Easton's Bible Dictionary

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W

Wafers — Writing

Wafers

thin cakes ( Exodus 16:31 ; Exodus 29:2 Exodus 29:23 ; Leviticus 2:4 ; 7:12 ; 8:26 ; Numbers 6:15 Numbers 6:19 ) used in various offerings.

Wages

Rate of (mention only in Matthew 20:2 ); to be punctually paid ( Leviticus 19:13 ; Deuteronomy 24:14 Deuteronomy 24:15 ); judgements threatened against the withholding of ( Jeremiah 22:13 ; Malachi 3:5 ; Compare James 5:4 ); paid in money ( Matthew 20:1-14 ); to Jacob in kind ( Genesis 29:15 Genesis 29:20 ; 30:28 ; Genesis 31:7 Genesis 31:8 Genesis 31:41 ).

Wagon

Heb. aghalah; so rendered in Genesis 45:19 Genesis 45:21 Genesis 45:27 ; 46:5 ; Numbers 7:3 Numbers 7:7 Numbers 7:8 , but elsewhere rendered "cart" ( 1 Samuel 6:7 , etc.). This vehicle was used for peaceful purposes. In Ezekiel 23:24 , however, it is the rendering of a different Hebrew word, and denotes a war-chariot.

Wailing-place, Jews

a section of the western wall of the temple area, where the Jews assemble every Friday afternoon to bewail their desolate condition ( Psalms 79:1 Psalms 79:4 Psalms 79:5 ). The stones in this part of the wall are of great size, and were placed, as is generally believed, in the position in which they are now found in the time of Solomon. "The congregation at the wailing-place is one of the most solemn gatherings left to the Jewish Church, and as the writer gazed at the motley concourse he experienced a feeling of sorrow that the remnants of the chosen race should be heartlessly thrust outside the sacred enclosure of their fathers' holy temple by men of an alien race and an alien creed. Many of the elders, seated on the ground, with their backs against the wall, on the west side of the area, and with their faces turned toward the eternal house, read out of their well-thumbed Hebrew books passages from the prophetic writings, such as Isaiah 64:9-12 " (King's Recent Discoveries, etc.). The wailing-place of the Jews, viewed in its past spiritual and historic relations, is indeed "the saddest nook in this vale of tears." (See LAMENTATIONS, BOOK OF .)

Wall

Cities were surrounded by walls, as distinguished from "unwalled villages" ( Ezekiel 38:11 ; Leviticus 25:29-34 ). They were made thick and strong ( Numbers 13:28 ; Deuteronomy 3:5 ). Among the Jews walls were built of stone, some of those in the temple being of great size ( 1 Kings 6:7 ; 7:9-12 ; 20:30 ; Mark 13:1 Mark 13:2 ). The term is used metaphorically of security and safety ( Isaiah 26:1 ; 60:18 ; Revelation 21:12-20 ). (See FENCE .)

Wandering

of the Israelites in the wilderness in consequence of their rebellious fears to enter the Promised Land ( Numbers 14:26-35 ). They wandered for forty years before they were permitted to cross the Jordan ( Joshua 4:19 ; 5:6 ).

The record of these wanderings is given in Numbers 33:1-49 . Many of the stations at which they camped cannot now be identified.

Questions of an intricate nature have been discussed regarding the "Wanderings," but it is enough for us to take the sacred narrative as it stands, and rest assured that "He led them forth by the right way" ( Psalms 107:1-7 Psalms 107:33-35 ). (See WILDERNESS .)

War

The Israelites had to take possession of the Promised Land by conquest. They had to engage in a long and bloody war before the Canaanitish tribes were finally subdued. Except in the case of Jericho and Ai, the war did not become aggressive till after the death of Joshua. Till then the attack was always first made by the Canaanites. Now the measure of the iniquity of the Canaanites was full, and Israel was employed by God to sweep them away from off the face of the earth. In entering on this new stage of the war, the tribe of Judah, according to divine direction, took the lead.

In the days of Saul and David the people of Israel engaged in many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from first to last presents but few periods of peace.

The Christian life is represented as a warfare, and the Christian graces are also represented under the figure of pieces of armour ( Ephesians 6:11-17 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:8 ; 2 Tim 1 Thessalonians 2:3 1 Thessalonians 2:4 ). The final blessedness of believers is attained as the fruit of victory ( Revelation 3:21 ).

Ward

a prison ( Genesis 40:3 Genesis 40:4 ); a watch-station ( Isaiah 21:8 ); a guard ( Nehemiah 13:30 ).

Wars of the Lord, The Book of the

( Numbers 21:14 Numbers 21:15 ), some unknown book so called (Compare Genesis 14:14-16 ; Exodus 17:8-16 ; Numbers 14:40-45 ; Numbers 21:1-3 Numbers 21:21-25 Numbers 21:33-35 ; 31 . The wars here recorded might be thus designated).

Washing

( Mark 7:1-9 ). The Jews, like other Orientals, used their fingers when taking food, and therefore washed their hands before doing so, for the sake of cleanliness. Here the reference is to the ablutions prescribed by tradition, according to which "the disciples ought to have gone down to the side of the lake, washed their hands thoroughly, 'rubbing the fist of one hand in the hollow of the other, then placed the ten finger-tips together, holding the hands up, so that any surplus water might flow down to the elbow, and thence to the ground.'" To neglect to do this had come to be regarded as a great sin, a sin equal to the breach of any of the ten commandments. Moses had commanded washings oft, but always for some definite cause; but the Jews multiplied the legal observance till they formed a large body of precepts. To such precepts about ceremonial washing Mark here refers. (See ABLUTION .)

Watches

the periods into which the time between sunset and sunrise was divided. They are so called because watchmen relieved each other at each of these periods. There are frequent references in Scripture to the duties of watchmen who were appointed to give notice of the approach of an enemy ( 2 Samuel 18:24-27 ; 2 Kings 9:17-20 ; Isaiah 21:5-9 ). They were sometimes placed for this purpose on watch-towers ( 2 Kings 17:9 ; 18:8 ). Ministers or teachers are also spoken of under this title ( Jeremiah 6:17 ; Ezek. 33:2-9 ; Hebrews 13:17 ).

The watches of the night were originally three in number, (1) "the beginning of the watches" ( Lamentations 2:19 ); (2) "the middle watch" ( Judges 7:19 ); and (3) "the morning watch" ( Exodus 14:24 ; 1 Samuel 11:11 ), which extended from two o'clock to sunrise. But in the New Testament we read of four watches, a division probably introduced by the Romans ( Matthew 14:25 ; Mark 6:48 ; Luke 12:38 ). (See DAY .)

Watchings

( 2 Corinthians 6:5 ), lit. "sleeplessnesses," the result of "manual labour, teaching, travelling, meditating, praying, cares, and the like" (Meyer's Com.).

Water of jealousy

a phrase employed (not, however, in Scripture) to denote the water used in the solemn ordeal prescribed by the law of Moses ( Numbers 5:11-31 ) in cases of "jealousy."

Water of purification

used in cases of ceremonial cleansings at the consecration of the Levites ( Numbers 8:7 ). It signified, figuratively, that purifying of the heart which must characterize the servants of God.

Water of separation

used along with the ashes of a red heifer for the ceremonial cleansing of persons defiled by contact with a dead body ( Numbers 19 ).

Waterspouts

( Psalms 42:7 ; marg. RSV, "cataracts"). If we regard this psalm as descriptive of David's feelings when banished from Jerusalem by the revolt of Absalom, this word may denote "waterfalls," inasmuch as Mahanaim, where he abode, was near the Jabbok, and the region abounded with rapids and falls.

Wave offerings

parts of peace-offerings were so called, because they were waved by the priests ( Exodus 29:24 Exodus 29:26 Exodus 29:27 ; Leviticus 7:20-34 ; 8:27 ; 9:21 ; Leviticus 10:14 Leviticus 10:15 , etc.), in token of a solemn special presentation to God. They then became the property of the priests. The first-fruits, a sheaf of barley, offered at the feast of Pentecost ( Leviticus 23:17-20 ), and wheat-bread, the first-fruits of the second harvest, offered at the Passover (10-14), were wave-offerings.

Wax

Made by melting the combs of bees. Mentioned ( Psalms 22:14 ; 68:2 ; 97:5 ; Micah 1:4 ) in illustration.

Wean

Among the Hebrews children (whom it was customary for the mothers to nurse, Exodus 2:7-9 ; 1 Samuel 1:23 ; Cant 8:1 ) were not generally weaned till they were three or four years old.

Weasel

(Heb. holedh), enumerated among unclean animals ( Leviticus 11:29 ). Some think that this Hebrew word rather denotes the mole (Spalax typhlus) common in Palestine. There is no sufficient reason, however, to depart from the usual translation. The weasel tribe are common also in Palestine.

Weaving, weavers

Weaving was an art practised in very early times ( Exodus 35:35 ). The Egyptians were specially skilled in it ( Isaiah 19:9 ; Ezek. 27:7 ), and some have regarded them as its inventors.

In the wilderness, the Hebrews practised it ( Exodus 26:1 Exodus 26:8 ; Exodus 28:4 Exodus 28:39 ; Leviticus 13:47 ). It is referred to in subsequent times as specially the women's work ( 2 Kings 23:7 ; Proverbs 31:13 Proverbs 31:24 ). No mention of the loom is found in Scripture, but we read of the "shuttle" ( Job 7:6 ), "the pin" of the beam ( Judges 16:14 ), "the web" (13,14), and "the beam" ( 1 Samuel 17:7 ; 2 Sam 21:19 ). The rendering, "with pining sickness," in Isaiah 38:12 (A.V.) should be, as in the Revised Version, "from the loom," or, as in the margin, "from the thrum." We read also of the "warp" and "woof" ( Leviticus 13:48 Leviticus 13:49 Leviticus 13:51-53 Leviticus 13:58 Leviticus 13:59 ), but the Revised Version margin has, instead of "warp," "woven or knitted stuff."

Week

From the beginning, time was divided into weeks, each consisting of six days of working and one of rest ( Genesis 2:2 Genesis 2:3 ; 7:10 ; Genesis 8:10 Genesis 8:12 ; 29:28 ). The references to this division of days becomes afterwards more frequent ( Exodus 34:22 ; Leviticus 12:5 ; Numbers 28:26 ; Deuteronomy 16:16 ; 2 Chr 8:13 ; Jeremiah 5:24 ; Daniel 9:24-27 ; Daniel 10:2 Daniel 10:3 ). It has been found to exist among almost all nations.

Weeks, Feast of

See PENTECOST .

Weights

Reduced to English troy-weight, the Hebrew weights were:

1. The gerah ( Leviticus 27:25 ; Numbers 3:47 ), a Hebrew word, meaning a grain or kernel, and hence a small weight. It was the twentieth part of a shekel, and equal to 12 grains.

2. Bekah ( Exodus 38:26 ), meaning "a half" i.e., "half a shekel," equal to 5 pennyweight.

3. Shekel, "a weight," only in the Old Testament, and frequently in its original form ( Genesis 23:15 Genesis 23:16 ; Exodus 21:32 ; Exodus 30:13 Exodus 30:15 ; 38:24-29 , etc.). It was equal to 10 pennyweight.

