Decapolis - ten cities=deka, ten, and polis, a city, a district
on the east and south-east of the Sea of Galilee containing "ten cities,"
which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. It included a portion of Bashan
and Gilead, and is mentioned three times in the New Testament (Matt. 4:25;
Mark 5:20; 7:31). These cities were Scythopolis, i.e., "city of the Scythians",
(ancient Bethshean, the only one of the ten cities on the west of Jordan),
Hippos, Gadara, Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the destruction
of Jerusalem), Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon), Gerasa, Dion, Canatha,
Raphana, and Damascus. When the Romans conquered Syria (B.C. 65) they rebuilt,
and endowed with certain privileges, these "ten cities," and the province
connected with them they called "Decapolis."
Decision, Valley of - a name given to the
valley of Jehoshaphat (q.v.) as the vale of the sentence. The scene of Jehovah's
signal inflictions on Zion's enemies (Joel 3:14; marg., "valley of concision
Decrees of God - "The decrees of God are
his eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise, and sovereign purpose, comprehending
at once all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions,
successions, and relations, and determining their certain futurition. The
several contents of this one eternal purpose are, because of the limitation
of our faculties, necessarily conceived of by us in partial aspects, and
in logical relations, and are therefore styled Decrees." The decree being
the act of an infinite, absolute, eternal, unchangeable, and sovereign Person,
comprehending a plan including all his works of all kinds, great and small,
from the beginning of creation to an unending eternity; ends as well as
means, causes as well as effects, conditions and instrumentalities as well
as the events which depend upon them, must be incomprehensible by the finite
intellect of man. The decrees are eternal (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess.
2:13), unchangeable (Ps. 33:11; Isa. 46:9), and comprehend all things that
come to pass (Eph. 1:11; Matt. 10:29, 30; Eph. 2:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27, 28;
Ps. 17:13, 14).
The decrees of God are (1) efficacious, as they respect those events
he has determined to bring about by his own immediate agency; or (2) permissive,
as they respect those events he has determined that free agents shall
be permitted by him to effect.
This doctrine ought to produce in our minds "humility, in view of the
infinite greatness and sovereignty of God, and of the dependence of man;
confidence and implicit reliance upon wisdom, rightenousness, goodness,
and immutability of God's purpose."
Dedan - low ground. (1.) A son of Raamah
(Gen. 10:7). His descendants are mentioned in Isa. 21:13, and Ezek. 27:15.
They probably settled among the sons of Cush, on the north-west coast of
the Persian Gulf.
(2.) A son of Jokshan, Abraham's son by Keturah (1 Chr. 1:32). His descendants
settled on the Syrian borders about the territory of Edom. They probably
led a pastoral life.
Dedanim - the descendants of Dedan, the
son of Raamah. They are mentioned in Isa. 21:13 as sending out "travelling
companies" which lodged "in the forest of Arabia." They are enumerated also
by Ezekiel (27:20) among the merchants who supplied Tyre with precious things.
Dedication, Feast of the - (John 10:22,
42), i.e., the feast of the renewing. It was instituted B.C. 164 to commemorate
the purging of the temple after its pollution by Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C.
167), and the rebuilding of the altar after the Syrian invaders had been
driven out by Judas Maccabaeus. It lasted for eight days, beginning on the
25th of the month Chisleu (December), which was often a period of heavy
rains (Ezra 10:9, 13). It was an occasion of much rejoicing and festivity.
But there were other dedications of the temple. (1) That of Solomon's
temple (1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chr. 5:3); (2) the dedication in the days of Hezekiah
(2 Chr. 29); and (3) the dedication of the temple after the Captivity
Deep - used to denote (1) the grave or the
abyss (Rom. 10:7; Luke 8:31); (2) the deepest part of the sea (Ps. 69:15);
(3) the chaos mentioned in Gen. 1:2; (4) the bottomless pit, hell (Rev.
9:1, 2; 11:7; 20:13).
Degrees, Song of - song of steps, a title
given to each of these fifteen psalms, 120-134 inclusive. The probable origin
of this name is the circumstance that these psalms came to be sung by the
people on the ascents or goings up to Jerusalem to attend the three great
festivals (Deut. 16:16). They were well fitted for being sung by the way
from their peculiar form, and from the sentiments they express. "They are
characterized by brevity, by a key-word, by epanaphora [i.e, repetition],
and by their epigrammatic style...More than half of them are cheerful, and
all of them hopeful." They are sometimes called "Pilgrim Songs." Four of
them were written by David, one (127) by Solomon, and the rest are anonymous.
Dehavites - villagers, one of the Assyrian
tribes which Asnapper sent to repopulate Samaria (Ezra 4:9). They were probably
a nomad Persian tribe on the east of the Caspian Sea, and near the Sea of
Delaiah - freed by Jehovah. (1.) The head
of the twenty-third division of the priestly order (1 Chr. 24:18).
(2.) A son of Shemaiah, and one of the courtiers to whom Jeremiah's
first roll of prophecy was read (Jer. 36:12).
(3.) The head of one of the bands of exiles that returned under Zerubbabel
to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:60; Neh. 7:62).
Delilah - languishing, a Philistine
woman who dwelt in the valley of Sorek (Judg. 16:4-20). She was bribed
by the "lords of the Philistines" to obtain from Samson the secret of
his strength and the means of overcoming it (Judg. 16:4-18). She tried
on three occasions to obtain from him this secret in vain. On the fourth
occasion she wrung it from him. She made him sleep upon her knees, and
then called the man who was waiting to help her; who "cut off the seven
locks of his head," and so his "strength went from him." (See SAMSON.)
Deluge - the name given to Noah's flood,
the history of which is recorded in Gen. 7 and 8.
It began in the year 2516 B.C., and continued twelve lunar months and
ten days, or exactly one solar year.
The cause of this judgment was the corruption and violence that filled
the earth in the ninth generation from Adam. God in righteous indignation
determined to purge the earth of the ungodly race. Amid a world of crime
and guilt there was one household that continued faithful and true to
God, the household of Noah. "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
At the command of God, Noah made an ark 300 cubits long, 50 broad, and
30 high. He slowly proceeded with this work during a period of one hundred
and twenty years (Gen. 6:3). At length the purpose of God began to be
carried into effect. The following table exhibits the order of events
as they occurred:
In the six hundredth year of his life Noah is commanded by God to enter
the ark, taking with him his wife, and his three sons with their wives
The rain begins on the seventeenth day of the second month (Gen. 7:11-17).
The rain ceases, the waters prevail, fifteen cubits upward (Gen. 7:18-24).
The ark grounds on one of the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth
day of the seventh month, or one hundred and fifty days after the Deluge
began (Gen. 8:1-4).
Tops of the mountains visible on the first day of the tenth month (Gen.
Raven and dove sent out forty days after this (Gen. 8:6-9).
Dove again sent out seven days afterwards; and in the evening she returns
with an olive leaf in her mouth (Gen. 8:10, 11).
Dove sent out the third time after an interval of other seven days,
and returns no more (Gen. 8:12).
The ground becomes dry on the first day of the first month of the new
year (Gen. 8:13).
Noah leaves the ark on the twenty-seventh day of the second month (Gen.
The historical truth of the narrative of the Flood is established by
the references made to it by our Lord (Matt. 24:37; comp. Luke 17:26).
Peter speaks of it also (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5). In Isa. 54:9 the Flood
is referred to as "the waters of Noah." The Biblical narrative clearly
shows that so far as the human race was concerned the Deluge was universal;
that it swept away all men living except Noah and his family, who were
preserved in the ark; and that the present human race is descended from
those who were thus preserved.
