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EGLON (Heb. ‘eghlôn)


V. Tallquist, Assyrian Personal Names (1914), 95.

EGLON ĕg’ lŏn (עֶגְלֹ֖ון, most LXX MSS have substituted Adullam, q.v., but numerous variants occur e.g. ̓Αγλων, ̓Εγλών, et al.). An Amorite town in the western Shephelah. W. F. Albright’s contention that Eglon be identified with Tell el-Ḥesī has gained general acceptance. The ancient name is preserved at nearby Khirbet ’Ajlân to where the town had been moved by Byzantine times (Eusebius, Onomasticon, ed. Klostermann, 48:18). The archeological excavations of W. M. F. Petrie (1890) and F. J. Bliss (1891-1893) were the genesis of modern archeology in Pal. Eight distinct levels were uncovered dating from the Early Bronze III to the Pers. Periods.

The earliest mention of Eglon is the reference to ’q3y in the Egyp. execration texts (Posener, No. E 58). The cuneiform tablet discovered at Tell el-Ḥesī is contemporary with the Late Bronze texts from El Amarna (EA 333). The letter describes the high treason that was brewing at nearby Lachish and Jarmuth against the pharaoh.

The king of Jerusalem took action against his subjects the Gibeonites (q.v.) because they had made a pact with Joshua. The Amorite kings of Jarmuth, Hebron, Lachish and Eglon were called upon for assistance (Josh 10:3-6). The Israelites came to the rescue of the Gibeonites and defeated the Amorites. Subsequently, the five kings were captured (10:23); and during the campaign in southern Pal., the city of Eglon was conquered (10:34-37; 12:12). It was assigned to the inheritance of Judah, in the second district of the Shephelah region (15:39).


E. Robinson, Biblical Researches in Palestine and the Adjacent Regions (1856), II, 388-392; C. R. Conder, Tent work in Palestine (1878), II, 168, 169; id., and H. H. Kitchener, SWP, Memoirs, III (1883), 261; W. M. F. Petrie, Tell el Hesy (Lachish) (1891), 18-20; F. J. Bliss, A Mound of Many Cities, or Tell Hesy Excavated (1898); P. Thompsen, Loca Sancta (1907), 14, 15, 58; W. F. Albright, “Researches of the School in Western Judaea,” BASOR, No. 15 (1924), 7, 8; id., “The American Excavation of Tell Beit Mirsim,” ZAW n.f. VI (1929), 3, n. 2; J. Garstang, Joshua and Judges (1931), 174; K. Elliger, “Joshua in Judäa,” PJb XXX (1934), 66-68; M. Noth, Das Buche Josua (1938), 68; J. Obermann, “A Revised Reading of the Tell el-Hesi Inscription. With a Note on the Gezer Sherd,” AJA (1940), 93-104; W. F. Albright, “A Case of lèse-majesté in Pre-Israelite Lachish, with some Remarks on the Israelite Conquest,” BASOR, No. 87 (1942), 32-38; O. Tufnell, “Excavator’s Progress, Letters of F. J. Bliss, 1889-1900,” PEQ, 1965, 112-127.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(`eghlon, "circle"):

A king of Moab in the period of the Judges who, in alliance with Ammon and Amalek, overcame Israel and made Jericho his capital, presumably driven across the Jordan by the turmoil in his own kingdom which at that time was probably being used as a battle ground by Edom and the desert tribes (compare Ge 36:35). After 18 years of servitude the children of Israel were delivered by Ehud the Benjamite, who like so many other Benjamites (compare Jud 20:16) was left-handed. Under the pretext of carrying a present to the tyrant, he secured a private interview and assassinated him with a two-edged sword which he had carried concealed on his right side (Jud 3:19-22). Ehud made his escape, rallied the children of Israel about him and returned to conquer the Moabites (Jud 3:30).

(`eghlon; Odollam):

A royal Canaanite city whose king joined the league headed by Adonizedek of Jerusalem against the Gibeonites, which suffered overwhelming defeat at the hands of Joshua (Jos 10). Joshua passed from Libnah to Lachish, and from Lachish to Eglon on his way to Hebron (10:31 ff). It was in the Shephelah of Judah (15:39). The name seems to be preserved in that of Khirbet `Ajlan, about 10 miles West of Beit Jibrin. Professor Petrie, however, thinks that the site of Tell Nejileh better suits the requirements. While Khirbet `Ajlan is a comparatively modern site, the city at Tell Nejileh must have been contemporary with that at Tell el-Chesy (Lachish). It lies fully three miles Southeast of Tell el-Chesy.

W. Ewing