Pasture, a Levitical town of Issachar (Josh.19:12; 21:28), near the border of Zebulum. It is the modern small village of Deburich, at the base of Mount Tabor. Tradition has incorrectly made it the scene of the miracle of the cure of the lunatic child (Matt.17:14).
The Beth-dagon of Josh.15:41 was one of the cities of the tribe of Judah, in the lowland or plain which stretches westward. It has not been identified.
The Beth-dagon of Josh.19:27 was one of the border cities of Asher.
That of 1 Chr.10:10 was in the western half-tribe of Manasseh, where the Philistines, after their victory at Gilboa, placed Saul's head in the temple of their god. (Comp.1 Sam.31:8-13).
Dale, the king's
The present Emperor of Austria bears, among his other titles, that of "King of Dalmatia."
The situation of this city is said to be the most beautiful of all Western Asia. It is mentioned among the conquests of the Egyptian king Thothmes III. (B.C.1500), and in the Amarna tablets (B.C.1400).
It is first mentioned in Scripture in connection with Abraham's victory over the confederate kings under Chedorlaomer (Gen.14:15). It was the native place of Abraham's steward (15:2). It is not again noticed till the time of David, when "the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer" (q.v.), 2 Sam.8:5; 1 Chr.18:5. In the reign of Solomon, Rezon became leader of a band who revolted from Hadadezer (1 Kings 11:23), and betaking themselves to Damascus, settled there and made their leader king. There was a long war, with varying success, between the Israelites and Syrians, who at a later period became allies of Israel against Judah (2 Kings 15:37).
The Syrians were at length subdued by the Assyrians, the city of Damascus was taken and destroyed, and the inhabitants carried captive into Assyria (2 Kings 16:7-9; comp. Isa.7:8). In this, prophecy was fulfilled (Isa.17:1; Amos 1:4; Jer.49:24). The kingdom of Syria remained a province of Assyria till the capture of Nineveh by the Medes (B.C.625), when it fell under the conquerors. After passing through various vicissitudes, Syria was invaded by the Romans (B.C.64), and Damascus became the seat of the government of the province. In A.D.37 Aretas, the king of Arabia, became master of Damascus, having driven back Herod Antipas.
This city is memorable as the scene of Saul's conversion (Acts 9:1-25). The street called "Straight," in which Judas lived, in whose house Saul was found by Ananias, is known by the name Sultany, or "Queen's Street." It is the principal street of the city. Paul visited Damascus again on his return from Arabia (Gal.1:16, 17). Christianity was planted here as a centre (Acts 9:20), from which it spread to the surrounding regions.
In A.D.634 Damascus was conquered by the growing Mohammedan power. In A.D.1516 it fell under the dominion of the Turks, its present rulers. It is now the largest city in Asiatic Turkey. Christianity has again found a firm footing within its walls.
In 1 Cor.11:29 (R.V., "judgment") this word means condemnation, in the sense of exposure to severe temporal judgements from God, as the following verse explains.
In Rom.14:23 the word "damned" means "condemned" by one's own conscience, as well as by the Word of God. The apostle shows here that many things which are lawful are not expedient; and that in using our Christian liberty the question should not simply be, Is this course I follow lawful? but also, Can I follow it without doing injury to the spiritual interests of a brother in Christ? He that "doubteth", i.e., is not clear in his conscience as to "meats", will violate his conscience "if he eat," and in eating is condemned; and thus one ought not so to use his liberty as to lead one who is "weak" to bring upon himself this condemnation.
The tribe of Dan had their place in the march through the wilderness on the north side of the tabernacle (Num.2:25, 31; 10:25). It was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in the Land of Promise. Its position and extent are described in Josh.19:40-48.
The territory of Dan extended from the west of that of Ephraim and Benjamin to the sea. It was a small territory, but was very fertile. It included in it, among others, the cities of Lydda, Ekron, and Joppa, which formed its northern boundary. But this district was too limited. "Squeezed into the narrow strip between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great beyond its numbers." Being pressed by the Amorites and the Philistines, whom they were unable to conquer, they longed for a wider space. They accordingly sent out five spies from two of their towns, who went north to the sources of the Jordan, and brought back a favourable report regarding that region. "Arise," they said, "be not slothful to go, and to possess the land," for it is "a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth" (Judg.18:10). On receiving this report, 600 Danites girded on their weapons of war, and taking with them their wives and their children, marched to the foot of Hermon, and fought against Leshem, and took it from the Sidonians, and dwelt therein, and changed the name of the conquered town to Dan (Josh.19:47). This new city of Dan became to them a new home, and was wont to be spoken of as the northern limit of Palestine, the length of which came to be denoted by the expression "from Dan to Beersheba", i.e., about 144 miles.
"But like Lot under a similar temptation, they seem to have succumbed to the evil influences around them, and to have sunk down into a condition of semi-heathenism from which they never emerged. The mounds of ruins which mark the site of the city show that it covered a considerable extent of ground. But there remains no record of any noble deed wrought by the degenerate tribe. Their name disappears from the roll-book of the natural and the spiritual Israel.", Manning's Those Holy Fields.
This old border city was originally called Laish. Its modern name is Tell el-Kady, "Hill of the Judge." It stands about four miles below Caesarea Philippi, in the midst of a region of surpassing richness and beauty.
(2.) This name occurs in Ezek 27:19, Authorize Version; but the words there, "Dan also," should be simply, as in the Revised Version, "Vedan," an Arabian city, from which various kinds of merchandise were brought to Tyre. Some suppose it to have been the city of Aden in Arabia. (See MAHANEH-DAN.)
In the New Testament it is in like manner the translation of different Greek words, circular motion (Luke 15:25); leaping up and down in concert (Matt.11:17), and by a single person (Matt.14:6).
It is spoken of as symbolical of rejoicing (Eccl.3:4. Comp. Ps.30:11; Matt.11: 17). The Hebrews had their sacred dances expressive of joy and thanksgiving, when the performers were usually females (Ex.15:20; 1 Sam.18:6).
The ancient dance was very different from that common among Western nations. It was usually the part of the women only (Ex.15:20; Judg.11:34; comp.5:1). Hence the peculiarity of David's conduct in dancing before the ark of the Lord (2 Sam.6:14). The women took part in it with their timbrels. Michal should, in accordance with the example of Miriam and others, have herself led the female choir, instead of keeping aloof on the occasion and "looking through the window." David led the choir "uncovered", i.e., wearing only the ephod or linen tunic. He thought only of the honour of God, and forgot himself.
From being reserved for occasions of religious worship and festivity, it came gradually to be practised in common life on occasions of rejoicing (Jer.31:4). The sexes among the Jews always danced separately. The daughter of Herodias danced alone (Matt.14:6).
(2.) One of the four great prophets, although he is not once spoken of in the Old Testament as a prophet. His life and prophecies are recorded in the Book of Daniel. He was descended from one of the noble families of Judah (Dan.1:3), and was probably born in Jerusalem about B.C.623, during the reign of Josiah. At the first deportation of the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar (the kingdom of Israel had come to an end nearly a century before), or immediately after his victory over the Egyptians at the second battle of Carchemish, in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim (B.C.606), Daniel and other three noble youths were carried off to Babylon, along with part of the vessels of the temple. There he was obliged to enter into the service of the king of Babylon, and in accordance with the custom of the age received the Chaldean name of Belteshazzar, i.e., "prince of Bel," or "Bel protect the king!" His residence in Babylon was very probably in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, now identified with a mass of shapeless mounds called the Kasr, on the right bank of the river.
