Bible Dictionary


Quaternion: a band of four soldiers. Peter was committed by Herod to the custody of four quaternions, i.e., one quaternion for each watch of the night (Acts 12:4). Thus every precaution was taken against his escape from prison. Two of each quaternion were in turn stationed at the door (12:6), and to two the apostle was chained according to Roman custom.

Queen: No explicit mention of queens is made till we read of the 'queen of Sheba.' The wives of the kings of Israel are not so designated. In Ps. 45:9, the Hebrew for 'queen' is not _malkah_, one actually ruling like the Queen of Sheba, but _shegal_, which simply means the king's wife. In 1 Kings 11:19, Pharaoh's wife is called 'the queen,' but the Hebrew word so rendered (g'birah) is simply a title of honour, denoting a royal lady, used sometimes for 'queen-mother' (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chron. 15:16). In Cant. 6:8, 9, the king's wives are styled 'queens' (Heb. melakhoth).

Queen of heaven: (Jer. 7:18; 44:17, 25), the moon, worshipped by the Assyrians as the receptive power in nature.

Quicksands: found only in Acts 27:17, the rendering of the Greek Syrtis. On the north coast of Africa were two localities dangerous to sailors, called the Greater and Lesser Syrtis. The former of these is probably here meant. It lies between Tripoli and Barca, and near Cyrene. The Lesser Syrtis lay farther to the west.

Quiver: the sheath for arrows. The Hebrew word (aspah) thus commonly rendered is found in Job 39:23; Ps. 127:5; Isa. 22:6; 49:2; Jer. 5:16; Lam. 3:13. In Gen. 27:3 this word is the rendering of the Hebrew _teli_, which is supposed rather to mean a suspended weapon, literally 'that which hangs from one', i.e., is suspended from the shoulder or girdle.

Quotations: from the Old Testament in the New, which are very numerous, are not made according to any uniform method. When the New Testament was written, the Old was not divided, as it now is, into chapters and verses, and hence such peculiarities as these: When Luke (20:37) refers to Ex. 3:6, he quotes from 'Moses at the bush', i.e., the section containing the record of Moses at the bush. So also Mark (2:26) refers to 1 Sam. 21:1-6, in the words, 'in the days of Abiathar;' and Paul (Rom. 11:2) refers to 1 Kings ch. 17-19, in the words, 'in Elias', i.e., in the portion of the history regarding Elias.

Quails: The Israelites were twice relieved in their privation by a miraculous supply of quails, (1) in the wilderness of Sin (Ex. 16:13), and (2) again at Kibroth-hattaavah (q.v.), Num. 11:31. God 'rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea' (Ps. 78:27). The words in Num. 11:31, according to the Authorized Version, appear to denote that the quails lay one above another to the thickness of two cubits above the ground. The Revised Version, however, reads, 'about two cubits above the face of the earth', i.e., the quails flew at this height, and were easily killed or caught by the hand. Being thus secured in vast numbers by the people, they 'spread them all abroad' (11:32) in order to salt and dry them.

Quarantania: a mountain some 1,200 feet high, about 7 miles north-west of Jericho, the traditional scene of our Lord's temptation (Matt. 4:8).

Quarries: (1.) The 'Royal Quarries' (not found in Scripture) is the name given to the vast caverns stretching far underneath the northern hill, Bezetha, on which Jerusalem is built. Out of these mammoth caverns stones, a hard lime-stone, have been quarried in ancient times for the buildings in the city, and for the temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel, and Herod. Huge blocks of stone are still found in these caves bearing the marks of pick and chisel. The general appearance of the whole suggests to the explorer the idea that the Phoenician quarrymen have just suspended their work. The supposition that the polished blocks of stone for Solomon's temple were sent by Hiram from Lebanon or Tyre is not supported by any evidence (comp. 1 Kings 5:8). Hiram sent masons and stone-squarers to Jerusalem to assist Solomon's workmen in their great undertaking, but did not send stones to Jerusalem, where, indeed, they were not needed, as these royal quarries abundantly testify.

Quartus: fourth, a Corinthian Christian who sent by Paul his salutations to friends at Rome (Rom. 16:23).