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EBD: Plain
Place | Plague | Plague, The | Plagues Of Egypt | Plagues, The Ten | Plain | Plain of Mamre | Plain Of Moab | Plain Of The Pillar | Plain Of The Vineyards | Plain, Cities Of The


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Plain [EBD]

(1.) Heb. 'abel (Judg. 11:33), a "grassy plain" or "meadow." Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), comp. Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.

(2.) Heb. 'elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30; Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version; margin, "terebinth."

(3.) Heb. bik'ah (Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1), properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version has "Bikathaven."

(4.) Heb. kikar, "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the low ground along the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-12; 19:17, 25, 28, 29; Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17; Neh. 3:22; 12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.

(5.) Heb. mishor, "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land (Deut. 3:10; 4:43; Josh. 13:9, 16, 17, 21; 20:8; Jer. 48:21), an expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chr. 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant. Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jer. 21:13, because the hills on which it is built rise high above the plain.

(6.) Heb. 'arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," 2 Kings 14:25; Deut. 1:1; 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found in Authorized Version (Josh. 18:18), and is uniformly used in the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This ravine is called the "lower plain."

The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100 miles in all.

(7.) Heb. shephelah, "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered "vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version (Josh. 9:1; 10:40; 11:2; 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1 Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; 15:33, Jer. 32:44; 33:13, Zech. 7:7, "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the Philistines." (See VALLEY.)


PLAIN - plan ((1) kikkar, "circle" "talent," or "round loaf"; (2) mishor, from yashar, "to be level"; compare Arabic maisur, "that which is easy"; (3) biqah; compare Arabic baq`at, "a plot of ground" or "a wet meadow"; (4) `arabhah; (5) shephelah; (6) topos pedinos (Lk 6:17); (7) 'elon; compare elah, and 'allon "oak" (Gen 35:4,8, etc.); also 'elah, "Elah" (1 Sam 17:2); (8) 'abhel):


(1) Kikkar, when meaning "plain" usually refers to the alluvial plain about Jericho near the north end of the Dead Sea: "Plain (the Revised Version margin "circle") of the Jordan" (Gen 13:10,11; 1 Ki 7:46; 2 Ch 4:17); "Plain of the valley of Jericho" (Dt 34:3); "cities of the Plain" (Gen 13:12; 19:29); "all the Plain" (Gen 19:17,25); "by the way of the Plain" (2 Sam 18:23); but "the plain round about Jerusalem" (Neh 12:28).


(2) Mishor, English Versions of the Bible "plain," the Revised Version margin usually "table-land," clearly refers in most places to the highlands of Gilead and Moab, East of the Jordan and the Dead Sea; e.g. Josh 13:9, "the plain (the Revised Version margin "table-land") of Medeba."

(3) Biq`ah is more often translated "valley" (which see).

(4) `Arabhah is in the Revised Version (British and American) often translated "the Arabah," denoting the whole Jordan-Dead-Sea-Arabah depression = Arabic Ghaur (Ghor). In Dt 11:30, the King James Version has "champaign" (which see). The "plains of Moab" (Nu 22:1; 26:3,13; 31:12; 33:48,49,50; 35:1; 36:13; Dt 34:1,8; Josh 13:32) and "plains of Jericho" (Josh 4:13; 5:10; 2 Ki 25:5; Jer 39:5; 52:8) are the low plain or ghaur North of the Dead Sea. `Arabhah is here equivalent to kikkar (see above). Note the distinction between mishor used of the highlands, and kikkar and `arabhah used of the ghaur.


(5) Shephelah is by the Revised Version (British and American) throughout translated "lowland" (which see), and includes the western slopes of the Judean hills and the maritime plain.

(6) Topos pedinos occurs only in Lk 6:17.

(7) `Elon is translated "plain" in the King James Version: "plain of Moreh" (Gen 12:6; Dt 11:30); "plain (or plains) of Mamre" (Gen 13:18; 14:13; 18:1); "plain of Zaanaim" (Jdg 4:11); "plain of the pillar" (Jdg 9:6); "plain of Meonenim" (Jdg 9:37); "plain of Tabor" (1 Sam 10:3). the Revised Version (British and American) has throughout "oak," the Revised Version margin "terebinth"; compare "oak" (Gen 35:4,8, etc.) and "vale of Elah" (1 Sam 17:2,19; 21:9).

(8) ['Abhel keramim] (Jdg 11:33) is in the King James Version "the plain of the vineyards," the Revised Version (British and American) "Abel-cheramim," the Revised Version margin "the meadow of vineyards." Elsewhere in English Versions of the Bible 'abhel is "Abel" or "Abel."


Alfred Ely Day


PLAIN; PLAINLY - plan, plan'-li: In Gen 25:27, the King James Version "plain" represents tam. If a contrast between the vocations of Jacob and Esau is meant, the Revised Version (British and American) ("quiet," margin "harmless") may be right. But elsewhere (Job 1:1; Ps 37:37, etc.) the word means "perfect," and so probably here; the failings of the great patriarch did not detract from the general estimate of him (Mt 8:11). In Ezr 4:18 "translated" (Revised Version margin) is better than "plainly read."

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