Easton’s Bible Dictionary (complete text) by M.G. Easton – M
Maachah Oppression, a small Syrian kingdom near Geshur, east of the Hauran, the district of Batanea (Josh. 13:13; 2 Sam. 10:6, 8; 1 Chr. 19:7).
(2.) A daughter of Talmai, king of the old native population of Geshur. She became one of David’s wives, and was the mother of Absalom (2 Sam. 3:3).
(3.) The father of Hanan, who was one of David’s body-guard (1 Chr. 11:43).
(4.) The daughter of Abishalom (called Absalom, 2 Chr. 11:20-22), the third wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijam (1 Kings 15:2). She is called “Michaiah the daughter of Uriel,” who was the husband of Absalom’s daughter Tamar (2 Chr. 13:2). Her son Abijah or Abijam was heir to the throne.
(5.) The father of Achish, the king of Gath (1 Kings 2:39), called also Maoch (1 Sam. 27:2).
Maaleh-acrabbim Ascent of the scorpions; i.e., “scorpion-hill”, a pass on the south-eastern border of Palestine (Num. 34:4; Josh. 15:3). It is identified with the pass of Sufah, entering Palestine from the great Wady el-Fikreh, south of the Dead Sea. (See AKRABBIM.)
Maarath Desolation, a place in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:59), probably the modern village Beit Ummar, 6 miles north of Hebron.
Maaseiah The work of Jehovah. (1.) One of the Levites whom David appointed as porter for the ark (1 Chr. 15:18, 20).
(2.) One of the “captains of hundreds” associated with Jehoiada in restoring king Jehoash to the throne (2 Chr. 23:1).
(3.) The “king’s son,” probably one of the sons of king Ahaz, killed by Zichri in the invasion of Judah by Pekah, king of Israel (2 Chr. 28:7).
(4.) One who was sent by king Josiah to repair the temple (2 Chr. 34:8). He was governor (Heb. sar, rendered elsewhere in the Authorized Version “prince,” “chief captain,” chief ruler”) of Jerusalem.
(5.) The father of the priest Zephaniah (Jer. 21:1; 37:3).
(6.) The father of the false prophet Zedekiah (Jer. 29:21).
Maase’iah, refuge is Jehovah, a priest, the father of Neriah (Jer. 32:12; 51:59).
Maasiai Work of Jehovah, one of the priests resident at Jerusalem at the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:12).
Maath Small, a person named in our Lord’s ancestry (Luke 3:26).
Maaziah Strength or consolation of Jehovah. (1.) The head of the twenty-fourth priestly course (1 Chr. 24:18) in David’s reign.
(2.) A priest (Neh. 10:8).
Maccabees This word does not occur in Scripture. It was the name given to the leaders of the national party among the Jews who suffered in the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, who succeeded to the Syrian throne B.C. 175. It is supposed to have been derived from the Hebrew word (makkabah) meaning “hammer,” as suggestive of the heroism and power of this Jewish family, who are, however, more properly called Asmoneans or Hasmonaeans, the origin of which is much disputed.
After the expulsion of Antiochus Epiphanes from Egypt by the Romans, he gave vent to his indignation on the Jews, great numbers of whom he mercilessly put to death in Jerusalem. He oppressed them in every way, and tried to abolish altogether the Jewish worship. Mattathias, an aged priest, then residing at Modin, a city to the west of Jerusalem, became now the courageous leader of the national party; and having fled to the mountains, rallied round him a large band of men prepared to fight and die for their country and for their religion, which was now violently suppressed. In 1 Macc. 2:60 is recorded his dying counsels to his sons with reference to the war they were now to carry on. His son Judas, “the Maccabee,” succeeded him (B.C. 166) as the leader in directing the war of independence, which was carried on with great heroism on the part of the Jews, and was terminated in the defeat of the Syrians.
Maccabees, Books of the There were originally five books of the Maccabees. The first contains a history of the war of independence, commencing (B.C. 175) in a series of patriotic struggles against the tyranny of Antiochus Epiphanes, and terminating B.C. 135. It became part of the Vulgate Version of the Bible, and was thus retained among the Apocrypha.
The second gives a history of the Maccabees’ struggle from B.C. 176 to B.C. 161. Its object is to encourage and admonish the Jews to be faithful to the religion of their fathers.
The third does not hold a place in the Apocrypha, but is read in the Greek Church. Its design is to comfort the Alexandrian Jews in their persecution. Its writer was evidently an Alexandrian Jew.
The fourth was found in the Library of Lyons, but was afterwards burned. The fifth contains a history of the Jews from B.C. 184 to B.C. 86. It is a compilation made by a Jew after the destruction of Jerusalem, from ancient memoirs, to which he had access. It need scarcely be added that none of these books has any divine authority.
Macedonia In New Testament times, was a Roman province lying north of Greece. It was governed by a propraetor with the title of proconsul. Paul was summoned by the vision of the “man of Macedonia” to preach the gospel there (Acts 16:9). Frequent allusion is made to this event (18:5; 19:21; Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 1:16; 11:9; Phil. 4:15). The history of Paul’s first journey through Macedonia is given in detail in Acts 16:10-17:15. At the close of this journey he returned from Corinth to Syria. He again passed through this country (20:1-6), although the details of the route are not given. After many years he probably visited it for a third time (Phil. 2:24; 1 Tim. 1:3). The first convert made by Paul in Europe was (Acts 16:13-15) Lydia (q.v.), a “seller of purple,” residing in Philippi, the chief city of the eastern division of Macedonia.
Machaerus The Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, as a frontier rampart against Arab marauders. John the Baptist was probably cast into the prison connected with this castle by Herod Antipas, whom he had reproved for his adulterous marriage with Herodias. Here Herod “made a supper” on his birthday. He was at this time marching against Aretas, king of Perea, to whose daughter he had been married. During the revelry of the banquet held in the border fortress, to please Salome, who danced before him, he sent an executioner, who beheaded John, and “brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel” (Mark 6:14-29). This castle stood “starkly bold and clear” 3,860 feet above the Dead Sea, and 2,546 above the Mediterranean. Its ruins, now called M’khaur, are still visible on the northern end of Jebel Attarus.
Machbanai Clad with a mantle, or bond of the Lord, one of the Gadite heroes who joined David in the wilderness (1 Chr. 12:13).
Machir Sold. (1.) Manasseh’s oldest son (Josh. 17:1), or probably his only son (see 1 Chr. 7:14, 15; comp. Num. 26:29-33; Josh. 13:31). His descendants are referred to under the name of Machirites, being the offspring of Gilead (Num. 26:29). They settled in land taken from the Amorites (Num. 32:39, 40; Deut. 3:15) by a special enactment (Num. 36:1-3; Josh. 17:3, 4). He is once mentioned as the representative of the tribe of Manasseh east of Jordan (Judg. 5:14).
(2.) A descendant of the preceding, residing at Lo-debar, where he maintained Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth till he was taken under the care of David (2 Sam. 9:4), and where he afterwards gave shelter to David himself when he was a fugitive (17:27).
Machpelah Portion; double cave, the cave which Abraham bought, together with the field in which it stood, from Ephron the Hittite, for a family burying-place (Gen. 23). It is one of those Bible localities about the identification of which there can be no doubt. It was on the slope of a hill on the east of Hebron, “before Mamre.” Here were laid the bodies of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah (Gen. 23:19; 25:9; 49:31; 50:13). Over the cave an ancient Christian church was erected, probably in the time of Justinian, the Roman emperor. This church has been converted into a Mohammedan mosque. The whole is surrounded by the el-Haram i.e., “the sacred enclosure,” about 200 feet long, 115 broad, and of an average height of about 50. This building, from the immense size of some of its stones, and the manner in which they are fitted together, is supposed by some to have been erected in the days of David or of Solomon, while others ascribe it to the time of Herod. It is looked upon as the most ancient and finest relic of Jewish architecture.
On the floor of the mosque are erected six large cenotaphs as monuments to the dead who are buried in the cave beneath. Between the cenotaphs of Isaac and Rebekah there is a circular opening in the floor into the cavern below, the cave of Machpelah. Here it may be that the body of Jacob, which was embalmed in Egypt, is still preserved (much older embalmed bodies have recently been found in the cave of Deir el-Bahari in Egypt, see PHARAOH), though those of the others there buried may have long ago mouldered into dust. The interior of the mosque was visited by the Prince of Wales in 1862 by a special favour of the Mohammedan authorities. An interesting account of this visit is given in Dean Stanley’s Lectures on the Jewish Church. It was also visited in 1866 by the Marquis of Bute, and in 1869 by the late Emperor (Frederick) of Germany, then the Crown Prince of Prussia. In 1881 it was visited by the two sons of the Prince of Wales, accompanied by Sir C. Wilson and others. (See Palestine Quarterly Statement, October 1882).
Madai Middle land, the third “son” of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the name by which the Medes are known on the Assyrian monuments.
Madmannah Dunghill, the modern el-Minyay, 15 miles south-south-west of Gaza (Josh. 15:31; 1 Chr. 2:49), in the south of Judah. The Pal. Mem., however, suggest Umm Deimneh, 12 miles north-east of Beersheba, as the site.
Madmen Ibid., a Moabite town threatened with the sword of the Babylonians (Jer. 48:2).
Madmenah Ibid., a town in Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem, towards the north (Isa. 10:31). The same Hebrew word occurs in Isa. 25:10, where it is rendered “dunghill.” This verse has, however, been interpreted as meaning “that Moab will be trodden down by Jehovah as teben [broken straw] is trodden to fragments on the threshing-floors of Madmenah.”
Madness This word is used in its proper sense in Deut. 28:34, John 10:20, 1 Cor. 14:23. It also denotes a reckless state of mind arising from various causes, as over-study (Eccl. 1:17; 2:12), blind rage (Luke 6:11), or a depraved temper (Eccl. 7:25; 9:3; 2 Pet. 2:16). David feigned madness (1 Sam. 21:13) at Gath because he “was sore afraid of Achish.”
Madon Strife, a Canaanitish city in the north of Palestine (Josh. 11:1; 12:19), whose king was slain by Joshua; perhaps the ruin Madin, near Hattin, some 5 miles west of Tiberias.
Magdala A tower, a town in Galilee, mentioned only in Matt. 15:39. In the parallel passage in Mark 8:10 this place is called Dalmanutha. It was the birthplace of Mary called the Magdalen, or Mary Magdalene. It was on the west shore of the Lake of Tiberias, and is now probably the small obscure village called el-Mejdel, about 3 miles north-west of Tiberias. In the Talmud this city is called “the city of colour,” and a particular district of it was called “the tower of dyers.” The indigo plant was much cultivated here.
Magdalene A surname derived from Magdala, the place of her nativity, given to one of the Marys of the Gospels to distinguish her from the other Marys (Matt. 27:56, 61; 28:1, etc.). A mistaken notion has prevailed that this Mary was a woman of bad character, that she was the woman who is emphatically called “a sinner” (Luke 7:36-50). (See MARY.)
Magic The Jews seem early to have consulted the teraphim (q.v.) for oracular answers (Judg. 18:5, 6; Zech. 10:2). There is a remarkable illustration of this divining by teraphim in Ezek. 21:19-22. We read also of the divining cup of Joseph (Gen. 44:5). The magicians of Egypt are frequently referred to in the history of the Exodus. Magic was an inherent part of the ancient Egyptian religion, and entered largely into their daily life.
All magical arts were distinctly prohibited under penalty of death in the Mosaic law. The Jews were commanded not to learn the “abomination” of the people of the Promised Land (Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:9-14). The history of Saul’s consulting the witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:3-20) gives no warrant for attributing supernatural power to magicians. From the first the witch is here only a bystander. The practice of magic lingered among the people till after the Captivity, when they gradually abandoned it.
It is not much referred to in the New Testament. The Magi mentioned in Matt. 2:1-12 were not magicians in the ordinary sense of the word. They belonged to a religious caste, the followers of Zoroaster, the astrologers of the East. Simon, a magician, was found by Philip at Samaria (Acts 8:9-24); and Paul and Barnabas encountered Elymas, a Jewish sorcerer, at Paphos (13:6-12). At Ephesus there was a great destruction of magical books (Acts 19:18, 19).
Magicians Heb. hartumim, (dan. 1:20) were sacred scribes who acted as interpreters of omens, or “revealers of secret things.”
Magistrate A public civil officer invested with authority. The Hebrew shophetim, or judges, were magistrates having authority in the land (Deut. 1:16, 17). In Judg. 18:7 the word “magistrate” (A.V.) is rendered in the Revised Version “possessing authority”, i.e., having power to do them harm by invasion. In the time of Ezra (9:2) and Nehemiah (2:16; 4:14; 13:11) the Jewish magistrates were called seganim, properly meaning “nobles.” In the New Testament the Greek word archon, rendered “magistrate” (Luke 12:58; Titus 3:1), means one first in power, and hence a prince, as in Matt. 20:25, 1 Cor. 2:6, 8. This term is used of the Messiah, “Prince of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5). In Acts 16:20, 22, 35, 36, 38, the Greek term strategos, rendered “magistrate,” properly signifies the leader of an army, a general, one having military authority. The strategoi were the duumviri, the two praetors appointed to preside over the administration of justice in the colonies of the Romans. They were attended by the sergeants (properly lictors or “rod bearers”).
Magog Region of Gog, the second of the “sons” of Japheth (Gen. 10:2; 1 Chr. 1:5). In Ezekiel (38:2; 39:6) it is the name of a nation, probably some Scythian or Tartar tribe descended from Japheth. They are described as skilled horsemen, and expert in the use of the bow. The Latin father Jerome says that this word denotes “Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India.” Perhaps the name “represents the Assyrian Mat Gugi, or country of Gugu,’ the Gyges of the Greeks” (Sayce’s Races, etc.).
