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Smith’s Bible Dictionary Letter V

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

by William Smith, 1864


BIBLE STUDY - BIBLE DICTIONARY(strong as the wind), one of the ten sons of Haman whom the Jews slew in Shushan. (Esther
9:9) (B.C. 473.)
Vale, Valley
It is hardly necessary to state that these words signify a hollow sweep of ground between two
more or less parallel ridges of high land. The structure of the greater part of the holy land does not
lend itself to the formation of valleys in our sense of the word. The abrupt transitions of its crowded
rocky hills preclude the existence of any extended sweep of valley. Valley is employed in the
Authorized Version to render five distinct Hebrew words.
• ’Emek . This appears to approach more nearly to the general sense of the English word than any
other. It is connected with several places.
• Gai or ge . Of this there is fortunately one example which can be identified with certainty—the
deep hollow which compasses the southwest and south of Jerusalem. This identification establishes
the ge as a deep and abrupt ravine, with steep sides and narrow bottom.
• Nachal . This word answers to the Arabic wady, and expresses, as no single English word can,
the bed of a stream (often wide and shelving, and like a “valley” in character, which in the rainy
season may be nearly filled by a foaming torrent, though for the greater part of the year dry).
• Bik’ah . This term appears to mean rather a plain than a valley, though so far resembling it as to
be enclosed by mountains. It is rendered by “valley” in (34:3; Joshua 11:8,17; 12:7; 2 Chronicles
35:22; Zechariah 12:11)
• has-Shefelah . The district to which the name has-Shefelah is applied in the Bible has no
resemblance whatever to a valley, but is a broad, swelling tract of many hundred miles in area,
which sweeps gently down from the mountains Judah to the Mediterranean. It is rendered “the
vale” in (1:7; Joshua 10:40; 1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chronicles 1:15; Jeremiah 33:13) and “the valley”
or “the valleys” in (Joshua 9:1; 11:2,16; 12:8; 15:33; Judges 1:9; Jeremiah 32:44)
(Jehovah is praise), one of the sons of Bani, (Ezra 10:36) (B.C. 458.)
(strong), the first-born of Samuel as the text now stands. (1 Chronicles 6:28) (13); but in (1
Samuel 8:2) the name of his first-born is Joel. Most probably in the Chronicles the name of Joel
has dropped out: and Vashni is a corruption of vesheni, and (the) second.”
(beautiful), the “queen” of Ahasuerus, who, for refusing to show herself to the king’s guests at
the royal banquet, when sent for by the king, was repudiated and deposed. (Esther 1:1) … (B.C.
483.) Many attempts have been made to identify her with historical personages; but it is far more
probable that she was only one of the inferior wives, dignified with the title of queen, whose name
has utterly disappeared from history.
With regard to the use of the veil, it is important to observe that it was by no means so general
in ancient as in modern times. Much of the scrupulousness in respect of the use of the veil dates
from the promulgation of the Koran, which forbade women appearing unveiled except in the
presence of their nearest relatives. In ancient times the veil was adopted only in exceptional cases,
either as an article of ornamental dress, (Song of Solomon 4:1,3; 6:7) or by betrothed maidens in
the presence of their future husbands, especially at the time of the wedding, (Genesis 24:65) or
lastly, by women of loose character for purposes of concealment. (Genesis 38:14) Among the Jews
of the New Testament age it appears to have been customary for the women to cover their heads
(not necessarily their faces) when engaged in public worship.
Veil Of The Tabernacle And Temple
[Tabernacle; Temple] Versions, Ancient, Of The Old And New Testaments
In treating of the ancient versions that have come down to us, in whole or in part, they will be
described in the alphabetical order of the languages. AETHIOPIC VERSION.—Christianity was
introduced into AEthiopia in fourth century through the labors of Frumentius and AEdesius of
Tyre, who had been made slaves and sent to the king. The AEthiopic version which we possess is
in the ancient dialect of Axum; hence some have ascribed it to the age of the earliest missionaries,
but it is probably of a later date. In 1548-9 the AEthiopic New Testament was also printed at Rome,
edited by three Abyssinians. ARABIC VERSIONS.—
• Arabic versions of the Old Testament were made from the Hebrew (tenth century), from the Syriac
and from the LXX
• Arabic versions of the New Testament . There are four versions. The first, the Roman, of the
Gospels only, was printed in 1590-1. ARMENIAN VERSION.—In the year 431, Joseph and
Eznak returned from the Council of Ephesus bringing with them a Greek copy of the Scriptures.
