(ihb' lih uhm) Place name meaning, “he swallowed the people.” City in tribal territory of Issachar but given to tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 17:11). Many Bible students think Ibleam was the original reading for the Levite city in
Joshua 21:25, where the Hebrew text now reads “Gath-rimmon,” also read in
Joshua 21:24. A copyist may have copied the name from
Joshua 21:24 into
Joshua 21:25. Some Greek manuscripts read Iebatha, perhaps a corruption of Ibleam.
1 Chronicles 6:70 reads Bileam, pointing to Ibleam as original. Other Greek manuscripts read Beth-Shean. Manasseh could not conquer Ibleam (Judges 1:27). Jehu, in his coup against Jehoram, king of Israel, also mortally wounded Ahaziah, king of Judah, near Ibleam (2 Kings 9:27). Many Bible students also read Ibleam as the place of attack in
2 Kings 15:10 (REB, TEV, RSV, but not NRSV). The Hebrew text either uses an Aramaic pronoun otherwise unknown in Hebrew meaning, “before”; or it refers to a place Kabal-am otherwise unknown. Some Greek manuscripts read Ibleam. Normal text procedure would see Ibleam as the easier reading adopted in view of
2 Kings 9:27 by a copyist or translator who did not understand the Hebrew text. Ibleam is modern bir Belalmeh about a mile southwest of Jenin.