Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online

Sub Categories

Back to Categories

August 4    Scripture

More Bible History
Bible Cities : Michmash
Ancient Michmash

Map of Ancient Michmash

Ancient Michmash - Map of New Testament Israel MICH`MASH (who strikes), A town of Benjamin about seven miles north of Jerusalem. Noted in wars with Philistia, 1 Sam. 13; 14. Also referred to as MICH`MAS in Ezra 2:27.

Michmash in Easton's Bible Dictionary something hidden, a town of Benjamin (Ezra 2:27), east of Bethel and south of Migron, on the road to Jerusalem (Isa. 10:28). It lay on the line of march of an invading army from the north, on the north side of the steep and precipitous Wady es- Suweinit ("valley of the little thorn-tree" or "the acacia"), and now bears the name of Mukhmas. This wady is called "the passage of Michmash" (1 Sam. 13:23). Immediately facing Mukhmas, on the opposite side of the ravine, is the modern representative of Geba, and behind this again are Ramah and Gibeah. This was the scene of a great battle fought between the army of Saul and the Philistines, who were utterly routed and pursued for some 16 miles towards Philistia as far as the valley of Aijalon. "The freedom of Benjamin secured at Michmash led through long years of conflict to the freedom of all its kindred tribes." The power of Benjamin and its king now steadily increased. A new spirit and a new hope were now at work in Israel. (See SAUL -T0003230.)

Michmash in Fausset's Bible Dictionary 1 Samuel 13-14. Now Mukhmas, a poor village of gray huts and ruins, seven miles N. of Jerusalem; on the northern edge of the wady Suweinit, the main pass between the central highlands where Michmash stands and the Jordan valley at Jericho. Opposite Michmash on the other side of the ravine was Geba (Jeba) where was the Philistine garrison, and behind this Gibeah. Jonathan smote the garrison or officer. (See JONATHAN.) The Philistines swarmed up from their seacoast plain, and occupied Michmash so that Saul had to retire to Gilgal near Jericho. Then followed Jonathan's bold enterprise, which issued in their rout, from Michmash, the farthest point E., to Ajalon on the W. The battle also passed over to Bethaven (Bethel) four miles N. of Michmash (1 Samuel 14:23.) Josephus (Ant. vi. 6, section 2) says that the part of Michmash held by them consisted of three summits, entrenched by a line of rocks, and ending in a long sharp precipice almost impregnable; here Jonathan and his armorbearer clambered up at their invitation. Just as 1 Samuel 14:4 describes, there is what was once a sharp "toothlike rock" on one side of the gorge between the armies, answering to Bozez ("shining"), and another on the other answering to Seneh (thorn). The more timid of the Israelites emerged from the holes (which give Michmash its name ("hidden"); others derive it from Chemosh, marking a Moabite invasion at some time) to join in the pursuit. Sennacherib long after, advancing from the N., left his heavy baggage ("carriages") at Michmash, and crossing the pass lodged for the night at Geba (Isaiah 10:28-29). (See GEBA.) Kitchener suggests that Khirbet Haiy is the site of Ai. It is hardly one mile S.E. of Michmash on the old road from Jericho into the interior, and so the first stronghold Joshua would have to overcome. A plain to the N. was the battlefield; and there is room for ambush to hide without being seen by the men of Bethel. Michmash and Ai are closely connected. After the captivity 122 men of Michmash reoccupied their old dwelling (Ezra 2:27; Nehemiah 7:31). Here Jonathan Maccabeus had his seat of government (1 Maccabees 9:73). Eusebius and Jerome (Onomasticon) mention Michmash as near Ramah.

Michmash in Naves Topical Bible A city of the tribe of Benjamin 1Sa 13:5 -People of the captivity return to, and dwell in Ezr 2:27; Ne 11:31 -Prophesy concerning the king of Assyria storing his baggage at Isa 10:28 -Is garrisoned by Saul 1Sa 13:2 -Philistines killed at, by Jonathan 1Sa 14:31

