Destroyer (Ex. 12:23), the agent employed in the killing of the first-born; the destroying angel or messenger of God. (Comp. 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Sam. 24:15, 16; Ps. 78:49; Acts 12:23.)
Destruction in Job 26:6, 28:22 (Heb. abaddon) is sheol, the realm of the dead.
Destruction, City of (Isa. 19:18; Heb. Ir-ha-Heres, "city of overthrow," because of the evidence it would present of the overthrow of heathenism), the ideal title of On or Heliopolis (q.v.).
Deuteronomy In all the Hebrew manuscripts the Pentateuch (q.v.) forms one roll or volume divided into larger and smaller sections called parshioth_ and _sedarim. It is not easy to say when it was divided into five books. This was probably first done by the Greek translators of the book, whom the Vulgate follows. The fifth of these books was called by the Greeks Deuteronomion, i.e., the second law, hence our name Deuteronomy, or a second statement of the laws already promulgated. The Jews designated the book by the two first Hebrew words that occur, _'Elle haddabharim_, i.e., "These are the words." They divided it into eleven parshioth. In the English Bible it contains thirty-four chapters.
It consists chiefly of three discourses delivered by Moses a short time before his death. They were spoken to all Israel in the plains of Moab, in the eleventh month of the last year of their wanderings.
The first discourse (1-4:40) recapitulates the chief events of the last forty years in the wilderness, with earnest exhortations to obedience to the divine ordinances, and warnings against the danger of forsaking the God of their fathers.
The seond discourse (5-26:19) is in effect the body of the whole book. The first address is introductory to it. It contains practically a recapitulation of the law already given by God at Mount Sinai, together with many admonitions and injunctions as to the course of conduct they were to follow when they were settled in Canaan.
The concluding discourse (ch. 27-30) relates almost wholly to the solemn sanctions of the law, the blessings to the obedient, and the curse that would fall on the rebellious. He solemnly adjures them to adhere faithfully to the covenant God had made with them, and so secure for themselves and their posterity the promised blessings.
These addresses to the people are followed by what may be called three appendices, namely (1), a song which God had commanded Moses to write (32:1-47); (2) the blessings he pronounced on the separate tribes (ch. 33); and (3) the story of his death (32:48-52) and burial (ch. 34), written by some other hand, probably that of Joshua.
These farewell addresses of Moses to the tribes of Israel he had so long led in the wilderness "glow in each line with the emotions of a great leader recounting to his contemporaries the marvellous story of their common experience. The enthusiasm they kindle, even to-day, though obscured by translation, reveals their matchless adaptation to the circumstances under which they were first spoken. Confidence for the future is evoked by remembrance of the past. The same God who had done mighty works for the tribes since the Exodus would cover their head in the day of battle with the nations of Palestine, soon to be invaded. Their great lawgiver stands before us, vigorous in his hoary age, stern in his abhorrence of evil, earnest in his zeal for God, but mellowed in all relations to earth by his nearness to heaven. The commanding wisdom of his enactments, the dignity of his position as the founder of the nation and the first of prophets, enforce his utterances. But he touches our deepest emotions by the human tenderness that breathes in all his words. Standing on the verge of life, he speaks as a father giving his parting counsels to those he loves; willing to depart and be with God he has served so well, but fondly lengthening out his last farewell to the dear ones of earth. No book can compare with Deuteronomy in its mingled sublimity and tenderness." Geikie, Hours, etc.
The whole style and method of this book, its tone and its peculiarities of conception and expression, show that it must have come from one hand. That the author was none other than Moses is established by the following considerations: (1.) The uniform tradition both of the Jewish and the Christian Church down to recent times. (2.) The book professes to have been written by Moses (1:1; 29:1; 31:1, 9-11, etc.), and was obviously intended to be accepted as his work. (3.) The incontrovertible testimony of our Lord and his apostles (Matt. 19:7, 8; Mark 10:3, 4; John 5:46, 47; Acts 3:22; 7:37; Rom. 10:19) establishes the same conclusion. (4.) The frequent references to it in the later books of the canon (Josh. 8:31; 1 Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2; 7:6; Neh. 8:1; Dan. 9:11, 13) prove its antiquity; and (5) the archaisms found in it are in harmony with the age in which Moses lived. (6.) Its style and allusions are also strikingly consistent with the circumstances and position of Moses and of the people at that time.
This body of positive evidence cannot be set aside by the conjectures and reasonings of modern critics, who contended that the book was somewhat like a forgery, introduced among the Jews some seven or eight centuries after the Exodus.
Devil (Gr. diabolos), a slanderer, the arch-enemy of man's spiritual interest (Job 1:6; Rev. 2:10; Zech. 3:1). He is called also "the accuser of the brethen" (Rev. 12:10).
