Emmor - an ass, Acts 7:16. (See HAMOR.)
Encamp - An encampment was the resting-place
for a longer or shorter period of an army or company of travellers (Ex.
13:20; 14:19; Josh. 10:5; 11:5).
The manner in which the Israelites encamped during their march through
the wilderness is described in Num. 2 and 3. The order of the encampment
(see CAMP) was preserved in the march (Num. 2:17), the signal for which
was the blast of two silver trumpets. Detailed regulations affecting the
camp for sanitary purposes are given (Lev. 4:11, 12; 6:11; 8:17; 10:4,
5; 13:46; 14:3; Num. 12:14, 15; 31:19; Deut. 23:10, 12).
Criminals were executed without the camp (Lev. 4:12; comp. John 19:17,
20), and there also the young bullock for a sin-offering was burnt (Lev.
24:14; comp. Heb. 13:12).
In the subsequent history of Israel frequent mention is made of their
encampments in the time of war (Judg. 7:18; 1 Sam. 13:2, 3, 16, 23; 17:3;
29:1; 30:9, 24). The temple was sometimes called "the camp of the Lord"
(2 Chr. 31:2, R.V.; comp. Ps. 78:28). The multitudes who flocked to David
are styled "a great host (i.e., "camp;" Heb. mahaneh), like the host of
God" (1 Chr. 12:22).
Enchantments - (1.) The rendering of Hebrew
latim_ or _lehatim, which means "something covered," "muffled up;"
secret arts, tricks (Ex. 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18), by which the Egyptian magicians
imposed on the credulity of Pharaoh.
(2.) The rendering of the Hebrew keshaphim, "muttered spells"
or "incantations," rendered "sorceries" in Isa. 47:9, 12, i.e., the using
of certain formulae under the belief that men could thus be bound.
(3.) Hebrew lehashim, "charming," as of serpents (Jer. 8:17;
comp. Ps. 58:5).
(4.) Hebrew nehashim, the enchantments or omens used by Balaam
(Num. 24:1); his endeavouring to gain omens favourable to his design.
(5.) Hebrew heber (Isa. 47:9, 12), "magical spells." All kinds
of enchantments were condemned by the Mosaic law (Lev. 19:26; Deut. 18:10-12).
End - in Heb. 13:7, is the rendering of
the unusual Greek word ekbasin, meaning "outcome", i.e., death. It
occurs only elsewhere in 1 Cor. 10:13, where it is rendered "escape."
Endor - fountain of Dor; i.e., "of the age",
a place in the territory of Issachar (Josh. 17:11) near the scene of the
great victory which was gained by Deborah and Barak over Sisera and Jabin
(comp. Ps. 83:9, 10). To Endor, Saul resorted to consult one reputed to
be a witch on the eve of his last engagement with the Philistines (1 Sam.
28:7). It is identified with the modern village of Endur, "a dirty hamlet
of some twenty houses, or rather huts, most of them falling to ruin," on
the northern slope of Little Hermon, about 7 miles from Jezreel.
En-eglaim - fountain of two calves, a place
mentioned only in Ezek. 47:10. Somewhere near the Dead Sea.
En-gannim - fountain of gardens. (1.) A
town in the plains of Judah (Josh. 15:34), north-west of Jerusalem, between
Zanoah and Tappuah. It is the modern Umm Jina.
(2.) A city on the border of Machar (Josh. 19:21), allotted to the Gershonite
Levites (21:29). It is identified with the modern Jenin, a large and prosperous
town of about 4,000 inhabitants, situated 15 miles south of Mount Tabor,
through which the road from Jezreel to Samaria and Jerusalem passes. When
Ahaziah, king of Judah, attempted to escape from Jehu, he "fled by the
way of the garden house" i.e., by way of En-gannim. Here he was overtaken
by Jehu and wounded in his chariot, and turned aside and fled to Megiddo,
a distance of about 20 miles, to die there.
Engedi - fountain of the kid, place in the
wilderness of Judah (Josh. 15:62), on the western shore of the Dead Sea
(Ezek. 47:10), and nearly equidistant from both extremities. To the wilderness
near this town David fled for fear of Saul (Josh. 15:62; 1 Sam. 23:29).
It was at first called Hazezon-tamar (Gen. 14:7), a city of the Amorites.
The vineyards of Engedi were celebrated in Solomon's time (Cant. 1:4).
It is the modern 'Ain Jidy. The "fountain" from which it derives its name
rises on the mountain side about 600 feet above the sea, and in its rapid
descent spreads luxuriance all around it. Along its banks the osher grows
abundantly. That shrub is thus described by Porter: "The stem is stout,
measuring sometimes nearly a foot in diameter, and the plant grows to
the height of 15 feet or more. It has a grayish bark and long oval leaves,
which when broken off discharge a milky fluid. The fruit resembles an
apple, and hangs in clusters of two or three. When ripe it is of a rich
yellow colour, but on being pressed it explodes like a puff-ball. It is
chiefly filled with air...This is the so-called 'apple of Sodom.'" Through
Samaria, etc. (See APPLE.)
Engines - (1.) Heb. hishalon i.e., "invention"
(as in Eccl. 7:29) contrivances indicating ingenuity. In 2 Chr. 26:15 it
refers to inventions for the purpose of propelling missiles from the walls
of a town, such as stones (the Roman balista) and arrows (the catapulta).
(2.) Heb. mechi kobollo, i.e., the beating of that which is in front
a battering-ram (Ezek. 26:9), the use of which was common among the Egyptians
and the Assyrians. Such an engine is mentioned in the reign of David (2
Engraver - Heb. harash (Ex. 35:35; 38:23)
means properly an artificer in wood, stone, or metal. The chief business
of the engraver was cutting names or devices on rings and seals and signets
(Ex. 28:11, 21, 36; Gen. 38:18).
En-hakkore - fountain of the crier, the
name of the spring in Lehi which burst forth in answer to Samson's prayer
when he was exhausted with the slaughter of the Philistines (Judg. 15:19).
It has been identified with the spring 'Ayun Kara, near Zoreah.
Enmity - deep-rooted hatred. "I will put
enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed" (Gen.
3:15). The friendship of the world is "enmity with God" (James 4:4; 1 John
2:15, 16). The "carnal mind" is "enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7). By the
abrogation of the Mosaic institutes the "enmity" between Jew and Gentile
is removed. They are reconciled, are "made one" (Eph. 2:15, 16).
Enoch - initiated. (1.) The eldest son of
Cain (Gen. 4:17), who built a city east of Eden in the land of Nod, and
called it "after the name of his son Enoch." This is the first "city" mentioned
(2.) The son of Jared, and father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:21; Luke 3:37).
His father was one hundred and sixty-two years old when he was born. After
the birth of Methuselah, Enoch "walked with God three hundred years" (Gen.
5:22-24), when he was translated without tasting death. His whole life
on earth was three hundred and sixty-five years. He was the "seventh from
Adam" (Jude 1:14), as distinguished from the son of Cain, the third from
Adam. He is spoken of in the catalogue of Old Testament worthies in the
Epistle to the Hebrews (11:5). When he was translated, only Adam, so far
as recorded, had as yet died a natural death, and Noah was not yet born.
Mention is made of Enoch's prophesying only in Jude 1:14.
Enos - man the son of Seth, and grandson
of Adam (Gen. 5:6-11; Luke 3:38). He lived nine hundred and five years.
In his time "men began to call upon the name of the Lord" (Gen. 4:26), meaning
either (1) then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord (marg.)
i.e., to distinguish themselves thereby from idolaters; or (2) then men
in some public and earnest way began to call upon the Lord, indicating a
time of spiritual revival.
En-rogel - fountain of the treaders;
i.e., "foot-fountain;" also called the "fullers' fountain," because fullers
here trod the clothes in water. It has been identified with the "fountain
of the virgin" (q.v.), the modern 'Ain Ummel-Daraj. Others identify it,
with perhaps some probability, with the Bir Eyub, to the south of the
Pool of Siloam, and below the junction of the valleys of Kidron and Hinnom.
It was at this fountain that Jonathan and Ahimaaz lay hid after the
flight of David (2 Sam. 17:17); and here also Adonijah held the feast
when he aspired to the throne of his father (1 Kings 1:9).
The Bir Eyub, or "Joab's well," "is a singular work of ancient enterprise.
The shaft sunk through the solid rock in the bed of the Kidron is 125
feet deep...The water is pure and entirely sweet, quite different from
that of Siloam; which proves that there is no connection between them."
Thomson's Land and the Book.
En-shemesh - fountain of the sun a spring
which formed one of the landmarks on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin
(Josh. 15:7; 18:17). It was between the "ascent of Adummim" and the spring
of En-rogel, and hence was on the east of Jerusalem and of the Mount of
Olives. It is the modern 'Ain-Haud i.e., the "well of the apostles" about
a mile east of Bethany, the only spring on the road to Jericho. The sun
shines on it the whole day long.
Ensign - (1.) Heb. 'oth, a military standard,
especially of a single tribe (Num. 2:2). Each separate tribe had its own
"sign" or "ensign."
(2.) Heb. nes, a lofty signal, as a column or high pole (Num. 21:8,
9); a standard or signal or flag placed on high mountains to point out
to the people a place of rendezvous on the irruption of an enemy (Isa.
5:26; 11:12; 18:3; 62:10; Jer. 4:6, 21; Ps. 60:4). This was an occasional
signal, and not a military standard. Elevation and conspicuity are implied
in the word.
(3.) The Hebrew word degel denotes the standard given to each
of the four divisions of the host of the Israelites at the Exodus (Num.
1:52; 2:2; 10:14). In Cant. 2:4 it is rendered "banner." We have no definite
information as to the nature of these military standards. (See BANNER.)
Entertain - Entertainments, "feasts," were
sometimes connected with a public festival (Deut. 16:11, 14), and accompanied
by offerings (1 Sam. 9:13), in token of alliances (Gen. 26:30); sometimes
in connection with domestic or social events, as at the weaning of children
(Gen. 21:8), at weddings (Gen. 29:22; John 2:1), on birth-days (Matt. 14:6),
at the time of sheep-shearing (2 Sam. 13:23), and of vintage (Judg. 9:27),
and at funerals (2 Sam. 3:35; Jer. 16:7).
