Sacred Texts  Bible  Index 

Ananiah Protected by Jehovah, the name of a town in the tribe of Benjamin between Nob and Hazor (Neh 11:32). It is probably the modern Beit Hanina, a small village 3 miles north of Jerusalem.

Ananias A common Jewish name, the same as Hananiah. (1.) One of the members of the church at Jerusalem, who conspired with his wife Sapphira to deceive the brethren, and who fell down and immediately expired after he had uttered the falsehood (Act 5:5). By common agreement the members of the early Christian community devoted their property to the work of furthering the gospel and of assisting the poor and needy. The proceeds of the possessions they sold were placed at the disposal of the apostles (Act 4:36, Act 4:37). Ananias might have kept his property had he so chosen; but he professed agreement with the brethren in the common purpose, and had of his own accord devoted it all, as he said, to these sacred ends. Yet he retained a part of it for his own ends, and thus lied in declaring that he had given it all. "The offense of Ananias and Sapphira showed contempt of God, vanity and ambition in the offenders, and utter disregard of the corruption which they were bringing into the society. Such sin, committed in despite of the light which they possessed, called for a special mark of divine indignation." (2.) A Christian at Damascus (Act 9:10). He became Paul's instructor; but when or by what means he himself became a Christian we have no information. He was "a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt" at Damascus (Act 22:12). (3.) The high priest before whom Paul was brought in the procuratorship of Felix (Act 23:2, Act 23:5, Act 23:24). He was so enraged at Paul's noble declaration, "I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day," that he commanded one of his attendants to smite him on the mouth. Smarting under this unprovoked insult, Paul quickly replied, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall." Being reminded that Ananias was the high priest, to whose office all respect was to be paid, he answered, "I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest" (Act 23:5). This expression has occasioned some difficulty, as it is scarcely probable that Paul should have been ignorant of so public a fact. The expression may mean (a.) that Paul had at the moment overlooked the honour due to the high priest; or (b.) as others think, that Paul spoke ironically, as if he had said, "The high priest breaking the law! God's high priest a tyrant and a lawbreaker! I see a man in white robes, and have heard his voice, but surely it cannot, it ought not to be, the voice of the high priest." (See Dr. Lindsay on Acts, in loco.) (c.) Others think that from defect of sight Paul could not observe that the speaker was the high priest. In all this, however, it may be explained, Paul, with all his excellency, comes short of the example of his divine Master, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again.

Anath An answer; i.e., to "prayer", the father of Shamgar, who was one of the judges of Israel (Jdg 3:31).

Anathema Anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the word is anathema, once in plural used in the Greek New Testament, in Luk 21:5, where it is rendered "gifts." In the LXX. the form anathema is generally used as the rendering of the Hebrew word herem, derived from a verb which means (1.) to consecrate or devote; and (2.) to exterminate. Any object so devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Num 18:14; Lev 27:28, Lev 27:29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of application. The anathema or herem was a person or thing irrevocably devoted to God (Lev 27:21, Lev 27:28); and "none devoted shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death" (Lev 27:29). The word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Num 21:2, Num 21:3; Jos 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing accursed. In Deu 7:26 an idol is called a herem = anathema, a thing accursed. In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless certain conditions are fulfilled (Act 23:12, Act 23:14, Act 23:21). "To call Jesus accursed" [anathema] (Co1 12:3) is to pronounce him execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the apostle says, "let him be accursed" (Gal 1:8, Gal 1:9); i.e., let his conduct in so doing be accounted accursed. In Rom 9:3, the expression "accursed" (anathema) from Christ, i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation of his people. The anathema in Co1 16:22 denotes simply that they who love not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord."

Anathoth The name of one of the cities of refuge, in the tribe of Benjamin (Jos 21:18). The Jews, as a rule, did not change the names of the towns they found in Palestine; hence this town may be regarded as deriving its name from the goddess Anat. It was the native place of Abiezer, one of David's "thirty" (Sa2 23:27), and of Jehu, another of his mighty men (Ch1 12:3). It is chiefly notable, however, as the birth-place and usual residence of Jeremiah (Jer 1:1; Jer 11:21; Jer 29:27; Jer 32:7). It suffered greatly from the army of Sennacherib, and only 128 men returned to it from the Exile (Neh 7:27; Ezr 2:23). It lay about 3 miles north of Jerusalem. It has been identified with the small and poor village of Anata, containing about 100 inhabitants.

Anchor From Act 27:29, Act 27:30, Act 27:40, it would appear that the Roman vessels carried several anchors, which were attached to the stern as well as to the prow. The Roman anchor, like the modern one, had two teeth or flukes. In Heb 6:19 the word is used metaphorically for that which supports or keeps one steadfast in the time of trial or of doubt. It is an emblem of hope. "If you fear, put all your trust in God: that anchor holds."

Ancient of Days An expression applied to Jehovah three times in the vision of Daniel (Dan 7:9, Dan 7:13, Dan 7:22) in the sense of eternal. In contrast with all earthly kings, his days are past reckoning.

Andrew Manliness, a Greek name; one of the apostles of our Lord. He was of Bethsaida in Galilee (Joh 1:44), and was the brother of Simon Peter (Mat 4:18; Mat 10:2). On one occasion John the Baptist, whose disciple he then was, pointing to Jesus, said, "Behold the Lamb of God" (Joh 1:40); and Andrew, hearing him, immediately became a follower of Jesus, the first of his disciples. After he had been led to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, his first care was to bring also his brother Simon to Jesus. The two brothers seem to have after this pursued for a while their usual calling as fishermen, and did not become the stated attendants of the Lord till after John's imprisonment (Mat 4:18, Mat 4:19; Mar 1:16, Mar 1:17). Very little is related of Andrew. He was one of the confidential disciples (Joh 6:8; Joh 12:22), and with Peter, James, and John inquired of our Lord privately regarding his future coming (Mar 13:3). He was present at the feeding of the five thousand (Joh 6:9), and he introduced the Greeks who desired to see Jesus (Joh 12:22); but of his subsequent history little is known. It is noteworthy that Andrew thrice brings others to Christ, (1) Peter; (2) the lad with the loaves; and (3) certain Greeks. These incidents may be regarded as a key to his character.

Andronicus Man-conquering, a Jewish Christian, the kinsman and fellow prisoner of Paul (Rom 16:7); "of note among the apostles."

Anem Two fountains, a Levitical city in the tribe of Issachar (Ch1 6:73). It is also called En-gannim (q.v.) in Jos 19:21; the modern Jenin.