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VAG'ABOND (from the Latin vagabundus) means a fugitive, a wanderer, and is so used in the A.V., but not opprobriously, as we now use the word. Gen 4:12; Ps 109:10; Acts 19:13.

VAJEZ'ATHA (Persian, strong as the wind), one of the ten sons of Haman slain by the Jews in Shushan. Esth 9:9.

VALE, VAL'LEY. Five Hebrew words are translated "vale" or "valley."

  1. Emek, signifying a "deep" valley, and implying a long, broad sweep between parallel ranges of hills, as the valley of Achor, Aijalon, Elah, Jezreel, Succoth, etc.

  2. Gai or ge, signifying a "bursting" or a "flowing together." and used to designate narrow ravines or glens, as of Hinnom or Salt. This name is given to the secluded spot where Moses was buried. Deut 34:6.

  3. Nachal, meaning a "wady-bed," filled with water in winter, but dry in summer; and hence it is sometimes rendered "brook," "stream," "river," etc. Such beds or valleys were Chereth, Eshcol, Sorek, Zered, etc.

  4. Bik'ah, properly a "cleft," but applied to a broader space than a cleft or valley, and meaning sometimes a "plain," as that between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon and Megiddo. Josh 11:17; Josh 13:17; Zech 12:11.

  5. Ha-shephelah, wrongly rendered "valley," meant a broad tract of low hills between the mountains of Judah and the coast-plain. Deut 1:7; Josh 10:40.

VAL'LEY-GATE. 2 Chr 26:9. See Jerusalem.


VAL'LEY OF DECIS'ION. Joel 3:14. See Jehoshaphat.


VAL'LEY OF SOREK. Jud 16:4. See Sorek, Valley of.

VANI'AH (weak), a son of Bani; had married a foreign wife, but sent her away on the command of Ezra. Ezr 10:36.

VASH'NI occurs in 1 Chr 6:28 as the name of the first-born of Samuel, while in 1 Sam 8:2 the name is Joel. As Vashni, with a very slight modification, would mean "and the second," it is probable that in 1 Chr 6:28 the name of Joel has dropped out.

VASH'TI (Persian, a beautiful woman), queen of Persia, and the repudiated wife of Ahasuerus. Esth 1:9. See Esther.

VAT. Isa 33:2. See Wine-Fat.

VEIL is, in our translation, the rendering of several Hebrew words which properly mean shawls or mantles. Gen 24:65; Gen 38:14; Ruth 3:15; Song 5:7; Isa 3:23. These shawls or mantles may occasionally have been drawn over the face, but they were not designed for that purpose. Veils proper were used by the Hebrew women only on special occasions - as ornaments. Song 4:1, Num 1:3; Song 6:7; as a bridal-symbol, Gen 24:65; Jer 29:25; and for the purpose of concealment. Gen 38:14. Generally the Hebrew women appeared in public without veils. Gen 12:14; 2 Chr 24:16; Gen 29:10; 1 Sam 1:12, and so did the Egyptian and Assyrian women, as seen by the Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures and paintings. The custom now almost universal among Oriental women to be veiled whenever they appear in public dates from the Koran, 33:55, 59, which forbids the Mohammedan women to show themselves unveiled outside of the circle of their nearest relatives.

VEIL OF THE TAB'ERNACLE, or temple. See Tabernacle and Temple.

VEN'GEANCE. Rom 12:19. This word often denotes merely punishment, without any reference to the state of mind in which it is inflicted. In the passage cited and elsewhere, Deut 32:35, the exclusive right of God to punish wrong-doers and to vindicate the truth is plainly asserted. Hence every act of revenge is an interference with the divine prerogative. The word is applied to God in the same manner in which "anger," "hatred," etc., are applied - not as denoting 894 a state or temper of mind, but as implying an act or course of proceeding such as usually indicates a particular state of mind, when done or pursued by man.

VERMIL'ION, a chemical substance used for coloring red, and much valued for ornamenting dwellings, Jer 22:14, and painting images. Eze 23:14. The custom of painting, and sometimes gilding, the ceilings of houses is still prevalent in the East.

VI'AL. 1 Sam 10:1. See Censer.

VIL'LAGES. Lev 25:31. See City.

