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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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(עד , ‛ēdh , "witness"): The name of the altar erected by the trans-Jordanic tribes upon finally taking possession of Gilead (Joshua 22:10 , Joshua 22:11 , Joshua 22:34 ); probably east of the Jordan opposite Jericho. But neither the Massoretic Text nor the Septuagint contained the word. Both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), however, insert the word on the authority of a few manuscripts. It has been suggested that it is the final ה , ‛ēdh in Gal‛ēdh , the name given by Laban and Jacob to the memorial heap of stones erected by them in the vicinity (Genesis 31:47 , Genesis 31:48 ). According to the Massoretic Text, the name of the altar is the entire sentence: "It is a witness between us that Yahweh is God." The opposition of the ten tribes to the erection of this altar was on the score that it was built after the pattern of the great altar of burnt offering (Joshua 22:11 , Joshua 22:29 ), which was a horned altar forbidden in ordinary lay sacrifice. There is in it, therefore, no indication of a general opposition to lay sacrifices on altars of earth or unhewn stone (see Wiener, EPC , 198).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Ed'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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