Magor-missabib Fear on every side, (Jer. 20:3), a symbolical name given to the priest Pashur, expressive of the fate announced by the prophet as about to come upon him. Pashur was to be carried to Babylon, and there die.
Mahalaleel Praise of God. (1.) The son of Cainan, of the line of Seth (Gen. 5:12-17); called Maleleel (Luke 3:37).
(2.) Neh. 11:4, a descendant of Perez.
Mahalath A lute; lyre. (1.) The daughter of Ishmael, and third wife of Esau (Gen. 28:9); called also Bashemath (Gen. 36:3).
(2.) The daughter of Jerimoth, who was one of David’s sons. She was one of Rehoboam’s wives (2 Chr. 11:18).
Mahalath Leannoth Maschil This word leannoth seems to point to some kind of instrument unknown (Ps. 88, title). The whole phrase has by others been rendered, “On the sickness of affliction: a lesson;” or, “Concerning afflictive sickness: a didactic psalm.”
Mahalath Maschil In the title of Ps. 53, denoting that this was a didactic psalm, to be sung to the accompaniment of the lute or guitar. Others regard this word “mahalath” as the name simply of an old air to which the psalm was to be sung. Others, again, take the word as meaning “sickness,” and regard it as alluding to the contents of the psalm.
Mahanaim Two camps, a place near the Jabbok, beyond Jordan, where Jacob was met by the “angels of God,” and where he divided his retinue into “two hosts” on his return from Padan-aram (Gen. 32:2). This name was afterwards given to the town which was built at that place. It was the southern boundary of Bashan (Josh. 13:26, 30), and became a city of the Levites (21:38). Here Saul’s son Ishbosheth reigned (2 Sam. 2:8, 12), while David reigned at Hebron. Here also, after a troubled reign, Ishbosheth was murdered by two of his own bodyguard (2 Sam. 4:5-7), who brought his head to David at Hebron, but were, instead of being rewarded, put to death by him for their cold-blooded murder. Many years after this, when he fled from Jerusalem on the rebellion of his son Absalom, David made Mahanaim, where Barzillai entertained him, his headquarters, and here he mustered his forces which were led against the army that had gathered around Absalom. It was while sitting at the gate of this town that tidings of the great and decisive battle between the two hosts and of the death of his son Absalom reached him, when he gave way to the most violent grief (2 Sam. 17:24-27).
The only other reference to Mahanaim is as a station of one of Solomon’s purveyors (1 Kings 4:14). It has been identified with the modern Mukhumah, a ruin found in a depressed plain called el-Bukie’a, “the little vale,” near Penuel, south of the Jabbok, and north-east of es-Salt.
Mahaneh-dan Judg. 18:12 = “camp of Dan” 13:25 (R.V., “Mahaneh-dan”), a place behind (i.e., west of) Kirjath-jearim, where the six hundred Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol encamped on their way to capture the city of Laish, which they rebuilt and called “Dan, after the name of their father” (18:11-31). The Palestine Explorers point to a ruin called Erma, situated about 3 miles from the great corn valley on the east of Samson’s home.
Mahath Grasping. (1.) A Kohathite Levite, father of Elkanah (1 Chr. 6:35).
(2.) Another Kohathite Levite, of the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:12).
Mahazioth Visions, a Kohathite Levite, chief of the twenty-third course of musicians (1 Chr. 25:4, 30).
Maher-shalal-hash-baz Plunder speedeth; spoil hasteth, (Isa. 8:1-3; comp. Zeph. 1:14), a name Isaiah was commanded first to write in large characters on a tablet, and afterwards to give as a symbolical name to a son that was to be born to him (Isa. 8:1, 3), as denoting the sudden attack on Damascus and Syria by the Assyrian army.
Mahlah Disease, one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 27:1-11) who had their father’s inheritance, the law of inheritance having been altered in their favour.
Mahlon Sickly, the elder of Elimelech the Bethlehemite’s two sons by Naomi. He married Ruth and died childless (Ruth 1:2, 5; 4:9, 10), in the land of Moab.
Mahol Dance, the father of four sons (1 Kings 4:31) who were inferior in wisdom only to Solomon.
Mail, Coat of “a corselet of scales,” a cuirass formed of pieces of metal overlapping each other, like fish-scales (1 Sam. 17:5); also (38) a corselet or garment thus encased.
Main-sail (Gr. artemon), answering to the modern “mizzen-sail,” as some suppose. Others understand the “jib,” near the prow, or the “fore-sail,” as likely to be most useful in bringing a ship’s head to the wind in the circumstances described (Acts 27:40).
Makheloth Assemblies, a station of the Israelites in the desert (Num. 33:25, 26).
Makkedah Herdsman’s place, one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:16), near which was a cave where the five kings who had confederated against Israel sought refuge (10:10-29). They were put to death by Joshua, who afterwards suspended their bodies upon five trees. It has been identified with the modern village called Sumeil, standing on a low hill about 7 miles to the north-west of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), where are ancient remains and a great cave. The Palestine Exploration surveyors have, however, identified it with el-Mughar, or “the caves,” 3 miles from Jabneh and 2 1/2 southwest of Ekron, because, they say, “at this site only of all possible sites for Makkedah in the Palestine plain do caves still exist.” (See ADONI-ZEDEC.)
Maktesh Mortar, a place in or near Jerusalem inhabited by silver merchants (Zeph. 1:11). It has been conjectured that it was the “Phoenician quarter” of the city, where the traders of that nation resided, after the Oriental custom.
Malachi Messenger or angel, the last of the minor prophets, and the writer of the last book of the Old Testament canon (Mal. 4:4, 5, 6). Nothing is known of him beyond what is contained in his book of prophecies. Some have supposed that the name is simply a title descriptive of his character as a messenger of Jehovah, and not a proper name. There is reason, however, to conclude that Malachi was the ordinary name of the prophet.
He was contemporary with Nehemiah (comp. Mal. 2:8 with Neh. 13:15; Mal. 2:10-16 with Neh. 13:23). No allusion is made to him by Ezra, and he does not mention the restoration of the temple, and hence it is inferred that he prophesied after Haggai and Zechariah, and when the temple services were still in existence (Mal. 1:10; 3:1, 10). It is probable that he delivered his prophecies about B.C. 420, after the second return of Nehemiah from Persia (Neh. 13:6), or possibly before his return.
Malachi, Prophecies of The contents of the book are comprised in four chapters. In the Hebrew text the third and fourth chapters (of the A.V.) form but one. The whole consists of three sections, preceded by an introduction (Mal. 1:1-5), in which the prophet reminds Israel of Jehovah’s love to them. The first section (1:6-2:9) contains a stern rebuke addressed to the priests who had despised the name of Jehovah, and been leaders in a departure from his worship and from the covenant, and for their partiality in administering the law. In the second (2:9-16) the people are rebuked for their intermarriages with idolatrous heathen. In the third (2:17-4:6) he addresses the people as a whole, and warns them of the coming of the God of judgment, preceded by the advent of the Messiah.
This book is frequently referred to in the New Testament (Matt. 11:10; 17:12; Mark 1:2; 9:11, 12; Luke 1:17; Rom. 9:13).
Malcam (2 Sam. 12:30, Heb., R.V., “their king;” Jer. 49:1, 3, R.V.; Zeph. 1:5), the national idol of the Ammonites. When Rabbah was taken by David, the crown of this idol was among the spoils. The weight is said to have been “a talent of gold” (above 100 lbs.). The expression probably denotes its value rather than its weight. It was adorned with precious stones.
Malchiah Jehovah’s king. (1.) The head of the fifth division of the priests in the time of David (1 Chr. 24:9).
(2.) A priest, the father of Pashur (1 Chr. 9:12; Jer. 38:1).
(3.) One of the priests appointed as musicians to celebrate the completion of the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:42).
(4.) A priest who stood by Ezra when he “read in the book of the law of God” (Neh. 8:4).
(5.) Neh. 3:11.
(6.) Neh. 3:31.
(7.) Neh. 3:14.
Malchi-shua King of help, one of the four sons of Saul (1 Chr. 8:33). He perished along with his father in the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 31:2).
Malchus Reigning, the personal servant or slave of the high priest Caiaphas. He is mentioned only by John. Peter cut off his right ear in the garden of Gethsemane (John 18:10). But our Lord cured it with a touch (Matt. 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:51). This was the last miracle of bodily cure wrought by our Lord. It is not mentioned by John.
Mallothi My fulness, a Kohathite Levite, one of the sons of Heman the Levite (1 Chr. 25:4), and chief of the nineteenth division of the temple musicians (26).
Mallows Occurs only in Job 30:4 (R.V., “saltwort”). The word so rendered (malluah, from melah, “salt”) most probably denotes the Atriplex halimus of Linnaeus, a species of sea purslane found on the shores of the Dead Sea, as also of the Mediterranean, and in salt marshes. It is a tall shrubby orach, growing to the height sometimes of 10 feet. Its buds and leaves, with those of other saline plants, are eaten by the poor in Palestine.
Malluch Reigned over, or reigning. (1.) A Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 6:44).
(2.) A priest who returned from Babylon (Neh. 12:2).
(3.) Ezra 10:29. (4.) Ezra 10:32
Mammon A Chaldee or Syriac word meaning “wealth” or “riches” (Luke 16:9-11); also, by personification, the god of riches (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:9-11).
Mamre Manliness. (1.) An Amoritish chief in alliance with Abraham (Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) The name of the place in the neighbourhood of Hebron (q.v.) where Abraham dwelt (Gen. 23:17, 19; 35:27); called also in Authorized Version (13:18) the “plain of Mamre,” but in Revised Version more correctly “the oaks [marg., terebinths’] of Mamre.” The name probably denotes the “oak grove” or the “wood of Mamre,” thus designated after Abraham’s ally.
This “grove” must have been within sight of or “facing” Machpelah (q.v.). The site of Mamre has been identified with Ballatet Selta, i.e., “the oak of rest”, where there is a tree called “Abraham’s oak,” about a mile and a half west of Hebron. Others identify it with er-Rameh, 2 miles north of Hebron.
Man (1.) Heb. Adam, used as the proper name of the first man. The name is derived from a word meaning “to be red,” and thus the first man was called Adam because he was formed from the red earth. It is also the generic name of the human race (Gen. 1:26, 27; 5:2; 8:21; Deut. 8:3). Its equivalents are the Latin homo and the Greek anthropos (Matt. 5:13, 16). It denotes also man in opposition to woman (Gen. 3:12; Matt. 19:10).
(2.) Heb. ish, like the Latin vir and Greek aner, denotes properly a man in opposition to a woman (1 Sam. 17:33; Matt. 14:21); a husband (Gen. 3:16; Hos. 2:16); man with reference to excellent mental qualities.
(3.) Heb. enosh, man as mortal, transient, perishable (2 Chr. 14:11; Isa. 8:1; Job 15:14; Ps. 8:4; 9:19, 20; 103:15). It is applied to women (Josh. 8:25).
(4.) Heb. geber, man with reference to his strength, as distinguished from women (Deut. 22:5) and from children (Ex. 12:37); a husband (Prov. 6:34).
(5.) Heb. methim, men as mortal (Isa. 41:14), and as opposed to women and children (Deut. 3:6; Job 11:3; Isa. 3:25).
Man was created by the immediate hand of God, and is generically different from all other creatures (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:7). His complex nature is composed of two elements, two distinct substances, viz., body and soul (Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor. 5:1-8).
The words translated “spirit” and “soul,” in 1 Thess. 5:23, Heb. 4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Matt. 10:28; 16:26; 1 Pet. 1:22). The “spirit” (Gr. pneuma) is the soul as rational; the “soul” (Gr. psuche) is the same, considered as the animating and vital principle of the body.
Man was created in the likeness of God as to the perfection of his nature, in knowledge (Col. 3:10), righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:24), and as having dominion over all the inferior creatures (Gen. 1:28). He had in his original state God’s law written on his heart, and had power to obey it, and yet was capable of disobeying, being left to the freedom of his own will. He was created with holy dispositions, prompting him to holy actions; but he was fallible, and did fall from his integrity (3:1-6). (See FALL.)
Manaen Consoler, a Christian teacher at Antioch. Nothing else is known of him beyond what is stated in Acts 13:1, where he is spoken of as having been brought up with (Gr. syntrophos; rendered in R.V. “foster brother” of) Herod, i.e., Herod Antipas, the tetrach, who, with his brother Archelaus, was educated at Rome.
Manasseh Who makes to forget. “God hath made me forget” (Heb. nashshani), Gen. 41:51. (1.) The elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons (48:1). There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1 Chr. 7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that his grandchildren were “brought up upon Joseph’s knees” (Gen. 50:23; R.V., “born upon Joseph’s knees”) i.e., were from their birth adopted by Joseph as his own children.
The tribe of Manasseh was associated with that of Ephraim and Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped on the west side of the tabernacle. According to the census taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 (Num. 1:10, 35; 2:20, 21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to 52,700 (26:34, 37), and it was at this time the most distinguished of all the tribes.
The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan (Josh. 13:7-14); but it was left for Joshua to define the limits of each tribe. This territory on the east of Jordan was more valuable and of larger extent than all that was allotted to the nine and a half tribes in the land of Palestine. It is sometimes called “the land of Gilead,” and is also spoken of as “on the other side of Jordan.” The portion given to the half tribe of Manasseh was the largest on the east of Jordan. It embraced the whole of Bashan. It was bounded on the south by Mahanaim, and extended north to the foot of Lebanon. Argob, with its sixty cities, that “ocean of basaltic rocks and boulders tossed about in the wildest confusion,” lay in the midst of this territory.