His training in the schools of the wise men in Babylon (Dan.1:4) was to fit him for service to the empire. He was distinguished during this period for his piety and his stict observance of the Mosaic law (1:8-16), and gained the confidence and esteem of those who were over him. His habit of attention gained during his education in Jerusalem enabled him soon to master the wisdom and learning of the Chaldeans, and even to excel his compeers.
At the close of his three years of discipline and training in the royal schools, Daniel was distinguished for his proficiency in the "wisdom" of his day, and was brought out into public life. He soon became known for his skill in the interpretation of dreams (1:17; 2:14), and rose to the rank of governor of the province of Babylon, and became "chief of the governors" (Chald. Rab-signin) over all the wise men of Babylon. He made known and also interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream; and many years afterwards, when he was now an old man, amid the alarm and consternation of the terrible night of Belshazzar's impious feast, he was called in at the instance of the queen-mother (perhaps Nitocris, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar) to interpret the mysterious handwriting on the wall. He was rewarded with a purple robe and elevation to the rank of "third ruler." The place of "second ruler" was held by Belshazzar as associated with his father, Nabonidus, on the throne (5:16). Daniel interpreted the handwriting, and "in that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain."
After the taking of Babylon, Cyrus, who was now master of all Asia from India to the Dardanelles, placed Darius (q.v.), a Median prince, on the throne, during the two years of whose reign Daniel held the office of first of the "three presidents" of the empire, and was thus practically at the head of affairs, no doubt interesting himself in the prospects of the captive Jews (Dan.9), whom he had at last the happiness of seeing restored to their own land, although he did not return with them, but remained still in Babylon. His fidelity to God exposed him to persecution, and he was cast into a den of lions, but was miraculously delivered; after which Darius issued a decree enjoining reverence for "the God of Daniel" (6:26). He "prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian," whom he probably greatly influenced in the matter of the decree which put an end to the Captivity (B.C.536).
He had a series of prophetic visions vouch-safed to him which opened up the prospect of a glorious future for the people of God, and must have imparted peace and gladness to his spirit in his old age as he waited on at his post till the "end of the days." The time and circumstances of his death are not recorded. He probably died at Susa, about eighty-five years of age.
Ezekiel, with whom he was contemporary, mentions him as a pattern of righteousness (14:14, 20) and wisdom (28:3). (See NEBUCHADNEZZAR.)
Daniel, Book of
The historical part of the book treats of the period of the Captivity. Daniel is "the historian of the Captivity, the writer who alone furnishes any series of events for that dark and dismal period during which the harp of Israel hung on the trees that grew by the Euphrates. His narrative may be said in general to intervene between Kings and Chronicles on the one hand and Ezra on the other, or (more strictly) to fill out the sketch which the author of the Chronicles gives in a single verse in his last chapter: And them that had escaped from the sword carried he [i.e., Nebuchadnezzar] away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia'" (2 Chr.36:20).
The prophetical part consists of three visions and one lengthened prophetical communication.
The genuineness of this book has been much disputed, but the arguments in its favour fully establish its claims. (1.) We have the testimony of Christ (Matt.24:15; 25:31; 26:64) and his apostles (1 Cor.6:2; 2 Thess.2:3) for its authority; and (2) the important testimony of Ezekiel (14:14, 20; 28:3). (3.) The character and records of the book are also entirely in harmony with the times and circumstances in which the author lived. (4.) The linguistic character of the book is, moreover, just such as might be expected. Certain portions (Dan.2:4; 7) are written in the Chaldee language; and the portions written in Hebrew are in a style and form having a close affinity with the later books of the Old Testament, especially with that of Ezra. The writer is familiar both with the Hebrew and the Chaldee, passing from the one to the other just as his subject required. This is in strict accordance with the position of the author and of the people for whom his book was written. That Daniel is the writer of this book is also testified to in the book itself (7:1, 28; 8:2; 9:2; 10:1, 2; 12:4, 5). (See BELSHAZZAR.)
(2.) Darius, king of Persia, was the son of Hystaspes, of the royal family of the Achaemenidae. He did not immediately succeed Cyrus on the throne. There were two intermediate kings, viz., Cambyses (the Ahasuerus of Ezra), the son of Cyrus, who reigned from B.C.529-522, and was succeeded by a usurper named Smerdis, who occupied the throne only ten months, and was succeeded by this Darius (B.C.521-486). Smerdis was a Margian, and therefore had no sympathy with Cyrus and Cambyses in the manner in which they had treated the Jews. He issued a decree prohibiting the restoration of the temple and of Jerusalem (Ezra 4:17-22). But soon after his death and the accession of Darius, the Jews resumed their work, thinking that the edict of Smerdis would be now null and void, as Darius was in known harmony with the religious policy of Cyrus. The enemies of the Jews lost no time in bringing the matter under the notice of Darius, who caused search to be made for the decree of Cyrus (q.v.). It was not found at Babylon, but at Achmetha (Ezra 6:2); and Darius forthwith issued a new decree, giving the Jews full liberty to prosecute their work, at the same time requiring the Syrian satrap and his subordinates to give them all needed help. It was with the army of this king that the Greeks fought the famous battle of Marathon (B.C.490). During his reign the Jews enjoyed much peace and prosperity. He was succeeded by Ahasuerus, known to the Greeks as Xerxes, who reigned for twenty-one years.
(3.) Darius the Persian (Neh.12:22) was probably the Darius II. (Ochus or Nothus) of profane history, the son of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who was the son and successor of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). There are some, however, who think that the king here meant was Darius III. (Codomannus), the antagonist of Alexander the Great (B.C.336-331).
When Jesus hung upon the cross (Matt.27:45; Luke 23:44), from the "sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour."
On Mount Sinai, Moses (Ex.20:21) "drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." This was the "thick cloud upon the mount" in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (1 Kings 8:12), the cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Ps.97:2) describes the inscrutable nature of God's workings among the sons of men, he says, "Clouds and darkness are round about him." God dwells in thick darkness.
Darkness (Isa.13:9, 10; Matt.24:29) also is a symbol of the judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Ps.107:10; Isa.8:22; Ezek.30:18). The "day of darkness" in Joel 2:2, caused by clouds of locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine proceedings. "Works of darkness" are impure actions (Eph.5:11). "Outer darkness" refers to the darkness of the streets in the East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isa.9:2; 60:2; Matt.6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; 17:13).
His early occupation was that of tending his father's sheep on the uplands of Judah. From what we know of his after history, doubtless he frequently beguiled his time, when thus engaged, with his shepherd's flute, while he drank in the many lessons taught him by the varied scenes spread around him. His first recorded exploits were his encounters with the wild beasts of the field. He mentions that with his own unaided hand he slew a lion and also a bear, when they came out against his flock, beating them to death in open conflict with his club (1 Sam.17:34, 35).
While David, in the freshness of ruddy youth, was thus engaged with his flocks, Samuel paid an unexpected visit to Bethlehem, having been guided thither by divine direction (1 Sam.16:1-13). There he offered up sacrifice, and called the elders of Israel and Jesse's family to the sacrificial meal. Among all who appeared before him he failed to discover the one he sought. David was sent for, and the prophet immediately recognized him as the chosen of God, chosen to succeed Saul, who was now departing from the ways of God, on the throne of the kingdom. He accordingly, in anticipation, poured on his head the anointing oil. David went back again to his shepherd life, but "the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward," and "the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul" (1 Sam.16:13, 14).
