Salutation - "Eastern modes of salutation are not unfrequently so
prolonged as to become wearisome and a positive waste of time. The profusely
polite Arab asks so many questions after your health, your happiness, your
welfare, your house, and other things, that a person ignorant of the habits
of the country would imagine there must be some secret ailment or mysterious
sorrow oppressing you, which you wished to conceal, so as to spare the feelings
of a dear, sympathizing friend, but which he, in the depth of his anxiety,
would desire to hear of. I have often listened to these prolonged salutations
in the house, the street, and the highway, and not unfrequently I have experienced
their tedious monotony, and I have bitterly lamented useless waste of time"
(Porter, Through Samaria, etc.). The work on which the disciples were sent
forth was one of urgency, which left no time for empty compliments and prolonged
greetings (Luke 10:4).
Salvation - This word is used of the
deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians (Ex. 14:13), and of deliverance
generally from evil or danger. In the New Testament it is specially used
with reference to the great deliverance from the guilt and the pollution
of sin wrought out by Jesus Christ, "the great salvation" (Heb. 2:3).
(See REDEMPTION; REGENERATION.)
Samaria - a watch-mountain or a watch-tower.
In the heart of the mountains of Israel, a few miles north-west of Shechem,
stands the "hill of Shomeron," a solitary mountain, a great "mamelon." It
is an oblong hill, with steep but not inaccessible sides, and a long flat
top. Omri, the king of Israel, purchased this hill from Shemer its owner
for two talents of silver, and built on its broad summit the city to which
he gave the name of "Shomeron", i.e., Samaria, as the new capital of his
kingdom instead of Tirzah (1 Kings 16:24). As such it possessed many advantages.
Here Omri resided during the last six years of his reign. As the result
of an unsuccessful war with Syria, he appears to have been obliged to grant
to the Syrians the right to "make streets in Samaria", i.e., probably permission
to the Syrian merchants to carry on their trade in the Israelite capital.
This would imply the existence of a considerable Syrian population. "It
was the only great city of Palestine created by the sovereign. All the others
had been already consecrated by patriarchal tradition or previous possession.
But Samaria was the choice of Omri alone. He, indeed, gave to the city which
he had built the name of its former owner, but its especial connection with
himself as its founder is proved by the designation which it seems Samaria
bears in Assyrian inscriptions, Beth-khumri ('the house or palace of Omri').",
Samaria was frequently besieged. In the days of Ahab, Benhadad II. came
up against it with thirty-two vassal kings, but was defeated with a great
slaughter (1 Kings 20:1-21). A second time, next year, he assailed it;
but was again utterly routed, and was compelled to surrender to Ahab (20:28-34),
whose army, as compared with that of Benhadad, was no more than "two little
flocks of kids."
In the days of Jehoram this Benhadad again laid siege to Samaria, during
which the city was reduced to the direst extremities. But just when success
seemed to be within their reach, they suddenly broke up the seige, alarmed
by a mysterious noise of chariots and horses and a great army, and fled,
leaving their camp with all its contents behind them. The famishing inhabitants
of the city were soon relieved with the abundance of the spoil of the
Syrian camp; and it came to pass, according to the word of Elisha, that
"a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barely
for a shekel, in the gates of Samaria" (2 Kings 7:1-20).
Shalmaneser invaded Israel in the days of Hoshea, and reduced it to
vassalage. He laid siege to Samaria (B.C. 723), which held out for three
years, and was at length captured by Sargon, who completed the conquest
Shalmaneser had begun (2 Kings 18:9-12; 17:3), and removed vast numbers
of the tribes into captivity. (See SARGON.)
This city, after passing through various vicissitudes, was given by
the emperor Augustus to Herod the Great, who rebuilt it, and called it
Sebaste (Gr. form of Augustus) in honour of the emperor. In the New Testament
the only mention of it is in Acts 8:5-14, where it is recorded that Philip
went down to the city of Samaria and preached there.
It is now represented by the hamlet of Sebustieh, containing about three
hundred inhabitants. The ruins of the ancient town are all scattered over
the hill, down the sides of which they have rolled. The shafts of about
one hundred of what must have been grand Corinthian columns are still
standing, and attract much attention, although nothing definite is known
regarding them. (Comp. Micah 1:6.)
In the time of Christ, Western Palestine was divided into three provinces,
Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. Samaria occupied the centre of Palestine
(John 4:4). It is called in the Talmud the "land of the Cuthim," and is
not regarded as a part of the Holy Land at all.
It may be noticed that the distance between Samaria and Jerusalem, the
respective capitals of the two kingdoms, is only 35 miles in a direct
Samaritan Pentateuch - On the return from
the Exile, the Jews refused the Samaritans participation with them in the
worship at Jerusalem, and the latter separated from all fellowship with
them, and built a temple for themselves on Mount Gerizim. This temple was
razed to the ground more than one hundred years B.C. Then a system of worship
was instituted similar to that of the temple at Jerusalem. It was founded
on the Law, copies of which had been multiplied in Israel as well as in
Judah. Thus the Pentateuch was preserved among the Samaritans, although
they never called it by this name, but always "the Law," which they read
as one book. The division into five books, as we now have it, however, was
adopted by the Samaritans, as it was by the Jews, in all their priests'
copies of "the Law," for the sake of convenience. This was the only portion
of the Old Testament which was accepted by the Samaritans as of divine authority.
The form of the letters in the manuscript copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch
is different from that of the Hebrew copies, and is probably the same
as that which was in general use before the Captivity. There are other
peculiarities in the writing which need not here be specified.
There are important differences between the Hebrew and the Samaritan
copies of the Pentateuch in the readings of many sentences. In about two
thousand instances in which the Samaritan and the Jewish texts differ,
the LXX. agrees with the former. The New Testament also, when quoting
from the Old Testament, agrees as a rule with the Samaritan text, where
that differs from the Jewish. Thus Ex. 12:40 in the Samaritan reads, "Now
the sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which they
had dwelt in the land of Canaan and in Egypt was four hundred and thirty
years" (comp. Gal. 3:17). It may be noted that the LXX. has the same reading
of this text.
Samaritans - the name given to the new and
mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon (B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought
from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead
of the original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into captivity
(2 Kings 17:24; comp. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10). These strangers (comp. Luke 17:18)
amalgamated with the Jews still remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned
their old idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion.
After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem refused to
allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the temple, and hence
sprang up an open enmity between them. They erected a rival temple on
Mount Gerizim, which was, however, destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130).
They then built another at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews
and Samaritans continued in the time of our Lord: the Jews had "no dealings
with the Samaritans" (John 4:9; comp. Luke 9:52, 53). Our Lord was in
contempt called "a Samaritan" (John 8:48). Many of the Samaritans early
embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Acts 8:25; 9:31; 15:3). Of these Samaritans
there still remains a small population of about one hundred and sixty,
who all reside in Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious
customs of their fathers. They are the "smallest and oldest sect in the
Samgar-nebo - be gracious, O Nebo! or a
cup-bearer of Nebo, probably the title of Nergal-sharezer, one of the princes
of Babylon (Jer. 39:3).
Samos - an island in the AEgean Sea, which
Paul passed on his voyage from Assos to Miletus (Acts 20:15), on his third
missionary journey. It is about 27 miles long and 20 broad, and lies about
42 miles south-west of Smyrna.
Samothracia - an island in the AEgean Sea,
off the coast of Thracia, about 32 miles distant. This Thracian Samos was
passed by Paul on his voyage from Troas to Neapolis (Acts 16:11) on his
first missionary journey. It is about 8 miles long and 6 miles broad. Its
modern name is Samothraki.
Samson - of the sun, the son of Manoah,
born at Zorah. The narrative of his life is given in Judg. 13-16. He was
a "Nazarite unto God" from his birth, the first Nazarite mentioned in Scripture
(Judg. 13:3-5; comp. Num. 6:1-21). The first recorded event of his life
was his marriage with a Philistine woman of Timnath (Judg. 14:1-5). Such
a marriage was not forbidden by the law of Moses, as the Philistines did
not form one of the seven doomed Canaanite nations (Ex. 34:11-16; Deut.
7:1-4). It was, however, an ill-assorted and unblessed marriage. His wife
was soon taken from him and given "to his companion" (Judg. 14:20). For
this Samson took revenge by burning the "standing corn of the Philistines"
(15:1-8), who, in their turn, in revenge "burnt her and her father with
fire." Her death he terribly avenged (15:7-19). During the twenty years
following this he judged Israel; but we have no record of his life. Probably
these twenty years may have been simultaneous with the last twenty years
of Eli's life. After this we have an account of his exploits at Gaza (16:1-3),
and of his infatuation for Delilah, and her treachery (16:4-20), and then
of his melancholy death (16:21-31). He perished in the last terrible destruction
he brought upon his enemies. "So the dead which he slew at his death were
more [in social and political importance=the elite of the people] than they
which he slew in his life."
