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'the worlds (ages) were made by the word of God,'
we have the striking conception of the ' ages ' as ' in-
cluding all that is manifested in and through them '
(Westcott,(7om. inloc. ). ( In Wis 13 9 there is a curious
instance of aidv as referring to the actual world,
' For if they were able to know so much that they
could aim at the world [ffTOX<iffa<r8ai rbv aluva], how
did tliey not sooner find out the Lord thereof?')

5. There is also attached to the word the signifi-
cance of ' age ' as indicating a period or dispensa-
tion of a definite character the present order of
'world-life' viewed as a whole and as possessing
certain moral characteristics. It is unfortunate
that there is no word in English which exactly
expresses this meaning. The general translation
in AV and RV is ' world,' though ' age ' appears
always in RVm and in the text at He 6 5 . There is
undoubtedly at times a close similarity of connota-
tion between aluv and /c6<r/tos as indicating a moral
order. In the Gospel and Epp. of John aldiv is
never used in this sense, but K6<r/j,os is employed
instead : e.g. ' Now is the judgment of this world ;
now shall the prince of this world be cast out '
(Jn 12 3i , also 15 19 etc.), 'If any man love the
world' (1 Jn 2 15 etc.). They are almost, if not
altogether, synonymous in ' Where is the disputer
of this world ('age,' al<!>v)'. Hath not God made
foolish the wisdom of this world (Kooyxos) ? ' (1 Co I 80 ).
That St. Paul recognized a distinction between
them is evident from the phrase /card rbv alwva rov
Kofffj.ov TOI'TOV, which is translated both in AV and
in RV ' according to the course of this woi'ld '
(Eph 2 2 ). Plainly aldiv describes some quality of
the Koo-pos. We have no term to express it exactly,
but our phrase ' the spirit of the age ' comes very
near to what is required.

6. This ' world ' or ' age ' as a moral order includes
the current epoch of the world's life. It is an
epoch in which the visible and the transitory have
vast power over the souls of men, and may become
the only objects of hope and desire. It is described
simply as atwv, ' the world ' (Mt 13 22 , Mk 4 19 ), and
its end is emphatically affirmed (Mt l3=.-< 24 3
28 20 ). But more frequently it is referred to as in
contrast to a coming age. It is described as 6 aiwv
ofo-os, ' this world ' (Mt 12 32 , Lk 16 8 , Ro 12 2 , 1 Co
I 20 , etc.) ; as 6 vvv aliLv (1 Ti 6 17 , etc.) ; as 6 alwv 6
tveffrws, ' the present . . . world ' (Gal I 4 ). The
future age is described as 6 aluv fj.t\\uv, ' the world
to come' (Mt 12 3 '\ He 6 5 ) ; 6 tpx^evos, 'the world
to come' (Mk 10 30 , etc.) ; and as 6 al&v ^Ketvos, ' that
world' (Lk 20 38 ). The present 'age' has its God
(2 Co 4 4 ), its rulers and its wisdom (1 Co 2 s ' 8 ), its
sons (Lk 16 8 ), its fashion (Ro 12 2 ), and its cares
(Mt 13 22 ). Men may be rich in it (1 Ti 6 17 ), and
love it (2 Ti 4 10 ). It is an evil age (Gal I 4 ), yet it
is possible to live soberly, righteously, and godly
in it (Tit 2 12 ), and it has an end (Mt 13 40 ). In the
future 'age' there is 'eternal life' (Mk 10 30 , Lk
18 30 ). Those who are counted worthy of it ' neither
marry nor are given in marriage, neither can they
die any more' (Lk 20 35f -). It has 'powers' that
may be ' tasted' in the present age (He 6 B ).

