A See Aleph; Writing.
AALAR ā'a-lär. See Immer 3.
AARON âr'ǝn [Heb. ʾaharôn-meaning uncertain; Gk. Aarōn]. Moses' older brother, the first high priest. According to the genealogical lists he was third in descent from Levi (Ex. 6:16-20; 1Ch. 6:1-3). However, the genealogy may be incomplete, since in Ruth 4:18-20 the Judah list has six names. He was probably a descendant rather than the immediate son of Amram and Jochebed, since Amram and his three brothers had numerous descendants within a year of the Exodus (Nu. 3:27f.). Aaron's sister Miriam was several years older, since she was set to watch the bulrush boat of the infant Moses, at whose birth Aaron was three years old (Ex. 7:7).
When Moses fled from Egypt, Aaron remained to share the hardships of his people, and possibly to render them some service; for we are told that Moses pleaded inability and God sent Aaron to aid in his mission to Pharaoh and to Israel, and that Aaron went out to meet his returning brother, as the time of deliverance drew near (Ex. 4:27). While Moses, whose great gifts lay along other lines, was slow of speech (4:10), Aaron was a ready spokesman, and became his brother's representative, being called his "mouth" (4:16) and his "prophet" (7:1). After their meeting in the wilderness the two brothers returned together to Egypt on the hazardous mission to which the Lord had called them (4:27-31). At first they appealed to their own nation, recalling the ancient promises and declaring the imminent deliverance, Aaron being the spokesman. But the heart of the people, hopeless by reason of the hard bondage and heavy with the care of material things, did not incline to them. The two brothers then at God's command made appeal directly to Pharaoh himself, Aaron stillspeaking for his brother (6:10-13). He also performed, at Moses' direction, the miracles commanded by God unto Moses (7:9f.). With Hur he held up Moses' hands, in order that the "rod of God might be lifted up," during the fight with Amalek (17:10, 12).
Aaron next comes into prominence when, at Sinai, he is one of the elders and representatives of his tribe to approach nearer to the mount than the people in general were allowed to do, and to see the manifested glory of God (Ex. 24:1, 9f.). A few days later, when Moses, attended by his "minister" Joshua, went up into the mountain, Aaron exercised some kind of headship over the people in his absence. Despairing of seeing again their leader, who had disappeared into the mystery of communion with the invisible God, they appealed to Aaron to prepare them more tangible gods, and to lead them back to Egypt (Ex. 32). Aaron never appears as the strong, heroic character his brother was; and here at Sinai he revealed his weaker nature, yielding to the demands of the people and permitting them to make the golden bullock. That he must have yielded reluctantly is evident from the eagerness of his tribesmen, whose leader he was, to stay and avenge the apostasy by rushing to arms at the call of Moses and slaying the idolaters (32:26-28).
Since Aaron and his sons were chosen for the official priesthood, elaborate and symbolical vestments were prepared for them (Ex. 28); and after the erection and dedication of the tabernacle, he and his sons were formally inducted into the sacred office (Lev. 8). It appears that Aaron alone was anointed with the holy oil (8:12), but his sons shared with him the duty of caring for sacrificial rites and utensils. They served in receiving and presenting the various offerings, and could enter and serve in the first chamber of the tabernacle; but Aaron alone, the high priest, the mediator of the old covenant, could enter into the holy of holies, and that only once a year, on the great Day of Atonement (16:12-14).
After Israel departed from Sinai, Aaron joined his sister Miriam in a protest against the authority of Moses (Nu. 12), which they claimed was self-assumed. For this rebellion Miriam was smitten with leprosy, but was made whole again, when, at the pleading of Aaron, Moses interceded with God for her. The sacred office of Aaron, requiring physical, moral, and ceremonial cleanness of the strictest order, seems to have made him immune from this form of punishment. Somewhat later (Nu. 16) Aaron himself, along with Moses, became the object of a revolt of his own tribe in conspiracy with leaders of Dan and Reuben. This rebellion was subdued and the authority of Moses and Aaron vindicated by the miraculous overthrow of the rebels. As they were being destroyed by the plague, Aaron, at Moses' command, rushed into their midst with the lighted censer, and the destruction was stayed. The divine will in choosing Aaron and his family to the priesthood was then fully attested by the miraculous budding of his rod, when, along with rods representing the other tribes, it was left overnight in the sanctuary (Nu. 17). See Aaron's Rod.
