|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
A Hebrew liquid measure, the tenth part of an homer (1 Kings 7:26, 38; Ezek. 45:10, 14). It contained 8 gallons 3 quarts of our measure. "Ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath" (Isaiah 5:10) denotes great unproductiveness.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) The act of exposing the body, or part of the body, for purposes of cleanliness, comfort, health, etc., to water, vapor, hot air, or the like; as, a cold or a hot bath; a medicated bath; a steam bath; a hip bath.
2. (n.) Water or other liquid for bathing.
3. (n.) A receptacle or place where persons may immerse or wash their bodies in water.
4. (n.) A building containing an apartment or a series of apartments arranged for bathing.
5. (n.) A medium, as heated sand, ashes, steam, hot air, through which heat is applied to a body.
6. (n.) A solution in which plates or prints are immersed; also, the receptacle holding the solution.
7. (n.) A Hebrew measure containing the tenth of a homer, or five gallons and three pints, as a measure for liquids; and two pecks and five quarts, as a dry measure.
8. (n.) A city in the west of England, resorted to for its hot springs, which has given its name to various objects.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(bath): A liquid measure equal to about 9 gallons, English measure. It seems to have been regarded as a standard for liquid measures (Ezekiel 45:10), as in the case of the molten sea and the lavers in Solomon's temple (1 Kings 7:26, 38), and for measuring oil and wine (2 Chronicles 2:10 Ezra 7:22 Isaiah 5:10 Ezekiel 45:14). Its relation to the homer is given in Ezekiel 45:11, 14.
See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
bath'-kol, bath kol (bath qol, "the daughter of the voice"): Originally signifying no more than "sound," "tone," "call" (e.g. water in pouring gives forth a "sound," bath qol, while oil does not), sometimes also "echo." The expression acquired among the rabbis a special use, signifying the Divine voice, audible to man and unaccompanied by a visible Divine manifestation. Thus conceived, bath qol is to be distinguished from God's speaking to Moses and the prophets; for at Sinai the voice of God was part of a larger theophany, while for the prophets it was the resultant inward demonstration of the Divine will, by whatever means effected, given to them to declare (see VOICE). It is further to be distinguished from all natural sounds and voices, even where these were interpreted as conveying Divine instruction. The conception appears for the first time in Daniel 4:28 (English Versions 31)-it is in the Aramaic portion-where, however, qal = qol, "voice" stands without berath = bath, "daughter": "A voice fell from heaven." Josephus (Ant., XIII, x, 3) relates that John Hyrcanus (135-104 B.C.) heard a voice while offering a burnt sacrifice in the temple, which Josephus expressly interprets as the voice of God (compare Babylonian SoTah 33a and Jerusalem SoTah 24b, where it is called bath qol). In the New Testament mention of "a voice from heaven" occurs in the following passages: Matthew 3:17 Mark 1:11 Luke 3:22 (at the baptism of Jesus); Matthew 17:5 Mark 9:7 Luke 9:35 (at His transfiguration); John 12:28 (shortly before His passion); Acts 9:4; Acts 22:7; Acts 26:14 (conversion of Paul), and Acts 10:13, 15 (instruction of Peter concerning clean and unclean). In the period of the Tannaim (circa 100 B.C.-200 A.D.) the term bath qol was in very frequent us and was understood to signify not the direct voice of God, which was held to be supersensible, but the echo of the voice (the bath being somewhat arbitrarily taken to express the distinction). The rabbis held that bath qol had been an occasional means of Divine communication throughout the whole history of Israel and that since the cessation of the prophetic gift it was the sole means of Divine revelation. It is noteworthy that the rabbinical conception of bath qol sprang up in the period of the decline of Old Testament prophecy and flourished in the period of extreme traditionalism. Where the gift of prophecy was clearly lacking-perhaps even because of this lack-there grew up an inordinate desire for special Divine manifestations. Often a voice from heaven was looked for to clear up matters of do ubt and even to decide between conflicting interpretations of the law. So strong had this tendency become that Rabbi Joshua (circa 100 A.D.) felt it to be necessary to oppose it and to insist upon the supremacy and the sufficiency of the written law. It is clear that we have here to do with a conception of the nature and means of Divine revelation that is distinctly inferior to the Biblical view. For even in the Biblical passages where mention is made of the voice from heaven, all that is really essential to the revelation is already present, at least in principle, without the audible voice.
F. Weber, System der altsynagogalen palastinischen Theologie, 2nd edition, 1897, 194; J. Hamburger, Real-Enc des Judentums, II, 1896; W. Bacher, Agada der Tannaiten and Agada der palast. Amoraer (see Index); Jewish Encyclopedia, II, 588; "Bath Kol" in TSBA, IX, 18; P. Fiebig, Rel. in Gesch. und Gegenwart, I, under the word
J. R. Van Pelt
1. Ordinary Bathing:
Bathing in the ordinary, non-religious sense, public or private, is rarely met with in the Scriptures. We find, however, three exceptional and interesting cases:
(1) that of Pharaoh's daughter, resorting to the Nile (Exodus 2:5);
(2) that of Bath-sheba, bathing on the house-top (2 Samuel 11:2 the Revised Version (British and American));
(3) the curious case mentioned in 1 Kings 22:38. (To wash with royal blood was supposed to be beneficial to the complexion.)
