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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Dibon' דַּיבוֹן, a pining, Gesen.; or river-place, Furst; Sept. Δεβών, but Δαιβών in Numbers 21:30, Nehemiah and Jeremiah; Διβών in Joshua, Δηβών in Isaiah), the name of two cities.

1. A city, originally of the Moabites, on the northern bank of the Arnon, at the point where the Israelites crossed that river on their journey to the Jordan, and where their first encampment was made after having passed it (Numbers 21:30; Numbers 32:3). It is called also DIBON-GAD (Numbers 33:45), probably from its having been rebuilt by the tribe of that name (Numbers 32:34), although it was afterwards assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 13:9; Joshua 13:17). In later times we find it, with other towns in this quarter, in the hands of the Moabites (Jeremiah 48:18; Jeremiah 48:22). Eusebius and Jerome erroneously distinguish the Dibon of Moab from that where the Israelites encamped, and they describe the former as still a very large village near the Arnon (Onomast. s.v. Δαβών, Debon). The site has been recognized by Seetzen, Burckhardt (Syria, p. 372), and Irby and Mangles' (Trav. p. 642), at a place which bears the name of Diban, in a low tract of the district called the Koura, about three miles north of the Arnon (Mojeb). The ruins are here extensive, but offer nothing of interest. By an interchange of kindred letters, it is once called DIMON (Isaiah 15:9), and is there spoken of as occupying an elevated situation (Isaiah 15:2).

2. A city in the tribe of Judah, inhabited after the captivity (Nehemiah 11:25). It is apparently the same called DIMONAH (See DIMONAH) (q.v.) in Joshua 15:22. Schwarz says it is "the village of Dir-Dibon, 5 Eng. miles N. of Bet-Jibrin" (Palest. p. 116), meaning Deir-Dubban (Robinson, Res. 2:353; 421); but this position does not agree with the associated localities. The site is probably (Knobel, in loc. Jos.) the modern Ed-Dheib, a place on the south side of a shallow wady by the same name, a short distance north-east of Tell-Arad (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 252), marked by "rude foundations and walls" (Robinson, Researches, 2:473).

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

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Dibon of Gad
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