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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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ga - zā´ra ( Γαζάρα , Gazára , Γαζηρά , Gazērá ): A fortress of great strength in Judea, which figures often in the Maccabean wars. To this place Judas pursued Gorgias ( 1 Maccabees 4:15 ). It was fortified by the Greek general Bacchides (1 Maccabees 9:52 ; Ant , XIII , i, 3). It was captured by Simon Maccabeus, who turned out the inhabitants and purified the city. He built here a palace for himself, and appointed his son John commander of his army (1 Maccabees 13:43 ff). A different account of this occurrence is given in 2 Maccabees 10:32 ff, where the capture is attributed to Judas. The narrative here, however, is inspired by antagonism to Simon because he had assumed the high-priesthood.

The fortress is identical with Tell Jezer , the ancient GEZER (which see). It is interesting to note that recent excavations have uncovered the ruins of Simon's palace ( PEFS , 1905,26).

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

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