Easton's Bible Dictionary

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Solemn meeting — Syrophenician

Solemn meeting

( Isaiah 1:13 ), the convocation on the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles ( Leviticus 23:36 ; Numbers 29:35 , RSV, "solemn assembly;" marg., "closing festival"). It is the name given also to the convocation held on the seventh day of the Passover ( Deuteronomy 16:8 ).

Solomon

peaceful, (Heb. Shelomoh), David's second son by Bathsheba, i.e., the first after their legal marriage ( 2 Samuel 12 ). He was probably born about B.C. 1035 ( 1 Chronicles 22:5 ; 29:1 ). He succeeded his father on the throne in early manhood, probably about sixteen or eighteen years of age. Nathan, to whom his education was intrusted, called him Jedidiah, i.e., "beloved of the Lord" ( 2 Samuel 12:24 2 Samuel 12:25 ). He was the first king of Israel "born in the purple." His father chose him as his successor, passing over the claims of his elder sons: "Assuredly Solomon my son shall reign after me." His history is recorded in 1Kings 1-11 and 2Chr. 1-9. His elevation to the throne took place before his father's death, and was hastened on mainly by Nathan and Bathsheba, in consequence of the rebellion of Adonijah ( 1 Kings 1:5-40 ). During his long reign of forty years the Hebrew monarchy gained its highest splendour. This period has well been called the "Augustan age" of the Jewish annals. The first half of his reign was, however, by far the brighter and more prosperous; the latter half was clouded by the idolatries into which he fell, mainly from his heathen intermarriages ( 1 Kings 11:1-8 ; 1 Kings 14:21 1 Kings 14:31 ).

Before his death David gave parting instructions to his son ( 1 Kings 2:1-9 ; 1 Chronicles 22:7-16 ; 28 ). As soon as he had settled himself in his kingdom, and arranged the affairs of his extensive empire, he entered into an alliance with Egypt by the marriage of the daughter of Pharaoh ( 1 Kings 3:1 ), of whom, however, nothing further is recorded. He surrounded himself with all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings. (See HIRAM .)

For some years before his death David was engaged in the active work of collecting materials ( 1 Chronicles 29:6-9 ; 2 Chr. 2:3-7 ) for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent abode for the ark of the covenant. He was not permitted to build the house of God ( 1 Chronicles 22:8 ); that honour was reserved to his son Solomon. (See TEMPLE .)

After the completion of the temple, Solomon engaged in the erection of many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem and in other parts of his kingdom. For the long space of thirteen years he was engaged in the erection of a royal palace on Ophel ( 1 Kings 7:1-12 ). It was 100 cubits long, 50 broad, and 30 high. Its lofty roof was supported by forty-five cedar pillars, so that the hall was like a forest of cedar wood, and hence probably it received the name of "The House of the Forest of Lebanon." In front of this "house" was another building, which was called the Porch of Pillars, and in front of this again was the "Hall of Judgment," or Throne-room ( 1 Kings 7:7 ; 10:18-20 ; 2 Chr 9:17-19 ), "the King's Gate," where he administered justice and gave audience to his people. This palace was a building of great magnificence and beauty. A portion of it was set apart as the residence of the queen consort, the daughter of Pharaoh. From the palace there was a private staircase of red and scented sandal wood which led up to the temple.

Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city (Eccl 2:4-6 ). He then built Millo (LXX., "Acra") for the defence of the city, completing a line of ramparts around it ( 1 Kings 9:15 1 Kings 9:24 ; 11:27 ). He erected also many other fortifications for the defence of his kingdom at various points where it was exposed to the assault of enemies ( 1 Kings 9:15-19 ; 2 Chr 8:2-6 ). Among his great undertakings must also be mentioned the building of Tadmor (q.v.) in the wilderness as a commercial depot, as well as a military outpost.

During his reign Palestine enjoyed great commercial prosperity. Extensive traffic was carried on by land with Tyre and Egypt and Arabia, and by sea with Spain and India and the coasts of Africa, by which Solomon accumulated vast stores of wealth and of the produce of all nations ( 1 Kings 9:26-28 ; 1 Kings 10:11 1 Kings 10:12 ; 2 Chr 1 Kings 8:17 1 Kings 8:18 ; 9:21 ). This was the "golden age" of Israel. The royal magnificence and splendour of Solomon's court were unrivalled. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, an evidence at once of his pride, his wealth, and his sensuality. The maintenance of his household involved immense expenditure. The provision required for one day was "thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow-deer, and fatted fowl" ( 1 Kings 4:22 1 Kings 4:23 ).

Solomon's reign was not only a period of great material prosperity, but was equally remarkable for its intellectual activity. He was the leader of his people also in this uprising amongst them of new intellectual life. "He spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes" ( 1 Kings 4:32 1 Kings 4:33 ).

His fame was spread abroad through all lands, and men came from far and near "to hear the wisdom of Solomon." Among others thus attracted to Jerusalem was "the queen of the south" ( Matthew 12:42 ), the queen of Sheba, a country in Arabia Felix. "Deep, indeed, must have been her yearning, and great his fame, which induced a secluded Arabian queen to break through the immemorial custom of her dreamy land, and to put forth the energy required for braving the burdens and perils of so long a journey across a wilderness. Yet this she undertook, and carried it out with safety." ( 1 Kings 10:1-13 ; 2 Chr 9:1-12 .) She was filled with amazement by all she saw and heard: "there was no more spirit in her." After an interchange of presents she returned to her native land.

