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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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Ancient Canaanitish city mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions and the Amarna letters as being the seat of a local prince (comp. Joshua 10:33, 12:12). The Israelites failed to conquer it (Joshua 16:10; Judges 1:29; comp. 2 Samuel 5:25; 1 Chronicles 14:16). Solomon received it as a present from the Egyptian king (who had destroyed it), and rebuilt it (1 Kings 9:15-17). The city is mentioned in Josh. xvi, 3 and 1 Chronicles 7:28 as an Ephraimite border city; in Joshua 21:21 and 1 Chronicles 6:52 as a Levitical city (comp. 1 Chronicles 20:4: reading uncertain). At the time of the Maccabees it is again met with; it was fortified by Bacchides, but was conquered by Simon, who drove out the inhabitants and settled it with faithful Jews (I Macc. 4:15; 7:45; 9:52; 13:43,53; 14:7,34; 15:28; 16:1). Under Gabinius, Gazara (Greek, "Gadara") became the chief town of its district. The site was unknown until Clermont-Ganneau in 1873 discovered it in Tell al-Jazar, near 'Amwas. Here the famous boundary-stone was found with the inscription in Maccabean characters. See illustration under BOUNDARIES.

  • Max Müller, Asien und Europa, p. 160;
  • Comptes Rendus des Séances de I'Académie des Inscriptions, 1874;
  • Pal. Explor. Fund, Memoirs, 2:428;
  • Schürer, Gesch. i 245 et seq., 339.
E. G. H.
F. Bu.
Map of Location

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Gezer'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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