Mizpah Or Mizpeh, watch-tower; the look-out. (1.) A place in Gilead, so named by Laban, who overtook Jacob at this spot (Gen 31:49) on his return to Palestine from Padan-aram. Here Jacob and Laban set up their memorial cairn of stones. It is the same as Ramath-mizpeh (Jos 13:26). (2.) A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national danger. Here he made his rash vow; and here his daughter submitted to her mysterious fate (Jdg 10:17; Jdg 11:11, Jdg 11:34). It may be the same as Ramoth-Gilead (Jos 20:8), but it is more likely that it is identical with the foregoing, the Mizpeh of Gen 31:23, Gen 31:25, Gen 31:48, Gen 31:49. (3.) Another place in Gilead, at the foot of Mount Hermon, inhabited by Hivites (Jos 11:3, Jos 11:8). The name in Hebrew here has the article before it, "the Mizpeh," "the watch-tower." The modern village of Metullah, meaning also "the look-out," probably occupies the site so called. (4.) A town of Moab to which David removed his parents for safety during his persecution by Saul (Sa1 22:3). This was probably the citadel known as Kir-Moab, now Kerak. While David resided here he was visited by the prophet Gad, here mentioned for the first time, who was probably sent by Samuel to bid him leave the land of Moab and betake himself to the land of Judah. He accordingly removed to the forest of Hareth (q.v.), on the edge of the mountain chain of Hebron. (5.) A city of Benjamin, "the watch-tower", where the people were accustomed to meet in great national emergencies (Jos 18:26; Jdg 20:1, Jdg 20:3; Jdg 21:1, Jdg 21:5; Sa1 7:5). It has been supposed to be the same as Nob (Sa1 21:1; Sa1 22:9). It was some 4 miles north-west of Jerusalem, and was situated on the loftiest hill in the neighbourhood, some 600 feet above the plain of Gibeon. This village has the modern name of Neby Samwil, i.e., the prophet Samuel, from a tradition that Samuel's tomb is here. (See NOB.) Samuel inaugurated the reformation that characterized his time by convening a great assembly of all Israel at Mizpeh, now the politico-religious centre of the nation. There, in deep humiliation on account of their sins, they renewed their vows and entered again into covenant with the God of their fathers. It was a period of great religious awakening and of revived national life. The Philistines heard of this assembly, and came up against Israel. The Hebrews charged the Philistine host with great fury, and they were totally routed. Samuel commemorated this signal victory by erecting a memorial-stone, which he called "Ebenezer" (q.v.), saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (Sa1 7:7).
Mizpar Number, one of the Jews who accompanied Zerubbabel from Babylon (Ezr 2:2); called also Mispereth (Neh 7:7).
Mizraim The dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress," the name of a people descended from Ham (Gen 10:6, Gen 10:13; Ch1 1:8, Ch1 1:11). It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land of Egypt (q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and the Lower. The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr .
Mizzah Despair, one of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen 36:13, Gen 36:17).
Mnason Reminding, or remembrancer a Christian of Jerusalem with whom Paul lodged (Act 21:16). He was apparently a native of Cyprus, like Barnabas (Act 11:19, Act 11:20), and was well known to the Christians of Caesarea (Act 4:36). He was an "old disciple" (R.V., "early disciple"), i.e., he had become a Christian in the beginning of the formation of the Church in Jerusalem.
Moab The seed of the father, or, according to others, the desirable land, the eldest son of Lot (Gen 19:37), of incestuous birth. (2.) Used to denote the people of Moab (Num 22:3; Jdg 3:30; Sa2 8:2; Jer 48:11, Jer 48:13). (3.) The land of Moab (Jer 48:24), called also the "country of Moab" (Rut 1:2, Rut 1:6; Rut 2:6), on the east of Jordan and the Dead Sea, and south of the Arnon (Num 21:13, Num 21:26). In a wider sense it included the whole region that had been occupied by the Amorites. It bears the modern name of Kerak. In the Plains of Moab, opposite Jericho (Num 22:1; Num 26:63; Jos 13:32), the children of Israel had their last encampment before they entered the land of Canaan. It was at that time in the possession of the Amorites (Num 21:22). "Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah," and "died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord" (Deu 34:5, Deu 34:6). "Surely if we had nothing else to interest us in the land of Moab, the fact that it was from the top of Pisgah, its noblest height, this mightiest of the prophets looked out with eye undimmed upon the Promised Land; that it was here on Nebo, its loftiest mountain, that he died his solitary death; that it was here, in the valley over against Beth-peor, he found his mysterious sepulchre, we have enough to enshrine the memory in our hearts."
