ABED´NEGO (a-bed´ne-go; “servant of Nego or Nebo”). The Babylonian god of wisdom, connected with the planet Mercury. Abednego was the Aram. name given by the king of Babylon’s officer to Azariah, one of the three Jewish youths who, with Daniel, were selected by Ashpenaz (master of the eunuchs) to be educated in the language and wisdom of the Chaldeans (Daniel 1:3-7). Abednego and his friends Shadrach and Meshach were cast into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship the golden statue set up by Nebuchadnezzar, but were miraculously delivered (Daniel 3), about 603 b.c. The Heb. name Azariah means “Jehovah has helped.” The folly of trying to change inward character by an outward name is hereby illustrated. A tyrant may change the name but not the nature of one true to God.


—New Unger's Bible Dictionary

CORNERSTONE (Job 38:6; Isaiah 28:16). The stone at the corner of two walls that unites them; specifically, the stone built into one corner of the foundation of an edifice as the actual or nominal starting point of a building. From a comparison of passages we find mention of “a costly cornerstone for the foundation” (Isaiah 28:16), “a stone for a corner” (Jeremiah 51:26, from which it would appear that cornerstones were placed in different positions as regards elevation). The expressions “the chief corner stone” (Psalm 118:22; “capstone” in NIV) and the “top stone” (Zech. 4:7; “capstone” in NIV) seem to warrant the conclusion that the “cornerstone” is a term equally applicable to the chief stone at the top and that in the foundation.

Figurative. The term “cornerstone” is sometimes used to denote any principal person, such as the princes of Egypt (Isaiah 19:13). Christ is called the “corner stone” in reference to His being the foundation of the Christian faith (Ephes. 2:20) and the importance and conspicuousness of the place He occupies (Matthew 21:42; 1 Peter 2:6).

—New Unger's Bible Dictionary

DESTROYER (Heb. mashhît, an “exterminator,” Exodus 12:23). The agent employed in the slaying of the firstborn (Hebrews 11:28; Gk. ho holothrenon), the angel or messenger of God (2 Samuel 24:15-16; 2 Kings 19:35; Psalm 78:49; Acts 12:23).

—New Unger's Bible Dictionary

ELO´HIM (e-lo´hîm; Heb. plural ’elohîm; singular ’elôah, “mighty”). A term sometimes used in the ordinary sense of gods, whether true or false (Exodus 12:12; Exodus 32:4; etc.), including Jehovah (Psalm 76:7; Exodus 18:11; etc.). W. Henry Green (Hom. Mag. [Sept. 1898]: 257ff.) thus summarizes the principles regulating the use of Elohim and Jehovah in the OT: “1. Jehovah represents God in His special relation to the chosen people, as revealing Himself to them, their guardian and object of their worship; Elohim represents God in His relation to the world at large, as Creator, providential ruler in the affairs of men, and controlling the operations of nature. 2. Elohim is used when Gentiles speak or are spoken to or spoken about, unless there is a specific reference to Jehovah, the God of the chosen people. 3. Elohim is used when God is contrasted with men or things, or when the sense requires a common rather than a proper noun.”

bibliography: W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (1967), pp. 15-92; C. Brown, ed., New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (1971), 2:66-82; R. E. Clements, Old Testament Theology (1978), pp. 53-78; W. Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology (1979), pp. 44-46.

—New Unger's Bible Dictionary

GIB´EON (gib´e-on; “hill city”). One of the Hivite cities that, through deception, effected a league with Joshua (Joshua 9:3-17), thus escaping the fate of Ai and Jericho. It was afterward allotted to Benjamin and was made a Levitical town (Joshua 18:25; Joshua 21:17). After the destruction of Nob by Saul, the Tabernacle was set up here and remained until the building of the Temple (1 Kings 3:4-5; 1 Chron. 16:39; 2 Chron. 1:3, 13). When the Amorite kings besieged Gibeon, Joshua hastened to its relief, and a great battle followed (see Joshua). From Jeremiah 41:16 it would seem that after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Gibeon again became the seat of government. It produced prophets in the days of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 28:1). “The sons of Gibeon” returned with Zerubbabel (Neh. 7:25). Gibeon is located about eight miles NW of Jerusalem on the route to Joppa. Other events in the history of Gibeon include the battle between Ish-bosheth and David (2 Samuel 2:8-17; 2 Samuel 3:30) and the execution of the seven sons of Saul (2 Samuel 21:1-9). Gibeon was an important place of worship in Solomon’s time (1 Kings 3:4; 2 Samuel 20:8). There he had his famous dream. On the Karnak Relief of Pharaoh Shishak, Gibeon is mentioned as one of the trophies of his invasion of Palestine (1 Kings 14:25, “in the fifth year of King Rehoboam”). Shishak’s carved reliefs also show captives taken in his Palestinian invasion. (See Leon Legrain, Les Temples de Karnak.) Gibeon is identified with el-Jib, about six miles NW of Jerusalem. James B. Pritchard excavated there on behalf of the University of Pennsylvania Museum from 1956 to 1962. The most dramatic find there was the “pool” of Gibeon. Measuring thirty-seven feet in diameter and thirty-five feet in depth, this cylindrical cutting had a circular staircase that led to a stepped tunnel that continued downward another forty-five feet below the pool’s floor to a water chamber. Excavations demonstrated that the city was founded about 3000 b.c. Magnificent tomb discoveries documented the Middle Bronze and Late Bronze periods (2000-1200 b.c.). Iron Age I (1200-900 b.c.) apparently was the city’s golden age. Near the beginning of the period, a wall about five feet thick and more than a half mile in circumference enclosed the sixteen-acre town.


bibliography: J. B. Pritchard, Gibeon, Where the Sun Stood Still (1962); M. Avi-Yonah, ed., Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land (1976), 2:446-50; K. N. Schoville, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1982), 2:462-63.

