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INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS.
tians of their Mortality. 425
Making of Cases for
239, 240, 249, 250, 253, 312,
Writing Ca:9 and Writing
Elephant, The African
from tho Assyrian Sculptures 376
313 Ephesus, Temple of Dian. at (from a
316, 317 Executioners, Assyrian
103 Glass-blowers, Egyptian
Lotus to his
Bronze Figure of Apis
Dagon of the Philistines
Khem, A King anointing the
201, 220 Great Pyramid, Section of
Hair, Assyrian Mode of Arranging
Hawk, from Sculptures
218 House, Ancient Egyptian, Models of 517
found at Khorsabad
for separating the Ears of
Corn from the Straw
Egyptian Representation at
the Tomb of Memphis
The Thoth, with Balances 88
E have now the satisfaction of presenting to the Public the First Volume of the
ILLUSTRATED BIBLE DICTIONARY. In this work we have been favoured with the co-operation of many who have devoted their lives to the acquisition of varied and
extensive information useful for the different departments of our undertaking. With such aid we have been enabled to set forth, in a compendious and popular form, the results of scholarship, criticism, and discovery in ancient and modern times. The labours of all who have been most eminent for the light they have thrown upon the Word of God have also been laid under contribution wherever it was practicable to do so, and such assistance has been thankfully acknowledged in our pages. The BIBLE DICTIONARY, therefore, represents not only the attainments of living authors of celebrity, but those of men of past ages and of other countries. We have drawn upon Jewish and Christian authors, upon writers in Greek and Latin, English, French, and German. The fathers of the Church, critics, divines, philologists, travellers, antiquaries, historians, and others, have been consulted. Above all, the Scriptures themselves have been searched in their original languages, and in the principal ancient versions, for the materials which we have employed.
The Bible, as a rule of faith, and as a law of life, is wonderfully plain to such as desire, with the help of God's grace, to receive its truths, and to walk in its light; but there is no book which is more capable of illustration and of confirmation, by means of every branch of knowledge. This marvellous simplicity, and yet amazing depth and profundity, distinguish the Bible from all other books, and fit it alike for the peasant and the philosopher. These are the qualities which supply the need and the occasion for a work like the present. Nor can it be doubted that this combination of what is so plain, with what requires and invites so much inquiry, is in harmony with the Divine intention in giving 113 the book. That intention is that we should search the Scriptures, that we should daily draw from them new ideas of truth and duty, that we should never exhaust their wealth, and that we should continually pursue our delightful task. In accordance with these views, St. Paul says to Timothy, his son in the faith, “From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” But immediately he adds that comprehensive summary, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness : that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished uinto all good works” (2 Tim. iii. 15~-17). The intention of the Bible is, therefore, pre-eminently, and above all things, practical ; but it is very clear that this end may be realised more abundantly, by those who use all available means for understanding what they read. Equally certain is it that much error and mistake on important points might be avoided by more intelligent study of God's Word. St. Peter was well aware of this, for, speaking of St. Paul's Epistles, he said, there are in them “some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter iii. 3, 16). From this statement Romish teachers infer, not that they should supply the people with all possible aids to the right knowledge of the Word, but that they should limit, or wholly prohibit, the free circulation of it. The Protestant principle
is entirely different; it is, that the Scriptures, as the only fountain of all Divine knowledge, should be as free as the light, or as the air we breathe. But, in asserting this inalienable liberty, we would not forget the many points in Scripture which can only be fully explained and illustrated by learning and talent. Such are the subjects which we enumerated in our Prospectus, and which we may here repeat in nearly the same words :—The origin of each book in the canon, and the formation of the canon as a whole; the history of the ancient versions, and of our own ; and accounts of the principal manuscripts. All these topics are intimately connected with Biblical study; and without some acquaintance with them, constant mistakes may arise, which could and should be avoided. This is not all : most important light may be thrown upon the Scriptures by the study of Biblical archæology; the physical geography, topography, and natural history of Bible lands; the manners, customs, laws, institutions, and history of the Israelites and other nations named in the Bible; to which may be added, notices of arts, sciences, and languages, and of biographical matters. Nor let us forget that, admirable as our translation of the Bible is, it contains passages which are obscure, inadequately rendered, together with partly obsolete forms of speech, and that the unassisted English reader in these cases is compelled to have recourse to the help which the learned can afford, if he is duly to profit. Upon all such subjects, then, attention has been bestowed in this work ; and, for the sake of greater plainness and efficiency, a great number of accurate pictorial illustrations and maps have been introduced ; while the words at the head of all the articles have been carefully accented, in view both of the original forms and of actual usage.
