Scriptures Bible Dictionary
Bible Dictionary


The center place of Israel’s worship activities during the wanderings and until the building of the temple in Solomon’s day. The tabernacle was in fact a portable temple. It was an inner tent, the area available for sacred purposes (Ex. 26: 7; Ex. 36: 14 ). It was oblong, 30 cubits in length and 10 in breadth and height. Its north, west, and south sides were made of 46 boards (10 cubits by 1 1/2) and 2 narrower corner ones of acacia wood (Ex. 26: 15), overlaid with gold (26: 29). These boards were fitted with golden rings, through which were passed bars of acacia wood overlaid with gold to fasten all firmly together. Suspended over them, and serving as an inner lining to the tent covering, was the rich covering - 10 curtains (each 28 cubits by 4) made of fine twined linen, and blue and purple and scarlet, embroidered with figures of cherubim (Ex. 26: 1).

Over the tabernacle the tent was spread. Its length was 40 cubits, or 10 cubits longer than the tabernacle. The entrance toward the east was closed by a screen of blue, purple, and scarlet and fine twined linen. Over the tent came the covering of the tent, which consisted of two parts: (1) an inner covering of ramskins dyed red; (2) a covering of badger skins over all (Ex. 26: 14).

The tent stood in a court 100 cubits by 50, surrounded by a fence (Ex. 27: 18) five cubits high, composed of pillars and hangings of fine white linen. The entrance toward the east was 20 cubits wide (Ex. 27: 16), and was closed by a screen of linen of four different colors on four pillars.

In the court outside the tent and in front of its door stood the altar of burnt offering, a square of five cubits, three cubits high. Its outer frame was acacia wood overlaid with brass (Ex. 27: 1-2,8), whence its name (Ex. 39: 39). The hollow was probably filled with earth or unhewn stones (Ex. 20: 24-25). Around and halfway up the altar was a ledge (Ex. 27: 5), supported by a grating of network of brass. Besides various brazen utensils for use in the sacrifices, it had rings and staves by means of which it was carried.

Between the altar of burnt offering and the door of the tent stood a laver of brass on a base of brass (Ex. 30: 18). In it the priests washed their hands and feet when they went into the tent for any priestly purpose (Ex. 30: 19-21).

The tabernacle was divided into two parts by a veil of the same materials as the screen of the court, the inner roof covering of the tabernacle, and the screen of the tent (Ex. 36: 35,37). In the outer compartment (20 cubits by 10), called the Holy Place, were three things: (1) In the middle, before the veil and before the mercy seat (Ex. 30: 6), stood the altar of incense, similar in construction to the altar of burnt offering but smaller and overlaid with gold. On it incense was burned morning and evening (no animal sacrifices); and on its horns was put once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the blood of the sin offering (Ex. 30: 10). (2) On the south side of the altar of incense stood the candlestick (Ex. 26: 35), of pure gold of beaten work, with six branches and seven lamps. Pure olive oil beaten was burned in the lamps (Lev. 24: 2; Ex. 27: 20-21 ). Aaron lit the lamps at evening and dressed them in the morning (Ex. 30: 8; Lev. 24: 3 ). (3) On the north side of the altar stood the table of shewbread (Ex. 25: 23-30) made of acacia wood. On it was placed the shewbread, consisting of 12 unleavened cakes made of fine flour. They were placed in two rows (or piles), and frankincense was put on each row (Lev. 24: 7). The shewbread was changed every Sabbath day, and the old loaves were eaten by the priests in a holy place (Lev. 24: 9).

The Holy of Holies contained only one piece of furniture: the Ark of the Covenant, or the Ark of the Testimony (Ex. 25: 22). It was an oblong box of acacia wood, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 cubits wide and high, overlaid within and without with gold, and with a rim or edging of gold round its top. It had rings and staves by which to carry it, and the staves were never to be removed from the rings (Ex. 25: 15). The ark had within it “The Testimony,” i.e., the two tables of stone (Ex. 25: 21; Ex. 31: 18 ). From these the ark got both its names. According to Heb. 9: 4 the ark also contained a pot of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded. In the O.T. it is said of these that they were put or laid up “before the testimony” (Ex. 16: 34; Num. 17: 10 ). They were not in the ark in the time of Solomon (1 Kgs. 8: 9). The book of the law was placed “by the side of the ark of the Covenant,” but not inside it (Deut. 31: 26). Upon the ark and forming the lid was the mercy seat. It served, with the ark beneath, as an altar on which the highest atonement known to the Jewish law was effected. On it was sprinkled the blood of the sin offering of the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16: 14-15). The mercy seat was the place of manifestation of God’s glory (Ex. 25: 22). It was God’s throne in Israel. Cf. the phrase “The Lord God of Israel, which sitteth upon (or dwelleth between) the cherubim” (1 Sam. 4: 4). At the ends were placed two cherubim of gold of beaten work, spreading out their wings so as to cover the mercy seat and looking toward it.

