house of the ford, a place on the east bank of the Jordan, where
John was baptizing (John 1:28). It may be identical with
Bethbarah, the ancient ford of Jordan of which the men of
Ephraim took possession (Judg. 7:24). The Revised Version reads
"Bethany beyond Jordan." It was the great ford, and still bears
the name of "the ford," Makhadhet 'Abarah, "the ford of crossing
over," about 25 miles from Nazareth. (See BETHBARAH T0000550.)
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
Judah upon Jordan
The Authorized Version, following the Vulgate, has this
rendering in Josh. 19:34. It has been suggested that, following
the Masoretic punctuation, the expression should read thus, "and
Judah; the Jordan was toward the sun-rising." The sixty cities
(Havoth-jair, Num. 32:41) on the east of Jordan were reckoned as
belonging to Judah, because Jair, their founder, was a Manassite
only on his mother's side, but on his father's side of the tribe
of Judah (1 Chr. 2:5, 21-23).
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).
Mount of the valley
(Josh. 13:19), a district in the east of Jordan, in the
territory of Reuben. The "valley" here was probably the Ghor or
valley of the Jordan, and hence the "mount" would be the hilly
region in the north end of the Dead Sea. (See ZARETH-SHAHAR
peaceful, a place near AEnon (q.v.), on the west of Jordan,
where John baptized (John 3:23). It was probably the Shalem
mentioned in Gen. 33:18, about 7 miles south of AEnon, at the
head of the great Wady Far'ah, which formed the northern
boundary of Judea in the Jordan valley.
of Jordan (Jer. 12:5), literally the "pride" of Jordan (as in
R.V.), i.e., the luxuriant thickets of tamarisks, poplars,
reeds, etc., which were the lair of lions and other beasts of
prey. The reference is not to the overflowing of the river
banks. (Compare 49:19; 50:44; Zech. 11:3).
Refuge, Cities of
were six in number (Num. 35). 1. On the west of Jordan were (1)
Kadesh, in Naphtali; (2) Shechem, in Mount Ephraim; (3) Hebron,
in Judah. 2. On the east of Jordan were, (1) Golan, in Bashan;
(2) Ramoth-Gilead, in Gad; and (3) Bezer, in Reuben. (See under
each of these names.)
meadow of the acacias, frequently called simply "Shittim" (Num.
25:1; Josh. 2:1; Micah 6:5), a place on the east of Jordan, in
the plain of Moab, nearly opposite Jericho. It was the
forty-second encampment of the Israelites, their last
resting-place before they crossed the Jordan (Num. 33:49; 22:1;
26:3; 31:12; compare 25:1; 31:16).
Israel is a hilly country (Deut. 3:25; 11:11; Ezek. 34:13).
West of Jordan the mountains stretch from Lebanon far down into
Galilee, terminating in Carmel. The isolated peak of Tabor rises
from the elevated plain of Esdraelon, which, in the south, is
shut in by hills spreading over the greater part of Samaria. The
mountains of Western and Middle Israel do not extend to the
sea, but gently slope into plains, and toward the Jordan fall
down into the Ghor.
East of the Jordan the Anti-Lebanon, stretching south,
terminates in the hilly district called Jebel Heish, which
reaches down to the Sea of Gennesareth. South of the river
Hieromax there is again a succession of hills, which are
traversed by wadies running toward the Jordan. These gradually
descend to a level at the river Arnon, which was the boundary of
the ancient trans-Jordanic territory toward the south.
The composition of the Palestinian hills is limestone, with
occasional strata of chalk, and hence the numerous caves, some
of large extent, found there.
fragrance, a town of Reuben, east of Jordan (Num. 32:38).
Heb. Yarden, "the descender;" Arab. Nahr-esh-Sheriah, "the
watering-place" the chief river of Israel. It flows from
north to south down a deep valley in the centre of the country.
The name descender is significant of the fact that there is
along its whole course a descent to its banks; or it may simply
denote the rapidity with which it "descends" to the Dead Sea.
It originates in the snows of Hermon, which feed its perennial
fountains. Two sources are generally spoken of. (1.) From the
western base of a hill on which once stood the city of Dan, the
northern border-city of Israel, there gushes forth a
considerable fountain called the Leddan, which is the largest
fountain in Syria and the principal source of the Jordan. (2.)
Beside the ruins of Banias, the ancient Caesarea Philippi and
the yet more ancient Panium, is a lofty cliff of limestone, at
the base of which is a fountain. This is the other source of the
Jordan, and has always been regarded by the Jews as its true
source. It rushes down to the plain in a foaming torrent, and
joins the Leddan about 5 miles south of Dan (Tell-el-Kady). (3.)
But besides these two historical fountains there is a third,
called the Hasbany, which rises in the bottom of a valley at the
western base of Hermon, 12 miles north of Tell-el-Kady. It joins
the main stream about a mile below the junction of the Leddan
and the Banias. The river thus formed is at this point about 45
feet wide, and flows in a channel from 12 to 20 feet below the
plain. After this it flows, "with a swift current and a
much-twisted course," through a marshy plain for some 6 miles,
when it falls into the Lake Huleh, "the waters of Merom" (q.v.).
During this part of its course the Jordan has descended about
1,100 feet. At Banias it is 1,080 feet above sea-level. Flowing
from the southern extremity of Lake Huleh, here almost on a
level with the sea, it flows for 2 miles "through a waste of
islets and papyrus," and then for 9 miles through a narrow gorge
in a foaming torrent onward to the Sea of Galilee (q.v.).
"In the whole valley of the Jordan from the Lake Huleh to the
Sea of Galilee there is not a single settled inhabitant. Along
the whole eastern bank of the river and the lakes, from the base
of Hermon to the ravine of Hieromax, a region of great
fertility, 30 miles long by 7 or 8 wide, there are only some
three inhabited villages. The western bank is almost as
desolate. Ruins are numerous enough. Every mile or two is an old
site of town or village, now well nigh hid beneath a dense
jungle of thorns and thistles. The words of Scripture here recur
to us with peculiar force: 'I will make your cities waste, and
bring your sanctuaries unto desolation...And I will bring the
land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall
be astonished at it...And your land shall be desolate, and your
cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as
it lieth desolate' (Lev. 26:31-34).", Dr. Porter's Handbook.
