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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Ezion-Geber

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A port city on the gulf of Aqabah. Ezion-Geber was the last stopping place before Kadesh during the wilderness wandering (Numbers 33:35-36 ). Under Solomon the city became a major port. Solomon commissioned the building of a fleet of ships there for use in the gold trade (1Kings 9:26,1 Kings 9:28 ). Other goods transported through the port included silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks (1 Kings 10:22 ). After Solomon's death the city reverted to Edomite control. Jehoshopat tried to take advantage of the absence of an Edomite king to base a new fleet in the city (1 Kings 22:48-49 ). The fleet was, however, wrecked (whether by flood, tempest, or the Edomites is unknown).

Three sites have been identified with Ezion-Geber. Some identify the city with Elath. References mentioning both names point to two places (Deuteronomy 2:8; 1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17 ). Others locate Ezion-Geber at Tell el-Kheleifeh, a site about 500 yards from the coast. This site may represent a satellite city used to store grain, to protect the trade route, or to serve as a stopping place for caravans. Frequent flooding of the Wadi Ytem may have washed away archeological evidence necessary for identification of Ezion-Geber. Still others connect Ezion-Geber with a site on the island of Jezira Fara'un about 300 yards from the shore at Eilat. This site seems an unlikely stopping place during the wilderness wandering.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Ezion-Geber'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/e/ezion-geber.html. 1991.

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