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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:
TYRE – Principal city of Phenicia. By "the strong city Tyre," mentioned in Josh. xix. 29 and II Sam. xxiv. 7 as marking the frontier of Israel (Asher), is evidently meant not the main city, but an outpost in the mountains protecting...
UNICORN – Rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew or , following the Septuagint and the Vulgate. Aquila and Saadia, on Job xxxix. 9, read "rhinoceros"; Bochart ("Hierozoicon") and others, "oryx," or "white antelope"; Revised...
UR – A locality mentioned four times in the Bible (Gen. xi. 28, 31; xv. 7; Neh. ix. 7) with the qualification (= "of the Kasdim," or Chaldees), and described as the original home of Abram. Modern scholars, with few exceptions, are...
URIAH, URIJAH – 1. Biblical Data: A Hittite; husband of Bath-sheba, and one of David'spicked warriors. The scanty Biblical allusions to him are of value as illustrating the taboo under which warriors were constrained to abstain from sexual...
URIM AND THUMMIM – Biblical References. —Biblical Data: Objects connected with the breastplate of the high priest, and used as a kind of divine oracle. Since the days of the Alexandrian translators of the Old Testament it has been asserted that...
UZ – 1. Son of Aram, and grandson of Shem, according to Gen. x. 23; but I Chron. i. 17 records him as a son of Shem.2. Eldest son of Nahor by Milcah; nephew of Abraham (Gen. xxii. 21; A. V. has "Huz").3. One of the sons of Dishan,...
UZZA, UZZAH – 1. —Biblical Data: Son of Abinadab. Together with his brother Ahio, he drove the new cart on which was placed the Ark of the Covenant when, accompanied by David and all the house of Israel, it was brought from Abinadab's house...
UZZIAH – 1. Son of Amaziah; called also Azariah (comp. II Kings xv. 1, 13, 30). He was king of Judah, and began to rule, at the age of sixteen, in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Jeroboam II. The Kings record (ib. xv. 2) states...
UZZIEL – 1. Son of Kohath and brother of Amram (Ex. vi. 18; I Chron. vi. 2). He was the father of Mishael, Elzaphan, and Zithri (Ex. vi. 22). The first two, at the bidding of Moses, carried from the Tabernacle the bodies of Nadab and...
VALUATION – Estimate of the value of the sacred gifts when a money substitute was required for them. The chief Biblical passage in relation to the subject of valuation is Lev. xxvii. 2 et seq., where is probably a noun of action, as in Ex....
VASHTI – Biblical Data: The first wife of Ahasuerus; her disobedience and subsequent punishment furnish the theme for the introduction to the story of Esther. The name is held to be that of an Elamite goddess.Bibliography: Wildeboer,...
VINEGAR – In the Biblical period vinegar was prepared either from wine or from cider, the former variety being termed "ḥomeẓ yayin," and the latter "ḥomeẓ shekar." It was used to moisten the flat loaves of the harvesters, and was also...
VIOL – Musical instrument; next to the "kinnor," it was the one most used by the Israelites. The Old Testament furnishes no description of it, and resort must therefore be had to conjectures regarding it. The viol is commonly...
VULTURE – The Hebrew terms rendered in one or the other of the English versions by "vulture" are: "da'ah" (Lev. xi. 14) and its variant "dayyah" (Deut. xiv. 13 and Isa. xxxiv. 15 [R. V. "kite"]), "ayyah" (Lev. xi. 14; Deut. xiv. 13; Job...
WALLS – The walls erected by the Canaanites for the protection of their farmyards consisted of great unhewn blocks of stone, and remnants of them still exist, especially in the east-Jordan district. Walls of fortifications and towns...
WASHING – As compared with the Greeks and Romans, the Hebrews paid little attention to the care of the body; and the bath was a rarity in a land where water was relatively scarce. It was important, therefore, that personal cleanliness...
WATER – Water for Guests. Water was looked upon by the Jews as extremely important and precious. The first thing placed before a guest was water to wash his feet (Gen. xviii. 4, xxiv. 32), and it was a duty of hospitality to give water...
WAX – In the Old Testament wax is referred to only as a simile for something easily dissolved or evanescent (Ps. lxviii. 3); for compliance and submission (Judges xvi. 18; Micah i. 4; Ps. xcvii. 5); or for fear and discouragement (Ps....
WEASEL – Unclean animal (Lev. xi. 29). Saadia, Bochart, and others render by "mole," referring to the Arabic "ḥuld" and the Aramaic "ḥuldah." The family of the Mustelidœ, to which the weasel belongs, is represented in Palestine and Syria...
WEAVING – As early as the nomadic period the Israelites understood the art of spinning the hair of camels and goats, and the wool of sheep, and of weaving therefrom rough stuffs for tents and clothing. Their method of weaving was probably...
WEEK – Connection with Lunar Phases. A division of time comprising seven days, thus explaining the Hebrew name. There are indications of the use of another system of reckoning time, in which the month was divided into three parts of...
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES – Derived from Babylonia. — Biblical Data: While the references in the Old Testament are sufficient for a general knowledge of the ancient Hebrew system of weights and measures, and of the mutual relations of the several units,...
WELL – The Hebrew language distinguishes between two kinds of wells: (1) "be'er," an artificially constructed hollow in which the water of a spring or underground water collects, and "bor," a cistern in which rain-water is stored. Of...
WELL – The Hebrew language distinguishes between two kinds of wells: (1) "be'er," an artificially constructed hollow in which the water of a spring or underground water collects, and "bor," a cistern in which rain-water is stored. Of...
WELL, SONG OF THE – A poem which is quoted in Num. xxi. 17, 18. It is introduced in a list of the encampments made by Israel while crossing the wilderness. One of these camping-places was Beer. After this it is explained that Beer was the name of...