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SAREPTA (Σάρεφθα), the “Zarephath, a city of Sidon” of the Old Testament (1 Kings, 17.9, 10; comp. St. Luke, 4.26), apparently at the most extreme north (Obad. 20), celebrated in the history of Elijah the prophet. It is said by Josephus to be not far from Tyre and Sidon, lying between the two. (Ant. 8.13.2.) Pliny places it between Tyre and Ornithon, on the road to Sidon (5.19.17). In the Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum the name does not occur, but it is described by a periphrasis and placed viii. M. P. from Sidon (p. 583). The Arabian geographer Sherif Ibn Idris, quoted by Reland, places Zaraphand 20 miles from Tyre, 10 from Sidon. (Palaestina, p. 985.) It was formerly celebrated for its wine, and is supposed to be intended by Pliny under the name of Tyrian, which he commends with that of Tripolis and Berytus (14.7). Several of the later Latin poets have also sung the praises of the “dulcia Bacchi munera, quae Sarepta ferax, quae Gaza crearet,” the quantity of the first syllable being common (ap. Reland, p. 986). The place is noticed by modern travellers. Dr. Robinson found “a large village bearing the name of Sŭrapend,” five hours north of Tyre, three south of Sidon, near the sea-shore, where is a saint's tomb called El-Khŭdr (==St. George), which lie imagined to mark the site of a Christian chapel mentioned by travellers in the middle ages. (Bibl. Res. vol. iii. pp. 412, 413.)


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