The pattern of the tabernacle was delivered by God to Moses. Bezaleel and Aholiab were the chief constructors (Ex. 31: 3-6). The people so freely offered for the service of the work that they had to be restrained from bringing. There was more than sufficient for all the work to make it (Ex. 36: 6-7). The tabernacle with all its furniture was brought to Moses when complete, and on the first day of the first month of the second year (i.e., one year less 14 days from exodus) he reared it up and finished the work. When the whole building was set in order, the cloud covered the tent and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Ex. 40: 34). The cloud, the token of the Divine Presence, had the appearance of a fire by night, and by its rising from or abiding on the tent, determined the journeyings and encampments of the children of Israel (Num. 9: 17-18). The tabernacle accompanied the children of Israel during their wanderings in the desert and in the different stages of the conquest of the land of Canaan. The conquest complete, it was fixed in Shiloh as the place that the Lord had chosen (Josh. 18: 1). Here we find it in the earliest (Judg. 18: 31) and latest days of the Judges (1 Sam. 1: 3). At the time of the capture of the ark God forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh (Ps. 78: 60). The ark never returned to the tabernacle. It was removed from Shiloh; we find it some years later with its priests and its table of shewbread at Nob (1 Sam. 21: 1), and in Solomon’s reign with its altar of burnt offering and ministered at by Zadok the high priest at Gibeon (1 Chr. 16: 39-40). After the building of the temple it entirely disappears from the history.

Isaiah uses the figure of the tabernacle as a foreshadowing of Zion and the holy city of Jerusalem when it is built up at the Lord’s second coming (Isa. 33: 20).

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A kind of tambourine (Gen. 31: 27; Job 17: 6; Isa. 5: 12 ).

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The word is from a Heb. term meaning learning. The Talmud is a compilation of Jewish writing and tradition, literature rather than a single book, and consists of the Mishnah, or text, and the Gamara, or commentaries. The commentaries, which comprise both Halakah and Haggada, deal with almost every aspect of Jewish religious life, such as prayer, agriculture, marriage, and rules for the scribes in making copies of the sacred books. It dates from about A.D. 200 but reflects the thinking also of earlier times, and is a fruitful source for many aspects of Jewish culture and belief.

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Palm tree.

(1) Wife of Er and Onan; mother, by Judah, of Pharez and Zarah (Gen. 38: 6; Ruth 4: 12; 1 Chr. 2: 4; Matt. 1: 3 ).

(2) Daughter of David and Maachah (2 Sam. 13: 1 ).

(3) Daughter of Absalom (2 Sam. 14: 27).

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Greek Adonis.

The Babylonian god of spring slain by summer heat, or the god of summer slain by winter cold. The “weeping for Tammuz was a festival in the autumn, a lament over the season’s decline (Ezek. 8: 14). Tammuz was the Jewish name for June or July after the Captivity.

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Matt. 13: 25. The word denotes darnel grass, a poisonous weed, which, until it comes into ear, is similar in appearance to wheat.

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(1) Probably = Tartessus in Spain; ships of Tarshish (the name came to be used to denote ships of the largest size, suitable for long voyages) (1 Kgs. 10: 22; Ps. 48: 7; Isa. 2: 16; Isa. 23: 1; Isa. 60: 9; Ezek. 27: 25 ); kings of Tarshish (Ps. 72: 10); merchants of Tarshish (Ezek. 27: 12; Ezek. 38: 13; also Isa. 66: 19; Jer. 10: 9; Jonah 1: 3; Jonah 4: 2 ).

(2) A Tarshish in the Indian Ocean (1 Kgs. 22: 48; 2 Chr. 9: 21; 2 Chr. 20: 36 ).

Bible Dictionary


Capital of Cilicia, Paul’s city (Acts 9: 11, 30; Acts 11: 25; Acts 21: 39; Acts 22: 3 ). It was a place of considerable importance (Paul calls it “no mean city: ), containing a university celebrated for its school of philosophy and literature. It was situated on an important highway leading from Antioch, through the Cilician Gates (a pass in the Taurus mountains), toward the cities of the Roman province of Asia.

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The tenth month (Esth. 2: 16).

Bible Dictionary

Teil tree

A rare English word for lime or linden tree (Isa. 6: 13). Elsewhere the Heb. word used is incorrectly translated oak.