After this event Aaron does not come prominently into view until the time of his death, near the close of the wilderness period. Because of the impatience, or unbelief, of Moses and Aaron at Meribah (Nu. 20:12), the two brothers are prohibited from entering Canaan; and shortly after the last camp at Kadesh was broken, as the people journeyed eastward to the plains of Moab, Aaron died on Mt. Hor. This event is recorded in three passages: the detailed account in Nu. 20, a second incidental record in the list of stations of the wanderings in the wilderness (Nu. 33:38f.), and a third casual reference (Dt. 10:6) in an address of Moses. These are not in the least contradictory or inharmonious. The dramatic scene is fully presented in Nu. 20: Moses, Aaron, and Eleazar go up to Mt. Hor in the people's sight; Aaron is divested of his robes of office, which are formally put upon his eldest son; Aaron dies before the Lord on the mount at the age of 123, and is given burial by his two mourning relatives, who then return to the camp; when the people understand that Aaron is no more, they show both grief and love by thirty days of mourning. The passage in Nu. 33 records the event of his death just after the list of stations in the general vicinity of Mt. Hor; while Dt. 10 states from which of these stations, viz., Moserah, that remarkable funeral procession made its way to Mt. Hor.
Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, prince of the tribe of Judah; and she bore him four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. The sacrilegious act and consequent judicial death of Nadab and Abihu are recorded in Lev. 10. Eleazar and Ithamar were more pious and reverent; and from them descended the long line of priests to whom was committed the ceremonial law of Israel, the succession changing from one branch to the other with certain crises in the nation. At his death Aaron was succeeded by his oldest living son, Eleazar (Nu. 20:28; Dt. 10:6).
See Plate 10.
AARONITES ȃr'ǝn-īts [Heb. le>aharôn-'belonging to Aaron']. A word used in the AV only, to translate the proper name Aaron in two instances where it denotes a family and not merely a person (1Ch. 12:27; 27:17). It is equivalent to the phrases "sons of Aaron," "house of Aaron," frequently used in the OT. According to Joshua and Chronicles the "sons of Aaron" were distinguished from the other Levites from the time of Joshua (e.g., Josh. 21:4, 10, 13; 1Ch. 6:54).
AARON'S ROD (Nu. 17; He. 9:4). The rebellion led by Korah against the priestly authority of Aaron made it necessary for Aaron's supremacy to be stressed. Moses was instructed to take one almond rod for each tribe and one for Aaron, duly inscribed. When placed in the tabernacle, Aaron's rod was the only one to bud, blossom, and bear almonds. Thereafter it was preserved as a token of God's will (Nu. 17:10). According to the writer of Hebrews the rod was kept in the holy of holies inside the ark (He. 9:4; cf. 1 K. 8:9).
R. K. H.
AB ab, ôb [Heb. and Aram. ʾāḇ, ʾaḇ-'father'].
1. (a) Used of the male ancestor of a family. In a patriarchal society his authority was unquestioned (cf. 2 K. 3:27). The law commanded his children to honor him (Ex. 20:12; Dt. 5:16), and the penalty for abusing him was death (Ex. 21:15-17). He was responsible for the material and spiritual welfare of the family (Dt. 1:31; Prov. 1:8), and his offspring provided him with a sense of immortality.
(b) Ab often refers to a more distant ancestor such as a grandfather, and commonly to forefathers of the Israelite community (cf. Gen. 17:4). In Mk. 11:10, David was referred to in this manner (cf. Lk. 3:8; Rom. 4:1; Jas. 2:21).
(c) "Father" also described the progenitor of a class or the originator of some group, Jabal (Gen. 4:20), Jubal (4:21), Rechab (Jer. 35:6), Abraham (Rom. 4:11, 16f.) and Phinehas (1 Macc. 2:54) being thus designated. See Ben-.
(d) Ab is also a name for God, and occurred commonly as an element in personal names. By contrast, the devil also could be described as "father" (Jn. 8:44). See God, Names of; Abba; Abi.
2. The postexilic name of the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar (July/Aug.), when olives were harvested. See Calendar.
R. K. H.
ABACUC ab'ǝ-kǝk [Lat. Abacuc] (2 Esd. 1:40, AV). See Habakkuk.
