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Septuagint See VERSIONS.

Sepulchre First mentioned as purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron the Hittite (Gen 23:20). This was the "cave of the field of Machpelah," where also Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah were buried (Gen 49:29). In Act 7:16 it is said that Jacob was "laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem." It has been proposed, as a mode of reconciling the apparent discrepancy between this verse an Gen 23:20, to read Act 7:16 thus: "And they [i.e., our fathers] were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor [the son] of Sychem." In this way the purchase made by Abraham is not to be confounded with the purchase made by Jacob subsequently in the same district. Of this purchase by Abraham there is not direct record in the Old Testament. (See TOMB.)

Serah Abundance; princess, the daughter of Asher and grand-daughter of Jacob (Gen 46:17); called also Sarah (Num 26:46; R.V., "Serah").

Seraiah Soldier of Jehovah. (1.) The father of Joab (Ch1 4:13, Ch1 4:14). (2.) The grandfather of Jehu (Ch1 4:35). (3.) One of David's scribes or secretaries (Sa2 8:17). (4.) A Netophathite (Jer 40:8), a chief priest of the time of Zedekiah. He was carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, and there put to death (Kg2 25:18, Kg2 25:23). (5.) Ezr 2:2. (6.) Father of Ezra the scribe (Ezr 7:1). (7.) A ruler of the temple (Neh 11:11). (8.) A priest of the days of Jehoiakim (Neh 12:1, Neh 12:12). (9.) The son of Neriah. When Zedekiah made a journey to Babylon to do homage to Nebuchadnezzar, Seraiah had charge of the royal gifts to be presented on that occasion. Jeremiah took advantage of the occasion, and sent with Seraiah a word of cheer to the exiles in Babylon, and an announcement of the doom in store for that guilty city. The roll containing this message (Jer 50:1) Seraiah was to read to the exiles, and then, after fixing a stone to it, was to throw it into the Euphrates, uttering, as it sank, the prayer recorded in Jer 51:59. Babylon was at this time in the height of its glory, the greatest and most powerful monarchy in the world. Scarcely seventy years elapsed when the words of the prophet were all fulfilled. Jer 51:59 is rendered in the Revised Version, "Now Seraiah was chief chamberlain," instead of "was a quiet prince," as in the Authorized Version.

Seraphim Mentioned in Isa 6:2, Isa 6:3, Isa 6:6, Isa 6:7. This word means fiery ones, in allusion, as is supposed, to their burning love. They are represented as "standing" above the King as he sat upon his throne, ready at once to minister unto him. Their form appears to have been human, with the addition of wings. (See ANGELS.) This word, in the original, is used elsewhere only of the "fiery serpents" (Num 21:6, Num 21:8; Deu 8:15; compare Isa 14:29; Isa 30:6) sent by God as his instruments to inflict on the people the righteous penalty of sin.

Sered Fear, one of the sons of Zebulun (Gen 46:14).

Sergeants Act 16:35, Act 16:38 (R.V., "lictors"), officers who attended the magistrates and assisted them in the execution of justice.

Sergius Paulus A "prudent man" (R.V., "man of understanding"), the deputy (R.V., "proconsul") of Cyprus (Act 13:6). He became a convert to Christianity under Paul, who visited this island on his first mission to the heathen. A remarkable memorial of this proconsul was recently (1887) discovered at Rome. On a boundary stone of Claudius his name is found, among others, as having been appointed (A.D. 47) one of the curators of the banks and the channel of the river Tiber. After serving his three years as proconsul at Cyprus, he returned to Rome, where he held the office referred to. As he is not saluted in Paul's letter to the Romans, he probably died before it was written.

Sermon on the Mount After spending a night in solemn meditation and prayer in the lonely mountain-range to the west of the Lake of Galilee (Luk 6:12), on the following morning our Lord called to him his disciples, and from among them chose twelve, who were to be henceforth trained to be his apostles (Mar 3:14, Mar 3:15). After this solemn consecration of the twelve, he descended from the mountain-peak to a more level spot (Luk 6:17), and there he sat down and delivered the "sermon on the mount" (Matt. 5-7; Luke 6:20-49) to the assembled multitude. The mountain here spoken of was probably that known by the name of the "Horns of Hattin" (Kurun Hattin), a ridge running east and west, not far from Capernaum. It was afterwards called the "Mount of Beatitudes."

Serpent (Heb. nahash ; Gr. ophis ), frequently noticed in Scripture. More than forty species are found in Syria and Arabia. The poisonous character of the serpent is alluded to in Jacob's blessing on Dan (Gen 49:17; see Pro 30:18, Pro 30:19; Jam 3:7; Jer 8:17). (See ADDER.) This word is used symbolically of a deadly, subtle, malicious enemy (Luk 10:19). The serpent is first mentioned in connection with the history of the temptation and fall of our first parents (Gen. 3). It has been well remarked regarding this temptation: "A real serpent was the agent of the temptation, as is plain from what is said of the natural characteristic of the serpent in the first verse of the chapter (Gen 3:1), and from the curse pronounced upon the animal itself. But that Satan was the actual tempter, and that he used the serpent merely as his instrument, is evident (1.) from the nature of the transaction; for although the serpent may be the most subtle of all the beasts of the field, yet he has not the high intellectual faculties which the tempter here displayed. (2.) In the New Testament it is both directly asserted and in various forms assumed that Satan seduced our first parents into sin (Joh 8:44; Rom 16:20; Co2 11:3, Co2 11:14; Rev 12:9; Rev 20:2)." Hodge's System. Theol., ii. 127.