Daystar Which precedes and accompanies the sun-rising. It is found only in Pe2 1:19, where it denotes the manifestation of Christ to the soul, imparting spiritual light and comfort. He is the "bright and morning star" of Rev 2:28; Rev 22:16. (Compare Num 24:17.)
Deacon Anglicized form of the Greek word diaconos , meaning a "runner," "messenger," "servant." For a long period a feeling of mutual jealousy had existed between the "Hebrews," or Jews proper, who spoke the sacred language of palestine, and the "Hellenists," or Jews of the Grecian speech, who had adopted the Grecian language, and read the Septuagint version of the Bible instead of the Hebrew. This jealousy early appeared in the Christian community. It was alleged by the Hellenists that their widows were overlooked in the daily distribution of alms. This spirit must be checked. The apostles accordingly advised the disciples to look out for seven men of good report, full of the Holy Ghost, and men of practical wisdom, who should take entire charge of this distribution, leaving them free to devote themselves entirely to the spiritual functions of their office (Act 6:1). This was accordingly done. Seven men were chosen, who appear from their names to have been Hellenists. The name "deacon" is nowhere applied to them in the New Testament; they are simply called "the seven" (Act 21:8). Their office was at first secular, but it afterwards became also spiritual; for among other qualifications they must also be "apt to teach" (Ti1 3:8). Both Philip and Stephen, who were of "the seven," preached; they did "the work of evangelists."
Deaconess Rom 16:1, Rom 16:3, Rom 16:12; Phi 4:2, Phi 4:3; Ti1 3:11; Ti1 5:9, Ti1 5:10; Tit 2:3, Tit 2:4). In these passages it is evident that females were then engaged in various Christian ministrations. Pliny makes mention of them also in his letter to Trajan (A.D. 110).
Dead Sea The name given by Greek writers of the second century to that inland sea called in Scripture the "salt sea" (Gen 14:3; Num 34:12), the "sea of the plain" (Deu 3:17), the "east sea" (Eze 47:18; Joe 2:20), and simply "the sea" (Eze 47:8). The Arabs call it Bahr Lut, i.e., the Sea of Lot. It lies about 16 miles in a straight line to the east of Jerusalem. Its surface is 1,292 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. It covers an area of about 300 square miles. Its depth varies from 1,310 to 11 feet. From various phenomena that have been observed, its bottom appears to be still subsiding. It is about 53 miles long, and of an average breadth of 10 miles. It has no outlet, the great heat of that region causing such rapid evaporation that its average depth, notwithstanding the rivers that run into it (see JORDAN), is maintained with little variation. The Jordan alone discharges into it no less than six million tons of water every twenty-four hours. The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea-water; thus they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that time were much less salt. Nothing living can exist in this sea. "The fish carried down by the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live in it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).", Geikie's Hours, etc.
Deal, Tenth See OMER.
Dearth A scarcity of provisions (1 Kings 17). There were frequent dearths in Palestine. In the days of Abram there was a "famine in the land" (Gen 12:10), so also in the days of Jacob (Gen 47:4, Gen 47:13). We read also of dearths in the time of the judges (Rut 1:1), and of the kings (Sa2 21:1; Kg1 18:2; Kg2 4:38; Kg2 8:1). In New Testament times there was an extensive famine in Palestine (Act 11:28) in the fourth year of the reign of the emperor Claudius (A.D. 44 and 45).
Death May be simply defined as the termination of life. It is represented under a variety of aspects in Scripture: (1.) "The dust shall return to the earth as it was" (Ecc 12:7). (2.) "Thou takest away their breath, they die" (Psa 104:29). (3.) It is the dissolution of "our earthly house of this tabernacle" (Co2 5:1); the "putting off this tabernacle" (Pe2 1:13, Pe2 1:14). (4.) Being "unclothed" (Co2 5:3, Co2 5:4). (5.) "Falling on sleep" (Psa 76:5; Jer 51:39; Act 13:36; Pe2 3:9. (6.) "I go whence I shall not return" (Job 10:21); "Make me to know mine end" (Psa 39:4); "to depart" (Phi 1:23). The grave is represented as "the gates of death" (Job 38:17; Psa 9:13; Psa 107:18). The gloomy silence of the grave is spoken of under the figure of the "shadow of death" (Jer 2:6). Death is the effect of sin (Heb 2:14), and not a "debt of nature." It is but once (Heb 9:27), universal (Gen 3:19), necessary (Luk 2:28). Jesus has by his own death taken away its sting for all his followers (Co1 15:55). There is a spiritual death in trespasses and sins, i.e., the death of the soul under the power of sin (Rom 8:6; Eph 2:1, Eph 2:3; Col 2:13). The "second death" (Rev 2:11) is the everlasting perdition of the wicked (Rev 21:8), and "second" in respect to natural or temporal death. THE DEATH OF CHRIST is the procuring cause incidentally of all the blessings men enjoy on earth. But specially it is the procuring cause of the actual salvation of all his people, together with all the means that lead thereto. It does not make their salvation merely possible, but certain (Mat 18:11; Rom 5:10; Co2 5:21; Gal 1:4; Gal 3:13; Eph 1:7; Eph 2:16; Rom 8:32).
Debir Oracle town; sanctuary. (1.) One of the eleven cities to the west of Hebron, in the highlands of Judah (Jos 15:49; Jdg 1:11). It was originally one of the towns of the Anakim (Jos 15:15), and was also called Kirjath-sepher (q.v.) and Kirjath-sannah (Jos 15:49). Caleb, who had conquered and taken possession of the town and district of Hebron (Jos 14:6), offered the hand of his daughter to any one who would successfully lead a party against Debir. Othniel, his younger brother (Jdg 1:13; Jdg 3:9), achieved the conquest, and gained Achsah as his wife. She was not satisfied with the portion her father gave her, and as she was proceeding toward her new home, she "lighted from off her ass" and said to him, "Give me a blessing [i.e., a dowry]: for thou hast given me a south land" (Jos 15:19, A.V.); or, as in the Revised Version, "Thou hast set me in the land of the south", i.e., in the Negeb, outside the rich valley of Hebron, in the dry and barren land. "Give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs." Debir has been identified with the modern Edh-Dhaheriyeh, i.e., "the well on the ridge", to the south of Hebron. (2.) A place near the "valley of Achor" (Jos 15:7), on the north boundary of Judah, between Jerusalem and Jericho. (3.) The king of Eglon, one of the five Canaanitish kings who were hanged by Joshua (Jos 10:3, Jos 10:23) after the victory at Gibeon. These kings fled and took refuge in a cave at Makkedah. Here they were kept confined till Joshua returned from the pursuit of their discomfited armies, when he caused them to be brought forth, and "Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees" (Jos 10:26).
Deborah A bee. (1.) Rebekah's nurse. She accompanied her mistress when she left her father's house in Padan-aram to become the wife of Isaac (Gen 24:59). Many years afterwards she died at Bethel, and was buried under the "oak of weeping", Allon-bachuth (Gen 35:8). (2.) A prophetess, "wife" (woman?) of Lapidoth. Jabin, the king of Hazor, had for twenty years held Israel in degrading subjection. The spirit of patriotism seemed crushed out of the nation. In this emergency Deborah roused the people from their lethargy. Her fame spread far and wide. She became a "mother in Israel" (Jdg 4:6, Jdg 4:14; Jdg 5:7), and "the children of Israel came up to her for judgment" as she sat in her tent under the palm tree "between Ramah and Bethel." Preparations were everywhere made by her direction for the great effort to throw off the yoke of bondage. She summoned Barak from Kadesh to take the command of 10,000 men of Zebulun and Naphtali, and lead them to Mount Tabor on the plain of Esdraelon at its north-east end. With his aid she organized this army. She gave the signal for attack, and the Hebrew host rushed down impetuously upon the army of Jabin, which was commanded by Sisera, and gained a great and decisive victory. The Canaanitish army almost wholly perished. That was a great and ever-memorable day in Israel. In Judg. 5 is given the grand triumphal ode, the "song of Deborah," which she wrote in grateful commemoration of that great deliverance. (See LAPIDOTH, JABIN .)
Debt The Mosaic law encouraged the practice of lending (Deu 15:7; Psa 37:26; Mat 5:42); but it forbade the exaction of interest except from foreigners. Usury was strongly condemned (Pro 28:8; Eze 18:8, Eze 18:13, Eze 18:17; Eze 22:12; Psa 15:5). On the Sabbatical year all pecuniary obligations were canceled (Deu 15:1). These regulations prevented the accumulation of debt.