ABADDON ǝ-bad'ǝn [Heb. ʾaḇaddon-'(place of) destruction'; Gk. Abaddōn]; NEB also DESTRUCTION. In the OT, a place name for the realm of the dead. In three instances Abaddon is paralleled with Sheol (Job 26:6; Prov. 15:11; 27:20), while in Job 28:22 it parallels Death, and in Ps. 88:11 the grave. In Job 31:12 it is part of a metaphor of destruction.
Abaddon belongs to the realm of the mysterious. Only God understands it (Job 26:6; Prov. 15:11). It is the world of the dead in its utterly dismal, destructive, dreadful aspects, not in those more cheerful aspects which include the concept of activities. In Abaddon there are no declarations of God's lovingkindness (Ps. 88:11).
In a slight degree the OT presentations personalize Abaddon. It is a synonym for insatiableness (Prov. 27:20). It has possibilities of information mediate between those of "all living" and those of God (Job 28:22).
In the NT the word occurs once (Rev. 9:11), the personalization becoming sharp. Abaddon is here not the world of the dead, but the angel who reigns over it. The Greek equivalent of his name is given as Apollyon.
W. J. Beecher
ABADIAS ab-ǝ-di'ǝs (1 Esd. 8:35, AV, NEB). See Obadiah 11.
ABAGARUS. See Abgar.
ABAGTHA ǝ-bag'thǝ [Heb. ʾaḇageṯā'-perhaps 'fortunate one']. One of the seven eunuchs, or "chamberlains," of Xerxes mentioned in Est. 1:10. The name is probably of Middle Iranian origin, and is one of the many Persian marks in Esther.
See L. B. Paton, comm. on Esther (ICC, 1916), pp. 67f.
ABANA ab'ǝ-nǝ [Heb. ʾabānȃ; Gk., Lat., Abana] (2 K. 5:12). A river mentioned along with the Pharpar as one of the principal rivers of Damascus. The RV mg. reading "Amana" is based on the qere (Heb. ʾamānȃ; cf. Pesh., Tg.), which may reflect an alternative in actual use, inasmuch as the interchange of b and m is not without parallel (cf. Evil-merodach=Amil-marduk).
The Abana is identified with the Chrysorrhoas ("golden stream") of the Greeks, the modern Nahr Baradā (the "cold"), which rises in the Anti-Lebanon, one of its sources, the 'Ain Baradā, being near the village of Zebe-dani, and flows S and then SE toward Damascus. A few miles SE of ancient Abila (see Abilene) the volume of the stream is more than doubled by a torrent of clear, cold water from the beautifully situated spring 'Ain Fijeh, after which it flows through a picturesque gorge till it reaches Damascus, whose many fountains and gardens it supplies liberally with water. In the neighborhood of Damascus a number of streams branch off from the parent river, and spread out like an opening fan on the surrounding plain. The Barada, along with the streams which it feeds, loses itself in the marshes of the Meadow Lakes about 18 mi. (29 km.) E of the city.
C. M. Thomson
ABARIM ab'a-rim [Heb. ʿaḇārȋm- regions beyond']; AV also "the passages" (Jer. 22:20). A mountainous region E of the northern Dead Sea.
When the people of Abraham lived in Canaan, before they went to Egypt to sojourn, they spoke of the region E of the Jordan as "beyond Jordan." Looking across the Jordan and the Dead Sea, they designated the mountain country they saw there as "the Beyond mountains." They continued to use these geographical terms when they came out of Egypt (Nu. 27:12; 33:45-48; Dt. 32:49). We have no means of knowing the extent of the region to which they applied the name. The passages speak of the mountain country of Abarim where Moses died, including Nebo, as situated back from the river Jordan in its lowest reaches; and of the Mounds of the Abarim (see Iye-abarim) as farther SE so that the Israelites passed them when making their detour around the agricultural parts of Edom, before they crossed the Arnon. Whether the name Abarim should be applied to the parts of the eastern hill country farther N is a question on which we lack evidence.
The name Abarim occurs without the article in Jer. 22:20, where it seems to be the name of a region, on the same footing with the names Lebanon and Bashan, doubtless the region referred to in Numbers and Deuteronomy. The NEB emends Ezk. 39:11 to read this name, instead of RSV "travelers."
