Gesh'uri (Heb. Geshuri', גּשׁוּרַי, Sept. Γαργεσί v.r. Γεργεσεί, and Γεσουρί v.r. Γεσιρεί; the sing. De 3:14; Jos 12:2), or GESHURITES (Heb. Geshurim', גּשׁוּרים plur. Jos 12:5; Jos 13:11,13; 1Sa 27:8; but in Jos 13:13, second clause, where the Heb.
has Geshur simply), the name of an aboriginal people of Palestine, who appear at opposite extremities of the country. SEE CANAAN, LAND OF.
1. The natives of a district geographically within Bashan, but politically reckoned to Aram (2Sa 15:8). It seems, from the various references in Scripture, that the Geshurites occupied a territory of great natural strength, and that thus, though small in number, they were able to defend themselves against all assailants. Reland thinks (Palast. page 77 sq.) that Geshur of Bashan (Jos 12:5) was distinct from the Geshur of Aram (2Sa 15:8). For this, however, there is no authority, and the whole tenor of the Scripture narrative seems opposed to it. The view of Keil (on Jos 12:5), Rosenmüller (Bib. Geogr. 2:227), and Gesenius (Thesaurus, s.v.), that Geshur lay along the east bank of the upper Jordan, is opposed to the topographical details of the Bible, in which it is closely connected with Argob. Their chief argument is that Geshur signifies "a bridge," and there is a bridge on the upper Jordan. Porter, after a careful survey of the whole country, was led to the conclusion that Geshur embraced the northern section of the wild and rocky provinces now called Lejah, and formerly Trachonitis and Argob. It probably also took in the neighboring plain to the north as far as the banks of the Pharpar, on which there are several important bridges; but on the approach of the Israelites, the people may have concentrated themselves in their rugged stronghold, where the Israelites deemed it more prudent to leave them than to attempt to expel them. The wild tribes that now occupy that region hold a somewhat similar position, being really independent, but nominally subject to the Porte (see Journ. of Sac. Lit. July 1854, page 300; Porter's Damascus, volume 2; Burckhardt's Travels in Syr. page 105 sq.). SEE GEZER. The Geshurites appear to have maintained friendly relations with the Israelites east of the Jordan; probably from mutual interest, both being extensive cattle owners. The community of occupation may have led to the alliance between David and the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur (2Sa 3:3). SEE TRACHONITIS.
2. A people who dwelt on the south-western border of Palestine, adjoining the Philistines (Jos 13:2). They appear to have been nomads, and to have roamed over the neighboring desert, though occupying for a time at least a portion of Philistia. "David went up and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites; for those nations were of old the in. habitants of the land as thou goest to Shur, even untt the land of Egypt" (1Sa 27:8). These, however, appear to have been but a branch of the foregoing tribe, settled more or less permanently on the maritime outskirts of Judah. Schwartz finds the latter "in the modern village Adshur, one mile from Deir-Diban, on the road to Migdlal" (Palest. page 113). Thenius (Comment. ad loc.) thinks that Gesheurites should be read instead of "Ashurites" in 2Sa 2:9. SEE GESHUR.