The guests were invited by servants (Prov. 9:3; Matt. 22:3), who assigned
them their respective places (1 Sam. 9:22; Luke 14:8; Mark 12:39). Like
portions were sent by the master to each guest (1 Sam. 1:4; 2 Sam. 6:19),
except when special honour was intended, when the portion was increased
The Israelites were forbidden to attend heathenish sacrificial entertainments
(Ex. 34:15), because these were in honour of false gods, and because at
such feast they would be liable to partake of unclean flesh (1 Cor. 10:28).
In the entertainments common in apostolic times among the Gentiles were
frequent "revellings," against which Christians were warned (Rom. 13:13;
Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 4:3). (See BANQUET.)
Epaenetus - commendable, a Christian at
Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation (Rom. 16:5). He is spoken of as "the
first fruits of Achaia" (R.V., "of Asia", i.e., of proconsular Asia, which
is probably the correct reading). As being the first convert in that region,
he was peculiarly dear to the apostle. He calls him his "well beloved."
Epaphras - lovely, spoken of by Paul (Col.
1:7; 4:12) as "his dear fellow-servant," and "a faithful minister of Christ."
He was thus evidently with him at Rome when he wrote to the Colossians.
He was a distinguished disciple, and probably the founder of the Colossian
church. He is also mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon (1:23), where he
is called by Paul his "fellow-prisoner."
Epaphroditus - fair, graceful; belonging
to Aphrodite or Venus the messenger who came from Phillipi to the apostle
when he was a prisoner at Rome (Phil. 2:25-30; 4:10-18). Paul mentions him
in words of esteem and affection. On his return to Philippi he was the bearer
of Paul's letter to the church there.
Ephah - gloom. (1.) One of the five sons
of Midian, and grandson of Abraham (Gen. 25:4). The city of Ephah, to which
he gave his name, is mentioned Isa. 60:6, 7. This city, with its surrounding
territory, formed part of Midian, on the east shore of the Dead Sea. It
abounded in dromedaries and camels (Judg. 6:5).
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:46, a concubine of Caleb.
(3.) 1 Chr. 2:47, a descendant of Judah.
Ephah, a word of Egyptian origin, meaning measure; a grain measure containing
"three seahs or ten omers," and equivalent to the bath for liquids (Ex.
16:36; 1 Sam. 17:17; Zech. 5:6). The double ephah in Prov. 20:10 (marg.,
"an ephah and an ephah"), Deut. 25:14, means two ephahs, the one false
and the other just.
Epher - a calf. (1.) One of the sons of
Midian, who was Abraham's son by Keturah (Gen. 25:4).
(2.) The head of one of the families of trans-Jordanic Manasseh who
were carried captive by Tiglath-pileser (1 Chr. 5:24).
Ephes-dammim - boundary of blood, a place
in the tribe of Judah where the Philistines encamped when David fought with
Goliath (1 Sam. 17:1). It was probably so called as having been the scene
of frequent sanguinary conflicts between Israel and the Philistines. It
is called Pas-dammim (1 Chr. 11:13). It has been identified with the modern
Beit Fased, i.e., "house of bleeding", near Shochoh (q.v.).
Ephesians, Epistle to - was written by Paul
at Rome about the same time as that to the Colossians, which in many points
Contents of. The Epistle to the Colossians is mainly polemical, designed
to refute certain theosophic errors that had crept into the church there.
That to the Ephesians does not seem to have originated in any special
circumstances, but is simply a letter springing from Paul's love to the
church there, and indicative of his earnest desire that they should be
fully instructed in the profound doctrines of the gospel. It contains
(1) the salutation (1:1, 2); (2) a general description of the blessings
the gospel reveals, as to their source, means by which they are attained,
purpose for which they are bestowed, and their final result, with a fervent
prayer for the further spiritual enrichment of the Ephesians (1:3-2:10);
(3) "a record of that marked change in spiritual position which the Gentile
believers now possessed, ending with an account of the writer's selection
to and qualification for the apostolate of heathendom, a fact so considered
as to keep them from being dispirited, and to lead him to pray for enlarged
spiritual benefactions on his absent sympathizers" (2:12-3:21); (4) a
chapter on unity as undisturbed by diversity of gifts (4:1-16); (5) special
injunctions bearing on ordinary life (4:17-6:10); (6) the imagery of a
spiritual warfare, mission of Tychicus, and valedictory blessing (6:11-24).
Planting of the church at Ephesus. Paul's first and hurried visit for
the space of three months to Ephesus is recorded in Acts 18:19-21. The
work he began on this occasion was carried forward by Apollos (24-26)
and Aquila and Priscilla. On his second visit, early in the following
year, he remained at Ephesus "three years," for he found it was the key
to the western provinces of Asia Minor. Here "a great door and effectual"
was opened to him (1 Cor. 16:9), and the church was established and strengthened
by his assiduous labours there (Acts 20:20, 31). From Ephesus as a centre
the gospel spread abroad "almost throughout all Asia" (19:26). The word
"mightily grew and prevailed" despite all the opposition and persecution
On his last journey to Jerusalem the apostle landed at Miletus, and
summoning together the elders of the church from Ephesus, delivered to
them his remarkable farewell charge (Acts 20:18-35), expecting to see
them no more.
The following parallels between this epistle and the Milesian charge
may be traced:
(1.) Acts 20:19 = Eph. 4:2. The phrase "lowliness of mind" occurs nowhere
(2.) Acts 20:27 = Eph. 1:11. The word "counsel," as denoting the divine
plan, occurs only here and Heb. 6:17.
(3.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 3:20. The divine ability.
(4.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 2:20. The building upon the foundation.
(5.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 1:14, 18. "The inheritance of the saints."
Place and date of the writing of the letter. It was evidently written
from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment (3:1; 4:1; 6:20), and probably
soon after his arrival there, about the year 62, four years after he had
parted with the Ephesian elders at Miletus. The subscription of this epistle
There seems to have been no special occasion for the writing of this
letter, as already noted. Paul's object was plainly not polemical. No
errors had sprung up in the church which he sought to point out and refute.
The object of the apostle is "to set forth the ground, the cause, and
the aim and end of the church of the faithful in Christ. He speaks to
the Ephesians as a type or sample of the church universal." The church's
foundations, its course, and its end, are his theme. "Everywhere the foundation
of the church is the will of the Father; the course of the church is by
the satisfaction of the Son; the end of the church is the life in the
Holy Spirit." In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul writes from the point
of view of justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ; here
he writes from the point of view specially of union to the Redeemer, and
hence of the oneness of the true church of Christ. "This is perhaps the
profoundest book in existence." It is a book "which sounds the lowest
depths of Christian doctrine, and scales the loftiest heights of Christian
experience;" and the fact that the apostle evidently expected the Ephesians
to understand it is an evidence of the "proficiency which Paul's converts
had attained under his preaching at Ephesus."
Relation between this epistle and that to the Colossians (q.v.). "The
letters of the apostle are the fervent outburst of pastoral zeal and attachment,
written without reserve and in unaffected simplicity; sentiments come
warm from the heart, without the shaping out, pruning, and punctilious
arrangement of a formal discourse. There is such a fresh and familiar
transcription of feeling, so frequent an introduction of coloquial idiom,
and so much of conversational frankness and vivacity, that the reader
associates the image of the writer with every paragraph, and the ear seems
to catch and recognize the very tones of living address." "Is it then
any matter of amazement that one letter should resemble another, or that
two written about the same time should have so much in common and so much
that is peculiar? The close relation as to style and subject between the
epistles to Colosse and Ephesus must strike every reader. Their precise
relation to each other has given rise to much discussion. The great probability
is that the epistle to Colosse was first written; the parallel passages
in Ephesians, which amount to about forty-two in number, having the appearance
of being expansions from the epistle to Colosse. Compare:
Eph 1:7; Col 1:14 Eph 1:10; Col 1:20 Eph 3:2; Col 1:25 Eph 5:19; Col
3:16 Eph 6:22; Col 4:8 Eph 1:19-2:5; Col 2:12,13 Eph 4:2-4; Col 3:12-15
Eph 4:16; Col 2:19 Eph 4:32; Col 3:13 Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9,10 Eph 5:6-8;
Col 3:6-8 Eph 5:15,16; Col 4:5 Eph 6:19,20; Col 4:3,4 Eph 5:22-6:9; Col
"The style of this epistle is exceedingly animated, and corresponds
with the state of the apostle's mind at the time of writing. Overjoyed
with the account which their messenger had brought him of their faith
and holiness (Eph. 1:15), and transported with the consideration of the
unsearchable wisdom of God displayed in the work of man's redemption,
and of his astonishing love towards the Gentiles in making them partakers
through faith of all the benefits of Christ's death, he soars high in
his sentiments on those grand subjects, and gives his thoughts utterance
in sublime and copious expression."
Ephesus - the capital of proconsular Asia,
which was the western part of Asia Minor. It was colonized principally from
Athens. In the time of the Romans it bore the title of "the first and greatest
metropolis of Asia." It was distinguished for the Temple of Diana (q.v.),
who there had her chief shrine; and for its theatre, which was the largest
in the world, capable of containing 50,000 spectators. It was, like all
ancient theatres, open to the sky. Here were exhibited the fights of wild
beasts and of men with beasts. (Comp. 1 Cor. 4:9; 9:24, 25; 15:32.)
Many Jews took up their residence in this city, and here the seeds of
the gospel were sown immediately after Pentecost (Acts 2:9; 6:9). At the
close of his second missionary journey (about A.D. 51), when Paul was
returning from Greece to Syria (18:18-21), he first visited this city.
He remained, however, for only a short time, as he was hastening to keep
the feast, probably of Pentecost, at Jerusalem; but he left Aquila and
Priscilla behind him to carry on the work of spreading the gospel.
