Concise Bible Dictionary: F

Table of Contents

1. Fable (μῡθος)
2. Fair Havens
3. Faith (πίστις)
4. Faithful (Aman, πιστός)
5. Fallow Deer (Yachmur)
6. Familiar Spirits, Consulters of
7. Famine
8. Fan, Fanner
9. Farthing
10. Fast, Fasting
11. Fat
12. Father
13. Fathers
14. Fathom
15. Fats
16. Feasts
17. Feasts of Charity
18. Felix
19. Fellowship (κινωνία)
20. Ferret (Anaqah)
21. Ferry-Boat
22. Festus, Porcius
23. Fetters
24. Fever
25. Fig, Fig-Tree
26. Figure
27. Fillets
28. Finer
29. Fir, Fir-Tree (Berosh)
30. Fire
31. Firkin
32. Firmament
33. First-Begotten, First-Born (Bekor, πρωτότοκος)
34. First-Fruits
35. Fish, Fishers, Fishing
36. Fitches
37. Flag
38. Flagon
39. Flakes
40. Flax (Pishtah, λίνον)
41. Flay, To
42. Flea
43. Flesh (σάρξ)
44. Fleshly
45. Fleshy (σάρκινος)
46. Flint
47. Flock
48. Flock, Tower of the
49. Flood, The
50. Flour
51. Flower of Age
52. Flute
53. Flux, Bloody
54. Fly
55. Fold
56. Food, Angels'
57. Footman
58. Footstool
59. Fords
60. Forehead
61. Foreigners
62. Foreknowledge (πρόγνωσις)
63. Foreordain
64. Forerunner
65. Forest
66. Foretell
67. Forever
68. Forgiveness
69. Fornication
70. Forswear
71. Fortress
72. Fortunatus
73. Fountain
74. Foursquare
75. Fowl
76. Fowler
77. Fox
78. Frankincense (Lebonah, λίβανος)
79. Frog
80. Frontlet
81. Fuller
82. Fuller's Field
83. Furbish
84. Furlong
85. Furnace
86. Furnaces, Tower of the

Fable (μῡθος)

Lit. “a word, a speech.” The English word is not used in the N. T. in the sense in which it is now often employed, signifying a supposed incident to teach some moral truth; but has the sense rather of myths, false stories (as the Greek word was used by later writers), which in one passage are called "profane and old wives' fables" (1 Tim. 1:4; 1 Tim. 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:4; Titus 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:16).

Fair Havens

Harbor on the south of the island of Crete, near the city of Lasea, about five miles to the east of Cape Matala (Acts 27:8).

Faith (πίστις)

This is a kindred word to “believe,” and indeed the two cannot be separated. In the O. T. the word “faith” occurs but twice (Deut. 32:20; Hab. 2:4). The words are emun, emunah; but aman is often translated “to believe.” The first time this occurs in the O. T. is when it is said of Abraham that "he believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Gen. 15:6). This is referred to in Romans 4 where the faith of the believer is counted for righteousness, and the conclusion is drawn that if any believe on Him that raised up Jesus the Lord from the dead, righteousness will be reckoned to them.
This may be called saving faith. It is confidence in God founded of His word; it is believing in a person, as Abraham believed God. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36). There is no virtue or merit in the faith itself; but it links the soul with the infinite God. Faith is indeed the gift of God (Eph. 2:8). Salvation is on the principle of faith in contrast to works under the law (Rom. 10:9). But true faith is manifested by good works. If a man says he has faith, it is reasonable to say to him, "Show me thy faith" by thy works (James 2:14-26). Otherwise, if the faith does not manifest itself, it is described as “dead,” and is altogether different from real, active belief. A mental assent to what is stated, as a mere matter of history, is not faith. A natural man can believe such things: "the devils also believe and tremble," but true faith gives joy and peace.
There is also the power and action of faith in the Christian's walk: "we walk by faith; not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). We see such faith exemplified in the lives of the Old Testament saints; as given in Hebrews 11. The Lord had often to rebuke His disciples for their want of faith in their daily walk. The believer should have faith in the living God concerning all the details of his daily life.
THE FAITH is at times referred to in the sense of “the truth;” that which has been recorded, and which the Christian has believed, to the saving of his soul. For this the Christian should contend earnestly; for it is fundamental; and many false prophets are gone into the world, and have even crept into association with the saints unawares (Jude 3).

Faithful (Aman, πιστός)

This word in both the O. T. and the N. T. is from the same root as “faith.” It is being true to oneself, to one's nature, to any promise given, and to any trust committed. It is in various connections often applied to God Himself (Deut. 7:9; Isa. 49:7; 1 Cor. 1:9; 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Thess. 5:24; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 10:23; 1 Pet. 4:19; 1 John 1:9). The Lord Jesus also is faithful. He is “a faithful high priest” and a “faithful and true witness” (2 Thess. 3:3; Heb. 2:17; Rev. 1:5; Rev. 3:14; Rev. 19:11). The commandments and testimonies of God are called faithful (Psa. 119:86, 138). The words of the gospel are also faithful: the promises attached thereto will unquestionably be fulfilled (1 Tim. 1:15; 1 Tim. 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:11; Titus 3:8; Rev. 21:5). Christians are exhorted to be faithful as stewards to any trust committed to them, and faithful as witnesses to an absent Lord. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).

Fallow Deer (Yachmur)

What species of deer is referred to under this name is not known. The only description of it in scripture is that it was a clean animal that the Israelites might eat, and that it was supplied to the table of Solomon (Deut. 14:5; 1 Kings 4:23). The Hebrew name seems to imply that it was some deer of a “red” color.

Familiar Spirits, Consulters of



One of God's “four sore judgments” which He in past times brought upon the earth, and which He has foretold will again be sent as a punishment. The most severe famines recorded in scripture are the two of seven years' duration; one in the time of Joseph, and the other in the days of Elisha (Gen. 41:27-57; 2 Kings 8:1-2: cf. Ezek. 14:21; Matt. 24:7; Luke 21:11; Rev. 18:8). In speaking of the tribulations that will come upon Israel before the remnant of them are brought into blessing, Amos prophesies that there will be a famine of the “words of Jehovah.” When judgments are falling on them, they will seek for some word from God for guidance and comfort; but will not find it: God will for a time leave them in darkness and perplexity (Amos 8:11-12).

Fan, Fanner

The fan was a small shovel, by which a portion of wheat was thrown up into the air, that the wind might carry away the chaff (Isa. 30:24; Jer. 4:11). It is also used symbolically for the judgments of God (Isa. 41:16; Jer. 15:7; Jer. 51:2); and for the discriminating power of the testimony of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17).



