• Heb. 'abel ( Judges 11:33 ), a "grassy plain" or "meadow." Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), Compare Judges 11:22 ; 2 Chr 16:4 .

  • Heb. 'elon ( Genesis 12:6 ; 13:18 ; 14:13 ; 18:1 ; Deuteronomy 11:30 ; Judges 9:6 ), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version; margin, "terebinth."

  • Heb. bik'ah ( Genesis 11:2 ; Nehemiah 6:2 ; Ezekiel 3:23 ; Daniel 3:1 ), properly a valley, as rendered in Isaiah 40:4 , a broad plain between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version has "Bikathaven."

  • Heb. kikar, "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the low ground along the Jordan ( Genesis 13:10-12 ; Genesis 19:17 Genesis 19:25 Genesis 19:28 Genesis 19:29 ; Deuteronomy 34:3 ; 2 Sam 18:23 ; 1 Kings 7:46 ; 2 Chr 4:17 ; Nehemiah 3:22 ; 12:28 ), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.

  • Heb. mishor, "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land ( Deuteronomy 3:10 ; 4:43 ; Joshua 13:9 Joshua 13:16 Joshua 13:17 Joshua 13:21 ; 20:8 ; Jeremiah 48:21 ), an expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chronicles 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant. Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jeremiah 21:13 , because the hills on which it is built rise high above the plain.

  • Heb. 'arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," 2 Kings 14:25 ; Deuteronomy 1:1 ; 2:8 ), a distance of about 70 miles. It is called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found in Authorized Version ( Joshua 18:18 ), and is uniformly used in the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This ravine is called the "lower plain."

    The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100 miles in all.

  • Heb. shephelah, "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered "vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version ( Joshua 9:1 ; 10:40 ; 11:2 ; 12:8 ; Judges 1:9 ; 1 Kings 10:27 ). In Authorized Version ( 1 Chronicles 27:28 ; 2 Chr 26:10 ) it is also rendered "low country." In Jeremiah 17:26 , Obadiah 1:19 , Zechariah 7:7 , "plain." The Revised Version renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the article, as in Deuteronomy 1:7 , Joshua 11:16 ; 15:33 , Jeremiah 32:44 ; 33:13 , Zechariah 7:7 , "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the Philistines." (See VALLEY .)

    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.

    Bibliography Information

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



    (1) kikkar, "circle" "talent," or "round loaf";

    (2) mishor, from yashar, "to be level"; compare Arabic maisur, "that which is easy";

    (3) biqah; compare Arabic baq`at, "a plot of ground" or "a wet meadow";

    (4) `arabhah;

    (5) shephelah;

    (6) topos pedinos (Luke 6:17);

    (7) 'elon; compare elah, and 'allon "oak" (Genesis 35:4,8, etc.); also 'elah, "Elah" (1 Samuel 17:2);

    (8) 'abhel):


    (1) Kikkar, when meaning "plain" usually refers to the alluvial plain about Jericho near the north end of the Dead Sea:

    "Plain (the Revised Version margin "circle") of the Jordan" (Genesis 13:10,11; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chronicles 4:17); "Plain of the valley of Jericho" (Deuteronomy 34:3); "cities of the Plain" (Genesis 13:12; 19:29); "all the Plain" (Genesis 19:17,25); "by the way of the Plain" (2 Samuel 18:23); but "the plain round about Jerusalem" (Nehemiah 12:28).


    (2) Mishor, English Versions of the Bible "plain," the Revised Version margin usually "table-land," clearly refers in most places to the highlands of Gilead and Moab, East of the Jordan and the Dead Sea; e.g. Joshua 13:9, "the plain (the Revised Version margin "table-land") of Medeba."

    (3) Biq`ah is more often translated "valley" (which see).

    (4) `Arabhah is in the Revised Version (British and American) often translated "the Arabah," denoting the whole Jordan-Dead-Sea-Arabah depression equals Arabic Ghaur (Ghor). In Deuteronomy 11:30, the King James Version has "champaign" (which see). The "plains of Moab" (Numbers 22:1; 26:3,13; 31:12; 33:48,49,50; 35:1; 36:13; Deuteronomy 34:1,8; Joshua 13:32) and "plains of Jericho" (Joshua 4:13; 5:10; 2 Kings 25:5; Jeremiah 39:5; 52:8) are the low plain or ghaur North of the Dead Sea. `Arabhah is here equivalent to kikkar (see above). Note the distinction between mishor used of the highlands, and kikkar and `arabhah used of the ghaur.

    See ARABAH.

    (5) Shephelah is by the Revised Version (British and American) throughout translated "lowland" (which see), and includes the western slopes of the Judean hills and the maritime plain.

    (6) Topos pedinos occurs only in Luke 6:17.

    (7) `Elon is translated "plain" in the King James Version:

    "plain of Moreh" (Genesis 12:6; Deuteronomy 11:30); "plain (or plains) of Mamre" (Genesis 13:18; 14:13; 18:1); "plain of Zaanaim" (Judges 4:11); "plain of the pillar" (Judges 9:6); "plain of Meonenim" (Judges 9:37); "plain of Tabor" (1 Samuel 10:3). the Revised Version (British and American) has throughout "oak," the Revised Version margin "terebinth"; compare "oak" (Genesis 35:4,8, etc.) and "vale of Elah" (1 Samuel 17:2,19; 21:9).

    (8) ['Abhel keramim] (Judges 11:33) is in the King James Version "the plain of the vineyards," the Revised Version (British and American) "Abel-cheramim," the Revised Version margin "the meadow of vineyards." Elsewhere in English Versions of the Bible 'abhel is "Abel" or "Abel."


    Alfred Ely Day

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'PLAIN'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.