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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Elath; Eloth

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ē´lath , or ē´loth ( אילות , 'ēlōth , אילת , 'ēlath ; Αἰλών , Ailō̇n (Deuteronomy 2:8 ), Αἰλάθ , Ailáth (2 Kings 16:6 )): A seaport on the Red Sea in the territory of Edom. It is named along with Ezion-geber in the account of Israel's journey round the land of Edom (Deuteronomy 2:8 ). It appears as Ailath, and Ailōn in the Septuagint, and in Josephus as Ilanis ( Ant. , VIII, vi, 4), while Eusebius (Onomasticon ) has Αΐλά , Ailá ̌ . From this we may gather that the Aramaic Ilān or Ilānā was in use as well as the Hebrew 'ēlath or 'ēlōth ̌ . The name, "grove," was doubtless derived from the presence of certain sacred trees. It may be identical with El-paran of Genesis 14:6 , and Elah of Genesis 36:41 . When David conquered Edom, Elath passed into the hands of Israel (2 Samuel 8:14 ). It was a position of great importance in connection with the trade with South Arabia. Here the merchant fleets of Solomon and Jehoshaphat were fitted out, and hence, they sailed (1 Kings 9:26 ; 2 Chronicles 8:17 ; 1 Kings 22:48 ). In the reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, Edom shook off the hand of Judah (2 Kings 8:20 ), but under Amaziah and Uzziah it was again subdued (2 Kings 14:7 , 2 Kings 14:10 , 2 Kings 14:22 ). Finally it was taken from Ahaz by Rezin, king of Syria. The Jews were driven out and the Syrians (Edomites?) took permanent possession (2 Kings 16:6 ). It is identical with the modern ‛Aḳaba , at the head of the gulf of that name.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Elath; Eloth'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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