VINE, VINEYARD. We first read of a vineyard in the history of Noah. Gen 9:20. The cultivation of the vine had attained to some perfection in very early times. In the accounts of Melchizedek, who set bread and wine before Abraham, of Lot, who was drunken, of aged Isaac, when regaled by his sons, in the prophecy of dying Jacob, and in the book of Job, we have the earliest accounts of wine as a common drink. Gen 14:18; Gen 19:32; Gen 27:25; Gen 49:12; Job 1:18; Prov 23:30-31; Isa 5:11.

The original home of the Eastern grape-vine (Vitis vinifera) was Armenia and neighboring countries. But Palestine seems scarcely second to any country in the world in adaptation of soil and climate for its culture. Especially is this true of its southern districts. "Here, more than elsewhere in Palestine, are to be seen on the sides of the hills the vineyards, marked by their watch-towers and walls, seated on their ancient terraces, the earliest and latest symbol of Judah. The elevation of the hills and table-lands of Judah is the true climate of the vine. 'He bound his foal to the vine, and his ass's colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.' It was from the Judaean valley of Eshcol, 'the torrent of the cluster,' that the spies cut down the gigantic cluster of grapes. 'A vineyard on a hill of olives,' with the 'fence.' and 'the stones gathered out,' and 'the tower in the midst of it,' is the natural figure which, both in the prophetical and evangelical records, represents the kingdom of Judah." - Stanley.

Grapevines were usually propagated by layers. They were sometimes planted beside ridges of stones, upon which they crept, and which afforded a dry and warm exposure for ripening the fruit. Miles of such stone-heaps remain in regions now utterly desert about Beersheba and east of the Jordan. At other times vines were annually trimmed down to a permanent stock, which was fastened to a stake, or a post was erected with a crosspiece, or upon four or more pillars a trellis or arbor was supported, upon which the boughs spread. Very often, however, the Syrian vines are trained upon a perpendicular trellis or framework in straight rows; sometimes upon trees, and particularly the fig tree, whence the proverbial expression, "To repose under one's own vine and fig tree," as an emblem of peace and security. Mic 4:4; Zech 3:10. Vines are found at Hebron trained in this manner, and bearing clusters of ten pounds' weight, or even more. Sometimes they were trained upon the side of the house. Ps 128:3.

Vineyards were enclosed with a hedge or a wall, to defend them from the ravages of beasts, to which they were often exposed. A tower was also built as the station of a watchman. Num 22:24; Ps 80:8-13; Prov 24:31; Song 2:15; Matt 21:33. See Tower.

The Hebrews devoted as much care to their vineyards as to their agriculture. When Isaiah predicts the invasion of the Assyrians, he declares that the vineyard where there were a thousand vines for a thousand pieces of silver shall be even for briers and thorns. Isa 7:23. When he would represent sorrow, he says, "The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, and all the merry-hearted do sigh." Isa 24:7. So Zechariah, Zech 8:12, foretells future prosperity thus: "The seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give her fruit." See also Hab 3:17; Mal 3:11.

The pruning of the vine is a familiar operation, which we all know to be necessary in order to its fruitfulness. The law which forbade the Israelites to gather the grapes of the first three years, Lev 19:23, gave occasion to the more careful and unsparing use of the pruning-knife; hence the 3'oung stock came to much greater strength. A traveller mentions a custom of the vine-dressers to prune their vines thrice in the year; the first time, in 895 March. When clusters begin to form, they again lop off those twigs which have no fruit; the stock puts out new twigs in April, some of which form clusters, and those which have none are again cut off in May. The vine shoots a third time, and the new branches have a third set of clusters. See John 15:2, in which passage the word "purgeth" may be rendered "pruneth."

What remains of the culture of the vine is very simple. Once or twice in the season the plough was run through the vineyard to loosen the earth and free it from weeds; the stones were gathered out, and a proper direction was given to the growing branches. Isa 5:2. The vine-dressers, or keepers of the vineyard, formed a distinct branch of laborers. 2 Kgs 25:12.

The regular vintage begins in Syria about the middle of September, and lasts about two months. Lev 26:5; Am 9:13. Ripe clusters, however, are found in Palestine as early as June and July, although the regular vintage begins in September. This difference may arise from the threefold growth of the vine, already mentioned. The first gathered in Canaan is probably meant in Num 13:20.

The vintage was celebrated by the Hebrews with still more festivity than the harvest, Isa 16:9, and was sometimes a season of wicked mirth. Jud 9:27. See Grapes.

