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English Bible Dictionary

City of Mizpah, Benjamin

 

And Miz'peh (a watch-tower), the name of several places in Palestine.

Mizpeh, in Joshua and Samuel; elsewhere Mizpah, a "city" of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem. (Joshua 18:26; 1 Kings 15:22; 2 Chronicles 16:6; Nehemiah 3:7) It was one of the places fortified by Asa against the incursions of the kings of northern Israel, (1 Kings 15:22; 2 Chronicles 16:6; Jeremiah 41:10) and after the destruction of Jerusalem it became the residence of the superintendent appointed by the king of Babylon, (Jeremiah 40:7) etc., and the scene of his murder and of the romantic incidents connected with the name of Ishmael the son of Nethaniah. It was one of the three holy cities which Samuel visited in turn as judge of the people, (1 Samuel 7:6,16) the other two being Bethel and Gilgal, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. With the conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment there of the ark, the sanctity of Mizpah, or at least its reputation, seems to have declined. From Mizpah the city or the temple was visible. These conditions are satisfied by the position of Scopus, the broad ridge which forms the continuation of the Mount of Olives to the north and cast, from which the traveller gains, like Titus, his first view, and takes his last farewell, of the domes, walls and towers of the holy city.

 

* See other occurrences of the same term: Mizpah.

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