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HEBREW: 4708 hpum Mitspeh 4709 hpum Mitspah
NAVE: Mizpah
EBD: Mizpah
SMITH: MIZPAH MIZPEH
ISBE: MIZPAH; MIZPEH
PORTRAITS: Mizpah
Mixed Multitude | Mixed, Multitude | Mixing Of Kinds | Mizar | Mizar, The Hill | Mizpah | Mizpar | Mizzah | Mnason | Moab | Moabite Stone

Mizpah

In Bible versions:

Mizpah: NET AVS NIV NRSV NASB TEV
Mizpeh: AVS NRSV NASB TEV
a place and monument in Gilead where Jacob and Laban made peace
a region near Mount Hermon
a town in the western foothills of Judah
a town of Benjamin and also a district of post-exile Israel
a town in post-exile Israel
a town of Moab

a watch-tower; speculation ( --> same as Mizpeh)
a watch-tower; speculation ( --> same as Mizpah)
NETBible Maps: Map10 A4 ; Map6 E4 ; Map7 E2 ; Map8 F2
Google Maps: Mizpah (1) (32° 33´, 36° 0´); Mizpah (2) (33° 16´, 35° 34´); Mizpah (3) (31° 49´, 35° 10´); Mizpeh (1) (31° 49´, 35° 10´); Mizpeh (2) (31° 33´, 34° 50´); Mizpeh (3) (31° 10´, 35° 42´)
Arts:
Arts Topics: David at Adullam and Mizpah; The Philistines Subdued at Mizpah

Hebrew

Strongs #04708: hpum Mitspeh

Mizpeh = "watchtower"

1) a city in the district of the Shephelah or lowlands of Judah
2) a place in Moab on the east of the Jordan
3) a place in Gilead
4) a place near Mount Hermon
5) a place in Benjamin; also 'Mizpah'

4708 Mitspeh mits-peh'

the same as 4707; Mitspeh, the name of five places in
Palestine:-Mizpeh, watch tower. Compare 4709.
see HEBREW for 04707
see HEBREW for 04709

Strongs #04709: hpum Mitspah

Mizpah = "watchtower"

1) a place in Gilead north of Jabbok and location of Laban's cairn
2) a place in Gilead south of Jabbok; site unknown
3) a place near Mount Hermon
4) an old sacred place in Benjamin

4709 Mitspah mits-paw'

feminine of 4708; Mitspah, the name of two places in
Palestine:-Mitspah. (This seems rather to be only an
orthographic variation of 4708 when "in pause".)
see HEBREW for 04708
see HEBREW for 04708

Mizpah [EBD]

or Miz'peh, watch-tower; the look-out. (1.) A place in Gilead, so named by Laban, who overtook Jacob at this spot (Gen. 31:49) on his return to Palestine from Padan-aram. Here Jacob and Laban set up their memorial cairn of stones. It is the same as Ramath-mizpeh (Josh. 13:26).

(2.) A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national danger. Here he made his rash vow; and here his daughter submitted to her mysterious fate (Judg. 10:17; 11:11, 34). It may be the same as Ramoth-Gilead (Josh. 20:8), but it is more likely that it is identical with the foregoing, the Mizpeh of Gen. 31:23, 25, 48, 49.

(3.) Another place in Gilead, at the foot of Mount Hermon, inhabited by Hivites (Josh. 11:3, 8). The name in Hebrew here has the article before it, "the Mizpeh," "the watch-tower." The modern village of Metullah, meaning also "the look-out," probably occupies the site so called.

(4.) A town of Moab to which David removed his parents for safety during his persecution by Saul (1 Sam. 22:3). This was probably the citadel known as Kir-Moab, now Kerak. While David resided here he was visited by the prophet Gad, here mentioned for the first time, who was probably sent by Samuel to bid him leave the land of Moab and betake himself to the land of Judah. He accordingly removed to the forest of Hareth (q.v.), on the edge of the mountain chain of Hebron.

(5.) A city of Benjamin, "the watch-tower", where the people were accustomed to meet in great national emergencies (Josh. 18:26; Judg. 20:1, 3; 21:1, 5; 1 Sam. 7:5-16). It has been supposed to be the same as Nob (1 Sam. 21:1; 22:9-19). It was some 4 miles north-west of Jerusalem, and was situated on the loftiest hill in the neighbourhood, some 600 feet above the plain of Gibeon. This village has the modern name of Neby Samwil, i.e., the prophet Samuel, from a tradition that Samuel's tomb is here. (See NOB.)

