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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Hammath

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(Heb. Chammath', חִמִּת , warn springs; Sept. Ἀμάθ v.r. [by incorporation of the following name] Ωμαθαδακέθ, Vulg. Emath), one of the "fenced cities" of Naphtali, mentioned between Zer and Rakkath (Joshua 19:35); generally thought to be the hot spring referred to by Josephus (War, 4:1, 3) under the name Ammaus (Ἀμμαοῦς ), near Tiberias (Ant. 18:2, 3); which latter is, no doubt, the same with the famous warm baths still found on the shore a little south of Tiberias, and called Hanummani Tubariyteh ("Bath of Tiberias"); properly Hammath-rakkath (? the Yamrim of (en. 36 24). (See EMMARAS).

They have been fully described by Robinson (Researches, 3, 258 sq.; see also Hackett's Script. Illust. p. 315). Pliny, speaking of the Sea of Galilee, says, "Ab occidente Tiberiade, aquis calidis salubri" (Hist. Nat. 5, 15). Spacious baths were built over the principal spring by Ibrahim Pasha; but, like everything else in Palestine, they are falling to ruin. Ancient ruins are strewn around it, and can be traced along the shore for a considerable distance; these were recognized by Irby and Mangles (p. 89, b) as the remains of Vespasian's camp (Josephus, War, 1, 4, 3). There are also three smaller warm springs at this place. The water has a temperature of 144° Fahr; the taste is extremely salt and bitter, and a strong smell of sulphur is emitted. The whole surrounding district has a volcanic aspect. The warm fountains, the rocks of trap and lava, and the frequent earthquakes, prove that the elements of destruction are still at work beneath the surface. It is said that at the time of the great earthquake of 1837 the quantity of water issuing from the springs was greatly increased, and the temperature much higher than ordinarily (Porter, Handbook for S. and P. 2, 423; Thomson, Land and Book, 2, 66; Wilson, Lands of the Bible, 2, 397; Reland, Palaest. p. 302, 703). This spot is also mentioned in the Talmud (Schwarz, Palest. p. 182) as being situated one mile from Tiberius (Lightfoot, Opp. 2, 224). The HAMMOTH-DOR of Joshua 21:32 is probably the same place. (See HEMATH); (See HAMION).

The Hamath of Gadara, however, located by the Talmudists (see Lightfoot, ib.) at the mouth of the Jordan, is a different place (see also Zunz, Appendix to Benj. of Tudela, 2, 403); doubtless the AMATHA (See AMATHA) (q.v.) of Josephus (Ant. 10:5, 2), and the modern Amateh on the Yarmuk (Van de Velde, Map).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Hammath'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/h/hammath.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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