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Tell el-Amarna Letters

The Amarna letters provide an excellent example of the manner in which archaeological discoveries enrich our understanding of certain things in the Bible. The letters consist of a number of baked-clay tablets written about 1350 B.C. A tell is an artificial mound accumulated through centuries of building, destruction, and rebuilding, in which layers of archaeological items are found. Amarna was a city up the Nile in Upper Egypt, where Pharaoh Akhenaton was headquartered. The letters are a correspondence from feudal-type city governors in Palestine, asking the Pharaoh at Amarna for military support against invaders. Hence the name “Tell el-Amarna Letters.” The letters give good insight into the state of Palestine about a century before the Israelites came into it. In particular they tell of the walled cities of Palestine and of certain invaders (not the Israelites) who were coming into the land.

The letters confirm the report of the spies in Num. 13: 28 who were sent into Canaan by Moses to gather intelligence about the land (see Num. 13: 1-33 ). The report specifically mentions the walled cities of Palestine, which subject is elaborated upon in the Amarna letters. The letters were discovered in 1887 by a peasant woman. They are now in the British Museum in London.

See also Writing.

Bible Dictionary


A temple is literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead. A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.

Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey his word, they have been commanded to build temples in which the ordinances of the gospel and other spiritual manifestations that pertain to exaltation and eternal life may be administered. In cases of extreme poverty or emergency, these ordinances may sometimes be done on a mountaintop (see D&C 124: 37-55 ). This may be the case with Mount Sinai and the Mount of Transfiguration. The tabernacle erected by Moses was a type of portable temple, since the Israelites were traveling in the wilderness.

From Adam to the time of Jesus, ordinances were performed in temples for the living only. After Jesus opened the way for the gospel to be preached in the world of spirits, ceremonial work for the dead, as well as for the living, has been done in temples on the earth by faithful members of the Church. Building and properly using a temple is one of the marks of the true Church in any dispensation, and is especially so in the present day.

The best known temple mentioned in the Bible is that which was built in Jerusalem in the days of Solomon. This was later partially destroyed in 600 B.C., and restored by Zerubbabel almost a hundred years later. This structure was partially burned in 37 B.C., and was subsequently partially rebuilt by Herod the Great, although the rebuilding continued until A.D. 64. It was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.

See also Tabernacle.

Bible Dictionary

Temple of Herod

To win popularity with the Jews Herod in the 18th year (17 B.C.) of his reign proposed to rebuild the temple of Zerubbabel. The Jews feared lest, having pulled down, he should be unable to rebuild, and to reassure them, Herod promised to gather materials before he began the work. The area of the temple site was inadequate for his design, and to enlarge it he built up a wall from the bottom of the valley, binding rocks together with lead and iron, and filling up the hollows. By this means he obtained a site nearly square, each side being 600 feet. The temple proper was built by the priests themselves in a year and six months. The cloisters (the specialty of Herod’s temple) and outer enclosures were built in eight years. Other buildings were added from time to time. The work was proceeding all through our Lord’s earthly life, and the design was not complete till the year A.D. 64, only six years before the temple’s final destruction.

The temple area was divided into courts, and the outer courts stood on the lowest ground. Ascents were made by steps successively from he court of the gentiles to the court of the women, the courts of the men of Israel and of the priests, and the temple itself. In the midst, not in the center of the site (but somewhat to the north and west of it), on the exact site of the temple of Solomon, with its porch facing the east and its Holy of Holies to the west, was placed the temple itself. It was thus visible from every part of the city. The temple area was surrounded on all sides by a high wall. Cloisters ran all around the wall. Those on the eastern side were called Solomon’s Porch and were rebuilt by Herod. The cloisters, with the open space, about 30 cubits wide, adjoining them on the inside, formed the court of the gentiles.

The Court of the Women comprised the easternmost portion of the inner temple. It was entered on the east by Nicanor’s Gate, a gate of Corinthian brass, reckoned to be the principal gate. This is without doubt the gate “called Beautiful” of Acts 3: 2. A wall separated the more sacred portions of the temple toward the west from the court of the women. From the latter the Court of the Men of Israel was reached by an ascent of 15 steps. A partition 1 cubit high compassed the holy house and altar, and kept the people from the priests. The eastern part of this enclosure was called the Court of the Priests, and in it stood the huge altar of burnt offering and the laver for the priestly purifications. Twelve steps led from the court of the priests to the temple itself. The temple was 100 cubits long, 100 or 120 cubits high, the center being higher than the wings; 100 cubits broad at the porch, 60 cubits behind. The Holy Place and Holy of Holies were the same size as in Solomon’s or Zerubbabel’s temple. In front of the temple was a remarkable gateway without doors, with lintels above, adorned with colored and embroidered curtains. It was covered with gold, and a golden vine was spread upon it. Thirty-eight little chambers in three stories surrounded the temple, 15 on the north, 15 on the south, and 8 on the west.

The temple, like that of Zerubbabel, had no ark. A stone was set in its place, on which the high priest placed the censer on the Day of Atonement. It followed the tabernacle (not Solomon’s temple) in having only one candlestick and one table of shewbread.

