Mea'rah (Hebrews Mearah', מעָרָה, a cave, as often; Sept. ἀπὸ Γάζης, apparently reading מֵעִזָּה from Gaza; Vulg. Maara), a place mentioned in Jos 13:4 as situated in the northern edge of Palestine: "From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek." Some find it in the town Marathos (Strabo, 16:753; Pliny, v. 17; Ptolemy, v. 15, 16). Most interpreters, following the Chaldee and Syriac (see the Critici Biblici, s.v.), are of the opinion that the term should rather be rendered as an appellative-the cave (Keil's Comment. ad loc.); but if a mere cave were intended, and not a place called Mearah, the name would surely have been preceded by the definite article, and would have stood as הִמּעָרָה, "the cave." Besides, the scope of the passage shows that some place-either a city or district-must be meant. "Reland (Palaest. p. 896) suggests that Mearah may be the same with Meroth, a village named by Josephus (Ant. 3:3,1) as forming the limit of Galilee on the west (see also Ant. 2:20, 6), and which again may possibly have been connected with the waters of Merom. A village called el-Mughar is found in the mountains of Naphtali, some ten miles west of the northern extremity of the Sea of Galilee (Robinson, 3:79, 30; Van de Velde's Map), which may possibly represent an ancient Mearah." "About half-way between Tyre and Sidon. close to the shore, are the ruins of an ancient town; and in the neighboring cliffs are large numbers of caves and grottos hewn in the rock, and formerly used as tombs. Dr. Robinson suggested that this may be 'Mearah of the Sidonians (ii. 474). The ruins are now called 'Adlan, but perhaps take that name from the village on the mountain-side." Ritter (Erdk. 17:10; also 16:8, 9), on the other hand, identifies Mearah, under the name Mughara, with the remarkable cavern (Rosenmiller, Alterth. II, 1:39 sq., 66) which the Crusaders fortified, and Which is described by William of Tyre (Histor. Hieros. 19:2, 11) as "a certain fortress of ours in the Sidonian territory, namely, an impregnable grotto, commonly called the Cave of Tyre (Cavea de Tyron)." It was afterwards the last retreat of the emir Fakhr ed-Din. The place is now also known as Shukif Tairun (Abulfeda, Table). Schultz is the first traveller who mentions it in modern days. .It is situated in the high cliff east of Sidon, between Jezim and Michmurhy (Van de Velde, Memoir, s.v.). SEE CAVE.

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