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

zar'-e-than (tsarethan) : A city, according to Joshua 3:16 (omitted, however, by the Septuagint) near Adam, which is probably to be identified with Tell Damieh at the mouth of the Jabbok. In I Kings 4:12 it is mentioned in connefection with Bethshean and said to be "beneath Jezreel." In I Kings 7:46, this is said to be at "the ford of Adamah," according to the reading of some, but according to the Massoretic text, "in the clay around between Succoth and Zarethan," where the bronze castings for the temple were made by Solomon's artificers. In II Chronicles 4:17, the name appears as Zeredah, which in I Kings 11:26 is said to have been the birthplace of Jeroboam, son of Nebat. In Judges 7:22, Gibeon is said to have pursued the Midianites "as far as Bethshittah toward Zererah," which is probably a misreading for Zeredah, arising from the similarity of the Hebrew letters daleth and resh. The place has not been positively identical. From the suggestion that the name means "the great (or lofty) rock," it has without sufficient reason been supposed that it designates the conspicuous peak of Kurn Surtabheh which projects from the mountains of Ephraim into the valley of the Jordan opposite the mouth of the Jabbok.

George Frederick Wright


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