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Thessalonica A large and populous city on the Thermaic bay. It was the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia, and was ruled by a praetor. It was named after Thessalonica, the wife of Cassander, who built the city. She was so called by her father, Philip, because he first heard of her birth on the day of his gaining a victory over the Thessalians. On his second missionary journey, Paul preached in the synagogue here, the chief synagogue of the Jews in that part of Macedonia, and laid the foundations of a church (Act 17:1; Th1 1:9). The violence of the Jews drove him from the city, when he fled to Berea (Act 17:5). The "rulers of the city" before whom the Jews "drew Jason," with whom Paul and Silas lodged, are in the original called politarchai, an unusual word, which was found, however, inscribed on an arch in Thessalonica. This discovery confirms the accuracy of the historian. Paul visited the church here on a subsequent occasion (Act 20:1). This city long retained its importance. It is the most important town of European Turkey, under the name of Saloniki, with a mixed population of about 85,000.

Theudas Thanksgiving, referred to by Gamaliel in his speech before the council at Jerusalem (Act 5:36). He headed an insurrection against the Roman authority. Beyond this nothing is known of him.

Thick Clay (Hab 2:6) is correctly rendered in the Revised Version "pledges." The Chaldean power is here represented as a rapacious usurer, accumulating the wealth that belonged to others.

Thieves, The Two (Luk 23:32, Luk 23:39), robbers, rather brigands, probably followers of Barabbas. Our Lord's cross was placed between those of the "malefactors," to add to the ignominy of his position. According to tradition, Demas or Dismas was the name of the penitent thief hanging on the right, and Gestas of the impenitent on the left.

Thistle (1.) Heb. hoah (Kg2 14:9; Job 31:40). In Job 41:2 the Hebrew word is rendered "thorn," but in the Revised Version "hook." It is also rendered "thorn" in Ch2 33:11; Pro 26:9; Sol 2:2; "brambles" in Isa 34:13. It is supposed to be a variety of the wild plum tree, but by some it is regarded as the common thistle, of which there are many varieties in Palestine. (2.) Heb. dardar , meaning "a plant growing luxuriantly" (Gen 3:18; Hos 10:8); Gr. tribolos , "a triple point" (Mat 7:16; Heb 6:8, "brier," R.V. "thistle"). This was probably the star-thistle, called by botanists Centaurea calcitropa, or "caltrops," a weed common in corn-fields. (See THORNS.)

Thomas Twin, one of the twelve (Mat 10:3; Mar 3:18, etc.). He was also called Didymus (Joh 11:16; Joh 20:24), which is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name. All we know regarding him is recorded in the fourth Gospel (Joh 11:15, Joh 11:16; Joh 14:4, Joh 14:5; Joh 20:24, Joh 20:25, Joh 20:26). From the circumstance that in the lists of the apostles he is always mentioned along with Matthew, who was the son of Alphaeus (Mar 3:18), and that these two are always followed by James, who was also the son of Alphaeus, it has been supposed that these three, Matthew, Thomas, and James, were brothers.

Thorn (1.) Heb. hedek (Pro 15:19), rendered " brier " in Mic 7:4. Some thorny plant, of the Solanum family, suitable for hedges. This is probably the so-called "apple of Sodom," which grows very abundantly in the Jordan valley. "It is a shrubby plant, from 3 to 5 feet high, with very branching stems, thickly clad with spines, like those of the English brier, with leaves very large and woolly on the under side, and thorny on the midriff." (2.) Heb. kotz (Gen 3:18; Hos 10:8), rendered akantha by the LXX. In the New Testament this word akantha is also rendered "thorns" (Mat 7:16; Mat 13:7; Heb 6:8). The word seems to denote any thorny or prickly plant (Jer 12:13). It has been identified with the Ononis spinosa by some. (3.) Heb. na'atzutz (Isa 7:19; Isa 55:13). This word has been interpreted as denoting the Zizyphus spina Christi, or the jujube tree. It is supposed by some that the crown of thorns placed in wanton cruelty by the Roman soldiers on our Saviour's brow before his crucifixion was plaited of branches of this tree. It overruns a great part of the Jordan valley. It is sometimes called the lotus-tree. "The thorns are long and sharp and recurved, and often create a festering wound." It often grows to a great size. (See CROWN OF THORNS.) (4.) Heb. atad (Psa 58:9) is rendered in the LXX. and Vulgate by Rhamnus, or Lycium Europoeum, a thorny shrub, which is common all over Palestine. From its resemblance to the box it is frequently called the box-thorn.

Thorn in the Flesh (Co2 12:7). Many interpretations have been given of this passage. (1.) Roman Catholic writers think that it denotes suggestions to impiety. (2.) Luther, Calvin, and other Reformers interpret the expression as denoting temptation to unbelief. (3.) Others suppose the expression refers to "a pain in the ear or head," epileptic fits, or, in general, to some severe physical infirmity, which was a hindrance to the apostle in his work (compare Co1 2:3; Co2 10:10; Co2 11:30; Gal 4:13, Gal 4:14; Gal 6:17). With a great amount of probability, it has been alleged that his malady was defect of sight, consequent on the dazzling light which shone around him at his conversion acute opthalmia. This would account for the statements in Gal 4:14; Co2 10:10; also Act 23:5, and for his generally making use of the help of an amanuensis (compare Rom 16:22, etc.). (4.) Another view which has been maintained is that this "thorn" consisted in an infirmity of temper, to which he occasionally gave way, and which interfered with his success (compare Act 15:39; Act 23:2). If we consider the fact, "which the experience of God's saints in all ages has conclusively established, of the difficulty of subduing an infirmity of temper, as well as the pain, remorse, and humiliation such an infirmity is wont to cause to those who groan under it, we may be inclined to believe that not the least probable hypothesis concerning the 'thorn' or 'stake' in the flesh is that the loving heart of the apostle bewailed as his sorest trail the misfortune that, by impatience in word, he had often wounded those for whom he would willingly have given his life" (Lias's Second Cor., Introd.).

Thousands (Mic 5:2), another name for "families" or "clans" (see Num 1:16; Num 10:4; Jos 22:14, Jos 22:21). Several "thousands" or "families" made up a "tribe."

Threshing See AGRICULTURE.