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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A bench; a high seat, or seat of distinction or judgment; a tribunal or court.

2. (n.) A mound, pile, or ridge of earth, raised above the surrounding level; hence, anything shaped like a mound or ridge of earth; as, a bank of clouds; a bank of snow.

3. (n.) A steep acclivity, as the slope of a hill, or the side of a ravine.

4. (n.) The margin of a watercourse; the rising ground bordering a lake, river, or sea, or forming the edge of a cutting, or other hollow.

5. (n.) An elevation, or rising ground, under the sea; a shoal, shelf, or shallow; as, the banks of Newfoundland.

6. (n.) The face of the coal at which miners are working.

7. (n.) A deposit of ore or coal, worked by excavations above water level.

8. (n.) The ground at the top of a shaft; as, ores are brought to bank.

9. (v. t.) To raise a mound or dike about; to enclose, defend, or fortify with a bank; to embank.

10. (v. t.) To heap or pile up; as, to bank sand.

11. (v. t.) To pass by the banks of.

12. (n.) A bench, as for rowers in a galley; also, a tier of oars.

13. (n.) The bench or seat upon which the judges sit.

14. (n.) The regular term of a court of law, or the full court sitting to hear arguments upon questions of law, as distinguished from a sitting at Nisi Prius, or a court held for jury trials. See Banc.

15. (n.) A sort of table used by printers.

16. (n.) A bench, or row of keys belonging to a keyboard, as in an organ.

17. (n.) An establishment for the custody, loan, exchange, or issue, of money, and for facilitating the transmission of funds by drafts or bills of exchange; an institution incorporated for performing one or more of such functions, or the stockholders (or their representatives, the directors), acting in their corporate capacity.

18. (n.) The building or office used for banking purposes.

19. (n.) A fund from deposits or contributions, to be used in transacting business; a joint stock or capital.

20. (n.) The sum of money or the checks which the dealer or banker has as a fund, from which to draw his stakes and pay his losses.

21. (n.) In certain games, as dominos, a fund of pieces from which the players are allowed to draw.

22. (v. t.) To deposit in a bank.

23. (v. i.) To keep a bank; to carry on the business of a banker.

24. (v. i.) To deposit money in a bank; to have an account with a banker.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


(1) (saphah, "lip," "edge"): "By the bank of the Jordan" (2 Kings 2:13); "Upon the bank of the river were very many trees" (Ezekiel 47:7, 12).

(2) (gadhah, "cuttings"): Always of banks overflowed (Joshua 3:15; Joshua 4:18 Isaiah 8:7), as also

(3) (gidhyah, 1 Chronicles 12:15). (4) (solelah, "mound," "rampart"): "Cast up a bank against the city" (2 Samuel 20:15, the English Revised Version "mount," the American Standard Revised Version "mound"; compare 2 Kings 19:32 Isaiah 37:33). "Banks of sweet herbs" (Songs 5:13); "the marginal rendering is the right one, `towers of perfumes,' i.e. plants with fragrant leaves and flowers trained on trellis-work" (Speaker's Commentary in the place cited.).

(5) (charax, "a stake," "entrenchment"): "Thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee" (Luke 19:43 the King James Version "trench"). It is probably a military term and stands for a "palisade" (so the Revised Version, margin), i.e. probably an embankment of stakes strengthened with branches and earth, with a ditch behind it, used by the besiegers as a protection against arrows or attacking parties (Latin vallum), such, no doubt, as was employed by Titus in the siege of Jerusalem, 70 A.D. (Josephus, BJ, V, vi, 2).

(6) BANK; BANKING (which see).