The whole “land of Gilead” having been conquered, the two and a half tribes left their wives and families in the fortified cities there, and accompanied the other tribes across the Jordan, and took part with them in the wars of conquest. The allotment of the land having been completed, Joshua dismissed the two and a half tribes, commending them for their heroic service (Josh. 22:1-34). Thus dismissed, they returned over Jordan to their own inheritance. (See ED.)
On the west of Jordan the other half of the tribe of Manasseh was associated with Ephraim, and they had their portion in the very centre of Palestine, an area of about 1,300 square miles, the most valuable part of the whole country, abounding in springs of water. Manasseh’s portion was immediately to the north of that of Ephraim (Josh. 16). Thus the western Manasseh defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes of the Hauran.
(2.) The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign (2 Kings 21:1), and he reigned fifty-five years (B.C. 698-643). Though he reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king. His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion and national polity. He early fell under the influence of the heathen court circle, and his reign was characterized by a sad relapse into idolatry with all its vices, showing that the reformation under his father had been to a large extent only superficial (Isa. 7:10; 2 Kings 21:10-15). A systematic and persistent attempt was made, and all too successfully, to banish the worship of Jehovah out of the land. Amid this wide-spread idolatry there were not wanting, however, faithful prophets (Isaiah, Micah) who lifted up their voice in reproof and in warning. But their fidelity only aroused bitter hatred, and a period of cruel persecution against all the friends of the old religion began. “The days of Alva in Holland, of Charles IX. in France, or of the Covenanters under Charles II. in Scotland, were anticipated in the Jewish capital. The streets were red with blood.” There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was put to death at this time (2 Kings 21:16; 24:3, 4; Jer. 2:30), having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalms 49, 73, 77, 140, and 141 seem to express the feelings of the pious amid the fiery trials of this great persecution. Manasseh has been called the “Nero of Palestine.”
Esarhaddon, Sennacherib’s successor on the Assyrian throne, who had his residence in Babylon for thirteen years (the only Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh prisoner (B.C. 681) to Babylon. Such captive kings were usually treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This is referred to in 2 Chr. 33:11, where the Authorized Version reads that Esarhaddon “took Manasseh among the thorns;” while the Revised Version renders the words, “took Manasseh in chains;” or literally, as in the margin, “with hooks.” (Comp. 2 Kings 19:28.)
The severity of Manasseh’s imprisonment brought him to repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his kingdom (2 Chr. 33:11-13). He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and enjoined the people to worship Jehovah; but there was no thorough reformation. After a lengthened reign extending through fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died, and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the “garden of his own house” (2 Kings 21:17, 18; 2 Chr. 33:20), and not in the city of David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon.
In Judg. 18:30 the correct reading is “Moses,” and not “Manasseh.” The name “Manasseh” is supposed to have been introduced by some transcriber to avoid the scandal of naming the grandson of Moses the great lawgiver as the founder of an idolatrous religion.
Mandrakes Hebrew dudaim; i.e., “love-plants”, occurs only in Gen. 30:14-16 and Cant. 7:13. Many interpretations have been given of this word dudaim. It has been rendered “violets,” “Lilies,” “jasmines,” “truffles or mushrooms,” “flowers,” the “citron,” etc. The weight of authority is in favour of its being regarded as the Mandragora officinalis of botanists, “a near relative of the night-shades, the apple of Sodom’ and the potato plant.” It possesses stimulating and narcotic properties (Gen. 30:14-16). The fruit of this plant resembles the potato-apple in size, and is of a pale orange colour. It has been called the “love-apple.” The Arabs call it “Satan’s apple.” It still grows near Jerusalem, and in other parts of Palestine.
Maneh Portion (Ezek. 45:12), rendered “pound” (1 Kings 10:17; Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:71, 72), a weight variously estimated, probably about 2 1/2 or 3 lbs. A maneh of gold consisted of a hundred common shekels (q.v.). (Comp. 1 Kings 10:17, and 2 Chr. 9:16).
Manger (Luke 2:7, 12, 16), the name (Gr. phatne, rendered “stall” in Luke 13:15) given to the place where the infant Redeemer was laid. It seems to have been a stall or crib for feeding cattle. Stables and mangers in our modern sense were in ancient times unknown in the East. The word here properly denotes “the ledge or projection in the end of the room used as a stall on which the hay or other food of the animals of travellers was placed.” (See INN.)
Manna Heb. man-hu, “What is that?” the name given by the Israelites to the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings in the wilderness (Ex. 16:15-35). The name is commonly taken as derived from man, an expression of surprise, “What is it?” but more probably it is derived from manan, meaning “to allot,” and hence denoting an “allotment” or a “gift.” This “gift” from God is described as “a small round thing,” like the “hoar-frost on the ground,” and “like coriander seed,” “of the colour of bdellium,” and in taste “like wafers made with honey.” It was capable of being baked and boiled, ground in mills, or beaten in a mortar (Ex. 16:23; Num. 11:7). If any was kept over till the following morning, it became corrupt with worms; but as on the Sabbath none fell, on the preceding day a double portion was given, and that could be kept over to supply the wants of the Sabbath without becoming corrupt. Directions concerning the gathering of it are fully given (Ex. 16:16-18, 33; Deut. 8:3, 16). It fell for the first time after the eighth encampment in the desert of Sin, and was daily furnished, except on the Sabbath, for all the years of the wanderings, till they encamped at Gilgal, after crossing the Jordan, when it suddenly ceased, and where they “did eat of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more” (Josh. 5:12). They now no longer needed the “bread of the wilderness.”
This manna was evidently altogether a miraculous gift, wholly different from any natural product with which we are acquainted, and which bears this name. The manna of European commerce comes chiefly from Calabria and Sicily. It drops from the twigs of a species of ash during the months of June and July. At night it is fluid and resembles dew, but in the morning it begins to harden. The manna of the Sinaitic peninsula is an exudation from the “manna-tamarisk” tree (Tamarix mannifera), the el-tarfah of the Arabs. This tree is found at the present day in certain well-watered valleys in the peninsula of Sinai. The manna with which the people of Israel were fed for forty years differs in many particulars from all these natural products.
Our Lord refers to the manna when he calls himself the “true bread from heaven” (John 6:31-35; 48-51). He is also the “hidden manna” (Rev. 2:17; comp. John 6:49, 51).
Manoah Rest, a Danite, the father of Samson (Judg. 13:1-22, and 14:2-4).
Man of sin A designation of Antichrist given in 2 Thess. 2:3-10, usually regarded as descriptive of the Papal power; but “in whomsoever these distinctive features are found, whoever wields temporal and spiritual power in any degree similar to that in which the man of sin is here described as wielding it, he, be he pope or potentate, is beyond all doubt a distinct type of Antichrist.”
Manslayer One who was guilty of accidental homicide, and was entitled to flee to a city of refuge (Num. 35:6, 12, 22, 23), his compulsory residence in which terminated with the death of the high priest. (See CITY OF REFUGE.)
Mantle (1.) Heb. addereth, a large over-garment. This word is used of Elijah’s mantle (1 Kings 19:13, 19; 2 Kings 2:8, 13, etc.), which was probably a sheepskin. It appears to have been his only garment, a strip of skin or leather binding it to his loins. ‘Addereth twice occurs with the epithet “hairy” (Gen. 25:25; Zech. 13:4, R.V.). It is the word denoting the “goodly Babylonish garment” which Achan coveted (Josh. 7:21).
(2.) Heb. me’il, frequently applied to the “robe of the ephod” (Ex. 28:4, 31; Lev. 8:7), which was a splendid under tunic wholly of blue, reaching to below the knees. It was woven without seam, and was put on by being drawn over the head. It was worn not only by priests but by kings (1 Sam. 24:4), prophets (15:27), and rich men (Job 1:20; 2:12). This was the “little coat” which Samuel’s mother brought to him from year to year to Shiloh (1 Sam. 2:19), a miniature of the official priestly robe.
(3.) Semikah, “a rug,” the garment which Jael threw as a covering over Sisera (Judg. 4:18). The Hebrew word occurs nowhere else in Scripture.
(4.) Maataphoth, plural, only in Isa. 3:22, denoting a large exterior tunic worn by females. (See DRESS.)
Maoch Compressed, the father of Achish, king of Gath (1 Sam. 27:2). Called also Maachah (1 Kings 2:39).
Maon Habitation, a town in the tribe of Judah, about 7 miles south of Hebron, which gave its name to the wilderness, the district round the conical hill on which the town stood. Here David hid from Saul, and here Nabal had his possessions and his home (1 Sam. 23:24, 25; 25:2). “Only some small foundations of hewn stone, a square enclosure, and several cisterns are now to be seen at Maon. Are they the remains of Nabal’s great establishment?” The hill is now called Tell M’ain.
Mara Bitter; sad, a symbolical name which Naomi gave to herself because of her misfortunes (Ruth 1:20).
Marah Bitterness, a fountain at the sixth station of the Israelites (Ex. 15:23, 24; Num. 33:8) whose waters were so bitter that they could not drink them. On this account they murmured against Moses, who, under divine direction, cast into the fountain “a certain tree” which took away its bitterness, so that the people drank of it. This was probably the Ain Hawarah, where there are still several springs of water that are very “bitter,” distant some 47 miles from Ayun Mousa.
Maralah Trembling, a place on the southern boundary of Zebulun (Josh. 19:11). It has been identified with the modern M’alul, about 4 miles south-west of Nazareth.
Maranatha (1 Cor. 16:22) consists of two Aramean words, Maran’athah, meaning, “our Lord comes,” or is “coming.” If the latter interpretation is adopted, the meaning of the phrase is, “Our Lord is coming, and he will judge those who have set him at nought.” (Comp. Phil. 4:5; James 5:8, 9.)
Marble As a mineral, consists of carbonate of lime, its texture varying from the highly crystalline to the compact. In Esther 1:6 there are four Hebrew words which are rendered marble:, (1.) Shesh, “pillars of marble.” But this word probably designates dark-blue limestone rather than marble. (2.) Dar, some regard as Parian marble. It is here rendered “white marble.” But nothing is certainly known of it. (3.) Bahat, “red marble,” probably the verd-antique or half-porphyry of Egypt. (4.) Sohareth, “black marble,” probably some spotted variety of marble. “The marble pillars and tesserae of various colours of the palace at Susa came doubtless from Persia itself, where marble of various colours is found, especially in the province of Hamadan Susiana.” The marble of Solomon’s architectural works may have been limestone from near Jerusalem, or from Lebanon, or possibly white marble from Arabia. Herod employed Parian marble in the temple, and marble columns still exist in great abundance at Jerusalem.
Marcheshvan The post-biblical name of the month which was the eighth of the sacred and the second of the civil year of the Jews. It began with the new moon of our November. It is once called Bul (1 Kings 6:38). Assyrian, Arah Samna, “eighth month,”
Marcus Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24; 1 Pet. 5:13; R.V., “Mark” (q.v.).
Mareshah Possession, a city in the plain of Judah (John. 15:44). Here Asa defeated Zerah the Ethiopian (2 Chr. 14:9, 10). It is identified with the ruin el-Mer’ash, about 1 1/2 mile south of Beit Jibrin.
Mark The evangelist; “John whose surname was Mark” (Acts 12:12, 25). Mark (Marcus, Col. 4:10, etc.) was his Roman name, which gradually came to supersede his Jewish name John. He is called John in Acts 13:5, 13, and Mark in 15:39, 2 Tim. 4:11, etc.
He was the son of Mary, a woman apparently of some means and influence, and was probably born in Jerusalem, where his mother resided (Acts 12:12). Of his father we know nothing. He was cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10). It was in his mother’s house that Peter found “many gathered together praying” when he was released from prison; and it is probable that it was here that he was converted by Peter, who calls him his “son” (1 Pet. 5:13). It is probable that the “young man” spoken of in Mark 14:51, 52 was Mark himself. He is first mentioned in Acts 12:25. He went with Paul and Barnabas on their first journey (about A.D. 47) as their “minister,” but from some cause turned back when they reached Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 12:25; 13:13). Three years afterwards a “sharp contention” arose between Paul and Barnabas (15:36-40), because Paul would not take Mark with him. He, however, was evidently at length reconciled to the apostle, for he was with him in his first imprisonment at Rome (Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24). At a later period he was with Peter in Babylon (1 Pet. 5:13), then, and for some centuries afterwards, one of the chief seats of Jewish learning; and he was with Timothy in Ephesus when Paul wrote him during his second imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). He then disappears from view.
Market-place Any place of public resort, and hence a public place or broad street (Matt. 11:16; 20:3), as well as a forum or market-place proper, where goods were exposed for sale, and where public assemblies and trials were held (Acts 16:19; 17:17). This word occurs in the Old Testament only in Ezek. 27:13.
In early times markets were held at the gates of cities, where commodities were exposed for sale (2 Kings 7:18). In large towns the sale of particular articles seems to have been confined to certain streets, as we may infer from such expressions as “the bakers’ street” (Jer. 37:21), and from the circumstance that in the time of Josephus the valley between Mounts Zion and Moriah was called the Tyropoeon or the “valley of the cheesemakers.”
Mark, Gospel according to It is the current and apparently well-founded tradition that Mark derived his information mainly from the discourses of Peter. In his mother’s house he would have abundant opportunities of obtaining information from the other apostles and their coadjutors, yet he was “the disciple and interpreter of Peter” specially.
As to the time when it was written, the Gospel furnishes us with no definite information. Mark makes no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem, hence it must have been written before that event, and probably about A.D. 63.
The place where it was written was probably Rome. Some have supposed Antioch (comp. Mark 15:21 with Acts 11:20).
