Concise Bible Dictionary: N

Table of Contents

1. Naam
2. Naamah
3. Naaman
4. Naamathite
5. Naamites
6. Naarah
7. Naarai
8. Naaran, Naarath
9. Naashon, Naasson
10. Nabal
11. Naboth
12. Nachon
13. Nachor
14. Nadab
15. Nagge
16. Nahalal
17. Nahaliel
18. Nahallal, Nahalal, Nahalol
19. Naham
20. Nahamani
21. Naharai, Nahari
22. Nahash
23. Nahath
24. Nahbi
25. Nahshon
26. Nahum
27. Nails
28. Nain
29. Naioth
30. Naked
31. Names
32. Naomi
33. Naphish
34. Naphtali
35. Naphtali, Mount
36. Naphtuhim
37. Napkin
38. Narcissus
39. Nathan
40. Nathan-melech
41. Nathanael
42. Natural
43. Nature
44. Naum
45. Navy
46. Nazarene
47. Nazareth
48. Nazarite
49. Neah
50. Neapolis
51. Neariah
52. Nebai
53. Nebaioth, Nebajoth
54. Neballat
55. Nebat
56. Nebo
57. Nebo, Mount
58. Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadrezzar
59. Nebushasban
60. Nebuzar-adan
61. Necho
62. Necromancer
63. Nedabiah
64. Needle's Eye
65. Needlework (Maaseh roqem)
66. Neesings
67. Neginah, Neginoth
68. Nehelamite
69. Nehemiah
70. Nehemiah, Book of
71. Nehiloth
72. Nehum
73. Nehushta
74. Nehushtan
75. Neiel
76. Nekeb
77. Nekoda
78. Nemuel
79. Nemuelites
80. Nepheg
81. Nephew
82. Nephish
83. Nephishesim
84. Nephthalim
85. Nephtoah, Waters of
86. Nephusim
87. Ner
88. Nereus
89. Nergal
90. Nergal-sharezer
91. Neri
92. Neriah
93. Net
94. Net-Work
95. Nethaneel
96. Nethaniah
97. Nethinim
98. Netophah
99. Netophathi, Netophathite
100. Nettles
101. New
102. New Birth
103. New Covenant
104. New Creation, New Creature
105. New Man
106. New Moon
107. New Testament
108. Neziah
109. Nezib
110. Nibhaz
111. Nibshan
112. Nicanor
113. Nicodemus
114. Nicolaitanes
115. Nicolas
116. Nicopolis
117. Niger
118. Night
119. Night-Hawk
120. Nile
121. Nimrah
122. Nimrim, Waters of
123. Nimrod
124. Nimshi
125. Nineveh
126. Ninevites
127. Nisan
128. Nisroch
129. Nitre
130. No
131. Noadiah
132. Noah
133. Noah
134. Nob
135. Nobah
136. Nod
137. Nodab
138. Noe
139. Nogah
140. Nohah
141. Non
142. Noph
143. Nophah
144. North
145. North-West
146. Nose Jewels
147. Novice
148. Numbers as Symbols
149. Numbers, Book Of
150. Nun
151. Nurse
152. Nuts
153. Nymphas


Son of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chron. 4:15).


1. Daughter of Lamech, a descendant of Cain (Gen. 4:22).
2. An Ammonitess, wife of Solomon and mother of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:21,31; 2 Chron. 12:13).
3. City in the lowlands of Judah (Josh. 15:41). Identified with Naaneh, 31° 52' N, 34° 52' E.


1. Son of Benjamin (Gen. 46:21).
2. Son of Bela, a, son of Benjamin (Num. 26:40; 1 Chron. 8:4,7).
3. A Syrian captain, who, in the days of Joram king of Israel, was cured of his leprosy through Elisha the prophet. The inherent pride of the human heart, which always rejects God’s sovereign right and hence His way of blessing nearly prevented Naaman being cured. He had his own thoughts about how the prophet should have cured him, and asked if the rivers of Damascus were not better than the Jordan. But when his servants reasoned with him he went to the river (typical of death), dipped himself seven times, and was cured.
This is an illustration of the truth that there is no blessing for sinful man but through death: all is in resurrection and in Christ Jesus. When Naaman was cleansed he could stand before the man of God, and gladly confess that there was no God in all the earth but in Israel. He would offer no sacrifice to other gods, but only unto Jehovah. He now had an exercised conscience, and, fearing the consequences of making a stand against the world, he asked that Jehovah might pardon him when as a servant he went into the idol’s temple with his master. Elisha simply answered, “Go in peace.” This was not the acceptance of a compromise, but setting Naaman in the path of liberty and peace, the sense of grace was not to be enfeebled in his soul. Sin has no dominion over those under grace. He asked for two mules’ burden of Canaan’s earth, no doubt with the thought of making an altar therewith. The whole story is a beautiful instance of the grace of God going out to a heathen; the faith of the little maid who, though in captivity, did not forget the prophet of Jehovah, and who sought the welfare of those among whom her lot was cast, is also an interesting feature (2 Kings 5:1-27; Luke 4:27).


Designation of Zophar, one of Job’s friends (Job 2:11; Job 11:1; Job 20:1; Job 42:9). The origin of the name is unknown.


The family of Naaman, son of Bela (Num. 26:40).


Wife of Ashur, a descendant of Judah (1 Chron. 4:5-6).


Son of Ezbai and one of David’s mighty men (1 Chron. 11:37). Perhaps, as in the margin, the same as PAARAI the Arbite in 2 Samuel 23:35.

Naaran, Naarath

City in Ephraim (Josh. 16:7; 1 Chron. 7:28). Some early writers place it five miles from Jericho, and some identify it with ruins at el Aujah et Tahtani, 31° 57' N, 35° 28' E.

Naashon, Naasson



A wealthy man in Maon, husband of Abigail. His shepherds and his flocks had been protected in the wilderness by David and his followers. David, therefore, during the sheep-shearing festivities, sent to greet Nabal and to ask for a share of his abundance—anything he liked to send him. Nabal, however, railed on David’s men and refused to give them anything. He had no faith to discern in David the anointed of Jehovah. Abigail hastened to appease David’s wrath. David accepted her person and her present, and left Nabal in God’s hands. The next morning, when Abigail told him the danger he had escaped, his heart died within him. After about ten days God smote him and he died. Thus did God avenge the insult given to His servant when in rejection, and saved him from avenging himself (1 Sam. 25:3-39).


A Jezreelite, owner of a vineyard adjoining the property of Ahab, king of Israel. Ahab desired to purchase this vineyard, or exchange it for another; but Naboth refused to part with it, because it was the inheritance of his fathers. Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, observing her husband’s vexation on account of this refusal, wrote to the elders and nobles of the city where Naboth lived, telling them to proclaim a fast, to set Naboth in a prominent place, to get two sons of Belial to charge him with blaspheming God and the king, and then to stone him to death. The elders and nobles were mean and wicked enough to carry out her instructions, and sent word that Naboth was dead. Jezebel now informed her husband, and he went down to take possession of the vineyard; but God sent Elijah to tell him his doom and that of Jezebel. God could not allow such wickedness to go unpunished (1 Kings 21:1-19; 2 Kings 9:21-26).


The person at whose threshing-floor Uzzah was smitten for touching the ark when it shook (2 Sam. 6:6). Called CHIDON in (1 Chron. 13:9).




1. Eldest son of Aaron. He was taken up into the mount by Moses, but lost his life for offering strange fire before the Lord (Ex. 6:23; Ex. 24:1,9; Ex. 28:1; Lev. 10:1; Num. 3:2,4; Num. 26:60-61; 1 Chron. 6:3; 1 Chron. 24:1-2). See ABIHU.
2. Son of Jeroboam, king of Israel. He reigned two years and was then killed by Baasha (1 Kings 14:20; 1 Kings 15:25,27,31).
3. Son of Shammai, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 2:28,30).
4. Son of Jehiel, a Benjamite (1 Chron. 8:30; 1 Chron. 9:36).


Son of Maath, in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus (Luke 3:25-26).




One of the stations of the Israelites (Num. 21:19). Identified by some with the ravine of the Zerka Main, 31° 38' N, 35' 44' E.

Nahallal, Nahalal, Nahalol

Levitical city in Zebulun (Josh. 19:15; Josh. 21:35; Judg. 1:30). Identified with Ain Mahil, 32° 44' N, 35° 21' E.


A man of Judah, father of Keilah and Eshtemoa (1 Chron. 4:19).


One who returned from exile (Neh. 7:7).

Naharai, Nahari

The Beerothite, armor-bearer to Joab (2 Sam. 23:37; 1 Chron. 11:39).


1. Ammonite king who encamped against Jabesh-gilead, and who tauntingly agreed to make its inhabitants tributary on condition that he should thrust out the right eye of each for a reproach on all Israel. Saul raised an army and the Ammonites were defeated (1 Sam. 11:1-2; 1 Sam. 12:12). Josephus relates that Nahash had successfully oppressed the tribes on the east of the Jordan, which gave him self-confidence in making his terms to Jabesh-gilead; and says that Nahash was slain. Perhaps the same as the father of Hanun who insulted David’s ambassadors (2 Sam. 10:2; 2 Sam. 17:27; 1 Chron. 19:1-2).
2. Apparently father or mother of Abigail and Zeruiah (2 Sam. 17:25). In 1 Chronicles 2:16 Abigail and Zeruiah are called the sisters of Jesse’s sons. The Rabbis say that Nahash was another name for Jesse (as in the margin); others suppose Nahash was Jesse’s wife; and again others judge that Nahash was a former husband of Jesse’s wife.


1. Son of Reuel, a son of Esau (Gen. 36:13,17; 1 Chron. 1:37).
2. Kohathite, son of Zophai (1 Chron. 6:26). See TOAH.
3. Levite in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chron. 31:13).


Son of Vophsi, of the tribe of Naphtali (Num. 13:14).


Son of Amminadab, and a prince of Judah (Num. 1:7; Num. 2:3; Num. 7:12,17; Num. 10:14; Ruth 4:20; 1 Chron. 2:10-11). Called NAASSON in Matthew 1:4 and Luke 3:32. Apparently the same as NAASHON in Exodus 6:23.


Nothing is known of the personal history of this prophet: he is called “the Elkoshite,” which is supposed to refer to a place named Elkosh in Galilee. There is no reference to dates in the prophecy, but it is generally placed at about B.C. 714, when Sennacherib invaded Judæa (2 Kings 18:13). The prophecy is against Nineveh, and foretells its destruction, though, like other prophecies, it has an application to the future, when “Assyria” will again be the open enemy of Israel.
The prophecy opens with the character of Jehovah in government. He is slow to anger, but He is jealous, and His revenge is furious. He is good, and a safe refuge in the day of trouble for those that trust in Him; but, as to His enemies, with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of their place. Not only is the destruction of Nineveh foretold, but the Assyrian nation also should come to a full end.
One who had come out to oppress Israel, was a wicked counselor, who imagined evil, not only against Judah, but against Jehovah: he should be cut off. Compare the insulting language of Rab-shakeh, the general of the king of Assyria: at first he said that Jehovah had sent him, and then treated the God of Israel as no better than the heathen gods, who had not been able to protect their worshippers (2 Kings 18:25,32-33). But there was good news for Judah; God would break the yoke of Assyria off their necks. They might keep their solemn feasts. The enemy should no more pass through. What took place in Hezekiah’s day was but a type of the latter-day fulfillment of this chapter (compare Nah. 1:10; 2 Kings 19:35); and in this way we see the scope of prophecy and not simply the immediate events that gave rise to it.
Nahum 2 concerns the city of Nineveh directly. God had allowed Jacob to be disciplined and “emptied out;” but now Nineveh must be dealt with. It is exhorted to make good its defense, yet the gates of the rivers should be opened, and the palace should be dissolved. Here it is not the “gates of the city,” as when Babylon was taken, but “the gates of the rivers.” This may refer to the Tigris and the canals that watered the city. The overflowing river, it is said, caused a breach in the sun-dried brick walls.
“Huzzab shall be led away captive” (Nah. 2:7). This name is supposed by some to be symbolical of Nineveh, the one “established,” or “held to be impregnable,” as in the margin; others, however, believe it refers to the reigning queen, who should be led captive with her maids. The spoil which had been taken in many wars was great, but should now enrich others. The reference to the lions, and the strangling, and the filling the dens with ravin, possibly applied to the cruelties which the Assyrians inflicted on their prisoners, and which are depicted by themselves on their monuments. Truly, as said in Nahum 3, it was a “bloody city.” The following verses, as also Nahum 2:3-4, show that it was a warlike nation, ever seeking to enrich itself by the spoil of other nations, among which were Israel and Judah. It should not only be brought down, but should be made vile and a gazing-stock. Nahum 3:8-10 show that as “populous No” (the renowned Thebes, with its hundred gates), had been brought to naught (probably by Sargon, king of Assyria), so should Nineveh fall. The gates of the land should be left open for their enemies, and as the cankerworm, the locust, and the grasshopper destroy vegetation, so should be their desolation. Fire is spoken of several times, and the explorations that have been made at the ruins of Nineveh abundantly prove that fire did its destructive work. The denunciations close with, “There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?” The ruins show how complete and lasting was God’s judgment on the guilty city. See NINEVEH.


