Eben-ezer Stone of help, the memorial stone set up by Samuel to commemorate the divine assistance to Israel in their great battle against the Philistines, whom they totally routed (Sa1 7:7) at Aphek, in the neighbourhood of Mizpeh, in Benjamin, near the western entrance of the pass of Beth-horon. On this very battle-field, twenty years before, the Philistines routed the Israelites, "and slew of the army in the field about four thousand men" (Sa1 4:1, Sa1 4:2; here, and at Sa1 5:1, called "Eben-ezer" by anticipation). In this extremity the Israelites fetched the ark out of Shiloh and carried it into their camp. The Philistines a second time immediately attacked them, and smote them with a very great slaughter, "for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken" (Sa1 4:10). And now in the same place the Philistines are vanquished, and the memorial stone is erected by Samuel (q.v.). The Plot where the stone was erected was somewhere "between Mizpeh and Shen." Some have identified it with the modern Beit Iksa, a conspicuous and prominent position, apparently answering all the necessary conditions; others with Dier Aban, 3 miles east of 'Ain Shems .
Eber Beyond. (1.). The third post-duluvian patriarch after Shem (Gen 10:24; Gen 11:14). He is regarded as the founder of the Hebrew race (Gen 10:21; Num 24:24). In Luk 3:35 he is called Heber. (2.) One of the seven heads of the families of the Gadites (Ch1 5:13). (3.) The oldest of the three sons of Elpaal the Benjamite (Ch1 8:12). (4.) One of the heads of the families of Benjamites in Jerusalem (Ch1 8:22). (5.) The head of the priestly family of Amok in the time of Zerubbabel (Neh 12:20).
Ebony A black, hard wood, brought by the merchants from India to Tyre (Eze 27:15). It is the heart-wood, brought by Diospyros ebenus, which grows in Ceylon and Southern India.
Ebronah Passage, one of the stations of the Israelites in their wanderings (Num 33:34, Num 33:35). It was near Ezion-geber.
Ecbatana (Ezr 6:2 marg.). (See ACHMETHA.)
Ecclesiastes The Greek rendering of the Hebrew Koheleth , which means "Preacher." The old and traditional view of the authorship of this book attributes it to Solomon. This view can be satisfactorily maintained, though others date it from the Captivity. The writer represents himself implicitly as Solomon (Ecc 1:12). It has been appropriately styled The Confession of King Solomon. "The writer is a man who has sinned in giving way to selfishness and sensuality, who has paid the penalty of that sin in satiety and weariness of life, but who has through all this been under the discipline of a divine education, and has learned from it the lesson which God meant to teach him." "The writer concludes by pointing out that the secret of a true life is that a man should consecrate the vigour of his youth of God." The key-note of the book is sounded in Ecc 1:2, "Vanity of vanities! saith the Preacher, Vanity of vanities! all is vanity!" i.e., all man's efforts to find happiness apart from God are without result.
Eclipse Of the sun alluded to in Amo 8:9; Mic 3:6; Zac 14:6; Joe 2:10. Eclipses were regarded as tokens of God's anger (Joe 3:15; Job 9:7). The darkness at the crucifixion has been ascribed to an eclipse (Mat 27:45); but on the other hand it is argued that the great intensity of darkness caused by an eclipse never lasts for more than six minutes, and this darkness lasted for three hours. Moreover, at the time of the Passover the moon was full, and therefore there could not be an eclipse of the sun, which is caused by an interposition of the moon between the sun and the earth.
Ed Witness, a word not found in the original Hebrew, nor in the LXX. and Vulgate, but added by the translators in the Authorized Version, also in the Revised Version, of Jos 22:34. The words are literally rendered: "And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad named the altar. It is a witness between us that Jehovah is God." This great altar stood probably on the east side of the Jordan, in the land of Gilead, "over against the land of Canaan." After the division of the Promised Land, the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of manasseh, on returning to their own settlements on the east of Jordan (Jos 22:1), erected a great altar, which they affirmed, in answer to the challenge of the other tribes, was not for sacrifice, but only as a witness ( 'Ed ) or testimony to future generations that they still retained the same interest in the nation as the other tribes.
Edar Tower of the flock, a tower between Bethlehem and Hebron, near which Jacob first halted after leaving Bethlehem (Gen 35:21). In Mic 4:8 the word is rendered "tower of the flock" (marg., "Edar"), and is used as a designation of Bethlehem, which figuratively represents the royal line of David as sprung from Bethlehem.
Eden Delight. (1.) The garden in which our first parents dwelt (Gen 2:8). No geographical question has been so much discussed as that bearing on its site. It has been placed in Armenia, in the region west of the Caspian Sea, in Media, near Damascus, in Palestine, in Southern Arabia, and in Babylonia. The site must undoubtedly be sought for somewhere along the course of the great streams the Tigris and the Euphrates of Western Asia, in "the land of Shinar" or Babylonia. The region from about lat. 33 degrees 30' to lat. 31 degrees, which is a very rich and fertile tract, has been by the most competent authorities agreed on as the probable site of Eden. "It is a region where streams abound, where they divide and re-unite, where alone in the Mesopotamian tract can be found the phenomenon of a single river parting into four arms, each of which is or has been a river of consequence." Among almost all nations there are traditions of the primitive innocence of our race in the garden of Eden. This was the "golden age" to which the Greeks looked back. Men then lived a "life free from care, and without labour and sorrow. Old age was unknown; the body never lost its vigour; existence was a perpetual feast without a taint of evil. The earth brought forth spontaneously all things that were good in profuse abundance." (2.) One of the markets whence the merchants of Tyre obtained richly embroidered stuffs (Eze 27:23); the same, probably, as that mentioned in Kg2 19:12, and Isa 37:12, as the name of a region conquered by the Assyrians. (3.) Son of Joah, and one of the Levites who assisted in reforming the public worship of the sanctuary in the time of Hezekiah (Ch2 29:12).