But that golden age of Jewish history passed away. The bright day of Solomon's glory ended in clouds and darkness. His decline and fall from his high estate is a sad record. Chief among the causes of his decline were his polygamy and his great wealth. "As he grew older he spent more of his time among his favourites. The idle king living among these idle women, for 1,000 women, with all their idle and mischievous attendants, filled the palaces and pleasure-houses which he had built ( 1 Kings 11:3 ), learned first to tolerate and then to imitate their heathenish ways. He did not, indeed, cease to believe in the God of Israel with his mind. He did not cease to offer the usual sacrifices in the temple at the great feasts. But his heart was not right with God; his worship became merely formal; his soul, left empty by the dying out of true religious fervour, sought to be filled with any religious excitement which offered itself. Now for the first time a worship was publicly set up amongst the people of the Lord which was not simply irregular or forbidden, like that of Gideon ( Judges 8:27 ), or the Danites ( Judges 18:30 Judges 18:31 ), but was downright idolatrous." ( 1 Kings 11:7 ; 2 Kings 23:13 .)

This brought upon him the divine displeasure. His enemies prevailed against him ( 1 Kings 11:14-22 1 Kings 11:23-25 1 Kings 11:26-40 ), and one judgment after another fell upon the land. And now the end of all came, and he died, after a reign of forty years, and was buried in the city of David, and "with him was buried the short-lived glory and unity of Israel." "He leaves behind him but one weak and worthless son, to dismember his kingdom and disgrace his name."

"The kingdom of Solomon," says Rawlinson, "is one of the most striking facts in the Biblical history. A petty nation, which for hundreds of years has with difficulty maintained a separate existence in the midst of warlike tribes, each of which has in turn exercised dominion over it and oppressed it, is suddenly raised by the genius of a soldier-monarch to glory and greatness. An empire is established which extends from the Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, a distance of 450 miles; and this empire, rapidly constructed, enters almost immediately on a period of peace which lasts for half a century. Wealth, grandeur, architectural magnificence, artistic excellence, commercial enterprise, a position of dignity among the great nations of the earth, are enjoyed during this space, at the end of which there is a sudden collapse. The ruling nation is split in twain, the subject-races fall off, the pre-eminence lately gained being wholly lost, the scene of struggle, strife, oppression, recovery, inglorious submission, and desperate effort, re-commences.", Historical Illustrations.

Solomon, Song of

called also, after the Vulgate, the "Canticles." It is the "song of songs" ( 1:1 ), as being the finest and most precious of its kind; the noblest song, "das Hohelied," as Luther calls it. The Solomonic authorship of this book has been called in question, but evidences, both internal and external, fairly establish the traditional view that it is the product of Solomon's pen. It is an allegorical poem setting forth the mutual love of Christ and the Church, under the emblem of the bridegroom and the bride. (Compare Matthew 9:15 ; John 3:29 ; Ephesians 5:23 Ephesians 5:27 Ephesians 5:29 ; Revelation 19:7-9 ; Revelation 21:2 Revelation 21:9 ; 22:17 . Compare also Psalms 45 ; Isaiah 54:4-6 ; Isaiah 62:4 Isaiah 62:5 ; Jeremiah 2:2 ; Jeremiah 3:1 Jeremiah 3:20 ; Ezek. 16; Hosea 2:16 Hosea 2:19 Hosea 2:20 .)

Solomons Porch

( John 10:23 ; Acts 3:11 ; 5:12 ), a colonnade, or cloister probably, on the eastern side of the temple. It is not mentioned in connection with the first temple, but Josephus mentions a porch, so called, in Herod's temple (q.v.).

Son of God

The plural, "sons of God," is used ( Genesis 6:2 Genesis 6:4 ) to denote the pious descendants of Seth. In Job 1:6 ; 38:7 this name is applied to the angels. Hosea uses the phrase ( 1:10 ) to designate the gracious relation in which men stand to God.

In the New Testament this phrase frequently denotes the relation into which we are brought to God by adoption ( Romans 8:14 Romans 8:19 ; 2 co 6:18 ; Galatians 4:5 Galatians 4:6 ; Phil 2:15 ; 1 John 3:1 1 John 3:2 ). It occurs thirty-seven times in the New Testament as the distinctive title of our Saviour. He does not bear this title in consequence of his miraculous birth, nor of his incarnation, his resurrection, and exaltation to the Father's right hand. This is a title of nature and not of office. The sonship of Christ denotes his equality with the Father. To call Christ the Son of God is to assert his true and proper divinity. The second Person of the Trinity, because of his eternal relation to the first Person, is the Son of God. He is the Son of God as to his divine nature, while as to his human nature he is the Son of David ( Romans 1:3 Romans 1:4 . Compare Galatians 4:4 ; John 1:1-14 ; 5:18-25 ; 10:30-38 , which prove that Christ was the Son of God before his incarnation, and that his claim to this title is a claim of equality with God).

When used with reference to creatures, whether men or angels, this word is always in the plural. In the singular it is always used of the second Person of the Trinity, with the single exception of Luke 3:38 , where it is used of Adam.

Son of man

1. Denotes mankind generally, with special reference to their weakness and frailty ( Job 25:6 ; Psalms 8:4 ; 144:3 ; 146:3 ; Isaiah 51:12 , etc.).

2. It is a title frequently given to the prophet Ezekiel, probably to remind him of his human weakness.

3. In the New Testament it is used forty-three times as a distinctive title of the Saviour. In the Old Testament it is used only in Psalms 80:17 and Daniel 7:13 with this application. It denotes the true humanity of our Lord. He had a true body ( Hebrews 2:14 ; Luke 24:39 ) and a rational soul. He was perfect man.

Song of Solomon

(Nubian, Sabako), an Ethiopian king who brought Egypt under his sway. He was bribed by Hoshea to help him against the Assyrian monarch Shalmaneser ( 2 Kings 17:4 ). This was a return to the policy that had been successful in the reign of Jeroboam I.

Songs

of Moses ( Exodus 15 ; Numbers 21:17 ; Deuteronomy 32 ; Revelation 15:3 ), Deborah (Judg. 5), Hannah ( 1 Samuel 2 ), David ( 2 Samuel 22 , and Psalms), Mary ( Luke 1:46-55 ), Zacharias ( Luke 1:68-79 ), the angels ( Luke 2:13 ), Simeon ( Luke 2:29 ), the redeemed ( Revelation 5:9 ; 19 ), Solomon (see SOLOMON, SONGS OF).