For the temple “David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings” (1 Chron. 22:3); but apparently gold nails were used for some parts of the interior (2 Chron. 3:9). The tent pegs were also called nails, though made most probably of hard wood, and perhaps pointed with iron. It was with a tent peg that Jael killed Sisera (Judg. 4:21-22). In houses in the East many articles are hung upon nails for safety, hence “a nail in a sure place,” denotes security and is figurative of the safety of anything that depends upon God (Isa. 22:23,25; Compare Eccl. 12:11; Zech. 10:4).
Nails pierced the hands and feet of the Savior when they crucified Him, the marks of which He showed to the disciples after His resurrection (John 20:20,25); and which marks He still retains (Zech. 13:6).


City near to which the Lord raised to life the widow’s son (Luke 7:11). Identified with Nein, 32° 38' N, 35° 20' E. The village is approached by a steep and rocky ascent from the plains of Esdraelon.


Place near Ramah, where Samuel resided, and whither David resorted (1 Sam. 19:18-23; 1 Sam. 20:1). Not identified.


An expression which, besides its ordinary signification, was often used when a man was without his outside mantle or cloak (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 20:2; John 21:7). It is used symbolically for natural destitution (James 2:15); for spiritual destitution (2 Cor. 5:3; Rev. 3:17; Rev. 16:15); and for spoliation (Rev. 17:16).


These are often expressive of character or of relationship. God was revealed to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as GOD ALMIGHTY, which indicates the character in which God was pleased to be known by them: He was not known to them as JEHOVAH (Ex. 6:3). This does not mean that they had not heard of the name, but that it did not express the character of His relationship with them. To Moses He said, “I am JEHOVAH,” and by this name He was known to Israel: it formed the basis of their relationship with God. When power was committed to the Gentiles under the headship of Nebuchadnezzar it was said, “THE GOD OF HEAVEN hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory” (Dan. 2:37). In Christianity God is made known under the name of FATHER (John 20:17). Much is involved in the various names by which God has been pleased to make Himself known. So the Lord Jesus has various names: Son of God, Immanuel, Son of Man, and more; they all designate one Person, but each has its own import. Throughout the New Testament His name is the center of all blessing (Isa. 9:6; Phi. 2:9-11).
God has authority to give names (Rev. 2:17); and the name given by God indicates that which God sees fit to express in the one to whom it is given. Hence “name” is characteristic. He altered the names of some persons: Abram was changed to Abraham; Sarai to Sarah; Jacob to Israel; and He gave reasons why they were altered; and the Lord Jesus gave Simon the name of Peter. God also applied to Israel symbolical names: as Lo-ammi, “not my people;” and Lo-ruhamah, “not having obtained mercy,” to mark His attitude towards them.
In the Old Testament persons often gave their children names of significance: thus the wife of Phinehas, when she heard that the ark of God was taken, and that her husband and her father-in-law were dead, called her child Ichabod, “where is the glory?” for the glory was departed from Israel, the ark being taken. Where the reason for a name is mentioned, all is plain; but where no reason is given, the meaning cannot always be ascertained. A name may bear several meanings, by being traced to different roots. For many years lists of the Old Testament proper names, with their significations, have been given in Concordances (mostly as drawn from Gesenius), and sometimes certain deductions have been drawn from those meanings as giving the character of the persons bearing the names; but it should be remembered that in many instances, several persons have borne the same name, persons who were quite different in their status and character; so that the names could have had nothing to do with their characters. It is evident also from the case of John the Baptist that it was customary to name a child after some of his ancestors. On this ground objection was made to his being called John (Luke 1:59-63).
Besides this, modern Hebrew scholars give very different meanings to some of the names, making their signification more and more uncertain. For instance, Abishai signifies, according to Gesenius, “father of a gift”; but Furst interprets it, “Ab is existing,” or “God is existing.” Adami signifies “human,” Gesenius; but “fortress,” Fürst. Adonikam signifies “lord of the enemy,” Gesenius; but “Adon is assisting,” Fürst. In some words other lexicographers, as Ewald, differ from both of the above.


Wife of Elimelech, mother of Mahlon and Chilion, and mother-in-law of Ruth. After dwelling ten years in the country of Moab, when her husband and sons were dead, she returned to the land of Judah, with the widowed Ruth. She asked to be called no more Naomi, “pleasant,” but Mara, “bitter,” saying “for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” She sought the welfare of Ruth, whose marriage with Boaz comforted her, and she became nurse to their son Obed (Ruth 1-4). Typically she represents desolate Israel, as Ruth does the despised but pious remnant brought into full blessing at the end on the ground of sovereign mercy, even as Gentiles, yet casting themselves on the goodness of the Kinsman-Redeemer (see Isaiah 63:16).


Son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15; 1 Chron. 1:31). Called NEPHISH in 1 Chronicles 5:19.


Fifth son of Jacob, and second of Bilhah The name also often includes his descendants, and the territory which they possessed. Naphtali and his four sons entered Egypt with Jacob, and nothing further is recorded of him personally. At the two numberings of the tribes Naphtali amounted to 53,400 and 45,400. When Jacob prophetically announced to the tribes that which should befall them in the last days, he said, “Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words” (Gen. 49:21): it is the remnant of Israel as the vessel of testimony. Moses said, “O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, and full with the blessing of the Lord: possess thou the west and the south” (Deut. 33:23). It is the full blessing of the remnant as Jehovah’s people.
Their possession, which was mountainous and fertile, was in the north with the upper Jordan on the east and Asher in the west. Ijon, which was farther north than Dan, was in their land (Josh. 19:32-39). When Baasha, king of Israel, attacked Judah, Asa sent gold and silver to Ben-hadad, king of Syria, for help. He responded at once, and his army smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali (2 Chron. 16:4). This tribe was the first of those on the west of the Jordan to be carried away captive by Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria (2 Kings 15:29).
In Isaiah 9:1-2 it is prophesied that Naphtali with Zebulun should see a great light: this was fulfilled when the Lord traversed that district, taught in the synagogues, and healed diseases there (Matt. 4:13, 15, where the name is NEPHTHALIM and in Revelation 7:6 NEPTHALIM). The prophecy seems to say that Zebulun and Nephthalim were beyond the Jordan; but some judge that three districts are alluded to; Zebulun and Nephthalim; the way of the sea beyond the Jordan; and Galilee of the Gentiles. But others judge that only the district on the west of the Jordan is alluded to. The Hebrew word in Isaiah 9:1, translated “beyond” is eber, and is sometimes translated “on this side,” as in Joshua 1:14-15. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, the great light was shed on both sides of the Jordan, though the west was more especially the scene of His ministry. Matthew’s Gospel does not speak of His ministry at Jerusalem until He went there to suffer.

Naphtali, Mount

Not a mountain, but the mountainous part of the inheritance of Naphtali (Josh. 20:7).


Descendants of Mizraim, supposed to have settled in some part of Egypt, but where is unknown (Gen. 10:13; 1 Chron. 1:11).


Any light cloth or handkerchief (Luke 19:20; John 11:44; John 20:7).


A resident at Rome to whose household Paul sent his salutations (Rom. 16:11).


1. Son of David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 5:14; 1 Chron. 3:5; 1 Chron. 14:4; Luke 3:31).
2. The prophet, who held an influential position during the reigns of David and Solomon. He is first mentioned when David had in his heart to build a house to Jehovah. Nathan at first encouraged the proposition, but afterward had a special message from God to direct David otherwise. It was Nathan who had to condemn David’s conduct with respect to Bathsheba and her husband; he delicately brought the sin home to his conscience by means of a suited parable. He also took a prominent part in securing the throne for Solomon (2 Sam. 7:2-17; 2 Sam. 12:1-25; 1 Kings 1:8-45; 1 Chron. 17:1-15; 2 Chron. 29:25; Psa. 51 title). He wrote a “book” containing the Acts of David the king and of Solomon, which does not form a part of scripture (1 Chron. 29:29; 2 Chron. 9:29).
3. Man of Zobah, father of Igal (2 Sam. 23:36).
4. Father of Azariah and Zabud (1 Kings 4:5).
5. Son of Attai, and father of Zabad (1 Chron. 2:36).
6. Brother of Joel, one of David’s mighty men (1 Chron. 11:38).
7. One who returned from exile (Ezra 8:16).
8. One who had married a strange wife (Ezra 10:39).
9. A chief man in Israel, whose family will mourn apart (Zech. 12:12). Perhaps a reference to the family of No. 2.


Eunuch who had a chamber in the precincts of the temple (2 Kings 23:11).


One of whom the Lord said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” He answered, “Whence knowest thou me?” The Lord told him that he had seen him under the fig tree, where probably he had been in some exercise of soul Godward: we may gather this from Psalm 32:2,5, as one in whom is no guile is one who confesses his transgressions to the Lord. At once Nathanael said, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:45-49). John 21:2 speaks of Nathanael, of Cana in Galilee, who was with the apostles when they went fishing. This is doubtless the same person. It is thought by many that Nathanael was an apostle, and was the same as Bartholomew, whom John never otherwise mentions.


That which is according to nature.
1. γένεσις, “origin, birth.” Man beholds his natural face in a glass (James 1:23).
2. κατὰφύσιν, “according to nature.” The Israelites are called the natural branches of the olive tree which God planted on earth (Rom. 11:21,24). φυσικός, “that which belongs to nature” (Rom. 1:26-27; 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 10).
3. φυχικός, from “life, soul.” “The natural man [that is, a man characterized by the natural life of the soul, without the teaching and power of the Holy Spirit] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14). The body of the Christian is sown “a natural body” (having had natural life through the living soul); it will be raised “a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44-46).


The inherent qualities of a being manifested in the various characteristics which mark and display its existence: the aggregate of such qualities is what is termed its nature, and one class or order of being is thus distinguished from another. Men by nature are the children of wrath (Eph. 2:3); whereas the Christian becomes morally partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4); of which love is the characteristic: he is made partaker of God’s holiness (Heb. 12:10). The work of God in the Christian which forms his nature thus finds its expression in him. The Creator can design and predicate the nature of a being before that being has an actual existence in fact; but we, as creatures, can discern the nature only from the existent being, and cannot therefore rightly speak of the nature save as characteristic of the being.
Nature is also a term descriptive of the vast system of created things around us, to each part of which the Creator has given not only its existence, but its use, its order, its increase, its decay—often called the “laws of nature”—the laws which govern each and which constitute its propriety. Thus nature teaches that a man should not have long hair (1 Cor. 11:14); and a multitude of other things that are of God’s order in creation.


