Easton's Bible Dictionary

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River of God — Rye

River of God

( Psalms 65:9 ), as opposed to earthly streams, denoting that the divine resources are inexhaustible, or the sum of all fertilizing streams that water the earth ( Genesis 2:10 ).

Rivers of Babylon

( Psalms 137:1 ), i.e., of the whole country of Babylonia, e.g., the Tigris, Euphrates, Chalonas, the Ulai, and the numerous canals.

Rivers of Damascus

the Abana and Pharpar ( 2 Kings 5:12 ).

Rivers of Judah

( Joel 3:18 ), the watercourses of Judea.

Rizpah

coal; hot stone, the daughter of Aiah, and one of Saul's concubines. She was the mother of Armoni and Mephibosheth ( 2 Samuel 3:7 ; 2 Samuel 21:8 2 Samuel 21:10 2 Samuel 21:11 ).

It happened that a grievous famine, which lasted for three years, fell upon the land during the earlier half of David's reign at Jerusalem. This calamity was sent "for Saul and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites." David inquired of the Gibeonites what satisfaction they demanded, and was answered that nothing would compensate for the wrong Saul had done to them but the death of seven of Saul's sons. David accordingly delivered up to them the two sons of Rizpah and five of the sons of Merab (q.v.), Saul's eldest daughter, whom she bore to Adriel. These the Gibeonites put to death, and hung up their bodies before the Lord at the sanctuary at Gibeah. Rizpah thereupon took her place on the rock of Gibeah (q.v.), and for five months watched the suspended bodies of her children, to prevent them from being devoured by the beasts and birds of prey, till they were at length taken down and buried by David.

Her marriage to Abner was the occasion of a quarrel between him and Ishbosheth, which led to Abner's going over to the side of David ( 2 Samuel 3:17-21 ).

Road

( 1 Samuel 27:10 ; RSV, "raid"), an inroad, an incursion. This word is never used in Scripture in the sense of a way or path.

Robbery

Practised by the Ishmaelites ( Genesis 16:12 ), the Chaldeans and Sabeans ( Job 1:15 Job 1:17 ), and the men of Shechem ( Judges 9:25 . See also 1 Samuel 27:6-10 ; 30 ; Hosea 4:2 ; 6:9 ). Robbers infested Judea in our Lord's time ( Luke 10:30 ; John 18:40 ; Acts 5:36 Acts 5:37 ; 21:38 ; 2 co 11:26 ). The words of the Authorized Version, "counted it not robbery to be equal," etc. (Phil Acts 2:6 Acts 2:7 ), are better rendered in the Revised Version, "counted it not a prize to be on an equality," etc., i.e., "did not look upon equality with God as a prize which must not slip from his grasp" = "did not cling with avidity to the prerogatives of his divine majesty; did not ambitiously display his equality with God."

"Robbers of churches" should be rendered, as in the Revised Version, "of temples." In the temple at Ephesus there was a great treasure-chamber, and as all that was laid up there was under the guardianship of the goddess Diana, to steal from such a place would be sacrilege ( Acts 19:37 ).

Rock

(Heb. tsur), employed as a symbol of God in the Old Testament ( 1 Samuel 2:2 ; 2 Sam 22:3 ; Isaiah 17:10 ; Psalms 28:1 ; Psalms 31:2 Psalms 31:3 ; 89:26 ; 95:1 ); also in the New Testament ( Matthew 16:18 ; Romans 9:33 ; 1 Corinthians 10:4 ). In Daniel 2:45 the Chaldaic form of the Hebrew word is translated "mountain." It ought to be translated "rock," as in Habakkuk 1:12 in the Revised Version. The "rock" from which the stone is cut there signifies the divine origin of Christ. (See STONE .)

Roe

(Heb. tsebi), properly the gazelle (Arab. ghazal), permitted for food ( Deuteronomy 14:5 ; Compare Deuteronomy 12:15 Deuteronomy 12:22 ; 15:22 ; 1 Kings 4:23 ), noted for its swiftness and beauty and grace of form ( 2 Samuel 2:18 ; 1 Chronicles 12:8 ; Cant 2:9 ; 7:3 ; 8:14 ).

The gazelle (Gazella dorcas) is found in great numbers in Palestine. "Among the gray hills of Galilee it is still 'the roe upon the mountains of Bether,' and I have seen a little troop of gazelles feeding on the Mount of Olives close to Jerusalem itself" (Tristram).

The Hebrew word ('ayyalah) in Proverbs 5: : 19 thus rendered (RSV, "doe"), is properly the "wild she-goat," the mountain goat, the ibex. (See 1 Samuel 24:2 ; Psalms 104:18 ; Job 39:1 .)

Rogelim

fullers, a town of Gilead, the residence of Barzillai the Gileadite ( 2 Samuel 17:27 ; 19:31 ), probably near to Mahanaim.

