camel-house, a city in the "plain country" of Moab denounced by
the prophet (Jer. 48:23); probably the modern Um-el-Jemal, near
Bozrah, one of the deserted cities of the Hauran.
house of the hollow, or of the cavern, the name of two towns or
villages (2 Chr. 8:5; 1 Chr. 7:24) in the territory of Ephraim,
on the way from Jerusalem to Joppa. They are distinguished as
Beth-horon "the upper" and Beth-horon "the nether." They are
about 2 miles apart, the former being about 10 miles north-west
of Jerusalem. Between the two places was the ascent and descent
of Beth-horon, leading from Gibeon down to the western plain
(Josh. 10:10, 11; 18:13, 14), down which the five kings of the
Amorites were driven by Joshua in that great battle, the most
important in which the Hebrews had been as yet engaged, being
their first conflict with their enemies in the open field.
Jehovah interposed in behalf of Israel by a terrific hailstorm,
which caused more deaths among the Canaanites than did the
swords of the Israelites. Beth-horon is mentioned as having been
taken by Shishak, B.C. 945, in the list of his conquests, and
the pass was the scene of a victory of Judas Maccabeus. (Compare
Ex. 9:19, 25; Job 38:22, 23; Ps. 18:12-14; Isa. 30:30.) The
modern name of these places is Beit-ur, distinguished by
el-Foka, "the upper," and el-Tahta, "the nether." The lower was
at the foot of the pass, and the upper, 500 feet higher, at the
top, west of Gibeon. (See GIBEON T0001480.)
meadow of dancing, or the dancing-meadow, the birthplace and
residence of the prophet Elisha, not far from Beth-shean (1
Kings 4:12), in the tribe of Issachar, near where the Wady
el-Maleh emerges into the valley of the Jordan, "the rich
meadow-land which extends about 4 miles south of Beth-shean;
moist and luxuriant." Here Elisha was found at his plough by
Elijah on his return up the Jordan valley from Horeb (1 Kings
19:16). It is now called 'Ain Helweh.
a precipice, an ancient royal Canaanite city (Josh. 10:33;
12:12). It was allotted with its suburbs to the Kohathite
Levites (21:21; 1 Chr. 6:67). It stood between the lower
Beth-horon and the sea (Josh. 16:3; 1 Kings 9:17). It was the
last point to which David pursued the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:25;
1 Chr. 14:16) after the battle of Baal-perazim. The Canaanites
retained possession of it till the time of Solomon, when the
king of Egypt took it and gave it to Solomon as a part of the
dowry of the Egyptian princess whom he married (1 Kings
9:15-17). It is identified with Tell el-Jezer, about 10 miles
south-west of Beth-horon. It is mentioned in the Amarna tablets.
city of jaars; i.e., of woods or forests, a Gibeonite town
(Josh. 9:17) on the border of Benjamin, to which tribe it was
assigned (18:15, 28). The ark was brought to this place (1 Sam.
7:1, 2) from Beth-shemesh and put in charge of Abinadab, a
Levite. Here it remained till it was removed by David to
Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:2, 3, 12; 1 Chr. 15:1-29; compare Ps. 132). It
was also called Baalah (Josh. 15:9) and Kirjath-baal (60). It
has been usually identified with Kuriet el-'Enab (i.e., "city of
grapes"), among the hills, about 8 miles NE of 'Ain
Shems (i.e., Beth-shemesh). The opinion, however, that it is to
be identified with 'Erma, 4 miles east of 'Ain Shems, on the
edge of the valley of Sorek, seems to be better supported. (See
The words of Ps. 132:6, "We found it in the fields of the
wood," refer to the sojourn of the ark at Kirjath-jearim. "Wood"
is here the rendering of the Hebrew word "jaar", which is the
singular of "jearim".
meadow of the house of Maachah, a city in the north of
Israel, in the neighbourhood of Dan and Ijon, in the tribe of
Naphtali. It was a place of considerable strength and
importance. It is called a "mother in Israel", i.e., a
metropolis (2 Sam. 20:19). It was besieged by Joab (2 Sam.
20:14), by Benhadad (1 Kings 15:20), and by Tiglath-pileser (2
Kings 15:29) about B.C. 734. It is elsewhere called Abel-maim,
meadow of the waters, (2 Chr. 16:4). Its site is occupied by the
modern Abil or Abil-el-kamh, on a rising ground to the east of
the brook Derdarah, which flows through the plain of Huleh into
the Jordan, about 6 miles to the west-north-west of Dan.
lord of dwelling, a town of Reuben (Num. 32:38), called also
Beth-meon (Jer. 48:23) and Beth-baal-meon (Josh. 13:17). It is
supposed to have been the birthplace of Elisha. It is
identified with the modern M'ain, about 3 miles south-east of
house of Peor; i.e., "temple of Baal-peor", a place in Moab, on
the east of Jordan, opposite Jericho. It was in the tribe of
Reuben (Josh. 13:20; Deut. 3:29; 4:46). In the "ravine" or
valley over against Beth-peor Moses was probably buried (Deut.
house of the height; i.e., "mountain-house", one of the towns of
Gad, 3 miles east of Jordan, opposite Jericho (Josh. 13:27).