W. J. Beecher
ABASE [Heb. šāpēl, šāpēl, kālam; Aram. šepal; Gk. tapeinóō] (Job 40:11; Dnl. 4:3.7; 2 Cor. 11:7; etc.). The word is often employed to indicate what should be done to or by him who nurtures a spirit and exhibits a demeanor contrary to the laudable humility which is a natural fruit of religion. Christ promised that self-abasement would lead to divine exaltation (Mt. 23:12; Lk. 14:11; 18:14; cf. Jas. 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:6). See Humble; Shame.
ABBA a'bǝ [Gk. abbá, a transliterated loanword from Aram. ʾabbaʾ, which represents two homonyms in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic that are identical orthographically and phonetically, but distinct morphologically; one homonym may be translated as 'the father' or 'my father,' the other as 'dada,' 'daddy.']. The common, but incorrect, morphological analysis of the Aram. ʾabbāʾ transliterated into Greek in Mk. 14:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6, is that it is the emphatic state of the noun ʾaḇ. ("father"). While the emphatic or determinative ending-āʾ is a virtual Aramaic equivalent of the definite article in Hebrew, it sometimes had the force of a possessive pronoun in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic (Stevenson, § 8); consequently the context alone would determine whether ʾabbāʾ should be translated "the father," or "my father." Furthermore, by the time of Jesus the Aram. ʾaḇ with the first person singular pronominal suffix -î (ʾaḇî, "my father"; cf. its use in Dnl. 5:13) had become virtually obsolete and was replaced by ʾabbāʾ (Dalman, pp. 191f.).
In contrast with the foregoing morphological analysis, however, comparative linguistics indicates that the Aram. ʾabbāʾ used by Jesus (see below) was formed in an entirely different manner. That which appears to be the Aramaic emphatic ending -āʾ (with compensatory doubling of the final radical b) is in reality the reduplication of the initial syllable ʾab in the final syllable-bāʾ characteristic of Lallwörter ("nursery words"). Such reduplication is a universal phenomenon in the development of the speech of children (Berry, pp. 162ff.), for which the English forms "dada/daddy," "momma/mommy" are excellent examples. The homonym ʾabbāʾ originated in the babbling of infants and small children in Aramaic-speaking families, and gradually achieved wider currency (cf. Jeremias, p. 58). In the colloquial speech of Jesus' time, ʾabbāʾ was primarily used as a term of informal intimacy and respect by children of their fathers (Jeremias, p. 60). Like the analogous Aram. ʾȋmmāʾ ("momma") derived from the Aram. ʾēm ("mother"), abbā' is a static form in Palestinian Jewish Aramaic, taking neither suffix nor inflection.
In the NT, abbá occurs only three times, always in the form of the compound address abbá ho patēr ("abba, father"): Mk. 14:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6. The transliteration, rather than translation, of the term abbá indicates that it had become a fixed liturgical expression within early Christianity, undoubtedly under the influence of Jesus' usage. Evidence from the four Gospels indicates that Jesus customarily addressed God as "Father" in all of His prayers; the sixteen examples (twenty-one including parallels) are found in every stratum of the Gospel tradition: Mark (1 time); Q (3); Luke (2); Matthew (1); John (9). (The only exception is Mk. 15:34 par. Mt. 27:46, where Jesus cries out from the cross "My God, my God" in the words of Ps. 22:1.) In Greek there are three ways in which Jesus addresses God as "Father" in prayer contexts: (1) páter ("father"), the Greek vocative (Mt. 11:25 par. Lk. 10:21a; Lk. 11:2; 22:42; 23:34, 46; Jn. 11:41; 12:27f.; 17:1, 5, 11, 21, 24f.); (2) ho patēr ("the father"), the articular nominative used as a vocative (Mk. 14:36 [abbá ho patēr; cf. Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6]—correct Greek form, since the second member of a compound address is always in the nominative [Robertson, p. 461]; Mt. 11:26 par. Lk. 10:21b—incorrect Greek usage, and therefore in all probability a Semitism, since the articular nominative constitutes the vocative in both Hebrew and Aramaic [Turner, p. 34]); (3) páter mou ("my father"), Greek vocative with first person singular possessive pronoun (Mt. 26:39, 42). This variation in expression makes it probable that the Aram. ʾabbāʾ was the original form of address used in each of these prayers, since the term could legitimately be translated in all of these ways (Black, p. 283).