"Straining all his nerves, he bowed: As with the force of winds and
waters pent, When mountains tremble, those two massy pillars With horrible
convulsion to and fro He tugged, he shook, till down they came, and drew
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder Upon the heads of all
who sat beneath, Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests, Their
choice nobility and flower." Milton's Samson Agonistes.
Samuel - heard of God. The peculiar circumstances
connected with his birth are recorded in 1 Sam. 1:20. Hannah, one of the
two wives of Elkanah, who came up to Shiloh to worship before the Lord,
earnestly prayed to God that she might become the mother of a son. Her prayer
was graciously granted; and after the child was weaned she brought him to
Shiloh nd consecrated him to the Lord as a perpetual Nazarite (1:23-2:11).
Here his bodily wants and training were attended to by the women who served
in the tabernacle, while Eli cared for his religious culture. Thus, probably,
twelve years of his life passed away. "The child Samuel grew on, and was
in favour both with the Lord, and also with men" (2:26; comp. Luke 2:52).
It was a time of great and growing degeneracy in Israel (Judg. 21:19-21;
1 Sam. 2:12-17, 22). The Philistines, who of late had greatly increased
in number and in power, were practically masters of the country, and kept
the people in subjection (1 Sam. 10:5; 13:3).
At this time new communications from God began to be made to the pious
child. A mysterious voice came to him in the night season, calling him
by name, and, instructed by Eli, he answered, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant
heareth." The message that came from the Lord was one of woe and ruin
to Eli and his profligate sons. Samuel told it all to Eli, whose only
answer to the terrible denunciations (1 Sam. 3:11-18) was, "It is the
Lord; let him do what seemeth him good", the passive submission of a weak
character, not, in his case, the expression of the highest trust and faith.
The Lord revealed himself now in divers manners to Samuel, and his fame
and his influence increased throughout the land as of one divinely called
to the prophetical office. A new period in the history of the kingdom
of God now commenced.
The Philistine yoke was heavy, and the people, groaning under the wide-spread
oppression, suddenly rose in revolt, and "went out against the Philistines
to battle." A fierce and disastrous battle was fought at Aphek, near to
Ebenezer (1 Sam. 4:1, 2). The Israelites were defeated, leaving 4,000
dead "in the field." The chiefs of the people thought to repair this great
disaster by carrying with them the ark of the covenant as the symbol of
Jehovah's presence. They accordingly, without consulting Samuel, fetched
it out of Shiloh to the camp near Aphek. At the sight of the ark among
them the people "shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again."
A second battle was fought, and again the Philistines defeated the Israelites,
stormed their camp, slew 30,000 men, and took the sacred ark. The tidings
of this fatal battle was speedily conveyed to Shiloh; and so soon as the
aged Eli heard that the ark of God was taken, he fell backward from his
seat at the entrance of the sanctuary, and his neck brake, and he died.
The tabernacle with its furniture was probably, by the advice of Samuel,
now about twenty years of age, removed from Shiloh to some place of safety,
and finally to Nob, where it remained many years (21:1).
The Philistines followed up their advantage, and marched upon Shiloh,
which they plundered and destroyed (comp. Jer. 7:12; Ps. 78:59). This
was a great epoch in the history of Israel. For twenty years after this
fatal battle at Aphek the whole land lay under the oppression of the Philistines.
During all these dreary years Samuel was a spiritual power in the land.
From Ramah, his native place, where he resided, his influence went forth
on every side among the people. With unwearied zeal he went up and down
from place to place, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the people, endeavouring
to awaken in them a sense of their sinfulness, and to lead them to repentance.
His labours were so far successful that "all the house of Israel lamented
after the Lord." Samuel summoned the people to Mizpeh, one of the loftiest
hills in Central Palestine, where they fasted and prayed, and prepared
themselves there, under his direction, for a great war against the Philistines,
who now marched their whole force toward Mizpeh, in order to crush the
Israelites once for all. At the intercession of Samuel God interposed
in behalf of Israel. Samuel himself was their leader, the only occasion
in which he acted as a leader in war. The Philistines were utterly routed.
They fled in terror before the army of Israel, and a great slaughter ensued.
This battle, fought probably about B.C. 1095, put an end to the forty
years of Philistine oppression. In memory of this great deliverance, and
in token of gratitude for the help vouchsafed, Samuel set up a great stone
in the battlefield, and called it "Ebenezer," saying, "Hitherto hath the
Lord helped us" (1 Sam. 7:1-12). This was the spot where, twenty years
before, the Israelites had suffered a great defeat, when the ark of God
This victory over the Philistines was followed by a long period of peace
for Israel (1 Sam. 7:13, 14), during which Samuel exercised the functions
of judge, going "from year to year in circuit" from his home in Ramah
to Bethel, thence to Gilgal (not that in the Jordan valley, but that which
lay to the west of Ebal and Gerizim), and returning by Mizpeh to Ramah.
He established regular services at Shiloh, where he built an altar; and
at Ramah he gathered a company of young men around him and established
a school of the prophets. The schools of the prophets, thus originated,
and afterwards established also at Gibeah, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho,
exercised an important influence on the national character and history
of the people in maintaining pure religion in the midst of growing corruption.
They continued to the end of the Jewish commonwealth.
Many years now passed, during which Samuel exercised the functions of
his judicial office, being the friend and counsellor of the people in
all matters of private and public interest. He was a great statesman as
well as a reformer, and all regarded him with veneration as the "seer,"
the prophet of the Lord. At the close of this period, when he was now
an old man, the elders of Israel came to him at Ramah (1 Sam. 8:4, 5,
19-22); and feeling how great was the danger to which the nation was exposed
from the misconduct of Samuel's sons, whom he had invested with judicial
functions as his assistants, and had placed at Beersheba on the Philistine
border, and also from a threatened invasion of the Ammonites, they demanded
that a king should be set over them. This request was very displeasing
to Samuel. He remonstrated with them, and warned them of the consequences
of such a step. At length, however, referring the matter to God, he acceded
to their desires, and anointed Saul (q.v.) to be their king (11:15). Before
retiring from public life he convened an assembly of the people at Gilgal
(ch. 12), and there solemnly addressed them with reference to his own
relation to them as judge and prophet.
The remainder of his life he spent in retirement at Ramah, only occasionally
and in special circumstances appearing again in public (1 Sam. 13, 15)
with communications from God to king Saul. While mourning over the many
evils which now fell upon the nation, he is suddenly summoned (ch.16)
to go to Bethlehem and anoint David, the son of Jesse, as king over Israel
instead of Saul. After this little is known of him till the time of his
death, which took place at Ramah when he was probably about eighty years
of age. "And all Israel gathered themselves together, and lamented him,
and buried him in his house at Ramah" (25:1), not in the house itself,
but in the court or garden of his house. (Comp. 2 Kings 21:18; 2 Chr.
33:20; 1 Kings 2:34; John 19:41.)
Samuel's devotion to God, and the special favour with which God regarded
him, are referred to in Jer. 15:1 and Ps. 99:6.
Samuel, Books of - The LXX. translators
regarded the books of Samuel and of Kings as forming one continuous history,
which they divided into four books, which they called "Books of the Kingdom."
The Vulgate version followed this division, but styled them "Books of the
Kings." These books of Samuel they accordingly called the "First" and "Second"
Books of Kings, and not, as in the modern Protestant versions, the "First"
and "Second" Books of Samuel.
The authors of the books of Samuel were probably Samuel, Gad, and Nathan.
Samuel penned the first twenty-four chapters of the first book. Gad, the
companion of David (1 Sam. 22:5), continued the history thus commenced;
and Nathan completed it, probably arranging the whole in the form in which
we now have it (1 Chr. 29:29).
The contents of the books. The first book comprises a period of about
a hundred years, and nearly coincides with the life of Samuel. It contains
(1) the history of Eli (1-4); (2) the history of Samuel (5-12); (3) the
history of Saul, and of David in exile (13-31). The second book, comprising
a period of perhaps fifty years, contains a history of the reign of David
(1) over Judah (1-4), and (2) over all Israel (5-24), mainly in its political
aspects. The last four chapters of Second Samuel may be regarded as a
sort of appendix recording various events, but not chronologically. These
books do not contain complete histories. Frequent gaps are met with in
the record, because their object is to present a history of the kingdom
of God in its gradual development, and not of the events of the reigns
of the successive rulers. It is noticeable that the section (2 Sam. 11:2-12:
29) containing an account of David's sin in the matter of Bathsheba is
omitted in the corresponding passage in 1 Chr. 20.
