Concise Bible Dictionary: P

Table of Contents

1. Paarai
2. Padan, Padan-aram
3. Paddle
4. Padon
5. Pagiel
6. Pahath-moab
7. Pai
8. Painting
9. Palace
10. Palal
11. Palestina, Palestine
12. Pallu, Palluites
13. Palm
14. Palm, Palm Tree (tamar)
15. Palmer-Worm
16. Palsy
17. Palti
18. Paltiel
19. Paltite
20. Pamphylia
21. Pan
22. Pannag
23. Paper, Paper Reeds
24. Paphos
25. Parable
26. Paraclete
27. Paradise
28. Parah
29. Paran
30. Parbar
31. Parchment
32. Pardon
33. Parlor
34. Parmashta
35. Parmenas
36. Parnach
37. Parosh
38. Parshandatha
39. Parthians
40. Partridge
41. Paruah
42. Parvaim
43. Pas-dammim
44. Pasach
45. Paseah, Phaseah
46. Pashur
47. Passage
48. Passion
49. Passover, The
50. Pastor
51. Patara
52. Pate
53. Pathros
54. Pathrusim
55. Patmos
56. Patriarch
57. Patrobas
58. Pau
59. Paul
60. Pavement
61. Pavilion
62. Peace
63. Peace Offering
64. Peacocks
65. Pearl
66. Peculiar People, or Treasure
67. Pedahel
68. Pedahzur
69. Pedaiah
70. Pekah
71. Pekahiah
72. Pekod
73. Pelaiah
74. Pelaliah
75. Pelatiah
76. Peleg
77. Pelet
78. Peleth
79. Pelethites
80. Pelican
81. Pelonite
82. Pen
83. Pen-Knife
84. Peniel
85. Peninnah
86. Penny (δηνάριον)
87. Pentateuch
88. Pentecost
89. Penuel
90. Peor
91. Perazim, Mount
92. Peresh
93. Perez
94. Perez-uazah, Perez-uzza
95. Perfect
96. Perfume
97. Perga
98. Pergamos
99. Perida
100. Perilous Times
101. Perizzites
102. Persia, Persians
103. Persis
104. Peruda
105. Pestilence
106. Peter
107. Peter, First Epistle of
108. Peter, Second Epistle of
109. Pethahiah
110. Pethor
111. Pethuel
112. Peulthai
113. Phalec
114. Phallu
115. Phalti, Phaltiel
116. Phanuel
117. Pharaoh
118. Phares, Pharez
119. Pharisees
120. Pharosh
121. Pharpar
122. Pharzites
123. Phaseah
124. Phebe
125. Phenice
126. Phenice, Phenicia
127. Phichol
128. Philadelphia
129. Philemon, Epistle to
130. Philetus
131. Philip
132. Philippi
133. Philippians, Epistle to the
134. Philistia
135. Philistim
136. Philistines
137. Philologus
138. Philosopher, Philosophy
139. Phinehas
140. Phlegon
141. Phoebe
142. Phrygia
143. Phurah
144. Phut, Put
145. Phuvah
146. Phygellus
147. Phylactery
148. Physician
149. Pi-beseth
150. Pi-hahiroth
151. Picture
152. Pieces of Gold or of Silver
153. Piety
154. Pigeon
155. Pilate
156. Pildash
157. Pileha
158. Pill, To
159. Pillar
160. Piltai
161. Pine Tree
162. Pinnacle
163. Pinon
164. Pipe
165. Piram
166. Pirathon
167. Pirathonite
168. Pisgah
169. Pisidia
170. Pison
171. Pispah
172. Pit
173. Pitch
174. Pithom
175. Pithon
176. Plagues of Egypt
177. Planets
178. Plaster, Plaister
179. Plat
180. Pledge
181. Pleiades (Kimah)
182. Plough, Plow, To
183. Plumbline, Plummet
184. Pochereth
185. Poetry
186. Poison
187. Poll
188. Poll, To
189. Pollux
190. Pomegranates, Rimmon
191. Pommel
192. Ponds
193. Pontius Pilate
194. Pontus
195. Pools
196. Poor
197. Poplar (Libneh)
198. Poratha
199. Porcius
200. Porter
201. Posts (Ruts)
202. Potentate (δυνάστης, 'powerful one')
203. Potiphar
204. Potipherah
205. Potsherd
206. Potter
207. Potter's Field
208. Pound
209. Power
210. Praetorium
211. Praise
212. Prayer
213. Preaching
214. Predestinate (προορίζς)
215. Presbytery
216. Presently
217. Presidents
218. Prevent
219. Pricks
220. Priest, Priesthood
221. Prince, Princess
222. Principality
223. Prisca, Priscilla
224. Prison
225. Prize
226. Prochorus
227. Proconsul
228. Procurator
229. Profession
230. Prognosticators
231. Prophecy, Prophet
232. Prophet, The
233. Prophets, False
234. Prophets, Sons of the
235. Prophets, The
236. Propitiation
237. Proselyte
238. Proverb
239. Proverbs, Book of
240. Psalms
241. Psalms, Book of
242. Psaltery
243. Ptolemais
244. Ptolemy
245. Pua
246. Puah
247. Publicans
248. Publius
249. Pudens
250. Puhites
251. Pul
252. Pulpit (Migdal)
253. Pulse
254. Punishment
255. Punites
256. Punon
257. Pur, Purim
258. Purification
259. Purple
260. Purpose of God
261. Purse
262. Purtenance (Qereb)
263. Put
264. Puteoli
265. Putiel
266. Pygarg (Dishon)



Padan, Padan-aram

A cultivated district in Mesopotamia, in which was the city of Nahor, to which Terah and his family migrated from Ur of the Chaldees; and from whence Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel, the wives of Isaac and Jacob, were obtained (Gen. 25:20; Gen. 28:2-7; Gen. 31:18; Gen. 33:18; Gen. 35:9,26; Gen. 46:15). It is strictly Paddan-aram, signifying “table land of Aram.” Mesopotamia is the translation of Padan-aram both in the LXX and the Vulgate. In Genesis 48:7 it is simply PADAN.


Literally “a pin or nail”; probably a small spade (Deut. 23:13).


Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile (Ezra 2:44; Neh. 7:47).


Son of Ocran and a chief of the tribe of Asher (Num. 1:13; Num. 2:27; Num. 7:72,77; Num. 10:26).


“Governor of Moab.” A family who returned from exile, one of whom sealed the covenant, and several had married strange wives (Ezra 2:6; Ezra 8:4; Ezra 10:30; Neh. 3:11; Neh. 7:11; Neh. 10:14).


City in Edom in which Hadad or Hadar reigned (1 Chron. 1:50). Called PAU in Genesis 36:39. Not identified.


Only once applied to a house: “painted with vermilion” (Jer. 22:14). Jezebel “painted her eyes,” as 2 Kings 9:30 should read. Israel is compared to a lewd woman who painted her eyes (Ezek. 23:40). “Thou rentest thy face with painting” in Jeremiah 4:30 is “enlarging the eyes.” The eyelids and eyebrows were painted with antimony or some other pigment, which made the eyes look larger. Small bottles and the short sticks which were used to apply the moistened powder have been found in the tombs of Egypt.


This term represents several Hebrew words, and may signify castle, fortress, the king’s residence, or any large building. Thus the expression occurs, “the palace of the king’s house” (2 Kings 15:25). Solomon built several for himself and for his wives (2 Chron. 36:19). The temple built by Solomon is also called “the palace” (1 Chron. 29:1,19). In the New Testament the palace of the high priest, αὐλἠ, signifies his court (Matt. 26:3,58,69). In Philippians 1:13 the word is πραιτὠριον, “the court of the praetor,” or governor, or perhaps “the praetorian guard,” from which Paul’s keepers were taken. Called PRAETORIUM in Mark 15:16.


Son of Uzai: he helped to repair the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:25).

Palestina, Palestine

The Hebrew word, Pelesheth, occurs but four times, and did not allude to the whole of the land of Canaan, as the name Palestine is now applied; but was restricted to part of the coast of the Mediterranean, occupied by the Philistines. In Exodus 15:14-15, Palestina, Edom, and Moab are mentioned, and then “all the inhabitants of Canaan.” In Joel 3:4, Tyre and Sidon are not included in the term. In these passages, and in Isaiah 14:29, 31, it is usual now to translate the word PHILISTIA (as in the RV), the Hebrew being the same as in Psalm 60:8; Psalm 87:4; Psalm 108:9. See CANAAN and SYRIA.

Pallu, Palluites

Second son of Reuben, and his descendants (Ex. 6:14; Num. 26:5, 8; 1 Chron. 5:3). He is called PHALLU in Genesis 46:9.



Palm, Palm Tree (tamar)

This is a lofty tree without lateral branches, with a large tuft of leafy branches clustering at the top several feet long. At the base of the branches grow the dates in large clusters (Ex. 15:27; Num. 33:9; Judg. 4:5; Song of Sol. 7:7-8; Jer. 10:5; Joel 1:12). The branches were used to construct the booths at the feast of tabernacles (Lev. 23:40; Neh. 8:15); and were strewn in the path on the Lord’s last entrance into Jerusalem (John 12:13). There were many representations of palm-trees in the decorations of the temple, as there will also be in the future temple (1 Kings 6:29-35; 1 Kings 7:36; 2 Chron. 3:5; Ezek. 40:16-37; Ezek. 41:18-26). The palm-tree is used as an emblem of fertility in Psalm 92:12: some trees will bear yearly more than a hundred-weight of dates and for a period of about seventy years. The palm-branches are a token of rest and peace after sorrow (Rev. 7:9). The palm is the Phoenix dactylifera.
CITY OF PALM-TREES. Name given several times to Jericho because of the palms that grew there (Deut. 34:3; Judg. 1:16; Judg. 3:13).


The word is gazam, from a root signifying “to cut off,” and is supposed to refer to some species of caterpillar, but to which is unknown. The devastations it causes are mentioned in Joel 1:4; Joel 2:25; Joel Amos 4:9.


The Greek word, παραλὐω, to loosen, shows that the disease was paralysis. Persons thus afflicted were brought to the Lord on beds or couches (Matt. 9:2-6; Mark 2:3-10; Luke 5:18, 24; Acts 8:7; Acts 9:33). The paralyzed were a type of that thorough human helplessness which can be relieved and raised up by God only.


Son of Raphu, a Benjamite (Num. 13:9).


Son of Azzan, and prince of Issachar (Num. 34:26).


Designation of Helez, one of David’s mighty men (2 Sam. 23:26). Connected by some with Beth-palet; but in 1 Chronicles 11:27 Helez is called “the Pelonite.”


District in the south of Asia Minor, having Cilicia on the east and Lycia on the S.W. (Acts 2:10; Acts 13:13; Acts 14:24; Acts 15:38; Acts 27:5).


Some of these were made of iron as mentioned in Ezekiel 4:3, and were used for baking cakes (Lev. 2:5; 1 Chron. 23:29). The iron plates that were laid on the small ovens, and on which bread and cakes were baked, are probably alluded to.


An unknown article of commerce, exported from Palestine to Tyre (Ezek. 27:17).

Paper, Paper Reeds

The paper reeds, aroth, were the papyrus, much of which grew in the Nile, and of which paper was made. Some of such paper has been found in the tombs of Egypt, but it is very fragile (Isa. 19:7). The paper, χάρτης, in 2 John 1:1,12 is supposed to be the same.


City at the west end of the Isle of Cyprus, visited by Paul (Acts 13:6, 13). It is now called Bafo.


In the Old Testament the word is mashal, “a similitude,” and is also translated “proverb.” In the New Testament it is παραβολἠ. A parable is a mode of relation under which something is figured which is not expressed in the terms. Hence a parable usually necessitates an expositor. The Lord said on one occasion that He spoke in parables, so that the multitude should not understand His teaching: they had virtually rejected their Messiah, and were not morally in a condition to be taught. The Lord acted as expositor and explained the meaning privately to His disciples, for it was given unto them to know “the mysteries of the kingdom” (Matt. 13:11). Some, however, of the Lord’s parables were so pointed that they were understood even by His enemies, which doubtless was His intention; they were laid bare as in His presence. Some of those in the Old Testament also were plain, but in the parable of the ewe lamb, David did not see the application till he had himself judged the culprit. So also with Ahab and the “escaped captive.” These allegories were calculated to strike home the intended lesson, by portraying in an objective way the evil.
The word “parable” is used many times in the Old Testament for figurative language where no distinct parable is related, as when Balaam “took up his parable” (Num. 23:7,18, etc.); and Job “continued his parable” (Job 27:1; Job 29:1). The word παραβολἠ is twice translated “FIGURE” (Heb. 9:9; Heb. 11:19).
From the fact of the Lord connecting “the mysteries of the kingdom” with the parables He uttered, we may be sure that there is much instruction to be gathered from them if rightly interpreted: they need the teaching of the Spirit of God as much as any other part of scripture.
It will be seen by the annexed list that some of the parables are recorded only by Matthew; two “similes” are found in Mark only; several parables are given only by Luke; and none are recorded by the evangelist John. There must be divine reasons for this, and wisdom is needed to discern and profit by it. All is doubtless in harmony with the character of each of the Gospels. The word “parable” occurs in John 10:6 in the AV, but it is not the same word, and signifies “allegory.” The teaching is not in the form of a parable: the Lord is speaking of Himself as the good Shepherd.
Some of the parables are grouped together. Thus in Matthew 13 there are seven parables, four of which were delivered in the hearing of the multitude, and three in private. The first was introductory, namely, the SOWER. The Lord came seeking fruit, but finding none He revealed that He had really been sowing “the word of the kingdom,” and explained why much of the seed did not produce fruit. The next three parables give the outward aspect of the kingdom during Christ’s absence, that which man has made of it. The second is the WHEAT AND THE TARES. The Lord sowed the good seed, but Satan at once sowed his seed, and both grew up together until the harvest at the end of the age. The third is the MUSTARD SEED. This grows up into a tree large enough for the birds (which caught away the good seed in the parable of the sower) to lodge in its branches. The fourth is the LEAVEN. A woman hid leaven (always a type of what is human, and hence of evil, because sin is in the flesh) which diffused itself unseen amid the three measures of meal until all was leavened.
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and in private explained first to His disciples the parable of the Wheat and the Tares, and then added parables that show the divine object and intent in the kingdom. The first is the HID TREASURE, for the sake of obtaining which a man buys the field in which it is hid. The second is the PEARL OF GREAT PRICE. The merchant-man seeks goodly pearls, and having found one pearl of great price, sells all that he has to be possessed of it. Christ renounced all that belonged to Him as man after the flesh and as Messiah on earth, in order that He might possess the church. The third is the parable of the NET, which gathers out of the sea of nations good and bad, as the gospel has done in Christendom. When the net is drawn to shore the servants make a selection of the good from the bad, but at the end of the age (it is added in the exposition) the angels will separate the wicked from the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire.
Another group of parables is in Luke 15, or in one sense a parable in three sections (Luke 15:3). It answers the charge brought against the Lord, “This man receiveth sinners.”
1. THE LOST SHEEP was followed by the shepherd until it was found.
2. THE LOST PIECE OF MONEY. The piece of money was lost in the house, even as many persons in God’s sight were lost in the outward profession of being Abraham’s children (as many indeed are lost now in Christendom). The lost piece was sought by the light of the candle till it was found. It was precious, a piece of silver.
3. THE PRODIGAL SON was joyfully received by the father, a feast was prepared, and the recovery of the lost one was celebrated by music and dancing. This is the climax—the celebration of grace. In all three the joy is that of the finder. It is the joy of heaven over the recovery of lost sinners.
It is doubtless best to study each parable or each group, with its context, as the Holy Spirit has given them. Attempts have, however, been made to classify them according to the truth conveyed by them, thus: 1. The setting aside of Israel. THE TWO SONS, of which the Lord gives the interpretation. THE WICKED HUSBANDMEN: the rulers of Israel were among the Lord’s hearers, and He explained the parable thus: “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” The BARREN FIG TREE: the Lord came seeking fruit in Israel as representing man under culture, but found none. He gave time for repentance, but the fig tree yielded no fruit and was to be cut down: the destruction of Jerusalem was its actual removal.
2. The introduction of the kingdom, and Satan’s opposition to it. The SOWER. The WHEAT AND TARES.
The GROWTH OF SEED: notwithstanding the opposition of Satan, God in His own secret way makes His seed fructify and bring forth fruit. The LEAVEN; the HIDDEN TREASURE; the PEARL OF GREAT PRICE; and the NET.
3. God’s way of bringing into blessing. The LOST SHEEP; the LOST PIECE OF MONEY; and the PRODIGAL SON. The MARRIAGE FOR THE KING’S SON: God will do honor to His Son. The Jews were invited to the feast, but would not come. Others, the Gentile outcasts, were invited. One without the wedding robe (christ) was cast out. He had no sense of natural unfitness. The GREAT SUPPER: the feast of heavenly grace in contrast to the earthly things of the kingdom of God. All who were invited made excuses, not as prevented by evil but by earthly things; they were indifferent to the gracious invitation. Some, the poor and afflicted of the city, were brought in, and others were to be compelled to come in. God will have His house filled. The PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN: the Pharisee thanked God that he was not as other men; the publican cried for mercy, and went down to his house justified rather than the other. The TWO DEBTORS: the poor woman was forgiven much, and she loved much; not forgiven because she loved much. The UNJUST JUDGE: the Lord’s point was that men “ought always to pray and not to faint.” God will answer in His own time, and the earthly elect will be saved.
The Laborers IN THE VINEYARD: God in His sovereignty asks, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” Man claims this liberty for himself, yet murmurs against the sovereignty of God. “Many are called, but few chosen.” Notice also in this parable the Lord’s reply to Peter’s question in Matthew 19:27: Matthew 20 continues the subject and shows us sovereign grace in contrast with the mercenary spirit of man’s heart.
4. The various responsibilities of men. The GOOD SAMARITAN: this was given in answer to “Who is my neighbor?” The Lord was really the good Samaritan, and after describing the course He took He said, “Go thou and do likewise.” The FOOLISH RICH MAN: the moral is, “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” The UNJUST STEWARD: he sacrificed the present for the future, for which his master commended him, not for his injustice but his wisdom. The Lord applies the parable thus: “Make to yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness [worldly possessions] that when it fails ye may be received into eternal tabernacles.” Giving to the poor is lending to the Lord, and laying up treasure in heaven. The Lord exhorted His hearers to be (unlike the unjust steward) faithful in their stewardship of the unrighteous mammon (which does not belong to the Christian), that the true riches might be entrusted to them.
The RICH MAN AND LAZARUS. Nothing is said of the moral character of either of these men. It had been taught in the Old Testament that outward prosperity should mark the upright man (Psalm 112:2-3). In the kingdom in its new phase, consequent upon Christ’s rejection, the possession of riches is no sign of divine favor. This was a needful lesson for the Jew. It was very difficult for a rich man to be saved, but the poor had the gospel preached unto them. The poor man was carried into Abraham’s bosom, and the rich man fell into perdition. Another world reverses the conditions of the present one. The teaching in the parable of the Unjust Steward is continued here: the rich man was not sacrificing the present for the future. It also gives a vivid picture of the unalterable condition of the lost.
The UNMERCIFUL SERVANT. This illustrates the government of God, which is not set aside by His grace. It is revealed that God will recompense to His people according as they act towards others (Matt. 7:2). Doubtless this parable has another application, bearing upon the Jews as to their jealousy of grace being shown to the Gentiles. The debt of the Gentiles to them is expressed in the hundred pence (about £3 4s. 7d.); whereas the indebtedness of the Jews to God is seen in the ten thousand talents (£1,937,500). Pardon was offered to them by Peter in Acts 3:19-26; but it was rejected, and their persecution of Paul and those who carried the gospel to the Gentiles showed that they could not forgive the Gentiles the hundred pence. They must now pay the uttermost farthing (compare Isa. 40:2; Matt. 5:25-26; 1 Thess. 2:15-16).
The TEN VIRGINS. The explanation of this is simple. The normal attitude of Christians is that they have gone forth to meet the Bridegroom. This was the hope and expectation of the apostles. After their days all in this respect fell asleep. There may have been times of awakening, but when the last call goes forth it reveals the solemn fact that some have a profession only, without Christ—lamps without oil—who will be forever shut out. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.” The virgins signify Christians, and not the faithful Jewish remnant, for these will not sleep (persecution will prevent that), nor be a mixed company, nor have to wait a long time for their Deliverer.
The TALENTS. This parable is similar in character to that of the POUNDS. The talents were distributed according to the ability of each servant, so that one had five, another two, and another one. This parable follows that of the Ten Virgins, showing that while the Christian waits for his Lord, he should be faithfully using the gifts entrusted to him. The POUNDS show the Lord Jesus leaving the earth to receive a kingdom, and giving to each of His servants a pound to trade with during His absence. All gifts are for the glory of the Lord, and the servant is responsible to Him for the faithful use of them.
Another arrangement of the principal parables has been suggested, namely, in three groups, corresponding to different periods of the Lord’s ministry.
1. In His early ministry, embracing the new teaching connected with the kingdom, and the mysterious form which it takes during His absence. This extends to Matthew 13 and Mark 4. These parables will be easily distinguished in the following table.
2. After an interval of some months. The parables are now of a different type, and are drawn from the life of men rather than from the world of nature. They are principally in answer to questions, not in discourses to the multitude. Most of them occur in Luke only, in which gospel the Son of Man is for man. They fall chiefly between the mission of the seventy and the Lord’s last approach to Jerusalem.
3. This group falls towards the close of the Lord’s ministry. They concern the kingdom in its consummation, and are prophetic of the rejection of Israel and the coming of the Lord.
In Matthew 13 the Lord asked His disciples if they understood what He had been saying to them. They said, “Yea, Lord.” He added, “Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is a householder which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
Parables. By whom spoken. References.
Trees Choosing a King. Jotham to the Shecemites Judg. 9:7-15
The Ewe Lamb. Nathan to David 2 Sam. 12:1-4
The Two Brothers and the Avenger of Blood. Widow of Tekoah to David 2 Sam. 14:4-7
The Escaped Captive. Man of the sons of the prophets to Ahab 1 Kings 20:37-40
The Thistle and Cedar. Johoash to Amaziah 2 Kings 14:9
The Vineyard and Grapes. Isaiah to Judah and Jerusalem Isa. 5:1-7
The Eagles and a Vine. Ezekiel to Israel Ezek. 17:3-10
The Lions’ Whelps. Ezekiel to Israel Ezek. 19:1-9
The Boiling Pot. Ezekiel to Israel Ezek. 24:3-5
Parables Matthew Mark Luke
Houses on the Rock and on the Sand. Matt. 7:24-27 Luke 6:48-49
New Cloth in Old Garment. Matt. 9:16 Luke 5:36
New Wine in Old Bottles. Matt. 9:17 Mark 2:22 Luke 5:37-39
The Sower. Matt. 13:3-9 Mark 4:3-9 Luke 8:5-8
Candle under a Bushel or a Bed. Matt. 5:15 Mark 4:21 Luke 8:16
The Wheat and the Tares. Matt. 13:24-30
Growth of Seed. Mark 4:26-29
Mustard Seed. Matt. 13:31-32 Mark 4:30-32 Luke 13:18-19
The Leaven. Matt. 13:33 Luke 13:20-21
The Hidden Treasure. Matt. 13:44
The Pearl of Great Price. Matt. 13:45-46
The Drag Net. Matt. 13:47-50
Unmerciful Servant. Matt. 18:23-35
The Two Debtors. Luke 7:41-43
The Good Samaritan. Luke 10:30-37
Friend at Midnight. Luke 11:5-8
The Rich Fool. Luke 12:16-21
Servants waiting for their Lord. Luke 12:35-48
The Barren Fig Tree. Luke 13:6-9
The Great Supper. Luke 14:16-24
The Tower, and King making War. Luke 14:28-33
Lost Sheep. Matt. 18:12-13 Luke 15:4-7
Lost Piece of Money. Luke 15:8-10
Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11-32
Unjust Steward. Luke 16:1-13
Rich Man and Lazarus. Luke 16:19-31
Master and Servant. Luke 17:7-10
Importunate Widow. Luke 18:1-8
Pharisee and Publican. Luke 18:10-14
Laborers in the Vineyard. Matt. 20:1-16
Sons sent to Labor. Matt. 21:28-32
The Vineyard and Husbandmen. Matt. 21:33-46 Mark 12:1-12 Luke 20:9-19
Marriage of the King’s Son. Matt. 22:2-14
Young Leaves of Fig Tree. Matt. 24:32-35 Mark 13:28-31 Luke 21:29-33
Household watching. Mark 13:31-37
Ten Virgins. Matt. 25:1-13
The Talents. Matt. 25:14-33
The Pounds. Luke 19:12-27
Sheep and Goats. Matt. 25:31-46


