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Ezion-Geber

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(Hebrews Etsyon'-Ge'ber, עֶצְיוֹןאּגֶּבֶר [in this form only at 1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17], i.e. giant's back-bone; Sept. Γασιὼν [in Deuteronomy Γεσιὼν ] Γάβερ [in Chronicles Γαβέρ ], but in 1 Kings Ἀσίων Γάβερ; Vulg. Asiongaber) or EZION-GA'BER (being "in pause," Hebrews Etsyon'-Ga'ber, עֶצִין גּ בֶר [in 1 Kings 20:49; 2 Chronicles 20:36, fully עֶצְיוֹן ], so found also at Numbers 33:35-36; Deuteronomy 2:8; but Angli. cized "Ezion-geber" in 1 Kings 22:48 [49]), a very ancient city near Elath (q.v.), on the eastern arm of the Red Sea. Jonathan's Targum; following a false etymology, defines the name as i.e., "castle of the cock" (see Buxtorf, Lex. Chald. col. 384; Beck, Chron. Chald. paraphr. 2:101). It is first mentioned in Numbers 33:35 as one of the stations where the Hebrews halted in their journeyings through the desert, being the last there named before they came to "the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh," and the point where they afterwards turned from the 'Arabah to Elath, towards "the wilderness of Moab" (Deuteronomy 2:8). (See EXODE). From its harbor it was that Solomon (1 Kings 9:26) sent the fleet which he had there built to the land of Ophir. (See COMMERCE).

Here also Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:47; 2 Chronicles 20:35) built a fleet "to go to Ophir;" but because he had joined himself with Ahaziah, "king of Israel, who did wickedly," "the ships were broken that they were not able to go to Tarshish," being probably destroyed on the rocks which lie in "jagged ranges on each side" (Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, page 84). Busching (Erdbeschr. V, 1:620) erroneously locates it at Shurmn, a port at the southern end of the gulf (Geogr. Nub. 3:5). Wellsted (Travels, 2:153) would find it in the modern Dahob, but this is the ancient Dizahab (q.v.); Laborde (Commentaire Geogr. page 124) seeks it in the rocky island el-Kurdiyah, which is hardly adequate in extent or position; and Rtippel (Arab. page 252) locates it at the mouth of'wadv Emrag, i.e., el-Mlursk, which is liable to the same objection. Josephus (Ant. 8:6, 4) says that Ezion-geber (Ἀσσιογγάβαρος ) was also called Berenice, and that it lay not far from JElath. It is probably the same with the once-populous city 'Asyun (Burckhardt, Syria, page 511). Robinson (Bibliccl Researches, 1:250) says, "No trace of Ezion-geber seems now to remain, unless it be in the name of a small wady with brackish water, el- Ghudyan, opening into el-'Arabah from the western mountain, some distance north of Akabah." It is doubtful, however, whether the sea ever extended so far up the 'Arabah as this. It was probably situated at the point where the Haj route strikes the 'Arabah at the north-west point of the gulf (Robinson, ib. 1:239). Yet the town may have given name to this the nearest spring, for Ghudyan in Arabic corresponds in all the essential letters to Ezion in Heb., which is identical with the later 'Asyun. By comparing 1 Kings 9:26-27, with 2 Chronicles 8:17-18, it is probable that timber was floated from Tyre to the nearest point on the Mediterranean coast, and then conveyed over land to the head of the Gulf of Akabah, where the ships seem to have been built; for there can hardly have been adequate forests in the neighborhood. Dr. Wilson noticed fragments of an old caravan route part way up the hill-side in this vicinity (Lands of the Bible, 1:284). (See WILDERNESS OF THE WANDERING).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ezion-Geber'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/e/ezion-geber.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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