Looking to help your church and family stay connected to the Word while social distancing?
Check out our free church library, church online resources, and family resources.

The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Nephthar (Νεφθάρ, Nephthar). Likely the flammable rock oil naphtha, a combustible which was known among the ancients (2 Macc 1:36; Pliny, Natural History, 2.109; Plutarch, Alexander, 35; Strabo, Geography, 16.1, 15).
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
NEPHTHAR [Gk nephthar (νεφθαρ)]. The name that Nehemiah and his associates gave to the precious thick liquid that ignited the sacred fire of the altar sacrifices (2 Macc 1:36). The author relates it to the common word “naphtha,” and erroneously implies that it has a Hebrew etymology, perhaps from pṭr,
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Nephthar nefʹthär [Gk Nephthar] (2 Macc 1:36); AV NAPHTHAR. The name given by Nehemiah and his associates to an extremely flammable substance, as recorded in 2 Macc 1:19–36. The substance was discovered when Nehemiah sent priests to a dry cistern in which their priestly ancestors had hidden sacred
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
NEPHTHAR; NEPHTHAI<nef’-thar> ([Νεφθάρ, Nephthar]; Codex Alexandrinus and Swete, Nephthar, the King James Version and Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390–405 A.D.) Naphthar), ([Νεφθαί, Nephthai], al. [Νεφθαεί, Nephthaei], Fritzsche, [Νεφά, Nepha], the King James Version and Vulgate, following Old
NAPHTHAR<naf’-thar> (the King James Version): the Revised Version (British and American) “Nephthar.”
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 4, M–P
nephthar neph’thahr. Transliteration of Greek nephthar, the term that Nehemiah and his associates used to refer to a liquid for burning sacrifices (2 Macc. 1:36; cf. v. 33). The text goes on to say that the term means “purification” and that most people used a different term, nephthai, that is, “naphta” (KJV,
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Volumes 1–5
Nephthar, Nephthai
NEPHTHAR, nef′thär (Νεφθάρ, Nephthár; A and Swete, Nephthár, AV and Vulg Naphthar), NEPHTHAI (Νεφθαί, Nephthaí, al. Νεφθαεί, Nephithaeí, Fritzsche, Νεφά, Nephá, AV and Vulg, following Old Lat, Nephi; Swete, following A, gives Nephthar twice): According to 2 Macc 1:19–36, at the time of the captivity
The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volumes 1–5
NEPHTHAR nef´thahr [νέφθαρ nephthar]. The combustible liquid found at the time of Nehemiah where the fire of the altar had been hidden (2 Macc 1:18–36). The account implies that the word naphtha (nephthai νέφθαι) derives from nephthar, and claims that it means “purification.” These claims cannot be
See also
Topics & Themes