Son of Esli in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus (Luke 3:25).




A native of Nazareth. Joseph and Mary, when they returned from Egypt, went to reside at Nazareth, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” These words are not found in the Old Testament, but the thought conveyed by them is in the prophets generally, that the Messiah would be despised and reproached (Psa. 69; Isa. 53). His disciples suffered the same reproach: Paul had to hear himself called “a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (Matt. 2:23; Acts 24:5). Christians in some parts of Palestine are still called Nazarenes.


Town where the Lord was “brought up.” Early in the Lord’s ministry He visited Nazareth, and taught in the synagogue. The people wondered at His gracious words, but they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” When He told them that no prophet is accepted in his own country, and proceeded to speak of the grace of God having gone out to the Gentiles in Old Testament times, they were filled with wrath, thrust Him out of the city, and sought to hurl Him over the brow of the hill on which the city was built. But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way (Luke 4:16-30). About twelve months later He visited “his own country” again and taught in the synagogue. But the inhabitants only regarded Him as “the carpenter,” and were offended in Him. He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6). As far as is known the Lord did not visit Nazareth again.
It is identified with en Nasirah, in Lower Galilee, 32° 42' N, 35° 18' E. The town presents a striking appearance, the houses being built of the white limestone of the neighborhood, which reflects the rays of the sun. There is a steep precipice which is probably the place where the enraged people intended to cast down the Lord. A spring, called the “fountain of the virgin,” supplies the town with water, where the women may daily be seen with their pitchers, and whence doubtless the mother of the Lord also fetched water for her family. The name of the city often occurs in the gospels in the expression, “Jesus of Nazareth,” and this designation was also placed on the cross. God has highly exalted the One who humbled Himself, and was in the eyes of the Jews merely “Jesus of Nazareth.”


This term implies “separation;” it was applied to either man or woman that vowed to separate themselves unto the Lord. Three things especially were enjoined upon the Nazarite.
1. He must not touch strong drink or anything that came of the vine: typical of turning away from sources of earthly energy and joy.
2. No razor must come upon his head: suggestive of the renunciation of self, and the giving up of natural rights and proprieties as man: (1 Cor. 11:7,14).
3. He must not touch any dead body: typical of avoiding contact with moral defilement, the sphere of death and alienation from God brought about through sin. The point of the Nazarite was to live to God.
If anyone died suddenly near to a Nazarite, he was defiled: he had to shave his head, offer sacrifices, and commence all again. When the period of his separation was fulfilled, he was to offer a burnt offering, a sin offering, a peace offering, a meat offering, and a drink offering, with the addition of the offerings made at the consecration of the priests. He was to shave his head and burn the hair in the fire which was under the peace offering: type of the full communion, which is the result of the sacrifice of Christ (Num. 6:1-21).
The Nazarite was specially raised up of God as the vessel of His power on behalf of the people when the pressure under which they were suffering was from enemies within their own border (as the Philistines), and when owing to the moral condition of the people it was not possible for God to interfere in ordinary ways of deliverance. The Nazarite was marked on the one hand by a special energy of the Spirit of God, but on the other by rigid separation from the natural sources of excitement, the proprieties and the moral corruption which were connected with the life of the people. We see this in John the Baptist.
Samson was a Nazarite from his birth. Before he was born it was declared that no razor must come on his head. His mission was to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines. Samson betrayed his secret, but sealed his mission by his own death (Judg. 13:1-5).
Christ was morally the true Nazarite; He was the holy one, and instead of having earthly joy He was emphatically “the man of sorrows” when here, but also He has died to sin and lives to God. He answered to all the sacrifices, but the day is approaching when He will drink wine anew in the kingdom, as He said in Matthew 26:29; and be able to say to others, “Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” Christians also are Nazarites to God, not because of any vow, but as sanctified in Christ Jesus. He said, “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:19; 1 Cor. 1:2).


Boundary city of Zebulun (Josh. 19:13). Not identified.


Seaport in Macedonia, where Paul first landed in Europe (Acts 16:11). It is now called Kavala.


1. Son of Shemaiah and descendant of David (1 Chron. 3:22-23).
2. Son of Ishi, a descendant of Simeon (1 Chron. 4:42).


One who sealed the covenant (Neh. 10:19).

Nebaioth, Nebajoth

Eldest son of Ishmael and one of the chiefs of the Ishmaelites (Gen. 25:13; Gen. 28:9; Gen. 36:3; 1 Chron. 1:29). The rams of Nebaioth are mentioned, with the flocks of Kedar his brother, as ministering to the prosperity of Israel in the future day of blessing (Isa. 60:7).


City occupied by Benjamites on the return from exile (Neh. 11:34). Identified with Belt Nabala, 31° 59' N, 34° 57' E.


Father of Jeroboam, first king of Israel. He is mentioned in scripture only to distinguish his son, there being two kings named Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:26; 2 Kings 3:3; 2 Chron. 9:29).


1. City of Reuben, east of the Jordan (Num. 32:3, 38; Num. 33:47; 1 Chron. 5:8). It is denounced in the prophets as belonging to Moab (Isa. 15:2; Jer. 48:1,22).
2. City whose inhabitants or “children” returned from exile (Ezra 2:29; Neh. 7:33).
3. One whose descendants had married strange wives (Ezra 10:43).
4. A Chaldean idol whose name as Nabo or Nebu is probably incorporated in some of the Chaldaic proper names (Isa. 46:1).

Nebo, Mount

On the east of the Jordan, perhaps the highest point of Pisgah, from where Moses viewed the promised land. It was opposite Jericho (Deut. 32:49; Deut. 34:1). Identified with Jebel Neba, 31° 46' N, 35° 44' E. It is about 2,643 feet high, and commands an extensive view of western Israel.

Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadrezzar

Son of Nabopolassar and virtually founder of the later kingdom of Babylon, the first of the four great Gentile empires. Nebuchadnezzar acted as his father’s general and defeated Pharaoh-necho at Carchemish, B.C. 606 (Jer. 46:2). Judah about this time became tributary to Babylon, and some captives (including Daniel) and holy vessels were carried away (2 Chron. 36:5-7; Dan. 1:1-4). This is called “the first captivity” of Judah.
Three years later, Judah revolted and Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. In B.C. 599 the king and many captives, with the treasures of the temple, were taken to Babylon: this is called “the great captivity.” In B.C. 588 Nebuchadnezzar again besieged Jerusalem, burnt the temple, and destroyed the city. He also took Tyre, B.C. 573, after a siege of thirteen years, for which “he had no wages, nor his army” (the inhabitants having escaped with their riches by sea); but God rewarded him with the spoils of Egypt, which he conquered (2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chron. 36; Ezek. 29:18-20).
The more personal history of Nebuchadnezzar is given by Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar had selected him, and some of his fellow captives, to fill honorable positions in the state. In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (B.C. 603) he had the remarkable dream of the Great Image, in the interpretation of which the fact was made known that he had been chosen by God as the first king of an entirely new era, the times of the Gentiles. The house of David had for the time been set aside as God’s ruler on earth, and in Nebuchadnezzar the Gentiles had been entrusted with supreme authority. Daniel could say to him, “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.... thou art this head of gold.”
Nebuchadnezzar was a heathen, but he had now learned that he held his kingdom from the God of heaven, and was responsible to Him. In setting up the image of gold he denied the God of heaven, and the head of Gentile power became idolatrous; but on the occasion of his casting into the fiery furnace the three Hebrew companions of Daniel, because they would not worship the image he had set up, he was amazed to see another Person in the furnace like a son of God. He called the three out of the furnace, addressing them as “servants of the most high God;” he blessed their God, and said that no one must speak anything against Him; but the miracle had no practical moral effect upon him. He had another dream, showing that for his pride God was going to humble him. Daniel counseled him to break off his sins by righteousness, and his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Twelve months were given him for repentance; but at the end of that time in his pride he said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” Then a voice from heaven declared that his kingdom was departed from him. (A monument of Nebuchadnezzar says, “I completely made strong the defenses of Babylon, may it last forever.... the city which I have glorified forever” &c.)
He was now a maniac, and was driven away from men, and ate grass as the ox. He remained thus apparently seven years, signified by “seven times” (as a time, times, and half a time signify three and a half years in Daniel 12:7); then his reason returned, and the kingdom was restored to him. He now said, “I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase” (Dan. 2-4).
Thus Nebuchadnezzar learned to honor the God who had made him the head of gold. How long he survived this is not known. Evil-merodach, his son, succeeded him in B.C. 561. There is evidence that many towns were built during his reign in his name being found on the bricks among their ruins in every direction. His name appears thus:


Officer of Nebuchadnezzar, called Rab-saris, which is thought to mean “chief chamberlain” (Jer. 39:13).


Captain of the guard, or commander in chief of Nebuchadnezzar’s army at the capture of Jerusalem, and afterward at its destruction. He told Jeremiah, when he released him from his chains, that God had brought all this destruction upon Jerusalem because they had sinned against Jehovah, and had not obeyed His voice. He gave Jeremiah liberty to go where he pleased (2 Kings 25:8-20; Jer. 39:9-14; Jer. 40:1; Jer. 41:10; Jer. 43:6; Jer. 52:12-30).






Son of Jeconiah, king of Judah (1 Chron. 3:18).

Needle's Eye

This occurs in the gospels in the saying that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Efforts have been made to refer “the eye of a needle” to a wicket gate, through which a camel can pass, but only with great difficulty; but the Lord speaks of it as something “impossible” except to God. Doubtless a common needle was alluded to. The rabbis had a similar proverb concerning the elephant. Needles have been found in the Egyptian tombs, made of bronze about three inches in length.

Needlework (Maaseh roqem)

The veil of the tabernacle, the ten curtains, and the hangings for the door, and for the gate of the court were of needlework of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine-twined linen. The coat of fine linen for the priest was embroidered, and the girdle was of fine-twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, of needlework (Ex. 26:36; Ex. 27:16; Ex. 28:39; Ex. 36:37; Ex. 38:18; Ex. 39:29; Judg. 5:30; Psa. 45:14). See BROIDERED. It is typical of the graces and glories which combine in the person of our great High Priest the Lord Jesus Christ.


“Sneezings” (Job 41:18).

Neginah, Neginoth

A word occurring in the heading of Psalm 4; Psalm 6; Psalm 54; Psalm 55; Psalm 61; Psalm 67; Psalm 76. It is supposed to signify in the plural “on stringed instruments,” as it is translated in Habakkuk 3:19. Neginah, the singular, occurs only in Psalm 61.


Designation of Shemaiah the false prophet (Jer. 29:24,31-32). Its signification is unknown. In the margin it is “dreamer.”


1. Son of Hachaliah and a captive in Persia: he was cupbearer to king Artaxerxes, and was permitted to return and rebuild Jerusalem. He is called the Tirshatha, or governor (Neh. 1:1; Neh. 8:9; Neh. 10:1; Neh. 12:26,47). See NEHEMIAH, BOOK OF.
2. A chief man who returned from exile (Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7).
3. Son of Azbuk: he helped to repair the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:16).

