Peculiar - as used in the phrase "peculiar people" in 1 Pet. 2:9, is derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the Revised Version ("a people for God's own possession"), a special possession or property. The church is the "property" of God, his "purchased possession" ( Eph. 1:14; R.V., "God's own possession").
Pedahel - redeemed of God, the son of Ammihud, a prince of Naphtali ( Num. 34:28).
Pedahzur - rock of redemption, the father of Gamaliel and prince of Manasseh at the time of the Exodus ( Num. 1:10;Num 2:20).
Pedaiah - redemption of the Lord. (1.) The father of Zebudah, who was the wife of Josiah and mother of king Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36).
(2.) The father of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:17-19).
(3.). The father of Joel, ruler of the half-tribe of Manasseh (1 Chr. 27:20).
(4.) Neh. 3:25.
(5.) A Levite Neh 8:4).
(6.) A Benjamite Neh 11:7).
(7.) A Levite Neh 13:13).
Pekah - open-eyed, the son of Remaliah a captain in the army of Pekahiah, king of Israel, whom he slew, with the aid of a band of Gileadites, and succeeded (B.C. 758) on the throne (2 Kings 15:25). Seventeen years after this he entered into an alliance with Rezin, king of Syria, and took part with him in besieging Jerusalem (2 Kings 15:37;2 Kings 16:5). But Tiglath-pilser, who was in alliance with Ahaz, king of Judah, came up against Pekah, and carried away captive many of the inhabitants of his kingdom (2 Kings 15:29). This was the beginning of the "Captivity." Soon after this Pekah was put to death by Hoshea, the son of Elah, who usurped the throne (2 Kings 15:30;2 Kings 16:1-9. Comp. Isa. 7:16; Isa 8:4; Isa 9:12). He is supposed by some to have been the "shephard" mentioned in Zech. 11:16.
Pekahiah - the Lord opened his eyes, the son and successor of Menahem on the throne of Israel. He was murdered in the royal palace of Samaria by Pekah, one of the captains of his army (2 Kings 15:23-26), after a reign of two years (B.C. 761-759). He "did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord."
Pekod - probably a place in Babylonia ( Jer. 50:21; Ezek. 23:23). It is the opinion, however, of some that this word signifies "visitation," "punishment," and allegorically "designates Babylon as the city which was to be destroyed."
Pelaiah - distinguished of the Lord. (1.) One of David's posterity (1 Chr. 3:24).
(2.) A Levite who expounded the law ( Neh. 8:7).
Pelatiah - deliverance of the Lord. (1.) A son of Hananiah and grandson of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:21).
(2.) A captain of "the sons of Simeon" 1 Chr 4:42).
(3.) Neh. 10:22.
(4.) One of the twenty-five princes of the people against whom Ezekiel prophesied on account of their wicked counsel ( Ezek. 11:1-13).
Peleg - division, one of the sons of Eber; so called because "in his days was the earth divided" ( Gen. 10:25). Possibly he may have lived at the time of the dispersion from Babel. But more probably the reference is to the dispersion of the two races which sprang from Eber, the one spreading towards Mesopotamia and Syria, and the other southward into Arabia.
Pelet - deliverance. (1.) A descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 2:47).
(2.) A Benjamite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:3).
Peleth - swiftness. (1.) A Reubenite whose son was one of the conspirators against Moses and Aaron ( Num. 16:1).
(2.) One of the sons of Jonathan (1 Chr. 2:33).
Pelethites - mentioned always along with the Cherethites, and only in the time of David. The word probably means "runners" or "couriers," and may denote that while forming part of David's bodyguard, they were also sometimes employed as couriers (2 Sam. 8:18;2 Sam 20:7,2 Sam. 8:23;1 Kings 1:38,1 Kings 1:44; 1 Chr. 18:17). Some, however, think that these are the names simply of two Philistine tribes from which David selected his body-guard. They are mentioned along with the Gittites (2 Sam. 15:18), another body of foreign troops whom David gathered round him.
Pelicans - are frequently met with at the waters of Merom and the Sea of Galilee. The pelican is ranked among unclean birds ( Lev. 11:18; Deut. 14:17). It is of an enormous size, being about 6 feet long, with wings stretching out over 12 feet. The Hebrew name (kaath, i.e., "vomiter") of this bird is incorrectly rendered "cormorant" in the Authorized Version of Isa. 34:11 and Zeph. 2:14, but correctly in the Revised Version. It receives its Hebrew name from its habit of storing in its pouch large quantities of fish, which it disgorges when it feeds its young. Two species are found on the Syrian coast, the Pelicanus onocrotalus, or white pelican, and the Pelicanus crispus, or Dalmatian pelican.
Penny - (Gr. denarion), a silver coin of the value of about 7 1/2d. or 8d. of our present money. It is thus rendered in the New Testament, and is more frequently mentioned than any other coin ( Matt. 18:28;Matt 20:2,Matt. 18:9,Matt. 18:13; Mark 6:37; Mark 14:5, etc.). It was the daily pay of a Roman soldier in the time of Christ. In the reign of Edward III. an English penny was a labourer's day's wages. This was the "tribute money" with reference to which our Lord said, "Whose image and superscription is this?" When they answered, "Caesar's," he replied, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's" ( Matt. 22:19; Mark 12:15).
Pentateuch - the five-fold volume, consisting of the first five books of the Old Testament. This word does not occur in Scripture, nor is it certainly known when the roll was thus divided into five portions Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Probably that was done by the LXX. translators. Some modern critics speak of a Hexateuch, introducing the Book of Joshua as one of the group. But this book is of an entirely different character from the other books, and has a different author. It stands by itself as the first of a series of historical books beginning with the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan. (See JOSHUA.)
The books composing the Pentateuch are properly but one book, the "Law of Moses," the "Book of the Law of Moses," the "Book of Moses," or, as the Jews designate it, the "Torah" or "Law." That in its present form it "proceeds from a single author is proved by its plan and aim, according to which its whole contents refer to the covenant concluded between Jehovah and his people, by the instrumentality of Moses, in such a way that everything before his time is perceived to be preparatory to this fact, and all the rest to be the development of it. Nevertheless, this unity has not been stamped upon it as a matter of necessity by the latest redactor: it has been there from the beginning, and is visible in the first plan and in the whole execution of the work.", Keil, Einl. i.d. A. T.
A certain school of critics have set themselves to reconstruct the books of the Old Testament. By a process of "scientific study" they have discovered that the so-called historical books of the Old Testament are not history at all, but a miscellaneous collection of stories, the inventions of many different writers, patched together by a variety of editors! As regards the Pentateuch, they are not ashamed to attribute fraud, and even conspiracy, to its authors, who sought to find acceptance to their work which was composed partly in the age of Josiah, and partly in that of Ezra and Nehemiah, by giving it out to be the work of Moses! This is not the place to enter into the details of this controversy. We may say frankly, however, that we have no faith in this "higher criticism." It degrades the books of the Old Testament below the level of fallible human writings, and the arguments on which its speculations are built are altogether untenable.
The evidences in favour of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch are conclusive. We may thus state some of them briefly:
(1.) These books profess to have been written by Moses in the name of God ( Ex. 17:14;Ex 24:3,Ex. 17:4,Ex. 17:7;Ex 32:7-10,Ex. 17:30-34;Ex 34:27; Lev. 26:46; Lev 27:34; Deut. 31:9, Deut. 31:24, Deut. 31:25).
(2.) This also is the uniform and persistent testimony of the Jews of all sects in all ages and countries (comp. Josh. 8:31, Josh. 8:32; 1 Kings 2:3; Jer. 7:22; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 8:1; Mal. 4:4; Matt. 22:24; Acts 15:21).
(3.) Our Lord plainly taught the Mosaic authorship of these books ( Matt. 5:17,Matt. 5:18;Matt 19:8;Matt 22:31,Matt. 5:32;Matt 23:2; Mark 10:9; Mark 12:26; Luke 16:31; Luke 20:37; Luke 24:26, Luke 16:27, Luke 16:44; John 3:14; John 5:45, John 3:46, John 3:47; John 6:32, John 3:49; John 7:19, John 3:22). In the face of this fact, will any one venture to allege either that Christ was ignorant of the composition of the Bible, or that, knowing the true state of the case, he yet encouraged the people in the delusion they clung to?
