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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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NAIN (Ναΐν אBCD Ti WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] , etc.; Ναείν EGΓΔ, etc., Ναείμ 1 and 209, al pauc) is named only once in Scripture. St. Luke mentions it (Luke 7:11) as the ‘city’ to which the widow, whose dead son Jesus raised to life, belonged. The miracle was wrought near to the ‘gate,’ and in the presence of ‘much people.’ This Nain cannot be the same as the village on the E. [Note: Elohist.] side of the Jordan mentioned by Josephus (BJ iv. ix. 4). Robinson (BMP2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] ii. 361) identified Nain with the modern Nein, a collection of squalid huts on the N. slope of Jebel cd-Duhy (Little Hermon), 2 miles W. of Endor and about a day’s journey from Capernaum (cf. Luke 7:1; Luke 7:11 (margin)). Robinson’s view has been generally accepted. It agrees roughly with the statements of Eusebius and Jerome, both of whom place it S. of Tabor and not far from Endor. Eusebius reckons it 12 miles to the south (Onom. s.v. Ναείν), Jerome (ib. s.v. ‘Naim’) says 2 miles. The situation of the present village is bleak and uninviting, though it commands a wide and interesting view. A few hundred paces above the huts, to the S.E. [Note: Elohist.] , are rock-tombs in the hillside. Ramsay (Education of Jesus, Preface, p. ix) says he has ‘little doubt that the ancient city was on the top’ of the hill, somewhere above the modern village. He expresses his belief that this site has more claim to be the ‘city set on a hill’ (Matthew 5:14) than Safed. It should be noted that Cheyne doubts the correctness of the reading Ναἱν here (Encyc. Bibl. iii. 3263), and claims Nestle (Philol. Sacra, 20) as also recognizing ‘the doubtfulness of the locality assigned in Luke.’

Literature.—Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible iii. 477; Stanley, SP [Note: P Sinai and Palestine.] 357; Thomson, Land and Book, 445; Tristram, Land of Israel, 127; Buhl, GAP [Note: AP Geographic des alten Palästina.] 217; Guérin, Galilee, i. 115 f.; Neubaner, Géog. du Talm. [Note: Talmud.] 188; Sanday, Sacred Sites of the Gospels, 24, 101; Baedeker-Socin, Pal. [Note: Palestine, Palestinian.] 346; Murray, Handbook for S. and P. 349.

A. W. Cooke.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Nain'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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Friday, October 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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