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Agate (Heb. shebo ), a precious stone in the breast-plate of the high priest (Exo 28:19; Exo 39:12), the second in the third row. This may be the agate properly so called, a semi-transparent crystallized quartz, probably brought from Sheba, whence its name. In Isa 54:12 and Eze 27:16, this word is the rendering of the Hebrew cadcod, which means "ruddy," and denotes a variety of minutely crystalline silica more or less in bands of different tints. This word is from the Greek name of a stone found in the river Achates in Sicily.

Age Used to denote the period of a man's life (Gen 47:28), the maturity of life (Joh 9:21), the latter end of life (Job 11:17), a generation of the human race (Job 8:8), and an indefinite period (Eph 2:7; Eph 3:5, Eph 3:21; Col 1:26). Respect to be shown to the aged (Lev 19:32). It is a blessing to communities when they have old men among them (Isa 65:20; Zac 8:4). The aged supposed to excel in understanding (Job 12:20; Job 15:10; Job 32:4, Job 32:9; Kg1 12:6, Kg1 12:8). A full age the reward of piety (Job 5:26; Gen 15:15).

Agee Fugitive, the father of Shammah, who was one of David's mighty men (Sa2 23:11).

Agony Contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering. Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only used in the New Testament by Luke (Luk 22:44) to describe our Lord's fearful struggle in Gethsemane. The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to enter" (Luk 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize] (Joh 18:36). Compare Co1 9:25; Col 1:29; Col 4:12; Ti1 6:12; Ti2 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labour," "conflict," "fight," are the renderings of the same Greek verb.

Agriculture Tilling the ground (Gen 2:15; Gen 4:2, Gen 4:3, Gen 4:12) and rearing cattle were the chief employments in ancient times. The Egyptians excelled in agriculture. And after the Israelites entered into the possession of the Promised Land, their circumstances favoured in the highest degree a remarkable development of this art. Agriculture became indeed the basis of the Mosaic commonwealth. See table for The year in Palestine was divided into six agricultural periods: I. Sowing Time Months Tisri, latter half Marchesvan Kisleu, former half Beginning about the autumnal equinox. Cultivation time Early rain due - First showers of autumn II. Unripe Time Kisleu, latter half Tebet Sebat, former half Cultivation time III. Cold Season Sebat, latter half Adar [Veader] Nisan, former half Cultivation time Latter rain due. (Deu 11:14; Jer 5:24; Hos 6:3; Zac 10:1; Jam 5:7; Job 29:23) IV. Harvest Time Nisan, latter half Ijar Sivan, former half Beginning about vernal equinox. Barley green. Passover. V. Summer Sivan, latter half Tammuz Ab, former half Total absence of rain VI. Sultry Season Ab, latter half Elul Tisri, former half Ingathering of fruits The six months from the middle of Tisri to the middle of Nisan were occupied with the work of cultivation, and the rest of the year mainly with the gathering in of the fruits. The extensive and easily-arranged system of irrigation from the rills and streams from the mountains made the soil in every part of Palestine richly productive (Psa 1:3; Psa 65:10; Pro 21:1; Isa 30:25; Isa 32:2, Isa 32:20; Hos 12:11), and the appliances of careful cultivation and of manure increased its fertility to such an extent that in the days of Solomon, when there was an abundant population, "20,000 measures of wheat year by year" were sent to Hiram in exchange for timber (Kg1 5:11), and in large quantities also wheat was sent to the Tyrians for the merchandise in which they traded (Eze 27:17). The wheat sometimes produced an hundredfold (Gen 26:12; Mat 13:23). Figs and pomegranates were very plentiful (Num 13:23), and the vine and the olive grew luxuriantly and produced abundant fruit (Deu 33:24). Lest the productiveness of the soil should be exhausted, it was enjoined that the whole land should rest every seventh year, when all agricultural labour would entirely cease (Lev 25:1; Deu 15:1). It was forbidden to sow a field with divers seeds (Deu 22:9). A passer-by was at liberty to eat any quantity of corn or grapes, but he was not permitted to carry away any (Deu 23:24, Deu 23:25; Mat 12:1). The poor were permitted to claim the corners of the fields and the gleanings. A forgotten sheaf in the field was to be left also for the poor. (See Lev 19:9, Lev 19:10; Deu 24:19.)

