, LXX.; Μεδάβη
, Joseph.), a city originally of Moab, and afterwards obtained by conquest by Sihon, king of the Amorites. (Numb.
21.30; comp. J. AJ 13.1
. § § 2, 4.)
The name does not occur in the LXX. in two of the passages in which it is found in the Hebrew, ἐπὶ Μωάβ
being substituted in Numbers (l.c.
) and τῆς Μωαβίτιδος
in Isaiah (15.2).
It fell to the lot of the Reubenites in the division of the trans-Jordanie conquests, and was in their southern border. (Josh.
It was one of several Moabite cities occupied by the Jews under Hyrcanus and Alexander Jannaeus (J. AJ 13.9.1
), but was afterwards restored by Hyrcanus II. to Aretas (14.1.4). Μήδαυα
is placed by Ptolemy (5.17.6
) in Arabia Petraea, and joined with Heshbon, consistently with which Eusebius and s. Jerome (Onomast. s. v.
) notice it as still existing, under its old name, in the vicinity of Heshbon; where its ruins may still be identified. “In order to see Medaba, I left the great road at Hesban,
--and proceeded in a more eastern direction....
At the end of eight hours we reached Madeba
built upon a round hill.
This is the ancient Medaba, but there is no river near it.
It is at least half an hour in circumference: I observed many remains of the walls of private houses, constructed with blocks of silex; but not a single edifice is standing.
There is a large Birket” ( “the immense tank” mentioned by Irby and Mangles, p. 471, as “the only object of interest” ). “On the west side of the town are the foundations of a temple, built with large stones, and apparently of great antiquity....A part of its eastern wall remains.
At the entrance of one of the courts stand two columns of the Doric order:...in the centre of one of the courts is a large well.” (Burckhardt, Travels in Syria,
pp. 365, 366.)
It is mentioned as πόλις Μηδάβων
in the Council of Chalcedon, and was an episcopal see of the Third Palaestine, or of Arabia. (Reland, Palaestina, s. v.
pp. 893, 216--219; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus,