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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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RIBLAH . 1 . An important town (mod. Ribleh ) and military station on the eastern bank of the Orontes, 50 miles S. of Hamath. It is mentioned in the Bible only in the literature of the Chaldæan period, and was apparently the headquarters of Nebuchadrezzar the Great for his South-Syrian and Palestinian dominions. From this position the Phœnician cities of the coast were within easy command, as also were Cœle-Syria and the kingdom of Damascus, along with the land-routes leading farther south. Here judgment was pronounced upon Zedekiah and his officers ( 2Ki 25:6 ; 2 Kings 25:20-21 , Jeremiah 39:5 f., Jeremiah 52:9 ff.).

The statement of 2 Kings 23:33 , that Pharaoh-necho put Jehoahaz in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, is to be corrected by the parallel passage 2 Chronicles 36:3 , where the transaction is said to have taken place in Jerusalem itself. The true reading is, ‘and Pharaoh-necho removed him from reigning in Jerusalem’ (cf. also the LXX [Note: Septuagint.] ). It was the later action of Nebuchadrezzar with regard to Zedekiah, above referred to, that suggested the change in the text. The phrase ‘in the land of Hamath’ ( 2 Kings 25:21 ) is to be compared with the ‘nineteen districts of Hamath’ enumerated in the Annals of Tiglath-pileser iii.

Riblah should be read for Diblah in Ezekiel 6:14 . See No. 2 .

2 . Riblah (with the article) is, it the reading is correct, mentioned as one of the eastern boundary marks of Israel in Numbers 34:11 . The place intended was not far N.E. of the Sea of Galilee, but the exact site is unknown.

It was, of course, not the Riblah on the Orontes. It is remarkable, however, that this Riblah is mentioned in connexion with the ‘approach to Hamath’ (v. 8). which, as Winckler has shown, was on the S.W. of Mt. Hermon, and the centre of the kingdom of Hamath of the time of David. Cf. Ezekiel 6:14 as above corrected.

J. F. McCurdy.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Riblah'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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Friday, November 17th, 2017
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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