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December 13    Scripture



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Bible Cities: Zaraphath
Ancient Zaraphath

Map of Ancient Zaraphath


Zaraphath in Easton's Bible Dictionary smelting-shop, "a workshop for the refining and smelting of metals", a small Phoenician town, now Surafend, about a mile from the coast, almost midway on the road between Tyre and Sidon. Here Elijah sojourned with a poor widow during the "great famine," when the "heaven was shut up three years and six months" (Luke 4:26; 1 Kings 17:10). It is called Sarepta in the New Testament (Luke 4:26).

Zaraphath in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("tsarfa'".) Elijah's residence during the drought (1 Kings 17:9-10); belonging to Sidon. A Canaanite, i.e. Phoenician city (Obadiah 1:20). Sarepta in Luke 4:26. The name means smelting shop. Now Surafend, a tell or hill, with a small village, seven or eight miles from Sidon, near the Zaharain river. The ancient town however was below on the shore; there, ruins of a flourishing city are found, columns, marble slabs and sarcophagi, and a chapel of the crusaders on the presumed site of the widow's house.

Zaraphath in Hitchcock's Bible Names ambush of the mouth

Zaraphath in Naves Topical Bible (A city between Tyre and Sidon) -Elijah performs two miracles in 1Ki 17:8-24 -Called SAREPTA (A. V.) in Lu 4:26

Zaraphath in Smiths Bible Dictionary (smelting place), the residence of the prophet Elijah during the latter part of the drought. 1Ki 17:9,10 It was near to, or dependent on, Zidon. It is represented by the modern village of Sura-fend. Of the old town considerable indications remain. One group of foundations is on a headland called Ain el- Kanatarah; but the chief remains are south of this, and extend for a mile or more, with many fragments of columns, slabs and other architectural features. In the New Testament Zarephath appears under the Greek form of SAREPTA. Lu 4:26

Zaraphath in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE zar'-e-fath (tsarephath; Sarepta): The Sidonian town in which Elijah was entertained by a widow after he left the brook Cherith (1 Ki 17:9 ff). Obadiah refers to it as a Canaanite (probably meaning Phoenicia) town (Ob 1:20). It appears in the Greek form Sarepta in Lk 4:26 (the King James Version), and is said to be in the land of Sidon. Josephus (Ant., VIII, xiii, 2) says it was not "far from Sidon and Tyre, for it lay between them." Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. "Sarefta"), places it on the public road, i.e. the road along the seashore. It can be no other than the modern Sarafend, about 13 miles North of Tyre, on the spur of the mountain which divides the plain of Tyre from that of Sidon. The site of the ancient town is marked by the ruins on the shore to the South of the modern village, about 8 miles to the South of Sidon, which extend along the shore for a mile or more. They are in two distinct groups, one on a headland to the West of a fountain called Ain el-Qantara, which is not far from the shore. Here was the ancient harbor which still affords shelter for small craft. The other group of ruins is to the South, and consists of columns, sarcophagi and marble slabs, indicating a city of considerable importance. The modern village of Sarafend was built some time after the 12th century, since at the time of the Crusades the town was still on the shore. It is conjectured that the Syrophoenician woman mentioned in Lk 4:26 was an inhabitant of Zarephath., and it is possible that our Lord visited the place in His journey to the region as narrated in Mk 7:24-31, for it is said that he "came through Sidon unto the sea of Galilee." The place has been identified by some with Misrephoth-maim of Josh 11:8 and 13:6, but the latter passage would indicate that Misrephoth-maim was at the limit of the territory of the Sidonians, which Zarephath was not in the days of Joshua. See MISREPHOTH-MAIM; SIDON. Originally Sidonian, the town passed to the Tyrians after the invasian of Shalmaneser IV, 722 BC. It fell to Sennacherib 701 BC. The Wely, or shrine bearing the name of el-Khudr, the saint in whom George is blended with Elijah, stands near the shore. Probably here the Crusaders erected a chapel on what they believed to be the site of the widow's house.

Zaraphath Scripture - 1 Kings 17:10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman [was] there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

Zaraphath Scripture - 1 Kings 17:9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which [belongeth] to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

Zaraphath Scripture - Obediah 1:20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel [shall possess] that of the Canaanites, [even] unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which [is] in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

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