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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Maareh-Geba
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Hebrew - Geba, Maareh-geba
Hebrew - Maareh-geba
GEBA

(gee' buh) Place name meaning, “hill,” and variant Hebrew spelling of Gibeah, with which it is sometimes confused though the two represent different towns in the territory of Benjamin. Geba was given Benjamin (Joshua 18:24) but set aside for the Levites (Joshua 21:17). This is evidently the base camp for Saul and Jonathan in their fight with the Philistines (1 Samuel 13:16-14:18), though the Hebrew texts and modern translations confuse Geba and Gibeah here. King Asa of Judah (910-869 B.C.) strengthened the city (1 Kings 15:22). In the days of King Josiah (640-609 B.C.) Geba apparently represented the northern border of Judah as opposed to the southern border in Beersheba (2 Kings 23:8). Isaiah described the ominous march of the Assyrian army coming through Geba on its way to Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:29). For Zechariah (Zechariah 14:10), Geba represented the northern border of a Judah to be flattened out into a plain dominated by God ruling on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. At some period Geba's inhabitants were forced to move to Manahath (1 Chronicles 8:6), perhaps when the tribe of Benjamin first settled there or during the Exile. Exiles returned to Geba under Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:26). Some citizens of Geba lived in Michmash and other cities in Nehemiah's day, unless the Hebrew text is read differently (REB) to mean they lived in Geba as well as the other towns (Nehemiah 11:31). Levite singers lived there (Nehemiah 12:29).

Geba is variously located, some scholars going so far as to locate a southern Geba of Benjamin at Jeba across the wadi Suweinit from Michmash, about five and a half miles north of Jerusalem, and a northern Geba (Joshua 18:24) at khirbet et-Tell, seven miles north of Bethel. At neither of these places has archaeology yet shown evidence to correlate with the biblical materials.


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'GEBA'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<http://classic.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T2214>. 1991.

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