Merodach - death; slaughter, the name of a Babylonian god, probably
the planet Mars (Jer. 50:2), or it may be another name of Bel, the guardian
divinity of Babylon. This name frequently occurs as a surname to the kings
of Assyria and Babylon.
Merodach-baladan - Merodach has given
a son, (Isa. 39:1), "the hereditary chief of the Chaldeans, a small tribe
at that time settled in the marshes at the mouth of the Euphrates, but
in consequence of his conquest of Babylon afterwards, they became the
dominant caste in Babylonia itself." One bearing this name sent ambassadors
to Hezekiah (B.C. 721). He is also called Berodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12;
2 Chr. 20:31). (See HEZEKIAH.)
Merom - height, a lake in Northern Palestine
through which the Jordan flows. It was the scene of the third and last great
victory gained by Joshua over the Canaanites (Josh. 11:5-7). It is not again
mentioned in Scripture. Its modern name is Bakrat el-Huleh. "The Ard el-Huleh,
the centre of which the lake occupies, is a nearly level plain of 16 miles
in length from north to south, and its breadth from east to west is from
7 to 8 miles. On the west it is walled in by the steep and lofty range of
the hills of Kedesh-Naphtali; on the east it is bounded by the lower and
more gradually ascending slopes of Bashan; on the north it is shut in by
a line of hills hummocky and irregular in shape and of no great height,
and stretching across from the mountains of Naphtali to the roots of Mount
Hermon, which towers up at the north-eastern angle of the plain to a height
of 10,000 feet. At its southern extremity the plain is similarly traversed
by elevated and broken ground, through which, by deep and narrow clefts,
the Jordan, after passing through Lake Huleh, makes its rapid descent to
the Sea of Galilee."
The lake is triangular in form, about 4 1/2 miles in length by 3 1/2
at its greatest breadth. Its surface is 7 feet above that of the Mediterranean.
It is surrounded by a morass, which is thickly covered with canes and
papyrus reeds, which are impenetrable. Macgregor with his canoe, the Rob
Roy, was the first that ever, in modern times, sailed on its waters. (See
Meronothite - a name given to Jehdeiah,
the herdsman of the royal asses in the time of David and Solomon (1 Chr.
27:30), probably as one being a native of some unknown town called Meronoth.
Meroz - a plain in the north of Palestine,
the inhabitants of which were severely condemned because they came not to
help Barak against Sisera (Judg. 5:23: comp. 21:8-10; 1 Sam. 11:7). It has
been identified with Marassus, on a knoll to the north of Wady Jalud, but
nothing certainly is known of it. Like Chorazin, it is only mentioned in
Scripture in connection with the curse pronounced upon it.
Mesha - middle district, Vulgate, Messa.
(1.) A plain in that part of the boundaries of Arabia inhabited by the descendants
of Joktan (Gen. 10:30).
(2.) Heb. meysh'a, "deliverance," the eldest son of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:42),
and brother of Jerahmeel.
(3.) Heb. id, a king of Moab, the son of Chemosh-Gad, a man of great
wealth in flocks and herds (2 Kings 3:4). After the death of Ahab at Ramoth-Gilead,
Mesha shook off the yoke of Israel; but on the ascension of Jehoram to
the throne of Israel, that king sought the help of Jehoshaphat in an attempt
to reduce the Moabites again to their former condition. The united armies
of the two kings came unexpectedly on the army of the Moabites, and gained
over them an easy victory. The whole land was devastated by the conquering
armies, and Mesha sought refuge in his last stronghold, Kir-harasheth
(q.v.). Reduced to despair, he ascended the wall of the city, and there,
in the sight of the allied armies, offered his first-born son a sacrifice
to Chemosh, the fire-god of the Moabites. This fearful spectacle filled
the beholders with horror, and they retired from before the besieged city,
and recrossed the Jordan laden with spoil (2 Kings 3:25-27).
The exploits of Mesha are recorded in the Phoenician inscription on
a block of black basalt found at Dibon, in Moab, usually called the "Moabite
Meshach - the title given to Mishael, one
of the three Hebrew youths who were under training at the Babylonian court
for the rank of Magi (Dan. 1:7; 2:49; 3:12-30). This was probably the name
of some Chaldean god.
Meshech - drawing out, the sixth son of
Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the founder of a tribe (1 Chr. 1:5; Ezek. 27:13; 38:2,3).
They were in all probability the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian
Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In Ps. 120:5 the name
occurs as simply a synonym for foreigners or barbarians. "During the ascendency
of the Babylonians and Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued;
but it seems probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range
and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the Scythians. There
they became known as Muscovs, and gave that name to the Russian nation and
its ancient capital by which they are still generally known throughout the
Meshelemiah - friendship of Jehovah, a Levite
of the family of the Korhites, called also Shelemiah (1 Chr. 9:21; 26:1,
2, 9, 14). He was a temple gate-keeper in the time of David.
Meshillemoth - requitals. (1.) The father
of Berechiah (2 Chr. 28:12).
(2.) A priest, the son of Immer (Neh. 11:13).
Meshullam - befriended. (1.) One of the
chief Gadites in Bashan in the time of Jotham (1 Chr. 5:13).
(2.) Grandfather of Shaphan, "the scribe," in the reign of Josiah (2
(3.) A priest, father of Hilkiah (1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 11:11), in the reign
of Ammon; called Shallum in 1 Chr. 6:12.
(4.) A Levite of the family of Kohath (2 Chr. 34:12), in the reign of
(5.) 1 Chr. 8:17.
(6.) 1 Chr. 3:19.
(7.) Neh. 12:13.
(8.) A chief priest (Neh. 12:16).
(9.) One of the leading Levites in the time of Ezra (8:16).
(10.) A priest (1 Chr. 9:12).
(11.) One of the principal Israelites who supported Ezra when expounding
the law to the people (Neh. 8:4).
Meshullemeth - friend, the wife of Manasseh,
and the mother of Amon (2 Kings 21:19), Kings of Judah.
Mesopotamia - the country between the two
rivers (Heb. Aram-naharaim; i.e., "Syria of the two rivers"), the name given
by the Greeks and Romans to the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris
(Gen. 24:10; Deut. 23:4; Judg. 3:8, 10). In the Old Testament it is mentioned
also under the name "Padan-aram;" i.e., the plain of Aram, or Syria (Gen.
25:20). The northern portion of this fertile plateau was the original home
of the ancestors of the Hebrews (Gen. 11; Acts 7:2). From this region Isaac
obtained his wife Rebecca (Gen. 24:10, 15), and here also Jacob sojourned
(28:2-7) and obtained his wives, and here most of his sons were born (35:26;
46:15). The petty, independent tribes of this region, each under its own
prince, were warlike, and used chariots in battle. They maintained their
independence till after the time of David, when they fell under the dominion
of Assyria, and were absorbed into the empire (2 Kings 19:13).
