Piety - Lat. pietas, properly honour and respect toward parents (1 Tim. 5:4). In Acts 17:23 the Greek verb is rendered "ye worship," as applicable to God.

Pigeon - Pigeons are mentioned as among the offerings which, by divine appointment, Abram presented unto the Lord ( Gen. 15:9). They were afterwards enumerated among the sin-offerings ( Lev. 1:14;Lev 12:6), and the law provided that those who could not offer a lamb might offer two young pigeons ( Lev 5:7; comp. Luke 2:24). (See DOVE.)

Pi-hahiroth - place where the reeds grow (LXX. and Copt. read "farmstead"), the name of a place in Egypt where the children of Israel encamped ( Ex. 14:2,Ex. 14:9), how long is uncertain. Some have identified it with Ajrud, a fortress between Etham and Suez. The condition of the Isthmus of Suez at the time of the Exodus is not exactly known, and hence this, with the other places mentioned as encampments of Israel in Egypt, cannot be definitely ascertained. The isthmus has been formed by the Nile deposits. This increase of deposit still goes on, and so rapidly that within the last fifty years the mouth of the Nile has advanced northward about four geographical miles. In the maps of Ptolemy (of the second and third centuries A.D.) the mouths of the Nile are forty miles further south than at present. (See EXODUS.)

Pilate, Pontius - probably connected with the Roman family of the Pontii, and called "Pilate" from the Latin pileatus, i.e., "wearing the pileus", which was the "cap or badge of a manumitted slave," as indicating that he was a "freedman," or the descendant of one. He was the sixth in the order of the Roman procurators of Judea (A.D. 26-36). His headquarters were at Caesarea, but he frequently went up to Jerusalem. His reign extended over the period of the ministry of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ, in connection with whose trial his name comes into prominent notice. Pilate was a "typical Roman, not of the antique, simple stamp, but of the imperial period, a man not without some remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet pleasure-loving, imperious, and corrupt. He hated the Jews whom he ruled, and in times of irritation freely shed their blood. They returned his hatred with cordiality, and accused him of every crime, maladministration, cruelty, and robbery. He visited Jerusalem as seldom as possible; for, indeed, to one accustomed to the pleasures of Rome, with its theatres, baths, games, and gay society, Jerusalem, with its religiousness and ever-smouldering revolt, was a dreary residence. When he did visit it he stayed in the palace of Herod the Great, it being common for the officers sent by Rome into conquered countries to occupy the palaces of the displaced sovereigns."

After his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought to the Roman procurator, Pilate, who had come up to Jerusalem as usual to preserve order during the Passover, and was now residing, perhaps, in the castle of Antonia, or it may be in Herod's palace. Pilate came forth from his palace and met the deputation from the Sanhedrin, who, in answer to his inquiry as to the nature of the accusation they had to prefer against Jesus, accused him of being a "malefactor." Pilate was not satisfied with this, and they further accused him (1) of sedition, (2) preventing the payment of the tribute to Caesar, and (3) of assuming the title of king ( Luke 23:2). Pilate now withdrew with Jesus into the palace ( John 18:33) and examined him in private (37,38); and then going out to the deputation still standing before the gate, he declared that he could find no fault in Jesus ( Luke 23:4). This only aroused them to more furious clamour, and they cried that he excited the populace "throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee." When Pilate heard of Galilee, he sent the accused to Herod Antipas, who had jurisdiction over that province, thus hoping to escape the difficulty in which he found himself. But Herod, with his men of war, set Jesus at nought, and sent him back again to Pilate, clad in a purple robe of mockery ( Luke 23:11,Luke 23:12).

Pilate now proposed that as he and Herod had found no fault in him, they should release Jesus; and anticipating that they would consent to this proposal, he ascended the judgment-seat as if ready to ratify the decision ( Matt. 27:19). But at this moment his wife (Claudia Procula) sent a message to him imploring him to have nothing to do with the "just person." Pilate's feelings of perplexity and awe were deepened by this incident, while the crowd vehemently cried out, "Not this man, but Barabbas." Pilate answered, "What then shall I do with Jesus?" The fierce cry immediately followed. "Let him be crucified." Pilate, apparently vexed, and not knowning what to do, said, "Why, what evil hath he done?" but with yet fiercer fanaticism the crowd yelled out, "Away with him! crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate yielded, and sent Jesus away to be scourged. This scourging was usually inflicted by lictors; but as Pilate was only a procurator he had no lictor, and hence his soldiers inflicted this terrible punishment. This done, the soldiers began to deride the sufferer, and they threw around him a purple robe, probably some old cast-off robe of state ( Matt. 27:28; John 19:2), and putting a reed in his right hand, and a crowd of thorns on his head, bowed the knee before him in mockery, and saluted him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They took also the reed and smote him with it on the head and face, and spat in his face, heaping upon him every indignity.

Pilate then led forth Jesus from within the Praetorium ( Matt. 27:27) before the people, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, saying, "Behold the man!" But the sight of Jesus, now scourged and crowned and bleeding, only stirred their hatred the more, and again they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" and brought forth this additional charge against him, that he professed to be "the Son of God." Pilate heard this accusation with a superstitious awe, and taking him once more within the Praetorium, asked him, "Whence art thou?" Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate was irritated by his continued silence, and said, "Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee?" Jesus, with calm dignity, answered the Roman, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above."

After this Pilate seemed more resolved than ever to let Jesus go. The crowd perceiving this cried out, "If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend." This settled the matter. He was afraid of being accused to the emperor. Calling for water, he washed his hands in the sight of the people, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person." The mob, again scorning his scruples, cried, "His blood be on us, and on our children." Pilate was stung to the heart by their insults, and putting forth Jesus before them, said, "Shall I crucify your King?" The fatal moment had now come. They madly exclaimed, "We have no king but Caesar;" and now Jesus is given up to them, and led away to be crucified.

By the direction of Pilate an inscription was placed, according to the Roman custom, over the cross, stating the crime for which he was crucified. Having ascertained from the centurion that he was dead, he gave up the body to Joseph of Arimathea to be buried. Pilate's name now disappears from the Gospel history. References to him, however, are found in the Acts of the Apostles ( Matt 3:13;Matt 4:27;Matt 13:28), and in 1 Tim. 6:13. In A.D. 36 the governor of Syria brought serious accusations against Pilate, and he was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where, according to tradition, he committed suicide.

Pillar - used to support a building ( Judg. 16:26,Judg. 16:29); as a trophy or memorial ( Gen. 28:18;Gen 35:20; Ex. 24:4; 1 Sam. 15:12, A.V., "place," more correctly "monument," or "trophy of victory," as in 2 Sam. 18:18); of fire, by which the Divine Presence was manifested ( Ex. 13:2). The "plain of the pillar" in Judg. 9:6 ought to be, as in the Revised Version, the "oak of the pillar", i.e., of the monument or stone set up by Joshua Judg 24:26).

Pine tree - Heb. tidhar, mentioned along with the fir-tree in Isa. 41:19; Isa 60:13. This is probably the cypress; or it may be the stone-pine, which is common on the northern slopes of Lebanon. Some suppose that the elm, others that the oak, or holm, or ilex, is meant by the Hebrew word. In Neh. 8:15 the Revised Version has "wild olive" instead of "pine." (See FIR.)

Pinnacle - a little wing, ( Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9). On the southern side of the temple court was a range of porches or cloisters forming three arcades. At the south-eastern corner the roof of this cloister was some 300 feet above the Kidron valley. The pinnacle, some parapet or wing-like projection, was above this roof, and hence at a great height, probably 350 feet or more above the valley.

Pipe - (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; Isa 30:29). The Hebrew word halil, so rendered, means "bored through," and is the name given to various kinds of wind instruments, as the fife, flute, Pan-pipes, etc. In Amos 6:5 this word is rendered "instrument of music." This instrument is mentioned also in the New Testament ( Matt. 11:17; 1 Cor. 14:7). It is still used in Palestine, and is, as in ancient times, made of different materials, as reed, copper, bronze, etc.

Piram - like a wild ass, a king of Jarmuth, a royal city of the Canaanites, who was conquered and put to death by Joshua 1 Cor 10:3,1 Cor 10:23,1 Cor 10:26).

Pirathon - prince, or summit, a place "in the land of Ephraim" ( Judg. 12:15), now Fer'on, some 10 miles south-west of Shechem. This was the home of Abdon the judge.

