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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

- Matthew

by Rhoderick D. Ice


Matthew, one of the Twelve Apostles, is the author of this Gospel. He is also called Levi, and was the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14). The fact that he collected taxes for the hated occupation government of the Romans, shows that he had little feeling for the “Nationalism” of the average Jew. His history of Jesus shows more sense of “Jewishness” than the other Gospels. He writes for Jewish readers, who would be familiar with Jewish customs, Law, and society in general. The fact that he quotes from the Septuagint (Greek Version of the Old Testament) implies that he wrote this Gospel originally in the Greek Language. No certain date can be given for this Gospel, but it was before 60 A.D.

Alford (Greek Testament) says: “The whole narrative proceeds more upon a Jewish view of matters, and is concerned more to establish that point, which to a Jewish convert would be most important, namely, that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, Hence the commencement of his genealogy from Abraham and David; hence the frequent notice of the necessity of this or that event happening, because it was foretold by the prophets; hence the constant opposition of our Lord’s spiritually ethical teaching to the carnal formalistic ethics of the Scribes (teachers of the Law) and Pharisees.”




















Acts of the Apostles







I. Corinthians



II. Corinthians


















I. Thessalonians



II. Thessalonians



I. Timothy



II. Timothy















I. Peter



II. Peter



I. John



II. John



III. John










A Cubit, somewhat more than one foot nine inches English.
A Span, half a cubit, or nearly eleven inches.
A Hand-breadth, sixth part of a cubit, or a little more than three inches and a half.
A Fathom, four cubits, about seven feet three inches and a half.
A Measuring Reed, six cubits and a hand-breadth, or nearly eleven feet. This was used in measuring buildings.
A Measuring Line, fourscore cubits, about one hundred and forty-five feet eleven inches. This was used to measure grounds; hence the lines (Psalms 16:6) are taken figuratively for the inheritance itself.


A Stadium, or Furlong, nearly 146 paces.
A Sabbath Day’s Journey, about 729 paces.
An Eastern Mile, one mile and 403 paces, English measure.
A Day’s Journey, upwards of thirty-three miles and a half.
NOTE.—A pace is equal to five feet.

There were different kinds of cubits. The common cubit, called the cubit of a man (Deuteronomy 3:11), was about eighteen inches. The king’s cubit was three inches longer than the common one. The holy cubit was a yard, or two common ones.


A Shekel, near half an ounce, Troy weight.
A Maneh was sixty shekels, about two pounds and a quarter.
A Talent, three thousand shekels, or 113 pound, and upwards of ten ounces.


A Shekel of Gold, worth about


A Golden Daric, about


A Talent of Gold, about


A Shekel of Silver, about


A Bekah, half a shekel, about


A Gerah, twentieth part of a shekel


A Maneh, or Mina, fifty shekels


A Talent of Silver, 3,000 shekels, about


A Silver Drachma, about


Tribute Money, two drachms


A Piece of Silver (Stater)


A Pound (Mornai), 100 drachms


A Roman Penny (Denarious)


A Farthing (Assarium), about


Another Farthing (Quadrans); half the former.

A Mite, the half of the latter.


The Cor, or Chomer, seventy-five gallons and somewhat above five pints.
The Bath, the tenth of the chomer, or seven gallons four pints and a half.
The Hin, sixtieth or a chomer, about a gallon and a quart.
The Log, about three-fourths of a pint.
The Firkin (Metretes), somewhat more than seven pints.


The Cab, somewhat above two pints.
The Omer, above five pints.
The Seah, one peck and about half a pint.
The Ephah, three pecks and about three pints.
The Letech, about four bushels.
The Homer, about eight bushels

The Choenix (Revelation 6:6) was the daily allowance to maintain a slave. It contained about a quart, some say only a pint and a half. When this measure was sold for a denarious, or Roman penny, corn must have been above twenty shillings an English bushel, which indicates a scarcity next to a famine.


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Aaron The brother of Moses, who was chosen by God to be the chief priest in Israel (Exodus 28:1 to Exodus 30:10).

Abyss A very deep hole in the earth where, according to ancient Jewish teaching, the evil spirits are imprisoned until their final punishment.

Achala A Roman province covering what is now the southern half of Greece (the northern half of modern Greece was known as Macedonia). In this translation “Greece” is used for Achaia and also for Hellas (Acts 20:2), which was the native Greek name corresponding to the Roman name Achaia. The capital city of the province was Corinth; other cities in Achaia mentioned in the New Testament are Cenchreae and Athens.

Agate A semiprecious stone of varying colors.

Agrippa Herod Agrippa II, great-grandson of Herod the Great, was king of Chalcis, a small country north of Palestine, and ruler of nearby territories. Paul made his defense before him and his sister Bernice (Acts 25:13 to Acts 26:32).

Alabaster A soft stone, of light creamy color, from which vases and jars were made.

Aloes A sweet-smelling substance, derived from a plant, which the Jews spread on the cloths they wrapped around a body to be buried.

Alpha The first letter of the Greek alphabet. The expression “I am the Alpha and the Omega” (Revelation 1:8; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13) means “I am the first and the last.”

Altar The place where sacrifices were offered to God.

Amen A Hebrew word which means “it is so” or “may it be so.” It can also be translated “certainly,” “truly,” or “surely.” In Revelation 3:14 it is used as a title for Christ.

Amethyst A semiprecious stone, usually purple or violet in color.

Ancestor Someone who lived in the past, from whom a person is descended.

Anoint To pour or rub oil on someone in order to honor him, or select him for some special work. The word is also used in a figurative sense. “The Anointed One” is the title of the one whom God chose and appointed to be Savior and Lord. Oil was also used by the Jews on a sick person to make him well; it was also used on a dead body to prepare it for burial.

Apostle One of the group of twelve men whom Jesus chose to be his followers and helpers. The word means “messenger,” and is also used in the New Testament of Paul and of other Christian workers.

Areopagus A hill in Athens where the city council met. For this reason the council itself was called Areopagus, even after it no longer met on the hill.

Atetas King of the country of Nabatea, which was to the south and east of Palestine.

Ark (1) The vessel built by Noah in which he, his family, and the animals survived the Flood (Genesis 6:9 to Genesis 8:19). (2) The wooden chest, covered with gold, in which were kept the two stone tablets on which were written the ten commandments. Other sacred objects of the Jews were also kept in the ark, which was placed in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:10-22; Hebrews 9:4-5).

Armageddon The place mentioned in Revelation 16:16; it is not certain whether the name refers to an actual place (“the hill of Megiddo”), or is used as a symbol.

Artemis The Greek name of an ancient goddess of fertility, worshiped especially in Asia Minor.

Asia A Roman province in the western part of what was later known as Asia Minor, and is today part of the country of Turkey. Besides the seven cities of Asia listed in the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:11; Revelation 2:1 to Revelation 3:22), other cities in the province mentioned in the New Testament are Colossae, Hierapolis, and Miletus. The capital of the province was Ephesus.

Atonement, Day of The most important of the Jewish holy days, when the High Priest would offer sacrifice for the sins of the people of Israel (Leviticus 16:29-34)·It was held on the 10th day of the month Tishri (around October 1).

Augustus One of the titles of Gaius Octavius, who was Roman Emperor from 27 B.C. to A.D. 14 (Luke 2:1).


Baal The name of the god worshiped by the ancient people of Canaan.

Babylon The capital city of the ancient land of Babylonia, east of Palestine, on the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. In 1 Peter 5:13 and Revelation the name Babylon probably refers to the city of Rome.

Balaam A native of Pethor, near the Euphrates river, who was asked by Balak, king of Moab, to curse the people of Israel. Instead, Balaam obeyed God’s command and blessed Israel (Numbers 22:1 to Numbers 24:25; Deuteronomy 23:3-6; Joshua 13:22).

Balak The king of Moab, a country on the southeast side of the Dead Sea. He led the people of Israel to worship idols (Numbers 22:1 to Numbers 24:25; Revelation 2:14).

Bastard A person born of parents who are not legally married.

Beelzebul The name given to the Devil as the chief of the evil spirits.

Bernice Sister of King Agrippa II (Acts 25:13 to Acts 26:32).

Beryl A semiprecious stone, usually green or bluish green in color.

Blasphemy An evil thing said against God.

Breastplate Part of a soldier’s armor, made of leather or metal, which covered the breast, and sometimes the back, to protect him from the enemy’s attack.

Brier A small plant with thorns on its stems and branches.


Caesar The title given to the Roman Emperor.

Carnelian A semiprecious stone, usually red in color.

Census The registration of citizens and their property, to determine how much tax they had to pay.

Chalcedony A semiprecious stone, usually milky or gray in color.

Christ Originally a title, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word “Messiah.” It means “the anointed one.” Jesus is called the Christ because he is the one whom God chose and sent as Savior and Lord.