M. O. Evans


1. Introductory:

"Banking" in the full modern sense, of taking money on deposit and lending it out on interest, is of comparatively recent origin. A few "banks of deposit" were founded in Italy in the Middle Ages, but the earliest "banks of issue," of the modern sort, were those of Amsterdam (1609) and Hamburg (1619), beginning in the 17th century. The law of Moses forbade Israelites to charge each other interest (Exodus 22:25 Leviticus 25:35, 37 Deuteronomy 23:19), but let them lend on interest to Gentiles (Deuteronomy 23:20), though this law was often evaded or disregarded (Nehemiah 5:10, 12). Banks and banking, however, are found in operation in the Greek cities; "moneychangers," sitting at their tables (trapezai) in the market place, both changed coins and took money on deposit, giving high interest; and banking of a sort, in its incipient stages, existed among the ancient Hebrews. But the Phoenicians are now thought to have been the inventors of the money-changing, money-lending system which is found in more or less modified and developed forms among ancient peoples and in full development and operation in the palmy days of the Roman Empire. In the Greek-Roman period, without doubt, bankers both received money on deposit, paying interest, and let it out at a higher rate, or employed it in trade, as the publicani at Rome did, in farming the revenues of a province (Plumptre).

2. Banking among the Ancient Hebrews:

(1) The Hebrew money-changer, like his modern Syrian counterpart, the saraf (see PEFS, 1904, 49, where the complexity of exchange in Palestine today is graphically described), changed the large coins current into those of smaller denominations, e.g. giving denarii for tetradrachms, or silver for gold, or copper for silver.

(2) But no mean part of his business was the exchanging of foreign money, and even the money of the country of a non-Phoenician standard, for shekels and half-shekels on this standard, the latter being accepted only in payment of the temple dues (see MONEY). The "money-changers" of Matthew 21:12, as the Greek signifies, were men who made small change. Such men may be seen in Jerusalem now with various coins pried in slender pillars on a table (compare epi trapezan, Luke 19:23), ready to be used in changing money for a premium into such forms, or denominations, as would be more current or more convenient for immediate use.

(3) "Usury" in English Versions of the Bible is simply Old English for what we today call "interest," i.e. the sum paid for the use of money, Latin usura; and "interest" should take the place of it in all passages in the Old Testament and New Testament, where it has such significance.

3. Banking in New Testament Times:

The Greek word rendered (tokos), "usury" in the New Testament (see Luke 19:23) means literally, "what is born of money," "what money brings forth or produces." "Usury" has come to mean "exorbitant interest," but did not mean this at the time of the King James Version, 1611.

(1) In Christ's time, and immediately following, there was great need for money-changers and money-changing, especially on the part of foreign Jews whom custom forbade to put any but Jewish coins into the temple treasury (see Mark 12:41). It was mainly for the convenience of these Jews of the Dispersion, and because it was in order to a sacred use, that the people thought it proper to allow the money-changers to set up their tables in the outer court of the temple (see Matthew 21:12).

(2) The language of Matthew 25:27, `Thou oughtest to have put my money to the bankers,' etc., would seem to indicate the recognition by Christ of the custom and propriety of lending out money on interest (compare 19:23). The "exchangers" here are "bankers" (compare Matthew 25:27). The Greek (trapezitai) is from a word for "bank" or "bench" (trapeza), i.e. the "table" or "counter" on which the money used to be received and paid out. These "bankers" were clearly of a higher class than the "small-change men" of Matthew 21:12, etc. (compare "changers of money," John 2:14, and "changers," John 2:15, English Versions). Christ upbraids the "slothful servant" because he had not given his pound to "the bank" (or "banker," epi trapezan, literally, "on a banker's table"), who, it is implied, would have kept it safe and paid interest for it (Luke 19:23 f). It is noteworthy that the "tenminae" of Luke 19:24 are those acquired by "the good servant" from the "one" which was first lent him. So these wealthier bankers even then in a way received money on deposit for investment and paid interest on it, after the fashion of the Greeks.

4. Interpretations, Figurative Uses, etc.:

(1) In Christ's parable (Luke 19:23) "the bank" (literally, "a bank," "table") is taken by some to mean "the synagogue," by others to mean "the church" (Lange, LJ, II, 1, 414); i.e. it is thought that Christ meant to teach that the organized body, "synagogue" or "church," might use the gifts or powers of an adherent or disciple, when he himself could not exercise them (compare DCG, article "Bank").

(2) Then some have thought that Christ was here pointing to prayer as a substitute for good works, when the disciple was unable to do such. Such views seem far-fetched and unnecessary (compare Bruce, Parabolic Teaching of Christ, 209).