Fast, Fasting

The first fasting we read of is when Moses went up into the mount to receive the tables of the covenant, and was there apart from nature with the Lord for forty days and nights (Deut. 10:10). The first national fasting was when Israel was smitten before Benjamin: they "came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the Lord, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord" (Judg. 20:26). Here, as in other places, it is connected with humbling; but in the case of Elijah, as with Moses, it signifies being apart from the ordinary life of flesh, to be with the Lord (1 Kings 19:8). Jehoshaphat, when the children of Moab and of Ammon came against him, proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah, and asked help of the Lord (2 Chron. 20:3). When Nineveh was threatened with destruction the king humbled himself, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth: every one was to cry mightily to God, and put away his evil (Jonah 3:5). The only fast enjoined by the law was the one connected with the Day of Atonement. The word “fasting” does not occur there, but it is held to be included in the injunction “afflict your souls.” This seems to be confirmed by “the fast” mentioned in Acts 27:9, for the tenth of Tisri would answer to the time of the equinoctial gales, when it was dangerous to sail in the Mediterranean.
Later on we read of four fasts being kept (Zech. 7:5; Zech. 8:19), though we have no record of their having been instituted by God.
1. In the fourth month, corresponding to the “breaking up” of Jerusalem, when there was no bread for the people (Jer. 52:6).
2. In the fifth month, in memory of the destruction of the Temple (2 Kings 25:8, 9).
3. In the seventh month, in memory of the murder of Gedaliah (Jer. 41:1-2).
4. In the tenth month, in memory of the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem (Jer. 52:4). The prophet could say that these fasts should be turned into joy and gladness.
In the N.T. we find in John the Baptist the spirit of fasting, a Nazarite spirit of separation (Matt. 3:4). He also taught his disciples to fast. The Lord said of His disciples that when He was taken away, then they would fast; and while He was here He spoke of a certain power over unclean spirits that could only be exercised with prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21). He Himself when led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, fasted forty days and forty nights. It is a contrast to Moses and Elijah, they were apart from man's natural condition to be with God; and He who as man was ever with God was so apart to be in conflict with the devil.
Paul and Barnabas were sent on their first missionary journey after prayer and fasting (Acts 13:2-3). It is to be feared that because many have made fasting compulsory, and attached a superstitious merit to it, other Christians have altogether neglected the uniting of fasting with prayer. An habitual self-denial is doubtless the spirit of fasting rather than mere occasional abstinence from food.


This portion of the sacrifices was to be burned on the altar. “All the fat is the Lord's. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood” (Lev. 3:16-17). Apparently, as to the fat, this refers to that "of ox, or of sheep, or of goat," the animals of sacrifice, and to the fat of any animal that died of itself, or was torn of beasts (Lev. 7:23-24). In Nehemiah 8:10 it was proclaimed, “eat the fat,” without any restriction; but here the Hebrew word is different, and refers more to “dainties.” In Isaiah 25:6 is another Hebrew word, and is “fat or rich things.” The “fat” signifies the best part, the inward energy and will: (Compare Num. 18:29 margin; Psalm 73:4 margin). It is typical of the inward energy of the Lord Jesus in the offering of Himself to God.


Except as creator and preserver of all, God is not revealed as Father in the O. T. "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?" (Mal. 2:10). The Lord Jesus is also prophesied of as “the everlasting Father” or “Father of the everlasting age” (Isa. 9:6). It was reserved for the N. T. times that God should be made known as Father; and this was done only by the Lord Jesus while upon earth, who constantly spoke to His disciples of God as their Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16, 45, 48; Matt. 6:1, 8, 14-15, &c). He could, as the Son, while on earth thus make Him known to them. After the resurrection the Lord was able to send this message to His disciples, whom He now calls His “brethren”: "I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God" (John 20:17). The will of the Father and the work of His Son, the source of eternal life to them, had brought the disciples in this respect into the same heavenly position as the risen Christ Himself before the Father. The term “father” is used symbolically when there is a moral likeness between a leader and his followers (John 8:38-44).
In the O. T. the word ab is at times used as “founder:” thus in 1 Chronicles 4:4 one is mentioned as the “father” of Beth-lehem.


A term constantly applied both in the O. T. and in the N. T. to the patriarchs and chief men of Israel (2 Kings 15:9; Dan. 11:37; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:1; &c).






The feasts of Jehovah, as instituted under the law as given by Moses, partake more of the character of commemorations, or assemblies. of the congregation to celebrate special dealings of the Lord, and consequently special seasons—in the history of His people, being called “holy convocations.” A list of the yearly feasts is given in Leviticus 23. The first mentioned is the Sabbath, and if this is counted as one, by considering the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread as one there are seven in all—the perfect number. If the Sabbath is not included, as that was a weekly festival, being the rest of God, and on which the others were founded, then the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread may be counted as two, and still there are seven. There can be no doubt that these seven feasts were typical of the ways of blessing from the cross to the millennium. They stand thus:
Dates Lev. 23 Antitypes
The Sabbath. (Lev. 23:1-3)
Abib 14th Passover Feast. (Lev. 23:5-8) Christ our Passover is slain: “let us keep the feast,” that is of unleavened bread.
Abib 15th Feast of Unleavened Bread.
First Fruits (barley), “day after the Sabbath.” (Lev. 23:9-14) The Resurrection.
Zif. [Seven Sabbaths intervene]
Sivan. Pentecost: Feast of Weeks: First Fruits (wheat). (Lev. 23:15-22) Descent of the Holy Spirit and the Church formed.
Tammuz. Ab. Elul. [The present interval.]
Tisri 1st Feast of Trumpets. (Lev. 23:23-25) Israel awakened: they afflict their souls, receive their Messiah, and are brought into blessing in the millennium.
Tisri 10th Day of Atonement. (Lev. 23:26-32)
Tisri 15th Feast of Tabernacles: ingathering of the vintage. (Lev. 23:33-44)
These seven are called “the set feasts” (Num. 29:39; 1 Chron. 23. 31; 2 Chron. 31:3; Neh. 10:33). Also “holy convocations,” when the people assembled together to offer the various offerings, and thus be reminded of their association with the living God, to whom they owed all their blessings. To ensure this at least thrice in the year, it was enjoined that all the males should appear before the Lord three times in the year, and they must not appear empty. These times were at the Feast of Unleavened Bread (no doubt including the Passover); the Feast of Weeks, or of Harvest; and the Feast of Tabernacles, or “of Ingathering” (Ex. 23:14-17; Deut. 16:16). See PASSOVER, &c.
There are two other Feasts mentioned as yearly which were not apparently ordered of God. The 25th of Chisleu, the Feast of Dedication, instituted by Judas Maccabeus when the temple was re-dedicated after being defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes, B. C. 165 (John 10:22). The other, the Feast of Purim, on the 14th and 15th of Adar, when the Jews were delivered from the threatened destruction plotted by Haman (Esther 9:21, 26).