Mess - a portion of food given to a guest
(Gen. 43:34; 2 Sam. 11:8).
Messenger - (Heb. mal'ak, Gr. angelos),
an angel, a messenger who runs on foot, the bearer of despatches (Job 1:14;
1 Sam. 11:7; 2 Chr. 36:22); swift of foot (2 Kings 9:18).
Messiah - (Heb. mashiah), in all the thirty-nine
instances of its occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX.
"Christos." It means anointed. Thus priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:15; Num. 3:3),
prophets (1 Kings 19:16), and kings (1 Sam. 9:16; 16:3; 2 Sam. 12:7) were
anointed with oil, and so consecrated to their respective offices. The great
Messiah is anointed "above his fellows" (Ps. 45:7); i.e., he embraces in
himself all the three offices. The Greek form "Messias" is only twice used
in the New Testament, in John 1:41 and 4:25 (R.V., "Messiah"), and in the
Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the Hebrew, occurs only
twice (Dan 9:25, 26; R.V., "the anointed one").
The first great promise (Gen. 3:15) contains in it the germ of all the
prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah
and the great work he was to accomplish on earth. The prophecies became
more definite and fuller as the ages rolled on; the light shone more and
more unto the perfect day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have
been pointed out, (1) the patriarchal; (2) the Mosaic; (3) the period
of David; (4) the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets whose
works form a part of the Old Testament canon. The expectations of the
Jews were thus kept alive from generation to generation, till the "fulness
of the times," when Messiah came, "made of a woman, made under the law,
to redeem them that were under the law." In him all these ancient prophecies
have their fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great Deliverer
who was to come. (Comp. Matt. 26:54; Mark 9:12; Luke 18:31; 22:37; John
5:39; Acts 2; 16:31; 26:22, 23.)
Metheg-ammah - bridle of the mother, a figurative
name for a chief city, as in 2 Sam. 8:1, "David took Metheg-ammah out of
the hand of the Philistines" (R.V., "took the bridle of the mother-city");
i.e., subdued their capital or strongest city, viz., Gath (1 Chr. 18:1).
Methusael - champion of El; man of God,
a descendant of Cain (Gen. 4:18), so called, perhaps, to denote that even
among the descendants of Cain God had not left himself without a witness.
Methuselah - man of the dart, the son of
Enoch, and grandfather of Noah. He was the oldest man of whom we have any
record, dying at the age of nine hundred and sixty-nine years, in the year
of the Flood (Gen. 5:21-27; 1 Chr. 1:3).
Mezahab - water of gold, the father of Matred
(Gen. 36:39; 1 Chr. 1:50), and grandfather of Mehetabel, wife of Hadar,
the last king of Edom.
Miamin - =Mijamin, from the right hand.
(1.) The head of one of the divisions of the priests (1 Chr. 24:9).
(2.) A chief priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Neh.
12:5), called Mijamin (10:7) and Miniamin (12:17).
Mibhar - choice, a Hagarene, one of David's
warriors (1 Chr. 11:38); called also Bani the Gadite (2 Sam. 23:36).
Mibsam - fragrance. (1.) One of Ishmael's
twelve sons, and head of an Arab tribe (Gen. 25:13).
(2.) A son of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:25).
Mibzar - fortress, one of the Edomitish
"dukes" descended from Esau (Gen. 36:42; 1 Chr. 1:53).
Micah - a shortened form of Micaiah, who
is like Jehovah? (1.) A man of Mount Ephraim, whose history so far is introduced
in Judg. 17, apparently for the purpose of leading to an account of the
settlement of the tribe of Dan in Northern Palestine, and for the purpose
also of illustrating the lawlessness of the times in which he lived (Judg.
18; 19:1-29; 21:25).
(2.) The son of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), 1 Chr. 8:34, 35.
(3.) The first in rank of the priests of the family of Kohathites (1
(4.) A descendant of Joel the Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:5).
(5.) "The Morasthite," so called to distinguish him from Micaiah, the
son of Imlah (1 Kings 22:8). He was a prophet of Judah, a contemporary
of Isaiah (Micah 1:1), a native of Moresheth of Gath (1:14, 15). Very
little is known of the circumstances of his life (comp. Jer. 26:18, 19).
Micah, Book of - the sixth in order of the
so-called minor prophets. The superscription to this book states that the
prophet exercised his office in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
If we reckon from the beginning of Jotham's reign to the end of Hezekiah's
(B.C. 759-698), then he ministered for about fifty-nine years; but if we
reckon from the death of Jotham to the accession of Hezekiah (B.C. 743-726),
his ministry lasted only sixteen years. It has been noticed as remarkable
that this book commences with the last words of another prophet, "Micaiah
the son of Imlah" (1 Kings 22:28): "Hearken, O people, every one of you."
The book consists of three sections, each commencing with a rebuke,
"Hear ye," etc., and closing with a promise, (1) ch. 1; 2; (2) ch. 3-5,
especially addressed to the princes and heads of the people; (3) ch. 6-7,
in which Jehovah is represented as holding a controversy with his people:
the whole concluding with a song of triumph at the great deliverance which
the Lord will achieve for his people. The closing verse is quoted in the
song of Zacharias (Luke 1:72, 73). The prediction regarding the place
"where Christ should be born," one of the most remarkable Messianic prophecies
(Micah 5:2), is quoted in Matt. 2:6.
There are the following references to this book in the New Testament:
5:2, with Matt. 2:6; John 7:42. 7:6, with Matt. 10:21,35,36. 7:20, with
Micaiah - who is like Jehovah?, the son
of Imlah, a faithful prophet of Samaria (1 Kings 22:8-28). Three years after
the great battle with Ben-hadad (20:29-34), Ahab proposed to Jehoshaphat,
king of Judah, that they should go up against Ramoth-Gilead to do battle
again with Ben-hadad. Jehoshaphat agreed, but suggested that inquiry should
be first made "at the word of Jehovah." Ahab's prophets approved of the
expedition; but Jehoshaphat, still dissatisfied, asked if there was no other
prophet besides the four hundred that had appeared, and was informed of
this Micaiah. He was sent for from prison, where he had been confined, probably
on account of some prediction disagreeable to Ahab; and he condemned the
expedition, and prophesied that it would end, as it did, in disaster. We
hear nothing further of this prophet. Some have supposed that he was the
unnamed prophet referred to in 1 Kings 20:35-42.