Probably the same as Beth-haran in Num. 32:36. It was called by
king Herod, Julias, or Livias, after Livia, the wife of
Augustus. It is now called Beit-haran.
(1 Sam. 5:2), or Beth-dagon, as elsewhere rendered (Josh.15: 41;
19:27), was the sanctuary or temple of Dagon.
The Beth-dagon of Josh. 15:41 was one of the cities of the
tribe of Judah, in the lowland or plain which stretches
westward. It has not been identified.
The Beth-dagon of Josh. 19:27 was one of the border cities of
That of 1 Chr. 10:10 was in the western half-tribe of
Manasseh, where the Philistines, after their victory at Gilboa,
placed Saul's head in the temple of their god. (Compare 1 Sam.
house of God. (1.) A place in Central Israel, about 10 miles
north of Jerusalem, at the head of the pass of Michmash and Ai.
It was originally the royal Canaanite city of Luz (Gen. 28:19).
The name Bethel was at first apparently given to the sanctuary
in the neighbourhood of Luz, and was not given to the city
itself till after its conquest by the tribe of Ephraim. When
Abram entered Canaan he formed his second encampment between
Bethel and Hai (Gen. 12:8); and on his return from Egypt he came
back to it, and again "called upon the name of the Lord" (13:4).
Here Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, had a vision of
the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose
top reached unto heaven (28:10, 19); and on his return he again
visited this place, "where God talked with him" (35:1-15), and
there he "built an altar, and called the place El-beth-el"
(q.v.). To this second occasion of God's speaking with Jacob at
Bethel, Hosea (12:4,5) makes reference.
In troublous times the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of
God (Judg. 20:18, 31; 21:2). Here the ark of the covenant was
kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the grandson of
Aaron (20:26-28). Here also Samuel held in rotation his court of
justice (1 Sam. 7:16). It was included in Israel after the
kingdom was divided, and it became one of the seats of the
worship of the golden calf (1 Kings 12:28-33; 13:1). Hence the
prophet Hosea (Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5, 8) calls it in contempt
Beth-aven, i.e., "house of idols." Bethel remained an abode of
priests even after the kingdom of Israel was desolated by the
king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:28, 29). At length all traces of the
idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah (2 Kings
23:15-18); and the place was still in existence after the
Captivity (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32). It has been identified with
the ruins of Beitin, a small village amid extensive ruins some 9
miles south of Shiloh.
(2.) Mount Bethel was a hilly district near Bethel (Josh.
16:1; 1 Sam. 13:2).
(3.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 8:17; 12:16).
house of apples, a town of Judah, now Tuffuh, 5 miles west of
Hebron (Josh. 15:53).
a city on the boundary of Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:2),
between Bethel and Beth-horon the nether.
occurs frequently as the appellation for a house, or
dwelling-place, in such compounds as the words immediately
sheep-house, a place to which the Israelites pursued the
Philistines west from Mizpeh (1 Sam. 7:11).
a town probably near Beth-horon. It derived its name from the
daughter of Ephraim (1 Chr. 7:24).
(Judg. 7:22), perhaps identical with Zereda or Zeredathah. Some
identify it with Zahrah, a place about 3 miles west of
house of response, one of the fenced cities of Naphtali (Josh.
19:38). It is perhaps identical with the modern village 'Ainata,
6 miles west of Kedesh.
house of answers, a city in the mountainous district of Judah
(Josh. 15:59). It has been identified with the modern
Beit-'Anun, about 3 miles northeast of Hebron.
the designation of Sanballat (Neh. 2:10, 19), a native of
Horonaim, or of one of the two Beth-horons, the "upper" or the
"nether," mentioned in Josh. 16:3,5.
house of Gilgal, a place from which the inhabitants gathered for
the purpose of celebrating the rebuilding of the walls on the
return exile (Neh. 12:29). (See GILGAL T0001489.)
house of two cakes of figs, a city of Moab, upon which Jeremiah
(48:22) denounced destruction. It is called also
Almon-diblathaim (Num. 33:46) and Diblath (Ezek. 6:14). (R.V.,
(R.V. Micah 1:10), house of dust. The Authorized Version reads
"in the house of Aphrah." This is probably the name of a town in
the Shephelah, or "low country," between Joppa and Gaza.
pure, a city on the east of Jordan (Num. 32:3); probably the
same as Beth-nimrah (Josh. 13:27). It has been identified with
the Nahr Nimrin, at one of the fords of Jordan, not far from
house of God's court, a place alluded to by Hosea (10:14) as the
scene of some great military exploit, but not otherwise
mentioned in Scripture. The Shalman here named was probably
Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:3).
a place on the west of the Sea of Galilee, mentioned only in
Mark 8:10. In the parallel passage it is said that Christ came
"into the borders of Magdala" (Matt. 15:39). It is plain, then,
that Dalmanutha was near Magdala, which was probably the Greek
name of one of the many Migdols (i.e., watch-towers) on the
western side of the lake of Gennesaret. It has been identified
in the ruins of a village about a mile from Magdala, in the
little open valley of 'Ain-el-Barideh, "the cold fountain,"
called el-Mejdel, possibly the "Migdal-el" of Josh. 19:38.
house of wastes, or deserts, a town near Abel-shittim, east of
Jordan, in the desert of Moab, where the Israelites encamped not
long before crossing the Jordan (Num. 33:49; A.V.,
"Bethjesimoth"). It was within the territory of Sihon, king of
the Amorites (Josh. 12:3).
