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Hill Country

HILL COUNTRY (Heb. giv‘âh, har, ‘ōphel). A term applied to any region of hills and valleys that could not quite be called mountainous. In Scripture it generally applies to the higher part of Judea (Luke.1.39, Luke.1.65) and in the OT to the southern part of Lebanon east of Sidon (Josh.13.6; niv “mountain region”). In Josh.11.3, RSV and NIV have “hill country,” JB has “highlands,” and KJV and MLB have “mountains.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

hil’-kun-tri: The common translation of three Hebrew words:

(1) gibh`ah, from root meaning "to be curved," is almost always translated "hill"; it is a pecuIiarly appropriate designation for the very rounded hills of Palestine; it is never used for a range of mountains. Several times it occurs as a place-name, "Gibeah of Judah" (Jos 15:20,57); "Gibeah of Benjamin" or "Saul" (Jud 19:12-16, etc.); "Gibeah of Phinehas" (Jos 24:33 margin), etc. (see Gibeah). Many such hills were used for idolatrous rites (1Ki 14:23; 2Ki 17:10; Jer 2:20, etc.).

(3) `ophel, is translated by "hill" in 2Ki 5:24; Isa 32:14; Mic 4:8, but may possibly mean "tower" or "fort." In other passages the word occurs with the article as a place-name.

See Ophel.