.C. 538, who issued a decree permitting the Jews
to return to their own land (Ezra 1). It then ceased to be the capital
of an empire. It was again and again visited by hostile armies, till its
inhabitants were all driven from their homes, and the city became a complete
desolation, its very site being forgotten from among men.
On the west bank of the Euphrates, about 50 miles south of Bagdad, there
is found a series of artificial mounds of vast extent. These are the ruins
of this once famous proud city. These ruins are principally (1) the great
mound called Babil by the Arabs. This was probably the noted Temple of
Belus, which was a pyramid about 480 feet high. (2) The Kasr (i.e., "the
palace"). This was the great palace of Nebuchadnezzar. It is almost a
square, each side of which is about 700 feet long. The little town of
Hillah, near the site of Babylon, is built almost wholly of bricks taken
from this single mound. (3) A lofty mound, on the summit of which stands
a modern tomb called Amran ibn-Ali. This is probably the most ancient
portion of the remains of the city, and represents the ruins of the famous
hanging-gardens, or perhaps of some royal palace. The utter desolation
of the city once called "The glory of kingdoms" (Isa.13:19) was foretold
by the prophets (Isa.13:4-22; Jer. 25:12; 50:2, 3; Dan. 2:31-38).
The Babylon mentioned in 1 Pet. 5:13 was not Rome, as some have thought,
but the literal city of Babylon, which was inhabited by many Jews at the
time Peter wrote.
In Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; and 18:2, "Babylon" is supposed to mean Rome,
not considered as pagan, but as the prolongation of the ancient power
in the papal form. Rome, pagan and papal, is regarded as one power. "The
literal Babylon was the beginner and supporter of tyranny and idolatry...This
city and its whole empire were taken by the Persians under Cyrus; the
Persians were subdued by the Macedonians, and the Macedonians by the Romans;
so that Rome succeeded to the power of old Babylon. And it was her method
to adopt the worship of the false deities she had conquered; so that by
her own act she became the heiress and successor of all the Babylonian
idolatry, and of all that was introduced into it by the immediate successors
of Babylon, and consequently of all the idolatry of the earth." Rome,
or "mystical Babylon," is "that great city which reigneth over the kings
of the earth" (17:18).
Babylonish garment - a robe of rich colours
fabricated at Babylon, and hence of great value (Josh.7:21).
Babylon, kingdom of - called "the land of
the Chaldeans" (Jer. 24:5; Ezek, 12:13), was an extensive province in Central
Asia along the valley of the Tigris from the Persian Gulf northward for
some 300 miles. It was famed for its fertility and its riches. Its capital
was the city of Babylon, a great commercial centre (Ezek. 17:4; Isa. 43:14).
Babylonia was divided into the two districts of Accad in the north, and
Summer (probably the Shinar of the Old Testament) in the south. Among its
chief cities may be mentioned Ur (now Mugheir or Mugayyar), on the western
bank of the Euphrates; Uruk, or Erech (Gen. 10:10) (now Warka), between
Ur and Babylon; Larsa (now Senkereh), the Ellasar of Gen. 14:1, a little
to the east of Erech; Nipur (now Niffer), south-east of Babylon; Sepharvaim
(2 Kings 17:24), "the two Sipparas" (now Abu-Habba), considerably to the
north of Babylon; and Eridu, "the good city" (now Abu-Shahrein), which lay
originally on the shore of the Persian Gulf, but is now, owing to the silting
up of the sand, about 100 miles distant from it. Another city was Kulunu,
or Calneh (Gen. 10:10).
The salt-marshes at the mouths of the Euphrates and Tigris were called
Marratu, "the bitter" or "salt", the Merathaim of Jer. 50:21. They were
the original home of the Kalda, or Chaldeans.
The most famous of the early kings of Babylonia were Sargon of Accad
(B.C.3800) and his son, Naram-Sin, who conquered a large part of Western
Asia, establishing their power in Palestine, and even carrying their arms
to the Sinaitic peninsula. A great Babylonian library was founded in the
reign of Sargon. Babylonia was subsequently again broken up into more
than one state, and at one time fell under the domination of Elam. This
was put an end to by Khammu-rabi (Amraphel), who drove the Elamites out
of the country, and overcame Arioch, the son of an Elamite prince. From
this time forward Babylonia was a united monarchy. About B.C. 1750 it
was conquered by the Kassi, or Kosseans, from the mountains of Elam, and
a Kassite dynasty ruled over it for 576 years and 9 months.
In the time of Khammu-rabi, Syria and Palestine were subject to Babylonia
and its Elamite suzerain; and after the overthrow of the Elamite supremacy,
the Babylonian kings continued to exercise their influence and power in
what was called "the land of the Amorites." In the epoch of the Kassite
dynasty, however, Canaan passed into the hands of Egypt.
In B.C. 729, Babylonia was conquered by the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser
III.; but on the death of Shalmaneser IV. it was seized by the Kalda or
"Chaldean" prince Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12-19), who held it till
B.C. 709, when he was driven out by Sargon.
Under Sennacherib, Babylonia revolted from Assyria several times, with
the help of the Elamites, and after one of these revolts Babylon was destroyed
by Sennacherib, B.C. 689. It was rebuilt by Esarhaddon, who made it his
residence during part of the year, and it was to Babylon that Manasseh
was brought a prisoner (2 Chr. 33:11). After the death of Esarhaddon,
Saul-sumyukin, the viceroy of Babylonia, revolted against his brother
the Assyrian king, and the revolt was suppressed with difficulty.
When Nineveh was destroyed, B.C. 606, Nabopolassar, the viceroy of Babylonia,
who seems to have been of Chaldean descent, made himself independent.
His son Nebuchadrezzar (Nabu-kudur-uzur), after defeating the Egyptians
at Carchemish, succeeded him as king, B.C. 604, and founded the Babylonian
empire. He strongly fortified Babylon, and adorned it with palaces and
other buildings. His son, Evil-merodach, who succeeded him in B.C. 561,
was murdered after a reign of two years. The last monarch of the Babylonian
empire was Nabonidus (Nabu-nahid), B.C. 555-538, whose eldest son, Belshazzar
(Bilu-sar-uzur), is mentioned in several inscriptions. Babylon was captured
by Cyrus, B.C. 538, and though it revolted more than once in later years,
it never succeeded in maintaining its independence.
Baca, Valley of - (Ps. 84:6; R.V., "valley
of weeping," marg., "or balsam trees"), probably a valley in some part of
Palestine, or generally some one of the valleys through which pilgrims had
to pass on their way to the sanctuary of Jehovah on Zion; or it may be figuratively
"a valley of weeping."
Backbite - In Ps. 15:3, the rendering of
a word which means to run about tattling, calumniating; in Prov. 25:23,
secret talebearing or slandering; in Rom. 1:30 and 2 Cor. 12:20, evil-speaking,
maliciously defaming the absent.
Backslide - to draw back or apostatize in
matters of religion (Acts 21:21; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1). This may be
either partial (Prov. 14:14) or complete (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:38, 39). The apostasy
may be both doctrinal and moral.