Soothsayer

one who pretends to prognosticate future events. Baalam is so called ( Joshua 13:22 ; Heb. kosem, a "diviner," as rendered 1 Samuel 6:2 ; rendered "prudent," Isaiah 3:2 ). In Isaiah 2:6 and Micah 5:12 (Heb. yonenim, i.e., "diviners of the clouds") the word is used of the Chaldean diviners who studied the clouds. In Daniel 2:27 ; 5:7 the word is the rendering of the Chaldee gazrin, i.e., "deciders" or "determiners", here applied to Chaldean astrologers, "who, by casting nativities from the place of the stars at one's birth, and by various arts of computing and divining, foretold the fortunes and destinies of individuals.", Gesenius, Lex. Heb. (See SORCERER .)

Sop

a morsel of bread ( John 13:26 ; Compare Ruth 2:14 ). Our Lord took a piece of unleavened bread, and dipping it into the broth of bitter herbs at the Paschal meal, gave it to Judas. (Compare Ruth 2:14 .)

Sopater

the father who saves, probably the same as Sosipater, a kinsman of Paul ( Romans 16:21 ), a Christian of the city of Berea who accompanied Paul into Asia ( Acts 20:4-6 ).

Sorcerer

from the Latin sortiarius, one who casts lots, or one who tells the lot of others. (See DIVINATION .)

In Daniel 2:2 it is the rendering of the Hebrew mekhashphim, i.e., mutterers, men who professed to have power with evil spirits. The practice of sorcery exposed to severest punishment ( Malachi 3:5 ; Revelation 21:8 ; 22:15 ).

Sorek

choice vine, the name of a valley, i.e., a torrent-bed, now the Wady Surar, "valley of the fertile spot," which drains the western Judean hills, and flowing by Makkedah and Jabneel, falls into the sea some eight miles south of Joppa. This was the home of Deliah, whom Samson loved ( Judges 16:4 ).

Sosipater

(See SOPATER .)

Sosthenes

safe in strength, the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth, who was seized and beaten by the mob in the presence of Gallio, the Roman governor, when he refused to proceed against Paul at the instigation of the Jews ( Acts 18:12-17 ). The motives of this assault against Sosthenes are not recorded, nor is it mentioned whether it was made by Greeks or Romans. Some identify him, but without sufficient grounds, with one whom Paul calls "Sosthenes our brother," a convert to the faith ( 1 Corinthians 1:1 ).

South

Heb. Negeb, that arid district to the south of Palestine through which lay the caravan route from Central Palestine to Egypt ( Genesis 12:9 ; Genesis 13:1 Genesis 13:3 ; 46:1-6 ). "The Negeb comprised a considerable but irregularly-shaped tract of country, its main portion stretching from the mountains and lowlands of Judah in the north to the mountains of Azazemeh in the south, and from the Dead Sea and southern Ghoron the east to the Mediterranean on the west." In Ezekiel 20:46 ( (21:1 in Heb.) three different Hebrew words are all rendered "south." (1) "Set thy face toward the south" (Teman, the region on the right, 1 Samuel 33:24 ); (2) "Drop thy word toward the south" (Negeb, the region of dryness, Joshua 15:4 ); (3) "Prophesy against the forest of the south field" (Darom, the region of brightness, Deuteronomy 33:23 ). In Job 37:9 the word "south" is literally "chamber," used here in the sense of treasury (comp 38:22 ; Psalms 135:7 ). This verse is rendered in the Revised Version "out of the chamber of the south."

Sovereignty

of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure ( Daniel 4:25 Daniel 4:35 ; Romans 9:15-23 ; 1 Timothy 6:15 ; Revelation 4:11 ).

Spain

Paul expresses his intention ( Romans 15:24 Romans 15:28 ) to visit Spain. There is, however, no evidence that he ever carried it into effect, although some think that he probably did so between his first and second imprisonment. (See TARSHISH .)

Sparrow

Mentioned among the offerings made by the very poor. Two sparrows were sold for a farthing ( Matthew 10:29 ), and five for two farthings ( Luke 12:6 ). The Hebrew word thus rendered is tsippor , which properly denotes the whole family of small birds which feed on grain ( Leviticus 14:4 ; Psalms 84:3 ; 102:7 ). The Greek word of the New Testament is strouthion ( Matthew 10:29-31 ), which is thus correctly rendered.

Spicery

Heb. nechoth, identified with the Arabic naka'at, the gum tragacanth, obtained from the astralagus, of which there are about twenty species found in Palestine. The tragacanth of commerce is obtained from the A. tragacantha. "The gum exudes plentifully under the heat of the sun on the leaves, thorns, and exteremity of the twigs."

Spices

aromatic substances, of which several are named in Exodus 30 . They were used in the sacred anointing oil ( Exodus 25:6 ; 35:8 ; 1 Chronicles 9:29 ), and in embalming the dead ( 2 Chronicles 16:14 ; Luke 23:56 ; 24:1 ; John 19:39 John 19:40 ). Spices were stored by Hezekiah in his treasure-house ( 2 Kings 20:13 ; Isaiah 39:2 ).

Spider

The trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider's web or house ( Job 8:14 ). It is said of the wicked by Isaiah that they "weave the spider's web" ( 59:5 ), i.e., their works and designs are, like the spider's web, vain and useless. The Hebrew word here used is 'akkabish , "a swift weaver."

In Proverbs 30:28 a different Hebrew word (semamith) is used. It is rendered in the Vulgate by stellio, and in the Revised Version by "lizard." It may, however, represent the spider, of which there are, it is said, about seven hundred species in Palestine.