Moabite The designation of a tribe descended from Moab, the son of Lot (Gen 19:37). From Zoar, the cradle of this tribe, on the south-eastern border of the Dead Sea, they gradually spread over the region on the east of Jordan. Rameses II., the Pharaoh of the Oppression, enumerates Moab (Muab) among his conquests. Shortly before the Exodus, the warlike Amorites crossed the Jordan under Sihon their king and drove the Moabites (Num 21:26) out of the region between the Arnon and the Jabbok, and occupied it, making Heshbon their capital. They were then confined to the territory to the south of the Arnon. On their journey the Israelites did not pass through Moab, but through the "wilderness" to the east (Deu 2:8; Jdg 11:18), at length reaching the country to the north of the Arnon. Here they remained for some time till they had conquered Bashan (see SIHON; OG). The Moabites were alarmed, and their king, Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Num 22:2). It was while they were here that the visit of Balaam (q.v.) to Balak took place. (See MOSES.) After the Conquest, the Moabites maintained hostile relations with the Israelites, and frequently harassed them in war (Judg. 3:12-30; 1 Sam. 14). The story of Ruth, however, shows the existence of friendly relations between Moab and Bethlehem. By his descent from Ruth, David may be said to have had Moabite blood in his veins. Yet there was war between David and the Moabites (Sa2 8:2; Sa2 23:20; Ch1 18:2), from whom he took great spoil (Sa2 8:2, Sa2 8:11, Sa2 8:12; Ch1 11:22; Ch1 18:11). During the one hundred and fifty years which followed the defeat of the Moabites, after the death of Ahab (see MESHA), they regained, apparently, much of their former prosperity. At this time Isaiah (Isa 15:1) delivered his "burden of Moab," predicting the coming of judgment on that land (Compare Kg2 17:3; Kg2 18:9; Ch1 5:25, Ch1 5:26). Between the time of Isaiah and the commencement of the Babylonian captivity we have very seldom any reference to Moab (Jer 25:21; Jer 27:3; Jer 40:11; Zep 2:8). After the Return, it was Sanballat, a Moabite, who took chief part in seeking to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh 2:19; Neh 4:1; Neh 6:1).
Moabite Stone A basalt stone, bearing an inscription by King Mesha, which was discovered at Dibon by Klein, a German missionary at Jerusalem, in 1868. It was 3 1/2 feet high and 2 in breadth and in thickness, rounded at the top. It consisted of thirty-four lines, written in Hebrew-Phoenician characters. It was set up by Mesha as a record and memorial of his victories. It records (1.) Mesha's wars with Omri, (2.) his public buildings, and (3.) his wars against Horonaim. This inscription in a remarkable degree supplements and corroborates the history of King Mesha recorded in 2 Kings 3:4-27. With the exception of a very few variations, the Moabite language in which the inscription is written is identical with the Hebrew. The form of the letters here used supplies very important and interesting information regarding the history of the formation of the alphabet, as well as, incidentally, regarding the arts of civilized life of those times in the land of Moab. This ancient monument, recording the heroic struggles of King Mesha with Omri and Ahab, was erected about 900 B.C.. Here "we have the identical slab on which the workmen of the old world carved the history of their own times, and from which the eye of their contemporaries read thousands of years ago the record of events of which they themselves had been the witnesses." It is the oldest inscription written in alphabetic characters, and hence is, apart from its value in the domain of Hebrew antiquities, of great linguistic importance.
Moladah Birth, a city in the south of Judah which fell to Simeon (Jos 15:21; Jos 19:2). It has been identified with the modern el, Milh, 10 miles east of Beersheba.
Mole Heb. tinshameth (Lev 11:30), probably signifies some species of lizard (rendered in R.V., "chameleon"). In Lev 11:18, Deu 14:16, it is rendered, in Authorized Version, "swan" (R.V., "horned owl"). The Heb. holed (Lev 11:29), rendered "weasel," was probably the mole-rat. The true mole (Talpa Europoea) is not found in Palestine. The mole-rat (Spalax typhlus) "is twice the size of our mole, with no external eyes, and with only faint traces within of the rudimentary organ; no apparent ears, but, like the mole, with great internal organs of hearing; a strong, bare snout, and with large gnawing teeth; its colour a pale slate; its feet short, and provided with strong nails; its tail only rudimentary." In Isa 2:20, this word is the rendering of two words haphar peroth , which are rendered by Gesenius "into the digging of rats", i.e., rats' holes. But these two Hebrew words ought probably to be combined into one (lahporperoth) and translated "to the moles", i.e., the rat-moles. This animal "lives in underground communities, making large subterranean chambers for its young and for storehouses, with many runs connected with them, and is decidedly partial to the loose debris among ruins and stone-heaps, where it can form its chambers with least trouble."