Heraclitus (᾿Ηράκλειτος), a philosopher of Ephesus, flourished about B.C. 500. He belonged to the Ionian school. "He was a profound thinker, of an inquisitive spirit, and the founder of a sect called after him, which had considerable reputation and influence. His humor was melancholy and sarcastic, which he indulged at the expense of the democracy established in his native town, and with which he was disgusted.' The knowledge he had acquired of the systems of preceding philosophers (vying with one another in boldness), of Thales, Pythagoras, and Xenophanes, created in him a habit of skepticism of which he afterwards cured himself. The result of his meditations was committed to a volume (Περὶ φύσεως), the obscurity of which procured for him the appellation of σκοτεινός. He also made it his object to discover an elemental principle; but either because his views were different, or from a desire to oppose himself to the Eleatme, he assumed it to before, because the most subtle and active of the elements" (Tennemann, Manual History of Philosophy, § 102).
"According to Heraclitus, the end of wisdom is to discover the ground and principle of all things. This principle, which is an eternal, ever-living unity, and pervades and is in all phenomena, he called fire. By this term Heraclitus understood, not the elemental fire or flame, which he held to be the excess of fire, but a warm and dry vapor; which therefore, as air, is not distinct from the soul or vital energy, and which, as guiding and directing the mundane development, is endued with wisdom and intelligence. This supreme and perfect force of life is obviously without limit to its activity; consequently, nothing that it forms can remain fixed; all is constantly in a process of formation. This he has thus figuratively expressed: 'No one has ever been twice on the same stream.' Nay, the passenger himself is without identity: 'On the same stream we do and we do not embark; for we are and we are not.' The vitality of the rational fire has in it a tendency to contraries, whereby it is made to pass from gratification to want, and from want to gratification, and in fixed periods it alternates between a swifter and a slower flux. Now these opposite tendencies meet together in determinate order, and by the inequality or equality of the forces occasion the phenomena of life and death. The quietude of death, however, is a mere semblance which exists only for the senses of man. For man in his folly forms a truth of his own, whereas it is only the universal reason that is really cognizant of the truth. Lastly the rational principle which governs the whole moral and physical world is also, the law of the individual; whatever, therefore, is, is the wisest and the best; and 'it is not for man's welfare that his wishes should be fulfilled; sickness makes health pleasant, as hunger does gratification, and labor rest.' The physical doctrines of Heraclitus formed no inconsiderable portion of the eclectical system of the later Stoics, and in times still more recent there is much in the theories of Schelling and Hegel that presents a striking though general resemblance thereto." Hegel declared that the doctrine of Heraclitus, that all things are "perpetual flux and reflux," was an anticipation of his own dogma, "Being is the same with non-being." "The fragments of Heraclitus have been collected from Plutarch, Stobaeus, Clenens of Alexandria, and Sextus Empiricus, and explained by Schleiermacher in Wolf and Buttmann's Museum der Aitherthusmswissenschcft, vol. 1" (English Cyclopedia). Professor Bernays, of Bonn, gathered from Hippocrates a series of quotations from Heraclitus, and published them under the title Heraclitea (1848). The epistles which bear the name of Heraclitus are spurious; they are given, with valuable notes and dissertations, in Die Heraclitischen Briefe, ein Beitrag z. philos. u. relig. Lit. (Berl. 1869). See Smith, Dict. (f Class. Biog. and Mythol. s.v.; Lewes, Hist. of Philos. 1867, 1, 65 sq.; Lassalle, Die Philosophie el. Herakleitos (Berlin, 1858). Heraclius. SEE MONOTHIELITE. Herald only occurs in Da 3:4; the term there used (כָּרוֹז, ז6ראכ) is connected etymologically (Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 712) with the Greek κηρύσσω and κράζω, and with our "cry;" There is an evident allusion to the office of the herald in the expressions κηρύσσω, κράυζ, and κήρυγμα, which are frequent in the N.T., and which are but inadequately rendered by "preach," etc. The term "herald" might be substituted in 1Ti 2:7: 2Ti 1:11; 2Pe 2:5, as there is evidently in these passages an allusion to the Grecian games (q.v.). Herb is the rendering of the following terms in the Auth. Vers. of the Bible: usually עֵשֶׂב, e'seb, any green plant or herbage collectively, often rendered "grass;" applied generally to annual plants without woody stems, growing in the fields (Ge 2:5; Ge 3:18; Ex 9:22; Ex 10:12,15) and on mountains (Isa 42:15; Pr 27:25), growing up and setting seed (Ge 1:11-12,29), and serving as food for man (Ge 1:30; Ge 3:18; Ps 104:14) and for beast (De 11:15; Ps 106:20; Jer 14:6; Da 4:15,23,32-33; Da 5:21); comprehending, therefore, vegetables, greens, and sometimes all green herbage (Am 7:1-2). Men are said to "flourish as a green herb" (Ps 72:16; Ps 92:7; Job 5:25); also to wither (Ps 102:4,11). Hence, too) those seized with fear and turning pale (Gr. χλωροί) are compared to the herb. of the field which grows yellow and withers (2Ki 19:26; Isa 37:27). יָרָק, yarak', properly signifies green, and is applied to any green thing, verdure, foliage of fields and trees (2Ki 19:26; Isa 37:27; Isa 15:6; Ex 10:15; Nu 22:4; Ps 37:2; Ge 1:30; Ge 9:3); specially a plant, herb (De 11:10; 1Ki 21:2); a portion of herbs, vegetables (Pr 15:17). דֶּשֶׁא de'she, and
