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Saphir Beautiful, a town of Judah (Mic 1:11), identified with es-Suafir, 5 miles south-east of Ashdod.

Sapphira Beautiful, the wife of Ananias (q.v.). She was a partner in his guilt and also in his punishment (Act 5:1).

Sapphire Associated with diamonds (Exo 28:18) and emeralds (Eze 28:13); one of the stones in the high priest's breastplate. It is a precious stone of a sky-blue colour, probably the lapis lazuli, brought from Babylon. The throne of God is described as of the colour of a sapphire (Exo 24:10; compare Eze 1:26).

Sarah Princess, the wife and at the same time the half-sister of Abraham (Gen 11:29; Gen 20:12). This name was given to her at the time that it was announced to Abraham that she should be the mother of the promised child. Her story is from her marriage identified with that of the patriarch till the time of her death. Her death, at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven years (the only instance in Scripture where the age of a woman is recorded), was the occasion of Abraham's purchasing the cave of Machpelah as a family burying-place. In the allegory of Gal 4:22 she is the type of the "Jerusalem which is above." She is also mentioned as Sara in Heb 11:11 among the Old Testament worthies, who "all died in faith." (See ABRAHAM.)

Sarai My princess, the name originally borne by Sarah (Gen 11:31; Gen 17:15).

Sardine Stone (Rev 4:3, R.V., "sardius;" Heb. 'odhem ; LXX., Gr. sardion , from a root meaning "red"), a gem of a blood-red colour. It was called "sardius" because obtained from Sardis in Lydia. It is enumerated among the precious stones in the high priest's breastplate (Exo 28:17; Exo 39:10). It is our red carnelian.

Sardis The metropolis of Lydia in Asia Minor. It stood on the river Pactolus, at the foot of mount Tmolus. Here was one of the seven Asiatic churches (Rev 3:1). It is now a ruin called Sert-Kalessi.

Sardonyx (Rev 21:20), a species of the carnelian combining the sard and the onyx, having three layers of opaque spots or stripes on a transparent red basis. Like the sardine, it is a variety of the chalcedony.

Sarepta (Luk 4:26). See ZAREPHATH.

Sargon (In the inscriptions, "Sarrayukin" [the god] has appointed the king; also "Sarru-kinu," the legitimate king.) On the death of Shalmaneser (723 B.C.), one of the Assyrian generals established himself on the vacant throne, taking the name of "Sargon," after that of the famous monarch, the Sargon of Accad, founder of the first Semitic empire, as well as of one of the most famous libraries of Chaldea. He forthwith began a conquering career, and became one of the most powerful of the Assyrian monarchs. He is mentioned by name in the Bible only in connection with the siege of Ashdod (Isa 20:1). At the very beginning of his reign he besieged and took the city of Samaria (Kg2 17:6; Kg2 18:9). On an inscription found in the palace he built at Khorsabad, near Nieveh, he says, "The city of Samaria I besieged, I took; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away; fifty chariots that were among them I collected," etc. The northern kingdom he changed into an Assyrian satrapy. He afterwards drove Merodach-baladan (q.v.), who kept him at bay for twelve years, out of Babylon, which he entered in triumph. By a succession of victories he gradually enlarged and consolidated the empire, which now extended from the frontiers of Egypt in the west to the mountains of Elam in the east, and thus carried almost to completion the ambitious designs of Tiglath-pileser (q.v.). He was murdered by one of his own soldiers (705 B.C.) in his palace at Khorsabad, after a reign of sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son Sennacherib.