Bible Dictionary


Ucal: the name of a person to whom Agur's words are addressed (Prov. 30:1).

Ulai: the Eulaus of the Greeks; a river of Susiana. It was probably the eastern branch of the Choasper (Kerkhan), which divided into two branches some 20 miles above the city of Susa. Hence Daniel (8:2,16) speaks of standing 'between the banks of Ulai', i.e., between the two streams of the divided river.

Ummah: vicinity, a town of Asher (Josh. 19:30).

Unction: (1 John 2:20,27; R.V., 'anointing'). Kings, prophets, and priests were anointed, in token of receiving divine grace. All believers are, in a secondary sense, what Christ was in a primary sense, 'the Lord's anointed.'

Unicorn: described as an animal of great ferocity and strength (Num. 23:22, R.V., 'wild ox,' marg., 'ox-antelope;' 24:8; Isa. 34:7, R.V., 'wild oxen'), and untamable (Job 39:9). It was in reality a two-horned animal; but the exact reference of the word so rendered (reem) is doubtful. Some have supposed it to be the buffalo; others, the white antelope, called by the Arabs rim. Most probably, however, the word denotes the Bos primigenius ('primitive ox'), which is now extinct all over the world. This was the auerochs of the Germans, and the urus described by Caesar (Gal. Bel., vi.28) as inhabiting the Hercynian forest. The word thus rendered has been found in an Assyrian inscription written over the wild ox or bison, which some also suppose to be the animal intended (comp. Deut. 33:17; Ps. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10).

Unni: afficted. (1.) A Levite whom David appointed to take part in bringing the ark up to Jerusalem from the house of Obed-edom by playing the psaltery on that occasion (1 Chr. 15:18, 20).

Upharsin: and they divide, one of the words written by the mysterious hand on the wall of Belshazzar's palace (Dan. 5:25). It is a pure Chaldean word. 'Peres' is only a simple form of the same word.

Uphaz: probably another name for Ophir (Jer. 10:9). Some, however, regard it as the name of an Indian colony in Yemen, southern Arabia; others as a place on or near the river Hyphasis (now the Ghana), the south-eastern limit of the Punjaub.

Ur: light, or the moon city, a city 'of the Chaldees,' the birthplace of Haran (Gen. 11:28,31), the largest city of Shinar or northern Chaldea, and the principal commercial centre of the country as well as the centre of political power. It stood near the mouth of the Euphrates, on its western bank, and is represented by the mounds (of bricks cemented by bitumen) of el-Mugheir, i.e., 'the bitumined,' or 'the town of bitumen,' now 150 miles from the sea and some 6 miles from the Euphrates, a little above the point where it receives the Shat el-Hie, an affluent from the Tigris. It was formerly a maritime city, as the waters of the Persian Gulf reached thus far inland. Ur was the port of Babylonia, whence trade was carried on with the dwellers on the gulf, and with the distant countries of India, Ethiopia, and Egypt. It was abandoned about B.C. 500, but long continued, like Erech, to be a great sacred cemetery city, as is evident from the number of tombs found there. (See ABRAHAM

Uriah: the Lord is my light. (1.) A Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba, whom David first seduced, and then after Uriah's death married. He was one of the band of David's 'mighty men.' The sad story of the curel wrongs inflicted upon him by David and of his mournful death are simply told in the sacred record (2 Sam. 11:2-12:26). (See BATHSHEBA; DAVID.)

Uriel: God is my light. (1.) A Levite of the family of Kohath (1 Chr. 6:24).

Urijah: the lord is my light. (1.) A high priest in the time of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:10-16), at whose bidding he constructed an idolatrous altar like one the king had seen at Damascus, to be set up instead of the brazen altar.

Urim: lights (Vulg.'doctrina;' LXX. 'revelation'). See THUMMIM

Usury: the sum paid for the use of money, hence interest; not, as in the modern sense, exorbitant interest. The Jews were forbidden to exact usury (Lev. 25:36, 37), only, however, in their dealings with each other (Deut. 23:19, 20). The violation of this law was viewed as a great crime (Ps. 15:5; Prov. 28:8; Jer. 15:10). After the Return, and later, this law was much neglected (Neh. 5:7, 10).

Uz: fertile land. (1.) The son of Aram, and grandson of Shem (Gen. 10:23; 1 Chr. 1:17).

Uz, The land of: where Job lived (1:1; Jer. 25:20; Lam. 4:21), probably somewhere to the east or south-east of Palestine and north of Edom. It is mentioned in Scripture only in these three passages.

Uzal: a wanderer, a descendant of Joktan (Gen. 10:27; 1 Chr. 1:21), the founder apparently of one of the Arab tribes; the name also probably of the province they occupied and of their chief city.

Uzza: strengh, a garden in which Manasseh and Amon were buried (2 Kings 21:18, 26). It was probably near the king's palace in Jerusalem, or may have formed part of the palace grounds. Manasseh may probably have acquired it from some one of this name.

Uzzah: strength, a son of Abinadab, in whose house the men of Kirjath-jearim placed the ark when it was brought back from the land of the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:1). He with his brother Ahio drove the cart on which the ark was placed when David sought to bring it up to Jerusalem. When the oxen stumbled, Uzzah, in direct violation of the divine law (Num. 4:15), put forth his hand to steady the ark, and was immediately smitten unto death. The place where this occurred was henceforth called Perez-uzzah (1 Chr. 13:11). David on this feared to proceed further, and placed the ark in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite (2 Sam. 6:2-11; 1 Chr. 13:6-13).

Uzzen-sherah: a town probably near Beth-horon. It derived its name from the daughter of Ephraim (1 Chr. 7:24).

Uzzi: the Lord is my strength. (1.) The son of Bukki, and a descendant of Aaron (1 Chr. 6:5, 51; Ezra 7:4).

Uzziah: a contracted form of Azari'ah the Lord is my strength. (1.) One of Amaziah's sons, whom the people made king of Judah in his father's stead (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chr. 26:1). His long reign of about fifty-two years was 'the most prosperous excepting that of Jehosaphat since the time of Solomon.' He was a vigorous and able ruler, and 'his name spread abroad, even to the entering in of Egypt' (2 Chr. 26:8, 14). In the earlier part of his reign, under the influence of Zechariah, he was faithful to Jehovah, and 'did that which was right in the sight of the Lord' (2 Kings 15:3; 2 Chr. 26:4, 5); but toward the close of his long life 'his heart was lifted up to his destruction,' and he wantonly invaded the priest's office (2 Chr. 26:16), and entering the sanctuary proceeded to offer incense on the golden altar. Azariah the high priest saw the tendency of such a daring act on the part of the king, and with a band of eighty priests he withstood him (2 Chr. 26:17), saying, 'It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense.' Uzziah was suddenly struck with leprosy while in the act of offering incense (26:19-21), and he was driven from the temple and compelled to reside in 'a several house' to the day of his death (2 Kings 15:5, 27; 2 Chr. 26:3). He was buried in a separate grave 'in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings' (2 Kings 15:7; 2 Chr. 26:23). 'That lonely grave in the royal necropolis would eloquently testify to coming generations that all earthly monarchy must bow before the inviolable order of the divine will, and that no interference could be tolerated with that unfolding of the purposes of God, which, in the fulness of time, would reveal the Christ, the true High Priest and King for evermore' (Dr. Green's Kingdom of Israel, etc.).

Uzziel: strength of God. (1.) One of the sons of Kohath, and uncle of Aaron (Ex. 6:18; Lev. 10:4).