Stream of Egypt
(Isa. 27:12), the Wady el-'Arish, called also "the river of
Egypt," R.V., "brook of Egypt" (Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4; 2 Kings
24:7). It is the natural boundary of Egypt. Occasionally in
winter, when heavy rains have fallen among the mountains inland,
it becomes a turbulent rushing torrent. The present boundary
between Egypt and Israel is about midway between el-'Arish
house of the desert, one of the six cities of Judah, situated in
the sunk valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea (Josh. 18:22). In
Josh. 15:61 it is said to have been "in the wilderness." It was
afterwards included in the towns of Benjamin. It is called
Arabah (Josh. 18:18).
house of Dagon. (1.) A city in the low country or plain of
Judah, near Philistia (Josh. 15:41); the modern Beit Degan,
about 5 miles from Lydda.
(2.) A city near the south-east border of Asher (Josh. 19:27).
It was a Philistine colony. It is identical with the modern
ruined village of Tell D'auk.
house of the unripe fig, a village on the Mount of Olives, on
the road from Jerusalem to Jericho (Matt. 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke
19:29), and very close to Bethany. It was the limit of a
Sabbath-day's journey from Jerusalem, i.e., 2,000 cubits. It has
been identified with the modern Kefr-et-Tur.
(2 Kings 10:12, 14; marg., "house of shepherds binding sheep."
R.V., "the shearing-house of the shepherds;" marg., "house of
gathering"), some place between Samaria and Jezreel, where Jehu
slew "two and forty men" of the royal family of Judah. The Heb.
word Beth-eked so rendered is supposed by some to be a proper
(Josh. 19:15), a town of Asher, has been identified with Kana el
Jelil. (See CANA T0000702.)
dark, (1 Chr. 13:5), the southwestern boundary of Canaan, the
Wady el-'Arish. (See SIHOR T0003428; NILE T0002730.)
house of nothingness; i.e., "of idols", a place in the mountains
of Benjamin, east of Bethel (Josh. 7:2; 18:12; 1 Sam. 13:5). In
Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5 it stands for "Bethel" (q.v.), and it is so
called because it was no longer the "house of God," but "the
house of idols," referring to the calves there worshipped.
house of the sun. (1.) A sacerdotal city in the tribe of Dan
(Josh. 21:16; 1 Sam. 6:15), on the north border of Judah (Josh.
15:10). It was the scene of an encounter between Jehoash, king
of Israel, and Amaziah, king of Judah, in which the latter was
made prisoner (2 Kings 14:11, 13). It was afterwards taken by
the Philistines (2 Chr. 28:18). It is the modern ruined Arabic
village 'Ain-shems, on the north-west slopes of the mountains of
Judah, 14 miles west of Jerusalem.
(2.) A city between Dothan and the Jordan, near the southern
border of Issachar (Josh. 19:22), 7 1/2 miles south of
Beth-shean. It is the modern Ain-esh-Shemsiyeh.
(3.) One of the fenced cities of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38),
between Mount Tabor and the Jordan. Now Khurbet Shema, 3 miles
west of Safed. But perhaps the same as No. 2.
(4.) An idol sanctuary in Egypt (Jer. 43:13); called by the
Greeks Heliopolis, and by the Egyptians On (q.v.), Gen. 41:45.
tower of God, a fortified city of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38),
supposed by some to be identical with Magdala (q.v.).
house of crossing, a place south of the scene of Gideon's
victory (Judg. 7:24). It was probably the chief ford of the
Jordan in that district, and may have been that by which Jacob
crossed when he returned from Mesopotamia, near the Jabbok (Gen.
32:22), and at which Jephthah slew the Ephraimites (Judg. 12:4).
Nothing, however, is certainly known of it. (See BETHABARA
fountains, a city in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:50), now
el-Ghuwein, near Eshtemoh, about 10 miles south-west of Hebron.
New Hazor, a city in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:25). It is
probably identified with the ruins of el-Hazzarah, near Beit
frankincense, a town near Shiloh, on the north side of Bethel
(Judg. 21:19). It has been identified with el-Lubban, to the
south of Nablus.
tower of fortune, a town in the plains of Judah, probably the
modern el-Mejdel, a little to the NE of Ascalon (Josh.
fatness, a town of Asher lying within the unconquered Phoenician
border (Judg. 1:31), north-west of the Sea of Galilee; commonly
identified with Giscala, now el-Jish.
