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Holman Bible Dictionary
(ee' tam) Place name meaning, “place of birds of prey.” 1. A rocky crag where Samson camped during his battles with the Philistines (Judges 15:8-13
), conferring there with men of Judah who wanted to bind him and hand him over to the Philistines. The exact location is not known. It must be near Lehi. See Joshua 15:59
REB). Rehoboam, king of Judah (931-913 B.C.), fortified the city ( 2 Chronicles 11:6
), which seems to indicate that Etam stood between Bethlehem and Tekoa. Rehoboam probably feared attack from Egypt, which had sheltered Jeroboam, king of Israel (2 Chronicles 10:2
). Pharaoh Shishak did, indeed, attack (2 Chronicles 12:2-4
). Some scholars think Rehoboam's fortification program came after Shishak's attack. A road ran along the ridge through or near Hebron, Beth-zur, and Bethlehem to Jerusalem. Etam protected the approach to this road from the east. Etam is located at khirbet el-Khohk, southwest of Bethlehem. 3. Member of tribe of Judah and apparently clan father of town of same name associated with Jezreel (1 Chronicles 4:3
. A village assigned to Simeon (1 Chronicles 4:32
), though it is not listed in Simeon's tribal territory in Joshua 19:7
. It may be modern Aitun, about eleven miles southwest of Hebron.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Etam'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/e/etam.html. 1991.