Cinnamon The sweet-smelling inner bark of a certain tree, used as a spice on food.

Circumcise To cut off the foreskin of a Jewish baby boy as a sign of God’s covenant with the people of Israel (Genesis 17:9-14).

Claudius Roman Emperor A.D. 41–54 (Acts 11:28; Acts 18:2).

Convert A person who is converted, or turned, from one belief or faith to another.

Council The supreme religious court of the Jews, composed of seventy leaders of the Jewish people and presided over by the High Priest.

Covenant The agreement that God made with Abraham (Genesis 17:1-8), and later with the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 29:10-15).

Cummin A small garden plant whose seeds are ground up and used for seasoning foods.


Dalmatia The southern half of the province of Illyrloum.

Dedication, Feast of The Jewish feast, lasting eight days, which celebrated the restoration and rededication of the altar in the Temple by the Jewish patriot Judas Maccabeus, in 165 B.C. The feast began on the 25th day of the month Chislev (around December 10).

Defile To make dirty, impure. Certain foods and practices were prohibited by the Jewish Law because they were thought to make a person spiritually or ceremonially unclean, In this condition such a person could not take part in the public worship until he had performed certain rituals which would remove the defilement.

Demon An evil spirit with the power to harm people, that was regarded as a messenger and servant of the Devil.

Descendant A person who is related by family line to someone who lived a long time before him.

Dill A small garden plant whose seeds are ground up and used for seasoning foods.

Disciple A person who follows and learns from someone else. The word is used in the New Testament of the followers of John the Baptist and Paul; it is especially used of the followers of Jesus, particularly of the twelve apostles.

Dough Flour mixed with water to be baked into bread. Dragon An imaginary beast, thought to be like a huge lizard. It is also called a serpent, and appears in the Bible as a figure of the Devil (Revelation 12:3 to Revelation 13:4; Revelation 20:2-3).

Drusilla Sister of King Agrippa II and wife of the Roman governor Felix (Acts 24:24).


Elders Three different groups in the New Testament are called elders: (1) in the Gospels, the elders are respected Jewish religious leaders, some of whom were members of the supreme Council; (2) in Acts 11-21 and the Epistles, the elders are Christian church officers who had general responsibility for the work of the church (the author of 2 and 3 John identifies himself as “the Elder”); (3) in Revelation, the 24 elders are part of God’s court in heaven, perhaps as representatives of God’s people.

Elijah The Old Testament prophet who was expected to appear to announce the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 17:9-13).

Emerald A very valuable stone, green in color.

Epicureans Those who followed the teaching of Epicurus (died 270 B.C.), who taught that happiness is the highest good in life.

Epileptic A person who suffers from a nervous disease which causes convulsions and fainting.

Eunuch A man who has been made physically incapable of having normal sexual relations.


Fast To go without food for a while as a religious duty.

Felix The Roman governor of Judea A.D. 52–60, before whom Paul defended himself (Acts 23:24 to Acts 24:27).

Festus The Roman governor of Judea A.D. 60–62, before whom Paul defended himself and made his appeal to the Roman Emperor (Acts 25:1 to Acts 26:32).

Foal The young of an animal of the horse family. Frankincense A valuable incense, suitable for a gift.


Gabriel One of God’s chief angels, who was sent to Zechariah, father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-20), and to Mary, mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38).

Galatia A Roman province in the eastern part of what was later known as Asia Minor, and is today part of the country of Turkey. The cities of Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe were in the province of Galatia.

Gall A very bitter liquid made from a certain plant.

Gallio The Roman governor of Greece A.D. 51–52 (Acts 18:12-17).

Gamaliel One of the greatest Jewish teachers, a member of the supreme Council of the Jews (Acts 5:34-40), who had been Paul’s teacher (Acts 22:3).

Generation The average period, about 30 years in length, from the time a man becomes an adult to the time his son becomes an adult.

Gennesaret Another name for Lake Galilee (Luke 5:1).

Gentile A person who is not a Jew.

Gomorrah A city near the Dead Sea which God destroyed by fire because of the great wickedness of its people (Genesis 19:24-28).

Greece See Achaia.


Hades The Greek name, in the New Testament, for the world of the dead; the same as Sheol in the Old Testament.

Hermes The name of a Greek God, who served as messenger of the gods.