Spies

When the Israelites reached Kadesh for the first time, and were encamped there, Moses selected twelve spies from among the chiefs of the divisions of the tribes, and sent them forth to spy the land of Canaan ( Numbers 13 ), and to bring back to him a report of its actual condition. They at once proceeded on their important errand, and went through the land as far north as the district round Lake Merom. After about six weeks' absence they returned. Their report was very discouraging, and the people were greatly alarmed, and in a rebellious spirit proposed to elect a new leader and return to Egypt. Only two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, showed themselves on this occasion stout-hearted and faithful. All their appeals and remonstrances were in vain. Moses announced that as a punishment for their rebellion they must now wander in the wilderness till a new generation should arise which would go up and posses the land. The spies had been forty days absent on their expedition, and for each day the Israelites were to be wanderers for a year in the desert. (See ESHCOL .)

Two spies were sent by Joshua "secretly" i.e., unknown to the people ( Joshua 2:1 ), "to view the land and Jericho" after the death of Moses, and just before the tribes under his leadership were about to cross the Jordan. They learned from Rahab (q.v.), in whose house they found a hiding-place, that terror had fallen on all the inhabitants of the land because of the great things they had heard that Jehovah had done for them ( Exodus 15:14-16 ; comp 23:27 ; Deuteronomy 2:25 ; 11:25 ). As the result of their mission they reported: "Truly Jehovah hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us."

Spikenard

(Heb. nerd), a much-valued perfume (Cant 1:12 ; Deuteronomy 4:13 Deuteronomy 4:14 ). It was "very precious", i.e., very costly ( Mark 14:3 ; John 12:3 John 12:5 ). It is the root of an Indian plant, the Nardostachys jatamansi, of the family of Valeriance, growing on the Himalaya mountains. It is distinguished by its having many hairy spikes shooting out from one root. It is called by the Arabs sunbul Hindi, "the Indian spike." In the New Testament this word is the rendering of the Greek nardos pistike. The margin of the Revised Version in these passages has "pistic nard," pistic being perhaps a local name. Some take it to mean genuine, and others liquid. The most probable opinion is that the word pistike designates the nard as genuine or faithfully prepared.

Spirit

(Heb. ruah; Gr. pneuma), properly wind or breath. In 2 Thessalonians 2:8 it means "breath," and in Eccl 8:8 the vital principle in man. It also denotes the rational, immortal soul by which man is distinguished ( Acts 7:59 ; 1 Corinthians 5:5 ; 6:20 ; 7:34 ), and the soul in its separate state ( Hebrews 12:23 ), and hence also an apparition ( Job 4:15 ; Luke 24:37 Luke 24:39 ), an angel ( Hebrews 1:14 ), and a demon ( Luke 4:36 ; 10:20 ). This word is used also metaphorically as denoting a tendency ( Zechariah 12:10 ; Luke 13:11 ).

In Rom 1:4,1Tim 3:16,2co Romans 3:18 , it designates the divine nature.

Spirit, Holy

See HOLY GHOST .

Sponge

occurs only in the narrative of the crucifixion ( Matthew 27:48 ; Mark 15:36 ; John 19:29 ). It is ranked as a zoophyte. It is found attached to rocks at the bottom of the sea.

Spouse

(Cant 4:8-12 ; Hosea 4:13 Hosea 4:14 ) may denote either husband or wife, but in the Scriptures it denotes only the latter.

Spring

(Heb. 'ain, "the bright open source, the eye of the landscape"). To be carefully distinguished from "well" (q.v.). "Springs" mentioned in Joshua 10:40 (Heb. 'ashdoth) should rather be "declivities" or "slopes" (RSV), i.e., the undulating ground lying between the lowlands (the shephelah) and the central range of hills.

Stachys

spike; an ear of corn, a convert at Rome whom Paul salutes ( Romans 16:9 ).

Stacte

(Heb. nataph), one of the components of the perfume which was offered on the golden altar ( Exodus 30:34 ; RSV marg., "opobalsamum"). The Hebrew word is from a root meaning "to distil," and it has been by some interpreted as distilled myrrh. Others regard it as the gum of the storax tree, or rather shrub, the Styrax officinale. "The Syrians value this gum highly, and use it medicinally as an emulcent in pectoral complaints, and also in perfumery."

Star, Morning

a name figuratively given to Christ ( Revelation 22:16 ; Compare 2 Peter 1:19 ). When Christ promises that he will give the "morning star" to his faithful ones, he "promises that he will give to them himself, that he will give to them himself, that he will impart to them his own glory and a share in his own royal dominion; for the star is evermore the symbol of royalty ( Matthew 2:2 ), being therefore linked with the sceptre ( Numbers 24:17 ). All the glory of the world shall end in being the glory of the Church." Trench's Comm.

Stargazers

( Isaiah 47:13 ), those who pretend to tell what will occur by looking upon the stars. The Chaldean astrologers "divined by the rising and setting, the motions, aspects, colour, degree of light, etc., of the stars."

Stars

The eleven stars ( Genesis 37:9 ); the seven ( Amos 5:8 ); wandering ( Jude 1:13 ); seen in the east at the birth of Christ, probably some luminous meteors miraculously formed for this specific purpose ( Matthew 2:2-10 ); stars worshipped ( Deuteronomy 4:19 ; 2 Kings 17:16 ; 21:3 ; Jeremiah 19:13 ); spoken of symbolically ( Numbers 24:17 ; Revelation 1:16 Revelation 1:20 ; 12:1 ). (See ASTROLOGERS .)

Stater

Greek word rendered "piece of money" ( Matthew 17:27 , A.V.; and "shekel" in RSV). It was equal to two didrachmas ("tribute money," 17:24 ), or four drachmas, and to about 2s. 6d. of our money. (See SHEKEL .)

Stealing

See THEFT .