This is a Greek word, though sometimes used by English writers. It is translated Comforter, referring to the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7); and Advocate, referring to the Lord Jesus (1 John 2:1). See ADVOCATE.


The word παρἀδεισος appears to have had an oriental origin. It is said of the king of Persia that he had gardens which were called paradises, full of everything beautiful and good that the earth could produce. The LXX, adopting this word for the garden of Eden, which signifies “delights,” accounts for Eden being often called paradise, and may account for the use of the word in the New Testament as denoting some place of happiness and blessing in the heavens. The Lord on the cross called the place where the thief would be with Him that day Paradise (Luke 23:43). The name is also given to “the third heaven,” to which Paul was caught up (2 Cor. 12:4); and to the paradise of God, where there is the tree of life (type of Christ), of which the overcomer in the church at Ephesus would have authority to eat (Rev. 2:7).


City in Benjamin (Josh. 18:23). Identified with ruins at Farah, 31° 50' N, 35° 18' E.


The wilderness on the south of Canaan and west of Edom. It was here Ishmael dwelt, and in which was Kadesh, where the Israelites encamped when they sent out the twelve spies, and again near the close of their wanderings. David also at one time took shelter in this wilderness (Gen. 21:21; Num. 10:12; Num. 12:16; Num. 13:3,26; Deut. 1:1; 1 Sam. 25:1; 1 Kings 11:18). In Deuteronomy 33:2 and Habakkuk 3:3 MOUNT PARAN is spoken of, which doubtless refers to some mount in the same district. Paran is now called et Tih, it lies between Kadesh and Sinai. See map under WANDERINGS.


Some place connected with the temple, at which two doorkeepers were placed: its meaning or situation is not known (1 Chron. 26:18; RV margin “the Precinct”). Gesenius identifies it with parvar, “suburbs” (2 Kings 23:11; “precincts” (RV).


A thin skin prepared for receiving writing. It is much more durable than papyrus. The great majority of the early copies of the scriptures that are extant are on parchment and have thus been preserved to us (2 Tim. 4:13).


Four Hebrew words are so translated.
1. kaphar, “to cover,” same as “to make atonement,” forgive (2 Chron. 30:18).
2. nasa, “to lift up,” forgive (Ex. 23:21; 1 Sam. 15:25; Job 7:21; Mic. 7:18).
3. salach, “to pass over,” forgive; used only of God’s forgiveness (Ex. 34:9; Num. 14:19-20; 2 Kings 5:18; 2 Kings 24:4; Neh. 9:17; Psa. 25:11; Isa. 55:7; Jer. 5:1,7; Jer. 33:8; Jer. 50:20; Lam. 3:42).
4. ratsah, “to delight in,” receive graciously, forgive (Isa. 40:2).


An inner or upper private apartment (Jud. 3:20-25; 1 Sam. 9:22; 1 Chron. 28:11).


Son of Haman: he was slain and hanged (Esther 9:9).


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


A Zebulunite, father of Elizaphan (Num. 34:25).


A family who returned from exile, one of whom sealed the covenant, and some had married strange wives (Ezra 2:3; Ezra 10:25; Neh. 3:25; Neh. 7:8; Neh. 10:14).


Son of Haman: he was slain and hanged (Esther 9:7).


Inhabitants of Parthia, a country in the East, lying south of Hyrcania, north of Sagartia, and east of Media. Some Jews from thence were present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9). They were a very warlike people, they rode swift horses, and skilfully used the bow as they rode.


The word qone signifies “caller” and this suits the common Palestine partridge because of its loud ringing call. Two things are said of this bird. David, when pursued by Saul, compares himself to a partridge hunted on the mountains (1 Sam. 26:20). This agrees with the way in which the partridges are taken: they are chased on the mountains till they are tired out. The other passage (Jer. 17:11), says, “as the partridge sitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” In the margin it reads, she “that gathereth young which she hath not brought forth.” This rendering is confirmed by the LXX and Vulgate and is supposed to refer to the partridge sitting upon eggs she has not laid, such eggs being left in her nest on the ground by other birds. When hatched the young birds desert her. This agrees with the context. The Caccabis saxatilis and Ammoperdix Heyii are known in Palestine.


Father of Jehoshaphat, a commissariat officer of Solomon (1 Kings 4:17).


An unknown gold region (2 Chron. 3:6). Supposed by some to be a general term from the Sanscrit for the East.




Son of Japhlet, a descendant of Asher (1 Chron. 7:33).

Paseah, Phaseah

1. Son of Eshton, a descendant of Judah (1 Chron. 4:12).
2. Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile (Ezra 2:49; Neh. 7:51).
3. Father of Jehoiada, who helped to repair the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:6).


1. Son of Malchijah, a priest, and ancestor of some who returned from exile (1 Chron. 9:12; Ezra 2:38; Ezra 10:22; Neh. 7:41; Neh. 11:12). Perhaps the same as No. 4.
2. Priest who sealed the covenant (Neh. 10:3).
3. Son of Immer, “chief governor in the house of the Lord.” He struck Jeremiah and put him in the stocks. Jeremiah said to him that the Lord had called his name MAGOR-MISSABIB, “fear round about,” margin. The Lord would make him a terror to himself and all his friends; and they should fall by the sword. He should be carried into captivity and die there (Jer. 20:1-6).
4. Son of Melchiah or Malchiah he with others advised Zedekiah to put Jeremiah to death (Jer. 21:1; Jer. 38:1).
5. Father of Gedaliah (Jer. 38:1).


Any mountain pass, or ford over a river (Josh. 22:11; Judg. 12:5-6; 1 Sam. 14:4; Isa. 10:29; Jer. 51:32).


“Suffering:” Christ showed Himself alive after His suffering (Acts 1:3).

Passover, The

This was instituted when the Israelites were in Egypt. Jehovah being about to cut off all the firstborn of Egypt, the Israelites were ordered to sprinkle the blood of a lamb, taken for each house, on the lintel and two side posts of their houses, and the promise was given, “The Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.” The Israelites obeyed, and in perfect safety fed upon the lamb, under shelter of the blood. When they should come to the promised land they were enjoined to keep the Passover, as one of their yearly feasts (Ex. 12:3-28; Lev. 23:4-8). See FEASTS.
The Passover sets forth typically the offering of Christ as that in which the righteousness of God in regard of sin has been declared. The blood was a witness of death, that is, of the removal from under the eye of God of the man, or order of man, that had sinned against God. This removal was brought to pass vicariously in the person of the righteous One who gave Himself a ransom for all. In the eating of the lamb roast with fire the people were to enter into the solemnity of what had been effected.
The Lord Jesus greatly desired to eat the last passover with His disciples, forming, as they did, a unique “family” circle. It was about to be fulfilled in the kingdom of God, and the Lord takes the place of separation from the earth until the kingdom of God should come (Luke 22:15-18).
The Jewish authorities state the manner of eating the Passover at the time of the Lord to have been as follows:
1. When all were seated, the head of the feast gave thanks, and they drank the first cup of wine mingled with water.
2. All washed their hands.
3. The table was spread with the paschal lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and a dish of thick sauce (said to signify the mortar with which they made bricks in Egypt).
4. They all dipped a portion of the bitter herbs into the sauce, and ate it.
5. All the dishes were removed from the table, and the children or proselytes were instructed in the meaning of the Passover.
6. The dishes were then brought back, and the president said, “This is the passover which we eat, because the Lord passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt.” And holding up the bitter herbs he said, “These are the bitter herbs that we eat in remembrance that the Egyptians made the lives of our fathers bitter in Egypt.” He then spoke of the unleavened bread, and repeated Psalm 113 and Psalm 114, concluding with a prayer. They all drank the second cup of wine.
7. The governor broke one of the cakes of unleavened bread, and gave thanks.
8. They then all partook of the paschal lamb.
9. As an ending of the supper they all took a piece of bread and some of the bitter herbs, dipped them in the sauce, and ate them.
10. They then drank the third cup of wine, called “the cup of blessing.”
11. The governor rehearsed Psalm 115-118, and a fourth cup of wine concluded the whole.
Connected with the Passover is the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. It was kept for seven days, during which all leaven had to be put away. The first day and the seventh day were holy convocations, on which no servile work was to be done. This feast was intimately connected with the Passover: “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” The unleavened bread sets forth that sense of grace, through faith, in the Christian, in which, apart from influences of the flesh and old associations, he can be habitually in the appreciation of, and in communion with the sacrifice of Christ, so that his whole life is consistent therewith.
It appears evident that the term “Passover” was also applied to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as in Deuteronomy 16:2: “Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd.” The “herd” here must refer to the seven days’ feast; and this may account for the Jews refusing to go into the judgment hall “lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the passover” (John 18:28), though they had eaten the paschal lamb the night before.


In the Old Testament the word is raah, “to feed,” and refers to those who should have succored God’s people. They, as all others, had failed; they had destroyed and scattered the sheep (Jer. 2:8; Jer. 3:15; Jer. 12:10; Jer. 17:16; Jer. 22:22; Jer. 23:1-2). In the New Testament it is ποιμἠυ, which is applied to Christ Himself as the good Shepherd, &c. The pastor is one of the gifts in the church (Eph. 4:11): he is one who is gifted to help on the saints individually, enter into their trials and difficulties, and bring the word to instruct and comfort them, or to remonstrate with and counsel them if needed.


City on the coast of Lycia in Asia Minor (Acts 21:1). The same name is still retained, but the ruins are being covered and the harbor blocked up with sand.


Crown of the head (Psa. 7:16).


Place situate in Egypt, probably a part of Upper Egypt, where there were many Jews who set Jeremiah at defiance (Jer. 44:1,15). In a future day the Israelites will be gathered from thence, and the place be destroyed (Isa. 11:11; Ezek. 22:14; Ezek. 30:14).


The people of Pathros (Gen. 10:14; 1 Chron. 1:12).


An island to which John was banished by one of the Roman emperors, and where he received the Revelation (Rev. 1:9). It is a rocky island in the Ægean Sea, about 37° 15' N, and is peculiarly rugged, bare, and desolate. On the hill to the south is a monastery called “John the Divine.” In the ascent is a cave or grotto in which John is said to have written the Revelation.


“Head of a family,” applied in the New Testament to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as ancestors of the Israelites, and to the twelve sons of Jacob. David also is thus designated (Acts 2:29; Acts 7:8-9; Heb. 7:4). In other passages the same persons are called “the fathers.”


Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent a salutation (Rom. 16:14).


See PAI.


This apostle was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of pure descent, born at Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, a fact which gave to him the privilege of Roman citizenship. He was a disciple of Gamaliel and a strict Pharisee. He is first introduced to us as a young man, by name SAUL, at whose feet the witnesses who stoned Stephen laid their clothes. He became afterward a violent persecutor of the saints, both of men and women, acting with great zeal, thinking he was doing God’s service. His conversion as the effect of the Lord appearing to him was unique, and he was so completely changed that he became at once as bold for Christ as before he had been a persecutor of Christ in the persons of His saints. He immediately preached in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. This was the distinctive point of his testimony. As the Jews sought his life at Damascus, he departed into Arabia, where doubtless he had deep exercise of heart and learned more of the Lord.
After three years he went up to see Peter at Jerusalem, where he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Jews again seeking his life, he was conducted to Caesarea, and sent to Tarsus, his native place. From thence he was fetched by Barnabas to go to Antioch, where the gospel had been effectual, and there they both labored. After having, in company with Barnabas, taken supplies to Jerusalem (his second visit), on occasion of a dearth, he commenced his first missionary journey to Cyprus and Asia Minor. He and Barnabas returned to Antioch, where he remained “a long time.” On a dispute arising as to Gentile converts being circumcised, he went with Barnabas to Jerusalem concerning that question, and returned to Antioch. This city had become a sort of center of the activity of the Spirit. Being far from Jerusalem it was less influenced by Judaizing tendencies, though communion with the saints there was maintained.
Asia Minor, Macedonia and Greece were the sphere of Paul’s second missionary journey. Having differed from Barnabas, because the latter wished to take John with them (who had left them on the first journey), Paul selected Silas for his companion, and departed with the full fellowship of the brethren. During part of this journey Timothy was one of the company. He abode a year and a half at Corinth, where he wrote the two EPISTLES TO THE THESSALONIANS. He now visited Jerusalem at the feast, and returned to Antioch. He took his third missionary journey through Galatia and Phrygia. When he visited Ephesus he separated the disciples from the synagogue, and they met in the school of Tyrannus. At Ephesus he wrote the FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, and probably the EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS. After the tumult raised by Demetrius he went to Macedonia, and there wrote the SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. He again visited Corinth and wrote the EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS.
The Jews seeking his life, Paul went through Macedonia, sailed from Philippi, and preached at Troas. At Miletus he gave a solemn parting address to the elders of Ephesus, and took his leave of the disciples at Tyre, where he was cautioned not to go to Jerusalem. At Caesarea also he was warned of what awaited him at Jerusalem, but he avowed that he was ready not only to be bound, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Paul arrived at Jerusalem just before Pentecost. In order to prove himself a good Jew he was advised by the brethren to associate himself with four men who had a vow on them, and to be at charges with them. But while carrying this out he was seized by some Asiatic Jews, and beaten, but was rescued by Lysias, the Roman chief captain. After appearing before the council, and again being rescued by him, he was for safety sent off by night to Caesarea. There his cause was heard by Felix, who kept him prisoner, hoping to be bribed to release him. Two years later, when superseded by Festus, Felix, to please the Jews, left Paul in bonds. On appearing before Festus, to save himself from being sent to Jerusalem, there being a plot to waylay and murder him, Paul appealed to the emperor. His case having been heard by Agrippa and Festus, he was finally remitted to Rome. The ship, however, was wrecked at Malta, where they wintered, all on board having been saved.
On his arrival at Rome, Paul sent for the chief men of the Jews and preached to them: some of them believed, though the majority rejected God’s grace (thus fulfilling Isa. 6:9-10), which should henceforth go to the Gentiles. He, though still a prisoner, abode two years in his own hired house. There he wrote the EPISTLES TO THE COLOSSIANS, the EPHESIANS, the PHILIPPIANS, and also to PHILEMON.
The history of Paul is thus far given in the Acts of the Apostles, but there are intimations in the later epistles that after the two years at Rome he was liberated. His movements from that time are not definitely recorded; apparently he visited Ephesus and Macedonia (1 Tim. 1:3); wrote the FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY; visited Crete (Titus 1:5); and Nicopolis (Titus 3:12); wrote the EPISTLE TO TITUS (the early writers say that he went to Spain, which we know he desired to do (Rom. 15:24,28); visited Troas and Miletus (2 Tim. 4:13,20); wrote the EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS; and when a prisoner at Rome the second time, wrote the SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY, when expecting his death. Early writers say that he was beheaded with the sword, which is probable, as he was a Roman citizen.
Paul received his commission directly from Christ who appeared to him in glory, and this source of his apostleship he carefully insists on in the Epistle to the Galatians. New light as to the church in its heavenly character came out by Paul, who was God’s special apostle for that purpose. To him was revealed the truth that the assembly was the body of Christ, and the doctrine of new creation in Christ Jesus, in which evidently there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. This caused great persecution from the Jews and from Judaizing teachers, who could not readily give up the law, nor endure the thought of Gentiles having an equal place with themselves. This Paul insisted on: it was his mission as apostle to the Gentiles. To Paul also was committed what he calls “my gospel:” this was “the gospel of the glory”—Christ in glory who put away the Christian’s sins being presented in it as the last Adam, the Son of God (2 Cor. 4:4). It not only brings salvation, great as that is, but it separates the believer from earth, and conforms him to Christ as He is in glory.
Paul was an eminent and faithful servant of Christ. As such he was content to be nothing, that Christ might be glorified. To the Thessalonians he was gentle “as a nurse cherisheth her children” (1 Thess. 2:7). He was severe however to the Corinthians when they were allowing sin in their midst, and to them he had to assert his apostolic authority when traducers were seeking to nullify his influence among them. To the Galatians he was still more severe: they were in danger of being shipwrecked as to faith by false Judaizing teachers, who were undermining the truth of the gospel.
In the epistles we get a few glimpses of the inner life of Paul. After having been caught up into the third heavens, he prayed for the removal of the thorn in the flesh which had been given him lest he should be puffed up, and was told that Christ’s grace was sufficient for him, he could say, “most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10). He also could say, “To me to live is Christ”; and “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). As a martyr he reached that goal. The catalog he gives of his privations and sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 discloses the fact that but a small part of his gigantic labors is recounted in the Acts of the Apostles.