Not long after this David was sent for to soothe with his harp the troubled spirit of Saul, who suffered from a strange melancholy dejection. He played before the king so skilfully that Saul was greatly cheered, and began to entertain great affection for the young shepherd. After this he went home to Bethlehem. But he soon again came into prominence. The armies of the Philistines and of Israel were in battle array in the valley of Elah, some 16 miles south-west of Bethlehem; and David was sent by his father with provisions for his three brothers, who were then fighting on the side of the king. On his arrival in the camp of Israel, David (now about twenty years of age) was made aware of the state of matters when the champion of the Philistines, Goliath of Gath, came forth to defy Israel. David took his sling, and with a well-trained aim threw a stone "out of the brook," which struck the giant's forehead, so that he fell senseless to the ground. David then ran and slew him, and cut off his head with his own sword (1 Sam.17). The result was a great victory to the Israelites, who pursued the Philistines to the gates of Gath and Ekron.
David's popularity consequent on this heroic exploit awakened Saul's jealousy (1 Sam.18:6-16), which he showed in various ways. He conceived a bitter hatred toward him, and by various stratagems sought his death (1 Sam.18-30). The deep-laid plots of the enraged king, who could not fail to observe that David "prospered exceedingly," all proved futile, and only endeared the young hero the more to the people, and very specially to Jonathan, Saul's son, between whom and David a life-long warm friendship was formed.
A fugitive. To escape from the vengeance of Saul, David fled to Ramah (1 Sam.19:12-18) to Samuel, who received him, and he dwelt among the sons of the prophets, who were there under Samuel's training. It is supposed by some that the sixth, seventh, and eleventh Psalms were composed by him at this time. This place was only 3 miles from the residence of Saul, who soon discovered whither the fugitive had gone, and tried ineffectually to bring him back. Jonathan made a fruitless effort to bring his father to a better state of mind toward David (1 Sam.20), who, being made aware of the fact, saw no hope of safety but in flight to a distance. We accordingly find him first at Nob (21:1-9) and then at Gath, the chief city of the Philistines. The king of the Philistines would not admit him into his service, as he expected that he would, and David accordingly now betook himself to the stronghold of Adullam (22:1-4; 1 Chr.12:8-18). Here in a short time 400 men gathered around him and acknowledged him as their leader. It was at this time that David, amid the harassment and perils of his position, cried, "Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem;" when three of his heroes broke through the lines of the Philistines and brought him the water for which he longed (2 Sam.23:13-17), but which he would not drink.
In his rage at the failure of all his efforts to seize David, Saul gave orders for the massacre of the entire priestly family at Nob, "persons who wore a linen ephod", to the number of eighty-five persons, who were put to death by Doeg the Edomite. The sad tidings of the massacre were brought to David by Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, the only one who escaped. Comp. Ps.52.
Hearing that Keilah, a town on the western frontier, was harassed by the Philistines, David with his men relieved it (1 Sam.23:1-14); and then, for fear of Saul, he fled to the strongholds in the "hill country" of Judah. Comp. Ps.31. While encamped there, in the forest in the district of Ziph, he was visited by Jonathan, who spoke to him words of encouragement (23:16-18). The two now parted never to meet again. Saul continued his pursuit of David, who narrowly escaped from him at this time, and fled to the crags and ravines of Engedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea (1 Sam.23:29). Here Saul, who still pursued him with his army, narrowly escaped, through the generous forbearance of David, and was greatly affected by what David had done for him. He returned home from pursuing him, and David betook himself to Maon, where, with his 600 men, he maintained himself by contributions gathered from the district. Here occurred the incident connected with Nabal and his wife Abigail (1 Sam.25), whom David married after Nabal's death.
Saul again went forth (1 Sam.26) in pursuit of David, who had hid himself "in the hill Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon," in the wilderness of Ziph, and was a second time spared through his forbearance. He returned home, professing shame and penitence for the way in which he had treated David, and predicting his elevation to the throne.
Fighting against Israel. Harassed by the necessity of moving from place to place through fear of Saul, David once more sought refuge among the Philistines (1 Sam.27). He was welcomed by the king, who assigned him Ziklag as his residence. Here David lived among his followers for some time as an independent chief engaged in frequent war with the Amalekites and other tribes on the south of Judah.
Achish summoned David with his men to join his army against Saul; but the lords of the Philistines were suspicious of David's loyalty, and therefore he was sent back to Ziklag, which he found to his dismay may had been pillaged and burnt during his brief absence. David pursued after the raiders, the Amalekites, and completely routed them. On his return to Ziklag tidings reached him of Saul's death (2 Sam.1). An Amalekite brought Saul's crown and bracelet and laid them at his feet. David and his men rent their clothes and mourned for Saul, who had been defeated in battle near Mount Gilboa. David composed a beautiful elegy, the most beautiful of all extant Hebrew odes, a "lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son" (2 Sam.1:18-27). It bore the title of "The Bow," and was to be taught to the children, that the memory of Saul and Jonathan might be preserved among them. "Behold, it is written in the book of Jasher" (q.v.).
David king over Judah. David and his men now set out for Hebron under divine direction (2 Sam.2:1-4). There they were cordially welcomed, and he was at once anointed as king. He was now about thirty years of age.
But his title to the throne was not undisputed. Abner took Ish-bosheth, Saul's only remaining son, over the Jordan to Mahanaim, and there crowned him as king. Then began a civil war in Israel. The first encounter between the two opposing armies, led on the one side by Abner, and on the other by Joab, took place at the pool of Gibeon. It resulted in the defeat of Abner. Other encounters, however, between Israel and Judah followed (2 Sam.3:1, 5), but still success was on the side of David. For the space of seven and a half years David reigned in Hebron. Abner now sided with David, and sought to promote his advancement; but was treacherously put to death by Joab in revenge for his having slain his brother Asahel at Gibeon (3:22-39). This was greatly to David's regret. He mourned for the death of Abner. Shortly after this Ish-bosheth was also treacherously put to death by two Canaanites of Beeroth; and there being now no rival, David was anointed king over all Israel (4:1-12).
David king over all Israel (2 Sam.5:1-5; 1 Chr.11:1-3). The elders of Israel now repaired to Hebron and offered allegiance to David in name of all the people, among whom the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. He was anointed king over all Israel, and sought out a new seat of government, more suitable than Hebron, as the capital of his empire. At this time there was a Jebusite fortress, "the stronghold", on the hill of Zion, called also Jebus. This David took from the Jebusites, and made it Israel's capital, and established here his residence, and afterwards built for himself a palace by the aid of Tyrian tradesmen. The Philistines, who had for some time observed a kind of truce, now made war against David; but were defeated in battle at a place afterwards called, in remembrance of the victory, Baal-perazim. Again they invaded the land, and were a second time routed by him. He thus delivered Israel from their enemies.
David now resolved to bring up the ark of the covenant to his new capital (2 Sam.6). It was in the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim, about 7 miles from Jerusalem, where it had been for many years, from the time when the Philistines had sent it home (1 Sam.6; 7). In consequence of the death of Uzzah (for it was a divine ordinance that only the Levites should handle the ark, Num.4), who had put forth his hand to steady the ark when the cart in which it was being conveyed shook by reason of the roughness of the road, David stayed the procession, and conveyed the ark into the house of Obed-edom, a Philistine from Gath. After three months David brought the ark from the house of Obed-edom up to Jerusalem. Comp. Ps.24. Here it was placed in a new tent or tabernacle which David erected for the purpose. About seventy years had passed since it had stood in the tabernacle at Shiloh. The old tabernacle was now at Gibeah, at which Zadok ministered. David now (1 Chr.16) carefully set in order all the ritual of divine worship at Jerusalem, along with Abiathar the high priest. A new religious era began. The service of praise was for the first time introduced into public worship. Zion became henceforth "God's holy hill."