Steel

The "bow of steel" in (A.V.) 2 Samuel 22:35 ; Job 20:24 ; Psalms 18:34 is in the Revised Version "bow of brass" (Heb. kesheth-nehushah). In Jeremiah 15:12 the same word is used, and is also rendered in the Revised Version "brass." But more correctly it is copper (q.v.), as brass in the ordinary sense of the word (an alloy of copper and zinc) was not known to the ancients.

Stephanas

crown, a member of the church at Corinth, whose family were among those the apostle had baptized ( 1 Corinthians 1:16 ; 1 Corinthians 16:15 1 Corinthians 16:17 ). He has been supposed by some to have been the "jailer of Philippi" (Compare Acts 16:33 ). The First Epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi some six years after the jailer's conversion, and he was with the apostle there at that time.

Stephen

one of the seven deacons, who became a preacher of the gospel. He was the first Christian martyr. His personal character and history are recorded in Acts 6 . "He fell asleep" with a prayer for his persecutors on his lips ( 7:60 ). Devout men carried him to his grave ( 8:2 ).

It was at the feet of the young Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, that those who stoned him laid their clothes (Compare Deuteronomy 17:5-7 ) before they began their cruel work. The scene which Saul then witnessed and the words he heard appear to have made a deep and lasting impression on his mind ( Acts 22:19 Acts 22:20 ).

The speech of Stephen before the Jewish ruler is the first apology for the universalism of the gospel as a message to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. It is the longest speech contained in the Acts, a place of prominence being given to it as a defence.

Stoics

a sect of Greek philosophers at Athens, so called from the Greek word stoa i.e., a "porch" or "portico," where they have been called "the Pharisees of Greek paganism." The founder of the Stoics was Zeno, who flourished about B.C. 300. He taught his disciples that a man's happiness consisted in bringing himself into harmony with the course of the universe. They were trained to bear evils with indifference, and so to be independent of externals. Materialism, pantheism, fatalism, and pride were the leading features of this philosophy.

Stomacher

( Isaiah 3:24 ), an article of female attire, probably some sort of girdle around the breast.

Stone

Stones were commonly used for buildings, also as memorials of important events ( Genesis 28:18 ; Joshua 24:26 Joshua 24:27 ; 1 Samuel 7:12 , etc.). They were gathered out of cultivated fields ( Isaiah 5:2 ; Compare 2 Kings 3:19 ). This word is also used figuratively of believers ( 1 Peter 2:4 1 Peter 2:5 ), and of the Messiah ( Psalms 118:22 ; Isaiah 28:16 ; Matthew 21:42 ; Acts 4:11 , etc.). In Daniel 2:45 it refers also to the Messiah. He is there described as "cut out of the mountain." (See ROCK .)

A "heart of stone" denotes great insensibility ( 1 Samuel 25:37 ).

Stones were set up to commemorate remarkable events, as by Jacob at Bethel ( Genesis 28:18 ), at Padan-aram ( 35:4 ), and on the occasion of parting with Laban ( 31:45-47 ); by Joshua at the place on the banks of the Jordan where the people first "lodged" after crossing the river ( Joshua 6:8 ), and also in "the midst of Jordan," where he erected another set of twelve stones ( 4:1-9 ); and by Samuel at "Ebenezer" ( 1 Samuel 7:12 ).

Stones, Precious

Frequently referred to ( 1 Kings 10:2 ; 2 Chr 3:6 ; 9:10 ; Revelation 18:16 ; 21:19 ). There are about twenty different names of such stones in the Bible. They are figuratively introduced to denote value, beauty, durability (Cant 5:14 ; Isaiah 54:11 Isaiah 54:12 ; Lamentations 4:7 ).

Stoning

a form of punishment ( Leviticus 20:2 ; 24:14 ; Deuteronomy 13:10 ; 17:5 ; 22:21 ) prescribed for certain offences. Of Achan ( Joshua 7:25 ), Naboth ( 1 Kings 21 ), Stephen ( Acts 7:59 ), Paul ( Acts 14:19 ; 2 co 11:25 ).

Stork

Heb. hasidah, meaning "kindness," indicating thus the character of the bird, which is noted for its affection for its young. It is in the list of birds forbidden to be eaten by the Levitical law ( Leviticus 11:19 ; Deuteronomy 14:18 ). It is like the crane, but larger in size. Two species are found in Palestine, the white, which are dispersed in pairs over the whole country; and the black, which live in marshy places and in great flocks. They migrate to Palestine periodically (about the 22nd of March). Jeremiah alludes to this ( Jeremiah 8:7 ). At the appointed time they return with unerring sagacity to their old haunts, and re-occupy their old nests. "There is a well-authenticated account of the devotion of a stork which, at the burning of the town of Delft, after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to carry off her young, chose rather to remain and perish with them than leave them to their fate. Well might the Romans call it the pia avis!"

In Job 39:13 (A.V.), instead of the expression "or wings and feathers unto the ostrich" (marg., "the feathers of the stork and ostrich"), the Revised Version has "are her pinions and feathers kindly" (marg., instead of "kindly," reads "like the stork's"). The object of this somewhat obscure verse seems to be to point out a contrast between the stork, as distinguished for her affection for her young, and the ostrich, as distinguished for her indifference.

( Zechariah 5:9 ) alludes to the beauty and power of the stork's wings.

Strain at

Simply a misprint for "strain out" ( Matthew 23:24 ).

Stranger

This word generally denotes a person from a foreign land residing in Palestine. Such persons enjoyed many privileges in common with the Jews, but still were separate from them. The relation of the Jews to strangers was regulated by special laws ( Deuteronomy 23:3 ; 24:14-21 ; 25:5 ; 26:10-13 ). A special signification is also sometimes attached to this word. In Genesis 23:4 it denotes one resident in a foreign land; Exodus 23:9 , one who is not a Jew; Numbers 3:10 , one who is not of the family of Aaron; Psalms 69:8 , an alien or an unknown person. The Jews were allowed to purchase strangers as slaves ( Leviticus 25:44 Leviticus 25:45 ), and to take usury from them ( Deuteronomy 23:20 ).

