Cross In the New Testament the instrument of crucifixion, and hence used for the crucifixion of Christ itself (Eph 2:16; Heb 12:2; Co1 1:17, Co1 1:18; Gal 5:11; Gal 6:12, Gal 6:14; Phi 3:18). The word is also used to denote any severe affliction or trial (Mat 10:38; Mat 16:24; Mar 8:34; Mar 10:21). The forms in which the cross is represented are these: (1.) The crux simplex (I), a "single piece without transom." (2.) The crux decussata (X), or St. Andrew's cross. (3.) The crux commissa (T), or St. Anthony's cross. (4.) The crux immissa ( or Latin cross, which was the kind of cross on which our Saviour died. Above our Lord's head, on the projecting beam, was placed the "title." (See CRUCIFIXION.) After the conversion, so-called, of Constantine the Great (313 B.C.), the cross first came into use as an emblem of Christianity. He pretended at a critical moment that he saw a flaming cross in the heavens bearing the inscription, "In hoc signo vinces", i.e., By this sign thou shalt conquer, and that on the following night Christ himself appeared and ordered him to take for his standard the sign of this cross. In this form a new standard, called the Labarum, was accordingly made, and borne by the Roman armies. It remained the standard of the Roman army till the downfall of the Western empire. It bore the embroidered monogram of Christ, i.e., the first two Greek letters of his name, X and P ( chi and rho ), with the Alpha and Omega . (See ALPHA.)
Crown (1.) Denotes the plate of gold in the front of the high priest's mitre (Exo 29:6; Exo 39:30). The same Hebrew word so rendered ( ne'zer ) denotes the diadem worn by Saul in battle (Sa2 1:10), and also that which was used at the coronation of Joash (Kg2 11:12). (2.) The more general name in Hebrew for a crown is 'atarah , meaning a "circlet." This is used of crowns and head ornaments of divers kinds, including royal crowns. Such was the crown taken from the king of Ammon by David (Sa2 12:30). The crown worn by the Assyrian kings was a high mitre, sometimes adorned with flowers. There are sculptures also representing the crowns worn by the early Egyptian and Persian kings. Sometimes a diadem surrounded the royal head-dress of two or three fillets. This probably signified that the wearer had dominion over two or three countries. In Rev 12:3; Rev 13:1, we read of "many crowns," a token of extended dominion. (3.) The ancient Persian crown (Est 1:11; Est 2:17; Est 6:8) was called kether; i.e., "a chaplet," a high cap or tiara. Crowns were worn sometimes to represent honour and power (Eze 23:42). They were worn at marriages (Sol 3:11; Isa 61:10, "ornaments;" R.V., "a garland"), and at feasts and public festivals. The crown was among the Romans and Greeks a symbol of victory and reward. The crown or wreath worn by the victors in the Olympic games was made of leaves of the wild olive; in the Pythian games, of laurel; in the Nemean games, of parsley; and in the Isthmian games, of the pine. The Romans bestowed the "civic crown" on him who saved the life of a citizen. It was made of the leaves of the oak. In opposition to all these fading crowns the apostles speak of the incorruptible crown, the crown of life (Jam 1:12; Rev 2:10) "that fadeth not away" (Pe1 5:4, Gr. amarantinos ; compare Pe1 1:4). Probably the word "amaranth" was applied to flowers we call "everlasting," the "immortal amaranth."
Crown of Thorns Our Lord was crowned with a, in mockery by the Romans (Mat 27:29). The object of Pilate's guard in doing this was probably to insult, and not specially to inflict pain. There is nothing to show that the shrub thus used was, as has been supposed, the spina Christi, which could have been easily woven into a wreath. It was probably the thorny nabk, which grew abundantly round about Jerusalem, and whose flexible, pliant, and round branches could easily be platted into the form of a crown. (See THORN, 3.)
