Bible Dictionary


Naam: pleasantness, one of the three sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).

Naamah: the beautiful. (1.) The daughter of Lamech and Zillah (Gen. 4: 22).

Naaman: pleasantness, a Syrian, the commander of the armies of Benhadad II. in the time of Joram, king of Israel. He was afflicted with leprosy; and when the little Hebrew slave-girl that waited on his wife told her of a prophet in Samaria who could cure her master, he obtained a letter from Benhadad and proceeded with it to Joram. The king of Israel suspected in this some evil design against him, and rent his clothes. Elisha the prophet hearing of this, sent for Naaman, and the strange interview which took place is recorded in 2 Kings 5. The narrative contains all that is known of the Syrian commander. He was cured of his leprosy by dipping himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of Elisha. His cure is alluded to by our Lord (Luke 4:27).

Naamathite: the designation of Zophar, one of Job's three friends (Job 2:11; 11:1), so called from some place in Arabia, called Naamah probably.

Naarah: a girl, the second of Ashur's two wives, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 4:5, 6).

Naarai: youthful, a military chief in David's army (1 Chr. 11:37), called also Paarai (2 Sam. 23:35).

Naaran: boyish, juvenile, a town in Ephraim between Bethel and Jericho (1 Chr. 7:28).

Naarath: girl, a town on the boundary between Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:7), not far probably from Jericho, to the north (1 Chr. 7:28).

Nabal: foolish, a descendant of Caleb who dwelt at Maon (1 Sam. 25), the modern Main, 7 miles south-east of Hebron. He was 'very great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats...but the man was churlish and evil in his doings.' During his wanderings David came into that district, and hearing that Nabal was about to shear his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to ask 'whatsoever cometh unto thy hand for thy servants.' Nabal insultingly resented the demand, saying, 'Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse?' (1 Sam. 25:10, 11). One of the shepherds that stood by and saw the reception David's messengers had met with, informed Abigail, Nabal's wife, who at once realized the danger that threatened her household. She forthwith proceeded to the camp of David, bringing with her ample stores of provisions (25:18). She so courteously and persuasively pled her cause that David's anger was appeased, and he said to her, 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me.'

Naboth: fruits, 'the Jezreelite,' was the owner of a portion of ground on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel (2 Kings 9:25, 26). This small 'plat of ground' seems to have been all he possessed. It was a vineyard, and lay 'hard by the palace of Ahab' (1 Kings 21:1, 2), who greatly coveted it. Naboth, however, refused on any terms to part with it to the king. He had inherited it from his fathers, and no Israelite could lawfully sell his property (Lev. 25:23). Jezebel, Ahab's wife, was grievously offended at Naboth's refusal to part with his vineyard. By a crafty and cruel plot she compassed his death. His sons also shared his fate (2 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 21:19). She then came to Ahab and said, 'Arise, take possession of the vineyard; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.' Ahab arose and went forth into the garden which had so treacherously and cruelly been acquired, seemingly enjoying his new possession, when, lo, Elijah suddenly appeared before him and pronounced against him a fearful doom (1 Kings 21:17-24). Jehu and Bidcar were with Ahab at this time, and so deeply were the words of Elijah imprinted on Jehu's memory that many years afterwards he refers to them (2 Kings 9:26), and he was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and Jezebel and all their house (9:30-37). The house of Ahab was extinguished by him. Not one of all his great men and his kinsfolk and his priests did Jehu spare (10:11).

Nachon: prepared, the owner of a thrashing-floor near which Uzzah was slain (2 Sam. 6:6); called also Chidon (1 Chr. 13:9).

Nadab: liberal, generous. (1.) The eldest of Aaron's four sons (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2). He with his brothers and their father were consecrated as priests of Jehovah (Ex. 28:1). He afterwards perished with Abihu for the sin of offering strange fire on the altar of burnt-offering (Lev. 10:1,2; Num. 3:4; 26:60).

Nagge: illuminating, one of the ancestors of Christ in the maternal line (Luke 3:25).

Nahaliel: possession, or valley of God, one of the encampments of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:19), on the confines of Moab. This is identified with the ravine of the Zerka M'ain, the ancient Callirhoe, the hot springs on the east of the Jordan, not far from the Dead Sea.