Herod (1) Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1-22; Luke 1:5) was king of all the country of the Jews 37–4 B.C. He was responsible for the killing of the baby boys in Bethlehem soon after Jesus was born. (2) Herod (whose full name was Herod Antipas) was ruler of Galilee 4 B.C. – A.D. 39 (Matthew 14:1-10; Mark 6:14-27; Luke 3:1; Luke 3:19-20; Luke 9:7-9; Luke 13:31; Luke 23:6-12; Acts 4:27; Acts 13:1). He was son of Herod the Great, and although called a king (Mark 6:14), he was not a king as his father had been. He was responsible for the death of John the Baptist. (3) Herod (whose full name was Herod Agrippa I) was ruler of all the land of the Jews, with the title of king, A.D. 41–44 (Acts 12:1-23). He was grandson of Herod the Great. He put the apostle James to death and arrested Peter.

Herodias The wife of Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee. Before marrying Herod she had been the wife of his half-brother Philip (Matthew 14:3-12; Mark 6:17-28; Luke 3:19).

Herod’s party A political party composed of Jews who favored one of the descendants of Herod the Great to rule over them instead of the Roman governor.

High Priest The Priest who occupied the highest office in the Jewish priestly system and was president of the supreme Council of the Jews. Once a year (on the Day of Atonement) he would enter the holiest part of the Temple and offer sacrifice for himself and for the sins of the people of Israel.

Homosexual A man who has sexual relations with another man.

Hyssop A small bushy plant, used in ceremonies of sprinkling.


Illyricum A province on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, north of the province of Macedonia, in what is now Yugoslavia.

Incense Material which is burned in order to produce a pleasant smell.

Inn A house where travelers can buy food and lodging.


Jasper A semiprecious stone of varying colors. The jasper mentioned in the Bible was probably green.

Jesse The father of King David, one of the ancestors of Jesus (Matthew 1:5-6; Acts 13:22; Romans 15:12).


Kingdom of God, Kingdom of heaven The titles used to describe God’s ruling over the world as king. There is no difference between the two titles, both of which refer primarily to God’s possession and exercise of his power, not to a place or a time in history. This Kingdom is spoken of as being already present and also as coming in the future.


Lady The recipient of 2 John (2 John 1:1; 2 John 1:5), probably a church, not an individual. Under this interpretation, her “children” (2 John 1:1; 2 John 1:4) are the church members, and her “Sister” (2 John 1:13) is also a church to which the writer belongs.

Law The name the Jews applied to the first five books of the Old Testament, also called the books of Moses. Sometimes the name is also used in a more general sense of the whole Old Testament.

Leper Someone suffering from a disease called leprosy. It is probable that in the Bible the word translated “leprosy” had a wider range of meaning than it does now, and was used as the name of several other skin diseases as well.

Levite A member of the priestly tribe of Levi, who had the duty of helping in the services in the Temple (Numbers 3:1-13).

Locust A grasshopper, a winged insect extremely harmful to plants; locusts fly in huge swarms and eat crops and other plants.

Lot The nephew of Abraham who escaped with his daughters from the city of Sodom when it was destroyed by God. Lot’s wife, however, did not escape (Genesis 19:12-29; Luke 17:28-32; 2 Peter 2:6-8).


Macedonia A Roman province covering what is now the northern half of Greece. Its captial city was Thessalonica. Other cities in the province mentioned in the New Testament are Neapolis, Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, and Berea.

Magdalene Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus, was one of those to whom Jesus appeared after he was raised from death (Mark 15:40-47; Luke 8:2; John 20:1-18). Her name indicates that she was born in Magdala, a town on the west side of Lake Galilee.

Manna The food of the Israelites during their travels in the wilderness. It was small, white, and flaky, and looked like small seeds (Exodus 16:14-21; Numbers 11:7-9).

Messiah The title (meaning “the anointed one”) given to the promised Savior whose coming was promised by the Hebrew prophets; the same as “Christ.”

Michael One of God’s chief angels (Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7).

Mint A small garden plant, whose leaves are used for seasoning foods.

Moloch One of the gods of the ancient people of Canaan.

Mustard A large plant which grows from a very small seed. The seeds may be ground into powder and used as spice on food.

Myrrh The hardened sap of a tree, with a pleasant smell, and suitable for a gift (Matthew 2:11; Revelation 18:13). It served also as a medicine (Mark 15:23), and was also used by the Jews in preparing bodies for burial (John 19:39).


Nard A plant from which an expensive perfume was made.

Nazarene Someone from the town of Nazareth. The name was used as a title for Jesus, and also as a name for the early Christians (Acts 24:5).

Nicolaitans A group referred to in Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:15 whose teachings and actions are condemned. They apparently practiced idolatry and immorality, but nothing definite is known as to when, where, and by whom the group was started.

