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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Zabadaean

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(Ζαβαδαῖος ), the designation of an Arab tribe who were attacked and spoiled by Jonathan, on his way back to Damascus from his fruitless pursuit of the army of Demetrius (1 Maccabees 12:31). Josephus calls them Nabatceans (Ant. 13:5, 10), but he is evidently in error. Nothing certain is known of them. Ewald (Gesch. 4:382) finds a trace of their name in that of the place Zabada given by Robinson in his lists; but this is too far south, between the Yarmuk and the Zerka. Michaelis suggests the Arab tribe Zobeideh; but they do not appear in the necessary locality. Jonathan had pursued the enemy's army as far as the river Eleltherus (Nahr el-Kebir), and was on his march back to Damascus when he attacked and plundered the Zabadlaans. We must look for them, therefore, somewhere to the north-west of Damascus. Accordingly, on the road from Damascus to Baalbek, at a distance of eight and two-third hours (twenty-six miles) from the former place, is the village of Zebdany, standing at the upper end of a plain of the same name, which is the very center of Antilibanus. The name is possibly a relic of the ancient tribe of the Zabadaeans. According to Burckhardt (Syria. p. 3), the plain "is about three quarters of an hour in breadth and three hours in length; it is called Ard Zebdeni, or the district of Zebdeni; it is watered by the Barrada, one of whose sources is in the midst of it, and by the rivulet called Moiet Zebdeni, whose source is in the mountain behind the village of the same name." The plain is "limited on one side by the eastern part of the Antilibanus, called here Jebel Zebdent. The village is of considerable size, containing nearly 3000 inhabitants, who breed cattle and the silkworm, and have some dyeing-houses" (ibid.). Not far from Zebdany, on the western slopes of Antilibanus, is another village called Kefi Zebad, which again seems to point to this as the district formerly occupied by the Zabadaeans.

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

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