Main Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
Dictionary of Biblical ImageryLeland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III
Yes this book took some time arriving at my house but the book is great for dreamers and people who have visions and for anybody desiring to get spiritual insight and revelation about certain things in the world and the Bible. This book will give you great elaborative Bible study and awesome spiritual insight!!
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Page 1 of 3291 Dictionary of BIBLICAL IMAGERY An encyclopedic exploration of the images, symbols, motifs, metaphors, figures of speech and literary patterns of the Bible General Editors: Leland Ryken James C. Wilhoit Tremper Longman III Consulting Editors Colin Duriez Douglas Penney Daniel G. Reid InterVarsity Press, USA P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA World Wide Web: www.ivpress.com Email: email@example.com InterVarsity Press, England 38 De Montfort Street, Leicester LE1 7GP, England ©1998 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA® All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 2 of 3291 permission of InterVarsity Press. InterVarsity Press®, U.S.A., is the bookpublishing division of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA®, a student movement active on campus at hundreds of universities, colleges and schools of nursing in the United States of America, and a member movement of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. For information about local and regional activities, write Public Relations Dept., InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, 6400 Schroeder Rd., P.O. Box 7895, Madison, WI 537077895. InterVarsity Press, England, is the bookpublishing division of the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (formerly the InterVarsity Fellowship), a student movement linking Christian Unions in universities and colleges throughout the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, and a member movement of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. For information about local and national activities write to UCCF, 38 De Montfort Street, Leicester LE1 7GP. Scripture identified as NIV taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. Distributed in the U.K. by permission of Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. All rights reserved. Those identified RSV are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Copyright© 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and used by permission. Those identified NRSV are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible. Copyright© 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and used by permission. Those identified NASB are from the New American Standard Bible. Copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972 by the file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 3 of 3291 Lockman Foundation, and used by permission. Those identified NKJV are from the New King James Version of the Bible. Copyright© 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., and used by permission. Interior Illustrations: Roberta Polfus USA ISBN 0830814515 UK ISBN 0851117538 Library of Congress CataloginginPublication Data Dictionary of biblical imagery/general editors: Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III; consulting editors: Colin Duriez, Douglas Penney, Daniel G. Reid. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and indexes. ISBN 0830814515 (cloth: alk. paper) 1. Bible—Language, style—Dictionaries. 2. Symbolism in the Bible—Dictionaries. I. Ryken, Leland. II. Wilhoit, Jim. III. Longman, Tremper. IV. Duriez, Colin. V. Penney, Douglas, 1956– . VI. Reid, Daniel G., 1949– . BS537.D48 1998 220.3—dc21 9816945 CIP British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 4 of 3291 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Contents Preface How to Use This Dictionary Abbreviations Transliterations Contributors Introduction Dictionary Articles InterVarsity Press Executive Director Robert Fryling —————— Editorial Staff Editorial Director Andrew T. Le Peau Managing Editor James Hoover Reference Book Editor Daniel G. Reid file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 5 of 3291 Copyeditors Ruth Goring Elizabeth G. Yoder Proofreader Drew Blankman Editorial Assistants Eric Romero David Zimmerman Editorial Interns Anita Genzink Kay Kleinjan —————— Production Staff Production Manager Nancy Fox Production Coordinator James Erhart Design Kathy Lay Burrows Design Assistant Andrew Craft Interior Illustrations Roberta Polfus Typesetters Gail Munroe Audrey I. Smith file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 6 of 3291 Programming Consultant Andy Shermer Preface This Dictionary of Biblical Imagery was conceived as a reference book that would assist readers, students and communicators of the Bible in exploring the fascinating and varied world of the imagery, metaphors and archetypes of the Bible. It appeared that conventional Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias provided little help in this area. For those whose Bible’s were pencilmarked with crossreferences to images, motifs and other literary features, the lack of such a reference work seemed like a crime—or a publisher’s opportunity! From there the vision of the Dictionary grew to include articles on character types, plot motifs, type scenes, rhetorical devices, literary genres and the individual books of the Bible. In the end, some articles have sprawled across broad subject areas (such as “Animals” or “Legal Images”) and others are tightly focused (such as “Harp” or “Mustard Seed”). Many articles are innovative and clearly distinguish this work from other Bible dictionaries (such as “Well, Meeting at the” or “Cheat the Oracle”). And even where articles entitled “Wall” or “Tower” arouse a rightbrained reader’s distaste for archaeological description and detail, the emphasis is decidedly on the evocative dimensions of these subjects. Despite approximately 850 articles, this Dictionary is not comprehensive. This acknowledgment is a testimony to the vast and varied sea of biblical imagery, and to the limited time and energy of both editors and publisher. It is always a challenge to create a reference work in a field where no file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 7 of 3291 predecessor has established a “canon” of entries. It can also be a delightful adventure as the editors repeatedly encounter new vistas and angles of vision along the way—and try to help others see them too. But after seven years of planning and labor—and a work much longer than originally projected—the time has come to cease and desist and publish. We console ourselves in the generous thought that future revisers can learn from our efforts and build on this foundation. We also believe that our readers, as they work with this Dictionary, will see that they can launch out on their own and explore other facets of biblical imagery. From the first, the editors sought to bring together the talents and perspectives of both literary and biblical scholars in a complementary marriage of expertise. But it quickly became apparent that in order to produce a satisfying volume, the claims of individual authorship would need to be subsumed under the editorial vision. So the decision was made in favor of a policy that would allow a free editorial hand in shaping, rewriting and augmenting the articles. Experience in creating reference works of this type has shown that as the work progresses, the editors themselves gain an ever deeper and broader view of the subject. Lateral connections and new insights flourish as articles and pages compound. A policy was created to allow this editorial vision to be fed back into the work. Thus the articles are unsigned (a list of contributors may be found at the beginning of the book). Although some articles appear much as they were originally authored, the vast majority of them have been worked over by several editorial hands, and they are frequently lengthier than the originals. As a result, this Dictionary has become a highly collaborative effort in which individual claims to authorship (not least those of the individual editors) have been set aside in the interest of what we trust will be a valuable contribution to understanding and enjoying the Bible. We offer our sincere thanks and file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 8 of 3291 appreciation to the approximately 150 contributors who have labored to make this work a reality. But we also accept full responsibility for any deficiencies in the final product. The primary audience for this Dictionary is not scholars but laypeople. We have tried to create a readable and interesting work, one that will not only serve as an indispensable reference tool that augments conventional Bible dictionaries but will also open up new avenues of reading and appreciating the Bible. This book, we hope, will unfold new perspectives for all students of the Bible, new approaches for communicators of the Bible—including those in the fine arts—and heartwarming insights for devotional readers of the Bible. If readers capture some measure of the joy we have experienced even in the midst of our reading the proofs of this emerging book, we will have achieved our goal. The Editors How to Use this Dictionary Abbreviations Comprehensive tables of abbreviations for general matters as well as for scholarly and biblical literature may found on pages ixx. Authorship of Articles The articles are unsigned (see preface), but a full list of contributors may be found on pages xixii, in alphabetical order of their last name. Bibliographies file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 9 of 3291 A bibliography has been appended to some articles. The bibliographies include works cited in the articles and other significant related works. Bibliographical entries are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, and where an author has more than one work cited, they are listed alphabetically by title. Abbreviations used in the bibliographies appear in the tables of abbreviations. Cross-references The Dictionary has been extensively crossreferenced in order to aid readers in making the most of material appearing throughout the volume. Five types of crossreferencing will be found: 1. Oneline entries appearing in alphabetical order throughout the Dictionary direct readers to articles where a topic is discussed: Enameled Imagery. See Hard, Harden, Hardness; Jewels and Precious Stones; Permanence. 2. In the printed version of this dictionary, an asterisk adjacent to a single word in the body of an article indicates that an article by that title appears in the dictionary. However, in this electronic version the asterisk has been replaced by a hypertext link (i.e., the word is underlined and highlighted in red) 3. A crossreference appearing within parentheses in the body of an article also directs the reader to an article by that title. For example, (see Lightning) directs the reader to an article entitled Lightning. Such crossreferences are most frequently used either to direct the readers attention to an article of related interest. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 10 of 3291 4. Crossreferences have been appended to the end of articles, immediately preceding the bibliography, to direct readers to articles significantly related to the subject: See also Banquet; Blessing, Blessedness; Fill, Fullness; Harvest; Land Flowing with Milk and Honey; Paradise; Storehouse. Indexes A Scripture Index is provided to assist readers in gaining access to information related to various biblical texts. The Subject Index is intended to assist readers in finding relevant information on topics that have not been assigned a separate article or are taken up in more than one place. Transliteration Hebrew and Greek words have been transliterated according to a system set out in the front matter. Greek verbs appear in their lexical form (rather than infinitive) in order to assist those with little or no knowledge of the language in using other reference works. Abbreviations General Abbreviations cf. compare v. or vv. verse or verses file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 11 of 3291 chap(s). chapter(s) vol. volume DSS Dead Sea Scrolls e.g. for example Translations of the Bible ed. edition; editor(s); edited by JB Jerusalem Bible esp. especially KJV King James Version (Authorized Version) Gk Greek Heb Hebrew file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 12 of 3291 NASB New American Standard Bible i.e. that is NEB New English Bible LXX Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) NIV New International Version NLB New Living Bible mg. margin NRSV New Revised Standard Version n.d. no date RSV Revised Standard Version n.s. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 13 of 3291 new series NT New Testament Apocrypha and Septuagint OT Old Testament 4 Ezra 4 Ezra par. parallel passage in another/other 1–4 Macc 1–4 Maccabees Gospel(s) Sir Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus) repr. reprint Wis Wisdom of Solomon rev. revis file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 14 of 3291 Books of the Bible Old Testament Ezra Dan Mal Phil Gen Neh Hos Col Ex Esther Joel New Testament 1–2 Thess Lev Job Amos Mt 1–2 Tim Num file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 15 of 3291 Ps Obad Mk Tit Deut Prov Jon Lk Philem Josh Eccles Mic Jn Heb Judg Song Nahum Acts Jas Ruth Is file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 16 of 3291 Hab Rom 1–2 Pet 1–2 Sam Jer Zeph 1–2 Cor 1, 2, 3 Jn 1–2 Kings Lam Hag Gal Jude 1–2 Chron Ezek Zech Periodicals, Reference Works and Serials AB Anchor Bible DJG Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 17 of 3291 ABD Anchor Bible Dictionary DLNTD Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments ANEP Ancient Near East in Pictures ANET Ancient Near Eastern Texts DPL Dictionary of Paul and His Letters BASOR Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research ExpT Expository Times IDB Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible BibSac Bibliotheca Sacra IntC Interpretation Commentary CBQ file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 18 of 3291 Catholic Biblical Quarterly ISBE The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (revised) DBTEL Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature JBL Journal of Biblical Literature JETS Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society NTT New Testament Theology (Cambridge University Press series) JJS Journal of Jewish Studies NovT Novum Testamentum JSSJ Journal of Semitic Studies NTS New Testament Studies NClB New Clarendon Bible file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 19 of 3291 OCD 3 The Oxford Classical Dictionary (3d ed.) NICNT New International Commentary on the New Testament SJT Scottish Journal of Theology NICOT New International Commentary on the Old Testament TOTC Tyndale Old Testament Commentary NIDNTT New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology WBC Word Biblica Contributors Alexander, T. Desmond. The Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Allen, Erick, Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, USA. Allison, Dale C., Jr. Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Apkera, Jacob. Nigeria. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 20 of 3291 Arnold, Clinton E. Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, California, USA. Balchin, John F. Purley, Surrey, England. Baldwin, Joyce. (Deceased) Formerly, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England. Bancroft, RoseLee. Alice Lloyd College, Pippa Passes, Kentucky, USA. Banks, Robert. Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, USA. Barker, David G. Heritage Theological Seminary, London, Ontario, Canada. Barratt, David J. Chester, England. Bauckham, Richard J. University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. Bell, Richard H. University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England. Bennett, David. Mountain Park Church, Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA. Bible, Jesse J. Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, USA. Birdsall, Brent. Huntington, Indiana, USA. Boda, Mark J. Canadian Bible College/Canadian Theological Seminary, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Braddock, Matthew. Quincy, Massachusetts, USA. Brown, Ann. Cardiff, Wales. Burke, Donald E. Catherine Booth Bible College, Winnipeg, file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 21 of 3291 Manitoba, Canada. Burns, Lanier. Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, USA. Carroll R., M. Daniel. Denver Seminary, Denver, Colorado, USA. Chan, Frank. Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA. Chisholm, Robert B., Jr. Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, USA. Claass, Stefan. Mainz, Germany. Colwell, Jerry D. Heritage Baptist College, London, Ontario, Canada. Dawn, Marva J. Christians Equipped for Ministry, Vancouver, Washington, USA. Duguid, Iain. Westminster Theological Seminary in California, Escondido, California, USA. Du Mont Brown, Sarah. Trinity Christian Academy, Addison, Texas, USA. Duriez, Colin. Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England. Eckman, James. Grace College of the Bible, Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Elrod, Eileen Razzari. Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, USA. Enns, Peter. Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Esler, Philip F. University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 22 of 3291 Etchells, Ruth. University of Durham, Durham, England. Evans, Craig A. Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada. Evans, Mary J. London Bible College, Northwood, Middlesex, England. Felch, Douglas A. Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Felch, Susan M. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Fink, Larry E. Hardin Simmons University, Abilene, Texas, USA. Gentrup, William F. Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA. Gledhill, Thomas D. Evangelical Theological College of Wales, Mid-Glamorgan, Wales. Glodo, Michael J. Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida, USA. Graham, Lowell B. Providence Christian Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Green, Douglas. Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Green, Joel B. Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA. Groves, Alan J. Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Habermas, Ronald T. John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, USA. Hallett, David. Ardsley, Pennsylvania, USA. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 23 of 3291 Harmon, William B. Vancouver, Washington, USA. Harvey, Jo Ann. Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Warrenville, Illinois, USA. Harvey, Robert W. Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Warrenville, Illinois, USA. Hasenclever, Frauke. Taunusstein, Germany. Hatina, Thomas R. London, England. Heller, Jack. Kenner, Louisiana, USA. Hepper, Nigel. Richmond, Surrey, England. Hess, Richard S. Denver Seminary, Denver, Colorado, USA. Hill, Andrew E. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA. Hong, In-Gyu. Reformed Theological Seminary, Seoul, South Korea. Horine, Steven C. Harleysville, Pennsylvania, USA. Howard, David M., Jr. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Howe, Bonnie G. T. Berkeley, California, USA. Klem, John F. Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. Kojecky, Roger F. Northwood, Middlesex, England. Konkel, August H. Providence Theological Seminary, Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada. Lamport, Mark A. Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts, USA. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 24 of 3291 Lindsey, Victor. East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma, USA. Littledale, Richard J. Purley Baptist Church, Purley, Surrey, England. Longman, Tremper, III. Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, USA. Lucas, Ernest C. Bristol Baptist College, Bristol, England. Ludwick, Robert D., II. Ballwin, Missouri, USA. Lyall, Francis. University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland. Lynn, Robyn D. Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, USA. Lyons, Michael A. Glenview, Illinois, USA. McCartney, Dan G. Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. McClarty, Wilma. Southern College, Collegedale, Tennessee, USA. McKeever, Michael C. Fresno, California, USA. Makujina, John. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Mawhinney, Allen. Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida, USA. Meier, Samuel A. Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. Miller, Daniel R. Deerfield, Illinois, USA. Miller, David G. Mississippi College, Clinton, Mississippi, USA. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 25 of 3291 Mills, Don. Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. Moore, Erika. Worthington, Pennsylvania, USA. Moore, James J. Worthington, Pennsylvania, USA. Motyer, Stephen. London Bible College, Northwood, Middlesex, England. Neale, David A. Canadian Nazarene College, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Newman, Carey C. Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Nielson, Kathleen Buswell. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA. Olson, Dennis T. Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Parker, Margaret. (Deceased) Formerly Walnut Creek, California, USA. Patterson, Richard D. Forest, Virginia, USA. Penney, Douglas. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA. Perrin, Nicholas. Aurora, Illinois, USA. Pocock, Michael. Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, USA. Porter, Stanley E. Roehampton Institute, London, England. Pratt, Richard L., Jr. Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida, USA. Provan, Iain. Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 26 of 3291 Ragen, Brian Abel. Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Ewardsville, Illinois, USA. Read, Peter. Monmouth, Gwent, South Wales. Reid, Daniel G. InterVarsity Press, Westmont, Illinois, USA. Reid, Debra K. Spurgeon’s College, London, England. Riso, Mary T. South Hamilton, Massachusetts, USA. Ritchie, Daniel E. Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. Roberts, D. Phillip. Temple Terrace, Florida, USA. Robertson, George W. St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Ryken, Leland. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA. Ryken, Lisa. Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Ryken, Philip G. Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Sandy, Brent. Salem, Virginia, USA. Schumann, Anne. Mainz, Germany. Schuurman, John F. Wheaton Christian Reformed Church, Wheaton, Illinois, USA. Schwab, George M., Sr. Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, USA. Sider, J. Philip W. Carlsbad, California, USA. Siebald, Manfred. Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mainz, Germany. Sims, James H. The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 27 of 3291 Sohn, Seock-Tae. Reformed Theological Seminary, Seoul, South Korea. Spencer, Aida Besançon. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts, USA. Stabnow, David. Melrose Park, Pennsylvania, USA. Stallman, Robert C. Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri, USA. Stone, David A. London, England. Stroup, William L., Jr. Collingdale, Pennsylvania, USA. Thatcher, Thomas W. Cincinnati Bible Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Thiselton, Anthony C. The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England. Tidball, Derek J. London Bible College, Northwood, Middlesex, England. Tischler, Nancy M. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA. Travers, Michael E. Mississippi College, Clinton, Mississippi, USA. Vanhoozer, Kevin J. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA. Walley, Christopher D. Leamington, England. Introduction “Light dawns for the righteous.” file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 28 of 3291 “The Lord raised up for them a deliverer, a lefthanded man.” “Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom.” The Bible is more than a book of ideas: it is also a book of images and motifs. Everywhere we turn we find concrete pictures and recurrent patterns. Some of these, like the image of *light, are universal. Others, like the motif of lefthandedness, are unexpressive until we have been alerted to their significance. The meaning of others, such as the image of sitting in the *gate, is lost on modern readers until they are initiated into what the motif meant in other places at other times. In all three instances, we will understand the Bible better with the aid of a dictionary that helps us to see what is literally in the biblical text and to understand its significance and meaning. Stated another way, we will miss a lot of what the Bible contains if we do not see and understand the literal and symbolic meanings of the Bible’s images. How Does the Bible Communicate Truth? Because of the predominantly theological and devotional purposes to which Christians put the Bible, it is almost impossible not to slip into the error of looking upon the Bible as a theological outline with prooftexts attached. Yet the Bible is much more a book of images and motifs than of abstractions and propositions. This is obscured by the way in which preachers and theologians gravitate so naturally to the epistles. A biblical scholar has correctly said that the Bible speaks largely in images.