(3) The "money-changers," then as now, had ever to be on guard against false money, which gives point to the oft-quoted extra-scriptural saying (agraphon) of Jesus to His disciples: "Be ye expert money-changers" (Greek ginesthai trapezitai dokimoi; see Origen, in Joam, XIX), which was taken (Clem., Hom.,. III, 61) to mean, "Be skillful in distinguishing true doctrine from false" (HDB, 1-vol).

George B. Eager

2911. kremnos -- a steep bank
... a steep bank. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: kremnos Phonetic
Spelling: (krame-nos') Short Definition: a crag, precipice Definition: a crag ...
// - 6k

3033. Libue -- "the west bank of the Nile," Libya, a region in N. ...
... "the west bank of the Nile ... Word Origin probably from lips Definition "the west bank
of the Nile," Libya, a region in N. Africa NASB Word Usage Libya (1). Libya. ...
// - 6k

5132. trapeza -- a table, dining table
... Word Origin from modified forms of tessares and pezos Definition a table, dining
table NASB Word Usage bank (1), food (1), table (9), tables (4). table. ...
// - 7k

5133. trapezites -- a money-changer, banker
... changer, banker. Word Origin from trapeza Definition a money-changer, banker
NASB Word Usage bank (1). a money changer, banker. From ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
1428. gidyah -- bank
... 1427, 1428. gidyah. 1429 . bank. Transliteration: gidyah Phonetic Spelling:
(ghid-yaw') Short Definition: bank. Word Origin the same as gadah, qv. bank ...
/hebrew/1428.htm - 5k

1415. gadah -- bank (of a river)
... 1414, 1415. gadah. 1416 . bank (of a river). Transliteration: gadah
Phonetic Spelling: (gaw-daw') Short Definition: banks. ... bank. ...
/hebrew/1415.htm - 5k

6829. Tsaphon -- "north," a place on the E. bank of the Jordan
... 6828, 6829. Tsaphon. 6830 . "north," a place on the E. bank of the Jordan.
Transliteration: Tsaphon Phonetic Spelling: (tsaw-fone') Short Definition: Zaphon ...
/hebrew/6829.htm - 6k

8193. saphah -- lip, speech, edge
... Word Origin from an unused word Definition lip, speech, edge NASB Word Usage babbling
(2), bank (10), binding (2), brim (9), edge (17), empty (2), gossip* (1 ...
/hebrew/8193.htm - 6k

5550. solelah -- a mound
... bank, mount. Or cowllah {so-lel-aw'}; active participle feminine of calal, but used
passively; a military mound, ie Rampart of besiegers -- bank, mount. ...
/hebrew/5550.htm - 6k

8525. telem -- a furrow
... furrow, ridge. From an unused root meaning to accumulate; a bank or terrace --
furrow, ridge. 8524, 8525. telem. 8526 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/8525.htm - 5k

3027. yad -- hand
... 1), allegiance* (1), along (1), alongside* (1), armpits* (1), arms (5), around
(2), assist (1), assuredly (2), authority (9), axles (2), bank (1), banks (1 ...
/hebrew/3027.htm - 8k


St. John Baptist 282. On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry
... II. THE CHRISTIAN YEAR St. John Baptist 282. On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry.
LM ... Alt. On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry. Announces that the Lord is nigh; ...
/.../st john baptist 282 on.htm

The October Panic.
... A man walked up the steps of a well-known bank in lower New York one morning, about
a half-hour before opening-time, and stood before the shut door. ...
/.../gordon/quiet talks with world winners/the october panic.htm

How Pompey when the Citizens of Jerusalem Shut their Gates against ...
... However, a bank was raised, day by day, with a great deal of labor, while the
Romans cut down materials for it from the places round about. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 4 how pompey when.htm

"Pan, Pan is Dead"
... Night, moonless and hot. Our camp is pitched on the west bank of the river; we are
asleep. ... All the way up the bank they are killing and skinning their goats. ...
/.../wilson-carmichael/things as they are/chapter xxiii pan pan is.htm

Stones Crying Out
... These tell how, when the people were all across, Joshua, who had apparently remained
on the eastern bank with the twelve representatives of the tribes ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture f/stones crying out.htm

