Pure, a superintendant of customs; a chief tax-gather (publicanus) at Jericho (Luke 19:1-10). "The collection of customs at Jericho, which at this time produced and exported a considerable quantity of balsam, was undoubtedly an important post, and would account for Zacchaeus being a rich man." Being short of stature, he hastened on before the multitude who were thronging about Christ as he passed through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem, and climbed up a sycamore tree that he might be able to see him. When our Lord reached the spot he looked up to the publican among the branches, and addressing him by name, told him to make haste and come down, as he intended that day to abide at his house. This led to the remarkable interview recorded by the evangelist, and to the striking parable of the ten pounds (Luke 19:12-27). At Er-riha (Jericho) there is a large, venerable looking square tower, which goes by the traditional name of the House of Zacchaeus.

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

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