Michmash in Smiths Bible Dictionary (hidden), a town which is known to us almost solely by its connection with the Philistine war of Saul and Jonathan. 1Sa 13:1 ..., 14:1 ... It has been identified with great probability in a village which still bears the name of Mukhmas, about seven miles north of Jerusalem. The place was thus situated in the very middle of the tribe of Benjamin. In the invasion of Sennacherib in the reign of Hezekiah, it is mentioned by Isaiah. Isa 10:28 After the captivity the man of the place returned. Ezr 2:27; Ne 7;31 At a later date it became the residence of Jonathan Maccabaeus and the seat of his government. 1 Macc. 9:73. In the time of Eusebius and Jerome it was "a very large village, retaining its ancient name, and lying near Ramah in the district of AElia (Jerusalem), at ten miles distance therefrom." Immediately below the village the great wady spreads out to a considerable width --perhaps half a mile; and its bed is broken up into an intricate mass of hummocks and mounds, two of which, before the torrents of three thousand winters had reduced and rounded their forms, were probably the two "teeth of cliff" --the Bozes and Seneh of Jonathan's adventure.

Michmash in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE mik'-mash (mikhmash; Machmas): A town in the territory of Benjamin, apparently not of sufficient importance to secure mention in the list of cities given in Josh 18:21 ff. It first appears as occupied by Saul with 2,000 men, when Jonathan, advancing from Gibeah, smote the Philistine garrison in Geba (1 Sam 13:2). To avenge this injury, the Philistines came up in force and pitched in Michmash (1 Sam 13:5). Saul and Jonathan with 600 men held Geba, which had been taken from the Philistine garrison (1 Sam 13:16). It will assist in making clear the narrative if, at this point, the natural features of the place are described. Michmash is represented by the modern Mukhmas, about 7 miles North of Jerusalem. From the main road which runs close to the watershed, a valley sloping eastward sinks swiftly into the great gorge of Wady es-Suweinit. The village of Mukhmas stands to the North of the gorge, about 4 miles East of the carriage road. The ancient path from Ai southward passes to the West of the village, goes down into the valley by a steep and difficult track, and crosses the gorge by the pass, a narrow defile, with lofty, precipitous crags on either side--the only place where a crossing is practicable. To the South of the gorge is Geba, which had been occupied by the Philistines, doubtless to command the pass. Their camp was probably pitched in a position East of Mukhmas, where the ground slopes gradually northward from the edge of the gorge. The place is described by Josephus as "upon a precipice with three peaks, ending in a small, but sharp and long extremity, while there was a rock that surrounded them like bulwarks to prevent the attack of the enemy" (Ant., VI, vi, 2). Conder confirms this description, speaking of it as "a high hill bounded by the precipices of Wady es-Suweinit on the South, rising in three flat but narrow mounds, and communicating with the hill of Mukhmas, which is much lower, by a long and narrow ridge." The Philistines purposed to guard the pass against approach from the South. On the other hand they were not eager to risk an encounter with the badly armed Israelites in a position where superior numbers would be of little advantage. It was while the armies lay thus facing each other across the gorge that Jonathan and his armor-bearer performed their intrepid feat (1 Sam 14:1 ff). See BOZEZ; SENEH. It will be noted that the Philistines brought their chariots to Michmash (1 Sam 13:5). In his ideal picture of the Assyrian advance on Jerusalem, Isaiah makes the invader lay up his baggage at Michmash so that he might go lightly through the pass (1 Sam 10:28). A company of the men of Michmash (see MICHMAS) returned with Zerubbabel from exile (Ezr 2:27; Neh 7:31). Michmash produced excellent barley. According to the Mishna, "to bring barley to Michmash" was equivalent to our English "to carry coal to Newcastle." Michmash was the seat of government under Jonathan Maccabeus (1 Macc 9:73). The modern village is stone-built. There are rock-cut tombs to the North. Cisterns supply the water. There are foundations of old buildings, large stones, and a vaulted cistern.

Michmash Scripture - 1 Samuel 13:11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and [that] thou camest not within the days appointed, and [that] the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

Michmash Scripture - 1 Samuel 13:16 And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people [that were] present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.

Michmash Scripture - 1 Samuel 13:2 Saul chose him three thousand [men] of Israel; [whereof] two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

Michmash Scripture - 1 Samuel 13:23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Michmash.

Michmash Scripture - 1 Samuel 13:5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which [is] on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven.

Michmash Scripture - 1 Samuel 14:31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint.

Michmash Scripture - 1 Samuel 14:5 The forefront of the one [was] situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.

Michmash Scripture - Isaiah 10:28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages:

Michmash Scripture - Nehemiah 11:31 The children also of Benjamin from Geba [dwelt] at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and [in] their villages,