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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Scrip,


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an old Saxon name for satchel (Bible Educator, 4:209). is used in the A.V. as a rendering of the Heb. יַלְקוּט , yalkut (from לָקַט, to collect; Sept. συλλογή ), in 1 Samuel 17:40, where it appears as a synonym for כְּלִי חָרֹעִים (τὸ κάδιον τὸ ποιμενικόν ), the bag in which the shepherds of Palestine carried their food or other necessaries. In Symmachus and the Vulg. pera, and in the marginal reading of A.V. "scrip," appear in 2 Kings 4:42 for the צִקְלוֹן, tsiklon, which in the text of the A. 57. is translated husk (comp. Gesen. s.v.). The ππήρα of the New Test. appears in our Lord's command to his disciples as distinguished from the ζώνη (Matthew 10:10; Mark 6:8) and the βαλλάντιον (Luke 10:4; Luke 22:35-36), and its nature and use are sufficiently defined by the lexicographers. The English word has a meaning precisely equivalent to that of the Greek. Connected, as it probably is, with scrape, scrap, the scrip was used for articles of food. It belonged especially to shepherds (A s You Like It, act iii, sc. 2). It was made of leather (Milton, Comus, 626). The later sense of scrip as a written certificate is, it need hardly be said, of different origin or meaning; the word, on its first use in English, was written script (Chaucer). The scrip of the ancient peasants was of leather, used especially to carry their food on a journey ( θηκὴ τῶν ἄρτων, Suid.; δέρμα τι ἀρτόφορον , Ammon.), and slung over their shoulders. In the Talmudic writers the word תרמיל is used as denoting the same thing, and is named as part of the equipment both of shepherds in their common life and of proselytes coming on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Lightfoot, Hot. Heb. on Matthew 10:10). The ζώνη, on the other hand, was the loose girdle, in the folds of which money was often kept for the sake of safety, (See GIRDLE); the βαλλάντιον (sacculus, Vulg.), was the smaller bag used exclusively for money (Luke 12:33). (See BAG).

Lightfoot, on the authority of rabbi Nathan, describes the scrip as "a kind of vesture, which was a little upper garment in which were many places sewed, where they put anything they met with that they had occasion to use; so that this was a kind of apron with divers purses or pockets made in it, in which the Jews put their necessaries as we do in our pockets, Which apron they could readily put off or on, wear or lay aside, as they saw occasion. As in such an apron they had their pockets, so in the scarf or girdle wherewithal they girded their undercoats they had their purses. Their girdles were ordinarily of linen, and in them they kept their money when they travelled or went from home on their business" (Temple Service, 9:121). (See PURSE).

Notwithstanding the great hospitality of the Orientals, travellers cannot always calculate upon obtaining a supply of food in their cottages, for most of the peasants are so poor that they can rarely afford to keep more provisions than will meet the immediate wants of their families. Pedestrian travellers and shepherds are therefore accustomed to take with them a satchel, or wallet, in which they carry some dry food and other little articles likely to be useful on a journey. It was in such a bag that David carried the pebble with which he smote the boasting champion of the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:40). When Christ sent forth his apostles, he forbade them to provide themselves with these satchels; and nothing can more forcibly show the completeness of their dependence on Divine Providence, while executing their mission, than their neglecting to supply themselves with what all other travellers would have regarded as an indispensable requisite (Matthew 10:10; Mark 6:8; Luke 9:3; comp. Luke 22:35-36). They were to appear in ever), town or village as men unlike all other travellers, freely doing without that which others looked on as essential. The fresh rule given in Luke 22:35-36, perhaps, also, the facts that Judas was the bearer of the bag (γλωσσόκομον , John 12:6), and that when the disciples were without bread they were ashamed of their forgetfulness (Mark 8:14-16), show that the command was not intended to be permanent. The scrip is often made of haircloth, and is of various forms. In Palestine, however, it is usually made of leather (Porter, Damascus, 2:109). In the south of Spain, where many of the usages introduced by the Mohammedan conquerors are still retained, the scrip is usually of goat-skin, and is generally carried over the shoulder. The purse, which some inaccurate commentators have confounded with the scrip, was always Suspended from the girdle. A kind of sanctity is attributed to the scrip by some of the Eastern Jews, as it preserves their food from being polluted by being brought into con tact with those whom they are taught to regard as unclean or profane (see Hackett, Illustrations of Scripture, p. 91). Thomson found the farmers, in the vicinity of the Lake of Gennesaret, carrying wallets made of the skins of kids stripped off whole and roughly tanned; and he supposes these to be the scrip of the Bible (Land and Book, i, 532 sq.).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Scrip,'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/s/scrip.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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