During his third missionary journey Paul reached Ephesus from the "upper
coasts" (Acts 19:1), i.e., from the inland parts of Asia Minor, and tarried
here for about three years; and so successful and abundant were his labours
that "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both
Jews and Greeks" (19:10). Probably during this period the seven churches
of the Apocalypse were founded, not by Paul's personal labours, but by
missionaries whom he may have sent out from Ephesus, and by the influence
of converts returning to their homes.
On his return from his journey, Paul touched at Miletus, some 30 miles
south of Ephesus (Acts 20:15), and sending for the presbyters of Ephesus
to meet him there, he delivered to them that touching farewell charge
which is recorded in Acts 20:18-35. Ephesus is not again mentioned till
near the close of Paul's life, when he writes to Timothy exhorting him
to "abide still at Ephesus" (1 Tim. 1:3).
Two of Paul's companions, Trophimus and Tychicus, were probably natives
of Ephesus (Acts 20:4; 21:29; 2 Tim. 4:12). In his second epistle to Timothy,
Paul speaks of Onesiphorus as having served him in many things at Ephesus
(2 Tim. 1:18). He also "sent Tychicus to Ephesus" (4:12), probably to
attend to the interests of the church there. Ephesus is twice mentioned
in the Apocalypse (1:11; 2:1).
The apostle John, according to tradition, spent many years in Ephesus,
where he died and was buried.
A part of the site of this once famous city is now occupied by a small
Turkish village, Ayasaluk, which is regarded as a corruption of the two
Greek words, hagios theologos; i.e., "the holy divine."
Ephod - something girt, a sacred vestment
worn originally by the high priest (Ex. 28:4), afterwards by the ordinary
priest (1 Sam. 22:18), and characteristic of his office (1 Sam. 2:18, 28;
14:3). It was worn by Samuel, and also by David (2 Sam. 6:14). It was made
of fine linen, and consisted of two pieces, which hung from the neck, and
covered both the back and front, above the tunic and outer garment (Ex.
28:31). That of the high priest was embroidered with divers colours. The
two pieces were joined together over the shoulders (hence in Latin called
superhumerale) by clasps or buckles of gold or precious stones, and fastened
round the waist by a "curious girdle of gold, blue, purple, and fine twined
The breastplate, with the Urim and Thummim, was attached to the ephod.
Ephphatha - the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic
or Aramaic word, meaning "Be opened," uttered by Christ when healing the
man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7:34). It is one of the characteristics
of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord's lips.
(See 3:17; 5:41; 7:11; 14:36; 15:34.)
Ephraim - double fruitfulness ("for God
had made him fruitful in the land of his affliction"). The second son of
Joseph, born in Egypt (Gen. 41:52; 46:20). The first incident recorded regarding
him is his being placed, along with his brother Manasseh, before their grandfather,
Jacob, that he might bless them (48:10; comp. 27:1). The intention of Joseph
was that the right hand of the aged patriarch should be placed on the head
of the elder of the two; but Jacob set Ephraim the younger before his brother,
"guiding his hands wittingly." Before Joseph's death, Ephraim's family had
reached the third generation (Gen. 50:23).
Ephraim, Gate of - one of the gates of Jerusalem
(2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chr. 25:23), on the side of the city looking toward Ephraim,
the north side.
Ephraim in the wilderness - (John 11: 54),
a town to which our Lord retired with his disciples after he had raised
Lazarus, and when the priests were conspiring against him. It lay in the
wild, uncultivated hill-country to the north-east of Jerusalem, betwen the
central towns and the Jordan valley.
Ephraim, Mount - the central mountainous
district of Palestine occupied by the tribe of Ephraim (Josh. 17:15; 19:50;
20:7), extending from Bethel to the plain of Jezreel. In Joshua's time (Josh.
17:18) these hills were densely wooded. They were intersected by well-watered,
fertile valleys, referred to in Jer. 50:19. Joshua was buried at Timnath-heres
among the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash (Judg.
2:9). This region is also called the "mountains of Israel" (Josh. 11:21)
and the "mountains of Samaria" (Jer. 31:5, 6: Amos 3:9).
Ephraim, The tribe of - took precedence
over that of Manasseh by virtue of Jacob's blessing (Gen. 41:52; 48:1).
The descendants of Joseph formed two of the tribes of Israel, whereas each
of the other sons of Jacob was the founder of only one tribe. Thus there
were in reality thirteen tribes; but the number twelve was preserved by
excluding that of Levi when Ephraim and Manasseh are mentioned separately
(Num. 1:32-34; Josh. 17:14, 17; 1 Chr. 7:20).
Territory of. At the time of the first census in the wilderness this
tribe numbered 40,500 (Num. 1:32, 33); forty years later, when about to
take possession of the Promised Land, it numbered only 32,500. During
the march (see CAMP) Ephraim's place was on the west side of the tabernacle
(Num. 2:18-24). When the spies were sent out to spy the land, "Oshea the
son of Nun" of this tribe signalized himself.
The boundaries of the portion of the land assigned to Ephraim are given
in Josh. 16:1-10. It included most of what was afterwards called Samaria
as distinguished from Judea and Galilee. It thus lay in the centre of
all traffic, from north to south, and from Jordan to the sea, and was
about 55 miles long and 30 broad. The tabernacle and the ark were deposited
within its limits at Shiloh, where it remained for four hundred years.
During the time of the judges and the first stage of the monarchy this
tribe manifested a domineering and haughty and discontented spirit. "For
more than five hundred years, a period equal to that which elapsed between
the Norman Conquest and the War of the Roses, Ephraim, with its two dependent
tribes of Manasseh and Benjamin, exercised undisputed pre-eminence. Joshua
the first conqueror, Gideon the greatest of the judges, and Saul the first
king, belonged to one or other of the three tribes. It was not till the
close of the first period of Jewish history that God 'refused the tabernacle
of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of
Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved' (Ps. 78:67, 68). When the ark was
removed from Shiloh to Zion the power of Ephraim was humbled."
Among the causes which operated to bring about the disruption of Israel
was Ephraim's jealousy of the growing power of Judah. From the settlement
of Canaan till the time of David and Solomon, Ephraim had held the place
of honour among the tribes. It occupied the central and fairest portions
of the land, and had Shiloh and Shechem within its borders. But now when
Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom, and the centre of power and
worship for the whole nation of Israel, Ephraim declined in influence.
The discontent came to a crisis by Rehoboam's refusal to grant certain
redresses that were demanded (1 Kings 12).
Ephraim, Wood of - a forest in which a fatal
battle was fought between the army of David and that of Absalom, who was
killed there (2 Sam. 18:6, 8). It lay on the east of Jordan, not far from
Mahanaim, and was some part of the great forest of Gilead.
Ephratah - fruitful. (1.) The second wife
of Caleb, the son of Hezron, mother of Hur, and grandmother of Caleb, who
was one of those that were sent to spy the land (1 Chr. 2:19, 50).
(2.) The ancient name of Bethlehem in Judah (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7).
In Ruth 1:2 it is called "Bethlehem-Judah," but the inhabitants are called
"Ephrathites;" in Micah 5:2, "Bethlehem-Ephratah;" in Matt. 2:6, "Bethlehem
in the land of Judah." In Ps. 132:6 it is mentioned as the place where
David spent his youth, and where he heard much of the ark, although he
never saw it till he found it long afterwards at Kirjath-jearim; i.e.,
the "city of the wood," or the "forest-town" (1 Sam. 7:1; comp. 2 Sam.
Ephrathite - a citizen of Ephratah, the
old name of Bethlehem (Ruth 1:2; 1 Sam. 17:12), or Bethlehem-Judah.
Ephron - fawn-like. (1.) The son of Zohar
a Hittite, the owner of the field and cave of Machpelah (q.v.), which Abraham
bought for 400 shekels of silver (Gen. 23:8-17; 25:9; 49:29, 30).
(2.) A mountain range which formed one of the landmarks on the north
boundary of the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:9), probably the range on the
west side of the Wady Beit-Hanina.
Epicureans - followers of Epicurus (who
died at Athens B.C. 270), or adherents of the Epicurean philosophy (Acts
17:18). This philosophy was a system of atheism, and taught men to seek
as their highest aim a pleasant and smooth life. They have been called the
"Sadducees" of Greek paganism. They, with the Stoics, ridiculed the teaching
of Paul (Acts 17:18). They appear to have been greatly esteemed at Athens.
Epistles - the apostolic letters. The
New Testament contains twenty-one in all. They are divided into two classes.
(1.) Paul's Epistles, fourteen in number, including Hebrews. These are
not arranged in the New Testament in the order of time as to their composition,
but rather according to the rank of the cities or places to which they
were sent. Who arranged them after this manner is unknown. Paul's letters
were, as a rule, dictated to an amanuensis, a fact which accounts for
some of their peculiarities. He authenticated them, however, by adding
a few words in his own hand at the close. (See GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
The epistles to Timothy and Titus are styled the Pastoral Epistles.
(2.) The Catholic or General Epistles, so called because they are not
addressed to any particular church or city or individual, but to Christians
in general, or to Christians in several countries. Of these, three are
written by John, two by Peter, and one each by James and Jude.
It is an interesting and instructive fact that a large portion of the
New Testament is taken up with epistles. The doctrines of Christianity
are thus not set forth in any formal treatise, but mainly in a collection
of letters. "Christianity was the first great missionary religion. It
was the first to break the bonds of race and aim at embracing all mankind.
But this necessarily involved a change in the mode in which it was presented.
The prophet of the Old Testament, if he had anything to communicate, either
appeared in person or sent messengers to speak for him by word of mouth.
The narrow limits of Palestine made direct personal communication easy.
But the case was different when the Christian Church came to consist of
a number of scattered parts, stretching from Mesopotamia in the east to
Rome or even Spain in the far west. It was only natural that the apostle
by whom the greater number of these communities had been founded should
seek to communicate with them by letter."