God of Bethel, the name of the place where Jacob had the vision
of the ladder, and where he erected an altar (Gen. 31:13; 35:7).
city, a city belonging to Benjamin (Josh. 18:28), the modern
Kuriet el-'Enab, i.e., "city of grapes", about 7 1/2 miles
west-north-west of Jerusalem.
nothingness; vanity. (1.) Hosea speaks of the "high places of
Aven" (10:8), by which he means Bethel. He also calls it
Beth-aven, i.e., "the house of vanity" (4:15), on account of the
golden calves Jeroboam had set up there (1 Kings 12:28).
(2.) Translated by the LXX. "On" in Ezek. 30:17. The Egyptian
Heliopolis or city of On (q.v.).
(3.) In Amos 1:5 it denotes the Syrian Heliopolis, the modern
plain, in the Revised Version of 2 Kings 14:25; Josh. 3:16;
8:14; 2 Sam. 2:29; 4:7 (in all these passages the A.V. has
"plain"); Amos 6:14 (A.V. "wilderness"). This word is found in
the Authorized Version only in Josh. 18:18. It denotes the
hollow depression through which the Jordan flows from the Lake
of Galilee to the Dead Sea. It is now called by the Arabs
el-Ghor. But the Ghor is sometimes spoken of as extending 10
miles south of the Dead Sea, and thence to the Gulf of Akabah on
the Red Sea is called the Wady el-Arabah.
hot baths, a village "three-score furlongs" from jerusalem,
where our Lord had an interview with two of his disciples on the
day of his resurrection (Luke 24:13). This has been identified
with the modern el-Kubeibeh, lying over 7 miles north-west of
Jerusalem. This name, el-Kubeibeh, meaning "little dome," is
derived from the remains of the Crusaders' church yet to be
found there. Others have identified it with the modern Khurbet
Khamasa i.e., "the ruins of Khamasa", about 8 miles south-west
of Jerusalem, where there are ruins also of a Crusaders' church.
Its site, however has been much disputed.
tin, or white, a town in the tribe of Issachar (Josh. 19:20), at
the north of the plain of Esdraelon. It is probably identified
with the ruins of el-Beida.
birth, a city in the south of Judah which fell to Simeon (Josh.
15:21-26; 19:2). It has been identified with the modern el-Milh,
10 miles east of Beersheba.
and Aij'alon, place of deer. (1.) A town and valley originally
assigned to the tribe of Dan, from which, however, they could
not drive the Amorites (Judg. 1:35). It was one of the Levitical
cities given to the Kohathites (1 Chr. 6:69). It was not far
from Beth-shemesh (2 Chr. 28:18). It was the boundary between
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and is frequently mentioned in
Jewish history (2 Chr. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31; 1 Chr. 8:13). With
reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the
celebrated command, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon; and thou,
Moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Josh. 10:12). It has been
identified as the modern Yalo, at the foot of the Beth-horon
pass (q.v.). In the Tell Amarna letters Adoni-zedek (q.v.)
speaks of the destruction of the "city of Ajalon" by the
invaders, and describes himself as "afflicted, greatly
afflicted" by the calamities that had come on the land, urging
the king of Egypt to hasten to his help.
(2.) A city in the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:12), the modern
Jalun, three miles north of Cabul.
pointed, a place in the tribe of Benjamin near Lydda, or Lod,
and Ono (Ezra 2:33; Neh. 7:37). It is identified with the modern
el-Haditheh, 3 miles east of Lydda.
champion of El; man of God, a descendant of Cain (Gen. 4:18), so
called, perhaps, to denote that even among the descendants of
Cain God had not left himself without a witness.
house of a vineyard, a place in the tribe of Judah (Neh. 3:14)
where the Benjamites were to set up a beacon when they heard the
trumpet against the invading army of the Babylonians (Jer. 6:1).
It is probable that this place is the modern 'Ain Karim, or
"well of the vineyards," near which there is a ridge on which
are cairns which may have served as beacons of old, one of which
is 40 feet high and 130 in diameter.
cisterns, (rendered "pits," Jer. 14:3; "locusts," Isa. 33:4), a
small place north of Jerusalem, whose inhabitants fled at the
approach of the Assyrian army (Isa. 10:31). It is probably the
dunghill, the modern el-Minyay, 15 miles south-south-west of
Gaza (Josh. 15:31; 1 Chr. 2:49), in the south of Judah. The Pal.
Mem., however, suggest Umm Deimneh, 12 miles NE of
Beersheba, as the site.
possession, a city in the plain of Judah (John. 15:44). Here Asa
defeated Zerah the Ethiopian (2 Chr. 14:9, 10). It is identified
with the ruin el-Mer'ash, about 1 1/2 mile south of Beit Jibrin.
wandering, (Ezek. 27:8), a small island and city on the coast of
Syria, mentioned as furnishing mariners and soldiers for Tyre.