Nehemiah, Book of

This is the latest of the historical books of the Old Testament It commences with the twentieth year of Artaxerxes: this is an important date, because of “the seventy weeks” of Daniel 9, which run from the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This commission was given to Nehemiah; the command to build the temple was given by Cyrus (Ezra 1:1). See SEVENTY WEEKS.
Nehemiah 1. Nehemiah had God’s interests at heart. He heard at Shushan the desolate state of Jerusalem, and he wept and mourned, and prayed. He occupied a post of honor at the court as the king’s cupbearer.
Nehemiah 2-3. Artaxerxes the king noticed Nehemiah’s sad countenance, and inquired the cause. On being informed, he graciously desired Nehemiah to express his wishes. Nehemiah, after prayer to God, asked to be sent to build Jerusalem, and that he might have timber for the purpose, and letters to the governors. All was granted, and an escort was deputed to accompany him.
On arriving at Jerusalem, Nehemiah was opposed by Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite, who were grieved that a man had come “to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.” But this only the more stirred up the energy of Nehemiah, and the work of rebuilding the wall proceeded.
Nehemiah 4. The enemies first mocked him, and then plotted with others to attack him. But being aware of it, he armed the people, and kept part of them ready to repel the attack; and those that worked had a sword as well as a trowel. With Nehemiah was a trumpeter to sound an alarm (compare Num. 10:9).
Nehemiah 5. Nehemiah also took up the cause of his distressed brethren. The poor had been compelled to mortgage their lands and vineyards to their richer brethren, who made them pay interest, which was contrary to the law. Nehemiah sharply rebuked the rich for this, and bound them by oath to release the persons and lands. He set them an example by feeding a hundred and fifty at his table, and by not taking any stipend as governor.
Nehemiah 6 is significant of the separate path necessary to be maintained by God’s people (Num. 23:9). Their enemies tried to entice Nehemiah to a conference on various pleas; but in faith he returned the noble answer, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” They pretended that he was building the city in order to revolt from the king of Persia, saying that he had appointed prophets to say of him at Jerusalem, “There is a king in Judah.” He denied the accusations: they had feigned them in their own hearts. He would not meet them. To add to his distress there were some in Jerusalem who had formed an alliance with Tobiah, and had correspondence with him, reporting the good deeds of Tobiah to him, and sending his words to Tobiah. They thus sought to put him in fear. His devotedness to God’s interests, and obedience to His word, saved him from all the wiles of the adversary. In fifty-two days the wall and gates were finished, and the enemies perceived that the work was wrought of God.
Nehemiah 7. Levites were appointed to their stations, and the charge of the city gates was given to Hanani brother to Nehemiah, and to Hananiah, ruler of the palace, or fortress. A register is given of those who had returned with Zerubbabel, amounting to 42,360, besides their servants. Oblations were then made by Nehemiah and all the people.
Nehemiah 8. In the seventh month they assembled as one man and kept the Feast of Trumpets. Then the law was read, and great pains were taken that the people should understand it. The people wept when they heard what the law enjoined; but the Levites instructed them rather to rejoice, for the day was holy, and the joy of the Lord was their strength. They were exhorted to eat and drink, and to send portions to those who had nothing. The Feast of Tabernacles was then kept, and in such a way as it had not been kept since the days of Joshua. They entered into the joys that belonged to “all Israel.”
Nehemiah 9-10. The people humbled themselves with fasting, and confessed their sins, separating themselves from all persons who were not of the seed of Israel. The word was read, and they worshipped. The Levites then made a solemn confession, recapitulating all the faithfulness and goodness of God towards their nation; acknowledging their sins against Him, and ending with their making a written covenant and calling upon the princes, Levites, and priests to seal it. A list is given of those who sealed, and the covenant itself is set forth, stating clearly what it was the people bound themselves by a curse and an oath to keep. They thus placed themselves again under law, not having yet learned their own weakness and utter inability to keep it. The priests and Levites were provided for, according to Numbers 18.
Nehemiah 11. The inhabitants of Jerusalem were few, and more were needed for its protection. Some volunteered to live there, and the people blessed them; lots were cast for others, one in ten being thus obtained.
Nehemiah 12 gives a list of the priests and Levites, and the joyful dedication of the wall of Jerusalem. Great sacrifices were offered and they rejoiced with their wives and children, for God had made them to rejoice, and the sounds of their rejoicing were heard afar off. Appointments were then made for the service of the temple.
Nehemiah 13. Apparently a period of time elapsed between Nehemiah 12 and Nehemiah 13. The words “on that day” refer to what follows in the verse. Nehemiah, after being twelve years at Jerusalem, had returned to Artaxerxes, in the thirty-second year of his reign, leaving, according to the end of Nehemiah 12, all things in due order in Jerusalem. How long he remained at the court is not stated, but after a certain time he obtained leave, and returned to Jerusalem, and he proceeds to relate what had taken place during his absence.
The law forbad that the Ammonite and Moabite should ever come into the congregation of the Lord (Deut. 23:3-4); and yet Eliashib the high priest, who was allied to Tobiah the Ammonite, had prepared a chamber in the temple for this man. The enemy of God had thus been received inside. Nehemiah turned out all the household stuff of Tobiah, cleansed the chamber, and restored it to its former use.
The service of the temple had been neglected; for the tithes had been withheld, so that the Levites had to go to their fields for support. The sabbath was also desecrated, work being done and things sold in Jerusalem. Nehemiah expostulated with them and caused the gates of the city to be kept shut on the sabbath day. The merchants then tarried outside the walls on the sabbath, but Nehemiah threatened them, and the evil ceased. It was also found that some had married heathen wives, and their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod and could not speak in the Jews’ language. Nehemiah cursed these men, and sharply rebuked, and chastised them. One of the grandsons of Eliashib having married the daughter of Sanballat, was cast out from the priesthood. (Josephus relates that he went to Samaria, where Sanballat built a temple on Gerizim, which became a refuge for apostate Jews.)
The book closes with the setting right, outwardly, of all these evils. Nothing more is said of the solemn covenant that had been sealed by so many. It had been altogether violated; and Nehemiah felt his loneliness. Again and again he says, “Remember me, O my God,” speaking of the good deeds he had done, and casting himself upon the greatness of God’s mercy.
The Book of Nehemiah gives the partial and outward re-establishment of some of the Jews in their own land. There was no throne of God, nor throne of David, and they were still subject to the Gentiles. The decree Lo-ammi was not removed; but they were restored to the land, ready for the manifestation of their Messiah, who would come seeking fruit, and ready in grace to bless them. The prophecy of Malachi followed this return, and shows the sad moral condition of the people, and the coming of Jehovah in judgment.
The spiritual value of this book, and of Ezra, is the setting forth of the principle that, in a day of ruin, a humble godly remnant represents the whole body, and receives mercy, and enjoys the best privileges of the dispensation, though at the same time being identified with, and suffering for the sins of the whole.
For events succeeding the time of Nehemiah see ANTIOCHUS.


This word occurs only in the heading of Psalm 5. It is supposed to refer to some wind instrument or choir, but its meaning is uncertain.




Wife of Jehoiakim king of Judah (2 Kings 24:8).


Name of contempt given by Hezekiah to the brazen serpent, when he destroyed it because the Israelites burnt incense to it. He called it a “piece of brass,” as in the margin (2 Kings 18:4).


Boundary city of Asher (Josh. 19:27). Identified by some with ruins at Yanin, 32° 54' N, 35° 13' E.


Boundary city of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). Identified with ruins at Seiyadeh, 32° 44' N, 35° 30' E.


1. Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile (Ezra 2:48; Neh. 7:50).
2. One whose descendants could not prove their descent from Israel (Ezra 2:60; Neh. 7:62).


1. Son of Eliab, a Reubenite (Num. 26:9).
2. Son of Simeon (Num. 26:12; 1 Chron. 4:24). He is called JEMUEL in Genesis 46:10 and Exodus 6:15.


Descendants of Nemuel, son of Simeon (Num. 26:12).


1. Son of Izhar, a son of Kohath (Ex. 6:21).
2. Son of David, born at Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:15; 1 Chron. 3:7; 1 Chron. 14:6).


1. bene banim, “grandchildren” (Judg. 12:14).
2. neked, “offspring, progeny” (Job 18:19; Isa. 14:22).
3. ἔκγουα, “offspring, descendant” (1 Tim. 5:4).




Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile (Neh. 7:52). Called NEPHUSIM in Ezra 2:50.



Nephtoah, Waters of

A spring that formed the boundary of Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:9; Josh. 18:15). Identified by some with Ain Atan, 31° 41' N, 35° 10' E.




Son of Abiel, father of Abner, and Saul’s uncle (1 Sam. 14:50-51). The genealogy here falls thus:
Kish Ner
Saul Abner
This differs from the Chronicles, where Ner is the son of Jehiel of Gibeon, and the father of Kish, the father of Saul (1 Chron. 8:33; 1 Chron. 9:36,39). The rabbis say that this Ner is the same person as Abiel; but others suppose him to be some earlier ancestor not elsewhere mentioned.


Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent a salutation (Rom. 16:15).


An Assyrian and Babylonian god (2 Kings 17:30). It has many titles on the monuments, such as “the god of the chase,” “the king of battle.”


1. Prince of the king of Babylon; he assisted at the destruction of Jerusalem (Jer. 39:3).
2. Another prince present on the same occasion, whose title is given as Rab-mag (Jer. 39:3,13). The latter probably became the king, who was named NERIGLISSAR. He killed his brother-in-law Evil-merodach, and succeeded to the throne, B.C. 559. On some bricks his name has been found as Nergal-shar-uzur, Rubu-emga.


Son of Melchi, in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus (Luke 3:27).


Son of Maaseiah and father of Baruch and Seraiah (Jer. 32:12, 16; Jer. 51:59, and more).


Various words are translated “net,” some signifying large nets, and others the drag net. Symbolically nets represent devices secretly laid or they would be shunned, even as a bird avoids a net spread in its sight (Prov. 1:17). The kingdom of heaven is compared to a net cast into the sea, which gathers good and bad; “the wicked” will be sorted from “the just” at the end of the age (Matt. 13:47-49). Satan and the wicked also prepare their nets and snares (Psa. 141:10; 1 Tim. 3:7).


Isaiah 19:9 margin reads “white works” it is any woven work full of holes. In the brazen altar there was a grate of net-work made of brass (Ex. 27:4; Ex. 38:4); and in the temple there was network of brass along with checker work and chain work, as ornaments on the chapiters of the pillars, which were carried away to Babylon (1 Kings 7:18,20,41-42; Jer. 52:22-23).


1. Son of Zuar, of the tribe of Isaachar (Num. 1:8; Num. 2:5; Num. 7:18,23; Num. 10:15).
2. Son of Jesse, and brother of David (1 Chron. 2:14).
3. Priest who helped in the bringing up of the ark (1 Chron. 15:24).
4. Levite, father of Shemaiah (1 Chron. 24:6).
5. Son of Obed-edom (1 Chron. 26:4).
6. Prince of Judah, whom Jehoshaphat sent to teach the people (2 Chron. 17:7).
7. Levite in the time of Josiah (2 Chron. 35:9).
8. Priest who had married a strange wife (Ezra 10:22).
9. Priest, “of Jedaiah,” who returned from exile (Neh. 12:21).
10. Levite, who assisted at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:36).


1. Son of Elishama and father of Ishmael who slew Gedaliah (2 Kings 25:23,25; Jer. 40:8,14-15; Jer. 41:1-18).
2. Son of Asaph, and one of the chiefs in the service of song (1 Chron. 25:2,12).
3. Levite whom Jehoshaphat sent to teach the people (2 Chron. 17:8).
4. Father of Jehudi (Jer. 36:14).


Name, signifying “given, devoted ones,” applied to those who assisted the Levites in the service of the tabernacle and the temple. The name does not occur until 1 Chronicles 9:2, and afterward in Ezra and Nehemiah. The Gibeonites were made “hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar” (Josh. 9:27). These are not mentioned after 2 Samuel, so that they and their descendants may have been the “Nethinim.” It does not appear that God appointed them, as He did the Levites, but “David and the princes” appointed them “for the service of the Levites” (Ezra 8:20). Some of the Midianite captives were also given to the Levites (Num. 31:46-47). After the return from exile the Nethinim are called the “ministers of this house of God.” They were, along with the priests and Levites, exempt from “toll, tribute, or custom” (Ezra 7:24). A list of them is given in Ezra 2:43-54; Nehemiah 7: 46-56,60; Nehemiah 10:28.