The contrast is regarded as that which is de-
scribed in Jewish writings as mn ahty and Kjn oViy,
'this age' and 'the age that is to come.' These
are identified with the age before and after the
coming of the Messiah. There is much uncertainty
as to the time when this contrast first arose.
Dalman says that ' in pre-Christian products of
Jewish literature there is as yet no trace of these
ideas to be found' (The Words of Jesus, p. 148).
It is difficult to believe that a nation which ex-
pected so much from the advent of the Messiah did

not form some idea, at a date before the days of
Jesus Christ, of the vast changes which would be
produced when He did come, and look upon the
age which was so marked as one to be contrasted
with the age in which they were living. We can-
not follow Dalman when he says : ' It is not un-
likely that in the time of Jesus the idea of "the
future age," being the product of the schools of
the scribes, was not yet familiar to those He
addressed ' (ib. p. 135). Dalman apparently doubts
whether Jesus used the term Himself, but says :
' The currency of the expressions "this age," " the
future age," is at all events established by the end
of the first Christian century.' He makes the
reservation that ' for that period the expressions
characterised the language of the learned rather
than that of the people' (ib. p. 151).

7. Among the Gnostics (see GNOSTICISM) the
^Eons were emanations from the Divine. But this
meaning of the word belongs to a time when the
Gnostic ideas and terminology were more fully
developed than in the first century of the Christian
era. It is enough to quote the opinion of Hort in
his Judaistic Christianity, ' There is not the faint-
est sign that such words as ... alwv . . . have
any reference [in the NT] to what we call Gnostic
terms '(p. 133, also p. 146).

LITERATURE. G. Dalman, The Words of Jesus, Eng. tr.
Edinburgh, 1902, pp. 147ff., 162 if. ; HDD, art. 'World';
Westcott, Com. on the Epistle to the Hebrews, in loeis ; F. Ren-
dall, Expositor, 3rd ser., vii. [1888] 26-278 ; Wilke-Grimm,
Clavig Novi Testamenti, s.v. ; ERE, artt. ' ^Eons ' and ' Ages of
the World ' ; F. J. A. Hort, Judaistic Christianity, Cambridge
and London, 1894, pp. 133, 146; H. B. Swete, Gospel according
to St. Hark, London, 1902, pp. 65, 217; J. T. Marshall, ExpT,
x. [1898-99] 323 ; Ligrhtfoot, Com. on Colossians and Philemon*,
London, 1879, p. 73 ff.; C. Geikie, Life and Words of Christ,
do. 1877, p. 625 ; J. Agrar Beet, Last Things, do. 1913, pp. 70 f.,
132 f. ; Sanday-Headlam, Romans* (ICC, 1902).


AGABUS ("Ayapos, a word of uncertain deriva-
tion). The bearer of this name is mentioned on
two separate occasions in the Acts (II 27 - 30 21 10 ' 11 )
and also by Eusebius (HE ii. 3). He is described
as a prophet who resided in Jerusalem, and we
find him in A.D. 44 at Antioch, where he predicted
that a great famine (q. v.) would take place 'over
all the world,' i.e. over all the Roman Empire.
The immediate effect of this prediction was to call
forth the liberality of the Christians of Antioch
and lead them to send help to the poor brethren
of Judaea (Ac II 29 ). The writer of the Acts tells
us that this famine took place in the reign of
Claudius. Roman historians speak of wide-spread
and repeated famines in this reign (Sueton.
Claudius, xviii. ; Dion Cass. Ix. ; Tac. Ann. xii.
43), and Josephus testifies to the severity of the
famine in Palestine and refers to measures adopted
for its relief (Ant. III. xv. 3, XX. ii. 5, v. 2).
Though Syria and the East may have suffered
most on this occasion, the whole Empire could not
fail to be more or less affected, and it is hyper-
critical to accuse the author of the Acts of
' unhistorical generalization ' for speaking of a
famine 'over all the world,' as is done by Schurer
(GJV* i. [1901] 543, 567 ; cf. Ramsay, 'St. Paul,
1895, p. 48 f., and Was Christ born at Bethlehem ?,
1898, p. 251 f.).