From the Sea of Galilee, at the level of 682 feet below the
Mediterranean, the river flows through a long, low plain called
"the region of Jordan" (Matt. 3:5), and by the modern Arabs the
Ghor, or "sunken plain." This section is properly the Jordan of
Scripture. Down through the midst of the "plain of Jordan" there
winds a ravine varying in breadth from 200 yards to half a mile,
and in depth from 40 to 150 feet. Through it the Jordan flows in
a rapid, rugged, tortuous course down to the Dead Sea. The whole
distance from the southern extremity of the Sea of Galilee to
the Dead Sea is in a straight line about 65 miles, but following
the windings of the river about 200 miles, during which it falls
618 feet. The total length of the Jordan from Banias is about
104 miles in a straight line, during which it falls 2,380 feet.
There are two considerable affluents which enter the river
between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, both from the east.
(1.) The Wady Mandhur, called the Yarmuk by the Rabbins and the
Hieromax by the Greeks. It formed the boundary between Bashan
and Gilead. It drains the plateau of the Hauran. (2.) The Jabbok
or Wady Zerka, formerly the northern boundary of Ammon. It
enters the Jordan about 20 miles north of Jericho.
The first historical notice of the Jordan is in the account of
the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen. 13:10). "Lot beheld the
plain of Jordan as the garden of the Lord." Jacob crossed and
recrossed "this Jordan" (32:10). The Israelites passed over it
as "on dry ground" (Josh. 3:17; Ps. 114:3). Twice afterwards its
waters were miraculously divided at the same spot by Elijah and
Elisha (2 Kings 2:8, 14).
The Jordan is mentioned in the Old Testament about one hundred
and eighty times, and in the New Testament fifteen times. The
chief events in gospel history connected with it are (1) John
the Baptist's ministry, when "there went out to him Jerusalem,
and all Judaea, and were baptized of him in Jordan" (Matt. 3:6).
(2.) Jesus also "was baptized of John in Jordan" (Mark 1:9).
famous, a town in the tribe of Ephraim (Judg. 7:22), to the
south of Bethshean, near the Jordan.
decreed, a town near Zebulun, not far from Jordan, on the border
of Naphtali (Josh. 19:34). (See HELKATH T0001729.)
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.
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.
the height of Mizpeh or of the watch-tower (Josh. 13:26), a
place mentioned as one of the limits of Gad. There were two
Mizpehs on the east of the Jordan. This was the Mizpeh where
Jacob and Laban made a covenant, "Mizpeh of Gilead," called also
Galeed and Jegar-sahadutha. It has been identified with the
modern es-Salt, where the roads from Jericho and from Shechem to
Damascus unite, about 25 miles east of the Jordan and 13 south
of the Jabbok.
hiding-place, a town in the northern border of Ephraim and
Manasseh, and not far west of Jordan (Josh. 16:6; 17:7).
mentioned in the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:18; Deut.
14:16), is sometimes met with in the Jordan and the Sea of
young men, a place east of Jerusalem (2 Sam. 3:16; 19:16), on
the road to the Jordan valley. Here Shimei resided, who poured
forth vile abuse against David, and flung dust and stones at him
and his party when they were making their way down the eastern
slopes of Olivet toward Jordan (16:5); and here Jonathan and
Ahimaaz hid themselves (17:18).
With the exception of Shimei, Azmaveth, one of David's heroes,
is the only other native of the place who is mentioned (2 Sam.
23:31; 1 Chr. 11:33).
wandering, a city of Bashan assigned to the half tribe of
Manasseh (Deut. 3:10; Josh. 12:5; 13:11), identified with
Salkhad, about 56 miles east of Jordan.
denotes in Josh. 22:11, as is generally understood, the place
where the children of Israel passed over Jordan. The words "the
passage of" are, however, more correctly rendered "by the side
of," or "at the other side of," thus designating the position of
the great altar erected by the eastern tribes on their return
home. This word also designates the fords of the Jordan to the
south of the Sea of Galilee (Judg. 12:5, 6), and a pass or rocky
defile (1 Sam. 13:23; 14:4). "Passages" in Jer. 22:20 is in the
Revised Version more correctly "Abarim" (q.v.), a proper name.
man-killer, or sacrifice, one of the two kings who led the vast
host of the Midianites who invaded the land of Israel, and over
whom Gideon gained a great and decisive victory (Judg. 8). Zebah
and Zalmunna had succeeded in escaping across the Jordan with a
remnant of the Midianite host, but were overtaken at Karkor,
probably in the Hauran, and routed by Gideon. The kings were
taken alive and brought back across the Jordan; and confessing
that they had personally taken part in the slaughter of Gideon's
brothers, they were put to death (compare 1 Sam. 12:11; Isa.
10:26; Ps. 83:11).
a cutting; separation; a gorge, a torrent-bed or winter-stream,
a "brook," in whose banks the prophet Elijah hid himself during
the early part of the three years' drought (1 Kings 17:3, 5). It
has by some been identified as the Wady el-Kelt behind Jericho,
which is formed by the junction of many streams flowing from the
mountains west of Jericho. It is dry in summer. Travellers have
described it as one of the wildest ravines of this wild region,
and peculiarly fitted to afford a secure asylum to the
persecuted. But if the prophet's interview with Ahab was in
Samaria, and he thence journeyed toward the east, it is probable
that he crossed Jordan and found refuge in some of the ravines
of Gilead. The "brook" is said to have been "before Jordan,"
which probably means that it opened toward that river, into
which it flowed. This description would apply to the east as
well as to the west of Jordan. Thus Elijah's hiding-place may
have been the Jermuk, in the territory of the half-tribe of
woodland Dan, a place probably somewhere in the direction of
Dan, near the sources of the Jordan (2 Sam. 24:6). The LXX. and
the Vulgate read "Dan-ja'ar", i.e., "Dan in the forest."
Oreb, The rock of
the place where Gideon slew Oreb after the defeat of the
Midianites (Judg. 7:25; Isa. 10:26). It was probably the place
now called Orbo, on the east of Jordan, near Bethshean.
a place in the plain of Jordan; the same as Zarthan (2 Chr.
4:17; 1 Kings 7:46). Here Solomon erected the foundries in which
Hiram made the great castings of bronze for the temple.
meadow of Egypt, or mourning of Egypt, a place "beyond," i.e.,
on the west of Jordan, at the "threshing-floor of Atad." Here
the Egyptians mourned seventy days for Jacob (Gen. 50:4-11). Its
site is unknown.
heights of Baal, a place on the river Arnon, or in the plains
through which it flows, east of Jordan (Josh. 13:17; compare Num.
