fountain of the sun a spring which formed one of the landmarks
on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:7; 18:17).
It was between the "ascent of Adummim" and the spring of
En-rogel, and hence was on the east of Jerusalem and of the
Mount of Olives. It is the modern 'Ain-Haud i.e., the "well of
the apostles" about a mile east of Bethany, the only spring on
the road to Jericho. The sun shines on it the whole day long.
The word "full" is from the Anglo-Saxon fullian, meaning "to
whiten." To full is to press or scour cloth in a mill. This art
is one of great antiquity. Mention is made of "fuller's soap"
(Mal. 3:2), and of "the fuller's field" (2 Kings 18:17). At his
transfiguration our Lord's rainment is said to have been white
"so as no fuller on earth could white them" (Mark 9:3). En-rogel
(q.v.), meaning literally "foot-fountain," has been interpreted
as the "fuller's fountain," because there the fullers trod the
cloth with their feet.
the serpent-stone, a rocky plateau near the centre of the
village of Siloam, and near the fountain of En-rogel, to which
the women of the village resort for water (1 Kings 1:5-9). Here
Adonijah (q.v.) feasted all the royal princess except Solomon
and the men who took part with him in his effort to succeed to
the throne. While they were assembled here Solomon was
proclaimed king, through the intervention of Nathan. On hearing
this, adonijah fled and took refuge in the sanctuary (1 Kings
1:49-53). He was afterwards pardoned.
Zoheleth projects into or slightly over-hangs the Kidron
valley. It is now called ez-Zehwell or Zahweileh.
fountain of the treaders; i.e., "foot-fountain;" also called the
"fullers' fountain," because fullers here trod the clothes in
water. It has been identified with the "fountain of the virgin"
(q.v.), the modern 'Ain Ummel-Daraj. Others identify it, with
perhaps some probability, with the Bir Eyub, to the south of the
Pool of Siloam, and below the junction of the valleys of Kidron
and Hinnom. (See FOUNTAIN ¯T0001378.)
It was at this fountain that Jonathan and Ahimaaz lay hid
after the flight of David (2 Sam. 17:17); and here also Adonijah
held the feast when he aspired to the throne of his father (1
The Bir Eyub, or "Joab's well," "is a singular work of ancient
enterprise. The shaft sunk through the solid rock in the bed of
the Kidron is 125 feet deep...The water is pure and entirely
sweet, quite different from that of Siloam; which proves that
there is no connection between them." Thomson's Land and the
= Kedron = Cedron, turbid, the winter torrent which flows
through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, on the eastern side of
Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. This valley
is known in Scripture only by the name "the brook Kidron." David
crossed this brook bare-foot and weeping, when fleeing from
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:23, 30), and it was frequently crossed by our
Lord in his journeyings to and fro (John 18:1). Here Asa burned
the obscene idols of his mother (1 Kings 15:13), and here
Athaliah was executed (2 Kings 11:16). It afterwards became the
receptacle for all manner of impurities (2 Chr. 29:16; 30:14);
and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of
the city (2 Kings 23:6; comp. Jer. 26:23).
Through this mountain ravine no water runs, except after heavy
rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. Its length from
its head to en-Rogel is 2 3/4 miles. Its precipitous, rocky
banks are filled with ancient tombs, especially the left bank
opposite the temple area. The greatest desire of the Jews is to
be buried there, from the idea that the Kidron is the "valley of
Jehoshaphat" mentioned in Joel 3:2.
Below en-Rogel the Kidron has no historical or sacred
interest. It runs in a winding course through the wilderness of
Judea to the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. Its whole
length, in a straight line, is only some 20 miles, but in this
space its descent is about 3,912 feet. (See KEDRON ¯T0002166.)
Recent excavations have brought to light the fact that the old
bed of the Kidron is about 40 feet lower than its present bed,
and about 70 feet nearer the sanctuary wall.