Traditions of the Deluge are found among all the great divisions of
the human family; and these traditions, taken as a whole, wonderfully
agree with the Biblical narrative, and agree with it in such a way as
to lead to the conclusion that the Biblical is the authentic narrative,
of which all these traditions are more or less corrupted versions. The
most remarkable of these traditions is that recorded on tablets prepared
by order of Assur-bani-pal, the king of Assyria. These were, however,
copies of older records which belonged to somewhere about B.C. 2000, and
which formed part of the priestly library at Erech (q.v.), "the ineradicable
remembrance of a real and terrible event." (See NOAH; CHALDEA.)
Demas - a companion and fellow-labourer
of Paul during his first imprisonment at Rome (Philemon 1:24; Col. 4:14).
It appears, however, that the love of the world afterwards mastered him,
and he deserted the apostle (2 Tim. 4:10).
Demetrius - (1.) A silversmith at Ephesus,
whose chief occupation was to make "silver shrines for Diana" (q.v.), Acts
19:24,i.e., models either of the temple of Diana or of the statue of the
goddess. This trade brought to him and his fellow-craftsmen "no small gain,"
for these shrines found a ready sale among the countless thousands who came
to this temple from all parts of Asia Minor. This traffic was greatly endangered
by the progress of the gospel, and hence Demetrius excited the tradesmen
employed in the manufacture of these shrines, and caused so great a tumult
that "the whole city was filled with confusion."
(2.) A Christian who is spoken of as having "a good report of all men,
and of the truth itself" (3 John 1:12).
Demon - See DAEMON.
Den - a lair of wild beasts (Ps. 10:9; 104:22;
Job 37:8); the hole of a venomous reptile (Isa. 11:8); a recess for secrecy
"in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb. 11:38); a resort of thieves (Matt.
21:13; Mark 11:17). Daniel was cast into "the den of lions" (Dan. 6:16,
17). Some recent discoveries among the ruins of Babylon have brought to
light the fact that the practice of punishing offenders against the law
by throwing them into a den of lions was common.
Deputy - in 1 Kings 22:47, means a prefect;
one set over others. The same Hebrew word is rendered "officer;" i.e., chief
of the commissariat appointed by Solomon (1 Kings 4:5, etc.).
In Esther 8:9; 9:3 (R.V., "governor") it denotes a Persian prefect "on
this side" i.e., in the region west of the Euphrates. It is the modern
In Acts 13:7, 8, 12; 18:12, it denotes a proconsul; i.e., the governor
of a Roman province holding his appointment from the senate. The Roman
provinces were of two kinds, (1) senatorial and (2) imperial. The appointment
of a governor to the former was in the hands of the senate, and he bore
the title of proconsul (Gr. anthupatos). The appointment of a governor
to the latter was in the hands of the emperor, and he bore the title of
propraetor (Gr. antistrategos).
Derbe - a small town on the eastern part
of the upland plain of Lycaonia, about 20 miles from Lystra. Paul passed
through Derbe on his route from Cilicia to Iconium, on his second missionary
journey (Acts 16:1), and probably also on his third journey (18:23; 19:1).
On his first journey (14:20, 21) he came to Derbe from the other side; i.e.,
from Iconium. It was the native place of Gaius, one of Paul's companions
(20:4). He did not here suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:11).
Desert - (1.) Heb. midbar, "pasture-ground;"
an open tract for pasturage; a common (Joel 2:22). The "backside of the
desert" (Ex. 3:1) is the west of the desert, the region behind a man, as
the east is the region in front. The same Hebrew word is rendered "wildernes,"
and is used of the country lying between Egypt and Palestine (Gen. 21:14,
21; Ex. 4:27; 19:2; Josh. 1:4), the wilderness of the wanderings. It was
a grazing tract, where the flocks and herds of the Israelites found pasturage
during the whole of their journey to the Promised Land.
The same Hebrew word is used also to denote the wilderness of Arabia,
which in winter and early spring supplies good pasturage to the flocks
of the nomad tribes than roam over it (1 Kings 9:18).
The wilderness of Judah is the mountainous region along the western
shore of the Dead Sea, where David fed his father's flocks (1 Sam. 17:28;
26:2). Thus in both of these instances the word denotes a country without
settled inhabitants and without streams of water, but having good pasturage
for cattle; a country of wandering tribes, as distinguished from that
of a settled people (Isa. 35:1; 50:2; Jer. 4:11). Such, also, is the meaning
of the word "wilderness" in Matt. 3:3; 15:33; Luke 15:4.
(2.) The translation of the Hebrew Aribah', "an arid tract" (Isa.
35:1, 6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3, etc.). The name Arabah is specially applied
to the deep valley of the Jordan (the Ghor of the Arabs), which extends
from the lake of Tiberias to the Elanitic gulf. While midbar denotes
properly a pastoral region, arabah denotes a wilderness. It is
also translated "plains;" as "the plains of Jericho" (Josh. 5:10; 2 Kings
25:5), "the plains of Moab" (Num. 22:1; Deut. 34:1, 8), "the plains of
the wilderness" (2 Sam. 17:16).
(3.) In the Revised Version of Num. 21:20 the Hebrew word jeshimon
is properly rendered "desert," meaning the waste tracts on both shores
of the Dead Sea. This word is also rendered "desert" in Ps. 78:40; 106:14;
Isa. 43:19, 20. It denotes a greater extent of uncultivated country than
the other words so rendered. It is especially applied to the desert of
the peninsula of Arabia (Num. 21:20; 23:28), the most terrible of all
the deserts with which the Israelites were acquainted. It is called "the
desert" in Ex. 23:31; Deut. 11:24. (See JESHIMON.)
(4.) A dry place; hence a desolation (Ps. 9:6), desolate (Lev. 26:34);
the rendering of the Hebrew word horbah'. It is rendered "desert"
only in Ps. 102:6, Isa. 48:21, and Ezek. 13:4, where it means the wilderness
(5.) This word is the symbol of the Jewish church when they had forsaken
God (Isa. 40:3). Nations destitute of the knowledge of God are called
a "wilderness" (32:15, midbar). It is a symbol of temptation, solitude,
and persecution (Isa. 27:10, midbar_; 33:9, _arabah).
Desire of all nations - (Hag. 2:7), usually
interpreted as a title of the Messiah. The Revised Version, however, more
correctly renders "the desirable things of all nations;" i.e., the choicest
treasures of the Gentiles shall be consecrated to the Lord.
Desolation, Abomination of - (Matt.
24:15; Mark 13:14; comp. Luke 21:20), is interpreted of the eagles, the
standards of the Roman army, which were an abomination to the Jews. These
standards, rising over the site of the temple, were a sign that the holy
place had fallen under the idolatrous Romans. The references are to Dan.
9:27. (See ABOMINATION.)
Destroyer - (Ex. 12:23), the agent employed
in the killing of the first-born; the destroying angel or messenger of God.
(Comp. 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Sam. 24:15, 16; Ps. 78:49; Acts 12:23.)
Destruction - in Job 26:6, 28:22 (Heb. abaddon)
is sheol, the realm of the dead.
Destruction, City of - (Isa. 19:18; Heb.
Ir-ha-Heres, "city of overthrow," because of the evidence it would present
of the overthrow of heathenism), the ideal title of On or Heliopolis (q.v.).