Nineveh The ancient capital of Assyria, on the east side of the river Tigris, where the prophet Jonah preached (Jonah 3:1-10; Luke 11:30; Luke 11:32).

Noah The Old Testament patriarch who built an ark in which he, his family, and the animals were saved from the flood that God sent on the earth (Genesis 6:5 to Genesis 9:28).


Omega The last letter of the Greek alphabet. The expression “I am the Alpha and the Omega” (Revelation 1:8; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13) means “I am the first and the last.”

Onyx A semiprecious stone of varying colors.

Outcasts In the Gospels this name, which in many translations appears as “sinners,” refers to those Jews who did not obey all the rules laid down by the religious leaders. The Pharisees were especially, strict about foods that should not be eaten and about relationships with people who were not Jews. The leaders of the Jews despised these people and condemned Jesus for associating with them (Mark 2:15-17; Luke 7:34; Luke 15:1-2).


Parable A story used by Jesus to teach spiritual lessons.

Paradise A name for heaven (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:3).

Paralytic Someone who suffers from a disease that prevents him from moving part or all of his body,

Parchment The skin of an animal, usually a sheep or a goat, which was prepared to be written on.

Passover, Feast of The Jewish feast, on the 14th day of the month Nisan (around April 1), which celebrated the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from their captivity in Egypt, The angel of death killed the firstborn in the Egyptian homes but “passed over” the Hebrew homes (Exodus 12:23-27).

Patriarchs The famous ancestors of the Jewish race, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom God made his covenants.

Pentecost, Day of The Jewish feast of wheat harvest, on the 6th day of the month Sivan (around May 20). The name Pentecost (meaning “fiftieth”) comes from the fact that the feast was held 50 days after Passover.

Pervert One who commits unnatural sexual acts.

Pharaoh. The title of the kings of ancient Egypt. Two different kings of Egypt are mentioned in the New Testament: the one who ruled during the time of Joseph, the son of Jacob (Acts 7:10-13; Genesis 40:1 to Genesis 50:26), and the one who ruled during the time of Moses (Acts 7:21; Romans 9:17; Hebrews 11:24; Exodus 1:8 to Exodus 14:31).

Pharisees A Jewish religious party. They were strict in obeying the Law of Moses and other regulations which had been added to it through the centuries.

Pilate Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea, A.D. 26–36 (Mark 15:1-15; Luke 3:1; Acts 3:13; 1 Timothy 6:13).

Potter A man who makes pots and other vessels out of clay.

Preparation, Day of The sixth day of the week, on which the Jews made the required preparations to observe the Sabbath day.

Prophet A man who proclaims God’s message to men. (1) The term usually refers to the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 5:12; Matthew 5:17; Matthew 13:17), such as Isaiah (Matthew 3:3), Jeremiah (Matthew 2:17), Jonah (Matthew 12:39), Daniel (Matthew 24:15), and Joel (Acts 2:16), (2) The term also refers to prophets in the Church (Acts 13:1; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11). (3) The term is applied also to John the Baptist (Matthew 11:9; Matthew 14:5; Luke 1:76), and to Jesus (Matthew 21:11; Matthew 21:46; Luke 7:16; Luke 24:19; John 9:17). (4) “The Prophet” promised by Moses was expected to appear and announce the coming of the Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15; Deuteronomy 18:18; John 6:14; John 7:40; Acts 3:22-23).

Prune To cut the branches off a fruit tree in order to make it bear more and better fruit.


Quartz A semiprecious stone of varying colors, usually white.


Rabbi A Hebrew word which means “my teacher.”

Rephan The name of an ancient god that was worshiped as the ruler of the planet Saturn.

Ritual An established form for conducting a religious service.

Rue A small garden plant whose leaves are used for seasoning foods.


Sabbath The seventh day of the Jewish week, the holy day on which no work was permitted.

Sadducees A small Jewish religious party, composed largely of priests. They based their beliefs primarily on the first five books of the Old Testament, and so differed in several matters of belief and practice from the larger party of the Pharisees.

Samaritan A native of Samaria, the province between Judea and Galilee. There was much hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans, because of differences in politics, race, customs, and religion.

Sanctuary A building dedicated to the worship of God. Sometimes the word may refer to the central place of worship, and not to the whole building.

Sapphire A very valuable stone, usually blue in color.