Feasts of Charity

According to the early Christian writers these feasts were simple meals, taken on the same occasion as the Lord's supper, and were instituted for the sake of the poor. Chrysostom speaks of such feasts as derived from apostolic practice. "When all the faithful met together, and had heard the sermon and prayers, and received the communion, they did not immediately return home upon the conclusion of the service; but the rich and wealthy brought meat and food from their own houses, and called the poor and made a common table, a common dinner, a common banquet in the church." By others it is judged that the meal was taken before the Lord's supper, prior to the rule of taking the supper fasting. It is generally supposed that the disorder spoken of in 1 Corinthians 11 refers to some such meal being taken in connection with the Lord's supper. Whether such feasts were held at other times, apart from the Lord's supper, is not known; it is difficult to conceive the persons described in Jude 10-12 being allowed to come to the Lord's supper; or those mentioned in 2 Peter 2:13, if that also refers to the love-feasts.


One of the freedmen of the Emperor Claudius, and by him appointed to be procurator or governor of Judaea, A. D. 51. Paul, when sent a prisoner to Caesarea, appeared before Felix; and again before him and his wife Drusilla; and as Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and said when he had a convenient season he would send for him. He showed his mercenary and unrighteous character in keeping Paul a prisoner two years in the hope of being bribed; and then leaving him a prisoner to please the Jews (Acts 23:24, 26; Acts 24:3-27; Acts 25:14).
Tacitus says Felix ruled the province in a mean, cruel, and profligate manner. The country was full of sedition, among which Josephus speaks of false “messiahs” being put down. Eventually he was accused before Nero by the Jews, and only escaped punishment by the intercession of his brother Pallas. He was superseded by Porcius Festus, A. D. 60.

Fellowship (κινωνία)

This in scripture is association, and having things in common. The Lord's table is where the fellowship of Christians is expressed—all there being associated in the fellowship of Christ's death. Being thus associated, proper christian fellowship is in the light of God fully revealed—the Father and the Son. The apostles specially made known the truth of this fellowship as specially given to know it (1 John 1:3). Being brought into such association, it follows that as regards the gospel for the world, the welfare of the saints, and the maintenance of the truth, the believer has the same aims and objects before his soul as the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have. Out of this flows the fellowship of the saints one with another (Acts 2:42; 2 Cor. 8:4; Gal. 2:9; 1 John 1:3-7). It is also called the fellowship of the Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1). The converse of this is also true: Christians cannot consistently have any fellowship with that which is evil or which brings dishonor upon the Lord Jesus (Psa. 94:20; 1 Cor. 10:20; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:11).
In some passages the A. V. has the word “COMMUNION” for the same Greek word, with the same meaning. Thus in 1 Corinthians 10:16, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" There is an allusion to the peace offering in verse 18 to show that those who ate the sacrifice were partakers of, had communion with, the altar; hence to eat things offered to idols would be to have fellowship with demons.

Ferret (Anaqah)

One of the creeping things forbidden to be eaten. It is not at all certain what animal is referred to, but it is judged not to have been what is now known as the ferret. The Jews' Bible (by Leeser) has “hedgehog;” others think the “shrew-mouse;” and others the “gecko,” a wall-lizard (Lev. 11:30). The R. V. has “gecko,” and in the margin, to this and the three following names has "probably denoting four kinds of lizards."


This was most probably a raft constructed for the occasion (2 Sam. 19:18).

Festus, Porcius

Procurator of Judaea, appointed by Nero to succeed Felix, A. D. 60. The Jews at once informed Festus against Paul, but he did not consent to their request that Paul should be fetched to Jerusalem; he said he should be tried at Caesarea. When Festus had come thither and the Jews from Jerusalem also, he, wishing to please the Jews, asked Paul if he would go to Jerusalem and be judged there. Paul, knowing the plots of the Jews to kill him, appealed to Caesar. Festus gave Paul a hearing before Agrippa, during which Festus called out, "Paul, thou art beside thyself: much learning doth make thee mad." Paul said no, he spoke the words of truth and soberness (Acts 25-26).
Festus had a dispute with the Jews: they had built up a high wall, that the courts of the temple should not be seen from the palace. The emperor was appealed to, who decided in favor of the Jews. Josephus implies that Festus was a just ruler.


Shackles for the feet. It is said of Joseph that his feet were hurt with fetters (Psa. 105:18). They are spoken of as being made of brass and of iron (Judg. 16:21; 2 Sam. 3:34; 2 Kings 25:7; Job 36:8; Psalm 149:8; Mark 5:4; Luke 8:29).


The words in the originals imply “a burning heat,” so that there is no doubt that what is commonly known as “fever” is intended (Deut. 28:22; Matt. 8:14-15; Luke 4:38-39; John 4:52; Acts 28:8). The same Hebrew word is translated BURNING AGUE in Leviticus 26:16.

Fig, Fig-Tree

There are several kinds of fig-trees, but the well known tree called the Ficus Carica is common in Palestine and very productive. It also agrees with the description of "sitting under the fig-tree" for repose, its branches and leaves giving protection from the heat of the sun. It was one of the trees in the garden of Eden, of the leaves of which Adam and Eve made aprons (Gen. 3:7; 1 Kings 4:25; John 1:48). The figs were made into cakes by being pressed together (1 Sam. 25:18; 1 Sam. 30:12). The trees bear figs at different times, hence the expressions “first-ripe figs,” and also “untimely figs” (Nah. 3:12; Rev. 6:13). The fruit is produced before the leaves; so that leaves being found, there should have been fruit on the fig-tree cursed by the Lord, although the ordinary fig-season had not arrived (Matt. 21:19-20; Mark 11:13, 20-21). This was typical of Israel which had been compared to a fig-tree, bringing forth its first-ripe figs (Hos. 9:10); but in the days of the Lord, Israel had plenty of leaves, professing to be God's favored people, but producing no real fruit to Him (Luke 13:6-7). As a nation in the flesh no fruit will ever be found on it.




