abel ("meadow"; compare ABEL MEHOLAH.) Biqu'ah, the great, plain Coele ("hollow") Syria between Lebanon and Antilebanon; Bikath Aven, Am 1:5; "the valley (Biqa'ath) of Lebanon" (Jos 11:17; 12:7), Biqua'ath Mizpeh (Jos 11:8); still called el Bekaa, 60 miles long, five broad. Also 2Ch 35:22; Ge 11:2; Ne 6:2; Da 3:1. Hac Ciccar, the region round about the Jordan valley (Ge 13:10; 19:17,25-29). Ham Mishor (De 3:10; 4:43), the smooth (from yaashar, "straight") downs of Moab stretching from Jordan E. of Jericho into the Arabian desert, contrasting with the rugged country W. of Jordan and with the higher lands of Bashan and Argob.
The Belka pasture, regular in its undulations, good in its turf (2Ch 26:10). Ha 'Arabah, the Jordan valley and its continuation S. of the Dead Sea. Ha shephelah, the undulating, rolling, "low hills" between the mountainous part of Judah and the coast plain of the Mediterranean (De 1:7, "the vale"; 2Ch 28:18, "the low country"); Seville in Spain is derived from it. 'Elon ought to be translated "oak" or "oaks" (Ge 12:6; 13:18; Jg 4:11; 9:6,37; 1Sa 10:3). Emek the valley of Jezreel (Esdraelon), the eastern part, Megiddo the western part, of the one plain.
This one term does duty in the Authorized Version for no less than seven distinct Hebrew words.
1. Abel. This word perhaps answers more nearly to our word "meadow" than any other. It occurs in the names of Abel-maim Abel-meholah, Abel-shittim and is rendered "plain" in
"plain of vineyards."
2. Bik'ah. Fortunately we are able to identify the most remarkable of the bik'ahs of the Bible, and thus to ascertain the force of the term. The great plain or valley of Coele-Syria, the "hollow land" of the Greeks, which separates the two ranges of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon is the most remarkable of them all. Out of Palestine we find denoted by the word bik'ah the "plain of the land of Shiner,"
the "plain of Mesopotamia,"
and the "plain in the province of Dura."
3. Ha shefelah the invariable designation of the depressed, flat or gently-undulating region which intervened between the highlands of Judah and the Mediterranean, and was commonly in possession of the Philistines.
4. Elon. Our translators have uniformly rendered this word "plain;" but this is not the verdict of the majority or the most trustworthy of the ancient versions. They regard the word as meaning an "oak" or "grove of oaks," a rendering supported by nearly all the commentators and lexicographers of the present day, The passages in which the word occurs erroneously translated "plain" are as-follows: Plain of Moreh,
Ge 12:6; De 11:30
plain of Mamre,
plain of Zaanaim,
plain of the pillar,
plain of Meonenim,
plain of Tabor,