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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. id. הוֹר or הֹר; Sept. ῞Ωρ ), the name of two eminent mountains (הֹר הָהָר, i.e. "Hor the mountain," remarkable as the only case in which the name comes first; Sept. ῎Ωρ τὸ ὄρος, Vulg. Mons Hor). The word Hor is regarded by the lexicographers as an archaic form of ar, the usual Heb. term for "mountain" (Gesen. Thes. p. 391 b; Ftirst, Handw. s.v.), so that the meaning of the name is simply "the mountain of mountains," as the Sept. have it in one case (see below, No. 2) τὸ ὄρος τὸ ὄρος; Vulg. mons altissimus; and Jerome (Ep. ad Fabiolam) non in monte simpliciter sed in montis monte. (See MOUNTAIN).

1. An eminent mountain of Arabia Petraea, on the confines of Idumaea, and forming part of the mountain chain of Seir or Edom. It is first mentioned in Scripture in connection with the circumstances recorded in Numbers 20:22-29. It was "on the boundary line" (Numbers 20:23) or "at the edge" (Numbers 33:37) of the land of Edom. It was the next halting-place of the people after Kadesh (Numbers 20:22; Numbers 33:37), and they quitted it for Zalmonah (Numbers 33:41), in the road to the Red Sea (Numbers 21:4). It was during the encampment at Mt. Hor that Aaron was gathered to his fathers (Numbers 33:37-41). At the command of Jehovah, he, his brother, and his son ascended the mountain, in the presence of the people, "in the eyes of all the congregation." The garments, and with the garments the office, of high priest were taken from Aaron and put upon Eleazar, and Aaron died there in the top of the mountain. In the circumstances of the ascent of the height to die, and in the marked exclusion from the Promised Land, the end of the one brother resembled the end of the other; but in the presence of the two survivors, and of the gazing crowd below, there is a striking difference between this event and the solitary death of Moses. (See AARON). The Israelites passed the mountain several times in going up and down the Arabah; and the station Mosera (Deuteronomy 10:6) must have been at the foot of the mount (Deuteronomy 32:50). (See MOSERA).

The mountain now identified with Mount Hor is the most conspicuous in the whole range of Mount Seir, and at this day bears the name of Mount Aaron (Jebel-llarun). It is in N. lat. 30° 18', E. long. 35° 33', about midway between the Dead Sea and the AElanitic Gulf. It may be open to question if this is really the Mount Hor on which Aaron died, seeing that the whole range of Seir was anciently called by that name; yet, from its height, and the remarkable manner in which it rises among the surrounding rocks, it seems not unlikely to have been the chosen scene of the high- priest's death (Kinneir, p. 127). Accordingly, Stanley observes that Mount Hor "is one of the very few spots connected with the wanderings of the Israelites which admit of no reasonable doubt" (S. and P. p. 86). It is almost unnecessary to state that it is situated on the eastern side of the great valley of the Arabah, the highest and most conspicuous of the whole range of the sandstone mountains of Edom, having close beneath it, on its eastern side though, strange to say, the two are not visible to each other the mysterious city of Petra. The tradition has existed from the earliest date. Josephus does not mention the name of Hor (Ant. 4, 4, 7), but he describes the death of Aaron as taking place "on a very high mountain which surrounded the metropolis of the Arabs," which latter "was formerly called Arke (῎Αρκη ), but now Petra." In the Onomasticon of Eusebius and Jerome it is Ormons "A mountain in which Aaron died, close to the city of Petra." When it was visited by the Crusaders (see the quotations in Robinson, Researches, 2:521) the sanctuary was already on its top, and there is little doubt that it was then what it is now the Jebel Nebi- Harlun, "the mountain of the prophet Aaron."

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

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