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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. id. טֶלֶם, oppression [Gesenius; but Fü rst, place of lambs]), the name of a town and also of a man.

1. (Sept. Τελέμ v.r. Μαινάμ ; Vulg. Telem.) One of the cities which are described as "the uttermost of the tribe of Judah towards the coast of Edom southward" (Joshua 15:24, where it is mentioned between the southern Ziph and Bealoth). It is not again mentioned except we regard it as identical with TELAIM (See TELAIM) (q.v.) a theory which seems highly probable (Reland, Palest. p. 1029). Telem is mentioned by Eusebius and Jerome as a city of Judah, but they appear to have been ignorant of its site (Onomast. s.v. "Talem" ). The Sept. (Vat.) in Joshua 19:7 adds the name Θαλχά, between Remmon and Ether, to the towns of Simeon. This is said by Eusebius (Onomast.) and Jerome to have been then existing as a very large village called Thella, sixteen miles south of Eleutheropolis. The Sept. of 2 Samuel 2:12, in both MSS., exhibits a singular variation from the Hebrew text. Instead of "on the spot" (תִּחְתָּיו ; A.V. incorrectly "on his behalf"), they read "to Thailam (or Thelam) where he was." If this variation should be substantiated, there is some probability that Telem or Telaim is intended. David was at the time king, and quartered in Hebron, but there is no reason to suppose that he had relinquished his marauding habits; and the south country, where Telem lay, had formerly been a favorite field for his expeditions (1 Samuel 27:8-11). The opinion of Wilton that a trace of the ancient Telem is found in the Arab tribe Dhulldm, which gives its name to a district lying south-east of Beersheba, is not altogether improbable, especially as the Arabic and Hebrew words are cognate (The Negeb, p. 87; comp. Robinson, Bibl. Res. 2, 102). Rabbi Schwarz (Palest. p. 100) thinks Telem was different from Telaim, and he states that there is still "a district south of Madura called Tulam," doubtless referring to the above Dhullam. He also cites a reference from the Midrash (Koheleth, 5, 10) to a certain Menahem Talmia, as if a resident of Telem. If a more precise-location of the town be sought, it may perhaps be found in the "small site with foundations, called Sudeid," mentioned by Dr. Robinson as lying in the above region (Bibl. Res. 1, 102), six miles south-east of Tel Arad. (See TOCHEN).

2. (Sept. Τελλήμ v.r. Τελήμ and Τελμήν ; Vulg. Telem). One of the Temple porters who renounced his Gentile wife after the Captivity (Ezra 10:24). B.C. 458.

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

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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