Roll

the common form of ancient books. The Hebrew word rendered "roll" or "volume" is meghillah , found in Ezra 6:2 ; Psalms 40:7 ; Jeremiah 36:2 Jeremiah 36:6 Jeremiah 36:23 Jeremiah 36:28 Jeremiah 36:29 ; Ezekiel 2:9 ; 3:1-3 ; Zechariah 5:1 Zechariah 5:2 . "Rolls" (Chald. pl. of sephar, corresponding to Heb. sepher) in Ezra 6:1 is rendered in the Revised Version "archives." In the New Testament the word "volume" ( Hebrews 10:7 ; RSV, "roll") occurs as the rendering of the Greek kephalis, meaning the head or top of the stick or cylinder on which the manuscript was rolled, and hence the manuscript itself. (See BOOK .)

Romamti-ezer

elevation of help, one of the sons of Heman, "the king's seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn." He was head of the "four-and-twentieth" course of singers ( 1 Chronicles 25:4 1 Chronicles 25:31 ).

Romans, Epistle to the

This epistle was probably written at Corinth. Phoebe ( Romans 16:1 ) of Cenchrea conveyed it to Rome, and Gaius of Corinth entertained the apostle at the time of his writing it ( 16:23 ; 1 Corinthians 1:14 ), and Erastus was chamberlain of the city, i.e., of Corinth ( 2 Timothy 4:20 ).

The precise time at which it was written is not mentioned in the epistle, but it was obviously written when the apostle was about to "go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints", i.e., at the close of his second visit to Greece, during the winter preceding his last visit to that city ( Romans 15:25 ; Compare Acts 19:21 ; Acts 20:2 Acts 20:3 Acts 20:16 ; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 ), early in A.D. 58.

It is highly probable that Christianity was planted in Rome by some of those who had been at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost ( Acts 2:10 ). At this time the Jews were very numerous in Rome, and their synagogues were probably resorted to by Romans also, who in this way became acquainted with the great facts regarding Jesus as these were reported among the Jews. Thus a church composed of both Jews and Gentiles was formed at Rome. Many of the brethren went out to meet Paul on his approach to Rome. There are evidences that Christians were then in Rome in considerable numbers, and had probably more than one place of meeting ( Romans 16:14 Romans 16:15 ).

The object of the apostle in writing to this church was to explain to them the great doctrines of the gospel. His epistle was a "word in season." Himself deeply impressed with a sense of the value of the doctrines of salvation, he opens up in a clear and connected form the whole system of the gospel in its relation both to Jew and Gentile. This epistle is peculiar in this, that it is a systematic exposition of the gospel of universal application. The subject is here treated argumentatively, and is a plea for Gentiles addressed to Jews. In the Epistle to the Galatians, the same subject is discussed, but there the apostle pleads his own authority, because the church in Galatia had been founded by him.

After the introduction ( 1:1-15 ), the apostle presents in it divers aspects and relations the doctrine of justification by faith ( (1:16-11:36) ) on the ground of the imputed righteousness of Christ. He shows that salvation is all of grace, and only of grace. This main section of his letter is followed by various practical exhortations ( (12:1-15:13), ), which are followed by a conclusion containing personal explanations and salutations, which contain the names of twenty-four Christians at Rome, a benediction, and a doxology (Rom ( Romans 16 ).

Rome

the most celebrated city in the world at the time of Christ. It is said to have been founded B.C. 753. When the New Testament was written, Rome was enriched and adorned with the spoils of the world, and contained a population estimated at 1,200,000, of which the half were slaves, and including representatives of nearly every nation then known. It was distinguished for its wealth and luxury and profligacy. The empire of which it was the capital had then reached its greatest prosperity.

On the day of Pentecost there were in Jerusalem "strangers from Rome," who doubtless carried with them back to Rome tidings of that great day, and were instrumental in founding the church there. Paul was brought to this city a prisoner, where he remained for two years ( Acts 28:30 Acts 28:31 ) "in his own hired house." While here, Paul wrote his epistles to the Philippians, to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews. He had during these years for companions Luke and Aristarchus ( Acts 27:2 ), Timothy (Phil 1:1 ; Colossians 1:1 ), Tychicus ( Ephesians 6: : 21 ), Epaphroditus (Phil 4:18 ), and John Mark ( Colossians 4:10 ). (See PAUL .)

Beneath this city are extensive galleries, called "catacombs," which were used from about the time of the apostles (one of the inscriptions found in them bears the date A.D. 71) for some three hundred years as places of refuge in the time of persecution, and also of worship and burial. About four thousand inscriptions have been found in the catacombs. These give an interesting insight into the history of the church at Rome down to the time of Constantine.

Rose

Many varieties of the rose proper are indigenous to Syria. The famed rose of Damascus is white, but there are also red and yellow roses. In Cant 2:1 and Isaiah 35:1 the Hebrew word habatstseleth (found only in these passages), rendered "rose" (RSV marg., "autumn crocus"), is supposed by some to mean the oleander, by others the sweet-scented narcissus (a native of Palestine), the tulip, or the daisy; but nothing definite can be affirmed regarding it.

