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HEBRON (Χεβρών, LXX., Joseph.), a very ancient city of Palestine, situated in a mountainous district, 22 Roman miles south of Jerusalem. (Euseb. s. v. Ἀρκώ.) Its original name was Kirjath-Arba, or the city of Arba, so called from Arba, a chief of the Anakim, who dwelt in this neighbourhood. (Gen. 23.2; Josh. 14.15; Judg. 1.10; J. AJ 14.15.) It was frequently the residence of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were buried here in the cave of Macpelah, which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth. (Gen. 23.2, seq.) Upon the conquest of Palestine by the Israelites, Hebron was given by Joshua to Caleb, who expelled the Anakim from the district. (Josh. 14.13--15, 15.13, 14; Judg. 1.20.) It was afterwards appointed one of the cities of refuge. (Josh. 20.7.) Hebron was the residence of David, as king of Judah, for seven years and a half. (2 Sam. 2.1, 5.5.) It was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chron. 11.10); and was occupied by the Jews after their return from captivity (Nehem. 11.25). It afterwards fell into the hands of the Idumaeans, from whom it was recovered by Judas Maccabaeus. (1 Macc. 5.65; J. AJ 12.8.6, B. J. 4.9.7.) It was taken and burnt by the Romans in the great Jewish War. (Joseph. B. J. 4.9.9.) The modern town is called El Khulil, “the friend” of God, the name given by the Moslems to Abraham. Here are shown the tombs of the patriarchs, of which an account is given by modern travellers. Outside the town are two reservoirs for rain-water, evidently of great antiquity, one of which is probably the “pool in Hebron” mentioned in the history of David. (2 Sam. 4.12.)

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 14.15
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 12.8.6
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