Erastus - beloved. (1.) The "chamberlain"
of the city of Corinth (Rom. 16:23), and one of Paul's disciples. As treasurer
of such a city he was a public officer of great dignity, and his conversion
to the gospel was accordingly a proof of the wonderful success of the apostle's
(2.) A companion of Paul at Ephesus, who was sent by him along with
Timothy into Macedonia (Acts 19:22). Corinth was his usual place of abode
(2 Tim. 4:20); but probably he may have been the same as the preceding.
Erech - (LXX., "Orech"), length, or Moon-town,
one of the cities of Nimrod's kingdom in the plain of Shinar (Gen. 10:10);
the Orchoe of the Greeks and Romans. It was probably the city of the Archevites,
who were transplanted to Samaria by Asnapper (Ezra 4:9). It lay on the left
bank of the Euphrates, about 120 miles south-east of Babylon, and is now
represented by the mounds and ruins of Warka. It appears to have been the
necropolis of the Assyrian kings, as the whole region is strewed with bricks
and the remains of coffins. "Standing on the summit of the principal edifice,
called the Buwarizza, a tower 200 feet square in the centre of the ruins,
the beholder is struck with astonishment at the enormous accumulation of
mounds and ancient relics at his feet. An irregular circle, nearly 6 miles
in circumference, is defined by the traces of an earthen rampart, in some
places 40 feet high."
Esaias - the Greek form for Isaiah, constantly
used in the Authorized Version of the New Testament (Matt. 3:3; 4:14), but
in the Revised Version always "Isaiah."
Esarhaddon - Assur has given a brother,
successor of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38). He ascended the throne
about B.C. 681. Nothing further is recorded of him in Scripture, except
that he settled certain colonists in Samaria (Ezra 4:2). But from the monuments
it appears that he was the most powerful of all the Assyrian monarchs. He
built many temples and palaces, the most magnificent of which was the south-west
palace at Nimrud, which is said to have been in its general design almost
the same as Solomon's palace, only much larger (1 Kings 7:1-12).
In December B.C. 681 Sennacherib was murdered by two of his sons, who,
after holding Nineveh for forty-two days, were compelled to fly to Erimenas
of Ararat, or Armenia. Their brother Esarhaddon, who had been engaged
in a campaign against Armenia, led his army against them. They were utterly
overthrown in a battle fought April B.C. 680, near Malatiyeh, and in the
following month Esarhaddon was crowned at Nineveh. He restored Babylon,
conquered Egypt, and received tribute from Manasseh of Judah. He died
in October B.C. 668, while on the march to suppress an Egyptian revolt,
and was succeeded by his son Assur-bani-pal, whose younger brother was
made viceroy of Babylonia.
Esau - hairy, Rebekah's first-born twin
son (Gen. 25:25). The name of Edom, "red", was also given to him from his
conduct in connection with the red lentil "pottage" for which he sold his
birthright (30, 31). The circumstances connected with his birth foreshadowed
the enmity which afterwards subsisted between the twin brothers and the
nations they founded (25:22, 23, 26). In process of time Jacob, following
his natural bent, became a shepherd; while Esau, a "son of the desert,"
devoted himself to the perilous and toilsome life of a huntsman. On a certain
occasion, on returning from the chase, urged by the cravings of hunger,
Esau sold his birthright to his brother, Jacob, who thereby obtained the
covenant blessing (Gen. 27:28, 29, 36; Heb. 12:16, 17). He afterwards tried
to regain what he had so recklessly parted with, but was defeated in his
attempts through the stealth of his brother (Gen. 27:4, 34, 38).
At the age of forty years, to the great grief of his parents, he married
(Gen. 26:34, 35) two Canaanitish maidens, Judith, the daughter of Beeri,
and Bashemath, the daughter of Elon. When Jacob was sent away to Padan-aram,
Esau tried to conciliate his parents (Gen. 28:8, 9) by marrying his cousin
Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. This led him to cast in his lot with
the Ishmaelite tribes; and driving the Horites out of Mount Seir, he settled
in that region. After some thirty years' sojourn in Padan-aram Jacob returned
to Canaan, and was reconciled to Esau, who went forth to meet him (33:4).
Twenty years after this, Isaac their father died, when the two brothers
met, probably for the last time, beside his grave (35:29). Esau now permanently
left Canaan, and established himself as a powerful and wealthy chief in
the land of Edom (q.v.).
Long after this, when the descendants of Jacob came out of Egypt, the
Edomites remembered the old quarrel between the brothers, and with fierce
hatred they warred against Israel.
Eschew - from old French eschever, "to flee
from" (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3; 1 Pet. 3:11).
Esdraelon - the Greek form of the Hebrew
"Jezreel," the name of the great plain (called by the natives Merj Ibn Amer;
i.e., "the meadow of the son of Amer") which stretches across Central Palestine
from the Jordan to the Mediterraanean, separating the mountain ranges of
Carmel and Samaria from those of Galilee, extending about 14 miles from
north to south, and 9 miles from east to west. It is drained by "that ancient
river" the Kishon, which flows westward to the Mediterranean. From the foot
of Mount Tabor it branches out into three valleys, that on the north passing
between Tabor and Little Hermon (Judg. 4:14); that on the south between
Mount Gilboa and En-gannim (2 Kings 9:27); while the central portion, the
"valley of Jezreel" proper, runs into the Jordan valley (which is about
1,000 feet lower than Esdraelon) by Bethshean. Here Gideon gained his great
victory over the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-25). Here also Barak defeated Sisera,
and Saul's army was defeated by the Philistines, and king Josiah, while
fighting in disguise against Necho, king of Egypt, was slain (2 Chr. 35:20-27;
2 Kings 23-29). This plain has been well called the "battle-field of Palestine."
"It has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in
this country, from the days of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, in
the history of whose wars with Arphaxad it is mentioned as the Great Plain
of Esdraelon, until the disastrous march of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt
into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Crusaders, Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians,
Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors out of every nation which is under heaven,
have pitched their tents in the plain, and have beheld the various banners
of their nations wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon" (Dr. Clark).
Esek - quarrel, a well which Isaac's herdsmen
dug in the valley of Gerar, and so called because the herdsmen of Gerar
quarrelled with them for its possession (Gen. 26:20).
Eshbaal - man of Baal, the fourth son of
king Saul (1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39). He is also called Ish-bosheth (q.v.), 2 Sam.
Eshcol - bunch; brave. (1.) A young Amoritish
chief who joined Abraham in the recovery of Lot from the hands of Chedorlaomer
(Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) A valley in which the spies obtained a fine cluster of grapes (Num.
13:23, 24; "the brook Eshcol," A.V.; "the valley of Eshcol," R.V.), which
they took back with them to the camp of Israel as a specimen of the fruits
of the Promised Land. On their way back they explored the route which
led into the south (the Negeb) by the western edge of the mountains at
Telilat el-'Anab, i.e., "grape-mounds", near Beersheba. "In one of these
extensive valleys, perhaps in Wady Hanein, where miles of grape-mounds
even now meet the eye, they cut the gigantic clusters of grapes, and gathered
the pomegranates and figs, to show how goodly was the land which the Lord
had promised for their inheritance.", Palmer's Desert of the Exodus.
Eshean - a place in the mountains of Judah
(Josh.15:52), supposed to be the ruin es-Simia, near Dumah, south of Hebron.
Eshtaol - narrow pass or recess, a town
(Josh. 15:33) in the low country, the She-phelah of Judah. It was allotted
to the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:41), and was one of their strongholds. Here
Samson spent his boyhood, and first began to show his mighty strength; and
here he was buried in the burying-place of Manoah his father (Judg. 13:25;
16:31; 18:2, 8, 11, 12). It is identified with the modern Yeshua, on a hill
2 miles east of Zorah. Others, however, identify it with Kustul, east of
Eshtemoa - obedience, a town in the mountains
of Judah (Josh. 21:14; 1 Chr. 6:57), which was allotted, with the land round
it, to the priests. It was frequented by David and his followers during
their wanderings; and he sent presents of the spoil of the Amalekites to
his friends there (1 Sam. 30:28). It is identified with es-Semu'a, a village
about 3 1/2 miles east of Socoh, and 7 or 8 miles south of Hebron, around
which there are ancient remains of the ruined city. It is the centre of
the "south country" or Negeb. It is also called "Eshtemoh" (Josh. 15:50).
Espouse - (2 Sam. 3:14), to betroth.
The espousal was a ceremony of betrothing, a formal agreement between
the parties then coming under obligation for the purpose of marriage.
Espousals are in the East frequently contracted years before the marriage
is celebrated. It is referred to as figuratively illustrating the relations
between God and his people (Jer. 2:2; Matt. 1:18; 2 Cor. 11:2). (See BETROTH.)
Essenes - a Jewish mystical sect somewhat
resembling the Pharisees. They affected great purity. They originated about
B.C. 100, and disappeared from history after the destruction of Jerusalem.
They are not directly mentioned in Scripture, although they may be referred
to in Matt. 19:11, 12, Col. 2:8, 18, 23.
Esther - the queen of Ahasuerus, and heroine
of the book that bears her name. She was a Jewess named Hadas'sah (the myrtle),
but when she entered the royal harem she received the name by which she
henceforth became known (Esther 2:7). It is a Syro-Arabian modification
of the Persian word satarah, which means a star. She was the daughter of
Abihail, a Benjamite. Her family did not avail themselves of the permission
granted by Cyrus to the exiles to return to Jerusalem; and she resided with
her cousin Mordecai, who held some office in the household of the Persian
king at "Shushan in the palace." Ahasuerus having divorced Vashti, chose
Esther to be his wife. Soon after this he gave Haman the Agagite, his prime
minister, power and authority to kill and extirpate all the Jews throughout
the Persian empire. By the interposition of Esther this terrible catastrophe
was averted. Haman was hanged on the gallows he had intended for Mordecai
(Esther 7); and the Jews established an annual feast, the feast of Purim
(q.v.), in memory of their wonderful deliverance. This took place about
fifty-two years after the Return, the year of the great battles of Plataea
and Mycale (B.C. 479).