Siloam, Pool of
sent or sending. Here a notable miracle was wrought by our Lord
in giving sight to the blind (John 9:7-11). It has been
identified with the Birket Silwan in the lower Tyropoeon valley,
to the south-east of the hill of Zion.
The water which flows into this pool intermittingly by a
subterranean channel springs from the "Fountain of the Virgin"
(q.v.). The length of this channel, which has several windings,
is 1,750 feet, though the direct distance is only 1,100 feet.
The pool is 53 feet in length from north to south, 18 feet wide,
and 19 deep. The water passes from it by a channel cut in the
rock into the gardens below. (See EN-ROGEL ¯T0001214.)
Many years ago (1880) a youth, while wading up the conduit by
which the water enters the pool, accidentally discovered an
inscription cut in the rock, on the eastern side, about 19 feet
from the pool. This is the oldest extant Hebrew record of the
kind. It has with great care been deciphered by scholars, and
has been found to be an account of the manner in which the
tunnel was constructed. Its whole length is said to be "twelve
hundred cubits;" and the inscription further notes that the
workmen, like the excavators of the Mont Cenis Tunnel, excavated
from both ends, meeting in the middle.
Some have argued that the inscription was cut in the time of
Solomon; others, with more probability, refer it to the reign of
Hezekiah. A more ancient tunnel was discovered in 1889 some 20
feet below the ground. It is of smaller dimensions, but more
direct in its course. It is to this tunnel that Isaiah (8:6)
The Siloam inscription above referred to was surreptitiously
cut from the wall of the tunnel in 1891 and broken into
fragments. These were, however, recovered by the efforts of the
British Consul at Jerusalem, and have been restored to their
two ponds, (Isa. 15:8), probably En-eglaim of Ezek. 47:10.
fountain of two calves, a place mentioned only in Ezek. 47:10.
Somewhere near the Dead Sea.
measures, one of the six cities "in the wilderness," on the west
of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi (Josh. 15:61).
two fountains, a Levitical city in the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr.
6:73). It is also called En-gannim (q.v.) in Josh. 19:21; the
Nimrim, Waters of
the stream of the leopards, a stream in Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer.
48:34); probably the modern Wady en-Nemeirah, a rich, verdant
spot at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea.
projecting; a flower, a cleft or pass, probably that near
En-gedi, which leads up from the Dead Sea (2 Chr. 20:16) in the
direction of Tekoa; now Tell Hasasah.
fountain of the crier, the name of the spring in Lehi which
burst forth in answer to Samson's prayer when he was exhausted
with the slaughter of the Philistines (Judg. 15:19). It has been
identified with the spring 'Ayun Kara, near Zoreah.
burning of waters, supposed to be salt-pans, or lime-kilns, or
glass-factories, a place to which Joshua pursued a party of
Canaanites after the defeat of Jabin (Josh. 11:8). It is
identified with the ruin Musheirifeh, at the promontory of
en-Nakhurah, some 11 miles north of Acre.
fountain of gardens. (1.) A town in the plains of Judah (Josh.
15:34), north-west of Jerusalem, between Zanoah and Tappuah. It
is the modern Umm Jina.
(2.) A city on the border of Machar (Josh. 19:21), allotted to
the Gershonite Levites (21:29). It is identified with the modern
Jenin, a large and prosperous town of about 4,000 inhabitants,
situated 15 miles south of Mount Tabor, through which the road
from Jezreel to Samaria and Jerusalem passes. When Ahaziah, king
of Judah, attempted to escape from Jehu, he "fled by the way of
the garden house" i.e., by way of En-gannim. Here he was
overtaken by Jehu and wounded in his chariot, and turned aside
and fled to Megiddo, a distance of about 20 miles, to die there.
apple-region. (1.) A town in the valley or lowland of Judah;
formerly a royal city of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:17; 15:34). It
is now called Tuffuh, about 12 miles west of Jerusalem.