Nahallal: pasture, a city in Zebulun on the border of Issachar (Josh. 19:15), the same as Nahalol (Judg. 1:30). It was given to the Levites. It has been by some identified with Malul in the plain of Esdraelon, 4 miles from Nazareth.

Naharai: snorer, a Berothite, one of David's heroes, and armour-bearer of Joab (1 Chr. 11:39).

Nahash: serpent. (1.) King of the Ammonites in the time of Saul. The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead having been exposed to great danger from Nahash, sent messengers to Gibeah to inform Saul of their extremity. He promptly responded to the call, and gathering together an army he marched against Nahash. 'And it came to pass that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them [the Ammonites] were not left together' (1 Sam. 11:1-11).

Nahath: rest. (1.) One of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:13, 17). (2.) A Kohathite Levite (1 Chr. 6:26). (3.) A Levite, one of the overseers of the sacred offerings of the temple (2 Chr. 31:13).

Nahbi: hidden, one of the twelve spies sent out to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:14).

Nahor: snorting. (1.) The father of Terah, who was the father of Abraham (Gen. 11:22-25; Luke 3:34).

Nahshon: sorcerer, the son of Aminadab, and prince of the children of Judah at the time of the first numbering of the tribes in the wilderness (Ex. 6:23). His sister Elisheba was the wife of Aaron. He died in the wilderness (Num. 26:64, 65). His name occurs in the Greek form Naasson in the genealogy of Christ (Matt, 1:4; Luke 3:32).

Nahum: consolation, the seventh of the so-called minor prophets, an Elkoshite. All we know of him is recorded in the book of his prophecies. He was probably a native of Galilee, and after the deportation of the ten tribes took up his residence in Jerusalem. Others think that Elkosh was the name of a place on the east bank of the Tigris, and that Nahum dwelt there.

Nahum, Book of: Nahum prophesied, according to some, in the beginning of the reign of Ahaz (B.C. 743). Others, however, think that his prophecies are to be referred to the latter half of the reign of Hezekiah (about B.C. 709). This is the more probable opinion, internal evidences leading to that conclusion. Probably the book was written in Jerusalem (soon after B.C. 709), where he witnessed the invasion of Sennacherib and the destruction of his host (2 Kings 19:35).

Nail: for fastening. (1.) Hebrew yathed, 'piercing,' a peg or nail of any material (Ezek. 15:3), more especially a tent-peg (Ex. 27:19; 35:18; 38:20), with one of which Jael (q.v.) pierced the temples of Sisera (Judg. 4:21, 22). This word is also used metaphorically (Zech. 10:4) for a prince or counsellor, just as 'the battle-bow' represents a warrior.

Nain: (from Heb. nain, 'green pastures,' 'lovely'), the name of a town near the gate of which Jesus raised to life a widow's son (Luke 7:11-17). It is identified with the village called Nein, standing on the north-western slope of Jebel ed-Duhy (=the 'hill Moreh' = 'Little hermon'), about 4 miles from Tabor and 25 southwest of Capernaum. At the foot of the slope on which it stands is the great plain of Esdraelon.

Naioth: dwellings, the name given to the prophetical college established by Samuel near Ramah. It consisted of a cluster of separate dwellings, and hence its name. David took refuge here when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 19:18, 19, 22, 23), and here he passed a few weeks in peace (comp. Ps. 11). It was probably the common residence of the 'sons of the prophets.'

Naked: This word denotes (1) absolute nakedness (Gen. 2:25; Job 1:21; Eccl. 5:15; Micah 1:8; Amos 2:16); (2) being poorly clad (Isa. 58:7; James 2:15). It denotes also (3) the state of one who has laid aside his loose outer garment (Lat. nudus), and appears clothed only in a long tunic or under robe worn next the skin (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 47:3; comp. Mark 14:52; John 21:7). It is used figuratively, meaning 'being discovered' or 'made manifest' (Job 26:6; Heb. 4:13). In Ex. 32:25 the expression 'the people were naked' (A.V.) is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version 'the people were broken loose', i.e., had fallen into a state of lawlessness and insubordination. In 2 Chr. 28:19 the words 'he made Judah naked' (A.V.), but Revised Version 'he had dealt wantonly in Judah,' mean 'he had permitted Judah to break loose from all the restraints of religion.'

