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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

 

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LUZ

(luz):The Hebrew word means "almond tree" or "almond wood" (OHL, under the word). It may also mean "bone," particularly a bone of the spine, and might be applied to a rocky height supposed to resemble a backbone (Lagarde, Uebersicht., 157 f). Winckler explains it by Aramaic laudh, "asylum," which might be suitably applied to a sanctuary (Geschichte Israels). Cheyne (EB, under the word) would derive it by corruption from chalutsah, "strong (city)."
(1) This was the ancient name of Bethel (Gen 28:19; Jdg 1:23; compare Gen 35:6; 48:3; Josh 16:2; 18:13). It has been thought that Josh 16:2 contradicts this, and that the two places were distinct. Referring to Gen 28:19, we find that the name Bethel was given to "the place," ha-maqom, i.e. "the sanctuary," probably "the place" (28:11, Hebrew) associated with the sacrifice of Abraham (12:8), which lay to the East of Bethel. The name of the city as distinguished from "the place" was Luz. As the fame of the sanctuary grew, we may suppose, its name overshadowed, and finally superseded, that of the neighboring town. The memory of the ancient nomenclature persisting among the people sufficiently explains the allusions in the passages cited.
(2) A Bethelite, the man who betrayed the city into the hands of the children of Joseph, went into the land of the Hittites, and there founded a city which he called Luz, after the ancient name of his native place (Jdg 1:26). No satisfactory identification has been suggested.
W. Ewing

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'LUZ'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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