4. Ma'neh, "a part" or "portion" ( Ezekiel 45:12 ), equal to 60 shekels, i.e., to 2 lbs. 6 oz.

5. Talent of silver ( 2 Kings 5:22 ), equal to 3,000 shekels, i.e., 125 lbs.

6. Talent of gold ( Exodus 25:39 ), double the preceding, i.e., 250 lbs.

Well

(Heb. beer), to be distinguished from a fountain (Heb. 'ain). A "beer" was a deep shaft, bored far under the rocky surface by the art of man, which contained water which percolated through the strata in its sides. Such wells were those of Jacob and Beersheba, etc. (see Genesis 21:19 Genesis 21:25 Genesis 21:30 Genesis 21:31 ; 24:11 ; Genesis 26:15 Genesis 26:18-25 Genesis 26:32 , etc.). In the Pentateuch this word beer, so rendered, occurs twenty-five times.

Westward

sea-ward, i.e., toward the Mediterranean ( Deuteronomy 3:27 ).

Whale

The Hebrew word tan (plural, tannin) is so rendered in Job 7:12 (A.V.; but RSV, "sea-monster"). It is rendered by "dragons" in Deuteronomy 32:33 ; Psalms 91:13 ; Jeremiah 51:34 ; Psalms 74:13 (marg., "whales;" and marg. of RSV, "sea-monsters"); Isaiah 27:1 ; and "serpent" in Exodus 7:9 (RSV marg., "any large reptile," and so in ver. 10,12). The words of ( Job 7:12 ), uttered in bitter irony, where he asks, "Am I a sea or a whale?" simply mean, "Have I a wild, untamable nature, like the waves of the sea, which must be confined and held within bounds, that they cannot pass?" "The serpent of the sea, which was but the wild, stormy sea itself, wound itself around the land, and threatened to swallow it up...Job inquires if he must be watched and plagued like this monster, lest he throw the world into disorder" (Davidson's Job).

The whale tribe are included under the general Hebrew name tannin ( Genesis 1:21 ; Lamentations 4:3 ). "Even the sea-monsters [tanninim] draw out the breast." The whale brings forth its young alive, and suckles them.

It is to be noticed of the story of Jonah's being "three days and three nights in the whale's belly," as recorded in Matthew 12:40 , that here the Gr. ketos means properly any kind of sea-monster of the shark or the whale tribe, and that in the book of ( Jonah 1:17 ) it is only said that "a great fish" was prepared to swallow Jonah. This fish may have been, therefore, some great shark. The white shark is known to frequent the Mediterranean Sea, and is sometimes found 30 feet in length.

Wheat

one of the earliest cultivated grains. It bore the Hebrew name hittah , and was extensively cultivated in Palestine. There are various species of wheat. That which Pharaoh saw in his dream was the Triticum compositum, which bears several ears upon one stalk ( Genesis 41:5 ). The "fat of the kidneys of wheat" ( Deuteronomy 32:14 ), and the "finest of the wheat" ( Psalms 81:16 ; 147:14 ), denote the best of the kind. It was exported from Palestine in great quantities ( 1 Kings 5:11 ; Ezekiel 27:17 ; Acts 12:20 ).

Parched grains of wheat were used for food in Palestine ( Ruth 2:14 ; 1 Samuel 17:17 ; 2 Sam 17:28 ). The disciples, under the sanction of the Mosaic law ( Deuteronomy 23:25 ), plucked ears of corn, and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted ( Matthew 12:1 ; Mark 2:23 ; Luke 6:1 ). Before any of the wheat-harvest, however, could be eaten, the first-fruits had to be presented before the Lord ( Leviticus 23:14 ).

Wheel

(Heb. galgal; rendered "wheel" in Psalms 83:13 , and "a rolling thing" in Isaiah 17:13 ; RSV in both, "whirling dust"). This word has been supposed to mean the wild artichoke, which assumes the form of a globe, and in autumn breaks away from its roots, and is rolled about by the wind in some places in great numbers.

White

a symbol of purity ( 2 Chronicles 5:12 ; Psalms 51:7 ; Isaiah 1:18 ; Revelation 3:18 ; 7:14 ). Our Lord, at his transfiguration, appeared in raiment "white as the light" ( Matthew 17:2 , etc.).

Widows

to be treated with kindness ( Exodus 22:22 ; Deuteronomy 14:29 ; Deuteronomy 16:11 Deuteronomy 16:14 ; Deuteronomy 24:17 Deuteronomy 24:19-21 ; 26:12 ; 27:19 , etc.). In the New Testament the same tender regard for them is inculcated ( Acts 6:1-6 ; 1 Timothy 5:3-16 ) and exhibited.

Wife

The ordinance of marriage was sanctioned in Paradise ( Genesis 2:24 ; Matthew 19:4-6 ). Monogamy was the original law under which man lived, but polygamy early commenced ( Genesis 4:19 ), and continued to prevail all down through Jewish history. The law of Moses regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might have a plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A wife's legal rights ( Exodus 21:10 ) and her duties ( Proverbs 31:10-31 ; 1 Timothy 5:14 ) are specified. She could be divorced in special cases ( Deuteronomy 22:13-21 ), but could not divorce her husband. Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case of adultery ( Matthew 19:3-9 ). The duties of husbands and wives in their relations to each other are distinctly set forth in the New Testament ( 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 ; Ephesians 5:22-33 ; Colossians 3:18 Colossians 3:19 ; 1 Peter 3:1-7 ).