Pirathonite - (1.) Abdon, the son of Hillel, so called, Judg. 12:13, Judg. 12:15.

(2.) Benaiah the Ephraimite (2 Sam. 23:30), one of David's thirty heroes.

Pisgah - a part, a mountain summit in the land of Moab, in the territory of Reuben, where Balak offered up sacrifices ( Num. 21:20;Num 23:14), and from which Moses viewed the promised land ( Deut. 3:27). It is probably the modern Jebel Siaghah. (See NEBO.)

Pisidia - a district in Asia Minor, to the north of Pamphylia. The Taurus range of mountains extends through it. Antioch, one of its chief cities, was twice visited by Paul ( Acts 13:14;Acts 14:21-24).

Pison - Babylonian, the current, broad-flowing, one of the "four heads" into which the river which watered the garden of Eden was divided ( Gen. 2:11). Some identify it with the modern Phasis, others with the Halys, others the Jorak or Acampis, others the Jaab, the Indus, the Ganges, etc.

Pit - a hole in the ground ( Ex. 21:33,Ex. 21:34), a cistern for water ( Gen. 37:24; Jer. 14:3), a vault Jer 41:9), a grave ( Ps. 30:3). It is used as a figure for mischief ( Ps. 9:15), and is the name given to the unseen place of woe ( Rev. 20:1,Rev. 20:3). The slime-pits in the vale of Siddim were wells which yielded asphalt ( Gen. 14:10).

Pitch - ( Gen. 6:14), asphalt or bitumen in its soft state, called "slime" ( Gen. 11:3;Gen 14:10; Ex. 2:3), found in pits near the Dead Sea (q.v.). It was used for various purposes, as the coating of the outside of vessels and in building. Allusion is made in Isa. 34:9 to its inflammable character. (See SLIME.)

Pitcher - a vessel for containing liquids. In the East pitchers were usually carried on the head or shoulders ( Gen. 24:15-20; Judg. 7:16, Judg. 7:19; Mark 14:13).

Pithom - Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the "treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the Israelites ( Ex. 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 ( Ex. 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 16:46-49; 2 Sam. 24:21). Painful afflictions or diseases, ( Lev. 13:3,Lev. 13:5,Lev. 13:30; 1 Kings 8:37), or severe calamity ( Mark 5:29; Luke 7:21), or the judgment of God, so called ( Ex. 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 ( Ex. 7:14-25).

(2.) The plague of frogs ( Ex. 8:1-15).

(3.) The plague of lice (Heb. kinnim, properly gnats or mosquitoes; comp. Ps. 78:45; Ps 105:31), "out of the dust of the land" ( Ex. 8:16-19).

(4.) The plague of flies (Heb. arob, rendered by the LXX. dog-fly), Ex. 8:21-24.

(5.) The murrain ( Ex .9:1-7), 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 ( Ex .9:8-12). It is called ( Deut. 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. (Comp. Ps. 18:13; Ps 105:32, Ps. 18:33).

(8.) The plague of locusts, which covered the whole face of the earth, so that the land was darkened with them ( Ex. 10:12-15). 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 ( Ex. 10:21-29). 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 ( Ex. 11:4,Ex. 11:5;Ex 12:29,Ex. 11:30). 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 ( Judg. 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.), comp. Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.

(2.) Heb. 'elon ( Gen. 12:6;Gen 13:18;Gen 14:13;Gen 18:1; Deut. 11:30; Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version; margin, "terebinth."

(3.) Heb. bik'ah ( Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1), properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain between mountains. In Amos 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. 13:10-12;Gen 19:17,Gen. 13:25,Gen. 13:28,Gen. 13:29; Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 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 ( Deut. 3:10;Deut 4:43; Josh. 13:9, Josh. 13:16, Josh. 13:17, Josh. 13:21; Josh 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 2 Chr. 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," 2 Kings 14:25; Deut. 1:1; Deut 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 ( Josh. 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 ( Josh. 9:1;Josh 10:40;Josh 11:2;Josh 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1 Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; Josh 15:33, Jer. 32:44; Jer 33:13, Zech. 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; Ezek. 31:8), rendered "chesnut" 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; Amos 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 Ex. 34:21 and Deut. 21:4. The plough was originally drawn by oxen, but sometimes also by asses and by men. (See AGRICULTURE.)