21:28). It has been supposed to be the same place as Bamoth.
an event recorded in Gen. 7 and 8. (See DELUGE T0001011.) In
Josh. 24:2, 3, 14, 15, the word "flood" (R.V., "river") means
the river Euphrates. In Ps. 66:6, this word refers to the river
gathering of the people, a city of Ephraim, which was given with
its suburbs to the Levites (1 Chr. 6:68). It lay somewhere in
the Jordan valley (1 Kings 4:12, R.V.; but in A.V. incorrectly
hidden, or hollow, a town east of Jordan (Num. 32:35), built by
the children of Gad. This word should probably be joined with
the word preceding it in this passage, Atroth-Shophan, as in the
the broken or divided place, a district in the Arabah or Jordan
valley, on the east of the river (2 Sam. 2:29). It was probably
the designation of the region in general, which is broken and
intersected by ravines.
foundation, a place in the open desert wastes on the east of
Jordan (Judg. 8:10), not far beyond Succoth and Penuel, to the
south. Here Gideon overtook and routed a fugitive band of
Midianites under Zeba and Zalmunna, whom he took captive.
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.
brother of liberality = liberal, one of the twelve commissariat
officers appointed by Solomon in so many districts of his
kingdom to raise supplies by monthly rotation for his household.
He was appointed to the district of Mahanaim (1 Kings 4:14),
east of Jordan.
place of abundance, a place on the east of Jordan and west of
the Euphrates where David gained a great victory over the Syrian
army (2 Sam. 10:16), which was under the command of Shobach.
Some would identify it with Alamatta, near Nicephorium.
mentioned along with serpents (Deut. 8:15). Used also
figuratively to denote wicked persons (Ezek. 2:6; Luke 10:19);
also a particular kind of scourge or whip (1 Kings 12:11).
Scorpions were a species of spider. They abounded in the Jordan
a place near Succoth, in the plain of the Jordan, "in the clay
ground," near which Hiram cast the brazen utensils for the
temple (1 Kings 7:46); probably the same as Zartan. It is also
called Zeredathah (2 Chr. 4:17). (See ZEREDA T0003909.)
press of the pomegranate. (1.) A Levitical city in the tribe of
Dan (Josh. 19:45; 21:24; 1 Chr. 6:69).
(2.) Another city of the same name in Manasseh, west of the
Jordan (Josh. 21:25), called also Bileam (1 Chr. 6:70).
the land of the newly inhabited, (2 Sam. 24:6). It is
conjectured that, instead of this word, the reading should be,
"the Hittites of Kadesh," the Hittite capital, on the Orontes.
It was apparently some region east of the Jordan and north of
a rugged region, corresponds to the Heb. Argob (q.v.), the Greek
name of a region on the east of Jordan (Luke 3:1); one of the
five Roman provinces into which that district was divided. It
was in the tetrarchy of Philip, and is now called the Lejah.
Adam, the city of
is referred to in Josh. 3:16. It stood "beside Zarethan," on the
west bank of Jordan (1 Kings 4:12). At this city the flow of the
water was arrested and rose up "upon an heap" at the time of the
Israelites' passing over (Josh. 3:16).
springs, a place near Salim where John baptized (John 3:23). It
was probably near the upper source of the Wady Far'ah, an open
valley extending from Mount Ebal to the Jordan. It is full of
springs. A place has been found called 'Ainun, four miles north
of the springs.
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.
to whom God is might. (1.) A chief of Manasseh, on the east of
Jordan (1 Chr. 5:24).
(2.) A Gadite who joined David in the hold at Ziklag (1 Chr.
(3.) One of the overseers of the offerings in the reign of
Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:13).
Ephraim in the wilderness
(John 11: 54), a town to which our Lord retired with his
disciples after he had raised Lazarus, and when the priests were
conspiring against him. It lay in the wild, uncultivated
hill-country to the NE of Jerusalem, betwen the central
towns and the Jordan valley.
Ephraim, Wood of
a forest in which a fatal battle was fought between the army of
David and that of Absalom, who was killed there (2 Sam. 18:6,
8). It lay on the east of Jordan, not far from Mahanaim, and was
some part of the great forest of Gilead.
possession, or valley of God, one of the encampments of the
Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:19), on the confines of
Moab. This is identified with the ravine of the Zerka M'ain, the
ancient Callirhoe, the hot springs on the east of the Jordan,
not far from the Dead Sea.
crowns. (1.) A city east of Jordan, not far from Gilead (Num.
(2.) A town on the border of Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:2,
7), called also Ataroth-adar (16:5). Now ed-Da'rieh.
(3.) "Ataroth, the house of Joab" (1 Chr. 2:54), a town of
Judah inhabited by the descendants of Caleb.
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 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.
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.
or Jano'hah, rest. (1.) A town on the NEern border of
Ephraim, in the Jordan valley (Josh. 16:6, 7). Identified with
the modern Yanun, 8 miles south-east of Nablus.
(2.) A town of Northern Israel, within the boundaries of
Naphtali. It was taken by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 15:29).
house of fish. (1.) A town in Galilee, on the west side of the
sea of Tiberias, in the "land of Gennesaret." It was the native
place of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, and was frequently resorted
to by Jesus (Mark 6:45; John 1:44; 12:21). It is supposed to
have been at the modern 'Ain Tabighah, a bay to the north of
(2.) A city near which Christ fed 5,000 (Luke 9:10; compare John
6:17; Matt. 14:15-21), and where the blind man had his sight
restored (Mark 8:22), on the east side of the lake, two miles up
the Jordan. It stood within the region of Gaulonitis, and was
enlarged by Philip the tetrarch, who called it "Julias," after
the emperor's daughter. Or, as some have supposed, there may
have been but one Bethsaida built on both sides of the lake,
near where the Jordan enters it. Now the ruins et-Tel.
witness, a word not found in the original Hebrew, nor in the
LXX. and Vulgate, but added by the translators in the Authorized
Version, also in the Revised Version, of Josh. 22:34. The words
are literally rendered: "And the children of Reuben and the
children of Gad named the altar. It is a witness between us that
Jehovah is God." This great altar stood probably on the east
side of the Jordan, in the land of Gilead, "over against the
land of Canaan." After the division of the Promised Land, the
tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, on
returning to their own settlements on the east of Jordan (Josh.
22:1-6), erected a great altar, which they affirmed, in answer
to the challenge of the other tribes, was not for sacrifice, but
only as a witness ('Ed) or testimony to future generations that
they still retained the same interest in the nation as the other
union. (1.) A descendant of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:10), his
(2.) The son of Gera, of the tribe of Benjamin (Judg. 3:15).
