Chief of the three - a title given to Adino the Eznite, one of David's
greatest heroes (2 Sam. 23:8); also called Jashobeam (1 Chr. 11:11).
Chief priest - See PRIEST.
Chiefs of Asia - "Asiarchs," the title given
to certain wealthy persons annually appointed to preside over the religious
festivals and games in the various cities of proconsular Asia (Acts 19:31).
Some of these officials appear to have been Paul's friends.
Child - This word has considerable latitude
of meaning in Scripture. Thus Joseph is called a child at the time when
he was probably about sixteen years of age (Gen. 37:3); and Benjamin is
so called when he was above thirty years (44:20). Solomon called himself
a little child when he came to the kingdom (1 Kings 3:7).
The descendants of a man, however remote, are called his children; as,
"the children of Edom," "the children of Moab," "the children of Israel."
In the earliest times mothers did not wean their children till they
were from thirty months to three years old; and the day on which they
were weaned was kept as a festival day (Gen. 21:8; Ex. 2:7, 9; 1 Sam.
1:22-24; Matt. 21:16). At the age of five, children began to learn the
arts and duties of life under the care of their fathers (Deut. 6:20-25;
To have a numerous family was regarded as a mark of divine favour (Gen.
11:30; 30:1; 1 Sam. 2:5; 2 Sam. 6:23; Ps. 127:3; 128:3).
Figuratively the name is used for those who are ignorant or narrow-minded
(Matt. 11:16; Luke 7:32; 1 Cor. 13:11). "When I was a child, I spake as
a child." "Brethren, be not children in understanding" (1 Cor. 14:20).
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro" (Eph. 4:14).
Children are also spoken of as representing simplicity and humility
(Matt. 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17). Believers are "children
of light" (Luke 16:8; 1 Thess. 5:5) and "children of obedience" (1 Pet.
Chileab - protected by the father, David's
second son by Abigail (2 Sam. 3:3); called also Daniel (1 Chr. 3:1). He
seems to have died when young.
Chilion - the pining one, the younger son
of Elimelech and Naomi, and husband of Orpah, Ruth's sister (Ruth 1:2; 4:9).
Chilmad - a place or country unknown which,
along with Sheba and Asshur, traded with Tyre (Ezek. 27:23).
Chimham - pining, probably the youngest
son of Barzillai the Gileadite (2 Sam. 19:37-40). The "habitation of Chimham"
(Jer. 41:17) was probably an inn or khan, which is the proper meaning of
the Hebrew geruth, rendered "habitation", established in later times
in his possession at Bethlehem, which David gave to him as a reward for
his loyalty in accompanying him to Jerusalem after the defeat of Absalom
(1 Kings 2:7). It has been supposed that, considering the stationary character
of Eastern institutions, it was in the stable of this inn or caravanserai
that our Saviour was born (Luke 2:7).
Chinnereth - lyre, the singular form of
the word (Deut. 3:17; Josh. 19:35), which is also used in the plural form,
Chinneroth, the name of a fenced city which stood near the shore of the
lake of Galilee, a little to the south of Tiberias. The town seems to have
given its name to a district, as appears from 1 Kings 15:20, where the plural
form of the word is used.
The Sea of Chinnereth (Num. 34:11; Josh. 13:27), or of Chinneroth (Josh.
12: 3), was the "lake of Gennesaret" or "sea of Tiberias" (Deut. 3:17;
Josh. 11:2). Chinnereth was probably an ancient Canaanitish name adopted
by the Israelites into their language.
Chios - mentioned in Acts 20:15, an island
in the Aegean Sea, about 5 miles distant from the mainland, having a roadstead,
in the shelter of which Paul and his companions anchored for a night when
on his third missionary return journey. It is now called Scio.
Chisleu - the name adopted from the Babylonians
by the Jews after the Captivity for the third civil, or ninth ecclesiastical,
month (Neh. 1:1; Zech. 7:1). It corresponds nearly with the moon in November.
Chittim - or Kittim, a plural form (Gen.
10:4), the name of a branch of the descendants of Javan, the "son" of Japheth.
Balaam foretold (Num. 24:24) "that ships shall come from the coast of Chittim,
and afflict Eber." Daniel prophesied (11:30) that the ships of Chittim would
come against the king of the north. It probably denotes Cyprus, whose ancient
capital was called Kition by the Greeks.
The references elsewhere made to Chittim (Isa. 23:1, 12; Jer. 2:10;
Ezek. 27:6) are to be explained on the ground that while the name originally
designated the Phoenicians only, it came latterly to be used of all the
islands and various settlements on the sea-coasts which they had occupied,
and then of the people who succeeded them when the Phoenician power decayed.
Hence it designates generally the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean
and the races that inhabit them.
Chiun - occurs only in Amos 5:26 (R.V. marg.,
"shrine"). The LXX. translated the word by Rhephan, which became corrupted
into Remphan, as used by Stephen (Acts 7:43; but R.V., "Rephan"). Probably
the planet Saturn is intended by the name. Astrologers represented this
planet as baleful in its influences, and hence the Phoenicians offered to
it human sacrifices, especially children.
Chloe - verdure, a female Christian (1 Cor.
1:11), some of whose household had informed Paul of the divided state of
the Corinthian church. Nothing is known of her.
Chor-ashan - smoking furnace, one of the
places where "David himself and his men were wont to haunt" (1 Sam. 30:30,
31). It is probably identical with Ashan (Josh. 15:42; 19:7), a Simeonite
city in the Negeb, i.e., the south, belonging to Judah. The word ought,
according to another reading, to be "Bor-ashan."
Chorazin - named along with Bethsaida and
Capernaum as one of the cities in which our Lord's "mighty works" were done,
and which was doomed to woe because of signal privileges neglected (Matt.
11:21; Luke 10:13). It has been identified by general consent with the modern
Kerazeh, about 2 1/2 miles up the Wady Kerazeh from Capernaum; i.e., Tell
Chosen - spoken of warriors (Ex. 15:4;
Judg. 20:16), of the Hebrew nation (Ps. 105:43; Deut. 7:7), of Jerusalem
as the seat of the temple (1 Kings 11:13). Christ is the "chosen" of God
(Isa. 42:1); and the apostles are "chosen" for their work (Acts 10:41).
It is said with regard to those who do not profit by their opportunities
that "many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 20:16). (See ELECTION.)
Chozeba - (1 Chr. 4:22), the same as Chezib
and Achzib, a place in the lowlands of Judah (Gen. 38:5; Josh. 15:44).
Christ - anointed, the Greek translation
of the Hebrew word rendered "Messiah" (q.v.), the official title of our
Lord, occurring five hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It
denotes that he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work
as Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ (Acts
17:3; 18:5; Matt. 22:42), the Anointed One. He is thus spoken of by Isaiah
(61:1), and by Daniel (9:24-26), who styles him "Messiah the Prince."
The Messiah is the same person as "the seed of the woman" (Gen. 3:15),
"the seed of Abraham" (Gen. 22:18), the "Prophet like unto Moses" (Deut.
18:15), "the priest after the order of Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4), "the
rod out of the stem of Jesse" (Isa. 11:1, 10), the "Immanuel," the virgin's
son (Isa. 7:14), "the branch of Jehovah" (Isa. 4:2), and "the messenger
of the covenant" (Mal. 3:1). This is he "of whom Moses in the law and
the prophets did write." The Old Testament Scripture is full of prophetic
declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the work he was to accomplish.
Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour
of men. This name denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned,
and accredited as the Saviour of men (Heb. 5:4; Isa. 11:2-4; 49:6; John
5:37; Acts 2:22).
To believe that "Jesus is the Christ" is to believe that he is the Anointed,
the Messiah of the prophets, the Saviour sent of God, that he was, in
a word, what he claimed to be. This is to believe the gospel, by the faith
of which alone men can be brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is
the testimony of God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian (1
Cor. 12:3; 1 John 5:1).
Christian - the name given by the Greeks
or Romans, probably in reproach, to the followers of Jesus. It was first
used at Antioch. The names by which the disciples were known among themselves
were "brethren," "the faithful," "elect," "saints," "believers." But as
distinguishing them from the multitude without, the name "Christian" came
into use, and was universally accepted. This name occurs but three times
in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16).
Christs, False - Our Lord warned his disciples
that they would arise (Matt. 24:24). It is said that no fewer than twenty-four
persons have at different times appeared (the last in 1682) pretending to
be the Messiah of the prophets.
Chronicles - the words of the days, (1 Kings
14:19; 1 Chr. 27:24), the daily or yearly records of the transactions of
the kingdom; events recorded in the order of time.
Chronicles, Books of - The two books were
originally one. They bore the title in the Massoretic Hebrew Dibre hayyamim,
i.e., "Acts of the Days." This title was rendered by Jerome in his Latin
version "Chronicon," and hence "Chronicles." In the Septuagint version the
book is divided into two, and bears the title Paraleipomena, i.e., "things
omitted," or "supplements", because containing many things omitted in the
Books of Kings.