Naomi: the lovable; my delight, the wife of Elimelech, and mother of Mahlon and Chilion, and mother-in-law of Ruth (1:2, 20, 21; 2:1). Elimelech and his wife left the district of Bethlehem-Judah, and found a new home in the uplands of Moab. In course of time he died, as also his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, who had married women of Moab, and three widows were left mourning the loss of their husbands. Naomi longs to return now to her own land, to Bethlehem. One of her widowed daughters-in-law, Ruth, accompanies her, and is at length married to Boaz (q.v.).

Naphish: refresher, one of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15; 1 Chr. 1:31). He was the father of an Arab tribe.

Naphtali: my wrestling, the fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid (Gen. 30:8). When Jacob went down into Egypt, Naphtali had four sons (Gen. 46:24). Little is known of him as an individual.

Naphtali, Mount: the mountainous district of Naphtali (Josh. 20:7).

Naphtali, Tribe of: On this tribe Jacob pronounced the patriarchal blessing, 'Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words' (Gen. 49:21). It was intended thus to set forth under poetic imagery the future character and history of the tribe.

Naphtuhim: a Hamitic tribe descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13). Others identify this word with Napata, the name of the city and territory on the southern frontier of Mizraim, the modern Meroe, at the great bend of the Nile at Soudan. This city was the royal residence, it is said, of Queen Candace (Acts 8:27). Here there are extensive and splendid ruins.

Napkin: (Gr. soudarion, John 11:44; 20:7; Lat. sudarium, a 'sweat-cloth'), a cloth for wiping the sweat from the face. But the word is used of a wrapper to fold money in (Luke 19:20), and as an article of dress, a 'handkerchief' worn on the head (Acts 19:12).

Narcissus: daffodil, a Roman whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:11). He is supposed to have been the private secretary of the emperor Claudius. This is, however, quite uncertain.

Nathan: given. (1.) A prophet in the reigns of David and Solomon (2 Chr. 9:29). He is first spoken of in connection with the arrangements David made for the building of the temple (2 Sam. 7:2, 3, 17), and next appears as the reprover of David on account of his sin with Bathsheba (12:1-14). He was charged with the education of Solomon (12:25), at whose inauguration to the throne he took a prominent part (1 Kings 1:8, 10, 11, 22-45). His two sons, Zabad (1 Chr. 2:36) and Azariah (1 Kings 4:5) occupied places of honour at the king's court. He last appears in assisting David in reorganizing the public worship (2 Chr. 29:25). He seems to have written a life of David, and also a life of Solomon (1 Chr. 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29).

Nathanael: given or gift of God, one of our Lord's disciples, 'of Cana in Galilee' (John 21:2). He was 'an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile' (1:47, 48). His name occurs only in the Gospel of John, who in his list of the disciples never mentions Bartholomew, with whom he has consequently been identified. He was one of those to whom the Lord showed himself alive after his resurrection, at the Sea of Tiberias.

Nativity of Christ: The birth of our Lord took place at the time and place predicted by the prophets (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 7:14; Jer. 31:15; Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Dan. 9:24, 25). Joseph and Mary were providentially led to go up to Bethlehem at this period, and there Christ was born (Matt. 2:1, 6; Luke 2:1, 7). The exact year or month or day of his birth cannot, however, now be exactly ascertained. We know, however, that it took place in the 'fulness of the time' (Gal. 4:4), i.e., at the fittest time in the world's history. Chronologists are now generally agreed that the year 4 before the Christian era was the year of Christ's nativity, and consequently that he was about four years old in the year 1 A.D.

Naughty figs: (Jer. 24:2). 'The bad figs may have been such either from having decayed, and thus been reduced to a rotten condition, or as being the fruit of the sycamore, which contains a bitter juice' (Tristram, Nat. Hist.). The inferiority of the fruit is here referred to as an emblem of the rejected Zedekiah and his people.

Nazarene: This epithet (Gr. Nazaraios) is applied to Christ only once (Matt. 2:23). In all other cases the word is rendered 'of Nazareth' (Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67, etc.). When this Greek designation was at first applied to our Lord, it was meant simply to denote the place of his residence. In course of time the word became a term of reproach. Thus the word 'Nazarene' carries with it an allusion to those prophecies which speak of Christ as 'despised of men' (Isa. 53:3). Some, however, think that in this name there is an allusion to the Hebrew _netser_, which signifies a branch or sprout. It is so applied to the Messiah (Isa. 11:1), i.e., he whom the prophets called the _Netse_, the 'Branch.'

Nazareth: separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew _netser_, a 'shoot' or 'sprout.' Some, however, think that the name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Palestine is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew _notserah_, i.e., one guarding or watching, thus designating the hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region.

Nazarite: (Heb. form Nazirite), the name of such Israelites as took on them the vow prescribed in Num. 6:2-21. The word denotes generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson, yet it is evident that they existed before the time of Moses. The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead.

Neah: shaking, or settlement, or descent, a town on the east side of Zebulun, not far from Rimmon (Josh. 19:13).

Neapolis: new city, a town in Thrace at which Paul first landed in Europe (Acts 16:11). It was the sea-port of the inland town of Philippi, which was distant about 10 miles. From this port Paul embarked on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:6). It is identified with the modern Turco-Grecian Kavalla.

Nebaioth: height. (1.) Ishmael's eldest son (Gen. 25:13), and the prince of an Israelitish tribe (16). He had a sister, Mahalath, who was one of Esau's wives (Gen. 28:9; 36:3).

Neballat: wickedness in secret, (Neh. 11:34), probably the village of Beit Nebala, about 4 miles north of Lydda.

Nebat: sight; aspect, the father of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1 Kings 11:26, etc.).

Nebo: proclaimer; prophet. (1.) A Chaldean god whose worship was introduced into Assyria by Pul (Isa. 46:1; Jer. 48:1). To this idol was dedicated the great temple whose ruins are still seen at Birs Nimrud. A statue of Nebo found at Calah, where it was set up by Pul, king of Assyria, is now in the British Museum.

Nebuchadnezzar: in the Babylonian orthography Nabu-kudur-uzur, which means 'Nebo, protect the crown!' or the 'frontiers.' In an inscription he styles himself 'Nebo's favourite.' He was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins. He was the greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings. He married the daughter of Cyaxares, and thus the Median and Babylonian dynasties were united.

Nebuchadrezzar: =Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 21:2, 7; 22:25; 24:1, etc.), a nearer approach to the correct spelling of the word.

Nebushasban: adorer of Nebo, or Nebo saves me, the 'Rabsaris,' or chief chamberlain, of the court of Babylon. He was one of those whom the king sent to release Jeremiah from prison in Jerusalem (Jer. 39:13).

Nebuzaradan: 'the captain of the guard,' in rank next to the king, who appears prominent in directing affairs at the capture of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:8-20; Jer. 39:11; 40:2-5). He showed kindness toward Jeremiah, as commanded by Nebuchadnezzar (40:1). Five years after this he again came to Jerusalem and carried captive seven hundred and forty-five more Jews.

Necho II: an Egyptian king, the son and successor of Psammetichus (B.C. 610-594), the contemporary of Josiah, king of Judah. For some reason he proclaimed war against the king of Assyria. He led forth a powerful army and marched northward, but was met by the king of Judah at Megiddo, who refused him a passage through his territory. Here a fierce battle was fought and Josiah was slain (2 Chr. 35:20-24). Possibly, as some suppose, Necho may have brought his army by sea to some port to the north of Dor (comp. Josh. 11:2; 12:23), a Phoenician town at no great distance from Megiddo. After this battle Necho marched on to Carchemish (q.v.), where he met and conquered the Assyrian army, and thus all the Syrian provinces, including Palestine, came under his dominion.

Neck: used sometimes figuratively. To 'lay down the neck' (Rom. 16:4) is to hazard one's life. Threatenings of coming judgments are represented by the prophets by their laying bands upon the people's necks (Deut. 28:48; Isa. 10:27; Jer. 27:2). Conquerors put their feet on the necks of their enemies as a sign of their subjection (Josh. 10:24; 2 Sam. 22:41).

Necromancer: (Deut. 15:11), i.e., 'one who interrogates the dead,' as the word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets of futurity (comp. 1 Sam. 28:7). (See DIVINATION.)

Nedabiah: moved of Jehovah, one of the sons of Jeconiah (1 Chr. 3:18).

Needle: used only in the proverb, 'to pass through a needle's eye' (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Some interpret the expression as referring to the side gate, close to the principal gate, usually called the 'eye of a needle' in the East; but it is rather to be taken literally. The Hebrew females were skilled in the use of the needle (Ex. 28:39; 26:36; Judg. 5:30).

Neginah: in the title of Ps. 61, denotes the music of stringed instruments (1 Sam. 16:16; Isa. 38:20). It is the singular form of Neginoth.

Neginoth: i.e., songs with instrumental accompaniment, found in the titles of Ps. 4; 6; 54; 55; 67; 76; rendered 'stringed instruments,' Hab. 3:19, A.V. It denotes all kinds of stringed instruments, as the 'harp,' 'psaltery,' 'viol,' etc. The 'chief musician on Neginoth' is the leader of that part of the temple choir which played on stringed instruments.

Nehelamite: the name given to a false prophet Shemaiah, who went with the captives to Babylon (Jer. 29:24, 31, 32). The origin of the name is unknown. It is rendered in the marg, 'dreamer.'

Nehemiah: comforted by Jehovah. (1.) Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7. (2.) Neh. 3:16.

Nehemiah, Book of: The author of this book was no doubt Nehemiah himself. There are portions of the book written in the first person (ch. 1-7; 12:27-47, and 13). But there are also portions of it in which Nehemiah is spoken of in the third person (ch. 8; 9; 10). It is supposed that these portions may have been written by Ezra; of this, however, there is no distinct evidence. These portions had their place assigned them in the book, there can be no doubt, by Nehemiah. He was the responsible author of the whole book, with the exception of ch. 12:11, 22, 23.

Nehiloth: only in the title of Ps. 5. It is probably derived from a root meaning 'to bore,' 'perforate,' and hence denotes perforated wind instruments of all kinds. The psalm may be thus regarded as addressed to the conductor of the temple choir which played on flutes and such-like instruments.

Nehushta: copper, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem, and the wife of Jehoiakin (2 Kings 24:8), king of Judah.

Nehushtan: of copper; a brazen thing a name of contempt given to the serpent Moses had made in the wilderness (Num. 21:8), and which Hezekiah destroyed because the children of Israel began to regard it as an idol and 'burn incense to it.' The lapse of nearly one thousand years had invested the 'brazen serpent' with a mysterious sanctity; and in order to deliver the people from their infatuation, and impress them with the idea of its worthlessness, Hezekiah called it, in contempt, 'Nehushtan,' a brazen thing, a mere piece of brass (2 Kings 18:4).

Neiel: dwelling-place of God, a town in the territory of Asher, near its southern border (Josh. 19:27). It has been identified with the ruin Y'anin, near the outlet of the Wady esh Sha-ghur, less than 2 miles north of Kabul, and 16 miles east of Caesarea.

Nekeb: cavern, a town on the boundary of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). It has with probability, been identified with Seiyadeh, nearly 2 miles east of Bessum, a ruin half way between Tiberias and Mount Tabor.

Nemuel: day of God. (1.) One of Simeon's five sons (1 Chr. 4:24), called also Jemuel (Gen. 46:10). (2.) A Reubenite, a son of Eliab, and brother of Dathan and Abiram (Num. 26:9).

Nephilim: (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33, R.V.), giants, the Hebrew word left untranslated by the Revisers, the name of one of the Canaanitish tribes. The Revisers have, however, translated the Hebrew gibborim, in Gen. 6:4, 'mighty men.'

Nephtoah: opened, a fountain and a stream issuing from it on the border between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:8, 9; 18:15). It has been identified with 'Ain Lifta, a spring about 2 1/2 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Others, however, have identified it with 'Ain' Atan, on the south-west of Bethlehem, whence water is conveyed through 'Pilate's aqueduct' to the Haram area at Jerusalem.

Ner: light, the father of Kish (1 Chr. 8:33). 1 Sam. 14:51 should be read, 'Kish, the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner, were the sons of Abiel.' And hence this Kish and Ner were brothers, and Saul and Abner were first cousins (comp. 1 Chr. 9:36).

Nereus: a Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation (Rom. 16:15).

Nergal: the great dog; that is, lion, one of the chief gods of the Assyrians and Babylonians (2 Kings 17:30), the god of war and hunting. He is connected with Cutha as its tutelary deity.

Nergal-sharezer: Nergal, protect the king! (1.) One of the 'princes of the king of Babylon who accompanied him in his last expedition against Jerusalem' (Jer. 39:3, 13).

Nero: occurs only in the superscription (which is probably spurious, and is altogether omitted in the R.V.) to the Second Epistle to Timothy. He became emperor of Rome when he was about seventeen years of age (A.D. 54), and soon began to exhibit the character of a cruel tyrant and heathen debauchee. In May A.D. 64, a terrible conflagration broke out in Rome, which raged for six days and seven nights, and totally destroyed a great part of the city. The guilt of this fire was attached to him at the time, and the general verdict of history accuses him of the crime. 'Hence, to suppress the rumour,' says Tacitus (Annals, xv. 44), 'he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who are hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius; but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only throughout Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and disgraceful flow, from all quarters, as to a common receptacle, and where they are encouraged. Accordingly, first three were seized, who confessed they were Christians. Next, on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city as of hating the human race. And in their deaths they were also made the subjects of sport; for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and, when day declined, burned to serve for nocturnal lights. Nero offered his own gardens for that spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game, indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the habit of a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot; whence a feeling of compassion arose toward the sufferers, though guilty and deserving to be made examples of by capital punishment, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but victims to the ferocity of one man.' Another Roman historian, Suetonius (Nero, xvi.), says of him: 'He likewise inflicted punishments on the Christians, a sort of people who hold a new and impious superstition' (Forbes's Footsteps of St. Paul, p. 60).

Net: in use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and fowling. The fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of that used by the Egyptians (Isa. 19:8). There were three kinds of nets. (1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene), of great size, and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat, as circumstances might require (Matt. 13:47, 48). (2.) The hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron), which was thrown from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of circular form, 'like the top of a tent.' (3.) The bag-net (Gr. diktyon), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Luke 5:4-9).

Nethaneel: given of God. (1.) The son of Zuar, chief of the tribe of Issachar at the Exodus (Num. 1:8; 2:5).

Nethaniah: given of Jehovah. (1.) One of Asaph's sons, appointed by David to minister in the temple (1 Chr. 25:2, 12).

Nethinim: the name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e., 'those set apart', viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in 's', 'Nethinims;' in the Revised Version, correctly without the 's' (Ezra 2:70; 7:7, 24; 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David to the Levites (Ezra 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e., the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only 612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:58; 8:20). They were under the control of a chief from among themselves (2:43; Neh. 7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament, because it is probable that they became merged in the general body of the Jewish people.

Netophah: distillation; dropping, a town in Judah, in the neighbourhood, probably, of Bethlehem (Neh. 7:26; 1 Chr. 2:54). Two of David's guards were Netophathites (1 Chr. 27:13, 15). It has been identified with the ruins of Metoba, or Um Toba, to the north-east of Bethlehem.

Nettle: (1.) Heb. haral, 'pricking' or 'burning,' Prov. 24:30, 31 (R.V. marg., 'wild vetches'); Job 30:7; Zeph. 2:9. Many have supposed that some thorny or prickly plant is intended by this word, such as the bramble, the thistle, the wild plum, the cactus or prickly pear, etc. It may probably be a species of mustard, the Sinapis arvensis, which is a pernicious weed abounding in corn-fields. Tristram thinks that this word 'designates the prickly acanthus (Acanthus spinosus), a very common and troublesome weed in the plains of Palestine.'