A booth or tent, used poetically for a dwelling (2 Sam. 22:12; 1 Kings 20:12,16; Psa. 18:11; Psa. 27:5; Psa. 31:20).


This term is used to express the present attitude and testimony of God toward man consequent on the declaration of God’s righteousness in the death of Christ. The state of man which was obnoxious to the holiness of God by reason of sin has been removed in the cross. Hence the believer is justified by faith, and has peace (peace of conscience) with God through the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). Christ made peace through the blood of the cross (col. 1:20); and to the Christian God is “the God of peace,” and the Lord Jesus is “the Lord of peace.” He also is peace between believers, having on the cross broken down the barrier between Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:14-15).
When the Lord Jesus left the earth He left to the disciples peace, and said, “My peace I give unto you.” Peace is also spoken of as the state of heart in which a believer is kept in regard of circumstances. The record in the Old Testament is, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace (peace, peace, margin) whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee” (Isa. 26:3). The Christian makes his requests known unto God, and the peace of God that passeth all understanding keeps his heart and mind through Christ Jesus—peace of heart (Phil. 4:6-7). Blessed privilege! and what a contrast to “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isa. 57:21). The Lord Jesus will, in the future, among His other titles, be hailed as PRINCE OF PEACE (Isa. 9:6).

Peace Offering



These were imported by Solomon along with ivory and apes. The Hebrew word tukkiyyim is very similar to the Cingalese name of the peacock, tokei, and this is doubtless the bird intended (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chron. 9:21). The common peacock is the Pavo cristatus. In Job 39:13 is the word renanim, and this is supposed to refer to the ostrich.


In Job 28:18 the word is gabish, which signifies “ice” and hence “crystal.” In the New Testament μαργαρἰτης is from “to glisten, shine,” and perhaps refers to pearls, such as are discovered in shells of various species. They are mentioned three times as distinct from precious stones (Rev. 17:4; Rev. 18:12,16). They were worn as an ornament by women (1 Tim. 2:9). Metaphorically the term applies to anything costly; things which should not be cast before swine (Matt. 7:6). The gates of the heavenly Jerusalem were each of one pearl (Rev. 21:21). In the parable of the one Pearl of Great Price the Lord is represented as selling all that He had (as man and Messiah) in order to become its possessor (Matt. 13:45-46). It implies the unique character of the church in the eyes of Christ.

Peculiar People, or Treasure

Except in Ecclesiastes 2:8, where “the peculiar treasure of kings” is gathered by Solomon, these expressions both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament refer to what God’s people are to Him (Ex. 19:5; Deut. 14:2; Deut. 26:18; Psa. 135:4; Titus 2:14). The terms imply a possession upon which a specially choice value is set. 1 Peter 2:9 is a little different: “Ye are a people for a possession.” (compare Mal. 3:17.)


Son of Ammihud, and a prince of Naphtali (Num. 34:28).


Father of Gamaliel, of the tribe of Manasseh (Num. 1:10; Num. 2:20; Num. 7:54,59; Num. 10:23).


1. Father of Zebudah the mother of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36).
2. Descendant of Jeconiah (1 Chron. 3:18-19).
3. Father of Joel a prince of Manasseh (1 Chron. 27:20).
4. Son of Parosh: he helped to repair the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:25).
5. One who stood with Ezra when the law was read (Neh. 8:4).
6. Son of Kolaiah, a Benjamite (Neh. 11:7).
7. Levite, set over the treasuries (Neh. 13:13).


Son of Remaliah and captain to Pekahiah, king of Israel, whom he murdered, and then seized the throne: he reigned 20 years (B.C. 759-739). He invaded Judah, and slew 120,000 in one day, and carried away 200,000 “women, sons and daughters.” It was on this occasion that the prophet Oded, with others, protested against their brethren, the children of Judah, being made slaves; the captives were thereupon released, clothed out of the spoils, and sent back to their homes. Pekah afterward formed an alliance with Rezin, king of Damascus, against Judah; but Ahaz, king of Judah, called to his aid Tiglath-pileser, who killed Rezin and destroyed Damascus, and then attacked Pekah, and carried away captive the two and a half tribes on the east of the Jordan (B.C. 740). Pekah was killed by Hoshea, in what is called the 20th year of Jotham, that is, the 4th year of Ahaz, which would have been the 20th of Jotham (2 Kings 15:25-37; 2 Kings 16:1,5; 2 Chron. 28:6-15; Isa. 7:1).


Son and successor of Menahem king of Israel. His two years’ reign (B.C. 761-759), was uneventful; he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord; and was slain by Pekah, who succeeded him (2 Kings 15:22-26).


This name occurs in connection with Babylon, and is supposed to be a symbolical name, signifying “visitation” or “punishment,” associated with the name of Merathaim, signifying “of the rebels,” or “double rebellion.” That is, that Babylon should be visited by God “because of its rebellion” (Jer. 50:21). In Ezekiel 23:23 Pekod appears more as a proper name; but it is again associated with Babylon, and the three names Pekod, Shoa, and Koa are all judged to be symbolical names.


1. Son of Elioenai, a descendant of David (1 Chron. 3:24).
2. Levite who instructed the people in the law, and who sealed the covenant (Neh. 8:7; Neh. 10:10).


Ancestor of some priests who returned from exile (Neh. 11:12).


1. Son of Hananiah, a descendant of David (1 Chron. 3:21).
2. Captain in the tribe of Simeon when they smote the Amalekites (1 Chron. 4:42).
3. One who sealed the covenant (Neh. 10:22).
4. One seen in a vision by Ezekiel, described as son of Benaiah, and who devised mischief and gave wicked counsel in the city. He died when Ezekiel prophesied (Ezek. 11:1,13).


Son of Eber, a descendant of Shem. The name signifies “division,” and apparently he was so called because “in his days was the earth divided” (Gen. 10:25). This doubtless means, as is said in Genesis 10:5, “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands”; and again in Genesis 10:32, “By these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.” In the next chapter is the account of the confusion of tongues and the scattering of the people generally (Gen. 11:16-19; 1 Chron. 1:19, 25).


1. Son of Jandai, a descendant of Caleb, brother of Jerahmeel (1 Chron. 2:47).
2. Son of Azmaveth, and one of David’s valiant men (1 Chron. 12:3).


1. Reubenite, father of On (Num. 16:1).
2. Son of Jonathan, a descendant of Jerahmeel (1 Chron. 2:33).


These formed a part of David’s guard. They are always grouped with the Cherethites. It is uncertain from whence they came or what the name signifies (2 Sam. 8:18; 2 Sam. 15:18; 2 Sam. 20:7,23; 1 Kings 1:38, 44; 1 Chron. 18:17). Gesenius calls them “public couriers,” doubtless because peleth means “swiftness.” The LXX and Vulgate leave the name untranslated. Some trace the word to the Philistines.


The Hebrew word is qaath, and this is said to be derived from a verb signifying “to vomit.” The pelican has a peculiar habit in feeding its young that seems to have suggested this name. It goes into the sea and catches a number of fishes which it stows away in its lower beak, the underside of which is capable of being distended like a large pouch. Then it flies away inland with its burden, for which purpose it is provided with enormous wings. On the land it presses its beak against its breast, and the fish are thrown out for the young birds.
The Psalmist said, “I am like a pelican of the wilderness,” which refers to the bird sitting solitary for hours as it digests its stock of fish. It was an unclean bird (Lev. 11:18; Deut. 14:17; Psa. 102:6). In two other passages the same Hebrew word is in the AV translated “CORMORANT,” where it should be “pelican” (Isa. 34:11; Zeph. 2:14). The Pelicanus graculus and the P. crispus are known in Palestine.


Designation of Helez and Ahijah, two of David’s mighty men. Why they are so called is not known (1 Chron. 11:27,36; 1 Chron. 27:10). In 2 Samuel 23:26 Helez is called “the Paltite.”


A general term for any implement used either for cutting an inscription on stone or metal, or a reed for writing on papyrus or parchment (Judg. 5:14; Job 19:24; Psa. 45:1; Isa. 8:1; Jer. 8:8; Jer. 17:1; 3 John 1:1,13).


Literally “knife of a writer,” with which he sharpened his reed (Jer. 36:23).




One of the wives of Elkanah (1 Sam. 1:2, 4).

Penny (δηνάριον)

A common Roman coin, of the value of about 7d., but which purchased a great deal more than the same sum would now. It was the laborer’s wages for a day (Matt. 20). Higher sums were reckoned by this coin, as the debt of 500 pence in Luke 7:41. The Lord when answering the Jews said, “Show me a penny” (Luke 20:24). It was the chief Roman silver coin. See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.


The Greek name given to the first five books of the Old Testament, which are also called “the five books of Moses.” The many references to and quotations from them in other parts of the scripture, and allusions to them by Christ under the name of Moses, show plainly that Moses was the inspired writer of them, except of course the small portion that records his death and burial. See MOSES.


This name which signifies “fiftieth” is found only in the New Testament: it corresponds to the FEAST OF WEEKS. From the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits fifty days were counted, and on the day after the seven sabbaths the feast was kept. A new meat offering of two loaves baken with leaven was offered; also seven lambs, one bullock, and two rams for a burnt offering, with their meat and drink offerings “even an offering made by fire of sweet savor unto the Lord.” Also one kid of the goats for a sin offering; and two lambs for a peace offering. It was proclaimed a holy convocation, in which no servile work was to be done (Lev. 23:15-21). The Israelites came with their free-will offerings unto Jehovah, according as He had blessed them. See OFFERINGS.
The feast is typical of the presentation of the saints in the power and sanctification of the Holy Spirit. It was to be a day of universal rejoicing before the Lord (Deut. 16:9-12), and was the commencement of the ingathering of the harvest. It is not mentioned in Ezekiel’s future feasts, because it has been fulfilled in the present interval in God’s dealings with Israel (compare John 7:37-39). See FEASTS.


1. The place where the mysterious man wrestled with Jacob. Jacob gave it this name, signifying “face of God,” because, as he said, he had seen God face to face, and his life was preserved. Five hundred years later the place is mentioned, the men of which would not give supplies to Gideon. On his return he broke down the tower and slew the men of the city. Jeroboam rebuilt it. It was situated between Succoth and the Jabbok, but its site cannot now be identified (Gen. 32:31; Judg. 8:8-17; 1 Kings 12:25). It is called PENIEL in Genesis 32:30.
2. A descendant of Judah and father of Gedor (1 Chron. 4:4).
3. Son of Shashak, a Benjamite (1 Chron. 8:25).


1. A peak in the mountain range of Moab, to which Balaam was taken to curse Israel. It “looked toward” or was “opposite” Jeshimon; but it cannot be identified (Num. 23:28).
2. A contraction of BAAL-PEOR: it refers to the fornication and idolatry of the Israelites in connection with the Midianites (Num. 25:18; Num. 31:16; Josh. 22:17).

Perazim, Mount

A place probably connected with BAAL-PERAZIM, where David smote the Philistines (Isa. 28:21; compare 2 Sam. 5:20).


Son of Machir, a descendant of Manasseh (1 Chron. 7:16).


One whose “children” were in David’s army (1 Chron. 27:3). His descendants returned from exile (Neh. 11:4,6). Perhaps the same as PHARES.

Perez-uazah, Perez-uzza

Place signifying “Breach of Uzzah,” thus named by David, in his anger, because God there smote Uzzah for putting his hand to the ark, which by the law should not have been touched except by the priests (2 Sam. 6:8; 1 Chron. 13:11).


The principal words in the New Testament thus translated are τελειόω, τέλειος, “full, complete, perfect.” The Lord Jesus was always morally perfect, yet scripture speaks of His being “made perfect,” for instance, as the captain of salvation: antitype of Joshua, leader into the purpose of God. All had been completed in view of that office (Heb. 2:10). Though a Son, yet He learned obedience (not “to be obedient”) by the things which He suffered; and being made “perfect” (that is, glorified) after He had finished the work of redemption, He became the author of eternal salvation to all that obey Him (Heb. 5:9): this may be the meaning of the words “the third day I shall be perfected” (Luke 13:32).
The disciples were exhorted to be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect, for He sends His blessings on the evil and the good (Matt. 5:48). By one offering Christ hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. His work consecrates them for the priesthood (Heb. 10:14; compare Col. 1:12). Being “perfect” is also applied to being a “full grown” man (Eph. 4:13). The same word is translated “of full age” in Hebrews 5:14; and simply “men” (of a ripe age) in 1 Corinthians 14:20. The spirits of just men are made perfect (Heb. 12:23). Paul was not yet perfected (Phil. 3:12); yet in Philippians 3:15 he adds “as many as be perfect be thus minded.” There are various applications of the term which can be gathered from the context of each occurrence, but in general it may be said to have reference either to the purging of conscience, which is indispensable to the service of God, or to intelligence of a true standard (dead and risen with Christ) as a necessity to testimony for Christ here.


A special perfume was made to burn as incense in the tabernacle. It was compounded of stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense, an equal weight of each: it was most holy. No one was allowed to compound the same for themselves, or they would be cut off from God’s people. It was typical of the excellencies of Christ which were as sweet incense to God (Ex. 30:34, 38). Perfumes are supposed to be more needful in hot countries (Song of Sol. 3:6). In Proverbs 27:9 it is said, “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart”; but it may also be employed as a mere matter of luxury or of sin when the heart is away from God (Prov. 7:17; Isa. 57:9).


City of Pamphylia in Asia Minor. It was twice visited by Paul (Acts 13:13-14; Acts 14:25). Its ruins are called Eski-Kalesi.


Royal city of Mysia in Asia Minor: it was not visited by Paul as far as recorded. The church there is one of the seven in Asia to which the addresses in the Revelation were sent. The saints dwelt where Satan’s throne was—the city was renowned for its idolatry (Rev. 1:11; Rev. 2:12). The city is still in existence, and is called Bergama, with a population of about 20,000, some 2,000 of whom are nominally Christian.


One of Solomon’s servants, whose descendants returned from exile (Neh. 7:57). Called PERUDA in Ezra 2:55.

Perilous Times

This expression occurs in Paul’s second letter to Timothy, “In the last days perilous times shall come,” then follows such a picture of moral depravity that it might have been supposed that the apostle was referring to the heathen; but he adds, “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof....evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:1-13). This plainly shows (and the solemn fact is confirmed by other passages) that so far from the world being converted before the Lord returns, even the professing church itself has been hopelessly corrupted, and the path of the Christian becomes more and more difficult as he seeks to avoid the multiplied dangers and seductions by which he is surrounded.


One of the ancient nations in Palestine. They are several times the only people named along with the Canaanites. Joseph’s descendants were told by Joshua to take the land of the Perizzites, where they are classed with the giants (Josh. 17:15). Though they were in a great measure either driven out or slain by the Israelites, yet some dwelt with the children of Israel, and intermarried with them (Judg. 3:5-6). In the days of Solomon those that were still in the land were made bondservants. It is not known definitely in what part of Canaan they were originally located, but by Joshua 17:14-18 it was probably near Manasseh’s lot on the west (Gen. 13:7; Ex. 3:8,17; Josh. 3:10; Josh. 9:1; Judg. 1:4-5; 1 Kings 9:20; Ezra 9:1; Neh. 9:8, etc.).

Persia, Persians

The Persians were located between Media and the Persian Gulf, but very little is known of their history until the time of Cyrus, when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had been brought to an end (2 Chron. 36:22-23). Apparently they were a union of tribes, the ancestors of Cyrus being the chiefs of the leading clan. They conquered Elam (“ANSHAM” on the monuments). Media ruled them in early times, but under Cyrus the yoke was shaken off, and, together with the Medes, they formed the second Gentile empire, succeeding that of Babylon. In the great image of Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar was represented by the head of gold. The empire that followed was an “inferior” one, represented by the breast and arms of silver (Dan. 2:31-39). This refers to the Medo-Persian kingdom. It was inferior in that the nobles concurred in the king’s laws, and the king could not alter them: the power was depreciated from gold. It is further described as a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between the teeth, an emblem of its power and rapacity. To it was said, “Arise, devour much flesh” (Dan. 7:5).
The history in Daniel 5 relates that it was Darius the Mede that “took the kingdom.” He was the first head of the empire, and his taking the kingdom does not clash with Cyrus taking the city of Babylon, which is implied in Isaiah 45:1-2. See BABYLON. On the death of Darius, Cyrus succeeded and reigned in Babylon, and from thence the Persian element prevailed in the empire. The Persians are mentioned before the Medes in Esther 1:19. This agrees also with the above passage in Daniel 7 which represents the bear as raising itself on one side.
The Medo-Persian empire is further represented as a ram with two horns, one higher than the other, though, it came up last. It pushed westward, northward, and southward, and no beast could stand before it, nor deliver out of its hand. This again exactly corresponds with the above description; the one horn higher than the other representing Persia. The same chapter (Dan. 8: 6-7) speaks of a he-goat that rushed upon the ram and smote it and cast it to the ground and stamped upon it; and none could deliver it. This foretold the destruction of the Persian empire by that of Greece in the person of Alexander the Great.
For the dealings of the Persian kings with Israel, see AHASUERUS, and the names of the other kings mentioned in Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. The following table gives the succession of the kings, with approximate dates:
Historical Names. Began to reign about Scripture Names
1. Cyaxares, king of Media. B.C. 633 Ahasuerus (Dan. 9:1).
2. Astyages, his son, last king of Media. 593 Probably Darius the Mede.
3. a) Cyrus, king of Persia. 558 Cyrus (2 Chron. 36:20-23).
b) Babylon taken. 538
c) Cyrus reigns at Babylon. 536 Cyrus (Ezra 1:1).
4. Cambyses, his son. 529 Ahasuerus (Ezra 4:6).
5. Gomates, a Mede, who personified Smerdis. 522 Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:7).
6. Darius Hystaspes. 521 Darius (Ezra 5:5; Hag. 1:1).
7. Xerxes, his son. 485 Ahasuerus of Esther.
8. Artabanus (seven months). 475
9. Artaxerxes, Longimanus. 474 Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:1; Neh. 2:1).
10. Xerxes II (two months). 425
11. Sogdianus. 425
12. Darius II, Ochus or Nothus. 424 Darius (Neh. 12:22).
13. Artaxerxes II., Muemon 405
14. Ochus, or Artaxerxes III 359
15. Arses 338
16. Darius III (codomanus) 336
Defeated by Alexander... 331 end of the Persian empire.
The above dates are those usually given to the kings of Persia, except Nos. 8 and 9, the common dates of which Usher and Hengstenberg have proved to be incorrect. See SEVENTY WEEKS. The kingdom of Babylon was smaller in extent than that of Persia. This latter included what is now known as Turkey in Asia, Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, as far as the river Indus, with a good portion of Egypt. According to the language of scripture it had “devoured much flesh.” Esther 1:1 speaks of a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. See DANIEL and ESTHER.


