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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Zemaraim

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(Heb. Tsemara'yim, צְמָרִיַם , double fleece of wool, or perh. the dual of same base as Zemarite [q.v.]), the name of two localities in Palestine.

1. (Sept. Σεμρίμ v.r. Σάρα; Vulg. Semaraim.) One of the ancient towns in the territory allotted to Benjamin (Joshua 18:22), where it is grouped in the eastern section of the tribe, and named between Beth-arabah and Bethel; and it would therefore appear to have been situated either in the Jordan valley (Arabah) or on the mountain declivities between it and Bethel. About five miles north of Jericho, in the western edge of the valley of the Jordan, are the ruins of a small town or village, strewn over a low hill, and called Khurbet es-Sumrah, which may be regarded as the modern representative of the old town of Benjamin (Seetzen, Reisen, vol. 4:map; Robinson, Bibl. Res. 1, 569; 3, 292, note; Van de Velde, Memoir; p. 355; De Saulcy, Dead Sea, 2, 20 26; Schwarz, Palest. p. 125). Though little remains above the ground, there are many extensive quarries of sandstone beneath, which are proofs of large buildings once existing in the vicinity (Tristram, Bible Places, p. 103).

2. (Sept. Σομόρων ; Vulg. Semeron.) A mountain (הִר ) or eminence mentioned in 2 Chronicles 13:4 as being "in Mount Ephraim," that is to say, within the general district of the highlands of that great tribe. It appears to have been close to the scene of the engagement mentioned in the narrative, which again may be inferred to have been south of Bethel and Ephraim (2 Chronicles 13:19). It may be said, in passing, that a position so far south is no contradiction to its being in Mount Ephraim, which extended into the contiguous territory of Benjamin. (See RAMAH). It probably lay adjacent to the above-named town, from which it appears to have derived its name (Reland, Palaest. p. 1058).

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

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