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KIRJATH a word signifying in Hebrew “town,” or “city;” the following are the principal places to which this term is attached.


KIRJATHAIM (Κιριαθαίμ, LXX.), or the “double city,” one of the most ancient towns in the country E. of the Jordan, as it was in the hands of the Emims (Gen. 14.5; comp. Ewald, Gesch. des Volkes Israel. vol. i. p. 308), who were expelled from it by the Moabites. (Deut. 2.9, 11.) Kirjathaim was afterwards assigned to the children of Reuben (Num. 32.37; Josh. 13.19); but during the exile the Moabites recovered this and other towns. (Jer. 48.1, 23; Ezek. 25.9.) Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s. v. Καριαθαίμ) describe it as being full of Christians, and lying 10 H. P. W. of Medeba. Burckhardt (Trav. p.367) heard of ruins called El-Teim, half an hour W. of the site of Medeba, which he conjectures to have been this place, the last syllable of the name being retained. This does not agree with the distance in the Onomasticon, but Jerome is probably wrong in identifying the Christian town with the ancient Kirjathaim, as the former is no doubt, from the data assigned by him, the modern Kureyeiât, S. of the Wady Zurka Maîn, and the latter the El-Teim of Burckhardt, to the N. of the Wady. (Comp. Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. xv. pp. 1185, 1186.) There was another place of this name in the tribe of Naphtali. (1 Chron. 6.76.)


KIRJATH-ARBA, the ancient name of Hebron, but still in use in the time of Nehemiah (11.25). [HEBRON]




KIRJATH-HUZOTH, or “city of streets,” a town of Moab. (Num. 22.39.)


KIRJATH-JEARIM, or “city of forests,” one of the four towns of the Gibeonites (Josh. 9.17), and not far distant from Beeroth (El-Birch). (Ezra, 2.25.) At a later period the ark was brought here from Beth-Shemesh (1 Sam. 7.1,2), and remained there till it was removed to Jerusalem (1 Chron. 13.6). The place was rebuilt and inhabited after the exile (Ezra, l.c.; Neh. 7.29). Josephus (J. AJ 6.1.4) says that it was near to Beth-Shemesh, and Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s. v. Baal-Carathiarim) speak of it, in their day, as a village 9 or 10 M. P. from Jerusalem, on the way to Diospolis (Lydda). Dr. Robinson (Bibl. Res. vol. ii. pp. 334--337) has identified it with the present Kuryet-el-‘Enâb, on the road to Ramleh. The monks have found the ANATIHOTH of Jeremiah (1.1 ; comp. Hieron. in loc.; Onomast. s. v.; J. AJ 10.7.3), which is now represented by the modern ‘Anâta at Kŭryet-el-‘Enâb, but the ecclesiastical tradition is evidently incorrect. There was formerly here a convent of the Minorites, with a Latin church. The latter remains entirely deserted, but not in ruins; and is one of the largest and most solidly constructed churches in Palestine. (Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. xvi. pp. 108--110.)


KIRJATH-SEPHER, or “city of the book” (Josh. 15.15, 16; Judg. 1.11), also called KIRJATH-SANNAH, “city of palms.” (Josh. 15.49.) Afterwards it took the name of DEBIR (Δαβίρ, LXX.), a “word” or “oracle.” Debir was captured by Joshua (10.38), but being afterwards retaken by the Canaanites, Caleb gave his daughter Achsa to Othniel, for his [p. 2.105]bravery in carrying it by storm (Josh. 15.16--20). It belonged afterwards to the priests. (Josh. 21.15; 1 Chron. 6.58.) Debir is afterwards lost sight of; but from the indications already given, it appears to have been near Hebron,--but the site has in history as taking part not been made out. There was a second Debir in the tribe of Gad. (Josh. 13.26.) (Von Raumer, Palest. p. 182; Winer, s. v.) [E.B.J]

KIR-MOAB (τὸ τεῖχος τῆς Μωαβιτίδος, LXX.), “the stronghold of Moab.” (Isa. xvi.), called also KIRHERESITH and KIR-HERES. (Isa. 16.7, 11; Jer. 48.31.) In the Chaldee version and the Greek of the Apocrypha, it appears in the form of Kerakka-Moab, and Characa (Χάρακα, 2 Macc. 12.17). Under this latter name, more or less corrupted, it is mentioned by Ptolemy (Χαράκωμα, 5.17.5; comp. Χαρακμῶβα, Steph. B. sub voce and other writers, both ecclesiastical and profane, down to the centuries before the Crusades. (Abú--l-féda, Tab. Syr. p. 89; Schultens, Index ad Vit. Salad. s. v.) The Crusaders found the name extant, and erected the fortress still known as Kerak, which, with that of Shôbek, formed the centre of operations for the Latins E. of the Jordan. With the capture of these, after a long siege by Saladin, A.D. 1188, the dominion of the Franks over this territory terminated. (Wilken, die Kreuzz, vol. iv. pp. 244--247.) The whole of this district was unknown till A.D. 1806, when Seetzen (Zachs, Monatl. Corr. xviii. pp.433, foll.) penetrated as far as Kerak. A fuller account of the place is given by Burckhardt (Trav. pp. 379--387), by whom it was next visited in 1812; and another description is furnished by Irby and Mangles (Trav. pp. 361--370), who followed in the same direction in 1818. (Robinson, Bibl. Res. vol. ii. pp. 566--571; Ritter, Erdkunde, vol xv. pp. 916, 1215.) [E.B.J]

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 10.7.3
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 6.1.4
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