New Moon, Feast of: Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month (Num. 28:11-15; 10:10). (See FESTIVALS.)

New Testament: (Luke 22:20), rather 'New Covenant,' in contrast to the old covenant of works, which is superseded. 'The covenant of grace is called new; it succeeds to the old broken covenant of works. It is ever fresh, flourishing, and excellent; and under the gospel it is dispensed in a more clear, spiritual, extensive, and powerful manner than of old' (Brown of Haddington). Hence is derived the name given to the latter portion of the Bible. (See TESTAMENT.)

Neziah: victory; pure, Ezra 2:54; Neh. 7:56.

Nezib: a town in the 'plain' of Judah. It has been identified with Beit Nuzib, about 14 miles south-west of Jerusalem, in the Wady Sur (Josh. 15:43).

Nibhaz: barker, the name of an idol, supposed to be an evil demon of the Zabians. It was set up in Samaria by the Avites (2 Kings 17:31), probably in the form of a dog.

Nibshan: fertile; light soil, a city somewhere 'in the wilderness' of Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably near Engedi.

Nicanor: conqueror, one of the seven deacons appointed in the apostolic Church (Acts 6:1-6). Nothing further is known of him.

Nicodemus: the people is victor, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of being 'born again.' He is next met with in the Sanhedrin (7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him. There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.

Nicolaitanes: The church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:6) is commended for hating the 'deeds' of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is blamed for having them who hold their 'doctrines' (15). They were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness, thus abusing Paul's doctrine of grace (comp. 2 Pet. 2:15, 16, 19), and were probably identical with those who held the doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Rev. 2:14.

Nicolas: the victory of the people, a proselyte of Antioch, one of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5).

Nicopolis: city of victory, where Paul intended to winter (Titus 3:12). There were several cities of this name. The one here referred to was most probably that in Epirus, which was built by Augustus Caesar to commemorate his victory at the battle of Actium (B.C. 31). It is the modern Paleoprevesa, i.e., 'Old Prevesa.' The subscription to the epistle to Titus calls it 'Nicopolis of Macedonia', i.e., of Thrace. This is, however, probably incorrect.

Niger: black, a surname of Simeon (Acts 13:1). He was probably so called from his dark complexion.

Night-hawk: (Heb. tahmas) occurs only in the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15). This was supposed to be the night-jar (Caprimulgus), allied to the swifts. The Hebrew word is derived from a root meaning 'to scratch or tear the face,' and may be best rendered, in accordance with the ancient versions, 'an owl' (Strix flammea). The Revised Version renders 'night-hawk.'

Nile: dark; blue, not found in Scripture, but frequently referred to in the Old Testament under the name of Sihor, i.e., 'the black stream' (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18) or simply 'the river' (Gen. 41:1; Ex. 1:22, etc.) and the 'flood of Egypt' (Amos 8:8). It consists of two rivers, the White Nile, which takes its rise in the Victoria Nyanza, and the Blue Nile, which rises in the Abyssinian Mountains. These unite at the town of Khartoum, whence it pursues its course for 1,800 miles, and falls into the Mediterranean through its two branches, into which it is divided a few miles north of Cairo, the Rosetta and the Damietta branch. (See EGYPT.)

Nimrah: pure, a city on the east of Jordan (Num. 32:3); probably the same as Beth-nimrah (Josh. 13:27). It has been identified with the Nahr Nimrin, at one of the fords of Jordan, not far from Jericho.

Nimrim, Waters of: the stream of the leopards, a stream in Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer. 48:34); probably the modern Wady en-Nemeirah, a rich, verdant spot at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea.

Nimrod: firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who claimed to be a 'mighty one in the earth.' Babel was the beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged (Gen. 10:8-10). The 'land of Nimrod' (Micah 5:6) is a designation of Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it.

Nimshi: saved. Jehu was 'the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi' (2 Kings 9:2; comp. 1 Kings 19:16).

Nineveh: First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised Version, 'He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded Nineveh.' It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city, the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36; Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah.1:14; 3:19, etc.). Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32).

Nisan: month of flowers, (Neh. 2:1) the first month of the Jewish sacred year. (See ABIB.) Assyrian nisannu, 'beginning.'

Nisroch: probably connected with the Hebrew word _nesher_, an eagle. An Assyrian god, supposed to be that represented with the head of an eagle. Sennacherib was killed in the temple of this idol (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).

Nitre: (Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., 'soda'), properly 'natron,' a substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally denotes (Jer. 2:22; R.V. 'lye').

No: or No-A'mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or Southern Egypt. 'The multitude of No' (Jer. 46:25) is more correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, 'Amon of No', i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Ezek. 30:14, 16 it is simply called 'No;' but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew Hamon prefixed to it, 'Hamon No.' This prefix is probably the name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Nah. 3:8 the 'populous No' of the Authorized Version is in the Revised Version correctly rendered 'No-Amon.'

Noadiah: meeting with the Lord. (1.) A Levite who returned from Babylon (Ezra 8:33).

Noah: rest, (Heb. Noah) the grandson of Methuselah (Gen. 5:25-29), who was for two hundred and fifty years contemporary with Adam, and the son of Lamech, who was about fifty years old at the time of Adam's death. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the second great progenitor of the human family.

Nob: high place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the history of David's wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See AHIMELECH.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been near Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh, one mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But according to Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the road to Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This identification does not meet these conditions, and hence others (as Dean Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount Olivet, the place where David 'worshipped God' when fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was the same as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16, at Nebi Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.

Nobah: howling. (1.) Num. 32:42.

Nobleman: (Gr. basilikos, i.e., 'king's man'), an officer of state (John 4:49) in the service of Herod Antipas. He is supposed to have been the Chuza, Herod's steward, whose wife was one of those women who 'ministered unto the Lord of their substance' (Luke 8:3). This officer came to Jesus at Cana and besought him to go down to Capernaum and heal his son, who lay there at the point of death. Our Lord sent him away with the joyful assurance that his son was alive.

Nod: exile; wandering; unrest, a name given to the country to which Cain fled (Gen.4:16). It lay on the east of Eden.

Nodab: noble, probably a tribe descended from one of the sons of Ishmael, with whom the trans-Jordanic tribes made war (1 Chr.5:19).

Nogah: splendour, one of David's sons, born at Jerusalem (1 Chr. 3:7).

Noph: the Hebrew name of an Egyptian city (Isa. 19:13; Jer.2:16; 44:1; 46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16). In Hos. 9:6 the Hebrew name is Moph, and is translated 'Memphis,' which is its Greek and Latin form. It was one of the most ancient and important cities of Egypt, and stood a little to the south of the modern Cairo, on the western bank of the Nile. It was the capital of Lower Egypt. Among the ruins found at this place is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. (See MEMPHIS.)

Nophah: blast, a city of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites (Num. 21:30).

North country: a general name for the countries that lay north of Palestine. Most of the invading armies entered Palestine from the north (Isa. 41:25; Jer. 1:14,15; 50:3,9,41; 51:48; Ezek. 26:7).

Northward: (Heb. tsaphon), a 'hidden' or 'dark place,' as opposed to the sunny south (Deut. 3:27). A Hebrew in speaking of the points of the compass was considered as always having his face to the east, and hence 'the left hand' (Gen. 14:15; Job 23:9) denotes the north. The 'kingdoms of the north' are Chaldea, Assyria, Media, etc.

Nose-jewels: Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47, Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of ancient female ornaments. They 'were made of ivory or metal, and occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter, and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was of gold and weighed half a shekel...At the present day the women in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in consequence.'

Numbering of the people: Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which David gave directions to Joab to make (1 Chr. 21:1). Joab very reluctantly began to carry out the king's command.

Numbers, Book of: the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew be-midbar, i.e., 'in the wilderness.' In the LXX. version it is called 'Numbers,' and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26).

Nun: Beyond the fact that he was the father of Joshua nothing more is known of him (Ex. 33:11).

Nuts: were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of conciliating Joseph (Gen. 43:11). This was the fruit of the pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of an olive. In Cant. 6:11 a different Hebrew word ('egoz), which means 'walnuts,' is used.

Nymphas: nymph, saluted by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians as a member of the church of Laodicea (Col. 4:15).