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SHEIL—SHEKINAH

tribes and headmen of villages. Every . village, however small, every separate quarter of a town, has a sheikh in whom is lodged the executive power of government power loosely defined, and of more or less extent according to the personal character and means of the individual who wields it. A village sheikh is a sort of head magistrate and chief of police. The Koran, the sole authentic authority in all matters, legal or civil, never accurately distinguished between the sheikh and the cadi (q.'v.), and its phrases, besides, are Vague and capable of admitting different and even opposite interpretations. (For the Sheikh ul-Islam see MU1111.)


SHEIL, RICHARD LALOR (1791-1851), Irish politician and writer, was born at Drumdowney, Tipperary, on the 17th of August 1791. His father, Edward Sheil, had acquired considerable wealth in Spain, and owned an estate in Tipperary. The son was taught French and Latin by the Abbé de Grimeau, a French refugee. He was then sent to a school in Kensington, London, presided over by another émigré, M. de Broglie. In October 1804 he was removed to Stonyhurst college, Lancashire, and in November 1807 entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he specially distinguished himself in the debates of the Historical Society. After taking his degree in 1811 he entered Lincoln's Inn, and was admitted to the Irish bar in 1814. His play of Adelaide, or the Emigrants, was played at the Crow Street theatre, Dublin, on the 19th of February 1814, with complete success, and on the 23rd of May 1816 it was performed at Covent Garden. The A postate, produced at the latter theatre on the 3rd of May 1817, firmly established his reputation as a dramatist. His principal other plays are Bellamira (written in 1818), Evadne (1819), Huguenot, produced in 1822, and Montini (1820). In 1822 he began, along with W. H. Curran, to contribute to the New Monthly Magazine a series of graphic and racy papers entitled Sketches of the Irish Bar. These were edited by M. W. Savage in 1855 in two volumes, under the title of Sketches Legal and Political. Sheil was one of the principal founders of the Catholic Association in 1823 and drew up the petition for inquiry into the mode of administering the laws in Ireland, which was presented in that year to both Houses of Parliament. In 1825 Sheil accompanied O'Connell to London to protest against the suppression of the Catholic Association. The protest was unsuccessful, but, although nominally dissolved, the association continued its propaganda after the defeat of the Catholic Relief Bill in 1825; and Sheil was one of O'Connell's leading supporters in the agitation persistently carried on till Catholic emancipation was granted in 1829. In the same year he was returned to Parliament for Milborne Port, and in 1831 for Louth. He took a prominent part in all the debates relating to Ireland, and although he was greater as a platform orator than as a debater, he gradually won the somewhat reluctant admiration of the House. In August 1839 he became vice-president of the board of trade in Lord Melbourne's ministry. After the accession of Lord John Russell to power in 1846 he was appointed master of the mint, and in 18 5o he was appointed minister at the court of Tuscany. He died at Florence on the 23Id of May 1851.

See Memoirs of Rikhard Lalor Sheil, by W. Torrens M'Cullagh (2 vols., 1855). His Speeches were edited in 1845 by Thomas McNevin.


SHEKEL (from Heb. shakal, to weigh), originally a Jewish unit of weight (515 of a mina, and 150155 of a talent) and afterwards a coin of the same weight. The Biblical references to shekels must refer to uncoined ingots. In the time of Josephus it seems that the light shekel weighed from 210 to 2IO'S5 grains; the heavy shekel was twice that amount, which is practically identical with the Phoenician weight (224'4 grains). It corresponds to rs. 4%d. and 2s. 9d. respectively in English silver. Jewish shekels were first coined by Simon the Hasmonean, probably in 139-138 B.c. These bear inscriptions in the archaic Hebrew and various emblems, such as the cup or chalice, the lily branch with three flowers, the candlestick, the citron and palm branch and so forth. They never bear the portraits of rulers or figures of animals. A later series of shekels, belonging to the Roman period, are tetradrachms, “ which came from the mints of Caesarea and Antioch and were used as blanks on which to impress Jewish types.” Hence in Matt. xvi. 24 the temple tax of half a shekel is called a didrachm (2 drams). In 2 Samuel xiv. 26 we read of “ shekels after the King's weight.” The royal norm was heavier than the common norm. The Hebrewsdivided the shekel into 20 parts, each of which was called a gerah. (See also NUMISMATICS.)