After the death of Othniel the people again fell into idolatry,
and Eglon, the king of Moab, uniting his bands with those of the
Ammonites and the Amalekites, crossed the Jordan and took the
city of Jericho, and for eighteen years held that whole district
in subjection, exacting from it an annual tribute. At length
Ehud, by a stratagem, put Eglon to death with a two-edged dagger
a cubit long, and routed the Moabites at the fords of the
Jordan, putting 10,000 of them to death. Thenceforward the land,
at least Benjamin, enjoyed rest "for fourscore years" (Judg.
3:12-30). (See QUARRIES T0003032 .) But in the south-west
the Philistines reduced the Israelites to great straits (Judg.
5:6). From this oppression Shamgar was raised up to be their
river, or an ear of corn. The tribes living on the east of
Jordan, separated from their brethren on the west by the deep
ravines and the rapid river, gradually came to adopt peculiar
customs, and from mixing largely with the Moabites, Ishmaelites,
and Ammonites to pronounce certain letters in such a manner as
to distinguish them from the other tribes. Thus when the
Ephraimites from the west invaded Gilead, and were defeated by
the Gileadites under the leadership of Jephthah, and tried to
escape by the "passages of the Jordan," the Gileadites seized
the fords and would allow none to pass who could not pronounce
"shibboleth" with a strong aspirate. This the fugitives were
unable to do. They said "sibboleth," as the word was pronounced
by the tribes on the west, and thus they were detected (Judg.
12:1-6). Forty-two thousand were thus detected, and
"Without reprieve, adjudged to death,
For want of well-pronouncing shibboleth."
Reuben, Tribe of
at the Exodus numbered 46,500 male adults, from twenty years old
and upwards (Num. 1:20, 21), and at the close of the wilderness
wanderings they numbered only 43,730 (26:7). This tribe united
with that of Gad in asking permission to settle in the "land of
Gilead," "on the other side of Jordan" (32:1-5). The lot
assigned to Reuben was the smallest of the lots given to the
trans-Jordanic tribes. It extended from the Arnon, in the south
along the coast of the Dead Sea to its northern end, where the
Jordan flows into it (Josh. 13:15-21, 23). It thus embraced the
original kingdom of Sihon. Reuben is "to the eastern tribes what
Simeon is to the western. 'Unstable as water,' he vanishes away
into a mere Arabian tribe. 'His men are few;' it is all he can
do 'to live and not die.' We hear of nothing beyond the
multiplication of their cattle in the land of Gilead, their
spoils of 'camels fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand' (1
Chr. 5:9, 10, 20, 21). In the great struggles of the nation he
never took part. The complaint against him in the song of
Deborah is the summary of his whole history. 'By the streams of
Reuben,' i.e., by the fresh streams which descend from the
eastern hills into the Jordan and the Dead Sea, on whose banks
the Bedouin chiefs met then as now to debate, in the 'streams'
of Reuben great were the 'desires'", i.e., resolutions which
were never carried out, the people idly resting among their
flocks as if it were a time of peace (Judg. 5:15, 16). Stanley's
Sinai and Israel.
All the three tribes on the east of Jordan at length fell into
complete apostasy, and the time of retribution came. God
"stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, and the spirit
of Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria," to carry them away, the
first of the tribes, into captivity (1 Chr. 5:25, 26).
earth, one of the five cities of the vale of Siddim (Gen.
10:19). It was destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24;
Deut. 29:23). It is supposed by some to be the same as the Adam
of Josh. 3:16, the name of which still lingers in Damieh, the
ford of Jordan. (See ZEBOIM T0003885.)
when used with reference to Jordan, signifies in the writings of
Moses the west side of the river, as he wrote on the east bank
(Gen. 50:10, 11; Deut. 1:1, 5; 3:8, 20; 4:46); but in the
writings of Joshua, after he had crossed the river, it means the
east side (Josh. 5:1; 12:7; 22:7).
Mention is frequently made of the fords of the Jordan (Josh.
2:7; Judg. 3:28; 12:5, 6), which must have been very numerous;
about fifty perhaps. The most notable was that of Bethabara.
Mention is also made of the ford of the Jabbok (Gen. 32:22), and
of the fords of Arnon (Isa. 16:2) and of the Euphrates (Jer.
(1.) The inhabitants of Geshur. They maintained friendly
relations with the Israelites on the east of Jordan (Josh. 12:5;
(2.) Another aboriginal people of Israel who inhabited the
south-west border of the land. Geshuri in Josh. 13:2 should be
"the Geshurite," not the Geshurites mentioned in ver. 11, 13,
but the tribe mentioned in 1 Sam. 27:8.
distribution, an Ammonitish town (Judg. 11:33) from which wheat
was exported to Tyre (Ezek. 27:17). It was probably somewhere in
the Mishor or table-land on the east of Jordan. There is a
gentle valley running for about 4 miles east of Dhiban called
Kurm Dhiban, "the vineyards of Dibon." Tristram supposes that
this may be the "vineyards" mentioned in Judg. (l.c.).
the wolf, one of the two leaders of the great Midianite host
which invaded Israel and was utterly routed by Gideon. The
division of that host, which attempted to escape across the
Jordan, under Oreb and Zeeb, was overtaken by the Ephraimites,
who, in a great battle, completely vanquished them, their
leaders being taken and slain (Judg. 7:25; Ps. 83:11; Isa.
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.
(1.) The fourth son of Ham (Gen. 10:6). His descendants were
under a curse in consequence of the transgression of his father
(9:22-27). His eldest son, Zidon, was the father of the
Sidonians and Phoenicians. He had eleven sons, who were the
founders of as many tribes (10:15-18).
(2.) The country which derived its name from the preceding.
The name as first used by the Phoenicians denoted only the
maritime plain on which Sidon was built. But in the time of
Moses and Joshua it denoted the whole country to the west of the
Jordan and the Dead Sea (Deut. 11:30). In Josh. 5:12 the LXX.
read, "land of the Phoenicians," instead of "land of Canaan."
The name signifies "the lowlands," as distinguished from the
land of Gilead on the east of Jordan, which was a mountainous
district. The extent and boundaries of Canaan are fully set
forth in different parts of Scripture (Gen. 10:19; 17:8; Num.
