a son who brings heartache to his father; from the third son of David, King of Israel. Exiled for three years before he was allowed to return to the court or see his royal father, Absolom plotted to cause a rebellion against his father to overtake the kingdom because he heard Solomon was to succeed David. When Absolom was killed in battle, King David grieved for his son in spite of his treachery against him
Alpha and Omega
The beginning and the end, from a quote in Revelations in the New Testament
a brother who kills a brother; from the story of Adam and Eve's son Cain, who killed his brother Abel out of jealousy
one known for wisdom and accurate judgment; from a wise leader in the Old Testament who was able to read the handwriting on the wall
David and Bathsheba
represents a big sin; from King David's affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. After they had an affair and she became pregnant, David had her husband Uriah put on the front lines of battle so he would die. The "Bathsheba Affair" formed a critical turning point in King David's life. prior to this, he had prospered greatly, but afterward, his personal fortunes were greatly diminished. Nathan the prophet confronted David after he took Bathsheba for his wife and trapped him into admitting his own guilt.
Eye of the Needle
A very difficult task; from famous narrow gateway called "the needle." In the NT, Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.
Money or profits; from a story in the NT of Jesus casting moneylenders out of the Temple
a large person; from the giant from the Philistine city of Gath, slain by David, when he was a shepherd boy
someone who helps another person, perhaps someone of a different race or background; from a NT parable about a Samaritan, a traditional enemy of the Hebrews, who stopped to help a Jewish man who had been beaten and left for dead at the side of the road.
Handwriting on the wall
what the future holds; from the OT story of Daniel, who was able to accurately predict some mysterious writing that appeared on a wall (translated, it predicted the imminent death of the king)
one who is cast out as being unworthy; the son of Abraham and his handmaiden Hagar, he was cast out into the desert when his wife Sarah had their son Isaac; therefore said to be the ancestor of the nomadic desert tribes of Arabs.
grandson of Abraham, son of Isaac and Rebekah, brother of Esau, and the traditional ancestor of Israelites. His name was changed to Israel, and his 12 sons became the 12 Tribes of Israel.
who who suffers a great deal but remains faithful; from an OT character whose faith in God was tested by Satan; though he lost his family and belongings, he remained patient and faithful
one who brings bad luck; an OT prophet who ran from God and sailed to sea. When a storm arose, he admitted that he was the cause, and the sailors threw him overboard, where he was swallowed by a large fish.
(n) a traitor or a treacherous kiss (a Judas kiss) ; one of the 12 Apostles, notorious for betraying Jesus. His surname in Latin means "murderer" or "assassin." Judas disclosed Jesus' whereabouts to the chief priests and elders for thirty pieces of silver
King Ahab and Jezabel
an evil king of Israel and his treacherous evil wife, synonymous today with evil. Through her marriage to Ahab, Jezebel introduced the worship of Baal, an idol, to Israel, inciting mutual enmity with the prophets. She instigated the murder Naboth for the possession of a vineyard. Today Jezebel means a brazen or forward woman
a sustaining life-giving source or food; from the sweetish bread-like food that fell from heaven for the Israelites as they crossed the Sinai Desert to the Promised Land with Moses
Original Sin/The Fall
the idea that all men are innately sinful as a result of Adam and Eve's fall from the state of innocence. When they ate of the forbidden fruit, they were cast out of the Biblical Garden of Eden; a post-biblical expression for the doctrine of Adam's transgression and mankind's consequential inheritance of a sinful nature because he ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
Pearl of Great Price
something so precious that one would devote everything to or give up everything for it. In one of Jesus' parables, the kingdom of heaven is compared to a pearl of great price, or value, found by a merchant
a person indifferent or hostile to the arts and refinement; from Sea-going people from Crete who became enemies of the Israelites and fought over their lands
a wasteful son who disappoints his father; from the NT parable of a man with two sons. When he split his estate between the two, the younger son gathered his fortune and left home to live the wild life, while the older son stayed home to work in the fields. When the younger son spent all of the money, he came crawling back to his father, who accepted him, pardoning his error by saying he was "lost but was found."
Ruth and Naomi
paragons of love between in-laws; faithful friends. From the OT story of Ruth, who, when her husband died in battle, left her own land to travel with his mother back to her people.
Samson and Delilah
Treacherous love story. Samson, an Israelite hero and legendary warrior with extraordinary physical strength, fell in love with Delilah, a Philistine. When Delilah learned that Samson's hair was the source of his strength, she betrayed him by excepting a Philistine bribe to cut off his hair while he slept. Today the name Delilah is associated with a voluptuous, treacherous woman.