VIN'EGAR. The Hebrew word denotes a beverage either consisting simply of wine turned sour, and for that reason proscribed to the Nazarite, Num 6:3, or produced artificially. Its excessive acidity, Prov 10:26, made it an unpalatable drink, Ps 69:21; but like the Roman ponea, it was much used for sopping bread. Ruth 2:14. It was this beverage which was offered to our Saviour in his dying moments. Matt 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29. The effervescence which it produced when poured upon nitre was well known to the Hebrews, and is used to represent in an impressive manner the incongruity of mirth and sorrow. Prov 25:20.

VINE OF SODOM. There is reference to this plant only in Deut 32:32. Josephus describes fruits growing near the Dead Sea, "which indeed resemble edible fruit in color, but on being plucked by the hand are dissolved into smoke and ashes." These are the apples of Sodom of which the poets sing, and which are supposed to be mentioned in the above passage.

A surprising number of plants has been proposed as the vine of Sodom, while some have supposed that there was here reference merely to a popular fiction, as perhaps in the case of the dragon, satyr, and unicorn. If we are to interpret Deuteronomy and Josephus literally, the colocynth seems best to answer the conditions, because it is the only vine suggested, and abounds in these regions, while its fruit, though beautiful to the eye, is exceedingly nauseous to the taste, and when ripe there is nothing within it but seeds and a dry powder. See Gourd.

VINEYARDS, PLAIN OF THE, Abel-ceramim. Jud 11:33. Possibly marked by the ruin Karenaim, 6 miles south-east of Amman and upon the upper Jabbok, as suggested by Dr. Merrill.

VI'OL. This was an instrument of music, and supposed to be the same with the psaltery. Am 6:5. See Music. Chanting to the sound of it was to make like sounds with the voice, so modulating the tones as to correspond with the sounds of the instrument.

VI'PER. This word in the O.T. possibly designates some particular species of hissing and venomous serpent, but its exact application cannot be determined. In the N.T. the Greek word thus rendered was used for any poisonous snake. The viper which fastened on Paul's hand, Acts 28:1-6, was doubtless the snake of that name (Vipera aspis), still common in the Mediterranean islands. It has now disappeared from Malta with the woods to which it is partial. The viper is an emblem of whatever is deceitful and destructive. Matt 3:7; Matt 12:34; Acts 23:33; Luke 3:7. See Cockatrice and Asp.

VIS'ION. Num 24:4. In former times God was pleased to reveal himself, and communicate his will in visions, which were caused either in the night in ordinary sleep, Dan 7:1, or by day in a temporary trance. Acts 10:11; Acts 26:13. See Dream, Trance.


VOPH'SI (my increase), father of Nahbi, the spy selected from the tribe of Naphtali. Num 13:14.

VOW, in the scriptural use, means a solemn religious promise or covenant by which one binds himself to do or suffer certain things, depending on God for power to accomplish them. The first instance of such a vow recorded in Scripture is that made by Jacob when on the flight to Padan-aram. Gen 28:20-22; Gen 31:13. As vows were voluntary engagements, not prescribed by the Mosaic Law, they were made with prayer and paid with thanksgiving. Num 6:2-21; Jud 11:30-31; Ps 61:5; Acts 18:18. See Nazarites.

VUL'TURE. In Lev 11:14, Deut 14:13, and Isa 34:15, in place of this word, we should probably read "black kite" (Milvus migrans). This is a bird which, except in the winter months, collects in Palestine in great numbers and is very sociable in its habits, according to the reference in Isaiah. Another Hebrew word rendered "vulture" in Job 28:7 is elsewhere correctly rendered Kite, which see.

It is a striking instance of the accuracy of the Scripture writers that, while

Egyptian Vulture, or "Pharaoh's Hen."

the peculiar faculty for discovering their food which carrion-devourers possess is popularly attributed to the sense of smell, the Bible attributes it to sight. In the book of Job the characteristic of the eagle is that "her eyes behold afar off." Job 28:7 refers to the same peculiarity, "There is a path which the vulture's eye hath not seen," implying that its vision is most acute and penetrating. It is well proved that birds of prey discern their booty at vast distances, that the eager flight of one is observed and followed by another, and so on, till many are gathered together wheresoever the carcase is.

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