David's wars. David now entered on a series of conquests which greatly extended and strengthened his kingdom (2 Sam.8). In a few years the whole territory from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt, and from Gaza on the west to Thapsacus on the east, was under his sway (2 Sam.8:3-13; 10).
David's fall. He had now reached the height of his glory. He ruled over a vast empire, and his capital was enriched with the spoils of many lands. But in the midst of all this success he fell, and his character became stained with the sin of adultery (2 Sam.11:2-27). It has been noted as characteristic of the Bible that while his military triumphs are recorded in a few verses, the sad story of his fall is given in detail, a story full of warning, and therefore recorded. This crime, in the attempt to conceal it, led to anoter. He was guilty of murder. Uriah, whom he had foully wronged, an officer of the Gibborim, the corps of heros (23:39), was, by his order, "set in the front of the hottest battle" at the siege of Rabbah, in order that he might be put to death. Nathan the prophet (2 Sam.7:1-17; 12:1-23) was sent by God to bring home his crimes to the conscience of the guilty monarch. He became a true penitent. He bitterly bewailed his sins before God. The thirty-second and fifty-first Psalms reveal the deep struggles of his soul, and his spiritual recovery.
Bathsheba became his wife after Uriah's death. Her first-born son died, according to the word of the prophet. She gave birth to a second son, whom David called Solomon, and who ultimately succeeded him on the throne (2 Sam.12:24, 25).
Peace. After the successful termination of all his wars, David formed the idea of building a temple for the ark of God. This he was not permitted to carry into execution, because he had been a man of war. God, however, sent Nathan to him with a gracious message (2 Sam.7:1-16). On receiving it he went into the sanctuary, the tent where the ark was, and sat before the Lord, and poured out his heart in words of devout thanksgiving (18-29). The building of the temple was reserved for his son Solomon, who would be a man of peace (1 Chr.22:9; 28:3).
A cloudy evening. Hitherto David's carrer had been one of great prosperity and success. Now cloudy and dark days came. His eldest son Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel, was guilty of a great and shameful crime (2 Sam.13). This was the beginning of the disasters of his later years. After two years Absalom terribly avenged the crime against Tamar, and put Amnon to death. This brought sore trouble to David's heart. Absalom, afraid of the consequences of his guilt, fled to Geshur beyond Jordan, where he remained for three years, when he was brought back through the intrigue of Joab (2 Sam.14).
After this there fell upon the land the calamity of three years' famine (2 Sam.21:1-14). This was soon after followed by a pestilence, brought upon the land as a punishment for David's sinful pride in numbering the people (2 Sam.24), in which no fewer than 70,000 perished in the space of three days.
Rebellion of Absalom. The personal respect for David was sadly lowered by the incident of Bathsheba. There was a strong popular sentiment against the taking of the census, and the outburst of the plague in connection with it deepened the feeling of jealously that had begun to manifest itself among some of the tribes against David. Absalom, taking full advantage of this state of things, gradually gained over the people, and at length openly rebelled against his father, and usurped the throne. Ahithophel was Absalom's chief counsellor. The revolt began in Hebron, the capital of Judah. Absalom was there proclaimed king. David was now in imminent danger, and he left Jerusalem (2 Sam.15:13-20), and once more became a fugitive. It was a momentous day in Israel. The incidents of it are recorded with a fulness of detail greater than of any other day in Old Testament history. David fled with his followers to Mahanarm, on the east of Jordan. An unnatural civil war broke out. After a few weeks the rival armies were mustered and organized. They met in hostile array at the wood of Ephraim (2 Sam.18:1-8). Absalom's army was defeated, and himself put to death by the hand of Joab (9-18). The tidings of the death of his rebellious son filled the heart of David with the most poignant grief. He "went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept" (33), giving utterance to the heart-broken cry, "Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" Peace was now restored, and David returned to Jerusalem and resumed the direction of affairs. An unhappy dispute arose between the men of Judah and the men of Israel (19:41-43). Sheba, a Benjamite, headed a revolt of the men of Israel. He was pursued to Abelbeth-maachah, and was there put to death, and so the revolt came to an end.
The end. After the suppression of the rebellion of Absalom and that of Sheba, ten comparatively peaceful years of David's life passed away. During those years he seems to have been principally engaged in accumulating treasures of every kind for the great temple at Jerusalem, which it was reserved to his successor to build (1 Chr.22; 28; 29), a house which was to be "exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries" (22:5). The exciting and laborious life he had spent, and the dangers and trials through which he had passed, had left him an enfeebled man, prematurely old. It became apparent that his life was now drawing to its close. A new palace conspiracy broke out as to who should be his successor. Joab favoured Adonijah. The chiefs of his party met at the "Fuller's spring," in the valley of Kidron, to proclaim him king; but Nathan hastened on a decision on the part of David in favour of Solomon, and so the aim of Adonijah's party failed. Solomon was brought to Jerusalem, and was anointed king and seated on his father's throne (1 Kings 1:11-53). David's last words are a grand utterance, revealing his unfailing faith in God, and his joyful confidence in his gracious covenant promises (2 Sam.23:1-7).
After a reign of forty years and six months (2 Sam.5:5; 1 Chr.3:4) David died (B.C.1015) at the age of seventy years, "and was buried in the city of David." His tomb is still pointed out on Mount Zion.
Both in his prophetical and in his regal character David was a type of the Messiah (1 Sam.16:13). The book of Psalms commonly bears the title of the "Psalms of David," from the circumstance that he was the largest contributor (about eighty psalms) to the collection. (See PSALMS.)
"The greatness of David was felt when he was gone. He had lived in harmony with both the priesthood and the prophets; a sure sign that the spirit of his government had been throughly loyal to the higher aims of the theocracy. The nation had not been oppressed by him, but had been left in the free enjoyment of its ancient liberties. As far as his power went he had striven to act justly to all (2 Sam.8:15). His weak indulgence to his sons, and his own great sin besides, had been bitterly atoned, and were forgotten at his death in the remembrance of his long-tried worth. He had reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem and seven and a half at Hebron (2 Sam.5:5). Israel at his accession had reached the lowest point of national depression; its new-born unity rudely dissolved; its territory assailed by the Philistines. But he had left it an imperial power, with dominions like those of Egypt or Assyria. The sceptre of Solomon was already, before his father's death, owned from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from the Orontes to the Red Sea.", Geikie's Hours etc., iii.
David, City of
(2) Bethlehem is called the "city of David" (Luke 2:4, 11), because it was David's birth-place and early home (1 Sam.17:12).
The division of the day by hours is first mentioned in Dan.3:6, 15; 4:19; 5:5. This mode of reckoning was borrowed from the Chaldeans. The reckoning of twelve hours was from sunrise to sunset, and accordingly the hours were of variable length (John 11:9).
The word "day" sometimes signifies an indefinite time (Gen.2:4; Isa.22:5; Heb.3:8, etc.). In Job 3:1 it denotes a birthday, and in Isa.2:12, Acts 17:31, and 2 Tim.1:18, the great day of final judgment.
