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Bamah A height, a name used simply to denote a high place where the Jews worshipped idols (Eze 20:29). The plural is translated "high places" in Num 22:41 and Eze 36:2.

Bamoth Heights, the forty-seventh station of the Israelites (Num 21:19, Num 21:20) in the territory of the Moabites.

Bamoth-baal Heights of Baal, a place on the river Arnon, or in the plains through which it flows, east of Jordan (Jos 13:17; compare Num 21:28). It has been supposed to be the same place as Bamoth.

Bands (1.) of love (Hos 11:4); (2.) of Christ (Psa 2:3); (3.) uniting together Christ's body the church (Col 2:19; Col 3:14; Eph 4:3); (4.) the emblem of the captivity of Israel (Eze 34:27; Isa 28:22; Isa 52:2); (5.) of brotherhood (Eze 37:15); (6.) no bands to the wicked in their death (Psa 73:4; Job 21:7; Psa 10:6). Also denotes chains (Luk 8:29); companies of soldiers (Act 21:31); a shepherd's staff, indicating the union between Judah and Israel (Zac 11:7).

Bani Built. (1.) Ch1 6:46. (2.) One of David's thirty-seven warriors, a Gadite (Sa2 23:36). (3.) Ezr 2:10; Ezr 10:29, Ezr 10:34, Ezr 10:38. (4.) A Levite who was prominent in the reforms on the return from Babylon (Neh 8:7; Neh 9:4, Neh 9:5). His son Rehum took part in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem (Neh 3:17).

Banner (1.) The flag or banner of the larger kind, serving for three tribes marching together. These standards, of which there were four, were worked with embroidery and beautifully ornamented (Num 1:52; Num 2:2, Num 2:3, Num 2:10, Num 2:18, Num 2:25; Sol 2:4; Sol 6:4, Sol 6:10). (2.) The flag borne by each separate tribe, of a smaller form. Probably it bore on it the name of the tribe to which it belonged, or some distinguishing device (Num 2:2, Num 2:34). (3.) A lofty signal-flag, not carried about, but stationary. It was usually erected on a mountain or other lofty place. As soon as it was seen the war-trumpets were blown (Psa 60:4; Isa 5:26; Isa 11:12; Isa 13:2; Isa 18:3; Isa 30:17; Jer 4:6, Jer 4:21; Eze 27:7). (4.) A "sign of fire" (Jer 6:1) was sometimes used as a signal. The banners and ensigns of the Roman army had idolatrous images upon them, and hence they are called the "abomination of desolation" (q.v.). The principal Roman standard, however, was an eagle. (See Mat 24:28; Luk 17:37, where the Jewish nation is compared to a dead body, which the eagles gather together to devour.) God's setting up or giving a banner (Psa 20:5; Psa 60:4; Sol 2:4) imports his presence and protection and aid extended to his people.

Banquet A feast provided for the entertainment of a company of guests (Est 5:1, Est 7:1; Pe1 4:3); such as was provided for our Lord by his friends in Bethany (Mat 26:6; Mar 14:3; compare Joh 12:2). These meals were in the days of Christ usually called "suppers," after the custom of the Romans, and were partaken of toward the close of the day. It was usual to send a second invitation (Mat 22:3; Luk 14:17) to those who had been already invited. When the whole company was assembled, the master of the house shut the door with his own hands (Luk 13:25; Mat 25:10). The guests were first refreshed with water and fragrant oil (Luk 7:38; Mar 7:4). A less frequent custom was that of supplying each guest with a robe to be worn during the feast (Ecc 9:8; Rev 3:4, Rev 3:5; Mat 22:11). At private banquets the master of the house presided; but on public occasions a "governor of the feast" was chosen (Joh 2:8). The guests were placed in order according to seniority (Gen 43:33), or according to the rank they held (Pro 25:6, Pro 25:7; Mat 23:6; Luk 14:7). As spoons and knives and forks are a modern invention, and were altogether unknown in the East, the hands alone were necessarily used, and were dipped in the dish, which was common to two of the guests (Joh 13:26). In the days of our Lord the guests reclined at table; but the ancient Israelites sat around low tables, cross-legged, like the modern Orientals. Guests were specially honoured when extra portions were set before them (Gen 43:34), and when their cup was filled with wine till it ran over (Psa 23:5). The hands of the guests were usually cleaned by being rubbed on bread, the crumbs of which fell to the ground, and were the portion for dogs (Mat 15:27; Luk 16:21). At the time of the three annual festivals at Jerusalem family banquets were common. To these the "widow, and the fatherless, and the stranger" were welcome (Deu 16:11). Sacrifices also included a banquet (Exo 34:15; Jdg 16:23). Birthday banquets are mentioned (Gen 40:20; Mat 14:6). They were sometimes protracted, and attended with revelry and excess (Gen 21:8; Gen 29:22; Sa1 25:2, Sa1 25:36; Sa2 13:23). Portions were sometimes sent from the table to poorer friends (Neh 8:10; Est 9:19, Est 9:22). (See MEALS.)