The inhabitants were called Arvadites. The name is written
Aruada or Arada in the Tell-el-Amarna tablets.
a ruin, a city of Naphtali, captured by Ben-hadad of Syria at
the instance of Asa (1 Kings 15:20), and afterwards by
Tiglath-pileser of Assyria (2 Kings 15:29) in the reign of
Pekah; now el-Khiam.
double city, a town of Naphali, assigned to the Gershonite
Levites, and one of the cities of refuge (Josh. 21:32). It was
probably near the north-western shore of the Sea of Tiberias,
identical with the ruined village el-Katanah.
mighty one; God of Israel, the name which Jacob gave to the
alter which he erected on the piece of land where he pitched his
tent before Shechem, and which he afterwards purchased from the
sons of Hamor (Gen. 33:20).
a lion. (1.) A city of the Sidonians, in the extreme north of
Israel (Judg. 18:7, 14); called also Leshem (Josh. 19:47) and
Dan (Judg. 18:7, 29; Jer. 8:16). It lay near the sources of the
Jordan, about 4 miles from Paneas. The restless and warlike
tribe of Dan (q.v.), looking out for larger possessions, invaded
this country and took Laish with its territory. It is identified
with the ruin Tell-el-Kady, "the mound of the judge," to the
north of the Waters of Merom (Josh. 11:5).
(2.) A place mentioned in Isa. 10:30. It has been supposed to
be the modern el-Isawiyeh, about a mile NE of Jerusalem.
(3.) The father of Phalti (1 Sam. 25:44).
wells, one of the four cities of the Hivites which entered by
fraud into a league with Joshua. It belonged to Benjamin (Josh.
18:25). It has by some been identified with el-Bireh on the way
to Nablus, 10 miles north of Jerusalem.
founded by God, a "desert" on the ascent from the valley of the
Dead Sea towards Jerusalem. It lay beyond the wilderness of
Tekoa, in the direction of Engedi (2 Chr. 20:16, 20). It
corresponds with the tract of country now called el-Hasasah.
a city of Bashan, in the kingdom of Og (Deut. 1:4; Josh. 12:4;
13:12; 9:10). It was in the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh.
13:12), and as a Levitical city was given to the Gershonites (1
Chr. 6:71). Uzzia, one of David's valiant men (1 Chr. 11:44), is
named as of this city. It is identified with Tell Ashterah, in
the Hauran, and is noticed on monuments B.C. 1700-1500. The name
Beesh-terah (Josh. 21:27) is a contraction for Beth-eshterah,
i.e., "the house of Ashtaroth."
street; broad place. (1.) The father of Hadadezer, king of Tobah
(2 Sam. 8:3, 12).
(2.) Neh. 10:11.
(3.) The same, probably, as Beth-rehob (2 Sam. 10:6, 8; Judg.
18:28), a place in the north of Israel (Num. 13:21). It is
now supposed to be represented by the castle of Hunin,
south-west of Dan, on the road from Hamath into Coele-Syria.
(4.) A town of Asher (Josh. 19:28), to the east of Zidon.
(5.) Another town of Asher (Josh. 19:30), kept possession of
by the Canaanites (Judg. 1:31).
ascent of the scorpions; i.e., "scorpion-hill", a pass on the
south-eastern border of Israel (Num. 34:4; Josh. 15:3). It is
identified with the pass of Sufah, entering Israel from the
great Wady el-Fikreh, south of the Dead Sea. (See AKRABBIM
a bond, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness
(Deut. 10:6), at the foot of Mount Hor. (Compare Num. 33:37, 38).
It has been identified with el-Tayibeh, a small fountain at the
bottom of the pass leading to the ascent of Mount Hor.
a place in Egypt mentioned only in Isa. 30:4 in connection with
a reproof given to the Jews for trusting in Egypt. It was
considered the same as Tahpanhes, a fortified town on the
eastern frontier, but has been also identified as
Ahnas-el-Medeeneh, 70 miles from Cairo.
=Zared, luxuriance; willow bush, a brook or valley communicating
with the Dead Sea near its southern extremity (Num. 21:12; Deut.
2:14). It is called the "brook of the willows" (Isa. 15:7) and
the "river of the wilderness" (Amos 6:14). It has been
identified with the Wady el-Aksy.
a town on the east of Jordan, on the top of one of the green
hills of Gilead, within the limits of the half tribe of
Manasseh, and in full view of Beth-shan. It is first mentioned
in connection with the vengeance taken on its inhabitants
because they had refused to come up to Mizpeh to take part with
Israel against the tribe of Benjamin (Judg. 21:8-14). After the
battles at Gibeah, that tribe was almost extinguished, only six
hundred men remaining. An expedition went against Jabesh-Gilead,
the whole of whose inhabitants were put to the sword, except
four hundred maidens, whom they brought as prisoners and sent to
"proclaim peace" to the Benjamites who had fled to the crag
Rimmon. These captives were given to them as wives, that the
tribe might be saved from extinction (Judg. 21).
This city was afterwards taken by Nahash, king of the
Ammonites, but was delivered by Saul, the newly-elected king of
Israel. In gratitude for this deliverance, forty years after
this, the men of Jabesh-Gilead took down the bodies of Saul and
of his three sons from the walls of Beth-shan, and after burning
them, buried the bones under a tree near the city (1 Sam.
31:11-13). David thanked them for this act of piety (2 Sam.
2:4-6), and afterwards transferred the remains to the royal
sepulchre (21:14). It is identified with the ruins of ed-Deir,
about 6 miles south of Pella, on the north of the Wady Yabis.