The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea-water; thus they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that time were much less salt.
Nothing living can exist in this sea. "The fish carried down by the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live in it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).", Geikie's Hours, etc.
In New Testament times there was an extensive famine in Palestine (Acts 11:28) in the fourth year of the reign of the emperor Claudius (A.D.44 and 45).
(2.) "Thou takest away their breath, they die" (Ps.104:29).
(3.) It is the dissolution of "our earthly house of this tabernacle" (2 Cor.5:1); the "putting off this tabernacle" (2 Pet.1:13, 14).
(4.) Being "unclothed" (2 Cor.5:3, 4).
(5.) "Falling on sleep" (Ps.76:5; Jer.51:39; Acts 13:36; 2 Pet.3:9.
(6.) "I go whence I shall not return" (Job 10:21); "Make me to know mine end" (Ps.39:4); "to depart" (Phil.1:23).
The grave is represented as "the gates of death" (Job 38:17; Ps.9:13; 107:18). The gloomy silence of the grave is spoken of under the figure of the "shadow of death" (Jer.2:6).
Death is the effect of sin (Heb.2:14), and not a "debt of nature." It is but once (9:27), universal (Gen.3:19), necessary (Luke 2:28-30). Jesus has by his own death taken away its sting for all his followers (1 Cor.15:55-57).
There is a spiritual death in trespasses and sins, i.e., the death of the soul under the power of sin (Rom.8:6; Eph.2:1, 3; Col.2:13).
The "second death" (Rev.2:11) is the everlasting perdition of the wicked (Rev.21:8), and "second" in respect to natural or temporal death.
THE DEATH OF CHRIST is the procuring cause incidentally of all the blessings men enjoy on earth. But specially it is the procuring cause of the actual salvation of all his people, together with all the means that lead thereto. It does not make their salvation merely possible, but certain (Matt.18:11; Rom.5:10; 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.1:4; 3:13; Eph.1:7; 2:16; Rom.8:32-35).
Debir has been identified with the modern Edh-Dhaheriyeh, i.e., "the well on the ridge", to the south of Hebron.
(2.) A place near the "valley of Achor" (Josh.15:7), on the north boundary of Judah, between Jerusalem and Jericho.
(3.) The king of Eglon, one of the five Canaanitish kings who were hanged by Joshua (Josh.10:3, 23) after the victory at Gibeon. These kings fled and took refuge in a cave at Makkedah. Here they were kept confined till Joshua returned from the pursuit of their discomfited armies, when he caused them to be brought forth, and "Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees" (26).
(2.) A prophetess, "wife" (woman?) of Lapidoth. Jabin, the king of Hazor, had for twenty years held Israel in degrading subjection. The spirit of patriotism seemed crushed out of the nation. In this emergency Deborah roused the people from their lethargy. Her fame spread far and wide. She became a "mother in Israel" (Judg.4:6, 14; 5:7), and "the children of Israel came up to her for judgment" as she sat in her tent under the palm tree "between Ramah and Bethel." Preparations were everywhere made by her direction for the great effort to throw off the yoke of bondage. She summoned Barak from Kadesh to take the command of 10,000 men of Zebulun and Naphtali, and lead them to Mount Tabor on the plain of Esdraelon at its north-east end. With his aid she organized this army. She gave the signal for attack, and the Hebrew host rushed down impetuously upon the army of Jabin, which was commanded by Sisera, and gained a great and decisive victory. The Canaanitish army almost wholly perished. That was a great and ever-memorable day in Israel. In Judg.5 is given the grand triumphal ode, the "song of Deborah," which she wrote in grateful commemoration of that great deliverance. (See LAPIDOTH, JABIN .)
(1.) The debtor was to deliver up as a pledge to the creditor what he could most easily dispense with (Deut.24:10, 11).
(2.) A mill, or millstone, or upper garment, when given as a pledge, could not be kept over night (Ex.22:26, 27).
(3.) A debt could not be exacted during the Sabbatic year (Deut.15:1-15).
For other laws bearing on this relation see Lev.25:14, 32, 39; Matt.18:25, 34.
(4.) A surety was liable in the same way as the original debtor (Prov.11:15; 17:18).
These commandments have been divided since the days of Origen the Greek father, as they stand in the Confession of all the Reformed Churches except the Lutheran. The division adopted by Luther, and which has ever since been received in the Lutheran Church, makes the first two commandments one, and the third the second, and so on to the last, which is divided into two. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house" being ranked as ninth, and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife," etc., the tenth. (See COMMANDMENTS.)
Decision, Valley of
Decrees of God
The decrees of God are (1) efficacious, as they respect those events he has determined to bring about by his own immediate agency; or (2) permissive, as they respect those events he has determined that free agents shall be permitted by him to effect.
This doctrine ought to produce in our minds "humility, in view of the infinite greatness and sovereignty of God, and of the dependence of man; confidence and implicit reliance upon wisdom, rightenousness, goodness, and immutability of God's purpose."
(2.) A son of Jokshan, Abraham's son by Keturah (1 Chr.1:32). His descendants settled on the Syrian borders about the territory of Edom. They probably led a pastoral life.
Dedication, Feast of the
But there were other dedications of the temple. (1) That of Solomon's temple (1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chr.5:3); (2) the dedication in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chr.29); and (3) the dedication of the temple after the Captivity (Ezra 6:16).
Degrees, Song of
(2.) A son of Shemaiah, and one of the courtiers to whom Jeremiah's first roll of prophecy was read (Jer.36:12).
(3.) The head of one of the bands of exiles that returned under Zerubbabel to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:60; Neh.7:62).
It began in the year 2516 B.C., and continued twelve lunar months and ten days, or exactly one solar year.
The cause of this judgment was the corruption and violence that filled the earth in the ninth generation from Adam. God in righteous indignation determined to purge the earth of the ungodly race. Amid a world of crime and guilt there was one household that continued faithful and true to God, the household of Noah. "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
At the command of God, Noah made an ark 300 cubits long, 50 broad, and 30 high. He slowly proceeded with this work during a period of one hundred and twenty years (Gen.6:3). At length the purpose of God began to be carried into effect. The following table exhibits the order of events as they occurred:
In the six hundredth year of his life Noah is commanded by God to enter the ark, taking with him his wife, and his three sons with their wives (Gen.7:1-10).
The rain begins on the seventeenth day of the second month (Gen.7:11-17).
The rain ceases, the waters prevail, fifteen cubits upward (Gen.7:18-24).
The ark grounds on one of the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, or one hundred and fifty days after the Deluge began (Gen.8:1-4).
Tops of the mountains visible on the first day of the tenth month (Gen.8:5).
Raven and dove sent out forty days after this (Gen.8:6-9).
Dove again sent out seven days afterwards; and in the evening she returns with an olive leaf in her mouth (Gen.8:10, 11).
Dove sent out the third time after an interval of other seven days, and returns no more (Gen.8:12).
The ground becomes dry on the first day of the first month of the new year (Gen.8:13).
Noah leaves the ark on the twenty-seventh day of the second month (Gen.8:14-19).
The historical truth of the narrative of the Flood is established by the references made to it by our Lord (Matt.24:37; comp. Luke 17:26). Peter speaks of it also (1 Pet.3:20; 2 Pet.2:5). In Isa.54:9 the Flood is referred to as "the waters of Noah." The Biblical narrative clearly shows that so far as the human race was concerned the Deluge was universal; that it swept away all men living except Noah and his family, who were preserved in the ark; and that the present human race is descended from those who were thus preserved.