Micha - (1.) 2 Sam. 9:12 =MICAH (2).
(2.) The son of Zabdi, a Levite of the family of Asaph (Neh. 11:17,
Michael - who is like God? (1.) The title
given to one of the chief angels (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He had special
charge of Israel as a nation. He disputed with Satan (Jude 1:9) about the
body of Moses. He is also represented as warning against "that old serpent,
called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:7-9).
(2.) The father of Sethur, the spy selected to represent Asher (Num.
(3.) 1 Chr. 7:3, a chief of the tribe of Issachar.
(4.) 1 Chr. 8:16, a Benjamite.
(5.) A chief Gadite in Bashan (1 Chr. 5:13).
(6.) A Manassite, "a captain of thousands" who joined David at Ziklag
(1 Chr. 12:20).
(7.) A Gershonite Levite (1 Chr. 6:40).
(8.) The father of Omri (1 Chr. 27:18).
(9.) One of the sons of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 21:2, 4). He was murdered
by his brother Jehoram.
Michaiah - (1.) The queen-mother of
King Abijah (2 Chr. 13:2). (See MAACAH ).
(2.) One of those sent out by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in
the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(3.) 2 Kings 22:12.
(4.) The son of Gemariah. He reported to the king's officers Jeremiah's
prediction, which he had heard Baruch read (Jer. 36:11, 13) from his father
Gemariah's chamber in the temple.
(5.) A Levite (Neh. 12:35).
(6.) A priest (Neh. 12:41).
Michal - rivulet, or who as God?, the
younger of Saul's two daughters by his wife Ahinoam (1 Sam. 14:49, 50).
"Attracted by the graces of his person and the gallantry of his conduct,
she fell in love with David and became his wife" (18:20-28). She showed
her affection for him by promoting his escape to Naioth when Saul sought
his life (1 Sam. 19:12-17. Comp. Ps. 59. See TERAPHIM). After this she
did not see David for many years. Meanwhile she was given in marriage
to another man, Phalti or Phaltiel of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44), but David
afterwards formally reclaimed her as his lawful wife (2 Sam. 3:13-16).
The relation between her and David soon after this was altered. They became
alienated from each other. This happened on that memorable day when the
ark was brought up in great triumph from its temporary resting-place to
the Holy City. In David's conduct on that occasion she saw nothing but
a needless humiliation of the royal dignity (1 Chr. 15:29). She remained
childless, and thus the races of David and Saul were not mixed. In 2 Sam.
21:8 her name again occurs, but the name Merab should probably be here
substituted for Michal (comp. 1 Sam. 18:19).
Michmash - something hidden, a town of Benjamin
(Ezra 2:27), east of Bethel and south of Migron, on the road to Jerusalem
(Isa. 10:28). It lay on the line of march of an invading army from the north,
on the north side of the steep and precipitous Wady es-Suweinit ("valley
of the little thorn-tree" or "the acacia"), and now bears the name of Mukhmas.
This wady is called "the passage of Michmash" (1 Sam. 13:23). Immediately
facing Mukhmas, on the opposite side of the ravine, is the modern representative
of Geba, and behind this again are Ramah and Gibeah.
This was the scene of a great battle fought between the army of Saul
and the Philistines, who were utterly routed and pursued for some 16 miles
towards Philistia as far as the valley of Aijalon. "The freedom of Benjamin
secured at Michmash led through long years of conflict to the freedom
of all its kindred tribes." The power of Benjamin and its king now steadily
increased. A new spirit and a new hope were now at work in Israel. (See
Michmethah - hiding-place, a town in the
northern border of Ephraim and Manasseh, and not far west of Jordan (Josh.
Michri - prize of Jehovah, a Benjamite,
the father of Uzzi (1 Chr. 9:8).
Michtam - writing; i.e., a poem or song
found in the titles of Ps. 16; 56-60. Some translate the word "golden",
i.e., precious. It is rendered in the LXX. by a word meaning "tablet inscription"
or a "stelograph." The root of the word means to stamp or grave, and hence
it is regarded as denoting a composition so precious as to be worthy to
be engraven on a durable tablet for preservation; or, as others render,
"a psalm precious as stamped gold," from the word kethem, "fine or
Middin - measures, one of the six cities
"in the wilderness," on the west of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi
Midian - strife, the fourth son of Abraham
by Keturah, the father of the Midianites (Gen. 25:2; 1 Chr. 1:32).
Midianite - an Arabian tribe descended
from Midian. They inhabited principally the desert north of the peninsula
of Arabia. The peninsula of Sinai was the pasture-ground for their flocks.
They were virtually the rulers of Arabia, being the dominant tribe. Like
all Arabians, they were a nomad people. They early engaged in commercial
pursuits. It was to one of their caravans that Joseph was sold (Gen. 37:28,
36). The next notice of them is in connection with Moses' flight from
Egypt (Ex. 2:15-21). Here in Midian Moses became the servant and afterwards
the son-in-law of Reuel or Jethro, the priest. After the Exodus, the Midianites
were friendly to the Israelites so long as they traversed only their outlying
pasture-ground on the west of the Arabah; but when, having passed the
southern end of Edom, they entered into the land of Midian proper, they
joined with Balak, the king of Moab, in a conspiracy against them (Num.
22:4-7). Balaam, who had been sent for to curse Israel, having utterly
failed to do so, was dismissed by the king of Moab; nevertheless he still
tarried among the Midianites, and induced them to enter into correspondence
with the Israelites, so as to bring them into association with them in
the licentious orgies connected with the worship of Baal-Peor. This crafty
counsel prevailed. The Israelites took part in the heathen festival, and
so brought upon themselves a curse indeed. Their apostasy brought upon
them a severe punishment. A plague broke out amongst them, and more than
twenty-four thousand of the people perished (Num. 25:9). But the Midianites
were not to be left unpunished. A terrible vengeance was denounced against
them. A thousand warriors from each tribe, under the leadership of Phinehas,
went forth against them. The Midianites were utterly routed. Their cities
were consumed by fire, five of their kings were put to death, and the
whole nation was destroyed (Josh. 13:21, 22). Balaam also perished by
the sword, receiving the "wages of his unrighteousness" (Num. 31:8; 2
Pet. 2:15). The whole of the country on the east of Jordan, now conquered
by the Israelites (see SIHON; OG), was divided between the two tribes
of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh.
Some two hundred and fifty years after this the Midianites had regained
their ancient power, and in confederation with the Amalekites and the
"children of the east" they made war against their old enemies the Israelites,
whom for seven years they oppressed and held in subjection. They were
at length assailed by Gideon in that ever-memorable battle in the great
plain of Esdraelon, and utterly destroyed (Judg. 6:1-ch. 7). Frequent
allusions are afterwards made to this great victory (Ps. 83:10, 12; Isa.
