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Mizpah

Mizpah [N] [H] [S]

or Miz'peh, watch-tower; the look-out.

  • A place in Gilead, so named by Laban, who overtook Jacob at this spot ( Genesis 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 ( Joshua 13:26 ).

  • 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 ( Judges 10:17 ; Judges 11:11 Judges 11:34 ). It may be the same as Ramoth-Gilead ( Joshua 20:8 ), but it is more likely that it is identical with the foregoing, the Mizpeh of Genesis 31:23 Genesis 31:25 Genesis 31:48 Genesis 31:49 .

  • Another place in Gilead, at the foot of Mount Hermon, inhabited by Hivites ( Joshua 11:3 Joshua 11:8 ). 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.

  • A town of Moab to which David removed his parents for safety during his persecution by Saul ( 1 Samuel 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.

  • A city of Benjamin, "the watch-tower", where the people were accustomed to meet in great national emergencies ( Joshua 18:26 ; Judges 20:1 Judges 20:3 ; Judges 21:1 Judges 21:5 ; 1 Samuel 7:5-16 ). It has been supposed to be the same as Nob ( 1 Samuel 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 Samuel 7:7-12 ).

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Mizpah". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .