Chebel (חֶבֶל, che´bel; usually rendered in the older versions σχοίνισμα, περίμετρον, περίχωρον; regio, funiculus), one of the singular topographical terms (q.v.) in which the ancient Hebrew language abounded, and which add so, much force and precision :to its records. The ordinary meaning of the word is a "rope" or " cord;" and in this sense it frequently occurs both literally (as Jos 2:15, "cord;" 1 Kings 30:31, "ropes;" Isa 33:23, "tacklings;" Am 7:17, "line") and metaphorically (as Ec 12:6; Isa 5:18; Ho 11:4). From this it has passed — with a curious correspondence to our own modes of speech — to denote a body of men, a "band" (as in Ps 119:61). In 1Sa 10:5,10, our word " string" would not be inappropriate to the circumstances — "a string of prophets coming down from the high place." Further it is found in other metaphorical senses, arising out of its original meaning (as Job 18:10; Ps 18:4; Jer 13:21). From the idea of a measuring-line (Mic 2:5), it has come to mean a "portion" or "allotment" (as 1Ch 16:18; Ps 105:11; Eze 47:13). It is the word used in the familiar passage "the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places" (Ps 16:6). But in its topographical sense, as meaning a "tract" or "district," we find it always attached to the region of Argob, which is invariably designated by this, and by no other term (De 3:4,13-14; 1Ki 4:13). Its propriety is illustrated by a late traveler in those regions, who shows the abrupt definiteness of the boundary of the district (Graham, in Cambridge Essays, 1858). A comparison of the fact that Argob was taken possession of by Manasseh — a part of the great tribe of Joseph — with the use of this word by that tribe, and by Joshua in his retort, in the very early and characteristic fragment, Jos 17:5,14 (A. V. "portion"), prompts the suggestion that it may have been a provincialism in use among that large and independent part of Israel. Or its application to the "rocky shore" of Argob may be illustrated and justified by its use (Zep 2:5-7; A. V. "coast") for the "coast line" of the' Mediterranean along Philistia. In connection with the sea-shore it is also employed in Jos 19:29. SEE ARGOB.

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