Always Tell the Truth
... He will be like a little fellow of whom I heard once, whose mother told him that
if he vent to play in a bank from which the men had been drawing sand for a ...
/.../touching incidents and remarkable answers to prayer/always tell the truth.htm

On Indulgences
... God is so good to us we nevertheless lose very much by being in a state of mortal
sin; for God's grace is in some respects like the money in a bank: the more ...
/.../kinkead/baltimore catechism no 4/lesson 21 on indulgences.htm

The Personality of the Holy Ghost
... take so much in quantity before you have any value; there are other books of silver,
and others of gold; but I have one book that is a book of bank notes; and ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 1 1855/the personality of the holy.htm

Some Miscellaneous Matters Belonging to the Country About Jericho.
... From Abel to Jordan, were sixty furlongs (seven miles and a half). The breadth
of Jordan from bank to bank was but of a moderate space. ...
/.../from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 48 some miscellaneous matters.htm

Of the Miracle which God Performed when St Anthony Being at Rimini ...
... At last St Anthony, inspired by God, went down to the sea-shore, where the river
runs into the sea, and having placed himself on a bank between the river and ...
/.../the little flowers of st francis of assisi/chapter xl of the miracle.htm

Bank (28 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) A mound, pile, or ridge of earth, raised above the surrounding level; hence,
anything shaped like a mound or ridge of earth; as, a bank of clouds; a ...
/b/bank.htm - 26k

... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (p. pr. & vb. n.) of Bank. 2. (n.) The business of
a bank or of a banker. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. BANK; BANKING. ...
/b/banking.htm - 13k

Ravine (26 Occurrences)
... Deuteronomy 2:36 From Aroer, which is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city
that is in the ravine even to Gilead, there was not one city too strong for ...
/r/ravine.htm - 14k

Deposit (19 Occurrences)
... 3. (n.) To lodge in some one's hands for safe keeping; to commit to the custody
of another; to entrust; esp., to place in a bank, as a sum of money subject to ...
/d/deposit.htm - 15k

Chaldea (8 Occurrences)
... The southern portion of Babylonia, Lower Mesopotamia, lying chiefly on the right
bank of the Euphrates, but commonly used of the whole of the Mesopotamian plain ...
/c/chaldea.htm - 25k

Nineveh (23 Occurrences)
... This "exceeding great city" lay on the eastern or left bank of the river Tigris,
along which it stretched for some 30 miles, having an average breadth of 10 ...
/n/nineveh.htm - 52k

Zaphon (4 Occurrences)
... This is the modern Tell 'Amateh, on the south bank of Wady er-Rujeib, 15 miles
South of Pella, and nearly 5 miles North of the Jabbok. ...
/z/zaphon.htm - 8k

Nahum (3 Occurrences)
... Jerusalem. Others think that Elkosh was the name of a place on the east bank
of the Tigris, and that Nahum dwelt there. Nahum, Book of. ...
/n/nahum.htm - 21k

Jordan (188 Occurrences)
... Along the whole eastern bank of the river and the lakes, from the base of Hermon
to the ravine of Hieromax, a region of great fertility, 30 miles long by 7 or ...
/j/jordan.htm - 70k

Tiphsah (2 Occurrences)
... Passing over; ford, one of the boundaries of Solomon's dominions (1 Kings 4:24),
probably "Thapsacus, a great and wealthy town on the western bank of the ...
/t/tiphsah.htm - 9k

Bible Concordance
Bank (28 Occurrences)

Matthew 8:32 He said to them, "Go!" They came out, and went into the herd of pigs: and behold, the whole herd of pigs rushed down the cliff into the sea, and died in the water.

Matthew 25:27 You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest.

Mark 5:13 At once Jesus gave them permission. The unclean spirits came out and entered into the pigs. The herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and they were drowned in the sea.

Luke 8:33 The demons came out from the man, and entered into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned.

Luke 19:23 Then why didn't you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?'

Luke 19:43 For the days shall come upon thee, when thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

Genesis 41:3 And behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, bad-looking and lean-fleshed, and stood by the kine on the bank of the river.

Genesis 41:17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:

Exodus 2:3 When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank.