9:4; 10:6). They now wholly pass away from the page of history both sacred
Midwife - The two midwives mentioned in
Ex. 1:15 were probably the superintendents of the whole class.
Migdal-Edar - tower of the flock, a
place 2 miles south of Jerusalem, near the Bethlehem road (Gen. 35:21).
Migdal-el - tower of God, a fortified city
of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38), supposed by some to be identical with Magdala
Migdal-gad - tower of fortune, a town in
the plains of Judah, probably the modern el-Mejdel, a little to the north-east
of Ascalon (Josh. 15:37).
Migdol - tower. (1.) A strongly-fortified
place 12 miles from Pelusium, in the north of Egypt (Jer. 44:1; 46:14).
This word is rendered "tower" in Ezek. 29:10, but the margin correctly retains
the name Migdol, "from Migdol to Syene;" i.e., from Migdol in the north
to Syene in the south, in other words, the whole of Egypt.
(2.) A place mentioned in the passage of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:2; Num.
33:7, 8). It is probably to be identified with Bir Suweis, about 2 miles
Migron - precipice or landslip, a place
between Aiath and Michmash (Isa. 10:28). The town of the same name mentioned
in 1 Sam. 14:2 was to the south of this.
Mikloth - staves. (1.) An officer under
Dodai, in the time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:4).
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:32; 9:37, 38).
Milaiai - eloquent, a Levitical musician
(Neh. 12:36) who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.
Mildew - (the rendering of a Hebrew word
meaning "to be yellow," yellowness), the result of cutting east winds blighting
and thus rendering the grain unproductive (Deut. 28:22; 1 Kings 8:37; 2
Mile - (from Lat. mille, "a thousand;" Matt.
5:41), a Roman measure of 1,000 paces of 5 feet each. Thus the Roman mile
has 1618 yards, being 142 yards shorter than the English mile.
Miletus - (Miletum, 2 Tim. 4:20), a
seaport town and the ancient capital of Ionia, about 36 miles south of
Ephesus. On his voyage from Greece to Syria, Paul touched at this port,
and delivered that noble and pathetic address to the elders ("presbyters,"
ver. 28) of Ephesus recorded in Acts 20:15-35. The site of Miletus is
now some 10 miles from the coast. (See EPHESIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
Milk - (1.) Hebrew halabh, "new milk", milk
in its fresh state (Judg. 4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection
with honey (Ex. 3:8; 13:5; Josh. 5:6; Isa. 7:15, 22; Jer. 11:5). Sheep (Deut.
32:14) and goats (Prov. 27:27) and camels (Gen. 32:15), as well as cows,
are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is used figuratively
as a sign of abundance (Gen. 49:12; Ezek. 25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a
symbol of the rudiments of doctrine (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13), and of
the unadulterated word of God (1 Pet. 2:2).
(2.) Heb. hem'ah, always rendered "butter" in the Authorized Version.
It means "butter," but also more frequently "cream," or perhaps, as some
think, "curdled milk," such as that which Abraham set before the angels
(Gen. 18:8), and which Jael gave to Sisera (Judg. 5:25). In this state
milk was used by travellers (2 Sam. 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired
a slightly intoxicating or soporific power.
This Hebrew word is also sometimes used for milk in general (Deut. 32:14;
Mill - for grinding corn, mentioned as used
in the time of Abraham (Gen. 18:6). That used by the Hebrews consisted of
two circular stones, each 2 feet in diameter and half a foot thick, the
lower of which was called the "nether millstone" (Job 41:24) and the upper
the "rider." The upper stone was turned round by a stick fixed in it as
a handle. There were then no public mills, and thus each family required
to be provided with a hand-mill. The corn was ground daily, generally by
the women of the house (Isa. 47:1, 2; Matt. 24:41). It was with the upper
stone of a hand-mill that "a certain woman" at Thebez broke Abimelech's
skull (Judg. 9:53, "a piece of a millstone;" literally, "a millstone rider",
i.e., the "runner," the stone which revolves. Comp. 2 Sam. 11:21). Millstones
could not be pledged (Deut. 24:6), as they were necessary in every family.
Millennium - a thousand years; the name
given to the era mentioned in Rev. 20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will
personally appear on earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at
the beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are usually called
"millenarians." On the other hand, it is maintained, more in accordance
with the teaching of Scripture, we think, that Christ's second advent will
not be premillennial, and that the right conception of the prospects and
destiny of his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of
the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it is held,
must be looked for by the wider and more efficient operation of the very
forces that are now at work in extending the gospel; and that Christ will
only come again at the close of this dispensation to judge the world at
the "last day." The millennium will thus precede his coming.
Millet - (Heb. dohan; only in Ezek. 4:9),
a small grain, the produce of the Panicum miliaceum of botanists. It is
universally cultivated in the East as one of the smaller corn-grasses. This
seed is the cenchros of the Greeks. It is called in India warree, and by
the Arabs dukhan, and is extensively used for food, being often mixed with
other grain. In this country it is only used for feeding birds.
Millo - (Heb. always with the article, "the"
Millo). (1.) Probably the Canaanite name of some fortification, consisting
of walls filled in with earth and stones, which protected Jerusalem on the
north as its outermost defence. It is always rendered Akra i.e., "the citadel",
in the LXX. It was already existing when David conquered Jerusalem (2 Sam.
5:9). He extended it to the right and left, thus completing the defence
of the city. It was rebuilt by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27) and repaired
by Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:5).
(2.) In Judg. 9:6, 20 it is the name of a rampart in Shechem, probably
the "tower of Shechem" (9:46, 49).
Mincing - (Heb. taphoph, Isa. 3:16), taking
affectedly short and quick steps. Luther renders the word by "wag" or "waggle,"
thus representing "the affected gait of coquettish females."
Mine - The process of mining is described
in Job 28:1-11. Moses speaks of the mineral wealth of Palestine (Deut. 8:9).
Job 28:4 is rightly thus rendered in the Revised Version, "He breaketh open
a shaft away from where men sojourn; they are forgotten of the foot [that
passeth by]; they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro." These words
illustrate ancient mining operations.
Minister - one who serves, as distinguished
from the master. (1.) Heb. meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of
superior rank, as to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Ex. 33:11), and to the
servant of Elisha (2 Kings 4:43). This name is also given to attendants
at court (2 Chr. 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jer. 33:21; Ezek.
