Among people with whom writing is not common the evidence of a transaction is given by some tangible memorial or significant ceremony: Abraham gave seven ewe-lambs to Abimelech as an evidence of his property in the well of Beersheba. Jacob raised a heap of stones, "the heap of witness." as a boundary-mark between himself and Laban. ( Genesis 21:30 ; Genesis 31:47 Genesis 31:52 ) The tribes of Reuben and Gad raised an "altar" as a witness to the covenant between themselves and the rest of the nation. Joshua set up a stone as an evidence of the allegiance promised by Israel to God. ( Joshua 22:10 Joshua 22:26 Joshua 22:34 ; Joshua 24:26 Joshua 24:27 ) But written evidence was by no means unknown to the Jews. Divorce was to be proved by a written document. ( deuteronomy 24:1 deuteronomy 24:3 ) In civil contracts, at least in later times documentary evidence was required and carefully preserved. ( Isaiah 8:16 ; Jeremiah 32:10-16 ) On the whole the law was very careful to provide and enforce evidence for all its infractions and all transactions bearing on them. Among special provisions with respect to evidence are the following:
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[B] indicates this entry was also found in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Witness'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".