Esther appears in the Bible as a "woman of deep piety, faith, courage,
patriotism, and caution, combined with resolution; a dutiful daughter
to her adopted father, docile and obedient to his counsels, and anxious
to share the king's favour with him for the good of the Jewish people.
There must have been a singular grace and charm in her aspect and manners,
since 'she obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her'
(Esther 2:15). That she was raised up as an instrument in the hand of
God to avert the destruction of the Jewish people, and to afford them
protection and forward their wealth and peace in their captivity, is also
manifest from the Scripture account."
Esther, Book of - The authorship of this
book is unknown. It must have been obviously written after the death of
Ahasuerus (the Xerxes of the Greeks), which took place B.C. 465. The minute
and particular account also given of many historical details makes it probable
that the writer was contemporary with Mordecai and Esther. Hence we may
conclude that the book was written probably about B.C. 444-434, and that
the author was one of the Jews of the dispersion.
This book is more purely historical than any other book of Scripture;
and it has this remarkable peculiarity that the name of God does not occur
in it from first to last in any form. It has, however, been well observed
that "though the name of God be not in it, his finger is." The book wonderfully
exhibits the providential government of God.
Etam - eyrie. (1.) A village of the tribe
of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:32). Into some cleft ("top," A.V.,; R.V., "cleft") of
a rock here Samson retired after his slaughter of the Philistines (Judg.
15:8, 11). It was a natural stronghold. It has been identified with Beit
'Atab, west of Bethlehem, near Zorah and Eshtaol. On the crest of a rocky
knoll, under the village, is a long tunnel, which may be the "cleft" in
which Samson hid.
(2.) A city of Judah, fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chr. 11:6). It was near
Bethlehem and Tekoah, and some distance apparently to the north of (1).
It seems to have been in the district called Nephtoah (or Netophah), where
were the sources of the water from which Solomon's gardens and pleasure-grounds
and pools, as well as Bethlehem and the temple, were supplied. It is now
'Ain 'Atan, at the head of the Wady Urtas, a fountain sending forth a
copious supply of pure water.
Eternal death - The miserable fate of the
wicked in hell (Matt. 25:46; Mark 3:29; Heb. 6:2; 2 Thess. 1:9; Matt. 18:8;
25:41; Jude 1:7). The Scripture as clearly teaches the unending duration
of the penal sufferings of the lost as the "everlasting life," the "eternal
life" of the righteous. The same Greek words in the New Testament (aion,
aionios, aidios) are used to express (1) the eternal existence of God (1
Tim. 1:17; Rom. 1:20; 16:26); (2) of Christ (Rev. 1:18); (3) of the Holy
Ghost (Heb. 9:14); and (4) the eternal duration of the sufferings of the
lost (Matt. 25:46; Jude 1:6).
Their condition after casting off the mortal body is spoken of in these
expressive words: "Fire that shall not be quenched" (Mark 9:45, 46), "fire
unquenchable" (Luke 3:17), "the worm that never dies," the "bottomless
pit" (Rev. 9:1), "the smoke of their torment ascending up for ever and
ever" (Rev. 14:10, 11).
The idea that the "second death" (Rev. 20:14) is in the case of the
wicked their absolute destruction, their annihilation, has not the slightest
support from Scripture, which always represents their future as one of
conscious suffering enduring for ever.
The supposition that God will ultimately secure the repentance and restoration
of all sinners is equally unscriptural. There is not the slightest trace
in all the Scriptures of any such restoration. Sufferings of themselves
have no tendency to purify the soul from sin or impart spiritual life.
The atoning death of Christ and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit
are the only means of divine appointment for bringing men to repentance.
Now in the case of them that perish these means have been rejected, and
"there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Heb. 10:26, 27).
Eternal life - This expression occurs in
the Old Testament only in Dan. 12:2 (R.V., "everlasting life").
It occurs frequently in the New Testament (Matt. 7:14; 18:8, 9; Luke
10:28; comp. 18:18). It comprises the whole future of the redeemed (Luke
16:9), and is opposed to "eternal punishment" (Matt. 19:29; 25:46). It
is the final reward and glory into which the children of God enter (1
Tim. 6:12, 19; Rom. 6:22; Gal. 6:8; 1 Tim. 1:16; Rom. 5:21); their Sabbath
of rest (Heb. 4:9; comp. 12:22).
The newness of life which the believer derives from Christ (Rom. 6:4)
is the very essence of salvation, and hence the life of glory or the eternal
life must also be theirs (Rom. 6:8; 2 Tim. 2:11, 12; Rom. 5:17, 21; 8:30;
Eph. 2:5, 6). It is the "gift of God in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).
The life the faithful have here on earth (John 3:36; 5:24; 6:47, 53-58)
is inseparably connected with the eternal life beyond, the endless life
of the future, the happy future of the saints in heaven (Matt. 19:16,
Etham - perhaps another name for Khetam,
or "fortress," on the Shur or great wall of Egypt, which extended from
the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Suez. Here the Israelites made their
third encampment (Ex. 13:20; Num. 33:6). The camp was probably a little
to the west of the modern town of Ismailia. Here the Israelites were commanded
to change their route (Ex. 14:2), and "turn" towards the south, and encamp
before Pi-hahiroth. (See EXODUS; PITHOM.)
Ethan - firm. (1.) "The Ezrahite," distinguished
for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:31). He is named as the author of the 89th Psalm.
He was of the tribe of Levi.
(2.) A Levite of the family of Merari, one of the leaders of the temple
music (1 Chr. 6:44; 15:17, 19). He was probably the same as Jeduthun.
He is supposed by some to be the same also as (1).
Ethanim - the month of gifts, i.e., of vintage
offerings; called Tisri after the Exile; corresponding to part of September
and October. It was the first month of the civil year, and the seventh of
the sacred year (1 Kings 8:2).
Eth-baal - with Baal, a king of Sidon (B.C.
940-908), father of Jezebel, who was the wife of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31). He
is said to have been also a priest of Astarte, whose worship was closely
allied to that of Baal, and this may account for his daughter's zeal in
promoting idolatry in Israel. This marriage of Ahab was most fatal to both
Israel and Judah. Dido, the founder of Carthage, was his granddaughter.
Ethiopia - country of burnt faces; the Greek
word by which the Hebrew Cush is rendered (Gen. 2:13; 2 Kings 19:9; Esther
1:1; Job 28:19; Ps. 68:31; 87:4), a country which lay to the south of Egypt,
beginning at Syene on the First Cataract (Ezek. 29:10; 30:6), and extending
to beyond the confluence of the White and Blue Nile. It corresponds generally
with what is now known as the Soudan (i.e., the land of the blacks). This
country was known to the Hebrews, and is described in Isa. 18:1; Zeph. 3:10.
They carried on some commercial intercourse with it (Isa. 45:14).
Its inhabitants were descendants of Ham (Gen. 10:6; Jer. 13:23; Isa.
18:2, "scattered and peeled," A.V.; but in R.V., "tall and smooth"). Herodotus,
the Greek historian, describes them as "the tallest and handsomest of
men." They are frequently represented on Egyptian monuments, and they
are all of the type of the true negro. As might be expected, the history
of this country is interwoven with that of Egypt.
Ethiopia is spoken of in prophecy (Ps. 68:31; 87:4; Isa. 45:14; Ezek.
30:4-9; Dan. 11:43; Nah. 3:8-10; Hab. 3:7; Zeph. 2:12).
Ethiopian eunuch - the chief officer or
prime minister of state of Candace (q.v.), queen of Ethiopia. He was converted
to Christianity through the instrumentality of Philip (Act 8:27). The northern
portion of Ethiopia formed the kingdom of Meroe, which for a long period
was ruled over by queens, and it was probably from this kingdom that the
Ethiopian woman - the wife of Moses (Num.
12:1). It is supposed that Zipporah, Moses' first wife (Ex. 2:21), was now
dead. His marriage of this "woman" descended from Ham gave offence to Aaron
Eunice - happily conquering, the mother
of Timothy, a believing Jewess, but married to a Greek (Acts 16:1). She
trained her son from his childhood in the knowledge of the Scriptures (2
Tim. 3:15). She was distinguished by her "unfeigned faith."
Eunuch - literally bed-keeper or chamberlain,
and not necessarily in all cases one who was mutilated, although the practice
of employing such mutilated persons in Oriental courts was common (2 Kings
9:32; Esther 2:3). The law of Moses excluded them from the congregation
(Deut. 23:1). They were common also among the Greeks and Romans. It is said
that even to-day there are some in Rome who are employed in singing soprano
in the Sistine Chapel. Three classes of eunuchs are mentioned in Matt. 19:12.
Euodias - a good journey, a female member
of the church at Philippi. She was one who laboured much with Paul in the
gospel. He exhorts her to be of one mind with Syntyche (Phil. 4:2). From
this it seems they had been at variance with each other.
Euphrates - Hebrew, Perath; Assyrian, Purat;
Persian cuneiform, Ufratush, whence Greek Euphrates, meaning "sweet water."
The Assyrian name means "the stream," or "the great stream." It is generally
called in the Bible simply "the river" (Ex. 23:31), or "the great river"
The Euphrates is first mentioned in Gen. 2:14 as one of the rivers of
Paradise. It is next mentioned in connection with the covenant which God
entered into with Abraham (15:18), when he promised to his descendants
the land from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates (comp. Deut. 11:24;
Josh. 1:4), a covenant promise afterwards fulfilled in the extended conquests
of David (2 Sam. 8:2-14; 1 Chr. 18:3; 1 Kings 4:24). It was then the boundary
of the kingdom to the north-east. In the ancient history of Assyria, and
Babylon, and Egypt many events are recorded in which mention is made of
the "great river." Just as the Nile represented in prophecy the power
of Egypt, so the Euphrates represented the Assyrian power (Isa. 8:7; Jer.
