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Glossary

Search here for specific or technical terms not defined in the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary.

Glossary Items starting with 'U'

  • Ugarit

    A Canaanite city-state on the Mediterranean coast in what is today western Syria. Ugarit was at its peak as an important regional center in the 15th to 13th centuries B.C.E., during which time it developed its own system of writing (an adapted cuneiform alphabet) and a rich collection of literary texts, many of which bear remarkable similarities to some biblical texts.

  • unclean

    A state of being ritually unacceptable and therefore excluded from proximity to holy objects or use in religious observance. According to the book of Levticus, some unclean things can be purified and become clean, whereas other are permanently unclean.

  • united kingdom (of Israel)

    Following to the biblical text, the period of Israelite history in the 10th century B.C.E. when all the Israelite tribes were unified under a single monarchy, headed first by David and then by his son Solomon. The period of the united monarchy ended after Solomon's death, when the northern tribes rebelled and became their own kingdom (Israel). The tribe of Judah alone remained in what became the southern kingdom and continued to be ruled by a king of the Davidic line. Some scholars debate whether there was really a united period or whether the two kingdoms were always separate.

  • united monarchy

    Following to the biblical text, the period of Israelite history in the 10th century B.C.E. when all the Israelite tribes were unified under a single monarchy, headed first by David and then by his son Solomon. The united monarchy ended after Solomon's death, when the northern tribes rebelled and became their own kingdom (Israel). The tribe of Judah alone remained in what became the southern kingdom and continued to be ruled by a king of the Davidic line. Some scholars debate whether there was really a united period or whether the two kingdoms were always separate.

  • U.S. Constitution

    The foundational document of the United States, which outlines the structure and powers of the government as well as the rights of US citizens.

  • Utu

    Sumerian god of the sun.

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