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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Moreh

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(Heb. Moreh', מוֹרֶה , an archer, as in 1 Samuel 31:3, etc., or teaching, as in Isaiah 9:14), an old title that appears in the designation of two localities of central Palestine.

1. Apparently a Canaanite (perhaps a chief, like Mamre), B.C. 2088, owning or inhabiting the region south of Shechem, from whom the grove (אֵלוֹן, oak [also in the plur.], Auth.Vers. "plain") of Moreh derived its name as early as the time of Abraham, who made this his first tarrying- place in the land (Genesis 12:6, where the Sept. has δ ρ ς ψ ληλή,Vulg. convallis illustris), a designation that continued till the exode (Deuteronomy 11:30, Sept. δ ρ ς ψ ηλή,Vulg. vallis tendens et intrans procul) "the first of that long succession of sacred and venerable trees which dignified the chief places of Palestine, and formed not the least interesting link in the chain which so indissolubly united the land to the history of the nation. See OAK. Here Jehovah 'appeared' to Abraham, who here built the first of the series of altars (it may be roughly said that Abraham built altars, Isaac dug wells, Jacob erected stones) which marked the various spots of his residence in the Promised Land, and dedicated it 'to Jehovah, who appeared נַרְאֶה, again, as if a play upon the name of the place) unto him' (Genesis 12:7). It was at the 'place of Shechem' (Genesis 12:6), close to (אֵצֶל ) the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim (Deuteronomy 11:30), where the Samar.

Cod. adds 'over against Shechem.' Sirach 1:26 perhaps contains a play on the name Moreh that foolish people ( λαὸς μωρός ) who dwell in Sichem.' If the pun existed in the Hebrew text, it may have been between Sichem and Sichor (drunken). A trace of this ancient name, curiously reappearing after many centuries, is probably to be found in Morthia, which is given on some ancient coins as one of the titles of Neapolis, i.e., Shechem, and by Pliny and Josephus as Mamortha or Mabortha (Reland, Diss. 3:§ 8). The latter states (War, 4:8, 1) that it was the name by which the place was called by the country people' (ἐπιχώριοι ), who thus kept alive the ancient appellation, just as the peasants of Hebron did that of Kirjath-arba down to the date of Sir John Mande-ille's visit." From the notices given, the grove of Moreh appears to have been a forest occupying the ridge afterwards known as the mountains of Ephraim. (The treatise of Chr. J. Grabener, De Allon Moreh, Lips. 1737, is valueless.)

2. An eminence (hill of Moreh, גַּבַעִת הִמּוֹרֵה, i.e., teacher's hill; Sept. βουνὸς τοῦ Ἀμορέ v.r. Γαβαωθαμοραί ,Vulg. collis excelsus) in the valley of Jezreel, on the north side of the well of Harod, near which the Midianitish host was encamped when attacked by Gideon (Judges 7:1); probably identical with that known as Little Hermon, the modern Jebel ed- Duhy (see Bertheau, Comment. ad loc.), or, rather, one of the lower southern spurs of this mountain (where ruins are still extant), since it is itself too lofty (1839 feet, Van de Velde, Memoir, page 178) for a military encampment. It is a bare gray ridge parallel to Mount Gilboa on the north, and between them lay the battle-field. No doubt although the fact is not mentioned the enemy kept near the foot of Mount Moreh, for the sake of some spring or springs which issued from its base, as the AinCharod did from that on which Gideon was planted. (See HAROD).

The hostile camp probably extended from the village of Shunem on the west down to the strong city of Bethshan on the east, for we are told that "the Midianites and the Amalekites, and all the children of the east, lay along the valley like grasshoppers for multitude" (Judges 7:12). The mountain is the site not only of Shunem, but also of Endor and Nain (see Porter, Handbook, page 357 sq.). Whether this place has any connection with the preceding is doubtful; and it is still more unlikely that either is related to Moriah, as thought by Stanley (Sin. and Pal. pages 141, 232). Van de Velde locates the battle too far south (Syr. and Pal. 2:341). (See GIDEON).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Moreh'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/m/moreh.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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