The contents of these books are comprehended under four heads. (1.)
The first nine chapters of Book I. contain little more than a list of
genealogies in the line of Israel down to the time of David. (2.) The
remainder of the first book contains a history of the reign of David.
(3.) The first nine chapters of Book II. contain the history of the reign
of Solomon. (4.) The remaining chapters of the second book contain the
history of the separate kingdom of Judah to the time of the return from
The time of the composition of the Chronicles was, there is every ground
to conclude, subsequent to the Babylonian Exile, probably between 450
and 435 B.C. The contents of this twofold book, both as to matter and
form, correspond closely with this idea. The close of the book records
the proclamation of Cyrus permitting the Jews to return to their own land,
and this forms the opening passage of the Book of Ezra, which must be
viewed as a continuation of the Chronicles. The peculiar form of the language,
being Aramaean in its general character, harmonizes also with that of
the books which were written after the Exile. The author was certainly
contemporary with Zerubbabel, details of whose family history are given
(1 Chr. 3:19).
The time of the composition being determined, the question of the authorship
may be more easily decided. According to Jewish tradition, which was universally
received down to the middle of the seventeenth century, Ezra was regarded
as the author of the Chronicles. There are many points of resemblance
and of contact between the Chronicles and the Book of Ezra which seem
to confirm this opinion. The conclusion of the one and the beginning of
the other are almost identical in expression. In their spirit and characteristics
they are the same, showing thus also an identity of authorship.
In their general scope and design these books are not so much historical
as didactic. The principal aim of the writer appears to be to present
moral and religious truth. He does not give prominence to political occurences,
as is done in Samuel and Kings, but to ecclesiastical institutions. "The
genealogies, so uninteresting to most modern readers, were really an important
part of the public records of the Hebrew state. They were the basis on
which not only the land was distributed and held, but the public services
of the temple were arranged and conducted, the Levites and their descendants
alone, as is well known, being entitled and first fruits set apart for
that purpose." The "Chronicles" are an epitome of the sacred history from
the days of Adam down to the return from Babylonian Exile, a period of
about 3,500 years. The writer gathers up "the threads of the old national
life broken by the Captivity."
The sources whence the chronicler compiled his work were public records,
registers, and genealogical tables belonging to the Jews. These are referred
to in the course of the book (1 Chr. 27:24; 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29; 12:15;
13:22; 20:34; 24:27; 26:22; 32:32; 33:18, 19; 27:7; 35:25). There are
in Chronicles, and the books of Samuel and Kings, forty parallels, often
verbal, proving that the writer both knew and used these records (1 Chr.
17:18; comp. 2 Sam. 7:18-20; 1 Chr. 19; comp. 2 Sam. 10, etc.).
As compared with Samuel and Kings, the Book of Chronicles omits many
particulars there recorded (2 Sam. 6:20-23; 9; 11; 14-19, etc.), and includes
many things peculiar to itself (1 Chr. 12; 22; 23-26; 27; 28; 29, etc.).
Twenty whole chapters, and twenty-four parts of chapters, are occupied
with matter not found elsewhere. It also records many things in fuller
detail, as (e.g.) the list of David's heroes (1 Chr. 12:1-37), the removal
of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Mount Zion (1 Chr. 13; 15:2-24; 16:4-43;
comp. 2 Sam. 6), Uzziah's leprosy and its cause (2 Chr. 26:16-21; comp.
2 Kings 15:5), etc.
It has also been observed that another peculiarity of the book is that
it substitutes modern and more common expressions for those that had then
become unusual or obsolete. This is seen particularly in the substitution
of modern names of places, such as were in use in the writer's day, for
the old names; thus Gezer (1 Chr. 20:4) is used instead of Gob (2 Sam.
The Books of Chronicles are ranked among the khethubim or hagiographa.
They are alluded to, though not directly quoted, in the New Testament
(Heb. 5:4; Matt. 12:42; 23:35; Luke 1:5; 11:31, 51).
Chronicles of king David - (1 Chr. 27:24)
were statistical state records; one of the public sources from which the
compiler of the Books of Chronicles derived information on various public
Chronology - is the arrangement of facts
and events in the order of time. The writers of the Bible themselves do
not adopt any standard era according to which they date events. Sometimes
the years are reckoned, e.g., from the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:1; 33:38;
1 Kings 6:1), and sometimes from the accession of kings (1 Kings 15:1, 9,
25, 33, etc.), and sometimes again from the return from Exile (Ezra 3:8).
Hence in constructing a system of Biblecal chronology, the plan has
been adopted of reckoning the years from the ages of the patriarchs before
the birth of their first-born sons for the period from the Creation to
Abraham. After this period other data are to be taken into account in
determining the relative sequence of events.
As to the patriarchal period, there are three principal systems of chronology:
(1) that of the Hebrew text, (2) that of the Septuagint version, and (3)
that of the Samaritan Pentateuch, as seen in the scheme on the opposite
The Samaritan and the Septuagint have considerably modified the Hebrew
chronology. This modification some regard as having been wilfully made,
and to be rejected. The same system of variations is observed in the chronology
of the period between the Flood and Abraham. Thus:
| Hebrew Septuigant Samaritan | From the birth of | Arphaxad, 2 years
| after the Flood, to | the birth of Terah. 220 1000 870 | From the birth
of | Terah to the birth | of Abraham. 130 70 72
The Septuagint fixes on seventy years as the age of Terah at the birth
of Abraham, from Gen. 11:26; but a comparison of Gen. 11:32 and Acts 7:4
with Gen. 12:4 shows that when Terah died, at the age of two hundred and
five years, Abraham was seventy-five years, and hence Terah must have
been one hundred and thirty years when Abraham was born. Thus, including
the two years from the Flood to the birth of Arphaxad, the period from
the Flood to the birth of Abraham was three hundred and fifty-two years.
The next period is from the birth of Abraham to the Exodus. This, according
to the Hebrew, extends to five hundred and five years. The difficulty
here is as to the four hundred and thirty years mentioned Ex. 12:40, 41;
Gal. 3:17. These years are regarded by some as dating from the covenant
with Abraham (Gen. 15), which was entered into soon after his sojourn
in Egypt; others, with more probability, reckon these years from Jacob's
going down into Egypt. (See EXODUS.)
In modern times the systems of Biblical chronology that have been adopted
are chiefly those of Ussher and Hales. The former follows the Hebrew,
and the latter the Septuagint mainly. Archbishop Ussher's (died 1656)
system is called the short chronology. It is that given on the margin
of the Authorized Version, but is really of no authority, and is quite
| Ussher Hales | B.C. B.C. | Creation 4004 5411 | Flood 2348 3155 |
Abram leaves Haran 1921 2078 | Exodus 1491 1648 | Destruction of the |
Temple 588 586
To show at a glance the different ideas of the date of the creation,
it may be interesting to note the following: From Creation to 1894.
According to Ussher, 5,898; Hales, 7,305; Zunz (Hebrew reckoning), 5,882;
Septuagint (Perowne), 7,305; Rabbinical, 5,654; Panodorus, 7,387; Anianus,
7,395; Constantinopolitan, 7,403; Eusebius, 7,093; Scaliger, 5,844; Dionysius
(from whom we take our Christian era), 7,388; Maximus, 7,395; Syncellus
and Theophanes, 7,395; Julius Africanus, 7,395; Jackson, 7,320.
Chrysoprasus - golden leek, a precious stone
of the colour of leek's juice, a greenish-golden colour (Rev. 21:20).
Chub - the name of a people in alliance
with Egypt in the time of Nebuchadnezzar. The word is found only in Ezek.
30:5. They were probably a people of Northern Africa, or of the lands near
Egypt in the south.
Chun - one of the cities of Hadarezer, king
of Syria. David procured brass (i.e., bronze or copper) from it for the
temple (1 Chr. 18:8). It is called Berothai in 2 Sam. 8:8; probably the
same as Berothah in Ezek. 47:16.
Church - Derived probably from the Greek
kuriakon (i.e., "the Lord's house"), which was used by ancient authors for
the place of worship.
In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia,
which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament,
both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only
be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear
instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although
in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word
ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession,
as when we say the "Church of England," the "Church of Scotland," etc.
We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the New Testament:
(1.) It is translated "assembly" in the ordinary classical sense (Acts
19:32, 39, 41).
(2.) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom the Father
has given to Christ, the invisible catholic church (Eph. 5:23, 25, 27,
29; Heb. 12:23).
(3.) A few Christians associated together in observing the ordinances
of the gospel are an ecclesia (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15).
(4.) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they assembled
together in one place or in several places for religious worship, were
an ecclesia. Thus all the disciples in Antioch, forming several congregations,
were one church (Acts 13:1); so also we read of the "church of God at
Corinth" (1 Cor. 1:2), "the church at Jerusalem" (Acts 8:1), "the church
of Ephesus" (Rev. 2:1), etc.