A Christian woman at Rome, to whom Paul sent a salutation. He called her, “the beloved Persis, which labored much in the Lord” (Rom. 16:12).




This is often mentioned along with the sword and the famine as punishment from God upon His rebellious people. It is represented as being sent directly by God Himself. When David had numbered the people, the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel, and there died 70,000 men (2 Sam. 24:15-16).


The son of Jonas and one of the twelve apostles. His name was originally Simon, and apparently at his first interview with the Lord he received from Him the surname CEPHAS. This is an Aramaic word, the same as Peter in Greek, both signifying “a stone” (John 1:42). (In Acts 10:5 he is called “Simon, whose surname is Peter.”) The next notice of Peter is in Luke 5 when he was called to the apostleship. Overpowered at the draft of fishes, he exclaimed, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord”; but at the bidding of Christ he forsook all and followed Him (Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16-17; Luke 5:3-11).
He had a sort of prominence among the apostles: when a few of them were selected for any special occasion, Peter was always one of them, and is named first. The three names “Peter, James, and John” occur often together, still we do not read of Peter having any authority over the others: (compare Matt. 20:25-28). Peter was in character energetic and impulsive: he wanted to walk on the water to go to Christ, and his strong affection for the Lord led him to oppose when the Lord spoke of His coming sufferings, for which he was rebuked as presenting Satan’s mind. His self-confidence led him into a path of temptation, in which he thrice denied his Lord. But the Lord had prayed for him that his faith should not fail, and his repentance was real and instant. He was fully restored by the Lord, who significantly demanded thrice if he loved Him, and then committed to him the care of His sheep and His lambs (John 21).
When Peter confessed to Jesus, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the Lord said that He would build His church upon that foundation, and added, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” with assurance that what he bound or loosed on earth would be ratified in heaven (Matt. 16). On the day of Pentecost we find Peter accordingly using these keys, and opening to three thousand Jews the doors of the kingdom. He afterward admitted Gentiles in the person of Cornelius and those that were gathered with him.
Peter was the apostle of the circumcision, as Paul was of the Gentiles, and was a long time getting entirely clear of Jewish prejudices. Paul had to withstand him to the face at Antioch, for refusing under Jewish influence to continue eating with Gentiles. On the other hand, Peter, while confessing that in some of Paul’s writings there were things hard to be understood, recognizes them as scripture.
In the beginning of the Acts Peter’s boldness in testimony is conspicuous. He was leaning on One stronger than himself and was carried on by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was miraculously delivered out of prison. The Lord had intimated to him that he would die the death of a martyr (John 21:19), and historians relate that he was crucified, and with his head downward by his own request: they also state that his wife died with him. He was the writer of the two epistles bearing his name.

Peter, First Epistle of

This was addressed to believing Jews dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. It was apparently sent from Babylon on the Euphrates, where many Jews were located. There is nothing in the epistle itself that fixes its date: but it is generally dated A.D. 60 to 63. The teaching of the epistle is based upon a living hope by the resurrection of Christ, in contrast to the portion of the Jews on earth. Believers are contemplated as strangers and pilgrims, salvation being regarded in its completeness as future, soul salvation being the point of consequence in the present, in contrast to temporal deliverances. The thought of a “spiritual house” composed of living stones, in 1 Peter 2, connects the epistle with the revelation given to Peter in Matthew 16—as the reference to the Mount of Transfiguration in the second epistle brings before our minds the vision of the kingdom in Matthew 17, of which Peter was eye-witness.
The epistle may be briefly summed up as a gracious leading of Christians into the sense and reality of their spiritual privileges, but, at the same time, pressing on them the recognition of their being subjects of God’s moral government on earth. They were placed here between the time of Christ’s sufferings and the glories that were to follow. They called on God as Father; are viewed as redeemed and born again, and by the sincere milk of the word were to grow up to salvation, having tasted that the Lord is gracious.
And further, though suffering under the government of God, they had, in coming to Christ as the Living Stone (disallowed of men but chosen of God and precious), acquired in a spiritual way privileges which, after a carnal sort, the Jews had lost. They were built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood—were a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. They had thus the means for the service of God and for testimony to man. The calling of Christians is herein fully brought out.
But with all these privileges, Christians had to remember that they had nothing in which to boast after the flesh. They were among the Gentiles as strangers and pilgrims, the subjects of God’s moral government, suffering for the state of Israel; and hence had to recognize those to whom God had entrusted honor and power here. But the eyes of the Lord were over the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers: the face of the Lord was against evil-doers. The general bearing of government was in favor of those who did good, and if they suffered for righteousness’ sake they were happy. The point of importance was that none of them should suffer as evil-doers.
It is remarkable that, in touching on duties connected with social relationships, the apostle addresses himself to husbands and wives and domestic servants (not slaves), and the peculiar delicacy of his reference to the conduct relatively of the two former classes is a marked feature of beauty in the epistle.
The peculiar character of this moment, in which judgment as the issue of God’s moral government is imminent, is marked by the reference to the time of Noah, whose testimony in preparing the ark was that of coming judgment; but at the same time of a way of salvation. Baptism has, in the case of Christians, much of the same character and import. Again, in 1 Peter 4 it is said that the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begin first at us, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
The epistle closes with special and touching admonitions to the elders and the younger, the former being especially exhorted to shepherd the flock of God. This is deeply interesting as coming from one who himself received the charge recorded in John 21.

Peter, Second Epistle of

The object of this epistle appears to be primarily the confirmation of the minds of Jewish believers in the certainty of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have in it the only record by an eye-witness of what took place on the Mount of Transfiguration. This vision made more sure the word of prophecy to which saints did well in taking heed, as to a light shining in a dark place, till the day dawned, and the day-star arose in their hearts.
But before the kingdom could be displayed, it was necessary that the corruption of Christianity, which had already set in, should be complete; and the course and climax of this corruption are vividly portrayed in 2 Peter 2. It originated in false teachers privily bringing in destructive heresies, denying the Lord that bought them. The development of this evil is viewed in the light of wickedness (rather than of apostasy, as in the Epistle of Jude), as that which is specially obnoxious to the government of God. While in Jude the gainsaying of Core is shown to be the culminating point of apostasy, here the incitement to abominable wickedness by Balaam is before the mind of the Spirit, indicating how corrupting the influence of those who held the place of “prophet” would become.
In the concluding part of the epistle (2 Peter 3) we have also the closing phase of unbelief (perhaps Jewish), namely, skepticism, built up on the assumed unchangeability of the creation, as to the coming of the day of the Lord. And this becomes the occasion of the apostle’s leading the minds of the saints beyond the thoughts of the kingdom to that which, resting on perfect moral foundations, is eternal and unchangeable. The day of the Lord was a means to an end, and would make way for the day of God, and the fulfillment of His promise of new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness would reside, and in view of which the existing heavens and earth would pass away. Saints, knowing these things before, were not to fall from their steadfastness, but to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


1. Head of the nineteenth priestly course (1 Chron. 24:16).
2. Levite who had married a strange wife (Ezra 10:23).
3. Levite who called upon the people to bless Jehovah (Neh. 9:5).
4. Son of Meshezabeel, a descendant of Judah: he was at the king of Persia’s hand “in all matters concerning the people” (Neh. 11:24).


Dwelling place of Balaam in Mesopotamia (Num. 22:5; Deut. 23:4). Not identified.


Father of the prophet Joel (Joel 1:1).


Son of Obed-edom, a Korhite (1 Chron. 26:5).


Son of Heber, mentioned in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus (Luke 3:35).



Phalti, Phaltiel

Son of Laish, of Gallim: Saul gave him Michal, David’s wife. When she was restored to David, Phalti followed weeping behind her, till abruptly sent back by Abner (1 Sam. 25:44; 2 Sam. 3:15).


Father of Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:36).


This was the regal title of the kings of Egypt, so the mere appellation “Pharaoh” in no way intimates which king is alluded to. Some kings of Egypt are mentioned in scripture without this title, as Shishak, Necho, Hophra, So, and Tirhakah, the last two of whom were Ethiopians. Those specially referred to in the O.T. are:
1. The Pharaoh who took Abram’s wife, Sarai, into his house (about B.C. 1919) (Gen. 12:14-20).
2. The Pharaoh who promoted Joseph (about B.C. 1715), and received into Egypt Jacob and his sons and their families (Gen. 40-50; Acts 7:10, 13).
3. The Pharaoh who knew not Joseph (about B.C. 1635), he oppressed the Israelites, and ordered the male children to be killed, under whom Moses was born; and whose daughter adopted him as her son (Ex. 1:4).
4. The Pharaoh from whom Moses fled when he was grown up (about B.C. 1531) (Ex. 2).
5. The Pharaoh of the Exodus (about B.C. 1491). See EGYPT and PLAGUES.
After a period of about 500 years scripture refers to
6. The Pharaoh whose daughter Bithiah was married to Mered, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 4:18).
7. The Pharaoh whose daughter was married to Solomon (about B.C. 1014) (1 Kings 3:1; 7:8). This Pharaoh captured and burnt the city of Gezer in Canaan, and gave the site to his daughter (1 Kings 9:16).
8. The Pharaoh who received Hadad when he fled from Solomon, and gave him his sister-in-law to wife (about A.D. 984) (1 Kings 11:14-22).
The title “Pharaoh” is judged by Professor Sayce to signify “Great House” [in which all men live], or somewhat similar to the “Sublime Porte,” or Gate. Each king had a title of honor as well as his personal name: the titles were such as “The Sun, Lord of Glory”; “The Sun, Lord of Truth,” and so forth. Pharaoh Necho’s name is found on the monuments as here given.

Phares, Pharez

Son of Judah and Tamar, his daughter-in-law, through whom David descended (Gen. 38:29; Gen. 46:12; Num. 26:20-21; Ruth 4:12,18; 1 Chron. 2:4-5; 1 Chron. 4:1; 1 Chron. 9:4; Matt. 1:3; Luke 3:33). The Hebrew is the same as PEREZ in 1 Chronicles 27:3 and Nehemiah 11:4, 6.


This name was given to a religious school among the Jews; it is supposed to have been derived from the Hebrew word parash, signifying “to separate”; it was given to them by others, their chosen name being chasidim, “pious ones.” Josephus speaks of them as early as the reign of Jonathan (B.C. 161-144). They prided themselves on their superior sanctity of life, devotion to God, and their study of the law. The Pharisee in the parable thanked God that he was “not as other men” (Luke 18:11). Paul, when before Agrippa, spoke of them as “the most straitest sect.” The Pharisees included all classes of men, rich and poor: they were numerous, and at times had great influence. In the council before which Paul was arraigned they were well represented (Acts 23:6-9). They were the great advocates of tradition, and were punctilious in paying tithes. In many respects the ritualists of modern days resemble them.
The Lord severely rebuked all their pretensions, and laid bare their wickedness as well as their hypocrisy. It may have been that because of the great laxity of the Jews generally, some at first devoutly sought for greater sanctity. Others, not sincere, may have joined themselves to the sect, and it thus degenerated from its original design, until its moral state became such as was exposed and denounced by the Lord. The very name has become a synonym for bigotry and formalism. Probably such men as Gamaliel, Nicodemus, and Saul were men of a different stamp, though all needed the regenerating power of grace to give them what they professed to seek.


Ancestor of some who returned from exile (Ezra 8:3). The Hebrew is the same as PAROSH.


One of the two rivers of Damascus which the proud Naaman declared to be better than the waters of the Jordan. The Barada is associated with Abana, thus leaving only the Awaj for the Pharpar. This has its source in Hermon, then runs for about 40 miles, ending in a lake or swamp. It is in the district of Damascus, but does not approach the city nearer than about eight miles (2 Kings 5:12).


Descendants of Pharez, son of Judah (Num. 26:20).




A christian woman commended by the apostle to the saints at Rome as “a servant of the church.” He desired that they should assist her in anything in which she needed their aid. She had been a succorer of many and of Paul. The word for “servant” is διἀκονος, “deaconess,” but may not imply any official service (Rom. 16:1).


Harbor on the south coast of Crete (Acts 27:12). Identified with the modern Lutro. The haven is said in the AV to lie “toward the S.W. and N.W.”; this is held to mean that it “looks toward the N.E. and S.E.”

Phenice, Phenicia

The same as PHOENICE, the coast of Northern Syria, extending south of Tyre, and north of Sidon, being a narrow strip of land in the south, but reaching to the Lebanon range in the N.E. The Phoenicians carried on great commercial enterprises; they established colonies (one of which was at Carthage), and their ships brought in the produce of foreign lands, with which they supplied the East. They became subject successively to the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans. Phoenice now forms a part of the Turkish Empire (Acts 11:19; Acts 15:3; Acts 21:2).
The language of the ancient Phoenicians may be said to be only a different dialect from the Hebrew, as shown by ancient inscriptions; and according to Herodotus, the Phoenicians taught the Greeks “letters.”


Chief captain of Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in the times of Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 21:22-32; Gen. 26:26).


City of Lydia, in the west of Asia Minor. It was founded by Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamos. It has been more or less destroyed by earthquakes several times, but is still an important town, with ancient ruins, called Alla Sheh (Rev. 1:11; Rev. 3:7).
The assembly in this city was one of the “seven churches in Asia” to which the addresses in the Revelation were sent. The address to Philadelphia shows that the church there was characterized by little strength, but by faithfulness. If the seven addresses be viewed historically, this one comes after those representing Popery and Protestantism, intimating that when all hope of restoring the church is over, there may still be found a company keeping Christ’s word and not denying His name. See REVELATION.

Philemon, Epistle to

Nothing is known of Philemon beyond what is found in this epistle, nor is it clear where he resided. The similarity of the salutations to those found in the Epistle to the Colossians, and the reference to Onesimus in that epistle, leads to the conclusion that Philemon dwelt somewhere in the direction of Colosse (probably at Laodicea, Archippus being mentioned in Colossians 4:17 and Philemon 1:1-2), and that both epistles were sent from Rome about A.D. 62. Though the assembly in the house of Philemon is mentioned in Philemon 1:2, the epistle is a personal one to Philemon and his wife.
Onesimus their slave had run away, and, having been converted under the ministry of Paul, he was sent back by the latter to his master. Paul does not ask for the freedom of Onesimus, but that he may now be received in grace as a brother, indeed, he received as the apostle’s “own bowels.” Paul does not assert apostolic authority, but entreats as the “prisoner” and “the aged.” Led by the Holy Spirit, the epistle is a gracious appeal, and difficulties are met in it in a matter requiring much delicacy. If the slave had robbed Philemon, Paul would repay it; but he reminds Philemon of how much he owed him, even his “own self besides.”
Some may be surprised that such an epistle should form part of the inspired word. But it is “profitable”; for fifteen hundred years slaves were extensively owned by Christians. Many may never have thought of seeking their conversion, or may have been prejudiced against it. A Boer in South Africa, though a Christian himself, once told a preacher that he was sure he might as well preach to the dogs as to his African servants. God saw the need of such an epistle. The slave had become “ a brother beloved.”


One mentioned with Hymenaeus as having taught that the resurrection was already past (probably allegorizing it) by whom the faith, of some had been overthrown. Their evil doctrine would eat as a canker, or gangrene (2 Tim. 2:17).


1. One of the twelve apostles: he was a native of Bethsaida. It was in Galilee that the Lord met him; and said to him, “Follow me.” Philip at once announced to Nathanael that he had found the One of whom Moses and the prophets had written. He was the apostle who asked the Lord to show them the Father, when the Lord said, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father....Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; John 1:43-48; John 6:5-7; John 12:21-22; John 14:8-9; Acts 1:13).
2. One of the seven chosen to look after the poor saints at Jerusalem. He is also called “Philip the evangelist.” When the church was scattered from Jerusalem by persecution, Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ and wrought miracles, and men and women believed and were baptized. The apostles at Jerusalem hearing that Samaria had received the word of God, sent thither Peter and John. Then Philip was directed by an angel of the Lord to meet the eunuch of Ethiopia in the desert towards Gaza. Philip obeyed and preached unto him Jesus. On the eunuch asking what hindered him from being baptized, he was at once baptized by Philip. On coming out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, and he was found at Azotus, and he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. Much later Philip was residing at Caesarea and received Paul and those with him into his house. He had four daughters, virgins, who prophesied. Philip is a beautiful instance of one being under the immediate guidance of God in his service for Him (Acts 6:5; Acts 8:5-40; Acts 21:8).
3. Son of Herod the Great: he married Herodias, who deserted him to live with his brother, Herod Antipas (Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19).
4. Another son of Herod the Great: he was tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis (Luke 3:1). He was the founder of Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13; Mark 8:27).


City in the east of Macedonia. It was founded by Philip the father of Alexander the Great, from whom it derived its name. It was the first European city visited by Paul. His preaching was blessed to the conversion of Lydia and others. On his casting out a spirit of divination from the young woman who followed him, a tumult was raised, and Paul and Silas were scourged and cast into prison; but this happily led to the conversion of the jailor and his household (Acts 16:12-40). Paul visited the place for a short time afterward (Acts 20:6). To the church gathered there the Epistle to the Philippians was written (Phil. 1:1; 1 Thess. 2:2). Extensive ruins are all that are left of the ancient city, now called Kavalla. It was the chief city, not of all Macedonia, but of that part of it.

Philippians, Epistle to the

This epistle is of profound interest on account of certain marks in it, which connect the truth presented with a state of things much akin to that of the present day. The testimony is not viewed as opposed by the Jewish leaders, as in the beginning of the Acts, nor in conflict with Judaizing influences, as at Antioch; but as in contact with the world power (Rome), which was holding Paul, the vessel of it, in bondage.
Further, in Philippians 3 the Jews are viewed as utterly debased, and are spoken of as “the concision”; and in the same chapter many of those professedly Christian are described as “enemies of the cross of Christ,” serving their own desires, whose end is destruction.
Again, as regards the preaching of the gospel, though the apostle could rejoice in the fact of its being preached, he could find but little satisfaction in the motives that prompted activity in it. All this exhibits a state of things to which Christendom in our own day presents a striking analogy.
The immediate occasion of the epistle was the effect produced on the apostle by the practical expression which the Philippians had given to their fellowship with him in the gospel; and the object of his writing was that they might complete his joy in perfectly answering to God’s mind for them down here. This was in order that, in the complete abnegation of self, as to the state of their minds, by the death of Christ, they might by God’s power be manifest as a divine generation (children of God), occupying collectively the place which Christ had occupied in the world—lights in the world, holding forth the word of life. This is the proper place of the church in testimony here.
The second part of the epistle (Philippians 3 and 4) is intensely individual. In view of religious pretensions, in which men gloried, the apostle presents himself as the example of a man running a race. The course meant the distancing in spirit, at every step, all that which gave importance to him as a man after the flesh—all was in his account dross and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. At the same time every step brought his soul more distinctly under the power of the calling above of God in Christ Jesus.
While encouraging saints to follow him, he exhorts them to walk in unity by the same rule, to mind the same thing. In contrast to many who were earthly-minded, he reminds them that their citizenship was in heaven, and they were expecting Christ as Savior from heaven completely to conform them to Himself.
Philippians 4 shows the apostle’s interest in, and consideration of individuals; his anxiety that saints should by prayer and supplication be kept in divine peace as to everything that might naturally occasion anxiety; and the moral superiority in which he himself was maintained through circumstances: the secret being his absolute confidence in the goodness of the God whom he had faith to appropriate as “my God.”
The epistle was written when Paul was a prisoner at Rome, and probably near the close of his imprisonment, about A.D. 62, when he was expecting to be released and again to visit the Philippian saints.






