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Holman Bible Dictionary

Debir

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(dee' buhr) Personal and place name meaning, “back, behind.” As a common noun, the Hebrew term refers to the back room of the Temple, the holy of holies. 1. King of Eglon who joined in Jerusalem-led coalition against Joshua and lost (Joshua 10:3 ). Nothing else about him is known. See Eglon .

2. Important city in hill country of tribe of Judah whose exact location is debated by archaeologists and geographers. Joshua annihilated its residents (Joshua 10:38 ; compare Joshua 11:21 ; Joshua 12:13 ). Joshua 15:15 describes Caleb's challenge to Othniel to capture Debir, formerly called Kiriath Sepher. Compare Judges 1:11 . Joshua 15:49 gives yet another name, Kiriath Sannah, to Debir. It became a levitical city for the priests ( Joshua 21:15 ). Different scholars locate Debir at tell beit Mirsim, thirteen miles southwest of Hebron; khirbet Tarrameh, five miles southwest of Hebron; and khirbet Rabud, seven and a half miles west of Hebron. It may have been the most important town south of Hebron.

3. A town on the northern border of Judah (Joshua 15:7 ). This may be located at thoghret ed Debr, the “pass of Debir,” ten miles east of Jerusalem.

4. A town in Gad east of the Jordan given various spellings in the Hebrew Bible: Lidebor ( Joshua 13:26 ); Lwo Debar ( 2 Samuel 9:4-5 ); Lo' Debar ( 2 Samuel 17:27 ); Lo' Dabar ( Amos 6:13 ). The city may be modern Umm el-Dabar, twelve miles north of Pella. It apparently was near Mahanaim, where first Ish-bosheth and then David while fleeing Absalom, made their headquarters. Some Bible students have suggested a location at tell el-Chamme or khirbet Chamid.


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Debir'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/d/debir.html. 1991.

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