Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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"The waters of Merom" is given in Joshua 11:5 as the name of the place at which the hosts of the peoples of northern Palestine assembled to meet the invader Joshua and his army. Merom is now commonly identified with the modern Lake alḤulah, about fifteen miles north of the Sea of Galilee, and it is described as being of the shape of a pear with the stem pointing southward. It is three miles wide in its broadest part, and nearly four miles long, from the swamps to the outlet into the River Jordan. The lake is seven feet above the level of the Mediterranean, and varies from ten to sixteen feet in depth. Not far from its southwestern shores there is a considerable plain which seems to be the most probable location of the great battle between Joshua and the North-Canaanitish allies. The commander-in-chief of these forces, gathered from all parts of northern Palestine and even from the Jordan valley, was Jabin, King of Hazor. The great multitude of warriors is compared in numbers with "the sand that is upon the seashore . . . with horses and chariots very many."

The only hint as to Joshua's method of attack is the statement that he came against the enemy suddenly, and fell upon them. This probably indicates a night march and early morning attack as at Gibeon (Joshua 10:9,10). The Israelites smote them, put them to flight, and pursued them in every direction. Their horses were hamstrung, and their chariots were burned, while their cities and the whole country were laid waste. This last great battle so reduced opposition that Joshua was now ready to partition among the tribes of Israel for a permanent possession the land with its unconquered individual fortresses.

E. G. H.
I. M. P.
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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Merom'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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