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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Tsaana'yim, צִעֲנִיַם ; Sept. . πλεονεκτούντων v.r. ἀναπαυομένων ; Vulg. Seniim), the name of a "plain" (אֵלון, εο 6 ν ), more accurately "the oak by (בְּ ) Zaannaim," a tree-probably a sacred tree mentioned as marking the spot hear which Heber the Kenite was encamped when Sisera took refuge in his tent (Judges 4:11). Its situation is defined as "near Kedesh," i.e. Kedesh-Naphtali, the name of which still lingers on the high ground north of Safed and west of the lake of el-Huleh usually identified with the Waters of Merom. The Targum gives as the equivalent of the name mishá r agganiya, "the plain of the swamp;" and in the well- known passage of the Talmud (Megillah Jeirush. ch. 1) which contains a list of several of the towns of Galilee with their then identifications, the equivalent for "Elon (or Aijalon) be-Zaannaim" is Agniya hak-kodesh. Agne appears to signify a swamp, and can hardly refer to anything but the marsh which borders the lake of Huleh on the north side, and which was probably more extensive in the time of Deborah than it now is. (See MEROM).

On the other hand, Prof. Stanley has pointed out (Jewish Church, p. 324; Localities, p. 197) how appropriate a situation for this memorable tree is afforded by "a green plain... studded with massive terebinths," which adjoins on the south the plain containing the remains of Kedesh. The whole of this upland country is more or less rich in terebinths. One such, larger than usual, and bearing the name of Sejar em-Messiah, is marked on the map of Van de Velde as six miles north-west of Kedes. The name Zaanaim, which appears to' signify "removings" (as if a camping ground), has passed away at least no trace of it has yet been discovered (Porter, Handbook, p. 444; Van de Velde, Travels, 2, 418). "From the identity of signification, it has been conjectured to be Bessun, a little east of Tabor. In this plain the black tents of the Bedawin, the modern Kenites, may constantly be seen" (Tristram, Bible Places, p. 278). (See ZAANANNIM).

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

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