Those who have no experience of such work can with difficulty realise the immense amount of labour which it involves. The whole cycle of available literature has to be laid under tribute, and from it the most appropriate ideas and information must be selected, condensed, adapted, and arranged. To prevent repetition, we have adopted a perpetual system of cross references from one article to nnother, a process which has the additional advantage of enabling the reader to find, in its proper place, what he is in search of. That nothing essentially difficult may be overlooked, all the proper names of persons and of places are inserted in all their forms as found in our translation.
It would be perhaps an impertinence to say that no other popular Dictionary of the Bible contains so many articles as this; but it is our duty to say that no other popular Dictionary of the Bible, in any language we know, combines the same completeness with equal cheapness. We are justified in calling attention to this fact, because this Dictionary is not a mere compilation, but an original work; and another reason for mentioning it is, that this comprehensiveness is reconciled with the very moderate limits of this publication. We may also observe that, notwithstanding the multitude of topics, and the restricted size of the book, questions of peculiar importance have been treated with considerable fulness of detail ; upon this point, however, we shall speak again.
Most of the larger works of this nature comprise articles upon the leading persons, places, and things touched on in the Apocrypha, as well as upon the separate apocryphal books. Now, it would have been inconsistent with our principles to adopt this plan. The Apocrypha is not a divinely inspired book, and we therefore deny its claim to a place in the Bible at all. If we are to admit matters not treated of in the canonical Scriptures, we might go further than the Apocrypha, and include other subjects still more remote. The claim of the Apocrypha to a place in the Bible is, in our judgment, an error, if not an imposition ; but since that claim is actually made, and these books are thought by some to be of superior authority, we have done, in regard to them, all that could fairly be expected. We have given a special article to the subject, and we have also touched upon it in the article on the Canon.
With regard to another class of books, avowedly the composition of Apostles and Apostolic men, we have also done all that seemed necessary. Thus, we have described the works which bear the names of Barnabas, Clement, and Hermas; and we have appended to the article Gospel a brief account of
the false gospels. While, therefore, we exclude the formal treatment of the Apocrypha of the Old and New Testaments alike, we have not wholly overlooked them.
There are a great many subjects in regard to which information is defective, and opinions are divided, and upon which much has been written which is purely speculative and hypothetical. Our aim in all such cases has been to confine ourselves, as far as possible, to the statement of facts, and we have therefore avoided interminable discussions, in which only a few learned men take an interest, and which, to the majority of readers, are almost without meaning Consulting, as we have done, the practical wants of the reader, we believe the course we have followed, and which will be followed to the end, is the only one suitable for a work like the present. Of necessity our plan involves a material diminution in the extent of certain articles, but it does not require the omission of facts necessary for the elucidation of the respective subjects.
Another feature of this work is the omission of discussions upon unfulfilled prophecies. This omission has seemed necessary in view of the fact that opinion is so much divided as to the intention of many of the prophecies. Rather than advocate our own views, however decided we may be in regard to them, we have preferred to be silent. Every school of prophetic interpretation is well represented by its literature, and we could easily have added largely to our matter by referring to the literature of the subject, and by describing the opinions of different writers. But taking all things into account, we have believed that the wisest and safest method was to refrain, as far as practicable, from everything bearing upon the matter. The study of unfulfilled prophecy, equally with that of prophecy fulfilled, we feel persuaded, is calculated to instruct and to confirm the Christian, as well as to give him new hopes and brighter expectations. Still, we would leave every one to pursue his own course in this matter, simply advising the devout study of the Word of God with such means as are here and elsewhere abundantly provided. The manifest fulfilment of some prophecies has been from time to time indicated by is, and in a few instances where good men of all parties are agreed, prophecies bearing upon the future have been mentioned. After all, we hope that the literal statement of facts contained in these pages will be of real value to the prophetical student.