Agricultural Implements and Operations The sculptured monuments and painted tombs of Egypt and Assyria throw much light on this subject, and on the general operations of agriculture. plows of a simple construction were known in the time of Moses (Deu 22:10; compare Job 1:14). They were very light, and required great attention to keep them in the ground (Luk 9:62). They were drawn by oxen (Job 1:14), cows (Sa1 6:7), and asses (Isa 30:24); but an ox and an ass must not be yoked together in the same plough (Deu 22:10). Men sometimes followed the plough with a hoe to break the clods (Isa 28:24). The oxen were urged on by a "goad," or long staff pointed at the end, so that if occasion arose it could be used as a spear also (Jdg 3:31; Sa1 13:21). When the soil was prepared, the seed was sown broadcast over the field (Mat 13:3). The "harrow" mentioned in Job 39:10 was not used to cover the seeds, but to break the clods, being little more than a thick block of wood. In highly irrigated spots the seed was trampled in by cattle (Isa 32:20); but doubtless there was some kind of harrow also for covering in the seed scattered in the furrows of the field. The reaping of the corn was performed either by pulling it up by the roots, or cutting it with a species of sickle, according to circumstances. The corn when cut was generally put up in sheaves (Gen 37:7; Lev 23:10; Rut 2:7, Rut 2:15; Job 24:10; Jer 9:22; Mic 4:12), which were afterwards gathered to the threshing-floor or stored in barns (Mat 6:26). The process of threshing was performed generally by spreading the sheaves on the threshing-floor and causing oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over them (Deu 25:4; Isa 28:28). On occasions flails or sticks were used for this purpose (Rut 2:17; Isa 28:27). There was also a "threshing instrument" (Isa 41:15; Amo 1:3) which was drawn over the corn. It was called by the Hebrews a moreg, a threshing roller or sledge (Sa2 24:22; Ch1 21:23; Isa 3:15). It was somewhat like the Roman tribulum, or threshing instrument. When the grain was threshed, it was winnowed by being thrown up against the wind (Jer 4:11), and afterwards tossed with wooden scoops (Isa 30:24). The shovel and the fan for winnowing are mentioned in Psa 35:5; Job 21:18; Isa 17:13. The refuse of straw and chaff was burned (Isa 5:24). Freed from impurities, the grain was then laid up in granaries till used (Deu 28:8; Pro 3:10; Mat 6:26; Mat 13:30; Luk 12:18).

Agrippa I The grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus and Bernice. The Roman emperor Caligula made him governor first of the territories of Philip, then of the tetrarchy of Lysanias, with the title of king ("king Herod"), and finally of that of Antipas, who was banished, and of Samaria and Judea. Thus he became ruler over the whole of Palestine. He was a persecutor of the early Christians. He slew James, and imprisoned Peter (Act 12:1). He died at Caesarea, being "eaten of worms" (Act 12:23), A.D. 44. (Compare Josephus, Ant. xix. 8.)

Agrippa II Son of the foregoing, was born at Rome, A.D. 27. He was the brother of Bernice and Drusilla. The Emperor Claudius (A.D. 48) invested him with the office of superintendent of the Temple of Jerusalem, and made him governor (A.D. 50) of Chalcis. He was afterwards raised to the rank of king, and made governor over the tetrarchy of Philip and Lysanias (Act 25:13; Act 26:2, Act 26:7). It was before him that Paul delivered (A.D. 59) his speech recorded in Acts 26. His private life was very profligate. He died (the last of his race) at Rome, at the age of about seventy years, A.D. 100.

Ague The translation in Lev 26:16 (R.V., "fever") of the Hebrew word kaddah'ath , meaning "kindling", i.e., an inflammatory or burning fever. In Deu 28:22 the word is rendered "fever."

Agur Gatherer; the collector, mentioned as author of the sayings in Prov. 30. Nothing is known of him beyond what is there recorded.