Shearing House

Shearing house (Heb. בֵּית עֵקֶד הָרֹעַי ם, Beyth E'ked'ha-Roim; Sept. Βαιθακὰθ [v. r. Βαιθακὰδ] τῶν ποιμένων; Vulg. Camera pastorum), a place on the road between Jezreel and Samaria, at which Jehu, on his way to the latter, encountered forty-two members of the royal family of Judah, whom he slaughtered at the well or pit attached to the place (2Ki 10:12,14). The translators of our version have given in the margin the literal meaning of the name — "house of binding of the shepherds," and in the text an interpretation perhaps adopted from Jos. Kimchi. Binding, however, is but a subordinate part of the operation of shearing, and the word akad is not anywhere used in the Bible in connection therewith. SEE SHEEP SHEARER. The interpretation of the Targum and Arabic version, adopted by Rashi, viz. "house of the meeting of shepherds," is accepted by Simonis (Onomast. p. 186 ) and Gesenius (Thesaur. p. 195 b). Other renderings are given by Aquila and Symmachus. None of them, however, seem satisfactory, and it is probable that the original meaning has escaped. By the Sept., Eusebius, and Jerome it is treated as a proper name, as they also treat the "garden house" of 9:27. Eusebius (Onomast. s.v.) mentions it as a village of Samaria "in the great plain [of Esdraelon] fifteen miles from Legeon." It is remarkable that at a distance of precisely fifteen Roman miles from Lejjun the name of Beth-Kad appears in Van de Velde's map (see also Robinson, Bib. Res. 2, 316); but this place, though coincident in point of distance, is not on the plain, nor can it either belong to Samaria or be on the road from Jezreel thither, being behind (south of) Mount Gilboa. The slaughter at the well recalls the massacre of the pilgrims by Ishmael ben-Nethaniah at Mizpah, and the recent tragedy at Cawnpore. SEE BETH-EKED.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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