City of Judah (Ezra 2:22; Neh. 7:26). Identified with ruins at Umm Toba, 31° 44' N, 35° 13' E.

Netophathi, Netophathite

Inhabitants of Netophah (2 Sam. 23:28-29; 2 Kings 25:23; 1 Chron. 2:54; 1 Chron. 9:16; 1 Chron. 11:30; 1 Chron. 27:13,15; Neh. 12:28; Jer. 40:8).


These are mentioned in scripture as a sign that a place was deserted and given up to desolation. In Job the poor outcasts are described as taking shelter under them (Job 30:7; Prov. 24:31; Isa. 34:13; Hos. 9:6; Zeph. 2:9).


Besides the word πρόσφατος, for the newly-made and living way in Hebrews 10:20; and the word ἄγναφος for the new (unfulled, unfinished) cloth in Matthew 9:16 and Mark 2:21; there are two words translated “new,” the difference between which is important. One is καινός, “new” in the sense of never having existed or been used before, that is, new in the sense of “different”; and νέος “new” in the sense of “fresh, youthful.” The new (νέοσ) wine must be put into new (καινός) bottles (Matt. 9:17). Except in the Gospels, in reference to the wine as above, the word νέος is used only in “a new lump” (1 Cor. 5:7), “the new [man]” (Col. 3:10), “the new covenant” (Heb. 12:24), and “young woman” (Titus 2:4). In all other places the word employed is καινός, and this is important, as indicating the entirely different character of the new covenant, the new creation, the new man, the new heavens and the new earth, from all that had been. “He that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5).

New Birth

New birth is a term commonly used to convey concisely the truth brought out in the beginning of John 3, namely, that a man’s origin spiritually must be of God’s work in him if he is to come under the moral sway of God in grace. This is specially the point in the conversation of the Lord with Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again [ἄνωθεν, not only again, but “anew,” a new source and beginning], he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”: that is, born of the Holy Spirit as the power, and of water (the word) as the means of moral cleansing. “Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth” (James 1:18; compare Eph. 5:26). “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit”; it is of the nature of its source—spiritual and not natural.
Nicodemus was astonished at what he heard, yet as a teacher in Israel he should have known the “earthly” (not “worldly”) things concerning the kingdom of God. He should have learned from such passages as Ezekiel 36:25-28 and Jeremiah 31:33, that new birth was necessary for Israel to have part in God’s kingdom. The heavenly things of Christianity are spoken of subsequently in John 3 as the fruit of the cross, and the love of God, but there must be new birth as the foundation in man, whatever be the nature of the blessing proposed.

New Covenant


New Creation, New Creature


New Man

An expression descriptive of a moral condition or order of man which has come into view in Jesus (Eph. 4:21), and the character of which is described in that it is created after God in righteousness and holiness of truth. In His death Christ broke down the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile to create the two in Himself into “one new man,” reconciling both unto God in one body by the cross, there remaining thus as before God no longer Jew or Gentile, but a man of an entirely new order. The new man “stands in contrast to the old man,” which represents the corrupt state by nature of the children of the first man Adam. This having been put off, the believer has also put on “the new man,” the state proper to the Christian—a new creation in Christ. The new man being created is thus entirely new (καινός). In Colossians 3:10 Christians are viewed as having put off the old man with his deeds, it being replaced by the new (νέος) man, which is renewed (άνακαινούμενον) for full knowledge; hence Christ lives in the saints, and His moral traits are developed in life in the one body. Christ is everything (for the old man of every kind is excluded) and is in each saint. For the difference of the two Greek words see NEW.

New Moon


New Testament

For the general contents of the New Testament see BIBLE. See also COVENANT. The chronology of the principal events recorded in the New Testament is given in the following tables, with approximate dates. The dates of the Epistles of Peter, James, John and Jude are according to the AV. For the date of the crucifixion see SEVENTY WEEKS: other dates are reckoned from that.
Date Event
27 Augustus emperor of Rome.
6 Census in Judaea. Birth of John the Baptist.
5 Birth of Jesus. (Four full years before A.D.) Presentation in the temple.
4 Visit of the magi. Flight into Egypt. Massacre of infants. Death of Herod Archelaus made ethnarch of Judaea, Samaria and Idumaea. Herod Antipas tetrarch of Peraea and Galilee Philip tetrarch of Ituraea, Trachonitis, etc.
6 Quirinus (Cyrenius) governor of Syria the second time. Archelaus banished, and Judaea made a province of Syria.
7 Enrollment, or taxation, under Cyrenius. Annas made high priest.
8 Jesus at Jerusalem (Luke 2:42-46).
14 Tiberius emperor of Rome: reigns alone.
17 Caiaphas made high priest.
26 Pontius Pilate procurator of Judaea. John commences his ministry. See Tiberius. (Mark 1:1-11). Baptism of Jesus. The Temptation. Miracle of the water made wine at Cana (John 2:1-11). Jesus visits Capernaum. The first Passover. Jesus cleanses the temple (John 2:13-22). John cast into prison. Jesus preaches in Galilee (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus at the synagogue at Nazareth: cast out of the city (Luke 4:16-30). Jesus visits the towns of Galilee (Luke 1:38-39).
27 Jesus visits Jerusalem—probably the second Passover (John 5:1). The twelve Apostles chosen (Mark 3:13-19). Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7; Luke 6:17-49). Miracles in the land of the Gadarenes (Mark 5:1-20). The Jews offended at Jesus at Nazareth (Mark 6:1-5). Jesus again visits the villages around (Mark 6:6). Jesus sends forth the twelve (Mark 6:7-13). Death of John the Baptist (Mark 6:17-29). Feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:35-44). Miracles in Gennesaret (Mark 6:53-56).
28 Approach of the third Passover (John 6:4). Feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8:1-9). The Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-10). Feast of Tabernacles (John 7). Journey towards Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). The seventy disciples sent out (Luke 10:1-16). Feast of Dedication—winter (John 10:22-39). Jesus goes away beyond Jordan (John 10:40-42). The raising of Lazarus at Bethany (John 11:1-44). Jesus retires to Ephraim (John 11:54).
29 Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Cleanses the temple (Mark 11:1-18). The Greeks visit Jesus. Voice from heaven (John 12:20-36). The last (fourth) Passover. The Lord’s supper (Mark 14:1-2). The crucifixion. Ascension. Pentecost.
30-34 The events from Pentecost to Stephen (Acts 3:7).
35 Martyrdom of Stephen. Saul “a young man” (Acts 7:58-60). Great persecution, disciples scattered except the apostles (Acts 8:1-4).
36 Conversion of Saul—three years before his flight from Damascus (Acts 9:26-28; Gal. 1:18).
37 Caius (Caligula) emperor of Rome; reigns 4 years. Herod Agrippa succeeds Herod Antipas. Caiaphas deposed, and Jonathan made high priest.
38 Paul at Damascus and in Arabia (Gal. 1:15-18).
39 Paul’s first visit to Jerusalem; sent to Tarsus (Gal. 1:18; Acts 9:26-30).
40 Conversion of Cornelius (Acts 10).
41 Claudius emperor of Rome; reigns 13 years. Judaea and Samaria united, under Herod Agrippa as king. Herod (brother of Agrippa) king of Chalcis. Gospel preached to the Gentiles at Antioch (Acts 11:20). Barnabas goes to Antioch; fetches Paul (Acts 11:26).
42-43 They remain a year at Antioch. Herod Agrippa’s persecution. James beheaded (Acts 13:2). Peter’s imprisonment and release (Acts 13:3-19).
44 Death of Herod Agrippa. Palestine again a Roman province (Acts 13:23). Paul’s second visit to Jerusalem, with the collection (Acts 11:30).
45 Paul returns to Antioch (Acts 12:25).
46-48 First journey of Paul and Barnabas to Cyprus and Asia Minor (Acts 13-14).
48 Ananias nominated high priest by Herod, king of Chalcis.
49-50 Paul, after return, remains a long time at Antioch (Acts 14:28). Dispute concerning circumcision, council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1).
50 Paul’s third visit to Jerusalem with Barnabas—fourteen years from his conversion (Gal. 2:1; Acts 15:2). Paul returns and stays at Antioch (Acts 15:35).
51 Second journey of Paul with Silas and Timothy through Asia Minor to Macedonia and Greece (Acts 16-17). Felix made procurator.
52 Paul spends a year and a half at Corinth (Acts 18:11). First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians written. The Jews banished from Rome.
53 Paul leaves Corinth, and sails to Ephesus.
54 Nero emperor of Rome; reigns 14 years. Paul’s fourth visit to Jerusalem. Returns to Antioch (Acts 18:22). Paul’s third journey through Galatia and Phrygia (Acts 18:23).
55-56 Paul at Ephesus two years and three months (Acts 19:8,10). Epistle to the Galatians written. First Epistle to the Corinthians written. Tumult at Ephesus (Acts 19:23). Paul goes to Macedonia (2 Cor. 2:13; Acts 20:1).
57 Second Epistle to the Corinthians written. Paul goes to Corinth, and stays three months (Acts 20:2).
58 Epistle to the Romans written. Paul leaves Corinth, and goes through Macedonia with Luke. Sails from Philippi; preaches at Troas (Acts 20:6-7). Paul addresses the elders of Ephesus at Miletus (Acts 20:17). Farewell at Tyre and at Caesarea (Acts 21:4,8). Paul’s fifth visit to Jerusalem just before Pentecost (Acts 21:17). Paul seized by Asiatic Jews in the temple (Acts 21:27). Sent by Lysias to Felix, at Caesarea (Acts 23:23).
59-60 Heard by Felix. Paul kept in bonds two years (Acts 24).
60 Felix superseded by Porcius Festus. Paul heard by Festus; he appeals to Caesar (Acts 25:6,11). Paul heard by Agrippa and Festus (Acts 25:23). Sent off by sea to Rome—autumn (Acts 27:1). Paul shipwrecked at Malta, where he winters (Acts 28). Arrives at Rome. Heard by the Jews (Acts 28:16-17). (About) Epistle of James written. (About) First Epistle of Peter written.
61-62 Paul dwells two years in his own hired house, during which he writes the Epistles to the Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians. “Paul the aged” (Philemon 9). (Acts 28:30).
63 Paul is liberated, and takes another journey. Epistle to the Hebrews is written. Paul visits Crete, and leaves Titus there (Titus 1:5). Paul arrested, and sent to Rome. Second Epistle of Peter written. (About) Epistle of Jude written.
67 Paul put to death.
68 Death of Nero, by suicide.
69 Vespasian emperor of Rome.
70 The Christians of Jerusalem retire to Pella, beyond the Jordan. Jerusalem destroyed by Titus, son of Vespasian.
79 Titus emperor of Rome.
After 90 The Three Epistles of John written. The Revelation written.


Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile (Ezra 2:54; Neh. 7:56).


City in Judah (Josh. 15:43). Identified with ruins at Beit Nusib, 31° 36' N, 34° 59' E.


Idol introduced into Samaria by the Avites (2 Kings 17:31).


City in the wilderness of Judah (Josh. 15:62). Not identified.


One of the seven chosen to look after the poor saints at Jerusalem (Acts 6:5).


One of the Pharisees and a teacher in Israel. He came to the Lord by night for instruction, and was greatly astonished to find that, instead of instruction, he needed to be born again. See NEW BIRTH. To this the Lord added that the Son of Man must be lifted up: sin must be condemned, and the Son of God be given in love, in order that whosoever believeth in Him should have everlasting life: that is, heavenly blessings in new creation. Nicodemus afterward grew bolder, and suggested in the council that the Lord ought to be heard, and His acts examined before He was condemned. The last we read of Nicodemus is that after the crucifixion he brought about a hundred pounds’ weight of myrrh and aloes to embalm the Lord’s body (John 3:1-9; John 7:50; John 19:39). This last act was a tacit acknowledgment of his attachment to the One to whom he had come for instruction, but who had spoken to him of God’s love, and of heavenly blessings through the Son of Man lifted up, and whom he had attempted to defend in the council.