It is by far the largest and most important of all the rivers of Western
Asia. From its source in the Armenian mountains to the Persian Gulf, into
which it empties itself, it has a course of about 1,700 miles. It has
two sources, (1) the Frat or Kara-su (i.e., "the black river"), which
rises 25 miles north-east of Erzeroum; and (2) the Muradchai (i.e., "the
river of desire"), which rises near Ararat, on the northern slope of Ala-tagh.
At Kebban Maden, 400 miles from the source of the former, and 270 from
that of the latter, they meet and form the majestic stream, which is at
length joined by the Tigris at Koornah, after which it is called Shat-el-Arab,
which runs in a deep and broad stream for above 140 miles to the sea.
It is estimated that the alluvium brought down by these rivers encroaches
on the sea at the rate of about one mile in thirty years.
Euroclydon - south-east billow, the name
of the wind which blew in the Adriatic Gulf, and which struck the ship in
which Paul was wrecked on the coast of Malta (Acts 27:14; R.V., "Euraquilo,"
i.e., north-east wind). It is called a "tempestuous wind," i.e., as literally
rendered, a "typhonic wind," or a typhoon. It is the modern Gregalia or
Levanter. (Comp. Jonah 1:4.)
Eutychus - fortunate, (Acts 20:9-12), a
young man of Troas who fell through drowsiness from the open window of the
third floor of the house where Paul was preaching, and was "taken up dead."
The lattice-work of the window being open to admit the air, the lad fell
out and down to the court below. Paul restored him to life again. (Comp.
1 Kings 17:21; 2 Kings 4:34.)
Evangelist - a "publisher of glad tidings;"
a missionary preacher of the gospel (Eph. 4:11). This title is applied to
Philip (Acts 21:8), who appears to have gone from city to city preaching
the word (8:4, 40). Judging from the case of Philip, evangelists had neither
the authority of an apostle, nor the gift of prophecy, nor the responsibility
of pastoral supervision over a portion of the flock. They were itinerant
preachers, having it as their special function to carry the gospel to places
where it was previously unknown. The writers of the four Gospels are known
as the Evangelists.
Eve - life; living, the name given by Adam
to his wife (Gen. 3:20; 4:1). The account of her creation is given in Gen.
2:21, 22. The Creator, by declaring that it was not good for man to be alone,
and by creating for him a suitable companion, gave sanction to monogamy.
The commentator Matthew Henry says: "This companion was taken from his side
to signify that she was to be dear unto him as his own flesh. Not from his
head, lest she should rule over him; nor from his feet, lest he should tyrannize
over her; but from his side, to denote that species of equality which is
to subsist in the marriage state." And again, "That wife that is of God's
making by special grace, and of God's bringing by special providence, is
likely to prove a helpmeet to her husband." Through the subtle temptation
of the serpent she violated the commandment of God by taking of the forbidden
fruit, which she gave also unto her husband (1 Tim. 2:13-15; 2 Cor. 11:3).
When she gave birth to her first son, she said, "I have gotten a man from
the Lord" (R.V., "I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord," Gen. 4:1).
Thus she welcomed Cain, as some think, as if he had been the Promised One
the "Seed of the woman."
Evening - the period following sunset with
which the Jewish day began (Gen. 1:5; Mark 13:35). The Hebrews reckoned
two evenings of each day, as appears from Ex. 16:12: 30:8; 12:6 (marg.);
Lev. 23:5 (marg. R.V., "between the two evenings"). The "first evening"
was that period when the sun was verging towards setting, and the "second
evening" the moment of actual sunset. The word "evenings" in Jer. 5:6 should
be "deserts" (marg. R.V.).
Everlasting - eternal, applied to God
(Gen. 21:33; Deut. 33:27; Ps. 41:13; 90:2). We also read of the "everlasting
hills" (Gen. 49:26); an "everlasting priesthood" (Ex. 40:15; Num. 25:13).
Evil eye - (Prov. 23:6), figuratively, the
envious or covetous. (Comp. Deut. 15:9; Matt. 20:15.)
Evil-merodach - Merodach's man, the son
and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2 Kings 25:27; Jer. 52:31,
34). He seems to have reigned but two years (B.C. 562-560). Influenced probably
by Daniel, he showed kindness to Jehoiachin, who had been a prisoner in
Babylon for thirty-seven years. He released him, and "spoke kindly to him."
He was murdered by Nergal-sharezer=Neriglissar, his brother-in-law, who
succeeded him (Jer. 39:3, 13).
Evil-speaking - is expressly forbidden (Titus
3:2; James 4:11), and severe punishments are denounced against it (1 Cor.
5:11; 6:10). It is spoken of also with abhorrence (Ps. 15:3; Prov. 18:6,
7), and is foreign to the whole Christian character and the example of Christ.
Example - of Christ (1 Pet. 2:21; John 13:15);
of pastors to their flocks (Phil. 3:17; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet.
5:3); of the Jews as a warning (Heb. 4:11); of the prophets as suffering
affliction (James 5:10).
Executioner - (Mark 6:27). Instead of
the Greek word, Mark here uses a Latin word, speculator, which literally
means "a scout," "a spy," and at length came to denote one of the armed
bodyguard of the emperor. Herod Antipas, in imitation of the emperor,
had in attendance on him a company of speculatores. They were sometimes
employed as executioners, but this was a mere accident of their office.
(See MARK, GOSPEL OF.)
Exercise, bodily - (1 Tim. 4:8). An ascetic
mortification of the flesh and denial of personal gratification (comp. Col.
2:23) to which some sects of the Jews, especially the Essenes, attached
Exile - (1.) Of the kingdom of Israel. In
the time of Pekah, Tiglath-pileser II. carried away captive into Assyria
(2 Kings 15:29; comp. Isa. 10:5, 6) a part of the inhabitants of Galilee
and of Gilead (B.C. 741).
After the destruction of Samaria (B.C. 720) by Shalmaneser and Sargon
(q.v.), there was a general deportation of the Israelites into Mesopotamia
and Media (2 Kings 17:6; 18:9; 1 Chr. 5:26). (See ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF.)
(2.) Of the kingdom of the two tribes, the kingdom of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar,
in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (Jer. 25:1), invaded Judah, and carried
away some royal youths, including Daniel and his companions (B.C. 606),
together with the sacred vessels of the temple (2 Chr. 36:7; Dan. 1:2).
In B.C. 598 (Jer. 52:28; 2 Kings 24:12), in the beginning of Jehoiachin's
reign (2 Kings 24:8), Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive 3,023 eminent
Jews, including the king (2 Chr. 36:10), with his family and officers
(2 Kings 24:12), and a large number of warriors (16), with very many persons
of note (14), and artisans (16), leaving behind only those who were poor
and helpless. This was the first general deportation to Babylon.
In B.C. 588, after the revolt of Zedekiah (q.v.), there was a second
general deportation of Jews by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 52:29; 2 Kings 25:8),
including 832 more of the principal men of the kingdom. He carried away
also the rest of the sacred vessels (2 Chr. 36:18). From this period,
when the temple was destroyed (2 Kings 25:9), to the complete restoration,
B.C. 517 (Ezra 6:15), is the period of the "seventy years."
In B.C. 582 occurred the last and final deportation. The entire number
Nebuchadnezzar carried captive was 4,600 heads of families with their
wives and children and dependants (Jer. 52:30; 43:5-7; 2 Chr. 36:20, etc.).
Thus the exiles formed a very considerable community in Babylon.
When Cyrus granted permission to the Jews to return to their own land
(Ezra 1:5; 7:13), only a comparatively small number at first availed themselves
of the privilege. It cannot be questioned that many belonging to the kingdom
of Israel ultimately joined the Jews under Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah,
and returned along with them to Jerusalem (Jer. 50:4, 5, 17-20, 33-35).
Large numbers had, however, settled in the land of Babylon, and formed
numerous colonies in different parts of the kingdom. Their descendants
very probably have spread far into Eastern lands and become absorbed in
the general population. (See JUDAH, KINGDOM OF; CAPTIVITY.)
Exodus - the great deliverance wrought for
the children of Isreal when they were brought out of the land of Egypt with
"a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm" (Ex 12:51; Deut. 26:8; Ps 114;
136), about B.C. 1490, and four hundred and eighty years (1 Kings 6:1) before
the building of Solomon's temple.
The time of their sojourning in Egypt was, according to Ex. 12:40, the
space of four hundred and thirty years. In the LXX., the words are, "The
sojourning of the children of Israel which they sojourned in Egypt and
in the land of Canaan was four hundred and thirty years;" and the Samaritan
version reads, "The sojourning of the children of Israel and of their
fathers which they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of
Egypt was four hundred and thirty years." In Gen. 15:13-16, the period
is prophetically given (in round numbers) as four hundred years. This
passage is quoted by Stephen in his defence before the council (Acts 7:6).
The chronology of the "sojourning" is variously estimated. Those who
adopt the longer term reckon thus:
| Years | | From the descent of Jacob into Egypt to the | death of Joseph
71 | | From the death of Joseph to the birth of | Moses 278 | | From the
birth of Moses to his flight into | Midian 40 | | From the flight of Moses
to his return into | Egypt 40 | | From the return of Moses to the Exodus
1 | | 430
Others contend for the shorter period of two hundred and fifteen years,
holding that the period of four hundred and thirty years comprehends the
years from the entrance of Abraham into Canaan (see LXX. and Samaritan)
to the descent of Jacob into Egypt. They reckon thus:
| Years | | From Abraham's arrival in Canaan to Isaac's | birth 25 |
| From Isaac's birth to that of his twin sons | Esau and Jacob 60 | |
From Jacob's birth to the going down into | Egypt 130 | | (215) | | From
Jacob's going down into Egypt to the | death of Joseph 71 | | From death
of Joseph to the birth of Moses 64 | | From birth of Moses to the Exodus
80 | | In all... 430
During the forty years of Moses' sojourn in the land of Midian, the
Hebrews in Egypt were being gradually prepared for the great national
crisis which was approaching. The plagues that successively fell upon
the land loosened the bonds by which Pharaoh held them in slavery, and
at length he was eager that they should depart. But the Hebrews must now
also be ready to go. They were poor; for generations they had laboured
for the Egyptians without wages. They asked gifts from their neighbours
around them (Ex. 12:35), and these were readily bestowed. And then, as
the first step towards their independent national organization, they observed
the feast of the Passover, which was now instituted as a perpetual memorial.
