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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Odollam

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(Ο᾿δαλλάμ, Vulg. Odollam), the Greek form of the name ADULLAM (2, Maccabees 12:38). Adullam is stated by Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. "Adollam") to have been in their day a large village, about ten miles east of Eleutheropolis; and here (if Beitjibrin be Eleutheropolis) a village with the name of Bet Dula (Tobler, Bethlehem, p. 29; Dritte Wander. p. 151) or Beit Ula (Robinson, 1st ed. App. p. 117) now stands. The obstacle to this identification is not that Adullam, a town of the Shefelah, should be found in the mountains, for that puzzling circumstance is not unfrequent, so much as that in the catalogue of Joshua 15 it is mentioned with a group of towns (Zoreah, Socoh, etc.) which lay at the, N.W. corner of Judah, while Bet Dula is found with those (Nezib, Keilah, etc.) of a separate group farther south. More recently Mr. Ganneau has proposed to identify the site of Adullam with that of Aid el-Mia, a hill-side near Shuweikeh, burrowed with caves (Quar. Statement of Pal. Expl. Fund," Jan. 1875, p. 42); but the correspondence in name is not striking; and he afterwards expresses himself doubtful, after a prolonged investigation (ib. July. 1875, p. 168- 177).

Further examination is requisite before we can positively say if there is any cavern in the neighborhood of Bet Dula answering to the "cave of Adullam." The cavern at Khureitun, three miles south of Bethlehem, usually shown to travelers as Adullam, is so far distant as to make a connection difficult. It is probable that this latter is the cavern, in the wilderness of Engedi, in which the adventure of Saul and David (1 Samuel 24) occurred (see Van de Velde, Syr. and Pal. 2:33). Everything that can be said to identify it with the cave of Adullam has been said by Dr. Bonar (Land of Promise, p. 248-50); but his strongest argument an inference, from 1 Samuel 22:1, in favor of its proximity to Bethlehem comes into direct collision with the statement of Jerome quoted above, which it should be observed is equally opposed to Dr. Robinson's proposal to place it at Deir-Dubban. The conflict, however, would be somewhat obviated by separating the cave from the town. The name of Adullam appears to have been first applied to Khureitull at the time of the Crusades (Will. of Tyre, 15:6)., Dr. Bonar suggests that the name Khureitun Tepresents the ancient Hareth (Khareth). This is ingenious, and may be correct; but Tobler (Umgebungen, etc. p. 522, 3) has made out a strong case for the name being, that of Chareiton, or Kreton, a famous Essene hermit of the 3d or 4th century, who founded a Laura in the cavern in question (Acta Sanct. Sept. 28). Mr. Galnneau reports the present name of the cave as Meghadet el- Mi'sa (Quar. Statement, April, 1874, p, 110). Lieut. Conder at first proposed a different locality as candidate for the honor of representing the cave in question, namely, Moghdaret Un el-Tumaimiyeh (Cave of the Mother of Two Twins), a remarkable cavern in the south side of the ridge bounded northerly by Wady Dilbeh, near Tell Saphieh (Gath) (Quar. Statement, Jan. 1874, p. 18 sq.); but he admits that little if any trace of the ancient name remains; and he afterwards abandoned the position in favor of the above location by Mr. Ganneau, which he defends with much ingenuity and confidence (ib. July, 1875, p. 145-149). That the cave, however, was in the eastern face of the hills of Judah would seem rather probable, from the fact that at the times of David's-adventures there (see especially 1 Samuel 22:3; 2 Samuel 23:13) the Philistines had control of all the other side and center. On the other hand, its situation in the Philistine territory seems to be indicated as opposed to Judah (1 Samuel 22:5; 1 Samuel 23:3). It was apparently located between. Engedi and Jerusalem (if we may so interpret "up" from the former, 1 Samuel 24:22, and "down" from the latter, 2 Samuel 5:17). But in that case the cave was not in the vicinity of the town, as we should naturally suppose. (See ADULLAM).

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

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