Descendants, with the Caphtorim, of the Pathrusim, and the Casluhim, two clans descended from Ham (Gen. 10:14; Deut. 2:23; Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7). They were found in the S.W. of Palestine when Abraham went to sojourn at Gerar (Gen. 20); and both Abraham and Isaac had certain contentions with them respecting the wells which they had digged (Gen. 21:25-34; Gen. 26:1-18). They were a warlike people, which was the reason that God did not lead the Israelites near to them when He led them out of Egypt (Ex. 13:17). It is probable that at first they were a sort of colony of Egypt. Their five cities commanded the coast road from Egypt to Syria, and there is proof that Egypt had a strong hold on Palestine before the arrival of Joshua; but it was then declining.
As they occupied a part of the promised land, the Israelites should have dispossessed them; but when Joshua was old “all the borders of the Philistines” were still unoccupied by the Israelites. They represent the pretension and intrusion of man in the flesh into that which belongs to God. Nazariteship in Samson is God’s way of deliverance, but the Nazarite utterly failed, and in the days of Eli the Israelites were conquered by them and the ark taken. When Saul was king he was in fear of them, and they were enabled to enter his dominions, and in a battle Saul and his sons lost their lives. It was by David, God’s king, that the Philistines were really conquered, and under Solomon we find they were tributary.
When the kingdom of Israel was divided, the Philistines regained their independence more or less. God used them at times to punish His guilty people, and at other times gave those that served Him power over them. In the prophets destruction is pronounced upon their land and the remnant of the people. The five fortified cities of the Philistines, with their “daughters” or dependent villages, were Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron. The Philistines were idolaters and worshipped Dagon, Ashtaroth and Baal-zebub (1 Sam. 5:2; 1 Sam. 31:10; 2 Kings 1:2; Jer. 47; Ezek. 25:15-17; Amos 1:7-8; Zeph. 2:5). PHILISTIM in Genesis 10:14 is the same Hebrew word that is elsewhere translated Philistines.


A Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent salutations (Rom. 16:15).

Philosopher, Philosophy

The words φιλόσοφος, -φία signify “a lover, or, love of wisdom.” The wisdom that God gives, the wisdom “from above,” must ever be distinguished from that which emanates from man. This latter is variously designated in scripture as the wisdom of this world, fleshly wisdom, wisdom of man, the wisdom that does not come from above. This in regard to the things of God is only foolishness. It has an entirely different source, and works in the natural mind of man, which should not have any place in Christianity.
The Colossian saints were warned against being spoiled by such philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world; which stands in contrast to what is “after Christ” (col. 2:8; compare 1 Tim. 6:20). Then as to the gospel, the Greeks sought after wisdom, and to preach Christ crucified was foolishness to them (1 Cor. 1:22-23). It was so at Athens, when Paul preached to the philosophers. They said, “He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods.” And why? “Because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection.” Paul spoke to them first of the true God, but when he came to the truth of “the Man” whom God had raised from the dead, some mocked, and others would hear him another time (Acts 17:18-32). See EPICUREANS, GNOSTICISM, STOICS.
The philosophy of modern days has the same source, the mind of man, though it acts differently in respect to Christianity. For instance, with some, Christianity is regarded as emanating from man, and so is compared with Buddhism, Hindooism, Mahometanism, all of which are said to be branches of the same religion of man; though Christianity is judged to be the best, none are to be condemned; there is truth in them all! Others sit in judgment on the word of God, and profess to be able to cut out many parts as not being written by the professed writers, and having no claim, ought not to form a part of scripture. Others declare that modern thought cannot be cramped up in the dogmas hitherto held by Christians almost universally, which in general really means what scripture teaches.
According to the advocates of another theory, the wisest thing is to be ignorant of everything except what the senses or the higher affections teach. As to whether there is a Being in any higher position than man, or any future existence for man, they know nothing, and there is, they say, no means of knowing: it is all unknown. The key to their ignorance of God (which they call Agnosticism) is that they do not want to obey, or to know Him.
Again, another class resort to spirits, and let them teach them; they imagine the inhabitants of the unseen world must be able to tell them what is true, and these spirits even profess to interpret scripture for them.
These and other delusions prove how busy Satan is in using the mind of man to exalt man in his own eyes, and to lead him away from the scriptures, which alone are able to make wise unto salvation.


1. Son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron. He showed his zeal for God in slaying Zimri and Cozbi, for which he was commended by God, who promised His “covenant of peace” to him and his seed, even “the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.” He succeeded Eleazar as high priest (Ex. 6:25; Num. 25:7-13; Num. 31:6; Josh. 22:13-32; Judg. 20:28; 1 Chron. 6:4, 50; 1 Chron. 9:20; Ezra 7:5; Ezra 8:2; Psa. 106:30).
2. Son of Eli: he degraded the priesthood by his wickedness, and was slain with his brother Hophni by the Philistines when the ark was taken. He was father of Ahitub and Ichabod; his wife, overcome with sorrow, dying when the latter was born (1 Sam. 1:3; 1 Sam. 2:34; 1 Sam. 4:4-19; 1 Sam. 14:3).
3. Father of Eleazar who returned from exile (Ezra 8:33).


Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent salutations (Rom. 16:14).


See Phebe.


District in the center of Asia Minor, but its boundaries are not definitely known. It was visited by Paul (Acts 2:10; Acts 16:6; Acts 18:23).


Military attendant on Gideon (Judg. 7:10-11).

Phut, Put

Third son of Ham, the name being also applied to his descendants, and to the district they inhabited (Gen. 10:6; 1 Chron. 1:8; Ezek. 27:10; Nah. 3:9). The land of Phut is generally supposed to be the same as Libya, in the N.W. of Egypt. A broken fragment of the annals of Nebuchadnezzar mentions “the city of Phut-Yavan,” or “Phut of the Ionians” (that is Greeks). This however may refer to a different people. The same Hebrew word is translated Libya (Ezek. 30:5; Ezek. 38:5); and Libyans (Jer. 46:9).


Son of Issachar and ancestor of the PUNITES (Gen. 46:13). He is called PUA in the AV of Numbers 26:23, though the Hebrew is the same, and is apparently identical with PUAH in 1 Chronicles 7:1.


One in Asia, who with Hermogenes turned away from Paul, probably from the heavenly doctrines Paul taught (2 Tim. 1:15).


Short portions of the law written on strips of parchment, which were placed in a case made of calf skin, and worn upon the forehead and the left arm, supposed to be in obedience to Deuteronomy 6:8 and Deuteronomy 11:18. The Pharisees and scribes made them large to attract attention; it was their being made “broad” that was condemned by the Lord (Matt. 23:5). In later times they were worn as a sort of charm. See FRONTLET.


The Lord said, “They that be whole need not a physician,” showing that then, as now, the work of such persons was to cure diseases. In the Old Testament the word is rapha, “to heal,” and in Genesis 50:2 Joseph called upon such to embalm the body of his father, a certain amount of chemical knowledge being needed also for that. The Lord promised to the Israelites that if they obeyed Him, He would preserve them from the diseases that were common in Egypt. On the other hand, there are many proofs in scripture that diseases were sent as a punishment for the sins of His people. For any remedy for such, their eyes should have been directed to Him who was disciplining them. Of Asa it is said, “he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians,” which probably means those associated with magic (2 Chron. 16:12).
The Christian should surely be cast upon the Lord in his sicknesses, and be exercised as to why they are sent or allowed, though doubtless he may use the means, without trusting to them apart from the blessing of God upon them. Jehovah Himself was the physician of His people Israel, ready at all times to heal and restore them (Jer. 8:22). Job, in the bitterness of his soul, found his friends to be physicians of no value. They did not understand his case, and only added to his misery (Job 13:4).
In the New Testament ἰατρός. signifies “healer.” The Lord Jesus was the Great Healer not only of the diseases of the body, but of the soul (Luke 4:23). A woman who had spent her all on physicians without relief obtained from Him an immediate cure (Luke 8:43). Luke was called “the beloved physician,” though there is no information as to his practicing this profession (col. 4:14).


Place whose young men were to fall by the sword and others be carried into captivity, mentioned in the judgment of God upon Egypt (Ezek. 30:17). Judged to be the city Bubastis on the west bank of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile. Its ruins at Tell Basta, 30° 35' N, 31° 30' E, attest its ancient grandeur; pieces of the finest red granite are there, which apparently formed part of a temple.


Place on the west of the Red Sea where the children of Israel encamped (Ex. 14:2,9; Num. 33:7-8). Not identified.


In Isaiah 2:16 the expression “pleasant pictures” is supposed to mean “pictures of desire,” as it reads in the margin, referring to anything on which their hearts were set. In ancient Egypt the nearest approach to what is now called a picture, is the colored representations made on the walls of the temples and tombs. The walls in Babylon were ornamented with pictures on enameled bricks; these seem to be alluded to in (Ezek. 23:14; compare Num. 33:52). In Proverbs 25:11 “apples of gold in pictures of silver” probably describe some piece of jewelry judging from what immediately follows; others prefer to translate it “graven imagery.”

Pieces of Gold or of Silver



The word εὐσέβεια,—βέω, signifies “to exercise piety, reverence”: a reverential sense of having to say to God, which should be shown by the creature to the Creator, and which should especially characterize the saints towards God their Father and to the Lord Jesus. The word is translated “piety” in the AV only in 1 Timothy 5:4. It is rendered “holiness” in Acts 3:12 and “worship” in Acts 17:23. In all other places it is “godliness.” “Piety” is a better translation, and distinguishes it from θεοσέβεια, which signifies “worship, or fear of God,” and is translated “godliness” in 1 Timothy 2:10.


The well-known bird, often associated with the turtle dove, as being used by the poor in various sacrifices. A pair of these birds were offered when the Lord was presented in the temple (Luke 2:24). Pigeons were so numerous in Palestine that the poor were enabled easily to obtain a pair for any needed sacrifice (Gen. 15:9; Lev. 1:14; Lev. 5:7,11; Lev. 12:6,8; Lev. 14:22,30; Lev. 15:14,29; Num. 6:10).




Son of Nahor, Abraham’s brother (Gen. 22:22).


One who sealed the covenant (Neh. 10:24).

Pill, To

“To peel” (Gen. 30:37-38).


There are several Hebrew words translated “pillar”: the principal are
1. matstsebah, from “to set, put, place”; and hence anything that is set up. It is used for the stone that Jacob had had for a pillow, which he set up, and on which he poured oil and made his vow. Also for the heap of stones he raised when Laban and he parted (Gen. 28:18,22; Gen. 31:13,45-52; Gen. 35:14,20; Ex. 24:4; Isa. 19:19). From Deuteronomy 12:3 it would appear that pillars of some sort were also connected with idolatry. These may resemble the cairns often found in what were idolatrous lands. Absalom raised up for himself a pillar to keep his name in remembrance because he had no son (2 Sam. 18:18).
2. The word ammud occurs many times for the pillars of the tabernacle and the temple. It is also used for the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire; also symbolically for the pillars of the heavens and the pillars of the earth (Ex. 13:21; Ex. 27:10-17; 1 Kings 7:2-42; Job 9:6; Job 26:11; Psa. 75:3; Ezek. 40:49; Ezek. 42:6).
In the New Testament the word is στύλος, “a pillar or column.” James, Cephas and John seemed to be “pillars” in the church at Jerusalem—those to whom matters were referred, as they were afterward to Paul (Gal. 2:9). The church of God is “the pillar and ground of the truth”—the witness that maintains the truth on earth (1 Tim. 3:15). The word occurs also in Revelation 3:12 and Revelation 10:1.


Priest of the house of Moadiah (Neh. 12:17).

Pine Tree

1. tidhar. A tree that grew on Mount Lebanon, but of what sort is uncertain (Isa. 41:19; Isa. 60:13).
2. ets shemen, “trees of oil” (Neh. 8:15). See OIL TREE.


The word πτερύγιον has the article, and refers to some elevated part of the temple that is now unknown (Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9).


Descendant of Esau and a duke of Edom (Gen. 36:41; 1 Chron. 1:52).


The simplest of musical instruments, often made of a reed, with holes to vary the notes. They were sometimes double, as seen on the Egyptian monuments, and in present use in Egypt: a number of them fastened together was called an “organ” (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; Isa. 30:29; Jer. 48:36; Ezek. 28:13; 1 Cor. 14:7).


Amorite king of Jarmuth, conquered by Joshua (Josh. 10:3).


Place in Ephraim where Abdon was buried “in the mount of the Amalekites” (Judg. 12:15). Identified by some with Feron, 32° 17' N, 35° 1' E.


An inhabitant of Pirathon (Judg. 12:13,15; 2 Sam. 23:30; 1 Chron. 11:31; 1 Chron. 27:14).


Mountain on the east of the Jordan. Balaam offered sacrifices there, and it was the spot from which Moses viewed the promised land, and near to which he died. It was associated with Nebo, and was said to be “over against Jericho” (Num. 21:20; Num. 23:14; Deut. 3:27; Deut. 4:49; Deut. 34:1). The peak called Ras Siaghah, 31° 46' N, 35° 43' E, is probably the site.


District of Asia Minor lying between Pamphylia and Phrygia, through which Paul passed (Acts 13:14; Acts 14:24). Travelers speak of it as wild and rugged.


One of the four “heads” or main streams into which the river divided that flowed through Eden (Gen. 2:11). Not identified.


Son of Jether, of the tribe of Asher (1 Chron. 7:38).


There are several Hebrew words translated “pit.” The principal are:
1. sheol, “the grave, hades, hell” (Num. 16:30,33; Job 17:16).
2. shachath, “a pit, a pitfall to entrap animals,” place of doom and corruption (Job 33:18,24,28,30; Psa. 9:15; Psa. 30:9; Psa. 35:7; Ezek. 28:8; etc.).
3. bor, beer, “pit or well dug for water,” but which could be used for a dungeon (Gen. 37:20-29; Psa. 28:1; Psa. 40:2; Psa. 88:4,6; Ezek. 26:20; Zech. 9:11, etc.). See BOTTOMLESS PIT.


A kind of bitumen. Noah covered the ark with pitch inside and outside (Gen. 6:14). The ark in which the infant Moses was put, was likewise thus rendered waterproof (Ex. 2:3). Among God’s judgments on the earth the streams are turned into pitch, and the land into burning pitch (Isa. 34:9). Different words are employed in the Hebrew of Genesis 6:14 from the other passages. Noah was to pitch (kaphar, “to cover,” often translated “atonement”) the ark with pitch (kopher, translated “ransom”) as if to teach that Noah and those with him could be saved only by being covered with a ransom, and which would introduce them to a new earth.


One of the store-cities built by the Israelites for the Pharaoh “who knew not Joseph” (Ex. 1:11). It has been identified with Tell Maskhuta, on the west of the Suez Canal, 30° 35' N, 32° 11' E. In these ruins bricks have been found in some of which no straw can be discovered.


Son of Micah, a descendant of Saul (1 Chron. 8:35; 1 Chron. 9:41).

Plagues of Egypt

These were wrought by God to show to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians His great power, and that all the elements of creation were at His disposal (Ex. 7-12).
1. THE PLAGUE OF BLOOD. The water of the Nile and of the canals and pools was turned into blood. The water stank, and the fish died. This was a real punishment; for it was the water they all drank, and which was highly esteemed. The fish too was abundant: the Israelites in the wilderness could not forget the fish of which they had eaten freely, or “for nothing.” The magicians also were able to turn water into blood: where then was the great power of the God of Israel? Pharaoh hardened his heart.
2. FROGS. The land swarmed with them: they were in their bedchambers, their ovens, and their bread pans. The magicians also were able to bring up frogs on the land. The presence of the frogs was so insufferable that Pharaoh called for Moses, and begged him to entreat Jehovah for their removal, and he would let the people go. The frogs died and were gathered in heaps; but with the relief, Pharaoh hardened his heart, and would not let the people go.
3. LICE, ken, kinnam. The dust of the land became lice in man and in beast. It has been supposed that the word signifies gnats, because the LXX has σκνίφες, which some translate “mosquito-gnats.” But these may be included in the next plague. It is more probable that the louse or the tick is alluded to. It is described as being “in man and in beast.” The magicians could not imitate this; it was a communication of life. They acknowledged, “This is the finger of God.” Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not let Israel go.
4. FLIES. In the AV the words “of flies” are added, and the “swarms” may refer to swarms of insects of different sorts. They were to come into the houses and also to corrupt the land. Gesenius gives “gad-fly” for arob, but in Psalm 78:45 and Psalm 105:31, the same word is translated “divers sorts of flies.” There is an insect that is exceedingly destructive to property, ruining the wood of a house in a short time. No doubt the common fly of Egypt is included: they are very troublesome; soon defiling food, and persistently attacking the body. One thing that characterizes this plague is that these pests were not sent into the land of Goshen, where the Israelites dwelt. The plague was felt so much that Pharaoh hastened to call Moses, and proposed that they should have their sacrifice, but have it in Egypt. To this Moses could not accede, for the Israelites would have to sacrifice the animals which the Egyptians worshipped. Pharaoh at length consented to their going; but they were not to go very far away. However no sooner was the plague removed than Pharaoh again refused to let Israel go.
5. MURRAIN OF BEASTS. It fell upon the cattle, horses, asses, camels, and sheep, that were in the fields, and all that were attacked died. Of the cattle of the children of Israel none were stricken. Pharaoh sent to certify this, and one would have thought that, finding they were all safe, it would have convinced him that it was the Almighty he was fighting against. But he would not let Israel go.
6. BOILS upon man and beast. The magicians were now smitten, so that they could not stand before Pharaoh as at other times. But Pharaoh hardened his heart, and refused to let the people go.
7. HAIL, with thunder and lightning. The fire ran along upon the ground. There had not been a storm of such violence since Egypt had been a nation. This also had not fallen upon Goshen. The king said, “I have sinned this time: Jehovah is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Entreat Jehovah (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.” The hail and thunder ceased; but Pharaoh would not let Israel go.
8. LOCUSTS. Moses threatened these, and Pharaoh’s servants now begged him to let the people go. He called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Go, serve the Lord your God: but who are they that shall go?” All must go, and the flocks and herds. Pharaoh again refused, but said the men might go. The devastation of the locusts was such that Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron “in haste,” confessed that he had sinned against Jehovah, and begged that “this death” might be removed. A west wind carried away the locusts; but Pharaoh’s heart was hardened; and he again refused.
9. DARKNESS. “They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” It was a darkness that might be felt, and Pharaoh called for Moses, and bade the Israelites to depart with their wives and their little ones; but they must leave their flocks and herds behind. Moses could not agree: all must go: not a hoof must be left behind, it was God’s redemption. Pharaoh was angry, saying, “Take heed to thyself, see my face no more: for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.” Moses replied, “Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.” This is in Exodus 10:29; but in Exodus 11:4-8 it is clear that Moses told Pharaoh of the death of the firstborn, which might have been on the same occasion by a message direct from God. We read that Moses, though the meekest of men, went out from Pharaoh in great anger.
10. DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN. “From the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.” The Israelites had prepared the paschal lamb, and had sprinkled its blood upon the lintel and doorposts, and the destroyer passed them by. This was typical of the precious blood of Christ, which is the testimony that judgment on man has been executed, and is the basis of all God’s subsequent dealings in grace. Moses and Aaron were called for, and told to depart with flocks and herds. The Egyptians were urgent upon them to make haste, exclaiming, “We be all dead men.” Thus did God bring His sore judgments upon Egypt, to let Pharaoh know that He was the mighty God, and to redeem His chosen people with a high hand.