Sanballat - held some place of authority
in Samaria when Nehemiah went up to Jerusalem to rebuild its ruined walls.
He vainly attempted to hinder this work (Neh. 2:10, 19; 4:1-12; 6). His
daughter became the wife of one of the sons of Joiada, a son of the high
priest, much to the grief of Nehemiah (13:28).
Sanctification - involves more than a mere
moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the truth:
it is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more
under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul
in regeneration. In other words, sanctification is the carrying on to perfection
the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man (Rom. 6:13;
2 Cor. 4:6; Col. 3:10; 1 John 4:7; 1 Cor. 6:19). It is the special office
of the Holy Spirit in the plan of redemption to carry on this work (1 Cor.
6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13). Faith is instrumental in securing sanctification,
inasmuch as it (1) secures union to Christ (Gal. 2:20), and (2) brings the
believer into living contact with the truth, whereby he is led to yield
obedience "to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing
the promises of God for this life and that which is to come."
Perfect sanctification is not attainable in this life (1 Kings 8:46;
Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8). See Paul's account of
himself in Rom. 7:14-25; Phil. 3:12-14; and 1 Tim. 1:15; also the confessions
of David (Ps. 19:12, 13; 51), of Moses (90:8), of Job (42:5, 6), and of
Daniel (9:3-20). "The more holy a man is, the more humble, self-renouncing,
self-abhorring, and the more sensitive to every sin he becomes, and the
more closely he clings to Christ. The moral imperfections which cling
to him he feels to be sins, which he laments and strives to overcome.
Believers find that their life is a constant warfare, and they need to
take the kingdom of heaven by storm, and watch while they pray. They are
always subject to the constant chastisement of their Father's loving hand,
which can only be designed to correct their imperfections and to confirm
their graces. And it has been notoriously the fact that the best Christians
have been those who have been the least prone to claim the attainment
of perfection for themselves.", Hodge's Outlines.
Sanctuary - denotes, (1) the Holy Land (Ex.
15:17; comp. Ps. 114:2); (2) the temple (1 Chr. 22:19; 2 Chr. 29:21); (3)
the tabernacle (Ex. 25:8; Lev. 12:4; 21:12); (4) the holy place, the place
of the Presence (Gr. hieron, the temple-house; not the naos, which
is the temple area, with its courts and porches), Lev. 4:6; Eph. 2:21, R.V.,
marg.; (5) God's holy habitation in heaven (Ps. 102:19). In the final state
there is properly "no sanctuary" (Rev. 21:22), for God and the Lamb "are
the sanctuary" (R.V., "temple"). All is there hallowed by the Divine Presence;
all is sancturary.
Sandals - Mentioned only in Mark 6:9
and Acts 12:8. The sandal was simply a sole, made of wood or palm-bark,
fastened to the foot by leathern straps. Sandals were also made of seal-skin
(Ezek. 16:10; lit. tahash, "leather;" A.V., "badger's skin;" R.V., "sealskin,"
or marg., "porpoise-skin"). (See SHOE.)
Sanhedrim - more correctly Sanhedrin (Gr.
synedrion), meaning "a sitting together," or a "council." This word (rendered
"council," A.V.) is frequently used in the New Testament (Matt. 5:22; 26:59;
Mark 15:1, etc.) to denote the supreme judicial and administrative council
of the Jews, which, it is said, was first instituted by Moses, and was composed
of seventy men (Num. 11:16, 17). But that seems to have been only a temporary
arrangement which Moses made. This council is with greater probability supposed
to have originated among the Jews when they were under the domination of
the Syrian kings in the time of the Maccabees. The name is first employed
by the Jewish historian Josephus. This "council" is referred to simply as
the "chief priests and elders of the people" (Matt. 26:3, 47, 57, 59; 27:1,
3, 12, 20, etc.), before whom Christ was tried on the charge of claiming
to be the Messiah. Peter and John were also brought before it for promulgating
heresy (Acts. 4:1-23; 5:17-41); as was also Stephen on a charge of blasphemy
(6:12-15), and Paul for violating a temple by-law (22:30; 23:1-10).
The Sanhedrin is said to have consisted of seventy-one members, the
high priest being president. They were of three classes (1) the chief
priests, or heads of the twenty-four priestly courses (1 Chr. 24), (2)
the scribes, and (3) the elders. As the highest court of judicature, "in
all causes and over all persons, ecclesiastical and civil, supreme," its
decrees were binding, not only on the Jews in Palestine, but on all Jews
wherever scattered abroad. Its jurisdiction was greatly curtailed by Herod,
and afterwards by the Romans. Its usual place of meeting was within the
precincts of the temple, in the hall "Gazith," but it sometimes met also
in the house of the high priest (Matt. 26:3), who was assisted by two
Sansannah - a palm branch, or a thorn bush,
a town in the south (the negeb) of Judah (Josh. 15:31); called also Hazarsusah
(19:5), or Hazar-susim (1 Chr. 4:31).
Saph - extension, the son of the giant whom
Sibbechai slew (2 Sam. 21:18); called also Sippai (1 Chr. 20:4).
Saphir - beautiful, a town of Judah (Micah
1:11), identified with es-Suafir, 5 miles south-east of Ashdod.
Sapphira - beautiful, the wife of Ananias
(q.v.). She was a partner in his guilt and also in his punishment (Acts
Sapphire - Associated with diamonds (Ex.
28:18) and emeralds (Ezek. 28:13); one of the stones in the high priest's
breastplate. It is a precious stone of a sky-blue colour, probably the lapis
lazuli, brought from Babylon. The throne of God is described as of the colour
of a sapphire (Ex. 24:10; comp. Ezek. 1:26).
Sarah - princess, the wife and at the same
time the half-sister of Abraham (Gen. 11:29; 20:12). This name was given
to her at the time that it was announced to Abraham that she should be the
mother of the promised child. Her story is from her marriage identified
with that of the patriarch till the time of her death. Her death, at the
age of one hundred and twenty-seven years (the only instance in Scripture
where the age of a woman is recorded), was the occasion of Abraham's purchasing
the cave of Machpelah as a family burying-place.
In the allegory of Gal. 4:22-31 she is the type of the "Jerusalem which
is above." She is also mentioned as Sara in Heb. 11:11 among the Old Testament
worthies, who "all died in faith." (See ABRAHAM.)
Sarai - my princess, the name originally
borne by Sarah (Gen. 11:31; 17:15).
Sardine stone - (Rev. 4:3, R.V., "sardius;"
Heb. 'odhem; LXX., Gr. sardion, from a root meaning "red"), a gem of a blood-red
colour. It was called "sardius" because obtained from Sardis in Lydia. It
is enumerated among the precious stones in the high priest's breastplate
(Ex. 28:17; 39:10). It is our red carnelian.
Sardis - the metropolis of Lydia in Asia
Minor. It stood on the river Pactolus, at the foot of mount Tmolus. Here
was one of the seven Asiatic churches (Rev. 3:1-6). It is now a ruin called
Sardonyx - (Rev. 21:20), a species of the
carnelian combining the sard and the onyx, having three layers of opaque
spots or stripes on a transparent red basis. Like the sardine, it is a variety
of the chalcedony.
Sarepta - (Luke 4:26). See ZAREPHATH.
Sargon - (In the inscriptions, "Sarra-yukin"
[the god] has appointed the king; also "Sarru-kinu," the legitimate king.)
On the death of Shalmaneser (B.C. 723), one of the Assyrian generals established
himself on the vacant throne, taking the name of "Sargon," after that of
the famous monarch, the Sargon of Accad, founder of the first Semitic empire,
as well as of one of the most famous libraries of Chaldea. He forthwith
began a conquering career, and became one of the most powerful of the Assyrian
monarchs. He is mentioned by name in the Bible only in connection with the
siege of Ashdod (Isa. 20:1).
At the very beginning of his reign he besieged and took the city of
Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:9-12). On an inscription found in the palace
he built at Khorsabad, near Nieveh, he says, "The city of Samaria I besieged,
I took; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away; fifty chariots that
were among them I collected," etc. The northern kingdom he changed into
an Assyrian satrapy. He afterwards drove Merodach-baladan (q.v.), who
kept him at bay for twelve years, out of Babylon, which he entered in
triumph. By a succession of victories he gradually enlarged and consolidated
the empire, which now extended from the frontiers of Egypt in the west
to the mountains of Elam in the east, and thus carried almost to completion
the ambitious designs of Tiglath-pileser (q.v.). He was murdered by one
of his own soldiers (B.C. 705) in his palace at Khorsabad, after a reign
of sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son Sennacherib.
Satan - adversary; accuser. When used as
a proper name, the Hebrew word so rendered has the article "the adversary"
(Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7). In the New Testament it is used as interchangeable
with Diabolos, or the devil, and is so used more than thirty times.