From this a version in Armenian was made by Isaac, the Armenian patriarch, and Miesrob. The
first printed edition of the Old and New Testaments in Armenian appeared at Amsterdam in 1666,
under the care of a person commonly termed Oscan or Uscan, and described as being an Armenian
bishop. CHALDEE VERSIONS.—Targum, a Chaldee word of uncertain origin, is the general
term for the Chaldee, or more accurately Aramaic, versions of the Old Testament.
• The Targums were originally oral, and the earliest Targum, which is that of Onkelos on the
Pentateuch, began to be committed to writing about the second century of the Christian era; though
if did not assume its present shape till the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth century.
So far, however, from superseding the oral Targum at once, it was, on the contrary, strictly forbidden
to read it in public. Its language is Chaldee, closely approaching in purity of idiom to that of Ezra
and Daniel. It follows a sober and clear though not a slavish exegesis, and keeps as closely and
minutely: to the text as is at all consistent with its purpose, viz. to be chiefly and above all a version
for the people . Its explanations of difficult and obscure passages bear ample witness to the
competence of those who gave it its final shape. It avoids, as far as circumstances would allow,
the legendary character with which all the later Targums entwine the biblical word.
• Targum on the prophets,—viz. Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Kings, the
twelve minor prophets,—called Targum OF Jonathan BEN-UZZIEL. We shall probably not be
far wrong in placing this Targum some time, although not long, after Onkelos, or about the middle
of the fourth century. 3 And 4. Targum of Jonathan ben-Uzziel and Jerushalmi-Targum on the
Pentateuch .—Onkelos and Jonathan on the Pentateuch and prophets, whatever be their exact date,
place, authorship and editorship, are the oldest of existing Targums, and belong in their present
shape, to Babylon and the Babylonian academies flourishing between the third and fourth centuries
A.D. EGYPTIAN VERSIONS.—Of these there are three,—the Memphitic, of lower Egypt, the
Coptic, of upper Egypt, and the Thebaic, with some fragments of another. The Thebaic was the
earliest, and belongs to the third century. GOTHIC VERSION. In the year 318 the Gothic bishop
and translator of Scripture Ulphilas, was born. He succeeded Theophilus as bishop of the Goths
in 548; through him it is said that the Goths in general adopted Arianism. The great work of
Ulphilas was his version of the Scriptures. As an ancient monument of the Gothic language the
version of Ulphilas possesses great interest; as a version the use of which was once extended
widely through Europe, it is a monument of the Christianization of the Goths; and as a version
known to have been made in the fourth century, and transmitted to us in ancient MSS., It has its
value in textual criticism. GREEK VERSIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.—
• Septuagint .—[See Septuagint] • Aquila .—It is a remarkable fact that in the second century there were three versions executed of
the Old Testament Scriptures into Greek. The first of these was made by Aquila, a native of Sinope
in Pontus, who had become a proselyte to Judaism. It was made during the reign of Hadrian, A.D.
• Theodotion .—The second version of which we have information as executed in the second century
is that of Theodotion. He is stated to have been an Ephesian, and he seems to be most generally
described as an Ebionite.
• Symmachus is stated by Eusebius and Jerome to have been an Ebionite; Epiphanius and others,
however, style him a Samaritan. It may be that as a Samaritan he made this version for some of
that people who employed Greek, and who had learned to receive more than the Pentateuch. Latin
Versions VERSIONS.—[Vulgate, The] Samaritan Pentateuch VERSIONS.—[Samaritan Pentateuch
Pentateuch, The] SLAVONIC VERSION,—In A.D. 862 there was a desire expressed or an inquiry
made for Christian teachers in Moravia, and in the following year the labors of missionaries began
among the Moravians. These missionaries were Cyrillus and Methodius, two brothers from
Thessalonica. To Cyrillus is ascribed the invention of the Slavonian alphabet and the commencement
of the translation of the Scriptures. He appears to have died at Rome in 868, while Methodius
continued for many years to be the bishop of the Slavonians. He is stated to have continued his
brother’s translation. SYRIAC VERSIONS.—
• Of the Old Testament. (a) From the Hebrew. In the early times of Syrian Christianity there was
executed a version of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew, the use of which must have
been as widely extended as was the Christian profession among that people. It is highly improbable
that any part of the Syriac version is older than the advent of our Lord. The Old Syriac has the
peculiar value of being the first version from the Hebrew original made for Christian use. The
first printed edition of this version was that which appeared in the Paris Polyglot of Le Jay in 1645.
