Zo'heleth (Heb. with the art. haz-Zocheleth הִזֹּחֶלֶת. a fem. participial form; Sept. Ζωελέθ v.r. Ζωελεθί; Vulg. Zoheleth), the name of a stone (אֶבֶן) which was "by" (אֵצֶל beside) Enrogel, and "by" (עַם along with) which Adonijah offered his coronation sacrifices (1Ki 1:9). If En-rogel be the present Bir-Eyub in the valley of the Kidron, the stone in question may be any of the boulders in that vicinity.

As to the signification of the name, the Targuimists translate it "the rolling stone" and Jarchi affirms that it was a large stone on which the young men tried their strength in attempting to roll it.. Others make it "the serpent stone" (Gesenius and Fürst), as if from the root זחל, "to creep." Jerome simply says, "Zoelet tractum sive protractum." Others connect it with running water; but, there is nothing strained in making it "the stone of the conduit" (מזחילה, Mazchilah), from its proximity to the great rock conduit or conduits that poured into Siloam. Bochart's idea is that the Hebrew word zohel denotes "a slow motion" (Hieroz. I, 1, 9): "The fullers here pressing out the water which dropped from the clothes that they had washed in the well called Rogel." It this be the case, then we have some relics of this ancient custom at the massive breastwork below the present Birket el-Hamra, where the donkeys wait for their load of skins from the well, and where the Arab washerwomen may be seen to this day beating their clothes.

The practice of placing stones, and naming them from a person or an event, is very common. Jacob did so at Bethel (Ge 28:22; Ge 35:14; see Bochart, Canaan, p. 785, 786); and he did it again when parting from Laban (Glen. 31:45). Joshua set up stones in Jordan and Gilgal, at the command of God (Jos 4:9-20), and again in Shechem (Jos 24:26). Near Bethshemesh there was the Eben-gedolh ("great stone," 1Sa 6:14), called also Abel-gedolah ("the great weeping," ver. 18). There was the Eben-Bohdn, south of Jericho, in the plains of Jordan (Jos 15:6; Jos 18:17), "the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben," the Ehrenbreitstein of the Ciccar, or "plain," of Jordan, a memorial of the son or grandson of Jacob's eldest-born, for which travelers have looked in vain, but which Felix Fabri, in the 15th century (Evagat. 2, 82), professes to have seen. The rabbins preserve the memory of this stone in a book called Eben-Bohan, or the touchstone (Chron. of Rabbi Joseph, transl. by Bialloblotzky, 1, 192). There was the stone set up by Samuel between Mizpeh and Shen, EbenEzer, "the stone of help" (1Sa 7:11-12). There was the Great Stone on which Samuel slew the sacrifices, after the great battle of Saul with the Philistines (1Sa 14:33). There was the Eben-Ezel ("lapis discessus vel abitus, a discessu Jonathanis et Davidis" [- Simonis, Onomast. p. 156]), where David hid himself, and which [some Talmudists identify with Zoheleth. Large stones have always obtained for themselves peculiar names, from their shape, their position, their connection with a person or an event. In the Sinaitic desert may be found the Hajar el-Rekab ("stone of the rider"), Hajar eh-Ful ("stone of the bean"), Hojar Musa' ("stone of Moses"). The subject of stones is by no means uninteresting, and has not in any respect been exhausted. (See the notes of De Sola and Lindenthal in their edition of Genesis, p. 175, 226; Bochart, Canaan, p. 785; Vossius, De ldololatr. 6:38; Scaliger, On Eusebius, p. 198; Heraldus, On Arnobius, bk. 7; and Elmenhorstius, On Anrnobius; also a long note of Ouzelius, in his edition of Afnucius Felix, p. 15; Calmet, Fragments, Nos. 166, 735, 736; Kitto, Palestine. See, besides, the works of antiquaries on stones and stone circles; and an interesting account of the curious Phoenician Hajar Chem in Malta, in Tallack's recent volume on: that island, p. 115-127). SEE STONE.

Bible concordance for ZOHELETH.

M. Clermont Ganneau of the French consulate at Jerusalem, has found what he deems a strong confirmation of the name in question. In ez- Zehiwdee, a rocky plateau along the edge of the village of Silwuan. (Quar. Statement of the "Palest. Explor. Fund," Jan. 1871, p. 252. sq,). This is adopted by Tristram (Bible-Places, p,124) and Lieut. Conder (Tenit Work, 2, 313), The boundary-line of Judah passed near this. SEE TRIBE.

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™.