passing over; ford, one of the boundaries of Solomon's dominions ( 1 Kings 4:24 ), probably "Thapsacus, a great and wealthy town on the western bank of the Euphrates," about 100 miles north-east of Tadmor. All the land traffic between the east and the west passed through it. Menahem undertook an expedition against this city, and "smote Tiphsah and all that were therein" ( 2 Kings 15:16 ). This expedition implied a march of some 300 miles from Tirzah if by way of Tadmor, and about 400 if by way of Aleppo; and its success showed the strength of the Israelite kingdom, for it was practically a defiance to Assyria. Conder, however, identifies this place with Khurbet Tafsah, some 6 miles west of Shechem.
passage; leap; step; the passover
(ford ) is mentioned in ( 1 Kings 4:24 ) as the limit of Solomons empire toward the Euphrates and in ( 2 Kings 15:16 ) it is said to have been attacked by Menahemi. It was known to the Greeks and Romans under the name of Thapsacus, and was the point where it was usual to cross the Euphrates. Thapsacus has been generally placed at the modern Deir ; but the Euphrates expedition proved that there is no ford at Deir , and that the only ford in this part of the course of the Euphrates is at Suriyeh , 45 miles below Balis, and 165 above Deir . This, then, must have been the position of Thapsacus.
tif'-sa (tiphcach, "ford"; Thapsa):
(1) This marks the northern extremity of the dominions ruled by Solomon, Gaza being the limit on the South (1 Kings 4:24). It can hardly be other than Thapsacus, on the right bank of the Euphrates, before its waters join those of the Balik. The great caravan route between East and West crossed the river by the ford at this point. Here Cyrus the younger effected a somewhat perilous crossing (Xenophon, Anabasis i.4, 2). The ford was also used by Darius; but Alexander the Great, in his pursuit constructed two bridges for the transport of his army (Arrian iii.7). Under the Seleucids it was called Amphipolis. The site is probably occupied by the modern Qal`at Dibse, where there is a ford still used by the caravans. It is about 8 miles below Meskene, where the river makes a bend to the East.
(2) (Codex Vaticanus Thersa, Codex Alexandrinus Thaira):
The inhabitants of this town, which was apparently not far from Tirzah, did not favor the regicide Menahem, refusing to open to him. In his wrath he massacred the Tiphsites with circumstances of horrible cruelty (2 Kings 15:16). Khirbet Tafsah, about 6 miles Southwest of Nablus, corresponds in name, but is probably too far from Tirzah.
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