Straw

Used in brick-making ( Exodus 5:7-18 ). Used figuratively in Job 41:27 ; Isaiah 11:7 ; 25:10 ; 65:25 .

Stream of Egypt

( Isaiah 27:12 ), the Wady el-'Arish, called also "the river of Egypt," RSV, "brook of Egypt" ( Numbers 34:5 ; Joshua 15:4 ; 2 Kings 24:7 ). It is the natural boundary of Egypt. Occasionally in winter, when heavy rains have fallen among the mountains inland, it becomes a turbulent rushing torrent. The present boundary between Egypt and Palestine is about midway between el-'Arish and Gaza.

Street

The street called "Straight" at Damascus ( Acts 9:11 ) is "a long broad street, running from east to west, about a mile in length, and forming the principal thoroughfare in the city." In Oriental towns streets are usually narrow and irregular and filthy ( Psalms 18:42 ; Isaiah 10:6 ). "It is remarkable," says Porter, "that all the important cities of Palestine and Syria Samaria, Caesarea, Gerasa, Bozrah, Damascus, Palmyra, had their 'straight streets' running through the centre of the city, and lined with stately rows of columns. The most perfect now remaining are those of Palmyra and Gerasa, where long ranges of the columns still stand.", Through Samaria, etc.

Stripes

as a punishment were not to exceed forty ( Deuteronomy 25:1-3 ), and hence arose the custom of limiting them to thirty-nine ( 2 Corinthians 11:24 ). Paul claimed the privilege of a Roman citizen in regard to the infliction of stripes ( Acts 16:37 Acts 16:38 ; 22:25-29 ). Our Lord was beaten with stripes ( Matthew 27:26 ).

Subscriptions

The subscriptions to Paul's epistles are no part of the original. In their present form they are ascribed to Euthalius, a bishop of the fifth century. Some of them are obviously incorrect.

Suburbs

the immediate vicinity of a city or town ( Numbers 35:3 Numbers 35:7 ; Ezek. 45:2 ). In 2 Kings 23:11 the Hebrew word there used (parvarim) occurs nowhere else. The Revised Version renders it "precincts." The singular form of this Hebrew word (parvar) is supposed by some to be the same as Parbar (q.v.), which occurs twice in 1 Chronicles 26:18 .

Succoth

booths.

1. The first encampment of the Israelites after leaving Ramesses ( Exodus 12:37 ); the civil name of Pithom (q.v.).

2. A city on the east of Jordan, identified with Tell Dar'ala, a high mound, a mass of debris, in the plain north of Jabbok and about one mile from it ( Joshua 13:27 ). Here Jacob ( Genesis 32:17 Genesis 32:30 ; 33:17 ), on his return from Padan-aram after his interview with Esau, built a house for himself and made booths for his cattle. The princes of this city churlishly refused to afford help to Gideon and his 300 men when "faint yet pursuing" they followed one of the bands of the fugitive Midianites after the great victory at Gilboa. After overtaking and routing this band at Karkor, Gideon on his return visited the rulers of the city with severe punishment. "He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth" ( Judges 8:13-16 ). At this place were erected the foundries for casting the metal-work for the temple ( 1 Kings 7:46 ).

Succoth-benoth

tents of daughters, supposed to be the name of a Babylonian deity, the goddess Zir-banit, the wife of Merodach, worshipped by the colonists in Samaria ( 2 Kings 17:30 ).

Sukkiims

dwellers in tents, (Vulg. and LXX., "troglodites;" i.e., cave-dwellers in the hills along the Red Sea). Shiskak's army, with which he marched against Jerusalem, was composed partly of this tribe ( 2 Chronicles 12:3 ).

Sun

(Heb. shemesh), first mentioned along with the moon as the two great luminaries of heaven ( Genesis 1:14-18 ). By their motions and influence they were intended to mark and divide times and seasons. The worship of the sun was one of the oldest forms of false religion ( Job 31:26 Job 31:27 ), and was common among the Egyptians and Chaldeans and other pagan nations. The Jews were warned against this form of idolatry ( Deuteronomy 4:19 ; 17:3 ; Compare 2 Kings 23:11 ; Jeremiah 19:13 ).

Suph

( Deuteronomy 1:1 , RSV; marg., "some ancient versions have the Red Sea," as in the A.V.). Some identify it with Suphah ( Numbers 21:14 , marg., A.V.) as probably the name of a place. Others identify it with es-Sufah = Maaleh-acrabbim ( Joshua 15:3 ), and others again with Zuph ( 1 Samuel 9:5 ). It is most probable, however, that, in accordance with the ancient versions, this word is to be regarded as simply an abbreviation of Yam-suph, i.e., the "Red Sea."

Suphah

( Numbers 21:14 , marg.; also RSV), a place at the south-eastern corner of the Dead Sea, the Ghor es-Safieh. This name is found in an ode quoted from the "Book of the Wars of the Lord," probably a collection of odes commemorating the triumphs of God's people (comp Numbers 21:14 Numbers 21:17 Numbers 21:18 Numbers 21:27-30 ).

Supper

the principal meal of the day among the Jews. It was partaken of in the early part of the evening ( Mark 6:21 ; John 12:2 ; 1 Corinthians 11:21 ). (See LORD'S SUPPER .)

Surety

one who becomes responsible for another. Christ is the surety of the better covenant ( Hebrews 7:22 ). In him we have the assurance that all its provisions will be fully and faithfully carried out. Solomon warns against incautiously becoming security for another ( Proverbs 6:1-5 ; 11:15 ; 17:18 ; 20:16 ).

Susanchites

the inhabitants of Shushan, who joined the other adversaries of the Jews in the attempt to prevent the rebuilding of the temple ( Ezra 4:9 ).

Susanna

lily, with other pious women, ministered to Jesus ( Luke 8:3 ).