It was intended primarily for Romans. This appears probable when it is considered that it makes no reference to the Jewish law, and that the writer takes care to interpret words which a Gentile would be likely to misunderstand, such as, “Boanerges” (3:17); “Talitha cumi” (5:41); “Corban” (7:11); “Bartimaeus” (10:46); “Abba” (14:36); “Eloi,” etc. (15:34). Jewish usages are also explained (7:3; 14:3; 14:12; 15:42). Mark also uses certain Latin words not found in any of the other Gospels, as “speculator” (6:27, rendered, A.V., “executioner;” R.V., “soldier of his guard”), “xestes” (a corruption of sextarius, rendered “pots,” 7:4, 8), “quadrans” (12:42, rendered “a farthing”), “centurion” (15:39, 44, 45). He only twice quotes from the Old Testament (1:2; 15:28).
The characteristics of this Gospel are, (1) the absence of the genealogy of our Lord, (2) whom he represents as clothed with power, the “lion of the tribe of Judah.” (3.) Mark also records with wonderful minuteness the very words (3:17; 5:41; 7:11, 34; 14:36) as well as the position (9:35) and gestures (3:5, 34; 5:32; 9:36; 10:16) of our Lord. (4.) He is also careful to record particulars of person (1:29, 36; 3:6, 22, etc.), number (5:13; 6:7, etc.), place (2:13; 4:1; 7:31, etc.), and time (1:35; 2:1; 4:35, etc.), which the other evangelists omit. (5.) The phrase “and straightway” occurs nearly forty times in this Gospel; while in Luke’s Gospel, which is much longer, it is used only seven times, and in John only four times.
“The Gospel of Mark,” says Westcott, “is essentially a transcript from life. The course and issue of facts are imaged in it with the clearest outline.” “In Mark we have no attempt to draw up a continuous narrative. His Gospel is a rapid succession of vivid pictures loosely strung together without much attempt to bind them into a whole or give the events in their natural sequence. This pictorial power is that which specially characterizes this evangelist, so that if any one desires to know an evangelical fact, not only in its main features and grand results, but also in its most minute and so to speak more graphic delineation, he must betake himself to Mark.'” The leading principle running through this Gospel may be expressed in the motto: “Jesus came…preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Mark 1:14).
“Out of a total of 662 verses, Mark has 406 in common with Matthew and Luke, 145 with Matthew, 60 with Luke, and at most 51 peculiar to itself.” (See MATTHEW.)
Maroth Bitterness; i.e., “perfect grief”, a place not far from Jerusalem; mentioned in connection with the invasion of the Assyrian army (Micah 1:12).
Marriage Was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16). This law was violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen. 16:1-4; 22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record.
It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3; 38:6). Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1 Sam. 18:23, 25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic law made no change.
In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-67). But in general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of the bride’s parents, to which all friends were invited (29:22, 27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a thick veil, was conducted to her future husband’s home.
Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be “honourable” (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3).
The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:9, 20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The Church of the redeemed is the “Bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Rev. 19:7-9).
Marriage-feasts (John 2:1-11) “lasted usually for a whole week; but the cost of such prolonged rejoicing is very small in the East. The guests sit round the great bowl or bowls on the floor, the meal usually consisting of a lamb or kid stewed in rice or barley. The most honoured guests sit nearest, others behind; and all in eating dip their hand into the one smoking mound, pieces of the thin bread, bent together, serving for spoons when necessary. After the first circle have satisfied themselves, those lower in honour sit down to the rest, the whole company being men, for women are never seen at a feast. Water is poured on the hands before eating; and this is repeated when the meal closes, the fingers having first been wiped on pieces of bread, which, after serving the same purpose as table-napkins with us, are thrown on the ground to be eaten by any dog that may have stolen in from the streets through the ever-open door, or picked up by those outside when gathered and tossed out to them (Matt. 15:27; Mark 7:28). Rising from the ground and retiring to the seats round the walls, the guests then sit down cross-legged and gossip, or listen to recitals, or puzzle over riddles, light being scantily supplied by a small lamp or two, or if the night be chilly, by a smouldering fire of weeds kindled in the middle of the room, perhaps in a brazier, often in a hole in the floor. As to the smoke, it escapes as it best may; but indeed there is little of it, though enough to blacken the water or wine or milk skins hung up on pegs on the wall. (Comp. Ps. 119:83.) To some such marriage-feast Jesus and his five disciples were invited at Cana of Galilee.” Geikie’s Life of Christ. (See CANA.)
Mars Hill The Areopagus or rocky hill in Athens, north-west of the Acropolis, where the Athenian supreme tribunal and court of morals was held. From some part of this hill Paul delivered the address recorded in Acts 17:22-31. (See AREOPAGUS.)
Martha Bitterness, the sister of Lazarus and Mary, and probably the eldest of the family, who all resided at Bethany (Luke 10:38, 40, 41; John 11:1-39). From the residence being called “her house,” some have supposed that she was a widow, and that her brother and sister lodged with her. She seems to have been of an anxious, bustling spirit, anxious to be helpful in providing the best things for the Master’s use, in contrast to the quiet earnestness of Mary, who was more concerned to avail herself of the opportunity of sitting at his feet and learning of him. Afterwards at a supper given to Christ and his disciples in her house “Martha served.” Nothing further is known of her.
“Mary and Martha are representatives of two orders of human character. One was absorbed, preoccupied, abstracted; the other was concentrated and single-hearted. Her own world was the all of Martha; Christ was the first thought with Mary. To Martha life was a succession of particular businesses;’ to Mary life ‘was rather the flow of one spirit.’ Martha was Petrine, Mary was Johannine. The one was a well-meaning, bustling busybody; the other was a reverent disciple, a wistful listener.” Paul had such a picture as that of Martha in his mind when he spoke of serving the Lord “without distraction” (1 Cor. 7:35).
Martyr One who bears witness of the truth, and suffers death in the cause of Christ (Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13; 17:6). In this sense Stephen was the first martyr. The Greek word so rendered in all other cases is translated “witness.” (1.) In a court of justice (Matt. 18:16; 26:65; Acts 6:13; 7:58; Heb. 10:28; 1 Tim. 5:19). (2.) As of one bearing testimony to the truth of what he has seen or known (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; Rom. 1:9; 1 Thess. 2:5, 10; 1 John 1:2).
Mary Hebrew Miriam. (1.) The wife of Joseph, the mother of Jesus, called the “Virgin Mary,” though never so designated in Scripture (Matt. 2:11; Acts 1:14). Little is known of her personal history. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3. She was of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David (Ps. 132:11; Luke 1:32). She was connected by marriage with Elisabeth, who was of the lineage of Aaron (Luke 1:36).
While she resided at Nazareth with her parents, before she became the wife of Joseph, the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:35). After this she went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who was living with her husband Zacharias (probably at Juttah, Josh. 15:55; 21:16, in the neighbourhood of Maon), at a considerable distance, about 100 miles, from Nazareth. Immediately on entering the house she was saluted by Elisabeth as the mother of her Lord, and then forthwith gave utterance to her hymn of thanksgiving (Luke 1:46-56; comp. 1 Sam. 2:1-10). After three months Mary returned to Nazareth to her own home. Joseph was supernaturally made aware (Matt. 1:18-25) of her condition, and took her to his own home. Soon after this the decree of Augustus (Luke 2:1) required that they should proceed to Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), some 80 or 90 miles from Nazareth; and while they were there they found shelter in the inn or khan provided for strangers (Luke 2:6, 7). But as the inn was crowded, Mary had to retire to a place among the cattle, and there she brought forth her son, who was called Jesus (Matt. 1:21), because he was to save his people from their sins. This was followed by the presentation in the temple, the flight into Egypt, and their return in the following year and residence at Nazareth (Matt. 2). There for thirty years Mary, the wife of Joseph the carpenter, resides, filling her own humble sphere, and pondering over the strange things that had happened to her. During these years only one event in the history of Jesus is recorded, viz., his going up to Jerusalem when twelve years of age, and his being found among the doctors in the temple (Luke 2:41-52). Probably also during this period Joseph died, for he is not again mentioned.
After the commencement of our Lord’s public ministry little notice is taken of Mary. She was present at the marriage in Cana. A year and a half after this we find her at Capernaum (Matt. 12:46, 48, 49), where Christ uttered the memorable words, “Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!” The next time we find her is at the cross along with her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene, and Salome, and other women (John 19:26). From that hour John took her to his own abode. She was with the little company in the upper room after the Ascension (Acts 1:14). From this time she wholly disappears from public notice. The time and manner of her death are unknown.
(2.) Mary Magdalene, i.e., Mary of Magdala, a town on the western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. She is for the first time noticed in Luke 8:3 as one of the women who “ministered to Christ of their substance.” Their motive was that of gratitude for deliverances he had wrought for them. Out of Mary were cast seven demons. Gratitude to her great Deliverer prompted her to become his follower. These women accompanied him also on his last journey to Jerusalem (Matt. 27:55; Mark 15:41; Luke 23:55). They stood near the cross. There Mary remained till all was over, and the body was taken down and laid in Joseph’s tomb. Again, in the earliest dawn of the first day of the week she, with Salome and Mary the mother of James (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2), came to the sepulchre, bringing with them sweet spices, that they might anoint the body of Jesus. They found the sepulchre empty, but saw the “vision of angels” (Matt. 28:5). She hastens to tell Peter and John, who were probably living together at this time (John 20:1, 2), and again immediately returns to the sepulchre. There she lingers thoughtfully, weeping at the door of the tomb. The risen Lord appears to her, but at first she knows him not. His utterance of her name “Mary” recalls her to consciousness, and she utters the joyful, reverent cry, “Rabboni.” She would fain cling to him, but he forbids her, saying, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” This is the last record regarding Mary of Magdala, who now returned to Jerusalem. The idea that this Mary was “the woman who was a sinner,” or that she was unchaste, is altogether groundless.
(3.) Mary the sister of Lazarus is brought to our notice in connection with the visits of our Lord to Bethany. She is contrasted with her sister Martha, who was “cumbered about many things” while Jesus was their guest, while Mary had chosen “the good part.” Her character also appears in connection with the death of her brother (John 11:20, 31, 33). On the occasion of our Lord’s last visit to Bethany, Mary brought “a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus” as he reclined at table in the house of one Simon, who had been a leper (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; John 12:2, 3). This was an evidence of her overflowing love to the Lord. Nothing is known of her subsequent history. It would appear from this act of Mary’s, and from the circumstance that they possessed a family vault (11:38), and that a large number of Jews from Jerusalem came to condole with them on the death of Lazarus (11:19), that this family at Bethany belonged to the wealthier class of the people. (See MARTHA.)
(4.) Mary the wife of Cleopas is mentioned (John 19:25) as standing at the cross in company with Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Jesus. By comparing Matt. 27:56 and Mark 15:40, we find that this Mary and “Mary the mother of James the little” are on and the same person, and that she was the sister of our Lord’s mother. She was that “other Mary” who was present with Mary of Magdala at the burial of our Lord (Matt. 27:61; Mark 15:47); and she was one of those who went early in the morning of the first day of the week to anoint the body, and thus became one of the first witnesses of the resurrection (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1).
(5.) Mary the mother of John Mark was one of the earliest of our Lord’s disciples. She was the sister of Barnabas (Col. 4:10), and joined with him in disposing of their land and giving the proceeds of the sale into the treasury of the Church (Acts 4:37; 12:12). Her house in Jerusalem was the common meeting-place for the disciples there.
(6.) A Christian at Rome who treated Paul with special kindness (Rom. 16:6).
Maschil Instructing, occurs in the title of thirteen Psalms (32, 42, 44, etc.). It denotes a song enforcing some lesson of wisdom or piety, a didactic song. In Ps. 47:7 it is rendered, Authorized Version, “with understanding;” Revised Version, marg., “in a skilful psalm.”
Mash (= Meshech 1 Chr. 1:17), one of the four sons of Aram, and the name of a tribe descended from him (Gen. 10:23) inhabiting some part probably of Mesopotamia. Some have supposed that they were the inhabitants of Mount Masius, the present Karja Baghlar, which forms part of the chain of Taurus.
Mashal Entreaty, a levitical town in the tribe of Asher (1 Chr. 6:74); called Mishal (Josh. 21:30).
Mason An artificer in stone. The Tyrians seem to have been specially skilled in architecture (1 Kings 5:17, 18; 2 Sam. 5:11). This art the Hebrews no doubt learned in Egypt (Ex. 1:11, 14), where ruins of temples and palaces fill the traveller with wonder at the present day.
Masrekah Vineyard of noble vines, a place in Idumea, the native place of Samlah, one of the Edomitish kings (Gen. 36:36; 1 Chr. 1:47).
Massa A lifting up, gift, one of the sons of Ishmael, the founder of an Arabian tribe (Gen. 25:14); a nomad tribe inhabiting the Arabian desert toward Babylonia.
Massah Trial, temptation, a name given to the place where the Israelites, by their murmuring for want of water, provoked Jehovah to anger against them. It is also called Meribah (Ex. 17:7; Deut. 6:16; Ps. 95:8, 9; Heb. 3:8).
Mattan Gift. (1.) A priest of Baal, slain before his altar during the reformation under Jehoiada (2 Kings 11:18).
(2.) The son of Eleazar, and father of Jacob, who was the father of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:15).
(3.) The father of Shephatiah (Jer. 38:1).
Mattanah A gift, a station of the Israelites (Num. 21:18, 19) between the desert and the borders of Moab, in the Wady Waleh.
Mattaniah Gift of Jehovah. (1.) A Levite, son of Heman, the chief of the ninth class of temple singers (1 Chr. 25:4, 16).
(2.) A Levite who assisted in purifying the temple at the reformation under Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:13).
(3.) The original name of Zedekiah (q.v.), the last of the kings of Judah (2 Kings 24:17). He was the third son of Josiah, who fell at Megiddo. He succeeded his nephew Jehoiakin.
Mattathias Ibid. (1.) The son of Amos, in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:25).
(2.) The son of Semei, in the same genealogy (Luke 3:26).
Matthan Gift, one of our Lord’s ancestry (Matt. 1:15).
