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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Tob, טוֹב , good, as everywhere; Sept. Τώβ; Vulg. Tob), the name of a region or district (אֶרֶוֹ; Sept. γῆ; Vulg. terra; A. V. land" ) into which Jephthah withdrew when expelled from home by his half-brethren (Judges 11:3), and where he remained, at the head of a band of freebooters, till he was brought back by the sheiks (זְקֵנַים ) of Gilead (Judges 11:5). The narrative implies that the land of Tob was not far distant from Gilead; at the same time, from the nature of the case, it must have lain out towards the eastern deserts. It is undoubtedly mentioned again in 2 Samuel 10:6; 2 Samuel 10:8 as one of the petty Aramitish kingdoms or states which supported the Ammonites in their great conflict with David; but in that passage the A.V. presents the name literatim as Ishtob (q.v.), i.e. man of Tob, meaning, according to a common Hebrew idiom, the "men of Tob." After an immense interval it appears again (Τώβιον or Τούβιον ) in the Maccabaean history (1 Maccabees 5:13), and was then the abode of a considerable colony of Jews, numbering at least a thousand males. (See TOBIE). In 2 Maccabees 12:17 its position under the name TUBIENI (See TUBIENI) (q.v.) is defined very exactly as at or near Charax, 750 stadia from the strong town Caspis, though, as the position of neither of these places is known, we are not thereby assisted in the recovery of Tob. The Targum and Abarbanel render it simply "good land," while Kimchi and Ben-Gerson look upon Tob as the name of the lord or owner of the land. Eusebius and Jerome make it a country, but say nothing of its situation (Onomast. s.v.). Ptolemy (Geogr. 5, 19) mentions a place called θαῦβα as lying to the southwest of Zobah, and therefore possibly to the east or north-east of the country of Ammon proper. In Stephanus of Byzantium and in Eckhel (Doctr, Nunmm. 3, 352) the names Tubai and Tabeni occur. The name Tell Dobbe (Burckhardt, Syria, April 25), or, as it is given by the latest explorer of those regions, Tell Dibbe (Wetzstein, Map), attached to a ruined site at the south end of the Leja, a few miles north-west of Kenlawat, and also that of Ed-Dub, some twelve hours east of the mountain El-Kileib, are both suggestive of Tob. According to Schwarz (Palest. p. 200) the Talmud identifies it with a Gentile town called Susitha or Chephon, somewhere on the south-east shore of the lake of Tiberias; perhaps the Bippos (q.v.) so often mentioned by Josephus.

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

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