Along the walls of the inner temple were placed chambers for various purposes connected with the temple services. At the north end of the court of the women stood the treasury; at its south end the Gazith, or chamber of hewn stone, in which the Sanhedrin sat. At the northwest corner of the temple Herod erected the fortress of Antonia. from its southeast tower, 70 cubits high, the whole temple could be viewed. A Roman legion formed its garrison. Subterranean passages connected it with the temple cloisters, and through these the Roman soldiers poured down to repress the constantly occurring disturbances in the temple courts.

Of the places above mentioned, the Court of the Women was the scene of the Lord’s temple teachings. In the Treasury, at its northern end, he taught (John 8: 20); over against the Treasury, he sat and watched the people casting in their alms (Mark 12: 41). It was the Court of the Gentiles that he purified from the moneychangers; and in Solomon’s Porch, at its east end, he walked in the winter (John 10: 22). To the same porch gathered all the people greatly wondering (Acts 3: 11), after Peter and John had healed the lame beggar who sat at the Beautiful Gate (the gate between the courts of the gentiles and the women). Inside the Chel, and in the Court of the Women, the Jews from Asia laid hands on Paul. They dragged him down the 14 steps into the Court of the Gentiles (the temple gates being shut behind), and then from the Tower of Antonia through the cloisters the chief captain of the band ran down to rescue him (Acts 21). In the Court of the Men of Israel at the Feast of Tabernacles the Lord watched the priest bring the water from the Pool of Siloam through the water gate and pour it upon the altar of burnt offering (John 7). The veil that was rent at Christ’s crucifixion hung between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The pinnacle that was the scene of one of his temptations was perhaps the roof of one of the porches.

In A.D. 70, on the evening of the anniversary of the destruction of the first temple, Herod’s temple was taken and destroyed by the army of Titus. A temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was erected on the site by Hadrian.

Bible Dictionary

Temple of Solomon

The Hebrew word for temple is nearly equivalent to the English palace, and is used of the palaces of Ahab and the king of Babylon (1 Kgs. 21: 1; 2 Kgs. 20: 18, etc.), and also occasionally of the Mosaic tabernacle (1 Sam. 1: 9; 1 Sam. 3: 3 ).

The Hill of Zion seems to have been chosen by God as his dwelling-place early in David’s reign (2 Sam. 6: 17). The exact position of the temple, the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, was indicated by the Divine presence during the plague and the command received through the prophet Gad to build an altar there (1 Chr. 21: 15, 18, 28). This threshing floor is placed on Mount Moriah in 2 Chr. 3: 1.

The temple was built after the model of the tabernacle, the dimensions of each part being exactly double. The temple proper, or interior, was 60 cubits long, 20 cubits broad, 30 cubits high (15 cubits was the tabernacle’s height if its roof was right-angled). It had in addition a porch 10 cubits deep in front. The materials of the temple - gold, silver, iron, copper, timber, and stone - had been collected by David (1 Chr. 22: 14). He had also planned the house and its furniture to its details (1 Chr. 28: 11-20), had collected a number of skilled workmen capable of executing the work (1 Chr. 22: 15), and had bound over the princess and people of Israel to zealous co-operation and costly gifts. Still, to Solomon belongs the credit of the actual accomplishment of the work.

The temple walls were composed of hewn stone made ready at the quarry. The roof was of cedar and the walls were paneled with it. The cedar was carved with figures (cherubim, palm trees, and flowers), and was overlaid with gold fitted to the carving. The floors were of fir or cypress wood, overlaid with gold. The communication between he Holy Place and Holy of Holies was by a doorway with two doors of olivewood carved like the walls and overlaid with gold. From 2 Chr. 3: 14 we learn that a veil hung in front of the door. The door of the temple was of cypress on posts of olivewood, carved and overlaid as elsewhere. It folded back in two pieces on each side. In front of the porch stood two great pillars of hollow brass, called Jachin and Boaz. These with their capitals were 23 cubits high. The small size of the temple proper in comparison with modern churches is to be noticed. It is sufficiently accounted for by the fact that the worshippers remained outside; only the priests went within.

All the materials for the house were prepared before they were brought to the site. The building was completed in seven years. There were two temple courts. The inner court was surrounded by a wall consisting of three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams (1 Kgs. 6: 36). This was called the court of the priests, or, from its elevation, the upper court (2 Chr. 4: 9; Jer. 36: 10 ). The outer or great court was for the use of the people. Nothing is said about its walls, but it was entered by doors of brass.