Wilderness

1. Heb. midhbar, denoting not a barren desert but a district or region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle ( Psalms 65:12 ; Isaiah 42:11 ; Jeremiah 23:10 ; Joel 1:19 ; 2:22 ); an uncultivated place. This word is used of the wilderness of Beersheba ( Genesis 21:14 ), on the southern border of Palestine; the wilderness of the Red Sea ( Exodus 13:18 ); of Shur ( 15:22 ), a portion of the Sinaitic peninsula; of Sin ( 17:1 ), Sinai ( Leviticus 7:38 ), Moab ( Deuteronomy 2:8 ), Judah ( Judges 1:16 ), Ziph, Maon, En-gedi ( 1 Samuel 23:14 1 Samuel 23:24 ; 24:1 ), Jeruel and Tekoa ( 2 Chronicles 20:16 2 Chronicles 20:20 ), Kadesh ( Psalms 29:8 ). "The wilderness of the sea" ( Isaiah 21:1 ). Principal Douglas, referring to this expression, says: "A mysterious name, which must be meant to describe Babylon (see especially ver. 9), perhaps because it became the place of discipline to God's people, as the wilderness of the Red Sea had been (Compare Ezek. 20:35 ). Otherwise it is in contrast with the symbolic title in Isaiah 22:1 . Jerusalem is the "valley of vision," rich in spiritual husbandry; whereas Babylon, the rival centre of influence, is spiritually barren and as restless as the sea (comp 57:20 )." A Short Analysis of the O.T.

2. Jeshimon, a desert waste ( Deuteronomy 32:10 ; Psalms 68:7 ).

3. 'Arabah, the name given to the valley from the Dead Sea to the eastern branch of the Red Sea. In Deuteronomy 1:1 ; 2:8 , it is rendered "plain" (RSV, "Arabah").

4. Tziyyah, a "dry place" ( Psalms 78:17 ; 105:41 ).

5. Tohu, a "desolate" place, a place "waste" or "unoccupied" ( Deuteronomy 32:10 ; Job 12:24 ; Compare Genesis 1:2 , "without form"). The wilderness region in the Sinaitic peninsula through which for forty years the Hebrews wandered is generally styled "the wilderness of the wanderings." This entire region is in the form of a triangle, having its base toward the north and its apex toward the south. Its extent from north to south is about 250 miles, and at its widest point it is about 150 miles broad. Throughout this vast region of some 1,500 square miles there is not a single river. The northern part of this triangular peninsula is properly the "wilderness of the wanderings" (et-Tih). The western portion of it is called the "wilderness of Shur" ( Exodus 15:22 ), and the eastern the "wilderness of Paran." The "wilderness of Judea" ( Matthew 3:1 ) is a wild, barren region, lying between the Dead Sea and the Hebron Mountains. It is the "Jeshimon" mentioned in 1 Samuel 23:19 .

Willows

1. Heb. 'arabim ( Leviticus 23:40 ; Job 40:22 ; Isaiah 15:7 ; Isaiah 44:3 Isaiah 44:4 ; Psalms 137:1 Psalms 137:2 ). This was supposed to be the weeping willow, called by Linnaeus Salix Babylonica, from the reference in Psalms 137 . This tree is frequently found "on the coast, overhanging wells and pools. There is a conspicuous tree of this species over a pond in the plain of Acre, and others on the Phoenician plain." There are several species of the salix in Palestine, but it is not indigenous to Babylonia, nor was it cultivated there. Some are of opinion that the tree intended is the tamarisk or poplar.

2. Heb. tzaphtzaphah ( Ezekiel 17:5 ), called by the Arabs the safsaf, the general name for the willow. This may be the Salix AEgyptica of naturalists. Tristram thinks that by the "willow by the water-courses," the Nerium oleander, the rose-bay oleander, is meant. He says, "It fringes the Upper Jordan, dipping its wavy crown of red into the spray in the rapids under Hermon, and is nutured by the oozy marshes in the Lower Jordan nearly as far as to Jericho...On the Arnon, on the Jabbok, and the Yarmuk it forms a continuous fringe. In many of the streams of Moab it forms a complete screen, which the sun's rays can never penetrate to evaporate the precious moisture. The wild boar lies safely ensconced under its impervious cover."

Wimple

Isaiah 3:22 , (RSV, "shawls"), a wrap or veil. The same Hebrew word is rendered "vail" (RSV, "mantle") in Ruth 3:15 .

Window

properly only an opening in a house for the admission of light and air, covered with lattice-work, which might be opened or closed ( 2 Kings 1:2 ; Acts 20:9 ). The spies in Jericho and Paul at Damascus were let down from the windows of houses abutting on the town wall ( Joshua 2:15 ; 2 co 11:33 ). The clouds are metaphorically called the "windows of heaven" ( Genesis 7:11 ; Malachi 3:10 ). The word thus rendered in Isaiah 54:12 ought rather to be rendered "battlements" (LXX., "bulwarks;" RSV, "pinnacles"), or as Gesenius renders it, "notched battlements, i.e., suns or rays of the sun"= having a radiated appearance like the sun.

Winds

blowing from the four quarters of heaven ( Jeremiah 49:36 ; Ezek. 37:9 ; Daniel 8:8 ; Zechariah 2:6 ). The east wind was parching (Ezek. 17:10 ; 19:12 ), and is sometimes mentioned as simply denoting a strong wind ( Job 27:21 ; Isaiah 27:8 ). This wind prevails in Palestine from February to June, as the west wind ( Luke 12:54 ) does from November to February. The south was a hot wind ( Job 37:17 ; Luke 12:55 ). It swept over the Arabian peninsula. The rush of invaders is figuratively spoken of as a whirlwind ( Isaiah 21:1 ); a commotion among the nations of the world as a striving of the four winds ( Daniel 7:2 ). The winds are subject to the divine power ( Psalms 18:10 ; 135:7 ).

Wine

The common Hebrew word for wine is yayin , from a root meaning "to boil up," "to be in a ferment." Others derive it from a root meaning "to tread out," and hence the juice of the grape trodden out. The Greek word for wine is oinos_, and the Latin _vinun . But besides this common Hebrew word, there are several others which are thus rendered.