(2.) Heb. pelah (Ezra 7:24), a "minister" of religion. Here used of
that class of sanctuary servants called "Solomon's servants" in Ezra 2:55-58
and Neh. 7:57-60.
(3.) Greek leitourgos, a subordinate public administrator, and in this
sense applied to magistrates (Rom. 13:6). It is applied also to our Lord
(Heb. 8:2), and to Paul in relation to Christ (Rom. 15:16).
(4.) Greek hyperetes (literally, "under-rower"), a personal attendant
on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the officiating priest
in the synagogue (Luke 4:20). It is applied also to John Mark, the attendant
on Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:5).
(5.) Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or assistant employed
in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as to Paul and Apollos (1 Cor.
3:5), Tychicus (Eph. 6:21), Epaphras (Col. 1:7), Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2),
and also to Christ (Rom. 15:8).
Minni - only in Jer. 51:27, as the name
of a province in Armenia, which was at this time under the Median kings.
Armenia is regarded by some as = Har-minni i.e., the mountainous country
of Minni. (See ARMENIA.)
Minnith - distribution, an Ammonitish town
(Judg. 11:33) from which wheat was exported to Tyre (Ezek. 27:17). It was
probably somewhere in the Mishor or table-land on the east of Jordan. There
is a gentle valley running for about 4 miles east of Dhiban called Kurm
Dhiban, "the vineyards of Dibon." Tristram supposes that this may be the
"vineyards" mentioned in Judg. (l.c.).
Minstrel - (Matt. 9:23), a flute-player.
Such music was a usual accompaniment of funerals. In 2 Kings 3:15 it denotes
a player on a stringed instrument.
Mint - (Gr. heduosmon, i.e., "having a sweet
smell"), one of the garden herbs of which the Pharisees paid tithes (Matt.
23:23; Luke 11:42). It belongs to the labiate family of plants. The species
most common in Syria is the Mentha sylvestris, the wild mint, which grows
much larger than the garden mint (M. sativa). It was much used in domestic
economy as a condiment, and also as a medicine. The paying of tithes of
mint was in accordance with the Mosiac law (Deut. 14:22), but the error
of the Pharisees lay in their being more careful about this little matter
of the mint than about weightier matters.
Miracle - an event in the external world
brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating
without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed
to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth
of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38). It is an occurrence at once above
nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited
by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed
laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.
"The suspension or violation of the laws of nature involved in miracles
is nothing more than is constantly taking place around us. One force counteracts
another: vital force keeps the chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and
muscular force can control the action of physical force. When a man raises
a weight from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor
violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true as to
the walking of Christ on the water and the swimming of iron at the command
of the prophet. The simple and grand truth that the universe is not under
the exclusive control of physical forces, but that everywhere and always
there is above, separate from and superior to all else, an infinite personal
will, not superseding, but directing and controlling all physical causes,
acting with or without them." God ordinarily effects his purpose through
the agency of second causes; but he has the power also of effecting his
purpose immediately and without the intervention of second causes, i.e.,
of invading the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we affirm
the possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand intervening
to control or reverse nature's ordinary movements.
In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally used to
designate miracles: (1.) Semeion, a "sign", i.e., an evidence of a divine
commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:1,
4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a
token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.
(2.) Terata, "wonders;" wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment
in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
(3.) Dunameis, "might works;" works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22;
Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
(4.) Erga, "works;" the works of Him who is "wonderful in working" (John
Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers appealed
to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our Lord also appealed
to miracles as a conclusive proof of his divine mission (John 5:20, 36;
10:25, 38). Thus, being out of the common course of nature and beyond
the power of man, they are fitted to convey the impression of the presence
and power of God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man,
therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that he comes
with the authority of God; they are his credentials that he is God's messenger.
The teacher points to these credentials, and they are a proof that he
speaks with the authority of God. He boldly says, "God bears me witness,
both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles."
The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of the senses
on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and to all others by the
testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses were competent, and their testimony
is trustworthy. Unbelievers, following Hume, deny that any testimony can
prove a miracle, because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown
that miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to. Surely
they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy evidence of their
occurrence. They are credible just as any facts of history well authenticated
are credible. Miracles, it is said, are contrary to experience. Of course
they are contrary to our experience, but that does not prove that they
were contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We believe
a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that are contrary to
our experience, but we believe them on the ground of competent testimony.
An atheist or a pantheist must, as a matter of course, deny the possibility
of miracles; but to one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom
may see fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles
are not impossible, nor are they incredible. (See LIST OF MIRACLES, Appendix.)
Miriam - their rebellion. (1.) The sister
of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 2:4-10; 1 Chr. 6:3). Her name is prominent in
the history of the Exodus. She is called "the prophetess" (Ex. 15:20).
She took the lead in the song of triumph after the passage of the Red
Sea. She died at Kadesh during the second encampment at that place, toward
the close of the wanderings in the wilderness, and was buried there (Num.
20:1). (See AARON; MOSES.)
(2.) 1 Chr. 4:17, one of the descendants of Judah.
Misdeem - (Deut. 32:27, R.V.). The Authorized
Version reads, "should behave themselves strangely;" i.e., not recognize
the truth, misunderstand or mistake the cause of Israel's ruin, which was
due to the fact that God had forsaken them on account of their apostasy.
Misgab - height, a town of Moab, or simply,
the height=the citadel, some fortress so called; or perhaps a general name
for the highlands of Moab, as some think (Jer. 48:1). In Isa. 25:12, the
word is rendered "high fort."
Mishael - who is like God! (1.) A Levite;
the eldest of the three sons of Uzziel (Ex. 6:22).
(2.) One of the three Hebrew youths who were trained with Daniel in
Babylon (Dan. 1:11, 19), and promoted to the rank of Magi. He and his
companions were afterwards cast into the burning fiery furnace for refusing
to worship the idol the king had set up, from which they were miraculously
delivered (3:13-30). His Chaldean name was Meshach (q.v.).
Mishal - a city of the tribe of Asher (Josh.
21:30; 1 Chr. 6:74). It is probably the modern Misalli, on the shore near
Misham - their cleansing or their beholding,
a Benjamite, one of the sons of Elpaal (1 Chr. 8:12).
Misheal - (Josh. 19:26), a town of Asher,
probably the same as Mishal.
Mishma - hearing. (1.) One of the sons of
Ishmael (Gen. 25:14), and founder of an Arab tribe.
(2.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:25, 26).
Mishmannah - fatness, one of the Gadite
heroes who gathered to David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:10).
Misrephoth-maim - burning of waters, supposed
to be salt-pans, or lime-kilns, or glass-factories, a place to which Joshua
pursued a party of Canaanites after the defeat of Jabin (Josh. 11:8). It
is identified with the ruin Musheirifeh, at the promontory of en-Nakhurah,
some 11 miles north of Acre.