Ornamental bands or borders of gold and silver round the pillars of the Tabernacle and Temple (Ex. 27:10-11; Ex. 36:38; Ex. 38:10, 19; Jer. 52:21).



Fir, Fir-Tree (Berosh)

This is supposed to be one of the conifers, but the species alluded to is not known. It came from Lebanon, and was used in the construction of houses, and for musical instruments (2 Sam. 6:5; 1 Kings 5:8, 10; 1 Kings 6:15, 34; 2 Chron. 2:8; 2 Chron. 3:5). It will be produced instead of the thorn in the millennium, and Israel, when she returns in blessing, will say, "I am like a green fir-tree" (Isa. 55:13; Hos. 14:8).


God was early revealed in fire. The searching character of His righteous judgment was thus set forth, whether in the acceptance of good or the condemnation of evil. When Moses at Horeb approached the burning bush he was cautioned not to draw near, but to remove his shoes, for the ground was holy. God spake to him out of the burning bush (Ex. 3:1-6). On Mount Sinai "the sight of the glory of the. Lord was like devouring fire" (Gen. 24:17). Moses declared to Israel, "The Lord thy God is a consuming fire" (Deut. 4:24). When Aaron began his ministrations in the tabernacle fire came out "from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat" (Lev. 9:24: Compare 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chron. 21:26; 2 Chron. 7:1-3). Nadab and Abihu offered “strange fire,” and fire went out from the Lord and consumed them (Lev. 10:1-2). Thus God manifested Himself in fire to Moses. He showed His acceptance of the sacrifices by fire from heaven; He vindicated His servant Elijah, when he stood alone against the prophets of Baal, by consuming the sacrifice, the wood and the stone, by fire from heaven (1 Kings 18:38); and He vindicated His own honor by fire, by destroying those who were disobedient in approaching to Him. The general idea in “fire” is that of judgment.
In the N. T. it is repeated, "Our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29), to consume the dross in the Christian, as gold is tried and purified in the fire; and to judge and punish the wicked with unquenchable fire; who are also described as being Baptized WITH FIRE (Matt. 3:11-12). One of the most awful things connected with this word is the description of the place of eternal punishment as THE LAKE OF FIRE (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:10, 14-15). What mercy to be delivered therefrom!




The Hebrew word is raqia, signifying “expanse.” It is used for the celestial sphere that may be seen by looking upward, and also simply for the atmosphere in which the birds fly. We read that God called the firmament “heaven:” this is “heaven” in a broad sense as we read elsewhere of “the stars of heaven,” but also of “the birds of heaven” (Gen. 1:6-20). The Psalmist speaks of them as distinct: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork" (Psa. 19:1; Psa. 150:1). The living creatures in Ezekiel 1 move amidst the firmament: "and the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above" (Ezek. 1:22), showing them to be executors of God's judicial government: (Compare Ezek. 10:1).

First-Begotten, First-Born (Bekor, πρωτότοκος)

1. Moses was to say to Pharaoh, "Thus saith the Lord, Israel is My son, even my first-born" (Ex. 4:22). God called him out of Egypt, which is applied also to the Lord Jesus (Hos. 11:1; Matt. 2:15).
2. Because Pharaoh refused to let God's first-born go, all the first-born of Egypt were slain (Ex. 12:29).
3. God claimed for Himself all the first-born of the children of Israel, and of their cattle. The first-born of Israel were redeemed by the sons of Levi, as far as they went, and the remainder were redeemed with money (Num. 3:12-51).
4. To the first-born son in a family pertained the birthright. Esau was called a profane person for selling his birthright: it was despising the gift of God. The first-born son was to inherit a double portion of his father's property (Deut. 21:15-17).
5. In the N. T. the term is applied to the Lord: He was Mary's first-born (Matt. 1:25). He is also called, in pre-eminence, “the first-born of every creature” (Col. 1:15); “the first-born among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29); and “the first-born from the dead” (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5). In bringing “the first-begotten” into the world, God says, "Let all the angels of God worship him" (Heb. 1:6).
In the O. T. also the title had the force of pre-eminence, irrespective of the time of birth. David, though the youngest, was made the firstborn: (Compare Psalm 89:27). Christ also in every relationship must have the first place, as is manifest in the above passages.


1. As God had claimed the first-born of man and beast, so also he claimed the first of the first-fruits, that they might be presented as an acknowledgment that God was the giver of them, and thanks be rendered for His gifts. All the males were to present themselves three times in the year before God, and these occasions were arranged at the times of ingathering of the barley (at the Feast of Unleavened Bread); of wheat (at the Feast of Weeks); and of the vintage (at the Feast of Tabernacles) (Ex. 23:16, 19; Ex. 34:22, 26; Deut. 18:4; Deut. 26:10; Ezek. 48:14).
2. Christians are said to have the first-fruits of the Spirit: they have the earnest or pledge of still future and larger blessing (Rom. 8:23; 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:14).
3. Those first gathered to God in any economy are called the first-fruits (Rom. 11:16; Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:15; Jas. 1:18; Rev. 14:4).
4. Christ, being raised from among the dead, is the first-fruits of them that sleep (1 Cor. 15:20, 23). “First-fruits” necessarily imply that there are more like them to follow.

Fish, Fishers, Fishing

On the fifth day of the creation God said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life.... and God created great whales," or sea monsters. To man was given dominion over the fish of the sea (Gen. 1:20-21, 26, 28). Fish has been called God's especial gift to man. Any one may catch it in the sea and appropriate it to his own use. It increases abundantly without any care of man.
Fish was eaten freely in Egypt (Num. 11:5); but under the law the fish without fins and scales were declared to be unclean (Lev. 11:9-12). The fish in the sea of Galilee was very plentiful, and there was much fishing. In the O. T. we read of the “fish gate” at Jerusalem, which doubtless led to a fish market (Neh. 3:3; Neh. 12:39).
In the river that in a future day will flow from the threshold of the house and run into and heal the Dead Sea, there will be a "very great multitude of fish.... their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many" (Ezek. 47:9-10).
The Lord said to Peter and Andrew, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." In accordance with this the kingdom of heaven is compared to a net being cast into the sea, which gathered of every kind: the good fish were put into vessels by the fishermen, but the bad were cast away. So will it be at the end of the age: the wicked will be separated from the just by the angels (Matt. 4:19; Matt. 13:47-50).