He is also called "the dragon," "the old serpent" (Rev. 12:9; 20:2);
"the prince of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30); "the prince of the power
of the air" (Eph. 2:2); "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4); "the spirit
that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). The distinct
personality of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously recognized.
He tempted our Lord in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). He is "Beelzebub,
the prince of the devils" (12:24). He is "the constant enemy of God, of
Christ, of the divine kingdom, of the followers of Christ, and of all
truth; full of falsehood and all malice, and exciting and seducing to
evil in every possible way." His power is very great in the world. He
is a "roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Men are
said to be "taken captive by him" (2 Tim. 2:26). Christians are warned
against his "devices" (2 Cor. 2:11), and called on to "resist" him (James
4:7). Christ redeems his people from "him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14). Satan has the "power of death," not as
lord, but simply as executioner.
Satyr - hairy one. Mentioned in Greek mythology
as a creature composed of a man and a goat, supposed to inhabit wild and
desolate regions. The Hebrew word is rendered also "goat" (Lev. 4:24) and
"devil", i.e., an idol in the form of a goat (17:7; 2 Chr. 11:15). When
it is said (Isa. 13:21; comp. 34:14) "the satyrs shall dance there," the
meaning is that the place referred to shall become a desolate waste. Some
render the Hebrew word "baboon," a species of which is found in Babylonia.
Saul - asked for. (1.) A king of Edom (Gen.
36:37, 38); called Shaul in 1 Chr. 1:48.
(2.) The son of Kish (probably his only son, and a child of prayer,
"asked for"), of the tribe of Benjamin, the first king of the Jewish nation.
The singular providential circumstances connected with his election as
king are recorded in 1 Sam. 8-10. His father's she-asses had strayed,
and Saul was sent with a servant to seek for them. Leaving his home at
Gibeah (10:5, "the hill of God," A.V.; lit., as in R.V. marg., "Gibeah
of God"), Saul and his servant went toward the north-west over Mount Ephraim,
and then turning north-east they came to "the land of Shalisha," and thence
eastward to the land of Shalim, and at length came to the district of
Zuph, near Samuel's home at Ramah (9:5-10). At this point Saul proposed
to return from the three days' fruitless search, but his servant suggested
that they should first consult the "seer." Hearing that he was about to
offer sacrifice, the two hastened into Ramah, and "behold, Samuel came
out against them," on his way to the "bamah", i.e., the "height", where
sacrifice was to be offered; and in answer to Saul's question, "Tell me,
I pray thee, where the seer's house is," Samuel made himself known to
him. Samuel had been divinely prepared for his coming (9:15-17), and received
Saul as his guest. He took him with him to the sacrifice, and then after
the feast "communed with Saul upon the top of the house" of all that was
in his heart. On the morrow Samuel "took a vial of oil and poured it on
his head," and anointed Saul as king over Israel (9:25-10:8), giving him
three signs in confirmation of his call to be king. When Saul reached
his home in Gibeah the last of these signs was fulfilled, and the Sprit
of God came upon him, and "he was turned into another man." The simple
countryman was transformed into the king of Israel, a remarkable change
suddenly took place in his whole demeanour, and the people said in their
astonishment, as they looked on the stalwart son of Kish, "Is Saul also
among the prophets?", a saying which passed into a "proverb." (Comp. 19:24.)
The intercourse between Saul and Samuel was as yet unknown to the people.
The "anointing" had been in secret. But now the time had come when the
transaction must be confirmed by the nation. Samuel accordingly summoned
the people to a solemn assembly "before the Lord" at Mizpeh. Here the
lot was drawn (10:17-27), and it fell upon Saul, and when he was presented
before them, the stateliest man in all Israel, the air was rent for the
first time in Israel by the loud cry, "God save the king!" He now returned
to his home in Gibeah, attended by a kind of bodyguard, "a band of men
whose hearts God had touched." On reaching his home he dismissed them,
and resumed the quiet toils of his former life.
Soon after this, on hearing of the conduct of Nahash the Ammonite at
Jabeshgilead (q.v.), an army out of all the tribes of Israel rallied at
his summons to the trysting-place at Bezek, and he led them forth a great
army to battle, gaining a complete victory over the Ammonite invaders
at Jabesh (11:1-11). Amid the universal joy occasioned by this victory
he was now fully recognized as the king of Israel. At the invitation of
Samuel "all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before
the Lord in Gilgal." Samuel now officially anointed him as king (11:15).
Although Samuel never ceased to be a judge in Israel, yet now his work
in that capacity practically came to an end.
Saul now undertook the great and difficult enterprise of freeing the
land from its hereditary enemies the Philistines, and for this end he
gathered together an army of 3,000 men (1 Sam. 13:1, 2). The Philistines
were encamped at Geba. Saul, with 2,000 men, occupied Michmash and Mount
Bethel; while his son Jonathan, with 1,000 men, occupied Gibeah, to the
south of Geba, and seemingly without any direction from his father "smote"
the Philistines in Geba. Thus roused, the Philistines, who gathered an
army of 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and "people as the sand which
is on the sea-shore in multitude," encamped in Michmash, which Saul had
evacuated for Gilgal. Saul now tarried for seven days in Gilgal before
making any movement, as Samuel had appointed (10:8); but becoming impatient
on the seventh day, as it was drawing to a close, when he had made an
end of offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared and warned him of
the fatal consequences of his act of disobedience, for he had not waited
long enough (13:13, 14).
When Saul, after Samuel's departure, went out from Gilgal with his 600
men, his followers having decreased to that number (13:15), against the
Philistines at Michmash (q.v.), he had his head-quarters under a pomegrante
tree at Migron, over against Michmash, the Wady esSuweinit alone intervening.
Here at Gibeah-Geba Saul and his army rested, uncertain what to do. Jonathan
became impatient, and with his armour-bearer planned an assault against
the Philistines, unknown to Saul and the army (14:1-15). Jonathan and
his armour-bearer went down into the wady, and on their hands and knees
climbed to the top of the narrow rocky ridge called Bozez, where was the
outpost of the Philistine army. They surprised and then slew twenty of
the Philistines, and immediately the whole host of the Philistines was
thrown into disorder and fled in great terror. "It was a very great trembling;"
a supernatural panic seized the host. Saul and his 600 men, a band which
speedily increased to 10,000, perceiving the confusion, pursued the army
of the Philistines, and the tide of battle rolled on as far as to Bethaven,
halfway between Michmash and Bethel. The Philistines were totally routed.
"So the Lord saved Israel that day." While pursuing the Philistines, Saul
rashly adjured the people, saying, "Cursed be the man that eateth any
food until evening." But though faint and weary, the Israelites "smote
the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon" (a distance of from
15 to 20 miles). Jonathan had, while passing through the wood in pursuit
of the Philistines, tasted a little of the honeycomb which was abundant
there (14:27). This was afterwards discovered by Saul (ver. 42), and he
threatened to put his son to death. The people, however, interposed, saying,
"There shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground." He whom God
had so signally owned, who had "wrought this great salvation in Israel,"
must not die. "Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the
Philistines went to their own place" (1 Sam. 14:24-46); and thus the campaign
against the Philistines came to an end. This was Saul's second great military
Saul's reign, however, continued to be one of almost constant war against
his enemies round about (14:47, 48), in all of which he proved victorious.
The war against the Amalekites is the only one which is recorded at length
(1 Sam. 15). These oldest and hereditary (Ex. 17:8; Num. 14:43-45) enemies
of Israel occupied the territory to the south and south-west of Palestine.
Samuel summoned Saul to execute the "ban" which God had pronounced (Deut.
25:17-19) on this cruel and relentless foe of Israel. The cup of their
iniquity was now full. This command was "the test of his moral qualification
for being king." Saul proceeded to execute the divine command; and gathering
the people together, marched from Telaim (1 Sam. 15:4) against the Amalekites,
whom he smote "from Havilah until thou comest to Shur," utterly destroying
"all the people with the edge of the sword", i.e., all that fell into
his hands. He was, however, guilty of rebellion and disobedience in sparing
Agag their king, and in conniving at his soldiers' sparing the best of
the sheep and cattle; and Samuel, following Saul to Gilgal, in the Jordan
valley, said unto him, "Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord,
he also hath rejected thee from being king" (15:23). The kingdom was rent
from Saul and was given to another, even to David, whom the Lord chose
to be Saul's successor, and whom Samuel anointed (16:1-13). From that
day "the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from
the Lord troubled him." He and Samuel parted only to meet once again at
one of the schools of the prophets.
