Wise, wisdom a moral rather than an intellectual quality. To be "foolish" is to be godless (Ps. 14:1; comp. Judg. 19:23; 2 Sam. 13:13). True wisdom is a gift from God to those who ask it (Job 28:12-28; Prov. 3:13-18; Rom. 1:22; 16:27; 1 Cor. 1:17-21; 2:6-8; James 1:5). "Wisdom" in Prov. 1:20; 8:1; 9:1-5 may be regarded not as a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a divine person, "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:24). In Matt. 11:19 it is the personified principle of wisdom that is meant.
Witch Occurs only in Ex. 22:18, as the rendering of mekhashshepheh, the feminine form of the word, meaning "enchantress" (R.V., "sorceress"), and in Deut. 18:10, as the rendering of mekhashshepheth, the masculine form of the word, meaning "enchanter."
Witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chr. 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4; Gal. 5:20). In the popular sense of the word no mention is made either of witches or of witchcraft in Scripture.
The "witch of En-dor" (1 Sam. 28) was a necromancer, i.e., one who feigned to hold converse with the dead. The damsel with "a spirit of divination" (Acts 16:16) was possessed by an evil spirit, or, as the words are literally rendered, "having a spirit, a pithon." The reference is to the heathen god Apollo, who was regarded as the god of prophecy.
Witness More than one witness was required in criminal cases (Deut. 17:6; 19:15). They were the first to execute the sentence on the condemned (Deut. 13:9; 17:7; 1 Kings 21:13; Matt. 27:1; Acts 7:57, 58). False witnesses were liable to punishment (Deut. 19:16-21). It was also an offence to refuse to bear witness (Lev. 5:1).
Witness of the Spirit (Rom. 8:16), the consciousness of the gracious operation of the Spirit on the mind, "a certitude of the Spirit's presence and work continually asserted within us", manifested "in his comforting us, his stirring us up to prayer, his reproof of our sins, his drawing us to works of love, to bear testimony before the world," etc.
Wizard a pretender to supernatural knowledge and power, "a knowing one," as the original Hebrew word signifies. Such an one was forbidden on pain of death to practise his deceptions (Lev. 19:31; 20:6, 27; 1 Sam. 28:3; Isa. 8:19; 19:3).
Wolf Heb. zeeb, frequently referred to in Scripture as an emblem of treachery and cruelty. Jacob's prophecy, "Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf" (Gen. 49:27), represents the warlike character of that tribe (see Judg. 19-21). Isaiah represents the peace of Messiah's kingdom by the words, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb" (Isa. 11:6). The habits of the wolf are described in Jer. 5:6; Hab. 1:8; Zeph. 3:3; Ezek. 22:27; Matt. 7:15; 10:16; Acts 20:29. Wolves are still sometimes found in Palestine, and are the dread of shepherds, as of old.
Woman was "taken out of man" (Gen. 2:23), and therefore the man has the preeminence. "The head of the woman is the man;" but yet honour is to be shown to the wife, "as unto the weaker vessel" (1 Cor. 11:3, 8, 9; 1 Pet. 3:7). Several women are mentioned in Scripture as having been endowed with prophetic gifts, as Miriam (Ex. 15:20), Deborah (Judg. 4:4, 5), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Neh. 6:14), Anna (Luke 2:36, 37), and the daughters of Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:8, 9). Women are forbidden to teach publicly (1 Cor. 14:34, 35; 1 Tim. 2:11, 12). Among the Hebrews it devolved upon women to prepare the meals for the household (Gen. 18:6; 2 Sam. 13:8), to attend to the work of spinning (Ex. 35:26; Prov. 31:19), and making clothes (1 Sam. 2:19; Prov. 31:21), to bring water from the well (Gen. 24:15; 1 Sam. 9:11), and to care for the flocks (Gen. 29:6; Ex. 2:16).
The word "woman," as used in Matt. 15:28, John 2:4 and 20:13, 15, implies tenderness and courtesy and not disrespect. Only where revelation is known has woman her due place of honour assigned to her.
Wood See FOREST.
Wood-offering (Neh. 10:34; 13:31). It would seem that in the time of Nehemiah arrangements were made, probably on account of the comparative scarcity of wood, by which certain districts were required, as chosen by lot, to furnish wood to keep the altar fire perpetually burning (Lev. 6:13).
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