Topaz Heb. pitdah (Ezek. 28:13; Rev. 21:20), a golden yellow or "green" stone brought from Cush or Ethiopia (Job 28:19). It was the second stone in the first row in the breastplate of the high priest, and had the name of Simeon inscribed on it (Ex. 28:17). It is probably the chrysolite of the moderns.
Tophel lime, a place in the wilderness of Sinai (Deut. 1:1), now identified with Tafyleh or Tufileh, on the west side of the Edomitish mountains.
Tophet =Topheth, from Heb. toph "a drum," because the cries of children here sacrificed by the priests of Moloch were drowned by the noise of such an instrument; or from taph or toph, meaning "to burn," and hence a place of burning, the name of a particular part in the valley of Hinnom. "Fire being the most destructive of all elements, is chosen by the sacred writers to symbolize the agency by which God punishes or destroys the wicked. We are not to assume from prophetical figures that material fire is the precise agent to be used. It was not the agency employed in the destruction of Sennacherib, mentioned in Isa. 30:33...Tophet properly begins where the Vale of Hinnom bends round to the east, having the cliffs of Zion on the north, and the Hill of Evil Counsel on the south. It terminates at Beer 'Ayub, where it joins the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The cliffs on the southern side especially abound in ancient tombs. Here the dead carcasses of beasts and every offal and abomination were cast, and left to be either devoured by that worm that never died or consumed by that fire that was never quenched." Thus Tophet came to represent the place of punishment. (See HINNOM.)
Torches On the night of his betrayal, when our Lord was in the garden of Gethsemane, Judas, "having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons" (John 18:1-3). Although it was the time of full moon, yet in the valley of the Kidron "there fell great, deep shadows from the declivity of the mountain and projecting rocks; there were there caverns and grottos, into which a fugitive might retreat; finally, there were probably a garden-house and tower, into whose gloom it might be necessary for a searcher to throw light around." Lange's Commentary. (Nahum 2:3, "torches," Revised Version, "steel," probably should be "scythes" for war-chariots.)
Torment Gr. basanos (Matt. 4:24), the "touch-stone" of justice; hence inquisition by torture, and then any disease which racks and tortures the limbs.
Tortoise (Heb. tsabh). Ranked among the unclean animals (Lev. 11:29). Land tortoises are common in Syria. The LXX. renders the word by "land crocodile." The word, however, more probably denotes a lizard, called by the modern Arabs dhabb.
Tow (Judg. 16:9). See FLAX.
Tower of the furnaces (Neh. 3:11; 12:38), a tower at the north-western angle of the second wall of Jerusalem. It was probably so named from its contiguity to the "bakers' street" (Jer. 37:21).
Towers of Babel (Gen. 11:4), Edar (Gen. 35:21), Penuel (Judg. 8:9, 17), Shechem (9:46), David (Cant. 4:4), Lebanon (7:4), Syene (Ezek. 29:10), Hananeel (Zech. 14:10), Siloam (Luke 13:4). There were several towers in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 26:9; Ps. 48:12). They were erected for various purposes, as watch-towers in vineyard (Isa. 5:2; Matt. 21:33) and towers for defence.
Trachonitis a rugged region, corresponds to the Heb. Argob (q.v.), the Greek name of a region on the east of Jordan (Luke 3:1); one of the five Roman provinces into which that district was divided. It was in the tetrarchy of Philip, and is now called the Lejah.
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