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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. id. בֶּזֶק, lightning; Sept. Βέζεκ and Βεζέκ ), the name apparently of two places in Palestine.

1. The residence of Adoni-bezek, i.e. the "lord of Bezek" (Judges 1:5), in the "lot (גֹּרָל ) of Judah" (Judges 1:3), and inhabited by Canaanites and Perizzites (Judges 1:4). This must have been in the mountains ("up"), not far from Jerusalem (Judges 1:7); possibly on the eminence near Deir el-Ghafr, marked by Van de Velde (Map) at four miles S.W. of Bethlehem (comp. Robinson, Researches, 2, 337, 338). Sand (Itiner. p. 182) mentions a village Bezek two miles west of the site of Beth-zur, but this lacks confirmation. Others propose other identifications, even the Bezetha on the north of Jerusalem. (See BEZETH).

2. The rendezvous where Saul numbered the forces of Israel and Judah before going to the relief of Jabesh-gilead (1 Samuel 11:8). From the terms of the narrative this cannot have been more than a day's march from Jabesh, and was therefore doubtless somewhere in the center of the country, near the Jordan valley. In accordance with this is the mention by Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. Βεζέκ, Bezech) of two places of this name seventeen miles from Neapplis (Shechem), on the road to Beth- shean. This would place it at Khulat-Maleh, on the descent to the Jordan, near Succoth. The Sept. inserts ἐν Βαμά after the name, possibly alluding to some "high place" at which this solemn muster took place. This Josephus gives as Bala (Βαλά, Ant. 6, 5, 3). Schwarz (Palest. p. 158) says that "Bezek is the modern village Azbik, five English miles south of Beth- shean;' but no other traveler speaks of such a name.


1. (Judges 1:5.) This is thought by Lieut. Conder (Tent-work, 2, 335; Quar. Statement of the "Pal. Explor. Fund," 1881, p. 50) to be the ruined site Bezkah, "south of Lydda," but the Ordnance Map contains no such name in that immediate vicinity.

2. (1 Samuel 11:8.) This has been fully recovered by Lieut. Conder (ibid.) in the ruined site, with graves and cisterns, laid down on the Ordnance Map as Khirbet Izbik, nine miles west of the Jordan and eleven miles southwest of Beisan.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Bezek'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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