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Bajith House, probably a city of Moab, which had a celebrated idol-temple (Isa 15:2). It has also been regarded as denoting simply the temple of the idol of Moab as opposed to the "high place."

Bake The duty of preparing bread was usually, in ancient times, committed to the females or the slaves of the family (Gen 18:6; Lev 26:26; Sa1 8:13); but at a later period we find a class of public bakers mentioned (Hos 7:4, Hos 7:6; Jer 37:21). The bread was generally in the form of long or round cakes (Exo 29:23; Sa1 2:36), of a thinness that rendered them easily broken (Isa 58:7; Mat 14:19; Mat 26:26; Act 20:11). Common ovens were generally used; at other times a jar was half-filled with hot pebbles, and the dough was spread over them. Hence we read of "cakes baken on the coals" (Kg1 19:6), and "baken in the oven" (Lev 2:4). (See BREAD.)

Bake-meats Baked provisions (Gen 40:17), literally "works of the baker," such as biscuits and cakes.

Balaam Lord of the people; foreigner or glutton, as interpreted by others, the son of Beor, was a man of some rank among the Midianites (Num 31:8; compare Num 31:16). He resided at Pethor (Deu 23:4), in Mesopotamia (Num 23:7). It is evident that though dwelling among idolaters he had some knowledge of the true God; and was held in such reputation that it was supposed that he whom he blessed was blessed, and he whom he cursed was cursed. When the Israelites were encamped on the plains of Moab, on the east of Jordan, by Jericho, Balak sent for Balaam "from Aram, out of the mountains of the east," to curse them; but by the remarkable interposition of God he was utterly unable to fulfill Balak's wish, however desirous he was to do so. The apostle Peter refers (Pe2 2:15, Pe2 2:16) to this as an historical event. In Mic 6:5 reference also is made to the relations between Balaam and Balak. Though Balaam could not curse Israel, yet he suggested a mode by which the divine displeasure might be caused to descend upon them (Num. 25). In a battle between Israel and the Midianites (q.v.) Balaam was slain while fighting on the side of Balak (Num 31:8). The "doctrine of Balaam" is spoken of in Rev 2:14, in allusion to the fact that it was through the teaching of Balaam that Balak learned the way by which the Israelites might be led into sin. (See NICOLAITANES.) Balaam was constrained to utter prophecies regarding the future of Israel of wonderful magnificence and beauty of expression (Num 24:5, Num 24:17).

Baladan He has given a son, the father of the Babylonian king (Kg2 20:12; Isa 39:1) Merodach-baladan (q.v.).

Balah A city in the tribe of Simeon (Jos 19:3), elsewhere called Bilhah (Ch1 4:29) and Baalah (Jos 15:29).

Balak Empty; spoiler, a son of Zippor, and king of the Moabites (Num 22:2, Num 22:4). From fear of the Israelites, who were encamped near the confines of his territory, he applied to Balaam (q.v.) to curse them; but in vain (Jos 24:9).

Balance Occurs in Lev 19:36 and Isa 46:6, as the rendering of the Hebrew kanch' , which properly means "a reed" or "a cane," then a rod or beam of a balance. This same word is translated "measuring reed" in Eze 40:3, Eze 40:5; Eze 42:16. There is another Hebrew word, mozena'yim , i.e., "two poisers", also so rendered (Dan 5:27). The balances as represented on the most ancient Egyptian monuments resemble those now in use. A "pair of balances" is a symbol of justice and fair dealing (Job 31:6; Psa 62:9; Pro 11:1). The expression denotes great want and scarcity in Rev 6:5.

Baldness From natural causes was uncommon (Kg2 2:23; Isa 3:24). It was included apparently under "scab" and "scurf," which disqualified for the priesthood (Lev 21:20). The Egyptians were rarely subject to it. This probably arose from their custom of constantly shaving the head, only allowing the hair to grow as a sign of mourning. With the Jews artificial baldness was a sign of mourning (Isa 22:12; Jer 7:29; Jer 16:6); it also marked the conclusion of a Nazarite's vow (Act 18:18; Act 21:24; Num 6:9). It is often alluded to (Mic 1:16; Amo 8:10; Jer 47:5). The Jews were forbidden to follow the customs of surrounding nations in making themselves bald (Deu 14:1).

Balm Contracted from Balsam, a general name for many oily or resinous substances which flow or trickle from certain trees or plants when an incision is made through the bark. (1.) This word occurs in the Authorized Version (Gen 37:25; Gen 43:11; Jer 8:22; Jer 46:11; Jer 51:8; Eze 27:17) as the rendering of the Hebrew word tsori or tseri, which denotes the gum of a tree growing in Gilead (q.v.), which is very precious. It was celebrated for its medicinal qualities, and was circulated as an article of merchandise by Arab and Phoenician merchants. The shrub so named was highly valued, and was almost peculiar to Palestine. In the time of Josephus it was cultivated in the neighbourhood of Jericho and the Dead Sea. There is an Arab tradition that the tree yielding this balm was brought by the queen of Sheba as a present to Solomon, and that he planted it in his gardens at Jericho. (2.) There is another Hebrew word, basam or bosem, from which our word "balsam," as well as the corresponding Greek balsamon , is derived. It is rendered "spice" (Sol 5:1, Sol 5:13; Sol 6:2; margin of Revised Version, "balsam;" Exo 35:28; Kg1 10:10), and denotes fragrance in general. Basam also denotes the true balsam-plant, a native of South Arabia (Cant. l.c.).