—New Unger's Bible Dictionary

HALLOW, HALLOWED (Heb. qadash, to “set apart, consecrate,” KJV; Gk. hagiazo, to “make sacred,” KJV, NASB, and NIV). Although the term hallowed appears but twice in the NASB and NIV (Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:12; both in the Lord’s Prayer) and the term hallow not at all (in contrast to the KJV, where it appears frequently), the concept is present in the terms consecrate, dedicate, sanctify, and holy, all of which are used at one time or another in the NASB and NIV to replace KJV hallow or hallowed.

» See: Consecrate

» See: Sanctify

—New Unger's Bible Dictionary



Idolatry Overthrown

Temple Repaired

Finding of the Law


JOSI´AH (jo-sι´a; perhaps, “Jehovah heads,” cf. Arab. ’asa, “cure, nurse”; “Josias,” Matthew 1:10-11, KJV). The name of a son of Zephaniah (see Josiah) and of the sixteenth king of the separate kingdom of Judah; this king was the son of King Amon and his wife Jedidah. Josiah, at the early age of eight years, succeeded his father on the throne of Judah (2 Kings 21:26; 2 Kings 22:1; 2 Chron. 34:1), c. 640 b.c.

Idolatry Overthrown. In the eighth year of his reign “he began to seek the God of his father David” (2 Chron. 34:3) and manifested that enmity to idolatry in all its forms that distinguished his character and reign. In the twelfth year of his reign “he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, the carved images, and the molten images” (2 Chron. 34:3). So strong was his detestation of idolatry that he ransacked the sepulchers of the idolatrous priests of former days and burned their bones upon the idol altars before they were overthrown. He did not confine his operations to Judah but went over a considerable part of Israel, with the same object in view. At Bethel, in particular, he executed all that the prophet (1 Kings 13:2) had foretold (2 Kings 23:1-20; 2 Chron. 34:3-7).

Temple Repaired. In the eighteenth year of his reign Josiah proceeded to cleanse and repair the Temple. The task was committed to Shaphan, the scribe; to Maaseiah, an official of the city; and to Joah. All parties engaged in the work displayed such fidelity that the money could be given to them without reckoning (2 Kings 22:3-7; 2 Chron. 34:8-13).

Finding of the Law. In the course of this pious labor the high priest Hilkiah discovered in the sanctuary “the book of the law,” by Moses. He reported his discovery to Shaphan, who conveyed the volume to the king and read it in the royal presence. Alarmed by the penalties threatened in the law, Josiah sent several of his chief counselors to consult with the prophetess Huldah, who replied that although these dread penalties would be inflicted, he would be gathered to his fathers in peace before the days of punishment came. Perhaps with a view of averting the threatened doom, Josiah convened the people at Jerusalem and, after the reading of the law, made a solemn covenant with Jehovah (2 Kings 22:8-23:3; 2 Chron. 34:14-32). To ratify the renewal of the covenant Josiah appointed the Passover to be held at the legal time, which was accordingly celebrated on a scale of unexampled magnificence. But it was too late; the hour of mercy had passed, for “the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath” (2 Kings 23:21-23, 26; 2 Chron. 35:1-19).

Death. Not long after this Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, sought passage through Josiah’s territory on his way to fight against Carchemish, on the Euphrates. Josiah, disguising himself, went out to battle and was mortally wounded by a random arrow and taken to Jerusalem, where he died (609 b.c.). “Then Jeremiah chanted a lament for Josiah. And all the male and female singers speak about Josiah in their lamentations to this day”; i.e., in the lamentation that they were wont to sing on certain fixed days, they sang also the lamentation for Josiah (2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chron. 35:20-25). Both Jeremiah and Zephaniah mention Josiah in their prophecies.

bibliography: F. M. Cross and G. E. Wright, Journal of Biblical Literature 75 (1956): 203-19; D. Freedman, Biblical Archaeologist 19 (1956): 50-60; J. B. Pritchard, Hebrew Inscriptions from Gibeon (1959), pp. 18ff.; J. Naveh, Israel Exploration Journal 10 (1960): 129-39; H. H. Rowley, Men of God (1963), pp. 159-67; T. Kirk and G. Rawlinson, Studies in the Books of Kings 2 vols. in 1 (1983), 2:216-23; E. R. Thiele, Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (1983), pp. 35, 52-53, 180-81, 206.

—New Unger's Bible Dictionary