(5.) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the world (1
Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18) are the church of Christ.
The church visible "consists of all those throughout the world that
profess the true religion, together with their children." It is called
"visible" because its members are known and its assemblies are public.
Here there is a mixture of "wheat and chaff," of saints and sinners. "God
has commanded his people to organize themselves into distinct visible
ecclesiastical communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges,
ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving visibility
to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that kingdom, and of gathering
in all its elect subjects. Each one of these distinct organized communities
which is faithful to the great King is an integral part of the visible
church, and all together constitute the catholic or universal visible
church." A credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person
a member of this church. This is "the kingdom of heaven," whose character
and progress are set forth in the parables recorded in Matt. 13.
The children of all who thus profess the true religion are members of
the visible church along with their parents. Children are included in
every covenant God ever made with man. They go along with their parents
(Gen. 9:9-17; 12:1-3; 17:7; Ex. 20:5; Deut. 29:10-13). Peter, on the day
of Pentecost, at the beginning of the New Testament dispensation, announces
the same great principle. "The promise [just as to Abraham and his seed
the promises were made] is unto you, and to your children" (Acts 2:38,
39). The children of believing parents are "holy", i.e., are "saints",
a title which designates the members of the Christian church (1 Cor. 7:14).
The church invisible "consists of the whole number of the elect that
have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ, the head thereof."
This is a pure society, the church in which Christ dwells. It is the body
of Christ. it is called "invisible" because the greater part of those
who constitute it are already in heaven or are yet unborn, and also because
its members still on earth cannot certainly be distinguished. The qualifications
of membership in it are internal and are hidden. It is unseen except by
Him who "searches the heart." "The Lord knoweth them that are his" (2
The church to which the attributes, prerogatives, and promises appertaining
to Christ's kingdom belong, is a spiritual body consisting of all true
believers, i.e., the church invisible.
(1.) Its unity. God has ever had only one church on earth. We sometimes
speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New Testament church, but
they are one and the same. The Old Testament church was not to be changed
but enlarged (Isa. 49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored,
they will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into "their
own olive tree" (Rom. 11:18-24; comp. Eph. 2:11-22). The apostles did
not set up a new organization. Under their ministry disciples were "added"
to the "church" already existing (Acts 2:47).
(2.) Its universality. It is the "catholic" church; not confined to
any particular country or outward organization, but comprehending all
believers throughout the whole world.
(3.) Its perpetuity. It will continue through all ages to the end of
the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an "everlasting kindgdom."
Churl - in Isa. 32:5 (R.V. marg., "crafty"),
means a deceiver. In 1 Sam. 25:3, the word churlish denotes a man that is
coarse and ill-natured, or, as the word literally means, "hard." The same
Greek word as used by the LXX. here is found in Matt. 25:24, and there is
Chushan-rishathaim - Cush of double wickedness,
or governor of two presidencies, the king of Mesopotamia who oppressed Israel
in the generation immediately following Joshua (Judg. 3:8). We learn from
the Tell-el-Amarna tablets that Palestine had been invaded by the forces
of Aram-naharaim (A.V., "Mesopotamia") more than once, long before the Exodus,
and that at the time they were written the king of Aram-naharaim was still
intriguing in Canaan. It is mentioned among the countries which took part
in the attack upon Egypt in the reign of Rameses III. (of the Twentieth
Dynasty), but as its king is not one of the princes stated to have been
conquered by the Pharaoh, it would seem that he did not actually enter Egypt.
As the reign of Rameses III. corresponds with the Israelitish occupation
of Canaan, it is probable that the Egyptian monuments refer to the oppression
of the Israelites by Chushan-rishathaim. Canaan was still regarded as a
province of Egypt, so that, in attacking it Chushan-rishathaim would have
been considered to be attacking Egypt.
Cilicia - a maritime province in the south-east
of Asia Minor. Tarsus, the birth-place of Paul, was one of its chief towns,
and the seat of a celebrated school of philosophy. Its luxurious climate
attracted to it many Greek residents after its incorporation with the Macedonian
empire. It was formed into a Roman province, B.C. 67. The Jews of Cilicia
had a synagogue at Jerusalem (Acts 6:9). Paul visited it soon after his
conversion (Gal. 1:21; Acts 9:30), and again, on his second missionary journey
(15:41), "he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches." It
was famous for its goat's-hair cloth, called cilicium. Paul learned in his
youth the trade of making tents of this cloth.
Cinnamon - Heb. kinamon, the Cinnamomum
zeylanicum of botanists, a tree of the Laurel family, which grows only in
India on the Malabar coast, in Ceylon, and China. There is no trace of it
in Egypt, and it was unknown in Syria. The inner rind when dried and rolled
into cylinders forms the cinnamon of commerce. The fruit and coarser pieces
of bark when boiled yield a fragrant oil. It was one of the principal ingredients
in the holy anointing oil (Ex. 30:23). It is mentioned elsewhere only in
Prov. 7:17; Cant. 4:14; Rev. 18:13. The mention of it indicates a very early
and extensive commerce carried on between Palestine and the East.
Cinnereth - a harp, one of the "fenced cities"
of Naphtali (Josh. 19:35; comp. Deut. 3:17). It also denotes, apparently,
a district which may have taken its name from the adjacent city or lake
of Gennesaret, anciently called "the sea of Chinnereth" (q.v.), and was
probably that enclosed district north of Tiberias afterwards called "the
plain of Gennesaret." Called Chinneroth (R.V., Chinnereth) Josh. 11:2. The
phrase "all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali" in 1 Kings 15:20 is
parallel to "the store-houses of the cities of Naphtali" (R.V. marg.) in
2 Chr. 16:4.
Circuit - the apparent diurnal revolution
of the sun round the earth (Ps. 19:6), and the changes of the wind (Eccl.
1:6). In Job 22:14, "in the circuit of heaven" (R.V. marg., "on the vault
of heaven") means the "arch of heaven," which seems to be bent over our
Circumcision - cutting around. This rite,
practised before, as some think, by divers races, was appointed by God to
be the special badge of his chosen people, an abiding sign of their consecration
to him. It was established as a national ordinance (Gen. 17:10, 11). In
compliance with the divine command, Abraham, though ninety-nine years of
age, was circumcised on the same day with Ishmael, who was thirteen years
old (17:24-27). Slaves, whether home-born or purchased, were circumcised
(17:12, 13); and all foreigners must have their males circumcised before
they could enjoy the privileges of Jewish citizenship (Ex. 12:48). During
the journey through the wilderness, the practice of circumcision fell into
disuse, but was resumed by the command of Joshua before they entered the
Promised Land (Josh. 5:2-9). It was observed always afterwards among the
tribes of israel, although it is not expressly mentioned from the time of
the settlement in Canaan till the time of Christ, about 1,450 years. The
Jews prided themselves in the possession of this covenant distinction (Judg.
14:3; 15:18; 1 Sam. 14:6; 17:26; 2 Sam. 1:20; Ezek. 31:18).
As a rite of the church it ceased when the New Testament times began
(Gal. 6:15; Col. 3:11). Some Jewish Christians sought to impose it, however,
on the Gentile converts; but this the apostles resolutely resisted (Acts
15:1; Gal. 6:12). Our Lord was circumcised, for it "became him to fulfil
all righteousness," as of the seed of Abraham, according to the flesh;
and Paul "took and circumcised" Timothy (Acts 16:3), to avoid giving offence
to the Jews. It would render Timothy's labours more acceptable to the
Jews. But Paul would by no means consent to the demand that Titus should
be circumcised (Gal. 2:3-5). The great point for which he contended was
the free admission of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church. He contended
successfully in behalf of Titus, even in Jerusalem.
In the Old Testament a spiritual idea is attached to circumcision. It
was the symbol of purity (Isa. 52:1). We read of uncircumcised lips (Ex.
6:12, 30), ears (Jer. 6:10), hearts (Lev. 26:41). The fruit of a tree
that is unclean is spoken of as uncircumcised (Lev. 19:23).
It was a sign and seal of the covenant of grace as well as of the national
covenant between God and the Hebrews. (1.) It sealed the promises made
to Abraham, which related to the commonwealth of Israel, national promises.
(2.) But the promises made to Abraham included the promise of redemption
(Gal. 3:14), a promise which has come upon us. The covenant with Abraham
was a dispensation or a specific form of the covenant of grace, and circumcision
was a sign and seal of that covenant. It had a spiritual meaning. It signified
purification of the heart, inward circumcision effected by the Spirit
(Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Ezek. 44:7; Acts 7:51; Rom. 2:28; Col. 2:11). Circumcision
as a symbol shadowing forth sanctification by the Holy Spirit has now
given way to the symbol of baptism (q.v.). But the truth embodied in both
ordinances is ever the same, the removal of sin, the sanctifying effects
of grace in the heart.
Under the Jewish dispensation, church and state were identical. No one
could be a member of the one without also being a member of the other.