… The stories, the parables, the sermons of the prophets, the reflections of the wise men, the pictures of the age to come, the interpretations of past events all tend to be expressed in images which arise out of file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 29 of 3291 experience. They do not often arise out of abstract technical language. 1 1 [ James A. Fischer, How to Read the Bible (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PrenticeHall, 1981), p. 39.] This dictionary accepts this as a working premise. The Bible is a book that images the truth as well as stating it in abstract propositions. Correspondingly, the truth that the Bible expresses is often a matter of truthfulness to human experience as distinct from ideas that are true rather than false. The Bible here follows a common pattern. A noted theologian has stated it thus: We are far more imagemaking and imageusing creatures than we usually think ourselves to be and … are guided and formed by images in our minds.… Man … is a being who grasps and shapes reality … with the aid of great images, metaphors, and analogies. 2 2 [ H. Richard Niebuhr, The Responsible Self (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), pp. 15152, 161.] These images, in turn, are important to a person’s worldview, which consists of images and stories as well as ideas. Recent brain research has given us a new slant on this. 3[ 3 For summaries of research, see these sources: Michael C. Corballis and Ivan L. Beale, The Ambivalent Mind: The Neuropsychology of Left and Right (Chicago: NelsonHall, 1983); Sid J. Segalowitz, Two Sides of the Brain (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PrenticeHall, 1983); Sally P. Springer and Georg Deutsch, Left Brain, Right Brain, rev. ed. (New file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 30 of 3291 York: W. H. Freeman, 1985).] That research has found that the two sides of the human brain respond differently to different types of stimuli. The left hemisphere’s forte is analysis, reason, and logic. The right hemisphere is dominant in visual and other sensory processes, as well as in the exercise of emotion and the recognition of humor and metaphor. Conceptual and emotionally neutral words activate the left hemisphere, while words that name images and are emotionally laden activate the right hemisphere. The focus of this dictionary is on the aspects of the Bible that make it rightbrain discourse. Defining Terms: Image, Symbol, Metaphor, Simile The key terms that underlie this dictionary carry their common meanings. The most foundational term is image. An image is any word that names a concrete thing (such as *tree or *house) or action (such as *running or *threshing). Any object or action that we can picture is an image. Images require two activities from us as readers of the Bible. The first is to experience the image as literally and in as fully a sensory way as possible. The second is to be sensitive to the connotations or overtones of the image. When we stop to reflect on the image of *water, for example, we find that it connotes such qualities as refreshment, sustenance and life. The most elementary form of connotation is simply whether an image is positive or negative in association in the context in which it appears. When we encounter an image in the Bible, therefore, we need to learn to ask two questions: (1) What is the literal picture? (2) What does this image evoke? Answering the first question will insure that we have allowed the Bible to speak to our “right brain”—that part of us that responds to the concrete realities that the Bible records. Answering the file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 31 of 3291 second question will lead to an awareness of connotations, associations and significance. If either of these levels of response is missing, our experience of the Bible is impoverished. A symbol is an image that stands for something in addition to its literal meaning. It is more laden with meaning than simply the connotations of the straight image. In the overwhelming majority of cases, symbolism emerges as a shared language in a culture. In other words, it will be extremely rare that a biblical writer will create a symbol for a single occasion. The image of water will illuminate how image and symbol work and how they differ from each other. In the narrative of the Exodus, water functions as a fullfledged image when we read that “there was no water for the people to drink,” followed by the account of how Moses struck the rock to make water flow “that the people may drink” (Ex 17:6 RSV). The connotations of water spring from its literal properties and include refreshment and retrieving life from the threat of death. Water moves beyond image and assumes the status of a symbol when Jesus tells the woman at the well, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14 RSV). Whereas with the image the literal properties of water are of primary importance, in Jesus’ symbol it is the second level of meaning—salvation—that is primary. Of course water would never have become a symbol of salvation if it did not possess the physical properties that it does, so even with a biblical symbol we will impoverish the impact of an utterance if we do not pause to experience the literal side of the symbol. Metaphor and simile function much like symbol, and nothing much is lost if these terms are used file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 32 of 3291 interchangeably. A metaphor is an implied comparison. For example, when Paul writes that “I planted, Apollos watered” (1 Cor 3:6 RSV), he is not speaking of a literal plant. He refers to a figurative planting and watering in the form of proclaiming the Gospel to produce conversion and the teaching of the truth to produce Christian nurture. A simile also compares one thing to another, but it makes the comparison explicit by using the formula like or as. An example is the proverb, “Like cold water to a thirsty soul, / so is good news from a far country” (Prov 25:25 RSV). Metaphor and simile are bifocal utterances that require us to look at both the literal and figurative levels. The literal meaning of the word metaphor speaks volumes in this regard. It is based on two Greek words that mean “to carry over.” First we need to relive the literal experience of water; then we need to carry over that meaning to such realities as Christian nurture and good news from a far country. The connection between the halves of the comparison is not arbitrary but logical. To perceive the logic of the connections that a metaphor or simile makes, we need to do justice to the literal qualities of the image, remembering that metaphors and similes are images first and comparisons secondly. Bible dictionaries and commentaries commonly err in one of two directions, and it is the aim of this dictionary to achieve a balance. On the one hand, some resources channel all their energies into uncovering the original context of an image, making sure that we get the literal picture but never asking what feelings or meanings are elicited by the image. Images call for interpretation, and to leave biblical imagery uninterpreted is a great waste. The images of the Bible exist to tell us something about the ways of God and the godly life, something they will not do if they are allowed to remain as physical phenomena only. In short, a common file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 33 of 3291 failing of commentaries and dictionaries is that they do not adequately speak to the issue of significance (what an image signifies by way of meaning). But the opposite failing of ignoring the literal level of imagery in a scramble to tell us what an image means is even more common. Here, for example, is what some standard sources do with an image that occurs at least seven times in the Psalms—the *horn that God raises up: (1) “the power and the stability of the kingship”; (2) “the [term] scarcely needs comment, with the evident implications of strength”; (3) “horn here symbolizes strong one, that is, king”; (4) “figurative for granting victory or bestowing prosperity.” All of these pieces of commentary lavish their attention on what the image of the horn means, without ever telling us what kind of literal horn we should picture. Some back issues of The National Geographic will give us more help than the commentaries, with their pictures of rams butting each other with their horns or a deer warding off an attacking cougar with its antlers. The time is ripe for some bold new commentaries and dictionaries with pictorial accompaniment to make the literal images come alive. Motifs and Conventions A motif is a pattern that appears in a written text. At its most rudimentary, such a pattern is something that we notice in an individual biblical text. For example, as we read the story of Jacob’s meeting Rebekah at a well (Gen 29:4–12; see Well, Meeting at the), we can identify a pattern unfolding: the arrival of the man from a foreign land, the appearance of the woman at the well to fetch water, a dialogue between the man and woman, the drawing of water from the well by either the man or the woman as a gesture of thoughtfulness toward the other, the girl’s running file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 34 of 3291 home to tell her family, and inviting the stranger into the home of the future betrothed in an act of hospitality and welcome. Even though a single instance of such a pattern warrants the application of the term motif, it is more customary to apply the term to repeated instances of the same pattern. In the Bible, for example, the motif of meeting one’s future betrothed at the well appears several times—not only with Jacob and Rebekah, but also with the servant of Abraham who is sent to bring back a bride for Isaac (Gen 24:10–33) and with Moses upon his arrival in Midian (Ex 2:16–21). The literary term currently in vogue to designate the recurrence of common ingredients in a story is “type scene.” Robert Alter, who popularized the concept, defines a type scene as “an elaborate set of tacit agreements between artist and audience about the ordering of the art work,” and a “grid of conventions” that readers come to recognize and expect." 