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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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It is also called Hazazon-Tamar, or city of palm trees, 2 Chronicles 20:2 , because there was a great quantity of palm trees in the territory belonging to it. It abounded with cyprus vines, and trees that produced balm. Solomon speaks of the "vineyards of Engedi," Song of Solomon 1:14 . This city, according to Josephus, stood near the lake of Sodom, three hundred furlongs from Jerusalem, not far from Jericho, and the mouth of the river Jordan, through which it discharged itself into the Dead Sea. There is frequent mention of Engedi in the Scriptures. It was in the cave of Engedi that David had it in his power to kill Saul, 1 Samuel 24. The spot where this transaction took place, was a cavern in the rock, sufficiently large to contain in its recesses the whole of David's men, six hundred in number, unperceived by Saul when he entered. Many similar caves existed in the Holy Land. Such were those at Adullam and Makkedah, and that in which Lot and his daughters dwelt after the destruction of Sodom. Such also is that described by Mr. Maundrell, near Sidon, which contained two hundred smaller caverns. Many of these were natural cavities in the limestone rock, similar to those in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, and in the Mendip hills in Somersetshire; and others, excavations made by the primeval inhabitants, for defence, or for shelter from the sun; and which subsequently served as retreats for robbers, as they are at this day. Josephus has given an interesting account of these caves, and the manner in which the robbers were taken by Herod. And Dr. E. D. Clarke has described similar retreats in the rocks near Bethlehem; others, between Jerusalem and Jericho, are mentioned by Mr. Wilson. Into such caves the Israelites frequently retired for shelter from their enemies, Judges 6:2 ; 1 Samuel 13:6 ; 1 Samuel 14:11 ; a circumstance which has afforded some striking and terrific images to the prophets, Isaiah 2:19 ; Hosea 10:8 ; Revelation 6:15-16 .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Engedi'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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