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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
hesh´bon ( חשׁבּון , ḥeshbōn ; Ἑσεβών , Hesebō̇n ): The royal city of Sihon king of the Amorites, taken and occupied by the Israelites under Moses ( Numbers 21:25 f, etc.). It lay on the southern border of Gad ( Joshua 13:26 ), and was one of the cities fortified by Reuben (Numbers 32:37 ). It is reckoned among the cities of Gad given to the Merarite Levites (Joshua 21:39 ). In later literature (Isaiah 15:4; Isaiah 16:8 f; Jeremiah 48:2 , Jeremiah 48:34 , Jeremiah 48:45; Jeremiah 49:3 ) it is referred to as a city of Moab. It passed again into Jewish hands, and is mentioned by Josephus (Ant. , XIII , xv, 4) as among their possessions in the country of Moab under Alexander Janneus. The city with its district called Hesebonitis, was also under the jurisdiction of Herod the Great (Ant. , XV, vii, 5, where it is described as lying in the Peraea). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 20 Roman miles from the Jordan. It is represented by the modern Ḥesbān , a ruined site in the mountains over against Jericho, about 16 miles east of the Jordan. It stands on the edge of Wādy Ḥesbān in a position of great strength, about 600 ft. above ‛Ain Ḥesbān . The ruins, dating mainly from Roman times, spread over two hills, respectively 2,930 ft. and 2,954 ft. in height. There are remains of a temple overlooked from the West by those of a castle. There is also a large ruined reservoir; while the spring in the valley forms a succession of pools (Song of Solomon 7:4 ). The city is approached from the valley by a steep path passing through a cutting in the rock, which may have been closed by a gate (Conder, Heth and Moab , 142). On a hill to the West, el -Kurmı̄yeh , is a collection of dolmens and stone circles (Musil, Arabia Petrea , I, 383ff).
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Heshbon'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/h/heshbon.html. 1915.