1. kussemeth, “spelt,” a species of grain resembling wheat with shorn ears (Ezek. 4:9). The same word is in Exodus 9:32 and Isaiah 25, translated RYE.
2. qetsach, “black cummin,” R. V. margin. This is doubtless the nigella sativa. Its small black seeds are aromatic, and are used as a condiment and a medicine. The prophet says they are beaten out with a rod (Isa. 28:25-27).


1. achu, a soft reed that can only grow in moist ground: it is eaten by cattle (Job 8:11).
2. suph, a weed that grows on the banks of the Nile, among which Moses in the ark was laid (Ex. 2:3, 5; Isa. 19:6).


1. ashishah, treated in the A. V. as a measure, but now generally understood to signify a “cake of raisins,” the raisins being pressed into a cake, in the same way that figs are. In 2 Samuel 6:19 and 1 Chronicles 16:3, the words “of wine” have been added. In Song of Solomon 2:5 it is simply “flagons.” In Hosea 3:1 the words “of wine” are not added, but should be translated, as in the margin, “of grapes,” signifying as before “cakes of raisins.”
2. rebel, a bottle, irrespective of its measure (Isa. 22:24). The word is several times translated “bottle.”


The parts of an animal's skin that hang down, or hang in folds, or that join close together, as the outside of a crocodile (Job 41:23).

Flax (Pishtah, λίνον)

The common plant from which linen is made (Ex. 9:31; Josh. 2:6; Prov. 31:13; Isa. 42:3; Ezek. 40:3; Hos. 2:5, 9; Matt. 12:20).

Flay, To

“To strip off, to skin.” Applied to skinning the animals for the sacrifices (Lev. 1:6; 2 Chron. 29:34; 2 Chron. 35:11). Also used metaphorically for the ill-treatment of the Israelites by their rulers (Mic. 3:3).


The well-known small insect, to which David compared himself when being hunted by Saul (1 Sam. 24:14; 1 Sam. 26:20).

Flesh (σάρξ)

This term is used in various senses in scripture. The principal are ...
1. The estate of man: "all flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke 3:6); "the Word became flesh" (John 1:14).
2. The material part of man and of animals: "all flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts" (1 Cor. 15:39).
3. The same kindred: "thou art my bone and my flesh" (Gen. 29:14); "he is our brother, and our flesh" (Gen. 37:27).
4. Union: "they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:29-31).
5. Man's nature, but corrupted by sin: "that which is born of the flesh is flesh" (John 3:6); "sinful flesh" (Rom. 8:3).
6. The state which characterizes man before knowing deliverance: (Rom. 7; Rom. 8:8-9).
7. Though no longer the state of the Christian, yet the flesh is in him, and is antagonistic to the Spirit, "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye should not do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:17). Thus the Spirit resists in the Christian the accomplishment of the lusts of the flesh.


1. σαρκικός, “belonging to the flesh:” applied to the fallen condition of man: to his wisdom (2 Cor. 1:12); and to his lusts (1 Pet. 2:11). The same word is translated CARNAL. In Romans 7:14 it is “fleshly,” morally (the state of a new-born soul under bondage, doing the things he hates); in Romans 15:27 it is “fleshly” physically; and in some passages it is the fleshly or carnal condition of the Christian as led of the flesh. The word occurs in 1 Corinthians 3:1, 3-4; 1 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 10:4 and Hebrews 7:16. In most of these passages some MSS read σάρκινος, “fleshy.”
2. σάρξ, “flesh:” in Romans 8:7 and Colossians 2:18 it is “mind of the flesh;” and in Hebrews 9:10 it is “ordinances of flesh.” This Greek word is commonly translated “flesh”.

Fleshy (σάρκινος)

“Pertaining to the flesh,” as the body of man. In the common Greek Text this occurs only in 2 Corinthians 3:3 "fleshy tables of the heart." See FLESHLY.


1. challamish, “hard rock,” out of which water was brought (Deut. 8:15; Psalm 114:8). Christ, because of His opposers, set His face like a flint, and He knew He should not be ashamed (Isa. 50:7). God made Jacob to suck oil out of the flinty rock (Deut. 32:13).
2. tsor, “rock.” God made Ezekiel's forehead as an adamant, harder than flint, because of the obduracy of Israel (Ezek. 3:9). The horses' hoofs of God's executors of judgment shall be like flint (Isa. 5:28).


A term used in the O. T. for Israel as sheep gathered by God as their Shepherd, and called Jehovah's flock (Psa. 77:20; Psa. 107:41; Jer. 13:17). It is also applied to those of Israel that were gathered to Christ when on earth. To these He added the Gentile believers; and all were united into one flock (not “one fold”), with Christ as the one Shepherd (John 10:16). When the leaders of Israel were to be judged as not caring for the Lord's flock, the prophet speaks of the remnant as the poor of the flock (Zech. 11:7, 11: Compare Luke 6:20). The Lord also spoke to His disciples as a little flock, bidding them not to fear: it was their Father's good pleasure to give them the kingdom (Luke 12:32). In Paul's address to the elders of Ephesus he exhorts them to take heed unto all the flock: the wolves would not spare them. Paul commended the shepherds to God and to the word of His grace (Acts 20:28-29: Compare 1 Pet. 5:2-3).