13:29; 34:8). (See CANAANITES T0000705, PALESTINE T0002828.)
height, a lake in Northern Israel through which the Jordan
flows. It was the scene of the third and last great victory
gained by Joshua over the Canaanites (Josh. 11:5-7). It is not
again mentioned in Scripture. Its modern name is Bakrat
el-Huleh. "The Ard el-Huleh, the centre of which the lake
occupies, is a nearly level plain of 16 miles in length from
north to south, and its breadth from east to west is from 7 to 8
miles. On the west it is walled in by the steep and lofty range
of the hills of Kedesh-Naphtali; on the east it is bounded by
the lower and more gradually ascending slopes of Bashan; on the
north it is shut in by a line of hills hummocky and irregular in
shape and of no great height, and stretching across from the
mountains of Naphtali to the roots of Mount Hermon, which towers
up at the NEern angle of the plain to a height of 10,000
feet. At its southern extremity the plain is similarly traversed
by elevated and broken ground, through which, by deep and narrow
clefts, the Jordan, after passing through Lake Huleh, makes its
rapid descent to the Sea of Galilee."
The lake is triangular in form, about 4 1/2 miles in length by
3 1/2 at its greatest breadth. Its surface is 7 feet above that
of the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by a morass, which is
thickly covered with canes and papyrus reeds, which are
impenetrable. Macgregor with his canoe, the Rob Roy, was the
first that ever, in modern times, sailed on its waters. (See
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
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).
hamlets of the enlightener a district in the east of Jordan.
(1.) Jair, the son of Manasseh, took some villages of Gilead and
called them by this name (Num. 32:41).
(2.) Again, it is said that Jair "took all the tract of
Argob," and called it Bashanhavoth-jair (Deut. 3:14). (See also
Josh. 13:30; 1 Kings 4:13; 1 Chr. 2:22, 23.)
lightning. (1.) The residence of Adoni-bezek, in the lot of
Judah (Judg. 1:5). It was in the mountains, not far from
Jerusalem. Probably the modern Bezkah, 6 miles south-east of
(2.) The place where Saul numbered the forces of Israel and
Judah (1 Sam. 11:8); somewhere in the centre of the country,
near the Jordan valley. Probably the modern Ibzik, 13 miles
NE of Shechem.
Stones were commonly used for buildings, also as memorials of
important events (Gen. 28:18; Josh. 24:26, 27; 1 Sam. 7:12,
etc.). They were gathered out of cultivated fields (Isa. 5:2;
compare 2 Kings 3:19). This word is also used figuratively of
believers (1 Pet. 2:4, 5), and of the Messiah (Ps. 118:22; Isa.
28:16; Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11, etc.). In Dan. 2:45 it refers
also to the Messiah. He is there described as "cut out of the
mountain." (See ROCK T0003148.)
A "heart of stone" denotes great insensibility (1 Sam. 25:37).
Stones were set up to commemorate remarkable events, as by
Jacob at Bethel (Gen. 28:18), at Padan-aram (35:4), and on the
occasion of parting with Laban (31:45-47); by Joshua at the
place on the banks of the Jordan where the people first "lodged"
after crossing the river (Josh. 6:8), and also in "the midst of
Jordan," where he erected another set of twelve stones (4:1-9);
and by Samuel at "Ebenezer" (1 Sam. 7:12).
a species of lizard which has the faculty of changing the colour
of its skin. It is ranked among the unclean animals in Lev.
11:30, where the Hebrew word so translated is "coah" (R.V.,
"land crocodile"). In the same verse the Hebrew "tanshemeth",
rendered in Authorized Version "mole," is in Revised Version
"chameleon," which is the correct rendering. This animal is very
common in Egypt and in the Holy Land, especially in the Jordan
graciously given. (1.) The son and successor of Nahash, king of
Moab. David's messengers, sent on an embassy of condolence to
him to Rabbah Ammon, his capital, were so grossly insulted that
he proclaimed war against Hanun. David's army, under the command
of Joab, forthwith crossed the Jordan, and gained a complete
victory over the Moabites and their allies (2 Sam. 10:1-14) at
(2.) Neh. 3:13. (3.) 3:30.
coolness; fragrance, a town in Reuben, in the territory of Moab,
on the east of Jordan (Josh. 13:19); called also Shebam and
Shibmah (Num. 32:3, 38). It was famous for its vines (Isa. 16:9;
Jer. 48:32). It has been identified with the ruin of Sumieh,
where there are rock-cut wine-presses. This fact explains the
words of the prophets referred to above. It was about 5 miles
east of Heshbon.
rolling. (1.) From the solemn transaction of the reading of the
law in the valley of Shechem between Ebal and Gerizim the
Israelites moved forward to Gilgal, and there made a permanent
camp (Josh. 9:6; 10:6). It was "beside the oaks of Moreh," near
which Abraham erected his first altar (Gen. 12:6, 7). This was
one of the three towns to which Samuel resorted for the
administration of justice (1 Sam. 7:16), and here also he
offered sacrifices when the ark was no longer in the tabernacle
at Shiloh (1 Sam. 10:8; 13:7-9). To this place, as to a central
sanctuary, all Israel gathered to renew their allegiance to Saul
(11:14). At a later period it became the scene of idolatrous
worship (Hos. 4:15; 9:15). It has been identified with the ruins
of Jiljilieh, about 5 miles south-west of Shiloh and about the
same distance from Bethel.
(2.) The place in "the plains of Jericho," "in the east border
of Jericho," where the Israelites first encamped after crossing
the Jordan (Josh. 4:19, 20). Here they kept their first Passover
in the land of Canaan (5:10) and renewed the rite of
circumcision, and so "rolled away the reproach" of their
Egyptian slavery. Here the twelve memorial stones, taken from
the bed of the Jordan, were set up; and here also the tabernacle
remained till it was removed to Shiloh (18:1). It has been
identified with Tell Jiljulieh, about 5 miles from Jordan.
(3.) A place, probably in the hill country of Ephraim, where
there was a school of the prophets (2 Kings 4:38), and whence
Elijah and Elisha, who resided here, "went down" to Bethel
(2:1,2). It is mentioned also in Deut. 11:30. It is now known as
Jiljilia, a place 8 miles north of Bethel.
regions beyond; i.e., on the east of Jordan, a mountain, or
rather a mountain-chain, over against Jericho, to the east and
south-east of the Dead Sea, in the land of Moab. From "the top
of Pisgah", i.e., Mount Nebo (q.v.), one of its summits, Moses
surveyed the Promised Land (Deut. 3:27; 32:49), and there he
died (34:1,5). The Israelites had one of their encampments in
the mountains of Abarim (Num. 33:47,48) after crossing the
lord of fortune, or troop of Baal, a Canaanite city in the
valley of Lebanon at the foot of Hermon, hence called
Baal-hermon (Judge. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23), near the source of the
Jordan (Josh. 13:5; 11:17; 12:7). It was the most northern point
to which Joshua's conquests extended. It probably derived its
name from the worship of Baal. Its modern representative is
Banias. Some have supposed it to be the same as Baalbec.
terrors, a warlike tribe of giants who were defeated by
Chedorlaomer and his allies in the plain of Kiriathaim. In the
time of Abraham they occupied the country east of Jordan,
afterwards the land of the Moabites (Gen. 14:5; Deut. 2:10).
