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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Seir, Mount

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("hairy, rugged".)

1. Named so from a Horite chief (Genesis 36:20). Or probably Seir was his title, not proper name, given from the rugged rocky nature of the country, or from its abounding in bushes, in contrast to Halak "the smooth mountain." Esau and the Edomite supplanted the previous occupants the Horites. (See HORITES.) Mount Seir is the high range from the S. of the Dead Sea to Elath N. of the gulf of Akabah, on the E. of the Arabah, or "the plain from Elath and Ezion Geber." For as Israel moved from Mount Hor by way of that plain towards the Red Sea at Elath they "compassed Mount Seir" (Numbers 21:4; Deuteronomy 2:1; Deuteronomy 2:8). When Israel was refused leave to go the direct route to Moab through Edom's valleys (Numbers 20:20-21) they marched circuitously round the mountains down the Arabah between the limestone cliffs of the Tih on the W. and the granite range of Mount Seir on the E. until a few hours N. of Akabah the wady Ithm opened a gap in the mountains, so that turning to their left they could march N. toward Moab (Deuteronomy 2:3).

Mount Hor alone of the range retains the old name of the Horites; it overhangs Petra; now jebel Haroon or Mount Aaron, where he died and was buried. The southern part, jebel es Sherah, between Petra and Akabah, perhaps bears trace of the name "Self." Jebal is now applied to the northern part of Mount Seir, answering to Gebal of Psalms 83:6-7; Geblah (i.e. "mountain") is the name for Mount Seir in the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Jerusalem targum. Jebal extends N. to the brook Zered (wady el Αhsi ).

"Mount Halak ("naked") that goeth up to Seir" (Joshua 11:17) was the northern border of Seir, probably the line of white "naked" hills running across the great valley eight miles S. of the Dead Sea, dividing between the Αrabah on the S. and the depressed Ghor on the N. Seir and Sinai are not in Deuteronomy 33:2 grouped together geographically, but in reference to their being both alike scenes of God's glory manifested in behalf of His people. The prophetic denunciation of Ezekiel 35, "Behold O Mount Seir, ... I will make thee most desolate ... I will lay thy cities waste ... perpetual desolations": Burckhardt counted 40 cities in Jebal all now desolate.

2. A landmark N. of Judah (Joshua 15:10), W. of Kirjath Jearim and E. of Bethshemesh; the ridge between wady Aly and wady Ghurab. Now Mihsir, N.W. of Kesla or Chesalon. The resemblance in ruggedness to the southern Mount Seir may have given the name.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Seir, Mount'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/s/seir-mount.html. 1949.

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