David was now sent for as a "cunning player on an harp" (1 Sam. 16:16,
18), to play before Saul when the evil spirit troubled him, and thus was
introduced to the court of Saul. He became a great favourite with the
king. At length David returned to his father's house and to his wonted
avocation as a shepherd for perhaps some three years. The Philistines
once more invaded the land, and gathered their army between Shochoh and
Azekah, in Ephes-dammim, on the southern slope of the valley of Elah.
Saul and the men of Israel went forth to meet them, and encamped on the
northern slope of the same valley which lay between the two armies. It
was here that David slew Goliath of Gath, the champion of the Philistines
(17:4-54), an exploit which led to the flight and utter defeat of the
Philistine army. Saul now took David permanently into his service (18:2);
but he became jealous of him (ver. 9), and on many occasions showed his
enmity toward him (ver. 10, 11), his enmity ripening into a purpose of
murder which at different times he tried in vain to carry out.
After some time the Philistines "gathered themselves together" in the
plain of Esdraelon, and pitched their camp at Shunem, on the slope of
Little Hermon; and Saul "gathered all Israel together," and "pitched in
Gilboa" (1 Sam. 28:3-14). Being unable to discover the mind of the Lord,
Saul, accompanied by two of his retinue, betook himself to the "witch
of Endor," some 7 or 8 miles distant. Here he was overwhelmed by the startling
communication that was mysteriously made to him by Samuel (ver. 16-19),
who appeared to him. "He fell straightway all along on the earth, and
was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel" (ver. 20). The Philistine
host "fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines,
and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa" (31:1). In his despair at the disaster
that had befallen his army, Saul "took a sword and fell upon it." And
the Philistines on the morrow "found Saul and his three sons fallen in
Mount Gilboa." Having cut off his head, they sent it with his weapons
to Philistia, and hung up the skull in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod.
They suspended his headless body, with that of Jonathan, from the walls
of Bethshan. The men of Jabesh-gilead afterwards removed the bodies from
this position; and having burnt the flesh, they buried the bodies under
a tree at Jabesh. The remains were, however, afterwards removed to the
family sepulchre at Zelah (2 Sam. 21:13, 14). (See DAVID.)
(3.) "Who is also called Paul" (q.v.), the circumcision name of the
apostle, given to him, perhaps, in memory of King Saul (Acts 7:58; 8:1;
Saviour - one who saves from any form or
degree of evil. In its highest sense the word indicates the relation sustained
by our Lord to his redeemed ones, he is their Saviour. The great message
of the gospel is about salvation and the Saviour. It is the "gospel of salvation."
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ secures to the sinner a personal interest
in the work of redemption. Salvation is redemption made effectual to the
individual by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Scapegoat - Lev. 16:8-26; R.V., "the goat
for Azazel" (q.v.), the name given to the goat which was taken away into
the wilderness on the day of Atonement (16:20-22). The priest made atonement
over the scapegoat, laying Israel's guilt upon it, and then sent it away,
the goat bearing "upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited."
At a later period an evasion or modification of the law of Moses was
introduced by the Jews. "The goat was conducted to a mountain named Tzuk,
situated at a distance of ten Sabbath days' journey, or about six and
a half English miles, from Jerusalem. At this place the Judean desert
was supposed to commence; and the man in whose charge the goat was sent
out, while setting him free, was instructed to push the unhappy beast
down the slope of the mountain side, which was so steep as to insure the
death of the goat, whose bones were broken by the fall. The reason of
this barbarous custom was that on one occasion the scapegoat returned
to Jerusalem after being set free, which was considered such an evil omen
that its recurrence was prevented for the future by the death of the goat"
(Twenty-one Years' Work in the Holy Land). This mountain is now called
Scarlet - This dye was obtained by the Egyptians
from the shell-fish Carthamus tinctorius; and by the Hebrews from the Coccus
ilicis, an insect which infests oak trees, called kermes by the Arabians.
This colour was early known (Gen. 38:28). It was one of the colours
of the ephod (Ex. 28:6), the girdle (8), and the breastplate (15) of the
high priest. It is also mentioned in various other connections (Josh.
2:18; 2 Sam. 1:24; Lam. 4:5; Nahum 2:3). A scarlet robe was in mockery
placed on our Lord (Matt. 27:28; Luke 23:11). "Sins as scarlet" (Isa.
1:18), i.e., as scarlet robes "glaring and habitual." Scarlet and crimson
were the firmest of dyes, and thus not easily washed out.
Sceptre - (Heb. shebet = Gr. skeptron),
properly a staff or rod. As a symbol of authority, the use of the sceptre
originated in the idea that the ruler was as a shepherd of his people (Gen.
49:10; Num. 24:17; Ps. 45:6; Isa. 14:5). There is no example on record of
a sceptre having ever been actually handled by a Jewish king.
Sceva - an implement, a Jew, chief of the
priests at Ephesus (Acts 19:13-16); i.e., the head of one of the twenty-four
courses of the house of Levi. He had seven sons, who "took upon them to
call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus," in imitation
of Paul. They tried their method of exorcism on a fierce demoniac, and failed.
His answer to them was to this effect (19:15): "The Jesus whom you invoke
is One whose authority I acknowledge; and the Paul whom you name I recognize
to be a servant or messenger of God; but what sort of men are ye who have
been empowered to act as you do by neither?" (Lindsay on the Acts of the
Schism - a separation, an alienation causing
divisions among Christians, who ought to be united (1 Cor. 12:25).
Schoolmaster - the law so designated by
Paul (Gal. 3:24, 25). As so used, the word does not mean teacher, but pedagogue
(shortened into the modern page), i.e., one who was intrusted with the supervision
of a family, taking them to and from the school, being responsible for their
safety and manners. Hence the pedagogue was stern and severe in his discipline.
Thus the law was a pedagogue to the Jews, with a view to Christ, i.e., to
prepare for faith in Christ by producing convictions of guilt and helplessness.
The office of the pedagogue ceased when "faith came", i.e., the object of
that faith, the seed, which is Christ.
Schools of the Prophets - (1 Sam. 19:18-24;
2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 12, 15) were instituted for the purpose of training
young men for the prophetical and priestly offices. (See PROPHET; SAMUEL.)
Scorpions - mentioned along with serpents
(Deut. 8:15). Used also figuratively to denote wicked persons (Ezek. 2:6;
Luke 10:19); also a particular kind of scourge or whip (1 Kings 12:11).
Scorpions were a species of spider. They abounded in the Jordan valley.
Scourging - (1 Kings 12:11). Variously
administered. In no case were the stripes to exceed forty (Deut. 25:3;
comp. 2 Cor. 11:24). In the time of the apostles, in consequence of the
passing of what was called the Porcian law, no Roman citizen could be
scourged in any case (Acts 16:22-37). (See BASTINADO.) In the scourging
of our Lord (Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:15) the words of prophecy (Isa. 53:5)
Scribes - anciently held various important
offices in the public affairs of the nation. The Hebrew word so rendered
(sopher) is first used to designate the holder of some military office (Judg.
5:14; A.V., "pen of the writer;" R.V., "the marshal's staff;" marg., "the
staff of the scribe"). The scribes acted as secretaries of state, whose
business it was to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king (2
Sam. 8:17; 20:25; 1 Chr. 18:16; 24:6; 1 Kings 4:3; 2 Kings 12:9-11; 18:18-37,
etc.). They discharged various other important public duties as men of high
authority and influence in the affairs of state.
There was also a subordinate class of scribes, most of whom were Levites.
They were engaged in various ways as writers. Such, for example, was Baruch,
who "wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord" (Jer.
In later times, after the Captivity, when the nation lost its independence,
the scribes turned their attention to the law, gaining for themselves
distinction by their intimate acquaintance with its contents. On them
devolved the duty of multiplying copies of the law and of teaching it
to others (Ezra 7:6, 10-12; Neh. 8:1, 4, 9, 13). It is evident that in
New Testament times the scribes belonged to the sect of the Pharisees,
who supplemented the ancient written law by their traditions (Matt. 23),
thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect. The titles "scribes"
and "lawyers" (q.v.) are in the Gospels interchangeable (Matt. 22:35;
Mark 12:28; Luke 20:39, etc.). They were in the time of our Lord the public
teachers of the people, and frequently came into collision with him. They
afterwards showed themselves greatly hostile to the apostles (Acts 4:5;
Some of the scribes, however, were men of a different spirit, and showed
themselves friendly to the gospel and its preachers. Thus Gamaliel advised
the Sanhedrin, when the apostles were before them charged with "teaching
in this name," to "refrain from these men and let them alone" (Acts 5:34-39;
Scrip - a small bag or wallet usually fastened
to the girdle (1 Sam. 17:40); "a shepherd's bag."
