order to effect a social reform, bj destroying the heathen works which the king had erected contrary to the law. Matthias, Matthew, or Theudas, was punished with death (Antiq. xvii. 6, 2, 4).

If by 'the taxing,' apograph*, Gamaliel meant, as he may Lave done, the enrolling nnder Herod rather than the actual census made after his death (see Cyrexiub), then must the insurrection of Theudas have taken place just before the decree issued by Augustus (Luke ii. 1). The insurrection and the enrolment were very near each other, and we see in this a reason why the two facts stand together in Gamaliel's mind. See Time.

THOMAS, in the Syriac ' a twin,' whence the Greek name of the same import, Didymut (John zi. 16; xx. 24), was an apostle of Jesus Christ (Matt. z. 3), probably a native of Galilee (John xxi. 2). Thomas was one


of those rash and hasty characters that, carried away on the currents of strong emotions, are extreme, changeful, and sudden in every thing; eager in friendaLiri, self-willed in disbelief, headlong in conviction, and beyond bounds in profession. Their characteristics are ardour, force of will, rashness, and extremes (John xi. 16; xiv. 5; xx. 24, sec/.). Nothing certain is known of Thomas after his appearance in Acts i. 13; though tradition makes him to have preached the gospel, besides other places, in the East Indies, and to have there founded the church called by his name. The Acts and the Gospel which bear his name are spurious.

THORNS AND THISTLES must havn been abundant in the lands of the Bible, for in the Hebrew we find them denominated by some sixteen words, the exact import of which can be ascertained, if ever, only after a mnch more minute acquaintance with the vegetable kingdom in Western Asia and neighbouring countries, than is at present possessed.

Thorns and thistles in the fields were naturally hateful to the Israelites as an agricultural nation (Job xxxi. 40. Micah vii. 4), and hence became an image of a hostile people (Is. z. 17), and a bramble was the emblem of one who could do only barm (Judg. ix. 15). In Palestine, which was poor in wood, thorns served as fnel (Ps. lviii. 9. Eccles. vii. 6), and, together with stubble, were converted into ashes for manure (Isaiah xlvii. 14. Matt. ;ii. 12). The fire is rapid in its progress. It burnt till the material was consumed, when of a sndden it went oat (Ps. cxviii. 12). The stubble in the East was (and is) much longer than with as. Hence the conflagration and the consequent noise were considerable (Joel ii. 5; eomp. Exod. xv. 7. Is. v. 24).

Thorns were employed for hedges. In Prov. xv. 19, we read,' The way of the slothful is as an hedge of thorns.' Doubdan, in his Travels, relates that a few miles soath of Bethlehem, he met with an orchard of olives, figs, and vines, surrounded with a hedge, the way to which was covered with thorns mixed with pomegranates. The cactus./<cus India. or prickly pear, reaches in Palestine a great height, and puts forth fine gold-coloured flowers, but only mocks those who look to it for human food.

What was the plant of which the crown of thorns, put on the Saviour's head, was made, has been much debated. The more common opinion makes it the pahunu aculatui, or 'Christ's thorn,' a shrub that abounds ic Judea, and has pliable branches armed w-i'i sharp piues. Bishop Pearce and others have preferred the acanthus, or 'brank-nrsine.' Yates is in favour of the ipartium vittetum, or still more probably it might be the HUnrtus, which grew in and near Jerusalem. It 'puts out early in the spring into long thin and pliable twigs, with a great many long a- i strong prickles.'

The thorns with which the mocking crown of the Saviour was made, may, in Hasselquisi's opinion, h »\ s been of the thorny plant which the Arabs call nabeii: This was very suitable for their purpose, since it has many small pointed thorns which could cause painful wounds, and its round and flexible twigs could easily be bent into a chaplet What confirmed him in his opinion was, that the leaves of this plant are very like those of ivy in form and colour. He thought ii probable that the soldiers chose a plant which resembled that with which their euipetor and generals were crowned, in order to make their mockery and insult more ignominious.

