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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Hossein ben-Mansour, Aboul Moghits

A Persian Mohammedan Mystic surnamed Al-Hellaj, was born at Khorassan or Beidah (Fars) in the second half of the 9th century. He was a descendant of a Guebre who had embraced Islamism. After studying under the most distinguished sofis, one of whom prescribed for him solitude and silence for two years, he traveled through the East as far as China, preaching on his way. Some believed in him, others considered him al impostor. He uttered new opinions in religion and morals, which did not very well harmonize with each other, nor with his mode of living: thus sometimes he was a strict observer of all the practices of Islamism, while he taught that good works were more meritorious than devotional practices. His morals, however, were unimpeachable, and his life one of the utmost simplicity. He professed Pantheism, which he symbolized in these words: "I am God and all is God." The imams and sheiks of Baghdad condemned him to death, and handed him over to the secular power. After remaining one year and a half in prison, by order of the vizir, Ali ben-Assa, he was taken out to undergo torture. Instead of cursing his persecutors, he prayed for them, and died thus, the 23rd dzou'lcadeh, 309 (March, 922). His body was burnt, and his ashes thrown into the Tigris. His theological and mystical works are some thirty in number. See Ibn Khallikan, Biograph. Dict. 1, 423; and Fragments translated by Tholuck, Blithensamml. aus d. morgenlmandischen Mystik (Berlin, 1825, 8vo), p. 310, 327; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Gé neralé, 25:215; D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Orientale, p. 392 (Hallage). (J. N. P.)

Host occurs in the A.V. of the Bible in two very different senses, the latter and most frequent now nearly obsolete.

1. Socially (ξένος, lit. a stranger, as usually; hence a guest, and by inference an entertainer, Romans 16:23; πανδοχεύς, one who receives all comers, i.e. a tavern keeper, e.g. the custodian of a caravanserai [q.v.], Luke 10:35). (See HOSPITALITY); (See INN).

2. Military (prop. and usually צָבָא, tsaba', warfare, hence an army, στρατία; also מִחֲנֶר, machaneh', an encampment, host; sometimes גְּדוּד, gedud', a troop; הִיַל, cha'yil, or חֵיל , cheyl, aforce; מֲִרָבָה, maarabah', A military station; Gr. στράτευμα or στρατόπεδον), the usual designation of the standing army among the Israelites. This consisted originally of infantry (compare Numbers 11:21; 1 Samuel 4:10; 1 Samuel 15:4), not simply because the country of Palestine prevented the use of cavalry, since already the Canaanites and Philistines had iron (iron-armed) chariots, which they knew how to use to advantage in the plains and open land (Joshua 17:16; Judges 1:19; Judges 4:3; Judges 4:13; Judges 5:22; 1 Samuel 13:5; comp. Wichmausen, De currib. bellic. in oriente usitatis, Viteb. 1722; (See CHARIOT) ), and the same was true of horsemen (2 Samuel 1:6); moreover, the neighboring nations (Syrians and Egyptians) employed these military instruments in their campaigns against the Israelites (Joshua 11:9; Judges 4:3; 2 Samuel 10:18, etc.). This last circumstance (which appears to have had no influence over David, 2 Samuel 8:4), especially when the theatre of war was removed into foreign countries, may naturally have induced Solomon (contrary to the command, Deuteronomy 17:16; comp. Gesenius, Con72mment. zu Jesa. 1, 186 sq.) to add cavalry to his army (1 Kings 4:26; 1 Kings 10:26), which he distributed among the cities (1 Kings 9:19; 1 Kings 10:26); also under the later kings we find this description of troops mentioned (1 Kings 16:9; 2 Kings 13:7), although they were eager to avail themselves of the assistance of the Egyptian cavalry (Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 36:9; 2 Kings 18:24).

The Mosaic laws obliged every male Israelite from 20 years of age (Numbers 1:3; Numbers 26:2; 2 Chronicles 25:5) to 50 (Joseph. Ant. 3, 12, 4; comp. Macrob. Sat. 1, 6; Seneca, Vit. brev. 20) to bear arms (see in Mishna, Sofa, 8:7), yet there were many causes of exemption (Deuteronomy 20:5; compare 1 Maccabees 3:55). Whenever an occasion of hostilities occurred, the young men assembled, and the requisite enumeration of the soldiers (by means of a סֹפֵר, sopher, "scribe" or registrar, Jeremiah 52:25; Isaiah 33:18) was made according to the several tribes (Numbers 31:2 sq.; Joshua 7:3; Judges 20:10). On sudden incursions of enemies, the able-bodied Israelites were summoned by special messengers (Judges 6:35), or by the sound of trumpets, or by beacons (נֵס, nes) placed upon the hilltops (Judges 3:27; Judges 6:34; Judges 7:24; Jeremiah 4:5 sq.; Jeremiah 6:1; Ezekiel 7:14; comp. Isaiah 13:2; Isaiah 49:22; 2 Kings 3:21; Jeremiah 1:2; 1 Maccabees 7:45; Diod. Sic. 19:97). The entire army, thus raised by levy, was divided, according to the various kinds of weapons (2 Chronicles 14:8), into troops (officers and soldiers together being called שָׂרַים ֲִבָדַים, captains and servants) of 1000, 100, and 50 men (Numbers 31:14; Numbers 31:48; Judges 20:10; 1 Samuel 8:12; 2 Kings 1:9; 2 Kings 11:15), each having its own leader (שִׂר הָאֲלָפַים, captain of the thousands; הִמֵּאוֹת שִׂר, captain of the hundreds; שִׂר חֲמַשַּׁים, captain of fifty; 2 Kings 1:9; 2 Kings 11:4; 2 Chronicles 25:5; for later times, comp. 1 Maccabees 3:55): larger divisions are also referred to (1 Chronicles 27:1 sq.; 2 Chronicles 17:14 sq.). The commander-in-chief of the entire army (called הִחִיַל שֵׂר., captain o the host, or שִׂר הִצָּבָא , captain of the army, or שִׂר לִ הִצָּבָא, captain over the army, 2 Samuel 2:8; 2 Samuel 24:2; 1 Kings 1:19) formed a council of war (general's staff) with the commanders of the chiliads and centuries (1 Chronicles 13:1 sq.), and in time of peace had the direction of the military enrolment (2 Samuel 24:2 sq.). But the king generally led the army in person in battle. The national militia of the Hebrews wore no uniform. and at first each soldier was at his own expense, although commissaries of provisions are occasionally mentioned (Judges 20:10). On military weapons, (See ARMOR).