While the OT does use the image "Father" for Yahweh, it is a comparatively marginal conception, occurring only fourteen times and usually in the sense of an absolute and irrevocable authority (TDOT, I, 17-19). The Judaism of the Greco-Roman era continues the reluctance to apply this image to Yahweh. However, beginning with the end of the 1st cent. a.d., the image becomes increasingly common in rabbinic literature (Dalman, pp. 186-89; SB, I, 394ff.; II, 49f.). According to Jeremias (p. 29), there is no evidence in the literature of ancient Palestinian Judaism that ʾabbāʾ was used as a personal address to God in prayer (cf. TDNT, I, 5). However, this argument from silence is so heavily qualified by Jeremias (cf. pp. 15-29) that it cannot bear the full weight he gives it (cf. Sandmel, p. 202). Nonetheless, it may be observed that ʾabbāʾ as a form of address to God is extremely uncommon in Jewish literature of the Greco-Roman period, doubtless because it would have appeared irreverent to address God with this familiar term. Jesus' frequent use of this term in prayer is an indirect attestation of His extraordinary claim to intimacy with God. In further contrast with the reluctance of first-century Palestinian Judaism to apply the image of "father" to God, the four Gospels preserve more than 125 instances in which Jesus refers to God as "Father" in contexts other than prayer; in all probability the Aram. ʾabbāʾ stands behind each of these occurrences.
Bibliography.-M. F. Berry, Language Disorders of Children (1969); M. Black, Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (3rd ed. 1967); G. Dalman, Words of Jesus (1902); J. Jeremias, Prayers of Jesus (1967), pp. 11-65; S. V. McCasland. JBL, 72 (1953), 79-91; A. T. Robertson, Grammar of the Greek NT in the Light of Historical Research (1934); S. Sandmel, First Christian Century in Judaism and Christianity (1969); W. B. Stevenson, Grammar of Palestinian Jewish Aramaic (1924); SB; TDNT, I, s.v. ἀββᾱ (Kittel); V, s.v. πατήρ, esp. pp. 984f. (Schrenk); TDOT, I, s.v. "ʾābh" (Ringgren); N. Turner, Syntax, Vol. III of J. H. Moulton, Grammar of NT Greek (1963).
D. E. Aune ABDA ab'dǝ [Heb. ʾaḇdāʾ-perhaps abbr. for 'servant of Yahweh'].
1. The father of Adoniram, King Solomon's superintendent of forced labor (1 K. 4:6).
2. A Levite mentioned in the statistical note in Neh. 11:17. This "Abda the son of Shammua" is in the partly duplicate passage in 1Ch. 9:16 called "Obadiah the son of Shemaiah."
ABDEEL ab'dǝ-el [Heb. ʿaḇdeʾēl- 'servant of God']. The father of Shelemiah (Jer. 36:26).
ABDI ab'ḏī [Heb. 'aḇdî-prob. abbr. for 'servant of Yahweh'].
1. A Levite, father of Kishi and grandfather of King David's singer Ethan (1Ch. 6:44 [MT 29]; cf. 15:17). This makes Abdi a contemporary of Saul the king.
2. A Levite, father of the Kish who was in service at the beginning of the reign of Hezekiah (2 Ch. 29:12). Some mistakenly identify this Abdi with 1.
3. A man who in Ezra's time had married a foreign wife (Ezr. 10:26). He was not a Levite, but "of the sons of Elam."
ABDIAS ab-dī'əs (2 Esd. 1:39, AV). See Obadiah 1. Here in 2 Esdras it is said that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Minor Prophets shall be given as leaders to the "nation from the east" which is to overthrow Israel.
ABDIEL ab'di-ǝl [Heb. ʾaḇdîʾēl- servant of God']. A Gadite who lived in Gilead or in Bashan, and whose name was reckoned in genealogies of the time of Jotham king of Judah, or of Jeroboam II king of Israel (1Ch. 5:15-17).
ABDON ab'don [Heb. ʾaḇdôn-perhaps 'service,' 'worship'].
1. A Judge of Israel for eight years (Jgs. 12:13-15). He was the son of Hillel the Pirathonite, and was buried in Pirathon in the territory of Ephraim (probably to be identified with Farʿâtā, about 6 mi. [10 km.] WSW of Shechem).
Abdon's numerous offspring (forty sons and thirty grandsons) indicate that he had extensive family relationships, and his possession of seventy asses points to his being a man of wealth and standing.