Mite - contraction of minute, from the
Latin minutum, the translation of the Greek word lepton, the very smallest
bronze of copper coin (Luke 12:59; 21:2). Two mites made one quadrans,
i.e., the fourth part of a Roman as, which was in value nearly a halfpenny.
Mithcah - sweetness, one of the stations
of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:28, 29).
Mithredath - given by Mithra, or dedicated
to Mithra, i.e., the sun, the Hebrew form of the Greek name Mithridates.
(1.) The "treasurer" of King Cyrus (Ezra 1:8).
(2.) Ezra 4:7, a Persian officer in Samaria.
Mitre - (Heb. mitsnepheth), something
rolled round the head; the turban or head-dress of the high priest (Ex.
28:4, 37, 39; 29:6, etc.). In the Authorized Version of Ezek. 21:26, this
Hebrew word is rendered "diadem," but in the Revised Version, "mitre."
It was a twisted band of fine linen, 8 yards in length, coiled into the
form of a cap, and worn on official occasions (Lev. 8:9; 16:4; Zech. 3:5).
On the front of it was a golden plate with the inscription, "Holiness
to the Lord." The mitsnepheth differed from the mitre or head-dress (migba'ah)
of the common priest. (See BONNET.)
Mitylene - the chief city of the island
of Lesbos, on its east coast, in the AEgean Sea. Paul, during his third
missionary journey, touched at this place on his way from Corinth to Judea
(Acts 20:14), and here tarried for a night. It lies between Assos and Chios.
It is now under the Turkish rule, and bears the name of Metelin.
Mixed multitude - (Ex. 12:38), a class
who accompanied the Israelites as they journeyed from Rameses to Succoth,
the first stage of the Exodus. These were probably miscellaneous hangers-on
to the Hebrews, whether Egyptians of the lower orders, or the remains
of the Hyksos (see EGYPT; MOSES), as some think. The same thing happened
on the return of the Jews from Babylon (Neh. 13:3), a "mixed multitude"
accompanied them so far.
Mizar - smallness, a summit on the eastern
ridge of Lebanon, near which David lay after escaping from Absalom (Ps.
42:6). It may, perhaps, be the present Jebel Ajlun, thus named, "the little",
in contrast with the greater elevation of Lebanon and Hermon.
Mizpah - or Miz'peh, watch-tower; the look-out.
(1.) A place in Gilead, so named by Laban, who overtook Jacob at this spot
(Gen. 31:49) on his return to Palestine from Padan-aram. Here Jacob and
Laban set up their memorial cairn of stones. It is the same as Ramath-mizpeh
(2.) A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he assumed
the command of the Israelites in a time of national danger. Here he made
his rash vow; and here his daughter submitted to her mysterious fate (Judg.
10:17; 11:11, 34). It may be the same as Ramoth-Gilead (Josh. 20:8), but
it is more likely that it is identical with the foregoing, the Mizpeh
of Gen. 31:23, 25, 48, 49.
(3.) Another place in Gilead, at the foot of Mount Hermon, inhabited
by Hivites (Josh. 11:3, 8). The name in Hebrew here has the article before
it, "the Mizpeh," "the watch-tower." The modern village of Metullah, meaning
also "the look-out," probably occupies the site so called.
(4.) A town of Moab to which David removed his parents for safety during
his persecution by Saul (1 Sam. 22:3). This was probably the citadel known
as Kir-Moab, now Kerak. While David resided here he was visited by the
prophet Gad, here mentioned for the first time, who was probably sent
by Samuel to bid him leave the land of Moab and betake himself to the
land of Judah. He accordingly removed to the forest of Hareth (q.v.),
on the edge of the mountain chain of Hebron.
(5.) A city of Benjamin, "the watch-tower", where the people were accustomed
to meet in great national emergencies (Josh. 18:26; Judg. 20:1, 3; 21:1,
5; 1 Sam. 7:5-16). It has been supposed to be the same as Nob (1 Sam.
21:1; 22:9-19). It was some 4 miles north-west of Jerusalem, and was situated
on the loftiest hill in the neighbourhood, some 600 feet above the plain
of Gibeon. This village has the modern name of Neby Samwil, i.e., the
prophet Samuel, from a tradition that Samuel's tomb is here. (See NOB.)
Samuel inaugurated the reformation that characterized his time by convening
a great assembly of all Israel at Mizpeh, now the politico-religious centre
of the nation. There, in deep humiliation on account of their sins, they
renewed their vows and entered again into covenant with the God of their
fathers. It was a period of great religious awakening and of revived national
life. The Philistines heard of this assembly, and came up against Israel.
The Hebrews charged the Philistine host with great fury, and they were
totally routed. Samuel commemorated this signal victory by erecting a
memorial-stone, which he called "Ebenezer" (q.v.), saying, "Hitherto hath
the Lord helped us" (1 Sam. 7:7-12).
Mizpar - number, one of the Jews who accompanied
Zerubbabel from Babylon (Ezra 2:2); called also Mispereth (Neh. 7:7).
Mizraim - the dual form of matzor, meaning
a "mound" or "fortress," the name of a people descended from Ham (Gen. 10:6,
13; 1 Chr. 1:8, 11). It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the
land of Egypt (q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and the Lower.
The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr.
Mizzah - despair, one of the four sons of
Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:13, 17).
Mnason - reminding, or remembrancer, a Christian
of Jerusalem with whom Paul lodged (Acts 21:16). He was apparently a native
of Cyprus, like Barnabas (11:19, 20), and was well known to the Christians
of Caesarea (4:36). He was an "old disciple" (R.V., "early disciple"), i.e.,
he had become a Christian in the beginning of the formation of the Church
Moab - the seed of the father, or, according
to others, the desirable land, the eldest son of Lot (Gen. 19:37), of incestuous
(2.) Used to denote the people of Moab (Num. 22:3-14; Judg. 3:30; 2
Sam. 8:2; Jer. 48:11, 13).
(3.) The land of Moab (Jer. 48:24), called also the "country of Moab"
(Ruth 1:2, 6; 2:6), on the east of Jordan and the Dead Sea, and south
of the Arnon (Num. 21:13, 26). In a wider sense it included the whole
region that had been occupied by the Amorites. It bears the modern name
In the Plains of Moab, opposite Jericho (Num. 22:1; 26:63; Josh. 13:32),
the children of Israel had their last encampment before they entered the
land of Canaan. It was at that time in the possession of the Amorites
(Num. 21:22). "Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain
of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah," and "died there in the land of Moab, according
to the word of the Lord" (Deut. 34:5, 6). "Surely if we had nothing else
to interest us in the land of Moab, the fact that it was from the top
of Pisgah, its noblest height, this mightiest of the prophets looked out
with eye undimmed upon the Promised Land; that it was here on Nebo, its
loftiest mountain, that he died his solitary death; that it was here,
in the valley over against Beth-peor, he found his mysterious sepulchre,
we have enough to enshrine the memory in our hearts."