They were, like the Anakim, reckoned among the Rephaim, and were
conquered by the Moabites, who gave them the name of Emims,
i.e., "terrible men" (Deut. 2:11). The Ammonites called them
exile, a city of Bashan (Deut. 4:43), one of the three cities of
refuge east of Jordan, about 12 miles NE of the Sea of
Galilee (Josh. 20:8). There are no further notices of it in
Scripture. It became the head of the province of Gaulanitis, one
of the four provinces into which Bashan was divided after the
Babylonish captivity, and almost identical with the modern
Jaulan, in Western Hauran, about 39 miles in length and 18 in
striking down. The whole country on the east of Jordan, from the
Arnon to the Jabbok, was possessed by the Amorites, whose king,
Sihon, refused to permit the Israelites to pass through his
territory, and put his army in array against them. The
Israelites went forth against him to battle, and gained a
complete victory. The Amorites were defeated; Sihon, his sons,
and all his people were smitten with the sword, his walled towns
were captured, and the entire country of the Amorites was taken
possession of by the Israelites (Num. 21:21-30; Deut. 2:24-37).
The country from the Jabbok to Hermon was at this time ruled
by Og, the last of the Rephaim. He also tried to prevent the
progress of the Israelites, but was utterly routed, and all his
cities and territory fell into the hands of the Israelites
(compare Num. 21:33-35; Deut. 3:1-14; Ps. 135: 10-12; 136:17-22).
These two victories gave the Israelites possession of the
country on the east of Jordan, from the Arnon to the foot of
Hermon. The kingdom of Sihon embraced about 1,500 square miles,
while that of Og was more than 3,000 square miles.
The earliest mention of city-building is that of Enoch, which
was built by Cain (Gen. 4:17). After the confusion of tongues,
the descendants of Nimrod founded several cities (10:10-12).
Next, we have a record of the cities of the Canaanites, Sidon,
Gaza, Sodom, etc. (10:12, 19; 11:3, 9; 36:31-39). The earliest
description of a city is that of Sodom (19:1-22). Damascus is
said to be the oldest existing city in the world. Before the
time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt (Num. 13:22). The
Israelites in Egypt were employed in building the "treasure
cities" of Pithom and Raamses (Ex. 1:11); but it does not seem
that they had any cities of their own in Goshen (Gen. 46:34;
47:1-11). In the kingdom of Og in Bashan there were sixty "great
cities with walls," and twenty-three cities in Gilead partly
rebuilt by the tribes on the east of Jordan (Num. 21:21, 32, 33,
35; 32:1-3, 34-42; Deut. 3:4, 5, 14; 1 Kings 4:13). On the west
of Jordan were thirty-one "royal cities" (Josh. 12), besides
many others spoken of in the history of Israel.
A fenced city was a city surrounded by fortifications and high
walls, with watch-towers upon them (2 Chr. 11:11; Deut. 3:5).
There was also within the city generally a tower to which the
citizens might flee when danger threatened them (Judg. 9:46-52).
A city with suburbs was a city surrounded with open
pasture-grounds, such as the forty-eight cities which were given
to the Levites (Num. 35:2-7). There were six cities of refuge,
three on each side of Jordan, namely, Kadesh, Shechem, Hebron,
on the west of Jordan; and on the east, Bezer, Ramoth-gilead,
and Golan. The cities on each side of the river were nearly
opposite each other. The regulations concerning these cities are
given in Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13; Ex. 21:12-14.
When David reduced the fortress of the Jebusites which stood
on Mount Zion, he built on the site of it a palace and a city,
which he called by his own name (1 Chr. 11:5), the city of
David. Bethlehem is also so called as being David's native town
Jerusalem is called the Holy City, the holiness of the temple
being regarded as extending in some measure over the whole city
Pithom and Raamses, built by the Israelites as "treasure
cities," were not places where royal treasures were kept, but
were fortified towns where merchants might store their goods and
transact their business in safety, or cities in which munitions
of war were stored. (See PITHOM T0002968.)
the name given by Greek writers of the second century to that
inland sea called in Scripture the "salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num.
34:12), the "sea of the plain" (Deut. 3:17), the "east sea"
(Ezek. 47:18; Joel 2:20), and simply "the sea" (Ezek. 47:8). The
Arabs call it Bahr Lut, i.e., the Sea of Lot. It lies about 16
miles in a straight line to the east of Jerusalem. Its surface
is 1,292 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. It
covers an area of about 300 square miles. Its depth varies from
1,310 to 11 feet. From various phenomena that have been
observed, its bottom appears to be still subsiding. It is about
53 miles long, and of an average breadth of 10 miles. It has no
outlet, the great heat of that region causing such rapid
evaporation that its average depth, notwithstanding the rivers
that run into it (see JORDAN T0002112), is maintained with
little variation. The Jordan alone discharges into it no less
than six million tons of water every twenty-four hours.
The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral
salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea-water; thus
they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most
abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But
terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan
show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of
Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters
were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead
Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that
time were much less salt.
Nothing living can exist in this sea. "The fish carried down
by the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live
in it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that
there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found
on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and
grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in
shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen
species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or
swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe
it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of
mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and
innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the
atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is
perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place
in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so
much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).", Geikie's
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.
denotes the estuary of the Dead Sea at the mouth of the Jordan
(Josh. 15:5; 18:19), also the southern extremity of the same sea
(15:2). The same Hebrew word is rendered "tongue" in Isa. 11:15,
where it is used with reference to the forked mouths of the
Bay in Zech. 6:3, 7 denotes the colour of horses, but the
original Hebrew means strong, and is here used rather to
describe the horses as fleet or spirited.
(Heb. hazir), regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred
of all animals (Lev. 11:7; Isa. 65:4; 66:3, 17; Luke 15:15, 16).
A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:32,
33). Spoken of figuratively in Matt. 7:6 (see Prov. 11:22). It
is frequently mentioned as a wild animal, and is evidently the
wild boar (Arab. khanzir), which is common among the marshes of
the Jordan valley (Ps. 80:13).