Susi

the father of Gaddi, who was one of the twelve spies ( Numbers 13:11 ).

Swallow

1. Heb. sis ( Isaiah 38:14 ; Jeremiah 8:7 ), the Arabic for the swift, which "is a regular migrant, returning in myriads every spring, and so suddenly that while one day not a swift can be seen in the country, on the next they have overspread the whole land, and fill the air with their shrill cry." The swift (cypselus) is ordinarily classed with the swallow, which it resembles in its flight, habits, and migration.

2. Heb. deror, i.e., "the bird of freedom" ( Psalms 84:3 ; Proverbs 26:2 ), properly rendered swallow, distinguished for its swiftness of flight, its love of freedom, and the impossibility of retaining it in captivity. In Isaiah 38:14 and Jeremiah 8:7 the word thus rendered ('augr) properly means "crane" (as in the RSV).

Swan

mentioned in the list of unclean birds ( Leviticus 11:18 ; Deuteronomy 14:16 ), is sometimes met with in the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee.

Swelling

of Jordan ( Jeremiah 12:5 ), literally the "pride" of Jordan (as in RSV), i.e., the luxuriant thickets of tamarisks, poplars, reeds, etc., which were the lair of lions and other beasts of prey. The reference is not to the overflowing of the river banks. (Comp 49:19 ; 50:44 ; Zechariah 11:3 ).

Swine

(Heb. hazir), regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred of all animals ( Leviticus 11:7 ; Isaiah 65:4 ; Isaiah 66:3 Isaiah 66:17 ; Luke 15:15 Luke 15:16 ). A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee ( Luke 8:32 Luke 8:33 ). Spoken of figuratively in Matthew 7:6 (see Proverbs 11:22 ). It is frequently mentioned as a wild animal, and is evidently the wild boar (Arab. khanzir), which is common among the marshes of the Jordan valley ( Psalms 80:13 ).

Sword

of the Hebrew was pointed, sometimes two-edged, was worn in a sheath, and suspended from the girdle ( Exodus 32:27 ; 1 Samuel 31:4 ; 1 Chronicles 21:27 ; Psalms 149:6 : Proverbs 5:4 ; Ezekiel 16:40 ; 21:3-5 ).

It is a symbol of divine chastisement ( Deuteronomy 32:25 ; Psalms 7:12 ; 78:62 ), and of a slanderous tongue ( Psalms 57:4 ; 64:3 ; Proverbs 12:18 ). The word of God is likened also to a sword ( Hebrews 4:12 ; Ephesians 6:17 ; Revelation 1:16 ). Gideon's watchword was, "The sword of the Lord" ( Judges 7:20 ).

Sycamine tree

mentioned only in Luke 17:6 . It is rendered by Luther "mulberry tree" (q.v.), which is most probably the correct rendering. It is found of two species, the black mulberry (Morus nigra) and the white mulberry (Mourea), which are common in Palestine. The silk-worm feeds on their leaves. The rearing of them is one of the chief industries of the peasantry of Lebanon and of other parts of the land. It is of the order of the fig-tree. Some contend, however, that this name denotes the sycamore-fig of Luke 19:4 .

Sycamore

more properly sycomore (Heb. shikmoth and shikmim, Gr. sycomoros), a tree which in its general character resembles the fig-tree, while its leaves resemble those of the mulberry; hence it is called the fig-mulberry (Ficus sycomorus). At Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed a sycomore-tree to see Jesus as he passed by ( Luke 19:4 ). This tree was easily destroyed by frost ( Psalms 78:47 ), and therefore it is found mostly in the "vale" ( 1 Kings 10:27 ; 2 Chr 1:15 : in both passages the RSV has properly "lowland"), i.e., the "low country," the shephelah, where the climate is mild. ( Amos 7:14 ) refers to its fruit, which is of an inferior character; so also probably ( Jeremiah 24:2 ). It is to be distinguished from our sycamore (the Acer pseudo-platanus), which is a species of maple often called a plane-tree.

Sychar

liar or drunkard (see Isaiah 28:1 Isaiah 28:7 ), has been from the time of the Crusaders usually identified with Sychem or Shechem ( John 4:5 ). It has now, however, as the result of recent explorations, been identified with 'Askar, a small Samaritan town on the southern base of Ebal, about a mile to the north of Jacob's well.

Sychem

See SHECHEM .

Syene

opening ( Ezekiel 29:10 ; 30:6 ), a town of Egypt, on the borders of Ethiopia, now called Assouan, on the right bank of the Nile, notable for its quarries of beautiful red granite called "syenite." It was the frontier town of Egypt in the south, as Migdol was in the north-east.

Synagogue

(Gr. sunagoge, i.e., "an assembly"), found only once in the Authorized Version of Psalms 74:8 , where the margin of Revised Version has "places of assembly," which is probably correct; for while the origin of synagogues is unknown, it may well be supposed that buildings or tents for the accommodation of worshippers may have existed in the land from an early time, and thus the system of synagogues would be gradually developed.

Some, however, are of opinion that it was specially during the Babylonian captivity that the system of synagogue worship, if not actually introduced, was at least reorganized on a systematic plan ( Ezekiel 8:1 ; 14:1 ). The exiles gathered together for the reading of the law and the prophets as they had opportunity, and after their return synagogues were established all over the land ( Ezra 8:15 ; Nehemiah 8:2 ). In after years, when the Jews were dispersed abroad, wherever they went they erected synagogues and kept up the stated services of worship ( Acts 9:20 ; 13:5 ; 17:1 ; 17:17 ; 18:4 ). The form and internal arrangements of the synagogue would greatly depend on the wealth of the Jews who erected it, and on the place where it was built. "Yet there are certain traditional pecularities which have doubtless united together by a common resemblance the Jewish synagogues of all ages and countries. The arrangements for the women's place in a separate gallery or behind a partition of lattice-work; the desk in the centre, where the reader, like Ezra in ancient days, from his 'pulpit of wood,' may 'open the book in the sight of all of people and read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and give the sense, and cause them to understand the reading' ( Nehemiah 8:4 Nehemiah 8:8 ); the carefully closed ark on the side of the building nearest to Jerusalem, for the preservation of the rolls or manuscripts of the law; the seats all round the building, whence 'the eyes of all them that are in the synagogue' may 'be fastened' on him who speaks ( Luke 4:20 ); the 'chief seats' ( Matthew 23:6 ) which were appropriated to the 'ruler' or 'rulers' of the synagogue, according as its organization may have been more or less complete;", these were features common to all the synagogues.

