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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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The Amorite king Sihon's capital (Numbers 21:26, etc.). On the western border of the "high plain", mishor (Joshua 13:17), on the boundary between Reuben and Gad. Now Hesban, 20 miles E. of Jordan, on a line with the N. of the Dead Sea. In the poem, "there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, ... it hath consumed Ar of Moab .... Woe unto thee, Moab: he hath given his sons ... and his daughters ... unto Sihon," the poet paints Heshbon's triumph over Moab, and Moab's misery; but suddenly the scene changes, and Israel is introduced as conquering the conqueror: "We have shot at them, Heshbon is perished." etc.
        At Jahaz, a little S. of Heshbon, Israel overthrew Sihon (Deuteronomy 2:32-33). Heshbon was rebuilt by Reuben (Numbers 32:37), but assigned to the Levites in connection with Gad (Joshua 21:39). It passed from Israel into the hands of its former masters the Moabites before the captivity. It is included accordingly in Isaiah's (Isaiah 15:4) and Jeremiah's (Jeremiah 48:2-34; Jeremiah 48:45) denunciations of Moat. Playing upon the meaning of Heshbon (a place of devising counsel) Jeremiah says, "in Heshbon they (the Chaldaeans) have devised evil against Moab."
        The old proverb shall hold good again; as anciently Sihon seized Heshbon, and issued forth thence as a devouring flame against Moab, so now the Chaldeans shall seize Heshbon and make it their starting point to destroy Moab. The ruins stand on a low hall, and are a mile in circuit, but do not include a single entire building. On the southern base of the hill is an ancient reservoir; compare Song of Solomon 7:4, "thine eyes are like the fish pools in Heshbon (deep, quiet, full, reflecting the bridegroom's image) by the gate of Bathrabbim" (daughter of of a multitude; a crowded thoroughfare of Heshbon). The bride is calm amidst the crowd.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'Heshbon' Fausset's Bible Dictionary". - Fausset's; 1878.

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