(2.) A town on the border of Ephraim (Josh. 16:8). The "land"
of Tappuah fell to Manasseh, but the "city" to Ephraim (17:8).
(3.) En-tappuah, the well of the apple, probably one of the
springs near Yassuf (Josh. 17:7).
Vine of Sodom
referred to only in Deut. 32:32. Among the many conjectures as
to this tree, the most probable is that it is the 'osher of the
Arabs, which abounds in the region of the Dead Sea. Its fruit
are the so-called "apples of Sodom," which, though beautiful to
the eye, are exceedingly bitter to the taste. (See EN-GEDI
¯T0001207.) The people of Israel are referred to here by Moses
as being utterly corrupt, bringing forth only bitter fruit.
(1 Sam. 15:23; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chr. 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4;
Gal. 5:20). In the popular sense of the word no mention is made
either of witches or of witchcraft in Scripture.
The "witch of En-dor" (1 Sam. 28) was a necromancer, i.e., one
who feigned to hold converse with the dead. The damsel with "a
spirit of divination" (Acts 16:16) was possessed by an evil
spirit, or, as the words are literally rendered, "having a
spirit, a pithon." The reference is to the heathen god Apollo,
who was regarded as the god of prophecy.
one of the most important products of Israel. The first
mention of it is in the history of Noah (Gen. 9:20). It is
afterwards frequently noticed both in the Old and New
Testaments, and in the ruins of terraced vineyards there are
evidences that it was extensively cultivated by the Jews. It was
cultivated in Israel before the Israelites took possession of
it. The men sent out by Moses brought with them from the Valley
of Eshcol a cluster of grapes so large that "they bare it
between two upon a staff" (Num. 13: 23). The vineyards of
En-gedi (Cant. 1:14), Heshbon, Sibmah, Jazer, Elealeh (Isa.
16:8-10; Jer. 48:32, 34), and Helbon (Ezek. 27:18), as well as
of Eshcol, were celebrated.
The Church is compared to a vine (Ps. 80:8), and Christ says
of himself, "I am the vine" (John 15:1). In one of his parables
also (Matt. 21:33) our Lord compares his Church to a vineyard
which "a certain householder planted, and hedged round about,"
Hos. 10:1 is rendered in the Revised Version, "Israel is a
luxuriant vine, which putteth forth his fruit," instead of
"Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself,"
of the Authorized Version.
separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew
_netser_, a "shoot" or "sprout." Some, however, think that the
name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill
behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Israel
is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew
_notserah_, i.e., one guarding or watching, thus designating the
hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region.
This city is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the
home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel
announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (1:26-28). Here
Jesus grew up from his infancy to manhood (4:16); and here he
began his public ministry in the synagogue (Matt. 13:54), at
which the people were so offended that they sought to cast him
down from the precipice whereon their city was built (Luke
4:29). Twice they expelled him from their borders (4:16-29;
Matt. 13:54-58); and he finally retired from the city, where he
did not many mighty works because of their unbelief (Matt.
13:58), and took up his residence in Capernaum.
Nazareth is situated among the southern ridges of Lebanon, on
the steep slope of a hill, about 14 miles from the Sea of
Galilee and about 6 west from Mount Tabor. It is identified with
the modern village en-Nazirah, of six or ten thousand
inhabitants. It lies "as in a hollow cup" lower down upon the
hill than the ancient city. The main road for traffic between
Egypt and the interior of Asia passed by Nazareth near the foot
of Tabor, and thence northward to Damascus.
It is supposed from the words of Nathanael in John 1:46 that
the city of Nazareth was held in great disrepute, either
because, it is said, the people of Galilee were a rude and less
cultivated class, and were largely influenced by the Gentiles
who mingled with them, or because of their lower type of moral
and religious character. But there seems to be no sufficient
reason for these suppositions. The Jews believed that, according
to Micah 5:2, the birth of the Messiah would take place at
Bethlehem, and nowhere else. Nathanael held the same opinion as
his countrymen, and believed that the great "good" which they
were all expecting could not come from Nazareth. This is
probably what Nathanael meant. Moreover, there does not seem to
be any evidence that the inhabitants of Galilee were in any
respect inferior, or that a Galilean was held in contempt, in
the time of our Lord. (See Dr. Merrill's Galilee in the Time of
The population of this city (now about 10,000) in the time of
Christ probably amounted to 15,000 or 20,000 souls.
