Asp (Heb. pethen ), Deu 32:33; Job 20:14, Job 20:16; Isa 11:8. It was probably the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje), which was very poisonous (Rom 3:13; Gr. aspis ). The Egyptians worshipped it as the uraeus, and it was found in the desert and in the fields. The peace and security of Messiah's reign is represented by the figure of a child playing on the hole of the asp. (See ADDER.)
Ass Frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the domesticated species we read of, (1.) The she ass (Heb. 'athon ), so named from its slowness (Gen 12:16; Gen 45:23; Num 22:23; Sa1 9:3). (2.) The male ass (Heb. hamor ), the common working ass of Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is compared to a strong ass (Gen 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deu 22:10). (3.) The ass's colt (Heb. 'air ), mentioned Jdg 10:4; Jdg 12:14. It is rendered "foal" in Gen 32:15; Gen 49:11. (Compare Job 11:12; Isa 30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew the cud (Lev 11:26. Compare Kg2 6:25). Asses constituted a considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Gen 12:16; Gen 30:43; Ch1 27:30; Job 1:3; Job 42:12). They were noted for their spirit and their attachment to their master (Isa 1:3). They are frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham (Gen 22:3), Balaam (Num 22:21), the disobedient prophet (Kg1 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number (Jdg 12:14), Zipporah (Exo 4:20), the Shunammite (Sa1 25:30), etc. Zechariah (Zac 9:9) predicted our Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt," etc. (Mat 21:5, R.V.). Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1.) that called in Hebrew 'arod , mentioned Job 39:5 and Dan 5:21, noted for its swiftness; and (2.) that called pe're , the wild ass of Asia (Job 39:6; Job 6:5; Job 11:12; Isa 32:14; Jer 2:24; Jer 14:6, etc.). The wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to a wild ass (Gen 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered "wild" in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, "wild-ass among men").
Asshur Second son of Shem (Gen 10:22; Ch1 1:17). He went from the land of Shinar and built Nineveh, etc. (Gen 10:11, Gen 10:12). He probably gave his name to Assyria, which is the usual translation of the word, although the form Asshur is sometimes retained (Num 24:22, Num 24:24; Eze 27:23, etc.). In Gen 2:14 "Assyria" ought to be "Asshur," which was the original capital of Assyria, a city represented by the mounds of Kalah Sherghat, on the west bank of the Tigris. This city was founded by Bel-kap-kapu about 1700 B.C.. At a later date the capital was shifted to Ninua, or Nineveh, now Koyunjik, on the eastern bank of the river. (See CALAH; NINEVEH.)
Assos A sea-port town of Proconsular Asia, in the district of Mysia, on the north shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium. Paul came hither on foot along the Roman road from Troas (Act 20:13, Act 20:14), a distance of 20 miles. It was about 30 miles distant from Troas by sea. The island of Lesbos lay opposite it, about 7 miles distant.
Assurance The resurrection of Jesus (Act 17:31) is the "assurance" (Gr. pistis , generally rendered "faith") or pledge God has given that his revelation is true and worthy of acceptance. The "full assurance [Gr. plerophoria , 'full bearing'] of faith" (Heb 10:22) is a fulness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt. The "full assurance of understanding" (Col 2:2) is an entire unwavering conviction of the truth of the declarations of Scripture, a joyful steadfastness on the part of any one of conviction that he has grasped the very truth. The "full assurance of hope" (Heb 6:11) is a sure and well-grounded expectation of eternal glory (Ti2 4:7, Ti2 4:8). This assurance of hope is the assurance of a man's own particular salvation. This infallible assurance, which believers may attain unto as to their own personal salvation, is founded on the truth of the promises (Heb 6:18), on the inward evidence of Christian graces, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:16). That such a certainty may be attained appears from the testimony of Scripture (Rom 8:16; Jo1 2:3; Jo1 3:14), from the command to seek after it (Heb 6:11; Pe2 1:10), and from the fact that it has been attained (Ti2 1:12; Ti2 4:7, Ti2 4:8; Jo1 2:3; Jo1 4:16). This full assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. It is the result of faith, and posterior to it in the order of nature, and so frequently also in the order of time. True believers may be destitute of it. Trust itself is something different from the evidence that we do trust. Believers, moreover, are exhorted to go on to something beyond what they at present have when they are exhorted to seek the grace of full assurance (Heb 10:22; Pe2 1:5). The attainment of this grace is a duty, and is to be diligently sought. "Genuine assurance naturally leads to a legitimate and abiding peace and joy, and to love and thankfulness to God; and these from the very laws of our being to greater buoyancy, strength, and cheerfulness in the practice of obedience in every department of duty." This assurance may in various ways be shaken, diminished, and intermitted, but the principle out of which it springs can never be lost. (See FAITH.)
