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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:
PILLAR OF FIRE – The Israelites during their wanderings through the desert were guided in the night-time by a pillar of fire to give them light (Ex. xiii. 21; Num. xiv. 14; Neh. ix. 12, 19). The pillar of fire never departed from them during the...
PIPE – Musical instrument akin to the flute. The flute was a favorite instrument of the ancients. The monuments show flutes of various shapes. On the Egyptian monuments are pictured (1) singletubed direct flutes made of reed or wood,...
PLANTS – In the Bible: The following names of plants and plant materials are found in the Old Testament:[The plant-names in this table follow the order of the Hebrew alphabet, but are transliterated according to the system adopted by The...
PLOWING – No description of the plow ("maḥareshet") is found in the Bible; but it may be assumed with certainty that the implement resembled, on the whole, the very simple plow which is still used by the fellahs of Palestine. It consists...
POETRY – Biblical: The question whether the literature of the ancient Hebrews includes portions that may be called poetry is answered by the ancient Hebrews themselves. A distinction between different classes of writings is evident in...
POMEGRANATE – A tree of the myrtle family. The pomegranate was carried into Egypt in very early historic times (comp. Num. xx. 5), and was also cultivated in Palestine, Assyria, and most of the countries bordering the Mediterranean. The spies...
PORCUPINE – Rendering adopted by many commentators for the Hebrew "ḳippod," for which the English versions have correctly Bittern. The porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is, however, very common in Palestine. It is considered by the natives as a...
POTIPHAR – Name of an Egyptian officer. The form "Potiphar" is probably an abbreviation of "Potiphera"; the two are treated as identical in the Septuagint, and are rendered Πετρεφῆς or Πετεφῆς. "Poti-phera" is the Hebrew rendering of the...
POTTERY – Biblical Data: There can be no doubt that the Israelites first learned the art of making pottery on Palestinian soil. The nomad in his continual wanderings can not use the breakable wares of the potter; and the proper vessels...
POTTERY – Biblical Data: There can be no doubt that the Israelites first learned the art of making pottery on Palestinian soil. The nomad in his continual wanderings can not use the breakable wares of the potter; and the proper vessels...
PREY, BIRDS OF – While few clean birds are named in the Old Testament (see Poultry), there are given in Lev. xi. (13-19) and Deut. xiv. (12-21) two parallel lists of birds of prey, the former passage mentioning twenty, and the latter twenty-one....
PRIESTLY CODE – Name given by modern scholars to that stratum of the Pentateuch which deals with ceremonial regulations, especially those which relate to sacrifice and purification. These laws once formed part of an independent narrative, which...
PRIMOGENITURE – In the Old Testament as well as in the rabbinical legislation a distinction is made between the first-born of inheritance ( ) and the first-born of redemption ( ; comp. Bek. viii. 1, 46a).Primogeniture of Inheritance. The...
PROPHETS AND PROPHECY – Biblical Data and Critical View: Though many ancient peoples had their prophets, the term has received its popular acceptation from Israel alone, because, taken as a class, the Hebrew prophets have been without parallel in human...
PROPHETS AND PROPHECY – Biblical Data and Critical View: Though many ancient peoples had their prophets, the term has received its popular acceptation from Israel alone, because, taken as a class, the Hebrew prophets have been without parallel in human...
PROSELYTE – The "Ger." Term employed generally, though not exclusively, in the Septuagint as a rendering for the Hebrew word "ger," designating a convert from one religion to another. The original meaning of the Hebrew is involved in some...
PROVIDENCE – Two Senses of the Term. The term occurs only in the Apocryphal books (Wisdom xiv. 3, xvii. 2), and has no equivalent in Biblical Hebrew, the later philosophical writers employing "hashgaḥah" as a translation for the Arabic...
PSALMS – Name derived from the Greek ψαλμός (plural ψαλμοί), which signifies primarily playing on a stringed instrument, and secondarily the composition played or the song accompanied on such an instrument. In the Septuagint (Codex...
PUAH – 1. One of the two midwives who were ordered by Pharaoh to kill all the Hebrew male children (Ex. i. 15). Philo ("Quis Rerum Divinarum," ed. 1613, p. 389; ed. Schwickert, 1828, iii. 30, § 26) possibly correctly identifies this...
PUL – A usurper who ascended the throne of Babylonia in 745 B.C. and reigned until 737; identical with Tiglath-pileser III. He appears in the list of kings as "Pulu," but his identity with Tiglathpileser, first suggested by Rawlinson...
PURPLE – Mention is made in the Old Testament of two kinds of purple, or purple dye: (1) "argaman" (Aramaic, "argevan"; Greek, πόρφυρα), probably the bright-red purple, which was costliest when it had the color of coagulated blood, and...
PYGARG – Clean animal mentioned in Deut. xiv. 5, following the Septuagint. The identity of the animal has not been established.Bibliography: Tristram, Natural History of the Bible, p. 126.E. G. H. I. M. C.
QUAIL – Mentioned in Ex. xvi. 11-13 and Num. xi. 31 (comp. Ps. lxxviii. 27, cv. 40) in connection with the miraculous feeding of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Quails pass over the Sinaitic Peninsula in vast numbers,...
RABBAH (RABBATH) – Capital of the Ammonites, where, according to Deut. iii. 11, the bed of the giant Og was shown. David besieged and took the city (II Sam. xi. 1), but under Solomon, or soon after the division of the kingdom, when Ammon regained...
RACHEL – Biblical Data: Laban's younger daughter, who became one of Jacob's wives (Gen. xxix. 26-28). Her first meeting with Jacob occurred at a well near Haran, whither she had taken the flocks for water. As she was beautiful and well...