(b) The Syriac version from the Hexaplar Greek text. The only Syriac version of the Old Testament
up to the sixth century was apparently the Peshito. The version by Paul of Tela, a Monophysite,
was made in the beginning of the seventh century; for its basis he used the Hexaplar Greek
text—that is, the LXX., with the corrections of Origen, the asterisks, obeli, etc., and with the
references to the other Greek versions. In fact, it is from this Syriac version that we obtain our
moat accurate acquaintance with the results of the critical labors of Origen. It is from a MS. in the
Ambrosian Library at Milan that we possess accurate means of knowing this Syriac version.
• The Syriac New Testament Versions . (a) The Peshito Syriac New Testament. It may stand as an
admitted fact that a version of the New Testament in Syriac existed in the second century. (b) The
Curetonian Syriac Gospels. Among the MSS. brought from the Nitrian monasteries in 1842, Dr.
Cureton noticed a copy of the Gospels, differing greatly from the common text; and this is the
form of text to which the name of Curetonian Syriac has been rightly applied. Every criterion
which proves the common Peshito not to exhibit a text of extreme antiquity equally proves the
early origin of this.
Versions, Authorized
• WYCLIFFE.—The New Testament was translated by Wycliffe himself The Old Testament was
undertaken by Nicholas Deuteronomy Hereford, but was interrupted, and ends abruptly (following
so far the order of the Vulgate) in the middle of Baruch. The version was based entirely upon the
Vulgate. The following characteristics may be noticed as distinguishing this version: (1) The
general homeliness of its style. (2) The substitution in many cases, of English equivalents for
quasitechnical words. (3) The extreme literalness with which in some instances, even at the cost
of being unintelligible, the Vulgate text is followed, as in (2 Corinthians 1:17-19)
• TYNDAL.—The work of Wycliffe stands by itself. Whatever power it exercised in preparing the
way for the Reformation of the sixteenth century, it had no perceptible influence on later
translations. With Tyndal we enter on a continuous succession. He is the patriarch, in no remote
ancestry, of the Authorized Version. More than Cranmer or Ridley he is the true hero of the English
Reformation. “Ere many years, he said at the age of thirty-six (A.D. 1520), he would cause “a boy
that driveth the plough” to know more of Scripture than the great body of the clergy then knew.
He prepared himself for the work by long years of labor in Greek and Hebrew. First the Gospels
of St. Matthew and St. Mark were published tentatively. In 1525 the whole of the New Testament
was printed in quarto at Cologne, and in small octave at Worms. In England it was received with
denunciations. Tonstal, bishop of London, preaching at Paul’s Cross, asserted that there were at
least two thousand errors in it, and ordered all copies of it to be bought up and burnt. An act of
Parliament (35 Hen. VIII. cap. 1) forbade the use of all copies of Tyndal’s “false translation.” The
treatment which it received from professed friends was hardly less annoying. In the mean time
the work went on. Editions were printed one after another. The last appeared in 1535, just before
his death. To Tyndal belongs the honor of having given the first example of a translation based
on true principles, and the excellence of later versions has been almost in exact proportion as they
followed his. All the exquisite grace and simplicity which have endeared the Authorized Version
to men of the most opposite tempers and contrasted opinions is due mainly to his clear-sighted
• COVERDALE.—A complete translation of the Bible, different from Tyndal’s, bearing the name
of Miles Coverdale, printed probably at Zurich, appeared in 1535. The undertaking itself and the
choice of Coverdale as the translator were probably due to Cromwell. He was content to make the
translation at second hand “out of the Douche (Luther’s German Version) and the Latine.” Fresh
editions of his Bible were published, keeping their ground in spite of rivals, in 1537, 1539, 1550,
1553. He was called in at a still later period to assist in the Geneva Version.
• MATTHEW.—In the year 1537, a large folio Bible appeared as edited and dedicated to the king
by Thomas Matthew. No one of that name appears at all prominently in the religious history of
Henry VIII., and this suggests inference that the name was adopted to conceal the real translator.
