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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb., margin, nayoth', נָיוֹת, dwellings; text, Nevayoth', נְוָיֹת ; Sept. Ναυάθ, v.r. Ναυϊώθ and Αὐάθ : Vulg. Najoth), or, more fully, "Naioth in Ramah," a place in which Samuel and David took refuge together, after the latter had made his escape from the jealous fury of Saul (1 Samuel 19:18-19; 1 Samuel 19:22-23; 1 Samuel 20:1). "Naioth" occurs both in Heb. and A.V. in 1 Samuel 19:18 only. The Sept. supplies ἐν ῾Ραμά in that verse. The Vulg. adheres to the Hebrew. It is evident from 1 Samuel 19:18 that Naioth was not actually in Ramah, Samuel's habitual residence, though from the affix it must have been near it (Ewald, 3:66). In its corrected form (Keri) the name becomes a mere appellation, and from an early date has been interpreted to mean the huts or dwellings of a school or college of prophets over which Samuel presided, as Elisha did over those at Gilgal and Jericho. This appears first in the Targum-Jonathan, where for Naioth we find throughout בֵּית אוּלְפָנָא, "the house of instruction," the term which appears in later times to have been regularly applied to the schools of the rabbis (Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. col. 106); and there col. 106:20 is rendered, "And they saw the company of scribes singing praises, and Samuel teaching, standing over them," thus introducing the idea of Samuel as a teacher. Jerome, in his notice of this name in the Onomasticon (s.v. Namoth), refers to his observations thereon in the "libri Hebraicarum quaestionum." As, however, we at present possess these books, they contain no reference to Naioth. Josephus calls it "a certain place named Galbaath" (Γαλβαάθ), and distinguishes it from Ramah (Ant. 6:11, 5). R. Isaiah and other Jewish commentators state that Ramah was the name of a hill, and Naioth of the place upon it. (See RAMAH).

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

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