In the New Testament it is the rendering of Gr. pera, which was a bag
carried by travellers and shepherds, generally made of skin (Matt. 10:10;
Mark 6:8; Luke 9:3; 10:4). The name "scrip" is meant to denote that the
bag was intended to hold scraps, fragments, as if scraped off from larger
Scripture - invariably in the New Testament
denotes that definite collection of sacred books, regarded as given by
inspiration of God, which we usually call the Old Testament (2 Tim. 3:15,
16; John 20:9; Gal. 3:22; 2 Pet. 1:20). It was God's purpose thus to perpetuate
his revealed will. From time to time he raised up men to commit to writing
in an infallible record the revelation he gave. The "Scripture," or collection
of sacred writings, was thus enlarged from time to time as God saw necessary.
We have now a completed "Scripture," consisting of the Old and New Testaments.
The Old Testament canon in the time of our Lord was precisely the same
as that which we now possess under that name. He placed the seal of his
own authority on this collection of writings, as all equally given by
inspiration (Matt. 5:17; 7:12; 22:40; Luke 16:29, 31). (See BIBLE; CANON.)
Scythian - The Scythians consisted of "all
the pastoral tribes who dwelt to the north of the Black Sea and the Caspian,
and were scattered far away toward the east. Of this vast country but little
was anciently known. Its modern representative is Russia, which, to a great
extent, includes the same territories." They were the descendants of Japheth
(Gen. 9:27). It appears that in apostolic times there were some of this
people that embraced Christianity (Col. 3:11).
Seah - In land measure, a space of 50
cubits long by 50 broad. In measure of capacity, a seah was a little over
one peck. (See MEASURE.)
Seal - commonly a ring engraved with
some device (Gen. 38:18, 25). Jezebel "wrote letters in Ahab's name, and
sealed them with his seal" (1 Kings 21:8). Seals are frequently mentioned
in Jewish history (Deut. 32:34; Neh. 9:38; 10:1; Esther 3:12; Cant. 8:6;
Isa. 8:16; Jer. 22:24; 32:44, etc.). Sealing a document was equivalent
to the signature of the owner of the seal. "The use of a signet-ring by
the monarch has recently received a remarkable illustration by the discovery
of an impression of such a signet on fine clay at Koyunjik, the site of
the ancient Nineveh. This seal appears to have been impressed from the
bezel of a metallic finger-ring. It is an oval, 2 inches in length by
1 inch wide, and bears the image, name, and titles of the Egyptian king
Sabaco" (Rawlinson's Hist. Illus. of the O.T., p. 46). The actual signet-rings
of two Egyptian kings (Cheops and Horus) have been discovered. (See SIGNET.)
The use of seals is mentioned in the New Testament only in connection
with the record of our Lord's burial (Matt. 27:66). The tomb was sealed
by the Pharisees and chief priests for the purpose of making sure that
the disciples would not come and steal the body away (ver. 63, 64). The
mode of doing this was probably by stretching a cord across the stone
and sealing it at both ends with sealing-clay. When God is said to have
sealed the Redeemer, the meaning is, that he has attested his divine mission
(John 6:27). Circumcision is a seal, an attestation of the covenant (Rom.
4:11). Believers are sealed with the Spirit, as God's mark put upon them
(Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Converts are by Paul styled the seal of his apostleship,
i.e., they are its attestation (1 Cor. 9:2). Seals and sealing are frequently
mentioned in the book of Revelation (5:1; 6:1; 7:3; 10:4; 22:10).
Sea of glass - a figurative expression used
in Rev. 4:6 and 15:2. According to the interpretation of some, "this calm,
glass-like sea, which is never in storm, but only interfused with flame,
represents the counsels of God, those purposes of righteousness and love
which are often fathomless but never obscure, always the same, though sometimes
glowing with holy anger." (Comp. Ps. 36:6; 77:19; Rom. 11:33-36.)
Sea of Jazer - (Jer. 48:32), a lake, now
represented by some ponds in the high valley in which the Ammonite city
of Jazer lies, the ruins of which are called Sar.
Seasons - (Gen. 8:22). See AGRICULTURE;
Sea, The - (Heb. yam), signifies (1) "the
gathering together of the waters," the ocean (Gen. 1:10); (2) a river, as
the Nile (Isa. 19:5), the Euphrates (Isa. 21:1; Jer. 51:36); (3) the Red
Sea (Ex. 14:16, 27; 15:4, etc.); (4) the Mediterranean (Ex. 23:31; Num.
34:6, 7; Josh. 15:47; Ps. 80:11, etc.); (5) the "sea of Galilee," an inland
fresh-water lake, and (6) the Dead Sea or "salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num. 34:3,
12, etc.). The word "sea" is used symbolically in Isa. 60:5, where it probably
means the nations around the Mediterranean. In Dan. 7:3, Rev. 13:1 it may
mean the tumultuous changes among the nations of the earth.
Sea, The molten - the great laver made by
Solomon for the use of the priests in the temple, described in 1 Kings 7:23-26;
2 Chr. 4:2-5. It stood in the south-eastern corner of the inner court. It
was 5 cubits high, 10 in diameter from brim to brim, and 30 in circumference.
It was placed on the backs of twelve oxen, standing with their faces outward.
It was capable of containing two or three thousand baths of water (comp.
2 Chr. 4:5), which was originally supplied by the Gibeonites, but was afterwards
brought by a conduit from the pools of Bethlehem. It was made of "brass"
(copper), which Solomon had taken from the captured cities of Hadarezer,
the king of Zobah (1 Chr. 18:8). Ahaz afterwards removed this laver from
the oxen, and placed it on a stone pavement (2 Kings 16:17). It was destroyed
by the Chaldeans (25:13).
Seba - (1.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen.
(2.) The name of a country and nation (Isa. 43:3; 45:14) mentioned along
with Egypt and Ethiopia, and therefore probably in north-eastern Africa.
The ancient name of Meroe. The kings of Sheba and Seba are mentioned together
in Ps. 72:10.
Sebat - the eleventh month of the Hebrew
year, extending from the new moon of February to that of March (Zech.
1:7). Assyrian sabatu, "storm." (See MONTH.)
Secacah - enclosure, one of the six cities
in the wilderness of Judah, noted for its "great cistern" (Josh. 15:61).
It has been identified with the ruin Sikkeh, east of Bethany.
Sechu - a hill or watch-tower, a place between
Gibeah and Ramah noted for its "great well" (1 Sam. 19:22); probably the
modern Suweikeh, south of Beeroth.
Sect - (Gr. hairesis, usually rendered "heresy",
Acts 24:14; 1 Chr. 11:19; Gal. 5:20, etc.), meaning properly "a choice,"
then "a chosen manner of life," and then "a religious party," as the "sect"
of the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), of the Pharisees (15:5), the Nazarenes, i.e.,
Christians (24:5). It afterwards came to be used in a bad sense, of those
holding pernicious error, divergent forms of belief (2 Pet. 2:1; Gal. 5:20).
Secundus - second, a Christian of Thessalonica
who accompanied Paul into Asia (Acts 20:4).
Seer - a name sometimes applied to the
prophets because of the visions granted to them. It is first found in
1 Sam. 9:9. It is afterwards applied to Zadok, Gad, etc. (2 Sam. 15:27;
24:11; 1 Chr. 9:22; 25:5; 2 Chr. 9:29; Amos 7:12; Micah 3:7). The "sayings
of the seers" (2 Chr. 33:18, 19) is rendered in the Revised Version "the
history of Hozai" (marg., the seers; so the LXX.), of whom, however, nothing
is known. (See PROPHET.)
Seethe - to boil (Ex. 16:23).
Seething pot - a vessel for boiling provisions
in (Job 41:20; Jer. 1:13).
Segub - elevated. (1.) The youngest son
of Hiel the Bethelite. His death is recorded in 1 Kings 16:34 (comp. Josh.
(2.) A descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 2:21, 22).
Seir - rough; hairy. (1.) A Horite; one
of the "dukes" of Edom (Gen. 36:20-30).
(2.) The name of a mountainous region occupied by the Edomites, extending
along the eastern side of the Arabah from the south-eastern extremity
of the Dead Sea to near the Akabah, or the eastern branch of the Red Sea.
It was originally occupied by the Horites (Gen. 14:6), who were afterwards
driven out by the Edomites (Gen. 32:3; 33:14, 16). It was allotted to
the descendants of Esau (Deut. 2:4, 22; Josh. 24:4; 2 Chr. 20:10; Isa.
21:11; Exek. 25:8).
(3.) A mountain range (not the Edomite range, Gen. 32:3) lying between
the Wady Aly and the Wady Ghurab (Josh. 15:10).
Seirath - woody district; shaggy, a place
among the mountains of Ephraim, bordering on Benjamin, to which Ehud fled
after he had assassinated Eglon at Jericho (Judg. 3:26, 27).
