Zaphnath-paaneah the name which Pharaoh gave to Joseph when he raised him to the rank of prime minister or grand vizier of the kingdom (Gen. 41:45). This is a pure Egyptian word, and has been variously explained. Some think it means "creator," or "preserver of life." Brugsch interprets it as "governor of the district of the place of life", i.e., of Goshen, the chief city of which was Pithom, "the place of life." Others explain it as meaning "a revealer of secrets," or "the man to whom secrets are revealed."
Zarephath smelting-shop, "a workshop for the refining and smelting of metals", a small Phoenician town, now Surafend, about a mile from the coast, almost midway on the road between Tyre and Sidon. Here Elijah sojourned with a poor widow during the "great famine," when the "heaven was shut up three years and six months" (Luke 4:26; 1 Kings 17:10). It is called Sarepta in the New Testament (Luke 4:26).
Zaretan When the Hebrews crossed the Jordan, as soon as the feet of the priests were dipped in the water, the flow of the stream was arrested. The point of arrest was the "city of Adam beside Zaretan," probably near Succoth, at the mouth of the Jabbok, some 30 miles up the river from where the people were encamped. There the water "stood and rose upon an heap." Thus the whole space of 30 miles of the river-bed was dry, that the tribes might pass over (Josh. 3:16, 17; comp. Ps. 104:3).
Zareth-shahar the splendour of the dawn, a city "in the mount of the valley" (Josh. 13:19). It is identified with the ruins of Zara, near the mouth of the Wady Zerka Main, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, some 3 miles south of the Callirrhoe. Of this town but little remains. "A few broken basaltic columns and pieces of wall about 200 yards back from the shore, and a ruined fort rather nearer the sea, about the middle of the coast line of the plain, are all that are left" (Tristram's Land of Moab).
Zarthan a place near Succoth, in the plain of the Jordan, "in the clay ground," near which Hiram cast the brazen utensils for the temple (1 Kings 7:46); probably the same as Zartan. It is also called Zeredathah (2 Chr. 4:17). (See ZEREDA.)
Zatthu a sprout, Neh. 10:14.
Zattu id., one whose descendants returned from the Captivity with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:8; Neh. 7:13); probably the same as Zatthu.
Zaza plenty, a descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 2:33).
Zeal an earnest temper; may be enlightened (Num. 25:11-13; 2 Cor. 7:11; 9:2), or ignorant and misdirected (Rom. 10:2; Phil. 3:6). As a Christian grace, it must be grounded on right principles and directed to right ends (Gal. 4:18). It is sometimes ascribed to God (2 Kings 19:31; Isa. 9:7; 37:32; Ezek. 5:13).
Zealots a sect of Jews which originated with Judas the Gaulonite (Acts 5:37). They refused to pay tribute to the Romans, on the ground that this was a violation of the principle that God was the only king of Israel. They rebelled against the Romans, but were soon scattered, and became a lawless band of mere brigands. They were afterwards called Sicarii, from their use of the sica, i.e., the Roman dagger.