The Hebrew word is mazzaloth, and is supposed to refer to the twelve signs or constellations of the Zodiac, as intimated in the margin. These, with the sun, moon, and “all the host of heaven,” had been worshipped by the Israelites (2 Kings 23:5). The word occurs nowhere else.

Plaster, Plaister

This was used to cover the walls of houses (Lev. 14:42-48; Dan. 5:5); and was also spread on large stones, on which the law could be inscribed (Deut. 27:2-4; Josh. 8:32). It may have been compounded of different substances for divers purposes. In Isaiah 38:21 plaster is used in a medical sense as spread on a boil.


“Portion or plot” (2 Kings 9:26).


The taking of articles as security for loans, etc. was very early practiced, and restrictions were given in the law that no unfair advantage should be taken thereby (Ex. 22:26; Deut. 24:10-17; Job 22:6; Job 24:3,9; Amos 2:8). In 2 Kings 18:23 and Isaiah 36:8 the sense is “to make an engagement or treaty.”

Pleiades (Kimah)

The Hebrew signifies literally “a heap or collection.” Being named with Arcturus and Orion, it doubtless refers to the group of stars that still bear the name Pleiades (Job 9:9; Job 38:31). The same Hebrew word is translated SEVEN STARS in Amos 5:8. There are many stars in the group, but seven are visible to the naked eye. Job 38:31 is better translated, “Canst thou fasten the bands of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords of Orion?”

Plough, Plow, To

Besides the literal signification of breaking up the ground for tillage, this term is employed figuratively; as “plotting” wickedness (Job 4:8; Hos. 10:13). Israel, speaking of the trials they had passed through, say, “The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows” (Psa. 129:3). It is doubtless typical of the treatment which the blessed Lord received when on earth, especially His being scourged.

Plumbline, Plummet

The simple contrivance of a lump of lead, a stone, or other weight attached to a string, for testing whether a building or other erection is perpendicular. It is used symbolically for the exactness with which judgment was brought upon Israel. Israel had been built up by God as a wall with a plumbline, and with a plumbline it should be destroyed (Amos 7:7-8; compare 2 Kings 21:13; Isa. 28:17). In Zechariah 4:10, although it was a day of small things when the temple was rebuilt, the plummet was in the hands of Zerubbabel, and the Lord of hosts was supporting him.


Servant of Solomon, described as “of Zebaim”: ancestor of some who returned from exile (Ezra 2:57; Neh. 7:59). Some translate “Pochereth-hazzebaim.”


The Books of Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and various parts of the Prophets are poetical. It is not easy to define Hebrew poetry. It appears clear that the lines did not end with corresponding sounds, and it cannot be discovered in what the rhythm consists, the ancient pronunciation of the language being lost. Ewald concluded that in the Hebrew poetry there was a thought rhythm, and not one of sound.
One of their most marked styles is an alphabetical poem. These consist of twenty-two lines or stanzas, or systems of lines, and the lines or stanzas begin with letters which follow in alphabetical order: the first A, the second B, and so on. There is doubtless a spiritual significance in these arrangements: such as intense human exercises, emotions, &c., under the working of the Spirit. And they may have assisted the memory, at least in the Psalms when they were sung. Such may be found in Psalm 25; Psalm 34; Psalm 37; Psalm 111-112; Psalm 119; Psalm 145; Proverbs 31:10-31; Lamenatations 1-4.
In some stanzas, called “synthetical,” one half corresponds to the other, either in expressing the same sentiment or explaining it: thus—
“But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses;
Therefore shall ye flee:
And, We will ride upon the swift;
Therefore shall they that pursue you be swift” (Isaiah 30:16).
Other stanzas are called “antithetical,” in which the second half is the reverse of the first: as
“The memory of the just is blessed:
But the name of the wicked shall rot” (Prov. 10:7).
From these simple examples the form of the stanzas varies in many ways. The first example we meet with is what Lamech said to his wives. It will be seen that it is in parallelism, or correspondence.
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech:
For I have slain a man to my wounding,
And a young man to my hurt.
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold” (Gen. 4:23-24).
Towards the end of the Old Testament, Habakkuk (Hab. 3:18-19); when all earthly blessings were failing, sang
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,{br}I will joy in the God of my salvation.{br}The Lord God is my strength,{br}And He will make my feet like hinds’ feet,{br}And He will make me to walk upon mine high places.”


The poison of serpents and of asps is used in scripture symbolically for the judgment of God and for the malignity inherent in the wicked (Deut. 32:24,33; Job 6:4; Job 20:16; Psa. 58:4; Psa. 140:3; Rom. 3:13). The tongue is “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Job 6:4 apparently alludes to arrows being poisoned.


The skull or head, but used to express a person (Num. 1:2-22; Num. 3:47; 1 Chron. 23:3,24).

Poll, To

To cut the hair of the head (2 Sam. 14:26; Ezek. 44:20; Ezek. 1:16).



Pomegranates, Rimmon

This tree and its fruit are often referred to, though it is rather a shrub. It is named among the vines and fig trees as of the products of Palestine. The fruit is as large as an apple. It was represented alternately with bells, at the bottom of the high priest’s robe, as a type of fruitfulness, and was copied as an ornament on the columns of Solomon’s temple. The temples, or cheeks, of the bride in the Song of Solomon are compared to “a piece of a pomegranate” (Song of Sol. 4:3; Song of Sol. 6:7). Spiced wine was made of its juice (Song of Sol. 8:2; Ex. 39:24-26; Num. 20:5; Deut. 8:8; 1 Kings 7:18,42; Jer. 52:22-23; Joel 1:12; Hag. 2:19). It is the Punica granatum, which both wild and cultivated still grows in Palestine, and is highly valued.


Anything round. It formed some part of the chapiters of the two pillars in the temple built by Solomon (2 Chron. 4:12-13). The same word is translated “bowls” in 1 Kings 7:41-42.


Pools, left by the retiring of the river Nile, or formed by artificial means (Ex. 7:19; Ex. 8:5; Isa. 19:10).

Pontius Pilate

Procurator of Palestine A.D. 26-35. Unlike former governors he fixed the headquarters of the army at Jerusalem instead of Caesarea. They brought their standards with them, which gave great offense. The Jews went to him in crowds, and on his finding that they would rather suffer death than give way, he ordered the standards to be removed. He also hung up in his palace at Jerusalem some gilt shields on which were the names of heathen gods. These were removed by an order from Tiberius. He proceeded to use the “Corban or Sacred Fund,” raised by the redemption of vows, to form an aqueduct for the public benefit; but this caused an insurrection, which he crushed in blood. Scripture also records that he had mingled the blood of certain Galileans with their sacrifices (Luke 13:1). His wickedness culminated in the trial and condemnation of the Lord. After declaring more than once that he found no fault in Him, and receiving the warning from his wife, and having the conversation with the Lord, which led to his seeking to release Him—yet to deliver Him up to be crucified at the mere clamor of the Lord’s enemies, shows his extreme meanness of character and his unrighteousness. His washing his hands before the multitude, and saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it,” is evidence that he had a bad conscience, he senselessly condemned himself by his own lips. Like Judas, it had been well for him if he had never been born, though alas, the Jewish rulers, who delivered up the Lord after having seen His miracles and heard His words, had the greater sin (Matt. 27:2; Acts 4:27; 1 Tim. 6:13).
In consequence of complaints by the Samaritans, Pilate was summoned to Rome to answer the charges before the emperor. He was banished, and ended his life by his own hand. Pilate is a signal instance of the way Satan leads his dupes into sin, and then goads them to their own destruction.
There is extant a report of Pilate to the Emperor as to the miracles and death of Christ, laying all blame upon the Jews, also an account of the “ACTS OF PILATE,” but they are now accounted to be spurious.


Maritime district in the N. E. of Asia Minor, where many Jews were located: it was the native place of Aquila (Acts 2:9; Acts 18:2; 1 Peter 1:1).


See the various names by which they are called.


It was said in the Old Testament that “the poor should never cease out of the land,” and in the enactments of the law they were cared for by Jehovah. The Lord said, “Ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good” (Mark 14:7). “Blessed is he that considereth the poor” (Psa. 41:1). “The poor have the gospel preached unto them” (Matt. 11:5). “When thou makest a feast call the poor” (Luke 14:13). “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord” (Prov. 19:17). Other passages show that the working of the love of God in the soul issues in a special regard for the poor (Gal. 2:10). Of the Lord Jesus it is said, that though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor (2 Cor. 8:9).

Poplar (Libneh)

It was probably the white poplar (Populus alba) which Jacob employed: it was “green” in the sense of being fresh, moist. The poplar affords a grateful shade from the heat of the sun and was therefore one of the trees chosen under which the Israelites burnt incense (Gen. 30:37; Hos. 4:13). Some judge the Hebrew word libneh to refer to the “storax tree” (the styrax officinale) which also grows in Palestine.


Son of Haman: he was slain and hanged (Esther 9:8).




In scripture this word is used in the sense of doorkeeper. The Levites kept the doors of the temple: it was an honorable office (2 Sam. 18:26; 2 Kings 7:10-11; 1 Chron. 9:17-26; Mark 13:34).
In John 10:3 the Porter is the Spirit of Jehovah working in Israel, who recognized the Lord Jesus as entering in by the door into the sheepfold that as the Good Shepherd He might have access to the sheep.

Posts (Ruts)

The dispatch of letters with speed was of early date. Job said, “Now my days are swifter than a post” (Job 9:25). When Hezekiah proclaimed a Passover for all Israel he sent letters of invitation by “runners” from city to city (2 Chron. 30:6,10). The posts sent with the decree from Shushan the palace went on horses, mules, camels, and young dromedaries, “being hastened and pressed on by the king’s commandment” (Esther 3:13,15; Esther 8:10,14). In the prophecy of God’s judgments on Babylon it is said that the news should be carried to the king by one post running to meet another (Jer. 51:31). By dividing large districts into small departments with a post-house in each, in which “runners” and animals were always kept ready, dispatches could quickly be dispersed in various directions.

Potentate (δυνάστης, 'powerful one')

Jehovah is the only Potentate (1 Tim. 6:15). The word occurs also in Luke 1:52; Jehovah “hath put down the ‘mighty’ from their thrones.” And in Acts 8:27, the eunuch was a man “of great authority”; they at times had more power than the kings.


Pharaoh’s captain of the guard, to whom Joseph was sold (Gen. 37:36; Gen. 39:1).


The priest of On, or Heliopolis, whose daughter Asenath became Joseph’s wife (Gen. 41:45,50; Gen. 46:20).


A fragment of pottery, to which man is compared when he strives with his Maker (Isa. 45:9). David quotes the word in the Psalm prophetical of the Lord’s sacrificial sufferings, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd” (Psa. 22:15). It is employed literally in Job 2:8; Proverbs 26:23 and translated “sherd” in Isaiah 30:14 and Ezekiel 23:34.


Of the potter scripture says he treadeth the clay to make it pliable (Isa. 41:25); and he forms his vessel on a wheel (Jer. 18:3). Much of the ordinary pottery in the East is made in a very simple way: the workman turns the wheel with his feet, and with his hands he forms the vessel as it pleases him. This common pottery of the East is very fragile, and as such is often alluded to in scripture. The Lord Jesus will subdue all His enemies: will dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel (Psa. 2:9; Isa. 30:14; Rev. 2:27).
The potter making his vessels as it pleases him, is a beautiful illustration of the power of God as Creator, and is applied to Israel: “as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel” (Jer. 18:2-6). It also illustrates God’s sovereignty: “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” The potter has full power over the clay (Rom. 9:20-21).

Potter's Field

The field that was bought with the thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas for the betrayal of the Lord is thus called (Matt. 27:7-10). It is added, “then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet.” Nothing is found in Jeremiah corresponding to the words quoted; but there is something similar in Zechariah 11:12-13. Jeremiah is said to have spoken the words; the reference therefore may be to something he had said, and not to what he had written. Or it is possible that as the Jews anciently placed Jeremiah at the beginning of the Book of the Prophets (Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve minor prophets following), “Jeremiah” may have been a sort of heading for the whole. Zechariah is quoted in the New Testament but never named there. See ACELDAMA.




The two principal words in the New Testament translated “power” are 1. δύναμις, and 2. ἐξουσία. It is important to see the difference between them, for their signification is not at all the same. No. 1 may be described as “capacity, moral or physical ability, power.” No. 2 signifies “delegated authority, right, privilege, title.” The latter always supposes power to exercise the right; but in the former there is no thought of right or authority. No. 1 is translated in the AV “ability, might, mighty, mighty deeds, miracles, power, strength, violence, mighty works, wonderful works,” &c. which will help further to show the character of the word, contrasted with No. 2, which is translated “authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, and strength.”
The word “power” occurs in both lists, and this needs to be cleared of any ambiguity. No. 2 is often translated “power” where some other word would convey the sense better; but there is no single word in the English language that exactly answers to the Greek, and which would suit in all places. A concordance must be consulted for a full list of the occurrences: a few passages only are cited. All “authority” is given to the Lord Jesus (Matt. 9:6; Matt. 28:18; John 17:2). Satan offered to give to the Lord “authority” over the kingdoms of the world which had been delivered to him, if the Lord would fall down and worship him (Luke 4:6). To as many as received the Lord, to them gave He “right” or “title” to become the children of God (John 1:12). “There is no ‘authority’ but of God.” No. 2 occurring five times in Romans 13:1-3. Along with ‘principality’ occurs No. 2 (Eph. 1:21; Eph. 3:10; Eph. 6:12; Col. 1:16; Col. 2:10, 15; Titus 3:1).
The principal thing to remember is that No. 2 signifies a delegated right or title, with the presumed power or strength to enforce the right; whereas in No. 1 it is strength or power only.


See Palace.




This has been described as “the intercourse of a dependent one with God.” It may take the form of communion in one brought nigh, or it may be the making requests for oneself or for others. There are twelve different words used for prayer in the Old Testament, and eight in the New Testament, with various shades of meaning, as there are in English: “asking, begging, beseeching.” In the synoptic Gospels the word used in connection with Christ is that most commonly employed for “praying,” but in John’s gospel the word is that generally rendered “ask” or “demand.” The change is explained by the different aspect in which the Lord is presented in John.
God hears and encourages prayer. A cry to God is the mark of a soul truly turning to Him: “Behold, he prayeth,” was said of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:11). To the saints it is said, “Pray without ceasing”; “ask and ye shall receive.” “If we ask anything according to His will He heareth us, and.... we know that we have the petitions.” “All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing ye shall receive.” “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.” The disciples as left here, representative of Christ and charged with His interests, were to ask in His name; and the same is true in principle as regards believers now (Mark 11:24; John 14:13; John 15:16; John 16:23,26; James 1:5-7; 1 John 5:14-15). Christians are exhorted to make known all their petitions, or requests, to God, and having done so, the peace of God shall keep their hearts and minds (Phil. 4:6-7). This is their wondrous privilege: they have addressed God, and in peace they leave it with Him to grant their petitions or not.
The above passages demonstrate that to receive what is prayed for, requests must be in faith, they must be according to the light of God’s will, and hence made in the name of the Lord Jesus. While prayer is always to God, it is suggested that requests would naturally be made to the Father in respect of all that tends to the promotion of Christ in believers, as well as in things referring to their discipline in the pathway here. On the other hand prayer would be made to the Lord in relation to that over which He is set as administrator, such as the service of the gospel, the saints, the house of God, &c.
The attitudes in prayer which are recorded are: “standing” (1 Sam. 1:26; Mark 11:25); “kneeling” (Dan. 6:10; Luke 22:41); and “falling down” (Deut. 9:25; Josh. 7:6).


This is often used in the New Testament for “announcing, or making known,” without the idea of preaching in a formal way, as the word is now understood. When there was persecution in the church at Jerusalem, they were all scattered, except the apostles, and they went everywhere “preaching the word” (Acts 8:1-4).
Solomon in the Ecclesiastes calls himself “the preacher,” and it is said of Noah that he was “a preacher of righteousness.” Paul was appointed a preacher (herald), and it pleased God by “the foolishness of the preaching” to save them that believe. Preaching is still used of God as the means for making known the love of God and the work of Christ.

Predestinate (προορίζς)

“To mark out beforehand, predetermine.” In Romans 8:29-30, it forms a link in the chain that connects the foreknowledge of God in the past with the glory in the future. Election is God’s choice of individuals; predestination is to a blessing, as in Ephesians 1:5, 11, believers are predestinated to the adoption of sons, according to the purpose of God. Predestination does not, as insisted on by some, imply reprobation of some to wrath. God “will have [or desires] all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4); but to ensure some being saved, He predestinated, called, justified, and glorified them in His sovereign purpose.




In Proverbs 12:16 the word is literally “in the day,” or openly. In Matthew 21:19, and Philippians 2:23 the words should be translated as elsewhere. In Matthew 26:53 the word “presently” should be omitted.


Governors, prefects, satraps (Dan. 6:2-7).


“To go before,” anticipate (from the Latin prævenio) “to come before” (Psa. 18:5,18; Psa. 21:3; Psa. 59:10; Matt. 17:25; 1 Thess. 4:15).


The pointed goads by which oxen when plowing were urged on; to kick against these was only to injure themselves. This action is figuratively applied by the Lord to Paul when he was smitten to the ground at his conversion: “It is hard for thee to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5; Acts 26:14).

Priest, Priesthood

It is remarkable that the first priest spoken of in scripture is Melchizedek: he is said to be “priest of the most high God.” Nothing is said of his offering sacrifices, but he brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abraham (Gen. 14:18-19). He is a type of Christ, who is constituted a “priest after the order of Melchizedek,” and who will come forth to bless His people in the future. See MELCHIZEDEK.
Before the institution of the Levitical priesthood, Israel had been redeemed out of Egypt. The object of priesthood was not therefore to bring them into redemption, but to maintain their position based on redemption before God. At first it was said that they should all be priests (Ex. 19:6), but law afterward came in, and the service of priesthood was very definitely confined to the house of Aaron. The names of the twelve tribes were engraved on the breastplate and on the plates on the priest’s shoulders: whenever he went in to the presence of God, the people were thus represented. So Christ is the great High Priest at the right hand of God, not for the world, but for His saints: “We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb. 8:1). He represents His saints there, and in virtue of His presence there, and of His experience here, He is able to sympathize with them in trial and to succor them in temptation.
The Lord was not nor could be a priest on earth, for He was not of the order of Aaron (Heb. 7:14; Heb. 8:4); but on the cross He offered Himself to God, the antitype of Aaron on the day of atonement. He was really Offering, Priest, and Victim in His own person, and, being perfected, is now the great High Priest above for the Christian (Heb. 4:14-16). See AARONIC PRIESTHOOD.
Christians are priests by calling, as being risen together with Christ, and have access to God: “an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5,9; Heb. 10:19; Rev. 1:6).

Prince, Princess

There are sixteen different Hebrew words so translated. The principal are
1. nasi, “one raised up”; this is translated also “ruler, governor, captain, and chief.” It is applied to “the princes of the congregation”: these would be the heads of families in the various tribes (Josh. 9:15-21).
2. sar, “to bear rule,” hence applied to the head men in the tribes, “chief of the fathers”; and to the satraps in the Persian empire (Esther 1:3-21). In Daniel these same are called achashdarpenayya, “chief governors” (Dan. 3:2-3, 27; Dan. 6:1-7).
Princess is sarah (1 Kings 11:3; Lam. 1:1). The word sar is also employed for the Prince of peace in Isaiah 9:6, and for Michael the archangel, and for the prince of Persia who opposed him, and for the prince of Grecia (Dan. 10:13-21).