Traditions of the Deluge are found among all the great divisions of the human family; and these traditions, taken as a whole, wonderfully agree with the Biblical narrative, and agree with it in such a way as to lead to the conclusion that the Biblical is the authentic narrative, of which all these traditions are more or less corrupted versions. The most remarkable of these traditions is that recorded on tablets prepared by order of Assur-bani-pal, the king of Assyria. These were, however, copies of older records which belonged to somewhere about B.C.2000, and which formed part of the priestly library at Erech (q.v.), "the ineradicable remembrance of a real and terrible event." (See NOAH; CHALDEA.)
(2.) A Christian who is spoken of as having "a good report of all men, and of the truth itself" (3 John 1:12).
In Esther 8:9; 9:3 (R.V., "governor") it denotes a Persian prefect "on this side" i.e., in the region west of the Euphrates. It is the modern word pasha.
In Acts 13:7, 8, 12; 18:12, it denotes a proconsul; i.e., the governor of a Roman province holding his appointment from the senate. The Roman provinces were of two kinds, (1) senatorial and (2) imperial. The appointment of a governor to the former was in the hands of the senate, and he bore the title of proconsul (Gr. anthupatos). The appointment of a governor to the latter was in the hands of the emperor, and he bore the title of propraetor (Gr. antistrategos).
The same Hebrew word is used also to denote the wilderness of Arabia, which in winter and early spring supplies good pasturage to the flocks of the nomad tribes than roam over it (1 Kings 9:18).
The wilderness of Judah is the mountainous region along the western shore of the Dead Sea, where David fed his father's flocks (1 Sam.17:28; 26:2). Thus in both of these instances the word denotes a country without settled inhabitants and without streams of water, but having good pasturage for cattle; a country of wandering tribes, as distinguished from that of a settled people (Isa.35:1; 50:2; Jer.4:11). Such, also, is the meaning of the word "wilderness" in Matt.3:3; 15:33; Luke 15:4.
(2.) The translation of the Hebrew Aribah', "an arid tract" (Isa.35:1, 6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3, etc.). The name Arabah is specially applied to the deep valley of the Jordan (the Ghor of the Arabs), which extends from the lake of Tiberias to the Elanitic gulf. While midbar denotes properly a pastoral region, arabah denotes a wilderness. It is also translated "plains;" as "the plains of Jericho" (Josh.5:10; 2 Kings 25:5), "the plains of Moab" (Num.22:1; Deut.34:1, 8), "the plains of the wilderness" (2 Sam.17:16).
(3.) In the Revised Version of Num.21:20 the Hebrew word jeshimon is properly rendered "desert," meaning the waste tracts on both shores of the Dead Sea. This word is also rendered "desert" in Ps.78:40; 106:14; Isa.43:19, 20. It denotes a greater extent of uncultivated country than the other words so rendered. It is especially applied to the desert of the peninsula of Arabia (Num.21:20; 23:28), the most terrible of all the deserts with which the Israelites were acquainted. It is called "the desert" in Ex.23:31; Deut.11:24. (See JESHIMON.)
(4.) A dry place; hence a desolation (Ps.9:6), desolate (Lev.26:34); the rendering of the Hebrew word horbah'. It is rendered "desert" only in Ps.102:6, Isa.48:21, and Ezek.13:4, where it means the wilderness of Sinai.
(5.) This word is the symbol of the Jewish church when they had forsaken God (Isa.40:3). Nations destitute of the knowledge of God are called a "wilderness" (32:15, midbar). It is a symbol of temptation, solitude, and persecution (Isa.27:10, midbar_; 33:9, _arabah).
Desire of all nations
Desolation, Abomination of
Destruction, City of
It consists chiefly of three discourses delivered by Moses a short time before his death. They were spoken to all Israel in the plains of Moab, in the eleventh month of the last year of their wanderings.
The first discourse (1-4:40) recapitulates the chief events of the last forty years in the wilderness, with earnest exhortations to obedience to the divine ordinances, and warnings against the danger of forsaking the God of their fathers.
The seond discourse (5-26:19) is in effect the body of the whole book. The first address is introductory to it. It contains practically a recapitulation of the law already given by God at Mount Sinai, together with many admonitions and injunctions as to the course of conduct they were to follow when they were settled in Canaan.
The concluding discourse (ch.27-30) relates almost wholly to the solemn sanctions of the law, the blessings to the obedient, and the curse that would fall on the rebellious. He solemnly adjures them to adhere faithfully to the covenant God had made with them, and so secure for themselves and their posterity the promised blessings.
These addresses to the people are followed by what may be called three appendices, namely (1), a song which God had commanded Moses to write (32:1-47); (2) the blessings he pronounced on the separate tribes (ch.33); and (3) the story of his death (32:48-52) and burial (ch.34), written by some other hand, probably that of Joshua.
These farewell addresses of Moses to the tribes of Israel he had so long led in the wilderness "glow in each line with the emotions of a great leader recounting to his contemporaries the marvellous story of their common experience. The enthusiasm they kindle, even to-day, though obscured by translation, reveals their matchless adaptation to the circumstances under which they were first spoken. Confidence for the future is evoked by remembrance of the past. The same God who had done mighty works for the tribes since the Exodus would cover their head in the day of battle with the nations of Palestine, soon to be invaded. Their great lawgiver stands before us, vigorous in his hoary age, stern in his abhorrence of evil, earnest in his zeal for God, but mellowed in all relations to earth by his nearness to heaven. The commanding wisdom of his enactments, the dignity of his position as the founder of the nation and the first of prophets, enforce his utterances. But he touches our deepest emotions by the human tenderness that breathes in all his words. Standing on the verge of life, he speaks as a father giving his parting counsels to those he loves; willing to depart and be with God he has served so well, but fondly lengthening out his last farewell to the dear ones of earth. No book can compare with Deuteronomy in its mingled sublimity and tenderness." Geikie, Hours, etc.
The whole style and method of this book, its tone and its peculiarities of conception and expression, show that it must have come from one hand. That the author was none other than Moses is established by the following considerations: (1.) The uniform tradition both of the Jewish and the Christian Church down to recent times. (2.) The book professes to have been written by Moses (1:1; 29:1; 31:1, 9-11, etc.), and was obviously intended to be accepted as his work. (3.) The incontrovertible testimony of our Lord and his apostles (Matt.19:7, 8; Mark 10:3, 4; John 5:46, 47; Acts 3:22; 7:37; Rom.10:19) establishes the same conclusion. (4.) The frequent references to it in the later books of the canon (Josh.8:31; 1 Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr.23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2; 7:6; Neh.8:1; Dan.9:11, 13) prove its antiquity; and (5) the archaisms found in it are in harmony with the age in which Moses lived. (6.) Its style and allusions are also strikingly consistent with the circumstances and position of Moses and of the people at that time.
This body of positive evidence cannot be set aside by the conjectures and reasonings of modern critics, who contended that the book was somewhat like a forgery, introduced among the Jews some seven or eight centuries after the Exodus.
In Lev.17:7 the word "devil" is the translation of the Hebrew sair, meaning a "goat" or "satyr" (Isa.13:21; 34:14), alluding to the wood-daemons, the objects of idolatrous worship among the heathen.