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.
increase, the eldest of Saul's two daughters (1 Sam. 14:49). She
was betrothed to David after his victory over Goliath, but does
not seem to have entered heartily into this arrangement (18:2,
17, 19). She was at length, however, married to Adriel of
Abel-Meholah, a town in the Jordan valley, about 10 miles south
of Bethshean, with whom the house of Saul maintained alliance.
She had five sons, who were all put to death by the Gibeonites
on the hill of Gibeah (2 Sam. 21:8).
a city on the northeast of the marshy plain of el-Huleh, 120
miles north of Jerusalem, and 20 miles north of the Sea of
Galilee, at the "upper source" of the Jordan, and near the base
of Mount Hermon. It is mentioned in Matt. 16:13 and Mark 8:27 as
the northern limit of our Lord's public ministry. According to
some its original name was Baal-Gad (Josh. 11:17), or
Baal-Hermon (Judg. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23), when it was a Canaanite
sanctuary of Baal. It was afterwards called Panium or Paneas,
from a deep cavern full of water near the town. This name was
given to the cavern by the Greeks of the Macedonian kingdom of
Antioch because of its likeness to the grottos of Greece, which
were always associated with the worship of their god Pan. Its
modern name is Banias. Here Herod built a temple, which he
dedicated to Augustus Caesar. This town was afterwards enlarged
and embellished by Herod Philip, the tetrarch of Trachonitis, of
whose territory it formed a part, and was called by him Caesarea
Philippi, partly after his own name, and partly after that of
the emperor Tiberius Caesar. It is thus distinguished from the
Caesarea of Israel. (See JORDAN T0002112.)
intelligence, a city ruled over by Sihon, king of the Amorites
(Josh. 3:10; 13:17). It was taken by Moses (Num. 21:23-26), and
became afterwards a Levitical city (Josh. 21:39) in the tribe of
Reuben (Num. 32:37). After the Exile it was taken possession of
by the Moabites (Isa. 15:4; Jer. 48:2, 34, 45). The ruins of
this town are still seen about 20 miles east of Jordan from the
north end of the Dead Sea. There are reservoirs in this
district, which are probably the "fishpools" referred to in
When the Hebrews crossed the Jordan, as soon as the feet of the
priests were dipped in the water, the flow of the stream was
arrested. The point of arrest was the "city of Adam beside
Zaretan," probably near Succoth, at the mouth of the Jabbok,
some 30 miles up the river from where the people were encamped.
There the water "stood and rose upon an heap." Thus the whole
space of 30 miles of the river-bed was dry, that the tribes
might pass over (Josh. 3:16, 17; compare Ps. 104:3).
(1.) Heb. 'arabim (Lev. 23:40; Job 40:22; Isa. 15:7; 44:3, 4;
Ps. 137:1, 2). This was supposed to be the weeping willow,
called by Linnaeus Salix Babylonica, from the reference in Ps.
137. This tree is frequently found "on the coast, overhanging
wells and pools. There is a conspicuous tree of this species
over a pond in the plain of Acre, and others on the Phoenician
plain." There are several species of the salix in Israel, but
it is not indigenous to Babylonia, nor was it cultivated there.
Some are of opinion that the tree intended is the tamarisk or
(2.) Heb. tzaphtzaphah (Ezek. 17:5), called by the Arabs the
safsaf, the general name for the willow. This may be the Salix
AEgyptica of naturalists.
Tristram thinks that by the "willow by the water-courses," the
Nerium oleander, the rose-bay oleander, is meant. He says, "It
fringes the Upper Jordan, dipping its wavy crown of red into the
spray in the rapids under Hermon, and is nutured by the oozy
marshes in the Lower Jordan nearly as far as to Jericho...On the
Arnon, on the Jabbok, and the Yarmuk it forms a continuous
fringe. In many of the streams of Moab it forms a complete
screen, which the sun's rays can never penetrate to evaporate
the precious moisture. The wild boar lies safely ensconced under
its impervious cover."
fortune; luck. (1.) Jacob's seventh son, by Zilpah, Leah's
handmaid, and the brother of Asher (Gen. 30:11-13; 46:16, 18).
In the Authorized Version of 30:11 the words, "A troop cometh:
and she called," etc., should rather be rendered, "In fortune
[R.V., 'Fortunate']: and she called," etc., or "Fortune cometh,"
The tribe of Gad during the march through the wilderness had
their place with Simeon and Reuben on the south side of the
tabernacle (Num. 2:14). The tribes of Reuben and Gad continued
all through their history to follow the pastoral pursuits of the
patriarchs (Num. 32:1-5).
The portion allotted to the tribe of Gad was on the east of
Jordan, and comprehended the half of Gilead, a region of great
beauty and fertility (Deut. 3:12), bounded on the east by the
Arabian desert, on the west by the Jordan (Josh. 13:27), and on
the north by the river Jabbok. It thus included the whole of the
Jordan valley as far north as to the Sea of Galilee, where it
narrowed almost to a point.
This tribe was fierce and warlike; they were "strong men of
might, men of war for the battle, that could handle shield and
buckler, their faces the faces of lions, and like roes upon the
mountains for swiftness" (1 Chr. 12:8; 5:19-22). Barzillai (2
Sam. 17:27) and Elijah (1 Kings 17:1) were of this tribe. It was
carried into captivity at the same time as the other tribes of
the northern kingdom by Tiglath-pileser (1 Chr. 5:26), and in
the time of Jeremiah (49:1) their cities were inhabited by the
(2.) A prophet who joined David in the "hold," and at whose
advice he quitted it for the forest of Hareth (1 Chr. 29:29; 2
Chr. 29:25; 1 Sam. 22:5). Many years after we find mention made
of him in connection with the punishment inflicted for numbering
the people (2 Sam. 24:11-19; 1 Chr. 21:9-19). He wrote a book
called the "Acts of David" (1 Chr. 29:29), and assisted in the
arrangements for the musical services of the "house of God" (2
Chr. 29:25). He bore the title of "the king's seer" (2 Sam.
24:11, 13; 1 Chr. 21:9).
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.
boiling spring, a mountain range, now Jebel Fukua', memorable as
the scene of Saul's disastrous defeat by the Philistines. Here
also his three sons were slain, and he himself died by his own
hand (1 Sam. 28:4; 31:1-8; 2 Sam. 1:6-21; 21:12; 1 Chr. 10:1,
8). It was a low barren range of mountains bounding the valley
of Esdraelon (Jezreel) on the east, between it and the Jordan
valley. When the tidings of this defeat were conveyed to David,
he gave utterance to those pathetic words in the "Song of the
Bow" (2 Sam. 1:19-27).
