medeba Summary and Overview
Bible Dictionaries at a Glance
medeba in Easton's Bible Dictionary
waters of quiet, an ancient Moabite town (Num. 21:30). It was
assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Josh. 13:16). Here was fought
the great battle in which Joab defeated the Ammonites and their
allies (1 Chr. 19:7-15; compare 2 Sam. 10:6-14). In the time of
Isaiah (15:2) the Moabites regained possession of it from the
Ammonites. (See HANUN T0001632.)
The ruins of this important city, now Madeba or Madiyabah, are
seen about 8 miles south-west of Heshbon, and 14 east of the
Dead Sea. Among these are the ruins of what must have been a
large temple, and of three cisterns of considerable extent,
which are now dry. These cisterns may have originated the name
Medeba, "waters of quiet." (See OMRI T0002785.)
medeba in Smith's Bible Dictionary
(water of rest), a town on the eastern side of Jordan, first alluded to in #Nu 21:30| Here it seems to denote the limit of the territory of Heshbon. It next occurs in the enumeration of the country divided among the transjordanic tribes, #Jos 13:9| as giving its name to a district of level downs called "the Mishor of Medeba" or "the Mishor on Medeba." At the time of the conquest Medeba belonged to the Amorites, apparently one of the towns taken from Moab by them. In the time of Ahaz Medeba was a sanctuary of Moab. #Isa 15:2| It has retained its name down, our own times, and lies four miles southeast of Heshbon, on it rounded but rocky hill.
medeba in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
MED'EBA (waters of quiet), one of the most ancient cities of Moab. first mentioned with Heshbon and Dibon in the antique poem quoted in Num 21:30. It was afterward taken by the Israelites and allotted to the tribe of Reuben. Josh 13:16. The Ammonites were in possession of it during the reign of David, and there Joab gained his great victory over the combined hordes with their 32,000 chariots from Mesopotamia, Syria, Maacah, Zobah, and the whole region between the Jordan and the Euphrates. 1 Chr 19:7-15. In the time of Isaiah it had again reverted to Moab. Isa 15:2. After the return from the Captivity it was alternately in the possession of the Jews and of the Gentiles. John Maccabaeus was slain there, and his death was bloodily avenged by his brothers. The city afterward surrendered to Hyrcanus after a six months' seige. During the Christian period it was the seat of a bishopric. Ruined Columns at Medeba. (After Tristram.) Situation and Present Appearance. -- The site of Medeba is 8 miles south-southwest of Heshbon, and 14 miles east of the Dead Sea, on the top of a hill, around which the old city extended a considerable distance into the plain. On the southern side of the town lies a large pool 360 feet square. On the eastern and northern sides are other smaller pools. All three are now dry. These tanks may explain the name Medeba, "waters of quiet." The ruins of a large temple exist, of which two columns are standing. The access to the city on the east was by a paved road leading through a massive gateway. Within is a large square 280 paces long and 240 paces wide. The eastern extent of the city is over 1000 yards. Around the city, ruined villages lie thick in all directions, but most of them are very small.
medeba in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
E. of Jordan. The Hebrew means "waters of quiet," but, except tank water, none is there. Mesha in the famous Dibon stone writes: "Omri took the land, Medeba, and occupied it (in his days and in) the days of his son 40 years"; no doubt as a fortress to command the surrounding district. At the time of the Exodus the Amorites had dispossessed Moab of part of the land which Moab had wrested from the Emims (Deuteronomy 2:9-11; Numbers 21:23-26). Israel in turn wrested from the Amorite Sihon "from Arnon even unto Jabbok." The national lay, Numbers 21:27-29, first describes Sihon's defeat of Moab: "a flame from the city of Sihon ... hath consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon.
Woe unto thee Moab, ... He hath given ... his daughters into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites (so far the ballad describes Sihon's triumph over Moat; Israel's triumph over Sihon follows) ... We have shot at them. Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nopha, which reacheth (rather with fire) unto Medeba." Heshbon was northernmost, Medeba now Madeba in the pastoral district of the Belka (called "the plain" or level downs, the mishor "of Moab," Joshua 13:9 assigned to Reuben) was four miles S.E. of it. A fortress in David's time (1 Chronicles 19:7-15), before which Joab defeated Ammon and the Syrians of Maachah, Mesopotamia, and Zobah. In Ahaz' time Medeba was a sanctuary of Moab (Isaiah 15:2).