The Bible is the central text of Western civilization, and an understanding of it is vital to the study of world history and culture. In addition, more and more high school students and undergraduates are studying the Bible as literature. Monumental in scope and written especially for high school students and general readers, this encyclopedia surveys the material culture, customs, and beliefs of the biblical world through more than 200 alphabetically arranged entries on the tools, animals, foods, habits, laws, professions, and peoples of the Bible. Included are such entries as: Afterlife Agriculture Angels Chariots Dogs Embalming Houses Locusts Moloch Proverbs Sacrifice Vineyards War Witchcraft And many more. Each entry provides definitions; scriptural references; etymological, historical, and archaeological information; and, when possible, a discussion of the relevance of the topic to modern readers. The encyclopedia covers the peoples who were a part of biblical life: the Essenes and Pharisees, the scribes and priests, the neighbors and enemies, and the great powers that enslaved them. In addition, it explains many of the major events in Israel's history, the accepted concept of cosmology and weather, and the common understanding of many details from the Creation to Armageddon. Features and Benefits: Includes more than 200 alphabetically arranged entries. Provides numerous illustrations. Entries cite works for further reading. Offers a selected, general bibliography. Contains a variety of finding aids, including lists of entries, cross-references, and a detailed index. Illuminates daily life in biblical times. Supports the literature curriculum by helping students understand the central text of the Western tradition. Supports the history curriculum by using the bible to explore the customs and cultures of the biblical world. Fosters an appreciation for the Judeo-Christian heritage. Assists general readers in learning about the foundations of Judaism, Christianity, and Western civilization.