Darom (דָּרוֹם; Sept. λίψ and Δαρόμ). This word is generally used in Scripture to denote "the south" (Ezekiel xl, 24; Job 37:17). -Its meaning in De 33:23 is doubtful. Moses in blessing Naphtali says, "'Possess thou the sea and Darom." The A. V. renders it "the west and the south;" the Septuagint, θάλασσαν καὶ λίβα; the old Latin, "mare et Africum;" and the Vulgate, "mare et meridiem." The territory of Naphtali lay on the north-east of Palestine. It did not touch or go near the Mediterranean; consequently "the sea" cannot mean the Mediterranean. The sea of Galilee is doubtless referred to, the whole western shore of which belonged to Naphtali. The Septuagint rendering of Darom in this passage (Λίψ, i.e. Africa) must be wrong. Naphtali never had any connection with Africa, or with that region on its northern frontier afterwards called Darom. The word seems here to denote a district near Tiberias, and probably the sunny plain of Gennesaret, which surpassed all the rest of Palestine in fertility (Joseph. War, 3:10, 8). With. this agrees the probable etymology of the word, which, according to Gesenius, signifies bright, according to Furst, glowing.
In Eze 20:46 (21:2), Darom appears to be a proper name. "Son of man, set thy face towards Teman, and drop the word towards Darom." The A.V. translates both words "south," but the Septuagint more correctly Θαιμὰν and Δαρώμ. Instead of Δαρώμ Symmachus gives Λίβα. We learn from Jerome and other ancient writers that the plain which lies along the southern border of Palestine and extends towards Egypt was formerly called Darom. Thus, Jerome says, Duma "is a large village in Darom —
that is, in the south country in the region of Eleutheropolis, seventeen miles distant from that city" (Onomast. s.v. Darom); and Eusebius describes Gerir as situated ὑπὲρ τὸν Δαρωμᾶν (ib. s.v. Γέραρα). The name appears to have been applied to the whole plain from the Mediterranean to the Arabah, and southern shore of the Dead Sea (Reland, Palest. p. 185 sq.). In the early ages of Christianity a Greek convent was erected near the coast; about seven miles south of Gaza, and named Daron. During the crusades it was converted into a fortress, and was the scene of many a hard struggle between the Christians and Saracens (Will. Tyr. in Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 988; Marinus Sanutus, p. 86, 246; Bohadin, Vita Saladini, p. 72, and Index Geog. s.v. Darounum; Robinson, Bib. Res. ii, 375). The site is now marked by a small village called Deir el-Balah, "the convent of the dates" (Porter, Handbook for S. and P. p. 266).