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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Hebron

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Hebron was a very old settlement in the south of Canaan. It was situated at the point where two main highways crossed, the north-south route from central Canaan to Egypt, and the east-west route from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean coast (for map see PALESTINE). Hebron was also known as Kiriath-arba and Mamre. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all lived in the region at various times, and Abraham bought a piece of ground there for a family burial place (Genesis 13:18; Genesis 18:1; Genesis 23:2; Genesis 23:17-20; Genesis 25:9; Genesis 35:27; Genesis 37:14; Genesis 50:13).

At the time of Israel’s conquest under Joshua, Hebron’s local inhabitants were a tall powerfully built people whom many thought could never be conquered (Numbers 13:21-28; Numbers 13:31-33). Caleb, however, believed otherwise (Numbers 13:30). Not only did he defeat them, but he received their territory as his family possession (Joshua 14:12-15). Hebron, in the centre of this territory, became one of the three cities of refuge established west of Jordan (Joshua 20:7-9; Joshua 21:9-13).

The town fell within the tribal allotment of Judah and soon became the chief town of the tribe. For seven years it was the capital of David’s kingdom, till he conquered Jerusalem and made it his new capital (2 Samuel 5:1-5). When Absalom tried to overthrow David, Hebron was the base from which he launched his rebellion (2 Samuel 15:7-10). A later king, Rehoboam, recognized Hebron’s strategic situation on the main highways, and fortified it as a key defence outpost (2 Chronicles 11:5-12).

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Hebron'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/bbd/h/hebron.html. 2004.

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