1. Ashishah ( 2 Samuel 6:19 ; 1 Chronicles 16:3 ; Cant 2:5 ; Hosea 3:1 ), which, however, rather denotes a solid cake of pressed grapes, or, as in the Revised Version, a cake of raisins.

2. 'Asis, "sweet wine," or "new wine," the product of the same year (Cant 8:2 ; Isaiah 49:26 ; Joel 1:5 ; 3:18 ; Amos 9:13 ), from a root meaning "to tread," hence juice trodden out or pressed out, thus referring to the method by which the juice is obtained. The power of intoxication is ascribed to it.

3. Hometz. See VINEGAR .

4. Hemer, Deuteronomy 32:14 (rendered "blood of the grape") Isaiah 27:2 ("red wine"), Ezra 6:9 ; 7:22 ; Daniel 5:1 Daniel 5:2 Daniel 5:4 . This word conveys the idea of "foaming," as in the process of fermentation, or when poured out. It is derived from the root hamar , meaning "to boil up," and also "to be red," from the idea of boiling or becoming inflamed.

5. 'Enabh, a grape ( Deuteronomy 32:14 ). The last clause of this verse should be rendered as in the Revised Version, "and of the blood of the grape ['enabh] thou drankest wine [hemer]." In Hosea 3:1 the phrase in Authorized Version, "flagons of wine," is in the Revised Version correctly "cakes of raisins." (Compare Genesis 49:11 ; Numbers 6:3 ; Deuteronomy 23:24 , etc., where this Hebrew word is rendered in the plural "grapes.")

6. Mesekh, properly a mixture of wine and water with spices that increase its stimulating properties ( Isaiah 5:22 ). Psalms 75:8 , "The wine [yayin] is red; it is full of mixture [mesekh];" Proverbs 23:30 , "mixed wine;" Isaiah 65:11 , "drink offering" (RSV, "mingled wine").

7. Tirosh, properly "must," translated "wine" ( Deuteronomy 28:51 ); "new wine" ( Proverbs 3:10 ); "sweet wine" ( Micah 6:15 ; RSV, "vintage"). This Hebrew word has been traced to a root meaning "to take possession of" and hence it is supposed that tirosh is so designated because in intoxicating it takes possession of the brain. Among the blessings promised to Esau ( Genesis 27:28 ) mention is made of "plenty of corn and tirosh." Palestine is called "a land of corn and tirosh" ( Deuteronomy 33:28 ; Compare Isaiah 36:17 ). See also Deuteronomy 28:51 ; 2 Chr 32:28 ; Joel 2:19 ; Hosea 4:11 , ("wine [yayin] and new wine [tirosh] take away the heart").

8. Sobhe (root meaning "to drink to excess," "to suck up," "absorb"), found only in Isaiah 1:22 , Hosea 4:18 ("their drink;" Gesen. and marg. of RSV, "their carouse"), and Nahum 1:10 ("drunken as drunkards;" lit., "soaked according to their drink;" RSV, "drenched, as it were, in their drink", i.e., according to their sobhe).

9. Shekar, "strong drink," any intoxicating liquor; from a root meaning "to drink deeply," "to be drunken", a generic term applied to all fermented liquors, however obtained. Numbers 28:7 , "strong wine" (RSV, "strong drink"). It is sometimes distinguished from wine, c.g., Leviticus 10:9 , "Do not drink wine [yayin] nor strong drink [shekar];" Numbers 6:3 ; Judges 13:4 Judges 13:7 ; Isaiah 28:7 (in all these places rendered "strong drink"). Translated "strong drink" also in Isaiah 5:11 ; 24:9 ; 29:9 ; 56:12 ; Proverbs 20:1 ; 31:6 ; Micah 2:11 .

10. Yekebh ( Deuteronomy 16:13 , but in RSV correctly "wine-press"), a vat into which the new wine flowed from the press. Joel 2:24 , "their vats;" 3:13 , "the fats;" Proverbs 3:10 , "Thy presses shall burst out with new wine [tirosh];" Haggai 2:16 ; Jeremiah 48:33 , "wine-presses;" 2 Kings 6:27 ; Job 24:11 .

11. Shemarim (only in plural), "lees" or "dregs" of wine. In Isaiah 25:6 it is rendered "wines on the lees", i.e., wine that has been kept on the lees, and therefore old wine.

12. Mesek, "a mixture," mixed or spiced wine, not diluted with water, but mixed with drugs and spices to increase its strength, or, as some think, mingled with the lees by being shaken ( Psalms 75:8 ; Proverbs 23:30 ). In Acts 2:13 the word gleukos , rendered "new wine," denotes properly "sweet wine." It must have been intoxicating. In addition to wine the Hebrews also made use of what they called debash , which was obtained by boiling down must to one-half or one-third of its original bulk. In Genesis 43:11 this word is rendered "honey." It was a kind of syrup, and is called by the Arabs at the present day dibs. This word occurs in the phrase "a land flowing with milk and honey" (debash), Exodus 3:8 Exodus 3:17 ; 13:5 ; 33:3 ; Leviticus 20:24 ; Numbers 13: : 27 . (See HONEY .) Our Lord miraculously supplied wine at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee ( John 2:1-11 ). The Rechabites were forbidden the use of wine ( Jeremiah 35 ). The Nazarites also were to abstain from its use during the period of their vow ( Numbers 6:1-4 ); and those who were dedicated as Nazarites from their birth were perpetually to abstain from it ( Judges 13:4 Judges 13:5 ; Luke 1:15 ; 7:33 ). The priests, too, were forbidden the use of wine and strong drink when engaged in their sacred functions ( Leviticus 10:1 Leviticus 10:9-11 ). "Wine is little used now in the East, from the fact that Mohammedans are not allowed to taste it, and very few of other creeds touch it. When it is drunk, water is generally mixed with it, and this was the custom in the days of Christ also. The people indeed are everywhere very sober in hot climates; a drunken person, in fact, is never seen", (Geikie's Life of Christ). The sin of drunkenness, however, must have been not uncommon in the olden times, for it is mentioned either metaphorically or literally more than seventy times in the Bible. A drink-offering of wine was presented with the daily sacrifice ( Exodus 29:40 Exodus 29:41 ), and also with the offering of the first-fruits ( Leviticus 23:13 ), and with various other sacrifices ( Numbers 15:5 Numbers 15:7 Numbers 15:10 ). Wine was used at the celebration of the Passover. And when the Lord's Supper was instituted, the wine and the unleavened bread then on the paschal table were by our Lord set apart as memorials of his body and blood. Several emphatic warnings are given in the New Testament against excess in the use of wine ( Luke 21:34 ; Romans 13:13 ; Ephesians 5:18 ; 1 Timothy 3:8 ; Titus 1:7 ).