The furniture of the temple was similar to but not identical with that of the tabernacle. In the Holy of Holies stood the old Mosaic ark with the mercy seat; but the cherubim overshadowing the mercy seat were new. They were larger in size; their wings touched in the middle and reached each wall of the Holy of Holies. They were also different in posture. In the Holy Place all was new. The altar of incense was made of cedarwood overlaid with gold. Instead of one golden candlestick and one table of shewbread there were ten, five on each side. In the outer court stood the brazen altar of the same pattern as that of the tabernacle, but enormously larger (2 Chr. 4: 1). Ahaz superseded it with an altar of Damascus pattern (2 Kgs. 16: 11-16). Between the altar and the porch was the brazen sea for the washing of the priests. It had a brim like the flower of a lily, and it stood upon 12 oxen, three looking north, south, east, and west. These were given to Tiglath-pileser by Ahaz (2 Kgs. 16: 17). On each side of the altar were five figured brazen stands for five brazen lavers for washing the sacrifices (1 Kgs. 7: 38-39).

The house was consecrated at the feast of the seventh month, i.e., the Feast of Tabernacles (1 Kgs. 8: 2; 2 Chr. 5: 3 ). When the priests came out from setting the ark in the Holy of Holies, the house was filled with a cloud, “so that the priests could not stand to minister” (2 Chr. 5: 13-14). After Solomon had prayed, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifices (2 Chr. 7: 1). The feast of dedication lasted 14 days (1 Kgs. 8: 64-65). In this ceremonial Solomon appears to be the principal personage, even as Moses (not Aaron) was at the dedication of the tabernacle.

The wealth gathered by David and lavished by Solomon on the temple was enormous. The skill necessary for the elaborate work in gold and brass was supplied from Tyre. Hiram, on his mother’s side of the tribe of Naphtali, was fetched by Solomon for the purpose (1 Kgs. 7: 14).

The temple was shorn of some of its magnificence by Shishak of Egypt in the reign of Solomon’ son (1 Kgs. 14: 26). It was often spoiled of its treasures, whether by foreign enemies (Shishak, Jehoash of Israel, Nebuchadnezzar), or by kings of Judah (Asa, Joash, Ahaz, Hezekiah) to buy off the attack or purchase the alliance of foreign powers. It was restored by Joash and by Josiah. Some works in connection with it were taken in hand by Jehosphaphat (2 Chr. 20: 5), Jotham (2 Kgs. 15: 35), and Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 18: 16). It was polluted by Athaliah (2 Chr. 24: 7), Ahaz (2 Chr. 29: 5, 16), and above all, Manasseh (2 Kgs. 21: 4-5, 7). It was cleansed by Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29: 16), and Josiah (2 Kgs. 23: 4, 6, 12). Finally it was burned to the ground and utterly destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kgs. 25: 9), all that was valuable in it being carried to Babylon (2 Kgs. 25: 13, etc.). The vessels of silver and gold were afterwards restored by Cyrus and Darius (Ezra 1: 7-11; Ezra 6: 5 ).

Bible Dictionary

Temple of Zerubbabel

There are few definite statements concerning the dimensions and arrangements of the temple of Zerubbabel. But we may reasonably infer that it was, so far as circumstances permitted, in its principal parts a reproduction of Solomon’s temple, and on the ancient site (Ezra 3: 3). The dimensions and principles of construction were prescribed in decrees of the Persian kings (Ezra 6: 3-4). They also provided the materials, which came from Sidon (Ezra 3: 7; Ezra 6: 4, 8 ). The Jews reckoned the temple of Zerubbabel to be in five points inferior to the temple of Solomon: in the absence of (1) the Ark of the Covenant (lost or burned at the destruction of Jerusalem and never renewed); (2) the Shechinah or manifestation of the glory of the Lord; (3) the Urim and Thummim (Ezra 2: 63); (4) the holy fire upon the altar; (5) the spirit of prophecy.

The building of Zerubabbel’s temple was impeded by the active opposition and by the intrigues of the Samaritans (Ezra 4: 4-5, 23-24). In the second year of Darius Hystaspes (520 B.C.) the people, exhorted by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, resumed their task, and in the sixth year of Darius (526 B.C.) the feast of the dedication was kept (Ezra 6: 15-16).

This temple was the scene of the murder of Jesus the son of Judas by his brother Johanan, the high priest. In consequence it was profanely entered by Bagoses, the Persian governor of Syria (about 366 B.C.). Alexander the Great (332 B.C.) is said by Josephus to have offered sacrifices here. Simon the Just (about 300 B.C.), the high priest, “repaired the house again” and “fortified the temple” (Ecclus. 50: 1).