God has ascended, a place in the pastoral country east of
Jordan, in the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3, 37). It is not again
mentioned till the time of Isaiah (15:4; 16:9) and Jeremiah
(48:34). It is now an extensive ruin called el-A'al, about one
mile NE of Heshbon.
cities. (1.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:25). Judas
the traitor was probably a native of this place, and hence his
name Iscariot. It has been identified with the ruins of
el-Kureitein, about 10 miles south of Hebron. (See HAZOR
(2.) A city of Moab (Jer. 48:24, 41), called Kirioth (Amos
(correctly Shi'hor) black; dark the name given to the river Nile
in Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18. In Josh. 13:3 it is probably "the river
of Egypt", i.e., the Wady el-Arish (1 Chr. 13:5), which flows
"before Egypt", i.e., in a NEerly direction from Egypt,
and enters the sea about 50 miles south-west of Gaza.
upright. "The Book of Jasher," rendered in the LXX. "the Book of
the Upright One," by the Vulgate "the Book of Just Ones," was
probably a kind of national sacred song-book, a collection of
songs in praise of the heroes of Israel, a "book of golden
deeds," a national anthology. We have only two specimens from
the book, (1) the words of Joshua which he spake to the Lord at
the crisis of the battle of Beth-horon (Josh. 10:12, 13); and
(2) "the Song of the Bow," that beautiful and touching mournful
elegy which David composed on the occasion of the death of Saul
and Jonathan (2 Sam. 1:18-27).
wine-press of the well, a town of Lower Galilee, about 5 miles
from Nazareth; the birthplace of Jonah (2 Kings 14:25); the same
as Gittah-hepher (Josh. 19:13). It has been identified with the
modern el-Meshed, a village on the top of a rocky hill. Here the
supposed tomb of Jonah, Neby Yunas, is still pointed out.
smooth; bald, a hill at the southern extremity of Canaan (Josh.
11:17). It is referred to as if it were a landmark in that
direction, being prominent and conspicuous from a distance. It
has by some been identified with the modern Jebel el-Madura, on
the south frontier of Judah, between the south end of the Dead
Sea and the Wady Gaian.
ore of gold or silver. (1.) A city of the Reubenites; one of the
three cities of refuge on the east of Jordan (Deut. 4: 43; Josh.
20:8). It has been identified with the modern ruined village of
Burazin, some 12 miles north of Heshbon; also with
Kasur-el-Besheir, 2 miles south-west of Dibon.
(2.) A descendant of Asher (1 Chr. 7:37).
Mount of the congregation
only in Isa. 14:13, a mythic mountain of the Babylonians,
regarded by them as the seat of the gods. It was situated in the
far north, and in Babylonian inscriptions is described as a
mountain called Im-Kharasak, "the mighty mountain of Bel, whose
head reaches heaven, whose root is the holy deep." In their
geography they are said to have identified it with mount
El-wend, near Ecbatana.
Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the
"treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the
Israelites (Ex. 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek
historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified
with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20
east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez
Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of
supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this
was a great "store city." Its immense ruin-heaps show that it
was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw.
Succoth (Ex. 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name
of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first
halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been
argued (Dr. Lansing) that these "store" cities "were residence
cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings
of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build,
thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their
enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves."
ruins. (1.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh.
10:1; Gen. 12:8; 13:3). It was the scene of Joshua's defeat, and
afterwards of his victory. It was the second Canaanite city
taken by Israel (Josh. 7:2-5; 8:1-29). It lay rebuilt and
inhibited by the Benjamites (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; 11:31). It
lay to the east of Bethel, "beside Beth-aven." The spot which is
most probably the site of this ancient city is Haiyan, 2 miles
east from Bethel. It lay up the Wady Suweinit, a steep, rugged
valley, extending from the Jordan valley to Bethel.
(2.) A city in the Ammonite territory (Jer. 49:3). Some have
thought that the proper reading of the word is Ar (Isa. 15:1).
house of security or rest, a city which belonged to Manasseh (1
Chr. 7:29), on the west of Jordan. The bodies of Saul and his
sons were fastened to its walls. In Solomon's time it gave its
name to a district (1 Kings 4:12). The name is found in an
abridged form, Bethshan, in 1 Sam. 31:10, 12 and 2 Sam. 21:12.
It is on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, about 5 miles from
the Jordan, and 14 from the south end of the Lake of Gennesaret.
After the Captivity it was called Scythopolis, i.e., "the city
of the Scythians," who about B.C. 640 came down from the steppes
of Southern Russia and settled in different places in Syria. It
is now called Beisan.
pitching of tents; fastening down, a town of Judah, about 12
miles south of Jerusalem, and visible from the city. From this
place Joab procured a "wise woman," who pretended to be in great
affliction, and skilfully made her case known to David. Her
address to the king was in the form of an apologue, similar to
that of Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-6). The object of Joab was, by the
intervention of this woman, to induce David to bring back
Absalom to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 14:2, 4, 9).
This was also the birthplace of the prophet Amos (1:1).
