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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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LEVELLING.—1. In mountainous countries like Palestine landslips are not uncommon, and in this way roads are blocked, or obstructed by falling débris. The drenching rains loosen the stones on the hillsides and send them rolling down to the plains, and the swollen burns and torrents cut new channels for themselves, and dam up old ones, so that familiar paths not infrequently become obliterated. Besides that, the farmers in some places are in the habit of gathering the stones from the fields and throwing them out on the highway, thus making the roads both dangerous and uncomfortable for travellers. It was needful, therefore, to have the roads restored by removing the obstacles and filling up the inequalities. When a sovereign rode forth, a company always went before him to clear the way: hence, ‘Prepare ye the way of the people: cast up, cast up the highway: gather out the stones’ (Isaiah 62:10), and, ‘A voice crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’ (Matthew 3:3, adapted from Isaiah 40:3). When Ibrahim Pasha proposed to visit certain places in Lebanon, the emirs and sheikhs sent out a general proclamation commanding the people to prepare the way. The same took place in 1845 when the Sultan visited Brusa.

2. Of the Temple, Jesus said, ‘There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down’ (Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2, Luke 21:6). This prophecy was fulfilled when the Temple was destroyed in 70 a.d. With the levelling of the sacred building to the ground there came an end to the Ceremonial Law so long cherished by the Jews, and this paved the way for a wider acceptance of the gospel of Christ (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 3:23).

R. Leggat.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Levelling'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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