a book of the Apocryphal which exists at present in Greek, Latin, Syriac and Hebrew texts, but it was probably written originally in Greek. The scene of the book is placed in Assyria, whither Tobit, a Jew, had been carried as a captive by Shalmaneser. It is represented and completed shortly after the fall of […]

contains the history of Ruth, as narrated in the preceding article. The main object of the writer is evidently to give an account of David’s ancestors; and the book was avowedly composed long after the time of the heroine. See (Ruth 1:1; 4:7,17) Its date and author are quite uncertain. Tradition is in favor of […]

The present Hebrew name of the book is Tehill’im, “Praises;” but in the actual superscriptions of the psalms the word Tehillah is applied only to one, (Psalms 145:1) … which is indeed emphatically a praise-hymn. The LXX. entitled them psalmoi or “psalms,” i.e., lyrical pieces to be sung to a musical instrument. The Christian Church […]

The title of this book in Hebrew is taken from its first word, mashal, which originally meant “a comparison.” It is sometimes translated parable, sometimes proverb as here. The superscriptions which are affixed to several portions of the book, in chs. (Proverbs 1:1; 10:1; 25:1) attribute the authorship of those portions to Solomon the son […]

of which the book or Ruth formed originally a part, contains a history from Joshua to Samson. The book may be divided into two parts:– + Chs. 1-16. We may observe in general on this portion of the book that it is almost entirely a history of the wars of deliverance. + Chs. 17-21. This […]

Named from Joshua the son of Nun, who is the principal character in it. The book may be regarded as consisting of three parts: + The conquest of Canaan; chs. 1-12. + The partition of Canaan; chs. 13-22. + Joshua’s farewell; chs. 23,24. Nothing is really known as to the authorship of the book. Joshua […]

This book has given rise to much discussion and criticism, some believing the book to be strictly historical; others a religious fiction; others a composition based upon facts. By some the authorship of the work was attributed to Moses, but it is very uncertain. Luther first suggested the theory which, in some form or other, […]

“There can be little doubt that the book of Jeremiah grew out of the roll which Baruch wrote down at the prophet’s mouth in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. ch. (Jeremiah 36:2) Apparently the prophets kept written records of their predictions, and collected into larger volumes such of them as were intended for permanent use.”–Canon […]

I. Chapters 1-5 contain Isaiah’s prophecies in the reigns of Uzziah and Jotham, foretelling that the present prosperity of Judah should be destroyed, and that Israel should be brought to desolation. In chs. 6, 7 he announces the birth of the child Immanuel, which in ch. 9 is more positively predicted. Chs. 9-12 contain additional […]

is a continuation of the books of Chronicles. The period covered by the book is eighty years, from the first of Cyrus, B.C. 536, to the beginning of the eighth of Artaxerxes, B.C. 456. It consist of the contemporary historical journals kept from time to time, containing, chs. 1-12, and account of the return of […]

one of the latest of the canonical books of Scripture, having been written late in the reign of Xerxes, or early in that of his son Artaxerxes Longimanus (B.C. 444, 434). The author is not known. The book of Esther is placed among the hagiographa by the Jews, and in that first portion of them […]

One of the apocryphal books of the Old Testament. The book was held in little esteem by the Jews, and both its date and authorship are very uncertain.

The book of the prophecies of Amos seems to be divided into four principal portions closely connected together. (1) From 1:1 to 2:3 he denounces the sins of the nations bordering on Israel and Judah. (2) From 2:4 to 6:14 he describes the state of those two kingdoms, especially, the former. (3) From 7:1 to […]

=The Apocalypse, the closing book and the only prophetical book of the New Testament canon. The author of this book was undoubtedly John the apostle. His name occurs four times in the book itself (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8), and there is every reason to conclude that the “John” here mentioned was the apostle. In a […]

A collection of moral and philosophical maxims of a wide range of subjects presented in a poetic form. This book sets forth the “philosophy of practical life. It is the sign to us that the Bible does not despise common sense and discretion. It impresses upon us in the most forcible manner the value of […]

Consists of one chapter, “concerning Edom,” its impending doom (1:1-16), and the restoration of Israel (1:17-21). This is the shortest book of the Old Testament. There are on record the account of four captures of Jerusalem, (1) by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25); (2) by the Philistines and Arabians in the […]

The fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew be-midbar, i.e., “in the wilderness.” In the LXX. version it is called “Numbers,” and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of […]

The author of this book was no doubt Nehemiah himself. There are portions of the book written in the first person (ch. 1-7; 12:27-47, and 13). But there are also portions of it in which Nehemiah is spoken of in the third person (ch. 8; 9; 10). It is supposed that these portions may have […]

Nahum prophesied, according to some, in the beginning of the reign of Ahaz (B.C. 743). Others, however, think that his prophecies are to be referred to the latter half of the reign of Hezekiah (about B.C. 709). This is the more probable opinion, internal evidences leading to that conclusion. Probably the book was written in […]

The sixth in order of the so-called minor prophets. The superscription to this book states that the prophet exercised his office in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. If we reckon from the beginning of Jotham’s reign to the end of Hezekiah’s (B.C. 759-698), then he ministered for about fifty-nine years; but if we […]

Called in the Hebrew canon ‘Ekhah, meaning “How,” being the formula for the commencement of a song of wailing. It is the first word of the book (see 2 Sam. 1:19-27). The LXX. adopted the name rendered “Lamentations” (Gr. threnoi = Heb. qinoth) now in common use, to denote the character of the book, in […]

This book professes to give an account of what actually took place in the experience of the prophet. Some critics have sought to interpret the book as a parable or allegory, and not as a history. They have done so for various reasons. Thus (1) some reject it on the ground that the miraculous element […]

Is so called because it contains the history of the deliverance and government of Israel by the men who bore the title of the “judges.” The book of Ruth originally formed part of this book, but about A.D. 450 it was separated from it and placed in the Hebrew scriptures immediately after the Song of […]

A great diversity of opinion exists as to the authorship of this book. From internal evidence, such as the similarity of sentiment and language to those in the Psalms and Proverbs (see Ps. 88 and 89), the prevalence of the idea of “wisdom,” and the style and character of the composition, it is supposed by […]

Joel was probably a resident in Judah, as his commission was to that people. He makes frequent mention of Judah and Jerusalem (1:14; 2:1, 15, 32; 3:1, 12, 17, 20, 21). He probably flourished in the reign of Uzziah (about B.C. 800), and was contemporary with Amos and Isaiah. The contents of this book are, […]

Consists of twenty-three separate and independent sections, arranged in five books. I. The introduction, ch. 1. II. Reproofs of the sins of the Jews, consisting of seven sections, (1.) ch. 2; (2.) ch. 3-6; (3.) ch. 7-10; (4.) ch. 11-13; (5.) ch. 14-17:18; (6.) ch. 17:19-ch. 20; (7.) ch. 21-24. III. A general review of […]

Consists of two brief, comprehensive chapters. The object of the prophet was generally to urge the people to proceed with the rebuilding of the temple. Chapter first comprehends the first address (2-11) and its effects (12-15). Chapter second contains, (1.) The second prophecy (1-9), which was delivered a month after the first. (2.) The third […]

Consists mainly of three groups of prophecies. After an account of his call to the prophetical office (1-3:21), Ezekiel (1) utters words of denunciation against the Jews (3:22-24), warning them of the certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to the words of the false prophets (4:1-3). The symbolical acts, by which the extremities to which […]

This book is the record of events occurring at the close of the Babylonian exile. It was at one time included in Nehemiah, the Jews regarding them as one volume. The two are still distinguished in the Vulgate version as I. and II. Esdras. It consists of two principal divisions: (1.) The history of the […]

The authorship of this book is unknown. It must have been obviously written after the death of Ahasuerus (the Xerxes of the Greeks), which took place B.C. 465. The minute and particular account also given of many historical details makes it probable that the writer was contemporary with Mordecai and Esther. Hence we may conclude […]

Exodus is the name given in the LXX. to the second book of the Pentateuch (q.v.). It means “departure” or “outgoing.” This name was adopted in the Latin translation, and thence passed into other languages. The Hebrews called it by the first words, according to their custom, Ve-eleh shemoth (i.e., “and these are the names”). […]

Is ranked by the Jews in that division of their Bible called the Hagiographa (Heb. Khethubim). (See [144]BIBLE.) It consists of two distinct parts. The first part, consisting of the first six chapters, is chiefly historical; and the second part, consisting of the remaining six chapters, is chiefly prophetical. The historical part of the book […]