In Lev. 17:7 the word "devil" is the translation of the Hebrew sair, meaning a "goat" or "satyr" (Isa. 13:21; 34:14), alluding to the wood-daemons, the objects of idolatrous worship among the heathen.
In Deut. 32:17 and Ps. 106:37 it is the translation of Hebrew shed, meaning lord, and idol, regarded by the Jews as a "demon," as the word is rendered in the Revised Version.
In the narratives of the Gospels regarding the "casting out of devils" a different Greek word (daimon) is used. In the time of our Lord there were frequent cases of demoniacal possession (Matt. 12:25-30; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 4:35; 10:18, etc.).
Dew "There is no dew properly so called in Palestine, for there is no moisture in the hot summer air to be chilled into dew-drops by the coldness of the night. From May till October rain is unknown, the sun shining with unclouded brightness day after day. The heat becomes intense, the ground hard, and vegetation would perish but for the moist west winds that come each night from the sea. The bright skies cause the heat of the day to radiate very quickly into space, so that the nights are as cold as the day is the reverse, a peculiarity of climate from which poor Jacob suffered thousands of years ago (Gen. 31:40). To this coldness of the night air the indispensable watering of all plant-life is due. The winds, loaded with moisture, are robbed of it as they pass over the land, the cold air condensing it into drops of water, which fall in a gracious rain of mist on every thirsty blade. In the morning the fog thus created rests like a sea over the plains, and far up the sides of the hills, which raise their heads above it like so many islands. At sunrise, however, the scene speedily changes. By the kindling light the mist is transformed into vast snow-white clouds, which presently break into separate masses and rise up the mountain-sides, to disappear in the blue above, dissipated by the increasing heat. These are 'the morning clouds and the early dew that go away' of which Hosea (6:4; 13:3) speaks so touchingly" (Geikie's The Holy Land, etc., i., p. 72). Dew is a source of great fertility (Gen. 27:28; Deut. 33:13; Zech. 8:12), and its withdrawal is regarded as a curse from God (2 Sam. 1:21; 1 Kings 17:1). It is the symbol of a multitude (2 Sam. 17:12; Ps. 110:3); and from its refreshing influence it is an emblem of brotherly love and harmony (Ps. 133:3), and of rich spiritual blessings (Hos. 14:5).
Diadem the tiara of a king (Ezek. 21:26; Isa. 28:5; 62:3); the turban (Job 29:14). In the New Testament a careful distinction is drawn between the diadem as a badge of royalty (Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 19:12) and the crown as a mark of distinction in private life. It is not known what the ancient Jewish "diadem" was. It was the mark of Oriental sovereigns. (See CROWN.)
Dial for the measurement of time, only once mentioned in the Bible, erected by Ahaz (2 Kings 20:11; Isa. 38:8). The Hebrew word (ma'aloth) is rendered "steps" in Ex. 20:26, 1 Kings 10:19, and "degrees" in 2 Kings 20:9, 10, 11. The ma'aloth was probably stairs on which the shadow of a column or obelisk placed on the top fell. The shadow would cover a greater or smaller number of steps, according as the sun was low or high.
Probably the sun-dial was a Babylonian invention. Daniel at Babylon (Dan. 3:6) is the first to make mention of the "hour."
Diamond (1.) A precious gem (Heb. yahalom', in allusion to its hardness), otherwise unknown, the sixth, i.e., the third in the second row, in the breastplate of the high priest, with the name of Naphtali engraven on it (Ex. 28:18; 39:11; R.V. marg., "sardonyx.")
(2.) A precious stone (Heb. shamir', a sharp point) mentioned in Jer. 17:1. From its hardness it was used for cutting and perforating other minerals. It is rendered "adamant" (q.v.) in Ezek. 3:9, Zech. 7:12. It is the hardest and most valuable of precious stones.
Diana so called by the Romans; called Artemis by the Greeks, the "great" goddess worshipped among heathen nations under various modifications. Her most noted temple was that at Ephesus. It was built outside the city walls, and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. "First and last it was the work of 220 years; built of shining marble; 342 feet long by 164 feet broad; supported by a forest of columns, each 56 feet high; a sacred museum of masterpieces of sculpture and painting. At the centre, hidden by curtains, within a gorgeous shrine, stood the very ancient image of the goddess, on wood or ebony reputed to have fallen from the sky. Behind the shrine was a treasury, where, as in 'the safest bank in Asia,' nations and kings stored their most precious things. The temple as St. Paul saw it subsisted till A.D. 262, when it was ruined by the Goths" (Acts 19:23-41)., Moule on Ephesians: Introd.