Flock, Tower of the


Flood, The

This judgment of God upon the earth, when the whole world had become corrupt before Him, has often been thought to be a subject full of difficulties, the principal of which it may be well to consider. First, as to its extent, was the flood universal? Language can scarcely be more explicit than is the scripture on this point. We read that "all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed.... and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark" (Gen. 7:19-23). After the flood God said He would not any more smite “everything living,” as He had done (Gen. 8:21); "neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth" (Gen. 9:11: Compare also 2 Pet. 2:5; 2 Pet. 3:6-7). Words cannot be plainer than the above to signify a universal deluge: the world that then was is distinguished from the earth that now is, and it is easy for faith to accept God's statement. It was a miracle, and it would require as great a miracle to cover all the high hills in one district only, without the water flowing to other parts, as to submerge the whole earth. The quantity of water required to cover the whole earth could easily be formed by God the Creator of all things, and be dispersed into its elements afterward.
It has often been contended that as man only was the guilty creature, the destruction of all mankind would have entirely met the case. It might have been thus if God had so pleased, but He has taken pains to tell us that all cattle, beasts, and creeping things were destroyed; and we must believe Him. Man was the head of creation, and all was involved in the consequences of his sin, and there must be a new start under the figure of the death and resurrection of Noah in the ark. God commenced a new economy as to the earth, in connection with the sweet savor of Noah's sacrifice. The flood was about 1700 years after the creation of Adam, and it is impossible to say how many millions of people there were on the earth at the time, or how far they had been dispersed.
Another difficulty felt is as to the great number of species being all preserved in the ark, such, it is said, as 1500 mammalia, 6000 species of birds, and some hundreds of thousands of reptiles and insects! It is very probable that at that time a great many of these did not exist. God foreknew that the flood would sweep away the great bulk of them, and He could have restrained the forming of species, and have kept them to a comparatively few genera. Compare the statement that “every living creature” was brought to Adam to be named. All the original generic types then existing were gathered into the ark, from which the species, under many varying circumstances, may have greatly increased. This would be from natural causes, as has been known to have been the case, without in anyway agreeing with or falling under the modern theory of evolution. The clean animals were doubtless only four in number: the ox, the sheep, the goat, and the pigeon—those offered in sacrifice; the distinction between clean and unclean animals for food was made long after.
Again it has been asked, How could the animals have been fed for a full year? and what could have prevented the wild animals devouring one another? Scripture does not say how the animals were fed. God may have caused many of them to have slept the greater part of the time, as some do now constantly in the winter. In Paradise the green herb was the food for every beast, every fowl, and every creeping thing, as well as for man (Gen. 1:29-30); and they may not have become carnivorous until after the flood, when flesh was given to man to eat (Gen. 9:3). If, on the other hand, because sin had come in, they had been previously living on one another, God could have altered this while in the ark, as He certainly will do in the millennium (Isa. 11:6-9; Isa. 65:25; Ezek. 34:25). Men, and even professing Christians, scoff at this, because of their knowledge of physiology; but even history proves that carnivorous animals will feed upon vegetation when they cannot get animal food, and vice versa.
By faith Noah prepared the ark (Heb. 11:7). Everything concerning the flood was arranged by God; Noah had simply to follow out the instructions given. The same faith believes that it was fully carried out as described; and there is no real difficulty in the matter, except by shutting out God, which must not be, for it was His flood. The old world was then destroyed except those in the ark, and they were perfectly safe, for God shut them in. The promise was afterward given that God would not again destroy the world with a flood; but it is, alas, reserved to be destroyed by fire (2 Pet. 3:7, 10). This is a prophecy as little believed by many, as was the deluge that was proclaimed by Noah; but which will as certainly come to pass. The details of the deluge are given in full in Genesis 6-8. In almost all heathen countries there exist ancient traditions of the flood, though with many variations. The descendants of Noah would carry the record of the solemn judgment wherever they roamed. See ARK.



Flower of Age

Full manhood and womanhood (1 Sam. 2:33). 1 Corinthians 7:36 should read "if he pass the flower of his age."


Reed or pipe blown with the mouth, but its construction is not definitely known (Dan. 3:5, 7, 10, 15).

Flux, Bloody

Dysentery, one of the worst diseases in the East, always attended with fever (Acts 28:8).


1. arob, the dog-fly. In Psalm 78:45, and Psalm 105:31, this word is rendered in the A.V. “divers sorts of flies,” referring to one of the plagues in Egypt, and is translated “swarms [of flies]” in Exodus 8:21-31: so that more than one kind may have been meant.
2. zebub, supposed to be the gad-fly. They fell into the ointment and spoiled it (Eccl. 10:1). In the judgments of God in the days of Ahaz He hissed for the fly from the rivers of Egypt (Isa. 7:18). The stings of the flies in the East are very painful, and torment the animals almost to madness. The word zebub is considered to be a part of the word BAAL-ZEBUB, the idol-god of Ekron, “the lord of the fly,” who it was thought could protect persons from its bite.


The divinely appointed system of Jewish ordinances which formed the enclosure into which the Lord entered by the door, in order to find His own sheep and lead them out. Gentile believers were added to them, and they became one flock (not “one fold”) with one Shepherd, the Lord Himself (John 10:1, 3, 16). There is no longer a fold on earth for those that are Christ's. They are formed into the church, namely, the one flock.

Food, Angels'

These words are figurative. Psalm 78:24 speaks of “the corn of heaven,” and Psalm 78:25 is better translated "man did eat the bread of ‘the mighty:’ he sent them food to the full." It doubtless refers to the manna.


1. ragli, “on foot:” often used for the foot soldiers in distinction from those in chariots or on horseback (Num. 11:21; Judg. 20:2; 1 Chron. 18:4; &c). In Jeremiah 12:5 it is applied to those that ran.
2. ruts, “runner.” (1 Sam. 22:17). Samuel said that their king would make some of them to run before his chariot (1 Sam. 8:11). Such are commonly employed in the East to run before the great, to clear the way for them.


The usual accompaniment of a throne (2 Chron. 9:18). The earth is the footstool of God's throne in the heavens (Isa. 66:1; Matt. 5:35). It is symbolical of “the place of rest:” David had it on his heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the “footstool” of God, wherein God could find rest among His people, and where He was to be worshipped (1 Chron. 28:2; Psalm 99:5). It is also symbolical of “subjection to power:” the Lord Jesus must reign until all His enemies are made His footstool (Psa. 110:1; Matt. 22:44; Acts 2:35; Heb. 1:13).


Places where any brook or river could be crossed on foot or by mules, and which are sometimes called PASSAGES. Jacob passed over the ford of Jabbok when he came to meet Esau (Gen. 32:22). As far as is known there were no bridges across the Jordan until the time of the Romans. There was and is still a ford constantly used near Jericho (Josh. 2:7; Judg. 3:28). Another is near Beisam (Beth-shean), and another near the confluence of the Jabbok. When the water is low the Jordan may be forded in some fifty places. Mention is also made of the fords of Arnon (Isa. 16:2).


1. aph, “nose.” Ezekiel 16:12 is better translated “ring upon thy nose.”
2. metsach, μἐτωπον, used as a symbol of manifest character. Israel in apostasy is described as having a harlot's forehead, and refusing to be ashamed (Jer. 3:3). Ezekiel's forehead was made as hard as adamant, because of the hardness of Israel's forehead, with whom he had to contend (Ezek. 3:8-9). Aaron wore a plate of gold on his forehead, with “Holiness to the Lord” engraved thereon, that he might bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel should offer (Ex. 28:36-38). God set a mark upon the foreheads of those that sighed and cried for the abominations that were done in Jerusalem, and the rest of the inhabitants were to be slain (Ezek. 9:4, 6). So, in a future day the servants of God will have His mark in their foreheads; Satan will also cause his followers to have a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads. All will then have to be manifest as to whom they belong (Rev. 7:3; Rev. 9:4; Rev. 13:16; Rev. 14:1, 9; Rev. 17:5; Rev. 20:4).