Badger - this word is found in Ex. 25:5;
26:14; 35:7, 23; 36:19; 39:34; Num. 4:6, etc. The tabernacle was covered
with badgers' skins; the shoes of women were also made of them (Ezek. 16:10).
Our translators seem to have been misled by the similarity in sound of the
Hebrew tachash_ and the Latin _taxus, "a badger." The revisers have
correctly substituted "seal skins." The Arabs of the Sinaitic peninsula
apply the name tucash to the seals and dugongs which are common in
the Red Sea, and the skins of which are largely used as leather and for
sandals. Though the badger is common in Palestine, and might occur in the
wilderness, its small hide would have been useless as a tent covering. The
dugong, very plentiful in the shallow waters on the shores of the Red Sea,
is a marine animal from 12 to 30 feet long, something between a whale and
a seal, never leaving the water, but very easily caught. It grazes on seaweed,
and is known by naturalists as Halicore tabernaculi.
Bag - (1.) A pocket of a cone-like shape
in which Naaman bound two pieces of silver for Gehazi (2 Kings 5:23). The
same Hebrew word occurs elsewhere only in Isa. 3:22, where it is rendered
"crisping-pins," but denotes the reticules (or as R.V., "satchels") carried
by Hebrew women.
(2.) Another word (kees) so rendered means a bag for carrying weights
(Deut. 25:13; Prov. 16:11; Micah 6:11). It also denotes a purse (Prov.
1:14) and a cup (23:31).
(3.) Another word rendered "bag" in 1 Sam. 17:40 is rendered "sack"
in Gen. 42:25; and in 1 Sam. 9:7; 21:5 "vessel," or wallet for carrying
(4.) The word rendered in the Authorized Version "bags," in which the
priests bound up the money contributed for the restoration of the temple
(2 Kings 12:10), is also rendered "bundle" (Gen. 42:35; 1 Sam. 25:29).
It denotes bags used by travellers for carrying money during a journey
(Prov. 7:20; Hag. 1:6).
(5.) The "bag" of Judas was a small box (John 12:6; 13:29).
Bahurim - young men, a place east of Jerusalem
(2 Sam. 3:16; 19:16), on the road to the Jordan valley. Here Shimei resided,
who poured forth vile abuse against David, and flung dust and stones at
him and his party when they were making their way down the eastern slopes
of Olivet toward Jordan (16:5); and here Jonathan and Ahimaaz hid themselves
With the exception of Shimei, Azmaveth, one of David's heroes, is the
only other native of the place who is mentioned (2 Sam. 23:31; 1 Chr.
Bajith - house, probably a city of Moab,
which had a celebrated idol-temple (Isa. 15:2). It has also been regarded
as denoting simply the temple of the idol of Moab as opposed to the "high
Bake - The duty of preparing bread was usually,
in ancient times, committed to the females or the slaves of the family (Gen.
18:6; Lev. 26:26; 1 Sam. 8:13); but at a later period we find a class of
public bakers mentioned (Hos. 7:4, 6; Jer. 37:21).
The bread was generally in the form of long or round cakes (Ex. 29:23;
1 Sam. 2:36), of a thinness that rendered them easily broken (Isa. 58:7;
Matt. 14:19; 26:26; Acts 20:11). Common ovens were generally used; at
other times a jar was half-filled with hot pebbles, and the dough was
spread over them. Hence we read of "cakes baken on the coals" (1 Kings
19:6), and "baken in the oven" (Lev. 2:4). (See BREAD.)
Bake-meats - baked provisions (Gen. 40:17),
literally "works of the baker," such as biscuits and cakes.
Balaam - lord of the people; foreigner or
glutton, as interpreted by others, the son of Beor, was a man of some rank
among the Midianites (Num. 31:8; comp. 16). He resided at Pethor (Deut.
23:4), in Mesopotamia (Num. 23:7). It is evident that though dwelling among
idolaters he had some knowledge of the true God; and was held in such reputation
that it was supposed that he whom he blessed was blessed, and he whom he
cursed was cursed. When the Israelites were encamped on the plains of Moab,
on the east of Jordan, by Jericho, Balak sent for Balaam "from Aram, out
of the mountains of the east," to curse them; but by the remarkable interposition
of God he was utterly unable to fulfil Balak's wish, however desirous he
was to do so. The apostle Peter refers (2 Pet. 2:15, 16) to this as an historical
event. In Micah 6:5 reference also is made to the relations between Balaam
and Balak. Though Balaam could not curse Israel, yet he suggested a mode
by which the divine displeasure might be caused to descend upon them (Num.
25). In a battle between Israel and the Midianites (q.v.) Balaam was slain
while fighting on the side of Balak (Num. 31:8).
The "doctrine of Balaam" is spoken of in Rev. 2:14, in allusion to the
fact that it was through the teaching of Balaam that Balak learned the
way by which the Israelites might be led into sin. (See NICOLAITANES.)
Balaam was constrained to utter prophecies regarding the future of Israel
of wonderful magnificence and beauty of expression (Num. 24:5-9, 17).
Baladan - he has given a son, the father
of the Babylonian king (2 Kings 20:12; Isa. 39:1) Merodach-baladan (q.v.).
Balah - a city in the tribe of Simeon (Josh.
19:3), elsewhere called Bilhah (1 Chr. 4:29) and Baalah (Josh. 15:29).
Balak - empty; spoiler, a son of Zippor,
and king of the Moabites (Num. 22:2, 4). From fear of the Israelites, who
were encamped near the confines of his territory, he applied to Balaam (q.v.)
to curse them; but in vain (Josh. 24:9).
Balance - occurs in Lev. 19:36 and Isa.
46:6, as the rendering of the Hebrew kanch', which properly means
"a reed" or "a cane," then a rod or beam of a balance. This same word is
translated "measuring reed" in Ezek. 40:3,5; 42:16-18. There is another
Hebrew word, mozena'yim, i.e., "two poisers", also so rendered (Dan.
5:27). The balances as represented on the most ancient Egyptian monuments
resemble those now in use. A "pair of balances" is a symbol of justice and
fair dealing (Job 31:6; Ps. 62:9; Prov. 11:1). The expression denotes great
want and scarcity in Rev. 6:5.
Baldness - from natural causes was uncommon
(2 Kings 2:23; Isa. 3:24). It was included apparently under "scab" and "scurf,"
which disqualified for the priesthood (Lev. 21:20). The Egyptians were rarely
subject to it. This probably arose from their custom of constantly shaving
the head, only allowing the hair to grow as a sign of mourning. With the
Jews artificial baldness was a sign of mourning (Isa. 22:12; Jer. 7:29;
16:6); it also marked the conclusion of a Nazarite's vow (Acts 18:18; 21:24;
Num. 6:9). It is often alluded to (Micah 1:16; Amos 8:10; Jer. 47:5). The
Jews were forbidden to follow the customs of surrounding nations in making
themselves bald (Deut. 14:1).