Circumcision was a sign and seal of membership in both. Every circumcised
person bore thereby evidence that he was one of the chosen people, a member
of the church of God as it then existed, and consequently also a member
of the Jewish commonwealth.
Cistern - the rendering of a Hebrew
word bor, which means a receptacle for water conveyed to it; distinguished
from beer, which denotes a place where water rises on the spot
(Jer. 2:13; Prov. 5:15; Isa. 36:16), a fountain. Cisterns are frequently
mentioned in Scripture. The scarcity of springs in Palestine made it necessary
to collect rain-water in reservoirs and cisterns (Num. 21:22). (See WELL.)
Empty cisterns were sometimes used as prisons (Jer. 38:6; Lam. 3:53;
Ps. 40:2; 69:15). The "pit" into which Joseph was cast (Gen. 37:24) was
a beer or dry well. There are numerous remains of ancient cisterns
in all parts of Palestine.
Citizenship - the rights and privileges
of a citizen in distinction from a foreigner (Luke 15:15; 19:14; Acts 21:39).
Under the Mosaic law non-Israelites, with the exception of the Moabites
and the Ammonites and others mentioned in Deut. 23:1-3, were admitted to
the general privileges of citizenship among the Jews (Ex. 12:19; Lev. 24:22;
Num. 15:15; 35:15; Deut. 10:18; 14:29; 16:10, 14).
The right of citizenship under the Roman government was granted by the
emperor to individuals, and sometimes to provinces, as a favour or as
a recompense for services rendered to the state, or for a sum of money
(Acts 22:28). This "freedom" secured privileges equal to those enjoyed
by natives of Rome. Among the most notable of these was the provision
that a man could not be bound or imprisoned without a formal trial (Acts
22:25, 26), or scourged (16:37). All Roman citizens had the right of appeal
to Caesar (25:11).
City - The earliest mention of city-building
is that of Enoch, which was built by Cain (Gen. 4:17). After the confusion
of tongues, the descendants of Nimrod founded several cities (10:10-12).
Next, we have a record of the cities of the Canaanites, Sidon, Gaza, Sodom,
etc. (10:12, 19; 11:3, 9; 36:31-39). The earliest description of a city
is that of Sodom (19:1-22). Damascus is said to be the oldest existing city
in the world. Before the time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt (Num.
13:22). The Israelites in Egypt were employed in building the "treasure
cities" of Pithom and Raamses (Ex. 1:11); but it does not seem that they
had any cities of their own in Goshen (Gen. 46:34; 47:1-11). In the kingdom
of Og in Bashan there were sixty "great cities with walls," and twenty-three
cities in Gilead partly rebuilt by the tribes on the east of Jordan (Num.
21:21, 32, 33, 35; 32:1-3, 34-42; Deut. 3:4, 5, 14; 1 Kings 4:13). On the
west of Jordan were thirty-one "royal cities" (Josh. 12), besides many others
spoken of in the history of Israel.
A fenced city was a city surrounded by fortifications and high walls,
with watch-towers upon them (2 Chr. 11:11; Deut. 3:5). There was also
within the city generally a tower to which the citizens might flee when
danger threatened them (Judg. 9:46-52).
A city with suburbs was a city surrounded with open pasture-grounds,
such as the forty-eight cities which were given to the Levites (Num. 35:2-7).
There were six cities of refuge, three on each side of Jordan, namely,
Kadesh, Shechem, Hebron, on the west of Jordan; and on the east, Bezer,
Ramoth-gilead, and Golan. The cities on each side of the river were nearly
opposite each other. The regulations concerning these cities are given
in Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13; Ex. 21:12-14.
When David reduced the fortress of the Jebusites which stood on Mount
Zion, he built on the site of it a palace and a city, which he called
by his own name (1 Chr. 11:5), the city of David. Bethlehem is also so
called as being David's native town (Luke 2:4).
Jerusalem is called the Holy City, the holiness of the temple being
regarded as extending in some measure over the whole city (Neh. 11:1).
Pithom and Raamses, built by the Israelites as "treasure cities," were
not places where royal treasures were kept, but were fortified towns where
merchants might store their goods and transact their business in safety,
or cities in which munitions of war were stored. (See PITHOM.)
Clauda - a small island off the southwest
coast of Crete, passed by Paul on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27:16). It is
about 7 miles long and 3 broad. It is now called Gozzo (R.V., "Cauda").
Claudia - a female Christian mentioned in
2 Tim. 4:21. It is a conjecture having some probability that she was a British
maiden, the daughter of king Cogidunus, who was an ally of Rome, and assumed
the name of the emperor, his patron, Tiberius Claudius, and that she was
the wife of Pudens.
Claudius - lame. (1.) The fourth Roman emperor.
He succeeded Caligula (A.D. 41). Though in general he treated the Jews,
especially those in Asia and Egypt, with great indulgence, yet about the
middle of his reign (A.D. 49) he banished them all from Rome (Acts 18:2).
In this edict the Christians were included, as being, as was supposed, a
sect of Jews. The Jews, however soon again returned to Rome.
During the reign of this emperor, several persecutions of the Christians
by the Jews took place in the dominions of Herod Agrippa, in one of which
the apostle James was "killed" (12:2). He died A.D. 54.
(2.) Claudius Lysias, a Greek who, having obtained by purchase the privilege
of Roman citizenship, took the name of Claudius (Acts 21:31-40; 22:28;
Clay - This word is used of sediment found
in pits or in streets (Isa. 57:20; Jer. 38:60), of dust mixed with spittle
(John 9:6), and of potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14; Jer. 18:1-6; Rom.
9:21). Clay was used for sealing (Job 38:14; Jer. 32:14). Our Lord's tomb
may have been thus sealed (Matt. 27:66). The practice of sealing doors with
clay is still common in the East. Clay was also in primitive times used
for mortar (Gen. 11:3). The "clay ground" in which the large vessels of
the temple were cast (1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17) was a compact loam fitted
for the purpose. The expression literally rendered is, "in the thickness
of the ground,", meaning, "in stiff ground" or in clay.
Clean - The various forms of uncleanness
according to the Mosaic law are enumerated in Lev. 11-15; Num. 19. The division
of animals into clean and unclean was probably founded on the practice of
sacrifice. It existed before the Flood (Gen. 7:2). The regulations regarding
such animals are recorded in Lev. 11 and Deut. 14:1-21.
The Hebrews were prohibited from using as food certain animal substances,
such as (1) blood; (2) the fat covering the intestines, termed the caul;
(3) the fat on the intestines, called the mesentery; (4) the fat of the
kidneys; and (5) the fat tail of certain sheep (Ex. 29:13, 22; Lev. 3:4-9;
9:19; 17:10; 19:26).
The chief design of these regulations seems to have been to establish
a system of regimen which would distinguish the Jews from all other nations.
Regarding the design and the abolition of these regulations the reader
will find all the details in Lev. 20:24-26; Acts 10:9-16; 11:1-10; Heb.
Clement - mild, a Christian of Philippi,
Paul's "fellow-labourer," whose name he mentions as "in the book of life"
(Phil. 4:3). It was an opinion of ancient writers that he was the Clement
of Rome whose name is well known in church history, and that he was the
author of an Epistle to the Corinthians, the only known manuscript of which
is appended to the Alexandrian Codex, now in the British Museum. It is of
some historical interest, and has given rise to much discussion among critics.
It makes distinct reference to Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians.
Cleopas - (abbreviation of Cleopatros),
one of the two disciples with whom Jesus conversed on the way to Emmaus
on the day of the resurrection (Luke 24:18). We know nothing definitely
regarding him. It is not certain that he was the Clopas of John 19:25, or
the Alphaeus of Matt. 10:3, although he may have been so.
Cleophas - (in the spelling of this word
h is inserted by mistake from Latin MSS.), rather Cleopas, which
is the Greek form of the word, while Clopas is the Aramaic form. In John
19:25 the Authorized Version reads, "Mary, the wife of Clopas." The word
"wife" is conjecturally inserted here. If "wife" is rightly inserted, then
Mary was the mother of James the Less, and Clopas is the same as Alphaeus
(Matt. 10:3; 27:56).
Cloak - an upper garment, "an exterior tunic,
wide and long, reaching to the ankles, but without sleeves" (Isa. 59:17).
The word so rendered is elsewhere rendered "robe" or "mantle." It was worn
by the high priest under the ephod (Ex. 28:31), by kings and others of rank
(1 Sam. 15:27; Job 1:20; 2:12), and by women (2 Sam. 13:18).
The word translated "cloke", i.e., outer garment, in Matt. 5:40 is in
its plural form used of garments in general (Matt. 17:2; 26:65). The cloak
mentioned here and in Luke 6:29 was the Greek himation, Latin pallium,
and consisted of a large square piece of wollen cloth fastened round the
shoulders, like the abba of the Arabs. This could be taken by a creditor
(Ex. 22:26,27), but the coat or tunic (Gr. chiton) mentioned in Matt.