The strength of the Israelitish armies is sometimes stated in very high figures (1 Samuel 11:8; 1 Samuel 15:4; 1 Chronicles 27:1 sq.), which is not so surprising, as they were gathered in mass by messengers (at a later day, Josephus got together in Galilee alone 100,000 men of the Jewish soldiery, War, 2:20, 6); but the numbers are probably often corrupt (2 Samuel 24:9 sq.; 1 Chronicles 21:5 sq.; 2 Chronicles 13:3; 2 Chronicles 14:8; 2 Chronicles 17:14; 2 Chronicles 26:12 sq.) or (in the Chronicles, see Gramberg, p. 117) exaggerated. (See NUMBER).

The organization of a standing army was begun by Saul (1 Samuel 13:2 sq.; 1 Samuel 24:3) in the establishment (by voluntary enlistment) of a picked corps of 3000 strong from the whole mass of the people subject to military duty (1 Samuel 14:52). David followed his example, but, besides the bodyguard ( (See CHERETHITET) and (See PELETHITE) ), he likewise instituted a national army, to serve in turn in monthly divisions (1 Chronicles 27:1 sq.). Solomon did the same (1 Kings 4:26); and even princes of the royal stock, before they came to the throne invested themselves with a lifeguard of troops (2 Samuel 15:1; 1 Kings 1, 5). Likewise under Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:14 sq.), Athaliah (2 Kings 11:4), Amaziah (2 Chronicles 25:5), and Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:11), as also under Ahaziah of Israel (2 Kings 1, 9 sq.), standing troops are mentioned in time of peace, but they were probably not in constant service. Their pay probably consisted in agricultural produce. Foreigners were not excluded from the honors of war (as may be seen in the case of Uriah the Hittite, and other warriors of David, q.v.); and Amaziah, king of Judah (although with the disapprobation of the prophet), even hired a whole troop of Ephraimitish soldiers (2 Chronicles 25:6 sq.). (See generally J. F. Zacharime, De re militari yet. Hebr. Kil. 1735, a work of no great merit.) In post-exilian times a fresh organization of Jewish military force was instituted under the Maccabees. Judas early established his military companies (1 Maccabees 3:55) in divisions of 1000 100, 50, and 10; and Simon, as prince, first paid a standing army out of his own resources (1 Maccabees 14:32). His successors commanded a still larger number of troops, and John Hyrcanus was the first who enlisted also foreigners (Joseph. Ant. 13, 8, 4), probably Arabians, who served in mercenary armies (1 Maccabees 5:39). On the other hand, the Jews likewise engaged in foreign warfare, for instance, as auxiliaries of the Egyptians (1 Maccabees 10:36; Joseph. Ant. 13:10, 4), and individuals even attained the rank of commanders (Joseph. Ant. 13:10, 4; 13, 1; Apion, 2:5), although they generally abstained from serving in foreign armies. on account of being obliged to violate the Sabbath (Joseph. Ant. 14:10,11 sq., 14). The discontent and party jealousies of the Jews rendered necessary the employment of foreign mercenaries by king Alexander and queen Alexandra (Joseph. Ant. 13:13, 5; 14, 1; 16, 2), called heavy-armed (ἑκατονταμάχοι , Joseph. Ant. 13:12, 5). Herod the Great had in his army, no doubt, many foreigners, even Germans (Joseph. Ant. 17:8, 3; War, 2:1, 2); Kandler (in Act. Acad. Erfbrd. Mogunat. 1, 415 sq.) understands also a special chosen corps as a body-guard (τωματοφύλακες, Joseph. Ant. 15:9, 3; comp. War, 2, 1, 3). He, as also his successor (Joseph. Ant. 17, 10, 3; War, 2, 20, 1), suffered his troops in certain cases to unite with the Roman legions (Josephus, War, 2, 18, 9; 3, 4, 2; Ant. 17, 10, ), and these Herodian soldiers, like the Roman, were employed to guard prisoners (Acts 12:4 sq.). Respecting the discipline of these Herodian troops we know nothing positive, but they were certainly organized on Roman principles, as also Josephus himself' armed and disciplined the Jewish militia who were under his command, after the Roman custom (War, 2, 20, 7). In the times of the direct Roman government of Judea, in order to maintain tranquility, there were Roman military bodies in the country, who were regularly stationed at the head- quarters of the procurator at Caesarea (Acts 10:1); but during the great festival, namely, the Passover, they were in part detailed to Jerusalem (Acts 21:31; Joseph. War, 2, 12, 1). (See ROMAN EMPIRE). (See generally Danz, De breor. re milit. Jense, 1690; J. Lydii Syntagma de re milit. cum notis S. van Til, Dordrac. 1698; both also in Ugolini Thesaur. 27.) (See ARMY); (See WAR).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Hossein ben-Mansour, Aboul Moghits'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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