sham-pan', sham'-pan (`arabhah, biq`ah):
A champaign is a flat open country, and the word occurs in Deuteronomy 11:30 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "the Arabah") as a translation of `arabhah, for which the King James Version has in most places "the plain," and the Revised Version (British and American) "the Arabah," when it is used with the article and denotes a definite region, i.e. the valley of the Jordan from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea (Deuteronomy 2:8; 3:17; 4:4:9; Joshua 3:16; 8:14; 11:16; 12:1,3,1; 2 Samuel 2:29; 4:7; 2 Kings 14:25; 25:4; Jeremiah 39:4; 52:7), and also the valley running southward from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akabah (Deuteronomy 1:1). Ezekiel 47:8 has for ha-`arabhah "the desert," the King James Version margin "plain," the Revised Version (British and American) "the Arabah." The plural is used in Joshua 5:10; 2 Kings 25:5, "the plains of Jericho," and in Numbers 22:1; 26:3, "the plains of Moab." Elsewhere `arabhah is rendered in English Versions of the Bible "desert" or "wilderness" (Job 24:5; 39:6; Isaiah 33:9; 35:1,6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3; Jeremiah 2:6; 17:6; 50:12). At the present day, the Jordan va lley is called the Ghaur (compare Hebrew `ur, "to dig," me`arah, "cave," and Arabic magharah, "cave"). This name is also applied to the deltas of streams flowing into the Dead Sea from the East, which are clothed with thickets of thorny trees and shrubs, i.e. Ghaur-ul-Mezra`ah, at the mouths of Wadi-Kerak and Wadi-Beni-Chammad, Ghaur-uc-Cafiyeh, at the mouth of Wadi-ul-Hisa. The name "Arabah" (Arabic al-`Arabah) is now confined to the valley running southward from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akabah, separating the mountains of Edom from Sinai and the plateau of at-Tih.
Ezekiel 37:2 the King James Version margin has "champaign" for biq`ah, which is elsewhere rendered "vale" or "valley." Biq`ah seems to be applied to wide, open valleys, as:
"the valley of Jericho" (Deuteronomy 34:3), "the valley of Megiddo" (2 Chronicles 35:22; Zechariah 12:11), "the valley of Lebanon" (Joshua 11:17). If Baal-Gad be Ba`albeq and "the valley of Lebanon" be Coele-syria, the present name of Coele-syria, al-Biqa` (plural of buq`ah, "a low, wet place or meadow"), may be regarded as a survival of the Hebre w biq`ah.
Alfred Ely Day
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