The blood of the paschal lamb was duly sprinkled on the door-posts and
lintels of all their houses, and they were all within, waiting the next
movement in the working out of God's plan. At length the last stroke fell
on the land of Egypt. "It came to pass, that at midnight Jehovah smote
all the firstborn in the land of Egypt." Pharaoh rose up in the night,
and called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, and get you
forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go,
serve Jehovah, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds,
as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also." Thus was Pharaoh (q.v.)
completely humbled and broken down. These words he spoke to Moses and
Aaron "seem to gleam through the tears of the humbled king, as he lamented
his son snatched from him by so sudden a death, and tremble with a sense
of the helplessness which his proud soul at last felt when the avenging
hand of God had visited even his palace."
The terror-stricken Egyptians now urged the instant departure of the
Hebrews. In the midst of the Passover feast, before the dawn of the 15th
day of the month Abib (our April nearly), which was to be to them henceforth
the beginning of the year, as it was the commencement of a new epoch in
their history, every family, with all that appertained to it, was ready
for the march, which instantly began under the leadership of the heads
of tribes with their various sub-divisions. They moved onward, increasing
as they went forward from all the districts of Goshen, over the whole
of which they were scattered, to the common centre. Three or four days
perhaps elapsed before the whole body of the people were assembled at
Rameses, and ready to set out under their leader Moses (Ex. 12:37; Num.
33:3). This city was at that time the residence of the Egyptian court,
and here the interviews between Moses and Pharaoh had taken place.
From Rameses they journeyed to Succoth (Ex. 12:37), identified with
Tel-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia. (See PITHOM.) Their
third station was Etham (q.v.), 13:20, "in the edge of the wilderness,"
and was probably a little to the west of the modern town of Ismailia,
on the Suez Canal. Here they were commanded "to turn and encamp before
Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea", i.e., to change their route
from east to due south. The Lord now assumed the direction of their march
in the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. They were then led
along the west shore of the Red Sea till they came to an extensive camping-ground
"before Pi-hahiroth," about 40 miles from Etham. This distance from Etham
may have taken three days to traverse, for the number of camping-places
by no means indicates the number of days spent on the journey: e.g., it
took fully a month to travel from Rameses to the wilderness of Sin (Ex.
16:1), yet reference is made to only six camping-places during all that
time. The exact spot of their encampment before they crossed the Red Sea
cannot be determined. It was probably somewhere near the present site
Under the direction of God the children of Israel went "forward" from
the camp "before Pi-hahiroth," and the sea opened a pathway for them,
so that they crossed to the farther shore in safety. The Egyptian host
pursued after them, and, attempting to follow through the sea, were overwhelmed
in its returning waters, and thus the whole military force of the Egyptians
perished. They "sank as lead in the mighty waters" (Ex. 15:1-9; comp.
Having reached the eastern shore of the sea, perhaps a little way to
the north of 'Ayun Musa ("the springs of Moses"), there they encamped
and rested probably for a day. Here Miriam and the other women sang the
triumphal song recorded in Ex. 15:1-21.
From 'Ayun Musa they went on for three days through a part of the barren
"wilderness of Shur" (22), called also the "wilderness of Etham" (Num.
33:8; comp. Ex. 13:20), without finding water. On the last of these days
they came to Marah (q.v.), where the "bitter" water was by a miracle made
Their next camping-place was Elim (q.v.), where were twelve springs
of water and a grove of "threescore and ten" palm trees (Ex. 15:27).
After a time the children of Israel "took their journey from Elim,"
and encamped by the Red Sea (Num. 33:10), and thence removed to the "wilderness
of Sin" (to be distinguished from the wilderness of Zin, 20:1), where
they again encamped. Here, probably the modern el-Markha, the supply of
bread they had brought with them out of Egypt failed. They began to "murmur"
for want of bread. God "heard their murmurings" and gave them quails and
manna, "bread from heaven" (Ex. 16:4-36). Moses directed that an omer
of manna should be put aside and preserved as a perpetual memorial of
God's goodness. They now turned inland, and after three encampments came
to the rich and fertile valley of Rephidim, in the Wady Feiran. Here they
found no water, and again murmured against Moses. Directed by God, Moses
procured a miraculous supply of water from the "rock in Horeb," one of
the hills of the Sinai group (17:1-7); and shortly afterwards the children
of Israel here fought their first battle with the Amalekites, whom they
smote with the edge of the sword.
From the eastern extremity of the Wady Feiran the line of march now
probably led through the Wady esh-Sheikh and the Wady Solaf, meeting in
the Wady er-Rahah, "the enclosed plain in front of the magnificient cliffs
of Ras Sufsafeh." Here they encamped for more than a year (Num. 1:1; 10:11)
before Sinai (q.v.).
The different encampments of the children of Israel, from the time of
their leaving Egypt till they reached the Promised Land, are mentioned
in Ex. 12:37-19; Num. 10-21; 33; Deut. 1, 2, 10.
It is worthy of notice that there are unmistakable evidences that the
Egyptians had a tradition of a great exodus from their country, which
could be none other than the exodus of the Hebrews.
Exodus, Book of - Exodus is the name given
in the LXX. to the second book of the Pentateuch (q.v.). It means "departure"
or "outgoing." This name was adopted in the Latin translation, and thence
passed into other languages. The Hebrews called it by the first words, according
to their custom, Ve-eleh shemoth (i.e., "and these are the names").
It contains, (1.) An account of the increase and growth of the Israelites
in Egypt (ch. 1) (2.) Preparations for their departure out of Egypt (2-12:36).
(3.) Their journeyings from Egypt to Sinai (12:37-19:2). (4.) The giving
of the law and the establishment of the institutions by which the organization
of the people was completed, the theocracy, "a kingdom of priest and an
holy nation" (19:3-ch. 40).
The time comprised in this book, from the death of Joseph to the erection
of the tabernacle in the wilderness, is about one hundred and forty-five
years, on the supposition that the four hundred and thirty years (12:40)
are to be computed from the time of the promises made to Abraham (Gal.
The authorship of this book, as well as of that of the other books of
the Pentateuch, is to be ascribed to Moses. The unanimous voice of tradition
and all internal evidences abundantly support this opinion.
Exorcist - (Acts 19:13). "In that sceptical
and therefore superstitious age professional exorcist abounded. Many of
these professional exorcists were disreputable Jews, like Simon in Samaria
and Elymas in Cyprus (8:9; 13:6)." Other references to exorcism as practised
by the Jews are found in Matt. 12:27; Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49, 50. It would
seem that it was an opinion among the Jews that miracles might be wrought
by invoking the divine name. Thus also these "vagabond Jews" pretended that
they could expel daemons.
The power of casting out devils was conferred by Christ on his apostles
(Matt. 10:8), and on the seventy (Luke 10:17-19), and was exercised by
believers after his ascension (Mark 16:17; Acts 16:18); but this power
was never spoken of as exorcism.
Expiation - Guilt is said to be expiated
when it is visited with punishment falling on a substitute. Expiation is
made for our sins when they are punished not in ourselves but in another
who consents to stand in our room. It is that by which reconciliation is
effected. Sin is thus said to be "covered" by vicarious satisfaction.
The cover or lid of the ark is termed in the LXX. hilasterion, that
which covered or shut out the claims and demands of the law against the
sins of God's people, whereby he became "propitious" to them.
The idea of vicarious expiation runs through the whole Old Testament
system of sacrifices. (See PROPITIATION.)
Eye - (Heb. 'ain, meaning "flowing"), applied
(1) to a fountain, frequently; (2) to colour (Num. 11:7; R.V., "appearance,"
marg. "eye"); (3) the face (Ex. 10:5, 15; Num. 22:5, 11), in Num. 14:14,
"face to face" (R.V. marg., "eye to eye"). "Between the eyes", i.e., the
forehead (Ex. 13:9, 16).
The expression (Prov. 23:31), "when it giveth his colour in the cup,"
is literally, "when it giveth out [or showeth] its eye." The beads or
bubbles of wine are thus spoken of. "To set the eyes" on any one is to
view him with favour (Gen. 44:21; Job 24:23; Jer. 39:12). This word is
used figuratively in the expressions an "evil eye" (Matt. 20:15), a "bountiful
eye" (Prov. 22:9), "haughty eyes" (6:17 marg.), "wanton eyes" (Isa. 3:16),
"eyes full of adultery" (2 Pet. 2:14), "the lust of the eyes" (1 John
2:16). Christians are warned against "eye-service" (Eph. 6:6; Col. 3:22).
Men were sometimes punished by having their eyes put out (1 Sam. 11:2;
Samson, Judg. 16:21; Zedekiah, 2 Kings 25:7).
The custom of painting the eyes is alluded to in 2 Kings 9:30, R.V.;
Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 23:40, a custom which still prevails extensively among
Ezekias - Grecized form of Hezekiah (Matt.
Ezekiel - God will strengthen. (1.) 1 Chr.
(2.) One of the great prophets, the son of Buzi the priest (Ezek. 1:3).
He was one of the Jewish exiles who settled at Tel-Abib, on the banks
of the Chebar, "in the land of the Chaldeans." He was probably carried
away captive with Jehoiachin (1:2; 2 Kings 24:14-16) about B.C. 597. His
prophetic call came to him "in the fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity"
(B.C. 594). He had a house in the place of his exile, where he lost his
wife, in the ninth year of his exile, by some sudden and unforeseen stroke
(Ezek. 8:1; 24:18). He held a prominent place among the exiles, and was
frequently consulted by the elders (8:1; 11:25; 14:1; 20:1). His ministry
extended over twenty-three years (29:17), B.C. 595-573, during part of
which he was contemporary with Daniel (14:14; 28:3) and Jeremiah, and
probably also with Obadiah. The time and manner of his death are unknown.