Deuteronomy - In all the Hebrew manuscripts
the Pentateuch (q.v.) forms one roll or volume divided into larger and smaller
sections called parshioth_ and _sedarim. It is not easy to say when
it was divided into five books. This was probably first done by the Greek
translators of the book, whom the Vulgate follows. The fifth of these books
was called by the Greeks Deuteronomion, i.e., the second law, hence our
name Deuteronomy, or a second statement of the laws already promulgated.
The Jews designated the book by the two first Hebrew words that occur, _'Elle
haddabharim_, i.e., "These are the words." They divided it into eleven parshioth.
In the English Bible it contains thirty-four chapters.
It consists chiefly of three discourses delivered by Moses a short time
before his death. They were spoken to all Israel in the plains of Moab,
in the eleventh month of the last year of their wanderings.
The first discourse (1-4:40) recapitulates the chief events of the last
forty years in the wilderness, with earnest exhortations to obedience
to the divine ordinances, and warnings against the danger of forsaking
the God of their fathers.
The seond discourse (5-26:19) is in effect the body of the whole book.
The first address is introductory to it. It contains practically a recapitulation
of the law already given by God at Mount Sinai, together with many admonitions
and injunctions as to the course of conduct they were to follow when they
were settled in Canaan.
The concluding discourse (ch. 27-30) relates almost wholly to the solemn
sanctions of the law, the blessings to the obedient, and the curse that
would fall on the rebellious. He solemnly adjures them to adhere faithfully
to the covenant God had made with them, and so secure for themselves and
their posterity the promised blessings.
These addresses to the people are followed by what may be called three
appendices, namely (1), a song which God had commanded Moses to write
(32:1-47); (2) the blessings he pronounced on the separate tribes (ch.
33); and (3) the story of his death (32:48-52) and burial (ch. 34), written
by some other hand, probably that of Joshua.
These farewell addresses of Moses to the tribes of Israel he had so
long led in the wilderness "glow in each line with the emotions of a great
leader recounting to his contemporaries the marvellous story of their
common experience. The enthusiasm they kindle, even to-day, though obscured
by translation, reveals their matchless adaptation to the circumstances
under which they were first spoken. Confidence for the future is evoked
by remembrance of the past. The same God who had done mighty works for
the tribes since the Exodus would cover their head in the day of battle
with the nations of Palestine, soon to be invaded. Their great lawgiver
stands before us, vigorous in his hoary age, stern in his abhorrence of
evil, earnest in his zeal for God, but mellowed in all relations to earth
by his nearness to heaven. The commanding wisdom of his enactments, the
dignity of his position as the founder of the nation and the first of
prophets, enforce his utterances. But he touches our deepest emotions
by the human tenderness that breathes in all his words. Standing on the
verge of life, he speaks as a father giving his parting counsels to those
he loves; willing to depart and be with God he has served so well, but
fondly lengthening out his last farewell to the dear ones of earth. No
book can compare with Deuteronomy in its mingled sublimity and tenderness."
Geikie, Hours, etc.
The whole style and method of this book, its tone and its peculiarities
of conception and expression, show that it must have come from one hand.
That the author was none other than Moses is established by the following
considerations: (1.) The uniform tradition both of the Jewish and the
Christian Church down to recent times. (2.) The book professes to have
been written by Moses (1:1; 29:1; 31:1, 9-11, etc.), and was obviously
intended to be accepted as his work. (3.) The incontrovertible testimony
of our Lord and his apostles (Matt. 19:7, 8; Mark 10:3, 4; John 5:46,
47; Acts 3:22; 7:37; Rom. 10:19) establishes the same conclusion. (4.)
The frequent references to it in the later books of the canon (Josh. 8:31;
1 Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2; 7:6; Neh.
8:1; Dan. 9:11, 13) prove its antiquity; and (5) the archaisms found in
it are in harmony with the age in which Moses lived. (6.) Its style and
allusions are also strikingly consistent with the circumstances and position
of Moses and of the people at that time.
This body of positive evidence cannot be set aside by the conjectures
and reasonings of modern critics, who contended that the book was somewhat
like a forgery, introduced among the Jews some seven or eight centuries
after the Exodus.
Devil - (Gr. diabolos), a slanderer, the
arch-enemy of man's spiritual interest (Job 1:6; Rev. 2:10; Zech. 3:1).
He is called also "the accuser of the brethen" (Rev. 12:10).
In Lev. 17:7 the word "devil" is the translation of the Hebrew sair,
meaning a "goat" or "satyr" (Isa. 13:21; 34:14), alluding to the wood-daemons,
the objects of idolatrous worship among the heathen.
In Deut. 32:17 and Ps. 106:37 it is the translation of Hebrew shed,
meaning lord, and idol, regarded by the Jews as a "demon," as the word
is rendered in the Revised Version.
In the narratives of the Gospels regarding the "casting out of devils"
a different Greek word (daimon) is used. In the time of our Lord there
were frequent cases of demoniacal possession (Matt. 12:25-30; Mark 5:1-20;
Luke 4:35; 10:18, etc.).
Dew - "There is no dew properly so called
in Palestine, for there is no moisture in the hot summer air to be chilled
into dew-drops by the coldness of the night. From May till October rain
is unknown, the sun shining with unclouded brightness day after day. The
heat becomes intense, the ground hard, and vegetation would perish but for
the moist west winds that come each night from the sea. The bright skies
cause the heat of the day to radiate very quickly into space, so that the
nights are as cold as the day is the reverse, a peculiarity of climate from
which poor Jacob suffered thousands of years ago (Gen. 31:40). To this coldness
of the night air the indispensable watering of all plant-life is due. The
winds, loaded with moisture, are robbed of it as they pass over the land,
the cold air condensing it into drops of water, which fall in a gracious
rain of mist on every thirsty blade. In the morning the fog thus created
rests like a sea over the plains, and far up the sides of the hills, which
raise their heads above it like so many islands. At sunrise, however, the
scene speedily changes. By the kindling light the mist is transformed into
vast snow-white clouds, which presently break into separate masses and rise
up the mountain-sides, to disappear in the blue above, dissipated by the
increasing heat. These are 'the morning clouds and the early dew that go
away' of which Hosea (6:4; 13:3) speaks so touchingly" (Geikie's The Holy
Land, etc., i., p. 72). Dew is a source of great fertility (Gen. 27:28;
Deut. 33:13; Zech. 8:12), and its withdrawal is regarded as a curse from
God (2 Sam. 1:21; 1 Kings 17:1). It is the symbol of a multitude (2 Sam.
17:12; Ps. 110:3); and from its refreshing influence it is an emblem of
brotherly love and harmony (Ps. 133:3), and of rich spiritual blessings
Diadem - the tiara of a king (Ezek.
21:26; Isa. 28:5; 62:3); the turban (Job 29:14). In the New Testament
a careful distinction is drawn between the diadem as a badge of royalty
(Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 19:12) and the crown as a mark of distinction in private
life. It is not known what the ancient Jewish "diadem" was. It was the
mark of Oriental sovereigns. (See CROWN.)
Dial - for the measurement of time, only
once mentioned in the Bible, erected by Ahaz (2 Kings 20:11; Isa. 38:8).
The Hebrew word (ma'aloth) is rendered "steps" in Ex. 20:26, 1 Kings 10:19,
and "degrees" in 2 Kings 20:9, 10, 11. The ma'aloth was probably
stairs on which the shadow of a column or obelisk placed on the top fell.
The shadow would cover a greater or smaller number of steps, according as
the sun was low or high.
Probably the sun-dial was a Babylonian invention. Daniel at Babylon
(Dan. 3:6) is the first to make mention of the "hour."
