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Pithom Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the "treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the Israelites (Exo 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20 east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this was a great "store city." Its immense ruin-heaps show that it was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw. Succoth (Exo 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been argued (Dr. Lansing) that these "store" cities "were residence cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build, thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves."

Plague A "stroke" of affliction, or disease. Sent as a divine chastisement (Num 11:33; Num 14:37; Num 16:46; Sa2 24:21). Painful afflictions or diseases, (Lev 13:3, Lev 13:5, Lev 13:30; Kg1 8:37), or severe calamity (Mar 5:29; Luk 7:21), or the judgment of God, so called (Exo 9:14). Plagues of Egypt were ten in number. (1.) The river Nile was turned into blood, and the fish died, and the river stank, so that the Egyptians loathed to drink of the river (Exo 7:14). (2.) The plague of frogs (Exo 8:1). (3.) The plague of lice (Heb. kinnim , properly gnats or mosquitoes; compare Psa 78:45; Psa 105:31), "out of the dust of the land" (Exo 8:16). (4.) The plague of flies (Heb. arob , rendered by the LXX. dog-fly), Exo 8:21. (5.) The murrain (Exo 9:1), or epidemic pestilence which carried off vast numbers of cattle in the field. Warning was given of its coming. (6.) The sixth plague, of "boils and blains," like the third, was sent without warning (Exo 9:8). It is called (Deu 28:27) "the botch of Egypt," A.V.; but in R.V., "the boil of Egypt." "The magicians could not stand before Moses" because of it. (7.) The plague of hail, with fire and thunder (Ex. 9:13-33). Warning was given of its coming. (Compare Psa 18:13; Psa 105:32, Psa 105:33). (8.) The plague of locusts, which covered the whole face of the earth, so that the land was darkened with them (Exo 10:12). The Hebrew name of this insect, arbeh, points to the "multitudinous" character of this visitation. Warning was given before this plague came. (9.) After a short interval the plague of darkness succeeded that of the locusts; and it came without any special warning (Exo 10:21). The darkness covered "all the land of Egypt" to such an extent that "they saw not one another." It did not, however, extend to the land of Goshen. (10.) The last and most fearful of these plagues was the death of the first-born of man and of beast (Exo 11:4, Exo 11:5; Exo 12:29, Exo 12:30). The exact time of the visitation was announced, "about midnight", which would add to the horror of the infliction. Its extent also is specified, from the first-born of the king to the first-born of the humblest slave, and all the first-born of beasts. But from this plague the Hebrews were completely exempted. The Lord "put a difference" between them and the Egyptians. (See PASSOVER.)

Plain (1.) Heb. 'abel (Jdg 11:33), a "grassy plain" or "meadow." Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), compare Jdg 11:22; Ch2 16:4. (2.) Heb. 'elon (Gen 12:6; Gen 13:18; Gen 14:13; Gen 18:1; Deu 11:30; Jdg 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version; margin, "terebinth." (3.) Heb. bik'ah (Gen 11:2; Neh 6:2; Eze 3:23; Dan 3:1), properly a valley, as rendered in Isa 40:4, a broad plain between mountains. In Amo 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version has "Bikathaven." (4.) Heb. kikar , "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the low ground along the Jordan (Gen 13:10; Gen 19:17, Gen 19:25, Gen 19:28, Gen 19:29; Deu 34:3; Sa2 18:23; Kg1 7:46; Ch2 4:17; Neh 3:22; Neh 12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth. (5.) Heb. mishor , "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land (Deu 3:10; Deu 4:43; Jos 13:9, Jos 13:16, Jos 13:17, Jos 13:21; Jos 20:8; Jer 48:21), an expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the tribe of Reuben. In Ch2 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant. Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jer 21:13, because the hills on which it is built rise high above the plain. (6.) Heb. 'arabah , the valley from the Sea of Galilee southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," Kg2 14:25; Deu 1:1; Deu 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found in Authorized Version (Jos 18:18), and is uniformly used in the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This ravine is called the "lower plain." The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100 miles in all. (7.) Heb. shephelah , "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered "vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version (Jos 9:1; Jos 10:40; Jos 11:2; Jos 12:8; Jdg 1:9; Kg1 10:27). In Authorized Version (Ch1 27:28; Ch2 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In Jer 17:26, Oba 1:19, Zac 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the article, as in Deu 1:7, Jos 11:16; Jos 15:33; Jer 32:44; Jer 33:13; Zac 7:7, "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the Philistines." (See VALLEY.)

Plain of Mamre (Gen 13:18; Gen 14:13; R.V., "oaks of Mamre;" marg., "terebinths"). (See MAMRE; TEIL-TREE.)