Moabite - the designation of a tribe descended
from Moab, the son of Lot (Gen. 19:37). From Zoar, the cradle of this tribe,
on the south-eastern border of the Dead Sea, they gradually spread over
the region on the east of Jordan. Rameses II., the Pharaoh of the Oppression,
enumerates Moab (Muab) among his conquests. Shortly before the Exodus, the
warlike Amorites crossed the Jordan under Sihon their king and drove the
Moabites (Num. 21:26-30) out of the region between the Arnon and the Jabbok,
and occupied it, making Heshbon their capital. They were then confined to
the territory to the south of the Arnon.
On their journey the Israelites did not pass through Moab, but through
the "wilderness" to the east (Deut. 2:8; Judg. 11:18), at length reaching
the country to the north of the Arnon. Here they remained for some time
till they had conquered Bashan (see SIHON; OG). The Moabites were alarmed,
and their king, Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Num. 22:2-4). It
was while they were here that the visit of Balaam (q.v.) to Balak took
place. (See MOSES.)
After the Conquest, the Moabites maintained hostile relations with the
Israelites, and frequently harassed them in war (Judg. 3:12-30; 1 Sam.
14). The story of Ruth, however, shows the existence of friendly relations
between Moab and Bethlehem. By his descent from Ruth, David may be said
to have had Moabite blood in his veins. Yet there was war between David
and the Moabites (2 Sam. 8:2; 23:20; 1 Chr. 18:2), from whom he took great
spoil (2 Sam. 8:2, 11, 12; 1 Chr. 11:22; 18:11).
During the one hundred and fifty years which followed the defeat of
the Moabites, after the death of Ahab (see MESHA), they regained, apparently,
much of their former prosperty. At this time Isaiah (15:1) delivered his
"burden of Moab," predicting the coming of judgment on that land (comp.
2 Kings 17:3; 18:9; 1 Chr. 5:25, 26). Between the time of Isaiah and the
commencement of the Babylonian captivity we have very seldom any reference
to Moab (Jer. 25:21; 27:3; 40:11; Zeph. 2:8-10).
After the Return, it was Sanballat, a Moabite, who took chief part in
seeking to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh. 2:19; 4:1; 6:1).
Moabite Stone - a basalt stone, bearing
an inscription by King Mesha, which was discovered at Dibon by Klein, a
German missionary at Jerusalem, in 1868. It was 3 1/2 feet high and 2 in
breadth and in thickness, rounded at the top. It consisted of thirty-four
lines, written in Hebrew-Phoenician characters. It was set up by Mesha as
a record and memorial of his victories. It records (1) Mesha's wars with
Omri, (2) his public buildings, and (3) his wars against Horonaim. This
inscription in a remarkable degree supplements and corroborates the history
of King Mesha recorded in 2 Kings 3:4-27.
With the exception of a very few variations, the Moabite language in
which the inscription is written is identical with the Hebrew. The form
of the letters here used supplies very important and interesting information
regarding the history of the formation of the alphabet, as well as, incidentally,
regarding the arts of civilized life of those times in the land of Moab.
This ancient monument, recording the heroic struggles of King Mesha
with Omri and Ahab, was erected about B.C. 900. Here "we have the identical
slab on which the workmen of the old world carved the history of their
own times, and from which the eye of their contemporaries read thousands
of years ago the record of events of which they themselves had been the
witnesses." It is the oldest inscription written in alphabetic characters,
and hence is, apart from its value in the domain of Hebrew antiquities,
of great linguistic importance.
Moladah - birth, a city in the south of
Judah which fell to Simeon (Josh. 15:21-26; 19:2). It has been identified
with the modern el-Milh, 10 miles east of Beersheba.
Mole - Heb. tinshameth (Lev. 11:30), probably
signifies some species of lizard (rendered in R.V., "chameleon"). In Lev.
11:18, Deut. 14:16, it is rendered, in Authorized Version, "swan" (R.V.,
The Heb. holed (Lev. 11:29), rendered "weasel," was probably the mole-rat.
The true mole (Talpa Europoea) is not found in Palestine. The mole-rat
(Spalax typhlus) "is twice the size of our mole, with no external eyes,
and with only faint traces within of the rudimentary organ; no apparent
ears, but, like the mole, with great internal organs of hearing; a strong,
bare snout, and with large gnawing teeth; its colour a pale slate; its
feet short, and provided with strong nails; its tail only rudimentary."
In Isa. 2:20, this word is the rendering of two words _haphar peroth_,
which are rendered by Gesenius "into the digging of rats", i.e., rats'
holes. But these two Hebrew words ought probably to be combined into one
(lahporperoth) and translated "to the moles", i.e., the rat-moles. This
animal "lives in underground communities, making large subterranean chambers
for its young and for storehouses, with many runs connected with them,
and is decidedly partial to the loose debris among ruins and stone-heaps,
where it can form its chambers with least trouble."
Moloch - king, the name of the national
god of the Ammonites, to whom children were sacrificed by fire. He was the
consuming and destroying and also at the same time the purifying fire. In
Amos 5:26, "your Moloch" of the Authorized Version is "your king" in the
Revised Version (comp. Acts 7:43). Solomon (1 Kings 11:7) erected a high
place for this idol on the Mount of Olives, and from that time till the
days of Josiah his worship continued (2 Kings 23:10, 13). In the days of
Jehoahaz it was partially restored, but after the Captivity wholly disappeared.
He is also called Molech (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5, etc.), Milcom (1 Kings 11:5,
33, etc.), and Malcham (Zeph. 1:5). This god became Chemosh among the Moabites.
Money - Of uncoined money the first notice
we have is in the history of Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 20:16; 24:35). Next, this
word is used in connection with the purchase of the cave of Machpelah (23:16),
and again in connection with Jacob's purchase of a field at Shalem (Gen.
33:18, 19) for "an hundred pieces of money"=an hundred Hebrew kesitahs (q.v.),
i.e., probably pieces of money, as is supposed, bearing the figure of a
The history of Joseph affords evidence of the constant use of money,
silver of a fixed weight. This appears also in all the subsequent history
of the Jewish people, in all their internal as well as foreign transactions.