Samuel inaugurated the reformation that characterized his time by convening a great assembly of all Israel at Mizpeh, now the politico-religious centre of the nation. There, in deep humiliation on account of their sins, they renewed their vows and entered again into covenant with the God of their fathers. It was a period of great religious awakening and of revived national life. The Philistines heard of this assembly, and came up against Israel. The Hebrews charged the Philistine host with great fury, and they were totally routed. Samuel commemorated this signal victory by erecting a memorial-stone, which he called "Ebenezer" (q.v.), saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (1 Sam. 7:7-12).

Mizpah [NAVE]

MIZPAH
1. A city allotted to Benjamin, Josh. 18:26.
The Israelites assemble at, Judg. 20:1-3; and decree the penalty to be visited upon the Benjamites for their maltreatment of the Levite's concubine, Judg. 20:10.
Assembled by Samuel that he might reprove them for their idolatry, 1 Sam. 7:5.
Crown Saul king of Israel at, 1 Sam. 10:17-25.
A judgment seat of Samuel, 1 Sam. 7:16.
Walled by Asa, 1 Kin. 15:22; 2 Chr. 16:6.
Temporarily the capital of the country after the children of Israel had been carried away captive, 2 Kin. 25:23, 25; Jer. 40:6-15; 41:1-14.
Captivity returned to, Neh. 3:7, 15, 19.
2. A valley near Lebanon, Josh. 11:3, 8.
3. A city in Moab. David gives his parents to the care of the king of, 1 Sam. 22:3, 4.
4. A city in the lowland of Judah, Josh. 15:38.

MIZPAH [SMITH]

and Miz?peh (a watch-tower), the name of several places in Palestine.
  1. The earliest of all, in order of the narrative, is the heap of stones piled up by Jacob and Laban, (Genesis 31:48) on Mount Gilead, ver. (Genesis 31:25) to serve both as a witness to the covenant then entered into and as a landmark of the boundary between them. ver. (Genesis 31:52) On this natural watch-tower did the children of Israel assemble for the choice of a leader to resist the children of Ammon. (Judges 10:17) There the fatal meeting took place between Jephthah and his daughter on his return from the war. ch. (Judges 11:34) It seems most probable that the "Mizpeh-gilead" which is mentioned here, and here only, is the same as the "ham-Mizpah" of the other parts of the narrative; and both are probably identical with the Ramath-mizpeh and Ramoth-gilead, so famous in the later history.
  2. A second Mizpeh, on the east of Jordan, was the Mizpeh-moab, where the king of that nation was living when David committed his parents to his care. (1 Samuel 22:3)
  3. A third was "the land of Mizpeh," or more accurately "of Mizpah," the residence of the Hivites who joined the northern confederacy against Israel, headed by Jabin king of Hazor. (Joshua 11:3) No other mention is found of this district in the Bible, unless it be identical with --
  4. The valley of Mizpeh, to which the discomfited hosts of the same confederacy were chased by Joshua, (Joshua 11:8) perhaps identical with the great country of Coele-Syria.
  5. Mizpeh, a city of Judah, (Joshua 15:38) in the district of the Shefelah or maritime lowland.
  6. 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. 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.

MIZPEH [SMITH]

[MIZPAH]

MIZPAH; MIZPEH [ISBE]

MIZPAH; MIZPEH - miz'-pa, miz'-pe: This name is pointed both ways in the Hebrew, and is found usually with the article. The meaning seems to be "outlook" or "watchtower." It is natural, therefore, to look for the places so named in high positions commanding wide prospects.

(1) (ha-mitspah (Gen 31:49; Jdg 11:11,34), mitspah (Hos 5:1), mitspeh ghil`adh (Jdg 11:29); Massepha, ten skopian, and other forms): It seems probable that the same place is intended in all these passages, and that it is identical with Ramath-mizpeh of Josh 13:26. It is the place where Jacob and Laban parted in Mt. Gilead; consequently it lay to the North of Mahanaim. Here was the home of Jephthah, to which he returned after the defeat of the Aremonites, only to realize how his rash vow had brought desolation to his house. It was taken by Judas Maccabeus, who destroyed the inhabitants and burned the city (1 Macc 5:35). Jerash, and Kal`at er-Rabad; but these seem all to lie South of any possible site for Mahanaim. A ruined site was discovered by Dr. Schumacher (M und NPDV, 1897, 86), with the name Macfa, which is just the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew Mitspah. It lies some distance to the Northwest of Jerash and claims consideration in any attempt to fix the site of Mizpah.

(2) ('erets ha-mitspah (Josh 11:3), biq`ath mitspeh (verse 8); Masseuman, Massephath, and other forms): The "land of Mizpah" and the "valley of Mizpah" may be taken as applying to the same district. It lay on the southwest slopes of Hermon Northeast of the Waters of Merom. The site must be looked for on one of the heights in the region indicated, from which a wide view is obtained. MuTallah, a Druze village standing on a hill to the North of `Abil and East of Nahr el-Chasbany, was suggested by Robinson. The present writer agrees with Buhl (GAP, 240) that the ancient castle above Banias, Kal`at ec-Cubeibeh, occupies a more likely position.

(3) (mitspeh; Maspha): A town in the Shephelah of Judah named with Dilan, Joktheel and Lachish (Tell el-Hesy). Eusebius, Onomasticon mentions a Macfa in the neighborhood of Eleutheropolis, to the North. The identification proposed by Van de Velde and Guerin would suit this description. They would locate Mizeph at Tell ec-Cafiyeh, about 7 1/2 miles Northwest of Beit Jibrin, "a conspicuous hill with a glittering white cliff rising like an isolated block above the adjacent country" (PEFS, 1903, 276). Many identify this site with Gath, but the name and character of the place point rather to identification with Mizpeh, the Blanche Guarde or Alba Specula of the Middle Ages.

(4) (ha-mitspah; Massema, Maspha): A town in the territory of Benjamin (Josh 18:26). Hither came the men of Israel to deal with the Benjamites after the outrage on the Levite's concubine (Jdg 20:1,3; 21:1,5,8). At Mizpah, Samuel gathered his countrymen. While there crying to God in their distress, they were attacked by the Philistines, whom they defeated with great slaughter (1 Sam 7:5, etc.). Here also Saul, the son of Kish, was chosen king, after which Samuel told the people the "manner of the kingdom" (10:17, etc.). Mizpah was fortified by Asa, king of Judah, with materials which Baasha, king of Israel, had used to fortify Ramah (1 Ki 15:22; 2 Ch 16:6). When Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem and made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, governor of the remnant of the people left in the land of Judah, the governor's residence was fixed at Mizpah (2 Ki 25:23). Here he was joined by Jeremiah, whom Nebuzaradan, captain of the Babylonian guard, had set free. At Mizpah, Ishmael, son of Nathaiah, treacherously slew Gedaliah and many who were with him. Two days later he murdered a company of pilgrims, throwing their dead bodies into the great cistern which Asa had made when strengthening the place against possible attack by Baasha of Samaria. He then made prisoners of the people, including the king's daughters, and attempted to convey them away to the Ammonites, an attempt that was frustrated by Johanan, son of Kareah (Jer 40; 41). Mizpah was the scene of memorable assembly in a day of sore anxiety for Judah, when Judas Maccabeus called the warriors of Judah together for counsel and prayer (1 Macc 3:46). From this passage we also learn that the place was an ancient sanctuary--"for in Mizpah there was a place of prayer aforetime for Israel."

It has been proposed to identify Mizpah with Tell Nasbeh, a site on the watershed South of Bireh. The Abbe Raboisson established the fact that Jerusalem can be seen from this point. In this respect it agrees with Maundeville's description. "It is a very fair and delicious place, and it is called Mt. Joy because it gives joy to pilgrims' hearts, for from that place men first see Jerusalem." But Jer 41:10 may be taken as decisive against this identification. Ishmael departed to go east. From Tell Nasbeh this would never have brought him to the great waters that are in Gibeon (PEFS, 1898, 169, 251; 1903, 267). A more probable identification is with Neby Samwil, a village on high ground 4 1/2 miles Northwest of Jerusalem, the traditional burying-place of Samuel. It is 2,935 ft. above sea-level, and 500 ft. higher than the surrounding land. Here the pilgrims coming up by way of Beth-heron from Jaffa, the ancient route, first saw the Holy City. The mosque of the village was formerly a church, dating from Crusading times; and here the tomb of Samuel is shown. If this is the ancient Mizpah, a very slight detour to the North would bring Ishmael to the great waters that are in Gibeon, el-Jib (Gibeon) being only a mile and a quarter distant.

(5) (mitspeh mo'abh "Mizpeh of Moab"; Masepha): A town in Moab to which David took his parents for safety during Saul's pursuit of him (1 Sam 22:3). It is possibly to be identified with Kir-moab, the modern Kerak, whither David would naturally go to interview the king. But there is no certainty. Possibly we should read "Mizpah" instead of "the hold" in 1 Sam 22:5.

(6) In 2 Ch 20:24, probably we should read "Mizpah" instead of "watch-tower": ha-mitspeh la-midhbar would then point to a Mizpeh of the Wilderness to be sought in the district of Tekoa (20:20).

W. Ewing




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