Diamond - (1.) A precious gem (Heb. yahalom',
in allusion to its hardness), otherwise unknown, the sixth, i.e., the third
in the second row, in the breastplate of the high priest, with the name
of Naphtali engraven on it (Ex. 28:18; 39:11; R.V. marg., "sardonyx.")
(2.) A precious stone (Heb. shamir', a sharp point) mentioned in Jer.
17:1. From its hardness it was used for cutting and perforating other
minerals. It is rendered "adamant" (q.v.) in Ezek. 3:9, Zech. 7:12. It
is the hardest and most valuable of precious stones.
Diana - so called by the Romans; called
Artemis by the Greeks, the "great" goddess worshipped among heathen nations
under various modifications. Her most noted temple was that at Ephesus.
It was built outside the city walls, and was one of the seven wonders of
the ancient world. "First and last it was the work of 220 years; built of
shining marble; 342 feet long by 164 feet broad; supported by a forest of
columns, each 56 feet high; a sacred museum of masterpieces of sculpture
and painting. At the centre, hidden by curtains, within a gorgeous shrine,
stood the very ancient image of the goddess, on wood or ebony reputed to
have fallen from the sky. Behind the shrine was a treasury, where, as in
'the safest bank in Asia,' nations and kings stored their most precious
things. The temple as St. Paul saw it subsisted till A.D. 262, when it was
ruined by the Goths" (Acts 19:23-41)., Moule on Ephesians: Introd.
Diblaim - doubled cakes, the mother of Gomer,
who was Hosea's wife (Hos. 1:3).
Diblathaim - two cakes, a city of Moab,
on the east of the Dead Sea (Num. 33:46; Jer. 48:22).
Dibon - pining; wasting. (1.) A city
in Moab (Num. 21:30); called also Dibon-gad (33:45), because it was built
by Gad and Dimon (Isa. 15:9). It has been identified with the modern Diban,
about 3 miles north of the Arnon and 12 miles east of the Dead Sea. (See
(2.) A city of the tribe of Judah, inhabited after the Captivity (Neh.
11:25); called also Dimonah (Josh. 15:22). It is probably the modern ed-Dheib.
Didymus - (Gr. twin = Heb. Thomas, q.v.),
John 11:16; 20:24; 21:2.
Dimnah - dunghill, a city of Zebulun given
to the Merarite Levites (Josh. 21:35). In 1 Chr. 6:77 the name "Rimmon"
Dinah - judged; vindicated, daughter of
Jacob by Leah, and sister of Simeon and Levi (Gen. 30:21). She was seduced
by Shechem, the son of Hamor, the Hivite chief, when Jacob's camp was in
the neighbourhood of Shechem. This led to the terrible revenge of Simeon
and Levi in putting the Shechemites to death (Gen. 34). Jacob makes frequent
reference to this deed of blood with abhorrence and regret (Gen. 34:30;
49:5-7). She is mentioned among the rest of Jacob's family that went down
into Egypt (Gen. 46:8, 15).
Dine - (Gen. 43:16). It was the custom in
Egypt to dine at noon. But it is probable that the Egyptians took their
principal meal in the evening, as was the general custom in the East (Luke
Dinhabah - robbers' den, an Edomitish city,
the capital of king Bela (Gen. 36:32). It is probably the modern Dibdiba,
a little north-east of Petra.
Dionysius - the Areopagite, one of Paul's
converts at Athens (Acts 17:34).
Diotrephes - Jove-nourished, rebuked by
John for his pride (3 John 1:9). He was a Judaizer, prating against John
and his fellow-labourers "with malicious words" (7).
Disciple - a scholar, sometimes applied
to the followers of John the Baptist (Matt. 9:14), and of the Pharisees
(22:16), but principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ
is one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes
his spirit, and (4) imitates his example (Matt. 10:24; Luke 14:26, 27, 33;
Dish - for eating from (2 Kings 21:13).
Judas dipped his hand with a "sop" or piece of bread in the same dish with
our Lord, thereby indicating friendly intimacy (Matt. 26:23). The "lordly
dish" in Judg. 5:25 was probably the shallow drinking cup, usually of brass.
In Judg. 6:38 the same Hebrew word is rendered "bowl."
The dishes of the tabernacle were made of pure gold (Ex. 25:29; 37:16).
Dishan - antelope, the youngest son of Seir
the Horite, head of one of the tribes of Idumaea (Gen. 36:21, 28, 30).
Dispensation - (Gr. oikonomia, "management,"
"economy"). (1.) The method or scheme according to which God carries out
his purposes towards men is called a dispensation. There are usually reckoned
three dispensations, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic or Jewish, and the Christian.
(See COVENANT.) These were so many stages in God's unfolding of his purpose
of grace toward men. The word is not found with this meaning in Scripture.
(2.) A commission to preach the gospel (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2;
Dispensations of Providence are providential events which affect men
either in the way of mercy or of judgement.
Dispersion - (Gr. diaspora, "scattered,"
James 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1) of the Jews. At various times, and from the operation
of divers causes, the Jews were separated and scattered into foreign countries
"to the outmost parts of heaven" (Deut. 30:4).
(1.) Many were dispersed over Assyria, Media, Babylonia, and Persia,
descendants of those who had been transported thither by the Exile. The
ten tribes, after existing as a separate kingdom for two hundred and fifty-five
years, were carried captive (B.C. 721) by Shalmaneser (or Sargon), king
of Assyria. They never returned to their own land as a distinct people,
although many individuals from among these tribes, there can be no doubt,
joined with the bands that returned from Babylon on the proclamation of
(2.) Many Jews migrated to Egypt and took up their abode there. This
migration began in the days of Solomon (2 Kings 18:21, 24; Isa. 30:7).
Alexander the Great placed a large number of Jews in Alexandria, which
he had founded, and conferred on them equal rights with the Egyptians.
Ptolemy Philadelphus, it is said, caused the Jewish Scriptures to be translated
into Greek (the work began B.C. 284), for the use of the Alexandrian Jews.
The Jews in Egypt continued for many ages to exercise a powerful influence
on the public interests of that country. From Egypt they spread along
the coast of Africa to Cyrene (Acts 2:10) and to Ethiopia (8:27).
(3.) After the time of Seleucus Nicator (B.C. 280), one of the captains
of Alexander the Great, large numbers of Jews migrated into Syria, where
they enjoyed equal rights with the Macedonians. From Syria they found
their way into Asia Minor. Antiochus the Great, king of Syria and Asia,
removed 3,000 families of Jews from Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and planted
them in Phrygia and Lydia.
(4.) From Asia Minor many Jews moved into Greece and Macedonia, chiefly
for purposes of commerce. In the apostles' time they were found in considerable
numbers in all the principal cities.
From the time of Pompey the Great (B.C. 63) numbers of Jews from Palestine
and Greece went to Rome, where they had a separate quarter of the city
assigned to them. Here they enjoyed considerable freedom.
Thus were the Jews everywhere scattered abroad. This, in the overruling
providence of God, ultimately contributed in a great degree toward opening
the way for the spread of the gospel into all lands.
Dispersion, from the plain of Shinar. This was occasioned by the confusion
of tongues at Babel (Gen. 11:9). They were scattered abroad "every one
after his tongue, after their families, in their nations" (Gen. 10:5,
The tenth chapter of Genesis gives us an account of the principal nations
of the earth in their migrations from the plain of Shinar, which was their
common residence after the Flood. In general, it may be said that the
descendants of Japheth were scattered over the north, those of Shem over
the central regions, and those of Ham over the extreme south. The following
table shows how the different families were dispersed:
| - Japheth | - Gomer | Cimmerians, Armenians | - Magog | Caucasians,
Scythians | - Madal | Medes and Persian tribes | - Javan | - Elishah |
Greeks | - Tarshish | Etruscans, Romans | - Chittim | Cyprians, Macedonians
| - Dodanim | Rhodians | - Tubal | Tibareni, Tartars | - Mechech | Moschi,
Muscovites | - Tiras | Thracians | | - Shem | - Elam | Persian tribes
| - Asshur | Assyrian | - Arphaxad | - Abraham | - Isaac | - Jacob | Hebrews
| - Esau | Edomites | - Ishmael | Mingled with Arab tribes | - Lud | Lydians
| - Aram | Syrians | | - Ham | - Cush | Ethiopans | - Mizrain | Egyptians
| - Phut | Lybians, Mauritanians | - Canaan | Canaanites, Phoenicians
Distaff - (Heb. pelek, a "circle"), the
instrument used for twisting threads by a whirl (Prov. 31:19).
Divination - of false prophets (Deut. 18:10,
14; Micah 3:6, 7, 11), of necromancers (1 Sam. 28:8), of the Philistine
priests and diviners (1 Sam. 6:2), of Balaam (Josh. 13:22). Three kinds
of divination are mentioned in Ezek. 21:21, by arrows, consulting with images
(the teraphim), and by examining the entrails of animals sacrificed. The
practice of this art seems to have been encouraged in ancient Egypt. Diviners
also abounded among the aborigines of Canaan and the Philistines (Isa. 2:6;
1 Sam. 28). At a later period multitudes of magicians poured from Chaldea
and Arabia into the land of Israel, and pursued their occupations (Isa.
8:19; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6). This superstition widely spread, and in
the time of the apostles there were "vagabond Jews, exorcists" (Acts 19:13),
and men like Simon Magus (Acts 8:9), Bar-jesus (13:6, 8), and other jugglers
and impostors (19:19; 2 Tim. 3:13). Every species and degree of this superstition
was strictly forbidden by the law of Moses (Ex. 22:18; Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:27;
Deut. 18:10, 11).
But beyond these various forms of superstition, there are instances
of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God was pleased to
make known his will.
(1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to in matters
of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will (Josh. 7:13). The
land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num. 26:55, 56); Achan's guilt was
detected (Josh. 7:16-19), Saul was elected king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21), and
Matthias chosen to the apostleship, by the solem lot (Acts 1:26). It was
thus also that the scape-goat was determined (Lev. 16:8-10).
(2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen. 20:6; Deut. 13:1, 3; Judg.
7:13, 15; Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22). This is illustrated in the history
of Joseph (Gen. 41:25-32) and of Daniel (2:27; 4:19-28).
(3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and
Thummim (Num. 27:21), and by the ephod.
(4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouch-safe direct vocal communications
to men (Deut. 34:10; Ex. 3:4; 4:3; Deut. 4:14, 15; 1 Kings 19:12). He
also communed with men from above the mercy-seat (Ex. 25:22), and at the
door of the tabernacle (Ex. 29:42, 43).
(5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave intimations
of his will (2 Kings 13:17; Jer. 51:63, 64).
Divorce - The dissolution of the marriage
tie was regulated by the Mosaic law (Deut. 24:1-4). The Jews, after the
Captivity, were reguired to dismiss the foreign women they had married contrary
to the law (Ezra 10:11-19). Christ limited the permission of divorce to
the single case of adultery. It seems that it was not uncommon for the Jews
at that time to dissolve the union on very slight pretences (Matt. 5:31,
32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18). These precepts given by Christ regulate
the law of divorce in the Christian Church.
Dizahab - region of gold, a place in the
desert of Sinai, on the western shore of the Elanitic gulf (Deut. 1:1).
It is now called Dehab.
Doctor - (Luke 2:46; 5:17; Acts 5:34), a
teacher. The Jewish doctors taught and disputed in synagogues, or wherever
they could find an audience. Their disciples were allowed to propose to
them questions. They assumed the office without any appointment to it. The
doctors of the law were principally of the sect of the Pharisees. Schools
were established after the destruction of Jerusalem at Babylon and Tiberias,
in which academical degrees were conferred on those who passed a certain
examination. Those of the school of Tiberias were called by the title "rabbi,"
and those of Babylon by that of "master."
Dodai - loving, one of David's captains
(1 Chr. 27:4). (See DODO.)
Dodanim - leaders, a race descended from
Javan (Gen. 10:4). They are known in profane history as the Dardani, originally
inhabiting Illyricum. They were a semi-Pelasgic race, and in the ethnographical
table (Gen. 10) they are grouped with the Chittim (q.v.). In 1 Chr. 1:7,
they are called Rodanim. The LXX. and the Samaritan Version also read Rhodii,
whence some have concluded that the Rhodians, the inhabitants of the island
of Rhodes, are meant.
Dodo - amatory; loving. (1.) A descendant
of Issachar (Judg. 10:1).
(2.) An Ahohite, father of Eleazar, who was one of David's three heroes
(2 Sam. 23:9; 1 Chr. 11:12). He was the same with Dodai mentioned in 1
(3.) A Bethlehemite, and father of Elhanan, who was one of David's thirty
heroes (2 Sam. 23:24).
Doeg - fearful, an Edomite, the chief overseer
of Saul's flocks (1 Sam. 21:7). At the command of Saul he slew the high
priest Ahimelech (q.v.) at Nob, together with all the priests to the number
of eighty-five persons. (Comp. Ps. 52, title.)
Dog - frequently mentioned both in the Old
and New Testaments. Dogs were used by the Hebrews as a watch for their houses
(Isa. 56:10), and for guarding their flocks (Job 30:1). There were also
then as now troops of semi-wild dogs that wandered about devouring dead
bodies and the offal of the streets (1 Kings 14:11; 16:4; 21:19, 23; 22:38;
Ps. 59:6, 14).
As the dog was an unclean animal, the terms "dog," "dog's head," "dead
dog," were used as terms of reproach or of humiliation (1 Sam. 24:14;
2 Sam. 3:8; 9:8; 16:9). Paul calls false apostles "dogs" (Phil. 3:2).
Those who are shut out of the kingdom of heaven are also so designated
(Rev. 22:15). Persecutors are called "dogs" (Ps. 22:16). Hazael's words,
"Thy servant which is but a dog" (2 Kings 8:13), are spoken in mock humility=impossible
that one so contemptible as he should attain to such power.
Doleful creatures - (occurring only Isa.
13:21. Heb. ochim, i.e., "shrieks;" hence "howling animals"), a general
name for screech owls (howlets), which occupy the desolate palaces of Babylon.
Some render the word "hyaenas."
Door-keeper - This word is used in Ps. 84:10
(R.V. marg., "stand at the threshold of," etc.), but there it signifies
properly "sitting at the threshold in the house of God." The psalmist means
that he would rather stand at the door of God's house and merely look in,
than dwell in houses where iniquity prevailed.
Persons were appointed to keep the street door leading into the interior
of the house (John 18:16, 17; Acts 12:13). Sometimes females held this
Door-posts - The Jews were commanded to
write the divine name on the posts (mezuzoth') of their doors (Deut. 6:9).
The Jews, misunderstanding this injunction, adopted the custom of writing
on a slip of parchment these verses (Deut. 6:4-9, and 11:13-21), which they
enclosed in a reed or cylinder and fixed on the right-hand door-post of
every room in the house.
Doors - moved on pivots of wood fastened
in sockets above and below (Prov. 26:14). They were fastened by a lock (Judg.
3:23, 25; Cant. 5:5) or by a bar (Judg. 16:3; Job 38:10). In the interior
of Oriental houses, curtains were frequently used instead of doors.
The entrances of the tabernacle had curtains (Ex. 26:31-33, 36). The
"valley of Achor" is called a "door of hope," because immediately after
the execution of Achan the Lord said to Joshua, "Fear not," and from that
time Joshua went forward in a career of uninterrupted conquest. Paul speaks
of a "door opened" for the spread of the gospel (1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 2:12;
Col. 4:3). Our Lord says of himself, "I am the door" (John 10:9). John
(Rev. 4:1) speaks of a "door opened in heaven."
Dophkah - knocking, an encampment of the
Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:12). It was in the desert of Sin,
on the eastern shore of the western arm of the Red Sea, somewhere in the
Dor - dwelling, the Dora of the Romans,
an ancient royal city of the Canaanites (Josh. 11:1, 2; 12:23). It was the
most southern settlement of the Phoenicians on the coast of Syria. The original
inhabitants seem never to have been expelled, although they were made tributary
by David. It was one of Solomon's commissariat districts (Judg. 1:27; 1
Kings 4:11). It has been identified with Tantura (so named from the supposed
resemblance of its tower to a tantur, i.e., "a horn"). This tower fell in
1895, and nothing remains but debris and foundation walls, the remains of
an old Crusading fortress. It is about 8 miles north of Caesarea, "a sad
and sickly hamlet of wretched huts on a naked sea-beach."
Dorcas - a female antelope, or gazelle,
a pious Christian widow at Joppa whom Peter restored to life (Acts 9:36-41).
She was a Hellenistic Jewess, called Tabitha by the Jews and Dorcas by the
Dothan - two wells, a famous pasture-ground
where Joseph found his brethren watching their flocks. Here, at the suggestion
of Judah, they sold him to the Ishmaelite merchants (Gen. 37:17). It is
mentioned on monuments in B.C. 1600.
It was the residence of Elisha (2 Kings 6:13), and the scene of a remarkable
vision of chariots and horses of fire surrounding the mountain on which
the city stood. It is identified with the modern Tell-Dothan, on the south
side of the plain of Jezreel, about 12 miles north of Samaria, among the
hills of Gilboa. The "two wells" are still in existence, one of which
bears the name of the "pit of Joseph" (Jubb Yusuf).
Dough - (batsek, meaning "swelling," i.e.,
in fermentation). The dough the Israelites had prepared for baking was carried
away by them out of Egypt in their kneading-troughs (Ex. 12:34, 39). In
the process of baking, the dough had to be turned (Hos. 7:8).
Dove - In their wild state doves generally
build their nests in the clefts of rocks, but when domesticated "dove-cots"
are prepared for them (Cant. 2:14; Jer. 48:28; Isa. 60:8). The dove was
placed on the standards of the Assyrians and Babylonians in honour, it is
supposed, of Semiramis (Jer. 25:38; Vulg., "fierceness of the dove;" comp.
Jer. 46:16; 50:16). Doves and turtle-doves were the only birds that could
be offered in sacrifice, as they were clean according to the Mosaic law
(Ge. 15:9; Lev. 5:7; 12:6; Luke 2:24). The dove was the harbinger of peace
to Noah (Gen. 8:8, 10). It is often mentioned as the emblem of purity (Ps.
68:13). It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2; Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10;
Luke 3:22; John 1:32); also of tender and devoted affection (Cant. 1:15;
2:14). David in his distress wished that he had the wings of a dove, that
he might fly away and be at rest (Ps. 55:6-8). There is a species of dove
found at Damascus "whose feathers, all except the wings, are literally as
yellow as gold" (68:13).
Dove's dung - (2 Kings 6:25) has been generally
understood literally. There are instances in history of the dung of pigeons
being actually used as food during a famine. Compare also the language of
Rabshakeh to the Jews (2 Kings 18:27; Isa. 36:12). This name, however, is
applied by the Arabs to different vegetable substances, and there is room
for the opinion of those who think that some such substance is here referred
to, as, e.g., the seeds of a kind of millet, or a very inferior kind of
pulse, or the root of the ornithogalum, i.e., bird-milk, the star-of-Bethlehem.
Dowry - (mohar; i.e., price paid for a wife,
Gen. 34:12; Ex. 22:17; 1 Sam. 18:25), a nuptial present; some gift, as a
sum of money, which the bridegroom offers to the father of his bride as
a satisfaction before he can receive her. Jacob had no dowry to give for
his wife, but he gave his services (Gen. 29:18; 30:20; 34:12).
Dragon - (1.) Heb. tannim, plural of tan.
The name of some unknown creature inhabiting desert places and ruins (Job
30:29; Ps. 44:19; Isa. 13:22; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 10:22; Micah 1:8; Mal.
1:3); probably, as translated in the Revised Version, the jackal (q.v.).
(2.) Heb. tannin. Some great sea monster (Jer. 51:34). In Isa. 51:9
it may denote the crocodile. In Gen. 1:21 (Heb. plural tanninim) the Authorized
Version renders "whales," and the Revised Version "sea monsters." It is
rendered "serpent" in Ex. 7:9. It is used figuratively in Ps. 74:13; Ezek.
In the New Testament the word "dragon" is found only in Rev. 12:3, 4,
7, 9, 16, 17, etc., and is there used metaphorically of "Satan." (See
Dragon well - (Neh. 2:13), supposed by some
to be identical with the Pool of Gihon.
Dram - The Authorized Version understood
the word 'adarkonim (1 Chr. 29:7; Ezra 8:27), and the similar word darkomnim
(Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:70), as equivalent to the Greek silver coin the drachma.
But the Revised Version rightly regards it as the Greek dareikos, a Persian
gold coin (the daric) of the value of about 1 pound, 2s., which was first
struck by Darius, the son of Hystaspes, and was current in Western Asia
long after the fall of the Persian empire. (See DARIC.)
Draught-house - (2 Kings 10:27). Jehu ordered
the temple of Baal to be destroyed, and the place to be converted to the
vile use of receiving offal or ordure. (Comp. Matt. 15:17.)
Drawer of water - (Deut. 29:11; Josh. 9:21,
23), a servile employment to which the Gibeonites were condemned.
Dream - God has frequently made use of dreams
in communicating his will to men. The most remarkable instances of this
are recorded in the history of Jacob (Gen. 28:12; 31:10), Laban (31:24),
Joseph (37:9-11), Gideon (Judg. 7), and Solomon (1 Kings 3:5). Other significant
dreams are also recorded, such as those of Abimelech (Gen. 20:3-7), Pharaoh's
chief butler and baker (40:5), Pharaoh (41:1-8), the Midianites (Judg. 7:13),
Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:1; 4:10, 18), the wise men from the east (Matt. 2:12),
and Pilate's wife (27:19).
To Joseph "the Lord appeared in a dream," and gave him instructions
regarding the infant Jesus (Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19). In a vision of
the night a "man of Macedonia" stood before Paul and said, "Come over
into Macedonia and help us" (Acts 16:9; see also 18:9; 27:23).
Dredge - (Job 24:6). See CORN.
Dregs - (Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:17, 22), the
lees of wine which settle at the bottom of the vessel.
