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The meaning of Zaphon in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

za'-fon (tsaphon; Codex Vaticanus Saphan; Codex Alexandrinus Saphon): A city on the East of the Jordan in the territory of Gad (Joshua 13:27). It is named again in Judges 12:1 as the place where the elders of Gilead gathered to meet with Jephthah (tsaphonah should be translated "to Zaphon," not "northward"). It must have lain well to the North of Gad. According to the Talmud Amathus represented Zaphon (Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, 249). Here sat one of the Synedria created by Gabinius (Ant., XIV, v, 4). It was a position of great strength (B J, I, iv, 2). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 21 Roman miles S. of Pella. This is the modern Tell 'Amateh, on the south bank of Wady er-Rujeib, 15 miles South of Pella, and nearly 5 miles North of the Jabbok. Buhl (GAP, 259) objects to the identification that Tell 'Amateh corresponds to the Asophon of Josephus (Ant., XIII, xii, 5). But this objection does not seem well founded.

W. Ewing


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