Again in A.D. 59 we hear of Agabus at Csesarea,
where he met St. Paul on his return from his
third missionary journey. Taking the Apostle's
girdle, he bound his own hands and feet, and in
the symbolic manner of the ancient Hebrew
prophets predicted that so the Jews would bind
the owner of the girdle and hand him over to the
Gentiles (Ac 21 10 ' 11 ). The prophecy failed to move
St. Paul from his resolve. There is no means of
ascertaining whether Agabus was a prophet in the




higher NT sense a preacher or forth-teller of the
Word ; or whether he was merely a successful
soothsayer. It is difficult to see what good end
could be served by the second of his recorded
predictions. Tradition makes him one of the
' seventy ' and a martyr at Antioch.

W. F. Bo YD.

AGE. The general significance of ' age ' is a
period of time, or a measure of life. Specially, it
expresses the idea of advancement in life, or of
oldness. Several Greek words are employed in
NT for 'age.' (1) al&v (see ^EoK). (2) yevea, 'a
generation, loosely measured as extending from
30 to 33 years. In Eph 3 s - a RV rightly puts
' generations ' for 'ages.' (3) TAeios, 'full -grown'
or ' perfect.' In He 5 14 for AV 'to them that are
of full age ' the RV substitutes ' fullgrown ' in the
text, and 'perfect' in the margin (cf. 1 Co 2 s ,
where the R V has ' perfect ' in the text, and ' full-
grown ' in the margin). (4) T)\uda. is the most
exact Greek term for ' age,' and especially for full
age as applied to human life. It includes also the
ideas or maturity or fitness, and of stature, as
when a person has attained to full development of
growth. In Eph 4 18 ' the measure of the stature
of the fulness of Christ ' (EV) is somewhat diffi-
cult to interpret. The phrase is co-ordinate with
the words 'a perfect (or fullgrown, rAeios) man,'
which precede it in the text. Both phrases
describe the ultimate height of spiritual develop-
ment which the Church as the body of Christ is to
reach. The latter phrase explains what the former
implies. The general line of interpretation is that
the whole Church as the body of Christ is to grow
into ' a fullgrown or perfect man,' and the standard
or height of the perfect man is the stature of Christ
in His fullness (see Comm. of Meyer, Eadie, Ellicott,
in loc. ; Field, Notes on the Tr. of the NT, 1899, p.
6 ; Expositor, 7th ser., ii. [1906] 441 ff.). In Gal I 14 ,
where the compound awtjXtKitlrras is used, the word
has its primary meaning of 'age' ( = ' equals in

The question of age was of importance as regards
fitness for holding office in the Church (see NOVICE).
In later times the canonical age varied, but in
general it was fixed at thirty (see Cathol. Encyc.
art. ' Age '). It was also considered in relation to
the dispensing of the charity of the Church, at
least in the case of widows. In 1 Ti 5 9 it is said :
' Let none be enrolled as a widow under threescore
years old.' The question naturally arises, Were
only widows of advanced years eligible for assist-
ance ? It is possible that younger widows might
be in greater need of help. Because of this it is
supposed by some (Schleiermacher, etc.) that the
reference is to an order of deaconesses a supposi-
tion that becomes an argument for a late and un-
Pauline date for the Epistle. Others think that
the reference is to an order of widows who had
duties which somewhat resembled those of the
presbyters (Huther, Ellicott, Alford). De Wette
believes that probably there were women who
vowed themselves to perpetual widowhood, and
performed certain functions in the Church ; but
evidences of such an order belong to a later date in
the Church's history. On the whole, and especially
if the Epistle belongs to an early date, it is best to
regard the instruction as a direction about widows
who were entirely dependent on the charity of the
Church. Younger widows would receive help
according to their need, but were not enrolled like
the older widows as regular recipients of the
Church's charity. The age limit for an old age
pension is not a new idea. It is impossible to
determine if the widows who were enrolled were
bound to give some service in return for the
assistance which they received. The probability
is that they were not, assuming, of course, the early

date of the Epistle (see H. R. Reynolds, in Expos.,
1st ser., iii. [1880] 382-390; HDB, art. 'Widows').

