acacias, also called "Abel-shittim" ( Numbers 33:49 ), a plain or valley in the land of Moab where the Israelites were encamped after their two victories over Sihon and Og, at the close of their desert wanderings, and from which Joshua sent forth two spies (q.v.) "secretly" to "view" the land and Jericho ( Joshua 2:1 ).
(the acacias ), the place of Israels encampment between the conquest of the transjordanic highlands and the passage of the Jordan. ( Numbers 25:1 ; 33:49 ; Joshua 2:1 ; 3:1 ; Micah 6:5 ) Its full name appears to be given in the first of these passage --Abel has-Shittim, "the meadow, or moist place, of the acacias." it was "in the Arboth-moab, by Jordan-Jericho," (Numb 22:1; 26:3; 31:12; 33:48,49 that is to say, it was in the Arabah or Jordan valley, opposite Jericho.
shit'-im (ha-shiTTim, "the acacias"; Sattein):
(1) This marked the last camping-ground of Israel before they crossed the Jordan to begin the conquest of Western Palestine. Here it was that the people fell into the snare set for them by the satanic counsel of Balaam, who thus brought upon them greater evil than all his prohibited curses could have done (Numbers 25:1; 31:16). In Numbers 33:49 it is called Abel-shittim. It was from Shittim that Joshua sent the spies to view out the land and Jericho (Joshua 2:1); and from this point the host moved forward to the river (Joshua 3:1). The place is mentioned by Micah in a passage of some difficulty (Joshua 6:5):
after "what Balaam the son of Beor answered," perhaps some such phrase as "remember what I did" has fallen out. This would then be a reference to the display of divine power in arresting the flow of Jordan until the host had safely crossed. Josephus places the camp "near Jordan where the city Abila now stands, a place full of palm trees" (Ant., IV, viii, 1). Eusebius, Onomasticon says Shittim was near to Mt. Peor (Fogor). It may possibly be identical with Khirbet el-Kefrain, about 6 miles South of the Jordan, on the lip of Wady Seiseban, where there are many acacias.
(2) In Joel 3:18 we read of the valley of Shittim which is to be watered by a fountain coming forth of the house of the Lord. It must therefore be sought on the West of the Jordan. The waters from the Jerusalem district are carried to the Dead Sea down the Wady which continues the Brook Kidron:
Wady en-Nar. The acacia is found plentifully in the lower reaches of this valley, which may possibly be intended by the prophet.
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