Saul (1) The first king of Israel (1 Samuel 13-31; Acts 13:21); (2) the Hebrew name of the apostle Paul (Acts 7:58; Acts 8:1; Acts 8:3; Acts 9:1-30; Acts 11:25-30; Acts 12:25; Acts 13:1-9). Scorpion A small creature, which has eight legs and a long tail with a poisonous sting. It can inflict a very painful, and sometimes fatal, wound.

Scriptures In the New Testament the word refers to the collected body of Jewish sacred writings, known to us as the Old Testament. Various names are used: the Law (or the Law of Moses) and the prophets (Matthew 5:17; Matthew 7:12; Luke 2:22; Luke 24:44; Acts 13:15; Acts 28:23); the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2; 2 Timothy 3:15); the old covenant (2 Corinthians 3:14). The singular “scripture” refers to a single passage of the Old Testament.

Serpent A name given to the dragon, which appears in the Bible as a figure of the Devil (Revelation 12:3-17; Revelation 20:2-3).

Sheepfold An enclosure where sheep were kept, usually at night, to protect them from wild animals and thieves.

Shepherd A man, or boy, who takes care of sheep.

Sickle A tool consisting of a curved metal blade and a wooden handle, used for cutting wheat and other crops.

Sodom A city near the Dead Sea which God destroyed by fire because of the great wickedness of its people (Genesis 19:24-28).

Solomon’s Porch A covered court on the east side of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Son of David A title which the Jews used of the expected Messiah as the descendant and successor of King David.

Son of Man The title used by Jesus to refer to himself as the one chosen by God to be the Savior (Mark 10:45). As used by Jesus, this title emphasized both his present lowly condition (Mark 8:31; Luke 9:58) and his future glory (Matthew 25:31 : Mark 8:38).

Spice One of several pleasant-smelling vegetable products which were used by the Jews in preparing bodies for burial.

Stoics Those who followed the teachings of the philosopher Zeno (died 265 B.C.), who taught that happiness is to be found in being free from pleasure and pain.

Sulfur A yellow substance which burns with great heat and produces an unpleasant smell. Synagogue The place where Jews met every Sabbath day for their public worship; it was also used as a social center and as a school for Jewish children during week days.


Tabernacle A large tent-like construction, described in detail in Exodus 26:0, where God had his dwelling among his people.

Tabernacles, Feast of The Jewish feast, lasting eight days, which in New Testament times celebrated the time when the ancient Hebrews lived in tents during their travels through the wilderness. In Old Testament times it was also known as the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:33-43). The feast began on the 15th day of the month Tishri (around October 6).

Teachers of the Law Men who taught and interpreted the teachings of the Old Testament, especially the first five books,

Tenant A man who raises crops on land owned by someone else, and turns over a large part of the harvest to the owner to pay for the use of his land.

Ten Towns A group of ten Gentile towns, most of which were to the east and southeast of Lake Galilee.

Theophilus The one to whom the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts (Luke 1:1; Acts 1:1) are dedicated, Nothing is known about him, and it is not certain that he is a real person; the name means “God’s friend,” and may designate the Christian readers of the books.

Tiberias Another name of Lake Galilee (John 6:1; John 21:1), The town of Tiberias (John 6:23) was on the west side of Lake Galilee.

Tiberius Roman Emperor A.D. 14–37. It was in the 15th year of his rule (about A.D. 29) that John the Baptist began his work (Luke 3:1).

Topaz A semiprecious stone, usually yellow in color.

Turquoise A semiprecious stone, blue or bluish green in color.


Unleavened Bread, Feast of The Jewish feast, lasting seven days after Passover, which also celebrated the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from Egypt, The name came from the practice of not using leaven (or yeast) in making bread during that week (Exodus 12:14-20). It was held from the 15th to the 22nd day of the month Nisan (around the first week of April).


Vow A strong declaration, or promise, usually made while calling upon God to punish the speaker if the statement is not true or the promise is not kept.


Winnowing shovel A tool like a shovel, or large fork, used to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Wreath Flowers or leaves arranged in a circle, to be placed on a person’s head. In ancient times a wreath of leaves was the prize given to winners in athletic contests.


Yeast A substance, also called leaven, which is added to flour of wheat or barley to make it rise before being baked into bread.

Yoke A heavy bar of wood which is fitted over the necks of two oxen in order for them to pull a plow or a cart. The word is used figuratively to describe the lessons that a teacher passes on to his pupils.


Zeus The name of the supreme god of the Greeks.

Zion The name of a hill in the city of Jerusalem; the name is often used to mean Jerusalem itself.

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