Eg'lon (Hebrews Eglon', עֵגלוֹן, place of heifers, q.d. vituline), the name of a man, and also of two places.
1. (Sept. Ε᾿γλώμ, Josephus Ε᾿γλών,Vulgate Eglon.) An early king of the Moabites (Jg 3:12 sq.), who, aided by the Ammonites and the Amalekites, crossed the Jordan and took "the city of palm-trees," or Jericho (Josephus). B.C. 1527. Here he built himself a palace (Josephus, Ant. 5:4, 1 sq.), and continued for eighteen years to oppress the children of Israel, who paid him tribute (Josephus). Whether he resided at Jericho permanently, or only during the summer months (Jg 3:20; Josephus), he seems to have formed a familiar intimacy (συνήθης, Josephus, not Judg.) with Ehud, a young Israelite (νεανίας, Josephus) who lived in Jericho (Josephus, not Judg.), and who, by means of repeated presents, became a favorite courtier of the monarch. Eglon subdued the Israelites beyond the Jordan, and the southern tribes on this side the river, and made Jericho the seat, or one of the seats, of his government. This subjection to a power always present must have been more galling to the Israelites than any they had previously suffered. At length (B.C. 1509) they were delivered, through the instrumentality of Ehud, who slew the Moabitish king (Jg 3:12-31). SEE EHUD.
2. (Sept. Ε᾿γλώμ v.r. Αἰλάμ, but in Joshua 10, Ο᾿δολλάμ; Vulgate Eglon, Aglon.) A city in the maritime plain of Judah, near Lachish (Jos 15:39), formerly one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Jos 12:12). Its Almoritish king Debir (q.v.) formed a confederacy with the neighboring princes to assist Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, in attacking Gibeon, because that city had made peace with Joshua and the Israelites (Jos 10:3-4). Joshua met the confederated kings near Gibeon and routed them (Jos 10:11). Eglon was soon after visited by Joshua and destroyed (Jos 10:34-35). Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. Ε᾿γλώμ, Eglon) erroneously identify it with Odollam or ADULLAM SEE ADULLAM (q.v.), and say it was still "a large village," ten R. miles (Jerome, twelve) east of Eleutheropolis, being misled by the unaccountable reading of the Sept. as above. On the road from Eleutheropolis to Gaza, nine miles from the former and twelve from the latter, are the ruins of Ajlan, which mark the site of the ancient Eglon (Robinson, Researches, 2:392). The site is now completely desolate. The ruins are mere shapeless heaps of rubbish, strewn over a low, white mound (Porter, Handb. for Syria, page 262). The absence of more imposing remains is easily accounted for. The private houses, like those of Damascus, were built of sun-dried bricks; and the temples and fortifications of the soft calcareous stone of the district, which soon crumbles away. A large mound of rubbish, strewn with stones and pieces of pottery, is all we can now expect to mark the site of an ancient city in this plain (Van de Velde, Narrative, 2:188; Thomson, Land and Book, 2:356).
3. Another important place of this name (עגלון), according to Schwarz (Palest; p. 235), is mentioned in Talmudical authorities as situated within the bounds of Gad. He identifies it with the present village Ajlun, one mile east of Kulat er-Rubud, or Wady Rejib, which runs parallel with Jebel Ajlun on the south (see Robinson's Map, and comp. Researches, 2:121). The village is built on both sides of the narrow rivulet Jenne, and contains nothing remarkable except a few ancient mosques (Burckhardt, Syria, page 266).