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Death, Power Over | Death, Second | Debate | Debauchery | Debiah | Debir | Deborah | Debtor | Decalogue | Decapitation | Decapolis


In Bible versions:

the Amorite king of Eglon
a town of Judah 14 km SW of Hebron
a border town of Judah, about 16 km east of Jerusalem
a northern border town of Gad, about 80 km NE of Jerusalem

an orator; a word
NETBible Maps: Map11 A2 ; Map7 F3
Google Maps: Debir (1) (31° 25´, 34° 58´); Debir (2) (31° 48´, 35° 20´); Debir (3) (32° 39´, 35° 47´)


Strongs #01688: rybd D@biyr or (shortened) rbd D@bir (\\#Jos 13:26\\ [but see 03810])

Debir = "sanctuary"

n pr m
1) the king of Eglon, one of the five kings hanged by Joshua

n pr loc
2) a town in the mountains of Judah west of Hebron and given to the
priests and a city of refuge
3) a place on the northern boundary of Judah
4) a town in the territory of Gad

1688 Dbiyr deb-eer'

or (shortened) Dbir (Josh. 13:26 (but see 3810)) {deb-eer'};
the same as 1687; Debir, the name of an Amoritish king and of
two places in Palestine:-Debir.
see HEBREW for 03810
see HEBREW for 01687

Debir [EBD]

oracle town; sanctuary. (1.) One of the eleven cities to the west of Hebron, in the highlands of Judah (Josh. 15:49; Judg. 1:11-15). It was originally one of the towns of the Anakim (Josh. 15:15), and was also called Kirjath-sepher (q.v.) and Kirjath-sannah (49). Caleb, who had conquered and taken possession of the town and district of Hebron (Josh. 14:6-15), offered the hand of his daughter to any one who would successfully lead a party against Debir. Othniel, his younger brother (Judg. 1:13; 3:9), achieved the conquest, and gained Achsah as his wife. She was not satisfied with the portion her father gave her, and as she was proceeding toward her new home, she "lighted from off her ass" and said to him, "Give me a blessing [i.e., a dowry]: for thou hast given me a south land" (Josh. 15:19, A.V.); or, as in the Revised Version, "Thou hast set me in the land of the south", i.e., in the Negeb, outside the rich valley of Hebron, in the dry and barren land. "Give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs."

Debir has been identified with the modern Edh-Dhaheriyeh, i.e., "the well on the ridge", to the south of Hebron.

(2.) A place near the "valley of Achor" (Josh. 15:7), on the north boundary of Judah, between Jerusalem and Jericho.

(3.) The king of Eglon, one of the five Canaanitish kings who were hanged by Joshua (Josh. 10:3, 23) after the victory at Gibeon. These kings fled and took refuge in a cave at Makkedah. Here they were kept confined till Joshua returned from the pursuit of their discomfited armies, when he caused them to be brought forth, and "Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees" (26).

Debir [NAVE]

1. King of Eglon, Josh. 10:3-27.
2. A town in the mountains of Judah. Called also Kirjath-saah, and Kirjathsepher, which signifies a city of books, Josh. 15:15, 16.
Anakim expelled from, by Joshua, Josh. 11:21.
Taken by Othniel, Josh. 15:15-17, 49; Judg. 1:12, 13.
Allotted to the Aaronites, Josh. 21:15.
3. A place near the valley of Achor, Josh. 15:7.


(a sanctuary), the name of three places of Palestine.
  1. A town in the mountains of Judah, (Joshua 15:49) one of a group of eleven cities to the west of Hebron. The earlier name of Debir was Kirjath-sepher, "city of book," (Joshua 15:15; Judges 1:11) and Kirjath-sannah, "city of palm." (Joshua 15:49) It was one of the cities given with their "suburbs" to the priests. (Joshua 21:15; 1 Chronicles 6:58) Debir has not been discovered with certainty in modern times; but about three miles to the west of Hebron is a deep and secluded valley called the Wady Nunkur , enclosed on the north by hills, of which one bears a name certainly suggestive of Debir--Dewir-ban.
  2. A place on the north boundary of Judah, near the "valley of Achor." (Joshua 15:7) A Wady Dabor is marked in Van Deuteronomy Velde?s map as close to the south of Neby Musa , at the northwest corner of the Dead Sea.
  3. The "border of Debir" is named as forming part of the boundary of Gad, (Joshua 13:26) and as apparently not far from Mahanaim.


king of Eglon; one of the five kings hanged by Joshua. (Joshua 10:3,23) (B.C. 1440.)


DEBIR (1) - de'-ber (debhir, or debhir, "oracle"): King of Eglon, one of the five Amorite kings whose confederation against Israel was overcome and who were killed by Joshua (Josh 10:3).


DEBIR (2) - de'-ber (debhir; Dabeir): "And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir, and fought against it: and he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword .... he left none remaining" (Josh 10:38,39). In Josh 15:15-17 and Jdg 1:11-13 is an account of how Othniel captured Debir, which "beforetime was Kiriath-sepher," and won thereby the hand of Achsah, Caleb's daughter. In Josh 15:49 Debir is called Kiriath-sannah. It had once been inhabited by the Anakim (Josh 11:21). It was a Levitical city (Josh 21:15; 1 Ch 6:58).

1. The Meaning of the Name:

(1) Debir is usually accepted as meaning "back," but this is doubtful; the word debhir is used to denote the "holy of holies" (1 Ki 6:5). According to Sayce (HDB), "the city must have been a sacred one with a well-known temple." Kiriath-sepher is translated "town of books," and Sayce and others consider that in all probability there was a great storehouse of clay tablets here; perhaps the name may have been qiryath copher, "town of scribes." Kiriath-sannah (Josh 15:49) is probably a corruption of Kiriath-sepher; the Septuagint has here as in references to the latter polis grammaton, "town of books."

2. The Site:

Unfortunately this site, important even if the speculations about the books are doubtful, is still a matter of uncertainty. Edh-Dhaheriyeh, some 11 miles Southwest of Hebron, has a good deal of support. It was unquestionably a site of importance in ancient times as the meeting-place of several roads; it is in the Negeb (compare Jdg 1:15), in the neighborhood of the probable site of Anab (Josh 11:21; 15:50); it is a dry site, but there are "upper" and "lower" springs about 6 1/2 miles to the North. A more thorough examination of the site than has as yet been undertaken might produce added proofs in favor of this identification. No other suggestion has any great probability. See PEF, III, 402; PEFS, 1875.

(2) Debir, on the border between Judah and Benjamin (Josh 15:7), must have been somewhere East of Jerusalem not far from the modern Jericho road. Thoghgret edition Debr, "the pass of the rear," half a mile Southwest of the Tal`at edition Dumm (see ADUMMIM), close to the so-called, "Inn of the Good Samaritan," may be an echo of the name which has lingered in the neighborhood. Many authorities consider that there is no place-name in this reference at all, the text being corrupt.

(3) Debir the Revised Version, margin, Lidebir (Josh 13:26), a town on the border of Gad, near Mahanaim; Ibdar, South of the Yarmuk has been suggested. May be identical with Lo-debar (2 Sam 9:4).

E. W. G. Masterman

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