The "rose of Sharon" is probably the cistus or rock-rose, several species of which abound in Palestine. "Mount Carmel especially abounds in the cistus, which in April covers some of the barer parts of the mountain with a glow not inferior to that of the Scottish heather." (See MYRRH [2].)

Rosh

( Ezekiel 38:2 Ezekiel 38:3 ; 39:1 ) is rendered "chief" in the Authorized Version. It is left untranslated as a proper name in the Revised Version. Some have supposed that the Russians are here meant, as one of the three Scythian tribes of whom Magog was the prince. They invaded the land of Judah in the days of Josiah. Herodotus, the Greek historian, says: "For twenty-eight years the Scythians ruled over Asia, and things were turned upside down by their violence and contempt." (See BETHSHEAN .)

Rosin

found only in Authorized Version, margin, Ezekiel 27:17 , Heb. tsori, uniformly rendered elsewhere "balm" (q.v.), as here in the text. The Vulgate has resinam, rendered "rosin" in the Douay Version. As used, however, by Jerome, the Lat. resina denotes some odoriferous gum or oil.

Ruby

(Heb. peninim), only in plural ( Lamentations 4:7 ). The ruby was one of the stones in the high priest's breastplate ( Exodus 28:17 ). A comparison is made between the value of wisdom and rubies ( Job 28:18 ; Proverbs 3:15 ; 8:11 ). The price of a virtuous woman is said to be "far above rubies" ( Proverbs 31:10 ). The exact meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain. Some render it "red coral;" others, "pearl" or "mother-of-pearl."

Rudder bands

Ancient ships had two great broad-bladed oars for rudders. These, when not in use, were lifted out of the water and bound or tied up. When required for use, these bands were unloosed and the rudders allowed to drop into the water ( Acts 27:40 ).

Rue

a garden herb (Ruta graveolens) which the Pharisees were careful to tithe ( Luke 11:42 ), neglecting weightier matters. It is omitted in the parallel passage of Matthew 23:23 . There are several species growing wild in Palestine. It is used for medicinal and culinary purposes. It has a powerful scent, and is a stimulant. (See MINT .)

Rufus

red, the son of Simon the Cyrenian ( Mark 15:21 ), whom the Roman soldiers compelled to carry the cross on which our Lord was crucified. Probably it is the same person who is again mentioned in Romans 16:13 as a disciple at Rome, whose mother also was a Christian held in esteem by the apostle. Mark mentions him along with his brother Alexander as persons well known to his readers ( Mark 15:21 ).

Ruhamah

having obtained mercy, a symbolical name given to the daughter of ( Hosea 2:1 ).

Rumah

elevation, probably the same as Arumah ( Judges 9:41 ; 2 Kings 23:36 ), near Shechem. Others identify it with Tell Rumeh, in Galilee, about 6 miles north of Nazareth.

Rush

the papyrus ( Job 8:11 ). (See BULRUSH .) The expression "branch and rush" in Isaiah 9:14 ; 19:15 means "utterly."

Ruth

a friend, a Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, whose father, Elimelech, had settled in the land of Moab. On the death of Elimelech and Mahlon, Naomi came with Ruth, her daughter-in-law, who refused to leave her, to Bethlehem, the old home from which Elimelech had migrated. There she had a rich relative, Boaz, to whom Ruth was eventually married. She became the mother of Obed, the grandfather of David. Thus Ruth, a Gentile, is among the maternal progenitors of our Lord ( Matthew 1:5 ). The story of "the gleaner Ruth illustrates the friendly relations between the good Boaz and his reapers, the Jewish land system, the method of transferring property from one person to another, the working of the Mosaic law for the relief of distressed and ruined families; but, above all, handing down the unselfishness, the brave love, the unshaken trustfulness of her who, though not of the chosen race, was, like the Canaanitess Tamar ( Genesis 38:29 ; Matthew 1:3 ) and the Canaanitess Rahab ( Matthew 1:5 ), privileged to become the ancestress of David, and so of 'great David's greater Son'" ( Ruth 4:18-22 ).

Ruth The Book of

was originally a part of the Book of Judges, but it now forms one of the twenty-four separate books of the Hebrew Bible.

The history it contains refers to a period perhaps about one hundred and twenty-six years before the birth of David. It gives (1) an account of Naomi's going to Moab with her husband, Elimelech, and of her subsequent return to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law; (2) the marriage of Boaz and Ruth; and (3) the birth of Obed, of whom David sprang.

The author of this book was probably Samuel, according to Jewish tradition.

"Brief as this book is, and simple as is its story, it is remarkably rich in examples of faith, patience, industry, and kindness, nor less so in indications of the care which God takes of those who put their trust in him."

Rye

=Rie, (Heb. kussemeth), found in Exodus 9:32 ; Isaiah 28:25 , in all of which the margins of the Authorized and of the Revised Versions have "spelt." This Hebrew word also occurs in Ezekiel 4:9 , where the Authorized Version has "fitches' (q.v.) and the Revised Version "spelt." This, there can be no doubt, was the Triticum spelta, a species of hard, rough-grained wheat.