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Mizpah [N] [H] [S]

or Miz'peh, watch-tower; the look-out.

  • A place in Gilead, so named by Laban, who overtook Jacob at this spot ( Genesis 31:49 ) on his return to Palestine from Padan-aram. Here Jacob and Laban set up their memorial cairn of stones. It is the same as Ramath-mizpeh ( Joshua 13:26 ).

  • A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national danger. Here he made his rash vow; and here his daughter submitted to her mysterious fate ( Judges 10:17 ; Judges 11:11 Judges 11:34 ). It may be the same as Ramoth-Gilead ( Joshua 20:8 ), but it is more likely that it is identical with the foregoing, the Mizpeh of Genesis 31:23 Genesis 31:25 Genesis 31:48 Genesis 31:49 .

  • Another place in Gilead, at the foot of Mount Hermon, inhabited by Hivites ( Joshua 11:3 Joshua 11:8 ). The name in Hebrew here has the article before it, "the Mizpeh," "the watch-tower." The modern village of Metullah, meaning also "the look-out," probably occupies the site so called.

  • A town of Moab to which David removed his parents for safety during his persecution by Saul ( 1 Samuel 22:3 ). This was probably the citadel known as Kir-Moab, now Kerak. While David resided here he was visited by the prophet Gad, here mentioned for the first time, who was probably sent by Samuel to bid him leave the land of Moab and betake himself to the land of Judah. He accordingly removed to the forest of Hareth (q.v.), on the edge of the mountain chain of Hebron.

  • A city of Benjamin, "the watch-tower", where the people were accustomed to meet in great national emergencies ( Joshua 18:26 ; Judges 20:1 Judges 20:3 ; Judges 21:1 Judges 21:5 ; 1 Samuel 7:5-16 ). It has been supposed to be the same as Nob ( 1 Samuel 21:1 ; 22:9-19 ). It was some 4 miles north-west of Jerusalem, and was situated on the loftiest hill in the neighbourhood, some 600 feet above the plain of Gibeon. This village has the modern name of Neby Samwil, i.e., the prophet Samuel, from a tradition that Samuel's tomb is here. (See NOB .)

    Samuel inaugurated the reformation that characterized his time by convening a great assembly of all Israel at Mizpeh, now the politico-religious centre of the nation. There, in deep humiliation on account of their sins, they renewed their vows and entered again into covenant with the God of their fathers. It was a period of great religious awakening and of revived national life. The Philistines heard of this assembly, and came up against Israel. The Hebrews charged the Philistine host with great fury, and they were totally routed. Samuel commemorated this signal victory by erecting a memorial-stone, which he called "Ebenezer" (q.v.), saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" ( 1 Samuel 7:7-12 ).

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Mizpah". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Mizpah [N] [E] [S]

    Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names. Public Domain. Copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Mizpah'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

    Mizpah [N] [E] [H]

    and Mizpeh (a watch-tower ), the name of several places in Palestine.

    1. The earliest of all, in order of the narrative, is the heap of stones piled up by Jacob and Laban, ( Genesis 31:48 ) on Mount Gilead, ver. ( Genesis 31:25 ) to serve both as a witness to the covenant then entered into and as a landmark of the boundary between them. ver. ( Genesis 31:52 ) On this natural watch-tower did the children of Israel assemble for the choice of a leader to resist the children of Ammon. ( Judges 10:17 ) There the fatal meeting took place between Jephthah and his daughter on his return from the war. ch. ( Judges 11:34 ) It seems most probable that the "Mizpeh-gilead" which is mentioned here, and here only, is the same as the "ham-Mizpah" of the other parts of the narrative; and both are probably identical with the Ramath-mizpeh and Ramoth-gilead, so famous in the later history.
    2. A second Mizpeh, on the east of Jordan, was the Mizpeh-moab, where the king of that nation was living when David committed his parents to his care. ( 1 Samuel 22:3 )
    3. A third was "the land of Mizpeh," or more accurately "of Mizpah," the residence of the Hivites who joined the northern confederacy against Israel, headed by Jabin king of Hazor. ( Joshua 11:3 ) No other mention is found of this district in the Bible, unless it be identical with --
    4. The valley of Mizpeh, to which the discomfited hosts of the same confederacy were chased by Joshua, ( Joshua 11:8 ) perhaps identical with the great country of Coele-Syria.
    5. Mizpeh, a city of Judah, ( Joshua 15:38 ) in the district of the Shefelah or maritime lowland.
    6. Mizpeh, in Joshua and Samuel; elsewhere Mizpah, a "city" of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem. ( Joshua 18:26 ; 1 Kings 15:22 ; 2 Chronicles 16:6 ; Nehemiah 3:7 ) It was one of the places fortified by Asa against the incursions of the kings of northern Israel, ( 1 Kings 15:22 ; 2 Chronicles 16:6 ; Jeremiah 41:10 ) and after the destruction of Jerusalem it became the residence of the superintendent appointed by the king of Babylon, ( Jeremiah 40:7 ) etc., and the scene of his murder and of the romantic incidents connected with the name of Ishmael the son of Nethaniah. It was one of the three holy cities which Samuel visited in turn as judge of the people, ( 1 Samuel 7:6 1 Samuel 7:16 ) the other two being Bethel and Gilgal. With the conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment there of the ark, the sanctity of Mizpah, or at least its reputation, seems to have declined. From Mizpah the city or the temple was visible. These conditions are satisfied by the position of Scopus, the broad ridge which forms the continuation of the Mount of Olives to the north and cast, from which the traveller gains, like Titus, his first view, and takes his last farewell, of the domes, walls and towers of the holy city.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names

    Bibliography Information

    Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Mizpah'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

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