The designation of some sect whose deeds and doctrines are condemned without being specified (Rev. 2:6,15). Many suggestions have been made as to the tenets of the Nicolaitanes, but nothing is known with certainty. As their “doctrine” and their “deeds” are referred to, both of which Christ “hated,” it has been thought they were libertines.


A proselyte of Antioch, one of the seven chosen to look after the poor saints at Jerusalem (Acts 6:5).


Place where Paul purposed to winter and where Titus was to meet him (Titus 3:12). The subscription to the epistle refers to the city of Nicopolis of Macedonia; but this has no authority, it was probably the city founded by Augustus on a peninsula in Epirus in Greece. Its ruins are now called Paleoprevesa, 39° N, 20° 44' E.


Designation of Simeon, one of the teachers and prophets at Antioch (Acts 13:1). Niger is the Latin for “black,” and Simeon may have been so named because of his dark complexion; but this is not a necessary conclusion.


Used symbolically for:
1. Death, a time “when no man can work” (John 9:4).
2. The moral darkness of the world, in which men sleep and are drunken (1 Thess. 5:7).
3. The period of Christ’s rejection, which is far spent, and the “day” at hand (Rom. 13:12). There will be no night of moral or spiritual darkness in the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. 21:25; Rev. 22:5).






City in Gad (Num. 32:3). See BETH-NIMRAH.

Nimrim, Waters of

Streams of Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer. 48:34). Perhaps connected with the springs near Nimrah, or near the brook Zered toward the south end of the Dead Sea.


Son or descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was “mighty upon the earth,” and “a mighty hunter,” using force and craft to bring man as well as beasts under his sway. The words “before the Lord” probably signify imperial energy and usurped authority in independence of Jehovah. “The beginning of his kingdom was Babel” with other towns in the land of Shinar. And “out of that land went forth Asshur,” or “he went out to Assyria,” and built Nineveh and other cities. So that Nimrod and his descendants were those who founded both Babylon and Nineveh. Babylonia was also called the land of Nimrod, which shows that the descendants of Ham settled in the East as well as in Egypt in the South. Those in the East afterward gave place in a great measure to the descendants of Shem (Gen. 10:8-11; 1 Chron. 1:10; Mic. 5:6).


Grandfather of Jehu king of Israel (1 Kings 19:16; 2 Kings 9:2,14,20; 2 Chron. 22:7).


The capital of the ancient kingdom of Assyria. It was founded very early by Nimrod (Gen. 10:11-12; Compare Mic. 5:6). It was doubtless comparatively small at first, but nothing is related of its progress until Jonah was sent, about 1,300 years after its founding, to threaten its destruction. It was then an exceeding great city (literally “a great city unto God”) of three days’ journey, probably signifying its circumference. A “three days’ journey” is estimated by Niebuhr to be about ninety English miles. This area would include gardens, pastures (which the “much cattle” would necessitate), and pleasure grounds. The population was large, but not densely located together as in modern cities. There were 120,000 that could not discern their right hand from their left, probably children, which would give a population of about 600,000.
Jonah took a day’s journey in the city, delivering his message as he proceeded. The people believed God, and, led by the king, humbled themselves, fasted, and ceased from their evil deeds (Jonah 3-4). God saw their works and turned from the evil that He had threatened. This king was perhaps Shalmaneser II, whose reign has been dated at B.C. 858-823.
Nineveh is next mentioned in 2 Kings 19:36 and Isa. 37:37, when Sennacherib, after the destruction of his army by God, retired to Nineveh, where he was slain by two of his sons.
The other references to Nineveh in scripture are occupied with its judgment and foretelling its destruction. The prophecy of Nahum is especially devoted to this. Diodorus asserts that there was an ancient prophecy that Nineveh should not fall till the river became an enemy to the city; which happened in the third year of the siege, when the river partially overflowed the city. In the prophecy of Nahum it is said, “with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place;” “the gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved” (Nah. 1:8; Nah. 2:6). It was to be totally destroyed and not rise again: “a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.” Nineveh had been very proud, and had said in its heart, “I am, and there is none beside me”; it should be a place for wild beasts (Zeph. 2:13-15: Isa. 10:5-19). It had been “a city of blood,” and full of lies and robbery; it should be made vile; its destruction should be final: there would be no healing of its bruise (Nah. 3:1,19). In Ezekiel 31:3-17 Assyria is compared to a cedar of high stature, which had been brought to utter ruin.
Nineveh may be regarded as typical of the world in its haughty pride, glorying in its prowess. It was the power used by God to carry out His indignation against Israel: it is thus called “the rod of mine anger,” and the indignation of Jehovah against His land and people ceases in the destruction of the Assyrian—a reference to some power in the last days which will morally succeed to the character of the Assyrian, and be destroyed subsequent to Babylon (Isa. 14:24-25). Historically Assyria fell before Babylon.
The account of the taking of Nineveh is thus given by Ctesias, preserved in Diodorus Siculus, 2. 27-28. Cyaxares, the Median monarch, aided by the Babylonians under Nabopolassar, laid siege to the city. His efforts were in vain; he was repulsed again and again; but receiving reinforcements he overcame the Assyrian army and they were shut up in the city. He then attempted to reduce the city by blockade, but was unsuccessful for two years, till his efforts were unexpectedly assisted by an extraordinary rise of the Tigris, which swept away a part of the walls and allowed the Medes to enter. The Assyrian king Saracus, in despair, burnt himself in his palace. The conquerors gave up the whole to the flames, and it was razed to the ground.
Rawlinson and others do not credit this account, they consider it undeserving a place in history. Some such destruction would, however, agree with scripture, which, as quoted above, speaks of the water, it also refers to the place being pillaged of its gold and silver, “for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture” (Nah. 2:9). Those who of late years have examined the mounds testify to its destruction by fire. Calcined sculptured alabaster statues split by heat, charcoal, and charred wood have been found buried in bricks and earth. For years search has been made among its ruins, and there is yet much to be examined. The principal museums of Europe are stored with the relics, and many tablets have been discovered, one of which gives a remarkable account of the deluge. It may indeed be said that the library of Nineveh has been opened in modern times, and the details of the records made thousands of years ago can now be read.
The principal ruins are found at:
1. Kouyunjik (or Nineveh proper), opposite Mosul, which is situate 36° 22' S, 43° E.
2. Some eighteen miles south-east, lies Nimroud.
3. About twelve miles nearly northward are ruins at Karamles.
4. About twelve miles north-west lies Khorsabad.
These four places may be taken as the corners of the ancient city. They form a trapezoid of about sixty miles in circumference. The walls of the ancient city may have extended further, except where bounded by the river Tigris. The excavations reveal extensive buildings with the entrances adorned with winged bulls and other sculptures. In some places the marks of the chariot wheels can be traced on the limestone pavements.
It was destroyed about B.C. 606, by the Medes and Babylonians, and the fall of this city was the end of the kingdom of Assyria.


The Ninevites or Assyrians, as known in scripture and on the monuments, are judged to have belonged to the Semitic stock—the older inhabitants of the district having been expelled or destroyed. They would thus be allied in blood and in language to the Hebrews. They differed from the Babylonians who were a mixed race, partly Accadian and partly Semitic.
The Accadians invented the cuneiform system of writing which was adopted by the Assyrians, and tablets have been found explaining Accadian words by Assyrian words. A learned Assyrian studied Accadian as a dead language, as Latin is now studied by educated people. The Assyrians were, however, a warlike people, and were not much given to literature and peaceful pursuits; yet various “lesson books” have been discovered which show that literature was not altogether neglected.
The records give evidence of the great ferocity of the Assyrians, who were less humane than the Babylonians. They impaled some of their victims, burnt others, and they even flayed alive the king of Hamath. Their cruelty is alluded to in Nahum 2:12: “The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.”
The greater part of the religious system of Babylon was transported into Assyria, though the Assyrians were less given to religious observances. They had, however, their ritual and their prayers. One of these is remarkable:
“Let the wind carry away the transgression I have committed,{br}Destroy my manifold wickedness like a garment.{br}O my God, seven times seven are my transgressions,{br}My transgressions are ever before me.”
But excuses were made that the sins were those of ignorance:
“The transgression that I committed I knew not,{br}The sin that I sinned I knew not.”
The whole (about 60 lines) was to be repeated ten times, and at the end is added, “For the tearful supplication of the heart let the glorious name of every god be invoked sixty-five times, and the heart shall have peace” (Assyria: Its Princes, Priests, and People).
They had their temple, with its inner and outer courts, and a shrine to which only priests were admitted. A “sea” of water was at its entrance, and winged bulls, called “cherubs,” protected the place. They had their “sabbath” and their sacrifices, principally the bullock, part of which was burnt on the altar, and part eaten by the offerer, or given to the priest. This appears to have been a counterfeit of the tabernacle and its service.




An Assyrian idol, in the temple of which at Nineveh Sennacherib was slain (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).


The natron of the moderns, not what is now called nitre, which is saltpeter. As vinegar upon natron or alkali (which would effervesce and evaporate) so is the unsuitableness of singing mirthful songs to a heavy heart (Prov. 25:20). It is a mineral alkali, and with oil is made into soap (Jer. 2:22).


This is the scripture name of THEBES, a noted city in Egypt, built on both sides of the river Nile, having a hundred gates, situate about 25° 46' N. Its position is alluded to in Nahum 3:8-10, where the Nile is called “the sea,” and “the rivers” refer to the canals. Instead of “populous No,” “No of Amon” should be read, referring to the Egyptian god Amon; and in Jeremiah 46:25 for “the multitude of No,” “Amon of No” should be read.
The passage in Nahum refers to some past desolation. Assyria had been able to distress Egypt before this prophecy, and the reference there is probably to an attack on Egypt by Sargon, B.C. 722-705 (Compare Isa. 20:1-5). The account in Jeremiah 46 speaks of the city being delivered into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, though afterward it should be inhabited as in days of old. God’s judgments on the city are also foretold in Ezekiel 30:14-16. Nebuchadnezzar overran Egypt in B.C. 581, and in 526 Cambyses conquered it.
The perishable nature of human greatness is evidenced in a striking manner in Egypt by miserable huts being in close proximity to ruins of colossal buildings, which could have been reared only at the cost of immense labor, and the exercise of much skill,


1. Levite who weighed the vessels of the sanctuary (Ezra 8:33).
2. One called a prophetess who attempted to terrify Nehemiah (Neh. 6:14).


