or Kiryat Arbah (el-Halil) Occupied Jordan.
One of the oldest cities in the mountains of Judea, on the main road from Jerusalem to Beersheba.
Possibly it was called Kiryat Arbah because it consisted
of four quarters, one of which was Mamreh (Gen.
23:17). It was here that Abraham bought the Cave of
Machpelah in which Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their
wives were buried, and David was anointed king at Hebron. The city was resettled in the Persian period, when
Hebron was in Idumaea. The city was later conquered
by the Hasmonaeans, and since then has formed part
of Judea. After the destruction of the Second Temple it
was given to the Roman Legio X Fretensis, who made it
a military base in the rear of limes Palestinae. In the
late Roman period Hebron had a Jewish community and
The enclosure built over the Cave of Machpelah by
Herod survives to its original height: the walls, built of
large ashlar blocks, some of which are 1.5 by 6.3 by
1.5 m, enclose an area of 46.8 by 27 m. Flat pilasters
decorated the exterior.
F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine
II (1938) 345-46; M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land