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Baal-Hermon

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  • Yigal Levin
    Baal-Hermon appears in the boundary of the land not conquered by Joshua, according to the abbreviated description in Judges 3:3: From Mount Baal-Hermon unto
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 6, 2008
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      Baal-Hermon appears in the boundary of the land not conquered by Joshua, according to the abbreviated description in Judges 3:3: "From Mount Baal-Hermon unto Lebo-Hamath". In the more complete text in Josh. 13:5, the same boundary is described as stretching "from Baal-Gad under Mount Hermon unto Lebo-Hamath." While some scholars have attempted to explain the name "Baal-Hermon" as designating the peak of Mount Hermon, overlooking Baal-Gad itself (probably in the southern Baqa', near Hasbayeh), most assume either that the names are synonymous, or even that the version in Judges is erroneous, a "ghost place-name" caused by the abbreviated boundary-list. However Baal-Hermon is also given as part of the boundary of the Transjordanian half-tribe of Menasseh in 1 Chr. 5:23: "from Bashan unto Baal-Hermon and Senir and Mount Hermon". This could be seen either as evidence of there actually being such a place, which was known to either the Chronicler or his immediate source, even though it is not mentioned anywhere else, or of the fact that the Chronicler or his immediate source, when composing his description of the Menassite territory, chose to combine this particular element from Judges 3:3 with the other names that seem more based on Deut. 3:8-13 (which is the only other place in which Hermon, Senir and Bashan are listed together, in a description of the Transjordanian tribes).

      So which is it: is there such a place (and where is it), or did the Chronicler pick up a "ghost-name" from an unexpected source?

      Yigal Levin

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