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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. id. לוּז, a nut-bearing tree, either the almond or hazel, as in Genesis 30:37 [but according to Fü rst, after Hiller, sinking, as of a valley]; Sept. Λουζά, but in Genesis 28:19 unites with the preceding word Οὐλαμλούζ ), the name of two places.

1. The ancient name of the Canaanitish city on or near the site of Bethel (Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:6; Genesis 48:3), on the border of Benjamin (Joshua 18:13); taken and destroyed, with all its inhabitants (except one family that had acted as spies), by the descendants of Joseph (Judges 1:23). The spot to which the name of Bethel was given appears, however, to have been at a little distance in the environs of Luz, and they are accordingly distinguished in Joshua 16:2, although the Heb. name of Bethel eventually superseded the Canaanitish one Luz; or rather, perhaps, Luz was the name of a locality near which Bethel was afterwards built. The form of the name in the Sept., Eusebius, and the Vulg. seems to have been derived from Joshua 18:13, where the words אֶלאּכֶּתֶ לוּזָה should, according to ordinary usage, be rendered "to the shoulder of Luzah;" the ah, which is the particle of motion in Hebrew, not being required here, as it is in the former part of the same verse. Other names are found both with and without a similar termination, as Jotbah, Jotbathah; Timnath, Timnathah; Riblah, Riblathah, Laish and Laishah are probably distinct places. Van de Velde is confident that he has recovered the site of Luz in the modern ruins called Khurbet el-Lozeh, one hour and a half west of Beth-el (Notes to the 2d ed. of his Map, page 16). (See BETHEL).

2. A small place in the district of the Hittites, founded by an inhabitant of the former Luz, who was spared on the destruction of this place by the tribe of Benjamin (Judges 1:26); and this seems to dispose of the identification with the ruins still found on Matthew Gerizim (Stanley, page 231 sq.), bearing the name of Luza (Seetzen, Reise, 1:174; Wilson, 2:69), about ten minutes beyond the trench of the Samaritan sacrifice (Van de Velde, Memoir, page 331). Schwarz thinks the site may be identified with that of wady Luzacn, in the interior of the desert of et-Tih, north-west of Jebel el-Aralf, (on the strength of the Talmudic statement that this place lay without the bounds of Palestine (Palest. page 213). This is doubtless the wady Lussan described by Dr. Robinson as a broad plain swept over by torrents from the mountains on the right, destitute of any fountain or water, and containing only a few remains of rude walls and foundations, which he regards as the traces of the Roman station Lysa along this route (Researches, 1:276, 277). Rosenmü ller (Alterth. II, 2:129) refers the name to Luza, a city, according to Eusebius (Onomast. s.v.), lying three miles from Shlechem; but this could not have been Hittite territory. Studer (Buch d. Richter, page 45) adopts a suggestion of D. Kimchi, that a city of the Phoenicians (Kittim, so Eusebius, Κεττείμ, Onomast. s.v. 2) is meant. Probably it was some place near Hebron, in southern Palestine, where the Hittites were settled. (See HITTITE).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Luz'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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