The tradition which connects this Matthew with John Rogers, the proto-martyr of the Marian
persecution, is all but undisputed. Matthew’s Bible reproduces Tyndal’s work, in the New Testament
entirely, in the Old Testament as far as 2 Chron., the rest being taken with occasional modifications
from Coverdale. A copy was ordered, by royal proclamation, to be set up in every church, the cost
being divided between the clergy and the parishioners. This was, therefore, the first Authorized
• TAVERNER (1539).—The boldness of the pseudo-Matthew had frightened the ecclesiastical
world from its propriety. Coverdale’s version was, however, too inaccurate to keep its ground. It
was necessary to find another editor, and the printers applied to Richard Taverner. But little is
known of his life. The fact that, though a layman, he had been chosen as one of the canons of the
Cardinal’s College at Oxford indicates a reputation for scholarship, and this is confirmed by the
character of his translation. In most respects this may be described as an expurgated edition of
• CRANMER.—In the same year as Taverner’s, and coming from the same press, appeared an
English Bible, in a more stately folio, with a preface containing the initials T.C., which implied
the archbishop’s sanction. Cranmer’s version presented, as might he expected, many points of
interest. The prologue gave a more complete ideal of what a translation ought to be than had as
yet been seen. Words not in the original were to be printed in a different type. It was reprinted
again and again, and was the Authorized Version of the English Church till 1568—the interval of
Mary’s reign excepted. From it, accordingly, were taken most, if not all the portions of Scripture
in the Prayer books of 1549 and 1552. The Psalms as a whole, the quotations from Scripture in
the Homilies, the sentences in the Communion Services, and some phrases elsewhere, still preserve
the remembrance of it.
• GENEVA.—The exiles who fled to Geneva in the reign of Mary entered on the work of translation
with more vigor than ever. The Genevan refugees-among them Whittingham, Goodman, Pullain,
Sampson and Coverdale himself—labored “for two years or more, day and night.” Their translation
of the New Testament was “diligently revised by the most approved Greek examples.” The New
Testament, translated by Whittingham, was printed in 1667 and the whole Bible in 1660. Whatever
may have been its faults, the Geneva Bible, commonly called the Breeches Bible from its rendering
of (Genesis 3:7) was unquestionably, for sixty years, the most popular of all versions. Not less
than eighty editions, some of the whole Bible, were printed between 1558 and 1611. It kept its
ground for some time even against the Authorized Version, and gave way as it were, slowly and
under protest. It was the version specially adopted by the great Puritian party through the whole
reign of Elizabeth and far into that of James. As might be expected, it was based on Tyndal’s
version. It presents, in a calendar prefixed to the Bible, something like a declaration of war against
the established order of the Church’s lessons commemorating Scripture facts and the deaths of
the great reformers, but ignoring saints’ days altogether it was the first English Bible which entirely
omitted the Apocrypha. The notes were mere characteristically Swiss, not only in their theology,
but in their politics.
• THE BISHOPS’ BIBLE.—The facts just stated will account for the wish of Archbishop Parker
to bring out another version, which might establish its claims against that of Geneva. Great
preparations were made. Eight bishops, together with some deans and professors, brought out the
fruit of their labors in a magnificent folio (1568 and 1672). It was avowedly based on Cranmer’s
but of all the English versions it had probably the least success. It did not command the respect
of scholars, and its size and cost were far from meeting the wants of the people.
• RHEIMS AND DOUAY.—The successive changes in the Protestant versions of the Scriptures
were, as might be expected, matter of triumph to the controversialists of the Latin Church. Some
saw in it an argument against any translation of Scripture into the spoken language of the people.
Others pointed derisively to the want of unity which these changes displayed. There were some,
however, who took the line which Sir T. More and Gardiner had taken under Henry VIII. They
did not object to the principle of an English translation. They only charged the versions hitherto
made with being false, corrupt, heretical. To this there was the ready retort that they had done
nothing; that their bishops in the reign of Henry had promised, but had not performed. It was felt
to be necessary that they should take some steps which might enable them to turn the edge of this
reproach. The English Catholic refugees who were settled at Rheims undertook a new English
version. The New Testament was published at Rheims in 1582 and professed to be based on “the
authentic text of the Vulgate.” Notes were added. as strongly dogmatic as those of the Geneva
Bible, and often keenly controversial. The work of translation was completed somewhat later by
the publication of the Old Testament at Douay in 1609.