Matthat Gift of God. (1.) The son of Levi, and father of Heli (Luke 3:24).
(2.) Son of another Levi (Luke 3:29).
Matthew Gift of God, a common Jewish name after the Exile. He was the son of Alphaeus, and was a publican or tax-gatherer at Capernaum. On one occasion Jesus, coming up from the side of the lake, passed the custom-house where Matthew was seated, and said to him, “Follow me.” Matthew arose and followed him, and became his disciple (Matt. 9:9). Formerly the name by which he was known was Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he now changed it, possibly in grateful memory of his call, to Matthew. The same day on which Jesus called him he made a “great feast” (Luke 5:29), a farewell feast, to which he invited Jesus and his disciples, and probably also many of old associates. He was afterwards selected as one of the twelve (6:15). His name does not occur again in the Gospel history except in the lists of the apostles. The last notice of him is in Acts 1:13. The time and manner of his death are unknown.
Matthew, Gospel according to The author of this book was beyond a doubt the Matthew, an apostle of our Lord, whose name it bears. He wrote the Gospel of Christ according to his own plans and aims, and from his own point of view, as did also the other “evangelists.”
As to the time of its composition, there is little in the Gospel itself to indicate. It was evidently written before the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24), and some time after the events it records. The probability is that it was written between the years A.D. 60 and 65.
The cast of thought and the forms of expression employed by the writer show that this Gospel was written for Jewish Christians of Palestine. His great object is to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah, and that in him the ancient prophecies had their fulfilment. The Gospel is full of allusions to those passages of the Old Testament in which Christ is predicted and foreshadowed. The one aim prevading the whole book is to show that Jesus is he “of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.” This Gospel contains no fewer than sixty-five references to the Old Testament, forty-three of these being direct verbal citations, thus greatly outnumbering those found in the other Gospels. The main feature of this Gospel may be expressed in the motto, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
As to the language in which this Gospel was written there is much controversy. Many hold, in accordance with old tradition, that it was originally written in Hebrew (i.e., the Aramaic or Syro-Chaldee dialect, then the vernacular of the inhabitants of Palestine), and afterwards translated into Greek, either by Matthew himself or by some person unknown. This theory, though earnestly maintained by able critics, we cannot see any ground for adopting. From the first this Gospel in Greek was received as of authority in the Church. There is nothing in it to show that it is a translation. Though Matthew wrote mainly for the Jews, yet they were everywhere familiar with the Greek language. The same reasons which would have suggested the necessity of a translation into Greek would have led the evangelist to write in Greek at first. It is confessed that this Gospel has never been found in any other form than that in which we now possess it.
The leading characteristic of this Gospel is that it sets forth the kingly glory of Christ, and shows him to be the true heir to David’s throne. It is the Gospel of the kingdom. Matthew uses the expression “kingdom of heaven” (thirty-two times), while Luke uses the expression “kingdom of God” (thirty-three times). Some Latinized forms occur in this Gospel, as kodrantes (Matt. 5:26), for the Latin quadrans, and phragello (27:26), for the Latin flagello. It must be remembered that Matthew was a tax-gatherer for the Roman government, and hence in contact with those using the Latin language.
As to the relation of the Gospels to each other, we must maintain that each writer of the synoptics (the first three) wrote independently of the other two, Matthew being probably first in point of time.
“Out of a total of 1071 verses, Matthew has 387 in common with Mark and Luke, 130 with Mark, 184 with Luke; only 387 being peculiar to itself.” (See MARK; LUKE; GOSPELS.)
The book is fitly divided into these four parts: (1.) Containing the genealogy, the birth, and the infancy of Jesus (1; 2).
(2.) The discourses and actions of John the Baptist preparatory to Christ’s public ministry (3; 4:11).
(3.) The discourses and actions of Christ in Galilee (4:12-20:16).
(4.) The sufferings, death and resurrection of our Lord (20:17-28).
Matthias Gift of God. Acts 1:23.
Mattithiah Gift of Jehovah. (1.) One of the sons of Jeduthun (1 Chr. 25:3, 21).
(2.) The eldest son of Shallum, of the family of Korah (1 Chr. 9:31).
(3.) One who stood by Ezra while reading the law (Neh. 8:4).
(4.) The son of Amos, and father of Joseph, in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:25).
Mattock (1.) Heb. ma’eder, an instrument for dressing or pruning a vineyard (Isa. 7:25); a weeding-hoe.
(2.) Heb. mahareshah (1 Sam. 13:1), perhaps the ploughshare or coulter.
(3.) Heb. herebh, marg. of text (2 Chr. 34:6). Authorized Version, “with their mattocks,” marg. “mauls.” The Revised Version renders “in their ruins,” marg. “with their axes.” The Hebrew text is probably corrupt.
Maul An old name for a mallet, the rendering of the Hebrew mephits (Prov. 25:18), properly a war-club.
Mazzaroth Prognostications, found only Job 38:32, probably meaning “the twelve signs” (of the zodiac), as in the margin (comp. 2 Kings 23:5).
Meadow (1.) Heb. ha’ahu (Gen. 41:2, 18), probably an Egyptain word transferred to the Hebrew; some kind of reed or water-plant. In the Revised Version it is rendered “reed-grass”, i.e., the sedge or rank grass by the river side.
(2.) Heb. ma’areh (Judg. 20:33), pl., “meadows of Gibeah” (R.V., after the LXX., “Maareh-geba”). Some have adopted the rendering “after Gibeah had been left open.” The Vulgate translates the word “from the west.”
Meah An hundred, a tower in Jersalem on the east wall (Neh. 3:1) in the time of Nehemiah.
Meals Are at the present day “eaten from a round table little higher than a stool, guests sitting cross-legged on mats or small carpets in a circle, and dipping their fingers into one large dish heaped with a mixture of boiled rice and other grain and meat. But in the time of our Lord, and perhaps even from the days of Amos (6:4, 7), the foreign custom had been largely introduced of having broad couches, forming three sides of a small square, the guests reclining at ease on their elbows during meals, with their faces to the space within, up and down which servants passed offering various dishes, or in the absence of servants, helping themselves from dishes laid on a table set between the couches.” Geikie’s Life of Christ. (Comp. Luke 7:36-50.) (See ABRAHAM’S BOSOM; BANQUET; FEAST.)
Mearah A cave, a place in the northern boundary of Palestine (Josh. 13:4). This may be the cave of Jezzin in Lebanon, 10 miles east of Sidon, on the Damascus road; or probably, as others think, Mogheirizeh, north-east of Sidon.
Measure Several words are so rendered in the Authorized Version. (1.) Those which are indefinite. (a) Hok, Isa. 5:14, elsewhere “statute.” (b) Mad, Job 11:9; Jer. 13:25, elsewhere “garment.” (c) Middah, the word most frequently thus translated, Ex. 26:2, 8, etc. (d) Mesurah, Lev. 19:35; 1 Chr. 23:29. (e) Mishpat, Jer. 30:11, elsewhere “judgment.” (f) Mithkoneth and token, Ezek. 45:11. (g) In New Testament metron, the usual Greek word thus rendered (Matt. 7:2; 23:32; Mark 4:24).
(2.) Those which are definite. (a) Eyphah, Deut. 25:14, 15, usually “ephah.” (b) Ammah, Jer. 51:13, usually “cubit.” (c) Kor, 1 Kings 4:22, elsewhere “cor;” Greek koros, Luke 16:7. (d) Seah, Gen. 18:6; 1 Sam. 25:18, a seah; Greek saton, Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21. (e) Shalish, “a great measure,” Isa. 40:12; literally a third, i.e., of an ephah. (f) In New Testament batos, Luke 16:6, the Hebrew “bath;” and choinix, Rev. 6:6, the choenix, equal in dry commodities to one-eighth of a modius.
Meat-offering (Heb. minhah), originally a gift of any kind. This Hebrew word came latterly to denote an “unbloody” sacrifice, as opposed to a “bloody” sacrifice. A “drink-offering” generally accompanied it. The law regarding it is given in Lev. 2, and 6:14-23. It was a recognition of the sovereignty of God and of his bounty in giving all earthly blessings (1 Chr. 29:10-14; Deut. 26:5-11). It was an offering which took for granted and was based on the offering for sin. It followed the sacrifice of blood. It was presented every day with the burnt-offering (Ex. 29:40, 41), and consisted of flour or of cakes prepared in a special way with oil and frankincense.
Mebunnai Construction, building of Jehovah, one of David’s bodyguard (2 Sam. 23:27; comp. 21:18); called Sibbechai and Sibbecai (1 Chr. 11:29; 27:11).
Medad Love, one of the elders nominated to assist Moses in the government of the people. He and Eldad “prophesied in the camp” (Num. 11:24-29).
Medan Contention, the third son of Abraham by Keturah (Gen. 25:2).
Mede (Heb. Madai), a Median or inhabitant of Media (Dan. 11:1). In Gen. 10:2 the Hebrew word occurs in the list of the sons of Japheth. But probably this is an ethnic and not a personal name, and denotes simply the Medes as descended from Japheth.
Medeba Waters of quiet, an ancient Moabite town (Num. 21:30). It was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Josh. 13:16). Here was fought the great battle in which Joab defeated the Ammonites and their allies (1 Chr. 19:7-15; comp. 2 Sam. 10:6-14). In the time of Isaiah (15:2) the Moabites regained possession of it from the Ammonites. (See HANUN.)
The ruins of this important city, now Madeba or Madiyabah, are seen about 8 miles south-west of Heshbon, and 14 east of the Dead Sea. Among these are the ruins of what must have been a large temple, and of three cisterns of considerable extent, which are now dry. These cisterns may have originated the name Medeba, “waters of quiet.” (See OMRI.)
Media Heb. Madai, which is rendered in the Authorized Version (1) “Madai,” Gen. 10:2; (2) “Medes,” 2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; (3) “Media,” Esther 1:3; 10:2; Isa. 21:2; Dan. 8:20; (4) “Mede,” only in Dan. 11:1.
We first hear of this people in the Assyrian cuneiform records, under the name of Amada, about B.C. 840. They appear to have been a branch of the Aryans, who came from the east bank of the Indus, and were probably the predominant race for a while in the Mesopotamian valley. They consisted for three or four centuries of a number of tribes, each ruled by its own chief, who at length were brought under the Assyrian yoke (2 Kings 17:6). From this subjection they achieved deliverance, and formed themselves into an empire under Cyaxares (B.C. 633). This monarch entered into an alliance with the king of Babylon, and invaded Assyria, capturing and destroying the city of Nineveh (B.C. 625), thus putting an end to the Assyrian monarchy (Nah. 1:8; 2:5, 6; 3:13, 14).
Media now rose to a place of great power, vastly extending its boundaries. But it did not long exist as an independent kingdom. It rose with Cyaxares, its first king, and it passed away with him; for during the reign of his son and successor Astyages, the Persians waged war against the Medes and conquered them, the two nations being united under one monarch, Cyrus the Persian (B.C. 558).
The “cities of the Medes” are first mentioned in connection with the deportation of the Israelites on the destruction of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:11). Soon afterwards Isaiah (13:17; 21:2) speaks of the part taken by the Medes in the destruction of Babylon (comp. Jer. 51:11, 28). Daniel gives an account of the reign of Darius the Mede, who was made viceroy by Cyrus (Dan. 6:1-28). The decree of Cyrus, Ezra informs us (6:2-5), was found in “the palace that is in the province of the Medes,” Achmetha or Ecbatana of the Greeks, which is the only Median city mentioned in Scripture.
Mediator One who intervenes between two persons who are at variance, with a view to reconcile them. This word is not found in the Old Testament; but the idea it expresses is found in Job 9:33, in the word “daysman” (q.v.), marg., “umpire.”
This word is used in the New Testament to denote simply an internuncius, an ambassador, one who acts as a medium of communication between two contracting parties. In this sense Moses is called a mediator in Gal. 3:19.
Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). He makes reconciliation between God and man by his all-perfect atoning sacrifice. Such a mediator must be at once divine and human, divine, that his obedience and his sufferings might possess infinite worth, and that he might possess infinite wisdom and knowlege and power to direct all things in the kingdoms of providence and grace which are committed to his hands (Matt. 28:18; John 5:22, 25, 26, 27); and human, that in his work he might represent man, and be capable of rendering obedience to the law and satisfying the claims of justice (Heb. 2:17, 18; 4:15, 16), and that in his glorified humanity he might be the head of a glorified Church (Rom. 8:29).
This office involves the three functions of prophet, priest, and king, all of which are discharged by Christ both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation. These functions are so inherent in the one office that the quality appertaining to each gives character to every mediatorial act. They are never separated in the exercise of the office of mediator.
Meekness A calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (James 3:13). Peculiar promises are made to the meek (Matt. 5:5; Isa. 66:2). The cultivation of this spirit is enjoined (Col. 3:12; 1 Tim. 6:11; Zeph. 2:3), and is exemplified in Christ (Matt. 11:29), Abraham (Gen. 13; 16:5, 6) Moses (Num. 12:3), David (Zech. 12:8; 2 Sam. 16:10, 12), and Paul (1 Cor. 9:19).
Megiddo Place of troops, originally one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:21), belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Judg. 1:27), but does not seem to have been fully occupied by the Israelites till the time of Solomon (1 Kings 4:12; 9:15).
The valley or plain of Megiddo was part of the plain of Esdraelon, the great battle-field of Palestine. It was here Barak gained a notable victory over Jabin, the king of Hazor, whose general, Sisera, led on the hostile army. Barak rallied the warriors of the northern tribes, and under the encouragement of Deborah (q.v.), the prophetess, attacked the Canaanites in the great plain. The army of Sisera was thrown into complete confusion, and was engulfed in the waters of the Kishon, which had risen and overflowed its banks (Judg. 4:5).
