Steel The "bow of steel" in (A.V.) Sa2 22:35; Job 20:24; Psa 18:34 is in the Revised Version "bow of brass" (Heb. kesheth-nehushah ). In Jer 15:12 the same word is used, and is also rendered in the Revised Version "brass." But more correctly it is copper (q.v.), as brass in the ordinary sense of the word (an alloy of copper and zinc) was not known to the ancients.
Stephanas Crown, a member of the church at Corinth, whose family were among those the apostle had baptized (Co1 1:16; Co1 16:15, Co1 16:17). He has been supposed by some to have been the "jailer of Philippi" (compare Act 16:33). The First Epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi some six years after the jailer's conversion, and he was with the apostle there at that time.
Stephen One of the seven deacons, who became a preacher of the gospel. He was the first Christian martyr. His personal character and history are recorded in Act 6:1. "He fell asleep" with a prayer for his persecutors on his lips (Act 7:60). Devout men carried him to his grave (Act 8:2). It was at the feet of the young Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, that those who stoned him laid their clothes (compare Deu 17:5) before they began their cruel work. The scene which Saul then witnessed and the words he heard appear to have made a deep and lasting impression on his mind (Act 22:19, Act 22:20). The speech of Stephen before the Jewish ruler is the first apology for the universalism of the gospel as a message to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. It is the longest speech contained in the Acts, a place of prominence being given to it as a defense.
Stoics A sect of Greek philosophers at Athens, so called from the Greek word stoa i.e., a "porch" or "portico," where they have been called "the Pharisees of Greek paganism." The founder of the Stoics was Zeno, who flourished about 300 B.C.. He taught his disciples that a man's happiness consisted in bringing himself into harmony with the course of the universe. They were trained to bear evils with indifference, and so to be independent of externals. Materialism, pantheism, fatalism, and pride were the leading features of this philosophy.
Stomacher (Isa 3:24), an article of female attire, probably some sort of girdle around the breast.
Stone Stones were commonly used for buildings, also as memorials of important events (Gen 28:18; Jos 24:26, Jos 24:27; Sa1 7:12, etc.). They were gathered out of cultivated fields (Isa 5:2; compare Kg2 3:19). This word is also used figuratively of believers (Pe1 2:4, Pe1 2:5), and of the Messiah (Psa 118:22; Isa 28:16; Mat 21:42; Act 4:11, etc.). In Dan 2:45 it refers also to the Messiah. He is there described as "cut out of the mountain." (See ROCK.) A "heart of stone" denotes great insensibility (Sa1 25:37). Stones were set up to commemorate remarkable events, as by Jacob at Bethel (Gen 28:18), at Padan-aram (Gen 35:4), and on the occasion of parting with Laban (Gen 31:45); by Joshua at the place on the banks of the Jordan where the people first "lodged" after crossing the river (Jos 6:8), and also in "the midst of Jordan," where he erected another set of twelve stones (Jos 4:1); and by Samuel at "Ebenezer" (Sa1 7:12).
Stones, Precious Frequently referred to (Kg1 10:2; Ch2 3:6; Ch2 9:10; Rev 18:16; Rev 21:19). There are about twenty different names of such stones in the Bible. They are figuratively introduced to denote value, beauty, durability (Sol 5:14; Isa 54:11, Isa 54:12; Lam 4:7).
Stork Heb. hasidah , meaning "kindness," indicating thus the character of the bird, which is noted for its affection for its young. It is in the list of birds forbidden to be eaten by the Levitical law (Lev 11:19; Deu 14:18). It is like the crane, but larger in size. Two species are found in Palestine, the white, which are dispersed in pairs over the whole country; and the black, which live in marshy places and in great flocks. They migrate to Palestine periodically (about the 22nd of March). Jeremiah alludes to this (Jer 8:7). At the appointed time they return with unerring sagacity to their old haunts, and re-occupy their old nests. "There is a well-authenticated account of the devotion of a stork which, at the burning of the town of Delft, after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to carry off her young, chose rather to remain and perish with them than leave them to their fate. Well might the Romans call it the pia avis!" In Job 39:13 (A.V.), instead of the expression "or wings and feathers unto the ostrich" (marg., "the feathers of the stork and ostrich"), the Revised Version has "are her pinions and feathers kindly" (marg., instead of "kindly," reads "like the stork's"). The object of this somewhat obscure verse seems to be to point out a contrast between the stork, as distinguished for her affection for her young, and the ostrich, as distinguished for her indifference. Zechariah (Zac 5:9) alludes to the beauty and power of the stork's wings.
Strain at Simply a misprint for "strain out" (Mat 23:24).
Stranger This word generally denotes a person from a foreign land residing in Palestine. Such persons enjoyed many privileges in common with the Jews, but still were separate from them. The relation of the Jews to strangers was regulated by special laws (Deu 23:3; Deu 24:14; Deu 25:5; Deu 26:10). A special signification is also sometimes attached to this word. In Gen 23:4 it denotes one resident in a foreign land; Exo 23:9, one who is not a Jew; Num 3:10, one who is not of the family of Aaron; Psa 69:8, an alien or an unknown person. The Jews were allowed to purchase strangers as slaves (Lev 25:44, Lev 25:45), and to take usury from them (Deu 23:20).