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(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce as a fortified town in the central Palestinian uplands at a strategic point for transportation between northern and southern Palestine. Outside the Bible, the name appears from the 18th century on in the Egyptian execration texts and the Amarna letters (as Akkad. uruu-ru-sa-lim). It derives from the verb yrh I…


(242 words)

Author(s): Küchler, Max
[German Version] Kypros, the name of a Herodian palace-fortress situated on Tell Aqaba, southwest of New Testament Jericho (see Gilgal, map), first identified by A. Alt (“Burg Kyprus,” PJ 21, 1925, 23f.). It was excavated by Ehud Netzer and Emanuel Damati in 1974. Earlier it had probably been the site of the Hasmonean fortress Threx or Taurus, mentioned by Strabo ( Geographica ¶ XVI, 2, 40) and destroyed by Pompey in 63 bce, which commanded the eastern approach to Jerusalem. Herod the Great rebuilt it and named it in honor of his mother Cypros (Jos. Bell. 1, 147), making it “very pleasant…


(210 words)

Author(s): Küchler, Max
[German Version] Leontopolis, (Arab. Tell el-Yahudiyeh), an Egyptian city situated approx. 20 km to the north of Heliopolis and attested since the Old Kingdom (Egypt). A fortress during the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period, it was endowed with sanctuaries in the New Kingdom (A.-P. Zivie, VI, 1985f., 331–335). According to Strabo and Flavius Josephus (both: Ant. XII 387f.; XIII 62–73), Onias IV purified the ruined temple in Leontopolis around 160 bce and, in allusion to Isa 19:19 (“an altar in the midst of Egypt”), erected a Jewish temple and an al…


(260 words)

Author(s): Küchler, Max
[German Version] Perea, Greek Περαία (γή), “(region) opposite,” commonly a term applied to places outside the contiguous state (e.g. Corinth, Rhodes, Mytilene). It occurs in the Bible only as a variant reading in Luke 6:17; otherwise the Bible consistently uses πέραν τοῦ ’Ιορδάνου/ péran toú Iordánou, “beyond (i.e. east of) the Jordan” (Heb. ‘ever ha-yarden; e.g. m. Šeb. 9.2; m. Ketub. 13.10) for the region where John the Baptist preached and baptized (John 1:28; 3:26), where Jesus preached (Mark 10:1 par. Matt), and where many who came to hear him lived…

Land of Israel

(3,019 words)

Author(s): Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Küchler, Max | Gafni, Isaiah | Dan, Joseph
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Antiquity – IV. Middle Ages and the Modern Period I. Old Testament 1. Terminology and boundaries The terminology used for the land of Israel (cf. Israel), in the sense of the OT view of the land itself, and the definition of its borders varies greatly. The texts appear in the context of particular literary and theological concepts in which “the land” constitutes a thematic focus. Hebrew has two words for land: (a) אֶרֶץ/ ʾereṣ, denoting the earth as a whole and its individual territories from a geographical and po…