4 4 [ Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books, 1981), p. 47.] A motif is thus made up of a set of conventions— ingredients that recur so often in similar situations that they become expectations in the minds of writers and readers alike. The idea of conventions seems most natural when we are dealing with narratives. To put the protagonist of the story in a situation that tests him or her, for example, is a convention that most stories follow. Equally pervasive is the tendency of stories to be structured as a conflict that reaches resolution, often accompanied by a moment of epiphany (insight, revelation) near the end of the story. Again, it is a rare story that does not end with the convention of *poetic justice (virtue rewarded, vice punished). file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 35 of 3291 But conventions are not limited to the stories of the Bible. It is a convention of lament psalms, for example, to include a *reversal or recantation: after crying to God, defining a crisis that seems hopeless, and asking God to deliver, the poet reverses himself by expressing his confidence in God and vowing to praise God for deliverance. The motif of reversal is equally common in biblical *prophecy, where the prophet often pictures a future era when the present situation is reversed—where the wicked now in power will be put down, for example, or when the misery of human history will give way to a *millennium of perfection. While this dictionary is not intended as a comprehensive guide to literary conventions in the Bible, its entries dealing with motifs will in effect be an exploration of the conventions upon which both writer and reader have implicitly agreed. The practical benefit of having these conventions brought to our awareness is that as we read and teach the Bible we will see a great deal more than we would otherwise see. Instead of experiencing every text as a new event that needs to be puzzled over, we will begin to experience various types of biblical texts as a journey through a familiar landscape. Conventions like those that operate in the story of meeting one’s future betrothed at a well will also enable us to apply to one story what we have learned from other texts. Furthermore, because some of the motifs and conventions of the Bible have dropped out of circulation since ancient times, having them identified will enable us to see patterns and meanings in the Bible that would otherwise remain obscure. Although motifs are more likely to revolve around *plot or action than around images, we should pause to note that motifs often incorporate images. Earlier we noted instances of water as an image, symbol, metaphor and simile. Water figures as a motif in an ancient practice known as *ordeal file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 36 of 3291 by water. In this motif, ability to survive being submerged in water is regarded as a sign of *innocence, while drowning signals that a person is evil. In the Old Testament, for example, the *flood and the Red Sea crossing are trials by water in which God’s judgment against evil people is manifested in their drowning while the righteous are preserved. Several Psalms (e.g., Ps 69:12–15 and 124:1–5) likewise picture ordeal as a flood from which the speaker must be *rescued. Do Literary Conventions Mean that the Bible Is Fictional? It is fair to ask at this point how all this talk about literary conventions relates to the question of the historicity or fictionality of the Bible. The answer, in brief, is that the presence of conventions and literary artifice in the Bible does not by itself say anything at all about historicity or fictionality. It is true that scholars like Robert Alter believe that the presence of conventions and type scenes are a sign of fictionality. But this assumption is unwarranted. Underlying the assumption that the presence of literary artifice in the Bible signals fictionality is the unstated belief that events like this do not happen in real life. But real life is full of type scenes. Real life stories of meeting one’s future spouse at college would be as filled with repeated ingredients as Old Testament stories of meeting one’s spouse at a well. In real life, and not just in literature, we constantly impose patterns on the flow of events. It is not a matter of making things up but of “packaging” them—in other words, of selectivity and arrangement. Consider the conventions of the television sports report or interview. The reporter is filmed with a sports arena in the background. During the course of the report the reporter either interviews an file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 37 of 3291 athlete or is momentarily replaced by a film clip of sports action. It is a rule of the sports interview that the conversation consist only of clichés and that it be devoid of anything approaching intellectual substance. The syntax of the athlete being interviewed is expected to be rudimentary or even nonexistent in the usual sense. It is a rule that at some point the athlete mumbles something to the effect of “just trying to go out there and do my job.” A look of false modesty is expected to accompany this worldchanging announcement. At the end of the report, the reporter stares into the camera and utters a catchy, impressivesounding one liner. The artifice of such conventions is obvious. Yet the artifice and high degree of conventionality do not make the interview anything other than a factual event that really happened. What such conventions do signal is the degree to which communication, whether on television or in the Bible, is based on shared assumptions or expectations between writer and audience about how certain things are communicated or composed. To take an instance that relates to the Bible, we can consider the conventions of a *love story, whether in literature or real life. It is easy to produce a list of conventions that make up a love story: an eligible hero and heroine who are worthy of each other, initial unawareness on the part of the lovers that they are meant for each other, obstacles to the romance that must be overcome, asking friends about the eligible “other,” a memorable first meeting or a first date, report of the first date to Mom or a roommate, courtship (including wooing of both the bridetobe and her mother), goodbye moments, a *matchmaker, meetings in a country or natural setting, bestowing of favors, secret meetings, a rival, background observers, betrothal and *marriage. Now it so happens the Old Testament story of Ruth contains all file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 38 of 3291 of these ingredients. Does that make the story fictional? How could it necessarily make it fictional when the ingredients are equally present in real life romances? Underlying this dictionary is an editorial bias that runs counter to the tendency of some to find fiction in the Bible, namely, a conviction that the very presence of such universal elements in the Bible makes it more lifelike, not less lifelike. There can be no doubt that the writers of the Bible carefully selected and arranged their material. The result is that the accounts that we find in the Bible are more highly structured than real life is ordinarily felt to be, with the result that we see things more clearly in the Bible than we usually do in real life. A comment by the poet T. S. Eliot will clarify the matter. “It is the function of all art,” wrote Eliot, “to give us some perception of an order in life, by imposing an order upon it.” 5 5 [ T. S. Eliot, On Poetry and Poets (New York: Farrar, Strauss & Cudahy, 1957), p. 93.] This dictionary explores the patterns that the biblical writers have imposed on life, with a view toward understanding what those patterns clarify about life. Archetypes A final term that requires definition for purposes of this dictionary is the word archetype. An archetype is an image or pattern that recurs throughout literature and life. Archetypes are the universal elements of human experience. More specifically, an archetype falls into one of three categories: it is either an image or symbol (such as the *mountaintop or evil *city), or a plot motif (such as *crime and punishment or the *quest), or a character type (such as the *trickster or jealous *sibling). Many of the images and motifs discussed in this dictionary file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 39 of 3291 are archetypes. They recur not only throughout the Bible, but in literature generally and in life. Being aware of them will help us draw connections—between parts of the Bible, between the Bible and other things we have read, between the Bible and life. Archetypes are a universal language. We know what they mean simply by virtue of being humans in this world. We all know the experiences of *hunger and *thirst, *garden and *wilderness. Ideas and customs vary widely from one time and place to another, but archetypes are the elemental stuff of life. In the words of literary scholar Northrop Frye (noted archetypal critic), “Some symbols are images of things common to all men, and therefore have a 6[ 6 communicable power which is potentially unlimited.” Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), p. 99.] Another literary scholar defines the master images of the imagination as “any of the immemorial patterns of response to the human situation in its permanent aspects.” 7 7 [ Leslie Fiedler, “Archetype and Signature,” reprinted in Myths and Motifs in Literature, ed. David J. Burrows et al. (New York: Free Press, 1973), p. 28.] A study of the images and motifs of the Bible will confirm one scholar’s comment that “the Biblical vocabulary is compact of the primal stuff of our common humanity—of its universal emotional, sensory experiences.” 8 8 [ John Livingston Lowes, “The Noblest Monument of English Prose,” in Literary Style of the Old Bible and the New, ed. D. G. Kehl (Indianapolis: BobbsMerrill, 1970), p. 9.] Such elemental images are primal in the sense of being file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 40 of 3291 rooted in essential humanity, independent of civilized trappings and complexity. One effect of reading this dictionary will be to uncover the primal roots of the Bible. Someone has said that the themes of the Bible are simple and primary. Life is reduced to a few basic activities.… We confront basic virtues and primitive vices.… The world these persons inhabit is stripped and elemental—sea, desert, the stars, the wind, storm, sun, clouds, and moon, seedtime and harvest.… Occupation has this elementary quality also. 9[ 9 Howard Mumford Jones, “The Bible from a Literary Point of View,” in Five Essays on the Bible (New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 1960), pp. 5253.] The entries in this dictionary will confirm this view of the Bible as a primal and elemental book. There are also psychological overtones to an exploration of these elemental images of human life. The modern study of archetypes began with psychologists (though archetypes have long since been separated from that source). Part of the psychological dimension is that there is wisdom and strength to be found in being put in touch with bedrock humanity in this way. Carl Jung wrote that archetypes “make up the groundwork of the human psyche. It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with 10 [ 10 these symbols; wisdom is a return to them.” Carl Jung, Psychological Reflections, ed. Jolande Jacobi (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953), p. 47.] One of the benefits of exploring the territory charted in this dictionary is to see anew that while the Bible is more than a human book, it is also a book rich in recognizable human experience. A further useful thing to know about images and file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 41 of 3291 archetypes is that when we begin to categorize them, we find good and bad, desirable and undesirable, ideal and unideal versions of the various categories. *Kings can be benevolent or tyrannical, for example. *Lions are usually a negative archetype, but they can also symbolize power and rulership in the hands of the good. A beginning list of the archetypes of the Bible, arranged by categories, is set out in the accompanying chart. This chart of archetypes is one of the chief patterns that the human imagination imposes on reality. We might say that archetypes are among the chief building blocks for writers of the Bible. Of course they impose these patterns on life as a way of clarifying life. Category of Experience The Archetypes of Ideal Experience The Archetypes of Unideal Experience Supernatural Agents and Settings God; angels; the heavenly society; heaven; Abraham’s bosom Satan; demons, evil spirits; evil beasts and monsters such as those in the book of Revelation; pagan idols; the witch; hell Human Characters The Hero or heroine; virtuous wife/husband/mother/father; bride or bridegroom; godly and benevolent king or ruler; innocent or obedient child; loyal friend, servant or disciple; wiseman; true shepherd; pilgrim; godly priest; teacher of truth; heroic and innocent martyr; guide, protector or watchman; chaste virgin; helpful matchmaker; temperate person; triumphant warrior; masters of a vocation (good farmer, craftsman, etc.); saint; penitent; convert; just judge; deliverer file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 42 of 3291 The Villain; tempter/temptress; prostitute or adulterer; taskmaster, tyrant or oppressor (usually foreign oppressor); wanderer, outcast or exile; traitor; sluggard or lazy person; hypocrite; false religious teacher or priest; hireling or unreliable shepherd; fool; drunkard; thief or robber; domineering spouse or parent; deceiver; dupe; meddling eavesdropper; seducer or seductress; glutton; unjust judge; wayward child or vicious sibling; beggar; sinner; rebel; prodigal; murderer; persecutor Human Relationships The Community, city, tribe or nation; images of communion, order, unity, hospitality, friendship, love; wedding or marriage; feast, meal Tyranny or anarchy; isolation among people; images of torture (the cross, stake scaffold, gallows, stocks, prison, etc.) Clothing Any stately garment that shows legitimate position or success; festal garments such as wedding clothes; fine clothing given as a gift of hospitality; white or lightcolored clothing; clothing of adornment (e.g., jewels); protective clothing (e.g., warrior’s armor, shoes) Ill-fitting garments (often symbolic of a position that is usurped or not held legitimately); garments of mourning (e.g., sackcloth, rent garments); dark clothes; tattered, dirty or coarse clothing; any clothing that suggests poverty or bondage; conspicuous excess of clothing or lack of clothing (including barefootedness and nakedness) The Human Body Images of health, strength, vitality, potency, sexual file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 43 of 3291 fertility (including the womb and seed); feats of strength, dexterity or conquest; images of sleep and rest; happy dreams; rituals of festivity such as an anointed head; birth; cleansing and cleanliness; hand, right arm, eye and head; healing Images of disease, deformity, barrenness, injury or mutilation; physical ineptness (e.g., stumbling or falling); acts leading to defeat; sleeplessness or nightmare, perhaps related to guilt of conscience; death; blindness and deafness; filthiness; physical effects of guilt Food Staples such as bread, milk, meat, manna, oil; abundance of a harvest of grain; luxuries such as wine and honey; olive; grapes Hunger, drought, famine, starvation, cannibalism; poison; drunkenness Animals A community of domesticated animals, usually a flock of sheep or herd of cattle; lamb; gentle bird (e.g., dove); any animal friendly to people; singing birds; animals or birds noted for their strength, such as the lion, horse or eagle; fish Monsters or beasts of prey; wolf (enemy of sheep), tiger, dragon, vulture, owl or hawk; cold and earthbound snake; any wild animal harmful to people; goat; unclean animals of OT purity law; wild dog; ignorant mule Landscape A garden, grove or park; mountaintop or hill; fertile plain or valley; pastoral settings or farms; safe pathway or easily traveled road; places of natural refuge or defense, such as file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 44 of 3291 rock, hill or hiding place The Dark forest; wilderness or wasteland (which is either too hot or too cold); dark and dangerous valley; tomb; labyrinth; dangerous or evil pathway; cave (associated with barbarism) or pit (confinement, imprisonment) Plants Green grass; rose; vineyard; tree of life; productive tree, vine or plant; lily; evergreen plants (symbolic of immortality); herbs or plants or healing; engrafting; grain, especially wheat and barley The Thorn or thistle; weeds; dead or dying plants; unproductive plants; willow tree (symbolic of death or mourning); chaff; pruning of dead branches Buildings The city; palace or court; military stronghold; tabernacle, temple or church; altar; house or home; tower of contemplation or watchfulness; capital city, center of the nation; storehouse; wellbuilt foundations and pillars; inn; door or gate of entry and protection; city wall; boat or ark of safety or rescue; marketplace; threshing floor The Prison or dungeon; wicked city of violence, sexual perversion or crime; tower of imprisonment or wicked aspiration (such as the Tower of Babel); pagan temples and altars; buildings without solid foundations; wastehouse (empty, vacuous and decaying building) The Inorganic World Jewels and precious stones, often glowing and fiery; fire and brilliant light; burning that purifies and refines; rocks of refuge; gold, silver and pearl; durable metals like iron and bronze file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 45 of 3291 The uncivilized world in its unworked form of deserts, rocks and wilderness; dry dust or ashes; fire that destroys and tortures instead of purifying; rust and decay; ashes Water A Tranquil, lifegiving river, stream or pool; spring or fountain; showers of rain; flowing water as opposed to stagnant water; water used for cleansing The overflowing river or stream; the sea and its monsters; stagnant pools or cisterns Forces of Nature The breeze or wind; spring and summer seasons; calm after storm; sun or the lesser light of the moon and stars; light, sunrise, day; rainbow The storm or tempest; autumn and winter seasons; sunset, darkness, night; earthquakes, flood or hail; images of mutability (faded rose, dried grass, vapor); lightning and thunder; whirlwind Sounds Musical harmony; singing; laughter Discordant sounds; cacophony; weeping, wailing, sighing Direction and Motion Images of ascent, rising, height (especially the mountaintop), motion (as opposed to stagnation); straight; right (as opposed to left) Images of descent, lowness, stagnation or immobility, suffocation, confinement, crooked (as opposed to straight); left file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 46 of 3291 Actions The quest or journey; positive transformations, such as deathrebirth movement, conversion, or the rite of baptism; acts of worship (sacrifice, offering, burning of incense, festal processions); fullness; overcoming of obstacles enroute to a happy ending; virtue rewarded; escape or liberation; rescue; reform; reunion, reconciliation, forgiveness; homecoming; reward; pilgrimage; being found The antiquest (such as Jonah’s attempt to flee from God); capture; decline of fortune or degradation of character; crime and punishment; fall from innocence; emptiness; murder; temptation; punishment of vice; suffering; terror or danger; exile or banishment; cataclysmic destructio What Is the Practical Usefulness of This Dictionary? This is a practical book, in a number of ways. One of its uses is to provide a biblical reader with an improved grasp of the literal level of the Bible. In the thirteenth century, Roger Bacon argued that the church had done a good job of communicating the theological content of the Bible but had failed to make the literal level of the biblical text come alive in people’s imagination. We are in a similar situation today. One of the goals of this dictionary is to provide a corrective. This dictionary will show that concrete images lie behind many of the abstractions in modern English translations of the Bible. In addition to enhancing our awareness of the Bible as a work of imagination (our imagemaking and imageperceiving capacity), this dictionary is designed to enrich a reader’s affective response to the Bible. Pictures affect us emotionally in ways that abstractions do not (which is not to say, of course, that abstractions necessarily leave us file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 47 of 3291 unmoved). If this book improves our awareness of the literal level of meaning of the Bible, paradoxically it also improves our ability to interpret the figurative level of meaning. Many entries in this dictionary are divided into an analysis of the concrete, literal properties of a biblical image or motif (such as *animals or *birds), and of the symbolic meanings that gather around the literal level. In these instances, our understanding of the figurative meanings is enriched by the context provided by the concrete or literal level of meaning. A systematic treatment of images and motifs in the Bible also allows us to see the unity and progression of the Bible. Unity emerges when we see that many of the master images of the Bible pervade it from beginning to end. Some of these motifs, moreover, show a discernible progression, especially (but not only) in the New Testament fulfillment of Old Testament foreshadowings. The motif of the annunciation of the *birth of a *son to a *barren mother, for example, can be traced from Sarah through the story of Gideon’s mother and Hannah, and thence to the nativity stories of John the Baptist and Jesus. This dictionary also suggests a strategy for preaching and teaching the Bible. One area of application is theological. Tracing a master image or motif through the Bible from beginning to end sooner or later touches upon most major areas of biblical theology and is therefore a fresh way to view the theological content of the Bible. Furthermore, a study of biblical images and motifs shows that the Bible is both a timeless book and a timebound book (in the sense of being rooted in cultural contexts that change as history unfolds). Such a study therefore provides a way of achieving a major task of preaching and teaching—that of bridging the gap between the biblical world and our own world by first journeying to the ancient world and then making a file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 48 of 3291 return trip to our own place and time. An important part of the return trip consists of seeing how much universal human experience is present in the Bible To sum up, this is a book with many uses. It is a book to be browsed, packed as it is with new information and insights about the content of the Bible. It is equally a reference book—for exegetes, interpreters, preachers, teachers and lay readers of the Bible. Who Wrote This Dictionary? The study of images and motifs is an interdisciplinary enterprise, and this dictionary is accordingly the product of both biblical and literary scholars. Individual entries were written and/or edited by both groups of scholars. Biblical scholars are adept at placing biblical images and motifs in their ancient setting, and in recognizing ancient patterns that a modern reader is unlikely to have encountered. Literary critics can bring to bear on the Bible their knowledge of literary motifs that literature has exhibited through the centuries. Both disciplines can help to interpret the meanings and nuances of biblical images and motifs. A AARON’S ROD Aaron’s rod appears almost exclusively in the story of the exodus, where it emerges as a master image and where it may merge with references to the rod of Moses and even the rod of God (Ex 4:20; 17:9). The significance of the rod was kept alive in the Hebrew consciousness by virtue of its being stored as a memorial in the Holy of Holies after it had miraculously blossomed (Num 17:10; Heb 9:4). file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 49 of 3291 The Bible itself does not tell us exactly what kind of rod or staff it was. It might have been a shepherd’s rod used for protecting and rescuing sheep or a traveler’s walking stick or a weapon. The prosaic, commonplace nature of this unspecified staff may itself be part of its significance, making it a foil to the supernatural power that the rod displays in the story of the exodus. The rod linked specifically with Aaron appears first when Moses and Aaron have their first meeting with Pharaoh. On this occasion the rod assumes miraculous powers by being transformed into a serpent when Aaron throws it on the ground, and then swallowing the serpents that had been called forth by the Egyptian magicians’ rods (Ex 7:8–12). Later the rod effected three of the ten plagues-turning the water of the Nile into blood (Ex 7:14–23), calling forth frogs (Ex 8:1–5) and bringing gnats (Ex 8:16–19). Even more impressive is the subsequent blossoming of Aaron’s rod. Following the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram against the authority of Moses and Aaron, Moses collected a rod from the leaders of each of the twelve tribes, plus Aaron’s rod for the tribe of Levi. In the evocative account of the biblical narrative, “On the morrow Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” (Num 17:8 KJV [KJV KJV. King James Version (Authorized Version)] ). In a tragic let-down, the final reference to the rod occurs when Moses doomed himself by striking the rock instead of speaking to it. Here we read that “Moses took the rod from before the Lord,” apparently linking it with Aaron’s rod kept as a memorial in the Holy of Holies (Num 20:9). What does Aaron’s rod signify in the Bible? Throughout its history it has associations of miraculous power, especially the power to transform physical reality. As a symbol of file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 50 of 3291 supernatural power working through human agencies, the rod also evokes a sense of authority, both political (it helped the nation’s leaders win its conflicts) and priestly (its blossoming coincided with the establishment of the house of Aaron and tribe of Levi in a priestly role). Although this ordinary rod was far from being a royal scepter, it nonetheless seems scepter-like in our imaginations as we read of its miraculous powers. By being linked specifically with Aaron (and perhaps with Moses as well), this particular rod is also an index to the exalted status of Aaron and Moses. It reminds us of magical talismans that signal the uniqueness and heroic status of such heroes of ancient literature as Odysseus and Aeneas. Furthermore, the association of Aaron’s rod with the Holy of Holies gives it a sacral significance, making it a visible memorial to God’s sacred presence and