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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Merom, Waters of

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Joshua 11:5. Lake Huleh or Samochonitis as Reland inferred from Josephus' statement (Ant. 5:5, section 1) that Hazor was above lake Samochonitis, presuming that the battle was at Hazor and that Samochonitis ("high") (Arabic samaca ), as Merom (marom ) means height, so that the waters were called "Me-Merom," the higher waters, the uppermost of the Jordan lakes; but Keil makes Merom now Meirom, a village visited by Jewish pilgrims because Hillel and Shammai, noted rabbis, were buried there, two hours' journey N.W. of Szafed, upon a rocky mountain at the foot of which is a spring forming a brook and stream. This reaches the lake Tiberias near Bethsaida, and constitutes "the waters of Merom," for Josephus (Ant. 5:1, section 18; B. J. 2:20, section 6; 3:3, section 1; Life 37) says, "these kings (under Jabin of Hazor) encamped at Berothe or Meroth, a city the western limit of upper Galilee, not far from Kedes." The Hebrew for "waters" is maim , not that for a large body of standing water (yam ).

Another objection to Reland's view is the difficulty of a flight and pursuit across a country so rugged and intersected with ravines as that between Huleh and Sidon. Beroth was art important military post, and so Joshua's victory would be about the plain of Akka, more suitable ground for the Canaanites to choose for their chariots to act in than the plain on the S.W. margin of Huleh, from which there was no escape possible. The pursuit to Sidon is then intelligible. However, Huleh is thought identical with Samochonitis and so with Merom. Huleh is the same as Ulatla, the region between Trachon and Galilee which Herod received from Caesar (Josephus Ant. 15:10, section 3); derived from Hul or Chul, son of Aram (Syria), Genesis 10:23 (Rosenmuler), from whence also came Coele-Syria (Michaelis). The Ard el Huleh is a verdant, picturesque, and fertile plain, 16 miles long from N. to S., eight miles from E. to W.

The spies of Dan truly characterized it "very good, a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth" (Judges 18:9-10). On the W. is the range of hills of Kedesh Naphtali; on the E. are the lower slopes of Bashan; on the N. irregular low hills stretching from the mountains of Naphtali to snowy, double peaked Mount Hermon, which rises on the N.E. corner 10,000 ft. high; on the S. the plain is crossed by broken high grounds through which by deep ravines the Jordan after passing through lake Huleh (four miles and a half long by three broad) descends 700 ft. to the sea of Galilee. Morasses with impenetrable reeds and sedge (Macgregor discovered floating papyrus) fence the lake on the N.,W., and S. On the W. is the Ain Mellahah ("fountain of salt," though no salt taste is discernible now), a large spring which is one of the feeders of the lake, with a stream 40 ft. wide.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Merom, Waters of'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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