After the Captivity this name was applied to the whole of the
country west of the Jordan (Hag. 1:1, 14; 2:2). But under the
Romans, in the time of Christ, it denoted the southernmost of
the three divisions of Israel (Matt. 2:1, 5; 3:1; 4:25),
although it was also sometimes used for Israel generally
The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and
Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah,
Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. Under the Romans it
was a part of the province of Syria, and was governed by a
of the Israelites in the wilderness in consequence of their
rebellious fears to enter the Promised Land (Num. 14:26-35).
They wandered for forty years before they were permitted to
cross the Jordan (Josh. 4:19; 5:6).
The record of these wanderings is given in Num. 33:1-49. Many
of the stations at which they camped cannot now be identified.
Questions of an intricate nature have been discussed regarding
the "Wanderings," but it is enough for us to take the sacred
narrative as it stands, and rest assured that "He led them forth
by the right way" (Ps. 107:1-7, 33-35). (See WILDERNESS
(1.) Heb. 'abel (Judg. 11:33), a "grassy plain" or "meadow."
Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized
Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), compare
Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.
(2.) Heb. 'elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30;
Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version;
(3.) Heb. bik'ah (Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1),
properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain
between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version
(4.) Heb. kikar, "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the
low ground along the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-12; 19:17, 25, 28, 29;
Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17; Neh. 3:22;
12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This
name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.
(5.) Heb. mishor, "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land
(Deut. 3:10; 4:43; Josh. 13:9, 16, 17, 21; 20:8; Jer. 48:21), an
expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these
passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the
tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chr. 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant.
Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jer. 21:13,
because the hills on which it is built rise high above the
(6.) Heb. 'arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee
southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," 2 Kings
14:25; Deut. 1:1; 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is
called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found
in Authorized Version (Josh. 18:18), and is uniformly used in
the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a
ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet
deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This
ravine is called the "lower plain."
The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley
from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a
distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the
valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same
branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100
miles in all.
(7.) Heb. shephelah, "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered
"vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version (Josh. 9:1; 10:40;
11:2; 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1
Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In
Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version
renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the
article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; 15:33, Jer. 32:44; 33:13,
Zech. 7:7, "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the
Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the
Philistines." (See VALLEY T0003764.)
who makes to forget. "God hath made me forget" (Heb. nashshani),
Gen. 41:51. (1.) The elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his
brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons
(48:1). There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1 Chr.
7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that
his grandchildren were "brought up upon Joseph's knees" (Gen.
50:23; R.V., "born upon Joseph's knees") i.e., were from their
birth adopted by Joseph as his own children.
The tribe of Manasseh was associated with that of Ephraim and
Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped
on the west side of the tabernacle. According to the census
taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 (Num. 1:10, 35;
2:20, 21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to
52,700 (26:34, 37), and it was at this time the most
distinguished of all the tribes.
The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their
territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan
(Josh. 13:7-14); but it was left for Joshua to define the limits
of each tribe. This territory on the east of Jordan was more
valuable and of larger extent than all that was allotted to the
nine and a half tribes in the land of Israel. It is sometimes
called "the land of Gilead," and is also spoken of as "on the
other side of Jordan." The portion given to the half tribe of
Manasseh was the largest on the east of Jordan. It embraced the
whole of Bashan. It was bounded on the south by Mahanaim, and
extended north to the foot of Lebanon. Argob, with its sixty
cities, that "ocean of basaltic rocks and boulders tossed about
in the wildest confusion," lay in the midst of this territory.
The whole "land of Gilead" having been conquered, the two and
a half tribes left their wives and families in the fortified
cities there, and accompanied the other tribes across the
Jordan, and took part with them in the wars of conquest. The
allotment of the land having been completed, Joshua dismissed
the two and a half tribes, commending them for their heroic
service (Josh. 22:1-34). Thus dismissed, they returned over
Jordan to their own inheritance. (See ED T0001125.)
On the west of Jordan the other half of the tribe of Manasseh
was associated with Ephraim, and they had their portion in the
very centre of Israel, an area of about 1,300 square miles,
the most valuable part of the whole country, abounding in
springs of water. Manasseh's portion was immediately to the
north of that of Ephraim (Josh. 16). Thus the western Manasseh
defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes
of the Hauran.
(2.) The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of
Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign (2 Kings
21:1), and he reigned fifty-five years (B.C. 698-643). Though he
reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king.
His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion
and national polity. He early fell under the influence of the
heathen court circle, and his reign was characterized by a sad
relapse into idolatry with all its vices, showing that the
reformation under his father had been to a large extent only
superficial (Isa. 7:10; 2 Kings 21:10-15). A systematic and
persistent attempt was made, and all too successfully, to banish
the worship of Jehovah out of the land. Amid this wide-spread
idolatry there were not wanting, however, faithful prophets
(Isaiah, Micah) who lifted up their voice in reproof and in
warning. But their fidelity only aroused bitter hatred, and a
period of cruel persecution against all the friends of the old
religion began. "The days of Alva in Holland, of Charles IX. in
France, or of the Covenanters under Charles II. in Scotland,
were anticipated in the Jewish capital. The streets were red
with blood." There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was
put to death at this time (2 Kings 21:16; 24:3, 4; Jer. 2:30),
having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalms 49, 73,
77, 140, and 141 seem to express the feelings of the pious amid
the fiery trials of this great persecution. Manasseh has been
called the "Nero of Israel."
Esarhaddon, Sennacherib's successor on the Assyrian throne,
who had his residence in Babylon for thirteen years (the only
Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh
prisoner (B.C. 681) to Babylon. Such captive kings were usually
treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the
conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their
jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This
is referred to in 2 Chr. 33:11, where the Authorized Version
reads that Esarhaddon "took Manasseh among the thorns;" while
the Revised Version renders the words, "took Manasseh in
chains;" or literally, as in the margin, "with hooks." (Compare 2
The severity of Manasseh's imprisonment brought him to
repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his
kingdom (2 Chr. 33:11-13). He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and
enjoined the people to worship Jehovah; but there was no
thorough reformation. After a lengthened reign extending through
fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died,
and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the "garden of his own
house" (2 Kings 21:17, 18; 2 Chr. 33:20), and not in the city of
David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon.
In Judg. 18:30 the correct reading is "Moses," and not
"Manasseh." The name "Manasseh" is supposed to have been
introduced by some transcriber to avoid the scandal of naming
the grandson of Moses the great lawgiver as the founder of an