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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:
PEACH – This fruit and the plum ( ; Prunus domestica) are mentioned only in late times: the former in the Mishnah (Kil. i. 4; Ma'as. i. 2); the latter not until the Gemara (Löw, "Aramäische Pflanzennamen," No. 105).E. G. H. I....
PEACOCK – Traditional rendering of "tukkiyyim," mentioned among the creatures brought by Solomon's ships from Tarshish (I Kings x. 22). The peacock is an Indian bird (comp. the Malabar "togai" and the Tamil "tokei" for the "tail" of the...
PEAR – The pear is mentioned in the Talmud (see Löw, "Aramäische Pflanzennamen," p. 152). It does not seem to have been extensively cultivated. The Septuagint erroneously rendered απίον (= "pear") for "baka"-trees (I Chron. xiv. 14).E....
PEARL – Biblical Data: Since ancient times the precious product of the pearl-oyster (Mytilus margaritifer Linn.) has been known and has been an article of commerce (comp. Pliny, ix. 35, 54 et seq.; Ælian, x. 13, xv. 18). The ancients,...
PEKAH – Son of Remaliah and a king of Israel in the period of anarchy between the fall of the dynasty of Jehu (750 B.C.) and the overthrow of Samaria (722 B.C.). The Biblical records of his activity are found in II Kings xv. 25-31, II...
PEKAHIAH – King of Israel in succession to his father (736-735 B.C.), according to P. Rost in Schrader, "K. A. T." 3d ed., i. 320 (but see Chronology), Menahem (II Kings xv. 23-26). He ascended the throne at a time when the kingdom of...
PELICAN – Unclean bird mentioned in Lev. xi. 18 and Deut. xiv. 17. Reference to its habit of living in ruins and desolate places is made in Isa. xxxiv. 11 and Zeph. ii. 14 (A. V. "cormorant") and in Ps. cii. 7 (A. V. 6). From its habit of...
PEN – An instrument for writing. The older expressions for "writing," which later occur as archaisms in lofty speech, mean "to cut in," "to scratch" ("ḥaḳaḳ," "ḥaraṭ," "ḥarat," "ḥarash"). There is no mention, therefore, of pens, but...
PENIEL – 1. Place mentioned three times in the Old Testament. It was situated on the western bank of the Jordan, near the ford of Jabbok, in the mountains of Ephraim. It is identified with the present Tulul al-Dhahab, which lies 250 feet...
PENTATEUCH – The five books of Moses. The word is a Greek adaptation of the Hebrew expression "ḥamishshah ḥumshe ha-Torah" (five-fifths of the Law) applied to the books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and indicating...
PEOR – Mountain in the plains of Zophim, overlooking Jeshimon, where Balak took Balaam to induce him to curse Israel. According to the "Onomasticon" of Jerome, it was situated opposite Jericho, near a city named "Danaba." Although the...
PERÆA – Division of Palestine, extending, according to Josephus ("B. J." iii. 3, § 3), from Macherus in the south to Pella in the north, and from the Jordan in the west to Philadelphia (Rabbat Ammon) in the east. But in fact it covered...
PERFUME – Both fragrant ointments and perfumes ("roḳaḥ" or "riḳḳuḥim") in general (comp. Incense) were known to the Israelites. There is nothing to indicate that they understood how to obtain them from animal matter, mention being made...
PESHIṬTA – The oldest Syriac translation of both the Old and New Testaments. The term "Peshiṭta" means "the simple one" in distinction from Origen's Hexapla. This term was first used by Moses bar Kepha (died 913), then by Gregory bar...
PESTILENCE – The dreaded infectious disease frequent in ancient Israel and proving fatal in the majority of cases was probably the bubonic plague, which in antiquity was especially prevalent in Egypt, and also occurred in other countries of...
PETHOR – Native city of Balaam. In Num. xxii. 5 it is called the city "by the river," and in Deut. xxiii. 4 the city "in Aram Naharaim" (A. V. "Mesopotamia"). It was situated north-northeast of Palestine, and was most probably identical...
PETRA – Capital of Edom in northern Arabia, lying in a rocky valley surrounded by mountains, of which the highest is Mount Hor. The name is apparently a Greek translation of the original Hebrew designation of the place, "Sela" (=...
PHARAOH – The term applied in the Old Testament to the kings of Egypt. The word is derived from the Egyptian "pr-'o" (= "great house"), which originally denoted the royal palace with the buildings and grounds attached to it, although the...
PHARPAR – River flowing from Hermon south of Damascus, where it turns to the southeast and flows into the Lakes of the Marj. Thomson identifies the stream with Al-A'waj; G. A. Smith and Socin (in Baedeker) with Al-Sabirani, which unites...
PHILISTINES – A people that occupied territory on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, south-west of Jerusalem, previously to and contemporaneously with the life of the kingdoms of Israel. Their northern boundary reached to the "borders of...
PHINEHAS – 1.—Biblical Data: Son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron (Ex. vi. 25; I Chron. v. 30, vi. 35 [A. V. vi. 4, 50]). His mother is said to have been one of Putiel's daughters; and it seems that he was the only child of his parents...
PHINEHAS – 1.—Biblical Data: Son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron (Ex. vi. 25; I Chron. v. 30, vi. 35 [A. V. vi. 4, 50]). His mother is said to have been one of Putiel's daughters; and it seems that he was the only child of his parents...
PHYLACTERIES – Legal View: Phylactery-Bag.(In the British Museum.)The laws governing the wearing of phylacteries were derived by the Rabbis from four Biblical passages (Deut. vi. 8, xi. 18; Ex. xiii. 9, 16). While these passages were...
PI-HAHIROTH – A place in the wilderness where the Israelites encamped when they turned back from Etham. It lay between Migdol and the sea "before Baal-zephon" (Ex. xiv. 2, 9; Num. xxxiii. 7, 8). The etymology of the name, which is apparently...
PILEGESH – Biblical Data: A concubine recognized among the ancient Hebrews. She enjoyed the same rights in the house as the legitimate wife. Since it was regarded as the highest blessing to have many children, while the greatest curse was...