Sela - =Se'lah, rock, the capital of Edom,
situated in the great valley extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea
(2 Kings 14:7). It was near Mount Hor, close by the desert of Zin. It is
called "the rock" (Judg. 1:36). When Amaziah took it he called it Joktheel
(q.v.) It is mentioned by the prophets (Isa. 16:1; Obad. 1:3) as doomed
It appears in later history and in the Vulgate Version under the name
of Petra. "The caravans from all ages, from the interior of Arabia and
from the Gulf of Persia, from Hadramaut on the ocean, and even from Sabea
or Yemen, appear to have pointed to Petra as a common centre; and from
Petra the tide seems again to have branched out in every direction, to
Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, through Arsinoe, Gaza, Tyre, Jerusalem, and
Damascus, and by other routes, terminating at the Mediterranean." (See
Selah - a word frequently found in the Book
of Psalms, and also in Hab. 3:9, 13, about seventy-four times in all in
Scripture. Its meaning is doubtful. Some interpret it as meaning "silence"
or "pause;" others, "end," "a louder strain," "piano," etc. The LXX. render
the word by daplasma i.e., "a division."
Sela-hammahlekoth - cliff of divisions the
name of the great gorge which lies between Hachilah and Maon, south-east
of Hebron. This gorge is now called the Wady Malaky. This was the scene
of the interview between David and Saul mentioned in 1 Sam.26:13. Each stood
on an opposing cliff, with this deep chasm between.
Seleucia - the sea-port of Antioch, near
the mouth of the Orontes. Paul and his companions sailed from this port
on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:4). This city was built by Seleucus
Nicator, the "king of Syria." It is said of him that "few princes have ever
lived with so great a passion for the building of cities. He is reputed
to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen Antiochs, and six Laodiceas."
Seleucia became a city of great importance, and was made a "free city" by
Pompey. It is now a small village, called el-Kalusi.
Semei - mentioned in the genealogy of our
Lord (Luke 3:26).
Senaah - thorny, a place many of the inhabitants
of which returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:35; Neh. 7:38).
Senate - (Acts 5:21), the "elders of Israel"
who formed a component part of the Sanhedrin.
Seneh - the acacia; rock-thorn, the southern
cliff in the Wady es-Suweinit, a valley south of Michmash, which Jonathan
climbed with his armour-bearer (1 Sam. 14:4, 5). The rock opposite, on the
other side of the wady, was called Bozez.
Senir - =Shenir, the name given to Hermon
by the Amorites (Deut. 3:9). It means "coat of mail" or "breastplate," and
is equivalent to "Sirion." Some interpret the word as meaning "the prominent"
or "the snowy mountain." It is properly the name of the central of the three
summits of Hermon (q.v.).
Sennacherib - Sin (the god) sends many brothers,
son of Sargon, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria (B.C. 705), in
the 23rd year of Hezekiah. "Like the Persian Xerxes, he was weak and vainglorious,
cowardly under reverse, and cruel and boastful in success." He first set
himself to break up the powerful combination of princes who were in league
against him. Among these was Hezekiah, who had entered into an alliance
with Egypt against Assyria. He accordingly led a very powerful army of at
least 200,000 men into Judea, and devastated the land on every side, taking
and destroying many cities (2 Kings 18:13-16; comp. Isa. 22, 24, 29, and
2 Chr. 32:1-8). His own account of this invasion, as given in the Assyrian
annals, is in these words: "Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit
to my yoke, I came up against him, and by force of arms and by the might
of my power I took forty-six of his strong fenced cities; and of the smaller
towns which were scattered about, I took and plundered a countless number.
From these places I took and carried off 200,156 persons, old and young,
male and female, together with horses and mules, asses and camels, oxen
and sheep, a countless multitude; and Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem,
his capital city, like a bird in a cage, building towers round the city
to hem him in, and raising banks of earth against the gates, so as to prevent
escape...Then upon Hezekiah there fell the fear of the power of my arms,
and he sent out to me the chiefs and the elders of Jerusalem with 30 talents
of gold and 800 talents of silver, and divers treasures, a rich and immense
booty...All these things were brought to me at Nineveh, the seat of my government."
(Comp. Isa. 22:1-13 for description of the feelings of the inhabitants of
Jerusalem at such a crisis.)
Hezekiah was not disposed to become an Assyrian feudatory. He accordingly
at once sought help from Egypt (2 Kings 18:20-24). Sennacherib, hearing
of this, marched a second time into Palestine (2 Kings 18:17, 37; 19;
2 Chr. 32:9-23; Isa. 36:2-22. Isa. 37:25 should be rendered "dried up
all the Nile-arms of Matsor," i.e., of Egypt, so called from the "Matsor"
or great fortification across the isthmus of Suez, which protected it
from invasions from the east). Sennacherib sent envoys to try to persuade
Hezekiah to surrender, but in vain. (See TIRHAKAH.) He next sent a threatening
letter (2 Kings 19:10-14), which Hezekiah carried into the temple and
spread before the Lord. Isaiah again brought an encouraging message to
the pious king (2 Kings 19:20-34). "In that night" the angel of the Lord
went forth and smote the camp of the Assyrians. In the morning, "behold,
they were all dead corpses." The Assyrian army was annihilated.
This great disaster is not, as was to be expected, taken notice of in
the Assyrian annals.
Though Sennacherib survived this disaster some twenty years, he never
again renewed his attempt against Jerusalem. He was murdered by two of
his own sons (Adrammelech and Sharezer), and was succeeded by another
son, Esarhaddon (B.C. 681), after a reign of twenty-four years.
Seorim - barley, the chief of the forth
priestly course (1 Chr. 24:8).
Sephar - numbering, (Gen. 10:30), supposed
by some to be the ancient Himyaritic capital, "Shaphar," Zaphar, on the
Indian Ocean, between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
Sepharad - (Obad. 1:20), some locality unknown.
The modern Jews think that Spain is meant, and hence they designate the
Spanish Jews "Sephardim," as they do the German Jews by the name "Ashkenazim,"
because the rabbis call Germany Ashkenaz. Others identify it with Sardis,
the capital of Lydia. The Latin father Jerome regarded it as an Assyrian
word, meaning "boundary," and interpreted the sentence, "which is in Sepharad,"
by "who are scattered abroad in all the boundaries and regions of the earth."
Perowne says: "Whatever uncertainty attaches to the word Sepharad, the drift
of the prophecy is clear, viz., that not only the exiles from Babylon, but
Jewish captives from other and distant regions, shall be brought back to
live prosperously within the enlarged borders of their own land."
Sepharvaim - taken by Sargon, king of
Assyria (2 Kings 17:24; 18:34; 19:13; Isa. 37:13). It was a double city,
and received the common name Sepharvaim, i.e., "the two Sipparas," or
"the two booktowns." The Sippara on the east bank of the Euphrates is
now called Abu-Habba; that on the other bank was Accad, the old capital
of Sargon I., where he established a great library. (See SARGON.) The
recent discovery of cuneiform inscriptions at Tel el-Amarna in Egypt,
consisting of official despatches to Pharaoh Amenophis IV. and his predecessor
from their agents in Palestine, proves that in the century before the
Exodus an active literary intercourse was carried on between these nations,
and that the medium of the correspondence was the Babylonian language
and script. (See KIRJATH-SEPHER.)
Septuagint - See VERSIONS.
Sepulchre - first mentioned as purchased
by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23:20). This was the
"cave of the field of Machpelah," where also Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob
and Leah were burried (79:29-32). In Acts 7:16 it is said that Jacob was
"laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons
of Emmor the father of Sychem." It has been proposed, as a mode of reconciling
the apparent discrepancy between this verse and Gen. 23:20, to read Acts
7:16 thus: "And they [i.e., our fathers] were carried over into Sychem,
and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the
sons of Emmor [the son] of Sychem." In this way the purchase made by Abraham
is not to be confounded with the purchase made by Jacob subsequently in
the same district. Of this purchase by Abraham there is no direct record
in the Old Testament. (See TOMB.)
Serah - abundance; princess, the daughter
of Asher and grand-daughter of Jacob (Gen. 46:17); called also Sarah (Num.
26:46; R.V., "Serah").
Seraiah - soldier of Jehovah. (1.) The father
of Joab (1 Chr. 4:13, 14).
(2.) The grandfather of Jehu (1 Chr. 4:35).
(3.) One of David's scribes or secretaries (2 Sam. 8:17).
(4.) A Netophathite (Jer. 40:8), a chief priest of the time of Zedekiah.
He was carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, and there put to
death (2 Kings 25:18, 23).
(5.) Ezra 2:2.
(6.) Father of Ezra the scribe (7:1).
