|Hebron - |
1. Third son of Kohath; younger brother of Amram, father of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 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" (1 Chronicles 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. 1 Chronicles 2:42-43.
3. A city in the hill country of Judah, originally Kirjath (the city of) Arba (Joshua 15:13; Joshua 14:15). "Arba was a great man among the Anakims, father of Anak." (See Joshua 21:11; Judges 1:10.) Twenty Roman miles S. of Jerusalem, and twenty N. of Beersheba. Rivaling Damascus in antiquity. Built seven years before Zoan in Egypt (Numbers 13:22). Well known at Abram's entrance into Canaan, 3,780 years ago (Genesis 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 (Genesis 23:2; Joshua 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 (Genesis 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 (Genesis 23:19; Genesis 35:27). It was made a Levite city of refuge (Joshua 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 (2 Samuel 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 (Nehemiah 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, Numbers 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 (2 Samuel 4:12).
4. A town in Asher; spelled in Hebrew differently from the former Hebron. Abdon is read in many manuscripts