Balm - contracted from Bal'sam, a general
name for many oily or resinous substances which flow or trickle from certain
trees or plants when an incision is made through the bark.
(1.) This word occurs in the Authorized Version (Gen. 37:25; 43:11;
Jer. 8:22; 46:11; 51:8; Ezek. 27:17) as the rendering of the Hebrew word
tsori_ or _tseri, which denotes the gum of a tree growing in Gilead
(q.v.), which is very precious. It was celebrated for its medicinal qualities,
and was circulated as an article of merchandise by Arab and Phoenician
merchants. The shrub so named was highly valued, and was almost peculiar
to Palestine. In the time of Josephus it was cultivated in the neighbourhood
of Jericho and the Dead Sea. There is an Arab tradition that the tree
yielding this balm was brought by the queen of Sheba as a present to Solomon,
and that he planted it in his gardens at Jericho.
(2.) There is another Hebrew word, basam_ or _bosem, from which
our word "balsam," as well as the corresponding Greek balsamon, is derived.
It is rendered "spice" (Cant. 5:1, 13; 6:2; margin of Revised Version,
"balsam;" Ex. 35:28; 1 Kings 10:10), and denotes fragrance in general.
Basam also denotes the true balsam-plant, a native of South Arabia
Bamah - a height, a name used simply to
denote a high place where the Jews worshipped idols (Ezek. 20:29). The plural
is translated "high places" in Num. 22:41 and Ezek. 36:2.
Bamoth - heights, the forty-seventh station
of the Israelites (Num. 21:19,20) in the territory of the Moabites.
Bamoth-baal - heights of Baal, a place on
the river Arnon, or in the plains through which it flows, east of Jordan
(Josh. 13:17; comp. Num. 21:28). It has been supposed to be the same place
Bands - (1) of love (Hos. 11:4); (2) of
Christ (Ps. 2:3); (3) uniting together Christ's body the church (Col. 2:19;
3:14; Eph. 4:3); (4) the emblem of the captivity of Israel (Ezek. 34:27;
Isa. 28:22; 52:2); (5) of brotherhood (Ezek. 37:15-28); (6) no bands to
the wicked in their death (Ps. 73:4; Job 21:7; Ps. 10:6). Also denotes chains
(Luke 8:29); companies of soldiers (Acts 21:31); a shepherd's staff, indicating
the union between Judah and Israel (Zech. 11:7).
Bani - built. (1.) 1 Chr. 6:46. (2.) One
of David's thirty-seven warriors, a Gadite (2 Sam. 23:36). (3.) Ezra 2:10;
10:29,34,38. (4.) A Levite who was prominent in the reforms on the return
from Babylon (Neh. 8:7; 9:4,5). His son Rehum took part in rebuilding the
wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:17).
Banner - (1.) The flag or banner of the
larger kind, serving for three tribes marching together. These standards,
of which there were four, were worked with embroidery and beautifully ornamented
(Num. 1:52; 2:2, 3, 10, 18, 25; Cant. 2:4; 6:4, 10).
(2.) The flag borne by each separate tribe, of a smaller form. Probably
it bore on it the name of the tribe to which it belonged, or some distinguishing
device (Num. 2:2,34).
(3.) A lofty signal-flag, not carried about, but stationary. It was
usually erected on a mountain or other lofty place. As soon as it was
seen the war-trumpets were blown (Ps. 60:4; Isa. 5:26; 11:12; 13:2; 18:3;
30:17; Jer. 4:6 21; Ezek. 27:7).
(4.) A "sign of fire" (Jer. 6:1) was sometimes used as a signal.
The banners and ensigns of the Roman army had idolatrous images upon
them, and hence they are called the "abomination of desolation" (q.v.).
The principal Roman standard, however, was an eagle. (See Matt. 24:28;
Luke 17:37, where the Jewish nation is compared to a dead body, which
the eagles gather together to devour.)
God's setting up or giving a banner (Ps. 20:5; 60:4; Cant. 2:4) imports
his presence and protection and aid extended to his people.
Banquet - a feast provided for the entertainment
of a company of guests (Esther 5; 7; 1 Pet. 4:3); such as was provided for
our Lord by his friends in Bethany (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; comp. John 12:2).
These meals were in the days of Christ usually called "suppers," after the
custom of the Romans, and were partaken of toward the close of the day.
It was usual to send a second invitation (Matt. 22:3; Luke 14:17) to those
who had been already invited. When the whole company was assembled, the
master of the house shut the door with his own hands (Luke 13:25; Matt.
The guests were first refreshed with water and fragrant oil (Luke 7:38;
Mark 7:4). A less frequent custom was that of supplying each guest with
a robe to be worn during the feast (Eccles. 9:8; Rev. 3:4, 5; Matt. 22:11).
At private banquets the master of the house presided; but on public occasions
a "governor of the feast" was chosen (John 2:8). The guests were placed
in order according to seniority (Gen. 43:33), or according to the rank
they held (Prov. 25:6,7; Matt. 23:6; Luke 14:7).
As spoons and knives and forks are a modern invention, and were altogether
unknown in the East, the hands alone were necessarily used, and were dipped
in the dish, which was common to two of the guests (John 13:26). In the
days of our Lord the guests reclined at table; but the ancient Israelites
sat around low tables, cross-legged, like the modern Orientals. Guests
were specially honoured when extra portions were set before them (Gen.
43:34), and when their cup was filled with wine till it ran over (Ps.
23:5). The hands of the guests were usually cleaned by being rubbed on
bread, the crumbs of which fell to the ground, and were the portion for
dogs (Matt. 15:27; Luke 16:21).
At the time of the three annual festivals at Jerusalem family banquets
were common. To these the "widow, and the fatherless, and the stranger"
were welcome (Deut. 16:11). Sacrifices also included a banquet (Ex. 34:15;
Judg. 16:23). Birthday banquets are mentioned (Gen. 40:20; Matt. 14:6).
They were sometimes protracted, and attended with revelry and excess (Gen.
21:8; 29:22; 1 Sam. 25:2,36; 2 Sam. 13:23). Portions were sometimes sent
from the table to poorer friends (Neh. 8:10; Esther 9:19, 22). (See MEALS.)
Baptism, Christian - an ordinance immediately
instituted by Christ (Matt. 28:19, 20), and designed to be observed in the
church, like that of the Supper, "till he come." The words "baptize" and
"baptism" are simply Greek words transferred into English. This was necessarily
done by the translators of the Scriptures, for no literal translation could
properly express all that is implied in them.
The mode of baptism can in no way be determined from the Greek word
rendered "baptize." Baptists say that it means "to dip," and nothing else.
That is an incorrect view of the meaning of the word. It means both (1)
to dip a thing into an element or liquid, and (2) to put an element or
liquid over or on it. Nothing therefore as to the mode of baptism can
be concluded from the mere word used. The word has a wide latitude of
meaning, not only in the New Testament, but also in the LXX. Version of
the Old Testament, where it is used of the ablutions and baptisms required
by the Mosaic law. These were effected by immersion, and by affusion and
sprinkling; and the same word, "washings" (Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21) or "baptisms,"
designates them all. In the New Testament there cannot be found a single
well-authenticated instance of the occurrence of the word where it necessarily
means immersion. Moreover, none of the instances of baptism recorded in
the Acts of the Apostles (2:38-41; 8:26-39; 9:17, 18; 22:12-16; 10:44-48;
16:32-34) favours the idea that it was by dipping the person baptized,
or by immersion, while in some of them such a mode was highly improbable.
The gospel and its ordinances are designed for the whole world, and
it cannot be supposed that a form for the administration of baptism would
have been prescribed which would in any place (as in a tropical country
or in polar regions) or under any circumstances be inapplicable or injurious
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two symbolical ordinances of the
New Testament. The Supper represents the work of Christ, and Baptism the
work of the Spirit. As in the Supper a small amount of bread and wine
used in this ordinance exhibits in symbol the great work of Christ, so
in Baptism the work of the Holy Spirit is fully seen in the water poured
or sprinkled on the person in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
That which is essential in baptism is only "washing with water," no mode
being specified and none being necessary or essential to the symbolism
of the ordinance.
The apostles of our Lord were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Matt. 3:11)
by his coming upon them (Acts 1:8). The fire also with which they were
baptized sat upon them. The extraordinary event of Pentecost was explained
by Peter as a fulfilment of the ancient promise that the Spirit would
be poured out in the last days (2:17). He uses also with the same reference
the expression shed forth as descriptive of the baptism of the Spirit
(33). In the Pentecostal baptism "the apostles were not dipped into the
Spirit, nor plunged into the Spirit; but the Spirit was shed forth, poured
out, fell on them (11:15), came upon them, sat on them." That was a real
and true baptism. We are warranted from such language to conclude that
in like manner when water is poured out, falls, comes upon or rests upon
a person when this ordinance is administered, that person is baptized.
Baptism is therefore, in view of all these arguments "rightly administered
by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person."
The subjects of baptism. This raises questions of greater importance
than those relating to its mode.
1. The controversy here is not about "believers' baptism," for that
is common to all parties. Believers were baptized in apostolic times,
and they have been baptized in all time by all the branches of the church.
It is altogether a misrepresentation to allege, as is sometimes done by
Baptists, that their doctrine is "believers' baptism." Every instance
of adult baptism, or of "believers' baptism," recorded in the New Testament
(Acts 2:41; 8:37; 9:17, 18; 10:47; 16:15; 19:5, etc.) is just such as
would be dealt with in precisely the same way by all branches of the Protestant
Church, a profession of faith or of their being "believers" would be required
from every one of them before baptism. The point in dispute is not the
baptism of believers, but whether the infant children of believers, i.e.,
of members of the church, ought to be baptized.
2. In support of the doctrine of infant baptism, i.e., of the baptism
of the infants, or rather the "children," of believing parents, the following
considerations may be adduced:
The Church of Christ exists as a divinely organized community. It is
the "kingdom of God," one historic kingdom under all dispensations. The
commonwealth of Israel was the "church" (Acts 7:38; Rom. 9:4) under the
Mosaic dispensation. The New Testament church is not a new and different
church, but one with that of the Old Testament. The terms of admission
into the church have always been the same viz., a profession of faith
and a promise of subjection to the laws of the kingdom. Now it is a fact
beyond dispute that the children of God's people under the old dispensation
were recognized as members of the church. Circumcision was the sign and
seal of their membership. It was not because of carnal descent from Abraham,
but as being the children of God's professing people, that this rite was
administered (Rom. 4:11). If children were members of the church under
the old dispensation, which they undoubtedly were, then they are members
of the church now by the same right, unless it can be shown that they
have been expressly excluded. Under the Old Testament parents acted for
their children and represented them. (See Gen. 9:9; 17:10; Ex. 24:7, 8;
Deut. 29:9-13.) When parents entered into covenant with God, they brought
their children with them. This was a law in the Hebrew Church. When a
proselyte was received into membership, he could not enter without bringing
his children with him. The New Testament does not exclude the children
of believers from the church. It does not deprive them of any privilege
they enjoyed under the Old Testament. There is no command or statement
of any kind, that can be interpreted as giving any countenance to such
an idea, anywhere to be found in the New Testament. The church membership
of infants has never been set aside. The ancient practice, orginally appointed
by God himself, must remain a law of his kingdom till repealed by the
same divine authority. There are lambs in the fold of the Good Shepherd
(John 21:15; comp. Luke 1:15; Matt. 19:14; 1 Cor. 7:14).
"In a company of converts applying for admission into Christ's house
there are likely to be some heads of families. How is their case to be
treated? How, for example, are Lydia and her neighbour the keeper of the
city prison to be treated? Both have been converted. Both are heads of
families. They desire to be received into the infant church of Philippi.
What is Christ's direction to them? Shall we say that it is to this effect:
'Arise, and wash away your sins, and come into my house. But you must
come in by yourselves. These babes in your arms, you must leave them outside.
They cannot believe yet, and so they cannot come in. Those other little
ones by your side, their hearts may perhaps have been touched with the
love of God; still, they are not old enough to make a personal profession,
so they too must be left outside...For the present you must leave them
where they are and come in by yourselves.' One may reasonably demand very
stringent proofs before accepting this as a fair representation of the
sort of welcome Christ offers to parents who come to his door bringing
their children with them. Surely it is more consonant with all we know
about him to suppose that his welcome will be more ample in its scope,
and will breathe a more gracious tone. Surely it would be more like the
Good Shepherd to say, 'Come in, and bring your little ones along with
you. The youngest needs my salvation; and the youngest is accessible to
my salvation. You may be unable as yet to deal with them about either
sin or salvation, but my gracious power can find its way into their hearts
even now. I can impart to them pardon and a new life. From Adam they have
inherited sin and death; and I can so unite them to myself that in me
they shall be heirs of righteousness and life. You may without misgiving
bring them to me. And the law of my house requires that the same day which
witnesses your reception into it by baptism must witness their reception
also'" (The Church, by Professor Binnie, D.D.).
Baptism for the dead - only mentioned in
1 Cor. 15:29. This expression as used by the apostle may be equivalent to
saying, "He who goes through a baptism of blood in order to join a glorified
church which has no existence [i.e., if the dead rise not] is a fool." Some
also regard the statement here as an allusion to the strange practice which
began, it is said, to prevail at Corinth, in which a person was baptized
in the stead of others who had died before being baptized, to whom it was
hoped some of the benefits of that rite would be extended. This they think
may have been one of the erroneous customs which Paul went to Corinth to
"set in order."
Baptism, John's - was not Christian baptism,
nor was that which was practised by the disciples previous to our Lord's
crucifixion. Till then the New Testament economy did not exist. John's baptism
bound its subjects to repentance, and not to the faith of Christ. It was
not administered in the name of the Trinity, and those whom John baptized
were rebaptized by Paul (Acts 18:24; 19:7).
Baptism of Christ - Christ had to be formally
inaugurated into the public discharge of his offices. For this purpose he
came to John, who was the representative of the law and the prophets, that
by him he might be introduced into his offices, and thus be publicly recognized
as the Messiah of whose coming the prophecies and types had for many ages
John refused at first to confer his baptism on Christ, for he understood
not what he had to do with the "baptism of repentance." But Christ said,
"'Suffer it to be so now,' NOW as suited to my state of humiliation, my
state as a substitute in the room of sinners." His reception of baptism
was not necessary on his own account. It was a voluntary act, the same
as his act of becoming incarnate. Yet if the work he had engaged to accomplish
was to be completed, then it became him to take on him the likeness of
a sinner, and to fulfil all righteousness (Matt. 3:15).
The official duty of Christ and the sinless person of Christ are to
be distinguished. It was in his official capacity that he submitted to
baptism. In coming to John our Lord virtually said, "Though sinless, and
without any personal taint, yet in my public or official capacity as the
Sent of God, I stand in the room of many, and bring with me the sin of
the world, for which I am the propitiation." Christ was not made under
the law on his own account. It was as surety of his people, a position
which he spontaneously assumed. The administration of the rite of baptism
was also a symbol of the baptism of suffering before him in this official
capacity (Luke 12:50). In thus presenting himself he in effect dedicated
or consecrated himself to the work of fulfilling all righteousness.
Bar - used to denote the means by which
a door is bolted (Neh. 3:3); a rock in the sea (Jonah 2:6); the shore of
the sea (Job 38:10); strong fortifications and powerful impediments, etc.
(Isa. 45:2; Amos 1:5); defences of a city (1 Kings 4:13). A bar for a door
was of iron (Isa. 45:2), brass (Ps. 107:16), or wood (Nah. 3:13).
Barabbas - i.e., son of Abba or of a father,
a notorious robber whom Pilate proposed to condemn to death instead of Jesus,
whom he wished to release, in accordance with the Roman custom (John 18:40;
Mark 15:7; Luke 23:19). But the Jews were so bent on the death of Jesus
that they demanded that Barabbas should be pardoned (Matt. 27:16-26; Acts
3:14). This Pilate did.
Barachel - whom God has blessed, a Buzite,
the father of Elihu, one of Job's friends (Job 32:2, 6).
Barachias, Berechiah - 4 (q.v.), whom Jehovah
hath blessed, father of the prophet Zechariah (Zech. 1:1,7; Matt. 23:35).
Barak - lightning, the son of Abinoam
(Judg. 4:6). At the summons of Deborah he made war against Jabin. She
accompanied him into the battle, and gave the signal for the little army
to make the attack; in which the host of Jabin was completely routed.
The battle was fought (Judg. 4:16) in the plain of Jezreel (q.v.). This
deliverance of Israel is commemorated in Judg. 5. Barak's faith is commended
(Heb. 11:32). "The character of Barak, though pious, does not seem to
have been heroic. Like Gideon, and in a sense Samson, he is an illustration
of the words in Heb. 11:34, 'Out of weakness were made strong.'" (See
Barbarian - a Greek word used in the New
Testament (Rom. 1:14) to denote one of another nation. In Col. 3:11, the
word more definitely designates those nations of the Roman empire that did
not speak Greek. In 1 Cor. 14:11, it simply refers to one speaking a different
language. The inhabitants of Malta are so called (Acts 28:1,2, 4). They
were originally a Carthaginian colony. This word nowhere in Scripture bears
the meaning it does in modern times.
Barber - Found only once, in Ezek. 5:1,
where reference is made to the Jewish custom of shaving the head as a sign
of mourning. The Nazarites were untouched by the razor from their birth
(Num. 6:5). Comp. Judg. 16:19.
Barefoot - To go barefoot was a sign of
great distress (Isa. 20:2, 3, 4), or of some great calamity having fallen
on a person (2 Sam. 15:30).
Bariah - fugitive, one of Shemaiah's five
sons. Their father is counted along with them in 1 Chr. 3:22.
Bar-jesus - son of Joshua, the patronymic
of Elymas the sorcerer (Acts 13:6), who met Paul and Barnabas at Paphos.
Elymas is a word of Arabic origin meaning "wise."
Bar-jona - son of Jonah, the patronymic
of Peter (Matt. 16:17; John 1:42), because his father's name was Jonas.
Barkos - painter, (Ezra 2:53; Neh. 7:55).
The father of some of the Nethinim.
Barley - a grain much cultivated in Egypt
(Ex. 9:31) and in Palestine (Lev. 27:16; Deut. 8:8). It was usually the
food of horses (1 Kings 4:28). Barley bread was used by the poorer people
(Judg. 7:13; 2 Kings 4:42). Barley of the first crop was ready for the harvest
by the time of the Passover, in the middle of April (Ruth 1:22; 2 Sam. 21:9).
Mention is made of barley-meal (Num. 5:15). Our Lord fed five thousand with
"five barley loaves and two small fishes" (John 6:9).
Barn - a storehouse (Deut. 28:8; Job 39:12;
Hag. 2:19) for grain, which was usually under ground, although also sometimes
above ground (Luke 12:18).
Barnabas - son of consolation, the surname
of Joses, a Levite (Acts 4:36). His name stands first on the list of prophets
and teachers of the church at Antioch (13:1). Luke speaks of him as a "good
man" (11:24). He was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He was
a native of Cyprus, where he had a possession of land (Acts 4:36, 37), which
he sold. His personal appearance is supposed to have been dignified and
commanding (Acts 14:11, 12). When Paul returned to Jerusalem after his conversion,
Barnabas took him and introduced him to the apostles (9:27). They had probably
been companions as students in the school of Gamaliel.
The prosperity of the church at Antioch led the apostles and brethren
at Jerusalem to send Barnabas thither to superintend the movement. He
found the work so extensive and weighty that he went to Tarsus in search
of Saul to assist him. Saul returned with him to Antioch and laboured
with him for a whole year (Acts 11:25, 26). The two were at the end of
this period sent up to Jerusalem with the contributions the church at
Antioch had made for the poorer brethren there (11:28-30). Shortly after
they returned, bringing John Mark with them, they were appointed as missionaries
to the heathen world, and in this capacity visited Cyprus and some of
the principal cities of Asia Minor (Acts 13:14). Returning from this first
missionary journey to Antioch, they were again sent up to Jerusalem to
consult with the church there regarding the relation of Gentiles to the
church (Acts 15:2: Gal. 2:1). This matter having been settled, they returned
again to Antioch, bringing the decree of the council as the rule by which
Gentiles were to be admitted into the church.
When about to set forth on a second missionary journey, a dispute arose
between Saul and Barnabas as to the propriety of taking John Mark with
them again. The dispute ended by Saul and Barnabas taking separate routes.
Saul took Silas as his companion, and journeyed through Syria and Cilicia;
while Barnabas took his nephew John Mark, and visited Cyprus (Acts 15:36-41).
Barnabas is not again mentioned by Luke in the Acts.
Barrel - a vessel used for keeping flour
(1 Kings 17:12, 14, 16). The same word (cad) so rendered is also translated
"pitcher," a vessel for carrying water (Gen. 24:14; Judg. 7:16).
Barren - For a woman to be barren was accounted
a severe punishment among the Jews (Gen. 16:2; 30:1-23; 1 Sam. 1:6, 27;
Isa. 47:9; 49:21; Luke 1:25). Instances of barrenness are noticed (Gen.
11:30; 25:21; 29:31; Judg. 13:2, 3; Luke 1:7, 36).
Barsabas - son of Saba, the surname (1)
of Joseph, also called Justus (Acts 1:23), some identify him with Barnabas;
(2) of Judas, who was a "prophet." Nothing more is known of him than what
is mentioned in Acts 15:32.
Bartholomew - son of Tolmai, one of the
twelve apostles (Matt. 10:3; Acts 1:13); generally supposed to have been
the same as Nathanael. In the synoptic gospels Philip and Bartholomew are
always mentioned together, while Nathanael is never mentioned; in the fourth
gospel, on the other hand, Philip and Nathanael are similarly mentioned
together, but nothing is said of Bartholomew. He was one of the disciples
to whom our Lord appeared at the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection
(John 21:2). He was also a witness of the Ascension (Acts 1:4, 12, 13).
He was an "Israelite indeed" (John 1:47).
Bartimaeus - son of Timaeus, one of the
two blind beggars of Jericho (Mark 10:46; Matt. 20:30). His blindness was
miraculously cured on the ground of his faith.
Baruch - blessed. (1.) The secretary of
the prophet Jeremiah (32:12; 36:4). He was of the tribe of Judah (51:59).
To him Jeremiah dictated his prophecies regarding the invasion of the Babylonians
and the Captivity. These he read to the people from a window in the temple
in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah (Jer. 36). He
afterwards read them before the counsellors of the king at a private interview;
and then to the king himself, who, after hearing a part of the roll, cut
it with a penknife, and threw it into the fire of his winter parlour, where
he was sitting.
During the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, he was the keeper of
the deed of purchase Jeremiah had made of the territory of Hanameel (Jer.
32:12). Being accused by his enemies of favouring the Chaldeans, he was
cast, with Jeremiah, into prison, where he remained till the capture of
Jerusalem (B.C. 586). He probably died in Babylon.
(2.) Neh. 3:20; 10:6; 11:5.
Barzillai - of iron. (1.) A Meholathite,
the father of Adriel (2 Sam. 21:8).
(2.) A Gileadite of Rogelim who was distinguished for his loyalty to
David. He liberally provided for the king's followers (2 Sam. 17:27).
David on his death-bed, remembering his kindness, commended Barzillai's
children to the care of Solomon (1 Kings 2:7).
(3.) A priest who married a daughter of the preceding (Ezra 2:61).
Bashan - light soil, first mentioned
in Gen. 14:5, where it is said that Chedorlaomer and his confederates
"smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth," where Og the king of Bashan had his
residence. At the time of Israel's entrance into the Promised Land, Og
came out against them, but was utterly routed (Num. 21:33-35; Deut. 3:1-7).
This country extended from Gilead in the south to Hermon in the north,
and from the Jordan on the west to Salcah on the east. Along with the
half of Gilead it was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:29-31).
Golan, one of its cities, became a "city of refuge" (Josh. 21:27). Argob,
in Bashan, was one of Solomon's commissariat districts (1 Kings 4:13).
The cities of Bashan were taken by Hazael (2 Kings 10:33), but were soon
after reconquered by Jehoash (2 Kings 13:25), who overcame the Syrians
in three battles, according to the word of Elisha (19). From this time
Bashan almost disappears from history, although we read of the wild cattle
of its rich pastures (Ezek. 39:18; Ps. 22:12), the oaks of its forests
(Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6; Zech. 11:2), and the beauty of its extensive plains
(Amos 4:1; Jer. 50:19). Soon after the conquest, the name "Gilead" was
given to the whole country beyond Jordan. After the Exile, Bashan was
divided into four districts, (1.) Gaulonitis, or Jaulan, the most western;
(2.) Auranitis, the Hauran (Ezek. 47:16); (3.) Argob or Trachonitis, now
the Lejah; and (4.) Batanaea, now Ard-el-Bathanyeh, on the east of the
Lejah, with many deserted towns almost as perfect as when they were inhabited.
Bashan-havoth-jair - the Bashan of the
villages of Jair, the general name given to Argob by Jair, the son of
Manasseh (Deut. 3:14), containing sixty cities with walls and brazen gates
(Josh. 13:30; 1 Kings 4:13). (See ARGOB.)
Bashan, Hill of - (Ps. 68:15), probably
another name for Hermon, which lies to the north of Bashan.
Bashemath - sweet-smelling. (1.) The daughter
of Ishmael, the last of Esau's three wives (Gen. 36:3, 4, 13), from whose
son Reuel four tribes of the Edomites sprung. She is also called Mahalath
(Gen. 28:9). It is noticeable that Esau's three wives receive different
names in the genealogical table of the Edomites (Gen. 36) from those given
to them in the history (Gen. 26:34; 28:9).
(2.) A daughter of Solomon, and wife of Ahimaaz, one of his officers
(1 Kings 4:15).
Basilisk - (in R.V., Isa. 11:8; 14:29;
59:5; Jer. 8:17), the "king serpent," as the name imports; a fabulous
serpent said to be three spans long, with a spot on its head like a crown.
Probably the yellow snake is intended. (See COCKATRICE.)
Basin - or Bason. (1.) A trough or laver
(Heb. aggan') for washing (Ex. 24:6); rendered also "goblet" (Cant. 7:2)
and "cups" (Isa. 22:24).
(2.) A covered dish or urn (Heb. k'for) among the vessels of the temple
(1 Chr. 28:17; Ezra 1:10; 8:27).
(3.) A vase (Heb. mizrak) from which to sprinkle anything. A metallic
vessel; sometimes rendered "bowl" (Amos 6:6; Zech. 9:15). The vessels
of the tabernacle were of brass (Ex. 27:3), while those of the temple
were of gold (2 Chr. 4:8).
(4.) A utensil (Heb. saph) for holding the blood of the victims (Ex.
12:22); also a basin for domestic purposes (2 Sam. 17:28).
The various vessels spoken of by the names "basin, bowl, charger, cup,
and dish," cannot now be accurately distinguished.
The basin in which our Lord washed the disciples' feet (John 13:5) must
have been larger and deeper than the hand-basin.
Basket - There are five different Hebrew
words so rendered in the Authorized Version: (1.) A basket (Heb. sal, a
twig or osier) for holding bread (Gen. 40:16; Ex. 29:3, 23; Lev. 8:2, 26,
31; Num. 6:15, 17, 19). Sometimes baskets were made of twigs peeled; their
manufacture was a recognized trade among the Hebrews.
(2.) That used (Heb. salsilloth') in gathering grapes (Jer. 6:9).
(3.) That in which the first fruits of the harvest were presented, Heb.
tene, (Deut. 26:2, 4). It was also used for household purposes. In form
it tapered downwards like that called corbis by the Romans.
(4.) A basket (Heb. kelub) having a lid, resembling a bird-cage. It
was made of leaves or rushes. The name is also applied to fruit-baskets
(Amos 8:1, 2).
(5.) A basket (Heb. dud) for carrying figs (Jer. 24:2), also clay to
the brick-yard (R.V., Ps. 81:6), and bulky articles (2 Kings 10:7). This
word is also rendered in the Authorized Version "kettle" (1 Sam. 2:14),
"caldron" (2 Chr. 35:13), "seething-pot" (Job 41:20).
In the New Testament mention is made of the basket (Gr. kophinos, small
"wicker-basket") for the "fragments" in the miracle recorded Mark 6:43,
and in that recorded Matt. 15:37 (Gr. spuris, large "rope-basket"); also
of the basket in which Paul escaped (Acts 9:25, Gr. spuris; 2 Cor. 11:
33, Gr. sargane, "basket of plaited cords").
Bastard - In the Old Testament the rendering
of the Hebrew word mamzer', which means "polluted." In Deut. 23:2,
it occurs in the ordinary sense of illegitimate offspring. In Zech. 9:6,
the word is used in the sense of foreigner. From the history of Jephthah
we learn that there were bastard offspring among the Jews (Judg. 11:1-7).
In Heb. 12:8, the word (Gr. nothoi) is used in its ordinary sense, and denotes
those who do not share the privileges of God's children.
Bastinado - beating, a mode of punishment
common in the East. It is referred to by "the rod of correction" (Prov.
22:15), "scourging" (Lev. 19:20), "chastising" (Deut. 22:18). The number
of blows could not exceed forty (Deut. 25:2, 3).
Bat - The Hebrew word (atalleph') so rendered
(Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18) implies "flying in the dark." The bat is reckoned
among the birds in the list of unclean animals. To cast idols to the "moles
and to the bats" means to carry them into dark caverns or desolate places
to which these animals resort (Isa. 2:20), i.e., to consign them to desolation
Bath - a Hebrew liquid measure, the tenth
part of an homer (1 Kings 7:26, 38; Ezek. 45:10, 14). It contained 8 gallons
3 quarts of our measure. "Ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath" (Isa.
5:10) denotes great unproductiveness.
Bath-rabbim - daughter of many, the name
of one of the gates of the city of Heshbon, near which were pools (Cant.7:4).
Baths - The use of the bath was very frequent
among the Hebrews (Lev. 14:8; Num. 19:19, ect.). The high priest at his
inauguration (Lev. 8:6), and on the day of atonement, was required to bathe
himself (16:4, 24). The "pools" mentioned in Neh. 3:15, 16, 2 Kings 20:20,
Isa. 22:11, John 9:7, were public bathing-places.
Bath-sheba - daughter of the oath, or of
seven, called also Bath-shu'a (1 Chr. 3:5), was the daughter of Eliam (2
Sam. 11:3) or Ammiel (1 Chr. 3:5), and wife of Uriah the Hittite. David
committed adultery with her (2 Sam. 11:4, 5; Ps. 51:1). The child born in
adultery died (2 Sam. 12:15-19). After her husband was slain (11:15) she
was married to David (11:27), and became the mother of Solomon (12:24; 1
Kings 1:11; 2:13). She took a prominent part in securing the succession
of Solomon to the throne (1 Kings 1:11, 16-21).
Battering-ram - (Ezek. 4:2; 21:22), a military
engine, consisting of a long beam of wood hung upon a frame, for making
breaches in walls. The end of it which was brought against the wall was
shaped like a ram's head.
Battle-axe - a mallet or heavy war-club.
Applied metaphorically (Jer. 51:20) to Cyrus, God's instrument in destroying
Battle-bow - the war-bow used in fighting
(Zech. 9:10; 10:4). "Thy bow was made quite naked" (Hab. 3:9) means that
it was made ready for use. By David's order (2 Sam. 1:18) the young men
were taught the use, or rather the song of the bow. (See ARMOUR, BOW.)
Battlement - a parapet wall or balustrade
surrounding the flat roofs of the houses, required to be built by a special
law (Deut. 22:8). In Jer. 5:10, it denotes the parapet of a city wall.
Bay - denotes the estuary of the Dead Sea
at the mouth of the Jordan (Josh. 15:5; 18:19), also the southern extremity
of the same sea (15:2). The same Hebrew word is rendered "tongue" in Isa.
11:15, where it is used with reference to the forked mouths of the Nile.
Bay in Zech. 6:3, 7 denotes the colour of horses, but the original Hebrew
means strong, and is here used rather to describe the horses as fleet
Bay tree - named only in Ps. 37:35, Authorized
Version. The Hebrew word so rendered is ereh, which simply means
"native born", i.e., a tree not transplanted, but growing on its native
soil, and therefore luxuriantly. If the psalmist intended by this word to
denote any particular tree, it may have been the evergreen bay laurel (Laurus
nobilis), which is a native of Palestine. Instead of "like a green bay tree"
in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version has, "like a green tree in
its native soil."
Bdellium - occurs only in Gen. 2:12, where
it designates a product of the land of Havilah; and in Num. 11:7, where
the manna is likened to it in colour. It was probably an aromatic gum like
balsam which exuded from a particular tree (Borassus flabelliformis) still
found in Arabia, Media, and India. It bears a resemblance in colour to myrrh.
Others think the word denotes "pearls," or some precious stone.
Beacon - a pole (Heb. to'ren) used as
a standard or ensign set on the tops of mountains as a call to the people
to assemble themselves for some great national purpose (Isa. 30:17). In
Isa. 33:23 and Ezek. 27:5, the same word is rendered "mast." (See Banner.)
Bealiah - whose Lord is Jehovah, a Benjamite,
one of David's thirty heroes of the sling and bow (1 Chr. 12:5).
Bealoth - citizens, a town in the extreme
south of Judah (Josh. 15:24); probably the same as Baalath-beer (19:8).
In 1 Kings 4:16, the Authorized Version has "in Aloth," the Revised Version
Beam - occurs in the Authorized Version
as the rendering of various Hebrew words. In 1 Sam. 17:7, it means a weaver's
frame or principal beam; in Hab. 2:11, a crossbeam or girder; 2 Kings 6:2,
5, a cross-piece or rafter of a house; 1 Kings 7:6, an architectural ornament
as a projecting step or moulding; Ezek. 41:25, a thick plank. In the New
Testament the word occurs only in Matt. 7:3, 4, 5, and Luke 6:41, 42, where
it means (Gr. dokos) a large piece of wood used for building purposes, as
contrasted with "mote" (Gr. karphos), a small piece or mere splinter. "Mote"
and "beam" became proverbial for little and great faults.
Beans - mentioned in 2 Sam. 17:28 as having
been brought to David when flying from Absalom. They formed a constituent
in the bread Ezekiel (4:9) was commanded to make, as they were in general
much used as an article of diet. They are extensively cultivated in Egypt
and Arabia and Syria.
Bear - a native of the mountain regions
of Western Asia, frequently mentioned in Scripture. David defended his flocks
against the attacks of a bear (1 Sam. 17:34-37). Bears came out of the wood
and destroyed the children who mocked the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 2:24).
Their habits are referred to in Isa. 59:11; Prov. 28:15; Lam. 3:10. The
fury of the female bear when robbed of her young is spoken of (2 Sam. 17:8;
Prov. 17:12; Hos. 13:8). In Daniel's vision of the four great monarchies,
the Medo-Persian empire is represented by a bear (7:5).
Beard - The mode of wearing it was definitely
prescribed to the Jews (Lev. 19:27; 21:5). Hence the import of Ezekiel's
(5:1-4) description of the "razor" i.e., the agents of an angry providence
being used against the guilty nation of the Jews. It was a part of a Jew's
daily toilet to anoint his beard with oil and perfume (Ps. 133:2). Beards
were trimmed with the most fastidious care (2 Sam. 19:24), and their neglet
was an indication of deep sorrow (Isa. 15:2; Jer. 41:5). The custom was
to shave or pluck off the hair as a sign of mourning (Isa. 50:6; Jer. 48:37;
Ezra 9:3). The beards of David's ambassadors were cut off by hanun (2 Sam.
10:4) as a mark of indignity.
On the other hand, the Egyptians carefully shaved the hair off their
faces, and they compelled their slaves to do so also (Gen. 41:14).
Beast - This word is used of flocks or herds
of grazing animals (Ex. 22:5; Num. 20:4, 8, 11; Ps. 78:48); of beasts of
burden (Gen. 45:17); of eatable beasts (Prov. 9:2); and of swift beasts
or dromedaries (Isa. 60:6). In the New Testament it is used of a domestic
animal as property (Rev. 18:13); as used for food (1 Cor. 15:39), for service
(Luke 10:34; Acts 23:24), and for sacrifice (Acts 7:42).
When used in contradistinction to man (Ps. 36:6), it denotes a brute
creature generally, and when in contradistinction to creeping things (Lev.
11:2-7; 27:26), a four-footed animal.
The Mosaic law required that beasts of labour should have rest on the
Sabbath (Ex. 20:10; 23:12), and in the Sabbatical year all cattle were
allowed to roam about freely, and eat whatever grew in the fields (Ex.
23:11; Lev. 25:7). No animal could be castrated (Lev. 22:24). Animals
of different kinds were to be always kept separate (Lev. 19:19; Deut.
22:10). Oxen when used in threshing were not to be prevented from eating
what was within their reach (Deut. 25:4; 1 Cor.9:9).
This word is used figuratively of an infuriated multitude (1 Cor. 15:32;
Acts 19:29; comp. Ps. 22:12, 16; Eccl. 3:18; Isa. 11:6-8), and of wicked
men (2 Pet. 2:12). The four beasts of Daniel 7:3, 17, 23 represent four
kingdoms or kings.
Beaten gold - in Num. 8:4, means "turned"
or rounded work in gold. The Greek Version, however, renders the word "solid
gold;" the Revised Version, "beaten work of gold." In 1 Kings 10:16, 17,
it probably means "mixed" gold, as the word ought to be rendered, i.e.,
not pure gold. Others render the word in these places "thin plates of gold."
Beaten oil - (Ex. 27:20; 29:40), obtained
by pounding olives in a mortar, not by crushing them in a mill. It was
reckoned the best. (See OLIVE.)
Beautiful gate - the name of one of the
gates of the temple (Acts 3:2). It is supposed to have been the door which
led from the court of the Gentiles to the court of the women. It was of
massive structure, and covered with plates of Corinthian brass.
Becher - first-born; a youth, the second
son of Benjamin (Gen. 46:21), who came down to Egypt with Jacob. It is probable
that he married an Ephraimitish heiress, and that his descendants were consequently
reckoned among the tribe of Ephraim (Num. 26:35; 1 Chr. 7:20, 21). They
are not reckoned among the descendants of Benjamin (Num. 26:38).
Bed - (Heb. mittah), for rest at night (Ex.
8:3; 1 Sam. 19:13, 15, 16, etc.); during sickness (Gen. 47:31; 48:2; 49:33,
etc.); as a sofa for rest (1 Sam. 28:23; Amos 3:12). Another Hebrew word
(er'es) so rendered denotes a canopied bed, or a bed with curtains (Deut.
3:11; Ps. 132:3), for sickness (Ps. 6:6; 41:3).
In the New Testament it denotes sometimes a litter with a coverlet (Matt.
9:2, 6; Luke 5:18; Acts 5:15).
The Jewish bedstead was frequently merely the divan or platform along
the sides of the house, sometimes a very slight portable frame, sometimes
only a mat or one or more quilts. The only material for bed-clothes is
mentioned in 1 Sam. 19:13. Sleeping in the open air was not uncommon,
the sleeper wrapping himself in his outer garment (Ex. 22:26,27; Deut.
Bedan - one of the judges of Israel (1 Sam.
12:11). It is uncertain who he was. Some suppose that Barak is meant, others
Samson, but most probably this is a contracted form of Abdon (Judg. 12:13).
Bed-chamber - an apartment in Eastern houses,
furnished with a slightly elevated platform at the upper end and sometimes
along the sides, on which were laid mattresses. This was the general arrangement
of the public sleeping-room for the males of the family and for guests,
but there were usually besides distinct bed-chambers of a more private character
(2 Kings 4:10; Ex. 8:3; 2 Kings 6:12). In 2 Kings 11:2 this word denotes,
as in the margin of the Revised Version, a store-room in which mattresses
Bedstead - used in Deut. 3:11, but elsewhere
rendered "couch," "bed." In 2 Kings 1:4; 16:2; Ps. 132:3; Amos 3:12, the
divan is meant by this word.
Bee - First mentioned in Deut. 1:44. Swarms
of bees, and the danger of their attacks, are mentioned in Ps. 118:12. Samson
found a "swarm of bees" in the carcass of a lion he had slain (Judg. 14:8).
Wild bees are described as laying up honey in woods and in clefts of rocks
(Deut. 32:13; Ps. 81:16). In Isa. 7:18 the "fly" and the "bee" are personifications
of the Egyptians and Assyrians, the inveterate enemies of Israel.
Beelzebub - (Gr. form Beel'zebul), the name
given to Satan, and found only in the New Testament (Matt. 10:25; 12:24,
27; Mark 3:22). It is probably the same as Baalzebub (q.v.), the god of
Ekron, meaning "the lord of flies," or, as others think, "the lord of dung,"
or "the dung-god."