There were in common use in trade silver pieces of a definite weight,
shekels, half-shekels, and quarter-shekels. But these were not properly
coins, which are pieces of metal authoritatively issued, and bearing a
Of the use of coined money we have no early notice among the Hebrews.
The first mentioned is of Persian coinage, the daric (Ezra 2:69; Neh.
7:70) and the 'adarkon (Ezra 8:27). The daric (q.v.) was a gold piece
current in Palestine in the time of Cyrus. As long as the Jews, after
the Exile, lived under Persian rule, they used Persian coins. These gave
place to Greek coins when Palestine came under the dominion of the Greeks
(B.C. 331), the coins consisting of gold, silver, and copper pieces. The
usual gold pieces were staters (q.v.), and the silver coins tetradrachms
In the year B.C. 140, Antiochus VII. gave permission to Simon the Maccabee
to coin Jewish money. Shekels (q.v.) were then coined bearing the figure
of the almond rod and the pot of manna.
Money-changer - (Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15;
John 2:15). Every Israelite from twenty years and upwards had to pay (Ex.
30:13-15) into the sacred treasury half a shekel every year as an offering
to Jehovah, and that in the exact Hebrew half-shekel piece. There was
a class of men, who frequented the temple courts, who exchanged at a certain
premium foreign moneys for these half-shekels to the Jews who came up
to Jerusalem from all parts of the world. (See PASSOVER.) When our Lord
drove the traffickers out of the temple, these money-changers fared worst.
Their tables were overturned and they themselves were expelled.
Month - Among the Egyptians the month of
thirty days each was in use long before the time of the Exodus, and formed
the basis of their calculations. From the time of the institution of the
Mosaic law the month among the Jews was lunar. The cycle of religious feasts
depended on the moon. The commencement of a month was determined by the
observation of the new moon. The number of months in the year was usually
twelve (1 Kings 4:7; 1 Chr. 27:1-15); but every third year an additional
month (ve-Adar) was inserted, so as to make the months coincide with the
"The Hebrews and Phoenicians had no word for month save 'moon,' and
only saved their calendar from becoming vague like that of the Moslems
by the interpolation of an additional month. There is no evidence at all
that they ever used a true solar year such as the Egyptians possessed.
The latter had twelve months of thirty days and five epagomenac or odd
days.", Palestine Quarterly, January 1889.
Moon - heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra
6:15), and lebanah, the "white" (Cant. 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed
by the Creator to be with the sun "for signs, and for seasons, and for days,
and years" (Gen. 1:14-16). A lunation was among the Jews the period of a
month, and several of their festivals were held on the day of the new moon.
It is frequently referred to along with the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5,
7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2; Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps.
The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to its being
early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; Job 31:26), a
form of idolatry against which the Jews were warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3).
They, however, fell into this idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5;
Jer. 8:2), and also cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19,
Mordecai - the son of Jair, of the tribe
of Benjamin. It has been alleged that he was carried into captivity with
Jeconiah, and hence that he must have been at least one hundred and twenty-nine
years old in the twelfth year of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). But the words of Esther
do not necessarily lead to this conclusion. It was probably Kish of whom
it is said (ver. 6) that he "had been carried away with the captivity."
He resided at Susa, the metropolis of Persia. He adopted his cousin
Hadassah (Esther), an orphan child, whom he tenderly brought up as his
own daughter. When she was brought into the king's harem and made queen
in the room of the deposed queen Vashti, he was promoted to some office
in the court of Ahasuerus, and was one of those who "sat in the king's
gate" (Esther 2:21). While holding this office, he discovered a plot of
the eunuchs to put the king to death, which, by his vigilance, was defeated.
His services to the king in this matter were duly recorded in the royal
Haman (q.v.) the Agagite had been raised to the highest position at
court. Mordecai refused to bow down before him; and Haman, being stung
to the quick by the conduct of Mordecai, resolved to accomplish his death
in a wholesale destruction of the Jewish exiles throughout the Persian
empire (Esther 3:8-15). Tidings of this cruel scheme soon reached the
ears of Mordecai, who communicated with Queen Esther regarding it, and
by her wise and bold intervention the scheme was frustrated. The Jews
were delivered from destruction, Mordecai was raised to a high rank, and
Haman was executed on the gallows he had by anticipation erected for Mordecai
(6:2-7:10). In memory of the signal deliverance thus wrought for them,
the Jews to this day celebrate the feast (9:26-32) of Purim (q.v.).
Moreh - an archer, teacher; fruitful. (1.)
A Canaanite probably who inhabited the district south of Shechem, between
Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, and gave his name to the "plain" there (Gen. 12:6).
Here at this "plain," or rather (R.V.) "oak," of Moreh, Abraham built his
first altar in the land of Palestine; and here the Lord appeared unto him.
He afterwards left this plain and moved southward, and pitched his tent
between Bethel on the west and Hai on the east (Gen. 12:7, 8).
Moreh, the Hill of - probably identical
with "little Hermon," the modern Jebel ed-Duhy, or perhaps one of the lower
spurs of this mountain. It is a gray ridge parallel to Gilboa on the north;
and between the two lay the battle-field, the plain of Jezreel (q.v.), where
Gideon overthrew the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-12).
Moresheth-gath - possession of the wine-press,
the birthplace of the prophet Micah (1:14), who is called the "Morasthite"
(Jer. 26:18). This place was probably a suburb of Gath.
Moriah - the chosen of Jehovah. Some
contend that Mount Gerizim is meant, but most probably we are to regard
this as one of the hills of Jerusalem. Here Solomon's temple was built,
on the spot that had been the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite (2
Sam. 24:24, 25; 2 Chr. 3:1). It is usually included in Zion, to the north-east
of which it lay, and from which it was separated by the Tyropoean valley.
This was "the land of Moriah" to which Abraham went to offer up his son
Isaac (Gen. 22:2). It has been supposed that the highest point of the
temple hill, which is now covered by the Mohammedan Kubbetes-Sakhrah,
or "Dome of the Rock," is the actual site of Araunah's threshing-floor.
Here also, one thousand years after Abraham, David built an altar and
offered sacrifices to God. (See JERUSALEM; NUMBERING THE PEOPLE.)
Mortar - (Heb. homer), cement of lime and
sand (Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14); also potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14).
Also Heb. 'aphar, usually rendered "dust," clay or mud used for cement in
building (Lev. 14:42, 45).
Mortar for pulverizing (Prov. 27:22) grain or other substances by means
of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the wilderness for
pounding the manna (Num. 11:8). It is commonly used in Palestine at the
present day to pound wheat, from which the Arabs make a favourite dish