Plane Tree Heb. 'armon (Gen 30:37; Eze 31:8), rendered "chestnut" in the Authorized Version, but correctly "plane tree" in the Revised Version and the LXX. This tree is frequently found in Palestine, both on the coast and in the north. It usually sheds its outer bark, and hence its Hebrew name, which means "naked." (See CHESTNUT.)

Pledge SEE LOAN.

Pleiades Heb. kimah , "a cluster" (Job 9:9; Job 38:31; Amo 5:8, A.V., "seven stars;" R.V., "Pleiades"), a name given to the cluster of stars seen in the shoulder of the constellation Taurus.

Plough First referred to in Gen 45:6, where the Authorized Version has "earing," but the Revised Version "ploughing;" next in Exo 34:21 and Deu 21:4. The plough was originally drawn by oxen, but sometimes also by asses and by men. (See AGRICULTURE.)

Poetry Has been well defined as "the measured language of emotion." Hebrew poetry deals almost exclusively with the great question of man's relation to God. "Guilt, condemnation, punishment, pardon, redemption, repentance are the awful themes of this heaven-born poetry." In the Hebrew scriptures there are found three distinct kinds of poetry, (1.) that of the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon, which is dramatic; (2.) that of the Book of Psalms, which is lyrical; and (3.) that of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is didactic and sententious. Hebrew poetry has nothing akin to that of Western nations. It has neither metre nor rhyme. Its great peculiarity consists in the mutual correspondence of sentences or clauses, called parallelism, or "thought-rhyme." Various kinds of this parallelism have been pointed out: (1.) Synonymous or cognate parallelism, where the same idea is repeated in the same words (Psa 93:3; Psa 94:1; Pro 6:2), or in different words (Ps. 22, Psa 23:1, Psa 28:1, Psa 114:1, etc.); or where it is expressed in a positive form in the one clause and in a negative in the other (Psa 40:12; Pro 6:26); or where the same idea is expressed in three successive clauses (Psa 40:15, Psa 40:16); or in a double parallelism, the first and second clauses corresponding to the third and fourth (Isa 9:1; Isa 61:10, Isa 61:11). (2.) Anthithetic parallelism, where the idea of the second clause is the converse of that of the first (Psa 20:8; Psa 27:6, Psa 27:7; Psa 34:11; Psa 37:9, Psa 37:17, Psa 37:21, Psa 37:22). This is the common form of gnomic or proverbial poetry. (See Prov. 10 - 15.) (3.) Synthetic or constructive or compound parallelism, where each clause or sentence contains some accessory idea enforcing the main idea (Psa 19:7; Psa 85:12; Job 3:3; Isa 1:5). (4.) Introverted parallelism, in which of four clauses the first answers to the fourth and the second to the third (Psa 135:15; Pro 23:15, Pro 23:16), or where the second line reverses the order of words in the first (Psa 86:2). Hebrew poetry sometimes assumes other forms than these. (1.) An alphabetical arrangement is sometimes adopted for the purpose of connecting clauses or sentences. Thus in the following the initial words of the respective verses begin with the letters of the alphabet in regular succession: Prov. 31:10-31; Lam. 1, 2, 3, 4; Ps. 25, 34, 37, 145. Ps. 119 has a letter of the alphabet in regular order beginning every eighth verse. (2.) The repetition of the same verse or of some emphatic expression at intervals (Psa 42:1, 107, where the refrain is in verses, Psa 8:1, Psa 15:1, Psa 21:1, 31). (Compare also Isa. 9:8-10:4; Amo 1:3, Amo 1:6, Amo 1:9, Amo 1:11, Amo 1:13; Amo 2:1, Amo 2:4, Amo 2:6.) (3.) Gradation, in which the thought of one verse is resumed in another (Psa 121:1). Several odes of great poetical beauty are found in the historical books of the Old Testament, such as the song of Moses (Ex. 15), the song of Deborah (Judg. 5), of Hannah (1 Sam. 2), of Hezekiah (Isa 38:9), of Habakkuk (Hab. 3), and David's "song of the bow" (Sa2 1:19).

Poison (1.) Heb. hemah , "heat," the poison of certain venomous reptiles (Deu 32:24, Deu 32:33; Job 6:4; Psa 58:4), causing inflammation. (2.) Heb. rosh , "a head," a poisonous plant (Deu 29:18), growing luxuriantly (Hos 10:4), of a bitter taste (Psa 69:21; Lam 3:5), and coupled with wormwood; probably the poppy. This word is rendered "gall", q.v., (Deu 29:18; Deu 32:33; Psa 69:21; Jer 8:14, etc.), "hemlock" (Hos 10:4; Amo 6:12), and "poison" (Job 20:16), "the poison of asps," showing that the rosh was not exclusively a vegetable poison. (3.) In Rom 3:13 (Compare Job 20:16; Psa 140:3), Jam 3:8, as the rendering of the Greek ios .