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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
Merom, the Waters of
MEROM, THE WATERS OF. The scene of Joshua’s victory over the northern kings; usually identified with Lake Huleh in the Upper Jordan Valley ( Joshua 11:5; Joshua 11:7 ). This identification is accepted by Robinson ( BRP [Note: RP Biblical Researches in Palestine.] ii. 440), G. A. Smith ( HGHL [Note: GHL Historical Geography of Holy Land.] 1 , 481), and others. It is questioned by Socin (Baedeker’s PalÃ¤stina ), Buhl ( GAP [Note: AP Geographie des alten Paiastina.] ), and Guthe ( BibelwÃ¶rterbuch, s.v .), the last suggesting an impossible position near MeirÃ´n , at the base of Jebel Jermuk . Joshua’s crowning victory would not be located by such ‘waters’ as are to be found there. The kings were encamped at Beroth, not far from Kadesh (Jos. [Note: Josephus.] Ant . V. i. 18), but probably they descended, as did Demetrius at a later date ( Ant . XIII. v. 7), to battle in the plain, better suited than the rough uplands for the chariots on which they depended. There is nothing to wonder at in the disappearance of the ancient name, in a land where so many names have perished. It is almost certainly the lake Semechonitis of Ant . V. v. 1; the district to the N. was known as Ulatha ( Ant . XV. x. 3; BJ I. xx. 4). This is the first appearance of the modern name Ulatha = HÃ»leh which covers both the lake and the district. The water is supplied by the fountains of the Jordan at Hasbeiyeh, BÃ¢niÃ¢s, and Tell el-KÃ¢di, by the springs at ‘Ain el-BalÃ¢ta and ‘Ain el-MellÃ¢ha on the western side of the valley; Mt. Hermon and the neighbouring slopes also drain into the basin. In shape Baheiret el-HÃ»leh is almost triangular. It lies 7 ft. above sea-level. The open water is about four miles in length by about three miles at the broadest part. It is from 10 to 16 ft. in depth. To the N. stretch great breadths of marsh land, with dense thickets of papyrus reeds, through which, in various channels, the streams find their way to the lake. Water fowl of all kinds abound, and the place is a sort of fisherman’s paradise. The GhawÃ¢rineh Arabs occupy the valley, till the soil, tend the buffaloes, hunt, and fish. The hair tent is seldom seen: their ‘houses’ are ‘built’ of the papyrus reed.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Merom, the Waters of'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/m/merom-the-waters-of.html. 1909.