(n) one that is made an object of blame for others; the goat was symbolically burdened with the sins of Jewish people and thrown over a precipice outside of Jerusalem to rid the nation of iniquities.
tomb in the OT
Sodom and Gomorrah
any place associated with wickedness or sin; from the evil cities of the OT that were destroyed by fire
an extremely wise person; from the son of King David, the Israelite king who wrote Proverbs, and was known for wisdom
Twelve Tribes of Israel
according to the Old Testament, the Hebrew people took possession of the Promised Land of Canaan after the death of Moses and named the tribes after the sons and grandson of Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel): Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulum, Gad, Asher, Dan, Naphtali, Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim.
barbarian, rough leader; King of the Huns from 433-453 and the most successful of the barbarian invaders of the Roman Empire.
an overhanging protection or shelter, to cover or hover above; Middle English word canape taken from Latin Canapeum or Conopeum, meaning "net curtains"
to act together in abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with as an expression of protest or disfavor or as a means of coercion, the act or an instance of boycotting; after Charles C. Boycott (1832-97), of Ireland. Boycott, a former British soldier, refused to charge lower rents and ejected his tenants. Boycott and his family found themselves without servants, farmlands, service in stores, or mail delivery. Boycott's name was quickly adapted as the term for this treatment.
to censor, expurgate prudishly, to modify, as by shortening or simplifying or by skewing content; after Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), who expurgated Shakespeare
undergarments for dance or active wear; underwear formally worn by females that was composed of loose trousers gathered at the ankles; invented by Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-94), and American social reformer
destructively or frenetically violent, mental or emotional upset; a warrior clothed in bear skin who worked himself into a frenzy before battle
a man who is amorously and gallantly attentive to women; a promiscuous man.; Giovanni Jacopo Casanova De Seingalt (1725-98), an Italian adventurer who established a legendary reputation as a lover
a long distance race; source of the Victory of the Greeks over Persians in 490 B.C.
of or relating to Machiavelli or Machiavellianism, characterized by expedience, deceit and cunning; after Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1537), a philosopher known for his treaties and political expediency; wrote "The Prince" (1513)
a humorous or nonsense verse of five lines; from Limerick, a county in Republic of Ireland where the form is said to have originated
using or marked by the use of few words, brief; Lakonikos, from the reputation of the Spartans for brevity of speech
one who believes that a person can make it on his own merits; from (1832-99) American writer of inspirational adventure books
to make something banal or trite by frequent use, a horse for ordinary riding or driving, a horse kept for hire, let out, employed, or done for hire; from Hackney, the most common breed of heavy harness horses in the US.
one who has a militant devotion to and glorification of one's country, fanatical patriotism, prejudiced belief in the superiority of one's own gender, group, or kind; after Nicolas Chauvin a legendary French soldier devoted to Napoleon
a place of reputed wealth; from the legendary city in South America, sought by early Spanish explorers
a style of casual work pants; from a coarse cotton fabric of East Indian origin; from the Hindu word dungri
any riotous occasion; taken from the Donnybrook Fair, held in Dublin County, Ireland until 1855, which was famous for rioting and dissipation
a machine for hoisting and moving heavy objects, consisting of a movable boom equipped with cables and pulleys and connected to the base of an upright stationary beam, a tall framework over a drilled hole, esp. an oil well, used to support boring equipment; named after a London hangman Derick (1600)
modern witch hunt, the practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversions with insufficient regard to evidence, the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods, in order to suppress opposition; after Joseph McCarthy (1908-57), an American politician who as a US senator from WWI publicly accused many citizens of subversion
government of people of the United States; derived from the United States of America - Uncle Sam, a businessman with initials on shipping boxes in 1800's
having to do with the theater or acting; relating to Thespians, so called form Thespis, a Attic poet of the 6th century B.C., reputed to the father of Greek tragedy
luxurious, voluptuous, a person who cares very much for luxury and pleasure; an inhabitant of Sybars, a town founded by the Greeks in ancient Italy, which was known for its luxury
to wander aimlessly; originating from Meander, a river in Turkey noted for its winding course
satirical; from Jonathan Swift's famous satire on politics Gulliver's Travels
hinder or obstruct by evasive, delaying tactics; in cricket: trying to go completely defensive, blocking every ball without trying to score; relating to Stonewall Jackson (Thomas J. Jackson) Confederate General from the remark during the Battle of Bull Run: "Look as Jackson's men; they stand like a stone wall."
frugal and bare, simple, disciplined and stern and brave; having to do with Sparta, an important City in Greece. The Spartans were known for simplicity of life, severity, courage, and brevity of speech.
to cheat or steal, to make drugs, liquor, etc.. to bring or get by trickery or force; a seaport in East China, from Shanghai because sailor for voyages there were often secured by illicit means
bitterly ironical, sarcastic, sneering; from a Sardinian plant said to bring on fits of laughter
to induce the state of being hypnotized; F.A. Mesmer, an Austrian physician who used hypnotism and developed a theory called "animal magnetism"
fortune teller; (1503-66) French physician and astrologer who wrote a book of rhymed prophecies
an imaginary and perfect society; British 1610, source Thomas More's novel Utopia
A decisive or final defeat or setback; Belgian 1816, source of Napoleon's last defeat
style of music: loud, dramatic, radical; having to do with Wagner, his music, or his musical styles or theories
"friends" who try to help by bringing blame; ironically, Job's "comforters" didn't comfort at all but were the source of more affliction.