In Deut.32:17 and Ps.106:37 it is the translation of Hebrew shed, meaning lord, and idol, regarded by the Jews as a "demon," as the word is rendered in the Revised Version.
In the narratives of the Gospels regarding the "casting out of devils" a different Greek word (daimon) is used. In the time of our Lord there were frequent cases of demoniacal possession (Matt.12:25-30; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 4:35; 10:18, etc.).
Probably the sun-dial was a Babylonian invention. Daniel at Babylon (Dan.3:6) is the first to make mention of the "hour."
(2.) A precious stone (Heb. shamir', a sharp point) mentioned in Jer.17:1. From its hardness it was used for cutting and perforating other minerals. It is rendered "adamant" (q.v.) in Ezek.3:9, Zech.7:12. It is the hardest and most valuable of precious stones.
(2.) A city of the tribe of Judah, inhabited after the Captivity (Neh.11:25); called also Dimonah (Josh.15:22). It is probably the modern ed-Dheib.
The dishes of the tabernacle were made of pure gold (Ex.25:29; 37:16).
(2.) A commission to preach the gospel (1 Cor.9:17; Eph.1:10; 3:2; Col.1:25).
Dispensations of Providence are providential events which affect men either in the way of mercy or of judgement.
(1.) Many were dispersed over Assyria, Media, Babylonia, and Persia, descendants of those who had been transported thither by the Exile. The ten tribes, after existing as a separate kingdom for two hundred and fifty-five years, were carried captive (B.C.721) by Shalmaneser (or Sargon), king of Assyria. They never returned to their own land as a distinct people, although many individuals from among these tribes, there can be no doubt, joined with the bands that returned from Babylon on the proclamation of Cyrus.
(2.) Many Jews migrated to Egypt and took up their abode there. This migration began in the days of Solomon (2 Kings 18:21, 24; Isa.30:7). Alexander the Great placed a large number of Jews in Alexandria, which he had founded, and conferred on them equal rights with the Egyptians. Ptolemy Philadelphus, it is said, caused the Jewish Scriptures to be translated into Greek (the work began B.C.284), for the use of the Alexandrian Jews. The Jews in Egypt continued for many ages to exercise a powerful influence on the public interests of that country. From Egypt they spread along the coast of Africa to Cyrene (Acts 2:10) and to Ethiopia (8:27).
(3.) After the time of Seleucus Nicator (B.C.280), one of the captains of Alexander the Great, large numbers of Jews migrated into Syria, where they enjoyed equal rights with the Macedonians. From Syria they found their way into Asia Minor. Antiochus the Great, king of Syria and Asia, removed 3,000 families of Jews from Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and planted them in Phrygia and Lydia.
(4.) From Asia Minor many Jews moved into Greece and Macedonia, chiefly for purposes of commerce. In the apostles' time they were found in considerable numbers in all the principal cities.
From the time of Pompey the Great (B.C.63) numbers of Jews from Palestine and Greece went to Rome, where they had a separate quarter of the city assigned to them. Here they enjoyed considerable freedom.
Thus were the Jews everywhere scattered abroad. This, in the overruling providence of God, ultimately contributed in a great degree toward opening the way for the spread of the gospel into all lands.
Dispersion, from the plain of Shinar. This was occasioned by the confusion of tongues at Babel (Gen.11:9). They were scattered abroad "every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations" (Gen.10:5, 20, 31).
The tenth chapter of Genesis gives us an account of the principal nations of the earth in their migrations from the plain of Shinar, which was their common residence after the Flood. In general, it may be said that the descendants of Japheth were scattered over the north, those of Shem over the central regions, and those of Ham over the extreme south. The following table shows how the different families were dispersed:
- Japheth - Gomer Cimmerians, Armenians - Magog Caucasians, Scythians - Madal Medes and Persian tribes - Javan - Elishah Greeks - Tarshish Etruscans, Romans - Chittim Cyprians, Macedonians - Dodanim Rhodians - Tubal Tibareni, Tartars - Mechech Moschi, Muscovites - Tiras Thracians - Shem - Elam Persian tribes - Asshur Assyrian - Arphaxad - Abraham - Isaac - Jacob Hebrews - Esau Edomites - Ishmael Mingled with Arab tribes - Lud Lydians - Aram Syrians - Ham - Cush Ethiopans - Mizrain Egyptians - Phut Lybians, Mauritanians - Canaan Canaanites, Phoenicians
But beyond these various forms of superstition, there are instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God was pleased to make known his will.
(1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to in matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will (Josh.7:13). The land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num.26:55, 56); Achan's guilt was detected (Josh.7:16-19), Saul was elected king (1 Sam.10:20, 21), and Matthias chosen to the apostleship, by the solem lot (Acts 1:26). It was thus also that the scape-goat was determined (Lev.16:8-10).
(2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen.20:6; Deut.13:1, 3; Judg.7:13, 15; Matt.1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22). This is illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen.41:25-32) and of Daniel (2:27; 4:19-28).
(3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and Thummim (Num.27:21), and by the ephod.
(4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouch-safe direct vocal communications to men (Deut.34:10; Ex.3:4; 4:3; Deut.4:14, 15; 1 Kings 19:12). He also communed with men from above the mercy-seat (Ex.25:22), and at the door of the tabernacle (Ex.29:42, 43).
(5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave intimations of his will (2 Kings 13:17; Jer.51:63, 64).
(2.) An Ahohite, father of Eleazar, who was one of David's three heroes (2 Sam.23:9; 1 Chr.11:12). He was the same with Dodai mentioned in 1 Chr.27:4.
(3.) A Bethlehemite, and father of Elhanan, who was one of David's thirty heroes (2 Sam.23:24).
As the dog was an unclean animal, the terms "dog," "dog's head," "dead dog," were used as terms of reproach or of humiliation (1 Sam.24:14; 2 Sam.3:8; 9:8; 16:9). Paul calls false apostles "dogs" (Phil.3:2). Those who are shut out of the kingdom of heaven are also so designated (Rev.22:15). Persecutors are called "dogs" (Ps.22:16). Hazael's words, "Thy servant which is but a dog" (2 Kings 8:13), are spoken in mock
Persons were appointed to keep the street door leading into the interior of the house (John 18:16, 17; Acts 12:13). Sometimes females held this post.
The entrances of the tabernacle had curtains (Ex.26:31-33, 36). The "valley of Achor" is called a "door of hope," because immediately after the execution of Achan the Lord said to Joshua, "Fear not," and from that time Joshua went forward in a career of uninterrupted conquest. Paul speaks of a "door opened" for the spread of the gospel (1 Cor.16:9; 2 Cor.2:12; Col.4:3). Our Lord says of himself, "I am the door" (John 10:9). John (Rev.4:1) speaks of a "door opened in heaven."
It was the residence of Elisha (2 Kings 6:13), and the scene of a remarkable vision of chariots and horses of fire surrounding the mountain on which the city stood. It is identified with the modern Tell-Dothan, on the south side of the plain of Jezreel, about 12 miles north of Samaria, among the hills of Gilboa. The "two wells" are still in existence, one of which bears the name of the "pit of Joseph" (Jubb Yusuf).
(2.) Heb. tannin. Some great sea monster (Jer.51:34). In Isa.51:9 it may denote the crocodile. In Gen.1:21 (Heb. plural tanninim) the Authorized Version renders "whales," and the Revised Version "sea monsters." It is rendered "serpent" in Ex.7:9. It is used figuratively in Ps.74:13; Ezek.29:3.