Winefat

( Mark 12:1 ). The original word (hypolenion) so rendered occurs only here in the New Testament. It properly denotes the trough or lake (lacus), as it was called by the Romans, into which the juice of the grapes ran from the trough above it. It is here used, however, of the whole apparatus. In the parallel passage in Matthew 21:33 the Greek word lenos is used. This properly denotes the upper one of the two vats. (See WINE-PRESS.)

Wine-press

Consisted of two vats or receptacles, (1) a trough (Heb. gath, Gr. lenos) into which the grapes were thrown and where they were trodden upon and bruised ( Isaiah 16:10 ; Lamentations 1:15 ; Joel 3:13 ); and (2) a trough or vat (Heb. yekebh, Gr. hypolenion) into which the juice ran from the trough above, the gath ( Nehemiah 13:15 ; Job 24:11 ; Isaiah 63:2 Isaiah 63:3 ; Haggai 2:16 ; Joel 2:24 ). Wine-presses are found in almost every part of Palestine. They are "the only sure relics we have of the old days of Israel before the Captivity. Between Hebron and Beersheba they are found on all the hill slopes; they abound in southern Judea; they are no less common in the many valleys of Carmel; and they are numerous in Galilee." The "treading of the wine-press" is emblematic of divine judgment ( Isaiah 63:2 ; Lamentations 1:15 ; Revelation 14:19 Revelation 14:20 ).

Winnow

Corn was winnowed,

1. By being thrown up by a shovel against the wind. As a rule this was done in the evening or during the night, when the west wind from the sea was blowing, which was a moderate breeze and fitted for the purpose. The north wind was too strong, and the east wind came in gusts.

2. By the use of a fan or van, by which the chaff was blown away ( Ruth 3:2 ; Isaiah 30:24 ; Jeremiah 4:11 Jeremiah 4:12 ; Matthew 3:12 ).

Wise men

mentioned in Daniel 2:12 included three classes, (1) astrologers, (2) Chaldeans, and (3) soothsayers. The word in the original (hakamim) probably means "medicine men. In Chaldea medicine was only a branch of magic. The "wise men" of Matthew 2:7 , who came from the East to Jerusalem, were magi from Persia or Arabia.

Wise, wisdom

a moral rather than an intellectual quality. To be "foolish" is to be godless ( Psalms 14:1 ; Compare Judges 19:23 ; 2 Sam 13:13 ). True wisdom is a gift from God to those who ask it ( Job 28:12-28 ; Proverbs 3:13-18 ; Romans 1:22 ; 16:27 ; 1 Corinthians 1:17-21 ; 2:6-8 ; James 1:5 ). "Wisdom" in Proverbs 1:20 ; 8:1 ; 9:1-5 may be regarded not as a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a divine person, "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" ( 1 Corinthians 1:24 ). In Matthew 11:19 it is the personified principle of wisdom that is meant.

Witch

Occurs only in Exodus 22:18 , as the rendering of mekhashshepheh , the feminine form of the word, meaning "enchantress" (RSV, "sorceress"), and in Deuteronomy 18:10 , as the rendering of mekhashshepheth , the masculine form of the word, meaning "enchanter."

Witchcraft

( 1 Samuel 15:23 ; 2 Kings 9:22 ; 2 Chr 33:6 ; Micah 5:12 ; Nahum 3:4 ; Galatians 5:20 ). In the popular sense of the word no mention is made either of witches or of witchcraft in Scripture.

The "witch of En-dor" ( 1 Samuel 28 ) was a necromancer, i.e., one who feigned to hold converse with the dead. The damsel with "a spirit of divination" ( Acts 16:16 ) was possessed by an evil spirit, or, as the words are literally rendered, "having a spirit, a pithon." The reference is to the heathen god Apollo, who was regarded as the god of prophecy.

Witness

More than one witness was required in criminal cases ( Deuteronomy 17:6 ; 19:15 ). They were the first to execute the sentence on the condemned ( Deuteronomy 13:9 ; 17:7 ; 1 Kings 21:13 ; Matthew 27:1 ; Acts 7:57 Acts 7:58 ). False witnesses were liable to punishment ( Deuteronomy 19:16-21 ). It was also an offence to refuse to bear witness ( Leviticus 5:1 ).

Witness of the Spirit

( Romans 8:16 ), the consciousness of the gracious operation of the Spirit on the mind, "a certitude of the Spirit's presence and work continually asserted within us", manifested "in his comforting us, his stirring us up to prayer, his reproof of our sins, his drawing us to works of love, to bear testimony before the world," etc.

