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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Zaretan

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(Heb. Tsarethan', צ רְתָן , perhaps splendor; in Joshua Sept. wholly omits; Vulg. Satthan; in 1 Kings 7:46 Sept. Σιαράμ v.r. Σειρά; Vulg. Sarthan; A. V. "Zarthan;" with ה directive, Zarethandnah, ז רְתָנָה, in 4:12; Sept. Σαρθάν v.r. Σεραρθάν and Ε᾿σλιανθάν; Vulg. Sarthana; A. V. "Zartanah"), a town or locality mentioned by this name three times, and apparently several times also under similar names. It' is first named in the account of the passage of the Jordan by the Israelites (Joshua 3, 16) as defining the position of the city Adam, which was beside (מַצָּד ) it. It is next mentioned in the list of Solomon's commissariat districts as "close to" (אֵצֶל ) Bethshean, that is, in the upper part of the Jordan valley and "beneath" (מַתִּחִת לְ 8) Jezreel (1 Kings 4:12). It is again mentioned in connection with Succoth as a clayey place where Solomon cast metal in the circle (כַּכָּר, kikkar, "plain," i.e. ghor) of the Jordan (7, 46). In the parallel passage to this last (2 Chronicles 4:17) ZEREDATHAH (See ZEREDATHAH) (q.v.) is substituted for Zarthan, and this again is not impossibly identical with the ZERERAH (See ZERERAH) (q.v.) of the story of Gideon (Judges 7:22). All these spots agree in proximity to the Jordan, and the associated places somewhat aid us in discovering the general locality. Bethshean is the present Beisan, Succoth is probably the present Salkut, and Adam is; doubtless, represented by the modern Adamieh ford. Van de Velde (Memoir, 1354) inclines to identify Zaretan with Surtabah, a lofty and isolated hill which projects from the main highlands into the Jordan valley, about seventeen miles north of Jericho (comp. De Saulcy, Dead Sea, 2, 31); but the names are not closely alike, and this peak has another ancient appellation. (See SARTABA). Schwarz probably refers to the same spot when he declares that the name should be read Sartaph, and that the town in question was so called "because it lay near Mount Sartaf, five English miles west of the Jordan" (Palest. p. 162). Mr. Drake (in the Quar. Report of the "Palestine Explor. Fund," Jan. 1875, p. 31) thinks that the reading Siaram (Σιαράμ ) of the Alexandrian MS. at 1 Kings 7:46 points to a "Tell Sarem, a very conspicuuiils and unusually large mound three miles south of Beisan;"but this reading is very precarious. According to Tristram (Bible Places, p. 228), "the name lingers in Ain Zahrah and Tulull Zahrah, three miles west of Beisan, indicating that Zaretan was the designation of a district rather than a place."

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

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