Olin describes thorn - trees which he found in the plain of Jericho. Of one kind which is very abundant he says, it 'grows to the height of a large apple-tree, though much more slender) and it has a broad, spreading top, sometimes resting upon a single stem, but more commonly formed by a cluster of smaller shoots springing from one root. The trunk and limbs are rather flat than round, being, I should conjecture, about twice as wide as they ore thick. I never saw a tree so abundantly and powerfully armed with thorns. After several unsuccessful attempts to cut a walking-stick, I was compelled to abandon the design, with both hands pierced and bleeding, though they were protected by thick gloves. I was equally unsuccessful in my endeavours to pass through the thicket to the village, which was only a few rods from us, but which I was unable to reach. Wherever the trees do not stand thick enough to form a line of defence, a few branches are thrown down the gap, and they form together a formidable barrier to the approach of man and beast, as effectual as a wall of adamant. This tree, which is called the donm or dom, bears a small sour fruit, resembling the plum or apple of the wild thorn. It is not unpleasant to the taste, and was eaten freely by the common people. Another thorny tree, called the tockum, less abundant than the dom, though still quite common, bears a larger fruit or nut, of a green colour and thick skin, from which the natives extract an oil, reputed to possess valuable medicinal properties. It is applied to wounds, as well as taken for internal maladies. The pilgrims seek for it with great avidity, attaching to it a fictitious value from its accidental relation to places and traditions by them deemed sacri-d. This thorn is believed to be identical with the trees ' that bear myrobalanum,' mentioned by Josephus as among the valuable products of this fruitful plain. He distinguishes the myrobalanum from the balsam, which he denominates ' the most precious of all the fruits of the place' (u. 211, 212).

THRESHING of com was in ancient times, and in the East still is effected, partly by animals, partly by rude instruments. Oxen or horses were driven on the corn, who trod out the ears with their hoofs. What was called a tribulu (hence ' tribulation'), a heavy structure of wood, like a square table, the under side of which was either cut into notches, so that it resembled a file, or was furnished with sharp flint or iron, was dragged over the corn by oxen, and made more effectual by bearing a great weight, and having the driver seated on it. Of another kind were several cylinders or rollers of wood, in which were sharp pieces of flint or iron. These cylinders, by turning round, bent out the com.

Threshing floors were placed on high spots, so that the chaff might, by aid of the wind, be the more readily separated from the corn. From this usage arose phrases and images of great force (Is. xxix. 5. Ps. i. 4; xxxv. 5. Job xxi. 18. Is. xli. 16); since even a breeze on the hills of Canaan would bear away bodies so small and light (Isaiah xvii. 13. Hos. xiii. 3). Threshing floors were open level spots, kept clean with care, and made hard and solid by treading and beating. Whence the description of Babylon in a passage (Jer. li. 33) not well rendered in the Common Version:

1 The daughter of Babylon is a threshing floor

When it it trodden.'

In order to be threshed, the sheaves were collected on the floor (Job v. 26; xxxix. 12; comp. Amos ii. 13). The threshing instrument had teeth (Is. xli. 15) and wheels, being a kind of cart drawn by oxen, whose treading aided the separation of the com (Is. xxviii. 27, 28. DeuL xxv. 4). The process being efficacious, was used as an image of divine punishment (Micah iv. 13. Hab. iii. 12). At proper intervals the cattle were unyoked, that they might eat (Dent. xxv. 4. Hos. xi. 4). The corn, when beaten out, was thrown into heaps, near which persons lay with a view to its security (Jer. 1. 26. Ruth iii. 6, 7). These heaps being large, occasionedpleasing emotions; comp. Cant. vii. 2. The corn was then sifted in a sieve, in order to separate the grains from their hulls (Isaiah" xix. 88. Amos fat. 0), and ' winnowed with the shovel and with the fan' (Is. m. 24); whence religious teachers borrowed striking metaphors (Jer. It. 7. Matt. iii. 12). At last, the pure grain was brought into the barn or storehouse (2 Sam. is. 10. Is. xxxii. 10. Job xxxix. 12. Hagg. ii. 19).


Threshing-floors, from their being open and important spots, gave names to places (2 Sam. vi. 6. 1 Chron. xiii. 0).

Speaking of Sebustieh, the aucient Samaria, Robinson (iii. 141) says, 'We ascended the hill, and came soon to the threshingfloors of the village. They were still in full operation, although the harvest seemed to be chiefly gathered in. Here we first fell in with the .'ledge, as used for threshing. It consists ct.rfly of two planks fastened together side bv side, and bent upwards in front, precisely like the. common stone-sledge of New England, though less heavy. Many holes are bored in the bottom underneath, and into these are fixed sharp fragments of hard stone. The machine is dragged by the oxen as they are driven round upon the gram; sometimes a man or boy sits upon it, but we did not see it otherwise loaded. The effeot of it is to cut up the straw quite liue. We afterwards saw this instrument frequently in the north of Palestine.'

