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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Baalath

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(Hebrews Baalath', בִּעֲלִת , another form of the name Baalah; Sept. Βααλάθ [v. r. Γεβεελάν in Josh.], but Βαλαάθ v. r. Βαλαάς in 2 Chronicles), a town in the tribe of Dan, named with Gibbethon, Gathrimmon, and other Philistine places (Joshua 19:44), apparently the same that was afterward rebuilt by Solomon (1 Kings 9:18; 2 Chronicles 8:6). Many have conjectured this Baalath to be the same as Baalbek (so Schwarz, Palest. p. 62); but in that case it must have lain in northernmost Dan, whereas the possession of it is ascribed to that tribe when its territory was wholly in the south near Judah, and many years before the migration (recorded in Judges 18) which gave Dan a northern territory. Correspondingly, Josephus places the Baalath of Solomon (which he calls Baleth, Βαλέθ) in the southern part of Palestine, near Gazara or Gezer (Ant. 8, 6, 1), within the territory which would have belonged to Dan had it acquired possession of the lands originally assigned to it. The Jerusalem Talmud (Sinhedr. 1) affirms that Baalath lay so near the line of separation between Dan and Judah that the fields only were in the former tribe, the buildings being in the latter. Schwarz, however (Palest. p. 138 note), disputes this position; the statement seems to have reference to the postexilian distribution of Palestine, by which Judah gave name (Judaea) to the entire neighborhood, including Benjamin as well as Dan and Simeon, an arrangement evidently growing out of the earlier division into the two rival kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Van de Velde is probably correct in identifying the site with that of Deir Balut, on the high southern brow of Wady Kerama, about half way between Jaffa and Nablous; but he distinguishes this from the Baalath of Solomon, assigning only the insufficient reason that this locality is not situated near a highway where a fortified place would be required (Memoir, p. 291).

(Joshua 19:44; Josephus, Ant. 8:6, 1) is regarded by Lieut. Conder (Tent Work? ii, 334) as identical with the present ruins at the village of Bel'ain, seven miles east of Jimzu, and ten west of Beitin, a position to which Tristram accedes (Bible Places, p. 51), although he elsewhere ('ibid. p. 198) adopts Van de Velde's location at Deir Balut.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Baalath'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/b/baalath.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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