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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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En-Ge´di (kids' fountain), a city of Judah, which gave its name to a part of the desert to which David withdrew for fear of Saul (; ). Its more ancient Hebrew name was Hazezon-tamar; and by that name it is mentioned before the destruction of Sodom, as being inhabited by the Amorites, and near the cities of the plain (). In , hands of the Moabites and Ammonites are described as coming up against king Jehoshaphat, apparently round the south end of the Dead Sea, as far as En-gedi. And this, as we learn from Dr. Robinson, is the route taken by the Arabs in their marauding expeditions at the present day. It has been identified with the Ain-jidy of the Arabs, situated at a point of the western shore, nearly equidistant from both extremities of the lake. The site lies among the mountains which here confine the lake, a considerable way down the descent to its shore. Here is the beautiful fountain of Ain-jidy, bursting forth at once in a fine stream upon a sort of narrow terrace or shelf of the mountain, above 400 feet above the level of the lake. The whole of the descent below appears to have been once terraced for tillage and gardens; and near the foot are the ruins of a town, exhibiting nothing of particular interest, and built mostly of unhewn stones. This we may conclude to have been the town which took its name from the fountain.

The Wilderness of En-gedi is doubtless the immediately neighboring part of the wild region, west of the Dead Sea, which must be traversed to reach its shores. It was here that David and his men lived among the 'rocks of the wild goats,' and where the former cut off the skirts of Saul's robe in a cave (). 'On all sides,' says Dr. Robinson, 'the country is full of caverns, which might then serve as lurking-places for David and his men, as they do for outlaws at the present day.'





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'en-Gedi'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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