Many years after this (B.C. 610), Pharaohnecho II., on his march against the king of Assyria, passed through the plains of Philistia and Sharon; and King Josiah, attempting to bar his progress in the plain of Megiddo, was defeated by the Egyptians. He was wounded in battle, and died as they bore him away in his chariot towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:22-24), and all Israel mourned for him. So general and bitter was this mourning that it became a proverb, to which Zechariah (12:11, 12) alludes. Megiddo has been identified with the modern el-Lejjun, at the head of the Kishon, under the north-eastern brow of Carmel, on the south-western edge of the plain of Esdraelon, and 9 miles west of Jezreel. Others identify it with Mujedd’a, 4 miles south-west of Bethshean, but the question of its site is still undetermined.
Mehetabeel Whose benefactor is God, the father of Delaiah, and grandfather of Shemaiah, who joined Sanballat against Nehemiah (Neh. 6:10).
Mehetabel Wife of Hadad, one of the kings of Edom (Gen. 36:39).
Mehujael Smitten by God, the son of Irad, and father of Methusael (Gen. 4:18).
Mehuman Faithful, one of the eunchs whom Ahasuerus (Xerxes) commanded to bring in Vashti (Esther 1:10).
Mehunims Habitations, (2 Chr. 26:7; R.V. “Meunim,” Vulg. Ammonitae), a people against whom Uzziah waged a successful war. This word is in Hebrew the plural of Ma’on, and thus denotes the Maonites who inhabited the country on the eastern side of the Wady el-Arabah. They are again mentioned in 1 Chr. 4:41 (R.V.), in the reign of King Hezekiah, as a Hamite people, settled in the eastern end of the valley of Gedor, in the wilderness south of Palestine. In this passage the Authorized Version has “habitation,” erroneously following the translation of Luther.
They are mentioned in the list of those from whom the Nethinim were made up (Ezra 2:50; Neh. 7:52).
Me-jarkon Waters of yellowness, or clear waters, a river in the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:46). It has been identified with the river Aujeh, which rises at Antipatris.
Mekonah A base or foundation, a town in the south of Judah (Neh. 11:28), near Ziklag.
Melchi My king. (1.) The son of Addi, and father of Neri (Luke 3:28). (2.) Luke 3:24.
Melchizedek King of righteousness, the king of Salem (q.v.). All we know of him is recorded in Gen. 14:18-20. He is subsequently mentioned only once in the Old Testament, in Ps. 110:4. The typical significance of his history is set forth in detail in the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. 7. The apostle there points out the superiority of his priesthood to that of Aaron in these several respects, (1) Even Abraham paid him tithes; (2) he blessed Abraham; (3) he is the type of a Priest who lives for ever; (4) Levi, yet unborn, paid him tithes in the person of Abraham; (5) the permanence of his priesthood in Christ implied the abrogation of the Levitical system; (6) he was made priest not without an oath; and (7) his priesthood can neither be transmitted nor interrupted by death: “this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”
The question as to who this mysterious personage was has given rise to a great deal of modern speculation. It is an old tradition among the Jews that he was Shem, the son of Noah, who may have survived to this time. Melchizedek was a Canaanitish prince, a worshipper of the true God, and in his peculiar history and character an instructive type of our Lord, the great High Priest (Heb. 5:6, 7; 6:20). One of the Amarna tablets is from Ebed-Tob, king of Jerusalem, the successor of Melchizedek, in which he claims the very attributes and dignity given to Melchizedek in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Melea Fulness, the son of Menan and father of Eliakim, in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:31).
Melech King, the second of Micah’s four sons (1 Chr. 8:35), and thus grandson of Mephibosheth.
Melita (Acts 27:28), an island in the Mediterranean, the modern Malta. Here the ship in which Paul was being conveyed a prisoner to Rome was wrecked. The bay in which it was wrecked now bears the name of “St. Paul’s Bay”, “a certain creek with a shore.” It is about 2 miles deep and 1 broad, and the whole physical condition of the scene answers the description of the shipwreck given in Acts 28. It was originally colonized by Phoenicians (“barbarians,” 28:2). It came into the possession of the Greeks (B.C. 736), from whom it was taken by the Carthaginians (B.C. 528). In B.C. 242 it was conquered by the Romans, and was governed by a Roman propraetor at the time of the shipwreck (Acts 28:7). Since 1800, when the French garrison surrendered to the English force, it has been a British dependency. The island is about 17 miles long and 9 wide, and about 60 in circumference. After a stay of three months on this island, during which the “barbarians” showed them no little kindness, Julius procured for himself and his company a passage in another Alexandrian corn-ship which had wintered in the island, in which they proceeded on their voyage to Rome (Acts 28:13, 14).
Melons Only in Num. 11:5, the translation of the Hebrew abattihim, the LXX. and Vulgate pepones, Arabic britikh. Of this plant there are various kinds, the Egyptian melon, the Cucumus chate, which has been called “the queen of cucumbers;” the water melon, the Cucurbita citrullus; and the common or flesh melon, the Cucumus melo. “A traveller in the East who recollects the intense gratitude which a gift of a slice of melon inspired while journeying over the hot and dry plains, will readily comprehend the regret with which the Hebrews in the Arabian desert looked back upon the melons of Egypt” (Kitto).
Melzar Probably a Persian word meaning master of wine, i.e., chief butler; the title of an officer at the Babylonian court (Dan. 1:11, 16) who had charge of the diet of the Hebrew youths.
Memphis Only in Hos. 9:6, Hebrew Moph. In Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16; 46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16, it is mentioned under the name Noph. It was the capital of Lower, i.e., of Northern Egypt. From certain remains found half buried in the sand, the site of this ancient city has been discovered near the modern village of Minyet Rahinch, or Mitraheny, about 16 miles above the ancient head of the Delta, and 9 miles south of Cairo, on the west bank of the Nile. It is said to have been founded by Menes, the first king of Egypt, and to have been in circumference about 19 miles. “There are few remains above ground,” says Manning (The Land of the Pharaohs), “of the splendour of ancient Memphis. The city has utterly disappeared. If any traces yet exist, they are buried beneath the vast mounds of crumbling bricks and broken pottery which meet the eye in every direction. Near the village of Mitraheny is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. It is apparently one of the two described by Herodotus and Diodorus as standing in front of the temple of Ptah. They were originally 50 feet in height. The one which remains, though mutilated, measures 48 feet. It is finely carved in limestone, which takes a high polish, and is evidently a portrait. It lies in a pit, which, during the inundation, is filled with water. As we gaze on this fallen and battered statue of the mighty conqueror who was probably contemporaneous with Moses, it is impossible not to remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, 19:13; 44:16-19, and Jeremiah, 46:19.”
Memucan Dignified, one of the royal counsellors at the court of Ahasuerus, by whose suggestion Vashti was divorced (Esther 1:14, 16, 21).
Menahem Conforting, the son of Gadi, and successor of Shallum, king of Israel, whom he slew. After a reign of about ten years (B.C. 771-760) he died, leaving the throne to his son Pekahiah. His reign was one of cruelty and oppression (2 Kings 15:14-22). During his reign, Pul (q.v.), king of Assyria, came with a powerful force against Israel, but was induced to retire by a gift from Menahem of 1,000 talents of silver.
Mene (Dan. 5:25, 26), numbered, one of the words of the mysterious inscription written “upon the plaister of the wall” in Belshazzar’s palace at Babylon. The writing was explained by Daniel. (See BELSHAZZAR.)
Meni Isa. 65:11, marg. (A.V., “that number;” R.V., “destiny”), probably an idol which the captive Israelites worshipped after the example of the Babylonians. It may have been a symbol of destiny. LXX., tuche.
Meonenim (Judg. 9:37; A.V., “the plain of Meonenim;” R.V., “the oak of Meonenim”) means properly “soothsayers” or “sorcerers,” “wizards” (Deut. 18:10, 14; 2 Kings 21:6; Micah 5:12). This may be the oak at Shechem under which Abram pitched his tent (see SHECHEM), the “enchanter’s oak,” so called, perhaps, from Jacob’s hiding the “strange gods” under it (Gen. 35:4).
Mephaath Splendour, a Levitical city (Josh. 21:37) of the tribe of Reuben (13:18).
Mephibosheth Exterminator of shame; i.e., of idols. (1.) The name of Saul’s son by the concubine Rizpah (q.v.), the daughter of Aiah. He and his brother Armoni were with five others “hanged on a hill before the Lord” by the Gibeonites, and their bodies exposed in the sun for five months (2 Sam. 21:8-10). (2.) The son of Jonathan, and grandson of Saul (2 Sam. 4:4). He was but five years old when his father and grandfather fell on Mount Gilboa. The child’s nurse hearing of this calamity, fled with him from Gibeah, the royal residence, and stumbling in her haste, the child was thrown to the ground and maimed in both his feet, and ever after was unable to walk (19:26). He was carried to the land of Gilead, where he found a refuge in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar, by whom he was brought up.
Some years after this, when David had subdued all the adversaries of Israel, he began to think of the family of Jonathan, and discovered that Mephibosheth was residing in the house of Machir. Thither he sent royal messengers, and brought him and his infant son to Jerusalem, where he ever afterwards resided (2 Sam. 9).
When David was a fugitive, according to the story of Ziba (2 Sam. 16:1-4) Mephibosheth proved unfaithful to him, and was consequently deprived of half of his estates; but according to his own story, however (19:24-30), he had remained loyal to his friend. After this incident he is only mentioned as having been protected by David against the vengeance the Gibeonites were permitted to execute on the house of Saul (21:7). He is also called Merib-baal (1 Chr. 8:34; 9:40). (See ZIBA.)
Merab Increase, the eldest of Saul’s two daughters (1 Sam. 14:49). She was betrothed to David after his victory over Goliath, but does not seem to have entered heartily into this arrangement (18:2, 17, 19). She was at length, however, married to Adriel of Abel-Meholah, a town in the Jordan valley, about 10 miles south of Bethshean, with whom the house of Saul maintained alliance. She had five sons, who were all put to death by the Gibeonites on the hill of Gibeah (2 Sam. 21:8).
Meraiah Resistance, a chief priest, a contemporary of the high priest Joiakim (Neh. 12:12).
Meraioth Rebellions. (1.) Father of Amariah, a high priest of the line of Eleazar (1 Chr. 6:6, 7, 52).
(2.) Neh. 12:15, a priest who went to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel. He is called Meremoth in Neh. 12:3.
Merari Sad; bitter, the youngest son of Levi, born before the descent of Jacob into Egypt, and one of the seventy who accompanied him thither (Gen. 46:11; Ex. 6:16). He became the head of one of the great divisions of the Levites (Ex. 6:19). (See MERARITES.)
Merarites The descendants of Merari (Num. 26:57). They with the Gershonites and the Kohathites had charge of the tabernacle, which they had to carry from place to place (Num. 3:20, 33-37; 4:29-33). In the distribution of the oxen and waggons offered by the princes (Num. 7), Moses gave twice as many to the Merarites (four waggons and eight oxen) as he gave to the Gershonites, because the latter had to carry only the lighter furniture of the tabernacle, such as the curtains, hangings, etc., while the former had to carry the heavier portion, as the boards, bars, sockets, pillars, etc., and consequently needed a greater supply of oxen and waggons. This is a coincidence illustrative of the truth of the narrative. Their place in marching and in the camp was on the north of the tabernacle. The Merarites afterwards took part with the other Levitical families in the various functions of their office (1 Chr. 23:6, 21-23; 2 Chr. 29:12, 13). Twelve cities with their suburbs were assigned to them (Josh. 21:7, 34-40).
Merathaim Double rebellion, probably a symbolical name given to Babylon (Jer. 50:21), denoting rebellion exceeding that of other nations.
Merchant The Hebrew word so rendered is from a root meaning “to travel about,” “to migrate,” and hence “a traveller.” In the East, in ancient times, merchants travelled about with their merchandise from place to place (Gen. 37:25; Job 6:18), and carried on their trade mainly by bartering (Gen. 37:28; 39:1). After the Hebrews became settled in Palestine they began to engage in commercial pursuits, which gradually expanded (49:13; Deut. 33:18; Judg. 5:17), till in the time of Solomon they are found in the chief marts of the world (1 Kings 9:26; 10:11, 26, 28; 22:48; 2 Chr. 1:16; 9:10, 21). After Solomon’s time their trade with foreign nations began to decline. After the Exile it again expanded into wider foreign relations, because now the Jews were scattered in many lands.
Mercurius The Hermes (i.e., “the speaker”) of the Greeks (Acts 14:12), a heathen God represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter, and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul for this god because he was the “chief speaker.”
Mercy Compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness (Gen. 19:19; Ex. 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps. 85:10; 86:15, 16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace (Matt. 5:7; 18:33-35).
Mercy-seat (Heb. kapporeth, a “covering;” LXX. and N.T., hilasterion; Vulg., propitiatorium), the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The holy of holies is called the “place of the mercy-seat” (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2).
It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning “anything having regard to or employed in the burning of incense”) mentioned in Heb. 9:4 was the “mercy-seat,” at which the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was sprinkled (Lev. 16:11-16; comp. Num. 7:89 and Ex. 25:22).
Mered Rebellion, one of the sons of Ezra, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 4:17).
Meremoth Exaltations, heights, a priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:3), to whom were sent the sacred vessels (Ezra 8:33) belonging to the temple. He took part in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:4).
Meribah Quarrel or strife. (1.) One of the names given by Moses to the fountain in the desert of Sin, near Rephidim, which issued from the rock in Horeb, which he smote by the divine command, “because of the chiding of the children of Israel” (Ex. 17:1-7). It was also called Massah (q.v.). It was probably in Wady Feiran, near Mount Serbal.