(7.) A ruler of the temple (Neh. 11:11).
(8.) A priest of the days of Jehoiakim (Neh. 12:1, 12).
(9.) The son of Neriah. When Zedekiah made a journey to Babylon to do
homage to Nebuchadnezzar, Seraiah had charge of the royal gifts to be
presented on that occasion. Jeremiah took advantage of the occasion, and
sent with Seraiah a word of cheer to the exiles in Babylon, and an announcement
of the doom in store for that guilty city. The roll containing this message
(Jer. 50:1-8) Seraiah was to read to the exiles, and then, after fixing
a stone to it, was to throw it into the Euphrates, uttering, as it sank,
the prayer recorded in Jer. 51:59-64. Babylon was at this time in the
height of its glory, the greatest and most powerful monarchy in the world.
Scarcely seventy years elapsed when the words of the prophet were all
fulfilled. Jer. 51:59 is rendered in the Revised Version, "Now Seraiah
was chief chamberlain," instead of "was a quiet prince," as in the Authorized
Seraphim - mentioned in Isa. 6:2, 3,
6, 7. This word means fiery ones, in allusion, as is supposed, to their
burning love. They are represented as "standing" above the King as he
sat upon his throne, ready at once to minister unto him. Their form appears
to have been human, with the addition of wings. (See ANGELS.) This word,
in the original, is used elsewhere only of the "fiery serpents" (Num.
21:6, 8; Deut. 8:15; comp. Isa. 14:29; 30:6) sent by God as his instruments
to inflict on the people the righteous penalty of sin.
Sered - fear, one of the sons of Zebulun
Sergeants - Acts 16:35, 38 (R.V., "lictors"),
officers who attended the magistrates and assisted them in the execution
Sergius Paulus - a "prudent man" (R.V.,
"man of understanding"), the deputy (R.V., "proconsul") of Cyprus (Acts
13:6-13). He became a convert to Christianity under Paul, who visited this
island on his first mission to the heathen.
A remarkable memorial of this proconsul was recently (1887) discovered
at Rome. On a boundary stone of Claudius his name is found, among others,
as having been appointed (A.D. 47) one of the curators of the banks and
the channel of the river Tiber. After serving his three years as proconsul
at Cyprus, he returned to Rome, where he held the office referred to.
As he is not saluted in Paul's letter to the Romans, he probably died
before it was written.
Sermon on the mount - After spending a night
in solemn meditation and prayer in the lonely mountain-range to the west
of the Lake of Galilee (Luke 6:12), on the following morning our Lord called
to him his disciples, and from among them chose twelve, who were to be henceforth
trained to be his apostles (Mark 3:14, 15). After this solemn consecration
of the twelve, he descended from the mountain-peak to a more level spot
(Luke 6:17), and there he sat down and delivered the "sermon on the mount"
(Matt. 5-7; Luke 6:20-49) to the assembled multitude. The mountain here
spoken of was probably that known by the name of the "Horns of Hattin" (Kurun
Hattin), a ridge running east and west, not far from Capernaum. It was afterwards
called the "Mount of Beatitudes."
Serpent - (Heb. nahash; Gr. ophis),
frequently noticed in Scripture. More than forty species are found in
Syria and Arabia. The poisonous character of the serpent is alluded to
in Jacob's blessing on Dan (Gen. 49:17; see Prov. 30:18, 19; James 3:7;
Jer. 8:17). (See ADDER.)
This word is used symbolically of a deadly, subtle, malicious enemy
The serpent is first mentioned in connection with the history of the
temptation and fall of our first parents (Gen. 3). It has been well remarked
regarding this temptation: "A real serpent was the agent of the temptation,
as is plain from what is said of the natural characteristic of the serpent
in the first verse of the chapter (3:1), and from the curse pronounced
upon the animal itself. But that Satan was the actual tempter, and that
he used the serpent merely as his instrument, is evident (1) from the
nature of the transaction; for although the serpent may be the most subtle
of all the beasts of the field, yet he has not the high intellectual faculties
which the tempter here displayed. (2.) In the New Testament it is both
directly asserted and in various forms assumed that Satan seduced our
first parents into sin (John 8:44; Rom. 16:20; 2 Cor. 11:3, 14; Rev. 12:9;
20:2)." Hodge's System. Theol., ii. 127.
Serpent, Fiery - (LXX. "deadly," Vulg.
"burning"), Num. 21:6, probably the naja haje of Egypt; some swift-springing,
deadly snake (Isa. 14:29). After setting out from their encampment at
Ezion-gaber, the Israelites entered on a wide sandy desert, which stretches
from the mountains of Edom as far as the Persian Gulf. While traversing
this region, the people began to murmur and utter loud complaints against
Moses. As a punishment, the Lord sent serpents among them, and much people
of Israel died. Moses interceded on their behalf, and by divine direction
he made a "brazen serpent," and raised it on a pole in the midst of the
camp, and all the wounded Israelites who looked on it were at once healed.
(Comp. John 3:14, 15.) (See ASP.) This "brazen serpent" was preserved
by the Israelites till the days of Hezekiah, when it was destroyed (2
Kings 18:4). (See BRASS.)
Serug - branch, the father of Nahor (Gen.
11:20-23); called Saruch in Luke 3:35.
Servitor - occurs only in 2 Kings 4:43,
Authorized Version (R.V., "servant"). The Hebrew word there rendered "servitor"
is elsewhere rendered "minister," "servant" (Ex. 24:13; 33:11). Probably
Gehazi, the personal attendant on Elisha, is here meant.
Seth - appointed; a substitute, the third
son of Adam and Eve (Gen. 4:25; 5:3). His mother gave him this name, "for
God," said she, "hath appointed me [i.e., compensated me with] another seed
instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."
Sethur - hidden, one of the spies sent to
search the Promised Land. He was of the tribe of Asher (Num. 13:13).
Seven - This number occurs frequently in
Scripture, and in such connections as lead to the supposition that it has
some typical meaning. On the seventh day God rested, and hallowed it (Gen.
2:2, 3). The division of time into weeks of seven days each accounts for
many instances of the occurrence of this number. This number has been called
the symbol of perfection, and also the symbol of rest. "Jacob's seven years'
service to Laban; Pharaoh's seven fat oxen and seven lean ones; the seven
branches of the golden candlestick; the seven trumpets and the seven priests
who sounded them; the seven days' siege of Jericho; the seven churches,
seven spirits, seven stars, seven seals, seven vials, and many others, sufficiently
prove the importance of this sacred number" (see Lev. 25:4; 1 Sam. 2:5;
Ps. 12:6; 79:12; Prov. 26:16; Isa. 4:1; Matt. 18:21, 22; Luke 17:4). The
feast of Passover (Ex. 12:15, 16), the feast of Weeks (Deut. 16:9), of Tabernacles
(13:15), and the Jubilee (Lev. 25:8), were all ordered by seven. Seven is
the number of sacrifice (2 Chr. 29:21; Job 42:8), of purification and consecration
(Lev. 42:6, 17; 8:11, 33; 14:9, 51), of forgiveness (Matt. 18:21, 22; Luke
17:4), of reward (Deut. 28:7; 1 Sam. 2:5), and of punishment (Lev. 26:21,
24, 28; Deut. 28:25). It is used for any round number in such passages as
Job 5:19; Prov. 26:16, 25; Isa. 4:1; Matt. 12:45. It is used also to mean
"abundantly" (Gen. 4:15, 24; Lev. 26:24; Ps. 79:12).
Seventy weeks - a prophetic period mentioned
in Dan. 9:24, and usually interpreted on the "year-day" theory, i.e., reckoning
each day for a year. This period will thus represent 490 years. This is
regarded as the period which would elapse till the time of the coming of
the Messiah, dating "from the going forth of the commandment to restore
and rebuild Jerusalem" i.e., from the close of the Captivity.
Shaalabbin - or Shaal'bim, a place of foxes,
a town of the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:42; Judg. 1:35). It was one of the
chief towns from which Solomon drew his supplies (1 Kings 4:9). It is probably
the modern village of Selbit, 3 miles north of Ajalon.
Shaaraim - two gates. (1.) A city in the
plain of Judah (1 Sam. 17:52); called also Sharaim (Josh. 15:36).
(2.) A town in Simeon (1 Chr. 4:31).
Shaashgaz - servant of the beautiful, a
chief eunuch in the second house of the harem of king Ahasuerus (Esther
Shabbethai - Sabbath-born, a Levite who
assisted in expounding the law and investigating into the illegal marriages
of the Jews (Ezra 10:15; Neh. 8:7; 11:16).
Shaddai - the Omnipotent, the name of God
in frequent use in the Hebrew Scriptures, generally translated "the Almighty."