It is now the village of Teku'a, on the top of a hill among
ruins, 5 miles south of Bethlehem, and close to Beth-haccerem
a city built by Herod the Great, and called by this name in
honour of his father, Antipater. It lay between Caesarea and
Lydda, two miles inland, on the great Roman road from Caesarea
to Jerusalem. To this place Paul was brought by night (Acts
23:31) on his way to Caesarea, from which it was distant 28
miles. It is identified with the modern, Ras-el-Ain, where rise
the springs of Aujeh, the largest springs in Israel.
mistress; city. (1.) A city in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:29),
elsewhere called Balah (Josh. 19:3) and Bilhah (1 Chr. 4:29).
Now Khurbet Zebalah.
(2.) A city on the northern border of the tribe of Judah
(Josh. 15:10), called also Kirjath-jearim, q.v. (15:9; 1 Chr.
13:6), now Kuriet-el-Enab, or as some think, 'Erma.
(3.) A mountain on the north-western boundary of Judah and Dan
swift, the southern boundary of the territory of Israel beyond
Jordan, separating it from the land of Moab (Deut. 3:8, 16).
This river (referred to twenty-four times in the Bible) rises in
the mountains of Gilead, and after a circuitous course of about
80 miles through a deep ravine it falls into the Dead Sea nearly
opposite Engedi. The stream is almost dry in summer. It is now
called el-Mujeb. The territory of the Amorites extended from the
Arnon to the Jabbok.
a torrent. (1.) Applied to small streams, as the Arnon, Jabbok,
etc. Isaiah (15:7) speaks of the "book of the willows," probably
the Wady-el-Asha. (2.) It is also applied to winter torrents
(Job 6:15; Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4, 47), and to the torrent-bed or
wady as well as to the torrent itself (Num. 13:23; 1 Kings
17:3). (3.) In Isa. 19:7 the river Nile is meant, as rendered in
the Revised Version.
swift, one of the rivers of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). It has been
identified with the 'Awaj, "a small lively river." The whole of
the district watered by the 'Awaj is called the Wady el-'Ajam,
i.e., "the valley of the Persians", so called for some unknown
reason. This river empties itself into the lake or marsh Bahret
Hijaneh, on the east of Damascus. One of its branches bears the
modern name of Wady Barbar, which is probably a corruption of
enclosure; fortress. (1.) The city of Jobab, one of the early
Edomite kings (Gen. 36:33). This place is mentioned by the
prophets in later times (Isa. 34:6; Jer. 49:13; Amos 1:12; Micah
2:12). Its modern representative is el-Busseireh. It lies in the
mountain district of Petra, 20 miles to the south-east of the
(2.) A Moabite city in the "plain country" (Jer. 48:24), i.e.,
on the high level down on the east of the Dead Sea. It is
probably the modern Buzrah.
full of stalks, a place (Judg. 10:5) where Jair was buried. It
has usually been supposed to have been a city of Gilead, on the
east of Jordan. It is probably, however, the modern
Tell-el-Kaimun, on the southern slopes of Carmel, the Jokneam of
Carmel (Josh. 12:22; 1 Kings 4:12), since it is not at all
unlikely that after he became judge, Jair might find it more
convenient to live on the west side of Jordan; and that he was
buried where he had lived.
two cities; a double city. (1.) A city of refuge in Naphtali (1
(2.) A town on the east of Jordan (Gen. 14:5; Deut. 2:9, 10).
It was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:37). In the time
of Ezekiel (25:9) it was one of the four cities which formed the
"glory of Moab" (compare Jer. 48:1, 23). It has been identified
with el-Kureiyat, 11 miles south-west of Medeba, on the south
slope of Jebel Attarus, the ancient Ataroth.
a garden of riches. (1.) A town of Naphtali, called Chinnereth
(Josh. 19:35), sometimes in the plural form Chinneroth (11:2).
In later times the name was gradually changed to Genezar and
Gennesaret (Luke 5:1). This city stood on the western shore of
the lake to which it gave its name. No trace of it remains. The
plain of Gennesaret has been called, from its fertility and
beauty, "the Paradise of Galilee." It is now called el-Ghuweir.
(2.) The Lake of Gennesaret, the Grecized form of CHINNERETH
(q.v.). (See GALILEE, SEA OF T0001418.)
transparency; whiteness. (1.) One of the stations of the
Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:20, 21).
(2.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites taken by Joshua
(Josh. 10:29-32; 12:15). It became one of the Levitical towns in
the tribe of Judah (21:13), and was strongly fortified.
Sennacherib laid siege to it (2 Kings 19:8; Isa. 37:8). It was
the native place of Hamutal, the queen of Josiah (2 Kings
23:31). It stood near Lachish, and has been identified with the
modern Arak el-Menshiyeh.
a tower, a town in Galilee, mentioned only in Matt. 15:39. In
the parallel passage in Mark 8:10 this place is called
Dalmanutha. It was the birthplace of Mary called the Magdalen,
or Mary Magdalene. It was on the west shore of the Lake of
Tiberias, and is now probably the small obscure village called
el-Mejdel, about 3 miles north-west of Tiberias. In the Talmud
this city is called "the city of colour," and a particular
district of it was called "the tower of dyers." The indigo plant
was much cultivated here.
the sea-port of Antioch, near the mouth of the Orontes. Paul and
his companions sailed from this port on their first missionary
journey (Acts 13:4). This city was built by Seleucus Nicator,
the "king of Syria." It is said of him that "few princes have
ever lived with so great a passion for the building of cities.
