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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Ituraea

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Ituræ´a, a district in the north-east of Palestine, forming the tetrarchy of Philip. The name is supposed to have originated with Itur, or Jetur, one of Ishmael's sons (). In this name is given as that of a tribe or nation with which Reuben (beyond the Jordan) warred; and from its being joined with the names of other of Ishmael's sons it is evident that a tribe descended from his son Jetur is intimated.

During the Exile this and other border countries were taken possession of by various tribes, whom, although they are called after the original names, as occupants of the countries which had received those names, we are not bound to regard as descendants of the original possessors. These new Ituræans were eventually subdued by King Aristobulus (B.C. 100); by whom they were constrained to embrace the Jewish religion, and were at the same time incorporated with the state. Nevertheless the Ituræans were still recognizable as a distinct people in the time of Pliny. As already intimated, Herod the Great, in dividing his dominions among his sons, bequeathed Ituræa to Philip as part of a tetrarchy composed, according to Luke, of Trachonitis and Ituræa. The name is so loosely applied by ancient writers, that it is difficult to fix its boundaries with precision. Perhaps it may suffice for general purposes to describe it as a district of indeterminate extent, traversed by a line drawn from the Lake of Tiberias to Damascus. The present Jedur probably comprehends the whole or greater part of the proper Ituraea. This is described by Burckhardt as 'lying south of Jebelkessoue, east of Jebel es-Sheik (Mount Hermon), and west of the Hadj road.' He adds, that it now contains only twenty inhabited villages. By the help of these lights we may discover that Ituræa was a plain country, about thirty miles long from north to south, and twenty-four from east to west, having on the north Abilene and the Damascene district; on the south Auranitis and part of Bashan; on the east the stony region of Trachonitis; and on the west the hill country of Bashan.

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Ituraea'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/i/ituraea.html.

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