Abdon is the last judge in the continuous account of Jgs. 2:6-13:1. After his judgeship Israel was delivered into the hands of the Philistines for a period of forty years; then follow the stories of Samson, Micah and his Levite, the Benjaminite civil war, and the childhood of Samuel. The national history is resumed in 1 S. 4:18. Upon the death of Abdon the Philistines asserted themselves as overlords of Israel. Their policy of suppressing Israel's national consciousness resulted in their abolishing the office of judge and transferring the priesthood to Eli's house, but Eli assumed some of the judge's duties. As soon as Israel regained her independence, the office of judgeship was reestablished with Samuel as judge (1 S. 7:6; 2:27f.).
2. The son of Jehiel and his wife Maachah (1Ch. 8:30; 9:36). Jehiel is depicted as the "father of Gibeon," perhaps the founder of the Israelite community there. This Abdon is also referred to as the brother of Ner the grandfather of King Saul.
3. One of the messengers sent by King Josiah to Huldah the prophetess (2 Ch. 34:20). In the parallel passage 2 K. 22:12 he is called Achbor.
4. One of the multitude of the Benjaminites who lived in Jerusalem (1Ch. 8:23), possibly under Nehemiah's governorship, though the date is uncertain.
5. A city of the Levites in the tribe of Asher about 8 or 9 mi. (13 or 14 km.) NNE of Accho (Josh. 21:30; 1Ch. 6:74), probably the present ruin of ʿAbdeh.
W. J. Beecher
D. W. DEERE
ABED-NEGO ǝ-bed'nǝ-gō [Heb. and Aram. ʿaḇēḏ negō, once Aram. ʿaḇēḏ negō (Dnl. 3:29)]. The name given in the court of Nebuchadnezzar to Azariah, one of Daniel's three companions (Dnl. 1:6f.). The name is unknown in Neo-Babylonian texts. According to many, nego is an intentional corruption of Nebo, the Babylonian god of wisdom, arising from the desire of the Hebrew scribes to avoid giving a heathen name to a hero of their faith. The name, according to this view, would mean "servant of Nebo." Others take it as a translation of some Babylonian name beginning with Arad, "servant." Attempts have been made to relate the second element to the Babylonian word for "morning star," a name given to the goddess Ishtar. After he refused, along with his friends, to eat the provisions of the king's table, Abed-nego was fed and flourished upon vegetables and water. Having successfully passed his examinations and escaped the death with which the wise men of Babylon were threatened, at the request of Daniel he was appointed along with his companions over the affairs of the province of Babylon (Dnl. 2). But because he refused to bow down to the image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up, he was cast into the burning fiery furnace; and after his triumphant delivery he was caused by the king to prosper in the province of Babylon (Dnl. 3). The three friends are referred to by name in 1 Macc. 2:59, and by implication in He. 11:33f.
R. D. Wilson
ABEL ā'bǝl [Heb. hāḇel; Gk. Abel]. The second son of Adam and Eve (Gen. 4:1-9). His name may be derived from Akk. aplu, "son," and is perhaps generic in nature.
A herdsman, Abel presented to God a more acceptable sacrifice than his brother Cain, and was subsequently killed by the latter in a fit of jealousy. Why Abel's offering was more suitable is unknown, and there is no evidence that at this period animal sacrifices were deemed superior to cereal offerings. The LXX diélēs of Gen. 4:7 suggests that Cain's real offense was a ritual one, the offering apparently not having been presented in a proper manner. Even so, strict ceremonial regulations applied only to animal sacrifices (cf. Ex. 29:17; Lev. 8:20; Jgs. 19:29). He. 11:4, however, implies improper spiritual motivation as the real reason why the offering was rejected. Well-doing consisted not in the outward offering (Gen. 4:7) but in the right state of heart and mind.
Abel ranks as the first martyr (Mt. 23:35), whose blood cried for vengeance (Gen. 4:10; cf. Rev. 6:9f.) and produced despair, whereas that of Jesus appeals to God for man's forgiveness and brings cleansing from sin (1 Jn. 1:7). Abel's death is a prototype of Christ's death (He. 12:24).
R. K. H.
ABEL āḇ'bǝl [Heb. ʾāḇēl- 'meadow']. A word used in several compound names of places. It appears by itself as the name of a city concerned in the rebellion of Sheba (2 S. 20:18), though it is there probably an abridgment of the name Abel-beth-maacah (cf. vv. 14f.). In 1 S. 6:18, where the Hebrew has "the great meadows," and the Greek "the great stone" (so RSV, NEB), the AV translates "the great stone of Abel."