1 See articles in Ency. Bibl. col. 4442, and Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, ii. 417 seq.; F. W. Madden, Coins of the Jews (1881); T. Reinach, Jewish Coins (1903). (I. A.)


SHEKINAH, a Hebrew word meaning “ that which dwells ” or “ the dwelling.” It is one of the expressions used in the Targums in place of “ God.”

In the Targums.-The word “ Shekinah ” is of constant occurrence in the T argums or Aramaic paraphrases of the Biblical lections that were read in the synagogue-service to the people. Great care was taken by the scribes in these renderings to mitigate the anthropomorphic expressions applied to God in the Scriptures, and by paraphrase, the use of abstract terms and indirect phraseology, to prevent such expressions from giving rise to erroneous views as to God's personal manifestation in the popular mind. Whenever, e. g. any indication of local limitation or action was implied or expressed, in the Hebrew text, of God the Targumists were careful to substitute some expression involving the use of “ Shekinah.” In these connexions “ Shekinah ” thus becomes the equivalent of “ God ” or its synonyms. One or two examples will make the Targum-usage clear. Thus Ex. xxix. 45 (“ and I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God ”) is rendered in the Targum (Onkelos): “ And I will cause my Shekinah to dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, and I will be their God.” All expressions implying God's local presence are similarly rendered: thus e.g. Habak. ii. 20 (“ Jehovah is in His holy temple ”) is rendered “ Jehovah was pleased to cause His Shekinah to dwell, ” &c. ', ' To see ” God is similarly paraphrased. Thus Is. xxxiii. 17 (“ thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty ”) is rendered (Targum of Jonathan): “ Thine eyes shall see the Shekinah of the king of the worlds in His beauty.” So too “ hiding the face ” when used of God is regularly paraphrased “ remove His Shekinah ” (Is. lvii. 17, viii. 17, lix. 2; Jer. xxxiii. 5; cf. Is. i. 15, &c.). Closely connected with the idea of the Shekinah, but distinct from it, is that of “ the glory of the Lord.” “ Glory, ” indeed, in this connexion was conceived of as a property of the Shekinah (as, in fact, it is of God for whom “ Shekinah ” is the equivalent). For the divine “ glory ” as a property of the ~Sheki nah, cf. e.g. Is. vi. 5 (“ mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord .of hosts ”), which is rendered in the Targum: “ mine eyes have seen the glory of the Shekinah of the King of the worlds the Lord of hosts.” A

In the New Testament.-In the New Testament both the term and the idea are referred to in various ways. The close association of the divine “ glory ” with the visible Shekinah has already been referred to. This Shekinah-glory is several times denoted in the'NeW Testament by 66511. The most notable passage is Rom. ix. 4 where St Paul, enumerating the list of Israel's privileges, says: “ whose is the adoption, and the glory ” (i.e. the Shekinah-glory, the visible presence of God among His people), &c. cf. Luke ii. 9. There is also an obvious allusion to the Shekinah in the description of the theophanic cloud of the transfiguration narrative (St. Matt. xvii. 5: “ a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold a voice out of the cloud, saying ” &c.; cf. St Mark ix. 7; St Luke ix. 34), the same verb being used as in the LXX. of Exod. xl. 34, 35, of the cloud which rested on the tabernacle when it was filled with “ the glory of the Lord.” There can be no doubt, too, that the word rendered “ tabernacle” (axm/iy) with the corresponding verb “ to tabernacle " (amy:/oiiv) has been chosen for use in St John i. 14 and Rev. xii. 3, from its likeness both in sound and meaning to the term “ Shekinah.” The passage in Revelation runs: “ Behold the tabernacle (0'K7']1/751) of God is with men, and He will tabernacle (axnvdxret) with them.” In St John i. 14 there is an allusion to the Word (=mernra of the Targums), the Shekinah, and the Shekinah-glory,