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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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( לוּז , lūz ):The Hebrew word means "almond tree" or "almond wood" ( OHL , under the word). It may also mean "bone," particularly a bone of the spine, and might be applied to a rocky height supposed to resemble a backbone (Lagarde, Uebersicht ., 157 f). Winckler explains it by Aramaic laudh , "asylum," which might be suitably applied to a sanctuary ( Geschichte Israels ). Cheyne ( EB , under the word) would derive it by corruption from חלצה , ḥălucāh , "strong (city)."

(1) This was the ancient name of Bethel (Genesis 28:19 ; Judges 1:23 ; compare Genesis 35:6 ; Genesis 48:3 ; Joshua 16:2 ; Joshua 18:13 ). It has been thought that Joshua 16:2 contradicts this, and that the two places were distinct. Referring to Genesis 28:19 , we find that the name Bethel was given to "the place," ha -māḳōm , i.e. "the sanctuary," probably "the place" (Genesis 28:11 , Hebrew) associated with the sacrifice of Abraham (Genesis 12:8 ), which lay to the East of Bethel. The name of the city as distinguished from "the place" was Luz. As the fame of the sanctuary grew, we may suppose, its name overshadowed, and finally superseded, that of the neighboring town. The memory of the ancient nomenclature persisting among the people sufficiently explains the allusions in the passages cited.

(2) A B ethelite, the man who betrayed the city into the hands of the children of Joseph, went into the land of the Hittites, and there founded a city which he called Luz, after the ancient name of his native place (Judges 1:26 ). No satisfactory identification has been suggested.

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

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