He is reputed to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen
Antiochs, and six Laodiceas." Seleucia became a city of great
importance, and was made a "free city" by Pompey. It is now a
small village, called el-Kalusi.
Sin, Wilderness of
lying between Elim and sinai (Ex. 16:1; compare Num. 33:11, 12).
This was probably the narrow plain of el-Markha, which stretches
along the eastern shore of the Red Sea for several miles toward
the promontory of Ras Mohammed, the southern extremity of the
Sinitic Peninsula. While the Israelites rested here for some
days they began to murmur on account of the want of nourishment,
as they had by this time consumed all the corn they had brought
with them out of Egypt. God heard their murmurings, and gave
them "manna" and then quails in abundance.
(Heb. shahaph), from a root meaning "to be lean; slender." This
bird is mentioned only in Lev. 11:16 and Deut. 14:15 (R.V.,
"seamew"). Some have interpreted the Hebrew word by "petrel" or
"shearwater" (Puffinus cinereus), which is found on the coast of
Syria; others think it denotes the "sea-gull" or "seamew." The
common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) feeds on reptiles and large
insects. It is found in Asia and Africa as well as in Europe. It
only passes the winter in Israel. The Arabs suppose it to
utter the cry "Yakub", and hence they call it "tir el-Yakub";
i.e., "Jacob's bird."
a vehicle moving on wheels, and usually drawn by oxen (2 Sam.
6:3). The Hebrew word thus rendered, "'agalah" (1 Sam. 6:7, 8),
is also rendered "wagon" (Gen. 45:19). It is used also to denote
a war-chariot (Ps. 46:9). Carts were used for the removal of the
ark and its sacred utensils (Num. 7:3, 6). After retaining the
ark amongst them for seven months, the Philistines sent it back
to the Israelites. On this occasion they set it in a new cart,
probably a rude construction, with solid wooden wheels like that
still used in Western Asia, which was drawn by two milch cows,
which conveyed it straight to Beth-shemesh.
A "cart rope," for the purpose of fastening loads on carts, is
used (Isa. 5:18) as a symbol of the power of sinful pleasures or
habits over him who indulges them. (See CORD T0000898.) In
Syria and Israel wheel-carriages for any other purpose than
the conveyance of agricultural produce are almost unknown.
house of bread. (1.) A city in the "hill country" of Judah. It
was originally called Ephrath (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7; Ruth 4:11).
It was also called Beth-lehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2),
Beth-lehem-judah (1 Sam. 17:12), and "the city of David" (Luke
2:4). It is first noticed in Scripture as the place where Rachel
died and was buried "by the wayside," directly to the north of
the city (Gen. 48:7). The valley to the east was the scene of
the story of Ruth the Moabitess. There are the fields in which
she gleaned, and the path by which she and Naomi returned to the
town. Here was David's birthplace, and here also, in after
years, he was anointed as king by Samuel (1 Sam. 16:4-13); and
it was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his heroes
brought water for him at the risk of their lives when he was in
the cave of Adullam (2 Sam. 23:13-17). But it was distinguished
above every other city as the birthplace of "Him whose goings
forth have been of old" (Matt. 2:6; compare Micah 5:2). Afterwards
Herod, "when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men," sent
and slew "all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all
the coasts thereof, from two years old and under" (Matt. 2:16,
18; Jer. 31:15).
Bethlehem bears the modern name of Beit-Lahm, i.e., "house of
flesh." It is about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, standing at an
elevation of about 2,550 feet above the sea, thus 100 feet
higher than Jerusalem.
There is a church still existing, built by Constantine the
Great (A.D. 330), called the "Church of the Nativity," over a
grotto or cave called the "holy crypt," and said to be the
"stable" in which Jesus was born. This is perhaps the oldest
existing Christian church in the world. Close to it is another
grotto, where Jerome the Latin father is said to have spent
thirty years of his life in translating the Scriptures into
Latin. (See VERSION T0003768.)
(2.) A city of Zebulun, mentioned only in Josh. 19:15. Now
Beit-Lahm, a ruined village about 6 miles west-north-west of
reedy, a town of Galilee, near Capernaum. Here our Lord wrought
his first miracle, the turning of water into wine (John 2:1-11;
4:46). It is also mentioned as the birthplace of Nathanael
(21:2). It is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It has been
identified with the modern Kana el-Jelil, also called Khurbet
Kana, a place 8 or 9 miles north of Nazareth. Others have
identified it with Kefr Kenna, which lies on the direct road to
the Sea of Galilee, about 5 miles NE of Nazareth, and 12
in a direct course from Tiberias. It is called "Cana of
Galilee," to distinguish it from Cana of Asher (Josh. 19:28).