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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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KIRIATH-JEARIM (‘city of forests’). One of the cities of the Gibeonites ( Joshua 9:17 ), occupied by the Danites ( Judges 18:12 ), on the border between Judah and Benjamin ( Joshua 15:9 ; Joshua 18:14 ). From there David brought up the ark ( 2 Samuel 6:2 , 1 Chronicles 13:5 , 2 Chronicles 1:4 ). Its older name appears to have been Kiriath-baal ( Joshua 15:60 ) or Baalah . ( Joshua 15:9-10 , 1 Chronicles 13:6 ). It is also mentioned as Baale Judah ( 2 Samuel 6:2 ), and through a textual error as Kiriath-arim ( Ezra 2:25 ; cf. Nehemiah 7:29 ). It was probably, like Kedesh, Gezer, etc., an old Canaanite ‘high place.’ In Jeremiah 26:20 it is mentioned as the home of Uriah the prophet, the son of Shemaiah. See also 1 Chronicles 2:50 ; 1 Chronicles 2:53 and 1Es 5:19 [in this last passage it is called Kariathiarius ]. The site of this important ancient sanctuary and frontier town has been very generally accepted, since the 5th cent. a.d., as close to that of the modern Kuriet el-‘Enab , a flourishing little village on the high-road from Jaffa to Jerusalem, about 9 miles from the latter. The ancient remains are to the W. of the village, but a handsome Crusading Church in the village itself has recently been restored. Kuriet el-‘Enab is generally known as Abu Ghosh , after a family of semi-hrigands of that name who established themselves there nearly a century ago, and for long held the whole surrounding country at their mercy. Another site, which has been powerfully advocated by Conder, is Khurbet ‘Erma , on the S. of the Vale of Sorek, just where the narrow valley opens into the plain. The similarity of ‘arim ( Ezra 2:25 ) and ‘erma , and the nearness of the site to Zorah and Eshtaol, are in its favour. There, too, are ancient remains, and a great rock platform which would appear to mark an ancient ‘high place.’ On the other hand, it is far from the other cities of the Gibeonltes ( Joshua 9:17 ). The question cannot he considered as settled.

E. W. G. Masterman.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Kiriath-Jearim'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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