Assyria The name derived from the city Asshur on the Tigris, the original capital of the country, was originally a colony from Babylonia, and was ruled by viceroys from that kingdom. It was a mountainous region lying to the north of Babylonia, extending along the Tigris as far as to the high mountain range of Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains. It was founded in 1700 B.C. under Bel-kap-kapu, and became an independent and a conquering power, and shook off the yoke of its Babylonian masters. It subdued the whole of Northern Asia. The Assyrians were Semites (Gen 10:22), but in process of time non-Semite tribes mingled with the inhabitants. They were a military people, the "Romans of the East." See map, of Assyria Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria little is positively known. In 1120 B.C. Tiglath-pileser I., the greatest of the Assyrian kings, "crossed the Euphrates, defeated the kings of the Hittites, captured the city of Carchemish, and advanced as far as the shores of the Mediterranean." He may be regarded as the founder of the first Assyrian empire. After this the Assyrians gradually extended their power, subjugating the states of Northern Syria. In the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, Shalmaneser II. marched an army against the Syrian states, whose allied army he encountered and vanquished at Karkar. This led to Ahab's casting off the yoke of Damascus and allying himself with Judah. Some years after this the Assyrian king marched an army against Hazael, king of Damascus. He besieged and took that city. He also brought under tribute Jehu, and the cities of Tyre and Sidon. About a hundred years after this (745 B.C. the crown was seized by a military adventurer called Pul, who assumed the name of Tiglath-pileser III. He directed his armies into Syria, which had by this time regained its independence, and took (740 B.C.) Arpad, near Aleppo, after a siege of three years, and reduced Hamath. Azariah (Uzziah) was an ally of the king of Hamath, and thus was compelled by Tiglath-pileser to do him homage and pay a yearly tribute. In 738 B.C., in the reign of Menahem, king of Israel, Pul invaded Israel, and imposed on it a heavy tribute (Kg2 15:19). Ahaz, the king of Judah, when engaged in a war against Israel and Syria, appealed for help to this Assyrian king by means of a present of gold and silver (Kg2 16:8); who accordingly "marched against Damascus, defeated and put Rezin to death, and besieged the city itself." Leaving a portion of his army to continue the siege, "he advanced through the province east of Jordan, spreading fire and sword," and became master of Philistia, and took Samaria and Damascus. He died 727 B.C., and was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV., who ruled till 722 B.C.. He also invaded Syria (Kg2 17:5), but was deposed in favour of Sargon (q.v.) the Tartan, or commander-in-chief of the army, who took Samaria (q.v.) after a siege of three years, and so put an end to the kingdom of Israel, carrying the people away into captivity, 722 B.C. (Kg2 17:1, Kg2 17:24; Kg2 18:7, Kg2 18:9). He also overran the land of Judah, and took the city of Jerusalem (Isa 10:6, Isa 10:12, Isa 10:22, Isa 10:24, Isa 10:34). Mention is next made of Sennacherib (705 B.C.), the son and successor of Sargon (Kg2 18:13; Kg2 19:37; Isa 7:17, Isa 7:18); and then of Esar-haddon, his son and successor, who took Manasseh, king of Judah, captive, and kept him for some time a prisoner at Babylon, which he alone of all the Assyrian kings made the seat of his government (Kg2 19:37; Isa 37:38). Assur-bani-pal, the son of Esarhaddon, became king, and in Ezr 4:10 is referred to as Asnapper. From an early period Assyria had entered on a conquering career, and having absorbed Babylon, the kingdoms of Hamath, Damascus, and Samaria, it conquered Phoenicia, and made Judea feudatory, and subjected Philistia and Idumea. At length, however, its power declined. In 727 B.C. the Babylonians threw off the rule of the Assyrians, under the leadership of the powerful Chaldean prince Merodach-baladan (Kg2 20:12), who, after twelve years, was subdued by Sargon, who now reunited the kingdom, and ruled over a vast empire. But on his death the smouldering flames of rebellion again burst forth, and the Babylonians and Medes successfully asserted their independence (625 B.C.), and Assyria fell according to the prophecies of Isaiah (Isa 10:5), Nahum (Nah 3:19), and Zephaniah (Zep 3:13), and the many separate kingdoms of which it was composed ceased to recognize the "great king" (Kg2 18:19; Isa 36:4). Ezekiel (Ezek. 31) attests (about 586 B.C.) how completely Assyria was overthrown. NINEVEH, BABYLON.)
Astrologer (Dan 1:20; Dan 2:2, Dan 2:10, Dan 2:27, etc.) Heb. 'ashshaph' , an enchanter, one who professes to divine future events by the appearance of the stars. This science flourished among the Chaldeans. It was positively forbidden to the Jews (Deu 4:19; Deu 18:10; Isa 47:13).
Astronomy The Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry firmament (Amo 5:8; Psa 19:1). In the Book of Job, which is the oldest book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations are distinguished and named. Mention is made of the "morning star" (Rev 2:28; compare Isa 14:12), the "seven stars" and "Pleiades," "Orion," "Arcturus," the "Great Bear" (Amo 5:8; Job 9:9; Job 38:31), "the crooked serpent," Draco (Job 26:13), the Dioscuri, or Gemini, "Castor and Pollux" (Act 28:11). The stars were called "the host of heaven" (Isa 40:26; Jer 33:22). The oldest divisions of time were mainly based on the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, the "ordinances of heaven" (Gen 1:14; Job 38:33; Jer 31:35; Jer 33:25). Such observations led to the division of the year into months and the mapping out of the appearances of the stars into twelve portions, which received from into twelve portions, which received from the Greeks the name of the "zodiac." The word "Mazzaroth" (Job 38:32) means, as the margin notes, "the twelve signs" of the zodiac. Astronomical observations were also necessary among the Jews in order to the fixing of the proper time for sacred ceremonies, the "new moons," the "passover," etc. Many allusions are found to the display of God's wisdom and power as seen in the starry heavens (Psa 8:1; Psa 19:1; Isa 51:6, etc.)
Asuppim (Ch1 26:15, Ch1 26:17, Authorized Version; but in Revised Version, "storehouse"), properly the house of stores for the priests. In Neh 12:25 the Authorized Version has "thresholds," marg. "treasuries" or "assemblies;" Revised Version, "storehouses."
Atad Buckthorn, a place where Joseph and his brethren, when on their way from Egypt to Hebron with the remains of their father Jacob, made for seven days a "great and very sore lamentation." On this account the Canaanites called it "Abel-mizraim" (Gen 50:10, Gen 50:11). It was probably near Hebron. The word is rendered "bramble" in Jdg 9:14, Jdg 9:15, and "thorns" in Psa 58:9.