Ajalon

Aj'alon (Hebrew Ayalon', אִיָּלוֹן, place of deer, or of oaks), the name of two towns.

1. (Sept. Αἰλών, but Ε᾿λών in Jos 19:42, ἐν ó αἱ ἄρκοι in Jg 1:35, omits in 1Sa 14:31, ᾿Ηλών v. r. Αἰλών in 1Ch 6:69, Αἰλάμ v. r. Α᾿λάμ and Α᾿δάμ in 1Ch 8:13, Α᾿ϊαλών v. r. Αἰλώμ in 2Ch 11:10, Α᾿ϊλών in 2Ch 28:18; Josephus ᾿Ηλώμ, Ant. 8, 10, 1; Auth. Vers. "Aijalon" in all the passages except Jos 10:12; Jos 19:41; 2Ch 28:18.) A town and valley in the tribe of Dan (Jos 19:42), which was given to the Levites (Jos 21:24; 1Ch 6:69). The native Amorites for a long time retained possession of it, although reduced to the condition of tributaries by the neighboring Ephraimites (Jg 1:35), Being on the very frontier of the two kingdoms, we can understand how Ajalon should be spoken of sometimes (1Ch 6:69, comp. with 66) as in Ephraim, and sometimes (2Ch 11:10; 1Sa 14:31) as in Judah and Benjamin. It was not far from Bethshemesh (2Ch 28:18), and was one of the places which Rehoboam fortified (2Ch 11:10) during his conflicts with the new kingdom of Ephraim (1Ki 14:30), and among the strongholds which the Philistines took from Ahaz (2Ch 28:18). Saul pursued hither the routed Philistines from Michmash (1Sa 14:31), and some of its chiefs appear to have subsequently defeated an incursion of the same enemies from Gath (1Ch 8:13). But the town, or rather the valley to which the town gave name, derives its chief renown from the circumstance that when Joshua, in pursuit of the five kings, arrived at some point near Upper Beth-horon, looking back upon Gibeon and down upon the noble valley before him, he uttered the celebrated command, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon, and thou moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Jos 10:12). From the indications of Jerome (Onomast. and Epitaph. Paul.), who places Ajalon two Roman miles from Nicopolis, on the way to Jerusalem (comp. Ι᾿αλώ in Epiphan. Opp. 1, 702), joined to the preservation of the ancient name, Dr. Robinson (Bibl. Researches, 3, 63) appears to have identified the valley and the site of the town. From a housetop in Belt Ur (Beth- horon) he looked down upon a broad and beautiful valley, which lay at his feet, toward Ramleh. This valley runs out west by north through a tract of hills, and then bends off southwest through the great western plain. It is called Merj lbn 'Omeir. Upon the side of the long hill which skirts the valley on the south a small village was perceived, called Yalo, which cannot well be any other than the ancient Ajalon; and there can be little question that the broad wady to the north of it is the valley of the same name (see Thomson's Land and Book 2, 304, 546). Keil, however (Comment. in Jos 10:12), controverts the above view (from Lengerke, after Lapide and Le Clerc, in loc.) respecting the position of Joshua on this occasion, maintaining that if Joshua really saw both the sun and moon when he delivered this memorable address, it must have been in the early part of the day, and during the engagement before Gibeon itself; for then the sun might have been visible on the east or south-east of Gibeon, and the moon in the south-west, above the valley of Ajalon, as it would then be about to set. SEE JASHER. According to Schwarz (Palest. p. 141), a person on the summit of Upper Beth-horon can see at once Gibeon on the east and Ajalon on the west. The village of Yalo is situated on the northern declivity overlooking the plain, between two ravines, the western one of which contains a fountain that supplies the village. It has an old appearance, and contains several caverns in the cliffs (new ed. of Robinson's Researches, 3, 144).

2. (Sept. Αἰλών, Auth. Vers. "Aijalon.") A city in the tribe of Zebulon, where Elon the judge was buried (Jg 12:12). It is probably the modern Jalun, about four hours east of Akka, and a short distance south- west of Mejdel Kerum (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 283); for this place, although really within the bounds of Naphtali, is sufficiently near, perhaps, to the border of Zebulon to be included in that region, according to the indefinite mention of the text.

Bible concordance for AJALON.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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