(4.) From the time of Joshua down to the time of Ezra there is, in the intermediate historical books, a constant reference to the Pentateuch as the "Book of the Law of Moses." This is a point of much importance, inasmuch as the critics deny that there is any such reference; and hence they deny the historical character of the Pentateuch. As regards the Passover, e.g., we find it frequently spoken of or alluded to in the historical books following the Pentateuch, showing that the "Law of Moses" was then certainly known. It was celebrated in the time of Joshua ( Josh. 5:10, cf. 4:19), Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30), Josiah (2 Kings 23; 2 Chr. 35), and Zerubbabel ( Ezra 6:19-22), and is referred to in such passages as 2 Kings 23:22; 2 Chr. 35:18; 1 Kings 9:25 ("three times in a year"); 2 Chr. 8:13. Similarly we might show frequent references to the Feast of Tabernacles and other Jewish institutions, although we do not admit that any valid argument can be drawn from the silence of Scripture in such a case. An examination of the following texts, 1 Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18;2 Chr 25:4;2 Chr 34:14; Ezra 3:2; Ezra 7:6; Dan. 9:11, Dan. 9:13, will also plainly show that the "Law of Moses" was known during all these centuries.
Granting that in the time of Moses there existed certain oral traditions or written records and documents which he was divinely led to make use of in his history, and that his writing was revised by inspired successors, this will fully account for certain peculiarities of expression which critics have called "anachronisms" and "contradictions," but in no way militates against the doctrine that Moses was the original author of the whole of the Pentateuch. It is not necessary for us to affirm that the whole is an original composition; but we affirm that the evidences clearly demonstrate that Moses was the author of those books which have come down to us bearing his name. The Pentateuch is certainly the basis and necessary preliminary of the whole of the Old Testament history and literature. (See DEUTERONOMY.)
Pentecost - i.e., "fiftieth", found only in the New Testament ( Acts 2:1;Acts 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8). The festival so named is first spoken of in Ex. 23:16 as "the feast of harvest," and again in Ex. 34:22 as "the day of the firstfruits" ( Num. 28:26). From the sixteenth of the month of Nisan (the second day of the Passover), seven complete weeks, i.e., forty-nine days, were to be reckoned, and this feast was held on the fiftieth day. The manner in which it was to be kept is described in Lev. 23:15-19; Num. 28:27-29. Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, every one was to bring to the Lord his "tribute of a free-will offering" ( Deut. 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature was the offering of "two leavened loaves" made from the new corn of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved before the Lord as a thank offering.
The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the day on which the Spirit descended upon the apostles, and on which, under Peter's preaching, so many thousands were converted in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
Penuel - face of God, a place not far from Succoth, on the east of the Jordan and north of the river Jabbok. It is also called "Peniel." Here Jacob wrestled ( Gen. 32:24-32) "with a man" ("the angel", Hos. 12:4. Jacob says of him, "I have seen God face to face") "till the break of day."
A town was afterwards built there ( Judg. 8:8; 1 Kings 12:25). The men of this place refused to succour Gideon and his little army when they were in pursuit of the Midianites ( Judg. 8:1-21). On his return, Gideon slew the men of this city and razed its lofty watch-tower to the ground.
Peor - opening. (1.) A mountain peak ( Num. 23:28) to which Balak led Balaam as a last effort to induce him to pronounce a curse upon Israel. When he looked on the tribes encamped in the acacia groves below him, he could not refrain from giving utterance to a remarkable benediction ( Num 24:1-9). Balak was more than ever enraged at Balaam, and bade him flee for his life. But before he went he gave expression to that wonderful prediction regarding the future of this mysterious people, whose "goodly tents" were spread out before him, and the coming of a "Star" out of Jacob and a "Sceptre" out of Israel ( Num 24:14-17).
(2.) A Moabite divinity, called also "Baal-peor" ( Num. 25:3,Num. 25:5,Num. 25:18; comp. Deut. 3:29).
Perazim, Mount - mount of breaches, only in Isa. 28:21. It is the same as BAAL-PERAZIM (q.v.), where David gained a victory over the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:20).
Peres - divided, one of the mysterious words "written over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall" of king Belshazzar's palace ( Dan. 5:28). (See MENE.)
Perez - =Pharez, (q.v.), breach, the son of Judah ( Neh. 11:4). "The chief of all the captains of the host for the first month" in the reign of David was taken from his family (1 Chr. 27:3). Four hundred and sixty-eight of his "sons" came back from captivity with Zerubbabel, who himself was one of them (1 Chr. 9:4; Neh. 11:6).
Perez-uzzah - the breach of Uzzah, a place where God "burst forth upon Uzzah, so that he died," when he rashly "took hold" of the ark (2 Sam. 6:6-8). It was not far from Kirjath-jearim (q.v.).