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Bible Encyclopedias
Emmaus

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

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Name of three places in Palestine.

  1. A town, or place, memorable for the defeat of Gorgias by Judas Maccabeus (I Macc. 3:40), situated in southern Judea, 22 miles, or 176 stadia, from Jerusalem. Its inhabitants were sold as slaves by Cassius (Josephus, "Ant." 14:11, § 2; "B. J." 1:11, § 2); but, through the exertions of Hyrcanus, they were freed by Marcus Antonius ("Ant." 14:12, § 2). Afterward Emmaus became a Jewish toparchy, the general of which was John the Essene ("B. J." 2:20, § 4). Burned (c. 4 C.E.) by the Roman general Varus, it was rebuilt about 220 by Julius Africanus, receiving the name of "Nicopolis." It is known at present as "Amwas," south-southeast from Lydda Emmaus is frequently mentioned in the Talmud and Midrash. The spelling varies—, , and . It is stated (Eccl. R. 7:7) that after the death of R. Johanan b. Zakkai all his disciples remained at Jabneh, with the exception of Eleazar b. 'Arak, who went to Emmaus because it was a healthful place with fresh water. Certain Talmudic doctors held discussions there (Mak. 13a; Ker. 15a). Two noble families are mentioned at Emmaus, whose daughters were married to priests ('Ar. 2:5).
  2. A small place in Galilee, between Tiberias and Gadara, the Talmudic , and , once written (Yer. 'Er. 5:22d; Tosef., 'Er. p. 146, 5; M. Ḳ. 3:82; Sheb. 9:38). It is spoken of by Josephus ("Ant." 18:2, § 3) as Αμμαϑῦς, and ("B. J." 4:1, § 3) as being colonized by Vespasian.
  3. A village 7½ miles, or 60 stadia, from Jerusalem; mentioned by Luke (24:13); it has been identified by Eusebius and Jerome with Emmaus-Nicopolis.
Bibliography:
  • Grauätz, in Monatsschrift, 2:112,113;
  • Rapoport, 'Erek Millin, pp. 110-113;
  • Neubauer, G. T. pp. 100-102;
  • Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., 1:206, 2:170.
E. G. H.
M. Sel.
Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Emmaus'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tje/​e/emmaus.html. 1901.
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