One of the most ancient cities of Canaan, being built seven years before Tanis, the capital of Lower Egypt, Nu 13:22. It was anciently called Kirjath-arba, (see ARBA,) and Mamre, and was a favorite residence of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Here too they were buried, Ge 14:13-24; 23:2-19; 35:27. Under Joshua and Caleb the Israelites conquered it from the Canaanites and Anakim, and it was afterwards made a Levitical city of refuge, 13'>Jos 14:13-15; 13'>15:13; 21:11,13; Jg 1:10,20. It was David's seat of government during the seven years when he reigned over Judah only, 2Sa 2:3; 5:5. Here Absalom raised the standard of revolt, 2Sa 15:9-10. It was fortified by Rehoboam, and is mentioned after the captivity, but not in the New Testament, Ne 11:25. At present Hebron is an unwalled city of about 8,000 inhabitants, of whom some 600 are Jews, and the remainder Turks and Arabs. It lies in a deep valley and on the adjacent hillside, in the ancient hill-country of Judea, about 2,600 feet above the sea. Its modern name, El-khulil, the friend, is the same which the Moslems give to Abraham, "the friend of God;" and they profess to hold in their keeping the burial-place of the patriarchs, the "cave of Machpelah." It is covered by a small mosque, surrounded by a stone structure 60 feet high, 150 feet wide, and 200 feet long. Within this no Christian is permitted to enter; but it is evidently of very high antiquity, and may well be regarded as inclosing the true site of the ancient tomb. Other relics of antiquity exist in two stone reservoirs, the larger 133 feet square, and 21 feet deep. They are still in daily use; and one of them was probably the "pool in Hebron," above which David hung up the assassins of Ish-bosheth, 2Sa 4:12. The city contains nine mosques and two synagogues. Its streets are narrow; the houses of stone, with flat roofs surmounted by small domes. Large quantities of glass lamps and colored rings are here manufactured; also leathern bottles, raisins, and dibs, or grape-syrup. The environs of the city are very fertile, furnishing the finest vineyards in Palestine, numerous plantations of olive and other fruit trees, and excellent pasturage. See ESHCOL, MAMRE.
a community; alliance. (1.) A city in the south end of the valley of Eshcol, about midway between Jerusalem and Beersheba, from which it is distant about 20 miles in a straight line. It was built "seven years before Zoan in Egypt" (Ge 13:18; Nu 13:22). It still exists under the same name, and is one of the most ancient cities in the world. Its earlier name was Kirjath-arba (Ge 23:2; Jos 14:15; 15:3). But "Hebron would appear to have been the original name of the city, and it was not till after Abraham's stay there that it received the name Kirjath-arba, who [i.e., Arba] was not the founder but the conqueror of the city, having led thither the tribe of the Anakim, to which he belonged. It retained this name till it came into the possession of Caleb, when the Israelites restored the original name Hebron" (Keil, Com.). The name of this city does not occur in any of the prophets or in the New Testament. It is found about forty times in the Old. It was the favorite home of Abraham. Here he pitched his tent under the oaks of Mamre, by which name it came afterwards to be known; and here Sarah died, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Ge 23:17-20), which he bought from Ephron the Hittite. From this place the patriarch departed for Egypt by way of Beersheba (Ge 37:14; 46:1). It was taken by Joshua and given to Caleb (Jos 10:36-37; 12:10; 14:13). It became a Levitical city and a city of refuge (Jos 20:7; 21:11). When David became king of Judah this was his royal residence, and he resided here for seven and a half years (2Sa 5:5); and here he was anointed as king over all Israel (2Sa 2:1-4,11; 1Ki 2:11). It became the residence also of the rebellious Absalom (2Sa 15:10), who probably expected to find his chief support in the tribe of Judah, now called el-Khulil.
In one part of the modern city is a great mosque, which is built over the grave of Machpelah. The first European who was permitted to enter this mosque was the Prince of Wales in 1862. It was also visited by the Marquis of Bute in 1866, and by the late Emperor Frederick of Germany (then Crown-Prince of Prussia) in 1869.
