Holman Bible Dictionary
(ihb' lih uhm) Place name meaning, “he swallowed the people.” City in tribal territory of Issachar but given to tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 17:11 ). Many Bible students think Ibleam was the original reading for the Levite city in Joshua 21:25 , where the Hebrew text now reads “Gath-rimmon,” also read in Joshua 21:24 . A copyist may have copied the name from Joshua 21:24 into Joshua 21:25 . Some Greek manuscripts read Iebatha, perhaps a corruption of Ibleam. 1 Chronicles 6:70 reads Bileam, pointing to Ibleam as original. Other Greek manuscripts read Beth-Shean. Manasseh could not conquer Ibleam ( Judges 1:27 ). Jehu, in his coup against Jehoram, king of Israel, also mortally wounded Ahaziah, king of Judah, near Ibleam (2 Kings 9:27 ). Many Bible students also read Ibleam as the place of attack in 2 Kings 15:10 (REB, TEV, RSV, but not NRSV). The Hebrew text either uses an Aramaic pronoun otherwise unknown in Hebrew meaning, “before”; or it refers to a place Kabal-am otherwise unknown. Some Greek manuscripts read Ibleam. Normal text procedure would see Ibleam as the easier reading adopted in view of 2 Kings 9:27 by a copyist or translator who did not understand the Hebrew text. Ibleam is modern bir Belalmeh about a mile southwest of Jenin.
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