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Nergal-sharezer Nergal, protect the king! (1.) One of the "princes of the king of Babylon who accompanied him in his last expedition against Jerusalem" (Jer 39:3, Jer 39:13). (2.) Another of the "princes," who bore the title of "Rabmag." He was one of those who were sent to release Jeremiah from prison (Jer 39:13) by "the captain of the guard." He was a Babylonian grandee of high rank. From profane history and the inscriptions, we are led to conclude that he was the Neriglissar who murdered Evilmerodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and succeeded him on the throne of Babylon (559-556 B.C.). He was married to a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. The ruins of a palace, the only one on the right bank of the Euphrates, bear inscriptions denoting that it was built by this king. He was succeeded by his son, a mere boy, who was murdered after a reign of some nine months by a conspiracy of the nobles, one of whom, Nabonadius, ascended the vacant throne, and reigned for a period of seventeen years (B.C.555-538), at the close of which period Babylon was taken by Cyrus. Belshazzar, who comes into notice in connection with the taking of Babylon, was by some supposed to have been the same as Nabonadius, who was called Nebuchadnezzar's son (Dan 5:11, Dan 5:18, Dan 5:22), because he had married his daughter. But it is known from the inscriptions that Nabonadius had a son called Belshazzar, who may have been his father's associate on the throne at the time of the fall of Babylon, and who therefore would be the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews had only one word, usually rendered "father," to represent also such a relationship as that of "grandfather" or "great-grandfather."

Nero Occurs only in the superscription (which is probably spurious, and is altogether omitted in the R.V.) to the Second Epistle to Timothy. He became emperor of Rome when he was about seventeen years of age (A.D. 54), and soon began to exhibit the character of a cruel tyrant and heathen debaucher. In May A.D. 64, a terrible conflagration broke out in Rome, which raged for six days and seven nights, and totally destroyed a great part of the city. The guilt of this fire was attached to him at the time, and the general verdict of history accuses him of the crime. "Hence, to suppress the rumour," says Tacitus (Annals, xv. 44), "he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who are hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius; but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only throughout Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and disgraceful flow, from all quarters, as to a common receptacle, and where they are encouraged. Accordingly, first three were seized, who confessed they were Christians. Next, on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city as of hating the human race. And in their deaths they were also made the subjects of sport; for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and, when day declined, burned to serve for nocturnal lights. Nero offered his own gardens for that spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game, indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the habit of a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot; whence a feeling of compassion arose toward the sufferers, though guilty and deserving to be made examples of by capital punishment, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but victims to the ferocity of one man." Another Roman historian, Suetonius (Nero, xvi.), says of him: "He likewise inflicted punishments on the Christians, a sort of people who hold a new and impious superstition" (Forbes's Footsteps of St. Paul, p. 60). Nero was the emperor before whom Paul was brought on his first imprisonment at Rome, and the apostle is supposed to have suffered martyrdom during this persecution. He is repeatedly alluded to in Scripture (Act 25:11; Phi 1:12, Phi 1:13; Phi 4:22). He died A.D. 68.

Net In use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and fowling. The fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of that used by the Egyptians (Isa 19:8). There were three kinds of nets. (1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene ), of great size, and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat, as circumstances might require (Mat 13:47, Mat 13:48). (2.) The hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron ), which was thrown from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Mat 4:18; Mar 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of circular form, "like the top of a tent." (3.) The bag-net (Gr. diktyon ), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Luk 5:4). The fowling-nets were (1.) the trap, consisting of a net spread over a frame, and supported by a stick in such a way that it fell with the slightest touch (Amo 3:5, "gin;" Psa 69:22; Job 18:9; Ecc 9:12). (2.) The snare, consisting of a cord to catch birds by the leg (Job 18:10; Psa 18:5; Psa 116:3; Psa 140:5). (3.) The decoy, a cage filled with birds as decoys (Jer 5:26, Jer 5:27). Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews.

Nethaneel Given of God. (1.) The son of Zuar, chief of the tribe of Issachar at the Exodus (Num 1:8; Num 2:5). (2.) One of David's brothers (Ch1 2:14). (3.) A priest who blew the trumpet before the ark when it was brought up to Jerusalem (Ch1 15:24). (4.) A Levite (Ch1 24:6). (5.) A temple porter, of the family of the Korhites (Ch1 26:4). (6.) One of the "princes" appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach the law through the cities of Judah (Ch2 17:7). (7.) A chief Levite in the time of Josiah (Ch2 35:9). (8.) Ezr 10:22. (9.) Neh 12:21. (10.) A priest's son who bore a trumpet at the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 12:36).

Nethaniah Given of Jehovah. (1.) One of Asaph's sons, appointed by David to minister in the temple (Ch1 25:2, Ch1 25:12). (2.) A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (Ch2 17:8). (3.) Jer 36:14. (4.) Kg2 25:23, Kg2 25:25.

Nethinim The name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e., "those set apart", viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in s, "Nethinims;" in the Revised Version, correctly without the s (Ezr 2:70; Ezr 7:7, Ezr 7:24; Ezr 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the Gibeonites (Jos 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David to the Levites (Ezr 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e., the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only 612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezr 2:58; Ezr 8:20). They were under the control of a chief from among themselves (Ezr 2:43; Neh 7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament, because it is probable that they became merged in the general body of the Jewish people.

Netophah Distillation; dropping, a town in Judah, in the neighbourhood, probably, of Bethlehem (Neh 7:26; Ch1 2:54). Two of David's guards were Netophathites (Ch1 27:13, Ch1 27:15). It has been identified with the ruins of Metoba, or Um Toba, to the north-east of Bethlehem.

Nettle (1.) Heb. haral , "pricking" or "burning," Pro 24:30, Pro 24:31 (R.V. marg., "wild vetches"); Job 30:7; Zep 2:9. Many have supposed that some thorny or prickly plant is intended by this word, such as the bramble, the thistle, the wild plum, the cactus or prickly pear, etc. It may probably be a species of mustard, the Sinapis arvensis, which is a pernicious weed abounding in corn-fields. Tristram thinks that this word "designates the prickly acanthus (Acanthus spinosus), a very common and troublesome weed in the plains of Palestine." (2.) Heb. qimmosh , Isa 34:13; Hos 9:6; Pro 24:31 (in both versions, "thorns"). This word has been regarded as denoting thorns, thistles, wild camomile; but probably it is correctly rendered "nettle," the Urtica pilulifera, "a tall and vigorous plant, often 6 feet high, the sting of which is much more severe and irritating than that of our common nettle."

New Moon, Feast of Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month (Num 28:11; Num 10:10). (See FESTIVALS.)

New Testament Luk 22:20), rather "New Covenant," in contrast to the old covenant of works, which is superseded. "The covenant of grace is called new; it succeeds to the old broken covenant of works. It is ever fresh, flourishing, and excellent; and under the gospel it is dispensed in a more clear, spiritual, extensive, and powerful manner than of old" (Brown of Haddington). Hence is derived the name given to the latter portion of the Bible. (See TESTAMENT.)