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Emil G. Hirsch, Ph.D., LL.D.

Rabbi, Sinai Congregation; Professor of Rabbinical Literature and Philosophy, University of Chicago; Chicago, Ill.

Contributions:
OIL – In the Bible olive-oil alone is mentioned, although it may be inferred from the expression "shemen zayit" that other oils were known. Oliveoil, like grain and wine, was one of the chief products of Palestine; and at an early...
OLIVE – Evergreen tree, one of the most characteristic of Palestine. The term "zayit" is applied in the Old Testament only to the cultivated olive-tree, the wild olive, the oleaster of the ancients, being designated as "'eẓ shemen"...
OMRI – 1. The first king of the fourth dynasty of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (I Kings xvi. 16-28). He is first mentioned as captain of the host of Elah which was besieging Gibbethon, one of the cities of the Philistines. At the...
ONAN – A son of Judah; he refused to enter into a levirate marriage with his sister-in-law after the death of his elder brother Er, and it was for this reason that the Lord "slew him also" (Gen. xxxviii. 7-10).E. G. H. S. O....
OPHIR – District first mentioned in the Old Testament as a Joktanite or south-Arabian tribe (Gen. x. 29 et seq.), and later as the port of destination of Solomon's fleet. The earliest reference to Ophir in this connection is in I Kings...
OPHRAH – 1. A town in Benjamin (Josh. xviii. 23) situated, according to Eusebius, five miles northeast of Beth-el, and probably identical with the modern Al-Ṭaiyyibah. According to I Sam. xiii. 17, it must have been a few miles north of...
OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM – Philosophical and theological systems according to which this world and human life are considered as essentially good or essentially evil. Plato, Cicero, Thomas Aquinas, Nicolaus Cusanus, and especially Leibnitz, Wolf, and...
ORNAMENT – The mention made in the Old Testament of numerous articles of adornment leads to the conclusion that in antiquity self-adornment occupied among both men and women the same place as it does to-day in the Orient. It is probable,...
OSPREY – Rendering in the English versions of the Hebrew "'ozniyyah" in the list of unclean birds in Lev. xi. 13 and Deut. xiv. 12. As the osprey proper (Pandion haliaetus)is not common in Palestine, "'ozniyyah" may be a generic term...
OSSIFRAGE – An unclean bird, mentioned in Lev. xi. 13 and Deut. xiv. 12; the Gypaetus barbatus, commonly known as the lammergeier (R. V. "gier-eagle"). It derives its name from its habit of breaking bones, its favorite food, by letting them...
OSTRICH – The Hebrew term for this bird occurring most frequently in the Bible is "bat ha-ya 'anah"; the plural form "ye'enim" occurs in Lam. iv. 3, and "renanim" in Job xxxix. 13 (A. V. "peacocks"). The Authorized Version renders also...
OTHNIEL – One of the sons of Kenaz, according to the chronicler (I Chron. iv. 13); hence one of the Kenizzites. After Caleb had been assigned his possession (Josh. XV. 13 et seq.), he drove out the giants and otherwise secured it for...
OVEN – Stoves built into a room for the purpose of heating it have always been unknown in the East. The substitute for them is the "aḥ," or portable brazier, which even at present in the Orient is placed in the room during cold weather...
OWL – Rendering in the English versions of the following Hebrew words: "kos" (Lev. xi. 17; A. V. "little owl"); "yanshuf" (ib.; A. V. "great owl"; LXX. ἶβις); "tinshemet" (ib. v. 18; R. V., after the Samaritan and Targum, "horned...
PADAN-ARAM – The first element in the word is variously explained as meaning "road" or "field," "yoke," and "plow." It may indicate in this connection that portion of Aram which could be cultivated—the lowland between the Euphrates and the...
PAINTING – The art least developed among the Hebrews. If it is borne in mind that painting was affected by the Mosaic interdiction against images, it is not surprising that this art is hardly mentioned in the Old Testament. Decorations on...
PALACE – The Hebrews learned from the Phenicians the art of erecting large buildings having several rooms. David's palace was built by workmen sent by Hiram of Tyre; and Solomon also availed himself of their services. Of David's palace...
PALM – An evergreen tree growing in tropical climates in a dry atmosphere. The term for it, common to the Aramaic, Ethiopic, and Hebrew, is "tamar" ( ). The Arabic "tamr" means more particularly the fruit of the date-palm. The Aramaic...
PALTI – Name borne by two persons mentioned in the Old Testament; probably an abbreviation, or corruption, of Paltiel. 1. Son of Raphu, of the tribe of Benjamin; one of the twelve spies (Num. xiii. 9). 2. Second husband of Michal,...
PARAN – 1. Desert, corresponding to the present Badiyyat al-Tih, bounded on the north by the Jabal al-Makhrah, on the south by the watershed toward the Sinai Peninsula, on the east by the mountains of Wadi al-'Arabah, and on the west by...
PARTRIDGE – This bird is mentioned only in I Sam. xxvi. 20 (LXX., νυκτικόραξ = "kos" = "owl") and Jer. xvii. 11.The most common partridge in Palestine is the Caccabis chukar; around the Dead Sea and in the Jordan valley the Ammoperdix heyi...
PASHUR – 1. Son of Immer the priest. He attacked Jeremiah on account of his prophecies of calamity and put him in the stocks, for which Jeremiah predicted Pashur's captivity and death in Babylon (Jer. xx. 1-3).2. Son of Melchiah. He was...
PASSOVER – Biblical Data: The Biblical account connects the term with the root (= "to pass by," "to spare"; Ex. xii. 13, 23, 27; comp. Isa. xxxi. 5). As a derivative designates (1) a festival and (2) the sacrificial lamb and meal...
PASSOVER – Biblical Data: The Biblical account connects the term with the root (= "to pass by," "to spare"; Ex. xii. 13, 23, 27; comp. Isa. xxxi. 5). As a derivative designates (1) a festival and (2) the sacrificial lamb and meal...
PASSOVER – Biblical Data: The Biblical account connects the term with the root (= "to pass by," "to spare"; Ex. xii. 13, 23, 27; comp. Isa. xxxi. 5). As a derivative designates (1) a festival and (2) the sacrificial lamb and meal...