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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Thebez

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(Heb. Tebets', תֵּבֵוֹ, conspicuous; Sept θὴβης [v.r. θαίβαις ] and θαμασί; Vulg. Thebes), a place mentioned in the Bible only as the scene of tihe death of the usurper Abimelech (Judges 9:50). After suffocating a thousand of the Shechemites in the hold of Baal-berith by the smoke of green wood, he went off with his band to Thebez, whither, no doubt, the rumor of his inhumanity had preceded him. The town was soon taken, all but one tower, into which the people of the place crowded, and which was strong enough to hold out. To this he forced his way, and was about to repeat the barbarous stratagem, which had succeeded so well at Shechem, when a fragment of millstone descended and put an end to his turbulent career. The story was well known in Israel, and gave the point to a familiar maxim in the camp (2 Samuel 11:21). The geographical position of Thebez is not stated; but the narrative leaves the impression that it was not far distant from Shechem. Eusebius defines its position with his usual minuteness. He says, "It is in the borders of Neapolis at the thirteenth mile on the road to Scythopolis" (Onooast. s.v. "Thebes" ). Just about the distance indicated, on the line of the old Roman highway, is the modern village of Tubas, in which it is not difficult to recognize the Thebez of Scripture. It was known to Hap-Parchi in the 13th century (Zunz, Benjaminz, 2, 426), and is mentioned occasionally by later travelers (Schwarz, Palest. p. 152). It stands on a hillside at the northern end of a plain surrounded by rocky mountains. The hill is skirted by fine olive groves, and the whole environs bear the marks of industry and prosperity. It is defective, however, in water; so that the inhabitants are dependent on the rain-water they keep in cisterns, and when this supply fails, they must bring it from a stream, Fari'a, an hour distant (Robinson, Bibl. Res. 3, 305). Some large hewn stones in the walls of the modern houses, and a number of deep wells and cisterns in and around the village, are the only traces of antiquity now remaining (Van de Velde, Travels, 2, 335; Porter, Handbook, p. 348).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Thebez'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/t/thebez.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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