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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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A town in the shephelah or low country of Judah (Joshua 15:33; Joshua 19:41), allotted to Daniel On the Philistine border between Azotus and Askelon. Here Samson spent his boyhood, and hither his remains were finally carried to the burying ground of Manoah his father (Judges 13:25; Judges 16:31; Judges 18:2; Judges 18:8; Judges 18:11-12). Between the Danite towns Zorah and Eshtaol and behind Kirjath Jearim was Mahaneh-Dan, the standing camp of the little host exposed to constant warfare with the Philistines; a neighborhood well calculated to train Samson for his after encounters with that race.

As Kirjath Jearim is now Kuriet-el-Enab, and Zorah is Suz'ah, seven miles S.W. of it, Eshtaol is Kustul, a conical hill an hour's journey S.E. from Kuriet-el-Enab toward Jerusalem. This fulfills the requisite condition that Kirjath Jearim should lie between Eshtaol and Zorah. E. Wilton (Imperial Bible Dictionary) identifies Eshtaol with Um Eshteiyeh, 12 Roman miles from Beit Jibrin (Eleutheropolis), agreeing with Eusebius' statement that it is ten miles distant. Jerome says Jarmuth was near, which agrees with the fact that Yarmak is near Eshtaol; Zanua (Zanoah) is also near. Black (Palestine Exploration) identifies Eshtaol with Eshu'a.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Eshtaol'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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