5:40 could not.
The cloak which Paul "left at Troas" (2 Tim. 4:13) was the Roman paenula,
a thick upper garment used chiefly in travelling as a protection from
the weather. Some, however, have supposed that what Paul meant was a travelling-bag.
In the Syriac version the word used means a bookcase. (See Dress.)
Closet - as used in the New Testament, signifies
properly a storehouse (Luke 12: 24), and hence a place of privacy and retirement
(Matt. 6:6; Luke 12:3).
Cloud - The Hebrew so rendered means "a
covering," because clouds cover the sky. The word is used as a symbol of
the Divine presence, as indicating the splendour of that glory which it
conceals (Ex. 16:10; 33:9; Num. 11:25; 12:5; Job 22:14; Ps. 18:11). A "cloud
without rain" is a proverbial saying, denoting a man who does not keep his
promise (Prov. 16:15; Isa. 18:4; 25:5; Jude 1:12). A cloud is the figure
of that which is transitory (Job 30:15; Hos. 6:4). A bright cloud is the
symbolical seat of the Divine presence (Ex.29:42, 43; 1 Kings 8:10; 2 Chr.
5:14; Ezek. 43:4), and was called the Shechinah (q.v.). Jehovah came down
upon Sinai in a cloud (Ex. 19:9); and the cloud filled the court around
the tabernacle in the wilderness so that Moses could not enter it (Ex. 40:34,
35). At the dedication of the temple also the cloud "filled the house of
the Lord" (1 Kings 8:10). Thus in like manner when Christ comes the second
time he is described as coming "in the clouds" (Matt. 17:5; 24:30; Acts
1:9, 11). False teachers are likened unto clouds carried about with a tempest
(2 Pet. 2:17). The infirmities of old age, which come one after another,
are compared by Solomon to "clouds returning after the rain" (Eccl. 12:2).
The blotting out of sins is like the sudden disappearance of threatening
clouds from the sky (Isa. 44:22).
Cloud, the pillar of, was the glory-cloud which indicated God's presence
leading the ransomed people through the wilderness (Ex. 13:22; 33:9, 10).
This pillar preceded the people as they marched, resting on the ark (Ex.
13:21; 40:36). By night it became a pillar of fire (Num. 9:17-23).
Cnidus - a town and harbour on the extreme
south-west of the peninsula of Doris in Asia Minor. Paul sailed past it
on his voyage to Rome after leaving Myra (Acts 27:7).
Coal - It is by no means certain that the
Hebrews were acquainted with mineral coal, although it is found in Syria.
Their common fuel was dried dung of animals and wood charcoal. Two different
words are found in Hebrew to denote coal, both occurring in Prov. 26:21,
"As coal [Heb. peham; i.e., "black coal"] is to burning coal [Heb. gehalim]."
The latter of these words is used in Job 41:21; Prov. 6:28; Isa. 44:19.
The words "live coal" in Isa. 6:6 are more correctly "glowing stone." In
Lam. 4:8 the expression "blacker than a coal" is literally rendered in the
margin of the Revised Version "darker than blackness." "Coals of fire" (2
Sam. 22:9, 13; Ps. 18:8, 12, 13, etc.) is an expression used metaphorically
for lightnings proceeding from God. A false tongue is compared to "coals
of juniper" (Ps. 120:4; James 3:6). "Heaping coals of fire on the head"
symbolizes overcoming evil with good. The words of Paul (Rom. 12:20) are
equivalent to saying, "By charity and kindness thou shalt soften down his
enmity as surely as heaping coals on the fire fuses the metal in the crucible."
Coat - the tunic worn like the shirt
next the skin (Lev. 16:4; Cant. 5:3; 2 Sam. 15:32; Ex. 28:4; 29:5). The
"coats of skins" prepared by God for Adam and Eve were probably nothing
more than aprons (Gen. 3:21). This tunic was sometimes woven entire without
a seam (John 19:23); it was also sometimes of "many colours" (Gen. 37:3;
R.V. marg., "a long garment with sleeves"). The "fisher's coat" of John
21:7 was obviously an outer garment or cloak, as was also the "coat" made
by Hannah for Samuel (1 Sam. 2:19). (See DRESS.)
Coat of mail - the rendering of a Hebrew
word meaning "glittering" (1 Sam. 17:5, 38). The same word in the plural
form is translated "habergeons" in 2 Chr. 26:14 and Neh. 4:16. The "harness"
(1 Kings 22:34), "breastplate" (Isa. 59:17), and "brigandine" (Jer. 46:4),
were probably also corselets or coats of mail. (See ARMOUR.)
Cockatrice - the mediaeval name (a corruption
of "crocodile") of a fabulous serpent supposed to be produced from a cock's
egg. It is generally supposed to denote the cerastes, or "horned viper,"
a very poisonous serpent about a foot long. Others think it to be the yellow
viper (Daboia xanthina), one of the most dangerous vipers, from its size
and its nocturnal habits (Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17; in all which
the Revised Version renders the Hebrew tziph'oni by "basilisk").
In Prov. 23:32 the Hebrew tzeph'a is rendered both in the Authorized
Version and the Revised Version by "adder;" margin of Revised Version "basilisk,"
and of Authorized Version "cockatrice."
Cock-crowing - In our Lord's time the Jews
had adopted the Greek and Roman division of the night into four watches,
each consisting of three hours, the first beginning at six o'clock in the
evening (Luke 12:38; Matt. 14:25; Mark 6:48). But the ancient division,
known as the first and second cock-crowing, was still retained. The cock
usually crows several times soon after midnight (this is the first crowing),
and again at the dawn of day (and this is the second crowing). Mark mentions
(14:30) the two cock-crowings. Matthew (26:34) alludes to that only which
was emphatically the cock-crowing, viz, the second.
Cockle - occurs only in Job 31:40 (marg.,
"noisome weeds"), where it is the rendering of a Hebrew word (b'oshah) which
means "offensive," "having a bad smell," referring to some weed perhaps
which has an unpleasant odour. Or it may be regarded as simply any noisome
weed, such as the "tares" or darnel of Matt. 13:30. In Isa. 5:2, 4 the plural
form is rendered "wild grapes."
Coele-Syria - hollow Syria, the name (not
found in Scripture) given by the Greeks to the extensive valley, about 100
miles long, between the Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon range of mountains.
Coffer - the receptacle or small box placed
beside the ark by the Philistines, in which they deposited the golden mice
and the emerods as their trespass-offering (1 Sam. 6:8, 11, 15).
Coffin - used in Gen. 50:26 with reference
to the burial of Joseph. Here, it means a mummy-chest. The same Hebrew word
is rendered "chest" in 2 Kings 12:9, 10.
Cogitations - (or "thoughts," as the Chaldee
word in Dan. 7:28 literally means), earnest meditation.
Coin - Before the Exile the Jews had no
regularly stamped money. They made use of uncoined shekels or talents of
silver, which they weighed out (Gen. 23:16; Ex. 38:24; 2 Sam. 18:12). Probably
the silver ingots used in the time of Abraham may have been of a fixed weight,
which was in some way indicated on them. The "pieces of silver" paid by
Abimelech to Abraham (Gen. 20:16), and those also for which Joseph was sold
(37:28), were proably in the form of rings. The shekel was the common standard
of weight and value among the Hebrews down to the time of the Captivity.
Only once is a shekel of gold mentioned (1 Chr. 21:25). The "six thousand
of gold" mentioned in the transaction between Naaman and Gehazi (2 Kings
5:5) were probably so many shekels of gold. The "piece of money" mentioned
in Job 42:11; Gen. 33:19 (marg., "lambs") was the Hebrew kesitah,
probably an uncoined piece of silver of a certain weight in the form of
a sheep or lamb, or perhaps having on it such an impression. The same Hebrew
word is used in Josh. 24:32, which is rendered by Wickliffe "an hundred
Collar - (Heb. peh), means in Job 30:18
the mouth or opening of the garment that closes round the neck in the same
way as a tunic (Ex. 39:23). The "collars" (Heb. netiphoth) among the spoils
of the Midianites (Judg. 8:26; R.V., "pendants") were ear-drops. The same
Hebrew word is rendered "chains" in Isa. 3:19.
Collection - The Christians in Palestine,
from various causes, suffered from poverty. Paul awakened an interest in
them among the Gentile churches, and made pecuniary collections in their
behalf (Acts 24:17; Rom. 15:25, 26; 1 Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 8:9; Gal. 2:10).
College - Heb. mishneh (2 Kings 22:14; 2
Chr. 34:22), rendered in Revised Version "second quarter", the residence
of the prophetess Huldah. The Authorized Version followed the Jewish commentators,
who, following the Targum, gave the Hebrew word its post-Biblical sense,
as if it meant a place of instruction. It properly means the "second," and
may therefore denote the lower city (Acra), which was built after the portion
of the city on Mount Zion, and was enclosed by a second wall.