(2.) Another fountain having a similar origin in the desert of Zin, near to Kadesh (Num. 27:14). The two places are mentioned together in Deut. 33:8. Some think the one place is called by the two names (Ps. 81:7). In smiting the rock at this place Moses showed the same impatience as the people (Num. 20:10-12). This took place near the close of the wanderings in the desert (Num. 20:1-24; Deut. 32:51).
Merib-baal Contender with Baal, (1 Chr. 8:34; 9:40), elsewhere called Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 4:4), the son of Jonathan.
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 JORDAN.)
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 stone” (q.v.).
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 East”
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 Kings 22:3).
(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 Josiah.
(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 Chr. 23:20).
(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 Luke 1:72, 73.
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, 22).
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. 13:13).
(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 SAUL.)
Michmethah Hiding-place, a town in the northern border of Ephraim and Manasseh, and not far west of Jordan (Josh. 16:6; 17:7).
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 stamped gold.”
Middin Measures, one of the six cities “in the wilderness,” on the west of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi (Josh. 15:61).
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 and profane.
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). (See EDAR.)
Migdal-el Tower of God, a fortified city of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38), supposed by some to be identical with Magdala (q.v.).
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 from Suez.
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 Chr. 6:28).
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; Job 20:17).
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. 44:11).
(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 5:20, 36).
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 Carmel.
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. (See FARTHING.)
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 (Josh. 13:26).
(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 in Jerusalem.
Moab The seed of the father, or, according to others, the desirable land, the eldest son of Lot (Gen. 19:37), of incestuous birth.
(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 of Kerak.
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., “horned owl”).
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 lamb.
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 stamp.
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 and drachms.
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 seasons.
“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. 8:3; 121:6).
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, 25).
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 chronicles.
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 called kibby.
Mosera A bond, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness (Deut. 10:6), at the foot of Mount Hor. (Comp. Num. 33:37, 38). It has been identified with el-Tayibeh, a small fountain at the bottom of the pass leading to the ascent of Mount Hor.
Moseroth Bonds, one of the stations in the wilderness (Num. 33:30, 31), probably the same as Mosera.
Moses Drawn (or Egypt. mesu, “son;” hence Rameses, royal son). On the invitation of Pharaoh (Gen. 45:17-25), Jacob and his sons went down into Egypt. This immigration took place probably about 350 years before the birth of Moses. Some centuries before Joseph, Egypt had been conquered by a pastoral Semitic race from Asia, the Hyksos, who brought into cruel subjection the native Egyptians, who were an African race. Jacob and his retinue were accustomed to a shepherd’s life, and on their arrival in Egypt were received with favour by the king, who assigned them the “best of the land”, the land of Goshen, to dwell in. The Hyksos or “shepherd” king who thus showed favour to Joseph and his family was in all probability the Pharaoh Apopi (or Apopis).
Thus favoured, the Israelites began to “multiply exceedingly” (Gen. 47:27), and extended to the west and south. At length the supremacy of the Hyksos came to an end. The descendants of Jacob were allowed to retain their possession of Goshen undisturbed, but after the death of Joseph their position was not so favourable. The Egyptians began to despise them, and the period of their “affliction” (Gen. 15:13) commenced. They were sorely oppressed. They continued, however, to increase in numbers, and “the land was filled with them” (Ex. 1:7). The native Egyptians regarded them with suspicion, so that they felt all the hardship of a struggle for existence.
In process of time “a king [probably Seti I.] arose who knew not Joseph” (Ex. 1:8). (See PHARAOH.) The circumstances of the country were such that this king thought it necessary to weaken his Israelite subjects by oppressing them, and by degrees reducing their number. They were accordingly made public slaves, and were employed in connection with his numerous buildings, especially in the erection of store-cities, temples, and palaces. The children of Israel were made to serve with rigour. Their lives were made bitter with hard bondage, and “all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour” (Ex. 1:13, 14). But this cruel oppression had not the result expected of reducing their number. On the contrary, “the more the Egyptians afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew” (Ex. 1:12).
The king next tried, through a compact secretly made with the guild of midwives, to bring about the destruction of all the Hebrew male children that might be born. But the king’s wish was not rigorously enforced; the male children were spared by the midwives, so that “the people multiplied” more than ever. Thus baffled, the king issued a public proclamation calling on the people to put to death all the Hebrew male children by casting them into the river (Ex. 1:22). But neither by this edict was the king’s purpose effected.
One of the Hebrew households into which this cruel edict of the king brought great alarm was that of Amram, of the family of the Kohathites (Ex. 6:16-20), who with his wife Jochebed and two children, Miriam, a girl of perhaps fifteen years of age, and Aaron, a boy of three years, resided in or near Memphis, the capital city of that time. In this quiet home a male child was born (B.C. 1571). His mother concealed him in the house for three months from the knowledge of the civic authorities. But when the task of concealment became difficult, Jochebed contrived to bring her child under the notice of the daughter of the king by constructing for him an ark of bulrushes, which she laid among the flags which grew on the edge of the river at the spot where the princess was wont to come down and bathe. Her plan was successful. The king’s daughter “saw the child; and behold the child wept.” The princess (see PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER ) sent Miriam, who was standing by, to fetch a nurse. She went and brought the mother of the child, to whom the princess said, “Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.” Thus Jochebed’s child, whom the princess called “Moses”, i.e., “Saved from the water” (Ex. 2:10), was ultimately restored to her.
As soon as the natural time for weaning the child had come, he was transferred from the humble abode of his father to the royal palace, where he was brought up as the adopted son of the princess, his mother probably accompanying him and caring still for him. He grew up amid all the grandeur and excitement of the Egyptian court, maintaining, however, probably a constant fellowship with his mother, which was of the highest importance as to his religious belief and his interest in his “brethren.” His education would doubtless be carefully attended to, and he would enjoy all the advantages of training both as to his body and his mind. He at length became “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Egypt had then two chief seats of learning, or universities, at one of which, probably that of Heliopolis, his education was completed. Moses, being now about twenty years of age, spent over twenty more before he came into prominence in Bible history. These twenty years were probably spent in military service. There is a tradition recorded by Josephus that he took a lead in the war which was then waged between Egypt and Ethiopia, in which he gained renown as a skilful general, and became “mighty in deeds” (Acts 7:22).
After the termination of the war in Ethiopia, Moses returned to the Egyptian court, where he might reasonably have expected to be loaded with honours and enriched with wealth. But “beneath the smooth current of his life hitherto, a life of alternate luxury at the court and comparative hardness in the camp and in the discharge of his military duties, there had lurked from childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood, a secret discontent, perhaps a secret ambition. Moses, amid all his Egyptian surroundings, had never forgotten, had never wished to forget, that he was a Hebrew.” He now resolved to make himself acquainted with the condition of his countrymen, and “went out unto his brethren, and looked upon their burdens” (Ex. 2:11). This tour of inspection revealed to him the cruel oppression and bondage under which they everywhere groaned, and could not fail to press on him the serious consideration of his duty regarding them. The time had arrived for his making common cause with them, that he might thereby help to break their yoke of bondage. He made his choice accordingly (Heb. 11:25-27), assured that God would bless his resolution for the welfare of his people. He now left the palace of the king and took up his abode, probably in his father’s house, as one of the Hebrew people who had for forty years been suffering cruel wrong at the hands of the Egyptians.
He could not remain indifferent to the state of things around him, and going out one day among the people, his indignation was roused against an Egyptian who was maltreating a Hebrew. He rashly lifted up his hand and slew the Egyptian, and hid his body in the sand. Next day he went out again and found two Hebrews striving together. He speedily found that the deed of the previous day was known. It reached the ears of Pharaoh (the “great Rameses,” Rameses II.), who “sought to slay Moses” (Ex. 2:15). Moved by fear, Moses fled from Egypt, and betook himself to the land of Midian, the southern part of the peninsula of Sinai, probably by much the same route as that by which, forty years afterwards, he led the Israelites to Sinai. He was providentially led to find a new home with the family of Reuel, where he remained for forty years (Acts 7:30), under training unconsciously for his great life’s work.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush (Ex. 3), and commissioned him to go down to Egypt and “bring forth the children of Israel” out of bondage. He was at first unwilling to go, but at length he was obedient to the heavenly vision, and left the land of Midian (4:18-26). On the way he was met by Aaron (q.v.) and the elders of Israel (27-31). He and Aaron had a hard task before them; but the Lord was with them (ch. 7-12), and the ransomed host went forth in triumph. (See EXODUS.) After an eventful journey to and fro in the wilderness, we see them at length encamped in the plains of Moab, ready to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land. There Moses addressed the assembled elders (Deut. 1:1-4; 5:1-26:19; 27:11-30:20), and gives the people his last counsels, and then rehearses the great song (Deut. 32), clothing in fitting words the deep emotions of his heart at such a time, and in review of such a marvellous history as that in which he had acted so conspicious a part. Then, after blessing the tribes (33), he ascends to “the mountain of Nebo (q.v.), to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho” (34:1), and from thence he surveys the land. “Jehovah shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar” (Deut. 34:2-3), the magnificient inheritance of the tribes of whom he had been so long the leader; and there he died, being one hundred and twenty years old, according to the word of the Lord, and was buried by the Lord “in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor” (34:6). The people mourned for him during thirty days.
Thus died “Moses the man of God” (Deut. 33:1; Josh. 14:6). He was distinguished for his meekness and patience and firmness, and “he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” “There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel” (Deut. 34:10-12).
The name of Moses occurs frequently in the Psalms and Prophets as the chief of the prophets.
In the New Testament he is referred to as the representative of the law and as a type of Christ (John 1:17; 2 Cor. 3:13-18; Heb. 3:5, 6). Moses is the only character in the Old Testament to whom Christ likens himself (John 5:46; comp. Deut. 18:15, 18, 19; Acts 7:37). In Heb. 3:1-19 this likeness to Moses is set forth in various particulars.
In Jude 1:9 mention is made of a contention between Michael and the devil about the body of Moses. This dispute is supposed to have had reference to the concealment of the body of Moses so as to prevent idolatry.
Mote (Gr. karphos, something dry, hence a particle of wood or chaff, etc.). A slight moral defect is likened to a mote (Matt. 7:3-5; Luke 6:41, 42).
Moth Heb. ash, from a root meaning “to fall away,” as moth-eaten garments fall to pieces (Job 4:19; 13:28; Isa. 50:9; 51:8; Hos. 5:12).
Gr. ses, thus rendered in Matt. 6:19, 20; Luke 12:33. Allusion is thus made to the destruction of clothing by the larvae of the clothes-moth. This is the only lepidopterous insect referred to in Scripture.
Mouldy Of the Gibeonites it is said that “all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy” (Josh. 9:5, 12). The Hebrew word here rendered “mouldy” (nikuddim) is rendered “cracknels” in 1 Kings 14:3, and denotes a kind of crisp cake. The meaning is that the bread of the Gibeonites had become dry and hard, hard as biscuits, and thus was an evidence of the length of the journey they had travelled.
Mount Palestine is a hilly country (Deut. 3:25; 11:11; Ezek. 34:13). West of Jordan the mountains stretch from Lebanon far down into Galilee, terminating in Carmel. The isolated peak of Tabor rises from the elevated plain of Esdraelon, which, in the south, is shut in by hills spreading over the greater part of Samaria. The mountains of Western and Middle Palestine do not extend to the sea, but gently slope into plains, and toward the Jordan fall down into the Ghor.
East of the Jordan the Anti-Lebanon, stretching south, terminates in the hilly district called Jebel Heish, which reaches down to the Sea of Gennesareth. South of the river Hieromax there is again a succession of hills, which are traversed by wadies running toward the Jordan. These gradually descend to a level at the river Arnon, which was the boundary of the ancient trans-Jordanic territory toward the south.
The composition of the Palestinian hills is limestone, with occasional strata of chalk, and hence the numerous caves, some of large extent, found there.
Mount of beatitudes See SERMON.
Mount of corruption (2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., “mount of offence”), the name given to a part of the Mount of Olives, so called because idol temples were there erected in the time of Solomon, temples to the Zidonian Ashtoreth and to the “abominations” of Moab and Ammon.
Mount of the Amalekites A place near Pirathon (q.v.), in the tribe of Ephraim (Judg. 12:15).
Mount of the Amorites The range of hills which rises abruptly in the wilderness of et-Tih (“the wandering”), mentioned Deut. 1:19, 20, “that great and terrible wilderness.”
Mount of the congregation Only in Isa. 14:13, a mythic mountain of the Babylonians, regarded by them as the seat of the gods. It was situated in the far north, and in Babylonian inscriptions is described as a mountain called Im-Kharasak, “the mighty mountain of Bel, whose head reaches heaven, whose root is the holy deep.” In their geography they are said to have identified it with mount El-wend, near Ecbatana.
Mount of the valley (Josh. 13:19), a district in the east of Jordan, in the territory of Reuben. The “valley” here was probably the Ghor or valley of the Jordan, and hence the “mount” would be the hilly region in the north end of the Dead Sea. (See ZARETH-SHAHAR.)
Mourn Frequent references are found in Scripture to, (1.) Mourning for the dead. Abraham mourned for Sarah (Gen. 23:2); Jacob for Joseph (37:34, 35); the Egyptians for Jacob (50:3-10); Israel for Aaron (Num. 20:29), for Moses (Deut. 34:8), and for Samuel (1 Sam. 25:1); David for Abner (2 Sam. 3:31, 35); Mary and Martha for Lazarus (John 11); devout men for Stephen (Acts 8:2), etc.
(2.) For calamities, Job (1:20, 21; 2:8); Israel (Ex. 33:4); the Ninevites (Jonah 3:5); Israel, when defeated by Benjamin (Judg. 20:26), etc.
(3.) Penitential mourning, by the Israelites on the day of atonement (Lev. 23:27; Acts 27:9); under Samuel’s ministry (1 Sam. 7:6); predicted in Zechariah (Zech. 12:10, 11); in many of the psalms (51, etc.).
Mourning was expressed, (1) by weeping (Gen. 35:8, marg.; Luke 7:38, etc.); (2) by loud lamentation (Ruth 1:9; 1 Sam. 6:19; 2 Sam. 3:31); (3) by the disfigurement of the person, as rending the clothes (Gen. 37:29, 34; Matt. 26:65), wearing sackcloth (Gen. 37:34; Ps. 35:13), sprinkling dust or ashes on the person (2 Sam. 13:19; Jer. 6:26; Job 2:12), shaving the head and plucking out the hair of the head or beard (Lev. 10:6; Job 1:20), neglect of the person or the removal of ornaments (Ex. 33:4; Deut. 21:12, 13; 2 Sam. 14:2; 19:24; Matt. 6:16, 17), fasting (2 Sam. 1:12), covering the upper lip (Lev. 13:45; Micah 3:7), cutting the flesh (Jer. 16:6, 7), and sitting in silence (Judg. 20:26; 2 Sam. 12:16; 13:31; Job 1:20).
In the later times we find a class of mourners who could be hired to give by their loud lamentation the external tokens of sorrow (2 Chr. 35:25; Jer. 9:17; Matt. 9:23).
The period of mourning for the dead varied. For Jacob it was seventy days (Gen. 50:3); for Aaron (Num. 20:29) and Moses (Deut. 34:8) thirty days; and for Saul only seven days (1 Sam. 31:13). In 2 Sam. 3:31-35, we have a description of the great mourning for the death of Abner.
Mouse Heb. akhbar, “swift digger”), properly the dormouse, the field-mouse (1 Sam. 6:4). In Lev. 11:29, Isa. 66:17 this word is used generically, and includes the jerboa (Mus jaculus), rat, hamster (Cricetus), which, though declared to be unclean animals, were eaten by the Arabs, and are still eaten by the Bedouins. It is said that no fewer than twenty-three species of this group (akhbar=Arab. ferah) of animals inhabit Palestine. God “laid waste” the people of Ashdod by the terrible visitation of field-mice, which are like locusts in their destructive effects (1 Sam. 6:4, 11, 18). Herodotus, the Greek historian, accounts for the destruction of the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35) by saying that in the night thousands of mice invaded the camp and gnawed through the bow-strings, quivers, and shields, and thus left the Assyrians helpless. (See SENNACHERIB.)
Mowing (Heb. gez), rendered in Ps. 72:6 “mown grass.” The expression “king’s mowings” (Amos 7:1) refers to some royal right of early pasturage, the first crop of grass for the cavalry (comp. 1 Kings 18:5).
Moza A going forth. (1.) One of the sons of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:46).
(2.) The son of Zimri, of the posterity of Saul (1 Chr. 8:36, 37; 9:42, 43).
Mozah An issuing of water, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:26).
Mufflers (Isa. 3:19), veils, light and tremulous. Margin, “spangled ornaments.”
Mulberry Heb. bakah, “to weep;” rendered “Baca” (R.V., “weeping”) in Ps. 84:6. The plural form of the Hebrew bekaim is rendered “mulberry trees” in 2 Sam. 5:23, 24 and 1 Chr. 14:14, 15. The tree here alluded to was probably the aspen or trembling poplar. “We know with certainty that the black poplar, the aspen, and the Lombardy poplar grew in Palestine. The aspen, whose long leaf-stalks cause the leaves to tremble with every breath of wind, unites with the willow and the oak to overshadow the watercourses of the Lebanon, and with the oleander and the acacia to adorn the ravines of Southern Palestine” (Kitto). By “the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees” we are to understand a rustling among the trees like the marching of an army. This was the signal that the Lord himself would lead forth David’s army to victory. (See SYCAMINE.)
Mule (Heb. pered), so called from the quick step of the animal or its power of carrying loads. It is not probable that the Hebrews bred mules, as this was strictly forbidden in the law (Lev. 19:19), although their use was not forbidden. We find them in common use even by kings and nobles (2 Sam. 18:9; 1 Kings 1:33; 2 Kings 5:17; Ps. 32:9). They are not mentioned, however, till the time of David, for the word rendered “mules” (R.V. correctly, “hot springs”) in Gen. 36:24 (yemim) properly denotes the warm springs of Callirhoe, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In David’s reign they became very common (2 Sam. 13:29; 1 Kings 10:25).
Mules are not mentioned in the New Testament. Perhaps they had by that time ceased to be used in Palestine.
Murder Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and was invariably visited with capital punishment (Num. 35:16, 18, 21, 31; Lev. 24:17). This law in its principle is founded on the fact of man’s having been made in the likeness of God (Gen. 9:5, 6; John 8:44; 1 John 3:12, 15). The Mosiac law prohibited any compensation for murder or the reprieve of the murderer (Ex. 21:12, 14; Deut. 19:11, 13; 2 Sam. 17:25; 20:10). Two witnesses were required in any capital case (Num. 35:19-30; Deut. 17:6-12). If the murderer could not be discovered, the city nearest the scene of the murder was required to make expiation for the crime committed (Deut. 21:1-9). These offences also were to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a parent; (3) kidnapping (Ex. 21:15-17; Deut. 27:16).
Murmuring Of the Hebrews in the wilderness, called forth the displeasure of God, which was only averted by the earnest prayer of Moses (Num. 11:33, 34; 12; 14:27, 30, 31; 16:3; 21:4-6; Ps. 106:25). Forbidden by Paul (1 Cor. 10:10).
Murrain Heb. deber, “destruction,” a “great mortality”, the fifth plague that fell upon the Egyptians (Ex. 9:3). It was some distemper that resulted in the sudden and widespread death of the cattle. It was confined to the cattle of the Egyptians that were in the field (9:6).
Mushi Receding, the second of the two sons of Merari (Ex. 6:19; Num. 3:20). His sons were called Mushites (Num. 3:33; 26:58).
Music Jubal was the inventor of musical instruments (Gen. 4:21). The Hebrews were much given to the cultivation of music. Their whole history and literature afford abundant evidence of this. After the Deluge, the first mention of music is in the account of Laban’s interview with Jacob (Gen. 31:27). After their triumphal passage of the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel sang their song of deliverance (Ex. 15).
But the period of Samuel, David, and Solomon was the golden age of Hebrew music, as it was of Hebrew poetry. Music was now for the first time systematically cultivated. It was an essential part of training in the schools of the prophets (1 Sam. 10:5; 19:19-24; 2 Kings 3:15; 1 Chr. 25:6). There now arose also a class of professional singers (2 Sam. 19:35; Eccl. 2:8). The temple, however, was the great school of music. In the conducting of its services large bands of trained singers and players on instruments were constantly employed (2 Sam. 6:5; 1 Chr. 15; 16; 23;5; 25:1-6).
In private life also music seems to have held an important place among the Hebrews (Eccl. 2:8; Amos 6:4-6; Isa. 5:11, 12; 24:8, 9; Ps. 137; Jer. 48:33; Luke 15:25).
Musician, Chief (Heb. menatstseah), the precentor of the Levitical choir or orchestra in the temple, mentioned in the titles of fifty-five psalms, and in Hab. 3:19, Revised Version. The first who held this office was Jeduthun (1 Chr. 16:41), and the office appears to have been hereditary. Heman and Asaph were his two colleagues (2 Chr. 35:15).
Music, Instrumental Among instruments of music used by the Hebrews a principal place is given to stringed instruments. These were, (1.) The kinnor, the “harp.” (2.) The nebel, “a skin bottle,” rendered “psaltery.” (3.) The sabbeka, or “sackbut,” a lute or lyre. (4.) The gittith, occurring in the title of Ps. 8; 8; 84. (5.) Minnim (Ps. 150:4), rendered “stringed instruments;” in Ps. 45:8, in the form minni, probably the apocopated (i.e., shortened) plural, rendered, Authorized Version, “whereby,” and in the Revised Version “stringed instruments.” (6.) Machalath, in the titles of Ps. 53 and 88; supposed to be a kind of lute or guitar.
Of wind instruments mention is made of, (1.) The ugab (Gen. 4:21; Job 21:12; 30:31), probably the so-called Pan’s pipes or syrinx. (2.) The qeren or “horn” (Josh. 6:5; 1 Chr. 25:5). (3.) The shophar, rendered “trumpet” (Josh. 6:4, 6, 8). The word means “bright,” and may have been so called from the clear, shrill sound it emitted. It was often used (Ex. 19:13; Num. 10:10; Judg. 7:16, 18; 1 Sam. 13:3). (4.) The hatsotserah, or straight trumpet (Ps. 98:6; Num. 10:1-10). This name is supposed by some to be an onomatopoetic word, intended to imitate the pulse-like sound of the trumpet, like the Latin taratantara. Some have identified it with the modern trombone. (5.) The halil, i.e, “bored through,” a flute or pipe (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; Jer. 48:36) which is still used in Palestine. (6.) The sumponyah, rendered “dulcimer” (Dan. 3:5), probably a sort of bagpipe. (7.) The maskrokith’a (Dan. 3:5), rendered “flute,” but its precise nature is unknown.
Of instruments of percussion mention is made of, (1.) The toph, an instrument of the drum kind, rendered “timbrel” (Ex. 15:20; Job 21:12; Ps. 68:25); also “tabret” (Gen. 31:27; Isa. 24:8; 1 Sam. 10:5). (2.) The paamon, the “bells” on the robe of the high priest (Ex. 28:33; 39:25). (3.) The tseltselim, “cymbals” (2 Sam. 6:5; Ps. 150:5), which are struck together and produce a loud, clanging sound. Metsilloth, “bells” on horses and camels for ornament, and metsiltayim, “cymbals” (1 Chr. 13:8; Ezra 3:10, etc.). These words are all derived from the same root, tsalal, meaning “to tinkle.” (4.) The menaan’im, used only in 2 Sam. 6:5, rendered “cornets” (R.V., “castanets”); in the Vulgate, “sistra,” an instrument of agitation. (5.) The shalishim, mentioned only in 1 Sam. 18:6, rendered “instruments of music” (marg. of R.V., “triangles or three-stringed instruments”).
The words in Eccl. 2:8, “musical instruments, and that of all sorts,” Authorized Version, are in the Revised Version “concubines very many.”
Mustard A plant of the genus sinapis, a pod-bearing, shrub-like plant, growing wild, and also cultivated in gardens. The little round seeds were an emblem of any small insignificant object. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament; and in each of the three instances of its occurrence in the New Testament (Matt. 13:31, 32; Mark 4:31, 32; Luke 13:18, 19) it is spoken of only with reference to the smallness of its seed. The common mustard of Palestine is the Sinapis nigra. This garden herb sometimes grows to a considerable height, so as to be spoken of as “a tree” as compared with garden herbs.
Muth-labben Occurring only in the title of Psalm 9. Some interpret the words as meaning “on the death of Labben,” some unknown person. Others render the word, “on the death of the son;” i.e., of Absalom (2 Sam. 18:33). Others again have taken the word as the name of a musical instrument, or as the name of an air to which the psalm was sung.
Muzzle Grain in the East is usually thrashed by the sheaves being spread out on a floor, over which oxen and cattle are driven to and fro, till the grain is trodden out. Moses ordained that the ox was not to be muzzled while thrashing. It was to be allowed to eat both the grain and the straw (Deut. 25:4). (See AGRICULTURE.)
Myra One of the chief towns of Lycia, in Asia Minor, about 2 1/2 miles from the coast (Acts 27:5). Here Paul removed from the Adramyttian ship in which he had sailed from Caesarea, and entered into the Alexandrian ship, which was afterwards wrecked at Melita (27:39-44).
Myrrh Heb. mor. (1.) First mentioned as a principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil (Ex. 30:23). It formed part of the gifts brought by the wise men from the east, who came to worship the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:11). It was used in embalming (John 19:39), also as a perfume (Esther 2:12; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17). It was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to death by crucifixion “wine mingled with myrrh” to produce insensibility. This drugged wine was probably partaken of by the two malefactors, but when the Roman soldiers pressed it upon Jesus “he received it not” (Mark 15:23). (See GALL.)
This was the gum or viscid white liquid which flows from a tree resembling the acacia, found in Africa and Arabia, the Balsamodendron myrrha of botanists. The “bundle of myrrh” in Cant. 1:13 is rather a “bag” of myrrh or a scent-bag.
(2.) Another word lot is also translated “myrrh” (Gen. 37:25; 43:11; R.V., marg., “or ladanum”). What was meant by this word is uncertain. It has been thought to be the chestnut, mastich, stacte, balsam, turpentine, pistachio nut, or the lotus. It is probably correctly rendered by the Latin word ladanum, the Arabic ladan, an aromatic juice of a shrub called the Cistus or rock rose, which has the same qualities, though in a slight degree, of opium, whence a decoction of opium is called laudanum. This plant was indigenous to Syria and Arabia.
Myrtle (Isa. 41:19; Neh. 8:15; Zech. 1:8), Hebrew hadas, known in the East by the name as, the Myrtus communis of the botanist. “Although no myrtles are now found on the mount (of Olives), excepting in the gardens, yet they still exist in many of the glens about Jerusalem, where we have often seen its dark shining leaves and white flowers. There are many near Bethlehem and about Hebron, especially near Dewir Dan, the ancient Debir. It also sheds its fragrance on the sides of Carmel and of Tabor, and fringes the clefts of the Leontes in its course through Galilee. We meet with it all through Central Palestine” (Tristram).
Mysia A province in the north-west of Asia Minor. On his first voyage to Europe (Acts 16:7, 8) Paul passed through this province and embarked at its chief port Troas.
Mystery The calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1 Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; comp. 6:19); the seven stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle (2 Thess. 2:7) the “mystery of iniquity.”