Dress - (1.) Materials used. The earliest
and simplest an apron of fig-leaves sewed together (Gen. 3:7); then skins
of animals (3:21). Elijah's dress was probably the skin of a sheep (2 Kings
1:8). The Hebrews were early acquainted with the art of weaving hair into
cloth (Ex. 26:7; 35:6), which formed the sackcloth of mourners. This was
the material of John the Baptist's robe (Matt. 3:4). Wool was also woven
into garments (Lev. 13:47; Deut. 22:11; Ezek. 34:3; Job 31:20; Prov. 27:26).
The Israelites probably learned the art of weaving linen when they were
in Egypt (1 Chr. 4:21). Fine linen was used in the vestments of the high
priest (Ex. 28:5), as well as by the rich (Gen. 41:42; Prov. 31:22; Luke
16:19). The use of mixed material, as wool and flax, was forbidden (Lev.
19:19; Deut. 22:11).
(2.) Colour. The prevailing colour was the natural white of the material
used, which was sometimes rendered purer by the fuller's art (Ps. 104:1,
2; Isa. 63:3; Mark 9:3). The Hebrews were acquainted with the art of dyeing
(Gen. 37:3, 23). Various modes of ornamentation were adopted in the process
of weaving (Ex. 28:6; 26:1, 31; 35:25), and by needle-work (Judg. 5:30;
Ps. 45:13). Dyed robes were imported from foreign countries, particularly
from Phoenicia (Zeph. 1:8). Purple and scarlet robes were the marks of
the wealthy (Luke 16:19; 2 Sam. 1:24).
(3.) Form. The robes of men and women were not very much different in
form from each other.
(a) The "coat" (kethoneth), of wool, cotton, or linen, was worn by both
sexes. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling in use and form our
shirt (John 19:23). It was kept close to the body by a girdle (John 21:7).
A person wearing this "coat" alone was described as naked (1 Sam. 19:24;
Isa. 20:2; 2 Kings 6:30; John 21:7); deprived of it he would be absolutely
(b) A linen cloth or wrapper (sadin) of fine linen, used somewhat as
a night-shirt (Mark 14:51). It is mentioned in Judg. 14:12, 13, and rendered
(c) An upper tunic (meil), longer than the "coat" (1 Sam. 2:19; 24:4;
28:14). In 1 Sam. 28:14 it is the mantle in which Samuel was enveloped;
in 1 Sam. 24:4 it is the "robe" under which Saul slept. The disciples
were forbidden to wear two "coats" (Matt. 10:10; Luke 9:3).
(d) The usual outer garment consisted of a piece of woollen cloth like
a Scotch plaid, either wrapped round the body or thrown over the shoulders
like a shawl, with the ends hanging down in front, or it might be thrown
over the head so as to conceal the face (2 Sam. 15:30; Esther 6:12). It
was confined to the waist by a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping
of the robe served as a pocket (2 Kings 4:39; Ps. 79:12; Hag. 2:12; Prov.
Female dress. The "coat" was common to both sexes (Cant. 5:3). But peculiar
to females were (1) the "veil" or "wimple," a kind of shawl (Ruth 3:15;
rendered "mantle," R.V., Isa. 3:22); (2) the "mantle," also a species
of shawl (Isa. 3:22); (3) a "veil," probably a light summer dress (Gen.
24:65); (4) a "stomacher," a holiday dress (Isa. 3:24). The outer garment
terminated in an ample fringe or border, which concealed the feet (Isa.
47:2; Jer. 13:22).
The dress of the Persians is described in Dan. 3:21.
The reference to the art of sewing are few, inasmuch as the garments
generally came forth from the loom ready for being worn, and all that
was required in the making of clothes devolved on the women of a family
(Prov. 31:22; Acts 9:39).
Extravagance in dress is referred to in Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 16:10; Zeph.
1:8 (R.V., "foreign apparel"); 1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:3. Rending the robes
was expressive of grief (Gen. 37:29, 34), fear (1 Kings 21:27), indignation
(2 Kings 5:7), or despair (Judg. 11:35; Esther 4:1).
Shaking the garments, or shaking the dust from off them, was a sign
of renunciation (Acts 18:6); wrapping them round the head, of awe (1 Kings
19:13) or grief (2 Sam. 15:30; casting them off, of excitement (Acts 22:23);
laying hold of them, of supplication (1 Sam. 15:27). In the case of travelling,
the outer garments were girded up (1 Kings 18:46). They were thrown aside
also when they would impede action (Mark 10:50; John 13:4; Acts 7:58).
Drink - The drinks of the Hebrews were water,
wine, "strong drink," and vinegar. Their drinking vessels were the cup,
goblet or "basin," the "cruse" or pitcher, and the saucer.
To drink water by measure (Ezek. 4:11), and to buy water to drink (Lam.
5:4), denote great scarcity. To drink blood means to be satiated with
The Jews carefully strained their drinks through a sieve, through fear
of violating the law of Lev. 11:20, 23, 41, 42. (See Matt. 23:24. "Strain
at" should be "strain out.")
Drink-offering - consisted of wine (Num.
15:5; Hos. 9:4) poured around the altar (Ex. 30:9). Joined with meat-offerings
(Num. 6:15, 17; 2 Kings 16:13; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:14), presented daily (Ex.
29:40), on the Sabbath (Num. 28:9), and on feast-days (28:14). One-fourth
of an hin of wine was required for one lamb, one-third for a ram, and one-half
for a bullock (Num. 15:5; 28:7, 14). "Drink offerings of blood" (Ps. 16:4)
is used in allusion to the heathen practice of mingling the blood of animals
sacrificed with wine or water, and pouring out the mixture in the worship
of the gods, and the idea conveyed is that the psalmist would not partake
of the abominations of the heathen.
Drink, strong - (Heb. shekar'), an intoxicating
liquor (Judg. 13:4; Luke 1:15; Isa. 5:11; Micah 2:11) distilled from corn,
honey, or dates. The effects of the use of strong drink are referred to
in Ps. 107:27; Isa. 24:20; 49:26; 51:17-22. Its use prohibited, Prov.
20:1. (See WINE.)
Dromedary - (Isa. 60:6), an African
or Arabian species of camel having only one hump, while the Bactrian camel
has two. It is distinguished from the camel only as a trained saddle-horse
is distinguished from a cart-horse. It is remarkable for its speed (Jer.
2:23). Camels are frequently spoken of in partriarchal times (Gen. 12:16;
24:10; 30:43; 31:17, etc.). They were used for carrying burdens (Gen.
37:25; Judg. 6:5), and for riding (Gen. 24:64). The hair of the camel
falls off of itself in spring, and is woven into coarse cloths and garments
(Matt. 3:4). (See CAMEL.)
Dropsy - mentioned only in Luke 14:2. The
man afflicted with it was cured by Christ on the Sabbath.
Dross - the impurities of silver separated
from the one in the process of melting (Prov. 25:4; 26:23; Ps. 119:119).
It is also used to denote the base metal itself, probably before it is smelted,
in Isa. 1:22, 25.
Drought - From the middle of May to
about the middle of August the land of Palestine is dry. It is then the
"drought of summer" (Gen. 31:40; Ps. 32:4), and the land suffers (Deut.
28:23: Ps. 102:4), vegetation being preserved only by the dews (Hag. 1:11).
Drown - (Ex. 15:4; Amos 8:8; Heb. 11:29).
Drowning was a mode of capital punishment in use among the Syrians, and
was known to the Jews in the time of our Lord. To this he alludes in Matt.
Drunk - The first case of intoxication on
record is that of Noah (Gen. 9:21). The sin of drunkenness is frequently
and strongly condemned (Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess.