His reputed tomb is pointed out in the neighbourhood of Bagdad, at a place
Ezekiel, Book of - consists mainly of three
groups of prophecies. After an account of his call to the prophetical office
(1-3:21), Ezekiel (1) utters words of denunciation against the Jews (3:22-24),
warning them of the certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to the
words of the false prophets (4:1-3). The symbolical acts, by which the extremities
to which Jerusalem would be reduced are described in ch. 4,5, show his intimate
acquaintance with the Levitical legislation. (See Ex. 22:30; Deut. 14:21;
Lev. 5:2; 7:18,24; 17:15; 19:7; 22:8, etc.)
(2.) Prophecies against various surrounding nations: against the Ammonites
(Ezek. 25:1-7), the Moabites (8-11), the Edomites (12-14), the Philistines
(15-17), Tyre and Sidon (26-28), and against Egypt (29-32).
(3.) Prophecies delivered after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar:
the triumphs of Israel and of the kingdom of God on earth (Ezek. 33-39);
Messianic times, and the establishment and prosperity of the kingdom of
The closing visions of this book are referred to in the book of Revelation
(Ezek. 38=Rev. 20:8; Ezek. 47:1-8=Rev. 22:1,2). Other references to this
book are also found in the New Testament. (Comp. Rom. 2:24 with Ezek.
36:2; Rom. 10:5, Gal. 3:12 with Ezek. 20:11; 2 Pet. 3:4 with Ezek. 12:22.)
It may be noted that Daniel, fourteen years after his deportation from
Jerusalem, is mentioned by Ezekiel (14:14) along with Noah and Job as
distinguished for his righteousness, and some five years later he is spoken
of as pre-eminent for his wisdom (28:3).
Ezekiel's prophecies are characterized by symbolical and allegorical
representations, "unfolding a rich series of majestic visions and of colossal
symbols." There are a great many also of "symbolcal actions embodying
vivid conceptions on the part of the prophet" (4:1-4; 5:1-4; 12:3-6; 24:3-5;
37:16, etc.) "The mode of representation, in which symbols and allegories
occupy a prominent place, gives a dark, mysterious character to the prophecies
of Ezekiel. They are obscure and enigmatical. A cloudy mystery overhangs
them which it is almost impossible to penetrate. Jerome calls the book
'a labyrith of the mysteries of God.' It was because of this obscurity
that the Jews forbade any one to read it till he had attained the age
Ezekiel is singular in the frequency with which he refers to the Pentateuch
(e.g., Ezek. 27; 28:13; 31:8; 36:11, 34; 47:13, etc.). He shows also an
acquaintance with the writings of Hosea (Ezek. 37:22), Isaiah (Ezek. 8:12;
29:6), and especially with those of Jeremiah, his older contemporary (Jer.
24:7, 9; 48:37).
Ezel - a separation, (1 Sam. 20:19), a stone,
or heap of stones, in the neighbourhood of Saul's residence, the scene of
the parting of David and Jonathan (42). The margin of the Authorized Version
reads, "The stone that sheweth the way," in this rendering following the
Ezer - treasure. (1.) One of the sons of
Seir, the native princes, "dukes," of Mount Hor (Gen. 36:21, 27). (2.) 1
Chr. 7:21; (3.) 4:4. (4.) One of the Gadite champions who repaired to David
at Ziklag (12:9). (5.) A Levite (Neh. 3:19). (6.) A priest (12:42).
Ezion-geber - the giant's backbone (so called
from the head of a mountain which runs out into the sea), an ancient city
and harbour at the north-east end of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea,
the Gulf of Akabah, near Elath or Eloth (Num. 33:35; Deut. 2:8). Here Solomon
built ships, "Tarshish ships," like those trading from Tyre to Tarshish
and the west, which traded with Ophir (1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chr. 8:17); and here
also Jehoshaphat's fleet was shipwrecked (1 Kings 22:48; 2 Chr. 20:36).
It became a populous town, many of the Jews settling in it (2 Kings 16:6,
"Elath"). It is supposed that anciently the north end of the gulf flowed
further into the country than now, as far as 'Ain el-Ghudyan, which is 10
miles up the dry bed of the Arabah, and that Ezion-geber may have been there.
Ezra - help. (1.) A priest among those that
returned to Jerusalem under Zerubabel (Neh. 12:1).
(2.) The "scribe" who led the second body of exiles that returned from
Babylon to Jerusalem B.C. 459, and author of the book of Scripture which
bears his name. He was the son, or perhaps grandson, of Seraiah (2 Kings
25:18-21), and a lineal descendant of Phinehas, the son of Aaron (Ezra
7:1-5). All we know of his personal history is contained in the last four
chapters of his book, and in Neh. 8 and 12:26.
In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see DARIUS),
he obtained leave to go up to Jerusalem and to take with him a company
of Israelites (Ezra 8). Artaxerxes manifested great interest in Ezra's
undertaking, granting him "all his request," and loading him with gifts
for the house of God. Ezra assembled the band of exiles, probably about
5,000 in all, who were prepared to go up with him to Jerusalem, on the
banks of the Ahava, where they rested for three days, and were put into
order for their march across the desert, which was completed in four months.
His proceedings at Jerusalem on his arrival there are recorded in his
He was "a ready scribe in the law of Moses," who "had prepared his heart
to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes
and judgments." "He is," says Professor Binnie, "the first well-defined
example of an order of men who have never since ceased in the church;
men of sacred erudition, who devote their lives to the study of the Holy
Scriptures, in order that they may be in a condition to interpret them
for the instruction and edification of the church. It is significant that
the earliest mention of the pulpit occurs in the history of Ezra's ministry
(Neh. 8:4). He was much more of a teacher than a priest. We learn from
the account of his labours in the book of Nehemiah that he was careful
to have the whole people instructed in the law of Moses; and there is
no reason to reject the constant tradition of the Jews which connects
his name with the collecting and editing of the Old Testament canon. The
final completion of the canon may have been, and probably was, the work
of a later generation; but Ezra seems to have put it much into the shape
in which it is still found in the Hebrew Bible. When it is added that
the complete organization of the synagogue dates from this period, it
will be seen that the age was emphatically one of Biblical study" (The
Psalms: their History, etc.).
For about fourteen years, i.e., till B.C. 445, we have no record of
what went on in Jerusalem after Ezra had set in order the ecclesiastical
and civil affairs of the nation. In that year another distinguished personage,
Nehemiah, appears on the scene. After the ruined wall of the city had
been built by Nehemiah, there was a great gathering of the people at Jerusalem
preparatory to the dedication of the wall. On the appointed day the whole
population assembled, and the law was read aloud to them by Ezra and his
assistants (Neh. 8:3). The remarkable scene is described in detail. There
was a great religious awakening. For successive days they held solemn
assemblies, confessing their sins and offering up solemn sacrifices. They
kept also the feast of Tabernacles with great solemnity and joyous enthusiasm,
and then renewed their national covenant to be the Lord's. Abuses were
rectified, and arrangements for the temple service completed, and now
nothing remained but the dedication of the walls of the city (Neh. 12).
Ezra, Book of - This book is the record
of events occurring at the close of the Babylonian exile. It was at one
time included in Nehemiah, the Jews regarding them as one volume. The two
are still distinguished in the Vulgate version as I. and II. Esdras. It
consists of two principal divisions:
(1.) The history of the first return of exiles, in the first year of
Cyrus (B.C. 536), till the completion and dedication of the new temple,
in the sixth year of Darius Hystapes (B.C. 515), ch. 1-6. From the close
of the sixth to the opening of the seventh chapter there is a blank in
the history of about sixty years.
(2.) The history of the second return under Ezra, in the seventh year
of Artaxerxes Longimanus, and of the events that took place at Jerusalem
after Ezra's arrival there (7-10).
The book thus contains memorabilia connected with the Jews, from the
decree of Cyrus (B.C. 536) to the reformation by Ezra (B.C. 456), extending
over a period of about eighty years.
There is no quotation from this book in the New Testament, but there
never has been any doubt about its being canonical. Ezra was probably
the author of this book, at least of the greater part of it (comp. 7:27,
28; 8:1, etc.), as he was also of the Books of Chronicles, the close of
which forms the opening passage of Ezra.
Ezrahite - a title given to Ethan (1 Kings
4:31; Ps. 89, title) and Heman (Ps. 88, title). They were both sons of Zerah
(1 Chr. 2:6).
Ezri - help of Jehovah, the son of Chelub.
He superintended, under David, those who "did the work of the field for
tillage" (1 Chr. 27:26).
Fable - applied in the New Testament to
the traditions and speculations, "cunningly devised fables", of the Jews
on religious questions (1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:4; Titus 1:14; 2 Pet.
1:16). In such passages the word means anything false and unreal. But the
word is used as almost equivalent to parable. Thus we have (1) the fable
of Jotham, in which the trees are spoken of as choosing a king (Judg. 9:8-15);
and (2) that of the cedars of Lebanon and the thistle as Jehoash's answer
to Amaziah (2 Kings 14:9).
Face - means simply presence, as when it
is recorded that Adam and Eve hid themselves from the "face [R.V., 'presence']
of the Lord God" (Gen. 3:8; comp. Ex. 33:14, 15, where the same Hebrew word
is rendered "presence"). The "light of God's countenance" is his favour
(Ps. 44:3; Dan. 9:17). "Face" signifies also anger, justice, severity (Gen.
16:6, 8; Ex. 2:15; Ps. 68:1; Rev. 6:16). To "provoke God to his face" (Isa.
65:3) is to sin against him openly.
The Jews prayed with their faces toward the temple and Jerusalem (1
Kings 8:38, 44, 48; Dan. 6:10). To "see God's face" is to have access
to him and to enjoy his favour (Ps. 17:15; 27:8). This is the privilege
of holy angels (Matt. 18:10; Luke 1:19). The "face of Jesus Christ" (2
Cor. 4:6) is the office and person of Christ, the revealer of the glory
of God (John 1:14, 18).