South Heb. Negeb , that arid district to the south of Palestine through which lay the caravan route from Central Palestine to Egypt (Gen 12:9; Gen 13:1, Gen 13:3; Gen 46:1). "The Negeb comprised a considerable but irregularly-shaped tract of country, its main portion stretching from the mountains and lowlands of Judah in the north to the mountains of Azazemeh in the south, and from the Dead Sea and southern Ghoron the east to the Mediterranean on the west." In Eze 20:46 (Eze 21:1 in Heb.) three different Hebrew words are all rendered "south." (1.) "Set thy face toward the south" ( Teman , the region on the right, Sa1 23:24); (2.) "Drop thy word toward the south" ( Negeb , the region of dryness, Jos 15:4); (3.) "Prophesy against the forest of the south field" ( Darom , the region of brightness, Deu 33:23). In Job 37:9 the word "south" is literally "chamber," used here in the sense of treasury (compare Job 38:22; Psa 135:7). This verse is rendered in the Revised Version "out of the chamber of the south."
Sovereignty Of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure (Dan 4:25, Dan 4:35; Rom 9:15; Ti1 6:15; Rev 4:11).
Spain Paul expresses his intention (Rom 15:24, Rom 15:28) to visit Spain. There is, however, no evidence that he ever carried it into effect, although some think that he probably did so between his first and second imprisonment. (See TARSHISH.)
Sparrow Mentioned among the offerings made by the very poor. Two sparrows were sold for a farthing (Mat 10:29), and five for two farthings (Luk 12:6). The Hebrew word thus rendered is tsippor, which properly denotes the whole family of small birds which feed on grain (Lev 14:4; Psa 84:3; Psa 102:7). The Greek word of the New Testament is strouthion (Mat 10:29), which is thus correctly rendered.
Spicery Heb. nechoth , identified with the Arabic naka'at , the gum tragacanth, obtained from the astralagus , of which there are about twenty species found in Palestine. The tragacanth of commerce is obtained from the A. tragacantha . "The gum exudes plentifully under the heat of the sun on the leaves, thorns, and extremity of the twigs."
Spices Aromatic substances, of which several are named in Ex. 30. They were used in the sacred anointing oil (Exo 25:6; Exo 35:8; Ch1 9:29), and in embalming the dead (Ch2 16:14; Luk 23:56; Luk 24:1; Joh 19:39, Joh 19:40). Spices were stored by Hezekiah in his treasure-house (Kg2 20:13; Isa 39:2).
Spider The trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider's web or house (Job 8:14). It is said of the wicked by Isaiah that they "weave the spider's web" (Isa 59:5), i.e., their works and designs are, like the spider's web, vain and useless. The Hebrew word here used is 'akkabish , "a swift weaver." In Pro 30:28 a different Hebrew word ( semamith ) is used. It is rendered in the Vulgate by stellio , and in the Revised Version by "lizard." It may, however, represent the spider, of which there are, it is said, about seven hundred species in Palestine.
Spies When the Israelites reached Kadesh for the first time, and were encamped there, Moses selected twelve spies from among the chiefs of the divisions of the tribes, and sent them forth to spy the land of Canaan (Num. 13), and to bring back to him a report of its actual condition. They at once proceeded on their important errand, and went through the land as far north as the district round Lake Merom. After about six weeks' absence they returned. Their report was very discouraging, and the people were greatly alarmed, and in a rebellious spirit proposed to elect a new leader and return to Egypt. Only two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, showed themselves on this occasion stout-hearted and faithful. All their appeals and remonstrances were in vain. Moses announced that as a punishment for their rebellion they must now wander in the wilderness till a new generation should arise which would go up and posses the land. The spies had been forty days absent on their expedition, and for each day the Israelites were to be wanderers for a year in the desert. (See ESHCOL.) Two spies were sent by Joshua "secretly" i.e., unknown to the people (Jos 2:1), "to view the land and Jericho" after the death of Moses, and just before the tribes under his leadership were about to cross the Jordan. They learned from Rahab (q.v.), in whose house they found a hiding-place, that terror had fallen on all the inhabitants of the land because of the great things they had heard that Jehovah had done for them (Exo 15:14; compare Exo 23:27; Deu 2:25; Deu 11:25). As the result of their mission they reported: "Truly Jehovah hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us."
Spikenard (Heb. nerd ), a much-valued perfume (Sol 1:12; Sol 4:13, Sol 4:14). It was "very precious", i.e., very costly (Mar 14:3; Joh 12:3, Joh 12:5). It is the root of an Indian plant, the Nardostachys jatamansi, of the family of Valeriance, growing on the Himalaya mountains. It is distinguished by its having many hairy spikes shooting out from one root. It is called by the Arabs sunbul Hindi, "the Indian spike." In the New Testament this word is the rendering of the Greek nardos pistike . The margin of the Revised Version in these passages has "pistic nard," pistic being perhaps a local name. Some take it to mean genuine, and others liquid. The most probable opinion is that the word pistike designates the nard as genuine or faithfully prepared.
Spirit (Heb. ruah ; Gr. pneuma ), properly wind or breath. In Th2 2:8 it means "breath," and in Ecc 8:8 the vital principle in man. It also denotes the rational, immortal soul by which man is distinguished (Act 7:59; Co1 5:5; Co1 6:20; Co1 7:34), and the soul in its separate state (Heb 12:23), and hence also an apparition (Job 4:15; Luk 24:37, Luk 24:39), an angel (Heb 1:14), and a demon (Luk 4:36; Luk 10:20). This word is used also metaphorically as denoting a tendency (Zac 12:10; Luk 13:11). In Rom 1:4, Ti1 3:16, Co2 3:17, Pe1 3:18, it designates the divine nature.