Wizard

a pretender to supernatural knowledge and power, "a knowing one," as the original Hebrew word signifies. Such an one was forbidden on pain of death to practise his deceptions ( Leviticus 19:31 ; Leviticus 20:6 Leviticus 20:27 ; 1 Samuel 28:3 ; Isaiah 8:19 ; 19:3 ).

Wolf

Heb. zeeb, frequently referred to in Scripture as an emblem of treachery and cruelty. Jacob's prophecy, "Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf" ( Genesis 49:27 ), represents the warlike character of that tribe (see Judg. 19-21). Isaiah represents the peace of Messiah's kingdom by the words, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb" ( Isaiah 11:6 ). The habits of the wolf are described in Jeremiah 5:6 ; Habakkuk 1:8 ; Zephaniah 3:3 ; Ezekiel 22:27 ; Matthew 7:15 ; 10:16 ; Acts 20:29 . Wolves are still sometimes found in Palestine, and are the dread of shepherds, as of old.

Woman

was "taken out of man" ( Genesis 2:23 ), and therefore the man has the preeminence. "The head of the woman is the man;" but yet honour is to be shown to the wife, "as unto the weaker vessel" ( 1 Corinthians 11:3 1 Corinthians 11:8 1 Corinthians 11:9 ; 1 Peter 3:7 ). Several women are mentioned in Scripture as having been endowed with prophetic gifts, as Miriam ( Exodus 15:20 ), Deborah ( Judges 4:4 Judges 4:5 ), Huldah ( 2 Kings 22:14 ), Noadiah ( Nehemiah 6:14 ), Anna ( Luke 2:36 Luke 2:37 ), and the daughters of Philip the evangelist ( Acts 21:8 Acts 21:9 ). Women are forbidden to teach publicly ( 1 Corinthians 14:34 1 Corinthians 14:35 ; 1 Timothy 2:11 1 Timothy 2:12 ). Among the Hebrews it devolved upon women to prepare the meals for the household ( Genesis 18:6 ; 2 Sam 13:8 ), to attend to the work of spinning ( Exodus 35:26 ; Proverbs 31:19 ), and making clothes ( 1 Samuel 2:19 ; Proverbs 31:21 ), to bring water from the well ( Genesis 24:15 ; 1 Samuel 9:11 ), and to care for the flocks ( Genesis 29:6 ; Exodus 2:16 ).

The word "woman," as used in Matthew 15:28 , John 2:4 and John 20:13 John 20:15 , implies tenderness and courtesy and not disrespect. Only where revelation is known has woman her due place of honour assigned to her.

Wood

See FOREST .

Wood-offering

( Nehemiah 10:34 ; 13:31 ). It would seem that in the time of Nehemiah arrangements were made, probably on account of the comparative scarcity of wood, by which certain districts were required, as chosen by lot, to furnish wood to keep the altar fire perpetually burning ( Leviticus 6:13 ).

Wool

one of the first material used for making woven cloth ( Leviticus 13:47 Leviticus 13:48 Leviticus 13:52 Leviticus 13:59 ; 19:19 ). The first-fruit of wool was to be offered to the priests ( Deuteronomy 18:4 ). The law prohibiting the wearing of a garment "of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together" ( Deuteronomy 22:11 ) may, like some other laws of a similar character, have been intended to express symbolically the separateness and simplicity of God's covenant people. The wool of Damascus, famous for its whiteness, was of great repute in the Tyrian market ( Ezekiel 27:18 ).

Word of God

( Hebrews 4:12 , etc.). The Bible so called because the writers of its several books were God's organs in communicating his will to men. It is his "word," because he speaks to us in its sacred pages. Whatever the inspired writers here declare to be true and binding upon us, God declares to be true and binding. This word is infallible, because written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and therefore free from all error of fact or doctrine or precept. (See INSPIRATION; BIBLE .) All saving knowledge is obtained from the word of God. In the case of adults it is an indispensable means of salvation, and is efficacious thereunto by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit ( John 17:17 ; 2 Tim John 3:15 John 3:16 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ).

Word, The

(Gr. Logos), one of the titles of our Lord, found only in the writings of John ( John 1:1-14 ; 1 John 1:1 ; Revelation 19:13 ). As such, Christ is the revealer of God. His office is to make God known. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" ( John 1:18 ). This title designates the divine nature of Christ. As the Word, he "was in the beginning" and "became flesh." "The Word was with God " and "was God," and was the Creator of all things (Compare Ps.33: 6; 107:20 ; 119:89 ; 147:18 ; Isaiah 40:8 ).

Works, Covenant of

entered into by God with Adam as the representative of the human race (Compare Genesis 9:11 Genesis 9:12 ; 17:1-21 ), so styled because perfect obedience was its condition, thus distinguishing it from the covenant of grace. (See COVENANT OF WORKS .)

Works, Good

The old objection against the doctrine of salvation by grace, that it does away with the necessity of good works, and lowers the sense of their importance ( Romans 6 ), although it has been answered a thousand times, is still alleged by many. They say if men are not saved by works, then works are not necessary. If the most moral of men are saved in the same way as the very chief of sinners, then good works are of no moment. And more than this, if the grace of God is most clearly displayed in the salvation of the vilest of men, then the worse men are the better.

The objection has no validity. The gospel of salvation by grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true, unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. "Neither adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards" shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Works are "good" only when, (1) they spring from the principle of love to God. The moral character of an act is determined by the moral principle that prompts it. Faith and love in the heart are the essential elements of all true obedience. Hence good works only spring from a believing heart, can only be wrought by one reconciled to God ( Ephesians 2:10 ; James 2:18:22). ).

