Bible Dictionary


Vagabond: from Lat. vagabundus, 'a wanderer,' 'a fugitive;' not used opprobriously (Gen. 4:12, R.V., 'wanderer;' Ps. 109:10; Acts 19:13, R.V., 'strolling').

Vajezatha: purity; worthy of honour, one of Haman's sons, whom the Jews slew in the palace of Shushan (Esther 9:9).

Valley: (1.) Heb. bik'ah, a 'cleft' of the mountains (Deut. 8:7; 11:11; Ps. 104:8; Isa. 41:18); also a low plain bounded by mountains, as the plain of Lebanon at the foot of Hermon around the sources of the Jordan (Josh. 11:17; 12:7), and the valley of Megiddo (2 Chr. 35:22).

Vashti: beautiful, the queen of Ahasuerus, who was deposed from her royal dignity because she refused to obey the king when he desired her to appear in the banqueting hall of Shushan the palace (Esther 1:10-12). (See ESTHER.)

Vaticanus, Codex: is said to be the oldest extant vellum manuscript. It and the Codex Sinaiticus are the two oldest uncial manuscripts. They were probably written in the fourth century. The Vaticanus was placed in the Vatican Library at Rome by Pope Nicolas V. in 1448, its previous history being unknown. It originally consisted in all probability of a complete copy of the Septuagint and of the New Testament. It is now imperfect, and consists of 759 thin, delicate leaves, of which the New Testament fills 142. Like the Sinaiticus, it is of the greatest value to Biblical scholars in aiding in the formation of a correct text of the New Testament. It is referred to by critics as Codex B.

Veil, vail: (1.) Heb. mitpahath (Ruth 3:15; marg., 'sheet' or 'apron;' R.V., 'mantle'). In Isa. 3:22 this word is plural, rendered 'wimples;' R.V., 'shawls' i.e., wraps.

Version: a translation of the holy Scriptures. This word is not found in the Bible, nevertheless, as frequent references are made in this work to various ancient as well as modern versions, it is fitting that some brief account should be given of the most important of these. These versions are important helps to the right interpretation of the Word. (See SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH

Villages: (Judg. 5:7, 11). The Hebrew word thus rendered (perazon) means habitations in the open country, unwalled villages (Deut. 3:5; 1 Sam. 6:18). Others, however, following the LXX. and the Vulgate versions, render the word 'rulers.'

Vine: one of the most important products of Palestine. The first mention of it is in the history of Noah (Gen. 9:20). It is afterwards frequently noticed both in the Old and New Testaments, and in the ruins of terraced vineyards there are evidences that it was extensively cultivated by the Jews. It was cultivated in Palestine before the Israelites took possession of it. The men sent out by Moses brought with them from the Valley of Eshcol a cluster of grapes so large that 'they bare it between two upon a staff' (Num. 13: 23). The vineyards of En-gedi (Cant. 1:14), Heshbon, Sibmah, Jazer, Elealeh (Isa. 16:8-10; Jer. 48:32, 34), and Helbon (Ezek. 27:18), as well as of Eshcol, were celebrated.

Vine of Sodom: referred to only in Deut. 32:32. Among the many conjectures as to this tree, the most probable is that it is the 'osher of the Arabs, which abounds in the region of the Dead Sea. Its fruit are the so-called 'apples of Sodom,' which, though beautiful to the eye, are exceedingly bitter to the taste. (See EN-GEDI

Vinegar: Heb. hometz, Gr. oxos, Fr. vin aigre; i.e., 'sour wine.' The Hebrew word is rendered vinegar in Ps. 69:21, a prophecy fulfilled in the history of the crucifixion (Matt. 27:34). This was the common sour wine (posea) daily made use of by the Roman soldiers. They gave it to Christ, not in derision, but from compassion, to assuage his thirst. Prov. 10:26 shows that there was also a stronger vinegar, which was not fit for drinking. The comparison, 'vinegar upon nitre,' probably means 'vinegar upon soda' (as in the marg. of the R.V.), which then effervesces.

Viol: Heb. nebel (Isa. 5:12, R.V., 'lute;' 14:11), a musical instrument, usually rendered 'psaltery' (q.v.)

Viper: In Job 20:16, Isa. 30:6; 59:5, the Heb. word eph'eh is thus rendered. The Hebrew word, however, probably denotes a species of poisonous serpents known by the Arabic name of 'el ephah. Tristram has identified it with the sand viper, a species of small size common in sandy regions, and frequently found under stones by the shores of the Dead Sea. It is rapid in its movements, and highly poisonous. In the New Testament _echidne_ is used (Matt. 3:7; 12:34; 23:33) for any poisonous snake. The viper mentioned in Acts 28:3 was probably the vipera aspis, or the Mediterranean viper. (See ADDER.)

Virgin: In a prophecy concerning our Lord, Isaiah (7:14) says, 'A virgin [R.V. marg., 'the virgin'] shall conceive, and bear a son' (comp. Luke 1:31-35). The people of the land of Zidon are thus referred to by Isaiah (23:12), 'O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon;' and of the people of Israel, Jeremiah (18:13) says, 'The virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.'

Vision: (Luke 1:22), a vivid apparition, not a dream (comp. Luke 24:23; Acts 26:19; 2 Cor. 12:1).

Vows: voluntary promises which, when once made, were to be kept if the thing vowed was right. They were made under a great variety of circumstances (Gen. 28: 18-22; Lev. 7:16; Num. 30:2-13; Deut. 23:18; Judg. 11:30, 39; 1 Sam. 1:11; Jonah 1:16; Acts 18:18; 21:23).

Vulture: (1.) Heb. da'ah (Lev. 11:14). In the parallel passage (Deut. 14:13) the Hebrew word used is _ra'ah_, rendered 'glede;' LXX., 'gups;' Vulg., 'milvus.' A species of ravenous bird, distinguished for its rapid flight. 'When used without the epithet 'red,' the name is commonly confined to the black kite. The habits of the bird bear out the allusion in Isa. 34:15, for it is, excepting during the winter three months, so numerous everywhere in Palestine as to be almost gregarious.' (See EAGLE