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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Coele-Syria

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CÅ’LE-SYRIA , ‘Hollow Syria,’ is properly the great hollow running N. and S. between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges ( 1Es 4:48; Strabo, xvi. 2). It corresponds to the Biq‘ath ha-Lebânôn of Joshua 11:17 etc.; possibly also to Biq‘ath Aven of Amos 1:5 . The first element of the name persists in the modern name of the valley S. of Baalbek, el-Buqâ‘ . The Orontes drains the valley northward, and the Litâni southward, both rivers rising near Baalbek. The soil is rich, producing splendid crops of wheat, etc., while some of the finest vineyards in Syria clothe the adjoining slopes.

‘CÅ“le-Syria’ came to have a wider significance, covering indeed, with PhÅ“nicia, all the Seleucid territory S. of the River Eleutherus ( 2MMalachi 3:5 etc.; Strabo, xvi. 753). In 1E Esther 2:17 etc., CÅ“le-Syria and PhÅ“nicia denote the whole Persian province, stretching from the Euphrates to the borders of Egypt. Josephus reckons the country E. of Jordan to CÅ“le-Syria ( Ant . I. xi. 5, XIII. xiii. 2 f.,etc.), including in it Scythopolis, the only member of the Decapolis west of the river.

W. Ewing.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Coele-Syria'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/c/coele-syria.html. 1909.

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