The status of those who hold the first place, as rulers among men (Titus 3:1); but the word especially refers to the spiritual high powers in the unseen world, whether good or bad. They were created by the Lord, and He is head of them all (col. 1:16; Col. 2:10). Some fell from the position of trust given them: they kept not their first estate or principality (Jude 6). Others contend against the heavenly position of the saints (Eph. 6:12). The Lord “spoiled” principalities on the cross (col. 2:15); and at His resurrection He was exalted by God far above all such created powers (Eph. 1:21; Eph. 3:10).

Prisca, Priscilla

The wife of Aquila. She and her husband are called by Paul “my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus.” Paul met them at Corinth, and they traveled with him to Ephesus, where they were enabled to expound unto Apollos the way of God more perfectly. Priscilla is sometimes mentioned before her husband (Acts 18:2,18,26; Rom. 16:3; 1 Cor. 16:19; 2 Tim. 4:19).


In Egypt, in Babylon, among the Romans, and doubtless in most other nations, these were used as places in which to secure prisoners. Joseph was cast into prison, and his feet were hurt with fetters (Psa. 105:18), though it does not appear that there was any trial as to the crime of which he was accused. God interfered on his behalf, and made the keeper or jailor favorable to him, and he committed all the prisoners into Joseph’s care. This was the royal prison, but the condition of the place is not known: he called it “the dungeon.”
Jeremiah was confined in “the court of the prison,” a place to which the Jews could come and where they could converse with him (Jer. 32:2-12). Jehoiachin was in prison in Babylon (Jer. 52:31). The prison at Jerusalem, under the Romans, is more fully described. Peter was bound by two chains, and lay asleep between two soldiers. It was under military rule, and the soldiers were responsible for the safety of the prisoners. The angel conducted Peter through the first and second guard to the outer iron gate that led into the city. This shows what is meant by the “inner prison” mentioned elsewhere (Acts 12). At Philippi there was a jailor who was responsible for the safety of the prisoners. He, supposing some had escaped, was about to destroy himself, when Paul stopped him (Acts 16:23-27).
Fallen angels are said to be kept in “everlasting chains” (Jude 6); and there are spirits which are kept in prison (1 Peter 3:19). The abyss in which Satan is to be shut up for the thousand years is also called a prison, which may refer to the same place (Rev. 20:7).


The course run by a Christian is compared to races in which “one receiveth the prize”: with the exhortation, “So run that ye may obtain” (1 Cor. 9:24-27). The prize that Paul was stretching forward to win was that of being with and like the Lord in the glory (Phil. 3:14).


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


One who acts as a consul in a province. The word ἀνθύπατος, translated “deputy” in the AV, shows the accuracy of Luke in giving this title to the governor of places to whom it belonged (Acts 13:7-8,12; Acts 18:12; Acts 19:38).


The Roman title given to the chief ruler of a district. Judaea was governed by a procurator, ἠγεμών, who held his authority directly from the emperor, and was invested with powers of life and death. Roman citizens, however, were privileged to appeal from his authority to the emperor. The procurators were to some extent responsible to the Presidents of Syria. Those mentioned in the New Testament are Pontius Pilate, Felix, and Festus. In the AV they are called “governors.”





Prophecy, Prophet

The scriptural use of the term “prophecy” is in no way confined to foretelling events, nor is that its primary significance. It included any communication which God saw fit to make either to His own people or to any of the nations. God said to Abimelech concerning Abraham, “He is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee” (Gen. 20:7). Aaron was called the prophet of Moses (Ex. 7:1). God’s power came at times upon individuals who were not recognized as prophets, and they prophesied, as for instance Saul in 1 Samuel 10:10-11. Prophecy became in Israel the means, through mercy, of God’s communication to the people when the priesthood with Urim and Thummim had utterly broken down. It came in by Samuel. Elijah and Elisha prophesied in the midst of apostate Israel. Nathan and John the Baptist were also prophets. Of some of the prophets no prophecies are recorded, while others are only known to us by what they wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
In the New Testament we read that Philip had four virgin daughters who “prophesied”; and Agabus foretold that Paul would be bound at Jerusalem and be delivered to the Gentiles (Acts 21:9-11). Prophesying is, however, in the New Testament also used in a different sense. The word is from πρόφημι, “to speak forth,” and a prophet may therefore be described as a spokesman of God. Prophecy of this kind is a gift in the church for the edifying of the saints, bringing God’s word with power upon their consciences and hearts. It is the gift of most importance in the church (1 Cor. 14:1-5,24,31,39; 1 Thess. 5:20).
In Romans 16:26 the writings of the New Testament are spoken of as “prophetic scriptures,” and the assembly is built on the foundation laid by the apostles and New Testament prophets (Eph. 2:20), that is, the truth taught by them.

Prophet, The

The Lord Jesus was emphatically “the prophet of God,” whose coming was foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18. When on earth He said that the works which He did, and the words that He spoke, were not from Himself, but were what He had seen and heard of His Father (John 14:10, 24). He was the perfect exponent of God’s mind to the Jews (Acts 3:22; Acts 7:37), and the proclaimer of God’s grace to a guilty world (Luke 14:15-24; 2 Cor. 5:19).

Prophets, False

These, at various periods in the history of Israel, appeared in large numbers: Ahab had “about four hundred” of them (1 Kings 22:6). Such are described as speaking “a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord” (Jer. 23:16). There were three that opposed Jeremiah to his face—Hananiah, Ahab, and Zedekiah (Jer. 28:1; Jer. 29:21). In the New Testament the Lord, early in His ministry, warned His hearers to beware of false prophets (Matt. 7:15); and in the church, the spirits are to be tried, for many false prophets have gone forth into the world (1 John 4:1). They were and are Satan’s counterfeits of the prophets of God, and their purpose is, on the principle of imitation, to neutralize the word of God.

Prophets, Sons of the

These are referred to in the Old Testament, and at times were numerous. They are spoken of as being at Bethel, Jericho, and Gilgal (2 Kings 2:3,5; 2 Kings 4:38). At one place their dwelling was too limited, and they cut down timber to build themselves a larger place (2 Kings 6:1-2). We read of them only in the days of Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha, who were held in repute by them. When Elijah was about to be taken up, these prophets apparently had a revelation concerning it, and they sent fifty men “to view afar off,” and afterward sent fifty to look for the prophet (2 Kings 2:7,17; compare 1 Sam. 10:10). The “company of prophets” with psaltery, tabret, pipe, and harp, whom Saul met, were probably sons of the prophets (1 Sam. 10:5). The hundred prophets whom Obadiah hid from the persecution of Jezebel may have been of the same (1 Kings 18:4). From whence these prophets were gathered, and what their functions were is not recorded.

Prophets, The

The books so designated form a distinct and most important part of scripture. Prophecy usually implied a ruined state of things among God’s people, calling for His intervention. Some of the prophecies are appeals, reminding the people of what God had done for them, and declaring how willing and ready He was to bless them if they would be faithful to Him; though interwoven with this are constant predictions of that which will be for the blessing of Israel in the future, after they have for the time been set aside. Others strictly allude to events which were then or are still future. As a whole the prophets refer to Israel as an inner circle, or chief platform, on which the dealings of Jehovah were and will be developed, and with which the Messiah is in immediate relation. The nations formed an outer circle, and were regarded more or less according to their relations with the twelve tribes. These nations are sometimes spoken of as being God’s instruments by whom He punished His own people, they themselves having afterward to bear the punishments of God. Beyond and above all, there is God’s universal government; in which everything is in result to be made subject to the Messiah, while God’s promises are made good to Israel, for all Israel will again be brought into blessing, with Jehovah in their midst surrounded with glory, and the nations will be blessed with them.
The Prophetic scriptures naturally fall into three divisions.
1. Those that were given to Israel while still a nation, though divided into two parts, extending to the complete break up of Judah.
2. Those referring to the times of the Gentiles, which began with Nebuchadnezzar, and, continuing beyond the days of the Messiah on earth, are still running on: these are almost entirely given in Daniel.
3. Those given after a portion of Judah had returned from exile, when they were helped by the prophecies of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, which present the time of the Messiah on earth, and go even beyond to future blessing.
To these may be added the prophecies in the Gospels, the Epistles, and the Revelation, embracing the judgments of God upon apostate Christendom and the nations generally; the final overthrow of Satan, and universal blessing, ending with the judgment of the dead and a glorious outlook into the eternal state.
It will not be inappropriate here to add a few words as to the relative position, in point of time, of the various Old Testament prophetic scriptures. It may be premised that the burden of the prophets Obadiah, Jonah, and Nahum has special reference to Edom and to Nineveh, that is, to peoples that were always hostile to Israel. There is but little whereby to fix precisely the dates of Joel and Habakkuk. Of the remainder, Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah are anterior to the captivity of the ten tribes. The visions of Isaiah, however, have reference to Judah and Jerusalem. It appears probable, whatever may be the reason, that the testimony commonly known as “the prophets” began in the time of Jeroboam II king of Israel, Uzziah being his contemporary in Judah. The introduction of prophetic scripture indicated that the ordinary relations of the people with God had broken down, Lo-ammi being prophetically written upon them.
Others follow closely, as Micah, who prophesies concerning Samaria and Jerusalem, though no personal reference is made to a king of Israel; and, either before or contemporary with the captivity of Judah, Jeremiah and Zephaniah. The prophets Ezekiel and Daniel speak from the land of Chaldea, when all present hope was over for both Israel and Judah, and the times of the Gentiles had set in. After the return from the captivity we have Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The testimony of the prophets extended thus over a period of from three to four hundred years.
The approximate dates of each of the prophets may be seen in the tables of chronology under KINGS.
The Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah are remarkable, the former as being the most comprehensive of the prophecies, taking up almost in order the various moral questions involved in God’s dealings with Israel, and giving what may be described as a general prophetic framework; and the latter as bringing out, in a peculiarly touching way, the feelings induced by the Spirit of Christ in regard of God’s people when, there being no remedy, the end was come.
Two remarks of great importance as regards prophecy may be made: first, that no prophecy carries its own interpretation: each has to be understood in its place and relation to the whole system of prophecy. Secondly, that the scope of all prophecy takes us on to the day of the Lord; the judgment of the nations and of the wicked in Israel; the establishment of the kingdom; and the reunion of Israel and Judah under the Lord their righteousness. This is the great end of God’s ways on earth. This recovery and blessing by God of His ancient people, in their Messiah, may be said to be a golden thread running through all the prophets. It was ever before God, and shines out everywhere.
It is of the greatest importance, both for the right understanding of these scriptures, and for a true appreciation of what Christianity is, to see that the church has no place in the prophets. In the church there is neither Jew nor Gentile, and the prophets recognize both, while carefully maintaining the distinction between them. Prophecy treats of the earth and of the government of God and its issue: the Christian belongs to heaven, and he will reign with Christ in the kingdom. In the AV of the Old Testament the headings of many of the chapters are misleading: the church often spoken of in them is never found in the text; Christ is there, and the manifestation of God; and the scriptures which develop His ways, and speak of the sufferings and the glories of the One to whom the Christian is united, are of deep interest to him, though he himself may not be immediately spoken of.
Some Christians, though they know and enjoy certain portions of prophecy, without seeing its reference strictly to the remnant of Israel, fail to study the prophets. Not a few deem the study to be unprofitable—the subject is too mysterious, they say, and commentators differ so widely in their interpretation! One great hindrance to the understanding of the prophets is that they are not allowed to mean what they say. To allow Israel to signify Israel in its punishment, its restoration, and its future earthly glory, at once clears away a mass of difficulties. Many sayings of the Lord and other parts of scripture cannot be understood unless a true outline of prophecy be grasped; and if this be understood, none of the moral teaching and consolation as to the unchangeable nature and ways of God will be lost.
The twelve prophets that follow the Book of Daniel are often called THE MINOR PROPHETS, simply because they are shorter than the others, and not as being in any respect inferior.
The following are some prophetic events that await fulfillment:
1. The rapture of the saints, when the dead in Christ will be raised, the living changed, and death swallowed up in victory (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17).
2. The return of a portion of the Jews to Palestine, who in unbelief will rebuild the temple, and re-establish their ordinances (Isa. 17:10-11; Isa. 66:1-3; Rev. 11:1-2).
3. The resuscitation of the Roman empire, ten of the western powers being more or less under one head. It will at first exercise a protectorate over the Jewish nation (Isa. 28:14-18; Dan. 2:40-43; Dan. 7:7-8; Dan. 9:27; Rev. 17:7-8,10-13).
4. The apostasy and the revelation of the man of sin (2 Thess. 2:3-12).
5. The full development of the Romish ecclesiastical system, which at first as a harlot dominates the empire, but afterward is destroyed by the ten kings (2 Tim. 3:1-9; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Jude 3-4,11; Rev. 17: 1-6,16).
6. The casting out of the devil and his angels from heaven, when Satan will energize the beast (head of the Roman empire) and the false prophet (Antichrist): they will persecute the pious Jews, will abolish the worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem, and enforce idolatry and the worship of the image of the beast everywhere. Thus there will be formed a trinity of evil (Dan. 7:19-25; Dan. 9:27; Dan. 11:36-39; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:1-18).
7. The appearing of the Lord with the heavenly saints to judge His enemies, and to deliver His earthly people (Dan. 2:34-35,44-45; Matt. 24:30; 1 Thess. 4:14; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 19:11-21).
8. The gathering of the ten tribes after the coming of the Lord so that all Israel will be reunited in the land, under the scepter of the Lord, He being the Antitype of David. They will be attacked in their land by Gog (Russia) who will be utterly destroyed (Isa. 11:11-14; Ezek. 36; Ezek. 38-39; Dan. 12:2-3; Rom. 11:26-27).
9. The binding of Satan; the creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption, and Christ will reign over the earth a thousand years in peace, being Antitype of Solomon (Psa. 72:8,17; Isa. 2:4; Isa. 11:6-9; Isa. 25:6-8; Hab. 2:14; Zech. 14:9; Rom. 8:21-22; Rev. 20:1-6).
10. The loosing of Satan for a short time, who will again deceive the nations: they will attack the saints on earth and Jerusalem; but the enemy will be destroyed by fire, and Satan be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7-10). The eternal state will ensue.


The word ἱλασμός is from the verb “to be propitious.” Propitiation represents in scripture that aspect of the death of Christ in which has been vindicated the holy and righteous character of God, and in virtue of which He is enabled to be propitious, or merciful, to the whole world (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10). A kindred word (the verb) occurs in Hebrews 2:17, where, instead of “to make reconciliation,” should be read “‘to make propitiation’ for the sins of the people.” In Romans 3:25, “propitiation” (ἱλαστήριον) should be “mercy seat,” as the same word is, and must be, translated in Hebrews 9:5. See ATONEMENT.


The name given to any from among the nations who embraced Judaism (Acts 2:10; Acts 6:5; Acts 13:43). The name may be said to be a Greek word, derived from “to come to.” It is used by the LXX where the Hebrew has “the stranger” that sojourneth among you (Ex. 12:48-49; Lev. 17:8,10,12-15; Num. 9:14). Such, if all the males in the family were circumcised, might eat the Passover and offer a burnt offering or sacrifice. The Rabbis say that there were two classes of proselytes.
1. “Proselytes of righteousness,” such as those mentioned above; and
2. “Proselytes of the Gate,” those spoken of as “strangers within thy gates.” The Rabbis also assert that in New Testament times and later the proselytes were received by circumcision and baptism; but it is very much disputed as to when the baptism was added, there being no mention of it in the Old Testament Some hold that it was introduced when the emperors forbade their Gentile subjects to be circumcised, but others think it must have been earlier, which seems confirmed by John 1:25.
History shows to what an extent proselytizing was abused. The Jews held that on a Gentile becoming a proselyte, all his natural relationships were annulled: he was “a new creature.” Many became proselytes in order to abandon their wives and marry again. This, with other abuses, caused the emperors to interfere; the stricter Jews also were scandalized, and repudiated such proselytes. The Lord describes such a proselyte as the Scribes and Pharisees would make, as “twofold more the child of hell” than themselves (Matt. 23:15).


The word chidah is once translated “proverb” (Hab. 2:6); but is often translated “riddle.” It signifies “problem,” a hidden mode of speaking, which conceals the sense under figurative expressions. The parable of the great eagle in Ezekiel 17:2-3, is also called a “riddle.” The word commonly translated “proverb,” and used for the Book of Proverbs is mashal, signifying “comparison, similitude.” Proverbs are short sentences calculated to arrest attention and be retained in the memory (Deut. 28:37; 1 Sam. 24:13; Psalm 69:11; Prov. 1:1; Eccl. 12:9; Isa. 14:4; Jer. 24:9; Ezek. 12:22-23; Ezek. 18:2-3, etc.). In the New Testament are the words
1. παραβολή, “a similitude, comparison.” In the AV this is only once translated “proverb” (Luke 4:23); but is often translated “parable.”
2. παροιμία. This is more an obscure saying (John 16:25,29; 2 Peter 2:22): it is translated “parable” in John 10:6, but “allegory” would be a better rendering.

Proverbs, Book of

In this book God has furnished, through the wisest of men, principles and precepts for the guidance and security of the believer in passing through the temptations to which he is exposed in an evil world. The admonitions speak in terms of affectionate warning “as to sons” (Heb. 12:5). Under symbolic terms, such as “the evil man” and “the strange woman,” the great forms of evil in the world, violent self-will, and corrupting folly, are laid bare in their course and end. Wisdom is shown as the alone guard against one or the other. Wisdom is presented, not as a faculty residing in man, but as an object to be diligently sought after and acquired. It is often personified, and is spoken of as lifting up her voice. In Proverbs 8, under the idea of wisdom, we have doubtless Christ presented as the resource that was with God from “the beginning of His way,” so that God could independently of man establish and bring into effect His thoughts of grace for men.
In detail the book refers to the world, showing what things are to be sought and what to be avoided, and evinces that in the government of God a man reaps according to what he sows, irrespective of the spiritual blessings of God in grace beyond and above this world. It maintains integrity in the earthly relationships of this life, which cannot be violated with impunity. The instruction rises altogether above mere human prudence and sagacity, for “the fear of the Lord is the beginning [or ‘principal part,’ margin] of knowledge.” We have in it the wisdom of God for the daily path of human life.
The book divides itself into two parts: the first nine chapters give general principles, and Proverbs 10 onwards are the proverbs themselves. This latter portion divides itself into three parts: Proverbs 10-24, the proverbs of Solomon; Proverbs 25-29, also the proverbs of Solomon, which were gathered by “the men of Hezekiah king of Judah.” Proverbs 30 gives the words of Agur; and Proverbs 31 the words of king Lemuel.
The Proverbs is a book of poetry. The proverbs vary in style: some are antithetical couplets, one being the opposite of the other, as “a wise son maketh a glad father; but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” Others are synthetical, the second sentence enforcing the first, as “The Lord hath made all things for himself, yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” See POETRY.
In Proverbs 1 the purport of the proverbs is pointed out: it is that instruction in wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity might be received: the fear of the Lord is the starting point. Satan would of course oppose this, so warnings are at once given to avoid the enticings of sinners. Wisdom cries aloud and in the streets: her instructions are for all. Retribution is for such as refuse her call.
Proverbs 2 gives the results of following in the path of wisdom, whereas the wicked will be rooted out.
Proverbs 3 shows that it is the fear of God, and subjection to His word, that is the only true path in an evil world.
Proverbs 4 enforces the study of wisdom: it will surely bring into blessing. Evil must be avoided and be kept at a distance. The heart, the eye, and the feet must be watched.
Proverbs 5 warns a man against leaving the wife of his youth (the lawful connection) for the strange woman, which leads to utter demoralization.
Proverbs 6 enjoins one not to be surety for another. Wisdom is not slothful, violent, nor deceitful. There are seven things which are an abomination to the Lord. The strange woman is again pointed out to be avoided as fire; there is no ransom for adultery.
Proverbs 7 again shows the traps laid by the strange woman, which alas, are often too successful. Her house is the way to hell (Sheol).
Proverbs 8 proclaims that wisdom calls, and invites all to listen: it is valuable for all—kings, princes, rulers, judges. With wisdom are linked durable riches and righteousness: her fruit is better than gold. All God’s works in creation were carried out in wisdom. This introduces Christ as the wisdom of God, from Proverbs 8:22. He was there before the work of creation was begun. His delights were with the sons of men (Prov. 8:31), with which agrees the song of the heavenly host at the birth of the Lord Jesus: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward man” (Luke 2:14). Wisdom says, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life.”
Proverbs 9. Wisdom is established: she has her house, her food, her bread, and her wine. Her maidens are sent forth with loving invitations to enter. Again the world has its counter attractions by the strange woman; but the dead are there, and her guests in the depths of Sheol.
Thus far are the general principles on which wisdom acts: in Proverbs 10 to the end are the proverbs themselves. They enter into details of dangers and how they are to be avoided, and show the path that wisdom leads into, and in which there is safety.
Proverbs 30 has a heading, “The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal.” As these names are not known, it has been supposed that they are symbolical, and that Agur refers to Solomon. Whether this is so or not does not in any way affect the value of the proverbs in the chapter. There are six sets of four things:
Four generations that are evil (Prov. 30:11-14).
Four things that are insatiable (Prov. 30:15-16).
Four things that are inscrutable (Prov. 30:18-19).
Four things that are intolerable (Prov. 30:21-23).
Four things that are weak, yet wise (Prov. 30:24-28).
Four things that are very stately (Prov. 30:29-31).
Proverbs 31 Here are “the words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.” Who king Lemuel was is not known: this has caused some to suppose that Solomon is again alluded to. The first nine verses speak of the character of a king according to wisdom. The principal things are that his strength should not be given unto women, nor to strong drink, and that his mouth should be opened for those ready to perish, the poor, and the needy. The rest of the chapter is devoted to the description of a virtuous woman. She fills her house with good things, and brings prosperity to the household and honor to her husband. The king and the virtuous woman may in some respects be typical of Christ and the church.
Christians should study the Book of Proverbs, for (even when properly occupied with heavenly things, and the interests of Christ on earth) they are apt to overlook the need of wisdom from heaven to pass through this evil world, and to manage their affairs on earth in the fear of God.


