Micmash, Michmash

MICMASH, MICHMASH (mĭk'măsh, Heb. mĭk'hmash, a hidden place). A place in the ancient tribe of Benjamin about eight miles (thirteen km.) NE of Jerusalem. A notable battle occurred here between Israel and the Philistines in the reign of Saul (1Sam.13.1-1Sam.13.23-1Sam.14.1-1Sam.14.52). Micmash lay in the pass that goes eastward from Bethel and Ai down to Jericho, and at one place the pass was contained between two cliffs, “Bozez and Seneh” (1Sam.14.4). There Jonathan and his armor-bearer clambered up and started the victory over the Philistines, and there the British forces under General Allenby used the same strategy and won victory over the Turks. In Isa.10.28, where the prophet is picturing with dramatic detail an advance of the Assyrian forces against Jerusalem, he mentions Micmash as the place where the invaders stored their baggage, hoping no doubt to gather it on their return (Isa.37.36). In the return from the Captivity under Zerubbabel (Ezra.2.27; Neh.7.31) 122 men of this place are mentioned, indicating that it was a fair-sized community at the time. Jonathan Maccabaeus made his governmental headquarters here for a time (1Macc.9.73).