Those who were not of the lineage of Israel (Ex. 12:45; Deut. 15:3; Oba. 11). Also unconverted Gentiles (Eph. 2:19).

Foreknowledge (πρόγνωσις)

A knowledge of persons and events before they exist. It is one of the divine attributes of God, by which persons were foreknown of Him and events determined. It is a capacity altogether beyond the mind of man to grasp (Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:29; Rom. 11:2; 1 Pet. 1:2). The verb is also translated “know before” (2 Pet. 3:17); and “foreordain” (1 Pet. 1:20).




Used symbolically of Christ, who has entered within the veil as the forerunner of the saints (Heb. 6:20). It is an allusion to those in high position in the East, who have men to run before them to clear the way, and to announce who is coming. In the case of Christ the reverse is the fact: the Lord has run before His servants; but the term necessarily implies that there are others who are following after.


1. choresh, “thick intricate wood” (2 Chron. 27:4): also translated “wood” in 1 Samuel 23:15-16, 18-19.
2. yaar, “a forest.” This is the word commonly used for both “wood” and “forest;” to be distinguished from a third word, pardes (Neh. 2:8), which signifies “a park,” with cultivated trees, whereas the other is wild. Several forests are specified under the word yaar.
1. The forest in ARABIA (Isa. 21:13): its situation is unknown.
2. The “forest of his CARMEL” (2 Kings 19:23; Isa. 37:24). This reads in the margin, and in the R.V., “forest of his fruitful field,” and does not refer to any forest connected with Carmel.
3. The forest of HARETH (1 Sam. 22:5): situated in Judah, but not known.
4. The forest of LEBANON (1 Kings 7:2; 1 Kings 10:17, 21; 2 Chron. 9:16, 20). The context shows that these passages do not refer to the forest at Lebanon; but that Solomon had a house at Jerusalem built of the trees from Lebanon, and called it “the house of the forest of Lebanon.” The actual forest at Lebanon is often referred to for its noble trees.
5. The wood of EPHRAIM in which Absalom was slain, on the east of the Jordan (2 Sam. 18:6, 8, 17). This has not been identified. It has been suggested that the pride and defeat of Ephraim mentioned in Judges 12:1-6 caused some forest to be called after the name of that tribe. This place, by its swamps, morasses and pits, “devoured” the Israelites by preventing their escape.






There are three Hebrew words translated to forgive.
1. kaphar, “to cover” (Deut. 21:8; Psa. 78:38; Jer. 18:23). It is also translated “atonement.”
2. nasa, “to bear,” take away [guilt]: used by Joseph's brethren when they asked him to forgive them (Gen. 50:17); and used of God as "forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Ex. 34:7; Num. 14:18); and in describing the blessedness of the man "whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psa. 32:1).
3. salach, “to pardon,” used only of the forgiveness that God gives. It is employed for the forgiveness attached to the sacrifices: "it shall be forgiven him" (Lev. 4:20, 26, 31, 35; Lev. 5:10, 13, 16, 18; &c). It occurs in the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple (1 Kings 8:30, 34, 36, 39, 50. Also in Psa. 103:3; Jer. 31:34; Jer. 36:3; Dan. 9:19).
In the N. T. two words are used: ὔφεσις., from ἀφίημι, “to send from, release, remit,” several times translated REMISSION; and χαριξομαι, “to be gracious, bestow freely, forgive.” Both words are applied to the forgiveness granted by God, as well as that between man and his fellow.
There are two aspects in which forgiveness is brought before us in scripture.
1. The mind and thought of God Himself towards the sinner whom He forgives. On the ground of the sacrifice of Christ, God not only ceases to hold those who have faith in Christ's blood as guilty before Him, but His favor is towards them. "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 10:17). Thus all sense of imputation of guilt is gone from the mind of God. "God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" ἐχαρίσυτο, graciously forgiven, (Eph. 4:32). So in the O.T., "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely" (Hos. 14:4).
2. The guilty one is released, forgiven. "That they may receive forgiveness of sins" (Acts 26:18). "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psa. 103:12). "Your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake" (1 John 2:12). Hence it is true of all Christians, that their sins are forgiven. Another thought is included in the forgiveness of sins, namely, that having redemption by Christ, which brings into a new state, the whole guilty past is forgiven, removed from us, so that there is no hindrance to the enjoyment of that into which redemption brings.
The general principle as to forgiveness is stated in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins;" and to this is added, "and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This involves honesty of heart, whether in a sinner first coming to God, or in a child who has grieved the heart of the Father by sinning. The two aspects above referred to are here also. The faithfulness and righteousness of God in forgiving, and the cleansing us from all unrighteousness. God is faithful to His own blessed character of grace revealed in His Son, and righteous through the propitiation which He has made.
3. If a Christian is “put away” from the assembly and is repentant, he is forgiven and restored (2 Cor. 2:7, 10). This of course is different from the act of God in forgiving sins, and may be called administrative forgiveness in the church; and if the act of discipline is led of the Spirit, it is ratified in heaven: (Compare John 20:22-23). This is entirely different from any pretended absolution that may be pronounced over poor deluded unconverted persons.
4. There is also a governmental forgiveness in connection with the government of God here below in time, both on God's part, and toward one another (Isa. 40:1-2; Luke 17:3; James 5:15-16; 1 John 5:16). We are called upon to forgive one another; and if we indulge in a harsh unforgiving spirit, we must not expect our Father to forgive us in His governmental dealings (Matt. 6:14-15).


This was very common among the Gentiles, which accounts for its being mentioned in the message sent from the conference at Jerusalem to the Gentiles (Acts 15:20, 29); and its being so often prohibited in the epistles. The word is sometimes used where “adultery” is the sense (Matt. 5:32; Matt. 19:9). It often has in the O. T. a symbolical reference to the turning from God to idols (2 Chron. 21:11, 13; Isa. 23:17; Ezek. 16:15, 26, 29); and in the N. T. to unfaithful intercourse with Babylon, the mother of harlots (Rev. 14:8; Rev. 17:2, 4; Rev. 18:3, 9).


“To swear falsely” (Matt. 5:33).