Where perfected into a system, the services of the synagogue, which were at the same hours as those of the temple, consisted, (1) of prayer, which formed a kind of liturgy, there were in all eighteen prayers; (2) the reading of the Scriptures in certain definite portions; and (3) the exposition of the portions read. (See Luke 4:15 Luke 4:22 ; Acts 13:14 .)

The synagogue was also sometimes used as a court of judicature, in which the rulers presided ( Matthew 10:17 ; Mark 5:22 ; Luke 12:11 ; 21:12 ; Acts 13:15 ; 22:19 ); also as public schools.

The establishment of synagogues wherever the Jews were found in sufficient numbers helped greatly to keep alive Israel's hope of the coming of the Messiah, and to prepare the way for the spread of the gospel in other lands. The worship of the Christian Church was afterwards modelled after that of the synagogue.

Christ and his disciples frequently taught in the synagogues ( Matthew 13:54 ; Mark 6:2 ; John 18:20 ; Acts 13:5 Acts 13:15 Acts 13:44 ; 14:1 ; Acts 17:2-4 Acts 17:10 Acts 17:17 ; Acts 18:4 Acts 18:26 ; 19:8 ).

To be "put out of the synagogue," a phrase used by ( John 9:22 ; 12:42 ; 16:2 ), means to be excommunicated.

Syntyche

fortunate; affable, a female member of the church at Philippi, whom Paul beseeches to be of one mind with Euodias ( Philippians 4:2 Philippians 4:3 ).

Syracuse

a city on the south-east coast of Sicily, where Paul landed and remained three days when on his way to Rome ( Acts 28:12 ). It was distinguished for its magnitude and splendour. It is now a small town of some 13,000 inhabitants.

Syria

(Heb. Aram), the name in the Old Testament given to the whole country which lay to the north-east of Phoenicia, extending to beyond the Euphrates and the Tigris. Mesopotamia is called ( Genesis 24:10 ; Deuteronomy 23:4 ) Aram-naharain (=Syria of the two rivers), also Padan-aram ( Genesis 25:20 ). Other portions of Syria were also known by separate names, as Aram-maahah ( 1 Chronicles 19:6 ), Aram-beth-rehob ( 2 Samuel 10:6 ), Aram-zobah ( 2 Samuel 10:6 2 Samuel 10:8 ). All these separate little kingdoms afterwards became subject to Damascus. In the time of the Romans, Syria included also a part of Palestine and Asia Minor.

"From the historic annals now accessible to us, the history of Syria may be divided into three periods: The first, the period when the power of the Pharaohs was dominant over the fertile fields or plains of Syria and the merchant cities of Tyre and Sidon, and when such mighty conquerors as Thothmes III. and Rameses II. could claim dominion and levy tribute from the nations from the banks of the Euphrates to the borders of the Libyan desert. Second, this was followed by a short period of independence, when the Jewish nation in the south was growing in power, until it reached its early zenith in the golden days of Solomon; and when Tyre and Sidon were rich cities, sending their traders far and wide, over land and sea, as missionaries of civilization, while in the north the confederate tribes of the Hittites held back the armies of the kings of Assyria. The third, and to us most interesting, period is that during which the kings of Assyria were dominant over the plains of Syria; when Tyre, Sidon, Ashdod, and Jerusalem bowed beneath the conquering armies of Shalmaneser, Sargon, and Sennacherib; and when at last Memphis and Thebes yielded to the power of the rulers of Nineveh and Babylon, and the kings of Assyria completed with terrible fulness the bruising of the reed of Egypt so clearly foretold by the Hebrew prophets.", Boscawen.

Syriac

( 2 Kings 18:26 ; Ezra 4:7 ; Daniel 2:4 ), more correctly rendered "Aramaic," including both the Syriac and the Chaldee languages. In the New Testament there are several Syriac words, such as "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" ( Mark 15:34 ; Matthew 27:46 gives the Heb. form, "Eli, Eli"), "Raca" ( Matthew 5:22 ), "Ephphatha" ( Mark 7:34 ), "Maran-atha" ( 1 Corinthians 16:22 ).

A Syriac version of the Old Testament, containing all the canonical books, along with some apocryphal books (called the Peshitto, i.e., simple translation, and not a paraphrase), was made early in the second century, and is therefore the first Christian translation of the Old Testament. It was made directly from the original, and not from the LXX. Version. The New Testament was also translated from Greek into Syriac about the same time. It is noticeable that this version does not contain the Second and Third Epistles of John, 2Peter, Jude, and the Apocalypse. These were, however, translated subsequently and placed in the version. (See VERSION .)

Syrophenician

"a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation" ( Mark 7:26 ), i.e., a Gentile born in the Phoenician part of Syria. (See PHENICIA .)

When our Lord retired into the borderland of Tyre and Sidon ( Matthew 15:21 ), a Syro-phoenician woman came to him, and earnestly besought him, in behalf of her daughter, who was grievously afflicted with a demon. Her faith in him was severely tested by his silence ( Matthew 15:23 ), refusal (24), and seeming reproach that it was not meet to cast the children's bread to dogs (26). But it stood the test, and her petition was graciously granted, because of the greatness of her faith (28).