• AUTHORIZED VERSION.—The position of the English Church in relation to the versions in
use at the commencement of the reign of James was hardly satisfactory. The Bishops’ Bible was
sanctioned by authority. That of Geneva had the strongest hold on the affections of the people.
Scholars, Hebrew scholars in particular, found grave fault with both. Among the demands of the
Puritan representatives at the Hampton Court Conference in 1604 was one for a new, or at least
a revised, translation. The work of organizing and superintending the arrangements for a new
translation was one specially congenial to James, and accordingly in 1606 the task was commenced.
It was intrusted to 64 scholars. The following were the instructions given to the translators: (1)
The Bishops’ Bible was to be followed, and as little altered as the original would permit. (2) The
names of prophets and others were to be retained, as nearly as may be as they are vulgarly used.
(3) The old ecclesiastical welds to be kept. (4) When any word hath divers significations, that to
be kept which hath been most commonly used by the most eminent fathers, being agreeable to the
propriety of the place and the analogy of faith. (5) The division of the chapters to be altered either
not at all or as little as possible. (6) No marginal notes to be affixed but only for the explanation
of Hebrew and Greek words. (7) Such quotations of places to be marginally set down as may serve
for fit reference of one Scripture to another. (8) and (9) State plan of translation. Each company
of translators is to take its own books; each person to bring his own corrections. The company to
discuss them, and having finished their work, to send it on to another company, and so on. (10)
Provides for differences of opinion between two companies by referring them to a general meeting.
(11) Gives power in cases of difficulty, to consult any scholars. (12) Invites suggestions from any
quarter. (13) Names the directors of the work: Andrews, dean of Westminster; Barlow, dean of
Chester and the regius professors of Hebrew and Greek at both universities. (14) Names translations
to be followed when they agree more with the original than the Bishops’ Bible, sc. Tyndal’s,
Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, Whitchurch’s (Cranmer’s), and Geneva. (15) Authorizes universities to
appoint three or four overseers of the work. For three years the work went on, the separate
companies comparing notes as directed. When the work drew toward its completion, it was
necessary to place it under the care of a select few. Two from each of the three groups were
accordingly selected, and the six met in London to superintend the publication. The final correction,
and the task of writing the arguments of the several books, was given to Bilson, bishop of
Winchester and Dr. Miles Smith, the latter of whom also wrote the dedication and preface. The
version thus published did not at once supersede the versions already in possession. The fact that
five editions were published in three years shows that there was a good demand. But the Bishops’
Bible probably remained in many churches, and the popularity of the Geneva Version is shown
by not less than thirteen reprints, in whole or in part, between 1611 and 1617. It is not easy to
ascertain the impression which the Authorized Version made at the time of its appearance. Selden
says it is “the best of all translations, as giving the true sense of the original.” [For REVISED
VERSION (of 1881), see under Bible] Village
This word in addition to its ordinary sense, is often used, especially in the enumeration of towns
in (Joshua 13:15,19) to imply unwalled suburbs outside the walled towns. Arab villages, as found
in Arabia, are often mere collections of stone huts, “long, low rude hovels, roofed only with the
stalks of palm leaves,” or covered for a time with tent-cloths, which are removed when the tribe
change their quarters. Others are more solidly built, as are most of the of palestine, though in some
the dwellings are mere mud-huts.
