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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Ashdoth' hap-Pisgah', אִשִׁדּוֹת הִפִּסְגָּה, ravines of Pisgah; Sept. Ἀσηδώθ [τὴν ] Φασγά, and Ἀσ . τὴν λαξευτήν ), apparently the water- courses running from the base of Mount Pisgah, which formed the southern boundary of the territory of Sihon, king of the Amorites ("Springs of Pisgah," Deuteronomy 4:49); transferred as a proper name in Joshua 12:3; Joshua 13:20; Deuteronomy 3:17). (See PISGAH). This curious and (since it occurs in none of the later books) probably very ancient term in the two passages from Deuteronomy forms part of a formula by which, apparently, the mountains that enclose the Dead Sea on the east. side are defined. Thus in iii, 17, we read, "the 'Arabah' also (i.e. the Jordan valley) and the 'border,' from Cinnereth (Sea of Galilee) unto the sea of the 'Arabah,' the Salt Sea, under Ashdoth hap-Pisgah eastward;" and so also in 4:49, though here our translators have chosen to vary the formula for English readers. The same intention is evident in the passages cited from Joshua; and in 10:40, and 12:8, of the same book, Ashdoth is used alone- "the springs," to denote one of the main natural divisions of the country. The only other instance of the use of the word is in the highly poetical passage, Numbers 21:15, "the 'pouring forth' of the 'torrents,' which extendeth to Shebeth-Ar." This undoubtedly refers also to the east of the Dead Sea. Doubtless, like the other topographical words of the Bible, it has a precise meaning; but whether it be the streams poured forth at the foot of the mountains of Moab, or the roots or spurs of those mountains, or the mountains themselves, it is impossible, in our present ignorance of the country east of the Dead Sea, to determine with certainty.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ashdoth-Pisgah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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