Ptolemy Philopator (217 B.C.) insisted upon entering the Holy of Holies, but was smitten so that he was carried out half-dead from the temple courts. Antiochus the Great (200 B.C.), in return for help given him by the Jews against the Egyptians, provided materials for building the cloisters and other parts of the temple, made a grant to provide sacrifices, and decreed that no stranger should enter within the temple enclosure. Antiochus Epiphanes (168 B.C.) entered the temple “proudly,” stripped it of its golden altar, candlesticks, table of shewbread, etc., polluted it by setting up the abomination of desolation and offering swine upon the altar, burned its gates, and pulled down the priests’ chambers. It was left desolate for three years, so that “shrubs grew in its courts as in a forest or on one of the mountains” (1 Macc. 1: 21, 39, 46, 54; 4: 38). Judas Maccabaeus (165 B.C.) cleansed it and restored it to use (4: 43-57). He and his brothers, Jonathan and Simon, fortified the sanctuary with high walls and towers (4: 60; 10: 11; 13: 52). Alexander Jannaeus (95 B.C.) built a partition wall of wood around the altar and the temple, so as to separate the court of the priests from that of the people. Pompey, when he took Jerusalem (63 B.C.), slew the priests at the altar, entered the Holy of Holies, but left the rich temple treasures intact, and commanded it to be cleansed the next day (Josephus, Ant. XIV. iv. 4). When Herod took the city (37 B.C.) some of the temple cloisters were burned, but he used entreaties, threatenings, and even force, to restrain his foreign soldiery from entering the Sanctuary (Josephus, Antiquities, XIV, xvi. 3).

Bible Dictionary

Temple on Mount Gerizim

Josephus gives the following account of the erection of this temple: Manasseh, brother of Jaddua the high priest, was threatened by the Jews with deprivation of his sacerdotal dignity because of a marriage he had contracted with a foreign woman. His father-in-law, San-ballat, obtained permission from Alexander the Great, then besieging Tyre, to build a temple on Mount Gerizim. Manasseh was its first high priest. It became the refuge of all Jews who had violated the precepts of the Mosaic law. With this account must be compared Neh. 13: 28, which from the names and circumstances probably relates to the same event. Josephus places the event 90 years later than the Bible. The establishment of the counterfeit worship on Gerizim embittered and perpetuated the schism between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Samaritans altered their copies of the Pentateuch by substituting Gerizim for Ebal in Deut. 27: 4, and by making an interpolation in Ex. 20, and so claimed divine authority for the site of their temple. Antiochus Epiphanes, at the request of the Samaritans, consecrated it to Jupiter, the defender of strangers (2 Macc. 6: 2). John Hyrcanus destroyed it (109 B.C.). Though the Emperor Zeno (A.D. 474-491) ejected the Samaritans from Gerizim, it has continued to be the chief sacred place of the Samaritan community. There the Paschal Lamb has been almost continuously offered by them up to the present day.

Bible Dictionary


To test, try, or prove (Gen. 22: 1-2). To seduce or lead toward evil (James 1: 13-14). To provoke to anger (Deut. 6: 16; Ps. 78: 18, 41, 56 ).

Bible Dictionary

Ten Commandments

See Commandments, The Ten.

Bible Dictionary


The father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. He migrated with Abram, Sarai, and Lot (Nahor following them later) from Ur of the Chaldees to Charran (Haran), where he died (Gen. 11: 24, 26, 31; Josh. 24: 2; 1 Chr. 1: 26; cf. Abr. 1: 30; Abr. 2: 1-6 ).

Bible Dictionary


Images of the size and form of a man (1 Sam. 19: 13, 16) used from patriarchal times (Gen. 31: 30, 32) and onwards (Judg. 17: 5; Hosea 3: 4-5; Zech. 10: 2 ) in worship and for magical purposes both in Israel and in Babylon (Ezek. 21: 21). To use teraphim was probably not to worship strange gods, but to worship the true God in a corrupt manner.

Bible Dictionary


See Covenant.

Bible Dictionary


The word originally meant the ruler of the fourth part of a country, but was also used when the part governed was some other fraction of the whole. The title is applied in Luke 3: 1 to Herod Antipas, Herod Philip (two of the sons of Herod the Great), and Lysanias.

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Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus (Matt. 10: 3; Mark 3: 18; Luke 6: 16; Acts 1: 13 ).

Bible Dictionary

Thank offering or Peace offering.

See Sacrifices.

Bible Dictionary


Friend of God.

The person to whom Luke addressed his Gospel and the Acts. The use of the title “most excellent” (Luke 1: 3) seems to show that he was a real personage. Cf. JST Luke 3: 19-20.

Bible Dictionary

Thessalonians, Epistles to

See Pauline Epistles.

Bible Dictionary


(modern Saloniki) Capital of Macedonia; Paul and Silas preached there (Acts 17: 1): also the home of Aristarchus. The city was named in honor of Thessalonica, sister of Alexander the Great and wife of the Greek military leader Cassander.