One of the largest oaks in Palestine is found in the valley of Eshcol, about 3 miles north of the town. It is supposed by some to be the tree under which Abraham pitched his tent, and is called "Abraham's oak." (See Oak.)
(3.) 1Ch 2:42-43.
(4.) A town in the north border of Asher (Jos 19:28).
1. Third son of Kohath; younger brother of Amram, father of Moses and Aaron (Ex 6:18). The family of Hebronites sprang from him. In the 40th year of David's reign 2,700 of them, at Jazer in Gilead, "mighty men of valor," superintended for the king the two and a half tribes "in matters pertaining to God and the king" (1Ch 26:30-32); Jerijah was their chief. Also Hashabiah and 1,700 Hebronites were officers "in all the Lord's business and the king's service" on the W. of Jordan.
2. 1Ch 2:42-43.
3. A city in the hill country of Judah, originally Kirjath (the city of) Arba (Jos 15:13; 14:15). "Arba was a great man among the Anakims, father of Anak." (See Jos 21:11; Jg 1:10.) Twenty Roman miles S. of Jerusalem, and twenty N. of Beersheba. Rivaling Damascus in antiquity. Built seven years before Zoan in Egypt (Nu 13:22). Well known at Abram's entrance into Canaan, 3,780 years ago (Ge 42:18). Hebron was the original name, changed to Kirjath Arba during Israel's sojourn in Egypt, and restored by Caleb, to whom it was given at the conquest of Palestine (Ge 23:2; Jos 14:13-15). The third resting place of Abram; Shechem was the first, Bethel the second.
Near Hebron was the cave of Machpelah, where he and Sarah were buried. Now El Khalil, the house of "the friend" of God. Over the cave is now the mosque El Haran, from which all but Muslims are excluded jealously (though the Prince of Wales was admitted), and in which probably lie the remains of Abraham and Isaac, and possibly Jacob's embalmed body, brought up in state from Egypt (Ge 50:13). Near it was the oak or terebinth, a place of pagan worship. Hebron was called for a time also Mamre, from Abram's ally (Ge 23:19; 35:27). It was made a Levite city of refuge (Jos 21:11-13). Still there is an oak bearing Abraham's name, 23 ft. in girth, and covering 90 ft. space in diameter. In Hebron, David reigned over Judah first for seven and a half years (2Sa 5:5). Here Absalom set up the standard of revolt.
On the return from Babylon some of the children of Judah dwelt in Kirjath Arba (Ne 11:25). After various vicissitudes it fell into the Moslems' hands in A.D. 1187, and has continued so ever since. It is picturesquely situated in a narrow valley running from N. to S. (probably that of Eshcol, whence the spies got the great cluster of grapes, Nu 13:23), surrounded by rocky hills, still famed for fine grapes. S. of the town in the bottom of the valley is a tank, 130 ft. square by 50 deep. At the western end is another, 85 ft. long by 55 broad. Over the former probably David hung Ishbosheth's murderers (2Sa 4:12).
4. A town in Asher; spelled in Hebrew differently from the former Hebron. Abdon is read in many manuscripts
A very ancient city in Palestine, 20 miles S.S.W. from Jerusalem. It is in a basin on one of the highest points of the Jud
1. City and district in which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob dwelt, about twenty-two miles south of Jerusalem. There also Sarah died, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah, as were also Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Rebekah, and Leah. Ge 49:31. The city was built seven years before 'Zoan in Egypt' and had been formerly called KIRJATH-ARBA It was thus one of the most ancient cities known in the world. It was possessed by the Canaanites, until conquered by Joshua, and the city given to Caleb, in the portion of Judah. It afterwards became a city of refuge. David reigned in Hebron seven and a half years. Ge 13:18; 23:2,19; Nu 13:22; Jos 10:36; 20:7; Jg 1:10,20; 2Sa 2:11, etc. There is still a large town on the spot, with some 18,000 inhabitants, called el Khulil, 31 32' N, 35 6' E. Also a mosque, said to be built over the cave of Machpelah. This is strictly guarded, very few being allowed to see the tomb.