power. Finally, the springing of life from an inanimate object is an archetypal rebirth image, connoting passage from death to life. See also Rod, Staff; Scepter. ABANDON, ABANDONED. See Forsake, Forsaken. ABEL Cain and Abel, the most famous brothers in biblical literature, were perhaps even twins, since the Bible never mentions that Eve conceived twice before their birth. But no matter. They might as well have been Siamese twins, so closely are the two associated. Allusions to either feed off the other in symbiotic style. The story unfolds in Genesis 4, where Abel, the model child, obedient and righteous, becomes a brother slain. Seven times in eleven verses (Gen 4:2–11 NASB [NASB NASB. New file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 51 of 3291 American Standard Bible] ) the fact is stressed that the two are brothers, thus indelibly emphasizing the depravity of Cain-jealous enough to commit even fratricide. Within the story itself, Abel is a decidedly secondary character, providing the occasion for the main action. In the NT [NT NT. New Testament] Abel gets brief but significant mention, first by Christ himself. In parallel passages from Matthew 23:35 and Luke 11:51, Jesus draws on the Abel story to strengthen his diatribe against the scribes and Pharisees: “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell? … [U]pon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah” (Mt 23:33–35 NASB [NASB NASB. New American Standard Bible] ). Abel thus becomes forever Exhibit A, an eternal symbol of the martyred righteous, slain by someone who hated him because his deeds were righteous and the murderer’s were evil (1 Jn 3:12). The author of Hebrews contrasts the faith-oriented Abel with his works-oriented brother: “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain” (Heb 11:4 NASB [NASB NASB. New American Standard Bible] ). In Hebrews 12 the author uses another allusion to Abel, this time contrasting him not with Cain but with Jesus himself: “And to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Heb 12:24 NASB [NASB NASB. New American Standard Bible] ). The writer is obviously alluding to the Genesis account of the Lord’s asking, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground” (Gen 4:10). Abel’s blood called for vengeance, but Jesus’ blood spoke for forgiveness. Close analysis of the Abel narrative emphasizes how prophetic are the words of Hebrews 11, with their assurance file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 52 of 3291 that “through faith, though he [Abel] is dead, he still speaks” (Heb 11:4 NASB [NASB NASB. New American Standard Bible] ). Abel endures through the centuries as a symbol of obedience coupled with a righteousness-by-faith religion. Likewise, he represents those killed simply because they performed a righteous deed, innocent martyrs for God’s cause. Abel’s blood still cries from the ground, a cry of warning for whose who oppose God’s people, a cry of hope for the slain righteous seeking vindication. See also Cain. ABHOR, LOATHE The English words abhor and loathe translate biblical terms that connote the image of turning away from something because of extreme dislike or intolerance. These words are used in reference to both people and God. The primary actor where such language is involved is God, who loathes things of which fallen humans tend to be tolerant. From the divine vantage point God is nauseated by any human activity that is not in accordance with his law (Lev 26:11; Prov 11:1; Ezek 23:18). Sin and idolatry are common targets of God’s abhorrence (Deut 7:25; 12:3). His disgust with them grows to the point where he cannot bear them any longer. God warns fledgling Israel to avoid adopting the customs of the Canaanites, whom he is about to drive out because he “abhorred them” (Lev 20:23 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ; cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Deut 18:9, 12). He later warns his people that if they ignore his warnings and follow the surrounding nations in their idolatry, they too will be the recipients of his disgust (Lev 26:30). Specific practices that God finds abhorrent include eating unclean animals (Deut 14:3), sacrificing flawed animals (Deut file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 53 of 3291 17:1), cross-dressing (Deut 22:5), using a prostitute’s fee as a religious offering (Deut 23:18), a husband’s resuming relations with a wife whom he has divorced (Deut 24:4), dishonesty (Deut 25:16), lying (Ps 5:6), the religious ceremonies of unrepentant people (Amos 5:21) and nationalistic pride (Amos 6:8). In the book of Revelation Christ’s spewing the lukewarm Laodiceans out his mouth is a gesture of disgust (3:16). While people apart from God often fail to perceive his judgments, redeemed humanity can learn to abhor-and thereby turn away from-those things God loathes (cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Ps 31:6; 97:10; 119:104; Amos 5:15; Rom 12:9). People too loathe things in the Bible. After raping his sister Tamar, Amnon abhors her (2 Sam 13:15). The sores of Job are loathsome (Job 2:7), and the suffering Job finds both food (6:7) and life (7:16; 9:21; 10:1) loathsome. His family and friends, in turn, find Job loathsome (Job 19:17, 19). People under stress loathe food (Ps 107:18). In Amos’s picture of a society that has lost its moral bearings, people actually “abhor the one who speaks the truth” (Amos 5:10), and in a similar picture Micah pictures a nation of people “who abhor justice and pervert all equity” (Mic 3:9 RSV [RSV RSV. Revised Standard Version] ). In contrast, Ezekiel paints pictures of penitents who loathe themselves for their evil deeds (Ezek 20:43; 36:31). See also Disgust, Revulsion; Holiness; Idol, Idolatry. ABOMINATION From the broadest perspective an abomination is something loathsome and repulsive according to one’s cultural and religious values. For the Egyptians the Israelites were an abomination because they were shepherds, an occupation they despised (Gen 46:33–34). For the Israelites an abomination was ritually unclean food (Deut 14:3). For the file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 54 of 3291 fool it is turning away from evil (Prov 13:19); and for the wicked and righteous it is each other (Prov 29:27). From the biblical perspective an abomination callously disregards and actively disdains the values God has established. It affronts God’s holiness, sovereignty as Creator and purposes expressed in the Law. There is an irony in the image of abomination. It is not chosen in brazen rebellion against God, but is perceived within the values of the offender as the good and right thing to do. Thus the sacrifice of the wicked (Prov 15:8), the prayer of the lawbreaker (Prov 28:9) and blemished sacrifice (Deut 17:1) are abominations, although their practitioners do not perceive themselves as committing an abomination. Idolatry and its related immorality (Deut 27:15; Jer 13:27; Rev 17:4–5) and witchcraft and sorcery (Deut 18:10–12) characterize dismissal of God’s sovereignty. Failures of God’s people to separate from pagan practices that are in conflict with the Law (Ezra 9:1) are abominable, as are such practices as lying, arrogance, evil plans, murder (Prov 6:16–19; Rev 21:27) and sexual aberrations (Lev 18:6–23). Images of peril accompany abomination, for those committing abominations are subject to the wrath and judgment of God (Ezek 7:1–4). The ultimate image of abomination is the Abomination of Desolation, an image of horror from 167 b.c. when Antiochus IV Epiphanes placed an altar to Zeus on the altar of God in the Jerusalem temple (Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; 1 Macc 1:54, 59; 2 Macc 6:1–2). For Judaism and Christianity this abomination was paradigmatic and prophetic of an evil, pagan individual or force arrayed against God and his people and usurping God’s rightful worship by desecrating the temple. In the Gospels, Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (Mt 24:15; Mk 13:14; Lk 21:20) was just such an abomination. This abomination underlies the eschatological images of the man of lawlessness (2 Thess 2:3–4), the file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 55 of 3291 antichrist (1 Jn 2:18; 4:3), the great whore (Rev 17:4) and the beast (Rev 13). See also Abhor, Loathe; Antichrist; Disgust, Revulsion; Holiness; Idol, Idolatry; Temple. Bibliography D. Ford, The Abomination of Desolation in Biblical Eschatology (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1979). ABRAHAM To biblical writers Abraham has more than historical status. He captures their imagination as an image of various spiritual themes in both Old and New Testaments. The character of Abraham has multiple dimensions that can be plotted in terms of the rhetorical or persuasive purposes of the biblical writers. The Portrait in Genesis. In Genesis, Abraham is presented as the important forefather to whom God gives promises and with whom God makes a covenant. At times the content of this promise or covenant is not specified. On most occasions it is linked to a specific element: either the promise of land (Gen 12:7; 13:14–15, 17; 15:7, 18; 17:8); the promise of seed (Gen 12:2; 13:16; 15:5, 18–21; 17:2, 4–7, 16, 19; 22:17); or the promise of covenant (Gen 17:7, 19, 21). Abraham is also promised blessing for all the nations (Gen 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14). The second most frequent image for Abraham in the book of Genesis is as an example of obedience (Gen 12:1–4; 17:1, 23; 18:19; 22:16–18; 26:4–5). Abraham is portrayed as one whose obedience was essential to his relationship with Yahweh and to the relationship of his descendants to Yahweh. This does not mean that Abraham is presented as perfect, for on two occasions his deceit is highlighted (Gen 12:10–20; 20:1–18). Although the faith of Abraham is assumed in his obedient file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 56 of 3291 response to Yahweh’s call to Palestine, this is emphasized only in Genesis 15:6. However, later in the Bible it becomes a major part of the imagery surrounding Abraham. The blessing of all nations through Abraham is highlighted not only in general statements in the book of Genesis but also in his role as intercessor for his nephew Lot. This intercession is first seen in Genesis 14, where he saves Lot from the hands of foreign kings. It reaches a height in Genesis 18 as he pleads with Yahweh on behalf of Lot, leading to Lot’s rescue from the city of Sodom. This role of intercession for the nations is founded on the fact that Yahweh considers Abraham his confidante (Gen 18:17). Complementing the more spiritual side of Abraham-as the recipient of divine promise, as example of obedience and faith, as intercessor-is the social dimension of this patriarch. Abraham is a domestic hero in Genesis. As in Homer, “home” means possessions as well as family. Abraham is consistently shown in his domestic roles-as husband, uncle, father, clan leader and possessor of flocks and herds. As clan leader Abraham is diplomat to a series of august figures, including kings and the priest Melchizedek. As owner of goods Abraham is linked with the images of sheep and goats, flocks and herds. There are, finally, the literal images that dominate the story of Abraham in Genesis. The backbone of the plot is the journey motif, which in turn produces the specific images of desert, water/wells, camels and donkeys, physical movement, tents and a proliferation of specific place names (either geographic locales or towns, both of which give the story an international flavor). The story is also a quest story, as the hero from start to finish is in quest for a son, descendants and a land. The progressive revelation of the covenant is likewise a major plot motif, and this quest generates a conflict within Abraham between faith in God’s file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 57 of 3291 promises and a tendency toward expediency. The extravagance of God’s covenant promises is linked to images of the stars of the sky, the sand of the seashore and the dust of the earth. Abraham’s religious devotion to God is most consistently linked with images of altar and sacrifice and, in the climactic episode (Abraham’s offering of Isaac to God), with a mountaintop. The contractual language of obligation and reward permeates the passages in which God renews his covenant with Abraham. Related to the covenant motif is the importance of characters’ names (and changes in those names) in the story. Finally, the divine-human encounter is a central motif in the story, and close scrutiny of the