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Tetrarch Strictly the ruler over the fourth part of a province; but the word denotes a ruler of a province generally (Mat 14:1; Luk 3:1, Luk 3:19; Luk 9:7; Act 13:1). Herod and Phasael, the sons of Antipater, were the first tetrarchs in Palestine. Herod the tetrarch had the title of king (Mat 14:9).

Thaddaeus Breast, the name of one of the apostles (Mar 3:18), called "Lebbaeus" in Mat 10:3, and in Luk 6:16, "Judas the brother of James;" while John (Joh 14:22), probably referring to the same person, speaks of "Judas, not Iscariot." These different names all designate the same person, viz., Jude or Judas, the author of the epistle.

Thahash A badger, a son of Nahor, Abraham's brother (Gen 22:24).

Tharshish (Kg1 10:22; Kg1 22:48). See TARSHISH.

Theatre Only mentioned in Act 19:29, Act 19:31. The ruins of this theatre at Ephesus still exist, and they show that it was a magnificent structure, capable of accommodating some 56,700 persons. It was the largest structure of the kind that ever existed. Theatres, as places of amusement, were unknown to the Jews.

Thebez Brightness, a place some 11 miles north-east of Shechem, on the road to Scythopolis, the modern Tabas. Abimelech led his army against this place, because of its participation in the conspiracy of the men of Shechem; but as he drew near to the strong tower to which its inhabitants had fled for safety, and was about to set fire to it, a woman cast a fragment of millstone at him, and "all to brake his skull" i.e., "altogether brake," etc. His armourbearer thereupon "thrust him through, and he died" (Jdg 9:50).

Theft Punished by restitution, the proportions of which are noted in Sa2 12:6. If the thief could not pay the fine, he was to be sold to a Hebrew master till he could pay (Exo 22:1). A night-thief might be smitten till he died, and there would be no blood-guiltiness for him (Exo 22:2). A man-stealer was to be put to death (Exo 21:16). All theft is forbidden (Exo 20:15; Exo 21:16; Lev 19:11; Deu 5:19; Deu 24:7; Psa 50:18; Zac 5:3; Mat 19:18; Rom 13:9; Eph 4:28; Pe1 4:15).

Theocracy A word first used by Josephus to denote that the Jews were under the direct government of God himself. The nation was in all things subject to the will of their invisible King. All the people were the servants of Jehovah, who ruled over their public and private affairs, communicating to them his will through the medium of the prophets. They were the subjects of a heavenly, not of an earthly, king. They were Jehovah's own subjects, ruled directly by him (compare Sa1 8:6).

Theophilus Lover of God, a Christian, probably a Roman, to whom Luke dedicated both his Gospel (Luk 1:3) and the Acts of the Apostles (Act 1:1). Nothing beyond this is known of him. From the fact that Luke applies to him the title "most excellent", the same title Paul uses in addressing Felix (Act 23:26; Act 24:3) and Festus (Act 26:25), it has been concluded that Theophilus was a person of rank, perhaps a Roman officer.

Thessalonians, Epistles to the The first epistle to the Thessalonians was the first of all Paul's epistles. It was in all probability written from Corinth, where he abode a "long time" (Act 18:11, Act 18:18), early in the period of his residence there, about the end of A.D. 52. The occasion of its being written was the return of Timotheus from Macedonia, bearing tidings from Thessalonica regarding the state of the church there (Act 18:1; Th1 3:6). While, on the whole, the report of Timothy was encouraging, it also showed that divers errors and misunderstandings regarding the tenor of Paul's teaching had crept in amongst them. He addresses them in this letter with the view of correcting these errors, and especially for the purpose of exhorting them to purity of life, reminding them that their sanctification was the great end desired by God regarding them. The subscription erroneously states that this epistle was written from Athens. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was probably also written from Corinth, and not many months after the first. The occasion of the writing of this epistle was the arrival of tidings that the tenor of the first epistle had been misunderstood, especially with reference to the second advent of Christ. The Thessalonians had embraced the idea that Paul had taught that "the day of Christ was at hand", that Christ's coming was just about to happen. This error is corrected (Th2 2:1), and the apostle prophetically announces what first must take place. "The apostasy" was first to arise. Various explanations of this expression have been given, but that which is most satisfactory refers it to the Church of Rome.