Exodus 2:5 Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her handmaid to get it.
(See NIV)

Exodus 7:15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning. Behold, he goes out to the water; and you shall stand by the river's bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand.

Deuteronomy 2:36 From Aroer, which is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the ravine even to Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: Jehovah our God delivered all before us.

Deuteronomy 4:48 From Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount Sion, which is Hermon,

Joshua 12:2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon;

Joshua 13:9 From Aroer, that is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon;

Joshua 13:16 And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain by Medeba;

Joshua 13:23 The border of the children of Reuben was the bank of the Jordan. This was the inheritance of the children of Reuben according to their families, the cities and its villages.

Joshua 13:27 and in the valley, Beth Haram, Beth Nimrah, Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, the Jordan's bank, to the uttermost part of the sea of Chinnereth beyond the Jordan eastward.

2 Kings 2:13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of the Jordan.

2 Kings 19:32 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.

Isaiah 37:33 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it.

Ezekiel 47:6 He said to me, Son of man, have you seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the bank of the river.

Ezekiel 47:7 Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Amos

Ezekiel 47:12 By the river on its bank, on this side and on that side, shall grow every tree for food, whose leaf shall not wither, neither shall its fruit fail: it shall bring forth new fruit every month, because its waters issue out of the sanctuary; and its fruit shall be for food, and its leaf for healing.

Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
(See RSV)

Daniel 8:6 He came to the ram that had the two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran on him in the fury of his power.
(See RSV)

Daniel 10:4 In the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel,

Daniel 12:5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.



Related Terms


Ravine (26 Occurrences)

Deposit (19 Occurrences)

Chaldea (8 Occurrences)

Nineveh (23 Occurrences)

Zaphon (4 Occurrences)

Nahum (3 Occurrences)

Jordan (188 Occurrences)

Tiphsah (2 Occurrences)

Terrace (1 Occurrence)

Rest (831 Occurrences)

River's (5 Occurrences)

Rushed (24 Occurrences)

Erech (2 Occurrences)

Ellasar (2 Occurrences)

Drowned (8 Occurrences)


Pethor (2 Occurrences)

Plateau (13 Occurrences)

Pigs (18 Occurrences)

Banks (11 Occurrences)

Brink (11 Occurrences)

Check (9 Occurrences)

Calah (2 Occurrences)

Change (109 Occurrences)

Asshur (133 Occurrences)

Sepharvaim (6 Occurrences)

Stock (16 Occurrences)

Steep (7 Occurrences)

Bar (27 Occurrences)

Mahanaim (15 Occurrences)

Gihon (6 Occurrences)

Antioch (21 Occurrences)

Run (147 Occurrences)

River (189 Occurrences)

Issue (59 Occurrences)

Coast (70 Occurrences)

Entered (291 Occurrences)

Philippi (8 Occurrences)

Babylon (270 Occurrences)

Enter (372 Occurrences)

Babel (3 Occurrences)

Herd (118 Occurrences)

Kadesh (30 Occurrences)

Kite (3 Occurrences)

Kishon (6 Occurrences)

Nergalsharezer (2 Occurrences)

Numbering (35 Occurrences)

Nergal-sharezer (2 Occurrences)

Noph (6 Occurrences)

Nimrah (3 Occurrences)

Nephtoah (2 Occurrences)

Ur (5 Occurrences)

Utter (111 Occurrences)

Usury (17 Occurrences)

On (40792 Occurrences)


Jabeshgilead (12 Occurrences)

Jabesh-gilead (12 Occurrences)

Jabbok (7 Occurrences)

Jordan's (4 Occurrences)

Lip (20 Occurrences)

Gavest (36 Occurrences)

Wicker (1 Occurrence)

Invest (2 Occurrences)

Inclose (1 Occurrence)

Flimsy (1 Occurrence)

Flood (70 Occurrences)

Flows (14 Occurrences)

Flag (30 Occurrences)

Tar (3 Occurrences)

Thousand (405 Occurrences)


Ripe (29 Occurrences)

Ruins (84 Occurrences)

Reeds (27 Occurrences)

Rome (12 Occurrences)

Required (72 Occurrences)

Redeem (56 Occurrences)

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