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Decapolis, ten cities and their respective districts, lying in Iturea and Peræa, which united for their mutual security and defence. Mark vii. 31.
Derbe, a city of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor. See Acts xiv. 6, 20.
Dothan, a town about 12 miles north from Shechem. See Gen. xxxvii. 17.
Dura, an extensive plain in the province of Babylon. Dan. iii. 1.
Egypt, an ancient kingdom of Africa, called also Mizraim, or the land of Ham, and famous (or rather infamous) for idolatry and oppression.
Elam, the ancient Hebrew name of
Emims, a race of giants. Deut. ii. 10, 11. Emmaus, a village about seven miles from Jerusalem. Luke xxiv. 13-35. It is said, that it afterwards grew into the city and colony of Nicopolis.
Endor, a city of Manasseh, within the bounds of Issachar, and noted for the witch whom King Saul consulted. 1 Sam. xxviii. 7.
En-gedi, a city in the desert of Judea, famous for its palm trees and vineyards. 1 Sam. xxiv. 2; 2 Chron. xx. 2; Sol. Song, i. 14. The term En, which signifies" a fountain," is prefixed to various other names of places.
Ephesus, a city of Asia Minor, famous for its image and temple of Diana. Acts xix.
Ethiopia, 1. An extensive country of Africa, anciently comprehending Abyssi nia and Nubia. 2. The country on the east coast of the Red Sea, whence Moses had his wife. Numb. xii. 1.
Euphrates, the great river, which formed the eastern limit of the land of Israel, taking its rise in the north of mount Taurus.
Ezion-geber, a sea-port of Idumea, where Solomon fitted out his fleets; 1 Kings ix. 26-and near to which was lost the joint fleet of Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah. 2 Chron. xx. 35-37.
Fair Havens, a bay of Crete, near Lasea. Acts xxvii. 8.
'Gadarenes. See Girgasites.
Galatia, a province of Asia Minor, so called (as is said) from the Gauls who settled there.
Galilee, the northern division of Canaan, containing the tribes of Issachar, Zebulon, &c.; bounded by Lebanon on the north, and Samaria on the south. It was divided into Lower and Upper, the latter being mountainous, and being peopled by various nations, was called Galilee of the Gentiles: but Lower Galilee was far more populous and rich, and here our Lord so much resided, that he was called a Gali
lean, both Nazareth and Capernaum being in this district.
Gath, an ancient city of the Philistines, whose King afforded to David an asylum. 1 Sam. xxvii. 5, 6.
Gaza, another chief city of the Philis tines, the scene of Sampson's chief exploits. Judges xvi.
Gehinnom, the valley of Hinnom, without Jerusalem, and probably including Kidron. It was infamous for the idolatrous rites of Moloch, particularly the part called Tophet, where the idol stood. It was con sidered as a type of hell, and from it was formed Gehenna, which is so rendered, Matt. v. 22, 29, 30, &c. &c.
Gennesareth (called also Chinnereth), the lake of Galilee, about 20 miles long and 6 broad, surrounded by pleasant towns. See Luke v. 1, &c.
Gerar, the royal city of Abimelech. Gen. xx. 2.
Gerizim, a mountain near Shechem, on which the Samaritans built their temple. See John iv. 20.
Gethsemane, a garden at the foot of mount Olivet, in which were vineyards and wine-presses. Matt. xxvi. 36.
Gibeon, a city of Canaan. The Gibeonites deceived Joshua into a league with them, by which means their lives were spared, but they were made slaves for the tabernacle service. Josh, ix.
Gilead, mountain of, whence came the celebrated balm of Gilead. Jer. viii. 22 This hill lay east of the sea of Galilee, being part of the chain of mountains which extend southward from Lebanon into Judea, including the Trachonitis.
Gilgal, the place where circumcision was renewed in Canaan. Josh. v. 2, 9.
Girgasites, the inhabitants of Girgesa, a town on the east of Genesareth, near to Gadara. See Note on Matt, viii. 28.
Gomorrha, one of the five cities destroyed by fire from heaven. Gen. xix. 2. Goshen, a city and district in Egypt, where Jacob dwelt. Gen. xlv. 10; xlvi. 34.
Greece, in Hebrew Javan, from a son of Japheth. Gen. x. 2, 4. It is used in Daniel for Macedonia, as well as Greece Proper.