Bible Dictionary


One of the twelve. The name means a twin, and so it is translated in John 11: 16 by the Greek Didymus. He is mentioned in the lists of apostles (Matt. 10: 3; Mark 3: 18; Luke 6: 15; Acts 1: 13 ); and also in John 11: 16; John 14: 5; John 20: 24, 28; John 21: 2.

Bible Dictionary


See Urim and Thummim.

Bible Dictionary


On the Lycus, the district being celebrated for its purple dyeing; the abode of Lydia (Acts 16: 14); church in Thyatira (Rev. 1: 11; Rev. 2: 18 ).

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Thyine wood

Rev. 18: 12. The beautiful wood of the Callitris quadrivalvis, much used by the Greeks and Romans for furniture.

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A large town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, built by Herod Antipas, who made it his capital and called it after the name of the reigning emperor, Tiberius (John 6: 23). The place is not mentioned in the first three Gospels. Apparently it was never visited by the Lord. After the destruction of Jerusalem it became an important center of Jewish rabbinical learning.

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Tiberias, Sea of

John 6: 1; John 21: 1; = Sea of Chinnereth, or Sea of Galilee.

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(in Chronicles spelt Tilgath-pilneser). King of Assyria, 747-734 B.C., took Gilead, Galilee, and Naphtali from Pekah, king of Israel (2 Kgs. 15: 29); hired by Ahaz, king of Judah against Rezin and Pekah (2 Kgs. 16: 7); took Damascus (2 Kgs. 16: 9); other conquests (1 Chr. 5: 26); distressed Ahaz (2 Chr. 28: 20).

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The Greek form of the name Timothy.

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Honored of God.

The son of a Greek father and Jewish mother (Eunice) living at Lystra (Acts 16: 1-3; 2 Tim. 1: 5 ); circumcised by Paul in order that he might be of greater use for evangelistic work among Jews (Acts 16: 3); spoken of by Paul as his own “son in the faith” (1 Tim. 1: 2, 18; 2 Tim. 1: 2 ); at Philippi (Philip. 2: 22); at Beroea (Acts 17: 14); sent to Thessalonica (1 Thes. 3: 2); with Paul at Corinth (1 Thes. 1: 1; 2 Thes. 1: 1 ); sent to Macedonia (Acts 19: 22); to Corinth (1 Cor. 16: 10); with Paul in Macedonia when he wrote 2 Cor. 1: 1, 19; and at Corinth (Rom. 16: 21); followed him to Troas (Acts 20: 4-5); at Rome (Philip. 1: 1; Philip. 2: 19; Col. 1: 1; Philem. 1: 1 ); at Ephesus (1 Tim. 1: 3); Paul wished him to come to Rome (2 Tim. 4: 9, 21); set at liberty (the details of the imprisonment are unknown) (Heb. 13: 23). Timothy was perhaps Paul’s most trusted and capable assistant, as in Philip. 2: 19-23.

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Timothy, Epistles to

See Pauline Epistles.

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I.e., Thapsacus, on the western bank of the Euphrates, the river being at that point fordable; a boundary of Solomon’s dominions (1 Kgs. 4: 24); also famous in classic history as the place where Cyrus with his 10,000 Greeks crossed the river. The place of this name mentioned in 2 Kgs. 15: 16 is probably within the kingdom of Israel; its site is unknown.

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A headdress (Isa. 3: 18; Ezek. 24: 17, 23 ).

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The Persian title for a local or provincial governor; used of Zerubbabel (Ezra 2: 63; Neh. 7: 65, 70 ); of Nehemiah (Neh. 8: 9; Neh. 10: 1 ). The corresponding Babylonian title was Pekhah.

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The word denotes a tenth part, given for the service of God. The first recorded instance is the payment made by Abraham to Melchizedek (Gen. 14: 20; cf. Heb. 7: 4-10 ). See also Jacob’s vow (Gen. 28: 22). The law enforced the payment, and provided rules with regard to the use to which the tithe should be put. In Num. 18: 21-28 it is directed that tithe be paid to the Levites, who in their turn give one-tenth of what they receive to the priests.

A clear exposition of the tithe is given in Mal. 3: 8-18, in which it is shown that blessings from the payment of tithing are both temporal and spiritual, and failure to pay an honest tithe is a form of robbery. The importance of Malachi’s words is demonstrated by the fact that the Lord repeated them to the Nephites (see 3 Ne. 24 ).

Latter-day revelation emphasizes the law of the tithe as a duty and test of faithfulness (D&C 64: 23-25; D&C 85: 3; D&C 97: 11; D&C 119 ). The honest payment of tithing sanctifies both the individual and the land on which he lives. See also Lev. 27: 30-34; Deut. 12: 5-18; Deut. 14: 22-27; 2 Chr. 31: 5-12; Neh. 10: 38; Neh. 12: 44; Neh. 13: 12.