2. City in Asher. Jos 19:28. Not identified.
4. One of the descendants of Caleb. 1Ch 2:42-43.
1. The third son of Kohath, who was the second son of Levi.
He was the founder of a family of Hebronites,
, or Bene-Hebron.
2. A city of Judah,
situated among the mountains,
20 Roman miles south of Jerusalem, and the same distance north of Beersheba. Hebron is one of the most ancient cities in the world still existing; and in this respect it is the rival of Damascus. It was a well-known town when Abraham entered Canaan, 3800 years ago.
Its original name was Kirjath-arba,
the city of Arba; so called from Arba the father of Anak.
Sarah died at Hebron; and Abraham then bought from Ephron the Hittite the field and cave of Machpelah, to serve as a family tomb
The cave is still there, and the massive walls of the Haram or mosque, within which it lies, form the most remarkable object in the whole city. Abraham is called by Mohammedans el-Khulil, "the Friend," i.e. of God, and this is the modern name of Hebron. Hebron now contains about 5000 inhabitants, of whom some fifty families are Jews. It is picturesquely situated in a narrow valley, surrounded by rocky hills. The valley runs from north to south; and the main quarter of the town, surmounted by the lofty walls of the venerable Haram, lies partly on the eastern slope.
comp. Gene 23:19 About a mile from the town, up the valley, is one of the largest oak trees in Palestine. This, say some, is the very tree beneath which Abraham pitched his tent, and it still bears the name of the patriarch.
3. One of the towns in the territory of Asher,
probably Ebdon or Abdom.
HEBRON, one of the most ancient cities in the world; for it was built seven years before Zoan, the capital of Lower Egypt, Nu 13:22. Now, as the Egyptians gloried much in the antiquity of their cities, and their country was indeed one of the first that was peopled after the dispersion of Babel, it may be from hence concluded that it was one of the most ancient. Some think it was founded by Arba, one of the oldest giants in Palestine; for which reason it was called Kirjath-arba, or Arba's city, Jos 14:15; which name was afterward changed to that of Hebron, Jos 15:13. Arba was the father of Anak; and from Anak the giants, called Anakim, took their name, who were still dwelling at Hebron when Joshua conquered the land of Canaan. When it was first called Hebron, is uncertain; some think, not till it was conquered by Caleb, and that he called it so from his son of that name. But Calmet is of opinion that the name of Hebron is more ancient; and that Caleb, to do honour to his son, named him after this ancient and celebrated place. Hebron was situated upon an eminence, twenty miles southward from Jerusalem, and twenty miles north from Beersheba. Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac were buried near Hebron, in the cave of Machpelah, or the double cave, which Abraham bought of Ephron, Ge 23:7-9. Hebron was the allotment of Judah. The Lord assigned it for the inheritance of Caleb, Jos 14:13; 10:3,23,37. Joshua first took Hebron, and killed the king, whose name was Hoham. But afterward Caleb again made a conquest of it, assisted by the troops of his tribe, and the valour of Othniel, Jg 1:12-13. It was appointed to be a dwelling for priests, and declared to be a city of refuge, Jos 21:13. David, after the death of Saul, fixed the seat of his government there, 2Sa 2:2-5. At Hebron, Absalom began his rebellion, 2Sa 15:7-8, &c. During the captivity of Babylon, the Edomites having invaded the southern parts of Judea, made themselves masters of Hebron; hence Josephus sometimes makes it a part of Edom. Here Zacharias and Elizabeth are believed to have dwelt; and it is supposed to have been the birth place of John the Baptist. Hebron is now called El Hhalil; though not a town of large dimensions, it has a considerable population. According to Ali Bey, it contains about four hundred families of Arabs; but he does not notice either the Jews, who are numerous, or the Turks. He describes it as situated on the slope of a mountain, and having a strong castle. Provisions, he says, are abundant, and there is a considerable number of shops. The streets are winding, and the houses unusually high. The country is well cultivated, to a considerable extent. Hebron is computed to be twenty- seven miles south-west of Jerusalem.