ham-oth-dor' (chammoth do'r; Emathdor, as also several corrupt forms):
A fenced, Levitical city of Naphtali (Joshua 19:35; 21:32); also named Hammen (1 Chronicles 6:61 Hebrew). Probably the hammatu of the Karnak lists, and the hamatam of WAI, II, 53; certainly the Emmaus of Josephus, Ant, XVIII, ii, 3; BJ, IV, i, 3; Hamata of `Erubhin v. 5; Meghillah 2b, and the modern el-Hammam, 1 1/2 miles South of Tiberias. The name signifies "hot springs," and these, 4 in number, still exist. They have a temperature of 144 degree F., are salt and bitter in taste and sulfurous in smell. Considered invaluable for rheumatism, they are crowded in June and July. This health-giving reputation is of ancient date. It is mentioned in Josephus, BJ, IV, i, 3; and a coin of Tiberias of the reign of Trajan depicts Hygeia sitting on a rock beside the springs, feeding the serpent of Aesculapius. Being used for pleasure also, they were permitted to the Jew on the Sabbath, whereas had they been used only medicinally, they would have been forbidden (Babylonian Talmud, Shab 109a; compare Matthew 12:10).
W. M. Christie
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