This word occurs in the Old Testament only in connection with the Psalms of David and those in the Book of Psalms. David is called “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Sam. 23:1). There can be no doubt that in connection with the “singers,” and the praising God with instruments, the Psalms were used. We read “sing psalms unto him,” “Make a joyful noise unto him with psalms,” &c. In New Testament days, for a time at least, the Psalms of David may have been sung by believers, but there were also hymns and spiritual songs, and it is to be remarked that in the singing at the institution of the Lord’s supper a hymn (ὑμνέω) is spoken of, not a psalm (φαλμός). See PASSOVER. The latter Greek word (besides the occurrences which refer to the Book of Psalms) is found in 1 Corinthians 14:26; Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16.

Psalms, Book of

This book has been called the heart of the Bible. It expresses sentiments produced by the Spirit of Christ, whether of prayer, sorrow, confession, or praise, in the hearts of God’s people, in which the ways of God are developed, and become known, with their blessed issue, to the faithful. The book is distinctly prophetic in character, the period covered by the language of the Psalms extending from the rejection of Christ (Psa. 2; Acts 4:25-28) to the Hallelujahs consequent on the establishment of the kingdom. The writers do not merely relate what others did and felt, but expressed what was passing through their own souls. And yet their language is not simply what they felt, but that of the Spirit of Christ that spoke in them, as taking part in the afflictions, the griefs, and the joys of God’s people in every phase of their experience. This accounts for Christ being found throughout the Psalms: some refer exclusively to Him, as Psalm 22; in others (though the language is that of the remnant of His people), Christ takes His place with them, making their sufferings His sufferings, and their sorrows His sorrows. In no part of scripture is the inner life of the Lord Jesus disclosed as in the Psalms. The Psalms may be called “the manual of the earthly choir.” They commence with “Blessed is the man,” and end with “Praise ye Jehovah.” Man is blessed on earth, and Jehovah is praised from earth.
1 Chronicles 16 and 2 Samuel 22 are examples of the immediate occasions on which psalms were composed, and in the headings of the psalms other instances are mentioned; yet these things in no way hinder the Spirit of God from leading the psalmist to utter things that would be fully accomplished in Christ alone. David said, “The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and His word was in my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:1-2). Great pains have been taken sometimes to arrange the psalms in a supposed chronological order, but the effect of this is to spoil the whole, for God has Himself ordered their arrangement, and in many places the beauty of the order can be seen.
It must not be forgotten that the Old Testament prophets did not grasp what “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify” (1 Peter 1:11). David’s experience could not have caused him to indite Psalm 22. But being a prophet, it was clearly the Spirit of Christ that was in him that furnished words which would be uttered by Christ on the cross. We have in it a plain instance of a prophetic psalm, and doubtless the spirit of prophecy runs through all.
If this is the main characteristic of the Psalms, they have an aspect entirely different from that in which the book is regarded by many, namely, as a book of Christian experience. The piety that the Psalms breathe is always edifying, and the deep confidence in God expressed in them under trial and sorrow has cheered the heart of God’s saints at all times. These holy experiences are to be preserved and cherished; but who has not felt the difficulty of calling on God to destroy his enemies? What Christian can take up as his own language such a sentence as “Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones” (Psa. 137:9). And how can such a sentence be spiritualized? But such appeals are intelligible in regard to a future day, when, apostasy being universal and opposition to God open and avowed, the destruction of His enemies is the only way of deliverance for His people.
Unless the difference of the spirit of the Psalms from that of Christianity be observed, the full light of redemption and of the place of the Christian in Christ is not seen, and the reader is apt to be detained in a legal state. His progress is hindered, and he does not understand the Psalms, nor enter into the gracious sympathies of Christ in their true application. When the attitude of the Jews at the time the Lord was here is remembered, and their bitter opposition to their Messiah, which exists to this day, light is thrown upon their feelings when, under tribulation, their eyes will be opened to see that it was indeed their Messiah that they crucified. Great too will be their persecution from without, from which God will deliver a remnant and bring them into blessing. Into all their sorrows Christ enters, and He suffers in sympathy with them. All these things, and the experiences through which they will pass, are found in the Psalms. But these experiences are not properly those of the Christian.
As the Psalms form a part of holy scripture, their true place and bearing must be seen before they can be rightly interpreted. The writers were not Christians, and could not express Christian experience; though their piety, their confidence in God, and the spirit of praise may often be the language of a Christian, and even put a Christian to shame. Christ must be looked for everywhere, either in what He personally passed through, or in His sympathy with His people Israel, which can only end in His bringing them into full blessing on earth, when He will be hailed as “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.”
The Book of Psalms is in the Hebrew divided into five books, each of which has its own prophetic characteristics. The more these are grasped, the clearer it becomes that God has watched over the order of the psalms. Each book ends with an ascription of praise or doxology.
BOOK 1 extends to the end of Psalm 41, and is occupied with the state of the Jewish remnant of the future (Judah), before they are driven out of Jerusalem (compare Matt. 24:16). Christ is largely identified with this. The book recalls much of the personal history of the Lord, when He was here, though the bearing of it is future. The light of resurrection dawns for the faithful in this book, Christ having gone through death into fullness of joy at God’s right hand (compare Rev. 6:11).
In Psalm 2 (and Psalm 1-2 may be said to be introductory to the whole) we have Christ rejected by Jew and Gentile, yet set as King in Zion, and declared to be the Son of God, having the earth for His possession, and judging His enemies, the nations. In a wider sense Psalm 1-8 are introductory; from Psalm 3-7 giving the principles that follow on the rejection of Christ in Psalm 1-2, and Psalm 8 giving His exaltation as Son of Man, ending with “O Jehovah our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth.” Psalm 16 brings in the personal excellence of Christ and His association with the “excellent in the earth.”
In some places the appropriateness of the sequence of the psalms, as already remarked, is very apparent, as for instance Psalm 22- 24. Psalm 22 pictures the sufferings of Christ in the accomplishing of redemption. In Psalm 23, in consequence of redemption being accomplished, the Lord becomes the Shepherd and takes care of the sheep. In Psalm 24 is celebrated the entry of the King of glory through the everlasting gates. In Psalm 40 there comes forth from God One divinely perfect—the true ark of the covenant—who was competent to bring into effect the will of God in all its extent; and at the same time able (by the offering of Himself) to take away the whole system of sacrifices, in which God had found no pleasure.
BOOK 2 embraces Psalm 42 to the end of Psalm 72. The remnant are here viewed as outside Jerusalem, and the city given up to wickedness; but Israel has to be brought back. In Book 1 the name of Jehovah is used all through, but now God is addressed as such: the faithful are cast more entirely on what God is in His own nature and character, when they can no longer approach where Jehovah has put His name: Antichrist prevails there. In Psalm 45 Messiah is introduced, and the remnant celebrate with gladness what God is for His people. Though resurrection may be dimly seen by the faithful in the circumstances of this book, yet what is before them is the restoration of Zion (Psa. 45-48 and Psa. 69:35). God shines out of Zion (Psa. 50:2). Psalm 69-71 speak of the humiliation of the remnant, and Christ with them: some of the verses clearly point to Christ personally, as in the reference to the gall and the vinegar (Psa. 69:21). At the close of this book the Psalmist in the doxology arrives at, “Let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.” To which he adds, “The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.”
Psalm 68 shows that God’s strength and excellency for Israel was of old in the heavens. The heavens are the seat both of blessing (Psa. 68:9,18) and of rule (Psa. 68:4,32-35). Hence Christ is seen as ascended up on high.
BOOK 3. contains Psalm 73 to the end of Psalm 89. It widens out to the restoration of Israel as a nation, whose general interests are in view. The sanctuary is prominent. The thought is not so much limited, as the previous books, to the Jewish remnant, though faithful ones are spoken of. In this book we have but one psalm with David’s name as writer. They are mostly “for, or of” Asaph and the sons of Korah—Levites. In Psalm 88 is the bitter cry of a soul expressive of being subject under a broken law to the wrath of God; and in Psalm 89 praise is rendered for Jehovah’s unchangeable covenant with David, extending to the Holy One of Israel as their King. It celebrates the sure mercies of David, though David’s house had utterly failed and was cast down.
BOOK 4 embraces Psalm 90 to the end of Psalm 106. It begins with a psalm of Moses. In this section the eternity of Elohim, Israel’s Adonai, is seen to have been at all times their dwelling place, as declared in the first verse. It is the answer to the end of Psalm 89 (compare also Psa. 102:23-28 with Psa. 139:44-45). In Psalm 91 Messiah takes His place with Israel; and in Psalm 94-100. Jehovah comes into the world to establish the kingdom in glory and divine order. It is the introduction of the First-begotten into the earth, announced by the cry of the remnant.
BOOK 5 contains Psalm 107 to the end of Psalm 150. This book gives the general results of the government of God. The restoration of Israel amid dangers and difficulties is alluded to; the exaltation of Messiah to God’s right hand till His enemies are made His footstool; God’s ways with Israel; their whole condition, and the principles on which they stand with God, His law being written in their hearts; ending with full and continued praise after the destruction of their enemies, in which they have part with God. For Songs of Degrees, see DEGREES.


The principal word used is nebel, and it is supposed to refer to some unknown form of stringed instrument used to accompany the voice. It is at times mentioned along with the harp (1 Sam. 10:5; Psa. 33:2; Psa. 144:9; Psa. 150:3). The same word is also translated VIOL (Isa. 5:12; Isa. 14:11; Amos 5:23; Amos 6:5). In Daniel 3:5-15 the word is pesanterin.




This name of the later Egyptian kings does not occur in scripture, though the acts of the Ptolemies are prophesied of in Daniel. See under ANTIOCHUS.




1. One of the midwives who preserved the male Hebrew children, contrary to the commandment of the king (Ex. 1:15).
2. Father of Tola, of the tribe of Issachar (Judg. 10:1).
3. The name apparently given to Phuvah (1 Chron. 7:1).


The persons who farmed the taxes levied by the Romans, a certain sum being payable for each district. These then farmed out smaller portions to others, or engaged them to collect the money. The whole system was bad, and was capable of abuse by the collectors demanding more than they should. The counsel given by John the Baptist to the Publicans was: “Exact no more than that which is appointed you” (Luke 3:12-13). Zacchaeus would appear to have been a just and liberal man; he speaks of restoring money taken “by false accusation”: being “the chief among the publicans,” he remedied such things as were under his control.
The obligation to pay taxes to the Romans was very galling to the Jews, and those engaged in collecting them were accounted unworthy of any respect, hence “publicans and sinners” are often classed together; the Lord was derided by the religious people for entering their houses: they mockingly called Him “a friend of publicans and sinners.” But God’s grace was for all, and Matthew was called from his office of publican to be one of the apostles (Matt. 5:46-47; Matt. 10:3; Mark 2:15-16; Luke 5:27-30; Luke 18:10-13).


The chief man, or governor, of Melita (Malta) when Paul was shipwrecked. He treated the company courteously, and Paul healed his father (Acts 28:7-8).


Perhaps the husband of Claudia mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:21. These two, with Linus, are supposed to have been British subjects at Rome. The Latin poet Martial wrote some epigrams about the same date, in which he mentions three friends, whose names agree with the above. This has led to the supposition.


A family in Kirjath-jearim (1 Chron. 2:53).


1. King of Assyria who invaded Israel in the reign of Menahem, who gave him 1,000 talents of silver to confirm the kingdom to him (2 Kings 15:19; 1 Chron. 5:26). Pul has not been identified among the kings of Assyria. There was one named Pulu, who took the name of Tiglath-pileser II. B.C. 745-727, and some have supposed that this king was Pul; but these dates do not agree with scripture, and in 1 Chronicles 5:26, Pul is mentioned as a distinct king from Tiglath-pileser. Besides, Pulu reigned only 18 years, whereas the events recorded of Pul in 2 Kings 15:19 were 31 years earlier than those concerning Tiglath-pileser in 2 Kings 15:29. Rawlinson supposes Pul to be identical with a king called on the monuments Vul-lush or Iva-lush.
2. A district or people to whom tidings will be sent of Jehovah’s fame and glory as seen upon the earth in a future day (Isa. 66:19). The LXX read Phud, which has led to the thought that Phut may have been in the original. Phut is associated with Lud in Ezekiel 27:10. See PHUT.

Pulpit (Migdal)

Some temporary platform on which Ezra stood (Neh. 8:4): probably the same as that called “the stairs” in Nehemiah. 9:4. The Hebrew word is often translated “tower.”


Any species of grain or seeds used for food (Dan. 1:12, 16).


The law required that capital punishment should be inflicted for reviling a parent, blasphemy, sabbath-breaking, witchcraft, adultery, man-stealing, idolatry, murder, etc. Capital punishment was by stoning (Deut. 13:10); burning (Lev. 20:14); the sword (Ex. 32:27); and hanging (Deut. 21:22-23). It appears that those who sinned at Baal-peor were first slain, and then hanged or impaled (Num. 25:4-5); the word is yaqa, and for hanging is used only here and in 2 Samuel 21:6,9,13, when the seven descendants of Saul were “hung up to the Lord,” which may also signify being impaled. There is no record in scripture of crucifixion being practiced among the Jews. Capital punishment was at times carried out in ways not mentioned in the law: sawing asunder and cutting with harrows and axes (2 Sam. 12:31; Heb. 11:37); precipitation (2 Chron. 25:12; Luke 4:29).
For minor offenses there was flogging, which was restricted to forty stripes (Deut. 25:3). A whip with three thongs accounts for the “forty stripes less one” (2 Cor. 11:24). Also placing in the stocks (Jer. 20:2-3). In other cases the punishment was according to the offense: “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (Exod. 21:24-25). Imprisonment for definite periods was not customary as a punishment, though persons were imprisoned (Gen. 39:20; 2 Kings 25:27; Jer. 37:4, 18). Punishment was needed in the government of the nation of Israel, as it is in any nation now. God’s four direct punishments were “the sword, the famine, the noisome beast, and the pestilence” (Ezek. 14:21).
The Lord, referring to the law of an individual demanding an eye for an eye, enjoined forgiveness of personal wrongs; but this in no way interferes with civil government. Christians are exhorted to obey the ordained powers, pay tribute, etc.




One of the later halting places of the Israelites (Num. 33:42-43).

Pur, Purim

A feast, signifying “lot or lots.” Haman cast lots to find an auspicious day for the destruction of the Jews. On this being averted their deliverance was commemorated by an annual feast (Esther 3:7; Esther 9:24-32). It fell on the 14th and 15th of Adar. This feast is not mentioned by name in the New Testament though some suppose it to be alluded to in John 5:1; but of this there is no intimation, and such a feast did not call the Lord to go to Jerusalem. The feast is still kept by the Jews: the Book of Esther is read, and curses are pronounced on Haman and on his wife; and blessings on Mordecai, and on Harbonah.


In the law there were many ceremonial defilements, each of which had its appointed purification. To these the scribes and Pharisees added others, such as washing the hands before eating, washing cups and plates—being very zealous in these things, while within they were full of extortion and excess (Mark 7:2-8). In Christianity the purification required extends to the heart (Acts 15:9; James 4:8); the soul (1 Peter 1:22); and the conscience through the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:14).


A color often mentioned with blue and scarlet in connection with the tabernacle (Ex. 25:4, etc.). Among the spoils taken from the Midianites under Gideon was “purple raiment that was on the kings,” and it is used as a symbol of royalty (Judg. 8:26). In derision the soldiers put a crown of thorns and a “purple” robe on the Lord, as king of the Jews (Mark 15:17,20; John 19:2,5). The rich man in Luke 16:19 was clothed in purple; and papal Rome is seen as a woman clothed in purple and scarlet, royalty and splendor (Rev. 17:4; Rev. 18:12,16).

Purpose of God

That God has His own purpose before Him, should ever be remembered. Behind all His outward acts towards His ancient people Israel, His dealings with the nations of the earth, and His discipline of the saints who form the church, there is His purpose concerning all, and to this purpose everything is made to bend, and towards its accomplishment everything in some way or other (however hidden from the sight of man) is working. “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand....This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?” (Isa. 14:24-27). It is not a purpose formed because events have turned out as they have in the world’s history; but the events that have happened serve to bring about God’s purpose, and His purpose is an eternal purpose. This is more fully revealed, though not more certain, when the church is spoken of. He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 1:11; Eph. 3:11).


A bag for money or weights (Prov. 1:14; Isa. 46:6; Luke 10:4; Luke 22:35, 36; John 12:6). In Matthew 10:9 and Mark 6:8, the “girdle” is alluded to, a portion of which was used as a purse.

Purtenance (Qereb)

The “inwards” of an animal, as it is often translated elsewhere (Ex. 12:9).




A port in Italy on the N. E. of the bay of Naples, where Paul landed on his way to Rome (Acts 28:13). It has suffered both by sieges and by eruptions, and is now only a poor Italian town. A few piers of the harbor remain. It is now called Pozzuoli.


Father-in-law of Eleazar, son of Aaron (Ex. 6:25).

Pygarg (Dishon)

This animal is only mentioned as clean for food (Deut. 14:5). The word pygarg signifies, as some think “white on its hind quarters,” which agrees with some of the antelopes; others think it is probably a gazelle, and others the addax, the Antilope addax.
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