Robinson (ii. 278) saw on the plain of Jericho 'a truly scriptural scene, where the reaping and the threshing go hand in hand (Ruth ii. 8). The people we found were our old acquaintances, the inhabitants of Taiyibeh, who had come down to the Ghor in a body, with their wives and children, aud their priest, to gather in the wheatharvest. They had this year sown all the wheat raised in the plain of Jericho, and were now gathering it in shares; one-half being retained for themselves, one quarter going to the people of the village, and the remaining quarter to the soldiers of the garrison, on behalf of the government. The people of Jericho, it seems, are too indolent, or, as it was said, too weak, to till their own lands.

'The wheat was beautiful; it is cultivated solely by irrigation, without which nothing prows in the plain. Most of the fields were already (May 13th) reaped. The grain, as soon as it is cut, is brought in small sheaves to the threshing-floors on the backs of asses, or sometimes of camels. A level spot is selected for the threshing-floors, which are then constructed near each other, of a circular form, perhaps fifty feet in diameter, merely by beating down the earth hard. Upon these circles the sheaves are spread out quite thick, and the grain is trodden out by animals. Here were no less than five such floors, all trodden by oxen, cows, and younger cattle, arranged in each case five abreast, and driven round in a circle, or rather in all directions, over the floor. Bv tins

process the straw is broken tip and become* chaff. It is occasionally turned with a large wooden fork, having two prongs, and when sufficiently trodden, is thrown up with the same fork against the wind in order to separate the grain, which is then gathered up and winnowed. The whole process i* exceedingly wasteful. Among -the Mohammedans, I do not remember to have seen an animal muzzled (Dent. xxr. 4). The precept in Deuteronomy serves to show that of old, as well as at the present day, only neat cattlo were usually employed to mad out the grain' (comp. Hos. x. 11). ,

THRONE, from the Greek throne*, seems, from the import of the Hebrew root, to have originally signified 'a covered seat.' The divan or cushioned elevation at the end or sides of a room may have been the primitive throne, as in the East it is still the seat where ordinarily sits the administrator of justice. From this custom we may derive the idea of covering involved in the word. In Judg. iii. 20, the term is rendered 'seat,' and appears to signify merely the divan. It was, however, used of a raised seat, for on soch must Eli have sat when, falling backward, 'he brake his neck and died' (1 Sam. ir. 13, 18). This seat seems from die facts to have been a kind of stool (2 Kings iv. 10). In time, however, it came to be applied to the more or less decorated seat of a military commander (Jer. i. 15), of the high-priest (1 Sam. i. 9 ; comp. Zech. vi. 13), of ajudge (Ps. oxxii. 8), considered, however, as the peculiar seat of a kiug engaged in administering justice (Prov. xvi. 12; xx. 8, 28), the characteristic function of an Oriental monarch (Dan. vii. 9). Hence a throne was nsed as

[graphic][merged small]

in Egypt (compare 2 Chron. ix. 17,18; xviii. 18. Esther iii. 1. Jer. xvii. 13. Joseph. J. W. ii. 1, 1).

Thrones were sometimes, as seen in the preceding Egyptian view, a chair, often with arms, having a stool on which rested the monarch's foot, whence are illustrated Isaiah's words,

'The heaven my throne.
The earth my footstool,'

denoting the universality of the Divine power and rule. Near the throne were placed seats or inferior thrones for members of the royal family (1 Kings ii. 19. Ps. exxii. 0) or distinguished servants (Esther iii.). The right hand was the place of pre-eminence (1 Kings ii. 19. Ps. xvi. 8, 11; xlv. 9; ex. 1). Hence the man at a king's right hand was his chief minister (Ps. lxxx. 17. Luke xx. 42. Zech. iii. 1. Mark xiv. G2; xvi. 19. Acts ii. 33; v. 81); so that Jesus is at God's right hand (Bom. viii. 34. Eph. i. 20. Col. iii. 1). The left hand of a king was also a place of dignity; and an Eastern monarch, when he sat on ' the throne of his glory' (Ps. xlvii. 8. Jer. xiv. 31. Matt xxv. 31), had the chief officers of his household ranged in order on his right hand and on his left (2 Sam. xvi. 6. 1 Kings xxii. 19. Matt xx. 21, 23; xxv 33), forming a grand court for the adminis tration of justice and the general government of the kingdom. This custom the Jews transferred in thought to the victorious times of the Messiah, who having subdued tlje world, would govern it, with the representatives of the twelve tribes as his assessors. It is in allusion to this idea that onr Lord promised his disciples thai they (twelve in number) should sit on thrones, judging (governing as his ministers) the twelve tribes of Israel; in other words, should, conjointly with him, exert a spiritual dominion over the Hebrew nation (Matt. xix. 28. Luke xxii. 30).

THUNDER struck the attention and excited the imagination of the Biblical writers iu an extraordinary manner, confirming thenconception of the immediate presence and instant operation of God in what, in bod philosophy and worse religion, is in modern days termed ' the works of Nature.' Hence, with as much poetry as truth, they called 'thunder the voice of God' (Ps. xviii. 13), who, when it thundered, 'uttered his voice' (xlvi. 0; Ixviii. 33). A fine description of a thunder-storm is found in xxix. 3, seq,; romp. Hab. iii.

Lightning was graphically spoken of as * the breaker-through.' It is also termed the thunder's light or rays (Job xxviii. 28), beams proceeding from God's hands (Hab. iii. 4), God's arrows (9, 11), burning coals (Ps. xi. (i; xviii. 8, cxl. 10). Some have thought that' brimstone and fire' is a poetic phrase for thunder and lightning (Genesis xix. 24; comp. Ps. xi. 0. Ezek. xxxviii. 22; compare

2 Kings i. 12, 14. Is. lxvi. 16). A sulphurysmell was ascribed to lightning by the classics (Plin. II. N. xxxv. 15). Bemarkable natural phenomena were conceived to be the natural instruments and ministers of Jehovah (Ps. civ. 4):

'Who makest winds thy messengers,
Flaming fire thy servant'—

a passage which in later times was accounted to refer to the spiritual beings termed angels (Heb. i. 7). A similar passage is found in Xenophon's Memorabilia (iv. 3, 14).

Speaking of the valley in which was the camp of Israel when die law was given, Miss Martinean (' Eastern Life,' ii. 252) observes, ' Still and sweet as was the scene, the air being hazy with moonlight in this rocky basin, there was something oppressive in the nearness of the precipices, and I conld not but wonder what state of nerve one would be in during summer and in seasons of storm. The lightning must fill this space like a flood, and the thunder must die hard among the echoes of these steep barriers." Bnrckhardt was informed that a thundering noise, like repeated charges of heavy artillery, is heard at times in these mountains. 'What,' adds Miss Martineau, ' must the reverberating thunder have been among those precipices to the Hebrews, who had scarcely ever (in Egypt) seen a cloud in the sky!'

TH.YATIBA, now Aksari, a city in Asia Minor, between Sardis and Pregamos, on the river Lycus, the residence of Lydia (Acts xvi. 14). In this place a Christian church was early founded (Apoc. i. 11), nnto the representative of which John wrote (ii. 18, uq.).

TIBEBIAS, a celebrated city of Lower Galilee, in Zebulon, lying on the western shore of the lake of Galilee (hence called 'the sea of Tiberias,' John vi. I, 23), in a small fruitful plain, four hours and a half from Nazareth and 120 stadia north of Scythopolis. It was built by the tetrarch Herod Antipas, and made the capital of Galilee, receiving its name in honour of the emperor Tiberias. Its, for the most part foreign, population were put into possession of many privileges. The fishing trade conducted on the lake was a source of considerable income to the town (xxi. 1,6). After the destruction of Jerusalem, Tiberias became the chief seat of Jewish learning. Hither went the Sanhedrim from Sephoris, and thence proceeded the Mishnah.

The town of Tiberias now offers a ruined appearance, it having been overwhelmed in 1837, when nearly one-third of its 3000 inhabitants perished. In the place is what is called a college for imparting instruction in the higher brandies of Hebrew literature. The Christians show the alleged house of Peter, now a church built close to the water at the north-east extremity of the inhabited portion of the city. The ancient Tiberias was situated immediately south of the present city. From the extent and character of the ruins it may be inferred that, though small, it was well built, and contained several large and costly structures. South of the ruins, and distant from them probably a quarter of a mile, are some mineral springs. Four sources spring up near each other and run off towards the sea in as many streams, which send up clouds of steam that indicate the high temperature of the water, and convert the atmosphere into a tolerable vapourbuth. Buckingham found the temperature of the water 130 deg. Its taste is disgustingly bitter and salt, and it emits a strong smell of sulphur. There are two bathinghouses a little north of the fountains.

