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Immanuel Benzinger, Ph.D.

Professor of Old Testament Exegesis, University of Berlin, Germany; Jerusalem, Palestine.

Contributions:
RAMAH – Word (meaning "height") of frequent occurrence as an element in the place-names of the mountain districts of Palestine; as, Ramath-lehi; Ramath-or Ramothnegeb; Ramathor Ramoth-gilead; and Ramathmizpeh. It occurs also in the form...
RAMATH-LEHI – Place on the frontier between Judah and Philistia; mentioned only in the story of Samson (Judges xv. 9, 14, 17). The name, (= "Jaw-Bone Height"), is explained by the tradition that Samson slew there 1,000 Philistines with the...
RAMATHAIM-ZOPHIM – Birthplace of Samuel according to the present text of I Sam. i. 1, which, however, is corrupt. The usual interpretation, "Ramathaim of the Zophites," is an impossible one, since it would be contrary to Hebrew linguistic usage to...
RAMOTH-GILEAD – One of the cities of refuge, in the east-Jordan district, in the tribe of Gad; apportioned to the Levites (Josh. xx. 8, xxi. 38; Deut. iv. 43; I Chron. vi. 80). When Solomon divided the country into districts, Ramoth-gilead was...
RED SEA – References to the Red Sea under that name are not found earlier than the Apocrypha (Judith v. 12; Wisdom x. 18, xix. 7; I Macc. iv. 9). The name refers to the body of water, termed "Yam Suf" in all other passages, crossed by the...
REED – Rendering given in the English versions for several words used to designate rush-like water-plants of various kinds. These words are: (1) "Gome"; the Cyperus papyrus of Linnæus. (2) "Suf" (Ex. ii. 3; Isa. xix. 6); identified by...
REPHAIM, VALE OF – Fertile plain in Judah; the scene of David's battles with the Philistines (Isa. xvii. 5; II Sam. v. 18 et seq., xxiii. 13). According to II Samuel (l.c.), it must have been in the vicinity of Beth-lehem. The boundaryline between...
RIMMON – 1. Town of the tribe of Zebulun, on the northeast frontier (Josh. xix. 13, R. V.); the Septuagint renders it, more correctly, "Rimonah." Probably it is identical with the Levite city of Rimmon (R. V. "Rimmono"; I Chron. vi. 77),...
RIZPAH – Daughter of Aiah and concubine of Saul. After Saul's death Rizpah, with the other women of his harem (comp. II Sam. iii. 13), remained with his son and successor, Ish-bosheth, but Abner, the general of Saul, took possession of...
SAINT-JOHN'S-BREAD – Fruit of the carobtree. It is not mentioned in the Masoretic text of the Old Testament, though Cheyne assumes that in three passages (II Kings vi. 25, xviii. 27 = Isa. xxxvi. 12; Isa. i. 20) ("carob-fruit") should be read...
SALT – Biblical Data: A condiment for food. From earliest times salt was indispensable to the Israelites for flavoring food. Having a copious supply in their own country, they could obtain it with little trouble. The Dead or "Salt" Sea...
SANDALS – Biblical Data: In the warm countries of the East shoes are not such an indispensable part of clothing as in the colder northern countries. Still, people do not go barefoot in mountainous Palestine, especially during the damp...
SAPPHIRE – A highly prized sky-blue precious stone, frequently mentioned in the Old Testament and Apocrypha (Ex. xxiv. 10, xxviii. 18, xxxix. 11; Job xxviii. 6, 16; Cant. v. 14; Lam. iv. 7; Isa. liv. 11; Ezek. i. 26, x. 1, xxviii. 13;...
SEIR – 1. Region that took its name from Seir the Horite, whose descendants occupied it, followed by Edom and his descendants. The earliest reference to the name is found in the Harris Egyptian papyrus, in which Rameses III. says (c....
SERAPHIM – Vision of Isaiah. Class of heavenly beings, mentioned only once in the Old Testament, in a vision of the prophet Isaiah (vi. 2 et seq.). Isaiah saw several seraphim, their exact number not being given, standing before the throne...
SHARON – Large plain of Palestine, with an average elevation of between 280 and 300 feet above sea-level; bounded by Mount Carmel on the north, Jaffa on the south, the mountains of Gilboa on the east, and the Mediterranean Sea on the...
SHIELD – Like most peoples of antiquity, the Israelites used two kinds of shields—a large one which covered the whole body and was carried by the heavy-armed infantry, and a small, easily managed one, carried by the light-armed troops....
SHILOH – City of Ephraim, where were placed, after the settlement in Palestine, the Ark and the sanctuary of Yhwh at which the family of Eli officiated (I Sam. i. 3 et passim, iii. 1 et seq.). As the Ark was not taken back to Shiloh when...
SIN – 1. Egyptian city mentioned in Ezek. xxx. 15 et seq.; probably the ancient frontier fortress of Pelusium (so cited in Jerome); the modern Farama or Tine.2. Desert on the Sinaitic Peninsula, situated "between Elim and Sinai" (Ex....
SPICES – Aromatic vegetable substances used in preparing food or in compounding salves or perfumes.With the exception of salt, no condiments were known to the ancient Jews, and even cinnamon, with which the Hebrews were familiar, was...
SPINNING – Egyptian Spinners. Spinning and weaving are arts of extreme antiquity, dating back even to prehistoric times. The Egyptians were especially expert in them, their white linen textures being of such fineness as to be diaphanous,...
STAFF – Herodotus (i. 195) and Strabo (xvi. 746) assert that among the Babylonians every man carried a ring and a staff, which latter was decorated at the upper end with a carved representation of a flower or something similar. It seems...
STONE AND STONE-WORSHIP – Maẓẓebah. Cromlech Near 'Amman.(From a photograph by the Palestine Exploration Fund.)Sacred stones are mentioned with great frequency in the Old Testament; they were erected by Jacob at Beth-el (Gen. xxviii. 18; comp. xxxi. 13),...
SUCCOTH – 1. The first stopping-place of the Israelites on their way out of Egypt (Ex. xii. 37, xiii. 20; Num. xxxiii. 5 et seq.); probably the Egyptian Thuku, name of the district of Pithom and also of the fortress itself (see Ebers in...
SYCAMORE – A medium-sized bushy tree of Syria and Egypt, allied to the common fig. It is often mentioned in the Bible (Amos vii. 14; I Kings x. 27; Isa. ix. 9, 11; Ps. lxxviii. 47; I Chron. xxvii. 28; II Chron. i. 15, ix. 27), and still...