Haran, or Charran, in the north-west of Mesopotamia, the city where Terah died. Gen. xi. 27, 32.
Hebron, a very ancient city, formerly called Kirjath-Arba, or the city of Arba, where several of the Patriarchs and their wives were buried. Gen. xiii. 18; xxiii. 2.
Hermon, a high mountain in the northern extremity of Israel, its summit always covered with snow. Deut. iii. 9.
Hinnom. See Gehinnom.
Hor, a mountain on the borders of Hebron, where Aaron died.
Horeb, a part of mount Sinai. Deut. ix.
Jabesh Gileud, a city of Gilead, to the
Iconium, the chief city of Lycaonia. See
Idumea, anciently called Edom, in-
Jebus, the ancient name of Jerusalem,
Jericho, the first city which Joshua took
Jerusalem, the capital of Judea, where
ezreel, a city of Issachar, where Ahab
llyricum, a province lying north and
dia, is in Scripture only mentioned in
opa, a sea-port in the Mediterranean,
of Cæsarea, and not far from Lydda,
dan, the principal river of Judea, whose
and shrubs, afforded shelter to wild beasts,
Italy, a well-known country of Europe,
Iturea, a country east of Jordan, sup
Judea, or the land of Israel, has been
Kadesh, the name of a wilderness, sup-
Kedar, a region so called in the desart
Kidron (Kedron, or Cedron), the name
Kirjath Arba. See Hebron.
Kirjath Jearim, a city of the Gibeonites,
Kishon, a river, or torrent rather, which
Lachish, a city of Judah, rebuilt by Re-
Laish, or Leshem. See Dan.
Laodicea, a city of Asia Minor. See on
Lebanon, Forest of, a celebrated moun-
authority inferior to those of Moses; but they utterly rejected the traditions of the Rabbins. This we consider to be the truth as to many of them, though the far greater part were probably deeply sunk both in infidelity and vice. In fact, it does not appear from the Gospel, that the Sadducees were more hostile to our Saviour and his doctrines, than were the Pharisees: nor were "publi cans and sinners," of the worst class, further from the kingdom of heaven, than those who sought, by their own merits, to justify and save themselves.
There was a third sect, however, called Essens, of which Josephus gives a much fuller account than of the other two. He describes them as 1 plain, simple, and virtuous people, full of devotion and good works; but they were recluse, and lived in separate communities. Their devotion was, however, mingled with superstition, and their faith with some mystical notions, at this distance of time hard to be understood. They admitted no members into their society, but on a long probation and trial: and those which approved of marriage (which many did not), took even their wives first upon that principle. This sect appears not to be mentioned or alluded to in the Scriptures; though some think that John the Baptist was probably educated amongst them in the wilderness.
In the New Testament, we read also of two Greek Philosophic sects, namely, the Epicureans and Stoics, both mentioned in Acts xvii. 18, where their distinguished principles will be noticed; as also who the Grecians or Hellenists, and Libertines were (which were not properly sects), on Acts vi. 1, 9.
There are several other denominations of persons which have been taken for sects, but without sufficient ground. The Scribes were, in the first instance, only Transcribers of the sacred Books; but from their being peculiarly con versant with them, they were considered as men of learning; they became teachers and professors of the Mosaic law, and were therefore called Lawyers, though the latter term probably included the students, as well as the professors. The Herodians were the political adherents and flatterers of Herod the Great; the Gaulonites, or Galileans, were, on the other hand, among his bitterest enemies, as protesting against all subjection to any foreign power. (See Exposition of Luke xiii. 1, &c.) Some of these were also called Zealots, from their affected zeal for their rights and liberties; and these, indeed, rendered themselves particularly conspicuous in the last destruction of Jerusalem. The Rechabites, and Nazarites, were persons under particular vows, as will be found explained where those terms occur.
The Samaritans were, properly, the inhabitants of Samaria. This city was built by Omri, King of Israel, about 925 B. C. (1 Kings xvi. 23, 24); though it is probable that the district might be called by that name before.