the well-known valuable plant (vitis vinifera) very frequently referred to in the Old and New
Testaments, and cultivated from the earliest times. The first mention of this plant occurs in (Genesis
9:20,21) That it was abundantly cultivated in Egypt is evident from the frequent representations
on the monuments, as well as from the scriptural allusions. (Genesis 40:9-11; Psalms 78:47) The
vines of Palestine were celebrated both for luxuriant growth and for the immense clusters of grapes
which they produced, which were sometimes carried on a staff between two men, as in the case of
the spies, (Numbers 13:23) and as has been done in some instances in modern times. Special mention
is made in the Bible of the vines of Eshcol, (Numbers 13:24; 32:9) of Sibmah, Heshbon and Elealeh
(Isaiah 16:8,9,10; Jeremiah 48:32) and of Engedi. (Song of Solomon 1:14) From the abundance
and excellence of the vines, it may readily be understood how frequently this plant is the subject
of metaphor in the Holy Scriptures. To dwell under the vine and tree is an emblem of domestic
happiness and peace, (1 Kings 4:25; Psalms 128:3; Micah 4:4) the rebellious people of Israel are
compared to “wild grapes,” “an empty vine,” “the degenerate plant of a strange vine,” etc. (Isaiah
6:2,4; Jeremiah 2:21; Hosea 10:1) It is a vine which our Lord selects to show the spiritual union
which subsists between himself and his members. (John 15:1-6) The ancient Hebrews probably
allowed the vine to go trailing on the ground or upon supports. This latter mode of cultivation
appears to be alluded to by Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 19:11,12) The vintage, which formerly was a season
of general festivity, began in September. The towns were deserted; the people lived among the
vineyards in the lodges and tents. Comp. (Judges 8:27; Isaiah 16:10; Jeremiah 25:30) The grapes
were gathered with shouts of joy by the “grape gatherers,” (Jeremiah 25:30) and put into baskets.
See (Jeremiah 6:9) They were then carried on the head and shoulders, or slung upon a yoke, to the
“wine-press.” Those intended for eating were perhaps put into flat open baskets of wickerwork, as
was the custom in Egypt. In Palestine, at present, the finest grapes, says Dr. Robinson, are dried as
raisins, and the juice of the remainder, after having been trodden and pressed, “is boiled down to
a sirup, which, under the name of dibs, is much used by all classes, wherever vineyards are found,
as a condiment with their food.” The vineyard, which was generally on a hill, (Isaiah 5:1; Jeremiah
31:5; Amos 9:13) was surrounded by a wall or hedge in order to keep out the wild boars, (Psalms
80:13) jackals and foxes. (Numbers 22:24; Nehemiah 4:3; Song of Solomon 2:15; Ezekiel 13:4,5;
Matthew 21:33) Within the vineyard was one or more towers of stone in which the vine-dressers
lived. (Isaiah 1:8; 5:2; Matthew 21:33) The vat, which was dug, (Matthew 21:33) or hewn out of
the rocky soil, and the press, were part of the vineyard furniture. (Isaiah 5:2)
Vine Of Sodom
occurs only in (32:32) It is generally supposed that this passage alludes to the celebrated apples
of Sodom, of which Josephus speaks, “which indeed resemble edible fruit in color, but, on being
plucked by the hand, are dissolved into smoke and ashes.” It has been variously identified. Dr.
Robinson pronounced in favor of the ’osher fruit, the Asclepias (Calotropis) procera of botanists.
He says, “The fruit greatly resembles externally a large smooth apple or orange, hanging in clusters
of three or four together, and when ripe is of a yellow color. It is now fair and delicious to the eye
and soft to the touch but, on being pressed or struck, it explodes with a puff: like a bladder or
puff-hall, leaving in the hand only the shreds of the thin rind and a few fibres. It is indeed filled
chiefly with air, which gives it the round form.” Dr. Hooker writes,” The vine of Sodom always
thought might refer to Cucumis calocynthis, which is bitter end powders inside; the term vine would
scarcely be given to any but a trailing or other plant of the habit of a vine.” His remark that the
term vine must refer to some plant of the habit of a vine is conclusive against the claims of all the
plants hitherto identified with the vine of Sodom.
The Hebrew word translated “vinegar” was applied to a beverage consisting generally of wine
or strong drink turned sour, but sometimes artificially made by an admixture of barley and wine,
and thus liable to fermentation. It was acid even to a proverb, (Proverbs 10:26) and by itself formed
an unpleasant draught, (Psalms 49:21) but was used by laborers. (Ruth 2:14) Similar was the acetum
of the Romans—a thin, sour wine, consumed by soldiers. This was the beverage of which the
Saviour partook in his dying moments. (Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29,30)
Vineyards, Plain Of The
This place, mentioned only in (Judges 11:33) lay east of the Jordan, beyond Aroer.
[Psaltery] Viper
[Serpent] Vophsi
(rich), father of Nahbi, the Naphtalite spy. (Numbers 13:14) (B.C. before 1490.)
A vow is a solemn promise made to God to perform or to abstain from performing a certain
thing. The earliest mention of a vow is that of Jacob. (Genesis 28:18-22; 31:13) Vows in general
are also mentioned in the book of Job, (Job 22:27) The law therefore did not introduce, but regulated
the practice of, vows. Three sorts are mentioned: 1, Vows of devotion; 2, Vows of abstinence; 3,
Vows of destruction.
