East gate (Jer. 19:2), properly the Potter's gate, the gate which led to the potter's field, in the valley of Hinnom.
East sea (Joel 2:20; Ezek. 47:18), the Dead Sea, which lay on the east side of the Holy Land. The Mediterranean, which lay on the west, was hence called the "great sea for the west border" (Num. 34:6).
East wind the wind coming from the east (Job 27:21; Isa. 27:8, etc.). Blight caused by this wind, "thin ears" (Gen. 41:6); the withered "gourd" (Jonah 4: 8). It was the cause and also the emblem of evil (Ezek. 17:10; 19:12; Hos. 13:15). In Palestine this wind blows from a burning desert, and hence is destitute of moisture necessary for vegetation.
Eating The ancient Hebrews would not eat with the Egyptians (Gen. 43:32). In the time of our Lord they would not eat with Samaritans (John 4:9), and were astonished that he ate with publicans and sinners (Matt. 9:11). The Hebrews originally sat at table, but afterwards adopted the Persian and Chaldean practice of reclining (Luke 7:36-50). Their principal meal was at noon (Gen. 43:16; 1 Kings 20:16; Ruth 2:14; Luke 14:12). The word "eat" is used metaphorically in Jer. 15:16; Ezek. 3:1; Rev. 10:9. In John 6:53-58, "eating and drinking" means believing in Christ. Women were never present as guests at meals (q.v.).
Ebal stony. (1.) A mountain 3,076 feet above the level of the sea, and 1,200 feet above the level of the valley, on the north side of which stood the city of Shechem (q.v.). On this mountain six of the tribes (Deut. 27:12,13) were appointed to take their stand and respond according to a prescribed form to the imprecations uttered in the valley, where the law was read by the Levites (11:29; 29:4, 13). This mountain was also the site of the first great altar erected to Jehovah (Deut. 27:5-8; Josh. 8:30-35). After this the name of Ebal does not again occur in Jewish history. (See GERIZIM.)
(2.) A descendant of Eber (1 Chr. 1:22), called also Obal (Gen. 10:28).
(3.) A descendant of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36:23).
Ebed slave, the father of Gaal, in whom the men of Shechem "put confidence" in their conspiracy against Abimelech (Judg. 9:26, 26, 30, 31).
Ebed-melech a servant of the king; probably an official title, an Ethiopian, "one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house;" i.e., in the palace of Zedekiah, king of Judah. He interceded with the king in Jeremiah's behalf, and was the means of saving him from death by famine (Jer. 38:7-13: comp. 39:15-18).
Eben-ezer stone of help, the memorial stone set up by Samuel to commemorate the divine assistance to Israel in their great battle against the Philistines, whom they totally routed (1 Sam. 7:7-12) at Aphek, in the neighbourhood of Mizpeh, in Benjamin, near the western entrance of the pass of Beth-horon. On this very battle-field, twenty years before, the Philistines routed the Israelites, "and slew of the army in the field about four thousand men" (4:1,2; here, and at 5:1, called "Eben-ezer" by anticipation). In this extremity the Israelites fetched the ark out of Shiloh and carried it into their camp. The Philistines a second time immediately attacked them, and smote them with a very great slaughter, "for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken" (1 Sam. 4:10). And now in the same place the Philistines are vanquished, and the memorial stone is erected by Samuel (q.v.). The spot where the stone was erected was somewhere "between Mizpeh and Shen." Some have identified it with the modern Beit Iksa, a conspicuous and prominent position, apparently answering all the necessary conditions; others with Dier Aban, 3 miles east of 'Ain Shems.
Eber beyond. (1.). The third post-duluvian patriach after Shem (Gen. 10:24; 11:14). He is regarded as the founder of the Hebrew race (10:21; Num. 24:24). In Luke 3:35 he is called Heber.
(2.) One of the seven heads of the families of the Gadites (1 Chr. 5:13).
(3.) The oldest of the three sons of Elpaal the Benjamite (8:12).
(4.) One of the heads of the familes of Benjamites in Jerusalem (22).
(5.) The head of the priestly family of Amok in the time of Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:20).
Ebony a black, hard wood, brought by the merchants from India to Tyre (Ezek. 27:15). It is the heart-wood, brought by Diospyros ebenus, which grows in Ceylon and Southern India.