"The so-called 'Holy House' is a cave under the Latin church,
which appears to have been originally a tank. The 'brow of the
hill', site of the attempted precipitation, is probably the
northern cliff: the traditional site has been shown since the
middle ages at some distance to the south. None of the
traditional sites are traceable very early, and they have no
authority. The name Nazareth perhaps means 'a watch tower' (now
en-Nasrah), but is connected in the New Testament with Netzer,
'a branch' (Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 3:8; 6:12; Matt. 2:23),
Nazarene being quite a different word from Nazarite."
the Greek form of the Hebrew "Jezreel," the name of the great
plain (called by the natives Merj Ibn Amer; i.e., "the meadow of
the son of Amer") which stretches across Central Israel from
the Jordan to the Mediterraanean, separating the mountain ranges
of Carmel and Samaria from those of Galilee, extending about 14
miles from north to south, and 9 miles from east to west. It is
drained by "that ancient river" the Kishon, which flows westward
to the Mediterranean. From the foot of Mount Tabor it branches
out into three valleys, that on the north passing between Tabor
and Little Hermon (Judg. 4:14); that on the south between Mount
Gilboa and En-gannim (2 Kings 9:27); while the central portion,
the "valley of Jezreel" proper, runs into the Jordan valley
(which is about 1,000 feet lower than Esdraelon) by Bethshean.
Here Gideon gained his great victory over the Midianites (Judg.
7:1-25). Here also Barak defeated Sisera, and Saul's army was
defeated by the Philistines, and king Josiah, while fighting in
disguise against Necho, king of Egypt, was slain (2 Chr.
35:20-27; 2 Kings 23-29). This plain has been well called the
"battle-field of Israel." "It has been a chosen place for
encampment in every contest carried on in this country, from the
days of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, in the history of
whose wars with Arphaxad it is mentioned as the Great Plain of
Esdraelon, until the disastrous march of Napoleon Bonaparte from
Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Crusaders,
Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs,
warriors out of every nation which is under heaven, have pitched
their tents in the plain, and have beheld the various banners of
their nations wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon" (Dr.
(1.) Heb. midhbar, denoting not a barren desert but a district
or region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle (Ps. 65:12;
Isa. 42:11; Jer. 23:10; Joel 1:19; 2:22); an uncultivated place.
This word is used of the wilderness of Beersheba (Gen. 21:14),
on the southern border of Israel; the wilderness of the Red
Sea (Ex. 13:18); of Shur (15:22), a portion of the Sinaitic
peninsula; of Sin (17:1), Sinai (Lev. 7:38), Moab (Deut. 2:8),
Judah (Judg. 1:16), Ziph, Maon, En-gedi (1 Sam. 23:14, 24;
24:1), Jeruel and Tekoa (2 Chr. 20:16, 20), Kadesh (Ps. 29:8).
"The wilderness of the sea" (Isa. 21:1). Principal Douglas,
referring to this expression, says: "A mysterious name, which
must be meant to describe Babylon (see especially ver. 9),
perhaps because it became the place of discipline to God's
people, as the wilderness of the Red Sea had been (comp. Ezek.
20:35). Otherwise it is in contrast with the symbolic title in
Isa. 22:1. Jerusalem is the "valley of vision," rich in
spiritual husbandry; whereas Babylon, the rival centre of
influence, is spiritually barren and as restless as the sea
(comp. 57:20)." A Short Analysis of the O.T.
(2.) Jeshimon, a desert waste (Deut. 32:10; Ps. 68:7).