The dispensing of charity to widows was a great
and grave problem in the early Church. The rule
about enrolment only when the threescore years had
been reached was evidently intended to restrict
the number of those who were entitled to receive
regular help. Nestle calls attention to ' the
punning observation in the Didascalia ( = Const.
Apost. iii. 6) about itinerant widows who were so
ready to receive that they were not so much x%>cu
as Trrjpai' (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient
East, p. 109, note). The pun may be rendered in
English as ' not so much " widows " as " wallets." '

In 1 Ti 5 1 and 1 P 5 8 'elders' (wpefffiijTcpoi) has
the primitive signification of ' men of advanced
age.' Cf. also the following article.


AGED. In Philem'the writer speaks of himself
as IlaOXos irpeo-jStfnjj (AV and RV ' Paul the aged,'
RVm 'ambassador'). In strictness the transla-
tion 'ambassador' requires irpeo-jSeuriJs, a word
which does not occur in the NT. The two forms
may have been confused in transcription or in
common use. The translation 'ambassador' is
more fitting because Philemon, as father of Archip-
pus, who was old enough to hold some 'ministry*
in the Church (Col 4 17 ), must have been the equal,
or nearly the equal, of St. Paul in age ; and there
would be little or no ground for an appeal based
on considerations of age. It is also to be noticed
that the phrase ' ambassador and . . . prisoner of
Jesus Christ' is practically repeated in Eph 6 20 ,
'an ambassador in bonds.' Taking the word as
meaning 'ambassador,' the appeal would have in
it a note of authority. It is not a relevant objec-
tion to say that St. Paul is beseeching Philemon
'for love's sake' (v. 9 ). It is the peculiarity of
the Christian ambassador that he beseeches those
whom he addresses. Love and authority are com-
mingled in his mission, as in 2 Co 5 14 - 20 . The
likelihood of 'ambassador' being the right trans-
lation is strengthened by the fact that here as
elsewhere (2 Co 5 20 , Eph 6 20 ) St. Paul uses a verbal
and not a noun form to express his position as an
ambassador. See J. B. Lightfoot, Com. on Col. and
Philemon 3 , 1879, in loc. ; and cf. art. AMBASSADOR.



AIR. The apostles, like other Jews of their
time, regarded the air as a region between earth
and the higher heavens, inhabited by spirits,
especially evil spirits. In Eph 2 2 the air is the
abode of Satan (see below) ; in Eph 6 1S ' the
heavenlies' (rd, tirovpdvia) a vague phrase used
also in Eph 1 s - * VP 3 10 to denote the neavenly or
spiritual sphere, the unseen universe* is where
the wrestling of the Christian against the spiritual
hosts of wickedness takes place, and is apparently
in this case equivalent to 'this darkness' (ci.
Lk 22 s3 , Col I 18 'power of darkness,' i.e. tyranny
of evil). In Rev 12 7 the war between Michael and
the dragon is in 'heaven.' This can hardly refer
to the first rebellion of Satan, nor yet can we with
Bede interpret ' heaven ' as the Church ; but rather
the fighting is in the heavens, a struggle of Satan
to regain his lost place, ended by his final expul-
sion. ' As the Incarnation called forth a counter-
manifestation of diabolic power on earth, so after
the Ascension the attack is supposed to be carried
into heaven' (Swete, Com. in loc.). But the con-
ception is not unlike that of St. Paul as noted

There are several parallels to these passages in
that class of literature which is thought to be a

The Peshitta renders It in heaven,' except in <P* where it
significantly has ' under heaven.'



Christian rehandling of Jewish apocalyptic writ-
ings. In the Testaments of the XII. Patriarchs
(q.v.) we read of the ' aerial spirit Beliar ' (Benj. 3).
In the Ascension of Isaiah (q.v.) there is described
an ascent ' into the firmament,' where were
Sammael and his powers, and there was a great
fight (vii. 9) ; Christ descends from the lowest
heaven to the firmament where was continual war-
fare, and takes the form of the angels of the air
(x. 29). In the Slavonic Secrets of Enoch the
apostate angels are suspended in the second heaven
awaiting the Last Judgment ( 7 ; see Thackeray,
Relation of St. Paul to Contemp. Jewish Thought,
London, 1900, p. 176 f.). These works in their
present form probably date from the latter part
of the 1st or the beginning of the 2nd cent. A.D.
The ideas seem to have had much currency among
Christians, for we find Athanasius (de Incarn. 25)
speaking of the devil having fallen from heaven
and wandering about 'our lower atmosphere,'
'there bearing rule over his fellow-spirits . . .,'
' while the Lord came to cast down the devil, and
clear the air and prepare the way for us up into

The prince of the power of the air (Eph 2 2 ) is
Satan. That he had authority over the evil spirits
whose abode is in the air was the general Jewish
belief, except among the Sadducees. St. Paul
does not, however, here say 'powers of the air,'
i.e. evil spirits, but the ' air-power' or ' air-tyranny '
(for this meaning of Qowrla see Lightfoot's note on
Col I 13 ). Satan is the arch-tyrant whose abode is
in the air.


AKELDAMA ('AiceXSa^x WH, 'AiccX5aAi TR).
Akeldama is said to be equivalent to xwpiov afyiaroj
in Ac I 19 , and to d-yp6y ai/taros in Mt 27 8 : in that
case the word represents Aram, xzpn 'jpq and the
final x (which is retained also in the best Vulg.
text, acheldemach) transliterates K (which is only
rarely so found). It has, therefore, been suggested
as possible that the second part of the word repre-
sents Aram. TKH = Koin-ynfipiov, 'cemetery,' which
accords better with St. Matthew's explanation,
though not with St. Luke's. It is difficult to
avoid the conclusion that we have here an instance
of the occasional discrepancies and inaccuracies
which have from an early period crept into the
text of the NT. It would certainly seem as if the
explanation of the title 'field of blood' given in
Mt 27 8 is radically different from that suggested
in Ac I 19 , and that the former is more in accord-
ance with the facts, though still an incorrect trans-
lation of the Aram, title, while it is probable that
the whole section w. 18 - 19 (with or without v. 20 ) of
the latter passage is not part of St. Peter's speech,
but a comment or gloss either by the author of
the book (St. Luke) himself or even by some later
editor or transcriber, who has incorporated a less
trustworthy tradition in the text.

The site of Akeldama is the modern ffakk ed-
Dumm, on the south side of the Valley of Hinnom.
See, further, art. t.v. in HDB and DC'G.


ALEXANDER flMEfcyfaa* 'helper of men').
This name is found in the NT in five different
connexions, and possibly designates as many
different individuals.

1. The son of Simon of Gyrene, who bore the
cross to Calvary (Mk 15 21 ), and the brother of
Piuf us. In all probability Alexander and his brother
were well-known and honoured men in the Church
of Rome (cf. Ro 16 U and art. RUFUS), to which
the Gospel of Mark was addressed, as St. Mark
identifies the father by a reference to the sons.
We may regard the allusion as an interesting in-
stance of the sons being blessed for the father's sake.

2. A leader of the priestly party in Jerusalem
at the period subsequent to the death of Christ.
After the healing of the impotent man we are told
that Alexander was present at a meeting of the
Jewish authorities along with Annas, Caiaphas,
and John, and ' as many as were of the kindred of
the high priest' (Ac 4"). It is probable, though
not quite certain, that this indicates that Alex-
ander belonged to the high-priestly class ; and it is
impossible to identify him with Alexander the
' alabarch ' of Alexandria and brother of Philo.

3. A leading member of the Jewish community
at Ephesus (Ac 19 33 ), who was put forward by the
Jews at the time of the Ephesian riot to clear
themselves of any complicity with St. Paul or his
teaching, but whom the mob refused to hear. He
may have been one of the ' craftsmen,' though en
the whole it is unlikely that a Jew would have
any connexion with the production of the symbols
of idolatry. There are, however, slight variations
in the MSS of Ac 19 33 , and different views have
been taken with regard to Alexander and the in-
tention of the Jews. Meyer holds that Alexander
was a Jewish Christian who was put forward
maliciously by the Jews in the hope that he might
be sacrificed (cf. Com. in loco). The omission of
T, ' a certain,' before his name has been regarded
as an indication that Alexander was a well-known
man in Ephesus at the time.