Son of Lamech, the descendant of Seth, and father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Noah is introduced as a just man, perfect in his generations, and as one who walked with God. To him God revealed that because the earth was full of violence, He would destroy all flesh with the earth. God bade Noah make the ark, and He would establish His covenant with him, and would preserve alive in the ark Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives. The New Testament reveals the fact that Noah had faith, and that in godly fear he prepared the ark, in obedience to God’s warning, for the saving of his house, thereby condemning the world and becoming heir of the righteousness which is by faith. God’s salvation was seen by faith in the midst of coming judgment (Heb. 11:7).
In Genesis 6 God said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [or “indeed”] is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” Men lived to a much greater age than this till long after the flood, so that this seems to refer to the period from the warning to the deluge. We know from other scriptures that God gave the people time for repentance: “the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing” (1 Peter 3:20).
Noah is called a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5), but another scripture shows that his preparing the ark and his preaching had no effect: “they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” (Matt. 24:38-39).
When Noah and all the creatures were safely shut up in the refuge God had devised for them, it is said, God “remembered” them. In due time He abated the flood, and eventually bade Noah go out of the ark, for though Noah saw that the earth was dry, yet he waited like a dependent one for God’s word. His first act on the cleansed earth was to build an altar to the Lord, and offer burnt offerings of all the clean animals and fowls. The Lord smelled a sweet savor, and said in His heart that He would not again curse the ground for man’s sake, nor would He again smite every living thing as He had done. We are thus taught that the providential government of God is carried on upon the ground of the sweet savor of Christ’s sacrifice. God blessed Noah and his sons, and established His covenant with them and with every living thing, and gave the bow in the cloud as a token of it. He gave Noah and his sons authority over all living things, with permission to eat flesh, but not with the blood.
Thus God, after smelling a sweet savor in the burnt offering (type of the sacrifice of Christ, and so the earth not being again cursed for man’s sake) began the new earth by establishing His covenant with Noah and his sons, blessing the earth and putting its government into their hands. It was a new beginning in a new earth: the “heavens and the earth which are now” are in 2 Peter 2:5 and 2 Peter 3:6-7, put in contrast to the “world that then was,” the “old world.” Alas in this new world failure at once characterized the man to whom government had been entrusted. Noah planted a vineyard, drank of the wine, became intoxicated, and dishonored God and himself, and was dishonored by his son.
Noah pronounced a blessing on Shem and Japheth; Jehovah’s name is connected with Shem, while Japheth, head of the Gentiles, is enlarged providentially by God; a curse is pronounced on Canaan (Gen. 6-9). Noah is twice spoken of as a righteous man, along with Daniel and Job, though able to secure only their own safety when God’s sore judgments were on the land (Ezek. 14:14,16,20). See ARK and FLOOD.


A daughter of Zelophehad, grandson of Gilead (Num. 26:33; Num. 27:1; Num. 36:11; Josh. 17:3).


City in the tribe of Benjamin, in which Ahimelech the priest dwelt with the tabernacle of the Lord. It was visited by David when he fled from Saul, and he and his followers ate the hallowed bread. David said it “is in a manner common” (Compare Matt. 12:3-4). The priest also gave him the sword of Goliath. Through the treachery of Doeg, this led to the death of Ahimelech, his father’s house, and all the inhabitants of the city of Nob (1 Sam. 21:1-9; 1 Sam. 22:9-19; Neh. 11:32; Isa. 10:32). Not identified.


A Manassite who took Kenath and its villages, and called it after his own name (Num. 32:42; Judg. 8:11). See KENATH.


The land to which Cain went after the murder of Abel, when he went out from the presence of the Lord. It was on the east of Eden, but is not identified (Gen. 4:16). The name signifies “wandering” or “nomad;” the verb is translated “vagabond” in Genesis 4:12,14.


A tribe on the east of the Jordan conquered by the two and a half tribes (1 Chron. 5:19).


The Greek form of NOAH (Matt. 24:37-38; Luke 3:36; Luke 17:26-27).


Son of David, born at Jerusalem (1 Chron. 3:7; 1 Chron. 14:6).


Fourth son of Benjamin (1 Chron. 8:2).


The same as Nun, the father of Joshua (1 Chron. 7:27).




Ancient name of some place, probably near Heshbon (Num. 21:30).


1. mezarim, literally “the scattering”: regarding the north wind as scattering the clouds and bringing severe cold. Elihu said the cold came out of the north. The word occurs only in Job 37:9.
2. tsaphon, “hidden, dark.” The ancients regarded the north as the region of gloom and darkness. This is the word commonly translated “north” in the Old Testament (Job 37:9, and elsewhere).
3. βορρᾶς, north (Luke 13:29; Rev. 21:13).


North-West (χὡρος). The harbor of Phenice in Crete looked towards south-west (λίφ) and north-west (Acts 27:12).

Nose Jewels

These were rings, ornamented with jewels, and generally passed through the right side of the nostril, hanging down by the mouth. This mode of decoration is referred to in Proverbs 11:22: “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” In Isaiah 3:21 the nose jewels are mentioned among other adornments of women, which should be taken away in God’s judgments; and in Ezekiel 16:12, among the ornaments spoken of symbolically with which God adorned Jerusalem, is “a jewel on thy forehead,” which should however read “a ring upon thy nose.”


The word νεόφυτος is literally “newly planted,” and is applied to those who had been but recently converted. They were not to be appointed as bishops or overseers, lest, being lifted up with pride, they should fall into the condemnation of the devil (1 Tim. 3:6).

Numbers as Symbols

There can be little doubt that numerals are used in scripture as symbols; and by comparing the instances in which any numeral is employed the idea hidden in it may often be arrived at. The signification of some numbers is too obvious to be mistaken; that of others is less apparent. In some cases the symbolical number may be discovered where the numeral itself is not mentioned: as, for instance, under three we may class the law, the psalms, and the prophets; spirit, soul, and body, and so forth. A few references only are given here for each number.
ONE. Supremacy, exclusiveness.
One Jehovah (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 42:8; Zech. 14:9).
One God and Father (1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 3:20; Mark 12:29; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:5).
“None other God but one,” one Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:5).
One Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:11,13).
One mediator (1 Tim. 2:5).
One body (1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 4:4).
One hope, one faith, one baptism (Eph. 4:4-5).
One offering that has perfected forever the sanctified (Heb. 10:14).
TWO. Distinctness, and hence adequate testimony and fellowship when in agreement.
Two witnesses needful (Deut. 19:15; 2 Cor. 13:1).
Caleb and Joshua witnessed for the land (Num. 14:6-9).
Two spies sent over Jordan (Josh. 2:1).
Two olive trees typical of two witnesses (Zech. 4:3; Rev. 11:3-4).
God’s word and His oath show the immutability of His counsel (Heb. 6:17-18).
Two are to agree in asking (Matt. 18:19).
Two or three can be gathered to Christ’s name (Matt. 18:20).
THREE. Divine fullness or completeness, and hence perfection in testimony.
God—Father, Son, and Spirit. This fullness was pleased to dwell in the Son of His love (Col. 1:19).
Three times the voice came from heaven respecting the Lord Jesus (Matt. 3:17; Matt. 17:5; John 12:28).
The Lord Jesus is Prophet, Priest, and King; Son of God, Son of Man, and Son of David.
Three bear witness, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, “and these three agree in one” (1 John 5:7-8).
The scriptures, comprising the law, the prophets, and the psalms, bore witness to Christ (Luke 24:44).
Faith, hope, and love are elements of christian life here.
A three-fold cord is not easily broken (Eccl. 4:12), corresponding to perfection in testimony:
three also describes perfected experience (Luke 13:32; Gen. 22:4; Acts 9:9).
FOUR. Completeness in that which is created or ordained of God.
Four winds from the four quarters of the heaven (Jer. 49:36).
Four quarters of the earth (Rev. 20:8).
In the arranging the camp of Israel there were four standards (Num. 10:14-25).
Ezekiel saw four living creatures, each had four faces, four wings, and four hands (Ezek. 1:5-8; compare the four living creatures in Revelation 4:6).
FIVE. Human weakness in its appreciation of obligation.
In the dedication of the tabernacle each prince offered for a peace offering two oxen, five rams, five he goats, and five lambs (Num. 7:17-83).
Weakness in contrast to the power of the enemy: five should chase a hundred (Lev. 26:8).
The disciples could only provide five barley loaves and two small fishes when the five thousand were fed (John 6:9).
Paul said he would rather speak five words to teach others than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue (1 Cor. 14:19).
In the parable of the virgins there were five wise and five foolish (Matt. 25:2).
SIX. Incompleteness, imperfection (one short of the perfect number seven).
Solomon had six steps to his great throne, (1 Kings 10:19); but it was not elevated enough to save him from idolatry.
Six hundred sixty and six talents of gold were brought him in a year (1 Kings 10:14); yet he had to confess that all was vanity and vexation of spirit.
The Jews at Cana had six water-pots for purification (John 2:6); but they expressed the insufficiency of ordinances to meet man’s need.
The number of the imperial beast will be six hundred sixty and six (Rev. 13:18); being imperfect in every particular.
SEVEN. Spiritual completeness, generally in good but occasionally in evil.
It is the compound of three and four, and the highest single indivisible number.
Seven days in a week, every seventh day was a day of rest, every seventh year was a year of rest for the land, and every seven times seven years brought the jubilee.
Creation was complete on the seventh day, God’s rest being the result.
There were seven lamps to the golden candlestick (Num. 8:2; compare Zech. 4:2).
The blood was sprinkled before the Lord seven times (Lev. 4:6,17; Lev. 8:11).
The Christian is exhorted to keep the feast of seven days after the passover, which makes it a perpetual feast for him (1 Cor. 5:7-8).
John speaks of seven Spirits before the throne of God (Rev. 1:4).
There are seven abominations in man’s heart (Prov. 26:25).
The first beast has seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 13:1).
In the Revelation “seven” occurs frequently; the symbol is found therein more than seven times seven.
Forgiveness is to be “seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22).
EIGHT. A new departure outside of, but connected with, creation-order: hence in resurrection.
Circumcision was on the eighth day, when a new communion was entered into.
Eight souls were saved in the ark, to commence a new world (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5).
The new form of the future Roman empire will be the eighth (Rev. 17:11).
The resurrection-day may be called the eighth, the day after the seventh, the Jewish sabbath.
TEN. Complete ground of human responsibility.
Pharaoh was visited by ten plagues (Ex. 7-12).
The ten commandments (Ex. 34:28).
Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchisedek (Gen. 14:20).
The Israelites gave a tenth to the Levites, and they gave a tenth to the priests (Num. 18:21,26).
Ten virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom (Matt. 25).
There were ten servants to whom the pounds were entrusted (Luke 19:13).
In the last form of the Roman empire there will be ten kings (Rev. 17:12,16).
TWELVE. Completeness administratively, that is, in what is set forth or displayed manward.
(The first most divisible of the earlier numbers.) There were,
twelve patriarchs,
ancestors of the twelve tribes,
who are commemorated in the twelve loaves on the table,
the twelve stones in the breastplate and
twelve names on the shoulders of the high priest;
the twelve stones taken out of Jordan, and
the twelve stones placed in the bed of the river;
also in the woman with a crown of twelve stars (Rev. 12:1).
Through the twelve apostles the Lord fed the hungry multitudes.
The twelve apostles will sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes (Matt. 19:28).
The new Jerusalem will have twelve foundations for its walls
with the names of the twelve apostles;
it will have twelve gates,
consisting of twelve pearls,
with the names of the twelve tribes inscribed,
the gates will be attended by twelve angels (Rev. 21:12-21).
There are twelve hours in the day, in which the children of light may walk (John 11:9).
The flexibility of administrative perfection may be seen in:
Six-twos: Two apostles in each of the six companies sent to preach.
Two-sixes: Six loaves in each of the two rows of shewbread.
Three fours: Four rows of three names each on the breastplate.
Four-threes: Three gates on each of the four sides of the new Jerusalem.
FORTY = 10 x 4. Complete probation to bring to light good or evil.
Moses was forty years in the desert, being himself tried;
he was in the mount two periods of forty days, which were times of trial to the Israelites (Ex. 24:18; Ex. 34:28).
The spies were forty days searching the land (Num. 13:25).
The tribes were tested forty years in the wilderness (Acts 13:18).
Goliath challenged Israel forty days (1 Sam. 17:16).
Saul, David, Solomon, and Jehoash were each tested by a reign of forty years.
Elijah’s period of testing at Horeb was forty days.
Nineveh was given forty days for repentance (Jonah 3:4).
The Lord Jesus was under temptation forty days (Mark 1:13).