We have been very anxious to give due prominence to views which recognise the volume of inspiration as the paramount authority in religion, and as always true. Hence we have frequently confronted the criticism of those who, in their pride, would make reason, and not Scripture, their supreme guide. The book will, we think, be found everywhere written in the spirit of a devout faith. Our standard is unmistakably that of orthodoxy. We hold not merely the inspiration, but the plenary inspiration of the Bible. We claim for it the name which can attach to no other book-the Word of God. Hence its laws and precepts, its blessings, promises, and threatenings, its histories, and predictions, equally with its doctrinal teachings, are all alike thankfully accepted by us as from God. Yet our view of the paramount authority of God's Word allows, and even requires us to investigate its evidences, to tinravel its perplexities, to search out all that may illustrate its truth and explain its real significance. We have, therefore, given special attention to manuscripts, ancient versions, and sometimes even to critical conjectures as to readings and renderings of the text. Firm adherence to Scriptural orthodoxy has not compelled us to become uncritical or uncandid. Nothing is so favourable to truth as light; and where the light is not so full and clear as we might wish, we have endeavoured to allow all reasonable liberty. In this way we have, we trust, given what we may venture to term a catholic and liberal aspect to our work.
We spoke of evidences and illustrations, and we would suggest that the researches embodied in this Dictionary supply a very large amount of both. The authentic, genuine, and truthful character of the sacred records has been brought home to our own minds in the most interesting manner, on many occasions, during the course of our labours. It has not been practicable to mention these things as they have occurred, but we will give an example which will illustrato our meaning. There are the
proper names of the Old Testament; we have analysed these as we have proceeded, and we have found in them so many dialectic peculiarities, exactly suited to the places where we find them, that we cannot for a moment doubt their absolute genuineness. These proper names also involve numerous allusions to mythology, physical geography, and other matters, which equally carry us back to the times and places where they originated. Topographical names especially rivet our attention. Places which have been lost sight of, or are not mentioned by writers since the days of Moses and of Joshua, suddenly come before us in the records of travellers of our own day. The various phenomena of proper names alone furnish, therefore, it may be an obscure, but still an indubitable testimony to the minute accuracy of Holy Writ in its records of fact. The hard names in the Books of Numbers and of Joshua, for instance, however uninteresting at first sight, thus appear to be of inestimable importance, and in a manner become instinct with life. In the natural productions of the countries mentioned, in glances at nations outside of Palestine, and in a host of other matters, we find like illustrations and confirmations of the Word of God. After all this, and much that is more generally known, it cannot be wondered that we uphold the Divine integrity and authority of the Book of which we write.
With regard to questions which are simply questions of interpretation and criticism, more liberty is necessarily allowed than in reference to statements of doctrine. In the former case, modern science, learning, and discovery may lead to a view of a passage somewhat different from the common one; but in the case of doctrine, it is hardly to be expected that a single article, which has been always received as an article of faith, should be in the least degree affected. While, therefore, we accept scientific explanations of things scientific, we maintain the utter inadequacy of science to control our faith in revealed truth. Any one who wishes to see the liberal conservatism of the work, may look at such articles as Adam, Creation, and Flood, and compare them with those on doctrinal and dogmatic subjects.
There is another matter which requires some notice, and that is, the audience whom we chietly address. Here, again, there need be no mistake; we address the masses of the people. Believing as we do in the right of all men to the Bible, we believe in their right to the means of understanding it. The publishers of this work have already contributed very largely to this important object by their BIBLE EDUCATOR, and, more particularly, by their ILLUSTRATED BIBLE; but the BIBLE DICTIONARY is designed to be still more minute and specific in its teachings. Here will be found the information which will enable the reader to travel in the footsteps of the patriarchs and saints of the Old Testament, as well as in those of our Lord and his Apostles. Here will be found notices of all the nations and countries specified in the Bible, and of every individual whose name occurs there. Mountains and valleys ; seas, lakes, and rivers ; cities, towns, and villages, as well as beasts, birds, fishes, and reptiles, and an immense number of objects of all kinds named in the Bible, will be found here. English words of special interest or difficulty are explained ; and in connection with the explanations of these, many passages of Holy Writ are expounded. Perhaps the aspect of the book will not be learned enough for some, but the absence of a large display of learning in the form of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, and of references to a multitude of rare books, must not be misunderstood. There is a Latin saying (ars est celare artem) which we may paraphrase thus—“it is a requirement and a proof of real learning to avoid the display of learning.” We claim for this work the character of being variously and extensively learned, and on this account we believe it merits the attention of the student and the confidence of all. Partly for the purposes of the scholar, and partly to stimulate such as would make progress in Hebrew and Greek, we have printed a limited number of words and phrases in tl:o characters appropriate to those languages. But at the same time, knowing that the great majority of our readers are unacquainted with the learned languages, we have generally reproduced the Greek and Hebrew letters in italics. There is, we believe, one very important advantage gained by this sparing use of Oriental and foreign characters, and that is, the reservation of space for other purposes more