Of a view seen near Tiberias, Olin thus speaks: 'We were upon the brow of what must appear to a spectator at its base a lofty mountain, which bounds the deep basin of the sea of Galilee, and forms the last step in the descent from the very elevated plain over which we had journeyed during the long day. The sun had just set behind ns in a blaze of rad light, which filled the western sky for many degrees above the horizon, and was slightly reflected from the smooth, glassy surface of the beautiful lake, whose opposite shore was visible for many miles on the right and left, rising abruptly out of the water into an immense and continuous bulwark, several hundred feet in height, grand and massive, but softened by graceful undulations, and covered with a carpet of luxuriant vegetation from the summit quite down to the water's edge. Beyond the lake stretched out a vast, and to our eyes a boundless region, filled up with a countless number of beautiful, rounded hills, all clad in verdure, which at this moment was invested with a peculiar richness of colouring. In the remote distance, though full in our view, the snowy top of Mount Hermon was still glittering and basking in the beams of the sun, while a chaste, cool drapery of white, fleecy clouds hung around its base. The green, graceful form of Mount Tabor rose behind us, while over the broad and well-cultivated plain, the numerous fields of wheat, now of a dark luxuriant green, contrasted very strongly and strangely with intervening tracts of red, freshly-ploughed ground. Independent of sacred associations, this was altogether a scene of rare and unique beauty—nay, of splendid magnificence.'


TILING, from the French tuile, and that from the Latin ttgula (tego, tectum), denoting properly a covering, whatever the kind, stands in Luke v. 19, for the Greek keratites, which strictly signifies a cover made of clay, but derivatively had the general meaning of • covering. That in the passage just referred to the general acceptation was intended, appears from the parallel passage in Mark

r.ii- 4), where a word is used, rendered * uncovered the roof,' but which would be more correctly given as 'drew back the covering. Jesus was teaching in < the midst,' that is in the large inner court (see House), surrounded by so great a crowd, that those who bore the palsied man could not get access to him. They, therefore, from without or from the next house, ascended to the top of one of the wings of the edifice, and withdrawing the awning which extended to the opposite side of the quadrangle, and so formed a covering over the open space in 'the midst, let down the sick man while lying in his conch, and in this manner drew toward, him the benevolent eye of the Great Physician (comp. 2 Kings i. 2). The word rendered 'through,' dia, may mean 'by the side of,' as in Acts ix. tin, ' by the wall;' and in 2 Cor. xi. 33, ' by the wall.' The awning which we have mentioned is common in Palestine. Speaking of Hebron, Olin says,' The bazaars are to a considerable extent either covered by some kind of awning, or arches springing from the top of the houses and spanning the street. They are thus secured from the effects of summer heats, and to some exlen against rains.'

One word used in Mark creates a difficulty— eioruxantes; in the common version, * when they had broken it up;' rendered by 'the Layman,' 'and having opened it;' by Wakefield, 'by forcing open the door' (that is. to get to the roof). Campbell evades the difficulty, thus rendering, 'uncovered the place where Jesus was, and throngh the opening let down the couch.' The term, which literally signifies 'having dug out,' may mean 'having cleared away' (impediments), that is the awning and terrace wall—has occasioned much trouble, scarcely seems necessary to the sense, and 'is omitted in the Cambridge Manuscript, and not regarded in the Syriac and some other versions' (Shaw's ' Travels,' 212; Bee also Gricsbach in lor.).

TIME—The following article on Chronology we extract, with the author'a kind permission, from the Rev. Dr. Mackay/'s work, entitled 'Facts and Dates,' or the leading events in sacred and profane history, and the principal facts in the various physical science*. The Doctor is no mean authority on this subject, which he his long and enthusiastically studied, and the fruits of which study he has given to the world in the exceedingly useful volume noted above.

In regard to the chronology of the Antediluvian period, and especially the point of time at which human history commences, the Book of Genesis is our only guide. Invaluable as this most precious record is, there are many points of the doepest interest on whioh it throws but a feeble light. The absolute age of our planet, and the precis* point of time in that age when man first appeared on its surface, are left wholly undo

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