Nophah Blast, a city of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites (Num 21:30).
North Country A general name for the countries that lay north of Palestine. Most of the invading armies entered Palestine from the north (Isa 41:25; Jer 1:14, Jer 1:15; Jer 50:3, Jer 50:9, Jer 50:41; Jer 51:48; Eze 26:7).
Northward (Heb. tsaphon ), a "hidden" or "dark place," as opposed to the sunny south (Deu 3:27). A Hebrew in speaking of the points of the compass was considered as always having his face to the east, and hence "the left hand" (Gen 14:15; Job 23:9) denotes the north. The "kingdoms of the north" are Chaldea, Assyria, Media, etc.
Nose-jewels Only mentioned in Isa 3:21, although referred to in Gen 24:47, Pro 11:22, Hos 2:13. They were among the most valued of ancient female ornaments. They "were made of ivory or metal, and occasionally jeweled. They were more than an inch in diameter, and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was of gold and weighed half a shekel... At the present day the women in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in consequence."
Numbering of the People Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which David gave directions to Joab to make (Ch1 21:1). Joab very reluctantly began to carry out the king's command. This act of David in ordering a numbering of the people arose from pride and a self-glorifying spirit. It indicated a reliance on his part on an arm of flesh, an estimating of his power not by the divine favour but by the material resources of his kingdom. He thought of military achievement and of conquest, and forgot that he was God's vicegerent. In all this he sinned against God. While Joab was engaged in the census, David's heart smote him, and he became deeply conscious of his fault; and in profound humiliation he confessed, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done." The prophet Gad was sent to him to put before him three dreadful alternatives (Sa2 24:13; for "seven years" in this verse, the LXX. and Ch1 21:12 have "three years"), three of Jehovah's four sore judgments (Eze 14:21). Two of these David had already experienced. He had fled for some months before Absalom, and had suffered three years' famine on account of the slaughter of the Gibeonites. In his "strait" David said, "Let me fall into the hands of the Lord." A pestilence broke out among the people, and in three days swept away 70,000. At David's intercession the plague was stayed, and at the threshing-floor of Araunah (q.v.), where the destroying angel was arrested in his progress, David erected an altar, and there offered up sacrifices to God (Ch2 3:1). The census, so far as completed, showed that there were at least 1,300,000 fighting men in the kingdom, indicating at that time a population of about six or seven millions in all. (See CENSUS.)
Numbers, Book of The fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew be-midbar, i.e., "in the wilderness." In the LXX. version it is called "Numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (Num. 1 - 4), and of their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (Num. 26). This book is of special historical interest as furnishing us with details as to the route of the Israelites in the wilderness and their principal encampments. It may be divided into three parts:, 1. The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for their resuming their march (Num. 1 - 10:10). The sixth chapter gives an account of the vow of a Nazarite. 2. An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending out of the spies and the report they brought back, and the murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the way (Num. 10:11 - 21:20). 3. The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the Jordan (Num. 21:21 - Num. 36). The period comprehended in the history extends from the second month of the second year after the Exodus to the beginning of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about thirty-eight years and ten months; a dreary period of wanderings, during which that disobedient generation all died in the wilderness. They were fewer in number at the end of their wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. We see in this history, on the one hand, the unceasing care of the Almighty over his chosen people during their wanderings; and, on the other hand, the murmurings and rebellions by which they offended their heavenly Protector, drew down repeated marks of his displeasure, and provoked him to say that they should "not enter into his rest" because of their unbelief (Heb 3:19). This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, bears evidence of having been written by Moses. The expression "the book of the wars of the Lord," occurring in Num 21:14, has given rise to much discussion. But, after all, "what this book was is uncertain, whether some writing of Israel not now extant, or some writing of the Amorites which contained songs and triumphs of their king Sihon's victories, out of which Moses may cite this testimony, as Paul sometimes does out of heathen poets (Act 17:28; Tit 1:12)."
Nun Beyond the fact that he was the father of Joshua nothing more is known of him (Exo 33:11).
Nuts Were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of conciliating Joseph (Gen 43:11). This was the fruit of the pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of an olive. In Sol 6:11 a different Hebrew word ( 'egoz ), which means "walnuts," is used.
Nymphas Nymph, saluted by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians as a member of the church of Laodicea (Col 4:15).
Oak There are six Hebrew words rendered "oak." (1.) 'El occurs only in the word El-paran (Gen 14:6). The LXX. renders by "terebinth." In the plural form this word occurs in Isa 1:29; Isa 57:5 (A.V. marg. and R.V., "among the oaks"); Isa 61:3 ("trees"). The word properly means strongly, mighty, and hence a strong tree. (2.) 'Elah , Gen 35:4, "under the oak which was by Shechem" (R.V. marg., "terebinth"). Isa 6:13, A.V., "teil-tree;" R.V., "terebinth." Isa 1:30, R.V. marg., "terebinth." Absalom in his flight was caught in the branches of a "great oak" (Sa2 18:9; R.V. marg., "terebinth"). (3.) 'Elon , Jdg 4:11; Jdg 9:6 (R.V., "oak;" A.V., following the Targum, "plain") properly the deciduous species of oak shedding its foliage in autumn. (4.) 'Elan , only in Dan 4:11, Dan 4:14, Dan 4:20, rendered "tree" in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Probably some species of the oak is intended. (5.) 'Allah , Jos 24:26. The place here referred to is called Allon-moreh ("the oak of Moreh," as in R.V.) in Gen 12:6 and Gen 35:4. (6.) 'Allon , always rendered "oak." Probably the evergreen oak (called also ilex and holm oak) is intended. The oak woods of Bashan are frequently alluded to (Isa 2:13; Eze 27:6). Three species of oaks are found in Palestine, of which the "prickly evergreen oak" (Quercus coccifera) is the most abundant. "It covers the rocky hills of Palestine with a dense brushwood of trees from 8 to 12 feet high, branching from the base, thickly covered with small evergreen rigid leaves, and bearing acorns copiously." The so-called Abraham's oak at Hebron is of this species. Tristram says that this oak near Hebron "has for several centuries taken the place of the once renowned terebinth which marked the site of Mamre on the other side of the city. The terebinth existed at Mamre in the time of Vespasian, and under it the captive Jews were sold as slaves. It disappeared about A.D.330, and no tree now marks the grove of Mamre. The present oak is the noblest tree in Southern Palestine, being 23 feet in girth, and the diameter of the foliage, which is un-symmetrical, being about 90 feet." (See HEBRON; TEIL-TREE.)