(φανός, so called for its shining) occurs only in Joh 18:3, where the party of men which went out of Jerusalem to apprehend Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane is described as being provided "with lanterns and torches:" it there probably denotes any kind of covered light, in distinction from a simple taper or common house-light, as well as from a flambeau (comp. Athenseus, 15:58; Philosen. Gloss.). Lanterns were much employed by the Romans in military operations; two of bronze have been found among the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii. They are cylindrical, with translucent horn sides, the lamp within being furnished with an extinguisher (Smith, Dict. of Class. Ant. page 568). In the article LAMP SEE LAMP it has been shown that the Jewish lantern, or, if we may so call it, lamp-frame, was similar to that now in use among the Orientals. As the streets of Eastern towns are not lighted at night, and never Egyptian monuments offer any trace of the use of a lantern. In this case it seems to be borne by the night-watch, or civic guard, and is shaped like those in common use among ourselves (Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 2:72). A similar lantern is at this day used in Persia, and perhaps does not materially differ from those mentioned in Scripture. More common at present in Western Asia is a large folding lantern of waxed cloth strained over rings of wire, with a top and bottom of tinned copper. It is usually about two feet long by nine inches in diameter, and is carried by servants before their masters, who often pay visits to their friends at or after supper-time. In many Eastern towns the municipal law forbids any one to be in the streets after nightfall without a lantern.

Bible concordance for LANTERN.

Definition of lantern

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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