Crucifixion A common mode of punishment among heathen nations in early times. It is not certain whether it was known among the ancient Jews; probably it was not. The modes of capital punishment according to the Mosaic law were, by the sword (Ex. 21), strangling, fire (Lev. 20), and stoning (Deut. 21). This was regarded as the most horrible form of death, and to a Jew it would acquire greater horror from the curse in Deu 21:23. This punishment began by subjecting the sufferer to scourging. In the case of our Lord, however, his scourging was rather before the sentence was passed upon him, and was inflicted by Pilate for the purpose, probably, of exciting pity and procuring his escape from further punishment (Luk 23:22; Joh 19:1). The condemned one carried his own cross to the place of execution, which was outside the city, in some conspicuous place set apart for the purpose. Before the nailing to the cross took place, a medicated cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh (the sopor) was given, for the purpose of deadening the pangs of the sufferer. Our Lord refused this cup, that his senses might be clear (Mat 27:34). The spongeful of vinegar, sour wine, posca, the common drink of the Roman soldiers, which was put on a hyssop stalk and offered to our Lord in contemptuous pity (Mat 27:48; Luk 23:36), he tasted to allay the agonies of his thirst (Joh 19:29). The accounts given of the crucifixion of our Lord are in entire agreement with the customs and practices of the Roman in such cases. He was crucified between two "malefactors" (Isa 53:12; Luk 23:32), and was watched by a party of four soldiers (Joh 19:23; Mat 27:36, Mat 27:54), with their centurion. The "breaking of the legs" of the malefactors was intended to hasten death, and put them out of misery (Joh 19:31); but the unusual rapidity of our Lord's death (Joh 19:33) was due to his previous sufferings and his great mental anguish. The omission of the breaking of his legs was the fulfillment of a type (Exo 12:46). He literally died of a broken heart, a ruptured heart, and hence the flowing of blood and water from the wound made by the soldier's spear (Joh 19:34). Our Lord uttered seven memorable words from the cross, namely, (1.) Luk 23:34; (2.) Luk 23:43; (3.) Joh 19:26; (4.) Mat 27:46, Mar 15:34; (5.) Joh 19:28; (6.) Joh 19:30; (7.) Luk 23:46.
Cruse A utensil; a flask or cup for holding water (Sa1 26:11, Sa1 26:12, Sa1 26:16; Kg1 19:6) or oil (Kg1 17:12, Kg1 17:14, Kg1 17:16). In Kg1 14:3 the word there so rendered means properly a bottle, as in Jer 19:1, Jer 19:10, or pitcher. In Kg2 2:20, a platter or flat metal saucer is intended. The Hebrew word here used is translated "dish" in Kg2 21:13; "pans," in Ch2 35:13; and "bosom," in Pro 19:24; Pro 26:15 (R.V., "dish")
Crystal (Eze 1:22, with the epithet "terrible," as dazzling the spectators with its brightness). The word occurs in Rev 4:6; Rev 21:11; Rev 22:1. It is a stone of the flint order, the most refined kind of quartz. The Greek word here used means also literally "ice." The ancients regarded the crystal as only pure water congealed into extreme hardness by great length of time.
Cubit Heb. 'ammah ; i.e., "mother of the arm," the fore-arm, is a word derived from the Latin cubitus , the lower arm. It is difficult to determine the exact length of this measure, from the uncertainty whether it included the entire length from the elbow to the tip of the longest finger, or only from the elbow to the root of the hand at the wrist. The probability is that the longer was the original cubit. The common computation as to the length of the cubit makes it 20.24 inches for the ordinary cubit, and 21.888 inches for the sacred one. This is the same as the Egyptian measurements. A rod or staff the measure of a cubit is called in Jdg 3:16 gomed, which literally means a "cut," something "cut off." The LXX. and Vulgate render it "span."
Cuckoo (Heb. shahaph ), from a root meaning "to be lean; slender." This bird is mentioned only in Lev 11:16 and Deu 14:15 (R.V., "seamew"). Some have interpreted the Hebrew word by "petrel" or "shearwater" (Puffinus cinereus), which is found on the coast of Syria; others think it denotes the "sea-gull" or "seamew." The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) feeds on reptiles and large insects. It is found in Asia and Africa as well as in Europe. It only passes the winter in Palestine. The Arabs suppose it to utter the cry Yakub, and hence they call it tir el-Yakub; i.e., "Jacob's bird."
Cucumbers (Heb. plur. kishshuim ; i.e., "hard," "difficult" of digestion, only in Num 11:5). This vegetable is extensively cultivated in the East at the present day, as it appears to have been in earlier times among the Hebrews. It belongs to the gourd family of plants. In the East its cooling pulp and juice are most refreshing. "We need not altogether wonder that the Israelites, wearily marching through the arid solitudes of the Sinaitic peninsula, thought more of the cucumbers and watermelons of which they had had no lack in Egypt, rather than of the cruel bondage which was the price of these luxuries." Groser's Scripture Natural History. Isaiah speaks of a "lodge" (Isa 1:8; Heb. sukkah ), i.e., a shed or edifice more solid than a booth, for the protection throughout the season from spring to autumn of the watchers in a "garden of cucumbers."
Cummin (Heb. kammon ; i.e., a "condiment"), the fruit or seed of an umbelliferous plant, the Cuminum sativum, still extensively cultivated in the East. Its fruit is mentioned in Isa 28:25, Isa 28:27. In the New Testament it is mentioned in Mat 23:23, where our Lord pronounces a "woe" on the scribes and Pharisees, who were zealous in paying tithes of "mint and anise and cummin," while they omitted the weightier matters of the law." "It is used as a spice, both bruised, to mix with bread, and also boiled, in the various messes and stews which compose an Oriental banquet." Tristram, Natural History.