(3.) 'Arabah, the name given to the valley from the Dead Sea
to the eastern branch of the Red Sea. In Deut. 1:1; 2:8, it is
rendered "plain" (R.V., "Arabah").
(4.) Tziyyah, a "dry place" (Ps. 78:17; 105:41).
(5.) Tohu, a "desolate" place, a place "waste" or "unoccupied"
(Deut. 32:10; Job 12:24; comp. Gen. 1:2, "without form"). The
wilderness region in the Sinaitic peninsula through which for
forty years the Hebrews wandered is generally styled "the
wilderness of the wanderings." This entire region is in the form
of a triangle, having its base toward the north and its apex
toward the south. Its extent from north to south is about 250
miles, and at its widest point it is about 150 miles broad.
Throughout this vast region of some 1,500 square miles there is
not a single river. The northern part of this triangular
peninsula is properly the "wilderness of the wanderings"
(et-Tih). The western portion of it is called the "wilderness of
Shur" (Ex. 15:22), and the eastern the "wilderness of Paran."
The "wilderness of Judea" (Matt. 3:1) is a wild, barren
region, lying between the Dead Sea and the Hebron Mountains. It
is the "Jeshimon" mentioned in 1 Sam. 23:19.
Judah, Tribe of
Judah and his three surviving sons went down with Jacob into
Egypt (Gen. 46:12; Ex. 1:2). At the time of the Exodus, when we
meet with the family of Judah again, they have increased to the
number of 74,000 males (Num. 1:26, 27). Its number increased in
the wilderness (26:22). Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, represented
the tribe as one of the spies (13:6; 34:19). This tribe marched
at the van on the east of the tabernacle (Num. 2:3-9; 10:14),
its standard, as is supposed, being a lion's whelp. Under Caleb,
during the wars of conquest, they conquered that portion of the
country which was afterwards assigned to them as their
inheritance. This was the only case in which any tribe had its
inheritance thus determined (Josh. 14:6-15; 15:13-19).
The inheritance of the tribe of Judah was at first fully
one-third of the whole country west of Jordan, in all about
2,300 square miles (Josh. 15). But there was a second
distribution, when Simeon received an allotment, about 1,000
square miles, out of the portion of Judah (Josh. 19:9). That
which remained to Judah was still very large in proportion to
the inheritance of the other tribes. The boundaries of the
territory are described in Josh. 15:20-63.
This territory given to Judah was divided into four sections.
(1.) The south (Heb. negeb), the undulating pasture-ground
between the hills and the desert to the south (Josh. 15:21.)
This extent of pasture-land became famous as the favourite
camping-ground of the old patriarchs. (2.) The "valley" (15:33)
or lowland (Heb. shephelah), a broad strip lying between the
central highlands and the Mediterranean. This tract was the
garden as well as the granary of the tribe. (3.) The
"hill-country," or the mountains of Judah, an elevated plateau
stretching from below Hebron northward to Jerusalem. "The towns
and villages were generally perched on the tops of hills or on
rocky slopes. The resources of the soil were great. The country
was rich in corn, wine, oil, and fruit; and the daring shepherds
were able to lead their flocks far out over the neighbouring
plains and through the mountains." The number of towns in this
district was thirty-eight (Josh. 15:48-60). (4.) The
"wilderness," the sunken district next the Dead Sea (Josh.
15:61), "averaging 10 miles in breadth, a wild, barren,
uninhabitable region, fit only to afford scanty pasturage for
sheep and goats, and a secure home for leopards, bears, wild
goats, and outlaws" (1 Sam. 17:34; 22:1; Mark 1:13). It was
divided into the "wilderness of En-gedi" (1 Sam. 24:1), the
"wilderness of Judah" (Judg. 1:16; Matt. 3:1), between the
Hebron mountain range and the Dead Sea, the "wilderness of Maon"
(1 Sam. 23:24). It contained only six cities.
Nine of the cities of Judah were assigned to the priests