Med'eba (Hebrews Meydeba', מֵידבָא, water of quiet; Sept. Μηδαβά in Chron., Μαιδαβά in Josh., Μωάβ in Numb., and Μωαβῖτις v. r. Μηδαβά, Μηδαμά, Μιδαβά in Isa.; Vulg. Medaba; Joseph. Μηδάβα and Μεδάβη ), a town east of the Jordan, in a plain of the sapne name in the southern border of the tribe of Reuben (Jos 13:9,16), before which was fought the great battle where Joab defeated the Ammonites and their allies (1Ch 19:7; comp. with 2Sa 10:8,14, etc.). In the time of Ahaz, Medeba was a sanctuary of Moab (Isa 15:2); but in the denunciation of Jeremiah (48), often parallel with that of Isaiah, it is not mentioned. It originally belonged to the Moabites (Nu 21:30), from whom it was conquered by Sihon the Amoritish king (Josephus, Ant. 13:1, 2, and 4); but upon the captivity of the tribes beyond the Jordan, the Moabites again took possession of it (Isa 15:2), and retained it after the return from exile ( Macc. 9:36). SEE JAMBRI. It was the scene of the capture and possibly the death of John Maccabseus, and also of the revenge subsequently taken by Jonathan and Simon (Josephus, Ant. 13:1,4; the name is omitted in Maccabees on the second occasion, see ver. 38). About BC. 110 it was, taken, after a long siege, by John Hyrcanus ,(Ant. 13:9, 1; War, 1:2, 4), and then appears to have remained in the possession of the Jews for at least thirty years, till the time of Alexander Jannseus (13:15, 4); and it is mentioned as one of the twelve cities by the promise of which Aretas, the king of Arabia, was induced to assist Hyrcanus II to recover Jerusalem 'from his brother, Aristobulus (Ant. 14:1,4). Ptolemy calls it Medaua (Μήδανα), ,in Arabia Petraea, in long. 68° 30', lat. 300 45' (v. 17, 6). Stephen of Byzantium (p. 566) assigns it to Nabatene. The Onomasticon places it near Heshbon; and it was once the seat of one of the thirty-five bishoprics of Arabia (Reland, Palaestina, p. 217, 223, 226). The place, 'although in ruins, still retains the name Madeba, and is 'situated upon a round hill seven miles south of Heshbron. The ruins are about a mile and a half in circuit, but not a single edifice remains perfect, although the remains of the walls of private houses are traceable, and an immense tank (Irby and Mangles, p. 471) is visible (Seetzen, in Zach's Monat. Corresp. 18:431; Burckhardt, Trav. in Syria, p. 365 sq.). The foundations of an-ancient temple observed by these travellers on the west of the town are perhaps those of the Christian church which it once contained (ἡ πόλις Μηδάβων, Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, 769-772). A large tank, columns, and other marks of former structures are still to be seen; the remains of a Roman road exist near the town, which seems formerly to have connected it with Heshbon. "Taken as a Hebrew word, Me-deba means 'waters' of quiet; but, except the above tank, what waters can there ever have been on that high plain ? The Arabic name, though similar in sound, has a different signification." The plain (מַישׁוֹר) from Medeba to Dibon, given in Jos 13:9 as the southern portion of the territory of the Amorites, is the modern Belka, a fertile tract thus described by Raumer (Palastina, p. 70): " Southwards from Rabbath Ammon as far as the Arnon the country is mostly table-land, in some places for a considerable distance without a tree, but covered with the ruins of cities that have been destroyed. Towards the east it stretches away into the desert of Arabia, and on the west it slopes away to the Jordan." The part of this plateau here referred to is elsewhere (Nu 21:20) called, after its former inhabitants, "the field of Moab," or (Nu 23:14) " the field of the watchmen" (comp. Hengstenberg, Bileam, p. 241, 243). SEE MISHOR.

Bible concordance for MEDEBA.

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