Ancient Sources

Places of Ascalon, Gaza, Negev, Sinai


107. Gerara - (Tell Abu Hurayrah)
Gerara, once a royal city of the Philistines and boundary of the Canaanites to the south, where is the Saltus Gerariticus

ORIGINAL TEXTS


Gerara, ex cuius nomine nunc Geraritica vocatur regio trans Daroma, procul ab Eleutheropoli milibus viginti quinque ad meridiem. Erat autem olim terminus Chana-naeorum ad australem plagam et civitas metropolis Palaestinae. Scriptura commemorat fuisse eam inter Cades et Sur, hoc est inter duas solitudines, quarum una Aegypto iungitur, ad quam populus transfretum rubri maris pervenit, altera vero, Cades, usque ad Sarace-norum eremum extenditur.
(Jerome 61:6-13)


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Eusebius, Onomasticon 60,7-14 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 61:6-13 (ca. 390 A.D.)
Gerara (Gen 20:1), after which now the Geraritica is named, a region beyond the Daroma (South Judaea) at a distance of 25 miles from Eleuthero-polis to the south.
Once it was the southern boundary of the Ca-naanites and a royal city of Philistia.
It is located, as the Scripture says, "Between Kadesh and Shur", that is, between two deserts, one bordering with Egypt, and which the people entered after having crossed the Red Sea, and the other, Kadesh, stretching out up to the desert of the Saracens.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

Gen. 20:1-7 Abraham set his tent in the land of Gerar
From there Abraham journeyed toward the region of the Negeb, and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While residing in Gerar as an alien, Abraham said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." And King Abimelech of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "You are about to die because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a married woman." Now Abimelech had not approached her; so he said, "Lord, will you destroy an innocent people? Did he not himself say to me, 'She is my sister'? And she herself said, 'He is my brother.' I did this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands." Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart; furthermore it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Now then, return the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all that are yours."

Gen. 26:17-22 The wells between Gerar and Beersheba
So Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar and settled there. Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham; for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the names that his father had given them.But when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, the herders of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herders, saying, "The water is ours." So he called the well Esek, because they contended with him.Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also; so he called it Sitnah. He moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he called it Rehoboth, saying, "Now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."

2Chr. 14:8-15 The war of king Asa against Zerah the Ethiopian
Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and two hundred eighty thousand troops from Benjamin who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty warriors. Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.
Asa cried to the Lord his God, "O Lord, there is no difference for you between helping the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let no mortal prevail against you." So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. Asa and the army with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until no one remained alive; for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The people of Judah carried away a great quantity of booty. They defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord was on them. They plundered all the cities; for there was much plunder in them. They also attacked the tents of those who had livestock, and carried away sheep and goats in abundance, and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

MORE ANCIENT SOURCES

Eusebius, Onomasticon, 166:20-168:3 (ca. 295 A.D.)
Well of the oath (Beer-shaba), dug by Abraham. There he swore an oath. Now it is called Berosoba in the Geraritic (region).
Well of the vision (Beer-lahai-roi), in front of the desert. There dwelt Isaac.
Well of the contention (Beer-esek). There is still a village called Beer-Dan, which we say in Latin "well of the judge", in the Geraritic (region).
Well Well of the oath (Beer-sheba), There Isaac and Abimelech swore an oath. It is also called "The town of Isaac". There are many other wells in the Holy Writings, which are shown today in the Geraritic (region) and around Ascalon.


BYZANTINE ADMINISTRATIVE LISTS

Hierocles, Synecdemos, 717:8-719:11 (7th cent. A.D.)
Province of Palaestina Tertia, 10 cities under a praeses: Petra, Augustopolis, Arindela, Charachmuba, Areo-polis, Zoara, Mampsis, Bitarous, Elusa, Salton.

Georgius Cyprius, 997-1027 (7th cent. A.D.)
Province of Palaestina Prima, Aelia-Jerusalem, Caesarea, Dora, Antipatris, Diospolis wich is also Georgiopolis, Iamnia, Nicopolis, Ono, Sozousa, Ioppe, Ascalon, Gaza, Raphia, Anthedon, Diocletianopolis, Eleutheropolis, Neapolis, Sebaste, region of Amathous, region of Jericho, region of Livias, region of Gadara, Azotos Paralos, Azotos, Sycomazon, Bitylion, Tricomias, Toxos, Canstantiniac Salton, Geraritic Salton wich is also Barsamon.

Georgius Cyprius, 1043-1057 (7th cent. A.D.)
Province of Palaestina Tertia: Petra, Augustopolis, Arindela, Charachmoba, Areopolis, Mampsis, Elusa, Zoora, Salton, Berosaba (Beersheba), Aila, Pentakomia, Mampsara, Metrokomia, Salton Hieratikon.


EPISCOPAL CITY

Bishops' list
Marcianus (A.D. 451)
Stephanus, bishop Oraon / Ardon (A.D. 518)


ICONOGRAPHIC PARALLELS

Notitia Dignitatum
(5th cent. A.D.)
Birsama

see also 111. Orda
Map Section 8 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 13:38:56
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000