חָצַיר, chatsir' properly designate ῥ grass, the first when young and tender, the latter when grown and fit for mowing. SEE BOTANY. אוֹר, 6r (lit. light), in the fern. אוֹרָה, orah', plural אוֹרוֹת, oro'th', "occurs in two passages of Scripture, where it is translated herb in the Auth.Vers.: it is generally supposed to indicate such plants as are employed for food. The most ancient translators seem, however, to have been at a loss for its meaning. Thus the Sept. in one passage (2Ki 4:39) has only the Heb. word in Greek characters, ἀριώθ, and in the other (Isa 26:19) ἴαμα, healing. The Vulg., and the Chaldee and Syriac versions, translate oroth in the latter passage by light, in consequence of confounding one Heb. word with another, according to Celsius (Hierobot. 1, 459). Rosenmüller says that oroth occurs in its original and generic signification in Isa 26:19, viz. green herbs. The future restoration of the Hebrew people is there announced under the type and figure of a revival of the dead. Thy dew is a dew of green herbs,' says the prophet, i.e. as by the dew green herbs are revived, so shalt thou, being revived by God's strengthening power, flourish again. The other passage, however appears an obscure one with respect to the meaning of oroth. Celsius has, with his usual learning, shown that mallows were much employed as food in ancient times. Of this there can be no doubt, but there is no proof adduced that
oroth means mallows; there are many other plants which were and still are employed as articles of diet in the East, as purslane, goosefoot, chenpodiums, lettuce, endive, etc. But oroth should be considered in conjunction with pakyoth; for we find in 2Ki 4:39, that when Elisha came again to Gilgal, and there was a dearth in the land, he said unto his servant, 'Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets; and one went out into the field to gather herbs (oroth), and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds (pak-yoth) his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage, for they knew them not.' As pakyoth is universally acknowledged to be the fruit of one of the gourd tribe, so it is not unreasonable to conclude that oroth also was the fruit of some plant, for which the pakyoth had been mistaken. This may be admitted, as nothing better than conjecture has been adduced in support of other interpretations, and as there are fruits, such as that of the egg-plant, which are used as articles of diet, and for which the fruit of the pakyoth, or wild gourd, might have been mistaken by an ignorant person" (Kitto). But perhaps, as this was a time of great famine, the servant went out to gather any green vegetable likely to contribute towards the savoriness and nutritiousness of the broth, and his mistake may have arisen not so much from any resemblance between the pakyoth and any particular kind of oroth of which he was in quest, but rather from indiscriminately seizing whatever vegetable he met with, without knowing its noxious properties. Thus we may regard oroth in both passages as a general designation of esculent plants, in this case wild ones. SEE GOURD.
The "bitter herbs" (מרֹרַים, merorim') with which the Israelites were commanded to eat the Passover bread (Ex 2:8; Nu 9:11: the same Heb. word occurs also in La 3:15, "He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood") doubtless in general "included the various edible kinds of bitter plants, whether cultivated or wild, which the Israelites could with facility obtain in sufficient abundance to supply their number either in Egypt, where the first Passover was eaten, or in the deserts of the peninsula of Sinai, or in Palestine. The Mishna (Pesachim. c. 2, § 6) enumerates five kinds of bitter herbschazereth, 'ulshin, thamcah, charchabina, and maror — which it was lawful to eat either green or dried. There is great difficulty in identifying the plants which these words respectively denote, but the reader may see the subject discussed by Bochart (Hieroz. 1, 691, ed. Rosenmüller) and by Carpzovius (Apparat. Hist. Crit. p. 402). According to the testimony of Forskal, in Niebuhr's Preface to the Description de I'Arabie (p. 44), the modern Jews of Arabia and Egypt eat lettuce, or, if this is not at hand, bugloss, with the Paschal lamb. The Greek word 7ρχ-πιΧ is identified by Sprengel (Hist. Rei Herb. 1, 100) with the Helminthia echioides, Lin., bristly helminthia (ox-tongue), a plant belonging to the chicory group. The Picris of botanists is a genus closely allied to the Helminthia. Aben Esra, in Celsius (Hierob. 2, 227), remarks that, according to the observations of a certain learned Spaniard, the ancient Egyptians always used to place different kinds of herbs upon the table, with mustard, and that they dipped morsels of bread into this salad. That the Jews derived this custom of eating herbs with their meat from the Egyptians is extremely probable, for it is easy to see how, on the one name, the bitter-herb salad should remind the Jews of the bitterness of their bondage (Ex 1:14), and, on the other hand, how it should also bring to their remembrance their merciful deliverance from it. It is curious to observe, in connection with the remarks of Aben Esra, the custom, for such it appears to have been, of dipping a morsel of bread into the dish (τὸ τρυβλίον) which prevailed in our Lord's time. May not τὸ τρύβλιον be the salad-dish of bitter herbs, and τὸ ψσώμιον the morsel of bread of which Aben Esra speaks? The merdrim may well be understood to denote various sorts of bitter plants, such particularly as belong to the crucifers, as some of the bitter cresses, or to the chicory group of the compositae, the hawkweeds, and sow-thistles, and wild lettuces, which grow abundantly in the peninsula of Sinai, in Palestine, and in Egypt (Decaisne, Florula Sinaica, in Annal. des Scienc. Nat. 1834; Strand, Flor. Palaest. No. 445, etc.)" SEE BITTER HERBS.