(1 Kings xiii. 32.) In the reign of Hoshea (B. C. 725), it was reduced to a heap of ruins. Esar-haddon repeopled it with idolatrous Cuthites, from Media or Persia; but these were driven out by Alexander the Great, and a colony of Macedonians planted in their stead: so that, though situated but a small distance from Jerusalem, it was always, more or less, the seat of idolatry. When the Jews were in prosperity, the Samaritans claimed relation to them, calling themselves Hebrews, and said they were descended from the tribe of Joseph; but when they were in trouble they disowned them, and called themselves Phoenicians : at all times, however, they preferred their own temple at Mount Gerrizim to the temple of Jerusalem, and the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans. (John iv. 9, 20.) There are still some remains of this people in the East, particularly at Shechem; and they have a copy of the Books of Moses in the Samaritan character, which they pretend to be the original Hebrew, and many learned men admit the claim; but there are various verbal differences between them, of which the most material are in the Chronology, which agrees much nearer to the Septuagint than to the Hebrew.
But there are two sects often named (though not in Scripture), in relation both to the ancient and modern Jews, namely, Rabbinists (Talmudists, or Cabbalists), and Karaites; the explanation of which will necessarily lead us back to the Jewish Schools, in the period which we have been considering.
The Jews, as every ancient nation, had a great number of traditions handed down from time immemorial, under the name of Moses, and supposed to contain unwritten revelations of the divine will, delivered verbally to him in the mount, and therefore called the oral law, which is considered by many of equal, and even of superior authority to the Scriptures. These are supposed to have been carefully collected by Ezra, or the Rabbins (or Rabbies) who succeeded him, and by them handed down to Rabbi Jehudah, surnamed Hakkadosh, or the Holy, who formed them into a volume, called the Mishna, about the close of the second century of the Christian era. But the fertile Imaginations of the Rabbies could not rest here: they wrote commentaries on these traditions, which were called Gemara; and these, together with the Mishna above named, formed the Talmud, in which the modern Jews so much glory, and are therefore called Talmudists. Some of these, however, from the first, rejected both these traditions and the comments on hem, and were therefore called Karaites (or Caraites), that is, men who adhered to the text of Moses, and its literal interpretation; whereas the comnents of the Gemaru were almost wholly mystical and allegorical. The Genaras of Jerusalem and of Babylon are, however, different; and as either ecame connected with the Mishna, it formed the Jerusalem, or the Babylonish Talmud; of which the latter is most generally in esteem with the ews, as containing most of the marvellous and absurd. These latter form
what the modern Jews call their Caballa, and its professors and admirers are called Caballists; who carried their speculations from grammatical niceties into the regions of metaphysics, astrology, and magic, (See Allen's Modem Judaism, chap. v.)
The distinction between the Rabbinists and Karaites may be traced up to the ancient Jewish schools of Hillel and Shammai; or, as Josephus calls them, Pollio and Simeas. The former, according to the Rabbinists, was born in Babylonia, and came to Jerusalem at forty years of age, where, after a close application to the study of the Jewish laws, &c., at eighty he was chosen President of the Sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews, and lived (to make him a second Moses) to the venerable age of 120 years. The origin of this Sanhedrim the Rabbins carry up to the times of Ezra, and even Moses, but without any sufficient authority; for though it is certain Moses had a council of elders, or magistrates, to assist him (Num. xi. 16, &c.), we have every reason to believe it was not regularly continued; nor have we any trace of it in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah; but the most judicious writers, both Jewish and Christian, date its origin under the government of the Maccabees. The cele brated Hillel, above-mentioned, is known to have been contemporary with Herod the Great; as was also Shammai, who at one time took an active part against him. The latter is said to have been at first a scholar to Hillel, and afterwards Vice-President under him. The Jews consider him as next to his master in point of sacred learning, though they differed materially in their opinions; the former being considered as the head of the Mishnical doctors, and the latter as the chief of the Karaites. The latter were reduced to insignificance and obscurity, by a pretended voice from heaven in favour of the former: the Karaites, however, a few centuries after Christ, revived, upon the publication of the Talmuds, which, by their absurdities, led many to protest against them they still exist as a sect among the Jews in the East, and are by many considered, not only as the more rational, but also the more learned part of the Jewish nation.
The Masorets were a body of Jewish Scribes, which existed from about 450 years before Christ, to 1000 after. Their professed object was, to preserve the sacred Hebrew Text from loss, by counting the words, and even letters. They are also supposed to have invented both the vowel-points, and accents, in order to preserve as much as possible the pronunciation, to distin guish the same word, when used in different senses, and for sundry other important purposes. Their work is called the Masorah, which signifies
Christian writers, as well as Jewish, often make reference to the Targums on the Old Testament: it may be, therefore, acceptable to some of our