Numbers, Book Of

This is so-called because of the numbering of the Israelites, twice given in detail: Numbers 1 and Numbers 26. The book may be summarized under four divisions.
1. The arrangements for the departure of the people from Sinai (Num. 1-9).
2. The journey from Sinai to the borders of Canaan (Num. 10-14).
3. Laws and a few events during the thirty-eight years’ journeyings (Num. 15-19).
4. The events of the last year, with a list of all the halting places from Egypt (Num. 20-36).
As a whole the book may be said to give the service and walk of the people, their trials and testings under responsibility: typical of the spiritual service and walk of Christians now in the wilderness. In the Hebrew the title of the book is “In the Wilderness.”
Numbers 1-2. The book opens with the numbering of the people, and then the arrangement of the tribes around the tabernacle. Each tribe had an individual place and interest before the Lord: type of God’s saints being acknowledged and their place appointed in reference to His testimony. There were twelve tribes besides the Levites, who were reserved for the service of the tent of testimony, and would be located round the court. All were placed as appointed, and each was to pitch his tent near the standard to which he belonged. See CAMP.
Numbers 3. The Levites were to be offered to God in lieu of the firstborn, all of whom God took to Himself when He smote the firstborn of the Egyptians. As the number of the firstborn exceeded that of the Levites, the residue were redeemed: a type of the saints looked at as firstborn ones, and as redeemed, being wholly claimed as God’s, and given to Aaron (that is to Christ), to serve in God’s house, over which He is set as Lord. The Levites were arranged by their families, and the service of each was definitely assigned. The servant ever has his particular service from God, to be exercised under responsibility to the Lord, and he is in no way left to choose for himself as to his service.
Numbers 4 gives instruction as to the moving of the tabernacle and the care to be taken. When journeying the sacred things of the tabernacle in general were to be covered with skins, to preserve from defilement, over a covering of blue: typical of the heavenly character of the assembly as the vessel of the testimony of Christ in the wilderness, in separation from evil. The brazen altar was covered with purple; the table of shewbread was covered with scarlet (Israel’s glory), and the ark alone had blue on the outside (Christ exhibiting the heavenly).
In Numbers 5 laws are given as to the removing out of the camp all lepers, etc.; as to restitution in all cases of trespass; and as to the trial of jealousy (Israel in result became unfaithful in her relations with Jehovah).
Numbers 6. The law of the NAZARITES. This peculiar separation to Jehovah is followed by instructions to Aaron and his sons as to the manner of blessing the people, the words they were to use being given, closing with “They shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” When unfaithfulness is complete, any witness of the position of God’s people can be maintained only through chosen vessels, in absolute separation to God from natural interests, proprieties of life, and human springs of joy. Such is the testimony of God at such a time. Samson and Samuel are examples.
Numbers 7. Here are given the offerings of the princes at the dedication of the tabernacle and of the altar, each tribe having its appointed day. When Moses entered into the tabernacle he heard “one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubim” (compare Ex. 29:42). He had access to the mercy-seat and received his directions from there, while the place of approach for the people was at the brazen altar.
Numbers 8-9. Instructions were given as to the lighting of the lamps. (The light of the glory of Jehovah was in Israel; Isaiah 60:1 shows that it will be made good in the kingdom.) The offering up of the Levites as a sacrifice (compare Rom. 15:16), and the age and time of their service are prescribed. Before Israel started on their journey from Sinai, they were to keep the passover, the memorial of their redemption from Egypt. Those that were ceremonially unclean were graciously provided for by being allowed to keep it on another day. Then instructions were given as to their movements, depending on the cloud that covered the tabernacle. They were to proceed only when the cloud moved, thus they were to be guided by Jehovah. Whether it were a day, or a month, or a year, that the cloud rested, they were to move only at the command of the Lord: a striking type of the guidance which God accords now.
This ends the first division of the book.
Numbers 10. Details are given as to the use of the silver trumpets for summoning the people, and the tribes commence their journey. This was on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year. They went three days’ journey. Moses begged of Hobab his father-in-law to go with them to be “instead of eyes;” but he refused. This was well; for they might have depended on him instead of upon God, who had provided the cloud of glory to guide them. The pillar of cloud was above, and the ark went before them. The Lord was invoked at starting: “Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.” And at resting: “Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.”
Numbers 11. The people began their murmurings, and the fire of the Lord broke in among them. Then they despised the manna and turned back to the things of Egypt. Moses’ heart failed him; the burden was greater than he could bear, and he asked God to kill him. Then God bade him appoint seventy men, to be elders of the people, and officers over them, on whom He put of Moses’ spirit. God gave the people quails, but His anger was kindled and He smote them with a great slaughter.
Numbers 12. Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, the meekest of men; the Lord vindicated Moses and smote Miriam with leprosy, but at the intercession of Moses it was removed from her, though she was shut out of the camp seven days. It was sin against God in His apostle, and was a type of God’s people Israel, who, though occupying a privileged place, deny the rights of Christ to act in grace toward those who have no such place.
Numbers 13-14 detail the searching of the land by the spies, and the consequences of their want of faith. Forgetting God, and judging from their own standpoint, the spies (except Caleb and Joshua) gave an evil report of the land. The whole congregation exclaimed, “Would God that we had died in this wilderness,” and proposed to return into Egypt. At the intercession of Moses, God graciously said that He would pardon the people, but that all the earth should be filled with the glory of Jehovah. Their failure under responsibility was now completely manifested, and God decreed that all of twenty years old and upwards should die in the wilderness, save Caleb and Joshua, and that their little ones should be brought into the land. In further rebellion they said they would go up into the land, but they were smitten by the Amalekites and Canaanites. This is the beginning of their wandering in the wilderness.
Numbers 15-19—the third division of the book—show that God had in no way deviated from His purpose, and give some of the laws of the offerings when they should come into the land of their dwellings. See OFFERINGS. Then is recorded the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, that which is spoken of in the New Testament as the gainsaying of Core. It was the assumption of the priesthood by the Levites and rebellion against the anointing of God. See Korah.
By the budding of Aaron’s rod God bore witness as to whom He had chosen for the priesthood, and He gave instructions as to the responsibility and the portions of the priests and Levites; the people were not to draw nigh the tabernacle. See AARONIC PRIESTHOOD, and LEVITES. Then is given the law of the Red Heifer, a provision for defilement in the wilderness. See HEIFER.
Numbers 20 opens with the Israelites at Kadesh, the place from whence the spies had been sent thirty-eight years previously. Here Miriam dies and is buried. The people murmur against Moses because they have no water. He is told to speak to the rock, with the rod of priestly grace in his hand, but he smites the rock as with his own rod of judgment, and calls the people rebels: for this failure he is forbidden to lead the people into Canaan. The lawgiver did not rise to the grace of God. See MOSES. From here they had to make a long detour to the Akaba Gulf of the Red Sea because the Edomites would not suffer them to pass through their land. Aaron dies in Mount Hor, and is succeeded by Eleazar.
Numbers 21. Arad and the Canaanites are smitten. The further journeying led the people again to murmur, and God sent among them fiery serpents. On the prayer of the people for the removal of the serpents, Moses made by divine directions a SERPENT OF BRASS and put it on a pole, and whosoever looked (having been bitten) lived. After skirting the east of the land of Edom, the Israelites encountered the Amorites, who, refusing to let them pass, were smitten by Moses, and Heshbon was taken. The Israelites smote also Og the king of Bashan, and took his land.
Numbers 22-25 give the history of Balak hiring Balaam the prophet to curse Israel. In spite of Israel’s failure in walk, the Lord turned the attempt to curse them into the pronouncing of blessings. Balaam saw in his successive visions the elect people of God, and announced their sanctification (Num. 23:8-10); justification (Num. 23:19-24); acceptance and consequent blessing (Num. 24:5-9); the rise of a Star out of Jacob, and the destruction of the hereditary enemies of Israel (Num. 24:17-24). The evil advice of Balaam, however, led the children of Israel into sin by allying themselves with the daughters of Moab, and so falling into idolatry. The zeal of Phinehas, who in a signal case executed judgment, is commended of God.
Numbers 26-27. The people are again numbered, with a view to inheriting the land, but all the men of war included in the first numbering, save Caleb and Joshua, had died. Details are given as to the distribution of the inheritance. Moses, being told of his approaching death, pleads with God to appoint a leader for the people, and Joshua is put in that place.
Numbers 28-30. Directions are given as to the whole system of regularly instituted offerings, and as to ratification or otherwise of vows.
Numbers 31. The Midianites are smitten, among whom Balaam is slain: special directions are given as to the division of the spoil.
Numbers 32. Moses accedes to the request of the Reubenites and Gadites to have their possession on the east of the Jordan, provided in the first instance they go armed before their brethren over Jordan: type of Christians stopping short of the purpose of God in regard to them through refusing to accept death with Christ.
Numbers 33-36. The various stations are recorded at which the Israelites had halted in their journeyings. Details follow as to the borders of the promised land; the forty-eight cities for the Levites; and the cities of refuge. The book closes with instruction as to the inheritance of daughters, so that the position belonging to each tribe should remain as allotted; ending with the words, “These are the commandments and the judgments which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.” Here, close to the land, Moses rehearsed to them all their evil ways, but spoke with certainty of their possessing the land, and named those who should aid in dividing it. God was about to fulfill to the children of Israel His promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in grace, which abounded over all their sin, and has abounded toward His people ever since.
In conclusion, a few words may be added on the spiritual import of the Book of Numbers. It literally considers the children of Israel in two aspects: first, in view of the wilderness; and secondly, in view of possessing the promised land. The link between the two numberings is Caleb and Joshua, the representatives of faith. The book is the obverse of Exodus, in which we have the actings of God—His redemption of the people; His resources for them in the wilderness; the declaration of His will; and the setting up among them of the tabernacle—all this was God’s side. On the other hand, we have in Numbers the side of the people—they are taken into consideration, and hence their perversities and God’s chastisements are prominent. These lead, in their spiritual significance, to the conclusion that the means necessary to conduct a people through the wilderness are the water of purification (Numbers 19), and priestly ministration (Numbers 20): Christ in death and Christ risen; the red heifer, and the budding rod. This part closes in Numbers 20.
Then after the death of Aaron the high priest, which is the proper end of responsibility and its testing, we have a second part of the book, in which are seen the means by which the elect of God are brought to light, namely, the brazen serpent, and the springing well—the acceptance of the cross, and the power of the Spirit. In this part of Numbers there is but little reference to priesthood. We have following this the prophesies of Balaam, which speak of the elect people of God. The people are then numbered in view of possessing the land of promise, and Joshua succeeds Moses as leader. He is, what Moses was not, the type of a risen Christ.
In spiritual experiences the second part of the book runs concurrently with the first, for while in the type Israel did not come to the brazen serpent until they had been thirty-eight years in the wilderness, Christians begin their spiritual course with the cross, which is the antitype of the brazen serpent (John 3:14-15). The state of man in the flesh has been condemned in the cross, and the Christian begins in the Spirit; and in that way is able to appreciate the water of purification and priestly refreshment, while finding that no good dwells in the flesh.


An Ephraimite, father of Joshua, and referred to in scripture only to distinguish his son, who succeeded Moses (Ex. 33:11; Num. 11:28; and more).


Such in Old Testament times were held in esteem, as was Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse (Gen. 35:8). Twice the expression, “nursing fathers,” occurs, and queens are to be “nursing mothers” to Israel in the future (Num. 11:12; Isa. 49:23). Paul said, “We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children” (1 Thess. 2:7).


1. botnim. This is judged to be the fruit of the pistachio tree (Pistacia vera). These nuts were among the good things sent to Joseph by his father (Gen. 43:11).
2. egoz. The bride “went down into the garden of nuts” (Song of Sol. 6:11). This word is considered to refer to the walnut tree (Juglans regia). Josephus and others speak of the walnut tree growing in Palestine.


Saint at Colosse or Laodicea, to whom Paul sent his salutations (Col. 4:15). Several editors read, “the church which is in their house.”
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