The terms “fortress,” “stronghold,” and “castle” mostly refer to a part of a city that was more strongly fortified than by the mere walls. Proverbs 18:19 speaks of the “bars of a castle.” There was such a place in Jerusalem when the city was taken by David, which was held by the Jebusites (2 Sam. 5:6-7). The Romans had a “castle” in Jerusalem, to which Paul was carried when he was seized by the Jews (Acts 21:34, 37). This may have been the same that was called ANTONIA, a fortress built by Herod the Great, adjoining the temple, as described by Josephus: Wars, v. 5. 8. The Psalmist often calls Jehovah his rock and fortress (Psa. 18:2; Psa. 31:3; Psa. 71:3; Psa. 91:2).


A Christian of Corinth mentioned by Paul (1 Cor. 16:17). Apparently the same that is alluded to by Clement the apostolic father in his first epistle.


1. bor, “pit, well:” translated “fountain” only in Jeremiah 6:7.
2. mabbua, “spring of water” (Eccl. 12:6): translated “spring” in Isaiah 35:7 and Isaiah 49:10.
3. ayin, lit. “eye,” and hence orifice through which water flows (Gen. 16:7; 2 Chron. 32:3; Neh. 2:14; Neh. 3:15; Neh. 12:37; Prov. 8:28).
4. mayan (from ayin); translated “spring” (Psa. 87:7; Psa. 104:10; “well,” Josh. 18:15; 2 Kings 3:19, 25; Psa. 84:6; Isa. 12:3; and “fountain” often, as at the flood (Gen. 7:11; Gen. 8:2; 2 Chron. 32:4; Psa. 74:15; Psa. 114:8; Song of Sol. 4:12, 15; Joel 3:18).
5. maqor, “source, perpetual spring.” This is rendered “spring” (Prov. 25:26; Jer. 51:36; Hos. 13:15). It is used for the “fountain of blood” (Mark 5:29); the “fountain of life,” as applied to Jehovah for Israel (Psa. 36:9); the “fountain of tears” (Jer. 9:1); the “fountain of living waters” (Jer. 2:13; Jer. 17:13; Rev. 7:17: Rev. 21:6).
The fountains form a striking feature in Palestine, which is described as "a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills" (Deut. 8:7).
In the modern names of localities in Palestine the prefix ain or en signifies a “well;” and bir or beer signifies a fountain or spring, often artificially enclosed. The water from such is called “living water” in distinction from the water in wells or cisterns.


This may perhaps be said to be the most perfect earthly shape of a plane (the “cube” being perfection for a solid). See “four” under NUMBERS. It was the shape of the brazen altar (Ex. 27:1; Ex. 38:1); the breastplate (Ex. 28:16; Ex. 39:9); and the altar of incense (Ex. 30:2; Ex. 37:25). Apparently it was the shape of the “panels” of the base of the molten sea in Solomon's temple (1 Kings 7:31); also of the court of the future temple (Ezek. 40:47); the altar of the same (Ezek. 43:16); the portion of the land offered as a holy oblation (Ezek. 48:20); for the sanctuary (Ezek. 45:2); and for the city (Ezek. 48:16).


This term is used for every description of bird described as of the heaven and of the air, including those that feed on carrion, as in Genesis 15:11 and Revelation 19:17, 21; and those for the table (1 Kings 4:23; Neh. 5:18).


Used symbolically for Satan, from whose snares God delivers His saints (Psa. 91:3; Psa. 124:7; Prov. 6:5). In the punishment of Israel their prophets became as the snare of the fowler (Hos. 9:8).


The well-known animal, that burrows in the ground (Matt. 8:20). They will eat anything, and are especially fond of grapes (Song of Sol. 2:15). They are very sly, and cunning in catching their prey; which accounts for Herod Antipas being called a fox by the Lord (Luke 13:32). It is supposed that the same Hebrew word, shual, includes the JACKAL, which may be intended in Psalm 63:10, and indeed in other passages. The canis aureus is the common Jackal of Palestine.

Frankincense (Lebonah, λίβανος)

A fragrant resin. It was an ingredient in the holy anointing oil, and was used in the temple service (Ex. 30:34; Lev. 2:1, 15-16; Lev. 5:11; Lev. 24:7; Song of Sol. 3: 6, Song of Sol. 4: 6, 14). It formed part of the gifts presented to the Lord by the Magi (Matt. 2:11); and was among the things carried to Babylon the Great (Rev. 18:13). It is traced to the Boswellia serrata of the botanists, which grows in India. By cutting slits in the bark the gum exudes. The best is white and bitter to the taste, though the yellowish in color is extensively used. The Mahometans choose the white, but the Greek and Roman churches use much of the colored.


This well-known reptile is very numerous in Palestine. It is only referred to in the O. T. in connection with the second of the plagues in Egypt (Ex. 8:2-14; Psa. 78:45; Psa. 105:30). In the N. T. three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (Rev. 16:13). Frogs are remarkable for groveling in the mire, with great noise and activity in the night.


Strictly speaking something to be worn on the forehead and, as the passages say, between the eyes. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt and the law were to be constantly before them as a token upon their hand and frontlets between their eyes (Ex. 13:16; Deut. 6:8; Deut. 11:18). It is also said they were to lay the words up in their hearts, so it seems evident that being worn as frontlets was meant in a figurative sense. It was to be ever before them that they were a redeemed people. In the N. T. we find that it was taken literally, and the articles worn were called PHYLACTERIES.


The word kabas simply implies “to wash,” as it is often translated, and would include “bleaching.” The coming of the Lord is compared to a “refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap,” when the dross and dirt will be cleared away (Mal. 3:2). At the transfiguration the clothing of the Lord became so white that it exceeded the whiteness produced by any fuller on earth (Mark 9:3). It was a reflection of heavenly glory.

Fuller's Field

A place near Jerusalem where there was water, and doubtless where the fullers carried on some of their work outside the city: its locality is not known (2 Kings 18:17; Isa. 7:3; Isa. 36:2).


“To polish, make smooth,” applied to weapons as a preparation for war (Jer. 46:4; Ezek. 21:9, 11, 28).




Furnaces were used for various purposes, as smelting the crude metal, and for crucibles to refine the metal; for lime and bricks; and as an oven (Gen. 19:28; Ex. 9:8, 10; Prov. 17:3). The fiery furnace in Babylon must have been very large for four persons to have walked therein. It may have been the furnace they used for their bricks (Dan. 3:6-26). The furnace is used figuratively for the oppression of Egypt, out of which God delivered the Israelites (Deut. 4:20); and for the afflictions God afterward brought them into to purify them from their idolatry and sin (Ezek. 22:18, 22). In the N. T. the furnace of fire refers to the place of eternal punishment (Matt. 13:42, 50).

Furnaces, Tower of the

Built on some unknown part of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:11; Neh. 12:38).
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