• As to vows of devotion, the following rules are laid down: A man might devote to sacred uses
possessions or persons, but not the first-born of either man or beast, which was devoted already.
(Leviticus 27:28) (a) If he vowed land, he might either redeem it or not Levi 25,27. (b) Animals
fit for sacrifice if devoted, were not to be redeemed or changed, (Leviticus 27:9; 10:33) persons
devoted stood thus: devote either himself, his child (not the first-born) or his slave. If no redemption
took place, the devoted person became a slave of the sanctuary: see the case of Absalom. (2 Samuel
15:8) Otherwise he might be redeemed at a valuation according to age and sex, on the scale given
in (Leviticus 27:1-7) Among general regulations affecting vows the following may be mentioned:
(1) Vows were entirely voluntary but once made were regarded as compulsory. (Numbers 30:2;
23:21; Ecclesiastes 5:4) (2) If persons In a dependent condition made vows as (a) an unmarried
daughter living in her father’s house, or (b) a wife, even if she afterward became a widow the
vow, if (a) in the first case her father, or (b) in the second her husband, heard and disallowed it,
was void; but,if they heard without disallowance, it was to remain good. (Numbers 30:3-18) (3)
Votive offerings arising from the produce of any impure traffic were wholly forbidden. (23:18)
• For vows of abstinence, see Corban.
• For vows of extermination Anathema and (Ezra 10:8; Micah 4:13) It seems that the practice of
shaving the head at the expiration of a votive period was not limited to the Nazaritic vow. (Acts
18:18; 21:24)
Vulgate, The
the Latin version of the Bible. The influence which it exercised upon western Christianity is
scarcely less than that of the LXX. upon the Greek churches. Both the Greek and the latin Vulgate
have been long neglected; yet the Vulgate should have a very deep interest for all the western
churches, many centuries it was the only Bible generally used; and, directly or indirectly is the real
parent of all the vernacular versions of western Europe. The Gothic version of Ulphilas alone is
independent of it. The name is equivalent to Vulgata editio (the current text of Holy Scripture. This
translation was made by Jerome-Eusebius Hieronymus—who way born in 329 A.D. at Stridon in
Dalmatia, and died at Bethlehem in 420 A.D. This great scholar probably alone for 1500 years
possessed the qualifications necessary for producing an original version of the Scriptures for the
use of the Latin churches. Going to Rome, he was requested by Pope Damascus, A.D. 383, to make
a revision of the old Latin version of the New Testament, whose history is lost in obscurity. In
middle life Jerome began the study of the Hebrew, and made a new version of the Old Testament
from the original Hebrew which was completed A.D. 404. The critical labors of Jerome were
received with a loud outcry of reproach. He was accused of disturbing the repose of the Church
and shaking the foundations of faith. But clamor based upon ignorance soon dies away; and the
New translation gradually came into use equally with the Old, and at length supplanted it. The vast
power which the Vulgate has had in determining the theological terms of western Christendom can
hardly be overrated. By far the greater part of the current doctrinal terminology is based on the
Vulgate. Predestination, justification, supererogation (supererogo), sanctification, salvation,
mediation, regeneration, revelation, visitation (met.) propitiation, first appear in the Old Vulgate.
Grace, redemption, election, reconciliation, satisfaction, inspiration, scripture, were devoted there
to a new and holy use. Sacrament and communion are from the same source; and though baptism
is Greek, it comes to us from the Latin. It would be easy to extend the list by the addition of orders,
penance, congregation, priest ; but it can be seen from the forms already brought forward that the
Vulgate has brought forward that the Vulgate has left its mark both upon our language and upon
our thoughts. It was the version which alone they knew who handed down to the reformers the rich
stores of medieval wisdom; the version with which the greatest of the reformers were most familiar,
and from which they had drawn their earliest knowledge of divine truth.
The rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew daah, dayyah, and also in (Job 28:7)
of ayyah . There seems no doubt that the Authorized Versions translation is incorrect, and that the
original words refer to some of the smaller species of raptorial birds, as kites or buzzards. [Kite] But the Hebrew word nesher, invariably rendered “eagle” in the Authorized Version, is probably
the vulture. [Eagle]

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