Baptism, Christian An ordinance immediately instituted by Christ (Mat 28:19, Mat 28:20), and designed to be observed in the church, like that of the Supper, "till he come." The words "baptize" and "baptism" are simply Greek words transferred into English. It means to dip a thing into an element or liquid. In the LXX, the Greek version of the Old Testament, it is used of the ablutions and baptisms required by the Mosaic law. These were effected by immersion, and the same word, "washings" (Heb 9:10, Heb 9:13, Heb 9:19, Heb 9:21) or "baptisms," designates them all. Moreover, all of the instances of baptism recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (Act 2:38; Act 8:26; Act 9:17, Act 9:18; Act 22:12; Act 10:44; Act 16:32) suggests the idea that it was by dipping the person baptized, i.e. by immersion. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two symbolical ordinances of the New Testament. The Supper represents the work of Christ, and Baptism the work of the Spirit. As in the Supper a small amount of bread and wine used in this ordinance exhibits in symbol the great work of Christ, so in Baptism the work of the Holy Spirit is fully seen in the water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The apostles of our Lord were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Mat 3:11) by his coming upon them (Act 1:8). The fire also with which they were baptized sat upon them. The extraordinary event of Pentecost was explained by Peter as a fulfillment of the ancient promise that the Spirit would be poured out in the last days (Act 2:17). He uses also with the same reference the expression shed forth as descriptive of the baptism of the Spirit (Act 2:33). In the Pentecostal baptism "the apostles were not dipped into the Spirit, nor plunged into the Spirit; but the Spirit was shed forth, poured out, fell on them (Act 11:15), came upon them, sat on them." The subjects of baptism. This raises questions of greater importance than those relating to its mode. The controversy here is not about "believers' baptism," for that is common to all parties. Believers were baptized in apostolic times, and they have been baptized in all time by all the branches of the church. It is altogether a misrepresentation to allege, as is sometimes done by Baptists, that their doctrine is "believers' baptism," Every instance of adult baptism, or of "believers' baptism," recorded in the New Testament (Act 2:41; Act 8:37; Act 9:17, Act 9:18; Act 10:47; Act 16:15; Act 19:5, etc.) is just such as would be dealt with in precisely the same way by all branches of the Protestant Church, a profession of faith or of their being "believers" would be required from every one of them before baptism. The point in dispute is not the baptism of believers, but whether the infant children of believers, i.e., of members of the church, ought to be baptized.

Baptism of Christ Christ had to be formally inaugurated into the public discharge of his offices. For this purpose he came to John, who was the representative of the law and the prophets, that by him he might be introduced into his offices, and thus be publicly recognized as the Messiah of whose coming the prophecies and types had for many ages borne witness. John refused at first to confer his baptism on Christ, for he understood not what he had to do with the "baptism of repentance." But Christ said, "'suffer it to be so now,' NOW as suited to my state of humiliation, my state as a substitute in the room of sinners." His reception of baptism was not necessary on his own account. It was a voluntary act, the same as his act of becoming incarnate. Yet if the work he had engaged to accomplish was to be completed, then it became him to take on him the likeness of a sinner, and to fulfill all righteousness (Mat 3:15). The official duty of Christ and the sinless person of Christ are to be distinguished. It was in his official capacity that he submitted to baptism. In coming to John our Lord virtually said, "Though sinless, and without any personal taint, yet in my public or official capacity as the Sent of God, I stand in the room of many, and bring with me the sin of the world, for which I am the propitiation." Christ was not made under the law on his own account. It was as surety of his people, a position which he spontaneously assumed. The administration of the rite of baptism was also a symbol of the baptism of suffering before him in this official capacity (Luk 12:50). In thus presenting himself he in effect dedicated or consecrated himself to the work of fulfilling all righteousness.

Baptism, John's Was not Christian baptism, nor was that which was practiced by the disciples previous to our Lord's crucifixion. Till then the New Testament economy did not exist. John's baptism bound its subjects to repentance, and not to the faith of Christ. It was not administered in the name of the Trinity, and those whom John baptized were rebaptized by Paul (Act 18:24; Act 19:7).