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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Gr. Ναϊ v ν ; according to Simon, from Heb. נָאַין nain', green pastures; so written in the Eastern versions of the N.T., but Schwarz, Palest. page 169, writes נעים, as if from נָעַין, gracefulness), a town (πόλις ) of Palestine, mentioned only in the N.T. as the place where Jesus raised the widow's son to life (Luke 7:11-17). Josephus speaks of a Nain, but it was different from this, being situated in the south (War, 4:9, 4). The site of Nain is described by Jerome as being two miles south of Tabor, near Endor (Onomast. s.v. Naim; Eusebius has twelve miles, but the error is probably that of a copyist writing ιβ instead of β. Neither this number, however, nor that of Jerome, is accurate). Phocas places it north of Tabor (see Reland, Palaest. page 904). As its name has always been preserved, it was recognised by the Crusaders, and has often been noticed by travellers up to the present day. It has now dwindled to a mean village called Nein (according to De Saulcy [Dead Sea, 1:75], Nayin, pronounced by the Arabs exactly as Ναϊ v ν ), which contains remains of very ancient buildings, with a fountain (Tristram, Land of Israel, page 130). It stands on a bleak, rocky slope, on the northern declivity of Jebel ed-Duhy (the "hill Moreh" of Scripture, and the "Little Hermon" of modern travellers), directly facing Tabor, from which it is four miles distant, and two and a half miles south- west of Endor. It is a small, poor hamlet, of some twenty houses, or rather huts. Round the houses, however, are pretty extensive ruins; and there are some traces of what appears to be an ancient wall. The most interesting antiquities are tombs, hewn in the rock, a short distance east of the village. It was in this direction our Lord approached, and probably to one or other of those very tombs they were bearing the corpse when he met and arrested the mournful procession (see Thomson, Land and Book, 2:158). The situation of Nain is extremely beautiful. At the foot of the slope on which it stands is the great plain of Esdraelon, bounded on the north by the gracefil wooded hills of Galilee, over which the snow-capped summits of Hermon and Lebanon ap- pear. See Robinson, Bib. Res. 2:361; Van de Velde, Syria and Palestine, 2:382; Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, page 357; Porter, Hand-book to Syria, page 358.

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

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