herdsman's place, one of the royal cities of the Canaanites ( Joshua 12:16 ), near which was a cave where the five kings who had confederated against Israel sought refuge ( 10:10-29 ). They were put to death by Joshua, who afterwards suspended their bodies upon five trees. It has been identified with the modern village called Sumeil, standing on a low hill about 7 miles to the north-west of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), where are ancient remains and a great cave. The Palestine Exploration surveyors have, however, identified it with el-Mughar, or "the caves," 3 miles from Jabneh and 2 1/2 southwest of Ekron, because, they say, "at this site only of all possible sites for Makkedah in the Palestine plain do caves still exist." (See ADONI-ZEDEC.)
worshiping; burning; raised; crookedness
(place of shepherds ), a place memorable in the annals of the conquest of Canaan as the scene of the execution by Joshua of the five confederate kings, ( Joshua 10:10-50 ) who had hidden themselves in a cave at this place. (It was a royal city of the Canaanites, in the plains of Judah. Conder identifies it with the modern el-Moghar , 25 miles northwest of Jerusalem, where are two caves large enough to contain five men each. Schaff says that "one cave has, curiously enough, five loculi rudely scooped in its side, and an enthusiast might contend that this was the very place of sepulchre of the five kings."-ED.)
ma-ke'-da (maqqedhah; Makeda):
A Canaanite royal city which Joshua captured, utterly destroying the inhabitants, and doing to the king as he had done unto the king of Jericho (Joshua 10:28; 12:16). It lay in the Shephelah of Judah (Joshua 15:41). It was brought into prominence by the flight thither of the 5 kings of the Amorites who, having united their forces for the destruction of Gibeon, were themselves defeated and pursued by Joshua (chapter 10). Seeing their danger, the men of Gibeon sent to the camp at Gilgal beseeching Joshua to save and help them. That energetic commander marched all night with his full strength, fell upon the allies at Gibeon, slew them with a great slaughter, chased the fugitives down the valley by way of Beth-horon, and smote them unto Azekah and unto Makkedah. It was during this memorable pursuit that in response to Joshua's appeal:
"Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon;
And thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon,"
the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down a whole day, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies.
The 5 kings sought refuge in the cave at Makkedah, where, by Joshua's orders, they were blocked in with great stones, until the slaughter of the fugitives should be completed. Then the royal prisoners were brought out, and, after the chiefs of Israel had set their feet upon their necks, Joshua slew them and hanged them on five trees until sunset. This is an illustration of the old practice of impaling enemies after death. The bodies were then cast into the cave where they had sought to hide, and great stones were rolled against the entrance.
The flight of the allies was past Beth-boron and Azekah to Makkedah. Azekah is not identified, but it is named with Gederoth, Beth-dagon, and Naamah (Joshua 15:41). These are probably represented by Qatrah, Dajan and Na`aneh, so that in this district Makkedah may be sought. The officers of the Palestine Exploration Fund agree in suggesting el-Mughdr, "the cave," on the northern bank of Wady es-Surar, about 4 miles from the sand dunes on the shore. There are traces of old quarrying and many rock-cut tombs with loculi. "The village stands on a sort of promontory stretching into the valley .... divided into three plateaus; on the lower of these to the South is the modern village, el-Mughar, built in front of the caves which are cut out of the sandstone" (Warren). In no other place in the neighborhood are caves found. The narrative, however, speaks not of caves, but of "the cave," as of one which was notable. On the other hand the events narrated may have lent distinction to some particular cave among the many. "The cave" would therefore be that associated with the fate of the 5 kings. No certainty is possible.
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