Kir'jath-Je'irim (Heb. Kiryath'-Yearim', יעָרַים קַריִת, city of forests; Sept. Καριαθιαρείμ, Jos 18:14; Jg 18:12; 1Ch 2:50,52. 2Ch 1:4; Ne 7:29; Jer 26:20; Κιριαθαπίμ, 1Sa 6:21; 1Sa 7:1-2; v.r. 1Ch 2:50,52; 2Ch 1:4; Ne 7:29; Jer 21:14; πόλις Ι᾿αρείμ, Jos 15:9,60; 1Ch 13:5 [v.r.Ι᾿αρίμ]; πολεις Ι᾿αρείμ, Jos 9:17; Καριαθιαείρ v.r. πόλις Ι᾿αϊvρ, 1Ch 2:53; Καριαθβάαλ, Jos 13:15; omits in 1Ch 13:6 [or, rather, paraphrases the words "Baalah, which is Kirjath-jearim," by πόλις Δαυϊvδ]; Josephus ἡ τῶν Καριαθιαριμιτῶν πόλις, Ant. 6:2,1; with the art. קַריִת הִיּעָרַים, Jer 26:20), in the contracted form KIRJATH-ARIM (Heb. Kiryath'-Arim', קַריִת עָרַים, Ezr 2:25; Sept. Καριαθιαρείμ v.r. Καριαθιαρίμ), and simply KIRJATH (Heb. Kiryath', קַריִת; Jos 18:28; Sept. πόλις Ι᾿αριείμ), one of the towns of the Gibeonites (Jos 9:17). It belonged to the tribe of Judah (Jos 15:60; Jg 18:12), and lay on the border of Benjamin (Jos 18:15; 1Ch 2:50), to which it was finally assigned (Jos 18:28). It was to this place that the ark was brought from Beth-shemesh, after it had been removed from the land of the Philistines, and where it remained till removed to Jerusalem by David (1Sa 7; 1Ch 13). This was one of the ancient sites which were again inhabited after the exile (Ezr 2:25; Ne 7:29). It was also called KIRATH- BAAL (Jos 15:60; Jos 18:14), and BAALAH (Jos 15:9). It appears to have lain not far from Beeroth (Ezr 2:25). " It is included in the genealogies of Judah (1Ch 2:50,52) as founded by or descended from Shobal, the son of Caleb ben-Hur, and as having in its turn sent out the colonies of the Ithrites, Puhites, Shumathites, and Mishraites, and those of Zorah and Eshtaol. 'Behind Kirjath-jearim' the band of Danites pitched their camp before their expedition to Mount Ephraim and Laish, leaving their name attached to the spot for long after (Jg 18:12). SEE MAHANEH-DAN. Hitherto, beyond the early sanctity implied in its bearing the name of BAAL, there is nothing remarkable in Kirjath-jearim. It was no doubt this reputation for sanctity which made the people of Beth- shemesh appeal to its inhabitants to relieve them of the ark of Jehovah, which was bringing such calamities on their untutored inexperience. From their place in the valley they looked anxiously for some eminence, which. according to the belief of those days, should be the appropriate seat for so powerful a Deity [see Thomson, Land and Book, ii, 539] (1Sa 6:20-21). In this high place-' the hill' (הִגַּבעָה)–under the charge of Eleazar, son of Abinadab, the ark remained for twenty years (7:22), during which period the spot became the resort of pilgrims from all parts, anxious to offer sacrifices and perform vows to Jehovah (Josephus, Ant. 6:2,1). Sixty-two years after the close of that time Kirjath-jearim lost its sacred treasure, on its removal by David to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite (1Ch 13:5-6; 2Ch 1:4; 2Sa 6:2, etc.). It is very remarkable and suggestive that in the account of this transaction the ancient and heathen name Baal is retained. In fact, in 2Sa 6:2 probably the original statement-the name Baale is used without any explanation, and to the exclusion of that of Kirjath-jearim. In the allusion to this transaction in Ps 132:6, the name is obscurely indicated as the 'wood'-yaar, the root of Kirjath-jearim. We also hear of a prophet Urijah ben-Shemaiah, a native of the place, who enforced the warnings of Jeremiah, and was cruelly murdered by Jehoiakim (Jer 26:20, etc.), but of the place we know nothing beyond what has already been said. A tradition is mentioned by Adrichomius (Descr. T. S. Dan. § 17), though without stating his authority, that it was the native place of 'Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, who was slain between the altar and the Temple"' (Smith). Josephus says it was near Beth-shemesh (Ant. 6:1, 4). Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. Baal, Baul-carcathiarim) speak of it as being in their day a village nine or ten miles from Diospolis (Lydda), on the road to Jerusalem; consequently north-west (Hamesveld, 3:266). With this description, and the former of these two distances, agrees Procopius (see Reland, Palest. p. 503). On account of its presumed proximity to Beth- shemesh, Williams (Holy City) endeavors to identify Kirjath-jearim with Deir el-Howa, east of Ain Shems. But this, though sufficiently near the latter place, does not answer to the other conditions. Dr. Robinson thinks it possible that the ancient Kirjath-jearim may be recognised in the present Kuryet el-Enab. The first part of the name (Kirjath, Kuryet, signifying city) is the same in both, and is most probably ancient, being found in Arabic proper names only in Syria and Palestine, and not very frequently even there. The only change has been that the ancient "city of forests" has, in modern times, become the "city of grapes." The site is also about three hours, or nine Roman miles from Lydda, on the road to Jerusalem, and not very remote from Gibcon, from which Kirjath-jearim could not well have been distant. So close a correspondence of name and position seems to warrant the conclusion in favor of Kurvet el-Enab (see Ritter's Erdkunzde, 16:108-110). This place is that which ecclesiastical tradition has identified with the Anathoth of Jeremiah (i, 1; comp. Jerome, ad loc.; also Ononzasticon, s.v.; Josephus, Ant. 10:7, 3), which, however, is at Anata. Kuryet el-Enab is now a poor village, its principal buildings being an old convent of the Minorites and a Latin church. The latter is now deserted, and is used for a stable, but is said to be one of the largest and most solidly constructed churches in Palestine (Robinson, ii, 109, 334-337). The village is prettily situated in a basin, on the north side of a spur jutting out from the western hills. The only well-built houses are those belonging to the family of the sheiks Abu-Ghosh, who for the last half century have been the terror of travellers, but have lately been overtaken with punishment by the Turkish government. Dr. Robinson remarks that "a pretty direct route from Beth-shemesh would pass up on the east of Yeshua and along wady Ghurab; but no such road now exists, and probably never did, judging from the nature of the country. In all probability, the ark was brought up by way of Saris" (Researches, new ed., 3:157). Schwarz, who identifies Kirjath- jearim with the same site, suggests that the hill (which he calls Mount Midan) south-west of the village, and just south of Kuryet es-Saideh, may be the "Mount Jearim" spoken of in Jos 15:10 (but different from Mount Baalah of ver. 11); both places having taken the title Jearim from the intervening tract of land, perhaps once covered with wood (Palest. p. 97). It is the testimony of a recent traveller (Tobler, Dritte Wanderung, p. 178) that in the immediate neighborhood, on the ridge probably answering to Mount Jearim, there still are "real woods, so thick and so solitary, he had seen nothing like them since he left Germany."

Bible concordance for KIRJATH-JEARIM.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.