Ancient Sources

Mountain of Judah and Shephelah


80. Bethzachar(ia). The (place) of Saint Zacharias - (Tell Zakariyah)

ORIGINAL TEXTS


Azeca civitas Chananaeorum in parte tribus Iudae, ad quam usque persecutus est Iesus quinque reges. Sed et hodie vocatur villa Azeca inter Eleutheropolim et Aeliam.
(Jerome 19:10-12)

De Eleuteropoli usque in loco, ubi requiescit sanctus Zacharias, milia vi, et de ipso loco usque ad Ascalona milia XX.
(Theodosius, De situ Terrae Sanctae, 3)


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Eusebius, Onomasticon 18:10-12 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 19:10-12 (ca. 390 A.D.)
Azeca (Jos 10:10), a city of the Canaanites in the lot of the tribe of Judah, until which Joshua chased the five kings. And today too a village mid-way between Eleutheropolis and Jerusalem is called Azeca.

Theodosius, De situ Terrae Sanctae 3 (ca. 530 A.D.)
From Eleutheropolis to the place where St. Zachariah rests, 6 miles, and from this place to Ascalon, 20 miles.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

Josh 10:10 Azeca in which Joshua chased the five kings
And the Lord threw them into a panic before Israel, who inflicted a great slaughter on them at Gibeon, chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah.

2Chr 24:20-22 The murder of Zechariah son of Jehoiada
Then the spirit of God took possession of Zechariah son of the priest Jehoiada; he stood above the people and said to them, "Thus says God: Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has also forsaken you." 21 But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 King Joash did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah's father, had shown him, but killed his son. As he was dying, he said, "May the Lord see and avenge!"

Matt 23:29-36 The murder of Zechariah son of Barachiah
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, 30 and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. 33 You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.

MORE ANCIENT SOURCES

Sozomenus, Historia Ecclesiastica IX,17 (5th cent. A.D.)
Chaphar Zacharia is a village in the boundaries of Eleutheropolis, a city of Palestine. Its proxy was a certain Calimerus... the prophet appeared to him, while he was awake, and pointed out a field near the road going toward the town of Beththerebin saying: "... there you must dig..." Hence Calimerus went to the place declared by the prophet and started to do the work... When the chest was opened, the divine prophet appeared, dressed with a white garment, since he was, as I think, a priest.

Anonymus Placentinus, Itinerarium 32 (ca. 570 A.D.)
We also went to the place were Zachariah was killed and lies buried. There is a lovely basilica there, very well decorated, and many servants of God. Then we came to the place where Isaiah was sawn asunder, or is buried, and the saw has been put at Saint Zachariah's as a memorial.


ICONOGRAPHIC PARALLELS

Tabula Peutingeriana
(4th cent. A.D.)
Ceper [Zach]aria


Map Section 6 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 13:15:52
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000