The dusty, limestone soil of Palestine and the open foot-gear of the Orient on stockingless feet, called for frequent washing of the feet (Genesis 24:32; Genesis 43:24 Judges 19:24 1 Samuel 25:41 2 Samuel 11:8 Songs 5:3, etc.), and bathing of the body for refreshment; but the chief concern of the writers of Scripture was with bathing of another sort. Indeed, something of the religious sense and aspect of bathing, in addition to that of bodily refreshment, seems to have entered into the ordinary use of water, as in the washing of the hands before meals, etc. (see Genesis 18:4; Genesis 19:2 Luke 7:44).
2. Bathing Resorts:
The streams and ponds, when available, were the usual resorts for bathing (Exodus 2:5 2 Kings 5:10, etc.), but the water-supply of large cities, stored up in great pools or large cisterns, was certainly available at times to some degree for bathing (2 Samuel 11:2); though, as Benzinger says, no traces of bathrooms have been found in old Hebrew houses, even in royal palaces. In Babylon, it would seem from Susanna 15, there were bathing pools in gardens, though this passage may refer simply to bathing in the open air. Certainly public baths as now known, or plunge-baths of the Greek type, were unknown among the Hebrews until they were brought in contact with the Greek civilization. Such baths first come into view during the Greek-Roman period, when they are found to be regularly included in the gymnasia, or "places of exercise" (1 Maccabees 1:14). Remains of them, of varying degrees of richness and architectural completeness, may be seen today in various parts of the East, those left of the cities of the Decapolis, especially at Gerash and Amman, being excellent examples (compare also those at Pompeii). A remarkable series of bath-chambers has recently been discovered by Mr. R. A. S. Macalister at Gezer in Palestine, in connection with a building supposed to be the palace built by Simon Maccabeus. For an interesting account of it see PEFS, 1905, 294.
3. Greek versus Semitic Ideas:
When we consider that in Palestine six months of the year are rainless, and how scarce and pricelessly valuable water is during most of the year, and in many places all the year round; and when we recall how the Bedouin of today looks on the use of water for cleansing in such times and places of scarcity, viewing it as a wanton waste (see Benzinger, Hebrew. Arch., 108, note), the rigid requirement of it for so many ritual purposes by the Mosaic law is, to say the least, remarkable (see ABLUTION; CLEAN; UNCLEANNESS, etc.). Certainly there was a marked contrast between the Greek idea of bathing and that of the Hebrews and Asiatics in general, when they came in contact. But when Greek culture invaded Palestine under Antiochus Epiphanes (circa 168 B.C.), it brought Greek ideas and Greek bathing establishments with it; and under Herod (40-44 B.C.) it was given the right of way and prevailed to no mean degree (see Anecdote of Gamaliel II in Schurer, HJP, II, i, 18, 53).
4. Ceremonial Purification:
But "bathing" in the Bible stands chiefly for ritual acts-purification from ceremonial uncleanness, from contact with the dead, with defiled persons or things, with "holy things," i.e. things "devoted," or "under the ban," etc. (see CLEAN; UNCLEANNESS, etc.). The Hebrew of the Old Testament does not sharply distinguish between bathing and partial washing-both are expressed by rahats, and the Revised Version (British and American) rightly renders "wash" instead of "bathe" in some cases. Talmudic usage simply codified custom which had been long in vogue, according to Schurer. But Kennedy grants that the "bath" at last became, even for the laity, "an important factor in the religious life of Israel." We read of daily bathing by the Essenes (Josephus, BJ, II, viii, 5). Then later we find John, the Baptizer, immersing, as the record clearly shows the apostles of Christ did also (Acts 8:38 Romans 6:3 f); compare Luke 11:38 where baptizo, in passive = "washed."
5. Bathing for Health:
In John 5:2-7 we have an example of bathing for health. There are remains of ancient baths at Gadara and at Callirrhoe, East of the Jordan, baths which were once celebrated as resorts for health-seekers. There are hot baths in full operation today, near Tiberias, on the southwestern shore of the Lake of Galilee, which have been a health resort from time immemorial. It is probably true, however, as some one has said, that in Old Testament times and in New Testament times, the masses of the people had neither privacy nor inclination for bathing.
George B. Eager
Bath (13 Occurrences)
John 5:2 Now in Jerusalem near the sheep-market there is a public bath which in Hebrew is named Beth-zatha. It has five doorways. (BBE)
John 5:7 The ill man said in answer, Sir, I have nobody to put me into the bath when the water is moving; and while I am on the way down some other person gets in before me. (BBE)
John 9:7 And said to him, Go and make yourself clean in the bath of Siloam (the sense of the name is, Sent). So he went away and, after washing, came back able to see. (BBE)
Titus 3:5 as righteous men, had done, but as the result of His own mercy He saved us by means of the bath of regeneration and the renewal of our natures by the Holy Spirit, (WEY YLT)
Exodus 2:5 Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her handmaid to get it. (Root in WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 14:8 "He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and bathe himself in water; and he shall be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, but shall dwell outside his tent seven days. (Root in WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 23:11 but it shall be, when evening comes on, he shall bathe himself in water; and when the sun is down, he shall come within the camp. (Root in WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS RSV)
Ruth 3:3 So take a bath, and, after rubbing your body with sweet oil, put on your best robe, and go down to the grain-floor; but do not let him see you till he has come to the end of his meal. (BBE YLT)
Song of Songs 7:4 Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are like the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bathrabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looks toward Damascus. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 5:10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and a homer (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 45:10 You shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 45:11 The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of a homer, and the ephah the tenth part of a homer: its measure shall be after the homer. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 45:14 and the set portion of oil, of the bath of oil, the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is ten baths, even a homer; (for ten baths are a homer;) (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)