text shows how much of the action is embodied in conversations between God and Abraham instead of through direct narration of events. Other Old Testament Images. Elsewhere in the OT [OT OT. Old Testament] , Abraham retains the motifs of Genesis, but the imagery surrounding him expands. As in Genesis, the rest of the OT [OT OT. Old Testament] portrays Abraham most often in association with the promises of the covenant. This connection is rarely to the promises in unspecified terms (Ex 2:24; 2 Kings 13:23) or linked to the covenant (Deut 29:13). The majority of references are linked to the promise of land (Ex 3:16; 6:3, 8; 32:13; 33:1; Lev 26:42; Num 32:11; Deut 1:8; 6:10; 9:5; 30:20; 34:4; 1 Chron 16:15–18; 2 Chron 20:7; Neh 9:7–8; Ps 105:8–11, 42–44; cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Is 51:2; Ezek 33:24) and a few to the promise of seed (Ex 32:13; Lev 26:42; Josh 24:2–3; cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Neh 9:23; Is 51:2; Ezek 33:24). As can be seen in both Isaiah 51:2 and Ezekiel 33:24, the Abrahamic covenant of seed was very comforting to those who had experienced the pain of exile. The blessing of all nations through Abraham receives little notice (Ps 47:9). Abraham as obedient forefather is rarely highlighted in the rest of the OT [OT OT. Old Testament] . An exception is the file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 58 of 3291 prayer in Nehemiah 9:7–8, which claims that God found Abraham’s heart faithful, a term for a good covenant partner (cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Deut 7:9; Is 49:7; cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Ps 78:8, 37). This faithfulness of Abraham becomes the basis on which the promise of the land is secured. Alone and in series with the other patriarchs, Abraham’s name is used to identify the God of Israel: God of Abraham (Ps 47:9; cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Is 29:22); God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex 3:6, 15; 4:5; 6:3); God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (1 Kings 18:36; 1 Chron 29:18; 2 Chron 30:6). This connection of Abraham with the name of God accentuates the foundational role that Abraham plays in the establishment of the covenant between God and Israel. Abraham is presented at times as progenitor of the Israelites (1 Chron 1:27, 28, 34; Ps 105:6; Is 41:8; 51:2; Jer 33:26). This connection is not merely biological but also has spiritual implications and connects the Israelites with the promises and covenant established between God and Abraham. Because of his role in the establishment of covenant and promise for Israel, Abraham’s name appears on many occasions as the foundation for mercy to Israel. When requests for deliverance are made, the appeal is grounded in Abraham (Ex 32:13; Deut 9:27; 2 Chron 20:7; 30:6; Neh 9:7; Ps 105:42). When prophecies or promises are given announcing salvation, Abraham is mentioned (Lev 26:42; Is 29:22; 41:8; 51:2; Jer 33:26; Ezek 33:24; Mic 7:20). When historical events are recounted where God brought salvation, Abraham is highlighted (Ex 2:24; 3:16; 6:3; 2 Kings 13:23). Abraham thus serves an important role in the ongoing relevance of the promises and covenant in the life of the nation. He becomes an indispensable image for deliverance for Israel. Only once is Abraham mentioned in the context of judgment: in Numbers 32:11, where those who disobeyed at Kadesh Barnea are banned from seeing the promised land. Even in this file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 59 of 3291 context, Caleb and Joshua are mentioned as receiving the promise. Abraham played a role as intercessor for the nations, and this was traced in Genesis 18 to his status as confidante of God. This status, afforded to only one other individual in the history of Israel (Moses, in Ex 33:11), may be reflected in two instances outside of Genesis in which Abraham is called “the friend of God” (2 Chron 20:7; Is 41:8). Abraham in the Writings of Paul. Hansen (158–60) has surveyed the use of the image of Abraham in Paul by highlighting three purposes: soteriological, ecclesiological and missiological. Paul uses Abraham at the service of his soteriology by citing him as a scriptural argument for justification by faith. At the same time, Paul also uses Abraham to defend the inclusion of the Gentiles among the people of God (ecclesiological) and for his own mission to the Gentiles (missiological). The second two are so interrelated that they can be covered together. The keynotes of Paul’s references to Abraham are the motifs of faith and promise. Faith, which is largely implicit in Genesis and absent in the rest of the OT [OT OT. Old Testament] , forms the cornerstone of Paul’s use of Abraham as an image of faith in contrast to the law and circumcision, with special focus on Genesis 15:6 (Rom 4:2–5; Rom 6–12). Circumcision serves merely as a “seal” of the righteousness of faith (Rom 4:11). In Paul the promise of land, so important in OT [OT OT. Old Testament] passages, is left to the side, while the promise of seed is focused not only onthe nation of Israel but expanded to include the Gentiles. Although Abraham is considered the physical progenitor of the Hebrew people (Rom 4:1; 9:7; 11:1; 2 Cor 11:22), this aspect is set aside by Paul in favor of a focus on Abraham as spiritual progenitor of a spiritual race. The seed of Abraham (Gal 3:29) consists of those who are of file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 60 of 3291 the faith mediated through the one seed, Christ (Gal 3:15– 18). This seed is not the children of the slave girl but rather of the free woman (Gal 4:21–31), a contrast between biological and spiritual seed (Rom 9:6–9). The promised blessing of all nations is seen as fulfilled in the Christian church as the Spirit received by the Gentiles by faith (Gal 4:13). Thus the Abrahamic promises and covenant are used by Paul to include the Gentiles among the people of God. Other New Testament References. The rest of the NT [NT NT. New Testament] shares some of the emphasis of Paul. Though lacking the Pauline focus on the Gentiles, several passages share with Paul the thought that the physical seed of Abraham does not equal spiritual seed (Mt 3:8–9; Lk 3:8; Jn 8:33–58). Similarly, Hebrews 11:8–19 gives us a picture of Abraham as a hero of faith in a manner similar to passages in Romans and Galatians. Elsewhere the NT [NT NT. New Testament] expands the image of Abraham beyond Pauline limits. While Hebrews 11 expresses Abraham’s faith similar to Pauline passages, James 2:18–26 is distinct. As with Hebrews 11, the focus is on the sacrifice of Isaac on Moriah, and as with Paul there is a particular interest in Gen 15:6; but the faithful obedience of Abraham is inseparable from his faith and is seen as the expression of it. In fact, as James relentlessly pursues his theme that faith without works is dead, he actually reaches the conclusion that Abraham was justified by works as well as faith. As in the OT [OT OT. Old Testament] the NT [NT NT. New Testament] uses Abraham in epithets that identify God (Mt 22:32; Mk 12:26; Lk 20:37; Acts 3:13; 7:32), and Abraham is pictured as the progenitor of the Hebrew race (Mt 1:1, 2, 17; Lk 3:34; Acts 7:2–8, 16, 17; 13:26; 19:9; Heb 2:16). Additionally, Abraham is viewed in Luke 1:54–55, 67–79 as the foundation for benefits on his descendants. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 61 of 3291 In the Gospels the promise of seed is defined as spiritual seed. This promise is important to the picture of Abraham as the father of faith in Hebrews (Heb 6:13–15; 11:11–12, 17– 19), as is the promise of land (Heb 11:8–10, 13–16), which is also seen as spiritual in fulfillment. Christ as the ultimate seed of Abraham is legitimized by his connection to the patriarch (Mt 1:1, 17; Lk 3:34) although Christ is seen as transcending Abraham (Jn 8:39–58). The blessing of the Gentiles is highlighted in Acts 3:25. But in contrast to Paul, Peter is citing Genesis 22:18 rather than Genesis 12:3, and his speech is focused more on the privileged position of the Jews in Jerusalem on that day than the result on the Gentiles. Finally, some minor uses of Abraham include Peter’s mention of Sarah’s obedience to Abraham (1 Pet 3:6), Jesus’ reference to Abraham as an eschatological figure in whose bosom the righteous dead rest (Mt 8:11; Lk 13:28; 16:22–25, 29–30) and the connection with Melchizedek in Hebrews 7:1– 9 to argue for the superiority of Christ to Aaron. See also Covenant; Genesis; Seed. Bibliography. G. W. Hansen, Abraham in Galatians: Epistolary and Rhetorical Contexts (Sheffield: JSOT, 1989); R. A. Harrisville, The Figure of Abraham in the Epistles of St. Paul: In the Footsteps of Abraham (San Francisco: Mellen Research University Press, 1992); G. E. Mendenhall, “The Nature and Purpose of the Abraham Narrative,” in Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross, ed. [ed. ed.. edition; editor(s); edited by] P. D. Miller, P. D. Hanson and S. D. McBride (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987) 337–56; A. T. Lincoln, “Abraham Goes to Rome: Paul’s Treatment of Abraham in Romans 4, ” in Worship, Theology and Ministry in the Early Church, ed. [ed. ed.. edition; editor (s); edited by] M. J. Wilkins and T. Paige (Sheffield: JSOT, file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 62 of 3291 1992); S. Sandmel, Philo’s Place in Judaism: A Study of Conceptions of Abraham in Jewish Literature (augmented edition) (New York: KTAV, 1971); J. Van Seters, Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1975). ABRAHAM’S BOSOM The term bosom (sometimes also rendered “lap” or “side”) translates several Hebrew words and one Greek word. In most cases in both languages the image connoted is of a warm, secure place in which one lies or is carried (e.g. [e.g. e.g.. for example] , Num 11:12; Ruth 4:16; Is 40:11; 49:22; Mic 7:5; Jn 1:18; 13:23). Occasionally it represents the seat of internal thought or emotion (e.g. [e.g. e.g.. for example] , Job 19:27; Eccles 7:9; Ps 79:12; Prov 21:14). The more specific phrase “Abraham’s bosom” occurs only twice in the Bible, both in Jesus’ parable about the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19–31). Abraham’s bosom is the warm, secure place of high honor-since Abraham was the father of the Jews-where the poor beggar Lazarus is taken by the angels at his death, in contrast to the rich man who had ignored Lazarus in life, who ended up in “Hades” (Lk 16:23 RSV [RSV RSV. Revised Standard Version] ). The two places are distinguished from each other, and there is a great gulf that cannot be crossed between the two (Lk 16:23, 26). The origin of the imagery is much discussed, but it probably combines the idea of John 13:23 of a guest’s place of honor at a banquet, where the guest would recline next to the table with his head near or touching the host (cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Jn 21:20) with the idea of a child lying in a parent’s bosom or lap (see Jn 1:18, where Jesus is in his Father’s bosom). Because of the distinction in Jesus’ parable between file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 63 of 3291 Abraham’s bosom and Hades (or hell), the term has been understood as a synonym for paradise or heaven, and it has been used as such in Western literature (Jeffrey, 11). The image also found its way into a well-known spiritual, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham,” with essentially the same meaning. See also Afterlife; Heaven. Bibliography. “Abraham’s Bosom,” DBTEL [DBTEL DBTEL. Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature] 11. ABSALOM Although we may not remember his name or deeds, most of us will never forget the astonishing picture of Absalom: arms flailing, mule slipping out from under him, long hair held fast in the unrelenting clutches of a great oak. Absalom has his hair cut annually, each haircut yielding 200 shekels (about 5 pounds) of hair (2 Sam 14:26). Absalom was King David’s third son. Scripture records two main incidents from his life. In the first his half-brother Amnon (David’s first-born) rapes his sister Tamar and then throws her out of his chamber in utter humiliation and shame. This double offense leads to Absalom’s killing Amnon before all their brothers two years later. The second event is Absalom’s conspiracy and unsuccessful attempt to usurp David’s throne. When this conflict culminates in battle, Absalom meets his end “hanging between heaven and earth.” Technically, he is caught by his head, not his hair (2 Sam 18:9), and is killed by Joab’s spears, not the tree (2 Sam 18:14). From these accounts Absalom emerges as a ruthless and calculating individual. His essences are vengeance, greed and power fixation. (Ironically, his name means “the father of peace”). His crimes of murder and conspiracy were long file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 64 of 3291 premeditated-years in each case. Yet David’s affection for Absalom was so great that in his grief he wailed, “If only I had died instead of you-O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Sam 18:33). ABUNDANCE Abundance in the Bible is of two types-physical, or earthly, and spiritual. The two are interrelated, for earthly abundance is consistently portrayed as a blessing from God, who gives it as a reward for covenant keeping or simply out of grace. On a spiritual level the vocabulary of abundance is related to such large and overriding issues as salvation, miracles, reward, evil and honor to God. References are found in both Testaments, and some images recur as themes in both. Overall, images of abundance are used in the Bible primarily as a means of inspiring worship or of encouraging obedience to God. Physical Abundance. We could predict that images of abundance in an agrarian society would lean heavily in the direction of nature, crops, weather, livestock, produce and food. The Bible confirms this. At a physical level, abundance is associated with grain (Gen 41:49), water (Num 24:7; Deut 28:47), cattle and sheep (1 Kings 1:19), produce (1 Chron 12:40; Neh 9:25), food (Job 36:31; Ps 78:25), rain (Pss 65:10; 104:16) and crops (Prov 14:4). At a more commercial level, abundance is associated with building materials (2 Chron 11:23), money (2 Chron 24:11), riches (Ps 49:6; 52:7), jewels (Prov 20:15) and mercantile goods (Ezek 27:16). In the martial world of the OT [OT OT. Old Testament] , the spoils of war (2 Chron 20:25) and a supply of weapons (2 Chron 32:5) can be abundant. The OT [OT OT. Old Testament] counterpart of the American dream of a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot is inviting a neighbor to sit under one’s own vine and fig tree (Zech 3:10). file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 65 of 3291 In keeping with the whole orientation of the Bible to place human and earthly life against a backdrop of spiritual reality, images of physical abundance are often linked to God’s blessing on righteousness. In Deuteronomy God promises abundant blessings to the children of Israel if they obey, but punishment if they disobey. He brings the nation to the “good and spacious land” of Canaan, “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Ex 3:8 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ) where if they please God, “the Lord will open … his rich storehouse, the heavens” to give blessings to them (Deut 28:12 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). However, if they do not return thanks by serving “the Lord [their] God joyfully and with gladness of heart for the abundance of everything,” God will give this abundant blessing to be enjoyed by other peoples (Deut 28:47–68). Such a thing happened when both the Babylonians and the Persians took over Israel after Israel’s disobedience. To King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Israel’s conqueror, God gave great power, providing him with “the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory,” so that “wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, he has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all” (Dan 2:37–38 NASB [NASB NASB. New American Standard Bible] ). Similar power and luxury were given to King Xerxes of Persia, who threw a lavish party to display “the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty.” The banquet is described as being held on “couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and colored stones,” where drinks in golden vessels served vast amounts of wine (Esther 1:4–7 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). However, before the children of Israel disobeyed, God did file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 66 of 3291 bless them abundantly, especially through Solomon, the son of David who had pleased God so much with his heart for God. It pleased God greatly that Solomon asked for wisdom instead of riches, so God promised to bless him. He “gave Solomon wisdom, discernment, and breadth of mind as vast as the sand that is on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). In addition, however, God promised to also give him what he did not ask for, namely, “both riches and honor all your life; no other king shall compare with you” (1 Kings 3:13 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). The country itself also had a share in that blessing, becoming “as numerous as the sand by the sea; they ate and drank and were happy” (1 Kings 4:20 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). In response to God’s great blessings, Solomon responded properly by giving back to God as abundantly as he had received. Following his father’s covenant with God that his son would build a house for God, Solomon constructed an elaborate temple in which nearly every article was overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:21–22). The riches with which the temple was decorated were so elaborate that “Solomon left all the utensils unweighed, because there were so many of them; the weight of the bronze was not determined” (1 Kings 7:47 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). Then the temple was dedicated with an elaborate ceremony in which many people gathered to witness the sacrificing of so many sheep and oxen that “they could not be counted or numbered” (1 Kings 8:5). God responded faithfully, expressing his pleasure by filling the house of the Lord with such an intense cloud of his presence that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, “for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10–11 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). Thus, God demonstrated that he rewarded file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 67 of 3291 obedience with abundant blessing. God’s Abundant Kingdom. One of the chief uses of images of abundance occurs in God’s references to his chosen people and all that he promises them. Although images of abundance occur in reference to how God’s people will be blessed if they obey, they also occur in reference to the numbers of God’s chosen people. When God promises Abraham that he will make him the father of many nations, he explains the number of his descendants in terms of plenty. God declares, “Count the stars, if you are able to count them.… So shall your descendants be” (Gen 15:5 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). The beginning of this proliferation of Israelite people happens in Egypt, when the seventy people who followed Joseph into Egypt became a large number because they were “fruitful, and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them” (Ex 1:7 RSV [RSV RSV. Revised Standard Version] ). Thus, God begins to fulfill his promise to make Abraham’s descendants abundant in number. In the NT [NT NT. New Testament] , God promises similarly that many are waiting to be saved. Looking out at the multitudes of people who were longingly seeking truth, Jesus commented to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Mt 9:37–8 NASB [NASB NASB. New American Standard Bible] ). In John, Jesus observes similarly that the fields “are white for harvest” (Jn 4:35). Therefore, God promises the believer hoping to evangelize that there are an abundance of people waiting to become children of God. Spiritual Meanings. The imagery of an abundant harvest also appears in the Bible as a metaphor for spiritual realities. On the negative side the great wickedness of the earth is file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 68 of 3291 sometimes portrayed with the imagery of abundance. In the time of Noah “the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth” (Gen 6:5 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). Joel speaks of wickedness as ripening the human race for the last judgment: “Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great” (Joel 3:13 NRSV [NRSV NRSV. New Revised Standard Version] ). The picture of Babylon in Revelation 18:11–13 is couched in the imagery of abundance symbolic of the fullness of evil on the earth, and the sins of Babylon are “heaped high as heaven” (Rev 18:5). More often, though, the imagery of abundance is reserved for spiritual goodness. God’s steadfast love (Ps 5:7; 69:13) and goodness (Ps 31:19; 145:7) are both abundant. So is his mercy (Ps 51:1; 69:16) and power (Ps 147:5). Isaiah speaks rapturously of the abundance of God’s “salvation, wisdom, and knowledge” (Is 33:6). In the spiritualized world of the NT [NT NT. New Testament] we are not surprised to read about “abundance of grace” (Rom 5:17), abundant consolation through Christ (2 Cor 1:5), an apostle’s “abundant love” for one of his churches (1 Cor 2:4), “abundant joy” (2 Cor 8:2), faith that “is growing abundantly” (2 Thess 1:3), and such Christian virtues as grace, peace, mercy and love that exist “in abundance” (2 Pet 1:2; Jude 2). Jesus and the Abundant Life. The imagery of abundance is also a special feature of the earthly life and ministry and teaching of Jesus, who says, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10 KJV [KJV KJV. King James Version (Authorized Version)] ). We find the imagery of abundance in the miracles Jesus performed, symbolic of the magnitude of the promised blessings that Jesus was able to provide. When confronted with a hungry multitude of people, Jesus file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 69 of 3291 transformed five loaves and two fishes into enough food to feed five thousand men along with additional women and children (Mt 14:15–21). In fact, there was such abundance that afterward twelve baskets of leftovers were collected. Similarly, when the disciples could catch no fish on their own, Jesus commanded them to put their nets down into deep water, where they surprisingly caught so many fish that their nets began to break, and they filled two boats “so that they began to sink” (Lk 5:4–7). In his parables, too, Jesus was fond of images of abundancea hundredfold harvest, a mustard seed that becomes a tree reaching into heaven and providing habitation for birds, a messianic banquet, stewards who double their master’s investment. Heavenly Abundance. The crowning example of abundance appears in Revelation 21:9–27, where John describes the city of New Jerusalem that God has prepared for those who know him. The great glory of God gives her a brilliance “like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper” (Rev 21:11; see Jewels and Precious Stones). It is 1500 miles long and appears like “pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev 21:16, 18). The foundation of the city wall is equally beautiful, being “adorned with every kind of precious stone”: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, amethyst (Rev 21:19–20). Thus this passage predicts the consummation of the many promises of the Bible: abundant blessings await those who have faithfully obeyed God. See also Banquet; Blessing, Blessedness; Fill, Fullness; Harvest; Land Flowing With Milk And Honey; Paradise; Storehouse. ACTS OF THE APOSTLES The book of the Acts of the Apostles is a tale of two citiesfile://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\BIB.HTM 5/13/2007 Page 70 of 3291 Jerusalem and Rome (and we can note in passing that the world of the book of Acts is a largely urban world, in contrast to the prevailing agrarian world of the Bible up to this point). The narrative begins with Peter and the disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and ends with Paul under house arrest in Rome. Of course these cities are symbolic as well as literal: Jerusalem symbolizes the Jewish context for the genesis of Christianity; Rome, the Gentile world to which the gospel would be taken. The geographical transfer is also a theological transfer from Hebraism to Christianity. As the narrative moves from Jerusalem to Rome, simultaneous antithetical impulses are at work. The story begins with a group of people (Peter and the disciples) but ends with one individual (Paul), while at the same time the number of converts increases from few to many. The effect is one of simultaneous contraction (in the number of protagonists) and expansion (in the number of converts). In this narrative that connects Jerusalem and Rome, Luke characteristically patterns his sto