1. Good works have the glory of God as their object; and (3) they have the revealed will of God as their only rule ( Deuteronomy 12:32 ; Revelation 22:18 Revelation 22:19 ). Good works are an expression of gratitude in the believer's heart ( John 14:15 John 14:23 ; Galatians 5:6 ). They are the fruits of the Spirit ( Titus 2:10-12 ), and thus spring from grace, which they illustrate and strengthen in the heart. Good works of the most sincere believers are all imperfect, yet like their persons they are accepted through the mediation of Jesus Christ ( Colossians 3:17 ), and so are rewarded; they have no merit intrinsically, but are rewarded wholly of grace.

Worm

1. Heb. sas ( Isaiah 51:8 ), denotes the caterpillar of the clothes-moth.

2. The manna bred worms (tola'im), but on the Sabbath there was not any worm (rimmah) therein ( Exodus 16:20 Exodus 16:24 ). Here these words refer to caterpillars or larvae, which feed on corrupting matter. These two Hebrew words appear to be interchangeable ( Job 25:6 ; Isaiah 14:11 ). Tola'im in some places denotes the caterpillar ( Deuteronomy 28:39 ; Jonah 4:7 ), and rimmah, the larvae, as bred from putridity ( Job 17:14 ; 21:26 ; 24:20 ). In Micah 7:17 , where it is said, "They shall move out of their holes like worms," perhaps serpents or "creeping things," or as in the Revised Version, "crawling things," are meant. The word is used figuratively in Job 25:6 ; Psalms 22:6 ; Isaiah 41:14 ; Mark 9:44 Mark 9:46 Mark 9:48 ; Isaiah 66:24 .

Wormwood

Heb. la'anah, the Artemisia absinthium of botanists. It is noted for its intense bitterness ( Deuteronomy 29:18 ; Proverbs 5:4 ; Jeremiah 9:15 ; Amos 5:7 ). It is a type of bitterness, affliction, remorse, punitive suffering. In Amos 6:12 this Hebrew word is rendered "hemlock" (RSV, "wormwood"). In the symbolical language of the Apocalypse ( Revelation 8:10 Revelation 8:11 ) a star is represented as falling on the waters of the earth, causing the third part of the water to turn wormwood.

The name by which the Greeks designated it, absinthion, means "undrinkable." The absinthe of France is distilled from a species of this plant. The "southernwood" or "old man," cultivated in cottage gardens on account of its fragrance, is another species of it.

Worship

homage rendered to God which it is sinful (idolatry) to render to any created being ( Exodus 34:14 ; Isaiah 2:8 ). Such worship was refused by Peter ( Acts 10:25 Acts 10:26 ) and by an angel ( Revelation 22:8 Revelation 22:9 ).

Worshipper

(Gr. neocoros = temple-sweeper ( Acts 19:35 ) of the great goddess Diana). This name neocoros appears on most of the extant Ephesian coins

Wrestle

( Ephesians 6:12 ). See GAMES .

Writing

The art of writing must have been known in the time of the early Pharaohs. Moses is commanded "to write for a memorial in a book" ( Exodus 17:14 ) a record of the attack of Amalek. Frequent mention is afterwards made of writing ( Exodus 28:11 Exodus 28:21 Exodus 28:29 Exodus 28:36 ; 31:18 ; Exodus 32:15 Exodus 32:16 ; Exodus 34:1 Exodus 34:28 ; Exodus 39:6 Exodus 39:14 Exodus 39:30 ). The origin of this art is unknown, but there is reason to conclude that in the age of Moses it was well known. The inspired books of Moses are the most ancient extant writings, although there are written monuments as old as about B.C. 2000. The words expressive of "writing," "book," and "ink," are common to all the branches or dialects of the Semitic language, and hence it has been concluded that this art must have been known to the earliest Semites before they separated into their various tribes, and nations, and families.

"The Old Testament and the discoveries of Oriental archaeology alike tell us that the age of the Exodus was throughout the world of Western Asia an age of literature and books, of readers and writers, and that the cities of Palestine were stored with the contemporaneous records of past events inscribed on imperishable clay. They further tell us that the kinsfolk and neighbours of the Israelites were already acquainted with alphabetic writing, that the wanderers in the desert and the tribes of Edom were in contact with the cultured scribes and traders of Ma'in [Southern Arabia], and that the 'house of bondage' from which Israel had escaped was a land where the art of writing was blazoned not only on the temples of the gods, but also on the dwellings of the rich and powerful.", Sayce. (See DEBIR; PHOENICIA .)

The "Book of the Dead" was a collection of prayers and formulae, by the use of which the souls of the dead were supposed to attain to rest and peace in the next world. It was composed at various periods from the earliest time to the Persian conquest. It affords an interesting glimpse into the religious life and system of belief among the ancient Egyptians. We learn from it that they believed in the existence of one Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, judgement after death, and the resurrection of the body. It shows, too, a high state of literary activity in Egypt in the time of Moses. It refers to extensive libraries then existing. That of Ramessium, in Thebes, e.g., built by Rameses II., contained 20,000 books.

When the Hebrews entered Canaan it is evident that the art of writing was known to the original inhabitants, as appears, e.g., from the name of the city Debir having been at first Kirjath-sepher, i.e., the "city of the book," or the "book town" ( Joshua 10:38 ; 15:15 ; Judges 1:11 ).

The first mention of letter-writing is in the time of David ( 2 Samuel 11:14 2 Samuel 11:15 ). Letters are afterwards frequently spoken of ( 1 Kings 21:8 1 Kings 21:9 1 Kings 21:11 ; 2 Kings 1 Kings 10:1 1 Kings 10:3 1 Kings 10:6 1 Kings 10:7 ; 19:14 ; 2 Chr. 21:12-15 ; 1 Kings 30:1 1 Kings 30:6-9 , etc.).