Colony - The city of Philippi was a Roman
colony (Acts 16:12), i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers and citizens,
planted there to keep in subjection a newly-conquered district. A colony
was Rome in miniature, under Roman municipal law, but governed by military
officers (praetors and lictors), not by proconsuls. It had an independent
internal government, the jus Italicum; i.e., the privileges of Italian citizens.
Colossae - or Colosse, a city of Phrygia,
on the Lycus, which is a tributary of the Maeander. It was about 12 miles
above Laodicea, and near the great road from Ephesus to the Euphrates, and
was consequently of some mercantile importance. It does not appear that
Paul had visited this city when he wrote his letter to the church there
(Col. 1:2). He expresses in his letter to Philemon (ver. 1:22) his hope
to visit it on being delivered from his imprisonment. From Col. 1:7; 4:12
it has been concluded that Epaphras was the founder of the Colossian church.
This town afterwards fell into decay, and the modern town of Chonas or Chonum
occupies a site near its ruins.
Colossians, Epistle to the - was written
by Paul at Rome during his first imprisonment there (Acts 28:16, 30), probably
in the spring of A.D. 57, or, as some think, 62, and soon after he had written
his Epistle to the Ephesians. Like some of his other epistles (e.g., those
to Corinth), this seems to have been written in consequence of information
which had somehow been conveyed to him of the internal state of the church
there (Col. 1:4-8). Its object was to counteract false teaching. A large
part of it is directed against certain speculatists who attempted to combine
the doctrines of Oriental mysticism and asceticism with Christianity, thereby
promising the disciples the enjoyment of a higher spiritual life and a deeper
insight into the world of spirits. Paul argues against such teaching, showing
that in Christ Jesus they had all things. He sets forth the majesty of his
redemption. The mention of the "new moon" and "sabbath days" (2:16) shows
also that there were here Judaizing teachers who sought to draw away the
disciples from the simplicity of the gospel.
Like most of Paul's epistles, this consists of two parts, a doctrinal
and a practical.
(1.) The doctrinal part comprises the first two chapters. His main theme
is developed in chapter 2. He warns them against being drawn away from
Him in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead, and who was the head
of all spiritual powers. Christ was the head of the body of which they
were members; and if they were truly united to him, what needed they more?
(2.) The practical part of the epistle (3-4) enforces various duties
naturally flowing from the doctrines expounded. They are exhorted to mind
things that are above (3:1-4), to mortify every evil principle of their
nature, and to put on the new man (3:5-14). Many special duties of the
Christian life are also insisted upon as the fitting evidence of the Christian
character. Tychicus was the bearer of the letter, as he was also of that
to the Ephesians and to Philemon, and he would tell them of the state
of the apostle (4:7-9). After friendly greetings (10-14), he bids them
interchange this letter with that he had sent to the neighbouring church
of Laodicea. He then closes this brief but striking epistle with his usual
autograph salutation. There is a remarkable resemblance between this epistle
and that to the Ephesians (q.v.). The genuineness of this epistle has
not been called in question.
Colour - The subject of colours holds an
important place in the Scriptures.
White occurs as the translation of various Hebrew words. It is applied
to milk (Gen. 49:12), manna (Ex. 16:31), snow (Isa. 1:18), horses (Zech.
1:8), raiment (Eccl. 9:8). Another Hebrew word so rendered is applied
to marble (Esther 1:6), and a cognate word to the lily (Cant. 2:16). A
different term, meaning "dazzling," is applied to the countenance (Cant.
This colour was an emblem of purity and innocence (Mark 16:5; John 20:12;
Rev. 19:8, 14), of joy (Eccl. 9:8), and also of victory (Zech. 6:3; Rev.
6:2). The hangings of the tabernacle court (Ex. 27:9; 38:9), the coats,
mitres, bonnets, and breeches of the priests (Ex. 39:27,28), and the dress
of the high priest on the day of Atonement (Lev. 16:4,32), were white.
Black, applied to the hair (Lev. 13:31; Cant. 5:11), the complexion
(Cant. 1:5), and to horses (Zech. 6:2,6). The word rendered "brown" in
Gen. 30:32 (R.V., "black") means properly "scorched", i.e., the colour
produced by the influence of the sun's rays. "Black" in Job 30:30 means
dirty, blackened by sorrow and disease. The word is applied to a mourner's
robes (Jer. 8:21; 14:2), to a clouded sky (1 Kings 18:45), to night (Micah
3:6; Jer. 4:28), and to a brook rendered turbid by melted snow (Job 6:16).
It is used as symbolical of evil in Zech. 6:2, 6 and Rev. 6:5. It was
the emblem of mourning, affliction, calamity (Jer. 14:2; Lam. 4:8; 5:10).
Red, applied to blood (2 Kings 3;22), a heifer (Num. 19:2), pottage
of lentils (Gen. 25:30), a horse (Zech. 1:8), wine (Prov. 23:31), the
complexion (Gen. 25:25; Cant. 5:10). This colour is symbolical of bloodshed
(Zech. 6:2; Rev. 6:4; 12:3).
Purple, a colour obtained from the secretion of a species of shell-fish
(the Murex trunculus) which was found in the Mediterranean, and particularly
on the coasts of Phoenicia and Asia Minor. The colouring matter in each
separate shell-fish amounted to only a single drop, and hence the great
value of this dye. Robes of this colour were worn by kings (Judg. 8:26)
and high officers (Esther 8:15). They were also worn by the wealthy and
luxurious (Jer. 10:9; Ezek. 27:7; Luke 16:19; Rev. 17:4). With this colour
was associated the idea of royalty and majesty (Judg. 8:26; Cant. 3:10;
7:5; Dan. 5:7, 16,29).
Blue. This colour was also procured from a species of shell-fish, the
chelzon of the Hebrews, and the Helix ianthina of modern naturalists.
The tint was emblematic of the sky, the deep dark hue of the Eastern sky.
This colour was used in the same way as purple. The ribbon and fringe
of the Hebrew dress were of this colour (Num. 15:38). The loops of the
curtains (Ex. 26:4), the lace of the high priest's breastplate, the robe
of the ephod, and the lace on his mitre, were blue (Ex. 28:28, 31, 37).
Scarlet, or Crimson. In Isa. 1:18 a Hebrew word is used which denotes
the worm or grub whence this dye was procured. In Gen. 38:28,30, the word
so rendered means "to shine," and expresses the brilliancy of the colour.
The small parasitic insects from which this dye was obtained somewhat
resembled the cochineal which is found in Eastern countries. It is called
by naturalists Coccus ilics. The dye was procured from the female grub
alone. The only natural object to which this colour is applied in Scripture
is the lips, which are likened to a scarlet thread (Cant. 4:3). Scarlet
robes were worn by the rich and luxurious (2 Sam. 1:24; Prov. 31:21; Jer.
4:30. Rev. 17:4). It was also the hue of the warrior's dress (Nah. 2:3;
Isa. 9:5). The Phoenicians excelled in the art of dyeing this colour (2
These four colours--white, purple, blue, and scarlet--were used in the
textures of the tabernacle curtains (Ex. 26:1, 31, 36), and also in the
high priest's ephod, girdle, and breastplate (Ex. 28:5, 6, 8, 15). Scarlet
thread is mentioned in connection with the rites of cleansing the leper
(Lev. 14:4, 6, 51) and of burning the red heifer (Num. 19:6). It was a
crimson thread that Rahab was to bind on her window as a sign that she
was to be saved alive (Josh. 2:18; 6:25) when the city of Jericho was
Vermilion, the red sulphuret of mercury, or cinnabar; a colour used
for drawing the figures of idols on the walls of temples (Ezek. 23:14),
or for decorating the walls and beams of houses (Jer. 22:14).
Comforter - the designation of the Holy
Ghost (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; R.V. marg., "or Advocate, or Helper;
Gr. paracletos"). The same Greek word thus rendered is translated "Advocate"
in 1 John 2:1 as applicable to Christ. It means properly "one who is summoned
to the side of another" to help him in a court of justice by defending him,
"one who is summoned to plead a cause." "Advocate" is the proper rendering
of the word in every case where it occurs.
It is worthy of notice that although Paul nowhere uses the word paracletos,
he yet presents the idea it embodies when he speaks of the "intercession"
both of Christ and the Spirit (Rom. 8:27, 34).
Coming of Christ - (1) with reference to
his first advent "in the fulness of the time" (1 John 5:20; 2 John 1:7),
or (2) with reference to his coming again the second time at the last day
(Acts 1:11; 3:20, 21; 1 Thess. 4:15; 2 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 9:28).
The expression is used metaphorically of the introduction of the gospel
into any place (John 15:22; Eph. 2:17), the visible establishment of his
kingdom in the world (Matt. 16:28), the conferring on his people of the
peculiar tokens of his love (John 14:18, 23, 28), and his executing judgment
on the wicked (2 Thess. 2:8).
