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Wilhelm Nowack, Ph.D.

Professor of Old Testament Exegesis, University of Strasburg, Germany.

Contributions:
INK – The only passage in the Old Testament in which ink is mentioned is Jer. xxxvi. 18. It would evidently, however, be a mistake to conclude that it was unknown in earlier times, for in this passage "deyo" is spoken of as something...
IRON – The invention of the art of working in brass and iron is ascribed to Tubal-cain (Gen. iv. 22), and thus placed in prehistoric times. The Israelites, therefore, derived their knowledge of the art from others. Further proof of...
JACOB, BLESSING OF – Biblical Data: Name given to the chapter containing the prophetic utterances of Jacob concerning the destiny of his twelve sons as the fathers and representatives of the twelve tribes (Gen. xlix. 1-27). It is called thus after...
MINES AND MINING – Mines did not exist in the land inhabited by the Israelites. In the description of Palestine in Deut. viii. 9, it is true, the words "whose stones are iron and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass" seem to refer to mining;...
MONEY – Biblical Data: I. As far back as the history of Israel can be traced, gold and silver were used as standards of value and mediums of exchange, and, as the Egyptian tribute-lists show, they were thus employed in Canaan even...
MOSES, BLESSING OF – Biblical Data: Name given to the chapter in Deuteronomy (xxxiii.) containing the prophetic utterances of Moses concerning the destiny of the twelve tribes, which he had led to the boundary of Palestine. Moses begins with praise...
MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS – Occasions for Music. The development of music among the Israelites was coincident with that of poetry, the two being equally ancient, since every poem was also sung. Although little mention is made of it, music was used in very...
NAVIGATION – Biblical Data: That the Israelites, practically, did not engage in navigation is due to the fact that they never held the sea-coast for any length of time. According to Judges v. 17, Josh. xix. 26, 28, Gen. xlix. 13, and Deut....
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,...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
SACKCLOTH – Term originally denoting a coarsely woven fabric, usually made of goat's hair. It afterward came to mean also a garment made from such cloth, which was chiefly worn as a token of mourning by the Israelites. It was furthermore a...
SHEKEL – Name of (1) a weight and of (2) a silver coin in use among the Hebrews.1. Weight: It has long been admitted that the Israelites derived their system of weights and coins from the Babylonians, and both peoples divided the talent...
SHIGGAYON – Term used as the superscription of Ps. vii. 1, and, in the form , of Hab. iii. 1, although the Septuagint evidently reads (comp. Ps. lxi. 1). Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, and Jerome regarded the word as synonymous with (Ps....
SWORD – The sword hung at the hip from a sword-belt (I Sam. xvii. 39; xxv. 13; II Sam. xx. 8), probably on the left side, Judges iii. 16, 21, notwithstanding. It was kept in a sheath ("ta'ar," I Sam. xvii. 51; "nadan," I Chron. xxi. 27;...
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...