4. A Christian convert and teacher, who along
with Hymenaeus (q.v. ) and others apostatized from
the faith, and was excommunicated by the Apostle
Paul (1 Ti I 19 - 20 ).

5. Alexander the coppersmith, who did St. Paul
much evil and whom the Apostle desires to be
rewarded according to his worts (2 Ti 4 14 * 18 ). This
Alexander has been identified with both 3 and 4.
We are able to gather certain facts regarding him
which would seem to connect him with 3. (1) His
trade was that of a smith (see COPPERSMITH), a
worker in metal, originally brass, but subsequently
any other metal, which might associate him with
the craftsmen of Ephesus. (2) The statement re-
garding him was addressed to Timothy, who was
settled in Ephesus. On the other hand, we are
told that Alexander greatly withstood St. Paul's
words a reference which seems to indicate a bitter
personal hostility between the two men, as well as
controversial disputes on matters of doctrine which
might rather connect him with 4, the associate of
Hymenaeus. It is possible that 3, 4, and 5 may
be the same person, but Alexander was a very
common name, and the data are insufficient to
allow of any certain identification. Those who
hold the Epistles to Timothy to be non-Pauline
regard the statement in Ac 19* 3 as the basis of the
references in the Epistles, but the only thing in
common is the name, while there is no indication in
Acts that Alexander had any personal connexion
with St. Paul.

LITKRATURK. R. J. Knowling-, EOT,' Acts,' 1900 ; Comm. of
Meyer, Zeller, Holtzmann ; W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul, 1895,
p. 279 ; artt. in HDB and EBi. W. F. BOYD.

ALEXANDRIA (' AXe^dvSpta). The city of Alex-
andria almost realized Alexander the Great's dream
of ' a city surpassing anything previously exist-
ing' (Plutarch, Alex. xxvi.). Planned by Dino-
crates under the king's supervision, and built on a
neck of land two miles wide interposed between
the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mareotis (Mariut),
about 14 miles from the Canopic mouth of the
Nile, it became successively the capital of Hellenic,
Roman, and Christian Egypt, ' the greatest mart
in the world' (fidyurrov ifLvitpiov TTJS olKovfutvi)*, Strabp,
xvn. i. 13), and next to Rome the most splendid
city in the Empire. About 4 miles long from E.
to W., nearly a mile wide, and about 15 miles in




circumference, it was quartered like so many of
the Hellenic cities of the period by two colon-
naded thoroughfares crossing each other at a great
central square, terminating in the four principal
gates, and determining the line of the other streets,
so that the whole city was laid out in parallelo-
grams. The three regions into which it was divided
the Regio Judceorum, Brucheium, and Rhacutis
corresponded generally with the three classes of
the population Jews, Greeks, and Egyptians
while representatives of nearly all other nations
commingled in its streets (Dio Chrys. Orat. 32).
Diodorus Siculus, who visited it about 58 B.C.,
estimates (xvii. 62) its free citizens at 300,000, and
it probably had at least an equal number of slaves.

Its fine air,' says Strabo, is worthy of remark : this results
from the city being on two sides surrounded by water, and
from the favourable effects of the rise of the Nile,' one canal
joining the great river to the lake, and another the lake to the
sea. 'The Nile, being full, fills the lake also, and leaves no
marshy matter which is likely to cause exhalations ' (xvii. i. 7).

The name of the city does not occur in the NT,
but ' Alexandrian,' as noun and adj. ('A\ea'5pe!5s,
' A\eavdpLv6s), is found 4 times in Acts. There
was a synagogue of Alexandrians in Jerusalem
(6 9 ), fanatical defenders of the Mosaic faith, roused
to indignation by the heresies of Stephen. Apollos
was ' an Alexandrian by race, a learned man (arty
\oyios ; AV and RVm, 'eloquent'), mighty in the
scriptures' (18 24 ). In one Alexandrian ship St.
Paul was wrecked at Melita (27 8 ), and in another
he continued his voyage to Puteoli (28 11 ). Here
are references to the three most striking aspects of
the life of Alexandria her religion, culture, and
commerce. We invert the order.

1. Commerce. Alexandria was built on a site

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