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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Adul´lam, an old city (Genesis 38:1; Genesis 38:12; Genesis 38:20) in the plain country of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:35), and one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Joshua 12:15). It was one of the towns which Rehoboam fortified (2 Chronicles 11:7; Micah 1:15), and is mentioned after the Captivity (Nehemiah 11:30; 2 Maccabees 12:38). It is evident that Adullam was one of the cities of 'the valley,' or plain between the hill country of Judah and the sea; and from its place in the lists of names (especially 2 Chronicles 11:7), it appears not to have been far from the Philistine city of Gath. It is probable, however, that the 'cave of Adullam' (1 Samuel 22:1) was not in the vicinity of the city, where no such cave has been found, but in the mountainous wilderness in the west of Judah towards the Dead Sea. This conjecture is favored by the fact that the usual haunts of David were in this quarter; whence he moved into the land of Moab, which was quite contiguous, whereas he must have crossed the whole breadth of the land, if the cave of Adullam had been near the city of that name. The particular cave, usually pointed out as 'the cave of Adullam,' is about six miles south-west of Bethlehem, in the side of a deep ravine which passes below the Frank's mountain on the south. It is an immense natural cavern, with numerous passages, the mouth of which can be approached only on foot along the side of the cliff. It seems probable that David, as a native of Bethlehem, must have been well acquainted with this remarkable spot, and had probably often availed himself of its shelter when out with his father's flocks. It would therefore naturally occur to him as a place of refuge when he fled from Gath; and his purpose of forming a band of followers was much more likely to be realized here, in the neighborhood of his native place, than in the westward plain, where the city of Adullam lay.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Adullam'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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