A town assigned (Joshua 19:5; 1 Chronicles 4:30) to Simeon, but in Joshua 15:31 named, between Hornah and Madmannah, as one of the cities of the Negeb of Judah, "toward the border of Edom." It is said (1 Samuel 27:6) to have remained a royal city. In Nehemiah 11:28 it is in the list of towns reinhabited by the returning children of Judah. Its chief associations are with David. Achish the Philistine king of Gath gave it to David as a residence (1 Samuel 27:6; 1 Chronicles 12:1,20); it was raided by the Amalekites, on whom David took vengeance and so recovered his property (1 Samuel 30:14,26); here the messenger who came to announce Saul's death was slain (2 Samuel 1:1; 4:10).
The site of this important place is not yet fixed with certainty; Conder proposed Zucheilika, a ruin 11 miles South-Southeast of Gaza, and 4 miles North of Wady es-Sheri'a, which may be the "Brook Besor" (1 Samuel 30:9,10,21); Rowland (1842) proposed `Asluj, a heap of ruins South of Beersheba and 7 miles to the East of Bered. Neither site is entirely satisfactory. See Williams, Holy City, I, 463-68; BR, II, 201, PEF, 288, Sh XX.
E. W. G. Masterman
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