In the New Testament the word "dragon" is found only in Rev.12:3, 4, 7, 9, 16, 17, etc., and is there used metaphorically of "Satan." (See WHALE.)
Drawer of water
To Joseph "the Lord appeared in a dream," and gave him instructions regarding the infant Jesus (Matt.1:20; 2:12, 13, 19). In a vision of the night a "man of Macedonia" stood before Paul and said, "Come over into Macedonia and help us" (Acts 16:9; see also 18:9; 27:23).
(2.) Colour. The prevailing colour was the natural white of the material used, which was sometimes rendered purer by the fuller's art (Ps.104:1, 2; Isa.63:3; Mark 9:3). The Hebrews were acquainted with the art of dyeing (Gen.37:3, 23). Various modes of ornamentation were adopted in the process of weaving (Ex.28:6; 26:1, 31; 35:25), and by needle-work (Judg.5:30; Ps.45:13). Dyed robes were imported from foreign countries, particularly from Phoenicia (Zeph.1:8). Purple and scarlet robes were the marks of the wealthy (Luke 16:19; 2 Sam.1:24).
(3.) Form. The robes of men and women were not very much different in form from each other.
(a) The "coat" (kethoneth), of wool, cotton, or linen, was worn by both sexes. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling in use and form our shirt (John 19:23). It was kept close to the body by a girdle (John 21:7). A person wearing this "coat" alone was described as naked (1 Sam.19:24; Isa.20:2; 2 Kings 6:30; John 21:7); deprived of it he would be absolutely naked.
(b) A linen cloth or wrapper (sadin) of fine linen, used somewhat as a night-shirt (Mark 14:51). It is mentioned in Judg.14:12, 13, and rendered there "sheets."
(c) An upper tunic (meil), longer than the "coat" (1 Sam.2:19; 24:4; 28:14). In 1 Sam.28:14 it is the mantle in which Samuel was enveloped; in 1 Sam.24:4 it is the "robe" under which Saul slept. The disciples were forbidden to wear two "coats" (Matt.10:10; Luke 9:3).
(d) The usual outer garment consisted of a piece of woollen cloth like a Scotch plaid, either wrapped round the body or thrown over the shoulders like a shawl, with the ends hanging down in front, or it might be thrown over the head so as to conceal the face (2 Sam.15:30; Esther 6:12). It was confined to the waist by a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping of the robe served as a pocket (2 Kings 4:39; Ps.79:12; Hag.2:12; Prov.17:23; 21:14).
Female dress. The "coat" was common to both sexes (Cant.5:3). But peculiar to females were (1) the "veil" or "wimple," a kind of shawl (Ruth 3:15; rendered "mantle," R.V., Isa.3:22); (2) the "mantle," also a species of shawl (Isa.3:22); (3) a "veil," probably a light summer dress (Gen.24:65); (4) a "stomacher," a holiday dress (Isa.3:24). The outer garment terminated in an ample fringe or border, which concealed the feet (Isa.47:2; Jer.13:22).
The dress of the Persians is described in Dan.3:21.
The reference to the art of sewing are few, inasmuch as the garments generally came forth from the loom ready for being worn, and all that was required in the making of clothes devolved on the women of a family (Prov.31:22; Acts 9:39).
Extravagance in dress is referred to in Jer.4:30; Ezek.16:10; Zeph.1:8 (R.V., "foreign apparel"); 1 Tim.2:9; 1 Pet.3:3. Rending the robes was expressive of grief (Gen.37:29, 34), fear (1 Kings 21:27), indignation (2 Kings 5:7), or despair (Judg.11:35; Esther 4:1).
Shaking the garments, or shaking the dust from off them, was a sign of renunciation (Acts 18:6); wrapping them round the head, of awe (1 Kings 19:13) or grief (2 Sam.15:30; casting them off, of excitement (Acts 22:23); laying hold of them, of supplication (1 Sam.15:27). In the case of travelling, the outer garments were girded up (1 Kings 18:46). They were thrown aside also when they would impede action (Mark 10:50; John 13:4; Acts 7:58).
To drink water by measure (Ezek.4:11), and to buy water to drink (Lam.5:4), denote great scarcity. To drink blood means to be satiated with slaughter.
The Jews carefully strained their drinks through a sieve, through fear of violating the law of Lev.11:20, 23, 41, 42. (See Matt.23:24. "Strain at" should be "strain out.")
The word is used figuratively, when men are spoken of as being drunk with sorrow, and with the wine of God's wrath (Isa.63:6; Jer.51:57; Ezek.23:33). To "add drunkenness to thirst" (Deut.29:19, A.V.) is a proverbial expression, rendered in the Revised Version "to destroy the moist with the dry", i.e., the well-watered equally with the dry land, meaning that the effect of such walking in the imagination of their own hearts would be to destroy one and all.
There was also a town of this name in Judah (Josh.15:52), which has been identified with ed-Domeh, about 10 miles southwest of Hebron. The place mentioned in the "burden" of the prophet Isaiah (21:11) is Edom or Idumea.
(2.) Used as fuel, a substitute for firewood, which was with difficulty procured in Syria, Arabia, and Egypt (Ezek.4:12-15), where cows' and camels' dung is used to the present day for this purpose.
To cast dust on the head was a sign of mourning (Josh.7:6); and to sit in dust, of extreme affliction (Isa.47:1). "Dust" is used to denote the grave (Job 7:21). "To shake off the dust from one's feet" against another is to renounce all future intercourse with him (Matt.10:14; Acts 13:51). To "lick the dust" is a sign of abject submission (Ps.72:9); and to throw dust at one is a sign of abhorrence (2 Sam.16:13; comp. Acts 22:23).
God "dwells in light" (1 Tim.6:16; 1 John 1:7), in heaven (Ps.123:1), in his church (Ps.9:11; 1 John 4:12). Christ dwelt on earth in the days of his humiliation (John 1:14). He now dwells in the hearts of his people (Eph.3:17-19). The Holy Spirit dwells in believers (1 Cor.3:16; 2 Tim.1:14). We are exhorted to "let the word of God dwell in us richly" (Col.3:16; Ps.119:11).
Dwell deep occurs only in Jer.49:8, and refers to the custom of seeking refuge from impending danger, in retiring to the recesses of rocks and caverns, or to remote places in the desert.
The form of Eastern dwellings differed in many respects from that of dwellings in Western lands. The larger houses were built in a quadrangle enclosing a court-yard (Luke 5:19; 2 Sam.17:18; Neh.8:16) surrounded by galleries, which formed the guest-chamber or reception-room for visitors. The flat roof, surrounded by a low parapet, was used for many domestic and social purposes. It was reached by steps from the court. In connection with it (2 Kings 23:12) was an upper room, used as a private chamber (2 Sam 18:33; Dan.6:11), also as a bedroom (2 Kings 23:12), a sleeping apartment for guests (2 Kings 4:10), and as a sick-chamber (1 Kings 17:19). The doors, sometimes of stone, swung on morticed pivots, and were generally fastened by wooden bolts. The houses of the more wealthy had a doorkeeper or a female porter (John 18:16; Acts 12:13). The windows generally opened into the courtyard, and were closed by a lattice (Judg.5:28). The interior rooms were set apart for the female portion of the household.
The furniture of the room (2 Kings 4:10) consisted of a couch furnished with pillows (Amos 6:4; Ezek.13:20); and besides this, chairs, a table and lanterns or lamp-stands (2 Kings 4:10).