Region-round-about THE (ἡ περίχωρος). This term had perhaps originally a more precise and independent meaning than it appears to a reader of the A.V. to possess. It is used by the Sept. as the equivalent of the singular Hebrew word hak- kikkanr (הִכַּכָּר, literally "the round"), a word the topographical application of which is not clear, but which seems in its earliest occurrences to denote the circle or oasis of cultivation in which stood Sodom and Gomorrah and the rest of the five "cities of the Ciccar" (Ge 13:10-12; Ge 19:17,25,28-29; De 34:3). Elsewhere it has a wider meaning, though still attached to the Jordan (2Sa 18:23; 1Ki 7:46; 2Ch 4:17; Ne 3:22; Ne 12:28). It is in this less restricted sense that περίχωρος occurs in the New Test. In Mt 3:5 and Lu 3:3 it denotes the populous and flourishing region which contained the towns of Jericho and its dependencies in the Jordan valley, enclosed in the amphitheatre of the hills of Quarnanta, a densely populated region, and important enough to be reckoned as a distinct section of Palestine — "Jerusalem, Judaea, and all the arrondissement of Jordan" (Mt 3:5; also Lu 7:17). It is also applied to the district of Gennesaret, a region which presents certain similarities to that of Jericho, being enclosed in the amphitheatre of the hills of Hattin and bounded in front by the water of the lake, as the other was by the Jordan, and also resembling it in being very thickly populated (Mt 14:35; Mr 6:55; Lu 6:37; Lu 7:17). It is perhaps nearly equivalent to the modern Arabic appellation of the Ghor. SEE TOPOGRAPHICAL TERMS.

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