5:7, 8). The sin of drinking to excess seems to have been not uncommon among
The word is used figuratively, when men are spoken of as being drunk
with sorrow, and with the wine of God's wrath (Isa. 63:6; Jer. 51:57;
Ezek. 23:33). To "add drunkenness to thirst" (Deut. 29:19, A.V.) is a
proverbial expression, rendered in the Revised Version "to destroy the
moist with the dry", i.e., the well-watered equally with the dry land,
meaning that the effect of such walking in the imagination of their own
hearts would be to destroy one and all.
Drusilla - third and youngest daughter of
Herod Agrippa I. (Acts 12:1-4, 20-23). Felix, the Roman procurator of Judea,
induced her to leave her husband, Azizus, the king of Emesa, and become
his wife. She was present with Felix when Paul reasoned of "righteousness,
temperance, and judgment to come" (Acts 24:24). She and her son perished
in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, A.D. 79.
Duke - derived from the Latin dux, meaning
"a leader;" Arabic, "a sheik." This word is used to denote the phylarch
or chief of a tribe (Gen. 36:15-43; Ex. 15:15; 1 Chr. 1:51-54).
Dulcimer - (Heb. sumphoniah), a musical
instrument mentioned in Dan. 3:5, 15, along with other instruments there
named, as sounded before the golden image. It was not a Jewish instrument.
In the margin of the Revised Version it is styled the "bag-pipe." Luther
translated it "lute," and Grotius the "crooked trumpet." It is probable
that it was introduced into Babylon by some Greek or Western-Asiatic musician.
Some Rabbinical commentators render it by "organ," the well-known instrument
composed of a series of pipes, others by "lyre." The most probable interpretation
is that it was a bag-pipe similar to the zampagna of Southern Europe.
Dumah - silence, (comp. Ps. 94:17), the
fourth son of Ishmael; also the tribe descended from him; and hence also
the region in Arabia which they inhabited (Gen. 25:14; 1 Chr. 1:30).
There was also a town of this name in Judah (Josh. 15:52), which has
been identified with ed-Domeh, about 10 miles southwest of Hebron. The
place mentioned in the "burden" of the prophet Isaiah (21:11) is Edom
Dumb - from natural infirmity (Ex. 4:11);
not knowing what to say (Prov. 31:8); unwillingness to speak (Ps. 39:9;
Lev. 10:3). Christ repeatedly restored the dumb (Matt. 9:32, 33; Luke 11:14;
Matt. 12:22) to the use of speech.
Dung - (1.) Used as manure (Luke 13:8);
collected outside the city walls (Neh. 2:13). Of sacrifices, burned outside
the camp (Ex. 29:14; Lev. 4:11; 8:17; Num. 19:5). To be "cast out as dung,"
a figurative expression (1 Kings 14:10; 2 Kings 9:37; Jer. 8:2; Ps. 18:42),
meaning to be rejected as unprofitable.
(2.) Used as fuel, a substitute for firewood, which was with difficulty
procured in Syria, Arabia, and Egypt (Ezek. 4:12-15), where cows' and
camels' dung is used to the present day for this purpose.
Dungeon - different from the ordinary prison
in being more severe as a place of punishment. Like the Roman inner prison
(Acts 16:24), it consisted of a deep cell or cistern (Jer. 38:6). To be
shut up in, a punishment common in Egypt (Gen. 39:20; 40:3; 41:10; 42:19).
It is not mentioned, however, in the law of Moses as a mode of punishment.
Under the later kings imprisonment was frequently used as a punishment (2
Chron. 16:10; Jer. 20:2; 32:2; 33:1; 37:15), and it was customary after
the Exile (Matt. 11:2; Luke 3:20; Acts 5:18, 21; Matt. 18:30).
Dung-gate - (Neh. 2:13), a gate of ancient
Jerusalem, on the south-west quarter. "The gate outside of which lay the
piles of sweepings and offscourings of the streets," in the valley of Tophet.
Dung-hill - to sit on a, was a sign of the
deepest dejection (1 Sam. 2:8; Ps. 113:7; Lam. 4:5).
Dura - the circle, the plain near Babylon
in which Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image, mentioned in Dan. 3:1. The
place still retains its ancient name. On one of its many mounds the pedestal
of what must have been a colossal statue has been found. It has been supposed
to be that of the golden image.
Dust - Storms of sand and dust sometimes
overtake Eastern travellers. They are very dreadful, many perishing under
them. Jehovah threatens to bring on the land of Israel, as a punishment
for forsaking him, a rain of "powder and dust" (Deut. 28:24).
To cast dust on the head was a sign of mourning (Josh. 7:6); and to
sit in dust, of extreme affliction (Isa. 47:1). "Dust" is used to denote
the grave (Job 7:21). "To shake off the dust from one's feet" against
another is to renounce all future intercourse with him (Matt. 10:14; Acts
13:51). To "lick the dust" is a sign of abject submission (Ps. 72:9);
and to throw dust at one is a sign of abhorrence (2 Sam. 16:13; comp.
Dwarf - a lean or emaciated person (Lev.
Dwell - Tents were in primitive times the
common dwellings of men. Houses were afterwards built, the walls of which
were frequently of mud (Job 24:16; Matt. 6:19, 20) or of sun-dried bricks.
God "dwells in light" (1 Tim. 6:16; 1 John 1:7), in heaven (Ps. 123:1),
in his church (Ps. 9:11; 1 John 4:12). Christ dwelt on earth in the days
of his humiliation (John 1:14). He now dwells in the hearts of his people
(Eph. 3:17-19). The Holy Spirit dwells in believers (1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Tim.
1:14). We are exhorted to "let the word of God dwell in us richly" (Col.
3:16; Ps. 119:11).
Dwell deep occurs only in Jer. 49:8, and refers to the custom of seeking
refuge from impending danger, in retiring to the recesses of rocks and
caverns, or to remote places in the desert.
Dwellings - The materials used in buildings
were commonly bricks, sometimes also stones (Lev. 14:40, 42), which were
held together by cement (Jer. 43:9) or bitumen (Gen. 11:3). The exterior
was usually whitewashed (Lev. 14:41; Ezek. 13:10; Matt. 23:27). The beams
were of sycamore (Isa. 9:10), or olive-wood, or cedar (1 Kings 7:2; Isa.
The form of Eastern dwellings differed in many respects from that of
dwellings in Western lands. The larger houses were built in a quadrangle
enclosing a court-yard (Luke 5:19; 2 Sam. 17:18; Neh. 8:16) surrounded
by galleries, which formed the guest-chamber or reception-room for visitors.
The flat roof, surrounded by a low parapet, was used for many domestic
and social purposes. It was reached by steps from the court. In connection
with it (2 Kings 23:12) was an upper room, used as a private chamber (2
Sam 18:33; Dan. 6:11), also as a bedroom (2 Kings 23:12), a sleeping apartment
for guests (2 Kings 4:10), and as a sick-chamber (1 Kings 17:19). The
doors, sometimes of stone, swung on morticed pivots, and were generally
fastened by wooden bolts. The houses of the more wealthy had a doorkeeper
or a female porter (John 18:16; Acts 12:13). The windows generally opened
into the courtyard, and were closed by a lattice (Judg. 5:28). The interior
rooms were set apart for the female portion of the household.
The furniture of the room (2 Kings 4:10) consisted of a couch furnished
with pillows (Amos 6:4; Ezek. 13:20); and besides this, chairs, a table
and lanterns or lamp-stands (2 Kings 4:10).