Commandments, the Ten - (Ex. 34:28; Deut.
10:4, marg. "ten words") i.e., the Decalogue (q.v.), is a summary of the
immutable moral law. These commandments were first given in their written
form to the people of Israel when they were encamped at Sinai, about fifty
days after they came out of Egypt (Ex. 19:10-25). They were written by the
finger of God on two tables of stone. The first tables were broken by Moses
when he brought them down from the mount (32:19), being thrown by him on
the ground. At the command of God he took up into the mount two other tables,
and God wrote on them "the words that were on the first tables" (34:1).
These tables were afterwards placed in the ark of the covenant (Deut. 10:5;
1 Kings 8:9). Their subsequent history is unknown. They are as a whole called
"the covenant" (Deut. 4:13), and "the tables of the covenant" (9:9, 11;
Heb. 9:4), and "the testimony."
They are obviously "ten" in number, but their division is not fixed,
hence different methods of numbering them have been adopted. The Jews
make the "Preface" one of the commandments, and then combine the first
and second. The Roman Catholics and Lutherans combine the first and second
and divide the tenth into two. The Jews and Josephus divide them equally.
The Lutherans and Roman Catholics refer three commandments to the first
table and seven to the second. The Greek and Reformed Churches refer four
to the first and six to the second table. The Samaritans add to the second
that Gerizim is the mount of worship. (See LAW.)
Communion - fellowship with God (Gen. 18:17-33;
Ex. 33:9-11; Num. 12:7, 8), between Christ and his people (John 14:23),
by the Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1), of believers with one another (Eph.
4:1-6). The Lord's Supper is so called (1 Cor. 10:16, 17), because in it
there is fellowship between Christ and his disciples, and of the disciples
with one another.
Conaniah - whom Jehovah hath set, a Levite
placed over the tithes brought into the temple (2 Chr. 35:9).
Concision - (Gr. katatome; i.e., "mutilation"),
a term used by Paul contemptuously of those who were zealots for circumcision
(Phil. 3:2). Instead of the warning, "Beware of the circumcision" (peritome)
i.e., of the party who pressed on Gentile converts the necessity of still
observing that ordinance, he says, "Beware of the concision;" as much as
to say, "This circumcision which they vaunt of is in Christ only as the
gashings and mutilations of idolatrous heathen."
Concubine - in the Bible denotes a female
conjugally united to a man, but in a relation inferior to that of a wife.
Among the early Jews, from various causes, the difference between a wife
and a concubine was less marked than it would be amongst us. The concubine
was a wife of secondary rank. There are various laws recorded providing
for their protection (Ex. 21:7; Deut. 21:10-14), and setting limits to the
relation they sustained to the household to which they belonged (Gen. 21:14;
25:6). They had no authority in the family, nor could they share in the
The immediate cause of concubinage might be gathered from the conjugal
histories of Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 16;30). But in process of time the
custom of concubinage degenerated, and laws were made to restrain and
regulate it (Ex. 21:7-9).
Christianity has restored the sacred institution of marriage to its
original character, and concubinage is ranked with the sins of fornication
and adultery (Matt. 19:5-9; 1 Cor. 7:2).
Concupiscence - desire, Rom. 7:8 (R.V.,
"coveting"); Col. 3:5 (R.V., "desire"). The "lust of concupiscence" (1 Thess.
4:5; R.V., "passion of lust") denotes evil desire, indwelling sin.
Conduit - a water-course or channel
(Job 38:25). The "conduit of the upper pool" (Isa. 7:3) was formed by
Hezekiah for the purpose of conveying the waters from the upper pool in
the valley of Gihon to the west side of the city of David (2 Kings 18:17;
20:20; 2 Chr. 32:30). In carrying out this work he stopped "the waters
of the fountains which were without the city" i.e., "the upper water-course
of Gihon", and conveyed it down from the west through a canal into the
city, so that in case of a siege the inhabitants of the city might have
a supply of water, which would thus be withdrawn from the enemy. (See
There are also the remains of a conduit which conducted water from the
so-called "Pools of Solomon," beyond Bethlehem, into the city. Water is
still conveyed into the city from the fountains which supplied these pools
by a channel which crosses the valley of Hinnom.
Coney - (Heb. shaphan; i.e., "the hider"),
an animal which inhabits the mountain gorges and the rocky districts of
Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land. "The conies are but a feeble folk, yet
make they their houses in the rocks" (Prov. 30:26; Ps. 104:18). They are
gregarious, and "exceeding wise" (Prov. 30:24), and are described as chewing
the cud (Lev. 11:5; Deut. 14:7).
The animal intended by this name is known among naturalists as the Hyrax
Syriacus. It is neither a ruminant nor a rodent, but is regarded as akin
to the rhinoceros. When it is said to "chew the cud," the Hebrew word
so used does not necessarily imply the possession of a ruminant stomach.
"The lawgiver speaks according to appearances; and no one can watch the
constant motion of the little creature's jaws, as it sits continually
working its teeth, without recognizing the naturalness of the expression"
(Tristram, Natural History of the Bible). It is about the size and color
of a rabbit, though clumsier in structure, and without a tail. Its feet
are not formed for digging, and therefore it has its home not in burrows
but in the clefts of the rocks. "Coney" is an obsolete English word for
Confection - (Ex. 30:35, "ointment" in ver.
25; R.V., "perfume"). The Hebrew word so rendered is derived from a root
meaning to compound oil and perfume.
Confectionaries - only in 1 Sam. 8:13, those
who make confections, i.e., perfumers, who compound species and perfumes.
Confession - (1) An open profession of faith
(Luke 12:8). (2.) An acknowledment of sins to God (Lev. 16:21; Ezra 9:5-15;
Dan. 9:3-12), and to a neighbour whom we have wronged (James 5:16; Matt.
Congregation - (Heb. kahal), the Hebrew
people collectively as a holy community (Num. 15:15). Every circumcised
Hebrew from twenty years old and upward was a member of the congregation.
Strangers resident in the land, if circumcised, were, with certain exceptions
(Ex. 12:19; Num. 9:14; Deut. 23:1-3), admitted to the privileges of citizenship,
and spoken of as members of the congregation (Ex. 12:19; Num. 9:14; 15:15).
The congregation were summonded together by the sound of two silver trumpets,
and they met at the door of the tabernacle (Num. 10:3). These assemblies
were convened for the purpose of engaging in solemn religious services (Ex.
12:27; Num. 25:6; Joel 2:15), or of receiving new commandments (Ex. 19:7,
8). The elders, who were summonded by the sound of one trumpet (Num. 10:4),
represented on various occasions the whole congregation (Ex. 3:16; 12:21;
After the conquest of Canaan, the people were assembled only on occasions
of the highest national importance (Judg. 20; 2 Chr. 30:5; 34:29; 1 Sam.
10:17; 2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Kings 12:20; 2 Kings 11:19; 21:24; 23:30). In subsequent
times the congregation was represented by the Sanhedrim; and the name
synagogue, applied in the Septuagint version exclusively to the congregation,
came to be used to denote the places of worship established by the Jews.
In Acts 13:43, where alone it occurs in the New Testament, it is the
same word as that rendered "synagogue" (q.v.) in ver. 42, and is so rendered
in ver. 43 in R.V.
Congregation, mount of the - (Isa. 14:13),
has been supposed to refer to the place where God promised to meet with
his people (Ex. 25:22; 29:42, 43) i.e., the mount of the Divine presence,
Mount Zion. But here the king of Babylon must be taken as expressing himself
according to his own heathen notions, and not according to those of the
Jews. The "mount of the congregation" will therefore in this case mean the
northern mountain, supposed by the Babylonians to be the meeting-place of
their gods. In the Babylonian inscriptions mention is made of a mountain
which is described as "the mighty mountain of Bel, whose head rivals heaven,
whose root is the holy deep." This mountain was regarded in their mythology
as the place where the gods had their seat.
Conscience - that faculty of the mind, or
inborn sense of right and wrong, by which we judge of the moral character
of human conduct. It is common to all men. Like all our other faculties,
it has been perverted by the Fall (John 16:2; Acts 26:9; Rom. 2:15). It
is spoken of as "defiled" (Titus 1:15), and "seared" (1 Tim. 4:2). A "conscience
void of offence" is to be sought and cultivated (Acts 24:16; Rom. 9:1; 2
Cor. 1:12; 1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 1 Pet. 3:21).
Consecration - the devoting or setting apart
of anything to the worship or service of God. The race of Abraham and the
tribe of Levi were thus consecrated (Ex. 13:2, 12, 15; Num. 3:12). The Hebrews
devoted their fields and cattle, and sometimes the spoils of war, to the
Lord (Lev. 27:28, 29). According to the Mosaic law the first-born both of
man and beast were consecrated to God.
In the New Testament, Christians are regarded as consecrated to the
Lord (1 Pet. 2:9).
Consolation of Israel - a name for the Messiah
in common use among the Jews, probably suggested by Isa. 12:1; 49:13. The
Greek word thus rendered (Luke 2:25, paraklesis) is kindred to that translated
"Comforter" in John 14:16, etc., parakletos.
Constellation - a cluster of stars, or stars
which appear to be near each other in the heavens, and which astronomers
have reduced to certain figures (as the "Great Bear," the "Bull," etc.)
for the sake of classification and of memory. In Isa. 13:10, where this
word only occurs, it is the rendering of the Hebrew kesil, i.e.,
"fool." This was the Hebrew name of the constellation Orion (Job 9:9; 38:31),
a constellation which represented Nimrod, the symbol of folly and impiety.
The word some interpret by "the giant" in this place, "some heaven-daring
rebel who was chained to the sky for his impiety."
Contentment - a state of mind in which one's
desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be (1 Tim. 6:6; 2 Cor. 9:8).
It is opposed to envy (James 3:16), avarice (Heb. 13:5), ambition (Prov.
13:10), anxiety (Matt. 6:25, 34), and repining (1 Cor. 10:10). It arises
from the inward disposition, and is the offspring of humility, and of an
intelligent consideration of the rectitude and benignity of divine providence
(Ps. 96:1, 2; 145), the greatness of the divine promises (2 Pet. 1:4), and
our own unworthiness (Gen. 32:10); as well as from the view the gospel opens
up to us of rest and peace hereafter (Rom. 5:2).
Conversation - generally the goings out
and in of social intercourse (Eph. 2:3; 4:22; R.V., "manner of life"); one's
deportment or course of life. This word is never used in Scripture in the
sense of verbal communication from one to another (Ps. 50:23; Heb. 13:5).
In Phil. 1:27 and 3:20, a different Greek word is used. It there means one's
relations to a community as a citizen, i.e., citizenship.
Conversion - the turning of a sinner
to God (Acts 15:3). In a general sense the heathen are said to be "converted"
when they abandon heathenism and embrace the Christian faith; and in a
more special sense men are converted when, by the influence of divine
grace in their souls, their whole life is changed, old things pass away,
and all things become new (Acts 26:18). Thus we speak of the conversion
of the Philippian jailer (16:19-34), of Paul (9:1-22), of the Ethiopian
treasurer (8:26-40), of Cornelius (10), of Lydia (16:13-15), and others.
Convocation - a meeting of a religious character
as distinguished from congregation, which was more general, dealing with
political and legal matters. Hence it is called an "holy convocation." Such
convocations were the Sabbaths (Lev. 23:2, 3), the Passover (Ex. 12:16;
Lev. 23:7, 8; Num. 28:25), Pentecost (Lev. 23:21), the feast of Trumpets
(Lev. 23:24; Num. 29:1), the feast of Weeks (Num. 28:26), and the feast
of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:35, 36). The great fast, the annual day of atonement,
was "the holy convocation" (Lev. 23:27; Num. 29:7).
Cook - a person employed to perform culinary
service. In early times among the Hebrews cooking was performed by the mistress
of the household (Gen. 18:2-6; Judg. 6:19), and the process was very expeditiously
performed (Gen. 27:3, 4, 9, 10). Professional cooks were afterwards employed
(1 Sam. 8:13; 9:23). Few animals, as a rule, were slaughtered (other than
sacrifices), except for purposes of hospitality (Gen. 18:7; Luke 15:23).
The paschal lamb was roasted over a fire (Ex. 12:8, 9; 2Chr. 35:13). Cooking
by boiling was the usual method adopted (Lev. 8:31; Ex. 16:23). No cooking
took place on the Sabbath day (Ex. 35:3).
Coos - (written Cos in the R.V.), a small
island, one of the Sporades in the Aegean Sea, in the north-west of Rhodes,
off the coast of Caria. Paul on his return from his third missionary journey,
passed the night here after sailing from Miletus (Acts 21:1). It is now
Copper - derived from the Greek kupros (the
island of Cyprus), called "Cyprian brass," occurs only in the Authorized
Version in Ezra 8:27. Elsewhere the Hebrew word (nehosheth) is improperly
rendered "brass," and sometimes "steel" (2 Sam. 22:35; Jer. 15:12). The
"bow of steel" (Job 20:24; Ps. 18:34) should have been "bow of copper" (or
"brass," as in the R.V.). The vessels of "fine copper" of Ezra 8:27 were
probably similar to those of "bright brass" mentioned in 1 Kings 7:45; Dan.
Tubal-cain was the first artificer in brass and iron (Gen. 4:22). Hiram
was noted as a worker in brass (1 Kings 7:14). Copper abounded in Palestine
(Deut. 8:9; Isa. 60:17; 1 Chr. 22:3, 14). All sorts of vessels in the
tabernacle and the temple were made of it (Lev. 6:28; Num. 16:39; 2 Chr.
4:16; Ezra 8:27); also weapons of war (1 Sam. 17:5, 6, 38; 2 Sam. 21:16).
Iron is mentioned only four times (Gen. 4:22; Lev. 26:19; Num. 31:22;
35:16) in the first four books of Moses, while copper (rendered "brass")
is mentioned forty times. (See BRASS.)
We find mention of Alexander (q.v.), a "coppersmith" of Ephesus (2 Tim.
Cor - This Hebrew word, untranslated, denotes
a round vessel used as a measure both for liquids and solids. It was equal
to one homer, and contained ten ephahs in dry and ten baths in liquid measure
(Ezek. 45:14). The Rabbins estimated the cor at forty-five gallons, while
Josephus estimated it at about eighty-seven. In 1 Kings 4:22; 5:11; 2 Chr.
2:10; 27:5, the original word is rendered "measure."
Coral - Heb. ramoth, meaning "heights;"
i.e., "high-priced" or valuable things, or, as some suppose, "that which
grows high," like a tree (Job 28:18; Ezek. 27:16), according to the Rabbins,
red coral, which was in use for ornaments.
The coral is a cretaceous marine product, the deposit by minute polypous
animals of calcareous matter in cells in which the animal lives. It is
of numberless shapes as it grows, but usually is branched like a tree.
Great coral reefs and coral islands abound in the Red Sea, whence probably
the Hebrews derived their knowledge of it. It is found of different colours,
white, black, and red. The red, being esteemed the most precious, was
used, as noticed above, for ornamental purposes.
Corban - a Hebrew word adopted into the
Greek of the New Testament and left untranslated. It occurs only once (Mark
7:11). It means a gift or offering consecrated to God. Anything over which
this word was once pronounced was irrevocably dedicated to the temple. Land,
however, so dedicated might be redeemed before the year of jubilee (Lev.
27:16-24). Our Lord condemns the Pharisees for their false doctrine, inasmuch
as by their traditions they had destroyed the commandment which requires
children to honour their father and mother, teaching them to find excuse
from helping their parents by the device of pronouncing "Corban" over their
goods, thus reserving them to their own selfish use.
Cord - frequently used in its proper sense,
for fastening a tent (Ex. 35:18; 39:40), yoking animals to a cart (Isa.
5:18), binding prisoners (Judg. 15:13; Ps. 2:3; 129:4), and measuring ground
(2 Sam. 8;2; Ps. 78:55). Figuratively, death is spoken of as the giving
way of the tent-cord (Job 4:21. "Is not their tent-cord plucked up?" R.V.).
To gird one's self with a cord was a token of sorrow and humiliation. To
stretch a line over a city meant to level it with the ground (Lam. 2:8).
The "cords of sin" are the consequences or fruits of sin (Prov. 5:22). A
"threefold cord" is a symbol of union (Eccl. 4:12). The "cords of a man"
(Hos. 11:4) means that men employ, in inducing each other, methods such
as are suitable to men, and not "cords" such as oxen are led by. Isaiah
(5:18) says, "Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and
sin as it were with a cart rope." This verse is thus given in the Chaldee
paraphrase: "Woe to those who begin to sin by little and little, drawing
sin by cords of vanity: these sins grow and increase till they are strong
and are like a cart rope." This may be the true meaning. The wicked at first
draw sin with a slender cord; but by-and-by their sins increase, and they
are drawn after them by a cart rope. Henderson in his commentary says: "The
meaning is that the persons described were not satisfied with ordinary modes
of provoking the Deity, and the consequent ordinary approach of his vengeance,
but, as it were, yoked themselves in the harness of iniquity, and, putting
forth all their strength, drew down upon themselves, with accelerated speed,
the load of punishment which their sins deserved."
Coriander - Heb. gad, (Ex. 16:31; Num. 11:7),
seed to which the manna is likened in its form and colour. It is the Coriandrum
sativum of botanists, an umbelliferous annual plant with a round stalk,
about two feet high. It is widely cultivated in Eastern countries and in
the south of Europe for the sake of its seeds, which are in the form of
a little ball of the size of a peppercorn. They are used medicinally and
as a spice. The Greek name of this plant is korion or koriannon, whence
the name "coriander."