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Apparently converted by Paul, perhaps at Antioch (Titus 1: 4). Attended the conference at Jerusalem about circumcision (Gal. 2: 1); probably with Paul on his third missionary journey; sent by him to Corinth as the bearer of 1 Cor., 2 Cor. 7: 6-7, 13, 15. He then returned to Paul in Macedonia, and was again sent to Corinth with 2 Cor. and with instructions about a collection for the poor of Jerusalem (2 Cor. 8: 4-7). After this we have no mention of him for eight years. At the conclusion of Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome, Titus joined him at Ephesus, and they went together to Crete, where Titus remained and where he received a letter from Paul with instructions about his work and asking him to come to Nicopolis (Titus 1: 5; Titus 3: 12 ). Later on he was sent on a mission to Dalmatia (2 Tim. 4: 10).

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Titus, Epistle to

See Pauline Epistles.

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A spot in the valley of the son of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where human sacrifices were offered to Molech (2 Kgs. 23: 10; Isa. 30: 33; Jer. 7: 31 f.; Jer. 19: 6, 13 ).

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From the Heb. Yarah, meaning “to cast,” as to put forth instruction. One form of the verb also means to point out, show, and thus to direct, instruct. The Torah is thus divine direction and instruction; it includes the law, particularly the five books of Moses, and takes precedence over other books of the O.T. to most Jewish people. Torah scrolls are often elaborately made and protected by a cloth or metal case.

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The eastern part of the tetrarchy of Herod Philip, being east of the Sea of Galilee toward the desert (Luke 3: 1).

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Transfiguration, Mount of

This very important event in the N.T. occurred about a week after the promise made to Peter that he would receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16: 13-18; Matt. 17: 1-9 ). On the mount (probably Mount Hermon) the Savior, Moses, and Elias (Elijah) gave the promised keys of the priesthood to Peter, James, and John (HC 3: 387), which enabled these brethren to carry forth the work of the kingdom on the earth after the departure of Jesus. These keys were later given to all of the Twelve.

The transfiguration occurred in about October, some six months before the death of Jesus. The brethren saw the Lord in a glorified and transfigured state. They also saw a vision of the earth as it will appear in its future glorified condition (D&C 63: 20-21; HC 1: 283); saw and conversed with Moses and Elijah, two translated beings; and heard the voice of the Father bearing witness that Jesus is his beloved Son, in whom the Father is pleased, and commanding the brethren to hear (obey) him. See also Mark 9: 2-10; Luke 9: 28-36; 2 Pet. 1: 16-18.

The event is important in many ways: Necessary priesthood authority was conferred upon Peter, James, and John; the significance of the Savior’s work was emphasized; and the unity of various dispensations and the close relationship of Jesus and his prophets was demonstrated. Few events in the Bible equal it in importance. A similar event occurred on April 3, 1836, in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, where the same heavenly messengers conferred priesthood keys upon the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (D&C 110).

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Trespass offering

See Sacrifices.

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Alexandreia Troas, southwest of Troy on the seacoast, a Roman colony (Acts 16: 8, 11; Acts 20: 5-6; 2 Cor. 2: 12; 2 Tim. 4: 13 ).

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The turtledove, as in Song of Solomon: “the voice of the turtle is heard in our land” (Song. 2: 12-13), being a sign of springtime (cf. Jer. 8: 7 ). Turtledoves were used for offerings, as in Gen. 15: 9; Lev. 1: 14; Lev. 5: 7, 11; Lev. 12: 6-8; Lev. 14: 22, 30; Lev. 15: 29; Num. 6: 10; Luke 2: 24.

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“The strong city” (Josh. 19: 29); an important commercial and seaport town of Syria, in alliance with David (2 Sam. 5: 11; 1 Chr. 14: 1 ); with Solomon (1 Kgs. 5: 1 ff.; 2 Chr. 2: 3 ff.; see also 2 Sam. 24: 7; Isa. 23; Joel 3: 4-8; Amos 1: 9 ); its destruction (Jer. 25: 22; Jer. 27: 3; Jer. 47: 4; Ezek. 26; Ezek. 27: 2-3, 8, 32; Ezek. 28: 2, 12; Ezek. 29: 18; Zech. 9: 2-3 ); supplied men and material to Zerubbabel (Ezra 3: 7). See also 1 Kgs. 7: 13-15; 1 Kgs. 9: 11-12; Ps. 45: 12; Ps. 83: 7; Ps. 87: 4; Hosea 9: 13; Zech. 9: 2-3; Neh. 13: 16; Matt. 11: 22; Mark 3: 8; Mark 7: 24, 31; Luke 6: 17; Luke 10: 13-14; Acts 12: 20; Acts 21: 3, 7.