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Pelethites Mentioned always along with the Cherethites, and only in the time of David. The word probably means "runners" or "couriers," and may denote that while forming part of David's bodyguard, they were also sometimes employed as couriers (Sa2 8:18; Sa2 20:7, Sa2 20:23; Kg1 1:38, Kg1 1:44; Ch1 18:17). Some, however, think that these are the names simply of two Philistine tribes from which David selected his body-guard. They are mentioned along with the Gittites (Sa2 15:18), another body of foreign troops whom David gathered round him.

Pelicans Are frequently met with at the waters of Merom and the Sea of Galilee. The pelican is ranked among unclean birds (Lev 11:18; Deu 14:17). It is of an enormous size, being about 6 feet long, with wings stretching out over 12 feet. The Hebrew name (kaath, i.e., "vomiter") of this bird is incorrectly rendered "cormorant" in the Authorized Version of Isa 34:11 and Zep 2:14, but correctly in the Revised Version. It receives its Hebrew name from its habit of storing in its pouch large quantities of fish, which it disgorges when it feeds its young. Two species are found on the Syrian coast, the Pelicanus onocrotalus, or white pelican, and the Pelicanus crispus, or Dalmatian pelican.

Penny (Gr. denarion ), a silver coin of the value of about 7 1/2d. or 8d. of our present money. It is thus rendered in the New Testament, and is more frequently mentioned than any other coin (Mat 18:28; Mat 20:2, Mat 20:9, Mat 20:13; Mar 6:37; Mar 14:5, etc.). It was the daily pay of a Roman soldier in the time of Christ. In the reign of Edward III. an English penny was a labourer's day's wages. This was the "tribute money" with reference to which our Lord said, "Whose image and superscription is this?" When they answered, "Caesar's," he replied, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's" (Mat 22:19; Mar 12:15).

Pentateuch The five-fold volume, consisting of the first five books of the Old Testament. This word does not occur in Scripture, nor is it certainly known when the roll was thus divided into five portions Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Probably that was done by the LXX. translators. Some modern critics speak of a Hexateuch, introducing the Book of Joshua as one of the group. But this book is of an entirely different character from the other books, and has a different author. It stands by itself as the first of a series of historical books beginning with the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan. (See JOSHUA.) The books composing the Pentateuch are properly but one book, the "Law of Moses," the "Book of the Law of Moses," the "Book of Moses," or, as the Jews designate it, the "Torah" or "Law." That in its present form it "proceeds from a single author is proved by its plan and aim, according to which its whole contents refer to the covenant concluded between Jehovah and his people, by the instrumentality of Moses, in such a way that everything before his time is perceived to be preparatory to this fact, and all the rest to be the development of it. Nevertheless, this unity has not been stamped upon it as a matter of necessity by the latest redactor: it has been there from the beginning, and is visible in the first plan and in the whole execution of the work.", Keil, Einl. i. d. A. T. A certain school of critics have set themselves to reconstruct the books of the Old Testament. By a process of "scientific study" they have discovered that the so-called historical books of the Old Testament are not history at all, but a miscellaneous collection of stories, the inventions of many different writers, patched together by a variety of editors! As regards the Pentateuch, they are not ashamed to attribute fraud, and even conspiracy, to its authors, who sought to find acceptance to their work which was composed partly in the age of Josiah, and partly in that of Ezra and Nehemiah, by giving it out to be the work of Moses! This is not the place to enter into the details of this controversy. We may say frankly, however, that we have no faith in this "higher criticism." It degrades the books of the Old Testament below the level of fallible human writings, and the arguments on which its speculations are built are altogether untenable. The evidences in favour of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch are conclusive. We may thus state some of them briefly:, (1.) These books profess to have been written by Moses in the name of God (Exo 17:14; Exo 24:3, Exo 24:4, Exo 24:7; Exo 32:7, Exo 32:30; Exo 34:27; Lev 26:46; Lev 27:34; Deu 31:9, Deu 31:24, Deu 31:25). (2.) This also is the uniform and persistent testimony of the Jews of all sects in all ages and countries (Compare Jos 8:31, Jos 8:32; Kg1 2:3; Jer 7:22; Ezr 6:18; Neh 8:1; Mal 4:4; Mat 22:24; Act 15:21). (3.) Our Lord plainly taught the Mosaic authorship of these books (Mat 5:17, Mat 5:18; Mat 19:8; Mat 22:31, Mat 22:32; Mat 23:2; Mar 10:9; Mar 12:26; Luk 16:31; Luk 20:37; Luk 24:26, Luk 24:27, Luk 24:44; Joh 3:14; Joh 5:45, Joh 5:46, Joh 5:47; Joh 6:32, Joh 6:49; Joh 7:19, Joh 7:22). In the face of this fact, will any one venture to allege either that Christ was ignorant of the composition of the Bible, or that, knowing the true state of the case, he yet encouraged the people in the delusion they clung to? (4.) From the time of Joshua down to the time of Ezra there is, in the intermediate historical books, a constant reference to the Pentateuch as the "Book of the Law of Moses." This is a point of much importance, inasmuch as the critics deny that there is any such reference; and hence they deny the historical character of the Pentateuch. As regards the Passover, e.g., we find it frequently spoken of or alluded to in the historical books following the Pentateuch, showing that the "Law of Moses" was then certainly known. It was celebrated in the time of Joshua (Jos 5:10, cf. Jos 4:19), Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30), Josiah (2 Kings 23; 2 Chr. 35), and Zerubbabel (Ezr 6:19), and is referred to in such passages as Kg2 23:22; Ch2 35:18; Kg1 9:25 ("three times in a year"); Ch2 8:13. Similarly we might show frequent references to the Feast of Tabernacles and other Jewish institutions, although we do not admit that any valid argument can be drawn from the silence of Scripture in such a case. An examination of the following texts, Kg1 2:9; Kg2 14:6; Ch2 23:18; Ch2 25:4; Ch2 34:14; Ezr 3:2; Ezr 7:6; Dan 9:11, Dan 9:13, will also plainly show that the "Law of Moses" was known during all these centuries. Granting that in the time of Moses there existed certain oral traditions or written records and documents which he was divinely led to make use of in his history, and that his writing was revised by inspired successors, this will fully account for certain peculiarities of expression which critics have called "anachronisms" and "contradictions," but in no way militates against the doctrine that Moses was the original author of the whole of the Pentateuch. It is not necessary for us to affirm that the whole is an original composition; but we affirm that the evidences clearly demonstrate that Moses was the author of those books which have come down to us bearing his name. The Pentateuch is certainly the basis and necessary preliminary of the whole of the Old Testament history and literature. (See DEUTERONOMY.)

Pentecost I.e., "fiftieth", found only in the New Testament (Act 2:1; Act 20:16; Co1 16:8). The festival so named is first spoken of in Exo 23:16 as "the feast of harvest," and again in Exo 34:22 as "the day of the firstfruits" (Num 28:26). From the sixteenth of the month of Nisan (the second day of the Passover), seven complete weeks, i.e., forty-nine days, were to be reckoned, and this feast was held on the fiftieth day. The manner in which it was to be kept is described in Lev 23:15; Num 28:27. Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, every one was to bring to the Lord his "tribute of a free-will offering" (Deu 16:9). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature was the offering of "two leavened loaves" made from the new corn of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved before the Lord as a thank offering. The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the day on which the Spirit descended upon the apostles, and on which, under Peter's preaching, so many thousands were converted in Jerusalem (Acts 2).

Penuel Face of God, a place not far from Succoth, on the east of the Jordan and north of the river Jabbok. It is also called "Peniel." Here Jacob wrestled (Gen 32:24) "with a man" ("the angel", Hos 12:4. Jacob says of him, "I have seen God face to face") "till the break of day." A town was afterwards built there (Jdg 8:8; Kg1 12:25). The men of this place refused to succour Gideon and his little army when they were in pursuit of the Midianites (Judg. 8:1-21). On his return, Gideon slew the men of this city and razed its lofty watch-tower to the ground.

Peor Opening. (1.) A mountain peak (Num 23:28) to which Balak led Balaam as a last effort to induce him to pronounce a curse upon Israel. When he looked on the tribes encamped in the acacia groves below him, he could not refrain from giving utterance to a remarkable benediction (Num 24:1). Balak was more than ever enraged at Balaam, and bade him flee for his life. But before he went he gave expression to that wonderful prediction regarding the future of this mysterious people, whose "goodly tents" were spread out before him, and the coming of a "Star" out of Jacob and a "Scepter" out of Israel (Num 24:14). (2.) A Moabite divinity, called also "Baal-peor" (Num 25:3, Num 25:5, Num 25:18; compare Deu 3:29).

Perazim, Mount Mount of breaches, only in Isa 28:21. It is the same as BAAL-PERAZIM (q.v.), where David gained a victory over the Philistines (Sa2 5:20).

Peres Divided, one of the mysterious words "written over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall" of king Belshazzar's palace (Dan 5:28). (See MENE.)

Perez =Pharez (q.v.), breach, the son of Judah (Neh 11:4). "The chief of all the captains of the host for the first month" in the reign of David was taken from his family (Ch1 27:3). Four hundred and sixty-eight of his "sons" came back from captivity with Zerubbabel, who himself was one of them (Ch1 9:4; Neh 11:6).