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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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One of the most ancient cities of Canaan, being built seven years before Tanis, the capital of Lower Egypt, Numbers 13:22 . It was anciently called Kirjath-arba, (see Genesis 14:13-24 23:2-19 35:27 . Under Joshua and Caleb the Israelites conquered it from the Canaanites and Anakim, and it was afterwards made a Levitical city of refuge, Joshua 14:13-15 15:13 21:11,13 Judges 1:10,20 . It was David's seat of government during the seven years when he reigned over Judah only, 2 Samuel 2:3 5:5 . Here Absalom raised the standard of revolt, 2 Samuel 15:9,10 . It was fortified by Rehoboam, and is mentioned after the captivity, but not in the New Testament, Nehemiah 11:25 . At present Hebron is an unwalled city of about 8,000 inhabitants, of whom some 600 are Jews, and the remainder Turks and Arabs. It lies in a deep valley and on the adjacent hillside, in the ancient hill-country of Judea, about 2,600 feet above the sea. Its modern name, El-khulil, the friend, is the same which the Moslems give to Abraham, "the friend of God;" and they profess to hold in their keeping the burial-place of the patriarchs, the "cave of Machpelah." It is covered by a small mosque, surrounded by a stone structure 60 feet high, 150 feet wide, and 200 feet long. Within this no Christian is permitted to enter; but it is evidently of very high antiquity, and may well be regarded as inclosing the true site of the ancient tomb. Other relics of antiquity exist in two stone reservoirs, the larger 133 feet square, and 21 feet deep. They are still in daily use; and one of them was probably the "pool in Hebron," above which David hung up the assassins of Ish-bosheth, 2 Samuel 4:12 . The city contains nine mosques and two synagogues. Its streets are narrow; the houses of stone, with flat roofs surmounted by small domes. Large quantities of glass lamps and colored rings are here manufactured; also leathern bottles, raisins, and dibs, or grape-syrup. The environs of the city are very fertile, furnishing the finest vineyards in Palestine, numerous plantations of olive and other fruit trees, and excellent pasturage. See ESHCOL , MAMRE .

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Hebron'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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